The secret is out......well almost!

So after a load of soul searching and some really good advice on here I was still too scared to talk to my wife about my panic attacks, and constant anxiety. However this lunchtime she beckoned me in to see our beautiful daughter asleep and that was it - full melt down. I cried and cried and cried, told her I was having the attacks, what it felt like and that the best things in my life were actually the scariest right now.

She was great. She hugged me, said I should have told her earlier and that it was me she loved, not the image I portrayed to the world. I still couldn't tell her about the citalopram that I've started taking though and on further discussion realised that this would have been a step too far for her to face. As discussed previously, this invisible disease still has a long way to go to be recognised for what it is. I don't know if anybody really gets it unless they've had it or someone close has had it??

Still, felt like a big weight had been lifted and spent the afternoon a bit more relaxed than previously.

However, the panic attacks are getting worse it seems, I don't know if its the starting the cit or what but now when they come, they come in two waves mid morning and mid afternoon and I literally wait to curl up in a ball with the pain across my chest, and take a few hours to go away. on top of that now the sleeping tablets don't work and here I am again at 4am!

Any experiences of starting the citalopram would be good - did it work for you in the long run? I have the big thing causing my stress happening in 5/6 weeks, will the side effects be gone and will they have kicked in at all by then???

15 Replies

  • I don't take citalopram so I can't advise, but I just wanted to say that you have made a huge step by telling your wife. Well done, it's very difficult, but you have made a start, and she sounds very supportive and loving.

  • Hi russ

    Telling your o/h was a really positive step and its not easy to tell someone how this makes you feel as there are no obvious signs that we are unwell. You shouldn't be embarrassed about being on meds either and maybe when the time is right you could tell her this too. I took citalopram years ago and felt the benefit and lost the side effects after 2/3 weeks. It didn't work for me this time so I switched from citalopram to mirtazapine with no hassles apart from a bit of heartburn and indigestion. If things don't settle down and you are not getting sleep maybe ask your gp about mirtazapine as I've found it great for sleep, anxiety and depression and I feel so much calmer on it. You are doing so well be proud of yourself eve x

  • Hi Russ,

    I'm sure thats a weight off you.

    Are you getting any therapy help, I'm finding CBT helps with explaining very well, and giving us a way of practicing, de-sensitising, and it does work. You can get referred by your doctor.

    I've not been on that drug, I'm old school and was on valium, xanax, but managed to get off it 3 yrs ago after 30 years. The help now, is very good and worth a go.

    Your panics, you say its mainly across your chest your feeling the symptoms, have you tried breathing exercises, as sometimes we mess our breathing up when in a panic, basically our panic causes our breathing to panic a bit and this can cause the chest pains.

    The main thing here is to breathe in deeply, and elongate the out breath, this will keep the oxygen levels ok, basically like a sigh, a natural balancer.

    The breathing in itself wont stop the panic, as nothing can, but it will regulate you oxygen balance in it and make you a little better.

    To see the panic through I advise what I have written before, as you get aquainted with them, you will be able to catch the panic at the start, and therefore it wont become as big a blaster as before. Key point here is not to run or fight it, go with it. Float through it, when we dont fight or run or avoid, it doesn't put as much adrenaline into the system.

    Well done again

    Wishing you well



  • I am so pleased for you , & I had a feeling you would get a good reaction

    Maybe when you are ready , you might feel like telling her about the meds , but I no what you are saying it is a relief

    Meds can make you feel worse , before they make you feel better , can take a few months

    If you really don't think they are working though , have a word with GP , they no better than anyone what will be right for you

    So pleased , let her support you & keep trying to keep communication open between you , will make you stronger as a couple as well




  • Hi This is the first step telling the person nearest to you exactly how you are feeling your worries and fears and i can imagine this is a big relief for you.

    Remember no one is immuned from having this illness and is hard to explain as no one can feel touch or understand unless they have had first experience.

    I found panic attacks and anxiety the hardest to deal with.

    As for the medication i am on Citalopram and it took a good two months before it finally kicked in making me more relaxed and attempting to do more than i could before.

    I was terrribly impatient but i am finding it now easier to cope with the everyday things in life that was a mega issue before.

    As regarding the medication there is nothing wrong with telling anyone that its a temporary measure to help you. But like whywhy said in your own time you will tell your wife.

    Sometimes the more we talk about everything and what we are feeling does help the other person to understand and support you.

    I really hope the Citalopram helps you.

    Keep posting and let us know how things are going this is such a wonderful supportive site and just knowing everyonhe is in the same boat makes talking easier.

    Have a good day


    Love Seyi xxx

  • Hope you are keeping well Seyi


  • Not bad thanks whywhy how you doing?


    Love Seyi xxx

  • My saying is

    I have been worse & I have been better

    Are you still going into work , if so I hope its going well , I do think about how you are going on


  • I really don't know what I would have done without this site. Making sense of this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do without a shadow of a doubt - thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and wishes x

    I am starting to see a counsellor on Monday - from what I can tell this CBT is the way forward- maybe that's what she'll suggest.

    What I find really difficult is not going off the rails throughout the day when I'm with my family. Spent a lovely day today in the country at the inlaws and felt much better whilst there, even came up with a new life plan with my lovely wife for the next few years involving changing my business around and moving somewhere more rural (if we can afford it!).

    But whilst we were coming home it was all I could do not to burst out into tears in the car and had to run into the house, dump my daughter with her mother and rush off upstairs to have a good cry and pull myself together. I'm really trying to float through it all but really don;t want to let my young (15 month) daughter see me like that. I've got to look after her by myself all day on Friday and I'm dreading it when I used to love it - any tips would be really appreciated

  • Hi

    At 15 months if she see's Daddy cry , just say , you have something in your eye or you have banged your knee at that age they really don't no that you havnt

    Try not to think about Friday till it comes

    Your anxiety is making you feel you are dreading looking after her , keep telling yourself that

    You can manage cuddles & some food for her , & I used to sit & read to mine when I was feeling down & anxious , not only did they enjoy it , but it used to take my mind of my anxiety

    If you feel like a break , put a DVD on for her , while you gather your thoughts & get on here

    Might have been no use , but they were the kind of things I used to do

    You will get through this , you have already done so well , by telling your wife , don't be hard on yourself & remember this isn't a race , it is small steps




  • Hi Russ,

    I would make sure the food drink and dvd's are ready beforehand for your daughter.

    She wont want to much, just company. Just being there sitting maybe playing with some toys. Just be the best you can be, and if thats shi...te, thats ok too, your not there to perform, she loves just you, for being you whatever that may be in any particular moment.

    I felt like I wasn't good enough ? untill I accepted I wasn't perfect. I was me, imperfect, anxious, happy sad, all just small parts of who we are, and they are ALL ok, they really are. we accept it all.

    The anxiety is at the fore at the moment, but dont think for one minute, its you, its just a little part. You are far greater than you know.

    That bursting into tears, is common, but its also ok to do infront of whoever, we are who we are at any particular moment, we can just let it all out.

    When I get like this, I first dont RUN, I walk slower, I sit, I let it happen, we are allowed to cry, its natural. Sometimes I have just sat there and let the tears just fall, its quite a beautiful experience really.

    See all this hiding wont help, it gives the anxiety the authority to carry on, when the face it we allow it all to come.

    Imagine we were dying, cosy in our bed, maybe looking on to a beautiful view, we just let it all happen, its like that really, but we are alive when its all finished.

    After, it feels like we have washed all our insides out, we feel a beautiful calm decend.

    This fighting or running, is like I said before, really subtle, it sneaks up in so many different ways, the key is to spot it early.

    If a train is at full speed, it takes alot to slow down and stop, if we catch it pulling out the station its easier to slow down untill it stops.

    There's no need either to expend all your energy on what you could change for the future, to make it easier. (its running) I know I've done it all :-)

    Make your decisions when you are well, just deal with this at the moment, thats plenty to sort out.

    Just sit, see what you have, be thankful, appreciate the simple things, even the breath as it flows past your nostrils. Everything else is just well my friend



  • How did you guys get so wise? The requirement to perform and be the best you can, have the best life you can is so engrained in me that the simple things aren't allowed to be appreciated and any negative stuff has to be pushed to one side - at least that's how my brain has worked I think.

    From looking at other blogs and stuff on the net, not letting go of the negative feelings and trying to cover them up is a massive factor in all of this. Its funny but I'm really starting to figure myself out through this and I guess for that I should thank the anxiety!!!!!!!!! I just wish it hadn't taken this to learn about myself.

    You guys seem to have a real handle on knowing yourselves that I really envy and can only hope to learn with time. You've all been a real help in the last week - I'm really appreciative and think I would be in a much crappier place without your advice and the chance to vent my thoughts

    Thanks again and much love


  • SSRI's can be nasty to get onto and even stay on. I am currently taking mirtazapine and even though I have just started I can say its much more gentle than any ssri...Doesn't make me sick or increased anxiety. Also taking pregabalin which also works at a dose of 300mg.

    Main message is dont do what I did and keep taking a pill that your body and mind don't like thinking that its better than nothing. Maybe your doc needs to be augmenting your citilopram with either pregabalin or small dose diazepam since you've only just presented with anxiety.

    Good luck

  • hi, well done for telling your wife and i'm sure she will support you. think you should tell her you on citalopram. My husband has been a great support to me and I don't think I would be here if it wasn't for him. I am on citalopram and have been on them since January. you do have to be taking them for about 3 to 6 weeks but you notice any difference and the side effects can be terrible but try and persevere. I would recommend you read a book called Self help for your nerves by Dr Claire Weeks .Also see if you can get a book from the library about panic attacks.. Also try a relaxation tape or going for long walks. Good luck

  • Hi, also look at website www,nomorepaniic

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