So I have found that coming off Citalopram is actually much rougher than I expected. Reducing gradually over the last few months has been relatively uneventful, but going from a small dose to no dose has me feeling a bit unwell. Not very unwell. Just mildly unwell.

Well, I could be wrong. It could be unrelated. But my stomach isn’t happy (as if my stomach is ever happy), and my resting heart rate has jumped up quite a lot too. I would tell you the numbers but Garmin is still down so I can just see a badly labelled line graph on my watch. The line is going up. It was about 45, now it’s… 50? 52?

I started running again this weekend after taking a week off for my foot to settle. Yesterday I did 5k and I felt sick when I got back(!!!). 11k this morning which was a bit less horrible but my heart rate went up to 180, which is what I call the “I didn’t know it went that high” heart rate zone. Usually I have to really push to see it go past 160. After maintaining quite a high training load over the past few months and then having a week off I should be flying, but actually I feel like I’m a lot less fit than I was last week. So something is definitely wrong here.

Mentally I have felt all kinds of things. Short tempered, emotional, angry, less tolerant. All of those things. But nothing too intense so it hasn’t really manifested much outwardly other than with me being a bit irritable.


Today is the first day I’ve intentionally not taken any citalopram. I’d got it down to 5mg a day for the past week or so, so I thought I’d try the no dose.

I don’t know if it’s because of that or because I’m not running or going out in general, but this evening I feel really depressed. Hmm. Well I am frustrated about not running but that’s no different than the past few days, and my foot seems to be behaving so I’m still intending to run again at the weekend.

So… I think it’s probably withdrawal. I was hoping though that the 5mg dose was so low as to be insignificant and cutting it down entirely wouldn’t be much different. Maybe not.


I haven’t posted for a while because I haven’t been spending much time lying in bed with my laptop. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not? We’ve been spending evenings doing things instead, like watching Downton Abbey from the start, playing a ridiculous computer game called Overcooked, and trying to protect my poor plants from Very Hungry Caterpillars 😟. Also, with working from home, I suppose I just don’t have quite as much interest in spending my free time at home on my own with a computer.

I’m still reducing my Citalopram but very, very slowly. I went down to 15mg (from 20) by alternating 20 and 15mg doses then kept it on 15 for a while. That seemed OK, so now I’m going down to 10 by alternating 15 and 10mg. It seems to be working because I don’t notice any withdrawal issues apart from occasionally being a bit irritable. I’m not entirely sure how I expect to feel when I’m off them; will I continue feeling how I’ve felt for the past few months, or will anxiety start creeping back? Although I started on them because I was having trouble with life circumstances which have now passed, the truth is that I’ve always had more anxiety than was healthy or desirable, and it’s only been in the later part of my life I’ve really understood that it was a medical issue that was treatable.

Maybe the medication and all the counselling I went through will have reshaped my brain and my thought patterns enough that that’s no longer who I am. I won’t know until I’m off the medication, but it’s possible that in a few months I’ll want to go back on it. We’ll see.

When I was prescribed the last set, the Doctor put it on repeat and I think she said that I’d need to go back for an appointment after two issues. Confusingly, the app has still shown it as being available for me to request, so I have tried it… but it doesn’t tell me when it’s ready. It just says “you can collect it from your pharmacy in 48 hours, your GP will contact you if there’s a problem”. And tomorrow morning it’ll be 48 hours. I’ll probably give it a few more days. I don’t need them for a few weeks anyway, I just wanted to figure out if I need to arrange an appointment or not.

In other medical news, I have something called a fixed retainer on the back of my teeth (a brace, basically), which I’ve had for many years, since I had my actual braces removed. Every few years the glue comes off on one of the teeth and I have to go to the orthodontist, who charges me £40 for the thirty seconds it takes him to glue it back on. He always remembers me though.

JUST MY LUCK that while dental care is severely disrupted due to COVID that my retainer happens to break. It’s not that the glue has come off, it’s that the wire is in two pieces. This has never happened before! I keep catching my tongue on the pointy ends. Then some food gets jammed underneath the end of it, which is very uncomfortable. I phoned them up last week and they said they’d put me on the emergency waiting list… but that’s probably quite a long list when they’ve got patients who are months overdue for brace adjustments. The receptionist advised me to try filing it down with a nail file if it causes me problems. How I’m supposed to get a nail file on something behind my front top teeth I am not quite sure… It’s not really causing problems though, it’s just a bit annoying.


The update on my citalopram situation is that I’m now down to 15mg per day. I was alternating 15 and 20 for a week or so, and as of the past five days I’ve been on 15.

I feel… Mostly the same but definitely more irritable. I don’t feel unhappy at all, just sometimes more easily agitated. I should probably keep it on 15 for a few weeks and see if it settles.


So I have been alternating 20mg and 10mg doses of Citalopram for the past four days, which means I’m now averaging a 15mg dose. I was thinking I’d do that for a week and then go down to 10mg daily. I think I’m being too optimistic though. I think I should slow it down, which I can only really do easily by taking a half dose every 3 days (so two days of 20mg and one day of 10mg). But I’m not really sure because I know that citalopram has a short half life (36 hours from memory?) so I’m not sure if spreading variations over three days really has much effect.

The reason I think I might be dropping it too quickly is that I got really frustrated with something earlier and had a (private) tantrum about it. Now – a few hours later – I’m feeling quite emotional and teary about nothing in particular. This is all quite unusual for me lately, so I think it’s a withdrawal effect. Hmm. I think I’ll try the half dose every 3 days approach.

12th May 2020

This is just going to be a big summary post.

1. I’ve decided to try coming off Citalopram. I feel happy. I’ve felt happy for months. I feel stable and settled. I’ve been on it since August and I think it’s time to say that I don’t really need it anymore. I’m currently on 20mg per day so I’m going to bring it down to 10mg for a couple of weeks and see how that is. I’ll do it slowly. I’m going to keep a log of the dosage along with heart rate and stress data from my watch, which should be interesting.

2. I watched Belgravia. I didn’t like it to start with, but it’s only six episodes long and by the end I quite enjoyed it. To begin with it just seems like a bunch of dislikable people scheming against each other, though.

3. I ran another half marathon distance on Sunday. It went much better than the last time and I finished five minutes faster. I was pleased with that.

4. I seemed to be doing better with the iron tablets, but I took one this evening and now I have stomach aches. Hmmmm.

More dreams

The other night I woke up at the dreaded four o clock after having a dream about work. Except, it wasn’t my work. I’ve been watching Star Trek Picard, and the blonde robotics doctor Agnes Jurati was my coworker. But she didn’t like me much and was quite mean to me so one day I walked out. I woke up really stressed about a job I don’t even have.

Later, I went back to sleep and I was on the bus going home from work (I don’t even travel by bus). Part way home I decided I should go back to work, so I got off the bus and walked back to work with a man who for some reason I met along the way. When I got back to work, they’d decided to close the office early, which also meant I couldn’t work my hours. One of my co-workers (real co-worker, blonde, coincidence?)) was there and she was looking at my timesheet (we don’t even record timesheets) saying things like “well, it’s whether you think you can explain to your manager why your hours aren’t complete…”, which stressed me when I woke up.

I have more stress in my life from imagined jobs than I do from my real job. 🤨

Pain is in the mind

And also in the shin, apparently. My shins have been very sore this afternoon but I iced them this evening and now they feel a lot better. Perhaps I won’t need to take one of those dreaded rest days tomorrow after all. Fingers crossed!

I realised that I forgot to take my tablet (anti depressant) yesterday morning. Oh well, it happens. I find one day doesn’t really make a difference. But when I came to open the packet this morning, I realised that I probably forgot to take it the previous day too. I’m not 100% sure, but I’d only taken one tablet from the tray, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t open it on Friday… There is something to be said for the packaging that has the days of the week marked on each tablet.

So I think I went 48 hours without it, which is a first, and might explain why I’ve felt a bit angsty and nauseous today. Or maybe I’m just tired from running too much and frustrated with my shin. I don’t know…

This is actually a lockdown problem. I never forget to take it when I’m at work, because it’s just part of my getting-ready-for-work routine and I have an alarm on my watch set to go off a couple of minutes before I leave, just in case I’ve forgotten (which has never happened). I need to get more on top of this…


I kept waking up last night with strange dreams, which is probably a mixture of it being unusually warm and the fact that my anti-depressants seem to make me dream more. This morning I wrote down a quick description of each one so I could write about them later (now)…

Dream 1: I was being mugged by a bunch of teenagers. I decided to run away instead of giving up whatever they were trying to steal, but they had obviously done a lot of PE at school and kept up with me. I made to a very suburban bungalow housing estate, which seems suspiciously similar to my grandparents’ neighbourhood, and somehow ended up inside an older man’s house, who was happy to let me hide there for a little while, because he then tried to mug me too and I had to run away again. He was bald. I didn’t like him.

Dream 2: Boris Johnson is still in intensive care but the Conservative party decided to elect a new prime minister just because. They chose a bald man I hadn’t heard of. I’d tell you who it was, but I can’t remember his name and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t exist.

Dream 3: When I came to write this, I found my succinct description of this dream was “Half a burger” and it didn’t ring any bells at all. However, it has just come back to me! I was in a fast food restaurant and was on my own but I was sharing a table with a bunch of girls and another party. I ordered a burger but when it came it was only half a burger. When the waitress came back to deliver some food to the girls I was sitting next to I tried to explain I had ordered a whole burger, but she just ignored me. I went up to the counter and complained about it. My parents were also in the restaurant and they agreed that it wasn’t very good that I didn’t get a full burger.

Dream 4: Pokémon Go added catapults. The Pokemon use the catapults to launch things at you while you try to catch them. I don’t know, it made sense in the dream.


It’s taken a while but over the last week or so it’s occurred to me that I am actually feeling happy.

I’m enjoying my new job. Today I was invited to a meeting by the managing director on the next phase of the project. We’re looking at NLP (natural language processing) but we’re not really sure what it can do for us, or even how to use it. It’s a research thing. But being invited to that meeting is an important milestone.

On Wednesday I have a GP appointment to get more anti-depressants. I feel like I’m going to discuss the apparently contradictory concerns of 1. Please can I have these on repeat now, and 2. Do I actually need to be on them? I think it’s time to start solidifying a medium term idea of how to come off them even if I don’t want to change anything just yet.

So anyway, I’ve had a nice evening lying in bed listening to Lady Gaga.