Tried Citalopram, tried Sertraline (now what?)

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hello all,

I'll be off to the doctors within the next week or so but wanted to get some ideas from others before I do. I've only recently been going to a new doctors surgery after returning home after a period of studying/ working away. In the few short months I've been at this surgery I've been back so many times and I'm starting to feel I'm not being listened to.

(Background: I was on citalopram on and off between ages 19- 21. Had some counselling at Uni. Aged about 22 went back on citalopram for a bit and have been off medication since starting sertraline in September this year. I'm now 23)

I'm not sure how best to go about medication now. Started in september on 100mg sertraline, did nothing, early december i went onto 150mg and feel worse than i have in my whole life.

I've been on to group cbt 'stress control group' over the past 10 weeks or so and I am now on the waiting list for NHS CBT (in my area it will be a 6 month waiting list minimum). I was seeing a private counselor where I lived for about 4 months and I have been carrying on over the phone for a further 2 months (i am considering stopping as whilst its been helpful, i feel going over past events is now turning to be depressing rather than helpful as it was at the start. I feel for now I've learnt all i need to/ can deal with and need to focus more on practical side of coping with my issues. I do have issues from my past i havent worked through yet but im getting there)

But even with all this I'm still feeling terrible. Constant anxiety, disturbed sleep (which in my years of anxiety/depression i've never suffered with), thoughts of ending it all. And I do think sertraline has made it all worse. Im trying self guided cbt books, exercise etc to no avail.

Does anyone have any tales of hope they can share ? Is it worth asking to be moved onto a different class of antidepressants rather than SSRI? I felt citalopram helped somewhat with low mood but generally left me feeling like a complete zombie and didnt stop my sudden and severe low moods.

Thanks for reading- just feeling really confused and dont know what to do next


0 likes, 10 replies

Report / Delete

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I don't normally post on here but your story sounded so much like mine that I just had to.

    It sounds like you've had a very similar experience to me when taking sertraline and citalopram.

    I originally went on medication to help with anxiety but found that it was just making me feel more and more depressed. My sleeping pattern ended up being all over the place, I was so tearful and withdrawn and stopped going to university. The worst part was when i went to the doctors and told them the medication was making me worse they didn't listen and wanted to put me on a higher dose. Eventually I had enough and gradually stopped taking the medication. It was the best decision I've ever made and I've felt so much better since. I now focus on methods to deal with my anxiety my self, I think medication can sometimes just mask the underlying problem.

    Obviously everyone is different but that's just what I found helped me.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted


      Thank you so much for your reply its reassuring to hear someone else has had similar experiences.

      Funnily enough before I went back on the citalopram for the second time I had sworn I would never go back on antidepressants because they just don't seem to work. But in desperation I did.

      It feels like a catch- 22 situation where the worry of my mood being unstable off medication makes me more anxious whilst on them !

      The sertraline is giving me so much heart burn at the moment that I think I will come off them after speaking to the doctor

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted


      I completely agree it's a catch 22. Whilst I was on medication I also felt I couldn't tell what emotions were mine and what the medication was making me feel if that makes sense.

      From my experience too some of the worst advice that was ever given to me came from the various doctor I saw. I know they're probably trained in all of this but when they've not been through it themselves some doctors arent the most understanding and just seem to follow what the text book tells them. This will sound so cheesy but I did a lot of soul searching and found the only way to get myself out of the funk I was in was to deal with the issues I had. I think I've come to accept now that my anxiety will never completely go away but I've learnt to work with it rather than letting it get the better of me.

      All the best, I really hope you can overcome your anxiety too.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I can totally relate. I went back onto Sertraline for the third time two weeks ago and have felt absoutely awful. Worst anxiety of my life and only sleeping every 3 nights.

      It worked for me the first two times. This time the insomnia is too much for me so im giving up as the insomnia is making me more anxious and depressed than I was before I started.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I've been researching SSRI,looking up comments on antidepressants in this class as it relates to anxiety,so far the one I see as most promising with few side affects is Lexapro.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    hi Rebecca, after my last dangerous reaction to ssri's i have vowed never EVER to take them again, it doesn't matter how ill i get. try mindfulness, yoga, Pilates, walking, talking therapies, ANYTHING but this rubbish that has been given out for years like smarties! ask people on here that drug is awful. i wish you luck. p.m me if you want to, i promise i will listen and won't judge....

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    There are lots of options for treating depression so don't give up!

    Don't worry about going to your GP a lot. I went almost daily when I was feeling bad!

    Firstly make sure your doctor has checked for organic causes... hyperthyroidism, anemia etc.

    If these tests are negative, there are loads of antidepressants you can try. SSRIs, SNRIs, mirtazapine, buproprion, MAOIs, antipsycotics etc. I would give each medication 6 to 8 weeks to see if it works; if not ask to try another.

    I had success with Venlafaxine which is an SNRI rather than an SSRI. Had about 10 years with no major problems with anxiety or depression.

    Only 30% of people respond fully to the first antidepressant they try but after trying lots of different ones 70% achieve full remission and the others a significant reduction in their symptoms.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    hi, I've just joined the forum and am interested in your message. I have recently, 6 weeks, been put on sertraline for anxiety and have not suffered the symptons you and others describe. Is this something I have to look forward to! Did your feelings worsen straight away or did it take some time? I must admit that at first, my anxiety improved but i do feel I'm back to how I as before, and I am considering coming off them. I would be interested in your thoughts?

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up