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Hi hope everyone is doing ok. Just thought i would post as I have made it through my first month on Citalopram and I am pleased to say I am doing better. I know I am still at early days of this but things are looking positive and I am working hard to recover so i just thought i would share it.
The last 30 days have been an absolute rollercoaster full of ups and downs. The first 2-3 weeks were the worst. I had really bad insomnia, complete lack of appetite, headaches, muscle aches, heightened anxiety, really low mood, brain fog, dizziness, weight loss and the worst fatigue I've had in my life. I spent the majority of the first 2 weeks in bed. But I perceived and can definitely feel the good side of things now. The only side effects I have at the moment are the odd headache every now and again but paracetamol solves that, my sleep is still abit affected but that could because of the weird vivid dreams and my anxiety still gets the better of me somedays but not as much as a month ago.
Ive been reading alot on depression and anxiety the last few months and its really helped especially this forum and all the people on it. Below are just a few things I found really helpful in the first month on Citalopram. I hope it helps everyone, even if its just a little bit.
+Start a journal of how you are feeling and try to write in it everyday. I downloaded an app for my tablet and write mine before bed at the end of the day. Just record how you are feeling, what side effects you have experienced, what your moods been like, energy levels, anxiety levels. You'd be surprised how much this helps.
+Exercise more or at least try to get abit more physical. I know its easier said than done especially in the first few weeks but it really does help. I slowly started going back to gym after my second week and felt I had more energy and overall just a better mood. If you can't face exercising or just don't have the energy like me, I started small and just did little jobs around the house, washing, cleaning, hovering. Anything just to get me out of bed and active. I eventually started going for short walks even if it was with a friend or taking the dog out.
+Eat more and drink plenty of water. This one is a real duh one but like i said i barely ate in the first two weeks because of my lack of appetite which contributed to my fatigue and weight loss which affected my mood so it was a sort of vicious circle i thought i wouldn't break. But again start small. I always had a bottle of water next to my bed and slowly sipped it throughout the day. I ate little meals and tried to snack as often as possible, even if it was stuff like chocolate or toast just to give me abit of energy. I ended up getting a protein powder and started to drink one everyday which i found really helpful. I also started to take Berocca, the mulivitamin tablets and vitamin D. I found it took a while to feel the effects but I do feel alot more energetic now.
+Probably the best thing I did was to accept I had health anxiety and depression. Just accept this is nothing to be ashamed of as it far more common than you think, keep thinking positive about things and most importantly talk to other people. I was very surprised at amount of people I talked to who were also on or were on antidepressants. At first I was abit hesitant to tell people at work but when I eventually did every single one were understanding about it and a few were even in similar situations which made me feel alot better about myself. Now we openly talk about it which feels so much better than keeping it to myself, which brings me to my next one.
+Learn about it. At the start I just didn't want to accept or even believe I had anxiety or depression as I thought theres no way thoughts can make me feel this way but since accepting it I have read up a lot on health anxiety and depression and even how antidepressants work and I can honestly say I feel better because I now understand it more. Things are less scary when you know how they work and that includes the body and mind. In fact I have just applied to go on a free 4 week course about anxiety, stress and depression with the NHS to better understand it which I'm quite looking forward to.
+Be kind to yourself. Probably the most important thing is to be kind to yourself. You're only human so don't beat yourself up about anything. I know its hard with anxiety and depression because the truth is you are your own worst enemy but don't feel guilty or bad because you are going through a very tough time. Healing takes time, a very long time in fact and you've got to do what you've got to do to heal. Even if that means taking some time off work or sitting in bed or on the couch watching your favourite feel good shows all day or even binge eating on junk food for a day or two. Anything to get you through those first few weeks a d bad days. You have to do what makes you happy and keep reminding yourself, especially during the bad days, that these bad feelings will pass.
Sorry for the long post but I found reading these forums really comforting especially on my bad days when I was stuck in oblivion but knowing that what I was going through is normal and to not be scared of it. I will keep you all posted on my journey and wish you all strength in the days to come.
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