On the advice of the on-call resident psychiatrist at Stanford I did not take the Citalopram Sunday night, but decided to take it in the morning instead. Somewhat against her advice, on the other hand, I split my dose in half (to 10mg), in part just to calm my fears.
Dave being the supportive superhero that he is, cut it in half for me. He’s been picking up so much of my slack since I’ve had a tough couple weeks. I’m convinced one of the best things one can do to cope with mental illness is to have a supportive spouse/partner, friends, and family.
I had trouble sleeping again, but this time mostly due to a headache that just wouldn’t go away. Since I hadn’t talked to my dr. yet about taking ibuprofen and had read that I would need to be monitored more closely if I took it together with the Citalopram, I decided to try to sleep off the headache with the help of a heat pad on my neck.
Unfortunately, when I woke up about an hour later the headache was not gone so I decided to take the ibuprofen anyway. I woke up one more time to turn off the heat pad and then was awoken at 6:30am by the toddler upstairs stomping over our bedroom again. I managed to fall back asleep until 8.
After all that I can’t really say how much sleep I actually got, but man was I sleepy at work on Monday. Add to that that our server was down so I had nothing to do for the first couple hours. I was bored out of my mind and I was afraid to have any caffeine because of the anxiety and shakiness I’ve been feeling.
Then there was that damn headache that came back again around lunch time. I took some more ibuprofen because I really didn’t know what else to do.
As an aside, I got a cube at work (I had been in a group training room), which turned out to be on the same floor as Dave’s. I’ve decided it’s ok because we don’t actually work together so we still have our space and separate work friends.
I’ve been meeting people relatively easily at this job which I’ve decided is at least in part due to the fact that we were all new and insecure at the same time and that makes it easier than trying to break in somewhere where everyone already knows each other and has developed their cliques. This has worked wonders for my mental state and eased a lot of my fears about going back to work.
Mid-afternoon I finally decide to call my dr. to follow up on the voicemail I had left her Sunday. As I’m looking up her number online my cell phone rings. Guess who? Sweet! I take the call and ask her to bear with me until I find a private place to talk. I decide on the stairwell which feels more awkward in a way because it echoes like crazy so I hear the description of my insanity echoed back to me up and down the flights of stairs.
She tells me that side-effects, besides gastro-intestinal discomfort, are unusual and that they generally tend to be minor. That somewhat contradicts what I read on a review that I probably shouldn’t have read considering it likely freaked me out more and I know people tend to complain about things more than promote them. If they’re happy, they won’t take the time to say anything.
After discussing with my psychiatrist is seems as though the panic attack was most likely just me. I was just panicking. Not necessarily as a side-effect of the drug, but because I was taking the drug and afraid that I might have terrible side-effects.
I can see that point of view, looking back on it. The first thing I remember thinking when I woke up and before I launched into panic was fear that I was going to feel some side-effects at work. That’s when I felt my heart race and my stomach start to jiggle.
The reassurance from my dr. was nice and I did feel better for the rest of the day, especially since she told me she was not worried about me taking ibuprofen at all because I’m young and generally healthy. Therefore, I immediately returned to my desk and popped two more of them and within an hour finally had that damn headache nipped in the bud.
Tomorrow I plan to take the other half (10mg) in the morning, but then I’ll go back up to 20mg after that. Sometimes the best way to fight anxiety is just to have a trained professional tell me everything is gonna be ok.