How long until I feel "like my self" again?

Hello to all, I hope everyone is having a reasonable time.

If it's OK with folk I'd like to explain what has happened to cause me to feel anxious & stressed. Some years ago I had an operation which should have been straight forward but unfortunately it didn't end up that way, there where complications, a few hours after coming back from surgery & I was back in my room I began to feel anxious & panicky, my stomach began doing "somersaults" I couldn't understand why I was feeling this why, I still don't fully comprehend why this happened & why I felt these bizarre feelings. For weeks I tried to carry on as if nothing was wrong, but I couldn't stop the over whelming feelings of anxiety, everything felt like doom & gloom, in the end I went to see my GP, I explained to her how I was feeling, she prescribed Citalopram for me, I can't remember what the dose was & I can't remember how long it took for the medication to start relieving my symptoms, but it was wonderful to be rid of the awful dreading feelings, I spent a while on the Citalopram & then slowly I came off the medication & my life carried on without any problems, then in 2010 I was under a lot of pressure / stress, suddenly I was feeling extremely anxious, I couldn't cope with feeling like that again, I visited my GP & I told her I was feeling anxious again, my GP wanted me to try & "cope" with my feelings but there was no way I could cope, the panicking feeling took over, my GP could see how overwhelmed I was, she prescribed Citalopram again & I can remember feeling relieved knowing "help" was on it's way. Since 2010 I'd been taking 10mg of Citalopram & my anxiety disorder was under control, I didn't feel depressed or anxious, but my health hasn't been very good, I am disabled which brings a lot of health issues, this past 18 months have been problematic, I have heart failure which has made life difficult but none of that had caused me to feel depressed / anxious. There was an occasion when I had to have the Dr come out to see me at home, my face & neck were swollen & I felt really unwell, the Dr who came out to visit me wasn't my usual Dr, although I have seen this Dr before, she hadn't seen me for some time & she wasn't up to "speed" with my health issues, I explained to the Dr how I was feeling & I got a little upset, she immediately told me I was depressed, I explained to her I didn't feel depressed, unwell yes, a bit "rundown" yes, but definitely not depressed! Against my better judgement the Dr somehow talked me into trying an antidepressant named Sertraline 50mg, I'm not sure if the sudden withdrawal of the Citalopram had anything to do with what has happened to my mental health or if it's the side effects of the antidepressant Sertraline, but within days I began to become anxious, I was able to have a telephone appointment with the Dr & I spoke to my usual GP, I explained to her how I'm feeling & I wanted to stop taking the "new" antidepressant Sertraline as I felt it was probably that drug causing me to have anxiety & feel panicky/shaky, I asked my GP if I could go back onto the Citalopram, she agreed with me & she told me to stop taking the Sertraline wait 5 days & start taking the 10mg Citalopram, so on the 5th October I began to take 10mg of Citalopram, I didn't feel much improvement & I had a really bad episode of being anxious, I was so tense I couldn't move, my muscles hurt so much, I ended up having to telephone my Dr's, this time I spoke to the Dr who had put me on the Sertraline, I explained to her how I'd been feeling & how long I'd been taking the 10mg Citalopram for, she told me to double up the 10mgs to 20mgs, since the 22nd of October I have been taking 20mg Citalopram, it's a month now of being on 20mg Citalopram, I've had the odd day of feeling more like "my old self" but then it's like being hit by a sledgehammer & I'm back to feeling terribly anxious again, I wondered if anyone could let me know how long does it usually take for the Citalopram to take full effect? I wake up every morning hoping & praying that is the day this anxiety will subside & I can relax, I feel as if my shoulders are hunched up to my ears, no matter how I try to relax I can feel the the tension building up. I'm on the waiting list to see a Counsellor & I would like to learn coping skills too, I need to know how to cope with the feelings anxiety causes us. Thank you for your time & for listening to me.


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3 Replies

  • Hi Dee I'm sorry to hear your having such a rough time and I hope you feel better soon.When I was first prescribed Citalopram I was told it could take up to 16 weeks to be fully effective but I started to feel more in control of my anxiety after about 6 weeks and beside the occasional bad night almost human again after 9 weeks so really just stick with it and give your body time to adjust and even out. Take care and remember that you will get better xx

  • Has anyone given you a benzo like ativan or klonopin so your nerves at least get a break for a few hours from the fear. That can make a world of difference to help cope with new meds. This made me laugh because I had a HORRIBLE adverse reaction to celexa/citalopram and went manic from it. I had to get on ativan and then Zoloft and tapered off the ativan and have been onzZoloft ever since. Benzos are a life saver if used right and under supervision. They saved my life

  • Also try the linden method and long walks listening to the audio files in the linden method. It makes a WORLD of difference.

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