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  1. I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder in 2002. Since then, I've been essentially maxed-out on my Wellbutrin dose (450 mg/day) and have had some supplemental SSRI treatment with Prozac, Zoloft and other psychotropic meds like Lamictal, Ambien, and Provigil (guess who was working a night shift!) I decided to cut off the Zoloft (which was supposed to help with severe PMS) after a pretty acute manic episode in December that scared the hell out of me. I realized that I'd just had medication thrown at me for 15 years, since I was a sophomore in college. I'd always trusted the "adults" who told me I should take the meds - but should SAD be treated with such a heavy hand? It seemed like I was being grossly overmedicated. Of course, I take some responsibility for this. I've moved from place to place during the past 15 years and haven't maintained good continuity of care between providers. This means that my health info largely fell through the cracks - and it led to physicians simply carrying on with the initial diagnosis and prescription, which became woefully outdated. Piling on more and more psychotropic medication didn't help. Now, I'm done tapering off of sertraline, though it's been a painful process. I've decided to stop taking the Wellbutrin to see what I'm like off of the drugs. So far, after about a month, I'm making good progress. I feel more focused, clear-headed, and generally happier with the help of a proficient counselor. Looking forward to using this support network.
  2. Hi everyone, I started taking 25mg Sertraline roughly four weeks ago and pretty soon decided it wasn't the right thing. I took 25mg for a week, then 25mg every other day for the next two weeks and have taken 25mg every three days for the last week. Can anyone recommend if I should now just stop, or should I get a liquid so I can drop down further and more consistently? There haven’t been any major WD symptoms so far but the first week of taking it I experienced sleep disturbance and extreme agitation/palpitations, which has got better since I started tapering it. My feeling is adding it to the Mirtazapine is not a good idea despite the doctor’s advice to try it for my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms (they’ll never admit drugs might be part of the problem..). I'm really nervous, even about a short term taper, as in hindsight I believe the Mirtazapine taper I did between Nov 2015 and Aug 2016 (45mg to 33mg), then reinstating 45mg, has resulted in a hypersensitive nervous system. I'm also starting to suspect the CFS is partly caused by long term AD use (8 years on Sertraline before changing to Mirtazapine). I want to get off all this stuff one day! Me and my battered nervous system very much appreciate any comments/advice!
  3. Hi everybody! In my late teens started Citalopram 20 mg. It helped me. But what I really would have needed then was therapy - which I thankfully receive now, 17 years later. About half a year after starting Citalopram I quit it, quick taper. Endured WD-symptoms. Had to go back to Citalopram maybe a couple of months later because of recurring depression. Doc later change my med to Sertraline 50 mg because of sexual side effects. Of course this didn't help. I resigned to the fact that there was a "chemical imbalance" in my brain..... From then on I've tried tapering several times! Slowest tapering was three months. But still the depression recurred 1-3 months after each tapering attempt. I've experienced mild WD-symptoms with slow tapering. In 2008 I started having restless legs. It eventually became really debilitating. I started taking Sifrol, a dopamine agonist. Which helped but I had some side effects. I changed both meds to Wellbutrin 150 mg 2 yrs ago. Wellbutrin alleviates restless legs - it is in part a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor. Supposed to be antidepressive so I thought I could manage with only one pill. I felt well in 3 months, then became depressed, increased to 300 mg, after 3 months more I had to add Sertraline 25 mg, after another 3 months Sertraline 50 mg. From then on my depression was in remission but I started having memory problems, problems focusing, problems with planning and organizing things. I had palpitations, tremor. Eventually I was totally burned out. This was a year a go and since then I'm on sick leave. Lowered Wellbutrin to 150 mg this spring, palpitations almost diminished, still experiencing some tremor. My fatigue worsened - my doc saw this as a worsening of the depression so the Sertraline was increased to 75 mg. 3 months later to 100 mg. And now - I'm still tired, but my mood is better. I feel that my memory problems have worsened a bit. At least they are not better! I'm afraid the cognitive impairments are due to my meds, especially Wellbutrin. I've lowered Sertraline to 87,5 mg a month ago. Wellbutrin to 37,5 mg x 3 4 days a go. Feeling ok! I want to be totally med free - I've wanted that so long and have always had a creepy feeling that the meds are messing up my brain! One doctor told me I have to eat these pills for the rest of my life but I refuse to believe him. I'm planning on tapering much more slowly now. I think my depression recurred so many times because of too quick tapering. The restess legs is a side effect of Sertraline. I guess the the fatigue and the yawning that I've become so accustomed to also are side effects. I often find it difficult to have an opinion, of what to choose, of what to decide. I wasn't like that in my childhood I've been told. I want to find myself again. And I'm so glad I've found this forum because you guys give me hope!
  4. Hello I am 56 year old male, panic sufferer since age 10. I tried cognitive therapies in my 30's and 40's but was almost agoraphobic in the 90's. Had an alcoholic dad who liked to drive fast and crazy (as well as drunk) and I developed an anxiety related to car trips. Avoided anything but a small area of roads that were in my safe zone. Wife and kids wanted to go on vacations and such, and I finally succumbed to SSRI's prescribed by a psychiatrist. Paxil. It worked, as I was able to travel, but I had many unpleasant side effects. It made me somewhat reckless and brought out a gambling mentality heretofore never a part of my personality. Later he put me on Lexapro, with less of some side effects, but more of new ones. I tried weaning a few times in there but the anxiety would re appear and make it difficult to function as in driving to vacation, or flying somewhere on a plane. So I picked up the crutch again each time. Met a really interesting person at a civic club--an acupuncturist. She explained the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach to wellness, and I decided to give it a try. That was April 2016. She immediately started me on Floradix for my extreme blood deficiency, as well as acupuncture treatments. I began to heal. It has been amazing. I may not be typical, but my sleep apnea disappeared, as well as arthritic back pain, TMJ, and a host of other annoyances. She has earned my trust and my eternal gratitude.. We discussed my anxiety problems and she recommended I heal from the blood deficiency before trying to wean Zoloft. She also told me to speak to my PCP about it. Yesterday he agreed to let me try it by reducing to 50mg immediately. I knew better than to go that fast. Acupuncturist said to drop to 75mg and stay there until no symptoms. I started today! I am so excited (and a little scared)!! I really want to be free of it and learn to manage my anxiety with non prescription methods. I will continue acupuncture and Floradix--as well as B12 1000mg Sublingual lozenges-and some Magnesium too. Let the journey begin!!
  5. Hi everyone. I'm glad I found a place that I can fit right in with. I need some help figuring out if my symptoms are the result of zoloft. For starters, I've taken zoloft for over 10 yrs, afair. Years ago I went cold turkey with it for a year maybe, then went right back on it (100mg). I had panic attacks, headaches, extreme chest pain, and dizziness for a few weeks. So I've continued to take this consistently until now. I just started getting very unmotivated to take it. Maybe in the past 2 months I started taking it very irregularly for maybe a month. Maybe once every 5-6 days, until I would start feeling brain zaps. Then I took one after a three day span twice in a row. Then I moved to every other day until last week when I started getting symptoms. Symptoms include lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, some diarrhea-like, headaches, some shakes, anxiety, burning mouth/tongue(when I eat some foods) and numbness in my foot. I would get lightheaded and nauseated almost instantly when I ate or drank. I ate a 2 cookies at one point that made me lightheaded and nauseous as well as shake, But then 2 days later had 3 cookies with no problems. As for today, I woke up and quickly got lightheaded and nauseated, ate breakfast which helped a lot, but most of my foot is now numb with little feeling. I really hope these are from withdrawal and not some other yet diagnosed condition(like diabetes-last time I got a blood test was a yr or 2 ago and everything was ok). The nausea is almost gone, still a little lightheaded(sometimes it gets bad), my stool today looked(marginally) better. I'm really mostly concerned about my numb foot. Sometimes its not so bad, other times it is. So I guess my questions are: Would my irregular zoloft schedule cause problems like this? Will the numbness in my leg go away eventually?
  6. Hi everyone! So, I'm a few years late in realizing that PP closed down. I found this forum tonight after I'd googled the name of a new supplement I want to try, then saw it might be beneficial for SSRI withdrawal, and got super curious about how PP was doing. And I found it was dead...but, in a way, seemingly resurrected. Hi altostrata! I remember you! Anyway, I withdrew from 10 mg of Paxil back in 2008-2009 and was in one of the documentaries about it. Since then, I've (unfortunately) managed to find myself on citalopram, then prozac (for, like, a minute), then zoloft. I had a baby last year and took Zoloft throughout the whole pregnancy -- 200 mg to boot. I'm not thrilled about it. I'm not ready to withdraw at this point, but I'd love to reduce my dosage if there's new research/thinking on what might make withdrawal symptoms less severe. Now that DNA testing is a thing, I'm all into that and have done the Nutrahacker thing to see my variants and (try to) understand what they mean. I had a great p-doc who unfortunately moved out of the area...she's the one who really got me interested into analyzing my genetic data for clues to my anxiety and panic disorder. I'm sort of fascinated with the whole methylation cycle thing and am playing around with supplements to see where I land. So! Here I am. Hi!
  7. Hello, I have been reading this site for months and months, and just decided to join, sadly too late. I wish I had found this info sooner, as I would not be dealing with what I am dealing with now. I have some very specific questions, as my history is a bit complex, and cant find any topics to relate to. I am almost 8 weeks into my 25mg reinstatement of Zoloft, after a too fast taper from 100mg which I took for a year, tapered to zero last december. Back then I went through the classic acute symptoms, severe fatique, brain zaps, brain fog, tinnitus, eye pressure, weight loss.etc. Then I was taking prozac 20mg on an as needed basis. Which helped at times, I was able to work and get through the day, but then things went bad this past May. I was debilitated (anxiety like I have never in a million years knew existed, insomnia, night sweats, intrusive thoughts) and out of work for 2 weeks. Thats when I realized I should go back on the Zoloft, which is what originally sent me into w/d syndrome (I thiink). Slowly began to stabalize mentaly, but been having bizarre symptoms like near hypo glycemic events, but my sugar isnt low (i check it) and constant empty feeling in my stomach, like hunger, but I dont want to eat. I have had several awesome days (besides the empty/hungry/anxious/ gut feeling), sharp as a tack days and overall my mood has been good and not too much anxiety. Today was my worst day yet. I had a muffin, which I had cut out sugary carbs, and things went bad. Burning in my face and scalp and super anxious feeling. Had 2 bad shaky events (low sugar feeling) in one day, which hasnt happened yet. My question is, has anyone had this (low blood sugar feeling) how long does it last, and could I have reinstated too much zoloft as I have never had this before. Sugar def is a huge trigger for me I have noticed. Am I still having w/d sydrome even tho I reinstated? Should I go up in dose, ride it out, or go down? Are windows and waves normal after reinstatement?
  8. Hey there My name is Tyler I am 27 years old. I have been off zoloft now for almost 8 years and still suffer greatly. I started taking zoloft when I was 19 years old at 25mg every day for exactly 1 year time. I was prescribed it for night panic attacks aka anxiety disorder. Before zoloft I could only have Panic Attacks at night which started around 7:30pm. My friends would always laugh and say I was cursed and sadly I started to believe them. I want to make it very clear before zoloft I had no depression or chronic fatigue at all. I was the most brilliant ,energy filled person in the world.At the urgent request from my mother she begged me to get help for my attacks as she didn't like to see me suffer and vomit from my panic attacks at night. Against my better judgement I started taking zoloft when I was 19 at 25 mg. While on the drug it made me feel like a complete zombie and void off all sexual and emotional content. Out of anger from feeling like a complete zombie I stopped taking zoloft cold turkey one year later. That is when complete hell started and where my life may have started to end from that day forward. After stopping cold turkey I was bed ridden with flu like symptoms and electric shocks in the brain which laster roughly 6 weeks. My parents told me that I turned green and almost looked as if I had a stroke. However being so young it was so unlikely that it could happen the doctor would not help me. The next 2 years I went into what felt like complete withdrawl from life and began to dissociate from reality. It was like I was spinning in my head and nothing seemed real, I would completely freak out because I could not tell if I was awake or asleep. I began to have many suicidal thoughts which never seemed to go away. I began also having impulsive thoughts of anger and violence which never was like me at all. I got through the worst which took almost 3 years but it still didn't stop there. I began to experience such chronic fatigue that I didn't have the energy to even move it felt like. I wake up every day feeling dizzy and tired as if I am mentally cut in half with no imagination and huge memory loss problems. It's been 8 years now and I still have not recovered, I wake up feeling the same thing. I feel like I am asleep standing up with no ability to focus. I feel as if my head is completely numb physcially and mentally. I have suicial thoughts daily which I battle to fight back which I don't know why because I don't have much of a life. One of the main things I notice is neck tightness and muscle twitches as if I am developing a movement disease. I still find the strength everyday to get up and try to have a life. Even though I feel 50% slower and that any day could be my last. My question to this community is could going back on zoloft and doing a slow taper give me the recovery I seek? I read a lot about serotonin deficiency and it seems I match 100% of the symptoms of that. Thanks for the read and taking the time to send any advice, it's greatly appreciated.
  9. I’m looking for wisdom…It’s about my mother that was put on psychiatric drugs as everyone else on this forum, it started about 13 years ago, for few months she was taking the meds then she quits them cold turkey (no one advised about withdrawal) 10 - 14 months later when she felt same symptoms she was put again on meds and so on. At the begin she had a depression during the menopause and she felt great on those meds. Every time she was put on meds she felt the side effects of them but doctors dismiss them saying she is sick. When she cold turkey the meds she was feeling great Now reading through this site I realize that probably protracted withdrawal she was suffering of. Usually she was put in hospital when a new crisis erupted. I do not have the list of all meds she was taken during this time but it includes: venlafaxine, trazodone and for few weeks after coming from hospital zolpidem (ambien) and carbamazepin (tegratol) About 4 years ago (beginning of 2012) the hell broke loose and since she feels really bad. She had high blood pressure along with headaches, insomnia and other symptoms associated with withdrawal so she started again with venlafaxine 75 mg, trazodone 150 mg, carbamazepin 200 mg and zolpidem. She felt horrible while on meds but again doctors dismissed all symptoms as possible side effects or withdrawal symptoms. She did not feel well and in may 2012 she had venlafaxine 75 mg replaced with zoloft 50 mg. Now looking back I realized it was a big mistake but she was feeling so horrible (physical symptoms) she did not realized zoloft amplified muscle tensions. Eventually in the summer 2012 she cold turkey carbamazepin and cut trazodone to 50 mg with horrific symptoms (I did not know anything about withdrawal) . She has tried various supplements but none helped at most they made the situation even bad. Anyway about 2.5 years I’ve found this web site and start reading it and I realized she is suffering protracted withdrawal along with meds’ side effects. We had to stop using Omega 3 oil and Mg as both seem to activate. Now I can tell she is suffering side effects from zoloft (morning doze) and trazodone (evening doze) cause she feels bad starting 2 hours after zoloft doze and very bad in the second part of the day. She is so sensitive that any attempts to reduce any of the meds puts her in withdrawal. She is taking zoloft in liquid form following instructions on this web site while trazodone is cut dry using an analytical balance. I feel cutting dry trazodone also add some issues as my balance is not that great I know we have to taper the meds as it’s the only way to reduce the side effects but the last attempt of reducing zoloft with 0,05 mg went wrong. About 22 days ago we have reduced by 0,01 mg the zoloft and till now it seems good Currently she’s taking 43,3 mg of zoloft, 46 mg of trazodone and about 0.86 mg prestarium (prescribed for high blood pressure) She has headache (most likely tension headache) all the day long but in the second part of the day the muscle tension is so bad she has to sit down in bed, she feels pressure on abdominal area, muscle tension on both foot and head Other symptoms: tinnitus, she feels having the skin on the back burning; high blood pressure and insomnia during acute withdrawal periods PS: I will add a signature
  10. hello. first point to note: in 2001-2003 I was on effexor and weaning off that; counting beads, insomnia, paranoia, the shakes and brain zaps.... I still remember it all to this day. I swore I'd never go on an antidepressant again. wish I would have stuck to that. I'm a depressive personality to begin with, I'm hard on myself, a perfectionist. external life events get to me more than they should be allowed. I live in my head and it never sleeps. except when it's on an AD. well, even then I'm a mild version of myself (just dulled). So in May 2012, I began zoloft 1 month after the birth of my 2nd child. (my 1st was merely 19 months). a bit of it was baby blues/depression but the majority I believe was/is ocd. I had gotten it in my head I was in love with my ob doc (who had delivered both of my children and up until the day he delivered #2 I'd had none of these thoughts) and I was doing really stupid stuff (in addition to thinking about him all the time and dreaming of what I wished and hoped could be, I was driving past his house a few times a week, trying to learn which car was his in the doc parking lot - so I could leave an anonymous note on his car -I guess to satiate my desire but not really risk too much. but then I started thinking about doing things of risk (saying something at a next appointment, etc.) And that was enough, I needed to find a way to stop my brain. (there were a couple other things, family of origin issues and feeling overwhelmed with my almost 2 year old starting to need more consistent disciplining, etc.but those didn't... ?scare? me like the doc piece did. I couldn't stop my brain from ruminating on it all, so I did my research on Google like any normal person would- HA! and decided it was time to let some meds work on my brain. they worked. got off the doc crazy train (changed to a different ob in the office) and well, started living the somewhat dumbed down life of a person on ADs (and by that I mean, no emotion or thought or action or anything straying too far from the equilibrium line ADs create). obviously my person still had struggles over the last 3 years and life didn't magically become perfect but it was a bit more managable, I guess, or I just didn't care, maybe? I don't know. i tried to wean myself in the fall of 2013, unsuccessful due to withdraw symptoms being unbearable. talked with my (new) ob near the end of 2014 about weaning and agreed I should try again after winter blues were no longer a concern. why did I want to wean? 30 pounds!!! feeling like I should/could/wanted to handle life without this mind altering drug. a very hard thing for someone with ocd (I'm merely self diagnosed-never been treated for this by any means) to not be clear on "is this me or the drug thinking/feeling/saying this? " just want to be free of that barrier. let alone it just doesn't seem like being on a very effective drug like that can be great for organs/body/health in the long run. damn the fact that it does help to a degree. So, Feb. 2015 i went from 100mg a day down to 50mg a day. stayed there until March 25, then cut down to 25mg a day until May 7th - last pill!!!! I realize I could have cut 25mg in half or shaved.... but it got to a point where I just wanted to be done. bring on the withdraw let's face it and fight it and be done. I'm 3 weeks, 3 days with zoloft. 1 week out was horrible. paranoia, vertigo, brain zaps, confusion, insomnia, impatient, short fuse, the list goes on. 2 weeks out a smidge better but all the symptoms still there. 3 weeks out and I do believe those symptoms I listed are alleviating - not gone by any means but the brain zaps don't stop me in my tracks now (and it occurs to me as I write this, maybe I'm just getting use to them, not that they are getting better?!?! no, I really think they are happening less and not as powerful). I think I can feel the light at the end of the tunnel... with those symptoms. however, the symptoms that have bothered me the most since 3 days post last pill are my rage and anger. I have practically no patience, super short fuse, and have yelled/talked from a place of anger more in the last 21 days than quite possibly the last 3 years. my babies are 3 and almost 5 and I hate the mother they have right now, she is not what they were living with - I wasn't the picture of patience and all things happy on ADs but it definitely took my edge off. so I just keep wondering, is this just a withdrawal symptom that will level off over time (if I'm not just creating horrible habits that will also need to be broken)... or is this ME. the me my family gets if I choose to refuse ADs? is it unrealistic to think my person can live a somewhat normal life without ADs? I've cried more in the last 3 weeks then I have in 3 years (just as I'm crying over things that don't really deserve tears now, there were definitely times tears should have been shed over those 3 years that I just didn't FEEL it. I've joined a gym determined to get some semblance of my figure back. and I love knowing a drug isn't rushing though my body/brain anymore. however, yelling/raging at my children, damaging my marriage and returning to a bit more serious ocd tendancies (finding it hard to eat off of metal utensils, paranoid of allergens/spores/the smell of outside, turning away from God and obsessing about overhauling my life - making drastic changes, moving far away, divorce, cutting out family who've continually hurt me, etc.) NONE of this is new since quiting zoloft, just while on zoloft I would think it briefly, not really feel much from my thought and let it go, until it pooped up again and repeat cycle. so does that mean zoloft living is better or I was in a muted state and not living!?!? lastly, I'm in touch with a counselor (employee assistance program)and I'll get 5 sessions, after that I can't afford counseling. but I have years of out patient, self-initiated counseling under my belt and am not confident 5 sessions will really help me determine what I need to know... is it just not possible for me to live comfortably and happily without ADs? so I have to resign to using when I then have to question based on everything I've just written above, what IS real? me on ADs,or everything I think, feel or want not on ADs?! thoughts?
  11. Hello guys! I have always been an extremely positive person with a wonderful outlook on life. However, I've had problems with social anxiety for about 3 years. My SA definitely wasn't severe, I would say it was mild to moderate, I would only experience it in certain situations. However, it would bring me down occasionally so I decided to seek help. My GP prescribed me with 50 mg of generic Sertraline. I took my first 50mg pill on September 1st, 2016 and felt just as usual except for hand trembling and quite lifted energy levels. I took another pills on September 2nd and this is when the hell started. I suddenly woke up at 6am in the morning feeling weird. After a few seconds I started experiencing my first ever panic attack. It was really intense and really severe. I could not breathe, eat, drink and I could not calm myself down no matter what. It took 2 hours for the panic attack to subside. I decided to not take any pills, thinking my panic attacks would stop. Oh, how wrong I was. I had another panic attack in the evening, which started at 10pm and continued till 4am. I had one Xanax pill so I took that one and my panic attack subsided just a little. Somehow I managed to fall asleep, but I woke up 2 hours later having a panic attack AGAIN. I went to the hospital, where they did some tests. My heart was totally fine so they just sent me home. I went back home, slept for another 2 hours and went to my friends house to relax a bit. I felt extremely anxious and experienced hot flushes 24/7. At 8pm I had a full on panic attack again, my friends called the ambulance as I was hysterically crying on the bed feeling like I was about to die or kill myself. I ended up in a psych ward, where I experienced panic attacks every morning and every night. No one believed me when I said I had never felt suicidal or experienced panic attacks before taking Sertraline and OF COURSE no one believed me. They actually insisted on me taking Sertraline again, which I refused as taking Sertraline in the first place was the biggest mistake of my life. Surprisingly, the panic attacks have suddenly ended on September 8th and I was stupid enough to think that was the end to my suffering. Hell no. Severe depressive episode had followed. The things Ive experienced to this date - depression, anxiety, DR, DP, paranoia, anger, irritability, crying spells, apettite loss hot flushes, extreme trembling, inner trembling, jitteriness, suicidal thoughts, self harm thoughts, migraine headaches, fatigue, dizziness, mental impairment, insomnia, vivid weird dreams, sensitivity to light and sound etc. I felt like I was going crazy. Taking any supplements would send my anxiety to the roof. Symptoms would rapidly come, go away and come back again. Depression and anxiety are still here. I get some mild episodes of DR and DP. My insomnia got better, but it is still here as well.I have almost committed myself to a mental hospital three times. The symptom I am most worried about is tinnitus. I do not even know if it is somehow related to this adverse reaction. I developed my tinnitus on November 1st, 2016. At first it was almost unnoticeable until I had a migraine headache on November 4th, which made my tinnitus 3 times worse. It is not severe, but I am quite mentally unstable at the moment and it really brings me down. I have not exposed myself to unusually loud music or anything. Tinnitus seems to be quite a common symptoms for those in a benzo withdrawal, but I have not really heard anything about antidepressants. Mine sounds more like a metallic hiss in my head and is usually quiet in the morning. All I want is for this pain to go away. I hate myself for taking those tablets as I was absolutely fine without them. I used to be so happy. Great relationship with my parents, tons of close friends, partying, travelling, career prospects. I had so many plans but my life seems to be ruined and I am only 20 years old. I will never forgive myself. Have a peaceful day.
  12. Thank you for this wonderful website! I have already learnt so much and at least now feel like I'm not the only one going through this horrid experience! I just wish I'd known about this website before I quit the Zoloft... I have been on 100mg Zoloft for several years (at least 10). About 2 months ago I decided that it was time to get off the anti-depressants. I have recently (over the last few months) had several skin conditions as well as swollen hands and painful joints and the Drs have been unable to find a reason for this. Originally they thought it might be an allergic reaction to Wellbutrin which I had just started. To cut a long story short, blood tests showed no signs of allergic reactions, auto-immune diseases or anything else... I started seeing a homeopath and although he didn't blame it on the meds, he did say that sometimes something just pushes something in the body over the edge and then the body will react in weird and wonderful ways. I then decided that my body has now had enough! I tapered off the Zoloft as suggested by the package insert (over a couple of weeks - from 100mg to zero) Approx 6-8 weeks. I have now been off the Zoloft completely for approximately 3 weeks and it's pretty awful! I get brain zaps, I'm unbelievably tired, don't sleep well (very restless sleep), am incredibly irritable and I cry for no reason at all. I feel totally overwhelmed by things that I should be able to handle. My memory and concentration is far from what it should be. No sex drive. Basically I just want to be left alone. Any suggestions for re-instating? I am just so fed-up with feeling like this. And I feel so quilty towards my husband and 2 children. I'm quite sure I'm not the nicest person to be around at the moment. Any help or suggestions would be highly appreciated!
  13. Hi my name is Luke last July I attempted to come of my antidepressant (sertraline 100mg) medication after 5 and a bit years use as I worried I was developing a movement disorder. due to being really restless when trying to keep still. I seemed to do well of off it for 7 weeks until all a sudden near the 8 week mark I started getting really bad muscle twitches, lost my ability to think and remember things, lost my ability to orgasm and get an erection, couldn't sleep it was so scary. to cut a long story short I got taken in to hospital after trying to get my self to jump of a multi-storey car park. I reinstated to 50 mg and after that a lot of my symptoms subsided but I got a new set of muscle twitches. have been back on my meds for 4 weeks now and feel tired. Is it possible to heal from this Tardive Dyskinesia at my age? I am 20 nearly 21, and has anyone had any of my above withdrawal symptoms and healed from them once of there meds. I feel it may take me 16 years from how bad I was to fully recover but I feel this is what I should do as these drugs are only going to course me more damage the longer im on them. Its absolutely outrageous how pharmaceutical company's get away with this and brain wash doctors into to believing these drugs don't course long term withdrawal. I hope one day these companies get brought down to there knees until they haven't a single penny left. these drugs are worse than so called illegal drugs to withdraw from. My family don't believe these drugs are coursing me damage especially my mum and dad. My mum has been on meds such as valium for most her life and never really had a problem. Dad runs a very successful bussness and has been on ssris for the last 5 years without any problem. so they don't want to think its doing any damage to them.
  14. Hi all! As you can probably tell by the title, I'm in a dark place. It all began during a party this spring. Being a uni student, I was ready to party and do stupid stuff. Never did I realise that one small decision could have such a great impact on my life. I took half a pill of MDMA and snorted a tiny bit of something and, of course, boozed up a lot that night. Genius! Long story short, I started having bad anxiety and 24/7 rumination shortly after, just like countless other MDMA victims. I was going through waves and windows until my psychologist recommended a low dose of Sertraline to help me break out of the rumination and anxiety cycle. I started taking them on the 12th of July, gradually tapering up from 12.5 mg to 50mg in a month. It worked quite well, helped with anxiety, cleared up my mind a bit, but destroyed my libido and abilities, as well as made me zombie-like. I decided to quit. I did a quite rapid taper- removing 12.5mg from the dose each week. During the last part of the taper I felt wonderful (almost, will explain later)! Very little anxiety, feelings back, libido and abilities back! That lasted 4 days after the last 1/4 pill. Then I started having terrible anxiety, depression, started crying everyday... Also, during the summer and autumn, I started questioning my relationship of 2.5 years. It was my first ever relationship and I didn't feel it was THE one. Even while on Sertraline this gave me quite severe bouts of anxiety, but after quitting it was unbearable. And my gf could not really handle it anymore as well, and I don't blame her. I'm not the person I was before that fatal MDMA pill. We decided to part ways yesterday. Now I'm 12 days (only, I know) clean of my short, few month long, course of SSRIs. I feel that if that post-MDMA experience was likely to ease off fairly easily, this won't. I am constantly ruminating, can't concentrate, I am riddled with fear and am extremely anxious. I'm barely eating. And the worst part seems to be the beggining of PSSD. I currently have no sexual desire whatsoever, I'm not sure if I can get an erection today. Yesterday I could after trying a bit, and managed to reach a quick orgasm, which was pleasurable, but my bets are on PSSD. No drive, no desire, maybe some ability, but only some. I am only 20 years of age. I think I could go through the anxiety and so on, but the current (or if not- the possible) loss of a sexual identity makes me not want to live anymore. My life was so great prior to that MDMA pill, and was still decent prior to the SSRIs, which I was told were more or less harmless. Now I'm a single wreck. I should be enjoying relationships, sex, friends, hobbies, uni... but I am stuck in this mental, and now possibly (likely) physical prison.. How do I cope? Is it even worth it? I feel my life is over before it even started...
  15. Westie

    Westie: Intro

    Hello, I've been on this site reading for awhile and figured it's time to begin interacting. My journey began around '91 with a script for Prozac to treat depression. Since then there were times I wasn't on an AD, but always went back for more and my depression worsened. Luckily have avoided what I considered to be the heavy hitters like Lithium and Depakote, refused Seroquel after trying it for a couple of weeks... but was convinced that drugs like Lexapro and Zoloft were ok and could help me. While there were windows where I felt good, sometimes even happy and functional, my depression has graduated over the years. I took 200 mgs of sertraline for about 6 years and would wake up crying in the night with pain in my hips. In the spring of 2015 I had enough and began what I now understand to be a rapid taper by cutting doses in half every couple of weeks, thinking this was much more prudent than how a doctor would recommend a taper. WRONG! My whole world crashed down in August of 2015, lost my relationship and place to live and was hospitalized 3 times in 3 months. The last hospital visit wasnt terminated until I was medicated again even though I didn't want to be. They prescribed Celexa, Abilify and Artane to combat side effects. As soon as I got out, I stopped the Celexa but stayed on the Abilify and Artane because I couldn't stay with family unless I was "taking my medicine". I have moved around a few times since then, cut the Abilify and Artane in half in March of 2016 to 1mg and 5mg, respectively. These meds did pull me out of psychosis when prescribed, but depression remained. In October 2016 I CT'ed from both and refused a new prescription for Cymbalta. At this point, I feel about the same as I have for the last year. Thankfully I'm not psychotic! Brain fog is very hard to deal with, memory and concentration are affected, joint and muscle aches are increasing and sleep is becoming a challenge. My life seems so unreal anymore, and I struggle to think of how I will ever get back on my own 2 feet and be a productive member of society... and maybe one day be happy with myself. I think I'm still in protracted withdrawal from the sertraline and hope I haven't rocked the boat too horribly bad by going off the Abilify and Artane. Sorry if this sounds scattered, and not sure what questions to ask right now either. But if anybody has any advice for me, I'm all ears. Thanks for listening. Wishing Health and Healing for all of us, Westie
  16. Hi all, been reading topics on this site for the past couple of months and finally thought it was about time I put my story across! I was put on Sertraline about 3 years ago starting at 50mg, the doctor prescribed it for a fix to my premature ejactualtion due to what she thought was some stress I was going through at the time, after I told her I got a new job and was in a long distance relationship, I thought this was a fair point at the time, and doc said it would "kill two birds with one stone!" Without any warnings from the doc I thought it was a great idea and went ahead with it thinking I'd be feeling great in no time. At first I had no side affects, in fact I didn't feel anything from it until about 2 months had passed when I started feeling a little happier from time to time (although looking back I really had little emotion at all) and the PE had passed. My doctor advised that if the drugs were helping I should stay on them for a while longer as they wouldn't do me any harm short term (haha) Fast forward a year and some new symptoms came along, anxiety for one, also outbursts of anger which wasn't me at all. Back to the doctors I went and up to 100mg I went, as apparently these were underlying issues I had. Again without any side affects that I can honestly say I noticed until another year had passed, the anxiety was back woo! Anxiety was never anything I suffered with before these drugs so I eventually put two and two together and thought these drugs could be my problem! (Lightbulb) Stupidly, but also because I hadn't had any warnings of coming off sertraline, I quit cold turkey, at first it wasn't a problem a few brain zaps and dizzy spells and what I thought was the flu, but in my eyes nothing major and the doc even said it was nothing to worry about just the drug leaving my system (this now upsets me greatly, as I think of all the other poor people unknowingly being put on these drugs) About 3 months had passed with some minor physical side affects (leg pains, chest pains, racing heart) all of which I thought were just normal as I have quite a busy life and physical job. At some point about 6 months ago my emotional state went into chaos! I felt severely depressed, stressed, anxious, worrying about every little thing (mostly money which has never bothered me much before) suicidal at times, regretting every decision I ever made in life. Insomnia then decided to come along for the ride and made it all a lot worse! I also can't remember much, and the last couple of years whilst I've been on sertraline feels like a complete blur! And around 2 months ago I came across this amazing site that reassured me I wasn't losing my mind! So that's me up until now, I can say that my anxiety seems to have got a lot better but the depression and regret side of things seems to just be constant, which makes me wonder if I'm just depressed? But then after reading everyone's stories on here I realise that's probably not the case at all but it's hard for me to get it out of my head. Sorry for the long read I've only managed to have the courage to tell one person, so this is kind of me getting everything off my chest! Thanks guys!
  17. I had a successful taper off klonopin that finished over 18 months ago...I was feeling GREAT for about a year...ZERO anxiety/ depression. In fact I was feeling so great I threw myself into a high stress job, moved to a new city, started drinking socially ( at times a bit too much). Since my taper I have been on 50mg of Zoloft and trazadone ( doses vary but about 25mg for the past yr). About 6-8 weeks ago I ran out of my trazadone and I remember starring in the mirror thinking I should just stop taking it because I was feeling so good. The thought of w/d crossed through my mind but I remember thinking it was almost impossible for some reason. I stopped the trazadone for about 5 days before resuming due to sleep issues. About 2 weeks following I went into acute w/d after a high intensity workout:. Ears ringing, severe derealization, sweating, diarrhea.general feeling of impending doom...I started to panic so much so I took a klonopin. In the last 6 weeks I've taken about 3 .25mg doses of klonopin to cope with this which obviously is the most depressing thing in the world seeing what I went through with my taper. I also discovered the generic manufacturer Zoloft I was taking changed so I thought that might contribute to whatever this was as well. To make a long story short I don't feel any better..in fact some days I feel worse. I've given up alcohol ( haven't touched a drink in 2 weeks)...tried to take 50mg of trazadone per my docs suggestion to stabilize but made me feel super depressed. I tried to increase my Zoloft but again really bad reactions. What makes this scarier than my klonopn taper is there is no end in site...I don't know what is causing this (it seems rare the trazadone cut would have effected me after 2 weeks)...I am so depressed...can barely function at work...I don't know what to do because I'm in so much pain. I am starting to panic. I will do whatever it takes to stabilize..I'm even considering other meds I just don't want to make the situation worse. I'm wondering if I'm feeling a bout of alcohol withdrawal as well ( was drinking 3x/ week sometimes heavily). I will say I'm only 26 and all my friends so is go out and drink! Anyhow...does anyone think the trazadone could have done this? If so, how come trying to stabilize on 50 mg ( took for over a week) didn't help. I am debating on going to a hospital but I don't want to be put on even more drugs...especially since my gut tells me this is w/d. Please help. (p.s. healing and love to all).
  18. I was diagnosed with PPD when my baby was 7 weeks old. I was put on 25mg of Zoloft and increase slowly to 75mg. 1 year later I tried going off and after 4 months of been off I had a major crash and went back on. I started with 25mg again which was not a therapeutic dose for me but I didn't want to go higher. Was on the 25s for only a month and did another month of tapering (which I know now is still too fast. I have been off now for 9 months and have been going through the classic wave and window cycle I've heard about. My waves tend to last up around 2 months with a section of an out 2-3 weeks of intense horrid misery. The other weeks are just a pain in the but of body aches, insomnia, anxiety and no energy. My head feel like a ton of bricks and I have no interst in anything. My windows are amazing. I feel like the mother I've always wanted to be, I can work, hang with friends and even help others. My last window lasted about 2 and a half months . It was heavenly. Currently I'm in a wave that has lasted longer then expected. Been going on for about 2 months now Physical symptoms seem to just keep lingering. The one positive I have to say I'd that this is the first wave I've had that the love for my daughter has not waivered. That was a huge step in the right direction. for me, through this whole thing,the absolute worst possible part has been when I have felt detached and no love for my own child. I know now that the postpartum is gone and that my battle now is with "surviving these withdrawals ". So happy to have found this sight. It has already been a huge blessing to me. Can't wait to be fully healed and use my story to help mothers through the this seemingly impossible journey. Thanks for listening
  19. Hello all. This is my first post to this website. Here's my history.. 27 years old male. October 2014 I had a bad panic attack that started this whole downward spiral. Me or my family has no prior history to anxiety or depression. My doctor put me on sertraline to help with the anxiety. The highest dose I was ever on was 50mg. March 12th 2016 was my last dose at 25 mg. here is my problem and I'm kind of freaking out. The good news is my anxiety/panic attacks are gone haven't had one since October of 2014. But now I am suffering what feels like major mood swings and depression. I felt like everything was great when I stopped. That lasted about 2 weeks. What I am trying to figure out is if I am going through withdrawal symptoms maybe because I didn't taper slow enough or if now I have depression. I was not put on this medication for depression. I have days where things seem ok slightly good but more days of depression mood swings don't want to do anything. I forgot to mention earlier that prior to October 2014 I was drinking 2 energy drinks a day and 15 beers a night. I do not drink anything with caffeine anymore and I rarely have a beer or 2. My wife has been very supportive and has me on vitamins and supplements. I just need some insight on if indeed this is withdrawal or if now I have actual depression. Please any information would help tremendously.
  20. Hello there! Have browsed this site since discovering it and finally took the step of registering so I can get involved. Seems to be an incredible resource given the general medical worlds unhelpful position on withdrawal- thank you thank you! Outline of my journey: Sept 2010 10mg Citalopram. April 2013 reduced to 7.5mg Citalopram with severe effects (withdrawal I believe although not recognised by medical world). June 2013 back to 10mg Citalopram no improvement. August 2013 switch to 50mg Sertraline with intense effects. September 2013 emergency referral to psychiatrist (reached crisis point) resulting in increase to 75mg then 100mg Sertraline over few weeks. Massive improvement, felt better than ever for approx 1 year. Slowly depression/anxiety returned. July 2015 attempt to increase to 125mg Sertraline, incredibily groogy and brain fog September 2015 returned to 100mg Sertraline (new brand named Lupin) with immediate improvement. Currently feel 'stuck' on 100mg Sertraline (Lupin Brand) due to potential of intense withdrawal though am wanting to slowly reduce dose to 75mg. I feel the Sertraline now adversely affects my energy/motivation and ability to actually feel my feelings, plus weight gain and sexual side effects, so really keen to gain knowledgable support to help me reduce the dosage wisely:) Had numerous discussions with GP about how to do this (she is supportive within her limitations) - she doesn't think tablets can be cut to smaller doses (due to questioning whether the Sertaline is equally distributed within the tablet) and the specially made Sertraline Liquid available in England (as a 'special') numbs my mouth/throat for hours so didn't seem a long term option. No instructions on how to actually take it were given so I just took it neat from a measuring syringe. I think I read somewhere that sertraline hydrochloride itself is a local anesthetic, so that would explain it, but on calling the company that make the 'special' liquid the pharmacist was clueless. So - I'm really interested in understanding how best to reduce. I understand the 10% thing, I'm not in a rush as soooo scared of effects. But I want my self back. For me it's more the question of do I: A) Get decent scales and cut the tablet up - is the Sertaline equally distributed within the tablet? (I wouldn't want to chop the Sertraline off and be taking just filler!) B - Try taking the 'special' liquid another way to overcome the numbness (I wondered about adding it to ice cube sized cubes of jelly before setting but unsure about interaction/effect of fridge tempurature? I actually tried injecting it into dried fruit to no avail haha!) C) Try some other way... Looking forward to engaging with you wonderful people walking your own courageous paths xxx
  21. Hi everybody, It's good to be here. This looks like a really great community of people who support each other through the weaning-off/withdrawal process of antidepressants and other psychotropic meds. In a nutshell, I'm horribly overprescribed. I had to be hospitalized in November due to withdrawal symptoms from trying to come off different medications too quickly, including Valium. The irony is that I hadn't been taking those medications for longer than two years. I'd been taking the Valium intermittently to help with my sleep, but more regularly when my doc started to pile medications on me. She told me to just keep taking Valium, which I did more regularly, without letting me know that I couldn't just up and quit it, nor did she warn me about the serious withdrawal effects that can happen as a result. After I got out of the hospital, I was put on a cocktail of new meds, which my psychiatrist increased, but nothing except the Effexor seemed to help much. Even though I suspected my psychiatrist wasn't doing what was in my best interests, I was kind of stuck with her as it would take me several months to get an appointment with a new psychiatrist. When I did find a new psychiatrist, she started to go to work on quickly taking me down from some of these meds, but I felt terrible W/D symptoms right away so reinstated. Under her, I've only been able to partially taper two of my medications, but I need to go at my own pace and not become so crippled by my W/D that I can't function at home or at work. I have two kids and a household to help support with my husband, and if it means taking a couple years (or more) to get off these meds, then so be it. My current doctor has recommended that, if it's taking me so long to get off the medications, I should go into a hospital where they'd take a much more "aggressive" tapering schedule, which basically means cold turkey. I had a taste of that in November and really don't want to repeat (or exacerbate) that experience. She thinks that I should taper the Ativan last, but it makes me feel not so great to take it. I can't tell whether the symptoms I feel from it--pressure on my head, organic fear, constant worry, obsession, anxiety--are tolerance withdrawal-related or direct side effects of taking the Ativan--or one of the other meds I'm on. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction therapy, and is said to be amenable to slow tapering schedules, on Monday, so I will see if she is willing to be a partner in my tapering and healing. I feel terrible that I allowed my original doctor to use me as a human guinea pig for so many meds, but I know I can't beat myself up or live in the past. All I can do is move forward and make the best decisions for my health, which is to taper slowly as to avoid (or at least minimize) W/D symptoms. See my sig line for the cocktail (grimace). More on my experiences is here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/03/16/1502500/-My-experience-with-benzodiazepines-the-meds-that-too-few-know-are-dangerous Questions for the community (and apologies if they've already been addressed in another thread): Is it really true that it's better to wean off the A/Ds before the Ativan (benzo)? I feel that I'm having negative symptoms that worsen at night and make me pretty useless past 6 or 7, so I'm wondering whether it would actually be better for me to come off Ativan first to rule it out as the cause of these symptoms. I've heard that it's a bad idea to taper a benzo and an A/D at the same time. Is it acceptable to partially taper one medicine and hold, then partially taper the Ativan and hold, then resume tapering the A/D medicine? Can one safely taper an SSRI and a mood stabilizer at the same time, or an SSRI and an atypical at the same time, or is it best to just focus on one at a time? Thanks for letting me be a part of this community!
  22. Please help, 2 weeks ago I was prescribed 50mg sertraline for intrusive thoughts, but was not depressed. I took my first one and about 6 hours later I had a very bad reaction I had a fever my blood pressure was high, I had diarrhea and my mind was cray I knew instantly that I had poisoned myself, it wasn't until a week later I read up on serotonin syndrome and realized I experienced all the side effects and still suffer some of them to this day, here are my symptoms I have and have got worse short term Memory loss, agitation, irritability, muscle twitching, shivering, restlessness, sweating(up my neck and scalp mostly), hallucinations derealization/depersonalization, feel disoriented at times, muscle spasms which are painful at times, tingling/prickling sensations in my hands feet chest arms and legs, pressure at the back of my head. I don't get it I was a happy outgoing person until the doctor insisted the tablet would take away intrusive thoughts, not only do I still get them but get even worse! hallucinations! I don't want this Have I got the effects from serotonin syndrome or is this permanent nerve and brain damage? please help I am quite worried and no one wants to listen to me
  23. Hello, I am brand new and hoping for some advice. I started Paxil over 20 years ago for OCD. Worked very well up until a few months ago. I had managed to taper down to 10mg. Had some stress is personal life and OCD came back in a huge way. Doctor switched me to Zoloft and over course of 6 weeks went from 50mg to 200mg. My anxiety and ocd are through the roof!!!!! I dont know what to do. Do i stick it out with the Zoloft? Go back to Paxil at higher dose? I'm so lost and feeling this will never get better. Any advice would be so appreciated. Best, Kim
  24. Hi! I was on Zoloft for 7 years and tried getting off several times before but couldn't due to severe panic attacks. Then this pay January I had a really bad sinus infection and was taking an antibiotic and somehow it realllyyyyyy messed with my 50mg of Zoloft. I've never had problems before but this was so bad that I began having suicidal thoughts almost every minute of the day for about two months. I continued taking the medication even though my Dr thought it wasn't being processed bc of my liver enzymes being so high. June 1st I decided I didn't want any pet of this medication anymore and began weening off. Everything was going well until about 4 weeks off I felt like I was going crazy. The thoughts came back and intensified and violent thoughts came rushing in and now I've been off for almost three months and everyone says I should be feeling almost myself again. Some days are better than others. Some days I can manage those thoughts others I can't. Sometime I feel almost brain dead and can't think at all. Lately I've been soo dizzy. Anyone have advise on when I should be feeling better or will I ever be myself again? A lot of people have told me between 3-4 months off and I should think and feel myself. Is this true? Don't know how much longer I can go on like this. Any recovery success stories? Also pretty depressed most of the time. Thank you!
  25. Hi All- I'm new here. At 15 weeks pregnant I started having horrible insomnia and anxiety attacks. I ended up going to the ER for a psych consult- I've never had a psychiatrist or been on meds. I have dealt with anxiety and insomnia in the past but never to this degree. Was put on Lorazepam and Trazodone- I loved the lorazepam but as soon as I got in to see a psychiatrist I was told to CT immediately due to negative effects on the pregnancy. So I quit- it had only been about 2 weeks but I swear I experienced Benzo withdrawal- my anxiety went through the roof and I even felt suicidal on day #5 of withdrawal (something I've never experienced before) I decided to give Zoloft a shot- but low and behold it did not help my anxiety or depression and I had a lot of anxiety about taking the meds. I still wasn't sleeping more than 2-3 hours a night so trazodone kept getting increased but to no avail. Tried Nortiptiline for 2 nights- nothing. Meanwhile also CT'd trazodone (as advised by the psych) My psychiatrist was horrible- terrible bedside manner and her only suggestion was to increase Zoloft to 75mg and introduce Seroquel, That night my husband and I decided to stop trying to find a med to get me to sleep since I didn't want to keep going up the chain and get into the more potent drugs. I'm notoriously impossible to knock out and with being pregnant I wasn't willing to go there. Talked to the psych about tapering off zoloft- she said I could just CT that too. But since I'd been on the 50mg dose for 4 weeks I really wasn't comfortable with CTing ANOTHER drug. That's when I decided to do my own taper (my midwives are aware of it and i just stopped going to my psych all together) I really want to be med free by the time we have the baby (due 7/2) Plus I'd like to get my orgasms back! Currently I''m still experiencing insomnia (luckily not every single night is torture any more) very occasional anxiety attacks (usually during bouts of insomnia) and GI distress plus some irritability and intrusive thoughts at times. Anyways-that's my story in a nutshell. The taper went great at first but going from 25 to 12.5 has been really rough. Since I'm preg it's really hard to know what symptoms are from WD, pregnancy, or the original anxiety. I'm hoping to reach out the community here as most of the pregnancy groups I'm in are very "pro-med." I'm often the only person trying to get off the meds, rather than switching AD's 3-5 times and adding antianxiety meds to the cocktail. Sometimes the message is "hang in there til you give birth becasue then you can start taking benzos!" which I NEVER want to take again. Thanks for reading!
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