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Re: Celexa after 6mos. off Zoloft

Posted by Kelley on June 26, 1999, at 15:10:54

In reply to Re: Celexa after 6mos. off Zoloft, posted by Tom on May 27, 1999, at 21:34:25

> I am struck by the variety of responses and side effects of these medications. I went on zoloft five years ago and after a few months stabilized at 37.5 mg/day. It really helped me first with a depressing time in my life (major business project failure). I definitely began to feel better although the detached sense of unreality that may of us are familiar with was there. I had some anxiety with it but that passed after a few months. Tried to stop a couple of times and after a few days would get this anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach over something, and think "Oh, hello. I can do without THIS feeling, thank you. I'll stick with the zoloft." So you might say I went on for the anti-depressant effect and stayed on for the anxiety reduction--a sort of armoring from the vicissitudes of day to day emotional life. In four years, I note in retrospect, such armoring also allowed my natural defenses to atrophy. During that time I got into a great relationship, got married to a wonderful woman, and was happy, although increasingly bothered by missing the "top 10" (but not the "bottom 20%") that zoloft seemed to "clip" off of experience. I went to an Indian music concert and felt almost nothing (odd for me). On my first wedding anniversary I stopped zoloft. I felt fine at first, was a little more uptight at times, but basically OK until I ran up against a serious personality/territorial conflict with a neighbor and former (and perhaps future) friend. It flipped me back into serious depression and extreme anxiety. I tried going back on zoloft (I had stopped without consulting my shrink, which I DO NOT recommend) but couldn't deal with the anxiety it caused this time. Go figure. SO I switched to celexa in January, worked my way up to 30 mg by March. I have one serious side-effect which is different from most I have seen here: great anxiety and insomnia. Too much energy and often nowhere to go with it! I take 1 to 2.5 xanax a day (.25 mg) and benadryl and ambien on alternate nights to sleep. When I tried to go back on the zoloft I didn't try tranquilizers to offset it, and I'm considering switching back to Z. As I say, I went on originally for depression--which is real--but stayed on for the "armoring." I feel more with celexa, don't get that "clipping," which is important to me as I am an architect and paid to feel and interpret, in effect. Yet the side effects of celexa are for me--the anxiety--not receding, perhaps actually increasing, as is the (albeit small) dose of xanax I need creeping up. Weight gain--other than gaining back what I lost when I didn't have any appetite while depressed--hasn't been a problem, nor libido. But feeling like I'm in a horror movie and the monster is perpetually about to jump out from behind the door isn't fun. The xanax dumbs me down a bit, but generally is a relief. The yawning--YES--that does happen to me, although I usually chalk it up to not breathing. I guess Id say in conclusion that I've always been a nervous, perhaps fearful person, and zoloft helped me to get to where that wasn't an issue. I was more assertive without being obnoxious, more confident, and, frankly, emotionally stable enough to commit to a marriage. On celexa thus far (do have a lot of gas and--uncharacteristically for me--stomach unease) I feel a lot of the old anxiety,. I am considering going back to zoloft. Anyone out there have any experiences similar to mine, thoughts on this long posting, etc? They would be most appreciated.

I was on Zoloft for about 6 months for both severe depression and anxiety. It took effect in literally 2 days and I immediately experienced a 'lifting" of the depression, without anxiety. After being on it for about 4 months, I had increased anxiety/jittery and a little of the sexual dysfunction-- but no depression. Also, seemed to address and stabilize my moods. In some ways, I think it diluted my emotions, which may have not been healthy, but necessary at that time in my life. (As you know, some say depression is anger turned inward..) But Zoloft did lift the paralytic effects of the depression so that I could manage my life at that time (I was in medical school.) As one of my other responses indicates, I was recently prescribed (but am not yet taking) the Celexa (10 mg/day) to reduce my anxiety because apparently at the medium doses, it is supposed to address depression and at high doses-- for Obsessive/Compulsive Disorders. In addition to the Celexa, my doc also prescribed Klonopin, a long half-life benzo with mild muscle relaxant. It (klonopin) is wonderful. Addresses the anxiety-- but then again, i don't have the depression this time around. I am considering sticking with the Klonopin without starting the Celexa. I am still a big proponent of Zoloft for depression after reading a lot of these side-effects of Celexa. I am a researcher/technical writer-- so I can't afford the forgetfulness and "addled" feeling from the Celexa. I don't think I could deal with that professionally or personally. Also, the sleepiness probs. I am reading about would interfere with my lifestyle-- (I work full-time and am mother to a walking 9-month old son). I don't have that much time to sleep to begin with. I hope my comments help..
Good luck and let me know of your experience with Celexa..


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poster:Kelley thread:3323
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/19990601/msgs/7885.html