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xena81: going through sertraline withdrawal hell don't know what to do


xena81

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Hello Everyone,

 

I was on 50mg of setraline from beginning of August 2016 till mid May of 2018.

 

My psychiatrist told me to cut the pills in half for two weeks and then stop. I was feeling ok for about 3 weeks and then hell came about the end of July. I had suicidal thoughts, was contemplating to act on it. I was on the floor crying, incapable of doing anything, wanting to die. I took 1 setraline pill  that day, and all my symptoms disappeared within about 2 hours. I figured, I was experiencing withdrawals.

 

Then the end of August came, and since I re-introduced the meds into my system, hell came back with even worse emotional anguish. I had two friends on call, in case I had to go to the emergency room because I was close to ending my life. I have prevailed, but now it is December and I am struggling.

 

I cry every day, I have severe anxiety. Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe and I will die, which does not scare me, it is actually welcomed, because I want to be dead. It's awful, I have a 10 year old son, I am all he has. Two nights ago, I was online looking at patient testimonials which scared me seeing withdrawals can last years. While doing my research, I found this website. Many people stated how helpful the advice here was to them.

 

I am asking for help please. I lost my drive to live, every day is hell, I am in so much emotional pain. I am waiting for this emotional anguish to end, but it's not going away, it seems to be getting worse. I have read some of the articles. I so badly want to stay away from the drug, I do not want to reinstate it, but I cannot live like this. I cannot believe my psychiatrist would tell me to stop so abruptly. I nearly died. I am so upset. My friends are starting to think that I am crazy, because to them, withdrawals should not last so long.  I have no family around for support, they are thousands of miles away. I appreciate any help. Thank you in advance.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added space
  • August 2016 started Zoloft 50mg
  • May 2017 came off Zoloft fast taper, back on Zoloft 50mg mid June 2017
  • September 2017 started Xanax 0.5  for a week and stopped
  • May 2018 requested to come of Zoloft fast taper instructed by psychiatrist
  • Completely off of Zoloft mid May 2018. After that took 1 pill in July 2018.
  • Last 50mg Zoloft pill 07/22/2018
  • Last Xanax 0.25 mid November 2018
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to xena81: going through sertraline withdrawal hell don't know what to do
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi xena and welcome to SA,

 

Unfortunately your story is not new to us here at SA, and is the reason this site exists.  Many medical professionals don't know about withdrawal and/or they don't know what to do about it.

 

So that we are better able to offer suggestions we need more details information of your drug history.  Please create your drug signature using the following format.  Keep it simple by following these instructions (NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you):

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Once we have more information we will better able to assist you.

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.

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  • Mentor
FarmGirlWorks

Hey @xena81: hang in there! It gets better and you never know how long your recovery will be — don’t get scared about others’. I, too, did a ridiculously fast taper of sertraline; your psychiatrist was an idiot to take you off so fast. And, my recovery has been tough but it has slowly improved. Just surviving one more minute or hour is a step toward healing. You will! It’s a time game. Hang in there and explore this site - amazing info and it literally saved my life.

  • 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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Thank you for the welcome and kind words! I have created my drug history signature. As of now I am trying to deal with my withdrawals by taking magnesium, omega 3s, tryptophan every day, 5htp when it's really bad, l-tyrosine, l-theanine, St. John's wort, rhodiola rosea, a healthy balanced diet, and daily rigorous exercise which takes edge of the anxiety. The 5htp helps me to be more emotionally stable. I try my best not to cry at work, as I am worried about being let go.  

 

@FarmGirlWorks thank you so much!!! You don't know how much I needed to hear that! I was considering reinstating this evil drug, but I really don't want to do it.  I am hoping I can get through this using natural remedies and the help and support from my friends. I am so grateful I have found this site for additional support!! Thank you so much for establishing it. I try my best to educate everyone around me about the dangers of SSRI withdrawals to help others prevent the suffering I face daily.

 

I appreciate anybody's suggestions and help. Thank you in advance!

  • August 2016 started Zoloft 50mg
  • May 2017 came off Zoloft fast taper, back on Zoloft 50mg mid June 2017
  • September 2017 started Xanax 0.5  for a week and stopped
  • May 2018 requested to come of Zoloft fast taper instructed by psychiatrist
  • Completely off of Zoloft mid May 2018. After that took 1 pill in July 2018.
  • Last 50mg Zoloft pill 07/22/2018
  • Last Xanax 0.25 mid November 2018
Link to post

Hi Xena,

 

I am sorry you are suffering so, but you came to the right place.  I am a Zoloft survivor. I went cold turkey and then reinstated and have slowly been tapering off the reinstatement.  It gets better, please hang on.  The moderators here are very helpful. I am sure ChessieCat will get back to you with a game plan.

 

Warm wishes,

Rachel

Find my story here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12649-rachelsusan-my-zoloft-story-on-off-reinstated-in-trouble/?hl=rachelsusan

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 100mg to 150mg Zoloft. 

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg. May 9, 2020 1.375 mg. June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%). July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).

OTHER MEDICATION Gabapentin 900mg a day since July 2016, Prednisone 5mg a day and Qvar Inhalant since 2016. Vitamin D and fish oil.

   

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Please read this topic first:

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

 

4 hours ago, xena81 said:

As of now I am trying to deal with my withdrawals by taking magnesium, omega 3s, tryptophan every day, 5htp when it's really bad, l-tyrosine, l-theanine, St. John's wort, rhodiola rosea,

 

The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to take a small amount of the last drug you were taking, which is what your brain had adapted to.  Because you have been off since the end of July, we would suggest a very small dose, eg 0.25mg or 0.5mg.  This might be enough to take the edge of your symptoms.  The sooner reinstatement is made after the last dose the better chance there is of it being successful.  Before taking any Zoloft please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms.  The idea of reinstating isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a bearable level.

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

The only supplements which SA recommends are  Magnesium and  Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

Some of the supplements which you are using may cause issues, and not necessarily help with the withdrawal symptoms.  Some members have used a supplement successfully but then it turns on them and makes things worse.  Q:  Are you taking any vitamin supplements?  Some B vitamins can be activating, especially B6.

 

Some of your current symptoms may be from what you are now taking.  Please check out these topics:

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-l-tryptophan

 

be-careful-with-l-tyrosine

 

amino-acids

 

l-theanine-for-anxiety-insomnia

 

st-johns-wort-hypericum-perforatum

 

tapering-st-johns-wort

 

rhodiola-rosea-study-suggests-benefit-on-stress-related-fatigue-and-waking-cortisol

 

From the above topic:

 

On 3/26/2015 at 5:22 PM, Songbird said:

This would seem to suggest that rhodiola is stimulating, which might not be helpful to those in w/d having anxiety symptoms.  I guess it could possibly be helpful to those with fatigue as a major symptom, depending on how they react to it, as people's systems in w/d often do not react in a "normal" way.

 

There are many existing topics on this site.  I like to use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.  It's important to do your research and learn as much as you can so that you can make informed decisions.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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 very much for the information. I also, like a few members here, read the book Mood Cure and picked up these the aminos and 5htp to get a control over my depression, anxiety, and emotional imbalance. The 5htp was the only thing that helped me to feel emotionally stable, but I worry about overdoing it and having high level of serotonin. I've been taking 200mg per day for a week now. I will take a break. I started taking the Rhodiola Rosea recently, because I have a very stressful life, with very little rest, and I exercise rigorously every day to ease my anxiety symptoms. I wanted to use the Rhodiola as an adaptogen to recover from stress from daily living and working out.  I started the l-tyrosine, because I am in school online pursuing my bachelor's degree in science, and I was so tired, and my brain felt foggy and dull, not able to focus. I was hoping l-tyrosine would help me with energy and mental clarity which it did. I did not think that these supplements/herbs could actually make things worse instead of better. My anxiety and my nervousness is much worse after I started taking them. I have come to realize that seeing your response @ChessieCat 

I do not take any multi vitamins. I take a B complex on and off, but I feel like some of the Bs are too high in the mix.  I have been also eating mostly like a vegan since September (little to no animal products, but I do take fish oil for the Omega 3s), and am gluten free mostly. I take a mix of magnesium, zinc, calcium and vitamin D. Should I stop that and take just the magnesium? My friend is a biochemist, and he told me that magnesium gets absorbed better with zinc, and I thought the calcium + vitamin D would be good since I am vegan. Only reason I got this mix. Before that, I took magnesium only because I was severely deficient (that was before I started taking zoloft). It appears that I was so desperate to achieve homeostasis and help my body to recover, that I overdid it. I will read and research then, and keep it simple from now on. Thank you for all that information.

  • August 2016 started Zoloft 50mg
  • May 2017 came off Zoloft fast taper, back on Zoloft 50mg mid June 2017
  • September 2017 started Xanax 0.5  for a week and stopped
  • May 2018 requested to come of Zoloft fast taper instructed by psychiatrist
  • Completely off of Zoloft mid May 2018. After that took 1 pill in July 2018.
  • Last 50mg Zoloft pill 07/22/2018
  • Last Xanax 0.25 mid November 2018
Link to post

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