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☼ amstrong: WD chest tightness


amstrong

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Hello All,

Firstly, I've used this forum before, during and after my journey and it's been very uplifting and informative. I think I would have been lost without it, so thank you.

 

Secondly, I am almost 4 months off Zoloft after 10 years @ 50mg for GAD/panic. I've learned many coping skills and practices that help me manage my anxiety (meditation, cold therapy, wim hof), however I've been experiencing chest tightness fairly regularly lately. It typically lasts all day, but doesn't interrupt my sleep (i finally got the insomnia under control). I exercise regularly, eat decently clean, take supplements (omega3/magnesium), CBD, meditate, but can't kick the feeling of someone sitting on my chest or the feeling of a lump in my throat. I also attend therapy weekly.

 

Last week, I felt great for about 6 days and then it came back on. I typically ignore it and go on with my day, but it lingers on. Any tip/tricks on how I can relieve the tension. Is it possible this is my waves and windows phases? 

*Sertraline (Zoloft)- 10.5 years @ 50mg for panic attacks/GAD (few years at higher dosage)
*Experienced extreme depersonalization and extreme anxiety Oct-Nov 2019 while on meds. Met with psychiatrist who suggested increasing dose from 50mg to 75mg. Increased for 3 weeks, but did not improve. Made the conscious decision to taper off.
*Tapered over 8ish months period. Scheduled tapers every 6-8 weeks:

  • Nov-Dec 2019: Reduced recent increase to 75mg back to 50mg
  • Jan 2020: 50mg to 35mg
  • Feb-Mar 2020: 35mg to 25mg
  • Apr-May 2020: 25mg to 12.5mg (stayed on 12.5mg for 8 weeks to make sure acclimated)
  • May 2020-June 2020: 12.5mg to 6mg
  • June 1, 2020: Day 1 of NO meds

*Have emergency Klonopin for panic, but refuse to take.
*Experienced delayed withdrawal after 6 weeks (July 2020): high anxiety, body and muscle ache, chest tightness, electric shocks, severe insomnia, no appetite (lost 10 lbs), crying, depression. These extreme symptoms went on for 3 weeks.

* Aug 2020: Went on small 50mg dose of trazodone for insomnia, as I was only getting 2 hours per night. Took for 3 weeks and now fully removed. I can sleep a full night.
*Steadily improving- still have WD symptoms, but can sleep now and function throughout my day.

*Was told by therapist and new psychiatrist I was probably given the wrong medication to begin with. Great. 😒

*I feel way more clear headed. I can logically make the connections of how I'm feeling/what I'm experiencing. I've just got to find my homeostasis again. 💝

*Take omega 3s, magnesium glycinate, CBD regularly.

*Go to therapy, meditate, practice breathing techniques, cold therapy (Wim Hof) and exercise regularly.

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to amstrong: WD chest tightness
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi amstrong and welcome,

 

Yes, the chest tightness sure could be WD(withdrawal) symptom with a   Windows and Waves pattern.

Dr Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptom Checklist

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

The only topic I'm currently finding on it right now in our Symptoms and Self Care forum is this one"

Withdrawal Symptoms Mimic Heart Attack?

 

And certainly, if I was you, I would follow up with routine medical care, and know the signs of when it might be indicative of something that needs attention.  It can be scary though, I can understand that.

 

You didn't mention basic breathing in your coping, and here's one that might be helpful for you to try, in addition to your other non-drug coping practices:

How to Perform the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise/ Andrew Weil, M.D.

 

How is it going with the CBD oil, or non THC form of marijuana, as far as helping or hindering your recovery and healing from Zoloft?

Here's our topic on that, if you'd like to contribute there. 

It's pretty broad, this topic right now ^, and we generally don't endorse any supplements beyond the Magnesium and Omega 3's.  We just don't have any research supporting it's use in WD.    I'm sure that many would be interested in your experiences, however.

 

Any other symptoms of WD that you are experiencing now?

 

And how did you do your taper or coming off of Zoloft?

Please put your medication and tapering history in your signature -- that's the information you see at the bottom of someone's post. This will help people understand your situation no matter where you post on the site. See instructions in this topic:

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/18343-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature

 

Are you on any other medications right now?

 

Welcome again.  Nice to have you on board.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post

Thank you for the additional info! Added taper info my signature as well :) 

 

The chest pain has been the most prominent WD symptom lately. I do have occasional negative thoughts and emotional ups/downs, but overall just trying to lock down the anxiety. I go to therapy regularly now, meditate daily (includes belly breathing practices), exercise 4x week and take cold showers. I really feel like I've got a good grasp on things that can benefit me, but I know it also has to heal through the natural timeline. My body is trying to find it's homeostasis again, and I've just got to be patient.

 

I've been an avid CBD oil user for a few years now (even while taking sertraline), so I've continued to implement that into my recovery/withdrawal journey. I do think it has it's benefits. I've also tried THC (indica) and my anxiety relief really just depends on how I feel that day- sometimes it works great and other times it can make me focus more on it. So I only choose that route on occasion. 

*Sertraline (Zoloft)- 10.5 years @ 50mg for panic attacks/GAD (few years at higher dosage)
*Experienced extreme depersonalization and extreme anxiety Oct-Nov 2019 while on meds. Met with psychiatrist who suggested increasing dose from 50mg to 75mg. Increased for 3 weeks, but did not improve. Made the conscious decision to taper off.
*Tapered over 8ish months period. Scheduled tapers every 6-8 weeks:

  • Nov-Dec 2019: Reduced recent increase to 75mg back to 50mg
  • Jan 2020: 50mg to 35mg
  • Feb-Mar 2020: 35mg to 25mg
  • Apr-May 2020: 25mg to 12.5mg (stayed on 12.5mg for 8 weeks to make sure acclimated)
  • May 2020-June 2020: 12.5mg to 6mg
  • June 1, 2020: Day 1 of NO meds

*Have emergency Klonopin for panic, but refuse to take.
*Experienced delayed withdrawal after 6 weeks (July 2020): high anxiety, body and muscle ache, chest tightness, electric shocks, severe insomnia, no appetite (lost 10 lbs), crying, depression. These extreme symptoms went on for 3 weeks.

* Aug 2020: Went on small 50mg dose of trazodone for insomnia, as I was only getting 2 hours per night. Took for 3 weeks and now fully removed. I can sleep a full night.
*Steadily improving- still have WD symptoms, but can sleep now and function throughout my day.

*Was told by therapist and new psychiatrist I was probably given the wrong medication to begin with. Great. 😒

*I feel way more clear headed. I can logically make the connections of how I'm feeling/what I'm experiencing. I've just got to find my homeostasis again. 💝

*Take omega 3s, magnesium glycinate, CBD regularly.

*Go to therapy, meditate, practice breathing techniques, cold therapy (Wim Hof) and exercise regularly.

Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

I'm not seeing taper info in a signature yet, amstrong.

Did you hit the Save button when you were done?  It's quite possible that you might have confused it with your profile, which is confidential.  Easy mistake to make when you are just starting.

Go to:  Account Settings

And then over on the left you can select Signature, at least from a PC.  It may be a bit different on a phone device, if that is what you are posting from now.

 

You can also just use the other link I gave, to get to your account, and review, what is helpful for us to see there.

 

Sounds like you are managing quite well, and I look forward to seeing how you did your taper.

 

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post

Ok, I think I've corrected this so it shows. Hopefully haha

*Sertraline (Zoloft)- 10.5 years @ 50mg for panic attacks/GAD (few years at higher dosage)
*Experienced extreme depersonalization and extreme anxiety Oct-Nov 2019 while on meds. Met with psychiatrist who suggested increasing dose from 50mg to 75mg. Increased for 3 weeks, but did not improve. Made the conscious decision to taper off.
*Tapered over 8ish months period. Scheduled tapers every 6-8 weeks:

  • Nov-Dec 2019: Reduced recent increase to 75mg back to 50mg
  • Jan 2020: 50mg to 35mg
  • Feb-Mar 2020: 35mg to 25mg
  • Apr-May 2020: 25mg to 12.5mg (stayed on 12.5mg for 8 weeks to make sure acclimated)
  • May 2020-June 2020: 12.5mg to 6mg
  • June 1, 2020: Day 1 of NO meds

*Have emergency Klonopin for panic, but refuse to take.
*Experienced delayed withdrawal after 6 weeks (July 2020): high anxiety, body and muscle ache, chest tightness, electric shocks, severe insomnia, no appetite (lost 10 lbs), crying, depression. These extreme symptoms went on for 3 weeks.

* Aug 2020: Went on small 50mg dose of trazodone for insomnia, as I was only getting 2 hours per night. Took for 3 weeks and now fully removed. I can sleep a full night.
*Steadily improving- still have WD symptoms, but can sleep now and function throughout my day.

*Was told by therapist and new psychiatrist I was probably given the wrong medication to begin with. Great. 😒

*I feel way more clear headed. I can logically make the connections of how I'm feeling/what I'm experiencing. I've just got to find my homeostasis again. 💝

*Take omega 3s, magnesium glycinate, CBD regularly.

*Go to therapy, meditate, practice breathing techniques, cold therapy (Wim Hof) and exercise regularly.

Link to post
  • 2 months later...

6 months free- Sertraline/Zoloft withdrawal journey SUCCESS( 11 years on)

 

I have been on Sertraline (Zoloft) over the last 11 years. These were prescribed by a physician in an effort to treat my GAD/panic condition caused from high stress levels in college. Prescribed within a 10 minute appointment. And with no information on how long to take it or how to stop taking it. "Take this, it will help."

 

The medication seemed to work OK for a few years. However, my experience over the last 2.5 years on this medication and with psychiatry has been a complete mess.

 

My symptoms of anxiety (and the addition of depression) were exacerbated with many new symptoms and side effects: heightened anxiety, suicidal ideations, uncontrollable movements, cognitive impairment, and many others. I continued to speak to my psychiatrist about all these symptoms and my deep sense that we were on the wrong track. In fact I showed up in tears to the office. I was told I needed to increase my dosage, as I had more than likely become tolerant to my current dose. So as a good patient would, I listened to my doctor’s recommendation- increase from 50mg to 100mg. I increased to 75mg, had a follow-up appointment and relayed that I was feeling ‘OK’, but not great. So, I threw out an idea. How about this? Since increasing isn’t making me “better”, I’m going to reduce and taper off. Do the opposite. My psychiatrist was hesitant, but agreed if I wanted to take that journey then she’d support my decision and want me to continue check-ins.

 

Was I given any advice or direction from the psychiatrist on tapering? Not really. I researched myself. I read many testimonials and clinical trials about the challenges of tapering off medications. I was ready for what I thought might be a very bumpy ride and determined I would decrease slowly over many months. I made myself a plan. Make a reduction every 6-8 weeks, so I have time to acclimate in between reductions. So I did just that. It wasn’t a fun process (def had some issues), but it wasn’t all that terrible. The added global pandemic definitely did not help the situation (super great time to come off medication).

 

My last dose taken May 31, 2020. Six weeks go by and I’m doing pretty good. THEN, like a freight train, I’m hit with delayed post withdrawal. The most horrendous physical, mental and emotional pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. Nerve shocks, body aches, headaches, cognitive disorientation, tremors, severe insomnia, panic, crying spells, chest pain, no appetite, extreme anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Overall I lost 10 pounds. The insomnia got so bad, I was put on Trazodone for a short period. I felt so alone. This lasted a very long 3 weeks. And honestly without my support system and this forum, I don’t think I would have gotten through it.

 

After those 3 weeks, I could feel myself getting closer to the surface again. I still struggled, but each day got a little better. A little more healed. Symptoms still lingered, but things were subsiding slowly. My body working out the kinks. I now genuinely know the medication was the culprit in making me ill- inflaming all of my anxieties.

 

Today I have been 6 months without any medication. I can wholeheartedly tell you it does get better. I feel the best I’ve felt in years. My symptoms have all subsided. I still have general anxiety, but it is very minor in comparison. I have learned so much about myself, my strength and the coping mechanisms/exercises that work for me. And I’m still healing.

 

Everyone’s story and timeline is different, however I hope sharing my experience gives you hope. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You can and will weather the storm and get through this journey. You may not see it now, but there is an end in sight. And it’s beautiful. Keep going.

 

**On a personal note, THANK YOU to those of you that have also shared your experiences on this forum, as this undoubtedly helped me hang on during my journey of tapering and withdrawal.**

 

XX

Amber

Edited by manymoretodays
spelling- Success, title added

*Sertraline (Zoloft)- 10.5 years @ 50mg for panic attacks/GAD (few years at higher dosage)
*Experienced extreme depersonalization and extreme anxiety Oct-Nov 2019 while on meds. Met with psychiatrist who suggested increasing dose from 50mg to 75mg. Increased for 3 weeks, but did not improve. Made the conscious decision to taper off.
*Tapered over 8ish months period. Scheduled tapers every 6-8 weeks:

  • Nov-Dec 2019: Reduced recent increase to 75mg back to 50mg
  • Jan 2020: 50mg to 35mg
  • Feb-Mar 2020: 35mg to 25mg
  • Apr-May 2020: 25mg to 12.5mg (stayed on 12.5mg for 8 weeks to make sure acclimated)
  • May 2020-June 2020: 12.5mg to 6mg
  • June 1, 2020: Day 1 of NO meds

*Have emergency Klonopin for panic, but refuse to take.
*Experienced delayed withdrawal after 6 weeks (July 2020): high anxiety, body and muscle ache, chest tightness, electric shocks, severe insomnia, no appetite (lost 10 lbs), crying, depression. These extreme symptoms went on for 3 weeks.

* Aug 2020: Went on small 50mg dose of trazodone for insomnia, as I was only getting 2 hours per night. Took for 3 weeks and now fully removed. I can sleep a full night.
*Steadily improving- still have WD symptoms, but can sleep now and function throughout my day.

*Was told by therapist and new psychiatrist I was probably given the wrong medication to begin with. Great. 😒

*I feel way more clear headed. I can logically make the connections of how I'm feeling/what I'm experiencing. I've just got to find my homeostasis again. 💝

*Take omega 3s, magnesium glycinate, CBD regularly.

*Go to therapy, meditate, practice breathing techniques, cold therapy (Wim Hof) and exercise regularly.

Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi amstrong!  @amstrong

And yes, you got the signature done just great.  Mini type but that's okay.

 

And hey, I love your success to date, and almost hate to do it, but have moved your most recent post back here until you hit a year off. 

How to write your success story

Here's the guideline on that, ^, and please, please don't hesitate to come on back with updates, and then post in the Success Forum, at a year off,  or as soon after as you wish.

 

You are still a success.  And that is a good account of it too.

 

I will give you a sun symbol and big blue flag of success now, too!

 

And best,

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays
changed red to blue for success tag

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Because you're feeling better, I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol ☼ to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

 

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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