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Hi I'm Jubes. I'm a 16 year Zoloft user, frightened, anxious and need information.


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Hi there. Complete newbie to this site but am so glad to have found it. This post could be a little long I'm sorry, but if you read it all I'd appreciate it.


My earliest memory of having anxiety was when I was 4 years old and in preschool (I think that's the same as kindergarten). We were told we were all being sent to the school nurse ( can't remember what for) but I assumed it was for a shot and became extremely anxious. I also remember having anxiety every morning in grade 1 and throwing up before school. I guess I grew out of it and was fine until grade 6 when starting back At school after Xmas holidays, I became severely anxious before school and refused to go. I would become hysterical and throw up. This went on for 2 years when finally I was diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder and was put on 50mg of Zoloft at age 13. I was never taken to another psychiatrist since then and have been on Zoloft ever since. I am now turning 29 years old.


I guess I thought it kept me sane and 'normal'. I have been told by many many gp's that I will need to be on it for life. This to me now is ridiculous. I've never had CBT or any type of therapy, I was just given this stuff as a kid and told to take it. It did help me I guess, actually I'm not sure if it did ever help me or if I did it myself. I still get anxiety though not hugely severe, I always have even on the pills. I don't even know who I really am as I have been on these pills longer in my life than not on them. Anyway I have decided enough is enough, I need to know who I really am. If I can live off these pills. I am now however absolutely terrified of what the consequences could be after being on Zoloft for so long and starting at such a young age. I'm frightened they have changed me and I will never be able to live a decent quality of life off them. I'm frightened that such long term use has damaged my liver. I've never even had a blood test to see how my body is going ( going to doc to get one this week). I'm frightened that starting them so young stopped some sort of development in me, that my brain is damaged. I am angry that I was given them and just left to my own devices. I feel abandoned by the psych that prescribed them. I am angry at my parents for putting me on these and just leaving me. I am angry at myself for taking them for so long and believing that I should just be on them forever. I am angry at the many gps I have seen over the years that haven't questioned why I've been on them so long or checking my liver function or anything.


Anyway I have made a appointment to see a psych in early march. Intact I made the appointment in November last year but it has taken that long to get in to see him. I am going to tell him I want to taper off and I need his help and expertise and also I would like to try some CBT for my anxiety which I do still get in my life when some big event is happening. He is very well qualified and highly recommended, he is a senior lecturer in psychopharmacology at a uni and also is a head consultant for an anxiety clinic. I just hope he doesn't try to tell me to stay on them which is possible seeing as he lectures in psychopharmacology. I just figured he would know a lot about what it could have possibly done to my brain.


I have actually tried to go off the pills once before and had a terrible time. I think I did it over about 2 weeks and ended up a complete mess. Cried all day over nothing and severe brain zaps etc. this obviously was too short of a taper but I didn't know at the time. That experience has frightened me about trying to go off the Zoloft again. Anyway sorry this has been a bit rambling at times I really just wanted to introduce myself and kind of give a bit of a background. I would also love if anyone had any advice for me. I hope to make some friends on here who have been through or are going through the same as me. Also a question, do you think it is possible I could be ok? Could I live a life free of Zoloft?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there Jubes and welcome to the forum.


I do indeed think you will be able to get off Zoloft and I am sure you will be ok. What dose are you on?


We recommend that you decrease at 10% every month. You will need to find a way to reduce your tablets either by weighing or making a liquid. you can find instructions on how to do this in the tapering subforum.


I have tried fast reductions as per a doctor schedule and it ended in tears. I had tried many times to get off and it always ended in tears (mine LOL).

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Hi Peggy :) thank you for your welcome. I plan on doing the 10% taper as the last time I tried to get off the Zoloft, it was horrific. I am currently on 50mg and have been on that dose the whole time. I have read a lot of the stories on here and will admit I cried my eyes out with fear of the terrible time I have ahead of me. I do not know just how sensitive I am to the reduction of Zoloft though as I have only tried to get off it just that one time which was ridiculously fast anyway. I just live in hope at this point that I'm going to be ok.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jubes


Welcome to the forum. You are in a good place to get advice and get it right when you begin to taper. Many of us got here after a very fast taper or cold turkey with nervous systems in disarray



So our stories are already a little different to yours. I understand why some of the reports on here are very frightening but this doesn't means it going to happen to you. It's not inevitable.


Listen to your body, be patient and go as slow as you need to avoid withdrawals. Try 10 percent reductions, if you have withdrawal symptoms thats your body telling you toslow down,. In that case do 5 percent.


I wish you all the best



Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thank you Dalsaan for your reassuring words. I guess i've been on Zoloft that long now that it doesn't matter how long it takes for me to taper off, as long as it is done slowly, safely and in a way that is going to give me the best chance of success.


Does anyone know, is it possible to go too slowly? What I mean is, is it important to keep up with the tapering each month or is it ok to stay at a dose for a month or so longer if you are having a stressful part of your life and feel its better to not taper at that time?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Does anyone know, is it possible to go too slowly?

I don't think so!!! As a matter of fact most people tend to go too fast and wind up in serious trouble. You are very smart to already be thinking sloooooow!


What I mean is, is it important to keep up with the tapering each month

Not so much... "listen to your body " is our mantra around here.or

is it ok to stay at a dose for a month or so longer if you are having a stressful part of your life and feel its better to not taper at that time?


YES!!!!! We call that " holding " and sometimes a long hold is called for. For example, I started a taper in October, then ran into a stressful life situation and simply held at that same dose since I was feeling ok ( we call that "being stable" at the new, lower dose) for several months in order to manage. As a mater of fact, I am on day 5 of my first drop since then and it is going just fine...


welcome!!! someone will be stopping by with more help.


Here a some specific tips on tapering Zoloft. Start reading!!!

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Jubes.


Please read the topic areyouthere pointed to http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/ and post your questions in this topic. This is your topic to keep track of your progress as you go off Zoloft.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Jubes you sound incredibly sensible and I'm sure you will be able to come off Zoloft in time, you're so young with your whole life in front of you it really doesn't matter how long it takes, I was on Zoloft for quite a few years myself. I'm tapering off Prozac now but I've taken a few years over it, don't get too hung up on calendars or schedules, listen to your body and how you're feeling before you make a cut.

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***

Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.


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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome, Jubes. I'm so glad you found this forum before trying to go off the drugs.


There is no such thing as a too slow taper. Take as long as you feel you need and don't be afraid to back up and "updose" a bit if you feel you've gone too far too fast. I can't say for 100% certain, but chances are that you will completely recover over time. Your age in is your favor as you will likely heal faster than an older person.


Hang in there, and be assured that we are here for you.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor

Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/


Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.


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