first time on Citalopram

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Ive been taking the pills for 4 days now and have been feeling very strange - spaced out, vacant and a little sick, its like i wona cry but there are no tears which helped me feel better. Was told it was too soon to feel like it and that it shouldnt make a difference until about 2-3 weeks in...... so glad to read other people are in the same boat. Im still feeling like taking the pills will not solve my problems of not getting on to well at work, having no friends and generally feeling lonely as single. So unsure if to carry on with them as Im normally a strong person and just get on with things no matter how i feel sad its been a few years that Ive felt down and it took a lot for me to go to the doctors. one minute I felt fine then the next I would be crying, when im a boss too its not a good situation. I have a few days off now but was told by the doctor i should take 2 weeks off, so not sure what to do sad sad

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lonelystar

    WHat you are experiencing is not unusual in the early stages of taking Citalopram. It's your body getting used to the medication. I'm assuming that your doctor will have started you on a relatively low dose - maybe 10 mg with a view to increasing to 20mg? Hopefully, he or she has already asked you to book a follow up appointment to discuss how you are feeling and your reaction to the medication. If it's really horrible, tell your doctor. There are many other anti depressant drugs that can be prescribed.

    For what my advice is worth, I agree with your doctor. If work is part of what is worrying you and getting you down, some space may help to give you a perspective. Sometimes when we are working so hard and focussing on work related issues it can be difficult to stand back, take a breath and see the broader picture.

    If you take a fortnight off, you may just relax a little, give your body time to adjust to the pills and maybe start to feel a bit stronger again. I'd also suggest you take some time to write down the things at work that are concerning or upsetting you and speak to your manager before you go back. It may be that some adjustments can be made to help ease your situation or at least the way it is preying on your mind.

    I'm the worst person in the world for taking my own advice by the way!! :oops: :oops:

    Take care of yourself and let us know how you get on.

    Best regards.

  • Posted

    Hi there Stiltman,

    its nice to have someone to chat to how im feeling and ask advice from people that are going through the same thing. I was told I would have to wait 6 weeks till I could talk to a councilor, doesnt help when one of the most stressing times of the year is coming up at the same time and my job gets very stressful too!! after checking my pills im on 20mg already, is that a bad thing? The doctor just wanted to sign me off for two weeks straight away but im on a weeks holiday at the mo which has come at the best time to be honest. I said i would prefer to go see her at the end of my week off then decide if i need more time off, the way im feeling at the mo i think i will need to.

    Starting to feel sick after taking my pill so taking it at about 9pm so i can sleep it of. Just keep thinking that I shouldnt be taking pills to sort out my life...... its so hard to know what to do for the best!

    I need any advice that is offered at the mo.......sad

  • Posted

    Hello Lonelystar

    20mg is not an unusual initial dosage for Citalopram so don't worry on that score. It's simply that some GP's (like mine did) prefer people to start on 10mg for a few days - just while your body adjusts to the medication - as this can help reduce some of the side effects.

    The maximum dose of this drug that a GP will normally prescribe is 60mg but this would be built up over a period of time. Your doctor will want to monitor your progress on Citalopram to see if the drug is helping you and that the side effects have abated/are tolerable for you. As I said earlier, if the effects are vile then do tell your doctor as there are many different AD drugs out there - don't think this is the only one and suffer in silence! It can though take three or four weeks before any beneficial effects of the drug start to appear.

    Do try not to beat yourself up about having to take a pill. One of the worst things about depression is how self critical it makes us. From time to time we all need a little support and if you had, say, a broken leg, you wouldn't be worried about having to use a crutch for a while. This is an illness, just like any other. It doesn't mean you are weak, or a failure to accept that you need some help.

    After ten months struggling with this I know that I should have been humble enough to admit to myself earlier that I wasn't as decisive, resilient and hard nosed as I liked to believe. You have taken the first steps by acknowledging you need some support - and hopefully, the first steps on the road to recovery.

    When you see your doctor next, be honest with her and do press to try and see a councellor as soon as you can. Sadly, the NHS provision in this area can be less than satisfactory - I was told six months so I saw someone on a private basis. I was fortunate in being able to afford to do so but not everyone can. It can be a real release to talk to someone impartial - who doesn't have that \"emotional stake\" in you. It can be quite difficult to discuss how you are feeling with friends and family because they will obviously be anxious about you and want you to be well as soon as possible, and for me, I find it hard to put in to words exactly how I am feeling!

    As I said yesterday, if you feel you need the time, take a couple of weeks out just to try and get yourself back on an even keel and get some perspective back on life. Be guided by what your mind and body are telling you. Most importantly, try and be kind to yourself!

    Apologies for rambling on. Hope some of this helps.

    Best regards.

  • Posted

    The advice given to you by the other poster is valid and sound. I have been through similar experiences to you both and felt exactly the same as you at the prospect of needing to take a tablet to stabilise my mood and help me function. I too have a stressful job (at the time I was working mental health and that is really stressful! LOL). The analogy of the broken leg is superb because that is exactly what medication is - a crutch, a means of making progress towards healing. I don't believe that anyone is ever truly \"cured\" of depression because I really do think it comes back at times when our serotonin levels are used up. Think of your brain and serotonin levels as a car engine and oil. If we over use the oil, we naturally have to keep topping it up. The same applies to serotonin (the happy hormone); if we are stuck indoors all day and have stressful and anxious lifestyles, then naturally we are going to use up our reserves and they need topping up, hence the need for medication. Please don't beat yourself up over the mediation; the stigma attached to depression is not what it used to be. I have taken medication for many years now and mostly I remain stable. Sometimes accepting the need for medication is actually one of the hardest parts. If you stop fighting yourself and believing that you \"shouldn't need\" medication, I really do think we all make our situation harder to tolerate. Please don't see any of this as \"your fault\" or a sign that you are \"weak\" or whatever; it is a sign of your strength of character that you have been brave enough to seek help and, more importantly, have been able to accept the help offered. It won't happen overnight, this feeling of being \"back to normal\" (whatever normal is). It takes time and keeping with the medication. Believe me, you will get to a point where you are starting to think clearly again and I really do think you should snatch your doctors hand off for time off work, especially if you are coming up to your busiest period. You need to be true to yourself and you owe it to yourself to give YOU the best treatment. If you were offering advice to a friend on the same issue, what would you say to them? I think you would say, go to the doctor, accept everything that is offered and take some time for yourself. The most stressful time of the year is coming up and you will need to be the strongest you can be to get through it - please keep with the medication, keep in touch with your GP (especially if you are feeling worse or even not feeling any better) and take that time - see it as a gift to yourself - you deserve it! Best wishes to you and all fellow sufferers - it is not a failing.

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