I've got a bottle of Celexa here- do I take it?

I am really really really depressed. I’ve always been depressed, but it gets better and it gets worse. For the past month I’ve cried unprovoked every single day. I’m having sleep problems and it is getting hard for me to do well in my classes. I’m getting scared that I’m not going to pass my classes. My personal relations are getting wierd because I am moody all the time. Things are really bad.

I finally went to see a doctor. She set me up with various psychologists and psychiatrists to visit. She also wrote me out a prescription for Celexa. I only saw her for maybe twenty minutes at most. When I asked about side effects, she said 90% of people don’t experience any. She then said if it gives me stomach problems, I should take it with food. No mention of sexual problems. No mention of weight gain. No mention of sleepiness.

I know that these things have side effects. These things have nasty side effects that lots of people experience. I don’t quite trust a doctor that is going to lie to me about that possibility. Plus, I know the brain is really not well understood. Anti-depressents are screwing with some pretty important stuff, and something tells me this is all going to have consequences we arn’t quite aware of yet.

I’ve also got some philisophical issues with anti-depressents. I’m an artist and all that, and it is a little hard for me to accept a fundamental fault with my brain chemistry (this depression has always been with me- it is not a new or temporary thing). Where is the line between what is me, and what is mental illness? What is mental illness, and what is not conforming to society? Why are anti-depressents so often perscribed (and especially prescribed to women) Does this illness fuel my fire? WHAT IF I LOSE MY LIBIDO!?!?!??!?!

When I mentioned being hesitant, my doctor said “You can take these now, and then maybe later we’ll see about getting you off of them.” Egad!

So here is my problem. The bottle is sitting in front of me. I don’t know what to do?

I would say that your doctor’s trying to help you, so go ahead and take it. I mean, you really wouldn’t rather feel miserable and drag yourself through every single day, would you? Giving it a try can’t hurt, and it’s not like you will necessarily become dependent on the stuff. It sounds like you may be in a situation where the benefits outweigh the possiblity of unfavorable side effects.

I hope things start looking up for you real soon, okay? Keep us updated.

Not everyone experiences side effects, and of those who do, much of the time they are not major. If the side effect is too dramatic for you, call your doctor and talk to her about it.

She should have told you more about the possible side effects, though. Consider going to a library and finding a copy of the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR). Look up the medication, photocopy the information. It will include side effect listings and should, if I recall correctly, break them down by how common they are.

Not only can dosage be adjusted, but the medication itself can be changed if you don’t think it’s working for you.

I understand the feeling about what’s you vs. what’s the depression, and not wanting to ‘ruin’ yourself, but ask yourself - is crying daily you? Nearly failing classes? Not being able to sleep, not relating well to people?

It’s quite likely that you won’t be on the medication long-term. Often, people are able to deal with their life situation better and make some changes, due to beneficial effects of the antidepressants, and can then be weaned off them.

Your doctor may have incomplete information about the medicine, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have benefits.

It sounds like you are having trouble functioning. I’d start taking the medicine. Let your body adjust to it. Then, if the side effects feel unmanageable, consider switching drug therapy (after first switching doctors).

It sounds to me like at this point, you need to feel better more than you need your libido.

I have sweet cravings, loss of libido, and extreme tiredness on Celexa. It took four weeks for the latter to go away; the others are still an issue, although not huge enough for me to go back to my doctor yet (his view is there is no need to suffer with side effects and we’ll work on fixing them when/if I want to). My husband is on the same dosage but he got his libido back promptly and the sleepiness barely got him at all. So you never know.

Shit. I have to jump in here because I’ve been taking Celexa for about a year and a half (after many other meds).

Give it a chance. AINAD, but in terms of the SSRIs (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.) Celexa is more specific. I wish I could say it’s still helping me now, but I’m not sure. SSRIs tend to “poop out” after a while. But for the first while, it was amazing.

Just give it a chance. Again, AINAD, but Celexa tends to work faster than the other SSRIs. You might feel better even within one week. You have to take some time to decide if it makes you drowsy at night, or if it interrupts your sleep. YMMV. I had to switch to morning doses (20 mg). I’m thinking of switching to Effexor XR, but I’m worried about sexual side-effects, which I had on both Prozac and Paxil (both SSRIs, like Celexa). I’ve had no side-effects with Celexa, but as always, YMMV.

If Celexa doesn’t work within a month, then ask to be swtiched to Effexor XR (as I might be doing soon), or maybe Serzone. Also make sure that if you have any anxiety or panic disorders, or sleep problems, that you address them with your doctor.

The best thing is to have a shrink, who’s trained in psychopharmacology, and is more apt to make decisions on what meds you should be on than a regular general practitioner. I’m lucky that here in Canada health care pays for my visits to my shrink.

I just hope you have the same luck, and can get better. Please email me and let me know how you feel.

Take care, and email me with updates. :slight_smile:

  • s.e.

Whoops, hit send too soon.

I am no artist, but I wrestled with similar concerns. I have always been a cynic and enjoyed black humor and cherished my curmudgeonly side. I was dismayed at the thought that I might lose those things thanks to those little pink pills. First of all, I’d become some syrupy, happy thing that I couldn’t stand, and second, I’d have to live with the knowledge that what I had thought was my unique personality was actually just a mental disorder! Argh!

But I didn’t lose the essence of me. I just became a better me, one who didn’t spin her wheels all the time and feel rotten emotionally. I’m still a bitch. And that is a good thing.

I have been through the whole “Severe Clinical Depression” thing and all I can say is take the Celexa.

Celexa has been a god send for me. It works quickly (in my case I felt better on the third day) and there have been no side effects. Celexa got me to about 75% of where I should be. I then started taking Wellbutrin and, MY GOD!, the change was wonderful.

Try it, it works. If that doesn’t help you, ask for other meds. Different people respond to different drugs. Prozac didn’t help me at all but it helped some of my family members.

Also, and this is something I am still working on, realize that depression is a medical condition and not a weakness. Mental illness still has a negative connotation to it. A lot of people still believe that if you are depressed that something must be wrong with you. At the same time if you broke a leg those people would understand that it is physical issue. They are both medical-physical issues.

Last, if you want to talk email me. As the Tee-shirt says ‘Been there and done that’.


For me, Celexa was very ineffective. I experienced no side effects, except a slight decrease in sex drive (IMO). That’s not to say you won’t, but I tried it for just a few weeks before deciding it wasn’t working. I was bumped up to Effexor, and that’s kicking major butt. =)

even seven, please email me. I know how you feel because I’ve ben there more than one time.

BTW I keep hearing Effexor success stories… I’ve been wanting to switch to it for the longest time. What can I expect? I had sexual side-effects on Prozac and Paxil (both SSRIs) but none on Celexa (another SSRI.) Of course, I had the opposite effect on Wellbutrin. What’s been your experience on Effexor, especially switching from another drug? I know YMMV but it’s good to hear others’ experiences.

  • s.e.

As someone who is also Not A Doctor, but has taken a fair range of anti-depressants, I would strongly suggest that you give Celexa a try. Yes, people have side effects, but it is much more likely that it will help you. If you do have side effects that are bad for you, stop taking it right away and tell your doctor–that happened to me with one medication–but that won’t mean that another anti-depressant won’t be effective.

Take care and good luck. We’re all here for you.

I’ve been on Serzone for an anxiety disorder for almost a year now, and it is the most side-effect free SRRI I’ve ever had. No sexual side effects, very little if any drowsiness, no dopiness, just me feeling like myself again. I have no problem with taking meds to get to normal again; I’m an extremely calm, even-tempered person, and it’s very obvious to me that my anxiety disorder is coming from somewhere outside of my normal personality.

I can see what you mean about your artistic personality and such, sven, but IMO, depression and anxiety just make everything so much harder. I don’t think you would lose your creativity, or become a different person, but I do think that you would enjoy not carrying the load of depression every day.

(When I read the title of this thread, I thought you meant take the whole bottle, sven. Please, don’t do that.:))

The sexual sid-effects of Celexa are often handled with Wellbutrin. That’s what I and my husband are on, and it works very well.

Side-effects. Damn hands.

I started taking Celexa last Saturday - I also am worried about the side-effects (most notably the one jarbabyj experienced - no orgasms - WTF?!?!) but for now, it’s more than worth it to me for the peace of mind. My anxiety has almost evaporated and I haven’t felt ‘low’ since then. Also, I have much more energy than I did. Having a bit of problems sleeping thru the night, but hopefully, that will pass.

Why do you delay? Do you think these sideeffects are irreversible? Are they REALLY worse than the alternative?

{{even sven}} hope you make the right choice for yourself, es.

Personally, Effexor has proven to be the only medication I’ve taken that has made a noticable impact on my disposition. Luckily, I’ve noticed no side effects thus far that I haven’t been able to shrug off as coincidence (ie: no sexual side effects; in fact, I seem to have an increased sex drive. maybe it’s because I feel better about myself?)

I started out on 37 1/2 mg for a week, then went up to 75 as is the norm (so I understand). After 6 weeks or so, I was bumped up to 150. From what my doctor told me, many people need at least 150 to have a noticable change. YMMV

One of my mottos: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Of course, easier said than done.
You gotta start somewhere, and Celexa is relatively newish, but has least amt of side effects. More easily tolerated than Prozac, another popular SSRI that I if I remember correctly, is what was used as a comparison in clinical trials.

If you’re worried about what people will think of you–share with only those you feel comfortable with. You don’t have to tell your whole family and all your friends. Chances are, if you have been that depressed, your friends and family already know it and will pat you on the back for being brave enough to WALK INTO A PSYCHIATRISTS OFFICE and ask for help. That is sooo intimidating–trying to explain how you feel to someone! Give yourself a break. You only have one life. It’s YOUR’S, you can’t relive it. Don’t waste one more second being miserable!! Meds can always be adjusted.

I’ve been on Celexa for about a year. The first day, and the first day only, I had nausea and cramps. It also tends to make me a little drowsy (well, not so much so I take it before sleep. I haven’t had any sexual side effects. And it doesn’t me “syrupy” happy, just…“normal” I guess you’d say. The way I was before I got depressed. It started working pretty fast, too, within a week I was feeling better.

Just my two cents worth

Ack!! I meant to say “tends to make me a little drowsy (well not so much anymore)”


I spent all morning sick to my stomach. I’ve been so sleepy that I can’t get myself out of bed. My body althernates between hot and cold flashes. I either feel pysically numb (I hit my head and didn’t even notice) or ultra-sensitive to sound and touch. I’m sweaty. I’m twitchy and jittery.

But worst of all, my thoughts are all wierd. I feel really detached- almost out of body. I can’t concentrate on my classes, and I feel like robot. I’m scared to go outside because I don’t have the clarity of mind to do thing slike cross the street safely.

This sucks soooo much. I’ve been depressed for 21 years. It sucks, too, but at least I know how to deal with it. I can’t deal with this. I have classes to go to. I can’t afford to feel like this. I need to be able to think clearly!

I feel really manipulated by the drug companies. The Celexa website claimed the 25% of women have clinical depression. What a goldmine! Celexa has a huge marketing campaign to doctors, who often know little more than what the marketing tells them (this isn’t a slight to you caring doctors out there- but when people are prescribing powerful drugs like this after seeing you for fifteen minutes, you’ve got to wonder). I really hate having this stuff in my system. If I want to quit this once I get going, I’ll have to go to a doctor so that we can avoid withdrawal symptoms! Ack! Added to that is the fact that SSRIs tend to stop working after a bit (at which point they just switch you to another one), but any way you have it, they want you on this stuff for life.

I know I sound a little paranoid, but this stuff is really freaking me out. We don’t even know exactly why this stuff works! We just prescribe and prescribe and prescribe (to a quarter of all women if they had their way!) and if it causes them to lose their libido we say “but that doesn’t really matter, does it?” because everyone knows that women don’t like sex anyway. And they ask about side effects, we just tell them crap like “only 10% of people get side effects- and those are usually only a dry mouth”. And if it makes them sleepy and drowsy, we say “It doesn’t matter- they arn’t doing anything important anyway”.

Argggggggg! Does anyone else see a problem here?

I guess I will keep taking it until my appointment with a psychiatrist next Friday. I can only hope the side effects calm down enough for me to be functional. I see a psycholgist tommorow, so we’ll see how that goes.

Sweety, please don’t give up. I’m a student too - I had much the same type of situation as you’ve described.

I give you a lot of credit for being so proactive - depression makes it really difficult to care about anything, much less get heavily involved in your medical treatment, which is always a pain in the ass. Make the doctors explain things to you, pepper them with questions. Gotta develop a trust the with the person who’s prescribing.

I’m on Wellbutrin & have been for over a year. I didn’t feel very creative (I’m a poet) for the first couple months after I started, but I got into the swing of it. I’m not constantly walking around with a shitfaced grin, I’m just experiencing normal moods. It’s life without the black wash on it.

As for your Celexa experience; please don’t let it turn you off to the idea of taking an anti-depressant. I was very lucky - Wellbutrin worked for me on the first shot. I felt appreciably better within a couple weeks, with no side effects.

That didn’t mean I didn’t have shit to work on; I spent two years in talk therapy. The Wellbutrin, though, helped me to get through the day so that I could accomplish things; that accomplishment boosted me up & helped me to become happier.

So I guess what I’m saying is this; talk things through with a couple doctors & see what other medications might be suitable for you.