4 weeks into Citalopram

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi, I have been reading through posts and decided to post my own discussion about my experiences so far.

I noticed I am quite young compared to everyone here so my experiences are obviously different. I've suffered for as long as I can remember from social anxiety and never really said anything about it and just got seen to as a the 'quiet kid'. I would always prefer to be at home and not outside as I was worried about my appearance and what other people would think as well as my hobbies and interests (I don't do anything outside of sitting inside all day). Anyway, I am a bit off topic.

I was due to start University and had the typical nerves that you'd experience although these were quickly escalating and they were the worst feelings I had ever had in my life. The constant panic of making a mistake and worrying about meeting so many new people overwhelmed me and I dropped out and became quite suicidal during this period. I am only 18 and being at my age whilst being a man I am considered to be weak and I just need to snap out of it because that's what people my age do right? I got prescribed 10mg of Citalopram by my doctor after a couple of appointments to assess how I was coping. If I am honest the second appointment before I started taking my medication I felt a bit better, although I was still quite anxious and depressed and got diagnosed with GAD. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I was on my 2nd week of 10mg Citalopram and I didn't feel any side effects at all, "Hm, they must be working.." I thought. Oh no, no-no-no-no. Lets go to the third week, all the side effects hit me like a bus. I was crippled and bedridden they were that bad, constantly crying, worrying about family dying even though they're in perfect health (touch wood), diarrhoea, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and panicing. All of these suddenly at once it was terrifying. I foolishly decided at the time after getting these side effects to up my dosage to 20mg as the doctor said I could increase the dosage to 20mg when I was ready, I don't think I was and when I went to the doctors a week after going through what I can only describe as hell on earth I was told to decrease back to 10mg and also got prescribed 2mg of diazepam for when I was getting the absolute worst of my symptoms.

I have noticed that on evenings and nights a lot of my symptoms do subside and I am able to manage myself more, although I do get the thoughts swirling around in my head and slight panic+restlessness. Although mornings are the absolute worst right now. I take my medication in the morning too and I am not sure if it would be better taking them at night instead?

I am just a bit worried that I didn't have any side effects for the first 2 weeks and my anxiety dropped before taking the meds somewhat and now I have extremely bad anxiety through the day.. I keep feeling like I made a massive mistake going on SSRI's and I have ruined my life and I am going to feel like this forever, I guess I am looking for some form of comfort because right now I am at my wits end with these side effects and thoughts like: "Should I just quit the SSRI's?" , "Are they going to make me feel this way forever?" and "I can't stop thinking about the anxiety!".

Thanks for taking your time to read this,


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  • Posted

    See my feed on Sucess onCitalopram

    Yes they work but take time

    I do understand exactly what you mean about panicking and thoughts in your head

    I still get them and have to learn not to do them....

    You need to try get some kind of therapy CBT type stuff to help you work through this 

    Like U my anxiety dropped when I was given the meds ...It was the relief

    The side effects do make you feel worse before you get better

    I read that the reason we feel badin the morning is the raised cortisol that slowly dissapates by end if the day

    I fine if I get up and exercise it helps

    With my day.... am just off to a group Pilates class now 

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    • Posted

      Hi Gillian. 

      I have been taking citalopram for 25 days. 23 and 10mg and 2 at 20mg. 

      I was prescribed them for anxiety, but I feel since I've taken them I have felt depressed.  Is this normal. Do they make you feel really low? 

      Also last week I had a couple of better days and the evenings seemed to be better than the mornings and afternoons. 

      In your opinion is this a good sign that the meds could be working?  

      Do you think it's a good ideas that I've upped to 20mg? 

      Also do you think that anxiety could mask depression? And will both of these things level out equally when the meds start to kick in? Xx

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    • Posted

      You probably need to get yourself stable on the 20mg for another 3/4 weeks before you can properly evaluate the effect.  They do make you feel worse before better 

      That’s the way it works am afraid 

      I will try repost/ copy a very good explanation of this 

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    • Posted

      'Reason why meds take so long to work and why you feel rubbish during this time 

      Kate cogs posted this originally....

      Hi everyone, here’s something I found online which you may find intersting.  Its about why you feel so rubbish when taking these meds, why your mood is up and down, why it takes so long and the process it all goes through.

      Sorry its a long post.

      When starting an SSRI or increasing it's dose often makes people feel really rubbish, which can cause a great deal of stress as you begin to wonder whats happening, why is their illness getting worse, are these meds working etc.

      Somone recently posted a great post explaining what these meds do in our brains, and I’d like to add further to this.  So, as already posted ….. the brain is basically a big dense bundle of nerves which carry electrical signals around our brain and body.  The nerve cells don’t touch each other, leaving a small gap between each cell, called a synapse.  So how do signals get from one nerve to another?

      Neurotransmitters are chemicals released by nerve cells that tell a neighbouring nerve cell to pass the signal along.  A bit like pass the parcel.  Serotonin is one such neurotransmitter.   So when an electrical signal reaches the end of a nerve cell that deals with serotonin, that cell releases serotonin into the gap (synapse), which then crosses the gap and interacts with the nearby nerve cell and tells it to pass the signal along.

      Once the serotonin has done it's job, the serotonin is then reabsorbed from the gap so that no more signals are passed until the next one comes down the nerve.  SSRIs, (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) interfere with this reabsorbtion process and thus it stays in the gap longer, which equates to more serotonin and more signals.

      So furthering on from there ….. why do you feel so rubbish?

      So, along with the releasing of serotonin, and reabsorbing it, nerve cells also have parts that detect an increase in serotonin level and tell the nerve cell to stop producing anymore serotonin until the level drops.  These are called autoreceptors, which are the reason you feel like so rubbish.

      So the SSRI will increase the amount of serotonin that’s gathered in the synapses between nerve cells, but unfortunately the autoreceptors of the nerve cell pick up on this increase and tell the nerve cell to stop producing serotonin.  The result of this is that when you first start taking an SSRI your serotonin levels drop.

      How do they go up again?

      Eventually with continuous use of the SSRI medication, the autoreceptors become desensitised, that is to say they've continually told the nerve cell to stop producing serotonin but yet serotonin is still there.  In short they simply give up.  They stop telling the nerve cell to stop producing serotonin and your serotonin levels start to increase.

      This desensitisation takes time, it doesn't happen over night and it won't even begin to happen until the SSRI levels have stabilised.  This is why you feel so rubbish, and is why your mood drops and your anxiety increases (also fuelledd by the fear of not knowing whats going on).  Your mood will be up and down as the seronotin continues to try to stablise.

      So, to summarise:

      SSRIs cause your serotonin levels to drop when you first start taking them.  Your serotonin levels will not rise until the autoreceptors in your brain have stopped working (become desensitised), all of which takes lots and lots of time.  Everyone is different, so for some it can be many weeks and other months.

      I hope this helps some people to understand what these meds are doing and why you don't get instant results, compared to other meds that work in different ways which is the reason they can have a more immediate effects (benzos for example).

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    • Posted

      That’s a tricky one

      almost a bit of a knee jerk reaction by your GP to put you on it.

      maybe you should just stay on the 10mg and try self help skills at same time

      have a chat with him

      maybe it wasnt

      even on cit everyone has bad day so 

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