Citalopram Low After Feeling Great

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Hi there, 4 weeks ago today I was prescribed Citalopram 10mg.  I went to the Drs with a stomach complaint, which was making me feel really depressed.  So the Dr diagnosed it may be anxiety that was causing my upset stomachs.  For 2 weeks I took 10mg, and got the usual "feel worse before you're better" symptoms.  Couldn't eat much, felt sick, lost weight, couldn't get out of bed.  Then my dose was increased to 20mg and I began to feel a bit better.  Could eat a bit more, stomach wasn't as upset, diarrhea subsided, was still laid in bed all day but felt better.  Then last week, my diarrhea vanished, was able to eat pretty much what I liked, was getting up early and staying up, going out shopping, thought I'd nailed it, big smile on my face, felt amazing.  I was cured I thought.  Then yesterday morning, still felt really good, took my Citalopram (on an empty stomach for the 1st time i hasten to add), and within an hour I was having an anxiety attack, felt sick, lost my appetite again, stomach in knots, diarrhea returned, stomach churning all day long, head in bits.  And am still feeling the same today (although i did take my citalopram with some toast this time).

I'm not only down from feeling depressed, but also thrown on top of that, I'm absolutely gutted that I was given a taste of how life should be for a whole week, only to have it cruelly snatched away from me just as i was loving life again for no apparent reason.  During the 1st few weeks it felt like i would feel like that forever, then gradually, as i started to feel better, i started believing i did have a brighter future.  Now i had it, and it's gone again, i'm back to thinking i'm just gonna be miserable again forever.  I know i probably won't, but that's how this makes you feel and you can't help it.

I just want to know from anyone with experience of feeling like this please, is this a natural occurence?  To be finally feeling better and the tablets working, only to come crashing back to earth a week later?  I've heard it takes up to 8 weeks for this stuff to really take effect, but i thought i'd cracked it after 3 weeks, and now i'm back to square one and feel really low about it.

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  • Posted

    I'm on exactly week 6 of 20mg Cit. the first two weeks anxiety was through the roof. Since then it's very slowly getting more manageable. I'm nowhere near myself yet but I'm not dreading everyday either. I've had a few setback days as you've described. I think it's just par for the course. This is my first time taking anything so I don't have years of experience. I just try to take each day or half day if need be at a time. My therapist said its a slow recovery and I need to be patient and heal. It's so hard when you know how you want to feel and can't get there. Hang in there. I'm right there with you. I make myself eat 3x a day. Soups, easy but healthy stuff.

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    • Posted

      Right then so you've have the good days followed by bad too then?  Nice to know someone else is going through the same so i know it's not just me and it is working.  Was just so disappointing to feel like that again for the 1st time in weeks, think you're better, and then regress so badly, it really made me mad!  I too have never experienced anti depressants before either so never know what to expect.  I just presumed once you felt better, as it had built up nice and gradually to it, that that was it, you're better.  So next time i'm feeling good i'm gonna be very wary not to get over excited. Also i've been taking the tablets on a full stomach all this time, then because i thought i was better, i got cocky and took it on an empty stomach, i'm wondering if that has contributed largely to my setback.  Won't be doing that again!  Thankfully i've managed to be off work this whole 4 weeks and am signed off for another 2 so hopefully by then i'll be ready to go back, cos as it stands, i couldn't work with my brain the way it is and not wanting to move very much.  Good luck in your recovery,

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    • Posted

      Oh and als, i was on soup for 2 weeks, but it got to the point where i couldn't stand the sight of it anymore so switched to toast, tuc crackers, and pasta n sauce sachets, savoury rice, things like that.  Then just before my "good" week, i started introducing things like breaded fish with rice, then even had a beef steak, a pork steak, a cheeseburger, and that's when i started to feel really good, so i'm not sure if there might be something in that.  If you can somehow maybe build up to that using the foods i've mentioned, it might be worth a try, i'm certainly gonna go for that approach again this week, gently building up to bigger foods.

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  • Posted

    To me it is like a roller coaster that starts slowly getting less dramatic
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    • Posted

      I agree with Diane. It's like the hills get smaller each week. Stick to easy to digest foods.

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    • Posted

      Yep thanks for the replies. I agree. Easy to digest foods are definitely what I'm doing now. Think I got carried away with eating too much last week. I realise now 4 weeks is no time at all for this to be fixed yet. I will be patient and realise now that I have a way to go yet.

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    • Posted

      I think that the waiting is the hardest part. Everyday can seem like a battle to get through. Be kind to yourself. Don't push it too much. Talk to a friend who can just listen. I eat a lot of oatmeal. We are always here to talk to as well.

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    • Posted

      Yeah i have my wife to talk to and i have to admit she's been very understanding about it all, so that's been a massive help.  And also thanks for talking to me, just knowing someone else knows the score is a great help.  I actually have a load of oatmeal biscuits i keep having too!  You're right about it being a battle every day.  When this 1st hit me, for about 3 or 4 weeks i literally did nothing but lie on the bed, no tv on or anything, all i could concentrate on was my own thoughts and how my stomach felt.  Literally just lying, waiting for each day to end, just in despair thinking i was stuck like this forever.  Thankfully i'm better than that now, and even though i feel really disappointed that the great week i had came to an end, it's at least given me hope that good days will come back, for good eventually.

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  • Posted

    Hi Steve sorry you are feeling bad. I felt really bad first 4weeks on cut. At moment not to bad I am on 40mg which I take at night so I think that helps. No-one really gets how bad you feel cos they can't see it. Try taking mess at night might help. Remember you are not alone. Tina

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  • Posted

    Hi Steve

    This is completely normal.  Recovery on these meds often comes in waves, so what you're feeling now is typical.  It took me 6 months to recover and during that time I'd often think I was cured only to find another day I'd wake feeling depressed and low again.  This pattern will repeat itself over and over as you recover, with the low times getting easier and less, and the good feelings getting stronger and longer.

    You will feel youre back to square one many many times.  Just don't give up, accept its part of the healing process and persevere.  You need lots of patience.

    You're getting glimpses of how it feels to be cured.  Don't worry, it will come back and will stay with you eventually.

    Patience and perseverance.

    K xx

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    • Posted

      Forgot to add - increasing your dose isn't the answer either.  You cannot hurry recover along - it'll happen in its own time.  You may recover on 20mg or 30mg or even 40mg.  Why take more than you need - so stick with your dose, persevere and you'll find you're in calmer waters soon.  Whatever dose you're on, you will still get this up and down period.

      Experiencing the ups and downs as you are now are called blips, and it shows the meds are working for you.

      Good luck ;-)

      K x

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    • Posted

      Thanks for putting my mind at ease, with this being a new experience for me every bit of advice I can get is massively appreciated. You're right, now I have seen how good things can be I simply have to look forward to the next good week, and hope it lasts a bit longer. I only increased my dose after 2 weeks because that was the original plan set out by the Drs to ease myself in, but I certainly won't be increasing my dose again unless the dr advises.

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    • Posted

      Stress plays a huge part in anxiety and could be the reason for your initial stomach problem too?  Taking life at a slower pace really helps - walking slower, driving slower, exercise (daily walk), yoga, being at one with nature, eating healthily, avoid sugar (worse thing for anxiety) ..... it all helps calm the body down.  Sadly many of us live in a fast paced world and it can really have a detrimental effect on our health.

      This blip will pass - and eventually they won't happen anymore.  Its fabulous when its a thing of the past.

      K :-) xx

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  • Posted

    Steve. I think most ppl in here experience what you are going through. I did too. U will get better. Everything will normal out for you. You just have to give it more time. And read the forums in here. They help a lot. You are not alone!!!!!!
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    • Posted

      Cheers John, I'll have to learn to be patient with this. I've always been someone who likes things fixed straight away so this is a long process for me. Can't wait to be like last week again.

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