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eileen1111: sertraline cold turkey recovery


eileen1111

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Hi all. Thank you in advance for any help, advice or support. I am 22(f). I was stable on sertraline 50mg for a couple of years, and then successfully reduced to 25mg in March 2021. This september I thought 25mg was a low enough dose to be able to CT off sertraline. What a disaster. I haven't felt normal since September, panicking that I will never get back to myself... 

 

I tried to reinstate sertraline after a couple of months off it, thinking it would fix the withdrawals instantly. Instead it has gotten so much worse. I can't eat, struggle sleeping, functioning... Anxiety through the roof about losing my job, my friends, my life, everything. Now I've found this site I am hoping I can get help to stabilise and that it's not too late for me. 

 

I think I reinstated at too high a dose too quickly, so as of today I have dropped back down to 12.5mg sertraline. My main question is whether I should do as my doctor is suggesting and switch to citalopram, because i think my body is just completely rejecting sertraline now. But I've never taken citalopram. I've been prescribed it at 20mg but i think this is too high. I'm just looking to stabilise side effects and withdrawal symptoms not wanting a therapeutic dose. Should I cut the pills into quarters and take 5mg? Or 10mg? Or should I try a lower dose of sertraline for a week? 

 

CC added the following (posted in another member's Intro) which provides some more information:

 

12 hours ago, eileen1111 said:

 

This is how I've been feeling for the last month after trying to reinstate sertraline to get rid of withdrawal symptoms. I thought that it would be an immediate 'fix' like if I'd only missed a couple of doses rather than a couple of months off the meds. So I reinstated at too high a dose and it's made me feel so much worse. Finally found this site and going to reduce sertraline dose right down. I'm wondering if I should also switch to citalopram to try and stabilise on that, because my body is clearly too sensitised to sertraline now. Horrific symptoms, dissociation, pounding heart, disturbed sleep, can't eat, suicidal thoughts etc... 

I am just praying that there will be some relief soon 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added quote from another member's intro

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to eileen1111: reinstatement help - should i switch from sertraline to citalopram? struggling
  • ChessieCat changed the title to eileen1111: reinstatement help - should i switch from sertraline to citalopram?
  • Moderator

@eileen1111

 

I'm sorry to hear what you are/have been going through but welcome to SA. 

 

This is your page now where you can ask questions, make comments and have conversations with other members. Please do not start any other threads as members are allowed only one so we can keep all your information in one spot for reference.

 

On 12/20/2021 at 4:11 AM, eileen1111 said:

I tried to reinstate sertraline after a couple of months off it, thinking it would fix the withdrawals instantly. Instead it has gotten so much worse. I can't eat, struggle sleeping, functioning... Anxiety through the roof about losing my job, my friends, my life, everything. Now I've found this site I am hoping I can get help to stabilise and that it's not too late for me. 

I agree 100% that you reinstated at a higher dose than what was necessary.  

 

I'm going to give you some information to read and then ask any questions you may have:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

What to Expect in Reinstatement (James Heaney article)

 

If it were me, at this point, I wouldn't switch antidepressants at this time. You have an unstable CNS (central nervous system) that needs time to heal. I would stay at the 12.5 mg and see if you can stabilize on that dose.

 

You could try taking magnesium and omega. Just take one at a time to make sure they don't introduce any other side effects. And take a small amount at one time.

 

Magnesium

Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

Can you keep notes for a few days and post them daily letting us know your symptoms?

 

Keep Notes on Paper

 

You might read about yoga. It has helped a lot of members on here.

 

Yoga for calming (very simple poses can help greatly)

 

Most of all, you need to be kind to yourself through this. Take short gentle walks, read, play with a puppy (if you have one, I know that helps me), take epson salt baths.

 

Ask any questions you may have. I hope I have helped some.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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Hi Frogie,

thank you so much for your help 😭 I think you’re right about not switching right now and waiting a couple more weeks... I’m impatient for a quick fix and to feel well again but if I’ve learned anything from this it’s that ADs and psychoactive meds do not like being rushed around... 

 

since reducing to 12.5mg sertraline over the last couple days some of my worst symptoms have subsided - I’ve been able to sleep, and my heart has stopped racing. So I’m hoping that more than just a window this might be the start of some stability. Will keep track of things here. 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

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Some notes from past few days:

 

22/12/21 - around 12.5mg sertraline and two cod liver oil pills at 8.30am. A couple hours later symptoms feel worse, more fog, dp/dr, head pressure and waterlogged feeling, hypersensitivity to light, sounds etc - feels like a constant hangover or being on a dose of lsd... No nausea or fast beating heart today which is something. With difficulty I’m able to eat and go to work 2-8pm, talk with my flatmate in the evening, although I felt dissociated the whole time. We got some food together and I had one glass of wine (which was stupid but I tend to feel a bit stronger by evening and try to pretend I’m able to do normal things again). I took my amitriptyline 25mg and 2 magnesium capsules at 11pm. I slept maybe 6 hours but woke up a couple times with anxiety. 

 

 

23/12/21- had to get up early for a train. Felt nauseous but forced myself to eat a banana before taking around 12.5mg sertraline and two cod liver oil pills at around 8.15. I’m a bit concerned about how I am cutting the tablets, it’s hard to get even quarters...Slept a bit on the train. Felt very ‘medicated’. Met up with my family for Christmas and tried to take it easy in terms of socialising because finding it hard at the moment. Played some cards with siblings, went to bed at about 11pm, amitriptyline 25mg and two magnesium capsules. Some anxiety in the night but got around 8 hours maybe more. 

 

 

24/12/21- about 12.5mg sertraline and cod liver oil around 11am. Woke without nausea but with some anxiety and dizziness, the feeling of being kind of ‘high’ persisting. Ate some toast. Going for a walk this morning. The thing I find hardest at the moment is the dp/dr; I can’t shake it even for a moment. It’s constant. Brain and nervous system feels thoroughly hijacked. Hard trying to explain my symptoms to family and friends who haven’t experienced it. Very isolating. 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

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  • 2 weeks later...

every day, i don't think i can get through it. but you do, you have to. 

 

things i am finding helpful: self-soothing with lavender essential oil and massage oil, taking baths, music, walks, focusing on the fact that if there is at least one good sensation or experience or moment in a day then it was worth it.

 

keeping notes has been helpful because it allows me to take more of a clinical, observational approach to the situation. but i also need to be careful not to ruminate or symptom check too much, or it becomes the only thing i can think about 🤢

 

i am learning a lot from this traumatic experience: that when i make it out the other side, i must change my life  

 

to everyone out there struggling: solidarity 

 

 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

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I can't tell if the morning anxiety spike and racing heart is lingering withdrawal from my CT or the destabilisation caused at trying to reinstate at too high a dose... 

 

It's so hard to know what to do to help myself, especially when my doctor tells me that 25mg sertraline is basically a 'placebo dose' !!!!!! A placebo dose which has managed to mess me up completely, sure..... Despite explaining to them that I got worse after reinstatement, suggesting a sensitised system, the doctor thinks that I should just increase, increase, increase. It's so horrible feeling like no one is listening or taking the time to try and help. 

 

Have started on 1mg citalopram now because i was reacting badly to any sertraline dose

i know i shouldn't be jumping around so much on doses :(( just feeling desperate 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

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Just noticed your post.

 

 

I know how awful it is. I just wanted to hello.  I have lost faith in GPs they dont have any clue what reduction feels like and have little expertise to work with patients to support formally. Hang in there.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

2013 Citalopram 50mg  2014 February Sertraline 50mg 2014 September Fluoxitine 20mg 2015 May Fluoxitine 20mg (Liquid to reduce off)

2015 Septmber Lofepramine 70mg 2016 May Lofepramine 70mg (Liquid to reduce off) 2016 Dec Zopiclone (to aid short term insomnia)

2017 August Amitriptyline 10mg 2016 October Venlafaxine 37.5  rising to 225mg January 2018  2018 January Sertraline 50mg rising to 150mg

2021 January Sertraline 125mg/150mg alternate days (GP advise ... Started micro taper and found this website....2021 May 100mg daily  2021 September 95mg daily December 2021 85mg daily. Vitamins; Selenium / Vitamin D high strength / Evening primrose oil  1000mg High Strength / Omega 3 High Strength / Folic Acid.

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I was wondering if increasing my dose of amitriptyline (currently 25mg every night) would help get me through ssri withdrawals? I tolerate amitriptyline very well, have been up to 75mg before. I take it for chronic headache prevention, but it can be used as a tricyclic antidepressant at higher doses. @Frogie have you heard about anyone trying this or something similar, 'buffering' with another medication they are on already?

 

I am now taking a break from trying to reinstate either sertraline or citalopram, because the adverse side effects from both indicate to me that i am not going to be able to tolerate ssris anymore. So now I just want to get OFF THIS STUFF and see out withdrawal. Maybe amitriptyline can help????

 

Other supplements I have been reading about are Gaba and L-theanine - anyone have experience? (I'll search for similar threads as well)

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

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  • Moderator

@eileen1111

 

I would not increase the amtripiptyline just to "cover up" the other withdrawal symptoms from sertraline and citalopram.

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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  • Moderator
Posted (edited)

Hi eileen1111, and welcome,


 

3 hours ago, eileen1111 said:

I was wondering if increasing my dose of amitriptyline (currently 25mg every night) would help get me through ssri withdrawals? I tolerate amitriptyline very well, have been up to 75mg before. I take it for chronic headache prevention, but it can be used as a tricyclic antidepressant at higher doses.

 

3 hours ago, eileen1111 said:

I am now taking a break from trying to reinstate either sertraline or citalopram, because the adverse side effects from both indicate to me that i am not going to be able to tolerate ssris anymore. So now I just want to get OFF THIS STUFF and see out withdrawal. Maybe amitriptyline can help????

 

We don't, or I don't subscribe to the effects of these medications actually being antidepressant in any way.  They cause physiological dependencies, yes.  And then that is what makes it tough to get off them.  The wait for a reset of our physiology back to baseline.  In simple terms.

So I'd be no, absolutely not, on using an amitriptyline increase to offset WD(withdrawal).

 

Me, I wish I may, I wish I might.......had been given non-drug coping from the start for some really normal reactions to life.  Or something.  Besides a 30 year psychiatric career, as I like to call it.  Retired from that awhile ago.....the drug merry go round, and all the bio-medical ugh treatment.

 

The only supplements we recommend are the magnesium and Omega 3's(fish oil)

Many try so many things.......and there just is not a solid evidence base that any of that helps.  And then if you are sensitized, so to speak, you react differently than you used to.  And it might even make things worse.  I would not, if I were in your shoes, be pursuing more drugs now, to treat WD, or even increasing present drugs.  I actually wonder if the drugs really ever help anyway anymore.  I mean maybe you thought they helped at one time?  That might have been placebo......or.......at some point they pooped out, as they do.

 

I don't know if you have perused the site much but I'll share this topic with you now:

Again, chemical imbalance is a myth. Stop the lies please.

 

 

The marketing of these drugs is crazy.  Sounds like even your doctor believes the hype. 

On 1/6/2022 at 4:52 AM, eileen1111 said:

It's so hard to know what to do to help myself, especially when my doctor tells me that 25mg sertraline is basically a 'placebo dose' !!!!!! A placebo dose which has managed to mess me up completely, sure..... Despite explaining to them that I got worse after reinstatement, suggesting a sensitised system, the doctor thinks that I should just increase, increase, increase. It's so horrible feeling like no one is listening or taking the time to try and help. 

 

Have started on 1mg citalopram now because i was reacting badly to any sertraline dose

i know i shouldn't be jumping around so much on doses :(( just feeling desperate 

 

And so you have now stopped the citalopram you decided to try?

25 mg sertraline does in fact have an effect.  And it is not placebo.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

tells more about that^ and then links up to some of the graphs that show just how much receptor occupancy there is at different doses.   And why we are so pro tapering, and harm reduction.   

And then more on that here:  Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies......

 

And then, worth mentioning, is that each neurotransmitter system, is related to another, in some way........and they all kind of normally interact together.  So when you tinker with one, you in effect might be tinkering with another too.  Might help you understand why even a non-SSRI drug is unlikely to help, while your body attempts to re balance itself. (unlikely.....just edited, as at first it said likely, I meant unlikely)

And why we attempt to reinstate with the drug off of first, and as early as possible when WD symptoms occur, and at just the small doses that we do.  That has really been about the only thing that has helped some, early on, if WD sets in.  The other is time.  Support.  Empowerment/education.  Faith in healing.

Hope that makes  sense.

 

And it is horrible to feel like you aren't being heard. 

Hope this reply doesn't make you feel like that, not my intent.

So many of us have been harmed already enough.

 

Okay, welcome again, and Best,  I see Frogie has replied as well.  Hi Frogie.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
unlikely, and some alterations in wording, grammar

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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18 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

 

And so you have now stopped the citalopram you decided to try?

25 mg sertraline does in fact have an effect.  And it is not placebo.

 

Yes I've stopped all SSRIs now. I have moved back in with family in order to try and get through withdrawals. I have so much confusion and sadness about how I ended up in this situation, and the lack of care I have received from medical professionals, despite telling them how bad my quality of life has become etc. I get a three minute phone call. Sigh. Grateful for this site. 

 

Thank you for the help Frogie and mmt 

 

 

 

 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment
34 minutes ago, eileen1111 said:

 

Yes I've stopped all SSRIs now. I have moved back in with family in order to try and get through withdrawals. I have so much confusion and sadness about how I ended up in this situation, and the lack of care I have received from medical professionals, despite telling them how bad my quality of life has become etc. I get a three minute phone call. Sigh. Grateful for this site. 

 

Thank you for the help Frogie and mmt 

 

 

 

 

I am sorry for what you are going through . I don’t have any advice, I am not a moderator, but I can assure you that 25mg it is NOT a placebo….. I am talking from experience…. Wishing fast healing 

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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my survival plan going forward SSRI-free:

 

-moved back in with family for as long as it takes

-massage therapy appointments

-lots of walking with my dog

-try and eat lots of fish, nuts, avocado, greens 

-absolutely no caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes or any other substances

 

Supplement plan: 

AM:

omega 3s

Vitamin B12, C, D

Probiotic

L-theanine 

 

 

PM: 

Amitriptyline

Magnesium glycinate

L-theanine

Occasionally melatonin 

Epsom salt baths 

Teas like chamomile and lemon balm

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment
  • Moderator

@eileen1111

 

I'm so sorry you are feeling so poorly, but it looks like you have a good game plan in mind.

 

Having family support through this is a wonderful thing. Taking the dog for walks gets you fresh air and out in nature. Listen to the birds and enjoy your surroundings as much as you can.

 

Just a little side note: B vitamins can be very stimulating, so be careful when taking them. We don't suggest anything other than Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.

 

Eating fish and nuts will get you omegas also the natural way. Great thinking on your part.

 

I know this is really rough, but please let us know how we can help or answer any questions you may have.

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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  • Mentor

@eileen1111  I feel for you eileen,  Welcome to SA.  Unfortunately that means you are hurting and feeling a little lost.   It truly is frustrating that the medical field is not up to date with the latest data and continue to look to the information that Big Pharma claims.  Total ignorance to stick their heads in the sand.   Okay enough of my rant.  

Have you has a chance to look through the site.  So much information.  Learn, Learn, learn about the drugs, there affect on our whole system.

Check out the symptoms and self care forum http://Symptoms and self-care .  You can learn more on the drugs, studies, etc on the in the media, http://In the media,  http://From journals and scientific sources  so much more in the forums section.  The more you learn the, more power you hold in making your own choses with your health.  

 

Reach and connect with other members.  We are all going through this together.  Some are a head of us in their healing and have tons of helpful advice, a lot of us are in the middle of the pack getting through day by day.  And some are just starting out like you.  You are never alone.  It is sad how many of us there are🙄

 

Read some of the success stories also in the forum section.  The reassurance that we can heal.  A lot of them still are on here and offer support and guidance.   

 

As has been stated by frogie,  ask questions.  There is no wrong or stupid question.  This can be scary and our brain will not always be working right so ask away...................

 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  thru 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/1  6ct Trazodone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5 

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   

Xanax 0.625 3x a day   Trazodone 25mg  Holding these

Lexapro   Sept/01/2021  4.90mg>  Sept/25  4.75mg>   Oct/19 4.69mg > Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg>  2/24  3.8mg   3/21 3.4mg>  5/2 3mg > 6/1  decreasing by 0.02ml  daily  to 2.7mg>  7/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to  2.5 mg>  8/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to 2.26mg

Lamictal  7/17/2022  25mg  9/9/2022 20mg

Supplements  Magnesium 300mg-400mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator
On 1/10/2022 at 8:16 AM, eileen1111 said:

Yes I've stopped all SSRIs now. I have moved back in with family in order to try and get through withdrawals. I have so much confusion and sadness about how I ended up in this situation, and the lack of care I have received from medical professionals, despite telling them how bad my quality of life has become etc. I get a three minute phone call. Sigh. Grateful for this site. 

 

Okay. On ^.  Can you elaborate on your reinstatement experience?  I see that you stuck with it for 4 days?  Were you getting worse?  How?  Any improvement while you tried it, with the citalopram?

 

And hello eileen1111, I could not do a basic greeting above the quote I did first. 

 

On 1/11/2022 at 8:22 AM, eileen1111 said:

my survival plan going forward SSRI-free:

 

And okay, it is tough.  I know and remember.  It's part of the healing I expect......going through some of the phases we go through.  And all the emotions.

 

I like your plan.

On 1/11/2022 at 3:33 PM, dA2021 said:

I take 50mg B6 perhaps I should ease off this? @Frogie

 

I think so, on easing off on the B6.  I never found B12 to be overly stimulating myself, although I think a few have.  I did, or did not tolerate any mixed B vitamin supplements.

And okay, my mistake, that was a quote from another member.

 

Anyway, this will be helpful I hope for you now eileen111, so here is what else I had put together in a response to you:

 

And then we do have, I am finding a more than a couple  topics on them too, as there are several B vitamins:

Hypersensitive to B vitamin or B vitamin complex?

 

Vitamin B6

 

Vitamin B12 aka cobalmin: Essential for mood, nervous system

 

Vitamin B3 (niacin, niacinamide)
 
Vitamin B8 (inositol)

I think if I were you, I would look closely at anything you had been taking already, coming into this, or going into your WD.

If you are not already on something, don't start it, or start bunches of new stuff all at once either.

I came on here, to taper off my last 2 drugs.  I was on some supplements already, and other medications even- no psychoactives.  I slowly, but surely, worked my way off some unnecessary stuff.  (to be completely honest, I went about it kind of haphazardly at first.......so don't necessarily do what I did)

 

Stick with the Magnesium, or Omega 3's fish oil to start.

 

Don't ever start more than one supplement at a time.  And start low, go slow.  Observe, so you know how or what might be doing what.  Keep a log, journal, or calendar of some kind.

 

You can search for topic, either on the symptoms and self care forum, from the top right search button.
Or use some of the tricks that are here:  How to find just about anything on this site

Or hereHow to Do a Site Search on Surviving Antidepressants

 

You'll find lot's of discussion on different supplements by searching on site.  But we do only endorse trials of Magnesium and Omega3's.  Due to our sensitive nervous systems in WD, and also that there just is not much evidence for much else that really shows it is helpful in WD.  We are about do no harm, or harm reduction after all.

 

And this is great topic:  neuroemotions

As is:  The Windows and Waves pattern of Stabilization

those will help you I think now, to see, how what you are going through is like what so many here also are going through, and look for windows in your days even.......wait for them.......they'll come

 

I'm am happy to hear about your dog friend too, I think that is great.  And the dog walking as well.  Okay, chin up, and onward into healing.......breathe in and breathe out.  Definitely explore symptoms and self care for non-drug coping that doesn't involve things you ingest too!  There is so much in that forum that is helpful.  Start at the top, at the pinned sections.......did I say that already?, past the reinstatement topic there is a lot of good non-drug coping indexed in some of the first posts in those topics to pursue.

 

Symptoms and Self Care forum

 

And best.  L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays
more, clarity

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@eileen1111

Stopping by to see how you are doing?

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  thru 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/1  6ct Trazodone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5 

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   

Xanax 0.625 3x a day   Trazodone 25mg  Holding these

Lexapro   Sept/01/2021  4.90mg>  Sept/25  4.75mg>   Oct/19 4.69mg > Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg>  2/24  3.8mg   3/21 3.4mg>  5/2 3mg > 6/1  decreasing by 0.02ml  daily  to 2.7mg>  7/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to  2.5 mg>  8/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to 2.26mg

Lamictal  7/17/2022  25mg  9/9/2022 20mg

Supplements  Magnesium 300mg-400mg

Link to comment
54 minutes ago, Greatful said:

 

Stopping by to see how you are doing?

 

Hi Greatful, thank you for checking in. It's been a difficult couple of days, my main symptoms are dp/dr, dizziness, tachycardia, hypersensitivity to sound, light, everything. Feel like i'm living in a hellish bubble of symptoms, and because they're largely psycho/neurological it's hard to express how I am doing to my family. I'm constantly tempted to reinstate thinking it will 'work' this time...

I'm trying to get a month's sick leave from my job to clear even more space for me to just rest and take it day by day, trying to appreciate small good things of being alive. The evenings are always slightly better. 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@eileen1111

Hang in there.  I know all about the doubt of what can I do to be myself again or at least better.  Things do slowly get better.  Hard to hear but true.  Read some success stories.  

What do you do for coping skills,  meditation, deep breathing, any sort of distractions?  I know how hard it is to watch/read/listen to things, but try and find a few things that work.  

 

1 hour ago, eileen1111 said:

it's hard to express how I am doing to my family.

I am not sure anyone could understand what this feels like or how scary it is, other then  people who have gone through it.   

Try to let them know how much you appreciate there support.  Let them know when you need a ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on. or a hug.❤️

 

You can do this one day at a time.  The time will go by and it will drag you with it....One day you will be on the other side of this set back in life.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  thru 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/1  6ct Trazodone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5 

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   

Xanax 0.625 3x a day   Trazodone 25mg  Holding these

Lexapro   Sept/01/2021  4.90mg>  Sept/25  4.75mg>   Oct/19 4.69mg > Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg>  2/24  3.8mg   3/21 3.4mg>  5/2 3mg > 6/1  decreasing by 0.02ml  daily  to 2.7mg>  7/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to  2.5 mg>  8/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to 2.26mg

Lamictal  7/17/2022  25mg  9/9/2022 20mg

Supplements  Magnesium 300mg-400mg

Link to comment
On 1/13/2022 at 7:19 PM, Greatful said:

You can do this one day at a time.  The time will go by and it will drag you with it....One day you will be on the other side of this set back in life.

thank you so much greatful ❤️ i can't believe how many wonderful people volunteer to help on this forum. 

 

My days recently have been looking like this:

 

10am: wake up, racing heart, anxiety, dp/dr, head pressure, brain zaps. force myself out of bed. put the radio or tv on to distract myself from symptoms. eat something & take supplements: omega 3s, magnesium glycinate, vitamin C, D, B12 (I personally haven't found b vitamins activating)

11-12: walk my dog, listening to an audiobook. I panic if i have to interact with anyone on my walks, because everything I'm doing is through the fog of anxiety and dp/dr. I look at everyone around me going about their daily business and am so jealous of them and long for a 'normal' state of being again... :( And promise myself that when this is over I'll never take anything for granted again......

1-2pm: eat and drink while sitting outside (unless raining). I've been sitting outside whenever I can, because it helps the dp/dr. 

2-4pm: while listening to a podcast or audiobook I'll colour/work on a jigsaw/watch the birds/be with my dog. I can't read at the moment because of dizziness & dpdr. Sometimes I just lie down with a sleeping mask on until it gets dark outside, because the light really intensifies the dpdr. 

after 5pm: Symptoms lessen. I can maybe watch tv or reply to messages/emails and stuff. Join family members with whatever they might do for dinner. 

10pm: bed, sleep. omega 3s, magnesium glycinate, amitriptyline, sometimes melatonin/l-theanine. 

 

Compared to when I was trying to reinstate I am actually doing better, because now I am able to sleep and eat, and am in fact always tired and always hungry. I see these two things as a good sign of healing.

The symptom which has got worse however is dp/dr & the associated head pressure, sensitivity to stimuli etc. I was originally put on SSRIs in 2019  for a chronic dp/dr episode (anxiety induced), so it makes sense that in withdrawal it has come back full force... I am hoping that in a couple of months it will be more manageable as everything starts balancing out again post-SSRIs... Can't let myself spiral into scary ideas of being stuck like this. If it stays long term I might have to contact a consultant psychiatrist and discuss idea of microdoses of lamotrigine, because this drug interests me, its use for migraine aura/visual snow/dpdr as well as the thread on here about it potentially helping withdrawal. but of course am cautious about adding anything else

 

I was doing some research and emailed Dr Peter Gordon who replied with this:

Quote
I am so sorry to hear of the horrid and debilitating withdrawal symptoms from Sertraline. I know what it is like and it is hellish. Alas, you are not alone. Hardly a day goes past without somebody writing to me seeking guidance.
 
I am afraid the medical profession is way behind the general population in understanding prescribed drug dependence. When it comes to support from the medical establishment there is almost none. This, I reckon, is an indictment of the way we have been following so-called "evidence-based medicine". As an epidemiologist friend of mine has recently written in a book this has been more like "evidence-biased medicine" and this has been particularly true for the 'science' that has supported psychiatric medications.
 
I am afraid that I do not know any psychiatrist in Scotland who is well-placed to give you support. But I do know that Dr Evgeny Legedin, a trainee psychiatrist in Glasgow fully understands. Evgeny is lovely. He was born in Russia. However he is NHS. 
 
Tapering strips can be prescribed with an understanding GP but they have to be imported from Europe. With tapering strips you have the basis to withdraw  as slowly as possible and at a rate that hopefully your body, brain and nervous system will allow.
 

 

He also recommended this book 'Antidepressed' a breakthrough examination of epidemic antidepressant harm and dependence. 

 

Thought people might be interested :))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment
  • Moderator
On 1/19/2022 at 11:11 AM, eileen1111 said:

Compared to when I was trying to reinstate I am actually doing better, because now I am able to sleep and eat, and am in fact always tired and always hungry. I see these two things as a good sign of healing.

 

Hi eileen1111,

I liked your last post, because I liked the email exchange and book reference.  Then I read the rest, and needed to clarify that I do not like all of your present symptoms. 

 

And good update.  I have always done well with B12, just singular that B vitamin.  I find it calming. 

And I think you will continue to improve and find some symptoms lessening.

 

I think you are doing fabulous for just only less than a month out from the sertraline, and then citalopram.

 

Good job.  Good coping.  Nice update and report too.  Thank you.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

Just over a month now since i've been off the ssri, w/d symptoms have been up and down...but baseline is pretty bad.

 

I'm 'functional' (can take walks, do basic day to day things and get brief moments of enjoyment or have my mind taken off withdrawal for a little bit) but miserable . Not fit for work or any social interaction except with family 💔 and the anxiety is a vicious circle: intrusive thoughts about never getting better just making the situation so much worse. Acceptance is hard, and I'm also so anxious about symptoms getting worse from here. Like a delayed reaction kind of thing. because last night I had a new symptom - the most terrifying sleep paralysis experience... my brain has never behaved in this way ever before and I'm scared of what depths it could plunge me into. pure dread & terror ! scared to go to sleep now 😢 my one respite

 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment

Just wanted to say sorry you're experiencing this.

 

I am only half way through my taper and pausing for bow......

2013 Citalopram 50mg  2014 February Sertraline 50mg 2014 September Fluoxitine 20mg 2015 May Fluoxitine 20mg (Liquid to reduce off)

2015 Septmber Lofepramine 70mg 2016 May Lofepramine 70mg (Liquid to reduce off) 2016 Dec Zopiclone (to aid short term insomnia)

2017 August Amitriptyline 10mg 2016 October Venlafaxine 37.5  rising to 225mg January 2018  2018 January Sertraline 50mg rising to 150mg

2021 January Sertraline 125mg/150mg alternate days (GP advise ... Started micro taper and found this website....2021 May 100mg daily  2021 September 95mg daily December 2021 85mg daily. Vitamins; Selenium / Vitamin D high strength / Evening primrose oil  1000mg High Strength / Omega 3 High Strength / Folic Acid.

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@eileen1111

This a hard and scare road we are on that's for sure.....Have you had a chance to go to the Symptoms & Self Care part of the forum yet?

 

18 hours ago, eileen1111 said:

my brain has never behaved in this way ever before and I'm scared of what depths it could plunge me into. pure dread & terror

I have had some pretty intense  brain craziness.  Crazy fear/paranoias that I knew where not real but my brain kept going to the what if's and it thoughts are very powerful...I also worry what if my brain snaps and I go even more crazy lol...........I am glad that you see it is the brain not working right and this is not you....We have a type of temporary brain injury from the chemicals/drugs we took/take.

If you get a chance watch Medicating Normal https://medicatingnormal.com/  

The also have a ton of live interviews https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGiM-snSAzyusMfWgPyH-tENPdjTSRqSi

 

If you get a chance check out Baylissa Frederick's Website http://- BAYLISSA.COM  She has a lot of helpful information on WD and webinars,

daily helpful reminders, meditations, I also bought her book Recovery and Renewal.  She went through protracted WD from Benzo's.  

 

Hang in there Eilieen. ❤️

 

 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  thru 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/1  6ct Trazodone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5 

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   

Xanax 0.625 3x a day   Trazodone 25mg  Holding these

Lexapro   Sept/01/2021  4.90mg>  Sept/25  4.75mg>   Oct/19 4.69mg > Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg>  2/24  3.8mg   3/21 3.4mg>  5/2 3mg > 6/1  decreasing by 0.02ml  daily  to 2.7mg>  7/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to  2.5 mg>  8/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to 2.26mg

Lamictal  7/17/2022  25mg  9/9/2022 20mg

Supplements  Magnesium 300mg-400mg

Link to comment

@dA2021 thank you, and sending healing thoughts your way for your tapering . I wish I'd tapered in september 2021 instead of jumping.... just didn't have any awareness or information about how bad it could be :( 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment
3 hours ago, Greatful said:

I also worry what if my brain snaps and I go even more crazy lol.

me too 💔 very scary and unpredictable. but we're not crazy, even if most people think it's that we need to just go back on the meds fully or increase the dose because the 'illness' is back... my attempt to go back on made it so much worse.

 

thank you for those links. medicating normal is such a good film but also heartbreaking !

 

hanging on to hope, that nothing is permanent , and we can do this 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

In my seventh week being off SSRIs for the second time, but now about 5 long months since the original CT and the start of WD symptoms...

 

The last three days I have had a window where all my symptoms were less oppressive and I felt so much hope, I was even singing a bit while playing music and making eggs for lunch, and went on a two hour walk with my dog and was able to talk with a neighbour and feel almost normal again.

 

Today the window is gone and I'm back in it: head pressure, facial numbness, slight ringing in my ears, a brain zap feeling in my brain as if it's prickling or crackling, derealisation stronger again, occasional electric burning sensations, anxious feeling in chest, ruminating intrusive thoughts, OCD thought traps, etc 💔

It's double bladed because the window gave me hope for future healing but also reminded me how much I miss feeling normal and how horrific the last five months have been. 

 

Anyone UK-based, I'd suggest looking up the Bristol Tranquiliser Project because they have a nation-wide helpline for withdrawal from psychiatric medications and they are so well informed and understanding (they're NHS funded which I was surprised about, but are also a charity).  This can feel like such an isolating experience and it helps me when I come on here and am able to connect with other people's stories and feel less alone. 

 

Also @Frogie I was wondering if my topic title could please be changed to 'sertraline cold turkey recovery' ? If that's possible thank you so much x

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

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  • Moderator

@eileen1111

 

Sounds like you had a wonderful window. That means you are healing and you will see them more frequently.

 

As far as the title change, I have asked if we can do that.

 

I'll let you know as soon as I hear back😊

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

Link to comment

Thank you so much Frogie ! x

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@eileen1111 

I can  relate to the disheartening feeling when you head back into a wave.......When I first started to see a slight crack in the wave and a glimmer of me I would think that I was finally going to get out of this nightmare and get better. I mean how could you go back to the nightmare, you are pass that right......Now I am learning to say I felt like this before and somehow survived lol, and somehow had another peek of me from time to time..........Unfortunately  we can get sucked into the story we tell ourselves " This time maybe I will be stuck like this" " How long will this go on"

"How much longer can I do this"  I bet you get my theme here lol😁   Then it's back to just get through today.

 

Yep, connecting with others in the same boat sure helps to be reminded that you are normal, not in sane lol. 

 This is a temporary chemical brain injury.  Your window is telling you that you are still in there, you just have to be patient (not easy) and let your brain figure it's self out.  

 

Did you  ever read the story "What's happening in your brain"? A woman explains how your brain is trying to find it's homeostasis after the drugs changed it..  She recovered from Benzo's   

Here is a link  https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/10914-what-is-happening-in-your-brain/

Very helpful to see that your brain is not connecting right and the signals are messed up......

🤗

You got this eileen

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  thru 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/1  6ct Trazodone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5 

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   

Xanax 0.625 3x a day   Trazodone 25mg  Holding these

Lexapro   Sept/01/2021  4.90mg>  Sept/25  4.75mg>   Oct/19 4.69mg > Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg>  2/24  3.8mg   3/21 3.4mg>  5/2 3mg > 6/1  decreasing by 0.02ml  daily  to 2.7mg>  7/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to  2.5 mg>  8/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to 2.26mg

Lamictal  7/17/2022  25mg  9/9/2022 20mg

Supplements  Magnesium 300mg-400mg

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@Greatful thank you for stopping by ❤️ you're right, it's easy to get caught up in the hope that maybe this is the window which never ends.... (one day we will reach it !!)

 

the windows and waves pattern is so hard to accept sometimes. but I'm telling myself that every wave means that healing is happening and will make the next window better.  temporary is the word we have to focus on 😅 

 

I hope your wave passes soon and thank you for being such a guiding light to others even while you are also struggling 🥰 I've been looking at Baylissa's site since you recommended it to me and it has helped so much !!

 

 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment
  • Frogie changed the title to eileen1111: sertraline cold turkey recovery
  • Moderator

@eileen1111

 

Your title has been changed😊

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

2 months post zero 

 

Hi guys, here with a lil update.

 

what I'm struggling with:

  • derealisation & visual issues (visual snow, sensitivity to light, colours all strange, feel disconnected from the world). this ramps up the anxiety around going to the shop, talking to people, or just doing anything tbh. isolating & lonely.
  • head pressure & headaches - even though I take amitriptyline as a headache prophylactic !! I can't imagine how bad this would be without the ami (I want to taper off it eventually but for now I'm not touching it). the past couple of days I've been taking aspirin and ibuprofen, they barely touch the head pain. I lie down with an eye mask on and rub tiger balm all over my face and neck.
  • heart rate is unusually elevated  (cortisol morning thing but also sometimes at random points in the day)
  • anxiety - rumination, regrets etc. Sometimes an electrical/chemical anxiety feeling. Can't be left alone in the house. Feeling generally worn down and exhausted from the stress of w/d
  • can't really read or do much at all except wait out each day, doing the odd job around the house helping my family - generally I just feel useless and unwell. i'm also weirdly scared of 'allowing' myself to cry because a crying session makes the head pressure worse 😭 

 

Symptoms I also have but they don't bother me so much: 

  • dizzy moments, fairly persistent feeling of crackling or prickling in my brain - a variation of brain zaps I guess. These don't bother me so much and actually help remind me that this is 'just' withdrawal (am facing disbelief from the people in my life and my GP etc). 
  • hypnic jerks, twitches and sleep paralysis type nightmare hallucinations - I'm not even sure what they are, they're just terrifying. often involve intense sleep-crying, creepy presences and subsequent auditory/visual hallucinations (cartoons playing on my ceiling, sound of a radio or ice cream van). just evidence that my brain chemistry is completely out of whack. It really is incredible what 25mg sertraline has done.
  • 5 second flashes of ringing in my ears 
  • hot and cold flushes 
  • occasional burning feeling in arms, neck, head
  • PSSD (but had this on the sertraline as well - don't even remember what i'm missing tbh.....)

 

the positives:

 

  • Sleeping and eating is fine
  • I walk every day with my dog ❤️ even if it's scary due to my distorted perception of the world 
  • Am figuring out coping mechanisms like taking baths, breathing and sitting with the negative sensations and pain. and also just allowing myself to watch endless mindless tv, trying not to be hard on myself for just 'wasting' the days...
  • Have had a couple of windows/dirty windows either lasting a few days or a few hours
  • I'm less panicked about what's happening, no more suicidal ideation (this was strong in January). thanks to this site i feel so much more educated and determined to push through. The milestone in my mind is the 6 month mark. I know that the summer months will be easier, even if symptoms are still strong - the ability to just sit outside in the sun and let life happen around me will be such an improvement to my current habit of hiding in the shed in my parents' garden... I no longer care about feeling 'myself' again I just want to reach a tolerable baseline, work towards being able to go swimming, learn a new craft like knitting, cook for my family, maybe do some gentle volunteering eventually and rejoin the world, even go back to university one day. As a friend said to me, once things start to get 'better' (turning that corner!) the healing will be exponential because the days will go faster once I am able to do more. 

If there's anyone on a similar timeline to me, or with similar symptoms, I'd love to connect ???

 

I love this line from the poem 'The Wild Iris' by Louise Gluck, I feel like it works so well with the windows and waves metaphor we all use:

 At the end of my suffering, there was a door 

 

We are gonna reach that door one day, as so many people before have...

Okay will update again at three months post zero :) x

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@eileen1111

Thanks for the up date.  This is truly a hard battle for us.....

I sure can relate to isolation, hard to be around people the whole song and dance.....Mostly it's hubby and me.......I get to drive him nuts with my craziness.....Oh yeah I hear you about crying and then your head can turn into a hard bowling ball..

Don't you just love the brain buzzing.....Static on the radio lol  Do you have a hard time thinking clearly or maybe the thinking is slower. I get obsessing and rumination too......Relentless at times.....

 

I found that some times I need to watch or read information on these drugs...Like different Robert Whitakers interviews or podcast on Youtube

It really is sad to see/experience the horrible effects these drugs have on us...........

 

I think we (me for sure) can get to hard on ourselves in expecting more from us......  Be more productive....Some how we have to learn to let it go and do only what we can...........If it's doing nothing so be it............But really we are doing something, we are healing from a temporary chemical brain injury.  Our bodies are working in over time.♥️ 

 

I can't wait to be able to be more involved with my children and grandchildren......

 

Hang in there.....One minute, one hour, one day at a time😊

 

 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  thru 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/1  6ct Trazodone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5 

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   

Xanax 0.625 3x a day   Trazodone 25mg  Holding these

Lexapro   Sept/01/2021  4.90mg>  Sept/25  4.75mg>   Oct/19 4.69mg > Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg>  2/24  3.8mg   3/21 3.4mg>  5/2 3mg > 6/1  decreasing by 0.02ml  daily  to 2.7mg>  7/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to  2.5 mg>  8/1 decreasing 0.02ml daily to 2.26mg

Lamictal  7/17/2022  25mg  9/9/2022 20mg

Supplements  Magnesium 300mg-400mg

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@eileen1111keep going Eileen. You’re doing really well! I know how hard it is… I have had/still have all the symptoms you describe. Some days are tolerable now and I see an upward trend in healing (with brutal waves where I feel like it’s back to day 1 again). You’re able to take a step back and rationalise what is going on really well which is great… message me anytime if you need someone to talk to who does not think you are going crazy 😊 xx

June 2016-May 2021 sertraline (up to 200mg)

Tapered off in 3 months. Crashed in August. Was told it was relapse. 
August 2021 started 2.5mg Escitalopram for a week, 5mg for a week, then 2mg for a week and then stopped (triggered insomnia and akathesia). From the first dose Escitalopram couldn’t sleep and was given temazepam and zopiclone, 1 week of each (did not work).

October 2021 my mother called crisis team as I was in a 24hr panic and hadn’t slept for a month. Given seroquel 25mg. I only took 12.5mg for 2 weeks (gave me 5hrs sleep). Quit QT as I was terrified of taking it.

 

Currently taking: probiotic and 400mg magnesium, fish oil, daily Epsom salt baths and meditation.

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Greatful said:

Do you have a hard time thinking clearly or maybe the thinking is slower.

Yes, i definitely have this! And thinking hard about something now exhausts me very quickly, so I've been distracting distracting. I've been watching some of the videos on the Mad in America/medicating normal youtube channel 😳 Am spending a lot of time alone (although my dog is always with me 🥰) and need to always have a podcast or radio or video on in the background, even if I'm not really paying attention. I try and make sure they're not all obsessively about big pharma/withdrawal/recovery.... but I'm definitely still a bit obsessive about researching w/d. Still trying to come to terms with the craziness and seeking validation that this is actually happening i guess 😔 

 

18 hours ago, Greatful said:

 

I can't wait to be able to be more involved with my children and grandchildren......

And when that point comes around it will feel all the more amazing ❤️❤️ 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose'; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks as medical guidelines say. 

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI

Currently, Sept 2022: 10mg amitriptyline, magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

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