CITALOPRAM FOR OCD INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS

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I just started the drug for OCD which does cause high levels of anxiety. Does anyone had experience of taking the drug for this condition. Did it help with the OCD  and anxiety or just the anxiety?

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  • Posted

    Cit is often prescribed for OCD, but I found it helped me with my OCD only when I was on a higher dose. My psychiatrist however told me that OCD is closely related to anxiety, so once that gets under control with the Cit, it should help the OCD.

    What I've found works best with the intrusive thoughts is disciplining yourself that you will not succumb to those thoughts. It takes time and the meds will help too.

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  • Edited

    I had intrusive thoughts, dreadful anxiety and depression for years and years and I recovered taking SSRI's.  Everyone's different of course.

    As funkdakarma says, the thoughts and anxiety are closely related.  You get into a cycle of depression - anxiety - intrusive thoughts - anxiety - depression etc etc and this medicine helps break that cycle by relieving the anxiety, helping to lift the depression and so the intrusive thoughts will become less important.  Depression makes our minds tired, thoughts thrive on anxiety and then stick to a tired mind, going round and round.

    Now I'm well, the intrusive thoughts have disappeared way to the back of my mind and don't bother me or cause me any anxiety any more.  I do t think of them much now - the anxiety was cured for me and so the thoughts lost their importance.

    Everyone suits different doses and am sure you'll find the correct one for you to help. This medicine take a long time to work, but keep persevering, have lots of patience and you should feel some benefit from it in time.  Your mood may be up and down for a while - some days or weeks you feel great and others you feel back in the midst of it all again.  This is normal and just part of the healing process.

    Hope this helps.

    K x

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    • Posted

      Hi there Kate cogs. ..how long were u on cit b4 u noticed the thoughts going away & the depression lifting? I've been on 20mg for a month now and a week on 10mg before that.....I was supposed to go on 30 mg a fortnight ago but didn't as I thought 20 wud to me as had a few good days but then depression n thoughts came back so I'm raising meds tomorrow
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    • Posted

      Hi Ethan

      I first started on Seroxat (Citalopram is the 3rd type of SSRI I've been on, but had success with all).  When I first took SSRI's I think I first noticed the thoughts and depression lifting around 3 months?  It was such a slow process which crept up on me so gradually, that each month went by I felt slightly better - this process was interspersed with low points too which felt like I was back to square one and very depressed/anxious, but I persevered and the low points passed each time until they didn't come anymore.  

      I started to notice times when I hadn't thought of my illness or the intrusive thoughts ........ it seemed that happened mostly when I was doing something ie exercising or socialising etc.  Slowly this began happening more and more and the icing on the cake was when I started waking in the mornings without that dreaded feeling.

      I've only ever taken a maximum dose of 20mg.  On each you will be up and down - it seems how the meds work.  If you wait when you feel down, it should pass.  Upping the dose you'll go through side effects again and eventually get back to this same up/down phase which you have to go through.  Taking this type of meds isn't a straightforward feeling of getting better, but it's an up and down rough ride on whatever dose.

      Seems as if you had a few good days, then it's starting to work for you.  That's how it worked for me.  A few hours or days etc turned into months and then years! :-)  Personally I'd carry on as you are, persevere through all the low times and they should pass.

      You will get there though ;-)

      K x

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    • Posted

      Thank for the reply Kate. ...I will give the 20mg another week to see how I go didn't really wanna up my dose as want to come off the meds afta 6 month..al see how I get on and ty once again......Ethan x
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    • Posted

      Hi Kate Just wanted to thank you for your post! It’s so helpful and so great to read a story where someone has over come this awful ocd! 

      I’m 23 and very bubbly and never thought anything like this could ever happen to me, or it was even a illness! 

      After a awful year with cervical abnormal cells.. and a few loses.. I found my self with intrusive thoughts and awful anxiety 

      I have been suffering for about 2 months now and last month decided to start CBT and citralopram 10mg 

      I went to the doctors explained these have helped decrease my anxiety for sure! I still get the thoughts but they bother me a lot less.. She recommended I went up to 20mg as this will help squish anxiety

      I don’t want to be on these for ever and hoping in a few months I can come off them! What’s everyone’s opinions on it? Did intrusive thoughts come back once they did? Or isit mind over matter! 

      I’m hoping to give it a few months months and this be a thing of the past!! 

      I’m in a really happy place now I’n my life which I believe is helping and I’m hoping this ocd is something I can look back on and think what an awful year but I come out the other side with a good understanding on how to help other people! 

      Sorry for the essay!! X 

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    • Edited

      Hi MissesE

      Glad my post is helpful xxx.

      Yes I was 20 years old when this hit me - a normal bubbly person who also never realised this would have happened to me either.  

      The intrusive thoughts are just a side effect of anxiety, and anxiety is a result of stress.  Your body copes with stress, but when prolonged it'll build up and can result in anxiety.  Its the anxiety that then frightens you, which can make it hang around ......... disturbing thoughts are then just a side effect of anxiety.  Once the anxiety starts to subside, so too will those thoughts. 

      You can stay on these meds for life if you want ...... there is no problem.  When I was on meds, I eventually reduced to a smaller / maintenance dose and was happy on that for years.

      When I came off meds I withdrew over a year by 5mg reductions lasting 1-2 months each time.  Doing it that slow isn't such a shock to the body as it eases you back down again.  I've also read that staying on meds a good year is also recommended before thinking about withdrawing.

      I'll send you a link too which I think will be of help too.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Ah that’s so nice of you! Thank you.. so relieving to know some one is in exact same position as me! It’s probally the most daunting thing I have ever experienced and to know it’s an actual condition is the biggest relieve. 

      I was really againsed taking any meds’ specially something that was known for depression and I’m not depressed but just after an awful year just come down with extreme anxiety! 

      I have been getting better and the thoughts defiantly don’t bother me as much now and I deal with them lots better .. some times I get this over whelming anxiety that I usually get when Im out and if I’m around children.. which is something I would never have even worried about Ever. I  believe I get the panic and I worry this is when I may get a intrusive thought and then I get servere anxiety! 

      Awful vicious circle! 

      I have been on citrlopram for a month now and going into 20mg so I’m hoping they kick in soon! And I can carry on a normal happy life!!! X 

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    • Posted

      How long did you have the intrusive thoughts for? How long was you on meds for before they worked? And do you get them thoughts any more? 

      Sorry for all the questions but so good to finally talk to someone who’s been through this! X 

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    • Posted

      Hi MissedE

      Mine's a long story - but I no longer suffer with anxiety, depression, thoughts etc as recovered many years ago with meds and the knowledge of anxiety through books.  I was ill for 16 long years before being put onto these type of meds and I then recovered within 6 months.  I've been well for about 20 years now.  I came onto this site some years ago because my son became ill with anxiety / depression too ..... who is also recovered now.  I'm still here chatting to people biggrin

      So it was about 3-4 months before I started noticing changes, and by 6 months the anxiety had stopped.  During recovery you'll get blips where you feel like you've gone backwards - that completely normal.  These meds aren't just for depression, but they're for anxiety and its related side effects (intrusive thoughts).  I was plagued by thoughts - they were my biggest issue ....... and as I recovered they became less and less bothersome.

      Now I'm recovered I don't really get those thoughts anymore - yes I can still think of them, but they don't frighten me anymore - they've lost their impact.  Its the anxiety that keeps them there and once the anxiety has gone so too will the thoughts.  That is, they will not have the same impact on you as they once did.  They cease frightening you and are put to the back of the mind and forgotten about.

      Yes thats what happens.  When you have anxiety, you often get intrusive thoughts.  These can be quite scary and cause more anxiety.  You then become afraid of them and of the anxiety feelings, and so that then feeds the anxiety which means more thoughts.  Understanding these thoughts (though scary) are just a side effect and will go once the anxiety eases, is the start of recovery.

      Anxiety is a strange thing, but understanding the process took away a lot of the fear.  I could see it for what it was and could finally see a way out.

      This medication will surely help you get over this, just as it did me.  The meds hang onto your Serotonin in the brain, making you feel calmer and happier, and this in turn helps ease the anxiety which then eases the thoughts.  It all takes time, and you'll feel quite anxious and not quite right for a while as your body stabilizes.  

      Don't be in a hurry to be well - you will be in time, but just let the meds work.  You cannot hurry recovery as it'll happen for you in its own time.  Each one of us is different.

      I never thought I'd be free of them, but I am.  

      Everyone can recover from anxiety.  However long you've been ill - you can recover.

      I sent you a private message with a link.  Have a read of it as it will really help you understand about intrusive thoughts.  There's a page on it.  This is by far the best information out there.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Hi katecogs

      Im new to this forum and the horrible illness. I’ve suffered in silence for years and finally decided to see a doctor. He has put me on 20mg of cit. I’m currently into week 2 and feeling quite crappy. I have found a light at the end of the tunnel reading through your thought process etc. I was hoping that you would be able to send me the page you spoke about in this thread?

      Thanks Again

      B

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    • Posted

      Hi Waterview

      Many people do suffer in silence, thinking they can sort it themselves .... and of course people do, but more than often we need help as you end up just going round in circles.  Citalopram does make you feel worse to start with as it often heightens symptoms plus gives you others too.  It really does get better and can take months, but the wait is worth it.  There'll be many ups and downs on these meds, but just keep going as the ups start to outweigh the downs until you feel up up up biggrin

      I'll private message you with the link I spoke about.  

      K x

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    • Posted

      I've just started CIT(10mg 1st week now 20mg 2nd week) and it's been rough,but only with heighten anxiety and intrusive thoughts..No physical side effects..Is it common not to have physical side effects?..Most people talk about nausea and vomiting and etc..

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    • Posted

      Please Katie can you send me link for anxiety and intrusive thoughts..I am on 10mgs of Citalophram went to 20mgs after one week,but GP told m go back to 10mgs because thoughts and anxiety went out the roof..Hope going back to 10mgs smooths me back out..Have a blessed day
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    • Posted

      Hi Brian.

      The intrusive thoughts are horrible and debilitating but they will subside. You need to give the meds 3 weeks. Everything takes time even though you may be looking for a quick fix. You can do this and you will feel better but you can't rush it. Nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss and extreme morning anxiety are a sign that the meds are working. However strange it seems they are getting into your system and are working! Keep your mind and body busy....i can't say this enough! ! In time after a few weeks it the anxiety and intrusive thought will leave. Hang in there xx

      Bel x

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    • Posted

      Sorry - been away a few days, only just just back.

      Yes Citalopram heightens your symptoms at first which does wear off over time ... and yes its common to not have any physical side effects.  Everyone's different and whilst one person breezes through these meds another person will have every side effect going, and yet another may only have a few.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Hello Kate. Could you please send me the link too. I loved how you described your recovery. Problem with intrusive thoughts is very new to me. I attend CBT and just started on citalopram abd hoping for the best. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Soliari - yes I'll send you the link too.  Intrusive thoughts are very common when you have anxiety and which also become a bit worse when you begin the meds as it heightens symptoms initially.    The link I'll send is really good about explaining about thoughts etc xx.

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    • Posted

      Hi katrcogs

      Could you send me the link as well? I have been an OCD sufferer for years and have always taken prozac on and off over the last 20 years. I have tried Zoloft a couple times bit didn't like it my dr is just starting me on celexa.

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate, 

      Another new guy here, I’ve read a ton on here and made a few posts. Your replies are always so encouraging to me, thanks. 

      Can you please also PM me that information as well? I would greatly appreciate it. 

      Take care. 

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    • Posted

      Hello Katecogs! At the beginning of 2018 I was having an anxiety setback and while Googling, I somehow, thankfully, came across this great response that you wrote to someone. It helped me a great deal when I struggled. So, here I am, dealing with what seems like another setback. But surprisingly, it hasnt hit me as hard as it usually does. Usually, I cant fathom eating and have trouble sleeping and wake up in the morning with a wave of panic for unknown reasons. Maybe I am getting better at dealing with anxiety when it rears its ugly head. I have always taken Citalopram and have adjusted it over the years, with my GP, to get through my times of struggle. I just upped my dose 10mg this week.

      The thoughts are the same this time around; will this last forever (sure feels like it!), and will this brain fog feeling go away?

      But reading your posts help me incredibly, I feel like a dear friend is holding my hand and telling me it will all work out and once again, I will make it through this muck and be "myself" again.

      So, thank you. I think during our struggles, we all need a Katecogs in our life.

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    • Posted

      Awwww Stacyschott

      Thats such a sweet message xxx.

      Everytime anxiety spikes it will always bring those scary thoughts and doubts along with it too. Those doubts aren’t real - its just anxiety trying to fox you. Those thoughts and doubts bring anxiety too which adds to the pot, keeping you in the anxiety cycle a bit longer.

      I had exactly the same doubts but I began to remind myself it was just anxiety talking and the meds will work for me, everytime I had a doubt. I didn’t feel those encouracing words inside me when I said to them myself, but I said them anyway. It helped allay those doubts.

      You will get through this xx.

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    • Posted

      I am feeling better this week, and have had a good few days but I still have the thought that this thought will always be in the forefront. I will keep pushing through!

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    • Posted

      Glad you’re feeling some relief - and I’m sure it will get better over more time.

      Yes that thought will probably hang around a bit because anxiety masks the truth and will make you feel negative still. As you recover that thought will change as will all negative thoughts. You start thinking outwardly instead of inwards. It does happen.

      Anxiety = negative thoughts

      Recovery = positive happy thoughts

      K x

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    • Posted

      Hello!

      Could I get the link to that page on anxiety? My husband is struggling with this...and, of course, I struggle alongside him in this. Trying to help him 😦 Thanks!

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    • Posted

      @katecogs can i get that link as well? My husband describes cycles of racing thoughts especially at bedtime which leads to insomnia but then also phases of depression and malaise. He was prescribed Cit (10 mg for 1st week then 20mg after). I've been on it for 6 weeks now and it has been a life changer. Only side effect has been dry mouth.

      He has been very skeptical because his symptoms are more severe and slightly different than mine (I don't get intrusive or racing thoughts) and he thinks that the meds won't work because it's "too easy"?

      I am concerned that he will stop the meds before a full 4-6 weeks if it isn't obviously "working".

      thanks in advance! this thread has been wonderful

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    • Edited

      Hi Brighterside

      I’ll pm you with the link - can’t post here or the post will get deleted by the Moderators 😉

      Not everyone gets a racing mind, but most people do. A racing mind, head chatter, intrusive thoughts are a side effect of anxiety and start because of the confusion about whats wrong and the mind is trying to find an answer.

      Yes the meds will help stop these thoughts, though he has to stay on the meds for months before he’ll start seeing improvements.

      There is also natural way to stop intrusive thoughts too which I’ve just read about in another new book I came across last week …… really interesting!

      In a nutshell - you can’t stop thoughts (good or bad) popping into the head as its natural, but we can change the way we deal with them as its because we keep revisiting them that is what keeps them and the anxiety there. All daily thoughts pop into our heads, are acknowledged for a short time before our mind wanders onto something else. The actual time our mind wanders off is a natural cut-off - we don’t make it happen and we don’t remember the time our mind leaves that thought. If we didn’t have this cut-off then every thought we’ve had in our entire lives would be in our heads (imagine that)!! … though with intrusive thoughts we take this beyond the cut-off point with all the head chatter about it, so it doesn’t leave us.

      What happens with intrusive thoughts is that the thought pops into our head and then we make the mistake of trying to correct it, reassure ourselves, analyse it, over and over we chew this repeatedly in our minds.

      The first thought (good, bad, intrusive etc) is the primary thought and the going over it (head chatter / analysis / replay) are the secondary thoughts.

      Its the secondary thoughts that keep the primary intrusive thought present in our minds all the time.

      So when any intrusive thought pops into the mind, however you feel or think - DO NOT revisit that thought with reassurance, head chatter, analysis, sayings, what if’s, why’s etc etc. N-O-T-H-I-N-G at all - not even good thoughts about it. The intrusive thought will peak and will always ease off. Doing this will not rid you of intrusive thoughts immediately, but repeated practice will bring about results and free your mind up.

      Its because we revisit the intrusive thought with all this mind chatter that we take it beyond the natural cut-off point, and it’ll continue to churn over in our minds.

      If anyone wants this new book link, pm me.

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      So glad you're still on this forum helping those in need. Its been awhile since actually posting on here. Ive been on 10 mg for 13 weeks now. It has truly been up and down. I was doing fairly well the last couple weeks; however, The last couple days have been really challenging. Increased anxiety w Intrusive thoughts. Im trying to keep in mind, my period is around the corner and Ive had a recent break up. Could use some words of encouragement. Also, can yiu send me the link to the new book you referenced as well.

      Thank you, thank you for all of your support 😃

      Paulina

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    • Posted

      Hi P

      Yea still here 😉 And sorry for the late reply, just behind with everything at the mo.

      Its quite normal to have ups and downs and then anxiety returning after you’ve been doing well for a while. Setbacks will happen and is how recovery works. They’ll come for all sorts of reasons and they’ll also come for no reason at all.

      Remember - you can’t recover without the setbacks, so let them come, relax towards them and let them pass. They always do.

      Oh yes - the new book. Its all about Intrusive Thoughts / Worrying and how to sort them out. I’ll send you the link.

      How are things now? Hope you’re coping with all this craziness of late - keep safe.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Hi katecogs/guys I hope this message reaches you, reading through your experience and advice gives me so much hope. I have been taking cit for 4 weeks, 20mg sent my anxiety through the roof so I dropped down to 10 which helped. I went up again to 15 which was fine I then tried again 20, which I believe triggered my anxiety and this time strange obsessive/intrusive thoughts like ocd. It was my fault I should have listened and not gone up, now i'm staying on 15.

      I feel slightly calmer today, its just so scary and overwhelming at times so I can't see through it. Hardly sleep, restless, weight loss. Will these thoughts ease? Have you got any advice? Its like hell and my life's gone. I speak to my therapist and have support which calms me down and helps me to see things rationally. Thank you so so much.

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      Your story through this is amazing and your feedback to others is so helpful. This is my second major bout of anxiety, this second time round has come with intrusive thoughts which have been troubling me for a couple weeks now. Please can you send me the link to the book you mentioned? I'd appreciate it so much. I'm still early days (4 weeks) on Citalopram for the second time (the first time they worked well for me). Just trying to persevere as best I can through these thoughts.

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    • Posted

      hi Kate. I was wondering if you could send me the link to the anxiety books you have suggested on some of these threads? your info is so helpful on this difficult journey to recovery. currently 6 weeks on Citalopram. feeling some relief through day and in evenings. hoping it continues to improve. thank you xx

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    • Posted

      hi Kate - could i please have the link too as i am really scared of the thoughts I am getting as I know i'd never action them so i dont know why i get them. thanks

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    • Posted

      Hi Daniel - intrusive thoughts are a common side effect of anxiety. I've just seen your pm so will answer you there and explain about them and how you can help calm them down which in turn will help calm the anxiety.

      K

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    • Posted

      Nice to see you are still here Kate helping people out the way you do 😃

      I'm giving Cit a second try... i was med free for just over a year but found life getting more and more of a struggle again anxiety is my main issue now. something Seroxat unlocked in me unfortunately.

      3 weeks in now on 10mg of Citalopram.... been pretty rough so far but sticking at it....

      Just wanted to say Hi and wondered if you remember me from 2 years ago... Manny xx hope you are keeping well too

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    • Posted

      Hi manny

      Ah I’m still here (lurking in the background) lol 😉

      Gah don’t recognise your name - have you changed it? 😃

      Citalopram was the meds for me and I’ve taken it twice. Seroxat didn't agree with me either - gave me anger issues when I took that back in the 90’s.

      Its easy to slip back into the anxiety habit unfortunately - once the head chatter or intrusive thoughts start, they’ll keep the anxiety ticking over and the anxiety keeps those thoughts ticking over too. Thoughts about anything anxiety related end up going round your head all day as you try and find a way out - these are called secondary thoughts. I have another book link I can send you that deals specifically with head chatter / intrusive thoughts.

      The Citalopram should eventually kick in though - it took longer for me second time around but I knew they worked for me, so stuck with it.

      I’ve been meds free now for 3 years (maybe 4)? I forget now.

      But thanks, yes all going really well.

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    • Posted

      if its not too much trouble could i have the link and the book link

      thank you

      im just about to try citalopram again for severe anxiety but im scared as i had problems last time with increased anxiety and i couldnt stick with it 😦

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    • Posted

      Hi there I'm new to all of this I've been put on 20 mg of citalopram nearly 5 weeks ago I found it extremely hard at the start although things did get better but most mornings I wake up with anxiety as if I've had too much coffee I try breathing exercises and meditation and that helps please could you send me the links when you get the time thank you

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    • Posted

      Hi, i've been following this thread for a while now and your replies have been a source i frequently read when i'm struggling. I've had really bad anxiety since October and am currently on week 7 of 10mg citalopram. The first few weeks were so tough but I felt a massive improvement during week 4 with no anxiety and the repeated intrusive thoughts / rumination disappeared. Weeks 5 and 6 were not so good, and the worried thoughts are back quite frequently now. Feels like a step backwards! Ive suffered with anxiety / panic attacks for about 20 years but i was previously always able to forget about it once it had passed. This experience feels different, the intrusive thoughts are overwhelming and take over my days. From this thread i'm seeing that this may be all part of the recovery process, i'll keep clinging to the hope that this is normal.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Would you mind sending me the link you mentioned and also the link to the books? Really struggling with intrusive thoughts at the moment.

      Thanks so much

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    • Posted

      Hi CH99

      Sorry to hear you’re struggling. Yes the road to recovery is up and down with some days or weeks feeling ok followed by bad ones. That’s normal for now.

      When the anxiety eases or disappears so too will the thoughts and ruminations - they’re a side effect of anxiety so will fluctuate alongside the anxiety too.

      So as you recover you won't just drop the anxiety one day, but instead you take it with you and along the way it will fluctuate as it slowly diminishes.

      So yes, its always 3 steps forward and 2 back all the way.

      Thoughts, ruminating, racing head are one of the most distressing side effets of anxiety, but they are a side effect, and yes they will go as anxiety eases.

      I’ll pm you with more details about unwanted thoughts.

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    • Posted

      Hi KateCogs

      I am new to this forum which I stumbled across while searching for ways to help myself through this criopling debilitating illness. I was blown away by your amazing feedback and the way you have helped a lot of people through their darkest days and gave them hope through their recovery process. I for one one am them.

      I suffered the same illness 20 yrs ago due to going through an early menopause which made me feel I was going insane! I suffered from disassociation and terrible intrusive thoughts/anxiety. Id have believed anything bad someone was going to tell me would happen to me. It was horrific! I was on a few different types of anti depressants until I was a lot better then eventually I was on HRT which helped give me back my life again. I came off all meds around 13 yrs ago.

      I was doing great until last Feb/Mar 2020 when I started to feel not right again, I could blame it on this or that but what I didnt like was it was more anxiety and intrusive thoughts that its brought on. They make me feel that Ill never escape from them and this is who Im going to be from now on. I know its not true and the thoughts arent me but yet I cant escape from them which is then causing great distress and panic. I had no choice but to take sick leave from my work as I was struggling so badly. I had an hour and a half CBT therapy and didnt like it at all. It made me ill for 2wks

      I tried Sertraline and it was horrendous. I then tried progesterone only HRT as I cant take Estrogen as Im over 50yrs now but I had constant pmt with this so I came off it.

      I have now started 10mg of Citalopram just under 4 wks ago, my first wk at 5mg then upped to 10mg. First 2 wks were awful with side effects, on to 4th week I feel Im sleeping better now but I feel when Im calm Im waiting for the ugly thoughts to creep up on me. Im constantly panicking as to why Im not feeling a good bit better yet but some days Im having outbursts of tears and other days feeling a bit calmer but even when the thoughts are quiet I feel they are still lurking around in my mind waiting to attack again.

      I should know because Ive been through this yrs ago that it takes you through such an emotional journey before you recover and yet this time it feels worse.

      Can you you tell me Kate please if you felt good some days and worse other days as I had a better day yesterday and went to bed feeling relatively calm last night but woke today feeling drowsy nervy and detached. I take my tablet around 10pm as I prefer it that way. I dont want to stop the meds as I feel something is happening but dont know what yet, strange as it seems.😊 Is this natural for my meds to make me feel this way and when will I start thinking out the box instead of in my head. Apologies for such a long text x

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    • Posted

      Hi Cairns

      Private messages are done through this site - if you go to the top of this page then you should see MESSAGES at the top right alongside NOTIFICATIONS. Go to Messages and you should find my private message to you 😃

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