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Lucaaa: Introducing myself :)


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Hello everyone :) , i am Luca and i am from Austria, 24 years old. I was looking for a new forum since the other one i was on closed down and i have heard of this website before. 
 

Anyway i have a long history with sertraline (i think its called Zoloft in other countries). I first got medicated at 14 years old after my brother passed away and i was traumatized and suicidal so i got put on 75mg sertraline which helped at first but later on in my teens i realised how much it changed me and how emotionally numb i have become so when i was 17 years (2015) old i decided to quit the drug but tapered off way to fast (in about 3 months) and had really bad withdrawal symptoms, so the doctor told me this was my depression and trauma coming back, so i trusted the doctor and i was put on setraline back again but this time even higher with 150mg. 2018 was the first time i learned about how SSRI‘s changes people and behavior and how it makes you emotionally numb and so on, so i learned that the things i was experiencing alle these years was because of the sertraline and so i decided to quit again. 
 

This time it was Spring 2018 and i tapered off way to fast again about 25mg every 2 months so at Spring 2019 i crashed again and i was put on 75 mg setraline again (the doctor wanted me to take 100mg but i didn‘t want to go any higher anymore)

So it was Summer 2019 then and i was on 75mg and i was stable again, had no withdrawal symptoms but i started tapering off again in October 2019, this time i cut the tablets (which i now know was a bad idea because it was very inaccurate)  and reduced the dosis about 5mg every month so at March 2020 i was on 50 mg and that left my nervous system and brain in a very vulnerable state, i couldn‘t work out anymore, i had to work less, lost interest in most things and had many withdrawal symptoms but i decided to stay at 50mg. 
 

So from March 2020 till January 2022 i was on 50mg and my symptoms didn‘t really get better, i still couldn‘t work out which really hurt me because i loved sports and i also couldn‘t work much because my nervous system was very sensitive and i still had many other withdrawal symptoms. 
 

With January this year i decided to keep tapering off, i was long enough at 50mg and thought it was time to make the next step even though my nervous system and brain was in a bad shape. I tapered off 4mg from January till March and 3 mg from March till now so now i am on 43mg sertraline, the good thing is i can now get accurate dosis, because i have a pharmacy that makes them for me.
As expected the symptoms that were already there at 50mg are  worse so right now i am not working, and there isn‘t really much i can do since my nervous system is really vulnerable, i also have to be very careful with eating, every food that is rich in iron is too much for my nervous system and i feel terrible afterwards for a few hours. 

Anyway that‘s my story, i hope i listed the most important informations, english isn‘t my native language so my vocabulary is very simple, hope thats not a problem :) 


I also have a question: Would it be a good idea to change my dosis and take a bit more again, from 43 to 45mg for example? Just to relieve the symptoms a bit? Or would it be too much for my nervous system since i have been on  43mg for 2 months already? 
 

Thank you

 

kind regards, Luca 

 

 

2011- 2015 Sertraline 75mg

2015 tapered off way to fast and got back on it, but 150mg

2015-2018 Sertraline 150mg

2018-2019 tapered of 25mg every 2 months

2019 Tapered off to fast, got back on 75mg

2020-2022 50mg Sertraline

January - March 2022 46mg

April - Now 43mg

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Lucaaa: Introducing myself :)
  • Moderator

Hi @Lucaaa

welcome to SA. I am so sorry you have been having severe withdrawal symptoms from sertraline. It seems to be one of those drugs that catches up with people around the 50mg mark. You did well to hold off at that point to let your body recover slowly. During that time did you have the windows and waves? What improvements did you see? 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

What is happening in your brain? - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

It might be a good idea to updose to 45 and see if that will relieve some of the symptoms. What symptoms are you having now? How are you managing them? 

 

Can you please write a drug signature following these instructions? 

How to List Drug History in Signature - Introductions and updates - Surviving Antidepressants

 

We recommend that you don't take any supplements other than magnesium and Omega-3 and if you take them, start small and one at a time to see how you react to them. We advise people to avoid supplements that may make them worse (vitamin D, Bs) and any psychoactive substances incl. alcohol, pot, coffee as they can set people back in their recovery. 

 

I am so sorry you have had a difficult time with these drugs and life in general. I hope things turn around soon and you start getting windows and feeling much better. 

OMW

 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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@Onmyway Thank you for the quick response and kind words! :)

  During the 2 years on 50mg my withdrawal symptoms were:

.) Lost interest for most things

.) Restlessnes in the brain, impatient

.) Felt weak, numb

.) Bad mood all the time, like i was pissed off all the time about something

.) Craving for snacks, reminded me of when i stopped smoking

.) Couldn´t work out,

 

Over time i had some days where it was better, but it mostly stayed the same, i got used to it and adapted. Now all of those symptoms got worse, what i expected to happen but there are also some new ones:

.) Body is very sensitive when i eat iron rich foods, it feels good but afterwards i feel dazed and stunned, there isn´t really much left i can eat that doesen´t trigger anything.

.) Sometimes really bad sleep and not a lot of sleep

.) obsessive thoughts

.) sometimes bad memory

.) can´t concentrate for a long time, can´t read books right now

.) Neuroemotions

 

 

I already take only omega 3 and magnesium, and melatonin before sleep. I tried vitamin b12 once and it hit hard, won´t try that again. Thanks for the advice!

 

I will try to stay on 43mg, see how it goes, right now it is  bearable, i try to distract myself most of the day, go for walks alot and do some housework, helps with the restlessnes

 

Thank you, i will do the signature now :)

2011- 2015 Sertraline 75mg

2015 tapered off way to fast and got back on it, but 150mg

2015-2018 Sertraline 150mg

2018-2019 tapered of 25mg every 2 months

2019 Tapered off to fast, got back on 75mg

2020-2022 50mg Sertraline

January - March 2022 46mg

April - Now 43mg

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  • Moderator

Hi @Lucaaa

like me you seem to be extra sensitive to drops. It is OK. As long as you are not in a hurry to come off of the drugs due to adverse effects or wanting to have a baby etc. you can just go very slowly after stabilization. It really sucks but at least you will preserve some quality of life and in a couple of years you will get out of it. 

 

I wonder if your reaction to food is a histamine reaction rather than reaction to iron. I haven't heard of iron before but histamine seems to be more common and people find solutions to it. A lot of serotonin receptors are in the gut so it makes sense that we get lots of  gut symptoms - for me it was constant nausea for months, for others it is IBS like symptoms. 

Check this thread out - may be of some help? 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/3503-histamine-food-intolerance/#comment-39471

 

As long as the symptoms are bearable, I would stick with the current dose. It should settle in a month or so. And it may be worth staying on that dose for a good few months just to settle things even further. 

 

Here are a few more links to help with some symptoms. Lots of people find sleep troublesome during withdrawal, especially waking up too early with anxiety/panic. We think it's caused by the morning cortisol surge to which we are very sensitive. There are a few fixes for that - blackout curtains, white noise, possibly baby aspirin in the evening (that's my thing not something that SA recommends, based on an article I read which might possibly apply so take that with caution)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/25270-tips-to-help-sleep-so-many-of-us-have-that-awful-withdrawal-insomnia/#comment-61

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Hope you start feeling better soon. The fact that you had even small windows is encouraging. 

OMW

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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@Onmyway Yes very sensitive.. sucks. I´m not in a hurry and i will go very slow, thank you. I will probably aim for 3-5mg less every year, depending on how fast i recover..

Just out of interest, i don´t want to have kids any time soon or ever but what problems can a baby have if the parents are on SSRI?

 

It definitely is iron, because it also occurs in foods that are very low in histamin but high in iron. I also looked up and haven´t found any other people with the same problem, maybe it has something to do with me having lower iron levels since 15. It´s very annoying because if i eat almost no iron for days then i am not able to sleep much and i am even more restless, then when i eat iron again it gives me a feeling of relief and calms my entire system, but at the same time i feel absent and stunned and feel like i am less there.

 

I will probably stay on that dose for at least 5 more months and see how much i recover 

 

Thank you very much for the infos, will look into the threads :)

 

Luca

2011- 2015 Sertraline 75mg

2015 tapered off way to fast and got back on it, but 150mg

2015-2018 Sertraline 150mg

2018-2019 tapered of 25mg every 2 months

2019 Tapered off to fast, got back on 75mg

2020-2022 50mg Sertraline

January - March 2022 46mg

April - Now 43mg

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  • Moderator
11 hours ago, Lucaaa said:

@Onmyway Yes very sensitive.. sucks. I´m not in a hurry and i will go very slow, thank you. I will probably aim for 3-5mg less every year, depending on how fast i recover..

Just out of interest, i don´t want to have kids any time soon or ever but what problems can a baby have if the parents are on SSRI?

 

It definitely is iron, because it also occurs in foods that are very low in histamin but high in iron. I also looked up and haven´t found any other people with the same problem, maybe it has something to do with me having lower iron levels since 15. It´s very annoying because if i eat almost no iron for days then i am not able to sleep much and i am even more restless, then when i eat iron again it gives me a feeling of relief and calms my entire system, but at the same time i feel absent and stunned and feel like i am less there.

 

I will probably stay on that dose for at least 5 more months and see how much i recover 

 

Thank you very much for the infos, will look into the threads :)

 

Luca

Hi @Lucaaa

good decision on going slow. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say! 

Regarding babies - I think the studies show that SSRIs increase risks of birth defects and autism. The risk is not awful - 20-100% higher of a low risk already so in absolute terms not awful.  Most of the birth defects are heart related in my understanding. Haven't looked at the literature in a while but there are good population level studies from the Nordic countries. Surprisingly also for the dad being on the drug - they do the studies, show that SSRIs during pregnancy increase risks and then to show that it is not the SSRI's impact during pregnancy compare it to the cases where the male partner (and not the female) was taking SSRI and find the same result. They then conclude that it's not the SSRI's impact but some underlying condition. But the alternative explanation that also fits is that men and women's SSRI intake might both impact the baby (men after all provide the sperm). So good to be cautious but it's not too scary if you're already on them. 

OMW

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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@Onmyway I see, crazy, thank you for explaining.

 

Luca

2011- 2015 Sertraline 75mg

2015 tapered off way to fast and got back on it, but 150mg

2015-2018 Sertraline 150mg

2018-2019 tapered of 25mg every 2 months

2019 Tapered off to fast, got back on 75mg

2020-2022 50mg Sertraline

January - March 2022 46mg

April - Now 43mg

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