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potions off Zoloft since August 2016

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Hi everyone! I'm new here, I'm an 18 year old girl, will be 19 soon, and I took Zoloft from when I was about 16 and a half to when I was just about 17, so a year and 4 months. I've been clean of the poison since August 28th, 2016, so ten and a half months now. Since I don't think the drugs were good for me to be on to begin with because they caused a whole host of strange behaviors and feelings, like sedation and mania at times, as well as periods of complete apathy and feeling sick, not to mention the sexual problems, I decided to get off of them. Here's how things went:

  1. Felt better when initially coming off Zoloft. Much better. Perhaps more negative, but more energy, felt more normal, looked better, etc. Less headaches and other side effects. Happier...almost manic sorta. Sex drive increase and no problems with prolactin overloads. Continued like this (with adaptogenic herb, B6, inositol, and other supplementation) until December 2016. Sometimes wanted to "crawl out of my skin" also and getting more frustrated when my best friend wouldn't call me, less worried about what he thought.
  2. December 2016, my life crashed. My best friend and I had a falling out and he was distant for a while. Worst depression I have EVER felt for 2 weeks straight. I was stuck in my body, it was the worst feeling I have ever EVER had, profound depression, profound pain, I could not deal with it..so incredibly horrible. Definitely would not have been nearly as bad if I weren't only 4 months off Zoloft. Probably wouldn't have been bad at all if I were still on Zoloft..scary. Extreme disconnection from the body. This scared me because the issue was generally pretty mild--a friend being distant. The fact that it caused such a terrible horrible depression made me realize how hard this journey was going to be for me...my ability to handle stress and emotions have been greatly diminished.
  3. January--February were blahhh. He texted me again, didn't switch schools, we were friends. I also started taking tryptophan for serotonin deficiencies and the pain went away but the horror of what had happened still lingered and left me exhausted and terrified of another episode. I felt extremely out of control of myself and my life. Never would have felt this way on zoloft.
  4. March was terrible. He ignored me again, again intense anxiety, worse than I could possibly describe. Literally horror.
  5. Started taking ashwaghanda which, along with him reconnecting with me, made April and May more bearable. Sometimes felt GOOD in those two months..other times not, but it was really not horrible. A couple periods of intense pain, usually from relationship stress, but I recovered when things went back to normal.
  6. June..was fine. I'm living. In college now. Was pretty intent on committing suicide a couple of days ago..thoroughly convinced myself that I would do it and that I need to do it. Didn't do it. Probably won't this week. Can't take the unbearable social pain any longer though..it's putting a hole in my heart.
  7. I refuse to go back on those meds. Ever. They're awful and they still are affecting my sex drive..PSSD is there. Realizing that I'm at the end of adolescence and never had a true, hormonal, exciting sexual experience and the ability to experience that kind of thing will go away when teenage hormones go away. I may never be normal again. I'm incredibly upset and worried and cursing myself for taking those pills. Also feel really alone because nobody understands and I can't talk to anyone about it. If I weren't in a fine mood, I'd be ready to pull the friggin plug. All of my sexual experiences are awkward and bad, make guys feel like rapists, never result in orgasm, always lose excitement once any touching of the genitals is involved, and end up very VERY bad. Masturbation is 100X better but it still takes longer and isn't as easy to cum.. I feel hopeless and screwed, scared and worried. The same mechanism affects your ability to fall in love..I need hope. When will these things get better?


Note: One thing I can say is the intense feeling of being disconnected from my body or wanting to crawl out of my skin has gotten better, which makes me realize that my brain is normalizing itself. I'm just worried that things will never be the same again, because of receptor problems or permanent brain damage, especially in the sexual department... Help?

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Hi potions, welcome to SA.  

Let me reassure you that you WILL recover from this. you are young and your youth is on your side. This was your first psychiatric drug? 

What you are experiencing is the course that withdrawal takes. There will be times when you feel ok and others when you can't take any more. This is called the windows and waves pattern of recovery. The first thing you need to do is stop thinking that you will never get better. You absolutely WILL get better. Don't worry about not having exciting sex after your teens, that is something that teenagers often worry about but is unfounded. Sex can be a fantastic experience whether you are 16 or 70, in fact better as you get older so don't worry about that side of things. While you are healing the best thing is not to even think about sex. Trying to force feelings oly leads to more frustration. The feelings will come back as your nervous system recovers. Worrying about it will just slow down the process. 


Well done for sticking with your education, it must be hard but you are doing it and that shows you are a strong person and will get through this. When you feel suicidal it is not you, it is withdrawal. Let the thoughts come and go but don't let them stay. I have been extremely suicidal and still get those thoughts. I tell myself that this will pass, it is not real and get on with something that distracts from the feelings. They ALWAYS pass. 


You need to tale good care of yourself, eat good fresh food whenever possible, avoid caffeine and alcohol. ( It isn't forever  ;))They are stimulants that can make us feel worse in withdrawal. Sleep is important so if you can keep a good sleep routine it will be beneficial for you. 

You don't need toxic people in your life. If they make you feel bad let them go. I had to let a few 'friends' go when I realised their negativity was impacting on me. 

We don't recommend many supplements, often all they do is make expensive pee! We universally recommend magnesium and fish oil which seem to help many of us here. Most people are deficient in magnesium because of todays farming methods, it is calming. Fish oil is proven to be good for brain health and helps with the brain fog and electric type feelings. I am going to put up some links to topics for you that might help you to understand what it is that is happening to you. It is easier to cope with when you understand the process. Remember that THIS WILL PASS! 


WE ask all our members to put their drug history in their signature.. You can find instructions here..


Withdrawal syndrome



Windows and waves



Dealing with emotional spirals






Fish oil




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Super advice from mamma!!! I just want to say Everything you are worried will get better.  A lot of research says that women's best times in that department are in their 30s not teens. So you have a  lot to look forward to. Focus on your studies and if possible find a couple of low maintenance friends who are nice people. And don't worry. Everything will improve

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hi potions welcome ,you are so young [not patronising ] please believe me when I say that ,of course you'll heal ,its hard at your age you just want to fit in and give yourself credit for knowing you want off these drugs ,don't dwell on damage that mite be done without evidence ,trust me it sets us up for a spiral of toxic thinking/depression .

I also had horrible depression for months ,get journaling in a diary and become aware of your thoughts ,they can overpower us ,don't let anyone tell you any of this is to do with your character its the drugs/withdrawal .

we can get obsessive so be aware of this ,relationships with friends are hard at the best of times so learn serious compassion for yourself .

I get paranoid mixed with extreme sensitivity ,so I learned to ignore it but some days its tough .

watch here for what helps others and listen to the moderators and give yourself time to take it in and you've loads of it being young .

take care



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Thank you all so much for the helpful replies and reassurance! I'm hoping things will get a lot better soon.

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Before taking zoloft, i was a silly, awkward, energetic, nut who was fascinated with life. While on zoloft and after withdrawing from zoloft, my entire sense of self changed..for the worse. I've been borderline "anhedonic", just less involved with life, I feel like I'm barely even here. My sense of humor and feelings of engagement and excitement have shut down, as well as my sex drive which has been completely and totally damaged ever since I began taking zoloft and now has continued even after 10 and a half months of stopping. I don't feel like myself anymore, emotionally or otherwise. I'm worried that: 1) because I took an SSRI while my brain was still developing, I did some permanent damage to my brain, even moreso than I would have if I had taken it when I was an adult. 2) that I will never ever be the same again. I'm stressed because I'm looking for love but with blunted feelings and depersonalization as well as the sex drive problems that I STILL have, which are 100% caused by the zoloft that i took almost a year ago which are almost certainly tied to the same mechanisms that affect infatuation and love, I will never find love, nor will I ever be happy again. I'm extremely distressed because I don't feel like I've improved one bit since I got off the medication in late August last year..emotionally too. I can't handle anything. Nothing at all. Anxiety comes in intense, unbearable "waves" I guess, but I feel like I'm literally sitting in, seeping in, pain, unable to do *anything* about it. I have NEVER felt like that before I touched sertraline... I am so terrified that my entire life has been ruined. I'm sorry for the negativity of this post. I hope to be able to post in the near future with positive news, and will certainly update on any improvements I see, if I see them.

Edited by scallywag
merged topic

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potions -- I've moved your post/question to your introduction topic so that all your information, questions and answers are in one place.  After you get this notification, you can find your post in your Intro. We ask that you post questions about your situation in your intro topic.  The benefit to you is that the Introductions forum has the most activity so people, including moderators, are likely to see your question sooner and respond.


We have a topic in the Symptoms forum on anhedonia: .Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness.


A tip:  Search the site for topics about symptoms with a web search engine such as google or bing.  Be sure to include site:survivingantidepressants.org  as a search term in addtion to the symptom "keyword", e.g. anhedonia.


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Hi, it’s been a few months since I’ve posted on here and I’d like to share a few updates on my withdrawal disorder. I find today a particularly momentous day because today marks 1 year and 4 months off zoloft —exactly how long I was on it. I joined this site in July while I was in a horrendous wave with extremely devastating physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms including severe anhedonia, extreme akathisia and a feeling of needing to “jump out of my skin” 24/7, depersonalization, horrendous, extreme anxiety that I can’t even put into words, depression worse than I ever though humanly possible, headaches, insomnia so bad that I would get only a couple of hours of sleep a night if I was lucky but would get extreme nighttime exhaustion at around 10 pm (as if a brick had hit me), and worst of all: extreme genital anesthesia (PSSD).


The wave in July was awful and not unlike the previous waves I’ve had earlier that year in December 2016, March 2017, May, etc... But the windows have kept me going. I’ve found it helpful to calendar my windows and waves to see how my withdrawal disorder progresses. After the horrible July wave I noticed a serene and welcome sense of calm and a renewed sensitivity to worldly pleasures in early August. I was still numb sexually but the emotional relief was much needed. The window lasted around a week and a half before I transitioned into a bad wave again in mid to late August with severe symptoms... The horror of that wave lasted until early September when I transitioned back into a window for a week or so...but something was different about this window. I was sensitive in my genitals again for a week in this early September window. Unfortunately this did not last long and a week later I transitioned into a wave again with predominantly anhedonic and apathetic depressive symptoms, irritability, genital anesthesia, and a low lust for life.


This wave lasted from mid to late September to late October/ early November. In early November I noted a transition into a window that I’ve been in (relatively) ever since (with a few short dips). I’ve noticed improvements of all aspects of my withdrawal in these two months. Lessened anxiety, manageable insomnia and no nighttime exhaustion, manageable depression, significantly improved akathisia, and: improvements in PSSD 🙂.


Overall in these two months my anorgasmia has been better, sensitivity increased, and libido slightly better than it was in October, July, etc. There have been a few days where my libido has felt like it was back to pre-SSRI levels! Generally though I’m not nearly at the level I was before SSRIs, but I’m improved substantially (emotionally and sexually) from how I was this summer and in waves earlier this year. I’ve read on here that many people notice their withdrawal disorders starting to go away around 14-18 months off. I hope this is the case for me.


And as for PSSD, for some reason it got much much worse around 10-11 months off my medicine. But right now it is much better 🙂. I know I’m still in the depths of my withdrawal disorder from zoloft but I’m beginning to think I see the light at the end of the tunnel...  


On another note, I wonder if anyone can give me some advice about PSSD. Do you think this condition is permanent/do you think I will recover from it? It has taken up a significant portion of my mental energy in these past few months as I have been thoroughly obsessed with it and how to get rid of it. I wonder how long you think it will take for me to recover naturally (if that’s even possible). 
Thanks for reading.

Edited by Altostrata
added paragraph breaks

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I Believe you will recover

I am tapering Lexapro even dow my sexual performance is the same or even better than before  but that is only happening because I am slowly tapering off 

it's no easy task

lots of mental torture but nothing compared to my Lexapro CT from 20 mg 

Lexapro is stronger then Zoloft 

Zoloft was my first  SSRI but never liked it 

you will recover just be patient and keep the journal it helps a lot and it's helping me a lot 2 

don't isolate, get out, exercise, but go slow on the exercise if you are having withdrawals 

and pls don't be obsessed with the PSSD distracting your mind will help and pls  let the body heal, I was like you obsessed whit PSSD and then I let it go and my libido went up like tons 

remember that SSRI withdraws and its recover it's not linear the more you worry the more stressed your mind gets, does slowing down the healing

I am going true some intrusive suicidal thoughts but I have learned to ignore them even dow they are a pain in the ass 

I get tons of low Bp

and the depression from this drugs are horrible but we have to keep going healing is happening 

when you taper its like not intense but constant misery until you stabilize after a cut on the dosage  but you are healing while tapering 

you whent CT soo you will take more time then me to recover i taked ssri for 2 years 

but dont worry i belive that you will recover becose peapol whit 25 + years of psychiatric drugs recover so me and you are like 99.5 % sure to recover 


Btw I am 19

how old are you 

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Thanks Miguel, that’s really reassuring to hear. I have just been concerned about PSSD because I’ve read about some people who’ve had the condition for up to 20 years or longer...so I know that (full) recovery is anything but guaranteed.  As for the withdrawal disorder I have some more hope for that. I am 19 as well :).

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Thanks for your beautifully written update,  potions. I moved it into your Intro topic. Please bookmark this topic or follow it so you can find it again.


Really good to hear you've seen some improvement. The waves and windows and frustrating setbacks are "normal" for withdrawal syndrome. 


You've already seen some healing of your PSSD. The healing will continue very gradually, try not to worry about it. 


Are you taking fish oil and magnesium? These can support your system in healing. See


King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

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