I went up to the full citalopram dose a few weeks or maybe a month ago when I was anticipating interview stress. I’m prescribed 20mg but since I restarted it I stuck to 10 until recently.
I don’t know if I really feel any difference between 10 and 20 in terms of mental health, but it something I really do notice is how tired it makes me. On 10 I don’t really notice it at all, but on 20 I feel like I could go to bed any time after about 7pm.
Over the weekend I had a think about what my goals really are. I decided that I’m fairly comfortable at work right now and I don’t need to move until something changes. When work wants me back in the office I’ll try to negotiate permanent work from home a few days a week and take it from there. But until then I don’t really need to stress myself.
So I decided to drop it back down to 10mg again. I’ve done 15 for the past few days and in a few more days I’ll go to 10. I felt quite irritable and impatient yesterday but better today. Ironically feeling impatient made me want to start job seeking again, but I think that’s just the withdrawal talking.
Today was a depressing day with work.
I finished a big chunk of work yesterday and merged the new changes into my code. The new changes broke my local version – nothing to do with what I’d done, they were just buggy and I had a lot more test data in my database. Working around this pretty much killed my productivity (and will to live) yesterday, but by the end of the day I was satisfied my changes were compatible so I checked them in and logged off.
The build/tests take about an hour to run so I logged on this morning to see the results, and… disaster, the tests were failing. Anyway the short version is that I spent all day trying to fix and work around other people’s problems. At about 4:45 I realised that there was one issue left and this one really was my fault, but as I’d been working since 8:00 I decided to leave it until tomorrow and went out for a walk. Unfortunately I left my emails open and when I came back I saw that another developer had checked in code to fix my bug with the comment “fix this insanity”. If I was in a different state of mind I might have found that offensive, but his choice of words says more about him than me. And I thought it was a bit rich as I’d have had this solved by 8:30 if I hadn’t had to work around all the problems he’d caused.
So anyway, I thought to myself “hmm”. I don’t feel very motivated at the moment and I don’t think the problem is me. When things like this happen I’m acutely aware that I’ve been here for well over a year and haven’t had a pay review. That’s not very good. This is the first time in my life I’ve worked more than 12 months without a pay adjustment.
So tonight I went on totaljobs and sent off my CV to two places.
Over the weekend I was feeling a bit stressed and guilty by the fact I wasn’t really making any progress with this job search. I had an interview in November and then basically did nothing again until very recently. If I still saw my counsellor I’d have probably gone there and admitted to her at some point recently that the prospect seems daunting and I’ve been avoiding it on purpose, on some level, and that’s just me and my anxiety.
So after much thought I decided to bump myself up to a three quarter dose of Citalopram. I’d always intended to go up to the full dose after Christmas to deal with job seeking stress and interviews.
Today was an exciting day as it’s the first time since I started back on Citalopram that I’ve had to request more of it. Anyway I just pressed the button to request the next issue and it seems to have accepted it. I wondered if they’d have put it on review since I stopped and started again, or if the fact it’s been so long since the last issue (about 9 months as I’ve not been taking the full dose) would flag it for review, but apparently not. So that’s nice. I just need to go and get it now.
I’ve had a few texts lately from someone I used to work with at my previous job. He was actually a foreign student (France) who came to the UK to do an internship at my old job. Don’t ask me why but it seemed to be quite popular for European students to come to the UK and work for peanuts for 3, 6, or maybe even 12 months and my ex-boss was happy to
take advantage of them employ them for next to nothing and give them no real guidance or oversight but still expect them to produce professional standard work. I ended up sort of looking after some of them.
He texted me that he was back in the UK, which was a bit surprising to me because, well, you know we have a lockdown don’t you? Then this morning he posted a bike ride on Strava that lead to the office. So as we were texting anyway I had to inquire – are you in the office… is anyone else in the office?
That was kind of a stupid thing for me to ask because the answer came back “well a few of us are, it’s me, X and Y”, where Y happens to be a name I never wanted to see ever again. I left that place for a whole bunch of reasons, but Y was the main one. If it wasn’t for Y I’d probably still be there. I didn’t like reading that text. As soon as I read it a very vivid image of the office with Y sat in there popped into my head and I felt sick. It’s been a year and three months and it still has that effect on me. And that’s with citalopram.
Though there is a positive outcome because for some reason it prompted me to reply to a couple of recruiters I’d put in the “possibly” section, which I’d been procrastinating on.
I think the Citalopram is starting to work already. I decided to stay on 10mg rather than go up to 20 again. I think when I came off it I should have reduced from 20 to 10 and stayed there for a few months before going further, so that’s kind of what I’m doing now. I can always bump it back up if need be, but I think I’ll be OK with 10.
Today my boss annoyed me a bit. The chunk of work I’m working on at the moment is progressing haphazardly because he’s not communicating requirements clearly and I’m finding it frustrating going around in circles. If I ever end up responsible for hiring people I’ll have some kind of written test during the interview just to check they can express themselves clearly in writing.
But despite finding it frustrating, it didn’t bother me too much personally. It motivated me to reply to a recruiter email, which suddenly feels a lot more interesting again, and less overwhelming. That’s a good sign. I read somewhere today that vacancies are picking up again and are currently the highest they’ve been since March. I think it’s time to start being a bit more active.
Today was the first day of the full citalopram dose again. I started myself off on 10mg and today went up to 20, just to make it a bit more gradual. Oh my stomach really hates me today. Hopefully that will settle down tomorrow. I do think I feel a bit more relaxed though. I’m not sure if that’s placebo or optimism or what, but it’s there.
Today was another day spent with me expecting my boss to call me all morning, but he didn’t. This happened a few weeks ago, and it turned out he was on holiday. Apparently he didn’t consider it important to tell me this. I’m guessing it’s the same today…
I have to say that the way the US election turned out yesterday was one of the funniest things I’ve heard. Donald Trump’s lawyer gave a press conference in the car park of a small garden landscaping centre called Four Seasons Landscaping, seemingly because the only explanation that makes sense is somebody got it mixed up with the luxury Four Seasons Hotel and they had to go with it. There is much political parody and satire, but I don’t think the writers of any of them would ever have dreamt up this. I’m impressed by Rudy Giuliani. I don’t think I would be if I was American, but being sufficiently separated from the situation, I can admire his professionalism and enthusiasm while advancing completely unconvincing arguments that lesser men would find distasteful. He’s a great PR man. Not sure I’d want him as a lawyer though.
I spoke to my GP on Friday and they said it was fine for me to restart Citalopram using the tablets I already have. Then I felt better on Friday and thought “maybe not then”. Then in the middle of a run on Saturday my mind just made the decision to start them again.
I think that I feel a lot of stress with working from home and also thinking about my next job and when is the correct time to start moving on to that. I feel stress with my current job because I don’t perceive that the project I’m on is being managed as well as it could be, and the requirements aren’t very well thought through. I guess that’s normal, but I feel that work gets dumped on me without really being thought through. In my previous job I was more involved with discussion around requirements and their implications. Ironically, I had a more senior level of responsibility in my previous job, though a much less senior level of salary. I think with working from home (well, let’s note here that it’s not WFH, it’s poor communication from the company) I feel more disconnected from what’s actually going on, but not disconnected from the responsibility to continue to deliver results.
So I am back on them, as of yesterday morning. Yesterday evening I had some nausea but nothing too bad. Today I’ve felt absolutely terrible because I’ve suddenly had terrible allergies? I took the tablet about 10AM and from about 12-4PM I felt like I had a heavy cold, but it seems to have settled now. It’s probably a coincidence, I’ve been having minor trouble with allergies for a few weeks.
Anyway, I feel a bit more settled for making that decision.
I also tried to contact a physio last week but I got no response so I’m not sure if they’re actually open at the moment 🤔
Today has been yet another dreadful day and I’ve been considering starting back on Citalopram. Since I stopped it about three months ago this is the first day I’ve really actually seriously thought about it. I don’t know what the protocol is for this though. I still have quite a few weeks’ worth of it. Can I just start taking it again or am I supposed to talk to a doctor? As far as they know, I never came off it and I guess my prescription is still active (though I don’t know how many reissues I get).
Anyway I probably won’t start imminently because tomorrow is a new day and I’ll probably feel better, but I think I need to start tracking my moods seriously. Sometimes it feels like I have a lot of bad days, but I don’t really know.
I haven’t written for a while about how I’ve been finding not being on antidepressants any more. My sleep has improved a lot again and I’m glad about that. I think my mood has as well, but not entirely. Today I felt depressed and anxious and I don’t really know why. I just didn’t used to get days like this when I was on Citalopram. On days like today I really miss the calming effect it had on me, even if I didn’t really realise it at the time. I feel better than when I last wrote about it though.
In other news…
My sister got a new job! Well, an offer. She has been looking for a few months. She got a £500 pay rise after being at her current employer for 18 months, which seemed a bit offensive, but her new job is an £8k pay rise. Overall her employer seems pretty terrible. It didn’t get off to a good start when she went to a second interview there and the interviewer/HR woman didn’t turn up (my previous HR manager also scheduled a meeting with me then didn’t turn up! Seems to be a common theme. Uh oh I’m getting stressed about my previous job now).
The new job is at a prestigious firm and will look good on her CV.
It makes me think about my career goals. I am starting to get recruitment spam again now, and I’m getting emails every so often for jobs I’m qualified for, advertising salaries of £55k, £60k. That’s quite a big jump from what I’m on now. I don’t really care about money per se, at least not in the sense that I have an expensive lifestyle (I really don’t), but it’s a safety net for the future. It gives me options. So I do care about it, it’s just more of an abstract concept. I still have the crazy idea that one day I might start my own business (well, I’ll probably need to be back on Citalopram for that) and having as much money as possible before doing that sounds like a good idea.
My employer has still not said anything about my six month pay review (now 4 months overdue), so I think my plans are that I’ll wait until November, when I’ll have been here a year, and then I’ll recreate my (deleted) LinkedIn profile, set the option to signal I’m open, and see what turns up.
So! It has been about a week and a half since my last Citalopram tablet and the withdrawal effects all seem to have gone away.
I feel the same but different. I was hoping to get rid of the dreams, but they still seem to be here. I feel generally more argumentative but that’s fine. Will I be as easy going with work? I’m not sure; I think I might have to pay more attention to how I’m feeling and try to nip anxious thoughts in the bud. But that’s OK.
The only other thing is sleep. I’m not finding it as easy to fall asleep at night. It used to be rare for me to still be awake by 10PM, but since I stopped taking the tablets I’ve been going to bed at the same time but I’ll still be awake by 10:30.
The only other other thing is my weight. In the almost a year I spent on Citalopram I gained about 5kg. This isn’t as much as it sounds, because I was pretty underweight to start with, and even with those extra kilograms my BMI is sitting just under 21. I am curious to see if I lose any of that, as SSRIS can cause weight gain. But what else can cause weight gain is eating a lot of chocolate buttons and croissants 🤔
Today has been weird. My stomach has been ok, but my head has felt very… Thick? I feel like I have bad allergies, but without all the sneezing.
I took no dose on Saturday, 5mg on Sunday then no dose again today. I’m hoping the dose yesterday will be the last…
Garmin is back (sort of) so I can see my heart rate stats. The 7 day average is 49, whereas the previous 7 days were 44. 🤔