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Carrot: Goodbye Sertraline / Zoloft

success discontinuation pssd post ssri ssri withdrawals

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#1 carrot


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Posted 03 February 2017 - 11:12 AM

Hey there. This is my first post, but I have a success story that I’d like to share.

I’d like to preface by saying I had been on 75mg of sertraline (Zoloft) for approximately 7 months. I quit last year and have successfully made it through the withdrawals!


I see more horror stories than success stories on SSRI discontinuation. My hypothesis for this discrepancy is that people who successfully quit the drug don’t really have that much of an incentive to post their stories, while people dealing with the terrible side effects are more likely to seek out information. I knew there were millions of people on SSRIs, and I refused to believe that my discontinuation symptoms would be permanent. Of course, there are always exceptions, but I found out quickly how unhealthy it was to hold this mentality of permanence.


I tapered off a too quickly (~2 weeks). I believed that since I had only been on the medication for a few months, I could get away with tapering off at that rate. Consequently, I ended up having over 6 weeks of hellish withdrawals. The first 2 weeks had the most powerful physical symptoms: brain zaps, fatigue, nausea, etc. These symptoms seemed to go away around week 3, but then came another wave of symptoms: anxiety, paranoia, depression, and a lot of overthinking. I didn’t realize it till week 5, but these feelings were more powerful than when I had them before starting sertraline.

Week 5 was the worst; all these terrible feelings went into overdrive. I remember a few specific days of this week were particularly dreadful. I had been reading up on SSRI discontinuation online and freaking myself out reading people’s horror stories. I was afraid that I permanently removed what it was to be human. I was terrified I’d never feel joy, sexual desire, or ambition in my life ever again. I was angry at myself that my choice to try anti-depressants fucked up the rest of my life. I was broken, and I just wanted to be normal again.


These are unhealthy thoughts, and I was wrong.

My life did start coming back. I slowly felt what it was like to be “me” again. Small steps every day reminded me. One day something would make me laugh. Another day I’d notice a cute girl. I appreciated and cherished every step throughout the way. And slowly but surely, old joys started coming back to me: I started feeling ambition, I was looking forward to future plans, I was dreaming again (I could sleep well again!), and I was feeling love again, both for myself and others.


I believe there is a strong psychosomatic component during these withdrawals. It’s difficult because your brain doesn’t allow you get past these negative thoughts while its readjusting, but you have to keep moving. There isn’t a quick solution, but your brain is powerful and adjusts to your current circumstances. That’s why exercise, a healthy diet, a support network, and a positive outlook are so important; you want your brain to re-adjust in an ideal setting.  So, don’t blame yourself or hold a grudge for trying SSRIs; you actively did something to confront your inner demons.

From one stranger to another, you will survive this. Good luck.

#2 raven530



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Posted 04 February 2017 - 11:35 AM

Great to hear that you've recovered. I think that most people recover within 3 months, but those that don't usually have a far longer struggle for some reason. 

PSSD, Anhedonia, Loss of Imagination and creativity, physical pressure in head all from taking 50mg Sertraline for a month back in February 2015. Not seen much improvement (if any). Time of writing this signature - 01/02/2016 (UK date format)

#3 Madeleine


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Posted 04 February 2017 - 03:42 PM

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. Much appreciated.

March 15/2017: 3.75 zyprexa; January 16/2017: 6.25 mg; down from 10 mg December 2016
200 zoloft. Tapering that next.

#4 Hopefull


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Posted 06 February 2017 - 03:50 AM

Thank you for sharing your story. It is really encouraging.
I believe that true healing starts once you are completely of the drugs.
For some of us, it is still a journey to freedom. Hopefully that will happen soon.



November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

#5 theloneranger86



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Posted 06 February 2017 - 08:44 AM

how long did the withdrawal symptoms continue for ? Did loss of libido and sexual function come back gradually or at once ?

Iv been getting better but my erectile dysfunction is still not cured. Iv improved on all aspects including ED but still so far from a recovery 


Would be great to know about your timelines and trajectory of recovery


Thanks for sharing your experience

#6 JanCarol


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Posted 07 February 2017 - 08:25 PM

Carrot - the purpose of the Success Stories section is to provide support for people who are struggling in their withdrawals, to be certain.


But a greater purpose of this section  is to provide information to practitioners, doctors, psychiatrists, students, who want to see how it was done.


Please put your withdrawal history in signature listing dates, doses, and date of your cold turkey.


and we will evaluate whether this qualifies as a "success story" or not.   What you have said here is not enough information for us to go on, nor is it enough information to refer to practitioners as a success.


You might use:  Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's Most Common symptoms of Withdrawal to compare your different months of withdrawal, to your present, recovered state.


I am hoping you will grace us with more information.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna


Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.


My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.


A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


Currently Lithium Orotate 1.67 mg only.  I will re-evaluate this supplement in 2017.


I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

#7 Altostrata



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Posted 09 February 2017 - 10:00 PM

Thanks, carrot. How long did it take you to feel like "me" again? Did your recovery proceed in stages? Did you find anything that seemed to help you recover?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#8 Hopeinahpwr



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Posted 06 April 2017 - 04:22 PM

Thank you Carrot, as your post is almost exactly what I'm feeling at the moment! Thanks for the hope


On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:
    84mg from October 2016

    82mg from February 2017

    80mg from April 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt 

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation."

               - Viktor Frankl 

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