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superfurry: New member - CT off Sertraline 7 weeks in...


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superfurry

Hello and thank you you to all the users, moderators and general community.  My name is Andy and I'm from Seattle.  I'm cold turkey of Sertraline going into week 7.  I've done this before but all memory of the experience of doing it in the past eludes me.  This process feels BRAND NEW and the regret of going CT is hitting me hard every few minutes, all day, everyday.  I'm coping.  Days feel like a war, a fight.  I'm as fragile as glass or like skim ice on a puddle of water.  I'm pushing SO hard through this while practicing mindfulness, meditating and researching.  I'm a father of 13 and 4 yr old girls and have a partner/wife (for now at least).

 

I've made it past debilitating brain zaps mostly.  Spontaneous crying has subsided a bit, I'm now in a place of extreme anxiety and fear.  Not eating well (only in the evening but not much) but taking a multi-vitamin, omega-3 fish oil, methyfolate, Tumeric and vitamin d as supplements.  I've just started occasional epsom salt baths.  Mornings are terrifying (cortisol spike?) and evenings are fragile but calmer.  I take 6mg Melatonin every night but wondering if I should.

 

I have so much to share but I don't know how to start.  I have read through many user posts and am finding a lot of comfort in shared experiences and also terror.  I've fought so long over decades to be free of antidepressants.  I'm now 47 and can't continue a life as a prisoner of "medicine" that has diminished my soul and personality and made me fear my own self.

 

 

1991 (3 months only): Prozac ??mg

1997-2002: Paxil 60mg

2002-2007: Tried Wellbutrin (less than a year), Effexor (1 yr), back to Paxil 60mg (3years)

2008-2015: Sertraline 100mg (added Buspirone at low dose for reason I forget)

2015:  CT off everything October 2015.  Stress event crashed me April 2016 and full reinstatement made of Sertraline

2016 - December 2020:  Sertraline 100mg with Lamotigine 200mg 1x/day

December 29th 2020:  CT off all meds.......

Feb 18 2021:  Reinstated Lamotrigine at 16.5mg 1x/day/morning.

Supplements started 2/19/21:  Omega-3 at 1560mg, magnesium at 50mg, Vitamin E at 268mg (400 IU), 1.5mg Melatonin before bed.

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  • Shep changed the title to superfurry: New member - CT off Sertraline 7 weeks in...
  • Administrator

Hi, superfurry. Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. 

 

Thanks for setting up your signature. 

 

On 2/18/2021 at 3:31 PM, superfurry said:

I've made it past debilitating brain zaps mostly.  Spontaneous crying has subsided a bit, I'm now in a place of extreme anxiety and fear.  Not eating well (only in the evening but not much) but taking a multi-vitamin, omega-3 fish oil, methyfolate, Tumeric and vitamin d as supplements.  I've just started occasional epsom salt baths.  Mornings are terrifying (cortisol spike?) and evenings are fragile but calmer.  I take 6mg Melatonin every night but wondering if I should.

 

Please note this paragraph from the thread One Theory of Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome

 

On 5/24/2011 at 10:59 PM, Altostrata said:

My guess is: The first phase of withdrawal, the acute phase, is the initial shock of withdrawal, with the most defined symptoms, such as brain zaps and nausea and possibly waves of unusually intense "depression" and "anxiety" -- actually, emotions generated by the neurological upset. Later, glutamatergic hyper-reactivity and autonomic instability take over. Often the autonomic instability causes wide hypersensitivity to drugs, supplements, and even foods.

 

So I would be careful of taking too many supplements. Please see:

 

Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet

 

Please note some vitamins can be stimulating, such as vitamin D. If you do take it during withdrawal, it's best to take it early in the morning.

 

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol or calcitriol)

 

Please use the search feature or google "surviving antidepressants" + [name of supplement] to find more information and member experiences.

 

6mg of melatonin may very well be too much. Please read the first post of this thread, as it lists the recommended amount and how to reset your sleep schedule using melatonin. 

 

Melatonin for sleep

 

More information on sleep and insomnia:

 

Tips to help sleep: so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Quote

2016 - December 2020:  Sertraline 100-150mg with Lamotigine ??mg added as a mood stabilizer

 

What doses of these drugs did you stop at? Please try to find the doses because it will determine which reinstatement dose to target. For more information on these drugs and reinstating, please see:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)


Tips for tapering off lamotrigine (Lamictal)

 

For general information on withdrawal, please see:

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery video (4 minutes)

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

As you provide more information, we can help you set up a game plan, including a possible reinstatement of one or both of these drugs. 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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superfurry

I found I was at 200mg Lamotrigine 1x day and Sertraline 100mg 1x day taken in the mornings at CT.  I'll add it to my signature.  I ended up getting refills for both my Sertraline and Lamotrigine for 'standby'.  I ended up being able somewhat accurately cut my 200mg Lamotrigine by 12 so I took 1 of those segments (roughly 16.5mg I'm guessing) last night and plan on doing the same for the next few weeks depending on what you think?  I'm deathly afraid to touch the Sertraline.  It's a security thing in my mind to have it.  I couldn't take it anyway as I'd need micro mg to reinstate from what I've been reading.

 

I am reading the links posted, taking my time.  This forum and website are a saviour.  I know I'm not an exceptional case or have an unusual story and I'm amazed and truly grateful to receive the response - bless you all.

 

I am going to stop my 1x daily multivitamin and the other additions but stay with omega-3 (1560mg - 745mg EPA/500mg DHA/315mg Other Omega-3) and add magnesium at the recommended dose as I find it through reading.

 

Fragile, man that is such a simple word but has new found meaning and context for me.  It's nothing short of amazing how accurately the withdrawal experience is defined, explained and proven here as well as the collective knowledge that has been compiled.  There's Pulitzer/Nobel stuff here, there's no question lives have been saved through survivingantidepressents.org.

 

Thank you !!!

1991 (3 months only): Prozac ??mg

1997-2002: Paxil 60mg

2002-2007: Tried Wellbutrin (less than a year), Effexor (1 yr), back to Paxil 60mg (3years)

2008-2015: Sertraline 100mg (added Buspirone at low dose for reason I forget)

2015:  CT off everything October 2015.  Stress event crashed me April 2016 and full reinstatement made of Sertraline

2016 - December 2020:  Sertraline 100mg with Lamotigine 200mg 1x/day

December 29th 2020:  CT off all meds.......

Feb 18 2021:  Reinstated Lamotrigine at 16.5mg 1x/day/morning.

Supplements started 2/19/21:  Omega-3 at 1560mg, magnesium at 50mg, Vitamin E at 268mg (400 IU), 1.5mg Melatonin before bed.

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Welcome, @superfurry

 

How do you feel, having taken 16.5mg lamotrigine?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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superfurry

No real effect as of yet, at least not noticing.  I'm 2 doses in @ 16.5mg.  I did get 50mg of magnesium and 400 IU of E on board earlier this afternoon.  I can say that I did notice *something* with the 50mg mag.  Slight sedation? Enough to take the anxiety down a notch unless it's placebo effect.  I did notice a very slight itchyness that has since subsided, totally mild and not an issue at all.

1991 (3 months only): Prozac ??mg

1997-2002: Paxil 60mg

2002-2007: Tried Wellbutrin (less than a year), Effexor (1 yr), back to Paxil 60mg (3years)

2008-2015: Sertraline 100mg (added Buspirone at low dose for reason I forget)

2015:  CT off everything October 2015.  Stress event crashed me April 2016 and full reinstatement made of Sertraline

2016 - December 2020:  Sertraline 100mg with Lamotigine 200mg 1x/day

December 29th 2020:  CT off all meds.......

Feb 18 2021:  Reinstated Lamotrigine at 16.5mg 1x/day/morning.

Supplements started 2/19/21:  Omega-3 at 1560mg, magnesium at 50mg, Vitamin E at 268mg (400 IU), 1.5mg Melatonin before bed.

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

What times of day are you taking lamotrigine? Did the itching occur after a dose? If so, I would reduce the dosage immediately. Lamotrigine is available in 5mg pediatric tablets.

 

You may want to see if your symptoms follow a daily pattern. Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. Post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right. This can show if your symptoms are adverse effects from one of your drugs.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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superfurry

Lamotrigine will be taken along with my supplements (minus Melatonin) at 7am.  I'll contact my NP for 5mg of Lamotrigine.  I'll start keeping a daily journal noting physical and mental/mood observations.   I've never been super good at journaling but will do my best to make this part of my life.  I really do feel some shift has happened in my life to start this journey and I'm wide awake going into this. 

1991 (3 months only): Prozac ??mg

1997-2002: Paxil 60mg

2002-2007: Tried Wellbutrin (less than a year), Effexor (1 yr), back to Paxil 60mg (3years)

2008-2015: Sertraline 100mg (added Buspirone at low dose for reason I forget)

2015:  CT off everything October 2015.  Stress event crashed me April 2016 and full reinstatement made of Sertraline

2016 - December 2020:  Sertraline 100mg with Lamotigine 200mg 1x/day

December 29th 2020:  CT off all meds.......

Feb 18 2021:  Reinstated Lamotrigine at 16.5mg 1x/day/morning.

Supplements started 2/19/21:  Omega-3 at 1560mg, magnesium at 50mg, Vitamin E at 268mg (400 IU), 1.5mg Melatonin before bed.

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Yes, it will be important to track the effect of your drugs. 

 

So you were itchy after taking lamotrigine?

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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superfurry

The itchiness was within an hour after taking the magnesium and vitamin E this afternoon.  I had taken the 16.5mg Lamotrigine at around 7:30 this morning.  I should also add that over the past 2 weeks in the most acute WD symptoms my psoriasis flared up pretty bad and I've had some newer areas of red, flaking skin I haven't had before.  I feel I'm heading into a pattern of WDnormal maybe but absolutely trust NOTHING in my head.  I've really only started paying attention since my first post here.  Before, all was chaos and insanity inside my head with moments of relative sanity to reach out or feel human.  I followed a link to some Claire Weekes audio:

 

http://www.junior-anxiety-depression-exchange.org.uk/relax.html#HowToRecover

 

The ones on 'How to Recover From Anxiety'.  Spot on, and I was again stunned.  That someone could hit so squarely on the feelings of anxiety and actually provide such exacting coping methods (I hope will help or want to believe will help).  There's so much out there, amazing.

1991 (3 months only): Prozac ??mg

1997-2002: Paxil 60mg

2002-2007: Tried Wellbutrin (less than a year), Effexor (1 yr), back to Paxil 60mg (3years)

2008-2015: Sertraline 100mg (added Buspirone at low dose for reason I forget)

2015:  CT off everything October 2015.  Stress event crashed me April 2016 and full reinstatement made of Sertraline

2016 - December 2020:  Sertraline 100mg with Lamotigine 200mg 1x/day

December 29th 2020:  CT off all meds.......

Feb 18 2021:  Reinstated Lamotrigine at 16.5mg 1x/day/morning.

Supplements started 2/19/21:  Omega-3 at 1560mg, magnesium at 50mg, Vitamin E at 268mg (400 IU), 1.5mg Melatonin before bed.

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

It doesn't sound like the lamotrigine caused the itching, there may be no reason to reduce it.

 

You might take magnesium and vitamin E at different times and see which, if either, causes the itching.

 

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Administrator
7 hours ago, superfurry said:

The ones on 'How to Recover From Anxiety'.  Spot on, and I was again stunned.  That someone could hit so squarely on the feelings of anxiety and actually provide such exacting coping methods (I hope will help or want to believe will help).  There's so much out there, amazing.

 

Beautifully said, superfurry. Glad you're a fan of Claire Weekes. And yes! There IS so much out there, amazing.  You may have already seen this thread, but I'll post it here just in case, so you have more amazing things to check out.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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