Tag Archives: Anxiety

Today: 11 days without Citalopram

12 Sep

Now you may remember I have previously posted about my issues with anxiety and the tablets that I have been slowly coming off for the past six weeks.

A week ago last Saturday I couldn’t face taking a tablet. So I didn’t, I did this everyday, and have made it everyday for 11 days.

I’m having random twitches but apart from that, I’m coming off them well. My head feels a bit clearer and I think I’m getting to a more ‘normal’ place. At least if you ignore my loss of appetite and my even more intolerant personality.

I’m just less patient at the moment. But after all the panic attacks, previous withdrawals and going back on my tablets, these symptoms are the best.

The worst I’ve had? The onset of panic attacks, lower limb weakness and severe sickness.

I’m making it through the other side thankfully, and this time I plan on staying there.

Today: The Episode

15 Aug

Those who have suffered panic attacks will know where I come from in the following blog post. I hope those who don’t know what it’s like read the following and gain an understanding of what we have to go through.

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I was on the final day off on my withdrawal programme for my tablets, which is one day on, two days off, I had been feeling a bit twitchy all day – suffering minor spasms which make my tummy knot up for about a second before relaxing out again, however I wasn’t feeling ‘right’.

It got to the evening and I was moody, my moods are all over the place when I am not on my tablets, and poor Charlie gets the brunt of it as I hold off it all at work. The Olympics were playing their ‘inspirational stories’ as it was the Sunday of the closing ceremony, something, I don’t know what, set me off, and I just went into our room to calm down, cry a bit, recover and to just have some alone time.

Unfortunately this didn’t happen.

I sat on the edge of the bed and could feel tears coming down my face, except I couldn’t. It’s hard to explain but the best way I can is that I was just numb, emotionally I couldn’t understand why I was numb, physiically I could feel everything, but it was like their was a blanket wrapped around me, I could feel the pressure, but nothing else. The only way I thought I could snap myself out of it was slapping myself across the face, a reasonable thought as this is what happens in TV shows.

What happened next I wasn’t expecting, I got angry.

I felt like I wanted to punch something, So I did. I punched my chest of drawers, and for 10 fleeting seconds it was like reality hit. I could sense things feel things again. My heart was still racing and after these 10 seconds I started getting the twitchy feelings again, and my hands started to curl and cramp and the blanket swept over me again.

It was all these noises and me sobbing that caused Charlie to come in. Supportive as ever, I just couldn’t explain what I was (or in this case wasn’t feeling) So I snapped out, but instead of a slap across my face It was my own fist that hit the side of my face, it made my ears ring I hit that hard.

Charlie acted instinctively and held my arms above my head, looking horrified. How could I do that to myself? Looking back I can’t imagine doing that to myself. I just cried. I buried my face into him and tried to scream, but I couldn’t. I just screached out hot air. not even making a noise.

I continued until my twitching stopped, and all I could do was cry. I got up and Charlie took me to the sofa, I played a mine numbing game on his phone until i felt my heart rate coming down.

This was the worst episode I think I have had. I wasn’t sick or felt sick, I wanted to hurt myself.

Would you call it hurting yourself? I was trying to feel again, trying to get through this invisible blanket surrounding me, stopping me from having any of my senses.

It freaked me out, and since I am off on holiday next week I am even more freaked out it will happen there, which when you suffer with anxiety disorders, the worst thing that can happen is being anxious about being anxious. I just have to stick it out. I want to come off the tablets, and I am getting better, I honestly don’t know what happened.

All I know is that I hope it doesn’t happen again.

Today: The Early Demise?

1 Aug

So on my usual troll of the BBC News website, I found myself come across an expectedly dramatic title:

Mild Mental Illness ‘Death risk‘”

Now, as I suffer from Panic disorder, something which I have spoken about before – think depression, but more intense spouts of panic and anxiety instead, for no reason – and something I think I will continue to speak openly on this blog about.

This did infact send me into one of those sinking feelings, and reading through I was skeptical. Are the percentages in context? Is this from a reputable source?

Dr Tom Russ said: “The fact that an increased risk of mortality was evident, even at low levels of psychological distress, should prompt research into whether treatment of these very common, minor symptoms can modify this increased risk of death.”

I did a huge google search of a Dr Tom Rush  and have discovered he is who he says he is in the video clip so I would say the source is confirmed, however since I don’t subscribe to the British Medical Journal, I can’t check the paper for more detail.

Should I be worried? Well, considering the risk of a premature death is increased by 16% – 67% (lowest level of stress to highest) I would put myself at 25% more likely, as I only have attacks when I’m off my tablets, and I don’t care what the doctor says, Charlie can tell, and I can feel it when I have forgotten my Citalopram, I become more snappy and stressed.

But being 25% closer to death when the age we are living to is an ever increasing number isn’t that scary. I’d be quite happy to make it to 80.

This does start to make me question whether I should come off my Citalopram, since I had my first prescription I have since halved my dosage (over 4 years), and the doctor now thinks I should come off it. But if I come off it and become more stressed and anxious, then wouldn’t that just be an increase on the risk of my early demise?

If the BBC article is to be taken literally, then the work I have done to bring my life back to normality and to work my way off the tablets and learn to cope with the increased stress and anxiety will not be worth it. I don’t want an increased level in stress or anxiety, it can totally ruin you. Nights out? You can get wound up by just being in the room with lots of people. Have guests coming round? Just the thought of entertaining and everything having to be perfect can send you over the edge, especially when it doesn’t all go to plan (eg under-cooked veg can upset you). Taking exams? – Forget the 2:1 you promised yourself, the inner battle you have to face to just to calm your brain down to retain the information is hard enough, a battle I wish I hadn’t tried to fight alone.

Not talking about it is one of the bigger battles. Everyone wonders what’s wrong, and all they can see is you struggling, and after a while it’s all they expect of you. I wish I had told Uni about it because then I could have got more help. Even though at the time I thought I was getting the best care from my GP (the best GP I have ever had!).

Thankfully I have Charlie now, he thinks I should try and come off the tablets, One day on Two days off then less.

I’m still not sure if I should be putting myself through this stress, especially as I snap at the smallest thing and then get even more anxious and unnecessarily stressed at the thought that I am driving him away. I’m kind of stuck as to where to go now, follow my GPs instructions? Or follow my body rejecting withdrawal and the drive to my early demise and just keep on the tablets, which seem to be keeping my sanity and emotions in check..