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Twinmom - long-term effects of SSRI discontinuation?


Twinmom

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Twinmom has now recovered and written her success story!  It can be found here:  

 

Twinmom Success Story

 

_________________________________________________________

 

Hi, 

 

I just stumbled on this site after finding a few moments to look up ways to manage my irritability, anger, and unbelievable mood swings and overreactions to everything. 

 

I have 2-year-old twins; prior to becoming a mom I had no history of mental illness. I had the "baby blues", as many moms do - intense sadness and crying for weeks after birth. My kids were in intensive care in the hospital for a month, as preemies, and a traumatic birth, all of which probably had something to do with the intensity of those early feelings. 

 

Then we brought them home, and the realities of having newborn twins, and no family or help nearby, was instant. Within a couple of months I understood that I had PPD, and went to my new family doctor. My symptoms were classic depression I guess - hopelessness, exhaustion, constant teariness and crying, and eventually, suicidal thoughts. And one panic attack resulting in a trip to the hospital. Because of the darkness of the worst of my thoughts I thought I needed to go on medication to stop with the dark and suicidal thoughts that scared the **** out of me.

 

My doctor, while kind and understanding, didn't say anything about the possible difficulties of eventually going off of an SSRI down the road. Because I was breastfeeding, she prescribed "Zoloft", which they think might be on the safer side for milk transfer. Anyway...

 

Fast forward to today. about 18 months later. I went from 50 mg to 100 mg a day, then at 1 year, when my self harming was at its worst (I think the self harming was from the drug mostly) my doctor wanted to incrase to 150mg. Before doing so I decided to make other changes instead. Try to fit in more exercise, eat healthier, and go down to 50 mg a day instead of up to 100mg.  I knew I had to get off - the list of symptoms from being on it were horrible and long. The worst for me was incredible exhaustion. For the first year of our kids' lives my husband and I barely slept...but once the kids started to sleep better, and my exhaustion was the same, I knew for sure it was the drug causing it. 

 

Anyway, I was so desperate to get off this horrid medication that I did it all too quickly, and there were many many horrible effects of "discontinuation". I constulted my doc eventually and did a slow taper over 6 months. A terrible 6 months. I lost myself. 

 

Then, I found myself. 

 

But then, I lost myself again. There is a raging monster inside of me that is not part of who I am. Since I've been off this drug for 3 months, the irritability and anger and hyperarousal or whatever you want to call it has not gotten better. [self Harm*] has gotten better.

 

When will these mood symptoms disappear completely? I'm hoping for some happy ending stories...like "in 6 months off the drug completely you will be alllll better and back to normal". 

 

Thank you whoever's out there reading....

 

L.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added success story link

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hi Twinmom,

 

Welcome to SA.   Sorry to hear of your experiences with depressive symptoms and antidepressants.    I know you want to hear clear statements about time but we don't have a crystal ball so its not that easy.   I also am still a bit unsure about some parts of your journey so I'd like to ask some questions if I may:

 

1.  Are the mood disturbances the only symptoms you have had during your taper and afterwards?

2.  How have your symptoms changed and what is there current pattern - are they getting worse, staying the same, coming in waves (particularly over the last 3 months since you have been off)?

3.  What current strategies do you have in place in terms of diet, supplements, exercise, other non drug ways of handling your emotions?

 

I'm sorry to bombard you with questions but we like to have a fairly good picture of what has been happening for you before we help you to explore your options.

 

On another note, can I ask you to put your drug history in your signature - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

I'm confident we can offer you support through this

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Welcome 'twinmom'

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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Welcome twin mom!

I do hope things improve for you.

I bet your twins are adorable!

Good luck to you,

Tgirl

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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  • Mentor

Welcome twin mom

 

So dreadful, if a drug doesnt work, instead of cutting it down, the doctors, double it, then triple it!  Horrific!  

 

So glad you are wanting off the stuff, and you are on the right track,   anyway, welcome...........   I felt the same with my first born....all I can say is getting out, mixing with other moms (I was very isolated too), and when they hit kindy etc, life just gets so much more fun......

 

At home isolated with babies, isnt easy................  

 

Anyway, welcome again!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

ps I am a zoloft survivor..........   make sure you are not on it, if you wish to fall pregnant again    xx

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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Thanks. @dalsaan: thanks for your questions. A few quick answers

 

1. The mood disturbances are only from discontinuation :(

 

2. I don't know but I think "waves" is probably a good description for the past 3 mos. I felt so proud and like myself for the first time once I got off altogether, then within a month or so I became crazy. The 6 month taper was worse though.

 

3. Self control, running as often as I can (1-2 x a week for 6-7 km), daily 1-2 he walks in nature, and a bad relationship with sugar :/

 

Will fix the signature as soon as I can and respond more when I can.

 

xo

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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Oh and probably the biggest help is regular breaks from mom duty - soon as hubby gets home I go work on my own stuff and paid childcare 1-2 afternoons a week.

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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@ang: thank you! Yes, we do our best to get out and about! I have cabin fever at the best of times :) the first year with twins is beyond words, but there really is a big milestone after that - with improved sleep (slightly) and communication. At two they are so much fun. If it wasn't for the dragging on effects of the Zoloft/depression life would be grand. Well, it is grand, and I'm thankful for it. There are many people who suffer around the world - my worries are small in comparison. But they are mine - I just want to be myself again, and say goodbye to the raging monster hiding inside :/

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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Tm,

 

I'm glad that you are able to get out a little. Especially important to get help with twins.

You will get a lot of support here.

I wish you well,

Tgirl

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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The anger is definitely part of withdrawal.  I am at the end of 6 months off cold turkey and I have such pent up angry/anxious energy I feel like exploding every second of the day.

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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Thanks KT38 - I needed to hear that. That the anger is the drug and not me :***(. Real tears, sitting in the car. At least I CAN cry.

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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Yup, it is a minute a wake up until late evening feeling for me.  I barely laugh with my kids anymore and just want to throw stuff (but I haven't), but I know it will not release anything because it will just build right back up again.  I hear my kids laugh and I feel sad because that is the way I used to laugh before I started these stupid drugs (I was only on for 2 months). I go from really bad anxiety, to anger, to despair/hopelessness, to "where am I and what am I doing here", to you name it.... it is a rollercoaster.

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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I'm so sorry to hear that. Do you have some coping mechanisms?

 

I'm let it (the rage) out every few days, but not towards living creatures (kids, pets, hubby). But I keep damaging our house so I need to stop. It kind of helps but I also feel like a complete loony after I do something like that. And also sometimes the kids and animals watch me do it - and we all know kids copy everything mom and dad do - so I need to keep it contained. Getting better at it. Breathing. Going to look into meditation asap. Big hugs.

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You could try this

 

 

 

 

 

Also, what about a punching bag? Good exercise, saves the house damage

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks :) in the heat of the moment a punching bag would do great :) but a) I've already burst enough blood vessels in my hands and wrists by punching things for one lifetime, and B) as a pacifist sort of person, I really don't want to be in the habit of unleashing. I just want to be myself again - myself being pretty cool and collected when not pmsing. So c) I really hope this anger won't be around for much longer :(

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Twinmom.

 

Feelings of isolation, not having any help, and not being able to sleep are not PPD, although they are very frequently diagnosed as such. They are the unfortunate but normal signs of a society that does not support new mothers.

 

At any rate, here you are with withdrawal syndrome, which is what those out-of-control feelings are about. Skipping doses, as you did in the last leg of your taper, will trigger withdrawal symptoms.

 

As you're 3-4 months off Zoloft, it's hard to say if reinstatement at a low dose, 2mg for example, would help. If it does, you'd stabilize on that for some months and then taper off by tiny amounts.

 

See What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

It's up to you if you want to try this. If not, see our Symptoms and Self-care forum  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/for suggestions about how to cope with symptoms.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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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Thank you! My tapering for the final 4-5 months was doctor's program - unbelievable that she'd tell me to do the dose skipping if it adds to withdrawal problems. Boooo.

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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  • Administrator

Skipping doses is a terrible way to taper. A lot of people are here with withdrawal syndrome after doing this.

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'm not going to try any more medication at any dose, but have already seen some good alternative strategies on here for what I hope is the final stretch of this sh*tty ssri journey. Thanks again!

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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It worked "okay" for me toward the end for the immediate physical symptoms like stomach pain, vertigo/dizziness and more, but it makes total sense that such an approach would just totally mess up ones brain :(

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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@ Altostrata: There is no doubt I did/do have PPD, in addition with those other sad symptoms of new motherhood that reflect a disconnected society rather than a mood disorder. As I mentioned, looking to antidepressants only happened once I started to feel suicidal, after several months of near-constant hopelessness, anxiety, sadness, crying, and other symptoms. 

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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  • Administrator

Twinmom, anyone would have felt the same in your situation as a new mother!! That is what is meant by the medicalization of society.

 

Anyway, now to the next chapter....

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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Yes - if I had had the help I needed at home I could have dealt with the emotions I was having without resorting to medication. Medication that seems to have been developed with a pathetic amount of clinical follow up, to treat a symptom of low serotonin; not to treat the cause of anything. xo

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Even the low serotonin theory has been rejected.  They do not know what causes depressive symptoms or what happens in the brain when you flood it with antidepressants.  

 

Anyway for this last bit of the journey I highly recommend non drug methods to manage what you are experiencing.   I really do think the video above could help when you are angry and if done as an everyday practice could diminish some of your mood swings.

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Welcome Twinmom. I can relate to a lot of your story. I had two children 11 months apart. The oldest child was a terribly unsettled baby and survived on hardly any sleep. I spent my entire pregnancy with my daughter still waking up a dozen times every night to console my son. Thankfully my daughter was a placid baby and I kind of got through the first year although constantly sleep deprived. Then I fell pregnant again when my daughter was 2 and a half (my son was 3 and a half) and on top of being exhausted I was also turning 43 and my body struggled with another pregnancy. My son was born seven weeks early and was in ICU for six weeks. Looking back now I am amazed at just how well my body coped with the stress of what I put it through. No wonder the doctor labelled me depressed and put me on antidepressants. 

I wish you well as you withdraw from your medication and look forward to a brighter future. 

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  • Mentor

Hello again twinmom

          

Thinking about your anger.................   my daughter had medical problems that caused her severe migraines, non stop......... and as her grandfather suicided   OH SHE MUST BE DEPRESSED, CAUSING HEADACHES,  BS!, even her "brain doctor" NOT A DAMN PSYCHIATRIST, A BRAIN DOCTOR  (whatever you call them, silly old fart!).............wanted to put her on ADs   she was only about 13-14................ (her only problem turned out to be horrifically congested sinuses...........and they didnt know till a gp ordered a damn cxt scan)................ anyhow, easier to prescribe her ADs............. she didnt cope with them very well, ended up taking herself off them     (this was before my own horrors with the stuff)......

 

Anyhow, for her birthday at about 13.....she wanted a punching bag  (and gloves!)....................  even at 16, when she moved 2,000km away, she took her punching bag..................   she doesnt need it now........... she did need it then...........

 

Buy yourself a punching bag, and gloves.............. worked for her, and now, I can only imagine what she went thru getting off stupid AD drugs for migraines caused by sinus infection/blockage

 

Yep she had an operation on her sinuses, and she has had no headaches, since....................

 

so sorry, I rambled a bit............. get your hubby to hang up a punching bag for you, and make sure you have gloves, saves the knuckles!!!  :)

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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Thanks Dalsaan - I'm looking into meditation and/or yoga classes that might fit my schedule. I try to limit "screen time" where I can! But I think the idea behind your video would definitely help on a regular basis.

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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Thank you princesssb for your post! I hope you're doing better. My dark cloud lifted once I was off of medication, there are just these setbacks that happen, mood related, that I need to get past/cope with until better. Xo

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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Thank you for your post ang. I shudder thinking about children being out in medications like these :( I can't even imagine what you and your daughter must have gone through. Though children are amazingly resilient too. I'm so glad she recovered from both the condition and the drug experiment :( I'll hold off on a punching bag for now :) it's not "me" at all :) xo

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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Oh man - if only you could see the mess these two rugrats just made in the time it took me to type those replies :)

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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  • 4 weeks later...

Had a bad while. Am now on day 8 of no sugar/crap in my diet and starting to feel a major turnaround. It was hard to say goodbye to chocolate for some time, but I think clean eating is going to be my key to kicking this.

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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Had a bad while. Am now on day 8 of no sugar/crap in my diet and starting to feel a major turnaround. It was hard to say goodbye to chocolate for some time, but I think clean eating is going to be my key to kicking this.

 

 

Hi Twin Mom - just wondered how you are doing now? I am currently 3 months without citalopram and feel really

strange!! I have been seriously considering going back on the tablets as I feel so emotional and unstable - it would really help to hear if you are feeling any better especially since cutting out the sugar.  I have found that I think I have found a solution only to suffer a real set back a few days later.

Started Contraceptive pill at 14 years of age

Started Prozac 1998 Various different anti-depressants  including Sertraline

contraceptive pill stopped 2010 - given mini-pill - stopped due to no periods

Injured back 2010 - given Co-codamol for back pain

Started Mirtazapine 2011 - intolerance to Mirtazapine (suicidal thoughts, weight gain, memory problems

Changed to Citalopram 20mg - reduced to 10mg after a while

2013 - given Diazepam 2mg - for anxiety to be taken as and when (I abused them)

taken anti-histamines for years for sinus problems

August 2015 - after small tapering stopped taking citalopram

Cut down on Co-codamol stopped taking anti-histamines

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Hi LJ2015 - Sorry to hear you're dealing with setbacks too. Well, I have no doubt that cutting out sugar is going to help. I'm definitely what some people would call "sugar sensitive" (I'm sure most people are!). I'm pretty sure my thoughts have been clearer. I've been trying to keep track on my calendar of "bad" days and "better" days, with regards to mood, but I don't see any trend yet. I know I feel better off sugar and with clean eating though. But, it still seems that it doesn't take much to throw me off. I cut myself for the first time in a long time, the other week. And bruised my hand punching the wall today. And broke some stuff in the house. The flare ups (uncontrollable, hyperarousal anger kind of flare ups) still happen, with little warning. I just keep trying to rise out of myself to control them. Look at the situation rationally and withhold the urge to act out. So, in summary, no, not myself yet. But clean eating, and exercise, undoubtedly, are the way to go. Good luck. xo

I took Zoloft at 50mg/day, then 100mg/day, for 18 months for Postpartum Depression. My dr wanted to increase to 150mg, at which point I decided I needed to get off (at about 1 year). I had many debilitating symptoms but it took me a while to recognize that it was the drug causing the problems. I tapered off over 6 months, and had lots of horrible discontinuation symptoms. I went from 100 to 50 by alternating doses (doctor's plan), for probably 2-3 weeks, then to 50, and stayed there for several months. Then down to 25mg/day alternated with 50 mg/day for a couple of weeks, then straight 25, then every other day 25, for like 2 weeks each time, down to one dose of 25 every few days, then off completely. I'm now 3-4 months drug-free but still experiencing severe mood fluctuations and some depression and self-harm. Just wondering when it's all going to end and when I'll be back to my old self. As long as the answer isn't "never" I just want to hear other stories. xo

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Hello Twinmom, I have also twins. Almost 3 years old. I got a pain from caesarian delivery, they did not really look for a cause, immediately said it was postpartum depression and gave me medicaments. I would have never taken it, but I had such pain, I was almost suicidal, so I took it and now in withdrawal I am bumping my head how i could be so stupid to take those. Nevertheless, I know how you feel. And I remember also how it was to feed the children all 4 hours and not be able to sleep at night. I was sometimes so tired, I fell asleep if they were hungry or not and in the morning found out "Oh, my God, something is crying here and I found out I slept eight hours and they were hungry ..."

05/2013 Lyrica 100 mg / per day for pain + PGAD resulting from caesarian delivery11/2014 started to taper: 50 mg per day/ for one week then c/tafter one month reinstated at 50 mg /per days of 10 July 2015 drug free-

symptoms OCD

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If you have a smart phone then there is an app called "Pacifica" that allows you to monitor your mood / sleep / appetite.  It's relatively free as long as you don't want to get in to the Meditation side of things on a regular basis.  I would definitely recommend it if you want to keep track of those stats.

 

I too suffer from sugar sensitivity as I also do with caffeine, but it is getting easier, sometime I can eat chocolate or a nice sweet dessert with out any dramas, other times it take a day or so to get over the sugary hangover.

 

Namaste.

1997 - 2001 Seroxat 10mg

2001 - 2013 Escitalopram 10mg

Gradual taper from 10mg to 5mg over 2.5 years (between 2011 - 2013)

Last taper from 5mg to 0 under advice from doctor done in 1 month (too damn fast!) - included missing out days.

Have been drug free since Oct 2013.  - Yep 5 years drugs free

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@ Altostrata: There is no doubt I did/do have PPD, in addition with those other sad symptoms of new motherhood that reflect a disconnected society rather than a mood disorder. As I mentioned, looking to antidepressants only happened once I started to feel suicidal, after several months of near-constant hopelessness, anxiety, sadness, crying, and other symptoms. 

I feel for you Twinmom, I really do....this is exactly how I ended up on meds. I felt the same way. Started out with the typical anxiety of new momhood, the isolation that as you say comes from our pathetic disconnected society (even my Dr said a new mom would never be left alone day in and day out in a different culture, a tribal culture for example)...and after about 6-7 months of trying to get out, walking, all the things I hoped would help...its just deepened into suicidal thinking and despair, I finally asked for a drug, and the rest is history. I believe its hormonal, sleep deprivation, isolation, a nasty combo that puts moms in this position and its so difficult. I wish you success in your journey and much healing!

2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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