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KarenHv: Sigh. Back to square one.


KarenHv

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hi My name is Karen, I’m 46 and been on and off Zoloft since age 16.

i was off once in my 20s and 30s for about 6-7 years and that was a hard and horrible time. Then I went back on about twelve years ago and have been on them ever since. 
I did lots of work cutting out alcohol and smoking plus now I’m non dairy, non gluten, low grain, high protein (as much as possible) with a ton of supplements for a mast cell disorder and osteoporosis.
 

Fourth months ago I started tapering very slowly from 200 mg and just this past month I started having nightmares, high REM asleep, sleeping 10-12 hrs on weekends, horrible PMS, nearly got fired because of my crazy impulsive antagonistic behaviour and am driving my best friend insane…she hasn’t ever had mental health issues like this so she cannot relate very well even though she is generally sympathetic…

 

today I went back up to my full dose. I got scared because I have been feeling suicidal and so “off” that I was feeling that I wanted to die. I was not going to act on it, I was just having ideation. But…I finally realised my tapering is not working. I HATE depression, well, for obvious reasons. I can stand physical pain much better than the pointlessness, worthlessness, anger, and despair that gets on me when I spiral down.

 

in that four months, I only tapered down to 165 mg so I think it was slow enough… what did I do wrong…

im so tired. 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Karen, and welcome to SA.  We are a peer owned and run forum of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  I'm sorry to hear about your 30 year struggle with Zoloft and the withdrawal from going cold turkey at age 24.  Congratulations on cutting out alcohol, smoking, and making the dietary changes!  These are very big accomplishments.  

 

I know it must be discouraging to try to wean off the Zoloft, only to have the unbearable withdrawal symptoms.  No wonder you are tired and weary.  Can you possibly give us detailed information about your recent attempted taper?   Are you on any other medications?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

When we are on these drugs, our brains literally become dependent upon them, just as a plant becomes intertwined with and dependent on a trellis.  This video explains more: 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

 Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

 

I do want to give you hope that you can come off the Zoloft.  The secret is to do an extremely gradual, careful taper.  We can help you do that.  It requires a lot of time and patience, but it can be done, and many here have done so successfully.  We taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Zoloft

 

Another option for tapering is the Brass Monkey Slide method.  This one is even gentler than the 10% per month method described above: 

 

Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro Tapering

 

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. This is extremely important. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

When we recover, there are times of feeling OK mixed in with times of feeling bad.  This is called windows and waves.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

My suggestion to you would be to stay on your current dose of Zoloft for at least several months, and give your nervous system a chance to rest, heal, and stabilize.  Then, you can resume tapering as described above.  I hope the information I gave you here made sense.  This can be a scary and lonely process, but we hope to make it less so by offering support and information.  Many others have been through what you are going through.  I know it is very difficult, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is hope for healing and recovery for you.  Hang in there. 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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  • getofflex changed the title to KarenHv: Sigh. Back to square one.

Thank you very much gettoflex 

to be extremely honest I’m starting to think it is an impossible task. 
I will keep trying but yes, will need to take your advice and stabilise for a while. 
I need to prepare myself for this extremely difficult task, I think. It is amazing at how quickly i “come back” to feeling ok when I start the old dose again. It’s very convincing. 😕 

I need to do some more research so thanks for the links, I do appreciate it and your encouragement. 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

@KarenHvI can understand why you are feeling discouraged, after attempting a taper, and then feeling suicidal, so you went back to 200 mg.  I know this is disappointing. 

 

On 7/19/2021 at 6:24 AM, KarenHv said:

to be extremely honest I’m starting to think it is an impossible task.

I don't believe it is an impossible task.  It's just a task that will require immense amounts of patience, time, and courage.  

 

Give yourself a whole lot of time to stabilize on your current dose of 200 mg.  Give yourself an entire year, if you need to. Then, you can try a super slow and careful taper.   Many here have successfully tapered but to be honest, many of us have taken years.  However, at least for me, it is worth it.  I got tired of being only 1/2 of a person on Lexapro, and I'm now over 99% off of it, and I feel more like a whole person now.  You can try a taper of reducing by 5%, or even less (2 or 3%) of your current dose every 4 to 6 weeks, or you can try the brassmonkey method as described in the link above.  

 

On 7/19/2021 at 6:24 AM, KarenHv said:

It is amazing at how quickly i “come back” to feeling ok when I start the old dose again

I'm glad that doing the updose helped you feel OK again. Let us know if you have any more questions, and we will be glad to help. 

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Mentor

Welcome, Karen! I'm so glad you're with us. 

 

I have been on Zoloft for a similar amount of time and can totally relate. I've tried to get off in the past and had to go back up as well.

 

I hope you stick around.

Now: 100 mg Zoloft am, 50 mg Trazodone.  Daily drug burden decreased from 2050 in 2018 mg to 150 mg 🐢🐢

Zoloft: 1/24/23 increased to 100 mg after suicide attempt 9/17/22 cut 6 mg, 8/14/22 cut 6.5 mg, 5/7/22 cut 12.5 mg 3/20/22 cut 12.5 mg 10/26/21 cut 6 mg 10/17/21 cut 5 mg, 9/17/21 Cut 3 mg,  9/13/21 cut 4 mg, 8/29/21 Cut 2 mg 8/8/21 Cut 3 mg  7/30/21 Zoloft: Converted 25 mg to liquid. Also take 100 mg pill & 25 mg pill=150 mg total
🌞 Feb 28, 2021 0 mg Gapapentin 2021 Gaba each dose 4x/day: Feb 27 7 mg (one dose only), Feb 10, 7 mg, Jan 14 10 mg 2020 Current taper schedule from Aug 30-present: drop 8 mg every 2-3 weeks. Aug 20 31 mg, Aug 18, 33 mg, July 29, 35 mg, July 23 38 mg, July 22 40 mg Jun 24 42 mg, Jun 15 44 mg, Jun 9 48 mg, May 22 50 mg, May 14 54 mg, May 7 56 mg, Apr 16 58 mg, Mar 28 60 mg, Mar 18 62 mg. Feb 26 64 mg. Feb 19, 66 mg. Jan 23, 70 mg. 2019 Dec 19, 72 mg. Nov 14 ,76 mg. Aug 8, 80 mg. Aug 6, 85 mg. Jul 26, 90 mg. Jul 11, 95 mg.

Jul 16 trazodone from 100 to 50 mg.

Jun 17-July 10 Slowly changed gab fr pill to liquid at same dose 100 mg 4x/d.

Apr 24 Stopped klon!!! 🌞 Apr 4  Decreased gaba to 400 mg (100 mg 4x/day)-Apr 4, 2019   0.25 klon March 11  Klonopin .5 mg twice daily, varied dose til Apr 15. Started Klon fast taper 25%, short use

Mar 16, 450 mg gaba 3x/day cut 600 mg--not exact!--updose after learning w/d

Feb 20, 2019 1800 mg gabapentin; MD taper; off 3 days=mvt disorder & autonomic instability. July 2018 temazepam 15 mg 1-2; prn several x/wk til Jan/Feb 2019 when cold turkey, flu illness for months

July 2018 started gabapentin 100 3x/day; titrated up to 1800 mg (600 3x/day)

Buspar, I forget how much, 2 pills a day Jan 2017-July 2018 cold turkey. On Zoloft since maybe 2004? After trying many.

*I speak from my experience. Nothing I say is medical advice. I'm not a doctor.

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 I am still trying to figure out this forum 🙂 see below

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
11 hours ago, ShiningLight said:

Welcome, Karen! I'm so glad you're with us. 

 

I have been on Zoloft for a similar amount of time and can totally relate. I've tried to get off in the past and had to go back up as well.

 

I hope you stick around.

Hi ShiningLight 

Nice to meet ya. 🙂

sounds like you know the feelings that hit hard when trying to get free of this drug. 
I am stable again and I will be trying to taper but I’m going to wait a while and go extra extra slow. I reckon it is the only way I can do it. 
I imagine my brain has shaped itself to need the Zoloft. 
I wish I had known better when getting prescribed these things. Ironic thing is …I work with depressed teenagers as an art therapist now. I struggle with watching them get prescribed drugs … it makes me mad… I can’t say a thing…I’m not a medical professional so … 

so many young lives…

 

thanks for reaching out and I’m hoping you are doing well with your taper and all. 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Mentor

So sorry to read about your difficulties. I can thoroughly recommend the Brass Monkey slide when you are ready. I haven’t been on my AD nearly as long as you but have been on and off them over the years. The BM slide is a very gentle approach that is working very well for me. It seems like it will take ages, and it will, but it’s well worth it. I am only experiencing very mild WD symptoms as I have only been on it coming up to 3 years. After a failed withdrawal just under 2 years ago I took 18 months back on the full dose before I felt ready to try again. Good luck when you feel ready ☺️ 

am not a medical professional. I provide information and make suggestions based on my own experience and SA guidelines. I am unable to respond to private messages. 

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019  April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine down to around 6mg - skipping days to taper

October 2019 - Dec 2019 unwell from failed taper including jumping about in doses 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey Slide.  
2021: 23 August 12.3mg, 28 October 11.1mg, 6 Dec 10mg

2022: 12 Feb 8.5, 25 Oct 4.5mg

2023: 16 Jan 3.6mg, 28 Sept 1.8mg

2024: 13 May 1.1mg

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3 hours ago, KarenHv said:

Hi ShiningLight 

Nice to meet ya. 🙂

sounds like you know the feelings that hit hard when trying to get free of this drug. 
I am stable again and I will be trying to taper but I’m going to wait a while and go extra extra slow. I reckon it is the only way I can do it. 
I imagine my brain has shaped itself to need the Zoloft. 
I wish I had known better when getting prescribed these things. Ironic thing is …I work with depressed teenagers as an art therapist now. I struggle with watching them get prescribed drugs … it makes me mad… I can’t say a thing…I’m not a medical professional so … 

so many young lives…

 

thanks for reaching out and I’m hoping you are doing well with your taper and all. 

You brain has made itself comfortable with Zoloft, but as it is slowly removed your brain will reshape itself to getting used to less of it and hopefully none of it!

 

From your signature it seems like you did a reasonable taper, but we all handle the discontinuation process differently. That is probably a clue to try and do even smaller drops and hold longer and see how your body handles it.

 

It can be hard to do but there is no downside to going super slow (once you become mentally okay with not being off quickly) and large consequences for going off too fast (or what your body interprets as too fast).

40 yo Male. Started Paxil about 15 years ago. 10 mg (pill weight .125 - .129 g). 5 yrs wanted less side effects, doctor took me off Paxil over couple week period and put me on Wellbutrin. Not good. Went back on Paxil. Relieved my symptoms, but didn't work as well and more side effects. Severe reaction between Paxil and Zomig Summer of 2012. Head was affected during warmer days (cloudiness, confusion, pressure). Began 10% withdrawal 10/24/12.

Withdrawel helped many symptoms, but also added side effects: nausea, dizziness, tiredness. Hyper-anxiety started January 2014.

Went through a 2 year period of de-realization (2016-2018).  Rarely any windows.  
Current dose: 0.00 as of 4/10/21.  Made a lot of progress in my withdrawal symptoms the last 2 years of my taper.  I think doing a liquid taper helped stabilize things on the lower doses.  A lot of my symptoms have reduced significantly.  Hoping for even more improvement now that I am off.
My thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8909-rusty1-paxil-withdrawal-help-and-advice-welcome/#entry150222

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  • Mentor
7 hours ago, KarenHv said:

I work with depressed teenagers as an art therapist now. I struggle with watching them get prescribed drugs … it makes me mad… I can’t say a thing…I’m not a medical professional so … 

so many young lives…

 

 

Very hard since they're kids. I don't think you need to be a medical professional to comment. Just recommend the book Anatomy of an Epidemic to them or their parents, or just have a copy laying around your office! You can always come up with an innocuous statement such as saying that you always encourage everyone to do their own research prior to starting a drug. 

 

What made you decide that you wanted off the Zoloft?

Now: 100 mg Zoloft am, 50 mg Trazodone.  Daily drug burden decreased from 2050 in 2018 mg to 150 mg 🐢🐢

Zoloft: 1/24/23 increased to 100 mg after suicide attempt 9/17/22 cut 6 mg, 8/14/22 cut 6.5 mg, 5/7/22 cut 12.5 mg 3/20/22 cut 12.5 mg 10/26/21 cut 6 mg 10/17/21 cut 5 mg, 9/17/21 Cut 3 mg,  9/13/21 cut 4 mg, 8/29/21 Cut 2 mg 8/8/21 Cut 3 mg  7/30/21 Zoloft: Converted 25 mg to liquid. Also take 100 mg pill & 25 mg pill=150 mg total
🌞 Feb 28, 2021 0 mg Gapapentin 2021 Gaba each dose 4x/day: Feb 27 7 mg (one dose only), Feb 10, 7 mg, Jan 14 10 mg 2020 Current taper schedule from Aug 30-present: drop 8 mg every 2-3 weeks. Aug 20 31 mg, Aug 18, 33 mg, July 29, 35 mg, July 23 38 mg, July 22 40 mg Jun 24 42 mg, Jun 15 44 mg, Jun 9 48 mg, May 22 50 mg, May 14 54 mg, May 7 56 mg, Apr 16 58 mg, Mar 28 60 mg, Mar 18 62 mg. Feb 26 64 mg. Feb 19, 66 mg. Jan 23, 70 mg. 2019 Dec 19, 72 mg. Nov 14 ,76 mg. Aug 8, 80 mg. Aug 6, 85 mg. Jul 26, 90 mg. Jul 11, 95 mg.

Jul 16 trazodone from 100 to 50 mg.

Jun 17-July 10 Slowly changed gab fr pill to liquid at same dose 100 mg 4x/d.

Apr 24 Stopped klon!!! 🌞 Apr 4  Decreased gaba to 400 mg (100 mg 4x/day)-Apr 4, 2019   0.25 klon March 11  Klonopin .5 mg twice daily, varied dose til Apr 15. Started Klon fast taper 25%, short use

Mar 16, 450 mg gaba 3x/day cut 600 mg--not exact!--updose after learning w/d

Feb 20, 2019 1800 mg gabapentin; MD taper; off 3 days=mvt disorder & autonomic instability. July 2018 temazepam 15 mg 1-2; prn several x/wk til Jan/Feb 2019 when cold turkey, flu illness for months

July 2018 started gabapentin 100 3x/day; titrated up to 1800 mg (600 3x/day)

Buspar, I forget how much, 2 pills a day Jan 2017-July 2018 cold turkey. On Zoloft since maybe 2004? After trying many.

*I speak from my experience. Nothing I say is medical advice. I'm not a doctor.

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  • 1 year later...

Almost a year later, I am back here. I am thinking about slowly tapering off again. 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Karen and welcome back.

 

Please provide the details of what drugs and doses you have taken over the last year and what you are currently taking.

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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33 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Hi Karen and welcome back.

 

Please provide the details of what drugs and doses you have taken over the last year and what you are currently taking.

 Hi ChessieCat, thank you. 

Im still on Sertraline 200 mg. 
Im not on any other pharma drugs. 
 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
9 hours ago, KarenHv said:

Im still on Sertraline 200 mg. 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

Post #1 of this topic explains how to get non standard doses:

 

Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)

 

And for future reference if needed; eg if you need to use a different brand of your drug.  At your current high dose you will not need to use all liquid but you might consider using a combination of tablet and liquid:

 

cross-over-changing-form-eg-tablet-to-liquid-of-drug-or-changing-brand-of-same-drug

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thank you, I will look through all the info to prepare to taper. I am fine if it takes years so am fine to go very slowly this time. 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

You are welcome.  I am thankful that I followed SA suggested taper method.  The idea is to get of with the least discomfort possible and be able to live your life as normally as possible.  I have now been off successfully for 9.5 months after a 6 year taper.

 

SA strongly encourages members to learn and use non drug techniques.  I have found what I learned during my taper to be useful in for general life and health issues.

 

Non-drug techniques

 

And it can be worthwhile holding for longer on a dose if you experience any additional stressors.  And it is important to only make one change at a time.

 

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Today, I went to the doctor to talk about tapering but she said, I could do it in two weeks (from Zoloft ). 
I said well, no, I’ve tried many times and it doesn’t work.

I need to taper 5 mg at a time and it may take years. 
but she didn’t believe me, of course. 
she also suggested I switch to lexapro. 😭 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment

I am still on 200 mg, even though I tried to taper to 195mg for a few days, yesterday, I was handed a letter at work that outlines all the things they think I’ve done wrong over the past year… so I started feeling horrible and very anxious and went back to 200. 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment

I watched the video, VERY helpful! 
 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

This is another taper method which is slower and allows more control over your taper because you can hold at any time during a reduction cycle:

 

Brass Monkey Slide

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment
  • Mentor
1 hour ago, KarenHv said:

Today, I went to the doctor to talk about tapering but she said, I could do it in two weeks (from Zoloft ). 

Best not to go to the doctor, or tell them what you are doing. They don’t get it. At all 🙁. I’m doing so well on the BrassMonkey slide and can thoroughly recommend it.  I did run the 10% past my GP as I respected him. I thought I’d ask him (test him!) first how he thought I should get off. He wanted me firstly to skip days then when I said no,  to cut 1/3 at a time, I also said no. I said the only method I would do is the 10%. I was subsequently advised by BrassMonkey to do the slide and have been so grateful. I have slowly and steadily experienced increased energy levels which were a huge problem and still are, but much less so. My ups and downs were far less within several months of starting the taper so that was good too. Sadly my GP left the practice and I have steered clear ever since. 
 

BrassMonkey has a useful website to work out the dosages so do have a look. I printed it all off in one go and it’s my bible. 
 

Sorry to hear about work. That sounds very demoralising. 
 

I found that once I committed, really committed to the taper I was able to stick to it. I didn’t start till I felt the commitment from myself. A friend was encouraging me to just do it but I refused till I knew I was committed. It took a few weeks for me to get there. I have done holds during difficult times and started tapering again when I felt stable. For me that only took 2-3 weeks at a time and I’ve only had to do it a few times. Of course everyone is different and it’s much harder for some than others. But I have heard that lots of people are doing well on the slide. The first few weeks can be a bit rocky, especially the first, while your body adjusts to the changes after years of steady state medication, but things get better. 
 

Also I have been meditating for the past 2.5 years which I started because of overwhelm with the covid lockdowns. It really helped and I kept it up. It helps tremendously to keep me steady, I notice how I’m feeling and can experience those feelings now, knowing they will pass and not panicking about them. So meditation is a great non drug tool to start. You need to do it most days over a long period of time to really start seeing changes. But even when I first started it kept me calm enough to avoid overwhelm.

 

Keep us posted as to how you are ☺️

am not a medical professional. I provide information and make suggestions based on my own experience and SA guidelines. I am unable to respond to private messages. 

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019  April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine down to around 6mg - skipping days to taper

October 2019 - Dec 2019 unwell from failed taper including jumping about in doses 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey Slide.  
2021: 23 August 12.3mg, 28 October 11.1mg, 6 Dec 10mg

2022: 12 Feb 8.5, 25 Oct 4.5mg

2023: 16 Jan 3.6mg, 28 Sept 1.8mg

2024: 13 May 1.1mg

Link to comment
11 hours ago, Faure said:

 Keep us posted as to how you are ☺️

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment

Hi Faure

 

it’s great to hear from you and Chessie about Brass Monkey slide and your experiences. I am back to preparing to taper as the work thing sent me spinning but now I am stable again.thank you for your empathy re work. It  can be a trial there. I really hate the drug and big pharma but that’s not enough to help me taper.
 

Like you, I need to find that deep inward commitment to come off… I have a faith practice and that is my source of strength. I have a wonderful prayer life that is affected by depression when I have tried to taper and that is one reason why I have had to return to the drug. 


but I am hopeful that the brass monkey slide will be a different way of tapering and that I will learn new skills. It is helpful to hear others stories and how you all did this. Congrats on your excellent progress and well done! 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

When you have been on a psychiatric drug for a long time it can be scary to think about how you are going to feel once you are not taking it any more.  I will admit that there have been a few times since I've been off that I wanted to be numbed against some of the life stressors that I have experienced (unrelated to getting of the drug; just life/health issues in general).  However I knew that returning to an AD was not going to be worth it, especially after what I had learned about the drugs since joining SA in October 2015 through reading, watching, listening, and learning of the experiences of other members.

 

Not only have you been on a drug for several decades, during that time a lot has changed in your life and in your own body apart from the drug, so you are not only dealing with tapering and getting off the drug, but also learning to understand and manage the changes that have happened during that time when you have been numbed by the drug.  And you can go through a number (that's quantity not numbness!) different emotions during this time, eg regret, grief, anger, sadness etc.

 

 

One thing that I have found very helpful is learning about the bad side of the drugs.  There are quite a few excellent books.  The two that I found helpful are:

 

Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Dr Peter Breggin

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker

this book provides the history of how psychiatric drugs started being used; they were not created specifically for depression, many were drugs being trialed for other issues and they saw the effect of them and decided to try them for depression, anxiety etc.)

 

 

Gwen Olsen was a drug representative for 15 years and had personal and close family experience with psychiatric drugs:

 

Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)
 

 

 

 

Video:  Irving Kirsch:  Emperor's New Drugs:  Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect (1 hour 20 minutes)

 

This is something that I learned from the book by the same person:

 

Shocking Discovery - Approval Criteria Used by the FDA

Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect by Irving Kirsch (link to full article)


Abstract:

Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain.  Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory.  But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect.  Some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin.  Nevertheless, they all show the same therapeutic benefit.  Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind.  The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong.  Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.

Excerpt:

How Did These Drugs Get Approved?
....
The FDA requires two adequately conducted clinical trials showing a significant difference between drug and placebo.  But there is a loophole:  there is no limit to the number of trials that can be conducted in search of these two significant trials.  Trials showing negative results simply do not count.  Furthermore, the clinical significance of the findings is not considered.  All that matters is that the results are statistically significant.
....
(NB:  emphasis in abstract and excerpt are mine)

 

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment

I’ve got lots of learning to do ChessieCat, thanks again.

 

The last time I was “AD free” was between the years 2001-2008.
 

Those years were some of the most difficult and traumatic of my life. So I do have that space of time that I was without the drugged numbness that I feel now.

 

But, it was pretty awful for me as I had just moved overseas to Russia and I was trying to be brave but mostly I was just lonely and afraid.
 

Anyway, I have a hard time thinking about being free again because I equate it with that time in the past… 

 

so much has changed for me since settling in Australia but even a few days of tapering and a bad time at work sends me into a spiral. I will come back up, but it takes 24-7 work. 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

I really want to try to taper again even though I’ve never successfully been able to come off before. I think I’m ready. What did you all wished you had known before your  tapering started?

 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi KarenHv, @KarenHv

Welcome back.

Here is your main topic so you can review previous entrees and suggestions, and links to topics.

Please update your signature if needed and if any drug changes since you were last here.

Just go go the link in this topic:

-how-to-summarize-your-drug-history-in-your-signature

you may have to scroll up to the first post, I hope not but just in case

 

Then you might want to review some of the topics already given above.

Ask any specific questions around your taper or taper planning right here, in your topic.  Thank you.

That keeps everything together and in the right place, and helps keep the site tidy as well.

 

Best.

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

Link to comment
  • Mentor
21 hours ago, KarenHv said:

What did you all wished you had known before your  tapering started?

Hi, I think I can speak for many when I say that what we all wish we’d known is to take it slow and steady and do no more than 10% of the latest dose every 4 weeks, holding for longer if necessary.  Absolutely no skipping days and go to the bother of buying some special scales and weigh out the exact powder we need every week. If we’d all known that then this website wouldn’t exist!!! There is no shortcut. 
 

I recommend building a spacious meditation practice. That has really helped me stay steady. 

am not a medical professional. I provide information and make suggestions based on my own experience and SA guidelines. I am unable to respond to private messages. 

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019  April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine down to around 6mg - skipping days to taper

October 2019 - Dec 2019 unwell from failed taper including jumping about in doses 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey Slide.  
2021: 23 August 12.3mg, 28 October 11.1mg, 6 Dec 10mg

2022: 12 Feb 8.5, 25 Oct 4.5mg

2023: 16 Jan 3.6mg, 28 Sept 1.8mg

2024: 13 May 1.1mg

Link to comment

Thank you Faure, I pray daily and am also adding in musical meditation type rest for my brain. I started today, a 10% reduction so here goes, very slowly, I will probably stay at 180 mg for six weeks to start with. To get my supports in place etc.

 

On 1/3/2023 at 8:16 PM, Faure said:

Hi, I think I can speak for many when I say that what we all wish we’d known is to take it slow and steady and do no more than 10% of the latest dose every 4 weeks, holding for longer if necessary.  Absolutely no skipping days and go to the bother of buying some special scales and weigh out the exact powder we need every week. If we’d all known that then this website wouldn’t exist!!! There is no shortcut. 
 

I recommend building a spacious meditation practice. That has really helped me stay steady. 

 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi KarenHv,

Are you on any other drugs right now?

What happened after you dropped to 165 mg last time?  Your signature says you crashed, and then went back to 200 mg of Zoloft.  Was there anything else going on at that time, or were you on any other drugs or psychoactive supplements?

You do have the option of going down by less than 10%, or doing a brassmonkey slide too.

With the brassmonkeyslide you do 10% every 6 weeks, and every week drop by 2.5% of the previous dose........then after the 4th week, you HOLD for an additional 2 weeks to let it all settle in.

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

  

On 8/5/2011 at 2:43 PM, Altostrata said:

This paper is based on the concepts discussed in our topic Why taper? Paper demonstrates importance of gradual change in plasma concentration referring to Meyer, 2004 and other research into SERT transporter occupancy.

The Meyer paper has sertraline(Zoloft) graphed I believe.  And usually, it is the lower dosages where one has to possibly go slower and/or taper by less.

See also:  Why taper?SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration

 

I'm trying to figure out what led to your "crash" last taper attempt.  It doesn't appear that you were doing larger tapers than 10% from previous doses, in fact you were doing < 10%.

 

How are you reducing your doses?  Liquid, weighing? 

I do see you have the tips for tapering sertraline(Zoloft) and the Why taper topic above in your library here.  So that's good.  It's always good to get and be real familiar with those topics.  You just scroll up in your topic here, and find some of the initial posts to you and you'll see them.

 

And okay.  I didn't address your question.......what I wished I had known prior to tapering?  I wished I knew just more in general about tapering when I started.  I thought I could just go down quickly.......I suppose I thought I might be an exception......even after decades of prescribed drugs.  I went down way too quickly when I tried to taper Lexapro(escitalopram), and definitely blew it.   I also went too fast and I was into lower dose ranges for that drug already, or low enough dose ranges.  I wound up on 2 other drugs, didn't even realize I was in WD, just knew I was pretty de compensated and needed help.  Then I came here.  Slowly I learned more, and became determined and followed the course and recommends given to me. 

I read a lot here when I was able to read again and my cognition improved.

I also began to learn a whole lot of non-drug coping practices and skills.  Some I had done before, others were brand new.

I learned to have faith in my body, mind, and spirit and just faith in general really helped me so much.

I knew for years that the drugs were making me worse, or sicker.......not better, not leading me to better health in all dimensions at all.

So I really, when I think about it........didn't have a choice anymore but to do my best to get drug free and begin to heal.

And I began the healing while still drugged too.

 

So that's that for you.

 

Oh my gosh, yes.....meditation, staying present(learning how to do that), movement for me was helpful as sometimes it would clear the thinking problems when I moved and just stayed present and did versus just laying about in distress.  I mean I did a fair amount of just surviving, not thriving......but then I moved into thriving.

 

And.  We are all a bit different too.  So, I learned to listen to my body too.  If I needed to HOLD longer........I think I did that.....if I was just too off or something.  And waited.  I learned to wait.

 

What do you do now, to cope when you feel thrown by things?  Do you have practices in place already?  Things like therapy behind you, that you've learned......or do you do Yoga.....or dance......or take lots of baths(that has been one of my main coping skills for as long as I remember, and I started using magnesium in the form of Epsom salts to relax too), and oh so many things one can begin to learn that help cope with some of the WD symptoms that might come up.

 

So......you begin again!  Yay! 

Keep us updated and just come on and ask if you need support or need to find something out that you don't feel sure about.

 

Okay, best.

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

Link to comment
On 1/10/2023 at 12:26 PM, manymoretodays said:


 

thank for the encouraging post, many more days, it is nice to feel heard. 
 

when I tapered before I got to 165 mg and crashed, I had a lot of work stress and was feeling like I would become a problem to the workplace and be overly argumentative and emotional because I wasn’t coping well. I was crying too much and feeling suicidal so thought I should go backup. At the time I had not read up as much as now and was not remembering that I could go up a dose instead of zoom right backup to a full dose so that’s why I went up to 200 mg. Now I know a bit more and am planning on going extra slow. I am at 180 mg for the third day and even though it’s a minuscule amount, it still feels good to take some action. 
 I’ve thought about going even slower using brass monkey slide suggestions but I don’t know 🤷🏼‍♀️…I suppose I can see how it goes my first dose adjustment. I may just stay at 180 for two months and not rush. 
 

I saw the doctor today and it’s actually quite hard to keep my information as private as I like. In Australia they have this thing called my health record where everything is linked and every health professional can access a patients history. I opted out of this but doctors don’t like that. They also don’t like it when I decide for myself about things so that’s why I try to keep it private. Anyway, just some observations about how we can be subtly pushed in their direction. All doctors I have seen are of the persuasion that it’s just fine and dandy to come off quickly.  Or they want me to switch to Lexapro. 
 

thanks for listening and for the resources that you sent, I will check them out. 🙂
 

 

K

 

 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
On 1/10/2023 at 11:20 PM, KarenHv said:

when I tapered before I got to 165 mg and crashed, I had a lot of work stress and was feeling like I would become a problem to the workplace and be overly argumentative and emotional because I wasn’t coping well. I was crying too much and feeling suicidal so thought I should go backup. At the time I had not read up as much as now and was not remembering that I could go up a dose instead of zoom right backup to a full dose so that’s why I went up to 200 mg. Now I know a bit more and am planning on going extra slow. I am at 180 mg for the third day and even though it’s a minuscule amount, it still feels good to take some action. 
 I’ve thought about going even slower using brass monkey slide suggestions but I don’t know 🤷🏼‍♀️…I suppose I can see how it goes my first dose adjustment. I may just stay at 180 for two months and not rush. 

 

Hi KarenHv,

Okay and thanks for filling us in.  I'm glad you went with a 10% for your first taper, which is the present 180 mg.  Good, good.  Yes.......take 2 months and see how it goes.

Slow and steady eddy.  Could have been neuroemotions kicking on in, and maybe just prepare yourself or begin some non-drug coping practices that you hadn't tried before.  Things like meditation, mindfulness, learning to pause before opening the mouth(oh my gosh.......I've made progress........but even still, have to stay mindful.......very much so).  You'll see a link to even more coping skills, in the first post of the neuroemotions topic.  Look at the Non-drug coping topic as it has a whole indexed list of wonderful skills you can start to pick up early.  Find those that appeal or speak to you.

 

Oh Lord.......no privacy.......that seems like a violation of your rights......anyway, this may help you with the doctors:

How to talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal? And what to expect?

And you don't have to go out and educate them and all now.......not unless you find one that you think will be an ally.  I mean I think I found an ally in my GP, a functional doctor.......BUT even with that, I don't think he fully understands it all, the way I do........but enough, and I do feel like he is an ally for me going forward.

 

Good, good.  You have gotten started and ARE in as good a place as any to do so.

Cheers!

Don't be a stranger.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing

 

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  • 1 month later...

Update

my first taper went very well and I stabilised at 180 mg daily. I just dropped to 175 mg this past week. I don’t know if it is WD or if I caught a virus but last Friday I came down with something, diarrhoea, nausea, dizziness, light headed, exhausted (I slept 12 hours a day for three days, maybe four) I felt frozen in time and with no motivation, no energy and would do some things but very listlessly. I was fortunate to have a three day break from work. I cancelled my weekend plans and slept and read and dealt with anxiety, health anxiety because I did not know what was happening. 
my best friend doesn’t understand and gives me grief. I think she thinks I’m lazy. I can’t explain it to her or others who haven’t been through it,I don’t even try any more.

today I tried a few light exercises and did some work and I feel a bit better. I still don’t know what it is wrong with me but guess I will just take it one day at a time. 
thank you for listening.

k. 

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
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  • 4 months later...

Update…

I am now down to 150 mg just dropped from 162.5 to 150 last week.

I held at 162.5 for two months because previous drops down to 150 mg have resulted in too many wd symptoms, I don’t know why. 
so far I am experiencing very long sleeps (12 hrs a night on days off), emotional numbness, hypersensitivity, and very low motivation. Had a spell of anger and then detachment last week, I don’t feel engaged with people but I can focus on things like reading and painting which is nice. 
I have started painting again which is always helpful for me. I also attend NA a meetings and that’s helpful too. 
im trying to exercise and take a walk for an hour twice a week and do weight lifting the other two or three days. 
hope everyone is doing well and I am hopeful that more enlivening effects come with more stabilising. I hate the way I feel so flat and detached. But it could be worse so I am thankful that it isn’t worse!!!

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
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  • 1 month later...

Another update: 

Im holding at 150 mg still. This past month has been rough. Experienced a lot of flatness, sadness, difficulty connecting. Noise sensitivity and outbursts at work. Feeling really joyless. On a more positive note my sleeping evened out and I’m not oversleeping. I’m not hungry all the time and manage to get some exercise in. I have had lots of obsessive thoughts but am trying an ancient Eastern Orthodox practice called Nepsis, it is a lot like mindfulness. Trying to get into nature more. Set up a tent in the back yard and can switch off from screens there. 
I decided not to go lower than 150 until the new year. I have a big trip coming up in November plus some menopause stuff happening so I have to keep it slow. 
karen

  • 1992 - 1999 Prozac or Zoloft off and on teenage years
  • 2008 -2016 Zoloft 150 mg, 2016 Zoloft increased to 200 mg
  • Attempted first taper started March 22 2021 at 194.25
  • Reduced to 175, then 165, then 150 but crashed and went back up to 200 mg July 18, 2021
  • Jan 07 2023 start taper by 10 % (180 mg) 
  • Feb 2023 -175 mg, March 2023 -170 mg, April, May 2023 -165 mg, June- to 162.5 mg
  • July 2023 down to 150 mg holding here as of Sep 2023
  • magnesium, vit d, adaptogens, quercetin, calcium, vit k
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