Just been prescribed diazepam and citalopram for anxiety. What should I expect? Watch

Rum Ham
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Hi guys a lot of you will have no doubt seen my other threads and posts regarding my mental health and will know lately my panics and depression have been 100 times worse than usual. I went to my doctor today and full on broke down and she recommended meds, even just for a short while to see if they help. The mental stuff is starting to affect my physical health, which was why I was there today.

I'm nervous about starting the pills tbh. I know they will most likely help but because I've never taken either before, I'm nervous.

This may sound silly but what does it feel like to take antidepressants/diazepam? I know they can take a wee while to kick in. Do you feel 'weird' or anything on them?

If anyone who has experiences with either of these meds could comment or mail me, I would be grateful for any experience or advice you could give me.

Thanks guys
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belis
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You will feel the effects of diazepam pretty much straight away. It helps to reduce anxiety, most people like the way it makes them feel. If you are particularly sensitive it can make you dizzy and sleepy. If you have never taken benzos before it may be best to take it at bedtime and see how it goes.
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Hi thanks for your reply. I also thought taking the diazepam at night would be best to start with since I am pretty sensitive to meds, well at least I was with strong co codamol for a while. I've to take one diazepam 3 times a day. To me that sounds a bit much but she is giving it to me for 2 reasons, the anxiety and also because my back muscles are so tensed and stressed I can barely breathe because of the pain sometimes. I was tested for a blood clot and others things just in case it was anything sinister but she said she knew straight away that the anxiety would have been causing the back pain.
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belis
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Three times per day is pretty standard. It wears of after a couple of hours.

Funny thing about taking SSRIs for anxiety is that they sometimes make it a bit worse to start with (first couple of days). A short course of benzos alongside isn't a bad idea.

Try not to worry to much about potential side effects. Everyone is different and most people tolerate those medications really well.
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The doctor also offered to write a medical certificate to uni to either get me some extra time with my work or to see if I can defer my modules for a bit. Tbh, I don't know whether to take her up on this offer. I suppose at the very least I should send in a certificate so they know there is something definitely wrong with me.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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(Original post by Yasmin25)
The doctor also offered to write a medical certificate to uni to either get me some extra time with my work or to see if I can defer my modules for a bit. Tbh, I don't know whether to take her up on this offer. I suppose at the very least I should send in a certificate so they know there is something definitely wrong with me.
I'd suggest that it's definitely worth making your uni aware. Chances are you will be able to get everything in on time and any extensions won't be needed, but they will be much, much easier to obtain if you've previously made staff aware of your situation. A lot of people run to their heads of department the day before a deadline and say they've been suffering with ill health, and then it's more difficult to go through the correct channels to prove it in the time that they'd need to. Keep your options open, and be aware that sometimes things can get a little worse before they get better when you're on new medication - so you may well find extra help useful.
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Thanks, that's me email my lecturers and my local Open Uni regional centre and called my doc leaving a message saying I'll take the certificate.

I took a diazepam last night before bed and all I noticed was it sent me to sleep pretty much so I don't know how it will affect me during the day. Going to take one soon since my back is still killing me and I'll start the citalopram tonight before bed.
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belis
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(Original post by Yasmin25)
Going to take one soon since my back is still killing me and I'll start the citalopram tonight before bed.
You will be better off taking the Citalopram in the mornings. Most people don't find it sedating, quite to the contrary, so it's not usually taken at bed time.

You are lucky that your GP is so eager to give you a latter for Uni. Normally they would charge for it as it's not a part of service paid for by the NHS.
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(Original post by belis)
You will be better off taking the Citalopram in the mornings. Most people don't find it sedating, quite to the contrary, so it's not usually taken at bed time.

You are lucky that your GP is so eager to give you a latter for Uni. Normally they would charge for it as it's not a part of service paid for by the NHS.
Yeah I was surprised how eager my doc was to provide a letter. Usually you have to push for one but she asked if I worked or studied and told me just to call her up if I need a letter and it was no problem.

Thanks for all your insight on citalopram. Here's hoping it helps me through time.

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Sabertooth
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Citalopram may take 6-8weeks to have a noticeable effect whereas diazepam is pretty much immediate. Common side effects of citalopram include nausea, headaches and really weird dreams these all tend to wear off in a couple of weeks. Citalopram is not addictive but diazepam is so be careful to only take diazepam as required.
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Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with nausea after taking Citalopram? I've been getting really bad nausea after taking a dose even if I take it with food.

I have a fear of puking so it makes me panic more and feel worse
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(Original post by loonyplatypus)
I took citalopram for about 18 months, starting with 10mg and going up to 20mg after a month. I'm afraid there's not much you can do about the nausea except wait for it to subside, which it will do in about a month if I remember right. It did leave me a little more susceptible to nausea the whole time I was on it though, but I never actually threw up, only ever felt little twinges of it now and then. And I don't think the time of day I took it or whether I had it with food ever made a difference. It was definitely worth putting up with though. The other main side effect I had was dreaming a lot more vividly and remembering my dreams a lot, which was actually quite enjoyable/interesting for me. Since I came off it I can't remember a single dream I've had for months!

If you have any more questions then do let me know and I'll try and help as much as I can
Hi thanks for taking time to reply

Sucks there isn't much to be done for nausea but fingers crossed it passes soon. Can't stand puking or nausea

I have a question, did you get any bad panic attacks during your first wee while on citalopram? As you know I already suffer from bad attacks but the last few times after taking my doses, within about an hour I have really bad panics and they get that bad I have to take the Valium to calm down. I think maybe its because of how strong the nausea might be but I dunno. I got told to expect symptoms like this in the first few weeks.
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Hi,

I was prescribed benzos too and the first time I took them I really noticed the effects. I don't take them very often but even so, they don't work as well as they used to, don't know if you've experienced that too. Be careful with them though because they're really addictive, and if you do become addicted you can have a hard time coming off them.
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I have decided to not take the antidepressants. After being on them for a few days I was feeling suicidal, I ended up being violently sick a few times rather than just having nausea and my panics were through the roof. I went back to my doc yesterday and she said it was normal to feel like this for a bit but doesn't feel comfortable with me taking them as I had such a bad reaction to a low dosage. She has referred me to the mental health team and I am assuming it'll be CBT I will get. She told me to keep the valium for emergencies. The valium barely took the edge off of how I was feeling with the antidepressants which was creepy. I had to stay with my mum over the weekend because I was so sure I would do something silly, I never want to feel like that again. My normal panics are orgasmic compared to what I felt over the weekend.

I've also been given a 'challenge chart' from the doc were I write down all the things that give me panics or I am scared to do and within a month I've to try and do these things 5 times and that should help build up my confidence. They are little things to do such as go and stand outside for 5 minutes and if you feel confident enough, go for a walk to big things such as going on public transport and going into town. I went to Tesco with my bf last night. I was panicky and started welling up but I done it and was able to tick that off the list, just got to do it another 4 times within the month. I'm looking to do at least one thing a day off the list.
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(Original post by Yasmin25)
I have decided to not take the antidepressants. After being on them for a few days I was feeling suicidal, I ended up being violently sick a few times rather than just having nausea and my panics were through the roof. I went back to my doc yesterday and she said it was normal to feel like this for a bit but doesn't feel comfortable with me taking them as I had such a bad reaction to a low dosage. She has referred me to the mental health team and I am assuming it'll be CBT I will get. She told me to keep the valium for emergencies. The valium barely took the edge off of how I was feeling with the antidepressants which was creepy. I had to stay with my mum over the weekend because I was so sure I would do something silly, I never want to feel like that again. My normal panics are orgasmic compared to what I felt over the weekend.

I've also been given a 'challenge chart' from the doc were I write down all the things that give me panics or I am scared to do and within a month I've to try and do these things 5 times and that should help build up my confidence. They are little things to do such as go and stand outside for 5 minutes and if you feel confident enough, go for a walk to big things such as going on public transport and going into town. I went to Tesco with my bf last night. I was panicky and started welling up but I done it and was able to tick that off the list, just got to do it another 4 times within the month. I'm looking to do at least one thing a day off the list.
So sorry to hear you experienced that. What dosage of valium have they given you?
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(Original post by Anonymous)
So sorry to hear you experienced that. What dosage of valium have they given you?
Hey I got 2mg of valium (pack of 28)
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Susie1966
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Ok
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WaffleApple
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My advice is to be extremely careful on how often you take them. Anymore than 3-4 weeks and you are going to wish you never taken them. The addiction is really mind blowing, its far more severe than heroin and the withdrawal is known as one of the most dangerous across all drugs. When i came off Lorazepam i suffered severe depersonalization, anxiety through the roof, hallucinations. The withdrawal can also last 4 months + they often call this protracted withdrawal. If you actually go through withdrawal from these it will also severely affect your ability to drink alcohol. I've been 12 months or more clear of the Lorazepam and i have a fairly bad few days after drinking alcohol if i do it more than once per week.
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Westroma5
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Hello,I'm am glad that you have asked these questions, as i was in the same situation about 3 years ago. Very down and depressed, and cried in front of the whole doctors waiting room and my GP. I was at that time prescribed Diazepam and Fluoxetine. Had a great pharmacist who advised me to take half the diazepam tab at a time as then if yo really need it you have the other half to fall back on. Diazepam very good and makes you a bit drowsy but takes away all the worry and anxiety. Antidepressants usually take a week to 10 days to fully kick in, which frightened me as i wanted to feel better straight away. Stick with the 10 days it really works after that. Good luck and keep well.Stephen
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