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KimLou: Zoloft WD after taking for only 2.5 months


KimLou

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Hello!  I am new here.  Please forgive how long this is, but I’m trying to be as concise as possible from the beginning for the moderators (and have a bad habit of digression, ha!). 

I so appreciate this page. 

 

I’ll try to add on my drug signature.  But if I don’t do that correctly at first, I apologize in advance, as well as, for any repetitiveness, since my brain isn’t always on par and I just may not feel like overly editing any repeated information in different sections below.

 

Please see my “thoughts about this forum” below “my history and withdrawal symptoms” further down the page here.  Again, I am so grateful for this website and realize my situation is not nearly as extreme as many, but it is all relative on bad days I suppose ;).  From everything I have read, it appears time is the KEY with all of this withdrawal malarkey. 

 

I am trying to be patient and positive and do have faith all will be ok in time, but I must admit I am totally blown away that I continue to have symptoms (sometimes new ones or variations on old ones) at 8 months out, after my last Zoloft, which I was on for only 2.5 months (25 mg and only the full 25 mg for the first 2 weeks – see below).  Holy crikey Batman!  And yes, I do know how quickly SSRI’s can start to change the pathways, etc. 

 

So, back on point…  Please see below.   AND THANK YOU so much in advance for all your help and my thoughts, heart and well wishes go out to all of those suffering FAR MORE than I am.  This is enough for me.  I can’t imagine some people’s hell in all this, though I’ve read enough on here to know I am grateful that, so far, I am not in that level of hell.

 

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 (+/ -  a year:  in my early 20’s)  -  20 mg Prozac (no major side effects, SE’s, and quit CT with no problems)
  • 2001-2002 (+/-  brief period of time after divorce:  in my early 30’s)  -  10 mg Prozac (again no major SE’s and quit CT no problems)
  • I just didn’t like how Prozac kind of flat lined me and I didn’t like the idea of staying on anything when I really didn’t feel like I needed anything.
  • THEN…  RECENT LIFE EVENTS…
  • 2017 April 27  -  Start 25 mg Zoloft (generic sertraline) very reluctantly (after the passing of my mom in October 2017 and a VERY PAINFUL  bad relationship break-up only a few months later.   My doctor thought Zoloft would help break my cycle of poor sleep and anxiety and sadness – though I really just wanted to try a sleeping pill of some kind. Though in hindsight, benzos can be difficult too and I am apparently pretty sensitive to many drugs.  Weeks prior to Zoloft, she gave me some trazadone, which I realize is not a benzo and, holy crap, hell no, never again.  One pill and I WAS NOT MYSELF.  Quit immediately and returned to normal, other than my original circumstantial sadness, anxiety and insomnia.)
  • 2017 May 15  -  Start cutting the Zoloft down to about 15-20 mg of Zoloft (because OMG it is wiring/amping –akathisia?-  the crap out of me and not helping me sleep and I’m having fuzzy eyes and head off and on.  I could have cleaned a house with a toothbrush.  It got me motivated, but I was still edgy and couldn’t sleep on that crack feeling.)
  • 2017 May 26  -  Start 12.5 mg of Zoloft (because still  SE’s of bleary eyes, extreme jaw clenching at night, mild fuzzy head with pressure – brain fog, still some anxiety and sadness)
  • 2017 June 30  -  Start 6.25 mg (because still a lot of jaw clenching, paresthesia – including prickling and burning, body vibrations – like every cell in my body was wired)
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely (because I suddenly developed tinnitus in my left ear and I was like “Eff This I’m done!”  Yes, I know, now that that was probably too fast of a taper, but my doctor and the pharmacist insisted should be fine and quite frankly, I was having such a horrible paradoxical reaction to it while I was on it, I doubt anyone could have made me understand to stay on it longer at the time to wean off more slowly.  It is what it is now.

 

THEN WITHDRAWAL (WD) SYMPTOMS:  In a nutshell…

  • Immediately after stopping had painful neuropathy for a few days in some places, mostly my left arm.  (I am familiar with neuropathy because I experienced it for several weeks years ago after only 1 dose of Cipro – won’t touch fluoroquinolones again either).
  • After stopping the zoloft still had inner vibrations (or what some may call minor akathisia at night…?) and paresthesia, mostly at night, but some paresthesia during day as well.
  • About a week after stopping developed severe brain fog.  Off and on quite severely for several weeks, but still with tinnitus and paresthesia.
  • Totally messed with my menstrual cycle for about 4 months in terms of missing one and then crazy flow (perimenopause, maybe, but now a wee more normal again and it was NEVER like that before Zoloft).  And as an Update – totally missed one in Feb 2018. Perimenopause possibly happening as well, but fun times to have both withdrawal and that.  Makes it hard to distinguish some things.  However, the crazy brain fog, internal tension and vibrations at night at times, the paresthesia and burning skin (not painful, but not normal), neuropathy at times (is painful), muscle weakness at times (not extreme, but notice when doing certain exercises), tinnitus, weird muscle tightness and head sensations at times, especially when trying to sleep and just overall, not quite me feelings at times… ah, yah, I’m gonna go with SSRI withdrawal on all that, because I was premenopausal prior to Zoloft and did not have any of those symptoms, other than some peri anxiety.  Plus, I find it quite fascinating that almost all people have many of these symptoms across the board no matter what SSRI they were on.  Coinkydinky…???  Hmmm, not as far as I’m concerned thank you very much.  Ooooppps… I digress again…  J
  • Anxiety off and on, but some of that could be residual from prior losses mentioned above.

 

FAST FORWARD TO…  End of September 2017 to January 2018 to present…

  • 2017 October - So to recap, I think I had a bit of a Window in some things in end of Sept and through October 2017. I was not “right”, but definitely felt better in some ways, even with some symptoms, felt more “normal” and hopeful.  And the inner vibrations or mild akathisia while on the drug at night seemed to be gone.  And the jaw clenching had stopped not long after stopping the drug.
  • 2017 November  - some things came back with a vengeance, like more sadness and anxiety and tinnitus more prevalent again.
    • (Tinnitus changed from just left ear to a more of a high pitch in head or both ears off and on, which I still have, off and on, and especially in bed at night and first thing in the morning as of today March 2, 2018. I had had moments off and on in past months of the high pitch not being there at all and just some tinnitus in left ear from when originally started at end of Zoloft.  But the high pitch, almost ringing in head-ish as well as both ears, has been present consistently for over a month now.  Sigh.  Just keep hoping eventually it will go away in time.)
  • December 2017 - Same as November but with Stupid Crazy Brain Fog Awfulness again, like cotton head, and couldn’t do cognitive things for diddly and still sometimes have moments where if I think too hard my brain just says, whatever, pack up and leaves the room.  This went on and off until around January 12, 2018.
  • AND  AT THE END OF DECEMBER - THE FIRST TIME  I think I had the beginnings of mild akathisia since when I was the Zoloft, but it felt a bit different with some weird “internal tension in my chest and head and arms and just uncomfortable weirdness.  And sometimes coupled with neuropathy in arms.  I swore I might be having a heart attack and realized, nope, just more new withdrawal BS.
  • Nov – present (ongoing at times)…  Muscle weakness and weirdness (not extreme, but not normal to me)
    • At some point in this time frame, I started to notice an overall muscle weakness feeling at times when exercising (weight bearing exercise and cardio), but I still do as much exercise as I can anyway for my sanity AND because at my age I can’t afford to lose any more of my fitness and tone.  It’s just too hard to get back and I don’t have that much to begin with.  I am grateful I can exercise at all (even if it flares a symptom or two at times, but mostly I’m ok), because I have read on this site how many can’t do that yet.
  • 2018 Jan 12-19th – POSSIBLE MINI WINDOW…?  About a week of almost “normal me mood” feeling Jan (though off and on all this time, still some tinnitus and minor paresthesia at times).
  • 2018 Jan 19th to present – ANOTHER WAVE -  the beginning of low grade akathisia for several weeks with awful paresthesia, neuropathy –  all worse at night.  So far, this wave is not absolutely 24/7, but many days for most of the day, with a minor window of 3 days lessened aka/pare/neuro/jingly symptoms.
    • And some more of the tinnitus high pitch at times, but very little brain fog.  Just more of an “off” feeling. 
    • And overall sad and anxious feeling.  Less upbeat like in the window week.
  • 2018 Feb 26th to present … Ruh-oh, as of today, super Brain Fog day – Crap ability to think or focus and brain just super fuzzy.  So add Brain Fog back in to the mix now off and on as well.
    • But had a few days with less to no akathisia or neuropathy or paresthesia. 
    • BUT SUPER TIRED off and on for the last week, including today.

 

AS A SIDE NOTE ON WINDOWS AND WAVES: 

  • Windows for me happen in a way that not ALL symptoms have ever ALL been gone, just marginally better at times and it fluctuates as to which symptoms decides to rise up more. 
  • During Windows, if that is what they are, I feel more “normal” overall in feeling like ME and my mood is pretty good, even if I’m having tinnitus or some minor paresthesia, etc.  And windows may even just be a day in the midst of things, where I “feel” so much better overall, even if other symptoms still happening on a subtle level.
  • What I consider Waves are when my mood is crap sad or anxious and  I don’t feel as “normal”, and/or I have a bad bout of the physical things like Brain Fog and/or mild akathisia, and/or paresthesia/neuropathy and tinnitus ( the tinnitus hasn’t really ever gone away yet, though there have been “moments” when it seems to have, only to come back.  Mine is not as severe as some peoples, but is DEFINITELY annoying at times and something I have never had before).

 

MEDS, SUPPLEMENTS, SLEEP, EXERCISE, CAFFEINE, ALCOHOL, ETC.:  Some things I have been on since before the Zoloft.

  • Thyroid (23 years)
  • EPA only about 500-1000mg day (started just before Zoloft)
  • Mild multi-vitamin (Dr. Furhman’s women’s with 1000mg D3 – sometimes take an extra 1000mg D3). Started before the Zoloft I believe.
  • Mg citrate (just before zoloft - anywhere from 200-300mg, depending on what I feel like a day)
  • Quercetin (500-100mg day for years for another medical condition I’ve had for 20 years)
  • Hydrolysed Collagen for my skin (just before Zoloft).  Does help my skin (doesn’t seem to matter one way or the other with WD, but can make me sleepy at night).
  • Biotin (1000mg) for my hair (lost a lot after mom passed, but it is coming back)
  • Play around with NAC 500 mg a day for a few days a week (not sure it helps, doesn’t seem to hurt).
  • Vit C every now and again (500 mg), but not always very regular about it.
  • Play around with caffeine (had some of my best days on it and so it doesn’t seem to directly affect WD. But I do limit my caffeine accordingly at times. But I do limit my caffeine accordingly at times.
  • I think I’m finding  WD does whatever it wants to, whenever it wants to, and, in my case, seems to be mostly independent of anything I specifically do, eat, drink, etc at any given moment.  I have experimented many times.  As many on this forum have said, TIME AND PATIENCE ARE THE KEY FACTORS.  I am currently 8 months out and may have months to go...
  • Alcohol is a crap shoot and I rarely drink anyway (once or twice a month or not at all).  Sometimes it has been helpful and sometimes, maybe not.  But I mostly avoid it right now.
  • Try to keep to a strict sleep schedule because though I do sleep finally some now (didn’t while on Zoloft or before due to the losses I had and anxiety) I rarely sleep all the way through the night
    • But a broken 5-6 hours of sleep or so, is way better than 4 or less or none! 
    • I also have found that the collagen at night (it has a lot of glycine in it) along with some magnesium helps me.  But too much magnesium at night can seem to do an odd paradoxical thing and agitate me, so I have to be careful.
  • I have exercise class about 3 times a week (when I can).  And I walk or hike when I can or the weather allows.  Exercise has helped a lot.  Though, when the chips are down, the chips are down, even with exercise.  But I refuse to not exercise and should probably do more.  But sometimes laziness/tiredness, lack of time, or withdrawal symptoms win.

 

THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS FORUM and just stuff in general:

  • Thank goodness it exsists, ha!  :D Thank you all for being here and for those who started it!
  • My doctor didn’t think this withdrawal was a “thing”.  I had to send her an article from Harvard Med Page showing that it is (but even the Harvard article doesn’t think it lasts this long).
  • Have had 2 people, another doctor of mine (later into withdrawal) and one a psychologist confirm withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome is a “thing” and that it will take longer than I like or think it will.  So, yay, I’m not crazy ;).
  • My Withdrawal (WD) is far less that many people on here, but enough to definitely get my attention and still disturbing, despite that I am mostly functional, because I feel very “off” kilter.
  • I refuse to believe it will not get better, but am a bit blown away that after only 2.5 months at 25mg or less of Zoloft (the generic), I would still be dealing with any of this, but of course, this forum proves this is definitely not unusual for some.
  • Am getting on this site to just confirm that getting worse before better, etc, is “normal”, even for such a short period of time on the drug (yay, not the way I want to be “normal”, snort, but one must keep a sense of humor ;)).
  • I will probably not “live” on this site because I am trying to just get on with it and give it time as much as I can and because I, so far, knock on wood, am not as severe as some people.  But I am grateful for this site, as I have been on it many times for my sanity (but equally I try not to go down the rabbit hole too much with it either), and am in awe of those who have walked through hella worse.
  • Despite a strong family history of anxiety and depression on my mom’s side, which I have subtly dealt with all my life (with some severe depression from situational events), I will do everything I possibly can to be happy and healthy without drugs.  I know I was desperate for relief and sleep before this zoloft Sh*tstorm , but the bright side is I will have learned some valuable cognitive skills and behavior (I do have a counselor and have for a long while, but this is definitely making me up my game on my thought processes ;).  And I will not take another SSRI again.
  • I was going to go to Italy for my 50th this summer and hike in the Dolomites, but have decided to wait until WD is done.  Stupid WD.
  • Whenever I’m in a Wave I think I’m going to do a TED talk on all this Withdrawal stuff to help educate and save the world!  And then I have a good day and think, heck No, I don’t want to spend any more time on this malarkey at ALL when it is all GONE for good! (so, I can see why there may not be more success stories actually online – people just want to get on with living).
  • Again, I’m not nearly as bad off as some, but I also know I’m not supposed to feel all these side-effect-like symptoms.  I know what “normal” feels like and WD most definitely is NOT IT!  :P

 

WOW.  SORRY THAT WAS SOOOO LONG!  And not very well written (I'm sure there all kinds of typos etc).  But I just want to get this out into the ether, before I keep putting it off and then have a wave and wish I had done that, ha!

 

Many thanks for this site.  I may have questions in time, but for now, I’m just trying to get my basics on here in the event anyone or the moderators have any helpful words and affirmations and so that I can ask questions if I need to do so later.  Also, I may have totally forgotten some things which I may add later on.

 

IN ADVANCE, please do not feel I am being rude or slighting anyone if I do not respond should anyone post to me.  I may just be getting on with things as best I can and not checking this site too often.  But I still appreciate everyone on here and what everyone is going through.  My best wishes to all!

 

KimLou

 

DRUG SIGNATUE (FROM ABOVE)... SORRY, I'M NOT SURE HOW I "ADD" THIS ON...

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 (+/ -  a year:  in my early 20’s)  -  20 mg Prozac (no major side effects, SE’s, and quit CT with no problems)
  • 2001-2002 (+/-  brief period of time after divorce:  in my early 30’s)  -  10 mg Prozac (again no major SE’s and quit CT no problems)
  • I just didn’t like how Prozac kind of flat lined me and I didn’t like the idea of staying on anything when I really didn’t feel like I needed anything.
  • THEN…  RECENT LIFE EVENTS…
  • 2017 April 27  -  Start 25 mg Zoloft (generic sertraline) very reluctantly (after the passing of my mom in October 2017 and a VERY PAINFUL  bad relationship break-up only a few months later.   My doctor thought Zoloft would help break my cycle of poor sleep and anxiety and sadness – though I really just wanted to try a sleeping pill of some kind. Though in hindsight, benzos can be difficult too and I am apparently pretty sensitive to many drugs.  Weeks prior to Zoloft, she gave me some trazadone, which I realize is not a benzo and, holy crap, hell no, never again.  One pill and I WAS NOT MYSELF.  Quit immediately and returned to normal, other than my original circumstantial sadness, anxiety and insomnia.)
  • 2017 May 15  -  Start cutting the Zoloft down to about 15-20 mg of Zoloft (because OMG it is wiring/amping –akathisia?-  the crap out of me and not helping me sleep and I’m having fuzzy eyes and head off and on.  I could have cleaned a house with a toothbrush.  It got me motivated, but I was still edgy and couldn’t sleep on that crack feeling.)
  • 2017 May 26  -  Start 12.5 mg of Zoloft (because still  SE’s of bleary eyes, extreme jaw clenching at night, mild fuzzy head with pressure – brain fog, still some anxiety and sadness)
  • 2017 June 30  -  Start 6.25 mg (because still a lot of jaw clenching, paresthesia – including prickling and burning, body vibrations – like every cell in my body was wired)
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely (because I suddenly developed tinnitus in my left ear and I was like “Eff This I’m done!”  Yes, I know now that that was probably too fast of a taper, but my doctor and the pharmacist insisted should be fine and quite frankly, I was having such a horrible paradoxical reaction to it while I was on it, I doubt anyone could have made me understand to stay on it longer at the time to wean off more slowly.  It is what it is now.

 

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 20 mg Prozac CT
  • 2001-2002 10 mg Prozac CT
  • 2017 April 27  -  25 mg Zoloft/sertraline
  • 2017 May 15  -  15-20 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 May 26  -  12.5 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 June 30  -  6.25 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely
Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to KimLou: Zoloft WD after taking for only 2.5 months
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi KimLou, and welcome to SA,

 

What is contained in your drug history at the bottom of your post is too wordy for your drug signature.  We just need a list drug, date, dose - NO symptoms or diagnoses please.

 

This is the preferred format which makes it easier for us to see your drug history at a glance. 

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  More information to follow either from me or another mod.

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

 

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

Current from 6 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.328 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
33 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

What is contained in your drug history at the bottom of your post is too wordy for your drug signature.  We just need a list drug, date, dose - NO symptoms or diagnoses please.

 

I have streamlined your signature.  This is all that is needed.  Please check the following drug history and if correct copy and paste it as your drug signature.  We need it simple so we can see your drug history at a glance.  If we need to see the symptoms, diagnoses etc we will read back through your posts.  Thank you.

 

  • 1992-1998 20 mg Prozac CT
  • 2001-2002 10 mg Prozac CT
  • 2017 April 27  -  25 mg Zoloft/sertraline
  • 2017 May 15  -  15-20 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 May 26  -  12.5 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 June 30  -  6.25 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely

 

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

 

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

Current from 6 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.328 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post

Thank you, ChessieCat!  Yah, sorry about that.  I am often too verbose.  I also come from a job where more detailed info the better, so it's a hard habit to break, ha!

 

Thank you and I shall go "fix" my signature with what you provided right away.

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 20 mg Prozac CT
  • 2001-2002 10 mg Prozac CT
  • 2017 April 27  -  25 mg Zoloft/sertraline
  • 2017 May 15  -  15-20 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 May 26  -  12.5 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 June 30  -  6.25 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely
Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Hey there.  Forgive me if I'm not in the right place, but I wasn't sure if I should ask questions regarding any part of the WD process here or do I start a new topic under another location like symptoms and self-care or some other topic forum?  Basically, I was curious where to ask about if there were many others who had only been on Zoloft/Sertraline for such a short period of time and were still having some WD even 8 months later, etc...  I feel like some things are better at times, but many things are still present (though not all 24/7), along with a new symptom (or new variation of an existing or past symptom) popping up even now 8 months out. 

 

I realize from all I have read that there are no guarantees and that everyone will be different.  Plus I did have a bad experience while ON the drug, so that may be part of things despite being on it for such a short time.  I'm just curious and trying not to be discouraged at times (though I know my situation is not nearly as severe or difficult as most others) that I'm still having many issues so far out (though I do realize I am having windows also, even if not complete windows yet).

 

Thanks so much!

Kimlou

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 20 mg Prozac CT
  • 2001-2002 10 mg Prozac CT
  • 2017 April 27  -  25 mg Zoloft/sertraline
  • 2017 May 15  -  15-20 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 May 26  -  12.5 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 June 30  -  6.25 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely
Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.

 

There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site (click on the logo top left) at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.

 

Here are links to some things which you might find helpful:

 

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

 

Keep Notes on Paper

 

This link has excel spreadsheets and lists to print out:

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.  It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  

 

It is best to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Acceptance


Acceptance and Mindfulness

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

CBT Course:  An Introductory Self-Help Course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

 

Anxiety Stuff - all kinds of stuff about anxiety attacks and things that help ...

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

 

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

Current from 6 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.328 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post
  • Mentor
FarmGirlWorks

Hi and welcome KimLou,

 

Can't answer your question about being on the poison Z/sertraline for a short time ( I was on it for 5ish years with a couple CT thrown in until WD made me run back to it -- I didn't know about this site or WD and thought it was a relapse and would have to be on drugs the rest of my days). Fast forward to 11 months off of it after a fast taper/CT. However, I just turned 51 and agree that it is difficult to tease apart what is WD and what is hormonal shifts happening. Good times! Sometimes I get a period and have barely felt the crushing PMDD that comes with it. And sometimes, like this week, it has been dark. I used to be able to mitigate some of the PMDD with medical cannabis when I was on the zoloft. Now, it is hit or miss.

 

Definitely going to check out the TED talks. It always helps to be reminded that one is not crazy (at least about this). It is the hardest thing I have ever done and I think that perimenopause just adds to the joy.

  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017, quit coffee October 2017, quit cannabis 😩 July 2018
  • Magnesium powder, fish oil, estradiol, kombucha, gluten/dairy/histamine-lite
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini practice

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

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Hello FarmGirlWorks!

 

Thank you for your reply and support.  Yes, hormones are such a joy on their own, why not add to them? ;)  

 

Thank you for the TED talk idea.  Yes, if nothing else, just knowing one is not crazy is so helpful.  My situation, though vastly annoying and discouraging at times, is I'm sure, quite minimal compared to others on here, but I am so grateful for this site as it has helped to read many others you are still pushing forward and many who reiterate it will get better in time.

 

I so hope you begin to feel better soon.  I have followed your post off and on, as well as, many others and admire your perseverance.  Though I know some days it doesn't feel like that.  

 

Thanks again!  And please don't feel slighted should I not respond well or frequently.  I'm trying to be as proactive as I can be in other ways and may not be on here as often.  But I just want you and anyone else to know how appreciative I am of anyone's responses because I know everyone is just trying to make it through to the other side and it takes energy to be here.  So people may not always be as communicative at times.   I get it!  :D

 

 

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 20 mg Prozac CT
  • 2001-2002 10 mg Prozac CT
  • 2017 April 27  -  25 mg Zoloft/sertraline
  • 2017 May 15  -  15-20 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 May 26  -  12.5 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 June 30  -  6.25 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely
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FarmGirl...ps...

 

That doesn't mean I won't try to check back as often as I can, so please feel free to ask me anything, as well, if I may be of other help :D

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 20 mg Prozac CT
  • 2001-2002 10 mg Prozac CT
  • 2017 April 27  -  25 mg Zoloft/sertraline
  • 2017 May 15  -  15-20 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 May 26  -  12.5 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 June 30  -  6.25 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely
Link to post

Hi kimlou, 

 

Your other post to topic on  parathesia brought me to your main thread! Such a fabulous job done to the introduction page and the update posts!

 

We share many of the symptoms you described on the parathesia topic. It's heartbreaking to read your long healing process after such a short exposure to the poison!

 

You mentioned you had issues/SE while on Zoloft even before tapering, I wonder if you can share more details about the symptoms you had before reducing doses.

 

What are the sxs new since you started  reducing dose and that you think are truly from withdrawal not the SE?

 

Hope you are having a good day today and speedy healing moving forward! 

 

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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Hello LexAnger!

 

I have seen you before. ;)  Thank you for your nice words regarding my information.  I'm sure I could have been a bit more concise, but that's not always my forte and though I do not have the brain fog 24/7, it does come and go and there are times when I'm not super sharp, ha, and it's just too hard to proofread, haha.

 

So, I went to your page to get a brief background on your situation. Wow, I'm so sorry about all that and what you have had to do over the last few years and congratulations for making it all the way off the drug!  Yes, I knew what I was taking my zoloft for in regards to the anxiety and lack of sleep after the loss of my mom and my friend, but I had a super strong gut feeling about "noooo, don't do it", but I finally caved because I truly was in a horrible place emotionally and with sleep.  But none of us should ever beat ourselves up for what we decided to do, under the circumstances at the time, because how could we really ever have known.  I am trying to look at it like a huge growth process, one forced out of the situation, to be better off in the long run for trying to learn new and better ways to be positive and appreciate the little things and to learn how to work on any anxiety or "life stressors and pain" via cognitive behavior and other healthy ways as much as possible.  That is not to say any of this is fun and again, I am not as severe as some.  

 

Back to your questions as best as possible (and forgive me, but I will be getting ready for bed soon after this.  I just can't push my bedtime envelop since WD)...

 

I'm not sure if you read my entire intro post, but I'm pretty sure all that I am experiencing currently still is from WD.  I have been off completely for about 8.5 months now.  When I was on the drug I was so wired within 2 weeks that I could have cleaned a house with a toothbrush and had horrible jaw clenching and the beginnings of the paresthesia (pins and needles mostly and not painful, just annoying.  Full disclosure, I was somewhat familiar with it due to a mild form I had experienced prior to the drug just from being in perimenopause, but that was very, very mild and infrequent, so it was a bit different from the drug version.)  I also started to get a bit of the fuzzy headspace.  Basically, I couldn't sleep (which is why my doctor gave it to me) because I think I must have had a form of mild akathisia while on the drug and my body would not internally relax enough for me to get to a deep sleep.  I would just sleep on the surface as it were and barely at that.

 

So I asked my doctor if I could cut my dose from 25 mg down to around 18 or 15 ish (by cutting the pills), then after  I was getting a bit less agitation, but not much and then I cut it down to 12ish.  I think my doctor was ok with this.  But then also had a bad night with stronger paresthesia and burning skin (not painful, but burny ) and I said, screw this, and checked with the pharmacist, because my doctor was on vacation, and cut it down to 6.26 mg.  I was on that for 10 days, got tinnitus and said, I'm out, I'm done and stopped. My doctor was still on vacation and the pharmacist was like sure, you're on such a small dose.  My doctor didn't see how I could still be having symptoms even back at 3 months out, becasue it should be out of my system.  I had to send her an article from Harvard Med School about discontinuation syndrome from antidepressants as being a real thing.  Good grief.

 

Then the neuropathy hit and the god-awful brain fog and I think the rest is listed better above back up in my original post up above.  But basically, I think what might be the correct answer is that the WD symptoms I currently have even still are very similar, if not identical to the Side Effects I was having while actually on the drug.  I think I had a strong reaction or paradoxical reaction to the drug in the first place and that's why I'm still having the symptoms in withdrawal.  So I just have to ride it out.  Some things have gotten better, like the anxiety lately has been better.  I'm more excited about things in general, even though I still have many physical sypmtoms.  But I'm definitely not quite right.

 

Ok, I'm off to bed and again as I've mentioned before, I may not always be able to respond quickly, but I will always try to make an attempt when I can.  I so hope you are doing better, as you have not been off of your meds for very long all things considered and your symptoms sound a bit more severe and I have never ever had thoughts or feelings of suicide prior to the drug, or while on the drug or after the drug.  I can only imagine how terrifying that must have been.  I so hope (because I haven't read your entire history of posts) that some things have improved.  I do believe this will all get better, but I know all this neuro healing takes time.  Hang in there and have a good night to you!

 

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 20 mg Prozac CT
  • 2001-2002 10 mg Prozac CT
  • 2017 April 27  -  25 mg Zoloft/sertraline
  • 2017 May 15  -  15-20 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 May 26  -  12.5 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 June 30  -  6.25 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely
Link to post

To ChessieCat...

 

Thank you for your last post above with all the great info.  So sorry, I thought I had responded to say thank you, but I didn't so, thank you!  I have not had a chance to read about you yet,  and hope you are doing well and making progress.  Thank you so much for your time on this site.  Have a good night!

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 20 mg Prozac CT
  • 2001-2002 10 mg Prozac CT
  • 2017 April 27  -  25 mg Zoloft/sertraline
  • 2017 May 15  -  15-20 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 May 26  -  12.5 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 June 30  -  6.25 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely
Link to post
  • Mentor
FarmGirlWorks
On 3/13/2018 at 12:35 PM, KimLou said:

please don't feel slighted should I not respond well or frequently

Ha! Same goes here. We are all in the soup together for a while.

  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017, quit coffee October 2017, quit cannabis 😩 July 2018
  • Magnesium powder, fish oil, estradiol, kombucha, gluten/dairy/histamine-lite
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini practice

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

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Really appreciate your quick reply Kimlou!

amazing what great positive altitude you have toward this most incredible and heartbreaking experience!

 

thanks also for checking out me from my intro page! It was way too long and too complicated for anyone including myself to comprehense even looking back now.

 

yes, I did read your entire posts. It seems you got some weird feeling along with some strange head spacing sensation after taking the initial 25mg so you decided to drop quickly. yeah, I guess its hard to even tell what is caused by what after a reaction to the drug then quit quickly.

 

regardless, hope you continue healing ASAP and recover in full at no time!

 

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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To FarmGirl:  Ha, yup, some sloopy, sloppy soup! :P  Hope you are having an ok day and if not that you have one soon.  I hope your recovery (because I say you will recover, so there! ;)) chugs along and picks up speed soon.

 

To LexAnger:  Thank You!  And you too, of course.  Yes, some things are hard to know exactly.  And as I said to FarmGirl above, about recovery, ditto to you as well!

 

Take care.  One more day closer to the other side...the healed side.

SSRI HISTORY:  I am currently 49 years old (2017)

  • 1992-1998 20 mg Prozac CT
  • 2001-2002 10 mg Prozac CT
  • 2017 April 27  -  25 mg Zoloft/sertraline
  • 2017 May 15  -  15-20 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 May 26  -  12.5 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 June 30  -  6.25 mg Zoloft
  • 2017 July 10  -  Stop Zoloft completely
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  • 2 years later...
  • Administrator
Altostrata

Hello, @KimLou. How are you doing?

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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