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Kenmar - Withdrawal from low dose of Zoloft?


kenmar

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Hi,

 

I was prescribed a low dose of Zoloft (12.5mg) to deal with anxiety in January 2015.  I had quite a few side effects in the first 6-8 weeks such as tremors, headache, inner shaking (if that makes any sense).  I continued on the 12.5 until June 2015, when the doctor told me to increase to 25 mg a day.  After only a few days I started experienced EXTREME exhaustion (unable to get up) and I was barely functioning.  He told me to just quit cold turkey because it was not a high does and I had not been on it that long (about 6-7 months).  He then went on vacation and left me no one to contact if anything happened.

 

Within about 3 days of quitting what I think are withdrawal symptoms started.  dizziness, feeling outside of my body, tingling in hands, headache but most troubling was profound depression/despair.  I was on my sofa for days crying and wanting to kill myself.  I tried to reach out to anyone at my HMO that I could to try to get relief and finally about a week into withdrawal I was told I just had to tough it out as I was so far into it at that point.  The emotional pain was so intense I thought it was going to kill me. 

 

It is now 6 weeks later and The physical symptoms are disappearing, but emotionally I am still struggling.  I feel that my emotional buffer is gone, and I have no tolerance for stress.  I also feel that everything and anything can quite easily turn me into crisis mode. 

 

Is it possible that all of this was related to not tapering off such a low dose of Zoloft?  Am I ever going to feel stable again? 

 

  

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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welcome 'kenmar' sounds like your having a tough time.someone will be along soon to advise you.

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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Yes, the 12.5 was a low dose, but anyone who is on an antidepressant for a month or more is subject to withdrawal, and one should definitely not go cold turkey after being on for that amount of time. I feel certain what you are experiencing is withdrawal. I am not very knowledgeable about reinstatement, but hopefully a mod will be along soon to advise you on whether you might want to consider reinstating a low dose to see if your symptoms will subside. If that is suggested, you would then want to taper that amount very slowly. The taper rate recommended on this site is 10% per month.

Zoloft 100 mg. daily for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since Oct. 1994 / Synthroid 88 mcg. daily / Supplements: Neptune Krill Oil-1,000 mg. twice daily/Astaxanthin 10 mg. twice daily/Ubiquinol 100 mg. twice daily (These 3 have allowed me to discontinue (approved by doctor) bp meds I was on. Calcium Citrate 500 mg. daily/Vitamin D3 2,400 iu daily/K2 (MK7) 100 mcg daily (osteopenia and fam. hist. of severe osteoporosis). Stress B Complex (1/2 dose)/Quercetin (for allergies/asthma)/Magnesium (400 mg. oral glycinate and about 50 mg. magnesium chloride spray oil a day, divided throughout day).

Tapered Zoloft about 6 wks. Totally off since the end of July (25-29, 2014). 3 wks. vertigo at end of taper, then 3-4 wks. OK, followed by withdrawal symptoms increasing in severity (nausea, gastric disturbances, loss of appetite, insomnia, restlessness, jitters, anxiety, agitation--jumping out of my skin--possible akathisia?) Seem to have paradoxical reactions to everything new, even Vitamin C. Severity of akathisia comes and goes, but is constant to some degree. Hard to leave house, and cannot be home alone. (Retired)

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Thanks - I am confused whether this is a new me...sad and depressed or if it is still withdrawal. I have really never had a problem with depression before this.

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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Welcome!

Yes, I had a simular reaction to zoloft. I wanted off after five months, from 17.5 mg, and had awful withdrawal. Here I am, four years later, still tapering. But now I am down to 1.26 mg. It's so so crazy. But I just couldnt function dropping bigger doses, and I have kids and by that time a job to care for. So yes, your symptoms are definately related to withdrawal. I am happy for you that the physical ones are gone. Stay strong. I am the sure the emotional symptoms will pass. (I am not the right person to tell if you should reinstate a small dose or not, I hope others will chime in.)

Current dose: 0! Free!  Quit June 2017.

2017: Last dose zoloft: 17 June 0,00065 mg 18 May 0, 001 mg 14 May 0,002 mg 9 May 0,003 mg 28 April 0,006 mg 19 April 0,009 mg 8 April 0,013 mg 25 March 0,019 mg 22 March 0,039 mg 18 March 0,052 mg 16 March 0,079 mg 4 March 0,086 1 March 0,099 mg 22 February 0,11 mg 15 February 0,13 mg 6 February 0,145 mg 24 January 0,15 mg 19 January 0,19 mg 10 January 0,20 mg 3 January

2016: 0,98 to 0,22 mg; 2015: 2,35 to 1,01 mg; 2014: 4,9 to 2,5 mg; 2013: 9,1 to 5,1 mg; 2012: 15,7 to 9,7 mg; 2011: Started on 25 mg - then 50 mg- dropped to 25- to 12.5 mg - back to 25 mg - after 18.75 mg started tiny tapering to 16.6 mg

Started on 25 mg Zoloft in March 2011 due to stressrelated tinnitus that gave me panicattacks. Had a terrible reaction to Zoloft from start, but was told to "hold on". After four months I was stuck. Therefore the long taper. Crazy, I know... Super sensitive to drops and have dropped by 4-6 % from the previous dose.

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Wow Amy! Thanks so much for the validation on this. Everything I read points to it being impossible on such a low dose and I certainly wasn't expecting it! But I have never been suicidal in my life!

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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Everyone is different, how one respond to ssri, and I am definately extremely sensitive. Actually I think I never should have started them...But somehow the helped me come out of a very vicoius circle.

Suicidal feelings are very common in wd if you tapered to fast and made big drops. But they wont last forever. Try to take care of your self, be kind, and try to look at your thoughts as just "neuro emotions", your brain try to refind balance.

I know that some moderators might say you could try to reinstate a very small amount to ease this pain, and then taper more slowly. But I am not the right person to say.

Current dose: 0! Free!  Quit June 2017.

2017: Last dose zoloft: 17 June 0,00065 mg 18 May 0, 001 mg 14 May 0,002 mg 9 May 0,003 mg 28 April 0,006 mg 19 April 0,009 mg 8 April 0,013 mg 25 March 0,019 mg 22 March 0,039 mg 18 March 0,052 mg 16 March 0,079 mg 4 March 0,086 1 March 0,099 mg 22 February 0,11 mg 15 February 0,13 mg 6 February 0,145 mg 24 January 0,15 mg 19 January 0,19 mg 10 January 0,20 mg 3 January

2016: 0,98 to 0,22 mg; 2015: 2,35 to 1,01 mg; 2014: 4,9 to 2,5 mg; 2013: 9,1 to 5,1 mg; 2012: 15,7 to 9,7 mg; 2011: Started on 25 mg - then 50 mg- dropped to 25- to 12.5 mg - back to 25 mg - after 18.75 mg started tiny tapering to 16.6 mg

Started on 25 mg Zoloft in March 2011 due to stressrelated tinnitus that gave me panicattacks. Had a terrible reaction to Zoloft from start, but was told to "hold on". After four months I was stuck. Therefore the long taper. Crazy, I know... Super sensitive to drops and have dropped by 4-6 % from the previous dose.

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  • Moderator

Hi Kenmar--  welcome to the group.  I'm so sorry that you're having a tough time of it right now.  As AmyK pointed out your symptoms are all WD.  These drugs are very powerful and you only have to take them for a month to have trouble getting off of them, to CT after  months use will surely cause you problems.  Also there is no such thing as a "low dose" even 1mg of this stuff can cause trouble.  A very good thing is that you have only been exposed to one drug, that will make tapering off of it a lot easier.  Do Not let your doctor talk you into taking anything else to make the WD easier, it never works.  Because it has been 6 weeks since your last dose it would not be a good idea to reinstate at that level because your brain has already started to adjust to not having any it would really confuse it.  However, reinstating a small amount, probably 5mg in this case will probably go a long way to calm the things you're feeling.  Once you're stable, which will take a little while, we can work out a good taper plan to get you off of this junk.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

If you would please add a signature block with all your drug information it would be really helpful

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature         

 

BTW--AmyK is a good one to listen to, I've know her since the beginning and she has been doing wonderfully on her taper.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thanks for the suggestions.  This is very helpful.  I am so glad I found this site because I felt so alone.

 

I was wondering if anyone knows of a study done of suicidal thoughts of going cold turkey from Zoloft?  I am putting together some research to  support what I have been experiencing.  I am still feeling very hopeless. 

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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I dont know much but I think you will be okay. The last 3 weeks for me have been so hard after going off only 2 months on Lexapro. I have had a lot of practice with anxiety and my mind and was in a very calm space for that 3 weeks which helped me get through it but man, yes i felt suicidal, night terrors, terrible headaches and constrictions, out of body, wierd tingling- all of it and more. It comes and goes and the only thing you can do for yourself is NOT TO PANIC because this sucks terribly , it does but i guess this is where we are at now. You are going to be fine, really .. it will just take a moment and reinstating if i understand it correctly will help a LOT of those symptoms from getting worse and at least you will be able to see it is just your brain rewiring and you are not crazy.. Here for you !

may 2015 - prescribed Lexapro 10mg started at 1.25mg and worked up - horrible reactions but kept going
june 2015 - decided I did not like Lexapro only got up to 7.5mg decided to taper
aug 2015 - Quit 1.25 mg on Aug 15th and have had severe withdraw for 3 weeks so far
Sept 10th 2015 Still experience intense nervous system activity -Not sure whether to reinstate? What mg to reinstate at?

Sucked really bad not sure it ever ended or where the withdraw ended and I began...

 

New Saga after worst nightmare above . Really trying to hang in their I cant believe I have to go through this again

May 2016 Zoloft 12.5 1 week to 25 1 week - Didnt like it. Titrating down to 18.75 for 4 days to 12.5 for days then told by doctor to do every other day for 1 week of 12.5 then every 3 days for 1 week. 

June 5th Last 6mg dose  ok with slight intense head tension and out of it, really tired Sun June 12th night terrors, fear and darkness all around tried to reinstate 6mg got a headache with it that day and then stopped . Last ferw days the tension in head and back have gotten progressively worse. Not sure what to do now kind fucked it all up.

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Thank you so much, Ashesinloght. I just get scared that I have damaged my brain somehow and I will always be this way now. I want to be happy again ????

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, kenmar.

 

"tremors, headache, inner shaking" from your initial doses of Zoloft -- those are an indication the drug was not suitable for you. Some people cannot tolerate antidepressants, and suffer what looks like withdrawal syndrome after they quit.

 

It seems like you might be one of those people. See our Symptoms and Self-care forum for suggestions about how to cope with symptoms http://tinyurl.com/3hq949z

 

(Anyone taking a psychiatric drug for 7 months is well advised to taper, even if they think the dosage is very low.)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I actually told the nurse about the initial side effects and they said I had to get through them for it to be effective. The side effects never went away completely, so the dr doubled the dose.

 

Zoloft has been a nightmare since I started it!

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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Altostrada-

Does that mean I didn't really experience withdrawal from the Zoloft? I am trying very hard to find a reason why I experienced suicidal feelings for the first time.

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome kenmar,

 

Even if someone has a bad reaction to an anti-depressant, if you stay on it long enough, you can also experience withdrawal from it because the brain and nervous system adapts to having that chemical there and so it has to adapt back when the drug is stopped.

 

Seven months is plenty long enough to cause withdrawal from stopping too fast. So in your case, you may be experiencing symptoms from both a bad reaction and withdrawal.

 

Often, when people experience a bad reaction when starting a drug, like you did, they stop taking it. If they have only been taking the drug for a few days, up to a couple of weeks, its unlikely they will experience withdrawal symptoms, but the symptoms of a bad reaction can be similar to withdrawal symptoms, so its difficult to say really. It can also take a while to recover from a bad reaction after stopping the drug.

 

But if the drug has been taken for a month or longer, its possible that symptoms are being caused by the bad reaction plus withdrawal. It can be difficult to tease apart what's going on. If symptoms get worse after stopping the drug, then its most likely that withdrawal is also playing a part and a small reinstatement may help.

 

If you wanted to try reinstatement, in your case I would try 1 - 2mg. If it didn't make you feel worse, or helped just a little, but not much, you could always add a little bit more.  See:   About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

You need to make this decision yourself, based on how bad you are feeling. Do you feel a lot worse being off the drug than on it. If the answer is yes, then there is a chance reinstatement may help. Reading the above topic will help you decide.

 

Withdrawal related suicide ideation is common, we have some discussions here:

 

Thoughts of suicide - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Help for those who are feeling desperate or suicidal ...

 

Do stay in touch and let us know if you decide to give reinstatement a try.

 

Petunia.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi Petunia,

Yes, I feel much worse being off the Zoloft than I when was on it. The side effects were bothersome, such as tremors, but nothing like the emotional black hole I am in now. Like I said, I was On it for anxiety, not depression, so this is something new for me. When I tried to stop it once before, after a couple of days I couldn't take it so went back on it and the profound depression lifted the same day.

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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Lots of the physical symptoms of withdrawal have luckily passed for me, but what I am left with is lack of an emotional buffer. After the intense depression/suicidal feeling during withdrawal, now my mind tends to jump back in that place easily. Before if I got upset I might feel a little funky, but now I get depressed and think I have nothing left to live for.

 

I have read others describe something similar like an intolerance of stress or the bottom falling out of their life. Have others experienced this?

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kenmar,
I joined your two introduction topics, its one intro/update topic per member. You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.
 
It can take a while for emotions to go back to normal after withdrawal and for some people, the 'negative' emotions come back first and it can take a while before the positive ones catch up.
 
Its good that you physical symptoms have gone, its a common pattern that the psychological symptoms are the last ones to heal.
 
See: Neuro emotions   and Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation - Surviving Antidepressants

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am still struggling with feelings of despair. I am very tired of feeling like I have no joy in my life anymore. It is a struggle to get through most days.

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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  • Administrator

You need to think of healing in terms of months, not weeks. Be patient.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I am just sitting in a parking lot crying. I hate myself so much.

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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kenmar, please try to ride this out the best you can.  Do you have a support person?  Someone you can hug and cry with? I was on ADs for only 2 months, jumped off cold turkey due to adverse reactions like you (internal shaking...was it a restlessness/agitation?) and I am at the end of 6 months off and still not well.  I have had a very rough ride, I couldn't even drive or take care of my kids.  At month 6 I am able to take short trips on "good" days....I escalated from depression, to anxiety, to anger, to agitation and back all over again.  Stay away from all stress.  YOur nervous system needs time to heal.  Listen to meditation videos on YouTube when things are bad.  Don't go messing around with supplements right now as you are very sensitive right now.  I tried Fish Oil but made the internal shaking worse.  I tried a little Vit C last week and a little suntheanine (l-theanine) yesterday but haven't done much.  I figure I'll just leave my system alone.  I cleaned our sinks today and all I wanted to do was fall down and cry because everything seems like such a burden.  My psych said because I had an adverse reaction it will take longer than someone who was able to take the drug and taper.   You and I are in a nervous system crisis.  Please hang in there!!!!

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You're not alone in what you are going through kenmar, I know its difficult, but this will pass. You were only on a low dose for a short while, you are going to recover, it may take a little while longer before you are back to normal, but you'll get there.

 

Have a look through this topic for some ideas:   Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



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VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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You will get better, Kenmar. Hold on!

Try gentle things, go for a walk, look at the nature. Time will heal. Many hugs!

Current dose: 0! Free!  Quit June 2017.

2017: Last dose zoloft: 17 June 0,00065 mg 18 May 0, 001 mg 14 May 0,002 mg 9 May 0,003 mg 28 April 0,006 mg 19 April 0,009 mg 8 April 0,013 mg 25 March 0,019 mg 22 March 0,039 mg 18 March 0,052 mg 16 March 0,079 mg 4 March 0,086 1 March 0,099 mg 22 February 0,11 mg 15 February 0,13 mg 6 February 0,145 mg 24 January 0,15 mg 19 January 0,19 mg 10 January 0,20 mg 3 January

2016: 0,98 to 0,22 mg; 2015: 2,35 to 1,01 mg; 2014: 4,9 to 2,5 mg; 2013: 9,1 to 5,1 mg; 2012: 15,7 to 9,7 mg; 2011: Started on 25 mg - then 50 mg- dropped to 25- to 12.5 mg - back to 25 mg - after 18.75 mg started tiny tapering to 16.6 mg

Started on 25 mg Zoloft in March 2011 due to stressrelated tinnitus that gave me panicattacks. Had a terrible reaction to Zoloft from start, but was told to "hold on". After four months I was stuck. Therefore the long taper. Crazy, I know... Super sensitive to drops and have dropped by 4-6 % from the previous dose.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Everyone-

I just wanted to update you. I was going through a very rough time when I last checked in. I was starting to miss work because of extreme depression (I was put on Zoloft for anxiety and had not really dealt with any lasting depression before). Long story, but I was finally put in contact with another psychiatrist at my HMO in October. I was in so much emotional pain I was desperate. It turns out he is very into nutritional supplements to help through depression and anxiety. So immediately he started me on l theanine, omega 3, 5htp, folic acid and multivitamins. I am also sure to get plenty of protein in my diet.

 

I was absolutely shocked at how quickly things started improving. I still can get upset and feel very anxious at times, but my baseline is so much higher it is tolerable. I see him once a month and he has me check in more often via email and he tweaks the supplements if necessary. I am still recovering, but I am starting to feel more and more like my old self.

 

He was very supportive hen I told him my story and said that psychiatrists are hearing more and more stories about negative reactions to antidepressants and there is growing concern. He also said that it sounds like I had a bad reaction to the Zoloft (like some here said!) and I should have been tapered off it at that point.

 

Thanks for everyone's support here-it really helped me through a rough time.

Started 12.5 mg. Zoloft in January 2015 for anxiety.  Dr. increased this to 25mg in June 2015.  Had horrible side effects after about a week or so.  Dr. told me to quit cold turkey because according to him I was on a low enough dose for a short enough time (over 6 months) that it should produce no withdrawal symptoms.  After a few days I started becoming extremely depressed (borderline suicidal), dizzy, extremely emotional, exhausted and separated from my body.  As of mid September 2015, many of the physical symptoms have disappeared but I am still struggling emotionally.  I have no emotional bumper left. 

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  • 1 month later...

I just read your last post. Good to hear, kenmar! How are you doing now?

Current dose: 0! Free!  Quit June 2017.

2017: Last dose zoloft: 17 June 0,00065 mg 18 May 0, 001 mg 14 May 0,002 mg 9 May 0,003 mg 28 April 0,006 mg 19 April 0,009 mg 8 April 0,013 mg 25 March 0,019 mg 22 March 0,039 mg 18 March 0,052 mg 16 March 0,079 mg 4 March 0,086 1 March 0,099 mg 22 February 0,11 mg 15 February 0,13 mg 6 February 0,145 mg 24 January 0,15 mg 19 January 0,19 mg 10 January 0,20 mg 3 January

2016: 0,98 to 0,22 mg; 2015: 2,35 to 1,01 mg; 2014: 4,9 to 2,5 mg; 2013: 9,1 to 5,1 mg; 2012: 15,7 to 9,7 mg; 2011: Started on 25 mg - then 50 mg- dropped to 25- to 12.5 mg - back to 25 mg - after 18.75 mg started tiny tapering to 16.6 mg

Started on 25 mg Zoloft in March 2011 due to stressrelated tinnitus that gave me panicattacks. Had a terrible reaction to Zoloft from start, but was told to "hold on". After four months I was stuck. Therefore the long taper. Crazy, I know... Super sensitive to drops and have dropped by 4-6 % from the previous dose.

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