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Came off Citralopram 2 months ago and feel so sad all the time

(42 Posts)
charliesweb Sat 30-May-15 21:49:13

I need to talk to someone who understands and I was hoping I'd find that person here.

I have come off Citralopram about 2 months ago because my doctor was keen for me to and I thought it was worth a try.

I had been taking it for about 18 months to treat anxiety related depression. Since coming off I have had good days and bad days, but overall my mood has been low. My husband has noticed the change in me and is keen for me to take the pills again.

About a month after coming off I went back to the doctor hoping we could have a discussion about options including going back on the pills. She basically told me the maybe this was just my personality and I needed to develop ways of living with this. I have registered for counselling, but I know it's a telephone consultation and I am highly likely to only be offered 3 telephone sessions.

Whilst on the pills I was able to develop and use strategies for coping myself, however, despite still using these I can't make the emotions go away.

I've just celebrated my 40th with a big party and people have gone out of their way to make me feel special. Yet here I amid tears feeling so so sad. I feel that I don't deserve all the attention and that people think I'm stupid for having a party. No one had made any indication that that's the case but I can't shake the feeling.

bearleftmonkeyright Sat 30-May-15 21:52:35

Hi OP I have been on Citalopram before and found it very ineffective. Why did your GP encourage you to come off it? Did you feel ready? There are other treatments out there. I am on different medication for anxiety and it has changed my life. To be honest, your GP sounds pretty crap.

bearleftmonkeyright Sat 30-May-15 22:15:01

Hope you are ok OP, I am going to bed now. I will check this thread in the morning.

charliesweb Sat 30-May-15 22:15:16

Although things still worried me I was able to cope with them and rationalise them whilst I was on Citralopram. Since coming off I feel very paranoid about what people think of me and guilty about letting people down or not deserving what people do for me.
I have also noticed I am more irritable with the children and lose patience with them. I hate feeling like this.

LittleBearPad Sat 30-May-15 22:16:58

Can you see another doctor who would be more sympathetic and helpful? It sounds as though you weren't ready to stop taking them. Did you taper down the dose or simply stop?

yetanotherchangename Sat 30-May-15 22:22:28

I've been slowly coming off Citralopram this year and found myself feeling very similar to you for a few weeks. I've just started taking Prozac because I didn't want to go back there but I had really bad side effects with the Citralopram (took it for 18 months).

I didn't want to go back to taking ADs but like you I found myself able to detach from and rationalise my depression when taking them. I held onto this for a bit while cutting down my dose/withdrawing The point at which I decided to go back on them was when I found that the "thinking" techniques I use weren't working.

I'm also conscious that my children aren't going to be young for much longer and I have spent too much of their childhood irritable due to depression.

I've no idea if going back on ADs will help in your circumstances but it might be worth pressing your GP to consider it.

Whensmyturn Sat 30-May-15 22:22:47

I agree, you need to seek further medical advice. You should not have to feel like this. Medication can help and you should have it. Whether it is the citalopram or another medication. Can you make an appointment when you know the previous GP won't be around, ie avoid his surgeries? I think that's what I would be doing.

sweetkitty Sat 30-May-15 22:29:14

Are you me? This is so spooky ive just wrote a very similar post. Came off Citalopram very gradually 6-8 weeks ago and I'm a mess really. Really snappy and irritable with the DC so low and anxious too. Every day is a struggle to get up. I know I need to phone the GP and go back on ADs feel so rubbish.

charliesweb Sun 31-May-15 00:35:17

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. It is so good to talk to people who understand. I am very lucky and have a great support network of friends and family but it's hard to explain to people who haven't been there. I am going to go back to the doctor but after the telephone counselling appointment so they can't insist I try that before giving me ADs again.

I was really annoyed after the last appointment with the doc but at the time I was stunned at her response and didn't know what to say. She talked about needing to find out if the depression is environmental or a deficiency which could be genetic and that I might never know but how interesting it is. I know it's genetic. My mother is on ADs and has been for years. At the moment she's struggling herself. My sister has had severe depression and PND with both her DCs. In January she ended up in a unit with her baby for 2 weeks because her PND had got so bad.
In my heart I don't think that counselling will work on it's own because of the feelings I have. No amount of rationalising and talking myself through situations takes away the emotion. I have realised that the emotions are not the product of events. The emotions are there first and then my mind pins something onto the emotions. I think it's my subconscious trying to make sense of the feelings I have.

I just want this constant sadness and anxiety to go away. I want to be happy, I want to be normal. Most days I feel on the verge of tears most of the time but I can't even cry and release the emotions. I'm crying now and it actually feels good in a way.

piddlemakesmegiggle Sun 31-May-15 00:55:21

Hi, just wanted to say I too take Citalopram and have done for 8 years. I tried coming off with the doctor's help about 5 years ago but it was not a good move for me and so have remained on them since. I'd like to think there will come a time when I don't feel the need to be on them but for now I accept it's what my body needs, just like a diabetic needs insulin. Hopefully your doctor will be more ubnderstanding next time. In the meantime, please try and stay calm and use all your strategies until you can get yourself back on the meds if they are what you need.

Wolfiefan Sun 31-May-15 01:10:35

Did you wean yourself off the citalopram? It took me ages to do this.

sweetkitty Sun 31-May-15 09:07:36

charliesweb - have you read my thread it is so similar to yours, I changed GP a while back as my old one was just shoving those bloody questionnaires at me. I don't know if I want to go back into Citalopram or try another AD either?

Let's make a pact and go to the GP this week

yetanotherchangename Sun 31-May-15 09:28:39

Charliesweb - "She talked about needing to find out if the depression is environmental or a deficiency which could be genetic and that I might never know but how interesting it is. I know it's genetic."

It worries me that in trying to reduce the number of people unnecessarily on antidepressants, GPs are insisting on first line approaches like telephone counselling. Like you I have a family history of major depression (my father has something categorised as psychotic depression). I've spent my whole life developing and using coping strategies to ensure that I'm functional. Going to the GP was the last resort and I only did it because I didn't want my children to grow up with a depressed parent.

Cheap talking therapies (online counselling, telephone counselling) might work if you are just feeling a little bit sad, but it undermines the fact that mental illness is an illness. It's so patronising to those of us who recognise our illness and are adept at managing it most of the time.

charliesweb Sun 31-May-15 09:29:47

Sweetkitty I'll look your thread up. I like you're pact.
I have my telephone appointment on June 9th. As it's so difficult to get a doctors appointment I think I'll book an appointment now for a few days after. In my heart I know this is not working and that I need to accept that maybe my body just doesn't produce enough serotonin or something. I have also used the diabetic analogy before when talking to my mum. I've always said if you need ADs you should take them. They're just another medication and I was all prepared to go back on them. My doctors reaction blindsided me and left me feeling very confused.

I did come off the Citralopram slowly over about 6 weeks. At first I felt very jubilant and high. I could see then that something wasn't quite right. But I keep thinking I lived 38 years without ADS why am I dependent on them now? Then I remember times I struggled, especially after each DCs birth.
I think of my anxiety like a malevolent creature. It's very sneaky. It robs me of the joy I should be feeling. I've stopped enjoying my job, I struggled to enjoy my birthday. It whispers lies to me. Like I should be feeling guilty because I not a good person, I've let people down and I should never tell anyone about my worries because then people will know the terrible things I've done. I try to switch off the thoughts but when it's really bad the anxiety finds a way to remind me through the most innocuous things. Like a scene on the TV or a passage in a book I'm reading. The anxiety keeps me closed off from the rest of the world. Even in a roomful of people I can feel terribly alone.
It hasn't got that bad yet, thank goodness, but I'm aware that's where this rabbit hole could lead and I'm scared.

charliesweb Sun 31-May-15 09:46:28

Yetanothernamechange - thank you for articulating my thoughts so well.

I agree with my doctor, it is interesting to try and understand why some people suffer from depression and others don't. And that the reasons may be different. However, that academic question does not so much 'interest' me now as getting my life back! As I said in my last post I feel like I'm being robbed of the joy I should be having.

Before I went on ADs I didn't know I had anxiety related depression. It took a lot for me to make that first appointment. I didn't even know that anxiety was a form of depression. I don't believe therapy will help me. I developed strategies which worked whilst on the ADs and I'm still able to use them now. When I start to worry my thoughts aren't spiralling out of control like they used to. However the negative emotion can't be reasoned away. It is with me constantly, sometimes, like last night, its strong and powerful, other times it's a feeling of quiet unease. Lurking in the background of my mind.

If there is anything which tells me I need some help its this. Earlier in the week I was at work laminating. I clearly remember turning the laminater off. However, the thought popped into my head when I was home that maybe I didn't and the building would burn down. In the end I had to go back (an hour round trip) to double check. When I tried to leave the building I had to keep going back to recheck I had set the alarm or locked the door. After doing this twice I forced myself to leave as I could see this was not rational behaviour. My brother has suffered from OCD in the past and I think for me this was a worrying example of intrusive thoughts starting to control me.

whiteiris Sun 31-May-15 09:51:23

Your anxiety is significantly affecting your ability to function. You really need to be back on antidepressant.

KinkyDorito Sun 31-May-15 09:57:19

I'd be going to another GP.

I'm watching with interest as I'm attempting to wean off after 2 years of them and I'm very nervous about how I will be. I want to try though, just to see.

If it doesn't work, I will take them again as life is too short to feel crappy all of the time when there is an easy solution.

thanks for you, be gentle with yourself.

charliesweb Sun 31-May-15 10:03:15

Whiteiris- thank you I needed to hear that. My DH has pretty much said the same thing but for some reason I resist his advice.

Sweetkitty I just read your thread. How weird that we posted about the same issue at the same time. I think it's a sign that we need to do this together. I totally understand how you feel about making that appointment. It's only a phone call but it feels like climbing a mountain so I put it off. Tomorrow let's both make that call.
Then we can think about what we're going to say. Last time I went to the doctors someone on MN actually gave me the words to say to the doctor and that really helped.

CrabbyTheCrabster Sun 31-May-15 10:04:04

Find another bloody doctor! angry

Ooh that does make me cross - why should she decide that you just need to accept depression when you've told her that you feel better and are able to take the positive steps you need when you are on them?!

I know exactly what you mean about them allowing you to do the things you know you need to do to be happy. It's exactly how I've always described it too. They're a leg-up for me, not an all-out cure or a 'happy pill'. They allow me enough respite to take the steps I know I need to to be healthy and stable - eat nourishing food, not drink too much, exercise, reach out to friends etc. I came off Citalopram in the autumn because I'd been on it for almost ten years and was having issues with it (less effective, withdrawal symptoms if late with a dose etc), against my GP's advice, bless her. I spiralled down quite quickly, tried Prozac without success, then asked for Escitalopram a few months ago, figuring that if Citalopram had worked for me for so long, maybe this would. My GP hadn't prescribed it before so wasn't enormously keen, but she did, and it's done the trick. It's not all suddenly joy and roses and I still struggle at times, but it's enabled me to crawl out of the black pit again and take positive steps.

Don't accept your GP telling you that she knows better than you about what you need. There are plenty of GPs out there who will listen to you and respect your experience. If you're better on them and coping well - go back on them!

MrsRebeccaDanvers Sun 31-May-15 10:10:03

Hello there CharliesWeb. I could've written your post, except that I've tried to come off Citalopram five times and have gone back on after two months every time. I agree that some of us need ADs like diabetics need insulin and have accepted that I might be on ADs for the rest of my life.
My current GP is wonderful and doesn't try to persuade me to come off them but I had an awful one a few years ago who didn't want to give me any even though I broke down in tears three times in front off her.
Please keep changing GP until you get one who understands what you're going through.

charliesweb Sun 31-May-15 10:26:16

I've been thinking about why I came off the ADs.
I didn't want to be defined by the depression. If that makes sense. Last summer I had to have a health check for my job. I was questioned about the Citralopram and although the person was lovely and tactful I felt it was very intrusive. It felt like by being on the ADS people thought of me in a way which isn't true to who I am.
The reality is now most of my waking hours are tinged with the depression and it's exhausting to be constantly be dealing with the negative thoughts and feelings.

yetanotherchangename Sun 31-May-15 11:38:42

charliesweb - you are very articulate yourself smile

charliesweb Sun 31-May-15 17:20:55

Thank you yetanothernamechange smile
I seem to find it easier to express myself on here then in real life. It does seem to help to get my thoughts out.
I've been feeling a bit better today. I do seem to find that good and bad days seem to alternate.
I hope the rest of you are doing ok. How are you sweetkitty?

GooodMythicalMorning Sun 31-May-15 17:41:41

Im on 40mg citalopram and 2mg diazepam as well. Struggling to do anything at the mo. 30mg seemed to help a few weeks ago but now gone back to not being able to leave the house without thinking im going to collapse.

MrsRebeccaDanvers Sun 31-May-15 22:12:22

I'm on 40mg and have been for over five years. Can't seem to even drop down to 30mg. My GP would like me to as she says I've got nothing in reserve in case of a crisis as I'm on the highest dose. I still have up days and down days but manage not to get dangerously low- which I can do on less than 40mg.

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