Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Treatments – What Works and What Doesn’t? (Part 2)

Treatment – Antidepressants

Part 2 – This is the second in a short series of articles listing information on Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Treatments, and the effectiveness (or not) of each one. Many of us who have been diagnosed for a while have tried a few different drugs before finding the one that works best for us. These articles share my experience with each chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia treatment I’ve tried. I’ve kept the articles short, purely so they don’t end up leaving you bored and all ‘ho-hum’.  But if you have any questions, or would like to share your own experiences, please list them in the comments section below.  It’s always helpful to hear other peoples stories. If you missed it You can see Part 1 of this article here…

NB:  I’m not a doctor or a medical professional.  Below are descriptions of my own experiences with medication and treatments for Fibromyalgia and CFS.  Just because some things haven’t worked for me, it doesn’t mean they won’t work for you

ANTI-DEPRESSANTS – Duloxetine (cont’d) and Citalopram

I weaned off Duloxetine slowly, after being told by my doctor that you should never just stop taking antidepressants, as it can cause chronic anxiety and suicidal thoughts. It took me 3 months to wean off completely, but even then I never felt right. Three weeks after taking my last tablet, I started to go downhill mentally and physically. The pain and anxiety were monstrous and I felt like a drug addict coming off heroin or painkillers.


 ‘…you are on your way to becoming an addict as soon as you start taking antidepressants’


Actually, I’ve since read up a lot on coming off anti-depressants and that drug addict analogy is not far off! You are on your way to becoming an addict as soon as you start taking anti-depressants as a chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia treatment, or for any other physical or mental illness. Doctor’s don’t tell you this when they subscribe them, but I can tell you from personal experience, it is true.  If you are thinking of going on any kind of anti-depressant, please be aware of this whilst making your decision, and, research the hell out of it online.

A Month After Stopping All CFS and Fibromyalgia Treatments

A month after completely stopping the antidepressants, I couldn’t leave the house. I lived in terrible fear, but I didn’t know what I was frightened of. I had severe bouts of stomach cramps, my leg muscles would contract like mad, I could not sleep, and I was dizzy and uncoordinated. My sister (god bless my sister) moved in with me for a while, as I was incapable of communicating with anyone. The words just wouldn’t string together properly. It was as if my brain was screaming ‘Danger. System overload! Bunker down in a corner with a quilt over your head until the danger passes!’

Weaning off Antidepressants is Shockingly HardFibromyalgia medication

Things became so bad that I had a complete mental breakdown and my doctor wanted me to go back on anti-depressants. At first, I refused to go back on Duloxetine, or any other chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia treatments. I hadn’t had good experiences whilst taking them and had already gone through, what I hoped was, the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. I kept hoping that this was just a withdrawal phase and it would eventually pass.

But I was living in a big and terrifying black hole every day. I constantly worried about my kids; they knew something was wrong no matter how hard I tried to hide it and it was affecting them in ways I won’t go into. It’s enough to say that their father was not around much and they needed their Mom. Eventually, I realised that the withdrawal was not a phase; that I now had mental health issues that were not going away on their own. I would not go back on Duloxetine so my doctor suggested we try Citalopram.

〉 Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil)

Citalopram, according to my doctor, is very good for anxiety and many patients experience fewer side-effects than on other anti-depressants. I wasn’t completely convinced of that but needed something to help rid me of these awful feelings of anxiety and doom. I have been on them for a few years now and, although I still experience CF, weakness, and pain from Fibromyalgia, I have really evened out emotionally. I’m also able to manage my pain better as I get less anxious when the worst pain hits and I don’t experience any horrible side-effects. There is a long list of side-effects for Citalopram as you will see if you follow the link below. But for me, right now, they suit me fine.  I am considering combining Citalopram with a low dose of Mirtazapine for sleep purposes, but I’m going to give that some serious thought first.  

For further reading on my experience of other Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Treatments I’ve tried, see Part 3 of this article

Link to medical description of Citalopram

Link to side-effects others have experienced with Citalopram

As always, if you have experience of anything I’ve mentioned above, or have other suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.  Or email me on mojo (@) fibromyalgiame.com

Mojo

Wonder woman (...well I thought so!) to blunder woman after diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and ME

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