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  1. Hello Thank you for accepting me in to this group. I have always faced adversity and never ever took any medication. I always felt these were life situations that all of us must face - and that there isn't a fast fix - only time will heal - which it always had. But when my son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoma Leukemia - I forgot all about the above and listened to my GP to take something for this pain that hurting my very soul. So I took Zoloft and stayed on it for 8 years - Then on December 3, 2011 - my GP and I decided it was time to start tapering off Zoloft. Unfortunately Zoloft only comes in 25, 50 and 100 mgs in capsule form. I had to taper 25 mgs at a time, albeit I stayed on that amount for 4 months at a time. Took a year and a half to finally get off it, which was on May 17, 2013. My tapering experience: I had litte WDs in the beginning - first was the dizziness, arms and legs ached, headaches, groin pain to the point where I had a hard time walking, indigestion, - all these symptoms except the dizziness and headaches disappeared. I was coping quite well all through withdrawals - but I didn't know what was coming, was not prepared at all. When off completely May 17, 2013 - again for a couple of months still able to cope with WDs. Then around 6 months off - WDs seem to get worse - visual disturbances, anxiety, worsen headaches, lightheadedness - pins and needles all over my face and chin, daily migraines, tight band around my head - DP, crying all the time - night sweats - morning anxiety - All these symptoms started mildly around the 6th month period off - then they just got worse and worse and around 18 months of until now there has been no let up at all. Day after day with high anxiety, crying every day, distorted vision in one eye I think caused by the headaches. I am literally in hell - and I wonder if maybe I will be like this for the rest of my life. Also recently I have lost a person whom I love so much, never to see that person again. I think my WDs are even worse now because of it. There is no hope left in me...- Zoloft is the only medication I have ever taken and do not take anything at all - not even vitamins.
  2. Hi all, New here. Was on Sertraline for 2.5 years until this Christmastime. Initially 25 then 50mg, attempted to go up to 100mg under the direction of my doctor. Suffered significant diarrhea due to this change, and so went back down to 50mg. And that is when the real issues started. Though I was not aware of what was happening. I was prescribed it during the midst of the breakup of my marriage, which started to break down due to the fact that my ex suffered significant pain on intercourse, which had meant our sex life had pretty much always been one of disappointment and difficulty. Towards the end of last year, I started to realise something wasn't right. I was in a fog, I have moved several times in the last few years as I got my life back on track. I moved to the Bay area in June. I am in the process of trying to start a new relationship, which started just before Christmas last year. I had the sudden realisation that I was having significant sexual side effects. To my horror, once I realised this, I also 'came to' and realised that this had been going on for maybe 6-8 months previously, and progressively getting worse, but I simply hadn't noticed because I had been in a complete fog. I was skipping doses... just unaware of my surroundings. I was having brain zaps, dizziness, confusion, night sweats, significantly decreased cognitive ability, memory loss, depersonalised. I remember people commenting that I seemed distant. I remember my doctor up in Fort Bragg California asking me last June if the sexual side effects were problematic and I cheerily said 'no'. When in fact they were - but I simply wasn't aware. How can that be?! Cue seeing my general practitioner, who is managing my medication here in the Bay area, plus quickly making an appointment with a psychiatrist. Psychiatrist - who was the only one I could get an appointment with at short notice - told me I didn't have depression, and could stop taking the zoloft immediately. I told him I wasn't comfortable with that, and would like to taper, and was met with a response that I was the kind of person who got anxious about taking pills, and promptly asked me what I would feel comfortable with. Clearly he didn't believe in the need to taper at all. We ended up doing a taper over 2 weeks. To 25mg and then cold turkey. I then went back to my GP as I did not trust the opinion of a psychiatrist who went against everything I had read. I am working to get in with another psychiatrist, but no appointments until April. My GP has prescribed Wellbutrin, I am 2 weeks into that but honestly want nothing more to do with antidepressants. It is also making me break out into a rash and increasing anxiety. At present I am about 3 weeks in to withdrawal. I get spells of intense anxiety, partially I think due to the wellbutrin, partially due to WD. I did have anxiety before being prescribed an SSRI. My brain gets tired easily. On the positive side, I have started dreaming again - just little bits and pieces. Mostly odd/weird dreams, but dreams nonetheless. Sometimes I wake in a sweat and a panic. But if I can find a way to go back to sleep then often I wake up calmer and more in my body. The sexual side effects worsened initially, but have probably plateaued about where they were before I stopped sertraline. However, I am now aware of just how much difference there is between how I am now, and how I once was. Suddenly my memories of what it was like to have a solid erection have come back. Memories of past sexual encounters where I didn't feel ashamed and broken. And so my desire to be sexual is something I have to fight for. My new partner has been very understanding, but I have to get myself out of a mindset of shame in order to want to be sexual in any way. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. I have started to be aware of birdsong, smells that I had forgotten about - woodsmoke, flowers. And I am generally more aware of myself and my environment. Like waking up from a long sleep and wondering where on earth I have been. Some sensation has returned to my genitals. But not much. Sometimes I notice what I feel is desire and attraction. But it feels weak. And erections are weak and unreliable. I have a meditation practice. I have started running and taking longish walks. I am taking fish oil with my food, and working hard to stay positive. I have a network of friends who are amazing and show up for me. At this point I am hopeful as things are early on in the WD process and I am coping. However, I am petrified that I will never get to fully enjoy sex again. It feels cruel, given that my past history was one of being a very sexual person, in a relationship with someone who couldn't give me a fun sex life, despite their best attempts. I am angry that I am in this situation. No one mentioned long-term sexual side effects or withdrawal when I was being counselled for this drug. It wasn't even mentioned as a possibility, although sexual side effects during treatment were. I will not be beaten. One way or the other I will become okay with myself again, whatever that looks like. I would very much like it to look like a regular healthy sex life and relationship again. Who knows. Maybe it will be with an asexual partner or as a Buddhist monk. But I have hope and am working to keep in a positive mindset overall. Not going into these negative thoughts, but just keeping moving at all cost. This is my journey thus far. I'm grateful to be here with you all...
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. Anyone successfully coming off this medication after 10 years or more? I am planning a slow taper process.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. 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
  17. 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?
  18. GirlfromD

    GirlfromD: insomnia

    Hi im new, I will update my storie when I am feeling better than now. At the moment i can't sleep, i fall a sleep in the morning at 7 or 8. the other day i tried to change it by staying awake for 25 hours straight. And i got a little bit of sleep last night. But today im feeling odd, like i haven't slept for 3 days or something, could the insomania return, in that case me staying awake for so long is a total waste of time!? Should i just go with the insomania and sleep when I can not try to force myself into a better sleeping pattern. Please help! And sorry for my English.
  19. Hello! I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Katie and am 38. I was a completely happy, carefree woman until Thanksgiving when my 5 yr old daughter was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, the deadlist brain cancer. After getting two opinions, Drs said she will probably only live another year. Well, I started to get panic attacks in mid-Dec. I was scared and did not know what was going on with my body. They gave me Xanax and .5mg would calm them down. A few days later my GP put me on Zoloft....12.5mg for a few days and 25mg for a few more. It was the WORST experience and I got heart palpations, my GP took me off cold turkey. So, the day after I was dizzy. The dizziness went on for 4.5 weeks until I got on Prozac because everyone was saying "it must be anxiety causing the dizziness". I know NOW that it was withdrawal, even though I was on for a short time. The reason I know this is because I am going through withdrawal NOW AGAIN! I tried Prozac, Lexapro and Zoloft (again) for about 3-4 weeks.....each one gave me agitation, intense 24/7 anxiety, an angry and depressed heightened state, etc... I ended up in the psych ward for 3 days because I was scared and didn't know what was going on with my body and they took me off Zoloft. They said my body does not metabolize SSRIs right. I KNEW IT!!!! Ugh, so now she took me off COLD TURKEY last week and have been dizzy and feeling seasick every since. The seabands you get in drugstores do wonders for stopping the sick feeling if any of you need this advice! Anyway, so the 1st week off was tolerable and now I am 24/7 wired/agitated with anxiety. Nothing can stop this feeling, it's the same feeling I had while ON the antidepressants. Does withdrawal go through different stages? I was only on 25mg (2.5 weeks) and 50mg (1 week). I don't want ANYTHING to do with SSRIs every again. They are poison!!!!!
  20. Hi, I was on 50mg of sertraline for 4 mths. I'm 53 years old and consider myself pretty intelligent. I allowed a Dr to let me think the medicine would help me be able to cope on some UPCOMING things that I shared with her...that my life was pretty overwhelming. I have an 88yr old Mother that lives with me, she had had a recent stroke and just her years of life coming to a close and needing to deal with that....my last child of 5 was going to be going away to college so I was GONNA be an empty nester.....my daughter that has my grandchildren was GONNA be moving further and I was loving them being 7 miles away. ALLLL of those things were coming in the future - NOTHING had happened and she put me on it as a precaution. Im still soooo mad that I took it. SOOO...4 mths on, I had nasal congestion the whole time, no sex drive & my sleep was messed up. The 1st mth I felt so beyond WEIRD on it. Very disconnected and kinda floating feeling. I pretty much cold-turkey'd off of the 50mg. I was ok for the 1st 10 days. Then the VERY DAY we moved our son in to his dorm...my life stopped as I knew it. I had crazy dizziness, TOTAL exhaustion feeling, just barely could put 1 foot in front of the other. Slept for days that 1st week or 10 days. My brain just felt weird - I just really dont know how to explain it. I had a few brain zaps but mine came with fast motion of my head sideways or up and down - so i did NOT do that. I could move my eyes sideways or look up...it was awful. In the night i couldnt turn over much because it would send me into vertigo spin. NOW...all of that mostly has gone - I'm 3 mths into WD! But the dizziness hasnt left. It's not like the beginning where I couldnt walk anywhere straight - I ran into everything. But my head just feels weird. I'll go shopping (never by myself because I don't think I can drive) and I will feel good -- but then the next time I'll feel floaty the whole time... My question that I asked -- am I dumb... I've had some xanax that when I have to do something important I take 1 and I don't even know if it helps but I'm desperate to feel normal... Is the Xanax starting some of my WD all over again or making me hold on to the dizziness. In 3 mths I've probably take 8 & they are low dose (not sure what mg) -- but am I shooting myself in the foot?? I've also had some numbness around my lip, nose, eye - that's hung on and my tongue is slightly numb and burns some. I think alot of that is anxiety. Anyways - I appreciate anyones thoughts. Im soooo beyond grateful my WD havent been mental - all physical. I just found SA and Im gonna be praying for you all. Took sertraline for 4 mths and i'm beginning my 4th month of this WD junk. Blessings to you all!!
  21. Hey! I recently switched from pills to liquid form Sertraline. I took 1ml (20mg) liquid today and 1-2 hours later i get hard to controll to anxiety, almost went in to a anxiety attack. Should hold on to do this switch since it easier to taper liquid or should i switch back to pills? Im very sensitive to meds. Regards L
  22. Hello everyone, Thank you for accepting me into this peer support group! I discovered SA a few weeks ago and have read many compelling and informative threads. I feel like I truly understand my situation now. Thank you to all! Discovering in my late-20s that ‘adult ADD’ was the cause of my anxiety and impulsivity, I tried Ritalin, wellbutrin, paxil and finally 50 mg of zoloft. I found that SSRI’s really focused me and reduced my anxiety. I was on Zoloft from 2004 to 2013 and tapered myself off the drug over the course of a year. I experienced the usual acute symptoms over the next month or so but then I seemed to recover. Roughly 4 months later I began experiencing severe prolonged AD withdrawal symptoms and ended up essentially house-bound with insomnia, high anxiety, OCD symptoms…I eventually lost 30 pounds. I was a professional musician at the time performing a rock opera and had to cancel all remaining shows. It essentially ended my career as a performing musician. A nurse practitioner at the time urged me to begin taking Zoloft again and in July of 2013, I was prescribed 50mgs. Eventually my symptoms subsided and I went back to school in 2014. One of the WD symptoms that remained with me was a case of body dysmorphia, which became manageable due to cognitive behavioral therapy. In 2015, I read “Nutrient Power” by William Walsh and discovered the joys of methylation and L-methionine, which I added to my decreased dose of Zoloft (35mg from 50mg). The side effects of taking both were increased dry mouth/lips etc along with increased water retention. But I noticed that I was much sharper and even more relaxed socially. Fast forward to March of 2018 and I’m in my 2ndsemester in medical school (as a 40+ year old) and I decided that I just couldn’t take the combination L-methionine with the Zoloft anymore because of the dry mouth and other symptoms. After a week of not taking L-methionine, I began experiencing horrible WD symptoms: insomnia, anxiety, deep depression, brain fog, body dysmorphia etc…It never occurred to me that an amino acid would cause withdrawals like a benzo or an SSRI! I had to drop the semester and was later placed on medical leave of absence. During this time, I thought I was having a nervous breakdown due to prolonged exposure to medical school stress…but I was doing well. I did try to restart L-methionine again in April but experienced a spike in anxiety, adrenaline and dry mouth. It was too much. I find I’m reliving the same nightmare of my previous WD experience in 2013…thanks to my ignorance. My insomnia is better after taking Seriphos and now Kavinace. But thanks to SA, I know that I will have to start a slow taper off the phenibut. I am now at almost 4 months since I stopped L-methionine. I still take Zoloft but have reduced the dose from 35 to 25mg. After all I’ve been through, I don’t think I will taper the ssri now. I experience a significant degree of social anxiety, which has caused me to isolate. The social anxiety is closely related to my body dysmorphia. It seems a bit worse than a few months ago… My wife is very understanding and I feel more stable in public with her by my side. I have enrolled in an oriental medicine program this fall (11 credits only) and have a wedding to go to overseas in August. My dilemma is that isolating seems to make my social anxiety worse but getting out in the world can bring fresh trauma! However, my social anxiety tends to decrease the more time I spend in public and socializing with friends/family. I have read here during AD WD that minimizing stress is an important factor…but in my case, it comes at the cost…safe isolation. Thank you for your help. I look forward to engaging this community and offering my support…I’ve learned so much so far.
  23. Hello I have been taking sertraline 100mg for 2.5 years and am starting a 10% of previous dose cut and hold style taper from 75mg. I cut to 75mg in October 2018 on advice from my therapist to alternate 100/75 for a month and then hold at 75, but I started experiencing WD symptoms in waves and have held at 75mg since that time while I have researched tapering. When I started having these WD symptoms I finally feel as though I had confirmation that my original symptoms for which I was prescribed sertraline were actually WD symptoms for a drug domperidone (see bottom of post for details) which I was prescribed off label as a lactation aide. These more recent WD symptoms I have experienced are a mild version of what I experienced initially. My initial thoughts at the time were that domperidone was the culprit, but after raising this with several doctors I was told that I was experiencing anxiety/PND/panic disorder which I eventually accepted. This led to spending two months in a psychiatric ward and being prescribed sertraline. I have seen that a few users here had the same reaction to weaning off domperidone as I did. So my theory is that going on and off a high dose (120mg) of this drug twice in a month was the start of this. I hope that because I am 2.5 years on from this experience it won't be factoring in to what's happening now, but I'm putting it here so you all know about it. So, my plan is to do a 10% taper from 75mg and just hold until stable each time. My main symptom is I think a kind of kindling thing? My nerves just feel like they are all switched on and overreacting to everything. The post about PGAD resonates with me, but I think I feel it because all my nerves are sensitised. And the other one is GI related. My theory is my vagus nerve gets irritated and I get pain, heartburn and diarrhoea but no nausea. I get some dizziness, and feel a bit disconnected to reality in the worst bits. My strategies for coping are tapering slowly, mindfulness and meditation, a small daily dose of magnesium, I've just started some yoga. Anyway, I'm going to hang around here while I taper and hopefully contribute some useful information and support! Nice to meet you all and thank you for existing!
  24. Its a feeling that's very difficult for me to comprehend, literally get my head around, and I'm just wondering if the forum could shed some light on it. Maybe other people experience this as well or maybe there's already another post on it (I have tried to look)? There was a BBC report on SSRI withdrawal and one woman said she'd had this 'lobotomised feeling' and the words struck a chord with me. I've had this odd sense since about week 8 after I took my last dose of sertraline of not being able to grasp all my own thoughts and feelings and hold them in my mind in their entirety (It sounds clumsy but that's the best way I can sum it up). I call it the 'lobotomised feeling' and 'brick/ hole in my brain" feeling. Somethings missing and I cant figure out what it is. Sometimes I just call it brain fog, because I often feel spaced out and detached, but I'm not entirely sure if its accurate to call it that. It doesn't quite feel like depersonalisation either (though again it feels close, but I've had to a small degree before and this feels kind of different and worse somehow) Its like I try and take stock, or audit how I'm feeling, try to take a look at me, 'myself' and I just can't. I'm completely on autopilot and have been ever since, like big bits of my subjective experience, maybe all of it are missing. Yet I'm still aware that I feeling things like depression, or agitation or anxiety. I'm just not sure what's feeling them I'm not even sure who, or what is writing this, really. I mean I know its me, but I'm not here? I know this sounds crazy and ridiculous. Can anyone understand or relate or shed some light?
  25. Im going through a very, very severe withdrawal from Zoloft and a bunch of other psych meds. I took Zoloft for about 18 months, then stopped cold turkey. A few months later I had a complete mental breakdown with severe panic attacks and depression I never had prior to going on Zoloft. I didnt realize for a long time that it was from the drug, and I thought it was caused by circumstances in my life. For the next 11 months I went to a psychiatrist thinking it was just a new case of severe depression, and was given a bunch of different psych meds, including lamictal, trileptal, vraylar, latuda, and a few more that I cant even remember. I even reinstated Zoloft at one point. None of these new meds I was on for very long, because I kept having bad reactions to all of them. Zoloft I was on the longest, for about 2 months, while the rest only for about 1 to 3 weeks or so. This went on for almost a year untill I did some research recently and discovered it was actually me being in Zoloft for 18 months and quitting cold turkey that did this to me. All the other meds I took in the last year made me worse. I was also in Xanax for about 4 months. I took it every day, and sropped cold turkey in December. I went through a terrible withdrawal that im still feeling effects from. I was put on Gabapentin that im still in the process of weaning off slowly. Now im an extremely severe state if withdrawal. I ve gotten worse instead of better in the last year because of how much drugs were put in me. The last time I took a psych med was 4 months ago, besides the gabapentin that im still weaning off. Im severely depressed, severely anhedonic,I have PSSD, have severe fatigue and loss of appetite, and ive been housebound this last month. Ive had occasional windows during this whole experience, but 90 percent of the time my symptoms are there and lately im much worse. Im in an unbelievable amountof pain every second and I dont think im gonna make it. Im very suicidal and Im almost completely hopeless. Someone please help me. Im horrified ill be stuck like this forever, and even if I can eventually recover, I dont know if I can make it through im in so much pain. I just want my feelings back, my anhedonia is so strong I havent smiled in months. Please help me.
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