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  1. Hi! I have read this forum many times and finally I decide to create own account. I understand english well but I'm not good english speaker or writer. So this is my story: I had very bad depression for many years. Finally my condition was so severe in November 2009 that I went to psychiatrist. He put me on Sertraline. Unfornately he didn't told me anything about side effects or risks what SSRI drugs might cause. First time in my life I got panic attacks when my dose was 100 mg. So the psychiatrist sayed that I must douple the dose. After that I felt little maniac sometimes but usually my mood was pretty good. After few months I lowered the dose slowly and finally it was 100 mg for many years. First time I decided stop taking Sertraline in September 2013 because I felt like my emotions had blunted a little. For example I didn't cry when my cat died and that was odd because naturally I am very sensitive guy. I also thought that I couldn't live my whole life with Sertraline. I had lowered the dose slowly and before I quit it was 25 mg. At the begining everything went good but after few months I noticed that I'm not interested in sex anymore. I didn't realized yet that it was caused by SSRI because I got prostate problems at the same time. So unfornately I started to take same pills again in april 2014. My new dose was 50 mg and after few months I changed it slowly to 25 mg. On summer 2014 my prostate problems were gone but my sex drive was still bad. So I started find information from net and finally I thought that maybe the use of Sertraline might have changed my sex drive. So I found information about PSSD. At the same time I met a new girl and I got little of my sex drive back but when I quit Sertraline again in November PSSD kicked in totally. It was very hard to me and I decided to end my new realtionship with that girl. In February 2015 I noticed that my mind was turned very anhedonic. I couldn't feel music anymore same way as before even if I'm guitar player. It's maybe the hardest thing to me. I lost the way to feel pleasure at all. I also lost the feel of hunger for many months but I get it back about six months later. So I wrote this very quickly. I'm going to give you more information about my condition later when I have more time to write.
  2. I suffered a breakdown a year ago and was suffering from severe panic and anxiety. I was put on 100mg Sertraline for 9 weeks which didn't work. C/T from that. After 6 weeks of Sertraline, Quitiapine 50mg was added which helped me sleep but not much more. C/T after 5 weeks. Never really understood the importance to taper. After 4 weeks off medication back in hole so back to dr and put on Mertrazapine 15mg, seemed to work at first then stopped and after 5 weeks ended up in hospital with akathisia - taken off C/T. Then put on 2mg Lorazepam a day to deal with the akathisia. Kept on for 6 weeks then started a taper over 12 weeks which i thought was long enough but ended up in a really bad way. Reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and placed on Amitriptyline 75mg. Amitriptyline helped me sleep but after 12 weeks has not helped the anxiety and depression. I ended up in a bad way again and went to a new psychiatrist. I know that I have anxiety and depression that existed before I was put on any medication but none of the medications have helped so far. I was not educated on what a benzo can do or that antidepressants should be tapered. I was not on anything that long! I have now read a lot on line including benzo tapering sites and realise everything needs to be done slowly. My new psychiatrist has gradually put me on 10mg escitroplam - I started at 1mg and have been working up slowly over the last 3 weeks. I have slowly tapered down my lorazepam to 0.2mg per day. I am also still on 75mg amitriptyline. My psychiatrist has told me to keep these both stable until I have been on Escitroplam for a few weeks at 10mg. It is so difficult to do as i am desperate to reduce both but understand one thing at a time. I am happy to be on the escitroplam and see if It does give me some relief but want off the other 2. I will listen to my doctor but would also like to hear feedback from others as to whether I should come off the benzo first - I am so low. Or hold that while i come off the amitriptyline slowly. Also how fast can I come off the amitriptyline given that i am on a new antidepressant and have only been on it 12 weeks. So many questions. Thanks
  3. crhawks-xanax-problem Hello All, My story is rather long, so please bear with me...I am in desperate need of help. I took only one pill of 50 mg Zoloft to deal with anxiety and mild postpartum depression 3 months ago, and I have had horrible effects ever since. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? It seems like very similar symptoms to those I have read of withdrawal. But it seems strange to have withdrawal after only one pill. Maybe an adverse reaction? I am feeling very hopeless, I feel as though my life has changed forever, and that this will never go away. My story is below...I'll try to shorten as much as possible, although it is somewhat difficult... I have a history since my teens of mild/moderate anxiety and depression. Since dealing with some health problems (anxiety) and the birth of my son (postpartum depression), my conditions worsened. Back at the beginning of October, I went into the ER for pain for a back/side issue I have been having for 18 months. They gave me a pain killer which did not help, so I was given Haldol, which I was told was a different type of drug that had off-label use for pain. I ended up having a horrible dystonic reaction to the drug that made my jaw continually smash itself, teeth chipped, had severe crushing anxiety, etc. Went back to the ER and they put me on a drug that counter-acted the reaction. (Of course I have since learned this is a terrible, horrible anti-psychotic med and never should have been given to me). Fast forward three weeks, and I was feeling back to normal. My doc decided to put me on Zoloft to help with my anxiety from all the health issues and the reaction, and we thought it might also help with the mild depression. She prescribed me 50 mg pills to be taken once daily. I took ONE PILL and was going crazy within an hour or so. Severe anxiety and nervousness, nausea, diarrhea, warm rushes through my body, but yet shivering, confusion, depersonalization, mania. It was hell. I read online that supposedly some of these things were normal for a couple weeks, but I was having very severe reactions. I decided I could not ever take another pill. I was told that I could take my Xanax to help with these symptoms, so I did that, but it did not help much. The reactions continued. I went to my doctor a couple days later and she had no idea what was going on. She said it should have been out of my system. I ended up going to the ER. They also were not sure what was going on. We realized it could take up to a week with the half life to get out of my system. A psychiatrist who was on call prescribed me Klonopin at night, Propranalol, and Xanax during the day. It helped to get me through, but that reaction lasted about 2 weeks. Then I began to normalize for about 4-5 days. I started weaning off the other drugs. Then I got a cold. I took some cold medicine for a couple days, and was full blown into another "attack"...everything returned. The severe anxiety/nervousness, the nausea and inability to eat, frequent stools, warm rushes, shivering, depersonalization, cloudy thinking, confusion. I again ended up in the ER. They again blamed my anxiety. However, I have never experienced any anxiety like this in my entire life. This was not anxiety. My anxiety in the past consisted mostly of worry and nervousness, no other physical or mental affects. And I was always better within a couple hours. I went to the psychiatrist and he said the same thing, and even wanted me to try an SSRI medication. I refused. I again went back on the Propranalol, Klonopin at night, and Xanax at day. It got me by, somewhat, but still was hell. Was another couple weeks before I was feeling closer to normal, with a few shorter lived "attacks". During these times, I am unable to work, unable to care for my children, unable to do anything but basically roll up in a ball. The anxiety and nervousness can be absolutely unbearable, I am not even able to describe it. I was doing fairly well for about 3 weeks. I did notice during that time that ibuprofen and my narcotic pain killer for my back would spring up some of these same symptoms, which had never happened before. I stopped taking all meds, other than Xanax as needed, which was not often. Then I had horrific pain in my back and took half a pain pill (two weeks ago). I felt some returning of symptoms the next day. By two days after, I was a bit better, but severely depressed with frequent crying spells. I was also getting my period though, so was emotional. I have terrible cramps due to endometriosis, so I had to take ibuprofen. I did okay, although was depressed and lethargic for two days. That second day, I had terrible cramps and took two ibuprofen and a tylenol. The next morning I woke up in another full blown attack. Warm burning/tingly feeling in my hands and face, severe nervousness/anxiety, depersonalization, feeling of living in a cloud, not really feeling "with it", nausea, food making me ill, shivering...sometimes the feelings come on like a bomb...very suddenly and severely. The Xanax helps, but it is always still there on the surface, and the depersonalization and not feeling "with it" never goes away. It has been 10 days now since the latest episode, and is not getting any better. (3 months total since my last and only Zoloft). I take a minimal amount of Xanax just to get me by, and go as long as I can before taking it in the morning. Usually I can only go until Noon, and that is pushing it. I have tried to go without the Xanax, just in case that is attributing to the condition continuing (although it didn't before) and it is just not possible for me to be without it at this point. It is absolutely unbearable without it. So I am unsure if I am having a withdrawal to only 1 pill , or just an adverse reaction that is long-term. I am scared and do not have much hope, especially since the doctors do not seem to understand what is going on or what to do - other than to medicate me more, which I know will only make it worse. Has anyone experienced something similar? Does anyone know what might be going on with me? Is there an average timeline to eventual recovery - or could this be permanent? I am very scared and feeling like my life as I knew it is over. Thank you for your time.
  4. I am new to this forum. Have been prescribed zoloft a year ago. Even though I experienced serotonin toxicity my doctor wasn't aware and I was forced to continue. I took 25mg twice a day...at one point reached 75mg... Currently at 25mg but experiencing palpitations,hot flashes, cold hot sweats headache drinking water losing weight etc. It looks like I will go into delirium tremans if I stop. I believe my receptors are severely damaged any dose of zoloft has not been helpful I am in constant pain with or without the meds. my doctor even increased the dose to I was hospitalized 3 times due to severe pain headache and finally decided to reduce. Please help. Did I permanently ruin the system. I am not able to go out in the sun or even eat a proper meal. Will I ever heal? I am basically a vegetable because if I exercise I get morning anxiety and heat...
  5. Hello everyone, It is very good that I finally found a place to talk about my issues. Started sertraline in June, overdosed in August, now cold turkey with serotonin syndrome So, as stated above, I've been going through many things in a short frame of time. I've had anxiety problems as long as I could remember. As a kid, I was anxious. As a teen, I was anxious. My anxiety problem got out of control this year, as I started university and many things that I couldn't control happened simultaneously (mainly family stuff - mum's verbally abusive, my sibling has a cognitive disability, and my dad has health issues). I was getting constantly frustrated and depressed, and ultimately developed a suicidal ideation around June. That is when I first went to a GP to talk about my mental issue and the GP prescribed me with 50mg of sertraline. At first, it helped me a lot with my anxiety but when I think about it now, what sertraline did was numbing all my emotions; tranquilising my mind. As soon as I started taking the pills, I had several side-effects, including severe insomnia and lack of appetite which never really disappeared until I went cold turkey. I could barely sleep for 4-5 hours per day for several months. From the beginning, I had problems with my dosage. A few weeks after initially taking pills, I increased the dose by myself to 100mg because it was during the exam period, I was extremely anxious and wanted to die because of the stress and anxiety. I've told my GP later and she said it'd be ok to continue taking 100mg if I'm good with taking it. So from then on, I took 100mg per day. However, I was going nuts as I wasn't getting enough sleep and there were persisting side-effects that kept me from being functional. I could barely concentrate on anything. Although I believed I wasn't anxious anymore, I was seriously getting depressed due to the physical fatigue and other things that were going around me. I think I went through some personality changes as I started acting more impulsively without thinking about the consequences. Probably because nothing was rewarding as all my emotions were blunted due to the pills. I overdosed myself with sertraline during late August. It was during the exam period (again), I couldn't study properly because I couldn't concentrate, I was suffering from insomnia. I talked about the insomnia problem to my GP and she told me exposure to sunlight, drinking warm milk and exercising mindfulness activities would help... which didn't. I was also very depressed during that time. I took a blood test around that time due to irregular menstruation and the GP told me that there were two hormonal abnormalities and they could be either because I was too stressed/due to the antidepressant, or because I had PCOS and a tumour on my pineal gland. Everything accumulated and I was getting extremely anxious. So, without thinking much about the consequences, I started binge-eating my pills. I had no intention of committing suicide as I researched beforehand and the case study I read stated that overdosing a very high amount did not kill the person. Moreover, whenever I was getting anxious, I had cravings with my pills because I wanted to numb all my feelings (I still do sometimes, even after going through serotonin syndrome - so I started suspecting that the pill may be addictive despite what everyone's saying). Additionally, I had access to plenty of sertraline as I had 2 prescriptions - one for 50mg, and one for 100mg. Now when I think about it, one of the things that contributed me to overdosing was the generic pills; sometimes I went to other pharmacies and they only had the generic ones. Because I didn't know that the generic ones may have a different effect in terms of time, I just took generic ones and found them not as effective as the brand pills and took even more to gain the effect. I did know that sertraline did not have instant effects (well the side-effects were quite instant though). My highest overdose on 1 day was 450mg. I didn't take the pills at the same time; it was more like 100mg in the morning, 150 in the afternoon, and 200 at night. during that insane week, I took a total of 1500mg, which was more than double my supposed weekly dose (700mg). The effects of sertraline syndrome were instant. I've acquired high blood pressure (around 150) and fast heart rate, to the extent that I woke up in the middle of the night because my heart was beating so quickly and my blood vessels were constricting. My hands started to tremble constantly. I went to my GP on that following Monday. And... the interesting thing was that the GP advised me to keep taking my usual dose (100mg) because she was worried about the withdrawal syndrome. She told me that the symptoms should cease several weeks later. Well, I should've realised that GPs don't have much knowledge regarding the psychiatric drugs because I saw her searching up about sertraline on her computer. Anyways, I kept taking the usual dose, thinking that I would get better within a few weeks. Then like a week later I self-decreased my dose to 50mg because the symptoms were getting severe. The trembling spread through my entire upper limb. I've developed bilateral upper limb clonus, spasticity, and hypertonia - I was jerking my upper limb violently all the time except when I was asleep. All my upper limb muscles (including the rotator cuff muscles) were contracting involuntarily. I was suffering from constant muscle ache, tendon ache as well as severe insomnia. So, in mid-September, around 3 weeks after the overdose, I finally decided to go to the hospital emergency department although I initially planned to wait until I see the psychiatrist in mid-October. Serotonin finally screwed up my autonomic nervous system as well - I developed problems breathing and regulating my body temperature. I was in constant agony as I had neuromuscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, ANS problems as well as insomnia and other antidepressant side effects. Muscle spasticity finally started to spread to my lower limbs as well. Because of those problems I was very depressed at that time. I finally went to the emergency department and the doctors and people from the toxicology department assessed me. I was given a pill of valium and IV fluids. The doctor there advised me to stop taking the pills and told me that my problems are probably a combination of serotonin syndrome and withdrawal syndrome (from overdosing then quickly decreasing my dose). From then on, I was cold turkey with sertraline. The week after the trip to the emergency department, my dad took me to his GP. I told him (the GP) that I went to the hospital, and had serotonin syndrome. I also told him that I had insomnia. My dad's GP gave me a weeks supply of valdoxan (aglomelatine - melatonin based antidepressant) and told me that I could start taking it from that day (although I raised concerns about taking new antidepressant while having serotonin syndrome) because it won't interact with serotonin and it doesn't have many side-effects. But the funny thing about valdoxan is that you need to get blood test done every month to check your liver enzyme level. It can potentially damage and fail your liver but isn't it ironic how the doctors say it doesn't have many side-effects?!? I started taking valdoxan but had to quit it after 4 days because the side-effects were immense. It could've been serotonin syndrome but as soon as I started valdoxan, I had constant dizziness, nausea, headaches (brain zaps?) and severe fatigue for several weeks even after I quit it. The only good thing about valdoxan was that it instantly fixed my insomnia; I no longer have sleeping problems which I had for several months. So, around late September to mid-October, I had serotonin syndrome, withdrawal syndrome, and the side-effect from the new antidepressant at the same time - which was excruciatingly painful. Then around mid-late October, I finally met the psychiatrist. I booked the appointment like 3 months before... then finally saw him. He asked me about my family issues, where my depression and anxiety stemmed from, but he didn't really discuss with me about all the pill-related issues. Whilst he agreed with me in not prescribing any psychiatric pills, when I told him about my upper limb trembling due to the serotonin syndrome, he told me that I can't have serotonin syndrome because it's been a while since I stopped taking it and the trembling must be because of my anxiety issue. The thing I don't get is that I still do have trembling, as well as bilateral clonus, spasticity, and muscle hypertonia right now as I write this down. I can't fully stretch some of my fingers because they are curled up!!!! IT'S A NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEM, NOT SIMPLY ANXIETY STUFF. I didn't tremble all day because of anxiety before I started taking pills, even though I was struggling with anxiety! Now, I'm currently having CBT with a clinical psychologist which is also my university lecturer of the psychology course. It's going well, but I'm still suffering a lot from the pill side-effects. I still have neuromuscular issues and other issues I've acquired since starting sertraline - hypersensitivity with food, fatigue, and many other things. Before taking pills, I at least knew why I was depressed. Nowadays I get depressed out of blue. I think taking sertraline made my mood-swings and depression worse. I'm not anxious anymore, but I don't know if it's because my anxiety has been cured by the pills or it's just that I don't care anymore about my original problems which made me depressed because the pills made me really sick. I think the whole experience with antidepressants really lowered my pain tolerance threshold and now I'm in constant, chronic pain. My muscles still contract involuntarily all day, my hands and arms still tremble, and there's nothing I can do about the pain right now except taking painkillers which are effective for a few hours. I don't think the GPs and the psychiatrist can do much about it either. Any recommendations? Anyways, thanks for reading my long post.
  6. Hi, I do appreciate this supportive website. My story: I had been on Celexa for anxiety for at least 10 years at doses of between 10 and 20 mg. At 15 to 20 mg at times it really seemed to help the anxiety and lift my mood. Last Dec. I went on Zoloft because the anxiety seemed to be breaking through with the Celexa. (However, I now wonder if lowering the dose on my own was actually giving me symptoms of anxiety). I went one month on 25mg Zoloft, then 50mg Zoloft for 3 months. It never seemed to really help with anxiety or low mood, and also gave me GI upset with diarrhea. I decided to stop on my own, tapering over 6 weeks. While tapering and since stopping I have been taking Fish oil and probiotic, hoping both of those supplements would help with anxiety/depression. During the taper and since stopping, I have been having additional GI problems, plus very bad histamine intolerance. Foods that I had not problem eating while on SSRI, now give me headache, dizziness (to the point where I haven't driven on the freeway for 3 months!), fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. By the way, I would occasionally have these symptoms when lowering the Celexa dose, but then it would go away soon, so I attributed it to anxiety. So weird and awful. I've done lots of reading and discovered that in some people this can happen after SSRI discontinuation. One theory is that the SSRI has acted as an anti-histamine therefore the cells in the GI tract don't need to make the DAO enzyme that breaks down histamine. So when going off the SSRI, there is nothing to break down the histamine. I am currently on a low histamine diet. Trying Quercetin and Vit. C to help with the high histamine. The glutamine/aloe vera supplement made me feel extremely fatigued so had to stop. It's been 2 months since stopping Zoloft. Of course I'm praying my body will return to normal sometime soon, and fearful this may last a long time. My primary care doctor said the body doesn't even start to feel normal until 3 months post-stopping. I would appreciate any input from folks who have had similar issues, and would love to hear some positive stories of healing from this. Needless to say, will never take SSRI again! Thank you
  7. Hi everyone, I wish i could say i am here to share a story of inspiration but my story is not such. I was prescribed zoloft at the age of 17 and went off back in November at the age of 39 after a very gradual 40+ week taper. At first i felt ok. The initial symptoms of withdrawal were mild, perhaps due to the fact that i was tapering down at only 5mg every two weeks. In January of this year (about 10 weeks after my last dosage) i began to experience quite severe anxiety. It was all day and persistent. After 4 weeks i returned to my GP and he suggested i go back on a low dose of zoloft until my CBT sessions began. He prescribed 50mg of Zoloft (1/3 of my regular dosage for 20+years) and to my shock after three days i went into an almost catatonic state of complete and utter panic attacks. I was immobilized by panic. My doctor told me to stop immediately and also prescribed Klonopin to help with the immediate anxiety. After i was stabilized he prescribed a low dose of Citalopram and the same thing happened after a few days. More Klonopin and no SSRI's. I weened very quickly off the benzo and was then walloped with the most severe insomnia of my life. After 4 days without any sleep the doctor (now a psychiatrist i was seeing) said to continue the benzo and added Lyrica (pregabilin) to help ween off the benzo while thwarting the insomnia. After three hellish months i was finally off the benzo and am currently now weaning off the lyrica. Every step of the way has been hell for me. I'm inside of an existence that has become a rollercoaster of anxiety, depression, fear and nausea, intermingled with short periods of normalcy. All along i thought that this experience was the benzos and lyrica and reemergence of old symptoms but only recently stumbled upon info about protracted withdrawal from ssris--which amazingly is completely off of the radar of the medical profession, as i'm sure most of you know. I'm currently living in a state of hyper vigilance as i never know when in the day i'll suddenly be walloped with severe anxiety and i always feel apprehensive at bedtime hoping i'll sleep ok. The worst part of this whole situation is that i don't know with any certainty that this current state i'm in will ever end. There have been many many days over the last 7 months where i have thought about death as the only relief from this predicament. I'm very lucky to have an amazingly loving and supportive wife who continues to hold me up and a couple of close friends who know what i'm going through. This keeps me going--barely. I struggle with feelings of deep resentment toward the medical and pharmaceutical fields for leading me to this place that i'm in. I wouldn't wish this hell on my worst enemy. I'm glad i found this site. I'm here to find some hope. I'm here to hopefully find stories from others who are in a similar predicament who have found recovery. I need to recover because this is no way to live. I do not want more meds (and doubt i can take them anyway at this point) Thanks for the opportunity to share my story.
  8. Hi all and sorry we meet on this forum. I was put on sertraline 100mg when my husband entered his midlife crisis in 2014. I tried to quit them the next year but could not cope with the withdraw symptoms so I decided to take them again. So I had been on sertraline 100 mg for 3 years when a few months ago I decided that since my husband's state of mind improved significantly and we were a solid couple again, it was time to try to quit again. My gp recommended I should reduced the dosage to 50 mg for 2-3 months, then reduce the dosage every week (once every other day, then once every two days and so on). I wwent a bit quick on this last part and got it over in about 3-4 weeks. The first symptoms appeared during this last faze (reducing the dosage every week). I had one week on insomnia and I got ill with a strange virus that kept me off work for one week. I would get very irritated by my employer's impulsive decisions at work and my husband's messiness at home. During the PM period I had strange moments when I felt so anguished I wanted to scream. At some point I could identify that there was this part in my brain that was anchored in the present, which was like a lid covering a boiling pot. Every now and again I had thoughts (about the past or the future) that made me anxious and I would reject them. I have been off sertraline for about 5 weeks now. A few days ago I was due to fly back to my home country (I am an expat in Ireland). The anxiety had been taking my mind over little by little every day. The day when my flight was due coincided with a full moon and the PM period. I simply could not get on that flight. It felt like that boiling pot exploded. I have been going through this wave for a week now. Every morning I wake up with terror and fear. I would do anything to be calm and detached again, to have peace. Every morning I want to go back on sertraline. With this occasion I identified clearly that all these years my psychological issue has separation anxiety. During the moments of clarity I know that I learnt something while taking sertraline, which is that one can be happy if they focus on the present. But that seems a distant memory now, as the anxiety caused by withdraw is excruciating. The anxiety feels like a program that has been switched on and it took over my mind. It is a familiar feeling though, it is the old childhood trauma of separation. Exercise seems to make things better. Also, cleaning around the house, making a plan for the day, watching a film. Sadly, when I moved to Ireland I found it very difficult to make friends in a culture where drinking prevails, I am still working on that. I can talk to my family on skype and my husband, who is doing his best to support me, but I can tell that the whole situation is new to him and he finds it draining. A couple of days ago I woke up annoyed, it felt like when one had a broken leg and wants to feel fine and keep waling. Today I felt so anxious I agreed to see my gp for advice. Most likely she will just put me back on sertraline, as all testimonies point to on this forum. Of course, when I feel better I want t hang on and go through this to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have read the basic information on this forum and I can see that most of you have been going through far worse than me, for a longer time. I hope that given the low dosage and the relatively short time I have been on sertraline, this period will end sooner then later.
  9. I'm new to this site so please bear with me. Basically I want some advice and info regarding the tapering of Sertraline. I have taken Sertraline 50 mg for about two years now and feel "normal" on this dosage. I've tried to taper unsuccessfully before usually by halfing my dosage. Since last Saturday I've been taking 25mg but I feel like a different person on this dosage. I feel fragile, irritable, I'm hyper stimulated by small sounds and I just don't feel "with it" so to speak. On the lower dosage I feel less confident in public and more easily overwhelmed/upset and I also cry quite a bit. I also don't feel like leaving the house on the lower dose (I force myself most times) but on the 50 mg I leave the house freely. Socialising is a major problem for me. Mornings are a really bad time for me - I can wake up with varying degrees of anxiety mostly mild to moderate but sometimes severe. My only problem is that an hour or two upon rising my mind/brain simply goes DEAD. This is the only word I would use to describe it. I will simultaneously become fatigued/weak/Tearful/, my memory/concentration will plummet and all I will feel like doing is going to bed. I won't have the energy to deal with or be around people or solve any problems. Once the tablet kicks in a few hours later I will generally be ok. I sometimes get this horrible feeling in the evening time about 9- 10 PM but generally the MORNINGS are far more common. These effects are far more pronounced at 25mg than 50mg. Is this horrible feeling down to the withdrawal effects of the dosage reduction or is it down to my depression still being unresolved? Would the effects at 25mg be any different even if I tapered down by 10% from 50mg? I sometimes feel that it doesn't matter what way I taper the dose, I will still return to being depressed once I'm on a lower dose or zero dosage. Is my brain totally dependent on these things to function??? If you function ok with the meds is it worth the hassle/ side effects trying to function without them? I would be really, really grateful for your thoughts and opinions guys.
  10. I would appreciate assistance on tapering. My daughter is taking Zoloft 200 mg, Topiramate 25 mg (mood stabilizer), and Trazadone 50 mg (sleep aid). I have done extensive research trying to find which medication to start the tapering 10% method first, second and then third. I've not discovered any information on which one to start with and the sequence order. Would I start with the Zoloft first, the Topiramate second, and then Trazadone last? Or should I have her start with Topiramate first? What are your thoughts of tapering the Zoloft to 100 mg and then starting the Topiramate taper? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
  11. Hi all, I joined this site several weeks back, tried to create a forum but my internet went out while I was doing so, I don't think it went through, so if this is a repost or posted in the wrong area, I'm sorry. Anyway, long story short, I'm female and close to turning twenty two, I originally started sertraline around 15-16 years old for anxiety, (generalized, panic attacks, and social) and depression. I started at a lower dose but after several years made my way up to 200mg, stayed on it for another several years, and at the age of 21 finally managed to come off them completely after many attempts that failed due to withdrawal. Fast forward to the end/beginning of this year after being off them for around eight months, my suicidal ideation got severe again, and fearing the worst, I jump shipped and started sertraline again because I was afraid of what I may do. After about 2 months on them again at 50mg, I tapered off over about a week and a half because they were giving me brain zaps, reduced sexual function, brain fog, etc, and I realized why I quit in the first place. Now I'm here two months later wondering if I've ruined myself for doing so. I've had a lot of emotional blunting and anhedonia, but the thing that I do not understand is that I am quick to irritability and anger, but nothing else. I can get sad at times, I have cried a few times which I couldn't manage on the short time I went back on the pills, but I used to have full on meltdowns, which I know isn't ideal, but at least it was something. I am an emotional person, and living in this fog and anhedonia is very concerning to me. I had issues with it before on the pills and even the short time off, but not to this extent. I've been trying to be positive, but I'm about two months in and I'm just tired of living through this window, if that makes sense. It's frustrating because sometimes I can feel this literal switch in my body, that is so close to clicking everything back together, but it doesn't. Other times I don't feel a switch at all. I've had more depersonalization episodes which I haven't had before. I always had a bit of dissociation, but the episodes have definitely been worse. I guess I just don't understand why after years of high dosages, constantly going on and off, I could quit fine and return to normal functioning within two months, where as now after a smaller dosage and shorter period, I'm doing way worse two months in now. Sorry if this is too detailed, but I want to be as clear as possible for any other women going through the same thing and to document my personal experience. I also am able to orgasm, but not the way I used to be able to. The short time on the pills I had near 0 interest and orgasm was hard, so while it is good I can do this again, it isn't the same rush as before, and it isn't nearly as pleasurable due to genital numbness. That has gotten better somewhat, I am able to tell if I am touching myself down there and feel the temperature of things, but the pleasure that was there before and the warm feeling is still not back. A little over a month off, I had a couple random times I became wet down there, and would feel more of a throbbing feeling I had before the pills, to elaborate on that I guess aside from the obvious sensation, it was a desire of, holy ****, I need it now! I don't have that anymore, yet again. With enough concentration and thinking about sex enough, I can get somewhat of a desire, but not much. I thought I was getting better a month ago due to the random lubrication and able to feel temperatures again, along with maybe 10-15% of original feeling coming back, but the past month nothing else has changed, and I haven't randomly gotten wet down there or had much of a throbbing sensation since two or three episodes. I guess my question is, what is your experience with withdrawals from anti-depressants? For those of you who have recovered, did it come back at once, or was it a more gradual thing? From my brief time on this site it seems most swing back and forth like a pendulum, getting better than not, then eventually after weeks or months of going back and forth one stone is then officially planted, only to have to fight the next ten ahead, whether it be the fight with emotions or sexual dysfunction. While I certainly would love to hear from everyone, as I have scrolled through many forums on this site, if there are any females my age, I would love to hear your responses in particular just to know there are others like me going through the same thing, and it would help me understand maybe more of what to look for in terms of recovery, though I acknowledge everyone isn't the same. It's just very disheartening being this young and having to worry about this. It sucks, but I have read many success stories and I am trying to stay positive, especially since I have had some recovery, even if it is marginal.
  12. Hi All - I am glad I found this forum! I am currently dealing with severe Withdrawal symptoms following stopping Sertraline on 28th Oct 2018. I was on 50 mg dose and my taper was just for 5 week on 25 mg. Before I get into that a brief history - 16 Feb 2011 - 28 May 2012 - Venlafaxine 75 mg - I was put on Venlafaxine for anxiety disorder and panic attacks following a troubling blood work report showing high cholesterol. I was able to come off this drug very easily without any real Withdrawal symptoms. Next episode was in September 2013 when I again started having severe heath anxiety (cardiac health + infections) following the untimely death of a close friend. I tried to manage this without medication for 2 months but eventually started medication again - 15 Nov 2013 - Oct 2014 - Cipralex - did not work for me. There were days where I felt good but then it all went downhill. Nov 2014 - March 2017 Venlafaxine with one attempt of approximately 3 weeks in Oct 2016 to stop the meds. After stopping Venlafaxine in March 2017 i stayed normal for another 35 days and then the anxiety came crashing back. I tried to manage it with Yoga and meditation but eventually gave in an started on another SSRI - Sertraline 50 mgJuly 2017-Oct 2018 Sertraline 50 mg (tapered to 25 mg for almost 5 weeks before stopping)Nov and Dec went well but were extremely stressful on the personal side.And then on the 28th of December the anxiety came crashing back. It initially started with Overwhelming thoughts, racing mind, uncontrollable negativity and generalized worry about my health. It was intermittent with a few good days interspersed in between.But following a business trip that involved some alcohol on 4 consecutive days the anxiety is back for good since the 18th Feb and I am not having any good days any more. In fact symptoms are intensifying each day. Current Symptoms - Severe anxiety, shivering, waking up in the night with palpitations, insomnia, diarrhea, scary thoughts, racing mind, tightness in chest, shivering My Personal Conditions - I have just moved to a new property and have been through a very stressful time. On the personal side I am expecting my first child in June 2019 which makes it even more difficult as I have to be there for my partner. I have a moderately stressful job but have some other temporary stresses from some financial transactions. In the light of the above can you please advise - 1. Is this withdrawal or do I need to be on the medication longer? Any advise would be appreciated. 2. I did not know about this website and the tapering strategies mentioned here? Will it make sense for me to go back on the meds and then do a formal taper over a long period of time (2-3 years)? Can it reduce the chances or intensity of the Withdrawal syndrome? 3. Are there support groups here locally in London that you can introduce me to?
  13. Hello thankyou for the add Sorry about my spelling in advance i wish i found this site before i stared to reduce my medication. Let me give you a bit of my back ground story. After i had my son 18months ago i suffered with postnatal depression and anxiety i was very ill. And i was put on sertiline 100mg and it helped me out of a dark place. With the help of CBT i got back on track but still had some bad days but not like it was. Because i was doing so well i went to see my GP and we made a plan to start reducing my meducation. She said cut it down to 50mg from then i asked would i be ok as i was on 100mg and i thought that was going to be a bit much for me to handle. But i did and i seemed ok i took 50mg for a month, then 50mg every other day for a month and 50mg every 3 day for about 2weeks and just stop so i did. Well that was hell i went one week with out any medication. The first 3days was ok just had brian zap and brain fog but i was very angry. What did not help was i came on my cycle and that time for me is always a bad time with my anxity. Day five the anxiety came back with all the scary thoughts. I got so scard that i was going mad again all i could do was cry by day 7 i went back on my medication but only 25mg. This will be the 4th day back on 25mg and i am ok ish i have got some underlining anxiety and the thought are poping in and out. But the thing is i dont no if i am making it worse thinking about it all the time bacause i am so scard. about gerting ill again or is it the anxity i just dont no. I go on my first famliy holiday at the end of the week and want to be ok. Should i go back up to 50mg or give it some more time on 25mg thank you
  14. Hi folks, Just joined and so glad I've found this site.In the short time I've been looking there seems to be loads of great advice. So basically I've been on 50mg of sertraline for 1.5yrs roughly and it's been a god send but I feel the time is right to taper or so I thought .1 month ago I started splitting the tablets taking 25mg which was fine and well tolerated I had no issues at all with the lower dose, So I decided to stop altogether just under a week ago and yesterday I started feeling poorly tiredness has been a problem then today I've started to feel really down and almost weepy something I've never had also anxiety creeping back in with a vengance(the reason I started on them). I feel maybee dropping from 25mg to nothing has been a step too far so I've decided to start back on the 25mg and carry out a 10% taper from there. Does everyone think that is the way to go or should I 're instate the 50mg and 10% taper from there? Feeling pretty confused and lost at the moment also feel angry for upsetting myself like this. Everyone's advice would be greatly appreciated.
  15. Dawn

    Dawn

    I have been taking Sertraline for 6 months now. I was prescribed 50mg to start to help with my panic attacks in relation to a health issue. The side effects of taking the Sertraline were awful. So bad i ended up staying with my sister because there were some days i couldn't cook or take care of myself and son. I felt ok for a small window and then my mood plunged again. I went back to the GP and my dose was increased to 100mg. I was expecting to feel bad again for a few weeks, but what i didn't expect was to have this disturbing symptom of repetitive songs/tunes spinning around my head 24/7. It drove me mad, probably worse than the original issues i started taking it for. I could not listen to an advert or song or even a ring tune on a phone. I could only listen to classical or Jazz music that i wasn't familiar with. Even then sometimes my brain would track down a song that it could play. It make you feel crazy. I then went back to the GP who looked at me blankly when i told him what was going on and asked him if it could be OCD? He said he had never heard of that and gave me another increase of Sertraline. Then i had another bad couple of weeks adjusting to 150mg and still the songs persisted. I gradually started to realise that the SSRI is responsible for the songs. It only started when i upped the dose. So now i am tapering. I am in week 3 now and down to 50mg. I've had good days and bad. Today and yesterday were bad days. Reading through other peoples experiences has shown me that its is likely to be the SSRI and the withdrawal is likely to be making it worse, which it is. So that is a comfort, just hope im not crackers lol Trying to breath deeply, meditate and keep calm, but its sooooooooo hard and scary with my mind doing its own thing while Im trying to work and live. Cant wait for this to be over................................. This should really be explained to GP's so they can warn people and not make them feel even worse!
  16. Jansin

    Jansin: Zoloft

    My name is John, I'm 23 years old and I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in 2013 and was given Zoloft (Sertraline) for treatment, I took 100mg every day for about 4 years until recently I made the decision that I want to be drug-free. So one day either late 2017 or early this year around January I stopped cold turkey and also began tapering off of smoking marijuana. Over the course of this year I felt I began reacting less to everyday life, I began enjoying my hobbies and interests less and less, my short-term memory had declined, and became less and less motivated as the year went on. I attributed this to my chronic cannabis use, only recently have I realized I was horribly wrong. Come September, I woke up one day noticing that my vision wasn't quite right, not blurry, not doubled, just clear yet foggy at the same time, almost like a see-through field of static. The most notable effects being that lights and computer screens are glowing much more. This triggered what I believe to be my very first encounter with Anxiety. There had been an Elm Beetle infestation on one of the trees in the backyard of my home at the time, so I had begun to think that one of them crawled into my head and died, and the resulting gases and decomposition affected me. That quickly evolved to believing there were multiple bugs inside my head either eating me or laying eggs. I knew this was very unlikely but for some reason I couldn't stop thinking it, so then I googled my vision change, the bug theory immediately flew out the window as my new irrational fear took its place: I was almost sure I was having either a brain aneurysm, stroke, or a brain tumor, and began to panic about dying in my sleep or dying in general for the next week or so. So I cave, finally I decide to see my Psychiatrist, and after explaining all of my symptoms and fears to him he thought it best to prescribe more Sertraline and also suggested I see a therapist again. I immediately make the earliest possible appointment I could, which happened to be within the next three hours. The way the therapist almost callously dismissed my fears was actually comforting: "I doubt it's an aneurysm, you're more likely to win the lottery." he went on to explain that if I absolutely could not get over these fears that I could simply get my eyes tested, get my head scanned, get my blood tested, etc. and if I continued to worry about an aneurysm or tumor all I needed to do was remind myself: "I'm seeing a professional and we'll figure this out" "I'm eliminating the possibilities." I get my eyes checked: 20/20 vision. I get a physical (including a blood draw): Healthy. I was almost frustrated that it wasn't just a simple health issue, almost disappointed to learn that I don't actually need glasses. I just wanted to go and find a fix for this. All the while I had begun taking sertraline again. Got through the first 25mg week, then upped to 50mg (Breaking it in half, taking one half in the morning and the other half at night). I actually noticed a positive change for a bit, the anxiety being gone within the first week (but that was likely due to the advice given by the therapist), and during the second week I was actually in higher spirits, mostly more calm and was even able to crack dumb jokes and laughing felt a little more real. I knew they would work, they worked before and they seemed to be working now... Which is exactly why I stopped again. At some point you just don't want to live the rest of your life worrying about side effects or long term effects on your brain chemistry, at some point you begin to doubt that getting on this pills was ever a good idea in the first place. In 2013 I was in a long distance relationship that was strenuous and not working out. I couldn't accept that, I loved her so much, I believed she was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, the thought of losing her was making me cry and cry every morning and night to the point where I was just sad for most of my time. I foolishly believed I was clinically depressed and almost immediately sought out treatment with drugs. Only after a few sessions with a talk-therapist I was diagnosed (maybe falsely, maybe not) with Major Depressive Disorder and was soon sent to a Psychiatrist. I really liked these people, they really come off as your friend and someone who wants to know you and help you. But I just wish they talk me "SSRI's are a big commitment, try exercise and more talk therapy" or "If you aren't having thoughts of suicide then you shouldn't take them." I was never suicidal in those years, just a bit upset with my life, I really wish they warned me of the side-effects beforehand or at least tried to make me understand that they are quite possibly a lifelong commitment, but no, they gave them to me practically a month after I asked about them. I try not to blame those people, I shouldn't, and I tell myself that it was a mistake that I myself made, a choice that I could've avoided if I wasn't so ignorant to what I was getting into. I could've easily done the research beforehand, or could have simply made the right decision and ended my relationship for the better of my health, but I chose to believe something was wrong with me, something that could just be fixed with a pill. Now, 4 years later I experience suicidal thoughts for the first time in my life, I wake up every morning with it weighing over me, invasive, unrelenting, just a sheer violent desperation to escape, to put an end to the pain, the nothingness. I barely hold conversation, and almost always pause mid sentence to gather my thoughts, I sometimes forget information even seconds after receiving it. Happiness just feels... unavailable to me, I only ever feel fear, sadness, and pain. I just want to feel how I used to, I just want to be excited about anything again. I remember my world just lighting up whenever my brother would come home from school every day, I remember the time spent with my friends and loved ones being the best moments of my life. Now it all just feels like a distraction. Now the most I can feel around them is a tiny semblance of peace, just a wick of hope. It's madness, it is an actual living nightmare to be around people you love with all your heart and feel NOTHING, JUST NOTHING. Please help me, I'm so ready to be my old self again, I'm so ready to just genuinely smile. I miss my brother, I miss him so much and hes right here in the same house with me, hes always been here for me and without him I might be dead, and yet I miss him. We used to stay up hours after midnight just brainstorming about stories, jokes, or even nothing at all. We used to be able to just talk for hours, and now I barely know what to say, now I barely laugh or have any ideas... I am less of who I am and I feel like I lose more and more of me every day. I've discovered this website just today and have read about brassmonkey's 10% tapering technique. The withdrawal symptoms described here fit all too well with what I'm experiencing. I'm willing to get back 50mg of sertraline if thats the process I need to take on before I can taper off. Someone please make a plan with me, help me save my life, I can't live like this, and I also can't end it. Please. Please help me.
  17. Anyone successfully coming off this medication after 10 years or more? I am planning a slow taper process.
  18. Female. Anxious disposition even as child. Did well making friends and enjoying life as a child. Struggled with getting to sleep though, due to worries. Displayed some ocd behaviour in teens ( maybe even before). Took and E aged 16 - big mistake. This exacerbated my anxiety and induced subsequent panic attacks. Age 19 ish ( 2001) was put on seroxat (not sure on dosage -it a strange time; experienced a lot of weird goings on with feeling weird, insomnia, - cant remember if this was before or on starting seroxat). started to feel better while on Seroxat. After a year or two, ( age 21) the doc, due to reports of suicidal behaviour on seroxat, decided to swap me to Citalopram ( 20mg i think). On starting Citalopram, I became very suicidal! Not sure why I wasn't swapped back but I perservered and must have evened out. Took Citalopram for 2 years and I felt good. Met my, now, husbandat 23 and thought life was brill and I did not need Citalopram anymore. Didn't follow any kind of tapering ( didnt know I needed to) and must have stopped cold turkey. Felt very suicidal so went back on Citalopram and evened out again. Must have cut fown to 10 mg and stayed on this for 4 years, functioning well. I did my degree. Am a bit of a perfectionist so worked very hard ( too hard), as well as working 16 hours. End of 4th year at Uni, I was burnt out. Overloaded, overwhelmed, run diwn physically and mentally. A 'nervous breakdown' ensued. I tried to go back to uni to finish the last couple of months but couldn't. I finished my dissertation abd transferred my degree so I still gained a 1st class degree but was very ill. I, nearly straight after became pregnant. I, however, suffered a horrid missed miscarriage at 13 weeks. I had told the docs that I thought something was wrong, 5 weeks earlier, but was dismissed. I took 2 months off work and was a mess. The doctor gave me diazepam and zopiclone which helped me ride the worst. Somehow I survived and became pregnant again not long after. Pregnancy was hard ( pains and bleeding) but I lasted. When my baby was born, it was tricky ( so much new to learn; I developed some ocd habits to help me feel in control but it was ok. Things leveled out. I was still on 10 mg Citalopram ( docs aware of this). I was doing well. I had snother baby a couple of years later, aged 29. Pregnancy was s bit better than the previous one but I still had bleeding, so was nervous but it was ok. I continued on 10 mg of Citalopram and was doing ok. When my son was 1 though, I took on too much. ( Lots of voluntary work with high expectations and serious responsibilities. I juggled trying to be a good mum, with several voluntary roles, housekeeping, got a small part time job too. over this time, for some reason i was slowly tapering Citalopram down ( no guidance really other than from the doc that you can take them every other day (? Is this where things started to go wrong?). I thought I was doing ok, although on reflection I was burning the candle at both ends. At the age of 32 I began to experience sciatica and fatigue. Doc suggested I try coming off the pill. This didn't help. This got worse until I developed severe abdominal pain/ heavy periods/ Nausea/ severe IBS - doc queried cfs but i was not yet referred. I was probably taking 5 mg of citalopram a couple of times a week ( not great I now realise as not steady) but as much as I was feeling physically crap, I was still functioning I stopped the Citalopram and took nothing for 10 months. The voluntary work took on another level; I imploded and had a 'nervous breakdown' ( I had a ridiculous amount of stress which was causing me to struggle with sleep and I was beginning to get suicidal ideation and brain fog before this, on top of the other physical issues, then a stressful voluntary work event sent me into a breakdown ( crying/ anxious/ ocd/ sleeplessness/ some kind of sleep apnea where id wake up gasping for breath.. I was put back onto Citalopram. I quit all voluntary work. I requested to start what i thought was low - 5mg. They pushed me to go to 10, saying 5 was ridiculous. At the same time, it was thought I may have endometriosis, so in 2017, aged 35 I had a laparoscopy operation to check; it was not. I think the operation and anaesthetic helped finish me off. The Citalopram made me increading suicidal to the point where I had suicidal ideation 24/7. i was somehow still getting sleep at this point but obe day was so suidsl, I went to A&E. Saw a psychiatrist for the first time in my life ( aged 35). Was tild to stip Citalopram strainght away. Discussed alternatives ( antipsychotics/ Mirtazipine, other ssris etc). I took nothing fir a week then another team of psychiatrists advised on possible meds. It was decided I would try Sertraline ( another Ssri??? why did i do that) I started it on 12.5 mg ( much to dismay of psychiatrists) but I was not given time to level out; They kept bumping up dose so i would get to the 'theraputic' dose of 50mg. Another level of Hell ensured which I hadn't yet visited. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, jitters, suicidsl ideation in the extreme, depression, muscle twitching, increased brain fog, intrusive thoughts, rapid weight loss, hellish insomnia. This on top of the fatigue and pain and ibs i was already experiencing. Despite my reaction, I was told to persist; I think they thought it wss my normal behaviour ( never felt this bad even when I wss 18 before starting Seroxat). Things levelled a bit after about 3 1/2 months. I was able to function a bit and go to my part time work and look after the home but it was tough. I developped tinnitus on Sertraline and had increasing brain fog. I also now suffered from depersonalisation and still had IBS and fatigue and body pain. In November last yesr, Another doc suggested i try the fodmap diet. i tried this and after 2 months it was very apparent that I had a gluten intolerance. Stopping gluten cleared up my IBS and most of the body pain. I still however battled with increasing brain fog and fatigue and severe depersonalisation to the point i couldnt go out at times and battled with it on the way to/ at work. Sertraline was not for me. I decided to cut down. the only advice id had about tapering was every other day from my doc but I thought Id do it slower. i cut miniscule amounts off from April 17, no real structure. I did this slowly but without checking i was stabilising, from April to August when i got to about 25mg. July and August, my brain fog became unbearable; unable to do shopping, unable to have a proper conversation, overwhelmed by simple questions, I became hypersensitive to light and sound. I often wore shades even on cloudy days ( looking back, noide and light sensitivity started with sertraline). I wore earplugs to limit noise at home with loud children. I became snappy due to loud noises. July August this got worse and worse but I was still functioning. I began doing sertraline every other day at 25 mg in August I think, maybe before then BAM one night in early September I had severe anxiety and total insomnia. This was relentless. I was desperate. I needed advice. Do i go back? Stop? go down? even dose to take each day. I was severely suicidal and devepped what seemed to be fit type episodes where i would be breathless, painful stomach, weird tingly head, palpitations, neck pain and lower back pain, loss of appetite, feeling flu like, becoming extremely dehydrated to the point i would guzzle water down cup after cup, My body contorted in painand tension, I eould then becime cold snd shiver. these episodes could last a couple of minutes but up to 16 hours at times. i was desperate for advise. over September/ early october, I visited A&E 4 times, desperately suicidal; I spoke to my doctor, I spoke to the nhs 111 line, I paid to dpeak to a psychiatrist but NO ONE would advise me, passing me round like a hot potato, telling me to do CBT and wait fir an appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist in december! I wouldn't live until then! I stayed with my mum as I felt so out of control with these fit type things ( including one where paramedics came and I was growling/ disorientated/ confused/ dehydrated so my eyeballs snd skin were dry- I was agressive ( never been like this in my life). I didnt want to be near my family due to my behaviour so I stayed with my mum for a few days. she lives in another county. I went to A&E there and they listened to me and made me feel worthwhile. they referred me to their home treatment team, who visited me but once again were unwilling to discuss specifics of medication. i was given zopiclone and diazepam. my husband and i didnt know what to do. we saw this website but I was still confused. I 'evened' out the 25 mg every other day dose to 12.5 in September. This may have made things worse, not sure which is why i wanted advice. The home treatment team managed to get my appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist movef to early october. I saw her and she laughed at my idea that it was withdrawal. she suggested I try an snri or mirtazapine. After reading this site, I wad reluctant. I am still referred with that team of psychiatrists but another appointment is in 2 months and they just want to throw more meds at me without showing any understanding of withdrawal. 5 weeks ago at an extreme point, before seeing the psychiatrist, I stopped Sertraline. I have been off it for 5 weeks. The fits seem to have all but stopped. but my anxiety is through the roof. I have severe stomach pain, reactions to shsmpoo, brain buzzy feeling whch zaps at times, particularly with high pitched loud noises. my sensitivity to sound is horrendous, as are my emotions and sensitivity to stress. I am overwhelmed by anxiety and ocd type ruminating thoughts about the situation and about my children's health. I am in sick leave from work since 2 months ago, as is my husband ( to look after me and the children). I have managed to taper off zopiclone and my sleep varies depending on my anxiety at night ( minutes up to 6 hours, broken sleep). I took dome diazepam but the ladt dose in September affected my breathing and I became severely breathless for 4 hours andmy gums bled so i haven't taken it since. I have applied for pip disability living allowance. we are shortly going to have no miney coming in and do t know if and my husband will be able to go back to work or if he will be fired ( I assume i will). I read this site but felt I couldnt reinstate as I never felt good on Sertraline. what now? do I try to ride it out? So suicidal and hopeless at times. Do I reinstate to citalopram instead? Do i try something else? Low dose mood stabiliser/ antipsychotic? Ps, I was referred a month ago to the ME/ Cfs people for diagnosis. Still waiting to hear.
  19. Hello, i have been quite down for a few months and had panic attacks for stress this summer after trying many natural remedies a month ago I went to a psychiatrist who prescribed 25mg sertraline to take once a day for five days and then take full 50mg capsule after that. Whilst waiting for the effect of the ssr1 i was to take rivotril 3 drops twice daily. I immediately felt better but at the same time a bit estranged so i asked whether i could continue on the 25mg dose and use rivotril only when needed for the anxiety attacks. He said ok. I have been feeling a bit down again so he said I should take the full 50mg dose (i am a woman of 51yrs, 5ft 11 and weigh 62kg) I would not want to double the dose and actually am thinking of quitting. Can the tapering down be faster as ive been on this zoloft sertraline only 1month and never used anything else before? Is there a milder calming effect remedy that can be used? thank you for your help
  20. Hello everyone, first of all, I wanna thank everyone in this forum for giving me hope and for making me feel less alone. After being AD free for exactly 3 weeks today, I decided to create my own profile so I could tell my story and update you on my journey towards recovery. Let's start with the basics: female, mid-twenties, working and studying at the same time. I've suffered from anxiety and panic issues my whole life, so I guess it wasn't a surprise when I finally developed OCD when I was a teenager (health related obsessions are my the most persisting obsessions, so I guess you could say I suffer from hypochondria as well). Specialists have 'officially' diagnosed me with OCD, anxiety disorder (not specified which one apart from OCD) and, as of late, depression (but we'll get to that in a minute). July 2015 I was prescribed Seroxat 20 mg (Paxil) because I was severely impaired due to my anxiety disorder and OCD. It seemed to work like magic! Life was so much better for a year or so: my obsessions returned to being just thoughts that I could easily ignore, I hung out with friends and family a lot more, I could get outside of my house without feeling panicky, my work life was SO much better, I didn't feel as anxious... I didn't suffer from any major side effects, apart from weight gain. My psychiatrist never warned me that coming off the meds would be so hard. He never mentioned withdrawal, or discontinuation syndrome. I expressed him my concerns about being on the drug for a long time (my common sense told me you aren't supposed to be on this medication for a long period of time). He asked me if I was having any major side effects from taking it, I said no, he said: "then why the hurry? you will be able to come off of it once you're feeling better." *sigh* So I took it for 3 years... I went to him one other time to tell him that, whenever I missed my dose for one day, I'd get really weird head sensations that I'd never experienced before (now I know it's the famous BRAIN ZAPS!), alongside nausea. He said that this was a normal thing that happens when you stop taking the medication, but he said I was probably very sensitive to Seroxat and that's why it happened after only one day of not taking it. Since my symptoms went away once I took my normal dose again, I never thought much of it. So, fast forward to February 2018: I was sick and tired of taking meds. Yes, I wasn't feeling especially bad while being on them, but I just had the feeling that I'd been taking them for long enough and I genuinely thought it wouldn't make a difference on my mental health to stop taking them, since I felt stable (albeit a bit anxious, that's why i thought meds weren't doing anything anymore). I wasn't living in the same country anymore, so seeing my psychiatrist wasn't possible. Now, this is the part where I understand I messed up: I started tapering, but I did it as I pleased, basically. I know now that this was EXTREMELY irresponsible. I wish I had informed myself better, and I also wish my doctor hadn't given me the impression that SSRI's are not difficult to get off. I didn't follow a schedule, I just tried listening to my body: I went from taking 20mg each day, to taking 20 mg one day, 10 mg the next, then 20 mg. the next (I don't know if I'm explaining myself: for example; Monday 20 mg, Tuesday 10 mg, Wed. 20 mg, Thursday, 10 mg... and so on). Once I was done doing it (I did indeed feel a bit more anxious and suffered from brain zaps and nausea for a while, but it went away), I reduced the meds again and took 20 mg. every other day. I followed this last routine for at least 3/4 months and, even though I felt worse, it was still manageable. I suffered from nausea, derealization and brain zaps for a while, but they eventually went away. July 2018 (5/6 months after 'tapering') I decided to take it to the next level: I'd take 10 mg. every day. After 2 weeks of following that routine, I took 10 mg. every other day. Now, that was the point when withdrawal showed its ugly head: derealization, panic attacks, anxiety for no reason, obsessions, brain zaps, nausea and nightmares begun. This was end july-beginning of august. I went back on them (10 mg. a day), and symptoms definitely alleviated. A month later, I tried again - I tried stopping taking them completely at a point in my life where I had a lot of changes coming up (moving countries, change in job, last year of uni, quitting birth control meds...), and that's when hell broke loose. I now feel so bad about it, I wish I had made things differently I don't understand how I could act so irresponsibly. What happened was, I suffered a major OCD relapse, anxiety was present 24/7. I tried going on Seroxat again, 20 mg. for a month, following my psychiatrists orders (I was back in my country, so I contacted him immediately). It didn't seem to work (although my nightmares stopped). This relapse was so bad I started suffering from really bad depression. My psychiatrist told me to be patient. He said Seroxat would start working at some point. After a month of taking Seroxat and seeing no improvement, my new therapist suggested I started treatment with this other psychiatrist. I was so desperate, I went to see him. After hearing my whole story, this new psych. told me that Seroxat wasn't working for me anymore. He prescribed Sertraline/Zoloft (100 mg.). I followed his instructions, and so I went from 20 mg. of Seroxat daily, to 10 mg. daily for a week, then stopping it completely the next. I started Zoloft 50 mg. while tapering off Seroxat. After one week, I went from 50 mg. Zoloft to 100. IT WAS HELL: agitation, panic attacks (yes, even more panic attacks!), vivid dreams (I had never experienced something like that before, EVER), suicidal ideation (sorry)... those were the most prominent symptoms. I waited a month to see if it improved: it never did, even though I tried everything - changing the time I took the meds, taking a lower dose (all of this by doctor's orders). He finally told me that Zoloft wasn't working for me either, and told me to taper off of it (quickly...). He then said to wait for a week without any meds to see how I was feeling. After I week I'd start taking Fluvoxamine / Luvox (yet another med!). This was 4 weeks ago. 3 weeks ago I completely went off the meds, as instructed, and never dared to try fluvoxamine. I've already gone through enough. I feel so upset because no doctor actually thinks this is real. Yes, he told me AD discontinuation happens, and yes, he said Paxil is one of the harder drugs to quit, but he said the discontinuation syndrome would only last for 3 or 4 days! How delusional can they be? I told my doctor about this, expressed him my concerns about still being in withdrawal and he said that I should try going back to Seroxat, 5 mg. I still haven't followed his advice. What do you think I should do? I'm already 3 weeks in recovery from AD... So, how do I feel now? Here's a list of my main symptoms: When I stopped taking Seroxat and I begun taking Sertraline, daily vivid dreams started. My doctor thought it was a side effect of taking Zoloft, but I believe it's a side effect from Seroxat withdrawal, since I already had a taste of them when I tried tapering off of Seroxat a few months prior to this. Also, I did cross taper, so I started taking Sertraline when I was weaning myself off Seroxat. I still suffer from them almost every day. I wake up with an emotional hungover that lasts for hours. I sometimes hear loud sounds that aren't really there while drifting off to sleep or when I wake up. Sounds like bangs, alarm clocks... Doctor says it's stress, I say it's withdrawal. Nocturnal panic attacks / panic in dreams: I wake up with my heart racing and a feeling of impending doom (I take a small dose of a benzodiazepine most nights to help me sleep at least a little. I know it's not the best thing to do, but I had no other choice, believe me.) This had never happened to me before all of this withdrawal process. Fewer hours of sleep. It's not drastic, but I do sleep fewer hours. 6 hours a day more or less. Brain zaps. These were most intense during the first week and a half of quitting Sertraline. I still have them, but they aren't as intense and the frequency has also decreased A LOT (like 70%). Feeling dizzy. This symptom is the one that bothers me the least. It happens rarely and the intensity is low. It started happening to me on week 2. Hyperarousal. This, alongside vivid dreaming, is the worst symptom for me. This manifests itself in the form of agitation, suddenly feeling panicky, feeling the adrenaline inside my body all of a sudden. Increased obsessions. This is basically my OCD coming back, full force. Irritability. I become aggresive for absolutely NO reason! I don't act on those feelings, of course, but I sometimes scream at people or give them a bad attitude because of stupid reasons. I immediately apologize like a minute later, because I know I overreacted. Mood swings - including crying spells, intense feelings of depression and hopelessness. I am experiencing windows and waves at this point, to be honest. I didn't think it was really a thing until I started experiencing it for myself. This gives me hope... What am I doing to help myself? I'm starting meditation. I'm also starting EFT tapping. I'm trying to slowly eat healthier. I'm moving my body for at least 45 min. a day (gentle exercising, such as swimming slowly or walking). I've tried acupuncture... I'm unsure of its efficacy. Thank you so much for reading my story. I'm so grateful for this site. If you have any questions, I'm here for you
  21. I have been off Sertraline for over four months now, after having been on it for about 3 and half years. Previous 4 years or so I had been on other medications. Is diffcult to comprehend and explain in words all that is going on, but my whole psyche has been completely overturned in these years, and I do not know to what extent the various medications have caused me this. I suffer from the severest OCD,and anxiety, and now I think depression, and sheer terror at all my subsconscious thoughts which have completely taken over my whole mind. I have been imprisoned and castigated in my own mind. It is beyond explanation what is occuring on a millisecond basis. I seem to have entered some moral vortex, whereby I feel as if I am always doing wrong. Constantly confronted with "Heaven and Hell". Constantly feeling compelled to undo things, which for example I have written like here. Damned if I do or if I don't , this doesnt explain 1% of what is going on. It has brought into the fore the reason for everything and existence. I really have no idea what is going on, terrifies me the idea that no-one can have any idea of what is going on in my head. Yet on the other hand everybody is in my head, I don't know who is in my head and who isn't. Everything I say in my head is being judged. I will not go any further for now as I am terrified of writing, and also it may not be entirely pertinent to the subject. Unfortunately it only comforts me to a certain extent to know that others are experiencing their own hell, and I feel guilty in turn for the fact "that others suffering should comfort me', as I have entered some abstract Universe which seems to have its own laws. the ridiculous thing is that in the end what seems "right and wrong" seems to be determined by feeling and not some sort of formula, and I feel guilty in turn for thinking that, and also "convinced" on the one hand that it should be formulated and on the other "know" that it isn't. One of the main reasons for writing this post was the guilt and fear of punishment, or fear of damning others, especially close ones for benefitting from reading others stories and not contributing my own. To clarify alot of this stuf was going on when I was still on the Sertraline, and perhaps, in a different way when I was on other medication, difference now is that I am that so much more fragile.
  22. 6 years ago had baby number 2. Ended up post natal. They put me on sertraline. Wasn't working on me great so eventually went up to 200mg. Since Dec 14 I tapered off. Finishing in April 15. I've been suffering with anxiety and tears negative thoughts ever since. In waves and windows. Now nearing 7 months and going through a wave if tears last week and this. I feel maybe I should go back on but my heart of hearts and also hubby and friends say stick it out as I have good days too. Mornings are bad at times.
  23. Hi everybody! I’m a 33 year old girl from Canada Looking for some guidance on how to go about coming off this poison. I guess I’ll start with telling you guys my history: 2009- cipralex 20mg + seroquel 50mg + clonazepam 0.5mg (stopped seroquel after a month with no wd- never took it again) took clonazepam here and there as needed 2010-2014 zoplicone on and off for sleep - stopped in 2014 with no wd noted 2009-2015 clonazepam as needed (once or 2x a week - no dependency and no wd when stopping. Haven’t touched one since then.) Cipralex CT in 2013 because I couldn’t take anymore weight gain. Started Wellbutrin for a few weeks after a month of CT and then moved to Prozac. 2013 - 2015 Prozac 20mg - still having panic attacks so rapid taper over a month and started 25mg Zoloft then bumped up after 3 weeks to 50mg. 2015 - present - Zoloft 50mg I was originally put on these meds for OCD (which I definitely had, hardly see any sign of it now adays) and anxiety. In total since starting meds I’ve put on 50 lbs of weight and have terrible short term memory, concentration, and motivation. I’ve done a ton of self work over the years and am a counsellor so I definitely have some good coping skills and am ready to tackle this beast. However, after reading around this site both my doctor and the compounding pharmacy said they’ve never heard of liquid sertraline, so not sure how to proceed. Thanks for reading!
  24. Hello everyone, I first got started on Celexa in May 09 after my mind slipped into an inescapable panic state induced by an accidental overdose of the anti-histamine diphenhydramine. I should of know way back then, after a few weeks, then I should of stayed away from all drugs and given my brain a chance to calm down and repair itself on it’s own, but I was truly, truely frightened that I had down some serious damage or I was on my way to the depths of psychosis. So I went to my GP got diagnosed with anxiety disorder. I switched to Cymabalta in November 09 after a personal event triggered an intensification of agitated depression which had never really left despite treatment with Celexa. Sticking with Cymbalta was, again, an irrevocably stupid decision - but I had faith in the psychiatrist who was prescribing me these things. Suicidal ideation was commonplace both in an experiential context and in circumstantial context – my anxiety was so severe I just wanted out and I was astounded to what life had been reduced to. On cymbalta I felt tired but wired with a generalised irritability and massive cravings for sugar, which when I gave in and ate only triggered an intensification of irritability. I look back during this period and I’m struck with just how bizarre and Kafkaesque the whole experience was. Why the hell didn’t I get of the ******* thing earlier? I weaned off Cymbalta in in June 2010. However, the suicidal panic now morphed into a suicidal malaise and all-consumng tiredness, severe anhedonia, and an inability to concentrate - which has stuck with me since. I got put on Zoloft in Oct’10, 4 months after my last drug, and after a visit to a GP where I told me him I was suicidal and planning to go through with it. He sort of shrugged and just told me to go back on a med. The Zoloft induced both akathisa and a “despair beyond despair” at my situation. I flew out to Thailand with the intention of having a last hurrah and then taking myself down to one of the gun ranges and putting a .357 round into my frontal lobe. (Guns aren't readily available in the UK) I flew home when my parents found out where I was, despite my (I thought) well-constructed plan to deceive and explained to them the extent of which I was struggling. We sought the services of a psychiatrist whom I thought was progressive and looking at the bigger picture. By now, I was mostly concerned with the brain fog and chronic fatigue - which prevented me from most activities which might have led to an improvement with my lot in life - which led me to conclude my problem was neuro-endocrine based. I agreed to a low-dose of Lexapro, some compounded thyroid hormone and about 20 different supplements to treat any bodily pathologies. Despite this ambitious protocol, there was very little change in mood. I tried to stay working but got overwhelmed again and my suicidal ideation reached a zenith. I flew back out to Asia with my father, this time to Cambodia but to join a volunteer project building houses. I figured a dose of 3rd poverty might take my mind….off my mind. This time I also agreed to start lithium. It was a humbling experience for sure but I was still weak, foggy, anxious and depressed. I also felt intensely guilty at being in my depressed state amongst so much poverty and in a country with the worst auto-genocide in history. I also picked up a stomach infection which led to post-infectious gastroparesis which I have been struggling with since. Early in 2011 I discontinued the lithium, at the time we hadn’t worked out the stomach problem and where concerned the lithium could be causing the GI stuff. I continued with Lexapro in the AM and 25mg amitrypltine to get me off to sleep in the PM. Life was just a haze punctuated by bouts of panic and despair. My ability to work and socialise properly had all but disappeared by now, so I got used to life being what it was. At the beginning of 2012 I decided to take a break from AD’s, they didn’t seem to have improved my lot in life much, maybe coming off them would do some good. This was when my concern, finally, about TD started - I continued to feel like absolute ****. What if the drugs were the problem all along?. It wasn’t until a few months ago that the epiphany really took hold and I realised the full horror of what I subjected myself to. I realised the whole thing was being exacerbated by the very treatment that authority deemed to be of help. Back when I came off Cymbalta in 2010 I just assumed this was my depression anxiety ramping up and the exhaustion was a natural extension, but now I was still horrendously depressed and the other **** kicked in. I curse myself that I didn’t see the connection the first time round and have spent another 2.5 years on psych drugs….. Note, I tried a few drugs of now more than about two weeks duration in 2012. Again this was before the idea of drug-induced harm became cemented in my mind. My last drug ingestion was Tianeptine in November. My question to anyone who has any suggestions and or experiences is in my title – what the hell do I do now? I’m a complete invalid. Living at home with a parent at 25, unable to enjoy much of anything at all, I can’t lose myself in a movie like I did years ago, my mind is just inexplicably turned inward and focused on it’s own arid desolation and fogginess. Reading is a significantly challenging endeavour and writing is difficult (it’s taken me about a week to knock this up into something coherent and semi-legible). I’m just having such trouble formulating a strategy which might give me a chance of getting well again. Just reading this site has given me a bit of hope in that people can get their lives back on track. There’s people here that appear to have got off far harsher drugs and had been on them for longer periods, so I need to keep a perspective of sorts, I’m just terrified at this stage that I’m past the point of no return and that putting what was a fragile brain/mind to begin with in drugs might just have been…… Any help or words of wisdom are appreciated. Thanks for reading. Jack
  25. Hello, My name is Sean, I've been dealing with stress and anxiety for the past two years, it has gotten particularly bad lately, to the point were i could no longer cope, i was going to therapy but that wasn't enough either, so i went to a psychiatrist and was prescribed Zoloft. Since i took Zoloft on the 26th, i haven't felt emotion. Please if you have the time read what i wrote below. if anyone has experienced what im feeling. I need help. I cant stand this please. (took the pill 10:00PM 26th) (October 27th 4:00PM)Believe it or not I already feel my medication, it felt pretty good at first but as the day went on I felt more and more drained. The best way I can describe it is zombie like. I feel detached and emotionless. I don’t feel happy sad or anything. I don’t see a point socializing, or anything else for that matter. I just see everything in a logical sense. And I don’t like it, I felt the same way when I was put on Add medication in middle school. I don’t feel happy sad scared stressed anxious shy glad excited, when my brother talked to me about possibly doing airsoft I didn’t feel anything, normally that would have excited me even if i was stressed. Is it possible this side effect will go away over time? Or should I find another medication. Don’t get me wrong its not making me depressed, I just feel nothing. I haven’t felt this way since middle school when I was put on an add medication. (October 27th 11:00PM) I still feel the side effects, they should have been gone by now i mean heck its been over 22 hours the average duration of a 50mg dose of Zoloft is 22 hours, i took a 25mg. I can't stop crying witch is strange for me, i don't normally cry even when things are really bad, the strangest part is that when i cry i don't feel sad or scared my brain register the fact that i feel sad and scared but i don't feel it in my heart. Its like my heart and mindhave been separated. My mind tells me I'm sad, my face looks like I'm sad when i look in a mirror but i don't feel (FEEL) sad. It should have been gone hours ago. Im going to try to get some rest. (October 28th 9:30PM) I just woke up around 30 minutes ago. It was strange i didn't recognize myself at first nor my surroundings my brain was just on a tangent of nonsensceicle thoughts and ideas. i was conversing with people who didn't exist. About things that didn't make any sense. I feel a little better now. I still feel sick in my stomach. Id say the only thing that really changed is that now instead of feeling completely numb i feel weird. Jittery, almost light headed. i feel my heart again witch is suppose is good news. but it feels weird almost light. Im starting to feel sick again. My head almost feel like its heavy one moment then full of helium the next. My emotions still feel numb. The nauseas back. I feel like I'm failing in and out of reality, its really strange. Is it possible to be feeling this after only taking the pill one day? Are these side effects normal? Should these side effects be gone by now? How long do you believe it will take for these side effects to subside and leave me feeling normal again? Is it possible that this medication somehow permanently (or in the long term) altered the chemical make up of my brain? Its strange whenever i try to focus on my surroundings and life i get sick, confused and a little scared. When i try to focus on reality i feel a little emotion but when i let myself zone out witch only take second a second it feels like all my emotions have been muted. Please if you have any knowledge or experience concerning these side effects and zoloft please respond. I just need to know weather this will go away soon or not. And if it is normal to still feel the effects of a 25mg pill over 32 hours after taking it. I feel sad happy and scared at the same time when i focus on things its as if the group is moving a little. Best way to describe how i feel emotionally is confused. This is very weird especially seeing its been over 32 hour since i took the 25mg pill. Its also strange seeing this is only my first day i hear most people don't feel anything the first day. Also a little background I'm very sensitive to medication. i took 50 mg of Benadryl and that practically made me lose conciseness after waking up i was angry and confused for a week. Eventually it wore off. Point being I'm I'm high sensitive to medication so that might have something to do with it. Anyway please respond as soon as you can, i hat the idea that this may last weeks if not months, i know its not logical but nor is the fact that i feel this way 32 hours after taking a 25 mg pill for my very first time. Once again if you have any knowledge on the subject of Zoloft i would really appreciate a response. Thank you. Can i expect this to go away in the next week or two? Is it permanent?
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