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UKDave Stuck in the Anti Depressant Loop


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Hi everybody, My names David and from Sunderland U.K 

 

I have been on Anti Depressants since 2001, I initially went to the doctor feeling low on a dark January afternoon I was having trouble with a girlfriend and was unemployed. He gave me these tablets and honestly thought I would pop them and 2 weeks later << that was the literally in the info at the time I would be back dancing so to speak. As everybody here now knows that was so far from the truth it was unreal, I had panic attacks, Suicidal thoughts, My Penis disappeared and my groin hurt. I was scared to go out the house. Naturally I rushed back to the doctors and he told my these were possible side effects << hardly no side effects in the 2001 anti depressant leaflets, How times have changed.

 

I did level out and my mood was better after about 2 month but that level was a form of numbness, No emotions and No sex drive, Both have drove my insane ever since.

I then was told I need to get out more and find a job to help me feel better and help lift my mood. I was 22 at the time so I had all my friends that I grow up with or went to school with Playing football a few nights a week and going for a few pints and a game of pool on a weekend. The Numbness was holding my back though as is life friends then started to get girlfriends and moving on with their life, I did not.

 

I'm explaining all this because I have since day 1 of the anti depressant which ever brand I have had felt *Depersonalised* < a term I now know. I was not interested in women because I was scared they would leave me as soon they found out I had no sex drive and little emotions

 

Then thats when the Anti Depressant loop started!!! I read as much as I could at that time apparently you took them for 6 weeks and then if you were better and you come off them... NO NO NO NOOOOOOO!! I always consulted my doctor, I remember him telling me he did't take people off them at Christmas (Short dark days in the uk at that time) 

 

1 time I went to the doctors and told him I felt good I had a job at the time early 20s wanting to get on with my life. he said i'm fine with you feeling better, Just stop taking them!! << I kid you not. As everybody knows in the forum I then went COLD TURKEY!! That was my first experience of the term I know now as withdrawal syndrome. Naturally I ran back down the doctors a week or 2 later and was then put back on the medication 

 

That literally been the story of my life ever since, personally any effect the tablet has is far outweighed by the side effects. I ballooned up to 17 stone at 1 point, Walked out of a job I had when I went through a period of my life when I was always on the sick for about 18 months << I thought it was the job, I was a van driver but between 2009 and 2010 as you can see by my medication signature the doctor literally kept changing my tablets and I was sent to a psychiatrist all that Dr did was up my dose. I was numb and suicidal for a year I think, it was the worst period of my life. I wined myself of Venlafaxine I knew it wasn't doing ANYTHING for me but the doctor was adamant something would change. I then went to to the doctors on an emergency appointment and he was completely pissed with me. I was then put on Sertraline in 2011 and told myself no matter the side effects and going to change my life. Get a job, lose weight, have some money get out of my parents house and most of all find a partner.

 

I lost my Best mate/Brother in 2015 which has had a huge effect on my life, I was actually tapering off at that time << I would of crashed I didn't know what I was doing. with the passing of my mate I upped the tablets to 75mg I think and drank heavily for about 2 years. Then I hit a turning point of I cannot go on like this i'm killing myself, My mate (which only lived 5 doors away from me my whole life) passed away and other friends I grew up with now married off or working away all the time I was left isolated. I have friends but I don't interact with them like I did with my mate that passed away.

 

I had a Job, Lost 2 stone felt good about myself even if I was still at my parents (who I love dearly) I thought maybes it time to come off these tablets once and for all and then get myself on a dating site and see what the future holds. 

 

So last September I thought to myself maybe's it time to do it properly (I tried coming off them in 2018 small taper didn't work usual brick wall back on the medication 2 months off work) I was taking 50mg. My 10 year repeat prescription was 100mg but I was too numb on that dose. I didn't consult my doctor with it being in the middle of the pandemic < I worked all the way through. I went from 50 to 35 I think for about 4 weeks then to 25 for over Christmas << the numbness started to go and clarity coming back I started to feel better about myself thinking of the future. Then I halved to 12.5 I think for a month then halved again a month later 

 

Everything was fine I thought. I was quite irritable and I had a problem with a manger at work and he started to live in my head I just thought it was the medications leaving my system and would turn the corner. A good friend of mine offered my a job in the same industry and I took it was my mood went sky high that was 6 weeks ago.

 

Then the anxiety started. I was having Road rage constantly << in my head. then the paranoid thoughts kick in. then last week the suicidal thoughts

 

I started counselling and hypnotherapy treatment 3 weeks ago hoping to get over this bump, But once the suicidal thoughts kicked in I phoned my doctor up and guess what ? He advised me to go back on the medication which I did as the thought of Suicide were so real. I had a session with the counsellor on Saturday she said she could have calmed me down!

 

I am now on day 4 of 25mg Sertraline having just phoned in sick from work in my new job (My mate was completely fine to be honest, told me take my time and get better) going through the sick effect phase AGAIN

 

I have never searched about this subject before till Friday I did not know why I hadn't looked into it before 

 

I apologise for the long explanation but that is basically the last 20 years of my life and probably the rest of my life! I do live in hope 

 

David

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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  • Moderator
getofflex
Posted (edited)

Hello David, and welcome to SA.  I'm sorry to hear about the crazy antidepressant merry go round you have been on, and for how it has affected your life.  You are in good company here - we have all been through this as well.  Unfortunately, with many doctors, their main solution seems to give drugs to people, and they don't realize the harm they are doing, and they often have NO IDEA how to get people off them properly. 

 

I'm also sorry for the losses you have experienced in the past.  I understand how how hard it is to lose people we are close to.

 

 

8 hours ago, UkDave said:

personally any effect the tablet has is far outweighed by the side effects.

It sounds as thought these medications did not agree with you.  What other specific side effects did they cause for you besides weight gain, lack emotions, suicidal thoughts, and lack sex drive?  By the way, they caused major weigh gain for me, as well.  

 

 

8 hours ago, UkDave said:

I am now on day 4 of 25mg Sertraline

It can take several weeks or months for a reinstatement to fully take effect, so give it some time.  However, if the reinstatement makes you feel significantly worse, then discontinue it.  I'm glad you didn't reinstate the full previous dose, because your nervous system has probably already made some changes since you went off in March.  So until March 2021 you were taking 50 mg - one half of a 100 mg tablet each day?  Here is a link that talks about reinstatement: 

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Could you please update your signature to reflect your recent reinstatement?  That way the other moderators will know what is going on without having to read the entire thread.  Thanks.  

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.  This helps you understand why we ge the withdrawal symptoms. 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

 Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Now that you have reinstated, we suggest that you not make any changes to this dose, unless you feel significantly worse, as I explained previously.  I suggest you take the sertraline at the same precise dose, at the same time each day.  Do this for at least 2 or 3 months, until you stabilize.  Then, when you feel you are stable, resume tapering.  Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Sertraline

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. This is extremely important. 

 

Considerations About Stability Stop Jumping Around

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

When we recover, there are times of feeling OK mixed in with times of feeling bad.  This is called windows and waves.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

No apologies necessary.  We needed to know your history so we could give you the right help.  I'm glad you found us.  Hang in there.  Try and be patient, because these things take time and healing happens slowly and gradually.  The good thing is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel - healing does happen.  

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

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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Thank you for the welcome, My God I wished I could have knew about this forum years ago! I have been reading all the different articles all weekend. This might sound wrong but reading everybody's experiences on here bad and good is *A Real Eye Opener* Its made me feel a bit easier about my situation now feeling calmer for knowing this is a real struggle we are all in together.

 

I know lots of people in my life that have taken medication and unless they have been lying to me they have all had positive experiences bar the initial side effect uptake stag with little side effects as they have took the Meds and know a few people that have stopped taking them altogether with amazing success. While all along I honestly thought it was ME! I was stressing myself out striving for the perfect life so I could just stop taking these tablets once and for all because that is what I was lead to believe, Until I was in this place of perfect happiness you couldn't come off the meds as you will relapse because you wasn't right when you come off them so to speak!


 

Quote

So until March 2021 you were taking 50 mg - one half of a 100 mg tablet each day?

 

Yeah thats right, when I was put on the tablet in 2011 like every tablet the doctor told me 50mg starting dose then it would increase, the doctor increased me to 100mg I told them I had to reduce it, I was literally numb! So over the years my average dose was 50mg a day then around August/September time I started to halved the tablet between every 4/6 weeks I had no head zaps or nothing, I was quite paranoid and angry at times I thought it was the tablet leaving my system.

 

A Girl at work was on Sertraline and when she become pregnant she had to come off them, she said her side effects were massive paranoid thoughts and was always snapping at people.

 

I knew nothing of the changes to my central nervous system like I do because of the information I have learned over the weekend on this forum.

 

47 minutes ago, getofflex said:

Now that you have reinstated, we suggest that you not make any changes to this dose, unless you feel significantly worse, as I explained previously.  I suggest you take the sertraline at the same precise dose, at the same time each day.  Do this for at least 2 or 3 months, until you stabilize.  Then, when you feel you are stable, resume tapering.  Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.

 

I am See'ing a Councillor/Hypnotherapist See was livid when I told her I had gone back on them, But reading all the information on this site with real world accounts of how people are changing there lives by tapering. I will do exactly as you have suggested, Level out then then I feel comfortable micro taper if I have to over a very long period of time.

 

Quote

I'm glad you found us.  Hang in there.  Try and be patient, because these things take time and healing happens slowly and gradually.  The good thing is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel - healing does happen.

 

I'm sitting at my computer now typing this having been really distraught last week, I cried when I put that tablet in my mouth again on Thursday. But having googled "help for coming off Anti Depressants" I found a article by a lovely woman Called Stevie Lewis I emailed her on the off chance and she amazingly replied to me. She suggested I checked out this Forum.

 

I now have a new found optimism, Its not going to be easy but I feel much better for being here having everybody's help and guidance 

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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  • Moderator
getofflex
34 minutes ago, UkDave said:

This might sound wrong but reading everybody's experiences on here bad and good is *A Real Eye Opener* Its made me feel a bit easier about my situation now feeling calmer for knowing this is a real struggle we are all in together.

No it doesn't sound wrong at all.  It's easier to go through hard things with others than alone.  🌞

 

36 minutes ago, UkDave said:

I knew nothing of the changes to my central nervous system like I do because of the information I have learned over the weekend on this forum.

I'm glad you took the time to read information on here.  When I first came on here, I did the same thing.  

 

38 minutes ago, UkDave said:

I cried when I put that tablet in my mouth again on Thursday.

There is no shame or guilt in reinstating.  At least you only went back to 1/2 your previous dose.  I think you did the best thing for yourself.  We often suggest reinstatement to people who have cold turkeyed, or have tapered too fast, and are in severe withdrawal.  

 

40 minutes ago, UkDave said:

I now have a new found optimism,

I'm glad to hear this.  We are here for you.  On rough days when you feel discouraged, be sure to check out some of the success stories: 

 

Success Stories

***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

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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On 7/12/2021 at 9:46 PM, getofflex said:

There is no shame or guilt in reinstating.  At least you only went back to 1/2 your previous dose.  I think you did the best thing for yourself.  We often suggest reinstatement to people who have cold turkeyed, or have tapered too fast, and are in severe withdrawal.  

I have been having a few rough days, I have been back on 25mg now for 12 days, I knew what I was getting into when I went back on them but I can't remember having dark & suicidal thoughts everyday for this amount of time. I have had a problem with my ears for years and have been seeing a ENT doctor regarding Vertigo, Light headedness at 1 stage they thought it was Meniere's disease. But now I don't know if its cause as side effect of the medication. I do have tinnitus in both ears also at the minute which is driving me mad.

 

When I phoned the doctor he advised to start on 50mg and then go higher which I am not because that is the whole reason for the 20 year loop I have been in. I am not going to lie If I had not found this forum and the new information to me regarding the nervous system being dependant on these drugs I would of upped my dose this week, I have been off work for 2 weeks it feels like 2 years! 

 

I have been seeing a Councillor/Hypnotherapist and she has identified that I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder which I now know I have suffered from all my life well as long as I can remember anyways. I have bought a self help book Overcoming Worry and Generalised Anxiety Disorder to work through and have downloaded 1 on Audible How to Be an Imperfectionist but the brain fog and lack of motivation I believe is the side effect of tablet is killing me at the minute So I feel low and useless

 

I do believe that the Anxiety disorder and the Perfectionist trait is massive part of the reason I was put on medication and having been on for so long now.

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, UkDave said:

I have been having a few rough days, I have been back on 25mg now for 12 days

Overall, would you say you feel better, the same, or significantly worse since you reinstated to 25 mg of Sertraline? 

 

1 hour ago, UkDave said:

I have had a problem with my ears for years and have been seeing a ENT doctor regarding Vertigo, Light headedness at 1 stage they thought it was Meniere's disease. But now I don't know if its cause as side effect of the medication. I do have tinnitus in both ears also at the minute which is driving me mad.

Many people experience tinnitus as a result of antidepressants.  It should gradually go away in time.  

 

Tinnitus

 

1 hour ago, UkDave said:

 

When I phoned the doctor he advised to start on 50mg and then go higher which I am not because that is the whole reason for the 20 year loop I have been in.

I would have done the same thing.  Good for you.  Unfortunately, there are scads of examples of doctors who just want to push the drugs.  We have the right to refuse medication, and choose what does and does not go into our bodies. 

 

It's great that you are doing some work on your anxiety without using drugs!  That way you are getting to the root of the problem, and not just covering up the symptoms.  I am also working on a CBT self help course, because I also have anxiety.  Here is the link here:  

1 hour ago, UkDave said:

I do believe that the Anxiety disorder and the Perfectionist trait is massive part of the reason I was put on medication and having been on for so long now.

It sounds like you have some good insights.  Knowing what the issue is is half the battle. Keep up the good work!  

***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

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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1 hour ago, getofflex said:

Overall, would you say you feel better, the same, or significantly worse since you reinstated to 25 mg of Sertraline? 

I have the side effects of the medication which is quite brutal

 

The main reason I have went back onto the medication as I have done every time I have come off it is because of the Dark mood-Intrusive-Suicidal thoughts. I'm sure everybody on this forum knows what that feels like that is when I reach out to the doctor to get back on the medication because I don't see a way out of getting rid of that mood/anxiety situation. Then you get the speech "Why did you come off them"

 

Generally after 4 weeks of living with the side effects which include low mood, zero energy, increased anxiety, sleeping sporadically, not wanting to go out plus being off work all along wondering if these dark clouds will ever disappear. Then after 4-8 weeks I level out I'm literally in a good place! my positive outlook thinking comes back life changes back so called normal.

 

BUT massive NEGATIVE!!! Complete lose of libido with zero interest in the opposite sex which then gets me really really low... Its a complete catch 22!

 

When I discovered this forum I had a massive amount of relief knowing I wasn't the only 1 that has/is experiencing these problems.

 

I have a appointment on Thursday with my Doctor and I don't know to lie to him or tell him what i'm doing because I know he'll go against me only taking in their words a "Low Dose"

 

My train of thought now is to weather this storm of side effects on the uptake of 25mg Sertraline then hopefully level out then after a good few months start a long long taper. My Libido is effected on 25mg but no where near like it is on 50mg and higher dosages.

 

1 hour ago, getofflex said:

Here is the link here:  

Missing link, Just like my brain 😆

 

1 hour ago, getofflex said:

 Knowing what the issue is is half the battle. Keep up the good work!  

If only we had all been put down the talking therapy route many years ago instead of the Doctors handing out psychotic medication like smarties we wouldn't be in this situation. We live and learn into a brighter future!

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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  • Moderator

Oops, so sorry about the missing link:  

 

CBT Course:  An Introductory Self-Help Course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

 

I'll confer with the other mods, and see if adjusting your dose might help or not.  

***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

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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6 minutes ago, getofflex said:

Thanks for that I will have a good look through it.

 

7 minutes ago, getofflex said:

I'll confer with the other mods, and see if adjusting your dose might help or not.  

Are you suggesting I change my dose ? I don't really want to go higher if I can help it. I personally believe my low mood at the minute is result of the uptake of the tablets into my system.

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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  • Moderator

If anything I’m considering suggesting lowering the dose since you’re having significant symptoms. But first I want to see what the other staff think. 

 

We don't suggest you increase your dose, even if your doctor tells you to. This could cause major problems.  

You run the risk of kindling, which is discussed here: 

 

Kindling and Nervous System Hypersensitivity

 

We need to see more detail in your drug history before we can make a recommendation.  Please do the following, especially for the past 24 months.  List each and every dose change, no matter how small, to each drug you take or have taken.  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

Please don't make any changes to your drugs until advised further.  Thank you.  

 

 

 

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

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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  • Administrator

Hello, @UkDave

 

Our goal in suggesting reinstatement is to reduce withdrawal symptoms, not treat "depression". Therefore, we look for the lowest effective dose that might reduce symptoms such as withdrawal anxiety and sleeplessness without causing adverse effects, from which you've been suffering for 20 years.

 

You might get a prescription for liquid sertraline and take a lower amount, such as 20mg, which may give you the same benefit without adverse effects. It's possible an even smaller amount might do.

 

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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Hi there, thanks for your replies @getofflex @Altostrata I really appreciate you both spending the time to reply to me with your knowledge/experiences of this what seems like a nightmare scenario we have/are all experiencing.  

 

I have started taking 50mg Sertraline again today I feel like I have failed to a degree.  When I found this forum I was really optimistic on finding that my relapses were partly due to dependancy, thinking worse case scenario if I cannot cope I'll go back on 25mg which I can live with level out and then how ever long it takes to then taper off.

 

I have a really bad 4/5 days and I the only solution I could come up with was to up the dose. Yes I have set myself back and knowing I have lost my libido again doesn't fill me with optimism at the present moment.

 

I will give a little back story though, I'm not in a happy place I don't know if anybody is (medication aside) with what is going on in the world with the pandemic. I thought I felt better in myself when I started to come off the tablet last year. I have just left a dead end job to get away from a manager that was causing me grief to then get the opportunity of a job with my mate in the same industry thinking It was the boost I needed to now realising the people are great but still been stuck In another dead end job that drains which I hate.

 

I used to Dj back in the day and have been learning music producer for over 10 years Its always been my dream in the future to get into the music industry at any level at some point. With me having a problem with my left ear which i'm due a procedure on (covid permitting) I have been left with nothing bar the job to focus on

 

I'm in a low place and hoped I turned the corner regarding the medication but feel like I've done it wrong time to fast!

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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  • Moderator

UKDave we don't suggest you go to a higher dose of the sertraline. You may already be having kindling and/or adverse effects, so this could only make it worse. You don't want to kindle your nervous system.  Did you miss the post Altostrata gave you yesterday about decreasing your dose to 20 mg? My previous post has a link about kindling, did you read that?  

 

 

***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

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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  • Administrator

Yes, your "relapses" probably have been withdrawal syndrome, and you're experiencing it again. We know it doesn't feel good, that's why this site exists. It's possible you are experiencing an adverse reaction to 25mg as well. We've gotten hundreds, if not thousands, of people off sertraline.

 

If you go back to 50mg, that will be all the more you'll need to taper. How do you feel, taking 50mg? A dosage change will take 3-4 days to take full effect. 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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8 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Yes, your "relapses" probably have been withdrawal syndrome, and you're experiencing it again. We know it doesn't feel good, that's why this site exists.

I know now after all these years from the knowledge I've found on this forum in the past 2 weeks. That every time I have come off mostly CT or switched drugs and especially the past 2 times not doing a long enough taper that is it withdrawal I've always experienced, I always thought it was the depression coming back.

 

8 hours ago, Altostrata said:

It's possible you are experiencing an adverse reaction to 25mg as well. We've gotten hundreds, if not thousands, of people off sertraline.

 

If you go back to 50mg, that will be all the more you'll need to taper. How do you feel, taking 50mg? A dosage change will take 3-4 days to take full effect. Please let us know how you're doing.

Every single time in my life I have come off the medication once I experience the intrusive suicidal thoughts I immediately go back on the medication hence my years and years of being in a loop. Mostly when I start the meds again the intrusive thoughts goes away not initially but mostly, personally it takes me about 4 weeks to adjust to the medication which is what I know I am experiencing now.

 

I was optimistic when I was reading peoples experiences maybes that 25mg reinstatement would take the edge off the intrusive thoughts I knew I would get side effects. Like you wrote I won't feel the a difference of the 50mg for the moment probably not for a week or 2. 

 

Even though I feel like I am at rock bottom, I never ever thought I would come off these tablets there is no help what so ever from the doctors, the information they do give out is mostly inadequate. but with the help of this forum in the future thats very much a possibility if I do it right next time and that gives me hope.  

 

I have been lead to believe from day 1 from doctors, family, friends etc that I needed a job, this that and the other to get off the medication I have a very active imagination and when I'm not being creative I feel low anyways, that has always been a seed in my head that leads me to believe when I came off the tablet I wasn't ready because of how my work, money, family situation was at which from a work and money point of view was always a negative.

 

I've seen 2 different counsellors (1 yesterday) over the past 2/3 years they both told me I didn't need the tablets and it was my work lifestyle that was the issue in my low mood and needed to change jobs chase the creative aspect of my character. which is a lot lot easier said that done. 

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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  • Administrator

You sound more optimistic now.

 

Yes, we know doctors don't know anything about helping people go off the drugs, that's why this site exists.

 

The secret sauce to going off is coping with the withdrawal symptoms. We advise tapering to minimize the symptoms, but you still might feel odd from time to time. It's important to listen to your body and not panic when you feel odd. Often this brings up fears of incapacitation that spiral into thoughts of suicide.

 

But those thoughts are only thoughts, you can manage them or even learn from them -- they may be causing by biochemical glitches or they may be the way you beat yourself up and keep yourself from succeeding. But you can learn to manage them and get through them.

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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21 hours ago, Altostrata said:

You sound more optimistic now.

I thought I had failed, I honestly thought I was off the medication, THREE MONTHS till I crashed that is the longest I have been off an anti depressant in 20 years.

 

I really appreciate the advice I received from yourself @Altostrata & @getofflex I understand from your point of view the advice you were giving me would see me through but I didn't have the will everything seemed so real. 

 

I'm going to reset now, I'm days into taking 50mg it will be a month or 2 before I settle then when I've had a few months settled I am going to start a long taper.

 

Taper and hold sounds like a plan taking away the knowledge i've discovered on this site. I have had too many (at least 10 times) horrible side effects from coming off/switching these tablets, I am not afraid to admit that I am scared shitless.

 

21 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Yes, we know doctors don't know anything about helping people go off the drugs, that's why this site exists.

I had a phone consultation with my doctor yesterday I said that I had tapered to fast with my body now being dependant on the drug. 

 

He was having none of that "NO NO you don't get addicted like you do heroin"  It really pissed me off, I have listened to these doctors for years took on aboard every bit of advice yet they still constantly read form the same hymn sheet. 

 

22 hours ago, Altostrata said:

The secret sauce to going off is coping with the withdrawal symptoms. We advise tapering to minimize the symptoms, but you still might feel odd from time to time. It's important to listen to your body and not panic when you feel odd. Often this brings up fears of incapacitation that spiral into thoughts of suicide.

Looking back on my taper from this year I maybes started to go wrong when I got down to a low dose thinking that it was that small a dose it would't matter if I stopped. I know now I still come off too fast.

 

 I wish I had discovered this site as I have said before a long long time ago.

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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  • Administrator

How is the increased dose of Zoloft affecting you? How do you feel before and after you take it?

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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8 hours ago, Altostrata said:

How is the increased dose of Zoloft affecting you? How do you feel before and after you take it?

Even though I'm getting smashed with side effects, tired, brain fog, heighten anxiety being the main 1s. I have calmed down loads, I think I even had 8 hours sleep last night. I'm still in a low mood with random intrusive thoughts but the intense suicidal thoughts have gone.

 

Every time I've crashed coming off this medication when I go back on them I naturally analyse my time coming off and being off the medication, Every time Its seems i'm ok for a brief period then I go very erratic until I almost have what feels like a mini nervous breakdown. 

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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  • Moderator

It sounds like overall, you are feeling better on this dose of Zoloft.  Are you hoping to taper off eventually?  

***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

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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8 minutes ago, getofflex said:

It sounds like overall, you are feeling better on this dose of Zoloft.  Are you hoping to taper off eventually?  

💯 

 

I realised almost immediately 20 years ago when I started on this medication I didn’t want to take it due to the side effects, IF they were no side effects I wouldn’t have a problem I would just accept the fact I have a problem with OCD & Anxiety and get on with it. 

I feel better now and will level out, But give it a few months I’ll be frustrated again especially with the effect it has on my libido plus the lack of emotion full stop. 
 

Then I will start a reduction of 5% a month taper and hold. 
 

Even if it takes me years!

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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1 hour ago, UkDave said:

Then I will start a reduction of 5% a month taper and hold. 
 

Even if it takes me years

sounds like an excellent plan Dave.  🙂

***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

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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Hi Dave, I am sorry to hear everything you have been through, I’ve been following for a while. I have been on and off fluoxetine for what feels like years. Usually only on it a short time and always able to taper off, but then within months something happens and I need it again. I’ve learned lots about self care in the last few years and have been putting it into action with success. I’ve now been on mirtazepine (with a few failed withdrawal attempts) for coming up to 3 years and a few weeks ago started the Brass Monkey slide which I can highly recommend. I experience mild withdrawal effects on about half the days and on the other days absolutely nothing apart from feeling ‘blah’! Which isn’t good or bad. During the hold I have felt pretty good. So do look into this when the time comes. It seems like it will take ages (and it will) but within the first 3 weeks I already had more energy which has been so good. After my previous withdrawal attempt I became very destabilised and took 18 months to be sure I was nice and stable before trying three BM slide. Good luck with your stabilisation ☺️

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019

April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine 7.5

October 2019 - about 4 Nov 6mg Mirtazepine 

4-13 Nov anxiety & sleep problems caused by change of brand & jumping around with doses

13 Nov 2019 to 7 Dec 2019 10mg Mirtazepine 

8-10 Dec 2019 15mg Mirtazepine 

11 Dec 2019 to date 12.5mg Mirtazepine 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey slide

 

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Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with these medications @Faure Life is difficult enough without having to deal with the side effects of these psychotic drugs, I really appreciate your reply.

 

I've found it very therapeutic sharing my story, I've never wrote/typed it out like I have done on this forum before then to get the amazing support in the replies its really given me hope. 

 

This is the first time ever in all the years I have a plan, I am going to address a few issues I know I have which I didn't realise was a massive problem before which is contributing to my Anxiety and Depression such as Perfectionistic thinking, Ruminating then Procrastinating all the time. With them issues addressed and dealt with then a long Taper of this medication I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

 

I wish you well Faure 😊

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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Hi again @UkDave, just read your reply about dealing with a few things - great idea! And I wanted to say that without realising it I was preparing for withdrawal from lockdown 1 in the UK, by meditating every day! I was very close to overwhelm at first with having to suddenly work online from home, something I’d never considered possible in my profession (as it happens it has been amazingly successful!). Every day without fail I did the Jon Kabat Zin 40 minute body scan. It kept me steady enough to get through the initial overwhelm. I realised after a few weeks it was very beneficial and after a year of doing it almost daily I started noticing thoughts going round, identified thoughts as a problem and have really made some great progress on noticing - once I notice it is easier to say “these are just thoughts” and not get sucked into ruminating on them. So do give meditation a try if you haven’t already. I like Jon’s the best of the ones I’ve tried☺️ 
 

 

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019

April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine 7.5

October 2019 - about 4 Nov 6mg Mirtazepine 

4-13 Nov anxiety & sleep problems caused by change of brand & jumping around with doses

13 Nov 2019 to 7 Dec 2019 10mg Mirtazepine 

8-10 Dec 2019 15mg Mirtazepine 

11 Dec 2019 to date 12.5mg Mirtazepine 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey slide

 

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Thanks @Faure 

 

I will have a look at Jon Kabat-Zin link you have sent. I have signed up to Calm used it for a while, also watched a show on Netflix called Headspace Guide to meditation its a 8 part series I didn't start practicing it daily though.

 

3 hours ago, Faure said:

I realised after a few weeks it was very beneficial and after a year of doing it almost daily I started noticing thoughts going round, identified thoughts as a problem and have really made some great progress on noticing - once I notice it is easier to say “these are just thoughts” and not get sucked into ruminating on them.

I really need to start practicing meditation daily I can see if its done over a period of time like yourself have practiced it can be really beneficial for the mind.

2011 - 50mg Sertraline. Sept 2020 - Oct - 30mg. Nov - Dec 20mg. 2021 Jan - Feb 10mg. Mar - Apr 5mg.   

Uptake July 8th 25mg. July 21st 50mg.

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