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I had been on citalopram for over 15 years, and failed to come off them before as I found the withdrawal effects very difficult.
The reasons for wanting to stop now were due to weight gain and being diagnosed with diabetes and poor sperm motility which I'm sure is at least partly due to the citalopram.
I feel I have wasted many years feeling numb and not getting on with my life or dealing with anxiety in a better way. I have lost contact with friends as I found it too much effort. It didn't help with depression over winter (SAD) and made me feel sitting infront of TV every night doing nothing was OK.
I spent over two years gradually reducing citalopram (from 60mg initially), cutting into smaller pieces for weeks at a time, even then my moods were all over the place, but I felt I had more energy but also anxious and bad tempered.
After I took the final dose (1.25mg) I felt very anxious (but also coincided with stressful circumstances) I've been off citalopram for about a year now and still feel very anxious and exhausted. I have always had social anxiety and now try and avoid all social situations.
I have had counselling through the GP but didn't really help, at the time it felt better to have someone to listen but I didn't find the CBT useful.
The GP has prescribed prozac but I am very reluctant to start taking it, due to the time it took to stop the citalopram and the side effects. It is not something I can just give a try, it is a long term commitment. I am struggling with relationships and I'm on the verge of losing my job, but I am worried that taking the prozac will make things worse and I don't want to put my physical health at risk and affecting my sperm as we would like to try for children when feeling better.
The GP doesn't understand how difficult it is to come off these drugs and dismisses the side effects although they are mentioned on the patient information leaflet.
I have asked to be referred to a psychiatrist (who I saw several years ago) to discuss about more suitable medication but didn't get anywhere due to funding cuts and not being 'ill enough'.
I asked about the side effects and delayed a couple of times, but now have lied and said I am taking them as I feel there is no other option available.
I might still need to take them but don't want to at the moment and want to keep options open with the GP.
I have health anxiety, but feel I need to get to the bottom of why I feel like this. I still think there might be some underlying health problem, last week I felt better and got quite a few things done and some exercise, but for the last two days I have had bad headaches, felt totally exhausted and couldn't get out of bed.
For years I thought it could be some type of chronic fatigue, as it wasn't better on the citalopram, which made it difficult to get to sleep at night and more tired during the day.
I have considered paying for private tests to check thyroid function, chronic fatigue etc. but then think it is probably a waste of money and some of the clinics seem dodgy, then I flip back to thinking the physical symptoms are simply caused by depression and anxiety as the GP suggests.
I don't know whether to just get the tests done, to rule out any problems and relieve the anxiety if nothing else, but it is a lot of money for me at the moment.
Sorry this is so long, all this stuff is going round in my head all the time and I don't know what to do. I'm probably not functioning as well by not taking the antidepressants, but don't feel much better taking them, it is just a different way of feeling bad.
I would be interested to hear if anyone has experience of going back on antidepressants or withdrawal or felt they were better overall not taking them.
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