Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)
  • Coming off the old crazy drugs
  • aslongasithaswheels
    Free Member

    After 5 long years it’s time to come off the anti depressants I was prescribed as a “band aid” – going to the doctors tomorrow to set out a plan to get me off them.

    I’ve been taking Citalopram and they are now having no other effect on my mood than making me fel worse and the following side effects:

    Sleepiness, dizziness, weakness, Increased sweating, shakiness, difficulty focusing, difficulty sleeping, agitation, nervousness, weight changes, being aware of your heart beating, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, confusion, indigestion, stomach pain

    been using Mood Gym and going to see a phsycologist on Wednesday instead…….oh, and more cycling 😀

    Wish me luck, i may be a gibbering wreck in a week

    TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    Gently does it. I’d be looking for a gradual taper over several weeks good luck

    Junkyard
    Free Member

    Respect for your honesty and best of luck it wont be the easiest thing you do but it may well be the best thing you do.

    crikey
    Free Member

    Expect mad dreams, expect to feel very odd as your brain re-adjusts, and, one of the under recognised and little discussed side effects…..an almost total lack of sex drive…. don’t ask…

    PJay
    Free Member

    Good luck, I do hope that it goes well for you.

    trio25
    Free Member

    Good luck, you will have withdrawal, but if you get through it its worth it. But if you start getting worse depression up the dose again, make sure you are ready.

    fennerhorne
    Free Member

    I’ve been a similar route; and I recognise all those symptoms and was ultimately terminated at my last job because of them. I never did get on with Citalopram, I’m on Venaflaxine and Trazodine(?). Seems to work OK. I found CBT a waste of time but horses for courses. I enjoyed therapy at first but stopped after 6 months as I felt I was SO **** up underneath I didn’t want to go there. Some things are left well enough alone. I found (find)riding, and building, bikes to be very therepeutic. Started my 1st day at a new job today and NOT a gibbering wreck(yet). Good luck to you.

    julianwilson
    Free Member

    Mental Health nurse writes: I agree with tj’s ‘gradual taper (with the blessing of your GP!): I have known some folk to break them into quarters to wean themselves off a whole one as the last bit can be a bit ‘rocky’ for some folk coming off ssri’s. If you have ever forgotten a dose and felt terrible that day, it is a bit like that at the end for a minority of less lucky people…

    If you can, see that someone close to you knows you are doing this, and that you trust their judgement to ‘send’ you back to the doctor if they worry about you coming unstuck, as you might not see it so well yourself. A good barometer for you yourself (often hard to recognise how your own emotional responses change) of you staying the same mood-wise will be the basics: ie what time you get up, whether you wash/shave, how messy (or messier!) your kitchen gets and so on. Excercise is definitely A Good Idea. Motivation, endorphins and circadian rhythms etc.

    All the best!

    GJP
    Free Member

    Good luck – but how do you know they are not having any effect on your mood? The only acid test is to stop taking them I guess – but go slowly.

    I was on a variety of ADs for a couple of years ending up on Venlafaxine which is supposed to be the worst of all meds to stop. I had no problems stopping but tapered off them very slowly over perhaps about 6 weeks. From what I have read from Authority figures like Prof. David Healy is that some people will have severe problems coming of SSRIs and others will not – no way to tell.

    I felt much better off them for about a year but then “crashed” again and have only just returned to work after 2 months sick leave. So back on the pills again. Only this time I have also started on a mood-stabiliser (Lamotrogine) to boot which I had resisted before – oh the joys of being BP.

    colnagokid
    Full Member

    Sounds like your in for a rough ride. Very best of luck to you!

    crikey
    Free Member

    I would add, after 5 years, look to the long term, take it easy and don’t expect to be in tip top shape for months rather than weeks.

    PikeBN14
    Free Member

    Good luck, if you need any motivation just re-read your list of side effects 😯

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Reading that, I can only assume you will be a gibbering wreck after all the cycling you will be doing – I’m not jealous or nowt (I only manage 1 evening cycling a week if everything else is under control!).

    Other than that (which is an attempt at humour!), take it steady and don’t just stop the drugs as that will have a terrible reaction as well…it is very good news to hear you are coming off them, but do it gradually so you adjust to the lower intake of the drug and eventually come off them without any probs…the cycling can only help with the feel good stuff – you will feel better, get fitter and look much healthier as well…

    All the best, I’m sure you’ll find it much easier than you first thought…

    simonfbarnes
    Free Member

    I felt better when I stopped taking my SSRIs – I hated the side effects 🙁

    GJP
    Free Member

    I have read that an option to reduce the withdrawl effects is to switch to another SSRI, most commonly PROZAC / Fluoxetine which has a long half life and therefore naturally lends itself to a tapering off regime.

    Also, some meds are available in liquid form which allows you to cut down in ever small decreasing amounts thus avoiding the problem JulianWilson refers to when you are trying to stop from the lowest dose.

    I don’t know in practice how commonly GP’s try either of these approaches. The liquid forms of the medications are considerably more expensive than the tablet forms so GP’s may look to avoid them. However, even if they resulted in one less GP consultation they would have paid for themselves!

    TBH Mental Health Nurse or not – I can’t say I really agree with Julian’s mood diary. The examples quoted, especially not shaving or not, IMO are more indicative of moderate to severe depression. I think you ought to be looking for much more subtle signs of depression returning. If you get to the point where you are no longer taking personal care for yourself then I think you have allowed yourself to fall too far.

    Although to contradict myself I still haven’t returned to shaving everyday for work since being diagnosed 4 or so years ago.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    Don’t forget that depression is an “Impairment” for DDA purposes. Liaise with your employer before you come off the meds. They have to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate you, failure to do so is discrimination. Good luck with the taper.

    Peregrine
    Free Member

    The though of coming off mine scares me. Got my review to discuss it with the Doc next week, been the best part of 10 years for me. Be nice to get rid of the side affects tho….

    Good luck.

    alpin
    Free Member

    Sleepiness, dizziness, weakness, Increased sweating, shakiness, difficulty focusing, difficulty sleeping, agitation, nervousness, weight changes, being aware of your heart beating, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, confusion, indigestion, stomach pain

    i’d say i suffer from most of those at one point every few days and i’m not even on prescribed medication……!

    heavy stuff. never got my head around the idea of having to take drugs to remain ‘normal’ – not saying you aren’t normal; more in the head everyday normal. i’m digging myself deeper here, aren’t i? i just mean head drugs. mum has to pop pills for diabeties (sp?) and the old man has his inhaler due to 50 years smoking. luckily i’m pretty much tickety-boo….. so far.

    Inzane
    Free Member

    Try some mega doses of Omega 3 too. Has helped more than one person I know.

    vdubber67
    Free Member

    Best of luck! I’m on Citalopram now, and I have to say it’s all good for me. Not been properly depressed for two years. Doc wants me to taper off them but I’m a bit scared of doing so to be honest 🙂 If it ain’t broke and all that!

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    You and me both vdubber. Mine may be from 20 years shift work, as depressive illness is one of the problems arising from long-term circadian rhythm disturbance. This is my third cycle of SSRI’s and the doctor has recommended that I stay on them to maintain my brain chemistry.

    vdubber67
    Free Member

    Sandwich – Shift work? Any work depresses me to be honest 😉

    epo-aholic
    Free Member

    his thread is really worrying to me, i guess over the last 15 years i have ‘suffered’ some if not all the above and been medicated accordingly sometimes CBT’d, phsycologists, etc – what worries me is how many of you i guess ‘normal’ everyday people suffer from mental health issues. Is it were all too soft, under greater pressures or just the additives in food? who knows? Anyway i came to the conclusion that i am the person i am, good or bad and i choose to go through life without drugs or ‘professional’ help – in my opinion, people more educated than i am just guessing really – i dont know whats up, i dont care i chose to accept and take each day at a time – as i write this i feel sad because i’m sure it shouldn’t be this way. i only really get enjoyment from my bike and i have to work/survive day to day to do this. I guess what i’m saying is find what works for you and take it slow. Good luck to all you who suffer in silence and big up to all those who talked about their own situations on here! 🙂

    simonfbarnes
    Free Member

    what worries me is how many of you i guess ‘normal’ everyday people suffer from mental health issues. Is it were all too soft, under greater pressures or just the additives in food?

    how do we know it was ever any different ? Perhaps in these days of relative ease and affluence we have more leisure to notice when things aren’t right, and less willingness to accept misery as normal ?

    roper
    Free Member

    Good luck aslongasithaswheels it is a very big step but still all part of getting yourself back on track.
    Make sure you have a good diet and generally look after yourself with riding and meeting up with friends and family, as best you can. If you get bad days try and remember they are not permanent and the feelings will pass. Try not to be too hard on yourself too. If you get good days try not to cling onto them too much either as they also pass. It is all part of it and hopefully you will find your pace with the ups, downs and the bits inbetween.

    All the best.

    WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    This thread seems very caring and reasonable. Good luck and all that but can I just maintain the STW balance and add MTFU?

    No, not serious. Have sailed in and out of the darkness in the past. Avoid alcohol as a replacement, it is even harder to quit.

    GJP
    Free Member

    If people are interested in natural ways to be depression then the following book is a good place to start “The natural way to beat depression” by Prof. BASANT K PURI.

    Its not a left field, complementary style medicine approach. The guy is Consultant Psychiatrist at a London Hospital.

    His basic theory is that the standard theory of depression being linked to a shortage of neurotransmitters is flawed and depression can be linked to IIRC to changes in the Phospholipid layer in the brain (WTF that is I have no idea a few years since I read the book!).

    There is something about changes in diet over the last century (evolution works much more slowly than that etc) and a significant reduction in the intake of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and the balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 (most diets comprise of Omega 6 these days).

    He research has identified one specific EFA called EPA which is available in very pure concentrated forms as a supplement (VegEPA.com) which will be far superior to standard Omega 3 fish oil supplements and not tainted with mercury!

    No clue whether it works or not I am far too screwed up to try. But an interesting read for those afflicted who like to understand their illness – depression and other mental health issues are not the type of illnesses where you can simply take a pill once a day and forget about it.

    Everyone seems to know about St John’s Wort as a natural anti-depressant but ultimately it works in the same fashion as the SSRI by inhibiting the re-uptake of neuro transmitters – but never see any mention to this Guy – perhaps he is a complete quack after all!!

    TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    As to the point about is depression more prevalent than it was I would say yes – very much so. My sort of semi informed opinion would be that this is a combination of things. Diet, lack of exercise, the gulf between expectations and reality for many folk and the fact we have more leisure.

    I am convinced exercise is a large part of it

    headfirst
    Free Member

    Good luck to you. When I came off citalopram, which was a low dosage anyway, the doc tapered me off and towards the end i was taking half a tablet every other morning. Admittedly I was on it for about 10 months not 5 years. Trust in your GP and he’ll probably want to be kept informed of your progress too. It seems to me that you’re fairly up-beat about it, it’s a nice feeling not being ‘drug-dependent’. 🙂

    mrsflash
    Free Member

    Good luck with it. As you know I’ve only just started mine, and your list of side effects reads very familiar, although they do seem to be lessening now.

    If you want a shoulder, email in profile.

    simonfbarnes
    Free Member

    I would discourage the view of depression as merely a hormonal imbalance, inasmuch as that might lead you to believe it can only be tackled by somatic therapies (ie drugs or other physical remedies). My experience with antidepressants was definitely equivocal, but in the 8 intervening years I’ve controlled it through applied CBT techniques far more effectively and without side effects

    barnsleymitch
    Free Member

    I’d say, from a personal and professional viewpoint, that medication often works in the short term, but to kind of echo what the good
    mr fbarnes just said, it’s better to look for other methods (cbt, dbt, etc)to deal with depression in the long term – if you knew the amount of people I’ve ended up working with who were prescribed benzodiazepines by their GP’s years ago (looking for the ‘quick fix’), you’d be shocked.

    baa
    Free Member

    I’ve just been through this, over the last three months. I was on seroxat for seven years.
    But the last 18 months or so things just got worse, after repeated visits to the docs, we decided to change my medication. It took me 5 weeks to go from 40mg to 10mg, in that time my body started to function normally, if not my mind. Now on something called Mirtazapine, only been on these for three weeks so far.
    I was offered the liquid form of Seroxat if needed, also
    I was seeing my therapist once a week, which really helped.
    In that time I was also given sleeping tablets.
    All I can say is don’t rush it I wanted to stop taking them at once I was feeling that bad.
    I hope everything works out, and remember you’re not alone.

    GJP
    Free Member

    baa – I am also taking Mirtazapine. This is the second time for me.

    Watch out for the weight gain, I put on 3 and 1/2 stone the first time in a litte more than 12 months and I was cycling regularly and pretty hard. Also the weight gain IMO did not correlate that closely to the increased appetite so I suspect it also had some impact on my metabolism

    But apart from that I don’t recall any other obvious side effects. Also it is not an SSRI it is a NaSSa so no sexual dysfunction if anything it will have the opposite effect and enhance orgasm 😆

    GJP
    Free Member

    PS. I stand corrected enhanced orgasm is clearly an “obvious” side effect 🙄

    baa
    Free Member

    GJP, thanks for the warning. It would be interesting to know how many people on here have or had depression. Myself the last 25 years on & off, waiting for the Mirtazapine to kick in, then hopefully work towards a career change.

    GJP
    Free Member

    In relation to others who have posted I am a relative newbie in the depression stakes.

    I have suffered from mixed depression and anxiety for the most of the last 4 years with the odd hypo-manic espisode thrown in for good measure. As sods law would be I don’t even get the joys of the mania as my manic episodes are typically characterized by dysphoric mood rather than than a euphoric mood that most people associate with mania.

    I strongly suspect for me it will be a life long condition. The question will be how will it pan out in terms of more frequent cycling (not as in bike) or whether I can attain some equilbrium and maintain a relatively normal life.

    I have tried all types of treatment – several anti-depressants (not all at the same time), short trials of Antipsychotics (now they really do have a list of worrying side effects), 12 months or so of physcotherapy both private and with the NHS (neither seemed very beneficial other than the cathartic value in the short term)

    Now after some resistance last time round as I say above I am trying a mood-stabiliser.

    FoxyChick
    Free Member

    Come off them really slowly.
    When I came off Seroxat the idiot of a locum GP I saw wanted me off them in about 4 weeks, but after about 5 days of the lower dose I was completely demented.
    Worse time of my life…electric shocks through my brain, panic attacks, increased night sweats, and the most awful feeling of helplessness etc…
    It took me about 6 months in all to be drug free.

    Good luck!!

    peasnotwar
    Free Member

    Thanks all for your honest and informative postings.
    We all have our own “issues”, luckily mine don’t appear to be as progressed as others here but maybe time will tell?
    for me, the hardest thing to absorb is the hidden nature of the problem (ie; you know if you’ve got a cold or broken your leg by the physical symptons). Recognition and acceptance are the first steps to recovery… but those can be awfully big steps!
    Aslonghasithaswheels – good luck, i hope everything works out for you and for everyone else in similar situations – it’s reassuring to know we’re not alone.

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