First day of Citalopram

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Like many people on this board i only recently admitted to needing something for my depression recently after several years of suffering depression but just getting on with life and thinking it will pass or is normal. Stress of work and study & worrying about my future and what the point in living is made me feel pretty suicidal, this has now passed but I was losing the ability to carry on with normal day to day activities.

I went to see the Doc who gave me Cit & some sleeping pills & signed me off work for 2 weeks. Took first pill today and have had a cracking headache all day despite taking 4 ibuprofen which did nothing. However I did also have a headache before I took the pill and have had general headaches for afew weeks so maybe it has just contributed to it. I went to the gym to see if that would clear it and felt abit weird like i might faint and tingly arms so i didnt push it too hard. Also I glanced at myself in the mirror and im sure my eyes looks like im on Ex! or is this due to blurry vision.

Anyway although this seems very odd after only taking one I have confidence that these are worth sticking with for a decent period to see what happens. Also a weight has been lifted as work now know how I feel as before I always put a brave face on it and noone was any the wiser. The work & pressure of study has built up too much to handle that something has to be done. Although my career revolves around qualifying I am considering packing it in and accepting a lower salary/less demanding role as it is not healthy to continue like this when you cant cope.

Will keep people updated. its nice to hear other peoples experiences too.

Will be trying first sleeping tablet tonight!

1 like, 24 replies


24 Replies

  • Posted

    Day 2 and the headache has subsided a little. Still feeling very nauseous though - i was told to take these tablets in the morning, and i took it with food - anyone find it better to take it in the evening instead? I was hoping to recuperate on these 2 weeks off but feel sick sick sick!
  • Posted

    [quote:85d0ede6b9=\"Sarahfacinguptothings \"]Day 2 and the headache has subsided a little. Still feeling very nauseous though - i was told to take these tablets in the morning, and i took it with food - anyone find it better to take it in the evening instead? I was hoping to recuperate on these 2 weeks off but feel sick sick sick![/quote:85d0ede6b9]


    Rome wasn't built in a day ;O) stick with it and let us know how you get on.


  • Posted

    Hey guys, went out to meet my Mum today and go for a walk around a pretty lake & park & the sickness has now subsided. Found that each time i ate it helped too, especially toast! Headache seems to be fading too. Going to try not to take another sleeping pill tonight as all it seemed to do was make me feel awful & disorientated in the morn and i got to sleep easier but then woke up at 5am so been tired all day! Looking forward to starting to feel a bit more up i hope....>? Doc said it takes a week to start working. Hoping for some kind of mood elevation i guess, not just fewer tears.
  • Posted

    I am almost 4 weeks in and whilst I wouldn't say I am \"HAPPY\" My moods are definitely not as bad as they were. I am noticing my family cringeing and preparing themselves for my explosions that just don't seem to come anymore. That is how I know Citalopram is working for me.

    The first week of taking them was horrible- headaches, nausea, bad stomach etc etc. But it has improved tremendously.

    Hang on in there- my opinion was that the reason for needing to take them was far worse than the side effects. Good Luck x smile

  • Posted

    Many thanks for your response Miss T. I have to say that it is only day 3 and the side effects have cleared which is great! I dont feel like crying but the thought of returning to work horrifies me as I dont yet feel any different. I feel more calm but I think that is a result of taking time out rather than the effects of the pills yet.

    Do you think they give you any sort of kick or boost, or just level you out? I would hate to think the bland not happy but not totally unhappy feeling is the norm! Definitely in need of some get up and go!

    Keep us updated of your progress! xxx

  • Posted

    Glad to hear your side effects have worn off!

    My feelings on the whole happy/unhappy issue is that I think the medication puts me on an even par, medically, with most \"normal\" people (apologies for the use of this word but could think of no other- I don't actually believe anyone is normal as we are all different) but there are still psychological/emotional issues that i have to deal with myself. This is going to take some time but I genuinely feel that taking the citalopram is helping me to be able to deal with the other issues.

    I have suffered with quite bad depression since I was around 13 years old (I am now 31!) and have always put things down to psychological issues until a friend of mine who has been on antidepressants for a long while explained to me about the chemical imbalance. Finally biting the bullet and realising It was not fair to me or my children & husband to have to live with this any longer, I went to the doctors and within days I was feeling better.

    I do think the medication is helping, but I think more than anything it is the fact that I have finally decided to take a stand against my depression by not allowing it to rule my life any more. :D

  • Posted

    Wel been reading bout ur experiences been on these since may or june. Ws previouisly on fluxotine not sure they helped much bt think to otha matters they didnt work bt def helped wit my cryin doc changed tablets after 2nd od and fink they help bit bt still have up down days think this is beta than nothin.

    Ive tryed both mornin and nite not sure wats beta i take in the mornin nw but also on solpadol as got fracture ribs which pretty shit lol i found since finally gettin something betta for my ribs ive been pretty relaxed stil not sure the cit r workin. FOund myself 4getten to take through the middle bt friend helps me mind past few months but bcause of fracture ribs not sure wats wat.

    sleepin s a problem i ave bt sleep the best during the mornin hours i tend to usually lie wake for hours on end hear the birds cumin in the mornin then finally doze of hopefully once ribs heal i would b able to tell bit beta wats wat.

    Ne one takin at nite and ne one else ne sleep difficulties or this me jst due to my ribs or worries or wat. n progress of counselling so hpe this helps aswel x :? :idea:

  • Posted

    Good to hear your experiences!

    Miss T do you feel just normal or happy? Or is it just a bland feeling of neither happy nor sad? Are you having councelling alongside?

    Miss C - before the pills lay awake for about 3 hours before getting to sleep. Since taking them (in morning) have felt fairly drowsy and get to sleep abit quicker, but then wake up very early! I tried 1 sleeping pill on day 1 but I woke up at 5am and couldnt get back to sleep then felt really dopey all day so didnt take any more, as i think the citalopram are giving some drowsiness.

    I also have had depressive tendencies since a young age but steered clear of going to the doctors after my mum had some bad experiences taking them when i was younger. It feels good to have now admitted to it even though I don't feel any better yet, but its quite a big step to finally say right, its time to do something about it. After all we readily take other drugs when we are physically ill, so why not try, anything is better than feeling rotten 24/7!

    I went to stay with my mum for afew days and we went out for afew walks in the lovely sunshine. The side effects are gone, but felt quite teary today as it will be day 6 in the morning and I feel just as low as before, I must be patient I know, but I'm scared of going back to work feeling exactly the same way and unable to muster up enthusiasm, its a matter of faking it all the time.

    I am also supposed to be taking my accountancy exams in July and they are very tough, and I spoke to my boss about possibly deferring them, and have been tearing myself to pieces as to whether to just pack all the study side in and just work. I'm only 3 exams away from completing and everyone seems to think I should sit them but the questions are 4 pages long each (i am dyslexic) and it feels impossible to know where to start to put pen to paper. So not only am I feeling depressed I also feel guilty that I should be studying, but have no motivation, and am scared that if i defer to November I will have the same panic & fear again then.

    At the moment I wonder if I may need a higher dose to feel any effect, but also people tell me that the pills are not the answer so even if i feel ok the problems will still be there. I have always been depressed but I think the study and work (where i like working with the people and company but not so much the work/pressure) have pushed me that bit too far on this occasion.

  • Posted

    I Went back to see my Doctor today for another 2 months supply of citalopram as she agrees that they seem to be working for me.

    In answer to your question about feeling happy- I would say that I am feeling happier. No longer regretting waking up in the mornings or feeling like I want to die so I don't have to go through it day after day. I'm not jumping around with a huge smile on my face either- but I would not want to be like that as then I would feel like everything was false (if that makes sense???)

    But I do feel like I am more able to deal with the stresses/problems that are going on in my life- I'm not completely there yet but definitely feel like I'm on my way.

    As much as we'd like it to, taking a little tablet once a day is not going to fix our problems but it helps to be emotionally able to fix them ourselves.

    In regards to your exams: my advise would be to leave it for at least another few weeks, if you can, before deferring them. But if you do decide to put them off until November, then so what?? Big Deal! Don't feel bad about it, it's only a few months, and I'm sure that by then you will have your medication sorted out because you have already done the hard part in taking the first step.

    Good luck with whatever you decide :D

  • Posted

    Hey Miss T, thanks for your advice.

    I think I will defer until November, it would be ideal to sit just one in July & 1 in Nov to take the pressure off later on, but not sure it is worth the gamble - as the safety of my job sits on these exams!

    10 days in now on citalopram and not really feeling any different. I feel a bit better for being off work and getting some proper nights sleep but dreading going back next wednesday! Still having afew teary moments but not quite so much as when I was at work. I had the option to request another sick note but think any longer than 2 weeks and will never want to go back. Plus dont want to cause problems. Hopefully they will be supportive, not sure exactly what level of detail to go into when they start asking what is wrong!

    Still finding the mornings difficult, it took over 2 hours to get out of bed after waking this the feelings of guilt as im 'supposed' to be making the use of this time to study before going back to work full time!

    I've been convincing myself to pack it all in these last few days, but speaking to people & looking online etc people say it can look worse to quit something than to not have started it in the first place. Plus it will mean much better career prospects. Only 3 exams to go but it seems like such a challenge as I have reached my upper limit, so its crumbling to sit down and try & fail to do something, especially when u feel down anyway.

    Glad you are feeling a bit better. Hopefully there will be even more benefits to come, as some people say it can take 6 weeks?


  • Posted

    First day back at work after 2 weeks off....

    it was like torture, i felt like i had been written off by people.

    Been on 20mg citalopram over 2 weeks now and feel no benefit.

    Feel just as bad as the day I was signed off - although I suppose 1st day back would be the hardest.

    Broke down crying in front of my manager, but he has never experienced depression before so there was only so much he could say.

    Thinking of asking to up the dose 40mg but I am wondering if this will help at all?

    So tempted to pack my job in its unreal. I had one day last week when i went spend time with a friend, cinema, takeaway and out for a walk, and felt great. But it was like I was hiding myself from reality, which quickly came looming back after.

    I dont know what to do as if i have more time off work, Im ultimately going to end up being treated 'differently'. I did not like the reactions of people today as I was mostly ignored but maybe people just dont know what to say so it is better than prying i suppose.

    Feel like a failure.

    Can anyone offer some words of wisdom?

  • Posted

    Hi Sarahfacinguptothings, the meds have not had time to kick in yet, personally it took 4 weeks for me to start to feel a diffrence, but in others it can be 6 weeks. During this time I did feel worse, but believe me if you stick at it the result is worth it. Good luck. smile
  • Posted

    [quote:2a2449297d=\"Barney\"]Hi Sarahfacinguptothings, the meds have not had time to kick in yet, personally it took 4 weeks for me to start to feel a diffrence, but in others it can be 6 weeks. During this time I did feel worse, but believe me if you stick at it the result is worth it. Good luck. smile[/quote:2a2449297d]

    Hey ;O)

    People dont know what to say to someone who has depression!

    I have experienced this at my work place.

    I have through my doctor doubled my dose to 40mg and I must say that it has really made a difference. :lol:

    Stick with it and book an appointment with your Dr and KEEP taking your meds.

    Don't pack up work as I reckon you will feel even worse if you do, you need people around you not isolation!

    One thing I have found is that bananas contain Seratonin and potassium and are known as happy fruit, pack a couple in to your lunch box and munch when at work!

    Take care and be strong, you are not on your own.


  • Posted

    Thanks guys, I will definitely be sticking with it, and will try and get the dose up to 40mg! guess i have been impatient but it was quite bad yesterday going back to work i felt just as awful as at the beginning of 2 weeks and broke down crying in front of my manager. He said he has never experienced it so doesnt know what its like and suggested ringing a help line like samaritans! what a joke.

    They were quite surprised to find out I had always suffered from it as they thought I had a very good attitude, always smily etc.

    If the meds arent working by six weeks then do you think its fair to say try something else? Should 20mg at least be making a little bit of difference?

    Its weird as whilst off work I was able to sleep for about 8-10 hours a night, when usually when off work your body gets out of sync. Yet going back to work my lack of sleep has reappears and its taking about 3 hours to get to sleep, despite being tired.

  • Posted

    Hi Sarahfacinguptothings, I would say it would be fair enough to go back to G.P. if nothing has happened after 6 weeks. I was like you, was desperate for something to happen quickly, but 2 weeks in I felt worse than ever. I tried phoning my G.P. but got no reply. It was then I found this web site and having read others experiences I decided that this was normal and so kept on taking the drugs. I woke up one morning after about 4 weeks and it was like someone had flicked on the light switch and I felt like myself again, so worth sticking to it. As far as your work colleagues are concerned, I have found that they just dont know what to say to you, particularly if they dont know what its like to be have depression. Its strange that people can talk to you happily and ask how you are if you are physically ill, but they are so ignorant the minute that a mental illness is concerned. You stick in there and just be yourself, it is them who will be eating humble pie when you are back to fitness. This is when you find out who your real friends are.

    Good luck and best wishes.


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