6 weeks on 20mg with ups and downs, sometimes by the minute!

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello all, 

Newbie here, to all of this. I’m 45 and a few months back was diagnosed first with adjustment disorder, then that turned into a diagnosis of  GAD and depression. 

It started over a health scare that I unfortunately started to obsess about, which I guess caused the anxiety, then during a bad night of trying to figure out what was wrong with me, why I was feeling so weird, the intrusive thoughts started. Unfortunately it was about my wife of 20 years who I love dearly. That’s when it all went downhill. Before this, I’ve never never had any anxiety or depression. 

I was first given Wellbutrin, that seemed to put me in a tailspin, then I was given the Cit. 

My doctors never really told me what to expect out of any of it, didn’t tell me much about side effects either. I think I might find a different  psychiatrist. 

So im now on week 6 with 20 mg Cit (from the start) and Trazedone to help sleep. 

The first few weeks were pretty rough, then it seemed to start helping. I’d get these waves of happy, but then it would fade. 

It seemed to help with the depression pretty quickly, the anxiety has been slower, the thoughts just won’t go away still, though the last week I have had a few times where I felt really, really good. Once even totally normal, it washed over me like a wave a few hours before bed. Like so many others I’ve read about, the mornings thru mid day are typically the worst then by late day I start felling a bit better. I try to keep faith in what I’ve read here, but it’s so hard some days. The last few days it seems like I’m going backwards with it all... 

Is this part of the process still? I’m so ready to be done with this, it’s been a living hell in my head! 

Thanks for reading, and my best wishes to you all, this is an awful thing to have deal with. 

Sorry it it was so long winded. 

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21 Replies

  • Posted


    I think that the anxiety side of things does take longer to get under control in my experience. I too am struggling with it at the moment. Everything you have described is the same for me every day.  I find that my mornings and daytimes are worse with anxiety, intrusive thoughts and tiredness. I also feel a bit detached from things and everything can seem like effort. Do you ever get that? 

    I think that CBT can be a good thing if it’s aomething you would consider doing. Its helped me in the past (years ago) and I’m on the waiting list to go again. 

    I’m sure you will feel more benefit from your tablets in the coming weeks. Stick with it. You will get there. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Debbie, 

      Thanks for your reply. I did forget to mention that yes, I do have that disconnected feeling, some days worse than others. But I think it may be a little less recently. I don’t know, sometimes I feel like I can’t remember what I was feeling, or how it felt to just be normal. 

      Im sorry your going through the same thing, This sucks. It would be so much easier if it was a somewhat rational fear, like spiders or something! 

      Ive been reading a CBT book on overcoming obsessive intrusive thoughts though it doesn’t seem to be helping much yet. I think I’m going to find a different doc, maybe therapist/counselor type. 

      Best wishes to you. 

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  • Posted


    I was in 20mg for 2 years then it was upped to 40mg this year. It was it that stage I decided after a month to come off it because I felt great. BIG mistake. 2 months later I myself decided to go back onto 40mg. OMG it was like my body was hit with every emotion going and my bladder was out of control which I was told it was a side effect etc. Anyway it’s was decided by my GP to reduce to 20mg. Before I knew it, I’d taken an overdose and was taken to hospital. This was down to going on the 40mg straight away whiched caused intense intrusive thoughts. I was check out by the hospital counsellors. 

    I’m now back home and it’s 3 weeks since going back on Cit and each day appears to be getting better although I’m still crying in the morning which is to be expected and feel calmer in the evening. The thoughts are still there but not as intense. 

    It’s good to here the advise on this forum and to know other have had the same or similar experiences 

    I take each day as it comes and hopefully get back to being myself 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for reply, I’m glad it seems to be getting better for you. I had a good cry yesterday myself. I’m about the same with the thoughts most of the time, it seems they’re almost always there, but maybe not as powerful as they were. But some days they kick my butt, and I just sit and cry awhile. One day at a time. It’s easy for me to say, harder to practice right now. 

       Best wishes to you. 

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  • Posted

    Hi, I’m nine weeks in on 20mg citalopram and I’m just starting to notice a difference, I did feel that around the seven week mark I went backwards a bit but it is just a blip when that happens as it’s all part of the recovery. I’m hanging on in there and I’m glad that I listened to everyone on here when the said it will take months not weeks. We’re all different but this is the first week for me that the mornings have been a bit better. I’m still taking zoplicone to stay asleep during the night otherwise I was waking up with intrusive thoughts and panic attacks. I think I’m getting in a better frame of mind so when the doctor takes the zoplicone away slowly I’m hoping that my anxiety will remain under control. It’s a slow process but it does sound like you’re having some moments where you’re feeling a bit better so I’d just hang in there I think you will start to improve further over the next months. We’re here if you need to talk 👍

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    • Posted

      Thanks Gemma, 

      ive definitely had a few times when I felt pretty good, but it seems so fleeting. It’s good to hear that others seem to be dealing with the same ups and downs. Not that there’s any pleasure in that, just that it makes me feel a bit more hopeful. Thank you for the support. Best wishes to you. 

      Im still trying to figure out this forum, I’m on a mobile device and it seems a bit hard to navigate, but I’ll get it.

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  • Posted

    Good Morning stuckinmyhead🌞,

    I strongly suggest you keep a journal either daily or summarize your week. 

    It helps a great deal to look back and see where you have progressed. As for the doctors I agree with you 100%. They 

    Don’t 🤬understand the horrific side effects.  I just stated my 16th week on 10mg. 🙏🏻  You are still as you said a newbie. Hang in there. It is a roller coaster ride with this med.  it’s definitely working for you 👍🏼as you stated you had a few good times.

    It’s a slow process but it works. You’ve invested already 6 weeks stay with it. I noticed little improvements along the way. The last symptoms to leave for me was the morning/mid day anxiety😬 . I actually still have it very little sometimes but I’m so much better. I can actually work beautifully under my high pressure job. It actually distracts me. I’m focused so much more with this citalopram which I really like. If you have any questions please ask me. Keep us posted how you are.


    PS I also want to add that I had many side effects with this drug some not even on the list. I never read about them in the beginning cause that would give me more panic. I also feel that many people think and I thought the same that going up in your dosage would help

    More. But after reading all a lot of posts I think differently and actually my dr feels the same. It just takes time and patience. Also cut out caffeine and alcohol out of your diet. Also cut down on carbs. Drink water a lot. I also walk almost every day for about 30-45 min. If you can’t then do 10-15 min. And work up to longer. Again everyone hang in there and ask ?’s. There’s a lot of knowledgeable people here to help! 😇


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    • Posted

      Hi Will, 

      Thanks for the reply. I do need to start keeping notes, sometimes it seems so easy to forget the better times and focus only on the bad. It is definitely a roller coaster ride. 

      I do know that I’m better than when I started, I was in another world it felt like. That has let up for sure, still feel disconnected quite a bit, but not nearly as bad. I can focus on tasks again also. 

      Im not giving up on this. I do seem to notice small peices of me coming back, slowly but surely. Every positive gives me hope and something to try and hold onto to get me through the next low. 

      It’s getting a little easier, I’m just getting a little impatient, patience was never a strong virtue of mine, lol! 

      I’ve been trying to eat better, and eat something every few hours, I still usually have 2 cups of coffee in the morning, then no caffeine the rest of the day. Beer? I tried a single Blue Moon about a week or so ago on day I was feeling pretty good... I think I’ve lost the taste for it. Other than that I do t think I’ve had a drink in about 6 months or so. And with my job I average 2.5 to 5 miles a day of walking, and I walk at a pretty quick pace. 

      Thanks again for for taking the time to reply and best wishes to you. 

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  • Posted

    I was in a pretty good mood this AM, got my breakfast and Cit, then within about 2 hours I got another rush of happy and with happy thoughts for me for about an hour maybe. Then boom! The intrusive thoughts start, I get a little shaky, a little hard to sit still. Up/down, happy/sad, 


    Now here it is lunch time and I’m just kinda meh... calm, but just kinda blah. 

    Is this the cycle of the Cit working? 

    Sorry to ask the same thing twice, I wanted to give you all a better picture of what I go through some days. 

    And some days I’m just flat all day. No real ups or downs. 

    For what it’s worth it seems it gets worse the hungrier I let myself get too, anyone else experience that? 

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  • Posted

    I do think that it’s just like that when the tablets are settling in. I feel a lot like you said and I’m nine weeks in on 20mg of citalopram. I too just want this to end and get better, I want the old me back. I do find that whenever I am anxious, I can’t eat but then it does get worse so I have to eat small amounts often and drink plenty of water. Keep hanging on in there it will get better.
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    • Posted

      Thanks again Gemma, 

      Yup, very ready for the old me to come back! For the most part I’m hungry like crazy from the second I wake up almost, until late afternoon. My appetite came back pretty quickly and then some! 

      I drink a ton of water as well. 

      I guess we’ll both be riding this out at about the same pace it seems, you hang in there as well and keep us posted. 

      Best wishes. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Lois, 

      I read in another thread that you found magnesium interferes with sleep while on Cit, can you elaborate? I’ve been taking  a chelated magnesium for a bit over a month now thinking it was good for anxiety. 

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    • Posted

      Magnesium may disrupt sleep for alot of folks taken with celexa..it does not happen to every body..you just gotta make sure you check your interaction when taking celexa..even cough Medication interact with celexa..
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