Acupuncture and coming off Citalopram

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Hello, has anyone had acupuncture to treat anxiety and depression? I didn't realise this was an option but originally looked into it for relief from chronic jaw tension (a side-effect of Citalopram). I've been on and off Cit for over 8 years and only take 10mg which helps me to cope with day to day life. You can imagine how I felt when the chinese doctor told me he could treat my anxiety and help me come off the cit which he says is addictive. I was doing so well coming off Cit by halving the dose every day but then illness before Christmas set me back and withdrawal symptoms were awful. Then no acupuncture treatment for 4 weeks while doc went away for Christmas has meant withdrawal again and more time off work due to chronic insomnia caused by anxiety. Do I continue with the acupuncture or not? Family and friends can't understand why I want to come off Cit in the first place, but it's the side-effects I hate. It's been a real comfort reading about other people's experience of coming off Cit. I've only ever managed to do it for 4 months before going back on it. The acupuncture is costly so not sure whether to continue but the draw of coming off meds and feeling calmer, more energised plus sleeping well is so tempting (which I'm told the treatment will give me)...but is this not reality?!

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  • Posted

    hi Linda..I've had acupuncture for pain and found it helpful for sleeping..but the effects wear off quickly..there are a lot of "quack" Chinese docs around..I went for my treatment to a physio 

    I came off Citalopram 1st October 2014 ..I'm still having withdrawL symptoms but I am trying to ride them out as I sleep better off cit

    I came off the tablets because of insomnia and profuse sweating..I was on 40 mg

    if it was me I would not continue with the acupuncture with the CD..but change to a registered physio 

    if I'm truthful I don't think it will give you the "nirvana" promised 

    10 mg is a small dose to help you get by..is the cit causing the insomnia ??

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    • Posted

      Lovely to hear from someone who 'gets it'. I've been fine on 10mg for years, I've only started with insomnia/anxiety since weaning off the Cit 3 months ago. I've not been able to go to work because of the insomnia which makes my anxiety worse! The CD has been practising for 30 years and I had been feeling so much better but feel like I'm back to square one now! I just wish I could find a solution to my chronic jaw tension which the CD says is all part of the anxiety condition and once treatment is complete, this will improve on its own. I don't have any faith in GPs and I see a different one every time, they say medication + CPT or counselling (which I've tried). Who do you believe? It's so hard isn't it, and you get so desperate?!
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    • Posted

      Yes Linda it is hard to make the right decision..insomnia is debilitating and soul destroying..I can put up with most side effects but not insomnia

      I can't make up your mind ..you have to decide which route is best for you and your family 

      I wish you well 

      Pat 

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  • Posted

    Of course you should come off citalopram. It is not a good drug. If you find the acupuncture helps, stick with it. Sometimes they can put something in the ESR to help - often used at drug clinics and just ear acupuncture can be helpful. Use the GABA teas from the Chinese place. They are so relaxing!
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    • Posted

      I appreciate your comments, thank you. It's the ongoing cost that puts me off continuing with the acupuncture. At the moment I'm struggling with sleep, I've had to have time off work again which I find embarrassing, I just want to get back to normality. This has happened to me in the past and going back on citalopram gives me my life back. I never realised they were so difficult to come off and addictive; the GPs don't have a problem with it, they're just happy to keep giving you the prescriptions which is why I've looked at other alternative options. 
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    • Posted

      Hi there Linda,

      Pat has really put it in one.  Tread careful with acupuncture as I had and know lots of people that have had very bad effects from this.

      Acupuncture can actually not be good for people especially people that suffer from anxiety and depression as what it does is make your nervous system push your brain to produce endorphins.  Which in turn can make you more anxious or depressed (worked with one woman, who helping - and the mental health team - they have recognized that lots of alternative things are actually bring out peoples anxiety!!).  Any way like drugs, when the effects start to wear off you can be experiencing withdrawal symptoms and making things worse.  Lots of people have become addicted to it too.

      I was having treatment for my hormones and it was making me hyper and even worse.  I was having far too much of it and all hell broke loose.  I ended up in hospital seriously ill.  My GP explained that they have discovered that it isn't good - they are only letting people have 2 x 20 min sessions per year.

      Chemically sensitive people should definately stay away from it.  I was warned but ignored it at my own peril.

      I hope this helps.  But at the end of the day it is your decision.

      I was the same as you as my hormones have been imbalanced all my life which has made me hyper as our hormones are our building blocks of our body and control over 400 bodily functions and if they are out of balance cause anxiety and depression.  With me extreme severe highs and lows.

      I could tell you lots of stories - but if you look up oestrogen dominant you will see a whole lots of symptoms you will probably recognize.  As well as hormone imbalance - which puts our neuro chemistry out.

      I have tried every thing throughout my life - including homopathy which did help - but it is the expense and like you my GP's were useless.

      However did a lot of research and ended up under a professor who has helped balance my hormones back out.

      I hope this gives you hope and if you need any further info.  Here to help.

      Mel Xx

      p.s.  Have done training in a drug rehab on neuro chemistry

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    • Posted

      p.s.  My hormones created chronic insomnia - now sleeping like a baby.  As this is one of the functions they control.
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  • Posted

    You say acupuncture is costly I am sure that this can now be obtained off the NHS !!
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    • Posted

      They don't offer it for anxiety and depression. The chinese doc I'm seeing has said anyone can do a course on acupuncture but they aren't properly trained; in China they study it for 7 years.
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  • Posted

    Hi Linda,

    coming off of any SSRI can pose some really difficult challenges. Befor being in CIt I was on Cymbalta for over 9yrs. It took my four years and several of several tries to get off of it. Horrible stuff. But that is another story. Dr. had me on Ambien for to help with sleep. The Ambien became the only way I could fall asleep. Not good. Am now off of Ambien and have had to retrain my brain to fall asleep on it's own. It has been a HUGE challenge. I have found that drinking one or two cups of chamomile tea an hour or so before going to bed helps. Burning lavender oil in a diffuser helps with the quality of sleep. And reading from a book (NOT from a tablet, NOOK, Kindle, laptop or computer device) helps. Also, it helps to take a calcium magnesium tab an hour or so before going to bed.  And going to bed at a set time every night helps. Basically you are re-training your whole body to sleep. It is a challenge. Hope some of this can be helpful for you. Also, I would suggest that you not consume caffeinated beverages from mid afternoon on, as caffeine for sure can undermine your efforts to fall asleep.

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  • Posted

    Hi Linda,

    before tyring accuncture I would see a Naturopath Dr. who can assess your overall wellbeing and prescribe herbs for what is going on with you. There are several over the counter herbs that are known for being excellent for anxiety and depression. Valerian has long been used for anxiety. St. John's Wart is good for depression and is available in both tablet and tea form. 5-HTP is getting good reviews from people using it for depression, as is Ginkgo Biloba extract. All three helped me a lot when I was coming off of Cymbalta. Sam-e is another otc that people use. A naturopath could certainly steer you in the right direction re. what would work best for you, proper dosage, etc. I would recommend that any/all of the herbal remedies I have mentioned  be purchased from a health food store and not a local Longs's Drugstore or grocery store. How herbs are processed has a lot to do with their effectiveness and quality. 

    On another note, exercise for sure helps with depression, and treating yourself to warm baths will help with anxiety. For anxiety I think it is best to be able to gain insight into what it is that causes your particular anxiety. It helps to know so you can try to avoid the things that trigger it. 

    Hope some of this can be helpful. It is so, so, so hard to deal with these things. Depression, anxiety and drugs affect each one of us differently, so there is no one answer. I wish to God there was just one solution, but that is not the case, so we each have to navigate our way through many trials and errors on the way to finding what works to bring us some semblance of "normalcy". I find that it really, really, really helps to come to this site and read the stories of others who have similar struggles as my own. It helps to know that I/you/we are not alone,nand that there are people who know what we are going through.

     

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