Jump to content

gunei: introducing myself here


Recommended Posts

Over three years ago I tapered off my psych meds using conventional doctor's advice - it's safe as long as the taper is at least 3 weeks. That was for sertraline. I took 8 weeks for olanzapine. There were 5 month between the tapers. 


I was doing well in my career. I was one semester into a competitive international grad program in my field. I was busy. I didn't think to research tapering (like I research everything else in life) until afterwards - until all the withdrawal symptoms and illnesses came to me. I started looking for info at mad in america. Posted in one of the forums there and someone recommended this site. I signed up here at surviving antidepressants in 2015, looking for answers, help, anything. But as I read post after post, I felt like I didn't fit in. So many people were in the process of tapering... or struggling to taper... I had finished. Months ago. And I was seriously ill. Over at MIA someone said, "You tapered off too fast." Well, yes. Of course I know that now. But it was too late. By that time I'd been off for a year. My health had deteriorated and wasn't getting better. I wanted to know what happens to people who are finished tapering but have protracted withdrawal and chronic illness. I was too sick and didn't have the energy at the time to sort through posts here. So I never introduced myself. 


Now it's 2017 and a notification email prompted me to come back. So here I am, finally telling my story in this space.


In hind sight, it seems odd that I've had such severe withdrawal, yet seemingly tapered easily. As I've thought about it, I know that from the trauma of being raised in a cult, I can slip into the "do something just because an 'authority' tells me to do it" mode. A medical doctor says, "taper of in 3 weeks" and I taper off in three weeks - no matter what it feels like. I remember that July 2014. I was on 100 mg of Zoloft. The first week I took 75 mg. The next, 50 mg. The third, 25 mg. I started the new dose every Sunday. And that final Sunday, I was done. I quit. I remember that each week, about Wednesday night or Thursday, I'd get disturbing symptoms - pain, anxiety, restlessness. I didn't understand what was happening to me. I remember a good friend of mine (ironically, he's an MD) holding me through those episodes and telling me it would all be ok. 


The final week of that Zoloft taper (on 25 mg), I was scheduled for surgery. It was a hysteroscopy/D&C/polypectomy. I'd had the exact same procedure 2 years prior in the same hospital with the same ob/gyn. The first time, I had met with the anesthesiologist a few days before. He reviewed my history, and learning that I have PTSD (from multiple forms of trauma, including rape), he decided to use general anesthesia. Usually this procedure is done with local anesthesia and a light IV sedative. But he said he didn't want to risk me being awake and having flashbacks/panic attack on the table. Well, in 2014, I had a different anesthesiologist. I stressed that general anesthesia was what we did last time and that it was a huge risk to have me awake during the procedure. He wouldn't listen. He wouldn't look up my records from 2 years before. He insisted there was no way general would have been used for that procedure. To my concerns, he promised to "keep me comfortable" over and over. Well, he used IV sedation and enough that I was completely out for the procedure. But I've always wondered how much they gave me - if he overdosed me. In 2012, I had returned to work the next day. In 2014, I was out of work for a week with dizziness, fever, chills, and miriad other symptoms. When I spoke with the nurse on the phone, reporting my symptoms, she said, "well, your symptoms are consistent with the dose of anesthesia they gave you." 


The following week I followed up with my PCP. She said it was difficult to sort out whether I was reacting to the anesthesia or having withdrawal from the Zoloft, but it would soon all be out of my system and I should be fine. I wasn't. That was just the beginning. 


That's all I have the energy to write at the moment.  I'll do my best to tell more segments of my story in the comments. It's good to be back.

7 years on Zyprexa with doses of 5-10 mg
8 years on Zoloft with doses of 50-150 mg
Deceber 2013 through February 2014: tapered off of 5 mg Zoloft
Month of July 2014: tapered off of 100 mg Zoloft
Currently on no psychopharmaceuticals, but live with chronic illness/disability
Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to gunei: introducing myself here
  • Administrator

Welcome, gunei.


Yes, most people here are tapering but quite a few are recovering from prolonged withdrawal syndrome. 


Good to hear from you. Looking forward to seeing more of your story.


What are your current symptoms?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Hey gunei


welcome to the forum.  I am about 3 1/2 years out from stopping the same two drugs, sertraline and olanzapine, after being on them off and on for most of 14 years.  I am not doing terribly well these days with poor sleep quality and difficulty sleeping, which is leading to fatigue and anxiety and digestive problems, being my main problems at the moment.  I was wondering what kind of symptoms you are still encountering 3+ years later?



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.





Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy