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FierceG89: Introducing myself and need some help/guidance


FierceG89

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Hello all. This is my first post to this website. Here's my history.. 27 years old male. October 2014 I had a bad panic attack that started this whole downward spiral. Me or my family has no prior history to anxiety or depression. My doctor put me on sertraline to help with the anxiety. The highest dose I was ever on was 50mg. March 12th 2016 was my last dose at 25 mg. here is my problem and I'm kind of freaking out. The good news is my anxiety/panic attacks are gone haven't had one since October of 2014. But now I am suffering what feels like major mood swings and depression. I felt like everything was great when I stopped. That lasted about 2 weeks. What I am trying to figure out is if I am going through withdrawal symptoms maybe because I didn't taper slow enough or if now I have depression. I was not put on this medication for depression. I have days where things seem ok slightly good but more days of depression mood swings don't want to do anything. I forgot to mention earlier that prior to October 2014 I was drinking 2 energy drinks a day and 15 beers a night. I do not drink anything with caffeine anymore and I rarely have a beer or 2. My wife has been very supportive and has me on vitamins and supplements. I just need some insight on if indeed this is withdrawal or if now I have actual depression. Please any information would help tremendously.

Edited by scallywag
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FierceG89- Drug/withdrawal history

 

Started sertraline 25-50MG October 2014

Stayed on 50MG until around January 2016 then dropped to 25MG

Last dose was March 12th 2016 25MG

Re-instated 25 MG April 25th to alleviate withdrawal. May have been to much might drop to 12.5MG

Been completely off of ssri since may 1st 2016

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hello Fierce, 

 

I am glad you have found SA - welcome!

 

It would be helpful if you could give us more information about your taper.  The fact that you jumped off from 25 mg amounts to a cold turkey, which is why you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  At SA, we recommend a 10% taper, which is a harm-reduction approach to keep the greatest number of people comfortable and functioning as they come off their meds.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

It is very common for people to feel fine for a couple of weeks after jumping off and then get hit with withdrawal symptoms, anxiety and depression being among many.  So, undoubtedly, your depression is a withdrawal symptom, not a new mental condition.

 

It would be helpful if you could fill out your signature block with your med history and taper schedule so that the mods and others can see it at a glance without having to dig through your thread as it grows:  Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature  You can use your Intro as a place to ask questions about your situation, give updates, express concerns, etc.  Bookmark your Intro for easy access.  By clicking "Follow," you will be notified when others respond to your thread.

 

These links will help get you familiar with what is happening.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

Neuro Emotions

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

 

I included the link about reinstatement because when a person has jumped off their med rather recently as you have, less than two months ago, we usually suggest reinstating a small amount of the medication you are withdrawing from because it is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  Since protracted withdrawal can last months and even years after a cold turkey or fast taper, we feel this is the best approach to get you well again, and then you can taper off properly.  No time is saved by toughing it out.  We have members on this forum who did cold turkeys and are still having windows and waves 2+ years later.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

So, once you have read through these links, come back and ask questions!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

Link to post

Hi Fierce. Welcome to S.A.

It sounds like you are suffering withdrawal symptoms. This can happen after stopping the drug abruptly. As it's only been a couple of months, it might be worth reinstating a small amount of Zoloft to ease your symptoms. Perhaps 1-2 mg,  and then you can taper off later.

The depression can be a  withdrawal symptom, particularly if you never suffered from that condition previously. It is typical to be fine for a few weeks or months, before symptoms appear.

It sounds like your energy drinks and beer , could have been what originally started your anxiety, in the first place. I would definitely avoid caffeine and beer, in the future, particularly in withdrawal as it has a  detrimental effect.

 

It would be great if you could if you could put your drug history and withdrawal history in your signature. It appears below each of your posts, and helps people understand your context .

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Have a read through these links as well. They will help to explain a little more.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Please come back with any questions you might have.

Ali

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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I have updated my signature thank you!

FierceG89- Drug/withdrawal history

 

Started sertraline 25-50MG October 2014

Stayed on 50MG until around January 2016 then dropped to 25MG

Last dose was March 12th 2016 25MG

Re-instated 25 MG April 25th to alleviate withdrawal. May have been to much might drop to 12.5MG

Been completely off of ssri since may 1st 2016

Link to post

So I have since re instated 25mg of sertraline to help with withdrawal symptoms. This was on Monday. I felt fine for a few days now i am still feeling depressed. Did I re instate at to high of a dose or do I need to ride this out?

FierceG89- Drug/withdrawal history

 

Started sertraline 25-50MG October 2014

Stayed on 50MG until around January 2016 then dropped to 25MG

Last dose was March 12th 2016 25MG

Re-instated 25 MG April 25th to alleviate withdrawal. May have been to much might drop to 12.5MG

Been completely off of ssri since may 1st 2016

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Fierce,

 

I've merged your new topic into your Intro/Update topic.  It is one Intro topic per member.  You can use your topic to ask questions and to journal your progress.  If you click FOLLOW (top right) you will be notified when someone responds.  You can also save it as a Favourite so you can find it again.

 

Could you also please update your signature each time you make a change with date and dose so it remains current and can be seen at a glance?  Thank you.

 

What improvements have you noticed, and withdrawal symptoms are you currently having and have they worsened?  Are you keeping notes on paper?  This information will help the staff to offer suggestions.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 mg

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hi Fierce, 

 

When you went from 50 to 25 back in January, did you notice any difference - did you feel any withdrawal symptoms?  

 

How is your sleep?  Has it changed after this reinstatement?  Are there any other symptoms other than depression?

 

You did a 50% cut initially in January which would require many months to adapt to, followed by what would amount to a cold turkey about 6 weeks ago, so this reinstatement may have been a bit large.  As AliG mentioned above, we normally suggest a much smaller reinstatement of around 1-2 mg because we want to test the waters to see how the nervous system tolerates the drug again; we want to avoid adverse reactions that would make you feel worse.  One can always titrate upward to find a level of relief that is acceptable without overshooting the mark.

 

Hang on and we'll see what the group consensus is about where to go from here.

 

SG

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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I am sleeping fine. Never had a problem with sleep. Really the only symptoms I am feeling are slight depression, apathy. I take my medication at night so I was possibly thinking about only taking 12.5mg tonight which is half of a half. Thank you everyone for your support! Keeps me going in these dark times!

FierceG89- Drug/withdrawal history

 

Started sertraline 25-50MG October 2014

Stayed on 50MG until around January 2016 then dropped to 25MG

Last dose was March 12th 2016 25MG

Re-instated 25 MG April 25th to alleviate withdrawal. May have been to much might drop to 12.5MG

Been completely off of ssri since may 1st 2016

Link to post
  • Administrator

Welcome, Fierce.

 

It looks like you reinstated 25mg April 25. It takes about 4 days for your system to fully register a dosage change. Please let us know how you're doing.

 

If you're feeling fairly well and sleeping well, if I were you, I would stick with 25mg.

 

Apathy is a common side effect of antidepressants. Otherwise, it may take your system some time to settle down from going off too fast in March.

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 for your reply. I am feeling ok today little blah but nothing horrible. I will stick with 25mg for awhile and then start tapering properly.

FierceG89- Drug/withdrawal history

 

Started sertraline 25-50MG October 2014

Stayed on 50MG until around January 2016 then dropped to 25MG

Last dose was March 12th 2016 25MG

Re-instated 25 MG April 25th to alleviate withdrawal. May have been to much might drop to 12.5MG

Been completely off of ssri since may 1st 2016

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Fierce,

 

Good to hear that you are feeling reasonable.  I'd like to suggest that you post here BEFORE you start your taper, just to get a second/third opinion about whether you have held long enough.  In most instances it seems better to hold too long rather than not long enough.  And a lot of people think that they are ready to drop their dose because they have been feeling okay for a few days.  It's not a race.  Patience is very helpful when it comes to tapering so that you can do it with minimal discomfort.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 mg

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hey Fierce - 

 

You live in some pretty countryside!  When hubby and I were courting, we did the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, and I remember having a rough time finding a room in Traverse City one night!  We found a rough 'n' ready cabin somewhere just off the main road - and awakened the next morning to birds over the lake!   Somewhere around there I picked up some Petoskey stones that I still cherish!

 

You've received good advice.  I agree with Alto that depression, while a symptom of withdrawal, is usually not a symptom of "too much" drug.

 

"Too much" looks more like insomnia, zaps, muscle problems, anxiety stuff.  Overstimulated stuff.  

 

Please let us know how you're going in a few days on the 25 - it looks like you're going to be just fine!  Plus - if you had started a 10% of current dose style taper in January, you would still be on more than 25 mg at this point.  

 

I would suggest holding for another 2-3 months, once you start to feel better.  Hurrying this process does not necessarily get you out any sooner.  In fact, hurrying it, can sometimes lead to a much longer, more difficult problem.

 

And the good news is, when the time comes to taper (maybe a few months out) - you can control it.  You can choose - "hmmm, visitors this weekend, maybe not taper then" or "gee, 3 days off - not going to see anyone, I've learned from my journal that the first 3 days after a taper are the hardest - maybe a good time!"

 

The slow taper puts us in charge.  We can't eliminate all the symptoms, but we can manage them much better on a slow taper.

 

Maybe you aren't one of the ones who needs a slow taper - but here's the thing:  if you read around the site, you will see a lot of people suffering who came off their drugs too quickly.  It's so much better to be conservative, and treat these drugs with respect (something a lot of doctors would do well to learn!).

 

Welcome to SA!

"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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  • 6 months later...

Hey everyone! It's been awhile since I've posted I guess you could say things were going ok until just recently. As it says in my signature, I have been off Zoloft since May 1st 2016. I did not taper really at all which could be my problem. Here's the thing.. I felt ok all summer long with only minor symptoms here and there. I even joined a gym in july and I go 3 days a week. Was feeling pretty good until a few weeks ago when I started having anxiety, slight depression, stomach and digestion issues, slight fatigue just generally feeling blah. My question is for re-assurance more than anything, am I still experiencing protracted withdrawal? I've read everywhere online it can take the brain up to a year to heal itself and return to homeostasis. Just looking for some insight. Also, I am

Not drinking alcohol or caffeine. These new/returning symptoms came out of nowhere. Thank you!

FierceG89- Drug/withdrawal history

 

Started sertraline 25-50MG October 2014

Stayed on 50MG until around January 2016 then dropped to 25MG

Last dose was March 12th 2016 25MG

Re-instated 25 MG April 25th to alleviate withdrawal. May have been to much might drop to 12.5MG

Been completely off of ssri since may 1st 2016

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, withdrawal symptoms can occur down the track.  Sometimes people feel withdrawal immediately upon ceasing the drug, others have a honeymoon period where they feel great for a couple of months.  The latter happened to me when I CTed my previous SSRI AD.  I felt the best I had for many years but unfortunately it didn't last long and then I crashed and ended up on SNRI AD.  This was before I discovered SA.

 

From post #1 in this topic:

 

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.


And just like the Twin Towers- it's possible - but the buiding is a major effort -and it takes a good year or more sometimes."

 

Also see Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization, Brain Remodelling and Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

My favourite is the Rubik's cube analogy.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 mg

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

Alright so I've been off sertraline since May 1st 2016. I went from 25mg to nothing. Definitely had some protracted withdrawal symptoms throughout the summer but it wasn't bad easily manageable. Here's my situation..since right before thanksgiving I've been having some major issues that came out of nowhere and it would be nice to get some insight. It started with trouble taking deep breaths and constantly needing to do so. Went to the doctor and everything came back normal. I go to the gym 3 days a week so I'm in great shape, I don't drink alcohol or caffeine. Lately I've been hit with pretty bad depression and lingering anxiety. The weird thing is I sleep fine. I also take a multi vitamin, fish oil and a calcium/magnesium supplement. Just would like some insight on if this is just more withdrawal symptoms or what. Also, I never had depression or anxiety prior to staring sertraline. Was put on it for having a panic attack a few years ago. Any insight or reassurance would be awesome.

FierceG89- Drug/withdrawal history

 

Started sertraline 25-50MG October 2014

Stayed on 50MG until around January 2016 then dropped to 25MG

Last dose was March 12th 2016 25MG

Re-instated 25 MG April 25th to alleviate withdrawal. May have been to much might drop to 12.5MG

Been completely off of ssri since may 1st 2016

Link to post

Forgot to mention I tried L-tryptophan supplement for a week and half, felt great at first then quickly diminished

FierceG89- Drug/withdrawal history

 

Started sertraline 25-50MG October 2014

Stayed on 50MG until around January 2016 then dropped to 25MG

Last dose was March 12th 2016 25MG

Re-instated 25 MG April 25th to alleviate withdrawal. May have been to much might drop to 12.5MG

Been completely off of ssri since may 1st 2016

Link to post

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