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Hms123: Wondering how stupid my taper was


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Hi there,

 

Took zoloft for approximately 6 months in total. Since quitting I've dealt with complete lack of libido, and pleasureless orgasms, as well as anhedonia that is particularly pronounced when it comes to family and friends. I also have next to no anxiety which I suffered with my whole life prior to Zoloft. 

 

I was just wondering how stupid I was to taper as I did: 50mg for 10-12 weeks, 25mg for 4 weeks, 25 every other day for 3-4 weeks, and then 25mg twice a week for 6 weeks or so. After reading what I've read on forums I would imagine that the 6-8 weeks of zoloft twice a week would have basically have been like going on and off multiple times, and has probably permanently ruined my brain. I thought I was being safe...

 

 

Edited by Gridley

October 2018: Started 50mg of Zoloft
January 2019 (around 10-12 weeks later): Reduced to 25mg of Zoloft.
February 2019: reduced to 25mg every other day
End of Feb 2019-End of March/Start of April (around 6 weeks or so) 25mg twice a week.

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  • Moderator
Gridley
Posted (edited)

Welcome to SA, Hms123.

 

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.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Most if not all of us have made mistakes with our tapers, and it's been our experience on this site that we all heal regardless. It can be a slow, frustrating process but it does happen.  So don't kick yourself.   It's great that you're off the Zoloft and that you're not feeling anxiety.

 

Just for your information, we recommend tapering no faster than 10% of your current dose every 4 weeks.  We never recommend skipping doses as this is hard on your nervous system.  But what's done is done, you're off the drug, and your brain is well into the healing process.

 

Your taper was faster than we recommend, which would account for the withdrawal symptoms you describe, all of which are typical and all of which will heal over time.  The damage is not permanent.

 

So that you have a better idea of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal and the healing process.

 

 

 

 

When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  

 

These explain the healing process really well.

 

 

 

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 ae 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Edited by Gridley

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 Hms123: Wondering how stupid my taper was

Thank you for the response. I'm worrying that I won't get better as I've read stories of those who conducted much better tapers than I, never recovering while I jumped on and off thinking I was safe. It seems like I couldn't have gone off them in a worse fashion...

October 2018: Started 50mg of Zoloft
January 2019 (around 10-12 weeks later): Reduced to 25mg of Zoloft.
February 2019: reduced to 25mg every other day
End of Feb 2019-End of March/Start of April (around 6 weeks or so) 25mg twice a week.

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  • Moderator
Gridley
42 minutes ago, Hms123 said:

It seems like I couldn't have gone off them in a worse fashion...

 

I wouldn't worry about this or compare yourself with others.  Unlike many (myself included) you're only dealing with one drug and that's a big advantage.  You will do fine.

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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Hi @Hms123 My Zoloft taper was similar to yours but I went about twice as fast. I had some libido issues and anhedonia along with multiple other WD symptoms.

 

Most of my symptoms have been and gone, including the libido and anhedonia and I’m sure will for you too. It’s not permanent damage but it is a long journey. You will be fine. Be kind and patient. 

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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@Gridleyand @DaBro, thank you for your replies.

 

I have not felt love, excitement etc for almost 2 years now. After finding this website recently I had finally gotten into a positive mindset, and was hopeful that I would heal over the coming years. However, it now appears that I am also facing a probable diagnosis of MS. 

 

I know that nobody here is a doctor on this forum, but if it were the case that I have MS, and thus have no choice but to take medication to hopefully stop its spread, would that foreclose any sort of emotional recovery? As you can imagine I'm losing hope here.

October 2018: Started 50mg of Zoloft
January 2019 (around 10-12 weeks later): Reduced to 25mg of Zoloft.
February 2019: reduced to 25mg every other day
End of Feb 2019-End of March/Start of April (around 6 weeks or so) 25mg twice a week.

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  • Moderator
Gridley
22 minutes ago, Hms123 said:

thus have no choice but to take medication to hopefully stop its spread, would that foreclose any sort of emotional recovery?

I'm sorry about your diagnosis.  I don't know what medication you'll need to take, but I see no reason to think it would in any way foreclose your emotional recovery.  

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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My worry is that if mere antibiotics cause problems for people recovering, if I'm taking arguably heavier medications for a disease of the CNS, I'll be enclosed in this anhedonic tomb for ever. Is there anyone on this forum familiar with multiple sclerosis medications?

October 2018: Started 50mg of Zoloft
January 2019 (around 10-12 weeks later): Reduced to 25mg of Zoloft.
February 2019: reduced to 25mg every other day
End of Feb 2019-End of March/Start of April (around 6 weeks or so) 25mg twice a week.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My neurologist has prescribed me Pregabalin for my nerve pain. I imagine I can't take this if I want to recover?

October 2018: Started 50mg of Zoloft
January 2019 (around 10-12 weeks later): Reduced to 25mg of Zoloft.
February 2019: reduced to 25mg every other day
End of Feb 2019-End of March/Start of April (around 6 weeks or so) 25mg twice a week.

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