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vegas3000: Need Advice: Getting off Zoloft 25 mg after 18 days


vegas3000

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vegas3000

In 2015 I had my first big breakdown in my life where suddenly I was unable to drive because I had insane panic. I hadn't taken care of myself well up to that time and my body just broke down mentally. A doctor gave me Paxil and Xanax but I refused to take them and slowly over 2 years more or less recovered through the help of friends and self help. Eventually got a career, started driving to and from my job and life was decent.

 

The pandemic comes and I decide I can't cope with getting this new disease so I lock down 100% more or less and spend a year by myself. I eventually start to get intrusive thoughts, my job starts to get rough and I can't cope so I make a bunch of jerky life changes like moving in with someone, then making the mistake of moving back out on my own because I'm vaccinated and then switching jobs then losing the job because I break down. And lastly, I was trying to get back with an ex which didn't work out. As soon as I moved back out on my own I started to have insomnia and I didn't know my depression was about to go on full blast which I had never experienced before. 

 

It felt like my brain was on fire and I couldn't heal in any way. Lack of sleep really broke me apart so I decided as a last resort to call up a telehealth service and they put me on zoloft 25 mg. After 5 days my body finally relaxed and slept better but nevertheless still dealing with depression although the anxiety got better. Anyways I'm torn about taking Zoloft based on the horror stories in this forum and in news articles. I've taken it for 18 days and as far as I know I don't have any side effects thankfully but nevertheless worry every few days that I'll end up with a bigger problem than what I originally had. My life is still a mess but fortunately I moved in with family and at least feel that I'm not alone and I'll be able to heal there as opposed to being on my own. I still don't drive out of fear. I still have anxiety but its manageable although hard to say its Zoloft or its just me or a combo of both. Any advice on my current circumstance would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Edited by vegas3000
More Details and Backstory
  • 5.24.2021 Zoloft 25 mg
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getofflex
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, vegas3000 said:

It felt like my brain was on fire and I couldn't heal in any way.

I'm assuming this happened before you got on the drug, and that you are on no other drugs.  If this assumption is correct, please read on. If not please let us know, and we will advise you differently. 

 

It's very good if you decide to go off the Zoloft before your system becomes dependent upon it.  Also kudos to you for using non drug methods to cope with your panic in the past.

 

It takes about a month for one's nervous system to become dependent on the drug.  So in your case, your nervous system is probably not dependent upon the drug yet.  I would suggest that you taper over the course of about a week.  Try this tapering schedule: 

 

days 1, 2, and 3:  cut the tablet in fourths, and take 3 pieces each day 

days 4 and 5: cut the tablet half, and take one half each day

days 6 and 7: cut the tablet in fourths, and take one piece each day 

day 8: stop.

 

Here is a post about this:

 

Tapering When on the Drug a Short Time 

 

Please let us know how you are feeling during this taper.  

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07 

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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vegas3000

Thank you so much for your message!

 

That's right I don't do any drugs whatsoever recreational or medicinal. So when my head felt like it was on fire it was strictly from all the anxiety I was going through. Also I want to emphasize that my insomnia was horrific and my life essentially spiraled completely and had insane horrific thoughts of wether I'd be able to cope with the situation. I'm afraid of both options ahead of me. 1. I taper down and then possibly again have brain on fire anxiety or 2. I continue Zoloft and then it proves impossible to get off of it or I get really bad withdrawal effects but I guess that's what these forums are like. Everyone here is trying to make the best of a difficult situation. I'm leaning towards getting out of Zoloft while I can despite having just had an incredibly severe and life changing depression. I'll post updates on here about what happens. I've also noticed talk of fish oil and magnesium on this forum should I be taking that while I do a week taper?

  • 5.24.2021 Zoloft 25 mg
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  • Moderator
getofflex
Posted (edited)

Hello.  You do have other options besides 1 and 2.  You could find non drug ways to overcome the severe anxiety or depression, and live a normal drug free life.  There are other ways to treat anxiety besides with drugs.  There is CBT, DBT, and other types of therapy to help with this.  There is also developing a strong spiritual life.  Exercise can help with anxiety.  Here is a link with many various non drug ways of coping.  It's for coping with withdrawal, but many techniques can also help with non withdrawal anxiety, depression, etc.  

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Here is a link on recommended therapists: 

 

Recommended Doctors, Therapists, and Clinics

 

Here is a link on how to find a good therapist: 

 

How to Find a Good Therapist

 

If you do decide to get off, I would do it soon, before you nervous system becomes dependent on it.  The longer you are on it, the harder it may be to get off of it. Once you've been on it a month, dependency is likely to be established, and a more gradual taper will be suggested.  

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07 

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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  • getofflex changed the title to vegas3000: Need Advice: Getting off Zoloft 25 mg after 18 days
  • 2 weeks later...
vegas3000

I wanted to give an update on my mental health journey in case anyone else is having the same issue. When I first wrote into this forum, my depression and anxiety felt out of control. I worried about my mental health and instead of allowing it to get worse and since I felt I couldn't take care of myself, I checked into inpatient at a psychiatric hospital for about a week. 

 

After getting out I still didn't feel fully recovered or anywhere near close. I went to outpatient therapy and on the second day after complaining about years of intrusive thoughts in group therapy and a completely dysfunctional life the therapist suggested I was bipolar. Long story short, she was right and I'm Bipolar Type II with depression which generally is not treated with antidepressants but with mood stabilizers (there's a debate whether ADs help with bipolar). Bipolar II is notoriously difficult to diagnose so I've spent the better part of my life carrying this incurable disease without ever knowing it! It is such a relief to know that! I have spent my entire childhood throwing extreme temper tantrums, making risky and poor life choices, having hypomanic episodes and recurring bouts of depression only to find out that this is a textbook case of Bipolar II. If you are having the same issue please read up on bipolar and figure out your best treatment plan. I'm waiting to get a second opinion from a psychiatrist before taking any new meds. 

 

I am thankful for these forums for raising awareness about tapering off any meds since messing with brain chemistry can have really bad consequences. 

  • 5.24.2021 Zoloft 25 mg
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