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Hopeinahpwr


Hopeinahpwr

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Hi
I am new to this forum. I've been on zoloft for approx 15 years for OCD/anxiety. I decided to stop the medicine and naively thought just meant not taking the pills and I'd be fine. Two months in post-zoloft, was hit with brutal depression that I'd never had before. Very scared, I started back on zoloft and has been two weeks. I must quit this medicine and pray for support in doing so, hoping I can learn from others' experiences and also help those that I can with my experiences. I pray for you all.

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Hopeinahpwr and welcome to s/a,

 

I imagine things have been very unpleasant for you, after your cold-turkey.  Quite a shock to the system.  You will be able to eventually live drug-free, it's just a matter of getting the right information and support.

 

What dose of Zoloft were you on when you C/T'd, and what dose did you return to two weeks ago?  What has happened since you reinstated?  (Actually, if you could fill out a signature – drugs/dates/dosages etc - so we can see your situation easily whenever you post, that would be great). 

 

When we have those answers we can help you to get stabilised, and when that's happened, we can help you start a gentle tapering plan.

 

We recommend a gentle taper, reducing by no more than 10% of your current dose each month.  This allows your brain time to adjust as you go, and lessens any withdrawal.  Tips for Tapering Zoloft.

 

In the mean-time, many people find Fish oil and Magnesium useful during withdrawal.   

 

Have a read of those and then you can come back to this thread to discuss things further.  This will be your journal to record your tapering and healing progress, and to ask questions. 

 

Glad to have you with us,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Hope! 

 

You will find that there are very few people in this world who can just "quit the drugs" with no effect.

 

They change your brain while you are taking them, and you need to sneak the drug away - trick the brain into thinking "it's all the same."

 

Additionally, there are other factors to consider when coming off the drugs:  support (family, social, therapeutic), personal self care (diet, exercise, meditation, methods for coping) and learning how to "sit" with the symptoms.  Some of the symptoms can be avoided by a careful taper, but there are no guarantees.

 

We recommend a 10% taper, see:  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

I know, I know, the drugs don't come in these dosages, the pharma companies have yet to recognize that we need much smaller, and graduated dosages in order to get off of them safely.  So we often use liquid to taper precisely:  How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule  It is very important to be precise, especially as you get down to lower dosages - each change has a greater effect on your system.

 

Even though you only have one drug that you've listed here - please fill out a signature:  How to complete your Signature or Complete your Signature from Phone or Tablet .  Please include dosages, changes in dosages (including the 2 weeks you were off completely), and how long you have been on them.  That way, no matter where you post, we know who you are and what you have been through.

 

Look here to see what others have said about tapering off of your particular drug:  Tips for Tapering off Zoloft

 

Also - please consider listing any other drugs that you are on, such as blood pressure, heart, cholesterol, pain, anxiety, etc - these things can have interactions and can affect your symptoms while tapering.

 

You can do this!  Many of us have!  I am completely off pharmaceuticals now, just managing with supplements (and food, and yoga and tai chi, and acupuncture!).  

 

While you get ready for your taper, please consider adding Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil  to your regimen, to assist in smoothing the nerves and facilitating your healing.

 

I'm sorry for all of the links - but there are so many tools here to help you.  These are the ones I've selected for you today.

 

Again, welcome, and I hope you see the sun today!

 

edit:  I see Karen got here first - looks like we have the same ideas about how to help you!   ;)

Edited by JanCarol
nod to Karen

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Karen, JanCarol,

Thank you both and I already feel a bit better from your words. I added my signature. Karen, I was on 150mg of zoloft when I tapered off over a months time to nothing. Was fine until about a month and a half in, was hit with this overwhelming depression, which I'd never felt before. I had started the Rx for OCD/anxiety. Needless to say I was terrified. With work, my family...I could not feel like that. I went back on 50mg for five days, and am now at 100mg. The positive is I'm not at 150 anymore, but still want to go off totally. My Dr wants to taper me at 25mg intervals over a longer period, so I am trying to prepare myself by not only having this forum and the help of fellow AD users like yourselves, but also by trying to prepare for the worst. I am not looking forward to the journey, but hoping to reach a light at the tunnels end.

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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JanCarol,

I do not take any other medications, thank God and over my wean period, I went from 150, to 100, to 50, to 25mg. I was fine until the one and a half month in period. That along with reading about oppositional tolerance and the new depression...it has scared me to the core! I am now practicing meditation and want to be free of this drug. It served its purpose, but now want to be free!

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Hope , welcome to the site.

Have you read the thread on reinstating here ? http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

We would have suggested trying to stabilize on a much smaller dose than the 100mg.

" I went back on 50mg for five days, and am now at 100mg"

 

If it's only been 10 days since you updosed , you may want to consider going back down by 25mg and stabilizing there.

Either way , after this hiccup , best to wait a good couple of months before beeginning to taper.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi Fresh,

Thank you for your input. You know, I went to 50mg and something told me to stay there. Now I wish I had, but figured I was on 150, so 50 wouldn't do. That is why I'm here now, for input and I appreciate it. Will restart taper in a couple of months, figure I'll stabilize now.

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Aha , now that was you higher power telling you that and directing you here ;).

 

You still can go back down with minimal disruption. It's your last opportunity to settle on a way lower dose.

 

Maybe consider it overnight.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Upon awakening this morning, I was not anxious as I have been. I believe this forum is already helping me a great deal and all of the great feedback I have received thus far, along with the meditation I have begun. I am both sobered and excited for the road that lay ahead, as I now see that my trying to stop the Zoloft approximately two months ago was the next stage in my life beginning, my life free of an AD. I am feeling sometime mid-summer I will begin the taper, as now I have a few stressful events that lay ahead...home purchase, hopefully a move, new happenings at work, etc. While I want to be "done now" and free...I know this will be a journey and one that will take time. I believe in myself, my family and everyone on this forum and pray for a future of relief.

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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 Hope . That was a big jump .  Why did you go so high ?     I agree with Fresh .   You could have maybe stabilised on a lower dose.

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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AliG,

Honestly, I was so terrified and over taken by the sudden depression and feeling that I was out of my mind...I figured getting the dose higher would help faster, maybe! Now I know that is not the case. Also, my appetite disappeared...I've lost 10 lbs and am thin to start with...just a bunch of scarey stuff all hitting me at once that I did not see coming. I was two months out and wasn't even a thought on my mind of any issues...naivety I guess, but thought was done with zolift and that was it!...

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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Hello,

So I've stabilized on 100mg of zoloft, which I feel is a positive step, as I was on 150mg before my first attempt at going off. I am having little bits of depression, or a general "dark cloud" over me from day to day, but usually not for long...which again, I hope is a good sign that my mind is adjusting to the lower dose and will hopefully continue to do so as I decrease at some point. I definitely have fear about doing so, as the brutal depression I got hit with was rough...but I'm hoping that was from tapering to fast over a months time and not a sign of me now having a future of chronic depression, as what I read in a few studies that are out. I'm so anxious to move this process along...but I know in my heart it is going to be a slow and long journey, it has to be from what I see and read...

 

I pray for us all and hope that our original good intentions of helping ourselves for what ever reason we began these ADs for, will not end in horror.

 

I appreciate any thoughts and prayers.

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Glad to hear you are in a place now where you are able to manage things Hope.  Be sure not to rush into another drop - a good period of stabilisation will be essential. 

 

Personally I no longer believe in chronic depression, despite having struggled with depression for most of my life.  I now believe that depression always has a cause, and that we can find ways of healing.  Not saying this to dismiss your fears, but to offer encouragement.  There are many ways to bring healing into our lives, and building up a strong nest of them around us can provide support to get us through.

 

If you want more details about how I've managed (and not managed!!) depression, the ups and downs are all in my blog (link in my signature). 

 

Karen

x

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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KarenB

Thank you for your guidance and words. The toughest part of all this for me has been the thought that I started zoloft 15 years ago by my own doing to better myself, my life from the OCD/anxiety...only to find out now I may have done more damage than good. I see in your bio that you have a husband and daughters...well I can relate, as I have a wife and daughters and I too fear so greatly after this first bout w quitting that tapering and trying to come off will affect me so greatly, that it will stop me from doing what I need to for them...they are my everything and I'd rather die than cause them pain or suffering. I am hoping to restart the journey to finally end my zoloft use by summers end. I appreciate your help and would love to learn from your experiences to help me. I will pray for us both!

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator

Hey Hope!

 

It sounds like you are comfortable at 100 mg.  That is better than before.  Thanks for doing your sig - now that we have a better picture of you - we can better help you find what you need.

 

OCD has special considerations - it's like a "retraining process," - though really - isn't all healing?  Anyhow, the powers that be find that CBT, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the most effective way to retrain OCD.   Here's an example of CBT from the UK:  http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/SelfHelpCourse.pdf

 

That said, mindfulness is always good too.  Mindfulness and Acceptance

 

This is a great time - a time to build your support and plan for your taper.  So many of us (well, heck, you did it, too) just charge in and start quitting before we have a plan in place.  It's so much better when you can control your descent down the cliff, instead of just free-falling.  

 

In rock climbing, we don't just jump.  We collect the ropes and equipment, we test the ropes and knots, we surround ourselves with a good team who will help us when we get in a tight spot - we train our bodies, making them strong enough for the climb.

 

The SA equivalent to this might be - an exercise program for your body, a Cognitive and mindfulness program for your symptoms, some sort of therapy - or a support group of friends and family - and maybe a work plan, too.  (like, do your first taper on a holiday - so that you can see what your pattern is, and plan your future tapers accordingly).

 

It's great to see someone who is looking at the long range, instead of hurrying through.  This long range view will immensely help you succeed in your goals.  Hurrying tends to make you go backwards, because it throws the element of chaos into your journey.

 

You can do this!  Please keep us appraised - you may still have some symptoms a couple of months after your last adjustment.  These drugs are famous for delayed withdrawal reactions.  I'm telling you this not to scare you - but  so that if you have an increase in symptoms, you aren't "getting sick again," Instead, you will be able to say - "oh, it's just delayed withdrawal," "It's just a symptom," and ultimately, "It's not me, it's the drug."

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hi JanCarol,

Thank you for your words and wisdom. The CBT UK course you gave me looks great, in fact I'm going to utilize it going forward in my treatment. I love the rock climbing metaphor, excellent! I actually used your post this morning to feel better, as I had a touch of anxiety and grey cloud over me and thought of what you wrote, "A symptom...it's not me, it's the drug!" Thank you for your caring and I hope you will follow my journey and be a friend along the way.

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator

Hopeinahpwr,

 

First off, curious as to what the screen name means -- hope in a higher power? (just a guess). Anyway -- fill us in. Like to know how people come up with their names. LOL.

 

Thank you for stopping by my thread. Much appreciated. I assume you found me and PB by searching for sertraline/Zoloft taperers and came upon us?

 

You and I are similarly situated -- wife and daughters (I have 3) and feel the need and pressure to make sure they are provided for and OK. One of the keys to the whole process of withdrawing from an SSRI and dealing with the effects that arise (assuming they do -- one can hope they won't be too bad) is that you have to learn that YOU MATTER TOO. It is so easy to get caught up in the role of provider, husband and father that we forget that we have needs and when this stuff rears its ugly head it is absolutely okay to spend a day doing nothing because your CNS needs it -- even if the yard needs cleaning, the car needs maintenance, etc., etc., etc. Trying to go through withdrawal while pretending nothing has changed can be very challenging. I know because I've done it for a while and, frankly, when I feel like total crap I just can't always do it. You need to have SELF-COMPASSION in this process. It is critical to your healing journey.

 

You will be fine so long as you buckle in and make sure you go slow and stay careful. Having lopped off the first 50mg and feeling pretty stable, your plan to hold for several months (as encouraged by all of the mods) is spot on. It will be easier to get the taper started in the summer in NY (my state of birth and first 18 year home) when life slows down a little and the demands on you are lessened.

 

For the meantime, welcome to SA and gather your materials and build your toolkit for use later on. Things like meditation, yoga, EFT, visualization, journaling, deep breathing, etc. are all great during bad withdrawal periods, but they are also of great value in the "real world."

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Hi Andy,

Yes, my screen name means hope in a higher power. I believe we all need a little help now and again! I was definitely drawn to the sertraline in your intro, as I'm dealing with the same AD. I wish we could had met in a different way other than this site, as it means we are both in tough situations with coming off the AD, but it's comforting to know you are a fellow NY'ER (past) and that are current states are similar, ie, wife, daughters, providers, husbands, fathers...I am grateful for your talk on self compassion and about fearing withdrawal while still carrying on thru our lives...it's something that currently causes me much discord...but I will use what you have said to work thru the feelings. I have been meditating and am starting to journal, and am planning on furthering my taper within months. I thank you for your words and advice and will pray for you and your family. Walking thru hell is not fun, but atleast I know there are other good people there too in the struggle!

 

Thanks Andy,

 

Ben

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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Today I am feeling as bad as I have in a while, since coming off the med. I awoke with thoughts of our impending move to a new house and all the logistics that entails, so maybe that caused the black cloud to arrive, idk. I struggled to get out of bed. Hoping by this evening, as has been the pattern, I will see the cloud leave. Last night was great, home with my wife and daughters instead of at work, was great, felt great! What a horrible joke, to start these medicines to help and feel better...to only hurt from their effects! Like retiring and dieing a day later!...I hope it is not pandoras box. I pray!

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Not easy when that happens.  Might be time to really get into some good self-care along the lines Andy suggested above.

 

http://Non-Drug Techniques to cope with emotional symptoms is the place to start.

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Karen,

When I click on the link in your message, it doesn't open? Want to view it, is it written correctly?

Thank you

Ben

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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Thank you ChessieCat!

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator

Hey Hope - while you will have Neuro-emotion while you are withdrawing - 

 

Moving house is a stressful thing!  I think it's in the Top Ten list of stressful things in your life.

 

So your feelings about moving house - the overwhelm, the anxiety, the uncertainty - are likely very real (if amplified by Neuro-emotion).

 

Be kind to yourself.

 

Here is a baby pygmy possum to remind you about being kind to yourself.  When you start to ruminate or bash yourself, look at this possum, and think - does this possum deserve punishment?  No, it deserves gentle kindness, patience and sweetness.  So do you.

pygmy-possum_zpskryl6vcs.jpg

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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JanCarol,

Thank you for your kind words and I do agree, anyone would have reason to be anxious about moving, as it is a large task! Fun, but also stressful! That little guy is adorable and I love animals, always have...thank you for making me smile! I am praying for us both...and might I add...Australia, what a beautiful land!!!!! :-)

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

Link to comment

They say every dark cloud has a silver lining...well, though I'm very early in my struggle to live free of zoloft, I'm finding myself to be more loving, more caring and more compassionate towards others, to total strangers! I guess going through such a struggle only opens ones eyes to others struggles, as we all have our own cross to bear.

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

Link to comment

Today was the worst morning I'd had since I c/t'd. I received good news, that was lined with possible bad news. As I had just awoken, this brought on a dark cloud over me that was fairly intense, atleast for what it has been. Long story short, reading about CBT and utilizing it for that brief period, totally helped me fight off the cloud. I'm praying and feeling that these brief periods of depressed mood are good for me; signs that my brain is beginning to heal...and giving me opportunities to actually learn to work thru my negative thoughts and feelings, as opposed to them being masked by the zoloft. I've also been crying a lot lately and it feels great!!!!! I've decided to start up AA again, I've been sober for 6 years this July, and am feeling a depression group may help me too! Praying for us all!...and hoping for the day when I can help others feel better.

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

Link to comment

Hang in there hope. Take one day at a time has a whole new meaning for me since I started withdrawal...I am actually doing it instead of saying it. I sometimes have to use different tecniques at different times of the day depending on what symptom I am "conquering" in that moment.

I was on Lexapro 10mg, once a day for about 8 yrs combined with Abilify 2mg, once per day and Klonopin ,25-.50mg up to 4 times a day. Prior to that multiple trials of various SSRIs and low doses of unsuccessful various mood stabilizers in anticonvulsant category with the same dose of Klonopin for a total of over 16 yrs.[/font][/size]Withdrawal from Abilify around Aug. 2015 and slow taper of Lexapro began late Jan. 2016. As of January 2017 I am 11 months full withdrawal from Lexapro and was .25mg of Klonopin at night.(went to .25 klonopin at night only somewhere in October)<p>**Update with my Klonopin taper. I was on .25mg at night and .25mg in AM with varying doses of .125mg during day, maybe once or twice on as needed basis. Starting in early September 2016 reduction of .125mg day dose was decreased to only .25mg AM. Over 2-3 weeks was down to .125mg AM for about 3-4 weeks. As of sometime in October down to only .25mg at night. As of 1/7/17 I am updosed to an additional .25mg at night, for a total of .5mg. As of June 23, 2017 I am on a liquid tapered dose of klonopin. Current dose 4.1ml as of February 21, 2018**

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Hi Cheryl,

I guess that's all we can do, take one day at a time. It's funny, a lot of these psychotherapy techniques I learned in school, but never really thought too much of them until I really needed to. They do really help. I see you too are new to the forum, please don't be a stranger. I see your in Michigan...I camped once on the UP on Lake Superior...breath taking!!!

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ha, sorry about that link - I sure did send you round in circles, linking you back to your own thread :wacko:.  Thanks Fresh for providing it. 

 

But what a positive post from you since then - lovely! Nice work with the CBT.  I bet you're stoked to find it works - doesn't that feel amazing when you've struggled for so long?

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Hey Hope..just wanted to stop by and say thanks for commenting in my thread. I see you decided to reinstate..so Glad that worked out for you. I'm sure there's challenges but you should be able to have a lot more stability that way. And yes, "one day at a time" has brought on a completely new meaning to me as well. Since I've been in this bad setback, it's been more like "one moment at a time." hope you are well.

Intermittent Klonopin use February, 2014 to September, 2015

- Off of SSRIs completely since April, 2012 

- Had horrible side effects from Celexa (constant feelings of terror, insomnia) so stopped taking it after 6 weeks

- Started 20 mg of Celexa in February 2012

- Began to taper off of Zoloft in May, 2011, off Zoloft completely September, 2011

- Increased Zoloft to 75 mg October, 2010 and decreased back to 50 mg in February, 2011

- June 2009- Went on 50 mg of Zoloft

- October, 2007 - July, 2008- Celexa 20 mgs (tapered off fairly quickly)

- 2006-2007- On Effoxor for about 8 months- switched to Prozac and cold turkeyed off

- 2005- Paxil and Lamictal for a few months but stopped taking because it didn't work

- 2004- Paxil for a few months but quit taking because of increased feelings of depression

 

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Celeste,

I envy you so and am happy for your freeing you self from ADs. I am praying for you, please pray for me in my journey to be free.

Ben

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

Link to comment

Thanks Ben! I will pray for you too. I actually envy you...I tapered off in 4 months and it was too quick. I've had protracted issues for the past 4.5 years. You are fortunate you were able to reinstate and taper slowly. Take your time..slow and steady is really the way to go. You'll get there!! -C

Intermittent Klonopin use February, 2014 to September, 2015

- Off of SSRIs completely since April, 2012 

- Had horrible side effects from Celexa (constant feelings of terror, insomnia) so stopped taking it after 6 weeks

- Started 20 mg of Celexa in February 2012

- Began to taper off of Zoloft in May, 2011, off Zoloft completely September, 2011

- Increased Zoloft to 75 mg October, 2010 and decreased back to 50 mg in February, 2011

- June 2009- Went on 50 mg of Zoloft

- October, 2007 - July, 2008- Celexa 20 mgs (tapered off fairly quickly)

- 2006-2007- On Effoxor for about 8 months- switched to Prozac and cold turkeyed off

- 2005- Paxil and Lamictal for a few months but stopped taking because it didn't work

- 2004- Paxil for a few months but quit taking because of increased feelings of depression

 

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Celeste,

now that you are off the ADs, how are your original reasons for going on, the depression???...how are you dealing with it???

Ben

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

Link to comment

I've been doing well for the past 4 or 5 days, no anxiety, no dark cloud. Been meditating and using CBT when either of those issues approach. I started reading tonight online, the same articles about long term AD use and have managed to get myself upset, again...about how they cause long term depression, worsening, anxiety, etc, etc...God, please let there be light at the end of this tunnel for us all, I pray for us all.

Ben

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • Moderator Emeritus

If only we could set up apps that prevent us reading such things - similar to how parents keep their kids from seeing 'adult' stuff online. 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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