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Dejavu

Dejavu: Can anyone tell me what's going on?

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Songbird
22 minutes ago, Dejavu said:

I was only completely off Zoloft for 5 weeks, one of which was the Lexapro fiasco. I don't know if that matters much or not. I will try the 12.5 for a bit and see what happens. Thank you again!

 

Sorry, I must have misread your signature.  It looks like you started and stopped it again?  That can also make your system more sensitive.

 

Hopefully you'll have milder side effects with the lower dose.  Please keep posting the daily symptom notes, it's very helpful to mods. 

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Dejavu

Yes, I was on it for about 15 mos to "help" with benzo withdrawal. After successful w/d from klonopin, I then fast tapered zoloft in Jan of this year. No apparent problems. Then in April, my doctor advised me to go back on during my mom's final days. It was then that I realized the weakness and shakes were actually coming from the zoloft all along and had NOT been benzo w/d, so in August I did another fast 1 month taper, never suspecting it would be a problem. Felt fantastic - side effects totally vanished - and a month later it all hit the fan. Then a week of Lexapro, then back to Zoloft at half dosage 25mg. Sheesh...just seeing it in writing, no wonder I'm exhausted.

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Dejavu

Dec 5 continued

 

8pm - Ate dinner - anxiety 8/10 - depression 9/10 - weakness/tremor 7/10 

 

8:30 - anxiety 5/10 - depression 7/10 (after msgs from Songbird and Composter) - took 2600 mg magnesium - diarrhea slightly improved

 

10pm - Forgot and took 25mg zoloft (will start 12.5 tomorrow) - anxiety 5/10 - depression 6/10 - weakness/tremor 8/10 - dizziness 4/10 - palps 3/10

 

 

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Dejavu

@Songbird - tiny but noticeable improvement in mental symptoms today. I absent-mindedly popped the 25mg pill last night, but I wanted to run some things past you or anyone who's listening right now. As I've stated before, I've always had side effects while on zoloft - weakness, trembling, lower digestive issues, fatigue. Those are my worst physical symptoms now on reinstatement, which tells me you are right; my reinstatement dose is too high. But I am petrified that dropping the dose by 50% - from 25 to 12.5 - is going to throw me into withdrawal. Does it make sense to split the difference and go to 19 and see what happens? Also, if I do go down to 12.5 and I crash, is it feasible that I could updose at that point? I feel that a reduction would help with the weakness and tremor, as dose reductions have always done in the past, and maybe I'm overthinking, but I'm so afraid of messing around with my dosage prior to being stabilized. I am grateful for any advice and encouragement I can get right now. @composter  - hope you're doing well today. I could use one of your wonderful pep talks today if you're up to it. I'll be happy to return the favor when I'm able.

 

 

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Songbird

Do you have a way to accurately measure doses (e.g. liquid Zoloft, or using a jeweller's scale)?

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Dejavu

Not at the moment. I have an appt w/my PCP tomorrow. She is my prescriber (no more psychiatrists for me, thanks!), and I will ask for a liquid refill.

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Songbird

Once you get the liquid, you'll have more flexibility with doses.  Are the Zoloft side effects (weakness, tremor, fatigue) worse than they were when you were on Zoloft before, or about the same?  Have the withdrawal symptoms (depression, anxiety, etc.) improved since your reinstatement or stayed the same?

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Dejavu
2 minutes ago, Songbird said:

Are the Zoloft side effects (weakness, tremor, fatigue) worse than they were when you were on Zoloft before, or about the same? 

It's hard to remember, because there was a klonopin w/d in the mix that time, but my sense of it is that it is now worse than back then.

 

The firat several days after reinstatement, the anxiety and depression improved, but have steadily gotten worse over the past couple of weeks.

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Dejavu

Only today do I see a slight improvement of anxiety and depression.

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Songbird

Okay, keep posting those daily notes, and once you have liquid, we'll work out a plan for reducing dose.

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Dejavu

Okay, thank you. I will post symptoms again tonight. I really appreciate your help.

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Altostrata

Hello, Dejavu. I actually see some slight improvements recently, indicating you're recovering from the 37.5mg doses, which were much too high. 

 

Given you recognize the adverse effects you get from Zoloft, and you have observed they lessen when you reduce the dosage, it makes sense, as Songbird has suggested, to try a lower dose. When you get the prescription liquid, you can take 12.5mg in tablet form and 7.5mg in liquid form, which will reduce your daily dose to 20mg. 

 

For the first few doses, though, I would take 12.5mg in tablet form plus 12.5mg in liquid form, to assess the transition to liquid before making another dosage reduction.

 

 

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Dejavu

Dec 6

Midnight - took 1/2 Cortisol Manager 

 

2am - took 6mg melatonin - fell asleep 3am

 

8am - woke up w/o cortisol spike - went back to sleep

 

Noon - woke up w/o cortisol spike - took shower - worked for 30 minutes (hard to sit up due to inner vibration which is almost constant when I sit) - took shower - weak/trem 8/10 - diarrhea - dizziness 4/10 - anxiety 6/20 - depression 6/10 - muscle twitches 3/10 - appetite 6/10

 

3pm - anxiety 7/10 - depression 6/10 - weak/trem 7/10 - dizziness 5/10 - ate lunch

 

4:30pm - sudden spike in anxiety 8/10 - depression 8/10 - weak/trem 9/10 - dizziness 4/10 - muscle twitches 4/10

 

5pm - took 369mg magnesium

 

6:30 - crying spell

 

8pm - diarrhea - palps 2/10 - anxiety 8/10 - depression 8/10 - weak/trem 7/10

 

9pm - ate dinner - anxiety 6/10 - depression 7/10 - weak/trem 5/10 - dizziness 2/10 - palps 2/10

 

10pm - took 26mg dose - weak/trem 5/10 - sore and tense thigh muscles 6/10 - anxiety 6/10 - depression 7/10 - palps 4/10

 

 

 

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Dejavu

@Altostrata - thank you very much for this. I would feel so alone if not for the guidance of you wonderful people. I thought I was seeing some improvement too, but I dared not hope. I can sure see the value in having several sets of experienced eyes looking over the data and seeing things I have missed. I'm guilty of looking on the dark side quite a bit these days. Hopefully the accupuncture and CBT I start on Monday will begin to help with that. Chessie Cat was kind enough to warn me against detox or stimulating accupuncture, and I will make sure my ND fully understands. I'm pretty sure he and I are on the same page. I am assuming you would like me continue posting my daily symptoms while reducing with the liquid. I think it's awesome the way this community works. The mods here are very hands-on, and I appreciate it more than you know!

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Carmie

Hi Dejavu, 

 

Just wanted to pop by n say I’m so sorry you are going through this. Most people on this site are still going through withdrawals, though some have come out the other end. It makes me happy to read success stories, and we will all be success stories one day too. It would be lovely if more people would write their success stories but once a lot of people are well again they seem to disappear as they no longer want to dwell on what they’ve gone through. Definitely understandable.

 

I hope that the CBT n acupuncture will be beneficial for you. 

 

Sending sunshine your way☀️☀️☀️

 

 

 

 

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composter
On 12/5/2018 at 6:42 PM, Dejavu said:

Thank you for the moral support and the prayers. I don't even feel human right now.

 

Of course; we're here with you and we've been through the depths of the despair that you are feeling right now. I am honored to provide support to you and to walk through this with you. Keep reaching out to the resources around you, especially your support system and your provider team. I am continuing to pray for you, that God will lead you out of this place and you will experience rapid improvement. You are not alone.

 

This part of your post stuck out to me: "I don't feel human right now." Indeed, so much of this is because of how the medication has altered the brain at the neuron level. You are right, it's not normal for the brain to be going through so many harrowing emotions all at once. In many ways this is a man-made problem, and you are very justified to feel angry about it all. This is such a unique and challenging experience for all of us who have gone through withdrawal. Few can know what the suffering is truly like. But do not lose hope. Hold on to who you are and hold on to the trust and knowledge that you will come out of this. It will pass. So many of us have been through this and are on the other side of the suffering, finding healing and growth.

 

I'm so glad to hear that you have felt some improvement in the anxiety and depression. Trust your instincts and listen to your body and brain now, more than ever. You have shown so much courage and resolve during this intense time. Your writing is clear and coherent despite the immense suffering you are going through. I know how difficult that can be to feel like you're fighting to even think or speak. When I went through my acute withdrawal I felt like I was digging deep to an inner core strength that I never knew I had. You are finding that right now. Indeed, in my withdrawal experience: I learned what it means to be human. We are much more than just the cells and neurons that compose our body and mind. The brain is amazingly complex, infinitely mysterious, and totally resilient. No robot, no computer system, no scientific algorithm can ever come close to matching the human brain. It is through suffering and pain that we learn who we are and we learn what it means to be human. You are human. You are alive, you are resilient, you are you.

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Dejavu

How very kind of you @Carmie. I am so touched by the kindness of this community at what is without a doubt the lowest point in my life. It seems I need constant reassurance that I am not "stuck this way." I am appalled at the arrogance of the mainstream medical community who continue to deny this is a real problem for many people. I agree that more folks should write their success stories. It would be very comforting. I only hope to write my own someday...

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Carmie
3 minutes ago, Dejavu said:

How very kind of you @Carmie. I am so touched by the kindness of this community at what is without a doubt the lowest point in my life. It seems I need constant reassurance that I am not "stuck this way." I am appalled at the arrogance of the mainstream medical community who continue to deny this is a real problem for many people. I agree that more folks should write their success stories. It would be very comforting. I only hope to write my own someday...

 

Hi again dejavu, 

 

Yes, I totally agree with you about the arrogance of the medical community. My psychiatrist says he doesn’t know anyone else that is going through withdrawals like me?????  He is a nice person though n his arrogance is due to what he’s been taught in medical school n the dollar signs he probably sees when pharmaceutical companies get him to offer meds. 

 

He didn’t prescribe me what I’m on at the moment though. He did start this horror of withdrawals though. I was in chronic pain n he put me on endone, OxyContin n eventually fentanyl, as well as Valium n then Xanax. I’m not on any of those drugs now. I’m on

Seroquel. I’ve been tapering it for many, many years. I started at 300mg n I’m now down to 7.5mg but it will take me at least another ten years to get off this as I’m so sensitive to every drop. 

 

I am an extremely positive person by nature though n I know one day I will get out of this horror. I have cried n I have felt like I couldn’t go on, but despite that I know I will heal. 

 

Hang in there, we will get there. 

 

Sending much love💚💚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dejavu

Oh, gosh @composter - thank you so very much! I spend my days lately in my room lying down, while the rest of the world goes on without me. I am tormented by things large and small - from the fact that I cannot go get a mani/pedi because I can't sit still or hold my hands steady long enough - to the conversation I'll be forced to have with my three beautiful daughters where I get to tell them that there will be no Christmas here this year for them and their kiddos. I am not able physically or emotionally. I am still devastated over the loss of my sister last year, and my sweet precious mother in June. The three of us were very close - best friends - and I feel so abandoned. Then with both of my brothers having heart attacks three days apart and both needing open heart surgery while I was in the middle of (surprise) withdrawal - I guess it has all just spun me into a brand new dimension of hell I never knew existed. I am triggered 24/7 these days. I'm a musician, and music has sustained me and has been my oxygen my whole life. Now, I have had to quit both of my bands because I can't stand up long enough to play. I also cannot work right now. So I cannot be there for my family, I cannot work, and I cannot play music - all the things that make me "me." That's what I mean about not feeling human. Like I'm alive, but not really alive, you know?

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Dejavu

@Carmie, I am so sorry it's taking you so long. Surely not another decade!! I really don't care how long it takes me to taper as long as I can function and be happy. I did a 15 month taper off 3mgs of klonopin and even though I too, suffered after every single cut, I was shocked that I was able to walk right off afterward with almost zero acute and no protracted. I am hoping my luck holds once again. I am also hoping that's what happens to you with the Seroquel. I know that's a tough one to shake, but you've made tremendous progress so far!

 

Seems you have been polydrugged for a while, and look how much you have accomplished in getting off of it all. How do you manage your chronic pain these days?

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Carmie
9 minutes ago, Dejavu said:

@Carmie, I am so sorry it's taking you so long. Surely not another decade!! I really don't care how long it takes me to taper as long as I can function and be happy. I did a 15 month taper off 3mgs of klonopin and even though I too, suffered after every single cut, I was shocked that I was able to walk right off afterward with almost zero acute and no protracted. I am hoping my luck holds once again. I am also hoping that's what happens to you with the Seroquel. I know that's a tough one to shake, but you've made tremendous progress so far!

 

Seems you have been polydrugged for a while, and look how much you have accomplished in getting off of it all. How do you manage your chronic pain these days?

 

Hi Dejavu, 

 

I’m not in chronic pain at the moment. Don’t want to go into details now but I’m okay in that regard. 

 

I’m going to do the brassmonkey slide in the future n by the looks of that it might take that long, though I may tweak it. 

 

Yes, I’ve definitely been polydrugged. 

 

I’m sooo glad you didn’t get protractracted withdrawal from the klonopin. I’m very happy for you. 

 

Thanks, I have made tremendous progress getting down to 7.5mgs of Seroquel from 300mg. I was alone n didn’t know about this site n it was terrifying but I somehow managed. It makes me smile that I somehow figured out the math in my own as I’m hopeless with math. 

 

Sending much love love to you, thank you for your kind thoughts💚

 

 

 

 

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Altostrata

Dejavu, I am concerned about the 6mg melatonin. That is indeed a hefty dose. You might fall asleep earlier if you take a smaller dosage, too much melatonin can keep you awake. It is a 6mg tablet? Can you cut it in half?

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Dejavu

Altostrata, they are 3 mg tablets. Night before last I cut one into thirds and took 1mg. It did not work very well. It took me a very long time to fall asleep and I woke up many times during the night. My ND didn't feel it was excessive. But I will try 3mg (1 tab)  tonight and look for lower dosage tabs tomorrow if you think that would be best.

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Altostrata

Let's see how you do with 3mg. Melatonin dosing is very individual.

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Dejavu

Ok, thanks. I doubled down because it seems to keep morning cortisol spikes from happening. Now that I have the cortisol manager supplement from my ND (which I started at 1/4 dose and titrated up and seems to work so far), I will try 3 melatonin and see if I can go even lower eventually. In my "real" life, I very seldom have issues with insomnia.

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Dejavu

I just returned from my doctor's appt. She has agreed that I must taper slowly off zoloft and will let me go at my own pace. She rx'd the liquid for me, but not only will the pharmacy not have it until next week, it is also not covered by my insurance and I cannot afford it at $280 per month. Mods, please help!! Is there any way to dissolve the pill in water and take it that way? My husband is able to work out the math if someone can just get us started. Looks like liquid zoloft isn't going to be an option for me.

 

Another issue if anyone can offer guidance: despite losing over 40 pounds and watching my diet, it seems my cholesterol is now scary high! Also, I cut processed sugar 100% out of my diet and cut carbs by at least 60%, but my blood sugar was only slightly reduced. I know this is a long shot, but could those readings have anything at all to do with withdrawal? I can't see throwing a statin into this horrible withdrawal mix right now, but I'm really kind of scared. My bp is excellent, but blood levels seem...just wrong.

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Dejavu

Dec 7

Midnight - took 1 Cortisol Manager - anxiety 1/10 - depression 3/10 - weakness/tremor 3/10

 

2:30 - bad headache 6/10 - anxiety creeping up 4/10 - palps 5/10 - sweats 5/10 - took 3mg melatonin - got to sleep arpund 4am

 

11:30am - woke with high anxiety 8/10 - depression 8/10 - weakness/tremor 5/10 - palps 4/10

 

2pm - dr. appt. - anxiety 9/10 - depression 7/10 - palps 3/10 - weakness/tremor 8/10 - dizziness 6/10 - crying spell

 

4pm - ate lunch - amxiety 6/10 - depression 7/10 - weakness/tremor 7/10 - crying spell

 

6pm - took 2600 mg fish oil - anxiety 5/10 - depression 7/10 - weakness/tremor 7/10 - dizziness 5/10

 

7pm - ate dinner - anxiety 8/10 - depression 8/10 - weakness/tremor 7/10 - palps 5/10

 

9pm - same as above - utter feeling of hopelessness and desperation - drank herbal tea - diarrhea - crying spell

 

10pm - Took 25 mg dose - anxiety 5/10 - depression 5/10 - weakness/tremor 6/10 - dizziness 3/10 - palps 3/10

 

Bad day. But 2 takeaways: it seems that I do, at least at this point, need the 6 mgs of melatonin to get to sleep. It also seems that something in the Cortisol Manager supplement ramped up my symptoms about an hour after taking it. It had to be either the Ashwagandha or Magnolia Bark, since I know the 3rd ingredient - Suntheanine - works very well for me. Thinking about just doing Suntheanine on an as-needed basis AFTER stabilization. Opinions please?

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Songbird

You could make your own liquid, or use a jeweller's scale to weigh pill pieces.  

 

See: Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

Using a digital scale to measure doses

 

How to calculate dosages and dilutions? Spreadsheets and calculators

 

It is not unusual for people to have unexpected reactions to supplements when in withdrawal.  Things that are supposed to be calming can be activating.  I remember trying l-theanine when I was in a bad state, and it worked great for a few days, and then went paradoxical. 

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Dejavu

Thanks @Songbird. Its like groundhog day here. I think I could shake the morning anxiety if I could just see a little improvement. The anxiety doesn't wake me up; rather it rushes in after I wake and realize I have to white knuckle through another day.  My husband is working out the math for converting to liquid. If I understood Altostrata correctly, I should do 12.5 in pill form and 12.5 in liquid for a few days, then do a reduction to 20mg. How should I do the drop, i.e. - pills vs. liquid? 

 

 

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Dejavu

Okay, wish me luck...

 

Tonight I will take 12.5 mg in pill form and 10 mg in liquid. This is a 10% drop. Keeping my fingers crossed that this will help me stabilize on reinstatement. I know the suggestion was to go down further, but I am afraid to do that until I see what this reduction does to me. Hopefully it will discernably relieve the side effects of weakness/tremor that I always get on zoloft. Please send a good thought/prayer/mojo - whatever you've got!! Thanks!

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Altostrata
On 12/6/2018 at 7:19 PM, Altostrata said:

Given you recognize the adverse effects you get from Zoloft, and you have observed they lessen when you reduce the dosage, it makes sense, as Songbird has suggested, to try a lower dose. When you get the prescription liquid, you can take 12.5mg in tablet form and 7.5mg in liquid form, which will reduce your daily dose to 20mg. 

 

For the first few doses, though, I would take 12.5mg in tablet form plus 12.5mg in liquid form, to assess the transition to liquid before making another dosage reduction. 

 

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Dejavu

@Altostrata - I have seen some improvement today, so I decided to wait on the liquid transition for one more day.

 

December 8

Midnight - anxiety 6/10 - depression 6/10

 

1:30am - took 6mg melatonin and 25mg hydroxyzine

 

4am - woke up - went back to sleep around 5am

 

11:30am - woke up - anxiety 7/10 - depression 7/10 - crying spell - dizziness 7/10 - weakness/tremor 8/10 - appetite 5/10

 

2pm - weakness/tremor 7/10 - anxiety 4/10 - depression 6/10 - dizziness 7/10

 

4:30pm - ate lunch - anxiety 4/10 - depression 5/10 - weakness/tremor 7/10 - dizziness 7/10

 

6pm - walked 1/2 mile on treadmill - anxiety 5/10 - depression 6/10 - weakness/tremor 8/10 - dizziness 7/10

 

8pm - ate dinner - appetite 8/10 - anxiety 3/10 - depression 6/10 - weakness/tremor 6/10 - dizziness 5/10 - sat up and had conversation for 1 hour before needing to lie down again for 1st time in several days - took 2600mg fish oil

 

9pm - diarrhea episode - all else unchanged

 

10pm - took 25mg zoloft in pill form - anxiety 5/10 - depression 5/10 - weakness/tremor 5/10 - dizziness 5/10

 

Much better day.

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Altostrata

That's good. It's not unlikely that your updose on 11/28 is still settling in.

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Dejavu

Thank you Altostrata. I'm improved but still think you mods are right; reinstatement dose is too high. Slept last night without melatonin or hydroxyzine...just 400 mg ibuprofen, which is good, but I'm very, very depressed today - partly situational I think. I often get the "Sunday afternoon blues" plus still grieving my mom and sis. Tonight 12.5 pill + 12.5 liquid, with the plan to reduce to 22.5 all liquid in a couple days. Only in reducing will I be able to slowly relieve the weakness/tremor. Tomorrow accupuncture and CBT. Hopeful...

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Dejavu

I feel so broken. Physically and emotionally. I'm so jealous of normal, healthy people. Not sure I believe I'll ever be well again. Sorry for the pity party. Just needed to vent...

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Dejavu

Dec 9

3am - took 400mg ibuprofen - no melatonin - fell asleep around 4am

 

Noon - woke up - no cortisol spike - anxiety 4/10 - depression 5/10 - weakness/tremor 6/10 - dizziness 6/10

 

1:30 pm - depression 9/10 - crying spell

 

2:30pm - ate lunch - anxiety 6/10 - depression 8/10 - dizziness 5/10 - weakness/tremor 7/10 - palps 3/10

 

5:00pm - anxiety 5/10 - depression 8/10 - another crying spell 

 

7:00pm - Anxiety 5/10 - depression 9/10 - yet another crying spell!! - appetite 7/10 - weakness/tremor 6/10 - dizziness 7/10 - ate dinner - took 2600 mg fish oil

 

9pm - diarrhea - anxiety 6/10 - depression 8/10 - weakness/tremor 7/10 - dizzinrss 5/10

 

10pm - took 12.5 zoloft liquid and 12.5 zoloft pill - anxiety 6/10 - depression 7/10 - weakness/tremor 7/10 - dizziness 5/10

 

Question: Up until yesterday I was taking 350mg of magnesium and I think it was helping take the edge off my anxiety. But Friday my doc said to stop because my magnesium level was normal and too much would affect my heart. Anyone ever heard of this?

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