Citalopram, Amitriptyline AND CBT?

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Hi all

Wondering if you can help. I've been on citalopram for 2 weeks, and amitriptyline for the past 2 nights to help with sleep. All in all I feel a LOT better but I'm worried if, as soon as I come off the drugs, I'll be back to square one as this is what happened before. 

My question is, if the medication is already effective, will CBT still work? I'm worried they will say I need to have the feelings of anxiety and depression in order to feel the benefits, but I just don't feel strong enough. The medication makes me feel strong enough to tackle the bad stuff.

Thoughts?

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hay Holly, I'm Liz

    Iv been taking cit for about 15 weeks now for anxiety and slight depression. I asked my GP weeks ago for a referral for CBT as I really wanted therapy to compliment the medication, anyway I still hadn't heard from the NHS so I sought out a private one and I have to say it's amazing! The tips and techniques are great and will certainly be useful throughout your life time also the talking really helps you get to the 'root' of the problem, all this is an attempt to resolve any issues but mostly help you stay in control and cope when we are anxious. Iv lived with anxiety on and off for a long time but I finally feel I'm turning a corner. A real lightbulb moment came when he told me that "anxiety is literally worrying about worrying!" This made me realise just how silly it is and it won't hurt me in any way!! 

    I hope this helps Holly, I would recommend you oh for it! 👍

    Good luck

    Liz x

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  • Posted

    hi Holly

    I had CBT while on citalopram and as Elizabeth says, the meds help the therapy. They each tackle the problem from different angles and work together.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    Do not worry Citaloprom takes about 3 weeks to start working, CBT is like gold it might a year before u get it depending on were u live, they will still take u own because CBT, is there to teach u how to control yo feelings in future, the only problem is its in high demand so takes long to go for the sessions.
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  • Posted

    Do not worry Citaloprom takes about 3 weeks to start working, CBT is like gold it might a year before u get it depending on were u live, they will still take u own because CBT, is there to teach u how to control yo feelings in future, the only problem is its in high demand so takes long to go for the sessions.
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  • Posted

    Hi Holly.  One thing to remember with SSRI medication (as in Citalopram) is that it works by affecting the seratonin levels in the body.  In some cases the medication can assist the body in regulating itself in this respect and thus can be discontinued after a set period and hopefully the brain will have adjusted itself.  In other situations, we aren't able to regulate it ourselves and long term use of cit or other SSRI may be necessary.  If it helps and after the initial period of say up to 6 weeks adjusting to it, after which side affects should subside, then stick with it.  What price recovery?  If you had epilepsy or insulin reliant diabetes you wouldnt think twice about taking it long term, think of SSRIs in the same way, if your body needs the help to be balanced, then be thankful it's available.  With regard to CBT - some people, as per Liz's reply, find it extremely helpful. Others don't.  CBT relies on teaching us what is and isnt an 'appropriate' reaction to a situation.  Those who are very cognisant of the fact their behaviour is inappropriate but have no physical or psychological way of adjusting their reaction do not gain as much from CBT.  To benefit from it doesn't require one to be stressed or anxious to any greater or lesser degree.  It is a method of training you to understand and recognise inappropriate reactions to events and give you the skills to adapt your behaviour to lessen your anxiety for your future wellbeing.  One very important factor with both SSRI medication and CBT is that they aim to level out emotional reactions - being too elated and 'high' is as damaging as being too low.  A common misapprehension by those who are depressed or suffer anxiety is that we should all be joyful 100% of the time, which is also very wrong.  It's a question of reacting 'appropriately' to any given situation, when it's right to be sad, we are sad and when it's right to be happy, we are that too and not a manic fluctuating between the two from one extreme to another, which is what most of us find we're like when suffering from anxiety and depression.
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    • Posted

      I agree with you 100% Loxie. I did CBT 4 years ago and have been on medication for most of that time. I come off it and a few months later I relapse. I've tried using all the CBT techniques I've learnt (for 2 weeks I did this with no meds) and it just made me feel worse - increased anxiety etc. so perhaps I should just be happy as you say, there is something out there to level out the chemical imbalance in my brain.

      Thanks for your post!

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