Citalpram worked a treat but need advice on relapse please

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This is my first post on here but I spent days and days trawling through during my darkest period of depression last year and they gave me hope and a focus so thank you all for posting especially the good/success stories because there are fewer of these because these people have recovered and are living their lives because the medication has worked (always be hopeful on that).  I slipped into a severe depression after getting a vestibular problem and then believing I was very ill through health anxiety.  I think the extreme stress sent me spiralling.  I had experienced depression some 15 years earlier at the age of 20 and got through it, took about 6 months to lift without meds and then nothing since.  Last year was different, I was experiencing panic attacks and anxiety (very new to me), I had no interest in anything, struggled to get out of bed, was off work for 5 weeks and the worst part was losing interest in my little boy who was only 15 months old at the time.

After demanding that the doctor gave me anything to help me I was started on 10mg of cit increased after 2 weeks.  I can't remember much in the way of side effects, perhaps some tiredness, fuzzy head but to be honest I was so unwell I probably wouldn't have really cared or noticed.  The panic attacks stopped within a few days and I started sleeping again.  My light bulb moment came on day 19, the black cloud lifted and life started again.  I never looked back, I was back at work the following week and things got better and better.  I had some counselling sessions and was referred for CBT but they didn't think it would be effective for me.  I was just me again and life was good.  I started to lower my dose in the August and finally came off at the end of November with no side effects or change of mood.  I was very lucky.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and although I was ready to come off it was obviously not the right time.  In Jan/Feb I started to hit minor stresses - work, family illness, bad back etc and although sailed through started to feel I was in a rut at the end of February and then about 10 days ago another mood shift, the same old feelings creeping in, I'll fight it I said but very quickly found myself going downhill like I was on a helter skelter that I needed to get off before hitting the bottom.  So I am now back on 10mg and I'm hoping this will even me out, I'm nothing like I was but couldn't guarantee I wasn't heading back there.  My other issue is that I am really keen to have another baby and that was also my reason for reducing and coming off.  I'm 36 so didn't want to wait too much longer.

So any advice would be grateful please on anyone who has done something similar and managed to reduce and come off successfully the second time round and how long did it take?    Was 10mg enough to get you back on an even keel and start to feel better again?  Anyone TTC or pregnant whilst on citalopram and what were your doctor's views on that?

I am sorry for the long winded post, I just wanted to give some background and hope that parts of my post have helped at whatever stage you are at in your recovery.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sam I stayed on 20mg when pregnant 3 years ago I couldn't breast feed my daughter but the doctor told me it was more beneficial for me and the baby as I was on them 7 years came off the and in October I knew somthing was really wrong every ache I had was cancer ect so now back on them been on 30 mg for 2 weeks now and 20mg since October so hoping to feel full benifits soon. Xxx

    P.s my daughter was fine they will monitor you and your baby carefully throughout the pregnancy. X

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    • Posted

      Thank you for taking time to reply I appreciate it. It just feels like a pressured situation of trying to get back to feeling well then trying to come off again so we can try for another baby. Feels like too much stress which will no doubt not be helpful In the long run. Xx
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  • Posted

    Hi Sam

    I sympathise with you so much.  I've taken SSRI's for 15 years which cured my long standing depression and anxiety.  I came off them 18 months ago and maintained my well being on over the counter meds (I'll tell you about them in a min).  In August my son had a breakdown out of the blue and luckily I've been able to help him.  The ought this emotional time I began to feel I'll again so restarted Cit before I hit rock bottom (I needed to be strong for my son), and luckily I managed to just keep my head above water despite having some depression and anxiety.  Back to feeling great now.

    Everyone deals with stress differently.  Some thrive on it, whilst others find it gnaws away at them until they cave in.  Everyone has their own limit.

    When I was off Cit I took over the counter medicine, bought from Holland & Barrett which claims to be a natural SSRI.  I researched this well and found a great book called 5HTP The Natural Way to Overcome a Depression by Michael T Murray.  Very interesting book indeed!!

    I took these along with l-tyrosine which are needed together (5HTP gave me indigestion and l-tyrosine stopped it, recommended in the book).  These helped me maintain my well being.  These may be better during pregnancy, but of course do check this out with a doctor.

    I've read some people have been pregnant whilst on this medication, but it's something you need to discuss with your doctor.  When I was pregnant years ago I was taking a tri-cyclic medication (before SSRI's) called Anafranil.  Useless medication I must say, but at the time I was monitored throughout both my pregnancies.  So medication can be taken.

    When I was on my long spell of taking Cit I started on 20mg then reduced it to 10mg and was able to maintain my well being on that until I came off them.  Now back on them and feeling good, I'm now starting to reduce my meds again to 10mg and will stay on that for a long time I reckon.  Maybe another year and I'll stop altogether again and go back on the 5HTP etc.

    Hope that helps.

    K x

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    • Posted

      Really appreciate your informative post, I am going to have a read of the book. It is great that you are feeling better again. I hope to be back to my old self (which was only a couple of weeks ago) very soon and will just accept this as a set back in my overall recovery. Thanks again x
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