How to cope with anti-depressant start up issues

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Hello

I have posted a similar item a little while ago but am inviting more feedback as I am so worried and anxious. I have yet to start a new anti-depressant escitalopram. I am very sensitive to medication and had some very bad side effects with a low dose or another ssir. What I want to know is how can i manage start up issue, particularly an increase in anxeity and depresion. I feel I am already at my limit of what I can cope with so anymore and I don.t know how I would function. I know there is the benzodiazapine route but is that the only thing? I am really scaring myself silly but know that my depression / anxiety is very bad.

Another thing that I worry about is the fact that there is quite a low success rate with the first anti depressant tried. Again I don't know how i would cope with tapering and all that involves as I have no resiliance at the moment and feel terrible anyway. By the way I live alone.

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  • Posted

    Hi Caroline,

    I started back on cipralex almost 5 weeks ago now. I too was hesitant for the same reasons you are. However my anxiety and panic was out of control and had no choice. I am extremely sensitive to meds too but I started on 5mg and I was ok. Minimal side effects. Not sure if u are aware that cipralex has the least side effects compared to other antidepressants and can see results within 2-4 weeks. I noticed a change within 1. It's worth a try especially for us anxiety sufferers. I am supposed to increase my dose and will do it gradually. I hope this helps and keep me posted.

    Sandi

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    • Posted

      Hello Sandi

      This is reassuring but I am at such a low point at the moment. I have been off work a long time and also have bad depression. The anxiety is terrible. I have read too much about side effects to forget and as said I had a horrible experience on a small dose of another SSRI.

      With the cirpalex tablets being so small it is very difficult to increase gradually, how are you planning to do it?

      C

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    • Posted

      I too have been off work since beginning of the year. Going back shortly. I too was at such a low I had no choice but to try again. I am 97 lbs and started 5 mg. Still on 5 mg. I'm going to gradually take 10mg 1 every three days ( suggestion by my md).

      Don't read anymore bc it will drive ur mind mad. Remember this...all side effects noted doesn't mean they will occur or happen to everyone. They have to note every single possible one even if it happened to one person out of a billion.

      5mg is very low and I started feeling better within a week. I didn't want to start on it again as I was afraid...but I'm glad I did.

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    • Posted

      Hello - can you confirm your taper up is 5mg 2 days and then 1 x 10 mg the third day and then back to 5mg for 2 days then 10mg the next day etc?? How long ago did you start the 5mg?

      thanks

      C

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  • Posted

    Hi Caroline

    I started taking Sertraline 3 years ago, it's the first ever anti d I have been on. I like you felt that I couldn't take anymore and was told that I would get worse before I get better. Sadly that is true but it DOES get better. You have to find your therapeutic dose before you begin to see the benefits. I started at 50mg and only started to feel more like myself at 150mg.

    I was given the beta blocker propranolol to help take the edge off the increased anxiety as I didn't fancy diazepam. The propranolol helped alot.

    Sadly I have found the my sertraline becoming less effective (might be due to external factors, I have ALOT going on atm) but I have been prescribed Citalopram 20mg which I start tomorrow (had to have sertraline 3 days at 100mg to prepare).

    Guess what I'm trying to say is be positive about your new medication. Sertraline did and has worked for me for a long time. If you're not comfortable taking benzo's ask about beta blockers. Be strong and give them ago...if after 6-8 weeks there's absolutely no change or you feel worse don't be disheartened you can always try other meds and therapies.

    Mist

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    • Posted

      Dear Mist

      Thank you for your encouragement. As I told Sandi I am at such a low point - i have been off work for ages and am isolating etc. I feel terrible as I have bad depression as well. I truly don't know how I would be able to cope with an increase in things getting worse as I feel at the limit of my coping with my anxiety and depression. I am normally strong minded so for me to say that means it is very bad. I should not have left it this long but I am so scared of medication. I have some beta blockers but find they upset my stomach and intestines - I do try and tolerate a small dose however (I have also found that benzodiazepines affect my stomach to which makes me feel really stuck).

      What scares me is that i tried some small doses of another ssri a month or so ago and the side effects of the small dose were terrible and I had to stop. It makes me feel so feeble but because I have been ill for so long I am more frail and sensitive than usual. My courage seems to have deserted me which frightens me a lot as I need to get better,

      C

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    • Posted

      Oh Caroline I really do sympathise with you. I also have anxiety and depression (currently going through a rough patch atm with mine).

      How you are now is not going to be forever. This is not the brains natural state, we are not born this way thank goodness.

      You need to sit down with yourself and write yourself a pros and cons list for both with and without the meds. I am just afraid you've got yourself in a fugue state of mind. So time to ladder your way out. It's going to be damn hard but we are all here on the forums and if you ever need more than that I'll happily talk to you over the phone if you're in the UK.

      There are options other than meds so may have a research into those.

      I can't make the decision for you but I would try the meds again and give it a few weeks.

      Love Mist

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    • Posted

      Hello Mist

      I think it might be good to talk on the phone but I'm not sure how to private message with phone details etc. I am in the UK. I am feeling so poorly and scared.

      regards

      C

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  • Posted

    I started Citalopram about 4 weeks ago and am feeling better now, although i took small doses of Ativan to make it through the first couple weeks.

    I am only on 10mg of Citalopram and my ativan was 5mg and I would cut them in half and take a half in the morning then afternoon and evening. Since I do have a heart condition I am on a beta blocker which I think also helps.

    All the best!

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  • Posted

    Hi Caroline, i can relate to what you are going through. I have been suffering from anxiety and panic disorder for the last 2 years but was resisting medication with the same fears as you have. But it came to a point where my anxiety was stopping me from functioning normally, couldn't sleep was getting panic attacks etc. then i forced my self to see a shrink who put me on antidepressants and benzos (Seroxat+Rivotril). My advice would be not to read to much about the side effects on the internet as everyone reacts differently. Just take your pills, start with deep breathing exercises and it will help. Whilst i admit that the first week was a bit tough (i am not going to describe you the symptoms again for the fact that everyone reacts differently but i got through). I am into my 13th day of medications and i fee much better. I am sleeping well and feel happy during the day. Sometimes i do feel a bit of anxiety but it doesn't scare me anymore. Benzos like rivotril or lexotanil are used for the first few weeks to keep you calm until the antidepressants start kicking in. My advice is take the pills as they are for the better and you will be fine. Just please don't read the reviews on the internet. If you need any help give me a shout ;-)
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    • Posted

      Correct, i did the same mistake and did not take meds for almost two years. I should have and would been in a much better place. But thankfully i've started and i am beginning to see a change - a positive one.
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    • Posted

      Hello

      How did you manage to convince yourself it would get better? At the moment sleep is my refuge I know ssri's are known to cause insomnia - i couldn't cope with being awake all night feeling doubly anxious and maybe even having a panic attack. That sounds defeatist but I feel so anxious/fearful at the moment it is truly terrible. 

      C

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