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  1. Hello everyone, I'm Kangamangus. Been looking at this forum for a few months now and finally decided to post. I have been on Zoloft since I was 16 years old, I am now 25. It seems to help a bit with my depression, but it causes me some apathy/numbness. I have laughed hard, cried hard, and felt anger on this med, so my emotions aren't completely gone but they do seem harder to access. I have also had a substance abuse problem throughout this time period. Recently (may of this year) I finally realized my depression wasn't going to get any better if I didn't do something. I have since stopped taking all illegal drugs and I have been clean for 60 days now. I made the terrible mistake of coming cold turkey off my Zoloft in this time period too. I'm not sure what led to me to make this decision, but I think it was just a sense that the meds weren't really helping me anymore and poor decision making skills from all the drugs I was doing. I was fine for about 3 weeks and then I crashed hard. Extreme depression, flu like symptoms, and suicidal ideation led to a week of extreme hell. I ended up in an intensive outpatient treatment program where I was reinstated on my meds. I was also put onto a low dose of Remeron(mirtazapine) to help with sleep. I am now stable and feeling much better than I was when I was off my meds. Unfortunately I am now feeling the numbness/apathy again. Like I said, my emotions aren't completely gone but they seem muted. I have realized in this time period that I really do want to come off the Zoloft. It helps with my depression but I really hate the muted feeling that I have. I accept that I am one of those people that needs to be medicated for my depression, as it gets really bad, but I'm sick of the Zoloft and I'm very wary of going onto any other SSRIs. My libido and emotions are already impacted by the Zoloft and I don't want to risk those things getting any worse. My goal is to very slowly wean myself off of the Zoloft while simultaneously upping my dosage of Remeron. Obviously I will be doing this under the direction of my doctor. I have heard good things about Remeron, and I understand its much less likely to impact your libido and emotions than any SSRI drugs. I might not completely come off the Zoloft but I would at least like to try and see if these side effects that I hate so much lift up a bit. I'm posting here to get any feedback from members of this forum on my plan, and to see if anybody has any tips for me. My plan to taper is to follow the 10% cut that I have seen posted on this site before. Once i feel stable on the lowered dose I plan to wait for a long time before cutting again. Simultaneously I plan to increase my dose of Remeron to hopefully help with the depression that I expect to return from coming off the Zoloft. I'm taking this very seriously and I want to do this the right way. Any input is appreciated, and thank you for welcoming me to this forum. My current doses: Zoloft( sertraline) 50mg/daily Remeron(mirtazapine) 7.5mg/daily
  2. TRIGGER WARNING: MENTION OF SUICIDE ATTEMPT, EATING DISORDER So I've been dealing with a lot of challenging information this week with regard to my mental health. In 2000, when I was 15, I attempted suicide. I'd had an aggressive eating disorder for about 2 years at this point - that continued until I was 24 or 25. My parents got me a little bit of counseling after the attempt, but they mostly swept it all under the rug. Then, in 2002, I had what they classified as another "depressive episode," which caused them to send me to a psychiatrist who prescribed antidepressants (Wellbutrin). No therapy support. I was away at college at this time. I realized this week that I probably attempted suicide not because of my own horrific depression, but because of the experiences I had with narcissistic family members. I don't think I'm that messed up. I think that I suffered some serious trauma in childhood that led me to some desperate acts because I was a kid and didn't know what else to do. --- Instead of pushing for therapy and getting me better coping mechanisms, my parents took me as a minor and essentially forced meds down my throat. They told me I would never be able to function without medication because my depression was so severe. They also beat the idea that I had a neurochemical imbalance into my head as a child. I'm seriously pissed about this. --- What I'm trying to get at: I think it's possible that I'm not seriously mentally ill. In fact, I think it's possible that I'm not mentally ill. I think I was a teen trying to deal with a crappy home life, and it was easier to "check out" because I'd been intentionally isolated by my parents and couldn't talk to anyone about what was happening at home. Yes, I engaged in some self-harm - but it was only because I couldn't find even a tiny bit of control in my life. I felt like a spectator watching my own existence float by because I wasn't empowered to make my own choices. I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder in 2002. For some reason, the psych thought it was okay to put me on permanent medication, and no one else seemed to question this decision. Fifteen years later, I've been through a panel of psych meds from scores of docs. Some of those meds left me with horrifying side effects. Frankly, I'm just angry. I'm angry that my family gets the convenient excuse of "Oh, you're mentally ill," any time I have a legitimate concern about our relationship. Everything can just be dismissed *poof* because "your perception of reality is distorted." That's the ultimate mechanism for gaslighting - a narcissist's DREAM. I'm angry that I've been medicated for nearly half my life because of this ongoing rhetoric that says I'm just not "good enough." I'm angry that I've allowed myself to be sedated and convinced that there is something deeply and fundamentally wrong with me ... when the medication just made me more convenient to deal with. They masked my feelings and led me to years of self-harm because I never dealt with the underlying cause. I'm angry that the meds made me manic and caused more problems for me in the long term. What could I have done with 15 functional years? What damage has been done to my brain? Is this why I've found it impossible to build real relationships with other people and actually hold down a job? I feel dismay and regret that I bought what everyone was "selling" and told myself that I was sick. I'm afraid to trust my own brain now, and that makes me even more upset. My world view is toppling, and I'm working through it with a counselor, but this just feels like betrayal from the people who should have been helping, not hurting. --- Thanks for letting me vent. I'm seriously looking forward to getting opinions and input from everyone on this forum.
  3. Hi. I am a former member om Paxilprogress, and as many of the other members I was schocked when it suddenly closed. I am tapering zoloft since 2011. I started 25 mg in March 2011 and after two weeks went up to 50 mg. I started due to stressrelated tinnitus and the panicattacks that gave me. But Zoloft was horrendous for me, and now later, I think I had an adverse reaction to it. I was zombieliked, felt suicidal, vomited and felt totally crazy. ((But the tinnitus got better.) So after downs and ups in doses (doctors told me to hold on) I started to drop for real in August same year. But now I was supersensitive. I tried to drop from 18.75 to 12.5 but got into heavy wd. So since 17.5 mg I have dropped by 5 percent of the previous dose, just enough to be able to function at work and at home. It has taken me 3.5 years! I feel better and better the more I drop. Now I am down to 2.35 mg. I, on the whole, feel fine with my drops. On the lower doses I have felt almost nothing. But I know I am super senstive, still. I have been able to (social) drink wine the last year with no issues. But last thursday I,stupidly, took my dose after two glasses, and the drank some more. Oh god...the day after I felt like I was in heavy wd. Akathasia, shaky, headaches. I think the wine blocked the zoloft out, like if I missed a dose (I have never ever missed a dose). This made me feel really scared. This drug is so powerful, still on a low dose. I guess I just have to keep tapering... Nice to find a new community! Amy
  4. 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...
  5. Hi everyone! Just found this site weeks ago while browsing the net regarding AD withdrawal. Sounds like you all have more insight to AD's then any doctor I've ever seen. It's reassuring there are others like me who have had many years of AD use. I'll be 47 years young next month and have been taking Zoloft/Sertraline since the early 90's. It's been a looooong time! 22 years I believe. Matter of fact, there wasn't even a generic available for Zoloft when I started taking it, it's been so long. I've been on 100mg/day since the beginning. I've tried 50mg/day for a while and been as high as 150mg/day but only for a short period. Currently still on 100mg/day, seems to be my sweet spot. Anyway, like many people out there, I was diagnosed with Dysthymia in my 20's and was promptly put on Zoloft while having a major depressive episode. I sought therapy during that time and they thought Zoloft would be an excellent option for me during that gloomy year. Fast forward 20+ years and I think it was the worst option they could have suggested during that time. Hindsight is always 20/20 they say. It is what it is now. I was an excellent responder to Zoloft. After a small adjustment to the med life was really excellent for a long long time. I had probably 15 good years on this AD with very few side effects. Things like emotional blunting, mild anorgasmia, foggy head syndrome were just a few sides that have persisted thoughout the years. As I get older, these side effects have seemed to get worse despite living a very healthy lifestyle. Many of the doctors I've seen over the years all have said that I could expect to be on Zoloft for the rest of my life and that it's ok that I am. Not so sure I agree with that. I've been married for 19 years to the same wonderful supportive woman. I've been at my same job for 25 years, make a decent income and have very few external stressors. I have nothing to complain about in my life. So I keep asking myself why am I still on an AD? I think some of it has been complacency. If zoloft is working so good then why quit taking it, right? It did work wonders for a long long time, so basically for a while I wrote it off as something I would be on forever and just live with the side effects until the day I die. I guess I could live with that and go on with my life. But what happens when the same drug you have been taking for 22 years starts to lose it's effectiveness? That's what seems to be happening over the last few years now. Many years ago I tried to wean of zoloft without any luck. Back then I had no idea what I was doing and neither did the doctor I was seeing. I look back and think about the 50% weaning schedule my doctor had suggested and just shake my head. No wonder it was so horrible. Needless to say I quickly reinstated and went on with my life. From all the reading I've been doing I now know that was the worst thing I could have done. A few months ago I found a really excellent doctor that specializes in integrative health. Although he doesn't specialize in Psychiatry, he really "gets it" compared to other doctors that simply want to push pills on you. He really understands how weaning works and also suggested the 10% weaning schedule you all advocate as well. I think I'm a pivotal point in my life regarding my AD. I don't think it's working very good anymore. I can detect very small withdrawal symptoms while on the same dose I've had for years. I think this tells me it's pooping out on me. My life circumstances are as stable as they will ever be so I feel this is a good time to start my journey. I know it will be really difficult and I'm willing to accept the fact that there is no deadline to finish my taper. I'll take it one day at a time. Hopefully with your support I can some day successfully be free from AD's forever. I Hope to get to know some of you on the forum. My intro was a little long so if you made it to the bottom thanks for listening All the best, Rob
  6. Hey! I've been on one SSRI or another since i was 18. I'm 37 now. I've come off Zoloft, Paxil (twice), Klonopin (i know it's not an SSRI), and now Lexapro. I was on Lexapro for about 4 years. Most SSRIs that i have been on stop working after about 3-4 years. Recently it was suggested that i might be on the bipolar spectrum. I'm mostly hypomanic. When i get depressed, I'm still hypomanic, so i have mixed states that result in severe anxiety. Everything i have ever taken has been a result of anxiety. ANYWAY. I wish i had come across this site earlier. I started having severe anxiety and panic late last year (November) while on 5mg of Lexapro ( i had dropped myself from 10mg to 5mg sometime in the last 4 years because i was sleeping all the time. 1.5 hour naps every afternoon, then another 9 hours at night). So when my anxiety went up i upped my lexapro (with a doctor's consent) to 10mg (January). Things were a little better, but not much. I went to 15mg (February). This was not good. crawling in my skin, suicidal thoughts. I lasted on 15mg for 3 weeks, then dropped to 10. I had just begun seeing a new therapist at this time. He advised that i get of Lexapro immediately. So i "tapered off". Since my base was around 5mg it was not hard to get back to 5mg (was good at 5mg by March). Then i went from 5 to zero in about 3 weeks. That sucked. I dropped off completely on Tuesday April 12. Exactly 2 weeks ago. I've had to supplement with Klonopin to deal with some of the anxiety. So i'll have to deal with coming off that again, but with a slow enough taper i know i can do it (the last time i came off Klonopin i spent 6 months tapering). I was not aware that SSRIs required the same type of taper but i should have known. My Paxil withdrawals were nightmarish. Lexapro has been pretty bad as well. The brain zaps seem to have stopped, but i still get dizzy every day. My mood swings are FAST and they suck. I had a great deal of anger and agitation when i first started tapering. That seems to have cleared up. My face gets tingly sometimes (usually my lips). As far as anxiety and depression... It comes and goes. good days and bad days. If i can stay motivated and busy, i tend to do quite a bit better. The only thing is, i can't really relax. I don't drink. I kinda wish i did (not really) Since i started coming off Lexapro, i started trying to take care of myself. I started taking Omega 3, a probiotic, and Magnesium daily. I started working out 3x a week. I try to meditate once a day. (i've been doing this for a few years). I'm here to soak up the information and maybe help if i can.
  7. Hello I recently withdrew from two psychiatric medications, Zoloft (Sertraline)and Zyprexa (Olanzapine) after a 15 year forced dependency which started when I was court-ordered to take them in 1998 for depression. In Feb. 2014, I finally quit the pills for the 4th and final time. The withdrawal symptoms were quite severe, probably similar to those of heroin, only instead of the people who care for you trying to help you get off the drugs, in the case of psych meds., everyone is dead set on you continuing to stay on them. I went about 6 straight days without sleep while trying to get off the pills, constantly throwing up all over my apartment (my parents had to bring over a steam cleaner to clean up all the huge piles of vomit, while at the same time admonishing me to go back on the meds.) I developed extreme lightheadedness. When I would turn my head to look at something it would take a moment or two for my field of vision to catch up. I suffered from those brain shocks which I thought might be some suppressed memories of the many rounds of ECT that were administered to me, against my will, back in the mid 1990's. I nearly died on a couple of occasions during the withdrawal as my blood sugar levels plunged so low that I was forced to crawl to my kitchen and shove wadded-up pieces of white bread soaked in either oyster sauce, fish sauce or salad dressing (for proteins and sugars) into my mouth to avoid collapsing on the floor, but somehow I did it, I got clean. I had kicked the pills cold turkey three times previously (twice in 2004 and again for 10 months in 2005-6) only to be put back on them. The last time in 2005-6, I had been given the choice of either taking the pills and being given a bed in a local group home on a 0° F January evening or else to go rough it in a snowbank (I had been evicted from my apt. after falling a month behind in rent). The pills (Zoloft originally at 200mg that on my own advice I scaled back to 100mg at the time of my withdrawal. Zyprexa originally at 17.5mg that I had reduced to 10mg) basically ruined my health. Within a couple of years of starting on the meds in 1998, I had gone from a lithe and slender 6' tall 160 lbs man to a portly 230 pounder,, with all the weight gain going into my belly and thighs (Blech!). My cholesterol and triglyceride levels tripled. I had copious amounts of diarrhea daily. My blood pressure was absolutely wrecked. When kneeling down or squatting on my haunches, at say a grocery store or maybe a bookstore, to look at something on a low shelf, upon rising I would start to nearly black-out or swoon due to massive head rushes and would have to hold on to shelving for about a minute or so until I regained my vision and sense of balance. And from about 2006 on, I became no more than some sluggish, gorging hibernating animal that slept between 12 and 16 hours a day, sometimes as much as 20 hrs a day (watching T.V. was my only other occupation) where I would hardly more than move from my bed to the couch only to fall asleep 3 hours later for upwards of 4-6 hours, sometimes for as much as 10 hours. I was sleeping so much that when I woke, I often had no idea if it was early morning or late evening. I would have the most awful and depressing nightmares of being strapped into a dentist's chair while doctors would be cramming every conceivable pill down my throat in an attempt to kill me. The sedative-like effects of the drugs, combined with a horrible and untreated case of sleep apnea due to smoking and a severely broken nose as a teenager, left me completely fatigued all the time. I usually only left my apartment once a week to stock up on groceries. Since the harrowing experience of withdrawal, my health and spiritual well-being have greatly improved. I began a 4-6 mile a night brisk walking regiment and starting biking between 10-20 miles a day which resulted in me losing 45 lbs in 3 months. While before on the pills, I could hardly stay awake, now I can barely get to sleep. My insomnia is sometimes so bad (3-4 hrs of sleep a day, often none) that I resemble a real live? zombie (I call my condition, Inzombia) but considering how low my spirits had been on the pills, I'm just happy to live an active life again, even if I do suffer bouts of sleeplessness. I've spent several hundred hours since early last year either volunteering picking up trash from local parks and lakes or else helping out at a local thrift store and my creative spirit has flourished. I have filled something like 15 fifty page notebooks full of my poetry (both of a serious and humorous nature) and have written many short pieces of memoir, one of which is entitled In Servitude to the Devil, and is about my nearly indescribable and entirely hellish experience in 1995-1996, when for six months, I suffered from brain damage and akathisia brought on by the forced administration of Resperdine, Prozac and Paxcil. I thought I might end this piece with two short poems of mine The Psychiatrist His pills amount to fool's gold; his lab-coat: starched and anti-sceptically white He professes to be a doctor, but he's a neuro-nazi in my sight. A Reflection On Our Times So much lust and vanity under the sun Surely God is our pariah as we have our fun.
  8. I have been in chronic pain for five years -- on and off various medication for five years (which never decreased my pain and did a number on my CNS). I can't tell what is a pain symptom, side effect or withdrawal at this point. You can see some history in my signature. My plan was to withdraw from Valium first, then Gabapentin, then Zoloft, but I've been tapering slowly off Gabapentin and Valium at the same time. I also made a jump from 25mgs of Zoloft to 12.5mg of Zoloft 8/10/17. I was only taking 25mg of Zoloft since 6/16/17, Then before that, 10mg Paxil from 2/16/ - 6/14/17, which I halved, stopped and switched to Zoloft. My quick withdrawals from ADs may be causing some side effects. Now I'm thinking since I stared Mirtazapine 7.5mg at night (which finally is enabling me to sleep), I should wean the Zoloft first (before the Valium). I would like to micro taper all three together. Comments please? Thanks, Medication Tapering Schedule.pdf
  9. I have been off Sertraline for over four months now, after having been on it for about 3 and half years. Previous 4 years or so I had been on other medications. Is diffcult to comprehend and explain in words all that is going on, but my whole psyche has been completely overturned in these years, and I do not know to what extent the various medications have caused me this. I suffer from the severest OCD,and anxiety, and now I think depression, and sheer terror at all my subsconscious thoughts which have completely taken over my whole mind. I have been imprisoned and castigated in my own mind. It is beyond explanation what is occuring on a millisecond basis. I seem to have entered some moral vortex, whereby I feel as if I am always doing wrong. Constantly confronted with "Heaven and Hell". Constantly feeling compelled to undo things, which for example I have written like here. Damned if I do or if I don't , this doesnt explain 1% of what is going on. It has brought into the fore the reason for everything and existence. I really have no idea what is going on, terrifies me the idea that no-one can have any idea of what is going on in my head. Yet on the other hand everybody is in my head, I don't know who is in my head and who isn't. Everything I say in my head is being judged. I will not go any further for now as I am terrified of writing, and also it may not be entirely pertinent to the subject. Unfortunately it only comforts me to a certain extent to know that others are experiencing their own hell, and I feel guilty in turn for the fact "that others suffering should comfort me', as I have entered some abstract Universe which seems to have its own laws. the ridiculous thing is that in the end what seems "right and wrong" seems to be determined by feeling and not some sort of formula, and I feel guilty in turn for thinking that, and also "convinced" on the one hand that it should be formulated and on the other "know" that it isn't. One of the main reasons for writing this post was the guilt and fear of punishment, or fear of damning others, especially close ones for benefitting from reading others stories and not contributing my own. To clarify alot of this stuf was going on when I was still on the Sertraline, and perhaps, in a different way when I was on other medication, difference now is that I am that so much more fragile.
  10. Hello: I am new to this forum. I am tapering zyprexa. I was put on 10 mg in the hospital at the beginning of December. In the first week of January, I cut down to 8.50, then 7.5. for 10 days. Right now I am at 6.25 mg, and have been at that level for 1 week. They decided to put me on zoloft in the hospital as it "works fast" the doctors said, and is being used "until the zoloft kicks in". I am very impatient to get off zyprexa, and figured if I join your group, I would get support from people to help me be patient and wait enough time between cuts. Still figuring out how to do the signature. Will add it when I do. I am also on a whopping dose of 200 mg Zoloft, also given in the hospital. Before that, I had been 6 months free of Zoloft after tapering it for at least 3 years or even more. It was a huge disappointment to end up in the hospital and to have to go on it again.
  11. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  12. Hello Thank you for accepting me in to this group. I have always faced adversity and never ever took any medication. I always felt these were life situations that all of us must face - and that there isn't a fast fix - only time will heal - which it always had. But when my son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoma Leukemia - I forgot all about the above and listened to my GP to take something for this pain that hurting my very soul. So I took Zoloft and stayed on it for 8 years - Then on December 3, 2011 - my GP and I decided it was time to start tapering off Zoloft. Unfortunately Zoloft only comes in 25, 50 and 100 mgs in capsule form. I had to taper 25 mgs at a time, albeit I stayed on that amount for 4 months at a time. Took a year and a half to finally get off it, which was on May 17, 2013. My tapering experience: I had litte WDs in the beginning - first was the dizziness, arms and legs ached, headaches, groin pain to the point where I had a hard time walking, indigestion, - all these symptoms except the dizziness and headaches disappeared. I was coping quite well all through withdrawals - but I didn't know what was coming, was not prepared at all. When off completely May 17, 2013 - again for a couple of months still able to cope with WDs. Then around 6 months off - WDs seem to get worse - visual disturbances, anxiety, worsen headaches, lightheadedness - pins and needles all over my face and chin, daily migraines, tight band around my head - DP, crying all the time - night sweats - morning anxiety - All these symptoms started mildly around the 6th month period off - then they just got worse and worse and around 18 months of until now there has been no let up at all. Day after day with high anxiety, crying every day, distorted vision in one eye I think caused by the headaches. I am literally in hell - and I wonder if maybe I will be like this for the rest of my life. Also recently I have lost a person whom I love so much, never to see that person again. I think my WDs are even worse now because of it. There is no hope left in me...- Zoloft is the only medication I have ever taken and do not take anything at all - not even vitamins.
  13. 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.
  14. Hello fellow survivors, In 1998 I was in the throes of peri-menopause and some life stressors which caused me to experience severe anxiety. Went to my family doc who prescribed some Ativan, which caused me to feel really depressed. I was then prescribed Zoloft and slowly but surely I weaned myself off the Ativan. I have to be honest and say that the Zoloft did help with the anxiety and other peri-menopausal symptoms so I continued to take it. In 2010 my insurance changed and it no longer covered the brand name Zoloft I was using so went on the generic. I did not feel well after I began taking the generic so I went to my psych doc and she wanted to add a mood stabilizer to my regimen. I did not want to go that route so I decided that it was time to get off the medi-go-round. I continued taking the generic Zoloft, but also decided to give bio-identical hormones a try with the hope that I could eventually wean off what I believed was the worse of the two evils...Zoloft. Well, the estrogen patch only made matters worse for me and I went into a severe depression. I then went to see a homeopathic psych doc who increased my Zoloft from 100 mgs to 200 mgs., prescribed Klonopin, and Remeron. Boy was I over-medicated and a mess. Since then I have managed to wean myself from the K...the R and decrease the Z from 200 mgs back to 100 mgs. The more I lowered the meds, the better I felt. I am currently considering weaning completely off the Zoloft, but have so many concerns. It is my hope to continue to learn as much as I can about "surviving antidepressants" to be able to survive without them. Sunflower
  15. I am currently cross-tapering from Zoloft to Viibryd. I've gone from 150 to 62.5mg of zoloft and 10 to 40 mg of Viibryd over a 7-week peripd. Throughout the process I've had periods of insomnia, mood highs/lows, body exhaustion/weakness and fatigue. However, not until I went from 75 to 62.5 did it become extremely uncomfortable. My brain feels heavy, especially in the front. I've had crying jags. I'm exhausted. I'm having trouble thinking, if that makes sense. My brain feels slowed sometimes. I've started having what they call hypnagogic hallucinations--hearing things right before falling asleep or while waking up, which I had while decreasing Zoloft last year. I've been on ssri's for 25 years. I was on paxil for 13 years, and attempted to cross-taper onto Celexa over a period of a month. I literally almost lost my mind and had to go back on Paxil. I cross-tapered from Paxil onto Zoloft successfully about 7 years ago because I wanted to get pregnant. I had to use the liquid Paxil and it took months. I don't remember having much withdrawal during that one. I attempted to decrease Zoloft last year and had a near crash. I've not quite been the same since then. I will say I've not done nearly as well on zoloft as I did on paxil, but I don't want to be on a drug that is SO hard to come off. My question is...has anyone struggle with discontinuation syndrome even while cross-tapering? And if so, how long can I expect to feel this way? Will I get worse? My plan is to stay where I am until I see my prescriber at the end of the month. I can tolerate it I think as long as it doesn't get any worse. I work full time (in mental health of all fields) and I have a 5 year-old. I have some some friends that have been on medication, but none of them struggle with discontinuation like me. I just want to connect with someone who relates.
  16. I have been on Zoloft for many years. Switching between antidepressants for a total of 20 years. I was on Zoloft or other antidepressants and xanax for about 20 years. I was up to 200 mg Zoloft and 2 xanax pills at night with another xanax during the day to take edge off once in awhile. I was under psychiatrist care for all those years until he retired. I chose to go to my general doctor for continuing getting my meds. I have tried to get off a few times and have failed. I will continue in a minute. This is my first post and want to make sure it works
  17. Hi all. I`m new to this forum and this is me: I`m 35 yrs old male, husband and father of 3 children. I lived my youth in an abusive family and went through my early years with panic attacks and depression without any help from anyone. Just judgement and 0 love & acceptance. This left me in really bad shape after leaving home. Nevertheless I managed to start a family, get phd and land a good job. My past still has always been haunting me. So in 2008 I went to doctor cause I felt so terrible. He gave me 10mg of Cirpalex per day. I took it for a few months until I forgot to take them anymore. I had no issues coming off the drug. Then came the year 2011. My employer is in trouble and is planning to shut down the firm. I`m getting bad anxiety. At the same time I had big trouble with some of my relatives, our dog died, had to buy a new car, feeling axious and very tired since our 3rd child had just been born. I felt for a long time that my stress levels were too much for me to handle. Then the disaster struck. One night, out of nowhere, I started hearing this very loud hiss inside my head. I panicked and got up. After some walking it went away. I was relieved and went back to sleep. Maybe a couple of weeks later the same thing happened again. Only this time it became permanent. I lost all will to live. I went to a doctor. They took MRI and hearing tests. All was fine but I could not take it anymore. So I went back on cipralex. This time the dosage was 20mg. I took the med for months. Also I got a description for 10mg diazepam 2-3 times per day to help my anxiety attacks. Luckily I did not take it that much but looking back the last 2 years, I`ve taken a Lot of benzos. All was fine until summer. Suddenly I felt that Cipralex was no longer working. My doc told me to get off cipralex in a couple of weeks! I did just that but after little over a month I was in hell and went back to see my doctor. He was buzzled and told me to go to another doctor. He was very understanding and put me on Zoloft. First 50mg, later 100mg. Again things got better until last summer I felt that the drug is no longer working. I did not want to increase the dosage so I made a plan to withdraw myself from it. During the next 80 days I went of the drug. The last pill I took 11th of november 2013. Now it`s xmas eve and I`m in hell. I just realized that I`m not only coming off Zoloft. It`s also the benzo that is giving me this sweet ride in hell. There have been few good moments lately. I`m sensitive to everything. Especially to sounds and stress. My tinnitus is terrible most of the time. Sometimes I get a free moment of it. It fluctuates a lot. Stress triggers it very easily. Slightest amount of stress gives me bad hiss in the head and tinnitus with panic attack. I can hardly survive everyday life. AD and benzos have made my nervous system a complete wreck. Even much worse than what it was before. If I manage to free myself from stress and being afraid of everything, I am fine for a while. I have read a lot of WD stories and common factor in those cases that have it very hard to get off these meds seems to be the amount of stress that is present in their lives. I`m determined that I will not put another AD or benzo in my mouth ever again. I do not know if I will survive this but my hope is that some of you will help me during this very hard path I have chosen to walk. Thanks. Moody Blues
  18. I quit Zoloft a month ago 50mg as day for 4 months when will when I start to feel normal
  19. Hi guys, This question has to do with SSRI's and supplements. I was diagnosed with Chronic OCD in January 2015. I have been on and off medication between 2009-2015. Since 2015 I was prescribed 200mg (Sertraline/Zoloft) Daytime and 2mg Clonazepam for night time sleep. At the back-end-of 2016 I felt that I was well enough to come of all medications as I just felt able enough to cope on 100mg after a while. I did Cold Turkey for most of it before admittingly and slowly going on the lower dose of 100mg Sertraline. I was afterward sent to a Dr who specialised in withdrawing people from medications. She prescribed: - L-Carneitine (300 mg) - CoQ10 (200 mg) - N-Acetylcysteine - Vitamin C - Selenium - Magnesium. - A Gluten Free Diet. With Gluten diet, I did not stick to this religiously as some of the books advocated here on this forum. Mainly Elaine Gotschall's Breaking the Viscious Cycle. (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the GAPS Diet advocated by Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride. I am very skeptical when i read over these diets but since my Dad was on the diet, whatever was in the Pantry, I ate. I wasn't religious about it though if I ordered takeout. Back on topic, I reduced the supplements to L-Carneteine and CoQ10 in combination with SSRI Zoloft/Sertraline (100mg). I found that during the time taken them, I had trouble with Cognition and motor skills, driving, runnng and excercise. I also noticed that I couldn't stop feeling dizzy although they are supposed to aide mitochondria in the brain which the Zoloft dulls down. I also noticed real bad insomnia during the time taken these aided supplements. Has anyone else had success with L-Carneteine and CoQ10 prescribed with Zoloft? It seems that people are having great success with these two supplements to rave review, I am just wondering if Carneteine or CoQ10 has worked for anyone to either reduce withdrawal symptoms off SSRIs & Zoloft or taper off completely. **Note. I have looked through the other posts here, but most vary in opinion, so I just want this question answered. Many thanks. Ryder.
  20. I'm new to this site so please bear with me. Basically I want some advice and info regarding the tapering of Sertraline. I have taken Sertraline 50 mg for about two years now and feel "normal" on this dosage. I've tried to taper unsuccessfully before usually by halfing my dosage. Since last Saturday I've been taking 25mg but I feel like a different person on this dosage. I feel fragile, irritable, I'm hyper stimulated by small sounds and I just don't feel "with it" so to speak. On the lower dosage I feel less confident in public and more easily overwhelmed/upset and I also cry quite a bit. I also don't feel like leaving the house on the lower dose (I force myself most times) but on the 50 mg I leave the house freely. Socialising is a major problem for me. Mornings are a really bad time for me - I can wake up with varying degrees of anxiety mostly mild to moderate but sometimes severe. My only problem is that an hour or two upon rising my mind/brain simply goes DEAD. This is the only word I would use to describe it. I will simultaneously become fatigued/weak/Tearful/, my memory/concentration will plummet and all I will feel like doing is going to bed. I won't have the energy to deal with or be around people or solve any problems. Once the tablet kicks in a few hours later I will generally be ok. I sometimes get this horrible feeling in the evening time about 9- 10 PM but generally the MORNINGS are far more common. These effects are far more pronounced at 25mg than 50mg. Is this horrible feeling down to the withdrawal effects of the dosage reduction or is it down to my depression still being unresolved? Would the effects at 25mg be any different even if I tapered down by 10% from 50mg? I sometimes feel that it doesn't matter what way I taper the dose, I will still return to being depressed once I'm on a lower dose or zero dosage. Is my brain totally dependent on these things to function??? If you function ok with the meds is it worth the hassle/ side effects trying to function without them? I would be really, really grateful for your thoughts and opinions guys.
  21. Hi there, first time post I came across this site searching about side effect withdrawal systems. As of 11 days ago, I was taking 50 mg of sertraline. At my Dr.'s appointment he said I could just stop taking the 50 mg (I have been coming off that medicine for approx 6 months or so...I was originally on 150 mg). At each dose decrease (150, 125, 100, 75, 50) I would have a few days to a week of uncomfortable withdrawal side effects. Since just stopping the 50 mg, I am beyond uncomfortable. My headaches are bad and I feel horrible! (just to name a few things). Things were so bad yesterday, that I caved and took 50 mg of sertraline. My headache improved slightly and I felt less irritable. Only thing is, I started some sertraline side effects yesterday (nausea, crazy dreams). left a message at my Dr.'s office to see if he would call in a prescription for 25 mg. Has anyone here had to restart (after already stopping) a lower dose of their meds due to withdrawal side effects? Thanks!
  22. 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.
  23. nityananda: Zoloft

    Link to above quote: james-heaney-article-on-what-to-expect-in-restatement Hello LexAnger, I'm considering myself to go up with a dose, because of my withdrawal symptoms I'm suffering for 4 months now, since my last taper. I was waiting to stabilize but seems I feel worse with every day. Maybe my anxiety mimicall that pains and shaking and spasms.. I'm confused. I feel stuck. I was on Zoloft 50 mg for 12 years, beside xanax. I started to taper Zoloft february, last year.. This year in april was my last taper and I'm on 8mg since then and feeling awful. Why do you think its not good to go up with dose ? Someone else its so very welcome to answer also. Thank you.
  24. Hi, my name is nadia and I'm 16 , I've been put on zoloft 25mg and I've taken about 8 days worth and I am experiencing PGAD. If I mention this to my doctor and get put off zoloft, will my pgad go away? I was already very suicidal before this and the PGAD is making it worse, I don't think I can live with this forever. Also, if it is something that will go away if I get taken off zoloft, what can I do to manage it in the meantime? Any help is appreciated
  25. Hi, I've been tapering from Zoloft for almost 4 years now. I started at 150mg and am down to 12.7mg. I'm reducing 10% every 8 weeks. Except for minor withdrawals around week 6, so far so good. My question is - how far down is it necessary to go before you finally quit? 3mg, 1mg? Less than 1mg? Also, I'm using the Gemini 20 scale with the 10mg weight. How far can you go with this scale and be accurate enough? It seems like the scale is getting touchier the farther I go down. I saw someone on here say they bought a new scale every few years because of this. Sound like a good idea? Or should I try switching to a liquid?
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