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Lostmysock: Sertraline 5 years, off since August 2020


lostmysock

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Hi all, I'm very brain-foggy today so I don't know how much detail I'll type out. I also have ADHD & undiagnosed autism so I may forget to update regularly but will try.

 

I found this forum from an article by Rose Yesha that she wrote for Mad In America, and thought I would check it out. I'm pretty sure that being on Sertraline (Zoloft for the Americans lol) has permanently damaged my gut and possibly caused mild brain damage.

 

I was on Sertraline for 5 years & came off it suddenly in August 2020. I was put on it because I was really struggling in the aftermath of an abusive relationship which involved further abuse, stalking, & harassment from afar. There's also a history of intense psychological abuse through my childhood. I had planned to come off it by tapering slowly over the 2020 Xmas break (I'm doing a BSc), but Pharmac funding changed so the brand of Sertraline I had previously been on was no longer available, and I was getting horrible side effects from the new generic brand. I decided that if I was going to get side effects anyway, I may as well just come off the horrible stuff. I had enough of the previous brand left to have 50mg for a day or two then 25mg for the next two days. The withdrawal waves were terrible - severe nausea, diarrhoea, waves of rage, intense brain fog, brain & body zaps, and several absolutely horrific periods that were far more heavy and painful than usual (and I do already have horrible ones so that was super fun). 

 

I'm pretty certain that the Sertraline damaged my gut, & possibly brain, permanently. I already had some mild (comparatively) gut issues, which I suspect may be linked to the autism & ADHD (there's a higher prevalence of gut issues in the autistic population than the general population), and I already had sensory food aversion that was made worse by being force-fed as a child and bullied by one of my parents around food. During- and post-sertraline, my gut has become extremely sensitive. Doing keto for a while seemed to help but was very difficult to maintain as I'm also vegan, and low income (because of studying). It's getting to the point where I'm afraid to eat because anything I eat could cause an upset stomach and diarrhoea. I'm often nauseous, and food generally makes me bloated and gassy.

 

Re: the damage to my brain - I find it a lot harder to focus than I used to pre-Sertraline, my hypersensitivities seem to be worse, & when I'm tired I feel like I'm slurring my words. (Partner hasn't noticed the slurring but I do feel like it's happening.) I struggle with a baseline of fatigue & brain fog, which I fight against to get up in the mornings, but I'm grateful to be able to get up at all - in 2016 I crashed & burned, & was bedbound for months. It's only through a lot of support & encouragement from my partner, my father & his partner, & my partner's mum that I've managed to get to the point where I can be up and about at least 50-75% of the time. 

 

Not sure what else to write at the moment but this sort of covers the gist of it.

Edited by Gridley

Jan 2020-now - Tranexamic acid and 800mg ibuprofen for heavy periods

2015-2020 - Sertraline (Zoloft) - started at 25mg, went up to 200mg, tapered back down to 75mg, off in August 2020 (don't recall dates)

2015-now - Ritalin on and off as needed

2015 for 6 months - (before Sertraline) a month on Lithium, list of others I can't recall, Quetiapine (period of psych trying me on different drugs to see what would 'work')

 

Supplements: Probiotics | Magnesium + zinc + B6 | Hemp seed oil (omega-3) | Ferrograd (iron) + vitamin C | Collagen 

 

Intro topic: lostmysock: Sertraline 5 years, off since August 2020

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, lostmysock.  Thank you for completing your drug signature. I'm sorry you're feeling bad.

 

The symptoms you describe are typical of antidepressant withdrawal.  It has been our experience here on the site that we all eventually heal.  The damage to your brain is not permanent. You've already made a great deal of progress in that you can be up and about 50-75% of the time.

 

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 are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can 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 to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, 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 Lostmysock: Sertraline 5 years, off since August 2020

Thank you, yes I've been reading pretty extensively since I came off Sertraline & hopefully can learn more here too. I think I'm going through another wave of withdrawal symptoms - it just isn't really improving very much. I'm resigned to feeling nauseous, struggling to eat, and having an upset stomach for an unknown amount of time. I've gradually added one supplement at a time since last August. I'm now up to:

Probiotics

Magesium + zinc + B6

Hemp seed oil (omega-3) - for brain function

Ferrograd (iron) + vitamin C

Collagen capsules

 

I do notice I feel worse when I forget to take them, so they do seem to be helping. 

Jan 2020-now - Tranexamic acid and 800mg ibuprofen for heavy periods

2015-2020 - Sertraline (Zoloft) - started at 25mg, went up to 200mg, tapered back down to 75mg, off in August 2020 (don't recall dates)

2015-now - Ritalin on and off as needed

2015 for 6 months - (before Sertraline) a month on Lithium, list of others I can't recall, Quetiapine (period of psych trying me on different drugs to see what would 'work')

 

Supplements: Probiotics | Magnesium + zinc + B6 | Hemp seed oil (omega-3) | Ferrograd (iron) + vitamin C | Collagen 

 

Intro topic: lostmysock: Sertraline 5 years, off since August 2020

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I'm not able to 'start new topic' in any of the other forums - are they all locked, or do I have to be a member for a certain amount of time or something like that to be able to do create a new topic?

Jan 2020-now - Tranexamic acid and 800mg ibuprofen for heavy periods

2015-2020 - Sertraline (Zoloft) - started at 25mg, went up to 200mg, tapered back down to 75mg, off in August 2020 (don't recall dates)

2015-now - Ritalin on and off as needed

2015 for 6 months - (before Sertraline) a month on Lithium, list of others I can't recall, Quetiapine (period of psych trying me on different drugs to see what would 'work')

 

Supplements: Probiotics | Magnesium + zinc + B6 | Hemp seed oil (omega-3) | Ferrograd (iron) + vitamin C | Collagen 

 

Intro topic: lostmysock: Sertraline 5 years, off since August 2020

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  • Moderator

@lostmysock-- new members have their first two posts hidden and requiring approval from a moderator before they can do anything else. this gives us a chance to properly welcome you and keep you from getting lost in the mix. I have approved you two most recent posts, so you are good to go. 

 

Your introduction thread is your home base for keeping records, asking questions, making friends and the like. We have a huge number of threads on many subject so we ask that you please do a site search to see if there is already a thread related to your subject before starting a new one.

 

Welcome to SA, I see Gridley has given you a lot of information already, so you are off to a good start.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Ok cool, thank you :)

Jan 2020-now - Tranexamic acid and 800mg ibuprofen for heavy periods

2015-2020 - Sertraline (Zoloft) - started at 25mg, went up to 200mg, tapered back down to 75mg, off in August 2020 (don't recall dates)

2015-now - Ritalin on and off as needed

2015 for 6 months - (before Sertraline) a month on Lithium, list of others I can't recall, Quetiapine (period of psych trying me on different drugs to see what would 'work')

 

Supplements: Probiotics | Magnesium + zinc + B6 | Hemp seed oil (omega-3) | Ferrograd (iron) + vitamin C | Collagen 

 

Intro topic: lostmysock: Sertraline 5 years, off since August 2020

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