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Kimboslice: Hey Everyone.. 9 Months into CT Sertraline .. Advice please??

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Kimboslice

Dear withdrawees ...  I hope i find you all well... Or at least amidst a window rather than a wave :D.

 

I've been scouring SA for some time now, picking up whatever bits of helpful and positive information i can about this horrific ordeal. I now feel its time to introduce myself and my history on AD's to the community with the hope of being provided with additional support and a view helping others in the future when this experience is more of a bad memory rather than a living hell . 

 

I have been taking Sertraline on and off for the last 6 years since 2013 after a series of horrific circumstances happened one after another. Despite the drugs having good effect, I've always been uncomfortable with masking what are obviously important emotions using a daily consumption of a drug. This has led me to unwittingly withdraw multiple times across the 6 year period which lead me to believe i was confined to a life of drug taking, this was until June  this year when I first found SA and became aware of SSRI withdrawal . Of course I was left somewhat shocked  but not surprised after feeling neglected previously on multiple occasions by the medical sector. Despite that though i found  a new sense of hope knowing that a life beyond drugs was not only possible, but likely.

 

 

 

Recent Drug History

OCT 2016 -  I quit Sertraline 50 mg CT after a family bereavement  had turned my life upside down ..  as a result it felt the drug was totally ineffective. 

MAY 2017-  After what had been an appalling 6 months (which i thought was horrific grief but now realise it is likely withdrawal is the more likely culprit)  I reinstated Sertraline at 50 mg before raising the dose to 100 mg due to not feeling any effect (again this is something that makes sense now). In time i had started to feel normal again and presumed it was because I had worked my way through my prolonged grief.  

FEB 2019 -  Life was now back on track and decided it was time to try and rid myself of the shameful daily pill pop that is AD's. I quit Sertraline Via a fast taper... but may aswell have been a CT.

JUN 2019 -  I found SA . .. realised i was withdrawing .. and had inadvertently made multiple mistakes along the way.

NOV 2019 - I'm roughly 8-9 months into withdrawal & STRUGGLING :(

 

MY SYMPTOMS: 

 

  • A thick brain fog 
  • Anxiety 
  • an inability to feel emotions / make connections with people 
  • Loss of communication skills & wit 
  • muscle weakness 
  • Fatigue

 

As I've said previously.... i am currently at the 9 month mark and I'm coping okay (I Think🤔 ) when i compare my battles to that of others.. but i am beginning to really struggle with the isolation that seems to be a natural part of the process. I have always naturally been an extroverted person who loves talking to people and being at the centre of attention although currently this couldn't be further from the truth and is taking a huge toll on my daily life. Every time I am confronted with some form of social situation my brain draws a blank. Its as if the lights are on but nobody's home.  WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CHARM AND CHARISMA?  

 

I wanted to ask for advice from anyone whose been in a similar situation:


What can i do right here and now to aid myself when dealing with these symptoms? 

If you've surpassed the 9 month point of withdrawal with these symptoms still rearing their ugly head, at what stage did you notice a marked improvement?

Has anyone any advice on how to work towards improving other areas of my life, such as love or working life and learning new skills whilst withdrawing? 

 

If you've made it this far thanks for reading and i look forward to any replies? 

 

Cheers 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Shep
updated title with new username and removed name from post

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, Kimboslice.  

 

To deal with symptoms, we strongly recommend using non-drug techniques to cope.  Take a look at the items in this link and see which ones might be helpful to you.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

These links deal with coping with anxiety.

 

 
Social difficulties and social anxiety such as you describe,are common in withdrawal, as are the other symptoms you mentioned.  So that you may have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.
 
 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

Regarding when you might notice marked improvement, everyone is different and unfortunately there is no reliable timeline.  You do sound as though you're coping well, and that is an encouraging sign. I encourage you to read some of our Success Stories to get an idea how others' withdrawals progressed.

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.
 

 

 

Edited by Shep
edited with member's new username

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Kimboslice
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On 11/18/2019 at 1:46 PM, Gridley said:

Welcome to SA, Kimboslice.  

 

To deal with symptoms, we strongly recommend using non-drug techniques to cope.  Take a look at the items in this link and see which ones might be helpful to you.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

These links deal with coping with anxiety.

 

 
Social difficulties and social anxiety such as you describe,are common in withdrawal, as are the other symptoms you mentioned.  So that you may have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.
 
 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

  On 8/30/2011 at 8:28 PM, Rhiannon said:
   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

Regarding when you might notice marked improvement, everyone is different and unfortunately there is no reliable timeline.  You do sound as though you're coping well, and that is an encouraging sign. I encourage you to read some of our Success Stories to get an idea how others' withdrawals progressed.

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.
 

 

Hi Gridley,

 

Thanks for your welcoming and swift reply...

 

I'll have a read through the content you've supplied... its very much appreciated :D 👍

 

 

Edited by Shep
edited with member's new username

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Markolo1980

Hi @Kimboslice Im happy you decided to introduce yourself. You seem very much like me and I do understand you. It’s been 5 months since my last taper which was to big and to fast. But from what I read, I think we are both doing pretty well....

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edited tagged name with member's new username

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Kimboslice

Hi @Markolo1980, Thanks for the support bud. Its a pleasure to finally speak to others who are also suffering and understand.. Its such a lonely journey in which you'll receive little sympathy form those around you so its great to be here. 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Glyn. What are your most prominent post-acute withdrawal symptoms now?

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Kimboslice

Hi @Altostrata, I’m so sorry. I  completely missed your question when you posted it. 
 

My most prominent symptoms are:

 

high anxiety

 

poor cognition

 

anhedonia 

 

heavy head and eyes

 

difficulty thinking and communicating (feels like stupidity).

 

in a sense I’m lucky because my physical symptoms are minimal:

 

Pssd


tittinus


I’m currently a midst a difficult wave which has ramped up the intensity over the last 12 days and remind me of the initial months when my symptoms first come on and it currently feels extremely uncomfortable and disheartening. The starting point of the wave coincides with a day over the festive period I went beyond my limits with social interaction and alcohol. This was unfortunately followed by a tooth infection (which involved taking antibiotics) and then a cold.

 

Prior to riding the current wave I’d say over the past 3 months I’ve seen forms of improvement in my symptoms in the usual slow and non-linear form which is positive.

 

I make the presumption this improvement followed by a wave is all in the norm though Alto? Despite how frustrating the bloody wave may be.

 

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Kimboslice

Another quick question..

 

A friend of mine proposed to me the idea of taking elocution lessons to Improve my cognition and communicational difficulties and I’m intrigued to hear the opinions of others. Is the withdrawing brain likely to see benefit from such activities??

 

Many times I’ve seen withdrawal referred to as a brain injury on this site so I was thinking, if a person had suffered a recognised brain injury and their speech had suffered, surely any consultant would place the patient in some form of speech therapy.

 

Does anyone agree this could make a case that using a similar approach could provide positive results from a withdrawing brain?

 

 

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Icip

Hi @Kimboslice,

 

I took Sertraline for exactly five days and share almost the same symptoms as you. The first two and a half months were hell - I didn’t want to die, but it was like my brain was telling me to. Now I’m left with ‘residual’ symptoms like yours; I feel stupid, slow, unobservant, the thoughts in my head feel less clear. I used to be pretty anxious about most things/intense, I just feel numbed to myself, my friends, and the world.

 

All of the nasty, acute symptoms went for me just over a month ago with my last wave starting on the 9th of Jan after consuming alcohol, this ended around late-jan.

 

My own symptoms are improving, slowly. I still feel stuck and can’t help but wonder whether I’m really getting anywhere, or if it will just stop.

 

How bad is your tinnitus? Mine is improving. The brain fog is clearing, I’m feeling more and more creative everyday. Just earlier (running on little sleep and having only eaten muesli and McDonalds) I managed to create a rather lacklustre analogical story for my friend to write for his girlfriend - sounds stupid and little, but from how dull my head has been recently, I was amazed with each word I managed to produce off the top of my head.

 

I have made a lot of improvement, still far from anything normal (feeling normal, I’m told so much that I ‘look normal’ heh) so I can assure you that you will get better. It will get better.

Re the elocution lessons - it may help to distract you from symptoms/give you a little more confidence in yourself. I guess with neuroplasticity, practicing things may make them reappear/improve faster, I’m not too sure. The best thing for me has been to be with friends as much as possible, and gradually wean back into my academic study.

 

How are you feeling today? Or really recently might be a better thing to go by hehe. Do you feel like there’s less space for thought in your head, or consideration? Like I’ll look at something and think, ‘that’s that’, instead of, ‘that could be this, or maybe because of this it’s this’, I can’t come up with a better way to explain, it’s been my biggest gripe as I always took pride on my ability to analyse and intuit.

 

Thanks and hope you’re as well as you can be!!!:))),

 

Icip.

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Kimboslice


Hi @Icip,

 

Sorry I haven’t replied quicker.. the brains a little slow atm.. it takes a while 🙄☺️.

 

Yep, withdrawal from these drugs seems to be the best numbing agents I’ve ever come across. Whether it’s your head, creativity, emotions or genitals, it numbs it alright.
 

It really sucks your struggling after ingesting the evil little bast@rds for just 5 days!! You’d recover quicker from a week long Cocaine binge! however the doctor probably wouldn’t recommend that mind 😂

Can I ask what made you discontinue taking the drug after such a short period of time? Did you react badly to them from the get off?
 

I myself have found the process to be a non-linear one like most others, so it’s been painful trying to analyse the situation due to a lack of any obvious pattern towards recovery. I’ve enjoyed moments of improvement and optimism followed by their own struggles which has made amy progress difficult to summarise but this seems to be the norm.

 

 I hope in your case, considering you only took sertraline for such a short period of time comparatively to myself, that you’ll continue to see Improvements in a fluid manner the further down the road you go and from reading your post it seems you are already. As you’ve said yourself, the turbulent nature of withdrawal can sometimes make it difficult to tell.

 

Currently I’ve found myself in a bit of a slump, although this probably stems from impatience more than anything else.
Atm my head is fuzzy, I’m constantly tired, lacking any stimulation and I’m completely bored out of my mind, Although now you’ve mentioned it, my tinnitus seems to be improving (funny that) but the thing that irritates me more than any other right now is my inability to express myself (either via talking, writing or any other curriculums). I think this it’s related to the creativity issue.  like you said it’s seeing something as “That’s that” and then having an inability to elaborate from there. I get it man but Its got to be a real positive you’ve been able to put pen to paper (i.e Story writing for your friend) and find a sense of achievement from doing so. I wouldn’t belittle it in anyway, its great!! 
 

How are you finding life in the outside world.. like working and social life etc?? is it something you’ve been able to keep normalised? I’ve found the longer I’ve lingered in the depth of withdrawal the harder they are to maintain. I can’t decide whether relaxing on both currently is in my best interest as I recover or just straight up negligence. Have you been affected in these areas yourself?

 

Thanks for getting touch Icip, it’s really appreciated and I hope sone of this helps.

 

Kimbo

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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Icip

@Kimboslice,

 

I stopped taking the poison after a week because I couldn’t think, remember anything, recall words, nor concentrate. It worsened my ADHD in that I was erratic and I just a felt a sense of, well... being dead. I guess maybe this was the ‘adverse’ side to my reaction, it seemed a little too intense for normal start-up symptoms. I also only intended to take them for a very short while. I’d used Citalopram as a ‘relaxant’ for one or two days maybe three times in the past and had no residual symptoms - I quite enjoyed the feeling it gave me even on the first day. Yeah ha call me stupid, I trusted big pharma over ‘illegal’ drugs to relax as I’m a good citizen.

 

I’m so sorry that you’re stuck in that phase, so many here seem to be. You just go back, and forth till you have a good day, which is smashed and overridden by the next. Not to mention the anxiety/dread that comes with this. I was in that for around two months - just before Christmas is when it started to settle down for me. You’ll get out of it, it just needs time, sleep, good food, and calm. I had a mini day-long wave yesterday - I received a nasty message which made me cry whilst volunteering, the derealisation came back, along with feeling ‘waterlogged’, joint pain, and dread. Sertraline seems to have the worst set of mean recurring symptoms from what I’ve seen from most people, it’s like it scorches you from the inside out.

 

From my own experience, your creativity will come back. I’m still not there, but I feel and seem so much better despite every now and again looking at an image I’m editing and being totally baffled as to what colour grading would look nice on it/light balances, just stuff that came as instinct to me has gone. I can imagine that you feel the same sentiment.

 

Do you work? If so, how is your job? I’m in the midst of a degree and have been plunged with this so I’ve tried to stay away from as much work as possible (more than the typical student heh). The isolationism stopped for me around just after Christmas, I remember the last day which I stayed in bed for it’s entirety.

 

I spend a lot of my time with friends, it helps me to feel so much better like, almost normal (eases residual anxiety so derealisation lessens). It’s helped me, but I notice when I would’ve the moments where old me would have told a useless fact, a stupid joke, or gone in a rant about something; it highlights this and can get me down - luckily they all manage to prop me up well enough (healthy I know:)).

How have you felt around friends? Throughout this entire thing they’ve always helped, even just playing Mariokart with one sparked me starting to feel a little better.

 

Are you able to take time off of work and just ‘chill’ for a bit? You don’t want to get stuck in a rut and let withdrawal take over your being, but as I said above, remaining calm has been one of the biggest helps for me. I’ve actually managed to get angry with my mum for getting angry at me, then proceeding to tell her off for telling me off heh - family have been the biggest pain for me. Have yours understood or took it well? My step-dad sent me a text the other day saying that it’s his ‘opinion’ that I’m making up my ailment, and that the gp (saw an amazing doctor by chance who refuses to prescribe antidepressants, and understood withdrawal well + affirmed my queries and reassured me) made poor judgement and wrongly diagnosed me, they’ve been the biggest pain throughout all of this.

 

It helps to know that I’m not alone in symptoms I still have, and that they’re what’s considered as ‘normal’ (weird norm hey) - it feels like they’ll never go right? I guess it’s just what’s the here and how for our brain, they don’t know anything else - so why would our conscious. So thank you:)).

 

It’s no problem at all, as I’m getting better, I’ve been more use to other people and I saw that no one had replied to you for a while. Withdrawal is such a lonely place, inbox me whenever you want if it ever gets hard:)).

 

(No worries about replying too! I still have that; waiting for the one ‘I don’t feel too awful’ moment to reply to people hehe. I’ve been waiting for mine for three days now to reply to my seminar tutor - I’ll give it another few days).

 

Hope you’re doing well:)),

 

Icip.

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