Increased nervousness/fear/anxiety when switching from 20mg to 30mg Citalopram

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hello everyone,

I started 20 mg Citalopram in July for the first time after having panic attacks and general anxiety. It seemed to work around 5-7 weeks, but I still felt a lot of anxiety in the mornings at 12 weeks. This anxiety was manageable, but I definitely wanted it to go away at some point. My doctor suggested to up my dose to 30mg to get rid of the anxiety completely. Well, I've been on 30 mg for 3 days and I'm extremely nervous and scared throughout the day. Part of this was made worse because I had a sinus infection and thought some of those symptoms such as feeling week, lethargic, kinda zombieish were symptoms of my anxiety or the Citalopram.

I understand that many on here have depression, but I don't think I have depression; however, I get extreme fear/anxiety about potentially having depression. I seriously love my life with my wife and my greatest fear is getting depression and potentially being an emotionless wreck who never does anything anymore. Now, if I get a little sad or feel any dread I jump right to the conclusion that I have depression and freak myself out. I get so scared and I can't think about anything else even though I'm sure I don't have it, my family/wife is sure I don't have it, my therapist is sure I don't have it, and any evaluation I've taken online says I don't have it. This has only been happening the last 3 days.

I'm just hoping I can get some reassurance that this anxiety/fear and overthinking will pass soon.

Thank you,


1 like, 10 replies

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    You haven't got depression.

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    • Posted

      I appreciate your comment stephen, but what exactly tells someone that they have depression? I can't help self-analyzing myself to ensure that I don't have it. I know that is extremely dumb, but I am a textbook worrier and I get scared at the thought of having something like that. I get scared I'll no longer be a good husband to my wife ect. I'll add I have not felt super happy this week, but that is more due to being scared not "numb" or "sad".

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    • Posted

      I'm a worrier ,big time and i've suffered the physical symptoms of anxiety for a year. I'm 56 now & it hit me out of the blue.

      Although i've been through some horror i've never really been down. I'm not right now after 9 months on the Cit & it is very scary in that you feel you will not be a good dad, husband or worker.

      My dad has dementia & my mum is struggling too. I cannot worry them with it though.

      I know people that are depressed & they are not the same as me nor you from what you say.

      Pressure & dates get to me & i worry i'll never get back to normal.

      Thats seems to be how a lot of us feel.

      Most days its so hard to get out of bed but thats not depression its just the vile,physical side of this dreadful illness more & more of us seem to be succuming too.

      Good luck my friend...

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    • Posted

      That is the case with me too. Some days I have truly been terrified, but I never really have been "down" per say. I definitely would be happy had I not been terrified, but that would be the case for anyone. I feel a bit better today on day 4 on this 30 mg of Citalopram, but I can tell it may be a while before it really makes me better. The fear did make it hard for me to get out of bed too the first couple of days on the 30mg. I was just so scared that bed seemed like the safest space. Now, it is getting easier to get up, but I definitely still have a lingering fear. If I can kick that I will be back to normal I think.

      I wish you the best, man!

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    • Posted

      Thanks, you'll crack it i'm sure.

      Its weird i'm not afraid of anything or situation, my life is great & i'm happy but i CANNOT get rid of the physical symptoms, nausea, headache & shakiness.

      I just don't get it & my GP is not interested.

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    • Posted

      your sideeffects will subside it took me 8months for the majority of side effects to subside.i have a friend who after one year all the annoying side effects dissapear.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kyle, really sorry to hear how bad you're feeling. I'm currently into my 4th month of withdrawal, however I changed dosage several times when I was on Citalopram.

    From my own experience, any stepping up or down of citalopram caused a lot of side effects, even now I'm having issues. It's your body/brain adjusting to the new dosage. It should hopefully settle in a week or two.

    My current situation is obviously different to yours as my brain is trying to cope and re adjust without the citalopram. However, I'm still having awful anxiety on and off, and totally unpredictable. Always worse on waking up in the morning, and mainly no reason at all for it. I fully understand how scary and overwhelming it can be, but it should settle. I've found that distracting myself helps with me. Even when I feel really bad, I go and do something, even if it's just tidying up. It's really hard to do but it tends to bring me back down a bit.

    I'm not a health professional, but from info I've gathered whilst going through withdrawal, it seems that when increasing or decreasing doses, it may be helpful doing it in smaller amounts. Going up by 10mg may be too much too soon. I would have a word with your doctor if things don't settle xxx


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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply, liz! I totally think you are correct that going up in the dosage is why I'm getting such increased anxiety. Today, I actually feel way better than yesterday and had way less fear. I was social at work again and was getting a lot more of my tasks completed. If I could go back I would go from 20mg->25mg->30mg instead of just 20mg-30mg but since I've already started the 30mg I think I will persevere. I hope by the end of 2020 I can start trying to get off this medicine, but I definitely want several months of success before I think about that.

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