Citalopram- 7 weeks upping dose and intense anxiety!

Edited , 4 users are following.

Hi guys, so im completely new to this page, i've read over a few things this is kind of a long post because i wanna explain my story too.

i'm 26 years old, and in august last year, at a music festival i had a panic attack which at the time i had no idea what it was, since i was 17, i had issues with my heart which test after test after test, all came back i was healthy. So it looked like my anxiety was kinda hidden for many years, after the panic attack life was okay for a couple of weeks, and then i had another panic attack whilst at work, went to the hospital all okay, same story as many, went to hospital numerous times, had many tests all came back no problem. Now, when i eventually went to the doctors i was told it was anxiety and to try propanolol 10mg and diazepam 2mg as and when needed, the combination was okay until 1 day, i had a pure fear that i was going to hurt someone or someone else, now i'm as soft as a brush so i didn't want to do either, after that episode i paid to see a therapist and found the stem of my problems. This worked for about a week and i was okay, i went to my girlfriends, all was okay, again, intense fear of harming someone or myself. and the over riding anxiety which comes with it, i decided enough was enough and went back to the doctors, they prescribed me 50mg of sertraline, low and behold everything was fine but still the minor issues with anxiety daily so was upped to 100mg, after 8 days i was a complete mess and me and my doctor decided to change to 20mg of citalopram, from the first tablet i felt much much better, around the 5 week mark i crashed ever so slightly with anxiety but after that life was great, went back to work, getting my life back on track, still getting panic attack and intrusive thoughts but were much better to deal with. around 3 months i was in a real bad way, severely down and i couldn't understand why, went back to docs, upped to 30mg for around 4 weeks i didnt really feel any benefit from upping at all. and then i could feel slight changes, now, im on week 7 after upping and i feel terrible, the horrible intrusive thoughts, the terrifying anxiety. Has anybody else been in the same scenario? this anxiety has changed me completely, i was the life and soul of the party up to the day of the panic attack and ever since ive just been in a state of panic that these thoughts and my anxiety is gonna send me insane! Just to add, i'm in no danger, i'm not gonna act on my thoughts, but they are just there and it frightens me so so much!

Thanks in advance you lovely people, and i'm so sorry for the long message!

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  • Posted

    You need to stabilise on the same dose for much longer than you are doing. At least 12 weeks 😃

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  • Edited

    Wow you've had a bit of a rollercoaster on these meds! I've only ever tried Citalopram, 10 and then 20mg. But I can completely relate to what you're saying, especially dealing with scary strange thoughts.

    Regarding this fear you have of hurting someone or yourself, I had this too during the first 6-12 weeks on 10mg. I was terrified that I might go crazy because of the tablets and harm my partner. I had absolutely no intention of it, but I became so afraid that I started hiding the kitchen knives out of sight, which sounds absolutely ridiculous to me now.

    Apparently there's a logical explanation for this thought pattern. The heightened anxiety causes us to check for threats constantly, and because the new medication is making us feel strange, we stumble on to the thought that* we* might actually end up being the threat! Then we imagine all kinds of worst case scenarios. Things we would never do, but "what if!!!". And then we get in that fear response loop. It's the "What if"s that feed our anxious minds. If we can find ways to manage those, then we can easily manage our anxiety.

    The very fact that you are so afraid by these thoughts is evidence that you wont hurt yourself or anyone else. So keep reminding yourself of that fact. You're safe and you are "just" experiencing side effects.

    The fear of losing your mind is so common in anxiety sufferers, but this will lessen over time. The constant changes in meds is probably not helping you manage the thoughts and fears either. But, again, this is just another "what if!". You wont lose your mind. In fact, those who genuinely do lose their minds wouldn't even be worried or questioning it. They just believe their behaviour is normal and everyone else is weird.

    You're going to get through all of this a better person. You may not be exactly the same as you were before, but you'll be a stronger, improved and wiser version of yourself for this experience. You wont have to be on medication forever and you'll be back at those festivals before you know it.

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    • Edited

      This is exactly it, its more harming myself really than harming others. I have to like keep all my tablets away just incase and even tho i don't want it, it's just there! i read somewhere that when you're obsessing about something like that, removing knives like yourself and me with tablets are called convulsions, it's similar to where you google for reassurance. The fact we are doing these things show that we don't want it! But i thank you so so much, that post has really helped me in feeling better, not only because you've been through a similar experience, but because of your kind words also. I think it's hard aswell as i'm very very new to all this, i still even 7-8 months on have different symptoms of anxiety but i think this is just as bad as it has ever been. But i've never given up on anything before so i certainly won't start now! x

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    • Posted

      " it's similar to where you google for reassurance. "

      Oh this is interesting! I'd never thought about it that way but it makes sense. I'm really glad my post helped you feel less alone. Sometimes that's the worst part. The isolation of it all. And especially now with this lockdown, I would imagine it's not helping. But, this will get better. This will pass. Keep the faith! xx

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