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5 weeks after breakdown I need some positive stories about recovery

(20 Posts)
charliesweb Sat 25-Jul-15 10:34:18

I've posted a few times already about my battle with depression and I'm grateful for the support I've had so far.
The situation is I am now entering week 6 of taking citralopram after I had a weekend of total collapse. I was hoping that things would've starting to get better by now. They have improved in as far as I am now able to function. But I am still waking up every morning feeling panicky and very low. It takes a while to ease but some days I can almost feel normally the evening. Other days I can feel terrible for most of the day.
My fear is that the meds aren't working as I seem to have hit a wall in my recovery.

charliesweb Sat 25-Jul-15 11:17:06


MegTheCat Sat 25-Jul-15 11:49:27

Hi - I'm not recovered yet but a bit further on than you. Three months on Citalopram and beginning to think I've turned a corner this week after 3 good days in a row. I have been frustrated though by how slow the recovery process is and have had many times when I've felt nothinng is changing. I've been told (a month ago) that it is likely to be 3-6 months before I'm ready to go back to work so guess the slowness is not uncommon.

charliesweb Sat 25-Jul-15 11:54:03

Thank you Megthecat. First I was told it would take 2 weeks to start working, and the 4-6.
Every morning is a disappointment at the moment because I go to bed feeling so much better and wake up panicky and tearful.
When I'm low I start to worry that this is as good as it's going to get.

Bellini12 Sat 25-Jul-15 12:16:59

I was CIT for 4 months - defo felt a bit better and could function/look after kids etc but always have morning anxiety. I'm coming off them now as the side effects were too much for me (bringing a whole load of other side effects!). Same here, i always feel normal in the evening then it all begins the next day.

Youll get there. It's a long slog but concentrate on how far you've come already.

MegTheCat Sat 25-Jul-15 12:20:30

Some things which have helped me in addition to the citalopram:
- therapy
- propanalol (beta blockers) from the GP to take when really panicky
- exercise - a walk in the park (easier said thatn done I know but makes an immediate difference when I manageIit)
- self soothing activities (as recommended by therapist) eg mindfulness colouring books
- mindfulness (only just started but good so far)
- attending a support group (for an issue which I think is a major reason for the depression)
Don't know if any of those might be worth a try / be possible for you

Also you could try keeping a diary which might help see improvement over time / identify what helps or otherwise with mood. I'm supposed to be starting this (therapist recommended) and have sheet to fill in with activities and mood hourly through the day, sleep times. tbh just thinking about ihaving to write it dow makes me do more of the things I know are helpful smilel

charliesweb Sat 25-Jul-15 13:11:02

Thank you again for your replies.
I'm trying to implement strategies to support my recovery.
I'm trying to go on short walks with my dog.
I bought a colouring book but found it gave my mind too much time to think.
I having telephone counselling, but I've only had 1 session and the therapist is I holiday this week.
I have found keeping a journal is helping. It seems to stop the thoughts swirling around uncontrollably if I write them down.

EmNetta Sat 25-Jul-15 13:49:28

So sorry you feel the meds are not working as well as you'd hoped, and wonder if you've mentioned this to the GP? They could of course increase the dose or even alter it to something else.
My brother is still taking prescriptions about three years after a suicide attempt, but has thankfully much improved over the years. Yoga has proved more beneficial than CBT, but people are all different of course. It's possible that someone close to you has seen a huge improvement in your health - is there anyone you could discuss this with?
I remember when I was on anti-depressants, it was important to me to get outdoors often, and particularly first thing in the morning, which was often the most difficult part of the day, and I'm sure your dog will soon be reminding you to get out.

charliesweb Sat 25-Jul-15 18:22:55

I'm definitely better then I was 5 weeks ago. I just need some reassurance that I'm recovering and that its reasonable to take several weeks.
Friends have told me that I'm better than I was. I would just like this dark cloud to lift.

ladylinda52 Sun 26-Jul-15 18:22:45

i've never had a breakdown but my husband has, twice, and I have lived through them with him. Recovery is painfully slow but he got there, both times, and is now fully recovered. I think after the first one he was never fully better. Recovery seems to come in fits and starts. Often I would feel that nothing had changed, but someone who hadn't seen him for a while would see a difference. It's good that you can notice some improvement in yourself. Hang on in, it will get better. [ flowers]

ladylinda52 Sun 26-Jul-15 18:25:31

Oops flowers

charliesweb Tue 28-Jul-15 11:17:47

Thank you Ladylinda. It's good to hear stories of recovery. There are times when I can't believe that I'll ever be happy and confident again. But there are also times (like last night) when I can put things into perspective and feel almost normal.
I know that's it's a slow process and I am recovering but when I wake up and feel so low and demotivated it's hard to believe that iykwim.

Belle7688 Tue 28-Jul-15 16:28:23

I suffered a breakdown last spring. I am a high achiever and perfectionist and I had been taking on too much for too long and hit a brick wall very quickly and what felt like out of nowhere.
Long story short, I tried various alternative therapies but after suffering for about 12 weeks, I eventually 'gave in' and started taking 50mg Sertraline. It took a good 12 weeks for me to really reach a stable level on that dose. Most people said give it 8 weeks but even after 8 weeks I was still a bit up and down and experiencing really tough mornings and then feeling okish in the evening. After 12 weeks this leveled out and I really felt a consistent benefit. Unfortunately, a few months after reaching this 'even keel' on the meds, I decided I was ready to come off them which in hindsight was a big mistake. I do everything to the best of my ability and this recovery was no different - I had not relied solely on medication but had done various things - CBT, person focused counselling, hypnotherapy, reflexology, massage, meditation, mindfulness etc - during the course of those months and felt that the medication probably wasn't doing anything. Turned out it was. Started to crash again after about 8 weeks off the meds and reluctantly agreed to take them again - same situation ensued this time and I had to wait out 10-12 weeks to get a steady benefit from the medication but it happened and this time I won't be so quick to rush off medication.
They say 6-12 months from when you start to feel consistently better before considering coming off so please bear this in mind.
I am no longer ashamed of taking this medication and previously a skeptic, I now recognise the place medication has for treating these types of illnesses.
Good luck and keep with it - I would say if after 12 weeks you are not seeing any improvement then consider a dose increase or change of meds flowers

IceBeing Wed 29-Jul-15 21:05:32

I think it can be very hard to monitor your own progress...I feel pretty crap at the moment - almost as if I was relapsing (just over a year since break down) but when I spoke to my therapist he was all shock and pointed our everything I am doing and achieving and what I was like when he first met me....

I think you have a reference point that you think you should get back to - and you really might, but that could be long term. Meanwhile, enjoying each day a bit and finding happiness and functionality is a major step forward.

I agree with other posters that actual healing came from therapy (CBT) and not from the drugs.

IceBeing Wed 29-Jul-15 21:07:07

belle you sound like me! I ditched the meds too soon as well...<doh>

pastaratatouille Thu 30-Jul-15 22:04:21

My story: I'm now recovered. Hope it helps xxx

pastaratatouille Thu 30-Jul-15 22:06:29

Try again!
Hope it helps x

charliesweb Sat 01-Aug-15 09:32:46

Thank you everyone for replying.
I had been having a really good week this week. By yesterday (Friday) I felt normal again. Today I've woke up feeling anxious and uneasy. I hope that it's just a minor bump in the road. I've had some telephone counselling so I'm going to try and implement the strategies I was given.

Getyercoat Sat 01-Aug-15 15:36:08

charliesweb I had a breakdown. My DC was three months old and my doc put me on sertraline.
I had terrible side effects so switched to escitalopram.
I persisted with the same side effects, including that familiar one of waking at 4am in a panic for no reason. As the day went on I'd feel better but the next morning at 4am it would kick in again.
I lasted five weeks like this before I lost it completely.
I ended up in hospital with olanzapine added to the escitalopram because, in hindsight, it was the escitalopram causing the breakdown.

I recovered. I did a lot of CBT, mindfulness, self care, learned an enormous amount about what anxiety and depression are.
I weaned extremely slowly off both meds. Took 6 months to wean.

After weaving I realised very quickly that the entire 'thing' was caused by hormones in my case, I'd have one horrific week a month before my period arrived.
I then did a lot of research into this and ended up using an oestrogen patch for that week. Cured. No more suicidal thoughts, anxiety, severe dips in mood.

You can and will recover.

StockingFullOfCoal Sat 01-Aug-15 22:10:01


20 months down the line. From total nervous breakdown + serotonin syndrome.

4 weeks in bed. Couldn't stand to be left alone. DH had to quit work, look after my DDs, take on house bills and we had to go on benefits. I could barely manage an hour a day out of bed. Still feel immense guilt about DDs. Who were 5 and 2 at the time. 12 weeks of agoraphobia (sp?) Couldn't do the school run or go to the corner shop 50 foot away.

Baby steps. Baby. Steps. And a lot of sliding backwards.

Started by doing afternoon school run for 3 weeks. Then morning school run too. Then did midday one to pick youngest DD up from Nursery. Slowly slowly.

DH went back work full time 7 months after my breakdown.

75mg of Amytriptylene and 40mg of Propranolol a day. This combo has worked absolute wonders for me.

I'm half asleep (I'm also 11 weeks PG) but I will read and post again tomorrow. Here for hand hold.

(I also have bipolar and I tell you, anxiety/panic/nervous breakdown is the hardest thing I've ever had to overcome.)

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