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Bluetree: distressing hormonal issues - please advise

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It's my first time posting here but I've been looking around for a while. This site has saved me. Thank you so much to the people who run this site, and to everyone sharing their experiences and support.


I've been experiencing some distressing symptoms which seem to be primarily hormonal and I wondered if anyone can help me. Sorry this is so long! Also sorry for vague timings/dosages in my signature - have remembered as much as I can.


I came off sertraline last year, admittedly too quickly, after long-term use and several failed attempts to come off. I vowed if I ever tried to come off again I'd do it really slowly, but I got to a desperate point last year (with side effects, mainly worsening bruxism/tardive dyskinesia), and I hadn't yet fully learned about the dangers of coming off too fast. I briefly switched to mirtazapine as I hadn't intended to come off ADs completely but came off shortly after as I couldn't cope with the side effects, all under doctor's guidance. Sometime around then, thanks to this site, I learned the truth about what was happening to me in previous attempts to get off the drugs (withdrawal not relapse). Now I'm about 7 months off all drugs.


For a while before coming off sertraline, I've had symptoms such as spotting before my period, minor discomfort during sex, periodic bladder irritation, getting up to pee frequently in the night. These have continued into withdrawal, and the spotting has been accompanied by other severe PMS symptoms, such as depression and insomnia. Last month I had the worst PMS of my life - sleepless nights, suicidal ideation and my skin temporarily became more sensitive than it's ever been as well as worse hormonal acne than usual.


The pain during sex has got worse/changed in nature in WD and I think is linked to atrophy as well as increasing problems with vaginal dryness/irritation - I've been checked for infection and have a scan coming up soon. I also went to the dentist recently with teeth sensitivity and gum irritation, and - although he didn't use the term - my gums are receding in places (I'm taking steps to treat it). I'm worried I'm also starting to get more back/joint pain but I don't know if I'm being paranoid after learning about bone loss etc (it could just be that I'm in my 30s now).


I've done research and have slowly been piecing things together and realising that all my symptoms are probably linked, and related to hormone production. In my 'fertile windows' last few months my hormones have sometimes felt more balanced - my libido and good feelings return to a point, but I'm unsure how it will be this month as the other day for the first time I experienced spotting a few days AFTER my period.


I have an appointment with my GP in a couple of weeks to make one final plea for help. I've gone in the past about individual symptoms but of course they haven't been linked together, and for things like the spotting (and painful periods in the past) they've offered me the contraceptive pill. I haven't been on hormonal contraception since about 2019 and never will again. Even if the doctor can refer me for more tests, there will likely be a long wait (I'm in the UK and the NHS is in crisis) so I am prepared to see someone privately.


If anyone has any advice about what to do/what kind of specialist to potentially see/treatment to get etc I would be extremely grateful. My main worry is that my body could get more damage as a result of hormones apparently not being produced properly. I don't know if reinstating would help because some of these symptoms started before coming off, but some have got worse and I'm worried I'm doing my body more damage by NOT reinstating, if that's a thing. I'm guessing HRT isn't really an option at the moment. So I wonder if I should just wait it out and see if things settle with time, but I'm getting pretty desperate.


FYI, I eat a healthy diet, don't drink or smoke, recently gave up caffeine, and am generally healthy in other respects.


Thanks in advance for your help.

2011 - citalopram (I think 20mg)

2012 - switched to sertraline, then various dosages 50-200mg over following years (mostly 100mg), briefly a couple of add-ons near start (trazodone then mirtazapine)

2014 - brief attempt to come off (FT), back on sertraline after couple of months

2019 - another attempt to come off (FT)

2020 - withdrawal (told by doctor relapsing), went back on sertraline, 50mg?

Spring 2021 - slower attempt to come off over a few months (still didn't know it wasn't slow enough)

Autumn 2021 - back on sertraline, 50mg then briefly 100mg

Summer 2022 - down to 25mg sertraline

End of Aug 2022 - off sertraline, switched straight over to mirtazapine 15mg (under doctor's guidance)

End of Sept 2022 - CT off mirtazapine (under doctor's guidance)


Supplements: vit D, calcium, fish oil, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, accumax (for acne, contains DIM, phosphatidyl choline, vit A, vit E, vit C)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome @Bluetree  Thank you for putting in your signature.


I’m sorry to hear that you’re having hormone problems, I hope your doctor will be able to help you when you get to see him. We aren’t actually medical professionals here, but you might find others on here that have had similar problems. I’d go to Google and type in survivingantidepressants and then whatever symptoms you want to talk about and you’ll come across other threads of different ones with the same issues. 

Whether to reinstate or not is always a big decision with a lot of people on here and it can be hard to make. I see you’re struggling with that, but no one can tell you whether to reinstate or not. You came off your meds in September last year so it’s been quite a while. The further away from coming off your meds the less likely it is to work. If you did decide to try it, it would probably be best to start at a teeny dose like 0.50mg. 

Wishing you all the best💛

Been on APs, benzos, ADs and opiates, all for chronic pain. Had severe Akathisia in the past that made me suicidal. Still on Seroquel. 2019:➡️ March10=7.25mg ✔️April17=7.0✔️June5=6.75✔️ July14=6.50✔️Aug28=6.25✔️Oct10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️  2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April2=5.40✔️May29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep29=4.80✔️2021➡️ Jan31=4.60 mg✔️April24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov1=4.10✔️ Nov21= 4.05✔️ Dec13= 4mg✔️  2022➡️Jan8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March2=3.85✔️ April4=3.80✔️June16=3.75✔️July26=3.70✔️Sep2=3.65✔️ Oct21=3.60✔️Dec8=3.55✔️ 2023➡️Jan 26=3.50✔️March 17=3.45✔️ THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, consult a doctor.

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Hello Ploteri, I saw your post and found that I am in the same suffering, especially during my period, the symptoms multiply. Can you tell me how old you are?

I have now completed ten months in zero, free of medications and drugs. My period was a disaster for me

June 2019- June 2022  Amitriptyline for migraines, came off June 15, 2022 CT.  Withdrawal symptoms.
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