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nomorezoloft My Zoloft Story


nomorezoloft

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I began taking Zoloft in May of 2009 after the birth of my second child.  I had two children back to back and felt like my body/mind were “off”.  My therapist suggested I try Zoloft and I agreed.  I began a 75mg dose.  I don’t feel like I really had any ill effects while on Zoloft – or none that I really noticed at the time.  My therapist said “wow, must be a wonder drug for you”.  Ok, I wouldn’t go that far, I wasn’t receiving mother of the year awards and my patience wasn’t miraculously unending.  I was still kind of the same really.  Occasionally I would forget to pick up my prescription and would miss a pill or two.  OMG! I quickly learned never to miss a pill.  The physical effects were gnarly.

 

So, fast forward a couple years and I feel like I’m ready to get off this pill.  I never considered myself a “depressed” person, I felt that I was unbalanced based upon having kids so closely together, the change in career, etc. I just needed a little something to push me over the hump. So I began tapering and the effects were miserable enough to make me trot right over and take a pill.  I don’t think I had the resolve to really wean off of it and stick with it.  That in and of itself, was depressing.  I felt stuck.  I felt like I had been misled.  I could have easily handled whatever chemical imbalance, stress, etc. I had compared to what it felt like to try to get rid of this tiny blue pill.  So back on I went.

 

Then in the summer/fall of 2012, I was serious.  I was going to wean off Zoloft properly – slowly and I did.  All the way down to 12.5mg.  Then the evening of 10/25/12, I experienced the loudest ringing in my ears I had ever heard so decided to go to bed.  I awoke around midnight deaf in my left ear.  I kid you not.  I thought, huh, that’s strange to get an ear infection overnight.  So I went to the walk in clinic to get some antibiotics since I had a trip to NYC and Maui coming up and I wanted to be well.  The nurse at the clinic said I didn’t have an infection and to go home and see if it resolved.

 

Ok….well, the fullness and loss of hearing combined with the extreme ringing in my ears had me worried.  So two weeks later, I self referred to a local ENT.  He agreed, no ear infection.  He decided to do the standard hearing tests and was pretty shocked with my results.  I had lost my hearing for any sounds above 4000hz.  He said, it could be idiopathic (meaning, we have no idea), it could be a virus, it could be a tumor.  So freaked out, I ran home upped my dosage back to 50mg and made an appointment with an oto-neurologist in Seattle – the best.  I wasn’t messing around.  He agreed as well, no infection, yes hearing loss. He suggested we do a round of steroidal injection into my ear drum to help ease inflammation and ward off any permanent hearing loss.  I did that injection twice, had a repeat hearing test and no change.  I have permanent hearing loss in my left ear and permanent tinnitus in both ears.

 

I suggested to both doctors that I had been weaning myself off Zoloft and asked if this could be the cause since it’s considered an “ototoxic” medication.  “no, no, no” they assured me.  “Everything’s ototoxic”.  Ummm ok.

 

So I stayed on 50mg for another 7-8 months feeling really trapped and scared.  What happens if I wean off again, will I lose my hearing in my right ear? I kind of need to hear a little bit.  But with all the resolve I could muster, I began weaning in June, I believe.  50 – 25mg was a breeze.  I felt great.  I was at 25mg for a couple weeks, then began cutting my 25s down to 12.5mg and did that for 5 days.  I felt so lousy and said screw this, and stopped all together on 8/4/13.  The first week was pretty rough – dizzy, vertigo, flu symptoms (crazy body aches).  After a couple weeks and a TON of fish oil, magnesium, etc., I was OK, not great, but functioning.  So I thought I was over the hump until week 5! WHAT?! I feel worse this week than I did the first week.  The dizziness is gone, but the extreme body aches and flu like symptoms make it really difficult to raise two kids.  There will be no mother of the year award this year. 

 

I am just hoping that I will get over the effects soon and can resume a “normal” pill free life.  

Edited by Altostrata
added paragraph breaks for readability

Zoloft 75mg 5/2009 - 10/2012

Zoloft 50mg 10/2012 - 5/2013

Zoloft 25mg 6/2013 - 7/2013

Zoloft 12.5mg 8/2013

Zoloft 0mg 8/4/2013 - Present

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Welcome on this site :) I hope it will help You get what You need. I hope I can to. Ask, I am here for You. I will do what I can. :)You seem to have been in confusion for a long time and not to have been given the fair information you needed, I am glad it has eventually come to You and hope it will lead You to better well-being, because this is what I would like for You. :)Maybe I am mistaking, and I apologize to You in advance if I am not telling Your truth, but You seem to be very attached to your role of mother. It is amirable to held it important. It is also important what You are and what You can, and it seems that big problems diminish your capacity to bring to your children. This is sad, but don't add injury to You upon injury to your children. Do not be annoyed with Yourself, it is not fair to You. I am sure You are doing your best for them, and this is what is truly important :) Do your best to You, too. You do not have to be the mother of the year. Your children do not need the mother of the year, they only need that You give them what they need, and You only need to give them what you can. Be fair and good to You. I understand that it must be really painful, and it moves me to see you have to face it, but please, do not do harm Yourself. Nobody needs it, Neither You, nor your children. I am proud of the mother You are. I love You.

I would like to point out to You that pregnancy can deplete low reserve of omega 3 and induce depression. I do not assert anything, it is just that the state You described, "being off" after the birth of your children made me think of it. I think it could be useful to You to get sure there is no problem in that field.I am not knowledgeable enough to give you proper advice regarding medication, but here there are very competent people that will give you the help you deserve :) 

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Nomorezoloft.

 

Roads is our resident poet.

 

I'm sorry you've had this reaction to going off Zoloft. Quite a few people here report tinnitus as a withdrawal symptom that tends to resolve over time. It seems you might be particularly sensitive to this effect, and it may have gotten quite a bit more serious.

 

You're now experiencing more classic withdrawal symptoms. To avoid these, we recommend a very gradual taper of 10% per month to start. Sometimes reinstating a small amount of the drug, such as 5mg, will relieve withdrawal symptoms. You may wish to try this, stabilize, and taper much more slowly off that amount. Zoloft comes in a liquid for gradual titration. See the topic for tapering Zoloft http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

 

(Please put paragraph breaks -- two returns -- in your posts, it makes them easier to read.)

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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Thank you.  I actually typed it in word because the first time I typed it in the message board, something funky happened and I lost the message - i agree about the paragraphs!!

 

Am I too far out (~6 weeks) to reinstate a small amount of Zoloft? I am worried about creating a new set of issues.  

 

The complexity of these drugs certainly isn't discussed when they're handing out the rx!

Zoloft 75mg 5/2009 - 10/2012

Zoloft 50mg 10/2012 - 5/2013

Zoloft 25mg 6/2013 - 7/2013

Zoloft 12.5mg 8/2013

Zoloft 0mg 8/4/2013 - Present

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  • Moderator Emeritus

At six weeks reinstatement is a bit iffy, but it's probably your best chance for relieving withdrawal symptoms.  If you decide to try this, give it at least four full days to see if it works. If not, you might want to browse through our 'Symptoms and self-care' discussions for nondrug ways to feel a little bit better.

 

You really have been tapering much too fast. You were cutting by 50% instead of 10%, which is the maximum amount that should be cut at one time and with at least a month "on hold" in between.  Many members of this forum have found that decreases of 5-7% or even less work best.

 

Unfortunately, most doctors don't know this and they don't have a clue about antidepressant withdrawal symptoms.  They learn about drugs from drug company "detail men" (salespeople) who have all sorts of incentives to obscure, hide, and outright lie with regard to side effects and after-effects. So don't be hard on yourself for not knowing.  There's a very wealthy network of big pharma companies doing their best to deceive the public about the dangers of these drugs.

 

Please understand that it can take months to years for the central nervous system to repair the damage that's done by antidepressants. It's a very individual thing that can't be predicted. I tapered off Lexapro far too fast in mid-December of 2011 and I'm still not quite back to normal 21 months later.

 

Welcome to the forum. You'll find lots of good information and friendly support here.

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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Thanks Gold Star.  It's reassuring to know that others have taken several months (or longer) to recover.  I think if I had realized that the process would be this long and miserable, I would have chosen to stay on Zoloft.  After all, I have small children to raise and they don't understand why mommy is not feeling well, sleeping, moody, etc.  

 

I guess I shouldn't expect my brain to be "back to normal" six weeks later after taking Zoloft for 4+ years....though I had hoped this would be the case.

Zoloft 75mg 5/2009 - 10/2012

Zoloft 50mg 10/2012 - 5/2013

Zoloft 25mg 6/2013 - 7/2013

Zoloft 12.5mg 8/2013

Zoloft 0mg 8/4/2013 - Present

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  • Moderator Emeritus

A big part of your discomfort is due to coming off the Zoloft too fast. A slow taper at 10% or less would likely have been a lot easier.  But you didn't know that and neither did I when I got off Lexapro per my doctor's instructions.

 

There are people who choose to stay on the drugs rather than go through withdrawal, but I don't think they realize the dangers involved in long term use such as the high risk of diabetes, kidney failure, heart problems, dementia, uncontrollable physical movements called tardive dyskinesia, and drug "poop-out", which means that the drug stops working even though the person is taking it as prescribed, but they go through withdrawal anyway.  I'm sure there are others that haven't yet come to light.

 

Antidepressants change the structure of the central nervous system including the brain, and these changes remain long after the drug is out of one's body.  The CNS will right itself eventually, but this takes time and it seems to happen in fits and starts.

 

I'm glad you feel a bit better.  I hesitated to tell you how long it's taking me for fear that would make you feel even worse!

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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Did it take you the full 21 months to feel "physically" better - dizziness, etc.? Or was a lot of that time spent getting the emotional scales equalized? I really feel "OK" in my brain as far as depression goes.  I am just beat down after not feeling physically well for so long.  That takes a toll on mind and spirit.  I wish I knew there was designated time frame for the physical stuff to subside....

Zoloft 75mg 5/2009 - 10/2012

Zoloft 50mg 10/2012 - 5/2013

Zoloft 25mg 6/2013 - 7/2013

Zoloft 12.5mg 8/2013

Zoloft 0mg 8/4/2013 - Present

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Hello! I am also off Zoloft. About tintinous, I had that for a while while on and tapering off the drug and it has gone away over time. This and other effects have come and gone. You can do it!

I am off of all meds as of May 20th, 2013, after 5 weeks on Zoloft and a 4 week taper. Still experiencing: moderate anhedonia & PSSD, I am otherwise mostly healed. 

 

2.1 years off of medication. 

 

"If I walk away, don't hate me. I've got to see where the pain will take me.

 

I found no angels...I found myself."

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Did it take you the full 21 months to feel "physically" better - dizziness, etc.? Or was a lot of that time spent getting the emotional scales equalized? I really feel "OK" in my brain as far as depression goes.  I am just beat down after not feeling physically well for so long.  That takes a toll on mind and spirit.  I wish I knew there was designated time frame for the physical stuff to subside....

 

I began to feel physically better in three months or so, although not back to normal, and I'm now at a point where I can actually drink a cup of coffee or two in the morning without having an anxiety attack.  The whole process of going through withdrawal is slow and gradual, and now that I'm near the end (for me) some of the changes are so subtle they're difficult to recognize.  Everyone's reactions are different, though, and entirely unpredictable.

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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