Chaps & Chapettes
Citalopram is an example of an SSRI or, if we want to be scientific, a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. SSRIs are in layman’s terms a hormone stabiliser used for treating depression and anxiety disorders. There are many on the market including Fluoxetine, Sertraline, Paroxetine and of course Citalopram.
Every person reacts to each SSRI differently and has their preferences. I for instance found that Fluoxetine gave me bad hallucinations and some people find that Citalopram has no effect on their mood.
They do all seem to come with side effects which occur when you first start taking them. Some can be serious such as suicidal thoughts or hallucinations but the majority are harmless such as tiredness, dizziness etc. The advice you will get on the side effects varies from doctor to doctor, some say to just bear with the side effects until they pass and some say to come off of the drug if the side effects are too bad. If the drugs are giving you hallucinations or suicidal thoughts then, although I’m no expert, I would say to come off of them as those side effects are scary!
The side effects of Citalopram were pretty mild for me. It made me feel a little light headed for the first few days so I opted to not drive anywhere. Other than that it was fine.
The actual effect of an SSRI once it has settled into your system is quite hard to explain. They certainly aren’t a “happy pill” per say, you will still have your bad days as well as your good days. They seem to help you process things. So if you have five problems rather than panicking about all five the SSRI will slow you down and will allow you just focus on one. It will help you to prioritise what is important and what isn’t too and will help you to stop catastrophising or thinking that everything will be terrible. It sounds strange but until you’ve felt the benefit the drug gives you won’t be able to understand it.
Are they a “cure” for depression? Absolutely not! The most common treatment for depression is half medication and half CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is a talking therapy which will teach you how not to think in negative patterns. Using them both is a fantastic platform to begin your ‘road to recovery’.
All in all I would say that if you have been prescribed Citalopram or any other SSRI just give it a go. If you don’t find the one that you’ve initially been prescribed helped then try another. They aren’t a cure as a traditional medicine is but they are a good tool in the battle against depression.
Thanks for reading