Anxiety and Panic Relapse after Citalopram withdrawal

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Evening chaps!

So I have been battling with depression and anxiety for the past 5 years or so! I recently after a period of feeling great, and a desire to start fatherhood (baby due in March) without a dependence upon medication, decided to just go cold turkey from the 20mg citalopram I had been on!

One month in Of no citalopram, I started to feel a bit iffy with some intrusive thoughts coming back however I was still pretty ok and felt It would clear so carried on my usual day to day!

However 2 weeks ago after around 2 months with no citalopram, I have had a big crash and have just become a shadow of the former me on the medication! All of my anxiety and panic attacks have returned which is awful and has made me feel at Rock bottom, however I think the thing that upsets me the most is a feeling of detatchment from wife and bump! This is very upsetting and I just want to feel close to her again!

I started back on my citalopram 1 week ago and am still feeling really rubbish and just wanted to know if I should have been feeling better by now! I have a dreadful fear that I will never recover and that is crippling. Anyone returned to citalopram and had their anxiety go away again?

Any experience of this?

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  • Posted

    hi Howard, please don't worry, things will return to normal. I too went cold turkey, I'm on 40mg, not the best decision I've ever

    made. The temptation when you're feeling good, is to stop the

    meds which are keeping you well. As you've found out, you can't

    simply stop, you must be weaned off the meds. Be strong, life

    will get better, I promise. And wow, you have a baby on the way.

    The best boost of all. Don't worry about feeling distant, that

    feeling will go away. Be kind to yourself, you didn't ask to be ill,

    everything takes time. Congratulations on the baby. Keep in

    touch and let me know how you're getting on. Best wishes, Geoff.

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  • Posted

    Hi Howard, I am in a similar situation to yourself. I have been back on Citalopram 20mg for 40 days and I am just starting to feel a little better. You will need to give the meds 6-8 weeks to work and your symptoms of low mood and anxiety may worsen at first. My anxiety was very bad during the initial weeks. Stick with it - you WILL recover and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Your feelings of detachment from your wife are symptoms of the depression, not the real you, and be assured that you will feel that bond returning as the symptoms ease. I am still not back to my usual self, but I am in a much better place than I was a few weeks back. I wish you all the very best and hope you are feeling much better soon. Myself and other members are here if you have any other questions or worries. Hugs X
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  • Posted

    Hi Howard

    I'm on Citalopram for the second time around .... first was 15 years on them, had a year's break but sadly had to restart due to the stress of family illness and this time around I've been on them just over a year now.  Yes they will work for you again - just give them lots of time.  For me, it took a good 4 months plus to feel well again, and have been great ever since.

    When I was off medication I took 5-HTP and l-tyrosine instead with great results.  The family illness was however very great indeed, and so I restarted Cit before I fell too far into a dark hole again.  Am now back down to 5mg only and will stop again next year and return to 5-HTP etc.

    Something to think about if you ever decide to come off them again.

    5-HTP is a natural SSRI which needs to be taken with l-tyrosine.  There are no side effects with this, which is great.  Both can be bought from Holland & Barrett (if you're in the UK) and you need to take them both.  Read a book called 5-HTP The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity by Michael T Murray ........ it's a really interesting read.

    You need to be off SSRI's completely before starting 5-HTP as they must not be taken together.

    Being back on Citalopram will take time ....... but you will get there again.  My anxiety has completely gone again.

    K x 

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    • Posted

      Forgot to say ..... it's really not advisable going cold turkey off any SSRI as you can become very ill, and your symptoms can return after a few months.  It's really best to withdraw very slowly over months.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your kind words! I have been back on for about 8 days and am functioning fine for work but struggling especially in mornings or hen on my own!! That's when the rumination starts again!

      I'm sure I will get there just need some reassurance and it's great hearing from you guys o have done it and are out the other side!

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    • Posted

      Yes mornings were my worst, and also when I was alone the brain would go into overdrive.  Really not nice and I do feel for you.  It will get better, it really will.  Just give yourself time and don't rush up through doses either - take it slow, you'll probably be up and down for quite a while ... but in time recovery will come to you.

      Take it easy.

      K x

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  • Posted

    Hi Howard, I have been taking it now for about 26 days, n I'm not even used to it yet. Cold turkey is the worst thing to do, n then to go back on right at 20 at as in after a couple months of none. I would say ur brain is very confused right now. But I've heard of people going back on it n getting relief again from their anx/dep so I'm sure u will be fine In due time, but u can't just stop n start so abruptly. U Must go down slowly when u go off it, as well as starting it to make it the easiest on ur body and chemicals. How long have u been back on it?
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    • Posted

      Hey guys!

      Thank you so much for your responses and your reassurance! I have a great support network around me who are helping me through! In my heart of hearts I know I will recover but when we are in that dark place it is very difficult to see the light!

      I am quite a bravado gung ho type of person so tat was why I went cold turkey! I had too much balls and not enough knowledge and got stung for it!

      Here is praying I am fighting fit for the baby in March! I do hope

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    • Posted

      It's very hard when ur feeling so low, to even think u might get well... But we will all get there. Try to stay positive n u will be better soon enough. N when u need more reassurance, this is a good place to talk and learn from others going thru it as well. God bless...
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    • Posted

      I have been back on this now for just over 1 week! And go through ups and downs throughout the day as I am sure everyone does!
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  • Posted

    Hi Howard, 

    Sorry you got stung!  Severe anxiety and depression from a cold turkey withdrawal are due to withdrawal and not a relapse, important to know it isn't your original illness, and yes, those symptoms can wait to come out until months out from the CT.  What dose did you CT from and what dose did you reinstate?

    The withdrawal advisors suggest taking a smaller amount than you jumped off from.  If you just started up again, you might try taking half or a quarter and seeing if that makes you feel better.  Your system was in fact adapting to the lack of drug, so going back to the full amount when you jumped could be causing you the start-up side effects, hard to separate from WD effects.

    It is possible to taper off of these meds slowly enough to not notice withdrawal symptoms, allowing your system to gently return to the "factory settings." How long were you on Cit? 

    The action of these SSRIs causes the nervous system to adapt in an effort to regain neurochemical balance, actual physical changes.  The body incorporates the action of the drug into the equation.  Imagine ivy growing in the natural state, and then add a trellis, and the ivy incorporates the trellis into its growth pattern.  You did the equivalent of yanking out the trellis and leaving the ivy with no support!  If you gradually remove bits of the trellis, the ivy will gradually adapt to its absence.  That is what tapering is all about.

    And returning to the predrug condition does not mean that you will revert to being depressed or anxious, whatever you were taking the drug for.  There is no scientific evidence supporting the hypothesis that these mental illnesses are caused by imbalances of neurochemicals.  There was a time in your life where you didn't have the depression and anxiety and you can get back there.

    So, if you want to try again in future, here's some info that can help:

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/withdrawing-from-antidepressants-and-benzos-safely-485891?page=0#1809368

    Do consider cutting the dosage to see if you will feel better.

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Hi Howard

    Have been on Citlopram on and off for 15 years now, have been off them for a couple of years every now and then, but have now been on them for five years now, when ever I crash I always feel that I will never get better , even though I do, but it seems a very steep climb but you will get better , try to keep that thought in mind,

    All the best fella

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    • Posted

      Cheers Ray! Have any of you had this horrendous fear of being disconnected from your partner? It's the worst thing for me at the moment what with the baby coming!
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    • Posted

      Hi Howard

      yes I have every symptom seems to be as bad as another , for me the intrusive thoughts caused by anxiety seems to be the worse, it seems everyone has these symptoms but individually we all think no one else has them, Hope this helps mate.

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    • Posted

      Being on psych drugs has made me feel this way, and I have been witness to many on the withdrawal forum experiencing this, but it is not permanent.
      Report

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