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BigDave: Sertraline withdrawal - when will it ever end?


BigDave

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Hi all. Firstly, what a great site. Reading other's stories, success stories and explanations of what we're going through has been a great comfort to me.

 

I'm still struggling though and I know it's also affecting my family negatively which is also bringing me down.

 

So, I started Sertraline in Dec 2020 because of high anxiety. No particular reason for my anxiety, just a series of life problems accompanied by a pandemic and working from home away from social interaction with work colleagues started it I guess. I couldn't sit down!

 

There was positive results from the drug within a couple of weeks and inside 4 weeks I was my normal self! Result! The only side effect I had at that time was some low level tinnitus, particularly in my right ear. Early on in taking the drug I had woken up in the middle of the night with my head buzzing but that passed after a week or so. 

 

I never intended being on the drugs long term so when I noticed my weight creeping up I decided to taper. You can see my history below. I now know that was probably too fast but at the time I thought it was fine.

 

Every time I cut a dose I had some irritability for a week or two and then went back to normal. Until I went from approx 6mg ( I was cutting 50mg tablets so very inexact) to zero. I had the irritability for 2 weeks and then I crashed emotionally. 

 

I had expected the tinnitus to fade. It didn't. Instead it ramped up considerably and buzzed throughout my head at night keeping me awake. I was emotionally all over the place - panic attacks, couldn't sit down, always pacing, crying and over-emotional about my family.

 

6 months after stopping I still have high anxiety most mornings when I wake up but normally calms a bit by evening time so I can get to sleep. The tinnitus in my right ear is constant but the whole head buzzing comes and goes. I sleep relatively well when the head buzzing isn't happening. But it does happen at least once a week now and the lack of sleep wrecks me the next day. I still have days when I can't sit down.

 

All in all, I'm seeing a few better days when I'm more like myself now but I'm despairing at how long this is taking. The tinnitus in my right ear never goes away and spikes my anxiety first thing in the morning. 

 

It's been almost 6 months now since my last crumb of Sertraline. I've thought of reinstating a very small amount to try to alleviate the tinnitus and/or the anxiety but I feel that would be 6 months down the drain. And it might not work.

 

I also can't work out if this is all entirely withdrawal or is it relapse? I didn't have tinnitus before taking Sertraline but can high anxiety cause tinnitus? It certainly makes it worse.

 

Your thoughts on any of this are appreciated. I'm just so tired of it all. 😢

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to BigDave: Sertraline withdrawal - when will it ever end?
  • Moderator

@BigDave

 

Welcome to SA. We are a volunteer run site with member such as yourself that have gone off antidepressants or are tapering off them

 

Thank you very much for creating a signature page. It just helps us see what is/has been going on.

 

I see that you went on Sertraline in 2020, and came off of it relatively quickly. That unfortunately could have cause a lot of your withdrawal symptoms. I think this pandemic has been hard on everyone in this aspect, being isolated and not having the socialization we are all used to.

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Tinnitus is very annoying at best. Here is some information that you may find helpful.

 

 

 

At this time, since you have been off for at least 6 months, I don't know if reinstatement would help. You could try a small dose, maybe 0.5 mg and see if that would help. It takes about 4 days for it to become steady in your bloodstream and few more days to become steady in your brain. And then do a good long hold and taper off slowly.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

What to Expect in Reinstatement (James Heaney article)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)

 

Please let us know if we can answer and questions you may have. I'm glad you found this site.

 

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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Welcome Dave, from one UK member to another. You’ve put in 6 months of hard graft so far, that’s probably going to be the absolute worst of the withdrawal. Especially as it sounds like you’re starting to experience the windows and waves of stabilisation:

On 2/13/2022 at 8:43 AM, BigDave said:

All in all, I'm seeing a few better days when I'm more like myself now

 

If you’re sleeping ok most nights of the week I’d say you’re on the right track to recovery. Morning anxiety is a pain but is a common problem that usually dissipates over time. 
 

Definitely familiarise yourself with the success stories area of the website. There’s a good one here from another UK member who went off sertraline and experienced some similar symptoms: 

Keep your chin up mate, before you know it will all be a distant memory.

Nothing I say or do is based on medical advice. I make my own choices based on my intuition gained through individual research and a lot of suffering.
 

“The good thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way out is up.”
 

Sertraline (Lustral) - 11AM: 50mg October 2020; 100mg December 2020; 50mg April 2021; 75mg May 2021; 50mg 18 September 2021; big crash 6 December 2021

Current dose: 50mg (June 2022)

Mirtazapine (Generic) - 9PM: 15mg November 2020

Current dose: 15mg (June 2022)

Amitriptyline (Generic): 20mg Dec 2016 for epigastric pain; 10mg Dec 2017; 10mg twice weekly Sep 2018; 0mg Oct 2018

 

 

Supplements: AM - Vit B complex 1/day. PM - Ashwagandha 1/day; Magnesium Citrate 440mg/day

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  • Mentor

Hi @BigDave  Just as Erimus says, tinnitus and fatigue were a couple of the main reasons I came off Sertraline.
 

It sounds like your resolve is strong here but you’re looking for answers on the tinnitus. 
 

I can tell you that for me it has massively improved with time. While many WD symptoms have been and gone,  tinnitus is a symptom that for me has stuck around, but it’s milder and very infrequent. It doesn’t stop me from doing things and doing things helps distract me from it. 
 

So hang in there! It will improve and it’s part of the healing process. Just accept it when it comes, knowing it’s a temporary guest. I reckon it’s the sound of happy neurons free to fire and move about at will in your brain free from the shackles of SSRI’s. 
 

the morning anxiety and cortisol goes over time too. 
 

be patient and strong. 

50 mg Sertraline Nov 2016 to Dec 2016

100 mg Sertraline Jan - March 2017

50 mg Sertraline April - June 2017

25 mg Sertraline July 2017 - Sept 2018

12.5 mg Sertraline Oct 2018

0 mg Nov 1 2018

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I have had horrific symptoms from use and discontinuation of sertraline. Among them tinnitus and head buzzing are the symptoms which subsided for me. Tinnitus is completely gone and head buzzing is at such a low volume that doesn’t bother me at all. I think going back on sertraline might actually make these symptoms worst than better. I am still considering RI 16 months out but that’s because I have other horrific symptoms, I would not consider RI for tinnitus and head buzzing…. They do faint over time 

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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Thanks so much to everyone who has replied. I never expected to see so many messages this morning, and full of encouragement too. Thank you!

 

@Frogie

 

Thanks for your welcome and all the informative links. I'll have a good read. Knowledge is key!

 

I think you're right about reinstatement. I didn't think it would work at this stage and 6 months down the line I really don't want to go backwards.

 

Thank you. 🙂

 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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@Erimus

 

Thanks for your encouragement mate and for the useful links. I've done 6 months and I was just feeling the fatigue of that. You're right of course, I've hopefully done the worst bit. I just need to take a deep breath and keep going. The success stories are a real help!

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. 🙂

 

 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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@DaBro

 

Thanks very much for your reply. You success story was a real encouragement to me. The tinnitus and anxiety have been firing each other up over the past 6 months. One definitely makes the other worse!

 

I like your thought on how the neurons are firing freely. I've always imagined them as now being ultra sensitive after being kept in the dark for so long and that sensitivity will diminish over time.

 

I get great comfort from your story and how you have vastly improved over time. Thanks so much for posting. 🙂

 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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@JesusSavemefromWD Thank you for taking the time to reply. It encourages me that your tinnitus and head buzzing subsided and I take great comfort from that. Thank you for your thoughts on RI.

 

I feel so sorry though that you've had such a hard time for so long. Sending you big hugs and best wishes for recovery. ❤️

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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  • Moderator
3 hours ago, BigDave said:

Thanks so much to everyone who has replied. I never expected to see so many messages this morning, and full of encouragement too. Thank you!

 

@Frogie

 

Thanks for your welcome and all the informative links. I'll have a good read. Knowledge is key!

 

I think you're right about reinstatement. I didn't think it would work at this stage and 6 months down the line I really don't want to go backwards.

 

Thank you. 🙂

 

You’re very welcome. If you have any other questions or need anymore information please reach out to us. There are a lot of members in your situation and I think you’re in the right place. Also, there is a wealth of information on this site that you can read. 

Edited by Frogie

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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Welcome @BigDave

 

You're definitely in the right place, even though it sucks that you're going through this.  6 months is already an eternity in WD time, so good job on making it through so far!  Like I'm sure you know as you've been reading, its going to take as long as its going to take, unfortunately.  Stay strong and keep going, it does get better!

 

2013 - Jan 4, 2021 - Sertraline 50mg 

Jan 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (1/4)

Feb 2021 Mar 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg

April 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg, Amitriptyline 2mg (4/20), Clonazepam 2mg

May 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (5/16 - 0mg), Amitriptyline (5/1 - 1mg, 5/16 - 0mg), Clonazepam 2mg

Aug 2021 - Sertraline 25mg (re 8/20), Clonazepam 2mg 

Sep 2021 - Sertraline 50mg (up 9/3), Clonazepam (9/29 - 1mg), Diazepam (9/29 - 2.5mg)

Oct 2021 - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (10/14 - 0.9mg, 10/24 - 1mg), Diazepam (10/6 - 1.25mg, 10/14 - 0mg), Trazodone (10/03 - 50mg, 10/17 - 25mg, 10/21 - 12.5mg), Mirtazapine (10/17 - 15mg)

Nov 2021 : Current - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (4/22 - 0.975mg, 5/22 - 0.9125mg, 6/22 - 0.25mg), Diazepam (co 6/22 - 12mg), Trazodone 12.5mg, Mirtazapine 15mg

 

Supplements: 1/2 Multivitamin, Fish Oil 2000mg, Magnesium Chelate 280mg, Vit C 500mgProbiotic as needed.

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Thank you for the encouragement @Knosretep I was tiring of it at the 6 month mark but all of the messages I've ready today including yours, has really lifted my spirits. 🙂

 

Hopefully I'm past the worst. 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been bobbling along with anxiety, some insomnia, restlessness and my old mate head buzzing/tinnitus since my last post. Gastro intestinal issues wake me in the middle of the night too.

 

The ringing in my ears was really loud for a week then for the last 3 days I had a window! I felt almost normal and I was able to sit down and do my work relatively relaxed. 😊 

 

Last night though the head buzzing disturbed my sleep and I woke very early. Now in a high anxiety state. 😕 I just wish I could learn a way to relax. And be able to sit down when I'm in these states. I just keep pacing. I'm definitely an obsessive compulsive thinker so I struggle to let things go. Like the tinnitus/ear ringing. And we all know what thinking about that does!

 

I definitely need to find a coping mechanism which will help me relax and in turn I think will alleviate the issues. 

 

Oh well. Nothing else for it but keep going. Looking forward to the next window. 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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21 minutes ago, BigDave said:

I've been bobbling along with anxiety, some insomnia, restlessness and my old mate head buzzing/tinnitus since my last post. Gastro intestinal issues wake me in the middle of the night too.

 

Hey @BigDave

 

Have you tried probiotics for your GI issues?  I've found for me they have helped A LOT, so I recommend giving a try.

 

21 minutes ago, BigDave said:

The ringing in my ears was really loud for a week then for the last 3 days I had a window! I felt almost normal and I was able to sit down and do my work relatively relaxed. 😊 

 

Great to hear you had a solid window!

 

21 minutes ago, BigDave said:

Last night though the head buzzing disturbed my sleep and I woke very early. Now in a high anxiety state. 😕 I just wish I could learn a way to relax. And be able to sit down when I'm in these states. I just keep pacing. I'm definitely an obsessive compulsive thinker so I struggle to let things go. Like the tinnitus/ear ringing. And we all know what thinking about that does!

 

Sorry to hear about the bad sleep.  Tinnitus is a rough symptom when it starts to get loud.  If you have to pace, then pace, and try not to worry about it. 

 

I think the more you have these symptoms the more you get used to them, and that makes it a little bit easier.  Knowing you got through them X number of times before, it's just 1 more time, and hopefully they should be less and less intense overall the farther out you get, which should make getting through easier too.

 

21 minutes ago, BigDave said:

I definitely need to find a coping mechanism which will help me relax and in turn I think will alleviate the issues. 

 

Oh well. Nothing else for it but keep going. Looking forward to the next window. 

 

That's a good attitude.  Hope your next window is imminent and extended!

2013 - Jan 4, 2021 - Sertraline 50mg 

Jan 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (1/4)

Feb 2021 Mar 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg

April 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg, Amitriptyline 2mg (4/20), Clonazepam 2mg

May 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (5/16 - 0mg), Amitriptyline (5/1 - 1mg, 5/16 - 0mg), Clonazepam 2mg

Aug 2021 - Sertraline 25mg (re 8/20), Clonazepam 2mg 

Sep 2021 - Sertraline 50mg (up 9/3), Clonazepam (9/29 - 1mg), Diazepam (9/29 - 2.5mg)

Oct 2021 - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (10/14 - 0.9mg, 10/24 - 1mg), Diazepam (10/6 - 1.25mg, 10/14 - 0mg), Trazodone (10/03 - 50mg, 10/17 - 25mg, 10/21 - 12.5mg), Mirtazapine (10/17 - 15mg)

Nov 2021 : Current - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (4/22 - 0.975mg, 5/22 - 0.9125mg, 6/22 - 0.25mg), Diazepam (co 6/22 - 12mg), Trazodone 12.5mg, Mirtazapine 15mg

 

Supplements: 1/2 Multivitamin, Fish Oil 2000mg, Magnesium Chelate 280mg, Vit C 500mgProbiotic as needed.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the reply @Knosretep

Your encouragement is really welcome. 

 

I haven't tried probiotics. I've always been unsure about them helping me but it's certainly worth a go.

 

I see from your signature that you are also taking magnesium. I have some but with my current issues I'm wary of taking it because I know magnesium can have certain affects on the gut too. 

 

Good advice about the pacing. I worry about it and of course that only makes the anxiety worse. Gotta let go. 

 

Thanks again. 😊

Edited by BigDave
Typo

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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I find that deep breathing for 15-30 minutes helps to calm me down @BigDave. I usually listen to some meditation tracks or calming music whilst I do it. Breathe in slowly through the nose for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, then breathe out slowly through the mouth for 8 seconds. There’s a great app called InsightTimer which is filled with meditation and breathing exercises that teach you how.

Nothing I say or do is based on medical advice. I make my own choices based on my intuition gained through individual research and a lot of suffering.
 

“The good thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way out is up.”
 

Sertraline (Lustral) - 11AM: 50mg October 2020; 100mg December 2020; 50mg April 2021; 75mg May 2021; 50mg 18 September 2021; big crash 6 December 2021

Current dose: 50mg (June 2022)

Mirtazapine (Generic) - 9PM: 15mg November 2020

Current dose: 15mg (June 2022)

Amitriptyline (Generic): 20mg Dec 2016 for epigastric pain; 10mg Dec 2017; 10mg twice weekly Sep 2018; 0mg Oct 2018

 

 

Supplements: AM - Vit B complex 1/day. PM - Ashwagandha 1/day; Magnesium Citrate 440mg/day

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Thank you @Erimus. 😊

 

Concentrating on my breathing would certainly help to distract me from the noise in my head/ears. 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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1 hour ago, BigDave said:

Thanks for the reply @Knosretep

Your encouragement is really welcome. 

 

I haven't tried probiotics. I've always been unsure about them helping me but it's certainly worth a go.

 

I see from your signature that you are also taking magnesium. I have some but with my current issues I'm wary of taking it because I know magnesium can have certain affects on the gut too. 

 

I started at 1/4 pill, about as small as I could consistently cut in my pill cutter, and made sure it wasn't negatively impacting me.  I'm only up to 1/2 a pill, and will probably try increasing that soon.

 

1 hour ago, BigDave said:

Good advice about the pacing. I worry about it and of course that only makes the anxiety worse. Gotta let go. 

 

Thanks again. 😊

 

Best of luck!

2013 - Jan 4, 2021 - Sertraline 50mg 

Jan 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (1/4)

Feb 2021 Mar 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg

April 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg, Amitriptyline 2mg (4/20), Clonazepam 2mg

May 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (5/16 - 0mg), Amitriptyline (5/1 - 1mg, 5/16 - 0mg), Clonazepam 2mg

Aug 2021 - Sertraline 25mg (re 8/20), Clonazepam 2mg 

Sep 2021 - Sertraline 50mg (up 9/3), Clonazepam (9/29 - 1mg), Diazepam (9/29 - 2.5mg)

Oct 2021 - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (10/14 - 0.9mg, 10/24 - 1mg), Diazepam (10/6 - 1.25mg, 10/14 - 0mg), Trazodone (10/03 - 50mg, 10/17 - 25mg, 10/21 - 12.5mg), Mirtazapine (10/17 - 15mg)

Nov 2021 : Current - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (4/22 - 0.975mg, 5/22 - 0.9125mg, 6/22 - 0.25mg), Diazepam (co 6/22 - 12mg), Trazodone 12.5mg, Mirtazapine 15mg

 

Supplements: 1/2 Multivitamin, Fish Oil 2000mg, Magnesium Chelate 280mg, Vit C 500mgProbiotic as needed.

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  • 1 month later...

I was reading back over my previous posts and thought I should record how things are going. 

 

I had a stressful event 2 weeks after the last post which sent my anxiety and tinnitus into overdrive. It took another 2 weeks for that to ebb and I had what I think was a 7-10 day window. The tinnitus was still there but I was ignoring it and it wasn't upsetting me. I wasn't waking up in a panic and very often actually felt rather sleepy and relaxed in bed when I first woke. Previously I had to get up and start pacing.

 

I started to get out on my bicycle again and the exercise seemed to help my sleep and reduce the morning anxiety.

 

I have also stopped drinking any alcohol. I used to have a couple of beers on a Friday and Saturday night but realised that even that small amount would affect my sleep and my mood for a few days after. 

 

Unfortunately I've had a bit of a wave for the past few days. My head is buzzing with the tinnitus and it's keeping me awake if I wake up in the early hours. Sometimes it's a squeal in my right ear. Other times it's full on head buzzing. Morning anxiety has also returned along with pacing, restlessness and being over emotional. 

 

On the plus side I sat down and relaxed yesterday evening and had a good old laugh at something I was watching on the telly. So I am having some relief, even on not so good days. 

 

When I'm struggling I read the success stories on here and tell myself that I WILL get better. This is not forever.

 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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Today marks 8 calendar months since my first day of no medication. That also is the amount of time I took Sertraline/Zoloft for. So I've been off the medication now for as long as I was on it.

 

It's been a tough 8 months for both me and my family. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I'm sad that the past 8 months has been such a waste of my life and has been so hard on my family. I'm also downhearted that I'm still suffering withdrawal.

 

The main symptoms are anxiety/restlessness/unable to relax and ear ringing/tinnitus. 

 

On the other hand I am now running on my own steam with no medication propping me up or meddling with my brain. I'm getting sleeping relatively well with the only problem being the tinnitus keeping me from going back to sleep if I wake early in the morning.

 

I'm seeing some better times. Yes the waves are there but I'm also getting windows and times of relief. 😊 May those windows continue and increase.

 

Onwards and upwards! Keep strong everyone. 👊

 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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Hi @BigDave

 

I'm in the UK too and also tapering off sertraline, and wanted to drop in and say Hi.

Just read through your thread and I'm sorry it's had the impact on you that it's had, but happy to see that you are seeing some better times.

I suffer from tinnitus too. I've had it for while intermittently but it's ramped up since I started tapering down and its there pretty constantly. Mostly I can ignore it as mine is manly like a white noise, but it does start squealing and swishing whenever I do a drop and it's harder to ignore.

 

It's a real rollercoaster isn't it?  I hope you carry on seeing progress and that you can put all this behind you soon.

Sertraline:  2014. Sept 50mg. Oct 100mg. Dec 150mg. 2015-2019. 150mg. 2019  Apr-May 0mg. Beg May 150mg. End May 100mg. Late June 125mg. Late Aug 100mg. 2020 Jan 75mg. April 50mg.

2022  50mg. 1Jan 45mg. 1Feb 40.5mg. Water T24Feb 39.5mg. 3Mar 38.5mg. 18Mar 38mg. 25Mar 37.5mg. 22Apr 37mg. 5May 36.5mg. 18May 36mg. 1Jun 35.3mg. 15Jun 34.5mg.

Omeprazole.:  2016 20mg. 2022  20mg.  15Jan 15mg. 9Feb 10mg. 25Feb 6.5mg. 15Mar 3mg. 3Apr 1.5mg.  15Apr 0mg 🎉

Promethazine:  2016 25mg. 2022  25mg. 26Jan 22.5mg. 3Apr 20mg.  17Jun 18mg. 20Jun 16.5mg

Desogestrel:  2014 -  present:  75mcg

Supplements: Introduced gradually between April and June 2022.  Magnesium. 400mcg  Folic acid.  400mcg. Vitamin D. 10mcg.  Multivit/min. 1 tab

 

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@BigDave Also a UK-based sertraline survivor here. Thanks for your update, I'm glad that you're seeing some moments of relief, it gives me hope. Lots of people say that the first year is always the hardest, so by 12 months you should be through the absolute worst, and you're almost there. 

September 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a placebo dose; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks. 

November 2021 - January 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as my body reacted adversely to re-introduction of SSRIs. this was a very awful period, was still trying to go to work and uni, eventually had to move back in with family and give all that up. the worst I have ever felt in my life was during this period.

January 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI, 50mg amitriptyline (been on this for 2+ years), magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

At the end of my suffering, there was a door (Louise Gluck, The Wild Iris)

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Hi @Blossom71 thanks for dropping in. 😊

 

I can honestly say that the tinnitus is my main issue. I let it annoy me too much. I take heart though from knowing that it's a common symptom and I hope that someday it will just fade.

 

A rollercoaster is a good way of putting it. Hopefully we will all see a bit of level track soon.  And some ups too! 😊

 

I also had a read through your thread. All the best with your tapering. You've come such a long way already. Be patient and don't rush yourself too much. 

 

Take care. 

 

 

 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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Hi @eileen1111

 

I'm glad you got some hope from my post. Reading the success stories part of this site gives me hope too. This site has been a real blessing to me.

 

I see that you have also had a hard time coming off sertraline. It's not an easy one for sure. Take each day one at a time and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Eventually we will all get there.

 

Thanks for your encouragement. 😊

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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  • 2 weeks later...

A quick update 2 weeks after my last post. 

 

It's been a real rollercoaster again! I've had very good days were I feel almost like myself with only a bit of tinnitus but it doesn't really bother me.

 

I've had not so good days were I've woken around 4-5am and can't get back to sleep because of the head buzzing/ear ringing and then the resulting anxiety that stems from that. Those days usually are quite anxiety ridden with lots of restlessness.

 

The other days are just a mixture of good and not so good. And I just get through them all. Any change of circumstance with work or home, or trying to plan something results in high anxiety.

 

The thing giving me hope though is that I'm not as bad as I have been and things are improving, albeit very slowly. It's been months and months and I'm still waiting for recovery. 

 

I'm also sleeping for at least 6 hours every night. More if I can get back to sleep after the 4-5am wakeup. That can't be bad. And getting over to sleep is quite easy. Maybe because I've been awake since 4am. LOL

 

I'll get there. And so will you. Keep fighting.

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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@BigDave Hi! Great update, I'm glad you've had some really good days among the bad. The unpredictability of each day is so exhausting isn't it? Like you say, we've just got to get through whatever is thrown at us, until it stops landing so hard. Keep going !! :) 

September 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a placebo dose; thought withdrawals would pass in a few weeks. 

November 2021 - January 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as my body reacted adversely to re-introduction of SSRIs. this was a very awful period, was still trying to go to work and uni, eventually had to move back in with family and give all that up. the worst I have ever felt in my life was during this period.

January 14th 2022: 0mg SSRI, 50mg amitriptyline (been on this for 2+ years), magnesium glycinate, omega 3s, vitamins C, D, B12, occasional melatonin + L-theanine

At the end of my suffering, there was a door (Louise Gluck, The Wild Iris)

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Hi @eileen1111, thanks again for your encouragement. 

 

I hope that you continue to see some improvement too. 😊

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/6/2022 at 1:52 AM, BigDave said:

A quick update 2 weeks after my last post. 

 

It's been a real rollercoaster again! I've had very good days were I feel almost like myself with only a bit of tinnitus but it doesn't really bother me.

 

I've had not so good days were I've woken around 4-5am and can't get back to sleep because of the head buzzing/ear ringing and then the resulting anxiety that stems from that. Those days usually are quite anxiety ridden with lots of restlessness.

 

The other days are just a mixture of good and not so good. And I just get through them all. Any change of circumstance with work or home, or trying to plan something results in high anxiety.

 

The thing giving me hope though is that I'm not as bad as I have been and things are improving, albeit very slowly. It's been months and months and I'm still waiting for recovery. 

 

I'm also sleeping for at least 6 hours every night. More if I can get back to sleep after the 4-5am wakeup. That can't be bad. And getting over to sleep is quite easy. Maybe because I've been awake since 4am. LOL

 

I'll get there. And so will you. Keep fighting.

 

Hey @BigDave

 

Sounds like you are well on your way to recovery.  Getting enough sleep is crucial and if you can keep getting 6+ hours then you should be healing well.  Just need to hang in there for a bit longer and you'll probably be all back to normal sooner rather than later!

2013 - Jan 4, 2021 - Sertraline 50mg 

Jan 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (1/4)

Feb 2021 Mar 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg

April 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg, Amitriptyline 2mg (4/20), Clonazepam 2mg

May 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (5/16 - 0mg), Amitriptyline (5/1 - 1mg, 5/16 - 0mg), Clonazepam 2mg

Aug 2021 - Sertraline 25mg (re 8/20), Clonazepam 2mg 

Sep 2021 - Sertraline 50mg (up 9/3), Clonazepam (9/29 - 1mg), Diazepam (9/29 - 2.5mg)

Oct 2021 - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (10/14 - 0.9mg, 10/24 - 1mg), Diazepam (10/6 - 1.25mg, 10/14 - 0mg), Trazodone (10/03 - 50mg, 10/17 - 25mg, 10/21 - 12.5mg), Mirtazapine (10/17 - 15mg)

Nov 2021 : Current - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (4/22 - 0.975mg, 5/22 - 0.9125mg, 6/22 - 0.25mg), Diazepam (co 6/22 - 12mg), Trazodone 12.5mg, Mirtazapine 15mg

 

Supplements: 1/2 Multivitamin, Fish Oil 2000mg, Magnesium Chelate 280mg, Vit C 500mgProbiotic as needed.

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Hi @Knosretep thanks for dropping in! 

 

I was reading your topic and saw your last post with the graph. It's so good to see a downward trend even if it does seem to be so slow for all of us. Patience has never been my forte.

 

Hope your symptoms keep going in that downwards direction.

 

Thanks very much for the encouragement. 😊

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yesterday was not a good day. I discovered an issue with my car which was related to a fix a garage had done and it threw me into a tailspin of anxiety. I worry about getting my older car fixed as I don't seem to be able to find a competent honest mechanic. It's an on going issue for me as I'm mechanically minded and I spot things that are wrong when others would not. 

 

I then started worrying about a close relative's health. There's a lot of evidence pointing to the start of dementia. I would have part responsibility for them so I might have to make hard and upsetting decisions in the future.

 

My reaction to both of these things is to obsess over them and cause myself excess anxiety over something I cannot change. I know that's not smart. But how do I change that way of thinking? 

 

The tinnitus (which is my main anxiety producer most days) was not annoying me as much recently. When I'm feeling better I have to stop and listen for it. It's most noisy when going to bed or first thing in the morning when all is quiet and there's no distractions. The anxiety yesterday ramped it up though and my ears are buzzing. 

 

I know my anxiety makes the tinnitus worse and the tinnitus makes my anxiety worse so they feed off each other. I just feel so trapped by this as I'm struggling to gain control of my anxiety.

 

The positive news is the past few weeks has seen some improvement in my mood. I've had some bad days but most days are not bad and some are quite good. I'm looking forward to summer and a holiday we've planned. It's a relatively stress free holiday with no aeroplanes or boats which is right up my street! 😊 

 

I was talking to my wife about how things were moving in the right direction on Friday, then crashed emotionally the next day. How frustrating. 😢

 

As well as my own suffering I also know that I'm having a negative effect on my wife too and that she is also suffering. I get depressed about it all and I sometimes think I should just go back on the drug and stop putting everyone through all this. I was emotionally stable on the med with just the side effects of weight gain and slight tinnitus to deal with. My overall worry about going back on it is that after the past 9 months of withdrawal I don't think I would have the guts to try to quit again. 😞 And I don't want to be taking them forever.

 

I have to keep looking at how the better times are becoming more frequent and keep moving forward. No going back now after all this hard work by both myself and my family. 

 

Stay strong everyone. Take just one day at a time. 

 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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You’re doing great Dave! It is hard for those around us during this journey but you have to remember to do what’s best for yourself. I’d hold of until 12 months on big decisions re medication. You’ll probably find you feel a lot better and clearer in the mind by then. It’s easy to make rash decisions in the heat of withdrawal. 
 

We’re very fragile to stress and real-life issues during this recovery. Obviously it’s impossible to remove every stress of daily living but try not to punish yourself too much about things you can’t control. 

Nothing I say or do is based on medical advice. I make my own choices based on my intuition gained through individual research and a lot of suffering.
 

“The good thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way out is up.”
 

Sertraline (Lustral) - 11AM: 50mg October 2020; 100mg December 2020; 50mg April 2021; 75mg May 2021; 50mg 18 September 2021; big crash 6 December 2021

Current dose: 50mg (June 2022)

Mirtazapine (Generic) - 9PM: 15mg November 2020

Current dose: 15mg (June 2022)

Amitriptyline (Generic): 20mg Dec 2016 for epigastric pain; 10mg Dec 2017; 10mg twice weekly Sep 2018; 0mg Oct 2018

 

 

Supplements: AM - Vit B complex 1/day. PM - Ashwagandha 1/day; Magnesium Citrate 440mg/day

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today marks 10 calendar months since my first drug free day.

 

My most significant issues are tinnitus/ear ringing and anxiety. The tinnitus is loudest during anxious times and can change from both ears to just the right one.

 

Sleep isn't great at the moment. I sometimes wake up during the night and semi-doze for a few hours instead of going back to sleep properly. 

 

However, I must say that my overall anxiety level has decreased. Pacing the floors and being unable to sit down happens very rarely now. I'm still restless at times but more in control than before. I'm still over-anxious about things, especially when I wake in the night, but the anxiety isn't sending me into a complete panic.

 

Gastro intestinal issues are also decreasing so the urgency to go to the bathroom in the early hours has calmed a bit. 

 

The morning cortisol rush has now mostly changed to some restlessness combined with anxiety, depending on how loud my ears are or whether I need to do something that day like get myself out to work or take the car to get fixed. 

 

I'm getting a bit more exercise and I'm back into the workplace for a couple of days a week now. Traffic spikes my anxiety so I'm not loving the commute but I am enjoying the social aspect of seeing and talking to other people. It's not that long ago that I couldn't even think about going back to the workplace as I couldn't imagine myself sitting down for any length of time. 

 

Reading over my previous posts I can see that things are improving slowly. Hopefully my recovery will continue to proceed and maybe even proceed faster. I'm impatient for that to happen.

 

Best wishes to all

 

25 mg Sertraline mid Dec 2020 to end of year

50 mg Sertraline Jan 2021 - March 2021

25 mg Sertraline April 2021 - June 2021

12.5 mg Sertraline July 2021

6 mg Sertraline Aug 2021

0 mg Aug 21 2021

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Good to hear it sounds like things are on the mend Dave. It’s amazing when you can sit still again isn’t it? Haha. You take it for granted until something like this happens. I think sleep is one of the last things to fix, we just have to try and survive a little sleep deprived for a while.

Nothing I say or do is based on medical advice. I make my own choices based on my intuition gained through individual research and a lot of suffering.
 

“The good thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way out is up.”
 

Sertraline (Lustral) - 11AM: 50mg October 2020; 100mg December 2020; 50mg April 2021; 75mg May 2021; 50mg 18 September 2021; big crash 6 December 2021

Current dose: 50mg (June 2022)

Mirtazapine (Generic) - 9PM: 15mg November 2020

Current dose: 15mg (June 2022)

Amitriptyline (Generic): 20mg Dec 2016 for epigastric pain; 10mg Dec 2017; 10mg twice weekly Sep 2018; 0mg Oct 2018

 

 

Supplements: AM - Vit B complex 1/day. PM - Ashwagandha 1/day; Magnesium Citrate 440mg/day

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