Bad relapse coming off citalopram, advice needed!

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Hi everyone

I have been on citalopram for 10 years, was diagnosed officially with depression at 17 but can pinpoint it back to when I was about 13. I've spent most/all of my adult life on them.

I completed 16 months counselling a couple of years ago and managed to come down from 20mg to 10mg and had no problems with this. I was feeling like the depression was manageable around November 2014 and decided to try and come off them completely.

I guess I thought I was cured or something. I wasn't entirely sure I still had depression as I had been on them so long. I went to my doctor and got the drops to try and cut down.

I went to 5mg for 2 and a half months and felt ok at first, at least for a few weeks. I started to notice a change after that and symptoms I have always experienced with depression returned; fatigue, irritability, low mood, feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, lack of concentration. I have also suffered with anxiety and a feeling that I'm not quite here since coming off them which were not my original symptoms of depression.

I persevered and came off them completely around 3 weeks ago. I have pretty much hit rock bottom. It has affected my work so much I have been called into performance meetings. I am kicking myself about this. I have now told my employer and will be taking sometime off to sort myself out. I've been back on 10mg for a week now and no changes as yet but I know it can take 4 weeks.

I guess my questions are;

What should I do in the meantime to elevate my mood?

Has anyone else relapsed after trying to come off citalopram?

How long has it took for citalopram to start working again after coming off completely?

Has anyone successfully came off them after taking them for 10 years? I can't help think I will have to take these for life now.

Sorry about the rant, I'm not sure what information is relevant. I'm at a complete loss with this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


3 likes, 8 replies


8 Replies

  • Posted

    Personally I've never known anyone having been on Citalopram for so long. By the sound of it you are addicted. You should never just stop and your doctor should have suggested you took the 5mg for 7 days 1 week, for 6 days a week etc until you weren't taking anything.  You are right that it takes 4 weeks to build up in the bloodstream properly, but I suggest you return to your doctor. You may need additional help Good Luck


  • Posted

    You are not are experiencing withdrawal...there is no need to feel ashamed if you need them for life...maybe you need to increase the dose ..see your doctor and tell him it's affecting your work and see if he can give you something short term until the Citalopram kicks in 

    Good luck and there is light at the end of the tunnel 

    Pat 😀😀😀

  • Posted

    Hi there. You most certainly are NOT! addicted to Cilalopram. They are NOT an addictive antidepressant. I was on them for 11yrs and came off them early part of 2014 (not sure of dates). Senior moment. I weaned off for about a year having the lowest dose every other day.(I have been one of the luckier ones I imagine having read the posts over the last months) No side effects whatsoever. This could be down to the fact that I was on the lowest dose right from the start and did have great support from those around me. My GP was extremely encouraging insisting I persevere with the lowest dose.Did I have any wobbbly days? YES I did. I cried more with general malaise for approximately 2mths.after I stopped. I'm now in a good place. 3 weeks does not give your nervous system time to cope without the meds. Another advantage is I am retired so did not have the worry of work. I do sympathise with you deeply and would advise discussing this with your GP. You WILL get there believe me! To uplift your mood? HAPPY music? Also do allow yourself to be feeling this way. It's normal but you must seek more advice. AND keep posting here! We're a great bunch of caring people you will find. Sending you positive vibes and hugs. Take care for now. Oh yes. Spring is around the corner so perhaps cultivating a few plants would help? (really showing my age here).lol Chin up! You WILL make it.
    • Posted

      Thankyou for this helpful and encouraging post. I'm sat here late at night wanting to disappear. I just read a line in the bible which goes 'like a slug melting away as it moves along.' Completely out of context obviously but it's how I'm feeling.

      It's helpful to know this is withdrawal, not me.

      How long does it take to get balance back? Will I ever?

      ps I've planted some seeds 😊 Yes. Good for my health.

  • Posted

    Hi Sam,

    The info done was brill and like you I wish I could have found these forums when I needed help as felt so alone and no where to turn.

    After extensive research, training and people being put in my path found out why at 39 thought my life was over.

    Always being a hyper person and took life as a breeze reduced to not even being able to get out of bed and so low.

    The history you have given is spot on.  At 13 - yes that is when your hormones would have kicked and upset the apple cart.

    Our hormones control over 400 of our bodily functions and in fact are our bodies building blocks.

    With low levels of testosterone - which I get - yes even as a woman - cause depression.

    I learnt lots through a book written by an endocrinologist professor and the pituitary org.

    I know they treat men with testosterone cream for exactly what you are talking about.

    I so hope this helps and points you in the right direction - but your history does point to this.

    The tests that need to be done for this have to be done at specific times, etc and don't recommend your gp.

    Mel X

    p.s. if you put low testosterone and depression in on google - you might see a lot of things that run true.

  • Posted

    I think that you have valid questions under the circumstances

    I think everone os somewhat different and what works for one does not necesarily work for another .

    In my case although on Cit for a very short time I had quite a bad reaction to the drug the main issues was bad stomach and extreme lethargy. 

    A few people had said on this and other websites that exercise is a good vehicle acting as replacer of the seritonins, which is a aid when looking to recover from the use of Cit.

    I my case exercise was a major issue as the tiredness was so extreme. However on the long road to recovering from the witdrawal symptoms of Cit when I felt able I would get exercise on my golf course which is quiet a hilly course and you know you have played a round of golf on it if you walk.

    I beleive that after a few bouts of this type of exercise I have now started to excelorate my road to recovery it is still a bouncy road with good and bad days but yesterday was the first time that Ifelt almost normal after stopping Cit some 8 weeks ago.

    If you have a bad experience with Cit then if you want to be rid of it the sooner the better you work on taking the pain of withdrawal and going through what is not a very nice experience but continuing leaves you with two alternatives a lifetime on Cit or putting off the inevitable 

    I hope this helps!!

  • Posted

    I've been on Cit for 6 years and starting weaning myself off  them 3 months ago.  I've been taking 5 mg for the last 4 weeks and everything was going great until a few days ago, the most horrendous couples of day.  I woke up feeling depressed and miserable and full of anxiety (anxiety is the reason I'm on them).  My rational thought process goes completely out the window and I am convinced I'm dying of some awful disease..... I know I sound bonkers and I even think I sound bonkers but I just can't seem to keep my thought process in check.

    i went to see my doctor about the way I was feeling and also about skin lesions that haven suddenly appeared on my upper body and breast.  She did her best to assure me I wasn't dying and that this was the 5 mg settling in, but honestly It didn't work and I still came out feeling  full of anxieties.  I have literally spent the last two days crying and thinking 'is this my life now'.

    However, today has been better, I'm more rational and feeling more in control, I've also realised that I haven't been taking my oil of evening primrose capsules over the last a week  (I'd run out) so that won't have helped either as I do believe they help.  

    Hang in there, it's an awful place to be but I'm hoping there is light at the end of the  tunnel for both of us! 

  • Posted

    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!

    Any experience of this?


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