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Celexa (Citalopram) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Will They Last?

Celexa (Citalopram) is a drug used to help treat symptoms of major depression. It is considered an SSRI (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor) which means it influences the serotonin in the brain to help ward off depressive symptoms. It is also used as an off-label treatment for anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). For many individuals, this drug is effective and serves the intended purpose of treating depression.

The problem with Celexa is that many people find that it leads to unbearable side effects including: weight gain and sexual dysfunction. Not only can this drug provoke unwanted side effects, in some cases it just doesn’t work as well as expected. There have also been disputes as to whether the R-stereoisomer of the drug has any effect. Some have argued that it is better to take Lexapro, which is essentially Celexa without the R-stereoisomer.

In any regard, most people that take Celexa will end up wanting to withdraw from it eventually. Most people do not want to be on antidepressants for life in order to cope with depression. There are simply too many side effects and most people notice that the antidepressant effects tend to wear off over time. In any event, if you withdraw from this medication, it is pretty much guaranteed that you are going to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Factors that influence Celexa withdrawal include…

There are various factors that play a role in influencing withdrawal from any psychiatric medication. These factors include things like: time span, dosage, your physiology, and whether you decided to quit cold turkey or conducted a gradual taper.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking Celexa? In general, the longer you take an antidepressant, the more difficult it will be to withdraw from. Your brain becomes accustomed to getting the extra serotonin activity as a result of the SSRI that you are taking. When you stop the drug, your brain isn’t get the extra serotonin that it was getting and may have a tough time readjusting to functioning without Celexa.

2. Dosage (10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg)

Most of the time people are on a 20 mg dose of Celexa, but it can be administered at doses up to 40 mg per day. Some people may be on smaller doses than 20 mg, but in general, 20 mg is considered the standard dose. In most cases, the greater the amount of the drug that you have taken, the tougher it is to withdraw from.

3. Individual Physiology

In many cases, withdrawal symptoms are largely due to individual reactions to the drug. One person may experience extreme withdrawal symptoms that last months, while another person may feel back to 100% after a couple weeks of discontinuation. Many individual factors including: withdrawal sensitivity, environment, social support, and physiology can have an influence. If you experience a more extreme withdrawal than most, it could be largely due to individual differences.

4. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

How did you quit taking Celexa? Did you stop abruptly without conducting a gradual taper? Or did you conduct a gradual taper over the course of a couple months? In most cases, the more slowly and cautiously you taper off of this medication, the easier it is to readjust to functioning without the drug.

If you quit cold turkey, it leaves most people in a state of mental disarray and chaos and the symptoms may be more severe. If you were on a high dose of Celexa (i.e. 40 mg), the weaning process should take longer than someone on 10 mg.

Celexa Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are a list of common symptoms that you may experience upon withdrawal from Celexa. Understand that you may experience a few of the symptoms, none of the symptoms, or most of the symptoms – it all depends on your individual circumstances. This list was created to help people so that they know what may occur during withdrawal.

  • Anxiety: The anxiety that you experience during withdrawal may be pretty severe. It may be so severe that you feel nervous everywhere you go and/or have panic attacks. This is a result of your brain being left without reuptake inhibition of serotonin.
  • Brain zaps: Most SSRIs can lead to a person experiencing “brain zaps” or electrical shock sensations upon withdrawal. These can be very uncomfortable and actually feel like your head is plugged into an electrical socket. Just know that these will subside the longer you are off the drug.
  • Concentration problems: Many people report that they are unable to focus during withdrawal. It may be difficult to complete work-related tasks or school work during withdrawal. In many cases the concentration problems are due to the fact that physical symptoms distract our mental focus. Additionally a person may feel mentally slow and/or foggy when they stop the medication – this is likely due to changes in levels of neurotransmitters.
  • Confusion: Your cognitive functioning can become impaired when you quit taking Celexa to the point of experiencing general confusion. This confusion may be a result of memory retrieval problems, but could also just be confused thinking.
  • Crying spells: Some people report increased depression to the point of crying spells. Low serotonin can cause people to cry excessively. You may cry more than you have in your entire life during a withdrawal. Know that these spells will lessen in severity and eventually stop.
  • Depression: Most people feel significantly worse when they stop taking Celexa in regards to depression. Many people feel as if their depression is actually worse than before they took this medication. This is a result of their brain no longer inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin to the degree that occurred on the medication. It will take an extended period of time to fully recover from the withdrawal depression.
  • Diarrhea: Some people experience an upset stomach to the point of diarrhea during their withdrawal.  This is not as common of a symptom as others, but can be difficult to deal with if you are dealing with this.  An easy solution for coping with this is to get some over-the-counter Imodium.
  • Dizziness: Feeling dizzy is one of the most common symptoms to experience during SSRI withdrawal. If you suddenly stop taking Celexa cold turkey, the dizziness is thought to be longer lasting and more profound than during a gradual taper. Either way, you are likely going to experience some degree of dizziness when you quit.  The longer you are off the drug, the more this symptom will improve.
  • Fatigue: You may feel excessively fatigued for awhile after you quit Celexa. It may be difficult to get out of bed in the morning or even make it through a work day. The tiredness and lethargy may be pretty severe. Just recognize that this will gradually improve and your energy levels will start to return over time.
  • Headaches: This is another classic symptom of SSRI withdrawal. Some people feel minor headaches for awhile, yet for others the headaches are pounding and feel more like migraines. Having a headache with dizziness is certainly uncomfortable – but both of these will gradually improve.
  • Insomnia: Since some people take Celexa for treating insomnia, it is no wonder that they may actually experience insomnia when they stop taking it. Additionally even if you have never had insomnia before taking this drug, you may experience it during withdrawal.
  • Irritability: Most people report a high amount of irritability in the first few weeks when they discontinue this drug. This is because the brain no longer is receiving the calming effect of the drug and it can be difficult to regulate emotions.
  • Memory problems: It is common to experience memory problems to the point that you think you have lost your memory. Although you haven’t likely lost any memory, your thinking may be impaired so that your memory retrieval is impaired. As you recover during withdrawal, this will eventually heal itself.
  • Mood swings: It’s very common to have bad mood swings when you stop taking Celexa. One minute you may feel pretty good, the next you may feel more depressed than ever. Just understand that these mood swings are all part of withdrawal. They may persist for a long time, but will eventually subside.
  • Nausea: Some people experience nausea when they first quit this drug. You may feel nauseated all day and in some cases, want to vomit. Most people do not have nausea extreme enough to lead to vomiting, but it can be a tough withdrawal symptom to deal with.
  • Sleep changes: It is very likely that your sleep cycle will be affected when you withdraw from this drug. You may notice that you have crazy dreams and/or that you aren’t able to get a good night’s sleep. You may sleep during the day and be unable to fall asleep at night. Just know that things will return to normal if given enough time.
  • Suicidal thoughts: It is very common to experience suicidal thoughts when discontinuing an antidepressant. Any SSRI that is withdrawn from is likely to lead a person to feeling suicidal. Many doctors view this as a worsening in depression, when in reality it is a result of antidepressants causing suicidality upon withdrawal.
  • Weight changes: Most people gain weight when they take Celexa – this is a result of serotonin changes. When a person stops taking this drug, they will likely drop the weight that they gained while taking the drug.  For more information read about antidepressants and weight gain.

Celexa Withdrawal Timeline: How long does it last?

Most doctors will tell you that the withdrawal symptoms should subside within a few weeks of withdrawal. If your symptoms subside within a few weeks, consider yourself lucky and in the minority. Most people experience withdrawal effects over a month after they have quit their medication. I recommend giving yourself at least 90 days before evaluating the withdrawal symptoms.

I have gone through my fair share of antidepressant withdrawals – including that from Celexa and have found that three months time is good for re-evaluation. The problem for most people is that the symptoms are so severe in the first few weeks of withdrawal that they feel as if their life will never be the same. During withdrawal it is important to do your best not to get caught up in the symptoms – rather focus on what you can do to recover as fast as possible.

Things that will help you recover quicker include: eating healthy, forcing yourself to get some light exercise, and getting a proper night’s sleep. If you are struggling to come to terms with symptoms and/or cope, be sure to talk to a therapist or professional about what you are experiencing. It can also be very helpful to talk to others on forums that are also going through Celexa withdrawal – many people that have experienced it are better to talk to because they actually “get it.”

Feel free to share your experience with the withdrawal process in the comments section below. This may give someone else some reassurance that they are not alone in dealing with difficult symptoms. I personally have withdrawn from this medication and know that it’s not easy, but I also know that as enough time passes, you will eventually experience a full recovery.

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{ 910 comments… add one }
  • Alex July 10, 2014, 9:36 pm

    Celexa can make you feel good and hyper, it’s after all an anti-depressant, can you explain how it causes a lower sex drive, and the weight gain, if low serotonin is supposed to be the cause of weight gain for appetite and craving of sugar, then how does ssri’s cause it?

    • GLOOM July 11, 2014, 2:20 pm

      SSRI’s tend to lower sex drive as a result of increasing serotonin… this may cause inhibitory mechanisms to override excitatory mechanisms in the brain, thus causing sexual problems. These are only theories. I will write an article on the topic when I get the chance. The weight gain is due to a number of different factors, here is an article I wrote on the topic: http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/04/29/antidepressants-and-weight-gain-what-causes-it/. To find relevant articles for your inquiries, use the search box in the upper right corner of the website. Thanks.

      • norma December 3, 2015, 11:27 pm

        I have just lost my job and insurance. I have been on 40mg of celexa for over 5 yrs. I started dropping the dosage to half for the past month. Now I am in my 2nd day of completely off the drug. I had brain zaps all day yesterday, but I continued on.

        Today I am not feeling so well. Nausea and feel like I am coming down with a cold. I know it is the drug. So not much appetite today, and I’m not sleeping well at all. I have a few sleeping pills left (generic brand name is eszopiclone). I tried Melatonin and that did nothing for me.

        So I will work through this as well. I really have no choice. So I will give myself a month or so to see how I do. I hope there is light at the end of this tunnel. I am also trying to get off my Thyroid medication at the same time. I cut that back to half a dose as well for the last month.

        So my body doesn’t understand what the heck is going on. I have to educate myself to eat and exercise in order to get off all these drugs. I am on my SS check now. I am not old enough for the Medicare yet. I am 63 and will be 64 in two months. So I don’t qualify for the medical part for another year.

        But money is going to be very tight. I have to learn to live without a great many things. Right now I am just trying to get through the withdrawal of celexa and my thyroid. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

        • Melody December 9, 2015, 4:40 pm

          Another thing… if you are having anxiety while withdrawing from Celexa you may want to consider taking propranolol. It is used for treating high blood pressure in higher doses, but lower doses it is used for social anxiety. It is the ONLY med that has ever worked for me for this. It is also helping me now with the anxiety that’s coming with the withdrawals from Celexa and Depakote.

          I find I have to take it 2 or even three times a day now that I’m cold turkey off of celexa, but I know it has no withdrawal symptoms so when I get off of Celexa I can stop using propranolol on a regular basis and only use it for social anxiety issues. Propranolol is a generic and should not cost you very much either.

          • Max August 11, 2016, 11:29 am

            Melody – I have done the same thing, the propranolol helps a lot, even with the “brain zaps” which make me tremendously anxious.

            2 or 3 times a day keeps my heart rate down and helps me control the shocks going through my body. I recommend it to anyone who is coming off of Celexa.

        • Yajaira December 31, 2015, 6:44 am

          Hang on my friend. Today is my 6th day without celexa, at the beginning felt really sick, nausea, pounding headache, dizziness, lightheaded. It’s getting better now. At least I don’t have the nausea which was the worst for me, but I know I can make it! You too! I’ve been on it for almost 6 years and for other situations I decided to quit taking them.

          • Jan January 30, 2016, 7:27 pm

            I am coming off of Celexa (citalopram) right now. My previous doctor had me on 120 mg a day. I am down to 80 and will drop again in 5 days. I have so many of the symptoms that are referenced . I am in the brain fog and headache stage. They decided to get me off of it because it at the dose I have been on has caused what they call Prolonged QT Syndrome. It affects your heart. They say that it will improve and will no longer be a problem when I am off of this drug. Feeling very frustrated.

          • Teresa June 6, 2016, 10:02 pm

            Did you quit cold turkey or little at a time? Thank you.

          • Robert July 9, 2016, 9:24 pm

            I wish you well, and also say hang in there. Do what you can about looking for new work and about those other things you can impact. Those things you cannot impact should be left to their own resolution, not added to your list of worries. I myself have just stopped Citalopram, after roughly 10 years at 30mg. I am also between projects and strapped for funds. So you’re not alone.

            Just please do like I do: Keep your focus on getting back into focus, into work, into growing and continuing to make a stab at a good life. Remember who you are, that you have friends out there, family too, and the kindnesses of people yet to be met. You are NOT alone. Best regards and a hug, my friend.

          • Sarah September 9, 2016, 10:18 pm

            It was brought to my attention by my Gastroenterologist the horrible and frightening side effects of Citalopram. I have candida in my esophagus and have to be put on fluconazole to treat the yeast and pantoprazole for my reflux. The interaction of these medications significantly increases the chance of torsades de pointes which is an electrical issue with your heart that can cause heart attacks.

            After reading up on Citalopram, the chance of torsades de pointes increases with age, the dose that your on, etc. I am weaning off of it now and welcome the not so fun side effects in knowing I will be off such a horrible drug. I’m sorry for your misfortune but coming of Citalopram is a blessing in disguise!

          • JP October 6, 2016, 12:32 pm

            I was recently prescribed 10mg citalopram for anxiety attacks which I took for 7 days. My last tablet was 4 weeks ago. I stopped taking them because of the side effects at the time. Over the last 4 weeks I’ve had terrible insomnia and have no erections at all. Is this normal and can I expect this to last for 4-12 weeks?

          • Alysha October 22, 2016, 9:13 am

            Yajaira, how many mg were you taking? I’m on 40mg and if without it for one day, by evening I have brain zaps, nausea, on edge, moody and just feel sick. I took cymbalta for 5 years and now celexa for 6 years. Not even 24 hours without it is too much for me… I can’t imagine days without it. I think I’m gonna taper off instead of cold turkey.

          • Amy Davey October 31, 2016, 3:06 pm

            Yajaira, if you still are getting emails, can I ask you how long it took to get over the withdraws and are you back to normal now? I was only on 10 mg for 5 weeks and now 10 days off and it is kicking my butt to say the least.

        • Dallas February 3, 2016, 2:28 pm

          I was on 40mg of celexa for quite some time and have been off the drug for approx. 1 month. How I got off this medication was I first prayed to God. I asked him to give me the knowledge, the understanding, and the strength to get off this. I leaned on the Lord’s strength – not my own. I tapered off the drug, first going to 20mg for a few weeks, then to 10mg, then to 5mg.

          Most of the side effects listed above were present, yet do not be discouraged by this. These side-effects are a raw sign that your body is returning to the non-medicated version of yourself. I would always advise telling your doctor, or a walk-in clinic, of your choosing of getting off celexa. This is to ensure any health conditions that you have do not spike when starting the withdrawing process.

          What helped me continue to be successful at this whole ordeal was knowing that there is always hope, there is always someone who cares, and there is always someone to lean on!!!! I am praying for you all!!! WE GOT THIS!!!! :):):):) All my love!!!!!!! – Dallas :)

          • Angela Pride February 4, 2016, 1:15 am

            I just started tapering from 40mg to 20mg 2days ago. I’m ready for the ride. Thanks for your prayers.

          • Cathy March 2, 2016, 10:24 pm

            When Walgreens changed the manufacturer of my generic celexa I started having internal tremors HEADACHES and NUMEROUS heart palpitations! I was on 40 mg for about 3 yrs and was doing good. Every time Walgreens decide to go to cheaper generics I run into trouble. One med I was taking was actually pulled off the market by the FDA, so I lost trust. THIS time I have decided to save myself!

            I had 20 mg tabs still from other manufacturer so I switched to that dose. I also researched CBD Oil (hemp oil). I started myself on Charlotte’s Web while on the 20 mg tablets for a week and a half. Now I have stopped the celexa completely and am treating myself with only Charlotte’s Web I am having GREAT success with this oil!!

            I am experiencing headaches but have NO internal tremors OR heart palpitations since I started on Charolette’s Web 1 & 1/2 weeks ago!!! Please do your own research on CBD Oil. I chose Charlotte’s Web after studying. Charlottes Web is manufactured by the Stanley Brothers. I am feeling SO much better! I am telling everyone about CBD oil! It is costly but MAN am I feeling GOOD!!

          • Shy July 30, 2016, 12:26 pm

            Hi Dallas… I took one single 20mg & never took it again. I feel worse than I ever felt. Very nervous when I wake up, feeling drunk. I call for God every min. Of the day. I’m writing because you mentioned God & I would like for you to pray for me. It’s been a week now & I’m still feeling weird. I will also keep you in my prayers. Thank you Dallas & God bless you… Take care.

          • Cas August 1, 2016, 1:37 am

            Thanks Dallas for your comment!

          • soozy August 10, 2016, 10:07 pm

            I was just in hospital for liver inflammation. When I went in, I was on 10mg citalopram, and I took 10mg of generic Ambien to sleep (well, I might add)…ERs have put me on a bazillion steroids etc to fight inflammation and took me off the citalopram cold turkey (thank god it was only ten), and cut my ambience to 5mg… I’m no stranger to what this stuff does, and add steroids, talk about anxiety!

            It’s been two weeks…years ago, when I got my first computer, I found a site of folks who were getting off PAXIL, and helping others do same… thank GOD for those folks, I had no clue how slow weaning can be… and the zaps!! And getting confused and crying… ugh… took me four attempts to really cut it loose! So I had no choice to wean this time, at a most stressful point already with my new liver diagnosis…

            And I’m also weaning myself off of the steroids, carefully, and with guidance… to the lady who is weaning this and her thyroid meds at same time, I say, Dont do this without a naturopath or knowledge or help of some kind… too much on you at once. Good luck all of you… Sooz

          • Molly August 25, 2016, 5:44 pm

            Your post above was very helpful… I am weaning and experiencing all of the noted symptoms. Feared that this was my “norm” off the drug and it scared the crap out of me. I will be patient and focus on the end result of being drug free and back to old self. Thanks!

          • Carol September 24, 2016, 10:00 pm

            Dollar you really want to make me keep going as I’m also a month off cipramil. Your words are inspiring. Big thanks to you.

          • Beth October 6, 2016, 2:06 pm

            Dallas, thank you for your encouragement. I’m also praying to God. It is my second day and counting off of this drug. At my highest, my psychiatrist had me at 60 mg. a day. After he retired, I got a new psychiatrist who worked with me to reduce my dosage. For the last year and a half, I have tapered down to between 25-35 mg, varying depending on my mood and the seasons.

            Anytime, I went lower than say 30, I would be noticeably more depressed, so I always went up. I’ve been at 35mg for about three months. But this week, I finally made up my mind to quit this drug. I’ve been taking it since I was 19 – I’m 37. I’m so tired of being tired – I feel older than my age. My husband comments that for the amount I sleep (plenty), it’s got to be the drug that makes me fatigued all the time.

            Plus, it has always negatively impacted my libido. I’ve decided to go cold turkey from this dosage… I know this is discouraged, but I’m determined. I want off of this drug once and for all. I feel the side effects mitigate the benefits and even the benefits seem to have worn off over the years. Thank you for your encouragement!

          • Katy November 9, 2016, 8:12 pm

            Dallas, it gave me a lot of hope reading your comment. I’ve been taking 20mg of Citalopram for over a year and a half. In August I lost my job and just didn’t get around to obtaining new insurance and decided to use it as an opportunity to try and get off of the medication. It was probably end of September or early October that I took my last dose and lately I’ve been experiencing terrible symptoms (withdrawal I’m assuming?).

            My anxiety is so bad that I came to the conclusion that I would need to go back on Citalopram now that I have insurance again. I’m lethargic, depressed, fatigued, and I definitely experienced the dizziness this morning. But seeing this has given me hope to fight through the symptoms and give it more time. Thanks!

          • Robin November 28, 2016, 11:50 pm

            Cathy, I’m going to give the CBD Oil a try coming off 40mg. I just ordered the Charlotte’s Web as you suggested. I will start by going from my 40mg dose to 20mg. I’ve been on Celexa for about 2 years. My depression has been worse over the past month or so… I’m not worried about the withdrawals, I came off of Cymbalta and that was the worst experience of my life!!! I’ve come off of many other SSRIs without trouble… praying I have the same experience now. Excited to see how the CBD Oil works for me as a supplement.

        • Joyce March 3, 2016, 5:55 pm

          Norma, I found that when I added Chelated Magnesium with the Melatonin, I slept better.

        • Nicole March 17, 2016, 4:54 pm

          Norma, You should get prices because I’ve found Celexa and the generic to be fairly inexpensive! :)

          • DeAnna March 19, 2016, 6:30 am

            Also, check with any manufacturer of meds. They have programs for free or reduced price due to financial hardship. Different criteria for different companies.

        • Patrick May 18, 2016, 2:19 pm

          I’m sorry for your situation. I hope it’s improved since you wrote that entry to now. I would suggest a couple of things. First, don’t go without meds. If you have a CVS pharmacy near you and you use a AAA card you can get a significant discount on Rx meds. Next, I would apply for Social Security disability.

          This will allow you to collect your full 65 y/o amount as well as qualify for Medicare and the Rx plan that goes with it. You might have to appeal a decision but any money you would collect would be retroactive to the date of application. Again, I’m so sorry for your situation. I hope this gives you options. Good luck and God bless.

          • Shan September 26, 2016, 10:10 am

            If you google blink health. Com then you can get any generic medication for dirt cheap. I believe 90 day Celexa was 5 dollars. And you don’t need insurance for this, it’s basically used for people without insurance. You pay online then take the printout to any affiliated pharmacy and they abide by your print out and give you your meds.

            It has worked for numerous friends and I’m about to do this as well. Good luck. I’m coming off cold turkey Celexa 40mg and been 3 days and nothing yet but I know it’s coming. I say bring it on cause I’m stronger than some pill! And my God is always by my side!

        • Cindy May 19, 2016, 12:08 am

          Citalopram, the generic of Celexa is now a $4.00 monthly script in the UNITED STATES. Not sure where you live.

          • Jennifer August 2, 2016, 7:04 pm

            It was at Kroger and they dropped it from their $4 prescription list this summer and it went up to around $20 a month.

        • HypoToo May 23, 2016, 8:11 pm

          Why are you trying to stop your thyroid meds? You should never stop taking those. If you have Hypothyroidism, you need that medicine and it can really mess up your body and metabolism is you stop taking it.

        • Barbara June 7, 2016, 11:22 am

          Why in the world would you get off your thyroid medication? Most people are on it because you have to be. I am weaning off celexa after 20 years. With weight gain and dizziness. But I don’t have to be on it. Make sure you check with your Dr on thyroid medication. RN from Texas.

        • Jane June 28, 2016, 3:17 am

          I’m so sorry for all of that. If we lived in a country that cared about all of its citizens, we wouldn’t have to deal with this. You shouldn’t have had to come off the Celexa abruptly and you really need that thyroid medication. I hope you’re hanging in there.

        • Sue July 7, 2016, 5:30 pm

          I have been on Celexa 20 milligrams for 5 years. I have been slowly withdrawing cutting my dose in half for a couple of weeks. I has been down to to 2.5 milligrams the last 2 days. I feel very tired and depressed. But I hope this is just a side effect and not going back to my original state of depression.

          • Fredrik September 17, 2016, 5:05 am

            Hi Sue! Saw your post and recognized the situation. Not sure what you should do but perhaps you might find hope and get some ideas. You had the right idea, slow tapering reduces the side effects.

            But… the thing is it takes time for the brain to adjust. Not sure how long it takes. But I stayed on the same reduced dose for 4-5 weeks sometimes longer. First weeks were always okey. At 3-4 week I started to feel tired and depressed. It was like that for 3-4 days… then I couldn’t stand it and took an extra dose.

            Next day I was okey and later I could continue tapering. And eventually reach 0. Hope it works out for you!!

        • Jan September 30, 2016, 5:23 am

          See if you can qualify for patient assistance for your meds, at least for your thyroid meds. I am on celexa forever now and also on nature thyroid and also Seroquel so I know about the expense of all of it. Also look into Rx outreach, they are great.

        • Kal October 4, 2016, 11:03 pm

          @norma, I am slightly concerned that you are weaning yourself off both your antidepressant and thyroid medication at the same time. I am a clinician myself and I hope you have been told that you should no longer be using your thyroid medication? Often problems with the thyroid, as you may well know, can lead to problems with low mood and anxiety. You may be making things a lot worse by coming off the thyroid medication as well.

          It’s generally advised that if you have been on an antidepressant for more than 6 months you should come off very slowly in a step-by-step weaning way with regular follow up with your doctor. I would say for you at least 8 weeks, given you have been taking it for 5 years, note it may be much longer, perhaps several months. Sometimes during this time you may need to go up and down until you feel your body can adjust to the gradual reduction.

          Ideally having to therapy as well, making sure you have a good sleep routine and exercising regularly all help. Obviously I know nothing about your past medical history but I really hope you get some advice from a doctor soon. I am a doctor working and living in the UK.

        • Tootie October 8, 2016, 11:07 pm

          NEVER stop your thyroid medication!!! It is a must!

        • Zizi October 20, 2016, 1:39 am

          40 mg is a large dose I think reducing it to the half is not good idea, I think it is better to decrease 5 or 10 mg each time. This will make withdrawal symptoms less severe for you.

        • Cole November 29, 2016, 8:02 am

          Please go back on your thyroid medication. It is essential for life. You will never be stable off the antidepressants. Your body needs the hormone. Explore with doctor ways to reduce cost.

      • Linda March 21, 2016, 5:46 pm

        I’ve taken myself off celexa with the help of my doctor. It took me six weeks of decreasing my dosage and am off it completely. The withdrawal symptoms I have are these irritating feelings of hearing my eyes move. Maybe it’s what is being called brain zaps. I feel much better physically, though. I still have a problem with constipation and have been working on eating better and taking a laxative when I have to.

        • Natasha May 24, 2016, 1:52 am

          Linda, you are lucky to have a doctor like that. I went to my PCP that switched me to 20mg of celexa from zoloft 2 years, and she told me to just stop taking it cold turkey. I’ve been trying to quit it cold turkey as well as tapering myself off of it for the past year (5 unsuccessful attempts so far).

          That’s why I went to her in the first place. Didn’t expect that suggestion at all. It’s been seriously rough. I tapered myself down to 10mg with feeling ok, so I decided to stop it all together a week ago. Had a horrible meltdown and a crying spell yesterday, and having mad headache, concentration issues, and brain zaps today.

          I am starting a new job in 2 weeks, and was really hoping to use this time window to get through this. I feel like I am losing this battle again. This drug is a pure nightmare!

          • Jyme June 10, 2016, 7:50 pm

            Natasha, I have been on citalopram (celexa) since 2002. My body must have been getting use to it. It didn’t seem like it was working like it should. I was getting anxiety and panic attacks plus crying for know reason. I slowly went from 40 mg to 20 mg to 10 mg. Then I cut the pill in half and was taking 10 mg every other day.

            I am still having anxiety, panic attacks and feeling funny at times. The Dr just put me on Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) 37.5 mg capsules. She said this should help with anxiety and panic attacks. Plus I take Xanax to help until the pills kicks in which is about 2 weeks. Hope this helps you. 😟

        • Michelle September 8, 2016, 2:57 am

          Linda – I have the same issue with hearing my eyes move. It’s an odd a creepy feeling! Good luck with your journey!

      • Michelle September 8, 2016, 3:04 am

        I had been on 10 to 20 mg of Celexa for about 5 years. My doctor put me on 40 mg in January and within months I gained close to 30 lbs. I have been weaning myself off since May. The head zaps were the worst for me. Foggy feeling. Confusion. I would take 10 mg when I couldn’t function with the side effects.

        It took until 2 weeks ago for me to take my last 10 mg tablet. I am so thrilled! I have still have very minor symptoms. I know I am still working it out of my system. Has anyone gained weight and then lost it once you stopped taking it? Thanks in advance!

    • Aaron B January 20, 2015, 11:44 pm

      I have been on the drug probably for 8-10 years. I was on 20-30mg at first then 40mg, as close as 2-3 years ago and then tapering 10mg every 6-9 months. I am proud to say that I’m currently drug free as of 4 days ago. It’s been ok as my tapering was very gradual, but symptoms are undeniably there: however I’m emotionally in a pretty decent place: not depressed (a bit moody perhaps), and I think I can lend that to support of my gf and Yoga and light excercise at least every other day and preferably every day.

      The symptoms I am experiencing that are affecting me are dizziness, lethargy slight nausea, diarrhea, headaches (from minor to moderate and sometimes they go away), clouded and discombobulated and slow thinking. I however I’m confident in my journey and so proud of myself for starting on this new chapter and confronting head on (with emotional groundedness) these symptoms. Advice to all on here: the key is reminding yourself that these symptoms are not forever and with patience you will be back to normal and when you are back to normal you will appreciate your old self even more having gone through the rough patch of withdrawal. Stay strong y’all!

      • Stephanie March 12, 2015, 11:35 pm

        I too have been off celexa 40mg for 5 days now! I took it for 6 years. I was so scared to stop taking it that the fear and anxiety have stopped me from taking that step! So I decided it was just time to do it! I have had some mild headaches, a little upset stomach, bad dreams, and the worst is this dizzy feeling when I turn my head! I just know it will all be worth it in the end! Gaining 80 lbs and feeling miserable just wasn’t worth it anymore!! I know tomorrow when I wake up it will be day 6 with no harsh medicine and one day closer to feeling better!!! One day at a time!!!!

        • Jason March 22, 2015, 5:52 pm

          Great for you Stefanie! I am currently on day 3 without any celexa. Yes, the WD symptoms are absolutely horrible especially the dizziness, brain zaps, confusion, and headaches, but it will be worth it in the end.

          • Terri sloan August 9, 2015, 4:34 pm

            I have been off 20mg of citalopram for approximately a month. At first the nausea was pretty bad, but it has lessened. It is still there, but not as bad. My main problem is tiredness and the brain zaps. I hate the brain zaps! They are frustrating! I was on citalopram for about 5 years. I am weepy and a little depressed, but the brain zaps are the worst things. I hope they stop soon. Oh, and my memory isn’t very well right now. Sometimes I have to search for words that I have known for ages. Come on 90 days, be done and over with.

        • Ali April 12, 2015, 11:13 am

          Well done Stephanie. I’ve been tapering off for the last few months and decided to take the plunge and stop taking it entirely about 4 days ago. I think the dizziness is the worst thing, plus I’m irritable which is exacerbated by the dizziness as it’s annoying! I know what you mean, I was getting fed up with the effect on my sex drive and the weight gain was getting me down. Hopefully I’ve learned enough coping techniques to get me through any anxiety problems in the future without the need for antidepressants.

          • Katie April 24, 2015, 2:39 pm

            I am now 5 weeks off of a 7 year, 20mg/day dose of Celexa. The buzzing/shocks in my head have almost completely subsided. I had one tiny one yesterday. I, too, had strange dreams for about 3 weeks. I took the med for anxiety symptoms, not depressive symptoms. I have had no return of symptoms, but I have noticed that I cry easily – at Humane Society commercials, listening to friend’s difficult family issues, and while listening to my daughter’s high school senior class adviser talks about how wonderful and special the kids have been for the past 4 years! I’m a blubbering mess!!! When will this pass?

        • Rachael May 16, 2015, 12:26 am

          Wow, I have finally found somebody who understands that horrible feeling of your brain being left behind when you turn your head :-)

          • Laura May 29, 2015, 10:09 pm

            I totally understand that feeling! I had mild anxiety and have come off meds about a week ago. It’s so weird every time I get up to walk I feel as if my head has not caught up with me yet! I’m glad I’m not the only one! Good luck to you all. It’ll be worth coming off them I am sure!

          • Julie June 16, 2015, 3:25 pm

            I am so glad to have found this site – I’ve been feeling as if I am going crazy! This is exactly what I’ve been experiencing – brain zaps, and this feeling of “leaving your brain behind when you turn your head.” I love that description, as this is EXACTLY what it feels like :-) This is just my third day of no Cit at all – have been weaning down for a month now. I was planning on getting back on it when I went to the doctor today, but after reading this will discuss other options… :-)

          • Emma August 10, 2015, 10:41 pm

            I’m not glad other people are going through it but I am glad someone understands!! I thought I was literally going crazy when I would turn around to look behind me in the car or anything like that it’s literally like my brain is shaking.

          • Daniel August 18, 2015, 8:26 pm

            I forgot to pick up my prescription 40ml citalopram and it’s been 5 days without it, I can’t even walk straight anymore, I heard a noise behind me, turned to look without thinking and thought I was going to pass out for a few seconds.

            I plan to taper myself off this drug asap, this is not worth going through twice.

          • Tracy September 9, 2015, 11:00 am

            I have been off of 40mg for about a week and the dizziness is just awful. I’m so glad to have found this site which makes me feel better about it. I was wondering if this was normal. It’s really bad when you turn your head and your brain is left behind. ha! I love that explanation as it describes the feeling exactly. Good luck to everyone. Hope this doesn’t last too long.

          • Pez September 11, 2015, 6:32 pm

            I have been taking Citalopram for the last few months as I was anxious, suffered hot flushes & was feeling very depressed & found taking it made my hot flushes much worse & my sex drive went out the window! I also experienced ringing in my ears & decided to wean myself off. I reduced the dosage to half for a few weeks, then took the half dose every other day for a week.

            It is early days, but already the hot flushes are lessening, but I am waking up at odd times in the night & finding if hard to wake up in the mornings. Not good as I have kids to get up for college. I have also put on nearly 20lbs & feel bloated & like I have fluid retention. I have in the past tried Prozac, Sertraline & numerous other antidepressants but the side effects all seem to outweigh the benefits. Good luck to all coming off Citalopram, I wish I had never started taking it in the first place.

          • Jennifer October 2, 2015, 12:38 am

            You are the first person to describe it exactly the same way I do!!

          • Eibenschotte October 6, 2015, 1:15 am

            LOL! That’s a good way to describe it! I also felt for several days like I’d just gotten off a roller coaster, then experienced your symptoms. Been off it for a month; still a little bit of the irritability. I LOVE the strange dreams.

          • JF McHugh January 11, 2016, 12:56 am

            Rachael, I also am experiencing that sense of leaving brain behind when turning head. That sensation seems like a better description than light-headedness. Also, irritability has been significant with my week of going cold turkey.

          • Hannah April 2, 2016, 4:05 pm

            I started taking celexa 8months ago 20 mg/day for anxiety and I know I was on it a lot shorter than most of you guys, but I didn’t want to take it anymore because basically, life got a lot less stressful. I am on day 3 of being completely off of it and yesterday at work I had to go home because of the brain zaps but my doctor didn’t warn me about any symptoms so I had no idea what was going on!!

            This morning I woke up feeling like I had a cold and could barely stand in the shower because the brain zaps were so bad. They happen about every 10-20 seconds and the zapping starts at my head and goes down to my arms, and I am wondering if this is normal? I’ve also been having diarrhea and getting very moody and sad.

            Since I was on it for such a short time, will these side effects go away faster? I can barley get out of bed the dizziness is so bad, I could use some advice on if I can take anything or do anything to help this!!

          • Stacy April 12, 2016, 10:58 pm

            I get that weird dizzy feeling when I turn my head too! I have been completely off my 40mg of Celexa (taken for about 7-8 years) for about a month. I have been super depressed, moody, angry. I was on Celexa for severe anxiety and that hasn’t fully returned, but it’s still there. I have been getting some queasiness and hot flashes the last few days. Hope this all goes away soon!!!

          • Jenn May 1, 2016, 4:57 pm

            I know that feeling too! Almost makes me feel like I will lose my balance. I have been on celexa for a year. Just 10 mg but I have been weaning off and then went cold turkey. I began having heart flutters, followed by a quick sort of blip in my head, I can’t explain it well. I would just for a split second feel like I may lose balance then I was fine until the next flutter.

            I have been very fatigued, huge headaches, all over crappy feeling. I find I am ok in the morning after sleeping but in the early afternoon completely crash. I think after three weeks of this now it is beginning to wane a bit. I feel nervous, like I should be supporting my ability to make serotonin better…something. Any thoughts? Thank you. Jenn

          • Jodi July 4, 2016, 5:37 pm

            I’m so happy to hear others describing these symptoms! The dizziness, nausea, and brain zaps are awful! It was nice to hear people discuss the brain zaps. Every time I turn my head, I hear a wooshing sound. I liked how some said it was like they could hear their eyes moving. I’ve been off 20mg for about a week, and some days feel like the symptoms are worsening.

            I’m a single mom, and ride horses for a living. I’m finding it very hard to cope with the withdrawals. I stopped because the only effect I noticed from the drug was weight gain. I think that depressed me more than anything. I’m actually upset with my doctor for putting me on this drug. I’ve never had withdrawals from any other antidepressant.

          • Grace October 26, 2016, 11:45 pm

            LOL!!! Exactly! I went to the Dr today (we moved across state so have to get new Dr) I thought for sure I had a double ear infection. Just feeling kinda lousy and moving my head makes me feel like my brain and eyes are sloshing around! I’ve been on 40mg for 2 years for PTSD depression and anxiety. I decided I’m sick of relying on meds and want to see how I am doing without them.

            I decided to taper off… I cut my 40mg dose in half about 5 days ago. The dreams I find kinda interesting. Dizziness and tired are all I’m experiencing. Although I did start to tear up today… It’s funny though, I asked the pharmacist today how long between tapering down doses he thought. He said 3 days!!!! Yikes!

            I don’t think my brain can handle taking all the serotonin away at once like that. I think I need to give it a chance to make more first! I’m going to try the melatonin and magnesium together tonight like someone suggested. I never know which night i’m going to not sleep or sleep to much. Stay strong everyone!! 🤘🏻

        • Matt July 10, 2015, 5:09 am

          I’ve been off it for 5 days, cold turkey, after taking 40mg for 2 & 1/2 years… Unfortunately, it hasn’t been by choice. I’m recovering from a third foot surgery and can’t drive, and simply ran out lol… I’m experiencing pretty severe nausea/dizziness, as well as an almost complete inability to focus on anything. I’ll load up a video game and lose interest before even starting… I’ll turn on the TV, and be unable to find anything I want to watch. It’s really frustrating.

          • Shawna July 21, 2015, 5:37 pm

            I have been out of my Celexa for 4 days also not by choice. I have 3 refills just can’t afford to get filled for 3 more days. I’ve been nauseous for the last 2 days and then today I had a terrible headache and the only thing I had to take for it was some Theraflu, half the cup down I felt it coming I barely made it to the bathroom before covering the wall with vomit. I’ve been on Celexa for 3 years at 20mgs, it has been a life changer for me. I have lived with depression most of my life and have tried many different meds and this one works the best.

          • Eibenschotte October 7, 2015, 12:20 am

            Well, it’s now Oct.-how’d you make out?

        • Karla Botts August 13, 2015, 2:46 am

          I took Celexa for 2 years and tapered off slowly, starting in January 2015. It’s now August 12th. I’ve been off for 3 weeks now. I’m experiencing a whirlwind of side effects. Nausea, diarrhea, depression, crying spells. I’ve had a few good days mixed in too. But, fell and broke my shoulder in June, now in PT for frozen shoulder. That is painful.

          Was allergic to all pain meds they gave me so…nothing for pain. I also am feeling heart palpitations quite often. I don’t know if you went cold Turkey or not, sounds like it, but I did that once with paxil and wanted to die. I ended up back on it. I’m guessing I’ll be taking lots of Imodium. Good luck.

          • Reggie October 16, 2015, 3:37 pm

            I have been off Celexa 40 mg for 3 months. After tapering off, I felt fine for the first 3 weeks or so and now my anxiety is so high again. I’m jittery and feel I’m losing my mind. I can’t cope with things well at all and cry constantly. My friends, coworker and boss have noticed the difference. I just don’t know what to do. I called my doctor today and am hopefully going to hear from her on Monday to see if there is anything I can do.

          • Confused February 23, 2016, 5:08 am

            How did things end up going? You must be almost a year free now. Did it get better?

        • Randy August 16, 2015, 6:20 am

          Great job Stephanie! Your post was 6 months ago and I’m hoping you are doing well. I went cold turkey from Cymbalta in 2009 and the withdrawal was a lot worse than Celexa cessation. I just quit Celexa 5 days ago and I’m ignoring the symptoms. I read up on them and know they are going to happen, so I shine them on.

          So far I’ve experienced the weird dreams that also happen when you miss a dose. Brain zaps, but I stay active anyways and ignore them. Lethargic, dim witted.

          I too am looking forward to getting the 25 pounds off that diet and exercise could not touch.

          Thanks for the encouraging post.

          • Isabel December 3, 2015, 12:51 am

            Just cannot believe what I am reading from these pages. Exactly what my I have been experiencing. I’ve only been off for about three weeks and the tiredness and insomnia not to say about the Brain Zaps. Well I’m so glad I’m not alone. I am so fed up with the bloatedness when I am eating healthy. And have gained weight over past Month since easing myself of citalopram 20mg till now. Over half a stone gain already. Hope it stops soon. Thanks to you all for your comments. I’m so glad I’m not alone. -Isabel

        • Danny Martin January 25, 2016, 4:49 am

          Hi Stephanie, I’m going on my 7th day with no Celexa. It’s been pretty rough. I too am having trouble with the dizziness. When I turn my head it feels like I’m on a roller coaster ride. I hope it gets better. Also, I’m having headaches too.

        • Catherine January 31, 2016, 2:50 pm

          It’s so helpful to have found this site. I’ve been off celexa for 6 weeks now and it’s has been far from easy. Doing it in January probably wasn’t the best idea either. This past week has been really hard because I’m experiencing some pretty hardcore anxiety. I was on 40mg and tapered down to 10mg.

          I was on it for 10 years. I was doing ok for about 4 weeks, but it’s bad again. I don’t know if this is still my brain going through withdraw or just how my brain works. I feel like I did 10 years ago when I went off. Has anyone else experienced this?

          • Michele June 3, 2016, 4:04 pm

            Hi Catherine, I am where you were at in Jan and wondered how you are now? I had no anxiety or paranoia for the first month after coming off 20 mg citalopram, but these symptoms are slowly creeping back in. My hope is that it is part of withdrawal but I just don’t know??

          • Susan October 3, 2016, 3:39 am

            I have been off Celexa for 3 1/2 weeks after taking it for 16 years. My Dr. told me to taper off and gave me written instructions on how to. I was on 20mg and she had me decrease 5mg each month. I started this journey in May 2016 and it is now October. This has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done!! I am Celexa free at last but I am still having some side effects, zip zaps are number one but the intensity of them is less by far.

            I think I had every listed side effect but all are improving as time passes so don’t give up or in because this too will pass. I am 61 years old and if I can do this so can you! My best advice is to be good to yourself and take your time, this is not a quick fix method but it is working for me and I know it will work for you too.

            I promise that you will feel better with each passing day and the side effects will lessen with time. Hang in there my friends, YOU CAN DO IT!!

        • Brenda February 1, 2016, 1:40 am

          Stephanie you and I stopped on the same day! Same symptoms same everything you said! Reading your comments made me feel alot better! I just want to say thank you for posting that info. And wish you the very best!!!

      • Ann marie April 26, 2015, 10:07 pm

        My story is very similar. Started on Prozac 10 years ago and spent the last 8 years on citalopram with doses as high as 40 until I reached my stable dose of 20 mg probably for the last 4 out of the 8 years. January 19 I decided enough! Started going from 20 to 15mg then over the next 3 months I got down to 2.5mg. I started supplementing with 5-HTP, GABA, tyrosine, and did not struggle with the side affects of reduced dosage. But 1 week after the last 2.5mg dosage the dizziness started and that has been awful.

        I am so lightheaded and confused and it’s making me have memory issues, really irritable and feeling scared that I will need to go back on the citalopram just to cope. Reading your response and all the others have made me feel a bit more hopeful and determined to wait at least another 2-3 weeks to see if these side effects improve and I find a sense of contentment. I didn’t feel like the citalopram was even doing such a great job after all those yeas I have been so determined to get off it! Just hope it’s not a long time off to feel happy again! Thanks for all the inspiring comments. Good luck. -Annmarie

        • Lozza December 25, 2015, 9:46 pm

          I have been off citalopram 20mg for approx 2 weeks now and today is my worst. I’m dizzy, bloated, and have slept most of the day. I’m forgetting things / not knowing what I’m saying. I didn’t know what was up with me then it twigged!! I was so close to just restarting them until I read the comments… Fingers crossed I can get through this and start New Year free from the drug and lose the 2 stone I have gained over the last 2 years.

          • Carol M. December 30, 2015, 6:02 am

            I have to interject somewhere here. I’ve been on Celexa for a number of years now and my doctor wants me to go off of them due to a possible medication interaction with another medication. My thought is this. If many of us have suffered from depression for let’s say a good or fair portion of our lives, is that going to magically go away?

            Isn’t that why we needed to take the stuff to start with? Is the seratonin and whatever else our brains were lacking in to start with going to magically be there once we are weened from our meds? I am going to do what I need to do to go off of the Celexa. I’m just my third day into this and I can already feel something is rearing its ugly head. Does anyone have the chills?

            I guess if we’re going to have brain zaps, the chills should fall in there somewhere. Ha! I’ve had those brain zaps before but I can’t recall from what… Anyway, I wish everyone the very best and maybe we can all say when this is all over that we no longer feel depressed. And I truly mean with all that is good and right, I really do wish everyone the best of health. Happy New Year!! 🎉😭

        • Colleen December 3, 2016, 7:05 am

          I have been off of citalopram about 1.5 weeks. I have taken it for almost 10 years. Emotions are fairly good but I do get weepy easily and moments of depression sneak up on me occasionally but I can talk myself out of it. No anxiety which is amazing. On the downside I am super dizzy and nauseous. Hot and cold and not able to eat very much. :( I’m in it for the long haul though and need to give myself time outs sometimes having two teens an infant and toddler.

      • therese May 25, 2015, 12:33 am

        I’ve been 4 days celexa free, went cold turkey. I’ve been fine so far. The only thing I’ve experienced so far is a bad dream. I don’t think the meds were helping me all that much either. Going to exercise to help push through.

        • Crystal April 29, 2016, 6:37 pm

          I had taken Celexa for 2 years. I become depressed after my grandmother’s death. My doctor thought it was time to wean me off. I’ve now been off the Celexa for one month today. Last night, I had a very rapid heart rate and felt like I was coming down with something. I’ve had chills for about 4 days, off and on. I’m praying all this is withdrawal symptoms.

      • Carla July 10, 2015, 10:31 pm

        Hello, I have just read your post and it has given me some support as so far I have not found someone who has taken the drug for a longer period (5 years) and at 40mg…I have just started the process of weaning myself of 40mg to 30mg and so far (2weeks) its not been too bad…do you have any tips you could give me? You have achieved so much! Very inspirational… Take care, Carla

        • Randy August 16, 2015, 6:28 am

          Carla, I hope you are doing well without the celexa. I am a week off of a 40mg dose for 5 years and experiencing the normal withdrawal symptoms. I substituted celexa for cymbalta in 2009 after I was laid off and couldn’t afford the cymbalta any longer.

          The withdrawal symptoms from cymbalta were much worse, but I knew they would go away and that they weren’t worth getting anxious over. The key is to not let the withdrawal get to you, knowing the negative stuff WILL go away.

        • Yajaira December 31, 2015, 7:08 am

          Hi Carla! I’ve been on Celexa for almost 6 years, started with 20mg and in about 3 years ago with 40mg. I quit cold turkey and the reason I did it was because the pharmacy gave the wrong pills mixed with celexa and of course I was having the withdrawal symptoms. At the time I discovered it I talked to my dr about stopping taking it at all, he gave me a schedule of how I was supposed to start withdrawing from the pill:

          The first 2 weeks just take 20mg daily, next 2 weeks 20mg every other day and the last 2 weeks 20mg every 3rd day. I didn’t follow it so on my 4th week I quit cold turkey. Since I was feeling the withdrawal symptoms anyways from the pharmacy mess up with the pills anyways, I said why not just quit?! Symptoms were horrific. I had the brain zaps at the beginning, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, lightheaded, I felt disoriented, lost concentration, a total mess!

          Today is my 6th day off the pill and I still fell dizzy, lightheaded and foggy, but I think its getting better. At least I don’t have the nausea and the brain zaps. I can do this and I’m looking forward to losing the 40lb I gained and getting cleaned up from all these pills. I wish you good luck. Hang in there, you’re not alone!!!

          • Valerie May 10, 2016, 5:27 am

            I started on 20mg citalopram I forget how many years ago, then after an episode 18 months ago my doc upped me to 40mg. I started my reduction to 30mg and felt kind of like sea sickness. After 3 weeks reduced to 20mg. Now two weeks later I have all the withdrawal symptoms you’re all describing except brain zaps!

            Tonight I added a bit more pill back like maybe 1/3 of a half. I am now wondering if I should not have done that! I just want to badly get off of this drug! If I go slower will I still get the withdrawal symptoms when I take none at all? Or am I doomed to them whatever I do?

          • Margaret June 30, 2016, 1:09 pm

            I was on this med for 2 1/2 years after a tragic motorcycle accident my son in law was involved in that involved traumatic brain injury ( he is doing remarkably better now, two years later) and then 9 months later losing my husband and soulmate of 50 years. It was very helpful during those difficult times. My dosage was 20mg daily.

            I have tapered off the drug over the last 3 weeks and am now off it completely for about 5 days. I am experiencing severe lightheaded/dizziness in the mornings. I am hoping that is the extent of my WD symptoms. While on the drug, I experienced weight gain, heart palpitations several times a month and severe diarrhea.

            Too soon to know about the weight gain but diarrhea totally gone and no palpitations. The lightheaded and dizziness are, however, quite concerning as I am alone. Any suggestions for that or how long it might last?

        • mary anders January 4, 2016, 2:03 pm

          Hi I have been on 40-60 mg celexa for almost as long as it has been out, maybe 15 years or so. I was tired of fighting with the insurance company and was feeling really bad taking it anyways. I just passed week 3 of cold turkey. I have not been depressed at all. The only problem I am having is the dizziness of course and my face feels like it is on fire.

          I wrote down the problems I was having before I went off and for the most part are still there. I have not had brain zap thank God. I have no idea how far I am from being home free, but I am not going back I can tell you that. They say take the Dramamine for the dizziness. Have not tried it but I may pick some up today. As long as depression is not one of my side effects I am going to soldier on.

          I am not with my ex any more so I think it is gone. How much further do I have to go not really feeling like myself? Just dizzy and actually I have not been sleeping that well either. Thank you and good luck to all.

          • Danny Martin January 25, 2016, 4:56 am

            I’ve been off a week. Dizziness is bad.

          • Yvonne March 25, 2016, 5:28 pm

            Mary, thanks for your encouraging comments. I quit cold turkey 20 mg for five years. After two weeks so far I have had disinvest but that’s it. A little sad at times. My divorce is final in two weeks and he’s why I was on it in the first place. Prayer and conversations with God have helped me every time I get sad. Will tough it out with Gods help.

        • Michelle September 8, 2016, 3:12 am

          Hi Carla, I weaned from 40 mg just these past few months. It took me 4 months of only taking 10 mg when the dizziness and head zaps got too overwhelming. Also the brain fog was bad. I started to do some yoga and I took my last 10 mg tablet 2 weeks ago! I’m hoping to lose the 30 lbs I had put on since the new year. Good luck in your journey! Michelle

      • Trudy July 13, 2015, 10:26 pm

        I have been on 20mg Celexa for over 20 years. Last summer I weaned off of Welbutrin and decided to do the same with Celexa this spring/summer. I decreased to 10 mg for 4-6 weeks; then 5 mg for 4weeks, and finally 2.5 mg for 2 weeks. It has been a week completely off, and I have many of the same symptoms described by some of you: dizziness, nausea, and “leaving my head behind.” I joined the gym in March hoping to get rid of the 30 lbs that have accumulated.

        However, with 3 trips a week to the gym and seriously eating more healthy, I have only lost 4-5 lbs. in 4 months! I met with the nutritionist and she said that folks on Celexa, etc. have a very hard time losing weight. I pray that now that I am Celexa free, the fat will burn right off as I sweat at the gym. I am 64 years old, so that may be a factor. Hope not since I can’t do a thing about that. Please let me hear about weight loss success after getting off of this awful drug.

        • Bobbie July 18, 2015, 3:47 pm

          I decided to go off cold turkey with the help of homeopathy and have been off about a month now. Still feel nauseated, irritable and lightedheaded. I’ve lost about 2-3 lbs already without trying. I too am a long time user of this drug.

          • Lisa March 30, 2016, 1:32 pm

            Bobbie. I want to start this journey of coming off Celexa. What are some homeopathic things you’ve tried? Currently on 40mg for 7 years.

          • Betsey May 14, 2016, 8:22 pm

            Bobbie, What homeopathic methods are helping you? I cut from 40 mgs after 8 years to 20mg for 5 days, 10mg for 5days and 5 mg for 4 days. Tomorrow will be my first day completely without. I’m experiencing mild nausea, brain zaps, headache and fatigue.

        • Karey July 27, 2015, 5:38 pm

          Hi Trudy, I have been on 40mg of Celexa for about 10 years. I am so tired of always sweating (in public, anxiety, etc) that I have chosen to go off of Celexa as well. I started a week and a half ago and now taking 20mg. I will continue for about two ore weeks on this dosage and then completely off. I have gained weight also, but the sweating problem is so embarrassing I just want it to go away. I realize that being overweight does not help. I am 60, about 5’2″ and weight about 180 so trying to get healthy!

          Today is not a good day, feeling depressed. I also have had panic attacks when sleeping so coping has not been that easy. You are dong great, hang in there and eventually we will all be drug free! I was on Tylenol 3 for years also because of headaches, but have been T3 for two months, I know I can do this but difficult. I also take Rivitrol 3 times daily, (for panic attacks) so that will be my next. Have a good day.

          • Amy August 27, 2015, 10:01 pm

            It’s been four weeks since I have finished taking Citalopram (Celexa). I am so bloated and have an upset stomach, diarrhea, and loose bowels most days. I have not had a normal bowel movement in weeks. The stomach bloat is so awful I am embarrassed to go anywhere. I have such low energy that I nap most afternoons and it is almost impossible to complete projects that need to be finished. Do the bloat and IBS ever go away? I’m really not eating very much because I dread the stomach upset that follows.

          • Bev December 19, 2015, 2:16 am

            I have been on celexa over 10 years for depression at 20mg. 3 weeks ago I started decreasing… I have bad headaches and lots of dreams. I spend a lot of time in bed. I hope this gets better soon. I plan to do this for 3 months.

        • Lynn May 17, 2016, 4:42 pm

          I recently gradually weaned off Celexa. It has been about 3 weeks since I last took it. I have had many of the withdrawal symptoms. No brain zaps but dizziness, tired, nausea, etc. The most shocking things is weight gain even though I am dieting! Will this symptom also disappear?

      • AuntieM September 13, 2015, 6:55 pm

        Thank you for writing. I’ve been taking Celexa for about 15 years. The last few years I’ve been on 60 mg. Since at the higher dose it can cause bone loss and I had some heart rate issues I was advised by my primary care Dr. to try to reduce my dosage. (My psych never mentioned this). I’ve been on 40 mg for the last 3 months.

        I’m still feeling a bit depressed and emotional. Your words gave me hope. I am a bit scared and down on my self for not doing more things around the house and for myself. Getting to work and through the 8 hour work day is about all I can do…at least it keeps my mind off all the other things rattling in my head.

        • Lisa October 1, 2015, 12:23 pm

          I just recently found out that I am pregnant. I have been taking 40 mg of Celexa for about 4 years now and they have decided they want me to lower to 20 mg. I have been taking the lower dose now for about 1 week. I have been taking antidepressants for anxiety for about 15 years. This is one of the hardest drugs to get off of. I think it is almost as hard as quitting smoking. But we have to do what is best for our unborn babies.

          Anyways, when I was taking the 40 mg I still felt like I was having withdrawal symptoms and never took anything more than the 40 mg. I didn’t really want to tell my doc about it because I didn’t want to change to another medication because this was the only one that didn’t seem to mess with my sex drive but it did mess with my weight. I was down to 110 lbs when I was taking zoloft but with Celexa I am up to 145.

          This has been a difficult road but I am hoping this pregnancy is a blessing in disguise to help me quit these meds once and for all. I wish I knew which symptoms were withdrawal symptoms and which were pregnancy symptoms though. Good luck to everyone else going through this struggle. I sure hope we all prevail and are no longer prisoners of these meds knowing how awful the withdrawal is.

          • Cheryl December 27, 2015, 5:40 pm

            I have been off CELEXA for 4 days now. I have been moody, irritable and a weeping mess. I just want to sleep but I’m having a hard time sleeping. I have a 2 1/2 year old and I am also pregnant. I have had 2 stillborn babies in the last 18 months and that’s why I started this drug was to cope. Being pregnant again I have very high anxiety that we may have another loss. My body has been through so much. I pray these symptoms pass quickly as this drug didn’t really even help me. I am meditating and using breathing techniques to help with my panic attacks. One day at a time.

          • Rochelle March 15, 2016, 1:07 am

            Hi Lisa, I was just wondering how you went with your withdrawal for pregnancy? I have been on this drug for 14 years and had my 3rd baby 10 years ago. He is a beautiful child and is absolutely perfect in every way. My doctor advised me that staying on the drug was better than getting off with my depression so I took his advice.

            I was worried but I needed to be able to cope with my other 2 kids. Anyway he was a beautiful, fat bubba with no problems at all! I am now trying to get off this drug and am having lots of anxiety around it. I am going to do it but just have to get past the anxiety. I hate it :(. All the best for you and your family.

          • Christina March 19, 2016, 8:49 am

            Lisa, I was put on celexa. When I was pregnant doc told me it was safe to take, but it’s not. My baby was born really little, she was born lethargic and not breathing. She was affected severely due to the celexa. The thing that makes me so mad is that I worked so hard to get off of it before I was pregnant and then she put me back on it knowing baby would be affected. If you’re still on it and pregnant, I would stop immediately for your baby’s sake.

      • Carly September 24, 2015, 4:02 am

        Thank you – this is really hard, but it feels good knowing there is an end to this.

      • Kendall October 13, 2015, 8:57 pm

        I took 20 mg of celexa for 4 years for mitral valve prolapse. I’ve been tapering my dose gradually for 8 weeks and every time I think I’m completely off the dizziness and heart palpitations are so bad I feel like I’m gonna pass out. How long does the dizziness usually last after being completely off? I exercise regularly and eat healthy. Is there anything I can do to help with this?? Help!

        • Lupita October 28, 2015, 6:50 pm

          Decided to stop in and leave a comment… I am a little over a week off of Citalopram 40mg! Had been on it for about 3 yrs. The worst experience ever! I have gained about 100 lbs in the 3 yrs time frame! Doctor would put on my chart every visit “abnormal weight gain” even blamed my thyroid :( So, I decided to wean myself off by skipping a dose every other night to half doses to none. The electric like zaps through my upper torso and head! It is awful! My whole body feels invaded by something I can’t put into words!

          The headaches, irritability and the crying spells! Any little argument blows up into a huge one filled with emotional tears! The worst part is the little zaps. I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep all day. I was on Citalopram for anxiety and I now feel I want to be literally disconnected from society! I hope these symptoms subside quickly! I want to be back to normal. Sincerely, Lupita G

      • Gwendolyn November 9, 2015, 5:55 pm

        Thank you Aaron. I have been on a 40MG dosage for almost 20 years and have decided it’s time to stop. I have gained 40 pounds during this time. I guess for me it will be best to taper but I sure need prayers and support. Thank you for your comments.

      • Erica November 16, 2015, 3:47 pm

        Thank you so much! I’m going through all the symptoms you posted and it’s only day 3… I need to stay positive that, as my grandma always said, “This too shall pass.”

      • claire November 26, 2015, 2:21 am

        This was helpful, thanks :) I am having horrible w/d…just have to keep reminding myself it’s not forever. So hard though.

      • Rohan H December 5, 2015, 4:32 am

        Aaron B, I’m basically in the same situation as yourself. 20mg for about 10 yrs then 40mg for the past 2 yrs. I too would like to start tapering. You mentioned 10mg every 6-9 months. Could you give me a little detail as to how to do this taper successfully? Other posts say Mon – 40mg, Tue – 30mg, Wed – 40mg, Thurs – 30mg, etc.

        I’m guessing this takes your effective dose down to 35mg? Then say keep this up for say 4 months. Then go to average of 30mg for another 4-5 months. That gives you a taper of 10mg over 9 months. Is that on the right track? Thanks for your post. All the best for the future.

      • B April 5, 2016, 11:47 pm

        Aaron, how are things now?? It’s been a year or so.

    • Irina January 30, 2015, 1:59 pm

      Dear All, I have now been completely off Citalopram for 40 days now. As per my post below, I have been tapering it off for many month. First I was on 30mg, then reduced to 20mg and was on that dose for a couple of years, than last July I reduced for 10mg for 2 months, then for 1 month 5mg (I cut the tablets in half) and then reduced to 2.5mg for 2 weeks and decided to stop after that. However, on the 3rd day of completely stopping I had terrible panic attacks and decided to go back on it again.

      I spent another month on 2.5 mg and now have stopped completely (it has been 40 days now). While reducing the dose to 10mg my immune system has collapsed and I had flu twice, I also had a cold sore which I have not had for ages. Then I did not have my period for 3 months and had to go to gynecologist, they gave me Provera to induce period, which I had in 14 days after starting Provera. Next couple of months I had normal periods. Now that I have stopped completely, I now have not had my period for over 2 months again.

      Reducing citalopram has completely messed up my hormone system. I also had symptoms of on and off anxiety, crying spells, irritability, dizziness, insomnia and fatigue. First weeks after stopping completely (from 2.5mg) I felt extremely fatigued, to the point that a couple of days I could not get out of bad. Now that I am on my day 40 of completely stopping, I still feel very tired every day, and don’t feel like I want to do anything, it is a real struggle for me to get myself to go out for a walk for do anything in the house, but I push myself.

      I also get palpitations in my heart and my immune system has gone down again, as I have had a viral infection again and have been coughing for a month. Although overall, I feel much better, slowly my body gets adjusted and I feel that it will take time to go back to normal. I keep positive, as I feel that my depression has now gone, it’s only feeling spaced out most of the time now.

      I am making milk kefir from life kefir grains, which I recommend. It helps to restore your natural good bacteria balance in your intestines (when your balance of good bacteria is damaged, it can be a cause of depression in the first place). Good bacteria help produce serotonin in your intestines naturally. I wish you all a speedy recovery, hang in there, it will get better!

      • Irina February 11, 2015, 1:16 pm

        DAY 52: Dear All, I am pleased to say that with God’s help I am on my day 52 of complete withdrawal from Citalopram (after many months of tapering). It has been really tough, but I am slowly getting back to normal. My energy levels seem to slowly improve (if you have read my previous posts, straight after stopping I had days where I could not get out of bed). However, I am still getting a lot of very unpleasant heart palpitations, numbness around the heart area, feeling out of breath at times.

        I feel that my psychological problems, which have caused the depression in the first place have now become uncovered and I am re-living them. Every little stress gets me out of balance and I get strong anxiety attacks. I am very sensitive and have had a lot of crying spells. Thankfully, my hormone balance seems to slowly get back to normal. I have got my period now after over 2 months of delay. I am learning to live again with my old self (it feels like I have forgotten the way I was before taking Citalopram).

        It is hard, but doable. Citalopram has only covered all the psychological problems I’ve had for many years and only helped with the symptoms. But it does not deal with the root problem. I would never want to take this drug again, simply for the reasons of going through the hell of getting on them in the first place, and then trying to get rid of them. It probably is better to live though your depression and probably work with psychologist/psychiatrist, use natural remedies. Overall I keep positive, I feel much better than 1 month ago, though still a long way to go to reach normality.

        Thanking God for everything, it has been quite an experience, which made me learn a lot. I continue to drink home made milk kefir and water kefir (from kefir grains) and also got myself optibac probiotics for everyday which may help with depression and anxiety, well, my energy levels have certainly improved. Forgot to say, my sleep is back to normal! As when I gave up Citalopram, I had insomnia for a few weeks.

        I also forgot to mention that when at first I was having panic attacks and when I feel I cannot deal with the stress I sometimes take Xanax, just one tablet if I feel I can’t cope. But this is not advisable, try to deal with it without if you can, as you can become dependent on tranquilizers and you will have to withdraw from them as well. Wish you all a speedy recovery! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel :) I shall keep you posted. -Irina

        • Irina March 9, 2015, 5:05 pm

          Day 78 of comlete withdrawal. After improvement with my energy levels over the last 3 weeks, I have started experiencing fatigue, lack of motivation, anxiety and OCD again. The numbness around heart area has returned along with feeling of breathlessness. Still cannot shake off dry cough that I’ve had over 2 months now, which may be connected to severe gastro reflux, that I’ve had ever since completely stopping citalopram. Not sure if the anxiety and fatigue are due to PMS, which is possible, as my period is due to start.

          They say that serotonin levels are dropping at that time. I have started going to the Gym a couple of weeks ago, eating only organic food at the moment, drinking up to 2 liters of water a day, continuing taking probiotics and home made kefir. I really hope to get through this. I seem to go through periods of improvement and than get worse again. I shall keep you posted. -Irina

          • Ali April 12, 2015, 11:17 am

            Hi Irina. I really hope you’re doing better since your last post. You’re brave to continue the withdrawal and I think you’re right that the antidepressant doesn’t deal with the root of the problem. I’ve come off Citalopram myself and I hope to start addressing the cause of my problems rather than using Citalopram as a security blanket and hiding from them, which I feel I have been doing for a long time. Time to be strong. :)

          • Robert Kraljii July 25, 2015, 5:40 pm

            How are you doing now irina? Our stories are very similar. I’m cheering for you. Robert

          • Irina August 31, 2015, 4:08 pm

            8 months after stopping Citalopram: Dear All, it has been just over 8 month after stopping citalopram and unfortunately my depression is back. I started feeling it coming back after about 5 months. I experience severe anxiety, depression, phobias, severe fatigue. However, I do not want to discourage you guys, I feel like it is still best without citalopram, as it only covers the underlying problem. It’s important to get therapy and work with psychologist and sort out your problems that are causing the depression.

            SSRI’s only work by fooling you into feeling well, they do not sort out the problem. I must admit, it has been a long and difficult road for me. But this time I want to try and sort out my psychological problems. I also think that cleaning your system by fasting, enemas, drinking lots of water, healthy diet should help. Good luck everyone, I shall keep you posted. Don’t give up! For a lot of you this may not be as hard.

          • Lizza July 13, 2016, 10:34 pm

            How are you doing Irina? I’m not sure everyone is meant to live without these medications and hope you don’t feel that you have a flaw if you had to go back on. I have a daughter with severe OCD and generalized anxiety and is on Celexa (she’s a child). She has therapists doing cognitive behavior therapy and exposure response protocol therapy but without Celexa she could not do her therapy.

            After therapy we are going to try and wean her, we don’t know if she’ll be able to live without the medication or not but I know she can’t live like she was living with her phobias and rituals. I hope you are doing well, whether you are still Celexa free or not.

        • Gwendolyn November 9, 2015, 5:57 pm

          Thank you Irina. I have been on a 40MG dosage for almost 20 years and have decided it’s time to stop. I have gained 40 pounds during this time. I guess for me it will be best to taper but I sure need prayers and support. Thank you for your comments.

      • Sara February 6, 2016, 9:57 am

        Hi all, I am now on day 5 of cold turkey off these drugs. I was taking sertraline for three years and my state was getting worse. I went to my Gp as I thought it was time to change my medication. I was on 100 mg and advised to had the dose before I could change to citalopram, the ironic thing during this period I felt great for the first time in years (I wished I’d listened to my body) as going on citalopram was the worst thing I had done.

        After 2 weeks on this drug I was in such a bad way, depressed, anxious, tired, irritable etc. My GP increased my dose to 20mg and then it got so much worse. I decided 5 days ago that I couldn’t take it anymore as not only was I suffering so was my family. So I’m now going through the side effects Which is all that has been discussed. The worst for me is the dizziness it’s awful but I’m being positive and know I can do this.

        Going forward I believe that these drugs are so easily given out by our healthcare professionals and they are not a cure but a curse. I feel that if there were more sites like this or even groups where people lie us can help each other were available this could be of such a great benefit for all. I wish you all the best of luck and just ride with it we can all overcome our demons in time. Xxxx

    • Grumpy June 14, 2015, 11:56 pm

      I took Celexa (40mg) for 5 years and in the last six months my psych added WellbutrinXL. Two weeks ago I quit taking Celexa and just take WXL. So far no bad side effects. I still take Klonopin for anxiety but plan to get off all drugs within the next year. Too many natural drugs available now without all the side effects.

      • Dawn August 23, 2015, 12:39 am

        Hey Grumpy. I think there might be something to quitting celexa while taking Wellbutrin, but I can’t seem to find anything online about it. I have been on an SSRI for about 14 years, since I was in my 20s. I stopped for a year before I became pregnant. That was 10 years ago. I took Wellbutrin at the time and don’t remember having any significant side effects at all. After I had my daughter postpartum depression sent me right back on antidepressants again.

        This time I’m in a good period of my life and figure I can give this a go now that the withdrawal symptoms are fairly well known and I know I’m not crazy. However, back to the Wellbutrin, I am currently taking a regular dose and stopped cold turkey on celexa about two weeks ago. The reason being when I did it before I didn’t remember symptoms being bad. This time around the first week I was fine and thought I was home free.

        I think it is because it probably takes a few days for all the celexa to work its way out of your system. Currently I have pretty much all the side effects everyone is talking about but I can handle them even though I stopped so abruptly. I’m not sure if it is because I am taking Wellbutrin or not. Could the added dopamine from Wellbutrin be helping the symptoms of serotonin withdrawal???

        I’d love to hear what others think about that. I guess it could also be just knowing the withdrawal symptoms are just that-withdrawal symptoms that will subside and less freaking out about the possibility of them being related to the actual depression if that is still an issue.

        • Cynthia September 21, 2015, 2:18 am

          So I’ve been on Celexa for many years – and I have been wanting to come off as it kills my libido. I’ve tried and it makes me feel so awful, that I eventually give in and start taking it again. After meeting with my doctor a few weeks ago she put me on Wellbutrin for a week and told me to stop taking the celexa – so I did. It’s been about a week since my last dose of celexa, I thought I was doing good and I def feel that the Wellbutrin is helping the withdrawal symptoms, but over the past two days I’m super emotional, irritable, and feel crazy. I get the whole dizzy thing every time I turn my head too. Really hope this gets better.

    • Cecille September 25, 2015, 12:40 am

      I was taking 10ml of celexa for 5 years for anxiety due to a life event. I have gained 15 lbs despite exercising regularly and watching what I eat. I stopped 1 month ago. I feel moody, anxious and a little irritable and headaches. I thought I would see some weight loss by now but I haven’t. When I feel anxious I think about taking it again but I’m trying to give it time to get over the withdrawal symptoms. My life is more stable and I want to cope with things without medication. It’s very helpful to read your comments.

    • TJ January 5, 2016, 3:17 pm

      By posting up top I hope more people see my reply here and it helps them. I’ve read the hundreds of comments below in preparation to taper off Celexa after taking 20mg daily for 10+ years. If you’re researching Celexa, yes it can help “save” you in the beginning, but ask anyone who has gone through this discontinuation process and they’ll likely say tough it up and get over things on your own without these harmful drugs!

      Get the book The Mood Cure. It explains more than your doctor ever can. Low levels of amino acids can be fixed without drugs and teach your body to manufacture them on its own over time. I tapered off Celexa on my own for 1 month as I introduced the following supplements (only add 5-HTP as you reduce your Celexa dosage) and I have NOT HAD a single dizzy episode, brain zap, bit of nausea, or any other physical side effects. The only side effects I experience are emotional (extreme frustration, sadness, or anger) and they do not last longer than 1/2 a day, usually much less, and only about once a week depending on environmental triggers.

      I am sleeping better, eating less naturally (losing weight), don’t need caffeine to get going, not go-go-go non-stop doing things, and able to feel again and deal with things and I am only off Celexa 100% for 1 month. I am finally able to relax and not feel guilty for doing it! I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. I am stating what worked/works for me in hopes it will help others. Here is what I take daily (all bought online at Amazon):

      Morning: (1) Tyrosine 500mg (NOW Foods), (1) DLPA 500mg (Carlson), (1) Super B-Complex (Nature’s Bounty)
      Lunch: (1) Tyrosine 500mg, (1) DLPA, (1) Fish Oil 800mg EPA, 600mg Dha (Body Vega Omega-3), (3) 5-HTP 50mg (NOW Foods), (1) Gaba Calm (Source Naturals)
      Dinner: (3) 5-HTP 50mg, (1) Calcium & Magnesium C 1,000mg, M 500mg (NOW Foods), (2) True Balance daily vitamins (NOW Foods)
      Bedtime: (1) Melatonin 3mg, (1) Biotin 5mg, (1) Fish Oil 800mg EPA, 600mg Dha

      Get the book The Mood Cure – it has questionnaires to determine which Aminos you are lacking and that determines what supplements you need. I am lacking in all groups, you may not be. Good-luck to everyone else on this journey to quit Celexa! It is possible and it is worth it! -TJ

      • TJ February 12, 2016, 3:49 pm

        UPDATE: Now 2 1/2 months drug free! I still take all of the supplements and amino acids above. I am doing great and never had a single physical side effect! My mood has been great and “episodes” that were weekly are now gone. I have found some interesting things of note. I CARE more now about things.

        I find myself caring more about the cleanliness of our home and don’t mind putting regular effort into keeping it nice. The same goes for my appearance. I had stopped caring long ago, being too strong a person to do so on the drugs. I have also been working out regularly for 3 weeks now and feel so much better about myself than while on the drugs.

        I care to do more for others to make them happy and that makes me happier. I actually get tired at a regular hour now at night and sleep soundly without waking and being unable to return to sleep. This is all so new and wonderful. It’s amazing that I took that pill every night without fail for a decade and it was so easy to stop remembering to take it.

        I feel free!!! Good luck to everyone going through this and I only hope your experience is easier and improves quickly like mine has been. I feel very fortunate. :-) It’s amazing and worth it, just hang in there and be strong. You can do it!!!

        • Lynn April 14, 2016, 4:37 pm

          You sound just like me. I research like crazy, reading thousands of articles and posts to prepare. The Mood Cure book saved my life. Have been using amino acids for alcohol withdrawal for the past 5 months, and it works wonderfully. Just starting a Celexa taper of 30mg for the past 14 years. Will be using L-Tryptophan and/or 5htp to help with Serotonin levels when I get the dosage down to 5mg, as well as on and off use of L-Glutamine and L-Phenylanaline for protracted withdrawal from alcohol. Don’t kid yourselves folks. Addiction is addiction. Antidepressants are addictive. Treat getting off of it as such and realize that your body isn’t sick, you are healing.

        • Carol August 10, 2016, 11:10 pm

          Hello TJ: I have been reading hundreds of comments as well, about Celexa withdraws. Finding your posting has been a BLESSING. I am going to order the book The Mood Cure and start the process as soon as possible. It has been the only posting I think for me, that has been of great interest including the things I would like to incorporate in my life.

          I have been taking Celexa for 2.5 years at 60mg daily. I am as well going through all the withdraw symptoms as everyone else. I did stopped cold turkey 6 days ago. After feeling so toxic for months and just masking my moods and my so called depression. Now I am here sitting at work not doing anything but feeling badly and suffering with these withdraws.

          However, I do have a very addictive personality and it does run in my family. I do not want to end up like most of my kin in a mental institution, jail or dead. This has been the trail most of my family has lead for decades. I will be the one who will break the chain for my family and with God willing help others. Today my journey will start. I will post again during my process just to update.

          Again, thank you for all the information! Respectfully, Carol

    • Nick September 1, 2016, 3:20 am

      I’ve been on Celexa for exactly a year now. Originally it did have VERY mild sexual side effects for me, but it wasn’t anything serious at all. I just noticed it took a little bit more to be aroused than it usually does… That’s all. And this only lasted for about two months and then it went away.

      I did notice a little weight gain, but again, only lasted for a little bit, few months, then I dropped the weight off, and right now, it’s still off, and I weigh less than I did a year ago when I started taking it. I honestly can’t think of any side effects that I still have… I don’t think there are any.

      I don’t think I need to take it anymore but I really don’t have a good reason to not take it. On second thought, the sugar thing… But I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and since I’m way more active now, it’s not really an issue… Hmm.

  • Lauta July 31, 2014, 8:23 am

    Ive been on cit 20 for 3 months. Now im 2months off and i feel sick, little fever, a lot nausea and im sooo tired. Beside this i feel depressed and i dont know if i will be my old self ever again.

    • Linda August 23, 2014, 8:41 pm

      I was on citalopram 20 mg for four months, then transitioned to half cit/half sertaline 50 mg for three weeks, then to just sertaline 50 mg for eight days–and what an eight days those were!! Did not go well and was told by my psychiatrist to dump the sertaline and taper off the citolpram. So at this point I am drug free but soooo tired and listless.

      Actually my main complaint from the cit was no energy, blah, listless and tired all the time. My psychiatrist had hoped the sertaline would give me more zest but it turned me into more of a zombie than I already was plus having extremely self-deprecating thoughts all the time–not suicidal but very down on myself. So I’m very glad to be rid of the drugs but would seriously love to be rid of the symptoms as well.

      I feel out of it, tired, have to force myself out of bed in the mornings and just generally out of it. Wondering what others have found as far as being symptom free. Almost forgot to mention the overwhelming dizziness I have been feeling for the past two weeks. Any clue on how long this continues?

      • Susan Traxler November 12, 2014, 10:24 am

        I was taken off my celexa 20mg because of a rash. I have been having symptoms everyday. I feel like I have a cold I get motion sickness on the buses and trains lately, feeling warm or having chills, anxieties, insomnia at times. I’m talking to my doctor today about taking Trzadone 10mg to help with things because Ativan does not do it alone.

    • Jessica February 7, 2015, 12:03 am

      I was on 40mg of celexa for 3 years. I began it when I had post-partum depression. I have been tapering off the lay few months, from 40 to 20 to 10. I have been off completely for 5 days and after reading some of these articles I am feeling conflicted. I feel physically awful; dizzy, fuzzy, lethargic, confused, hard to focus, etc. I’m really trying to push through it as I really want to be off these meds. I had thought about going on 5 mgs before stopping but from the comments it doesn’t sound like I would be any better off. I will keep positive thoughts that we all get through this :)

    • Arden February 11, 2015, 4:03 pm

      I know you feel like that but you will feel better. I would really recommend some sort of exertion. It is hard to do that when you’re depressed but it helps with my withdrawal a lot. I have OCD and so I used to constantly clean. I was on celexa for support during chemo. Chemo is done and now I’m working to be med free. Anyhow, I don’t have a lot of energy because of the cancer and treatment but my OCD helps to push me to do just something. And just a little exertion goes a long way.

      I am very emotional and cry easily but it is OK as long as I don’t go through the depression and the little bit of workout helps that drastically. You may wonder how it does or how I know and it is because I can sense the depression and I get angry with it. Then I start to clean something (sometimes it is just folding laundry) and I focus in it and then the next thing I know my mood is lighter and I find I’m smiling. I hope this helps a little. I’m praying for all of you that have to go through this. It isn’t easy especially if you are an anti-drug person such as myself.

    • Jamie September 8, 2015, 10:27 pm

      I had started taking Citalopram in Jan 2015 and I stopped cold turkey about a week ago. Symptoms are so bad. I wonder how much more of my life is going to crumble while I’m struggling to get back to my old self.

      • Mel October 13, 2015, 1:52 pm

        I’ve been taking Citalopram for a year and have been weaning off for the past 2 months. Things have been pretty good so far. A few ups and downs. I took my last pill a week ago and since then I’ve had the brain zaps. Yikes. Very strange feeling and probably happens every 3 minutes or so. Hopefully it’ll taper off soon! Starting to feel like a light socket!

  • Barbara Gatto August 3, 2014, 10:22 pm

    I have been off 40 mg Citalopram after 4 years on for appx. 2 mos. Whew! Those first weeks were horrific: Brain zaps, sleepless nights and nightmares, sweats, gritting teeth, irritability, food tastes metallic (ongoing). Have to say it’s much, much better. Feeling about 95% which is something I would not have thought a month and a half ago. Every day I’m feeling more like a human being – not a robot. The few symptoms I think I have are nothing compared to what it was. Keep going – you will feel better.

    • Erika September 14, 2014, 2:36 am

      Thank you for this bit of hope. I feel horrible right now and am wondering if I will feel well again. Had no idea it would last months, was told days. Reassuring, yet upsetting all at the same time. Thank you for hope.

      • S April 10, 2015, 5:34 pm

        I am on day 34 of NO celexa! The first 2 weeks were definitely the worst! I started feeling much better and had some really good days! As I went on a spring break cruise with my family and 7 other families, I contracted a horrible stomach virus and an upper respiratory infection. I have been down for 5 days now and hoping all of this will soon go away so I can get back to normal. I am so proud to say I am off of this awful drug that simply covers up symptoms; it doesn’t treat them. I am taking different vitamins and herbal supplements to combat the anxiety… There is hope for everyone – just take things one day at a time!

    • darlene October 11, 2014, 12:53 am

      Thanks for sharing… I was on 30mg for years and I have been off of it for a little over a week. I have been so sick. The dizziness and nausea are so unpleasant. Praying to feel better soon!

      • Michelle October 12, 2014, 8:03 pm

        I’m working on withdrawal now. I’ve been at 40mg, cut down to 20mg, and then 20mg every other day. Now I’m at 15mg every other day, and I am having severe mood swings, nausea, etc. I can’t wait to get off this stuff, but I think I will be tapering over the course of months, not weeks!

        • Patrick K February 17, 2015, 9:55 am

          Don’t skip! Gradually taper off. Take something every day for sure but lower the dosage every couple months at least. I quit Paxil cold turkey in 2006 and lost my mind. Literally. I’ve been on 20mg citalopram for over 8 yrs and started tapering last year. I was on 10mg for several months and was down to 5mg for a month. And some point you will stop altogether but please decrease gradually and take your decreased dosage every day.

          Any ethical psychiatrist will tell you that being on medication your whole life is not the answer, so you are doing the right thing withdrawing. Withdrawal is a nightmare but nothing that’s worth it comes easy, right? I’ve been on ssri medication for half my life (I’m 31). I barely remember who I really am without it. Don’t let it define who you are. Enduring the withdrawal will give you strength. You can do it, nothing lasts forever.

          • Hillary August 27, 2015, 10:04 pm

            Your comment is so comforting. I am 31 and have also been on celexa 40mg for almost half my life and have been tapering down for a year now. I one more month left at 5mgs and am nervous. I have already had some withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, body aches, headaches, slight anxiety. I’m nervous to be done for good, but I know that I’m not the only one struggling. I can’t wait to be freed from this drug!

        • Ron Poe July 31, 2015, 3:32 pm

          Ron, I have been reading all these comments and it is very helpful. I have been on Cit for about a year due to depression. I have Sleep Apnea which is my root cause. After 3 months of being on 50 mg. I wanted off so I went to 20 mg and it was not a good idea. However at the 6 month mark I tried it again and all was well.

          I then gradually decreased by just a couple of mg. About every 2 to 3 weeks. It was like clockwork. I would lower my dose and 2 to 3 weeks later I would get a severe headache, get tired, then cry some. Then I would lower my dose again. When I got down to the 2.5 mg point the doctor said you may as well just stop. But I told him I want to decrease my dose even lower before I stop.

          That’s when he had to prescribe a liquid form that I could decrease to such a low amount. I was down to 0.8 mg. for 3 weeks when I began to be tired all the time. That is when I decided to stop 2 days ago. So far it is not horrible, but I have to remember that the drug took 3 weeks before it affected me so the next. 3 weeks will be the lead time to what happens.

          I wanted to share this because the skipping days was also told to me by the pharmacist that it was not a good idea. She also told me that they admire me for getting off the medicine but have never heard of anyone going to such a low dose. They had to order the medication in liquid form in order for me to dose it that low.

      • dani December 9, 2014, 10:09 am

        I have been taking this medication on and off for a few years. After suffering from a bereavement in May this year, my dosage went up to 40mg. In October I found that I was pregnant and although extremely happy about this, I believe I came off the drug to quickly and for the last 5 weeks have been experiencing major dizziness to the point where I have been unable to drive. Nausea is bad too, but the worst symptom for me is dizziness. I’m hoping to see an improvement as I need to get back into a routine and back to work! Are you feeling any better Darlene??

    • Lisa M. October 26, 2014, 6:43 am

      Thanks Barbara. I have been on Celexa for a long time. I have tried in the past to slowly stop, but went back because of side effects. This time I’m gonna tough it out. I stopped slowly, went down to 5 mg. and last week stopped. A day or two after stopping, I had an attack of vertigo. Now I’m experiencing wooziness, some dizziness, and some of the other withdrawal symptoms. Your post is very helpful. I really want to stop this drug, so my plan is to cope with the symptoms and remind myself that this too shall pass.

      • cici January 2, 2015, 3:14 pm

        I have been on citalopram for six months, after 6 months I was told to to start coming off it by gradually reducing the dosage every two weeks, 20mg to 10 and then 5mg. Now I’m having this withdrawals such as dizziness, brain zaps, insomia, mood swings, hot flushes and sometimes I feel like I’m loosing my mind. Reading your comments helps me a lot, now I know that no matter how difficult it feels, in the end I will be fine and be normal again. Since my husband passed away 3 years ago ,I’m staying with my teenagers (kids), I feel like they don’t understand what I’m going through.

    • Joy S November 9, 2014, 9:39 pm

      I stopped taking this medicine only because my dr forgot to write a script for it and and I didn’t realize how serious these meds were. I just started my first job in couple years and now have horrible dizziness nausea waves of feeling zapped. I have never been overweight in my life and in one year of taking this medicine I gained 65 pounds. It’s crazy. But now I don’t know how to deal with feeling so sick all the time and dizziness all day.

      All I want to do is lay down somewhere to try not to feel so horrible. I hope this goes away soon. It’s been a little over a week since I ran out of the medicine. And I’m reading on here it could last for months. I don’t know how I will get through this much longer and it’s only been a week. I will never again take a medicine without reading all the side effects and withdrawals. Because withdrawals are the worst.

      • Laurie January 15, 2015, 3:06 pm

        Try soaking in a magnesium bath (Epsom salt). Eat a banana. I’ve experienced the same thing and found it was magnesium loss. Hope you feel better. The increased magnesium took away my headaches, exhaustion, and heart palpitations.

        • Mary January 16, 2015, 4:11 pm

          Magnesium? I take extra because of low blood levels. Maybe that’s why cutting back from 40 mg to 20 had little effect on me? I cut back several months ago because of episodes of heart palpitations, shortness of breathe etc. Had almost no withdrawal symptoms at all, except for a little mental fuzziness. Now going to eliminate all together, unless the severe insomnia returns which just lowering the dose hasn’t done.

        • Karen Van Hecke-Carney January 31, 2015, 2:25 pm

          I seriously hope that does it because it’s the headaches for me that have been the worst. I’ve been tapering off and have had the worst headaches and nothing makes them go away.

        • Kelly February 6, 2015, 9:21 pm

          I am celexa free for a week now. I’m dizzy, and emotional (I take a half of a xanax to help with that), nausea, and diarrhea! Some of these posts are very encouraging! If it wasn’t for me wanting another baby I think I would stay on it. The first time I tried to get off celexa was too fast. It was terrible. Went back on it but with a lower dose (10 mg) for 2 months then went to 5mg for 2 months then went off of it. Hopefully the xanax helps BC boy I do not like these withdrawal symptoms. I went on celexa for postpartum depression.

          • Lisa March 30, 2015, 9:53 pm

            I thought I was losing my mind until reading this thread today. I was on 20mg a day, but the past few weeks, kept forgetting here and there. Finally one day, I figured I kept forgetting to take it, I might as well just stop. I went to my doctor today to ask for a CT scan. I thought something was seriously wrong with me. I knew the panic attacks and mood swings were due to quitting. But I didn’t know about the debilitating dizziness, tiredness, and apathy.

            I cant function at work. I’m afraid to drive. I cant play with my 2 year old son. I’m so dizzy and tired, it’s impossible to go to the gym lately. And that sucks because that was one really positive thing I was doing. I’m trying my hardest because I’m trying for a second baby. I too was prescribed Celexa for PPD. I’m scared of needing it when I can’t have it and scared of being on it forever. I’m also more discouraged now than ever. I can’t live like this for months to years.

    • PJames November 14, 2014, 12:47 am

      After over seven years of taking both Celexa (40 mg) and Wellbutrin (300 mg), I made the decision to come off of my meds and try to use essential oils to control my mood, depression, anxiety, etc. The essential oils are another story (positive one)… I came off of the Wellbutrin first (cold turkey). I had a headache for about a week and then was fine. Next, I decided to omit the Celexa.

      Having had such good luck nixing the Wellbutrin, with no knowledge of the pharmacology of either drug, I quit the Celexa cold turkey as well. That was stupid. I’ve almost completed two weeks without the Celexa. It’s the hardest thing that I’ve ever physically been through aside from childbirth. I am both encouraged and discouraged by this article. I am encouraged in that all the symptoms I have been experiencing are most likely related to the withdrawal and not the depression, anxiety, etc.

      Maybe I’m not as crazy as I’ve been thinking I was the past two weeks. I am discouraged to learn that this process may take much longer. So, now to my conundrum… should I continue this process cold turkey? Or, should I add the Celexa back in and then gradually taper off of it? The stubborn person inside of me thinks I should keep on keeping on. Maybe the past two weeks have been the hard part.

      • Bekah January 22, 2015, 6:55 pm

        I have been on celexa 20MG for 10 years and am JUST starting to wean off. I will be on 15 MG for 8 weeks, and then 10 MG for 8 weeks and then 5 MG for 8 weeks and then stopping. It’s best to come off Celexa with guidance of your doctor and very slowly so you don’t have side effects. Best of luck!

      • Lauren May 29, 2015, 7:41 pm

        I have been off of Celexa about a month now. I’ve been so sick! I thought it was Mono at first because the symptoms fit. I had a very bad sore throat for the first two weeks and I think it was because of the withdrawals making my immune system plummet. My symptoms have been extreme lethargy, nausea, feeling like I could faint, crying spells, depression, headaches and diarrhea. It has been awful!

        I haven’t worked in 2 weeks and really don’t want to lose my job. I will try to get up and do some cleaning but I tire very easily and become very nauseous. These comments are pretty depressing as well! I don’t want this to last for months! A few days ago I made a decision to have a more positive outlook on life and try to do something with my life. It’s been trying because of the withdrawals.

        I was considering going back on them half a pill for awhile but it seems like eventually I’ll have to go through this again and I can’t do that! Someone commented that they take Magnesium and that seemed to help, so that is what I’ll do. I’m also going to try the “It works” Greens Detox. I started doing a little bit of working out last night so I’ll keep doing that as well. I’m going to do everything I can to get over this and be healthy!

      • Flumpsmama August 18, 2015, 7:03 pm

        Hi PJames, thank you for sharing your experiences- I wondered what essential oils you found helpful please? I’ve just spent a month weaning down from being on 20mg citalopram for the past 18 months. I managed to get down to only taking 10mg every 3rd day with just a bit if irritability and tiredness. Then I forgot to take my tablets on holiday with me. I’ve had awful, constant dizziness as well as feeling very lethargic/lacking energy. I’d love any tips on alternative therapies that might be helpful please.

    • Cam November 16, 2014, 9:41 am

      Thanks for sharing – good to hear there is a ray of hope. Had the most awful nausea, dizziness headaches and I guess they are brain zaps – basically it’s when my brain suddenly feels like it’s too big for my skull continuously for the first 7 days after I stopped my 20mg/3years dose. For the last few days I’ve felt about 50% better. I have also had body aches, which I didn’t expect.

      • Kim December 1, 2015, 4:14 am

        I totally related to your post. I have been taking 20mg of Celexa for 2 years. I’ve gotten sick of the weight gain and just not feeling like myself. I cut my doze in 1/2 for a week then decided to just stop taking it. It has been 4 days and the side effects suck! My joints hurt, feel like my brain is on a rollercoaster and the zaps are very annoying. I’m trying really hard to tough it out. The side effects don’t sound much different from those who taper off or stop cold turkey. Praying God will give me strength to get through the withdrawals. Good luck!

    • kim November 23, 2014, 1:32 am

      I’m going through the exact same thing, and am very relieved to know that this gets better.

    • hk January 25, 2015, 1:35 pm

      I had been on celexa for a little over 3 years. I want to feel again and I want to try my best to not be on any antidepressants. I tapered off for 3 weeks. I am now 7 days with nothing. I have no energy, crying constantly from missing my family who me live very far away. Brain zaps, diarrhea, hopelessness, etc. I am determined to not be a slave to this, although right now the hopeless feeling is overwhelming. I would love some kind words from you to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for reading.

      • tnt February 1, 2015, 6:56 am

        I went off Citalopram almost a month ago when I ran out and my doctor was not available to prescribe more. Since I had been planning to stop taking the drug soon anyway, I just went with it. Cold turkey is a hard way to go! I didn’t realize what was happening until I thought to read up about the symptoms. I felt so relieved to know my symptoms are normal!

        My worst symptom is the dizziness, but I am also having vivid dreams, many of them nightmares. But it is getting better! So hang in there, and take care of yourself. I try to relax every afternoon after work in order to get through the evening. It is helping so far. I’m looking forward to being without the symptoms and without the drug!

        • melissa January 24, 2016, 1:18 pm

          Hi. How do you feel now? I’m on day 7 without any medication and the worst symptom for me is the brain zaps. I just want to know that it will stop and it’s not permanent. Day 7 today has not been too bad to be honest. Please respond.

      • Ahn February 7, 2015, 1:36 am

        Hi HK, oh how I can relate to wanting to feel again. Hang in there! I successfully weaned myself Lexapro, which even while taking it I constantly experienced brain zaps as they’re being referred to under this topic of discussion. I also experienced quite a few of the other withdrawals symptoms mentioned, also while consistently taking Lexapro. I quit for approximately 2 years by weaning off in no particular order whatsoever really. I had no side effects that I remember. I wonder if having the side effects while taking the drug had something to do with this?

        One year later during a devastating divorce that took 4 years to complete, I began taking citalopram, or celexa, along with adderall for ADHD. It’s been two years with a bunch of extreme highs and lows. I went through a real low right at 2014/2015 which resulted in hospitalization for suicidal thoughts. I’d stopped taking my meds for a few months before hitting an all time low where I didn’t cry about anything, or so I thought. I found that I did however care a great deal about my children, which is most likely the reason I’m still here today.

        During my hospital stay, they took away my adderall, and added wellbutrin instead. A month later, my doctor added the adderall back, and didn’t take away the wellbutrin, and even later added two other drugs, abilify, and another that I can’t remember to put me to sleep, that neither he nor the hospital could ever seem to keep track of. It’s a year later now, and I’ve decided that I would like to feel again, so I’ve once again started the process of withdrawal.

        I began by taking half doses, and now none. Within a week of stopping, I’ve felt like I have a severe case of flu for the past 4 days, experiencing nausea that includes vomiting, vertigo, vision problems, aches and pains, extreme fatigue, ect. I know it will get better, so I just have to stick with it, and so should you. You can do it! Take the best of care!

  • Jessica August 5, 2014, 3:57 pm

    I have been slowly withdrawing from Celexa for 3 weeks now. I had been taking 20mg for 4 years and it just stopped working. I dropped to 15mg for a week, then 10 for a week, now I am at 5mg and only have 2 left to take. The major side effect I have had it diarrhea it has been horrible it has been off and on for over 2 weeks now. No I am not sick they have tested all my stools and there is nothing! I am hoping it stops soon anyone else had this side effect? Other than that a few high and low days but nothing I cant handle.

    • GLOOM August 5, 2014, 4:40 pm

      Sorry to hear about that Jessica. I’d look into taking some Imodium to help with that symptom. Sounds like you conducted a pretty fast taper. Withdrawal can drive anyone crazy… you experience physical symptoms and there is (usually) nothing medically wrong. Wish you a quick recovery.

  • Shay August 13, 2014, 11:09 pm

    Please help! I have been on citalopram for three years now at 40mgs. I ran out a week ago and this is so bad i cant even function. The zaps run through my whole head and go all the way to my toes. Several years ago I was on Lexapro and it did the same thing but the zaps lasted up until i was on the citalopram. Is there any hope for me, that they stop? is there anything i can do? I cant keep my family going through this. Another article said take Diphenhydramine to help… I cant function. What do i do? The zaps the headaches, severe anxiety that i cant breathe at moments, light headed so bad i hit the ground and nothing stops spinning, I want to cry. I feel helpless. What do I do?

    • Stacey August 17, 2014, 2:48 am

      Hi Shay. I am saddened to hear what you are going through. I can also empathize as I am in the very same situation you are. You are not alone in this. It is truly horrific and there are days where you wonder if you will ever survive. This is said to be normal. Like you, I have to ride it out and hope for the best. If ever you need to vent, please do. I will be try to visit this site everyday if I can and you are welcome to vent to me and I will be suffering along with you but yet at the same time encouraging you to get through this long drawn out battle. Please try and find your strength and hopefully we can persevere through this together. :)

    • willis October 5, 2014, 4:42 pm

      hello shay, I’m going through celexa withdrawal symptoms and they are very bad. I was on celexa for a long time I can’t really remember how long I was on it, I guess for about 8 or 9 years. I started tapering off celexa in early august of 2014 and finally stopping in late august of 2014; that may not have been enough time but now it’s October 5 2014 and my is it taking a toll on my life.

      I had to go on medical leave from my job cause the symptoms are so debilitating. Sometimes I feel that nothing feels right and never will feel right again, and I have times of anxiety, nausea, extremely vivid dreams and I wake up feeling sick and just not right at all, I’m also having dizzy spells and obsessive compulsive symptoms too, and sometimes everything is very sensitive like I’m very sensitive to smells.

      Like they overwhelm me and sights to, and when I get excited in any way like getting happy or angry it turns in to anxiety. I want to be happy again and I know I will but I guess it’s just going to take time – I just didn’t think this long.

      • Colleen October 8, 2014, 3:55 pm

        yes, same here. I had crying fits and felt like I was all alone. I went back on citalopram, because I couldn’t deal with the depression. I tapered off, doctor directed, the dizziness was horrible. Took about 2 weeks for that to go away. Thought I was feeling really good, then the depression hit and boy did it hit!

      • darlene October 11, 2014, 12:59 am

        How are you feeling now? I’m going through withdrawal as well…

        • melissa December 24, 2014, 5:35 am

          I came off Paxil about 10 years ago cold turkey. it started with a week of me being in my room in the fetal position while my mom took care of my kids. Now I’m doing the same w/ Celexa. the reason i decided to do cold turkey is it seems no matter how slow i see people taper…even when they hit 5 mg…when they go off the withdrawls are still HELLISH…so why prolong the agony? This is MY opinion for myself anyway…and in no way am trying to say that’s what’s right for others. But I’m a week in and I have severe dizziness and brain zaps every time I move my eyes…I haven’t been depressed or too anxious, but of course that may change too.

          • Jen January 3, 2015, 10:33 pm

            Melissa, I am right there with you. I have tried to taper off in the past but felt just as bad, so finally I just went cold turkey. I am close to two weeks off right now and was dealing pretty well, but my female cycle completely threw me for a loop and the zaps & nausea are back in full swing today. Until my cycle came, I was already feeling better and that makes me feel hopeful for the near future of getting this shit out of my system. I have a few more days off work thankfully, so just trying to use the time to take care of myself and chill.

            It helps me to know (and keep reminding myself) that it’s all just temporary. I am now down to just one anti-depressant, which is how I’d like to keep it. That’s not to say that I didn’t need the celexa when I started taking it either. Now, I’m in a different place and feel that I no longer need it, or want it, in my system. Hope you’re doing better with each day that goes by.

      • kasy February 1, 2015, 4:16 am

        Hi. I have been on Zoloft/Celexa for 20 years. Yes that is years! I am on 40mg and I’m trying to wean off now. Stomach cramps, diarrhea, all over aches and nausea are hitting me hard. I don’t know how long this will last. I have tried to come off this before but I can’t deal with the withdrawal symptoms. I’m hoping this time I will be able to hang on and still go to work. Don’t mean to scare you… but be warned this is not fun.

    • Chelsea Cain October 22, 2014, 6:57 pm

      Hi Shay I’m going threw the same thing you are. It’s been 4 days now and I can’t function. I’m sick to my stomach, headache, bad anxiety, can’t sleep, no appetite. You’re not alone. I just want to sleep all day and feel normal.

    • Irina December 11, 2014, 11:44 pm

      Hi Shay, Just came across this website on the internet, as I am trying to get off citalopram myself. Not sure how you’re feeling now, as you wrote your post back in August. I have read a lot of information about withdrawing, plus different forums. It is recommended to gradually reduce the dose, preferably over a long period of time. Some people even take many months to come off it. I myself have been on Citalopram for over 4 years.

      I was taking 30mg, and then reduced to 20mg a year later (by taking 30mg one day and then 20mg the other day for a week and going down to 20mg every day). Then I started reducing to 10mg for a month or so, I was on 5mg for about 3 months and now reduced to 2.5 mg, which I have been on for 3.5 weeks now. Even though the dose is very little, I tried to completely stop 1.5 weeks ago and started getting terrible panic attacks, which I have not had for 8 years!

      This was the most horrifying experience as I felt like being literally in hell for a few days. That’s why I decided to go back to taking 2.5 mg again and wait for a bit longer. I try to keep very positive and believe that it will take time, but eventually we will all go through it. Experiences like this will only make us all stronger, so please keep positive and believe that with God’s help we will all get better!

      • N December 16, 2014, 2:06 pm

        Wow… I’m not alone in my struggle to get off Citalopram! I ran out for 2 days last week and had the worst symptoms, pretty much all of what has been described here. I just want to get this over and done with. I wish I would have known before I started on it! I had crying fits and horrible depression the first day and no one seems to understand how bad the symptoms are and I truly feel alone. I have been on 40mg for 13 years.

        I cut back to 20mg for the last few nights and already find my old sarcastic self coming back with a vengeance! I am trying to keep to myself so I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. How are others coping with this? I have the feeling I’m in for a really bumpy road. I don’t want to take another medication to get off of this one! Any suggestions on helpful herbs would be greatly appreciated!

  • David Trickett August 15, 2014, 5:38 am

    Hi been off 10mg of citalopram now whew this is hard tight chest feel as if I cant breathe, electric shocks tight muscles feel like dipping back into them this is hard just how long does this go on for

    • Kelly September 19, 2014, 8:14 pm

      I was on 10 mg for a year and stopped “cold turkey” a week ago – I am having all of the same symptoms! I keep thinking I should go right back on but I’m trying hard not too…

    • Chris November 26, 2014, 2:00 am

      I’ve been on 10 mg for about a year and a half. 20 made me feel loopy so I’ve only taken 10 mg. I’m weaning off so I’m on a half now for a few weeks I have very bad muscle pain in my hands and back of my calf and my knee. I can’t even walk.

    • Elle May 19, 2015, 1:09 am

      David, I was on Citalopram years ago, then went off… Withdrawals lasted about 2 months, but got gradually better. Went back on to desk with pressure and was on 60mg a day. Haven’t read that anyone was on that much. I was acting without thinking and behaving badly. I switched doctors and my new doc started reducing my dosage… Been reducing it for a year. Now I am not taking it at all, but am having all the same reactions. I know the symptoms will be over… I am just sticking with it, taking naps after work. It will get better!!! One day you will realize that the withdrawal symptoms are gone. I won’t take this drug ever again.

      • Dee June 27, 2015, 12:24 am

        I came off of Celexa (cold turkey) after having been on 20mg for one year. I have been experiencing severe pain in my right knee & hip. Also horrible pain in my back, neck & right shoulder. My mouth (gums) are killing me and am now unable to chew anything of substance and am unable to tolerate hot and cold. It’s only been 2 weeks but the withdrawal is bad enough to never want to take anything like Celexa again. I’ve started taking Mega-Mag, Plain Coconut Kefir, a green smoothie every morning with ground flax seed & flax seed oil.

        I also soak twice a day in Ancient Minerals magnesium bath salts and use magnesium snow to make a paste to put on painful areas. I spray magnesium oil on the bottom of my feet. I intend to try 5-HTP among a few other things to see if this creates a shift in my body’s withdrawal symptoms. I never thought these symptoms could have anything to do with coming off of the Celexa until I found this site.

      • Debi November 12, 2015, 12:13 am

        I was first prescribed celexa in 2000 I believe I was started at 20mg. In the last 15 years my dosage has been changed numerous times going up to 60mg. After a while Wellbutrin XL was added and my dosage reduced to 30mg which is what it has been at for probably about 5 years. A few months ago hubby and I decided to at least cut back on prescriptions (he was on Wellbutrin XL also). We were taking 300mg and went down to 150mg for 2 weeks then to 0.

        About the same time I cut back on my celexa by a third, since I was prescribe a pill and a half daily it was easy to accommodate this. I took 20mg for 3-4 weeks then dropped to 10mg. Stuck with 10mg for 2 weeks and am now at 0. Day three and I mainly notice dizziness and anxiety. I’ve only seen a couple of others who have been on celexa as long as I have, and I think one other besides you and I has mentioned a 60mg dose. I just hope it doesn’t take a year or more got the side effects to subside considering the length of time I was on it!

    • Maegan May 31, 2015, 8:23 pm

      I’ve been on 10 mg for almost 4 years now. Today is day 6 of only taking 5 mg a day and yesterday my headaches started, crying spells, back pain, tight chest, feeling alone, tired… I am hoping this doesn’t last long :( I still have to take 2.5 mg after 7 more weeks and then get off completely so I am definitely scared of what is to come…but I’m glad I’m not alone with my symptoms.

  • Stacey August 16, 2014, 5:16 pm

    Hi. I had been on Citalopram for about 10 years mostly at the dose of 40 mg for my ongoing depression. I was booked for a sleep study as a few years ago I was clinically diagnosed with narcolepsy. For this sleep study, I needed to be off of the Citalopram 1 month before. I had just under a month to taper off.

    Once I was completely off of the Citalopram, I started to spiral downwards. My symptoms included: anxiety, nausea, major irritability, severe lethargy, shortness of breath, fever, dizziness, stilted walking (gait problems), abdominal cramps, crying spells and of course whatever else that is involved with depression. I have been off of my meds since July 4th and I feel like my whole life is crumbling down around me. I have finally had my sleep study and I am free to go back on the Citalopram, but I am deathly afraid of the medication now.

    The years before when I was on the Celexa I did feel it had helped me, but did not like the weight gain or low sex drive just the same. I have also been told I may also have ADD (ADHD) which was around the time I was put on the Dexedrine for my narcolepsy. I found the combo with the Celexa and Dexedrine worked okay, but as time went on I found I became even more distracted and that time was speeding up. I felt very unproductive and had poor time management skills and was really not participating in life as a whole.

    I guess you could say in a “nut shell” I am severely “messed up”. I just wish someone could say to me; “I know exactly what your problem is, and we can help you with that.” Of course with my “perception” and “frame of mind” at this present time, I highly doubt anyone can help me and truly feel at a loss. I have to admit it does help to read about others going through this because as we all know “misery loves company”.

    I am doing everything possible to be patient and to have a positive outlook, but some days it takes every bit of strength not to give up and feel there is no help for me. Today is a better day as I am participating in this forum. I can only live day to day and hope for the best. Thanks for reading. :)

    • C August 16, 2014, 7:58 pm

      Hi! Have you thought about going back on the medication and then doing a proper, slow taper? A book I read called “The Antidepressant Solution” by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen suggests a 2-4 month taper, depending on how the symptoms are for the individual. Of course, you’d have to have a caring doctor to take you through — or at least, enough medication to allow for a slow taper. It sounds like you’re suffering a lot, so perhaps some of that could be minimized. I just came off Prozac and had a very rough time of it. I read the book after I went off it, not before, but I would have tried the slow-taper method if I’d known at the time. Take care of yourself and don’t give up! I’m trying to do the same.

      • Stacey August 16, 2014, 9:55 pm

        I really appreciate the reply back and am very grateful for it. I did think about going back on the medication and tapering off a lot slower than the time I was afforded, but I truly am afraid to try again. I did check my calendar and I am on about day “43” out of 90 of how long the discontinuation syndrome could take. I know my doctor would definitely agree with you though. I was thinking I should make another doctor’s appointment and see if I was placed on some anti-anxiety medication to help me with the “really bad” days until then. It may help…..possibly. I am just so relieved to find this blog to know there are others like me and it truly does help wonders. I think I am going to keep in touch with this blog as it is a useful lifeline. Again, thank-you so much for responding to my comment as it does offer a bright spot to my awful dilemma. :)

        • C August 16, 2014, 10:40 pm

          You’re welcome, Stacey! And I agree that it’s good to know there are others out there going through similar things. It’s great to hear that you have a supportive doctor too, since that can make a huge difference. Be careful with the anti-anxiety medications, though (also know as “benzodiazepines”), since they can cause a physical dependency and also have a horrible withdrawal syndrome (trust me, I know!). Short-term, once-in-awhile, they’re okay, but do a little bit of online research to check reputable sources for info before you add another medication. From your first post, it sounds like you’re dealing with so many withdrawal effects from the anti-depressant, and it’s sad to hear that you’re suffering. Maybe a slow, controlled taper might change that and you won’t feel so down on yourself. Be gentle with yourself since these drugs have real and strong effects. Personally, I’ll be staying away from them. I’m just hoping the rest of my symptoms leave soon. Solid information and hope are my best tools to get through this intensely unpleasant time — plus support from wherever it comes. I’m sending some to you!

          • Stacey August 16, 2014, 11:59 pm

            Thanks again so much C! :) My husband has just gone to the book store to pick me up “The Antidepressant Solution”. You are most likely right about the anti-anxiety meds. I have just read up on possibly being prescribed “Prozac” at a small dose to help take the edge off of the withdrawal symptoms. Have you heard about this? What have your days been like trying to cope and how long have you been off of your meds? I am sending some positive energy your way too, it may not be much, but it’s yours to have. :)

        • Judy November 24, 2014, 8:46 pm

          I had been on Celexa for 13 years. Last year I tried to get off it. By the time I got down to 5 mg a day I was miserable so I went back up to the 10 mg a day. I bought The Mood Cure Book by Julia Ross and this time when I went down to 5 mg I had NO withdrawal symptoms. Get the book. You need to replace the Celexa with Amino Acids and St. John’s Wort or Rhodiola Rosea. I take Rhodiola and Trytophan and Tyrosine. After the holidays I am going to get off it completely. This works. I thought I would be on Celexa for the rest of my life. -Judy

    • Frustrated October 19, 2014, 10:51 am

      Stacey, I’m glad you mentioned the sex drive thing as I was reluctant to bring it up. I had horrible sexual side effects so I am coming off of it now. I’ve been tapering for 3 weeks now from 30 mg. initially. I thought my sex drive would get better now that I’m down to 10 mg, but it hasn’t and I am real frustrated and am concerned it won’t straighten out. I’m hoping this is just a mood side effect causing the sex drive problems.

      I do feel irritable and anxious. I’m dealing with those side effects, but my girlfriend and I are just both frustrated over the sex drive, however she overall is very understanding and supportive. Can’t wait to get back to normal. Sort of feel bad about being short with my granddaughter. She’s a precious girl and shouldn’t have to deal with MY side effects. I wish you all good luck.

      • Elizabeth May 31, 2015, 1:26 pm

        I’m so glad I’m not alone in this. I had a sex drive, but couldn’t ever really have an orgasm. It was like the sexy side of me was just numb. I’ve been celexa free for one week. I’m already feeling better. The numbneas is fading. Push through. It’ll be ok. You’ll get your mojo back.

        For me the worst part has been the brain zaps. It seems like they’re getting worse as the come down progresses. I’m going to try exercising today and see if that helps like some suggest. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel. There IS relief. I’ve stopped this drug before (due to pregnancy, just like now) and I usually start to balance out emotionally within three weeks.

        The problem is that leading up to the three weeks is hell. Literal hell. The best thing I’ve found is to just press through and say this mantra, “It’s just the drugs.” It brings me peace of mind, and reminds me that it’s temporary and WILL subside!

    • Maria November 12, 2014, 10:54 pm

      Stacey, I know exactly what you mean. Last night I woke up and found myself feeling terribly alone and defeated. I’m a single mom and have been feeling like a loser because I’ve been looking for a job for so long and haven’t been hired. So last night I came to a breaking point. I cried like a baby and boy was it liberating! The Citalopram has been helpful but it made me incapable of crying. I’ve been off Citalopram for two weeks and am going through the withdrawal symptoms. They’re horrible.

      In my effort to “feel” again while on Citalopram, I’d watch depressing movies but somehow I found ways to reason through them and not crying. Yesterday I watched Interstellar and cried so much. Then went home and cried some more. Sometimes, you just need a good cry and forget about the possibility that maybe no one know what is “wrong” with us. Maybe we’re not “messed up” and maybe we are a different kind of normal. I recommend you watch Garden State. It’s a powerful movie and eye-opening if you haven’t already watched it. I’m here for you Stacey: mamirumbera[AT]yahoo.com.

  • C August 17, 2014, 12:43 am

    Great news! Not only do you have a supportive doctor, but you also have a supportive husband!

    I hope you find the book helpful. I think it’s pretty cool that a Harvard prof/practising psychiatrist has put out a handbook on this topic. And yes, I’ve definitely heard about Prozac being used as an SSRI for tapering purposes. It has a long “half-life” and therefore, should give the body a bit of an easier ride as you come off it. I tapered from 20 to 15 to 10 to 5 then off (with help from a compounding pharmacy to make up the 5 mg capsules) in about 6 weeks. I had a slew of symptoms but they didn’t start until the end of the taper, which is apparently common for Prozac due to its long half-life. Dizziness/vertigo/unsteady gait was/is still number one, plus insomnia, night sweats, bad dreams, diarrhea and weird “head shocks” with lip tingling, most of which have lessened over time. I’ve been told numerous times that I’m “sensitive” to medications, so I’m not the best example of what’s “average”. That’s why I ended up on this forum, searching for others’ experiences! What I learned from the book is that it’s important to taper slowly and only drop the dose if your symptoms are “mild” and/or you can handle them. There’s no prize for doing it faster, and one example in the book features someone who took 8 months — with a number of long holding periods in the midst of it. As for me, I’m at 14 weeks off (let’s see….that’s 98 days, I think). The doc said, “Prozac withdrawal is not permanent,” so that’s what I’m basing my hope on for now. I’m also checking online for anything that provides solid info.

    Anyway, thanks for your good wishes too, and take care. Enjoy the book, and I hope it provides you with some useful, evidence-based information that you can use to approach this situation calmly and confidently.

    • Stacey August 17, 2014, 2:41 am

      It is great news and I am very grateful. I will keep you posted on how I am doing and I wish the very best for you as well. I am also very fortunate to have found this site and has become a great inspiration for me. :)

  • David Trickett August 17, 2014, 5:44 am

    Hi all again, weaned my self off 10mg a day took it really slow like a bout 3 months with the one every other day then cut in half and did same, its now nearly 4 weeks since I stopped and I have hit a brick wall feel as if I cant breathe head in a mess very frightened by all this, this morning I have picked up the tablets and keep looking at them thinking do I take one put them down again, just had a lousy nights sleep or lack of it in turmoil I know they say panic cant hurt you but this feels real enough to me, up to know had a good time, really felt really proud, just wondering how long others took to stop and feel normal well just half normal would be nice at this moment so I can get on with my day

    • Stacey August 17, 2014, 6:47 pm

      Hi David. I am now on day “44” and from what I understand it can take up to 90 days. I have the exact same symptoms as you do and find myself in the same situation. I am not going to lie to you. It has been hell for me as well, but we just have to remember that this awful travesty that we are experiencing won’t last forever. Feels like it so far. I am not sure if you are keeping up with the comments, but “C” has recommended to me to purchase a book by Joseph Glenmullen called; “The Antidepressant Solution”. I have one on order at the moment. Maybe this might be helpful for you too. I guess our best bet is to embrace the good days and endure the bad. One thing I am finding for myself right now is going on to this site to at least know there are others like me who are trying to get by as well. This has helped me greatly so far. Just hang in there David, you are not alone and remember this does not last forever. It will one day be a bad memory for us and only that. :)

      • C August 17, 2014, 11:48 pm

        Hi All! I read the book a couple of weeks ago now, but I do remember the good doctor saying that it’s not a great idea to take the drug every other day, since it makes the adaptation process more difficult. Your brain is trying to adapt to life without the medication, so it may cause the withdrawal effect to be worse….Wait! Just found it….Page 97! He says the only SSRI you could try it with would be Prozac due to its longer half-life.

        The decision, of course, is do you want to go back on the medication at the last dose you were on, and then taper slowly from there? Or can you bear the symptoms for as long as they might go on? That’s an individual decision, of course. I think if I’d read the book earlier, I’d have gone back on and gone more slowly at the end. Despite my deepest wishes, there’s no section in the book that talks about what to do if you’ve come off the medication and still have lingering symptoms. He appears to have had great success with his particular method of tapering patients.

        What can I say? Breathe deeply, do whatever you need to do to stay calm and positive. Try music, exercise, friends, family, herbal stuff, whatever works!

        • maggie October 15, 2014, 1:19 am

          Hi all so glad I have come across this forum. I decided to stop [well not actually]… sort of forgot to take them for a couple days and then thought hey I might as well come off of them completely. Feel like crap very sensitive, headaches, argumentative, not sleeping not to mention the confusion and dizziness. My poor partner is getting the brunt of it. Life is not too bad at the moment… new job, planning my wedding for next year, so no excuses other than the withdrawal. Just need my sex drive to come back and be able to focus on task without feeling dumb and incapable. Was on and off of it for about 4 years now so time to take my life back, but it’s damn hard. Gonna keep going and stay in touch with all you lovely people on here. Take care M

  • Dusti August 17, 2014, 10:30 pm

    I chose citalopram because it had helped me in the past and I was able to taper off of it with no side effects. This time after being on it for a year and half I decided to taper off again because of weight gain and sexual side effects. I took my last pill 3 days ago and I am already having the electric shock feeling. I feel great in the morning and then the later it gets in the day the worse it gets. I hope it doesn’t last long it is enough to drive me back where I was when I started. I was on 20mg once a day. I am praying for all of us to recover from this.

    • delia September 7, 2014, 4:34 pm

      Hi Dusti!
      I am going through the exact same thing – to include the reasons for my decision to get off Celexa (20 mg). My bain zaps also started right away and are also accompanied by severe dizziness. I thought it very strange that I woke up with no symptoms in the morning and, with each hour that passed, they appeared and got worse and worse. I am praying for both of us that we can be rid of this soon – although I am reading that we would need at least 90 days before symptoms may subside. I am going on 4 weeks and they are just as bad as at the beginning.

      • Annette March 28, 2016, 12:45 pm

        Hi. Not sure how long ago you left this comment. I too came off 20 mg. It’s been two weeks since no pills. I have been on and off celexa for 15 years and never had withdrawal until this go around. I thought I had a freakin brain tumor! So scary! After reading all the comments I now think I can handle this a little better.

        I’m going to the pharmacy today to see if they can provide help ‘naturally’ for the symptoms. My irritability sickness dizziness bloating feeling like my brain is swollen and lethargy is just way toooo much to handle. I am so hoping the pharmacist can help. Take care and resist the temptation to go back on the drug!

    • willis October 5, 2014, 5:03 pm

      The whole reason I got off of celexa is because it simply stopped working for me. The reason I started taking was because of anxiety and my bad temper. When I started celexa every thing went away – bad temper and the anxiety, it was all smooth sailing. Then after a year or two I started feeling anxiety again, and I went to my doctor. He told me I would have to up the dose because my body was getting use to it, so I agreed to up the dose and I started to take a pill and a half but it still didn’t do any better.

      And the time I was on celexa I had gained over 90 pounds and developed sleep apnea and became a diabetic. Since have stopped taking celexa I have lost 25 pounds but I’m still going through the withdrawal symptoms and they are bad. But I feel with each day I’m getting better because I’m taking herbs to minimize the symptoms and I feel that they are working.

      • Jody October 7, 2014, 2:54 am

        What herbs are you taking? The brain zaps are killing me

        • cici January 21, 2015, 8:57 pm

          Hi guys, its been nearly five weeks now since I stopped citalopram. I’m better now because the dizziness has stopped, the brain zaps are better, but now I always feel tired. I have serious back pain especially the shoulders, I went to my dr, they gave me pain killer, but it’s not working. The insomnia is still there. Is the anything that can help with the pain?

      • Frustrated October 19, 2014, 11:11 am

        Willis, what type of herbs are you taking? I’m open to anything that helps.

    • S March 13, 2015, 12:02 am

      Same exact thing!! I wake up and think I feel pretty good!!! By the time the sun goes down, I’m laying down!! I just keep telling my self one day at a time!!!!

    • E May 11, 2015, 5:06 pm

      I’ve only been on celexa for a couple of months. This weekend I accidentally skipped my dose and had the worst night ever. Insomnia, restlessness, nausea, panic attack, and then the brain buzz. I thought I was losing my mind. I couldn’t pull myself together so I missed work. I did some research and found this website, and spent all night reading through the comments.

      I’m afraid to start the journey through the withdrawal process, but I see so much strength here that I’m sure I can do this. My doctor insisted that I was depressed and anxious after a recent break up. And now, after last night, and reading all your stories I feel like I have dug myself I into a mental hell pit. I’m not one that scares very easily, but this has situation has me so wound up… and I haven’t even started withdrawal.

  • Dennis Goos August 18, 2014, 12:34 am

    I stopped 10 years of Cit on July 10,2014. I did a small taper from 20mg to 10 mg for one month prior to stoppage. I seemed to have no withdrawal effects at all. Then, a chronic rhinosinusitis exploded to an infection stage. Miserable week. I went on Sulfatrim for the infection. With that, non-nasal symptoms started in earnest. Mild nausea and bloating are attributable to the antibiotics but not the brain zaps. Today seems better than a week ago and I have only one day left on the antibiotic. I am irritable and sleepy. I have taken oxazepam without any relief of symptoms but it helps me sleep. Really hoping that everything is finished when the last of the sulfatrim is gone.

  • sophie August 19, 2014, 7:06 pm

    I have mostly been on citalopram for 5 years. I was on 20 then 40 then 20 again, I stopped cold turkey almost a month ago. It seemed like the worst of withdrawal symptoms happened about a week after stopping. I had even more vivid dreams that had an underlying sinister feeling to them, sleep started getting worse, crying spells and extreme anxiety. After a few days my condition seemed to improve a bit so I felt a little bit hopeful like the worst was over and it will just get easier from now on. I started taking 5htp two weeks after I stopped citalopram.

    Just 50mg as I read about it and thought it could help but I’ve been on it nearly two weeks and I don’t know what affect its having. I am now feeling extremely tearful and fatigued, the autumn air creeping in is adding to my anxiety. I haven’t been able to get out of bed today and I’m so overwhelmed. I don’t even have the energy to cook anything so I’ve only had a couple of wraps filled with spread.

    I also have emotional intensity disorder which I found out last October and I’ve been having dbt so that has helped me progress a bit in last 9-10 months but I just want to be off these pills and progressing in a more natural way. It’s interesting that some people on these comments have said 90 days as a time frame of withdrawal, I really thought it wouldn’t take that long and now I’m really scared that I can’t cope with anything and I’m starting another group therapy module in a week, a college course in a few weeks and moving in a month..

    • C August 19, 2014, 9:55 pm

      Hi! I read your post, and I was wondering if adding another serotonin-type thing into your regimen (i.e. the 5-HTP) might be making things harder rather than easier. When you come off the anti-depressant, your brain and body need to adjust to the change in serotonin levels. Maybe it makes things rockier to take something away and add something else in.

      Do you have support from a family physician or a psychiatrist?Why did you go cold-turkey instead of tapering? I’d be checking in with the doctor and asking for help to do a slow taper. Cold turkey is very stressful.

      Are there any distress-type hotlines in your area that you could call? It’s good to reach out and talk to someone. And please make sure to eat enough healthy food and drink enough water, get exercise and sleep, etc. You have to help your body as much as possible.

      You know? When I read others’ posts, I think it’s so sad that so many are struggling with the effects of these medications. If you can get your hands on the book I mentioned above — The Antidepressant Solution by Joseph Glenmullen, MD (of Harvard) — then do. It’s informative and will explain why cold-turkey is not the way to go. There’s a 5-step program to go off the medication slowly and carefully — and only when it’s not a hugely stressful time in your life. If you’re moving and starting courses, perhaps it’s time focus on those things and do your medication taper when you’re settled, relaxed and ready.

      Take good care of yourself, okay? I wish you well, whatever you choose to do. Just know that there’s another way. In the meantime, reach out to someone nearby, okay?

  • JoJo August 19, 2014, 11:05 pm

    Celexa was a God send that helped me through severe acute panic attacks. But after 7 years of 20mg, my Dr. at my request placed me on a three month weaning process. I have been off for a month now. The first two weeks were hell. Brain zaps, mood swings, uncontrollable crying (I am a male police officer, never cried like this before) aniexity, depression, severe carb cravings, insomnia, and unbelievable fatigue.

    Now at a month the fatigue, insomnia and anxiety continue. Sometimes my brain is racing so fast,
    I need to just get out and drive so I can regain control. Pre celexa I never experienced any of these.

    I have been told that in some it can take up to 90 days before your brain gets back to normal. I guess I am one of those lucky ones. Doing it one day at a time. Hang in there everyone- no one wants to be on meds forever.

    • road2recovery September 28, 2014, 3:55 pm

      JoJo, I COMPLETELY sympathize with where you’re coming from. I’ve been trying to taper off Celexa over 5 months from 40mg after about 4 years of being on the medication. Things went well for the first couple months until I got to 5mg every other day. Now I’m suffering unbearable fatigue where I can hardly get out of bed in the morning, even with 10+ hours of sleep. Add to that anxiety, depression, mood swings, low self confidence, difficulty concentrating, etc.

      I see you posted about a month ago. How are you doing know? Wishing you all the best.

    • willis October 5, 2014, 5:12 pm

      hello jojo I’m a corrections officer myself and I was on celexa for 8 years and now I’m off the drug and I can’t work because of the withdrawl symptoms. I’m on medical leave now and I don’t know when I will be returning back to work. How have the symptoms effected your work life?

  • Stacey August 21, 2014, 9:52 pm

    Hello! :) I believe I am now on Day “49” since my symptoms of withdrawal had kicked in and I am now finding my head is starting to “clear” of the fogginess. I am now gaining my sense of humour back which is a huge relief for me. I still have headaches, exhaustion and shortness of breath off and on, but I do note a huge improvement from what I have already experienced in the past. Again, I am still being cautious and find the need to take one day at a time. All in all, I am getting better and would like to stress to others who feel they can’t cope to really hang in there. It does get better. :)

  • C August 21, 2014, 11:44 pm

    It’s great to hear some good news from you! It must be so encouraging to see some positive changes. I think good feeds on good, so hopefully, you’ll continue to feel better as the days pass. Congrats!

  • Molly August 24, 2014, 11:23 am

    Hi everyone,

    It has been so saddening to hear of people’s struggle coming off medication. It is also wonderful to witness a clear sense of support and encouragement for those going through similar experiences. I don’t usually write on blogs but my story may be of help and so I will… I came off citalopram 7 months ago and I came off very slowly. Final dose was 5mg (I broke 10mg in half). This process took perhaps 3 months all in all to completely come off, however I felt there was no clear science, just knew I should take my time and listen to my emotions.

    I went much slower than my GP advised as I feel they don’t fully appreciate the dangers through no fault of their own. Not many GPs have insight when it comes to depression. We often know more than they do. I had no symptoms what so ever. In fact I felt somewhat empowered to be off them and my family even commented on my mood being very stable. What I was doing at the time was therapy called ‘the journey’. I managed to clear some issues for me (loss of a loved one when I was a teenager) that I never believed could have created such a depression.

    However after doing the therapy I felt significantly better and clearer. More importantly, as a result of the therapy I felt empowered to come off the meds as I felt clear of the root cause of it. Now 7 months along and I feel anxiety creeping back. I also have moments of despair. What is different this time is although I experience these dark moments and feel powerless at those moments on the whole I am much more able to discuss these issues with loved ones and I am seeking therapy (journey) again as I am hoping that there is more I need to resolve in order to clear the negative feeling I am having.

    I will let you all know how it goes. Fingers crossed. Lots of love and hope to all those struggling right now. We will beat this! x Molly

  • Tamara August 28, 2014, 6:42 pm

    Hello… I’m at the end of week 2 in being totally off Citalopram. I’ve been on 40 mg for 10 years and started the taper process about 6 months ago. My doctor took it down to 20mg. Then I started cutting the pill in half approximately 4 weeks before I quit. In the final 2 weeks of tapering, I was taking 10 mg every 3 days, then every 4 days, etc until I finally swallowed my last pill forever!

    The worst symptom for me for the first week was the “head shutters”… That’s how I’ve always described them. They are starting to happen less frequently this week, which is good but now the AGITATION AND IRRITATION has set in. I’m bitchy and seem always ANGRY at my boyfriend and my kids. I have shared with all of them about my discontinuation of the Cit in hopes they don’t take anything personal.

    I, too, feel lethargic and tired all the time, but don’t exercise as I should. Nighttime is a hit n miss. Some nights I sleep fine. Others, I’m restless and cannot lay still! My legs are fidgety and I sometimes feel like I have “creepy crawlers” on my face. I sometimes wonder if this is what a tweaker feels like! LOL I’m tired while in bed but can’t seem to “stay asleep” some nights.

    I’m determined to get through this because 10 years was long enough. I just got done having a good cry while reading through different websites on Citalopram Withdrawal Symptoms, because I know there will be a light at the end of this tunnel of Citalopram Hell!
    Hang in there everyone!

    • jay v September 29, 2014, 5:58 pm

      I have been on these types of medicines since 2001. Do any of you guys seem to notice, that you feel like you forget alot? Or even feel like you don’t remember alot of things over the years? I seen a tv episode about how anti-depressants have been believed to cause alzheimers! Any input please.

      • Frustrated October 19, 2014, 11:21 am

        Jay, I am in the process of tapering but have been forgetful for a long time. I also take other meds but hope the forgetfulness and confusion will lessen once totally free from citalopram. But the forgetfulness is probably pretty common. Hope this helps answer your question.

  • Lockie September 6, 2014, 11:01 am

    Please help !! I am on day 12 of being off this horrendous drug cold turkey and my mental state is falling to pieces. I had a bad reaction to the cip when It kicked In, heart racing, dizziness, Vision flashing, uncontrollable shacking and feeling freezing cold plus anxiety. My doctor told me to persevere so I did for 2 weeks but suffered major anxiety and could feel my body telling me to stop so I did .

    The doc said I could stop cold turkey no worries. Now I can’t remember much hour to hour, massive headaches, cloudy head along with occasional suicidal and aggressive thoughts towards other friends and family who I love to bits. How long will this last and I’m scared of losing my rational train of thought and lose the plot completely. I’m sacred I’ll hurt myself or someone I love. I’m fine for most the day up and down but every now and then I hit a massive low which is when these nasty thoughts occur. How long till it starts getting better and will I fully recover? Any recommendations and advice would be much appreciated

    • Tamara September 25, 2014, 6:21 pm

      Hi…. I, too, tried to quit cold turkey a couple of years ago and thought I was losing my mind a week into it. When I consulted with my doctor, he really read me the riot act about quiting cold turkey. I tapered off over the course of about 6 months. I’m 6 weeks off of it and the withdrawals have pretty much disappeared. I occasionally get a “brain zap” when I’m looking around but they are far and few between now. I would recommend seeking a 2nd opinion because I think your doctor telling you “quit cold turkey is fine” is out of their mind!!!!! They probaly have never had to quit this med cold turkey so they are unaware of the side effects!

      • Lockie October 5, 2014, 3:40 pm

        Hi Tamara thanks for your reply, its given me some hope as feeling this crap for so long makes you wonder if you are damaged for life. Most of the symptoms are now gone (I suffered EVERY single one on this blog) and had a pretty good week but last 2 days feeling really tired, depressed and occasional bad thoughts again. I’m hoping its one of my last waves and was a bit of a let down as I thought it was over. Hope your doing well and keep me posted on your progress!

        • alison December 16, 2014, 11:11 am

          Lockie. I have had to also stop citalopram due to side effects . I was on 20 mg dropped it to 10mg for 17 days and then had to stop… I am experiencing every single withdrawal symptom. Also scared I’m losing my mind! My memory loss is actually frightening me! How long did all of this last?? Please tell me you are back to your normal self. I’m only on day 15 since I stopped it.

      • Jeanne Conley January 20, 2015, 11:36 am

        I am so glad I found you people. I have been off Cit for a couple weeks and feel like I lost my brain. Can’t think straight and can’t remember anything. My dr told me to get off of Cit due to huge weight gain. I am suffering through the withdrawal, but it’s hard getting through my work day in this fog. Hopefully, a few more weeks and maybe I will see an improvement.

  • Delia Josan September 7, 2014, 4:30 pm

    Hi! I am so glad to have found this website, read the comprehensive lisy of withdrawal symptoms and, of course the posts, which I found encouraging. That being said, however, I am fighting my own battle with Celexa withdrawal. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with PTSD and severe panic disorder (panic attacks occurred at least once daily, they were debilitating, and lasted anywhere from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours). As a result, I was initially prescribed Klonopin and Paxil by my cardiologist (whom I visited at the advise of my neurologist in order to rule out any cardiac issues).

    Two months later, I started seeing my psychiatrist who changed me from Paxil to Sertraline (I believe it was 100 mg/mcg?), which I took for about 8 months; I remained on a low dose (.5 mg ) of Klonopin as I still experienced panic attacks – albeit at a much gentler level). The side effects of Sertraline (extreme fatigue, inexistent libido, etc) made me ask my psychiatrist for a different medication, which could possibly relive some of the side effects I experienced on Sertraline. She then prescribed 20 mg of Celexa, which I was on for another year. Celexa, although working on the depression side, came with weight gain and less fatigue, but no changes with libido.

    One month ago, I asked my psychiatrist if there was anything else I could try as I had gained 20 lbs and felt like I had absolutely no control over my body despite vigorous exercise 4-5 times per week and a diet no exceeding 1000 calories per day. She then agreed to let me try Vybrint (spelling unsure) and instructed me to take 10mg of Celexa and 5 mg of Vybrint for one week; I should then completely stop Celexa and continue with 10mg of Vibryint.

    On the seventh day, when I only took the Vybrint and no Celexa, I could not function at all. The dizziness was excessive, my vision was blurred, anxiety up, continuous brain zaps each time I stood up or tried to move my head, etc. So, I thought it may have been side effects from Vybrint. During the next week, I kept taking 0.5 mg of Vybrint (instead of the 10 prescribed by my dr) and each day I started feeling better.

    During my last appointment with my doctor on Sept. 2nd, I communicated to her that I was feeling much better and I expressed my desire to discontinue Celexa and Vybrint permanently, while still maintaining the same dose of Klonopin (which I intend to stop and take as needed – in an ideal world). We both agreed that I would no longer take Vybrint as I had been off Celexa for approx. 3 weeks by then. She also said that, if I experienced any symptoms, to take Vybrint every other day.

    So, here I am: the day after my last appointment with my doctor, all symptoms came back with a vengeance: I feel like I am on a swing the entire time (unless laying down), the brain zaps are unbearable, I have crying spells, and a general feeling of discouragement that this will never end. The worst part is that my 6-year old daughter demands my attention and the guilt kills me. Yesterday, as I was trying to somehow relax and hope that the symptoms subside, she came and told me that I haven’t spent time with her in the past week and that she is upset.

    That just turned into a long crying spell in the shower (hubby is gone on a business trip for 3 weeks and I also care for my ill mother who resides with us). Guilt or not, I really could not wait for my daughter’s bed-time story time so I can be done with the day. And then I lay awake until 1:00AM unable to fall asleep and woke up at 7:00 am to make breakfast and prepare for the coming week.

    I apologize for the long post, but it was much needed and that you all in advance for reading. I am sad and discouraged, but DO NOT want to go back on meds. The only positive experience I have had so far is a 3lbs weight loss since quitting Celexa without making any changes in diet – I have not been able to exercise all past week because of the severe dizziness.

    Any words of encouragement or any new information is greatly appreciated. I know I am not the only one going through this, but I feel alone within my own family who has never experienced my situation. I understand them and I feel enormous guilt for putting them through this – which is the hardest thing of all to bear. Thanks again and I wish all of you to be well and get well! -Delia

    • Veronica December 3, 2015, 10:16 pm

      Delia, Your posting was over a year ago and I am wondering how you are doing? I had taken Citalopram for several years and took 2 years to taper off it. I am 4 months past the last 5mg dose and suffer major depression still. Terrible crying fits and anxiety. I sympathize with your story and am interested to know what has happened since 1 year ago. -Veronica

  • Fight September 8, 2014, 2:31 am

    Ugh— 90 days huh. I’m on day 9 and am nauseas, dizzy, and have a headache every second of the last three days.

    No way I can make it 81 more days. I quit cold turkey from 40mg that I was on for a year and a half.

    Had I been told about coming off the med when I went on the med– I would have never started. I was really depressed but I would have found another way.

    F

    • Mar September 14, 2014, 4:16 am

      I totally agree! If I had know how terrible this is getting off the meds I NEVER would have gone on them. Hang in there.

    • Tamara September 25, 2014, 6:24 pm

      I would recommend a slow taper. I was on 40mg for 10 years and it took me 6 months to taper. I’m 6 weeks CIT-Free and am feeling pretty good. Only one or two brain zaps here and there but the rest of the side effects have disappeared. The worst is over and it can only get better! Hang in there

    • E May 11, 2015, 5:37 pm

      Exactly! I would’ve never started on these pills had I been told of the withdrawal symptoms!

  • Mar September 14, 2014, 4:27 am

    I’m really glad I found this website..thank you! It makes me feel a little less alone. The descriptions of withdrawal are spot on. It sucks. I’ve only been on celexa for 3 months at 10 mg and it’s hell trying to get off it. Seems strange with such a relatively low dose, but I guess it’s just my body :( The celexa at first got rid of my anxiety, which was nice– I was never that depressed, but at 3 months I didn’t feel like it was helping with the anxiety that much and I was now super depressed.

    It made me not care about anything. So the Dr rec that I try 20 mg and omg that was a mistake. I’ve never had diarrhea that bad in my life and I’ve never been that extremely depressed in my life. It gave me really dark thoughts. So I’m over it and want this crap out of my system, but it’s proving very difficult. I’m getting terrible diarrhea, confusion, zappy/dizziness, crying spells, fatigue and just overall feel bad.

    I’m trying to taper off it by taking 5 mg. I’m wondering how long this will last. I’m also feeling guilty and sad that I’m finding it next to impossible to parent my 2 kids and they are concerned about me. Any words of encouragement or prayers are much appreciated. My heart goes out to all of you as well….I hope we all get past this soon.

    • Nick October 6, 2014, 8:30 am

      Hello Mar. You are not alone on this your story has related to me the most out of all because I to was on Celexa for 3 months at 10mg. I am around day 47 or so of my withdrawal and some days are good and some are bad. After I first stopped the pills I went through a stage of physical symptoms including a lot of anxiety attacks, muscle aches, joint pain, headaches, diarrhea, hand numbness, muscle spasms, heart palpitations, and more that I can’t think of off the top of my head.

      Then suddenly most of those symptoms stopped and I went through a mental phase of withdrawal for about a week where I was severely depressed, had a ton of crying spells (Ive never cried that much in my life), depersonalization, brain zaps, and again more but these were the most frequent. Now a week removed from the mental phase I am for some reason back in the physical phase where I’m having a few panic attacks, aches, and headaches.

      The symptoms I have had throughout the whole process is constant diarrhea, a lot of headaches, and panic attacks. I’ve also gotten the flu like symptoms on two different occasions throughout. BUT after all of this bad news I will say that almost at day 50 I am improving still with diarrhea and depersonalization but I am improving. I wish you luck on your recovery. Just wanted to relate and let you know your not alone.

      • Mar October 16, 2014, 2:44 am

        Thank you Nick! I’m sorry I didn’t see your writing until now. Life has been crazy…you know. I hope you’re now past all of that. I totally understand what you are talking about when you say it went back and forth between the physical and mental symptoms….yes. I also figured out that during that time my kids and I contracted giardia and cryptosporidium so I have no idea how much of the diarrhea and fatigue was that and how much of it was the withdrawal since it all hit at once. But I’m feeling ALL better now!!! Yay! So overall I think it took about a little over a month to feel completely better (no more balance issues/zaps etc.)

      • E May 11, 2015, 5:52 pm

        I’m around month 2 of celexa, and I’m seriously looking for ways to taper off. I have read most of these testimonials and I’m so very fearful of this journey. Last night was my first night experiencing the zaps and nausea and panic! I felt as if I were falling apart. I hope I am able to manage the challenge and get off this stuff :(

  • Kathy September 15, 2014, 12:44 am

    So glad to find this blog. I had been on celexa for 15 yrs. for deep depression. Started to realize that I was just feeling dead inside so new Dr put me on Effexor and quit celexa. Decided I wanted to be “drug free” so tapered off on my own for 2 wks. Ended up in the hospital for two days. I thought it was the effexor but sounds like it may have been the celexa too. Went back on effexor and tapered off of that over a 2 month period. I have been sitting here sobbing and trying to decide how long I should wait before just going back to antidepressants.

    I have experienced all the same things as the rest of you including the total self loathing, total b*tch to everyone and just plain misery. I wondered how long it might take to be “normal” again. To hear that 90 days is about average to give your brain a chance to recover is so helpful. Now I know what to shoot for and that I need more patience with myself before making any other medical decisions. Good the hear there is light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. I just thought I was nuts and needed more drugs!!!

    • willis October 5, 2014, 5:31 pm

      hello Kathy you are not alone – no one is, we are all in this together. I was on celexa for 8 years and now getting off of it is horrible… the crying all the time and the anxiety. I’ve almost lost my job beause of it, but what is helping me is herbs like ashwangandha. Have you heard of it? It really reduces the symptoms… and of course prayer.

  • Princess September 19, 2014, 9:59 am

    My friend has also been on these pills. The problem is that she thinks that the withdrawal symptoms are going to last. The reason why I’m worried about it is because she has been having withdrawal symptoms for 9 months. Should we consult a specialist?

  • Lynette September 20, 2014, 4:05 am

    I was on C for 3 years I decided 12 weeks ago to go cold turkey and it has been horrible, I had no idea of the side effects, I thought I was going crazy I just about drove my husband up the wall with my rages and anger, will this go away and all the other symptons? I want to be back to my normal self

  • dayzee September 27, 2014, 4:49 pm

    omg! I am so glad I found this website! Had a really horrible day today. I first ‘met’ citalopram about 5 years ago after I had a bad relationship break up. I was on 20mg then down to 10mg for about 18 months, came off gradually and had no side affects at all! This time (after another break up, sad isn’t it lol), I have been on just 10mg for about 8 months and came off gradually again and have been off them now for about 10 days.

    Thought I’ve been going mad! That’s why I am so glad I found all you guys! But feel a bit guilty now, cos my symptoms have been mild compared to some of you others. I have been eating more, but that is good because I’ve lost a lot of weight this last 12 months due to my personal problems. But very very fatigued, and last week felt really achy, all my muscles just felt tired. The thing that frightened me at the beginning though, was when I felt any kind of emotion, anger, excitement, sadness, even good news, I would get this weird sort of feeling like a couldn’t take a breath, so difficult to explain, not painful, didn’t hurt my heart of my left arm or anything like that, just a very strange feeling, but then I thought it must be withdrawal symptoms, so that’s why I decided to have a look on line and see if anyone else felt like me.

    So here we all are, and I am so comforted by the fact that there are other people out there who feel like me. This year has been so horrible for me. I just feel ‘stuck’ really. I don’t regret going on anti depressants, I think they help, but they are definitely not the answer, you do need some kind of therapy or counseling too. Trouble is not much help on the NHS. I got 3 telephone counselling sessions free, and on the third telephone call, my therapist basically said ‘yeah you’re doing fine, we don’t need any more sessions’.

    So I thought ok fine lets see if I can do this. 3 months later was still feeling very low, so tried hypnotherapy. It was great but because I’m still feeling crap now, I’m thinking did I waste my money? Don’t know now. But after reading other peoples stories today, I’m thinking, if it is the citalopram withdrawal then thats great because maybe by christmas I’ll be feeling great! Which is good because I hate Christmas really (bar humbug), hate that whole time of year really Christmas, New Year, then bloody valentines day!

    Sorry, I’m really having a good old moan aren’t I? But thank you , everyone on here you’ve all really cheered me up actually! Well I’ve stopped crying anyway! OMg you should of seen me the other night watching that thing about Cilla on ITV, I was bawling by the end! And I don’t even like Cilla Black!
    Thank you everyone!

  • Joy September 27, 2014, 9:49 pm

    I’m so glad to have found this website! I had carotid arterial surgery a month ago and was told to quit smoking, and so I tapered off my 20 mg of citalopram so that I could consider taking Champix at some point to help with the cig addiction. I took half a pill for 2 weeks, (10 mg per day) and then quit the citalopram from there. It’s been about 2 weeks since I quit them and for the last week I have been so very ill … and just as I was beginning to feel better from my surgery!

    I am so tired I can hardly move, weak and dizzy – the dizziness is so bad that if I simply raise my eyes from my computer screen to look up the room begins to spin. I’ve been worried all week long, thinking that these symptoms are indicative of more TIA’s – which is very scary after what I’ve been through with a 90% blocked carotid artery and a 6 inch incision that is still sore and healing. So I’m getting out the pill bottle again and going to start taking my citalopram again, starting at 10 mg per day and hope that makes the difference … champix is going to have to wait!

    • Nick September 30, 2014, 8:12 am

      Hi. I have been on this drug for 6 months and gave it up cold turkey beginning of September. I have massive crying situations with aggressiveness as well. I get very dizzy and gave constant diarrhea. I have just lost my job and I think it has to do with the mood swings. Please help feeling lost. I am also currently studying and can only seem to do two hours at a time.

  • Tomg October 1, 2014, 12:36 am

    I have been taking celexa only 10 -20 mg almost 8 years now. I just started to stop celexa a couple days ago. Yes, I can tell difference, extremely tired no reason, pain my neck area ( stiffness), vertigo, brain zap, head ache, feel so sensitive, cry, depressed no reason. I usually work out at gym, like any physical activities, martial arts, etc.

    It’s tough to withdraw from any SSRI. My historical drug history was zoloft, effexor, and celexa for long time. Zoloft was awful, I lost sexual drive, none, feel zombie. effexor was OK but it was tough to withdrawal too. I think I will be OK. just hard to get rid of it. While I am working it big time. Not sure how long it duration for that symptom.

  • Tammi October 2, 2014, 12:52 am

    I have been on citalopram for about 5 yrs. The last two were increased to 40 mg. I have recently decided I was tired of being so numb and not participating in life that I quit cold turkey 3 wks ago. Nothing could have prepared me for the hell these withdrawals have been putting me thru. Extreme nausea, head aches, brain zaps, diarrhea, stomach cramps, anxiety, mood swings, muscle aches..general flu symptoms all the way around! I don’t know how much longer I can do this!…. what really has me baffled is even though I am extremely nauseous I am starving constantly! I eat all day just to feel the emptiness and nervous feeling in my stomach. I was really hoping to lose some weight after getting off these. But apparently that is not going to happen. Don’t know how much longer i can keep goin!

  • BarbB October 2, 2014, 2:35 pm

    I am in my second week of withdraws. I never had brain “zaps”, but rather more of a whooshing sensation like getting off a small boat on big waves. That along with plugged ears and high blood pressure have subsided. I tapered off for 2 months, but have been done for 2 weeks. I have evaluated my stress level, because I am very sensitive and irritable. I am back to shutting down when confronted, and it’s OK. On the Celexa, life was great!

    I was back to my happy-go-lucky, optimistic self the first day I took it. I needed to use it to cope with complicated grief from losing my house and everythig to a fire, last year. I began in November, but in July of this year, the side effects were unbearable! I suffered constant nightmares, suicidal thoughts (especially while driving), lowered average body temp. 96.4° which made me sweat excessively, diarrhea, confusion & lack of concentration. I called my doctor and proposed a step-down method of one every 2 days for 2 weeks, one every 3 days for 2 weeks, etc.

    I got down to one every 5 days and noticed it didn’t benefit me to take it, anymore. I still have the bottle with some left, but it reminds me I am strong! I have people I can talk to. I try to remain busy with my family, church and gym time. It’s when I am ” resting” when I feel down. Right now, when I make bad judgement calls, I beat myself up, mentally, because the idea is blown up in my head. I hate to think I cause others to be upset. I don’t deal well with negativity, and I personalize, too much. I tell myself I am doing the best I can.

    I tell myself I am not responsible for other people’s feelings and problems. It is hard to let go, to breathe without crying, to be free like I used to be. But, again, this is only week 2. There is a light, and it will shine brightly after this storm passes.

  • Marcee Wheaton October 3, 2014, 10:25 pm

    I’ve been on 40 mg for about 10 yrs. Prozac for the 10 before that. I attempted to wean off Celexa a while ago, down to none the last week or so, but the symptoms got so bad I took a dose yesterday and today. Full doses. I felt like I was dying. Or would suddenly die. The electrical stuff is just too crazy. Tight chest, out of breath. Crazy head (bobble brain), and I can’t take it. I’m isolated and I guess I may resign to having to stay on it at some reduced level perhaps. Being depressed and suicidal is much different than feeling like I’m going to keel over and die any minute!

  • JessicaC October 4, 2014, 10:07 am

    I’ve taken celexa for 4 years, from 20 mg to 30 to 40, down to 20 and now I’ve been on what I thought was a slow taper and stopped taking 10 mg this last Sunday (so I’m 6 days out). Symptoms started on Thursday – brain zaps, difficulty concentrating, irritability, general fog. This sucks! I’m just glad my husband suggested that it might be withdrawal symptoms.

    He was starting to freak out when I described the brain zap sensations – he’s a doctor and he was concerned I was showing signs of MS. I feel so weird, like I’m here, but not at the same time. I hope this doesn’t last too long. I started my taper because I wanted to be drug free and start trying to conceive and I really want to stick with it, but I hope these feelings stop soon.

    It’s so comforting to know I’m not alone in this. Like most of you, I don’t know if I would have stayed on Celexa as long if I knew about the withdrawal symptoms.

  • Jody October 7, 2014, 3:59 am

    I am so glad I found all of you. I have been on celexa 20mg for over 13 years. Plus Wellbutrin 300mg for the past eight years. Everything was going fine. But lately I’ve come to realize that I am numb. Apathetic, dead inside, and my libido left many years ago. I started cutting back to 10 mg every second day, staying with 20mg in between. I did this for two months without any problems. I saw my psychiatrist and told her I was finally ready to change something. I was tired of feeling dead.

    She recommended I quit the celexa and begin taking aripiprazole (Abilify) 2mg along with the Wellbutrin. I am now on day 6. The “brain zaps” started two days ago. I had no idea. My psychiatrist told be about possible aripiprazole side effects to watch for but didn’t mention celexa withdrawal symptoms. I thought I was going crazy with these electrical shocks in my head. I started Google-ing, and here you all are. I wish us all luck in this journey of ours.

    My questions-has anyone else stopped celexa and started another kind? Should I stop taking aripiprazole until the withdrawal symptoms of celexa have diminished? Will the addition of aripiprazole with the deletion of celexa help reduce the withdrawal symptoms? Any thoughts or ideas? What would you do?

    • GLOOM October 7, 2014, 1:04 pm

      I am surprised your doctor tacked on Abilify… somewhat odd. Personally I’d think twice about going on Abilify (an antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). The side effects from Abilify are likely to be more severe than those from Celexa… and the withdrawal will be just as (if not more) difficult. I’d consider asking about non-antipsychotic options and think about using a different antidepressant. Best of luck.

  • Emma October 8, 2014, 2:19 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I have just recently come off citalopram 40mg, and just wanted to say that it actually does get better, although I never thought I would say that. I was on citalopram 40mg for almost 3 years, and decided I wanted to try rid myself of anxiety and depression naturally. I experienced the worst withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, headaches, vivid dreams, dizziness, severe mood swings, irritability, suicidal thoughts and constant body jolts. I did everything the Dr said and weened off them slowly, but this did not make it easy like they say it will.

    Even then the body jolts continued for a couple of weeks once I was finally off them. I felt so hopeless like I needed the tablets to feel normal again, but luckily my friends around me told me I had to keep pushing through. Just over a month from being completely off citalopram 40mg, I feel normal again!! (I never thought I would say that).

    I have moved overseas to a completely foreign country and stood in front of full classrooms of students to teach English, with no tablets to ease the anxiety, just a new mindset. So to those who are reading this and feeling hopeless like it will never get better, it will! Those awful body jolts and all the rest will subside. Keep going!

    • Clare February 23, 2015, 1:05 am

      Thanks!! I was trawling these stories of people sharing my symptoms hoping desperately for a success story. I realized when someone has cleared the symptoms they probably aren’t here because they are not looking for answers! So Thank you, thanks for coming back to share you are OK and came through it!

    • Tay May 3, 2015, 11:22 pm

      Oh, thank-you so much for sharing!! I have just done a slow taper, after 2 years on – to now off by reducing 20mg to 10 to 5 to 2.5 to nothing over a month. Day 6 with nothing and the last 3 weeks have been especially hard. Sleep is horrible, the hot flushes come day and night, but at night they wake me and I can’t fall back asleep. Also have itchy feeling all over my skin, it’s really weird.

      All my sensations are stronger! I hope it evens out soon and am so encouraged to read your have after a month. I am living/teaching abroad too. The process going off has been lonely in a new city, new job without friends yet. But I am determined! (Also was on Wellbutrin for 15 years and tapered off that at the same time).

  • muniba October 9, 2014, 10:55 am

    I have been on Citalopram for the past 8 months and also the side effects was fatique, lethargic and tiredness. It has helped with the anxiety but due to the side effects I no longer wanted to take it. I have been off the medication for almost 2 weeks and the symptoms include dizziness, vertigo, insomnia, night sweats, bad body pain and migraine headaches. My anxiety has also started but not as bad as it was before and I am also battling to eat or stomach anything.

    I am withdrawing myself from people and I am not sure if it is the depression that is starting again. I do not want to go back onto this medication as it has affected many aspects of my life whereby I do not have energy to do much and do not want to become dependent on any medication. For the past week I have been taking Adcodol which contains codeine and am unsure if this is also adding to what I am currently feeling.

  • C October 9, 2014, 5:59 pm

    Been on 20mg citalopram for about three years and I just felt like it might be a good time to stop. Been off it for about a week now, and emotionally, I’m about as stable as I was while on it, which is a welcome change from the occasional downward spiral I’d go into from missing a pill or two, but I find myself severely dizzy with any movement of my body or limbs, and I get tired within two or three hours of waking up, which is inconvenient.

    There doesn’t seem any concrete data on how long this lasts, but I’m hoping to be on the shorter end of the withdrawal spectrum – I’ll come back and update this when things are looking better so people have some kind of idea of how long this might last.

    • Lockie November 29, 2014, 12:36 am

      Good luck mate , everyone is different . Some people a few weeks some months. I was unlucky 5 months and still get the extreme fatigue once or twice a week but definitely getting better. Hope you are on the short end of the scale!

  • Tony October 10, 2014, 1:53 am

    Hi Guys! you need to change your diet while getting off antidepressants. The first thing you need to do is buy yourself a juicer. Juice raw fresh carrots, celery, apples, etc. Every single day!!! This will help the effects of the withdrawal symptoms. And you’ll be on your way to healing.
    Also get a good dose of probiotics supplements. The Flora brand is really good that’s what I take. 2 pills a day is fine.

    This supplement is a great anxiety and depression healer …. It has helped me tremendously. Our gut needs good bacteria and when the bad over powers the good bacteria depression and anxiety arise. Eat as much green vegetables as possible the more the better, green salad, Kale, broccoli, Spinach etc. These are great healing foods that your body needs. Stay away from alcohol and any drugs.

    I was literally considered dead with major anxiety and depression and insomnia I would go 5 days without sleep. If I can heal myself than you guys can do this!!! Nutrition is medicine. Anyone that needs to contact me helping and guiding them through this process can email me personally. Healingfromwithin2000(at)yahoo.ca

    Be strong !
    God bless
    Tony

    • Will February 28, 2015, 8:20 pm

      Thanks for your advice. It helped me a lot in the weaning process from 15 mg citalopram which I was taking for 3 years. I highly recommend the probiotics in everyone’s recovery and plenty of exercise. I take our dog to an “off leash” park daily and walk 2-3 miles. This has made a huge difference in my recovery. I feel more energized and have even shed a few lbs. Fight the good fight everyone, you’re worth it! Peace.

  • Myra October 10, 2014, 7:08 am

    Have taken myself down from 30mg over about 6 months. Took my final 15mg tab (taking every 3 days) about three weeks ago. Have been looking for something to explain what’s happening to me and I think that I’ve now found it with the ‘head zap’ comments. Very sudden and shortlived dizziness plus a sharp sensation of tingling numbness that crosses my face esp. my lips. This is increasing to the point where I can’t count how many times. This is ‘normal’, right?

  • CR October 10, 2014, 8:10 pm

    Darn right, Myra! That’s par for the course with SSRIs. I had brain zaps with lip tingling too. It went on for quite some time, but it gradually decreased. I suspect the same thing will happen to you, so rest assured that it will go away. Patience is key, but it’s certainly not easy. Hang in there!

  • Monique October 11, 2014, 9:08 am

    Wow, thank goodness I found this website. I decided to go cold turkey during the summer and It couldn’t possibly have been at a worse time either. I moved, and my financial situation changed dramatically for the worse and trying looking after 3 kids alone. I thought all my symptoms of severe anxiety, nausea and insomnia were down to my circumstances. At least I now know there is a good reason for these bloody symptoms. Thanks

    • Ashley October 31, 2014, 1:47 pm

      I am so glad to find this website. I came off Celexa about two months ago and I just now started feeling a little bit normal. I still have good bits of anxiety but when I first came off the drug, I was throwing up for ten days straight. From there it has been a mix of tears and anxiety and no sexual appetite what so ever. It has slowly been going back to normal but its been a miserable few months, and its sometimes hard to remember that this too shall pass. I forget a lot that it’s not my circumstance it’s the medication withdrawals. I just want to feel remotely normal again.

  • Kendal October 12, 2014, 12:34 pm

    My gp gave me citalopram 3.5 weeks ago as I was extremely anxious about my health (which turned out to be fine). The first few days on 10mg of this drug I thought I was having a breakdown, out of control shaking, nausea and extreme anxiety like I’d never had before. I stopped for a couple of days then decided to try again through desperation. A week later I was put on 20mg. Since I started Citalopram my life has been turned upside down and I can’t function at all with day to day life.

    I have 3 kids and my fantastic husband has now been off work for 4 weeks to look after us all. I feel so much worse than I did when I believed I was seriously ill! I told my GP this week that I had to stop them and she said after only 3 weeks this should be fine. I’ve halved to 10 mg for last 3 days and I feel terrible. Sooo anxious, not sleeping, no appetite and nausea. Today I’ve decide enough is enough and I’ve stopped completely. I just hope this nightmare ends soon, I wish I’d never started taking them!!!

  • Kara October 12, 2014, 8:22 pm

    I was on Lexapro initially. Was amazing. About 6 mo later the pharmacy issued me “citalopram 40mg”…not so good. Recently, I weaned myself from 40 mg-20 to taper. About 3 weeks ago I stopped all together. After reading, I found a combo of St John’s Wort, Magnesium, 1000mg of fish oil, B12, and a multi-vitamin. No more brain Zaps!! I feel so much better! Number one, I’m free from the dangerous medicine I no longer need. Two, it has helped with all the small issues like anxiety. Antidepressant meds are NOT meant to be taken forever. 6 months tops is called for.

  • Earl Tallman October 15, 2014, 9:23 pm

    Went off Celexa due to a gut problem. After being on it and Lexapro for 6 years at 40 mg. Doc said take 20 mg for three days then stop. That was three weeks ago. Still lethargic, dizzy, and those damn dreams, hallo/dreams. Once in them can’t wake up. I can hear the phone ring, and alarms go off, but can’t get to them. Sleeping all night just fine but by 9:00 am I’m falling asleep again and not waking until afternoon.

    Afternoons are disoriented, dizzy, headaches, and upset stomach. I get a couple goods days then back to crap. Jumping through all the hoops of conventional medicine and not going anywhere. Going to try functional Medicine and see if I can find relief. Family is at wits end – they never know who they’re going to see when they come through the door. Doctors need to be more informative when they prescribe these meds.

  • Lockie October 17, 2014, 12:02 am

    Hi Gloom,
    Been reading up on your articles and its good to get some advice off someone who “gets it.” I was on cipramil 20mg for 6 weeks and came off due to an adverse reaction. The doc said I could come off cold turkey because its not addictive and basically my world crashed (see my other posts on here). I’m on Day 54 all my symptoms seem to have gone but a slight head fog. I have been so fatigued I can barely get out of bed for the last week. Is this normal and if so, will it last? Just wondering if I should get some blood tests or something, considering I was back at work and things seemed to be going well? Anyway keep up the good work mate, people need to hear what you have to say considering the docs really don’t know much about the drugs they are prescribing. Also I have never had any issues with fatigue in the past.

    • GLOOM October 17, 2014, 2:09 pm

      Hi Lockie, it’s your call on the blood tests just to rule out other potential causes of fatigue such as hypothyroidism, etc. Fatigue is very normal and difficult to deal with upon quitting an SSRI, even at Day 54. I had fatigue for 4-5 months after quitting SSRIs to the point I thought I developed chronic fatigue syndrome. As long as you are getting enough sleep at night, perhaps the best remedy for the fatigue is to fight it by doing things, especially exercise – it should eventually improve. Wishing you the best in your recovery.

  • Rachel October 18, 2014, 11:32 pm

    Hiya everyone, can I firstly say how brave and strong you all are by coming off this horrible medication, it’s not easy as I well know, I’ve been off citalopram 30mg for 4 weeks now and I too am having horrible withdrawal symptoms, but I can cope with them privately. (Just about) what I can’t deal with is the unsociable feelings I have towards my family and friends, it’s horrible feeling like you just can’t be bothered to hold a conversation and just want go to bed and be left alone.

    I can’t afford to feel like this when I have children to look after, it’s not fair on them to see their mom so quiet. I used to be a fun person but now I wonder what happened to my lust for life and sense of humor! I’m praying that this is down to the depressive withdrawal feeling and that in time I will be back to feeling happy and optimistic again. I explain to my family about the withdrawal symptoms and that I won’t be like this forever, but I’m so worried that I might be an unsociable old bag for ages!! LOL. Has anyone else felt like this? Any replies would be most thanked :) x

    • Libs November 5, 2014, 3:57 pm

      Feeling the same – can’t face people at the moment but forcing myself. Been off Citalopram for about 4 weeks now (20mg). Went cold turkey – I don’t think I would’ve had I known the withdrawal symptoms would be this bad. Dizziness (not so bad now) and real mood swings – I don’t usually have such a short temper, but it’s been awful :-( Taking comfort from other comments knowing that things will get better.

    • Chloe December 12, 2014, 5:46 pm

      Hi all, I have been withdrawing from Celexa after a slow taper over a few months – completely off for about 2 weeks now, and feeling lots of anxiety and depression – I cried over a JC Penney commercial today… so obviously, I’m hitting a bottom here. :) Most difficult with my withdrawal is reconciling doing this to my family for my own, eventual, betterment.

      Can I afford to do this to my family? – I have a devoted spouse and three young children, and I am nowhere near the mom I need to be right now. I am moody, irritable, nasty – my spouse/kids don’t deserve this… I don’t want to be this person. Do I go back and start taking the meds again to save my family the pain or ride it out without really knowing if there’s an end in sight?

  • Nita October 21, 2014, 6:44 am

    Husband and I have low-paying jobs and in between paychecks I ran out of my monthly supply of 40 mg citalopram several days ago (been on 3 yrs). Got head zaps across my eyes when I turned my head or moved too quickly, dizziness and then depression sinking in/crankiness have been my symptoms. However, I appreciated feeling a full spectrum of feelings once again. Realized that this med has numbed me to certain circumstances in my life that has otherwise prevented me from getting serious/angry enough to do anything about them.

    Had a good cry yesterday and felt a release of all those “sad chemicals” built up and finally released through shed tears. Nothing wrong with crying – tears actually have chemical compounds in them that when shed rid the body of those bad chemical compounds (my non-formal, un-scientific version of what happens). Well we put together $4 to cover the Walmart pharmacy charge for my months supply, bought script last night (its now almost 2am the next day) and took one at my usual time in the evening. Now I’m wired as all get out, can’t sleep, heart started started pounding, mouth has been dry and I got “itchy” restless legs.

    I am thinking of doing the slow taper to come off of citalopram all together like many of you brave neighbors so that I can really feel again and get serious enough to do something about changing some pretty negative circumstances in my life once and for all instead of just simply numbing-out to them on citalopram. Thanks for all of your brave, heartfelt stories shared! God bless, comfort and heal us all I pray in Jesus’ Mighty Name. -Nita

  • Chelsea Cain October 22, 2014, 6:47 pm

    I have been taking Citalopram for about a year now and started weaning myself off off it and now I’m suffering from withdraws for about 4 days now and it’s hard to do anything without feeling sick and having panic attacks. Any advice on anything that will help with these withdraws?

  • Cathi October 23, 2014, 2:15 pm

    I was put on zoloft for 6 weeks could not tolerate it, was off a couple weeks then on celexa for 20 days and had bad reactions from that. It has now been 25 days off the celexa. Things have settled somewhat, except for the anxiety attacks. I take visteril for that. Can’t say it helps that much, but takes the edge off. Was wondering how long these horrid anxiety attacks will last. When I’m sitting around I’m OK, but when I go to do something they start. As soon as I exert myself just a little they start. They get so bad I think I’m going to throw up.

    I hope they go away. I was treated with antidepressants years ago, good old menopause. I did have high anxiety all my life and hope that this isn’t rearing it’s ugly head again. Although they were never anything like I am experiencing now. Any thought on this would be much appreciated. I went through lexapro withdrawal a year ago, and was treated with klonopin. Omg big mistake, had to go through withdrawal from that, it was nasty. Now this, I can deal with the dizziness, but this anxiety is driving me crazy.

    When I think it’s all over it rears it’s ugly head. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Hope everyone out there get through this horrible situation. We just have to keep praying and hanging on I guess .

  • MH October 23, 2014, 7:09 pm

    I have been on Citalopram 40 mg for 4 years and decided to stop cold turkey 5 days ago, bad idea. Today is the worst day: weepy, vertigo and dizziness. I did not tell my Doc I was going off nor did I read up on how to taper and I only have 1/2 a pill left. However, I just got off phone with doc office (he’s out til Tuesday – today is Thurs) and another Doc is going to (hopefully) refill my prescription and I can taper off the correct way. I am having to miss work tonight because of my vertigo and dizziness (I can’t drive).

  • Sam October 26, 2014, 1:01 am

    I have been off 40mg Celexa and 75mg Topamax for 7 days now… I didn’t taper off… I am so happy to have found this page just to know more information. The hardest part of withdrawal is the zaps (full on zaps straight from head to toes – even throws my head back and body jerk)… the crying and paranoia is tough but the zaps and my sudden lack on self-confidence (can’t think or talk straight) are the worst… I know from past experience with other med withdrawal it goes away but WOW! Has anyone else experienced zaps this bad?

  • Emma October 28, 2014, 5:04 am

    I have taken Lexapro (10 mg.) and then Celexa (20 mg.) for the past 11 years. I retired a few years ago so stress has certainly eased. About 3 weeks ago I ran out of the meds and ordered a refill, but forgot to add it to my pill sorter when I picked it up. I realized I had not been taking it eight days later, so I decided to just quit. I didn’t really notice symptoms right at first. Then I realized the weird dreams I was having, the zaps in the sides of my head, the grumpiness, and the short temper, were probably withdrawal.

    Then the sadness began and the tears that came easily. I think I was just a zombie for all those years because nothing seemed to bother me! I have dizziness, even just moving my head from side to side, tiredness, I don’t want to start back on it so I am hoping I can come to terms with this new self. I am so glad to have found this page so I realize I am not the only one. I really don’t want to go back on any of this stuff!!

  • Hannah October 29, 2014, 8:02 pm

    Decided to stop taking celexa 40mg after over 20 years on it. BIG mistake!!! Just stopped. Not even thinking. Have spent the last week thinking I was going to die! Hot then freezing, so weak I can hardly function. So sick to my stomach I can’t eat. Can’t remember feeling this bad. Lost track of days, thoughts, and 6 lbs in a week. Went to the Dr. thinking I had an ulcer or flu. She set me straight, it was the Celexa!!! Hope I can get through this!!!

    • Jody W January 1, 2015, 11:23 pm

      I too am having flu like symptoms. I thought I had the flu, but after reading the posts here, now I’m not so sure. I was on Citalopram 40 mg for 6 years starting with my divorce. I went cold turkey 2 weeks ago. The symptoms started almost immediately. After a week, the dizziness got so bad that I actually fainted twice in 15 minutes time. It scared my mother so bad that she convinced me to go to the hospital. They diagnosed me with extreme dehydration, gave me two bags of intravenous fluids and sent me home.

      6 days later, I came down with severe flu like symptoms, nausea, fever, chills, night sweats, severe body aches, extreme fatigue. The dizziness is incredibly debilitating. I ride racehorses for a living and being dizzy and off balance can be extremely dangerous. After reading this blog, I am very scared about the withdrawal symptoms. I ran out of my prescription and didn’t want to go back to the doctor, but maybe I should. I can’t function at my job like this. Thank you to all of you here. Good to know that I’m not insane and that I’m not alone in this. Good luck to all of you.

  • Susan Traxler October 31, 2014, 12:00 am

    I just stopped taking Celexa my doctor said I don’t have to take it anymore. He left me on my ativan. I was only on 20mg but I have been feeling a little dizzy and last night my stomach hurt so badly I thought I was going to throw up but instead I had it all come out the back side. I do feel better off it because I had a rash from it and some nosebleeds. How long will my symptoms last? I was only on it for I think two months…

  • Curlyshark October 31, 2014, 7:16 am

    I’ve been on Citalopram for 13 years. I made the decision to come about 5 weeks ago. I was on 10 mg a day. I dropped to 5mg a day then 2 1/5 a day. I had slight dizziness and nausea. I was surprised this was the only side effect. Until just over a week ago. I was VERY up and down with my moods. Tearful and irritable. I’ve been getting brain zaps and my sleep pattern is slightly out. However I KNOW these are ONLY symptoms of coming of the drug. They will pass. And I’m trying to stay positive that I will be a stronger person now I’m off the drug! If you feel it’s the right decision for you to come off the drug… then stick with it, be strong, and ditch the drug!!

  • sue October 31, 2014, 11:44 pm

    I have been off celexa for a week now after tapering down from 40 mg to 5mg over many weeks. Even with tapering I am experiencing awful withdrawal symptoms, the worst being dizziness, insomnia, and weepiness. I am definitely not myself and pray that I don’t have to wait 90 days for these symptoms to go away. I was on the meds for over 6 years. Any suggestions?

  • amharach November 1, 2014, 12:13 am

    6-7 years on citalopram. Started 10mg and it felt like someone turned the sun on. It was wonderful. Increased to 20mg for most of those years until my mother died unexpectedly and increased to 40. That was 2 1/2 years ago. I decreased to 20mg this July as I just felt numb most of the time and the effectiveness was gone. I have decreased to 10mg the beginning of Oct. Felt like I had the flu. Achy, crabby, stiff neck.

    I work out 3-4 days a week, and suddenly didn’t want or have the energy to. But emotionally I felt so much better. Only one day of tears and thankfully I recognized it. But it was nice to feel emotion again. The “flu” symptoms passed and I felt much better. Dropped to 5 mg last Saturday. Huge mistake. Too big a drop or too fast even after all that. Tues I went to 7.5 then 5 again every day till today and had to do 7.5 again. Brain zingers big time.

    Bad sleep. Hot, cold, headaches. So I will be doing 7.5mg for the next weeks and trying 5 mg in Dec and I’m thinking 2.5mg in Jan. I really just want to be done and feel accomplished in quitting it, but OMG the withdrawals this week, even after already having a bout, were a huge surprise. I suspect I went a bit too quick — one book said one month taper for every year of use, but I felt pretty good then wham! I guess I took them for six years but my anxiety and impatience just wants to be done with the process.

    I want to know the worst is over, but I guess I can’t rush it. So happy to have found this site. The comments make me grateful it was only 6-7 years, and bad that it was that long! It is nice to have feedback from people withdrawing from celexa/citalopram specifically. I’m a bit discouraged that even once off expect an adjustment for 3-6 months, but good to know ahead of time. Thank you for your posts everyone it was helpful.

  • Rachel November 3, 2014, 2:32 pm

    There is light at the end of the tunnel!! About 3 weeks ago I posted on here saying how unsociable I had become since going cold turkey from Citalopram but in the last 3 days I have felt great! Its been about 6 weeks since I last took Citalopram (I was taking 30mg and was on it for 5 years) and at last my emotions and sense of humor are slowly coming back, I feel more confident and less anxious now which I never thought possible. It might be due to me taking 5-HTP, St Johns Wort and Omega 3 oils, who knows but since I’ve been taking these I feel more confident than I ever had.

    I still get the odd moments when I suddenly get really tired or go a bit quiet in myself but I think as long as I explain to my family then I don’t feel guilty and it doesn’t add to any stress I might be already feeling, I’m hoping that in another 6 weeks I’ll be almost fully recovered, fingers crossed. I just want to tell everyone on here that you can get better and stop if you really put your mind to it and believe that you can do it. Try to think that any withdrawal symptoms are good as it’s your body’s way of showing you that its ridding itself of this nasty medication. I hope this post helps and gives optimism to others. If anyone needs any advice on the herbal remedies I’d be glad to help :)

    • Karen December 8, 2014, 4:40 am

      After switching birth control pills years ago, was prescribed Celexa to cope with depressive side effects. Have been taking 20 mg Celexa/Citalopram for over 10 years. It’s dulled my sex drive, I’ve gained 40 lbs overall, it makes me grind my teeth in my sleep, and ringing in my ears may be related. Have tried going off Citalopram several times but went back on since the withdrawal symptoms caused some depression. Recently went from 30 mg to 20 mg per day, randomly to 10 mg until last Monday.

      I decided to just go for quitting cold turkey and cope with the results. After several days I was weepy, mom going in for surgery. Then I thought, why not let the tears come, better than the meds. Tried Benadryl, then bought some St John’s Wort. Want to try to offset the withdrawal with this and other herbal remedies. I’ve added Rescue Remedy gum, R Garden Vitamin O. Yesterday felt fatigued and took a nap. Later was up til 3 am, wound up. Slept in today, drank lots of water, another nap, hot bath.

      I have the bottles of Citalopram but want to hold off going back on them. I can do St Johns, but want some advice about how much to start taking each day. I can start probiotics, I also have a juicer and can add carrot juice. Whoever has tried herbal remedies, please let me know what’s helped you. I’ll give some of these juices and herbal remedies a try. Thanks, and to all of you who are coping with withdrawal, have courage, prayers that we all succeed and can help others leave the little peach pill behind!

  • Lesley Derrick November 4, 2014, 10:05 pm

    So informative. I didn’t cut down slowly and told doctor I felt dizzy. His answer: Blood pressure OK, so don’t worry, but I didn’t mention the electric zaps going through my body. My house sold, but not done deal and I have a new job learning computers… I’m managing OK. I took citalopram 40 mg for 2 years, 20 mg for 4 months and 10 mg for 10 days. How long am I going to have to cope with these? And will I lose the 3 stone I put on and get my libido back? At least I understand what’s going on now… and my sense of humour is finally coming back. Love, Lesley

  • K November 5, 2014, 4:32 am

    Tapered off 40 mg (was on for roughly 7 yrs) recently due to pregnancy. The headaches are unreal!!! As is the dizziness. Any suggestions to lessen/dull the symptoms? Having the doc put me into a coma sounds pretty good at this point lol

  • Debbie November 5, 2014, 2:17 pm

    I’ve been on an antidepressant of one kind or another since 1989 for severe bouts of depression and anxiety. I’ve had bouts of agoraphobia that can last years at a time then just disappear. I recently have finally been diagnosed as bipolar which, looking back, explains so many if my erratic behaviors and though I’m not happy about it, I don’t feel like a terrible person with no willpower or courage to overcome what those around think I use as a crutch.

    I recently ran out of Celexa and had no refills. I take 60mg daily and my pharmacy handles obtaining refills, etc. it’s been almost a week after years on this dosage and I’ve been rather manic. I have had brain zaps but I’m more concerned about what will happen when I start back on it. Will I crash and get really depressed or will I even out? I DO NOT want to crash to the point of isolation and depression, especially during the holidays. This time of year is hard enough to maintain any functioning as it is. Any answers?

    • GLOOM November 5, 2014, 9:51 pm

      Hi Debbie, I wouldn’t be too concerned about starting it back up – especially since you’ve been on it for years. You will likely stabilize on the drug and the symptoms should subside. Unfortunately, since everyone is different, it’s impossible predict whether you’ll experience a crash when you start taking it again. Best wishes.

  • Rv November 5, 2014, 5:21 pm

    It’s good to read of others experiences with celexa withdrawal. I’ve tapored from 20mgs to 5mgs and that’s when some withdrawal symptoms started to kick in. I guess patience is key and good to know there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck to everyone.

  • Rv November 7, 2014, 1:40 am

    I’m really down and struggling today. Can someone reassure me these symptoms will pass. I’m just irritable. Thanks

  • helenk22 November 7, 2014, 3:43 am

    It’s 3:38 AM and I give up try to sleep. Brain zaps etc. Taking citalopram for over 4 years. Stopped being of benefit ages ago. Cut down from 40 to 20 to 10 over the past two months. Been off for 5 days. Feel human already but can’t wait for withdrawals to stop. Good luck to everyone else kicking the dreaded citalopram :)

    • Rv November 7, 2014, 9:19 pm

      Hang in there Hellen. Hopefully, you can get some rest. It’s no fun trying to function during the day when exhausted. I hope these symptoms do pass. Sometimes it feels hopeless, but we have to press on.

  • Shelby November 7, 2014, 10:31 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I am only 5 days weaning off of 20 mg. of Celexa AND 50 mg. of Topiramate at the same time. Since I don’t know which is actually causing the withdrawal symptoms, one or both of them, either way, I am having those symptoms… ESPECIALLY today….the 5th day…brain zaps, shaking, irritability, getting headaches, and feeling “sick” in the stomach and overall “flu” like symptoms. I have had withdrawals before coming off meds different ones, and you don’t forget that experience. But I do know that it will be much better once it gets completely out of my system :) Thank you again and good luck to you and everyone else too!! :) KEEP POSITIVE!!! :)

    • Rv November 9, 2014, 8:53 pm

      I’ve been tired and crying the last few days. Is this normal? Also, to those who have jobs, how do you function each day, I struggle with thinking should I up my dosage just to get these withdrawals to stop, yet I want off this stuff. Any advice or at least encouragement would be appreciated. I need to know these symptoms will pass. Thank you

  • Christine November 8, 2014, 3:41 am

    I’ve been off celexa for about 3 months (have been on it 4 times after pregnancies due to post-partum anxiety, was on 20mg for a year and did a gradual withdrawal over a couple months). I don’t seem to have any withdrawal symptoms anymore except extreme anger and irritability, is this normal? I can go from zero to ten in a matter of seconds with my temper, I’ve even considered going back on it due to this. Has any else experienced this? Maybe it has nothing to do with the drug as it’s been 3 months already, I dunno.

    • GLOOM November 8, 2014, 6:45 pm

      Hi Christine, I can relate to the anger and irritability after stopping an SSRI – even after an extended period of time. For me what helped was taking fish oil, proactive steps to calm myself through relaxation / meditation, and talk therapy – which allowed me to vent. Months after stopping medications, I would smash things, want to punch things, and take offense to every little comment.

      My anger problems eventually subsided, but since everyone is different, I cannot guarantee the same for you. Were you prone to anger and irritability prior to using the drug? If so, it could have some sort of a genetic basis. If it all started after your withdrawal, then it’s probably something that you can overcome with time and effort. Wish you the best of luck.

      • Christine November 10, 2014, 4:21 am

        No, it’s def been worse since stopping the meds :(

  • Candice November 8, 2014, 3:02 pm

    I am soooo glad I found this site. I have been on SSRI’s (Paxil 20 mg for 13 years then Celexa 20 mg for the last 3 years). Originally went to Celexa because Paxil pooped out. Reduced Celexa to 10 mg’s for a year because I couldn’t handle the side effects, then basically Celexa pooped out (or my body decided it didn’t need or like it anymore-don’t know). Since I have retired (I am 63), I decided it was a good time to simply quit, as there were very few stressors in my life. Good thing.

    I quit on October 10th, 2014 and for a few days felt okay. Hah, little did I know! Withdrawal symptoms hit like a vengeance. I was dizzy, fatigued, confused, unable to concentrate, walked like a drunken sailor (I don’t drink by the way), vacillated between total lethargy and bursts of energy. had racing and ‘ping-ponging’ of thoughts in my head, muscle and joint aches and pains, and major nausea, vomiting and abdominal bloating, gas, belching, tingling and skin crawling sensations on my arms and legs, and the weirdest, most vivid dreams/nightmares of my life. Didn’t have any headaches or ‘brain zaps’ however; I am grateful for that.

    First I read that it would take 2-3 weeks to feel better. Well, I am starting week 4 and although the muscle aches and tingling sensations are gone, I still feel like crap. Then I read 4-6 weeks to start feeling better, then I read it could take up to 90 days (since I have been on them for so long) and I guess if it takes that long, so be it. Going back on them is not an option.

    I try to eat healthy foods and am starting to slowly start exercising again. I have started my B-Vitamin supplements and that should also help. But mostly, I just pray a lot and remain hopeful that if other people can do it so can I. Thank you all.

  • D Baker November 9, 2014, 10:51 am

    Hello lovely’s, I just want to throw my 2 pence worth in in support of others going though the withdrawal! I was on Cit for 3yrs at 30mg for bad anxiety and moderate depression, I had been feeling like they weren’t doing anything, and having other physical symptoms too which had no explanation, we’re talking MRI scans, bloods, ect to find why I was feeling quite to bad/off/sick as a dog, and not getting better, not to mention the 4 st that I put on regardless of what I did!

    So I thought and thought about what had changed/been introduced since I started feeling this bad, and the only constant was the Cit, so looked though the side effects and Yahtzee we have a winner, I highlighted all the things in the side effects that I had been suffering with and low and behold it was the whole hit list of what the docs had been baffled by! So did some research into others experience and found people in the same boat. So decided that I didn’t want this crap in my system anymore!

    Came off, rather quick taper admittedly, but if that stuffs the prob I want it gone! And I really feel for you all the withdrawal has been harsh! Feeling sick, head spins, flushes, feeling generally like crap, pressure feeling in the head, ect you know the laundry list! But what I want to say is, it feels horrible, and you’ll feel SO wrong for a while but remind yourself it’s just the drug leaving and the body adjusting, it’s hard; I won’t deny that! I was feeling like I would have to go back on them, but the greater good and the memory of how crappy I’ve been for the last 3 yrs on this stuff made me plug on.

    The first 2/3 weeks were bad – I won’t sugar coat, but I’m now a month off and its subsiding and feeling so much better – and it improves everyday! So you can do it! I have no love for this drug and feel its more harmful than beneficial in the long run. So remember you can do it, it’s hard, but worth it. I would say if you can take off of work then do it! Especially over the 2nd and 3rd week, that’s where it really got me. I hope this helps someone, but you can do it!!! :)

  • Ellie November 10, 2014, 10:22 pm

    Hello there – I have been taking 10mg of cit for a just over a month but have decided to taper myself off it as I am only 20 and haven’t tried other ways to help my anxiety and mild depression e.g. therapy. Was just wondering is blurry/ disturbed vision a side effect of withdrawal? Not sure if it just because I’m so tired or because of the withdrawal but either way it’s very strange.

    • GLOOM November 10, 2014, 11:37 pm

      Assuming you haven’t had this problem prior to taking Cit, the likely culprit is withdrawal. I had this same experience while withdrawing from another SSRI. Best wishes.

  • Lisa November 11, 2014, 2:50 am

    Oh my! Took 40mg of citalopram for two years and decided to quit cold turkey. I’m handling the nausea and diarrhea but the stinging or brain zaps and dizziness are driving me stupid! Which in turn makes me wanna tear someone’s head off ;( I’ve been off for 9 days now so I’m going to keep plugging along with lots of prayers! Maybe I’ll be better by thanksgiving…

  • Neil November 11, 2014, 5:35 pm

    Interesting comments here. I have been on 10mg Citalopran about five years and I ran out of them last week and just decided to stop. They were prescribed because of depression caused by severe financial problems and my wife being ill. Both problems are still there but I just wanted to see what would happen. I have the brain ‘fogginess’ that reminds me of when I’ve had flu but apart from that it’s OK. It was the fogginess symptom that caused me to to search the Internet and find this blog and it’s reassuring this feeling is normal. Best of luck to everyone especially those with clinical depression and on the higher strength.

  • Mark November 12, 2014, 11:36 am

    I was on citalopram for at least 15 years. Dr recently took me foo to change to another which he said would help the neuropathy in my feet. That is when it all started. I thought it was side effects to the new medication. The worst thing was the nightmares. Yelling so loud in my sleep that I would wake myself up as well as everyone else in the house. I went on line and realized I was going through withdrawals. That is when the Dr and I decided to stop both.

    Never had the brain zaps or some of the others, but the nightmares and shortness of breath were bad and although much better still flare up. I thought I was having heart problems until I found this site. I am feeling better, it has been a month off citalopram. Finding this site makes me feel even better. I can deal with what is going on with me now knowing why it is happening. No more nightmares, but not sleeping much which is why I have been on this site since 4 am. Good luck to us all. Can’t wait to be in charge of my own feelings instead of feeling dull.

  • charlie stout November 12, 2014, 9:45 pm

    I took 40 mg of citalo for 5 yrs. I was getting fat and weaned myself off in two weeks time. I lost all my weight gain in 3 months, but I had severe electric shock feelings when I looked left or right with my eyes. I’ve now been off for over 6 months and all symptoms are gone. Sadly, I gained a new one that I think is unique to me. I occasionally freak out feeling that I center breath through my nose. Even though I can breath ok. I panic and feel like I wanna freak out. It’s unbearable. I can’t shake it, eventually it subsides untill next time. I’ve never had that feeling before taking or during the citalopram. Any one have any thoughts?

  • Rv November 16, 2014, 8:51 pm

    I’m really tired and emotional today, I’m struggling with riding out the withdrawal or going back up from about 6mgs to 10mgs. I’m really torn and not sure what’s the best approach. I work, and can’t be tired and unstable all the time. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

  • Heather November 17, 2014, 3:43 am

    I will write more when I’m not in bed about to go to sleep, but you have all realistically prepared me for my tapering off Wellbutrin and Citalopram. I will keep reminding myself that this is a temporary situation. I will also be clean eating which should naturally help as well. Best wishes to each and every one of you. Nice to know I can come here and know I’m not the only one who just wants to be freed from medication and freed from mental issues and trauma.

  • Jeannie November 17, 2014, 1:44 pm

    WOW glad I found this thread. So nice to know I’m not alone. I quit Celexa a week ago (40 mg for 5 years) cold turkey (I know, not the best idea) for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are weight gain and sexual side effects, but also because I don’t want to be dependent on it anymore. I have been using melatonin and some essential oils to replace it and so far, so good. Some brain zaps, very vivid weird dreams are hot flashes. I also feel as though I have a head cold but not sure if that’s part of it.

  • Cindy November 19, 2014, 12:53 pm

    I love Celexa! It changed my life when I started it about 5 years ago in my early 50’s. After decades of social anxiety, low-level depression, ineffective therapy, etc. I’ve been feeling so confident and content! But, like so many others here, I’ve been thinking about tapering off gradually. After reading this thread I’m not sure that I should since I can’t seem to find any positive experiences about life after Celexa. I have a great health plan so cost isn’t an issue. Is it really worthwhile to quit?

    • GLOOM November 19, 2014, 5:15 pm

      “Decades of social anxiety” to “confident and content” over the span of 5 years. Sounds like you’ve found a treatment that really works. In your case, I would say that it’s probably a much better idea to continue treatment.

  • Sam November 19, 2014, 10:17 pm

    I had been on this drug for many years to treat OCD symptoms. I went off it and not too long afterward (probably about a month), I noticed I wasn’t thinking clearly. I developed irritability, memory problems, and difficultly concentrating. Also, I experienced tachycardia, high blood pressure, sleep disruption, sweating (over a period of about 3 to 4 months). I had to drop college classes because I couldn’t focus well enough to read all the material. I feel dumber and hope that this will go away eventually. It is pretty much a living nightmare.

  • Sergio Vega November 22, 2014, 11:43 am

    I’m currently going through some major withdrawal symptoms. I’m feeling a lot of the “Zapping” and find it very difficult to get a good night sleep. I also find myself feeling extremely irritable. Do you guys know of anything that can be taken to minimize these symptoms? Any good relaxation techniques, over the counter meds or anything of the like to minimize the symptoms? I would greatly appreciate it. :)

  • michelle November 25, 2014, 3:39 am

    Its 2:54 am and I cannot sleep! I am suffering from ALL of these horrible symptoms of withdrawal – from vomiting (occasional) to insomnia. I was on citalopram for two years, starting on 20mg then increased to 40mg. I was weaned gradually to 30 then to 20 and 10. I then started taking 10mg on alternate days. I ran out of my medication because I thought I had enough for another month. By the time I received my repeat prescription, I had gone without medication for 4 consecutive days.

    I did not have any immediate symptoms and decided I would stop. I did not take any of my repeat prescription. One week after I had stopped the symptoms started with headaches which progressed to migraine type, diarrhea and on a few occasions, vomiting. I am now in the midst of the ‘STORM’. In the midst of EVERY LISTED withdrawal symptom. It is a real horror! I am forever grateful to all who posted their experiences. I now know its not ‘just me’. I am determined to stand up and fight. I don’t want to ever go back on antidepressants! it was a nightmare when I started Citalopram but now it is a real horror to withdraw! I have an appointment with my Dr in two days.

  • Chickie November 25, 2014, 6:16 am

    I am grateful to find this site. I was put on Celexa about the time I put my mother on hospice. Tough time. I guess it helped, because I kept taking it and was up to 20mg. I had an accident and was hurt pretty bad last October. Then, before I was healed up, I lost my mom. Towards the beginning of this year, the 20mg just was not working for me anymore, and of course I was experiencing some side effects – no libido, weight gain, gastrointestinal distress, etc.

    So my doc raised me to 40mg, and the symptoms were worse to include mood swings, irritability, quick to anger. Then the diarrhea started in earnest. I woman in her early 50s, I started having alarming ‘accidents’, which was not helped because I am in a wheelchair. I am also a newlywed. We have never gotten to a ‘normal’ life, constantly dealing with my mother’s death, surgeries and other issues. And now we started fighting pretty darn regularly. Well, my spouse left me today, and I am really a mess. This is when I found this page. It helps tremendously to read the stories of others.

    All I can say is I’ll take it one day at a time. I am going to do some research on supplementation. There has to be another way! I am going to buy “The Mood Cure” and hope this approach helps. Thank you all for sharing. I will check in as I go through my journey. I think it has been about 2 weeks since I quit the Celexa cold, and I am having many more symptoms than those I shared. My head just cannot organize it all right now.

  • April November 27, 2014, 7:28 am

    I have been taking celexa for 6 years & have also ran out and experienced some horrible side effects. This time I want to stay off of it, I’ve been taking 40 mg. I was relieved to see that the electric shocks I feel through my body when I don’t have the meds is a common side effect… It’s pretty scary. At this point I haven’t taken it for almost 2 weeks, I have felt like I had the flu & terrible mood swings… but most importantly I feel emotions. I hate crying, but I am glad that I don’t feel so cold toward everyone! I realized last night how much of my children’s life I’ve missed from being zombified! Good luck to all of you! I still have 3 meds to come off of after this one, I pray that I’m successful! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Hopeful November 28, 2014, 12:57 pm

    I’ve been on these for 8 years and am currently on my 4th attempt at coming off 10mg. These posts are so helpful because it’s a lonely time feeling this messed up. Suicidal thoughts, talking slowly, body aching, vivid dreams, the lot. Tapered off but feel cold and emotionless. Took it slowly but now just existing, what the hell do these pills do to your brain? I feel motivated by these posts to keep going and by my grown up family asking for mum to come back, and to send this stranger away.

  • May November 29, 2014, 11:38 am

    Hopeful, I have just read your post and can totally appreciate what you are going through. This site has helped me through the last difficult few weeks since I started coming off citalopram. It seems we are all facing the same issues and I really feel for all of you. I have been on Citalopram for many years – probably around 15 and it has always kept me on an even keel on 30mgs a day. In May this year due to various issues my GP suggested a higher dose so I increased to taking 40mg a day.

    I felt much better but after a few months I got some side effects like bad dreams, heart palpitations, anxiety, etc. so my Dr suggested that I try to reduce the dose or even try to come off altogether. We decided I would reduce the dose slowly and see if I could get off them. So 8 weeks ago in September I began tapering off really slowly. I went down to 20mgs for about 5 weeks then went down to 10 mgs 3 weeks ago. This is when the trouble started! I have had the most awful side effects feeling hot & cot, flu like pains in my body, tightness in my neck, shoulders and spine, wobbly legs and losing my balance, nausea, exhaustion, increased anxiety and depression.

    It feels worse than when I first went on the drug and I am hoping from what I have read here that it is just withdrawal symptoms and not the old problem rearing it’s head again. It has been complicated by the fact that I got a nasty chest infection that needed treatment with Clarithromycin antibiotics which rarely I believe can increase anxiety and depression levels. I take my last antibiotic tonight so hope things settle tomorrow. Talking to my Dr he suggests that I might want to start going back up on the citalopram to 30mgs a day.

    I am so confused as I don’t want to get anymore side effects from increasing them again. At the moment I am unable to work or function on a daily basis. I have been snappy to my lovely husband who is trying to understand what is happening to me. I feel I have come this far with the horrid symptoms so maybe I should persevere with the tapering once I feel better at this level of 10mgs. Does anyone, especially Hopeful who seems to have been on this road before, have any advice that might help me decide what to do? Thank you.

  • Gina November 29, 2014, 8:33 pm

    I too tried different methods of tapering. Slowly cutting it wasn’t working well. So now I just went every other day and then stopped. Prob not the best approach but I am done being on this stuff after 2 yrs. Gained a lot of weight. Now I’m week one into withdrawal and I’m dizzy,irritable and feel tired. Crazy dreams and then waking up at 5am for no reasons. Oh fun! I had really bad calf cramps during the night but finally that subsided after a few days.

    I think it’s just going to take awhile so I am resting when possible, eating clean and drinking lots of water. I think this sucks but I know it’s temporary and I will be feeling better soon. My minor OCD for cleaning came back which I’m actually happy about! Can’t wait to see if the weight comes off. I know exercise is helpful so I have been walking and riding a bike to help my head. Anyway. Good luck to all. I hate that no one tells the problems of getting off this stuff. It seemed so benign.

  • Lu November 30, 2014, 7:28 pm

    30/11/14. Well. Where to start? I just realized today that the ‘illness’ I’ve had for the past week or so is Citalopram withdrawal. I’ve been on 30mg for awhile, moved to Italy 3 months ago and cut down to 20. Ran out of 20 about a month ago and started just taking 10mg. Ran out of 10s a few weeks ago and starting taking my remaining 10mg pills as and when I remembered, every other day etc. Until about a week ago when I ran out completely.

    And, well, here we are. The symptoms hit me like a brick wall, and I can deal with the psychological effects, but the physical ones are killing me. Here’s the kicker: I’m in Italy, working. The situation with my living arrangements is so bad that if I put one foot wrong, forget a single task of housework, etc, I will be kicked out on the streets. There’s more to it than that obviously but can’t go into detail here, it’s a long story.

    My contract finishes in 2 weeks and my flight home to the UK is on 13th December. I have just under 2 weeks to muddle through, keep it together. I’m not sure if I can do it but I am seriously afraid of what will happen if I get worse. It’s been 1 week of symptoms and I just want (need!) to lie in bed all the time.

  • Ali November 30, 2014, 7:47 pm

    I’ve been taking Celexa for about 3 months now and it has worked wonders for me, but I had no idea about these withdrawal symptoms. I have not had any for about a week and I am super irritable, sluggish, and antisocial. Everyone has been so used to seeing me unimaginably happy and now that I’m all gloomy everyone is wondering what is up with me. The most annoying part of this is the ‘brain shocks’ or w.e it is called. It feels REALLY strange like my brain is throbbing, but not in a headache pain kind of way. It’s hard to explain. IDK WTF to do.

  • Saz November 30, 2014, 8:54 pm

    Hi. I was put on citalopram 20 mg in July and then up to 40 mg and have been on that since I have really felt better and much more like myself (apart from the weight gain!!) my family plans were abruptly put on hold in July and I’m desperate to get off these to start my family. I have started to taper the dose down and have gone down to 20mg this week from 40mg and feel terrible! But there are a couple of symptoms that don’t seem to be reported has anyone else had the following: Very painful and reoccurring mouth ulcers and feeling bruised to the touch all over my body and heart burn. Thanks in advance. -Saz

    • may December 1, 2014, 9:17 am

      Hi All, Just an update to my recent post. I have learnt a lot from coming on this forum and doing some research of my own. I have concluded, rightly or wrongly as I am not a medic, that slow withdrawal is the answer. I had to make a decision about the debilitating physical and mental effects of coming off Citalopram after 15 years. I have been unable to function on a daily basis for 3 weeks after getting down to 10mgs from 40mgs since September. In view of the length of time and the dosage I having been taking these I think this was too quick.

      So, after having a good talk this weekend with my lovely husband who is trying so hard to help me I have decided to take my Dr’s advice and go back up to 30mgs. I took 20mgs last night and think it is too soon to notice any good effects yet. I plan to do this for a few days and then go up to 30mgs. Hopefully things will start to get better soon. I am feeling rather despondent after trying so hard to get off but just couldn’t continue the way I am – feeling terrified of what is happening to me. If I ever try this again it will be over at least a year or so not a couple of months.

      My advice to anyone who is thinking of coming off these things is to do it very slowly and under medical supervision. Saz, I haven’t had mouth ulcers but have felt achey all over. Ali, did you taper off your dose or go cold turkey? Lu, I really feel for you being away from home and feeling so bad. Can you not change your flight and just get back home where you can see a Dr? I wish you all well during the withdrawal process. We are all different and I guess some will have the strength to come through this.

  • alferd December 1, 2014, 2:00 am

    I stopped taking my Celexa recently. Dr. had me on 20mg each night and .5mg of klonopin 3x daily. I cut down the Celexa over 6 months down to 10mg a night. I recently quit the celexa. (Psychiatric dr. Monitoring my progress). It has been 4 weeks of rough times. Please consult a Dr. to at least have someone who knows what you are doing. I had a plan and knew what to expect. The electrical buzzing you get when you are looking at light and moving your eyeballs is the worst part for me. And the vertigo/dizziness really flips you out. Best wishes for success in your endeavors.

  • Lindy-loo December 1, 2014, 3:26 am

    Hi everyone! Well like most of you, I googled ‘side effects of citalopram withdrawal’ because I wondered if I had damaged my brain taking them. I have been on 5mg for several weeks (couldn’t tolerate 20mg so had been on 10mg for the past 18 months after experiencing trauma). After just a week on 5mg the brain zaps started. They continued for weeks mildly and last week I stopped taking them. I have been exhausted and irritable and find it hard to think straight. I took my grand- daughter to the circus and with the light / sound effects, I had about 20 brain zaps within a half hour period!

    So after spending most of today in bed barely functioning I googled and here I am. What a relief! Thank you to you all for sharing your experience. My doctor had also never heard of brain zaps, he did wonder if it was the brain waking up again since the citalapram seems to overly calm it. I am not sure, but I am also a counsellor. At best this will help me understand my client’s experiences. Hoping I come out the other side soon… But at least for now I know I’m not alone! Thanks again and all the best to you all.

  • Charlotte December 1, 2014, 12:47 pm

    I have been struggling with withdrawal for months now, I came off quickly because I had a panic attack mid July and in just over a week I came off them completely. Since August I haven’t had any citalopram so it has been almost exactly 4 months now. I still get brain zaps if I drink alcohol and head rushes to, but I am OK if I don’t drink. If I do exercise my muscles ache a lot my wrists sometimes throb and sometimes the tips of my fingers and toes hurt too. I never used to get that. I did go to a physio and had a few tests on my muscles and nervous system but they couldn’t find anything physically wrong with me. It has reduced in intensity over time so I can only hope it will go soon as I have always been an avid gym goer, and recently I have been put off going :(.

  • Stephen December 1, 2014, 10:32 pm

    I was over prescribed Celexa. I was seeing a psychiatrist that had me on 50mg (yeah, I know, over the recommended amount) and was cut down to 40 mg. No problem. However, I noticed that it was giving me really bad side-effects (insomnia, extreme fatigue, sweating, and generally not enjoying anything) and so I talked with my doc, and he cut me down to 20mg. Again, no problem adjust and infact I felt great. This however only lasted a few weeks.

    I had started seeing a naturopath, who ran a food allergy screening–and they said I had sensitivity to cane sugar, oats and yeast. I’ve eliminated those from my diet, and have been feeling better physically, but the Celexa side effects have come back, but to a lesser extent. I’m cutting down to 10mg, and I think I’m going to stick there for a month and then wean myself off. I’m just freaked out about withdrawal symptoms, which sound much like the side-effects I’m getting from the celexa.

  • Rv December 2, 2014, 1:18 am

    Thank you to all who post their stories here. I come here everyday looking for hope. I updosed from 5 to 10mgs because I couldn’t deal with withdrawals and function at work. Hope to re stabilize at 10mgs and try again to taper down more slowly. I really get the idea to taper very slowly. Let’s all hang in there.

  • Lynn December 2, 2014, 5:06 am

    I’ve been on celexa 40 mg for 8 months and decided to quit cold turkey 3 days ago BC of the way I was feeling. Little did I know, the problems only get worse once you stop taking it. Now I have brain zaps constantly, I’m ALWAYS sleepy, I have serious mood swings and I’m constantly sick feeling. Someone help me! Oh and… I gained 30 pounds. I’ve never been over 115 and now I’m at 140!! Please please PLEASE someone tell me it goes away! I exercise and work on my feet daily! Nothing helps the weight go down. Is it going to go away? Any of this?

  • May December 3, 2014, 10:57 am

    Hello Lynn, So sorry you are having problems. Were you feeling better mentally so decided to stop or was it that you were concerned about the weight increase? 40 mgs is quite a high dose and I have found from my experience (see previous posts) that this has to be done very gradually with tapering the dose so no wonder you are feeling rough going cold turkey. Maybe you would benefit from seeing a Dr who can supervise your coming off to make sure you are ok along the way. You may need to start taking the med again and then start reducing with a plan discussed with a Dr. I don’t think there is any quick fix unfortunately. Let me know how you are doing.

  • May December 3, 2014, 11:13 am

    RV I too come on this site everyday – it helps to know there are others struggling too doesn’t it? You don’t feel quite so along in all this. I, like you, have increased my intake from just 2 days ago due to the debilitating withdrawal effects and hope next time to taper back down really slowly. Even if it takes me years! One of the worst withdrawal symptoms I have had has been anxiety and my legs feeling weak, wobbly and unsteady to walk.

    So much so that I collapsed on Monday whilst out and got rushed to Emergencies. My BP was 207/117 and I was terrified. They monitored me for the afternoon giving me different meds until I was stabilized and could go home. I think my anxiety just went into overdrive. My Dr has now given me some Lexatin to help with the anxiety and I have to monitor my BP at home closely. I don’t want to frighten anyone but all this possibly could have been avoided if I had gone more slowly with the reduction.

    I am feeling calmer today but still have severe depressive waves when I can’t stop crying and everything seems so desperate. I am hoping that the increase in meds will show up soon and make life a little easier. Hang on in there everyone – you have people here who care and are thinking about you. Let’s just try and help each other along the way – can’t ask for more than that. My love and good wishes to all of you.

  • Rv December 3, 2014, 7:19 pm

    Thanks May. I can really relate to your post. I had to updose because there’s no way I could function at work. I’m sleeping poorly and feel worn out. I updosed hoping it will decrease the agitation. I just want to stabilize my sleep. Hang in there.

  • Kelly December 4, 2014, 7:10 pm

    I have been on Celexa for 18 years! I started taking them when I started a new doctor, I mentioned I was a little depressed and was put on Paxil, then we tried other drugs, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, finally Celexa. My doctor has me on 20mg but I break them in half so I only really take 10 mg. Quite honestly I feel now the same as I did before…it’s just part of life. My biggest complaint is my lack of sex drive, I have no passion, no interest, my personal description is everything is on mute. I can’t even remember enjoying sex, I just want to experience life again, all the ups and downs, emotions in full range.

    I want back the excitement watching the kids play, sadness when things go bad, everything has been flat lining since I started the drugs. What makes me nervous are everyone’s stories on here. Hopefully with a proper taper symptoms can be managed and minimized. I have to work, I can’t take a day off. I’m gonna take a long taper, hopefully life will come back in full color, including the grays and blacks, just as long as I can experience some of the bright yellows and reds in life, and most importantly enjoy my wife and our love life. Men, does it come back? Hope so. Wish me luck.

  • May December 5, 2014, 7:36 pm

    RV – how you doing any signs of improvement yet? Really struggling today. My balance is bad and my legs are so wobbly I can’t get about unaided. My husband thought it maybe a good idea to go to the supermarket to get me out of the house and choose something to tempt me to eat. It was awful – so many people and I couldn’t get around or concentrate on anything. I felt so anxious, weak and sick and only felt better once I was back in the car coming home. It’s been 4 days since I increased my dose back up to 20mgs – so hoping things start to change soon. I am supposed to be working too and it frustrates me even more that I can’t. Good luck Kelly and you are doing the right thing with a mega slow taper something that my Dr didn’t know anything about.

  • Nicole December 5, 2014, 9:31 pm

    HI all- this thread has brought me some peace today. I was on citalopram for 10 years. 40mg. I have spent 2 years tapering- 2.50 every 6-8 weeks. At 5mg I got lazy and just stopped. Its been about 70 days. I feel more tired than I have ever felt in my life. I am dizzy and feel like my head is a balloon. I went the Dr and was educated on discontinuation syndrome- but there is nothing to help but time. WE CAN DO THIS. Here is what happened to me so far-

    week 1 off- dizzy, wobbly, vertigo, a feeling of being outside of my body, feel like the flu is trying to come on
    week 2 -3 – all of the above plus extreme crying- all the time- over anything
    week 4- 5 dizziness ebbs and flows, have nausea, spontaneous crying is gone but i could be an actress now because i can cry on queue if i want. i sit here alone, sometimes feeling like i want to end my life, I’m not sure what my purpose is, I’m alone. no one can understand this really, except you reading.

    I feel like a spec of sand on a beach. BUT, I’m going through the motions. Spending a lot of time alone because I don’t want to fake feeling well, but then the isolation causes depression. Sort of “stuck.” I’m just trying to stay positive and know that time can heal.

  • EA December 6, 2014, 10:22 am

    Had a hysterectomy, started on Lexapro, was changed to Celexa (40 mg) and have been on it for approximately 5 yrs. I really want to stop, accidently went “cold turkey” a couple of times when I couldn’t get to the pharmacist. BIG mistake, now I’m getting ready to take on more responsibilty at work and am afraid to start tapering off. I really want to get off this stuff and feel like this group has been through it all. Pray for my family, sounds like they are going to need it. I’ll keep reading posts. I think it will help. Should I tell my employers I’m going to go through withdrawal from a drug?

    • Nic December 6, 2014, 11:35 pm

      I told my boss and two closest peers- I’m so glad I did. Otherwise my emotions would’ve caused problems. They were super supportive.

  • Rv December 6, 2014, 11:25 pm

    Hang in there May. Last night was the first night I slept thru the night in such a long time. It’s been 2 half weeks since I updosed so maybe it’s kicking in. I say this to give you hope. Maybe you will stabilize once the updose has a chance to kick in. Hang in there Kelly, things can get better. No one give up or lose hope. It can take time for the brain to stabilize. I’m going to check back to see how you are doing.

    • May December 8, 2014, 8:04 pm

      Hi RV -I am so pleased that you got some sleep at last. I took great comfort and hope from your post that soon I may feel better too. Let me know how you are doing and if it’s making work any easier to cope with.

  • Nic December 8, 2014, 2:17 am

    Hi all… I need some help. I’ve been so nauseous for days. I’m so tired. I feel like I have the flu coming and going. I thought all the way off almost 6 weeks. I feel like each week is a different symptoms. I don’t want to go back, I’ve spent two years tapering. I’m scared though, what if this is my new life?

    • May December 8, 2014, 7:58 pm

      Hello Nic, I am so sorry you are going through all these problems so far down your road. I can’t really offer any practical advice to you because my situation is different. I did a too quick taper and got down to 10mgs but have been suffering ever since and had to go back up to 20mgs a week ago. I am suffering from the same symptoms as you. All I can offer is a little comfort to say I am thinking about you and hope you find the strength to get through. Hopefully, someone with more experience than me can come to help you. Keep on posting here so we can see how you are.

  • Sharon December 8, 2014, 10:09 pm

    45 yr old female. I was on 40 mg citalopram (Celexa) and 150 mg buproprion (Wellbutrin) for years: 10+ for the citalopram; 3+ for the buproprion. The last time I saw my psychiatrist he said that he thought it would be ok for me to get off the citalopram. I told him that I’d think about it. I was afraid of getting of the meds because I could remember how awful I felt before starting them and never wanted to feel like that again in my life.

    Well on Veterans Day (11 Nov) I decided to quit the citalopram. I didn’t talk with my doctor about it. I just stopped taking the pills. I hadn’t even considered that I may have to taper down. And I never talked about how to get off of it with my doctor; we only discussed the possibility. The first week was okay. I was waking up earlier (without falling back asleep like I normally would), feeling much more energized throughout the day.

    Toward the end of that week and into the next couple I got minor dizziness and brain zaps. It would only be three swings each time – like my head would feel like it was swinging left (like when you drink too much) accompanied a brain zap. It was only an occasional occurrence and always three quick times in a row and then stop. I also got Extreme Irritability and would feel Rage easily. This could be when I was driving, watching TV, or even just remembering something that had upset me previously (earlier in the day or week or even from years ago).

    I yelled at my pets or at the emptiness or under my breath and would feel my heart just pound and lose my breath. And starting in the last week or so I have started having infrequent episodes of crying, where I will bawl over something stupid like a commercial or movie or news article. Also, after about a week (maybe less) of quitting I would wake up every hour or two from sleep. I’d feel wide awake, but if it was too early I’d stay in bed and eventually fall back asleep. But if it was after 5:00 I’d just get up. I was only getting 4-6 hrs of sleep a night.

    Very unusual for me. I’ve always been an exceptional sleeper, at least 8 hrs a night and 10-12 hrs even better. This last week or so the irritability has decreased to almost never. Same with the dizziness/brain zaps. But at the same time I started experiencing the worst effects by far: Just as I drift off to sleep I am suddenly awakened by the feeling that I can’t breathe. I’m actually fine. I know because my daughter was with me one night when it happened (twice while she was there) and she told me that I wasn’t even struggling for breath.

    That I just startled awake and told her that I was having trouble breathing. Now this doesn’t happen every night, but when it does, it happens over and over every time I try to drift off to sleep again. Until eventually, in the wee hours of the morning, I finally get to sleep. But I still awaken early in the morning and can’t get back to sleep. Sometimes it’s 4AM, sometimes 5 or 6, but never later than 6AM.

    You can imagine how this sleep deprivation just snowballs. The last time I had a suffocating night was Saturday night. I was so frustrated, scared, despairing and feeling like I couldn’t handle this. I was feeling desperate, frantic, panicked, anxious and hopeless. I was exhausted, not necessarily sleepy or tired, but I felt like I really needed sleep. Unfortunately like the previous times, every time I would drift off I’d wake up gasping for air. This went on for hours, half a dozen times or more.

    Now here’s the caveat: I also have sleep apnea, so I snore, and I have a CPAP machine that helps keep my airway open, but sometimes I can’t use it when my nose/sinuses are stuffed up because I need to breathe only through my nose to use it. So when this (waking up every hour or two, not being able to sleep in anymore, and the suffocating thing) started happening I wasn’t sure if it was my sleep apnea, or withdrawal symptoms, or something else all in my head. I did find some articles and comment boards where others related the same type of thing when they stopped using SSRIs (Paxil).

    Well, I did find a solution to the suffocation thing. I use a vaporizer in my room, and wear a breathe strip across my nose for an hour or so before I go to sleep. Then when it’s time to sleep I wear my sleeping mask (CPAP) over the breathe strip. When I use my CPAP it helps a lot. I slept 7 hrs straight on Sat night (the only time I slept that long uninterrupted and past 6 since I stopped). Last night I slept 6 hrs, and woke up and took my sleeping mask off some time in the night, but not sure after how long, but that was the only time I woke up.

    I have an appt with my primary care doctor tomorrow, and one with my psychiatrist on 25 Feb (he’s nearing retirement and only works one day a week now, so he’s hard to book, and I didn’t want to see someone new, since he’s been my doc all these years). Maybe between the two of them I can figure out if this is a physical problem (sleep apnea, CPOD, asthma, lung cancer) or a withdrawal symptom or psychosomatic. I know it’s been a long post, but I wanted to mention the sleeping problems and give details about them in case anyone else has them.

  • Rv December 9, 2014, 3:01 pm

    Hope everyone is hanging in there. I’m doing a bit better May. Hope things are working better for you. Lots of people here have it rough. I think I made the right decision to updose. I’m settling down. My main goal right now is to stabilize my sleep. People everywhere sure struggle with sleep. Guess lots of stress out there. I guess it takes time to work through this. I’m impatient. We all just wish to feel normal and healthy. One day at a time. How’s everyone else doing?

  • Jeanette December 9, 2014, 6:07 pm

    I am in the middle of a trifecta of withdrawing. I gave up alcohol – which wasn’t a problem at all, then because that made me feel so much better, I stopped taking my RX for Wellbutrin and Celexa, both of which were pretty high doses. I began by tapering, but I got confused as to what I was taking and thought I was ok, so I stopped about a week ago. Now I am suffering from dizziness, fatigue, an unbearable itching all over my body and nausea. I was afraid it would never stop until I read this. Hopefully, in a month or so, I’ll be a whole person again. I will NEVER take any of these meds again.

  • SJ December 9, 2014, 6:20 pm

    On day 26 after 3 month tapering. Had been on it for about 10 years. Failed many tries getting it off. This time I was prepared. Taking longer time tapering it off and started taking Chinese herbs 2 months before the final cut off day. At day 26, I would say, my withdrawal symptoms is much lesser than my previous tries and lesser than most of the post here. There are hell days, but I can sleep, go work and function. You may not feel comfortable with herbs, but when you are desperate, you try all you can. That’s what happened to me. I am lucky found a good Chinese doctor that prescribe and adjust the herbs suite my need. I plan to continue taking the herbs and exercise to maintain my physical and mental health. 64 days to go!

  • Jordan December 10, 2014, 1:56 am

    My withdrawals from Celexa has been so horrific and persistent that there are nights I pray not to wake up in the morning. I was on Paxil 20 mg for 15 years and slowly withdrew over eight months with no effects. Then a major trauma sent me to a therapist who prescribed 40 mg of Celexa. After 10 months I began to experience side affects on the drug: extreme fatigue that hit without warning and agitation. No doctors knew why. I began researching serotonin syndrome and discovered this as side effects on the drug.

    After a lot of research I decided to taper off the Celexa. Every time I went down no matter how slowly I experienced withdrawals. Finally I stopped the drug about 5 weeks ago realized, since I’m extremely drug sensitive, Celexa was probably toxic to my body. Now, I still have no quality of life. The major effect is extreme fatigue that makes functioning a struggle, sometimes having to force myself to move. I can sit on a couch and feel so miserable and fatigued I can’t stand to sit up and watch a movie.

    I have some mood swings, crying over nothing, no appetite sometimes. I keep exercising when I can and eating a natural diet of veggies, fruit, grains and beans. My fear tonight that has been sobbing is that it will never end. That I have been so damaged by the drug that I’ll never be right again. I’ve feared I have some horrible disease. Sometimes I pray I do because it is at least diagnosable. Psychiatrist says she’s never known anyone to have this much trouble getting off SSRI. I have no quality of life. I’m afraid.

    • Nic December 18, 2014, 12:19 am

      Jordan- I understand how you feel. You are not alone. You CAN get through this. Your body WILL readjust. You may go back to how you were pre- SSRIs- but you will get past this. I feel awful too, but something is pushing us to do this, so trust that. That’s what I’m trying to do. I sure wish we could hear from someone on this thread that has gone through this and made it to the other side… But I suppose once they’re there they have no reason to come back. Sending positivity, prayer, and hugs to everyone.

      • Tom February 24, 2015, 5:24 pm

        Nic. You are right. I wish someone would come back after successfully withdrawing and let us all know that it can be done. I am just at the beginning of that withdrawal journey and I would like to know that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an onrushing train!

  • Nic December 10, 2014, 7:44 pm

    Hi all- I’m in Cancun for work and then some vacation, I feel miserable. So much nausea. It takes energy just to talk or look at people. The only time I feel halfway decent is laying in my bed, which I am doing now. I feel like I am stick inside of my head. And I can’t get out. I was thinking about how good I felt just a mere two months ago. 5mgs. It was great. My panic and anxiety have generally not returned.

    Although I’m starting to wonder if the symptoms are something else. My head knows they are not. But you know. after every taper, six weeks later, a veil would lift from me and I would be balanced again. I’m waiting for that. But it doesn’t seem to be happening. Prayers are appreciated, I just need the strength to get through this. Thanks ❤️

  • May December 11, 2014, 3:12 pm

    RV glad to hear you are getting more settled and it shows you did the right thing. I am slowly feeling the benefits of updosing 11 days ago. My worst day ever was last Sunday when I cried all day and worried about everything. Since then my mood has improved although the anxiety and exhaustion is still there. I slept well last night and have been out with my husband this morning just for a drive in the car. I am just taking each day as it comes. Coming off too quickly has reduced me to needing a crutch to help me to walk I am so weak and dizzy. I just want to be back on my feet again and active so I can enjoy life. I expect I am feeling just the same as the rest of you I guess! Good luck everyone.

  • Jesse December 12, 2014, 12:28 pm

    I have been on Citalopram 40MG for about 10 years now, I am also only 29. I stopped taking it cold turkey and have had similar symptoms as you all speak about. It’s been about a week and a half and i am starting to feel normal again. I also take 2 MG of Klonopin (Clonozepam). This has been helping me come off of the citalopram but i did not consult my doctor first. I changed housing to a more sober and clean environment and also been eating healthy foods, such as lots of veggies and fruits. In my personal opinion if you want to stop you must change your lifestyle a bit as well.

    You were put on it for a reason but you can stop! What has helped me were the following: Slowed down on drinking, casual walks maybe 4 times a week, changing your lifestyle (even if it means staying away from negative friends/people) and especially diet. A lot of this sounds like wow that is a lot of things, but if you are serious about getting off of the pill you will see best results and not as intense side effects if you do some/all of the items listed above. Everyone is different but that is my suggestion!

    I’m over my insomnia which I had for about a week. Stimulants (alcohol, tobacco, coffee, soda) really trigger my anxiety, but I am still able to enjoy these in moderation with the right environment, people and diet even though I quit cold turkey after so many years. There is hope and everyone has to come about it a different way because we are not all the same! Hope this gives hope to those on high dosage or who want to just quit cold turkey.

  • Steven December 14, 2014, 8:47 pm

    Have been on it for 8 years or more, 20 to 30 mg… just went off it and first week is proving to be very interesting.Headaches come and go throughout the day, ringing and auditory anomalies from the Brain Zaps, as well as dizziness. Had a surge of energy, almost manic, for a few days that turned into lethargy the next few days. Urge to cry more evident and my sex drive is coming back… I think! LOL.

  • Anghared December 14, 2014, 9:17 pm

    This whole withdrawal from Citalopram has come as such a mighty shock to me. I followed the advice from my GP to the letter, tapering off slowly, and if I hadn’t found this site, I think I may have considered myself very ill, from goodness knows what. My withdrawal symptoms are the dreaded brain zaps first thing in the morning, accompanied by extreme giddiness, the day seems to settle and then by about 4.00pm I start experiencing giddiness and my anxiety levels start to rise and I feel so scared that it is going to turn into a full blown panic attack. Is there any medication that can be taken in the interim whilst these withdrawal symptoms subside or is the route grin and bear it? Please I would like some good constructive advice thank you. -Anghared

  • Mark James December 15, 2014, 3:25 am

    I’m trying the Celexa tapering AGAIN. I have been on SSRIs for 21 years and have tried coming off of them several times. I have been on Celexa 40mg for 6 years. I am doing a 5mg taper every month. It will take a while, but, this time the withdrawal is simply uncomfortable rather than unbearable. Do yourself a huge favor and be kind and gentle with withdrawal. Take your time if your situation permits. I know of people who have successfully gotten off SSRIs and live happy normal lives. Wishing you all the best.

  • Erica December 15, 2014, 4:12 am

    I was on celexa 20 mg for about two years. I have now been off of it for 2 months or so and feel worse then ever. I cry over everything and have this sense of not caring. I’ve gained weight (due to my own lack of motivation) and this is not helping my depression. I get mood swings now and get annoyed very easily. On celexa I was able to let things roll off my back now I get angry at the drop of a hat. I really hope these are all withdrawal symptoms but I’m really afraid I’m just more depressed than I recall.

  • Sharon December 15, 2014, 2:37 pm

    I am sleeping better. (No more suffocating while sleeping feeling.) But I continue to have episodes of extreme irritability and RAGE. Thank goodness my kids are grown and moved out. But my poor dog has borne the brunt of my ire. Not physically mind you. But she has been yelled at frequently over the past couple of days and was put outside for most of the weekend. (She’s not used to that. So she barked and whined incessantly, only feeding my irritation.)

    I’m going to try to get an earlier appt with a doctor at my hospital. The one I made with my doctor is not until the end of February (b/c he’s semi-retired it’s hard to get to see him). I also cry very easily these days. Just reading a news story about an accident or death can bring me to tears. Hearing of a relative’s death via facebook had me bawling (although I had never met this person and only communicated with her via facebook, and infrequently at that).

  • sherry December 19, 2014, 7:55 pm

    I have been on celexa for awhile and starting gaining weight. I went off cold turkey about a month ago. I have had crying spells over nothing. I am moody all the time no appetite at all. I haven’t had any real bad symptoms. I don’t feel like going anywhere, I am 70 years old I use to go to the YMCA and ride a bike now I don’t feel like doing that. I am hoping I’ll feel better soon. Will hang in there!

  • Amanda December 20, 2014, 9:49 pm

    I have been weaning myself off this medication for about 4 months now, I went from 40 mg to 30 to 20 and now I’m on 10 mg daily. I didn’t realize that 40 mg was twice the standard dose and it makes sense why I’ve been experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. My doctor prescribed my the meds after my mom passed away 2.5 years ago and it definitely helped me to cope and to focus on the board exam I needed to study for. Coning off this drug has taken a huge toll on me. I’m super irritable and anxious.

    What’s worse, is that I have daily headaches that are sometimes so severe (on one side of my head) that I can’t focus on my work or really anything. I’ve also been clenching and grinding my teeth throughout the night, so I wake up feeling restless and in so much pain in my rad, neck and jaw. I am hoping these symptoms lessen soon, as I will be out of my pills in 3 days. I just keep trying to stay positive about this all being worth it in the end

  • Emma December 23, 2014, 12:03 am

    I have decided to come off 20mg cold turkey after approx. 3 years, because I kept forgetting to take them and then when I would remember a few days later my mood was all over the place. I thought it would be better to stop altogether. In a lot of ways I feel more “human,” certainly more emotional and feel my sex drive coming back. I am having trouble sleeping though, I get quite irritable and keep getting real urges to self harm which I haven’t done in 15 years!

    I haven’t told anybody any of this but I’m also feeling build ups of emotion which I can’t seem to control and can’t stop feeling guilty about being myself. On the outside I appear to be fine but on the inside I am struggling. Does this sound like side effects that will eventually disappear and I will be back to “normal” again soon?

    • kitkat6839 January 5, 2015, 3:18 am

      Yes. That sounds like me too. I seem fine to the outside world. But inside i feel all over the place. I struggle with anxiety inside and suffer tantrums towards my boyfriend. It could be something so small, yet I make it so big in my head. I try to step back and look at the larger picture, but I just can’t seem to restrain myself at times. Definitely something new since stopping citalopram. I wish I could offer advice, from what I hear it can take months to start feeling like yourself again.

  • ashley December 23, 2014, 3:39 am

    I have brain zaps whenever I move it is so freaking terrible I can’t concentrate and get confused alot. This is only my 2nd day without taking celexa. And I am a monster in the morning anything and everything pisses me off. I hope this will end soon :(.

  • Robin December 23, 2014, 6:51 pm

    52 year old male, been on citalopram for 3 years, first 18 months of which were 40mg daily. I gained 16kg in weight in that time. I’ve been tapering down for the last 18 months. I didn’t find the first part of the taper (e.g. alternate 40/30, then when that had settled go 40/30/30, then 30, 30/20, 30/20/20…) too difficult, it’s the last little bit that has been hard. It didn’t help that I simply couldn’t accurately cut the tabs any smaller than 5mg (and even that was a push), so my final doses were 10, 10/5, 10/5/5, 5, 5/0, 5/0/0 and finally 0.

    Each of these steps, I was *so* irritable, but I seem to have been lucky and not had much in the way of other symptoms while I’ve still been on at least a small amount. It’s since I’ve been off it completely that the symptoms have been coming on progressively. I wondered at first what was going on, since nothing I had seen or been warned about had prepared me for heap zaps, and during the last few days the dizziness has hit hard, and I’ve also been suffering digestive issues. It’s really great to find a site like this which can reassure that this is normal and will most likely (eventually) pass.

    And this is with really careful tapering. Every change of dose I waited until things seemed normal again, except that my 5/0/0 regimen was probably a bit shorter than it should have been – I ran out of tablets and couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of getting any more. I’m wondering if I’m paying for that. I certainly reckon I would have suffered badly if I had tried to go cold turkey – I’ve always been able to tell later in the day if I forgot my dose that morning. I would really warn people against trying to come off too quickly.

    One question – has anyone found an effect of citalopram on cholesterol levels? A few months after I started, I was found to have extraordinarily high cholesterol, all previous tests having been normal (although none of these were recent). As a result I’ve been on high statin doses the last 2 years, but I wondered if it was the citalopram that caused it, and if I might now have cholesterol that was too low. Some of the citalopram withdrawal symptoms do seem to also be features of hypocholesterolaemia. I’m seeing my consultant in a month, so I guess we’ll find out.

  • P December 25, 2014, 5:56 pm

    About 2 months ago I decreased my dose from 20 to 10. 9 days ago I stopped taking citalopram. The first 7 days were the worst but I still hate the state I’m in at the moment. The nausea is gone but dizziness and palpitations are pretty bad. Being sat down – every few minutes I feel like my heart is beating in my throat. When moving – it’s even worse. I’m doing my best to stay concentrated. All the withdrawal symptoms are scarying me even more when I’m driving with my girls to school. It’s even harder when you haven’t got anyone to speak to about this. I wanted to say a big thank you to all the people sharing their experience and feelings. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you all :)

  • Dave December 31, 2014, 3:26 pm

    As a mature retired male I was recently placed on a course of Cit for anxiety, I commenced on 10 mg for a few days then progressed up to 20 mg. Within 24 hours of taking the larger dose I was into severe side effects the main ones being loss of appetite, nausea and producing large volumes of stomach wind. These together with total lethargy lying in bed until mid morning and then just sitting around all day in between long periods of daytime sleep.

    Not wishing to let the drug beat me and also to at least give it a go, I continued to take the higher dose for a period of 4 weeks until my next scheduled appointment with my doctor. Having said that I had to make contact prior to the appointment and get an additional prescription of Omeprazole for the dyspepsia, which I had developed in the interim. Discussing the situation with the doctor it was agreed to reduce the Cit to the original dose of 10mg per day.

    After a further week of more of the same side effects I again spoke to the doctor and agreed that the medication was unsuitable and it was having an adverse effect to that for which it was prescribed. although I have been on the medication fortunately for a short period of time the doctor advised that I should quit the 10 mg immediately. That was 11 days ago. Since then the majority of the side effects have now taken the effect of withdrawal symptoms with today probably the first day where I have seen and a slight improvement in the symptoms (which could all change tomorrow). However I am still nauseous and off my food and also lethargic but not as bad as I was.

    I consider that I have been relatively fortunate that my body rejected the drug which led me to come off the drug sooner than later. However even for a short exposure to the drug the last 6 -7 weeks have not been a pleasant one. I have always taken a minimalistic view towards taking drugs of any kind, however after this experience it has made me even more cautious!!! People who have been on the drug for a substantial period and are now attempting to wean themselves off it have my sympathy.

    I agree with the comments made by several writers above where they say that medics do not fully understand the effects of coming off these type of drugs, even if you have only been on them for a short period of time!! My advice to anyone being advised to take this type of drug should have a full discussion with their doctors prior to commencing a course of this genre of drugs and ensure that all of the potential pit falls are fully explained to allow an informed judgement to be made!! Yours, still struggling with withdrawal. -Dave

    • Lisa January 20, 2015, 10:09 pm

      Hi Dave, unfortunately, I don’t think the majority of GP’s know all the side effects, especially when coming off of Celexa. The doc I started seeing want’s me to wean off Celexa and go on another. I never wanted to be on them in the first place but was “talked into it”. My fault I know. Having a full discussion with my GP was moot due to his lack of understanding. States should make sure that physicians have the latest data on these potent drugs so they can prescribe accordingly.

      • Dave January 28, 2015, 7:30 pm

        Lisa I agree with your comments about GP’s not knowing the potential of the effects of withdrawal, nor how extreme and devastating the effects can be on the patient. As I have said before, had I been aware of the side effects and the potential withdrawal symptoms, I would never have commenced the drug nor struggled to get on with it for so long. -Dave

  • Alicia January 3, 2015, 3:56 am

    I’m trying to get off of Celexa but like many others, the headache’s are so awful that I’m struggling with taking another small dose just to get the headaches to stop. For those having headaches, do you take any pain killers to manage the pain or did pain killers even seem to help? Any othe suggestions for pain management?

  • Layla January 4, 2015, 2:42 am

    I was on celexa for about 6 months. I recently quit taking it cold turkey about 5 days ago because my husband and I would like to have a baby. My doctor told me that celexa is unknown to cause negative effects to an unborn baby so we did not want to risk it. I’ve been extremely dizzy and lightheaded since my first missed dose. I will drink a ton of water and eat, yet no matter what I do I’m feeling faint, lightheaded, and dizzy.

    I thought I may be pregnant already but after reading withdrawal symptoms of celexa I’m starting to think that is what’s causing this. I was only taking 20mg of the celexa once a day and so far these are my only symptoms. I feel slightly tired and zoned out as well but I’m still cheerful and upbeat and have no returning depression. I will definitely check back in if my symptoms worsen or change.

  • pam January 4, 2015, 8:41 pm

    I’m on my 8th week of withdrawal from 10mg citalopram. I have taken it for 4 yrs and have stopped totally. I have experienced dreadful zaps and my irritability levels are terrible. I am reassured by comments and I will persevere until I am OK.

  • Hannah January 7, 2015, 2:45 am

    I was on celexa for 3 years. (Started taking it to deal with the stress and anxiety of high school graduation). It helped with every day anxiety but didn’t help with panic attacks. I tapered off the drug and it took me 4 months. I was on 60 mg and I went down to just 5 mg. After I stopped taking it, the symptoms started right away: Mood swings, irritability, light-headedness, headaches, weakness, crying spells, insomnia, flu-like symptoms and an upset stomach. Didn’t think that going off from 5 mg would cause this much withdrawal… its been almost a week and my symptoms don’t seem to be getting better. I’m going to wait it out. I’m very happy that I waited to come off celexa when I was on winter break from college; much easier to deal with the symptoms.

  • Alison January 9, 2015, 1:33 am

    I was on Citalopram for a year 20mg then raised to 40mg. Then ran out so went to Docs for a repeat prescription. I asked the Dr for 2 months worth so she told me instead of my dose being 2 x 20mg tablets she’d give me 40mg tablets and I was just to take one. Unfortunately I forgot what she said, and continued to take 2 tablets (I was thinking it was the old 40mg dose when in reality I was now taking 80mg). I ran out after a month so dropped a repeat slip in to the Docs.

    When I went to pick it up there was obvious confusion as the Dr had refused to reissue a new prescription. She figured I should still have a month’s worth. When they found out I’d been taking 80mg daily there was slight panic. The Doc interrupted her patients to call the drug manufacturer to find out the effects of an overdose. Fortunately I was ok. The effects of going cold turkey for me include horrendous dizziness. The whole house seems to shift and spin. Stomach upset, can’t sleep (which I’ve never been good at), and a permanent nagging headache.

    Together with the severe migraine I’ve had for over 30 years (the main reason for my depression) I’m not too great. My symptoms took 3 days to start and now after a week are terrible. Having a permanent pounding headache is the worse. I’ve been looking at the ‘TED’ talks on depression and am going to try Omega 3 EPA molecule in a 1000 dose as suggested by Dr Ilardi. Will keep my Doc informed as I know this is VIP. Thanks for all the comments at least I know I’m not going mad (ha ha)!!!

  • Lynn January 9, 2015, 2:09 am

    I was so happy to find this site, I thought I was going crazy, still not positive I am not but I have been experiencing all these symptoms, I started tapering a couple months ago from 40mg to 30 for 3 weeks, than 20 for 3 weeks and now I am taking 10 daily but still having the withdrawal symptoms, no head zaps just anger, hopelessness, and depression, also severe anxiety, sometimes to the point where I feel like I could just explode!

    I never knew this would happen when I started taking these 10 or so years ago, I had just decided to get off them and try that 5-HTP natural supplement and now this! I am so scared. I am also a newlywed, and have just placed my dad in the nursing home this week, which has been very stressful for me. And my husband doesn’t understand what’s happened to me. I want to go to a therapist but there are so many quacks out there how do you find a good one?

  • Mallory January 10, 2015, 4:48 am

    I don’t even know how long I’ve been on Citalopram. I started it after trying Prozac and absolutely hated the way that made me feel. I made the mistake of trying to stop Citalopram, but I didn’t taper, I just stopped. For someone who has never ingested an illegal substance in her life, stopping abruptly made me feel like I think someone going through detox would feel. I was absolutely miserable that I stated taking it again. If you are thinking of stopping, do as they say. Discuss with a medical professional, and do so gradually. I truly don’t wish the side effects of cold turkey on anyone!

  • Nicole Slighting January 16, 2015, 3:21 am

    I went from 20 to ten mg and this is my first week and I am so glad I found this site and that I can express what is happening. I am having headaches every day and major anxiety. I had a panic attack this week and it was horrible. I am just trying to survive every hour day by day while I am going through withdrawal. That hyper feeling I used to have is gone, now it’s like I am a walking depressed soul looking for something to get excited about. I am experiencing confusion, crying spells and mood swings too. I don’t know how I am functioning but I am and its been a hard couple days. I notice my sex drive is back though and I have lost a pound or so so that is the pro of getting off this drug. Glad I could vent, I really want the headaches to go away.

  • Sarah January 16, 2015, 4:47 am

    What is worse, the original symptoms, being on the drug or the detox? I can hardly tell. After several years of C, I feel like an overweight zombie with no sex drive. Trying to get off of it I feel like I have the flu and belong in a psych ward.

  • Charlotte January 17, 2015, 8:41 pm

    So glad I found this site. 20mg for 18 months. 1 week since last tablet and I have my partner telling me I should never have come off them! Crying uncontrollably and stomach cramps are the worst for me. The pain starts at my ribs and goes down. Feels like my insides are being torn, stretched, and pulled at. I guess it’s all normal. Not nice though.

    • Katie January 19, 2015, 4:56 pm

      The withdrawals are the worst. I have been off of them for two weeks now. Nice to know I am not alone.

  • Katie January 19, 2015, 4:55 pm

    I have stopped taking my citalopram having been on 20mg for 6 months I have now been cold turkey for 2 weeks. In terms of my depression I have had no suicidal thoughts and no depressed mood swings. However, the withdrawal symptoms are just awful. I have felt dizzy all day everyday since coming off of the tablets and I have had extreme headaches almost daily. Hot flushes that continue throughout the night which I quite often wake up to. I found that drinking a lot of water throughout the day helps but most of the time I just need to lay in a dark room to prevent the dizziness.

  • B January 19, 2015, 7:14 pm

    Hi everyone who suffers from withdrawals from Celexa! I have been on this medication for 14 years and have tried 4 times to get off, about 3 times cold turkey and once gradually as per doctor’s recommendation. All attempts were unsuccessful. I gave up because all the side effects which you all have experienced. My children always know when I have gone off this medication. The next thing I know I call the local Mental Health and Wellness suicide line.

    I think that the pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to get off this drug! As soon as I start the cold turkey method, I immediately have suicidal thoughts. Isn’t that their plan to keep you on the drug because you feel so bad without it! I’m at the place I want to get off it again, every few months I think this way. Everyone wants me to stay on it because I am “normal”. It’s very sad that people won’t come alongside you to help you be free from this horrible addiction and at least try to understand or read these comments of how difficult it is to go through withdrawal.

    I have had only one very good friend of mine that has offered to help walk me through the ugliness of this addiction. Unfortunately, it is not feasible to take 6 months to a year to do this when you have a family to take care of. People say that your body NEEDS this because you were born without enough serotonin or it is a “symptom” like diabetes (I especially dislike this analogy) however, I do like the first one best though. I don’t know how true the first statement is either.

    I wish there were a hospital that Celexa patients (clients) could go to like alcoholics can go to detox. The thought of withdrawing is so scary! I empathize with everyone of this blog! From “Been there” and “Still there”. :(

  • Lisa January 20, 2015, 2:18 am

    I was on Celexa 20 mg for 8 years after a traumatic bereavement. I tapered quickly and have been off for 6 weeks. My symptoms of withdrawal were mild brain zaps and some crying jags and mild dizziness. Now at 6 weeks I am dealing with overwhelming fatigue. Sleeping about as much as possible on work nights and on days off… 10 hour night sleeps with a 2 hour nap in between. I am dealing with it with exercise outside in fresh air and giving in to the sleep. I have had no increased anxiety. I will however, NEVER use this medication again. I wonder why the prescribing doctor never gave me the facts when prescribing. It helped with my panic at the time but I wish I had dealt with it then differently.

  • Dave January 20, 2015, 6:02 pm

    Some weeks ago I wrote a post on here about my short experience with Cit having only taken the drug for six weeks and experienced major side effects including severe drowsiness and copious amounts of stomach gas and nausea together with a mouth like sandpaper. Having stopped taking the drug and after three weeks the withdrawal effects waned dramatically and last week was relatively good!! However last weekend the gas and the nausea returned not as bad but enough for me to return to the doctor who appears at a loss as to what the problem is and whether it is the withdrawal effects or some other issue. Can I ask have other people had an improvement in there withdrawal symptoms only to have them return some time later? -Dave

  • Christy January 22, 2015, 7:22 am

    I have been on two different SSRI’s for over ten years, after the death of my 17 year old son from cancer. I was on Paxil, which was given to me by my regular MD. After time, I started feeling worse, my doctor just told me to stop them…big mistake. The withdrawals were horrendous, but I made it through. Then went to a Psychiatrist who put me on Celexa. After 4 years it stopped working. So he started me on a brand new antidepressant.

    I was taking both at the same time and then was told to stop taking the Celexa after one week. The side effects from the new one were so bad, that I ended up stopping both. Actually, my depression was better so I decided not to be put on any antidepressant. I was only on the new for about 3 weeks. But now, I’m am going through every withdrawal symptom that I have read. It’s been awful!! Some symptoms have subsided, but I am still experiencing others. The tiredness and fatigue are debilitating.

    I will fall asleep and in 2 hours I am wide awake and can’t go back to sleep. The muscles on the thighs of my legs ache every single day. One day, I may feel pretty good and the next day I feel horrible. I get more agitated than I have ever been my entire life! The vivid dreams have been so bad that I have literally woke up gasping for air!! This article says that in time, it will get better, but I just read another article with personal blogs from people who say they have suffered from these withdrawals for years, not months!

    I also read that these withdrawals may never go away, which scares me to death! I also take anti anxiety meds for anxiety/panic attacks which my Psychiatrist eventually wants me to try and stop…no way!!! Right now, they are the only thing that is helping, a little, to help me get through this hell!!! In my opinion, SSRI’s should be banned!

  • Mike January 23, 2015, 6:30 pm

    Thanks all for sharing what it is like to withdraw from Celexa. I’ve been on the medication for the better part of 12 years with only a brief window off for about 9 months (before a depressive episode was triggered by family events). I’ve been tapering for a few months alternating days of 10 and 20 mg, to eventually 10 mg every other day. I’m about a week out and the mood swings seem to have stabilized a bit.

    I had not heard of the zaps before.. but felt a couple in the last few days. I tend to get major body twitches as I fall asleep and it reminded me of that feeling, but in my head instead of my body. I also have taken trazodone for longer that I took celexa, as I stopped sleeping regularly during puberty and never regained the ability to sleep more than 3 to 4 hours once reaching adulthood (I’m 41 now). I think that trazodone is majorly helping with the withdrawals as I’m at least rested when something spikes a touchdown in my head with anxiety or with emotions.

    The good side is that emotions are not oscillating very much, BUT when I’m feeling good/happy now… it feels like happy on celexa +25% more. Vivid dreams took me by surprise though. I can’t recall much about my dreams when I’m awake, but last night I had several dreams that were vivid and memorable. The dreams were about people I haven’t spoken to in 10+ years… but oddly.. people I interacted with a lot before I started celexa.

  • Teresa January 29, 2015, 3:38 am

    I started tapering off of Celexa, 10mg, about five weeks ago. I have been on it about 10 years (and Luvox 5 year before that). A long time to be on antidepressants but got fed up with sexual dysfunction and being dependent on a drug. Also I think it may be causing my restless leg which I have to take another drug for. Also I have put on at least 30 pounds these last few years. I did taper off from 20mg during the last two to three years already. So being on this drug so long naturally concerns me a great deal, and I would like to get off permanently.

    Some days I feel down – like today. I have been achy and really irritable the last two days; I don’t even like me. I feel like crying today and have had some increases in obsessive behavior. Foggy brain is a big problem and a lot of body tension. I am hoping that the anxiety doesn’t get too bad as that is the hardest for me to cope with. During the past five weeks, I lowered the Celexa only 3.3 mg, I am not sure when to bring it down another 3 mg. I want to avoid the nasty anxiety if I can.

  • Samanth February 3, 2015, 1:33 am

    It’s been 8 days off of Celexa and I feel like I’m dying. I have very slowly tapered off from 30 mg in July to stopping last week. I was on the medicine for 3 years. So far, I barely have an appetite and have horrible diarrhea. Everything I eat goes right through me. I have been non stop dizzy, confused, and nauseous. My mood swings and crying have also been picking up. However, I did start taking Dramamine while at work and it does seem to help with the dizziness and nausea. I would definitely recommend trying it.

  • Beth February 3, 2015, 5:17 pm

    It will be 3 months off cold turkey from 40mg daily for 13 years. Pretty rough withdrawal… mostly irritability and obsessing. Does the body eventually re-supply the serotonin required to feel good again? When it got too bad I would take a Xanax (very rarely) and Benadryl to sleep, but dreams were too weird. It probably made the withdrawal longer :-(. Having stressful personal events hadn’t helped either I’m sure. Thank you for your information. It helps!

    • Constance June 10, 2015, 6:03 am

      Hi! I’m wondering how you are doing with your withdrawal symptoms. I’ve also been on Citalopram for 13 years (half my life) and want to get off of it so badly, but it never seems like it will be a good time and I’m afraid my brain chemistry might be permanently changed. Did anyone offer you any good advice you could pass along? I wish I had some to offer you. Wishing you the best!

  • Joyce February 6, 2015, 7:09 pm

    Thanks soooo much to all of you for sharing your experiences with celexa withdrawal. I no longer feel alone! I had been on it for at least 10 years but I also was on quite a cocktail of other anti’ds along with it. I was getting really tired of constant fog brain, unsteady gait, and tap-tap-tapping in my head (is that the brain zap?). So I decided to try getting off some of these drugs starting with celexa.

    I dropped from 20 to 10 mg for close to a year. Then from 10 to 5 for a few weeks (doctor approved) then stopped about 2 weeks ago. (Doc not involved yet). Perhaps because of these other drugs I’m on I haven’t had the awful physical side effects but the irritability and vicious mood swings are driving me crazy. I haven’t seen any posts about drug cocktails and how long the irritability/anger subsides. Anyone out there have any suggestions?

    • Lynn February 27, 2015, 3:02 am

      I’d be interested to hear from others with a “cocktail” as well, as that is where I am. Tapering off of Cit while holding steady on Klonipin and Wellbutrin. Those are going after I get through the Cit. One thing at a time. (I have a much more extensive and annoying post awaiting moderation with all the gory details of my journey thus far.)

  • Lisa February 12, 2015, 8:21 pm

    I am on week 2 of cold turkey from my daily dose of 40mg of citalopram, I am really struggling, headaches, sickness, irrational thinking and just feel very strange. I work in a stressful environment… prison. I cannot take any time off, but have told my line manager and as of yet have had no support (funny as that was the reason I went on the meds). Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

  • Nikki February 14, 2015, 11:18 pm

    I first took Cit. (20 mg) November 2013 and began my tapering process in August 2014. Man what a strange process that was. I had an array of symptoms from dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and random bouts of chills! Although I can say it was much easier coming off of Cit. vs starting Cit. It was difficult though – I’m a 21 yr old female, and went through the entire process of starting and coming off of this medication by myself. I don’t recommend it. I was too embarrassed to tell my family or friends because I felt like a failure.

    I took Cit because I would get horrible anxiety (especially when it comes to vomiting – my actual phobia). I am a different person since starting. I feel more confident in my ability to talk openly about my anxiety. I read a ton of self-help books to remind myself this anxiety does not define me, but is something I will overcome. I’ve learned a lot about myself and hope others feel the same. My greatest struggle was the weight gain. I put on 40 lbs while taking Cit.

    My clothes don’t fit, I don’t have self confidence in my appearance, and I am ashamed to admit it has taken a toll on my ability to feel beautiful in my own skin. I look at myself in the mirror with disgust. I began the Insanity workout program back in December and have only lost 8 lbs. I work out 6Xs a week and think I eat fairly healthy for the most part. (I am a student and can’t afford to buy all organic and make juices/cleanses/etc).

    I am starting to get anxious about this weight issue and wanted to reach out to see how others have dealt with theirs. Is there any hope to lose the weight? From all of the other blog posts I’ve read – I only seem to find disappointment. No one has shared useful information on the weightless process other than distress. PLEASE someone tell me there is hope and a way to get rid of the excess weight so I can go back to fitting in all of the clothes I wore only a short year ago!!! -Nikki

  • Jenny February 17, 2015, 5:08 am

    I was on Celexa for not quite 2 months. I decided to quit cold turkey because while on the medicine I literally could not find the will to get out of bed ( I was prescribed it for anxiety, not depression). I would go to bed at 9 pm and sleep until 1 pm, and then need a nap again 2 hours later. I have symptoms of: nausea and mood swings but nothing else. One thing I do miss from Celexa is that it curbed my appetite so I lost 11 lbs., which in the 3 days I’ve been off of it, I have eaten so horrible and often to try and release the nauseous feeling; eating is the only thing that helps.

  • John February 18, 2015, 4:08 pm

    Celexa 20 mg for 18 months, stopped cold turkey 2 weeks ago. First week, nothing. This week, severe dizziness, causing nausea, causing vomiting, body aches, feel weak and tired. I feel like I have a flu. I’ve been told to go back and taper, but if this is how this drug makes a person feel, no thanks. I’m going to continue cold turkey and suffer through, hoping to get through this in weeks, not months.

    • John February 28, 2015, 4:18 pm

      Hi, it’s me replying to myself. I’m now at week 4 of cold turkey. The dizziness and vomiting stopped, only lasted about 10 days. Still some trouble sleeping. Good luck all!

  • Lionel February 19, 2015, 8:56 am

    Thank you to all for posting your withdrawal symptoms. I was on 40mg citalopram for 8 years. My psychiatrist reduced my dose by 10 mg and am having the side effects. Didn’t know what was going on until I saw this and other sites. I have ongoing flu like symptoms. Body aches, dizziness, nausea chronic headache. Plus complete fatigue, lack of concentration, sleep difficulty (it’s presently 3:00AM) poor memory, depression, emotional swings. My fear is that if this is what it is like withdrawing to 30mg what is withdrawing to 10mg or quitting going to be like!!! However, everyone’s comments of their symptoms have given me hope that I can get through this. Thank you again to all.

  • Kathy McCranie February 20, 2015, 12:57 am

    I have been taking Celexa for the last three years. The first of this year, I came off the Celexa cold turkey. I am now having body aches and a very short temper. I feel almost like I am having flu symptoms, but I know this is not the case. I also went through a case of nose staff but the Doctors assure me that the staff infection has cleared up. I am just really concerned about the body aches. Could this be the symptoms of the Celexa withdrawals? Please help me figure this out.

    • Lionel February 20, 2015, 11:45 pm

      Yes I have had severe body aches along with the regular flu-like symptoms of withdrawal. I am certain that it is related to the withdrawal symptoms from citalopram.

    • Lynn February 27, 2015, 2:33 am

      I think that the body aches and flu-like symptoms are very likely a part of your withdrawal. So many of the things I’ve been reading mention this as one of the symptoms. I find that hot baths help a lot – if you’re not allergic, soaking in magnesium salts and baking soda with a couple of drops of lavender oil is very cleansing and calming. An over-the-counter pain reliever may help, as well.

  • Lionel February 20, 2015, 11:56 pm

    I wonder if anyone else has experienced this. My withdrawal symptoms seem to become more severe when I am stressed. This kind of makes sense if I think that brain is looking for the Citalopram to deal with the stress which it is now not getting. Hence the withdrawal symptoms. Has anyone noticed this? Also in order to deal with the constant fatigue I have been using blue-light therapy which I believe does help give me energy.

    I am weaning off of 40 mg of Citalopram per day for seven years. Experiencing these withdrawal symptoms has convinced me that getting off of them completely is the right thing to do. Good luck to everyone in their treatment and please continue to post your experiences. You are helping many people by doing so.

    • Lynn February 27, 2015, 2:29 am

      Lionel, Absolutely, that makes sense. I’ve noticed that myself, yes. Part of my withdrawal strategy has been to choose a time in my life when I don’t have a lot of stress (or at least less stress), and I’ve consciously said “no” to a lot of potential commitments, as well. Man, it has really helped! Good luck! I hope you’re doing better!

      • Lionel March 7, 2015, 3:40 am

        Thanks for the response Lynn. One other thing I was told by my pharmacist. Citalopram acts as a pain inhibiter as well as an anti-depressant. Hence any normal aches and pains that a person has will be more pronounced when they wean off of it. Just another argument for the withdrawal aches symptom. Good luck in your cit reduction efforts.

  • Miranda February 27, 2015, 9:00 pm

    Hi, everyone. So I have taken citalopram for about 5 years now, on 40 mg for several years. I have been trying to taper per doctor’s advice of going down to 20 mg once a day for one week and then 20 mg every other day for a week. Now I’m 1 week completely off the drug. I have been having many of the common symptoms (head zaps – or what I refer to as a maraca inside my head, extreme irritability, crying spells for no particular reason, mood swings, dizziness, out of body feeling, difficulty concentrating) and aside from being at my wit’s end, it’s scaring my husband!

    I called my doctor today to ask how much longer she thought this would go on or if there was anything I could do to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. She advised that I go back on the 40 mg dose for 1 week, then to 20 mg daily for 1 week, then 20 mg every other day for 1 week, and then 20 mg once every 3 days for a week. I am really afraid to go back on the meds again. Has anyone had this experience? Any advice on if I should just stick it out or go back and do another taper? This sucks!

  • Lisa February 28, 2015, 4:49 pm

    I was on Citalopram at 40 mg. for 7 years. I took 2 weeks off from work knowing it would probably be rough weaning off. In mid January I went from 40 mg. to 20 mg. the first week. The second week down to 10 ml. then completely off the week after. Flu symptoms and brain zaps were bad the whole time. It’s now almost March first and I no longer have the zaps, except very light zaps, but everything still tastes like metal and I have now developed GERD. I have never had digestive problems before and I’m not sure if this is yet another side effect.

    They say it takes 90 days to start feeling normal. I hope that is true. It has been around 40 days since I have been off completely so I guess there is hope. I never wanted to be on an anti depressants in the first place. I only wanted xanax on occasion when I had a lot of anxiety. My ex doctor said he would like to see the anxiety go away so prescribed Citalopram. It never took away my anxiety so he was prescribing Citalopram and Xanax. The Citalopram was actually giving me depression… UGH!!!!

    These doctors need to learn more about these medications before handing them out like candy. Or perhaps we as patients need to research the pros and cons before even starting them. I wish you all well and hope we have not been damaged beyond repair. Sorry for the negativity but that is how I feel about the whole medical profession regarding anti psychotic drugs. I realize it is a “practice”, but they should learn and listen to their patience before medicating.

    • Tina March 25, 2015, 2:06 am

      Your withdrawal symptoms are a lot like mine. The metallic taste was very strange. I tapered off for about 1-1/2 months and I have been totally off for about 1-1/2 months. I still have days when I don’t want to move, and have no desire to do anything but sit around. Watching TV isn’t even stimulating. I was on Celexa for about 10 years. From what I’ve read, because I was on it for so long, I’m in for a longer withdrawal period.

      I am determined to totally get this stuff out of my system and rely on prayer and all the support of my family and friends to stay the happy person that I want to be. I also want to return to not being totally unaffected by any sadness in my life… it’s okay to cry! I’m feeling more normal now that I cry when i hear something sad. The worst part so far is the lack of energy.

      I lost about 10 pounds prior to going off Celexa, then when I was weaned off, I was losing a few more pounds, even though I was eating just about anything I wanted. Well don’t get used to that! The weight is starting to come back on, so it’s time to eat consciously again! I’ve learned to make myself be social and stay busy. It keeps your mind off of yourself and your own problems. Get involved in helping others. Hang in there everyone!

  • Bonnie March 2, 2015, 5:06 am

    I stopped taking the 20 mg dose about two weeks ago, I have been having what feels like zings in my head. I was looking them on line and find they are called brain zaps. Usually happen when moving my head, not severe, and do not hurt. but they have been going on for a few days and wanted to see if My Internet sources would tell me what they are. Good news here, thanks for having this online for others to comment.

    I have not been more depressed and I have recently overhauled my diet to an extreme level. I was a food junkie, I went to drinking water a while back, for kidney stones, actually distilled water. As I never have drank any water, it always tasted so bad. Now that I was doing better with that, I watched an online weight loss seminar, and it gave me specific guidelines as to what to eat. I have lost a lot of weight. Well to me 17 pounds is a lot (LOL).

    So during this same time I had been seeing a lot of problems with SSRIs coming up. Decided to slowly stop them. Still this seems the only reaction so far, and since this article says it is better the longer I am off them. Good news. I can quit worrying about a stroke, or some other awful thing. That in itself will make me feel better.

  • Lori March 2, 2015, 10:36 pm

    I have been on Citalopram 20 for maybe five years now. My gp gave it to me because I was starting to have hot flashes. The flashes never got worse and stayed away as long as I stayed away from wine. But recently I started having flashes just before bed. I have gained maybe 40 pounds in the past five years so I went to a medical diet place. They wouldn’t take me because I was on Citalopram and it clashed with their supplement.

    Since the Citalopram didn’t seem to be doing anything for me anyway, I just stopped taking the pills. When I started feeling weird after a few days, I googled Citalopram and discovered all of this! I can’t believe my doc even gave this stuff to me! I am now 7 days cold turkey and very woozy. I am a little anxious, and have wacko dreams and very light sleep. I have had no energy for years and this past week is worse. And the muscle aches! I don’t know if I should try a monitored weaning or stick with the cold turkey. Seems either way is bad.

  • Miffy March 2, 2015, 10:58 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments here it’s very helpful. I just wanted to add my experience: I have been on citalopram for 6 years and felt it was time to stop taking it. My doc has done a slow tapering and I was on 20mg a day. I started tapering 6 months ago… First from 20 mg to 10mg over a few months. I felt teary, achy and had tinnitus, but eventually the symptoms eased off.

    Then went to 10 mg every other day… This was weird and felt all the above symptoms again but not for as long. Now for the last week I have been drug free and the side effects are crappy again. And all of the above are happening but mostly only when I’m stressed. I’m hanging in there and nearly drug free after this long battle. This drug has really helped me cope with some devastating things. But I’m in such a better place now and looking forward to a drug free life.

  • Nechole March 8, 2015, 4:37 am

    I have been sitting here for a while now, just reading through all of these stories. I have been on one antidepressant or another (since my first son was born) over 16 years ago. I think I have been on Celexa now for about 7-9 years. I also take seroquel at night…I want OFF my meds. I cant take it anymore. I found that taking L-Theanine 500-800 mg lozenges is supposed to help the withdrawal from Celexa, I read a few women’s stories of how it worked for them, etc.

    So I decided to try to get off the meds one more time. In the past, I would feel all of the above symptoms. I even tried to get out of a moving car while my husband was driving simply because I couldn’t take it sitting there…crazy! I have been off of Celexa and Seroquel for 4 days cold turkey, just 4 days. Even with the lozenges (really, they help a lot!!), I cant take the head spins, dizzy feeling, the sharp, shooting pains in my skull, headaches, my muscles ache and the depression is beginning to kick in.

    Crying fits are starting in and I have two teens and a 3 year old to tend to. I went in with such confidence that I could just stop and I was very mistaken. I took 1/4 of a 40 mg celexa. It isn’t enough to stop the withdrawals completely, but it took the edge off. After reading all of these posts, I can now see that I am taking this way too fast, and I think 1/4 pill every day for a while, then 1/4 pill every two days, and so on is the way to go.

  • Kay Graves March 9, 2015, 7:58 am

    Thank you for this. I found it really helpful. I have been on this drug for just over a year, at times in 40mg plus taking another anti depressant which I came off months ago. I decided to come off this and have done 1 week exactly today and I’m suffering with an awful fuzzy head and I keep getting really dizzy and nearly falling over and I have a tingly face. But I am so proud of myself, and I feel completely confident about the future for the first time in ages. Looking forward to it ending though, as it’s pretty horrid no matter how positive I am!

    • Lisa March 14, 2015, 5:28 pm

      It’s been 50 plus days since being 100% off off citalopram and not getting better. I will feel better for a few days then I am back to the negative thoughts. I don’t think this is true for everyone but the way my brain reacted to this drug, and the the feeling of hopelessness is not going away. My husband is not understanding like he was and I can’t say I blame him. We are in our early 50’s and he deserves a life without the emotional strain of my up’s and down’s. At this point I am unsure if I will ever pull through.

      I do blame my ex doctor for this due to my not wanting to take them in the first place. Kind of sad when you can’t trust your own doctor. I also went to another doctor and they are not much better. They wanted to take me off of citalopram and put me on another. Wrong answer! This will be the last time I write and hope you all get 100% better.

      • Nikki April 8, 2015, 6:47 am

        I am so sorry, hon! My advice is to take at least one day out of the week to go out, have dinner, catch a movie (uplifting, not depressing) or do something else you are both certain to enjoy. During this time, put on a happy face and pretend the world consists of only you and him. When you feel negative thoughts start to work their way in, hug him hard and tell him you love him. I really hope you take this advice and that you and he together can conquer the terrible heartache that depression brings. *hugs*

  • Maria March 14, 2015, 5:22 pm

    I am also going through almost every withdrawal symptom. The dizziness and mood swings are the worst for me. I can’t wait for them to GO away. Thanks you for input, felt like I was going crazy!! I’m on week 2 and hope they resolve soon!

  • Pip March 14, 2015, 7:23 pm

    Withdrawal symptoms from Citalopram are, in my case, very bad. I have just been through a very nasty divorce and wanted to come off the tablets because I felt they stopped me having the drive I used to have (although they leveled me emotionally). I ran out of tablets and decided to go cold turkey. I knew a little of the symptoms because I’ve run out before and the dizziness comes on immediately.

    It’s like part of my head spins without the rest. It feels quite dangerous, especially for driving. I get SO tired that I feel I’ve nodded off at my computer a lot of the time at work and sometimes just have to take myself to bed almost in tears. Tonight I had reason to be upset but I just cried and cried unable to stop. I put on 3/4 stone when I was on the tablets because I couldn’t stop eating.

    Now I feel back to myself food-wise but I don’t have much appetite because I have a constant upset stomach. I can’t sleep well at the moment but that’s not unusual for me. I’m ratty and keep swearing when I get angry which is entirely unlike me. The dizziness, tiredness and the change of character are the worst parts. I’ve been off them for about 10 days and fear this isn’t going to get better for a long time.

  • Lisa Marie March 15, 2015, 10:49 pm

    Going cold turkey from citalopram 20mg, coming up to 2 weeks now, I’ve experienced “brain zaps “and found them quite scary but after reading this article I now know they will pass! Good luck everyone and thanks for this informative article! :-) :-)

  • Mark March 16, 2015, 9:10 am

    Have been off the meds for two weeks and it’s hell. Not functioning at work or at home. Constantly want to cry, extremely irritable and unable to concentrate.

  • Jacob March 18, 2015, 6:13 am

    Hello my name is Jacob. I’m currently going through the most extreme withdrawal I’ve ever personally dealt with. I have most of what’s described up top. All this happened because I was off it for four days. Missing one day is fine. Anything after that, I’m in for a world of hurt.

    • Average White Male 33 March 23, 2015, 9:10 pm

      I feel your pain. Except for me, when I miss a dose I have brain zaps and nausea within about 5 hours. Its kind of scary how dependent we are on this stuff.

  • Laurel March 20, 2015, 2:28 am

    I have been taking 40 mg of Celexa for years. I may need to take Zithromax for a while and it conflicts with Celexa so, with permission from my psychiatrist, I am reducing. He suggested starting the reduction at 20 mg. I can see from reading that perhaps 30 would’ve been better. I have been on the reduced dose for about a week and today I had an anxiety attack right in the middle of a meeting and, had it not been for presence of mind, could have yelled at my coworker. Fortunately I could feel the tension in my body and realized that it was an overreaction to what it happened in the meeting.

    I told the other two people that I was feeling tense and then I handed the meeting over to another person to run for about five minutes so I could do deep breathing. While doing that I realized that reducing my Celexa dose was the likely reason for the panic attack, which I’d used to have before medications. That made me relax even more. I was then able to proceed with the meeting and we accomplished all of our goals. I am grateful for that. I am relaxing this evening and waiting for a phone call from my friend for support.

  • Determined March 21, 2015, 9:17 pm

    I was on Citalopram for 3.5 years from 40mg finally down to 10mg. I’m on Day 4 without it and god the combination of nausea, dizziness and brain zaps are horrible! Any advice on how to deal with these specific symptoms will be gratefully received. I’ve waited until I can work from home, don’t have to travel much for a couple of weeks and feel mentally strong enough to handle it, but right now the only thing that makes the withdrawals bearable is laying down and I can’t do that for weeks. Any recommendations?

  • Average White Male 33 March 23, 2015, 9:05 pm

    I have been on Celexa (or at times Effexor) since I was 18 years old. Enough. I have no idea what this stuff has done to me over the long-term, nor what it will do to me in the future. I have tried to get off before, and every time felt like death. This time I am sticking with it. It has been way too long. Brain Zaps, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, crazy dreams, irritability, trouble focusing…you name it, I’ve got it.

    I can’t wait to get off this stuff and find out who I actually am off it. Thank GOD my 3 children are happy and healthy – who knows what the risks of birth defects are due to long term use by the father. Oh yeah, and I have been 35 lbs over-weight since I was about 20. No matter what, I could never get down and keep it off. Hopefully this will change too.

  • Bee March 24, 2015, 2:30 pm

    I’ve been on Citalopram for about 6 months. I called them my “divorcing a narcissist pills.” I am very much against antidepressants (although I acknowledge their use in certain situations or for certain people), but I decided to start because my anxiety was so severe that I could physically feel adrenaline and cortisol being released for minor incidents, like stabbing a toe. It was stressful and sickening, so I asked my doctor for temporary meds as I transitioned through my life change.

    I noticed positive effects for the first 2 months or so, but after that I questioned its efficacy. I also complained of horrendous flatulence (it’s true! Sorry!) to my doctor, but she was skeptical. Prior to the meds, I’d never had an anxiety attack. I’ve had 3 in the last 3 months while ON the meds. I also recently met a wonderful man, but unfortunately I’ve noticed some sexual side effects, such as difficulty climaxing. I weighed the pros and cons and decided it’s doing more harm than good at this point, so I’m tapering off.

    I was on 20mg once daily, and my doctor recommended tapering first to 1/2 tab (10mg) daily for one week, then 1/2 tab every other day for one week, then discontinuing. I’m in the beginning of week 2, the final week, and I’m feeling “off.” I feel sort of dizzy and odd, especially with certain movements of my upper body. It almost feels nervey, like my nerves in my head, neck, and upper back are overreacting to movement. Other than that, I feel okay so far. I’m hoping it doesn’t get worse, and I’m a bit nervous about re-emergence of anxiety and depression, but I’m trying to stay positive and just flow through these changes.

  • Irina March 26, 2015, 11:11 am

    95 days of complete withdrawal from Citalopram. Dear all, for those who have read my previous posts right at the top, just wanted to update you. It’s day 95 of complete withdrawal from Citalopram today. I am still not well, unfortunately for me it takes longer than the average 90 days. I do have good days, like the last 2 days, when my head was clear, I felt more normal and even cleaned the whole house. But today back to feeling lethargic again, not wanting to do anything.

    About a week ago I felt severe anxiety again and severe numbness around the heart area, heart pounding, heart racing. Still suffering from severe gastro-reflux and because of that have developed laryngitis, which made me cough for about 3 months now. Well, at least I am having good days now, where I start feeling normal, which is positive. I shall continue my journey of recovering with God’s help and will keep you posted as usual. I shall have a bit of rest now and push myself to go to the gym later (exercise does help!). -Irina

  • Pat March 30, 2015, 8:51 am

    Hi I’m 6 months off citalopram, slow withdrawal over a year from 40mg. I am STILL not 100% after all this time. I was on them for 3 years and came off slowly. I feel suicidal some days, anxious and depressed. I do not want to go back on any medication. Has anyone got some positive thoughts on my situation? Thank you.

  • AllYouNeedIsLove March 30, 2015, 9:25 pm

    I am a 41 year old male. I first experienced anxiety symptoms in Feb 2014. Chest pains, sense of doom etc. After the diagnosis, I especially remember 1 week when it was awful – where I just didn’t feel like myself and was worried if I’ll ever get better. I was put on 10mg of Citalopram daily – which I was asked to take first thing in the morning. Within two weeks, the symptoms were very well under control. The only side effect was delayed orgasm – I didn’t like this at first, but then learnt to accept it.

    I was also given 1mg of Lorazepam to take when I felt anxious and consulted with a psychologist for anxiety relief strategies. I used to take marijuana every weekend from around 2006 to 2013. I mention this because I believe I was self medicating. But I also believe this may have something to do with the anxiety related symptoms I faced. I had decided to quit marijuana for several reasons. One of them was that marijuana actually started giving me inexplicable levels of anxiety.

    There were episodes when I was ‘bugging out’ and was convinced I was going to die. So I quit marijuana in August 2013 and haven’t taken it since. Side note here: since marijuana is a street drug, there is no control on the strain and potency of what one consumes. I know people have strong feelings about using marijuana, but I think it can exacerbate mental health issues. Please apply discretion if you need to use it. My psychologist thought that my anxiety could be caused by ADD and referred me to a psychiatrist who readily prescribed Vyvanse.

    It was a wake up moment for me – where at 41 I could very well end up hooked on to prescription medication. Doctors seem to resort to highly potent medication as the first option. I decided to get off prescription medications all together. I devised a plan to taper off Citalopram and informed my doctor of my decision and approach. He ratified it and I have been completely off Citalopram for a month now.

    I did have the symptoms come back 2 weeks after I stopped Citalopram. But I was able to see through it. I have to say I feel much better and really in better control of my body and mind. I wish everyone who is looking to get off Citalopram the best. Its not easy – but if you are doing it for the right reasons, and have the right support, it’s doable. Wish you all the very best.

  • kristine negrete April 1, 2015, 7:11 pm

    I sure made a big mistake! Thinking my 40MG of Celexa did not help me any more I stopped 6 days ago and have every symptom I have read. The mood swings and crying seem to be the worst. I am going to see my doctor today and I am sure he will not be happy, since I called him late last night like a crazy lady. I am on so many meds that I am afraid my liver and kidneys will start to fail, which does not help my depression. I just felt like I need to vent to people who understand how I am feeling. Let’s see what the Doc says today.

  • jo April 2, 2015, 7:05 pm

    Coming off Citalopram (Celexa) after a few years. Had no idea the withdrawal symptoms would be so severe. Have got through terrible itching, but currently feeling dizziness – my brain is sliding around in my skull with aches and pains all over. Am nervous of driving because of the dizziness. Daunted to see it may last months…

  • Christy April 4, 2015, 12:58 am

    I started on Celexa in February of 2014 due to extreme anxiety. I had so many attacks that I was taking Xanax several times a day. The PA I was seeing at the time put me on Celexa and it has helped tremendously with my anxiety. About a month ago, 12 months after taking 10 mg of Celexa daily, I had finally realized that I was steadily gaining weight and was TIRED ALL THE TIME! I talked to the PA to see what he thought about it.

    He determined that if it was the Celexa that was causing the weight gain and fatigue these problems would have surfaced sooner than almost a year later after starting the medication. He wanted me to come in to have my blood tested to see if there was something else. It was determined that I had a thyroid problem and my sugars were fine. He wanted to put me on levothyroxine. He said that my sugar levels were fine. That stuff only made me MORE tired!

    Finally I found this page. I read all your comments and realized that I was not alone. That the Celexa was likely the culprit. I called the PA again and through his assistant he told me I should quit Celexa. He didn’t give me instructions with how to do it. It was my habit of researching everything that led me to find that I should taper off and not quit cold turkey. I cut my dose in half for two weeks and have now been taking it about every other day.

    I tried stopping all together after two weeks of the lower dose and after about three days I couldn’t take it anymore and had another of the lower doses. The pings and brain confusion are tough! Now knowing that this could last three months! This is gonna be tough! Been on Celexa for just over a year. About a month ago I was beginning to wonder if my fast weight gain of over 40 lbs from August 2014 till March 2015. I was also experiencing extreme fatigue. I could get a nice night’s sleep then still sleep another 4 hours or so in the day.

    • Christy Allred June 14, 2015, 3:48 am

      *UPDATE*: I am about 2.5 months off of Celexa. I was taking 10 mg daily and am happy to say I have had no anxiety. The PINGs stopped but I don’t remember exactly when. I am still dealing with brain fog, a feeling of just coming off of a carousel which makes me irritable. I still feel tired constantly. But at least I don’t need to sleep all day anymore. I am crossing my fingers that day 90 is going to be my magic number and I can start to get my life back!

  • Natalie Perry April 7, 2015, 12:47 pm

    I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder 3 years ago and have been on 40mg since. I have suffered around a 2 stone weight gain, and with that I have just decided that I am quitting the meds once and for all!! I don’t advise just stopping cold turkey as the side effects were horrible but I am now day 8 without anything! It was against my doctors advice that I just stopped, but the weight gain was causing massive anxiety and depression. Any advice is welcomed!

  • Nikki April 8, 2015, 6:40 am

    Wow. I feel lame after reading some comments of the veterans of this med. I have only been taking it for 6 months for severe social anxiety, then decided to stop cold-turkey due to the fact that it was irritatingly hard to achieve an orgasm. (I know, TMI.) A week or so after stopping and for 5 days now, it is like a scheduled hell. I wake up in the morning, drag myself out of bed (I must because I have a toddler and a 7 month-old), and the dizziness immediately starts.

    It feels like a mild version of what people have described as brain zaps. Then I eat breakfast, which makes everything worse. I sit there in a stupor, feeling dizzy, weak, and slightly nauseous. I try not to nap, but usually pass out for a few around 10, when the baby naps. Then I feed the kids and myself… and then Im feeling even more dizzy, nauseous, and now I have some pressure in my head. So I put the kids down, then struggle reluctantly through my P90X workout. I always feel a bit better after I work out, but still get those funky dizzy brain zap thingies.

    Then, a few hours later, Im beginning to feel that aura that tells you that an inevitable migraine is coming. Then I eat, and after dinner, bam! Migraine city. (Eating seems to make everything worse.) I have some irritability, but no crying spells. I did actually have a suicidal thought, but its only because I don’t want to feel all this pain anymore. I have lost 5 lbs in the past 5 days, which may sound nice to some, but is actually very scary. I, having never been addicted to anything in my life, didn’t realize that I was going through withdrawals. I thought I was getting seriously sick from something.

    I was paranoid that I might have gotten a parasite somehow. I am a little relieved to know what is going on, but a little scared at how long this is going to last! I didn’t experience any withdrawals at all when I stopped taking it when I got pregnant, but then I had been taking it for less than a month. How long can I expect this withdrawal thing to happen after only being on this stuff 6 months? Does anybody know? I cant stand the thought of going off on my 2 year-old for stupid crap or having a nightly migraine for months! :(

  • Tonia Savasuk April 8, 2015, 3:30 pm

    I have been off celexa for 5 days, cold turkey. I have had vomiting, everything I eat goes right through me, I can’t sleep well. The hardest is the electrical shocks that go through my body. We figure it will be about 5 months for the withdrawal symptoms to go away. I’m just having a hard time with these shocks. How did you deal with them? Anyone?

  • suzy April 8, 2015, 4:11 pm

    Hi I have been on citalopram for 6 years now and feel forced to go cold turkey!! I cannot get a GP appointment for 3 weeks and have been refused a repeat prescription. I am on day 4 and suffering bad headaches, dizziness and nausea. Also horrendous sleep problems! I am determined to beat this but it’s so difficult when working full time. Which includes over 1 hour drives to and from work! Hope these symptoms ease soon.

  • Reba April 8, 2015, 9:03 pm

    I am so very thankful I found this site. I haven’t had celexa in about ten days. Ran out waiting for the doctor to get back with the pharmacy and decided to just try not taking it. I have been on 40mg a day for at least ten years. I feel horrible but I had no idea it was withdrawals. Now at least I know why I’m having all these symptoms. The only ones I have that I’m not seeing here are chest pains. I’m not suicidal but I want to cry. I haven’t cried much in the last ten years or really had many strong emotions at all. I’m ready to try living again. The nausea is really the worst right now though. That and having trouble concentrating. Yay. I’m not going crazy or coming down with something fatal. It’s just withdrawals and will eventually go away :)

  • Bill April 16, 2015, 4:34 pm

    After several years on Celexa I decided that I was fed up with the weight gain and the need to up my dosage every few months. I am the type of person that has to do something immediately once he makes up his mind to do it, so I quit cold turkey. The first few weeks were fine. However, the depression now seems to be coming back and I am constantly irritable. Anything will set me off.

    I have also begun to hurt all over, especially my legs and feet. Seems like it is a real pain just to get around. I realize after reading some of the comments on this page that I am not going crazy or coming down with some dreaded disease but am actually going through withdrawal. I plan to stay off the Celexa, but at this point, think it will be quite an experience before it’s all over. Thanks for everyone’s help.

  • Danielle April 19, 2015, 10:01 am

    So day two stopping cold turkey 20 mg Celexa. I can’t sleep. I feel like I’m dying. My stomach hurts so much I’m so nauseated and dizzy. I feel like I’m dying.

  • Mary Ann April 19, 2015, 4:32 pm

    My doctor prescribed Citalopram for my hot flashes. I took it for several years and decided I could probably quit taking it. I followed the advice of my pharmacist and gradually weaned off of it over the course of about ten weeks. I haven’t taken any now for about three weeks and am experiencing severe dizziness. The hot flashes and night sweats are much worse than when I started the Citalopram. I’m not sure if I should restart it or suffer through the dizziness until it goes away, and try to find another solution for the hot flashes. Any thoughts?

  • Nina schunck April 20, 2015, 8:37 pm

    I went through a very hard time withdrawing from Lexapro but I did it until I developed derealization disorder. I substituted Celexa a year ago. I have been tapering and am now off completely for ten days. I feel like I have the flu. My body temperature fluctuates wildly. I have a chronic headache and body aches. I have insomnia and I’m lethargic as can be. I cry and I’m irritable. Unless I get derealization symptoms again, I will never take this class of drug. Never, ever, ever.

  • Tracie April 22, 2015, 5:19 am

    I was on 10mg of Celexa for anxiety and moderate depression 3 years, then my doctor raised it to 40mg which I was on for a year. I felt better at first but within a couple months my motivation became broken and all I wanted to do is sleep, I also gained a lot of weight that no matter what I did I couldn’t lose it which despite the Celexa I was even more depressed. I was put on Celexa because I had a allergic reaction to every other drug, Wellbutrin being the worst with mystery welts all over my body.

    I went from 40mg, to 20mg, to 20mg every other day, to 20mg a week. I’ve been off Celexa for going on the third week. I didn’t feel the withdraws until mid first week and they hit hard; dizzy, cloudy thoughts, brain zap from hell, nausea, headaches, active gag reflex, and sleepy all the time. I started looking into essential oils and supplements, and started taking 5-HTP which lessened the zaps and dizziness, ginger root which helped the nausea, B-12 and Green Coffee Bean that kept me alert.

    Pure Lavender oil rubbed on forehead everyday and back of neck gets rid of headaches, Lemon and Lilac oil helps me feel good about everything. Into week three I have only mild zaps and now a overactive gag reflex which is just as annoying as the zaps because every hint of a foul smell sends me into a dry gagging fit. Hell I can’t even handle myself going potty (LOL). I use to dislike hearing “This too shall pass,” like what? A gallstone or a gummy bear? Now I’m hoping it’s a gummy bear (LOL).

  • Daryl Winkcup April 22, 2015, 8:10 am

    I starting taking Citalopram a little over years ago, it helped a bit, but not really. At the time I was encourage to persevere and “give them a chance to work”, 12 months later, at the max dosage of 40 mg, the result were poor, but now I had an addiction… I tried many time to wean of them, but always got to that point where it seemed too hard, so I went back in them, time after time. So after 8 years, and putting on 40kgs, losing urges that I once loved, it was time to get it done.

    For me, I focused on the 90 day cycle, as there are no shortcuts when it come to rebalancing your body’s chemical structure. Each dosage reduction, was held for 90 days, until I was on 5mg for 90 days. Its been 1 week now with no Citalopram, I have had some mild dizziness, some mild irritability, but apart from that, all good, and I can feel things improving already. Cold turkey is always an option, but not a good one, plan your withdrawal from this drug, commit to the plan and stick to it. Good luck!

  • leanne April 23, 2015, 6:43 pm

    Have come off citalopram for about just over a week now. The first couple of days were ok just a bit of dizziness. Gradually symptoms have become worse and today I have hit an all time low. Should be at work right now but have had to go home since I have been have been bursting into tears every 15 minutes! The dizzy spells and headaches are more severe and I feel that I may have killed someone if I had stayed at work. I really don’t want to give in and start taking them again, when will this end?

  • Irina April 24, 2015, 9:04 pm

    I have been completely off citalopram just over 4 months now and can tell that it does get better. The worst time I had was probably the fist two months, you can read my posts right at the top. I feel more myself now, but still not 100%. I have uncovered anxiety and days when I feel depressed, lack of motivation and fatigue, gastro reflux and cough connected with reflux since I stopped citalopram over 4 months ago.

    But all that is now bearable, comparing to when you first stop. I now feel happy to be completely free of citalopram and not being dependant on it, even though I still need more time to recover. For me it takes long, but you might recover much quicker, as we are all different. I am learning to deal with stress without citalopram, it’s as hard as if you are learning to walk again. But do not get discouraged, it will take time, but we shall recover!

  • trayc April 28, 2015, 3:17 am

    After a screw up at the VA clinic I have been without my Celexa for a week tomorrow. I called the pharmacist about symptoms I was having wondering if this is why I felt so bad. They made it sound as if Celexa was not to blame. Horrible dizziness, to the point of feeling like I was going to pass out. So tired, couldn’t hardly function, think. Had to leave work and go home to sleep today. Nauseous, heartburn, been having bad dreams…

    Well let me tell you, after looking this up myself and finding this website, I am floored but relieved to know withdrawal is EXACTLY what is happening to me!!! I have been on Celexa for many years (8-10) because of depression & anxiety. While on it I had a suicide attempt . I feel I am always irritable even while on the meds. Still depressed, big mood swings. My question is this – do I continue the med when I get them or trudge through the withdrawal and get off these horrible meds? Will the depression worsen? Do I really feel better with them? I don’t know where to turn or what to do. Please shed some light on this for me.

  • Kaitland April 28, 2015, 3:06 pm

    I truly can not thank you enough for writing this article. I was terrified thinking I had MS, diabetes or something along those lines. The worst symptom I have been experiencing is the brain zaps. I have never felt anything like this in my life. I was on Celexa 40mg and I foolishly stopped taking it suddenly, I wanted to face problems in my life head on again. I got on it in the first place when my grandmother passed away in my work place last year in October.

    Being on Celexa made me want to lay in bed all day, I was never motivated to do anything unless someone pushed me so much that I would force myself to do it. Getting to work on time was becoming an issue, and I had no energy. I am 27 years old, and before I was on celexa I would ride horses, go to the gym and go to work for 8-16 hours. So I haven’t been a fan of this lack of energy.

    I SHOULD have not stopped taking celexa suddenly, I wish I had found this site first because I would have done things differently. Again the worst symptom I have been dealing with are the brain zaps. I have also had insomnia, headaches, an upset stomach and I cried yesterday for the first time since my grandmother’s funeral last year. In a way it was a blessing. For anyone reading this now please don’t be afraid, you can make it through.

    Try your best to go and do what makes you happy! I have been surrounding myself with horses again, and today I worked out for an hour at the gym (even with the darn brain zaps) I have a headache atm, but now I have hope that I will be fine and these symptoms will eventually fade away. Thank you so much again for writing this article!!!!

  • Chikkenbone May 1, 2015, 1:59 pm

    I’ve been taking 20 mg of Celexa for about 6 years. I love it – never experienced any of the side effects I read about online except for a 20 lb. weight gain over the 6 years, but I can’t blame Celexa for that. My doctor recommended I “take a holiday” from Celexa for about a month to see if I still need it. This was 5 days ago. He also said this: “It takes about 4-6 weeks for any symptoms to happen, either beginning or stopping Celexa.”

    Is that anyone’s experience? I told him that if I miss a day or two, I notice that I’m immediately more irritable, and he said that I “respond incredibly well to the placaebo effect.” I thought that was funny. Now I’m experiencing a weird, flowing pressure in my head and chest, but I can’t say it’s dizziness or headache. Anyone else have this? And I’ve been weepy and PISSED, but there’s a reason so I don’t know if it’s enhanced by the C withdrawal.

    If anyone reads this and has some feedback, I’d really like to hear it. I loved being on Celexa. Why does anyone want to get off? If I have high anxiety levels over the next month, I’ll start up again. Life is really great on Celexa. Is there anyone out there who can relate? Thanks.

  • Jennifer berry May 1, 2015, 8:43 pm

    I am currently experiencing all of these. I quit cold turkey due to mixed answers from multiple doctors and recently got pregnant. Today is Day 6. I feel all of these. It’s been hard with the added hormones from being pregnant. I just know it won’t last. Strength and good vibes to those of you who are experiencing this as well. You can do it!

  • Quinn May 2, 2015, 8:39 am

    So I haven’t been on Celexa for very long at all. probably around 6 months.And I was on the lowest dosage 10 (which was all I needed). My body responds well to medication. I wanted to stop taking it because I was already having that fear about trying to get myself off of it And how hard it would be to get off. I cut them in half for a week and then cut them into quarters for only 2 days. I must say, the side effects of not taking them are very terrible.

    I feel nauseous 24/7! Very moody, my head feels tingly when I’m walking around, I can’t eat very much, I’m anxious. I really do hand it to you guys that have been on this stuff for 10+ years and are now getting off. I’ve only been on it for a few months and the symptoms from getting off are INTENSE! Great job you guys. Hang in there! We are obviously all in this together. :)

  • Kelly May 7, 2015, 11:39 pm

    I’m not going completely of the Celexa just reducing it but it’s still hard for me. After decreasing in I was feeling fine the first 3 days or so but then it hit me. I’ve been shaking and nauseated for about 2 days. The thought of eating makes me want to thrown up. To put an icing on the cake I had both my roomies telling me I’m a slob and they’re sick of picking up after me. I haven’t stopped crying since.

    I think lowering the dosage has made living with 2 people who have no idea what I’m going through hard. I’ve been on different antidepressants for 10 years and have been hiding from my friends and coworkers knowing that they don’t understand. People automatically think when you’re on antidepressants you’re suicidal, which isn’t the case. People who don’t live with the disease have no idea what we go through. On top of them not knowing what goes through my mind with the depression, trying to go through withdrawal is even worse. They just don’t understand.

  • mikkkkk May 10, 2015, 6:37 pm

    I was on 20mg for a year for depression and insomnia, went cold turkey and suffered from: exhaustion, insomnia (worse than normal), drowsiness, dizziness, headaches and more. I went back on it, as I felt like my brain was in a state of spinning constantly and being unbalanced in the process, so I went back on it but on to 10mg.

    After two months of this, I decided to stop (2/3 weeks ago) and whilst I have the symptoms, they are not as bad, as irregular and as bearable. Whilst I dropped the does I did go cold turkey and this has personally worked for me. My point is if you stop, and can’t bare the consequences you can still come off it but it will just take some time.

  • Bree May 13, 2015, 5:22 pm

    I’ve been on Celexa for 2.5 years or so and on the highest dosage (40 mg). I am currently 6 weeks pregnant and the pharmacist instructed me to taper off pretty quickly. I went down to 20 mg for 3 days and now I’m at 10 mg for 1 more day. I am having the worst withdrawal symptoms on top of my crazy pregnancy hormones. I was wondering if anybody else had to taper off due to pregnancy and how did you manage it?

  • Penny May 14, 2015, 10:32 am

    I have been taking 10 mg for 16 years. I have tried at least 3 times to stop. This time I am determined to succeed. My only bad side effect has been the dizziness, which has been bad. The good thing has been my blood pressure seems to be getting almost back to normal and my blood sugars with the effort of eating better are getting more to normal. I have had a couple of nose bleeds (which I have never had in my life) and don’t know if it is related to the withdrawal. Checking with my doctor today. It has been 2 weeks now and except for the dizziness I feel I am going to get through this, this time. Thank God!

  • Phill May 18, 2015, 10:15 am

    Wow – I’m so glad to find this article and forum! I stopped taking cit two days ago – I’d been taking it for about a year and a half at 40mgs for most of the time. I felt that although it helped with some of the problems (of which it definitely helped a lot) there were still issues such as anxiety attacks, binge eating, etc. – that it wasn’t helping with and was masking some problems. I also felt that at 40mgs I was not filtering myself properly in social situations and sometimes would say things that were quite immature in public or to my partner that I would cringe about afterwards and couldn’t believe I had said.

    So I finally decided to go back to my doctor who has prescribed prozac for me to try. I had already gone down from two cit tablets a day to one and a half and my doctor basically got me to go down to one tablet for three days to half a tablet for three days and two days of no tablets before starting the prozac. By the third day of just half a tablet I was starting to feel very strange and over the weekend I slept and slept and slept – I couldn’t think properly at all on the Saturday afternoon and have virtually been in tears over nothing.

    I went back to work today and found it very difficult to function and again felt like bursting into tears. I’ve felt dizzy and whenever I turn my head my brain feels like it’s travelling about a second behind! :) I’m very pleased to be off this stuff and I’m looking forward to trying the prozac but if that doesn’t help then I’m going to give up on meds I think – especially after going through this WD – it can’t be good for you if this is how it makes you feel. I’m really looking forward to dropping some of the weight that I’ve gained.

    I’ve also read that prozac will help with binge eating and I really hope that it’s going to help with the issues that cit couldn’t help with, but if not then I think that exercise and a healthy lifestyle will be the best medication. Its been really reassuring to read everyone else’s experiences and I’m glad to know that I’ve not been going mad over the last few days – I wasn’t sure if I had the flu but looking at everyone’s comments it seems like a bit of cold turkey. All the best for your WDs everyone and hope everything works out for you :)

  • Andrea May 20, 2015, 7:02 am

    I had been taking 20mg a day for the past 8 or so years and decided 3 weeks ago to stop cold turkey. I had about 6 weeks earlier stopped another medication and had a few weeks of feeling slightly odd, dizzy, tired etc but overall that passed quite quickly. I then thought this would be the same. Oh how wrong could I be. For the first few days I felt OK in fact I was feeling energized and cleaned the house thinking I had my old energy back. Yay!

    Around day 4 or 5 my mood swung considerably and I was experiencing a feeling of deep depression, crying uncontrollably one minute, laughing hysterically the next, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, dreadful dizziness (as others have described) when you turn your head it feels like your brain and eyes are on 10 sec delay, and suicidal thoughts. I have had the worst insomnia of my life and when I am asleep horrible vivid dreams. This has gone on for over two weeks now and it has been terribly debilitating and depressing and I feel it will never end.

    I don’t know why I thought I could just stop taking a powerful drug such as this without tapering it off. Really stupid. My advice to anyone considering this plan or action is to not do it…slowly, slowly. I have been so unwell I have considered going back on them but everyday I get through I try to remind myself how this is temporary and I will be better off in the end, medication free. My family beg to differ, but I am determined to persist even though I feel dreadful for putting myself and them through this. I will update in a few weeks to let you know how things have improved.

  • Primus May 24, 2015, 6:55 pm

    I cut my 20 mg in half in Jan and now it’s May and I cut to 5mg for a week. By the 3rd day I had a really bad headache but on the 4th day it was gone. I also stopped the 5mg on the 4th day. The only remaining symptom I have is nausea which has lasted two week so far. Can’t wait to get past this point. My ability to become aroused just by looking at an attractive woman is slowly returning and I’m happy about that since it’s been gone a while. My senses seem to be a little sharper now like the feel of the breeze on my skin. It’s amazing that you don’t even realize you are not feeling these things until you feel them again.

  • Dave May 26, 2015, 9:47 pm

    I’m so grateful for the honest reports of others. I’ve been taking variations of Citalopram for over 20 years, most recent years in a 20mg daily dose. I believe I was once misdiagnosed with simple depression and instead have something more like bipolar, I dunno. I told a doctor that I wanted to improve my deteriorating energy level, wanted to regain my ability to read and concentrate and hopefully become a less irritable person in the process.

    He sent me to a psychiatrist. This doctor suggested I ramp off the drug and revisit in 3 weeks. He gave me a prescription for Lorazepam to take the edge off if necessary, I’ve used it 5 times in 3 weeks. I lowed my previous dosages in the past and knew 3 weeks would be abrupt but tried. For those weeks, everything went great and my energy level increased quite a bit. My irritability and lack of concentration had not changed, however. A day before my meeting I felt I should get off the drug entirely as discussed and went in reporting some dizziness but everything else okay.

    He told me to start another drug for irritability but I never filled it, instead wanting to ride out the dizziness and electrical shocks so many speak of. By the 3rd day I went into a deep, deep depression and because it was Memorial Day weekend, could not reach anyone to help. I’m a 56 year old man that doesn’t cry much do now at the slightest emotional twinge. The doctor is out for a week but I got through to him to discuss my problem. He said to quit taking any medications and try to get an earlier appointment than three weeks.

    I’m floored at the number of us who have an obvious difficulty getting off this drug and yet the doctors are apparently insensitive to the new problems it presents. I’m going back to 2.5-5mgs to try to wean off a little slower because I cannot concentrate at all now and am nearly unable to function. I pray that our Lord will help each of you through your struggles. He does NOT want anyone to deal with such adversity, I guarantee you. May His Peace carry you through.

  • Emma May 31, 2015, 4:59 pm

    I have just finished my second drug free week after 8-10 years on citalopram. The second week was the worst with mood swing, irritability, thoughts of hanging myself, tearfulness, further impounded by arguments with friends family and colleagues. I pray to god this gets easier. Otherwise it’s back on it I go. What a catch 22.

  • Bob Davidson June 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    Have been taking 10 mg for the last three years, but I usually stop taking it in the summer months. Each time I have cut my dose to 5 mg for a day or two and then go cold turkey. The dizziness and brain zaps usually stay around for a week or two, but then go away. This summer was the first that I have experienced bad dreams, but luckily that went away after the first 3-4 days or so.

    One common thing that I have noticed is that I need a lot of sleep during the first week or two of withdrawal, I believe this is because the med causes sleeplessness, which in my case means I can get by with a lot less sleep….once I quit taking it, I think my body immediately begins trying to play catch up. The good news is I usually feel great after being off of the med for about 2 weeks, I am only on day 9 this year so we shall see.

  • Vince June 1, 2015, 9:38 pm

    Wow, I’m glad I found this thread. Thank you to everybody who has contributed to it. I had felt very alone through the whole process. 40mg citalopram, 10 years or so. Then at some point along the way, we added clonazepam. I got off that back in January of this year. I’ve been gradually lowering my dose of c-pram since then. First down to 20mg. It was a nightmare. Then down to 10. Then 10 every other day, then finally nothing, as of 7 days ago.

    The feeling of turning my head and my brain not being caught up – I call that “bungee brain” – is still lingering. I had the zaps very bad yesterday, coupled with an acute anxiety attack – but managed to get through it. I hope that was my “grand finale” of withdrawal pain. My moods have been remarkably unpleasant. I’ve made sure the people who are most important to me (teammates, close friends) all know what I’m going through, so hopefully they can forgive me in the end. I know I’ve said plenty that I wish I could take back when my moods were all over the place.

    There are parts I don’t remember, and maybe that is for the better. I’m not 100% sure I’m over the withdrawal now, but I think I’m close. It can’t get any worse than what I’ve already been through. To anybody who may have ended up here while looking for information about quitting – you see some unpleasant stories here, but I can say, it’s worth it. Today is day 7 of no citalopram for me, and even with a bit of bungee brain remaining, I feel better today than I have in a very long time.

    You can get off this stuff, and it is worth it. Next up I’m quitting smoking for good. One thing this experience has taught me, if I can get through this, I can quit smoking no problem. Good luck to you all.

  • Becky June 2, 2015, 12:56 am

    I have been on celexa for a year and have had low sex drive and gained 20 lbs. I also noticed a increase in appetite. I am now weaning off this med and it has been terrible. It’s like a really bad flu and I’m tapering like you are suppose to. It helped with my depression, but all the other symptoms are hard to deal with.

  • Debra June 7, 2015, 5:11 pm

    I have been on Celexa for 10 years. The last 4 on 40mg. I decreased from 40mg to 20mg for 3 months then 10 mg for this past month. I have been Celexa free for 1 week. I’ve experienced brain zappers and dizziness and diarrhea, fatigue and confusion. I’ve been a bit moody but not depressed. No crying spells. I wish all the withdrawees good health and happiness.

  • Kevin June 8, 2015, 2:41 am

    I have been off celexa for 10 days now. The dizziness is the worst part. I use anivert and Advil to control the dizziness. I was on 20mg and reduced down to 10 mg for 3 months. The brain zaps only occurred during that time. I had no idea what they were and would only happen right before I went to sleep.

    I started taking the meds to help me with being “an a-hole” but the side effects of taking it was more than what I was in store for. If you don’t mind losing all emotions then celexa is for you, but I would not advise anyone to start taking it…

  • John June 8, 2015, 8:21 am

    Hi all. I’ve been on 10 mg of Citalopram for about 16 years. That doesn’t sound like a high dose but I am VERY sensitive to the stuff. I can feel quite strange after missing just one day after all this time. But I also notice quite significantly that my energy level increases as does my sex drive and overall sense of creativity (important to my work in journalism) — along with increased anxiety and depression. I am now a week into cutting down to 5 mg/daily and all the above has heightened, along with migraine headaches.

    I hope to complete this journey and come out the other side a more “whole” person, feeling my feelings fully again and develop reliable coping skills for the anxiety and depression without drugs. By the way, I just woke up in the middle of the night from a very vivid dream, the kind of which I don’t have on a full dose… I think dreaming is healthy! Nice to know this site exists.

  • Clint June 8, 2015, 3:50 pm

    Brain zaps, brain zaps, brain zaps!! I took this little number for a couple of years. I felt that after a little insight (medical research and “soul searching”) and some Spiritual guidance, I was ready to taper off. I gave it a shot and tapered over the course of a month. Throughout the two months after the final cut off, I experienced crazy brain zaps. Every time I turned my head to look at something – pshoooo, pshoooo! Very, very annoying.

    I could kind of “hear” the zap inside my head and a sharp, painful sensation would course through my entire body. Afterward though, it was well worth it! First, I lost about 15 lbs. Second, my concentration improved. But I don’t think it would have been possible had I not done the research (knew what to expect) and certainly the inner reflection and Spiritual stuff helped too!

    The greatest benefit of the journey was gaining the insight to recognize the warning signs/triggers, addressing the root cause that very moment, and allowing the emotions (psychological) and the chemicals (physical) that trigger the emotions to run their course – “This too, shall pass…” Now, to wean off the other two meds! Good luck!!

  • Sam June 9, 2015, 1:26 pm

    Hello and thanks for all your comments. Very reassuring to hear others experiencing similar symptoms. I’ve only been taking 20 mg for around 8 months, and it definitely helped me get a handle on my extreme anxiety, triggered by menopause and stress. I have, however, gained a huge amount of weight, and sleep long hours, so time to withdraw.

    Going very gradual, but still getting dizzy spells and mild nausea. Dreams are intense, and Im not terribly tolerant of others, but a lot of that could be hormonal. I was also prescribed a low dose beta blocker, propanolol to help me through panic attacks, and although I appreciate they may not be appropriate for everyone, they are an enormous help if I really wobble whilst withdrawing from the Citalopram.

  • Bryttanie June 9, 2015, 5:08 pm

    I have been off Celexa for about a week and a half and I feel miserable. I slept for 17 hours after a few days of not being on it, which is really unusual for me, and I have had extreme nausea, and dizziness, it definitely makes me feel better knowing that I’m not crazy, and other people are going through similar experiences. I have been on 40 mg for almost 2 years. So I’m hoping that the symptoms will start getting better.

  • Dawn June 12, 2015, 12:26 am

    I spent 11 years on Celexa before my new doctor showed me the studies stating it may be statistically no more effective than placebo. We decided to stop Celexa after switching me to something immediately more effective.

    Let me tell you, gradually stopping Celexa was a little piece of hell. I ramped down gradually from 20 mg to zero. Symptoms appeared immediately and reached their worst as soon as I was off the medication entirely. Here is a list of the symptoms I suffered:
    – hives from head to toe – one day
    – feeling that every nerve in my body was exposed – a week
    – feeling that gnats were biting every surface of my skin – one day
    – nausea – two months
    – dizziness – two months
    – diarrhea – one month
    – astoundingly low concentration. I didn’t drive unless I had to. – two months and still counting
    – wicked insomnia – one week
    – sobbing for no reason even though I have never been much of a crier – two weeks
    – having such a thin skin that basically everybody in my life offends me – two months and counting
    – speaking aggressively to people (family and strangers alike) even though I’m a very gentle and thoughtful person – two months and counting
    – being irritable to the point I can’t sit still – several weeks
    – fear and anxiety – two months and counting

    I’ve felt like a total mess through this process and I’m not done. I’m still working out what my life will be without Celexa. It will take time and hard work to lose all the weight I put on because of it. I was emotionally numbed for those 11 years and didn’t truly grieve the passing of my parents because of it. The emotion is bubbling up now and I am beginning to work it through.

    I regret the day I ever agreed to take Celexa. It left some points of devastation in my life. I am currently on very low doses of two meds that are working much better than Celexa ever did and they have basically no side effects. If you are getting off SSRI’s, get support. It may be pretty rough. But don’t second guess yourself. If you start the weaning process, buckle down and finish it. There is light on the other side. I am not symptom free from Celexa yet, but I am getting there.

    • Whalen deb June 13, 2015, 6:04 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am determined to be Celexa free.

  • Whalen deb June 13, 2015, 6:00 pm

    I’ve been off Celexa for about two weeks now and I think the worst thing is the dizziness. My eyes can’t catch up with my head and it feels like I’m spinning. I can sit for hours at a time and not move. All my dreams now are vivid and I can remember them. I cry more easily and I’m very irritable. This forum has helped me so much. I’m not going to give up and I’m not going to start taking it again no matter what. My summer is filled with these withdrawals and that’s okay because my autumn will be better.

  • Beth June 13, 2015, 7:02 pm

    I am 4 weeks since reducing from 20mg to 10mg. The past week the symptoms have become crazy: brain zaps, not being able to sleep, crying, horrible to people, can not regulate my mood and most of all the headache and anxiety is excruciating. When will this improve? I am worried that I have these symptoms and still on 10mg! How will I ever be able to reduce and come off it completely?

  • Linda June 14, 2015, 1:40 pm

    I have been on Celexa 20mg for over 22 years. I started taking them due to severe panic attacks. Over the years I have gained in excess of 40 lbs. I started to think “how long can one take these meds?” “Are they still working?” I sometimes feel slave to medications. There are life-sustaining medications I can’t live without but is Celexa one of them? About 4 weeks ago I forgot to put in a refill and ran out of pills. My health insurance carrier demands I go through the mail.

    This would mean it would probably take another 8-10 days before I would receive them. I thought to myself, this might be a good time to stop taking them. As a result I stopped taking them abruptly. Since then I have experienced lucid dreams and nightmares, excessive talking. My talking is out of control. I just started a new job and I am trying so hard to control my mouth. I am praying this will subside. I’ve had bouts of insomnia and crazy sleep patterns.

    Nausea and dizziness. I cry at the drop of a hat. People must think I’m nuts. My emotions are all over the map. I am determined to stay Celexa free. I’m taking it one day at a time. I see that most of you who have commented have experienced the same of similar effects. Thank you for sharing and I believe we will all get through it…one day at a time.

    • Chuck June 17, 2015, 10:14 pm

      Great post! Thank you!

    • Linda July 26, 2015, 12:37 pm

      Update! ok so it’s been about 3 months now being anti-depressant free! The crying has stopped, my excessive mouth, emotions have stopped nausea and dizziness stopped. Still have some lucid dreams but that’s ok. Overall I am doing great. Just thought I’d share. Happy and Celexa free!

  • Tosha June 17, 2015, 7:43 pm

    I have had so much going on lately that I haven’t had a chance to pick up my refill of Celexa. I haven’t had any in 5 or 6 days. I have been on 20 mg for 2 1/2 years. My grandpa passed away a few days ago and we had his funeral yesterday. I have been a mess, nauseated, and unable to get out of bed some days. I contributed it all to stress and his passing. I woke up this morning with a a very vivid dream. I have been dizzy, nauseated, extremely fatigued, had diarrhea, heart racing, and have been unable to concentrate all day (some of these symptoms I have had a few days).

    I was thinking I had the flu or food poisoning. I called my fiance and he said he was feeling fine and suggested that maybe I feel this way because I haven’t had my Celexa in a few days. I did some research and found this blog. It never occurred to me that I would be having withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are horrible. For those living celexa free, I wish you all the luck!

    • Joan June 18, 2015, 11:06 am

      Tosha – So sorry to hear about the passing of your grandfather. I also have been on 20 mg of Celexa for about 2-1/2 years and have continued until three days ago after finding this site. I have gained weight and did not feel like exercising, very fatigued while on the drug that I decided it was time to live life again without the drug. I was so thankful when I found this site and decided to reduce the amount of medication slowly using a pill cutter.

      My plan is to reduce the amount that I take every 7 days for 4 weeks. So far I have had just a little nausea and vivid dreams but the other side effects seem to be in check. I keep on looking forward to feeling like exercising a little and losing some weight. I don’t like the feeling of being held hostage by a drug.

  • NP June 22, 2015, 12:08 am

    I started Citalopram about 8 years ago because I felt like I was losing my mind during menopause. It helped for years. Some time ago I started getting dizzy spells, confusion and unable to recall words, along with a constant sensation my ear was blocked. More recently the brain zaps started which I recognized as a side effect of the Citalopram.

    While I’ve been going through unsuccessful diagnostic evaluations of my symptoms, I chose to stop the Citalopram with my physician’s guidance. Now with the withdrawal symptoms I still don’t know what’s from the drug, I was getting very discouraged, I so appreciate reading the entries at this site; they’ve given me hope that it all may clear up. My big concern now is crying at work. I’m prone to crying anyway now it sounds like it’s just a matter of time.

    • Joan June 23, 2015, 11:47 am

      Hi NP, I have to say that one of the side effects that helped make my mind up to quit taking citalopram was that I was forgetting words as well. That really bothered me along with dizzy spells. How many mg’s were you taking per day? What has your doctor directed you to do as far as reducing the amount per day?

  • Renee June 25, 2015, 9:52 pm

    I have been on Celexa for 4-5 years, went from 20-30 mgs for anxiety. I missed a Dr apt and ran out of pills–I wanted off them anyway. I gained weight and lost all sex drive on the meds. So, I quite taking them last week, been about 7 days now–first few days were not a big deal. I noticed I have been having vibrant dreams–some a bit frightening but I can deal. I have headaches, thank goodness for ibuprofen.

    For sleeplessness I take one Advil PM-works great. Today I am very dizzy, going to need a ride home from work–almost feel drunk. Have been tired. I am going to get through this–in just 7 days I have a sex drive… Its been gone for years. It is worth the side effects–I am doing all I can to stay calm and if something comes up that would be an anxiety trigger, I am walking away. I wish everyone the best who is coming off. If we stick together, we will all get through this.

  • Kimberley July 1, 2015, 7:30 am

    Hello, my name is Kimberley. I’ve been on Citalopram since 2004 when I went through a home invasion, since taking them I’ve gone through many breakdowns and anxiety problems. My GP put me up to 60mg, which I felt if I missed one day by accident, I would just feel so sick and not myself. Lately I have decide to go cold turkey on them. It’s almost been 2 weeks since I have taken them. The worst side effect I am coping with is the pounding headaches and forever feeling sleepy.

    I do feel like I am improving. My mother is worried that it isn’t a good idea to just go cold turkey on them cause of my dad committing suicide from the meds he went off. But I have kept myself busy, I play a lot of online games or play with my dog. I do get the feelings to go back on citalopram again, but I keep telling myself not too. I would really like some support, as my family and friends don’t agree, when they think I should go back on it. I really don’t want to have to rely on taking this drug for the rest of my life.

    • Glad to be off July 6, 2015, 12:13 am

      Hope you are feeling better. Don’t rush going off the meds. Shave the pill to 90%. Then take that for a week. Then do 80% etc. I was taking much less dose than you and I couldn’t go cold turkey. I took me 6 weeks but glad to say. I’m feeling like I’m fully done. Be good to your body and take it slow. What’s a few more weeks in the grand scheme? Read more posts online. You will see others say the same.

    • Joan July 6, 2015, 11:06 am

      Hi Kimberley, A home invasion is a very scary situation to go through. I certainly hope that you sought professional help that would allow you to talk through the many fears that you faced after your ordeal. I am not a doctor but I think that going off 60mg of this drug cold turkey is not a good idea. You need to discuss with your GP why you want to go off the medication and ask that he/she help you.

      I was 20 mg for about 2-1/2 years and am slowly weaning myself off the drug 5 mg every 10 days. I still have minor headaches and am very sleepy. Please see your doctor for assistance. Like you I do not want to depend on this drug but realize that I will have to start living a more healthy lifestyle (losing weight, exercise). Good luck to you and God bless.

  • James July 4, 2015, 2:59 pm

    I was on Citalopram for 13 years, During the time I have been on I had 2 really good jobs that I lost just because of my temper and I am looking at a losing a third that if something doesn’t change I will lose it for the same reason. I have been on several different dosage quantities during the time and I must tell you while the drug covers up a lot of issues when I do become angry the result for me is out of control anger. It is very frustrating because 90 percent of the time I am in good spirits and a good mood so when this comes out it is difficult for people to understand because I act completely irrational and I have zero ability to control it.

    I am rolling to dice by quitting it because with it I am fat and irritable anyway. I was weened to a lower dose a few months ago but quite honestly no matter what the dose is the asshole in me still comes to the surface in a way that frightens people. So really I have nothing to lose by trying to get off it. I have a head ache and MY head is foggy, but the other result is unacceptable for me. I am going to exercise and gut it out. I am reluctant to tell my employer that I am on anti depressants and I am trying to get off them so please accept and over look my childish and angry and disrespectful behavior. This too shall pass.

    • Joan July 6, 2015, 11:26 am

      Hi James, When I found this site I made sure that I read all of the entries and found that indeed, “misery loves company” :-). I have been on citalopram for a shorter period of time than you but I still believe that weaning yourself off the drug is much better than going cold turkey. I did a lot of research and found that “weaning” is the best way to go. I also am obese which does not help matters much and I believe that I gained additional weight while on this drug. Believe me I know that the frustration of being over weight leads to a lot of internal and external anger.

      I am on the road to realizing that there is no one other than myself that can do anything about losing weight. So, very slowly, like weaning myself off my medicine I started to watch what I was eating and walking a little (and a little more each week). When things start making your “edgy” go for a walk or take some deep breaths. It helps, believe me. I am a believer in God and I find solace in peace. I hope you find your solace and continue to do good things for yourself. Anger only creates medical problems for yourself and affects no one else. Good luck to you!!

  • Glad to be off July 6, 2015, 12:04 am

    Glad to be off of these pills. I tried to do what the doctor said and cut the pill in half. I immediately felt sea sick and went back on the full dose. I then waited a week and tried again. This thin I shaved 1/10 of the pill off with a knife. I did this for five weeks till I got to a half of a pill. After that I went to 25% for a week then stopped in full. I have had some minor sea sickness but thankfully I think that I am officially off the pill. If you truly think that you should be off this drug stay the course but take it slow.

    • Alan L July 8, 2015, 12:45 pm

      100% agree – take it slow. See my post below. and other readers, look up tapering and ssri and read up before making the mistakes others here have made by cutting too fast. The repercussions can be substantial and protracted.

  • Christine A July 6, 2015, 3:53 am

    I’m on week 6 of a 6 week tapering down to get off citalopram. The worst thing is the anger. It comes unexpectedly and I feel out of control. I’m so mad and it’s over small stuff. I’ve been on 40 MG for TEN years. I want to see if I can function off of it but some days of withdrawal are so hard! My poor husband has been so understanding but I don’t know how much more the poor guy can take. Ugh. When will I feel normal again?

    • Alan L July 8, 2015, 12:43 pm

      You have been on a high dose for 10 years so your brain chemistry and structures (receptor sites, etc) have literally grown/shrunk to adjust to it. You may wish to consider reducing much more slowly – it is not a case where the withdrawal just fades away, this is not like other drugs.

  • Bree July 6, 2015, 5:11 pm

    I was only on Celexa for panic attacks for a few months before I noticed I had gained about 10 pounds. Before that I had maintained a healthy weight within about 5 pounds all through college and a few years after, even while eating and drinking (almost) whatever I wanted. I’m active and workout regularly, and there was no other explanation as to why I would have gained so much weight so quickly. I was only on 10mg, and decided I needed to go off of it so I wouldn’t gain any more weight.

    I have been off of it for about a month, but I’m still gaining about a pound a week even though I’m watching what I eat and working out more!!! I really don’t know what to do at this point and I’m getting more and more discouraged the more I read. Has anyone lost the weight they gained on Celexa after going off of it? Everything that I’m reading online is scaring me into thinking that no matter what people are trying, the weight isn’t coming off.

    Luckily I haven’t experienced any of the other side effects except for a complete lack of libido, but I’m really starting to panic about continuing to gain weight, as I thought quitting Celexa would fix the problem.

  • natasha July 6, 2015, 10:25 pm

    I have now been off citalopram for just over 5 weeks. And only this last week have actually had any anxiety like the pulling feeling in my chest, lump in my throat, and crying spells. The nights are harder to fall asleep again. But I feel more like me again which is good. It is definitely worth sticking with it I think. When I feel any anxious feelings I try to take my mind off of it. Instead of saying no to parties or days out I make sure I push myself to go to get back to the old me. And am glad at the end of the day for doing it!! : )… Who wants to be stuck on pills for life?! If I can do it, You sure can.

    • Carol August 24, 2015, 1:14 pm

      Natasha, it is reassuring to read something positive on this site and to hear from someone who is doing it! I’m finding this site a bit frightening otherwise. I’ve been on citalopram for 10 years and have been up to 40 mg for the past few years and am thinking about cutting down. Thanks for your encouraging words!!

  • George Weinberg July 8, 2015, 3:43 am

    I have been on 20mg for about 4 months. I went on vacation and forgot to take it for a few days. Then I told myself, heck, I don’t need this drug to run my life anymore. Given the low stress/anxiety nature of vacations, coming off it was easy. But some side effects did persist – now I am about 2 weeks in.

    – brain zap. weird and a bit sci-fi-ish
    – irritability – I screamed at my kids a lot and my wife is taking us all to a child psychologist so we can all get along better. Didn’t help that my kids told me unprovoked that it would make no difference to them if I wasn’t around in the family. That hurt a lot given I work so hard to put these kids through school and such. It didn’t help that they said this when I was withdrawing from Celexa. Life is a b*tch isn’t it.
    – tiredness
    – minor depression
    – one day only – I felt agitated with unexpected sounds or sights

    I have been drinking more than 2 drinks a day and I cut back on that since the time I withdrew from celexa. Maybe that’s making things worse? I don’t know.

  • Ashlie July 9, 2015, 2:53 pm

    Dr took me off citalopram cold turkey. I was on 40mg for 15 years. Unfortunately I was taken off my anti-psychotic drug seroquel at the same time (cold turkey also). I felt I was leaving my brain behind when I moved my eyes and I cannot sleep at night. It doesn’t matter if I sleep a couple of hours during the day or not, as the evening wears on I become more and more alert and sleep is impossible.

    I am getting a maximum of six hours sleep and sometimes only four after lying in bed for up to 5 hours. My tinnitus, which I had gotten used to, is now very loud in my head and very disturbing. unfortunately all this was attributed to my new anti-psychotic, so they have been playing around with that. I am so glad to know I am not alone and as you tell me, it does not last forever. I have to go back to college soon and I need sleep.

  • Debra July 10, 2015, 10:29 pm

    I’ve been on celexa since 2001 and have just weaned off of it almost 2 weeks ago. Was on 20mg. for many years then recently to 10mg for 4 days to 5mg. for 4 days to completely off. I was fatigued before I got off celexa and have been for a few years now but now I feel even worse. Cant get motivated to do things, just tired all the time and its wearing me out.

    Also, I feel like I am in a fog all the time and my head is spinning a lot. Maybe, that is why I don’t feel like doing anything. I get angry very easily and I’m always in such a bad mood, crying for no reason; I’m even about to cry right now as I’m typing this story and I know I wouldn’t of done that before, even being the sensitive person I am. I hope these symptoms go away soon.

    It feels like I have no control on anything. The reviews I have read tell me to keep moving forward and they will soon subside but, I just feel so depressed. I will do the best I can though. I don’t want to get back on celexa again even though it helped me when I needed it the most in my life. I want to get off some meds that I don’t need anymore. Its just the side effects that are really hurting me.

    • James July 13, 2015, 11:22 pm

      Debra, I have been taking a vitamin named 5-HTP to counter the effects of coming off celexa and it is helping. I also take some dark chocolate every day and that also helps. I had some pretty vivid dreams and had to fight some suicidal thoughts but I worked out this morning and just fought through it. I don’t want to be on this drug anymore, taking it really messed things up for me. Hell I have no idea if it works or not. If I have no choice and I have to go back on something I guess it is what it is, but I want to fight through and stay off the meds.

  • Angela C July 12, 2015, 5:21 pm

    I started taking Celexa 20mg about ten years ago. I slowly winged myself off by taking it every other day for a while, then after about a month, I went to every two days for a while. So on and so forth. I quit finally when there were no withdrawal symptoms in between taking them. I started this process about three months after I broke my femur and hip March 2014.

    Anxiety and depression hit me hard again about four months ago. My hip and femur were still hurting with pain every day. I don’t have the money to do anything about it, see a pain specialist etc. etc. I didn’t give myself enough time and there were not enough pills left to do the gradual taper off, so here I am with the brain zaps, feeling tired, dizzy, and lonely.

    As ya’ll know, nobody understands what you are going through, and it’s hard to explain, and pretty much useless to even try. I am sooooo glad to have found this site. Thank you to everyone involved with your testimonies, and advise. I asked my husband to read at least ten minutes into the site. He did. At least he hasn’t given me a hard time since. That has helped a lot. With the Lords’ help, I will no longer have withdrawals soon. Maybe even tomorrow. Thank you Mental Health Daily!

  • Sarah July 13, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I’ve tapered off citalopram before about 6 months ago and failed to cope so went back on since then I have had talking therapy and my therapist is happy for me to come off so for the past few months I’ve tapered off my dose and two days ago came right off and now the hell has started! I’m off work and scarred to explain the real reason to my boss why I can’t come in! I am ready to come off them but hate coming off! I have just about all the symptom list and feel yuck!! How long is it likely to be this bad for? I can’t afford to be off work because of my depression/mess again! Sorry for the rant, advice and encouragement will be greatly received! Sarah

  • Kathleen July 15, 2015, 2:34 am

    I am trying to come off this drug. I have been on 20mg for 9 months for depression and anxiety. My doctor warned me about sexual dysfunction. She said it would “take the edge off”. It seemed to work in the sense that I wasn’t as depressed or anxious after about a month in. But this has gone from feeling better to feeling nothing, I don’t cry when I should, I am not fearful when I should be. I have gained 20 pounds.

    By some sheer luck I was found to have a fatty liver on ultrasound for abdominal pain, which had me questioning whether Celexa could be a culprit. Big Pharma never tell you their dirty little secrets. I had brain zaps for a year coming off Paxil 5 years back, my doctor had no answer, had not heard of it. Now five years later it is now being recognized that serotonin discontinuation syndrome includes brain zaps. I have ready some reports of people who have died from Celexa ruining their livers, whether it is celexa alone or in combination with other drugs.

    Most people will never know if they have a fatty liver, but if you are on Celexa and gain weight fast, get your liver checked. I am done with this drug, not because I think it has added to my liver issue, but because there are too many side effects. My short term memory is shot. I can not remember a thing, I forget what I am doing. I used to be a nurse, there is NO way I could ever work with this memory issue.

    I am tired all the time. And indifferent, to the degree I do not feel human. When a loved one dies, you should be able to cry. I am at 10 mgs (from 20mgs) and have been really irritable, edgy. But I can think a bit clearer. I will try to reduce to 5 mgs next week, and I hope I avoid the hell people go through coming off this drug. I know this drug can help people, but at what cost? Some people can never get off them and this is wrong.

    I’ll try anything, vitamins, omega fatty acids, exercise, mediation, just anything other than this drug. I do not know what it will be like, I know Paxil was hell to discontinue. But I didn’t do what I am now, in being able to connect to so many others also having a hard time coming off their meds. The support is really a huge thing. I hope everyone going through this experience has some comfort in knowing they are not alone in this. All the best to you.

    • Joan July 16, 2015, 12:58 pm

      Hi Kathleen, I am on week 4 of weaning off 20 mg after almost 2 years of taking the medication (approx. 5 mg a week). What has helped me the most is my faith in God. I have been trying to focus on how good I am going to feel once I am finally off the drug and not focusing on the zaps, being tired, weight gain and memory fog. Believe me, if I start to fell depressed I look for something that will help me feel better (getting a massage, for example or watching a funny movie.)

      Keeping positive is the best advice I can give along with when you feel agitated, irritated, zappy just stop what you are doing and take a real deep breath and think of something that has happened that made you happy or something you would like to achieve that will make you happy (like me to lose the weight that I gained :-). Good luck to you. Writing always helps too. There are people who are going through the same thing, like me, who will remember you in their prayers for quick recovery.

  • Donna July 15, 2015, 10:56 am

    Help! My withdrawals are terrible. I feel like I have the flu. Diarrhea, upset stomach, my body feels worn down and my skin is antsy. I wanna take it again just to make this stop.

  • Bobbie July 18, 2015, 4:08 pm

    I decided to go off cold turkey (c40 for 20+ yrs) with the help of homeopathy and have been off about a month now. Still feel nauseated, irritable and lighted headed. I’ve lost about 2-3 lbs already without trying. Homeopathy has helped considerably! My homeopathic practitioner is sending me a new remedy to help with my current symptoms. Until my homeopath practitioner suggested that what I was feeling were withdrawal symptoms, I thought it was a return to depression. My question is, how do I know what are withdrawal symptoms and what is the illness?

  • Danya July 21, 2015, 6:04 am

    Oh my gosh, I’m glad I found this thread. I felt like I was the only one going crazy trying to get off of the Celexa. I’ve been on it for 5 years. I was prescribed it for my insomnia and general anxiety issues. I started on 20mg for the first 3 years or so, and then I went down to 10mg. I still felt alright on the 10mg.

    About six months ago I decided to stop taking them completely because I just don’t know what the long term effects are of being on them. So basically I have been trying to wean off these things for the last 6 months. 10mg, to 7 1/2mg, to 5mg. It’s hard to break the pill into four even pieces so I’m sure the doses got a little mixed but not too badly. Every time I decreased the dosage I would feel a little weird for a week or so but I would adjust.

    I’m finding the jump from as little as 5mg to 2 1/2mg is so hard, it’s such a tiny amount I’m guessing that it’s like I’m totally off of them. I’m dizzy when I turn my head to the side, have anxiety all day for no reason at all, have terrible concentration issues and have basically no attention span. The worst part of all is the insomnia is back in full force! I get anxiety just thinking about trying to go to sleep.

    I’ve had to take Xanax now for that problem. This is so annoying that today I took 5mg of Celexa, thinking I should just get back on it. I don’t think I can stop taking these pills ever, or I’ll just have insomnia! It sucks that I’m having to take Xanax to help wean off Celexa.

  • Gail Brien July 22, 2015, 1:44 am

    Thank you to everyone who has put comments up. It has helped me tremendously to know that others have experienced the same things. I was on citalopram for depression for 14 years and on 40mgs for the last 6 years. I experienced emotional blunting for the last few years gradually getting worse, couldn’t cry or feel joy, just low level bland. Some people might think that is a good thing, but I felt like a zombie with no feelings at all.

    Anyway my GP started me on Valdoxan, a mood stabilizer, as I am also mildly bi-polar. After a month on that I started weaning myself off the citalopram (celexa). I dropped to 30mg for a month, with side effects lasting only for 2-3 days. That encouraged me to drop more quickly so I went to 20mg for 2 weeks, with the same results, and 10mg for 1 week, same results again. So then I stopped completely, still taking Valdoxan though.

    Well, that was a shocker. Now I am on day 6 and am experiencing all the physical symptoms that everyone else has noted. I have headaches, brain zaps, nausea, diarrhea and dizziness, hot and cold spells, and am tired but can’t sleep for very long. It is totally different to when I reduced the quantity. It seems like the moment you stop completely you get the whole whammy of withdrawal effects. I am now worrying how long it will last as I would also like to go off the Valdoxan, which luckily has no withdrawal effects at all, so they say anyway.

    But at least it seems as though it would not have made any difference if I had tapered much more slowly as I never had much in the way of effects when I reduced the dose. And from what I have been reading here it seems like for most people you get the same effect whether you do it fast or slow. Anyway good luck to everyone and I will keep you posted.

  • Vicki July 22, 2015, 7:25 pm

    THE BRAIN ZAPS!!! Oh my word, I was convinced I had Alzheimer’s!! And the depression is unbelievable!! Honestly don’t know why this drug would ever be prescribed. The withdrawal can make you commit suicide. Will NEVER take another antidepressant. EVER.

  • Pat July 23, 2015, 3:30 am

    I was on 20 mg for 4 years. I quit cold turkey 2 months ago. I have had crazy dreams, insomnia, nausea, headaches, dizziness and lots of joint aches and pains and very restless. It has been very difficult but not all days are difficult. It comes and goes. I can’t focus and forget things and feel clumsy and injury prone but I am going to do this because the doctors prescribing this drug know less than we do.

    It is worth it and I encourage all of you to stay strong and know it gets better. Antidepressants have been overprescribed and forums like this get the truth out about how bad these drugs are messing with our minds and bodies. Spread the word and hopefully with Gods help I will get to the root of my problems and struggled and deal with them in a much healthier way.

  • Linda July 24, 2015, 9:49 pm

    I stopped taking the prescription last Tues after tapering off for 5 weeks. I had been on it for about 16 months. I was given it to relieve anxiety. It worked well. Since then all the triggers for anxiety are gone in my life. I decided to stop. I figured taper down and it shouldn’t bother me. Wrong. This has been rough, brain zaps, nausea, aches, diarrhea, trapped gas, exhaustion, etc. Yesterday I even ran a temp. This blog has been so helpful. I’ll keep going one day at a time. Have been advised to take milk this and dandelion caps. I hope I never have to take a drug like this again. It wreaks havoc on the body.

  • Sheila July 27, 2015, 8:28 pm

    Yesterday was my last day of taking Celexa 20mg after a year of being on it for anxiety. I came across this site while looking up potential withdrawal symptoms I may come to face. After 24 hours of being of this medication, I’ve noticed a slight change in my mood. I feel calmer than most days I was on the medication. I’ve had some anxiety over the thought of quitting my med cold turkey but no anxiety over the stuff I usually would get nervous about.

    I’ve quit cold turkey before and experienced the “zaps” which led me to continue the medication in fear that I just wasnt ready to quit. Finding this site has definitely helped ease my mind on becoming “Celexa free”. I’m sending out positive vibes to anyone trying to quit this medication! Good luck!

  • juan July 28, 2015, 11:38 am

    I’ve been on it since I left the military. It’s been over 12 years now. I stopped cold turkey and it’s been a week. I’m a wreck inside. I’m having lows and highs. Really good times and just the last 2 days I’ve snapped really bad. I started having weird dreams the last couple of days to. I’m glad, I found this site to let me know that I’m not going crazy. Its given me some hope to stay with it and not go back on it.

    • Phil August 1, 2015, 1:39 am

      After suffering a life event, I was put on citalopram 20mg. It is a great drug and works very effectively. After a few years of healing I am able to take myself off the drug with the assistance of my doctor. I am 6 days in with no citalopram, but must admit, the side effects were much stronger than first anticipated.

      I have been feeling a little bit of all the side effects listed above. Most notably anxiousness, and the feeling of putting my head in a light socket. My doctor said coming off 10mg should take 7 to 10 days. I guess we’ll see. I will update in a week to let you guys know if the effects begin to subside, but hell or high water, I’m coming off this drug.

  • Lauren July 30, 2015, 1:52 am

    Thanks to all of you for your responses and to the writer as well. I was prescribed this medication for anxiety when I was in college, and I was so excited to find something that stopped my anxiety, I didn’t think twice about researching what my doctor gave me. He started me at 40 mg, which I now realize is such a high starting dosage! I didn’t know until I went to a general physician and she was astonished I was taking such a high dose.

    She immediately told me that I should dial it down. After hearing about this, I realized how crazy it was I didn’t look into this before. I am so happy to be weaning off of this now. Seeing everyone’s feedback has be very inspiring and extremely helpful. It has given me the strength to continue on, even though these side effects are no joke. I appreciate everyone and good luck to all, and congrats to all who have made it through!

  • Catherine July 30, 2015, 10:27 pm

    I went off of Celexa cold-turkey about 2 weeks ago. I had been taking it for about 4 yours…started at 20, then 30, and have been on 40 mg for the past year (I kept feeling like it wasn’t really helping, so my PCP would up the dosage). Suddenly found myself “between insurance coverage”, and could not afford the refills, so I decided to just stop taking it. Maybe it really doesn’t help, I thought. First week and a half, I did not notice any difference. But for the past few days now, I’ve been so panicky, irritable, emotional, and distracted…to the extreme. Has anyone found any good natural or herbal supplements that help this withdrawal trauma?

  • Miso August 5, 2015, 6:04 am

    I was on 20mg of Celexa for two years due to panic attacks and severe stress. I decided to wean off under my doctors guidance. He suggested 20 to 10 to 0.

    The first 3 weeks of 10mg were fine until I dropped down further to 5. I started to experience very bad dreams, anxiety, and extreme stress. The stress was so bad that I felt dizzy and very tired. I felt a lot of pressure in my head and got bad headaches.

    I’m going to ride it out to 0mg! I know it’s possible.

  • Emma August 7, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this as two Doctors I spoke to were not nearly as helpful and said that cutting down from 10mg to 5mg was silly and not worth it. I was on 40 mg for 2 years and have cut down slowly and since I stopped completely have experienced most of the withdrawals. Dizziness and brain zapping, sudden crying episodes and mood swings. Thought I should go back on as nearly smoked some skunk even though I am 28 years off all drugs, etc. Your article reassured me as I know I need to stay off them and reconnect with reality.

  • S August 11, 2015, 8:12 am

    Hi, I’ve been on 20 mg citalopram for just over a year. Doctor suggested coming off the tablets so went from 20mg down to 10mg fine without any symptoms then 10mg every other day without any symptoms. Now gone down to 5mg every other day and feel sick, dizzy spells, foggy head, slight anxiety. Has anyone else had withdrawal symptoms before actually completely stopping?

  • Cydnee August 12, 2015, 5:00 pm

    I’ve been on celexa for 20 something years. Low dose. Also on Wellbutrin. I decided to remove the celexa and I tapered off over a month, reducing my dose to half, then every other day then off. Last dose was July 28th. I feel horrible. But after reading the comments, I am hopeful. The worst for me are the mornings. I have severe brain fog. I can’t focus, and my vision is blurry.

    It feels like I am coming down from an LSD stone (yes I was a teenager in the early 70s). Those of you who partook in such drugs will know what I mean when I say I have ‘trailing’. For those of you who don’t, it’s when you turn your head and it takes a few seconds for your vision and perception of things to catch up with you. I also feel slightly anxious in the am. Anyone else experience these things? I see that anxiety can be common. Mine is only in the morning. Thanks, and I know this too shall pass:) -Cyd

  • James August 12, 2015, 11:15 pm

    I was taking Citalopram for 12 years, on a 20 mg dosage. I am close to retirement now, and decided that I really wanted to get off this drug. I had consulted with my physician first, and reduced the dosage from 20 to 10 by splitting the pill for about 2 weeks and then stopped the dosage after that. I did not notice much of a difference when going from 20 to 10, but when I stopped, what a pain.

    I experienced the brain zaps, nausea, dizziness, and sleep difficulty at times. After 2 weeks, today was the first day that the brain zaps subsided somewhat. These things are awful, every time I turn my head, the brain has to catch up. I am looking forward to when these withdrawal symptoms go away. The comments on this blog have really helped, knowing I am not the only one with this issue. Exercise and a good night’s rest help.

  • Sandy August 14, 2015, 3:56 am

    I have been on 40 mg Celexa for 4 yrs. I decided to stop taking it because I wanted my life back. I’ve been off it for 5 days now and feel terrible. The headaches, dizziness,and feelings of being sick are awful. I was glad I found this post cause I thought I was the only one with these feelings. I want a normal life again. My prayers are with everyone who is going through this also.

  • Ursula August 19, 2015, 5:46 pm

    Thanks so much for this site. Just off Citalopram, finally, after one year on, weaning for last 3 mos, off totally just a week, but yep, brains zaps & dizziness whenever up & down especially, even lying still in bed for a while…very disturbing, but glad I read these comments….will perservere!

  • Andi August 19, 2015, 7:37 pm

    I have been taking celexa for nearly 9 years. I decided to taper down, starting with 20mg; which I took for a year. But, now I’m starting the 10 mg and I feel like hell. I feel disoriented, nauseous, have debilitating headaches, and have no patience for anything, and I’m a psychtherapist, so patience is a HUGE part of my job. The information here was very helpful and I hope that I begin to feel better in the coming months.

  • Roberta August 19, 2015, 10:33 pm

    My daughter found this site for me. I thought I was losing my mind and also the symptoms of a heart attack that sent me to the E.R. I am glad to know that it is part of getting off cit. Reading these accounts gives me a new outlook. Thank you, Roberta

  • Faith August 20, 2015, 6:10 pm

    I’m very glad I came across this website and was able to read everyone’s comments. I am 24 and I had been on Celexa from the time I was around 7 years old due to anxiety and panic attacks. Over the years other medicine was added but I always remained on 40 mg of Celexa. A month ago my doctor took me off of it and increased another one of my medicines so that my husband and I could start trying for a baby more safely. It has been an absolute nightmare.

    The nausea has been so severe and the crying at the drop of hat led us to believe I was pregnant. I’m about 5 weeks out from quitting the medicine after I tapered off of it for an additional 2 weeks prior. The nausea is still there, I still cry at the silliest of things and now I’ve started having these convulsing-like shaking spells where I shake and shiver so badly that I can’t think properly, and it’s hard to even walk or talk.

    The shaking spells are what’s killing me right now. It’s greatly affecting my daily life. I can’t wait for all this to subside!

  • Ann August 21, 2015, 2:01 am

    I stopped taking my Citalopram last week and while I didn’t quit cold turkey I didn’t taper off like I should have. I’ve experienced several withdraw symptoms, but the dizziness has been the worst. I was taking 40mg a day since 2006 and I’m so hoping that this dizziness won’t last much longer. I can handle all the other symptoms but I hate feeling like I’m going to fall over.

  • Eily August 23, 2015, 1:17 pm

    I have only been taking cit for four months and have gone on holiday and forgot my meds!!! Five days in and experiencing irritability, bad dreams, insomnia, mood swings and vile brain zaps. But feel much better after reading all your comments, thank you.

  • Lisa August 25, 2015, 9:57 pm

    I want to cry. Withdrawal is awful! I was on 40mg a day for 12 years. I feel like crap now. I’ve been off it for a week and a half and I have constant brain zaps, dizziness, fever and rash. How long will this last?

    • Amy August 27, 2015, 10:26 pm

      I’m on week 4 after taking 20 mg for at least 8 years and 40 before that–I’m exhausted—cannot accomplish the simplest task without wanting to lay down and take a nap. I have constant stomach upset, stomach is really bloated, and I am gassy. I gained over 30 pounds on this drug and am worried that I’ll never be able to lose the weight. The only good thing I am doing right now is water therapy a few days a week. I just want to feel better.

      • Melissa September 8, 2015, 1:07 am

        I tapered off from 20 mg. beginning June 15. It was a battle. I have been taking 20 mg. for the past 4 years, and I too have suffered weight gain and low libido. I quit taking it entirely on July 20. I can say that it has only been in the last week that I feel the mood swings, crying jags, and overall body dysfunctions have finally subsided. Activity helps. You have to make yourself get up out of your funk and do even the tiniest physical activity. It helps.

        Stay as active as possible. This site has helped me so much knowing that I am not alone – I come to it several times a week to help me stay stronger. Again, it’s a battle – my thinking is that some people need to find a different type of antidepressant. My doctor is so flippant about it – I will be changing doctors. I didn’t even tell him what I was doing; I just weaned myself off of it, as difficult as this has been. I just totally believe that Celexa – Citalopram is a bad, bad drug.

      • Brooke September 27, 2015, 9:41 pm

        Hi Amy, I am wondering how long it took your belly to go back to it’s normal state? I am on week 3 with no Celexa and the bloating and gas is the absolute worst symptom for me. I am a clean eater, exercise frequently and tapered for about 4 months from 30mg down to 5mg after 6 years on Celexa as my husband and I are soon to start trying to conceive. I had no IDEA that this excessive bloating could be due to the celexa until I looked it up.

        I had tons of tests done, and my GP and GI were sort of at a loss as everything looked normal. Is your bloating/gas situation any better? I just need to know that there is light at the end of this dark, terrible, tunnel. I wish I had never started these meds to begin with.

        • Amy November 3, 2015, 1:01 pm

          Hi Brooke. Don’t know if you will receive this as I have not checked back for over a month. The bloating has subsided a little. I’ve been to the doctors several times. Because of the weight gain, I now have sleep apnea and will be wearing an oral device soon to help me breathe normally again. I am hopeful that this, too, will help with me feelingn better and getting my life back on track. I am grateful that I was not working at the beginning of this nightmare of withdrawal. The IBS is still present, but I am now taking probiotics and these have helped a great deal. I wish I had never taken this drug.

  • Glen August 27, 2015, 7:56 pm

    I am currently on day 6 of withdrawal from citalopram, and the zaps are definitely kicking in, but with the help of family, and that awesome man upstairs, I have calmed (somewhat) the dizziness and brain zaps. I went to an awesome prayer group at a church (C3) in San Diego and how ever this sounds to you, as how it would to myself, I am battling this with prayer and exercise. Anything to take my mind of noticing the zaps… All of the feedback here helped my journey…thank you all and hope to post about my “normal” life after withdrawal.

  • Ginny Miller August 28, 2015, 1:12 pm

    I am 8 days off citalopram and today is the worst day. I was taking 40mg for about 2 years, 20mg for while before that, as my circumstances have improved this year I made the decision that I did not want to be 60 and dependent on antidepressants anymore. I asked my Dr the best way to taper off and begun this in May, going from 40mg to 30mg to 20mg to 10mg, lowering it every 2-3 weeks to get it down gradually.

    So I am now Day 8 drug free and am determined to not go back on it. I have not had any yearning for sex in years and I gained 3 stone in weight, spent £100,s at slimming world with no success not knowing that citalopram was to blame for both, and I have a wonderful understanding husband. I am now trying to get through the next couple of weeks of feeling like rubbish, dizzy, nauseous, tired, and low mood to name a few symptoms. I hope that all my zing comes back but who can tell. Does it?

  • glad i'm off it August 29, 2015, 11:53 am

    I took 20mg of this for about 3 years for anxiety and mild depression. It really helped clear up my panic attacks and anxiety, BUT it made me not give a shit about things I really should have. It also made me not present in my own life. I decided to go off this drug and it’s been 18 months now and the hardest thing to do in my life because although I weaned off VERY SLOWLY because I am very sensitive, it was HELL.

    I ended up with full blown depression, worse than I ever had before medication. I was not warned about severe side effects from weaning off the meds. It’s potentially life threatening. I don’t advise stopping cold turkey. Now I take a natural supplement – 5HTP and feel way better for it. Actually feel like myself, I can appreciate beauty and nature and life… whereas on the meds I just was lost. Weaning off was hell, I had to re-learn to handle my emotions again, I was a crying, miserable, tortured mess. Good luck!

    • Courtney August 31, 2015, 4:28 am

      I tried to come off this drug after 6 years at the start of this year, but freaked out and went back on after a few months; due to side effects. I did not taper off properly, so I am trying again and doing it properly this time. I’m nervous and know it will be hard, but reading all these posts are giving me more confidence. I don’t want to rely on a drug for my entire life. I eat well, exercise and meditate; I know I can do this. Hang in there everyone else who is on this journey… remember that you’re not alone; we get it!

      • Mary Ann September 1, 2015, 4:18 am

        Courtney, I just wrote a comment similar to yours…you can do it!

  • Mary Ann September 1, 2015, 4:16 am

    I have been on Celexa, up and down 10mg to 40mg, for about 6 years. I was on 30 mg for about a year and a half and have gained about 20 pounds. I took this drug because of severe depression after the breakup of a 27 year (rocky) relationship. I feel more in my element now and am starting to taper off. I am now taking 20 mg and will do this for about 2 or 3 weeks then 10 mg for 2 weeks then cut in half (5mg) for about a week or 10 days. Please wish me luck, I want to stand on my own two feet without drugs! If I cry that may do me good and get my libido back. I want to LIVE!

  • Kiera September 1, 2015, 3:56 pm

    Thank you for this thread. Made me cry and just feel so much better to know I am not alone. I have been on lexapro for 18 month after the birth of my child. Then tapered slowly and didn’t experience any physical side effects for a month. Then my brain went to a state of shock and severe depression, anxiety, insomnia kicked in. I have been off the medication for 55 days and still have so much sadness, hopelessness and anxiety in my life. It is better than 2 weeks ago but the progress is so slow and exhausting. Sometime I wonder if I am getting better at all. On the bright side suffering is making me a better, more spiritual person. I started going to church. I try to not judge people harshly. I learn to let things go. I wish all of you best of luck, my thoughts are with you. Everything passes and this will too. Hang on, learn from this and take one day at a time!

  • Mary Andersen September 1, 2015, 5:11 pm

    Hi fellow withdrawers, I’ve been on Citalopram for 14 years and my doctor decided to have me try going off. She had me taper from 40 mg to 20 mg over a two week period, then stop after a week, which I thought was pretty fast. The first few days I felt great, then the brain zaps and dizzy-when-you-turn-your-head episode started. Having nausea bugs me the most, but when I burp it gets better :) I didn’t realize it caused weight gain until I looked online recently (that explains why I have blown up like a balloon). I’ve already lost 4 pounds in a week…yay! I will continue this rocky road, taking care of myself along the way; I know it will be worth it!!

  • Paul Faulkner September 2, 2015, 8:43 pm

    Hi, I’ve been drug free for 4 weeks having been on 20mg for around 4 years. The symptoms are currently as bad as they have ever been, but it gives me strength to know that I am just going through a process and it will gradually subside in time. I’ve been feeling sick almost constantly for the last week now and it’s so temping to start taking them again…

  • heather September 5, 2015, 3:18 am

    OMG I’M SO GLAD I FOUND THIS FORUM! I recently found out I was about 13 weeks pregnant and since then had no choice but to get off my celexa per my doctor’s advice. Well, they tapered me off slowly over the last 30 days and I am now completely off of it as of 9 days ago! HOWEVER, the withdrawal symptoms are so severe I feel like I’m going to crawl out of my skin. Everything little thing bugs me! The brain zaps and what I’m thinking are heart palpitations, are freaking me out and seem to never stop unless I’m sleeping!

    The migraine headaches have been debilitating. My husband thinks I’m a mess because one minute I’m fine and the next minute I’m so on edge and miserable I could just cry or scream. On top of this I am dealing with normal pregnancy hormones. Please make these symptoms stop! Is there anything I can eat or drink or do to help make them go away faster? How long does this feeling last? I’m so bummed…

  • Meg September 6, 2015, 3:39 pm

    I also appreciate this information. I have taken various antidepressants, on and off, for about 40 years. Citalopram is the one that actually made me feel better, and I’ve taken it for 5 years. Then my psychiatrist recommended stopping and for some reason, I did. Withdrawal has been a nightmare, many of the symptoms you list above. It’s been six weeks now, and symptoms are less but not gone. It’s a miracle that I wasn’t locked up somewhere. Thank you very much for the information, which is helping me work through this and vow never to touch the stuff again.

  • Michelle Herrera September 8, 2015, 7:28 pm

    Hi everyone. Glad I found you! I’m a 51 year old female. I’ve been on different types of antidepressants for 25 years with Celexa being the best of the best! I have been on Celexa for the past 10 years or so, 80 mgs. It changed my life for the better, along with Seroquel for my anxiety/panic disorder. I quit the Seroquel about 5 years ago and the Celexa has been wonderful on its own.

    About a year and a half ago my psychiatrist had to drop my dosage down to 40 mgs because he heard larger doses contribute to heart problems. It has been a little more difficult on 40 mgs as my avoidance behaviors came back, (avoiding people because I fear them and not going far from home for fear of a panic attack) but things were manageable. But for the past year I’ve noticed my depression is back.

    Each day is a struggle to get up and live, a major effort to force a smile or even talk to people at work, and at home not wanting to do anything but watch TV, and also being scared to travel too far from home. I figure heck with it – if I’m on Celexa and still depressed I might as well be depressed OFF Celexa. Goodbye ole friend. I’m almost a week off cold turkey and the nausea is hard to take, it’s the worst! The brain zaps I can deal with.

    It almost feels good to cry again. I’m not having a problem sleeping, but I do miss the drowsiness Celexa gave me at night. I’ve been feeling like I don’t even know who I am for awhile now so maybe without meds I will find out. I’m just scared to death to have my anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia return. I see a new psychiatrist in a few weeks as mine retired a couple months ago. I will see if I can “do” life without meds.

  • Sam September 9, 2015, 2:44 pm

    I gradually tapered off celexa 20 mg after over 10 years of being on it. I am now at 7 weeks of nothing and I’m feeling so defeated. I cry over everything and nothing. My doctor says that is me and no longer withdrawal symptoms. After reading this article I don’t think she is right. I have actually gained more weight being off of it. I don’t want to be on medication for life. Is this normal?

  • sue September 11, 2015, 12:33 pm

    This site has been my savior over the last 5 weeks, its only today I have the strength and motivation to post myself. I have been on citalopram 20mg for 7 years whilst I was in a violent 16 year marriage. He eventually left me for another woman 5 years ago. I found out by a note he left me and all his belongings taken from our house. At this point in my life I truly believe my meds saved my life.

    Yes my life was in pieces but had it not been for citalopram it would have been much much worse. Since then I met the kindest man imaginable and although discussed with my doctor was always dissuaded from coming off them. So 5 weeks ago I took the bull by the horns and went complete cold turkey. It’s been hell! All the withdrawal symptoms mentioned and more. I seriously considered ending my life as I thought this was how I was going to feel forever.

    But now after 5 weeks I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am still chronically fatigued and as yet no weight loss (I have gained 3 stone in 7 years), but boy what a difference now. I seriously do not advise cold turkey, but get off the damn things if you can. Good luck everyone.

  • Randy M September 11, 2015, 5:16 pm

    My family has a history of severe depression. I am 55 and have been taking meds since I was 20. I guess I thought after all these years that research would bring us closer to something that really works but each time I see a health professional it is the same old guessing game. A month ago I decided to quit cold turkey the citalopram 40 mg I have been on for a very long time.

    Today I was about to start taking them again and found this site. The crying spells were getting to me more than the other symptoms but the others are also present. Here is hoping that my dependency on these drugs will come to an end with better results than I have witnessed being on them

  • Diane September 12, 2015, 2:05 am

    I was taking 10mg of citralopram for about 4 years. Two months ago I decided I no longer needed the meds and I cut my dosage in half. In the third month and feeling OK. Some days I am more anxious than others. Each day a little better. Acupunture helps me. I go once a week. I plan on tapering very slowly. I got my Doctor to give me a script for liquid so I can control the gradual taper. When I first tried to get off citralopram I did the every other day routine. That is not the way to do it. Your body and brain chemistry needs it everyday.

  • Maria September 12, 2015, 2:08 am

    I have been going through the same awful withdrawal symptoms after tapering off celexa. As I was going through it, I kept reading the comments on this site looking for some hope that eventually I would feel normal again. I am posting now because I am indeed starting to feel like myself again. I am on day 35 of no celexa. Today was a great day! I actually laughed today! So, if anyone is feeling as I was, thinking I would never get through this, there is hope. It does happen! It did for me.

  • AuntieM September 13, 2015, 7:15 pm

    Thank you all for writing. I’ve been taking Celexa for 15 years. The last few years I’ve been taking 60 mg. My primary care dr. told me there is a risk for heart problems, and I have had heart palpitations. I’ve been taking 40 mg for the last 3 months and some of the withdrawal symptoms. Your words have given me hope. I’m scared. Wonder if I’ll be on the drug forever. I don’t feel like doing much, not interested in some of the things I used to be. Keeping myself going is so exhausting. Luckily I work full time and this keeps my mind focused on other things during the day.

  • Ethan September 13, 2015, 10:51 pm

    I have been on celexa for just over three years. 5 months ago I went from 20mg to nothing in two weeks. I ended up in the ER for these brain zaps and felt like every time I moved my head my brain would have to adjust. I thought it was anxiety attacks. Then my doctor said it was withdrawals. After that, I went on 40 mg to 20 to 10 to 5 after 5 months of tapering, I am off all as of three days ago. The feelings are familiar but not nearly as bad. I really hope I’m good in a week or so because I really want off the celexa.

  • Priya September 14, 2015, 4:43 pm

    This forum is a godsend! Sending you all love and prayers on your journey. I have been on Cit since June 2011. First on 20 mg and then due to a stressful job and circumstances this was increased to 40mg. I have put on 42 pounds with a BMI now making me close to morbidly obese (I was bigger before being on Cit as well). It wrecked my confidence and caused depression and further anxiety. And I was constantly hungry!

    I took the step of going cold turkey 6 days ago. My appetite has definitely been reduced. Getting the brain zaps, headaches and general tiredness. Have a very persistent dry cough. I have been using tiger balm for my head. Also taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D and drinking camomile tea before I go to sleep. Drinking plenty of water which is keeping my throat moist. Also have a high concentration fish oil. I will update further in a week or so.

  • Ellie September 15, 2015, 5:00 am

    My 4 year experience ON citalopram was a mixed bag. Instantly felt better and more calm, which declined to a steady neutral to slightly positive mood for the duration. Sexual side effects (an-orgasmia) began after about two weeks, partly subsided after six (difficult, but more intense), then after about 8 months, it was as if my body could still have them, but my mind couldn’t really feel it. I gained 30 lbs without changing my diet. My spouse says that I was more ‘distant’ and less engaged, especially in conversation.

    Sexual desire was decreased… although it wasn’t really lack of interest more than just lack of self-motivation. I wanted to want to, but I usually just didn’t have the initiative to start anything. I’d initially feel a little irritated/interrupted when my spouse would initiate intimacy, but it only took a minute or two to get my interest. I was always receptive (sometimes a deliberate choice to be,) but it still frustrated my spouse to always be the one who had to initiate.

    Also, citalopram made me forgetful… mostly short term and day-to-day stuff. Not debilitating, but I did find it frustrating. Anyway, circumstances in my life had changed, so I was mostly still taking it just because the withdrawal symptoms were so bad and so long lasting. Like many, my getting off citalopram (especially cold turkey) wasn’t really my choice.

    The ACA going into effect resulted in a HUGE turnover and loss of primary care physicians in my area, so the waiting list to be seen for refill purposes went from a week and a half to 8 weeks if you were lucky. I wasn’t. By the time I was able to GET an appointment, I was already 6 weeks into withdrawal symptoms (AGAIN) and was tired of finding myself in this provider-refill delay mess repeatedly and decided to just deal with the withdrawal.

    I’d been through this sort of thing a few times before. A couple of times I saw it coming and rationed or split doses, so I’ve done citalopram withdrawal both with a taper and cold turkey. I never had problems -while- tapering and rationing even down to 2.5 mg, but I found no difference in symptoms or intensity once I stopped. For the first 4 days, I have no symptoms. Then, I start to wake up at night hearing a ‘swish’ when my eyes move side to side. At a week, I feel flu like and it lasts about 7 days.

    At two weeks, I’m irritable and the night time eye swishing is better, but I’m constantly exhausted, dizzy, have the occasional brain zap, but definitely the ‘brain left behind when turning my head or looking sideways,’ bit. After driving for half an hour in traffic, I usually have to lie down for a while. That comes and goes to some extent for the next 6 to 8 weeks and I get to a point where I can’t tell if I’m actually so exhausted that I’m dizzy, or so dizzy that I’m exhausted.

    I’m now 10 weeks into complete withdrawal after 3 weeks of tapering/rationing. My base mood is pretty much the same. The sexual side effects have subsided, desire is more normal, my spouse says I’m no longer distant, etc… My memory returned to normal after about 5 weeks. I’m still somewhat dizzy, especially when tired and I’m tired almost all of the time. The ‘brain left behind’ thing is still prominent, especially after driving or reading for a long period of time, so I think it’s related to eye movement and that night time side to side eye swishing experience.

    I’m irritable, but I find that it probably isn’t a withdrawal symptom anymore, as much as it’s probably just not remembering how to actually deal with irritation after so many years of the medication doing it for me. Anyway, as I said, I’m the better part of three months into withdrawals and I’m still tempted to go back on the citalopram on a daily basis just to get rid of the discontinuation effects. At this point, I don’t know how long they’re going to last, but it definitely wasn’t ‘a couple of weeks.’ From how things have gone, I’m expecting to be dealing with it for another couple of months.

    I will close by stating that I have the luxury of being a stay-at-home parent through all of this, so I -do- have the ability to sit regularly, lie down, hold still and take naps when the kids allow. If I were still working my 11 hour per day engineering job, I’d -have- to have gone back on the medication. There would have been no way for me to deal with the withdrawal symptoms and not lose my job for performance, safety and liability reasons.

  • Ruth September 15, 2015, 1:59 pm

    I have just had one of the worst evenings of the last 6 years of my life until I hopped onto this site. I have just weaned off 20mg of Cipramil over 2 weeks (under doc’s orders)and feel like stabbing people! Weaning suggested due to migraines and clash of medications but I have felt worse than I have been for years. Brain zaps have been VERY intense, foggy, sleepy, irritated, and I am a carer for someone with MS, who REALLY has reason to be irritated!

    I think the weaning was too fast. Weight gain has been a running joke for 3 years, tonight I cried as I realize it didn’t have to be! Sex drive has been an issue too, I’m so angry THAT didn’t have to be either! I’ve cried at the supermarket, at the TV, and screamed at my companion bird,(who hasn’t come out of her box since). I’m so very angry that I’m just finding out about the symptoms of being ON this drug let alone coming OFF it!

    I know things will get easier, but I have started a minimal dose again to ease myself off properly. I am only 5 feet tall, and was 46kg when I started on the drug. I am now 56kg. That alone has been an issue, but was told by the doc it was my age. I just turned 50. I think I shall be seeing another doctor from now on. Thank you all who have inspired me tonight to be positive instead of going for a very long walk in the bush.

  • patricia September 17, 2015, 5:01 pm

    I took citalopran for 4 years and did well on it but my naturopath told me it has been linked to memory loss. I get it over the counter here in Mexico, where I live and it cost next to nothing. I have been completely off it almost 6 weeks now. I am less patient, quicker to anger and more judgmental of others but because I withdrew slowly the only other problem is I wake up after 5-6 hours sleep and have trouble going back to sleep because of anxiety that I won’t go back to sleep.

    I take a tiny bit of xanex (.25mg) but wondered if others are having trouble sleeping too. I am 63 years old. I have worked on my depression through a 12 step program ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholic or dysfunctional family) and it has helped me a lot. Along with an excellent therapist I no longer see. I am trying to stay active swimming and walking but it is hard with only 5-6 hours of sleep some nights. Any suggestions?

  • Matthew September 23, 2015, 11:57 pm

    I quit taking citalopram cold turkey almost three weeks ago. I feel completely horrible most of the day each day. I experience pretty much every symptom I’ve read about. I am now having the nightmare and nausea symptoms. It’s almost like a gauntlet. The brain zaps, to headaches, dizziness, etc., etc. This medication, along with many others is poison and I really wish I was never prescribed it. All due to one anxiety attack.

    I’m gonna get some OTC nausea medication. If that doesn’t help, I’m gonna have to start taking the poison again. This crap, feeling ill everyday, gets old and is very hard to deal with. I would rather just have an anxiety attack.

    • Sharyl October 6, 2015, 5:55 pm

      I agree. I’ve only been on 10mg for three weeks and it’s making my vision so blurry and my head so flustered that I’m struggling to find words I would have otherwise thought of sooner. The sleep problems are really bad also, I’ve talked about it with people who have been on it for longer than me and they say this is a normal stage in the process but I feel very abnormal and awkward most times. I really wish I would’ve stayed away from it, but now that I’m thinking of quitting it’s a scary thought.

  • Brandon September 25, 2015, 4:52 am

    Hello, I’m 18 years old and started taking celexa when I was 16. I am currently on 20mg of celexa for about only 2 years now. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, but, I have noticed I go days without it sometimes (just forgetting to get re-fills) like right now it’s been 4 days and I’ve had absolutely horrible withdrawal symptoms.

    It gets worse throughout the day but once I get my dose in me tomorrow when I pick it up, I know I will feel better the next day. Always happens! But, I’m just concerned about getting off of it when that day comes. I take this medication for anxiety not depression and I do not want my anxiety symptoms to come back, or even worsen. Everyone’s comments have been helpful though. Thank you all, Brandon

    • Sharyl October 6, 2015, 5:59 pm

      I just stumbled upon this site recently and have been finding it very helpful. I’m almost 18 and just started taking Celexa 10mg, this is about the second or third week I’ve been on it and the side effects are never ending. My vision is blurry, I would go as far as to say my mind hurts. It’s hard to motivate myself and even harder to get a good night’s sleep. I don’t want to quit due to fear of withdrawal symptoms, but if that means I feel normal again I need it. Did you go through this kind of stage when you started? If so how long did it last?

  • Cathy September 29, 2015, 7:35 pm

    I was only on 10 mgs Cipramil for 9 months. I cut down to 5 mgs. Before this I was on Prozac for many years. I have been off the Cipramil for 2 months now. I have just started feeling what seems to be withdrawal symptoms – lightheaded, feeling feverish, extreme anxiety, feeling like I’m going to pass out – overall sick. I was fine for 2 months. On a positive note, the negative aspects of the medication have disappeared – skin rash, itching, compulsiveness. I thought I was in the clear. Can this happen after 2 months?

  • BarbB October 1, 2015, 3:20 am

    I quit Celexa ‘cold-turkey’ after six years. About a week and a half off now.I was taking 40 mg. The weight gain was affecting my health. My high blood pressure is affected by weight and my weight has gone up and up since starting Celexa and I couldn’t seem to lose ANY of it!! The doctors were going to put me on different, stronger blood pressure medicine because the rise in the blood pressure couldn’t be controlled.

    Now I know why. I didn’t even know it was the Celexa doing this!!! I am so very glad I found this page because the ‘discontinuation’ symptoms are horrible! I wish I never started this drug and will never take it again. I just went through a ‘crying jag’ like I never had before and felt like I was losing my mind. I am so irritable that I’m snapping at everyone. I had no idea it was from Celexa discontinuation.

    I’ve read all the posts and I feel so much better knowing I’m not losing my mind and that, through time, things will get better. I am trying a low-dose 5 HTP to help. I took 100 mg. of 5 HTP within the first few days of coming off Celexa and I definitely would NOT recommend doing that!! Evidently, I still had lots of Seratonin in my brain and I had all the symptoms of a Serotonin overdose — nausea, vomiting, the ‘runs,’ heart palpitations, etc.

    I couldn’t understand this either, as I had taken 5 HTP at various times in my life with no problems — now there were problems. So I waited two weeks and started taking a low dose instead of the 100 mgs. I just started the low dose today after my raging-crying fit!!! The weight is starting to come off and my blood pressure seems to be dropping. As I said, I wish I never started this drug and I was at a point where it didn’t seem to be working anymore.

    All of your stories and the main article have given me hope and cleared my head about what’s really going on. I’m also going to try to ‘push on’ via exercise, good food, good sleep, etc. and try not to focus on the symptoms. Thank all of you lovely people for sharing your stories and saving my sanity!!

  • Cathy October 1, 2015, 4:19 pm

    This Board is a lifesaver for me. I feel so awful during this withdrawal. It feels like it is never going to end. My doctor has not been helpful. I saw here where someone asked about Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Has this been found to be helpful? I take Benadryl (1/4) tablet throughout the day because I have shortness of breath – not so much now that I have stopped taking Cipramil.

    I do take it at night to help me sleep. Are there any bad effects from Benadryl? It was good to read about Epsom Salts. I have been using them for a long time because they just made me feel good. I don’t know how people go to work or perform their daily activities while withdrawing. This is so hard!

  • sue October 2, 2015, 1:50 am

    I am now into my 8th week of withdrawal of 20mg over 7 years. I wish I could say I feel much better. The brain zaps and the feeling of dizziness and nausea has stopped but the fatigue is unbearable. I am lucky not to be working because I would certainly not been able to cope otherwise. Because of the extreme tiredness I am snappy, irritable and depressed. Yesterday I decided to “give in” to it and slept for 21 hours on and off, only getting up to go to the toilet and eat.

    I don’t know where to turn, I know going back on them is not an option but can’t cope with this this! I thought I would be over the worst of it by now but I am sure its getting worse. I have had a quick search on here to see if anyone returned here to say it was all worth it and how much better they feel for it now but cant find one. Its now at the point I think there must be something wrong with me and am going to have some blood tests done just in case. Whatever the outcome of the next few months I shall return to let you know.

    • Cathy October 2, 2015, 3:00 pm

      Hi Sue and Everyone, I am also going on my 3rd month withdrawal. This is week 9. I feel awful and think maybe there is something else wrong with me. I feel too sick to even go to the doctor. I am very scared. I too will come back & post after this is over. Can someone post who has made it through this?

  • Maria October 4, 2015, 4:23 pm

    I posted on day 35 how well I was doing in hopes of letting others know that the withdrawal symptoms won’t last forever. After I had posted, I did have some more not so good days, but here I am at day 59 and most of my days are now good. I thank God for my very patient husband, and for helping me get through this ordeal. There is hope! It does get better!

  • Sherry October 5, 2015, 1:15 pm

    I have stopped celexa 20mg for past 3-4 weeks I think. I have brain zaps daily that drive me crazy, I cry at drop off a hat. I’m irritable, moody, mean, depressed, all the symptoms. It’s driving me nuts. I had gained tons of weight. Can’t get in any of my clothes. Why do Dr’s put people on this sh*t? I feel worse than ever. I will never take a antidepressant again. I’m done. I just hope I live through this hell. I’m a RN on top of all this. Poor patients.

  • Paul October 5, 2015, 8:53 pm

    Thank you so much for this information! It has been a month now since my last dose of 20mgs and my head still gets the “zaps” as you call them or “swirls” as I call them! The low fatigue is also a issue that I wondered about, and concentration wow! You explained everything perfectly. I wish I had looked this information up sooner, thinking there might be something else wrong with me ;)

    I hope it doesn’t take ninety days!! But, at least I know what the problem is now and I will just forge on. I have been off and on Celexa for years, and am in a much better place in my life, so I know I will reap the benefits of being off it… but am well aware of how great it worked through my anxious times. Thanks again.

  • Sharyl October 6, 2015, 5:49 pm

    I’ve been on Celexa 10mg for about two-three weeks, I’m almost 18 in my senior year of high school and the side effects are getting very hard to deal with. I used to love reading but I can’t seem to do any of that with my blurred vision, which is causing horrible headaches. I wake up in the night constantly feeling hopeless and abnormal, like I’ll never feel right again. Thoughts of suicide are intense when I wake up like this, and I feel (as I read in earlier comments) like my head is struggling to catch up with my body. Either my heart rate’s been abnormal or I’m overreacting. I’ve been reading a lot of comments on this trying to decide whether or not I need to quit taking my Celexa or push through this feeling. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Brad October 6, 2015, 8:04 pm

    I haven’t taken any Celexa for around 2 weeks and was surprised at the dizziness and nausea I was experiencing. I had no idea that quitting this could bring on these symptoms. I was taking 40 mg doses. I’m looking forward to being drug free again. I hope to lose some of the weight I’ve gained over the last 3 years since I started using it.

  • Lauren October 9, 2015, 11:39 pm

    I am currently withdrawing from Celexa. My doctor had me on 40mg for years then I felt like it stopped working so I got off it. Went from 40mg for years to 20mg for 3 days then 10mg for 3 days then I started Wellburtrin 150mg. I feel so terrible and sick. When will the symptoms of withdrawal end?

  • Ruth October 11, 2015, 7:49 am

    Returned to drop a comment on my withdrawal, I posted on Sept 15 that I had just started to wean myself off Cipramil myself, well, i took half a tablet (10mg) every day for 2 weeks, then 10 mg every 2 days for the next 2 weeks. I shall keep it at that for another 2, so far I have been quite normal, if that’s what I remember normal to be! No brain zaps, even temperament, not too foggy, so far so good. I’m hoping after next fortnight I shall have 10 mg every 3 days, then taper a bit more.

    It’s better than cold turkey or fast tapering. And I urge anyone out there who still has to take other meds anyway, and hasn’t got a pill box…get one! You won’t forget, specially if you set an alarm on your phone for the same time each day. At least you’ll be able to see the last time you took a pill if you get too forgetful. Good luck to everyone out there trying to get off this poisonous stuff.

  • Misty October 12, 2015, 6:03 am

    I think it has been about 9 days for me, I ran out and thought maybe this would be a good time to stop. Quitting cold turkey was probably not the smartest thing, I’ve been on anti-depressants for 18 years, 40 mg of citalopram for the past 8 years. The withdrawal symptoms have been awful. I keep reminding myself that it will pass, but it’s so difficult when you’re in the middle of it.

    The dizziness, irritability, brain zaps, fogginess, fatigue (feels like I can’t get enough sleep) have been the worst. I also feel like it is so unfair to my kids to have to deal with a confused grumpy mom lol. Wondering if maybe I should go to the doctor and try to taper down before quitting completely. Thank you all for sharing your experiences, it helps to know that others understand…that I’m not the only one.

  • SHAZAM October 12, 2015, 10:04 pm

    I started with 40 mg in Feb 2008. It was not depression, I had chest pains and felt dizzy. Also had acid reflux. All went away the first pill I took. After that my doctor told me not to stop until in 2011 I was have bad electrical feelings in my body. I went back to my doctor and he wrote a prescription for 60mg daily. I did the opposite I was cutting the 40mg in half and was taking 20mg daily. Guess what the electrical feelings disappeared.

    That means I was on the 40mg for a long time and I should have cut back in it. So I had my doctor prescribe me 10mg daily since 2013. 4 days ago I quit cold turkey. I am having mild headaches, dizziness, bad dreams. I think my body was ready to quit because I was waking up in the middle of the night with a feeling of my body under fire and feeling hot with no temperature at all. I was panicking and got up and started to shake it off then I was able to go back to sleep again. Didn’t have that feeling since I quit

  • Lisa October 13, 2015, 7:19 am

    I stopped taking Celexa 40mg after nearly a year on 40mg I stopped cold turkey. For the first 3 weeks I had terrible diarrhea and insomnia. It’s now been about 5 weeks and all that has gone I am just left with a lot of irritation I can snap at people and get annoyed very quickly BUT I am functioning a lot better and don’t feel as emotionally restricted as I did on celexa.

  • Martha October 13, 2015, 1:13 pm

    The confusion, foggy brain, lack of patience and dizziness are my current symptoms…oh and a wee bit of nausea though that might be for a different reason. I just found out today that I am pregnant and am grateful I went off Celexa when I did. It’s only been 6 days but I am only JUST pregnant. I too went cold turkey, from 20 mg for 3 1/2 years to nothing.

    I’d been off it before for a few weeks when I was unable to afford my meds, and it seems somehow easier this time around. Maybe because I knew what to expect, regardless I basically came on here to find out how long it was supposed to last. Looks like I’ll be feeling high for my first trimester…lol. Should make life interesting for my my family. :)

  • Karen October 14, 2015, 12:06 am

    Thank You for this site. I seriously thought I was losing my mind and thought of going back on Celexa. I am terribly fatigued, having memory loss or cloudy thinking. I gained 25 lbs while on this drug. I am back to the gym but finding it hard to get there due to the fatigue. I gradually took myself off Celexa, from 20 to 10 to 5 over a 2 months time.

  • Marisa October 14, 2015, 4:17 am

    I stopped taking it about 2 weeks ago. I was in 20mg a day and the first thing I noticed was the lethargy. I still can’t go through the day without needing to take a 4 hour nap when I get home from work, then go to bed at normal time. Then there are some days I can’t sleep at all when I need to go to bed. The other major symptom is my concentration.

    People can be talking to me and I literally cannot pay attention to what they said. It’s not that I’m distracted by other thoughts, it just feels like my brain has stopped working for a minute and there aren’t any thoughts there. Even after they repeat themselves it takes a lot of effort to pay attention.

  • Dennis October 14, 2015, 7:03 pm

    I only took citalopram for roughly 6 months. I started at 20mg following my divorce from a marriage of 24 years that I didn’t want and was shocked to be a part of. At the 20mg dose I was so lethargic and tired all the time I could barely function at work. I started cutting the pills in half to 10mg. That helped somewhat with the tiredness and didn’t make much difference with the depression. I wanted off this drug so cut the dose in half again and took 5 mg for about a week and then quit taking it altogether.

    The withdrawal is awful. I’ve been off completely for about 3 weeks and still feeling nauseous, dizzy and having brain zaps. My doctor recommended going back on at a low dose and re-withdrawing. No freakin way. This drug was never a good fit for me and I would never go back on it for any reason. The withdrawals are slowly lessening so I will stick it out until I’m back to normal. Will try and let you all know how long that takes.

  • Sarah October 14, 2015, 7:33 pm

    About 2 weeks ago I stopped taking 40mg of celexa cold turkey after taking it daily for about 4 years. I feel fairly normal physically, but goof grief I am experiencing A LOT of irritation to the point that I don’t even want to be around myself right now. I feel like I’m having PMS symptoms x10. Anyone else having this problem?

  • Michelle October 15, 2015, 12:53 pm

    Hi I’m 38 years old and have been taking 20/40mg citalopram since I was 21! Ran out of tablets about eight days ago decided to go cold turkey taking it a day at a time. Dizziness, slow reaction to things and insomnia are what I’m experiencing at the moment and a fuzzy head, glad I’ve found this site. You forget other people may be going through the same thing!

  • Amy October 16, 2015, 3:17 pm

    I was on Celexa for 6 years after a hysterectomy. My Gyn doctor thought it might help with mood swings, night sweats and anxiety. It did help except for the night sweats. I decided with the help of my family doctor to go off celexa. I took 40mg to begin with and took 20 mg for 1 week, then am now on 20 mg every other day for a week then I am suppose to stop. Was having a lot of crying jags and irritability. And yes brain zaps. These withdrawal symptoms are a pain but since I have read this article I feel a lot better about it. Wish me luck. I think I’m going to be just fine.

  • Mary October 17, 2015, 4:42 pm

    I’ve been on Celaxa for 8 years for severe anxiety. For 5 years I took 40mg and then for the last 3 years I’ve taken 20mg. Throughout this period I’ve gradually put on a lot of weight. I’ve been tapering off for the last month and I’m now down to 10mg per day. It’s so frustrating because I just want to stop after all of those years but I know from past experience that withdrawal has to be gradual.

    I’ll stick at 10mg for another couple of weeks and then start to drop again. Currently I am very, very tired, just can’t get enough sleep, I have brain zaps, my concentration is not as god as it should be, I have a constant sore head and ringing in my ears. Des anyone else get the ringing? I also experience some dizziness. Reading all the comments here helps. I’m not going to give up and I’m determined to come off this very strong medication.

    I want to experience normal emotions again. Yes, that includes the low times but more importantly it means being able to celebrate the good times too. Being on this medication has helped me greatly with anxiety but has turned me into a bit of a zombie. I think I’m in a better place now to deal with my anxiety without the help from the Celexa, however, when I really needed it, it did help.

  • Priya October 19, 2015, 10:24 pm

    I am updating my earlier post which was after 6 days of cold turkey having been on celexa 40mg. It has now been six weeks. I was lucky the first week or so, then got the most terrible side effects – crying spells, continual anger over the most minor things and some very dark thoughts. Monthlies were very tough going. I decided to read as much as I could.

    As I mentioned I have been carrying on with the 10,000ul vit d, and fish oil but have added a b complex and also 50mg of 5htp. I gave up cit/celexa for a variety of different reasons but a major reason was my teeth grinding. I was permanently having sore shoulders headaches etc. After giving up, well the teeth grinding carried on. I took the 5htp before I went to sleep and for the first time in YEARS I had no pain around my jaw, neck and shoulders. Incredible.

    It has been two weeks since starting 5htp and on the whole no grinding. Nearly six weeks on, I am pleased to be off cit though doing it cold turkey is unorthodox and everyone is different. The main changes I have noticed are:
    -I used to love fried food a few times a week. Since coming off I have eaten a fry up and it doesn’t agree with me whatsoever.
    -I can’t watch certain things on tv. So naturally have to switch off.
    -My tolerance level is lower. I am more conscious of the effect of social media so have had to use it less.
    -Have not seen any significant weight loss as of yet.
    -My hair is growing. I suffered a lot of hair loss and in six weeks there are a few more “baby” hairs than previously.
    -Whenever I have had anxiety (e.g. a hard day at work) I have been using rescue remedy. It has been another life saver.

  • Daiana October 20, 2015, 4:05 pm

    I was on 20 mg. I stopped about 8 days ago and now I’ve been dizzy for 2 or 3 days. Apart from that, I FEEL GREAT.

  • Diane October 21, 2015, 5:50 am

    I’m so glad I found this page! I’m Bipolar Type II with Anxiety Disorder (and a rapid heartbeat) and it took decades for my doctors and I to find a drug combination that worked. I’d been taking Celexa (originally started on it, then was switched to Lexapro, but went back on Celexa after Medi-Cal stopped covering it) for almost 15 years, along with Lamictal and Zebeta.

    My new doctor put me on Trazadone for insomnia and decided to have me taper off of the Celexa because for the longest time the combination was causing nighttime hallucinations. My depth perception would get very wonky in the dark, and I’d see formulas and sentences forming on the walls and doors, and occasionally would see odd little things dangling from the lamp on my nightstand. Oddly specific.

    (It’s become a bit of a joke between me and my husband. I’d start to say, “Do you see–?” and he’d cut me off with, “Not really there, hon.” Or I’d suddenly sit up to peer suspiciously at my nightstand, and he’d roll over, take a quick look, shake his head at me and go back to sleep.) I’m always fully aware that they’re hallucinations, but it can get annoying, so off the Celexa I go, tapering the dosage for about three months…and now it’s been two weeks since I went Celexa-free, and I’m miserable. Yeah, the nighttime show has lessened a great deal, but I feel like crap!

    “Brain zaps” is directly on-target. What a great description! I’ll start to move my eyes and I get that “zap” and dizziness, and I’ll feel it all through my head and throat, and for a brief moment I can hear my blood rushing through my ears and feel my heart beat very hard in my chest, down my arm and into my fingers. It’s horrible. I’ve also gone back and forth between constipation and diarrhea, and feel like I’m coming down with the flu.

    I have a constant low-grade fever and just feel weak and disoriented, and find myself completely drawing a blank when reaching for a word. My writing is suffering because of it. (I looked back over what I’ve written so far and I’m horrified.) AND I just started a new job, so I look like an idiot. I’ve already commiserated with my supervisor about how we lose our minds during menopause, but I dread telling her about this.

    Finding this page and reading about what other people have gone through makes me feel so much better. Now that I have a point of reference, I’m not nearly as worried. I know I have to tough it out. Does anyone have any suggestions or home remedies to counter the effects of going off Celexa? I’m waiting to hear back from my doctor, but since it’s Medi-Cal it may take awhile, and anything I can do on my own would be very helpful. But just knowing what’s going on is such a relief. Thank you so much for this!

    • Priya October 22, 2015, 7:55 pm

      Hi Diane, I have posted a couple of times but really recommend a vit B complex in the day to stay alert and magnesium at night. Rescue remedy is great if you feel anxious or weepy. It has been six weeks since I came off and the zaps have subsided so they do get better. I found tiger balm was a lifesaver. You have to take it day by day. And give yourself plenty of pats on the back especially starting a new job. Getting of cit/ celexa is a big thing.

  • Nick October 23, 2015, 8:37 pm

    I’ve been on 20mg Citalopram for over three years, because my GP thought that severe fatigue was caused by depression. In fact six years ago I was diagnosed with a rare blood neoplasm, and have been on nightly chemotherapy ever since to control platelet production, which had got dangerously high. Severe fatigue is a symptom of the disease I have, and is also made worse by the nightly chemotherapy drugs. Certainly I wasn’t fully coping emotionally with all this, and that’s why the GP put me on Citalopram.

    This month I retired early on health grounds from a high pressure job in a prison. As I feel so much less stressed, I decided to taper off the Citalopram. I am so grateful for this site, because my wife and I seriously wondered whether I was brewing for a stroke (which is one of the dangers of a high platelet count). I feel constantly dizzy – the sort of feeling you get on a rollercoaster when it goes over a summit and starts crashing down the other side.

    It’s as if the brain somehow gets left behind. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m sitting down, walking or doing something physical like working in our garden: it’s a constant feeling of being spaced and dizzy. Now I understand it’s withdrawal symptoms from this medication. I also struggle to find words, which is really frustrating!!! Clearly it’s a question of letting the drug work out of the system.

    I last took a half dose five days ago, so it’s early in the process. So many of the stories I have read this evening on the site are really encouraging and supportive. Thank you all for giving me the realisation that this strange dizziness has a cause. Stay strong all.

  • Lainey October 25, 2015, 7:42 pm

    I feel like I’m losing my mind. I was put on citalopram almost a month ago for social anxiety. I was put on a 20mg dose to start, so I gave it a few days, things were ok, but I started getting pains in my head which led me to think there was something wrong. I had a couple visits to the hospital which didn’t help. In the couple weeks that went by, I was having anxiety attacks every night.

    I was put on 10 mg, but was still having the attacks. I gave it a little more time but I finally had to tell my doctor that it wasn’t helping. So it was about 5 weeks that I was taking them. I stopped on the 28th of September, and I was doing ok for the first few days. I was feeling detached from my body, felt like i was here but not, wasn’t in reality, my eyesight went all dim and snowy, just felt a feeling of unease.

    Now, it’s been about 4 weeks since I stopped, I have very bad tinnitus in my left ear, even roaring at times, still having the vision issue, have had bad mood swings, a lot of weird pain in my head, very dizzy, foggy feeling like I’m still not fully here. Having chest pain, increased heart rate, headache that throbs, not too many zaps, bad cough and nasal congestion. I’m feeling so depressed that something is terribly wrong and it won’t go away.

    Every time I cough, my heart pounds and my head throbs. I went to my pharmacist looking for some reassurance, which I should not have done. He told me that it would have been out of my system 1-2 weeks after stopping it. So needless to say, that didn’t help my health anxiety any. I’ve got two young kids to take care of and I’m so tired of feeling this way.

    I regret taking this drug. I have daily thoughts of death which makes me even more depressed. I’m on wellbutrin now, for what reason, I don’t know. I just want to feel normal the way I did before I started citalopram. I would take the social anxiety over feeling this way.

  • Ellameda October 26, 2015, 1:56 am

    I am so happy I found this site. I thought something was wrong with me and then I realized I have not had my celexa for a few weeks due to not being able to see my psychiatrist the last few appointments because it is so far away. Then it hit me to look for withdrawal symptoms. I have been so irritable and dizzy. My dreams have been crazy and I have been really emotional. My husband is just worried I will go back to the suicidal thoughts and depression but I really would like to just stop taking it. I am teetering between just getting through this or calling my psychiatrist in the morning. I don’t know but it comforts me that there are others going through this as well.

  • Barbara October 26, 2015, 3:20 pm

    I thought 3 weeks, taking half pill then half every other day would be sufficient? No way. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me until I googled however by then it was too late to turn around. The brain zaps, headache, nausea have been horrible with insomnia being the absolute worst. Coupled with losing my nephew to suicide, aunt to cancer in less than 2 months the crying won’t stop.

    Fight or flight is constant. I appreciate the post shares here knowing I’m not bat-sh*t crazy. Can’t wait to be on the other side of this. Has anyone heard about taking one Prozac to eliminate withdrawal with no other side effects? I read this on other site.

  • Stand Tall October 27, 2015, 7:12 am

    Frankly I think the company that makes this drug should be sued! Big time! Reading all this is frightening. I was on a low dose of Citalopram for 2 years (10 mg day), and the quitting has been tough for even me. I have so much MORE energy and sex drive now it is frightening. What a horrible drug. Anyone who is stopping must do it slowly and taper off – it is too scary not to. I hope these a-holes who released this drug get killed in court. Google the birth defects – wow!

  • Jan October 28, 2015, 4:46 am

    I was on Celexa 20 mg for about 5 years, decided to wean myself off over the course of 4-6 weeks. Went from 20mg, to 10 mg, to 5 mg, and then 5 mg every other day. After being on the every other day doses for about a week I had sudden onset of watery diarrhea 20 times a day. No other symptoms. So far all my stool tests (lots) have been normal, waiting for 2 more results to come back. Next step would be a colposcopy. Has anyone ever had this as a side effect of stopping citalopram?

    • Rosie November 6, 2015, 9:38 pm

      My stomach is like that from stopping. But I’ll also say that a lot of people with depression issues seem to also have digestive issues. I have IBS and Celiac, so I’m not sure how much of this is those and how much is the withdrawal. Good luck to you.

  • Rosie October 28, 2015, 5:21 pm

    I’m pleased I found all these comments about Citalopram withdrawal. I’ve been taking it for just a few months (for sleep difficulties realted to anxiety) at the lowest dose. It never occurred that I’d get withdrawal problems from such a lose dose so I’ve been wondering why I’ve been feeling so rubbish for the last fortnight – tired, foggy, stupid, headachey and generally slightly ill. All is explained! Now I have to decide whether to continue with the cold-turkey approach or get another prescription and tail things off properly.

  • Emily October 30, 2015, 7:16 pm

    The withdrawals are so bad and I didn’t want to be on the med any more. Not worth it. Motion sick feelings all the time, crying all the time, weird sleep, I feel like there are all these lies in my head and small hallucinations of Shadows or seeing things move. But I am med free for a week now after tapering for the last 4 months.

  • Marcy November 3, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I was taking celexa 40mg for 2 years. I started tapering slowly 5 months ago then got close to the end at 10mg and was experiencing such awful nausea I just quit it all together. I guess I did that in hopes that I could just cold turkey it and get it all out of my system. I’m at the start of week 3 celexa free and I feel like I’m going crazy. It’s like I get a crazy side effect for a few days then I get past that and think I’m in the clear and then all of a sudden I feel like I should go commit myself to a psych ward!

    Feeling like I’m making everyone around me crazy too. Hoping to start to feel normal soon. On the plus side! Before all I wanted to do was sleep and had a hell of a time staying asleep. Now I’m not even thinking about naps and getting great sleep at night, so that’s good.

  • Janina November 6, 2015, 12:02 am

    Hi, I have experienced most of the withdrawal symptoms you listed above. I am keeping positive and within a week I already feel better! I put 10kgs on with this drug and am already losing weight. Advice for others: stay positive, remember the end result of being off! And be kind to yourself. What helps for me is looking at myself like an experiment… Be interested!

    I wish everyone luck coming off this. I don’t believe anyone NEEDS to be on any antidepressant. Listen to your soul, let it heal itself. It will all be worth it in the end! I am tapering off and very excited to be medication free after 18 months on it! I am excited about the future, bite the bullet and challenge yourself, you can do it alone!! Much love.

  • Rosie November 6, 2015, 9:36 pm

    Off Citalopram for about a week. My insurance made me switch to mail order, and while waiting for the approval to go through, I’ve run out. Super dizzy, nausea, upset stomach, migraine. I have no idea how I’ve gotten through the work day. I feel like I could lie down on the floor and just sleep. As far as sleep issues go, I take the Natural Vitality Natural Calm drink, and it definitely helps. I think the dizziness/wooziness is the worst part.

    I can’t imagine going through this for weeks or months. If I ever step off of this drug completely, I know I’ll go 40mg to 20 mg to 10 and then half a pill for quite some time before I stop it completely. This is making me feel completely crazy. I hate that you all are going through it, too, but I’m glad I’m not alone.

  • Karen November 7, 2015, 7:30 pm

    Have taken Celexa 20mg daily for 6 years. Stopped it a week ago because of pneumonia meds and possible drug interactions. Pneumonia is gone! But I’ve decided to live without Celexa now. My dizziness is terrible. I’m a teacher and I have to stand near a table or I will fall over–that would be an exciting lesson! My daily headaches are treated with Ibuprofen, but what treats dizziness?

    My dreams are amazing though–the best I’ve ever had–so vivid and bizarre! Trying to stay positive and look at the big picture. A blessing for me is that diarrhea only lasted the 1st 5 days. Also, I’m starting to be aware of subtleties in my own emotions and others’ too–it’s nice to feel more engaged with life. Best wishes to everyone reading this–we can do it!

  • Joe November 8, 2015, 5:48 am

    Thank you for all the information everyone has shared in this forum!!! Just started 3rd step of tapering. Dr. put me on it because I complained about ability to concentrate at work-thought is was maybe ADD but she insisted it was mild depression. Put on 20 lbs since I’ve been on it;could never figure out why she mentioned the weight gain – stupid me for not asking about side affects.

    After 3 year went to another Dr in practice talked about getting off it, kind of got feeling she didn’t agree with other Dr and said lets get you off of it. Did 10 mg one day then 20 mg next for 4 weeks, then 10 mg for month, just started 5 mg one day then 10 next. My goal is 1/1/2016 being off of this completely. Few side effects so far – once in a while get feeling in head that reminds me of electric stimulation that physical therapist use, some seriously weird dreams, a little tired and cranky but nothing too bad.

    But one positive thing is I’ve dropped 7 lbs…have a very bad knee (bone on bone) that is feeling better and now can walk 2 miles without issue. Seriously contemplating filing complaint against Dr. Had she explained the side effects, especially weight gain, would have probably declined to go in. Will be changing to another group of Drs…the three that are in current group are quick to give a pill rather than figure out why. Thanks again for sharing your experiences.

  • Angie November 8, 2015, 10:58 pm

    Have been on various SSRI’s since I was a teen(I am now 39.) Most recently was Celexa, 60mg. I know that’s a very high dose but with ALL SSRI’s I get to a point where I have to keep increasing the dose as it just stops working. Anyways, my withdrawals were a complete, horrific nightmare. I thought I did it gradually (5-10mg at a time) and with each decrease I was fine but after my final dose of 5mg…OMG!!

    Spoke to a nurse friend of mine and she told me what no one else had….the withdrawal can be as bad as a heroin withdrawal and is was :( I could deal with the brain zaps but not the vomiting, diarrhea, vision and hearing loss, EVERY part of me hurt (including my finger nails), the soles of my feet hurt so bad that I couldn’t even walk. My shakes were so bad that I didn’t want anyone to see me for fear of looking like a crack head.

    Oh and lets not forget the extreme hot and cold flashes, drooling and cognitive issues(I could barely form sentences). I literally begged my BF to kill me and contemplated going to ER to be be put in an induced com. Thankfully a few days into this an old friend suggested I read an article about withdrawals. In the article it suggested natural remedies and meds and I was able to find one that took the edge off.

    I hope that this type of reaction is super rate as I wouldn’t wish it upon ANYONE!!! It has now been 3 weeks and I only have the brain zaps and can’t stop crying. I mean you look at me sideways I cry. I hope this is almost over and I vow to never touch another ssri again.

  • Vicki November 10, 2015, 10:21 am

    I was sick with a bad cold and stopped taking my citalopram 40mg about three weeks ago. Just this weekend, I started the really, really crazy dreams, severe headache, no sleep, sick to my stomach, dizzy and yesterday crying. My sugar has gone really high. I thought the sugar level was my problem. But losing weight has been awesome. Not sure I can do this for a month or longer. So glad I found this site, it makes me feel much better. Now I just have to decide what to do?

  • Gina November 11, 2015, 3:36 am

    Off for 5 days after 7 years. I have some symptoms, like lightheadedness. But I’ve also noticed that all the horrible aches and pains in my body have vanished. Never put 2 and 2 together before or remember being told it could cause painful body symptoms.

  • Angela November 11, 2015, 8:38 am

    I quit Celexa 40 mg, cold turkey. Don’t have insurance and can’t afford to see my doctor and get refills. Didn’t intend to quit like this. I’m dizzy. I have electrical fires in my head and in my arms/hands a lot. I can be so quick to anger, it’s not funny. Sleeping hard and having freaky scary dreams. If I get past this I won’t go back on it. Celexa has made me gain weight and I don’t have much of a sex drive. I’m a hot mess huh?

  • Hillary November 11, 2015, 9:42 pm

    So I took celexa 40mg for 12 years and weaned myself off. I weaned for a year and one month. I have been off completely for about two months. I will say I have had several crying spells, anxiety, memory loss, dizziness, and now tired all the time. Most of my symptoms have subsided but now I just feel so tired almost like my legs want to give out tired. I do stand on my feet all day at work but I don’t feel like that’s the issue. Has anyone else felt extremely tired after coming off?

  • Darren November 12, 2015, 10:03 pm

    Thought I’d come in to tell you of my experience and give you a bit of hope: I’d been on Cit for a year at 40mg and just decided to stop, cold turkey. My doctor told me not to due to the side effects but I ploughed on anyway – it was bloody AWFUL. Headaches, brain zaps, tingling, vertigo, nausea. You name it, I had it. And in bucketloads. 8 weeks later though. Slight head zaps and a whole new outlook on life.

    The one thing I did? Got myself a routine. Same bedtime, same waking up time. Meals at the same time and most importantly, exercise. I’m not saying I turned into an army assault course veteran or anything, I just got myself out for a few walks and hald a little jog every now and then. The benefits have been huge. I’m no longer feeling depressed, I think medicating depression is entirely the wrong thing to do now despite how desperate it felt at the time.

    I recently went through a messy breakup, I stayed off the meds and kept my routine, I’m fine with it. It would have destroyed me before. My sex drive and sensation is back where it was. I’m a man, I can finish. Enough said I think but this is blooming brilliant! My life feels like it’s turned a corner. I can feel emotion again, it’s truly amazing.

    With a little bit of regimented routine I think everyone can have the results I did. Just stay positive, remind yourself the side effects are temporary and don’t set yourself a time limit (keep seeing 90 days on here, pah, it takes as long as it takes) because you’ll just aim for that and expect magic to happen. Ask any questions you like, I’ll try to answer. Remember you’re not the first person to have done this and won’t be the last. Just be happy you’re coming off this evil drug. Darren

    • Audrey November 13, 2015, 9:23 pm

      Darren, you survived the cold turkey method, but I wouldn’t encourage anyone else to do it that way. Some people can become so violent and suicidal, they hurt themselves or others. Taper slow, and do it under a doctor’s care!

  • Jaki November 13, 2015, 3:25 am

    After taking Celexa for a year, I met with my doctors for an evaluation. I am also a smoker, so I was attempting to quit. My doctor suggested Wellbutrin to help quit. I have also been diagnosed with anxiety in 2009, so I was taking Celexia, Wellbutrin, & Xanax in one day. I felt very high when I was on all of them. As good as it made me feel, I wasn’t grasping anything on the “outside”. So, I decided to taper off.

    I was noticing side effects of feeling depressed when I took all three. Opposite of the effect I was needing. I felt I went through a period in life when I was depressed, not actually suffering Depression. So, I researched tapering & followed it at my discretion. I was prescribed 20mg daily. Every other day, I cut one in half and took 10mg. My brain got used to that after week one. I had no side effects.

    The second week, I took only half doses all week and I had minor side effects (irritable, hungry, sleepy). The third week, I took 10mg every other day. The fourth week, I took 20mg one day, and a random day of 10mg. The fifth week, I was completely weaned off. After I weened off, I noticed different side effects: confusion, major irritability, depression, “brain-zaps” (literally felt like something was shocking my lips and brain).

    I was playing catch during the brain zaps and had to stop. They made me very dizzy. Today marks 2 months free. I’m very depressed today, but understand these are side effects. I have also eaten more since being off to subside the depression. The only thing that can get you over this slump is to replace the medication with exercise. That was my initial plan, but being depressed makes me lazy.

    I’m working through it, but happy to be moving the right direction. Just remember you are tapering for a reason. You can do it. Take it slow depending on how little or long you have taken them. Try exercising instead and let me know if that helps!!

  • Rod November 13, 2015, 10:40 am

    Hi to everyone on here. Just want to wish everyone on here the best of luck with hopefully their withdrawal symptoms subsiding as quickly as possible & hopefully after stopping taking this drug not having any anxiety or depression come back!!! I have just cut back to half 10mg in the last couple of days & felt like crying all day today plus suicidal thoughts :(.

    I own my own house, have a great job, am going really well financially, getting a lot of renos done but have never felt worse. I don’t have a GF which really depresses me. I’ve just never been able to have one cause of this stupid anxiety :(. I have made a decision to eat really healthy, exercise everyday & start meditating. I am not taking any more pills. I don’t care how bad I feel.

    I have to solve my psychological problems naturally. I am really worried about what is ahead of me after reading the comments on here. I also take Seroquel twice a day so don’t know how going off both of these drugs is going to affect me. I am not seeing my doctor about going off these pills as he is the idiot that put me on these things. Why can’t they recommend other solutions or treatments other than drugs.

    I am thinking on the positive side that with the money I save by not taking these drugs I could put to seeing a psychologist about every 3 months. I am not going to let the anxiety beat me. My goal is to beat it, be fit & find myself a wife & have kids. I love kids so much!

  • Audrey November 13, 2015, 8:51 pm

    I have been on Celexa for the past 14 years. I was originally given this medication (20 mg) by my GP for anxiety. I was never told that it would be extremely difficult to get off it. After going through some difficult personal situations, a psychiatrist put me on 40 mg, and then 60 mg. Again, I was never told how hard it would be to eventually stop. A couple of years ago, I was able to wean from 60 to 40 without too much trouble.

    The taper was done over a two-month time. But since then, I have tried to go from 40 to 20, and it’s been a nightmare. On my psychiatrist’s recommendation, I alternated my dose each day: 40, then 30, then 40. After three weeks of doing this, I became incredibly dizzy when I was lie down or turn my head too fast. I also would fly into a rage over every little thing. I contacted my psychiatrist, and he told me to go back up to the 40 mg tab every day to get stabilized.

    After doing this, the rage went away but the dizziness did not. After two months of this vertigo, I went to an ear, nose and throat doctor who had me see a physical therapist. The PT did a special procedure to get the crystal in my inner ear to reposition itself. Who knew withdrawing from an SSRI could do that to your inner ear? A few months ago, I found a book on Amazon called “The Anti-Depressant Solution,” written by a psychiatrist who helps people get off SSRI’s.

    The book was a huge eye opener, and discusses getting of Celexa and other SSRI’s in a way to minimize withdrawal. I saw “minimize” because there’s no way to avoid withdrawal symptoms completely. Following the book’s method, I have been on 35 mg of Celexa for nearly a month now. I don’t have the dizziness, but I’ve been fighting with my husband almost non-stop for the past two weeks. I’m starting to think it’s withdrawal from the drug that is making me hypersensitive and quick to anger and explode.

    I’m wondering if anyone else out there has tried a very slow taper like that but still had emotional withdrawal symptoms. I plan to stay on 35 mg for a few months before I try to go down to 30. Honestly, I’m afraid to lower it anymore, but I’m also afraid to be a slave to this medication for the rest of my life.

  • Cathy November 14, 2015, 8:32 pm

    I said I would be back! I have been off of Citalopram for 3.5 months now (since August 1st). I think the withdrawal is finally behind me! It’s been quite a journey! I am beginning to discover a new me with all my weaknesses as well as the strengths I have discovered I have. I am much more cautious now with my mental health.

    I found a new doctor (Primary Care). I really like her. I was explaining to her that I was on antidepressants when doctors thoughts that there was no withdrawal from them. I then asked her how long would the withdrawal from the Citalopram would last. She answered – it will be all out of your system in a week! I didn’t respond. I now have serious doubts about her. Should I expect a Primary Care Doctor to know this? Changing doctors is so hard. Am I being too hard on her?

    • Audrey November 16, 2015, 1:07 am

      Cathy, I don’t think most psychiatrists even know how serious withdrawal can be from SSRI’s. Your GP doesn’t know anything about these medications, and shouldn’t be prescribing them. It doesn’t mean she’s not a good doctor–she’s just ignorant about these drugs. The pharmaceutical companies marketed these meds to GP’s years ago, and didn’t tell them about the serious withdrawal symptoms. Most still don’t know about it. I’m wondering how Big Pharm is getting away with this.

  • Robert November 15, 2015, 10:18 pm

    I have taken one form or another of SSRI’s for 30 years, Celexa for the last 5 years. I felt it was robbing me of creativity and energy, so I started tapering about 6 weeks ago. The WD symptoms started when I went to zero dosage which was about 3 weeks ago (today is 11/15/15). My symptoms are an overwhelming dizziness, constant ringing in the ears, headaches, diarrhea, lack of energy, irritability, and a tendency to cry.

    I have tried supplementing with 5-HTP, SAMe, and tryptophan-L and they seem to help a little bit with the irritability. I have thought about going back on Celexa but my stubbornness is keeping me from it. I also don’t want to start back at Square One. To those that feel like this will never end…give it some time! Don’t let it get the best of you…I am going to give this 90 days (it’s been 21 so far). If I don’t feel better then, I’ll either go back on it or try something else. DON’T GIVE UP !!!

  • Cathy November 16, 2015, 2:29 pm

    I have been on 40 mg of celexa for many years. I have not experienced depression symptoms in a few years and I attribute this to working hard to get myself into a good place in my life. I started entertaining the idea of going off of my antidepressants (I also take Wellbutrin) about 1 year ago and finally made the move and began decreasing my Celexa. 5 weeks ago I tapered down to 20 mg and luckily I did not experience any withdrawals.

    So, 1 week ago I decided to bite the bullet and stop taking the Celexa totally. I am experiencing the “fog”, nausea, concentration problems, brain zaps, decrease in motivation and overall sadness. It had been helpful to read others comments and I appreciate people sharing their experiences. I am hopeful these feelings go away soon.

  • Sarah November 18, 2015, 7:40 am

    Oh my goodness this support is is just what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been off Citalopram for 15 days now and it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. For the last 6 days I’ve been having flu like symptoms / no energy / dizzy spells and anxiety. I’m so determined to keep going as know I must be coming through the worst. What’s really helping me is that I’m having Bach flower remedy rescue drops which I take when feeling really anxious and it relieves it straight away. I’m sending to others who are going through the same.

  • Kate November 20, 2015, 11:41 pm

    I have been on and off celexa for about 13 years. I stopped it during 2 pregnancies and thought the withdraw was just morning sickness. About 2 months ago it stopped working so my doctor switched me to wellbutrin. I decreased my celexa to 10mg from 20mg for 4 weeks while I started the wellbutrin. A week after I stopped the 10mg dose, I experienced: the brain zaps, nausea, tingling sound in my head, along with my brain suddenly stopping mid-thought and in talking, and turning too fast and thinking I’m going to fall over or throw up. It is very similar to how I felt when I was having morning sickness. I can only hope this goes away quickly.

  • Kiana November 22, 2015, 7:38 pm

    I have been on Citalopram 40mg for close to a year. I ran into some money problems and couldn’t afford the medication anymore and after my last regular dose I felt fine. Until about 5 days later. The “brain zaps” started. That was so miserable. I was also very irritable to the point I didn’t even want to hold my husbands hand.

    I couldn’t sleep at all due to the zaps and constant dizziness. I had to call into work a couple times due to all this. After a couple weeks I just couldn’t handle it anymore so I went and refilled my prescription. After the first dose all of those symptoms went away. NEVER AGAIN WILL I QUIT COLD TURKEY!

  • Alayna November 25, 2015, 9:17 pm

    So glad I found this site. I stopped citalopram cold turkey since being on holiday & just forgetting to take it. It’s been about a week & a 1/2. I thought I was just going crazy until I finally looked up the side effects of coming off it & now feel a bit more ‘normal’ I’m mainly experiencing the feeling of my brain not being able to keep up with my movements.

    I’ve also lost my s**t twice at my husband over very minor things, lucky for me he is very understanding & supportive. I am looking forward to hopefully dropping some weight as I have put on about 12 kg’s since being on it. Which I thought was just me until reading everyone else’s experiences with weight gain. I already feel lighter & less bloated.

    The best improvement has definitely been my sex drive. My husband must think all his Christmases have come at once! Thanks everyone for sharing all your stories will make getting through each day a bit easier.

  • Amy November 28, 2015, 5:19 pm

    Hi everyone. Here’s another update on my withdrawal from this terrible antidepressant. I stopped taking it in late July, early August after weaning myself down for several weeks from 20 mg to nothing. The most horrible symptom I’ve been combatting is IBS. In August I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and am awaiting the arrival of a dental device for my upper and lower jaws.

    During the 15 years I was taking Citalopram, I gained over 40 pounds. I have lost 5 pounds since August but am still severely bloated. I have been to the doctors at least three times because of my stomach problems and they suggested I go back on a lower dose. I burst out crying yelling “No!!!! I’m never taking this again.” So, I will update you again after I get my sleep device and will let you know how I am doing.

  • Mike November 28, 2015, 7:59 pm

    I have been off 20mg dose for 9 days. Day 1 and 2 were no big deal but days 3-9… Dizziness/light-headed everyday. Tired all day. Trouble falling asleep at night. Daily tasks seem to wear me out. Been more emotional to sad TV scenes. Sex drive has been higher. Going to the gym has tremendous benefits. Feel great when I’m working out. It’s good to do that anyways. Hoping the symptoms taper off soon. Looking forward to being clearheaded again and not afraid of taking the steps to get there.

  • Barbara November 28, 2015, 9:35 pm

    Stopped taking Citalopram 20mg completely one week ago after taking for 8 months for a specific anxiety caused by a truly frightening experience. I never wanted to take them but my GP pretty much insisted nothing else would help. Yes they did help the anxiety but the effects I am now suffering are horrendous. Tummy upset, palpitations, nightmares but worst of all is the brain zaps. I am frightened to turn my head or eyes as it sets off ‘popping candy’ in my brain. So frightening. Would just like to warn anyone thinking of taking this drug – don’t do it.

    • Amy November 30, 2015, 10:38 pm

      Hi Barbara, One of the things I forgot to mention is that my palpitations have finally stopped. I had them for at least three months. Unfortunately, my stomach is a mess and I’m probably going to have to see a specialist. I think this drug should be taken off the market.

  • Ellen November 29, 2015, 3:30 am

    I tapered off celexa 40 mg and stopped completely about a month ago. At first I had diarrhea but that is gone. The worst thing for me is that I’m terribly sad all the time and I find myself crying ALL THE TIME. I just read that this is normal for celexa withdrawal. Thank God. I thought I was permanently crazy.

    I just hope this is temporary and that I will be back to normal soon. This terrible sadness makes getting through the day very difficult and I feel much worse than I did when I started taking the drug. I also have some numbness in hands and feet which I remember as a side effect when I first started taking the drug. I really wish I had never started on this. It was prescribed by my PCP during a particularly awful time in my life.

    Now I wish I had just felt the pain then. This is awful. I think these very powerful drugs are handed out way too freely by practitioners who have no idea what they are doing to people. I had an argument with a physician recently about how antidepressants are prescribed too much and he was adamant that people don’t need to be depressed and these drugs are just great.

    He refused to listen to my experience – he knew better than me. I think he doesn’t. Doctors don’t have time to research what is happening with all the chemicals we are being given. Who would think such a tiny pill would have such a huge effect on people.