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theelt712

☼ theelt712: tapering off Zoloft

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theelt712

NOTE: This topic has been merged with a very similar one posted in the Tapering discussion, so there is some duplication of post subject matter. ~Jemima

 

 

Hello everyone,

 

I am currently tapering off of Zoloft, 25mgs, after a very short time of taking it [7 weeks] due to the fact that I do not like the emotional numbing it causes. I love to feel a range and depth of emotions. My taper plan is half a pill for 2 weeks, than a quarter of a pill for another two weeks, and then completely stopping. I don't really have a pill cutter to taper more slowly, although I have considered slowing the taper. My withdrawal so far has included emotional breakdowns [can not stop crying due to the thought of being emotionally numb forever], and increased anxiety, which I am on Ativan for. I hope that I am not emotionally numb forever...I'm scared of never being able to feel again. I start crying because I fear that all of my senses will be reduced forever and I will live in a world without color. I am going to begin day 6 of the taper today...currently at half a pill or about 11.5 mgs...wish me luck..

 

 

theelt712

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theelt712

I'm going to copy and paste most of what I put in another thread [i really should have started the thread here instead], but I am going to add some more information about myself. I am a teenage girl that suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and was recently but on 25mgs of Zoloft, but I am currently tapering off because I don't like it's effects. It emotionally numbed me/gave me blunted emotions, and I like having my depth of emotions. Plus, I didn't want to be on it for too long and experience more extreme withdrawal as the medication went on.

 

Here's what I said in the other thread:

 

 

"I am currently tapering off of Zoloft, 25mgs, after a very short time of taking it [7 weeks] due to the fact that I do not like the emotional numbing it causes. I love to feel a range and depth of emotions. My taper plan is half a pill for 2 weeks, than a quarter of a pill for another two weeks, and then completely stopping. I don't really have a pill cutter to taper more slowly, although I have considered slowing the taper. My withdrawal so far has included emotional breakdowns [can not stop crying due to the thought of being emotionally numb forever], and increased anxiety, which I am on Ativan for. I hope that I am not emotionally numb forever...I'm scared of never being able to feel again. I start crying because I fear that all of my senses will be reduced forever and I will live in a world without color. I am going to begin day 6 of the taper today...currently at half a pill or about 11.5 mgs...wish me luck."

 

I will attempt to keep a journal here. Wish me luck, and I can not wait to meet some of you on here. :)

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Dale

Keep us updated. :D

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theelt712

Keep us updated. :D

 

I most definitely will. My anxiety is beginning to go up because I am being conscious of my breath. I am trying to distract myself.

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Karma

Hi theelt,

 

Welcome to the site. Your tapering plan is TOO FAST and based on your current systems it could result in prolonged withdrawal. The symptoms you are currently experiencing, emotional breakdowns and anxiety, are your system telling you that you have withdrawn the medicine too quickly.

 

Although you have only been on Zoloft a short time I highly recommend that you up-dose and do a 10% taper. Up-dose to your original dose or 10% less which would be 22.5 mg and hold that until your emotions and anxiety stabilize. Then you can come off at 10% of your previous dose at a time.

 

Here is a link to our recommendations for tapering Zoloft: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/. You can make your own liquid to taper at a slower rate.

 

While I understand taking Ativan for anxiety, I must caution you that you can become dependent on Ativan very quickly and you will have to taper off of it as well. Benzo withdraw can be as difficult as SSRI withdrawal and some say it can be worse. Please consider re-instating your zoloft dose and dropping the Ativan so that you do not become dependent on another drug.

 

We have found that as people are able to taper off of these drugs the emotional blunting lifts and there is color in life again. Your exposure to this drug will not result in emotional numbness forever.

 

Karma

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theelt712

I'm really scared that this withdrawal may last for months and/or years.

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theelt712

Day 5: So far, almost no anxiety. No major panic attacks like there were yesterday. I am beginning to feel a little better. My sexual drive is beginning to come back, and although it isn't like it was, it's something. I'm looking into natural remedies and beginning to take more supplements to help ease withdrawal a little bit. So far, no real physical side effects, other than insomnia, which is typical for me. Day 6 of tapering begins today.

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strawberry17

Absolutely what Karma said, please don't rush this, or you will end up back at square one and it will take even longer.

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theelt712

Also, I do not take take Ativan often...only during episodes of very extreme anxiety...which, fortunately, has only been twice in my own life.

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Jemima

I'm really scared that this withdrawal may last for months and/or years.

 

I absolutely agree with Karma and Strawberry - you're asking for trouble "tapering" off Zoloft so fast. Here are directions for making a liquid:

 

How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsules

 

While it's possible that you may be one of the lucky ones who won't experience withdrawal symptoms, the fact that you already are having weepy spells and anxiety says otherwise. The faster you get off the drug, the more likely it is that you will have withdrawal for months or years. Please read some of the Introductions and get an idea of how bad it can be before deciding that you can handle it.

 

When you have time, please add your drug history to your signature like so:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Knowing your history will help all of us understand your current situation and problems and enable us to give appropriate advice.

 

Welcome to the forum. There is a lot of good, solid information here and gentle, friendly support.

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theelt712

Will the fact that i have been on it for such a short time make any difference? I feel better by the day. Also, I just want to feel normal again without meds. Whenever I think about possible withdrawal, all I want to do is curl up in a corner. I don't have any srynges or anything and I am in the process of moving.

 

As stated, I have been on 25mgs for just over 6 weeks and have been tapering for one.

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Karma

Theelt

 

It is possible that having been on the drug for just a short time would bode well for you, but the symptoms you are having indicate that you need to slow down your taper. Withdrawals are not linear ... there are many posts on this site where people have been fine for 2 to 3 months and then they are hit hard with severe withdrawals. We just don't want that to happen to you.

 

Call your local pharmacy and see if they have syringes they can give or sell to you.

 

I understand just wanting to feel normal and not having to take meds any more, but you need to respect what these drugs do to your central nervous system. It is better to manage a slow taper and avoid severe withdrawals than to assume you can manage it and end up in dire straits with no solution except to hang in there until your central nervous system can heal.

 

Karma

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theelt712

Theelt

 

It is possible that having been on the drug for just a short time would bode well for you, but the symptoms you are having indicate that you need to slow down your taper. Withdrawals are not linear ... there are many posts on this site where people have been fine for 2 to 3 months and then they are hit hard with severe withdrawals. We just don't want that to happen to you.

 

Call your local pharmacy and see if they have syringes they can give or sell to you.

 

I understand just wanting to feel normal and not having to take meds any more, but you need to respect what these drugs do to your central nervous system. It is better to manage a slow taper and avoid severe withdrawals than to assume you can manage it and end up in dire straits with no solution except to hang in there until your central nervous system can heal.

 

Karma

 

I have read those posts as well. It's so hard to deal with. This is my first time tapering off of any medication and I've never been on anything else before. I want to feel again. I want to live. I don't want to have to fear withdrawal, even months after stopping. Starting these meds are the worst mistake I've ever made. I am currently crying out of fear. But- I will slow down my taper. Since my brain is getting used to this lower dose, I'm probably going to stay at this dose for another two weeks [almost a month] before tapering down to a quarter of a pill for another month and then stopping. Other than random emotional spells and waves of anxiety that happen infrequently- I've had no other physical side effects. In fact, the height of anything didn't kick in until yesterday, day 5. I was doing well in the beginning with the taper. I'm really considering slowing down though as to reduce any risk of horrible withdrawal.

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theelt712

Beginning Day 7....had my first brain zap....that was, to say the least, annoying. It lasted like 2-3 seconds but it came on with potency. I'm gonna give this dose of Zoloft time to stabilize before going further down and producing any further withdrawal symptoms. I just don't want to have withdrawal months after stopping. My mom has in the past weened herself off of a high dose of Effexor, which was hard for her.

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Jemima

Once you're stabilized on half a tablet, I think you'd be wise to taper a lot more slowly from that half of a tablet than halving it again. It's at the lower doses that withdrawal commonly kicks in - hard. I "tapered" off of Lexapro too fast by going from 10 mg. to 5 mg., where I had no problems, and then to 2.5 mg. where I DID have problems, then to 2.5 mg. every other day (ARGH - really bad problems) to 0 mg. About three weeks later I was almost completely disabled, able only to go out once a week or so at dusk (because of light sensitivity) and buy necessities. Being out at all was a trial because I was so anxious and so easily startled by light, noise, movement, you-name-it. I had occasional windows the first five or so months but it has taken me sixteen months to return to near normal. What is still a problem is the emotional numbness. A lot of this could have been avoided if I had known to taper off slowly.

 

These drugs make structural changes to the brain, which is why getting off of them as fast as possible doesn't work. The changes remain after the drug is out of your system. Stopping the drugs abruptly is like yanking a crutch away from someone with a broken leg. BOOM! Down she goes!

 

You'll be doing yourself a big favor by slowing down.

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tezza

Hi theelt,

 

Welcome to our community. You will find that everyone is friendly and supportive! We all care very much about issues that others must deal with.

 

This is a sincere, loving group of people.

 

We are very glad you've joined us.

 

I just wanted to say hello, you've gotten good advice already.

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theelt712

Alright, with a new 8 week taper plan set in motion, I plan to be off Zoloft by June 17th. I may even take it slower than that. I woke up today with extreme depressing thoughts and tiredness. I feel better than I did yesterday, but still a bit depressed and tired. I have a busy day today moving.

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mammaP

Hi Theelt, I agree with the others too that a slow taper is much much better.

My experience is that I dropped a tiny amount at a time ( capsules though so removed beads )

With each drop I felt a bit better and started to feel again after years of apathy.

I watched a sad film one day and cried, I was happy to be crying because I was feeling emotion

and then cried happy tears!

What I'm trying to say is that you don't have to be off them completely to feel better.

Hopefully it will get better as you drop.

I learned the hard way that too fast is NOT GOOD!

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theelt712

Hi Theelt, I agree with the others too that a slow taper is much much better.

My experience is that I dropped a tiny amount at a time ( capsules though so removed beads )

With each drop I felt a bit better and started to feel again after years of apathy.

I watched a sad film one day and cried, I was happy to be crying because I was feeling emotion

and then cried happy tears!

What I'm trying to say is that you don't have to be off them completely to feel better.

Hopefully it will get better as you drop.

I learned the hard way that too fast is NOT GOOD!

 

Thank you, and I'm going to be tapering for about 2 months...and I don't know if that is too slow. I'll see as time goes on.

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Altostrata

Welcome, TheeIt.

 

Don't worry, you're going to be okay. You're starting out with an informed taper, a lot of people weren't so lucky!

 

Like Jemima, I agree with your plan to hold at a half tablet until symptoms subside, then sneak off more gradually.

 

Can you get liquid Zoloft from your doctor? Any doctor can prescribe it. It's easier to taper than the tablets.

 

You'll be fine!

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theelt712

Unfortunately, I can not get to a doc until July. I am waiting until I stabilize to see what the next step is.

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Altostrata

You can phone your doctor to request a prescription, to be phoned into your pharmacy. (The pharmacy may have to order liquid Zoloft.) Any doctor can make the prescription, it doesn't have to be a psychiatrist.

 

Or, you can make your own liquid, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/ for instructions.

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theelt712

Alright. Is my current plan too fast?

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Altostrata

You'll have to see how it goes. Holding when you get withdrawal symptoms is a very good idea.

 

If you hold at 12.5mg and the withdrawal symptoms go away, you can start using the liquid and you might be able to go as fast as a 10% reduction every 2 weeks. This might take longer than 8 weeks, but it will be safer for your nervous system. As you reduce the dosage, side effects should diminish.

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theelt712

You'll have to see how it goes. Holding when you get withdrawal symptoms is a very good idea.

 

If you hold at 12.5mg and the withdrawal symptoms go away, you can start using the liquid and you might be able to go as fast as a 10% reduction every 2 weeks. This might take longer than 8 weeks, but it will be safer for your nervous system. As you reduce the dosage, side effects should diminish.

 

Alright. When the withdrawal symptoms go away [as they are beginning to], I will decide what to do.

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theelt712

Crying again because I can't forgive myself for going on meds in the first place and starting a vicious cycle. I want to be myself again.

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Jemima

Crying again because I can't forgive myself for going on meds in the first place and starting a vicious cycle. I want to be myself again.

 

Please don't beat yourself up over this. There are many people on this forum who are older and wiser than you who got sucked into taking antidepressants and lived to regret it. One of the major problems is that doctors get most of their education about these drugs from drug company sales reps (aka "detail men") who, of course, distort the truth so as to sell lots of their drugs. Doctors don't tell us how dangerous these drugs are before we take them because they're ill-informed themselves.

 

Hang in there and stay at your present dose until you feel better. Then we'll make plans for you to taper off slowly and safely.

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theelt712

I can hold at this dose- problem is I am at this dose for such a short time and another fear is if I expose myself to Zoloft longer than needed, than I do have a higher risk of withdrawl down the road. I was only on 25mgs for 5 weeks before tapering. I don't know what to do.

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theelt712

So far, still depressed. All I want is to feel happiness again. I just don't know what to do anymore.

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Altostrata

Don't worry, theelt. You'll be fine. Just let your nervous system stabilize, once you tip it over, then you have problems. In a little while, you'll be off this drug and looking back on the whole experience.

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theelt712

Don't worry, theelt. You'll be fine. Just let your nervous system stabilize, once you tip it over, then you have problems. In a little while, you'll be off this drug and looking back on the whole experience.

 

I just want to be off it and not depressed anymore.

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Altostrata

Understood. You'll have to be patient to take care of yourself. This is a difficult challenge for a lot of us. Hang in there, go out and walk around, have as good a time as you can while you're going through this process.

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theelt712

Understood. You'll have to be patient to take care of yourself. This is a difficult challenge for a lot of us. Hang in there, go out and walk around, have as good a time as you can while you're going through this process.

 

I am trying, but I don't know if I am tapering too slow or too fast. I can't feel happiness anymore, I am not who I used to be and honestly most of what I can do is cry or sleep. I only have one more refill of Zoloft left before I am off for good.

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Altostrata

Will you not be able to get any more after that refill?

 

Have you tried to phone your doctor for a liquid Zoloft prescription?

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theelt712

Will you not be able to get any more after that refill?

 

Have you tried to phone your doctor for a liquid Zoloft prescription?

 

I probably will not. I have not. I have been on Zoloft for only 5 weeks and I don't know why I should have to have an 8 week taper. I am confusing myself.

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Altostrata

The reason you need to carefully taper is because you already got withdrawal symptoms. This indicates your nervous system is sensitive to dosage changes.

 

Your nervous system has its own rules and doesn't care that you've been on Zoloft for only 5 weeks. It wants you to go slow.

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