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I Hurt Myself...
Citalopram (Celexa)
Citation:   Rosalie. "I Hurt Myself...: An Experience with Citalopram (Celexa) (exp77405)". May 11, 2016.

40 mg oral Pharms - Citalopram (daily)
A bit of background first: I'd been on Fluoxetine the month before, but ceased it as my doctor and I agreed it wasn't much help anymore with my OCD and depression. I wanted to try something a bit 'stronger.' So we planned for 20 mg of Citalopram to start, then 40 mg once I adjusted.

The first thing I noticed was that the drowsiness one expects to feel with SSRIs was not as pronounced as it had been with the Fluoxetine. I felt pretty steady, actually. It was nice not having to apologise constantly for yawning in public. But after about a month, when I'd been on the 40 mg dose, things deteriorated.

The first thing I noticed was that my OCD was pretty much un-dented by this stuff. If anything, it was worse.
The first thing I noticed was that my OCD was pretty much un-dented by this stuff. If anything, it was worse.
Words getting stuck in my head, looping, triggered by other words until I couldn't hear my own thoughts. Earworms plagued me to the point where I had my headphones in pretty much constantly just to drown out the music in my head. 'Fine,' I thought, 'it's taking its time to work, it's only been a month after all.'

Then the insomnia started. I'd been used to going to sleep at 10, 11 pm, and on the Fluoxetine, sleeping was effortlessly easy. But this stuff...I found it impossible to get to sleep that early. My mind was whirring, I'd stay up late to play online, or more often to read and think 'deep thoughts' and write rants. (I should mention I do a bit of blogging. Someday I'll look up my blog entries from that period for a laugh.) Worry was taking over and before long I was pacing the halls at 2 am, wondering why I couldn't just lay down and sleep.

The other thing I did was hole up in the bathroom to practice self-injury, and obsess over old grievances. This is something that is usually cyclical with me, as in, if I'm terribly stressed or suddenly triggered, I'll have a night or two of it and then leave off it for a while. But this was constant. I'd find myself ditching class mid-session to go to the ladies' room and mutilate. The anxiety was so high in this period that the only relief I got was from causing myself physical pain. This caused a skin infection which took some time to heal.

In the meantime, the insomnia was worsening, but now I had nightmares when I finally did sleep. Psychedelic stuff, like talking rollercoasters, body-swapping and alien abduction...and then there were the pedestrian dreams that lingered for days, like the time I dreamed of an especially vicious argument with my spouse, and woke up heartbroken and angry with him. It took the better part of a day to realise that the argument had never happened, that my emotional response was false. Yet it lingered, as real as an actual memory.

As the nightmares got worse, they made me more afraid to sleep, and so I slept less and less. Finally this took a toll on me and I crashed hard with a respiratory infection. During this sickness I could barely keep track of all the medications I had to take and so somehow I managed to forget the Citalopram for several days. This led to a brief introduction to 'brain shivers.' I remember standing in a grocery store aisle, perfectly still, while the floor tilted and spun under me, and invisible hands tickled the inside of my skull.

Once it had cleared my system, I informed my doctor that I'd had enough of it and we discontinued the Citalopram. NEVER AGAIN.

Exp Year: 2007ExpID: 77405
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: May 11, 2016Views: 6,964
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Pharms - Citalopram (227) : Difficult Experiences (5), Depression (15), Medical Use (47), Not Applicable (38)

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