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princefan777: I was put on Sertraline at age 10 and it’s ruined my life so far. Need help deciding whether to go back on or not.


princefan777

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Hello,

 

I was put on Sertraline 100mg at 10 years old (no clue how this was legal) for having anxiety about my sick mom. From age 10 to 12 the only negative side effect from the drug I can think of was weight gain and quite a few days of not wanting to go to school/along with some apathy and lack of emotions. Around age 12 I moved to another state and easily made friends. I was living pretty much a perfect life. I had loving parents, a nice house to live in with friends over all of the time, and was doing well in school. I was the best student and most attractive/popular/funniest person in my class.
 

At age 13 I started to play computer games and watch porn. I quickly became enveloped in a digital world and started abandoning all other aspects of my life completely. It was like digital crack to me. For the next five years all I would do on days I didn’t attend school (which was most) was game for 16 hours a day. On days I did attend, I would come home and immediately start gaming. My grades were horrible and I had to take a lot of classes a year behind. Around junior year I was getting burnt out on gaming, but I quickly realized reintegrating back into my previous social and academic life was going to be impossible thanks to me losing all social skills, becoming socially awkward, and gaining even more weight, plus gyno. Trying to gain back my friends I had cut off was impossible because I had also developed agoraphobia, and couldn’t handle being around them. I checked my MyChart and I was at an 8 ng/ml for Vitamin D around this time, which explains some of the cognitive problems.

My senior year I dropped out. I was severely depressed, had brain fog and unsalvageable grades, no social skills, motivation, and complete apathy about everything (which started around 13). My porn addiction had also gotten severe. My parents at this time were also opiate addicts and very negligent about the situation. This whole time seems like a blur looking back. 
 

At age 18 my parents moved to yet another city. Around this time I discovered NoFap and wanted to stop watching porn. I listened to some self help podcasts and decided to come off my Sertraline. I asked my doctor and they said I just needed to take 50mg one week then I could quit fully. I listened to their advice and did so. The following 2 and a half years after this I lost all motivation and became very hyper sexual/compulsive which made my porn addiction that much more severe. All I did for 2 and a half years was sit in my room mindlessly scrolling the internet, watching porn, and playing video games. I kept trying to do steaks of NoFap, but I kept failing. My anxiety started to get really bad so I went to another doctor and got put on Sertraline 50 mg. After a couple months of taking it I felt great. I didn’t have a care in the world, I was discovering hobbies I was into, and for the first time in a long time I had motivation to do things, and I felt way more intelligent. After about 8 months of taking it, it stopped working and I developed a low sex drive. I am not sure if this was from the SSRI or weed looking back, but I quit the Sertraline cold turkey again. 
 
The first month or so of quitting, I felt great. I was making plans on how to get a career, finally move out, get my confidence back by working out, etc. About 2 months into withdrawal I started getting constant negative intrusive thoughts, anxiety, a deep feeling of despair, decreased pleasure, and most importantly the apathy started wearing off. 
 

I’m about 7 months into withdrawal, and the symptoms have lessened a little bit. The apathy going away and the constant rumination has been a blessing and a cure. I realized I’m 22 with no life experience, a wrecked brain from years of abusing the internet in the most mindless way possible, and coming down from years of being an emotionless, hurtful person. I went from not giving a **** about anything to caring a lot. I believe I can get through the withdrawals as they’re already lessening, but I sometimes feel like I’ve dug my self into a hole too deep to get out of. I went from super good looking to flat faced from having horrible posture all throughout puberty, and I feel like my intelligence has decreased by about 60%, especially during this last withdrawal. To say I have bad social skills would be an understatement, despite both parents having type A personalities. Every time I'm around people I constantly think of how much funnier/wittier and sociable I should be. Reading is a big struggle and my attention span is in ruins. My intrusive thoughts constantly hound me about being wasted potential in every way, and that my parents will die before they can see the true me. I also have severe body dysmorphia that I obsess over. Every time I watch a video I just constantly think about how much more intelligent and better looking the people I see are. When I close my eyes or go for a walk trying to clear my head, I just have a constant barrage of thoughts ranging from random words and 2 seconds of a song looping, to full sentences looping. It feels like torture sometimes, and makes it so hard to concentrate on sorting my life out.
 

On the bright side, I have a super loving family. My parents are no longer addicted to anything, and are fully supporting me financially (which I feel guilty about) and emotionally. I also have kicked my weed and porn addictions. I am going to start studying for my GED and getting a part time job, and know what career I want to eventually have. My issue is I start freaking out about everything once I sit down to study. Mindlessly scrolling 16 hours a day, not watching or reading anything long-form has done a number on me. 
 

I realize going back on Sertraline to stop these negative isn’t the best option because it turns me into an apathetic, zombie-like dopamine fiend. I’m also worried about kindling, and realize I’m lucky I haven’t gotten more severe symptoms. I plan to ride it out and start CBT and ERP, along with regular exercise and dieting. But I also feel like it might calm my OCD like it has in the past and get rid of some of the constant barrage of thoughts. I just feel bad about stressing my parents out, especially my mom who is very sick. I don’t know if I can handle years of this. Is it possible my brain just needs it to function because I was put on it at such a young age? Am I wasting my time/stressing my parents out for no reason trying to go through this withdrawal when I should just go back on it and see if weed was the reason it seemed like it stopped working? I obsess over these things constantly.
 

Thanks for reading and sorry if it’s not super coherent, my brain feels like mush. I regret ever going back on Sertraline after quitting it the first time. Just want to become the funny, intelligent, caring, and overall great to be around person I know I was meant to be. Any advice is welcome. 

 

  • 2011 (age 10) - 2019 100mg Sertraline then cold turkey'd. Took it very sporadically. 
  • June 2021 - July 2022 50mg Sertraline then cold turkey'd again
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  • princefan777 changed the title to princefan777: I was put on Sertraline at age 10 and it’s ruined my life so far. Need help deciding whether to go back on or not.
  • Administrator

Welcome, @princefan777

 

I am sorry you were put on the road to thinking there was something very wrong with you at age 10.

 

Aside from the self-disparagement, what symptoms do you have that you attribute to withdrawal syndrome? How's your sleep?

 

Are you seeing a psychotherapist? What do you do for exercise?

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.

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On 2/2/2023 at 7:47 PM, Altostrata said:

Aside from the self-disparagement, what symptoms do you have that you attribute to withdrawal syndrome? How's your sleep?

Currently dealing with:

  • Near-constant intrusive thoughts. They range from random words and 2 seconds of a song looping, to harm and sexual thoughts and constantly stressing about something. I will sit and close my eyes and it's just a constant barrage of thoughts that have pretty much erased my inner monologue. I can't think about anything such as planning, organizing, etc. Easily the hardest part of withdrawal.
  • Horrible attention span. I believe this may be from surfing the internet excessively which I'm trying to cut back on.
  • Low libido. I don't believe I have full blown PSSD because I still get erections, don't have any numbness, and my orgasms still bring pleasure. I just rarely ever have the desire, but it could just be because I'm in my room almost 24/7.
  • Brain fog. This is most likely from excessive internet usage, I mainly only get it during the evenings and nights.
  • Nightmares. Almost every night I have an extremely distressing nightmare, and I have intrusive thoughts in my sleep almost constantly.
  • Mild anhedonia. I still get pleasure from things, but overall I just don't like being alive.
  • Slight cognitive impairment. I really don't know if its my OCD convincing me I'm stupid, or if it genuinely is cognitive impairment. I feel like writing came a lot more naturally before, and I could converse a lot more fluidly. Problem solving also seems like an issue.
  • DP/DR
  • Body dysmorphia

Pretty much all of these symptoms are gradually improving with each passing month, and I still have drastic lifestyle changes I need to make that will benefit me. My sleep is fine, and I get 8-10 hours a night. The nightmares don't wake me up, but they're stressful.

On 2/2/2023 at 7:47 PM, Altostrata said:

Are you seeing a psychotherapist? What do you do for exercise?

I've currently been walking at minimum an hour a day, but I'm going to try weightlifting as well. As for the therapist, I'm currently waiting on a call back from one. She is an OCD specialist which I believe will help me the most.

  • 2011 (age 10) - 2019 100mg Sertraline then cold turkey'd. Took it very sporadically. 
  • June 2021 - July 2022 50mg Sertraline then cold turkey'd again
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  • Administrator

As you have observed, your symptoms mostly seem to be related to habits and attitudes rather than withdrawal syndrome.

 

You are fortunate that you don't have more extensive problems from having gone off sertraline.

 

You can change habits and attitudes. Sometimes people prefer to work with therapists or coaches on this.

 

You'll probably see a lot of good changes from getting more exercise and getting out of the house for other activities. You may be interested in 

 

The importance of recognizing you're feeling good

 

Creating a new self after withdrawal

 

Many people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see

 

https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

You might try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you. Please let us know how you’re doing.

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.

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