Taking Fluoxetine and Citalopram for PTSD
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
In August 2011, shortly after my GCSEs, I met regularly with my psychiatrist who diagnosed me with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and I was placed on Fluoxetine.
It was strange for me to have to take a pill each day to make me feel even an inch better, but I was willing to try.
Although I experienced symptoms before I started taking the medication, for a while they seemed to get worse, to the point where I felt so weak I couldn’t do anything; these symptoms included extreme fatigue, nausea, difficulty concentrating, weakness, anxiety, restlessness and difficulty sleeping.
After I’d been taking the meds for about 6 weeks, I started noticing a difference, and my boyfriend noticed too. I was less angry and tired, and felt able to go out and do different things.
My mood still continued to be low as I was going through an extremely difficult time anyway; negative impulsive thoughts were still quite frequent and vivid in my mind, but I tried very hard to put these aside to try and focus on feeling better in myself.
In early 2012 I stopped taking medication for a few months as my psychiatrist and I agreed it would be a good idea to focus on therapy as I wasn’t feeling much benefit from the medication.
Unfortunately by December 2013 I’d lost many of my support network, and I found it very hard to cope without them. My mood and thoughts were even worse and I was admitted to hospital a few times.
My psychiatrist decided to try me on another anti-depressant, Citalopram. I wasn’t sure about taking this as I didn’t want it to have no affect like the last time I took meds, but since I was now 2 years older my psychiatrist thought it might be more successful. I visited my GP to get the medication as I was old enough to have it prescribed to me by the GP and not my psychiatrist.
When I started taking them, I experienced the same side effects as previously and wasn’t sure whether to carry on with them, but I did and after 6-8 weeks I noticed a difference.
After being on them for 5 months, I feel that they have made a huge difference to my moods. I sometimes have ‘bad’ days but the majority are good days. I still have impulsive thoughts every day but with support and help I no longer feel the need to do anything harmful.
I have nearly finished my college course and am currently looking for jobs within a health and social care environment; I want to apply for university to study social work this year. I have also achieved Level 1 in British Sign Language and I am nearly ready to take my practical driving test.
I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I wasn’t taking meds but hopefully one day I won’t need to take them because I’ll be recovered from my condition.