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  1. Scotty

    Scotty

    Drug History 2002 - Started Zoloft 100mg. Gradually reduced to 50mg, intending to come right off. 2009 - Went back up to 100mg - no ill effects. 2011 - Began slowly reducing again. 2017- Down to 25mg. October 2017- Dose increased to 50mg. I started taking Sertraline 100mg in 2002 because I’d developed panic disorder after a stressful mature-age college course. The medication worked immediately and continued to help me - I was well for 7 years with no anxiety. I gradually reduced to 50mg, but in 2009 went back up to 100mg with no ill effects during a life crisis. In 2011 I determined to come off again and began reducing very slowly with no ill effects. By October 2017 I was down to 25mg. I went to my GP to get a counselling referral. I was quite well with no anxiety, but she advised me to go back up to 50mg to mop up any underlying depression I might have. So I did - one of the worst decisions of my life! Within 24 hours I developed horrible symptoms... terrifying anxiety/dysphoria, palpitations, severe insomnia. I was certain they were caused by the increased dose of sertraline but my GP denied that this was possible ‘on such a small dose’. She said I woud soon adjust. So I stupidly continued to take it for 2 more weeks before another doctor in the practice told me to go back to my normal dose immediately. I was expecting that I would then return to ‘normal’ but I did not - instead I continued to suffer bouts of toxic anxiety as well as the other symptoms. I consulted other GPs and a psychiatrist - all reluctant to link my symptoms to the increased meds and instead going with the ‘pure anxiety’ diagnosis. Recently I found a GP who was willing to listen and referred me to a psychiatrist who tested me positive for clonus and hyperreflexia. He said that on the basis of these together with my other symptoms I definitely have non-acute sertraline syndrome. Although it is unusual, he thought it was triggered by the increased dose of medication in my system. He told me to titrate down fortnightly in 5mg increments using a solution. However when I got down to 15mg last week I soon developed withdrawal symptoms including ataxia, burning, nausea. But then yesterday I started to feel much better - almost normal! So this is my dilemma. I’m told that serotonin syndrome disappears soon after the medication is withdrawn. If that’s the right diagnosis then I should follow the 5mg taper and get off as soon as possible. But if this quicker rate gives me severe withdrawal then I should stick to the much slower 10% monthly regime - thereby possibly prolonging the agony. What to do? Can’t go forward, can’t go back! I’m so confused. I’d appreciate any help the forum can give me.
  2. 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
  3. Kernol's benzo topic Hi everyone, I was doing so well on my sertraline tapering over the last few years which i originally took for anxiety 10 years ago. It was only as I quit completely 6 weeks ago after doing my best to measure down from 25 mg to 12.5mg then 7.5mg - i must have gone too quickly as after 2 weeks completely off it I was hit with out of the blue anxiety attacks that seemed off the scale compared to anything I had experienced in my 10 years on it. I am now really struggling with these adrenaline rushes and so the doctor suggested that I go back onto 25mg to see if it was because I did it too fast. I have now been taking the 25mg for 1 week and the anxiety attacks are still very bad and frequent. I feel like I have been plugged into an electric socket. I am now starting to really panic about panicing and my biggest fear is - have I done the right thing going back on it like this? And if this anxiety doesn't settle in a week or so - then what? I am scared stiff after reading forums of people saying these drugs can cause permanent brain issues - what if I never get my anxiety under control again due to this drug. I am scared witless of people talking about months of hell of withdrawals. I just want to be stable like I was for the 10 years I was on it. I am just looking for help, guidance anything that will let me know if this should settle - could it be that this anxiety is the anxiety like when you start the drug originally? I really am scared - please somebody help me.
  4. 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 . . .
  5. 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!
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. Deblou46

    Deblou46: Withdrawal

    So glad I found this page I was on citalopram for 18 years tried to come off 6 years ago and 6 weeks later thought my anxiety had come back now realise it was withdrawal! Fast forward 6 years and it was suggested to me to meet with a psychiatrist to help with my meds as citalopram 40mg had stopped working . She said taper down from 40mg in 2.5 months and start sertraline which I did went into depesssion signed off work for 7 weeks now 11 weeks later and been on 100mg for 8 weeks I am suffering severe withdrawals Bugs crawling in head Tingling on face feel like a cobweb on it Clenching jaw Anxiety Will this ever get better ?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Piret

    Piret: hopeless

    Hello! My AD journey began in October 2018 when after stomach issues I was prescribed gut medicine which gave me the most intorelable anxiety. My GP put me on 50 mg fluoxetine, I took it for a week and ended up calling an ambulance because I was suicidal 24/7. At psych ER I was put on sertraline 100 mg. With 3 weeks anxiety disappeared and I continued this dosage for 9 months. I was not feeling well, nausea remained, on and off dizziness, fatigue. I could not wait to get off the drug. I followed my psych's tapering guide line and tapered off from sertraline with one month. For couple of weeks I was feeling fantastic but then the swaying motion started. It did not disturb my life much. After 4 months of swaying, the dizziness got so extreme that I was not able to cook or do the dishes nor walk my dog. Weakness was unbearbale til the point I could not move without holding on to the walls. I went to ER where they obviously declared that it was not withdrawal. Blood work was ok, so seemingly there was no reason as to why I could not stand up or move anymore. Also made a trip to psych ER where they put me back on sertraline 100 mg. I started with 25 mg and now have taken 100 mg for 3 weeks. Dizziness has lessened but I still look to lean somewhere as I do not feel confident on my feet. I am barely able to be up for 10 hours, the more tired I am the more dizziness attacks me. Nausea is with me every day. Also when I started back on sertraline, I became restless. This feeling is in my stomach and also legs which I assume indicates to the fact that sertraline is not ok for me to take. I want to taper so badly and get off of this crap but I am horrified that extreme weakness and dizziness will return. Plus I am sure I am still going through WD from the fast taper in August 2019. I take high blood pressure meds for 8 years, thyroid meds (it has been removed). From supplements vitamin C, vitamin D, Omega 3 and magnesium/calcium/zinc. Migrane meds when needed. I am 40 years old. I hope to get feedback as what in the world is going on with me, as I do not trust any doctors anymore. Thank you!
  12. I'm 20 y/o, male, here's my story. Throughout my high school, i took sertraline, alprazolam, propranolol and others, never with any side effects, tho not on a regular use, only the sertraline was for 2 months and i didn't feel like it did any ****. Alprazolam was taken when needed, so was propranolol. I never stayed on a drug for years. My mom bought phenobarbital for herself, so she could deal with stressful events in our life. She was taking it when needed to sleep better. I asked her to give me too, she then game me drops of phenobarbital with water that equate to roughly 15 mg of phenobarbital. This was around September 6 to 8, don't remember the actual day. She didn't give me anymore, till September 14, when she offered to give me again. I took this along a valerian herb. The same 15 mg of phenobarbital. The next day, September 15, i noticed minor visual difficulty focusing on text and on September 16 i acknowledged that i see an increased visual snow in my vision, palinopsia, trails, more static. Just for you to understand, i took phenobarbital 2 times in total across a week and a half with the minimal dosage. I've had visual snow before, but after that night on September 14, i was perceiving way more static and visual disturbances that i never had before, and this is still here, October 2. Now, i'm asking, is this withdrawal and i should take it again on that small dose of 15 mg, or just leave it and hope it will go back to the state it was before? I know phenobarbital has a long half life, but it should've been gone from my system now. Please help.
  13. Context [This thread may sound familiar because when I felt the most hopeless and suicidal I made a different thread on PSSD forums, but some user copied that thread here to hide the fact it was the same person as another banned account. I waited to post here until I got to know at which points in time I was supposed to take my medicine. I've been off them for about a year] I started taking the anti-dipressant Zoloft/Setraline for Depression, the stress and anxeity I have from my aspergers and Pure OCD. Everything usually felt dark, heavy and really really sad but there were moments of happiness. I've always been over emotional on the inside, although it might have not looked like that on the outside. I hesitated getting Anti-Dipressants for a long time because I was afraid of permanent affects. I intentionally did not read internet horror stories so I would still take the pill and was truly convinced by my doctors that if I'd stop taking my pills, I'd go back to normal. But that isn't the case. I haven't felt like the same person ever since. I kept having a strong urge to meet up with an old crush of mine again (in the platonic sense) after a long time of not seeing her. I even had dreams about it. When I finally did, I felt almost nothing except physical tiredness even though we technically had a good time. It was that moment I realized just how little actual happiness I can feel yet how easily I can still feel physical pain and tiredness and I started to feel hopeless again. I then also realized how little I felt for the most recent ''crush'' and how back when I was in love with that old crush it was so strong it was unbeliabale. [Timeframe and dosage] I have now finally been able to contact my psychiatrist to find out in which two periods I was supposed to take them. one of about 4 months. The other of about 8. However, I'd sometimes forget my dosage and I stopped cold turkey twice sometime before the end of these periods. -Period 1: -12 December 2017 to -6th of march 2018. -Period 2: -10th of april 2018 to -somewhere in november 2018. It's likely I already stopped by december as I pretended to take them for a while. Something seems off here too, I remember there was a longer period of time I stopped taking in between these two periods. Likely because I also pretended to still take. This means it's likely been a bit more than a year since stopping. In each period I started with 10 mg, very quickly moving to 20 and feeling relatively positive results. Then after moving to 50mg I'd feel too emotionally blunted and it'd scare me so I'd stop and I'd thought it'd go away. Only it didn't. [Experience] The first time I took my pills I immediately felt a bit of relief but thought such quick effect must be in my head. I did quickly get stomach cramps, flatulence, constipipation and diarrheah issues from it which lessened over time. I didn't notice much else at first. Then I got super over emotional and went through one of the hardest periods of my life. I couldn't stop crying and I was constantly anxious and tense and barely slept at all. As it went awayIfelt much less anxeity than ever, I felt a bit more energy and could think more positively. I used to always have an anxious/nervous feeling in my stomach regardless of how I actually felt and it was gone. However I also couldn't feel orgasms anymore and had genital numbness.I still liked the effect for a while. My thinking got more positive and I thoughtI could finally beat depression if I'd just work at it. I was less emotional, but that seemed like a good thing. Until the dosage was upped to 50 at one point and I felt like a complete zombie and I started to get freaked out. I noticed that all this time even on the lower dosage I couldn't cry well and I wasn't actually any happier and in fact found it even harder to feel happy. I cared less even less about doing anything than I did before because I couldn't take anything seriously and nothing made me feel better so I may as well do nothing. I stopped cold turkey (dumb I know) so I'd get all my emotion back but I didn't. I didn't really notice that much initially. Except that I got a lot more tired,. Like..A lot more tired. [Lasting issues] Now I have these issues.. -Cognitive: -General ''brain fog'' type feel. Worse short term memory, much worse concentration, can't process information well esecially if new, More interrupted sleep no matter how calm I am (partially already had this due to GERD), a left eye that twitches a lot, blurry vision that resets a brief moment after every blink, and even less motivation. Like way less. Busy places are much more distracting and tiring than they used to be, yet the anxious feeling I'd usually get from them is gone. I've barely felt functional. It also effects how well I can hear in noisy enviorments and process speech sound. -Emotional: -More irritability/anger. Blunted emotions in general. Harder to cry. Harder to have sympathy/empathy. The hardest to feel feelings are happiness and sadness. Happiness even harder, yet I have no trouble feeling stress. I notice my body still reacts physically asif the feelings are still there (my voice sounding sadder/softer, my heart rate increasing..), yet I can't sense the emotion on the inside like I'm on some kind of anasthetic. I can tell I need to cry but then can't unless in extreme scenarios and when I finally can I don't feel it nearly as well. At least I never lost my ability to laugh. I still get goosebumps/shivers in my head/chest area from certain thoughts, though I tend to need to force this out of me by thinking instead of it triggering by something happening around me making it feel incredibly forced and I notice a disconnect between the no response reality and the excitement of thinking about my desires. My stomach area feels the most numbed of all. It has made me feel more suicidal than I was before. It feels like purgatory. And Like I'm watching a movie of my life instead of living it. -Sexual: -Genital Anasthesia (asin no sexual pleasure from touch) as well as anorgasmia type PSSD. Already had this a bit due to a past porn addiction but it wasn't that bad at all. If I just touch myself to imagery, anything else would be more exciting. If I conciously think about how exciting this is supposed to be, I get shivers down my upper body and am in a state of enjoyment. More than with anything else at least. But I constantly notice the disconnect between feeling nothing of pleasure in my lower body. Especially with the orgasm I feel absolutely nothing exciting whatsoever which is a total anti climax. A sneeze is much more tense. I now have a biological urge (My libido remains unaffected) that I can't actually satiate. No matter how calm I am or how excited I am mentally, my body does not co-operate to make it physically enjoyable yet functionally/on the outside everything works fine. -Other: Still have some gut problems. As a result I have trouble doing anything at all that isn''t more involved than browing random internet forums and listening to gaming reviews on youtube. [Not taken seriously] My dad told me I'm just making this up to avoid having to solve my problems and that its all in my head despite me wishing that was true. Sure I don't know which issues are all caused by the pills but I sure do know it made that nervous feeling go away ever since so it DID make permanent changes. Doctors and psychiatrists and the like don't believe it's possible. My mom believes it's possible but she acts like it's better than what I used to be and that I should just accept this and hope it gets better. Both parents think I shouldn't believe ''those people on the internet and that you're not part of them''. My mom keeps getting mad when I get mad about the problem because ''Well what do you want me to say or do?''. Even though when I was wrongfully treated by a past school of mine my parents fought them with rage yet when my humanity is taken away from me they just expect me to suck it up. Most people either don't believe it at all because doctors say effects can't persist, OR they kind of act like they do but I can easily tell they don't believe and instead just want to support me feeling better. People keep expecting me to function on the level pre ssri. They keep telling me I'm smart yet I'm struggling for reasons that aren't depression. They keep expecting me to care about small things when I even have trouble caring about the things I used to care about most. [Progress] PSSD has not showed a single bit of progress. I've been having a less difficult time feeling sadness however. Tiredness has been lessened by living a better lifestyle but I still don't feel like my old self even though I didn't do these things back than. To not feel like I'm mentally handicapped from tiredness, I started to eat on time everyday and pay more attention to what I eat (including so I get less GERD,) for which I stopped eating late in the evning). I went to the doc for a blood test and the result was low vitamin d and low bloodcells (which I likely have always had yet back then I wasn't that tired) but anyways I got vitamin D supplements (I'm black so it's higher than usual). I started to put all my screens on low blue light filters. I also started to go to go to bed and wake up at certain times (though eventually staying asleep is futile). I want to add some exercise to it soon and make some adjustments to make my GERD better. I today got noise cancelling headphones so I can actually hear what I want to listen to outside. PLEASE SOMEONE give me hope my emotions can get better. Everything feels so pointless when putting in effort to do things only leads to more tiredness and no happiness despite in the past being able to feel happiness.
  14. Hi, I am 35 years old - nearly 36 and been on Sertraline since age 22. I tried to stop once and had a complete meltdown. I am very scared of that happening again so am only tapering by 10% since Monday. I am cutting the tablets so exact amounts are difficult. I bought a mg scale, which hasn't arrived yet but don't know if it will be sensitive enough. Anyway - I am going to stay on 45mg for a few months at the moment as I have a very stressful job, stopped smoking a year ago (but still using Nicorette!!) and I am trying to cut down on my alcohol consumption, which has become steadily worse over the last few years as it makes me feel very anxious about my health etc etc. I have developed an eye condition (called Azoor) and I blame Sertraline, though I could be wrong. I am finding many posts on here very inspiring because I am so afraid that I will never be 'normal' if I stop taking Sertraline. I also feel a huge sense of resentment towards the psychiatrist who put me on the drug (I know this isn't helpful). My mother is convinced I have to stay on this drug for the rest of my life and last time I tried to taper I told her, which in retrospect, was a big mistake. She kept saying things like "I can see a difference, are you sure you are doing the right thing … etc." which served to make me quite paranoid about the process. My fiancé says I was much better off the drug (until I went a little nuts for a while).
  15. Spring 2014: Effexor ? mg for 2 months then cold turkey (didnt know better at the time). Originally put on this for depression after a break up. Fall 2014: Dizziness, extreme memory issues, pins and needles in hands and feet. Occasional adderall use. Working 2 jobs to pay for engineering school. Health anxiety started when doctors couldn't find cause of symptoms. Tried samE, 5htp. Winter 2014-2015: tried molly with a friend. Ended up in the ER. Months that passed included many ER visits and eventually klonopin (? mg) Spring 2015: after researching benzo dangers wanted off. Tried to taper. Horrid withdrawal. Switched to diazepam 6mg. Dog/best friend died of cancer. Started celexa 10 mg. Rest of 2015: Moved back in with mom, slowly tapered diazepam, stopped daily on new years 2016. Winter-Spring 2016: back in school. Stopped celexa 10mg in January. Pins and needles and depression in February. Started on wellbutrin 150mg. Increased anxiety but allowed me to finish school. Graduated. Stopped wellbutrin after graduation. Summer 2016: quit job too much stress while going through what I now know to be withdrawal. Drove for ride share service when feeling well enough. Felt like living with chronic fatigue syndrome. No doctors could find cause. Fall 2016: started back on celexa 15mg after rock bottom depression. Eventually wellbutrin added back at 75mg. Moved to a new state. PM panic attacks started after going back on celexa. Started full time engineering job. Winter 2016 - Winter 2018: wellbutrin gradually increased to 300mg. Started celexa taper. 15 down to 10mg. Increase in depression but tolerable. Spring 2019: tapered celexa down to 5mg. Extremely depressed. Affected relationship. Found a psychiatrist who wanted to switch me to zoloft. Relationship break up the week of starting zoloft. Zoloft lifted depression at first. Summer 2019: got back together with boyfriend. zoloft increased to 50 then 75 then 100. Horrible reaction to 100mg. Worst anxiety of my life. Stopped cold turkey. Back on 2.5mg celexa. Dr Then tried liquid zoloft increase from 0 by 1mg every few days to cross taper with celexa. Able to stop wellbutrin easily. Also had tooth extraction during all of this (infected root canal). Fall 2019: up to 8mg zoloft 1mg celexa. Horrible anxiety. Stopped zoloft cold turkey after getting suicidal thoughts from severe anxiety. Current: trying to find a celexa dose to stabilize on. Trying 2.5 mg. Anxiety and fatigue battles daily. going to write more soon. Just wanted a quick recap to start.
  16. HI, here santking, 34y "manic" diagnosed episode in 2004. treated w lithium, benzos and prozac. 1000 mg of depakote+benzos+prozac jun-ago 2004. ago-dec 750. + prozac Dec: just 500 depakote (treatment produced strong acne. treated with roaccutan between nov 2004 to oct 2006) 2005: depakote 500 (some months w 750) + prozac and benzos- (lorazepam) dec 2005 - aug 2007: depakote 500 mg aug 2007 - 2009 alternated depakote 500 mg to 250 mg jan 2010 i started with a new psychiatrist: depakote 500 mg until sep 2012 sep 2012 started depakote + antidepressants: depakote 500 + etifoxina / paroxetine and propanodol (?) (until jun 2013) jun 2013: depakote 500mg with paroxetine and propanodol. oct 2013: change paroxetine for trazadone. until Jan 2014. jan 2014: depakote 500mg and leave trazadone jan 2014-oct 2015: depakote 500 mg oct 2015: psychiatrist introduces sertraline. suicidal attempt with sertraline overdose in jan 2016. psychiatrists increases depakote to 750 mg and introduces wellburtin. jan 2016 - dec 2017: 750mg depakote + wellburtin dec 2017 consulting another psychiatrist changed wellburtin to seroquel 25 mg dec 2017 . until jun 2018: 750mg depakote and seroquel 25 mg in jul 2018 I meet the Peter BReggin's books and SA forum and start the withdrawal process. this included consuting with psycotherapist and intense researching meeting content like Icarus project, mad in america, Rachel Aviv articles and Laura Delano's Withdrawal Project (a daily reference) ago 2018: start tapering: depakote 500 mg and seroquel in 12mg dosages (cutting to half) until nov. in dec 2018 I felt the withdrawl synthoms of seroquel leaving (insomnia, vertigo, suicidal thoughts, paranoia, anxiety, fear) Jan 2019: changed depakote dosage -tablets o sprinkles- (125 mg) taking 4 pills daily. May 2019: tried tapering without scale (reducing "half" of sprinkle aprox 437 mg) causing a week of insomnia and panic. returned with 500 mg in June. Aug 2019: started tapering with scale. sep 2019: 450 mg Oct 400 mg. Nov: 375 mg (3 pills daily) DUring November I have been taking 375 mg I have been feeling intense laziness, lack of motivation and fatigue. I tried changing diet: avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy and ultraprocessed foods. I had a week w insomnia and next week felt sleepness and lack of motivation (after Dec 1) RIght now I'm worried because I still feeling down and need increase energy due to personal compromises. I'm doubting if back to 400 mg or still reducing the dosage. THis based on how I'm feeling and listening the body sensations. I'm doing the tapering based on the 10% standard seeing in Breggin books, TWP and here. This is my history w psychiatry treatments and I would appreciate your help and recommendations for my case. If you need some explanations I will do it. Thank you.
  17. Hi all, my story is so very long but the short story is i was on zoloft 50 mg for 15 years (only drug i was ever on). I tried multiple times to get off but would get severe discontinuation syndrome each time so i thought i just had to stay on it for life. I will go into those symptoms if you ask. Anyways about 4 years ago i developed benign fasiculations and resting tremor. It took seeing multiple docs and finally a second neurologist and he said this is common with zoloft. So i had to get off it but i was scared to death because of the severe discontinuation that i would compare to heroin withdrawal. So i was so scared i never went back to the doctor and thought maybe i can live with BFS and the tremor. But then my neurological symptoms got worse and led to parkinsons which was drug induced and dyskinesia. The facial grimacing was way more annoying than the fasiculations and it affected my blood pressure too, thats how parkinsons works, it affects the autonomic system so i had bad orthostatic hypotension and that was dibilitating but somehow i pushed through. I had many more issues, if you ask i can write about them. Anyways this time i was ready to get off zoloft so i go to the doctor and he says "wow you've been on it for 15 years" and i thought "WOW you idiot. Your office is the one who has been prescribing this to me all these years". They never once told me to make an appt if i hadnt been there in a few years, they just kept refilling it. They should require patients to have biyearly appts and check them for neurological signs and if the patient doesnt make an appt than they should not get a refill. I am very mad at my poor healthcare and management (total lack thereof) but again my story is so long i can write it if you ask. Anyways my doc said to wean off over like 2 months. That was too fast so i did it on my on and weaned off 50 mg over a 6 month period and for the first time i did not get discontinuation syndrome! I was scared to death but i did it and was shocked i did not get discontinuation. Weaning that slow is the answer. I only had some mild things like some mood swings, swollen lymph nodes which always happens when i wean off for some reason, headaches, i can go into detail if you ask. My neurological disorders are also going away. I am 20 days off zoloft and feel great and i would say my neurological issues are like 80% better and i hope to recover completely with time (i might have permanent damage). Anyways i am posting because i am very angry at the healthcare community for their lack of knowledge on how zoloft, though rare, does cause dyskinesia, BFS, and parkinsonism. Docs do not seem to know to look for these signs and put a stop to it before irreversible damage occurs which is a disability. They are too freely handing out these meds to your average person with basic stress that can actually manage without meds like seeking CBT, meditation, yoga, qigong, etc. i am one of those type of people. Patients are never checked up on on these meds. I know personally from working in gastroenterology for years that almost everyone is on anxiety or antidepressants and that to me is a crime because every single one of them are having unexplained problems with a lot of expensive negative testing and they are frustrated but no one is relaying it is the medication causing it and how imperitive it is to get off it. I am against all these meds (unless the patient has true mental disorder like bipolar or is in a stage of suicidal ideation etc). I am just very angry. For me, to address that, i want and need to raise awareness but i feel no one would believe my story because it is so rare but i think more common than we know because it is being unreported and doctors dont know enough to spot tardive dyskinesia etc so it takes years. Anyone else with a story like mine?
  18. so here i am building a public diary about my experience with sertraline. my intent is quite selfish i assure you - i seek catharsis - but with a little luck this introduction will evolve into a success story, and someone else who also struggles may be uplifted in the process. it helps to read about the experiences of others and I'm hoping it helps to talk about my own even more. i guess thats why we're all here, to talk. i just wish i could cuss here cuz its like half my vocabulary. anyway, after taking sertraline 50mg for seasonal affective disorder for three years with no adverse effects i figured i would quit. after a little research i did what amounted to a taper over the course of 6 weeks. i felt fine and had no side effects for two months after my last dose. i thought i had moved on, no biggie. about a week ago i had a panic attack seemingly out of nowhere. it basically didn't subside for three days and i was clueless as to what the problem was. i figured i had finally snapped. i was afraid to be home alone so most of the first 72 hrs were spent driving around aimlessly searching for meaningless tasks to keep me occupied and visiting friends on high alert at best, full blown panic at worst. i couldn't eat or sleep or think and my vision was screwy and my adrenaline pumped and my ears rang and my heart beat and my breathing was labored. confusion ruled and still i was determined to ride it out like a bad trip. through conversation with friends and internet research i realized i was experiencing withdrawal. it was something i hadn't considered and i was floored by the implications. after researching this site and the horrors contained within it i decided to reinstate sertraline at 25mg on 7-7-16, 3 days after withdrawal symptoms began in the hopes of stabilization and eventual slow taper. as of now it has been about 48 hrs since reinstatement of 25mg once daily in the morning. i realize it takes time for the drug to build and have an effect but i suspect there has already been some improvement. i haven't have a bad reaction and have had limited success with food and sleep so for now i hold and hope. ill hold forever if need be, i can be rather tenacious when properly motivated, even if this is the weakest i have ever felt. it has been and still is quite the roller coaster of fear but i am hopeful…ish. this forum has helped so much already and may prove to be my rock, my arm floaties in rough seas, and my fuzzie kitten for my nerves. thank you. stay tuned for the next freak out!
  19. Shar244

    Shar244

    I was taking 50mg Sertraline daily (prescribed for anxiety) for 2 months in 2016. I stopped taking them instantly due to various side effects; insomnia followed by extreme fatigue and when the sexual dysfunction kicked in that was the last straw for me. I suffered for roughly 3 months with vertigo and nausea. I believe I am left with PSSD and also cognitive issues. I have been anti-depressant free since December 2016 I have experienced two or three ‘windows’ I think they are called? The PSSD has probably improved overall 10% day to day in the last two years. Recovery stories give me hope
  20. I'll try to keep this kind of short. I've finally decided to post an intro today after reading posts on this site for a few years now which has helped a lot with understanding what's going on since most doctors just told me my SSRI discontinuation/withdrawal symptoms-which were unlike anything I'd ever experienced before and physically and emotionally worse than I'd ever felt-were a return of my depression & anxiety or possibly a bipolar disorder according to one doctor. I knew for a fact that it was not my original anxiety & depression, but I had no idea what was happening in the beginning or how to explain it. I had social anxiety, depression, & general anxiety since age 12 and was not allowed to drive/take the bus/go out or do much by myself other than going to school (because everything was too dangerous) by controlling, religious parents with their own high anxiety and agoraphobia. I was never allowed to receive counseling for these issues & when I went off to college, it was an extremely difficult struggle going from not being allowed to do almost anything to suddenly being responsible for figuring everything out on my own. I was also not great with time management skills & knowing how to plan ahead. (I actually relate to a lot of symptoms of ADD & Asperger's, which both greatly affect social skills & ability to get through college and would explain a lot of problems I've had. I have learned more about them in the past year, but can't afford to get diagnosed right now so I've just been looking at support groups for days when my nausea is lessened.) I felt overwhelmed all the time and all my negative thoughts worsened severely. I didn't see the free counselor at college during this time either because I was embarrassed about everything and about asking for help. I finally decided I wanted to try to make a change and try counseling the summer after sophomore year of college at age 20 and was at rock bottom, desperate to not feel depressed. I knew someone who said their antidepressant helped them, so I asked a doctor for medicine and they prescribed sertraline. After taking the first pill, I had a surge of anxiety and racing thoughts that made it impossible to concentrate. Within the first couple days on 25 mg of sertraline, I was gagging and dry heaving over and over for at least 20 minutes as soon as I ate anything. I would also throw up multiple times in a short timespan after one snack or meal. I called my Dr & was told to skip a dose and then change the time I took the dose from morning to night. After a week of this (dry heaving & vomiting all meals) on 25 mg, and another call to the doctor, I was told that digestive issues are a possible starting symptom and to increase to 50 mg. As soon as I increased, the gagging & vomiting increased even more. After 6 days of this, I called the doctor again and was told I could stop taking it altogether since it had been such a short amount of time on it. And to come in for a different medicine Rx after the weekend. The very first day that I didn't take the sertraline, I felt the worst nausea I had ever felt in my entire life. I ended up asking a friend to drive me to the ER because I felt so sick. I told the Dr how I had just stopped sertraline. The doctor said that my pupils were dilated and my reflexes were overactive. Then, he listed off illegal drugs & asked if I had taken those. (No, I've never tried any drug before). He said "You need to tell me what else is going on because the antidepressant couldn't have caused this." And I said "I don't know" and started crying. I do know that people in my family are highly sensitive to medicines and have since found out I have a gene that causes me to metabolize slowly so things build up for longer in my system. Anyway, the Dr left the room and at one point I was given Ativan in an IV by the nurse which did ease the nausea. When the Dr came back, he told me I had SSRI discontinuation syndrome, (he didn't explain what that meant), that I could never try another SSRI, and gave me a Rx for a small bottle of Ativan. My mom said he mentioned something on the phone to her about serotonin syndrome which dilated pupils and overactive reflexes are symptoms of, but I don't remember him saying anything about it directly to me. He also mentioned reinstating a small amount might help but my mom didn't pass this on to me until much later because she didn't want me to take it. After that, I experienced: -more dry heaving which gradually lessened in frequency -random times of vomiting after eating and after exercising when I wasn't sick & the food wasn't bad (or sometimes nothing was left to vomit & only a small amount would come up) -continuing debilitating nausea & dizziness -olfactory hallucination (putrid smell that wouldn't go away, would intensify around strong scents such as soap & car exhaust) -uncontrollable crying at every tiny thing (neuro-emotion, not regular sadness) -uncontrollable rage (neuro-emotion) -intrusive thoughts & floods of bad memories which I "word vomited" in texts to my sisters -didn't want to be around people who I associated with bad memories because it would greatly intensify neuro-anxiety. (I'd guess the feeling is similar to what people mean who talk about experiencing bad drug trips and how it's important to be with people you trust) -nightmares -paranoia/suspicion/distrust (felt like my mom & sister were not really my mom and sister even though logically, I knew it was them. Things feel creepy & sinister -almost like a horror movie sometimes. A post I read here compared the sinister feeling to a bad LSD trip. I have never tried LSD, but I understood what they meant & is the closest way I found to describe it. -cognitive fog (thinking, processing speed, & reaction time is noticeably slower) (I was a slow thinker/processor before, but it feels like I have brain damage now) -memory problems (I was somewhat forgetful before, but am even more so now) -depersonalization ("it feels like the medicine changed who I am & I don't have an identity/sense of self which I still hadn't fully formed before sertraline) -derealization (feel emotionally disconnected & distant from people/atmosphere. I know things are real, but they don't feel real. Sometimes it feels like consequences won't matter or there is no sense of helpful anxiety even in a potentially dangerous situation. Logically, I know they do matter and still want to do the right thing) -anhedonia/apathy/emotionally numb (don't care about things or have the same amount of passion for interests or feel empathy for other people's emotions or feel spiritual even though I had some spiritual beliefs before. Couldn't feel hopeful about anything/future or feel love towards or from anyone. These emotions have slowly returned to a certain degree since then & levels of ability to feel them have changed at different courses of time) -blurred/cloudy vision (when DR was at most intense, vision was different. Hard to explain) -eye floaters ( random black specks & lines) Didn't notice these until a year after DC-ing -constant yawning/air hunger -stomach/digestion issues -burning, tingling, itching, numbness, redness in feet -brain zaps/"crackles" (sometimes annoying, sometimes painful, but my most tolerable symptom) -head pressure/tightness, feels like head is being squeezed -headaches There was also a period of 6 months where I thought certain symptoms were over and after that period, the dizziness returned. Those are most of the symptoms I've experienced in the past approx 3.5 years. They're not in order. I'm 24 now. A few have gone away for the most part (vomiting, olfactory hallucination, yawning) and most are less intense. I have really improved a lot, I don't mean to sound overly negative. But, I still have the issues I went on the SSRI for & I have trouble accepting where I am & worrying about where to go from here & the uncertainty of how long this lasts because it has put lots of areas of my life on hold (I wasn't able to go back to college, I hope to someday) and ended up making things harder to deal with when I was told it would make them easier. (BTW, I am now seeing a counselor). I don't understand why people say SSRI's are not technically drugs when they have this much of an effect on your mind, mood, & perceptions. Sorry if I have over shared, I might need to post a shorter version of this at some point that's easier to read. And I'm still figuring out the layout of the website & where to post about certain questions & topics. I just know that sometimes other people's explanations made me feel better because I had some understanding of what was happening & words to describe feelings I'd never had before and didn't know how to explain. I've also had other stress & health issues and a few (physical health) medicines that have affected my withdrawal progress, but I guess that's a topic for a separate forum. Any advice, similar experiences, recommendations, tips for using the site, or insight into what happened to my brain is appreciated if anyone feels so inclined :)
  21. Hi all. I have been on a combo of Risperdal and Zoloft since 2012. I reached 3mg risperdal and 200mg zoloft in early 2016, tried to taper off both starting in June of that year, and had a bout of insomnia in November, at which time I reinstated along with an additional 15mg remeron. Adding the remeron, I've learned, was a huge mistake and most likely unnecessary. Since then I've slept at most 6 hours instead of my usual 8. For the first 2 months on remeron I avoided caffeine and tobacco. Then, after picking up both again, my sleep suffered, and I eventually had nights with 2-3 hours. I've since learned that caffeine and tobacco induce the enzyme CYP1A2, which metabolizes remeron, explaining this. By abstaining from both, my sleep has returned. I have also tried shaving a sliver off my 15mg pill with no luck...getting a full night without sleep. I would like to be able to drink coffee and smoke again. That leaves me with 2 options, get off the remeron (seemingly impossible) or tolerate the lack of sleep. If I do the latter, will my sleep eventually not recover even when abstinent due to repeated withdrawals? I had been planning to use coffee and cigs only sporadically, letting my sleep return before using them again, or using only on the weekends. If I that is not sustainable, then how do you recommend I get off the remeron, given my sensitivity to even a small dose decrease? My doc has suggested trazodone as a replacement, but that med interacts with my other meds and a post about it here scared me away. Thank you so much for your help.
  22. Hello, I took Sertraline 50mg generic in September 2019 due to mild but regular panic attacks. After 6 days I had to stop taking them due to adverse reaction ( hallucinating, breathlessness, teeth grinding, vertigo etc) i had taken Sertraline in 2018 for around 6 month with no problem but this time around the side effects were too severe. I felt unwell for around 2 weeks after discontinuating and then returned to work. During this time i noticed that my arms became really weak. In mid October 2019 i started to feel very unwell. I couldn't describe exactly what it was but it was unsettling. A few days later i was taken to hospital by ambulance due to a rapid heart beat, the paramedic said it was tachyardia and that i needed to be checked out at the hospital. No reason was found and i was discharged. Over the next few days i was in and out of hospital and told it was the start of shingles or flu (neither of which happened). My forearm muscles were spasming and very painful I developed severe vertigo and when in bed felt like i was free falling and would violently jolt. I went to see my gp who said it was depression which i argued it was not. I also had an episode in my local supermarket where i felt asif i was off my head on drugs- i was very excited and couldn't stop gurning like i was on a high (I've never touched drugs so can only imagine this is what a high felt like) after that i was on a complete low and had to go to sleep. My doctors were baffled but i was convinced it was something to do with the sertraline. I developed an intolerance to caffeine and peanut butter something i have been fine with prior to taking the sertaline. My fatigue and muscle cramps, brain fog, dizziness and inner restlesness continued and after just about making it through christmas my hubby took me back to the gp who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and gave me a prescription for duloxetine 30mg and referred me to a pain specialist. I had to stop duloxetine after 4 days due to severe back pain and eyelid swelling. I went to see the pain specialist who disagreed with the gp and did not think i have fibro and agreed that i had an adverse reaction and discontinuation to the sertraline. I am still struggling now but no gp believes me, i constantly feel like i am coming down with the flu. I ache from head to toe and sometimes feel like my brain is mushy. I struggle to go to work although i make myself, i now hate going out to the shops etc i cannot handle being around people. I am only 26 and have 2 young children-this has been the worst experience of my life- although the physical symptoms are not as bad the mental ones are extremely hard and it is taking its toll on my life. I have started fish oil so i am hoping that helps. I feel like i am trapped in a 90 year old body. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions that could help? The worst bit looking back is that i could manage my panic attacks i wish i had never visited the gp. I feel like my nervous system and brain are in a meltdown and i cannot seem to help them. I also get feeling of a trickle of water in my head this has only started when stopping the duloxetine. Thanks for listening ♡
  23. Dear withdrawees ... I hope i find you all well... Or at least amidst a window rather than a wave . I've been scouring SA for some time now, picking up whatever bits of helpful and positive information i can about this horrific ordeal. I now feel its time to introduce myself and my history on AD's to the community with the hope of being provided with additional support and a view helping others in the future when this experience is more of a bad memory rather than a living hell . I have been taking Sertraline on and off for the last 6 years since 2013 after a series of horrific circumstances happened one after another. Despite the drugs having good effect, I've always been uncomfortable with masking what are obviously important emotions using a daily consumption of a drug. This has led me to unwittingly withdraw multiple times across the 6 year period which lead me to believe i was confined to a life of drug taking, this was until June this year when I first found SA and became aware of SSRI withdrawal . Of course I was left somewhat shocked but not surprised after feeling neglected previously on multiple occasions by the medical sector. Despite that though i found a new sense of hope knowing that a life beyond drugs was not only possible, but likely. Recent Drug History OCT 2016 - I quit Sertraline 50 mg CT after a family bereavement had turned my life upside down .. as a result it felt the drug was totally ineffective. MAY 2017- After what had been an appalling 6 months (which i thought was horrific grief but now realise it is likely withdrawal is the more likely culprit) I reinstated Sertraline at 50 mg before raising the dose to 100 mg due to not feeling any effect (again this is something that makes sense now). In time i had started to feel normal again and presumed it was because I had worked my way through my prolonged grief. FEB 2019 - Life was now back on track and decided it was time to try and rid myself of the shameful daily pill pop that is AD's. I quit Sertraline Via a fast taper... but may aswell have been a CT. JUN 2019 - I found SA . .. realised i was withdrawing .. and had inadvertently made multiple mistakes along the way. NOV 2019 - I'm roughly 8-9 months into withdrawal & STRUGGLING MY SYMPTOMS: A thick brain fog Anxiety an inability to feel emotions / make connections with people Loss of communication skills & wit muscle weakness Fatigue As I've said previously.... i am currently at the 9 month mark and I'm coping okay (I Think🤔 ) when i compare my battles to that of others.. but i am beginning to really struggle with the isolation that seems to be a natural part of the process. I have always naturally been an extroverted person who loves talking to people and being at the centre of attention although currently this couldn't be further from the truth and is taking a huge toll on my daily life. Every time I am confronted with some form of social situation my brain draws a blank. Its as if the lights are on but nobody's home. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CHARM AND CHARISMA? I wanted to ask for advice from anyone whose been in a similar situation: What can i do right here and now to aid myself when dealing with these symptoms? If you've surpassed the 9 month point of withdrawal with these symptoms still rearing their ugly head, at what stage did you notice a marked improvement? Has anyone any advice on how to work towards improving other areas of my life, such as love or working life and learning new skills whilst withdrawing? If you've made it this far thanks for reading and i look forward to any replies? Cheers
  24. Dear all, I took Sertraline 50 (French name for Zoloft). for only a month and I have developped PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder) following a too fast withdrawal. I read the story of some of your members who had PGAD when they withdrew from an antidepressant and their stories looked like mine and gave me hope and I hope they can confort me and assist me because I am in a very dark place. I read the stories of Hopefull anf Broken. Are they still on the forum ? How are they doing ? Until December 2016, I had never taken any antidepressant or a benzo in my entire life. I was leading an happy life with my husband and son in the West of France. We had a chemical accident in december. I mixed 2 products while cleaning my house, bleach and a cleaning product with acid and stupidly burnt my lungs and got a toxic choc on the 27th of december. My doctor thought I was anxious afer the accident and put me on Xanax 0.25, half a pill at night. I took it for a month in January 2017 and was sent to a psychiatrist who put me on Lisanxia 10, a pill a day. I felt suicidal because i didnt understand I was suffering from the Xanax withdrawal the doctors kept changing the pill without any tappering, I stayed on Lysanxia 10, a pill a day the whole February , then another psychiatrist decided to put me on Bromazepan 6 (4 quarter a day). I stayed on Bromazepan the entire March and he put me back on Xanax, all of that cold turkey. And that how I met my worse nightmare, the Sertraline AD: I was feeling very agitated on benzos, my lungs and entire skin were burning and everybody told me it was in my head. I didn't agree so I was hospitalised againt my wish in a psychiatrist hospital. There, they made me stop my Xanax 0.25 cold turkey and put me on Sertraline 50. This happened on Easter monday 2017 (April 17 th). After 2 weeks, I was sent home and started feeling very ill, I had tremors, agitation, fatigue, shakes, flu like symptoms and suicidal thoughts. I went to see a GP who told me I could drop the Sertraline to 25 because I had only been on it for 2 weeks and I could slowly stop it. I went on the 25 pill and then I started having violent withdrawal side effects (I don't know which ones came from Xanax or from Sertraline) : My symptoms : Sensitivity to light and smells, burning skin, hyperacusis, agitation, akathisia, tinnitus and when I thought it couldn't get worse, I started peeing every 10 minutes, got a hyperactive bladder, terrible pains in my genitalias, bladder and pelvic area and the worse of it permanent arousal. Since I have kept the tinnitus in my left ear, the akatisia and PGAD. I was sent to another mental hospital at the beginning of June because I thought they could help me with PGAD. They put me on Risperidone for a week while they made me stop the Sertraline very fast (they made me take it every 2 days for a week then they replaced it with Anafranil 25 that I kept for a week. My tinnitus got worse and my PGAD stayed the same. I was getting sicker and sicker so the psychiatrist stopped the Anafranil and the Risperidone and I was put back on Xanax. I am now back at home, my PGAD symptoms are terrible and I am considered manic and hypocondriac. My doctor wants to put me back in a mental hospital. I can't look after my family and Iam in a very dark place with suicidal thoughts My 3 main withdrawal symptoms : high pitched tinnitus, agitation and PGAD. Pins and needles in my lower back, legs and arms when the PGAD crisis start. . MY PGAD symptoms : Overactive bladder, ongoing arousal sensations in and around the genitals, having to go to the toilets every 10 minutes, pelvic pains, Pins and needle, shaking. It is atrocious and it makes me suicidal. I take 3 Xanax 0.25 a day and a Zopiclone 7 to sleep. I cannot sit because the symptoms get worse and I can barely walk because my bladder hurts. I spend my days crying on my bed with an ice pack on my lower parts. At night I cannot sleep well because of the tinnitus. I went to see an urologist, I had a cystoscopy done and they told me it is not an interstitial cysticis and gave me Lyrica (I am scared of taking it because I fear it will make my tinnitus worse). Nobody knows this symptom in France and people think i am crazy. Thank you for reading my story. Please can you reassure me ? I am terrified and I am suffering greatly. Would it go away ? Is it a withdrawal symptom ? Thank you so much for having this site on the internet. It gave me a lot of confort. Cathyfrench (I am french so I hope my English is not too bad, my apologies for my grammatical errors)
  25. Hi everyone! I'm new here, I'm an 18 year old girl, will be 19 soon, and I took Zoloft from when I was about 16 and a half to when I was just about 17, so a year and 4 months. I've been clean of the poison since August 28th, 2016, so ten and a half months now. Since I don't think the drugs were good for me to be on to begin with because they caused a whole host of strange behaviors and feelings, like sedation and mania at times, as well as periods of complete apathy and feeling sick, not to mention the sexual problems, I decided to get off of them. Here's how things went: Felt better when initially coming off Zoloft. Much better. Perhaps more negative, but more energy, felt more normal, looked better, etc. Less headaches and other side effects. Happier...almost manic sorta. Sex drive increase and no problems with prolactin overloads. Continued like this (with adaptogenic herb, B6, inositol, and other supplementation) until December 2016. Sometimes wanted to "crawl out of my skin" also and getting more frustrated when my best friend wouldn't call me, less worried about what he thought. December 2016, my life crashed. My best friend and I had a falling out and he was distant for a while. Worst depression I have EVER felt for 2 weeks straight. I was stuck in my body, it was the worst feeling I have ever EVER had, profound depression, profound pain, I could not deal with it..so incredibly horrible. Definitely would not have been nearly as bad if I weren't only 4 months off Zoloft. Probably wouldn't have been bad at all if I were still on Zoloft..scary. Extreme disconnection from the body. This scared me because the issue was generally pretty mild--a friend being distant. The fact that it caused such a terrible horrible depression made me realize how hard this journey was going to be for me...my ability to handle stress and emotions have been greatly diminished. January--February were blahhh. He texted me again, didn't switch schools, we were friends. I also started taking tryptophan for serotonin deficiencies and the pain went away but the horror of what had happened still lingered and left me exhausted and terrified of another episode. I felt extremely out of control of myself and my life. Never would have felt this way on zoloft. March was terrible. He ignored me again, again intense anxiety, worse than I could possibly describe. Literally horror. Started taking ashwaghanda which, along with him reconnecting with me, made April and May more bearable. Sometimes felt GOOD in those two months..other times not, but it was really not horrible. A couple periods of intense pain, usually from relationship stress, but I recovered when things went back to normal. June..was fine. I'm living. In college now. Was pretty intent on committing suicide a couple of days ago..thoroughly convinced myself that I would do it and that I need to do it. Didn't do it. Probably won't this week. Can't take the unbearable social pain any longer though..it's putting a hole in my heart. I refuse to go back on those meds. Ever. They're awful and they still are affecting my sex drive..PSSD is there. Realizing that I'm at the end of adolescence and never had a true, hormonal, exciting sexual experience and the ability to experience that kind of thing will go away when teenage hormones go away. I may never be normal again. I'm incredibly upset and worried and cursing myself for taking those pills. Also feel really alone because nobody understands and I can't talk to anyone about it. If I weren't in a fine mood, I'd be ready to pull the friggin plug. All of my sexual experiences are awkward and bad, make guys feel like rapists, never result in orgasm, always lose excitement once any touching of the genitals is involved, and end up very VERY bad. Masturbation is 100X better but it still takes longer and isn't as easy to cum.. I feel hopeless and screwed, scared and worried. The same mechanism affects your ability to fall in love..I need hope. When will these things get better? Note: One thing I can say is the intense feeling of being disconnected from my body or wanting to crawl out of my skin has gotten better, which makes me realize that my brain is normalizing itself. I'm just worried that things will never be the same again, because of receptor problems or permanent brain damage, especially in the sexual department... Help?
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