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Kev93

Kev93: 3 months off Sertraline

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Downbutnotout
56 minutes ago, Kev93 said:

 

Wow, you’re very lucky! 

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nz11
3 hours ago, Kev93 said:

No drugs. 

okay so you never took any drugs illegal or legal or smoked cigarettes including marijuana prior to the sudden onset at age 24 of  intrusive thoughts,  terrible anxiety and panic attacks. 

How peculiar. 

Well its unfortunate the doctor gave you Zoloft for this. 

I see you are feeling better so that's a good sign. Keep in mind wdl can have good and bad days. So these are the times to gather your resolve to prepare for when the next wave comes.

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Kev93
3 hours ago, Rosetta said:

 

Beautiful!  Remember this; it will get you through.  A very good sign indeed!

 

How is your sleep?

Sleep is pretty good on most days. I have had a few rough nights of only a couple hours. Wake up with bad anxiety some days . I have noticed the last day or so some bad memories in my life are bothering me that I have not thought about in years. 

     Actually a lot of old memories good and bad are very clear to me now. Strange.

 

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Kev93
35 minutes ago, nz11 said:

okay so you never took any drugs illegal or legal or smoked cigarettes including marijuana prior to the sudden onset at age 24 of  intrusive thoughts,  terrible anxiety and panic attacks. 

How peculiar. 

Well its unfortunate the doctor gave you Zoloft for this. 

I see you are feeling better so that's a good sign. Keep in mind wdl can have good and bad days. So these are the times to gather your resolve to prepare for when the next wave comes.

Did smoke cigarettes 

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Rosetta
2 minutes ago, Kev93 said:

Did smoke cigarettes 

 

7 minutes ago, Kev93 said:

Sleep is pretty good on most days. I have had a few rough nights of only a couple hours. Wake up with bad anxiety some days . I have noticed the last day or so some bad memories in my life are bothering me that I have not thought about in years. 

     Actually a lot of old memories good and bad are very clear to me now. Strange.

 

The restorative sleep is key to recovery it seems to me.  I have been on a child's sleep schedule for years.  In the Summer when we were not careful about sleep I think I may have made a mistake with sleep "hygiene."  My kid's school was out in early June.  We had one week of day camp starting every 3 weeks in the Summer. During the two weeks in between the camp weeks, we lost our sleep schedule.  I started feeling really bad in July after quitting Zoloft in February.  It got worse and worse until November.  School started again in mid-August.  I did not feel much better until early December.

 

Maybe you are able to go bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning?  If so, don't stop that routine.  It seems to be very important.  Having a "before sleep routine" is important, too.  Treating yourself like a child might help: No TV or screens at least an hour before bed, do the pre-sleep routine in the same order every night -- such as bathroom routine, PJs, then read a book, then listen to soothing music (the same music every night) as you fall asleep.  That what we -- my little shadow and I -- do.  

 

I can't be sure that the sleep schedule disruption caused my most terrible WD symptoms, but it did correspond with the erratic sleep schedule, and it took me over 3 months of trying to get back on track with sleep in order to feel better.

 

As far as NZ's comment about being drug free until you developed anxiety, I feel that in the United States we are exposed to all sorts of terrible substances through our food and drinks.  I've been "depressed" and "anxious" since 1979, but I did have general anesthesia that year.  I was 10 years old when I became anxious and depressed.  I was not treated.  I did well from 1985 to 1988. I had general anesthesia again in 1988.  Maybe GA had something to do with my problems.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

 

 

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Kev93

Do you think my intrusive thoughts will stop once my CNS is healed? If not I am afraid I might have to go on another AD. I had no intrusive thoughts while on sertraline until it started to poop out.

     It scares me to death to have to ever start another one. 

 

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Downbutnotout
17 minutes ago, Kev93 said:

Do you think my intrusive thoughts will stop once my CNS is healed? If not I am afraid I might have to go on another AD. I had no intrusive thoughts while on sertraline until it started to poop out.

     It scares me to death to have to ever start another one. 

 

I am having the same problem right now. I’m not on much of anything.  I’m betting that you’re going to do better than me. You look like you’ve had some success already. 

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Kev93
12 minutes ago, Downbutnotout said:

I am having the same problem right now. I’m not on much of anything. I can’t stop thinking of all my failures, and there are many. It is terribly painful. I thought I’d put all this behind me. But you’re earlier in the process, and it looks like you’ve had some windows and successes. 

Just wish I knew if it was because of the withdrawal or my OCD. If it is my OCD then maybe I'll have to look into another med. 

 

 

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Kev93
Just now, Kev93 said:

Just wish I knew if it was because of the withdrawal or my OCD. If it is my OCD then maybe I'll have to look into another med. 

 

 

 

17 minutes ago, Downbutnotout said:

I am having the same problem right now. I’m not on much of anything. I can’t stop thinking of all my failures, and there are many. It is terribly painful. I thought I’d put all this behind me. But you’re earlier in the process, and it looks like you’ve had some windows and successes. 

I'm sorry for you. It is very painful. Yeah, there have been a few windows but the waves are exhausting. Thinking of things from the past that never bothered me before.

 

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Downbutnotout
1 minute ago, Kev93 said:

Just wish I knew if it was because of the withdrawal or my OCD. If it is my OCD then maybe I'll have to look into another med. 

 

 

I couldn’t tell you. I hope you feel better soon. 

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Downbutnotout
5 minutes ago, Kev93 said:

 

I'm sorry for you. It is very painful. Yeah, there have been a few windows but the waves are exhausting. Thinking of things from the past that never bothered me before.

 

I’m hoping once I face things, I’ll be able to deal with it. It’s very tough. I do have a bit off obsessive stuff going on. I think the ‘drugs” suppress this stuff. Along with everything else. That’s the only problem. 

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Kev93
26 minutes ago, Downbutnotout said:

I’m hoping once I face things, I’ll be able to deal with it. It’s very tough. I do have a bit off obsessive stuff going on. I think the ‘drugs” suppress this stuff. Along with everything else. That’s the only problem. 

The drugs do cover up alot.

26 minutes ago, Downbutnotout said:

I’m hoping once I face things, I’ll be able to deal with it. It’s very tough. I do have a bit off obsessive stuff going on. I think the ‘drugs” suppress this stuff. Along with everything else. That’s the onl

26 minutes ago, Downbutnotout said:

I’m hoping once I face things, I’ll be able to deal with it. It’s very tough. I do have a bit off obsessive stuff going on. I think the ‘drugs” suppress this stuff. Along with everything else. That’s the only problem. 

 

32 minutes ago, Kev93 said:

Just wish I knew if it was because of the withdrawal or my OCD. If it is my OCD then maybe I'll have to look into another med. 

 

 

 

49 minutes ago, Downbutnotout said:

I am having the same problem right now. I’m not on much of anything. I can’t stop thinking of all my failures, and there are many. It is terribly painful. I thought I’d put all this behind me. But you’re earlier in the process, and it looks like you’ve had some windows and successes. 

I'm sorry for you. It is very painful. Yeah, there have been a few windows but the waves are exhausting. Thinking of things from the past that never bothered me before.

 

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nz11
48 minutes ago, Kev93 said:

If it is my OCD then maybe I'll have to look into another med. 

Why do you think this?

 

Would you give a fish who thought he needed a bicycle cocaine?

Of course you would wrap it up and call it OCD medicine and give it the name obsess-aram, say,  telling him this is a medicine and you need it. ? 

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nz11
35 minutes ago, Kev93 said:

Thinking of things from the past that never bothered me before.

This is actually one of many classic wdl symptoms.

I sure can relate to this. 

 

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Kev93

I know its not the right thing to do.I am just desperate and the meds do make the thoughts go away. 

      Just feel like I'm going crazy inside my head.

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Kev93

I noticed I am having what they call false memories about things from my past.

 

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AbbyElfie

Kev93 - I was diagnosed with severe OCD when I was 18 (and subsequently put on medication). I know the horror of what you're going through and it is, I believe, one of the worst forms of torment. The good news is that it is treatable. Most likely you are thinking now, 'see, I;m having all these awful thoughts and fears this must be what I'm actually like and I need medication to fix it.' I've been there many times. The truth is these are all deeply rooted but false beliefs. With mind training and therapy you can learn to observe these thoughts without identifying them. Your amygdala is firing off danger signals left right and centre, so what you need to do is not react as much as possible. As soon as you begin to allow these thoughts feelings and sensations to flow through you without reacting, you set in motion a 'safe' button in your brain. You're telling it that there's actually no real danger and it will adjust accordingly.

 

It is a long process of retraining, but it is totally possible. We are not our thoughts, no matter how horrific they are, they are an endless flow of mental data. Nothing more. Have you had CBT for your OCD? I also highly recommend the Ho'oponopono technique for detaching from thought and mental 'clearing'. Left untreated, OCD won't go away. But there are many techniques you can use to help, and maybe a small reinstatement of medication will be enough to take the edge off and allow you to engage with therapy (it worked for me, I'm now on 2mg of Prozac and doing great).

 

People have a miraculous ability to heal from the worst of things, so please believe it is possible. Keep us updated x

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Kev93

I am doing CBT with a therapist, but just had a couple sessions. A lot of these OCD symptoms I did not have before or on the sertraline. I am wondering what is withdrawl and what is my OCD coming back. 

    I have been CT off the sertraline for 3 months and 1 week. I have thought about reinstating it but I am having windows that are good so it makes me think it's more withdrawl that my symptoms returning. Thoughts on this??

   

 

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Kev93

Could withdrawl be causing OCD symptoms ? Feeling very hopeless and sad. 

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Rosetta

Kev,

 

Yes, withdrawal can cause OCD.  It did for me.  The good news is it will go away if you let your CNS heal instead of adding new drugs.  For me, while I was on Zoloft, my OCD became so intense that I became a hoarder once I got past a certain dose of the new SSRI.  I think that if I had not had the Zoloft I would not have become so obsessed. 

 

I believe that WD can cause just about every symptom, mental or physical, that exists.  While I was (am) in WD, I have had many, many mental symptoms that I had never had before SSRIs.  I have had many physical ones, too.  The reason I kept raising the dose on the Zoloft was due to WD from Celexa.  One SSRI is not the same as another.  Your body is dependent on that particular SSRI.  So, even switching from one SSRI to another can cause all kinds of mental symptoms as well as physical no matter how high the dose of the new SSRI.

 

As for reinstating, please ask a Mod.  It may not be too late.  If you do reinstate it should be at a very, very low dose because it has been so long.  It's an individual choice whether to ride out WD without reinstating because there is a risk of a bad reaction.  There is no way to predict what your journey will be.  If I continue to heal and don't have any terrible times in the future, I will be glad that I didn't reinstate, but that will be something I can only know in hindsight.

 

Im so sorry to hear you feel hopeless and sad.  I've been there!  All I can tell you is that it will get better.  I'm very happy that you have had Windows!  That's a good sign.  I hope your sleep continues to be good.  Try to love yourself and give yourself as much of a break from feeling that you aren't "doing enough" as possible.  You are doing a LOT just by existing through this rough time.  You will be ok, but it will take time.

 

Rosetta

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JamesF

Is there a pattern of improvement or is it getting worse? In terms of average week by week.

 

Stopping cold turkey is super irresponsible of that Doctor. While it's been 3 months, folklore here (MOD NOTE:  please see this post) is that the brain can only adapt at 10%~ a month, so that's not a huge drop from your old dosage. Your brain may be "expecting" something  around 70% of the prior  dose. But obviously it's not an exact science, nobody can measure it.

 

Reinstatement of sertraline has worked for me 6 and 9 months after stopping. Both times I went off, I had profound crashes about 4-5 months after stopping. This involved hitting a massive wall and descending into hell. I hope this doesn't happen to you and I'm only posting now in the hope I can help you avoid it. For me, there was a strong indication of this because my symptoms were worsening with time, maybe you have a pattern of improvement? If you are improving. That's super hopeful...

 

Overall, I lost 2+ years of my life due to coming off these medications too fast,. Trying to ride out withdrawals from that position never worked for me.

 

For your suffering and from my experience, I would advise considering reinstating a low dose. I believe some advice here might advise you to start so low that you don't get relief, but at least in this case you can ramp it up safely and gradually.

 

I believe the above this is especially true if you started young, since the brain develops/wires itself around the presence of the medication. It's very stressful to demand such a massive physiological change all at once, it throws the body into chaos.

 

For me, the risk of suffering and the great amounts of time lost far exceeded the risk of reinstating a medication the body had depended upon for a decade

 

Not medical advice, just one man's experience. Take care. Jay

 

Edited by ChessieCat
Added mod note

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Kev93
2 hours ago, Rosetta said:

Kev,

 

Yes, withdrawal can cause OCD.  It did for me.  The good news is it will go away if you let your CNS heal instead of adding new drugs.  For me, while I was on Zoloft, my OCD became so intense that I became a hoarder once I got past a certain dose of the new SSRI.  I think that if I had not had the Zoloft I would not have become so obsessed. 

 

I believe that WD can cause just about every symptom, mental or physical, that exists.  While I was (am) in WD, I have had many, many mental symptoms that I had never had before SSRIs.  I have had many physical ones, too.  The reason I kept raising the dose on the Zoloft was due to WD from Celexa.  One SSRI is not the same as another.  Your body is dependent on that particular SSRI.  So, even switching from one SSRI to another can cause all kinds of mental symptoms as well as physical no matter how high the dose of the new SSRI.

 

As for reinstating, please ask a Mod.  It may not be too late.  If you do reinstate it should be at a very, very low dose because it has been so long.  It's an individual choice whether to ride out WD without reinstating because there is a risk of a bad reaction.  There is no way to predict what your journey will be.  If I continue to heal and don't have any terrible times in the future, I will be glad that I didn't reinstate, but that will be something I can only know in hindsight.

 

Im so sorry to hear you feel hopeless and sad.  I've been there!  All I can tell you is that it will get better.  I'm very happy that you have had Windows!  That's a good sign.  I hope your sleep continues to be good.  Try to love yourself and give yourself as much of a break from feeling that you aren't "doing enough" as possible.  You are doing a LOT just by existing through this rough time.  You will be ok, but it will take time.

 

Rosetta

I am having windows that I feel ok but my mind is having all kinds of crazy thoughts.

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Kev93
1 hour ago, JamesF said:

Is there a pattern of improvement or is it getting worse? In terms of average week by week.

 

Stopping cold turkey is super irresponsible of that Doctor. While it's been 3 months, folklore here is that the brain can only adapt at 10%~ a month, so that's not a huge drop from your old dosage. Your brain may be "expecting" something  around 70% of the prior  dose. But obviously it's not an exact science, nobody can measure it.

 

Reinstatement of sertraline has worked for me 6 and 9 months after stopping. Both times I went off, I had profound crashes about 4-5 months after stopping. This involved hitting a massive wall and descending into hell. I hope this doesn't happen to you and I'm only posting now in the hope I can help you avoid it. For me, there was a strong indication of this because my symptoms were worsening with time, maybe you have a pattern of improvement? If you are improving. That's super hopeful...

 

Overall, I lost 2+ years of my life due to coming off these medications too fast,. Trying to ride out withdrawals from that position never worked for me.

 

For your suffering and from my experience, I would advise considering reinstating a low dose. I believe some advice here might advise you to start so low that you don't get relief, but at least in this case you can ramp it up safely and gradually.

 

I believe the above this is especially true if you started young, since the brain develops/wires itself around the presence of the medication. It's very stressful to demand such a massive physiological change all at once, it throws the body into chaos.

 

For me, the risk of suffering and the great amounts of time lost far exceeded the risk of reinstating a medication the body had depended upon for a decade

 

Not medical advice, just one man's experience. Take care. Jay

The morning anxiety is getting better. Not every day now. OCD thoughts are the main thing I am fighting with. I feel like myself except the thoughts. 

      There are days I am depressed, crying, and feel so hopeless I wish I would just have a heart attack and die and other days seem ok other than thoughts.

       I have thought about starting sertraline at lower dose but it scares me to start it. I had an adverse liver reaction when I increased to 100mg.

      Of course if this wd doesn't go away I am going to lose my mind. I am paranoid, worried about things that I have never worried about, intrusive thoughts. 

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Rosetta
On January 23, 2018 at 9:02 AM, Gridley said:

Let me make a few suggestions.  Reinstatement of a very small dose of the original drug is the only known way to help alleviate withdrawal syndrome.  The only other alternative is to try and wait out the symptoms and manage as best you can until your central nervous system returns to homeostasis.  Unfortunately no one can give you an exact timeline as to when you will start feeling better and while some do recover relatively easily, for others it can take longer.  The fact that you were experiences poop-out at 50mg and had an adverse reaction at 100mg gives me pause as to this course of action, but I wanted to present this option to you.  Please read this link for more information:  

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

The non-drug coping skills in these two links can help you in dealing with your symptoms:

 

I understand how distressing this is for you.  It might be better for you to stay the course drug free.  Above is what Gridley said, "The fact that you were experiencing poop out at 50 mg and had a reaction to the 100 mg gives me pause as to this course of action . . ."  

 

Can you find a way to distract yourself?  Can you read or binge watch shows on Netflix?  Can you play computer games?  Maybe you play an instrument.  If so, YouTube has instructional videos and you could learn to play new pieces.

 

Eventually, the intrusive thoughts will subside.  It's hard to wait, I know.  I'm really glad to hear that some days are ok.  That's a good sign.

 

It may help your nervous system to go for gentle walks every day preferably in nature.  

 

Hang in there!

-Rosetta

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Kev93
17 minutes ago, Rosetta said:

 

I understand how distressing this is for you.  It might be better for you to stay the course drug free.  Above is what Gridley said, "The fact that you were experiencing poop out at 50 mg and had a reaction to the 100 mg gives me pause as to this course of action . . ."  

 

Can you find a way to distract yourself?  Can you read or binge watch shows on Netflix?  Can you play computer games?  Maybe you play an instrument.  If so, YouTube has instructional videos and you could learn to play new pieces.

 

Eventually, the intrusive thoughts will subside.  It's hard to wait, I know.  I'm really glad to hear that some days are ok.  That's a good sign.

 

It may help your nervous system to go for gentle walks every day preferably in nature.  

 

Hang in there!

-Rosetta

Thank you Rosetta

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nz11

Kev 

We can only imagine how difficult this is for you right now. 

After 11 years exposure to do a CT off 50mg is huge. 

Oh you might like to add to the drug sig that you did a CT to quit the drug.

It is well accepted that CT exits can take a lot longer to recover from than people who have tapered slowly.

Three months is very early days and if my experience is anything to go by it will continue on for many months still years even.

I don't believe you are suffering ocd i believe you are suffering wdl symptoms. yes they mimic every kind of psych distress. 

 

Only you know how much of this you can take. But if it gets to a stage whereby you are unable to manage this anymore, as if ssri wdl is manageable anyway. Then imo a small ri is an option to try for some relief.

 

That was a great post from James who has also taken Zoloft. Even with a 14 month taper to 2mg he still couldn't cope with wdls and had to ri.

His drug sig shows  how he stabilized with a ri.

 

A CT is not going to be easy. 

 Glenmullen  talks about it  not being a good idea to tough disabling wdl symptoms out. He gives a thought provoking reason for this in that we don't actually know or there has not been adequate research to determine if wdl symptoms cause injury so he argues a slow taper is an 'insurance policy'.

If you ri it will not be because you have ocd and need something for it, itsbecause you have had a deep drug addiction and are suffering symptoms of abstinence/withdrawal and need to take something to try to relieve it. 

 

All the best with your decisions.

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FarmGirlWorks

I am so sorry for the hell you are experiencing right now. I, too, essentially cold turkeyed from zoloft and it is a very rough ride. Months 3-6 were out-of-this-world hellacious and then I had a 3-week window which gave me hope to continue, then another rough 3 months. Finally, at month 10, the anxiety has been reduced to a manageable level and I (just) feel blue. But that is a lot better than jumping out of your skin.

 

What I am trying to say is that at three months you are just at the beginning. Like someone said above, only you know how much you can take. It helped me to promise myself that if I could white-knuckle it for one more month, if I still felt like it, I could go back on an SSRI. I made it so far but have also supported myself nutritionally, quit drinking, am doing kundalini yoga, acupuncture, and listening to lots of podcasts and audiobooks about healing depression/anxiety naturally. I don't know what your situation is but I recommend doing as much as you can for yourself during this time. Your brain is precious cargo and needs to be held gently.

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Rosetta

Kev,

 

If you are going to try to reinstate the earlier you try the better.  If you want to try, please post here to ask about a suggested dose and how to make a liquid.  As you can see I'm 12 months out from essentially a CT of sertraline, and I wouldn't recommend it, but you have special circumstances, I know, and I know it's very scary to think about putting sertraline back in your body.  I'm so very sorry your doctor told you to double to 100 mg and for the reaction you had.  -- Rosetta

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Kev93
1 hour ago, Rosetta said:

Kev,

 

If you are going to try to reinstate the earlier you try the better.  If you want to try, please post here to ask about a suggested dose and how to make a liquid.  As you can see I'm 12 months out from essentially a CT of sertraline, and I wouldn't recommend it, but you have special circumstances, I know, and I know it's very scary to think about putting sertraline back in your body.  I'm so very sorry your doctor told you to double to 100 mg and for the reaction you had.  -- Rosetta

Where do I post about dosage and reinstatement? Do I start a completely new post? 

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Kev93
9 hours ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

I am so sorry for the hell you are experiencing right now. I, too, essentially cold turkeyed from zoloft and it is a very rough ride. Months 3-6 were out-of-this-world hellacious and then I had a 3-week window which gave me hope to continue, then another rough 3 months. Finally, at month 10, the anxiety has been reduced to a manageable level and I (just) feel blue. But that is a lot better than jumping out of your skin.

 

What I am trying to say is that at three months you are just at the beginning. Like someone said above, only you know how much you can take. It helped me to promise myself that if I could white-knuckle it for one more month, if I still felt like it, I could go back on an SSRI. I made it so far but have also supported myself nutritionally, quit drinking, am doing kundalini yoga, acupuncture, and listening to lots of podcasts and audiobooks about healing depression/anxiety naturally. I don't know what your situation is but I recommend doing as much as you can for yourself during this time. Your brain is precious cargo and needs to be held gently.

Was the first 3 months better than 3-6 months? I am starting to feel better than I did a month ago. 

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Kev93

I have been wondering. If I have to try a different ssri in the future because of my OCD how long would I have to wait after this withdrawal from sertraline? 

    

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Kev93

Also, reinstating now at 3 1/2 months may not help my withdrawl is this correct? Could it make it worse?

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Rosetta
24 minutes ago, Kev93 said:

Where do I post about dosage and reinstatement? Do I start a completely new post? 

 

Right here on your thread.  Simply post a question asking for help with reinstatement.

 

As for your question about a med for OCD and how long you would wait to start one, I don't believe anyone has an answer to that question.  There is no research into what is safe for those of us who have had bad reactions to medication or have experienced WD from SSRIs, but I have have seen Altostrata say several times that we should avoid all psych drugs going forward.  There are probably exceptions, but there is no way to know if any particular person would be spared.  It's too risky for us to try them again.  

 

Zoloft/sertraline is supposedly prescribed for OCD and yet it caused my OCD to become debilitating.  I suppose one could call that a paradoxical effect.   The theory would be that my WD from Celexa caused my sensitized system to have a paradoxical reaction to Zoloft.  The fact that Sertraline may help some people with OCD might also explain why you are experiencing OCD after quitting sertraline --- a rebound effect?  However, I suspect that the truth is that none of these drugs affect two different people the same way, and that the unintended consequences of ADs make them too risky for use on anyone.  That's my personal opinion after what I have experienced.  I, personally, will never take another AD, benzo or any other type of psych drug again.  You don't have to make that decision now, but I think that by the time you feel recovered you will feel the same way I do.

 

The good news is that when you recover from WD, your OCD might be gone or at least manageable such that you won't need psych drugs.  My OCD is manageable now, and fading all the time.  I believe yours will, too. -- Rosetta

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Kev93

That's very hopeful Rosetta. I am very frightful of reinstating. I keep thinking because I am having good moments, hours,days that I am healing. Then I hear all these horror stories about getting worse down the road. Has anyone reinstated after months suffering with wdl then after taper was fine with no wdl symptoms even yrs down the road?

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Kostas

Hi, 

I have reinstated full dose of citalopram 20 mg 4 times in the past, since I had to, due to deliberating wds, and thankfully it worked every time. 

Finally I was able to stop it through a very slow tapering of 6 years! 

I had minor problems starting at 3 years off, and being more difficult last year. 

Gradually all have been improved, and now for 6 months I feel fine. 

Good luck and take care. 

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Kev93

You were still having wdl after 3 years? That's horrible.

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