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Chrjackson: Zoloft/Sertraline - in recovery and just hit 18months


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Hi! 
this is my first time writing on here and thought it would be important to start. No idea if anyone still even looks at this website, a lot of the posts seem to be very old. 

I was prescribed sertraline (Zoloft) by a doctor in the UK following a difficult period and PTSD. I was swiftly put up to the legal limit (200mg) for no reason other than my doctor thought it wasn’t working for me. I took this for 18months and then under the guidance of the same doctor came off the prescription in 6 weeks. Now for those people who know what they are talking about when it comes to tapering, that will probably make their hair stand on end. 
 

The withdrawal symptoms were nothing short of psychotic and it will probably shock people to hear that I stuck them out, my doctor left me, a psychiatrist wouldn’t see me and I wanted to be done off prescription meds so much. I had Audio and visual hallucinations, obsessive compulsive thoughts, night terrors, panic attacks, anxiety, Deep depression, irritability the list goes on. I weathered them all. 
 

I have been off sertraline 18months and still have lots of down days, but nothing close to what they used to be. 18months in and I regularly exercise, I can have a beer with my friends (I couldn’t do this until recently) and I can have moments that I enjoy. 
 

I have regular windows and waves now that cycle around 7-8days each. This just shows that my brain is recovering from a dependency on such a high dose of anti-depressant. I still get very angry that I am in this position because of lack of guidance and management from a doctor but at the end of the day it’s in the past so I don’t let that thought manifest. 
 

if I had to put my finger on it I think I have maybe another year or so of recovery to go. The concept of that used to terrify me but what I want to get across to anyone who may be reading this is that it does get better, time does heal and you need to find out the day to day things that work for you. You will get there just hang on. Take everyday one at a time - I believe in you!

Edited by manymoretodays
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manymoretodays

Hi Chrijackson,

Welcome, and thanks for coming around and posting your Success Story.

And congratulations as well, for sticking with it.

 

If you look around here, you'll see the different forums, and sometimes......we even get behind, in getting new folks started, in the Introductions forums.

And apologies, on the delayed approval of your post.  I think the recent holidays, may have set things a bit behind.

In this forum, Success Stories, we do have a fair number of recent posts, of people, now off their medications for a years time.

And, like I said, pretty active recent posts elsewhere.

 

Huge though, that you've continued to improve, now 18 months off.

 

How did you come off the sertraline in 6 weeks?

 

We generally take a harm reduction approach, and suggest:  Why taper by 10% of my dose?

And it does sound like you are aware of better tapering practices than what your doctor suggested.

 

How has it gone, if you recall, with your WD(withdrawal symptoms), as far, as improvements went, at various months since you've come off the sertraline?

 

Fortunately, yet not quick enough, for so many of us.......there is finally, more information being gathered and distributed around WD, better tapering practices, understanding of Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome.

 

Just the same, I can understand your anger.  And yes, a long ways to go with tapering and full disclosure around these types of medications, and then all the rest as well.  Things are happening though.  And the founder of this site, Altostrata has been a workhorse in this effort.

 

Regular exercise you stated helped.  Any other non-drug coping that helped, that you would like to share will be much appreciated, I'm sure.

 

And I do take it that you are drug free now and are not on any other medications?

Were you on any before the sertraline?

 

Welcome, welcome.  And thank you for posting here too.

 

Best.  Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(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

 

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JesusSavemefromWD

Thank u for posting ur success story. It gives me hope..... if someone on 200mg Zoloft for 18 months can recover , I should be able to recover too (just took this poison for few weeks at 25mg). I am seeing some improvements this week after 2&1/2 months OFF this poison, but still farrr away from functional and normal ... lot of every day suffering . Please keep us posted about ur continued improvement... I am really happy for u

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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Chrjackson
4 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

Hi Chrijackson,

Welcome, and thanks for coming around and posting your Success Story.

And congratulations as well, for sticking with it.

 

If you look around here, you'll see the different forums, and sometimes......we even get behind, in getting new folks started, in the Introductions forums.

And apologies, on the delayed approval of your post.  I think the recent holidays, may have set things a bit behind.

In this forum, Success Stories, we do have a fair number of recent posts, of people, now off their medications for a years time.

And, like I said, pretty active recent posts elsewhere.

 

Huge though, that you've continued to improve, now 18 months off.

 

How did you come off the sertraline in 6 weeks?

 

We generally take a harm reduction approach, and suggest:  Why taper by 10% of my dose?

And it does sound like you are aware of better tapering practices than what your doctor suggested.

 

How has it gone, if you recall, with your WD(withdrawal symptoms), as far, as improvements went, at various months since you've come off the sertraline?

 

Fortunately, yet not quick enough, for so many of us.......there is finally, more information being gathered and distributed around WD, better tapering practices, understanding of Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome.

 

Just the same, I can understand your anger.  And yes, a long ways to go with tapering and full disclosure around these types of medications, and then all the rest as well.  Things are happening though.  And the founder of this site, Altostrata has been a workhorse in this effort.

 

Regular exercise you stated helped.  Any other non-drug coping that helped, that you would like to share will be much appreciated, I'm sure.

 

And I do take it that you are drug free now and are not on any other medications?

Were you on any before the sertraline?

 

Welcome, welcome.  And thank you for posting here too.

 

Best.  Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(mmt)

 

 


Thanks for your response. In answer to some of your questions;

 

I came off sertraline in 6 weeks from 200mg which was pretty much 25mg a week for 5-6 weeks, and I had discontinuation/withdrawal affects after every change, but I was reducing at such a pace because my doctor gave me that guidance and I just wanted to be off them. At the time I was not aware of better tapering practices, I hadn’t researched it and I trusted the doctor and psychiatrists guidance (why wouldn’t I as they are trained professionals). I now know that was a huge mistake. I have read the book the antidepressant solution by Joseph Glenmullen and this helped me massively. 
 

As for the various stages of withdrawal. I would say 0-4 months it was deep depression, dizzy head constantly, tinitus, pounding headaches, restlessness, fatigue, exhaustion, obsessive thoughts and irritability - almost constantly. I thought I was going insane. From 4-8 months I had windows and waves, windows last 1-2 days and the waves felt never ending, they had all the symptoms above but more sickness, disassociation, headaches (I can’t stress these enough it’s like my head was screaming) dizziness, loss of balance, irritability, obsessive thoughts. 8-18 months I have had windows and waves whereby my recovery has been so slow it has almost been unrecognisable. I tend to measure things in 3-6 month blocks because only then will you see a visible improvement. All I can say is that the peaks and troughs of my windows and waves have got shallower and longer. My windows are relatively normal now, I still get dizzy and sleepless nights but my brain is just so calm compared to before. My waves are filled with obsessive thoughts, anxiety and dizziness but they are manageable. 
 

There are so many things that helped me through this period. Exercise has saved my life - without a shadow of a doubt. In any form, walking running, weight training, skipping. It has kept me alive and I start off everyday with it. I journal most days - writing in it how I’m feeling so I can use this material to look back on. I also keep a diary traffic light system, red for bed, amber for okayish, green for good. I have done this every single day for nearly a year, and was how I first identified windows and waves. It has been instrumental to me understanding my own patterns of behaviour and recovery. I also want to point out that because recovery is so slow - by keeping a journal that is sometimes how you realise you’ve made progress, because you read something from 7 months ago and think, wow I never feel like that anymore. 
I also have talk therapy 2-3 times a month, where I talk to a therapist about what’s going on. My family and friends don’t really understand but my girlfriend does, she has been the bedrock for my recovery - so find someone who you can talk to about it because when the going gets tough they are the people who help you through. 
 

In response to your final question - I have never taken any medication before sertraline and I never took any medication alongside sertraline. Before all this I was a young, confident 27 year old guy who had a job at one of the top businesses in London. I thought taking this medication ruined my life, but I now know I will beat the withdrawal effects and I will get back to where I was - nothing will stop me and everyone on here will be happy again and get back to where they want to - an even better version than before :) 

 

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Chrjackson
6 hours ago, JesusSavemefromWD said:

Thank u for posting ur success story. It gives me hope..... if someone on 200mg Zoloft for 18 months can recover , I should be able to recover too (just took this poison for few weeks at 25mg). I am seeing some improvements this week after 2&1/2 months OFF this poison, but still farrr away from functional and normal ... lot of every day suffering . Please keep us posted about ur continued improvement... I am really happy for u

Time heals everything - that is one thing that is true and can never be taken away. Especially when it comes to withdrawal. 
 

SSRIs are potent and can really throw your brain chemistry. Sounds like you are already making progress and starting to recover - I wish you a speedy recovery and you should feel excited for life on the other side of withdrawal :) 

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batty123

I came off 3 weeks & suffer extreme cases like yours & was suicidal & had severe memory problems 

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to Chrjackson: Zoloft/Sertraline - in recovery and just hit 18months
JesusSavemefromWD

Thank you for the encouragement. I do see improvements but I am still into a lots of suffering.....sometimes I am worried the brain damage for few weeks of Zoloft might be permanent but I think it’s because changes are so slow that you are not even sure if there is an overall improvement. Just wondering, did u ever experience depersonalization/derealizationduring your withdrawal, and if yes for how long? 

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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JesusSavemefromWD

@batty123 a bit more specific please? You have had it for a year and a half and it’s gone or you are still experiencing it? Has it lighten up at all? Thanks and I am sorry to hear u have experience with this horrific symptom. Did I ever had it before psychiatric drugs? I didn’t ...

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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Meaning spent 1yr suffering withdrawals side effects in 2019 & 2020 6months relapse in depression still able to work but keeping hush it's the drugs made ya do this & that & nobody believes you!

Ya can dm me!

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Chrjackson

@JesusSavemefromWDi have experienced both of these for a prolonged period but I want to reassure you that these symptoms ease and that they go. You won’t have done permanent damage to your brain, I felt like that for a long time and it’s something I used to speak to my therapist about, the recovery process is just very very slow and one that takes time. The heal is notoriously very slow to heal itself, but the amazing thing is that it does :) 

if you never experienced symptoms before psychiatric drugs and now you do - that is a clear indication it is withdrawal causing them. I never experienced 90% of the symptoms I have had from withdrawal. 

 

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manymoretodays

Hey Chr,

And thank you so much for answering my questions, and sharing your coping.  And love this below!!!

On 1/8/2021 at 4:47 AM, Chrjackson said:

SSRIs are potent and can really throw your brain chemistry. Sounds like you are already making progress and starting to recover - I wish you a speedy recovery and you should feel excited for life on the other side of withdrawal :) 

 

Yep, yip, yes!!!

 

Also,

Please summarize your withdrawal history in your signature

this will be helpful too, when others come by, or if you do want to visit and support other members.  It's what you see below others posts.  Just follow the instructions and links in that link to do the signature.

 

Thanks again.  And so glad you joined us here.  ❤️

 

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

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
David95790

Every symptom(visual, audio hallincinations, severe headaches) you've had I am currently having. My wasn't aware of the tapering process until visiting this website. I started last year at 25mg of zoloft and my doctors jumped me to 125mg in 2 months and back down to 0 within 6 weeks. The first week of withdrawal was hell. I am still going through it. I am 12 months in. I was wondering if any diet changes helped you throughout this process?

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Chrjackson

Hi @David95790

firstly thanks for posting and sorry to hear you’ve gone through something similar, I was unawares to the importance of tapering until after coming off as well - the fact most doctors don’t seem to know about it is mind boggling. I have read recent white papers that state they now think it is the most important phase in the whole of treatment.
In response to your question - I couldn’t really say for sure. I made a decision very early on that there were certain things that were in my control and some that weren’t. Diet, sleep, exercise, meditation/mindfulness, almost zero alcohol were all things that I recognised I could stay on top of and do ‘my bit’ to help the brain recover from the dependancy on sertraline. I don’t know if they would speed up the process but I can certainly tell you they helped manage it - just like they would help anyone who wasn’t going through post acute withdrawal. I have just maintained and approach of eating in a pretty healthy balanced way and treated myself at the weekend. 
Worth noting that since I wrote this post in Dec/Jan I have seen some huge leaps in improvement - I firmly believe I have turned a corner in my recovery, there are more good days than bad now. Everyone is different but 18months really felt like I could see light at the end of the tunnel. You will get there too, try stay on top of the things that you can control - also more than happy to speak on private message if you have any other questions.

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HI, you have given me so much hope.  I thought I was being pathetic having withdrawal symptoms after only 7 weeks on Lexapro coupled with being totally surprised as to how intense the severe anxiety is.  I exercise, eat well and do everything I should be doing but the anxiety is something else and not experienced until on the medication.  I am determined to get off and keep going but it is soul destroying sometimes.  Well Done.

November 2015 0 15mg Mirtazapine for 5 weeks and GP changed me to Effexor 150mg titrated up slowly as very sensitive.  Change was due to GP worried about weight gain on Mirtazapine.

 

Started to wean off Effexor over 16 months period and I had no issues at all. Stopped June 2020.  Unfortunately, I was under chronic stress from 4 deaths (1 was my mother) in the family amongst other things  and sunk back down in October 2020.  Rather than accepting this was chronic stress and grief, I panicked and went to GP.

 

October 2020 prescribed Vortioxetine 10mg for 1 month and then increased to 15 mg on for 7 weeks in total.  Had suicidal thoughts and off the wall anxiety.  Changed to Lexapro in mid December 2020, slow titration from 2.5mg up to 10mg.  After 7 weeks again off the wall anxiety, I did have side effects on all drugs from starting to take them.  I decided to go 'au natural', GP advised to 'lets get it out of your system.' I did 1 week at 5mg and stopped.  Last med was 02 February 2021.  

 

I honestly did not realise after a short period of time I would experience such high anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc.  I was prescribed Diazepam to manage the symptoms but have only taken 3 when absolutely desperate.

I exercise, cold water swim and take magnesium, st Johns wort, valerian, VIt D and B12 and Omega 3.

 

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On 2/7/2021 at 4:43 AM, David95790 said:

Every symptom(visual, audio hallincinations, severe headaches) you've had I am currently having. My wasn't aware of the tapering process until visiting this website. I started last year at 25mg of zoloft and my doctors jumped me to 125mg in 2 months and back down to 0 within 6 weeks. The first week of withdrawal was hell. I am still going through it. I am 12 months in. I was wondering if any diet changes helped you throughout this process?

 

Honestly I tried lots of diet changes and supplements for a while including keto and vegetarian, especially around 12-18 months. I concluded it didn't make any difference. I ended up doing the obvious thing of minimising refined and processed foods and sticking to a Mediterranean style diet, lots of coloured veg, fish, lean meat. I think it's best to provide stability and good fuel for our bodies to stabilise. I take Omega 3 in the morning and Magnesium Glycinate in the evening, nothing else.

 

I'm at 27 months now and have more good days than bad but remember my hellish period at 12-18 months where I was looking for answers and magic solutions. I didn't find any other than time, sleep and stability. You will recover. 

50 mg Sertraline Nov 2016 to Dec 2016

100 mg Sertraline Jan - March 2017

50 mg Sertraline April - June 2017

25 mg Sertraline July 2017 - Sept 2018

12.5 mg Sertraline Oct 2018

0 mg Nov 1 2018

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JesusSavemefromWD
On 2/13/2021 at 9:03 AM, BooBoo19 said:

HI, you have given me so much hope.  I thought I was being pathetic having withdrawal symptoms after only 7 weeks on Lexapro coupled with being totally surprised as to how intense the severe anxiety is.  I exercise, eat well and do everything I should be doing but the anxiety is something else and not experienced until on the medication.  I am determined to get off and keep going but it is soul destroying sometimes.  Well Done.

I suffer a lot after 4 weeks at the lowest Zoloft dose (plus 4 weeks tapering). It’s been 3&1/2 months completely OFF and even though I have seen improvements, I am still suffering a lot every day with a variety of symptoms. You are not pathetic, you just have a very sensitive serotonergic system and you are another victim of psychiatrists. Hoping and praying we will both heal....

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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Chrjackson
On 2/13/2021 at 12:33 PM, BooBoo19 said:

HI, you have given me so much hope.  I thought I was being pathetic having withdrawal symptoms after only 7 weeks on Lexapro coupled with being totally surprised as to how intense the severe anxiety is.  I exercise, eat well and do everything I should be doing but the anxiety is something else and not experienced until on the medication.  I am determined to get off and keep going but it is soul destroying sometimes.  Well Done.


Hi @BooBoo19 that’s great that me posting can give you so much hope, that’s precisely the reason I posted on here in the first place. I was soul searching and looking for hope for a long time, and a lot came from exchanging and reading people’s stories who had been in a similar position or worse than my own. Your symptoms will fade, that is one of the truths about all of these medications, any withdrawal effects they cause will ultimately fade and time is the biggest healer. 
If you have the mindset that you will get better and you do everything day to day to stay healthy - you are unstoppable. Take it a day at a time! 
I’m sat here drinking a coffee at breakfast 20months off with a lot more good days than bad. You will get through it!! Good luck 

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Thank you, I am just surprised at how quickly it happened and slowly loosing hope that I will get better and return to work although the anxiety is calming a little it is still very prominent.  Well Done you!!!

November 2015 0 15mg Mirtazapine for 5 weeks and GP changed me to Effexor 150mg titrated up slowly as very sensitive.  Change was due to GP worried about weight gain on Mirtazapine.

 

Started to wean off Effexor over 16 months period and I had no issues at all. Stopped June 2020.  Unfortunately, I was under chronic stress from 4 deaths (1 was my mother) in the family amongst other things  and sunk back down in October 2020.  Rather than accepting this was chronic stress and grief, I panicked and went to GP.

 

October 2020 prescribed Vortioxetine 10mg for 1 month and then increased to 15 mg on for 7 weeks in total.  Had suicidal thoughts and off the wall anxiety.  Changed to Lexapro in mid December 2020, slow titration from 2.5mg up to 10mg.  After 7 weeks again off the wall anxiety, I did have side effects on all drugs from starting to take them.  I decided to go 'au natural', GP advised to 'lets get it out of your system.' I did 1 week at 5mg and stopped.  Last med was 02 February 2021.  

 

I honestly did not realise after a short period of time I would experience such high anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc.  I was prescribed Diazepam to manage the symptoms but have only taken 3 when absolutely desperate.

I exercise, cold water swim and take magnesium, st Johns wort, valerian, VIt D and B12 and Omega 3.

 

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Chrjackson
1 minute ago, BooBoo19 said:

Thank you, I am just surprised at how quickly it happened and slowly loosing hope that I will get better and return to work although the anxiety is calming a little it is still very prominent.  Well Done you!!!


It 100% will get better I can guarantee you that. If at all you want to read more and educate yourself on all this there’s a fantastic book that I would recommend - it’s called ‘the anti depressant solution’ by Joseph Glenmullen. It’s helped a lot of people understand their symptoms and some of the science behind withdrawal effects etc. so check it out if you fancy.  

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Thank you,  that is all I need is reassurance!!!  I have checked out that book already so thank you and enjoy lockdown in the UK!!

November 2015 0 15mg Mirtazapine for 5 weeks and GP changed me to Effexor 150mg titrated up slowly as very sensitive.  Change was due to GP worried about weight gain on Mirtazapine.

 

Started to wean off Effexor over 16 months period and I had no issues at all. Stopped June 2020.  Unfortunately, I was under chronic stress from 4 deaths (1 was my mother) in the family amongst other things  and sunk back down in October 2020.  Rather than accepting this was chronic stress and grief, I panicked and went to GP.

 

October 2020 prescribed Vortioxetine 10mg for 1 month and then increased to 15 mg on for 7 weeks in total.  Had suicidal thoughts and off the wall anxiety.  Changed to Lexapro in mid December 2020, slow titration from 2.5mg up to 10mg.  After 7 weeks again off the wall anxiety, I did have side effects on all drugs from starting to take them.  I decided to go 'au natural', GP advised to 'lets get it out of your system.' I did 1 week at 5mg and stopped.  Last med was 02 February 2021.  

 

I honestly did not realise after a short period of time I would experience such high anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc.  I was prescribed Diazepam to manage the symptoms but have only taken 3 when absolutely desperate.

I exercise, cold water swim and take magnesium, st Johns wort, valerian, VIt D and B12 and Omega 3.

 

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18 hours ago, JesusSavemefromWD said:

I suffer a lot after 4 weeks at the lowest Zoloft dose (plus 4 weeks tapering). It’s been 3&1/2 months completely OFF and even though I have seen improvements, I am still suffering a lot every day with a variety of symptoms. You are not pathetic, you just have a very sensitive serotonergic system and you are another victim of psychiatrists. Hoping and praying we will both heal....

Thank you for that, It is sad that prescription medication does this.  It is shocking that we feel like this on one drug and for a short period of time in comparison to many others.  Were you surprised as to how quickly and bad it is?  A friend of mine who is a GP stated that the withdrawal syndrome is notoriously worse that starting the medication - I f only I knew.  Keep safe and positive and thank you for your support.

November 2015 0 15mg Mirtazapine for 5 weeks and GP changed me to Effexor 150mg titrated up slowly as very sensitive.  Change was due to GP worried about weight gain on Mirtazapine.

 

Started to wean off Effexor over 16 months period and I had no issues at all. Stopped June 2020.  Unfortunately, I was under chronic stress from 4 deaths (1 was my mother) in the family amongst other things  and sunk back down in October 2020.  Rather than accepting this was chronic stress and grief, I panicked and went to GP.

 

October 2020 prescribed Vortioxetine 10mg for 1 month and then increased to 15 mg on for 7 weeks in total.  Had suicidal thoughts and off the wall anxiety.  Changed to Lexapro in mid December 2020, slow titration from 2.5mg up to 10mg.  After 7 weeks again off the wall anxiety, I did have side effects on all drugs from starting to take them.  I decided to go 'au natural', GP advised to 'lets get it out of your system.' I did 1 week at 5mg and stopped.  Last med was 02 February 2021.  

 

I honestly did not realise after a short period of time I would experience such high anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc.  I was prescribed Diazepam to manage the symptoms but have only taken 3 when absolutely desperate.

I exercise, cold water swim and take magnesium, st Johns wort, valerian, VIt D and B12 and Omega 3.

 

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JesusSavemefromWD
16 minutes ago, BooBoo19 said:

Thank you for that, It is sad that prescription medication does this.  It is shocking that we feel like this on one drug and for a short period of time in comparison to many others.  Were you surprised as to how quickly and bad it is?  A friend of mine who is a GP stated that the withdrawal syndrome is notoriously worse that starting the medication - I f only I knew.  Keep safe and positive and thank you for your support.

I am extremely surprised of how serious I suffer following such a short time on Zoloft (took it for chest tightness which the doctors attributed to anxiety). I am a molecular and cellular neurobiologist and have great knowledge of brain function and development and healthy vs disease states, but could never ever have imagined that just a few weeks on a baby dose (as my doctor was telling me) of Zoloft could turn a healthy brain and a multifunctional person (mother, wife, fully working scientist) to being bedridden and incapable of even recognizing herself in the mirror or her own kids, feeling inner terror just in the thought of leaving the house, screaming out of her lungs to her husband that she needs to be admitted into a psychiatric yard cause she just went crazy (literally felt like my brain was disconnected from my soul and body, it’s called depersonalization and some people get it after doing illegal drugs...I got it from Zoloft!). If I hadn’t experienced all these I would have never believed it...

how are u feeling these days?

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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17 minutes ago, JesusSavemefromWD said:

I am extremely surprised of how serious I suffer following such a short time on Zoloft (took it for chest tightness which the doctors attributed to anxiety). I am a molecular and cellular neurobiologist and have great knowledge of brain function and development and healthy vs disease states, but could never ever have imagined that just a few weeks on a baby dose (as my doctor was telling me) of Zoloft could turn a healthy brain and a multifunctional person (mother, wife, fully working scientist) to being bedridden and incapable of even recognizing herself in the mirror or her own kids, feeling inner terror just in the thought of leaving the house, screaming out of her lungs to her husband that she needs to be admitted into a psychiatric yard cause she just went crazy (literally felt like my brain was disconnected from my soul and body, it’s called depersonalization and some people get it after doing illegal drugs...I got it from Zoloft!). If I hadn’t experienced all these I would have never believed it...

how are u feeling these days?

Hi, all of that sounds so familiar, my first sign that something was seriously wrong was when I was in distress and telling my husband I wanted to end my life and how scared I was.  I am also a professional although not in medicine and have to make serious life changing decisions on a daily basis so am definitely not fit for work at the moment which makes me feel that I have no purpose and probably makes me worse.  I am very bored as we are in lockdown in the UK and so have no company (other than my husband who has been great) but have little to no motivation to do anything but hoping boredom is also a good sign.  My anxiety is calming from the suicidal and pacing around in the beginning but still debilitating which as I am sure you know gets you down.  I have lost 2 stone in weight since the start of this journey.  Like you I would never have believed it myself but feel very passionate about it now and how poor follow up care is.  I am only 2 weeks medication  free but every day feels like a month.  It sounds quite dramatic but that is exactly how I feel.  Are you back at work now?

November 2015 0 15mg Mirtazapine for 5 weeks and GP changed me to Effexor 150mg titrated up slowly as very sensitive.  Change was due to GP worried about weight gain on Mirtazapine.

 

Started to wean off Effexor over 16 months period and I had no issues at all. Stopped June 2020.  Unfortunately, I was under chronic stress from 4 deaths (1 was my mother) in the family amongst other things  and sunk back down in October 2020.  Rather than accepting this was chronic stress and grief, I panicked and went to GP.

 

October 2020 prescribed Vortioxetine 10mg for 1 month and then increased to 15 mg on for 7 weeks in total.  Had suicidal thoughts and off the wall anxiety.  Changed to Lexapro in mid December 2020, slow titration from 2.5mg up to 10mg.  After 7 weeks again off the wall anxiety, I did have side effects on all drugs from starting to take them.  I decided to go 'au natural', GP advised to 'lets get it out of your system.' I did 1 week at 5mg and stopped.  Last med was 02 February 2021.  

 

I honestly did not realise after a short period of time I would experience such high anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc.  I was prescribed Diazepam to manage the symptoms but have only taken 3 when absolutely desperate.

I exercise, cold water swim and take magnesium, st Johns wort, valerian, VIt D and B12 and Omega 3.

 

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JesusSavemefromWD

Back at work??!! No ... I am fighting to survive every single day. I can barely take care of my kids and house . If ur seeing improvements so early u will heal faster than me. I noticed minor improvements (I mean it minor) after 2&1/2 months completely off 

It’s lockdown here too and I have no extended family here in Canada so I am suffering in silence alone every day trying to not show it to my two young boys. Husband is a doctor and he can’t believe what he has been witnessing in front of his eyes . If I don’t improve soon I .... well I don’t want to think of that at all ... I have to improve I have two boys to raise and a sick mother to take care of

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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2 hours ago, JesusSavemefromWD said:

Back at work??!! No ... I am fighting to survive every single day. I can barely take care of my kids and house . If ur seeing improvements so early u will heal faster than me. I noticed minor improvements (I mean it minor) after 2&1/2 months completely off 

It’s lockdown here too and I have no extended family here in Canada so I am suffering in silence alone every day trying to not show it to my two young boys. Husband is a doctor and he can’t believe what he has been witnessing in front of his eyes . If I don’t improve soon I .... well I don’t want to think of that at all ... I have to improve I have two boys to raise and a sick mother to take care of

 

You will recover. I was unable to work for a year but am now about to celebrate 6 months (difficult) return to work. It’s a horrible path we must take but it is the only path. We will all get there. It’s great your husband understands it’s real. Be kind to yourself. 

50 mg Sertraline Nov 2016 to Dec 2016

100 mg Sertraline Jan - March 2017

50 mg Sertraline April - June 2017

25 mg Sertraline July 2017 - Sept 2018

12.5 mg Sertraline Oct 2018

0 mg Nov 1 2018

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JesusSavemefromWD

Thanks for the encouragement.. husband didn’t understand or believe me in the begging ... being a physician he has blind trust in medical books. It took the first two months of my suffering for him to start believing all these was caused by Zoloft. In the beginning I was furious at him but now I realize I can’t really blame him, my symptoms have been so bad and weird that if I wasn’t experiencing them myself, I would have had hard time believing they can happen to a mentally healthy person. I am being nice to myself, i actually admire myself and any person going through this WD nightmare....

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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JesusSavemefromWD
30 minutes ago, DaBro said:

 

You will recover. I was unable to work for a year but am now about to celebrate 6 months (difficult) return to work. It’s a horrible path we must take but it is the only path. We will all get there. It’s great your husband understands it’s real. Be kind to yourself. 

Happy to hear you are back working, it is a great achievement for someone who is dealing with WD. You should be proud of yourself ...

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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31 minutes ago, JesusSavemefromWD said:

Thanks for the encouragement.. husband didn’t understand or believe me in the begging ... being a physician he has blind trust in medical books. It took the first two months of my suffering for him to start believing all these was caused by Zoloft. In the beginning I was furious at him but now I realize I can’t really blame him, my symptoms have been so bad and weird that if I wasn’t experiencing them myself, I would have had hard time believing they can happen to a mentally healthy person. I am being nice to myself, i actually admire myself and any person going through this WD nightmare....

 

I think when I flooded the bed with sweat and spasmed for 30 minutes was proof I wasn’t putting it on. It’s real.

50 mg Sertraline Nov 2016 to Dec 2016

100 mg Sertraline Jan - March 2017

50 mg Sertraline April - June 2017

25 mg Sertraline July 2017 - Sept 2018

12.5 mg Sertraline Oct 2018

0 mg Nov 1 2018

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JesusSavemefromWD

You touched a very important point.... if among the WD symptoms there are physical ones, things that an outside observer can see, then it’s easier to believe u. However n my case all symptoms have been mental and a couple of physical ones (tinnitus and face numbing) are neither observable... so very hard to believe I was suffering ... until I started screaming to him to admit me in a psychiatric yard ... then he knew smg was really wrong as I have never ever said anything like this in the past even though I have been through tough situations in my life.

I am praying for us to recover... that would be the clearest proof it’s WD. Out of four psychiatrists I have seen, 3 of them say I have developed a mental illness and it was a coincidence It manifested when I went on Zoloft 🤯, and one of them told me that ADs are probably poison for me and my brain went into a global shock and I should just give it time, take the suffering without medication and hope for the best... that’s what I am doing every single day , taking the suffering and praying 

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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Mine are only slight improvements and I am feeling very frustrated as I believed each day would get better or at least easier although this is not the case.You do have a lot on your plate at the moment.  I am hoping I will recover fully, I felt 'normal' last night for a couple of hours and become hopeful until I woke up with crippling anxiety and think here we go again.  It is debilitating, especially when you have additional stresses as you have.  I moved away from all of my extended family 2 years ago so am also quite isolated.

 

As Dabro says it takes time and there are a lot of people are in here who have recovered.  I also watched The lovely grind on You Tube which inspires me and I listen  Robert Whitaker who is great but makes me angry at the system.  However, we are currently walking in treacle and hope it gets better each day.  Keep in touch as I will.

November 2015 0 15mg Mirtazapine for 5 weeks and GP changed me to Effexor 150mg titrated up slowly as very sensitive.  Change was due to GP worried about weight gain on Mirtazapine.

 

Started to wean off Effexor over 16 months period and I had no issues at all. Stopped June 2020.  Unfortunately, I was under chronic stress from 4 deaths (1 was my mother) in the family amongst other things  and sunk back down in October 2020.  Rather than accepting this was chronic stress and grief, I panicked and went to GP.

 

October 2020 prescribed Vortioxetine 10mg for 1 month and then increased to 15 mg on for 7 weeks in total.  Had suicidal thoughts and off the wall anxiety.  Changed to Lexapro in mid December 2020, slow titration from 2.5mg up to 10mg.  After 7 weeks again off the wall anxiety, I did have side effects on all drugs from starting to take them.  I decided to go 'au natural', GP advised to 'lets get it out of your system.' I did 1 week at 5mg and stopped.  Last med was 02 February 2021.  

 

I honestly did not realise after a short period of time I would experience such high anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc.  I was prescribed Diazepam to manage the symptoms but have only taken 3 when absolutely desperate.

I exercise, cold water swim and take magnesium, st Johns wort, valerian, VIt D and B12 and Omega 3.

 

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We will recover, even though I think I won't we will.  This is part o the process. My GP wanted to put me on Zoloft after Escitalapram but I refused.  They would just keep going. Does not make any sense.

November 2015 0 15mg Mirtazapine for 5 weeks and GP changed me to Effexor 150mg titrated up slowly as very sensitive.  Change was due to GP worried about weight gain on Mirtazapine.

 

Started to wean off Effexor over 16 months period and I had no issues at all. Stopped June 2020.  Unfortunately, I was under chronic stress from 4 deaths (1 was my mother) in the family amongst other things  and sunk back down in October 2020.  Rather than accepting this was chronic stress and grief, I panicked and went to GP.

 

October 2020 prescribed Vortioxetine 10mg for 1 month and then increased to 15 mg on for 7 weeks in total.  Had suicidal thoughts and off the wall anxiety.  Changed to Lexapro in mid December 2020, slow titration from 2.5mg up to 10mg.  After 7 weeks again off the wall anxiety, I did have side effects on all drugs from starting to take them.  I decided to go 'au natural', GP advised to 'lets get it out of your system.' I did 1 week at 5mg and stopped.  Last med was 02 February 2021.  

 

I honestly did not realise after a short period of time I would experience such high anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc.  I was prescribed Diazepam to manage the symptoms but have only taken 3 when absolutely desperate.

I exercise, cold water swim and take magnesium, st Johns wort, valerian, VIt D and B12 and Omega 3.

 

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Chrjackson
14 minutes ago, BooBoo19 said:

We will recover, even though I think I won't we will.  This is part o the process. My GP wanted to put me on Zoloft after Escitalapram but I refused.  They would just keep going. Does not make any sense.


@BooBoo19 I thought it would be worth me responding to these posts as sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind that is AD withdrawal.
 

You will 100% get better - that is a fact. If you keep telling yourself this then it will carry you through to the end of recovery. Tell yourself it until you believe it. 

 

It’s a fact that I didn’t believe when I was in withdrawal. I would always second guess myself - is this permanent? When will it stop? Maybe I’ve damaged my brain beyond repair? If it’s like this forever I don’t want to live. Everything symptom you’ve spoken about above in your exchanges I have been through, it took me 18months to stop getting depersonalisation, chronic headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nightmares, irritability, anxiousness, depression. But they have almost all subsided now. I am pretty much back to normal me. After almost 2 years. 
 

Everyone is different and recovers at different rates but i want to get across that you will get better. Some people on here have taken 3 years some have taken 6 months. But there is one truth - time heals. 

Withdrawal is caused by a dependency to medication, and as time goes on the brain recovers, heals and operates without that dependency. You need to believe me and believe that you will recover. If I ever got lost in my own thoughts I always asked myself one question - did I ever feel like this before medication? The answer was always no. Which means that it was medication or ther lack of/withdrawal that was causing my problems. 


If you check your symptoms with the table of symptoms in the antidepressant solution you will recognise they are associated with withdrawal. Team heals everything. 

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Thank you so much that is just want I need - reassurance.  I agree in the whirlwind of WD you have no hope,  I have been off work now since October after returning for juts one month after my mothers death as I had taken 5 months of to care for her before she died.  I love working, it gives me a sense of purpose but the nature of my job I need to be 100% fully functional.  Having something to do would help as just sitting in the house day in day out is debilitating in itself.  Does that make sense?? did you work through your withdrawal and was morning anxiety bad for you?

 

November 2015 0 15mg Mirtazapine for 5 weeks and GP changed me to Effexor 150mg titrated up slowly as very sensitive.  Change was due to GP worried about weight gain on Mirtazapine.

 

Started to wean off Effexor over 16 months period and I had no issues at all. Stopped June 2020.  Unfortunately, I was under chronic stress from 4 deaths (1 was my mother) in the family amongst other things  and sunk back down in October 2020.  Rather than accepting this was chronic stress and grief, I panicked and went to GP.

 

October 2020 prescribed Vortioxetine 10mg for 1 month and then increased to 15 mg on for 7 weeks in total.  Had suicidal thoughts and off the wall anxiety.  Changed to Lexapro in mid December 2020, slow titration from 2.5mg up to 10mg.  After 7 weeks again off the wall anxiety, I did have side effects on all drugs from starting to take them.  I decided to go 'au natural', GP advised to 'lets get it out of your system.' I did 1 week at 5mg and stopped.  Last med was 02 February 2021.  

 

I honestly did not realise after a short period of time I would experience such high anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc.  I was prescribed Diazepam to manage the symptoms but have only taken 3 when absolutely desperate.

I exercise, cold water swim and take magnesium, st Johns wort, valerian, VIt D and B12 and Omega 3.

 

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Chrjackson
13 hours ago, BooBoo19 said:

Thank you so much that is just want I need - reassurance.  I agree in the whirlwind of WD you have no hope,  I have been off work now since October after returning for juts one month after my mothers death as I had taken 5 months of to care for her before she died.  I love working, it gives me a sense of purpose but the nature of my job I need to be 100% fully functional.  Having something to do would help as just sitting in the house day in day out is debilitating in itself.  Does that make sense?? did you work through your withdrawal and was morning anxiety bad for you?

 

@BooBoo19 I’ll respond privately so not to put loads on this thread :) 

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