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Che13: tapering Zoloft - CBD oil?


Che13

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Hi, I am new to this forum. I've joined as I am desperate for some help and advise on how to wean myself off Zoloft. I am a male in my 40s and I've been taking it for 6 years now after reluctantly agreeing to try it following a bout of depression & anxiety (have a family history of this illness) and unavailability of talking therapy at my foreign place of work at the time. It initially (100pmg) provided some relief but after 2 years I realized that it was doing more harm than good with its various side effects (fatigue, lethargic, slow mind, dulled/flat emotions, weight gain, lower libido). It was then that I tried my first attempt to get off them by going cold turkey. I lasted about 6 months but had to go back on them (due to the return of symptoms) but this time settled on a 50mg dose. In the last 4 years, I've tried several times and methods to get off the 50mg, for example, going cold turkey, 50%, 25% reductions but always had to go back on them as the various symptoms of depression  (e.g. anxiety, anger, irritability, insomnia, negative thoughts) returned with a vengeance. My last attempt was the 10 % reduction per month method but again symptoms came back when I reached the 40mg mark. It has sadly become a common pattern of trying to reduce, then going back at full dose to recover my mind , and trying again - the whole process is very frustrating, defeating and disheartening and has a huge impact on my family life. A friend recommended trying CBD oil - I was wondering whether anyone tried successfully to taper off zoloft by using the CBD oil to soften the withdrawl effects? Thank you - and my compassion and solidarity for all those wrestling with these issues. 

 

 

PS. GPs have provided very little and useless help in this regard. 

Edited by Gridley

Aug. 2014 - May 2018:  100mg Zoloft 

May 2018-Oct.2018: clean (stopped them, nearly cold turkey) 

Nov. 2018 - June. 2020: reinstated 50mg Zoloft (with a few, sporadic and very short periods of 25mg)

August 2020 + Sept. 2020: 45mg Zoloft (used the 10% decrease/per month liquid method)  

Oct 2020: various erratic reductions

Nov. 2020: reinstated Zoloft 50mg

 

 

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Che13.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please include the details and dates of your tapers.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Regarding the CBD oil, it falls into the "try at your own risk" category.  Your system is very sensitized from your taper attempts and there really is no way to tell how you will react to the substance.  One link is below.  You can also Google SurvivingAntidepressants.org cbd oil for more threads.

Cannabis, marijuana, hashish, THC, & CBD (cannabidiol) or ...

Each time you try to taper then go back to full dose you system gets more sensitized and the effects are cumulative.  The symptoms you describe sound like withdrawal symptoms from too-fast tapers rather than relapse.

 

 

 

 

 
It sounds like 10% per month is too much for you.  You could try 5% per month or even less.  Many have to taper very slowly.  You might consider a micro-taper, which is the gentlest way to come off these drugs.
 
 
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. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can complete your drug signature, 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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  • Gridley changed the title to Che13: Tapering Zoloft - cbd oil?

Thank you very much, Gridley, for the helpful info and advice. The video was actually quite moving, helpful and resonated much with my recovery process. On the supplements, I have been taking Omega 3 fish oil for many years. But I will now also add magnesium as per advice. I will think more about what you said on the rate of taper and cbd oil and see how I proceed. I will post my development in the near future. Thanks again for the help - much appreciated. 

 

Aug. 2014 - May 2018:  100mg Zoloft 

May 2018-Oct.2018: clean (stopped them, nearly cold turkey) 

Nov. 2018 - June. 2020: reinstated 50mg Zoloft (with a few, sporadic and very short periods of 25mg)

August 2020 + Sept. 2020: 45mg Zoloft (used the 10% decrease/per month liquid method)  

Oct 2020: various erratic reductions

Nov. 2020: reinstated Zoloft 50mg

 

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Che13: tapering Zoloft - CBD oil?
  • 4 months later...

Hi, I've been on Zoloft for 7 years and after multiple failed tapering attempts over the years - including a recent 10 % reduction method that I did for two months - I am struggling to find the courage to start tapering again. I mostly fear the withdraw impact on my family, exacerbating an already conflictual marriage and the impact on my young son. I also fear of falling into a deeper depression once I am off the drugs completely (given my past episodes of depression) and will also be going against the advice of two psychiatrists who told me to stay on the drug forever. On the other hand, I hate being on these drugs in all respects, e.g. flattening my emotions, lethargy and tiredness and curbing my creativity and motivation. This dilemma of whether to start taper again, whether the costs outweigh the benefits, is causing a lot of internal conflict for me. Any advice on this to help me find some peace on this issue (and make a decision) would be much appreciated. Thank you. 

 

P. S. I am currently on 50mg Zoloft. 

 

Aug. 2014 - May 2018:  100mg Zoloft 

May 2018-Oct.2018: clean (stopped them, nearly cold turkey) 

Nov. 2018 - June. 2020: reinstated 50mg Zoloft (with a few, sporadic and very short periods of 25mg)

August 2020 + Sept. 2020: 45mg Zoloft (used the 10% decrease/per month liquid method)  

Oct 2020: various erratic reductions

Nov. 2020: reinstated Zoloft 50mg

 

 

 

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  • Che13 changed the title to How to find the courage to taper
  • Moderator
getofflex

Similar topics merged.  Previous post moved to your intro to keep all you history in one place.  

 

Please ask all questions and keep your discussion of your situation in this one thread, so the moderators can see the full context of any questions. 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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  • Moderator
getofflex
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Che13 said:

I am struggling to find the courage to start tapering again

I can understand why you would be afraid to taper again, since you've had trouble with it in the past.  As Gridley said, your system is probably sensitized from your previous taper attempts.  We suggest 10% reduction in general, but you always have the option of going more slowly.  One could taper at the rate of 5% per month, or even more slowly than that. 

 

3 hours ago, Che13 said:

I mostly fear the withdraw impact on my family, exacerbating an already conflictual marriage and the impact on my young son.

I think you are prudent to be concerned about this.  Here is a thread that discusses these types of issues.  Read this over carefully, then decide if you are able to start another taper at this point in time. 

 

What You Need to Know Before You Begin Tapering

 

If it were me, I would wait about 6 months to a year, and allow my nervous system to get solid and stable.  During that time, I would try to work on some of the life issues that you mentioned (conflictual marriage).   Of course this is your decision, and we respect whatever you would choose to do.  

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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Hi getofflex, thanks very much for the quick response. I appreciate your point and the link is useful. Based on the latter, it does not seem that my life circumstances are ideal to start a taper (though I don't know if life ever presents such ideal circumstances). Maybe I should wait. 

Aug. 2014 - May 2018:  100mg Zoloft 

May 2018-Oct.2018: clean (stopped them, nearly cold turkey) 

Nov. 2018 - June. 2020: reinstated 50mg Zoloft (with a few, sporadic and very short periods of 25mg)

August 2020 + Sept. 2020: 45mg Zoloft (used the 10% decrease/per month liquid method)  

Oct 2020: various erratic reductions

Nov. 2020: reinstated Zoloft 50mg

 

 

 

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  • Moderator
getofflex

Sounds like a solid plan.  When you are ready to taper, we are here to help.  Good luck. 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

Link to post

Ok thank you.

Aug. 2014 - May 2018:  100mg Zoloft 

May 2018-Oct.2018: clean (stopped them, nearly cold turkey) 

Nov. 2018 - June. 2020: reinstated 50mg Zoloft (with a few, sporadic and very short periods of 25mg)

August 2020 + Sept. 2020: 45mg Zoloft (used the 10% decrease/per month liquid method)  

Oct 2020: various erratic reductions

Nov. 2020: reinstated Zoloft 50mg

 

 

 

Link to post

Hi getofflex, can you possibly share my previous post to you about my dilemmas/concerns about starting another taper to Gridley and Altostrata? (who first greeted me on this forum as I don't know how to tag and share). It would be good to get some more opinions on this. Also, can you also share this post to them that I wrote to Madeleine? Perhaps you and then can also give some answers on it. 

Thanks for your help. 

 

Thanks for posting this Madeleine - it's very encouraging and I applaud your effort. I am pondering about starting my own taper again of 50mg Zoloft. Can I ask you what was your inner compass, so to speak, that sustained your effort in difficult times?  For example, how did you push away thoughts, in difficult withdraw moments, that we are medically advised to be on these drugs for life? Can I ask you whether you have any fear that you may relapse after getting off the drug completely? And would you reinstate in such scenario? And how are you feeling now without the drug? Thanks, and best wishes. 

Aug. 2014 - May 2018:  100mg Zoloft 

May 2018-Oct.2018: clean (stopped them, nearly cold turkey) 

Nov. 2018 - June. 2020: reinstated 50mg Zoloft (with a few, sporadic and very short periods of 25mg)

August 2020 + Sept. 2020: 45mg Zoloft (used the 10% decrease/per month liquid method)  

Oct 2020: various erratic reductions

Nov. 2020: reinstated Zoloft 50mg

 

 

 

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