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  1. Hi, I’m new hear, I’m sorry if I have any gramatical errors, my native language isn’t English. I’m 18 years old female, I started sertraline at 14 and was been on and off sertraline (I used it total for about 2-3 years) I started when I was 14 and Stopped at 17. My last dose was about 4 months ago and I was on sertraline for 4 months (50 mg I think). I stopped because I learned about pssd. However I don’t think I tappered correctly. I didn’t knew how to. I’m now battling with pssd, a really severe depression, really severe derealization, brain fog, and I’m really suicidal. I don’t know what to do, I’m really really bad mentally and I’m desperate for help, for someone to bring hope to my life, but I don’t want to go with a psychiatrist, should I go with a therapist/ psychologist? I’m extremely depressed and derealized and can’t stop thinking about killing myself. (I’m not sure if I can talk about this here, but I really need help). I just want some hope about pssd, I’ve read here that pssd is just like any withdrawal symptom, it can take years to get better but it will improve and I really wish this happens, I also really wish to be myself again and not want desperately to die.
  2. Hey guys, I have to apologize for my english, hope you can understand me. This is my first post. I have been writing in a german forum, but I was hoping to get some more feedback about my specific situation here. So this is my story: In 2017, I suffered from some kind of delayed postpartal depression and anxiety (first time in my life), caused among other things by severe lack of sleep and hormonal changes. A colleague (I am (or better: I was) working in the health system myself) prescribed sertralin, which made me very agitated, I had trouble sleeping, palpitations, flushs, general anxiety, nervousness etc. He added quetiapine as an "augmentation" and I took up to 200mg of prolonged quetiapine. It helped at first, but after feeling weirder and weirder I decided that the pills were causing more problems instead of solving them. Also, I wasn't suffering from the primary condition anymore. After about half a year, I tapered sertraline, but quetiapine I quit within two weeks. Three month later, in 2018, I developed severe symptoms like constant heart racing, feelings of electricity, extreme panic, unability to sleep, muscle twitching... Finally I reinstated 75 mg of non-prolonged quetiapine and I was able to sleep again, but I never completely stabilized. Not knowing which problem was caused by medication and which by WD, I continued to taper. In summer of 2018, I went to a clinic where I received little doses of Insidon (TCA opipramol), which made anxiety slightly better. A few month later I felt that it worked paradoxically, so I tapered again. I didn't feel like myself at all from fall of 2018 and spring 2019, even though the anxiety got a lot better, muscle twitching was gone, but I still felt foggy, sleep was poor, I was able to care for my son, but could only work a little, poor concentration, poor memory, difficulty reading. I tried Trimipramin to help with sleep, but I got highly aroused, my body was almost convulsing. So in summer of 2019 I decided to put this to an end and I just quit what was left of quetiapine (12mg) and insidone (18mg) all at once. I didn't work at that time so I thought it would be a good moment. Three month later, problems began, but very slowly. First I gained some weight, was tired and irritated all the time, face was red and swollen, hormonal irregularities, but sleep was better than during the years of medication. Around 9 month later, my condition got worse and worse. Muscle twitching got very bad, electrical feelings came back, flushed face, anxiety (sometimes almost paranoid) and nervousness exploded, I produce a lot of adrenaline even when I am happy, shaking, dizziness, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, confusion, derealisation, weird body sensations, very sensitive towards lights and sounds, I can't tolerate objects that move in a certain way (like swings), blinking lights cause me to panic, the same with knocking sounds or cellphone sounds, even when I think about those things I get a wave of panic (which becomes obsessive from time to time, this scares me the most, I am really afraid this will stay with me my whole life). I had some relief compared to how I felt twelve weeks ago, but I am barely able to cope. Things seem to change, but not always for the better. So here are my questions: How is it possible that the symptoms developed so slowly after discontinuation? Has anyone else ever suffered from that severe symptoms after dropping such a small amount of anti-psychotics, or am I just becoming crazy? Should I reinstate, even if discontinuation was a year ago? Is it worth to persevere, or should I try another drug? Is it possible that the symptoms diminish anytime soon? I was really determined to hang on after all I have been trough, but I feel so tortured and I am so despaired at the moment. I don't want to sound dramatic, but it's a real struggle to survive every day and functioning as a mother becomes a huge challenge. The obsessive thoughts that cause panic are the worst. Thank you so much for any advice or support! Koralle
  3. Hi all this is my first post. I’ve put all my medical info in my signature as requested but if I’ve missed anything please let me know. Full case history: n.b. I don’t expect anyone to feel they have to read all this, I just want to get it off my chest! I’ve had issues with depression and anxiety since childhood (no particular trauma: suspect a strong genetic component as evident in other family members too). Severe depression around 19/20 due to college stress led to me going to the doctor. Was put on 30mg citalopram which made me suicidal and gave me auditory hallucinations among other symptoms almost immediately. Doctor told me to ‘keep going’ but decided to stop - a million percent the right decision and one I wish I had made later. Was put on a low dose of paroxetine either once or twice (not sure) for short periods in my twenties after going to the doctor with anxiety/depression. No severe side effects I can remember, seemed to see a noticeable improvement, and came off drugs without issue. In my late twenties I went to the doctor again with depression and was prescribed 7.5mg paroxetine. Again no side effects and a noticeable improvement. After a few months I went back to the doctor and told her I was feeling much better and would like to come off the paroxetine. She told me this would be a mistake - that people often thought they should come off and actually got much worse when they did, so I should stay on the drugs. I accepted this, assumed that I was just one of those people who needed this medication to be ‘normal’ (I believed completely in the chemical Imbalance idea) and continued taking the medication. On a personal note this is the part of my medical history that makes me the angriest. There was a window at that time in which I was trying to do what was best for my mental health, and trusted my doctor against my own instincts. I may well have suffered adverse reactions if I had stopped taking paroxetine then, but I personally suspect strongly it would have been less severe due to the low dose, shortness of duration, and the fact I was younger. I may be wrong but I’ll never know. I stayed on paroxetine for the next ten years. Over time I felt the medication was getting less effective, and every time I went back to the doctor I was prescribed an increased dose (to be fair I’m sure at least once I requested an increased dose as I thought it was what I needed). I don’t remember the exact details but I ended up on 40mg. In the last couple of years I’ve had a very difficult time personally and it became clear the medication wasn’t helping me. I talked to the doctor In early 2020 about coming off paroxetine and trying a new medication - they advised me I would need a couple of ‘quiet’ weeks in a secure environment to do so to manage the change. When the pandemic happened and I was able to work from home full time, I felt I had the space to make the change. The doctor gave me a tapering schedule that was approximately as follows: 3 days on 30-40mg, 3 on 30, 3 on 20-30, 3 on 20, 3 on 10-20, 3 on 10 and then nothing. i had no symptoms during the tapering window and naively thought I had been lucky. I decided to hold off on taking the sertraline because I wanted to see how I managed with no drugs in my system, again I was very naive. Three days after my last pill I became profoundly unwell - suicidal, brain fog, brain zaps, diarrhoea, hypothermic temperature, severe weight loss (21 pounds total in a few weeks) I can’t even recall all the symptoms. I tried to ‘stick it out’ for a couple of weeks until a very sensible friend whose mother is a pharmacist told me I couldn’t keep going like this and my taper schedule had been much too quick, I needed to go back on a low dose. I spoke to a different doctor and agreed to go back on 10mg for a month, then 5 mg for a month then nothing. This still felt too steep so I actually added in three weeks of 5 and 0 alternating (I now realise alternating was a mistake too). My symptoms improved slowly but never disappeared and when I tried to stop completely, again severe symptoms reoccured. Went back to a 5/0 alternating dosage but remained quite ill. Spoke to yet another doctor after a couple of weeks who advised as I was now at such a low dose of paroxetine I should stop taking it completely and start taking 50mg of sertraline immediately. I was so desperate at this point that I felt if the sertraline would set me free from paroxetine I was willing to do this. The next four weeks were pure hell. I suspect because my body was dealing with withdrawal from one drug and reacting badly to another all at once (plus my contraceptive pill was changed due to stock shortages but that’s another story). My physical symptoms were bad but not as bad as before, but I was persistently suicidal. I have an amazing family who took care of me during this period. Even with their help I came close to the brink several times. I was referred to the mental health crisis team who said they would get my doctor to prescribe me mirtazapan to help manage the symptoms. They never processed this and I never followed up as I was determined not to add any more drugs to my regimen. I stayed on the sertraline because I felt I had no choice - all I could do was keep going and hope to make it to the other side. The last six weeks have been bad but I’ve seen an improvement. I have suicidal days but also good days and I am more able to manage my own healing. I am back at work after a month of leave. My physical symptoms have lessened but do re-emerge periodically. I am eating all the right foods, taking the proper supplements, exercising, meditating, journaling and doing breathing exercises. I desperately want to come off sertraline but I know I have to get myself in a stronger and more even position before I can do that. The thought that I am trapped on another drug, that coming off it will take literally years, and that I am still so unwell, is profoundly distressing. I feel this experience had almost destroyed me. Forums like this one have been my only comfort at times - seeing other people’s stories has made me feel less alone. so I’m sharing mine in case it chimes with anyone else. I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for here. I cannot taper right now even though I want to so badly I want to throw all my drugs away (obviously I won’t!!). I feel this site has given Me the information I need to tackle it when the time is right, which I am grateful for. I guess it’s just been such a personally devastating experience I wanted to share it in a place it would be understood. Basically, I’m very frightened.
  4. Hi My doctor prescribed me to take 25mg of Sertraline in the night for a week. My condition is Pure OCD. The drug was a brand name medication (Zotral-50) which I got from the pharmacy. Within a week of using 25mg in the night, my symptoms became mild and controllable and my mood became better. On the 2nd week, I was told by the doctor to increase the dosage as follows. This time what I got was a generic sertraline medication. Week 1: Sertraline 25mg in the night Week 2: 25mg morning, 25mg night Week 3: 50mg morning, 50mg night I'm in the 3rd week now and I'm not feeling better like I was in the first week. The symptoms came back and feels more severe. My question is can it be the switching I did from brand name to generic drug caused this? If so would it be ok to take the brand name again instead of the generic? Many thanks, R
  5. April 13- started 5mg/5ml liquid escitaloprám oxalate for 18 days, had bad side effects-constant headache, migraine, panic attacks at night(never had before), leg/body jerks at night, dizziness, sensitive to light and noise, nausea, sore throat, dry eyes, lack of appetite, higher level of anxiety than before. Dr switched me to liquid sertaline on April 30 that I was to ramp up on from 20mg/1ml up to 3ml. I decided I wanted to not be on the anti anxiety/anti depressants anymore, Dr said I should just stop cold turkey. So I only took the 20 mg/1ml. Then I called pharmacist for taper instructions. He said to do 1ml every 2 days for a week and then 1ml every 3 days. I did 0.5 ml 2nd to last time and 0.4ml the last time. I've had headaches pretty constantly for over a month now(I usually have for like 4-5 days then it goes away and then comes back), eye floaters on Thursday to now, muscle core pain (could be related to my current back and chest pain-costochondritis), occasionally leg jerks at night, some increased anxiety still. I did an eye appointment today and everything was all good. I am taking several supplements trying to also treat my costochondritis:Turmeric curcuminOmega 369 flaxseed (I'm allergic to fish)Magnesium citrateVitamin d3 1000iuHemp oil gummiesCentrum multivitaminProbioticMelatonin 5mg (started taking after I stopped taking hydroxyzine nightly)NuvaringI'm looking for relief from the headaches or how much longer they will last. So upon finding this site I'm wondering if I should reinstate on the sertaline, but I'm not sure if I just start at the 1ml or if I should go up to the 3ml where I was supposed to go up to since I didn't really taper off the escitaloprám. I'm so irritated that I ever started these. I didn't want a long term anxiety med, just something to help me get through this Pandemic and my doctor and eap counselor pushed me to do it. I do have an appt request for a new therapist since I'm out of eap counseling and hoping they can also shed some light on this.
  6. Hello! I am new here. Please forgive how long this is, but I’m trying to be as concise as possible from the beginning for the moderators (and have a bad habit of digression, ha!). I so appreciate this page. I’ll try to add on my drug signature. But if I don’t do that correctly at first, I apologize in advance, as well as, for any repetitiveness, since my brain isn’t always on par and I just may not feel like overly editing any repeated information in different sections below. Please see my “thoughts about this forum” below “my history and withdrawal symptoms” further down the page here. Again, I am so grateful for this website and realize my situation is not nearly as extreme as many, but it is all relative on bad days I suppose ;). From everything I have read, it appears time is the KEY with all of this withdrawal malarkey. I am trying to be patient and positive and do have faith all will be ok in time, but I must admit I am totally blown away that I continue to have symptoms (sometimes new ones or variations on old ones) at 8 months out, after my last Zoloft, which I was on for only 2.5 months (25 mg and only the full 25 mg for the first 2 weeks – see below). Holy crikey Batman! And yes, I do know how quickly SSRI’s can start to change the pathways, etc. So, back on point… Please see below. AND THANK YOU so much in advance for all your help and my thoughts, heart and well wishes go out to all of those suffering FAR MORE than I am. This is enough for me. I can’t imagine some people’s hell in all this, though I’ve read enough on here to know I am grateful that, so far, I am not in that level of hell. SSRI HISTORY: I am currently 49 years old (2017) 1992-1998 (+/ - a year: in my early 20’s) - 20 mg Prozac (no major side effects, SE’s, and quit CT with no problems) 2001-2002 (+/- brief period of time after divorce: in my early 30’s) - 10 mg Prozac (again no major SE’s and quit CT no problems) I just didn’t like how Prozac kind of flat lined me and I didn’t like the idea of staying on anything when I really didn’t feel like I needed anything. THEN… RECENT LIFE EVENTS… 2017 April 27 - Start 25 mg Zoloft (generic sertraline) very reluctantly (after the passing of my mom in October 2017 and a VERY PAINFUL bad relationship break-up only a few months later. My doctor thought Zoloft would help break my cycle of poor sleep and anxiety and sadness – though I really just wanted to try a sleeping pill of some kind. Though in hindsight, benzos can be difficult too and I am apparently pretty sensitive to many drugs. Weeks prior to Zoloft, she gave me some trazadone, which I realize is not a benzo and, holy crap, hell no, never again. One pill and I WAS NOT MYSELF. Quit immediately and returned to normal, other than my original circumstantial sadness, anxiety and insomnia.) 2017 May 15 - Start cutting the Zoloft down to about 15-20 mg of Zoloft (because OMG it is wiring/amping –akathisia?- the crap out of me and not helping me sleep and I’m having fuzzy eyes and head off and on. I could have cleaned a house with a toothbrush. It got me motivated, but I was still edgy and couldn’t sleep on that crack feeling.) 2017 May 26 - Start 12.5 mg of Zoloft (because still SE’s of bleary eyes, extreme jaw clenching at night, mild fuzzy head with pressure – brain fog, still some anxiety and sadness) 2017 June 30 - Start 6.25 mg (because still a lot of jaw clenching, paresthesia – including prickling and burning, body vibrations – like every cell in my body was wired) 2017 July 10 - Stop Zoloft completely (because I suddenly developed tinnitus in my left ear and I was like “Eff This I’m done!” Yes, I know, now that that was probably too fast of a taper, but my doctor and the pharmacist insisted should be fine and quite frankly, I was having such a horrible paradoxical reaction to it while I was on it, I doubt anyone could have made me understand to stay on it longer at the time to wean off more slowly. It is what it is now. THEN WITHDRAWAL (WD) SYMPTOMS: In a nutshell… Immediately after stopping had painful neuropathy for a few days in some places, mostly my left arm. (I am familiar with neuropathy because I experienced it for several weeks years ago after only 1 dose of Cipro – won’t touch fluoroquinolones again either). After stopping the zoloft still had inner vibrations (or what some may call minor akathisia at night…?) and paresthesia, mostly at night, but some paresthesia during day as well. About a week after stopping developed severe brain fog. Off and on quite severely for several weeks, but still with tinnitus and paresthesia. Totally messed with my menstrual cycle for about 4 months in terms of missing one and then crazy flow (perimenopause, maybe, but now a wee more normal again and it was NEVER like that before Zoloft). And as an Update – totally missed one in Feb 2018. Perimenopause possibly happening as well, but fun times to have both withdrawal and that. Makes it hard to distinguish some things. However, the crazy brain fog, internal tension and vibrations at night at times, the paresthesia and burning skin (not painful, but not normal), neuropathy at times (is painful), muscle weakness at times (not extreme, but notice when doing certain exercises), tinnitus, weird muscle tightness and head sensations at times, especially when trying to sleep and just overall, not quite me feelings at times… ah, yah, I’m gonna go with SSRI withdrawal on all that, because I was premenopausal prior to Zoloft and did not have any of those symptoms, other than some peri anxiety. Plus, I find it quite fascinating that almost all people have many of these symptoms across the board no matter what SSRI they were on. Coinkydinky…??? Hmmm, not as far as I’m concerned thank you very much. Ooooppps… I digress again… J Anxiety off and on, but some of that could be residual from prior losses mentioned above. FAST FORWARD TO… End of September 2017 to January 2018 to present… 2017 October - So to recap, I think I had a bit of a Window in some things in end of Sept and through October 2017. I was not “right”, but definitely felt better in some ways, even with some symptoms, felt more “normal” and hopeful. And the inner vibrations or mild akathisia while on the drug at night seemed to be gone. And the jaw clenching had stopped not long after stopping the drug. 2017 November - some things came back with a vengeance, like more sadness and anxiety and tinnitus more prevalent again. (Tinnitus changed from just left ear to a more of a high pitch in head or both ears off and on, which I still have, off and on, and especially in bed at night and first thing in the morning as of today March 2, 2018. I had had moments off and on in past months of the high pitch not being there at all and just some tinnitus in left ear from when originally started at end of Zoloft. But the high pitch, almost ringing in head-ish as well as both ears, has been present consistently for over a month now. Sigh. Just keep hoping eventually it will go away in time.) December 2017 - Same as November but with Stupid Crazy Brain Fog Awfulness again, like cotton head, and couldn’t do cognitive things for diddly and still sometimes have moments where if I think too hard my brain just says, whatever, pack up and leaves the room. This went on and off until around January 12, 2018. AND AT THE END OF DECEMBER - THE FIRST TIME I think I had the beginnings of mild akathisia since when I was the Zoloft, but it felt a bit different with some weird “internal tension in my chest and head and arms and just uncomfortable weirdness. And sometimes coupled with neuropathy in arms. I swore I might be having a heart attack and realized, nope, just more new withdrawal BS. Nov – present (ongoing at times)… Muscle weakness and weirdness (not extreme, but not normal to me) At some point in this time frame, I started to notice an overall muscle weakness feeling at times when exercising (weight bearing exercise and cardio), but I still do as much exercise as I can anyway for my sanity AND because at my age I can’t afford to lose any more of my fitness and tone. It’s just too hard to get back and I don’t have that much to begin with. I am grateful I can exercise at all (even if it flares a symptom or two at times, but mostly I’m ok), because I have read on this site how many can’t do that yet. 2018 Jan 12-19th – POSSIBLE MINI WINDOW…? About a week of almost “normal me mood” feeling Jan (though off and on all this time, still some tinnitus and minor paresthesia at times). 2018 Jan 19th to present – ANOTHER WAVE - the beginning of low grade akathisia for several weeks with awful paresthesia, neuropathy – all worse at night. So far, this wave is not absolutely 24/7, but many days for most of the day, with a minor window of 3 days lessened aka/pare/neuro/jingly symptoms. And some more of the tinnitus high pitch at times, but very little brain fog. Just more of an “off” feeling. And overall sad and anxious feeling. Less upbeat like in the window week. 2018 Feb 26th to present … Ruh-oh, as of today, super Brain Fog day – Crap ability to think or focus and brain just super fuzzy. So add Brain Fog back in to the mix now off and on as well. But had a few days with less to no akathisia or neuropathy or paresthesia. BUT SUPER TIRED off and on for the last week, including today. AS A SIDE NOTE ON WINDOWS AND WAVES: Windows for me happen in a way that not ALL symptoms have ever ALL been gone, just marginally better at times and it fluctuates as to which symptoms decides to rise up more. During Windows, if that is what they are, I feel more “normal” overall in feeling like ME and my mood is pretty good, even if I’m having tinnitus or some minor paresthesia, etc. And windows may even just be a day in the midst of things, where I “feel” so much better overall, even if other symptoms still happening on a subtle level. What I consider Waves are when my mood is crap sad or anxious and I don’t feel as “normal”, and/or I have a bad bout of the physical things like Brain Fog and/or mild akathisia, and/or paresthesia/neuropathy and tinnitus ( the tinnitus hasn’t really ever gone away yet, though there have been “moments” when it seems to have, only to come back. Mine is not as severe as some peoples, but is DEFINITELY annoying at times and something I have never had before). MEDS, SUPPLEMENTS, SLEEP, EXERCISE, CAFFEINE, ALCOHOL, ETC.: Some things I have been on since before the Zoloft. Thyroid (23 years) EPA only about 500-1000mg day (started just before Zoloft) Mild multi-vitamin (Dr. Furhman’s women’s with 1000mg D3 – sometimes take an extra 1000mg D3). Started before the Zoloft I believe. Mg citrate (just before zoloft - anywhere from 200-300mg, depending on what I feel like a day) Quercetin (500-100mg day for years for another medical condition I’ve had for 20 years) Hydrolysed Collagen for my skin (just before Zoloft). Does help my skin (doesn’t seem to matter one way or the other with WD, but can make me sleepy at night). Biotin (1000mg) for my hair (lost a lot after mom passed, but it is coming back) Play around with NAC 500 mg a day for a few days a week (not sure it helps, doesn’t seem to hurt). Vit C every now and again (500 mg), but not always very regular about it. Play around with caffeine (had some of my best days on it and so it doesn’t seem to directly affect WD. But I do limit my caffeine accordingly at times. But I do limit my caffeine accordingly at times. I think I’m finding WD does whatever it wants to, whenever it wants to, and, in my case, seems to be mostly independent of anything I specifically do, eat, drink, etc at any given moment. I have experimented many times. As many on this forum have said, TIME AND PATIENCE ARE THE KEY FACTORS. I am currently 8 months out and may have months to go... Alcohol is a crap shoot and I rarely drink anyway (once or twice a month or not at all). Sometimes it has been helpful and sometimes, maybe not. But I mostly avoid it right now. Try to keep to a strict sleep schedule because though I do sleep finally some now (didn’t while on Zoloft or before due to the losses I had and anxiety) I rarely sleep all the way through the night But a broken 5-6 hours of sleep or so, is way better than 4 or less or none! I also have found that the collagen at night (it has a lot of glycine in it) along with some magnesium helps me. But too much magnesium at night can seem to do an odd paradoxical thing and agitate me, so I have to be careful. I have exercise class about 3 times a week (when I can). And I walk or hike when I can or the weather allows. Exercise has helped a lot. Though, when the chips are down, the chips are down, even with exercise. But I refuse to not exercise and should probably do more. But sometimes laziness/tiredness, lack of time, or withdrawal symptoms win. THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS FORUM and just stuff in general: Thank goodness it exsists, ha! Thank you all for being here and for those who started it! My doctor didn’t think this withdrawal was a “thing”. I had to send her an article from Harvard Med Page showing that it is (but even the Harvard article doesn’t think it lasts this long). Have had 2 people, another doctor of mine (later into withdrawal) and one a psychologist confirm withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome is a “thing” and that it will take longer than I like or think it will. So, yay, I’m not crazy ;). My Withdrawal (WD) is far less that many people on here, but enough to definitely get my attention and still disturbing, despite that I am mostly functional, because I feel very “off” kilter. I refuse to believe it will not get better, but am a bit blown away that after only 2.5 months at 25mg or less of Zoloft (the generic), I would still be dealing with any of this, but of course, this forum proves this is definitely not unusual for some. Am getting on this site to just confirm that getting worse before better, etc, is “normal”, even for such a short period of time on the drug (yay, not the way I want to be “normal”, snort, but one must keep a sense of humor ). I will probably not “live” on this site because I am trying to just get on with it and give it time as much as I can and because I, so far, knock on wood, am not as severe as some people. But I am grateful for this site, as I have been on it many times for my sanity (but equally I try not to go down the rabbit hole too much with it either), and am in awe of those who have walked through hella worse. Despite a strong family history of anxiety and depression on my mom’s side, which I have subtly dealt with all my life (with some severe depression from situational events), I will do everything I possibly can to be happy and healthy without drugs. I know I was desperate for relief and sleep before this zoloft Sh*tstorm , but the bright side is I will have learned some valuable cognitive skills and behavior (I do have a counselor and have for a long while, but this is definitely making me up my game on my thought processes ;). And I will not take another SSRI again. I was going to go to Italy for my 50th this summer and hike in the Dolomites, but have decided to wait until WD is done. Stupid WD. Whenever I’m in a Wave I think I’m going to do a TED talk on all this Withdrawal stuff to help educate and save the world! And then I have a good day and think, heck No, I don’t want to spend any more time on this malarkey at ALL when it is all GONE for good! (so, I can see why there may not be more success stories actually online – people just want to get on with living). Again, I’m not nearly as bad off as some, but I also know I’m not supposed to feel all these side-effect-like symptoms. I know what “normal” feels like and WD most definitely is NOT IT! WOW. SORRY THAT WAS SOOOO LONG! And not very well written (I'm sure there all kinds of typos etc). But I just want to get this out into the ether, before I keep putting it off and then have a wave and wish I had done that, ha! Many thanks for this site. I may have questions in time, but for now, I’m just trying to get my basics on here in the event anyone or the moderators have any helpful words and affirmations and so that I can ask questions if I need to do so later. Also, I may have totally forgotten some things which I may add later on. IN ADVANCE, please do not feel I am being rude or slighting anyone if I do not respond should anyone post to me. I may just be getting on with things as best I can and not checking this site too often. But I still appreciate everyone on here and what everyone is going through. My best wishes to all! KimLou DRUG SIGNATUE (FROM ABOVE)... SORRY, I'M NOT SURE HOW I "ADD" THIS ON... SSRI HISTORY: I am currently 49 years old (2017) 1992-1998 (+/ - a year: in my early 20’s) - 20 mg Prozac (no major side effects, SE’s, and quit CT with no problems) 2001-2002 (+/- brief period of time after divorce: in my early 30’s) - 10 mg Prozac (again no major SE’s and quit CT no problems) I just didn’t like how Prozac kind of flat lined me and I didn’t like the idea of staying on anything when I really didn’t feel like I needed anything. THEN… RECENT LIFE EVENTS… 2017 April 27 - Start 25 mg Zoloft (generic sertraline) very reluctantly (after the passing of my mom in October 2017 and a VERY PAINFUL bad relationship break-up only a few months later. My doctor thought Zoloft would help break my cycle of poor sleep and anxiety and sadness – though I really just wanted to try a sleeping pill of some kind. Though in hindsight, benzos can be difficult too and I am apparently pretty sensitive to many drugs. Weeks prior to Zoloft, she gave me some trazadone, which I realize is not a benzo and, holy crap, hell no, never again. One pill and I WAS NOT MYSELF. Quit immediately and returned to normal, other than my original circumstantial sadness, anxiety and insomnia.) 2017 May 15 - Start cutting the Zoloft down to about 15-20 mg of Zoloft (because OMG it is wiring/amping –akathisia?- the crap out of me and not helping me sleep and I’m having fuzzy eyes and head off and on. I could have cleaned a house with a toothbrush. It got me motivated, but I was still edgy and couldn’t sleep on that crack feeling.) 2017 May 26 - Start 12.5 mg of Zoloft (because still SE’s of bleary eyes, extreme jaw clenching at night, mild fuzzy head with pressure – brain fog, still some anxiety and sadness) 2017 June 30 - Start 6.25 mg (because still a lot of jaw clenching, paresthesia – including prickling and burning, body vibrations – like every cell in my body was wired) 2017 July 10 - Stop Zoloft completely (because I suddenly developed tinnitus in my left ear and I was like “Eff This I’m done!” Yes, I know now that that was probably too fast of a taper, but my doctor and the pharmacist insisted should be fine and quite frankly, I was having such a horrible paradoxical reaction to it while I was on it, I doubt anyone could have made me understand to stay on it longer at the time to wean off more slowly. It is what it is now.
  7. I feel low & numb & anxious & stuck in my own head & struggling with intrusive sucidal thoughts. I first started panic attacks through a couple hangovers didn't no much about them which they were scary, went to doctors to ask advice straight away given citalopram told to take once a day did so for a few weeks till I realised I didn't want to be on these and they were antidepressants, then the trouble started panic attacks everyday so went back to doc & given sertaline tried for less than a week and symptoms was to bad stopped then went back to doc & given citalopram liquid tried for couple weeks had like a high effect which wasn't good & finally given mirtazapine was on it for over a month with really bad lows and symptoms at first then started to ease but I still didn't want to be on a mind altering drugs! So I got told to just stop. Now from July 10th 2018 that's when all the issues have started been a rocky road ups & downs but I'm sat here thinking what's the next steps as I feel low and numb and sucidal thoughts all the time shall I go back to the drugs or ??? Struggling with no sleep Sucidal thoughts Anxiousness Low mood Snappyniess No interests in life
  8. Lc79 Hi everyone! I had been on setraline 100mg for 8 months. I was feeling pretty good so decided to taper off this is what I did: 75 mg two weeks 50 mg two weeks 35 mg 1 week 15 mg 1 week Then off for past 8 days... Each drop down I got two days of irritability but then felt ok . I have been off completely for 8 days , next day felt exhausted, with rage that flairs up from nowhere. Have had to have daily naps, frequent brain zaps when I look around, weird heart beat when I look side to side and more ringing in my ears. I felt really good two days ago, but last two days really low, exhausted and generally being a horrible person to be around! I guess I tapered to fast. I really don't want to go back on, but reading here I should consider reinstating and 10% taper? But my question is what dose should I go back on? Thanks so much for any ideas/guidance?
  9. Expected810 Hello all! I have been reading a lot of posts on SA, and they have been very helpful and encouraging! I am grateful for finding this forum and am seeking help regarding my current mental health situation. I am somewhat stuck on what to do and would really appreciate any advice. So, on January 27th, 2020, I had my first ever panic attack, went to the ER, thought it was a heart attack and it took them over 2 hours to calm my heart rate down with intravenous Ativan. This was the first time I had taken a benzo drug or any anxiety drug. After that first episode, I went a full 3 weeks of having panic attacks and just bad anxiety (mainly at night), so I was taking one 0.5 mg Ativan nightly during those times, and during the day time I was taking my daily vitamins (vitamin d, centrum) along with omega 3 fish oil and GABA 250 mg supplement twice a day to keep me calm. I was convinced my body had become dependent on Ativan and it was just making my anxiety worse, so I decided to get off of it by cutting it in half for a few days after three weeks of use. After the three weeks, I had about one week of intense physical anxiety (stomach cramps, churning, agitiation, depression) after stopping. Then the following 3 weeks after the first week off, I had lots of dizziness after eating meals, and lots of nights with insomnia, where I would have to take hydroxyizine 25 mg for. But in that 1 full month after stopping Ativan, I had not had a real panic attack like my first one. Then my 2nd month off Ativan started and I started getting really bad churning in my stomach, and it led to a full blown panic attack which forced me to take hydroxyzine 25 mg as I didn't want to start Ativan again. After that I had full week of these panic attacks which lasted 5-6 hours daily becoming rolling panic attacks, with almost every physical symptom with numbing of my arms, choking sensation, churning stomach, dizziness, lightheadedness, high heart rate, and diffculty breathing. After my panic attacks returned, I went to a psychiatrist, and they diagnosed me with panic disorder and prescribed me Sertraline 25 mg. I started taking it daily on March 22, 2020. After a week my panic attacks subsided and haven't had one since the almost seven weeks I have been on it. However, while I am thankful my panic attacks are gone for now, I cannot handle the daily side Sertraline side effects from stomach pain, dizziness, tiredness, lack of motivation, lack of focus, mood swings, and bouts of depressive thoughts. Most of these I never had, especially the depressive thoughts. Its like I'm just waking up to wake up, I really can't function like a normal human. My psychiatrist has recommended I go up in dosage, but I have politely refused, because my goal was to only treat my panic disorder, which it has been and I don't want to go higher because I fear it might become more difficult to get off. So thats my story, I really need advice on how I should proceed, I want to stop the Sertraline and try to treat my panic disorder other ways, but I'm somewhat fearful of the withdrawal and unsure how to taper off a low dose like this. Thank you!
  10. Questions: I have been withdrawing from Sertraline for 9 weeks. Doctor put me on two sleeping aids in between to help with insomnia and had Serotonin Syndrome again (trazodone and mirtzopan). Did this put me back at square one with withdrawal symptoms from Sertraline? 9 weeks ago my body began rejecting Sertraline after I was tapering (bad tapering for a year). I developed Serotonin Syndrome and was told to stop the medicine cold turkey. I have been on Sertraline for 7 years transitioning from Cymbalta right before that b/c of pregnancies. Was on it for 5 years) After 3 weeks I had to find relief b/c of the horrible side effects and dark thoughts. I was put on Buspar (just six weeks ago). I read that Buspar doesn't help with withdrawal which was disappointing. But in between the cold turkey of Sertaline (9 weeks ago) my doctor has put me on two serotonin sleep aids because of the horrible insomnia (which I've never suffered with as an adult). I had Serotonin Syndrome again both times. I"m so much better than i was that first month. Dizziness is mostly gone, my appetite is back, I'm laughing again, enjoying activities, but still struggling. BUT my insomnia is still horrible. I took a few days off of .5 klonopin to try over the counter sleep aids. Worked for a few days and then wore off. So my pharmacist put me on both the over counter sleep aids to take with my low dosage of Klonopin (taking .25 or less at night) so that I can eventually wean off of the klonopin. Some nights bendryl has been enough. Other nights, not at all. I"m so discouraged b/c I want to stop the klonopin. This is really the thing that is making me the most depressed. This is when my neuropsychologist put me on mirtzopane and trazadone. Both caused the serotonin syndrome. My question is this. 2 weeks ago was when I took my last dose of trazadone (which i had the adverse affect) does this mean I'm at square one again with my withdrawal symptoms? I"m definitely feeling better but i have to admit. These have been the hardest 9 weeks of my life! I know I will get better but this is hard. Any help and encouraging words would be great. My withdrawal symptoms are now at the moderate stage from the sheets people have posted on here. Thanks and light and love to you all!
  11. I'm desperate to get off lamotrigine. I started it a bit more than a year ago, tapered up to 100 mg over the course of a couple months, along with trialing escitalopram, quetiapine, and settling on sertraline (now 25 - 37.5 mg/day, with the higher dose during PMS time). It was fine at first, I went from not being able to make myself any food more complicated than opening a bag and getting extreme exhaustion from trying to hang my clothes to dry to being able to cook and clean more or less normally. But then I started getting migraines and restless leg syndrome more often than normal. Both are things I've had before, and they are definitely influenced by my menstrual cycle, but I've been getting them more and more frequently in the past months. Now it's gotten to the point where it's hard to get a night of sleep, because I wake up like clockwork at about 4:50 - 5 am with my legs just not able to find a comfortable position. Only it's not just my legs. It's my entire spine, and my stomach even. Previously I'd only gotten it in my legs, and just the couple days before my period (unless I was dehydrated or had been drinking or... the point is, it was predictable and I knew my triggers). I also had about a week of peripheral neuropathy, my hands and feet constantly felt like they were asleep. About a month and a half ago, when I went to my psychiatrist to renew my prescriptions, I brought it up. She told me to just stop taking the sertraline and see if that helped. It did NOT. I did a half assed taper (a few days of 1/2 the dose), then was basically cold turkey on sertraline for two weeks. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, but my restless-everything didn't improve one bit. And it was hard to not get in fights with my partner. So my next appointment, she told me to try taking half of my lamotrigine dose and see if that helps. I did a bit more of a taper than she suggested (dropped to 75 mg for around a week before dropping to 50 mg), and now I'm doing something like 25-50 mg. My pharmacy only has 100 mg pills so they're pretty hard to split accuately. So now I'm about two weeks into the taper and feeling awful. Since yesterday I've fully been feeling like I have the flu. Body aches, that back of the neck head and shoulder pain, congestion.... Fully exhausted. Also having a real hard time relating to other people, to the point of having a hard time getting basic shopping conversations done. (Doesn't help that I'm in a country that's not my native language.) I know I didn't taper right, but I don't know if I should go back up in dose or what. Not sleeping is driving me crazy!! Before I started doing the taper, I was skipping doses occasionally to try to get at least one night here there without waking up before sunrise and needing to move. I didn't notice any bad effects, so I thought tapering would be fine. I was probably going to say something else but I got distracted and really just want to go lie down. Basically, right now I feel like I'm at a crossroads. Try to wait out this awfulness and stay at my current low dose (about 1/3 a pill), or go back up since I didn't taper right anyway. The thing is, I am seeing a difference in the morning leg twitchies. With this lower dose, the feeling is less strong. It's still there, but a couple nights ago I was able to go back to sleep anyway. It seems like if I really try I can sleep through it at this dose. If I go back up, and I don't even know what dosage I'd go back up to, I know I won't be able to sleep without some kind of sleeping pills. I have xanax and eszopiclone. I hate sleeping on xanax, I don't think it's sleep as much as it is some chemically induced unconsciousness, and don't want to develop a dependence on the eszopiclone. Yesterday I was reading that it increases the chance of infections, and I already feel like I catch every little thing that's going around. Feeling real damned if I do, damned if I don't right now. I don't think my psychiatrist would be any help, considering she thought it'd be totally fine in the first place to just stop the sertraline, and then later thought halving the lamotrigine dose would be ok. I just *know* lamotrigine is doing something to screw with all my mineral levels, but I don't know what exactly!! On a hunch I started taking calcium when I started getting the peripheral neuropathy and it literally disappeared same night. (Coincidence?) But it doesn't seem to do anything for the restless-everything. (I read recently that the name for "restless legs syndrome" in one of the Scandinavian countries translates to "feeling of being crawled on by ants" and I feel like that captures the feeling so much better than "restless".) I've also tried magnesium and iron. Iron maybe helps but my colon gets real mad.
  12. Hi all, I'm attempting to taper from 100mg Sertraline starting July. I had been taking AD only since January so went relatively fast. Got down to 50mg by end July, 25mg mid August, 9mg about a month ago. I couldn't cut the tablets any smaller (the smallest available here in NZ is 50mg), so obtained some tapering strips from the pharmacy in the Netherlands to taper from 10mg to 0mg in 28 days. After about a week I started feeling much more anxious and depressed, similar to how I was feeling when I was put on AD at the beginning of this year. I stopped the taper at 5mg and have now obtained some 2.5mg capsules from a compounding pharmacy in Auckland. Now trying to stabilize at 7.5mg/day but still feeling significantly worse than a month ago. So, either I've gone too fast, or this drug was helping me in some way and I need to be on it for longer. I'm quite confused as I really don't want to depend on psych drugs but I need to try and avoid going back to where I was at the beginning of this year with A/D. Thanks, Geoff
  13. Hi everyone, I’ve just come across this website and sounds like there is some great forums and support. So hoping for some guidance and assurance! So I’ve taken 100mg of Sertraline for approximately 10yrs. Initially prescribed for post natal depression and anxiety. While on medication I experienced a traumatic incident, therefore medication was increased to support with the depression and PTSD. I’ve attempted to taper off Sertraline before, without success. I had recently forgot to collect my prescription and after around 3 days of no medication. I thought it could be an opportunity to cold turkey from the medication. I am now on day 7 and having the worst withdrawal symptoms ever! Feeling tired, headaches, brain zaps, feeling so irritable! I’m awful to be around! And so emotional, just breaking down and sobbing. I feel helpless and and so low. I’m being irrational and not being thinking straight at all. Now I suppose my query is, has anyone else experienced this, how long for, is it worth trying to hang in there? How long does this awful feeling last? I’m a senior manager at work and need to be focused, I can’t take time out either, it’s a new promotion. Any support or advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! Thank you everyone 😊
  14. Hello all, I will have be en on Sertroline at a medical grade of 110mg for 6 months and I believe was on the 50mg dose for a month or two before that. I took them further to experiencing post natal depression and anxiety for around 3 years before that. I’m keen to come off them but want to do it slowly and not put myself more steps back than I’ve progressed. I believe that a lot of the stressors that we’re present before have been improved. One thing I can’t work out is that I am still very sluggish and wonder whether this is the meds or not. Many thanks for any positive contributions you can make.
  15. This is pretty much my journey with Sertraline: Started taking 25mg Sertraline in February 2018, 50mg Sertraline from mid February 2018 to November 2018 25mg Sertraline from November 2018 to February 2019 12.5mg February 2019 - April 2019 Intermittent 12.5 through May 2019 Took last Sertraline dose May 27th 2019 I started taking Sertraline when I was diagnosed with clinical depression in a rehab program back in February 2018. Being medicated really helped me understand I could live life differently but eventually I started thinking that I wanted to be clean from any drug and spoke with my psychiatrist about getting of the Sertraline. I started tampering back in November and now I'm completely off from it. Have had a bunch of withdrawal symptoms, my psych automatically wanted me to get back on Sertraline but finding this community has made me understand that this too shall pass and if I take it one day at a time I will heal. I've felt super sensitive and now I'm going trough premenstrual syndrome and this! I'm trying really hard to be compassionate with myself but one of my biggest character flaws is that I'm a perfectionist. I can't lie, in the past week weeks I've felt desperate at times, last night was really hard for me. My mind made me believe I would feel anticipatory anxiety for ever but I was able to fall asleep with some meditation music. I even had a couple of suicidal thoughts race through, because I feel so desperate and forget that I don't feel like that all the time. It's so easy sometimes to think my thoughts and feelings are facts when they're not. I've only been in this community for a few hours and even if I don't know anyone I hope that others will identify with me and I will identify with others. I'm also a recovering addict and I think applying the NA program to what I'm going through will help me a lot. Right now I feel fatigued but hope starts to linger. Today has been much better I actually woke up in a pretty good head space, have gone through a lot of anxiety and sensibility but feel much more relaxed now and present. So important to stay present!
  16. HollyHope

    HollyHope

    Hi all, Firstly, I am so grateful to have come across this site and I hope that by sharing my experience I might be able to help others and also gain some help and support in return . So, my story - I have suffered on and off with depression since my late teens, I have now just turned 30. I was first prescribed the antidepressant citalopram when I was 18, I took a low dose of this (can't remember how much exactly). I took this for about 6 months and then stopped as felt a lot more in control of my life and generally happier. I unfortunately relapsed about 5 years later and was prescribed citalopram again which I took for about two years. After a while I felt that it was not having much of an effect on me and my mood so my GP switched me to sertraline which I have been on since, about 4 years roughly at 50mg a day. Sertraline has worked very well me and I have been lucky that I have not suffered too many side effects while being on it. Over the years I have tried many therapies, CBT, counselling, human givens and acupuncture to help combat my depression. In all honesty I am not sure how much of an effect any of these things have had on my well being but I do find that having a safe place to talk things through in a non judgmental environment has been a blessing at times. I am currently trying Human Givens therapy with a lovely lady who I feel very secure to talk things through with. I made the decision about 2 years ago that I wanted to be, or at least try to be, medication free to give my body and mind a chance to cope alone. I first tried to taper off sertraline in March 2014, I did pretty well and got down to taking 25mg just three times a week (however, since then I have read that it is not generally a good idea to alternate the days that you take the medication as the levels of the drug are then not consistent in your body.... or something along those lines). Anyway, after splitting up with my then boyfriend in June, I had a major relapse and went back up to 50mg daily. In the summer of 2015 having been consistently on 50mg since June 2014 I decided that I wanted to give it another go and try and come off the sertraline. I have slowly tapered to 25mg over several months and I have been taking 25mg a day for the last week and a half. I am going to stay on this dose for at least one month to allow my body and mind time to adjust before making the next reduction. It has however not been smooth sailing to get to this point and I am now left feeling very anxious, agitated, unmotivated and generally quite dull (I have no sparkle!). If I had the choice I would probably chose to stay in bed all day and just sleep. Of course in realityt this is not possible as I have a full time job and bills to pay. I used to be a gym addictt and would exercise atleast 3 times a week which I found to be very good at helping to stabilise my mood. However, over the last two months I have no motivation or energy to go to the gym and feel anxious at the thought of going (I have never really suffered with anxiety before!) I know that if I start going it will probbaly help me on the road to recovery but I just feel so unmotivated. Also, over the last two months I have completly lost my libido and feel so sorry for my boyfriend who probably feels very rejected... I just have no desire at the moment and feel out of touch from my friends, family and boyfriend who have all had to put up with me being negative and agitated recently. Finally since making the reduction to 25mg I am suffering my bouts of diarrhoea almost every day . I can only assume that this is part of the withdrawal process as I did not feel like this before I began to taper. My only hope is that it will pass eventually. My symptoms are manageable currently but I know that I am not living life to the full which makes me feel pretty rubbish. I am also worried that as I further decrease the amount of sertraline I take, these things that I am feeling now will become more intense and I may not be able to cope. It is hard to discuss with my GP as she will say that I am relapsing and advise me to go back up to 50mg, I know that this is not a relapse. I have seen some people mention that it is easier to taper using liquid serttaline? I feel this may be helpful as I am unsure when the time comes how I will make the next reduction as I already half the 50mg tablet to give me 25mg and I think it would be impossible to half that tablet again without it crumbling to pieces. Does anyone know if liquid sertraline is a thing? and if so is it availabel in the UK? I would love to hear from anyone who is currently tapering or maybe you have successful got off sertraline? Is it possible? Will I ever feel okay again? This is me and this where I am currently at. Thank you so much for you time. R
  17. Zoloft withdrawal success - my story When I first decided to wean myself off of Zoloft, I searched the internet for stories about people who had successfully gotten off antidepressants and had trouble finding them so I promised myself that if I made it I would post my story. Tomorrow, will mark my "no Zoloft for one year" anniversary. In that time, I haven't used alcohol or any other mood altering substance either, and I'm doing fine. It hasn't been easy, and it took a while, but I made it and I was able to function, to work and to take care of myself throughout. Diagnosed with social anxiety and depression when I was in my mid 40s, I was put on Zoloft and stayed at 200mg per day for around 5 years. The Zoloft helped me. It took the edge off of my anxiety, and since my depression was the result of my anxiety, it helped with that as well. Another pleasant side effect was that I lost a few pounds. So why would I want to stop taking it? The Nurse Practitioner who prescribed the meds was puzzled. It works, why stop taking it? I can't fully answer that question, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I've struggled with addiction my entire life. Drugs, alcohol, food... maybe I felt like by taking the Zoloft I was avoiding dealing with one of the major themes of my life. Whatever the reason, I wanted to stop taking it. I'd tried twice using the NP's tapering recommendation, which was to decrease by 50mg every week for a month. I never made it past the first week because I'd have flashes of disorientation and dizziness (which I didn't mind) and then become anxious and depressed (which I did mind). She told me Zoloft didn't cause withdrawal symptoms, it was my natural state of anxiety and depression returning, so I needed to stay on the Zoloft. I knew I was having withdrawal symptoms, but they were so intense I couldn't function, so went back on the Zoloft. Then my mother told me that she had weaned herself off of Premerin by doing a very slow taper over the course of a year, so I decided to try that. My plan was to decrease the Zoloft by 25mg every month over a period of 8 months. The first month was fine. I'd have rough patches, but they were manageable. After 8 months I was off the Zoloft but a few weeks later, I started having withdrawal symptoms including what people refer to as "brain zaps." I called them "head rushes" because it felt like my brain was being flooded by chemicals. Then I became anxious and depressed again, so I decided to go back up to the lowest dosage where I felt good, which was 50mg. Then instead of tapering at 25mg per month, I reduced it to 10mg a month, and that is how I eventually got off the Zoloft. Whenever the withdrawal symptoms became uncomfortable, I'd go back up to a "comfortable" dosage then begin tapering in smaller increments, a "progressive taper," similar to what is recommended in the book "The Anti-Depressant Solution," and on this website. Eventually I had to buy a milligram scale (available on amazon), because the increments became so small. I was amazed how sensitive my body had become to the tiniest adjustments in dosage. The last month I was down to 5mg, and I stopped taking Zoloft completely February 1, 2014. One year ago tomorrow. I was on 200mg of Zoloft for 5 years and it took 2 ½ years to taper off completely. It took a long time, but I wanted to taper safely, physically and emotionally. And I did. During that time I was able to work and to meet all my social commitments. At the suggestion of the NP, I joined a social anxiety group which used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She warned that I shouldn't go off the meds without addressing the underlying cause, which made sense to me. However, I also believe that much of my anxiety and depression was situational, even though she maintained it was my natural state. When I first came to her, I was going through an extremely stressful period of my life. I was having problems finding work and didn't know how I was going to pay my rent or survive from month to month. I went on one job interview after another and I think social anxiety and depression were my way of trying to protect myself from more rejection and failure. So how do I feel now, one year later? I'm doing okay. I occasionally get a head rush, but it's very mild. I wouldn't today describe myself as either socially anxious or depressed, but I know that this is how I react to stress, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped me develop strategies for dealing with those tendencies. 12 step programs, self help books, spiritual practices like yoga and meditation, healing modalities like Reiki, and individual therapy have all been part of my healing process as well. On this journey, life has given me both challenges and assistance in dealing with social anxiety and depression. For example, as I was tapering I started dating someone for the first time in years, and we had a fun relationship which helped heal a lot of issues relating to social anxiety. Then, after two years we broke up, so that offered its challenges, but I didn't sink into depression, which was kind of amazing. At the time, I also had bed bugs which deprived me of sleep and sent my anxiety through the roof, but I survived that too. (The bed bugs did not.) My ex-boyfriend introduced me to hiking, which I loved, so I started going to hiking meet-ups and found a circle of friends who also love to hike which helped heal a different aspect of my social anxiety. Also, becoming more physically active probably helped with the depression... In other words, life went on. There were challenges and there were opportunities and often the challenges were the opportunities. The Zoloft helped me get through a very difficult period of my life, and I'm grateful for that, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But here I am, 8 ½ years later, and I haven't used Zoloft or any mood altering drugs, alcohol or coffee (all of which affect my anxiety and depression) for a year. Today, I feel optimistic and hopeful. I know life will have it's challenges but also that I have resources and strategies to assist me, and I am grateful to all who have helped me on this journey; therapists, teachers, friends, strangers, nature, and also to life itself, which Eckhart Tolle calls "the greatest guru of all." Do I have moments of fear and anxiety? Yes! Do I have moments of happiness and joy? Yes! Do I have moments of depression and sadness? Yes! Do I have moments of laughter and silliness? Yes! All of it, yes. What I was dreading is that it would be unending anxiety and depression, and that hasn't been my experience. Life is okay, with its highs and lows and all of it. Like Snoop Dogg says, "it's all good."
  18. Im New to this forum. For many years I took 100-150mg sertaline and the only side effect was weight gain. My depression was moderated but not completely gone. Got a New doctor who recommended Pristiq. I've been taking 50mg for about 6 months. It was going fine. Suddenly I'm noticing frequent headaches, trouble remembering and nausea. Also increased anxiety. I'm not functioning and can barely get to the grocery store. I live alone and am scared. I've read about the symptoms of withdrawal and I seem to have all of them, except I have not changed my dose or time of day (night) that I take it. Has anyone else had this happen? I can't get in touch with my doc until 4 days from now.
  19. Anyone taking It? How do you feel about it because I have zero clue if it's a good thing or a bad thing for me after being on it for one year now...
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