Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'sertraline'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Support
    • Read This First
    • Introductions and updates
    • Tapering
    • Symptoms and self-care
    • Finding meaning
    • Relationships
  • The commons
  • Current events
    • Events, controversies, actions
    • In the media
    • Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal
    • From journals and scientific sources

Found 209 results

  1. Moderator's note: link to Musk's members-only benzo thread - Musk: how to taper 5 mg diazepam every two days Hello, this is my first post. So grateful to find this forum. I am in Spain, not able to comunicate properly in english, I use googletraslator. My history: since spring 2015, postnatal depression with anxiety and somatization due to extreme fear of diseases, especially autoimmune diseases. Sertraline 100 mg & diazepam 5 mg from June 2016 to August 2017. Right after appendicitis with surgery (28 august 2017) and chronic hip and lumbar pain since 4 months. In consultation of rheumatology I discover that I have a hlab27 gene related to ankylosing spondylitis, which conditions me mentally more and more. But pain has not an inflammatory pattern and there is no sign of inflammation in blood. Now progressively more and more depressed with new symptom really the most disabling: severe insomnia. Medical proposal: return to sertraline. Big temptation, but I refuse. I continue with diazepam 5 mg (ocasionaly). Is this a possible case of withdrawal sindrome? Opinions welcome. In psycotherapy, I had some little epyphany (childhood trauma, obsesive negative thoughts...) Many many thanks.
  2. I joined this site a couple of weeks ago. After finding that paxilprogress was no more. I was devastated. That site may have truly saved my life in some of my darkest moments. What is one to do? When essentially you've self-destructed in front of everyone you love; because of a nasty little "non-habit-forming" pill that's been shoved down your throat for decades. So here I am. Time (weeks really) has eluded me. I meant to reach out sooner. I'm just hoping I'm not reaching out too late. I feel like such a horrible failure. I know better than that at some level, know that maybe I failed but that I just have to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. But I'm so I'll. I'm so weak. I'm so alone. And I feel so helpless. My life may not have been a picnic before the introduction of SSRIs. But this is one situation in which the grass was truly greener on the side of which I was already standing. Before popping that first "innocent" little pink pill, prescribed by a doctor who had seen me only once and only spent 10 minutes "getting to know me". I couldn't tell you who that doctor was, I never saw him again. Nevertheless he was the first in probably nearly a hundred who have insisted upon continuing the saga. And what better did I know? I was unhappy before the meds. I was often unstable on them. And I was clueless as to why I was saying and doing psychotic things (that I often didn't remember, or just have "snippets" of memory after the fact) and so violently ill when I decided I simply no longer wanted to take the pills. Or was even 12 hours late on a dose. (More about that and my travels down genetic testing road and CYP450 mutations later.) All that being said; Hello to all in these forums. I'm the antisocial one. The antisocial one that sometimes doesn't know when it's appropriate to shut up. Or how to appropriately ask for help. But if you've been through it (psych med-wise), I probably have too. And vice versa.
  3. I’m new to this website/forum, but I’ve been researching and finding great information about people getting off their psychiatric medication. I’m 46, and I was 20 years old in college when I experienced my first full blown panic attack (official diagnosis, panic disorder without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, depression). Looking back (after lots of therapy), I can now understand the stress I was under at that time. But the main point is that I was put on zoloft and lorazepam which, combined with lots of “social drinking” seemed to put a lockdown on the panic attacks (though I would still wake up with some varying degrees of anxiety most mornings). I put my head down and just sort of pushed my way through life, graduating from college with honors, holding a job doing community education / organizing / speaking, shifting gears and going back to school, and then starting my own successful business. Jump to about 4 years ago, 2012 and things just seemed to begin falling apart. The successful company I had created was now failing, a relationship I actually felt invested in was failing, and the hangovers from drinking had become really intense. In short, I ran out of steam. I gave up drinking in the spring of 2014, and that summer decided I was going to get off the damn meds. I did it the “right way,” tapering off the benzos first, and then the SSRI. And though the anxiety would increase while tapering and it was tough, by the end of the summer (early September) I was actually med free! Unfortunately, mid-October the panic attacks returned full force. Again, I can see now that this was a particularly stressful period of my life, but of course I was really disappointed when I decided I just had to get back on the meds (the panic attacks were relentless and excruciating). The problem was that the meds no longer seemed to work like they did before. And now I’m on MORE meds (add in remeron and extra 50 mg of zoloft). I have made some changes, doing lots of therapy, ACA support groups (and looking at childhood issues generally), exercising again regularly, EMDR, meditation, etc. And I want OFF the meds! I know I need to do this slowly, and at this point, I cut the remeron from 15 mg to 7.5 (about 1.5 months ago) and I’ve cut the benzo (now clonazepam) from 2 mg to 1.5 per day (just started that 3 days ago). My thought is to cut the benzos first, then the last of the remeron. I know with the relatively long half-life of the clonazepam, I need to take it slowly. I’m thinking .5 mg every 2 weeks. From the information I've come across, it seems like some taper off even more slowly than that? I'm looking for others to share their experiences with their own clonazepam withdrawal schedules (for panic disorder, preferably). I just don’t know what to do about the SSRI (zoloft). I realize this website is about benzo withdrawal, but I’m hoping to find others with experience on panic disorder and SSRI withdrawal too (as well as benzo withdrawal support). I hope this is OK on this forum? I’ve been “working with the anxiety” (trying to “make friends” with it as they say in the meditation circles). I know I’m less scared of it now, but I'm also not experiencing the full blown panic attacks. My concern is that I would get off everything (including the SSRI/zoloft) and then the panic attacks return, and it takes SO LONG for the SSRI to build up in one’s system. Do I just prepare myself to weather that storm? Will that storm really pass eventually without the meds? After years of trying to make my physiology match the lifestyle I felt I should lead, I’m now accepting the idea that I need to make my lifestyle match my physiology. The panic attacks are just so damn awful when they hit relentlessly all day long, day after day. I’m scared. Is there anyone out there that has had any experience with the meds and panic attacks along the lines that I have had? Are there other resources out there I should know about? Is it really possible that I can live a purposeful (and perhaps at least semi-peaceful) life without meds after 25 years of being on them? Much gratitude . . .
  4. This site is a go-to to reassure myself that others are traveling and have traveled this road. The discussions about emotional spirals (check) and anxiety, rumination and dread on waking up (check) and depression even worse than before medication (check) have been helpful. I am being extra mindful now of taking Mag powder in the morning and before bed. I started AA and kundalini yoga in mid-May which have both been helpful. Although I really didn't drink much, it was enough (and mostly alone, not social) and any depressant when you are coming off an antidepressant can't be helpful. Also, I changed from hatha/vinyasa yoga to kundalini yoga which is more focused on the spiritual component of yoga. I won't lie: at 4 months, I still fall daily into waves of depression and loneliness. But I do find that there are glimmers of happier times and I am getting clearer -- I hope -- about how to handle the tough times (for instance, I just now think that my beloved dog has a fever and am trying not to emotionally spiral -- ugh). I will be reading this site like mad just to remind myself that I am not alone. Farm Girl Works Tapered 75mg Sertraline March 2017 in 4weeks after 6 years mostly on with a few unsuccessful WD Stopped Sertraline April 1, 2017
  5. I would like to say hello and thank this website for giving me hope. I have spent the last few days reading a lot of the posts and have found them to be full of information and great advice. The success stories are wonderful to read. I have never been in a medical situation like this and I was feeling lost and alone until I found Surviving Antidepressants. I was put on Zoloft (50 mg then upped to 100mg) in February 2016 due to depression over a long-term illness that at that time was still un-diagnosed. I got a diagnosis for my illness in April of 2016. I was hospitalized for that illness both in April and March and it was eventually brought under control. Once I got home from the hospital (both times) I was very weak and I had very confused thinking. I had multiple at-home treatments and medications to keep track of. Somewhere in there I messed up my Zoloft and either went cold turkey or was only taking it intermittently, but did not realize it at the time. Starting in May and ramping up in June I had all sorts of symptoms, which nobody in the medical field could figure out, including me. I was put on Gabapentin (600mg then upped to 900mg) to help with the symptoms. My symptoms included headaches, nausea, feeling hot and sweating but having a low body temperature, as well as the feeling of internal tremors in arms and legs, and actual external tremors. I also had jerky arm movements. I had what I call “vertigo light”, the whole room didn’t spin, just the floor moved when I tried to walk; I felt like I was drunk. I had brain zaps, motion sickness, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and pressure in the ears like when flying on a plane. My memory was also bad. After endless nights of searching the Internet with my symptoms I realized I had withdrawal. Counting the actual amount of pills in the bottle and looking at the day it was prescribed confirmed that I had not been taking my medication. Once I realized what was going on I contacted my psychiatrist and I went back on at 50mg, which was twelve days ago. A dosage that high might be a mistake after reading about “reinstating” here on this sight, I don’t know yet. Since reinstating the brain zaps and vertigo have disappeared, and the other symptoms have gone down in intensity, however I am getting them more frequently. I’m now getting them every day, for at least a few hours and sometimes all day. Before going back on Zoloft they were really brutal but only for a few hours at a time, none of this all day stuff. Klonopin seems to help however my psychiatrist has suggested that I use it sparingly, he said that the Gabapentin should be helping with the symptoms. By the way, I feel I have an excellent psychiatrist. He did warn me when he put me on Zoloft not to go off of it without talking to him first and that there was tapering involved. He also responds to my frequent and desperate e-mails on a timely basis. I do recognize though that I need to be proactive when it comes to my health. This is my first time with a drug in the SSRI class. At this moment my goal is to stabilize. Eventually I would like to get off, but right now I just want the physical symptoms to go away. By the way, the depression, which was acute in February, seems to have disappeared, both while on and off the Zoloft. I am open to opinions, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
  6. Hello all! I am 19 and currently on Geodon (40mg), Zoloft (50mg), and Trazodone (50mg). I began taking these for depression, anxiety, and Psychosis. I began taking it for 4 days at a mental health institution. At first it was fine. But when i went home my mouth was dry and my jaw locked. I began experiencing palpitations and my stomach to burn. My body broke out into tremors and I began vomiting.I felt that it was from the medicine so I stopped taking them for one day. I felt like my old self that day. I went into work happy. However, the next day, all hell broke loose. All the symptoms came back full force and I called 911 begging for an ambulance. They came out and scolded me then left. After an hour my body broke out into convulsions and my mom thought I was having a seizure. She called 911 and I was taken to the ER where they gave me Benadryl and sent me on my way. I began taking the medicine again, but I see my therapist on Monday and I am going to request to taper off of it. It has done more harm than good. This is my first time on these drugs and will be my last. I feel I should have never listened to the doctor at the mental hospital. I feel like I'm dying.
  7. Hi, I just thought I'd introduce myself and let you all know my story and if it resonates with any of you. I was pretty low before starting antidepressants but they sent me down to a place I haven't experienced before. I was on Sertraline for a couple of weeks at its lowest dose (this caused me to have racing suicidal thoughts so I stopped), I was then put on Venlaflaxine which made me feel like I was a ghost, after I stopped I had extreme suicidal thoughts again, these thoughts have plagued me now for the past 5 months. initially I had these thoughts 24/7, now they come in waves. Hopefully I will be free of these thoughts one day, it's more the feeling I get when I have them, it's like it isn't me thinking them at all. Has anyone had something similar after stopping these drugs. All the best to you all Suttisan
  8. Hi all, I felt depressed around beginning of April realised something was wrong. I have depression and OCD. I went to my doctors and they put me on citalopram which i was on about a year and a half ago took ages to work then then finally did and I was better again also with talk plus counselling. I was on citalopram for 2 weeks last month and it didn't agree with me I was so sick so I changed to sertraline for 2 - 3 weeks and it still made me ill and my ocd worse.With my doctors advice she signed me off for a week and I came off them completely. I went back for a follow up appointment Monday I'm off them completely. However, I still feel numb and disconnected like I can't feel anything even though I know the love and happiness and support is there but I feel like I'm on the outside of my life looking in and my OCD is going in to over drive because I'm worried about it. I'm still doing talk plus counselling. I just want to know had anyone experienced this and how long does it take to get your emotions back? If anyone has any advice please let me know, Jen
  9. Hi everyone, I'm brand new here and wanted to tell everyone how much I've appreciate seeing all the positivity that everyone brings to the table. It has helped me more than you guys know. I was on sertraline for 18 or so years before I decided that I hadn't really found out genuinely who I was as a person considering I had been on the drug my entire adult life. I'm now 30 and 11 months into my withdrawal. I did get back on the medication for a month and a half after I had to go out of town for work for a week and was unable to eat or sleep for basically the entire time because of crippling anxiety. It has been the most difficult time in my life but the tough days always come and go. My biggest thing is wondering if anyone else has taken the drug for such a long time like me and made it through to full recovery. Does all of this pain go away? I know that my brain has endured a lot of years of brain altering chemicals so I'm trying to be patient with it but it's so difficult. Any replies would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all for being awesome 🤘🏻
  10. Yes, it will feel like a miracle when it happens for you; and it will happen for you, it is just a matter of time. I want to get that out there first thing; it is my belief that we will all heal in time; it has happened for me and is continuing to happen and it will happen for you. Am I completely 100% done healing? No. Am I so, so much better? Oh yes! Now for some basics: Male, mid 50s, took zoloft for over 20 year, quit cold turkey 3.5 years ago, was off 5 months, thought I was relapsing, so started prozac for 3.5 months and then quit that cold turkey. Then I found S.A. and discovered what I was dealing with was not a relapse but withdrawal (and recovery). So yes, I did everything completely wrong and more than once! I am proof that given time we can heal. I currently just celebrated 30 months of being drug free. Now, how to begin to describe the inhumane torture that I have endured until very recently; not sure but I will try. I have gone through both the windows and waves pattern and the continuous misery pattern. I was one of those that suffered a great deal after quitting, but really got slammed at about 6 months off. At 1 year I was barely functioning; at 1.5 years I was still miserable, and at 2 years off I was wondering if I was doomed to endless suffering with no end. But now as I have hit the 2.5 year mark I feel as if I have turned the corner. Windows and waves general comprised the first year and then it became continuous misery for pretty much the next 6 to 12 months or more; and then back to windows and waves. My last serious wave was in months 25-26 and now finally what feels like solid progress the last month or so. I am hesitant to list symptoms because I know how much it use to scare me to read what others were going through; but on the other hand it really helped when a new symptom would start, because I knew it was part of the recovery process and not some disease or sickness, and most of these are gone or have become minimal although they lasted for months or years. And just because I experienced them does not mean that you will, we all have a very individual road to recovery; so here they are in no specific order: Dark depression, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive compulsive, panic attacks, intrusive/obsessive thoughts that tortured me, hopelessness, irrational thinking, suicidal thoughts, brain zaps, intense organic fear, severe inner-body tension that felt like my whole insides were clamped up, sexual dysfunction, severe tension, tremors and pain in the back of my legs and calves, terrible shoulder and upper arm pain, mania, extreme bloating and stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, vertigo, feeling like my brain was on fire, feeling like a part of my brain was missing, feeling like a bomb had gone off in my head, floating head feeling, super-hot face, body temperature regulation problems – being super-hot or cold, constipation, dehydration, lack of appetite and weight loss, feeling dead, anhedonia, akathisia, mood swings, insomnia, terrible brain fog and inability to think clearly, sensitive vision and hearing, inching and burning skin, cold like symptoms, head congestion, phantom smells, constant tinnitus, severe fatigue and exhaustion, health anxiety, I could not read, listen to music, or meditate, heart palpitations, random traveling aching and stabbing pain throughout my body, headaches, and so many other symptoms that I can’t remember. The torture, pain, misery, suffering and utter despair was never ending…until it did finally start to end for me and it will for you too. Did anything help me along the way? I tried many things; acupuncture, vitamins and supplements, alpha-stim, gluten free diet, no sugar diet, no caffeine, no alcohol, and anything else I could do to try and feel better. Did it work? In a sense it all worked because it kept me focused on recovery and gave me hope when I had none, and the possibility that I might feel better. But time passing has been the real healing agent; although that was the last thing I wanted to hear when I was suffering so intensely. I did find that mindfulness, breathing exercises and physical exercise helped when all else failed and I was so truly desperate. Many hours were spent just trying to pay attention to my breath going in and out; and I still use this practice as a relaxation method. It also helped me greatly to visit this website daily as well as Benzo-Buddies. I read success stories for hours at a time, read the Bloom in Wellness facebook page each day and anything by Baylissa Frederick and also Don Killian. So, what remains for me? I still have tinnitus (although it has gotten much better over the last month), stomach bloating and pain on occassion, nerve pain, some brain zaps at night, fatigue and tiredness, and sleep issues. If I had to put some percentages on where I am at now I would say physically I am at about 85-90% healed and mentally/emotionally at 90-95% healed. I now eat anything that I choose although I eat as healthily as possible because I value life so much now and I want to live as long as possible; I exercise regularly and it feels wonderful; I enjoy caffeinated drinks including regular tea and coffee which I had given up for many months; I also drink wine and beer a couple times a week if I choose to and enjoy it. I am in the best shape since high school, and have lost 75 pounds (on purpose). Life is good again and just the simple things are more than enough to bring joy and happiness. So that is my story and I hope it will encourage you as you read it that you will recover and become yourself again. I remember reading similar statements in success stories and thinking, “Yea, right, that is easy for you to say, you are not suffering through this terrible hell right now!” And maybe you are thinking the same thing as I did, but please listen to my words; you will make it, you will recover, you will feel better, and you will join me in loving life once again; just please don’t give up or give in and keep going! As I sit here with a cup of coffee and contemplate what I have been through the last several years, it all seems so strange and foreign. Success stories promised that I would make it to recovery, and they were right, so now it is my turn to tell you that you will make it, “You will make it!”. Wishing everyone here all the best and a quick recovery. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to try and help. All my love. Pug
  11. I am new to this forum. Have been prescribed zoloft a year ago. Even though I experienced serotonin toxicity my doctor wasn't aware and I was forced to continue. I took 25mg twice a day...at one point reached 75mg... Currently at 25mg but experiencing palpitations,hot flashes, cold hot sweats headache drinking water losing weight etc. It looks like I will go into delirium tremans if I stop. I believe my receptors are severely damaged any dose of zoloft has not been helpful I am in constant pain with or without the meds. my doctor even increased the dose to I was hospitalized 3 times due to severe pain headache and finally decided to reduce. Please help. Did I permanently ruin the system. I am not able to go out in the sun or even eat a proper meal. Will I ever heal? I am basically a vegetable because if I exercise I get morning anxiety and heat...
  12. Hi there, thank god I found you guys! dont really know how to begin.. basically, at the beginning of July I went to see my doctor about my Social Anxiety Disorder that I've suffered with since I can remember. I was hoping he would refer me for CBT but instead he put me on 50mg of Sertraline. After 4 or so days on I had THE BIGGEST (my first ever one) panic attack. I was so convinced that I was dying that I called an ambulance. I went to the hospital and they confirmed it was a panic attack, caused by my anxiety. Of course I didn't question them because they're the ones who are supposed to know what they are doing. I came home and continued taking the pills, a few days after that I had a full day of waves of panic attacks - landing me in a&e AGAIN. I knew it had to be the Sertraline. I've never had panic attacks before, heck I didn't even know what one was! The following day I went to my GP and explained my situation but he was adamant that the Sertraline was not the cause of my problems. I went home disappointed and frustrated. These panics continued for 12 days until I decided enough was enough! I marched back to my GP and told him I wasn't going to take them anymore because they were causing mayhem. He laughed at me, BELLY LAUGHED and said in a funny tone "Well if YOU THINK these pills are causing your panic attacks then I'll give you something else" and he then prescribed me Citalopram. Now, I have been on Citalopram before (2013) for depression and had no problem with them so I was more than willing to try them again. BUT OH NO, They WORSENED the feelings I was already getting. So after 4 days of them, I stopped taking them. When I stopped them, I felt back to normal for almost a week.. Then withdrawals began. Swollen head feeling waves of panic stabbing pains in throat stiff muscles loose stools cramps pressure in ears tinnitus the list goes on.. of course I didn't know I was in withdrawals or that you could even have withdrawals because no information was given to me about them. It wasn't until good old Google informed me of these withdrawals just by me typing in SSRI.. And on the suggested list popped up SSRI Withdrawal. I am now on Day 36 of withdrawals and barely hanging on by a thread. Im Jodie, nice to meet you all.
  13. Hi all I've been taking one or another type of SSRI for 14 years for treatment of anxiety and depression that started when I was a student at university. In this time, I've only experienced a few relatively short periods (i.e. a couple of months) off the drugs before having what felt like a relapse and consequently re-starting or switching to a new drug. For the past few years I've been taking Sertraline. I was originally proscribed 100mg; a reduced this to 50mg I can't remember when. For the last 9 months - 1 year I have been chopping tablets up in order to take 25mg a couple of times a week / when I remembered to take it. This was mainly to stave off the on-set of physical side effects, particularly the 'electric shocks' and feeling dizzy. Emotionally I felt fine, but was never in a rush to come off the meds as I wasn't bothered about taking a low dose if it made me feel okay. About 3 weeks ago I realised that I'd forgotten to take any medication for several weeks and wasn't experiencing any physical side effects, so I decided to continue not taking the drug. I'm now 5-6 weeks without any medication. For the past week I have been feeling increasingly depressed, which is worrying me a lot as I have quite a full-on job. I have run regularly for many years - something I initially started to help improve my mental health. Despite running increasingly long distances this week, it seems to be doing less and less to improve my emotional state, which is a real concern for me. I'm hoping that what I'm experiencing is late-onset emotional withdrawal as the drug leaves my brain / body. I'd be very grateful for any advice / shared experiences from people who have been on Sertraline (or any SSRI!) for periods of several years. I'm guessing my brain is very used to having these drugs around. Should I go back on a lower dose? I could go hunting for 50mg / 25mg tablets to break up further. Or should I just ride this out? I'm extremely pleased that a site like this exists, and thank you in advance for any advice you might be able to share!
  14. Stormstrong: In pain

    Hello. I need help! I've been taking Zoloft on and off for close to ten years. Went up to 150mg last month. Since I got back from the psych hospital last month, I've been having a sensation of being stabbed repeatedly in the brain, the whole day after taking Zoloft. This is why I had to start taking it during the day time. Otherwise I cannot sleep - keep jolting up awake, as if though electrical currents of stress run through my body. Today I got up, and was quite happy, energetic. An hour later I took Zoloft. What happened?: the feeling in my body and brain is that of continuous assault by toxins. I feel at the same time very agitated, very lightheaded and sleepy, nauseous, no longer happy, with diarrhea. Music, my true love and saving grace, is now an irritant. For a long time I've been considering tapering off for good (I'd follow the 10% rule). But now it's clear to me that this medication is no longer good for me. I had my psychiatrist (of a few months) call me and I suggested that we taper me down to 135mg. He said that it's not a "good idea", and that it won't help me. I don't think I can get another psychiatrist, because I'm applying for SSI disability (for PTSD), and people at the hospital told me that my case will be quite strong, if I show that I've had the same psychiatrist for a long time. If I go against his wishes, he would never write a good letter for my SSI case. Should I just do it behind his back? Greetings, by the way!
  15. Hello everyone, thank you for creating and building such a fantastic resource. It’s so helpful to read about the journeys of others here. I was advised by my GP to speak with a psychiatrist in April 2016. The GP suspected I had depression & anxiety. I met with a psychiatrist for an assessment. I’d been through a lot of stressful experiences in life. Life had dealt me a tough hand, and I was already quite vulnerable when I arrived in his office. At the end of the assessment, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with depression and anxiety and prescribed me Bupropion 300mg and clonazepam 2 mg+ per day. I was never keen on the idea of taking medication, but the Dr said I needed it as I had “disorders” caused by chemical imbalances, and that I was lucky to have made it this far without it. I don’t believe that for one moment and now feel I was misinformed. If I had been warned about the side effects, I would never have put them in my body. I’ve been through some hard times, but the medication has served me with the hardest and most agonising four months of my life. To make things worse, after a couple of months seeing him every few weeks the psychiatrist offered me a job. It was a slightly unusual series of events, but I felt lucky to have been given the opportunity. I worked hard, was often praised for it and I was given reassurance my role was pretty much permanent. I loved my job. It gave me purpose and a role in the world. My self-esteem rocketed as I felt I’d been specially selected for showing signs of promise, it changed everything. However, the different roles called for different protocols, and the roles of “therapist” and “boss” required disparate and often conflicting styles of relating. The Doctor providing me with a job and treating me outside of the clinic caused the boundaries between Psychiatrist and employer to become extremely blurred. Even though it was unorthodox, I pinned a lot of faith on the Psychiatrist, his advice and the job he gave me. He gave me hope and faith for the future. August 2016: Prescribed Sertraline 100mg due to depression remaining and increasing number of bad moods. October 2016: While at work the Psychiatrist commented he suspected I had ADHD. Despite not suffering from day to day symptoms I completed the DIVA ( ADHD assessment ) with him, He prescribed methylphenidate 10mg 2-3 times a day. Over time I didn’t feel any improvement in mood, so the dose was increased to 20mg x5 (up to 100mg+ per day). I asked the Psychiatrist about alternative ADHD treatments as I was apprehensive about taking more medication. The Psychiatrist informed me that there were no ADHD treatments in my area and even if there were he would not be prepared to enter into a shared care agreement. I believed treatment with him was my only option. I was told there were no services or specialists other than him and the only treatment available was medication. March 2017: The symptoms started with a lump sensation in my throat like there's some thing stuck, maybe it’s my thyroid. I went to the GP who said it was globus or anxiety and it was nothing to worry about, but I know it’s not anxiety as it’s there even when I’m not anxious. Next came tremors, dizziness and chronic fatigue. I was struggling to think, speak and walk. I felt as though a part of my brain had shut down. I had strong pains in my chest, dull aches that moved around my back and occasional shooting stabbing pains in my back and leg that stopped me in my tracks when I did walk. April 2017: The relationship seemed to work well initially but became very confusing until eventually I was dropped not only occupationally but therapeutically. My false sense of security was pulled from beneath my feet. I'm sorry to say last time the Psychiatrist, and I spoke he was abrupt, abrasive, insensitive and rude. I’ve been left in shock, fear, trepidation and with more health problems than before I met the Psychiatrist. At the time I thought the stress of losing my job caused me to become unwell, but after discovering James Moores Mad in America podcast, listing to peoples stories and reading a little, I think I’d reached a tolerance point with the medication and started to have terrible side effects. By this point, I’d lost faith in the Doctor so felt I couldn’t ask him for help. I think part of me knew it was the medication as I went to my GP, firstly to find the Psychiatrist hadn’t been keeping my records up to date. I told the GP what I had been prescribed, and I was told it would be impossible to identify what was causing the problems. I naively agreed with my GP that the best option would be to stop taking all medication, however stopping without tapering has left me with a long list of withdrawal symptoms. I stopped taking sertraline, clonazepam & methylphenidate that day and cut my dose of bupropion in half for one week then stopped the following week completely. Every symptom I already had, got worse, tremors, dizziness, feeling unsteady, feeling like I might pass out, loss of coordination, back pain. The fatigue was so bad, I couldn’t walk for more than a minute or so which lead to me not being able to leave the house. My partner was having real trouble getting me out of bed in the morning, and after a few hours of being up, I’d need to go back to bed due to feeling exhausted. I think I was putting it down to severe depression, but I didn’t feel depressed, I just felt numb. After a couple of days of stopping I started to get really bad night sweats, I’d wake up stinky, drenched with my mouth tasting how I smelt, it was horrible. The chest & back pain continued to get worse and progressed to tingling and numbness in my arm. I’ve been to the hospital three times in the past four months in various states of feeling close to death but sent home every time. I’ve been to the GP many times as the side effects have left me with so many physical symptoms and feeling so ill. I had numerous blood tests and even though I felt like I’d been poisoned every test came back clear. August 2017: The fatigue has lifted slightly, the part of my brain that felt as though it had broken is slowly coming back, and I’m smelling much better :). I continue to have flu like symptoms and intense joint and muscle pain, mainly in my back, shoulder and arm and I’m not entirely sure if the pain will ever go away. I feel like a very rickety eighty-year-old. My GP finally acknowledged some of these side effects last week. They haven’t been able to give me much support due to stopping taking so many different medications at the same time and stopping cold turkey. The GP did frustratingly say some of what I’m going through maybe down to the return of depression and anxiety. I’m only depressed as I’m in so much pain and have anxiety as my nerves are messed up. I’m a little worried that the medication has caused permanent damage. I accept a return in my depression and anxiety, but I have so many physical difficulties that began following and since stopping taking the medication. I trusted the Psychiatrist and put my life in his hands. Looking back, I feel like I was led astray, betrayed and like I’ve been chemically assaulted. Before everything went wrong, I recommended the Psychiatrist to some friends who also became patients of his. They were given a similar diagnosis to the one I’d been given, told they also had chemical imbalances and they too prescribed a similar cocktail of medication including methylphenidate and told to contact him when they needed a repeat prescription. After a couple of months, they both began asking me why he wasn’t returning their calls or emails. When I spoke with him about this, he said they had contacted him last minute, and for that, he wasn’t going to reply right away as he didn’t do last minute. Eventually one of my friends requested to have her care transferred as she lost faith in him. The other works at one of his clinics, and is still having problems with him returning her emails and calls and providing her with prescriptions when needed. She has told me there'd been many occasions recently that other patients of his have called his clinic in tears as they are unable to get hold of him. I also know a woman who was under his care at the inpatient unit long before I met him. She said he had given her a combination of medications. She told me it made her feel like a zombie. For one reason or another, she was transferred to a different psychiatrist who questioned why she was on so much medication and immediately began to reduce her dose. No one was warned about side effects and withdrawals, supported, monitored or made aware they’d have to request prescriptions on the Psychiatrists personal terms. It was hugely irresponsible of him to tell people they need medication due to a medical condition and chemical imbalance and to encourage dependence on medication and not provide support, information, monitoring and often fail to provide the advised medication to patients dependant on it. I’m so happy to have found this incredible community and source of information, it's allowing me to start making sense of what I’ve been and am going through. It’s such a relief to learn I’m not the only one feeling this way. The support and compassion I’ve seen on this forum is incredible and a brilliant way of making good of what everyone here has been through. Trusting I’m going to get better and connecting with others isn’t easy at the moment, but I’m hoping it’s going to get easier. My heart goes out to everyone that has been through or who is going through withdrawal. x
  16. Hello, I am so grateful to have found a place where there are people who support and understand each other. It is so difficult talking to others about this topic as they either don't understand as they've never walked in your shoes, make judgements or give you uneducated advice. Obviously being depressed must mean to some people that I cannot think for myself, make good decisions or know what I'm doing. Right. So, thank you for being an accepting, supporting and educating place that is safe, kind and caring. I have been on the not so lovely Zoloft since 2010. It all started with the birth of my little munchkin which sent me into a deep, dark and hopeless hole. The doctor called it post-partum depression. I called it misery. It was worsened by everyone around me as they continually reminded me this was supposed to be the happiest time in my life; motherhood. To me their words were a constant stab in the gut with each reminder a twist of the knife. I didn't feel anything so how could I feel anything towards this little thing that screamed at me all day and night? I wanted to run away; I ran to my doctor who I thought would save me from this torture. My doctor had one answer to end the misery and make my life as a mother television perfect; my savior was an oval pill named Zoloft. 3 months of being saved by Zoloft made me feel less numb. I didn't want to run away and I started to actually have an interest in the little crying bundle I spent my days with. All was seeming good until I realized my savior ran out. I called the doctor to get more but that was not as easy as getting it the first time. Now I needed to go see a psychiatrist to get more. Ah, but there was a huge road block called work. See when you have a baby in the USA, your maternity leave ends at 3 months. My job required me working 14 hour days so getting in to see this doctor was nearly impossible. So my savior and I abrubtly parted ways. My body was so distraught I went into severe withdrawal of headaches, insomnia, sweating, suicidal thoughts, leg cramps, fatigue, shakiness and muscle aches. It was horrible and took 6 months to overcome. In 2013 all was going well. I was pregnant with baby #2 and life was happy. When I was 5 months pregnant I knew something was wrong. The baby decided Earth was not the right place and left. I went into a deep hole again. My doctor this time around again offered me the same treatment claiming it is the best one for this type of thing. Zoloft snuck back into my life. Since then I have been hanging out with Zoloft. 2 weeks ago I stopped taking it fully after I tapered down. It was going well and I was feeling great. I recently was diagnosed with euthroid Hashimotos. I started .25mg Synthroid 3days ago. Yesterday I started feeling horrible. Last night and today were worse. I have insomnia even though I'm extremely fatigued, I'm crying all the time, my body aches, I have headaches, leg cramps, tingling in my hands and lips, sweating, cold hands and feet, muscle stiffness in my upper back, neck and arms, mental fogginess, shortness of breath, irritability, agitation, upset stomach, indigestion, moodiness, seasick sensation, dizziness, lightheadedness and nausea. Pretty much I feel horrible. I cannot function. I get fatigued walking to the bathroom. I feel so uncomfortable it is getting unbearable. I broke down and took 150mg of Zoloft tonight as that's what I was taking. I'm hoping this is withdrawal and reinstating the Zoloft will make it go away as I don't know how much more I can handle. No doctor ever discussed with me how hard and horrible getting off Zoloft would be. I had NO idea it would be this bad. This is worse than the hole I was in initially. I feel like I'm dying and that alone is depressing. That is the end of how I entered...the Zoloft Zone!!!!!!
  17. Hello everybody, hope you're all as well as can be expected given this horror we're all enduring. Bit of history. I've been on Ad (Seroxat) since '97 or '98, I got off that after a 2.5 month taper (i know i know!) from 30mg, and then went straight on to Prozac 40mg (August '13). 3 month after the swap my head practically exploded. It was hell on earth. I managed to get stable-ish after 8 months on Prozac but my doctor wanted me on Sertraline - so i endured another awful swap over. This was Feb 2014. Since about June 2014 i have been relatively well and even made it back to work after 10 months off. After getting through the winter, always a horrible time for me and the reason i went on AD's in the 1st place, i stepped on the scale in March this year and noticed i'd put on 4 stone in one sodding year on th Sert. You can imagine my delight. Well, that was the point i decided to get off this poison once and for all. I tapered from 75mg to 0mg from March to May under the docs instructions. I thought this a reasonable time-scale. I got all the usual nausea, anger, etc but handled it ok, even though my work colleagues probably woudn't agree! From May to last week i was coping and though i'd cracked it. Then last week happened. I just crashed. Luckily i was on holiday...Foggy brain, crying, suicidal thoughts, body shakes, depersonalisation, deep despair...and those were the good days. Thought it couldn't get any worse till today. 1st day back at work and i started feeling very restless. This turned into constant walks to the toilet just to escape the office. Then i suddenly went very hot and was literally peeing sweat from every pore in my body. My clothes and hair were drenched. I went very pale and started shaking. Then my eyesight started going very kaleidescopey and i nearlt had to lie on the office floor in front of my colleagues. Awful! I was taken to ER immediately and thankfully all tests were negative. They put it down to a panic attack. I now know different having found this site. So, what would you advise? I haven't slept for 4 nights, I rarely eat and i just don't feel right. Should i reinstate a small dose after 3 months off? Also do i have Akaithsia (sp)? I'm ok now in the evening but the last few days and then today at work i've haven't been able to sit still. It has lessened this evening but it is worrying the hell out of me? Anyway, thanks for reading and for any advice you might be able to offer, It is truly appreciated.
  18. I was on sertraline 75mg for 2.5 years for postpartum depression. During that time I sought counseling and my therapist diagnosed me with bipolar 2 because I had irritability along with my depression. My therapist referred me to the Psychiatric NP in the same practice. The NP told me to "wean" off the sertraline within a month so she could introduce latuda. She put me on 20mg of latuda and increased it to 80mg within 4 months. At 80mg, I immediately experienced heightened anxiety, insomnia (I still haven't had more than 2-4 hours of sleep per night since December 2016 and some nights ZERO sleep!), and SEVERE akathisia. When I brought up the adverse reactions, the NP assured me these were side effects that would eventually subside - she was wrong. I suffered entire month and begged her to come off of latuda. She finally agreed and told me to taper 20mg every 2 weeks. My taper looked like this: 60mg to 40mg to 20mg then off. With each decrease I noticed my anxiety would spike and I'd go into an emotional tailspin about 4-5 days after a drop in dose and then stabilized a bit. I assumed once I tapered off the latuda I'd be able to sleep again, my anxiety would lessen and the akathisia would go away. I was partially right, the Akathesia went away as I lowered my dose, but the insomnia and anxiety remained. The NP had also put me on 100mg of lamictal two months after introducing latuda. I wanted to come off this medication as well, but she told me to stay on it because she thought it would prevent mania or depression while coming off the latuda. She was wrong again. One week after my last dose of latuda, I had a complete emotional breakdown and was severely suicidal. I voluntarily checked myself into a psych hospital. There I was told that I had been misdiagnosed by the NP and was abruptly taken off the lamictal. Then they reintroduced sertraline 150mg to bring me out of my depressive state. That seemed to stabilize me so I was released with a Rx for sertraline 150mg. A week after I was home from the hospital I knew instinctively something wasn't right. Instead of steadily improving, I felt worse physically (mentally I was actually doing ok). I began to have muscle twitches, tingling throughout my body, my eyelids kept twictching, my heart was racing, I would get hot and cold flushes radiating over my entire body, my skin felt like it was burning, headache, weakness, and the left side of my face was completely numb. I went to the Psychiatric urgent care where the NP diagnosed me with break through anxiety. I told her she was wrong and that I believed I was suffering from serotonin syndrome. She looked dubious, but sought out the medical director who conducted a neurological test and concurred with me. I was placed in psych hospital again and taken off the sertraline. I felt better within a day. They gave me remeron 7.5mg that knocked me out for almost two days. Needless to say, I refused to take another dose. A day before my release, the doctor and I discussed reintroducing sertraline at a very low level - 25mg to 50mg. I was sent home with a Rx for sertraline 50mg. Within 1 hour of taking the sertraline, all the serotonin syndromes came back so I had to stop taking sertraline with no possibility of reinstatement. All this time, I believed my insomnia, anxiety and akathesia were related to the Latuda. I also believed that my emotional distress and depression stemmed from latuda withdrawal, but now I'm wondering if it was actually protracted withdrawal from the first time I weaned off of sertraline 75mg and the weaning off latuda being merely coincidental. I did not experience any acute withdrawal symptoms with the exception of a little Weepiness from time to time. Is it possible to experience withdrawal symptoms from sertraline SIX months after the last dose? It's been 3 weeks since my last dose of sertraline 50mg and I've experienced the following: headaches, muscle twitching, shivers, tingling, internal restlessness, body aches, a general feeling of being unwell, severe mood swings: rage, depression, apathy, suicidal thoughts, hypomania, uncontrollable crying, and anxiety. I've had some good functional days, followed by days of being physically & emotionally incapacitated. Is the what's known as waves & windows? I'm trying to figure out if this is withdrawal from the latuda & lamictal or a continuation of the the possible withdrawal of the sertraline. I'm also hoping that the reintroduction of sertraline followed by the abruptly stopping won't prolong whatever it is that is going on. I am also worried because after doing much research I realized that I did the first taper much too fast, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it now due to the serotonin syndrome. Any advice, insight or shared experiences are most welcome. This site makes me feel less alone. My new psych told me I shouldn't be experiencing any withdrawal and I was just having breakthrough symptoms.
  19. Hello, I am going to try and summarize as short as possible at first and add details in the later paragraphs. I am mentally blah so I will try to make as much sense as I possibly can. If you can help or know the exactly what will work, I will owe you the world. I will start just from the past few years. I had withdrawn from Zoloft and months later everything came back with a vengeance so I decided on my own to restart the drug. Everything was fine until a week later when I had one of my LSD flashback/panic attacks. (More severe than a standard panic attack.) That was enough to regret my decision and to trash the drug. A few weeks later I became unable to walk because I was so dizzy, body jerking, and hallucinating. I was scared out of my mind. I then make it back to the doctor who tells me to restart the zoloft and to take xanax until it works. It was tough, but a couple of months later I felt like the drug was normal and regulated. In 2016 I was doing better so cut back from 25 mg to taking it every other day which always seemed to work best for me. The doctor however didn’t like that and told me to take 12.5 each day instead. I shouldn’t have listened because I know better, but I did. I started swelling in my hands and feet after that. The doctor just blamed other things and kept saying it wasn’t the drug. I kept becoming worse and worse physically and mentally. I caught a bad cold on top of my chronic sinus infection and everything went downhill from there. I was given a steroid shot to reduce my facial swelling, but it didn’t work. I kept becoming more anxious so I then decided I would increase my zoloft back to 25 mg in March and started Allergra. Again for about 5 days I felt fine, but was noticing that my arms and chest would flush slightly about 1.5 hours after taking it. I felt ok so didn’t think much of it. On day 5 I was also taking an antibiotic I haven’t taken before even though I’ve taken others in the same drug family. On day 6 I took Zoloft and had sex. 1.5 hours later after taking it, I suddenly started to feel very hot and incoherant. I started getting white mosquite bite looking bumps and turned scary purple red all over my body. My heart felt like it was struggling. My fiance grabbed my purse so I could get my theromometer and check my temp. It was now at 101 and kept increasing so I immediately take tylenol. Scared it was an an allergy I also take benedryl. (Another serious mistake because it doesn’t react well to me.) I call my doctor and explain as best as I can what is happening, I was very incoherant could barely speak, and he tells me to go to the ER. By the time I get there the tylenol has worked and my temp has went down and the flushing has stopped. He then gives me another steroid shot. (The nail in the coffin.) Within minutes of leaving the hospital I have the worst seizure type panic attacks of my life with my legs myclonic jerking and all. I go back to the doctor next day and my heart rate is just staying steady at 150 while I’m still flushed with a temp and high blood pressure. The doctor gave me a EKG and tells me it’s just sinus tachycardia even though there is an extra beat present. He just tells me to go home and take more xanax. It hits me that I had the flushing prior to the antibiotic and then I know it was serotonin syndrome not an allergy and stop my tiny dose of zoloft and the allegra. (The doctor was insistent it wasn’t the zoloft, but there is no doubt to me it was.) So while all this is going on I cold turkey the meds. I only get worse from there. So basically I was probably already in withdrawal, decided to increase, only to cold turkey a week later. For months I only get worse. I keep flushing, although not as severe, and being out of my mind. Screaming, crying, panic attacks, unable to even shower alone. Because the flushing and high heart rate didn’t stop I insist on testing my cortisol like in cushing’s disease and for carcinoid syndrome. My cortisol and DHEA adrenaline hormone was high and elevated, but I don’t have cushings and serotonin levels were normal so now carcinoid syndrome. But the endocronologist pointed out other strange things like my right eye was now weak, tremors, and I had skin blanching/mottling. She was very concerned about those things and found I suddenly had colitis. My allergies are still severe after the withdrawal and I tried to take claritin and wound up in the hospital because my heart rate was high and again blood pressure plummeted. I then developed the worst PMDD ever. My hormones became awful. I have periods now with only clots when before on zoloft I barely had one. I also become severely depressed, clammy irrate, and cold. For the following year after zoloft my blood pressure is extremely low and my heart rate extremely high. I wake up everyday with a heart rate of 170+ with bad swelling in my eyes. Doctor just says take it more salt. I’m very scared and in pain, but because of all the added stress I can no longer leave my house or drive. I have been wasting away in hell not living. Doctor made me go to a psych who wants me to start lexapro. Since lexapro commonly causes increased QT prolongation of the heart, I have zero desire to make my situation any worse. (Zoloft can also effect QT, but Lexapro is more commonly associated with it. )They forced me to try Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium which I didn’t feel comfortable with and they all made me worse. All three made my anxiety worse. I wanted the Xanax back, but when I took it I also reacted badly to it. My legs quivered violently for an hour followed by severe leg weakness/numbness/pain, dysphoria, tinnutis, weird clogged ears, extremely low heart rate, and blood pressure. Every since I withdrew from the zoloft I have bad leg tremors and hand tremors. Very scary. I should also note I smoke so my blood pressure should never be low. I supposedly have asthma over night, but I keep asking them, “If my blood pressure is so low and I quit smoking, how low will my blood pressure get then??” No one will give me a straight and honest answer. I am failing miserably and 100% dependent. I just don’t see a way out of this. I’ve thought about restarting the zoloft, but have extreme fear that I can become worse. At the same time I am not living. I stay home alone 24/7. How much should I restart? The very first time I withdrew 4 years ago wasn’t as bad because it was my first withdrawal and it was much slower. I just have to do something because I have colitis among other things and am so panicked that I have canceled all appointments. My anxiety is just to severe to go through a colonsocopy and to my other doctors right now. I’ve given it 10 months and just have no more time left to lose.. The situation clearly isn’t going to get any better on its own. I should also say that I never had a good experience starting ssris. I am one who gets severe panic attacks before it kicks in worse. I have PTSD from where I was drugged with LSD so I have a huge med phobia. As of right now, I can’t even bring myself to take Tylenol for a headache. I have spent months trying to research a way to get better without ever putting the poison back in my body, but I see no other way at this point. I’m sure since SSRIs effect 5 ht receptors like LSD does that is the reason I have such bad reactions, but that is a different conversation all together.
  20. Hi all. I have been on a combo of Risperdal and Zoloft since 2012. I reached 3mg risperdal and 200mg zoloft in early 2016, tried to taper off both starting in June of that year, and had a bout of insomnia in November, at which time I reinstated along with an additional 15mg remeron. Adding the remeron, I've learned, was a huge mistake and most likely unnecessary. Since then I've slept at most 6 hours instead of my usual 8. For the first 2 months on remeron I avoided caffeine and tobacco. Then, after picking up both again, my sleep suffered, and I eventually had nights with 2-3 hours. I've since learned that caffeine and tobacco induce the enzyme CYP1A2, which metabolizes remeron, explaining this. By abstaining from both, my sleep has returned. I have also tried shaving a sliver off my 15mg pill with no luck...getting a full night without sleep. I would like to be able to drink coffee and smoke again. That leaves me with 2 options, get off the remeron (seemingly impossible) or tolerate the lack of sleep. If I do the latter, will my sleep eventually not recover even when abstinent due to repeated withdrawals? I had been planning to use coffee and cigs only sporadically, letting my sleep return before using them again, or using only on the weekends. If I that is not sustainable, then how do you recommend I get off the remeron, given my sensitivity to even a small dose decrease? My doc has suggested trazodone as a replacement, but that med interacts with my other meds and a post about it here scared me away. Thank you so much for your help.
  21. Weaning off Zoloft (100mg) on 50mg now, took me about 5 weeks tp get down without much issue. Anyway after a violent altercation with a family member i took my original 100mg just for that day to see if the rage i felt was withdrawal induced or not. I then continued on 50mg the following days, haven't felt much different maybe a bit more depressed. So would any problems arise if I reinstated my original dose on just that occasion? Can I continue my taper despite reinstating 100mg dosage?
  22. Introduction: Hi everyone. I signed up because I found a great deal of useful information here. Thank you all for sharing your accounts too. Similar stories show we are not alone, while successful ones show that there is hope despite how severe and destabilizing withdrawal can be. I'm starting this log to track my progress in achieving some stability. Eventually I hope to withdraw slowly and successfully from SSRIs, but am in no rush to do so after withdrawal experiences. In a way it's also inspired me to start this log because I'm possibly one of the more severe cases (at least the ones I have read so far). Protracted withdrawals have led me to be totally non-functional and housebound with severe anxiety, severe insomnia and severe fatigue for two periods totally over a year. Beyond this, I have lost much more time struggling to keep afloat and trying to recover from these periods of intense suffering, instability and hypersensitivity. I understand what it's like to feel your nervous system is totally fried beyond repair. I say all this not to be dramatic, but as something someone in a similar situation might take inspiration in reading one day in the future, when I eventually recover. An outline of my history with SSRIs is as follows: 2008: Started 30mg Citalopram 2014: Tapered down Citalopram over 6 months and discontinued 02/2015 Severe withdrawals peaked after 6 months. Totally housebound. 09/2015: Sertraline 100mg started to mitigate withdrawals. 2016: Tapered down Sertraline over 1 year ending 03/2017 Severe withdrawals peaked after 4 months until present date 10/2017. Totally housebound. 10/2017: Reinstated Sertraline 5mg in an attempt to mitigate withdrawals Unfortunately, both times during withdrawals, Doctors have also thrown valium and zopliclone at me several time to try to rectify my insomnia. Zopliclone for 2 months from 07/2015 and Valium for 4 months from 06/2017 until present date 10/2017. I accepted because I felt no other option beyond reinstating SSRIs. Both times, these drugs created severe rebound anxiety and likely intense tolerance/withdrawal symptoms of themselves. This made the situation even more unclear, but given the low doses I suspect the effects are limited compared to protracted SSRI withdrawal. I am currently taking 1mg valium per day and remaining there to keep things stable while I reintroduce sertraline. Symptoms: During both withdrawal periods, my symptoms have been extreme. Both times, I tapered off relatively slowly, although clearly not slowly enough. I felt relatively functional for 1 month~, then quickly deteriorated to being housebound after 5 months the first time in 2015, and after 4 months in 2017. I probably should have learned my lesson by now. Descriptions of a hypersensitized nervous system do the symptoms some justice, as do similar descriptions of benzo withdrawals in the "Ashton Manual". I have dealt and am now dealing with: Extreme anxiety. Characterised by an extremely physical, gnawing and unremitting agitation. At worst (which is often), it feels like my entire body is filled with a corrosive acid that's burning me from the inside. This feeling combined with others like fatigue/weakness simply gives the feeling of being on the verge of dying. But unlike a "panic attack", it does not come in waves, but instead remains constant generally. It is worst upon waking in the morning, and even worse if I attempt to have a nap in the day then wake up. Insomnia. Extremely interrupted sleep. Physically, my body can be extremely tired, yawning, yet sleep does not come. The wired anxiety feeling described above does not diminish during tiredness. So I just lay there enduring it until somehow, at some point, I might fall asleep for a short while. I can invariably tell how long I will remain asleep based on the state in which I go to sleep, and this creates some dread for the awakening into a worse state that will come. Typical sleep stretches are 1.5 or 3 hours at best. Although I often lie there unable to sleep for the entire night with anxiety simply worsening the more tired I get. A very vicious and cruel cycle. If I wake up once, the stressful awakening reaction it produces ensures I will not manage to go back to sleep. So I generally get "one attempt" at a reasonable stretch of sleep. Fatigue. Truly chronic fatigue, I believe the above 2 factors are what underlies this, although it's hard to know. My body feels extremely fragile and weak at all times. Often it feels like it's barely there at all, like it has simply flashed out of existence in a strange kind of dizziness/numbness. I spend long periods feeling like I will simply collapse at any moment and have no real faith that my bodily will continue to function when feeling like this. I feel very unwell after minor physical exertion. Walking a few hundred meters to the post box leads to a feeling of dizziness and stress that it will take a long time to return to baseline from. Often, I can't even manage to leave my room. All this leads to being very restricted and housebound. This is one of the worst symptoms, simply because it takes away the ability to engage in so many other activities that are positive for health and recovery: e.g. exercise, work, and so on. Generalised hypersensitivity. Sounds, light, temperature variation, vitamins, minerals, foods that are different to normal, very light exertion, very light psychological stress (e.g. maybe a war movie), not eating for a relatively short period, waking up and many more. Most definitely no caffeine or alcohol. All of these will tend to create a big stress reaction and a crash that will take time to recover from. I feel like the balance of my nervous system is exceedingly delicate and that anything will throw it off. This leads to having to be incredibly gentle and cautious of anything that might upset it. Misc symptoms. Above is likely the worst, but other more minor symptoms include things like frequent loss of appetite, loss of concentration, loss of positive feelings, social withdrawal, and so on. I see these as results of the above primary symptoms. It is perhaps worth noting here that these symptoms never existed prior to SSRI usage and discontinuation. The initial reason for starting them was depressed mood. Current status: I don't wish to go too much into my history. It's outlined above and covers 9~ years of SSRI use. But this time I started sertraline 100mg~ in September 2015 after experiencing all of the symptoms above. The Doctor said to try it, so I did. I think I felt worse for 2 months before somehow finding a slightly greater stability. But this was not without side effects like a sense of being very stimulated (when being more restful was what I needed), and some strange ones like waking up with nose bleeds every morning. It did not feel healthy. After 3 months or so, I decided to reduce @ 10% per month to see if I could alleviate these side effects. I wasn't entirely convinced whether sertraline was even having a positive effect, since the improvement was 50% at best. At a dose of around 20mg is where I attained the most stability I have had in the last 2.5 years. Apparently sub-therapeutic doses according to medicine, but the right balance for me. I suspect this to be a mixture of alleviating SSRI withdrawals while minimizing SSRI side effects, rather than a positive effect of sertraline of itself. I then continued to reduce the dosage, over a year in total, thinking it would be healthy in the long run to get off, and doubting the therapeutic effect of such low (<20mg) doses anyway. Close to being off sertraline completely in 03/2017, things started to fall apart and gradually deteriorated until I had to leave my occupation and be totally housebound by 07/2017. It's all seems like quite a blur really. It happened very quickly and for some reason I had faith that I could simply ride it out and recover. But this did not happen. Instead, things got progressively worse up to the current date. Reinstating Sertraline: As a result, and due to reading information about withdrawals and reinstating, I see no other option than to reinstate a low dose of sertraline. I would give anything right now just to be slightly more stable and able to leave the house, even if this meant high dose SSRIs. The issue is, when you're in a delicate balance already, taking anything new or old represents a significant impact on that balance. It's hard to know what will help and what will destabilise further, which leads to a lot of apprehension about taking anything. I started with 5mg per day one week ago. This may be too low to have a therapeutic effect, so my current intention is to increase it by 5mg every 2 weeks until returning to the level at which I was most well, approximately 20mg. So far, it has been quite stimulating and has likely made my sleep even worse. I have had some of my worst days to date this week. I'd appreciate any advice as to whether this is simply the side effects of restarting the medication, or if it indicates that I should avoid it? My hunch is that one week is too early to tell and that discontinuing it would lead to an even more uncertain situation. Anyway, I will end things there and update in the coming weeks as and when there are any changes. Lots of gratitude again to everyone here and I very much appreciate and insight or advice. James
  23. Hi everyone! I'm new here, I'm an 18 year old girl, will be 19 soon, and I took Zoloft from when I was about 16 and a half to when I was just about 17, so a year and 4 months. I've been clean of the poison since August 28th, 2016, so ten and a half months now. Since I don't think the drugs were good for me to be on to begin with because they caused a whole host of strange behaviors and feelings, like sedation and mania at times, as well as periods of complete apathy and feeling sick, not to mention the sexual problems, I decided to get off of them. Here's how things went: Felt better when initially coming off Zoloft. Much better. Perhaps more negative, but more energy, felt more normal, looked better, etc. Less headaches and other side effects. Happier...almost manic sorta. Sex drive increase and no problems with prolactin overloads. Continued like this (with adaptogenic herb, B6, inositol, and other supplementation) until December 2016. Sometimes wanted to "crawl out of my skin" also and getting more frustrated when my best friend wouldn't call me, less worried about what he thought. December 2016, my life crashed. My best friend and I had a falling out and he was distant for a while. Worst depression I have EVER felt for 2 weeks straight. I was stuck in my body, it was the worst feeling I have ever EVER had, profound depression, profound pain, I could not deal with it..so incredibly horrible. Definitely would not have been nearly as bad if I weren't only 4 months off Zoloft. Probably wouldn't have been bad at all if I were still on Zoloft..scary. Extreme disconnection from the body. This scared me because the issue was generally pretty mild--a friend being distant. The fact that it caused such a terrible horrible depression made me realize how hard this journey was going to be for me...my ability to handle stress and emotions have been greatly diminished. January--February were blahhh. He texted me again, didn't switch schools, we were friends. I also started taking tryptophan for serotonin deficiencies and the pain went away but the horror of what had happened still lingered and left me exhausted and terrified of another episode. I felt extremely out of control of myself and my life. Never would have felt this way on zoloft. March was terrible. He ignored me again, again intense anxiety, worse than I could possibly describe. Literally horror. Started taking ashwaghanda which, along with him reconnecting with me, made April and May more bearable. Sometimes felt GOOD in those two months..other times not, but it was really not horrible. A couple periods of intense pain, usually from relationship stress, but I recovered when things went back to normal. June..was fine. I'm living. In college now. Was pretty intent on committing suicide a couple of days ago..thoroughly convinced myself that I would do it and that I need to do it. Didn't do it. Probably won't this week. Can't take the unbearable social pain any longer though..it's putting a hole in my heart. I refuse to go back on those meds. Ever. They're awful and they still are affecting my sex drive..PSSD is there. Realizing that I'm at the end of adolescence and never had a true, hormonal, exciting sexual experience and the ability to experience that kind of thing will go away when teenage hormones go away. I may never be normal again. I'm incredibly upset and worried and cursing myself for taking those pills. Also feel really alone because nobody understands and I can't talk to anyone about it. If I weren't in a fine mood, I'd be ready to pull the friggin plug. All of my sexual experiences are awkward and bad, make guys feel like rapists, never result in orgasm, always lose excitement once any touching of the genitals is involved, and end up very VERY bad. Masturbation is 100X better but it still takes longer and isn't as easy to cum.. I feel hopeless and screwed, scared and worried. The same mechanism affects your ability to fall in love..I need hope. When will these things get better? Note: One thing I can say is the intense feeling of being disconnected from my body or wanting to crawl out of my skin has gotten better, which makes me realize that my brain is normalizing itself. I'm just worried that things will never be the same again, because of receptor problems or permanent brain damage, especially in the sexual department... Help?
  24. Psychiatrist has told me to stop Sertraline from 150, down to 100mg the next week, then down to 50 the next, then stop (not because my depression has eased but because it doesn't seem to have helped at all. However, online I see that people are recommending a much longer tapering. . The problem is, when I rang the surgery today to try and voice my concerns about this and some other things I wasn't sure about, I was told by one of the staff to just follow what the psychiatrist says. I tried telling her that I had to go away for three months to work in a place where I have no friends, family or doctor, but she didn't seem to want to listen. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is this too quick a time period and if not, aren't I just dependent on whatever a certified doctor tells me to do?
  25. Hi everyone, I wish we wouldn't have to meet under these unfortunate circumstances, but here we are. I want to give a full introduction of myself and my situation in hopes that someone can please shine some light on me or atleast tell me I will be fine again, one day. I am a 24 year old female that has found herself nearly disabled by SSRIs. This is going to be long and i apologize. When i was 17-18 I smoked marijuana almost every day for 1-2 years. When I moved away to college I decided to "get my act together" and focus on school. I quit smoking cold turkey and this set the stage for a very frightening panic disorder leading me to quit school and move home becoming nearly agoraphobic for a few months. Obviously was depressed as well and spent my days sleeping to escape. After 3 months I went to the Doctor and started on Zoloft and within 2 months was back on my feet working full-time. Still had some anxiety but kept living. I stayed on Zoloft for 4 years from ages 18-22 and everything was fine. I felt emotionally cut-off but figured that was the price i had to pay to not have panic attacks. Also, I completely lost my sex drive. Because of these reasons (and my boyfriend calling me a zombie) I slowly tapered down to 25 mg and stayed on that for many months before quitting. For a few weeks after quitting a had annoying 'brain zaps' but nothing major, kept working full time and doing online college. I quit Zoloft in February 2015. Everything was fine until a year later when i started feeling 'not right'. It was during a very stressful time in my life. Working 65 hours a week and keeping good grades in very challenging nursing classes. I started feeling dizzy, off balance, pressure headaches, fatigued and a LOT of derealization (which I didn't even know was a thing at the time so I didn't know how to explain it. All i could say was massive brain fog). Not knowing what the heck was going on with me I went to the doctor after weeks and weeks of my symptoms persisting. I was told I had vertigo and tried motion sickness medicine (didn't help), I did physical therapy on my neck for months to relieve the headaches. They got better but i still felt so 'off'. Like something was missing, it almost felt like when i needed a cigarette after not smoking for 12+ hours but when i smoked it wouldn't help. Like my brain was just stuck in this weird dreamy fog. This feeling after 6 months was giving me anxiety related to my health. I knew something wasn't right but had NO idea. I mean, i thought it could be a brain tumor or something. It really started taking a toll on me. Finally, 6 months after these symptoms started my Doctor told me it was stress and seeing that I had a past history of Panic attacks he told me I needed my zoloft again or it could get out of control. Well, i certainly didn't want to relive my 'breakdown' of 2010 so I listened thinking, what the heck, if this doesn't help, then it isn't stress and its just one thing to cross of the list. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!! This started a HORRIBLE HELLISH experience that I don't know if I can come back from. July 2016- Re-enstated zoloft after being off for 1.5 years. One dose of 25 mg sent me into constant panic within hours. I was pacing the house and out of nowhere I get intrusive mental suicidal images. Scared the pants off me and off to the ER i went the next day. The ER doctor told me to keep taking it. I told him there was NO way in hell I would ever take that pill again, It was that terrifying of an experience. I had to call off work and had major insomnia for a week. My body felt like it was physically vibrating on the inside. So after that experience I go back to my doctor and he puts me on Paxil. August 2016- Took paxil for 19 days. Each day I got worse and worse. I went from working and being a good friend/girlfriend/sister/daughter to feeling no emotions except fear, despair and panic. I became horribly horribly depressed with akathisia. I had to quit my job. The intrusive thoughts were back and i was told to 'hang in there' by my doctor and that sometimes anxiety gets worse in the beginning. I was so confused because my first time on zoloft I had no start up effects that i remember. On paxil i lost my appetite, severe stomach pains, constant diarrhea, insomnia, akathisia, constant panic, intrusive thoughts, derealization, depersonalization, depression, crying, literally could not function. At this point my doctor wanted to UP the dose and I said no way! He then asked me if i wanted to go to a psych ward because my anxiety was getting out of hand. He told me to stop the paxil and gave me 90 pills of xanax. I tried the xanax 1 time. At this point i was so screwed up that 1/4 of a 0.25mg knocked me out and made me feel so depressed and like I didn't have it in me to even talk! Very sensitive. September 2016- got a referral to see a p-doc (symptoms got a little better for 2 weeks off paxil but came back with a vengance) intrusive thoughts and diarrhea went away. but was left with so many debilitating symptoms the worst was the derealization that i still didn't know how to explain. October 2016- Still having horrible symptoms, but now getting some vision changes as well (small sparkles of light in vision) saw p-doc who told me i could be bi-polar type 3. (what is that?! Anxiety runs strong in my family but not bi-polar and i wasn't having mood swings, I was catapulted into severe 24/7 anxiety HELL) November 2016- p-doc decided to start me on a low dose of celexa and buspar. I only made it 11 days on celexa before the akathisia and intrusive thoughts made me literally want to die. I added buspar on the 11th day and had a serotonin syndrome reaction with confusion, shivering, muscle jerking, goosebumps, severe anxiety, severe restlessness, zero sleep and felt like I was going to die at any given second. I have never felt so close to death in my life. My p-doc told me to quit taking everything and gave me Ativan. December 2016- p-doc doesn't know what to diagnose me with but wants to try an anticonvulsant (lamictal). I start lamictal and within 4 days my skin and eyes were burning, i had chills and a low grade fever and I freaked out because this drug can cause a deadly rash. This med also made my intrusive thoughts constant. I quit this drug and cried my eyes out for days not knowing what the hell has happened to me. I go back to the p-doc and she wants to try a liquid medication at a very low dose because I am so sensitive to everything. She said Prozac or Tegretol (another anticonvulsant) I told her i was too scared to start another SSRI, so i got Tegretol. Tegretol can also cause a LOT of deadly side effects such as a deadly skin rash, liver failure, aplastic anemia etc... I have NOT started taking the tegretol even though i was supposed to 2 weeks ago. However, i am STILL very sick from the lamictal. Holy Crap! In july i was a little dizzy with derealization and now i can't function! What i am guessing is that i was going through a protracted withdrawal from Zoloft and putting me back on it (and all these other things) just added to the fire. I feel like i am never going to get better. I just got engaged 2 days ago and cried because of how bad i've become and can't enjoy anything. My p-doc never even diagnosed me. She said i have some bi-polar traits because the SSRIs made me worse but she said it looks like severe anxiety and told me to take up to 4 ativan a day. I stay away from those because i don't need any further damage. I have been off any SSRI for about 6 weeks and the lamictal for 2 weeks. My symptoms are: Intrusive thoughts (never had before restarting zoloft) This is probably my absolute worst symptom. it is like my brain keeps trying to tell me there is danger but rationally i know there isn't any. unbelievable anxiety that isn't connected to anything. It is just here (my panic disorder of 2010 wasn't anywhere near this bad because the anxiety would end after the panic attack, this feels like constant) insomnia (never had before) cant focus on Anything/ poor concentration ( can't watch TV or lose myself in anything to distract myself) no appetite & GI problems that this creates Lost 20 pounds in the past 6 months, I have been drinking ensure plus to get in calories muscle tremors and twitches dizziness feeling disconnected seeing sparkles in vision every now and then derealization loss of pleasure, joy, contentment or any positive emotions depersonalization depression and crying (because of how drastically my life has changed) ruminations about what is happening to me not interested in anything feeling of doom terrible memory sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights, commotion etc. my heart rate takes off whenever it feels like it fatigue zero sex drive ringing in ears sweaty & cold hands and feet and last but not least a fear that i am completely losing my mind. I know a lot of you have been through a lot. I don't know where else to turn. The doctors just made everything 1000x worse. I am currently not working and had to quit college. I don't feel like myself, i know i am in there deep down but all my symptoms debilitate me. Does this sound like an adverse reaction or have I all of a sudden developed a worse mental illness? I do not intend to go back to my p-doc or take any medications. I want my body to heal and go back to who i was 6 months ago. Does anyone please have any advice? I feel so alone and scared that i permanently screwed up my brain. If you are reading all of this thank you and bless you. I never even knew someone could feel so bad mentally and physically. I wish i would have never restarted zoloft in july. I don't know what to do. I need hope that this will get better.
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.