divalee

divalee: 24 months off Zoloft

481 posts in this topic

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. 

 

 

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Welcome to the forum, although I am sorry you have to be here because you are suffering.  We all are.  I am almost a year off Paxil now.  My WD really kicked at the 5 month mark so I understand what you are saying.  I do have the pins and needles and burning all over my body along with weakness and dizziness. I have anxiety as well and a long list of other annoying symptoms.   I am sorry you continue to suffer with debilitating symptoms.  AND THEY ARE DEBILITATING AT TIMES.  I do think we will all heal at some point.  It is not knowing when that is the hard part.  

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Thank you for replying to me so quickly.  The visual disturbances, and the anxiety which I have all day now, and now depression, the sweats 3 or 4 times during the night -  I do not have insomnia at least.  But from the moment I get up I struggle the whole day.  But I have to say no matter how bad I feel - I do what I have to do - it is a nightmare to do - but I do it anyway.  I try to go out every day even for an hour - and then there are days where I have to go to the bank, groceries, etc. I do it - always.  When I get back in to my car - I just cry- but no one sees it and no one knows. 

 

I feel like I will never get better - my life is nothing right now. 

 

If happy little bluebirds fly

Beyond the rainbow

So can ....you.....and.....I       xxx

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I have 3 kids here and I do the groceries and laundry and chores and school functions and appointments etc....because I am a single mom and there is noone else to do it for me.  BUT...It KILLS me!  Sometimes I will take my 15 year old son with me because I am afraid to be out with the 4 year old alone in case something happens to me.  I am afraid to leave my house quite often but I do it.  Good for you that you fight to function despite this daily torture.  I understand how truly horrific and hard it is.  Sometimes crying helps.  Cry away.

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Thank you...I try very hard but mornings are really torture..thank goodness a bit of relief at night.....

 

xxxx

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Can someone tell me if they have experienced severe withdrawals even after 24 months off....Does anyone have visual disturbances, and severe anxiety and hopelessness. 

 

Do you have faith that this will end some day...

 

xxxxx

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Recovery happens in windows and waves.

 

The windows of feeling normal usually are brief at first, and the waves of symptoms are long.

 

Over time, the windows get longer, and the waves get shorter.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

But symptoms can be tough the whole way through until we finally recover. 

 

It's easy to lose heart, but we just stick with it and slowly see improvement and eventually recover.

 

There have been people just as bad as you are, and they have recovered.

 

There are many success stories; here is one that always gives me hope:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3523-success-recovery-from-protracted-zoloft-withdrawal-and-pssd/

 

There are many sources of information out there that explain how recovery happens. Here is just one youtube video, the points made in this video are key to understanding how recovery happens:

 

 

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Thank you Clearday -  just needed some reassurance is all.  This is torture, unbelievable torture.  But I still do everyone I can possibly do -  There is no use for pity pots -  I am not looking for that -  just some hope....and encouragement - is all.  I cook for myself, I do my groceries, everything everyone else does....but with such tremendous effort....

 

Do you have other symptoms you are coping with now besides your ears/head ringing....I have so many symptoms  = also feel pressure in my ears as well...

 

Thank you xxxxx

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I added links to a video and other info to my above post, so check those out if you want -

 

Yes, I have other symptoms. Dulling of emotions, all sorts of annoying, strange brain sensations at night, reduced memory and concentration, some fatigue.

 

Not only that, I went through this once before, years ago, and it took over three years to largely recover. I didn't even know it was SSRI WD back then, so I went back on one of these poisons again, years later. 

 

The Prozac WD years had totally different symptoms from my current Lexapro WD years. The Prozac WD was severe chronic fatigue, sensitivity to light, dysthymia, and more, lasted for a few years. All mostly healed after a few years. But it was long, confusing, brutal, and almost ruined my life.

 

Now I get to go through years of withdrawal AGAIN.

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I have read your story - and am so sorry for all you went through - I must remember we are all in the same boat - and hopefully we will arrive at the shore safely......Thank you for this xxxx

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Welcome to the site divalee.

Things you can do to facilitate your recovery include taking magnesium and omega 3 supplements.

There are threads at the top of the Symptoms and Self Care section.

They help the brain and organs to regain good functioning. Diet/nutrition is a good area to explore

as you continue to heal.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

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Thank you Fresh

I am a person who is a purest.  I cook my own meals and nothing ever bought in boxes or all ready made fresh food or frozen food from grocery store - ever.  I stay away from sugar - I try to be gluten free - but I love bread too much (Italian)...

 

I have had blood tests for magnesium, B12, and everything within the normal limits.....I am so afraid to take anything at all that I am just letting myself heal naturally....but boy if I knew extra magnesium would help me - I would do it in a blink of an eye.....I have a list of goods with magnesium and I make sure I eat those foods....lots of vegetables too and chicken, turkey, salmon.....

 

Only thing is I drink two cups of coffee a day -  but not strong coffee - else I drink water....

 

But your suggestions are not dismissed - I will look where you have suggested.

 

Maaan  I am suffering more than any one should be allowed to suffer and that is every single day without let up...

 

But then again - I go out no matter how I feel - today went to bank, and for groceries - cried in the car - but still went, no matter how I feel I will do it.....

 

Oh by the way about 5 months ago and I know this is another WDs side effect is that I lost so much weight for no reason...was 121 pounds and now 107..and no matter how much I eat - I cant gain it back.  I am very lucky that I have a GP who believes and researches all about WDs and he said that this weight loss is from WDs and the sweats at night are so severe that it keeps my weight down - and until the sweats stop I wont gain it back.  He said all this will go away eventually, but I just have to have patiences.....God am I learning patience.

 

Thank you xxxx

Tear a star from out the sky, and the sky feels blue

Tear a petal from a rose and the rose weeps too...

xxxx

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I was just wondering - as you know by now I am petrified taking anything at all because I suffer so much.  I read somewhere that we should not be taking anything that causes too much stimulation to our central nervous system - Anacin/Aspirin as ASA and Caffeine in it  - I have daily headaches and am afraid to take even an Anacin.  I read also that it can interfere with the healing process.  Is this true - I am 2 years off and am in a very long wave - and don't want to prolong it.   I know this may be a silly question, but when one suffers as much as we are all suffering - I just want to make sure is all.

 

Thank you

xxxx

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Hi Divalee,

 

Welcome to SA

 

Some people experience increased sensitivities to any drugs when they are in withdrawal.   This means that tablets of all kinds (including supplements/vitamins) can exacerbate symptoms.   Other people don't have this reaction.   I can take headache tablets without any ill effects.  

 

The only supplements that we recommend which most people can tolerate are magnesium and fish oil.  If your headaches come from muscle tension (mine do) then you may find taking magnesium helps.   As will all actions in withdraw we recommend starting on a low dose, going up slow and listening to your body.   

 

There are threads on taking magnesium and fish oil in the symptoms section.

 

Can I ask you to fill out your signature so that we have access to a brief version of your drug history whenever you post.   Instructions on how to do that are here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Dalsaan

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My headaches are of the migraine type - mostly silent migraines, which means headache without the pain - have aura instead.  It affects one eye -  only Anacin for some reason takes the pain away - but because I fear any type of medication or supplements I suffer with them - 

 

I wanted to ask you - if my magnesium level is normal and B12 also - I have had blood work done and they are all well within the normal limits - do you still recommend magnesium supplements...

 

This is a great group - I am glad I found you. xxxx

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Dalsaan.  I will never ever take any medications - I am 24 months off Zoloft and never tried anything else .... I have stuck it out....actually on the 17th 3 days from now I will be 25 months off.....

 

I read about the magnesium thank you for that.  Thank you for taking the time to be with me.

 

I lost the sunshine and roses

I lost the heaven so blue

I lost the beautiful rainbow

I lost the morning dew

The day I took Zoloft.  

xxx

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I have many of the symptoms that you have, the pins an needles in the face, the band around the head, the visual issues, and then I have many other issues you didn't mention like SEVERE anhedonia (no emotions at all), severe memory problems, lack of personality, sexual dysfunction, etc etc etc.  I also have SEVERE eye pain.

 

It's been about 21 months since my last SSRI. 

 

I often just wish I'd die quickly, or think about various ways I can end my life.  It's almost unbearable, but I somehow just keep plugging on.

 

Thankfully I get plenty of rest, and sleep reliably 8+ hours a day, which I think is accelerating the healing process.

 

I eat very well, and try to get at least an hour or so of walking in each day.

 

I've read that symptoms like yours and mine may begin to go away between 2-5 years, some people fare worse than others.  It's some sort of weird nerve damage that no on understands, and takes a long time to go away. 

 

Happens to very few people who take SSRI, which is probably why the public isn't very aware of this problem.

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I have many of the symptoms that you have, the pins an needles in the face, the band around the head, the visual issues, and then I have many other issues you didn't mention like SEVERE anhedonia (no emotions at all), severe memory problems, lack of personality, sexual dysfunction, etc etc etc.  I also have SEVERE eye pain.

 

It's been about 21 months since my last SSRI. 

 

I often just wish I'd die quickly, or think about various ways I can end my life.  It's almost unbearable, but I somehow just keep plugging on.

 

Thankfully I get plenty of rest, and sleep reliably 8+ hours a day, which I think is accelerating the healing process.

 

I eat very well, and try to get at least an hour or so of walking in each day.

 

I've read that symptoms like yours and mine may begin to go away between 2-5 years, some people fare worse than others.  It's some sort of weird nerve damage that no on understands, and takes a long time to go away. 

 

Happens to very few people who take SSRI, which is probably why the public isn't very aware of this problem.

I also wouldn't recommend taking any supplements or any medication, at best nothing will happen, at worst it could make you substantially worse (I know it's hard to believe that it could get worse).

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Not everyone experiences windows and waves. There are people who gradually very slowly gets better.

 

34 months off and still suffering. No windows. Tiny improvements in 4 symptoms out of 67. You are not alone this im afraid.

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I am so sorry for Oskcajga and NoMeaning.  We understand our sufferings because we have been in and still are in each others shoes. 

 

This suffering is really too much- and hopefully one day - this too will pass

 

xxxxx

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Hi!

About the vision: during these months I noticed a small loss of vision (far) in one eye....I still don't know if is just me getting older or just w/d. I've the prescription ofr the new pair of glasses but I think I'll wait some more time.... I's "funny" beacuse it happened EXACTLY when the w/d started. BTW, for me is the DEEP and uncontrollable anxiety and the physical sensation of the skin that kill me.

 

Still I express my rage to prescribe antidepressant as bubble gums! :(

 

welcome and hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Marta

Many people of visual disturbances when tapering or off completely.  Yes I have terrible anxiety too - especially in the morning. I wake up with it and the sweats at night are horrible too.  We shall all stick together and encourage each other along this path that none of us asked for -  because we just didn't know what these poisons would do to us.

 

When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When Im feeling sad

I simply remember my favourite things

And then I don't feel .....so.....bad

 

xxxxx

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Me too same...the morning is the worst part if the day...i used to have a normal breakfast... now i start to eat something at 1 PM....

I love your poetry <3

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OMG I was surprised to see what I have written here - I thought this was a private site - , Is all over the net for anyone to see.  I have told no one except very close friends, about this.  I hoping that no one will read it.  Is this a policy here - that anyone can read what you write here.  With all due respect - if this is the way it has to be, who am I to object to it. 

 

This is a wonderful place to be - but to be honest am very disappointed that my thoughts here are all over the net. 

 

Please, is there a reason for this - there are certain people I definitely do not want ever to see this.  I am quite concerned.

 

Again with all due respect.

 

xxxx

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Sorry, me again.  I just noticed that even my user name is on there as bold as ever on the link.  I wouldn't feel so bad if it were anonymous but it isn't....I am quite upset.....There are people I do not want to ever see this - 

 

Again with all due respect.  I hope someone can explain why this is to be?

 

I have given my heart to you,

And I know you will handle it with care

 

Will you smile with me when I'm glad

Sigh with me when I'm sad

 

xxxxx

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If you think your screen name is identifying , you can message Altostrata and ask to have it changed.

You can also edit your profile so your location is less specific.

 

I was going to ask if you'd thought about using essential oils to assist your recovery.

Dr Anne Blake Tracy (author "Prozac or Panacea") recommends them and they can help with calmness and

uplifting the spirit.

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I prefer to show my real name and to write my story in detail, suggesting to friends of mine to read this site. People should know what drugs made to me, this pseudo-science has to be eradicate from this world.

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Dear Luca

 

By all means if this is what you prefer....but there are mean people in this world who do not understand - and love to hurt...is all I am saying....so for me this public knowledge of my very private life - is upsetting

 

I agree my story can be put out there but without any knowledge who wrote it.....and people will still get the benefit of what I have written.

 

I respect your decision....xxx

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Anonymity in support groups is very important.

 

One of AA's sayings is "Anonymity is so important, it's half of our name".

 

To many, one of the best parts of these support groups is that they are anonymous. I certainly feel that way. 

 

If someone wants to use their real name, that is their choice, but it is rare.

 

Especially in an online support group, anonymity can be very important.

 

This is a written record, available to anyone who wants to see it. It contains a list of medications I've taken. It contains many personal details of my life story during some of the most difficult times of my life. I would only reveal this information to very few people that are close to me, on my terms. Employers could use this information against someone if it was not anonymous, the way they use Facebook against employees for posting certain personal details. 

 

I think it is good that anyone online can read these stories. This is important, life-saving information that needs to be out there. I only found these forums by accident, since it is a public forum; it saved my life. I want doctors and researchers to have access to this information. But for most, it must be anonymous.

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If your screen name is recognizable to people who know you, please send me a personal message and I will change it. (Please do not make unnecessary work for me.)

 

Otherwise, your identity is protected by your pseudonym. Try Googling your screen name and see what happens.

 

See How much should I post about myself?

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Hello Divalee...did you used to post at paxilprogress? If so, I remember you. If not, never mind,lol. Either way i just wanted to tell you that i also suffered a lot with INTENSE morning anxiety, it was one of the worst symptoms for me and over two years it got a little bit better. Now, 4 years since my initial wd reaction it is almost gone 100%. If i do have morning anxiety now its very very mild and last only a few days. I am tapering also (after my WD began 4 years ago i started paxil to control it but when that didnt help me I did a slow taper). I just wanted to let you know that of all my most hated symptoms, that was a big one and it is so much better I would say almost gone. hang in there! I agree with you also wanting to be annoymous and careful what you share or who you talk to/meet from the internet. I've learned you have to be very careful, people will use information to hurt you so i understand your concern. I think with a vague username you should be ok!

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The site is exactly as visible as paxilprogress was.

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Alto Strata  I send yu a private message this morning - I know you are three hours behind me.  I am awaiting your reply and yes please change it for me - it is most appreciated.  I don't mind my story being out there - I just don't want anyone to know who wrote it....they still get all the information and help they need from these stories and I agree.

 

Thank you for helping me out xxx

 

Getting to know you

Getting to know all about you

Getting to like you

Hoping that you like me      xxxx

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Aberdeen, yes I recognise you too lol.  I was at PP too...

 

Yes morning anxiety is really terrible .  I am 25 months off June 17th...and still suffer from WDs ...I am in a very bad wave right now...lasting months. 

 

Happy to see you here .....xxxx

 

Oh gosh now all these posts will be out there.....so Please Alto Strata change my user name    lol......xxxx

 

xxxx

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