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  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. Hi, Currently taking 150mg of sertraline a day and looking to ween myself off it. How would i go about doing this? I did some digging and it seems to go by 10% a month of lower dosage. Is this correct? Also, could someone explain why liquidising the dosage is better? Is there no other method of safely tapering? I was going to reduce it by 25mg a week consecutively. Would this be non advisable? Thanks.
  4. Hi has anyone ever had what feels like their emotions are blocked? I feel nothing and it doesn't feel natural to me, I feel so empty and hollow. I can see and hear but nothing has any impact on the way I feel. I'm sure I have dpdr too. I've not been right since my Dr got me to quit sertraline cold turkey last year. And I was on mirtazapine a week after which I took for 3 weeks. Then reinstated sertraline after 3 months. I hope this does get better.
  5. Hi! I'm new to this forum. What are your best natural remedies for sleepiness and fatigue? I've been taking Sertraline 100mg since 2014. I'm now down to 50mg and my energy levels are low. So far, I've been using B-Complex and Fish Oil supplements as well as exercise to combat this, but I was wondering if anyone has any other remedies for this? Kind regards, P.
  6. Hi all, thanks for having such an amazing and helpful forum!!! I was prescribed Venlafaxine (Effexor) for anxiety and depression (moderate in my opinion). I started taking it. I'm so stupid... I had read about withdrawal symptoms, but I wasn't imagining it as so awful. After 5 days I got bleedings from the uterus, even though my period wasn't due. They were about as strong as a normal period, but more painful. The GP (doctor) made me stop Effexor. After 2 days I started to have the symptoms everyone reports: Crying, suicidal, self harming, fits of rage, nausea, dizziness, heart racing, trouble breathing. My GP didn't know anything about withdrawal symptoms and wanted to admit me to the psychiatric hospital. I sent him a bunch of information and finally convinced him to leave me alone and deal with it myself. I think he feels a bit guilty now, but that doesn't help me.... It's day 9 after stopping and my brain is still totally messed up. Question to you all: Do you think I need to go back on Venlafaxine and taper down slowly to prevent lasting damage to my brain? I also got some Sertraline from the GP, which I could use to switch to temporarily. I think even if the bleeding comes back, I can handle it. Iron values are ok. I had thought that after just 5 days of taking Venlafaxine, the withdrawal should be short and mild. But after reading a lot, I'm getting a bit scared. Any advice welcome! Laura PS: I really think I had a guardian angel who sent me those bleedings and made me stop before I took the medication for longer.
  7. Hello, I’m new and I’m drowning. My husband of nearly 20 years told me a month ago that his love for me has faded away and he wants to separate (still loves and respects me but doesn’t love me ‘like that’). It was a huge huge shock. I didn’t see it coming (and neither did any of our friends or our 2 beautiful daughters, 18 and 20). I feel shattered into a million pieces and more heartbroken than I thought it was possible to be. I’ve thought of nothing else for the past month. He’s been on 100mg Sertraline for general anxiety for about 3 years and it was only after he told me that I went looking for answers and discovered the insidious relationship/attachment destroying nature of SSRIs. I’m now clinging to this as it ticks all the boxes for being the major cause of his loss of feelings. He definitely suffered from the sexual side effects (loss of desire/libido, inability to ejaculate) and it was this that both started my search and lead me down the rabbit hole of discovery about the other effects, and also convinced him that it was worth considering and tapering to see if that made a difference to his feelings. He’s not convinced it will. But he’s not convinced it won’t either (as evidenced by his easy willingness to taper). I showed him him all the evidence and he’s agreed to taper off the medication. Unfortunately before we found the detailed information on this site about tapering very very slowly (and the reasons why this is so important) he self-tapered from 100 to 75mg about 3 weeks ago. He says he hasn’t had any WD symptoms so far but also doesn’t feel any different. Our situation is complicated because a week or two before he told me he wanted out he met another woman. So far he tells me this is just an emotional connection because they’ve agreed they can’t ‘do anything’ until he’s sorted his marriage out. Even though he’s agreed to taper and see if that makes a difference to his feelings for me, he refuses to stop talking to and seeing her on the weekends he comes ‘home’ (he works and stays 3 hours away during the week and is usually ‘home’ most weekends). This is very odd behaviour and especially odd for him. He genuinely doesn’t see anything inappropriate about seeing her because in his mind ‘we’re separated’... even though our finances are still combined, his toothbrush is still in our bathroom, his clothes are still in our wardrobe etc etc and he has still slept in our bed when he returns. This is incredibly out of character for him and another reason I think the medication is effecting his ability to think rationally. So, I am here to seek support. I feel like I’m in a small boat in huge seas and my only course of action is to batten down the hatches and ride out this storm. It is truly truly terrifying. But I truly love this man. We have a GOOD marriage and I know he loves me (he still says so). I just want my husband and my marriage and my life back. Not sure that’s possible. And I know it will be different. But I must fight for it. No other option for me.
  8. I am a 27 years old man. I was on sertraline 100mg for about 8 years. While being on the medication I could not attain penile erection. Tried to have sex with my girlfriend multiple times but failed everytime. My penis felt unresponsive to any sexual stimulus. This was very distressing and hence I stopped taking the medicine by slowly tapering it off. It has been 10 months since I last ingested the medicine but the sexual dysfunction is persistent. I still cannot attain erection and in an addition I have been facing the problem of severe premature ejaculation since I stopped taking the SSRI.Moreover, my memory has been highly affected by the drug. I struggle to remember everyday things. I cannot concentrate. I don't feel emotions. It feels like I am dead from inside. And I almost always feel a burning sensation in my brain. The drug has profoundly impacted my brain functions. I am very helpless right now. My life has become an unbearable tragedy. I don't know what I should do now. I am in a long distance relationship with a girl who wants to marry me. I am desperate to have a family. But I am afraid to go further given my condition. I am completely helpless and somehow surviving the distress caused by PSSD. I am eagerly waiting to hear from my peers in this forum.
  9. Hi everyone, just wanted to share my story (and hopefully my eventual recovery). I am 20 years old, and was 19 when I started on 50mg of Sertraline I was prescribed it in Feb 2015 for social anxiety and took it for a month. Quit cold turkey because I felt pretty depersonalised, and cause of the sexual side effects. All of my symptoms came on during my time on the drug or shortly afterwards. They are: Dulling of emotion/Anhedonia - Have felt sadness a few times, and anger a few times. No joy, no passion, maybe some flashes of love but that's it. Unable to relate to characters in books/TV. Dimunition of visual imagination - I used to daydream constantly prior to taking the drug. Since cold turkeying the pictures in my mind are very blurred and I am no longer able to daydream. Loss of creativity - Before the drug I used to read a lot, and when I read I always felt like ideas were constantly popping into my brain. Since I stopped medication this no longer happens. I feel like I am reading the words on the page very superficially.. Physical numbness in brain - Feels like there's a great pressure in the frontal lobe of my head, almost like it is torn (but there is no pain) PSSD - No libido, anorgasmia, difficulty getting and maintaining erections (too much information but I want to be thorough here) No fatigue behind eyes - this one isn't necessarily negative, but since stopping the drug my eyes never get tired regardless of how much time I spend using screens or reading. Possible other symptoms that could be unrelated: Muscle twinges (very mild), worsening of eyesight (20/20 vision pre medication), urine delay (is considerably better now) Improvements - I saw very positive changes when it came to anorgasmia and erections around 6 months into my withdrawal. Unfortunately it seems like in the past 2 months things have gone back to square one. The physical pressure in my head varies a lot, and is definitely much better than it was at the start of my withdrawal (though it still gets very bad). I couldn't read for the first 6 months of this withdrawal because I got absolutely no enjoyment out of it and that was depressing because I used to love reading prior to the drug. Now I read a bit, and it feels nicer than doing nothing I guess, but seriously if that's an improvement in my anhedonia then it's 0% to 1%, because I still have zero positive emotion. General - I feel hopeless about recovery a lot of the time. I have suicidal thoughts but would never commit suicide because of the effect that would have on my mum. I browse through the forums looking for recovery stories, but it seems like most people who recover haven't had this constant anhedonia, and were in a more turbulent emotional withdrawal. If anyone who is in my position, or anyone who was in my position but recovered, could reply I'd be very grateful. Many thanks, Raven
  10. Hi I am currently, recently trying to reduce my dosage to the lowest possible for me. I am on Zoloft (sertraline). Today I am feeling spaced out and not too well, as withdrawl symptoms. They reduced my dose down too fast which is why I am here. If I had the brain power to be cross I would be! I was on 100mg zoloft and reduced it fine to 75mg, I had a few bits of being more emotional but was OK. Then they reduced it to 50mg and I experiencing really bad withdrawls,like anxiety through the roof to the point of needing to go home and lie down from an attempted visit to the shops. I am annoyed with the health professionals who seem quite stupid about this dose reduction! I am being told now to try alternate doses from 75mg to 50mg, um no I dont want to do this! It seems stupid and like playing yoyo with my brain! So I am not going to do this, and find myself here to learn about 10% tapering and in my country I cant get liquid form and the smallest pill size is 50mg. One good thing from this is yesterday I meditated for 30 minutes. Its the only thing I think I can do to try help myself and my health. I need to learn about tapering, as these withdrawls are too horrible. The idea of making liquid seems daunting to me as I am not good at Math! And my brain is not good at the moment. So I am going to take myself back to the 75mg until I feel normal and then be able to read and concertrate about this tapering. Thanks for being here, I have been reading the posts here and everyone seems quite logical and intelligent about this! Perhaps because I am having withdrawls I am quite sad how the medical profession seems to be so useless about the withdrawls. I have been told "most people dont get any withdrawls", so what?! Some people do and experience awlful symptoms so why on earth put people at risk of this, just makes me sad. As feeling this rotten with headaches etc makes it so hard to advocate for oneself.
  11. luv2knit

    luv2knit

    I am at my wits' end. Hoping someone can help. I am a female, 60 years old, and was put on Zoloft 20 years ago for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I know, stupid--no depression or anxiety--just fatigue. I never knew there were issues getting off these drugs. Got my new prescription in June, and the pharmacy said they needed a pre-authorization. I knew this was not going to be quick and easy (I was right), and had wanted to go off anyway, so I made a pretty much spur-of-the-moment decision that it was time. Looking back on it, I was having issues I didn't know were related to the Zoloft--probably for years. I did taper (6 weeks--obviously not long enough), because I knew if I missed a few days, I would get kind of crazy. I had no idea about the withdrawal, though. I have now been completely off about 11 weeks now, and things are just going from bad to worse! At the end of my taper, I just had vertigo for about three weeks, and then basically nothing for another three or four weeks. Then it hit!! In researching symptoms, my main issue(s) seem to be consistent with akathisia. Not sure if this is what it is, but just to give an idea of what symptoms are--restlessness, jitters (tremors), agitation, irritability, just totally "losing it" from time to time--especially under stress. I have also had nausea and today, actually vomiting. No appetite, and went from insomnia to no insomnia, and back to insomnia. I have not been in contact with my doctor, because I do not want to be put on more meds, and I am sure that's what will happen. I did attempt to contact about the only naturopath in our area to see if they could help, but they advised me to contact the doc that prescribed it. (The doc who originally prescribed it has been gone from this area for years and years.) From what I have read so far, reinstating is not really an option this far out, and also seems like it would be risky with the issues I was already having. I know one usual symptom seems to be "brain zaps", and I really have not has these. From what I understand, fish oil is one treatment for them, and I have been taking krill oil now for a couple of years, along with some other supplements for my blood pressure, so I'm thinking this may be the reason why I haven't had these--or maybe just haven't had them yet?! (YIKES!) I've pretty much stayed with the supplements I had been using previously. I have tried it with them and without, and can't really tell much difference. I have added Vitamin C, and have upped (gradually) my magnesium usage (glycinate and topical mag. chloride). I really feel like the REAL side effects are just beginning, and don't know where to go from here!! My husband helped me do research, and based on his research, I have been taking seriphos for the last few days, to hopefully help with the akathisia symptoms. The first day or two it seemed to help, but today--not so much!! I really have no idea what I am doing, other than what I have read, so i am probably completely on the wrong track!!
  12. Hi, my name is Asher and I have ADHD and generalized anxiety disorder. I struggled a lot with college after my first year and then sought help as I had done everything in my power to address my struggles. I started Zoloft in November of 2013 and have been on it since. My max does was at 150mg and that lasted about a month or two, as I was having decreased libido, thus I stepped the dosage down to 125mg (all this occurring in 2015). I didn't feel good about it still so I tried switching to citalopram for 4 months in February of 2016 into the summer. However, I became very lethargic on it and returning to classes in the Fall, I felt terrible. Thus, I switched back to Zoloft, slowly increasing the dosage while decreasing the citalopram. In 2017, I was back on Zoloft and up to 75 mg dosage, which felt great, until returning to classes in the Fall of 2017. I then went back up to 100mg and then 125 mg, and then back down to 75 mg, all by Christmas time of 2017. I decided to switch to Wellbutrin in January of 2018, slowly decreasing my dosage of Zoloft. I went from to 50 mg from January to February, then I added Wellbutrin in mid February and decreased the Zoloft to 25 mg. This was all up until last week when I stopped taking it completely (per schedule of my doctor). However, after a week I seemed okay but on Saturday, March 17th, I woke up feeling disoriented, having electric-shock-like feelings and a migraine. My symptoms have persisted since then, which has landed me here. I have read up on tapering and am so glad I found this place as once my doctor and I started the process of switching to Wellbutrin, I knew it seemed too quick to come off Zoloft. Today, I had to take an exam while my withdrawal symptoms seemed to be at there highest so far, and that was the last straw for me. I knew something was wrong and hopefully, I can utilize the resources and experiences of this forum to create a plan in which I can feel more normal again. After reading other posts, I am comfortable with mixing my own doses of Zoloft and just need to figure out the right process of doing so and am welcome to any and all feedback or recommendations.
  13. I’m both happy and sad to be posting my intro here. Happy, because I think I’m finally starting to figure out what’s been happening to me when I try to quit my antidepressant. Sad, because I’ve been on them so long and there are a lot of scary stories here. L I’ve had spells of anxiety since my late teens (usually caused by life changes), but I wasn’t put on AD’s until 2001 due to situational depression from a bad home buying experience. My general practitioner put me on Celexa and, since then, I’ve been on Lexapro, Cymbalta (Lexapro pooped out), and eventually ended up on Zoloft (Sertraline) after cycling unsuccessfully back through Celexa when my Cymbalta pooped out. It seems that every so often my brain quits responding to ADs and I go through a crisis mode before eventually getting stabilized again. Which makes sense if my brain has truly adapted to these medications, as I suspect. My last poop-out happened back in 2011, and I had to be hospitalized for a week for suicidal ideation. I managed to get stabilized after many months with some polydrugging (I’ve been on Seroquel, Trazodone, Remeron, Ambien and Klonopin at one time or another…all to help with insomnia). I tried getting off of Sertraline last year and tapered gradually down from 150mg over the course of a few months, only to find that my insomnia and anxiety returned after about 3 months off the drug. I thought I was relapsing, so I reinstated the Sertraline and stabilized at 100mg after several weeks. This year, I talked with my doctor and decided to try lowering my dose from 100mg to 50mg over the summer months. I tapered over about 6 weeks, but started having insomnia and anxiety again after a few weeks from what I can now see is a too-quick taper. I’ve updosed to 75mg on my Sertraline (I only have 50mg pills on hand) about a week ago, and I am praying that I can stabilize there for several months before trying a long, slow taper beginning next year (and lasting for several years). I’ll admit that I’m a bit terrified about what’s in store for me. It seems that no one here has had an easy time of it, and I’ve been on AD’s longer than many. Has anyone successfully done the recommended 10% taper while still being able to work full-time? I’m pretty darned functional on ADs, but I have serious misgivings about how long I’ve been on them, whether I truly need them, and the damage that they’re causing to my body. Part of me thinks that, if I’m going to crash and burn doing a slow taper, it might just be better to CT and start the process sooner. I’m really filled with regret that I stayed on these drugs for so long, but my doctors kept telling me that it was fine. My parents are less than supportive (my mother is a long-term Ambien user and is a retired nurse who has no problem taking pills for all her problems). And, although my husband would like to see me be med-free, I’m concerned that he doesn’t really grasp the potential implications that withdrawal may have to my functionality. Arrg. I’m frustrated and more than a little scared right now about what the future holds for me. Any words of advice/comfort?
  14. Cherry47

    Cherry47

    I have had CFS for 32 years. Put on Zoloft 100 mg 14 years ago because 'it seems to help but nobody really knows why'. Certainly some help for the first ten years then seemed to have trouble tolerating other meds eg cholesterol meds, supplements, magnesium, sleeping pills albeit at low doses. Through process of elimination got down to the Zoloft, so stopped over a year although the last 50 to zero too quick I now realise. My introduction to hell! After 15 weeks, seemed to get a bit better but then relapsed. Around the 15 week mark out of sheer desperation I took half a sleeping pill (temazapan), great the next day, then slowly slid back. I have also taken some Q10 for four weeks for energy. Is that building up? Was it the temazapan? Is there any rhyme or reason to this? So hard to work out. Only medical advice different drugs and more of them! Has anyone with CFS been on this same roller coaster?
  15. Liamb123456

    Liamb123456: Zoloft 50mg

    Hi my name Liam was on 50 mg cold turkey Zoloft 6 moths still in very bad way was on it for 8 months doctor said it was fine to come off by was I wrong paining for it now
  16. Hi, I just thought I'd introduce myself and let you all know my story and if it resonates with any of you. I was pretty low before starting antidepressants but they sent me down to a place I haven't experienced before. I was on Sertraline for a couple of weeks at its lowest dose (this caused me to have racing suicidal thoughts so I stopped), I was then put on Venlaflaxine which made me feel like I was a ghost, after I stopped I had extreme suicidal thoughts again, these thoughts have plagued me now for the past 5 months. initially I had these thoughts 24/7, now they come in waves. Hopefully I will be free of these thoughts one day, it's more the feeling I get when I have them, it's like it isn't me thinking them at all. Has anyone had something similar after stopping these drugs. All the best to you all Suttisan
  17. Hello, I've been on antidepressants off and on for about 11 years. I'm 25 now and started when I was fourteen, just months after I started transitioning into adolescence. My parents put me on them so I didn't have that much of a choice. I also never received therapy while taking medication. I've been in therapy for about 3 years and have a wonderful woman who is willing to help me through all of this. However, I'm having some reservations about coming off of medication because I've tried it so many times unsuccessfully. I have been taking 50mg of Sertraline for the last two years and tried to wean once, while I was living with my boyfriend of the time. It didn't work out at all, and I had to take unemployment for several months because of it. I haven't given up yet, but I don't know when I should even start thinking about trying to come off again. Reasons I want to taper include: -my depression/anxiety have identifiable origins based on life experiences -possible lowered sex drive -stomach problems -lack of emotional coping skills/feelings of inherent helplessness (lack of self-sufficiency) that require more than medication -a desire to feel things fully and work towards developing long term emotional strength -feelings of inadequacy, self-hate, and guilt continue to be prevalent and resurface regardless -I want to use the strengths I already have to overcome challenging life situations and overcome old belief systems Reasons I'm apprehensive about tapering: -still learning to deal with triggers -still unhappy with myself/my relationships -still trying to come out of an eating disorder -need to retain my job to stay financially independent -I don't have a psychiatrist (much less one who will help me with this) -I'm terrified that I'll be doing something irresponsible and cause my family/friends to suffer My goal is to gain sustainable strength of character, and to live my life as fully and lovingly as possible. I'm a little freaked out and isolated feeling, as I can't talk to most of my family about this. If anyone has any messages of hope and some solid advice, please help me. The last thing I ever want to do is to go through this alone again. Obviously I have a lot of mental/emotional baggage to keep working through. If anyone has another forum that would be a safe support for the types of things I mentioned above, that would be greatly appreciated too. Thanks so much for reading this.
  18. Hello everyone. I have been struggling with sleep, dizziness, feeling faint, jelly legs, brain fog and occasional derealization since june 2018. It may have been because of various stress, like new work, big project, lot of work around the house that needed to be done and so on. All this spiked my health anxiety and I got my heart and blood checked, seen a neurologist(but no MRI done), got my thyroid checked. In the end of july it got worse as I had these intense feelings in my chest as if someone has died, but I couldn't cry. My wife tried the best to comfort me that everything is allright, but to no avail. Then I visited a psychiatrist and he diagnosed me with GAD and put me on Sertraline. It gave me even worse anxiety, sweaty palms, woke up with horrible feeling (panic I guess) 10 minutes after falling asleep for first 2-3 nights. I knew that first weeks are bad so i carried on. On 4th day a sort of intrusive visual toughts during the day started coming, they were like pictures with a depressive lonely hopeless atmosphere and this atmosphere flooded my reality. Again, I tought it's just a side effect that will pass. After 5 and half weeks it only got worse, I didn't feel like myself, derealization was horrible. So i stopped cold turkey (I was on 25mg for 4 weeks , 37.5mg for one week and 50mg for two days) as I wasn't on a high dose and only a few weeks. First week I was feeling way better and I tought the worst is over. However, 2 weeks after stopping these visual intrusive toughts that feel like waking dreams got more intense. Dissociation spiked in the end of October, 6 weeks after stopping, I was very depressed and reality felt like something that shouldn't exist, it's hard to explain. I survived some days only because I was intensly thinking about my wife and parents and didn't want to cause them suffering by doing something dumb like killing myself. I tried acceptig everything and not fight it. But some days I got these intense feelings of doom and depression, coupled with these intrusive waking dreams, something like a PTSD flashback. It happened especially when hungry or while I was eating. It always left me severly depressed after. 2 weeks ago (10 weeks since stopping Sertraline) I started to feel more like myself and reality began to feel a little more ok. Those intense flashbacks stopped also, but I guess they morphed into something else. Instead of being intense and shorlived, they began to be milder but go on for hours, especially when it's bright outside, or when I see something that reminds me of some memory. It's hard to explain, but for example today is a bright sunny chilly November, but I feel like it's summer 25 years ago, the atmosphere is so overwhelming, that I feel like going crazy. Does anyone else have this? Is it normal? Some days I get hours of feeling kinda ok, some days I only get derealization, but that's ok too. These feelings that dont correspond to reality are what scares me the most, it's like they tell me I'm somewhere else, or that I live in a memory. Sorry for the long ramble.
  19. Hey everyone, Hope you all are doing well! So, I've been taking sertraline since I was 19. I started at 50 mg and ended up at 100 mg for a couple of years. I weaned down to 50 mg until I had a severe depressive episode at age 23 and worked up to 200 mg combined with risperdal. I came off the risperdal within a year but stayed on the sertraline. About 3 years later, I started to taper down. I went down 50 mg at one time and felt truly awful but stuck with it. I then tried a 25 mg drop but got really sick, not realizing that it was the medicine causing it. I went back to 150 until I was over my "sickness." After realizing that the withdrawals were making me sick, I tried different rates of drops over the course of a year. Sometimes 10 mg, sometimes 5 mg, sometimes 1/3 mg until I reached 100 mg. That was about a year ago; I'm now 29 and I still don't feel right. I'm anxious, fatigued, cloudy-minded and sick most of the time. So here are my questions: When should I expect to "level out?" I would like a period of feeling normal before I start back on my taper, but is that naive? Should I just keep tapering now? Furthermore, if these withdrawal side effects are permanent, shouldn't I stop tapering to prevent further damage? Any practical advice would be helpful. Thanks!
  20. I have been on Zoloft and a few other meds in between, for about 25 years. I have also been on one milligram of Klonopin every night for 5 years. My last Klonopin was in June 2018. Luckily, there is a lot of material regarding Klonopin withdrawal and it is considered a “real thing” by doctors, counselors, etc. In September 2018, I started feeling like I was fairly recovered from Klonopin withdrawal and started the Zoloft taper. My last Zoloft was September 22nd. I have had extreme bloating, ringing in my ears, severe hot flashes, anxiety and depression (way worse than before antidepressants). After about 6 weeks, the bloating subsided and hot flashes were better. I am starting to have very small windows without extreme anxiety and depression, however, it is still very rough! The frustration is that doctors are so eager to put us on these meds but no one seems to get the withdrawal issues! I couldn’t have made it this far without information I have found online and a level of faith that has kept me hanging on! One of the drugs that I have been on was Cymbalta and it almost killed me....literally. A month after I started Cymbalta I ended up in the hospital due to severe abdominal pain and throwing up. A few months later I ended up in the hospital again with the same symptoms and bowel obstruction. This happened over Thanksgiving holidays 2017. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong so they took my gallbladder. The symptoms continued and I was misdiagnosed three times! Anyway, no one ever mentioned the Cymbalta connection. By some miracle, I realized that all of this started when I began taking the Cymbalta so I stopped and my doctor put me on Trintellix. As soon as I stopped the Cymbalta, the stomach issues subsided. Anyway, it helps to connect with others who have had similar experiences! I switched doctors and haven’t mentioned withdrawing from these drugs because I dont think any of these physicians understand! I hope we can help each other!!
  21. SadDoll

    SadDoll

    Hiya, I'm Laur I dont know where to start. I'm new, kinda. I've been a lurker on this site on and off since 2015 but I've never joined until now. I'm a 24 year old woman from Ireland who was put on antidepressants when I was 18/19 for OCD, depression and suicidal tendancies. I was first given 20mg of lustral in late 2011 and it didnt affect my sex drive or emotions in any way. I didnt take them everyday though, I forgot a lot of the time. Then in late 2013 I was switched to 150mg of lustral. I dont think I took them every day either until I made an effort to take them regularly only to quit them one day out of the blue cold turkey sometime in early 2014. Stupid, I know. At the time I was constantly either stoned and/or drunk so I wasn't very responsible, to say the least. On top of this, I was binge drinking a lot, a few nights a week, and smoking weed nearly everyday from late 2012- 2016 as well as being constantly dependant on a dangerous recreational drug for about a year in 2013. Oh and I wasnt eating properly, so my nutrition was bad on top of this. Anyway, I haven't touched an antidepressant since Spring of 2014 but I have absolutely no libido to speak of, as well as no pleasure 'down there'. Sex for me feels like nothing at all every single time. No arousal. No sensation. I think maybe once or twice I had some slight sexual feeling with an ex boyfriend sometime last year. But it wasn't anywhere near my sexual function pre PSSD. On top of this, I worry so much that I wont be able to fall in love, that I'm incapable of romantic feeling. This bothers me the most because that has been my fear for about 5 years now. And I read online that antidepressants destroy your romantic feelings forever. I dont know how true that is, but it makes me want to die. Ironically, that is what my OCD focused on. The fear of never falling in love. So the doctors presribed me a higher dose of a new pill. I feel like I'm trapped in my own worst nightmare and I feel anhedonic and dead inside. I'm reluctant to post here as I dont want to make anyone feel hopeless from my story. And I'm afraid of other people's stories making me feel even more hopeless. I'm down in the depths of hell here. I feel empty and broken and incapable of love and feeling anything positive at all. Please, can someone offer me some hope? I feel like the fact that I was on a very high dosage (150mg), constantly high for the best part of 4 years, dependant on alcohol, plus a history of past substance abuse, PLUS the fact that I quit cold turkey means that I dont have any hope of recovering. I cant recall what it feels like to feel aroused and I cant imagine ever getting better. Please no negative comments as I'm very suicidal as it is
  22. Hi! My history of Psychiatric drugs looks like this: dec 2006 fluoxetine 20 mg went on and of 20-40 mg until july 2008 when I got put on effexor 150 mg tapered that 2009 april to August. Went back on effexor 75 mg 2010 january. stayed on that until march 2013 when I started taper. Tapered and went off march 2014. Crashed and was put on fluoxetine 20 mg march 2014. Stayed on that until november 2015 then went CT. Got back on effexor (venlafaxin) march 2016 was put on 225 mg and stayed until August 2016. Tapered off and stopped october 2016. Crashed december 2016 and put on citalopram 20 mg which updosed to 40 mg. Tapered off from 40-30 mg August 2017 and from 30-25 november 2017. Crashed january 2018. Put on sertralin and up to 150 mg by march 2018. tapered down to 125 june. Down to 112,5 july and down to 100 mg last september. much likely I have Aspergers syndrome, the psychiatry have started to do an ”investigation”, it started only a couple of months ago. My plan was to continue tapering by 10%. but I don’t feel fully recovered from the last taper. And Reading my own introduction I can see that I have put my nervous system through a lot during the last 12 years. right now I feel very tired, my mood is quite low from time to time, and I wake up with anxiety, or rather nervousness. I do feel a bit more like myself though. Which has always been the reason for tapering. It feels like I loose touch with my self when medicating. Its very likely that I do have Aspergers syndrome and the medication helps a bit with filtering. I feel a bit scared to continue tapering.and I belive It would be smart to hold at 100 mg. any thoughts on my history and how to continue tapering would be great:) thanks!
  23. Hi, I've been a 'lurker' since about February. I'm very impressed with this site and feel that Altostrata is truly a hero. I hesitated to post my story because it felt too long and convoluted, but I feel I could really use some advice (and maybe it's not so convoluted), so here it is. In 1996, shortly before my 21st birthday, I was prescribed Zoloft for major depression, which I had been experiencing for about a year (I had never had major depression before that). Soon after starting the Zoloft, the psychiatrist increased my dose to 200 mg. My depression was lifted and I felt like a new person. Over the next several years, I had a few more episodes of depression, plus some anxiety issues, but nothing as severe or long-lasting as the first episode, so I figured I should just keep taking the sertraline because it was probably keeping me from more serious depression. When I got pregnant at age 32, I lowered my dose to 100 mg and felt OK. At some point over the next few years, I started seriously questioning the wisdom of being on psychiatric medication for so long. I also had the vague sense that the medication was somehow preventing me from being fully human, in the truest sense if the word; it was as if it placed an invisible wall between me and others, as well as between me and my true self. So I decided to lower my dose and see what would happen. I went down to 75 mg a little over two years ago, in early 2016, when I was 40. I didn't feel great at that point but I didn't feel the kind of depression I had felt in the past. I was suffering from a lot of abdominal pain and nausea and was feeling run down and moody, but I attributed those symptoms to the after effects of major abdominal surgery I had undergone after my appendix had ruptured in 2015. I was determined to move forward with my taper and so, a few months later, in August of 2016, I lowered my dose to 50 mg. In January of 2017, although I was still feeling sick and moody, I asked my primary doctor how to transition from the 50 mg of sertraline I was on to St. John's Wort. I knew nothing about protracted SSRI withdrawal; I just figured if I could get off the sertraline and have St. John's Wort protecting me from relapsing into major depression, I'd be fine. She told me to lower my dose to 25 mg, start the SJW and see how I felt after a month. I went down to 25 mg of sertraline, started the SJW and stayed on that combination for 8 months. During that period, my mood was not great and I felt both detached and intensely emotional much of the time, but I was still dealing with a lot of GI issues, including SIBO, and I really wasn't sure if my lowered mood was due to the drop in sertraline or the SIBO, which causes nutrient deficiencies that can lead to depression. I also had been taking sertraline at that point for 21 years and really wanted to be rid of it once and for all. So, in August of 2017, I stopped the sertraline altogether while continuing with the SJW. I immediately started experiencing horrible insomnia, frequent brain zaps and dramatic mood swings. I still knew nothing about SSRI withdrawal and assumed that, aside from the brain zaps, this was the natural state of my brain, which had returned in the absence of the sertraline. At that point, I read 'The Mood Cure,' by Julia Ross because my goal was to find a natural alternative to sertraline to 'normalize' my brain chemistry. I tried 5-htp, which helped with mood and insomnia (I also tried some other amino acids which had strange effects on me). I decided to stop the SJW and stick with the 5-htp, plus 400 mg/day of SAM-e. My abdominal pain and nausea got worse with the 5-htp, but I was able to sleep better at night and my mood was at least stable. That was, at least, until February, when I started to feel extremely depressed for a few days. Then, I woke up one morning in the midst of a panic attack, accompanied by intense depersonalization and derealization and an overwhelming feeling that I was about to die. I had never had a panic attack in my life but knew what it was based on others' descriptions. I stopped the 5-htp and some other supplements immediately, thinking that one of them had triggered the episode. An almost constant feeling of panic stayed with me for about a week and then slowly started to fade. Once the panic and depersonalization subsided, I was left feeling extremely depressed again. Scared of taking more amino acids, I went back on the SJW, which started working again after a couple of weeks. Around this time, I discovered SA. It opened my eyes to the fact that everything I had been experiencing was part of a protracted withdrawal from the sertraline and not my 'true, depressed brain' reemerging after the sertraline was taken away. The panic attacks really drove that point home since I had never experienced anything like that before the sertraline. From February until a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling stable on the SJW and SAM-e and really felt I was on the road to recovery. Then, I began to feel 'off' again - depersonalization with a lost sense of self - and I started to worry that taking the SJW and SAM-e might be interfering with my brain's ability to heal properly. I (foolishly) abruptly stopped both and became severely depressed again. I felt I couldn't go on in that state, primarily because I have young children and I can't really be decent mother while in the depths of depression. So, I got back on the SJW and SAM-e a few days ago and I feel all right again (when I say 'all right' I mean I still don't feel quite like myself and I'm still experiencing a variety of symptoms, but at least I'm not severely depressed at the moment). My fear is that by taking the SJW and SAM-e, I am preventing my brain from really returning to normal. I know that the general recommendation around here is to stay away from supplements that act on neurotransmitters during withdrawal. Even if I found that I only needed one of the supplements to prevent depression, I wonder if it would still interfere with recovery. Interestingly, on Kelly Brogan's website, she says she uses St. John's Wort, as well as 5-htp and tryptophan, when patients are tapering. I don't know if she thinks they're a good idea during recovery, though. I guess I'm wondering if anyone knows anyone who recovered from SSRI withdrawal while taking St. John's Wort or SAM-e or another supplement that helps increase serotonin levels in the brain? My hope is that one day I won't need any of those supplements but it seems as though, at the moment, I can't really function without them. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  24. Hi all, I felt depressed around beginning of April realised something was wrong. I have depression and OCD. I went to my doctors and they put me on citalopram which i was on about a year and a half ago took ages to work then then finally did and I was better again also with talk plus counselling. I was on citalopram for 2 weeks last month and it didn't agree with me I was so sick so I changed to sertraline for 2 - 3 weeks and it still made me ill and my ocd worse.With my doctors advice she signed me off for a week and I came off them completely. I went back for a follow up appointment Monday I'm off them completely. However, I still feel numb and disconnected like I can't feel anything even though I know the love and happiness and support is there but I feel like I'm on the outside of my life looking in and my OCD is going in to over drive because I'm worried about it. I'm still doing talk plus counselling. I just want to know had anyone experienced this and how long does it take to get your emotions back? If anyone has any advice please let me know, Jen
  25. Hi, I have been going througha really tough time the past little while and am hoping to find some people who can relate. I went to see my family Dr. around 8 weeks ago because my life had gotten very stressful and I was having some uncomfortable physical symptoms (itchy skin, tingling hands, rining in ears chest pain etc.) I have always been on the anxious/woryer side of things and have always noted that it got worse when I am stressed (work, life, etc) and generally got better when the stress lessened. A number of factors over the past year compounded together made my anxiety worse than it ever was before and I felt I was having a hard time coping. Some of the stresses were difficult to remove (work, worries about family members etc) so I decided to go and seek help from my family Dr. who diagnosed me as having generalized anxiety disorder and recommended that I try Zoloft. I was on Zoloft was Zoloft for approximately 6-7 weeks and was tapered on to the medication at 25mg/week (started at 25mg) to a maximum of 100mg/day. Almost immediately I started to feel "unwell". It's difficult to describe but something just didn't feel right inside my head. My feeling of anxiety got much worse and were consistent (where they were only sporadic before starting the drug. My brain felt "foggy", I had a hard time concentrating and I developed a headache "pressure on both sides of my head" that was almost consistent throughout the day. Most days I felt tired and needed to rest in the afternoon but when I closed my eyes to try to have a nap I would wake up within. 15mins with a sense of panic. I also experienced worse insomnia (that was one of the reasons I had gone to the Dr. in the first place) I returned to my Dr. and asked to be taken off of Zoloft and he sad that these were normal side effects which should stop at around week 4 of taking the drug. He pointed out that it would be shame to stop taking the Zoloft before seeing the positive effects and so he prescribed me .5mg of Clonazepam (taken twice daily) to help with the side effects and to help me sleep. I have a history of drug addiction and alcoholism (sober now for 11 years) and was was afraid of taking the Clonazepam, so i decided to only take .5mg in the evening to help with the insomnia I was experiencing. The Clonazepam helped me sleep better but the combination of the drugs left me feeling groggy the next day. Overall my sense of anxiety got worse than before I initially asked for help so I returned to my Dr and asked to be tapered off the Meds. He agreed that what I was experiencing was not the "normal"/desired effects of the drug and told me to begin tapering off. Per the Dr's instructions I tapered off of the Zoloft by 25mg every 5 days and stopped taking both the Zoloft and Clonazepam (no tapering of Clonazepam) 5 days ago and have felt terrible since then. Below are the symptoms I have had since then: -My head started to hurt immediately - I have been unable to fall asleep and have experienced the worst insomnia I have ever had. I feel as if I am in between sleep and awake for most of the night. - During the day I am dizzy and have a headache. -If I turn my head I feel as if I am going to fall over/dizzy -Almost constant headache/pressure on my temples -I have tinnitus in my ears and my left ear feels fully plugged. -I have an electric feeling that radiates from my head (worse when I turn my head or stand up) which I have read online is called a "brain zap". -When I stand up too suddenly I feel like I'm going to pass out -I am feeling (slightly) paranoid and on the verge of crying (sporadically) throughout the day (particularly when trying to explain to people how I feel) -I feel generally unwell and anxious when I have to go out in public I went back to my Dr. yesterday and he said that he thinks I'm experiencing withdrawal from the Zoloft and that it is normal. He also said that I am not experiencing any withdrawal from the Clonazepam because it was such a low dose for such a short time. He prescribed me Torazadone to help me sleep, which I took last night in a desperate attempt to get some rest and feel "normal" again but I am now very afraid of becoming dependent on that and then needing to go through all this withdrawal again...I'm wondering if I should just "tough it out" and not take anything but the lack of sleep make me feel almost like I'm losing my mind. Part of me feels as if I haven't been taking these drugs long enough to feel this bad and that maybe I am losing my mind or that I should just "suck it up", but the truth is I feel truly awful and am pretty damn scared at the moment. I have come off of street drugs in the past, and do not remember feeling this bad, but maybe that is just because so much time has passed since then. I am hoping I can look back and laugh at tis experience one day. My wife/family are being as supportive as they can but it's hard to verbalize what I am feeling so I came here hoping to gain some support/advice from people who can empathize. I apologize in advance for to those who just had to read through my whole novel..lol
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