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kangamangus: Coming off Zoloft after 9 years

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kangamangus

Hello everyone, I'm Kangamangus. Been looking at this forum for a few months now and finally decided to post.

 

I have been on Zoloft since I was 16 years old, I am now 25. It seems to help a bit with my depression, but it causes me some apathy/numbness. I have laughed hard, cried hard, and felt anger on this med, so my emotions aren't completely gone but they do seem harder to access. I have also had a substance abuse problem throughout this time period.

 

Recently (may of this year) I finally realized my depression wasn't going to get any better if I didn't do something. I have since stopped taking all illegal drugs and I have been clean for 60 days now. I made the terrible mistake of coming cold turkey off my Zoloft in this time period too.

 

I'm not sure what led to me to make this decision, but I think it was just a sense that the meds weren't really helping me anymore and poor decision making skills from all the drugs I was doing. I was fine for about 3 weeks and then I crashed hard. Extreme depression, flu like symptoms, and suicidal ideation led to a week of extreme hell. I ended up in an intensive outpatient treatment program where I was reinstated on my meds. I was also put onto a low dose of Remeron(mirtazapine) to help with sleep.

 

I am now stable and feeling much better than I was when I was off my meds. Unfortunately I am now feeling the numbness/apathy again. Like I said, my emotions aren't completely gone but they seem muted. I have realized in this time period that I really do want to come off the Zoloft. It helps with my depression but I really hate the muted feeling that I have. I accept that I am one of those people that needs to be medicated for my depression, as it gets really bad, but I'm sick of the Zoloft and I'm very wary of going onto any other SSRIs. My libido and emotions are already impacted by the Zoloft and I don't want to risk those things getting any worse.

 

My goal is to very slowly wean myself off of the Zoloft while simultaneously upping my dosage of Remeron. Obviously I will be doing this under the direction of my doctor. I have heard good things about Remeron, and I understand its much less likely to impact your libido and emotions than any SSRI drugs. I might not completely come off the Zoloft but I would at least like to try and see if these side effects that I hate so much lift up a bit.

 

I'm posting here to get any feedback from members of this forum on my plan, and to see if anybody has any tips for me. My plan to taper is to follow the 10% cut that I have seen posted on this site before. Once i feel stable on the lowered dose I plan to wait for a long time before cutting again. Simultaneously I plan to increase my dose of Remeron to hopefully help with the depression that I expect to return from coming off the Zoloft.

 

I'm taking this very seriously and I want to do this the right way. Any input is appreciated, and thank you for welcoming me to this forum. 

 

My current doses:  Zoloft( sertraline)  50mg/daily 

                               Remeron(mirtazapine) 7.5mg/daily

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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mammaP

Hi Kangamangus, welcome to SA. Thank you for sharing your experiences and for filling in your signature. 

You were medicated at 16 when your brain was still growing and developing. The drugs make changes to the way the brain works and stopping it throws the poor brain into a spin trying to gain normal functioning.

 

Congratulations on giving up the illegal drugs, that takes courage and strength. It would be best to wait a while longer before staring to taper, to get any drug withdrawal over and you can start from a place of reasonable stability. As stable as you can be while taking the psych drugs. Why do you feel you need to increase remeron? If it is helping you could stay at the same dose, as you reduce zoloft your brain will adjust to the lower dose if the drops are small enough with enough time between the drops. The old hype about some people having a chemical imbalance is nothing more than something the drug companies thought up to sell their drugs. It has been disproved and they are no longer allowed to make those claims in some countries.

 

There is an excellent book that explains all this and gives lots of facts and statistics that pharmaceuticals tried to keep hidden but nowadays with the freedom of information act the facts have been revealed. I advise you to buy or borrow a copy from the library of 'Anatomy of an Epidemic' by Robert Whittaker. It is a real eye opener. I was like you when I started to taper effexor because of side effects, I was going to taper it then find something to replace it because I had this depressive illness that had been treated for decades with many many drugs that all had intolerable side effects. I am now completely off it and have no desire to start another. I am tapering a pain killer but almost have my brain back, (will have it back fully when the pain kiler is done) you can have yours back too and you will be amazed at how it feels to be without  the drugs that alter the brain. You could stay on remeron while you taper zoloft, and you might want to taper that when are finally free of zoloft and realise that you feel so much better. Whatever you do, please don't quit either of them c/t! 

 

Now for some links to topics that will help you to taper safely. You already seem to have a good understanding of the tapering process, well done with the research :)

 

Tips for tapering zoloft

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

 

Why taper 10% 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Preparing to taper

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1789-preparing-to-taper/

 

3 KIS

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

 

Chemical imbalance myth

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjaxZ-X85PVAhWBIVAKHWObB4IQFggoMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsurvivingantidepressants.org%2Findex.php%3F%2Ftopic%2F4291-again-chemical-imbalance-is-a-myth-stop-the-lies-please%2F&usg=AFQjCNHCD29KkBmm2ABuikf5Mqfun0Fesg

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kangamangus

Hey mammaP, thanks for replying.Thank you for your kind words, honestly coming off the illegal drugs was a walk in the park compared to the withdrawal I went through from the Zoloft. I have my cravings of course, but i've been through hell the past couple of months and I'm not going to throw all that progress away for a quick high. I have been doing a lot of thinking the past couple days since I originally wrote this post and I think I've come to the same conclusion that you have.

 

I think that these meds have changed me. I definitely had depression before I started the meds, but I feel like its gotten worse over the years instead of better. I also feel like the meds have made me into a worse person. They numbed me to the world, and I've made some horrible decisions that my pre-medicated self would be horrified by. I have felt so numb over the years that I resorted to doing drugs every day to feel something. I've been so apathetic that I've stagnated in my life and barely care. 

 

I have often found myself questioning my decisions over the past years, like I didn't recognize myself sometimes. I'm sick of the emotional blunting, I'm sick of feeling numb, I'm sick of being a slave to pills that don't even help with my depression, and I'm sick of being held hostage by the threat of withdrawal. I think what you wrote about the chemical imbalance myth is true. I've come across the book you mentioned before, and I would really like to read it. Think im going to check amazon or the library near me and see if I can pick up a copy. 

 

You're right though, I don't want to increase my dose of Remeron. It helps me with my sleep, but the last thing I want is to become a slave to another pill and put off this process years. My plan right now is to stay stable on my meds for the time being, as I'll be in Europe for a month starting next week and the last thing I need is to be unstable. Once I come back though, I do plan on starting my taper of Zoloft. I have been obsessively reading this forum for the past 2 days and I feel like I know what I'm up against.

 

I still plan on doing an extremely slow taper(im thinking years), and I'll have my fingers crossed that it wont be as bad as I think it will be, but im prepared for the worst. Thank you again for your support and encouragement, I plan on using this post as a Journal of sorts for how I'm doing. 

 

Take Care,

Kang

Edited by KarenB
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scallywag

kangamangus -- your plan sounds like a good one. Better to preserve and improve quality of life with a years-long taper than rush through a taper that could leave you suffering for years.

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kangamangus

So I'm in a bad way right now. I'm currently on vacation in Europe and I'm really struggling. The first few days were fine, I was feeling very numb but I still was managing and having an okay time.

 

Then about a week ago something horrible happened, I lost my bottle of Remeron. Thankfully I still have my zoloft but the Remeron is gone. Of course I freaked out but couldn't find it anywhere and can't imagine what could have happened to it.

 

For about 3 days I was okay, then I began to feel very weird. Derealization /depersonalization struck hard and I've been struggling with that since. It doesn't help that I'm in a foreign country and things already seem unfamiliar, now the whole world seems strange to me. I don't feel human, everything seems terribly alien and strange to me. I can't stop thinking about how weird the universe is and how strange humans are, it's a constant thought on my mind. I guess I'm trying to make sense of things since everything feels so strange to me, but it's not working.

 

Its also effected my memories making tgose seem just as foreign and strange. I occasionally will get a small break in these thoughts but then I become very depressed. I feel hopeless, alone, and afraid. I get depressed about the direction my life has gone. I've done nothing since I graduated high school. I became a depressed drug addict whose only pleasure was getting high and forgetting the world. I've stagnated, while all my friends have finished college and seem to be successful.

 

Part of me believes the zoloft I was on contributed to this. I was depressed in high school because I felt lazy, inadequate, and directionless compared to everybody. So what do the doctors give me? A drug that causes apathy, numbness, and made me care even less than I used to. Another part of me worries that it's just who I am, and the drugs had nothing to do with it. I'm destined to be a failure, a nobody who is going nowhere in life. I honestly don't know what to believe.

 

I read all these stories of people who have had their lived changed by antidepressants and I long to be one of them. I feel stuck, I don't know if I should come off my med or try something new. I feel like either way nothing will change.

 

To top it all off I've completely wasted my vacation. Hiding in my hostel rooms because that's where I feel safest, less afraid. I'll probably never have another chance to come to europe. It's gone. Part of me doesn't care though because nothing feels real anyway. All of this is just an illusion.

 

The way I've been thinking I don't see how I could ever go back to thinking normally like all those around me. I look at people and they seem so strange to me. How do they go about their lives without seeing how strange everything is?

 

The rational part of me says this is just withdrawal. I've put my CNS through the ringer the past few months what with coming off my med CT, quitting all drugs, and reinstating my meds, then going off Remeron CT again. Im really paying the price now. I feel so foolish.

 

I'll be back home in the states in 5 days, I just need to make it until then. Then I'll feel safer, and I'll be able to focus on my recovery. Just have to make it. Can anyone relate to any of this, or am I truly a lost cause? I have to say this website has been a godsend the past few days that I've been hiding in my hostel. Thanks.

 

Ps sorry for the formatting, I wrote this on my tablet and can't seem to make paragraphs work.

Edited by scallywag
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scallywag

kangamangus -- I'm glad you'll be home soon and able to get back on Remeron.

 

It's good that you recognize that your thoughts are withdrawal symptoms.  If you want to read similar experiences posted by other members, you may want to skim or read

Neuro-emotions.

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kangamangus

Thanks scallywag, I'm actually feeling a bit better since I posted this. I listened to some binaural beast that are supposed to help with anxiety and as crazy as it sounds I think it helped me a bit. Stil feeling depressed and confused about what to do, but the DP/DR seems to have loosened its grip so I'm thankful for that 

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kangamangus

Wanted to update- I am doing much better than I was the other day when I posted. The dp/dr is completely gone. I've been cycling between bad depression and then back to my normal "baseline" of kind of apathy but really not feeling too bad at all. Huge improvement from where I was at.

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kangamangus

Update- still doing better. No more dp/dr for the last 3 days or so. Managed to go to the louvre yesterday and actually somewhat enjoyed myself(despite the 400000 tourists and security checks). Woke up yesterday feeling absolutely suicidal and despondent(believe it was neuro emotions) but that dissapated as the day went on. Woke up today with depression but nothing like yesterday. Seem to be getting more stable, hope it lasts. Still feeling rather depressed but it's mostly about my current life situation more than anything else. Trying not to let it get me too down. Heading back to the US tomorrow, looking forward to being in a familiar place where I can stabilize more. Still planning on tapering Zoloft but will most likely wait a month or two after getting back since I feel like I've really put my CNS through hell the past few months (CT, reinstatement, adding meds, CT the new meds, not to mention quitting all the illegal drugs I had been doing for 9ish years). Thanks for letting me vent here, this forum is a god send.

 

 

Kang 

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kangamangus

Also I keep forgetting to mention this- TINNITUS!!! Had it ever since my CT in may. Seems to be mainly on my left side, and it's driving me crazy

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mammaP

I'm glad you feel better Kanga, you didn't take remeron for very long so hopefully will not have too bad withdrawal. I would wait until you have been stable for a good while before starting to taper zoloft, especially now you have quit remeron. Your poor brain need time to catch up and adjust to all the changes. When 

When I go away I take my prescription slip with me, I once forgot my tablets and went to a pharmacty where they sold me enough for my holiday because I had my prescription slip. It isn't an acy=tual prescription it is a slip that is in the pack when I pick it up, it lists the drugs and doses. I don't know if you have anything like that but it saved me from a horrendous week of withdrawal!   

We have a topic on tinnitus that might be interesting. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1736-tinnitus-what-does-all-that-noise-mean/

 

 

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kangamangus

Hi Folks,

     Just wanted to update on how I'm doing. I've been back in the US for almost 2 weeks now, and I'm doing okay. I have not reinstated myself on the Remeron which I think was the right choice. My DP/DR are mostly gone(maybe a little background stuff) and the depression seems to have leveled out. Right now I just feel "flat" for lack of a better term. Nothing really excites me, I have no motivation, its hard for me to laugh. I basically just sit around all day doing nothing, and I don't even really feel bad about it. I also feel... just kind of weird. Like I have this faint pressure in my head almost, and I feel very foggy. It's like I have cotton balls in my head. Spacey feeling. Honestly its very hard to describe how I feel, I just know its wrong. I'm sure some people here can relate. I think maybe its related to the DP/DR although its not nearly as bad as it was. I also wonder if its from the Zoloft, maybe I'm experiencing the "poop out" and I'm feeling bad side effects from that medication. I'm sleeping fine though and my appetite is alright and I'm thankful for that.                                                                                                                                                                                      Still planning on stabilizing for a bit longer before starting my taper. I don't want to rush things. I desperately want to feel normal though, and I have been tossing the idea of trying a new medication around in my head for while. I just want to feel normal so bad! I want to feel passion again, I want to feel excitement. I want to go a whole day without obsessing over my mental state. I read stories of people who had their whole life changed by medication! But for every positive story I read about anti-depressants, I read 2 more from people who have had a negative experience. I also have read about people on the medication "carousel", who find a med that works for a little while but then stops working and they have to try something new every few years for the rest of their lives. This scares me, and I know this would be a bad idea to try something new, especially given how I've reacted recently to the medication changes. Somehow I always find my way back to this site though, and I'm taking that as a sign that I'm doing the right thing. Hope everyone is doing well in their recovery! 

 

Kangamangus

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ChessieCat

Hi kanga,

 

1 hour ago, kangamangus said:

I'm sure some people here can relate.

 

Yes, it can be hard to describe it but I imagine when other members read a member's description they start nodding their head in agreement because they know what you are trying to put into words.

 

Have you done the SURVEY?  The link is in my signature.  CLOSES 28th AUGUST.  It's a fantastic opportunity to have our voices heard.

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kangamangus
14 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Have you done the SURVEY?  The link is in my signature.  CLOSES 28th AUGUST.  It's a fantastic opportunity to have our voices heard.

Thanks Chessie, I just filled out the survey.

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kangamangus

Past few days have been difficult, pretty bad depression and anxiety. It's especially bad first thing in the morning when I wake up. Lots of bouts of random crying as well.

 

I have been thinking about my experiences over the past few months and I think I am actually experiencing some withdrawal still from my initial CT from Zoloft. I bad been on 100mg for years when I CTed and I reinstated 3 weeks later at 50mg.

 

My physical wd symptoms went away mostly (the main exception being horrible tinnitus), but the emotional ones didn't really change much. Anhedonia, depression, DP/DR, horrible anxiety, suicidal ideation, all have been present for the past few months. I do seem to be experiencing the "windows and waves" though, as I do have days where I feel much better and closer to normal.

 

I have also spent a lot of time reflecting on my years on the psych drugs. While initially I thought the zoloft helped with my depression (see my original post) now im really not sure. Before I started on the zoloft, i was depressed. I was never suicidal though. Once I started the zoloft it seems like my depression just got worse and worse.

 

The past few years have been especially bad, with a lot of suicidal thoughts. In my mind though, I really thought the meds were helping. I thought if I felt that bad while on the meds, surely I would have felt much worse if I wasn't on them. I now know that isn't true. The days where I feel mostly "normal", my levels of depression seem to be lower than they were for years on the drugs.

 

I saw my younger brother last night and I felt more connected to him than I had in years. It was a beautiful and scary feeling that almost brought me to tears. I can only hope it continues that way.

 

Still stable on my 50mg. I will stay at this level until I truly feel stable and ready to start my taper. I just wanted to thank everyone on this site once again for your support and valuable information. I am scared to think where I would be if I hadn't found this site. Probably on even more drugs and feeling even worse than I do now.

 

When I last saw my psychiatrist a couple weeks ago he suggested that I should start on abilify, and he also warned me that I would never be able to come off of my medications when I suggested tapering to him. I couldn't help but notice the information pamphlets and sample packs of abilify in his office. It seems like hes in the pocket of the drug manufacturers as well. If I hadn't had the information I found on this site, I would likely be on a antipsychotic now in addition to my AD :angry:.

 

Scary thought. 

 

Kang

Edited by baroquep
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kangamangus

Its been a difficult week. Still struggling with horrible depression and suicidal thoughts, but it seems to come in waves. One moment I'm feeling absolute despair, and the next moment I'm feeling "okay". Wednesday night was interesting though, as I felt better than I had in a very long time. I even felt happy, and was laughing at things and looking at happy pictures. Has anyone else experienced windows and waves like this?? Some days I feel better, but then the next day is worse, then the day after might be a little better. I also have "waves" during the day where I feel horrible and suicidal (especially in the morning) but then later in the day I feel better, than a couple hours later im back to feeling horrible. Its maddening cycling between these states all the time.

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ChessieCat
On 30/08/2017 at 5:04 AM, kangamangus said:

If I hadn't had the information I found on this site, I would likely be on a antipsychotic now in addition to my AD :angry:

 

But isn't it great that you did have the information and aren't now on another psychiatric drug? :D

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

1 hour ago, kangamangus said:

Has anyone else experienced windows and waves like this??

 

Have you seen this?  Understanding it helps to accept it which reduces stress.  And the fact that you are getting the better parts is a really good sign.

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery
 

And from What is Happening in Your Brain:

 

"Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are [...] to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

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 [...] to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and [...] 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 [...] 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."

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kangamangus
20 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

But isn't it great that you did have the information and aren't now on another psychiatric drug? :D

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

 

Have you seen this?  Understanding it helps to accept it which reduces stress.  And the fact that you are getting the better parts is a really good sign.

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery
 

And from What is Happening in Your Brain:

 

"Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are [...] to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

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 [...] to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and [...] 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 [...] 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."

Thanks chessie, I will watch that video. I know its a wave right now but its very very difficult. I don't really have any physical symptoms but the emotional ones are almost unbearable. I know from experience the past few months that it will pass, but its hard to see that when you're in the middle of it. I know it must be withdrawal because while I was suicidal before my CT, it was never this bad. Or maybe it was and I was just covering it up with my drug use. I really don't know. All I know is that every day has been a struggle for me and the past couple days in particular have been very rough. It's like I can't remember a time in my life where I was every happy, even though I know it's not true. Every negative thing in the world and my life seems amplified and its such a weight on my brain. I only hope that it will pass soon. 

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ChessieCat

What you are experiencing is not uncommon.  In WD things seem to be magnified.  Check out this topic:  Neuro Emotions

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kangamangus

Yes, I have read the topic on Neuro Emotions and I'm pretty sure that's what I'm experiencing. Its hard to say though because I really feel like I've been like this forever even though I'm pretty sure that's not the case. It's just so hard to say because I don't really remember clearly how I was before I was on medication. I know I had depression problems, but I'm pretty sure it was never this bad. I'm just very scared. I worry about all the damage I've done to my body over the years with drugs, and taking an AD that wasn't helping with my depression. Towards the end, I wasn't even taking my Zoloft every day, it was more like every other day. I know that basically put my CNS in a really tough position for a very long time. Right now I'm basically going through withdrawal from Zoloft, Cocaine, Kratom and Marijuana all at once. I know it will take me a long time to heal too. It just really sucks. I haven't done anything with myself since I graduated highschool and now I feel like it will be years before I'm able to move forward with my life. I can't hold a job down right now because my depression is so bad. I'm relying on my mother for financial support, and she really doesn't understand how hard this whole experience has been for me. She thinks I should try a new medication, but she doesn't understand the hell I've been through and I'm so scared to try something new because it might make things worse for me. All I want in life is to be happy and stable. I know I've made mistakes in the past, but I feel like nobody deserves this hell that we all are going through. Every day has been such a struggle for me. And the worst part is the unknown, because I don't know how I will be once I am off the medication. I can only hope things get better for me once I am off and healed, but who knows? Maybe this crushing depression is just my underlying condition. I just feel so foolish for trusting doctors and for not being more proactive about my mental health over the years. Sorry rant over. 

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ChessieCat

Being scared is understandable.  However, to assist our recovery we need to learn Acceptance.  By that I mean accept that it is what it is at this time, because we can't change it anyway, and then hope for improvement.  Please note that I didn't say hope for things to get better, because wording it that way gives the idea that things are going to get better in leaps and bounds, which they may not.  If we can change our thinking from wanting to be fixed immediately we are more likely to be able to see the small improvements.  Any improvement gives us more hope and helps to keep us positive.  And being more positive causes less stress.  And I believe that stress slows healing.  See the link in my signature.  You can hover over the different labels on the diagram for more information.

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kangamangus

Working on practicing acceptance every day. The past few days have been difficult, but I feel that I might be a tiny bit better as far as depression goes. It's really hard to say. Still really bad in the morning but it come and go throughout the day in waves. Feeling okay right now but who knows how I will feel in an hour. That seems to be the nature of the beast right now. I have been reading a lot on this forum, but I also try to distance myself a bit and forget about it as I have a tendency to obsess about things. My thoughts go out to all who are struggling right now, stay strong. 

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ChessieCat

I've just noticed this in Kitson's signature:

 

          HOPE = Hold On, Pain Ends

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kangamangus

 

20 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

I've just noticed this in Kitson's signature:

 

          HOPE = Hold On, Pain Ends

Chessie, I like that. I'm holding on the best I can right now. This depression just feels different. I don't know how to explain it. I look at the outside world and it just hurts. Everything seems so dark and terrible, and it truly feels like I have always been this way I was just blind to it. But then I have moments where I don't feel that way, and I actually feel okay. It's incredibly difficult and incredibly hard to describe. Needless to say, I'm scared sh*tless haha. I have read about tardive dysphoria and I'm very worried that I have it. I have always been on Zoloft, but it stopped working well for me years ago. I just assumed it was keeping the worst of my depression at bay, but now I just don't know. This is without a doubt the scariest, most difficult time of my life. I feel so foggy and trapped in my own head. I wish I could just take a pill and make me feel okay again, but thats how I ended up in this mess. Thanks for hanging around and giving me words of encouragement though. How are you feeling with your taper?

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kangamangus

The emotional pain I am in right now is unreal. Every day for the past few months has been such a struggle, I honestly don't know how I have made it through. I can't tell if I am worse off now than I was when I was in my CT.  My past, present, and future all seem so dark to me. I only hope that I can hold on. I have also started to get painful headaches, especially at night when it seems the emotional pain is a little bit lower. I am not a religious person, but I am not ashamed to admit that I have prayed several times recently begging for strength to get through this.

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ChessieCat
On 07/09/2017 at 8:29 AM, kangamangus said:

But then I have moments where I don't feel that way, and I actually feel okay.

 

That's a good sign and should be encouraging.  I know it's frustrating because you wish it could last longer or not end at all and I think it makes the bad seem worse than it actually is because you have had a glimpse of the good.

 

I found that the more I understood of what is happening the less scared and stressed it makes me feel and has helped me to be patient.

 

On 07/09/2017 at 8:29 AM, kangamangus said:

How are you feeling with your taper?

 

Thank you for asking :)  On the whole I would say it's going well and my symptoms are minimal.  However, even though they are minimal they do change.  Recently I've been unable to skim through what I'm reading to glean the information I need, whereas not long ago I could do that.  Another thing I notice which has happened several times is my ability to multi task.  And sometimes when I'm working on something I have to talk out loud to myself as I do something to get through the stages to complete a task.  I've also noticed that sometimes I can't type as accurately I usually do and my typing speed also varies.  My level of anxiety and irritably changes too.

 

The reasons I've gone into details about my own experience is to help you to understand that even doing a slow, careful taper still produces withdrawal symptoms.  It's to be expected.  Our brains our busy trying to regain homoeostasis.

 

But as I said above, I understand it so don't stress about it.  If you are the sort of person to post up reminders you could post up "I feel like this because my brain is healing" or something similiar.

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kangamangus

Thanks Chessie. It's just difficult because even in my "okay" moments, I am still suffering. It's just to a lesser degree. It's hard to even see if its an improvement or if I'm just getting used to the emotional pain. Ugh I just want to scream. I'm glad you're taper is going well and with minimal symptoms. I can't even imagine tapering yet with how I have been feeling. It's really a lose lose situation. Sorry, I know I sound super negative right now! It's just very hard, as I'm sure you understand. Thanks again :D take care of yourself. 

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kangamangus

Wanted to add that I have been walking every day for the past week, and have started taking fish oil as well. I think the walking helps me, as I might feel a tiny bit better once I am done. Hard to say. I also want to start meditating as well, per the suggestion of my therapist. Don't want you guys to think I am just wallowing around in my misery :rolleyes: I am actually trying really hard here. Not to mention I am still clean!

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ChessieCat
21 minutes ago, kangamangus said:

I am still suffering. It's just to a lesser degree.

 

Even though it may not feel like it this is still a good thing because it gives you even just a tiny bit of relief.  And hopefully sooner rather than later it will start feeling a bit bigger relief and/or for longer.  That's one reason why recording your progress, even minor improvements, is worthwhile because you can look at the big picture and see the improvements which you may not have noticed.

 

And yes we do understand.  It's also good that you are walking, just don't overdo it.  Take it nice and gentle for a short amount of time.  No good pushing and it ending up being detrimental.

 

You may not feel it, but you are doing well.

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kangamangus

Thank you, I appreciate your encouragement. This is so incredibly difficult. I have almost constant suicidal depression and horrible thoughts. I really don't know what to do. I know the Mods on this site aren't really equipped to deal with this sort of thing, I just want to vent here in the hope that it might make me feel a bit better. I am at the end of my rope though. Every day is a constant struggle and I feel absolutely hopeless. I am seriously considering going to a hospital and getting on a different medication because I don't know how much longer I can take this. I have been on the reduced dosage of Zoloft for almost 4 months now, and I have yet to see any real improvement. All I can think about is how depressed I was when I was put on the meds in the first place, and the thought that I will never be free of this is horrible. I think maybe I get some "windows" mainly at night when I feel a bit better but its so hard to know for sure. All I know is that I am truly in pain right now and I am at a loss for what to do.

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bubble

I see you mentioned meditation. I would really give it a try. But start slowly. I have this app calm where I can choose a type of meditation I want to do (body scan, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness in a more general way...) and also for how long I want to do it: starting with 5 mins and then gradually working your way up.

 

Great that you are walking. It would also be if you could walk in nature. Nature is a great healer. You may want to check out Mooji, a very cool and calming character.

 

I should get myself more familiar with your drug history. Off the top off my head after 9 years at 100 mg maybe 50 mg wasn't enough... What makes you think that a different drug would help?

 

Do whatever it takes to stay safe until this wave passes.

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ChessieCat

From your signature:  " Zoloft(sertraline) since 2008. Was up to 100mg/daily before CT in May 2017. Reinstated 3 weeks later at 50mg. "

 

31 minutes ago, bubble said:

Off the top off my head after 9 years at 100 mg maybe 50 mg wasn't enough

 

bubble has a good point.  Did you feel the same before the Remeron or did it get worse after you CTed that?  If it was worse after the CT then some of the issues may be caused by that.

 

Seeing that you are considering a different drug, my thought is that a small updose on the Zoloft would be a better option.  If you try a different drug you will not know if any issues are carrying over, if you are experiencing start up effects or side effects of the new drug.

 

When I tried to reduce from 100mg to 50mg Pristiq for 3 weeks I updosed to 75mg.

 

After 4 months on 50mg  Zoloft even 1mg or 2mg might lessen your symptoms.  If you do want to try this it is better to start at a small amount and see how it goes for about 1 week, keeping notes on paper of what improves and what worsens so that you can see if it is working.  If things worsened it would be better to go back to 50mg immediately.  If things didn't improve at all and nothing worsened you could then try another small updose.

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kangamangus
1 hour ago, bubble said:

I see you mentioned meditation. I would really give it a try. But start slowly. I have this app calm where I can choose a type of meditation I want to do (body scan, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness in a more general way...) and also for how long I want to do it: starting with 5 mins and then gradually working your way up.

 

Great that you are walking. It would also be if you could walk in nature. Nature is a great healer. You may want to check out Mooji, a very cool and calming character.

 

I should get myself more familiar with your drug history. Off the top off my head after 9 years at 100 mg maybe 50 mg wasn't enough... What makes you think that a different drug would help?

 

Do whatever it takes to stay safe until this wave passes.

Thank you, I will try the meditation App. I have actually heard good things about it before. I am walking in nature, usually around the lake by my house. I just got back from a walk actually and I think somehow it made me even worse. Not to mention my ex girlfriend called me about something while I was walking and that was extremely difficult. I don't know if a different drug would help, all I know is that this is almost unbearable. I am really not sure what else to do. I have never attempted suicide and I have no plan for it but things are really really bad right now. I have been depressed before but this feels deeper and darker and I feel no hope for ever feeling good again.

 

29 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

From your signature:  " Zoloft(sertraline) since 2008. Was up to 100mg/daily before CT in May 2017. Reinstated 3 weeks later at 50mg. "

 

 

bubble has a good point.  Did you feel the same before the Remeron or did it get worse after you CTed that?  If it was worse after the CT then some of the issues may be caused by that.

 

Seeing that you are considering a different drug, my thought is that a small updose on the Zoloft would be a better option.  If you try a different drug you will not know if any issues are carrying over, if you are experiencing start up effects or side effects of the new drug.

 

When I tried to reduce from 100mg to 50mg Pristiq for 3 weeks I updosed to 75mg.

 

After 4 months on 50mg  Zoloft even 1mg or 2mg might lessen your symptoms.  If you do want to try this it is better to start at a small amount and see how it goes for about 1 week, keeping notes on paper of what improves and what worsens so that you can see if it is working.  If things worsened it would be better to go back to 50mg immediately.  If things didn't improve at all and nothing worsened you could then try another small updose.

It has only gotten really really bad over the past week or so. At this point I have been off of the Remeron longer than I was on it. Thank you for the advice, I think I will try to updose a little bit. I am worried because I have played around with my meds so much in the past few months and I am really scared to make things worse. Feeling completely hopeless and lost right now. Thank you for sticking around and giving me good advice, it makes me feel less alone. 

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ChessieCat
31 minutes ago, kangamangus said:

I have played around with my meds so much in the past few months

 

Is there anything missing from your signature?  We are only able to make suggestions based on the information you provide.  For your own safety it is important that you "communicate truthfully and responsibly about what is going on with you" (from:  before-you-begin-tapering-what-you-need-to-know).

 

Could you please clarify what you mean by the above statement?  Thanks.

 

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kangamangus
5 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Is there anything missing from your signature?  We are only able to make suggestions based on the information you provide.  For your own safety it is important that you "communicate truthfully and responsibly about what is going on with you" (from:  before-you-begin-tapering-what-you-need-to-know).

 

Could you please clarify what you mean by the above statement?  Thanks.

 

Sorry for the confusion, the only thing I can think of is when I was initially reinstating my meds my doctor put me back on 100mg initially which was too much. Other than that no, my signature is accurate. I just meant quitting illegal drugs, CTing zoloft, reinstating zoloft, starting remeron, then CTing remeron. Thats alot for 4 months

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ChessieCat

Thank you for clarifying that for us.  As you can probably understand it is  very frustrating for the mods when we are trying to help a member and then down the track find out that there have been other thing/s in the mix.  Sometimes it can be because they don't think the "thing" matters, and sometimes it is because of embarrassment.  I hope you can understand my reason for asking. ;)

 

Yes,  it has been a lot in a very short period of time.  And that is something to remember, that in the scheme of things it has only been a short time, even though it has probably seemed a very long time.

 

I understand how difficult it is for you, but you do seem to have a positive personality and that can help us to get through the tougher times, even though it can take a lot of work to hang in there.  I feel very sorry for people who have a naturally negative personality.  It's hard for us positive personalities.  It must be so much harder for them.  Something I read in a book that has really stuck with me is "it's just a feeling and feelings change".

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