Strange feelings of unrealness after taking Citalopram

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I am currently taking 40mg of Citalopram every day and have started to realise that it is increasingly making me feel very unreal. I am wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience?

When I say 'unreal', I basically mean that I feel very out of it, not really connected to reality, my thoughts and reactions are slow and in an ideal world I would not have anything to do ie. I find it hard to motivate myself. Therefore far from Citalopram being a cure for my anxiety and depression or whatever, I can't help wondering if maybe it is making things a bit worse.

I guess I feel that my brain is being a bit blasted and this worries me. As I say, I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences? and can this be a good thing?



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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Oli, I have woke up in what seems like ( well the only way to describe it, is weak and pained and incredibly tired) But yes i do know what you mean, have you been taking 40mgs for long? Im not on such a big dose myself, i dont think my body could cope with anymore drugs, but Ive ocvercome these exhaustive feelings, and now I have exceptionally okay days, followed by days of dread and worry as I am relying on a pil and my doctors help to keep me going. i think I am definatley gett ing more confident on it, thats got to be good. if your unreal feelings continue for longer than 2 weeks, maybe you should go back to your doctor and discuss things with them. Hope you get by , take care or as much as you can , of yourself)
  • Posted

    Hi, Oli,

    If you've been on 40mgs for longer than a fortnight, go and see your doc - if not, wait and see: it could be your body adjusting to the new dosage. Otherwise, maybe if your problem is more anxiety-related than depression, it might be that there's a better drug for you - apparently, some people with GAD don't respond as well to Citalopram as depressives.

    Good Luck

    Heff X

  • Posted


    It's important you know you're really not alone! I get really bad feelings of unreality, and for me it's the most scary part of the whole anxiety disorder, as it's unrelentless. For me, when I'm having unreality days I look in the mirror and can't match the face to my thoughts, or I look at my boyfriend and panic that he's not really my boyfriend - the same thing happens when I look at my mum sometimes. Or I'll be sat down watching TV and I'll freak out like it's not really happening. It's frustrationg as it's sooo hard to explain, and I'm only 22 and feel like I'm swimming against the tide. What I will say though is that the periods in which I have unreality are decreasing in length - before I started on citalopram I was having a few weeks at a time of it, but slowly that has decreased. This time I had it for 2 days and t disappeared. I'm on 20mg. Another thing you should try is an amazing book that was recommended to me by my sister's friend who amazingly had the exact same thing as me/us dow to the last word - -talking to her is like listening to myself. it's called 'overcoming fear and understanding panic' by dr roger baker. it's the best book on anxiety i have ever read and it has made me feel so much better!

    I know it's horrible but you'r not alone and definitely not going crazy my lovely.

  • Posted

    Hi all,

    Oli, I have never seen it better put in print. You said:

    \"I feel very out of it, not really connected to reality, my thoughts and reactions are slow and in an ideal world I would not have anything to do ie. I find it hard to motivate myself.\"

    I was taking Efexor before changing to Cipramil, and I languished for some time in a semi-fog. I was diagnosed with \"major depression\" and could not organise myself at all. I found myself staring into an open fridge wondering why, only to find a cup of cold coffee on the bench 20 minutes later when I went to make another. I changed from Efexor to 20 Mg Citalopram, then went to 40 Mg 14 days later. 5 weeks ago I had been on 40 Mg for over 12 months and decided to try and get off it completely because of side effects I now have (sexual dysfunction). I dropped from 40 to 30 for 4 weeks, and have just dropped to 20 which I will stay on for 4 weeks before seeing the doctor about reducing further.

    I am a site supervisor for a very busy truckstop. Without the generous and caring support of the other staff I would not have held my job, because I have days when I simply forget to put in the orders. This means we run out of things like drinks, cigarettes etc. And I am oblivious to the fact until one of the girls wanders into my office and tells me she's thankful we don't have an apron to fit me or I'd be ruining the kitchen as well ... as well as not ordering the smokes! In this gentle and very unsubtle way I survive another day. So I'm hoping that my general attentiveness will improve as I get off the medication. I have some other health issues as well requiring surgery so I can't swear that all my lack of attention to detail and general apathy is directly related to the Citalopram. Your post struck a chord with me though. Speaking only for myself, I have found that being 100% honest and telling the whole truth to my doctors has been the key to getting me past the horror of a 32 year marriage breaking up, an 8 year drought which cost me my farm, marriage and family, and of course the attendant financial problems.

    You are certainly not alone in your experiences.



    • Posted


      I was so relieved to find this thread. I have been taking Citalopram for 3 days (menopause and can't have HRT) and it feels like I am back, clubbing. in the late 1980's! Foggy, slightly trippy if I look at patterned carpets too closely, dry mouth, clenched jaw, big eyes etc.. I teach at a college and, whereas there are no classes at the moment, it's going to be impossible to coherently teach if this feeling doesn't pass. I hope you are feeling better x

    • Posted


      Since I wrote that reply I have managed to convince my doctor to allow me to get off anti-depressant drugs entirely. 12 weeks later and the fog is lifting. Did you know that Citalopram is the drug of choice for chemical castration? True! It is no wonder I suffered with a sexual dysfunction, which went away with the reduction in this drug. I was on these drugs for 9 years, and battled to convince my doctors to allow me to try without them. I still have a Serotonin imbalance, but I'm learning to recognise the darkness and steer away from it. I don't know if this is for everyone, but I certainly feel more in control without the drugs. My partner uses HRT and has found that she needed to research what was available before settling on the drug and the dosage which suited her. It is so hard to see the picture when you're in the frame! In my case I developed a good relationship with my doctors and they know that I will go back for advice if I need to. At this stage I doubt I will need to, and with the info available on the Internet it is possible to learn about the condition, the drugs, the side effects and the help publicly available. You are entitled to manage your health in the way you feel best suits you.


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