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Enner: My sertraline story


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Hi all, been reading topics on this site for the past couple of months and finally thought it was about time I put my story across!


I was put on Sertraline about 3 years ago starting at 50mg, the doctor prescribed it for a fix to my premature ejactualtion due to what she thought was some stress I was going through at the time, after I told her I got a new job and was in a long distance relationship, I thought this was a fair point at the time, and doc said it would "kill two birds with one stone!" Without any warnings from the doc I thought it was a great idea and went ahead with it thinking I'd be feeling great in no time.


At first I had no side affects, in fact I didn't feel anything from it until about 2 months had passed when I started feeling a little happier from time to time (although looking back I really had little emotion at all) and the PE had passed. My doctor advised that if the drugs were helping I should stay on them for a while longer as they wouldn't do me any harm short term (haha)


Fast forward a year and some new symptoms came along, anxiety for one, also outbursts of anger which wasn't me at all. Back to the doctors I went and up to 100mg I went, as apparently these were underlying issues I had. Again without any side affects that I can honestly say I noticed until another year had passed, the anxiety was back woo! Anxiety was never anything I suffered with before these drugs so I eventually put two and two together and thought these drugs could be my problem! (Lightbulb)


Stupidly, but also because I hadn't had any warnings of coming off sertraline, I quit cold turkey, at first it wasn't a problem a few brain zaps and dizzy spells and what I thought was the flu, but in my eyes nothing major and the doc even said it was nothing to worry about just the drug leaving my system (this now upsets me greatly, as I think of all the other poor people unknowingly being put on these drugs)


About 3 months had passed with some minor physical side affects (leg pains, chest pains, racing heart) all of which I thought were just normal as I have quite a busy life and physical job. At some point about 6 months ago my emotional state went into chaos! I felt severely depressed, stressed, anxious, worrying about every little thing (mostly money which has never bothered me much before) suicidal at times, regretting every decision I ever made in life. Insomnia then decided to come along for the ride and made it all a lot worse! I also can't remember much, and the last couple of years whilst I've been on sertraline feels like a complete blur! And around 2 months ago I came across this amazing site that reassured me I wasn't losing my mind!


So that's me up until now, I can say that my anxiety seems to have got a lot better but the depression and regret side of things seems to just be constant, which makes me wonder if I'm just depressed? But then after reading everyone's stories on here I realise that's probably not the case at all but it's hard for me to get it out of my head.


Sorry for the long read I've only managed to have the courage to tell one person, so this is kind of me getting everything off my chest! Thanks guys!

Edited by scallywag
added line at paragraph breaks and tags

Started sertraline at 50mg September 2013 prescribed for PE and stress

Dosage put up to 100mg around August 2014 after new symptom of anxiety

Quit cold turkey around June 2016

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I'd also like to add my doctor still denies this could be anything to do with the sertraline and that I am infact depressed, so going back on at 50mg would be the best thing for me! Needless to say after finding this site I refused to take her advice and am getting on with this withdrawal business, as hard as it is I don't ever want to go back on any kind of ad!


I do have couple of questions for all you wonderful strong people:


Firstly like I've said I do have a fairly busy life, I'm a manager, I have a long distance relationship, and I also have a friend that relies on me quite a bit which really stresses me out but I can never make him understand how I feel about it! (He has personality disorders) Are all these things going to strongly affect my recovery time? I've wondered quite a few times how I've managed to keep going but I can sometimes tell myself it's just withdrawal and it's not all that bad!


Secondly does anyone have any advice on how to stop overthinking about all that is bad? I really don't think I have a bad life but all I ever think is negative thoughts.

Started sertraline at 50mg September 2013 prescribed for PE and stress

Dosage put up to 100mg around August 2014 after new symptom of anxiety

Quit cold turkey around June 2016

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Enner -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)


You've given a  good account of your symptoms in the 2-6 months after discontinuing sertraline.  How are you doing now?


A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly?

  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Any drugs prior to 18 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • You don't need to include symptoms or diagnoses other than the initial condition that led to prescribing the first drug.
  • We ask for this information in your signature so that we can see it at a glance. A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 8 and Post 9
I'm sorry your doctor didn't bother to read even the information provided to patients, let alone prescribing information from physicians. From the UK patient Information leaflet:


If you stop taking Sertraline:

Do not stop taking Sertraline unless your doctor tells you to. Your doctor will want to gradually reduce your dose of Sertraline over several weeks, before you finally stop taking this medicine. If you suddenly stop taking this medicine you may experience side effects such as dizziness, numbness, sleep disturbances, agitation or anxiety, headaches, feeling sick, being sick and shaking. If you experience any of these side effects, or any other side effects whilst stopping taking Sertraline, please speak to your doctor.

Recovery time is hard to predict. Demands on your energy such as those you list *may* have some effect on your recovery. You can reduce their impact by learning productive ways to cope with both the situations and your thought + feelings about them.


Getting a handle on overthinking and rumination is a great skill to develop. The discussion at these links may be helpful:

Change the channel - dealing with cognitive symptoms

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms also work for cognitive symptoms


I hope that's helpful. I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.


Please let us know how things go for you.



This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Hi Scallywag


I'm not doing too great at the moment, suffering with what seems to be never ending negative thoughts about how rubbish my life is, anger and depression, worry about things that really shouldn't bother me. Thank you for adding the links I will definitely take a look at them, I really struggle to believe anything will help me get better but hey that's withdrawal in a nutshell I guess.


I know I should of done some research myself before taking the drugs but put my trust in my doctor, silly me!


I believe after reading some of the forums that I may of had a slight window about a month ago for maybe a day or two, I felt good not great but a lot better then I do now that's for sure!


I've added my signature, thanks again.

Started sertraline at 50mg September 2013 prescribed for PE and stress

Dosage put up to 100mg around August 2014 after new symptom of anxiety

Quit cold turkey around June 2016

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Enner, welcome. Your experience sounds much like mine coming off Sertraline. I too am a busy professional, you tend to have an A type personality i.e. Driven...which can make you believe that if you want off, you should just come off...which is also what I did. Thanks to this forum and the help and advice here, I am back on and it alleviated some of those symptoms...I am still trying to find equilibrium as you will see from my posts, it firstly going back on a low dose really did help.


From a career perspective it helped rather than hindered, as I was able to cope with he stress better and wasn't getting angry with clients (hello P45) I started to remember things and felt able to just cope.


I don't have it right yet, but I can only tell you from my experience, that taking a small dose may help.


Btw I also had a long distance relationship for 2 years before my American moved to the UK in October so I know the stresses that has too


Take care xx

50mg sertraline daily for past 4 years

December 2016 - 12.5mg daily - Moved to liquid doses

January 2017 - 10mg

March 2017 - 9mg
May 2017 Dropped to 8mg, having some side effects but coping, just waiting for it to even out again.

June 2017 - Dropped to 7.9mg - again, some side effects but coping

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