Tag: anosmia

Citalopram Side Effects Hell

My doctor prescribed Citalopram to help me with menopause symptoms – night sweats, hot flashes, moodiness, and insomnia. I took 20 milligrams and did well since it resolved the symptoms of menopause I had without side effects at that point. It was nice to get good sleep without the covers on and the covers off. I didn’t feel like I wanted to stick my head in the freezer when a hot flash hit. I like to call hot flashes POWER SURGES. My significant other didn’t miss the moodiness that’s for sure.

The doctor upped the dose to 40 mg because I told her I felt “flat”. I lost my passion for life. Now I know it was the Citalopram making me “flat”.

I noticed I couldn’t smell anything. I couldn’t smell my significant other’s cologne or my essential oils. Or all my lavender plants in my garden. Not being able to smell is called anosmia and makes cooking a chore and a guessing game. It is definitely a safety problem as I couldn’t smell when food was bad. Is something burning? Hell if I know. So I became hypervigilant when I cooked. I grew to HATE cooking.

Then the skin problems started. I itched like a crazy person. I wanted to take a rake to my skin all the time. There was red circular raised rashes on my legs and abdomen that grew and itched. The doctors gave me steroid creams in increasing strengths but they only partly worked. I discovered peppermint oil in coconut oil worked the best for the itching. There were still many nights I was unable to sleep because of the itching.

The lack of passion for life was gone. I went with the flow even when it was not what I wanted. I had no desire to create anything – so out of character. I didn’t express my wants or needs for anything. If you asked me what I wanted to do or eat, I would say “I don’t care. Whatever.” So boring, right? People shouldn’t live like that.

I quit!

I decided I was done taking an antidepressant. You can’t stop taking Citalopram suddenly so I cut the pills to decrease to 30 mg for several weeks. I dropped to 20, 15, and then 10. Cutting these pills into fourths is tedious. It took 6 months, and I was done.

The best part

My skin cleared, the itching was gone, and the relief was immense. Slowly my sense of smell returned. You know, cinnamon smells delightful. I’m cooking again. And I started knitting a sweater!

citalopram side effects hellPhoto by gusset

Nothing Stinks

Please don’t ask me to smell the milk to determine if it is any good or any other food for that matter. Of course, you can let one rip quietly and I would not know unless you tell me. I’m not bother by dead skunks, possums, or armadillos. Or garbage. Or a full litter box. Or someone’s bad breath.

Most annoying thing is all the questions. Why can’t you smell? Maybe it’s just a cold. Can you smell this? Or that? Can you still taste food? I just can’t smell. I haven’t been able to smell for several years. I don’t know why. I just woke up one day unable to smell. My physician doesn’t seem too concern either. So I live with it.

I do miss smelling my lavender and mint plants in my garden. I don’t wear any cologne or perfume for fear I will put on too much. I used to hate it when others did that. I got rid of all my scented candles since it just reminds me that I can’t smell. I worry constantly that I smell bad or my house smells bad. But the absolute worst is not smelling food. Food is just food. Ho-hum.

The biggest stress is not smelling smoke. A lamp started smoking right beside me but I was obivious to it. Now I worry about fire all the time. I will be the last to know when the house catches fire.

So cherish your sense of smell because for me it all smells the same. Like a big, fat nothing.
Photo by talkingplant

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