10 November 2011

Coming off Citalopram

Okay, so this week my blog has been kind of abandoned.
My poor blog has had half a dozen new posts written, deleted and written again only to then be deleted...again. If my blog were hand written, my bin would be full to the brim of ripped up, screwed up trodden on pieces of paper.

The reason being, I am in the process of coming off my anti-depressants.

Cue scary music - Dum Dum DUUUMMM.

I was 16 when I first started suffering with depression. I was given counselling and cognitive therapy sessions until I was 18 and they didn't come free on the NHS anymore.
At 18 I was put onto Citalopram.

Little did I know at the time, they would be a part of my life for many years to come.

I found anti-depressants great at taking away the 'lows' but they also took away the 'highs'. My mood was set to neutral and I was on cruise control.
Whenever I felt like I was getting better and was ready to come off them, I would have the most atrocious withdrawal symptoms. I would describe it as nothing short of hell. When coming off them I would feel like I was buried deep inside my body. My body would feel weighted to the ground and with every movement I made I would have what felt like an electric shock fire through every part of my body. Every time I would come off for even a couple of days I would feel so ill that even simple tasks, like holding a cup of coffee were such a tremendous effort. Needless to say, I didn't try coming off them very often. 

When I was pregnant, I was the happiest I had been in a long time. Whether it was hormones or not, I felt on top of the world! Somehow, I am not quite sure how, I managed to wean myself off the Citalopram in order to breastfeed after giving birth. I was thrilled. I was drug free for the first time in 6 years and was over the moon.
Although the first 10 weeks of Mya's life proved to be very difficult. She suffered with *Gastro-esophageal Reflux and a dairy intolerance.  I explained in a previous post, this was probably what sparked my **Post-natal Anxiety. The doctors tried to peg it as Post-natal depression and quickly put me back on the Citalopram. In my fragile state I accepted them.

I have been on them ever since, waiting for a time to try and come off them again.

The last couple of months I have slowly managed to reduce them from 20mg to 5mg every other day. My GP insists that the amount I am taking at the moment is probably not significant enough to even warrant taking them at all. I insist otherwise. I am very aware of when I am even hours late taking my dose.

This week I have been taking them every other day and today (brace yourselves) I have stopped completely ...

I have been completely out of it for the last few days. I have been feeling like a total zombie. My head has been spinning and my memory is like a sieve. I have been forgetting things that I have just been told. I even accidentally stole a beaker from a shop having forgotten that I put it in the basket of Mya's buggy not two minutes before.
I don't even expect this post to make any sense.

So that is why my poor blog has been ignored. I have been trying to write but as soon as I open my laptop, my brain just seizes up. Brain says No.

All I can do right now is try to push through and hope the withdrawal will be short lived.

Wish me luck!

* Read about Mya's Reflux here - Reflux
** Read about my Post-natal Anxiety here - Post-natal Anxiety

Read Coming off Citalopram - Part 2
Read Coming off Citalopram - Part 3
Read Coming off Citalopram - Part 4


  1. well done on sticking with coming off the pills, i was put on them for pnd after my first born then when i went to the docs for more i saw a new guy who knew nothing about me and said i didnt need them, the withdrawal effects were awful, the councellor i saw was a total bitch. i struggled for years. when i split with my kids father (id had 2 kids by this time) i couldnt cope. i was put on the anti depressant u are coming off. i only took one and it was awful. i was so spaced out, couldnt talk right, kids ran riot i couldnt be bothered to tell them off, id never felt so low. i didnt take them again. well done to you :)

  2. Thank you :) I just hope Mya doesn't suffer too much while I am coming off them. I havn't been as attentive to her as I would like to be :(

  3. Well done hun, you are doing it the right way and have reduced the dose gradually. Fingers crossed that this is the time for you to finally be free of them.
    A kiss and a cuddle and a quick sing song with Mia will boost you both up.

  4. Massive hugs hunny. Well done for coming off them. I hope the withdrawal is short lived and you are soon back on your feet. I know how hard citalopram is to come off. You have done brilliantly hun xxxxx

  5. Hi, found your blog through Mrsshorties blog carnival (I'm Prozac Withdrawal on there), good luck with your citalopram withdrawal, I know how tough it is, my whole blog is about my years of trying to come off antidepressants. If you struggle/feel like you've come off too fast please come and visit me, I ended up switching to liquid Prozac and tapering very very very slowly to get myself off.

  6. Best of luck with your withdrawal from the tablets. I would like to stop mine (Fluoxitine) but each time I hve tried I've had little success. Wishing you lots of luck.

  7. Good luck! I have been on citalpram in the past and have been fortunate to have only been on for short periods at a time.