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First time posting, and it's a long one...
Towards the end of November ('17), after experiencing increased anxiety/panic attacks for several months, I went to my Dr in tears and he prescribed 20 mg Citalopram. He cautioned that I might experience some nausea, and if I wanted to stop to call him first, don't just pitch the meds.
Never taken an SSRI (or anything remotely close to it) before, so of course there was literature that came with the med and I carefully read every word. Absolutely flipped out when I saw the warning about suicide, and it's been straight downhill from there.
1. Never before, in the history of ever, have I had intrusive thoughts of ANY kind. Have them now with varying degrees of frequency, freaking out, and cold sweats.
2. I *thought* I was only experiencing anxiety; however, during the teary conversation with my Dr, he casually mentioned depression. Well, if I wasn't depressed before I likely am now. Feeling hopeless, thoughts about what's the point, I'm never going to get past this, etc. Received a wonderful (late) Christmas card from a dear friend yesterday, a fun family update, and it sent me spiraling. That would have never happened six weeks ago.
3. Recently read about the (small) heart-related risk associated with Citalopram. Well, I have two heart murmurs and frequently experience heart palpitations (usually tied to hormone fluctuations). Called my cardiologist, wondering if I should be concerned, and now scheduled for an ECG.
4. (Too much) research on 'Dr. Google' has helped me understand that symptoms may get worse before they begin to improve. Coming up on seven weeks, and absolutely not enjoying this experience. At. All.
Anxiety is worse, definitely concerned about the depression piece, zero appetite (nearly 15 lbs lost), experiencing new symptoms of overwhelming fear, now afraid to be by myself or to go places. Suddenly anything I 'perceive' to be negative/sad/scary increases the panic, no interest in watching tv or listening to music, and it's taking a toll on my ability to work.
Since I started the Citalopram in November, I've only made it to work for weeks 2-3 of the medication. Beginning of the 4th week I suddenly experienced a severe "blip", and have remained at home ever since. Now just thinking of going to work throws me into a panic because of the thoughts...not something I want to have to battle in my office for eight hours everyday.
My Dr who initially prescribed the Citalopram retired at the end of '17 (excellent timing). I did meet with my/the new Dr mid-December (after three weeks on Citalopram), talked to her about the thoughts and increased anxiety. She seemed concerned, said they were side effects, if it got worse go to the ED; however, didn't offer to make any changes. Said to give the meds six weeks, and we'll go from there.
So here I am, 6.5 weeks and counting, an intrusive thought/depressed/no appetite/semi-sleep deprived/scared to be alone/go to work mess. My next appointment with the Dr is over a week away; however, I've asked to be placed on their on-call list should an appointment open up sooner.
Any relief from anxiety usually comes in the evening, then I can calmly read the negative/sad things/listen to music. Sleep is so-so.
I understand these meds take time to build up in your system, but I truly expected to feel some consistant improvement, or relief from these side effects (especially the thoughts!) by now. I find myself resenting taking the pill each morning knowing I'm going to still feel like crap.
I do not like what this medication is doing/has done in the last 6.5 weeks, and want to stop. I have already asked the Dr's office what they recommended for tapering (thanks to boards like this, it's too fast). While I know there are many other ADs available to try, I am pretty discouraged by this experience. If I'm honest, I don't know that I have it in me to try another med, that may take weeks to see improvment, with more side effects, and no guarantee.
All that to say:
1. Less then two months on 20 mg, how might be the best way to taper? Should I expect the bad withdrawl symptoms?
2. Will the thoughts go away or, now that I've become aware such things can happen, am I going to be stuck with them?
3. Might the depressive symptoms dissappear as well?
4. I remain open to suggestions for low side effects/quicker acting alternatives to Citalopram. Open, but not super enthusiastic.
I should also mention that I am seeing a therapist, had my thyroid checked twice (anxiety/sudden weight loss = hyperthyroidism??), have a supportive husband, etc.,...so I'm not slogging through this alone, and I keep searching for answers.
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