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.