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patt183: Severe Adverse Reaction to Sertraline. Questions about ''withdrawal'' and symptoms.


patt183

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Hello guys! 

 

I have always been an extremely positive person with a wonderful outlook on life. However, I've had problems with social anxiety for about 3 years. My SA definitely wasn't severe, I would say it was mild to moderate, I would only experience it in certain situations. However, it would bring me down occasionally so I decided to seek help. My GP prescribed me with 50 mg of generic Sertraline. I took my first 50mg pill on September 1st, 2016 and felt just as usual except for hand trembling and quite lifted energy levels. I took another pills on September 2nd and this is when the hell started. I suddenly woke up at 6am in the morning feeling weird. After a few seconds I started experiencing my first ever panic attack. It was really intense and really severe. I could not breathe, eat, drink and I could not calm myself down no matter what. It took 2 hours  for the panic attack to subside. I decided to not take any pills, thinking my panic attacks would stop. Oh, how wrong I was. I had another panic attack in the evening, which started at 10pm and continued till 4am. I had one Xanax pill so I took that one and my panic attack subsided just a little. Somehow I managed to fall asleep, but I woke up 2 hours later having a panic attack AGAIN. I went to the hospital, where they did some tests. My heart was totally fine so they just sent me home. I went back home, slept for another 2 hours and went to my friends house to relax a bit. I felt extremely anxious and experienced hot flushes 24/7. At 8pm I had a full on panic attack again, my friends called the ambulance as I was hysterically crying on the bed feeling like I was about to die or kill myself.

 

I ended up in a psych ward, where I experienced panic attacks every morning and every night. No one believed me when I said I had never felt suicidal or experienced panic attacks before taking Sertraline and OF COURSE no one believed me. They actually insisted on me taking Sertraline again, which I refused as taking Sertraline in the first place was the biggest mistake of my life. Surprisingly, the panic attacks have suddenly ended on September 8th and I was stupid enough to think that was the end to my suffering. Hell no. Severe depressive episode had followed. 

 

The things Ive experienced to this date - depression, anxiety, DR, DP, paranoia, anger, irritability, crying spells, apettite loss hot flushes, extreme trembling, inner trembling, jitteriness, suicidal thoughts, self harm thoughts, migraine headaches, fatigue, dizziness, mental impairment, insomnia, vivid weird dreams, sensitivity to light and sound etc. I felt like I was going crazy. Taking any supplements would send my anxiety to the roof. Symptoms would rapidly come, go away and come back again. 

 

Depression and anxiety are still here. I get some mild episodes of DR and DP. My insomnia got better, but it is still here as well.I have almost committed myself to a mental hospital three times.

 

The symptom I am most worried about is tinnitus. I do not even know if it is somehow related to this adverse reaction. I developed my tinnitus on November 1st, 2016. At first it was almost unnoticeable until I had a migraine headache on November 4th, which made my tinnitus 3 times worse. It is not severe, but I am quite mentally unstable at the moment and it really brings me down. I have not exposed myself to unusually loud music or anything. Tinnitus seems to be quite a common symptoms for those in a benzo withdrawal, but I have not really heard anything about antidepressants. Mine sounds more like a metallic hiss in my head and is usually quiet in the morning.

 

All I want is for this pain to go away. I hate myself for taking those tablets as I was absolutely fine without them. I used to be so happy. Great relationship with my parents, tons of close friends, partying, travelling, career prospects. I had so many plans but my life seems to be ruined and I am only 20 years old. I will never forgive myself. 

 

Have a peaceful day. 

September 1st, 2016 - 50 mg of Sertraline.

September 2nd, 2016 - 50 of Sertraline.

SEVERE ADVERSE REACTION. 

 

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First of all i would like to make a recommendation but before that please forgive my terrible spelling and sentence structuring im pretty fatigued and my brain is still recovering from my last stress attack.

 

Alright, i understand what you are going through. If you would like you can read my story. After taking only one 25mg pill i developed sexual and emotional numbness that has been persistent till this day. What i believe happened was, my brain found a fragile homeostasis among the stress and anxiety it had to go through on a daily basis. After taking the meds i had a slight reaction, this reaction threw me off balance, all the stress i had been carrying came tumbling down on me. My body shut down all sexuality and emotion to cope with the overwhelming emotional turmoil my stress caused. This caused me to panic. I got OCD about it thought it was the pill and i was damaged in the long term. After finding this website it only fueled my anxiety. I adopted a mental paradigm that interpreted all stress side effects as SSRI induced side effects or a dysregulated CNS. this caused a great deal of sadness and depression for me. I became hopeless, and regretful like you. That hopelessness turned into deep depression further numbing my emotions.

Now if i want to get better i need to do several things, one i need to come to terms with the true nature of my predicament . WHAT I HAVE, WHAT YOU HAVE. Is not a prolonged side effect of the SSRI, it is out of your system, it is out of mine.

 

What we have is induced by large amounts of stress anxiety and depression, placebo and a faulty catastrophic pessimistic mental paradigm.

 

How to shift your paradigm

* stay off the internet if you are going to research, self diagnose and blog. It is not helpful it will only cause you to focus further on this making it more of a problem than it once was. I really stress this, the internet almost made me kill myself. DONT SELF DIAGNOSE. Leave it to a physiologist. 

* Talk to yourself. Every morning you wake up look at yourself in the mirror and say I AM RECOVERING, ONCE I AM STRESS AND ANXIATY FREE I WILL HEAL, THE PILL IS GONE, IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR ONE PILL(as far as we know) FOR TWO DOSES OF AN SSRI TO CAUSE A LONG TERM CHANGE IN THE BRAIN. THIS IS ALL PSYCHOSOMATIC.(IE CAUSED BY STRESS/ANXIATY/DEPRESSION/PLACEBO 

 

 

i am very tired ATM and need to get some rest. I will finish this up tomorrow. Please dont research it will make things so much worse. Please.

 

This is not life, you are young and this will pass. The way i see it if anything this experience will better prepare us for our future careers and life's. So many people go through life not knowing how to deal with stress and fear. They try to escape it through drugs, alcohol, escapism or they take it out on others. When this is all over, we will come out of this stronger, happier, wiser and smarter than we ever were. This does not define us. I understand the fear you have, because i had the same fear in me not that long ago. It is the fear that is holding us back. Once you let go of that fear you will start to recover.

 

God bless

-Wayfarer

On the 29th i took zoloft 25mg. Since then i have suffered from savere apathy, low sex drive, nasua, cognative imparment, impulsiveness, inablility to plan properly, inability to properly construct sentences and ingage in conversation, fatugue. I see little to no improvement dailey and in some way it feels worse. 90% sexual numbness, can only feel emotion in dreams, in the day i feel mostly like a corpse braught alive by battery acid injections when i do have emotion its either depression or its muted and barely present. The range of emotion is hard to feel. Forlorn and nostalgia are the most common felt emotions..

 

Although now i recognize the sole cause of all this is not the pill. It is extreme stress anxiety and depression along with the Placebo Affect + medical anxiety.. This may have been triggered by the medication but now that it is out of my system and seeing i only took it for a day it has left no long term effect on me. I just need to learn coping skills and make life style changes that will lead me to a full recovery.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome patt183,

I'm sorry for what you are going through.

 

What you describe does sound like you have had a serious adverse reaction to 2 doses of Sertraline. Some people are genetically hypersensitive to serotonergics. Signs of this are: Soon after starting the drug you experience alerting symptoms (sleeplessness, agitation, anxiety, akathisia, etc.).

 

I suggest you stay away from this kind of medication from now on.

 

You will recover over time. We have had several members who had a similar experience and they gradually improved and recovered. The pattern of recovery is basically the same as recovery from withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping these kinds of medications too fast.

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.

 

Petunia.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hui patt183,

 

I am very sorry for what you went through!

Patunia gave you excellent advice and information.

 

I only want to add, that please be extremely careful about using any meds, supplement etc before you check out the full information about them. You can always ask in the forum before taking any of those. Your system is sensitized after this shot and can be too fragile to handle things you used to be able to.

 

Other than that, stay calm, do the best self care, and let time to heal you.

 

Lex

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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I wont be on the forums for some time but please if there is one thing you must take away from what i have said is this. time will not heal it. Effort and time will. If you dont put forth the effort to try and learn coping mechanisms and fight your problem you will stay the same. That is because what you have now is not related to the meds. Yes the meds triggered it but there out of your system now. There are many people having what you have who never took an SSRI. I would recommend seeing a physiologist that you belive can connect well with you. They will help you fix this. If you leave this untreated and try to ignore it it will only get worse. If you have good ensurence i highly recommend you see a physiologist. 

 

-WF

On the 29th i took zoloft 25mg. Since then i have suffered from savere apathy, low sex drive, nasua, cognative imparment, impulsiveness, inablility to plan properly, inability to properly construct sentences and ingage in conversation, fatugue. I see little to no improvement dailey and in some way it feels worse. 90% sexual numbness, can only feel emotion in dreams, in the day i feel mostly like a corpse braught alive by battery acid injections when i do have emotion its either depression or its muted and barely present. The range of emotion is hard to feel. Forlorn and nostalgia are the most common felt emotions..

 

Although now i recognize the sole cause of all this is not the pill. It is extreme stress anxiety and depression along with the Placebo Affect + medical anxiety.. This may have been triggered by the medication but now that it is out of my system and seeing i only took it for a day it has left no long term effect on me. I just need to learn coping skills and make life style changes that will lead me to a full recovery.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Welcome, patt.

 

Wayfarer is incorrect, some people are sensitive to serotonergics and develop severe adverse reactions to the very quickly, as Petunia noted.

 

Your nervous system has had a shock, you will need to treat it gently to help it recover.

 

Wayfarer, if you've found a physiologist to be helpful, that's good news. Depending on an individual's symptoms, he or she might find treatment by an acupuncturist (good for pain), chiropractor, physical therapist, osteopath, or other integrative practitioner to be helpful. But the kind of treatment depends on the symptoms, and we all know that effectiveness depends on the skill of the practitioner, too.

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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  • Moderator

I went to PM and realized I'm in a cave right now, so I'd like to practice on y'all first (you know I love corrections):

 

Dear Wayfarer - 

 

In several instances you have been proclaiming in no uncertain terms that you think other member's problems are not the drugs.

 

I know we are struggling with this on your thread.

 

We have years of experience in watching people suffer from the drugs, and evidence that one dose is enough to make changes.

 

While it is awesome that you are promoting non-drug techniques, and dealing with stress and problems - really awesome, thank you! 

 

But to advocate that "it's not the drug," is a reflection of what you believe, goes against the whole purpose of SA, which is to help people with the horrible side effects of the drugs, and may be, in many instances creates bad advice where you are advocating it.

 

I'm sending you a head's up note now, to let you know that future posts like this will get you warned.  4 warnings and you are banned from site.  Please see:  What Will Get You Warned Or Banned

 

Thank you,

JanCarol

"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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  • 3 weeks later...

Patt183,

First of all your symptoms are not somatic.

 

You have experienced an adverse reaction to Zoloft. I experienced this too after taking 3 doses.

 

What makes me really angry is when some people suggest that it is all in your head! It is bad enough when your Doctor does not believe you and you spend at least 1 year or so trying to find a Doctor that understands what you are going through. This is not your fault. Just because the medication is out of your system, it doesn't mean that the WDS will magically dissappear. It takes a while for your brain to recover. There is no suppliment out there that can really help with the WDS. The less supplements you take, the better. This forum is a life saver. Take the advice from moderators. Sack the Doctors that don't believe you.

 

Find someone that you can talk to. Stay strong and positive. The sever depression and all the other weird crap goes away eventually. Take care and best wishes to you. Hopeful. :)

Edited by scallywag
added lines at paragraph breaks

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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