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CeruleanSea: Introductions


CeruleanSea

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CeruleanSea

I'm a 45 year old woman from Wisconsin. I'm a happily married mother of 2 small kids, and work as a computer programmer. 

 

My psych med history is 

 

Prozac: ?mg for 3-4 months, 1995-1996 (age 20-21). At age 20, I was very depressed-seeming, with low motivations and psychomotor retardation.   I now believe that this was due to Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  No doctor tested me for that at that time, however -- I was given a Prozac prescription the first time I saw a doctor.   I didn't like the sexual side effects and jumped off it C/T.

 

Serzone: 150mg-300mg, 1999-2001 (age 24-26).  I chose to withdraw in 2001 once I had been diagnosed with thyroid disease and that was adequately treated.  Withdrawal had strong side effects and was a massively difficult withdrawal.  I went to a round of neuropsych testing as I was convinced I had a serious disorder.  I had brain zaps, but no one at this time would acknowledge antidepressant withdrawal. I was treated as simply mentally ill. 

 

Sertraline, 2002 (age 27), several months. I felt like a zombie on it and was not very compliant. 

 

Effexor, 37.5 mg instant release, 2003-2009 (age 28-34): I was diagnosed this primarily to fight chronic migraines, but it also alleviated anxiety. Unfortunately, it also greatly shortened my ambition and attention span. During this time of my life I was really just not getting anywhere with my career and life, I accepted mediocre jobs and relationships.   This withdrawal was also very difficult and once again I went to neuropsych testing as my family noticed the major brain fog I had upon withdrawal. Nothing unusual was found.

 

Clonazepam, .5 or .25 twice daily. 2010-2011 (age 35-36).  The easiest withdrawal possible. I quit as we knew we would be trying to conceive children. 

 

6 years without psychiatric meds, the longest in my life.  I was frequently anxious and obsessive.  I had anxiety around driving.  I often woke up with anxious thoughts. But I was very motivated and driven and made a lot of career growth at this time.  At this time, I sometimes used Onnit New Mood to help with anxiety or sleep.

 

Sertraline: April 2017-June 2018 (age 42-43).  Gradually tapered over 4 months.   Rebound anxiety and brain fog.  Went back on April 2018-Present.  The side effects of this medication are not as strong as those of the others for me. But I am aware of increasing forgetfulness and lower motivation overall.  

 

At the same time as I've been treated for mental health, I've also learned to care for my physical health.  With autoimmune thyroid disease, anxiety is very common. I was born with this condition.  

 

Since January 2021, I have followed the Autoimmune Protocol (https://www.thepaleomom.com/category/autoimmunity/).  This  has greatly alleviated a lot of brain fog, physical fatigue, physical pain, and anxiety that I previously experienced.   I'm feeling at my best health in a long time.

 

The work of Stuart Shipko and Dr. Breggin on SSRI's have had me second-guessing the wisdom of being on an SSRI long-term.  I'm questioning why I ever was put on an SSRI in the first place, yet worry that I may be unable to ever truly leave them behind.   I am willing to try. 

 

Currently, I'm trying the slow taper of Sertaline by dissolving my 50 mg tablets in water and taking gradually less. 

 

 

Zoloft 50 mg since 2017.  Tapered over 3 months & stopped November 2018. Reinstated April 2019.

Begin 10% monthly taper April 2021.

 

Supplements: Fish oil, Vitamin D3, magnesium, melatonin 

Lifestyle: Running 3x/week, Autoimmune Protocol Paleo diet

 

25 year history of SSRI or SNRI use

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  • Moderator
Gridley

Welcome to SA, CeruleanSea.

 

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.  You can use the information in your post, but edit it down a bit so it's mostly dates and doses.  Is your current dose 50mg?

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

You mention tapering gradually.  We recommend tapering no faster that 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  If your current dose is 50mg, you first taper would be down to 45mg for four weeks, etc.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Sertraline, including information about dissolving tablets in water.  Another possibility is to taper using prescription liquid Sertraline.


Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)

 

One thing to consider regarding long-term use of these drugs is that they often stop working after a certain period, a process known as "poop-out."  Tapering during poop-out is more difficult that tapering while the drug is still working.

 

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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Update: my family doctor is having me trial reduction or elimination of the menopause hormone therapy I was on.  This is a reduction in estrogen/estradiol and progesterone.   

 

I am considering waiting 2-4 weeks before starting the taper, so I can discern whether any resulting change is due to hormone reduction or due to sertraline taper. 

Zoloft 50 mg since 2017.  Tapered over 3 months & stopped November 2018. Reinstated April 2019.

Begin 10% monthly taper April 2021.

 

Supplements: Fish oil, Vitamin D3, magnesium, melatonin 

Lifestyle: Running 3x/week, Autoimmune Protocol Paleo diet

 

25 year history of SSRI or SNRI use

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  • Moderator
3 hours ago, CeruleanSea said:

I am considering waiting 2-4 weeks before starting the taper, so I can discern whether any resulting change is due to hormone reduction or due to sertraline taper. 

We always recommend making only one change at a time so that, you noted, you can ascertain the cause of any change.

 

I don't know how long hormone changes take to be felt but to be safe I's wait 4 rather than 2 weeks before tapering.

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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