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Gardeningismynewmeds: Hello and Struggling


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Gardeningismynewmeds

Hi there I’m a new member. I figured it might be good to give some back ground of my journey and maybe get some tips while I’m at it.

So I have been on antidepressants for about half my life. So between 15 and 20 years. I’m not quite sure when I started but it was when I much younger. I started with Prozac 20mg and have switched between Zoloft and Prozac a few times. Prozac always seemed to work best for me. This last switch to Zoloft was due to having kids and its said that its safer for them while pregnant and breastfeeding. I have had a couple of times where I would get off the medication but always seem to get back on it. Looking back I was probably have withdrawals rather then reoccurrence. The last few years I felt healthy enough to try to get off. I started tapering in October 2018 from Zoloft 50 mg. I initially was going down about 5 mg a month. I was doing really well. My main side effects where some headaches, tiredness, less of appetite. Nothing too serious to be honest. Then the last two months or so have been really bad. I had some stressors at work that have made it extremely difficult to feel normal. This last month I went down about 3 mgs. So from 8 to 5 mgs. This has been the roughest month yet. Extreme anxiety, insomnia, waking up from sleeping with panic, crying spells for almost no reason (even if someone asks me how I’m doing coming off the medication I will cry), some days no appetite at all, irritability, depression (although I live in Michigan so this is some what normal just not as bad normally).  I realized in this low of a dose that I should have went smaller but I feel its bit late now. I started this taper on November 15th. I just really want to get off these darn pills but now I’m paying for it. The worst part for me is that I’m afraid to go to sleep in fear of waking up to panic. I have some Xanax but I know that’s only masking it and not fixing it. In fact its probably getting worse due to it being addictive. I’ve taken 5 times in the last month but would like to make it maybe 1 or none at all.

Current things I’ve done to help with these problems – starting seeing a new therapist that works more holistically. I have been using lavender essential oils in my room while sleeping.

Supplements that I take:

·         Magnesium with vitamin b co factors (Jigsaw health is the brand)

·         CBD oil

·         Trying to stop drinking pop or reducing it. I wasn’t an every day drinker but I know it can mess up your system.

·         I tried 5htp 200 mg but gave me lose stools so I do have a lower dose (50mg) now but scared to take it since I don’t I don’t want it to make me feel bad (ugh anxiety).

·         I take a multi vitamin from Garden of Life that has probiotics

·         I take separate probiotics

·         I take an amino acid supplement

·         L-Theanine

·         Vitamin D

 

I’m at a loss right now.

On Zoloft (50 mg) or Prozac (20 mg) for 15-20 years (unsure of exact date) - Switched between the two a few times

Oct. 2018 Started Tapper of Zoloft 50mgs - Reduced by 5 mg each month.

Nov. 15,  2019 Current taper was only 3 mg went from 8 to 5.

Currently at 5 mg and reducing the tapper to 1 mg a month starting January 2020

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Gardeningismynewmeds.

 

We don't recommend 5htp when taking an SSRI like Zoloft due to the risk of serotonin syndrome (serotonin toxicity).

 

We recommend tapering no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Zoloft.

 

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

Your initial 5 mg taper off 50mg went well.  However, as you get to the lower doses, it is especially important to hold to the 10% rate or go even slower.  Your drop from 8 to 5 was a 30% drop, explaining your suffering withdrawal symptoms.  The symptoms you describe are typical withdrawal symptoms.  Your plan to taper 1mg per month is again far faster than we recommend, putting you at risk of further withdrawal symptoms. Decreasing by a straight 1mg also accelerates the amount that you  would be decreasing each time making it rougher and rougher with each drop. Decreasing by a percentage however decelerates the amount of each drop and makes things gentler on your system.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

 

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:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

   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.

I recommend you hold at 5mg for at lest 3 to 4 months to let your system become accustomed to the lower dose.  At that time, if symptoms have abated, you could continue with a 10% taper.

 

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. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. We don't recommend multiple vitamins because if a problem develops, there's no way to know what ingredient is the cause.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Gardeningismynewmeds

Hello Gridley,

 

You say I should wait 3-4 months which is okay with me but now I'm anxious that my symptoms will persist that long. Is there anything I can do in the mean time?

 

I'm currently using the liquid zoloft - so I'm not quite sure how to measure it. I have a 1 ml syringe. Is there something smaller usually used? 

On Zoloft (50 mg) or Prozac (20 mg) for 15-20 years (unsure of exact date) - Switched between the two a few times

Oct. 2018 Started Tapper of Zoloft 50mgs - Reduced by 5 mg each month.

Nov. 15,  2019 Current taper was only 3 mg went from 8 to 5.

Currently at 5 mg and reducing the tapper to 1 mg a month starting January 2020

 

Link to post

Hi Garden,

 

I feel your pain when it comes to the troubles of having failed previous attempts quitting SSRI’s believing you’ve relapsed rather than knowing your suffering through the depths of withdrawal. It’s amazing the lack of useful information provided by the medical industry with regards to quitting even though they prescribed the bloody medication in the first place. Its deceitfully advertised as a temporary aid to help current struggles (when first prescribed) leaving so many unwittingly stuck in a continuous loop believing they are reliant on the meds to live. It’s disgusting. Amazing how it all adds up when you stumble upon a community like this. On a positive note, I like to think finding this forum as the first big step which will give you the arsenal to finally move forward in and kick on in the right direction... soooo despite all the complications in a very warped kind of way things are kind of looking up 🙂.  I myself am currently 10 months into Zoloft Ct myself and i’m now starting to see some reprieve despite being very much as you have described when withdrawal began. life is still nowhere near perfect, but I am starting to be able to shift my mindset into taking positives from the ordeal and understanding the journey I’m embarking on has a bigger picture than the current symptoms and feelings I’m enduring which will also be the case for you at some point down the road (even if it’s not how you feel currently). I tell you all of this with the hope it will provide you with optimism and comfort. From what you’ve written above I think you’re doing many of the right things when trying to tailor your lifestyle to aid your withdrawal and my only advice is not put your hope in supplements or any quick fix for that matter.  I learnt early on myself, after withdrawal set in, time and patience will be your best friend as you move forward and things improve (which they will). I hope this helps and I wish you good luck 😁👍🏻

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

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Gardeningismynewmeds Hello and Struggling
Gardeningismynewmeds
3 hours ago, Kimboslice said:

Hi Garden,

 

I feel your pain when it comes to the troubles of having failed previous attempts quitting SSRI’s believing you’ve relapsed rather than knowing your suffering through the depths of withdrawal. It’s amazing the lack of useful information provided by the medical industry with regards to quitting even though they prescribed the bloody medication in the first place. Its deceitfully advertised as a temporary aid to help current struggles (when first prescribed) leaving so many unwittingly stuck in a continuous loop believing they are reliant on the meds to live. It’s disgusting. Amazing how it all adds up when you stumble upon a community like this. On a positive note, I like to think finding this forum as the first big step which will give you the arsenal to finally move forward in and kick on in the right direction... soooo despite all the complications in a very warped kind of way things are kind of looking up 🙂.  I myself am currently 10 months into Zoloft Ct myself and i’m now starting to see some reprieve despite being very much as you have described when withdrawal began. life is still nowhere near perfect, but I am starting to be able to shift my mindset into taking positives from the ordeal and understanding the journey I’m embarking on has a bigger picture than the current symptoms and feelings I’m enduring which will also be the case for you at some point down the road (even if it’s not how you feel currently). I tell you all of this with the hope it will provide you with optimism and comfort. From what you’ve written above I think you’re doing many of the right things when trying to tailor your lifestyle to aid your withdrawal and my only advice is not put your hope in supplements or any quick fix for that matter.  I learnt early on myself, after withdrawal set in, time and patience will be your best friend as you move forward and things improve (which they will). I hope this helps and I wish you good luck 😁👍🏻

Thank you for the positive words. I do look to supplements to help. But like you said I can’t do that. It’s time that will help the most. 
 

To think I tapered too fast this last round makes me super upset. I was doing pretty good but now I made it worse. 

On Zoloft (50 mg) or Prozac (20 mg) for 15-20 years (unsure of exact date) - Switched between the two a few times

Oct. 2018 Started Tapper of Zoloft 50mgs - Reduced by 5 mg each month.

Nov. 15,  2019 Current taper was only 3 mg went from 8 to 5.

Currently at 5 mg and reducing the tapper to 1 mg a month starting January 2020

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
16 hours ago, Gardeningismynewmeds said:

'm currently using the liquid zoloft - so I'm not quite sure how to measure it. I have a 1 ml syringe. Is there something smaller usually used? 

1 ml is fine.  When you get to the smaller doses you could get a 0.5ml springe.  Here is a link explaining how to use a syringe.
 
 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Mentor

Hi Garden

 

Speaking from the perspective of someone who felt the same kind of near-constant anxiety and panic, I picked up on your mention of having a new therapist.  Finding the right therapist was the key to my recovery.  The first two just listened and offered generic advice, but the third one was the charm.  He helped me recognize a pattern of anxious and obsessive behavior well back in my life, and showed me how I'd got in the "habit" of being anxious.  He also explained how heredity plays a part; my father had anxiety that became more pronounced late in life.  He used EMDR to help me get to the root of my anxiety and then had me practice practical CBT coping mechanisms.  It sounds like you have found a good therapist--take advantage of what he or she has to offer--I'm betting that'll offer your best bet for dealing with your anxiety without meds.  Good luck!

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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  • Moderator
16 hours ago, Gardeningismynewmeds said:

I'm anxious that my symptoms will persist that long.

 

They won't necessarily persist that long.  They should lessen as time passes.  The 3-4 month period is to let your brain become accustomed to the lower dose and give you a stable base for your taper.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post
16 hours ago, Gardeningismynewmeds said:

Thank you for the positive words. I do look to supplements to help. But like you said I can’t do that. It’s time that will help the most. 
 

To think I tapered too fast this last round makes me super upset. I was doing pretty good but now I made it worse. 

Try not to get too upset.. Think of it as a mini blip in the grand scheme of things... in the coming days/ weeks or so you’ll stabilise and you’ll be ready to go again from there. We all make mistakes and hopefully we learn from the them. This allows us to be more knowledgeable the next time the same situation arise. 

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

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Gardeningismynewmeds: Hello and Struggling

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