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  1. Are there any support groups specifically dedicated to Zoloft titration and withdrawals.
  2. Stormstrong

    Stormstrong: in pain

    Hello. I need help! I've been taking Zoloft on and off for close to ten years. Went up to 150mg last month. Since I got back from the psych hospital last month, I've been having a sensation of being stabbed repeatedly in the brain, the whole day after taking Zoloft. This is why I had to start taking it during the day time. Otherwise I cannot sleep - keep jolting up awake, as if though electrical currents of stress run through my body. Today I got up, and was quite happy, energetic. An hour later I took Zoloft. What happened?: the feeling in my body and brain is that of continuous assault by toxins. I feel at the same time very agitated, very lightheaded and sleepy, nauseous, no longer happy, with diarrhea. Music, my true love and saving grace, is now an irritant. For a long time I've been considering tapering off for good (I'd follow the 10% rule). But now it's clear to me that this medication is no longer good for me. I had my psychiatrist (of a few months) call me and I suggested that we taper me down to 135mg. He said that it's not a "good idea", and that it won't help me. I don't think I can get another psychiatrist, because I'm applying for SSI disability (for PTSD), and people at the hospital told me that my case will be quite strong, if I show that I've had the same psychiatrist for a long time. If I go against his wishes, he would never write a good letter for my SSI case. Should I just do it behind his back? Greetings, by the way!
  3. Yes, it will feel like a miracle when it happens for you; and it will happen for you, it is just a matter of time. I want to get that out there first thing; it is my belief that we will all heal in time; it has happened for me and is continuing to happen and it will happen for you. Am I completely 100% done healing? No. Am I so, so much better? Oh yes! Now for some basics: Male, mid 50s, took zoloft for over 20 year, quit cold turkey 3.5 years ago, was off 5 months, thought I was relapsing, so started prozac for 3.5 months and then quit that cold turkey. Then I found S.A. and discovered what I was dealing with was not a relapse but withdrawal (and recovery). So yes, I did everything completely wrong and more than once! I am proof that given time we can heal. I currently just celebrated 30 months of being drug free. Now, how to begin to describe the inhumane torture that I have endured until very recently; not sure but I will try. I have gone through both the windows and waves pattern and the continuous misery pattern. I was one of those that suffered a great deal after quitting, but really got slammed at about 6 months off. At 1 year I was barely functioning; at 1.5 years I was still miserable, and at 2 years off I was wondering if I was doomed to endless suffering with no end. But now as I have hit the 2.5 year mark I feel as if I have turned the corner. Windows and waves general comprised the first year and then it became continuous misery for pretty much the next 6 to 12 months or more; and then back to windows and waves. My last serious wave was in months 25-26 and now finally what feels like solid progress the last month or so. I am hesitant to list symptoms because I know how much it use to scare me to read what others were going through; but on the other hand it really helped when a new symptom would start, because I knew it was part of the recovery process and not some disease or sickness, and most of these are gone or have become minimal although they lasted for months or years. And just because I experienced them does not mean that you will, we all have a very individual road to recovery; so here they are in no specific order: Dark depression, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive compulsive, panic attacks, intrusive/obsessive thoughts that tortured me, hopelessness, irrational thinking, suicidal thoughts, brain zaps, intense organic fear, severe inner-body tension that felt like my whole insides were clamped up, sexual dysfunction, severe tension, tremors and pain in the back of my legs and calves, terrible shoulder and upper arm pain, mania, extreme bloating and stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, vertigo, feeling like my brain was on fire, feeling like a part of my brain was missing, feeling like a bomb had gone off in my head, floating head feeling, super-hot face, body temperature regulation problems – being super-hot or cold, constipation, dehydration, lack of appetite and weight loss, feeling dead, anhedonia, akathisia, mood swings, insomnia, terrible brain fog and inability to think clearly, sensitive vision and hearing, inching and burning skin, cold like symptoms, head congestion, phantom smells, constant tinnitus, severe fatigue and exhaustion, health anxiety, I could not read, listen to music, or meditate, heart palpitations, random traveling aching and stabbing pain throughout my body, headaches, and so many other symptoms that I can’t remember. The torture, pain, misery, suffering and utter despair was never ending…until it did finally start to end for me and it will for you too. Did anything help me along the way? I tried many things; acupuncture, vitamins and supplements, alpha-stim, gluten free diet, no sugar diet, no caffeine, no alcohol, and anything else I could do to try and feel better. Did it work? In a sense it all worked because it kept me focused on recovery and gave me hope when I had none, and the possibility that I might feel better. But time passing has been the real healing agent; although that was the last thing I wanted to hear when I was suffering so intensely. I did find that mindfulness, breathing exercises and physical exercise helped when all else failed and I was so truly desperate. Many hours were spent just trying to pay attention to my breath going in and out; and I still use this practice as a relaxation method. It also helped me greatly to visit this website daily as well as Benzo-Buddies. I read success stories for hours at a time, read the Bloom in Wellness facebook page each day and anything by Baylissa Frederick and also Don Killian. So, what remains for me? I still have tinnitus (although it has gotten much better over the last month), stomach bloating and pain on occassion, nerve pain, some brain zaps at night, fatigue and tiredness, and sleep issues. If I had to put some percentages on where I am at now I would say physically I am at about 85-90% healed and mentally/emotionally at 90-95% healed. I now eat anything that I choose although I eat as healthily as possible because I value life so much now and I want to live as long as possible; I exercise regularly and it feels wonderful; I enjoy caffeinated drinks including regular tea and coffee which I had given up for many months; I also drink wine and beer a couple times a week if I choose to and enjoy it. I am in the best shape since high school, and have lost 75 pounds (on purpose). Life is good again and just the simple things are more than enough to bring joy and happiness. So that is my story and I hope it will encourage you as you read it that you will recover and become yourself again. I remember reading similar statements in success stories and thinking, “Yea, right, that is easy for you to say, you are not suffering through this terrible hell right now!” And maybe you are thinking the same thing as I did, but please listen to my words; you will make it, you will recover, you will feel better, and you will join me in loving life once again; just please don’t give up or give in and keep going! As I sit here with a cup of coffee and contemplate what I have been through the last several years, it all seems so strange and foreign. Success stories promised that I would make it to recovery, and they were right, so now it is my turn to tell you that you will make it, “You will make it!”. Wishing everyone here all the best and a quick recovery. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to try and help. All my love. Pug
  4. Hi all and sorry we meet on this forum. I was put on sertraline 100mg when my husband entered his midlife crisis in 2014. I tried to quit them the next year but could not cope with the withdraw symptoms so I decided to take them again. So I had been on sertraline 100 mg for 3 years when a few months ago I decided that since my husband's state of mind improved significantly and we were a solid couple again, it was time to try to quit again. My gp recommended I should reduced the dosage to 50 mg for 2-3 months, then reduce the dosage every week (once every other day, then once every two days and so on). I wwent a bit quick on this last part and got it over in about 3-4 weeks. The first symptoms appeared during this last faze (reducing the dosage every week). I had one week on insomnia and I got ill with a strange virus that kept me off work for one week. I would get very irritated by my employer's impulsive decisions at work and my husband's messiness at home. During the PM period I had strange moments when I felt so anguished I wanted to scream. At some point I could identify that there was this part in my brain that was anchored in the present, which was like a lid covering a boiling pot. Every now and again I had thoughts (about the past or the future) that made me anxious and I would reject them. I have been off sertraline for about 5 weeks now. A few days ago I was due to fly back to my home country (I am an expat in Ireland). The anxiety had been taking my mind over little by little every day. The day when my flight was due coincided with a full moon and the PM period. I simply could not get on that flight. It felt like that boiling pot exploded. I have been going through this wave for a week now. Every morning I wake up with terror and fear. I would do anything to be calm and detached again, to have peace. Every morning I want to go back on sertraline. With this occasion I identified clearly that all these years my psychological issue has separation anxiety. During the moments of clarity I know that I learnt something while taking sertraline, which is that one can be happy if they focus on the present. But that seems a distant memory now, as the anxiety caused by withdraw is excruciating. The anxiety feels like a program that has been switched on and it took over my mind. It is a familiar feeling though, it is the old childhood trauma of separation. Exercise seems to make things better. Also, cleaning around the house, making a plan for the day, watching a film. Sadly, when I moved to Ireland I found it very difficult to make friends in a culture where drinking prevails, I am still working on that. I can talk to my family on skype and my husband, who is doing his best to support me, but I can tell that the whole situation is new to him and he finds it draining. A couple of days ago I woke up annoyed, it felt like when one had a broken leg and wants to feel fine and keep waling. Today I felt so anxious I agreed to see my gp for advice. Most likely she will just put me back on sertraline, as all testimonies point to on this forum. Of course, when I feel better I want t hang on and go through this to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have read the basic information on this forum and I can see that most of you have been going through far worse than me, for a longer time. I hope that given the low dosage and the relatively short time I have been on sertraline, this period will end sooner then later.
  5. bubbles

    Bubbles

    Hi everyone I'm in my pre-taper phase of going off 20mg of Lexapro, which I've been on for 5 years. I've got an appointment to get Lexapro in liquid form to aid the taper in a couple of weeks. I've tried this before, and not succeeded, but am determined to get off them this time. At the moment I'm spending a few weeks setting myself up to have a good run at this. I'm: * filling up my freezer with home made meals for bad days.. * getting really organized at home. * taking a good multi, folate, magnesium and fish oil. * lining up some distractions, like audio books and a (hobby) evening course. * getting enough sleep. * cutting out caffeine. * doing clinical pilates as a way to transition into some more exercise. * getting some sunshine and fresh air every day. * introducing mindfulness meditations as a daily thing. * might start that tapping EFT thing I've seen at Dr Mercola's website - just can't hurt! At this stage I expect to start my taper at the end of the month. Or so... Bubbles
  6. I would appreciate assistance on tapering. My daughter is taking Zoloft 200 mg, Topiramate 25 mg (mood stabilizer), and Trazadone 50 mg (sleep aid). I have done extensive research trying to find which medication to start the tapering 10% method first, second and then third. I've not discovered any information on which one to start with and the sequence order. Would I start with the Zoloft first, the Topiramate second, and then Trazadone last? Or should I have her start with Topiramate first? What are your thoughts of tapering the Zoloft to 100 mg and then starting the Topiramate taper? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
  7. This site is a go-to to reassure myself that others are traveling and have traveled this road. The discussions about emotional spirals (check) and anxiety, rumination and dread on waking up (check) and depression even worse than before medication (check) have been helpful. I am being extra mindful now of taking Mag powder in the morning and before bed. I started AA and kundalini yoga in mid-May which have both been helpful. Although I really didn't drink much, it was enough (and mostly alone, not social) and any depressant when you are coming off an antidepressant can't be helpful. Also, I changed from hatha/vinyasa yoga to kundalini yoga which is more focused on the spiritual component of yoga. I won't lie: at 4 months, I still fall daily into waves of depression and loneliness. But I do find that there are glimmers of happier times and I am getting clearer -- I hope -- about how to handle the tough times (for instance, I just now think that my beloved dog has a fever and am trying not to emotionally spiral -- ugh). I will be reading this site like mad just to remind myself that I am not alone. Farm Girl Works Tapered 75mg Sertraline March 2017 in 4weeks after 6 years mostly on with a few unsuccessful WD Stopped Sertraline April 1, 2017
  8. I would like to say hello and thank this website for giving me hope. I have spent the last few days reading a lot of the posts and have found them to be full of information and great advice. The success stories are wonderful to read. I have never been in a medical situation like this and I was feeling lost and alone until I found Surviving Antidepressants. I was put on Zoloft (50 mg then upped to 100mg) in February 2016 due to depression over a long-term illness that at that time was still un-diagnosed. I got a diagnosis for my illness in April of 2016. I was hospitalized for that illness both in April and March and it was eventually brought under control. Once I got home from the hospital (both times) I was very weak and I had very confused thinking. I had multiple at-home treatments and medications to keep track of. Somewhere in there I messed up my Zoloft and either went cold turkey or was only taking it intermittently, but did not realize it at the time. Starting in May and ramping up in June I had all sorts of symptoms, which nobody in the medical field could figure out, including me. I was put on Gabapentin (600mg then upped to 900mg) to help with the symptoms. My symptoms included headaches, nausea, feeling hot and sweating but having a low body temperature, as well as the feeling of internal tremors in arms and legs, and actual external tremors. I also had jerky arm movements. I had what I call “vertigo light”, the whole room didn’t spin, just the floor moved when I tried to walk; I felt like I was drunk. I had brain zaps, motion sickness, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and pressure in the ears like when flying on a plane. My memory was also bad. After endless nights of searching the Internet with my symptoms I realized I had withdrawal. Counting the actual amount of pills in the bottle and looking at the day it was prescribed confirmed that I had not been taking my medication. Once I realized what was going on I contacted my psychiatrist and I went back on at 50mg, which was twelve days ago. A dosage that high might be a mistake after reading about “reinstating” here on this sight, I don’t know yet. Since reinstating the brain zaps and vertigo have disappeared, and the other symptoms have gone down in intensity, however I am getting them more frequently. I’m now getting them every day, for at least a few hours and sometimes all day. Before going back on Zoloft they were really brutal but only for a few hours at a time, none of this all day stuff. Klonopin seems to help however my psychiatrist has suggested that I use it sparingly, he said that the Gabapentin should be helping with the symptoms. By the way, I feel I have an excellent psychiatrist. He did warn me when he put me on Zoloft not to go off of it without talking to him first and that there was tapering involved. He also responds to my frequent and desperate e-mails on a timely basis. I do recognize though that I need to be proactive when it comes to my health. This is my first time with a drug in the SSRI class. At this moment my goal is to stabilize. Eventually I would like to get off, but right now I just want the physical symptoms to go away. By the way, the depression, which was acute in February, seems to have disappeared, both while on and off the Zoloft. I am open to opinions, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
  9. Hello Thank you for accepting me in to this group. I have always faced adversity and never ever took any medication. I always felt these were life situations that all of us must face - and that there isn't a fast fix - only time will heal - which it always had. But when my son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoma Leukemia - I forgot all about the above and listened to my GP to take something for this pain that hurting my very soul. So I took Zoloft and stayed on it for 8 years - Then on December 3, 2011 - my GP and I decided it was time to start tapering off Zoloft. Unfortunately Zoloft only comes in 25, 50 and 100 mgs in capsule form. I had to taper 25 mgs at a time, albeit I stayed on that amount for 4 months at a time. Took a year and a half to finally get off it, which was on May 17, 2013. My tapering experience: I had litte WDs in the beginning - first was the dizziness, arms and legs ached, headaches, groin pain to the point where I had a hard time walking, indigestion, - all these symptoms except the dizziness and headaches disappeared. I was coping quite well all through withdrawals - but I didn't know what was coming, was not prepared at all. When off completely May 17, 2013 - again for a couple of months still able to cope with WDs. Then around 6 months off - WDs seem to get worse - visual disturbances, anxiety, worsen headaches, lightheadedness - pins and needles all over my face and chin, daily migraines, tight band around my head - DP, crying all the time - night sweats - morning anxiety - All these symptoms started mildly around the 6th month period off - then they just got worse and worse and around 18 months of until now there has been no let up at all. Day after day with high anxiety, crying every day, distorted vision in one eye I think caused by the headaches. I am literally in hell - and I wonder if maybe I will be like this for the rest of my life. Also recently I have lost a person whom I love so much, never to see that person again. I think my WDs are even worse now because of it. There is no hope left in me...- Zoloft is the only medication I have ever taken and do not take anything at all - not even vitamins.
  10. Hi all, New here. Was on Sertraline for 2.5 years until this Christmastime. Initially 25 then 50mg, attempted to go up to 100mg under the direction of my doctor. Suffered significant diarrhea due to this change, and so went back down to 50mg. And that is when the real issues started. Though I was not aware of what was happening. I was prescribed it during the midst of the breakup of my marriage, which started to break down due to the fact that my ex suffered significant pain on intercourse, which had meant our sex life had pretty much always been one of disappointment and difficulty. Towards the end of last year, I started to realise something wasn't right. I was in a fog, I have moved several times in the last few years as I got my life back on track. I moved to the Bay area in June. I am in the process of trying to start a new relationship, which started just before Christmas last year. I had the sudden realisation that I was having significant sexual side effects. To my horror, once I realised this, I also 'came to' and realised that this had been going on for maybe 6-8 months previously, and progressively getting worse, but I simply hadn't noticed because I had been in a complete fog. I was skipping doses... just unaware of my surroundings. I was having brain zaps, dizziness, confusion, night sweats, significantly decreased cognitive ability, memory loss, depersonalised. I remember people commenting that I seemed distant. I remember my doctor up in Fort Bragg California asking me last June if the sexual side effects were problematic and I cheerily said 'no'. When in fact they were - but I simply wasn't aware. How can that be?! Cue seeing my general practitioner, who is managing my medication here in the Bay area, plus quickly making an appointment with a psychiatrist. Psychiatrist - who was the only one I could get an appointment with at short notice - told me I didn't have depression, and could stop taking the zoloft immediately. I told him I wasn't comfortable with that, and would like to taper, and was met with a response that I was the kind of person who got anxious about taking pills, and promptly asked me what I would feel comfortable with. Clearly he didn't believe in the need to taper at all. We ended up doing a taper over 2 weeks. To 25mg and then cold turkey. I then went back to my GP as I did not trust the opinion of a psychiatrist who went against everything I had read. I am working to get in with another psychiatrist, but no appointments until April. My GP has prescribed Wellbutrin, I am 2 weeks into that but honestly want nothing more to do with antidepressants. It is also making me break out into a rash and increasing anxiety. At present I am about 3 weeks in to withdrawal. I get spells of intense anxiety, partially I think due to the wellbutrin, partially due to WD. I did have anxiety before being prescribed an SSRI. My brain gets tired easily. On the positive side, I have started dreaming again - just little bits and pieces. Mostly odd/weird dreams, but dreams nonetheless. Sometimes I wake in a sweat and a panic. But if I can find a way to go back to sleep then often I wake up calmer and more in my body. The sexual side effects worsened initially, but have probably plateaued about where they were before I stopped sertraline. However, I am now aware of just how much difference there is between how I am now, and how I once was. Suddenly my memories of what it was like to have a solid erection have come back. Memories of past sexual encounters where I didn't feel ashamed and broken. And so my desire to be sexual is something I have to fight for. My new partner has been very understanding, but I have to get myself out of a mindset of shame in order to want to be sexual in any way. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. I have started to be aware of birdsong, smells that I had forgotten about - woodsmoke, flowers. And I am generally more aware of myself and my environment. Like waking up from a long sleep and wondering where on earth I have been. Some sensation has returned to my genitals. But not much. Sometimes I notice what I feel is desire and attraction. But it feels weak. And erections are weak and unreliable. I have a meditation practice. I have started running and taking longish walks. I am taking fish oil with my food, and working hard to stay positive. I have a network of friends who are amazing and show up for me. At this point I am hopeful as things are early on in the WD process and I am coping. However, I am petrified that I will never get to fully enjoy sex again. It feels cruel, given that my past history was one of being a very sexual person, in a relationship with someone who couldn't give me a fun sex life, despite their best attempts. I am angry that I am in this situation. No one mentioned long-term sexual side effects or withdrawal when I was being counselled for this drug. It wasn't even mentioned as a possibility, although sexual side effects during treatment were. I will not be beaten. One way or the other I will become okay with myself again, whatever that looks like. I would very much like it to look like a regular healthy sex life and relationship again. Who knows. Maybe it will be with an asexual partner or as a Buddhist monk. But I have hope and am working to keep in a positive mindset overall. Not going into these negative thoughts, but just keeping moving at all cost. This is my journey thus far. I'm grateful to be here with you all...
  11. Hi, I am 31 years old, and been taking Sertraline 50mg since 2005, for generalised anxiety disorder. I attempted to taper several times in the past, all unsuccessful. In January 2018, I thought I was mentally in a good place to try and reduce the dose again. I started tapering by taking 25 mg 1 day a week(50 mg 6 days) for one month, then 25 mg for 2 days a week for another month etc. I have now been on 25mg everyday since June 2018. Initially I had occasional, mild withdrawal symptoms like vertigo and sensory sensitivities. But I had major, unexpected negative life changes and multiple bad news over the summer of 2018, and have been (understandably) more and more emotional. My anxiety has been getting more, and now it has become unbearable for me. I keep randomly crying, and feel extremely worried All. The. Time. I cannot relax or calm down, and feel a shortness of breath most of the time. Random anxiety attacks followed by diarrhea have become a regular thing. I am worried about leaving the house on my own. I am thinking about increasing the dose again, as I just can't cope with the debilitating fear and worry anymore, but then I will have suffered all these months for nothing. I thought I was in a stable point in my life when I started the taper, but now, after having dealt with a very difficult year(unrelated to the taper), I feel like now is actually the worst time for this. I have no support as all my family live abroad(and my parents&close relatives themselves could do with emotional support right now), my kids are very young and they constantly need me(and nursing a toddler is draining as it is...), we are in the process of selling our house and moving (not sure where to yet), I haven't had therapy or counselling in years and don't really have anyone to confide into... Should I just give up, go up to 50mg and try again when my life is stable? Has anybody had life events interfering with their taper like this?
  12. Hi all, I joined this site several weeks back, tried to create a forum but my internet went out while I was doing so, I don't think it went through, so if this is a repost or posted in the wrong area, I'm sorry. Anyway, long story short, I'm female and close to turning twenty two, I originally started sertraline around 15-16 years old for anxiety, (generalized, panic attacks, and social) and depression. I started at a lower dose but after several years made my way up to 200mg, stayed on it for another several years, and at the age of 21 finally managed to come off them completely after many attempts that failed due to withdrawal. Fast forward to the end/beginning of this year after being off them for around eight months, my suicidal ideation got severe again, and fearing the worst, I jump shipped and started sertraline again because I was afraid of what I may do. After about 2 months on them again at 50mg, I tapered off over about a week and a half because they were giving me brain zaps, reduced sexual function, brain fog, etc, and I realized why I quit in the first place. Now I'm here two months later wondering if I've ruined myself for doing so. I've had a lot of emotional blunting and anhedonia, but the thing that I do not understand is that I am quick to irritability and anger, but nothing else. I can get sad at times, I have cried a few times which I couldn't manage on the short time I went back on the pills, but I used to have full on meltdowns, which I know isn't ideal, but at least it was something. I am an emotional person, and living in this fog and anhedonia is very concerning to me. I had issues with it before on the pills and even the short time off, but not to this extent. I've been trying to be positive, but I'm about two months in and I'm just tired of living through this window, if that makes sense. It's frustrating because sometimes I can feel this literal switch in my body, that is so close to clicking everything back together, but it doesn't. Other times I don't feel a switch at all. I've had more depersonalization episodes which I haven't had before. I always had a bit of dissociation, but the episodes have definitely been worse. I guess I just don't understand why after years of high dosages, constantly going on and off, I could quit fine and return to normal functioning within two months, where as now after a smaller dosage and shorter period, I'm doing way worse two months in now. Sorry if this is too detailed, but I want to be as clear as possible for any other women going through the same thing and to document my personal experience. I also am able to orgasm, but not the way I used to be able to. The short time on the pills I had near 0 interest and orgasm was hard, so while it is good I can do this again, it isn't the same rush as before, and it isn't nearly as pleasurable due to genital numbness. That has gotten better somewhat, I am able to tell if I am touching myself down there and feel the temperature of things, but the pleasure that was there before and the warm feeling is still not back. A little over a month off, I had a couple random times I became wet down there, and would feel more of a throbbing feeling I had before the pills, to elaborate on that I guess aside from the obvious sensation, it was a desire of, holy ****, I need it now! I don't have that anymore, yet again. With enough concentration and thinking about sex enough, I can get somewhat of a desire, but not much. I thought I was getting better a month ago due to the random lubrication and able to feel temperatures again, along with maybe 10-15% of original feeling coming back, but the past month nothing else has changed, and I haven't randomly gotten wet down there or had much of a throbbing sensation since two or three episodes. I guess my question is, what is your experience with withdrawals from anti-depressants? For those of you who have recovered, did it come back at once, or was it a more gradual thing? From my brief time on this site it seems most swing back and forth like a pendulum, getting better than not, then eventually after weeks or months of going back and forth one stone is then officially planted, only to have to fight the next ten ahead, whether it be the fight with emotions or sexual dysfunction. While I certainly would love to hear from everyone, as I have scrolled through many forums on this site, if there are any females my age, I would love to hear your responses in particular just to know there are others like me going through the same thing, and it would help me understand maybe more of what to look for in terms of recovery, though I acknowledge everyone isn't the same. It's just very disheartening being this young and having to worry about this. It sucks, but I have read many success stories and I am trying to stay positive, especially since I have had some recovery, even if it is marginal.
  13. Hello all, long time reader first time poster. Firstly I just wanted to say how awesome it is to have such a place to go and receive help for what can only be described as a nightmare that thousands of people seem to go through. So here is my story which I will end with a few questions I have. As you can see from my signature, I was placed on 50mg of Sertraline (Zoloft) in September 2009. This is when my life was turned upside down. I was originally placed on this drug because I visited my local doctor comlaining about some anxiety that I was getting after I drank alcohol. I must say that for a period of about 8 years I was a heavy binge drinker. I was a typical 18 year old who went out every weekend and got blind drunk with his mates. This was obviously starting to take its toll on me once I hit 25 years of age and that is why I visited my doctor. Well I was in there for a total of about 10 minutes before he prescribed me 50mg of Zoloft telling me this would help with taking the edge off of my anxiety. I did what he suggested and this was the worst mistake of my life. I returned to the doctor within 10 days of starting 50mg complaining of the worst symptoms (severe agitation, anxiety and now depression). Unfortunatley I could not see the original doctor so I saw another doctor there at the time. He said I must need a higher dose and that 100mg was the normal dose he puts his patients on. He also prescribed valium to me (which I took a couple of times). The next 3 months of my life was like a horror film. I became suicidal with severe symptoms that I had never experienced before going on the drug. I seem to settle after about 3 months, but it must be said I never was without symptoms, but they were less severe. Around 12 months after starting the drug, I began to get more severe symtoms. I returned to the doctor and he once again up'd my dosage to 150mg. The next 3 months were a nightmare again, severe agitation etc. For the next 6 years I floated between 100mg and 150mg. I spent thousands of dollars on therapy to treat an apparent panic disorder; although I didn't mind the therapist, the information we went through just didn't seem to apply to me i.e. I wasn't thinking any of the ways he was suggesting was causing my symptoms. It wasn't until I started looking into more natural ways and researching antidepressants that I realised that maybe the drug could be the problem! Lightbulb moment! I have read a lot of books from authors like Peter Breggin, Joseph Glenmullen, etc. which I am sure most of you have read. I also have been doing a lot of work with a nutritionist. I had a 23andme test done and found out a couple of interesting points. I have a COMT gene mutation which means I break down adrenaline and dopamine slower and I also have a mutation in another gene which I can't remember the name of which means I break down serotonin slower. What this actually suggests to me and my nutritionist agrees is that I may have been quite toxic with levels of serotonin which was causing serotonin syndrome. Alot of my symptoms were a mirror image of serotonin syndrome (agitation etc.). So as you can see from my signature, I began tapering in February 2016. My problem now is that I seem to have hit a huge brick wall. I may have tapered a little fast and was hit with severe withdrawal symptoms which have not gone away. I have been holding at my current dose of 60mg for almost 4 months now. This past 4 months has been the worst 4 months of my life. It started with severe symptoms like pounding headaches, vomitting, insomnia, not being able to sit still (severe agitation) as well as some depression. It has progressed from there to now being just severe depression. I am not depressed about anything in particular other than the way I feel. It is like I am completely numb with emotions aside from being really upset. I have no appetite and really struggle to get through each day. I am very fatigued and lack motivation to do the most basic of things. I am pushing through it as best I can still working fulltime and excercising a couple of times a week plus playing golf on the weekend. I must say that I have a great life. I love my job, I have a beautiful wife and young son (8 months) and honestly have everything to live for. It is just these horrendous symptoms are ruining it all. So finally to my questions and looking for advice from some veterans on here. What should I do next? Should I continue to hold at 60mg until things get better, or should I continue at a 10% taper and see if things get worse or perhaps better? From previous drops, I seem to have a period of improvement on symptoms for about 2-4 weeks, and then it begins to decline until I drop again. I am not sure whether that means I should keep reducing or slow down. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks all.
  14. I’m new to this website/forum, but I’ve been researching and finding great information about people getting off their psychiatric medication. I’m 46, and I was 20 years old in college when I experienced my first full blown panic attack (official diagnosis, panic disorder without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, depression). Looking back (after lots of therapy), I can now understand the stress I was under at that time. But the main point is that I was put on zoloft and lorazepam which, combined with lots of “social drinking” seemed to put a lockdown on the panic attacks (though I would still wake up with some varying degrees of anxiety most mornings). I put my head down and just sort of pushed my way through life, graduating from college with honors, holding a job doing community education / organizing / speaking, shifting gears and going back to school, and then starting my own successful business. Jump to about 4 years ago, 2012 and things just seemed to begin falling apart. The successful company I had created was now failing, a relationship I actually felt invested in was failing, and the hangovers from drinking had become really intense. In short, I ran out of steam. I gave up drinking in the spring of 2014, and that summer decided I was going to get off the damn meds. I did it the “right way,” tapering off the benzos first, and then the SSRI. And though the anxiety would increase while tapering and it was tough, by the end of the summer (early September) I was actually med free! Unfortunately, mid-October the panic attacks returned full force. Again, I can see now that this was a particularly stressful period of my life, but of course I was really disappointed when I decided I just had to get back on the meds (the panic attacks were relentless and excruciating). The problem was that the meds no longer seemed to work like they did before. And now I’m on MORE meds (add in remeron and extra 50 mg of zoloft). I have made some changes, doing lots of therapy, ACA support groups (and looking at childhood issues generally), exercising again regularly, EMDR, meditation, etc. And I want OFF the meds! I know I need to do this slowly, and at this point, I cut the remeron from 15 mg to 7.5 (about 1.5 months ago) and I’ve cut the benzo (now clonazepam) from 2 mg to 1.5 per day (just started that 3 days ago). My thought is to cut the benzos first, then the last of the remeron. I know with the relatively long half-life of the clonazepam, I need to take it slowly. I’m thinking .5 mg every 2 weeks. From the information I've come across, it seems like some taper off even more slowly than that? I'm looking for others to share their experiences with their own clonazepam withdrawal schedules (for panic disorder, preferably). I just don’t know what to do about the SSRI (zoloft). I realize this website is about benzo withdrawal, but I’m hoping to find others with experience on panic disorder and SSRI withdrawal too (as well as benzo withdrawal support). I hope this is OK on this forum? I’ve been “working with the anxiety” (trying to “make friends” with it as they say in the meditation circles). I know I’m less scared of it now, but I'm also not experiencing the full blown panic attacks. My concern is that I would get off everything (including the SSRI/zoloft) and then the panic attacks return, and it takes SO LONG for the SSRI to build up in one’s system. Do I just prepare myself to weather that storm? Will that storm really pass eventually without the meds? After years of trying to make my physiology match the lifestyle I felt I should lead, I’m now accepting the idea that I need to make my lifestyle match my physiology. The panic attacks are just so damn awful when they hit relentlessly all day long, day after day. I’m scared. Is there anyone out there that has had any experience with the meds and panic attacks along the lines that I have had? Are there other resources out there I should know about? Is it really possible that I can live a purposeful (and perhaps at least semi-peaceful) life without meds after 25 years of being on them? Much gratitude . . .
  15. Hi All - I am glad I found this forum! I am currently dealing with severe Withdrawal symptoms following stopping Sertraline on 28th Oct 2018. I was on 50 mg dose and my taper was just for 5 week on 25 mg. Before I get into that a brief history - 16 Feb 2011 - 28 May 2012 - Venlafaxine 75 mg - I was put on Venlafaxine for anxiety disorder and panic attacks following a troubling blood work report showing high cholesterol. I was able to come off this drug very easily without any real Withdrawal symptoms. Next episode was in September 2013 when I again started having severe heath anxiety (cardiac health + infections) following the untimely death of a close friend. I tried to manage this without medication for 2 months but eventually started medication again - 15 Nov 2013 - Oct 2014 - Cipralex - did not work for me. There were days where I felt good but then it all went downhill. Nov 2014 - March 2017 Venlafaxine with one attempt of approximately 3 weeks in Oct 2016 to stop the meds. After stopping Venlafaxine in March 2017 i stayed normal for another 35 days and then the anxiety came crashing back. I tried to manage it with Yoga and meditation but eventually gave in an started on another SSRI - Sertraline 50 mgJuly 2017-Oct 2018 Sertraline 50 mg (tapered to 25 mg for almost 5 weeks before stopping)Nov and Dec went well but were extremely stressful on the personal side.And then on the 28th of December the anxiety came crashing back. It initially started with Overwhelming thoughts, racing mind, uncontrollable negativity and generalized worry about my health. It was intermittent with a few good days interspersed in between.But following a business trip that involved some alcohol on 4 consecutive days the anxiety is back for good since the 18th Feb and I am not having any good days any more. In fact symptoms are intensifying each day. Current Symptoms - Severe anxiety, shivering, waking up in the night with palpitations, insomnia, diarrhea, scary thoughts, racing mind, tightness in chest, shivering My Personal Conditions - I have just moved to a new property and have been through a very stressful time. On the personal side I am expecting my first child in June 2019 which makes it even more difficult as I have to be there for my partner. I have a moderately stressful job but have some other temporary stresses from some financial transactions. In the light of the above can you please advise - 1. Is this withdrawal or do I need to be on the medication longer? Any advise would be appreciated. 2. I did not know about this website and the tapering strategies mentioned here? Will it make sense for me to go back on the meds and then do a formal taper over a long period of time (2-3 years)? Can it reduce the chances or intensity of the Withdrawal syndrome? 3. Are there support groups here locally in London that you can introduce me to?
  16. Hi all, My name is Joel, and first of all I want to say I really appreciate the resource of this site. I never realized how insane things could get on starting or stopping antidepressants. I knew about withdrawal syndrome, but I didn't realize it could be 100 times worse than the worst of my anxiety. I'm currently seeking support for a tapering schedule I'm on. A bit of my history. After a whirlwind year in 2013 of getting married and losing a job, I had my first panic attack. At the end of the year, I started having more pronounced anxiety episodes – instead of 30 minute attacks, overwhelming anxiety that would come for hours at a time. My doctor at the time prescribed 50mg sertraline. After reading a bit about antidepressants, I decided to start with 25mg, and it worked for me. My life changed. I felt like myself again. Even on that low dose, my panic went away, I felt more confident, and I was able to not only survive but thrive through getting a new job, two babies, two dogs, and a house in a matter of 3 years. In mid-2016, I talked with my doctor again about going off the sertraline. My largest complaint was it made me sleepy at night and occasionally I'd feel mild brain zaps. I tapered over a week and had no issues. Fast forward to the end of 2017. On a business trip, I felt anxious one night, and I had brought my old Xanax/sertraline bottles as a safeguard, which I've always done when traveling. Knowing how addictive Xanax can be, and because sertraline helps me sleep, I took the sertraline. The next month, I felt anxious again while traveling, but didn't take anything. Then, in March 2018, I was traveling for work in Ethiopia and had a major anxiety episode. I had taken a sertraline the first night there, again ignorant that I probably shouldn't be popping them for the occasional time I want to fall asleep. About 6 days in, while traveling back from the south of the country, I felt a panic attack hit. It wasn't your typical panic attack: I had no overwhelming feeling of doom or fast heart rate, just an extreme urgency to urinate and a sick stomach. When I got back to my hotel, I took Xanax and started on the old script of sertraline. Within two days, I felt better, was able to travel home without incident, and was fine through April. The old prescription ran out after a few weeks, and I did a few-day taper, and wanted to see if I could survive without the drug, scheduling an appointment with a new doctor in July. I was feeling more anxious in July. Not every day, just occasional evenings. Mostly, my gut was sometimes a mess — I had a lot of IBS symptoms. When I saw my doctor, I asked to be put back on 25mg sertraline. It worked, and then it didn't. In late September, I began getting chronic, all-day headaches that lasted from early morning to the time I went to bed. I thought it was some kind of sinus infection, and to save money, did a teledoc appointment where a nurse practitioner wrote me a script for antibiotics. The antibiotics didn't work, and over the course of a month, I felt sicker. It was then I began to worry about some serious ailment, and after going to a walk-in clinic when I was feeling rather sick, I was sent to the ER with 160/100 blood pressure. They did a CT scan and tested my blood and everything was normal. The next day, my doctor's PA upped my sertraline to 50mg, convinced it was anxiety. Within 12 hours, I knew something was wrong. My whole body was shaking, I felt like my heart was beating through my chest, I had to urinate every 30 minutes. It was crazy. At first, I told myself it was just the anxiety, but it was always bad after taking the pill and got better in the evening. After 5 days of this hell, my doctor said to taper over a week. I didn't listen, but went cold turkey. At first, I was shaky but fine. Then I experienced a week of near-black depression. I've never struggled with that before, but they only way I can describe it is like staring at a black wall. You can't even see or think about anything. By Thanksgiving, I was stabilizing, and doing better and better. In early December, I then had an episode of anxiety that hit in the evening. My heart was pounding and I felt sick to my stomach. Angry, I decided to try taking 12.5mg of the sertraline again. Within an hour, it felt like my brain was on speed. My wife woke up and found me running around our basement because I felt I had to move. She suggested, actually demanded, going to see a psychiatrist. She works with moms who suffer from anxiety/PPD. I put it off, thinking I would stabilize, but I didn't. By the next week, I felt like all my nerves were on fire, I had no patience, noises were making me jump, and I began to have the complete inability to sleep. Every time I would drift to the edge of sleep, I'd wake up with a racing heart. My doctor saw me and prescribed buspirone and Ambien. I tried the Ambien twice — both days after were hellish and painful beyond belief. I had to take Xanax to get rid of the horrible fiery pain they caused me. As Christmas approached, I was desperate. I had been so normal just a few weeks prior. I had my girls and pregnant wife to think about. I couldn't fall apart, but I was. I ended up in a day program at a psychiatric hospital for 3 days where I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and given 100mg of trazodone. It helped me sleep, and boy was I happy for it! At a followup the next week, I was then prescribed 5mg escitalopram. I began to stabilize. I was sleeping, I wasn't jumping at sounds, my anxiety was slowly resolving, but I still felt off. My body still felt out of sync. I learned about autosomatic dysfunction. I also tried to taper the trazodone because it made me feel zonked all day every day, but within two days felt like someone had poured battery acid in my veins. I was fine again within 24 hours of taking the 100mg again. In early February, I began researching something I'd thought of way back in October — the effects of different generics. For years, I had been on the generic sertraline manufactured by Pfizer's subsidiary Greenstone. Last July, I was started on a brand from the Indian company Aurobindo. As I researched, I began finding testimonies of people saying the Aurobindo brand make them feel like they were on speed. I asked my psychiatrist about it and talked to my pharmacist who used to work for Pfizer and had heard of similar situations. My psychiatrist then had me stop the escitalopram and trazodone (he said cold turkey, but I tapered to 25mg of trazodone in a week) while restarting the sertraline at 25mg. Within a few days, most of my symptoms went away. I learned more about post acute withdrawal and generic switches. I was angry no one had thought of that except my pharmacist. Stopping the escitalopram had to effects, but the trazodone nearly killed me. I learned about trazodone's short half-life and was, again, angry no one had explained this to me. I came home from work one day in horrible, burning pain and felt panic setting in. I couldn't even play with my girls – I had lost the ability to sit still. I called my doctor who said to take .75mg of Xanax and that stopped the pain. He then met with me and prescribed .5mg Klonopin as needed and planned a 6 week taper of the trazodone. I am currently 3 weeks in and at 37.5mg. Every little step has come with pain and a few restless/sleepless nights, but I've been in a good mood and have been very productive the past few weeks. The most recent taper had me switch to 50mg pills that are made by Tiva, a different generic, so I am concerned that this might exacerbate withdrawal symptoms. Overall, I am very angry with the way these medications are offered without talking about the risks. I'd pay everything in my bank account to be able to deal with the occasional anxious nights I had last summer as opposed to the painful misery of today. I am grateful to now know, however, that it wasn't me going crazy and that I don't have major generalized anxiety disorder – that 90% of my symptoms have been medically induced. My questions in coming to the forums are as follows: 1) Has anyone ever experienced such pronounced withdrawal symptoms after less than 3 months on an antidepressant? 2) Has anyone had a similar experience tapering from trazodone? 3) One of the major symptoms I had on the Aurobindo brand of sertraline was chronic all-day headaches. I've been getting them again more again now that I'm back on the sertraline (but on the Greenstone brand). I have no idea if the headaches are simply being caused by the fluctuations in my serotogenic systems or by the drug itself. Has anyone else experienced dull, constant headaches that last all day? My research into it has turned up nothing. 4) Has anyone experienced changes switching from one generic to another? Thanks for being a resource! - Joel _____ Current medications: 37.5mg trazodone, 25mg sertraline, .5mg Klonopin as needed during taper (I should mention I also completed 3 months of CBT which was far more helpful than the meds)
  17. crhawks-xanax-problem Hello All, My story is rather long, so please bear with me...I am in desperate need of help. I took only one pill of 50 mg Zoloft to deal with anxiety and mild postpartum depression 3 months ago, and I have had horrible effects ever since. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? It seems like very similar symptoms to those I have read of withdrawal. But it seems strange to have withdrawal after only one pill. Maybe an adverse reaction? I am feeling very hopeless, I feel as though my life has changed forever, and that this will never go away. My story is below...I'll try to shorten as much as possible, although it is somewhat difficult... I have a history since my teens of mild/moderate anxiety and depression. Since dealing with some health problems (anxiety) and the birth of my son (postpartum depression), my conditions worsened. Back at the beginning of October, I went into the ER for pain for a back/side issue I have been having for 18 months. They gave me a pain killer which did not help, so I was given Haldol, which I was told was a different type of drug that had off-label use for pain. I ended up having a horrible dystonic reaction to the drug that made my jaw continually smash itself, teeth chipped, had severe crushing anxiety, etc. Went back to the ER and they put me on a drug that counter-acted the reaction. (Of course I have since learned this is a terrible, horrible anti-psychotic med and never should have been given to me). Fast forward three weeks, and I was feeling back to normal. My doc decided to put me on Zoloft to help with my anxiety from all the health issues and the reaction, and we thought it might also help with the mild depression. She prescribed me 50 mg pills to be taken once daily. I took ONE PILL and was going crazy within an hour or so. Severe anxiety and nervousness, nausea, diarrhea, warm rushes through my body, but yet shivering, confusion, depersonalization, mania. It was hell. I read online that supposedly some of these things were normal for a couple weeks, but I was having very severe reactions. I decided I could not ever take another pill. I was told that I could take my Xanax to help with these symptoms, so I did that, but it did not help much. The reactions continued. I went to my doctor a couple days later and she had no idea what was going on. She said it should have been out of my system. I ended up going to the ER. They also were not sure what was going on. We realized it could take up to a week with the half life to get out of my system. A psychiatrist who was on call prescribed me Klonopin at night, Propranalol, and Xanax during the day. It helped to get me through, but that reaction lasted about 2 weeks. Then I began to normalize for about 4-5 days. I started weaning off the other drugs. Then I got a cold. I took some cold medicine for a couple days, and was full blown into another "attack"...everything returned. The severe anxiety/nervousness, the nausea and inability to eat, frequent stools, warm rushes, shivering, depersonalization, cloudy thinking, confusion. I again ended up in the ER. They again blamed my anxiety. However, I have never experienced any anxiety like this in my entire life. This was not anxiety. My anxiety in the past consisted mostly of worry and nervousness, no other physical or mental affects. And I was always better within a couple hours. I went to the psychiatrist and he said the same thing, and even wanted me to try an SSRI medication. I refused. I again went back on the Propranalol, Klonopin at night, and Xanax at day. It got me by, somewhat, but still was hell. Was another couple weeks before I was feeling closer to normal, with a few shorter lived "attacks". During these times, I am unable to work, unable to care for my children, unable to do anything but basically roll up in a ball. The anxiety and nervousness can be absolutely unbearable, I am not even able to describe it. I was doing fairly well for about 3 weeks. I did notice during that time that ibuprofen and my narcotic pain killer for my back would spring up some of these same symptoms, which had never happened before. I stopped taking all meds, other than Xanax as needed, which was not often. Then I had horrific pain in my back and took half a pain pill (two weeks ago). I felt some returning of symptoms the next day. By two days after, I was a bit better, but severely depressed with frequent crying spells. I was also getting my period though, so was emotional. I have terrible cramps due to endometriosis, so I had to take ibuprofen. I did okay, although was depressed and lethargic for two days. That second day, I had terrible cramps and took two ibuprofen and a tylenol. The next morning I woke up in another full blown attack. Warm burning/tingly feeling in my hands and face, severe nervousness/anxiety, depersonalization, feeling of living in a cloud, not really feeling "with it", nausea, food making me ill, shivering...sometimes the feelings come on like a bomb...very suddenly and severely. The Xanax helps, but it is always still there on the surface, and the depersonalization and not feeling "with it" never goes away. It has been 10 days now since the latest episode, and is not getting any better. (3 months total since my last and only Zoloft). I take a minimal amount of Xanax just to get me by, and go as long as I can before taking it in the morning. Usually I can only go until Noon, and that is pushing it. I have tried to go without the Xanax, just in case that is attributing to the condition continuing (although it didn't before) and it is just not possible for me to be without it at this point. It is absolutely unbearable without it. So I am unsure if I am having a withdrawal to only 1 pill , or just an adverse reaction that is long-term. I am scared and do not have much hope, especially since the doctors do not seem to understand what is going on or what to do - other than to medicate me more, which I know will only make it worse. Has anyone experienced something similar? Does anyone know what might be going on with me? Is there an average timeline to eventual recovery - or could this be permanent? I am very scared and feeling like my life as I knew it is over. Thank you for your time.
  18. Hello all! I've been having a troubling time and at last I've found a place where people can listen. For around two months I had been very stressed by university decisions and having a major existential and academic crisis. After taking my exams my mind was working at 1000000 miles per hour and I was constantly stressed and evaluating everything. I'd found my self slowed down and constantly riddled by worry and regret and anxiety. I began taking '5-htp' which I was told would help somewhat. I then discontinued it and went on holiday and when I came back I felt slightly better. However my psychiatrist recommended going on Sertraline and prescribed it for me. I didn't really want to take it as I was feeling better but my family pressured me into it so I took it. That night, I was lying in bed and my brain was racing with worries and regrets and stressing and suddenly I felt something attack those thoughts, resist against them and dull them down. Initially, this frightened me inordinately but then I thought 'this is what this drug is meant to do' and just sort of let it happen. I then felt it attack against my verbal fluency and vocabulary and writing and evaluative skills. This seriously scared me and I felt my whole body fill with immense tension and stress and anxiety and felt as though I had gone into overdrive. My brain went into overdrive and I felt as though I'd never sleep again. I took it the next day and insisted that I stop it and didn't want it in my brain anymore so I went to the doctor and she told me the psychiatrist should never have prescribed it for me in the first place. She told me to stop it. I stopped taking it after only two days. The symptoms persisted and the world felt weird, dull and my perception of it awry. I suddenly developed this intense headache unlike anything ever experienced before - it was as though my whole brain was disintegrating. Like someone'd opened up a door in the sides of my head and it was all disintegrating away. This went away. I then started the 5-htp again, foolishly, unaware that it interacts with sertraline. I then stopped the 5htp after a couple of weeks of feeling strange, slowed down and sick. I hadn't slept at all since the sertraline. I then went away to Cambridge for a week to study English Literature and felt weird, slowed and dulled. Talking to people was hard and I found it difficult to form sentences, opinions and have conversations. Anyway, sitting in the lectures the pain in my head came on 10 fold. IT waslike my whole mind was disintegrating and I couldn't focus or concentrate or anything. I was petrified this and scared that at anymoment I may have a stroke or faint or something serious. I came back from Cambridge and told my parents and they simply thought I was psychotic, anxious and depressed. I insisted something was physically wrong with me and pushed to try and see a doctor. We went to the doctors who told me what I was experiencing wasn't real aand the drugs had no effect on me. They then prescribed my Valium because they said it was anxiety . I didn't want to take it but my parents forced me to. The Valium spaced me out and blunted my thoughts significantly. I then started to feel my brain shake and pump and wobble and light would effect me and I found myself talking strangely and so forth. It felt like my whole brain was sick and trying to be sick, like there's some horrible nocuous chemical eroding my brain and intelligence. I was walking around school confused and now it's like my brain has just shut down. I've discontinued the valium now but everything is wrong. I am completely Depersonalisation, I can't really remember my life and short term memory or process any new information or understand anything. My speech is terrible and I can't talk to people because when I do I frost over and it's like there's no-one inside me. it's like the lights have been turned off inside my own head and every day it is worse. No doctors think there is anything wrong and they just want to put me on Prozac and anti-psych meds now to shut me up. I don't know what to do anymore. My whole life is falling apart. I've gone from being someone who was intimidatingly intellectual, confident, creative, gregarious, sociable, quick witted, eloquent and so on to a bumbling, seemingly half brain dead zombie with no emotions, thoughts, feelings, opinions, memories or anything. Bear in mind I am only 17. What do I do? Every day it gets worse. The headaches are worse, the DP is worse, my cognition is worse, emotion lability is worse and the doctors are having none of it other than wanting to prescribe MORE ADs and APs. It feels like my whole brain is fizzling and wrong. Thanks! Any advice or similar experiences would be welcomed inordinately
  19. I hope someone may be able to give me some advice. I am currently in an episode of Agitated Depression triggered by chronic pain & associated losses. I have had two previous episodes in 2014 & 2015/16. I eventually got well in about 6 months on each occasion & was taking 150mg Sertraline at the end of each episode. I'm not sure how much was to do with sertraline or whether the episodes just ran their course. I have been well for two years medication free but had a further breakdown in February this year. I started sertraline again & am currently taking 150mg I am also taking Mirtazapine 30mg as I wasn't sleeping. I am getting very concerned as I am not getting any better & am now taking two medications that I don't think are helping me. I feel really stuck as I am still very unwell. I live alone & am very isolated. My pain has increased as a result of the depressive episode. I have been to a psychiatrist privately as it took too long to get help from NHS in UK & I was taking zoplicon for sleep which was only a short term solution. The psychiatrists only solutions are to keep increasing doses or swap so usual story. I tried mirtazapine at 45mg but couldn't sleep & fealt worse. When I went to see him originally he increased sertraline to 200mg after only being on 150mg for a few days & it was way too much. I have been taking 150mg sertraline for about 4 weeks now & 30mg mirtazapine a little longer probably 8 weeks. I started sertraline at 50mg in February. To be honest I am scared stiff to up the sertraline to 200mg. The psychiatrist has prescribed diazepam for breakthrough anxiety but I think I have already been taking this too often. I just don't know what to do. I am barely coping at the moment & live alone with just a few friends checking in on me. I don't know whether to cut my losses & taper off sertraline so that I am just on one drug go or go up to 200mg sertraline which does not sit well with me. The psychiatrist does not think I can get well without meds nor do my friends & want me to stay on them! I already feel worse if anything I am terribly agitated & anxious & have bad GI problems, constipation & mouth so dry I find it hard to speak sometimes. I am 66 by the way. If anyone has any help they can give me I would really appreciate it I feel incredibly alone at the moment. Many Thanks Chris
  20. Hello thankyou for the add Sorry about my spelling in advance i wish i found this site before i stared to reduce my medication. Let me give you a bit of my back ground story. After i had my son 18months ago i suffered with postnatal depression and anxiety i was very ill. And i was put on sertiline 100mg and it helped me out of a dark place. With the help of CBT i got back on track but still had some bad days but not like it was. Because i was doing so well i went to see my GP and we made a plan to start reducing my meducation. She said cut it down to 50mg from then i asked would i be ok as i was on 100mg and i thought that was going to be a bit much for me to handle. But i did and i seemed ok i took 50mg for a month, then 50mg every other day for a month and 50mg every 3 day for about 2weeks and just stop so i did. Well that was hell i went one week with out any medication. The first 3days was ok just had brian zap and brain fog but i was very angry. What did not help was i came on my cycle and that time for me is always a bad time with my anxity. Day five the anxiety came back with all the scary thoughts. I got so scard that i was going mad again all i could do was cry by day 7 i went back on my medication but only 25mg. This will be the 4th day back on 25mg and i am ok ish i have got some underlining anxiety and the thought are poping in and out. But the thing is i dont no if i am making it worse thinking about it all the time bacause i am so scard. about gerting ill again or is it the anxity i just dont no. I go on my first famliy holiday at the end of the week and want to be ok. Should i go back up to 50mg or give it some more time on 25mg thank you
  21. Hi folks, Just joined and so glad I've found this site.In the short time I've been looking there seems to be loads of great advice. So basically I've been on 50mg of sertraline for 1.5yrs roughly and it's been a god send but I feel the time is right to taper or so I thought .1 month ago I started splitting the tablets taking 25mg which was fine and well tolerated I had no issues at all with the lower dose, So I decided to stop altogether just under a week ago and yesterday I started feeling poorly tiredness has been a problem then today I've started to feel really down and almost weepy something I've never had also anxiety creeping back in with a vengance(the reason I started on them). I feel maybee dropping from 25mg to nothing has been a step too far so I've decided to start back on the 25mg and carry out a 10% taper from there. Does everyone think that is the way to go or should I 're instate the 50mg and 10% taper from there? Feeling pretty confused and lost at the moment also feel angry for upsetting myself like this. Everyone's advice would be greatly appreciated.
  22. Hi, I've been tapering from Zoloft for almost 4 years now. I started at 150mg and am down to 12.7mg. I'm reducing 10% every 8 weeks. Except for minor withdrawals around week 6, so far so good. My question is - how far down is it necessary to go before you finally quit? 3mg, 1mg? Less than 1mg? Also, I'm using the Gemini 20 scale with the 10mg weight. How far can you go with this scale and be accurate enough? It seems like the scale is getting touchier the farther I go down. I saw someone on here say they bought a new scale every few years because of this. Sound like a good idea? Or should I try switching to a liquid?
  23. Dawn

    Dawn

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

    Jansin: Zoloft

    My name is John, I'm 23 years old and I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in 2013 and was given Zoloft (Sertraline) for treatment, I took 100mg every day for about 4 years until recently I made the decision that I want to be drug-free. So one day either late 2017 or early this year around January I stopped cold turkey and also began tapering off of smoking marijuana. Over the course of this year I felt I began reacting less to everyday life, I began enjoying my hobbies and interests less and less, my short-term memory had declined, and became less and less motivated as the year went on. I attributed this to my chronic cannabis use, only recently have I realized I was horribly wrong. Come September, I woke up one day noticing that my vision wasn't quite right, not blurry, not doubled, just clear yet foggy at the same time, almost like a see-through field of static. The most notable effects being that lights and computer screens are glowing much more. This triggered what I believe to be my very first encounter with Anxiety. There had been an Elm Beetle infestation on one of the trees in the backyard of my home at the time, so I had begun to think that one of them crawled into my head and died, and the resulting gases and decomposition affected me. That quickly evolved to believing there were multiple bugs inside my head either eating me or laying eggs. I knew this was very unlikely but for some reason I couldn't stop thinking it, so then I googled my vision change, the bug theory immediately flew out the window as my new irrational fear took its place: I was almost sure I was having either a brain aneurysm, stroke, or a brain tumor, and began to panic about dying in my sleep or dying in general for the next week or so. So I cave, finally I decide to see my Psychiatrist, and after explaining all of my symptoms and fears to him he thought it best to prescribe more Sertraline and also suggested I see a therapist again. I immediately make the earliest possible appointment I could, which happened to be within the next three hours. The way the therapist almost callously dismissed my fears was actually comforting: "I doubt it's an aneurysm, you're more likely to win the lottery." he went on to explain that if I absolutely could not get over these fears that I could simply get my eyes tested, get my head scanned, get my blood tested, etc. and if I continued to worry about an aneurysm or tumor all I needed to do was remind myself: "I'm seeing a professional and we'll figure this out" "I'm eliminating the possibilities." I get my eyes checked: 20/20 vision. I get a physical (including a blood draw): Healthy. I was almost frustrated that it wasn't just a simple health issue, almost disappointed to learn that I don't actually need glasses. I just wanted to go and find a fix for this. All the while I had begun taking sertraline again. Got through the first 25mg week, then upped to 50mg (Breaking it in half, taking one half in the morning and the other half at night). I actually noticed a positive change for a bit, the anxiety being gone within the first week (but that was likely due to the advice given by the therapist), and during the second week I was actually in higher spirits, mostly more calm and was even able to crack dumb jokes and laughing felt a little more real. I knew they would work, they worked before and they seemed to be working now... Which is exactly why I stopped again. At some point you just don't want to live the rest of your life worrying about side effects or long term effects on your brain chemistry, at some point you begin to doubt that getting on this pills was ever a good idea in the first place. In 2013 I was in a long distance relationship that was strenuous and not working out. I couldn't accept that, I loved her so much, I believed she was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, the thought of losing her was making me cry and cry every morning and night to the point where I was just sad for most of my time. I foolishly believed I was clinically depressed and almost immediately sought out treatment with drugs. Only after a few sessions with a talk-therapist I was diagnosed (maybe falsely, maybe not) with Major Depressive Disorder and was soon sent to a Psychiatrist. I really liked these people, they really come off as your friend and someone who wants to know you and help you. But I just wish they talk me "SSRI's are a big commitment, try exercise and more talk therapy" or "If you aren't having thoughts of suicide then you shouldn't take them." I was never suicidal in those years, just a bit upset with my life, I really wish they warned me of the side-effects beforehand or at least tried to make me understand that they are quite possibly a lifelong commitment, but no, they gave them to me practically a month after I asked about them. I try not to blame those people, I shouldn't, and I tell myself that it was a mistake that I myself made, a choice that I could've avoided if I wasn't so ignorant to what I was getting into. I could've easily done the research beforehand, or could have simply made the right decision and ended my relationship for the better of my health, but I chose to believe something was wrong with me, something that could just be fixed with a pill. Now, 4 years later I experience suicidal thoughts for the first time in my life, I wake up every morning with it weighing over me, invasive, unrelenting, just a sheer violent desperation to escape, to put an end to the pain, the nothingness. I barely hold conversation, and almost always pause mid sentence to gather my thoughts, I sometimes forget information even seconds after receiving it. Happiness just feels... unavailable to me, I only ever feel fear, sadness, and pain. I just want to feel how I used to, I just want to be excited about anything again. I remember my world just lighting up whenever my brother would come home from school every day, I remember the time spent with my friends and loved ones being the best moments of my life. Now it all just feels like a distraction. Now the most I can feel around them is a tiny semblance of peace, just a wick of hope. It's madness, it is an actual living nightmare to be around people you love with all your heart and feel NOTHING, JUST NOTHING. Please help me, I'm so ready to be my old self again, I'm so ready to just genuinely smile. I miss my brother, I miss him so much and hes right here in the same house with me, hes always been here for me and without him I might be dead, and yet I miss him. We used to stay up hours after midnight just brainstorming about stories, jokes, or even nothing at all. We used to be able to just talk for hours, and now I barely know what to say, now I barely laugh or have any ideas... I am less of who I am and I feel like I lose more and more of me every day. I've discovered this website just today and have read about brassmonkey's 10% tapering technique. The withdrawal symptoms described here fit all too well with what I'm experiencing. I'm willing to get back 50mg of sertraline if thats the process I need to take on before I can taper off. Someone please make a plan with me, help me save my life, I can't live like this, and I also can't end it. Please. Please help me.
  25. Hi all, I'm at a complete loss regarding my situation so I'll start from the beginning. During the summer of 2016 around july I began taking Sertraline 20mg for what I would now describe as mild anxiety, when struggling with initial sides of increased anxiety and sudden insomnia my doctor prescribed me flupentixol which I then took with the sertraline for around 3 months and then went cold turkey on due to severe drowsiness. I continued the sertraline for around 9 months before going cold turkey. I'm so confused regarding my situation because in order to cope with the insomnia I also smoked weed every night whilst taking it to help me sleep which seemed to work wonders. Even after dropping the sertraline I continued smoking weed in order to help me sleep. I had actually never smoked weed prior to this insomnia (I was 26 BTW) and it was a friend's suggestion. Anyway I attempted to quit smoking several times last year after dropping the ssri but noticed an extreme feeling of anxiety at all times whenever I did and and inability to sleep until early hours of the morning. This pattern went on until early this year where I smoked once again before bed internally praying that I would be able to stop somehow. That night and for the next month I suffered the most extreme anxiety attacks I never thought possible, which definitly helped me to cut the weed permanantly. The strange thing is, ever since then I have experienced various symptoms associated with withdrawal which are, Extreme rage/anxiety/depression constantly alternating. Headaches sometimes unbearable migraines. Horrendous restlessness which after reading some accounts on this site I think is akathisia. Burning and aching throughout my body. Extreme hatred towards family and friends which comes and goes. Blurred vison Awful digestive problems (burping nonstop everyday, diarrhea and constipation and bleeding. Bloating Brain fog feels as though someone has hold of my brain smothering it. Vibrating in my ears. Sometimes I spend the entire day crying uncontrollably with anguish twisting my hands and feet with worry and anxiety. Muscles twitching all day and almost zero appetite. I guess my question is, Can withdrawal sometimes take a year to fully manifest? because the weed aswell as cbd oil seemed to keep the anxiety and insomnia at bay then suddenly almost a year after dropping the sertraline I developed all these mental and physical symptoms. Or is there something else wrong with me because I've had cameras in me, been to three different doctors and various homeopaths and they say everything seems fine when it clearly isn't. I've lost my job my friends three stones and it feels as if I've lost control over my entire body and mind. Someone please help lol. I have many other symptoms to an extreme degree but I've actually lost track of everything I'm going through. Still sane though I think.(hope)
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