Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Celexa: The Verdict for Stuttering!

EDIT 6/17/14: I am noticing an overload of SPAM comments. If you leave one, you will be blocked and your comment removed. I really do not want to go back to only allowing approved comments. Please stop.) 

My verdict, anyway. I can't speak intelligently from the perspective of the scientific or medical community on the efficacy of Celexa as a stuttering therapy, but I can speak of my experience. As you might have read from an earlier entry on this blog, I decided to undergo pharmaceutical stuttering therapy by taking Celexa after reading a professional article about the possible benefits to stutterers. The article actually talked about the benefits of both Celexa and Xanax combined, but I didn't want to try them both at the same time, first, because they both cause drowsiness and, second, because if it worked, I wouldn't be able to tell which drug actually helped. So, my neurologist suggested 20mg of Celexa daily for 2 months....just to see the result.

I can report that my stuttering hasn't been affected at all, but I can also happily report that my fear and anxiety about wasps has all but disappeared! A surprise benefit! I don't remember if I posted about this before, but I have had a lifelong phobia of wasps. Not bees...they don't bother me all that much. Just wasps. (In the past, the image I put in this post would have completely freaked me out!) For as long as I can remember, I have never enjoyed Spring or Summer because of them. They look like little winged monsters that are constantly on the prowl, looking for somebody to torment.

My phobia was so bad that I would immediately become anxious on waking up in the morning, knowing I had to walk from the house to the car...from the car to the store...or wherever I was going. I avoided going outside on warm, sunny days. Any buzzing noise in my direct vicinity caused increased heart rate, increased awareness of my surroundings and total distraction from normal activities. I never, ever rode with my car windows down and I have actually nearly knocked people down getting away from an area where I thought there might be a wasp. At one point, I seriously contemplated moving to an area of the world where it was cold year round.

Since starting on Celexa, however...my phobia has all but disappeared and I can say this without the slightest hesitation or exaggeration. It has changed my life. I now rarely think about wasps and even if I do, there is very little anxiety and if one comes near me, I simply move out of the way. I no longer stress on my long walk from the parking lot to the hospital where I work and I can comfortably sit outside, even if there are wasps in the area. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.

The downside is...Celexa has had a negative affect on my libido. This is pretty well documented for Celexa users, however. Additionally, I have a harder time getting up in the morning. I now sleep up to 2 hours past my normal wake up time. I am going to see if a lower dosage might be just as effective. Lastly, I am eating less. It seems Celexa has curbed my appetite somewhat. Other than these three side effects, I have noticed nothing else negative.

A reader left a comment on the initial entry about her experience, and it almost exactly mirrors mine. No stuttering benefit, but her anxiety around people has all but disappeared, but she also noticed a decrease in sexual appetite. That may be good or bad, depending upon who you ask, I suppose.

At any rate, that is my experience thus far...I am going to report to my neurologist next month and see if she wants to try the Xanax. If so, I anticipate that the experience will be similar to Celexa. I don't expect any stuttering benefit, but I imagine it will have a beneficial affect on anxiety, which is what both drugs are usually prescribed for.

107 comments:

Tom Weidig said...

If you have a phobia about wasps, getting pharmaceuticals is the wrong long-term way to go about it. You need to do psychotherapy, namely behavioural therapy. Techniques like desensitization or flooding will help with the right therapist. But you need to face up to your fear.

But it's good you posted it, because often only those where it worked are publishing their results.

Stuttering Stanley said...

I agree that psychotropic drugs are not a good solution for phobias. I actually tried hypnotherapy in the past and it did help somewhat. I definitely do not want to have to take a pill for the rest of my life.

Dame Edith Divine said...

You're always interesting. I once had a phobia regarding moths. Then one night I had a dream. In the dream the world 'moth' was spelled out in neon letters, first the 'm' then the 'oth' but it didn't stop there, two more letters followed, 'er.' When I woke up I realized it wasn't moths I was afraid of. After 30+ years I never had a problem with moths again. I wish I could say the same about my relationship with my mother.

Stuttering Stanley said...

Interesting, Edith! Thanks for sharing that. It seems your own psyche helped you with your phobia and revealed to you the true source of your fear. :)

The Crow said...

I love wasps! Maybe now you will, too. I pick them up, rescue them, hang out around them...
Bravo!
As for stuttering, mine has totally vanished with no hint of reappearance. It's about three years, now.
My latest revelation is this:
Stuttering is an obsession with being understood.
But you can not make anyone understand you.
Accept this, stop desiring understanding, and that, along with not caring how others perceive you, is the key to the cure.
Seriously; consider this long and hard.
Freedom results :)

Stuttering Stanley said...

Crow, I appreciate your comments, but I have no obsession, desire or need to be understood. If that is what did it for you...that's wonderful. I applaud your success. I don't think you have any evidence that this is a workable "cure" for stutterers at large, however. There is, in fact, no evidence that stutterers suffer from a lack (perceived or not) of acceptance from anybody. I'm happy you found what did it for you, however. I don't envy your affection for wasps, though. :)

The Crow said...

Every stutterer I have come into contact with considers themselves perfect, Stanley. No change necessary. No adjustments needing to be made. All of them become hostile to the very idea.
Providing evidence is not my aim.
I am fluent.
That's proof to me that I may know more than those who are not. It was no accident, but the fruit of scores of years of applied research, practice and introspection.
But almost everyone prefers a pill. It takes no effort.
Their choice.
I do everything the hard way.
That way I know what works.

Stuttering Stanley said...

You said, "Every stutterer I have come into contact with considers themselves perfect"

Me: Really? Every one of them? Okay, here is one who will break your streak. I am nowhere near perfect. Okay, done.

You said, "No change necessary. No adjustments needing to be made."

Me: I have never said that. Change me where necessary! Adjust me where it is appropriate! But...show me some kind of scientific evidence that strongly suggest that those changes and adjustments will make a difference. That's not an unreasonable request...right?

You said, "I am fluent."

Me: That's wonderful. I am very happy that you've found this. I truly want you to know that I am elated for your success. We all want that. But...before I endorse your findings...I want you to show strong, objective, peer-reviewed evidence that what you have discovered will work for all stutterers. After all, we have CENTURIES of quack cures. Can you blame us for being a little cynical? What are you offering that can combat centuries of quack abuse? If not much...why are you being so obtuse and combative with your response? Do we not have reason to be doubtful?

You said, "That's proof to me that I may know more than those who are not."

That is merely proof of your experience. Experiences are very subjective. The lame walk. The blind see. The dead arise. Forgive us for not falling over ourselves to inquire into what you have found. Science and medicine have shown us that such "instant cures" are not only fleeting...but likely even not true. Offer us something objective and peer reviewed. Then you'll get our attention.

You said, "but the fruit of scores of years of applied research, practice and introspection."

Me: Scores of research? A score is 20 years...scores? So, how many? 3 score? 60 years?? Where is this "research" published that we can review and critique it? If nowhere...of what value is this "research"?

You said, "But almost everyone prefers a pill. It takes no effort."

Me: Yes, we are all so lazy. Only you have the gumption and ethic to work so hard to find a cure. Forget all of the medical professionals and scientists who have spent decades peering into this condition. They are all lazy idiots who prefer a pill.

Only YOU have really put any effort into this thing.

Seriously...I have to get some sleep. Thanks for the amusement. I will likely write a blog entry about this exchange.

dbtk44 said...

I took a combination of drugs in the hope that they would help my stuttering. Zanax and another drug..sorry the name eludes me at the moment, might have been generic celexia. They DID have a very good effect on my speech, as I really didn't stutter! However, the sedative effect was intolerable, as I was a walking zombie. It was an experiment that worked for it's intended purpose, but the side effects were just too much to function on any coherent level. I do still take zanax by itself on occasion, and find it does have a somewhat positive effect on my fluency, but it has it's side effects also, and I'm not sure if I want to live addicted to a drug for the small improvement it offers. Sadly it isn't an acceptable long term answer for my stuttering.

Hiten said...

The wonderful world of medications and side effects! I agree with Tom though. Psychotherapy based techniques are better for fears. If this works, then one might never need to go down the medication route.

But then again from what you wrote, it seems you were trying to reduce the occurence of stuttering, rather changing the emotions involved?

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Gull said...

I too agree that psychotropic pills are not safe. Stammering Help"

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Patty Bills said...

Everyone is different and different things work for different people, but I, for one, have been able to keep my stuttering completely under control! To read my story, go to http://www.pattyhealthyandhappy.com/_m1715/Healthy-and-Happy-Blog/I-was-a-stutterer---but-not-anymore

I would love to help you, if you want to give it a try. IF it doesn't work for you, you can get your money back!

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