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Theade: thinking about Christmas


Theade

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Hey all. Amazing forum, wish I’d found it sooner. The 10% method would’ve been great if I’d had it a couple of months ago. Ah well... So I’m sure my situation is nothing new. I was prescribed Sertraline because I’d been suffering common cold-like symptoms for some months. Doc said it was stress. I was sure it wasn’t, but as I’d enjoyed rec drugs occasionally I’d always been curious about ADs so gave it a shot. Idiot. I was on 50mg for around a month, didn’t feel too much, then 100mg for four months. I felt a bit perky mentally, but very tired, I was sleeping for 16 hours a day, could barely do anything, but felt ok in myself. I actually quite liked it, but couldn’t function due to the fatigue. The good was nowhere near good enough.

 

Doc wanted me to go up again, but I’d read that some folks get fatigued even more, so I decided to quit. My doc said go direct to 50mg for two weeks, then 50mg every other day for a few weeks, then off. I did this, got to 50mg alternate days and started getting unbearable and strange headaches like I’d never felt before. They were scary and felt serious. Like water and electricity. Speaking to doc again, he wasn’t concerned, he said go to 25mg a day for three weeks, then 12.5mg a day for three weeks, then stop. I did that, put up with the ongoing headaches cos I wanted off.

 

Well I’ve been off completely for three weeks and the headaches are gone, but wow these other zaps are going bezerk. It’s like the feeling when you jump from fright but not quite as intense. Some days they are almost constant. Some days they are just head but others full body. Thankfully I can afford not to work, as there’s no way I would be able to. This last week I’ve had a bad cold, along with the zaps, I’m almost hilariously incapacitated. So I’d like some advice, cos Christmas is coming up it would be nice if the family didn’t see me like this. I’m brave, I would rather have a hard time over a short period, so if these zaps are going to subside in the next few weeks, that’s ok I’ll watch Breaking Bad again.

 

But I’m tempted to get back on the Sertraline if it makes the withdrawal *much* easier, but longer. Maybe I went off way too fast and this will go on for ages... Thankfully I’m still upbeat about the whole thing, and the other half is very supportive. The zaps would be quite funny in a different circumstance, but I’m kinda bored with them now. Oh and hangovers are totally debilitating which is a real bummer over Christmas... Any advice very gratefully received. Thanks in advance guys.

Edited by manymoretodays
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  • Moderator

Hi Theade and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

So it appears that you were on Sertraline for 5 mos.  and then came off of it per your prescribing Doctors recommend.  And that you have been off of it fully for 3 weeks now. 

Yes, the symptoms that you describe can be pretty common in withdrawal.  And sometimes intense.  No, the zaps are not fun after awhile.

 

The first thing we usually ask newcomers to do is to create a signature.  If you go back to the "Read this first section" in the forums you can find instructions for doing this in one of the top pinned topics.  (sorry, I tried to link you without success).  Try to include any medications taken in the last 12-24 mos. with the dates and then when you came off of them.

 

Sorry for your incapacitation.   Sometimes the way the doctors recommend to come off just doesn't always work too well.  It's hard to predict whether your symptoms will subside or resolve before Christmas. 

 

I think I'll stop here and work on my "linkage".  Hopefully one of the other moderators will be by and can give you some more links and options to read on the site.  In the meantime take a look around.  Especially in the "symptoms and self care section".

 

My apologies......as I'm still learning.

 

manymoretodays

 

 

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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Love your attitude Theade! I think you're going to be quite alright no matter what you decide. Just don't get stuck on that stuff for too long!

5 mg Lexapro 6/29/17 - 7/4/17

0.75 mg Ativan 8/1/17 - 9/7/17

50 mg Nefazodone 8/7/17 - 9/5/17

7.5 mg Mirtazapine 9/5/17 - 9/28/17

Not much but it caused a severe imbalance in an already ill body! Recovering slowly.

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6 hours ago, Sunshine1234 said:

Love your attitude Theade! I think you're going to be quite alright no matter what you decide. Just don't get stuck on that stuff for too long!

 

Ha ha yeah I’ll be alright, Sunshine :)  Thanks for your support!

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Hi Theade. Welcome. I'm sorry for what you have gone through but so glad that you shared your story with us. Can I ask you to fill out your signature so that we have a brief version of your drug history whenever you post. Please put drugs/ dates/ doses/ etc. The information is linked below:

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Your doctor recommended alternate dosing which is not advised as it batters your CNS around terribly ~ we advise very gentle and slow tapering .

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

After 3 weeks you may want to consider reinstating a very small amount to take the edge of your withdrawal symptoms. Otherwise, It can go on for many, many months and most probably would not be in any way resolved by Xmas.

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

 Please let us know your thoughts and we can recommend a starting dose, if that is what you choose to do.

 

 This is your thread to journal your progress and keep in touch with the community.

Ali

Edited by AliG
added link

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

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Hey Theade

 

i liked your post. .   if you are worried about the brain zaps, they usually go away within a month or two.  it felt like someone was placing a live wire up against my head every so often when i quit sertraline back in 2014.  i had sort of a similar sertraline sleeping/fatigue experience.   i was on it and olanzapine for 14 years and the last 8 years, i was doing the 16 hours of sleep a day thing, too.   it was ok, i lived on a govt pension and didn't have to work (i couldn't.  too fatigued), so it was all the tv watching and book reading and sleeping i could accomplish, but after a while i burnt out on it.   i was just going from my bed to the couch and back to my bed for those 8 years.  i was basically in a pill hibernation and watching my adult life going away mostly unlived.   i was sleeping so much that sometimes i wouldn't know if it was late evening or early morning when i woke and most weeks i didn't even see my apartment hallway (outside of a quick trip to the grocery store with my mother) because i never left my room.  in those last 8 years, i worked 30 hours as a volunteer at a thrift store and took a few 4 week creative writing courses at a local literary center and that was it.  my motivation was so low on the pills, that about the only way i could get myself to leave my apt, was to make a trip across town on the bus to the porn shop once a week.  i know, that sounds lame, but that was the only way i could motivate myself to get out of my apt and get exercise ( i would walk 1 1/2 miles home from the bus stop) as screwy as that sounds.   i was just too tired to do anything else. 

 

i quit the pills (i was on a high dose of olanzapine as well) back in 2014 and it's been pretty difficult, mostly due to sleep issues (like not being able to sleep) which are a quite common and serious side effect of quitting these pills.   No matter how exhausted i am now i never feel tired anymore even if i have gone a day or two with no sleep.  that tired or sleepy feeling never comes over me anymore.   its called feeling "wired and tired" on this site.  it sucks.   the sleep deprivation has been so severe for so long that i have huge bags now under my eyes.  i call myself Haggard the Horrible, after the popular comic strip, Hagar the Horrible, because i look so terrible nowadays.    you weren't on sertraline for too long so hopefully you won't experience the same problems that a lot of us have who were on meds for 10+ years.  i did get my energy back and felt mentally clearer when i quit the pills and was able to start walking 4-5 miles a night and lost a lot of pill weight, but months and months and years of poor sleep caught up with me.  to go from sleeping all the time to not being able to sleep at all has been a horrible torment and begins to take it's toll on the cognitive and digestive processes.   anyways, i hope this post wasn't too depressing and that you see some healing from the zaps soon and continue to keep posting on here. 

 

poetjester

Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.

 

On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 

 

Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator

Hi Theade,

 

I'm not seeing the signature.  It's the part that goes below our posts once you are signed in.  AliG left you a link.  If you go up to your user name in the right upper corner of the screen and then down to account settings........you should find it.  Then try to list all drugs/medications taken in the last 12-24 mos, with the dates taken and when off.  You need not list recreational drugs.  I think there is also a method explained that works from androids and Iphones too, if that is what you are posting from.

 

I'm not sure if you have had time to read the other link above about reinstating?  You may consider that as you are just 3 weeks off(as of your first post)......often times it does work a bit better early on in withdrawal, from my understanding.  It's usually done at a mini/teeny dose though.......much less than the doctors recommend.

 

Do  let us know.......how you are doing..........a daily log of symptoms can also be helpful.

 

Love, peace, in recovery/healing, and growth,

 

manymoretodays

Edited by manymoretodays

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Theade: thinking about Christmas

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