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Treatment options for psychological disorders
Member Name: thehonesttruth
Treatment options for psychological disorders
I'd like to begin the review by stating that Cipramil is a prescription only medication, and should only be taken if prescribed to you by your doctor. I do not write this review to advertise or endorse this product, and would certainly not tell anyone to take it - that advice should again only be given by a qualified health professional .
I should also point out to avoid any confusion that Cipramil is a brand name for Citalopram . Citalopram is the generic name for the drug, and the name I will be using throughout the review .
What I do intend to cover in this reviews is the reason it was prescribed for me, and to let you know if it worked for me personally.
Why and How Citalopram was prescribed for me.
I was prescribed Citalopram in April 2004 when I was suffering from post natal depression. I had actually been depressed for quite some time before seeking help, and a combination of long work hours and the break up of my marriage leaving me a single mother got to me . It wasn't until I broke down in tears at work, informing a colleague that I wanted to kill myself that a manager advised me to seek medical help, and to perhaps take time off .
It wasn't a case of just going to the doctor and saying 'I feel depressed, give me some meds.' I actually had about 45 minutes of his time, during which he asked me a number of questions to establish my state of mind at the time . The questions varied - Had I ever thought seriously about harming myself, or others ? How was I sleeping ? What kind of support network did I have around me ? Each of these questions I was asked to answer on a score of 1 to 10, and and that time the highest answer I gave to any of the 30 or so questions put to me was a 3 , so as you can imagine I was feeling very low . The majority of questions I only gave a score of 1 .
He than ran through some questions about my health generally, any medications I was currently taking (including natural remedies) and measured my blood pressure, as well as taking a blood sample to check for Anaemia, I problem I'd had in the past that could have been contributing to my exhaustion.
He informed me that usually he would begin people on a dose of 10mg a day, but that in my case he recommended a dose of 20mg a day . He asked me if I felt comfortable with that, or if I would prefer to start out on a lower dose first . I opted for the lower dose, as I wasn't sure what the side effects would be . He did warn me that one of the most common side effects was nausea in many patients, and advised me to be careful with my contraceptive pill and perhaps if I got nausea and actually vomited, to use condoms. As I had no sex life at the time, this information was irrelevant to me, but I appreciated the information .
He also, at my request, got me an assigned social worker who would visit at home to check up on me . Based on my mums treatment of me when she had bad depression many years ago, I was worried I might head down that path, and felt I needed that extra support .
He also signed me off work for two weeks, and asked me to come back the day before my sick note expired so he could check on my progress, and advised me that the medication could take between 2-4 weeks to reach full effectiveness .
There are a wide range of possible side effects with Citalopram, and at the end of the review I will include some reference links for anyone interested in finding out more information, as I do not intend to copy out reams of text on the issue, but merely to relate the side effects that I personally encountered.
For the first couple of days, I had no ill effects, than on the third day I began to wake up feeling nauseous. This wasn't too severe, but it did mean I wasn't able to face breakfast in the morning, and that I would instead eat at around noon when my stomach had settled. I also opted to take my birth control tablets at lunchtime, just in case the morning nausea caused me to vomit, which thankfully it never did .
Other side effects I had were a very dry mouth upon waking up in the mornings, which again faded throughout the day, and quite a lot of drowsiness . Now, the drowsiness I actually think for me was a positive side effect, as I started to take naps when my daughter did, and found that my energy levels showed some quick improvement .
All of these side effects subsided after one or two weeks .
Did it work for me ?
I have to say, I actually felt a lot better immediately after talking to the doctor, perhaps because I was no longer bottling everything up inside. However, I am one of those people that feels bad whenever someone is very nice to me, and I quickly subsided back into tears in the days after.
Being signed off work gave me a little more time to myself during the day, and initially I didn't know how to fill this .
Initially, I didn't notice any dramatic changes in myself, until about a week after taking the tablets. My daughter picked up a stomach bug, and spent a couple of days vomiting and pooping all over the place - a situation that would normally have me crying into the phone to my mum, or curled up on the sofa after she was asleep sobbing. However, after I got her to sleep those nights, I thought to myself 'Blimey, I handled that better than I usually would '.
There were plenty of situations like this, situations that would normally send me into despair - and bear in mind that at the start of my depression these would not have been rational things to get upset about . Things like running out of teabags, rain, or forgetting to put the hot water on for my daughters bath would all have had me worked up into a tizzy - then somehow, I stopped worrying . I still began to get upset, but something in my head would click and go 'Is this really worth the tears '.
After two weeks, I returned to the doctor so he could see how I was progressing with the medication . He asked me the same questions as before, with me again scoring on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the highest. Where the highest score I had given the first time round was a three, with most answers being a 1, the highest score I gave this time was a 5, with the average being a 3. Not particularly dramatic results, but still a significant improvement .
He asked me if I wanted to return to work, or if I felt I needed another sick note , and I informed him that actually I planned on leaving work, as I felt that working long hours away from my daughter was a contributing factor in my depression . He supported my decision fully.
Anyone suffering from depression , or who has suffered from it in the past will know that it is not something that can be cured with a mere two weeks of treatment . I was kept on the 10mg dose of tablets, and I remained on them for a year.
Over that time I noticed significant improvement, not only in my general mood but in my motivation to do things for myself. I started writing on Dooyoo at that time, to give myself something to do at night when I was lonely . I began to take a little more pride in my appearance, and in my home . I made a point of visiting my parents on bad days when I needed a little support, and of asking friends to come round and have a drink every now and then .
All these changes were possible because citalopram balanced out my mood . I can't say it made me happy - because I don't think happiness comes in tablet form, but I can say it made me more stable, more able to deal with stress, and helped me relax and sleep better, all of which contributed to a better general mood and to my ability to look after myself better .
In around June 2005, I stopped taking Citalopram (my own decision, not the doctors) as I felt perfectly able now to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life, and this continued up until last year .
I then started on a new contraceptive, the depo-provera injection, after meeting a new boyfriend. One of the potential side effects of the injection is a potential to cause depression, particularly in people who have a tendancy towards it. Gradually, in the months after first taking the injection, I noticed myself becoming more angry, agitated, and tearful . Having had depression in the past, I knew the symptoms and was not prepared to let it get back to being as bad as it had been .
I went back to the same excellent doctor, who again ran me through the questions . My scores were not as low as on my first visit to him, but they were a cause for concern, and I was again prescribed the 10mg dose of Citalopram , as well as taken off my contraceptive regime and returned to taking the pill .
I had exactly the same side effects this time, and again, after only a few weeks of taking them, I'm noticing my reactions are calmer and my emotions are more stable .
I have to return to my GP next week for a further mood test and assessment , but again the tablets do seem to be working for me . However, I will not know until my contraceptive injection has left my system how much of my current depression is me, and how much is related to being stabbed in the bum with hormones on a regular basis.
This time I plan to take them for as long as the GP advises, and to seek his advice before coming off them .
In this review, I have not gone into detail about all the possible side effects of this medication, nor about any situations in which you should not take it , or how it could interfere with other medications .
This information can be found on the net here :
I would also like to re-iterate that this IS a prescription only medication that should only be taken on the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Also, every incidence of depression is different, so you may not be prescribed this, or may be prescribed a different dosage .
A Little Extra
Before I finish off this review , I'd like to thank my doctor, who frankly went above and beyond in giving me large segments of his time, and also my lovely social worker who visited me every two weeks for the first year of my depression, and helped me realise that being depressed didn't make me a bad mother , as well as various friends and family who helped support me when things got hard . Sometimes on a bad day, a listening ear is all you need to make it better!
My review is not a recommendation or endorsement of the product, merely an account of my personal experience of using this medication . Therefore my personal rating reflects the difference it has made to my life personally.
In conclusion, I can only say that this has worked for me - not once, but twice- in allowing me to gradually return to my normal self . It does not turn me into some loopy bouncy insanely happy person, but it helps me retain my own personality at times when I struggle to do so alone.
For this reason, I award this product 4 stars . I am taking one off for the mild side effects, and for the fact that if I don't get the tablet swallowed in one go, it tastes absolutely foul. But I do feel that it has made a big difference to my life, and will continue to use it under my doctors advice.