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Found 237 results

  1. Hey everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself and let you all in on my journey and discontinuation of antidepressants. I am 28 years old and just ended an 11 year relationship with AD's. There was so much shame I felt being on these drugs. I felt like I was this great person because of the pills I was taking and nothing more. I wouldn't dare tell a soul I was taking antidepressants for fear that they would then see the pill and not me. Make sense? I said goodbye to Sertraline in November 2017. After completing yoga teacher training and having this new perspective of myself and my life, I started to actually feel the chemicals that weren't meant to be in my body. I had tried tapering off of Sertraline 3 times prior to the last over the past few years. The previous tries I would make it about a month or two before surrendering back to the pills to make myself feel better if I started feeling sad or uneasy. This time was different. VERY different. This time I started with intense research. I wanted to discontinue the dosage but this time was for real; I would do my homework and get off of these things once and for all. And what I found first broke my heart, made me angry and then gave me hope. The anger is still present when I try to find a reason 'why' people are enslaved to these prescription drugs. The research I found led me to this site, and I continue to research the effects and harms that these medications actually do to people, unbeknownst to them. The cause of our sadness is residual, stagnant energy trapped in our bodies from a traumatic event or life experience that changed our perspective of what is. When we take these medications, we are never actually dealing with the source of our problems, rather than masking it over with a clouded perception of reality. I used to love my prescriptions. Even after I would attempt to quit, that love would return after I felt 'better' taking them again. I was prescribed my first antidepressant when I was 16. I was missing a lot of school because I slept in too late. I just loved my sleep. Eventually, I was sent to the PCP to see what could be done about this sleeping problem.. Well, her answer was Citalopram (Celexa). This was the beginning of a battle I never wanted to be involved with but here I am. And P.S. the sleeping issue was not resolved in any way thereafter. To keep it short, I will just give you a brief history of how my dance with prescription drugs evolved after that: 2006 Celexa (Citalopram) 40 mg & Adderall XR 75 mg (a lot of the times more because I was heavily addicted) 2007 Citalopram & Ritalin (don't remember mg) .. soon after Vyvanse (don't remember mg) and finally to Amphetamine Salts due to unpleasant side effects from the Ritalin & Vyvanse.. ** indicates time period where Amphetamine Salts were prescribed 2008 ** Citalopram 40 mg-> Effexor XR 75 mg after a psychiatric evaluation (which I now understand was due to the medications and the effect they had on me mentally ... psh) 2009** Effexor XR 75 mg - Paxil (Paroxetine) 30 mg due to the INSANELY high cost of Effexor without insurance I was forced to wean myself off and switch 2010** Paxil 30 mg-> Sertraline 50 mg due to weight gain and lethargy 2011-2013 Sertraline 50 mg -> Wellbutrin (Bupropion Hcl) 75 mg due to sexual side effects and wanting to feel alive again 2013-2017 Wellbutrin 75 mg -> Back to Zoloft (Sertraline) 75 mg because the anxious side effects of the Wellbutrin made me uneasy and Sertraline seemed to be the only AD that had the least side effects at the time 2017 Sertraline 75 mg -> slow taper to 50 MG for two weeks -> halving the dosage & following this pattern until there was nothing -> 5 HTP 50 mg & 1200 mg Fish Oil NOW = 1200 mg Fish Oil and becoming accustomed to an Ayurvedic diet along with daily yoga practice**** this is HUGE and one of the main reasons I have remained clean from AD's Now, almost two months clean from prescription drugs I can say that there is still lots of work to be done. When you go through your teenage years and early twenties on AD's, you need to relearn how to interact and react as there is no longer that pill keeping you numb. Everything becomes real and raw. There are still days that I have my emotions consume my entire being in a negative way and I am still working on this. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. As of right now, it seems as though I am taking off from where I left off at 16 years old. This means emotionally and re actively along with maturity and sexuality. As many of you can relate, I could go on with this topic and how it has effected my entire life for ever and ever. There will be more posts that follow in regards to these drugs and how we can help each other become clean and free once again as we were made to be. Love and blessings to you all <3 we CAN do this..we are all in this together! LB Anti-depressants controlling tools of your system Making life more tolerable, making life more tolerable. The Unthinking Majority - Serj Tankian
  2. Hi all, New here. Was on Sertraline for 2.5 years until this Christmastime. Initially 25 then 50mg, attempted to go up to 100mg under the direction of my doctor. Suffered significant diarrhea due to this change, and so went back down to 50mg. And that is when the real issues started. Though I was not aware of what was happening. I was prescribed it during the midst of the breakup of my marriage, which started to break down due to the fact that my ex suffered significant pain on intercourse, which had meant our sex life had pretty much always been one of disappointment and difficulty. Towards the end of last year, I started to realise something wasn't right. I was in a fog, I have moved several times in the last few years as I got my life back on track. I moved to the Bay area in June. I am in the process of trying to start a new relationship, which started just before Christmas last year. I had the sudden realisation that I was having significant sexual side effects. To my horror, once I realised this, I also 'came to' and realised that this had been going on for maybe 6-8 months previously, and progressively getting worse, but I simply hadn't noticed because I had been in a complete fog. I was skipping doses... just unaware of my surroundings. I was having brain zaps, dizziness, confusion, night sweats, significantly decreased cognitive ability, memory loss, depersonalised. I remember people commenting that I seemed distant. I remember my doctor up in Fort Bragg California asking me last June if the sexual side effects were problematic and I cheerily said 'no'. When in fact they were - but I simply wasn't aware. How can that be?! Cue seeing my general practitioner, who is managing my medication here in the Bay area, plus quickly making an appointment with a psychiatrist. Psychiatrist - who was the only one I could get an appointment with at short notice - told me I didn't have depression, and could stop taking the zoloft immediately. I told him I wasn't comfortable with that, and would like to taper, and was met with a response that I was the kind of person who got anxious about taking pills, and promptly asked me what I would feel comfortable with. Clearly he didn't believe in the need to taper at all. We ended up doing a taper over 2 weeks. To 25mg and then cold turkey. I then went back to my GP as I did not trust the opinion of a psychiatrist who went against everything I had read. I am working to get in with another psychiatrist, but no appointments until April. My GP has prescribed Wellbutrin, I am 2 weeks into that but honestly want nothing more to do with antidepressants. It is also making me break out into a rash and increasing anxiety. At present I am about 3 weeks in to withdrawal. I get spells of intense anxiety, partially I think due to the wellbutrin, partially due to WD. I did have anxiety before being prescribed an SSRI. My brain gets tired easily. On the positive side, I have started dreaming again - just little bits and pieces. Mostly odd/weird dreams, but dreams nonetheless. Sometimes I wake in a sweat and a panic. But if I can find a way to go back to sleep then often I wake up calmer and more in my body. The sexual side effects worsened initially, but have probably plateaued about where they were before I stopped sertraline. However, I am now aware of just how much difference there is between how I am now, and how I once was. Suddenly my memories of what it was like to have a solid erection have come back. Memories of past sexual encounters where I didn't feel ashamed and broken. And so my desire to be sexual is something I have to fight for. My new partner has been very understanding, but I have to get myself out of a mindset of shame in order to want to be sexual in any way. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. I have started to be aware of birdsong, smells that I had forgotten about - woodsmoke, flowers. And I am generally more aware of myself and my environment. Like waking up from a long sleep and wondering where on earth I have been. Some sensation has returned to my genitals. But not much. Sometimes I notice what I feel is desire and attraction. But it feels weak. And erections are weak and unreliable. I have a meditation practice. I have started running and taking longish walks. I am taking fish oil with my food, and working hard to stay positive. I have a network of friends who are amazing and show up for me. At this point I am hopeful as things are early on in the WD process and I am coping. However, I am petrified that I will never get to fully enjoy sex again. It feels cruel, given that my past history was one of being a very sexual person, in a relationship with someone who couldn't give me a fun sex life, despite their best attempts. I am angry that I am in this situation. No one mentioned long-term sexual side effects or withdrawal when I was being counselled for this drug. It wasn't even mentioned as a possibility, although sexual side effects during treatment were. I will not be beaten. One way or the other I will become okay with myself again, whatever that looks like. I would very much like it to look like a regular healthy sex life and relationship again. Who knows. Maybe it will be with an asexual partner or as a Buddhist monk. But I have hope and am working to keep in a positive mindset overall. Not going into these negative thoughts, but just keeping moving at all cost. This is my journey thus far. I'm grateful to be here with you all...
  3. Hello All, I'm new here and am looking for some help. I've suffered from major depressive disorder my entirelife. My depression is a fairly constant part of my life with brief windows of freedom from it. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder also, and at that time decided to try medication. I've tried multiple antidepressants and NONE OF THEM HAVE HELPED. I don't remember the first few I tried, but I tried paxil for a month, gave me my first panic attacks ever, then I switched to zoloft, which made me so tired I couldn't function, and then I came to effexor. I was on Effexor for 6 months, but all it did was numb my anxiety, and did nothing for my depression. So, I've been off effexor for a month now. I didn't tapper off too well. Was on a 70mg dose(I'm very sensitive to medication that was a very high dose for me) and in the span of two weeks kept cut down the dose/stopped. I couldn't take it though, the drug made me so sick everyday for 6 months, it was horrible. Now my depression is in full swing and I don't care about anything. I'm a full time grad student in a studio art program and since getting off effexor I can't make anything, I'm too depressed, I don't want to do anything and have been isolating in my room, sleeping up to 15 hours a day, just excessive depression symptoms. I'm afraid to go to a therapist/psych because all they ever want to do is give me meds and they don't work for me! Not a single one has helped. Has anyone else experienced that? No med working? and could anyone give me advice about stopping antidepressants and depression symptoms? It's been about a month so idk if I should introduce a little bit of effexor back in or not? I tried to do 15mg a while ago and it made me sick and very sleepy like when i was taking my full 70mg. Should I just ride out this depression and hope for the best? I hate antidepressants, they really have been a horrible part of my life. Any info/help greatly appreciated here. xo, vi
  4. Hey guys First of all I’m astounded by the amount of compassion members give to each other on this site. You’re all very beautiful people and I thank you for doing what you do. My drug history can be found in my signature but basically I've been on Zoloft/Sertraline 150 mg for OCD for almost 2 years now and I've experienced very mild side effects, namely increased sweating, yawning and eyes watering. My condition had improved tremendously - before then I was constantly plagued by my worries and could not function, so I decided to begin tapering off. In November 2017 I reduced my dose to 125 mg (on GP's advice). On December 14 2017 I masturbated for the first time in years, then felt extremely guilty afterwards as I have read online that people have developed PGAD due to sertraline. Ever since I stumbled upon stories about PGAD in the 8th grade, I've been afraid of this disorder. I hoped that the feelings of arousal would go away in a few minutes, as they always did in the past after I 'entertained', so I tried to calm myself down and distract myself by playing video games. To my dread the feelings were still there. There's a constant urge to urinate, throbbing, pulsing sensations in my genitals, clitoris whatever it is. I just graduated from high school and I'm still a virgin so I have no idea what an actual orgasm is like, but after that incident I just randomly experience the 'climaxes' I get during masturbation. I believed it was nerve related because if I tried to do an activity that was more intellectually stimulating, the arousal feelings would become stronger. It was very difficult to concentrate. However I noticed that the arousal feelings were weaker at around dinnertime, before I take my daily dose but came back after I took the sertraline. These symptoms arose just as I was on holiday overseas to a third world country where psychiatry isn’t really practised safely if at all, so I couldn’t see a doctor. Distressed and desperate to do something about it, I skipped my meds for a day (NEVER DO THIS) and the feelings disappeared, which confirmed my theory that sertraline was causing the PGAD-like sensations. On 27 December 2017 I stupidly reduced the dose to 100 mg without a doctor’s consultation, not knowing it was likely a symptom of withdrawal. This in itself did not make the sensations go away, but I was able to change my ‘mindset’. January 2018: Seeing as the feelings were less noticeable when I was under pressure to socialise, I began to force myself to ‘think quick’ and pretend that I was under that same pressure. With this mindset, the PGAD feelings were completely gone and I was ecstatic. However on the plane ride back home, this mindset caused me to have migraines, so I no longer adopted that mindset, yet the PGAD did not come back! Another win! However this was proved wrong as after a few days it returned and with it, the hopelessness and depression. My GP suggested that I go back up to 150 mg and I was so down and suicidal that my mum and I agreed. I felt weird and uncoordinated on such a high dose so I went down to 125 mg which I am currently at. I’m going to see a new psychiatrist soon hopefully. Applying a different mindset doesn’t keep the PGAD at bay any longer. Before I even started the meds I’ve had almost constant migraines which is most likely anxiety related. Recently I’ve been able to make the PGAD go away by thinking about my headaches in a different way (it’s really complicated and difficult to describe), so it is probably due to the meds changing my brain chemistry, changing nerve pathways. I’m currently more emotionally stable. I want to ask does staying at 125 mg for another month sound like a good plan, then tapering off veery slowly (I didn’t know about the 10% rule back then)?
  5. My name is Jim. I’m from pgh. I’ve been on some type of ssri for the most part of the past 13 years for anxiety and depression. I’ve also self medicated with drugs and alcohl for most of that time too. I’ve been clean from the drugs and alcohol for over two years now. And during those two years I’ve been prescribed 300mg Wellbutrin, 30 mg remeron and 100 mg Zoloft. Due to side effects and feeling like I was stable, I decided to wean off the Zoloft about 6 months ago. I did about a 3 month Zoloft taper, ending with about 3 weeks of 10 mg prozac per day.(at every dose reduction, I always felt very good/stable). Over the 4 months since my last dose, my condition went from good to unbearable. The past two weeks have been constant dread, and physical anxiety symptoms. Like all day long chest thumping and headaches from non stop worrying and depression. Two days ago, I gave in and started back on 20 mg prozac. Please help! i don’t want to be on this med anymore. Could this be withdrawal after 4 months of being ssri free? Or is my brain totally and permanently dependent on these pills? I’m all alone on this. Nobody understands what I’m going through, not even my doc. I could go on and on. Sorry for the life story. Any experience, strength, or hope would be greatly appreciated.
  6. 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!
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Dunnoguy: off Geodon

    I went cold turkey off of Geodon which was the last in line of numerous antipsychotics and antidepressants I was on for cca 2.5 years. I went off in Aug 2015. Since then I haven't had an idea what I should have been doing. Now I'm ready to tackle my recovery process. Have I caused more damage by not adhering to some recovery regimen all this time? Or am I totally fine? Is there any place where I can get all the definitive answers on this whole issue? I want to mastermind the hell out of this process and you guys need to help me.
  11. Hello all, My name is Eric, I am a 26 year old male from Boston living in Texas. I have a wonderful fiance whom will be marrying me in 8 months, and 2 beautiful scottish terriers in a home north of Dallas. Approximately 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder after a panic attack. I was living in a crummy part of Boston with 3 people I didn't like, and I had suffered a panic attack from intense stomach pains - something I am particularly sensitive about. I slept on the bathroom floor that whole night, praying I would not vomit. The next morning, my stomach pain went away - but that underlying fear from last night did not; the fight or flight response in my brain would not go away. This had never happened to be beofre - I've had minor panic attacks from stress, but those always subsided once the panic attack ended. Never before did I have persistent anxiety from the moment I woke up to the very end of the day. I couldn't stand even a week of feeling that way - so I sought help. Long background story short, I sought a therapist, NP to be exact, who put me on Cymbalta. We started at 30 mg for one week, then 60 mg the next week. Folks, it was absolutely awful going onto cymbalta - insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, lack of appetite - I felt like I was dying, and could not stop crying the whole week. Once the 60 mg kicked in, I started to feel better. Once I started a new routine, changed my lifestyle to eat healthy, and exercise frequently, I felt much better. Heck, I became a totally different person confident, happy, and willing to takes chances with my life where previous anxiety held me back. Here I am 5 years later, a huge journey from 21 years old, in college, and trying to find my purpose in life for a career. I made it through rough employment stretches out of college, relocation multiple times, entering surviving, and withdrawing from law school after 1 year, and finding a career I love. That is, until the anxiety came back. It was something stressful at work that triggered my anxiety - which lead to my achilles heel of constantly worrying with "what if" statements. It go so bad, I went to my primary care doctor, and was told to try 90mg of cymbalta before trying to switch. So i did that, and in addition to that, I began to exercise vigoursly again - which I stopped doing 2 years ago due to budgetary constraints for a gym membership & dedication to my job. This seemed to do the trick after a few weeks, and I made it all the way to September feeling almost 100% better. Well, more life stresses occurred - and I felt like I was back to square one again. September was hard, grueling and unforgiving on my anxiety, which only got worse thinking what i did in the past must not be working - will I stuck feeling like this forever? At this point, I simply began associating my anxiety elevations with events that occurred - like being bored on weekends is a trigger, as well as my job performance. Exercise just wasn't as fun & exciting as it was before, and my responsibilities to my job & family prevent me from going the 1-2 hours for 5 days a week as i used to do. I began seeing a Psychiatrist in early October, who recommended I go up to 120 mg of Cymbalta before trying a new AD, and to seek a therapist for CBT-type therapy. In the meantime, I would have access to /5 mg of ativan for panic attacks. Well needless to say, the 120mg of Cymbalta did not work - in fact, it made my anxiety worse. Probably too much of the drug, as cymbalta tended to have a stimulating effect when it was working. I tried a therapist out for the month - but we simply didnt connect enough. Come November, I said enough was enough for Cymbalta - and began a cross taper off Cymbalta & onto Zoloft. Of course, this timing is mid November, which lines up with 2 very stressful holidays - Thanksgiving & Christmas. Left with little choices, I decided this would be the path I take to recovery. Thus far? it's had ups & downs. 120 mg to 90 mg of cymbalta was paired with 50 mg of zoloft. No real issues besdies mild gastro issues with Zoloft. once i dropped from 90 mg to 60 mg of Cymbalta? far more anxiety, headaches, depression - it was bad. I felt much better the 3rd week, when I began taking 100mg of Zoloft. This ultimately did not last, as I felt the drug leveling out during my struggles with work stress & the stillness/boredom of the weekend. As of now, I am down to 30mg of Cymbalta, and up to 125 mg on the Zoloft. I felt much better the 1st week on this level - but due to christmas stresses, weekend triggers, and who knows what else - I simply have gone from high to low. As long as I keep myself busy, I seem to be fine - but my axiety gets the best of me when I am bored & not oligated with a task in front of me. My next drop is being debated between 30 mg to 20 mg of Cymbalta - I am unsure about going for another 25 mg on zoloft will occur. What I know is - I am afraid nothing will work. Alot of message boards on this topic are filled with gloom and doom about their situations. I struggle to remain hopeful, but I am afraid to put my hope out there for fear of failure. From an objective perspective, it would seem my situation is a case of Cymbalta poop out, with a bumpy transition off of Cymbalta & onto Zoloft. When the Zoloft worked, it felt amazing - I felt like myself again. I just get tired of losing that feeling everytime I have more anxiety. Ativan helps, but I try not to use it as much as possible, for fear of building a tolerance. Through CBT, I am better able to identify my negative thought patterns, and counter them with a more rational approach. However, I still struggle with my lack of toleration for uncertainty, and lack of answers to my questions about all of this. I thank you all who took the time to read this, and I hope your insight can be bring me some hope & clarity. -Eric
  12. 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.
  13. I started taking 50 mg Zoloft about 6 weeks ago. I had horrible side effects but it took me a while to realize it - I thought I was just sick! At first I was nauseous and achy and then I had terrible headaches for weeks. I thought I had a sinus infection. Over the 6 weeks it started to get better very slowly but I would still get the headaches. I started tapering to 25mg about a week ago but got impatient after about 3 days and just stopped it altogether. I was fine for a few days, and all of a sudden last night my headache came back like crazy! So last night I took 25mg. Today I’ve had a horrible headache and some nausea/achiness too. Should I continue at 25?
  14. Has anyone had wd symptoms for more than 5 weeks? I was on zoloft for 2 months only at 25mg. Am on 5 week off but my mind feels unreal, confused, lost dizzy. Plz anyone who read this give me some hope that this would eventually go away. Anyone your thoughts are welcome.
  15. David182: Hello all

    Hello everyone, I’d like to start off by saying thank you. The people of this forum have inspired much hope and understanding in the ways of antidepressant medication. I am grateful. I’ve been on Zoloft since the spring of 2015. Things had been going wonderfully well. I felt like myself but disconnected/ unplugged just enough to cope far better. Better mood, alertness and mental focus were a nice change of pace. Around the end of May 2017 I’d been taking BCAAs for working out for around 2 months. One Sunday, after lifting weights and mowing the yard I took a nap and woke up feeling off. I had low blood sugar issues for about a day, I couldn’t handle warm temperatures, couldn’t sleep well, and suffered hot flashes for the next few days. For a while I though I was sick. I took an lorazepam one evening (3 days later) and an extra zoloft because of horrible anxiety. I countinued to take my now double dose with my doctor’s permission. The next 6 weeks were h*ll. I had no idea Zoloft could do such things since I had no negative effects when I started. I could write a novel (as I’m sure we all could) but I’ll try and hit the main points. About week 6 I stabilized. I hadn’t found this site yet so many mistakes were made. i only stayed at 100mg for a week or so before I jumped to 75mg (I felt too apathetic about things, needed to lower). By this point I realized it was the Zoloft causing my problems. The next few weeks were quite uncomfortable but things went really bad when working out on the 3rd week caused me to crash...hard!! I switched doctors as I couldn’t seem to get anywhere with my other one. My new P.A diagnosed me with serotonin syndrome (a short 3 day stint of trazadone while doubling my dose no doubt contributed, different doctor) she dropped me from 75mg to 25mg of Zoloft. I felt so much better and for the next two weeks got to the point of feeling amazing. Then week three came and some light cardio pushed me over the edge and I crashed again. I also noticed I would have horrible low blood sugar issues for a day or two after crashing. after a week of misery. I bumped my dose to 50mg (I found this site by then). I felt immediate improvement. I began to heal but also began feeing strong sensations of numbness/ pins and needles in my hands and feet, weakness also. I am currently 7 weeks at 50mg. I’ve been struggling with tight & weak calves / ankles since, sporadic internal tremors and fatigue. Had back spasms for a bit about a week ago but not since. I’ve begun to sleep better in the past few weeks (7 hours on a good night but not consistently). I typically wake up around 5-6 hours after falling asleep but I don’t NEED medicine to help me fall asleep anymore (a few months of needing it). I would rather keep this short but I want you all to know my history. I saw a psychiatrist tonight at the recommendation of my PA (she was surprised when my reinstatement actually helped, she was convinced I hadn’t dropped too low too fast. She is a wonderful PA and God worked through her, saved my life when I had serotonin syndrome.) The psychiatrist on the other hand... I have mixed feelings. I flat out refused any other medication. She believes my first incident was serotonin syndrome. Maybe so? BCCA actually inhibit triptophan uptake but then again my workout protein powder did have triptophan in it (I have quit taking all workout supplements months ago). The psychiatrist also thinks I’m suffering from serotonin syndrome now. (Currently weakness in legs, pins and needles in hands and feet, stiff feeling calves and maybe hands, hands and feet more susceptible to being cold) what do do you all think? Do I continue to continue to tough it out at 50mg? Is this a sign my body is too sensitized for this dose? (I was at 25mg for one month before reinstating to 50mg) I will work on my signature as soon as I figure out how to do it. Thank you for your time. I trust you all more than the medical “professionals”
  16. Hi everyone, beware! My story is very long, I’m mostly just sharing my experience in hopes that anyone else this has happened to knows they’re not alone or crazy despite what they’re doctor says and it’s reassuring to know people have experienced this and recovered. i am new to this site so i am still getting the hang of how things work! i am a 21 year old female, a mother of two beautiful babies and married to a very amazing supportive and kind husband. Approximately two and a half weeks ago both of my children (2 yrs old and 10 months old) came down with croup, a common illness in children that causes inflammation and restricts the airways sometimes making it difficult for them to breathe. So naturally, like any mother, i became very anxious and when my son was struggling to catch a breath i began having a panic attack. i have had panic attacks in the past (maybe once a year if that?) and they never lasted longer than a few minutes at a time. Well in the middle of this panic attack i remembered that my OB had prescribed me 50 mg Zoloft after id had my daughter just Incase i were to have post partum depression because I’d had it after having my son. (It had been a very dark two months of crying spells and feeling hopeless. I’d taken Prozac for the PPD and found it odd but also great that only a few doses brought me right out of the ppd so quickly when they said it’d take a few weeks to even work, so i never took any again after that week and was fine ever since!) Typically i only take medication as a last resort, even Tylenol. i will not take it unless i absolutely need it, but in the middle of this panic attack i told myself i could take it for a few days to help me the way the Prozac did. 😑 So i took it, determined it would help me. I had just finished a z pack the day before that (I’d been sick with my children) and i now know that z pack and Zoloft have a moderate reaction together. Anyways, i awoke the next morning with my heart racing and i sweating and i could not sit still to save my life. Just pacing around the entire house standing up and then sitting back down but no matter what i did nothing could calm me down or relax me. I felt like i had just smoked a ton of crack or something! My mind was racing and there was this burning sensation beginning in my chest and just spreading and shooting through my extremities. It was constant but would intensify in waves, the panic attacks were constant too, I’ve seen alot of people who say they thought they were having a heart attack while feeling this way but i knew this wasn’t that, i knew immediately that this was from the Zoloft. But i was sure this was it, i had destroyed my brain, i was on the verge of losing it completely. But at this point I️ got horrible pains in my stomach and (TMI) i began having diarrhea followed by complete loss of appetite. My mom had come over and ended up taking me and my two kids to work with her because i was terrified to stay home alone with the kids while my husband was at work. This continued for the next three days. I became a zombie just completely consumed by my own thoughts, like there was a war going on in my own head. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me, the ONLY emotions i had were dread, fear and hopelessness. I broke down when my son was looking for my approval when he did something funny and i couldn’t even force a smile. I couldn’t feel a single bit of happiness, excitement or anything towards other people even my freaking children. My mom took me to my doctor, my HR was 162 and i don’t remember my blood pressure but it was higher than normal but not dangerous and i explained everything going on and watched as he wrote down that i had general anxiety disorder and panic disorder (which is not true at all) and told me that one dose could not effect me. I began crying and told him that this WAS NOT ME. Ive never been so unstable and i told him three days ago i was completely functional and perfectly fine!!!!!! Of course I’ve struggled in the past with some depression and anxiety when things happened like a family member dying or after having a babyAfter explaining this he said maybe i am a low cyp2 producer or something like that and wrote me a prescription for Xanax to stop the panic attacks and to come back in one month. And we could look into other SSRIs 😂 yeah SURE. I didn’t even need them in the first place!! i left feeling a little better about having something that should calm me down but freaked out again when the Xanax did nothing. My heart was STILL racing, my mind wasn’t slowing down, the burning was still there in my chest but physically my body felt heavier and slower. I ended up going to the ER the next day when nothing changed where the doctor denied blood work at first and asked if I’d like to see a psychiatrist. I was mostly calm while explaining everything to her but I could just see in her face she didn’t believe a word i was saying. She told me Zoloft couldn’t do something like this and that it was just me. She was, and i quote, “98%, actually 99% sure that this is not the medication doing this.” Then proceeded to tell me maybe i am just now beginning to exhibit symptoms of panic disorder because some people don’t exhibit any symptoms until they’re in their twenties and then used PSYCHIZOPHRENIA as a freaking example 😡 and then that’s what began the intrusive thoughts. I left the hospital feeling more hopeless (aside from the random nurse who came and told me that Jesus loves me on my way out, that was encouraging) than before. I started convincing myself i was just losing my mind and it terrified me, what if i snap and hurt my kids? What if i black out and try to kill myself? What if i hurt my husband? Y’all, my family is everything to me and these thoughts were KILLING ME. The worst things i could think of just kept running through my mind over and over. Just as i was about to have my mom take me to a facility where i could be monitored or get some help or anything because i was so afraid i would just lose my mind, i got my first window. It was the first bit of hope i had felt since it all happened! And then i knew, what is happening, is not me. I finally had the ability to get out of my damn head for a little bit and i began googling and googling every single thing i was experiencing. By discovering that this exact same thing has happened to so many other people gave me great comfort, not that anyone else having to go through this is comforting but that IM NOT ALONE AND I AM NOT GOING CRAZY!!! So currently it has been 2 weeks and 4 days. The only remaining side effects are loss of appetite and waves of anxiety which trigger intrusive thoughts followed by depression. I still get some windows and distractions help a lot. But mornings are extremely hard, i wake up anxious and depressed and it takes a while to calm myself down, reading a lot of other people’s stories helps me to relax some. Driving around helps a lot too and sun light makes me feel much better. I’m hoping since it was only a single dose that i will fully be back to my regular self soon since thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner and I’d love to have my appetite back so i can enjoy the food!! I guess the only plus side I’ve found to all of this is i will have a much greater appreciation for life after overcoming this and i lost 12 pounds lol i just really hope to enjoy my baby girls first Christmas with her too. Three weeks ago i loved mornings, waking up before the kids and having my coffee and enjoying tv waiting for them to get up and come play. Now i dread mornings and have constant mom guilt because i feel as though i have been failing them. I think the hardest thing has been the intrusive thoughts, it absolutely terrifies me when i have them. It just blows my mind how carelessly they prescribe this medication to people. I feel so stupid for not feeling the need to research or check what I’m actually taking and what it can do to me. I just always trusted that doctors wouldn’t prescribe anything to you that could hurt you, i know there are a lot of good doctors out there but i feel like they should be more careful with this stuff. I mean both the doctors i saw gave me a list of benzos to choose from and i just looked at them like they were crazy both times. Im not touching any of that crap again. I’ve even looked into anti biotics and those are even dangerous too!!!!
  17. Thank you for accepting me into your forum, im so grateful to a member Cheeky who introduced me to this site... I have been on zoloft for 13 years. The first few years were fine, then I started to become addicted to drinking large quantities of alcohol, mainly wine. I asked my doctor about this drinking thing, she said there was no evidence of such thing. My drinking got so bad I had to go to rehab. I'm not a drinker I drink occasionally a glass or two of wine. I could not believe what was happening to me. When I was in rehab I also decided to go cold turkey on zoloft, the rehab centre knew this. But, no one advised me against it, I had no idea of the implications. This was last June 2016. When I got out of rehab I felt a little teary, after seeing my doctor he advised I should go back on Zoloft so I did. I started to feel better, after4 months of being back on it I asked my doctor if I could reduce from my dose of 50mg to 25mg, he was not too keen on the idea. I told him if I started to feel bad I would get back on my normal dose again. I felt OK. I left my job in April because it was very stressful. I went back to drinking i could not believe it! I was thinking all the time how could this behavior be me it's so not me! Then one day I started to feel not so right. Went to the doctor he said go back up on 50mg which I did, this didn't work so he said go up to 75mg. I felt I wanted jump out of my skin I thought I was going insane it was the scariest moment of my life. I had to rush to an after hours doctor because I felt so bad he prescribed a beta blocker medication because my blood pressure was through the roof! I felt so ill on the blood pressure medication i had to go backto the doctor and they took the beta blocker off me, I felt a little better. The nightmare was just the beginning of a roller coaster ride that went on 4 months. I was feeling so anxious it turned into feeling so scared and full of terror! I started to become very aggressive my doctor said I had to taper off zoloft to get off it all together because it was not working. It became worst I tapered within 2 months, I believe it was too soon. No doctor or psychiatrist really knows how to work this through. I was in hell, I was medication free and things were not improving. I had to check myself in a rehab clinic to get back on medication safely. Once I was at the clinic they put me on a different anti depressant which didn't agree with me I was so ill. Eventually they put me back on zoloft because I requested it was the only medication I knew. I was so scared and in despair! Now I'm on 75mg of zoloft and Quitepine at 25mg in the morning and 75mg at night, its so crazy !. I still don't feel 100%, Zoloft has taken away 13 years of my life. Please, please do not touch antidepressants it will change your life forever not for the good! I have now started to taper my Seroquel med from 100mg down to 87.5mg on 10/11/17 i hope all goes well, im very scared! I have been on this wretched med for just over a month. I woukd like to eventually get off Zoloft but i still feel i have not stabilized after having to back on it in October. Zoloft 50mg 2004 - June 2016 50mg Aug 2016 25mg Feb - Jun 2017 75mg 13 Oct 2017 Seroquel 100mg 13 Oct 2017 87.5mg 10 Nov 2017
  18. 8 months ago I was on. Primidone 500mg Vraylar 6mg Cymbalta 120mg Zoloft 200mg Clonezapam 2mg My kidney function had dropped to 42% and a certain NP for a award winning psychologist continued treatment after noticing major muscle movement disorder. After a few months of this she stopped vraylar 6mg cold turkey. I had a reaction within days of cognitive impairment. I could not handle ANY external input. For a month I could only stare at the ceiling in total darkness and no sound. No TV and food had to be something I could grab and eat in bed in the dark. I lost 40lbs in 3mo because of stomach issues and me being unable to get food for myself. When I confronted her about my problems she informed me it could not be medicine related and sent me to see her friend a counceller who agreed with her and added that my condition was totally " behavioral " I was still on everything except vraylar. That is when I started doing some research and quit seeing both doctors. I had a genesight survey which NP had access to that listed 3 meds she had me on as a high risk and I am a poor drug metabolizer. In the drug interaction checker I showed her 5 serious interactions which she ignored. I was in a state of total apathy, did not care if I lived or died. I could not find any help in the psychologist field. I could not even manage to keep myself fed or handle phone or internet. I begged several times a Dr I had seen before her to help me but she would not accept me as a new patient. Finally after 50 calls my mom had to make...because no doctors were accepting new patients or they did not take my insurance....i got an appointment with an neurologist/psychologist I had seen before. He was amazed the amount of medications I was on and recommended I start coming off them. However he could not manage my taper but did recommended a taper that I followed. I finally got into see a local psychologist who agreed on taper....which was basically drop one at a time by half every 2 weeks. Way to fast I believe after reading your site. I cannot get anyone to answer what happened to me. It's now been 7mos and I can at least type and watch tv.....i still have crippling anxiety and depression. I have came off Cymbalta, vraylar, zoloft, and halfed clonezapam. But I'm still having horrible symptoms I never had before. I've been on at least 12 antidepressants and antipsychotic medications over the past 8yrs for bipolar. Before that I was on nothing for 10 years with no problems. I did have issues in my teens. But it's been downhill ever since I had a nervous breakdown due to extreme stress that lasted years 8 years ago and I started trusting doctors that I needed medication. I had to go on disability 5 years ago due to medication side effects. Before the pills started I had a successful career and ran half marathons. I am thinking about contacting a lawyer. Does anyone have experience with such a drug combo, how long this will last? What happened? Or if seeing a lawyer may be a good idea?
  19. Well, here it goes. I was on Zoloft for 8 years following a year of intense anxiety after my 1st son was born. I generally felt good on Zoloft, though I would have blips in which I would up or lower my dose and I would balance back out. For the majority of the 8 years I was on 50mgs (the "lowest" dose according to my doctor). Well almost exactly a year ago I was doing so well, and figured since I was on the "lowest" dose I would simply stop taking it. Felt a little weird (light-headed, tearing up for no reason, spacey) for about 3 weeks, then I felt normal. Had a great holiday season with my family and so happy to be off meds and doing well. I started to feel a little bit of an anxiety blip at the end of February and figured I would be proactive and resume my 50 mgs of Zoloft for the rest of the winter, then get off again in the spring or summer...then disaster struck. I woke up the next morning with my mind racing, feeling like adrenal glands had been switched to overdrive, and 10 months later, I still haven't been able to turn them down. From the 1st night of taking the Zoloft I have not had a day without a huge wave on anxiety hitting me at some point. For most of these 10 months I have been waking at 4-5 AM with anxiety bordering or exceeding panic. Since I was prescribed the Zyprexa, I still wake feeling "keyed up" but it is not as bad and not as early (usually don't wake til 7 or 7:30AM). I was on the Zoloft for 6 weeks, being told that it can increase anxiety at the start, but then it will subside and I will go back to normal. When that didn't happen at 6 weeks I was told Lexapro works faster and is better for anxiety anyway...so I started it. One week at 5mgs then 10mgs for 7 weeks. When that didn't help I decided "enough of these meds, I have never had anxiety this bad, I will just get off." Well unfortunately my month off of Lexapro was no better, still waking early, still having extreme anxiety, wondering what the heck had happened to me. I was talked into giving Paxil a try by my doctor saying "it was the least activating" of the SSRIs and it could actually help me sleep...I didn't and I really felt no different on it than the other two. After two months of Paxil and feeling no better the doctor decided I just hadn't got to a "therapeutic" dose of Paxil for my severe anxiety, so he recommended going up to 40 and then if no improvement 60 on Paxil, in the meantime he gave me Zyprexa to help sleep and morning panic. To be honest I have been better since August, I am assuming the Zyprexa is calming down my overactive nervous system, but I am far from "stable." I went to 60 MGs of Paxil and felt a little better than I did at 40 for a week or two (probably placebo) then back to how I have felt since August (which admittedly is much better than Spring and Early Summer). Since I don't think the Paxil is helping, and actually may be "activating" and counteracting the Zyprexa (I hate even typing Zyprexa, I NEVER thought I would ever take an anti-psychotic, but here I am, and unfortunately I have to admit it has helped) I want to go lower and off the Paxil. From looking over this site it seems I have attempted what you would call a "reinstatement" of Paxil, that clearly hasn't worked. Seems I have four choices and would welcome and recommendations you could give. 1. Stay at 50mgs of Paxil with the 2.5mgs of Zyprexa hoping I will "stabilize" even though I haven't yet in my two months at both 40mgs and 60mgs of Paxil. 2. Realize the Paxil has never helped me and could in fact be "activating" and further hurting my chances to let my brain heal from my Zoloft CT and simply quit. 3. Go back up to 60mgs of Paxil and stay there until I "stabilize" even though I am two-months at this dose with no sign of leveling out. 4. Slowly wean myself off the Paxil, even though I am not stable as it is just a likely it is doing as much harm as good. I have read on this site that I shouldn't get off the Zyprexa until after dealing with the Paxil as it is a "brakes" medication and could help with whatever has happened to me this year. I really hate that I am taking Zyprexa and honestly the side-effect profile terrifies me, I have already gained about 15 lbs, but noticed this quickly and have been able to maintain my weight at 205 at 6'2", so it isn't a HUGE problem...yet. I welcome any thoughts, opinions, and insights. I have been very impressed with this site and am learning a lot about what has happened to me and what may be the best course of action moving forward.
  20. Michigan: Tapering Zoloft and Haldol

    Hey everyone - I'm back! If you check out my post history, you'll see that I had tapered in 2015 and had a pretty rough time of it. Went back on my meds and disappeared from this site for the past couple of years. At this point, I'd like to re-introduce myself, share some things that are working for me, and get some feedback from you (updated history is in signature). As I said, I went back on a full dose of Zoloft. Experiencing a frightening amount of brain fog and cognitive issues. So I've begun tapering again. In the past couple of years since I last posted, I've been going to an amazing "holistic therapist". He's trained as a naturopath, but specializes in therapy for emotional issues. His methods include regular talk therapy, as well as reiki, acupuncture, supplementation, and life coaching. With his help and encouragement, I've started a regular meditation and yoga practice, and gotten my life to a better place than it's ever been. I'm making a ton of money in a job that I love; I have a new baby with my wife, and life is generally pretty great right now. I feel like I'm in a much better place to try tapering again. My first recommendation to you all is to find a great holistic therapist. They usually don't take insurance. I only go once a month, but every time I walk out of that office, I feel like I've had a life changing session. My second recommendation is in trying the Ketogenic diet. It's an extremely low carb/low sugar diet that was first developed for epilepsy. My brain and emotions feel 10x better when I'm following the diet and I'm excited about using the diet as I get further into my taper. Thirdly, I don't recommend this for everyone, but my holistic therapist has had me micro-dosing on psilocybin under his close supervision. The theory is that, while the micro-dose doesn't make you "trip" or feel anything, it's increasing the neuro-plasticity of the brain. Now, I'd also love to get some feedback from you all. The last time I got off of Zoloft, I felt so much anger, rage, and just chaotic emotions that it really makes me nervous to think about that part of it. I read these horror stories about people who get off of their meds and "snap" and kill themselves or someone else. Do you guys have any advice to ease my mind that getting off of meds isn't a death sentence or a trip to prison? Second, I'm also on .5mg Haldol, and I've been on it for almost 20 years. It's a small dose, so I have that in my favor. But I hear horror stories about long term use of neuroleptics causing permanent damage, and causing alzheimer's etc when you get older. Has anyone recovered from that long of a stretch using neuroleptics? Like I said, I'm in a much better place in my life right now, but these stories scare me, and I fear that I'll never be able to live a normal life free from these toxic meds. Good to be back and looking forward to connecting with you all!
  21. 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
  22. Derealization or Depersonalization

    Hi everyone, I wanted to ask a few questions and hear feedback from those who have suffered DP as a result from their tapered or CT withdrawals. My DP makes me feel like I can’t think in first person. I can’t picture myself in scenarios future or past. I just don’t feel like me even though I know, rationally, it’s me. My my brain is just fuzzy and while I’m aware and conscious, it’s a very disconnected feeling. It’s particularly heightened around family, too. Do any of you feel this way too? Can this be reversed or have I done irreparable damage to my brain and CNS? How long can I expect to feel this way?
  23. Hi Everyone, I'm really happy to have found this support system for antidepressant withdrawal. I have spent the past 8 months weaning off of Zoloft 100mg (am now at 12.5) and am experiencing delayed withdrawal side effects. I initially was on for depression about my parents' divorce, as well as some anxiety issues. I experienced my first panic attack in Geometry class in high school- I'll never forget that day. I felt like I was floating, and completely disconnected from my body. It quickly subsided once I drank some cold water, and I never thought much of it after that until I realized what it was. Zoloft and I have had an interesting run. It leveled me out to put it vaguely. My high's were never too high, and my lows were never that low. I just went through the motions, sort of numbed out, but in many ways, grateful that my reactions were lessened. My father suffers from mental illness (depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug addiction, and narcissist personality disorder), so I've always been very conscious of how I act in certain situations in an effort to not be like him. About 3 years ago, my Zoloft pooped out. Entirely. Either that, or my dose wasn't cutting it. I was in the midst of a new relationship, I didn't know which direction I wanted to go in in college, my grandparents were diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away shortly thereafter within two weeks of one another, my fathers addiction issues came to light, and my anxiety was through the roof. I was semi-agoraphobic; I had a 9-5 job which forced me to be social and stay in public, but I couldn't sit in a restaurant with out panic, couldn't go to a mall, a grocery store, etc. Then, one day, it was sort of gone. Either I had gotten used to it, the Zoloft started working again, or a combo of the above. I felt amazing again, and like I was on top of the world. My mom put her house on the market to be leased, I moved into my apartment with my significant other, we started a business, I wrote a book, I had an intervention for my dad and he went to rehab. I was at a place where I thought I could handle going off of the medication. I thought I was better. So, I took a trip down to my psychiatrist, and told him all of the above and told him of the recent positive changes. While he acknowledged the changes, and said they were indeed positive, he looked at me and said: "You sure you want to go off the Zoloft now? This is an odd time with you moving out of your home, the new business, your grandparents and your father." I told him I was sure, and away we went. I began that tapering off on February Feb 16, 2017 until early April 2017. Going from 100-75 was a piece of cake, and that was from April- May 2017. 50-25, was from May-September 2017. and then 25-12.5 from Sept 2017 to present (Oct 2018). I have done a complete 180 in anxiety (and even some depression) symptoms. My most troubling one is depersonalization/derealization. I've had it before, but never this bad. As much as I've read, listened to, and accepted that DP/DR is a direct result of anxiety, due to withdrawal, I can't help but think I am totally losing my mind. Or that I've made a huge mistake and need to go back on Zoloft altogether to help alleviate these symptoms. I exercise 4-5x a week, have just started neurofeedback, eat relatively healthy, but am still struggling. I'm back to being agoraphobic despite forcing myself to go to the gym, that's about all I can handle. I can't stand around for long without feeling fidgety, I always feel unstable when I'm standing, and again, depersonalization that's pretty severe. Again, the thought of going crazy or that I've done irreversible damage to my brain by this discontinuation is enough to send me into a complete panic. I'm looking forward to reading your responses, and I appreciate your taking the time in reading this. BlusMama
  24. I am a 24 year old young woman who is slowly tapering off Zoloft. I have been on 25mg of this medication since I was 15 years old. Previous attempts at getting off this med have resulted in severe relapses of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. After reading Kelly Brogan MD's book "A Mind of Your Own," I am inspired to eradicate this disease once and for all. I am aware that this will take patience in the process and patience in myself. I hope to meet others who are on a similar journey as me. We can do this. Community makes it better. I want to support you all and would love you to support me.
  25. I'm 20 y/o, male, here's my story. Throughout my high school, i took sertraline, alprazolam, propranolol and others, never with any side effects, tho not on a regular use, only the sertraline was for 2 months and i didn't feel like it did any ****. Alprazolam was taken when needed, so was propranolol. I never stayed on a drug for years. My mom bought phenobarbital for herself, so she could deal with stressful events in our life. She was taking it when needed to sleep better. I asked her to give me too, she then game me drops of phenobarbital with water that equate to roughly 15 mg of phenobarbital. This was around September 6 to 8, don't remember the actual day. She didn't give me anymore, till September 14, when she offered to give me again. I took this along a valerian herb. The same 15 mg of phenobarbital. The next day, September 15, i noticed minor visual difficulty focusing on text and on September 16 i acknowledged that i see an increased visual snow in my vision, palinopsia, trails, more static. Just for you to understand, i took phenobarbital 2 times in total across a week and a half with the minimal dosage. I've had visual snow before, but after that night on September 14, i was perceiving way more static and visual disturbances that i never had before, and this is still here, October 2. Now, i'm asking, is this withdrawal and i should take it again on that small dose of 15 mg, or just leave it and hope it will go back to the state it was before? I know phenobarbital has a long half life, but it should've been gone from my system now. Please help.
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