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  1. Hello! After months/year of trying to figure out whats wrong with me, i finally bumped across this web page and now it all makes sense. I have some questions that I would desperately like to have an answer for and I hope you can help because I feel hopeless. Let me give my intro first. I am male, born in 87'. Zoloft 50mg December 2005 - November 2006 (11 months) When I was 18 I had severe panic attacks and experienced depersonalization. I believe this was all related to stress I was going thru at a time. Doctors of course never heard of derealization and said I was depressed and gave me Zoloft 50mg. I can really say it helped at the time because in few months time I was feeling better. I dont remember much from that time because it was 17 years ago but I remember quitting it cold turkey after as doctors said and I know I didnt have and big withdrawal symptoms. Only a week of brain zaps and dizziness and I was ok after that. Zoloft 50mg- June 2009- December 2010 (18 months) Few years later, when I was 22, same thing happened again. I had panic attacks,waves of depression and derealization again and doctors gave me zoloft once more. At the time I was also smoking weed so it might have induced all that anxiety. It also helped me again in getting out of this mess. I was really at low bottom unitil I started taking those pills. I couldnt get out of the house because of anxiety, I couldnt eat, I lost 14 kilos in 3 months time. I dropped out of college... So zoloft really lifted my spirits and got me back on track. I was taking it for around a year and a half before I felt I dont need it any more and I did some sort of quick taper and went off. Believe me, no one ever told me about tapering. Doctors told me that if I feel ok, I can just stop taking it further. I remember having few withdrawal symptoms as brain zaps,dizziness,mild anxiety and concentration/cognitive problems but it all went away,one by one, in couple of months time. But one thing persisted after all others, it was lowered libido and slighty lower concentration. It wasnt like I didnt have libido at all but it was lowered like for about 50%. Drug-free (9 years) After that, when I was 24 I started going out every weekend and started drinking a lot of alcohol, doing cocaine,generally I started having time of my life in terms of partyjing. And it went on all the way until recently. Each weekend full of cocaine and alcohol. And adding in benzos at the end of party night to ease my cocaine crashes here and then. In all my life I have been professional hockey player and also having a 9 to 5 job besides that. Zoloft 25/50mg - June 2019-March 2021 (20 months) In January of 2019 I decided I it was enough and I needed to change my lifestyle. So I abruptly stopped all partying and dedicated myself to total training regime and eating healthy food and concentrating on work. And I started to feel great! I met I girl, who is my fiancee now, and fel in love for the first time since high school. I was on top of the world. But it only lasted for a couple of months. Then anxiety and depression waves started to take me over. I didnt know why that happened. I was assured that I had to feel good because now I started living a healthier drug-free life for the first time in almost a decade. I ignored it in hope it would all go away but it didnt. It was getting worse. It was probably some form of PAWS after stopping taking cocaine and alcohol every few days. But it didnt realise that at a time. Each of having those symptoms left me miserable. Also, my libido and concentration, which never returned to 100% after quitting zoloft in 2010. were even more affected. I was at a highly responsible managerial position job, having my hockey career at its peak, having a girl I was in love with and having to pay for mortgage. So I just couldnt let myself sink to the dark again like I did in 2009. and risking loosing all of those things. And with everyday symptoms getting worse, it was evident I was getting closer to that. So I decided to take zoloft once again in June 2019. I started at 25mg(splitting 50mg pills at half). And symptoms kinda went away. Also, my libido returned. Also, my concentraion returned. I was so happy. It was for first time in almost a decade my penis felt totally connected to my mind. And my mind was working brilliantly. I felt like I was a supercomputer. I could remember anything and was able to solve all the mind challenging obstacles. But it lasted only for about month or so. After that i started having anxiety and panics again... So i lifted a dose to 50mg(whole pill) and that eased anxiety for me. I stayed on 50mg for few months when anxiety returned again. I didnt know what to think. I said myself if I keep lifting a dose like this i might end up on 200mg in few months time and I dont want that. So maybe this pills are causing me anxiety I tought. So I cut the dose to 25mg again. And felt anxiety weaken shortly after that. Great I tought. But again in few weeks it returned, so I lifted up to 50mg again and it eased anxiety again. So I was going back and forth fluctuating between 25 and 50mg. I was generally listening to my mind and body and adjusting dose regarding to my anxiety levels. Sometimes it meant staying on single dose for months and sometimes it meant only for days or so. It all lasted until November 2020 when couldnt feel benefits anymore. Its not just that i couldnt feel the benefits, my mental health deteriorated a lot graduately. I started to feel down, ruminating, no libido, hostile towards my fiance and family, aversion to work, social anxiety, low energy etc... At that time I felt like I have to quit Zoloft but I was scared it would only make things worse. So I hanged on for a couple more months until I decided to get off it for good in March 2021. I tapered by listening to my mind and body as I didnt know any other way. So from 50mg at a time i cut to 25 for few weeks. After I felt no physical symptoms (mental symptoms were already there for some time), I missed a dose for a few days. After 3 days I felt dizziness and took 25mg again. Those symptoms went away immediately. Then I was not taking for 5 days and dizziness came back. Then I took 25mg again. Symptoms went away again. Then they came back after 7 days. I took 25mg again. After that dizziness never returned and I never took pill again. So I started psychoanalitic therapy in May. At that time I didnt know all those symptoms were from withdrawal syndrome. So I drinked alcohol to give me relief and took cocaine for few times. I only recently, few weeks ago, found out that all of my symptoms are from Withdrawal syndrome. After that conclusion, I never drank alcohol or took any drugs again. I know now that I have to stay away from those thing in order to have some hope in recovery. So now I am in a state in which I have this symptoms: -mood swings -DP/DR -high agitation which turns into anger and hostility which wont go away so quickly -Anxiety attacks -Extreme nostalgia (one of most common symptoms), I even feel nostalgia for yesterday! Even nothing good happened yesterday! -Depression waves -Low libido -No self esteem -Non stop overanalysing every move I make and every tought i have -Anhedonia -Food cravings. I gain 10 kilos in one year -Hostility towards work, I hate going to my workplace and find no interest in job I do -Identity loss- maybe the worst symptom of all... I really dont know how to deal with that and that produces low self esteem. -Feeling so low when I see others enjoying life and having interests and passions... - I think everyone is better then me -oversleeping It is interesting that my concentration is now way better then it was before i started taking zoloft. Even now after I quit taking it. It seems it improved permanently by taking zoloft. I have NO psychical symptoms. Only mental this is how i feel: In 65% of time I feel , i like to call it, LOW NEUTRAL. It means I have all those symptoms from list above but they are something I can live with. It means I can work and do all the stuff I need to do. (Is this WD Normal as you call it?) In 25% of time I feel extreme anxiety or depression which are overwhelming and paralyzing. Although they dont stop me from working and going about my day, those emotions are so extreme I sometimes get dhiarrea of it. In 7% of time I feel good. Like I am 95% back to my normal self again. in 3% of time I feel 100% normal and those moments are so nice and they keep me going all this time. They are my fuel. When I dont see reason to live I remember those few nice moments/days which I had. Are these waves and windows which i described? Right now I feel depressed for last 2 weeks. I have trouble getting out of bad and I eat a lot. In the morning its worst and gets better towards end of the day. Please answer these questions for me, I feel desperate: 1. Can I develop some other mental illness out of this? 2. Do I have to cut alcohol out for the rest of my life? I sometimes want to drink so hard to give me a relief... 3. Are all of these emotions which come to me out of the blue (agitaion,anxiety,depression, feeling of no self worth etc..) something which I havent dealt with earlier in my life so they are coming back now or its just a reaction to brain healing and triggering them randomly? 4. Will psychotherapy help or is it just a waste of money? 5. Does this affect my genes and seamen? My fiancee and I want to have children and when I have some of my good days and libido I wonder if we can try to make baby? 6. Is it normal that I didn't feel alcohol? 7. Does it matter that I already came of Zoloft twice in my life before? I know about kindling effect and wonder if it is going to make it harder this time or should I think that my brain already knows this situation and how to repair so it will repair more easily? 8. Each time I have Waves, they tend to get even worse. And windows tend to get even happier. Is that normal? Why is this so? 9. THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: Should I reinstate? I mean I didnt feel any benefits of pill (except for first few months), so would that be a good idea? Its been 7 months since I last took pill 10. Have my healing process started or the worst is yet to come? Thank you in advance for your time. I really hope to answers to my questions. Sorry for my english, its not my first language. I have already read this: Instructions: Withdrawal History Signature Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms what-is-withdrawal-syndrome The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil . Tips for Tapering Zoloft The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization
  2. Domperidone: Sept 28-Dec 14=30mgs a day Dec 14-Jan 1 = 20mgs a day Jan 1 - feb 16 = 10mgs a day stopped April 19 - May 8 = 20mgs a day May 9 - May 30 = 10mgs a day stopped - severe withdrawal symptoms: anxiety; panic attacks; tremors; twitching; tachycardia; insomnia; blurry vision. Sept 17 - Oct 8th = 10mgs a day - no change in symptoms, didn't want to go back up more. Oct 9 - 17th = 5mg a day stopped - continue to have some WD symptoms and feel like going to hospital daily!
  3. I feel like my case is very different and I feel it's weird too, but by taking a look at this website, I felt positivity after a long time and some hope too that I may find some help here. It goes like this. I went on a website. So I was using a phone earlier, it was a cheap phone, rear camera was good but a very bad quality selfie camera and it doesn't take good pictures. Now when I went to that website, you could meet people and talk to them, when I opened the camera, I was not looking good, I saw it and laughed and said this camera makes me look so bad and I thought I should get a better phone. I know this sounds weird, most of my initial story is weird and it took me months to understand the issues. Now I was scrolling, and talked with a few, but constantly I was feeling like I'm not looking good. Now other people were normal good or ok, many even better. (Please read this carefully and I hope you understand all this). But I felt like most were looking better than me and I felt like a bad looking person infront of them, even though I don't look anything like that in real life. After talking to a few, I had some work, so I closed the website. But I felt something was different. I was feeling somewhat sad, I felt like I don't want to do my work. I am a dentist, at that time I was an intern, in the same hospital where I did my studies. I liked my work. At that time, I had a patient who would come for an RCT, and I liked doing it because I was gaining experience and you can say learning complex cases too. But after I closed that website, I didn't understand why, but I said to myself, I don't want to do that RCT. I didn't want to do it now, I felt a loss of interests in general. I felt somewhat bad too, a bad feeling. I knew that something had happened on internet, on that website, because before that I was a person with a completely normal mental health. So I would constantly think about it, what the hell happened there, I would ask myself. Then I used to think of ideas, maybe this happened, or that, I thought, thought and thought but I was still feeling the same, somewhat incomplete, feeling bad, and not so much interest in the things I liked doing earlier. For about 12 days, I waited, I would just try to understand the cause of all this, but all in vain. Then, I finally thought maybe this is all real, maybe I have a mental disease, I went to a psychiatrist, he told me I have mild to moderate depression, but I felt he wasn't sure. On 28 January 2021, I went to another doctor, who said it's not depression but anxiety. Being desperate, I gave in. I asked him to do CBT, if he had done CBT, I probably would be better in days or a few weeks, but he insisted on medication and that's how I started on the medication. It's as follows:- 1st day- Escitalopram 10mg and (Trifluoperazine 5mg+Trihexyphenidyl 2mg). I took the medication and next day I woke up with somewhat a dreamy state, I went to the doctor, he said people may feel like this for the first few days, so he added - Clonazepam 0.25 mg. Next day I didn't feel any dreamy state. I took this medication for 15 days, once daily. After 15 days, doctor asked me, how do I feel, and I said maybe somewhat better, but the real issue is still lingering, then he said let's up the dose. He upped the dose of escitalopram to 20 mg. So 10 mg in morning and 10 mg after dinner. Rest of the medicines same. I went there again after 15 days, he asked me, I said the same thing, somewhat better but some thing is still bothering me, and it's still there, I am not still able to understand, what went wrong on that website. He said, I am better now, I would get even better, told me to come after 1 month. This was on 1st March 2021. After all this time on medication, I was still not much different, my real problem was still there. I would keep thinking, what's wrong, what happened on that website. But something happened on 6th of March 2021, we had a seminar and other events about dentistry in the hospital. I saw something, I mean I observed something, not in the seminar, and many people had come there, and I suddenly I realised a thing. I instantly thought about that website, I now understand the PROBLEM, I understand what happened wrong there, because of what I observed that day. I realised, and I said to myself, "OH OK! NOW I understand the damn thing, what went wrong there, OMG! What a nightmare!". So I thought, actually what happened there was, I felt like a bad looking person in front of other male guys who were looking good or ok. That's what made me feel bad, but I didn't realise this earlier, nor could I think about something like this earlier. It was like some thought was inside my head, closed, and I couldn't think of it, like it was in my subconscious or something, but I couldn't realise it, and that's why I was feeling like this. After this, I INSTANTLY felt normal, all of those bad feelings and other things that I was feeling were gone, instantly. I'm pretty sure, that I did not require that medication, probably CBT, that could've worked or maybe I just needed to wait, but NOT medication. (Please tell me, what this was about, what could be this, can this really happen "thought locked up in mind"). Next day I went to the doctor, I told the doctor I'm feeling fine and I told him about my thoughts. He said it's great but he can't stop the medication, I said I don't require, but he said he can't now. First he will do some CBT sessions. I agreed. But I was also feeling weird because of that medication, I was feeling like I was a LITTLE overconfident, a LITTLE too happy, it was probably some form of hypomania, I didn't knew it then though. Ofcourse I wasn't feeling any other symptoms than the above mentioned ones, and certainly not that severe. I realised these symptom after the doctors visit, but I may have been feeling it before then, I'm not sure. So I felt like, this medication is doing something wrong and no good, and also there is no need to take it. So I took a decision to stop it without doctor's permission. I was feeling confident that I wouldn't get any withdrawal symptoms that would be too bothersome. So I cold turkey all the medication on 21 March 2021. It was probably a bad decision which I thought of only after a few months. After cold turkey, for about 5 weeks, I had no withdrawal symptom, nothing at all, not even a headache. I felt happy. But after 5 weeks, on 26 April 2021, I felt anxiety, with physical symptoms like chest tightness, I went to a regular doctor, he said nothing wrong with lungs, it's anxiety. It was mild, but I could see a pattern of a increase in anxiety, it's intensity, then I felt other symptom, like mind fog, attention problems maybe due to anxiety. Some days I would feel better, as if I'm getting better and all this will go, but when it was over my symptoms were even worse, physical symptoms of anxiety got worse and worse. I was even feeling like I'm swaying while walking like I have balance issues, but again only anxiety. 2 brief episodes of depression in between (would last for 3 or 4 days). So all these symptoms, anxiety and others, increased in intensity for about 5 months since CT. After this the physical symptoms went down, considerably, I'm still feel it sometimes but less often and very mild in intensity. But after 5 months, I have a lot of anxiety (without physical symptoms), a I think depression too. Till 5 months I was worried about those symptoms, but after that since I started feeling the present symptoms I'm more worried now and i feel like I've only gotten worse, and have a feeling like it may get even worse. I have negative thoughts all the time, a feeling like I want to cry (mild), anxiety, and probably depression, I do feel sad, and sometimes I have a dark feeling, today weather changed, it was cold today, I felt more depression today, probably. I went to one psychiatrist, and he told me that I probably do have developed some hypomania due to that medication but he didn't tell me about prolonged withdrawal though. He suggested I take (Risperidone 2mg + Trihexyphenidyl 2mg). But I didn't go forward with the medication, and I waited, because I can't blindly believe psychiatrists now. So this is my story. Presently these symptoms are making me worse everyday. I feel like I don't even want to do anything professionally. I had big plans ahead, I wanted to go for Masters, and do good in dentistry. But today, I feel like my life is a joke professionally. I have lost interest also. And I have never in my life felt like this, never felt any of these symptoms, so I'm sure it's all because of these medications I took. I hope you read all this and help me understand my situation better and know what exactly is happening to me. It's been about 7 months since CT and I feel I'm nowhere still. Does this stay with us for a long time, and when can I feel I'm getting better. It would be so grateful to you if you help me get answers to these questions. Thank you.
  4. Hi all. I'm a seasoned pro at taking SSRIs, I guess; I've been on various doses of fluvoxamine for about 30 years. I'd like to stop and fear it isn't possible. I have lived with OCD all my life; and when I began fluvox, it helped remarkably. But all these years later, I wondered if it were like a placebo. So, about two years ago, I consulted with my doctors and decided to taper off. I was on 75mg. It was fairly easy going down to 50; but I kept going down by 5mg/week, only to discover that going down 5mg from 75 and going down 5mg from 50, to 25 is a different matter. Once I got to 25, I got a kind of wild anxiety, with a kind of clear-headed (that's how it felt) thinking that I should attempt suicide -- which of course increased anxiety. I had access to Ativan, but took very little of it. I realize now that I should have taken more, because it was all just bad. I went back to see the doctors, with the result that I quickly went back to 75 and kept going to 150, where I am now. I don't feel much different, now after being stable on 150 for about two years, than I did at 75. I also talked to the doctors about withdrawal, that there are no real studies by which to gauge *exactly* how to do it. My psychiatrist said as much, indicating that studies can't be done since it would be unethical to have trials with people who don't need SSRIs to go on these drugs for a few years and then withdraw. Gee, thanks. So here I am. And what brought me here was that two days ago, I missed 50mg of my 150, very rare for me. I thought, Oh, it'll be fine. And sure enough, the second day, today, my head's all over the place. I'm sure I'll be fine tomorrow, as I've had this experience about four or five times. (Adhering to a pill regimen is easy for me.) But it has returned my awareness to how vulnerable I am. I am thinking, then, that I'd like to attempt a five-year taper. Thoughts?
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