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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  35 years experience counseling children and families
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my 22 year old son is having anxiety and stress symptoms

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my 22 year old son is having anxiety and stress symptoms, dizzy, feels like fainting, tightness in chest , shortness of breath, he has been trying to do to much at school, pre med. He cant even do anything without getting dizzy, is it bad for him to take citalopram, or do you have a better idea? He has only taken 1 so far 20 mg, but it seems his symptoms are worse today. He is also an athelete for his college, plays soccer, does not smoke, no drugs.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA with your concern,

An SSRI medication (like Citalopram) is appropriate in the treatment of anxiety. It is common to have side effects at first. It often takes a few weeks for the side effects to go away and the therapeutic effects to "kick in". Therefore, individuals are asked to give the medication several weeks before determining it's effectiveness.

Some people are prescribed an anti-anxiety medication called a benzodiazepine (Xanax, Ativan) but these are addictive and the SSRI is better in the long run. It is harder to wean off of a benzo.

I hope this gives you some reassurance....warm regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So let say he is on it for a couple of months and is doing really good, could he go off of it because he doesnt need it anymore (with an ok from the doctor of course) also will this medicine make him feel like harming himself, you know when you read stuff on the internet its scary.
The concerns about suicidal thoughts with SSRI's are related to younger teens (and even that is rare) and should not be a problems for a young adult. It would not be recommended that he go off the medication in a few months. A course of 6 months or longer is generally recommended. In the meantime, he should also see a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy so that he can learn to calm his anxieties though changing his thinking about things. Then...he may be able to handle it without medication.
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