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I ahve posted alot on here recently so sorry for that but I really can't make sense of what is happening to  me.

Started cit on 17th July

1 week on 10

1 week on 20

6 weeks on 30

4 weeks on 40

4 weeks on 30

11 days on 20

I know Ive moved around alot and I wish I d stayed on 20 but was following psychiatrists advice.

I am aware that this will have slowed my progress getting better, although the docs deny this, I have decided to stay on 20 for 3 months and see what happens. My problem is that for the last 2 week I have been getting the worst headaches I have ever had, migranes really. Tonight I have come close to going to A and E. I was getting milder headaches previously but these are off the chart. 

I have wandered if they are withdrawl from 30 to 20 but as I was only on 30 for a bit over 3 months this seems extreme.

Also my mood is very erratic and my anxiety has really increased in the last few days. All the medical peeps want to keep me on the cit and I really do want to give it a good shot but if this does not ease off I don't know what I ll do as I can t care for my baby son and my partner is getting angry with me as he seems to think it is all in my head, he is normally very supportive.

If i do come off I face a taper and in my current state I don't know what might happen.

I am having to take high doses of diazepam to cope.

i feel very lost and scared.

Could these headaces be withdrawal even off only 30 to 20 ? I had no real problems till 5 weeks into 30....only mild side effects.

Please help !!!


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13 Replies

  • Posted

    You seem o be suffering from withdrawal, 

    If your Triick Cyclist has now decided you take 20mg take that dose and allow yourself to stabalise, if He recommended 30mg stay on that, it is important you let your body settle before moving about again.

    I get headaches every day, it is normal as I take several AD and Opiates and I accept that. 

    Try not take high doses Diazepam that will also give you headaches. You will suffer withdrawal  It ould seem the withdrawal is from the 30mg. Give it all time to sort out. The problem may be of course if you are over the script for the Diazepam you are going to be having to ween of that as well ??


  • Posted

    Hi Sarah

    Wowzers you really have had lots of changes with the doseage havent you?  To be honest I would say this is very reckless of your doctor to let you yoyo with the dose of citalopram.  Everyone has different side effects, but those of us who have had servere side effects will all tell you that these dont even start subsiding till around the 5-6 week point; and even then it is only mild subsiding.  I only upped my dose once and went straight back to square 1, if anything it felt worse than the start, but that was probably because I was so worn down with the physical symptoms and extremely over sensitised with the anxiety.

    Your body and brain wont know what has hit it with the chopping and changing of dose.  Stick to the 20mg for at least 8-12 weeks.  I do think the headaches are due to the changing of dose.

    For the Dr to dismiss the side effects is completely irresponsible, if I were you I would see another Dr.  Unfortunately there isnt a quick fix but you need to stabalise the drug in your system.  Try to do some relaxation and meditation, soak in the bath with some lavendar oil.  Have you thought of trying acupuncture for the headaches?

    I hope it all eases for you soon xxx

  • Posted

    Hi Sarah,

    It is no wonder that you are feeling confused, have headaches, erratic behavour etc., etc.  You need to get a new psychiatrist for starters!  We have enough trouble from GPs that know little or nothing about these 'sticking plasters for the brain' without psychiatrists messing up too, it is unbelievable that a professional would be so irresponsibly dumb!

    What you are experiencing (and you have my sympathy and attention until you are getting to where you want to be) is what we all do when we start and that is side effects including the mind and body getting used to Cita.  The trouble is you have the added and unnecessary problem of withdrawl too at the same time!  This is caused (and increased) by increasing quickly and then dropping far too quickly over too short a time! Coming down off them takes longer and should be done slowly and gradually, but really, this does not concern you at all at the moment

    I would hold at 20mg for now, but once you feel you may benefit from upping then up by 10 and if you feel good at 30mg hold there.  This may take a few days or a week or so.  You will know when to up again next, hopefully, each time the side effects will lessen.  Each increase has to be met with a certain amount of patience to let it work and for you to adjust to each increase.  

    I found 40mg just right after increasing by 10mg per month two years ago and in January I and my GP (who knows a lot about sticking plasters for the brain) will discuss if I am ready to attempt dropping as far as I can go, but like I said it has to be done slowly and gradually for as long as it takes.  Even then I may have to stay on a low doseage, only time will tell.

    As I said you need to level out somewhere so increasing may be the only way.

    I had bad side effects and found an emergency duvet downstairs for when I made it out of bed, but that was as about as far as I got.  I would crawl under and curl up until I felt a little better, again not wanting to rush anything, just taking it as it comes and goes.  Don't watch soaps, reality TV or the news.  Keep up to date with what is going on by listening to the radio news (if you must) only once a day.  Watch feel good fiction or cherry pie DVDs this will help yer mind to be calm.  Talking of food eat fresh fruit and veg and steer clear of sugars, fats, salt (unless yer having fish and chips) and as much processed food and junk food as possible.  However, now and then comfort food is acceptable.

    A year or so ago we discussed here the benefits of music and it was agreed that putting on yer fave cranking up the volume (if need be) and singing, shouting dancing about the house certainly does help!

    In the meantime, keep posting, keep reading and we'll help you through.  You are not alone, things will get better you have just had a bad start with some cr*p advice.




    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your reply.

      I am due to see my psychiatrist on tues but don t want to go as I don t trust her. She is a consultant peri natal psychiatrist and there is not another one.....NHS.

      I do intend to stay at 20mg for at least 8 weeks. I notice you mention increasing to 30mg perhaps.....why is this ? I felt my best as I went on it and was hoping 20mg may suffice.

      As I have a 9 month old

    • Posted


      9 month old son it is very hard to relax and just makes this so much harder.

      Do you think I will only know if cit is for me if I stick at 20mg for 8 to 12 weeks whatever.

    • Posted

      Oh and one more question.

      Do you think I could be withdrawing from 30mg even though I was only on 30mg for a bit over 3 months and only dropped to 20mg. I have, headaches and am dizzy and very anxious.

    • Posted

      Sorry one more question.

      I have read your post again.

      Are you suggesting that the 1 week at 10 and I week at 20 was too fast. That I should have been on each for a month. I was at 30 for 6 weeks which is the longest I ve been at any dose. When I started feeling crap at 5 weeks on 30....severe nausea, headaches and heightened anxiety that was the side effects kicking in late and I should have just stayed at 30 and stuck it out. As I had felt pretty good till then it was assumed that I had been lucky with side effects and had not had any. From 5 weeks on 30 till now I have had the odd good day but had every side effect going.

      What do you think ?

    • Posted

      When you get those good days just remind yourself of them when yer feeling yuk!  Eventually, the good will out way the bad, trust me.

      I was a month on 10mg, but had teribble flu which masked the side effects a bit, I'm sure.  However, when the flu went I was hit with series anxiety, panic attacks, nausea, feeling spaced, freaky and more!  When I upped to 20mg there was a little increase in side effects, but some were drifting away, by 30mg most had gone and since being on 40mg no side effects.  Recovery, means once the med kicks in and you level out you then have to realise thiings may need changing in your life and whatever you do don't look back, don't try and be your old self because that is why we are here and don't hope to be normal again!  What is normal?  Different for everyone.

      So, I am saying that each time you increase it is best to give the increase time to do its stuff which, may mean increased or more side effects.  It appears that you needed more time as the side effects just mounted up and then dropping as you were advised just caused you more grief as the withdrawl kicked in.  All people get withdrawl even if they have been on 10mg for a week, even less sometimes, because once Cita is in yer system you have to drop very slowly and gradually as cold turkey is not recommended.  Saying that, I must also say that Cita is not addictive, just a bit of a bummer to come off.

      One thing is that because we are all unique one-off indivduals not everyone gets the same side effects or intensity of them either so, when reading posts don't get carried away with over worrying.  You will know if Cita is for you, or not, when you have given it time to work.  I trusted my GP and did what she suggested and it worked for me: she is very knowledgeable in these matters.

      Do you have suppport around the home with your son?  Have you a new Mother's group in your area?



    • Posted

      Thanks again David.

      My partner is a great help but is finding my illness hard to deal with. Especially the ups and downs. I feel okish tonight after feeling close to suicidal this morning. It is so hard to accept the mood swings.

      When I was feeling better I did get out to groups but last couple of months I ve been quite agorophobic. Going out is hard enough with a baby put anxiety and dizziness on top it is near impossible. I do try to get out. I am on forums with other woman with perinatal illness.

      This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done as I was I'll from 1 month pregnant so nearly 18 months now and just need the cit to work.

      It is so hard not knowing if it is the one for me.

      Thanks again.

    • Posted

      Good morning Sarah,

      My partner (Ann) knew as much as the next person about mental illnesses, but bless her, she stuck by me.  It has not been easy as we'd only been together 3 months (knew each other for about a year before) however, Ann gradually began to understand by reading the posts here and realised that I couldn't help it, it was a mental illness and all she could do is be patient (pain as it is, that is all we can do).  She managed to come to all my initial GPs appointments especially, when I had the anxiety and panic attacks I didnt want to go anywhere.  When I had to I went as far as the GPs and straight back, but we managed to make appointments when Ann was able to accompany me. It is important that your partner not only gets involved, but is involved in all your current issues, make him feel a part of this part of your life, it'll make you a stronger couple.  It isn't easy, being a Father of three myself, but we make these beautiful little lives and even though it can be a pain or hard work it is worth it.  My middle one, Charlotte Megan turned 13 years in June.  OH WHAT JOY – a teenager!  It has been these passed few months.  However, I love her to bits (it is quite funny and strangely uncomfortable as I remember being one myself!).

      By the way has anyone mentioned that Cita can cause anxiety to be able to treat it?  Once it works though, it is worth it.  Bearing in mind that my progression on Cita was the recommended way 10mg increases until I found my level whereas, yourself have been given bad advice.  Cita is not a quick fix, nothing good is a quick fix and regarding mental illnesses (which most people suffer from these days) once we get the help we need we can sometimes also help ourselves.

      As I previously mantioned that I changed my lifestyle in every way possible.  Firstly, not knowing I was ill, but knew things weren't right, when I met Ann I stopped smoking and cut back on the drinking. When I actually crashed and was signed unfit I went through (or should I say Ann went through) 3 months of  the weirdest feelings, times and the horrendous odd side effect until I really began to level out!  While Ann had someone she only just started dating who had suddenly became ill and we were also living together by then too, to cope with. 

      Sometime around 3 months or so, I decided to do my bit to help my own recovery by changiing my diet and redecorating the house inside and out.  Strange I was able to concentrate on doing 'something' even when I could not go further than the front gate some days!  I had also joined this life saving group which helped me and also Ann. Get your partner involved and try not to exclude. Meantime, be ill, make notes to tell yer GP etc how things have gone, how you have felt and of course positive things to work on, between appts, it does help. This site has been a life saver for me as I had no idea what was happening and during these past (gosh!) nearly twi years I have helped others which is therapy in itself, you will too! Actually, I had cut right back on the site as, well, I have moved on and felt I 'd given all the advice and support I could and then 4 months later I noticed your cry for help and though that I can still help and here I am.

      I do understand that it will be difficult with a new born and you have the added issue with suffering prior to birth, but you have us, hopefully you'll get better advice and some of us are here quite often (when the site works properly).to just be here for you. This site attracts people from outside the UK so if someone says about using Celexa then don't worry, it is what they call it in the US.

      Finally, give it more time then you will know if Cita is the one for you. Time is the thing here Sarah and we hope you get the support at home and elsewhere you need. At home, make sure you remember to include not exclude yer partner and get him reading these posts, it will help make sense of things because, if he hasn't been here, poor chap has no idea what is happening to the one he loves!



    • Posted

      Thanks David.

      My partner does try and understand what is heppening to me. He is not a big fan of meds but can see I needed dome extra help.

      I have already changed my diet. No alcohol, no caffeine, no refined sugar and nearly no wheat or glutem. I do smoke but could not give that up yet. When I feel better I want to start excercising and I choose my friends carefully.

      Feel slightly better than yesterday I think but it is too early to tell. Last night was okish from about 5pm. Each day is so unpredictable.

    • Posted

      You're welcome!

      I personally have never taken meds unless there was no alternative and have been fit most of my life and ex-service which left me totally bewildered when all this happened.

      I do hope you can give up smoking for you and your family's sake especially, the little one.  Talking of which after two years with out smoking my taste buds have fully come back and things are tasting much better!

      Always choose friends carefully, but even though I lived by my parents saying don't make friends with anyone you can't bring home, I still got shafted when I became ill.  It was mainly at work which was a nightmare.

      Every day is unpredictable and always a new one and you just cannot know what will happen.  Just keep hold of the good times as the days go by and try to work out if one or a group of particular things make you worse, then avoid them, it, whatever!

      Sorry, I never thought about whether I was agoraphobic or not, but I did not want to go out for days on end and then when I did I sometimes only made it to the gate.  All in all, I reckon about two to three months and I did not go anywhere on me own for six months.  Please remember we are all different and Cita works in mysterious ways and some people don't get half the side effects so, please don't worry.

      I would not push youerself to go out, but be prepared when you get an urge to and take yer partner or a family member or friend in case you can't handle it and need to get back home safely.

      Get yer fella to read through some of the various posts promise, it will help!




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