Is it usual to feel depressed when treating anxiety with citalopram?

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Hi

Ive gone from being very anxious to quite 'down' the last couple of days...quite sad...and irritable.

I dont think i had depression to start with just anxiety..and now after 2 and a bit weeks of 30mg i feel quite down?...lots of things seem boring...and the smallest things r irritating me...i feel uninterested.

Is this a blip? Are the meds levelling me out...so to speak? Will this stop? Or is my dose too high?

Im confused...and would appreciate any advice / experiences from any 'survivors'

Neil

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  • Posted

    Hi Neil

    Yes I was puzzled as I only had anxiety but a few weeks after starting Citalopram I felt depressed etc but this passed quite quickly so stay positive

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    • Posted

      Hey Neil, going through the exact same thing at the moment!

      Could not care less about anything! Didn't experience this when originally starting the cit and since increasing the dose from 20 to 30 feel so flat about life and everything in it! Like there's a hole inside me.

      Awful feeling! Been on increased dose about 10 days now after increasing to 40 and gone back down again!

      Awful awful awful!

      I have read that others have felt like this then better.

      My view now is that it takes longer with the increased dose to feel better again

      We'll get there and can be the ones to encourage others.

      Feelin for you Neil!

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear this Louise...but glad im not alone. Are you feeling miserable and down ALL the time or is it just peaks and troughs?

      For me it seems to be MOST of the day but not ALL day...im hoping it will get better

      It is certainly better than anxiety though!

      Neil

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    • Posted

      No advice as it was years ago I last took citalopram before this time. It was sucessful in treating my anxiety then. Ive been on it now for 4 weeks and I feel more down and demotivated than before I started taking them. I'm just waiting like you to feel better

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    • Posted

      Louise - i woke up this morning feeling SAD rather than flat - is that something you've experienced? I actually feel like i could cry at the moment, trying to hold it together because i am at work.

      Can anyone who has passed this point shed some light on why we would be feeling sad / down ? Is it just the meds levelling out?

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    • Posted

      Hey Neil,

      I have definitely woken up like that- feelin a bit better today. Not as flat!

      The sadness was horrible when I had it- but it does start to lift.

      The biggest problem for me today is the teeth grinding as getting awful headaches. And feeling a bit out of it- which I beat myself up about *rolls eyes* but other than that feelin lighter and just trying to be kind to myself.

      Any big concerns I have called my doc about- so maybe if you're concerned you can call your doctor on your lunch break.

      Thinking of you- you're not alone and it gets better smile

      Louise

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    • Posted

      Hi Louise

      I hope my sadness lifts soon - cos - as u say - its not a nice feeling.

      I've also suffered with headaches - what do u mean by feeling out of it? Do you mean tired? 

      I would call my docs but to be honest that surgery is pretty useless at helping over the phone.

      Im hoping this afternoon will be better

      Neil

       

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  • Posted

    Hey!

    I felt so depressed when I started citalopram (20mg). I was worried the anxiety was just masking the fact that I had depression and didn't know it. I followed my boyfriend around the house constantly because I didn't want to be alone, I was crying constantly. I had terrible thoughts. It was really hard. But it passed! The side effects can be intense, you are changing the chemical functioning of your brain. You're bound to experience some weird things. Just be easy on yourself. Take time off work if you need. Definitely talk to family or close friends/partner about what you're experiencing.

    And keep going. It does get better!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Pia...i hope you are right. Right now im sat at work and feeling quite miserable. I hope this passes.

      It is..however better than the intense anxiety i had been feeling.

      I just wonder if my 30mg dose is too high ?

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    • Posted

      How long were you on a lower dose for?

      You sound like you suffer quite severely from anxiety - like me, and I certainly needed the upped dose. I always felt I needed just that extra kick on 20 and I have it now.

      Most importantly who are you making these decisions with? Your counselor/therapist/doctor is the best person to help you figure out what's best for you!

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    • Posted

      Hi Pia - thankyou for the reply.

      I was on 10mg for about 4+ years - then due to a few issues in my life the anxiety came back with a vengeance, i went to 20mg for 6 weeks but had little response to be honest. Since i've been on 30mg (2 weeks so far) i've definitely seen changes - improvements if u like.

      Anxiety currently is down by about  80% (although thats only happened in the last few days to be honest)

      I just am not used to NOT being anxious - and instead am feeling down - which concerns me slightly. It could be overthinking - i really dont know.

      I'm having weekly appointments with my doctor regarding medication, i also have a weekly therapy session with a psychotherapist.

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    • Posted

      That sounds really positive! I mean it is just a slow process. Every time you up your dose it can be like restarting it all over again. It is not this way for everyone, just like when some people start citalopram they have no side effects at all. It took me about 6 weeks to get over symptoms initially so that's the sort of time period I have in my head for getting used to the upped dose. I still have days of bad anxiety, and I still have days of feeling really down (only last night I was crying in my partner's arms feeling absolutely lost and desperate to go home - I have recently moved interstate - now today I feel like a different person), I think one of the hardest things about this whole process is the waves of recovery. It can feel like 1 step forward 10 steps back for a long time. Some of the best advice I got was to note down how you're feeling each day, something simple, and then after a few weeks you can read back and you'll be seeing your progress in your own words. Because there will be progress.

      I've had some very dark days, and having never suffered depression it can be very scary. I've had terrible thoughts, absolute despair, loss of interest in things - it feels awful. But it is part of the process (obviously to a degree - be open with health professionals and family/friends/partner, so they can keep an eye on you). I struggled to adjust to how I feel on medication and I panicked about how I was interacting and behaving on the medication - my sex drive has decreased, I have trouble remembering things when I'm tired, my interests have changed, but as my doctor said to me - I have been suffering with chronic anxiety for 10 years, I don't know myself without it..

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    • Posted

      Yes - im hoping this is "onward and upward" - the drop in anxiety is CERTAINLY a welcome thing, i'm just hoping it will last. Had a bit of a wobble this morning - but used some CBT methods (from a book i bought on Amazon) to get myself past it.

      Tried to keep myself motivated yesterday afternoon - went swimming - and then FINALLY got round to putting some stuff on 'Gumtree' for sale - i need to sort out my garage (rambling sorry) and sell loads of old stuff so that might give me something to occupy my mind.

      Im suffering with a lot of headaches at the moment, not BAD ones but frequently - not sure if thats the citalopram or the beta blockers but hopefully they will go away soon.

      My problem with the anxiety is that it morphs from one thing to another so it will move from my health, to relationships, to my kids health, to work, and it drives me mad, just as i think i get it under control it flares up a little with something else to think about.  I need to work on it.

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    • Posted

      I still suffer headaches from the citalopram. Just take some Panadol, drink lots of water and don't stress about it. Keep up with the basics, exercising, meditation, clean sleeping (no screens an hour before bed, sleep at the same time each night etc), and take your medication same time every day. You'll get there! Just keep it up!

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    • Posted

      Hi pia...today must be a blip because my anxiety is up again today.

      Why do you say that we shld take meds at same time every day? Interestingly i took mine about 4 hours later than usual yesterday.

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    • Posted

      hello Neil sorry to hear you are having anxiety today (me also!).

      it is not critical to take the meds at exactly the same time each day (personally here i take mine anywhere between 10am to 2pm).  the more important thing is to try to remember to take them each day.

      i'm interested about what you said about getting therapy from a psychotherapist;   i asked my doctor about that recently (i am in the uk) but my doctor was kind of avoiding this request, i'm not sure if perhaps it is due to funding where i live (in cornwall which seems to have less facilities and services available).

      if you don't mind me asking, if you are in the uk, was it difficult for you to get the therapy sessions, or perhaps you are doing that privately, paying for that yourself?  thanks

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    • Posted

      hello neil, just replied to your post but i mentioned a book in my reply, perhaps you are not allowed to mention books here then!  anyway sorry to hear you are getting anxiety today.

      regarding taking the meds at the same time each day, dont worry you dont have to be exact.  here i take my citalopram each day anywhere between 10am to 2pm, and that's fine.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Anyone in the Uk can self refer for therapy through IAPT a nationally funded scheme called improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT). I live in Yorkshire and my go practice has leaflets on the counter. You don't have to get your doctors approval. The length of time you have to wait for the first appointment varies with where you live. It's currently 3 months in my area. You don't have to pay. And they offer CBT. Check it out on line first. Best wishes

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