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LKB90: Insomnia - Zoloft for 2.5 weeks


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Dears, 

I'm desperately writing you as I feel noone on this Earth is understanding me now. I was a cheerful, social, active girl. Last year in August I gave life to my boy. When he turned 3.5 month, I started to have sleep issues out of the sudden. I got super scared as it continued day after day. Then after 5 days I got my first postpartum period. That day I KNEW, oh my God this must be it. This whole thing is just hormonal. Since then I lived with this problem for 6 months. Peak troubled nights were always around ny periods and ovulation, but I also had sleep issues beyond them. Over time it got much better, meaning 2/3 of my nights were without any problem, 10 days were troubled. Deep in me I always thought I don't have depression, but I suffered a lot due to the quite many nights with poor sleep. Because of the pressure of family members I visited a psychiatrist, who convinced me that I have post-partum depression with insomnia as pure symptom of it and this needs to be cured. I got Zoloft prescribed. That day the real nightmare really just started. I tool 25 mg for 1.5 weeks and 50 mg for additional 1 week. I had terrible reaction already 1 hour after start - digestion issues, restlessness, unbelievable heartbeat, thinking of suicide, sweatening and complete inability to sleep. For 2.5 weeks.. Everyone said it is normal and will settle with time. But even 3 Xanax did not help me to sleep during nights. After 2.5 weeks I could not handle anymore and even though my doctor and my relatives kept telling me to continue and take Tegretol on top, I just couldn't. I stopped. Since then I sleep at least on some nights. Badly with long time to fall asleep, many night wakenings and early wake ups, but on some nights I at least have some rest. I strongly believe Zoloft caused very bad reactions for me and that my sleep still suffers due to the fact I took so many pills. Please help me - can this get better? Can such "short" of time on AD change my brain and sleep forever? Will I be able to return o pre-medicine level? I feel I completely lost control over my thoughts and life since I took the first pill. Thank you so much for helping me.

Edited by Gridley

Zoloft: 1.5 weeks 25 mg, 1 week 50 mg | stopped cold turkey | severe insomnia, digestion problems, suicidal thoughts, restlessness, disorientation, loose of feelings, sweating, incredibly rapid heartbeat

Mirtazapine: 7.5 mg only occassionally

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  • Moderator
Gridley
Posted (edited)

Welcome to SA, LKB90.

 

To start:

 

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.  Please indicate the date you started the Zoloft, the dose, and what symptoms appeared and the date(s) they appeared.  A list format is best.  You'll need to use a computer rather than a computer.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Your belief that the Zoloft caused a very bad reaction is correct.  You have had what is called an adverse reaction to the Zoloft, which means basically that the drug is poison to your system.  We see this type of reaction often on this site.  First, I want to reassure you that that these symptoms are not permanent and your brain has not been permanently altered.  It's going to take some time, however, and we can't give you a definite timeline regarding healing.  Everyone is different.  But you will heal.  

 

The following is from a post about adverse reactions written by Brassmonkey, one of our moderators:

 

"I think that some of the most unfortunate members we have are the ones who only took the drug for a short time and had a severe Adverse Reaction. Over the years I’ve seen a number of members join who have taken their drugs for one day to a week and then stopped.  They suffer acute symptoms that hit immediately and hard.  Some people’s chemical makeup just isn’t compatible with psych drugs and their body immediately tries to reject them, but in doing so throws itself into chaos.

 

The good news is that their body will sort itself out and they will return to normal.  While this is recovery from a severe adverse reaction and not withdrawal syndrome, the bad news is the post-discontinuation symptoms are a lot like post- acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), and it’s going to take a long time and there is nothing that will speed up the process.  There are some coping strategies and tools that will help you endure the experience, but time is the only thing that will cure it, and it will take months rather than weeks.

 

These people tend to have a more linear recovery than those with true withdrawal syndrome. The first several months may be more intense.  Then, like PAWS, things start to improve very slowly. Eventually, normal life resumes and get back on track.  All the members I have known with this immediate Adverse Reaction have made full recoveries and gone on to normal lives and careers."

 

The following link about the healing process from antidepressant withdrawal is equally applicable to an adverse reaction.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 July 13: 10.0mgai.  Taper is 46% 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 LKB90: Insomnia - Zoloft for 2.5 weeks

Dear Gridley,

Huge thanks for getting back to me! According to experience also insomnia will be healed with time? I've heard this is one of the most stubborn side-effects.

Zoloft: 1.5 weeks 25 mg, 1 week 50 mg | stopped cold turkey | severe insomnia, digestion problems, suicidal thoughts, restlessness, disorientation, loose of feelings, sweating, incredibly rapid heartbeat

Mirtazapine: 7.5 mg only occassionally

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  • Moderator
Gridley
36 minutes ago, LKB90 said:

According to experience also insomnia will be healed with time?

Yes.  According to experience, it will be healed with time.

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 July 13: 10.0mgai.  Taper is 46% 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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Thank you ever so much. Your words mean so incredibly much for me! If anyone has some tips, how to ease symptoms, would love to hear them.

Zoloft: 1.5 weeks 25 mg, 1 week 50 mg | stopped cold turkey | severe insomnia, digestion problems, suicidal thoughts, restlessness, disorientation, loose of feelings, sweating, incredibly rapid heartbeat

Mirtazapine: 7.5 mg only occassionally

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  • Moderator
Gridley
26 minutes ago, LKB90 said:

If anyone has some tips, how to ease symptoms, would love to hear them.

Here are some links on insomnia that I hope will be helpful.

 

Relaxation exercises, guided meditations, calming videos, sleep hypnosis

 

Tricks and tips to fall asleep faster

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/02/16/tips-tricks-fall-asleep-faster.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20170216Z1&et_cid=DM133787&et_rid=1889748952

 

This link contains helpful information, including insomnia and also non-drug coping skills.  

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

Some members have found Melatonin helpful with insomnia.   

Melatonin for sleep   

It's best to start at a very low dosage, such as .25mg, and gradually increase if needed to the lowest effective dose.  I take 0.3mg.  Here's a link:

melatonin (available on Amazon

 

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 July 13: 10.0mgai.  Taper is 46% 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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sarabeth

Dear LKB90,

I'm so glad you found this site so quickly. I hope it keeps you from a lot of the harm that so many of us have experienced. Did you know that unbalanced hormones can cause severe insomnia and anxiety attacks? Especially any dramatic drops in progesterone, like you just had after giving birth. I really recommend trying to find a holistic Dr who will order lab work to see if your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels are balanced, and if they aren't, to gently and naturally help your body get those levels where they need to be, especially your progesterone. Quite possibly the stress and fear you experienced while on Zoloft caused even more hormonal imbalance. Your body absolutely can heal and get back to where you were pre-AD. I occasionally take melatonin for sleep. A friend gave me an essential oil blend with lavender and vetiver that I put on the bottom of my toes at night. That has helped too, it just took a few weeks to build up in my system. Sometimes massages and chiropractic adjustments can also calm down the nervous system, and help you de-stress and heal.

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Dear Sarabeth,

Many many thanks for your time and kind words!! Yes, I all knew these, but I failed to find the solution. I still don't find it. I tried so many things on the road: homeopathy, aromatherapy, meditation, melatonin, read a lot about cbt, nothing really helped. Or let's rephrase this: these things helped so slowly. Then I got impatient and uncertain (also due to pressure from others that sleep is for sure due to my underlying depression) that my problems could be psychic. So I took this horrible decision to try ADs. My bad I even chose a quite unexperienced doctor. As you say I visit a holistic doctor now, who uses pranic healing, nes therapy and acupuncture. I hope so much that she can help. I never thought I will wish to at least have my pre-AD condition. These 18 pills just made the issue so much worse (I'm Zoloft-free already since 3.5 weeks and still..) What do you actually think about hormonal therapy? My progesterone level is low indeed, my gynaecologist suggested me to take progesterone pills.

Huge thanks!

Zoloft: 1.5 weeks 25 mg, 1 week 50 mg | stopped cold turkey | severe insomnia, digestion problems, suicidal thoughts, restlessness, disorientation, loose of feelings, sweating, incredibly rapid heartbeat

Mirtazapine: 7.5 mg only occassionally

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On 7/14/2021 at 8:36 PM, Gridley said:

Yes.  According to experience, it will be healed with time.

Dear Gridley, dear others,

Before I've found this article https://rxisk.org/sleep-problems-after-stopping-antidepressants/ with many negative comments of people whose sleep did not improve long after stopping AD (with even some very short-term users). What is your opinion about it? Huge thanks in advance.

Zoloft: 1.5 weeks 25 mg, 1 week 50 mg | stopped cold turkey | severe insomnia, digestion problems, suicidal thoughts, restlessness, disorientation, loose of feelings, sweating, incredibly rapid heartbeat

Mirtazapine: 7.5 mg only occassionally

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On 7/15/2021 at 10:18 PM, sarabeth said:

Dear LKB90,

I'm so glad you found this site so quickly. I hope it keeps you from a lot of the harm that so many of us have experienced. Did you know that unbalanced hormones can cause severe insomnia and anxiety attacks? Especially any dramatic drops in progesterone, like you just had after giving birth. I really recommend trying to find a holistic Dr who will order lab work to see if your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels are balanced, and if they aren't, to gently and naturally help your body get those levels where they need to be, especially your progesterone. Quite possibly the stress and fear you experienced while on Zoloft caused even more hormonal imbalance. Your body absolutely can heal and get back to where you were pre-AD. I occasionally take melatonin for sleep. A friend gave me an essential oil blend with lavender and vetiver that I put on the bottom of my toes at night. That has helped too, it just took a few weeks to build up in my system. Sometimes massages and chiropractic adjustments can also calm down the nervous system, and help you de-stress and heal.

Dear Sarabeth,

Many many thanks for your time and kind words!! Yes, I all knew these, but I failed to find the solution. I still don't find it. I tried so many things on the road: homeopathy, aromatherapy, meditation, melatonin, read a lot about cbt, nothing really helped. Or let's rephrase this: these things helped so slowly. Then I got impatient and uncertain (also due to pressure from others that sleep is for sure due to my underlying depression) that my problems could be psychic. So I took this horrible decision to try ADs. My bad I even chose a quite unexperienced doctor. As you say I visit a holistic doctor now, who uses pranic healing, nes therapy and acupuncture. I hope so much that she can help. I never thought I will wish to at least have my pre-AD condition. These 18 pills just made the issue so much worse (I'm Zoloft-free already since 3.5 weeks and still..) What do you actually think about hormonal therapy? My progesterone level is low indeed, my gynaecologist suggested me to take progesterone pills.

Huge thanks!

Zoloft: 1.5 weeks 25 mg, 1 week 50 mg | stopped cold turkey | severe insomnia, digestion problems, suicidal thoughts, restlessness, disorientation, loose of feelings, sweating, incredibly rapid heartbeat

Mirtazapine: 7.5 mg only occassionally

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