Can you overthink citalopram?

Posted , 4 users are following.

This is my 3rd time on citalopram. Previously I thought this was a miracle drug, other than the first month. I had my first anxiety bout in 2012 which included insomnia and led to depression but after a month on citalopram I was ME again, amazing! (Started on 10mg for a month then 20mg) I weened myself off after just 3 months as truly believed it was a blip and I didn't need AD's. Was completely happy and fine for 3 and half years and then had a few bad nights sleep whilst on holidays which led to me worrying about insomnia when away and my anxiety coming back, this then happened in 2015, so went back to the doctors, back on citalopram and again after the horrible first month, amazing... normal happy self (started on 20mg for a month then 40mg)! This time I stayed on for 9 months, I knew it could come back but I didn't worry about that happening as thought would just go back on citalopram. It did come back, when I was as happy as I have ever been with everything in life going in the right direction, bam....!! Went back to the doctor, she told me I could stay on citalopram long term, I left feeling happy...the doctor told me to star on 20mg... I told her I had some 40mg tablets left over from previous and she said just break them in half... so for 2 weeks I took 20mg and first 2 weeks was hell then I started to feel good... one day though I forgot to half my tablet and took 40mg, I realised what i had done but thought oh well I was on 40mg previously and was always good so I might as well stick with that now, so I did, a few days later the horrible side effects came crashing back... so I did another 2 weeks of hell, then again felt a bit better for a few days and felt they were finally kicking in.. I then had a catch up with the doctor and all I wanted was reassurance, I knew they were starting to work but I asked the doctor if they would work as well again as they have in the past, her answer was 'I hope so' but sometimes your hormones can change... well with this I came crashing back down with anxiety and have been down ever since, this was Easter. 3 weeks ago I started the process to ween down thinking they are not working so started taking 20mg... I am terrified to try something new as I loved and trusted this drug, I don't want to give up on it but I am so anxious and not happy and I should be as I have a lovely life. Should I stick or change? My sleep is better than it was and so is my appetite...

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Is it me overthinking it this time that is stopping it working?
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  • Posted

    Sounds like things have started to improve so I'm sure they will work again for you in time.  It just seems to take a different amount of time for everyone and a different amount of time for each time you start to take the medication.

    You are the first person on this site that had insomnia as their first symptom and then led to depression.  That is exactly what happened to me.  I took Fluoxetine the first time and was sleeping after 6 weeks and back to my old self within about 3 mnths, so like you stopped taking them.  Then ok for a while until sleep problems started in October last year. I'm now on Citalopram because i took a few Fluoxetine and was so wired I didn't sleep at all for 3 nights so doctor suggested Citalopram.  I started sleeping after just 4 days.  I've been on them 5 mnths now and have felt like I have fully recovered at times only to come crashing back down again.

    Are you having ups and downs? I think the stress of you worrying that they are not going to work is proabably stopping you relaxing into them and letting them do their work.  I wouldn't hold too much on what your doctor said.  Other people on this site said they where quicker to work the first time but did in the end.

    Good luck. x

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    • Posted

      I am definitely having ups and downs yes. I tend to feel worse in the mornings too. Previously it's all been about the sleep, as soon as I started to sleep better I chilled out and was both times fine around the month mark. But this time even when I've had a good sleep run I am feeling so anxious, it's like my anxiety has become about having anxiety. I have such negative thoughts, I get the racing heart, upset stomach, nervous butterflies, headaches... but yes I am improving slightly I guess. I have had fewer days off work recently although my concentration is still an issue, I have joined the gym which I love and am managing to put on a more positive front at least infront of my boyfriend. I have put a lot of pressure on the tablets, when I first got anxious again I said to my boyfriend don't worry I'll take the tablets and you'll have me back in a month... I even marked the day in my diary... definitely hasn't gone to plan!! Thank you so much for replying. When you say you come crashing back down, do you mean with insomnia or anxiety?

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    • Posted

      I come crashing down with anxiety, negative thoughts, feeling low but continue to sleep well.  Insomnia is an absolute nightmare though.  I went 6 weeks only sleeping a few hours a night and some nights not at all, so at least the fact i;m sleeping is a massive improvement. I'd like to go back to Fluoxetine because I improved so much quicker on them, but just can't face the upheaval so trying to stick it out with the Citalopram and hope things even out soon.

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  • Posted

    I've been on these twice and both times I had a different start up experience.  The first time it took around 6 months before I felt fully recovered and the second time it took much longer.

    If these meds have worked for you before at one dose, then they'll work again - just expect it'll take longer.

     

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    • Posted

      Just about to leave to go to the doctors, terrified. They have not just worked for me before, but been amazing, I was their biggest fan! They can't let me down now surely! xx

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    • Posted

      The doctor suggested taking escitalopram. She said she would have expected the citalopram to have worked by now. I am so confused. Won't change for at least 3 weeks though as I go on holiday Sunday. My lucky boyfriend getting to spend a week with cheery relaxed me haha x

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    • Posted

      Your doctor think they should have worked by now?  Mmmmm

      What you are experiencing with the crashes is perfectly normal.  They are a normal part of recovery and it means the meds ARE working.  Your body is finding its level, and this will take a long time.  You should stick on one dose only and one meds.  Many people expect to feel well after a short time, and when this doesn't happen they switch meds.  This then causes withdrawl from one and start up side effects from another.  Again those crashes will happen as the body tries to level out and again people fear they aren't working and again hop to another medication ...... repeating this process over and over and delaying recovery.

      I've heard Escitalopram is good and I believe might be kinder to the body, but you will go through the same process.

      The first time I took Citalopram it took 6 months and the second time it took even longer.

      Difficult to decide sometimes.  Meds need lots of patience unfortunately.  

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