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Insomnia and anxiety from starting anti-depressant. Suggestions???

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Hopeful1s

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Aug 18, 2020
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I used kratom as an anti-depressant for a couple years. Absolutely horrible idea. Coming off that was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. Not going to get into the details, but that leads me into my current predicament...

I stopped the kratom about seven months ago now, yet still deal with PAWS quite a bit because of it. After months of feeling like I am just drowning, both my psychologist and I thought taking an anti-depressant, at least for a while, would be a good idea until I get more back to normal.

I am taking Citalopram. Took it in the past and it did help. Problem is, I guess because my body is more sensitive to everything now (thanks to the kratom and my brain having to re-wire itself), I am having pretty bad side-effects with the Citalopram. A little over three weeks into it now, and I have had really bad insomnia the last two weeks. It wasn't like this the first time I took it.

The insomnia is making it both more difficult to fall asleep as well as to stay asleep. Depending on the night, it can keep me up for an hour or two later than I should be up. The most annoying part is I wake up anywhere from 1.5-2.5hrs before I need to actually be awake for work and can't get back to sleep. My brain is just running a million miles a minute about everything I need to do, or sometimes just random racing thoughts. I can't shut my brain off at that point and have been getting an average of about 4hrs of sleep a night when I typically need 8.

I don't have health insurance, so another medication isn't financially feasible, especially with the insomnia causing me to miss work some days. Just so exhausted I can't do it.

I was considering supplements that might help, like melatonin, magnesium, or really open to anything that's affordable on the local grocery shelves that might help. I can't take diphenhydramine because it leaves me way too groggy the next day. My body has always been extremely sensitive to that, so that isn't an option, but open to any other suggestions anyone might have.

Also, any idea how much longer I might expect to continue having this insomnia and anxiety? I see stuff on the internet where this can typically last the first 3-4 weeks, but I'm going into the 4th week now and if anything, it's getting worse, not better. Just really frustrated and feeling hopeless here at this point. Open to any suggestions anyone has.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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It is a pity you cannot take escitalopram as i switched to that and slept very well. Citalopram i also could not sleep on, until 5am, then up for work at 7am, it was not possible. My friend takes citalopram and slept well initially and now does find it very hard to get to sleep.

I'm sorry you are in this situation. Medication is difficult but depression is too.

Can you take citalopram in the morning or afternoon instead?
 
H

Hopeful1s

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Aug 18, 2020
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Florida
Thanks for the info. As far as taking it in the morning, that's what I do now. It's easier to deal with the anxiety it gives me during the day, but it lasts through the evening into the next day as well.

From what I see online, it typically subsides within 3-4 weeks, which means it should start subsiding for me soon. It's just so hard to deal with right now. My job is hard enough as it is, let alone the depression, anxiety, and extreme tiredness due to the insomnia.

I tried melatonin, magnesium, and some tea with chamomile and valerian root in it. We will see how I sleep tonight...
 
H

Hopeful1s

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In case anyone else is dealing with a similar issue, the combo I tried helped. It was mild enough to not leave me groggy in the morning, but effective enough to help me get back to sleep shortly after I woke up at night.

If you do the melatonin though, start with a low dose, like 2mg or so, and take it like 2hrs before you are going to go to sleep so it won't leave you groggy in the morning. Also, as far as the tea, I brewed some extra so that in case I woke up in the middle of the night (which I did), I could sip a little more down.
 
jajingna

jajingna

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Melatonin can work well, but I got resistant to it after a few years of taking it nightly, and now it does nothing for me. The pineal gland in the brain produces it naturally but when you take it in capsules then this function is suppressed so that it won't produce the stuff. Sunlight is good during the day, and at night you want your room totally dark, as darkness is a cue for the gland to produce the hormone. I'm no expert of course, but I've been learning about hormones for a few months as an amateur. Look it up yourself to learn more if you like.
 
H

Hopeful1s

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Aug 18, 2020
Messages
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Location
Florida
Thanks for the info. I definitely don't plan to take the melatonin for that long at all. Just for while my body gets through this whole anxiety/insomnia thing. I don't think it should last for more than a week or so, at least hopefully not.
 
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