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joannatm

Joannatm: sertraline withdrawal

219 posts in this topic

6 years ago had baby number 2. Ended up post natal. They put me on sertraline. Wasn't working on me great so eventually went up to 200mg. Since Dec 14 I tapered off. Finishing in April 15. I've been suffering with anxiety and tears negative thoughts ever since. In waves and windows. Now nearing 7 months and going through a wave if tears last week and this. I feel maybe I should go back on but my heart of hearts and also hubby and friends say stick it out as I have good days too. Mornings are bad at times.

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Hi Joannatm

Welcome to SA. I'm sorry to hear you have been struggling so much. Everyone here know what it's like being on these terrible drugs and what it's like trying to come off them. If you hang on tight a mod should be with you soon :)

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Hello Joannatm and welcome to SA.

 

Many of us here, myself included have been through what you are describing. Some of us many times not understanding what went wrong.

 

I believe the links I will post for you will answer many of your questions. It seems you have been taking quite a large dose of Sertraline (200 mg) for 6 years. Could you add more details about your drug history in your signature as described here:  Please put your withdrawal history in your signature     

 

 

Since you have periods when you feel better (windows) and since it's been almost six months since your last dose I wouldn't reinstate. It seems also that you didn't have a prior history with psychotropic medication or taken more drugs which should all make it easier for your brain to remodel itself to functioning without the drug.

 It might take months for the symptoms to gradually lessen in intensity but you will get there.

 

As I said, it seems you are experiencing this: The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

as a result of going through What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

There are many ideas that help us deal with particular symptoms in our Symptoms and self-care section.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivinganti...acids-fish-oil/
http://survivinganti...hannel-blocker/

 

Let us know how you are doing.

 

Best,

Bubble

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Welcome 'joannatm'

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Thanks so much for advice and links. It's kinda nice to know others feel the same in a strange way. I think some days I feel alone but I not. I keep thinking I should be back to norm happy with life my family friends work fub etc but I feel so distant like I'm outside looking in. It scares me. That I can't believe kids are mine like they are strangers some days. I'm very close to them and push those feelings aside but feel them lurking. Hate this feeling. I feel I'm missing out on every moment of their lives feeling this negative. I was never like this. This week I'm so tearful it's horrible. I hate getting up in mornings as feel anxious and negative thoughts start up especially weekends. Sorry to go on. I frustrated as think this is me now and that's it get used to it! Too frightened to go doctors as feel they put me on more drugs.

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Welcome, joanna.

 

Your feelings are "normal" for withdrawal syndrome, which will very gradually fade over time. Please look around our Symptoms and Self-care forum  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/for suggestions about how to cope with symptoms, including emotional ones.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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Thank you so very much. I will have a good read. I'm taking Berrocca at mo as got recommended. So pleased found your site. X

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Hi joannatm! You and I jumped off about the same time.  What you are feeling is completely normal.  We are in month 7 and to think this is STILL going on is very very taxing on our mind and soul.  I tried chelated magnesium Last Sun through Tues and then on Fri I got very very very bad symptom-wise....like back to acute.  I also go a cold that day, too, and for the past 4 days I have been in misery with hyperarousal, extreme anxiety (more than my usual awful withdrawal anxiety), internal vibrations, fizzling head, etc....  I don't know what caused it (magnesium or cold), or if is just a natural wave, but if you start experimenting with supplements be very very careful and take a very small dose.  Our systems are still super sensitive right now.

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Hey Joannatm - welcome to SA!

 

Here you will find people who have experienced better and worse outcomes than yourself.

 

So many women come in here because doctors apparently have no understanding of the nutritional needs of mothers - so many women end up on the drugs in a post-natal condition which may have been corrected through other means (such as nutrition, thyroid, or even enzyme supplements).

 

Berocca may be overstimulating for you.  It's got a bunch of B Vitamins and such - that to a healthy person might be just right - but to a person in withdrawal could emphasize your symptoms, and make your recovery more rocky.  You need calming things, like magnesium (please read the links above - the magnesium at most chemists is Mag Oxide, which is about as good as chewing rocks!), quiet, dark, rest.  Lemon balm tea might be good for you.  

 

Here is how withdrawal works (as described by Our Rhi of SA):  Rhi's description of healing the brain

So it is important that you be gentle and patient with yourself.  

 

So are you downunder?  (I ask because Berocca is really common here, hubby loves the stuff)

 

Again, welcome!  And I hope you saw the sun today (we are getting ready to rain on the right coast!).

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Hi everyone

 

Thanks such for advice and chats. Keep strong we will get through it. Can't believe how many are going through same symptoms I've had five kinda good days. Yesterday back to norm then today 3 pm I started to have negative thoughts and feeling anxious and sad and bored feeling. Thing is I'm too busy to be bored so can't understand why these thoughts came into head. I'm also having bad pmt pains to go with it so that don't help.i also find colds make me feel worse and I too have one.

I'm from UK and we into it too. My new Zealand friend recommended it too. Feel it helps. I check out websites. Big thanks. Keep strong. Xx

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Hi kt38 how you feeling today. Hope coming out of wave. I wake up and try not to think about how I feel but it just comes into my head. So annoying. Mornings are worse

 

Thanks for advice everyone. x

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I'm still having a bad time.  I think I definitely have akathisia, but the internal kind....not the movement part -- agitation , sensations of movement and pressure , electrical surges/current in different parts of the body and a sense of dread and terror. 

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That's awful for you. Will it eventually fade? I have dreaded feelings and some feelings of being outside a bubble looking in at my family. Sometimes feel I not my sons mother. Can't properly explain. But it upsets me thinking like that weird thoughts feelings. I also get very anxious at times and can't sit down. Worse on mornings. Do hope it all fades x

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Blooming awful day today. Tears and anxiety. Hating this feeling x

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I hope it fades!  Sorry to hear you had a bad day.   I am trying to see this as a wave and to know to even call it a wave is HUGE.  This was CONSTANT the first few months, so I must have had some improvement and not realize it.   I hope your day is MUCH better tomorrow!! Hang in there!!!  You were very smart to taper. 

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Another tearful and anxious day for no reason. Very tired too. But I find just after pmt I get like this lately for a good week. How you getting on? Hoping you coming out of wave. Can the waves come and go frequently on a weekly basis? I keep thinking now this is me and I got to live and get used to being up and down all time. Too scared to ho back doctors as don't want to touch any more AD. x

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Yes, I am bad the day of my period (very dizzy, too) until at least a week after it stops.  I am still in my massive wave, but hear it's normal to get slammed around this mark for some reason.  I have been on a consistent wave the whole time (I had an adverse reaction to the meds, so it's part that), but have had tiny windows.  Waves and windows are so unpredictable as well as how long they last.  This wave now I am smart enough to call a wave so it shows I guess I have had SOME improvement if I can distinguish this...or it just means I'm getting worse.  Who knows.  Just keep holding on for the ride.  I know we have kids and responsibilities, but please make sure your other half can do a lot of tasks.  I still can't leave the house alone.  I know if I'm doing a little better if I can feel for my kids and family and be there for their needs.  The other times I am literally too out of my mind in mental and physical craziness I have to buckle down and just try to keep myself alive.  That is why it's so important for me to have my husband work from home.  I'm a bad case.

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It sounds like you have a very supportive hubby and children. Makes a big difference. Also looks like it's a slow process for you too and try be positive that you do have the odd windows now. Keep strong my dear xx

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How ya doing kt38? I've had two good weeks and the odd bad day. Hoping window gets longer. Xx

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I had 3 better days (not as mental or had a couple hours where I was and then wasn't)....today is extreme depression with that sinking feeling in your stomach and that you are all alone in the world that makes you want to cry for no reason.   I feel that my symptoms change constantly, but are usually always never good ugh (dizziness, anxiety, panic, mind blankness, depression, etc...).  The only good thing out of this is that I sleep pretty awesome at night.  I wish I could nap again. That is great you had a good 2 weeks!!!!!!   Does it seem like everything is waxing and waning more for you?  Do you ever have any days with no symptoms at all?

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That's terrific that you are having windows joannatm!  It's a "normal" withdrawal pattern (as if anything about these drugs is "normal!")

 

Here's how others experience Waves and Windows

 

Each window you have shows that systems are coming "back online."  It's a very complicated repair, the brain and nervous system, and parts of it will come online for testing, then may go away again while other systems are repairing.  

 

Be gentle and patient with yourself.  You can do this.

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I had quite a few days no symptoms but last few days feel anxious negative thoughts etc again. Gutted as get hopes up and then feel awful. Do feel for you kt38 not getting much let up. At least you've had few days that's a start. Xxxxx

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Hi Joanna - it's good you had a few days with little symptoms. Cherish those days.

 

I came off Sertraline as well and then, months later, I've had to reinstate with Citalopram.

 

I know just how you feel - the anxiousness and negative thoughts are difficult to overcome. I had one of those days yesterday and I was unable to go to work.

 

As difficult as it is, try to take it a day at a time. Go to sleep each night with the hope that the next morning will be a window.

 

Karen

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So going back on tablets you think helped? I really don't want to go back on them. I just have such negative thoughts and loneliness when I not lonely. Drives me made and frustrated. I have no enthusiasm to do anything last day or two. X

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Hello, joanna.

 

Taking a very small amount of sertraline, perhaps even 1mg, might help. See Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline) for instructions about how to take a very small dose. You would take this for a while and taper off by tiny amounts later.

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It's just I feel I've come this far I really don't fancy going back on them. I'm just so frustrated. I will keep going as I know I have windows and a lot more windows. I wasn't good on sertraline felt rubbish on them x

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How's things going kt38? Hope you are having more windows now? X

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Hi! I'm doing very bad.....things took a turn for the worse the beginning of Nov.  Worse than acute...anxiety in every nerve in my body being pushed by electric currents and super hyperarousal and hypersensitivity (more than before which is scaring me). I'm afraid of losing it and morphing into a werewolf all day everyday.  And now more pressure than ever in my head and my brain trips out sometimes.  I heard it can get worse around this time (7 months off) so I am just hunkering down the best I can.  I hope you keep improving!  I bet you will be out of this mess by month 10 or 12.

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Hi. Sorry not been in touch not been too great. Have anxiety and such negative thoughts but nothing like what you experiencing. I do feel for you. You been see doctor to see what they suggest? I've heard 7 month mark can get worse. Fingers crossed we can pull through this. I just feel at times its me and put up with it. I don't ever want to go on tablets again. Love and hugs dear xx

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Hi karen and kt38 how you both doing lately? I'm still up and down but what upsets me most awful negative sad lonely thoughts. Will it ever be norm or is it meeee. xxxx

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it will get better, nothing is permanent. try not to focus on how you are feeling, just let it exist for now.

 

sending prayers. Namaste. DC.

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I've had a window for a week!!!!! Not 100% but maybe 60% better. I didn't even hesitate going out to eat with my family. My cognitive issues are still very bad and can only drive the farthest 5 miles before my awareness issues set it. It feels like my brain is not connected right and then I have some sort of derealizarion panic set in and then fear about how am I going to make it back like this. So that is still there....not sure if that is called cog fog or brain fog or something. This morning has been pretty bad so I'm guessing that window is over. My "monthly" will be starting in about 4 days so that could also be a factor but who knows. My last wave was very very bad but the window was the very very best I've had.

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Daddycee that's a lovely way to think. Difficult to not focus on feelings. I find I get bad after pmt. Like now. Tired too.

 

Kt38 glad you having little break from the bad 2aves. That sounds like a good sign that u are healing slowly. I still can't get it in my head its the meds that still mucking me about when been off them 7 months. X

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Why is it you feel you doing well but something still not right then BANG feel depressed and negative thoughts for two days. So frustrated especially christmas coming. Well at least I've had two weeks on off better days. Maybe starting to see light end of tunnel x how's yoy guys doing not heard from u. X

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Sure sucks and is demoralizing eh....its called withdrawal. Doctors dont get it, but we sure do.

 

Check out the great links above already posted..esp the windows and waves one.

 

Hang in there. You can do it.

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Any good days are a sign of healing - so there's a celebration for you right there.

 

In my experience the first sign of an advancing Christmas can cause anxiety... Do you have a Christmas safety plan? 

 

I had a special counseling session just to make one :blink::).

 

Sorry the negative thoughts got you, hope they pass soon.

KarenB

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