Citalopram days 11-13

The side effects seem to have settled down entirely now. My sleep is normal and the dreams have gone. Tiredness is hard to guage as we curently have a heatwave and I’ve been doing a lot of running, i.e. yes I’m tired but that’s expected. Nausea has disappeared and the not-quite-dry mouth isn’t something I’ve noticed recently.

Am I starting to feel better? I have no idea at the moment.

I’m still having trouble switching off from non-immediate worries. My mind is currently fixating on the fact that I have decided I ‘should’ initiate a promotion/salary negotiaton with my boss in a few weeks, which is stressful. But I have holiday before then so it’s still at least three weeks away. I don’t need to think about that right now. And yet, I am. I ended up drafting an email yesterday just to try to get it out of my head, which helped.

I’m guessing that the main way I’ll understand whether or not I’m feeling better is that I’ll look through these old blog posts and think “hmm, that doesn’t really bother me anymore”.


Parkrun today was pretty great. I was 4 seconds off my personal best, which I’m very pleased with as my actual performance seems to have been drifting further and further away from my PB over the past couple of months. The mythical sub-20 was starting to look like a pipe dream, but maybe not anymore.

I was a bit worried that the anti-depressants would negatively impact my running performance, but it doesn’t seem so.

A combination of that and the heat wiped me out for the rest of the day though.


Health and things

Citalopram days 7-10: I think it’s day 10 anyway. I’ve lost count. Nothing to report, really. I had some more nausea when I went up to 20mg but nothing much. I have felt pretty tired at times; mid-afternoon at my desk is a bit of a struggle some days. If it doesn’t wear off I might try taking it in the evening instead of morning.

Other health: I have been prescribed iron tablets again because my iron levels have dropped a lot and are approaching anaemia since I finished the previous course. But maybe that’s why I’m getting tired?

Having to take two sets of pills is not making my stomach happy though.

Mentally I’m feeling a bit lighter on average, which is promising as it’s still a few weeks before we really expect full effectiveness from the antidepressants. This morning at work there were things happening that would usually have bothered me, but they just washed over me. This afternoon wasn’t so easy though; I felt angsty and frustrated and went home feeling drained.

Things should get a bit easier now anyway because Becky is on holiday next week and then I have two weeks off. I have had a hard time switching off from the weird rudeness I get from her, which increases my anxiety a lot because I end up anticipating it and feeling that I have to be prepared for it so I don’t overreact. In reality, I don’t know why I even feel that way. I’m not a reactive person. She’s rude to me and I just ignore it at the time. It reflects badly on her, not on me. It upsets me later, but at the time, it just happens and the moment passes. Sometimes afterwards I feel like marching up to her desk and confronting her, but it’s not like I’d do that.

My counsellor told me I was feeling guilty about things I haven’t done (i.e. my fear of reacting), and she’s right. She came up with an interesting idea that I should reward myself whenever Becky is rude to me so that I stop dreading it. I think it might help reframe it. I’ve started carrying around some Fruit Pastilles in my bag, which are as yet unopened.

Citalopram day 6

I went up to 20mg today as intended.

I had a little bit more nausea again, but nothing too bad. I felt very jittery at work and not at all relaxed, but who knows whether this is the medicine or just how I feel anyway. I felt drained by the time I left work.

I am a bit concerned though, because I’ve noticed my heart rate has dropped by about 5-10bpm since I started taking it. This morning at work it was dipping into the low 40s when I was sat at my desk. I run a lot so a low heart rate is to be expected, but seeing it go below 50 while I’m awake is unusual for me. Seeing it go down to 42 while I’m at work and not very relaxed is very much into “hmm” territory. I am going to mention this to the doctor on Wednesday.

Citalopram days 4-5

I’ve slept! 10 hours on Friday and 9 hours on Saturday. I needed that.

The nausea has definitely settled.

I still feel kind of angsty. Agitated and impatient sometimes. It’s an anxiety symptom, I guess. Maybe this is what it means by making anxiety worse before it gets better – it’s not that I have worse anxiety attacks, it’s just that I feel frustrated. I can live with that.

I have been half-dosing so far to try to minimise side effects. Assuming all is OK tomorrow morning* I intend to go up to the full dose.

*I’m still nervous about the increased risk of stomach bleeding with my running. It was OK yesterday with a 1h run but today was 1h30, so we’ll see…

Citalopram days 2 and 3

Sleep: I’m not sleeping well, but I wasn’t before either, which was one of the reasons I chose to start taking it. I am having dreams though. I had a nightmare yesterday morning (about Becky!) which had me waking up feeling sick and dreading going to work, and this morning I had one involving a cockroach… I very rarely have/remember dreams, so this is unusual.

Nausea: Seems to have subsided. It was noticable on day 2, but less so on day 3.

GI: Hmm yes. There are GI effects. I’m getting a lot more discomfort (gas) at the moment. I hope this settles.

Mental: Hard to assess really. I feel… I don’t know. I was quite content yesterday afternoon at work, but today I worked from home and I felt angsty and frustrated. I think for the moment any mood changes can be attributed to lack of sleep.

Citalopram day 1

I had trouble getting to sleep last night and then I woke up super early and couldn’t go back to sleep, all because I was stressed and dreading going to work – is she going to be rude to me today? will I be able to handle it? After getting up I very impulsively decided to restart the Citalopram because something’s got to give at some point.

The doctor I saw last week advised me to try half-dosing to 10mg for a week or so, as I was concerned about side effects, so I did that.

lavenderandlevity (whose blog is incredible) convinced me yesterday that unless I actually give the tablets a fair chance, I’ll always be wondering if I should be taking them. Even if I quit my job tomorrow and removed all my immediate stress, I’d still need to get through a job-search at some point and I’m not entirely convinced I would actually do that at the moment, versus just… not bothering.

So, I took it this morning, and I have felt…

Physically, pretty rough: I am tired (hardly surprising given I haven’t slept much), nauseous (this is definitely the tablet) and my tongue feels weird. I think my appetite is a bit suppressed by the nausea. Hopefully this will pass in a few days.

Mentally though I’ve felt quite calm today. But this may just be the effects of the resolution to the meds or no meds argument that’s been going around my head continually.


I need to promise myself something here. If these help and I start feeling calmer, I need to not use them to mask the fact work is a toxic workplace. I need to use them to instead give me the confidence to get into a non-toxic workplace so I can come off them ASAP.

I also need to be very careful about stomach bleeding, which SSRIs can exacerbate. I have always linked my occasional bleeds to running, so for the next week or so, I need to ‘stress test’ myself here, because if they are going to cause more bleeding, I need to know about it before my body starts to build a dependency on them. I did 11k this evening at a hard-ish pace (uanffected by the nausea, apparently), but the real test will be when I do 16-17k over the weekend.

Health bits

I got more of my blood test results back today. My iron levels are borderline anaemic, and they’ve dropped a lot since January. I think I need to be on iron tablets again.

I wonder if this has affected how I’m feeling mentally. When my iron levels were low last year I ended up having a breakdown. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I also don’t feel I’ve ever really recovered from it. I don’t want to repeat that, so I will be back at my GP the first appointment I can get.

Work was tough today. I didn’t work hard at all and spent probably two hours in the kitchen chatting to people today, which should have made it an enjoyable day… but… the reason I did that was because I was struggling. I was in the kitchen alone early in the morning when Becky came in. She got part way through the door, saw I was in there, then made a huffing noise and turned around and walked out again. We always have to have the amateur dramatics with her. She always seems to want me to notice her. I know it reflects badly on her and not at all on me, but it upsets me. I was feeling unsettled anyway and this just pushed me over.

I don’t even know why she’s taken offense to me again; I haven’t spoken to her for months. I think that might be the problem. I think she wants a better relationship but doesn’t know how to achieve it, so she gets frustrated and goes out of her way to make me notice her being rude to me in the hope that I’ll do something differently and then via some magical process which requires no change or effort or communication on her part everything improves. Or maybe I’m just projecting because I thought about doing that too, but then I remembered I’m not 5 years old and it would look a lot like bullying.

But I’m not playing stupid games, so here we are.

I wish I’d seen my counsellor this week.


The other problem with work, apart from the social side of it, is the overwhelming feeling that I’m wasting my time here. I’ve been here 7 years and I haven’t progressed in any measurable way. It’s hardly surprising that I don’t feel respected by certain coworkers when my employer obviously doesn’t respect me either. Nobody else in the 7 years has been promoted, so it’s not me personally, but it’s still a problem.

The whole situation adds up to say that the company doesn’t value me, and it’s bad for my self esteem to continue working for a company that doesn’t value me – because, what does that say about me?

I was talking about this to my mum. She was horrified when I said I’d started taking anti-depressants, and, in fact, her extremely negative attitude towards them was one of the things that put me off taking them initially, because I didn’t want to deal with her disapproval (note: I know this is a bad reason).

I think she’s starting to ‘get’ it all a bit more. I told her this weekend that the most recent doctor said we were probably focusing on the wrong thing by looking at my diet for reasons as to my weight loss. I have been tracking my weight quite closely since June and I’ve lost 0.4kg since then. Mum was a lot less negative about anti-depressants this time when I mentioned the doctor again suggested I take them – she said “how do you feel about that?”, and she also said that if my job was causing me physical health problems then that’s not good and she’d support me quitting. Which is good, because, like I said, I don’t want to have to deal with her disapproval.

I feel like I’ve gone around in a circle and I’m still in the same position of “do I quit, or do I try anti-depressants?”. The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. I am hoping that if I started anti-depressants, they’d give me the strength and motivation to get a better job. At the moment, that just feels difficult. It takes me all of my work related energy to be at work. I don’t want to come home and then start stressing about applications and interviews.

But I also see a possible alternative route in that at some point soon I will have an opportunity to voice career progression related discontent to my boss. The project I’m on is almost finished and some time in the next month or so there really should be a discussion about what I’ll be allocated to next. This gives me a natural opportunity to point to my achievements over the past 18 months or so and express surprise and/or disappointment that I haven’t been recognised for them and officially given a more senior role. It might go nowhere, but that’s good in itself because it makes things clear. At the moment I feel I’m probably wasting my time at this company, and this discussion will remove the uncertainty. The timing is bad because the company’s finances don’t seem to be doing too well, but equally, I bring in a lot more money than I cost the company, so they’ll be doing even worse if I leave.

It’s worth pursuing that a bit just because it would piss Becky off if I got promoted.


The GP yesterday got me thinking again.

The rough summary is that she felt very emphatically I should be on anti-depressants. I’ve had 3 GPs tell me this now. This one had my recent psychiatric test results in front of me and seemed concerned I had scored pretty highly for some things and that without treatment I might get worse.

She related this to my weight, as I mentioned yesterday, saying that, yes, I can go and see a dietitian, but the chances are that my diet is fine and it’s my anxiety issues preventing me from putting on weight, so we’re focusing on the wrong thing.

So we’re back to square one, really. I don’t want to be on anti-depressants, but my optimism since May that things will improve substantially has not been rewarded.

Phrasing it in the way she did, that “we’re looking at the wrong thing”, with the weight put a certain amount of gravity on it for me. Another way of framing this is that my job – because that’s where the anxiety is being triggered – is interfering with my physical health.

My job is a complex thing. I’ve spent a lot of time here writing about how much the social side of it upsets me, but that’s only a part of it. The whole package is… unrewarding at best. I think I’d be able to deal with work a lot better if I felt it gave me something beyond a number in my bank account.