I've been on some dosage of Citalopram, otherwise known as Celexa, since November 2013. At the time, it, or some kind of medication was absolutely, positively necessary. To some degree, I've struggled with anxiety and depression for a long time, and my brain needed a break.
What's great about citalopram, at least in my experience, is that it cuts off the emotional highs and lows - at first, it feels like this blissful cone of silence. You don't feel the awful depressive lows, nor do you feel the heart pounding anxious highs. It's so nice just to go about your life with that filter, you can just do things without all the noise and draining emotions.
It's a very nice vacation for the brain, and one I desperately needed at that time.
In the time since going on citalopram, I've learned a bit about making decisions that I want to make, versus making them out of anxiety. I've learned that anxiety is so very uncomfortable, but it's not the end of the world - or at least it hasn't been so far.
I even made my first road trip to Virginia and back, all by myself, last September. It took me years to venture out on any major highways in Michigan - a road trip like this would have been unfathomable. It's no big deal to me now, and I love that. In some ways, being medicated has allowed me to think for myself without the anxiety and depression demons lurking over my shoulder.
But there are downsides to just about any medication, and citalopram is no exception. For me, the big one has always been drowsiness. On 20mg, for me, it's the feeling of constantly being an hour short on sleep. A little tired, a nap always sounds good, but isn't necessary.
However, once my brain settled, I also noticed that cutting off the emotional highs and lows began to feel restrictive at times. I still had (and have) all my normal human emotions, I just feel like I have to work a lot harder. I still enjoy things, but I don't enjoy them as voraciously as I know I could. When something is funny, I chuckle. Things don't make me laugh so hard I cry. Speaking of crying, I find it extremely hard to do that. It's not for lack of desire - on the occasion that I'm in a lot of pain or very frustrated, I find that I can't vent out my feelings in the form of tears. As a person who occasionally needs that "good cry", not being able to get there is really annoying!
So I think, when I had my physical back in January, and they asked me questions regarding my emotional state, I sounded like my medicine wasn't working very well. Not enjoying things, sleeping too much ... Let's up the dosage!
As I've mentioned in a few other posts, increasing the dosage has been a nightmare for me. If 20mg made naps sound like a good idea, 40mg makes sleep inevitable. I've told Matt that if I'm not moving, I'm sleeping. I can, at times, outrun the constant need for sleep - but not always. The increase in medicine has made me feel even more "blunted" emotionally, and it's made me feel like a very boring person. I hate it.
I want off this ride. I can't say for certain that I don't need medicine at all right now, but I know that I don't need this.
For full disclosure, I'm being thwarted in my attempts to get off this medicine. A recent change in policy at the doctor we chose meant that they insist on having my medical records in hand before they'll even make an appointment for me.
So they sent away to our doctor in Michigan for them.
I got a bill in the mail, saying that when they received a check, they'd send over the records. All that paper correspondence takes time, which is especially annoying when my records with this doctor are so short that I could have told them almost virbatim what's there.
I'm still in the process of waiting for our new doctor to receive the records, at which point they said they'd call me to make an appointment. I don't know if they'll remember.
When you've reached the point where you realize that the medicine and the dosage of said medicine are completely wrong for you, and are harmful, it thoroughly stinks to be bound to that medicine because of paperwork. I don't recommend this course of action, but this is the extent to my desperation - I've started tapering myself off the citalopram because I can't stand it anymore.
You really shouldn't do it without talking to a doctor, and I know that, and I wouldn't tell anyone to wean themselves off of medicine like this. The withdrawal side effects are kind of nasty, and I've gotten away rather easily so far.
But that's my story, for better or worse. I haven't decided yet whether I want to ask a doctor to switch my medicine, as they did with Matt, or try life without an SSRI for a while. Right now, I kind of want to try living on my own again, and trust that Matt will help me see if I'm wrong once everything is out of my system. At least by then, the paperwork will all be straightened out.