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Znarkz: Sertraline withdrawal


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Hi everybody,


Im a 31 year old man from Sweden. I’ve been on sertraline, due to anxiety, since I think spring 2012 until December 2017 when I came off it. I hade to start with the medications again but I never felt the same as before. 

So during the first half of 2018 i was on different doses  varying from 50 to 100 mg, but I never felt the same and has not really felt the same since I tapered down to 0 in December 2017. 


It was like a switch had been turned off in my mind and nothing felt the same as before. This experience has turned into a kind of extreme OCD  behaviour where I always ruminate about how something is lacking in my experience of the world emotionally, something feels of and I feel disconnected from everything, and very mentally and physically fatigued. I became extremely suicidal and was thinking about not wanting to live constantly for about 6 months, it was during this time I was trying different doses of sertraline, trying to reinstate it to see if I could go back to normal again. I never did.


So during the summer 2018 I came of the drug again and my anxiety ramped up to a new extreme together with the emotionally detachment and dissociation.


So from October 2018 until January 2019 I was on Escitalopram to see if that would help, i was still highly anxious during the time and the emotionally detached feeling never went away.


So then I tried Cymbalta for 3 weeks which felt like rat poison for me, so I had to go off that really fast.


After that I tried Venlafaxine for around 9 weeks, I really wanted to give it a chance but I never felt myself on that drug either. It was as if my emotions were cut of even more and my desire to no anything turned to zero.


then from around July this summer I went back on sertraline to give it a last chance, I stayed on it 8 weeks but couldn’t handle it. 


So now I am 1,5 week medication free. I did taper for 2 weeks and then went off it. 

My anxiety has ramped up a bit but my energy is somewhat better, not good as before.

What is still there and has always been since I first went off sertraline 2017 is the feeling of disconnection, I feel emotionally very flat and as if i am “playing” myself in situations where emotions is required, such as laughter, jokes etc.This is extremely uncomfortable and takes almost all my energy. 

To socialise has become a nightmare, especially with new people, due to me feeling so extremely uninterested and mentally fatigued all the time. It’s as if i can no longer build up or have a normal emotional connection with people I interact with. Short interactions is easier such as going to the grocery store to greet and pay. It’s when I’m interact longer, when I get “ locked” in a situation with other people the extreme uncomfortable feeling arise. I feel totally cut of and as if i don’t know if my interest and mental energy will hold up for the time I’m suppose to be speaking and interact. And this problem is due to the extreme emotionally detachment I feel when around other people and everything around me. It feels very uncomfortable and awful to be around others because of this. 


Has anyone felt like this when quitting Sertraline or SSRI/SNRI? 


Did this emotionally detached mode ever go away? Did your emotions come back?


How long is one suppose to wait before feeling better when ending this type of medications? I’m afraid this has altered my brain permanently and that I will never feel fully again? ! 


Any answer is welcome, wish you all the best



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  • Altostrata changed the title to Znarkz Sertraline withdrawal
  • Administrator

Welcome, Znarkz.


Emotional anesthesia is a side effect of antidepressants that may linger for a long time after you go off them. It will very gradually lift, be patient.


Over the last 1.5 weeks, how have your symptoms changed? How's your sleep?

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

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Znarkz: Sertraline withdrawal

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