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TruthSeeker91: My story


TruthSeeker91

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Hi, I'm new here. I'm glad to have finally found a community that is aware of the harm that antidepressants can cause and that withdrawal is a real thing.

 

I am a young man and have been on psychiatric medication for several years. I have always been very introverted and have had difficulty socializing and making friends, in addition to having a broad intellectual interest. These peculiarities led my parents to take me to mental health professionals at a very early age. Once, when I was very young, a neurologist assured them that I had Asperger's Syndrome, which they strongly rejected and never followed up on, and to this day I don't know if it's true or not. Even some of my classmates have asked me about it.

 

As I grew older, my personality became more pronounced. As expected, I was taken to a psychiatrist who put me on medication without a second thought. I don't remember the specific drug, but I was on it for a year. After that time, my mother took me off the medication of her own will, and I experienced nothing abnormal. Certainly, the way I lived my childhood might be considered "abnormal" by some, but I had a social life in my own way and it was functional. The only disturbing event I remember from that time is a scary image I saw on a cell phone that prevented me from using those devices for several years.

 

I went to a junior high school that instilled in me an extreme moral rigidity, which in the long run caused me a kind of "conscience scruples" that were so burdensome that I sometimes became dysfunctional. I was also bullied at school because of my intelligence, so much so that I had to change schools. This led me back to the psychiatrist who prescribed Pristiq. The only thing this drug did was to increase my symptoms to the maximum and give me some kind of OCD (I guess that's what it is because the psychiatrist never told me). After a few weeks, I was switched to sertraline, which I have been taking since 2015, except for a small interruption that I will describe later.

 

Sertraline didn't give me the immediate side effects that Pristiq did, although it didn't work wonders either. My introverted personality remained the same, although the change in school helped me improve the social aspect. Even though I never hung out with friends, my classmates respected me and came up to me to ask for help with homework or to talk about interesting topics. This made me feel very comfortable. As time went on, I made a lot of progress in this regard, until in 2019 I had the most rewarding life I've ever had. I was at the top of my class, and both teachers and classmates were very fond of me. Of course, my peculiarities always attracted the attention of the school authorities, who more than once sent me to a "psychologist" to talk to me. But there was nothing to tell them (except the fact that I never found a therapist I took seriously), and I felt better than ever.

 

The maximum dose of sertraline I ever received was 50 mg/day. On several occasions, the psychiatrist wanted to use any excuse to increase it, no matter how absurd and ridiculous it was (it sounded to me like the "soma" that Aldous Huxley mentions in his book "Brave New World"), but fortunately I never listened to them, and my parents did not force me to. During that time, the only event that managed to destabilize me was a severe scolding from a very respected man in my community, whom I admired very much, who scolded me for having intellectual interests and being "lucubrating" instead of living together and playing the things that other children did (which always seemed ridiculous to me). He even "forbade" me to read the kind of intellectual books I liked because they were "not for me. This is one of the most shocking and painful experiences I have ever had, and it triggered my anxiety.

 

However, I managed to get through it to some extent, and I was doing so well that I was able to reduce the dosage to ~12 mg/day (a quarter of the pill) without any side effects. Unfortunately, during this time the pandemic hit and I was also faced with the crucial decision of what major to study. I was discouraged by my family to study a science (those careers have a bad reputation and little support in my country, they say you will starve to death), so without any really convincing reason I went into engineering. The whole time I was doing this degree was online, otherwise I would have realized how much I hated it much earlier. It got to the point where it became unbearable and I dropped out.

 

Despite all these inconveniences and others caused by the pandemic, I was relatively well and in September 2021 the psychiatrist "discharged" me. I abruptly went from ¼ pill to 0, but had no immediate withdrawal symptoms. But having to decide what to do with my life and reading so many opinions about the outcome from scientists in my country caused me a kind of aboulomania or "paralysis by analysis". Gradually, the symptoms got worse and worse and made me dysfunctional. I also developed hypochondria, something I had never experienced before, not even before I took sertraline for the first time. Finally, it became unbearable and I had to take the drug again in June 2022. Again, the doctors wanted to give me much higher doses, which I refused.

 

At the moment I am fine, the only things that bother me are that I am not sure what I want to do with my life in the long term and I feel too much uncertainty, and I really want to improve socially. I certainly don't want to become an extrovert, but I would like to maintain valuable friendships and find someone to talk to about topics that interest me. I would also like to find an intimate relationship. But I still find it difficult to even team up for a project.

 

I am desperate to get off the medication, but I have not found a psychiatrist in Mexico who will help me. They all claim that Sertraline is completely harmless and that if I feel anxious when I stop taking it, it is because there is a problem with me and not with the drug. I don't believe them at all. Also, they don't seem to know what they are talking about, no one has been able to tell me what the brain zaps I am suffering from are, I had to find out for myself. I also have urinary problems, stomach problems, and I'm underweight, and I can't find a way to know what's caused by the medication and what's caused by other things. I want to lift weights to see if I can build muscle, but I have also found that SSRIs can cause muscle problems, lower testosterone, and even rhabdomyolysis in some cases. I am also deeply dismayed that it can make me impotent and infertile.

 

I hope you can give me some advice on this matter. If you know of a psychiatrist in Mexico who can help, I would appreciate it (although I would travel abroad if necessary to find someone to help me out of this). I welcome any input with much appreciation.

 

PS 1. I had an MRI of my brain and everything seems to be fine.

PS 2. I seem to be low on vitamin D, I have already ordered a supplement. I also bought a multivitamin (Throne Research Basic 2/day) but I have read comments that it can cause anxiety, I don't know if this is true. I ask for your recommendation.

PS 3. I have voluntarily reduced the dosage to ¾ and feel fine so far.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • getofflex changed the title to TruthSeeker91: My story
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, TruthSeeker91.  We're a site for helping people taper off psychiatric medications and dealing with withdrawal.  Thanks for completing your signature and Introduction.

 

Unfortunately, it is all too common for psychiatrists to blame the patient rather than the drug for drug withdrawal.  This is not surprising; drugs are their stock in trade.  I don't know if you have the phrase in Mexico, "Cada loco con su tema."  Drugs are their "tema."  However, the reality of antidepressant withdrawal is very slowly becoming more widespread.  A psychiatrist in Great Britain, Dr. Mark Horowitz, who personally experienced the difficulties of withdrawal, has written widely on the subject, and reading his findings might make you feel less isolated. 

Horowitz et al. (2022). Estimating Risk of Antidepressant …

 

Here are some other readings about withdrawal that might help validate your personal experience.  It's not surprising that your symptoms became unbearable.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

I can't say whether your physical issues are withdrawal-related, but physical as well as emotional and mental  withdrawal symptoms are widespread.  The central nervous system underlies all our experiences, and if things have gone awry there due to withdrawal, it's not surprising what might manifest.  Here's a list of some withdrawal symptoms but it's by no means means complete.   

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

As far as your going off the Sertraline, it is definitely doable.  We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every 4 weeks.  As you'll read in the following link, the purpose of this slow taper is to minimize withdrawal.  

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

You mentioned that you've already reduced the dose to 3/4.  That's a 25% reduction, much faster than we recommend.  I would make any further reductions for at least 3 months.  At that point you can see if you feel stable and, if so, can start a 10% taper.  Keep in mind that antidepressants alter the architecture of the brain and you have to go very slowly to returns to the status quo ante.  

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

   On 12/3/2015 at 10:41 AM,  apace41 said: 
Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

The following link is specifically about tapering Sertraline, including how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need for your own 10% taper.

 

Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)

 

 

Regarding your supplements, we don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems.  A multivitamin might not be the best choice because there's no way to tall what might cause what among the many ingredients.  Also, the B-vitamins contained in multivitamins might be too stimulating for someone in withdrawal.  You could try the vitamin D in a low dose at first to see how it goes, but do this separately from any other changes in supplements so you can isolate what's happening.  Two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium (glycinate is a good form) and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  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 I am glad that you found us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of June 28: 5mg

Taper is 93% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase, L-Glutamine


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 6 months later...

Hello, it has been seven months since my last post. I’m sorry to tell you that I imprudently followed a psychiatrist's advice and tapered off my medication for six months before stopping completely.

Although I felt relatively well during the first few weeks, I am currently experiencing withdrawal symptoms of moderate intensity and want to do something before they worsen. Initially, I felt dizzy and anxious, but now I'm having difficulty concentrating and am forgetting things I used to know very well. I’m also having this strange feeling that tells me I could have a serious relapse in the future and think I may need to resume my medication, but I'm unsure how to proceed. I will definitely follow your recommendations this time.

 

In addition, I also noticed your post on recommended doctors, but unfortunately they are all located far from me. Do you know if any of them offer online consultations? If so, please let me know.

Thank you

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there and welcome back TruthSeeker91,

When did you take your last dose of Sertraline?

To update or edit in new information into your signature(the portion below your posts) you can use this link:  AccountSettings/signature edits/updates

What was your last dose?

How did you taper......by how much and how often?

 

Do you have any Sertraline left?

 

I want you to take a read through of this topic:

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

and then ask away, right here if questions......do keep in mind that a reinstatement dose is nothing like the doses you get from your doctor.  We'd be glad to give you a recommend on a reinstatement dose......once we have a bit more information.

 

Good job finding your way back to your topic.  Now you have the benefit of previous information given to you above, and your initial Introduction post too!

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

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, and again finally 5/25/24.  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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This was the approximate process. None of my doses were exactly measured, I just broke a 50 mg pill into approximate fractions. (Although the pill itself weighs more than 50 mg, I think including the excipient)

               Late Jan 2023 - March 2023. ¾ (37.5 mg)

               March 2023 - April 2023. ½ (25 mg)

               April 2023 - May 2023. ¼ (12.5 mg)

               May 2023 - June 2023. 1/8 (6.25 mg)

               Jun 2023. Discontinued.

 

Throughout the whole process, I didn't have any symptoms until I stopped completely. Even the lowest dose (6.25 mg) worked perfectly for me, problems started after discontinuation.

 

As you can see from my signature, I had tried to stop the drug before and stayed off for 8 months, but it is true that the worse symptoms started 3 months after the last dose (although I went longer without sertraline). When I resumed 50 mg in May 2022, I felt bad for the first few weeks, but after about 2 months I felt better, almost like before I stopped.

I took a look at the link you provided and I know I have to start with a small dose, given the time that has passed (almost 3 months), but please give me a recommendation.

Thank you.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there TS91,

23 hours ago, TruthSeeker91 said:

This was the approximate process. None of my doses were exactly measured, I just broke a 50 mg pill into approximate fractions. (Although the pill itself weighs more than 50 mg, I think including the excipient)

               Late Jan 2023 - March 2023. ¾ (37.5 mg)

               March 2023 - April 2023. ½ (25 mg)

               April 2023 - May 2023. ¼ (12.5 mg)

               May 2023 - June 2023. 1/8 (6.25 mg)

               Jun 2023. Discontinued.

On 9/4/2023 at 10:56 PM, TruthSeeker91 said:

 

Although I felt relatively well during the first few weeks, I am currently experiencing withdrawal symptoms of moderate intensity and want to do something before they worsen. Initially, I felt dizzy and anxious, but now I'm having difficulty concentrating and am forgetting things I used to know very well. I’m also having this strange feeling that tells me I could have a serious relapse in the future and think I may need to resume my medication, but I'm unsure how to proceed. I will definitely follow your recommendations this time.

 

In addition, I also noticed your post on recommended doctors, but unfortunately they are all located far from me. Do you know if any of them offer online consultations? If so, please let me know.

Thank you

 

Good information, thank you.  And I see I did not address your question on recommended doctors.

I'm glad you found the post on recommended doctors here.  I think you'd have to contact them to see if they do online or some form of telehealth.

Here's another resource from the MadInAmerica site: Service and Provider Directory

And MadInAmerica is a good resource to read and learn more too, so I'd encourage you to read more there.  I might begin with the Drug section, and the drop down menu there, if you haven't as yet had much exposure to information on tapering and the changes that drugs create(sometimes harm).

Just don't overwhelm.

 

So with your last dose being 6.25 mg of sertraline and now around 3 months out.  I might reinstate with a dose of 2 mg sertraline.

Use the tapering topic:  Tips for tapering Zoloft(sertraline) to decide how you can most consistently and easily get this dosage.  I'm seeing a liquid preparation which is pretty concentrated at 20 mg per each 1 mL of volume.  If you go with that, do ask the pharmacist to provide you, if possible with small syringes, and go over measuring your dose with you.  It appears the concentrated liquid has to be further diluted as well.

 

There's a lot in the tapering topic that should be helpful, if you go with liquid, or make your own.  And then additional links to helpful topics.  So, do take a look please.

 

You've got the reinstatement link too. 

 

And.  Do please keep us updated this next week, even on a daily basis would be great.  Take your reinstatement dose at the same time each day, same method of measuring it out.  And keep some good objective notes going for yourself, and then even to share with us here.  My fingers are crossed.....and my toes........rooting for this to help!  And it might, with patience involved.  Even the slightest improvement may be a good sign of further improvement up the road.  And, you can re-evaluate after a week, or 7 days and maybe even go up a tad more in dose.

 

Hope this helps.

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, and again finally 5/25/24.  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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Hi

 

I was feeling too bad before I could get an answer, so I had to reinstate the last dose (6.25 mg), it has been three pills already, and I do feel a slight relief in my concentration problems; no side effects so far, but I think I may need a higher dose.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
13 hours ago, TruthSeeker91 said:

Hi

 

I was feeling too bad before I could get an answer, so I had to reinstate the last dose (6.25 mg), it has been three pills already, and I do feel a slight relief in my concentration problems; no side effects so far, but I think I may need a higher dose.

Hi TruthSeeker,

So you reinstated on September 5th?  Or 6th?

And with 6.25 mg.

I sure wouldn't go up any higher yet.  Slight improvement is good.  It's going to take 4-7 days to even get to a steady level, and then you might see further improvement in the weeks after too.  Try not to expect complete eradication of all WD symptoms from this, and then risk going up up and away with re-medication completely.  You are shooting for a withdrawal stable that you can cope well with at this point.

Considerations about "Stability" Stop jumping around

and do take a look at the linked topic in the first post there by brassmonkey, on stability, and steady states, and more

 

Take it at the same time, each day, with observations noted both before and after as to how you feel, symptoms, changes in symptoms, etc.

Here's a sample note, of how you can do so:  Keep notes on paper

What other symptoms are most bothersome, besides the concentration issues?  How are you "feeling bad"?  Anything you can relate to Glenmullen's WD symptom list?  You'll find that in Gridley's post to you after you first arrived the first time.

 

You might be okay with 1/2 of the 6.25 mg dose too, which would be 3.1 mg with the advantage then being you'd have less to taper off of when that time comes.  That's what I might do for the rest of the week, cut the 6.25 mg dose in half.  Then give it a full week or 7 days before considering a change, unless markedly worse.  And I am not feeling that you'll be worse......sounds like this is going well so far to me.  Sometimes I've learned, less IS more or works just as well.

I'll leave that up to you, if you want to decrease now or not.  I just wanted to get free from my drug(s) as soon as possible, given that they had become harmful rather than helpful in any way, over a long period of time.  I still did manage to taper with my last 2 drugs, the best I could, and was pretty thankful when I came across this site.

 

Are you weighing your dose then, from a 50 mg tablet?  If so, you want the full weight in mg(which is different from the dose in mg, usually more, due to fillers).  Get an average pill weight of the full 50 mg tablet for example, and then from that you can calculate the weight of crushed tablets to get the desired mg in dose.

Using a scale to weigh and measure doses

you'd put the crushed material into a gelatin capsule after it's weighed out dose by dose and I think if you go to page 3 in that topic you'll learn more

 

Accuracy will be important going forward, as well as being consistent with how you measure your dose

 

 Generally a good couple of months of good WD stability, and you can resume tapering again, by 10% or less of each previous dose.

 

We are an internet forum type site, and I got back to you as soon as I could.  I'm not able to be checking the site at all times right now.   We are all volunteers, with our own lives, and work, and sometimes dealing with WD ourselves. 

You can however, use the @ notification system if you feel you need assistance quickly, to get a moderator or staff person's attention when they are signed in and here.  Unless they specify not to do so.  I'll be traveling shortly, and out of town for a thing so even less frequent for a little over a week from today.  So don't hesitate.  You use the @ symbol and then begin typing in a name, and a menu comes up so you can select the name of who you wish to notify.

Or quote a reply to you or a part of it, and when on, the person you quoted will get a notification that way too.

 

So far, so good TruthSeeker91.......at least it sounds that way.  Cheering you on.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

Oh, keep your signature updated with this reinstatement too.  Month, day, drug, dose

Quick access to your signature:  AccountSettings/signature updates/edits

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
signature link

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, and again finally 5/25/24.  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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  • Administrator
On 9/7/2023 at 9:25 PM, TruthSeeker91 said:

Hi

 

I was feeling too bad before I could get an answer, so I had to reinstate the last dose (6.25 mg), it has been three pills already, and I do feel a slight relief in my concentration problems; no side effects so far, but I think I may need a higher dose.

 

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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I reinstated on September 5th, and now I’m using a balance to measure my dose in proportion to the full weight of the pill. I’ve also been taking 1200 mg of fish oil daily since August 23 and I think is has been helping a little.

 

In addition to the cognitive symptoms, which are the most bothersome, I notice persistent background anxiety, an angry-like mood, hopelessness, and occasional brain zaps (which have been present since I started taking the drug years ago). Before resuming, I also experienced slurred speech sometimes, that has improved somewhat.

My concentration is better but still not that good, and I’m studying a degree so I can’t let this to last longer, that’s why I was asking for a higher dose. I don’t want to, but I need the fastest solution because otherwise I could fail.

 

My sleep pattern is highly dysregulated, it is hard to fall asleep at night and then I feel sleepy during the day, so later I sleep more hours later in the afternoon.

I still have to pay more attention to the specific symptoms I have during the day, it’s not so easy to recognize them.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi TruthSeeker91,

 

Thanks for the update. 

 

9 hours ago, TruthSeeker91 said:

In addition to the cognitive symptoms, which are the most bothersome, I notice persistent background anxiety, an angry-like mood, hopelessness, and occasional brain zaps (which have been present since I started taking the drug years ago). Before resuming, I also experienced slurred speech sometimes, that has improved somewhat.

My concentration is better but still not that good, and I’m studying a degree so I can’t let this to last longer, that’s why I was asking for a higher dose. I don’t want to, but I need the fastest solution because otherwise I could fail.

 

My sleep pattern is highly dysregulated, it is hard to fall asleep at night and then I feel sleepy during the day, so later I sleep more hours later in the afternoon.

I still have to pay more attention to the specific symptoms I have during the day, it’s not so easy to recognize them.

 

As it, the reinstatement, was just done so recently, on the 5th, go ahead and put the day in the signature too.  Thank you.

Did your fall semester just begin?  Can you make any adjustments to your schedule?  Just thinking it may be early enough to do do and this is something that was not your fault- WD- and is a valid concern right now.  I think some of the study is great, but I'd hate to see you overwhelmed while in symptoms.  Of course I'll remind you that it will improve, and you'll heal.  It just all takes time.  Not always the time frame we'd like.

 

 

Here's one of my favorites from the Windows and Waves topic:

Meant to make you smile.

 

And then brain zaps while on sertraline........were those occurring after you came off of it?

 

Good that speech and and concentration is a little better.

Problems with speech and communicating

Brain zaps

Brain fog, blank mind, comprehension, concentration, cognitive and memory problems

 

Good you can get additional sleep later in the day!

Good on the Omega 3's as well.  Of course you can increase from 1200 mg of DHA + EPA, up as high as 3000 mg and even more.  Do it gradually, split up your dose into 2 or 3- so you don't have to swallow so many capsules, and do it when you are more settled into your reinstatement.  I really think the Omega's have benefited my healing/recovery a lot.

 

Anxiety and angry moods might be a bit of neuroemotions  And in WD, emotions seem amplified too.......it's so weird.  Just know, it's not the real you right now sometimes.

 

Keep a little scrap of paper with you, with time of medication/drug, and then just jot down how you feel at different times of that day and night.  You don't want to over focus on any symptoms, just notice, and then give us an idea how they relate to your medication.  Best done with notes.

Thanks for what you have updated with.  Day 5 and onward!!!!  I feel it......more improvement coming soon.

 

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, and again finally 5/25/24.  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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  • Administrator

How do you feel now, having reinstated 6.25mg sertraline for 5 days. compared to how you felt in August?

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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  • Mentor

Hi @TruthSeeker91 When I was a grad student taking my comprehensive exams, I went through a terrible bout of what I now know was health anxiety and catastrophic ruminations.  Many years later, I still don't know how I passed.  You may want to try some mental/physical calming practices like Tai Chi or Qi Gong to help with your concentration.  Following the movements focuses your thoughts and the movement helps burn energy caused by anxiety, calling the body.  There are lots of beginner videos on YouTube if you want to give it a try. 

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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With the 6.25 mg dose, I felt I had reached a plateau in my concentration and still not improving in other areas; I know it was too little time to tell if it would work, but it was starting to feel as if I had knives torturing my mind. I needed to increase to 12.5 mg.

 

From the previous experience, it took me 6 weeks to recover with a 50 mg dose, so I don’t think low doses would work in the short term, and even if it had worked, I wouldn’t have been able to withstand such crisis for much longer. Taking into consideration that I tapered too fast (not following the 10% rule), and this is the second failed attempt, wouldn’t it be better to stabilize with a bit higher dose and then start tapering again from the beginning? I also yearn to be free of drugs as soon as possible, but I just don’t want to (nor can I) be completely dysfunctional in life.

 

Now, in average, I feel a bit quieter than before, just a bit. Regarding concentration problems, when I’m listening a speech, I pay attention during the first minutes, but then I start getting a delayed understanding until I get blank. It’s extremely frustrating. There’re short periods of time when I can think clearer, but they don’t last too long.

Honestly, I can’t remember whether or not I had any brain zaps while I came off of sertraline.

 

I was able to convince my coordinator to modify my schedule, but I’ll have to disclose my medical history, and that’s what I didn’t want to.

 

This is how one of my days look like:

 

5:30 am – Woke up with dizziness and confusion.

6:00 am – Had breakfast and took fish oil.

7:00 am – Concentration begins to gradually worsen.

3:00 pm – Ate lunch, less appetite than normal.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Nap.

6:00 pm – Took sertraline.

7:00 pm – Brief improvement in concentration.

9:00 pm – Dinner.

11:00 pm – Went to bed.

1:00 am – Finally fell asleep.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Administrator
4 hours ago, TruthSeeker91 said:

With the 6.25 mg dose, I felt I had reached a plateau in my concentration and still not improving in other areas; I know it was too little time to tell if it would work, but it was starting to feel as if I had knives torturing my mind. I needed to increase to 12.5 mg.

 

You took 6.25mg for a whole 7 days, then increased to 12.5mg? When did you do this?

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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I did it on September 9th.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Administrator

How are you feeling after the change to 12.5mg, compared to when you were taking 6.25mg?

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi TruthSeeker91,

How goes it?

On 9/12/2023 at 3:29 PM, TruthSeeker91 said:

From the previous experience, it took me 6 weeks to recover with a 50 mg dose, so I don’t think low doses would work in the short term, and even if it had worked, I wouldn’t have been able to withstand such crisis for much longer.

 

On 9/12/2023 at 3:29 PM, TruthSeeker91 said:

I was able to convince my coordinator to modify my schedule, but I’ll have to disclose my medical history, and that’s what I didn’t want to.

 

This is how one of my days look like:

 

5:30 am – Woke up with dizziness and confusion.

6:00 am – Had breakfast and took fish oil.

7:00 am – Concentration begins to gradually worsen.

3:00 pm – Ate lunch, less appetite than normal.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Nap.

6:00 pm – Took sertraline.

7:00 pm – Brief improvement in concentration.

9:00 pm – Dinner.

11:00 pm – Went to bed.

1:00 am – Finally fell asleep.

 

And you might be surprised,  as a tiny reinstatement sometimes acts the same.  I'm referring to that time frame you mentioned of 6 weeks in the first quote.  The initial improvement in some symptoms and then even more after 6 weeks.......even with the reinstatement type dose. 

Hmmm.

 

Those are good notes!!  Thank you.  You are definitely a student, and I'm sorry that you had to do a disclosure to your co-ordinator, although it's nothing to be ashamed of.  What's happened to you.......look around.........it's happened to so many here and even on the ground..........it's not your fault.

 

Oh I hope you are doing well enough and can't wait to see your next update.

Question from Alto above too.

Thanks.

 

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, and again finally 5/25/24.  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

Thanks for asking. These have been really rough days, I needed to visit a new psychiatrist so I could get a doctor's note (I only wanted the document, honestly), and he told me that none of his patients have ever had concentration problems after discontinuing an antidepressant, but asked me for a chance to find a treatment for my situation. I can hardly believe that, it seems too unprofessional, I'm not sure if I should continue with him.

 

Anyways, I had been acting strange, and my classmates were noticing it. I was not able to even play easy board games or pay attention to the instructions, this was extremely embarrassing. It's hard to make decisions when you are like that, I just wanted to get out of hell. So, I have been gradually increasing my dose until 50 mg, once again. I can't say the exact dates, but it happened during the last 10 days.

 

I do feel a significant improvement now, I don't know whether it is due to psychological or physical dependence to the drug, or both, but I'm better. I can hold deeper conversations and concentrate a bit longer, although I'm still far from fully recovered. I still slur my speech sometimes and go blank frequently. I also feel chills and dizziness from time to time.

 

In addition, I'm getting emotionally numb, I'm not as excited as before when my favorite songs are played and feel very little when I see a girl I like. This is disturbing.

 

I'm still wondering how I will go off of sertraline, I will have to be extremely careful with it. If I make a 10% exponential reduction every month, once I'm stabilized, it would take around 37 months to reach a 1 mg dose. And that's ok, as long as I have time to settle down in life...

 

Last thing, I have checked my blood test results of the last three years, and notice that Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) has been consistently above range (not so much), and Globulins below (again, not so much). My doctor says they are ok, but I wanted to mention that.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Administrator
16 hours ago, TruthSeeker91 said:

he told me that none of his patients have ever had concentration problems after discontinuing an antidepressant, but asked me for a chance to find a treatment for my situation.

 

He hasn't been paying close enough attention -- inability to concentrate is extremely common in withdrawal. 

 

16 hours ago, TruthSeeker91 said:

So, I have been gradually increasing my dose until 50 mg, once again. I can't say the exact dates, but it happened during the last 10 days.

 

It probably wasn't necessary for you to go back to your full dose, but we know that even partial reinstatement often stops withdrawal symptoms, and that's what it did for you.

 

16 hours ago, TruthSeeker91 said:

In addition, I'm getting emotionally numb, I'm not as excited as before when my favorite songs are played and feel very little when I see a girl I like. This is disturbing.

 

This is a common effect of antidepressants, and that's trade-off you make when you reinstate a full dose. This is why we were suggesting you reinstate at a lower dose.

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 9/23/2023 at 1:06 PM, Altostrata said:

This is a common effect of antidepressants, and that's trade-off you make when you reinstate a full dose. This is why we were suggesting you reinstate at a lower dose.

 

What should I expect next?

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Administrator

I can't predict the future, but you are likely to continue to feel the numbing effects of a full dose.

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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  • Mentor
1 hour ago, TruthSeeker91 said:

 

What should I expect next?

FWIW, I gave a lot of thought to reinstating when I was getting ready to take my family on a major vacation.  I just wanted enough relief from the anxiety so I could make it enjoyable for them.  But I knew from previous reinstatements (2) that the benefits were temporary.  I stayed with my taper and actually enjoyed our vacation quite a bit.  Reinstatement is a very personal decision and very much depends on each person's unique circumstances, which is way I rarely give reinstatement advice.   If you use this period to build up some mental and emotional strength and start working on coping tools, then it would be worth it.  But you should accept the fact reinstatement alone isn't an answer. 

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

Link to comment

I see it was probably not the best decision, but I've read that many of you have had to deal with withdrawal symptoms for years. How can you bear that for such a long period of time? Can you build a life being like this?

 

In my situation, if I’m careful enough, do I have any chance of getting off sertraline with minimum or no symptoms?

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Administrator
On 2/5/2023 at 7:36 AM, Gridley said:

The following link is specifically about tapering Sertraline, including how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need for your own 10% taper.

 

Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)

 

To minimize risk of withdrawal symptoms, we recommend a 10% taper, as described in the above topic about tapering Zoloft.

 

You might consider this, as opposed to your prior methods.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey TruthSeeker91.

Yeah, you do have a pretty good chance of getting off someday with minimal symptoms. 

Waah.......you also had a pretty good chance of being/feeling pretty good if you had stayed put on a lower dosage too.  For a longer time. 

 

There is always the possibility that the longer you stay on these types of medications or the more times you go up and down in dosage of them/or on and off them.......the harder it might be.

 

Maybe it's a belief system that needs changing?  Like if you still over believe in these medications effectiveness?  You can go to MadinAmerica's site or google AD effectiveness to find out that they are not what you maybe thought they were in terms of effectiveness.  Since you started medicating they perhaps have become more of a problem than whatever you sought medication for in the first place.  Back in 2015 for you.  I know that was the case for me.

 

On 9/25/2023 at 10:34 PM, TruthSeeker91 said:

but I've read that many of you have had to deal with withdrawal symptoms for years. How can you bear that for such a long period of time? Can you build a life being like this?

 

What does "being like this" mean?  You still don't feel so great?  What symptoms if you care to share?  Beyond the numbing emotionless you mentioned already.

Are you fairly young?  Like 30 ish?  Worried about running out of time to build your life and achieve all you hope to?

 

I don't even understand that statement above, that I quoted.......other than that again, you seem to have a real belief in drug enhancement or mental illness.  I am happier than ever, and if not happy- fulfilled......despite some heavy struggles and losses.....I really am.

 

Anyway I'm just disappointed.  Gave you all I could.   Let us know when or if you might like to taper.  Or the information is all here now, on your thread, and on site.  It's okay, I'm just saying.........

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays
more, hopefully softer

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, and again finally 5/25/24.  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

I think there's a major misunderstanding.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

What does "being like this" mean?

 

I meant how terrible withdrawal symptoms were before resuming the full dose of sertraline. In my case, it was severe concentration impairment and background anxiety, but I know there are many other symptoms one could have. These few months were bad enough to make me feel completely devastated, I can not even imagine having to bear with that for years.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

Waah.......you also had a pretty good chance of being/feeling pretty good if you had stayed put on a lower dosage too.  For a longer time. 

 

As I have said before, I'm aware that it was probably not the best decision, like most decisions we make when we are overwhelmed by desperation. My life is mostly intellectual, and not being able to do it is crushing.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

Maybe it's a belief system that needs changing?  Like if you still over believe in these medications effectiveness?

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

you seem to have a real belief in drug enhancement or mental illness. 

 

Not at all. I'm sure that antidepressants and other psych drugs are alarmingly overprescribed, that they are not as effective as they are supposed to be, and that they cause more harm than good in the long term. I don't even think psychiatry is a science, strictly speaking, there's no rigorous method to diagnose a mental illness, they are just guessing. In addition, all the evidence suggests that serotonin theory of depression is wrong. They are just playing with our health.

 

To top it off, I know several people who have been on all kind of "psychiatric treatment" for decades, and whose lives are truly miserable.

 

However, for some reason, I feel like I'm dependent to sertraline to feel relatively well. It might be just a placebo or that my brain is completely used to it, since I started from a very young age.

 

I'm here because I agree with most of what you say, actually, I'm glad there's a site like this on the internet. 

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

they perhaps have become more of a problem than whatever you sought medication for in the first place.

 

Indeed, they are a serious problem.

I didn't seek for medication, my parents put me on it when I was a teenager. And I don't blame them, those times were really tough.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

You still don't feel so great?

 

Much better, but not perfect.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

What symptoms if you care to share?

 

I just don't feel optimal in my overall performance. I also have tinnitus, don't know if that's related.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

Are you fairly young?  Like 30 ish?

In my 20's.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

Worried about running out of time to build your life and achieve all you hope to?

I am.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

Anyway I'm just disappointed.

I hope everything is clear now.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

Gave you all I could.

 

I really appreciate it.

 

On 9/28/2023 at 12:56 PM, manymoretodays said:

Let us know when or if you might like to taper.

 

Of course, if it were up to me alone, I would stop them right now, but you know what's happening. I don't want to go through that again, by any stretch of the imagination. I'm also expecting a stressful event in December, and in the coming year, so I'm not sure when it would be ok to start tapering.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi TruthSeeker91,

So you've seen improvement already back at 50 mg?  After just a week, or 2?

On 9/29/2023 at 7:08 PM, TruthSeeker91 said:

I meant how terrible withdrawal symptoms were before resuming the full dose of sertraline. In my case, it was severe concentration impairment and background anxiety, but I know there are many other symptoms one could have. These few months were bad enough to make me feel completely devastated, I can not even imagine having to bear with that for years.

 

On 9/29/2023 at 7:08 PM, TruthSeeker91 said:

As I have said before, I'm aware that it was probably not the best decision, like most decisions we make when we are overwhelmed by desperation. My life is mostly intellectual, and not being able to do it is crushing.

 

So you can do top of your game intellectual now?  I might not be following correctly.  I do know that your expectations will strongly influence your outcomes.  Like for example.......if you just never expected 6.25 mg or 12.5 mg of sertraline to help............well, unlikely that they would.  Do you follow?

And if you only expect that a dose of 50 mg will help, and even then only after 6 full weeks.........well,........ again.

 

And.  With the reinstatement we outlined,  done not immediately on appearance of WD symptoms, again......often it might help or lessen symptoms but not totally erradicate them.  The hope lies in time really too.........that with time, one would fully go back to baseline and best functioning.

Yes, you started young, but also younger brains maybe ARE more resilient- or they do bounce back more quickly than older brains......or nervous systems I should say.  I don't have data.......but I AM very hopeful for you and being able to be off your AD completely some day.

 

"Therapeutic doses" have no real basis in reality.   Often they are determined arbitrarily.  We had a mod who often quoted a drug rep or shared some of what the drug rep had put out there after she left the pharmaceutical industry.  A lot of misleading practices and promotion that they do.  Gwen Olsen, I believe.  I can search further if you are interested.  Anyway.....it wasn't anything real scientific that went into coming up with doses to use.

 

So you are on 50 mg now.  Okay.  It's not a terribly high dosage of sertraline. 

Again, do you feel like you are intellectually back?  If not, at least, if I were you..........I wouldn't go higher thinking it would benefit my intellect, as I don't think it will.  Yet, I do think you'll feel back to where you were and fairly soon.  Be that another month or two........possibly more.  I don't think it's worth further confusion to your nervous system to go up any more, or to go down even anymore right now.  Let it all settle for at least 2 months........I'd even go 6 months if you want........or until next summer even.  And then revisit a tapering plan.  A very gradual one at that.  While maximizing functioning.

 

What's tough, is that perhaps you've learned to rely a lot on the drug, and less on your own coping with lifes ups and downs and struggles.  So my best wisdom tells me to tell you to work on non-drug strategies, with a professional or on your own(many can do that too) and get some good practices going.  You know once you've mastered a tough situation, a stressful situation.........it will begin to build your confidence again too.  I mean if it's truly desperate and you get seriously suicidal.........don't go that alone.........get a professional to help. 

Otherwise yes.........you can and will be able to go drug free or AD free someday.

 

Never stop them, your sertraline.......right now!  No, no, no!  I think you've learned a lot already.  And I am happy to help, when you are ready or readier.  In the meantime.......if you need more information and such.  I'll try and help you find it.  Again, MadInAmerica, very good investigative journalist set up that site, and just cautiously browse there.  The Inner Compass too.  Even without joining, you can look at a lot of the information they have.  I'm hoping sometime in the next year........you'll feel more ready.........and that's fine.  I don't want to push you beyond what you are ready for.  Or what you really want right now.

 

Do know........and this from an older woman..........that there really are no hoops to jump, or ages that you must do such and such by........I mean unless you are female and wish to bear children..........that you have all the time in the world to meet yours and others expectations.  Enjoy the journey and your meaning will come.  I wish I had more, enjoyed my journey while more youthful, and not felt such pressure to conform and do this or that by this or that age........I do.  I'm all good now.........and fairly youthful for my age and definitely through the hardest of tapering and WD.  I don't want you to be on these drugs for decades though.........I just don't.  And you won't have to.

 

Okay.  I hope that helps.  Don't let the others there, on the ground.......the mainstream in other words overly influence you either.  Do your research and reading.......you don't have to go into a rabbit hole in the ground to do that.  Then make your best decisions.  Sounds like you still want freedom from AD's.  Just not now.

 

You are in your 20's!  How wonderful.  Do not carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, not now, not ever.   Hey, at least it's just one AD, not many psychotropic drugs.

 

I'm rooting for you, not only that but counting on you.........my generation fell short in making all those changes we felt were so important.  I mean we did a fair amount, yet never enough.........so I'm also counting on you to better this world for everyone.........even a little bit. 

Keep us updated, like when you do feel back more completely to your previous intellect.  Tinnitus, yes a WD symptom, and also a side effect of many drugs too.

-tinnitus-what-does-all-that-noise-mean/

 

Best TruthSeeker91.  You really are a seeker, aren't you?  That's good!

 

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, and again finally 5/25/24.  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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  • Mentor
11 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

Do know........and this from an older woman..........that there really are no hoops to jump, or ages that you must do such and such by........I mean unless you are female and wish to bear children..........that you have all the time in the world to meet yours and others expectations.  Enjoy the journey and your meaning will come.  I wish I had more, enjoyed my journey while more youthful, and not felt such pressure to conform and do this or that by this or that age........I do.  I'm all good now.........and fairly youthful for my age and definitely through the hardest of tapering and WD.  I don't want you to be on these drugs for decades though.........I just don't.  And you won't have to.

 

Okay.  I hope that helps.  Don't let the others there, on the ground.......the mainstream in other words overly influence you either.  Do your research and reading.......you don't have to go into a rabbit hole in the ground to do that.  Then make your best decisions.  Sounds like you still want freedom from AD's.  Just not now.

 

You are in your 20's!  How wonderful.  Do not carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, not now, not ever.   Hey, at least it's just one AD, not many psychotropic drugs.

This is wise advice, Manymoretodays! @TruthSeeker91, the first thing you need to do is be kind to yourself.  The past is done but the future is up to you. WD and recovery was without a doubt the hardest thing I ever did, but it was worth every second for the life I have now.  I began my WD in my 40's, so there is never a "right time" and its never too late.  It took me three years, but that's nothing compared to a lifetime of being off the meds and knowing I can cope with whatever comes up using the skills I learned.  So many of us have done at all stages of our lives, and you can too if you're willing to recognize and use the strength within yourself.  We're here to help!

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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  • 3 weeks later...

@manymoretodays@mstimc

Thanks for your words. I'm still on my 50 mg dose and I'm not planning to go any higher. I'm not seeing any improvements since the last time I posted, on the contrary, I'm still anxious..., and depressed. It's not as bad as before, but still bothersome. 

Tinnitus doesn't go away, and concentration is still not very good.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Administrator

The last time you posted was 3 weeks ago.

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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3 hours ago, Altostrata said:

The last time you posted was 3 weeks ago.

 I know. I don’t understand the point.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Administrator
On 10/19/2023 at 5:43 PM, TruthSeeker91 said:

I'm not seeing any improvements since the last time I posted

 

The last time you posted was 3 weeks ago. What were your expectations for how you would feel by now?

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
On 10/21/2023 at 2:10 PM, Altostrata said:

The last time you posted was 3 weeks ago. What were your expectations for how you would feel by now?

 

Actually, it has passed 7 weeks since I reinstated sertraline on September 5th, and 5 weeks since I increased my dose to 50 mg. I thought this would be enough time to feel way better.

 

I just feel strange, very strange, like if I was not fully conscious of reality. I'm drowsy all day long, and have a strong impulse to withdraw from everything. I also have ED. I just don't feel wide alive. I don't know what else to do to continue improving, this is so frustrating. I'm seriously considering seeing neurologist, if they can help. Do I have any options left?

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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  • Administrator
On 9/24/2023 at 8:11 PM, Altostrata said:

I can't predict the future, but you are likely to continue to feel the numbing effects of a full dose.

 

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello, today I have better news. I realized that my glasses were very scratched and that was definitely not helping. I was seeing foggy and blurry the entire day, of course! haha.

I got new ones, and I feel better. From time to time, I start to experience the intellectual spark I had before.

 

However, anxiety and depression are still bothersome, particularly after dark and when I consider all the things I have to do.

That's it, at least I'm not getting worse.

June 2015 - June 2015. Desvenlafaxine 50 mg. This drug caused serious unwanted effects, OCD and anxiety.

June 2015 - Jan 2020. Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2020 - Mar 2021. Sertraline 25 mg.

Mar 2021 - Dec 2021. Sertraline 12.5 mg.

Sep 2021 - Discontinued all medications and was "medically discharged".

Dec 2021 - Withdrawal syndrome along with crucial life decision. Anxiety returned.

April 2022 - Symptoms become unbearable.

May 2022 - Jan 2023. Resumed Sertraline 50 mg.

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023. Tapered from 38.5 to 6.25 mg and discontinued.

Sep 5th, 2023. Reinstated. Sertraline 6.25 mg, Sep 9, 2023. Sertraline 12.5 mg

Third week of September. Sertraline 50 mg

 

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