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Gonzo: Sertraline 50mg chaos and withdrawal


Gonzo

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Hello everyone, this is my first post. I want to start by saying that I am very grateful that this site exists, it has helped me and many others a lot to understand more about our subjective experiences with these drugs.

 

I am 27 years old and I think I need help sorting out my sertraline experiences.

 

It all started when I was 19 years old, I had a very bad, intense and emotionally overwhelming quarter life crisis. After a year and a half of being isolated at home, I was involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric ward when I was 20 years old. My treatment with Sertraline began there (see my signature), without informed consent, as usually happens.

 

When I started taking Sertraline I was already very confused and scared, after that period of isolation, so it became even more difficult for me to understand what happened to me. I more or less rebuilt my life for the next few years. I remember that in 2018 I told my psychiatrist when I could stop taking the pills and she told me that I had to take them for the rest of my life (I have had a psychiatric diagnosis of OCD since my involuntary admission).

 

I told her that I wanted to stop because of the side effects or something, she told me to try tappering and give it a try, to see how I was doing without the pills. In the end, after a while, I went back to taking the pills in the same amount as before, 50 mg.

 

Now it's summer 2019, I don't remember much or clearly about that time of my life and those years. I think at some point I started tappering in September or so, but I remember that the last months of 2019, from October to December, I stopped and went back on the pills several times by myself, because I stopped going to my psychiatrist (probably because I didn't trust her and/or felt betrayed after being told I had to take sertraline for the rest of my life, no one told me when I took the pills in February 2017). It was chaotic. I decided not to take them anymore, and I became more emotionally unstable, I think I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but I didn't know then, my psychiatrist just told me very briefly about the "rebound effect".

 

April 2020, it's the COVID-19 lockdown, my anxiety is very high and I don't like how I feel, I feel unstable, so I go back to 50mg again. I was already in bad enough shape, mentally and emotionally. I also lived with my parents and they stressed me a lot.

 

I stayed on that dose until the last days of August 2020, when I stopped taking them cold turkey after 4-5 months of taking the pills.

 

Then in September my withdrawal kicked in. But it kicked harder in the following months and June/summer 2021. This time, at the end of 2020, it also coincided with the end and breakup of a very toxic relationship that I had, which ended very badly for me. I lost control of my emotions and got stuck in a fight and flight stress/trauma response.

 

I think in the last few months of 2021 and the first half of 2022 I also experienced very bad withdrawal waves. Back then, withdrawal was not something that was on my mind, I didn't think about it.

 

In Jan or Feb 2021 I also took Sertraline again, I can't remember if 25mg or 50mg, for a one or two weeks, maybe three but I don't think I reached week three.

 

I also think in 2019 that dose of sertraline didn't work anymore because of how I felt, I was probably experiencing withdrawal before I even quit Cold Turkey and/or tapped.

 

For the next 3 years I have been trying to figure out what happened to me and learning about sertraline effects, side and adverse effects and withdrawal. I'm still recovering from all this chaos, it was too much. For the last year I have been trying to stabilize myself, my mind, and calm my body.

 

My mind is still confused and shocked by the experiences I had, especially since September 2020, I have a hard time remembering many things, emotions and feelings that I had.

 

I would like to hear other people's opinions and advice.

 

 

Thank you for reading.

Edited by Erimus
Replaced 0.50mg with 50mg, and 0.25mg with 25mg

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • Gonzo changed the title to Gonzo: Sertraline 0.50mg chaos and withdrawal
  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Welcome, @Gonzo

 

I don't quite understand your drug history. You probably were taking 25mg to 50mg sertraline?

 

It appears you went off 50mg sertraline abruptly in August 2020?

 

Did you have any unusual symptoms after you went off sertraline in August 2020? How has your symptom pattern changed in the last year?

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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Hi, thanks for replying.

 

I only took 25mg of Sertraline mid Feb 2017 to mid March 2017. But, maybe I also took 25mg in Jan or Feb 2021, I can't remember, if not it was 50mg.

 

Yes, I stopped cold turkey in the last days of August 2020.

 

In the cold turkey withdrawal of August-September 2020 I experienced a very unstable mental and emotional state, very high levels of anxiety, stress, irritability, obsessive thoughts with a girlfriend that I had, maybe even like paranoia with people. It was all very intense. I can't remember much more.

 

Currently I'm still dealing with very high levels of anxiety and sadness. Since Jan-Feb 2021 experienced many different mental and emotional states, waves of anxiety, fear, sadness, shame, guilt, suicide thoughts, high levels of energy... Very chaotic, I can't remember exactly, sorry. The last 2 and half years have been mostly like this.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • Administrator

Do you feel better or worse now than you did a year ago?

 

After August 2020, have you had covid, drunk alcohol, or taken antibiotics or other drugs besides the sertraline in Jan-Feb 2021?

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 don't know if I feel better, sometimes I do, sometimes I feel very hopeless, despair I'd say.

 

I think I didn't have Covid, but I drank alcohol for sure, some days during early 2022 or the summer of 2022 I drank too much.

 

I didn't take antibiotics as far as I can remember back in Jan-Feb 2021, and I did not take any other drug beside Sertraline.

 

I'm trying my best to remember, my memory is pretty foggy.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • Administrator

What we've seen is that drinking alcohol usually sets people back in recovering from withdrawal. It's a wild card. We cannot predict when you will recover. Sorry.

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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Ok, I don't think if I understood you correctly. I usually don't drink alcohol, sometimes I do, like social drinking, but very rarely since 2022, I just had some very bad days in 2022 when I got drunk, like three or four days of getting drunk maybe. Not anymore since them.

 

I also got drunk at 31 Deb 2020 now that I recall.

 

I mean, I don't even know if I'm still in withdrawal or it's just that my life is not going very well at the moment and I'm still dealing with the same problems in my life that when I started taking Sertraline back in 2017. Almost three years has passed since the August 2020 cold turkey withdrawal, so I'm not sure about it.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • Administrator

You don't have to get drunk for alcohol to set you back in withdrawal. You may still be recovering from the alcohol you drank in 2022.

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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Oh. Okay. I didn't know that. Thanks for the info.

 

Could I still be experiencing withdrawal then? How can I know if I am? I have read quite a few of the main posts here about that but I'm not sure about it.

 

As an additional info, the first tappering I did following my psychiatrist guidance was pretty standard, of a few weeks of duration and from 50 to 25, and then 0.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • Administrator

You could still be experiencing protracted withdrawal, but you might have prolonged it with adverse effects from alcohol for a period in 2022.

 

Do your symptoms get better or worse at any particular times of day? What are your most troublesome symptoms now? How's your sleep? 

 

I am sorry your psychiatrist gave you bad advice about tapering sertraline.

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 wouldn't be surprised if I am, these last 3+ years, since the last months of 2019, have been pure chaos, emotionally and mentally. Also socially, in my studies, everything.

 

It's very chaotic, but I think during the night I get a bit more relaxed, just a bit. My worst symptoms are constant and very high anxiety, hypervigilance, an internal tension, physically in my legs and in my mouth muscles, sometimes very hopeless feelings. I also have very annoying earworms most of the day. I feel like if I lost my identity or something. I stay most of the time inside of home nowdays. I sleep 8 hours everyday at least but around all day, I have not a regular sleep during the week.

 

Because of the mental confusion that I experienced I've been journaling a lot about what happened to me these last years, it's been very confusing and chaotic.

 

I feel like if my mind got stuck back in 2016 or 2017, just before I took the pills. I don't know if that's normal. Sometimes I remember things of that time or before, like memories, in waves, but doesn't usually happen, is very rare.

 

Also, one of my most disturbing recent experiences is feeling myself inmersed like in a new reality. Back in May this year I had like a reality crisis, I felt like if I woke up from a coma, and since then, all things are like "unfamiliar" for me, places, people, my own home...

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • Administrator

Do you get drowsy during the day? Do you nap? What is your sleep pattern?

 

What do you do for exercise?

 

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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I think I don't. I'm very anxious most of the day. I sleep some hours during the night, then some hours during the afternoon. That's basically my sleep pattern, but because I feel very depressed and anxious I stay at bed most of the time.

 

I don't excercise at all these days, I hardly leave my house.

 

I may give those a try.

 

Thanks.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • Administrator

Strongly recommend getting at least a half-hour of gentle exercise, such as walking, per day, maybe in the evening when it's cooler. 

 

Sleep is healing. You might want to try some of these techniques to strengthen your sleep:

 

 

What is the sleep cycle?

 

Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing the morning cortisol spike

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Path to Better Sleep FREE online for everyone from the US Veterans Administration

 

Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

White noise devices for sleep

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

 

Light boxes/light therapy for depression and sleep disorders

 

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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Gosh, I think I've been like this for too long now, it's like normal for me.

 

I'll take a look at all those links.

 

Many thanks Altrostata.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

Link to comment

To provide more info about this (and as a withdrawal diary too), because my mind is a bit clearer.

 

(I read here that protracted withdrawal usually lasts 2-3 years, I'm almost 3 years clean)

 

I remembered that at the end of 2021 and 2022 I had very very dark days, very confused, extremely anxious and depressed, I had suicide thoughts at the summer of 2021.

 

During summer of 2022 I had very dark thoughts too. At the start of 2023 I also had very bad and dark weeks, I was emotionally and mentally totally exhausted and confused. July 2023 has been an extremely bad month for me, I lost a lot of hair, probably because huge amounts of stress, that I'm still processing, and I'm having a very bad tinnitus in my left ear.

 

I'm becoming aware of what I experienced those years in which I took Sertraline. I was very very disconnected, from my real emotions and real needs, I was lost in my own life, even if I did some useful things. 2020 was the year when I definitely lost myself, I already started it feeling very lost and overwhelmed (I guess I could be experiencing withdrawal), when at the end of 2019 I was already feeling pretty lost and overwhelmed. I lost myself specially since the withdrawal of 2020 August-September.

 

I think that during the withdrawal of late 2019 and August 2020 my numbed emotions came back abruptly but multiplied for each numbed year. So they were overwhelming, too much for me. But I never came back to the drug, I was ignorant of withdrawal too.

 

During these last 7-8 years I had many issues that I needed to deal in my life, but because I was feeling emotionally numbed and "high" at the same time (hypomanic, I'd say), I didn't care about those issues, so I never addressed them, until very recently.

 

It always suprises me that the "standard" therapeutic those of Sertraline (50mg) could have such an impact in my life, without even realizing it, and without being informed of anything by psychiatrists.

 

I have to remember myself that in my case I didn't really choose to take this drug at the start, and that I never was properly informed.

 

I needed my real emotions, and the pain, to know what to do and what I really needed in my life, but I just couldn't access to them, they were blocked and replaced by a synthetic mood. I think my psychiatrist never asked me or told me about emotional numbing too.

 

I was totally ignorant of the impact that Sertraline had in my life. I lost most of my 20s because of that.

 

I had two big stressors during this whole withdrawal process that made everything worse for me: 1) That toxic, narcissistic relationship that I had in 2020, that ended very badly and mentally and emotionally devastated me. And 2) my dysfunctional, oppressive family that did crazy things to me specially during 2022. I had very bad paranoia during 2022 because of all this nonstop stress.

 

I'm very sure those two events made withdrawal much worse for me and delayed recovery a lot.

 

I hope someone can find utility in my story.

Edited by Erimus
Replaced 0.50mg with 50mg, and 0.25mg with 25mg

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • Administrator

Alcohol and withdrawal syndrome are a bad combination.

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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Sure, I trust you, Altostrata. I wish I had known.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

Link to comment

I'm just remembering that during the first months of this year I was very emotionally sensitive. The same happened to me when the August 2020 withdrawal started, during the first 3-4 months.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Cannot really tell what was going on because of the alcohol use, upset from which can last for months.

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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Ok, a new update.

 

I still feel very anxious, agitated, this inner tension and depressed most of the day, these are my main symptoms these days, together with nonstop earworms and an horrible tinnitus, but my mind is getting a little clearer every passing day and the overwhelming feelings are getting more bearable. Since July I stopped eating well because of stress and my hair started to fall a lot. I'm still loosing too much hair.

 

During my cold turkey withdrawal of August 2020 it's like if my mind got overwhelmed by all the chemically reppressed traumatic emotions from the years I took Sertraline and everything stopped making sense, my whole life, I forgot lots of important things that were hard to remember for me even before the August 2020 withdrawal started, and I got into a new unknown or forgotten reality.

 

I also experienced lots of emotional flashbacks when I stopped taking Sertraline and everything triggered me and very easily, specially social relationships and interactions (I still deal with this issue), I became very irritable and angry, paranoid I'd say, I just felt very oppressed.

 

It was just too much. Pure mental and emotional chaos. I think now that I definitely experienced withdrawal back in the last months of 2019. Sadly, I choosed the worst possible moments to stop taking Sertraline both in 2019 and 2020, because of personal issues that I had back then.

 

I read here that you should not stop treatment in an unsafe environment or during a toxic relationship. I experienced both of those at the same time. It was horrible. I think the additional stress from living in an emotionally unsafe an abusive family environment and having a toxic romantic relationship made everything much more worse for me. I also got drunk once in December 2020 and a few times in 2022 at least, that didn't help either I guess.

 

I became extremely obsessive during the withdrawal too. I think I'm getting less obsessive and do less compulsions overall (which basically is compulsive self-soothing).

 

I just wish I was properly informed. To be honest, I think I didn't even need Sertraline in the first place.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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18 hours ago, Gonzo said:

I read here that you should not stop treatment in an unsafe environment or during a toxic relationship. I experienced both of those at the same time. It was horrible. I think the additional stress from living in an emotionally unsafe an abusive family environment and having a toxic romantic relationship made everything much more worse for me.

Hello Gonzo,

Gosh I am so sorry for your experiences, I really relate to this statement and can empathise with you on how damaging, frightening and painful this all must have been for you at all, let alone in combination with withdrawal. I hope you have more stability and safety in your current circumstances/living arrangements so you can continue to do the best for yourself? 

18 hours ago, Gonzo said:

I just wish I was properly informed. To be honest, I think I didn't even need Sertraline in the first place.

.

 

I hear you. Theres a strange irony Ive felt about ‘us’ who have been afflicted by this experience not having the information to help ourselves in a different way back then or make an informed choice and, due to this as a consequence, becoming more informed and in tune with ourselves/our CNS/our needs/boundaries/how modern medicine affects us than the average person (so it feels anyway). 
 

you will get there and it will be worth it, I am rooting for you
hope and healing
DillyDally
 

 

Fluoxetine 2008. Duloxetine 2009. Pregabalin Nov 2009-June 2010. Chlorpromazine Nov 2009-June 2010. Zolpidem Nov 2009-June 2010. Lorazepam(PRN)1mg Nov 2009-Oct 2012. Quetiapine 150mg Aug-Sept 2010 +75mg May 2012. Zolpiclone 7.5mg 2011-2014. Olanzapine 2010-2011. Citalopram 2012. Trazodone 2012-2016. Lamotrigine 2016-2017. Venlafaxine 150mg 2017. Aripiprozole 25mg Sept 2017-Nov 2017 + 5mg Jan 2018 - Oct 2020 (tapered 0.5mg weekly Oct 2020). Zolpiclone 7.5mg(PRN)2017-Aug 2020. Propranolol 80mg May 2019- August 2020 (tapered 10 days 40 then 7 days 20mg then stop). Buspirone 15mg August 2019-August 2020 (tapered 10 days 10mg then 7 days 5mg then stop). Amitriptyline 10mg 2 week prescription for chronic headache - stopped after two weeks due to severe suicidal ideation Lithium(Priadel) 800mg Dec 2017-July 2021 (tapered 200mg each month). Mirtazapine 45mg Nov 2009-April 2022 (tapered 3 weeks-30mg then 15mg then 15mg every other day 10 days then stop 18th April 2022). Diazepam 5mg(PRN)2011- CT May 2022. No psychiatric medication since. I was tolerating Codeine 15mg 4-6 times a month but no longer tolerating since stopping cannabis. Was smoking 0.80g of cannabis daily/24 hour for many years which I tapered over 6 months and stopped 1st Dec 2023. Paracetamol as needed but seldom works. Peptac as needed

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Many thanks for your words DillyDally, they encourage me to keep going.

 

I really lost my identity these last 7 years, I already had identity disturbances before psychiatry, but after psychiatry I jost lost it.

 

I hope things are going well for you.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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Just now, Gonzo said:

 

I really lost my identity these last 7 years, I had already an ill defined identity, but after psychiatry I jost lost it.

 
I relate to this and I’m sorry you feel that way, it is a whole big journey in itself getting to know who you really are as an adult and in withdrawal it can be even more confusing and, as you said, chaotic.

 

There is a lot of good information and good people on this website, Im glad you are here. It certainly helped me understand so much and feel like I could make more choices for myself, taking ownership of my mental health from here and not feel so powerless, which felt important for me in healing some trauma. I hope it can offer you something similar.

 

I hope this is helpful experience and doesnt feel unsolicited advice but a good way I started to get to know myself, was actually to learn take excellent care of myself, in both body and mind in equal priority. I feel trust and safety is an important foundation of any relationship, with ourselves included, and trusting you can offer yourself unconditional support, care and compassion is a great place start, whatever that looks like for your needs.

 

Fluoxetine 2008. Duloxetine 2009. Pregabalin Nov 2009-June 2010. Chlorpromazine Nov 2009-June 2010. Zolpidem Nov 2009-June 2010. Lorazepam(PRN)1mg Nov 2009-Oct 2012. Quetiapine 150mg Aug-Sept 2010 +75mg May 2012. Zolpiclone 7.5mg 2011-2014. Olanzapine 2010-2011. Citalopram 2012. Trazodone 2012-2016. Lamotrigine 2016-2017. Venlafaxine 150mg 2017. Aripiprozole 25mg Sept 2017-Nov 2017 + 5mg Jan 2018 - Oct 2020 (tapered 0.5mg weekly Oct 2020). Zolpiclone 7.5mg(PRN)2017-Aug 2020. Propranolol 80mg May 2019- August 2020 (tapered 10 days 40 then 7 days 20mg then stop). Buspirone 15mg August 2019-August 2020 (tapered 10 days 10mg then 7 days 5mg then stop). Amitriptyline 10mg 2 week prescription for chronic headache - stopped after two weeks due to severe suicidal ideation Lithium(Priadel) 800mg Dec 2017-July 2021 (tapered 200mg each month). Mirtazapine 45mg Nov 2009-April 2022 (tapered 3 weeks-30mg then 15mg then 15mg every other day 10 days then stop 18th April 2022). Diazepam 5mg(PRN)2011- CT May 2022. No psychiatric medication since. I was tolerating Codeine 15mg 4-6 times a month but no longer tolerating since stopping cannabis. Was smoking 0.80g of cannabis daily/24 hour for many years which I tapered over 6 months and stopped 1st Dec 2023. Paracetamol as needed but seldom works. Peptac as needed

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I appreciate your words DillyDally, your advice is wellcomed.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

Link to comment
  • Administrator
On 8/8/2023 at 3:29 PM, Gonzo said:

my mind is getting a little clearer every passing day and the overwhelming feelings are getting more bearable.

 

This is a good sign.

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 experienced a few short lived windows these days, sometimes lasts a few minutes, others mere seconds. Sometimes the anxiety, depression and fear are very very intense but I'm gaining control over them, a tiny bit. I'm also paranoid most of the day, this is happening with more or less intensity to me since august 2020, but it's also getting a little bit less intense. I also saw a video that a member here posted about a mindbody approach to protracted withdrawal, it made sense to me, I think the concept is related to complex trauma and I understand about that.

 

Because I have more capacity to feel my emotions, now that their intensity overall is a little bit lower, it's easier for me to tolerate and process them, even if I do it very slowly and takes weeks and weeks. These last weeks I've also been remembering lots of things that I totally forgot about, motivations, needs, objectives... In part because I was totally emotionally overwhelmed. My memory is a bit better. I hope I can recover myself and get my life back on track before this year ends.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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One important thing that I remembered just a moments ago, now that I'm reconnecting with many of my lost emotions and memories.

 

I remembered that when I was 19 yo, during the summer of 2015, the alienation and oppression that I had been feeling all my life became unbearable, and I tried to fix that. I gave everything I had, physically and mentally, trying to solve that problem. After one year and half of isolation, I got basically arrested and involuntary commited to a psychiatric ward. I had no choice once there but to comply, to fawn, which is actually a trauma response. I took a psychiatric drug for the first time in my life, Sertraline, it was very low, 25mg, but it was a psychoative chemical substance acting in my brain and body. After I got out of there it was rised up to 50.

 

The thing is, my desperate, human and legitimate need back then was to love and to feel loved, which is of honest human connection.

 

What psychiatry (because it's an oppressive institution in nature) did was just make me disconnect even more from my traumatic need, from my pain, so my alienation and oppression was even bigger and in the end nothing was ever solved. I had a huge but normal and necessary personal, identity, existential, quarter life crisis, and psychiatry just made everything worse. Sertraline and OCD psychiatric diagnosis was its tool.

 

Lots of painful progress and realizations these days.

Edited by Erimus
Replaced 0.50mg with 50mg, and 0.25mg with 25mg

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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Well, I'd say that I'm feeling as I felt back in summer 2015, which is strange because I was 19 and I'm 27 now. But it's a good thing because thanks to reconnecting with my true emotions I'm recovering my personal values too, which I lost in Feb-March 2017, when I was involuntary commited. Now I see what was the purpose of my life, the meaning. Back in the summer of 2015 I felt tired of feeling alienated and oppressed, I had been feeling like that for most of my life, more or less. I tried to understand why I was feeling like that, I gave everything I had in the search for answers. I think I found them, but I'm not going to explain it here, it's not relevant, not yet at least. After one year and half of isolation, I was involuntary commited, as I already said, and forced to take Sertraline (in my case, I see Sertraline as a tool to force me to fawn, which is a trauma/stress response, to comply, to submiss). And I disconnected from my real emotions, as a consequence of that, I also disconnected from my oppression and alienation feelings. Now I see that feeling oppressed was what gave meaning to my personal values. When I stopped feeling oppressed I lost the meaning of my life and everything stopped making sense for me and I was lost in my own life. The meaning of my life was to fight against that oppression, for my personal dignity. I was actually very oppressed, in my family, among other social environments, psychiatry being one of them.

 

I still feel a lot of anxiety and depression, but I feel more energic. I know better what to do, what I need and what to do to feel better. It hurts me so badly that I lost 8 years of my life, but it could be worse.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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Looks like I'm finally feeling better after almost three years of withdrawal. The next time I post something it will be a recovery story.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

Link to comment

Feeling stronger and more hopeful after a long time feeling very very bad (the last 2+ years). My mind is much more clear, I'm recovering my cognitive/intelectual sharpness and feeling again many emotions that were reppressed or covered by other very intense negative emotions. I have a little bit of inner peace too. I feel like I'm recovering old personal values and beliefs that I forgot about when I disconnected from the emotional reality of my life, so everything is starting to really make sense. I made a huge mental effort for the last 2+ years to get to this point and understand all what happened to me for the last 8 years. I'm a few days from the 3 years mark since my August 2020 withdrawal started. I actually think that my withdrawal started in the last months of 2019, and that it became more bearable when I resumed Sertraline in April 2020, maybe not, I don't know, 2020 was an awful year for me psychologically speaking. I see very clearly now that Sertraline numbed my emotional intensity. This emotional intensity was and still is a huge part of my personal identity, and it was gone with Sertraline, so many of my personal values, ideas and beliefs stopped making sense. I'm recovering this intensity, and everything is starting to make sense again, so I feel more like myself. I have lots of waves and windows these days. I'm feeling now how I felt when I was 19 years old, it's like time travelling. I also see that during withdrawal, all my reppressed emotional intensity, and repressed traumatic emotions and needs came back screaming, it was totally overwhelming, they took control of my life basically.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wanted to make this post to document what is happening to me, in case someone else is having the same experience and looking for validation.

 

Here is my experience with Sertraline and withdrawal:

I hit the three year mark a few days ago, and I would say my withdrawal is pretty much over, because I feel like I did before taking Sertraline, in the summer and late 2015, 2016, and through January and February of 2017. This year and I isolated myself from the rest of the world, then I was involuntarily committed for a month to a psychiatric ward (arrested and encarcelated, basically), that's when I started taking Sertraline, under coerccion.

 

 

Now I understand what was happening to me, something that was not possible for me before, being chemically disconnected from the emotional reality of my life, which has always been terrifying, unfortunately. I have been feeling this terror for as long as I can remember, so in 2015 I really wanted to understand that feeling and heal myself emotionally. It didn't end well.

 

I spent the next 3+ years of my life emotionally numbed and disconnected from that terror, but I never got over it, it was just there, waiting to come back. And when my withdrawal started it came back, stronger than ever, totally overwhelming me, completely unprepared to face it, with my mental defenses dimished.

 

So at this point, after doing heavy work on my trauma, learning a lot of psychology, a much, much better understanding of my life and emotional issues, and more bearable difficult feelings (because they are less intense after 2+ years of withdrawal or/and because I'm better prepared to handle them), I feel exactly as I did back in that summer of 2015, when I decided that I wanted to heal all of this and get over this terror thing (which I believe is rooted in very early childhood trauma).

 

Why do I feel now like I did when I was 19-20 even though I'm 27 now? Exactly as if I were reliving that time of my life. It's really weird. I think it's because it's the last time I was in touch with the emotional reality of my life, with my true emotions, my true needs and my true identity, something that Sertraline made me disconnect from.

 

It's very unsettling at times, but I'm hopeful because I feel like I'm getting back on track, reconnecting with myself, at last.

 

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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  • Gonzo changed the title to Gonzo: Going back in time feeling during/after Sertraline withdrawal

I think my withdrawal is over or pretty much over, I don't find my current issues strongly related to Sertraline anymore, but I could be wrong, and my mind is pretty clear now. I think they're just the emotional and personal issues that I always had in my life before I took Sertraline and disconnecting from the emotional reality of my life, which I'm finally reconnecting with after 6+ years of Sertraline use and withdrawal. Some days ago I hit the three year mark so I could say the 2-3 year timeline of PAWS is correct in this case.

 

I'm not recovered tho, I'm just at the starting point again. I have to rebuild my life all over again, being 27 years old. Psychiatry really made me lost precious years of my life.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

Link to comment

I don't know why I can't edit my last message. There is only one physical symptom that I think is related to my withdrawal and is tinnitus. It has been strong for the last months and it hasn't go away.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

Link to comment
  • Moderator
14 hours ago, Gonzo said:

I don't know why I can't edit my last message. There is only one physical symptom that I think is related to my withdrawal and is tinnitus. It has been strong for the last months and it hasn't go away.

 

Hi Gonzo,

 

You created a new thread which I have merged here. Please keep all of your questions in your one introductory thread.

 

Thanks,

 

Firefly

 

Pre- October 2022: Wellbutrin, Escitalopram, CitalopramSertraline, Adderall IR, Vyvanse, Propranolol, Buspar, Ativan, and Latuda

Oct 13, 2022 - Oct 24, 2022 and Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Zyprexa (2.5 mg). Jan 14, 2023 -> Began transition to liquid suspension. Jan 29, 2023 = 2.375mg -> Feb 12, 2023 = 2.25mg -> Feb 27, 2023 = 2.14mg -> Mar 12, 2023 = 2.025mg -> Mar 27, 2023 = 1.93mg -> Apr 10, 2023 = 1.82mg -> Apr 23, 2023 = 1.74mg -> May 7, 2023 = 1.64mg -> May 21, 2023 = 1.56mg -> June 4, 2023 = 1.48mg -> June 19, 2023 = 1.4mg -> July 2, 2023 = 1.33mg -> July 16, 2023 = 1.26mg -> July 31, 2023 = 1.2mg -> Aug 13, 2023 = 1.14mg -> Aug 27, 2023 = 1.08mg -> Sep 13, 2023 = 1.02mg -> Jan 22, 2024 = 0.97mg -> Feb 4, 2024 = 0.92mg -> Feb 19, 2024 = 0.87mg -> Mar 3, 2024 = 0.83mg -> Mar 17, 2024 = 0.78mg -> Mar 31, 2024 = 0.74mg -> Apr 14, 2024 = 0.7mg -> Apr 28, 2024 = 0.66mg -> May 12, 2024 = 0.63mg -> May 27, 2024 = 0.6mg

Oct 14, 2022 - Present: Prozac (40mg) upped from 20mg on Nov 1, 2022.

Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Gabapentin (300mg 3x day) -> May 3, 2023 = 300mg 2x day -> Oct 1, 2023 = 570mg -> Oct 15, 2023 = 540mg -> Oct 29, 2023 = 510mg -> Nov 13, 2023 = 484mg -> Nov 27, 2023 = 460mg -> Dec 9, 2023 = 436mg -> Dec 24, 2023 = 414mg -> Jan 7, 2024 = 400mg

 

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Okay, I thought it was relevant to make it to separately but ok. I'll do that. Thanks.

Mid Feb 2017 - Mid March 2017 0.25mg Sertraline

March 2017 - last months of 2019 0.50mg Sertraline

Last months of 2019 - tappering, cold turkey and reinstating multiple times, decided to not take it any longer (suffering unknown withdrawal)

April 2020 - end August 2020 - 0.50mg again, stopped cold turkey

Jan/Feb 2021 (Can't remember exactly) - 0.25mg or 0.50mg Sertraline for 1-3 weeks max

0.00mg since August 2020

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