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  1. Hey all, From original topic title: 8 months of hypomania, increasing irritability, two major manic episodes, then CT Wish I found this site before. Prescribed 50 mg in October 2018, reported immediate response, eventually asked to cut the dose to 25 mg when symptoms were arising more frequently. Doc said go up to 100 mg, thankfully I disagreed and we went down instead. Kept having increasing symptoms and eventually started taking 12.5 mg twice a day thinking I was a fast metabolizer. Then: suicidal ideation and one hell-ish manic episode (with a good 50 mini-episodes over a months time). Quit CT once I learned what was happening. BP2 diagnosis came, but now a month removed from sertraline, I don’t see it. I’m dealing with some crazy withdrawal symptoms... mostly headaches and irritability. I sometimes blink really hard, kind of like a brain zap. I’m on intermittent leave from work, and didn’t burn all the bridges I have, but came damn close. now I’m learning healing takes months/years. Why is this a drug prescribed so frequently? What a nightmare it has been.
  2. Hi Everyone, I’m looking for advice and support. Last February I began what I thought was a slow withdrawal from zoloft. I tapered from 150mg down to 25mg in the span of 6 months. I went to 25mg on July 1st and a little over a month later I started to notice profound feelings of helplessness/despair, monumental anxiety, increased panic attacks, and this overwhelming feeling that the ground was going to open up and swallow me. To complicate matters, I’d been taking xanax to “help” with the panic/anxiety—maybe .25 or .5mg every other day. As I can tapered the zoloft, I began to notice interdose withdrawal from the xanax. On 8/24/19, I cold-turkeyed off xanax, thinking it was doing more harm than good. After a couple weeks of Hell (becoming truly paranoid, not eating, waking up with lightning bolts through my head, nightmares, and just overall terror, I upped my zoloft to 50mg. Close to hospitalization, I called my psychiatrist and he said to go to 100mg of zoloft and start klonopin. 100mg of zoloft was too much, and so I went to 75mg, where I’ve been for the past 14 days. I am taking .25 to .5mg klonopin every morning. My question is this: How long does it take to get stable? Everyday I have intense fear/anxiety and I have developed agoraphobia. The abrupt xanax cessation brought back ptsd symptoms. I’m not working right now and very isolated. I want to begin tapering again as soon as possible because I feel like both these drugs are contributing to my intense fear/anxiety. Any suggestions/ideas are more than welcome. Thank you. (Oh, and I’ve been on zoloft for... 10 years and before that luvox, prozac for shorter stints. Also on xanax & klonopin as needed for 15 years but only recently was taking xanax frequently). Thank you so much.
  3. Hi all, my name is Matt, I am a 36 year old husband and father of three whose life has been turned upside down by these drugs. Although after reading the wealth of information on this site, I feel I finally understand what is happening to me, though it doesn’t make going through it any easier. I reinstated Zoloft on May 1st and I know I probably reinstated at much too high a dose, but I unfortunately was following “doctors orders.” It has been a tough four months to say the least, and at times I feel I will be stuck this way forever. However I have gone on vacation twice in the last 4 months. The 1st one was over the Fourth of July, during that time I would say I was 50-60% of my normal self. Only to come back, get to work, and get slammed by waves again. Last week I went on an end of summer vacation with my family, this time I would say I was closer to 75-80% of normal, and hopeful this was finally the beginning of the end for me and I was stabilizing and could in a few months begin a slow taper the proper way. However this past week back home and back to work have been unbearable. Unrelentingly anxiety and akathisia from the second I wake, that eventually calms a bit at night, but sometimes not til like 8-9PM. My question would be, can being on vacation really make that big of a difference in withdrawal? I would think it was just a fluke, but it has happened twice now. But it is like, almost feeling back to normal, vs not being able to fathom making it through another day. The difference is astounding. Any thoughts would be appreciated, also should I be getting worried that I am 4 months into reinstatement and holding and not stabilizing? Thanks, this site is amazing and all these people are amazing SURVIVORS!
  4. Hello and welcome to my hell. Lexapro 2 years along with heavy marijuana use, CT ... Fine for 5 months then all hell broke loose. April 2019 Took 1 10mg lexapro and woke up vomiting and diahrea. Cut back to 5mg for 2 days but couldnt move and also had the flu. Dr. Says try again when flu gets better. May 2019 took 2.5mg lexapro and awoke two hrs later7 in sheer panic and full blown akathesia. No good. Ended up in mental hospital and put on 10 mg celexa. After 5 days thrown back into full blown akathesia. No good so stopped and got worse. Second hospital stay now on lithium and zyprexa which lasted less than a week. 3 weeks later back in another mental hospital. Third time not the charm .. Put on Zoloft 25 and 3 days later up to 50. Did okay for 4 weeks then got really ill, could not get out of bed. Tapered off over 2 weeks. That was 3 weeks ago from today (Sept 1 2019). Felt pretty good first week, slowly declining 2nd week and now I am in a lot of body pain, sweats, tingles, head pressure, si, inner restlessness, trouble sleeping, crying spells, anger, and at times just ok. Supplements are Lions Mane, l theanine, B vits, methyl b12 and folinic acid since I am a mthfr! Vit D. Omega's and mag.
  5. 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.
  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 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.
  8. 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!
  9. Hello everyone. Don't know where to start. Firstly excuse my english because it is not my native language. My first experience with psychiatric drug was with elicea in 2015 when I visited my first psychiatrist (can't remember the dose). Took it for 2 months then stopped cold turkey. Suffered severe depression and brain zaps for short period after that. I recovered. Also I took xanax occasionally then and in 2017. 2018 took xanax more often for like 3 months (never more than once a day, 0.25mg, maybe 0.50mg sometimes). Never suffered withdrawals after I quit. At least nothing that I am aware off. Fast forward to august 2018 I visited another psychiatrist and was put on calixta (mirtazapine), can't remember the dose atm. Took it until december or january when she got me off it cold turkey and put me on seroxat. Never had any problems until I started noticing double vision (ghosting) of bright letters and lights from a distance but It wasn't that bad. After like 3 months on seroxat she wanted to switch to zyprexa and diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder. Keep in mind that I never suffered psychosis and was only depressed and unmotivated person. I had trouble with my insurance and needed to sorted it out first because it is an expensive drug. I quit seroxat first around april this year. Never had any problems except the double vision one. After I got my insurance in june I started Zyprexa. First I was on smaller doses (2.5mg-7.5mg) then i got to 10mg on september. I started losing interest in my hobbies and got very suicidal and depressed. She started me on zoloft around middle of october (first few days on small doses then on 25mg) and cut my zyprexa dose to 7.5mg. Around 13th of november (a week ago) I decided to quit both drugs and stop poisoning myself after a very fast tapper (few days). I am in hell since. I have lots of symptoms (most are probably from zyprexa because I took it for longer) but what I find worst is not sleeping. First I was very tired and sleepy from not sleeping but recently I am never tired and I probably don't even sleep one hour in total. It is scaring me. I always slept on my back but now I can't do that because my mouth make a weird noise and I start panicking. I am very scared and don't know what to do. I was thinking of tappering but going back to drugs scare me. I am afraid I will never sleep and my brain will detoriate. My god what have I done to myself.
  10. David182

    David182: hello all

    Hello everyone, I’d like to start off by saying thank you. The people of this forum have inspired much hope and understanding in the ways of antidepressant medication. I am grateful. I’ve been on Zoloft since the spring of 2015. Things had been going wonderfully well. I felt like myself but disconnected/ unplugged just enough to cope far better. Better mood, alertness and mental focus were a nice change of pace. Around the end of May 2017 I’d been taking BCAAs for working out for around 2 months. One Sunday, after lifting weights and mowing the yard I took a nap and woke up feeling off. I had low blood sugar issues for about a day, I couldn’t handle warm temperatures, couldn’t sleep well, and suffered hot flashes for the next few days. For a while I though I was sick. I took an lorazepam one evening (3 days later) and an extra zoloft because of horrible anxiety. I countinued to take my now double dose with my doctor’s permission. The next 6 weeks were h*ll. I had no idea Zoloft could do such things since I had no negative effects when I started. I could write a novel (as I’m sure we all could) but I’ll try and hit the main points. About week 6 I stabilized. I hadn’t found this site yet so many mistakes were made. i only stayed at 100mg for a week or so before I jumped to 75mg (I felt too apathetic about things, needed to lower). By this point I realized it was the Zoloft causing my problems. The next few weeks were quite uncomfortable but things went really bad when working out on the 3rd week caused me to crash...hard!! I switched doctors as I couldn’t seem to get anywhere with my other one. My new P.A diagnosed me with serotonin syndrome (a short 3 day stint of trazadone while doubling my dose no doubt contributed, different doctor) she dropped me from 75mg to 25mg of Zoloft. I felt so much better and for the next two weeks got to the point of feeling amazing. Then week three came and some light cardio pushed me over the edge and I crashed again. I also noticed I would have horrible low blood sugar issues for a day or two after crashing. after a week of misery. I bumped my dose to 50mg (I found this site by then). I felt immediate improvement. I began to heal but also began feeing strong sensations of numbness/ pins and needles in my hands and feet, weakness also. I am currently 7 weeks at 50mg. I’ve been struggling with tight & weak calves / ankles since, sporadic internal tremors and fatigue. Had back spasms for a bit about a week ago but not since. I’ve begun to sleep better in the past few weeks (7 hours on a good night but not consistently). I typically wake up around 5-6 hours after falling asleep but I don’t NEED medicine to help me fall asleep anymore (a few months of needing it). I would rather keep this short but I want you all to know my history. I saw a psychiatrist tonight at the recommendation of my PA (she was surprised when my reinstatement actually helped, she was convinced I hadn’t dropped too low too fast. She is a wonderful PA and God worked through her, saved my life when I had serotonin syndrome.) The psychiatrist on the other hand... I have mixed feelings. I flat out refused any other medication. She believes my first incident was serotonin syndrome. Maybe so? BCCA actually inhibit triptophan uptake but then again my workout protein powder did have triptophan in it (I have quit taking all workout supplements months ago). The psychiatrist also thinks I’m suffering from serotonin syndrome now. (Currently weakness in legs, pins and needles in hands and feet, stiff feeling calves and maybe hands, hands and feet more susceptible to being cold) what do do you all think? Do I continue to continue to tough it out at 50mg? Is this a sign my body is too sensitized for this dose? (I was at 25mg for one month before reinstating to 50mg) I will work on my signature as soon as I figure out how to do it. Thank you for your time. I trust you all more than the medical “professionals”
  11. Hi, I found this site a couple of weeks ago and have slowly been starting to wonder if what I’ve been going through the past 18 months is related to SSRI withdrawal. I managed to successfully withdraw from Lexapro at the end of 2010, after over 13 years of AD use. I had various fluctuating symptoms for a couple of months, but then apart from constant ringing in my ears and a return of occasional anxiety, I seemed to be ok. I was studying to be a chi-ball instructor, was exercising regularly, was eating healthy and was generally quite happy. After getting off Lexapro, I had been diagnosed with adult ADD and been put on medication for that. It worked well for a couple of weeks and seemed to completely cure what remained of my anxiety, but then I started to get extreme restlessness, OCD like symptoms, irritability and an increase in my sensitivity, to sounds and lights. I assumed it was a bad reaction to the stimulant medication. My life has been a confusing nightmare since the end of 2010 really, but until I found this site a couple of weeks ago, it really didn’t occur to me that my ongoing problems were being caused by a medication I stopped taking over 2 years ago. I’ve had a lot of stress in my life starting from an early age and have always been sensitive and anxious. There has been some violent crime and sexual abuse, but I seemed to be ok until I got myself into a psychologically abusive marriage. That’s when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and started on Zoloft. For a couple of years it took the edge off my anxiety, but I never thought I had depression, but the Zoloft just made me feel generally numb, so I endured my marriage, for several more years until it became unbearable, tried to communicate with my ex-husband so that things would improve, but he wasn’t interested in change, he was already in his next relationship and had been for a while, I didn’t know that at the time though. Then I went through about 4 years of extremely frightening separation/divorce and ongoing court proceedings. . There were other extremely stressful things I’ve had to deal with over the last 10 years, but I’m not going to go into details. I have been thinking that what I’m going through is a combination of long term stress, anxiety/depression, a ‘dark night of the soul’, menopause and/or some kind of spiritual transformation like kundalini, because I have engaged in various spiritual practises through my life. At times its felt like my CNS is completely burned out or that I have some kind of serious hormonal imbalance, but I gave up trusting the medical profession, including psychologists after years of not being able to get any help from any of them and only ending up feeling worse and that its all my fault for not trying hard enough. I’ve had lots therapy, counselling and done various support groups over the last 15 years, nothing has been any significant help. I went back to college to study psychology and started a business, but that all fell apart when the marital abuse became worse and the divorce proceedings began. Since finding this site, I’ve stopped taking all psychotropic medication, realizing that anything which effects my brain is having an exaggerated negative effect on my recovery. For a long time I’ve noticed that even small amounts of caffeine, half a glass of wine or even an anti-histamine will have a very bad effect on me, but I was thinking it was my imagination. I can’t even eat chocolate any more without suffering the next day. I’m exhausted all the time, but it’s a weird kind of fatigue, its like a combination mental/emotional tiredness, not like anything I’ve ever felt before. I spend most of my time at home, on the internet on my bed, just doing the things I need to do to take care of myself and my teenage daughter. Its very difficult just getting out to buy a few groceries, but when I do go out, I function perfectly in a kind of dissociated way, like I’m not even in my own body, I’m watching myself like from a distance, wondering who it is that’s behaving so ‘normally’ when I’m feeling so awful. Waves of negative emotions seem to get triggered by almost everything around me and almost every thought, I try not to think about things or do much of anything so I can avoid the emotional pain that thoughts or experiences bring, its like a kind of forced meditation. This symptom was at its worst from November 2011 – August 2012, but its not as bad now, seems to be settling down, I think its improved by about 50%. Please would someone take a look at the details in my signature and give me an opinion if protracted anti-depressant withdrawal might be a factor in my current health problems which include: Waking at 5am with racing thoughts Feeling like I haven’t slept at all Nausea, shaking, dizziness, body pressure, muscle twitches Waves of negative emotion Hot/cold flashes, sweating Constant ringing in my ears Sensitive to sound, light and smells Can’t watch TV or listen to the radio because its too stimulating Most things are too stimulating now, including being around other people too long Loss of appetite and loss of weight Hair falling out Agoraphobia, mostly during the day, I’m able to go out easier late afternoon towards evening Memory problems and mental confusion Loss of confidence. Loss of interest in doing anything or going anywhere Can’t get any pleasure out of things any more Loss of hope I needed to put more detail in my signature, but that’s all that would fit. From about 2006 – 2008 I was also taking duramine (a prescription stimulant weight loss med) to try and lose all the weight I’d put on from being on SSRI meds. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try and provide a clear picture of my situation. Thank you Petu
  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. Hi. I'm new here. Here are the basics of my story. I had been on 150mg of Zoloft for 17 years for dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder. I decided to taper off, with the blessing of my pdoc. My depression and anxiety returned, and I had to not only increase the Zoloft to 200mg but add 1mg of Abilify (plus Konopin as needed). It's been a year and a half since the episode began and a year since starting Abilify. I'm feeling quite a bit better--I hardly ever take the Klonopin, and my pdoc said I can try doing without the Abilify. I just went 16 days at only 0.5mg of Abilify, but I'm feeling anxious and depressed again and bumped back up to 1mg. I'm so frustrated with the whole situation. I'm working hard to recover: I'm in weekly therapy, I run just about every day (3-6 miles), and I meditate almost daily. I don't want to come off the Zoloft, just the Abilify. Maybe I won't be able to, in which case I need to come to terms with that. Any comments or questions would be greatly appreciated.
  16. 🙂 I'm new to the site. Couple of questions. Had a couple of bouts with GAD 18 years ago. Lexapro fixed the problem both times and stopped both times with no problems after a few months. June 2018 felt depressed. Doctor prescribed Lexapro for six months (Dec. 2018). Then quit over 11 days by skipping doses as he suggested. Some symptoms returned and we tried Zoloft the end of March 2019. Worked up to 100 mgs. by June 21 but having very loose stools. Quick 6 day taper August 22 with plans to begin Cymbalta. Just quit instead and contacted Doctor to advise her. It's now been 6 months off AD's and the first couple were ok. Began having some problems third month. Experiencing bad mornings (anxiety) and waking early. Also stomach ache and kind of dizzy sometimes. 1. Is anyone experiencing the same symptoms? 2. Can this be withdrawal after 6 months with no AD's 3. Could this be a relapse?
  17. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - StuckOnMeds: Reinstatement of Clonazapam Fair warning: my journey revolves around PMDD (my menstruation cycle). If this is not your cup of tea, turn back now. Hi! I'm so happy to be here! Here's the short version of my story... I was misdiagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder when in fact I had PMDD. At first, the symptoms were bearable, but after my last child, everything changed. Suddenly, I was not able to make myself or my children food, not showering, not able to pick my kids up from school. Not only that but my self-esteem was shot and anxiety soaring, and I had about one week a month where I could gather myself back up and try to heal before everything started all over again. This went on for over three years. I was completely broken. During all of this, my Psych started throwing meds at me to see what would stick. Unfortunately, nothing would work, and I ended up on 6 meds for depression and anxiety. Finally, I had had enough and approached my Psych and my Gyn about a full hysterectomy and BSO (ovary removal) to stop the fluctuation in my hormones. By this time I had tried all methods of care ranging from DBT to exercise, birth control to relaxation techniques, and so much more. Anyway, I had the surgery, and I felt (and feel) amazing. Like I had been missing out on living. Unfortunately, I was still stuck on all six meds. And so began the titration. I began titrating risperidone at the beginning of 2015. It is important to me to get off this med because I believe it to be the most dangerous. I started at 1 mg, and currently, I am at 0.18 mg. I am taking a break on my titration but intend to jump after my summer vacation and be done with this demon of a drug once and for all. Here is a list of my other meds: Morning: Zoloft 200 mg Wellbutrin XL 300 mg Lorazepam 0.5 mg and 0.375 mg ( also take around 3 pm) Night: Clonazepam 1 mg Trazadone 50 mg Risperidone 0.18 mg (liquid) StuckOnMeds
  18. 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.
  19. Hello everyone My name is Eva, 20 years ago I gave my power to someone in lab coat and believed them that I have serotonin deficiency and need to take antidepressants. I was on one at the time on regular doses but don’t remember now. Over the years they would poop out and that’s when I would be changed to a different one always did really well with transition had no side effects either so I kept on taking them. Always was told by doctors that antidepressants are not addictive, never was advice to get off them even for years I did not have any symptoms of depression which was the reason I was put on them. I came to USA from Poland at age 23 in poursuit of American Dream ,was very home sick did not have friends, was working nights at dive bar, and studying in the morning, for two years I slept only 4 h at night and ate very poor diets that’s why I got depressed. In past 10 years I tried to get off twice with doctors help was tapered down too fast as doctors do, and as soon as I was on 0mg I would “relapse” now I know it was withdrawal. Second time it was the same story. For past 4 years I was in the best shape of my life i did yoga and other fitness at least 5 times a week I was very happy mother to my daughter and wife my husband is awesome and I love him dearly. I was in great shape mentally and physically. I kept asking myself this question why am I taking antidepressants I’m not depressed, I want to know who am I without this drug because I started to believe that I never should take them in first place. In February 2018 my cousin gave me medical marijuana ( i only smoke couple times in my life, never was attracted to it) i started to smoke and all the sudden i had that idea that I didn’t need to take antidepressants anymore so I stopped cold turkey in February 2018 from 60mg Cymbalta to nothing. Almost instantly i went into mania state, was euphoric and nothing was bothering me, i slept only couple of hours at night, i could not eat food that i ate my whole life, my tast became very sensitive, I lost appetite and had diarrhea for over month. Nothing was alarming me because I was in mania. That went on for 6 month it was starting to loose its high towards the end. And in the end of August I started to notice that I was crushing my memory was becoming very impaired, my cognitions too and I had anxiety that was scaring me because I had never had anxiety in my life. I was sure I’m relapsing and was very scared because my symptoms were much was then ever before. I started to take 60mg Cymbalta because I still had it in my house, that was August 2018, I called my doctor and she said I was relapsing , gave me Benzodiazapine for my anxiety 0.5 mg. My condition became worse I was not improving but getting worse. I could not sleep I couldn’t not eat, I could not think my cognitions was gone, I started to have sucidle ideation ( never in my life I had them before) I became dead a zombie. I had insomnia and sleeping pills were not helping ( never before in my life I had issues with sleeping) Between September 2018 and February 2019 I was switched to new antidepressant every two months. After Cymbalta it was , Effexor, then Remeron. I was in hell and totally in the hands of people who where making my condition worse but at that moment I didn’t know it I was sure I’m going crazy. In the January 2019 I did ketamine therapy but that made me worse. I was in hospital 5 times between September 2018 and February 2019. After ketamine I went to hospital again and agreed to have ECT at that time I did not care anymore I was devastated from smallest atom in my body I was broken chemically broken. After 4 session of ECT I felt better first time in 7 months I went home and was able to function some what. I got back my cognition to the point where I started to look back at what has happened to me and looking for answers, deep down inside of me I knew that it was not my body making me sick I knew that something was happening to me that was outside of my body control. That’s when I found this site SA which explained everything I was searching for, I was crying I was so relieved but also became so angry at doctors at whole system. I understood that after I started to take Cymbalta in August 2018 my body rejected it and it made me lot worse. After ECT my doctor put me on Zoloft first 25 mg and then up to 100 mg. It was March 2019 end i was saying to my husband I’m so scared i don’t know why because i know I’m safe but I’m scared. After I found S.A. I understood that the only way to heal for me is to be drug fee I understood that what has happened to me was severe withdrawal symptoms from Cymbalta. I realize that I will never trust doctor again I know that I have to heal my body and no doctor will help me to do this. I wean myself of Zoloft and have been drug free for 1 month, I also stopped taking Benzodiazapine I was only on 0,5 mg as needed but was very reluctant on taking them because deep inside I knew that this is not right. And it was not it was very wrong everything that has happened and the way we are being lied to about devastating withdrawal and addictives nature of antidepressants . So now I’m one month drug free. I have anxiety about doing basic things like grocery shopping and cooking it’s extremely difficult, my short term memory is very bad, my cognitions is better then between August 2018 and February 2019 but still not as normal, my appetite is still gone I have to force myself to eat I’m 16 Ib underweight, my sleep is broken but much better then it was before. I have tormenting thoughts like I cannot stop my brain from thinking, it’s usually related to what has happened in past year, I have depression very hopeless like a child very helpless like a child, I’m ashamed of myself for being in this condition even though i know it’s not my fault, I cannot enjoy enjoy anything that I loved in the past, I feel very disconnected from outside world and every human being. My daughter is my main reason I decided to get through it, but I feel so guilty for not being able to take care of her the way I would before withdrawal. My husband is been my biggest support and I’m worried that he will get tired of me being like this it’s must be so hard on him. I am totally different person now , I was highly functional and happy very social with everything organized. Now I’m like a child helpless hopeless afraid of my own shadow. Emotional suffering is beyond anything I have ever experienced, I cry every day for no reason other that the pain inside of me. Physically I only have problem eating and extreme blotting after I do eat. I know I’m very lucky compared to people who went through physical hell too. I’m not myself and I’m so scared that I will never be who I was before. I’m scared I not going to feel happiness and joy. I don’t even remember how it is to be happy. Please help me to get through it I feel so lost most of my friends think I’m crazy because I decided to take charge of my life and not to trust doctors but they don’t understand that trusting doctors are the main reason I’m suffering now. I feel so lonely Please help me to get through this hell Thank you Ps. This website gave me hope and probably saved my life, I do want to thank the man who created it , thank you from all my heart even though I cannot feel my heart Its still there because I’m alive.
  20. After 2 weeks on escitalopram and then 4 weeks on sertrilene, I can't say I've ever stabilized. I decreased the sertrilene 10 days ago and symptoms seem overall slightly better. I'm trying to decide whether to stay at my current dose or continue to taper.
  21. 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?
  22. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Ryder: Clonazepam Hi guys, This question has to do with SSRI's and supplements. I was diagnosed with Chronic OCD in January 2015. I have been on and off medication between 2009-2015. Since 2015 I was prescribed 200mg (Sertraline/Zoloft) Daytime and 2mg Clonazepam for night time sleep. At the back-end-of 2016 I felt that I was well enough to come of all medications as I just felt able enough to cope on 100mg after a while. I did Cold Turkey for most of it before admittingly and slowly going on the lower dose of 100mg Sertraline. I was afterward sent to a Dr who specialised in withdrawing people from medications. She prescribed: - L-Carneitine (300 mg) - CoQ10 (200 mg) - N-Acetylcysteine - Vitamin C - Selenium - Magnesium. - A Gluten Free Diet. With Gluten diet, I did not stick to this religiously as some of the books advocated here on this forum. Mainly Elaine Gotschall's Breaking the Viscious Cycle. (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the GAPS Diet advocated by Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride. I am very skeptical when i read over these diets but since my Dad was on the diet, whatever was in the Pantry, I ate. I wasn't religious about it though if I ordered takeout. Back on topic, I reduced the supplements to L-Carneteine and CoQ10 in combination with SSRI Zoloft/Sertraline (100mg). I found that during the time taken them, I had trouble with Cognition and motor skills, driving, runnng and excercise. I also noticed that I couldn't stop feeling dizzy although they are supposed to aide mitochondria in the brain which the Zoloft dulls down. I also noticed real bad insomnia during the time taken these aided supplements. Has anyone else had success with L-Carneteine and CoQ10 prescribed with Zoloft? It seems that people are having great success with these two supplements to rave review, I am just wondering if Carneteine or CoQ10 has worked for anyone to either reduce withdrawal symptoms off SSRIs & Zoloft or taper off completely. **Note. I have looked through the other posts here, but most vary in opinion, so I just want this question answered. Many thanks. Ryder.
  23. Hi SA fam, Apologies for the length of my first post but I figure its best to cover as many bases as possible up front. I had my first panic attack while under the influence of Marijuana in 2004 a few months shy of my 21st birthday. To this day it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. Even though I knew overdose wasn’t possible on marijuana, I believed at that time that I was dying. The next morning I was able to brush myself off and laugh at my stupidity figuring I would lay off the pot and all would be fine. A couple of weeks later while visiting my brother in NYC, I became hyper-aware of my heartbeat. I could feel that something was off and the anxiety began to mount. Within minutes I was in full-blown panic and on my way to the emergency room convinced I was having a heart attack. Upon being told I was experiencing a panic attack I thought “how stupid, I’m a strong person and I will never let that happen again”. The next day I took myself for a walk in central park and I could slowly feel the anxiety escalating. I was helpless. I endured panic attack after panic attack and lived in a perpetual state of extreme anxiety and disarray for weeks. My mom thought it best to take my to see a psychiatrist. They diagnosed me with panic disorder and prescribed me a combination of Lexapro and Klonopin. I found immediate yet imperfect relief from the Klonopin but was very reluctant to take an antidepressant as I had never been depressed a day in my life. I took the Klonopin dutifully twice a day. The Lexapro I took for 10 days before ditching it after reading how it caused suicidal ideations in young people.. I managed to go back to school and complete my Senior year in spite of the massive anxiety. I eventually stabilized and quickly weaned myself off of the daily Klonopin but continued to use it as needed over the course of the year. I graduated in 2005 and returned home to Miami to study for the LSAT. During the time my Panic turned into a diagnosis of GAD and it became obvious that I was not thriving and struggling to focus on my studies. I went to see the psychiatrist again who convinced me that an SSRI would curb my anxiety and be a much safer daily treatment than Klonopin. She prescribed 20 mg of Paxil and I willingly took it. The Paxil worked wonders. Within a few weeks, I was back to myself feeling better than I had felt in the entire year prior. I maintained the Paxil for 18 months without any hiccups aside from some mild yet tolerable side effects. I decided with my doctor that it was time to come off and see how I faired. I don't recall what the tapering protocol was but I believe I was fully off of Paxil over the course of a few weeks. Inevitably the anxiety came roaring back a couple of months later. I fought the best I could to stay off medication as I knew that if I relied on medication that I would never build the inner resilience I needed to truly and fully recover At the time I was in my second year of law school and my studies were suffering dramatically. I can safely say that my suffering was worse than it had ever been and I started to become depressed for the first time in my life. After 6 months of struggling and not seeing any real improvement, I was prescribed 150 mg of Zoloft. I was told that this would be a much better drug for me even though I had very few issues while on Paxil. I reluctantly agreed and slowly began taking Zoloft in 2009 getting up to the full 150 over a few weeks. The first 6 weeks were touch and go but inevitably things fell into place and I felt like my old self again. I decided it was okay to compromise true recovery for the time being if it meant getting through school. Unfortunately, I got complacent and remained on Zoloft at different doses for the last 9 years. After a few years of working very effectively, I dropped my dose from 150 to 100 and then to 50 mg without much recourse. In 2012 while dealing with some very stressful life circumstances I suffered my first panic attack in the better part of three years and had a substantial set back lasting a few months. I was told to immediately re-up my dose back to 150 from 50. I slowly stabilized and picked myself up and moved to LA to get a fresh start. After a year or so I dropped back down to 100 mg and was stable again and thriving for the better part of another three years. I went to go and see a new holistic doctor as I had some lethargy and felt that while I was feeling “well” that I wasn’t “optimal”. He ran labs and felt it in my best interest to go on testosterone replacement therapy at 33 years of age. I was naively eager to see if testosterone would make me feel like superman so I happily obliged. I took the testosterone for 5 months bringing my number up from 500 to over 1100. I didn’t feel markedly different so I decided to stop. The doc ordered me to simply stop taking the testosterone. That was not a good idea. It turns out that like most anything else, Testosterone should be weaned off slowly. In stopping treatment it takes your body a little while to start making its own testosterone again. I crashed hard and had a major panic episode that turned into another prolonged and devastating setback. My testosterone dropped from 1100 to 120 and took months to rebound. In the last 2.5 years, I very slowly stabilized once again but never back to the level of my first few years on the drug. In October of 2017, I decided that I no longer wanted to be dependent on any kind of medication and decided to wean myself off to explore more alternative forms of treatment including plant medicine and other non-pharmaceutical options. I felt that I was finally ready. In 3.5 months I consistently reduced my dose and have been psych med free since Feb 1, 2018. Weening was a non-issue. In fact, I felt better while reducing the medication than I have at almost any point in the last 2.5 years. And then the problems began… I started to feel symptoms after a week off. It started mostly as discomfort and brain fog with sensitivity to light and a feeling of pressure in my head. In the weeks following, the anxiety and depression became devastating. My main symptoms are: existential anxiety/depression, akathisia, neuro emotions, irrational and obsessive worrying, negative thinking, crying spells, feelings of unreality, brain fog, morning anxiety, lack of desire to socialize, no sex drive, digestive issues, some mild sleep issues, and what I can only describe as a feeling of my brain being intermittently squeezed. Im sure there are more. I am constantly debating internally if I am really experiencing withdrawal or just having a massive relapse. Maybe this is just who I am now? Im almost 5 months med free and have seen some progression as I have some days that are okay but for the most part, I'm living in what I can only describe as the twilight zone. My whole perception of reality feels completely warped and it only further exacerbates my sensitized nervous symptoms. I am grateful in that I have an amazing support system of family and friends. Unfortunately, my long-term girlfriend and I separated a month ago which has certainly added an extra layer of stress. Luckily I work for myself and have passive income so I can take as much time as needed to focus on recovery. In the last 5 months, I have experimented with a ton of different supplements and neurofeedback. Neither has been particularly helpful but I am still toying with the neurofeedback. I should note that I also stopped taking Propecia last week after nearly 18 years of use. I constantly debate reinstatement or simply just starting a new med due to constant worry that this is somehow permanent or completely unrelated to Zoloft. In my moments of clarity, I am resolute in my decision to stay off meds and have the belief that I will find my way through this in due time. Those moments, however, are fleeting. Thanks in advance if you’ve made it this far. I'm looking forward to getting to know many of you and hopefully posting a success story in the not too distant future!
  24. 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!
  25. 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.
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