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Magnus1uk: Struggling with (possible) withdrawal symptoms - Sertraline - advice/experiences welcome


Magnus1uk

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Dear all, I”m looking to get some advice and (hopefully) some reassurance around my current issues. I’ve only just found this site - wish I’d seen it some weeks ago!

 

My father suddenly died in February 2019, literally dropped dead from a heart attack, whilst he was at work. He was due to retire later that year.

 

At that time, I had recently (weeks) separated from my wife.

 

I struggled to cope with the loss of my Dad and the impact on my family, along with massive amounts of guilt about leaving my wife.

 

I was initially prescribed Mirtazipine (excuse spelling) as I was also having trouble sleeping - the initial dosage had little effect but it was then doubled which left me like a zombie - finding it physically difficult to even get out of bed.

 

I then went onto Sertraline, for only a few weeks I think, before coming off. I cannot quite remember the why’s and wherefores  behind that decision, but I ended up on Citalopram for a couple of months, before reverting back to Sertraline in approximately September 2019 (50mg).

 

I remained on Sertraline for two years. My mood stabilised in Autumn 2019 and I reconciled with my wife. We started living together again in March 2020.

 

Everything seemed fine from that point - then earlier this year I discussed coming off medication with a clinician from my GP. I felt I no longer needed it and we agreed that I would start to reduce from the beginning of September (no particular reason for this date).

 

I was told to start taking 25mg per day (half a tablet) with a view to reducing that further after a couple of weeks.

 

Within 2-3 days of reducing to 25mg I started to feel slightly physically unwell (headaches, lethargy) and slightly down. Only after another day or two did I connect this with the reduction.

 

My mood then gradually dipped throughout September and I began to experience the symptoms I had in 2019 - very low mood, over sleeping, adrenaline rushes that would last for hours. I also began to worry about my relationship with my wife, and started thinking about an ex-partner once again.

 

This progressed to the point where I had to take a couple of days leave at work as I couldn’t trust myself not to fall apart there. I also began fits of sobbing uncontrollably around this time (late September).

 

I spoke to the clinician again and we agreed that I would return to my full dosage once more - 50mg. That was just over three weeks ago and nothing has improved.

 

I have been signed off work and feel lower that I originally did in 2019. In September I seemed to have days when I felt ok and could function, but now I have no “good days”.

 

I find it hard to take joy in anything - this has been slightly worsened by an injury which means I find it currently hard to sit down, which is making it hard to distract myself. I’m also not able to do as much physical exercise as I would normally do - I’m a regular gym goer and very much of the opinion that regular workouts improve my mood.

 

I’m increasingly obsessing about my ex-partner. I though about her a fair bit when my mind was fine - but not to this extent and not with this sense of “longing” (the best way I can describe it).

 

I feel like this has become a bit of a ramble - but essentially I’d love to know what others have experienced when cutting/increasing dosage like this and how long it has taken to get back on track.

 

I’d also like to know if doubts about relationships or longing for past relationships can be a symptom in these circumstances?

 

My wife is very supportive and I have told her my thoughts - she is really understanding and thinks this is just part of the chemical reaction to the medication changes.

 

Any advice or similar experiences would be very gratefully received.

 

March 2019 - Mirtazapine 

April - May 2019 - Sertraline 50mg

July 2019 - August 2019 - Citalopram 

September 2019 - September 2021 - Sertraline 50mg

September 2021 - Sertraline 25mg

October 2021 - Sertraline 50mg

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Magnus1uk: Struggling with (possible) withdrawal symptoms - Sertraline - advice/experiences welcome
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  You have come to the right place. 

 

Thanks for the drug history.  Do you remember approximately what date in September you reduced to 25 mg, and what date in October you went back up to 50 mg?  If not, was it early, middle late month?   I believe you got the symptoms from making to big of a reduction in your dose.  I'm sorry nothing has improved since you went back up to 50 mg.  Are things the same as they were before you went back up to 50 mg, or are they worse?  

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.   This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it's so important to taper so slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses: 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Happening in Your Brain

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we generally 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. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

Considerations About Stability - Stop Jumping Around

 

The symptoms you describe sound like classic symptoms of withdrawal from psychiatric drugs.  Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

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

 

For the time being, please do not make any changes to your drugs.  Are you taking precisely the same dose each day, at the same time of the day?  What time do you take your sertraline?  Are you using any alcohol, or any other mind altering substances?  Do you ever skip or miss doses? 

 

You say you are a "regular gym goer".  Exercise can worsen withdrawal symptoms, especially if you have a sensitized nervous system, as most of us in WD do.  I would suggest modifying your workouts to be very gentle, and wouldn't go for too long.  What does your gym regimen look like?  I've put myself in worse WD just by doing the elliptical at a vigorous rate for 20 or 30 minutes.

 

Please keep in touch, and let us know how you are doing.  

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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On 10/22/2021 at 5:08 PM, Magnus1uk said:

Dear all, I”m looking to get some advice and (hopefully) some reassurance around my current issues. I’ve only just found this site - wish I’d seen it some weeks ago!

 

My father suddenly died in February 2019, literally dropped dead from a heart attack, whilst he was at work. He was due to retire later that year.

 

At that time, I had recently (weeks) separated from my wife.

 

I struggled to cope with the loss of my Dad and the impact on my family, along with massive amounts of guilt about leaving my wife.

 

I was initially prescribed Mirtazipine (excuse spelling) as I was also having trouble sleeping - the initial dosage had little effect but it was then doubled which left me like a zombie - finding it physically difficult to even get out of bed.

 

I then went onto Sertraline, for only a few weeks I think, before coming off. I cannot quite remember the why’s and wherefores  behind that decision, but I ended up on Citalopram for a couple of months, before reverting back to Sertraline in approximately September 2019 (50mg).

 

I remained on Sertraline for two years. My mood stabilised in Autumn 2019 and I reconciled with my wife. We started living together again in March 2020.

 

Everything seemed fine from that point - then earlier this year I discussed coming off medication with a clinician from my GP. I felt I no longer needed it and we agreed that I would start to reduce from the beginning of September (no particular reason for this date).

 

I was told to start taking 25mg per day (half a tablet) with a view to reducing that further after a couple of weeks.

 

Within 2-3 days of reducing to 25mg I started to feel slightly physically unwell (headaches, lethargy) and slightly down. Only after another day or two did I connect this with the reduction.

 

My mood then gradually dipped throughout September and I began to experience the symptoms I had in 2019 - very low mood, over sleeping, adrenaline rushes that would last for hours. I also began to worry about my relationship with my wife, and started thinking about an ex-partner once again.

 

This progressed to the point where I had to take a couple of days leave at work as I couldn’t trust myself not to fall apart there. I also began fits of sobbing uncontrollably around this time (late September).

 

I spoke to the clinician again and we agreed that I would return to my full dosage once more - 50mg. That was just over three weeks ago and nothing has improved.

 

I have been signed off work and feel lower that I originally did in 2019. In September I seemed to have days when I felt ok and could function, but now I have no “good days”.

 

I find it hard to take joy in anything - this has been slightly worsened by an injury which means I find it currently hard to sit down, which is making it hard to distract myself. I’m also not able to do as much physical exercise as I would normally do - I’m a regular gym goer and very much of the opinion that regular workouts improve my mood.

 

I’m increasingly obsessing about my ex-partner. I though about her a fair bit when my mind was fine - but not to this extent and not with this sense of “longing” (the best way I can describe it).

 

I feel like this has become a bit of a ramble - but essentially I’d love to know what others have experienced when cutting/increasing dosage like this and how long it has taken to get back on track.

 

I’d also like to know if doubts about relationships or longing for past relationships can be a symptom in these circumstances?

 

My wife is very supportive and I have told her my thoughts - she is really understanding and thinks this is just part of the chemical reaction to the medication changes.

 

Any advice or similar experiences would be very gratefully received.

Hi , 

i m sorry ur going through this. I can’t give u any advice on how to proceed with Zoloft but I can reassure u that ur thoughts about ur ex are definitely a Zoloft triggered issue. I have been happily married for 12 years and i adore my husband but on the first week of Zoloft I started crying cause I was missing my first high school love who I haven’t seen or through of for over 20 years. I have read similar experiences from other people starting or quitting ADs. Zoloft is really messing up with ur mind, don’t let these thoughts destroy ur marriage.

Aug. 16-17, 2020, cipralex: went CRAZY! Recovered in 24hrs

Aug.28,2020; 3.5 weeks 25mg sertraline/4.5 weeks taper

Oct. 25: Last dose (4mg)

Symptoms while on zoloft

DPDR/out of my body/soul despair/feeling dead; tinnitus/no appetite; fear, anxiety/panics

4 months OFF: soul despair, anxiety/fear, brain disconnection/ DPDR, brain feels swollen-numb/crazy/bedridden barely functioning, tinnitus, eye lid twitches; face spasms. Feeling slightly better after 10pm.

- sleep & appetite are fine

9 months OFF: hell, no windows, same symptoms as above  (only eye and face twitches have stopped) plus intense arm/shoulder pain and visual issues. Tinnitus replaced by head buzzing. 

10 months-1 year: all above plus Insomnia (out of nowhere), depression, no peace of mind (mental Akathisia); 2.5mg melatonin

14months off: sleep resumed. All rest symptoms remain. Bedridden vegetable all day. DP is relentless. 

1.5 years off: still severely disabled, not much changed except some improvement in vision.

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