Coming off my meds

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  • Yesterday I bit the bullet, phone my doctor and told him I wanted to come off my meds. I have to do it gradually over a few months.

    I am on quite high doses of Amytriptyline and Citalopram. The amytriptyline is an anti-depressant but I take it to help with the pain caused by my fibromyalgia and to help me sleep. The citalopram is an antidepressant.

    I will never be completely free from them, in the winter my SAD is so bad that I could not survive without meds but I want to manage the summers without.

    The main reason I want to stop taking them is that I feel numb (mentally), I don't cry and sometimes I feel that I need to. The meds take away the highs and lows that life brings. I feel like I am living in a bubble.

    I'm terrified!! Its going to be a challenge and a half, I have depended on medication for so long, I am scared that I won't cope without it but this is something I have to do. I barely sleep as it is so my doc agreed that a bedtime spliff will help me get through that, I'm cutting down my smoking to just that.

    Has anyone else have any experiences of coming off medication like this?

    wish me luck :)

  • Yep. It was the worst experience of my life, and I sincerely wish you all the luck in the world. I couldn't function for months afterwards, but god, I'm so glad I did come off them. I know exactly what you mean about feeling numb. I didn't realise how much they changed me until I'd got them out of my system and all of the emotions that I should have felt whilst I was on them hit me in one go. I was crying for such a long time...
    But, be strong, make sure you've got company, and don't plan on doing anything for at least six weeks. That said, I was very sensitive to the pills so you might not feel quite as bad as I did.
    Seriously, as you come off them, try to remember that it's NOT going to last and when it's over you will be SOOOOOOoooooooo glad that you got off them.

  • thanks Shibs :)

    Kristen, Its nice to hear that you are glad to be off them and that its worth it in the end. I will keep telling myself that!! Thank you for sharing your experience, its nice to know other people have got through it :)

    Tonight is my first night on reduced meds so I don't expect I will be sleeping much!

  • As long as its a slow steady reduction you will be fine .:D Do the usual things for sleep, warm baths, milky drink at bedtime, no caffine for several hours before bed. And lots of treats for yourself. Make sure you do one nice thing every day even if its just a five minute feet up with a fave song on or a choc break. Or any other form of relaxation that you enjoy:p :whistle: Good luck with it.

  • I'd actually suggest no caffine at all if you can help it. It can cause depression itself, and obviously won't help with sleeping. If you can do some form of cariovascular excercise during the day, that will help too, both with sleeping and keeping spirits up.
    Coming down slowly didn't work for me though. I tried it several times, but it was unbearable, almost as bad as cold turkey but a lot more drawn out.
    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Let us know how is goes.

  • i hope it all goes ok for you. It is tough but to be honest being med free may help you in the long run. Just make sure you do things that make you happy and surround yourself by people that make you feel good. It worked for me :)

  • Yes ,I quit taking medication for exactly the same reason... mental numbness, in fact I just stopped taking the pills and told the doctor that he wasn't going to see me again . Who knows if that was the wrong thing to do but iI hadnt got a clue why I had to take the darn things in the first place
    Good luck to you and I hope your decision helps your recovery.

  • thanks guys :hug:

    I hardly ever consume caffiene anyway so that shouldn't be a problem :)

    My parents get back from their travels today and I am quite glad that I will have my mum at the end of a phone again to talk to again, I'm going to need her!

  • :hug: May the time pass quickly and the bad times be few for you hun :hug:

    Getting off meds you have been on for a long time is never easy. Not only do you have the actual side effects the drug causes when you come of them but its the letting go of the crutch they have given you for so long too. It's a very liberating feeling when you do make it.

    I have every faith in you that you can do it gorgeous lady :) If you need an ear Jon and I are here to listen.

  • thank you :) :hug:

    Normally when the going gets tough I tend to hide away from everyone and keep all my worries in my own head which turns into a giant mess. I am really going to try and not let that happen....this place should help :)

  • thank you

    I have had about two hours of very broken sleep which wasn't much fun. The gas men were knocking on the door at 8am and have turned the gas off so I can't have a bath or cook myself something to eat all day :mad:

    I just want to go back to bed but I know that wouldn't be a good idea, I need to keep sleeping to night time or it will be even more difficult to get to sleep. agh

    trying to stay positive though :)

  • Hey hun :hug:
    I went through this a cpl of years ago and it was one of the hardest challenges i've faced so far.But definatly one of the most rewarding and life changing.:D (theres no way i would be having Trev if i were still on my hefty meds)

    There will be bad days where every little thing irritates you n the world seems to be against you but there'll also be days that fly by n your'll hardly even remember that your'e suppossed to be feeling shite.
    Honest :D

    Good fresh food,lots of fresh air n excersise and listen when your brain n body are telling you ya need quiet time,loving,excersise,relaxation ect.Don't forget to take plenty of "look after you " time :)

    You've done the hardest bit already n that was making the decision that you want to come off them.
    Good luck hun,you've got us all behind you if you need somone to lean on.

    N i reckon your Summer will be a much brighter one with your new found strength n determination .

    Go Girl :thumbup:

    Just think -FEILD ,that'll keep you positive

  • I came off sleeping pills and antidepressants which i was taking for many reasons i wont go into, at the same time for the second time about 2 months ago, was one of the hardest things ive ever done, except for the first time i did it which was back in March last year for the same reasons as you describe i wanted to be able to manage my summer without them then came back on them last October. Its tough but if your determined enough then youll get through it, have your friends around you and things that make you happy, its a slow process are you planning to ditch them all at once or have some type of weaning programme in place ?

    Good luck and my thoughts are with you Jo x

  • Yeah ive been on both of those at different times in my life, amitriptyline is fairly nasty stuff, I ended up taking an overdose of it and ending up in hospital for 2 days,it can completely fuck with your heart, to quote Withnail & I it was beating like a fucked clock. But anyway thats when I stopped taking any prescribed medication, obviously you would be advised to gradually reduce your dose, I have every sympathy, good luck with it x

  • Stay strong Beth, all will be well! You seem to have the determination to keep get through this and I believe you will! And as Stu says


    If there's anything you need, remember me n the wench are local-ish, so just give us a shout.

    but I think you should try phoning incase we can't hear you.......:whistle:

  • Thank you for the support everyone, its great to have.
    When I came off seroxat (such an evil drug!) 6 years ago, I did it alone and that was horrible. I have lots of help and support around me this time, hopefully it will help.

    I didn't really sleep last night and my teeth are chattering this morning despite not being cold
    I need sleeeeeeeep!

  • I had to come off some serious meds last year, I was on morphine and valium for 18 months because of problems with my back, i know its not the same as your meds, however, I managed it eventually, I was neurotic about becoming addicted to it, and coming off it had to be done gradually, each time i reduced the dosage i felt crap, like a bad dose of flu, so I did the only thing I could do - smoked myself into a stupor and as soon as it wore off rolled another fat one!!

    I have to say, the sense of achievement once I was off the morphine was bloody brilliant....... i still take the odd valium (hopefully have that well and truly under control) for the muscle spasms and sciatica i still get since having the ops on my spine.....

    Good luck with coming off all your meds, treat yourself to a good old massage or an aromatherapy treatment......

    lavender oil is great for relaxing is a very very large baileys with a big splif :insane:

  • do you think a warm soya milky drink has the same sleep effect???

    I feel ok, yesterday I was a bit down and I still haven't slept.

    A few people have commented that I seem angry but I don't feel angry at all....Its really wierd. They keep telling me to calm down when I really do feel calm.
    I remember this from before with the seroxat, getting paranoid that people are just trying to convince me that I am a bad person because they all hate me when in reality I probably am coming across as angry I just don't feel it myself

    AGHHH! My reality is completely fucked right now, I don't like it!

    oh and I have the shakes too

  • good point!
    my friends are pretty crap when it comes to serious stuff, none of them have ever been depressed or on any meds so they don't really understand what I am going through....although they could try harder!!

    I've just been out and bought lots of scrummy looking food. I've lost weight already this week, I don't want to loose any more