How long before citalopram starts to work?

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I have been taking citalopram for depression which is circumstantial, and I have never taken anti depressants  before... But after 6 wks I feel even more disconnected from life on this drug, and really don’t want to do anything, but i do manage to continue exercise and caring for my husband who is ill.  I started on 20 mg, but reduced to 10 mg to see if this would help, but feel sick with nerves when waking, and feel as if I am watching life through glass.. Can you please advise if this will improve? I am going back to see my Doctor in a few weeks. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hi Carole. I'm just re-considering Cit' because, whilst I had the same experience as you, I have recently discovered it was me who was dissociating, not necessarily a side effect. Childhood complex trauma, family suicides, and an undiagnosed disorder, compounded my need to disconnect with reality. It can feel just like you say - Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar. I lost touch with reality, and Citalopram compounded this when I first took it 12 years ago. I stayed on it for two years. Eventually I missed myself so much, I came off. The benefits did reward though; I was almost invincible to fear,and I could eat my way through books, when I usually struggle to finish a novel. Without knowing it was actually me who controlled my dissociative and derealising episodes, I continued on for 10 years before I hit a series of family deaths and began to experience the Bell jar, almost continuously. I have since discovered that I've been spending much of my life in dissociation, and the NHS have stepped in to provide EMDR, which has begun to melt that ice frosting off the glass. Sometimes, I experience moments of clarity. It's by no means easy work. And I have had to do this all without meds, since I realised that my mind needs to be ultra present in order to change its ways. It's a lot to explain to you in this little box, but if you think I could help with advice, please message me back, and I'll try to explain more.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Sarah for sharing your experience, it certainly is a new way of looking at my problem with these pills, as have never needed to take anti depressants before.  I will think about what you have said, and will come back if I need anymore advice.
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  • Posted

    Hi Carole, If you started on 20mg am not surprised you feel disconnected, then dropping to 10mg is going to affect you. I dropped dose suddenly and had same as you. I am in withdrawal from another anti depressant at the moment and feel really spaced out at times especially in the mornings. Since being on this forum I have read alot that changing doses too frequently is not advisable.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Paula, this is possibly where I have gone wrong, I did go back to 20 mg yesterday and feel even worse.

      I think I will stay on 10 mg until I go to see my doctor, as he did say it is difficult in the beginning.  But I did hope after 6 wks things would have improved.

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    • Posted

      Expect to feel a bit worse with chopping and changing dosages, when I forget to take it at times it takes me a good 3 days of feeling worse before I feel better. You need a good six weeks on one dose. All depends on age, size and metabolism not to mention brain and nervous system.
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    • Posted

      The therapeutic starting dose is 20 mg

      By altering dosage this will have created other problems

      Go back on the 20 mg knuckle down and stick to it 

      It’s tough at the beginning

      We all know that

      Stay with it and you will come through this 

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  • Posted

    sad I replied to this in the first hour of posting but my message has been stalled for 19 hours whilst the moderator catches up on his sleep sad
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  • Posted

    Starting on the 20 mg (a rather high-ish dose to start on), then going down 10 mg, then up to 20 mg. will cause a bunch of side effects :-).

    ?Definitely stick with the same dose now, for at least 8 weeks (preferably more). The side effects should start to even out. Each time you decrease or increase in doses it's like starting all over again with the side effects.

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