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Yarrum85 Pure O OCD guy and Sertraline withdrawal


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Hey folks,


Was referred to the site by a very friendly woman from another forum and looking for further advice if possible.


I had a nervous breakdown five years ago which began with aggressive physical symptoms.


Nine months later, turns out it was OCD and God only knows how I never spotted it previously as I'd known since childhood I was a little different, how I thought, how I felt, how I viewed people and situations.


Took me four months to agree to go on to SSRI's as I was dead against them and the issues that can arise whilst taking them.


Strangely enough, the sertraline helped me get my backside out the door, back involved with people, back to work and ultimately, functioning.


Although there were some annoying side effects that went hand in hand with the medication, I was content just to be living to a reasonable standard.


This past July I'd started to notice some serious changes, increased agitation and aggression, erratic behaviour to a point of risking losing my partner, vivid dreams, lack of sleep and the worst of all, suicidal thoughts.


At that point, I decided that was it, no taper, no easing off, just a straight withdrawal. I no longer wanted that chemical in my system.


For the first two months, I actually felt quite good, reasonably chirpy, not as on edge.


October, November seemed to get a little intense, with nausea getting a little bit aggressive, bit more anxiety but generally functioning well.


December was a complete write off. Felt sick as a dog the whole month. Anxiety through the roof, struggling a bit at work, just trying to hold things together.


The first week of this year has been so so, some days nausea worse than others but being a little busier with work helps occupy the mind.


Basically, since July, the withdrawal has ramped up bit by bit, at a stage now where if the nausea was to get any worse, it would genuinely start to interfere with my day to day life.


Although I would love a bit of relief and to have the edge taken off me, I'd still rather avoid going back on the sertraline. Would feel like a moral defeat plus putting myself back in a potentially dangerous situation.


Anyone else in a similar position with the OCD element?


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


Kind Regards,


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Hi Yarrum85,


Sorry to hear that you are still struggling since you quit Setraline cold turkey since July 2015.

I have OCD and have had bad reaction to Zoloft in 2013. I am still recovering and it has been a long process.

It does take time. Please don't loose hope, 6 months out is really not that long.

You will recover in due course.

I'm not an expert, but normally mods don't recommend reinstatement of an AD if you have been off it for more than 2 months.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

I'm sure one of the mods will advise you what is the best thing to do.


How is your OCD now? Drugs have done nothing for my anxiety/OCD.

It has made it worse for me and I have some weird side effects.

Ginger tea can help with nausia.

What does your GP say?

Your still have nausia 6 months out and when the doctors don't believe in WDS, you really want to punch them in the face.


You will recover, you just need to be persistent and patient.

Take care, Hopefull.



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. :(

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Yarrum and welcome to s/a,


I'm so sorry you are in this position.  As Hopeful says "when the doctors don't believe in WDS, you really want to punch them in the face."  Obviously, as a mod, it would be a bit unseemly for me to say that so I'll just cut and paste ;).


At 9 months out reinstatement is a long-shot, but you can read the link if you want some clarification before making your decision.


Your initial benefits from the sertraline are not so uncommon.  It has been documented that SSRIs do often give an initial window of easing things for a person, but once that window ends it doesn't seem to open again.  (Anatomy of an Epidemic  by Robert Whittaker).  So you are wise to have got yourself off them, although a taper would have eased things for you.  Hindsight eh?  Most of us here have either c/t'd or tapered too fast - you are not alone.   


Would you say you are feeling some improvement since your horrible month of December?  If so, that's a good sign.  You might like to read about the Windows and Waves pattern of Stabilisation.  That way you won't be surprised if you get some more waves.  


And for ideas to cope with anxiety etc read through the Non-Drug Techniques to cope with Emotional Symptoms.  Many people find magnesium and fish oil provide good support during w/d.   


So have a read of that lot and feel free to come back to this thread and ask lots of questions.  This can be your journal to record your healing progress.  Other threads are for more general comments.  Would you be able to put your tapering history in a signature so we can easily see your situation whenever you post?  Thanks.


Good to have you here,


2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

2023 December - Now on 5 micro-beads Effexor. Minimal symptoms but much more time needed between drops. Symptoms begin to increase.

2024 April - Updosed to 6 microbeads - immediate increase in symptoms for 4 days. Decreased to 5 microbeads.

 'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Yarrum,

Some people have found inositol to be helpful for OCD and there are studies proving that it does have some benefit. Here's a link to one:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9169302


But if you google 'inositol OCD' you will find a lot of information. One thing to note is that fairly high doses are usually needed, so people generally use powder rather than tablets. But because you are in withdrawal, and likely to be sensitive to supplements, if you were going to try it, I would suggest you start slowly with a low dose to see how it effects you and then build up slowly.


Another thing to note, seeing as you are male, I've read comments about it lowering testosterone, but I'm not sure how accurate that is, so you might want to look into that too.


Welcome to the site, do stay in touch and let us know how you are.



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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Hey Yarrum,


It's strange that your nausea started two months after quitting cold turkey.  Mine would always kick in two days after stopping my sertraline and olanzapine.  I'd also lose the ability to sleep on the third night off of both and this would drive me crazy and cause me to take them again.  I finally had to quit CT in feb 2014 because I was having sick vivid dreams too.  the last night I slept on the pills I dreamt almost instantly upon falling asleep of a woman bashing in another woman's skull with a rock as she lay prone on the ground and also of a man approaching me and asking me how much he would get for sucking c*ck.  It was f*cked up sh*t and  I never touched the pills again but I was coming undone beforehand anyways.  After 15 yrs on the pills they were losing their ability to make me sleep.


It's good that you are not dealing with insomnia.  My nausea went away after 6 days of vomiting everywhere, but the insomnia never went away and has been wearing me down now for almost two years.  I never want to see the pills again either, but every once in a while I am tempted to try one to see if I can get better sleep.  I mean, I've got huge bags under my eyes, but  if you read around on this sight goin back on the pills doesn't always work really well, in fact some of the results are tragic.


I never really believed in the usefulness of the pills. I had become depressed in 1998 and was locked up in a psych ward.  For a month I refused the pills.  I had had some hellish experiences with psych meds previously.  Patients would come and go on the ward, but I just stayed there because I wouldn't touch the pills.  Finally, totally worried and aprehensive, but also wanting to eventually walk on the earth (and have a smoke), I took the stupid pills.  I took them for a month  without any change in the depression.  The minute, I mean the very instant, I was released from the captivity, my depression lifted, but then I found myself stuck on these hard to kick meds. 


That said, I could function pretty well on the meds for a number of years.  I had some awful side effects.  My stool changed in form and color and density. It started becoming really hard.  I would also nearly pass out upon rising from a kneeling position. this may have been from the zyprexa.  I ended up getting a bleeding stomach ulcer in 2001 and after that things were never the same with my health.  Anyways, Sorry to go on babbling mate.  I always want to commiserate with those suffering from these perverse pills.  Hopefully, you can find ways to battle the nausea. Have you tried nexium or prevacid?



Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.


On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 


Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.





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