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RachelSusan

RachelSusan: Zoloft - on, off & reinstated

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RachelSusan

Coming out of wave. Thank goodness.  Did NOT up dose.  Thanks to all who responded.

RS

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oops44

thats great news rs. now you know what to expect in a wave and how to handle it. thats got to be encouraging. i myself have been encountering some, shall we say... resistance. nothing major and almost not worthy of mentioning. 

 

i have been having issues with show tunes getting stuck in my head though. positively torturous. one after the other, just relentless really. currently humming along to the "facts of life" theme song. theres nothing on the warning label about that symptom!

 

could be worse i suppose. 

 

keep hangin tough :^)

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bubble

That's such an important milestone: going through a wave without resorting to drugs and then experiencing that things get better without drugs.

 

Doesn't that feel liberating? Once people allow themselves this experiences they are half way to a successful taper. Congrats :)

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RachelSusan

Starting to stabilize however I seem to be left with a low level internal trembling.  No one can see it, it feels to me sort of like when someone puts their hand on a motor boat; those types of vibrations are what I feel in my limbs a lot of times.  Anyone else experience these?

RS

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ChessieCat

Hi RS,

 

I did a search using Google:  survivingantidepressants.org + topic (in this case internal trembling) and found a post from AltoStrata (I've created it as a link to click on):

 

Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:05 AM Many people have reported a sense of internal vibration or shaking in the middle of the body. This may be radiating from the vagus nerve, a central juncture in the autonomic nervous system. Acupuncture may help, have you tried it?"

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RachelSusan

Hi ChessieCat,

Thank you for the link. I really appreciate you looking this up for me. I have read it and will re-read it again. I am indeed looking into acupuncture.

RS

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ChessieCat

Hi RS,

 

You're welcome.  Here is a link about acupuncture.

 

Post #6:  "I had wonderful success with acupuncture. What I learned from fellow AD w/d sufferers before I went was make sure that they understand that you do NOT want detoxification. That can really cause problems while you're super-sensitive to chemicals of all kinds, including your own(!).

My acupuncturist knew about AD withdrawal, and she treated my symptoms: brain fog, racing thoughts, anxious/frightened feelings. She was also helpful with insomnia."

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oops44

yo rs, just checking in to see how its going. hope all is well.

 

i had a family friend years ago who swore by acupuncture. wasn't much she said it couldn't help. she'd get accurately punctured for migraines mostly if memory serves, although i think she also had it done to alleviate a dietary allergy of some sort. she had this glass bottle she carried with her always, like a moonshine jug with the pinky loop ya know? had to have held at least a gallon so i know it must have been a chore to lug around. anyway she was from colorado and kinda into new agey type stuff like crystals and the like and she had these stones and crystals she kept in the bottom of the jug. she claimed each one did different things for her health and i must admit she was healthy. wouldn't drink from anything else if she could help it. infinitely interesting specimen this one was. definitely had her own thing going and it seemed to work for her. 

 

i hope you can find what works for you too.

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RachelSusan

Hey Oops,

How nice to hear from you.  I have been having a few problems.  I was fairly stabilized and then I got a wave for about 36 hours, which  I am just starting to come out of  now. I have not been exercising for months and then the day before the wave I got on a treadmill for a slow walk. In the middle of it I started to feel the wave coming on.  The wave stopped for a few hours but then hit me that night, hard.  I wonder if it was that that triggered it, or the fact that I was listening to the "Best of Weird Al Yankovic, The Christmas Collection." That can be pretty exciting music and might have over stimulated my CNS.  On a more serious note maybe there is no trigger, maybe it's just coincidence. I think I am going to get a big jug that I carry around just like your family friend.  I'll have to figure out what sort of things to put into it though, maybe that will help.  I've decided to wait a little while longer on the acupuncture. I just got a relaxing massage and that seemed to set off my CNS, had a small wave after that. So I decided to wait just a little longer for the acupuncture.  How are you doing?  I read your posts and it seems like you have a nice Friday night not too long ago, trying to lock your symptoms out of the house, or something like that.  At least I hope it was nice, that the symptoms didn't ooze in under the door and get you.  I think I am going to put new triple pane windows in my house, along with some sort of door air lock system to try and keep them out.

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RachelSusan

Hello,

 

I just wanted to say that after reinstating Zoloft, at the beginning of July, I appear to be stabilized.  I use "appear" because one never really knows.  I will stay at this does a while and then I will begin a 10% taper. I will know when the time is right.

 

I wanted to let everyone one this site know where I am at so that If you find yourself in the situation I was in you do not give up hope. Thank you Moderators for your valuable information and your guidance.  This was the worst thing I have ever been through in my life and your help offered me that helping hand that I needed.

RS

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bubble

Thank you for the update and please hold some more.

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RachelSusan

Hi Bubble,

I will hold for a while.  Not sure how long it will be, but I trust with all the information on this site I will know when the time is right.

RS

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downtongirl

Glad you feel stabilized RachelSusan.  I hope this gives you some peace and you can relax.  I think when reinstatement works it is best to hold as long as possible....I should have done that last summer when it looked like my prozac bridge from effexor was keeping me stable....oh well!  Enjoy your stabilization!

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oops44

oh my! i lost internet access for two days to a bum modem and when i come back everyones posting good news. i must confess your news comes as a bit of a relief for me (and surely you too) as i was beginning to wonder about you.

 

i am very happy for you and happy that you're doing well and hopefully you're happy and continue to be happy and everyone will be happy.

 

stabiliz"ing" - "ing" not "ed" - is definitely a work in progress. to be honest i don't think the journey ever ends. once you've had the experience of withdrawal you can never forget it. we may have been forever changed but that doesn't mean we're forever damaged. almost certainly you have learned things about yourself that you never would have otherwise and grown stronger as a result, and for that i think congratulations are in order.

 

you should read some of jancarol"s stuff. she's killin it right now too.

 

keep fighting the good fight. all the best.

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downtongirl

oh my! i lost internet access for two days to a bum modem and when i come back everyones posting good news. i must confess your news comes as a bit of a relief for me (and surely you too) as i was beginning to wonder about you.

 

i am very happy for you and happy that you're doing well and hopefully you're happy and continue to be happy and everyone will be happy.

 

stabiliz"ing" - "ing" not "ed" - is definitely a work in progress. to be honest i don't think the journey ever ends. once you've had the experience of withdrawal you can never forget it. we may have been forever changed but that doesn't mean we're forever damaged. almost certainly you have learned things about yourself that you never would have otherwise and grown stronger as a result, and for that i think congratulations are in order.

 

you should read some of jancarol"s stuff. she's killin it right now too.

 

keep fighting the good fight. all the best.

 

I love what you typed about ...."we m ay have been forever change but that doesn't mean we're forever damaged"....love it...great way to look at our situations!

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RachelSusan

Hey Oops,

 

It was good to hear from you.  How you feeling?  I am happy.  Are you happy?  Is everyone happy? You are correct, I should say I am stabilizing, not stabilized.  Because just when you think it's safe to go back into the water....

 

RS

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RachelSusan

Hi Downton Girl,

 

Yep, I am going to hold a while.  And when the time is right I will do a taper of 5% or 10%. Slow and easy....  Thanks for the good thoughts.

RS

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oops44

yes rs i am happy. I'm not going through life pollyanna but things are pretty smooth other than the booze bobble last week, and i can't really complain about that because i knew the potential outcome mightn't be pretty before i made the decision to drink. what can be said other than…. oops?

 

all the fundamentals - sleep, eating, thinking, mood, health - are at or exceeding acceptable levels, and more importantly i feel confidence in my ability to deal with any withdrawal issues that do arise. i don't live in fear of the fear any longer and have become comfortable with the idea of it being a presence in my life for the time being. my mind is free to ponder the greater mystery that is my life and begin building the new one i want. I'm looking past the issues instead of at them.

 

all in all I'm in a good place right now. hope you are too.

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RachelSusan

what can be said other than…. oops?

 

That's funny. I love your attitude.  I'm going to use the "oops" for myself. 

 

I feel like I have entered my own personal Olympics training. I sadly cut out cocktails and caffeine, additionally I have been exercising regularly and getting to sleep on a schedule. I am in training for whenever I start my taper. (yes I know hold for a while) For any of us that have gone through withdrawal there is nothing more arduous, draining, or frightening. It takes the courage of a lion to get through.  Hopefully my taper won't be nearly as demanding as being in withdrawal, but I am going to over train so I am ready for whatever comes my way.

 

To all on this site, I wish you recovery, whatever form that takes for you.

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RachelSusan

Hello all,

I would like to purchase a scale for my taper.  I found a link on this website for a scale, I think it was $30.00. When I went back to look for it I couldn't remember where I saw it. If anybody here can provide the link to me I would appreciate it.  Thanks so much.

RS

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RachelSusan

Ali,

Thank you very much.  I appreciate the help.

RS

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oops44

wowza! looks like you're rockin and rollin right along.

 

personally I'm still holding as I'm not in any hurry. i have managed to answer most of my questions and whittle away at most of my concerns concerning tapering. presently I'm down to one and its a biggie. a concern so concerning that it has been given its own acronym by all those concerned. out of sheer superstition i won't speak this acronym aloud or even read about it when i see it posted. its the one symptom i truly feel i don't know if i could deal with….

 

….ok ill stop being dramatic now. but seriously pssd sounds like a total bummer and i hope it doesn't get me! aaaaahhhhhhhh!

 

too much information yet rs? :^)

 

all the best on your taper. keep kicking butt.

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RachelSusan

Hey Oops,

I won't mention the dreaded acronym pssd.  Oops, I mentioned it.  Is that an Oops as in, I made a mistake, or is that Oops, as in your name?  We will never know. Well Oops (this time it is your name for sure), sometimes when one is going through withdrawal they have the opposite of pssd. I am not kidding. So while you might be miserable going through WD, you might not have that problem.  The only questions is, for those of us that have the opposite of pssd, is there anyone that would want to be around us during WD, and do we really want to be around someone else?  OK, levity aside, I hope you are doing well.  As witty as ever I see. Not to much information, If I can survive WD I can survive a little extra information.

RS

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RachelSusan

I'm ready to taper. I purchased my scale. I prepared an excel spread sheet to track any symptoms that might occur. I am taking magnesium, fish oil, and I am currently exercising. I've been drinking homemade decaffeinated green tea with ginger, have cut down on processed sugar, and have eliminated alcohol and caffeine from my diet.  I have read a lot of information on this site, sometimes reading the same thing repeatedly because I retain more that way. I feel like Rocky Balboa in training. I am ready to try a little taper. One little one.

 

On a slightly separate subject I wanted to list some of the symptoms I had when I was going through my withdrawal. The reason for doing this is because when I came to this site, not even knowing what WD was, I was frightened and confused by what was happening to me. I wanted to see what symptoms others had so I could compare.  I had primarily physical symptoms and I did see those mentioned here but I would more frequently read about anxiety and other emotional symptoms.  So if I can help just one person that has lots of physical symptoms and wants to see if what they are experiencing during their WD is "typical", and I use that word typical in quotes because we all experience WD so differently, then I want to help that person.

 

Physical symptoms I had:

 

1. Tremors - and they came in all forms. Small internal vibrations all over my body. Large external shaking that others could see. I had muscle twitches, and jerky movements when I tried to use fine motor skills, like writing or picking up an object. I had tingling, sort of like pins and needles, all over my body. These various symptoms could last a few minutes but could also last all day.

 

2. Hot flashes & sweats - they also  came in various forms - feeling like I had a fever, sometimes lasting 30 seconds, sometimes lasting hours.  This hot feeling could be alone, or accompanied by profuse sweating.  Sweating so extreme that people could see it and touch me and feel how wet I was.  I could sweat so much my clothing would be soaked and if it was during the night, I would wake up with the bed soaked.  I started putting large beach towels under me so when I went to bed I could discard them one by one and still have a dry bed.

 

3. Insomnia.  In fact that is how I found this site.  During one night when I couldn't sleep at all, feeling like I had drunk a million cups of coffee I kept googling all my different symptoms.  I came up with a variety of illnesses but as the sun began to rise the word "withdrawal" came up.  Bingo, I knew.  I started to use withdrawal as a search term. The search term "Withdrawal antidepressants" brought me to this site.  I was home.

 

4.  Headaches - again all types.  Tight around my head type of headache, brain zaps, top of the head, you name any type of headache and I had it.  Bad bad bad headaches.  Again, could be 30 seconds or could be all day.

 

5.  Nausea - Never actually threw up but sure felt like I would.  Again, the feelings could come and go or just hang around for hours.

 

6.  Loss of appetite. Lost quite a bit of weight.

 

7.  Sinus pressure and ear pressure. I was convinced I had an ear or sinus infection.  But after seeing the doctor I was cleared of any infection.

 

8.  Dizzy - And yes, there were all types of dizziness. There was what I call woozy, that's just a feeling of being off, and could at times include loss of balance when walking. There was vertigo, true vertigo, the room was spinning all around me and I felt like I was going to vomit. I sat in a chair for almost 36 hours because to move would start the room spinning again.  I slept in that chair and I stumbled to the bathroom when I had to use it.

 

9. Comprehension problems.  Couldn't process thoughts, couldn't remember anything. I could barely string two sentences together.  In fact the entire process is foggy.  I am going off of notes I started to take at the suggestion of the people on this site. 

 

10. Flu like symptoms.  Can't being to describe this. I hurt. I hurt everywhere. However I couldn't describe specifically what hurt, or how it hurt.  I couldn't say it was a sharp pain, or a dull ache.  I just knew I never felt so sick in my life.

 

These symptoms lasted for weeks, until I reinstated, and then it took me weeks to stabilize. It's horrible to write this down, I hate to relive it, however if even one person sees themselves in me and says, Ok I feel better knowing what she went through, there is light at the end of that dark tunnel, then it is worth it.  I did stabilize at the end but during the process of stabilizing I went through what a lot of the people on this site go through, I wondered if I should up-dose because it didn't seem to be working. I held steady because of the excellent advice I received here, I was just slow to stabilize, that's all. In fact when I went back on my medication I think I went back on at too high of a dosage but that was because I had just found this site and hadn't explored enough. The advice on how to reinstate was here all along but I couldn't explore a lot because I could barely read and hold my thoughts together. I am not suggesting anyone should follow my course of action in regard to medication, I am no doctor, I not a moderator here, I am just a person telling my story and hoping it helps someone else. I am trying to extend kindness because when I arrived here, torn, beaten-up and fragile, that is all I received, kindness, and I really needed it.  I am now ready for a small taper. Wish me luck!

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RachelSusan

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention what I am tapering.  That would be the Zoloft (Setraline).  The Gabapentin discussion will be had once I  get the Zoloft tapering situation under control. One thing at a time...

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oops44

seems you only came here to do two things: kick butt and chew bubble gum, and it looks like you're all out of bubble gum. 

 

give em hell rs, and best of luck on your journey. 

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AliG

Rachel.  I hope it goes well with your taper. It's a well thought out plan and you have shown a lot of patience already which is a good sign for the future. You have been in training and it should stand you in good stead for this process.

All the best,

Ali

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RachelSusan

Hi Oops,

Great to get a post from you. To tell the truth I am a little, I mean a  lot, nervous about starting this taper. It feels like I'm going to jump off a cliff when in reality I am only taking a tiny step down. The FDR quote "Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself," while one of my favorites does not apply in the case of going off of ADs too fast. In our situation we should "be very very careful". Which is an Elmur Fudd quote, and he is a character from the Bugs Bunny cartoons. I find it ironic that the best quote for my particular situation comes from a cartoon which is supposed to be funny. Nothing funny about AD withdrawal.  Any way I have have come to kick tushy. "Cover Me, I'm Going In".

RS

 

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RachelSusan

Hi Ali,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the vote of confidence.  If you look at my above post for Oops44 you can see that while I retain my sense of humor I am still frightened. Everything is in place though, the scale is due to arrive Monday so I start the taper on Tuesday. Unless of course the scale is late, in which case I'll be late to my own taper.  But they can't start the party (I mean taper) without me.

Rachel

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AliG

Rachel. You are in such a good place for this taper.  You are fit and ready.  Compare that to someone like myself two years ago who had no clue and had " cold turkeyed " after 15 - 20 years on the drugs . I was thrown off the cliff . You are informed and know what to do and how to do it ! 

I have the utmost faith that you can do this and you also have the support and information from this site. We are here for you.  

All the best,

Ali 

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Skeeter

RS,

Thank you for the kindness you have shown to me. I read your intro thread before, when you first messaged me, but did not comment, as I just did not have it in me at the time. I see you have not posted here in a while, and am wondering how you are doing now?

 

I see you started your taper on 9/6, is that correct? How is that going for you? Care to share any details? I am not quite ready for my first cut, but will be soon, and I am very scared, nope- scratch that, am terrified to start this whole process. Any side effects? I am hoping that no news is good news on your end!

 

I can totally relate to how you felt when you went back and did a post about all of the signs and symptoms you had when you first arrived at this site. I had no clue that this would be traumatic for me- just as it seems to have been for you. Were you surprised that it affected you so much? I was clueless that it would be difficult in any way, but am glad I did it.

 

I hope you are doing well!

S.

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RachelSusan

SKEETER!!! Happy to hear back from you.  You ask such great questions. Yes, I was surprised that these medications affected me so much. I had no clue what was coming my way. It was like a tsunami hitting me. Reinstating was the only course of action for me.  I am so grateful I found this site. And yes I started my taper.  I now know what to expect.  My experience has been that after a cut in dosage I will start feeling symptoms about 3 to 4 days after that cut and those symptoms last for about a week to 10 days and then they fade away. My symptoms  during that bad period are feeling internal vibrations ( sort of like internal shaking), headache, and possibly a little hot and sweaty.  I would say on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest, the level of discomfort ranges from about 3 to 6. Once in a while I feel these flu like symptoms but those are rather low, around a 3. I am going to decrease how much I taper and go much slower, especially as I get into the lower dosages. And yes I am terrified every time I decrease.  I hate the feeling and I always worry I will get stuck with these symptoms.  I've done two cuts with the Zoloft and one cut with the Gabapetin . I will not reduce the Gabapentin again until I'm off the Zoloft. And your were right, tapering the Gabapentin is not as bad as the Zoloft, but I certainly felt it.   I never was this sensitive to medication before, I think the big and bad withdrawal sensitized me.  I don't blame you for being terrified, as I mentioned above, I am too.  I guess we will just be two friends that are terrified together. If you do decide to taper and you are feeling like you need a friend please reach out to me.

Rachel

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RachelSusan

Skeeter,

I spoke too soon about the Gabapentin.  Starting to get a lot more insomnia and joint pain. 

RS

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Skeeter

RS,

How soon after the taper did the insomnia and joint pain come on?  I hate to ask a million questions.. Is the insomnia casually related to the joint pain, or 2 separate issues?  I was in such pain already when I came off of this med that I did not notice any extra.  For a pain clinic, the focus was to load us up on everything but pain meds, when all that worked was pain meds, it makes it hard.

 

You may have to go very, very slowly on this med when you do it- once pain enters the mix it is a whole new ballgame!  I know that going really slow on 2 meds seems like it will take so long (it does to me, and I have not yet started), but to keep LIVING LIFE while going through this is so important!

 

How long did the pain last, or is it still going for you?

 

I love your use of the 1-10 pain scale to explain your symptoms. It made it so easy to understand!! I can imagine it fully, and it makes me a little less afraid. I appreciate that.  I am like a little kid doing experiments, crushing pills and putting in a syringe so I know exactly what I am doing when I start. All I need is a white lab coat an goggles!  Also playing with the scale...lol.

 

I offer the same to you, please reach out to me if you need a pal, PM is just great, too!

S

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