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☼ Ajay -- Zoloft withdrawal

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ajay

Hi everybody.

 

I'm Ajay, a 40-year old female who's been lurking about for awhile. I'm so impressed with you folks who have been able to hang on. I'm trying, but lack of sleep has me at the end of my rope. I apologize in advance for the rambling nature of my posts. I used to take pride in my ability to write clearly, and now I feel like my brain is in a fog.

 

I was on sertaline for about 15 years. I went off it without guidance (in the fall of 2010) because I had no idea how stupid that was. I didn't even surf the 'net to get information.... I'm now wondering if I need to go back on it just to go off it properly.

 

I have a chicken-or-egg situation with insomnia and anxiety. I think if I could just get more sleep, everything else would get easier. I think I added the details to my signature... I went off sertaline in the fall of 2010. I seemed to be doing okay until I had to take a business trip with a very long series of flights - I ended up staying up for 36 hours (can't sleep on planes). When I finally got to the hotel and crashed, I woke up 1.5 hours later with 'pins and needles' in my arms... and couldn't get back to sleep. I spent a lot of time lying in bed in hopes that at least the physical rest would help. I was hoping I was drifting off here & there without realizing it and maybe sleeping a few hours a night.

 

After 2-3 weeks of this, I went to my doctor. She gave me lorazepam, with instructions to take it *no* more than 3x a week. The first dose, 0.5 mg, worked wonders and I think I slept almost a full night. I was so worried about benzo addiction that I didn't take them more than 2x a week, and it didn't take long before 1 mg was helpful but not likely to help my sleep as much as I'd hoped.

 

It has improved: now I can fall asleep in the evening (still can't seem to take naps, which could really help) but I wake up about every 1.5-2 hours. Usually I can get back to sleep at least once, maybe twice. In a typical week, I range from maybe 2.5 to 6 hours of sleep a night. The accumulated sleep debt is becoming a serious problem. I'm not very functional right now. I'm extremely lucky to have a job, but I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep it at this rate. I'm in a nasty feedback loop where I need my brain to do my work, but it's going so damned slowly because my brain isn't functioning, and then I get too stressed to sleep but I can't get anything done, either. My self-esteem and integrity are eroding away.

 

One problem: I've tried so many things that it's hard to track what worked and what didn't. I'm now taking a multivitamin and 1000 IU of Vitamin D per day. I take fish oil and Traditional Chinese Herbs 2x a day. I go to an acupuncture clinic once a week and I think it has generally been helpful (my acupuncturist is taking it very slowly and gently). I take 0.5mg melatonin in the evening (about 8-8:30pm). I'm currently seeing a therapist, but I think it's hard to make progress because I'm not making much sense. I started a new exercise plan today, but I have a sore hip and I seem to have made it worse... My doctor has prescribed Kavinase (GABA support) and Nuvoxil (seratonin support - tryptophan) both from NeuroScience. I shelled out the money for their NeuroAdrenal lab test, and the results were: elevated epinephrine, slightly elevated dopamine, slightly low seratonin. Cortisol was higher than normal in the morning, lower than normal through the day.

 

I'd love to find a psychiatrist who's not med-focused. I'm in the Greater Boston Area. There are some well-known people here, but the ones I've found don't take insurance and it's hard to reach them directly for referrals...

 

It's very hard for me to see progress in my current state. I'm very close to giving up and trying low levels of sertaline again. I have an appointment with a psychopharmacologist for later this month. I don't want to go back on sertaline, but I'm feeling so hopeless and frustrated and overwhelmed. In a lot of ways, I've been really lucky. But I'm running on fumes... Luckily, I'm going on a long-planned vacation next week. I just hope I'll be able to leave the anxiety at home.

 

Thank you for reading my story.

I welcome thoughts/comments from all.

My energy levels are a bit low, so please forgive me if it takes me a while to reply.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Neuroplastic

Ajay, welcome to SA! First of all, you described things in a very logical and consistent way. And I perfectly understand what you're going through right now. To help you better we'd still need more info - what exactly were you prescribed sertaline for? And even more important, this lorazepam you were prescribed - are you taking it at 1 mg now? If so, how often? I'd strongly suggests avoiding any benzos while in SSRIs WD. Though it must be remembered that coming off of them should also be done slowly. They indeed cause addiction. Have you experienced (on average?) any improvement since last fall?


2000-2008 Paxil for a situational depression

2008 - Paxil c/t

Severe protracted WD syndrome ever since; improving

 

 

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once”

Albert Einstein

 

"Add signature to your profile. This way we can help you even better!"

Surviving Antidepressants ;)

 

And, above all, ... keep walking. Just keep walking.

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ajay

Hi Neuro! Thanks for your reply.

 

First, about the lorazepam: I've been taking it maybe twice a week for sleep or when the anxiety levels get too high. I only have about 4mg left. I've tried to be careful about them - on one hand, I really need the sleep, but I'm definitely concerned about making it worse in the long run.

Yesterday I tried Kavinace, which seemed to help bring the anxiety levels down. It's 1mg Vitamin B6 plus a 'proprietaty blend' of taurine and 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid (aka phenibut). Since this is a GABA derivative, I assume I should be careful with this as well.

 

I was initially prescribed sertaline for depression when a mental break in college resulted in a week long hospital stay.

I think it did help me, but I got frustrated with how disconnected and "spacy" it made me. I thought I was doing pretty well, so I honestly thought I didn't need it anymore.

 

Now that I'm off the sertaline, I feel a greater sense of clarity.

 

At first, this was pretty useful - I would get frustrated about something (ack! The kitchen is a mess!) and then do something about it (wash the dishes) where before I wouldn't really notice or have the motivation to deal with it. The trouble is at this point, there's so much backlog of crap that I'm completely overwhelmed. The lack of sleep has sapped away the motivation, so now I have the frustration but I can't seem to do much about the things that are frustrating me.

 

The cost: I have a better perception of how much I've veered off of the path I wanted my life to take. I've got a lot of issues from my past bubbling up, and I can't seem to let them go. It's as if all this time I've been shielded from certain thoughts and emotions, and now they're crashing down on me. I did not prepare for this. I had stopped going to my therapist around 8 years ago, and I had not assembled any sort of support system. My current job is rather isolating, and that definitely does not help.

 

Part of me feels like the anxiety and depression makes perfect sense given the situation in which I have put myself. I can't distinguish between recurring depression and rebound depression from withdrawal.

 

Another option I have, I suppose: take the Nuvoxil my doctor prescribed. [seratonin support. 3 capsules = 40 mg vitamin C, 9mg B6, 200ug folate, 30ug B12, 6mg zinc, 7 ug Selenium, plus blend of L-typtonphan, taurine, and L theanine. I'd start with 1 capsule].

 

I definitely wish I'd found this site two years ago.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Healing

Welcome, Ajay. We're glad you found us. You're in the middle of a process of learning that it's hard to just stop taking a medication like Sertraline, and also trying to figure out what the best way is to support your sleep and healing as you recover from the Sertraline.

 

It's not obvious to me what you should do. There are several options. It might be a worth considering getting back on something like half your previous dose of Sertraline and then doing a super-slow taper, which is pretty much the consensus now in the online anti-psych med community for how best to get off these meds.

 

I also think that taking a benzo prn will destabilize you. I completely sympathize with how tempting it is to do it, but it generally bites people in the butt.

 

Also, the supplements -- everyone is different, but we are generally more sensitive to supplements for a while post-meds. You'll have to keep talking to people here, research, experiment with what works best for you. Try to only make one change at a time in your supplements so you can tell what's doing what.

 

It's very common to have early trauma flare up during withdrawal from these meds. This is another reason to proceed slowly and get lots of support, which you are doing.

 

It's definitely possible and desirable to live a med-free life. It just takes some study and experimentation -- and some time -- to get there. You'll get different suggestions here based on a lot of experience. We'll help you chart your path.

 

I'm sorry about the insomnia. That's a very debilitating symptom, and it makes it hard to think, make decisions, slog through the day. You'll definitely be OK. We just have to figure out the best course. :)


1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Altostrata

Welcome, Ajay. (I believe I invited you here; I've just changed my screen name.)

 

Ummm... I believe too much time has passed for you to resume sertraline (Zoloft).

 

Reinstatement and tapering slowly from there generally has to be done early in withdrawal, probably within a few weeks. My belief -- I'm not a medical professional -- is that that ship has sailed.

 

I had the NeuroScience tests and recommendations for Kavinace, etc. Here's the problem: Whatever "science" there is behind those tests is highly questionable. They purport to test neurotransmitter levels; the supplements are supposed to "balance" neurotransmitters.

 

Whether neurotransmitter levels in the brain can be measured by any means is doubtful. That question aside, the entire theory of neurotransmitter imbalance in mood disorders is a myth. Psychiatry doesn't even believe it anymore. It's unfortunate that complementary medicine, which has so much to offer in so many ways, has also bought into what boils down to a marketing slogan for SSRIs.

 

Furthermore, serotonin deficiency is not relevant in prolonged withdrawal syndrome. Your serotonin receptors have already done what they can do to repopulate. What's happened is the problem has moved to the autonomic nervous system -- see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/392-one-theory-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

The autonomic nervous system controls sleep and other "automatic" body functions.

 

Now, back to your situation. One issue in prolonged withdrawal syndrome is that many of us become hypersensitive to medications and supplements that act on the nervous system. Those supplements contain various neuroactive supplements, such as tryptophan.

 

It may be that a NeuroScience supplement accidentally contains something that will help you. If I were you, I'd try one out very cautiously for a few days, in as low a dose as possible. See if it helps. If not, don't continue taking it.

 

(I would not invest any further into these expensive supplements.)

 

It's a lot safer to buy the ingredients and try low doses of them one by one. For example, some people swear by tryptophan for sleep. Get that (I think it comes in 500mg capsules), open the capsule, and take a fraction of a dose to see what it does for you.

 

That's the best way for those of us with nervous systems upset from prolonged withdrawal syndrome to experiment with supplements.

 

I have massive sleep problems. Personally, the only supplements that helped me were B12 and melatonin. I swear by melatonin. Start with .25mg at nightfall. Darkening my bedroom with blackout shades and curtains, plus a sleep mask, to block out the early morning light, also helped.

 

But others have had bad reactions to B12 and even melatonin -- everybody's different. (There's no downside to room darkening.)

 

We have suggestions about what to do for sleep in the Symptoms and what helps forum.

 

Please add your experiences there, too.


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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ajay

Welcome, Ajay. (I believe I invited you here; I've just changed my screen name.)

 

Ummm... I believe too much time has passed for you to resume sertraline (Zoloft).

 

Reinstatement and tapering slowly from there generally has to be done early in withdrawal, probably within a few weeks. My belief -- I'm not a medical professional -- is that that ship has sailed.

 

Hi Alto/Sur!

 

Yes, you invited me here. Thank you.

 

oh, @$%!! About the reinstatement. I did do it once before, but that was before I had any issues with insomnia.

 

I remember your melatonin comments on another board. I have been taking about 0.5mg at 8-8:30 at night.

 

I started a tracking sheet in May to try to figure out what works and what doesn't. My intention is to scale back on the supplements. At this point I'm afraid of changing anything because I'm afraid of making things worse. Yet I'm willing to add stuff that might help. Maybe I'm still looking for a pill to make it all better.

 

It makes sense to break things down to their base ingredients.

 

Another supplement my doctor recommended in phosphatidyl serine. I think the idea is to lower my cortisol levels. It seems that there's also a neurotransmitter effect: it increases acetylcholine, which could be good... but it's still messing with the system.

 

Vacation has helped somewhat- this is the first night in four days that I haven't been able to fall back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night.

 

Unfortunately, I'm rather impatient with my process right now. I miss my brain.

 

More later- I'm going to try to sleep.

 

Thank you all for being here.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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ajay

I guess a good thing about a bad night is that it reminds me that (even recently) I've had better ones.

 

I've been avoiding alcohol (bummer - I was really into wine tastings and such). Last night I had a glass of wine with dinner. And then woke up after about 3 hours of sleep and couldn't get back to sleep. I noticed on another SA post from Punar (here) that alcohol increases the effects of GABA. So maybe there's a "mini-rebound" effect when the alcohol wears off?

 

::sigh:: I'm feeling very discouraged. I have an appointment with a psychopharmacologist next week. I have no idea how it will go, but I think I'll bring a few w/d articles with me. Specifically: Harvey, et al: Neurobiology of antidepressant withdrawal: implications for the longitudinal outcome of depression; Biological Psychiatry. 2003 Nov 15;54(10):1105-17. Other recommendations would be welcome.

 

I'm considering a mindful meditation class. I'm worried, because I don't trust my brain these days and it tends to go into dark unhelpful places. I'm not sure if meditation will open channels I'm not strong enough to handle. I've had problems with depression for most of my life and I don't know how to distinguish real depression and anhedonia from w/d symptoms. I don't have a strong sense of support from my therapist right now - I've been going for a few months. I do much better when I connect with friends, but most of my close friends are no longer in the area, and I'm not sure how to make new ones yet.

 

My lack of cognitive function is really getting to me. I miss my brain. It used to work very well, and I put a lot of my self esteem in that basket.

 

Okay, now I'm just venting. I keep losing sight of how lucky I am. I think it's time to go back to keeping a journal. I kinda feel like there's no point, since I'll never go back and re-read it, but maybe the act of writing will help me organize my thoughts.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Altostrata

I would try inositol and niacinamide before phosphatidylserine (the most reasonable I found is Seriphos by Neesby).

 

I would take with a grain of salt any claims they act on specific neurotransmitters -- I'd have to look that up.

 

A psychopharmacologist -- hmmm. Well, Harvey is a good paper to take, but psychophamacology is the far-right wing of psychiatry. Those guys really believe in their drugs. I would only go to one out of curiosity. Expect to come out with a prescription for some heavy-duty drug or two.

 

Better yet, save your money and try all the non-drug ways to improve sleep. A few are in http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/555-tips-to-help-sleep-so-many-of-us-have-withdrawal-insomnia/page__gopid__5520#entry5520


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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Baxter

I'm considering a mindful meditation class. I'm worried, because I don't trust my brain these days and it tends to go into dark unhelpful places. I'm not sure if meditation will open channels I'm not strong enough to handle.

Ajay, mindfulness meditation teaches you detachment from your thoughts and moods. I am 60, have been anxious/depressed my whole life. I took a mindfulness meditation course two years ago and have found its effects to be subtle yet profound. Focusing on your breath, learning to return to that focus come what may in your own mind is incredibly helpful for both A and D.


 

1989 - 1992 Parnate* 

1992-1998 Paxil - pooped out*, oxazapam, inderal

1998 - 2005 Celexa - pooped out* klonopin, oxazapam, inderal

*don't remember doses

2005 -2007   Cymbalta 60 mg oxazapam, inderal, klonopin

Started taper in 2007:

CT klonopin, oxazapam, inderal (beta blocker) - 2007

Cymbalta 60mg to 30mg 2007 -2010

July 2010 - March 2018 on hiatus due to worsening w/d symptoms, which abated and finally disappeared. Then I stalled for about 5 years because I didn't want to deal with W/D.

March 2018 - May 2018 switch from 30mg Cymbalta to 20mg Celexa 

19 mg Celexa October 7, 2018

18 mg Celexa November 5, 2018

17 mg Celexa  December 2, 2019

16 mg Celexa January 6, 2018 

15 mg Celexa March 7, 2019

14 mg Celexa April 24, 2019

13 mg Celexa June 28, 2019

12.8 mg Celexa November 10, 2019

12.4 Celexa August 31, 2020

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ajay

Alto, thanks for the suggestions and the heads up about psychopharmacology (though I guess the name alone should tip me off). I think I'm going to have to write notes to bring to the visit - at this point, I'm feeling pretty vulnerable. I did ask if she had patients who had gone off meds, and she said "we can talk about that when you're here." hm.

 

I forgot where I got the phosphotidyl serine/acetylcholine link - I think it was a scientific paper but I haven't done a good job tracking my research.

 

Baxter, thanks for your comments on meditation. There is a Mindfulness Meditation class starting soon near me. I am hoping it will help, but I'm scared because it will take time and money and effort, and I don't know if I have the mental resources for it. I'm going to a free info class first before I sign up.

 

My sleep has been improving, but I haven't seen that translate to improved function. I'm not getting enough to recover from the sleep debt I've accumulated.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Razzle

I only have a brief moment to respond.

 

There are no tests for brain neurotransmitters. To study them in animals we sacrifice them and then immediately stain the brain to see to concentrations - so far no living human has volunteered. The scam test you took only showed what was in the lower body at that exact second - one minute later the levels would be totally different - this is called allostasis. The test is quackery and probably not even accurate for body chemicals.

 

Taking supplements to change the most complex entity in the known universe (the human brain) is pure hubris....and potentially dangerous. Most wont cross the blood brain barrier so you are just making expensive urine and making the liver unhappy. They have to be highly lipid soluble to do this and most are not.

 

If they do cross the BBB our brains work on Nano amounts of chemicals shifting in milliseconds - taking a drug or a supplement is like planting petunias with a bulldozer. The brain is used to operating in a parts per billion drop and we just backed up the dump truck and unloaded.

 

Our best hope is a balanced whole foods diet, exercise, lots of pure water, skilled relaxation, being emotionally/psychologically/behaviorally congruent, finding a spiritual connection, working on Right Action life skills, support and time.

 

Humans lived and lived well for millions of years without drugs, supplements and all the false promise sold by allopathic and holistic practitioners. Nothing you buy in a bottle matches what is in the body - it is only a chemists best guess what it would look like if he could make it. I have a good friend who is a biochemist for a major supplement company.

 

He has a plaque on his desk that says: " If Nature Makes It We Can Fake it"

 

This is not to say that some people feel they are helped by supplements - the placebo effect is huge often exceeding active medications in clinical trials...sooooo????

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ajay

Thanks Razzle for the reality check.

I'm a biologist, and it's easy to get caught up in theories...a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

 

So the visit to the psychopharmacologist was interesting. She really, really doesn't like Benzos (I see this as a good sign). She said she'd taken people off medications often, and said it was doubtful that I'd have discontinuation syndrome after stopping sertaline if I was stable on 25mg because it's such a low dose. She did say it was more common with other drugs, just not likely with sertaline. I'll check the boards here, but I don't remember seeing too many people with sertaline issues.

 

My mom has been taking St. John's Wort with some success. When the doctor heard this, she mentioned that SJW might work for me, too (thinking about the heredity aspect of depression - she said what works for one family member can often work for others in the family). She also recommended getting my vitamin D levels checked (even though I'm taking vitamin D) and taking 3g of omega 3s daily, which is about what I'm already taking.

 

Her take: the insomnia is secondary, caused by anxiety/depression. The difficulty concentrating, anhedonia, etc, is depression based.

 

I have a follow-up visit next week. She didn't prescribe anything yet.

 

I really admire everyone here who has the courage to tough it out. I'm not sure if I'm weaker, if I actually am depressed, or if I was just on meds for so long that I'm dependent upon them. Or maybe I've just drunk the kool-aid. I just feel like I can't do this anymore - I need my job and I can't figure out how to dig myself out.

 

Right now, I guess I'm afraid of everything.

 

My sleep did improve somewhat on vacation, but after going back to work, it all unraveled again (actually, on Sunday night when I knew I was going back to work).


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Brandy

Doctors and naturopaths alike do not yet understand that the knowledge about supplements and other so-called alternative or natural remedies is based on their effects on a normal nervous system that isn't literally altered by psychotropic drugs. Although some help some people who are recovering from the alterations these drugs have made, in most cases the effects are very different. In some cases truly frightening and severe. That is particularly true with those that affect neurotransmitter levels. Even when they initially give desirable relief, that often reverses and causes a worsening of symptoms.

 

There are always exceptions, but please be extremely careful while still on and especially when in withdrawal from psychotropic medications.

 

Yesterday I tried Kavinace, which seemed to help bring the anxiety levels down. It's 1mg Vitamin B6 plus a 'proprietaty blend' of taurine and 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid (aka phenibut). Since this is a GABA derivative, I assume I should be careful with this as well.

 

I haven't taken kavinace, but I'm familiar with NeuroScience Inc., and as far as I'm concerned they're like pharmaceutical companies that go a step further and have the gall to market their own products as often very misguided solutions to test results they themselves perform at outrageous prices and with no understanding that what is in blood and urine represents something very different from what is acting on the CNS itself.

 

I'm particularly concerned that your doctor recommended kavinace. Phenibut is not a nutritional supplement. It is a psychotropic drug developed long ago in Russia which for some reason is being marketed in the U.S. and some other countries as a supplement. There are many reports of people having as severe withdrawals from kavinace as from daily benzodiazepine use. The withdrawal symptoms particularly include insomnia.

 

It also has a very short half-life, about five hours. It apparently primarily at least acts on different GABA receptors than benzodiazepines, but short-acting drugs are generally more difficult to withdraw from than longer-acting ones, and the documented cases of phenibut withdrawal seem to have the same symptoms as severe benzodiazepine withdrawal.

 

Please be very careful with what this doctor is recommending, and with anything you choose to take.


I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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Baxter

Hi, Ajay,

 

I'm just checking in. I am so impressed with your clear headed approach to your situation. I won't comment on supplements or switching drugs because other more knowledgeable folks have already chimed in. Just don't let anybody (even the nice psychiatrist) tell you that what is essentially protracted withdrawal is your basic depression and anxiety resurfacing.

 

I also wanted to comment on your worries about not being strong enough to get through the mindfulness meditation course. Mindfulness is not hard and the pain that my classmates and I experienced was no different than the pain that we experience when not meditating. one of the deepest experiences of that class was realizing that the CEO with stress issues, the young father who was dying of bone cancer, the Buddhist monk from England and I (anxious, depressed, PTSD, long AD history) all shared the same experience. We're human, with minds that run us, and with the capacity to - detach a bit to experience the moment without filters. It is gentle, you're not alone in those dark places. It is also not therapy, and issues do not resolve without work outside of meditation.


 

1989 - 1992 Parnate* 

1992-1998 Paxil - pooped out*, oxazapam, inderal

1998 - 2005 Celexa - pooped out* klonopin, oxazapam, inderal

*don't remember doses

2005 -2007   Cymbalta 60 mg oxazapam, inderal, klonopin

Started taper in 2007:

CT klonopin, oxazapam, inderal (beta blocker) - 2007

Cymbalta 60mg to 30mg 2007 -2010

July 2010 - March 2018 on hiatus due to worsening w/d symptoms, which abated and finally disappeared. Then I stalled for about 5 years because I didn't want to deal with W/D.

March 2018 - May 2018 switch from 30mg Cymbalta to 20mg Celexa 

19 mg Celexa October 7, 2018

18 mg Celexa November 5, 2018

17 mg Celexa  December 2, 2019

16 mg Celexa January 6, 2018 

15 mg Celexa March 7, 2019

14 mg Celexa April 24, 2019

13 mg Celexa June 28, 2019

12.8 mg Celexa November 10, 2019

12.4 Celexa August 31, 2020

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ajay

Brandy, thanks for the comments.

 

I have avoided taking more Kavinase.

 

Thank you Baxter for your kind words. The meditation intro is next week, so we'll see how that goes.

 

I'm really grasping at straws these days. I tried the Nuvoxil again since I have a follow-up with my doctor this week. I think I can confirm that it's energizing in a way that interferes with sleep. I will try to remember this - maybe part of my current desperation is from the Nuvoxil effects.

 

What really scares me is my lack of cognitive function. For this alone, I would consider medication.

 

In any case, I will keep a record here, but I feel like I'm going to be "falling off the wagon" and perhaps trying Zoloft again. It has been long enough that I've forgotten about the side effects and I can't handle not being able to think. It's all I can do to wait until my follow up with the nice drug pusher, er, doctor.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Altostrata

Ajay, in general, people find that going back on the antidepressant doesn't help, or makes symptoms worse.

 

The lack of cognitive function is a very, very common withdrawal symptom. It does fade over time, you will find your abilities returning if you hang in there.

 

I was amazed that I could keep on working even though my brain felt like it had been replaced by a large clump of cotton. Don't get scared, soldier on, do what you can.


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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ajay

Hi all,

 

I've been doing things to help the depression/anxiety, or so I thought. I've been going out to meet friends and new people. And that really seems to help my state of mind. I took an intro course in meditation and signed up for the full course, even though I am afraid of it. The intro class gave me a relaxing break from the anxiety and negativity I feel is swirling around in my brain. But when I got home afterward, even though it was relaxing, I couldn't sleep.

 

I feel like everything I do that helps lift the depression is a bit energizing, which is sort of a good thing, but my sleep has totally fallen apart. I can't shut off my brain. I have to go to work and I'm afraid to drive.

 

I now have a prescription for Zoloft but I haven't filled it yet. I'd rather not, but my resolve is crumbling. I just want to feel better. Ironically, I think I could handle my current levels of anxiety if I could just get some rest.

 

I think the more information I read, the more confused I get about what's happening. It bothers me that I have a molecular bio background yet I can't (these days) wrap my head around the HPA axis.

 

 

Supplement thoughts-

 

Alto, I looked for Seriphos by Neesby, but it appears to be out of stock or discontinued online (through Amazon and others).

 

Generally speaking, I think Razzle and Brandy are right about taking care with supplements. But if I'm considering something as drastic as going back on zoloft, I wonder if I should try taking tryptophan first. I think it might be safer than 5-HTP (as it's in more of a "precursor" form). Strangely, on my last visit to Whole Foods, I could find 5-HTP, SAM-e, etc., but no plain ol' tryptophan. hm.

 

 

The Nuvoxil supplement I got from my doctor contains the following (in a 3 capsule serving):

Vitamin C 40 mg

Vitamin B6 9mg

Folate 200 ug

Vitamin B12 30 ug

zinc 6mg

selenium 7ug

'proprietary blend' of L-tryptophan, Taurine, and L-theanine 1950 mg

 

I have only tried it a few times (before posting here) 1 or two capsules at a time, and it seemed to be energizing. Sort of a good thing, but not for sleep. I'm thinking about breaking open a capsule and taking half of it or less. But I'd rather try straight tryptophan if I can find it. I just hate spending more money.

 

I have taped black contractor garbage bags over the bedroom windows. I put a lavender sachet in my pillowcase.

 

I'm frustrated that I'm not sure my doctor can help me and I'm not sure my therapist is a good fit. I've gotten suggestions for therapists who are well known and they usually are expensive, don't take insurance, and don't give referrals, (if you can find contact information for them at all).

 

okay, end of the current rant. I'm just so frustrated that my sleep is broken again. I'm seriously considering taking benedryl tonight just to try to knock myself out. I'm also wondering about naps. I never used to be able to take them, and I still don't know if I can. I know they aren't recommended when you have insomnia, but I'm thinking if I can get any sleep at all it'd be worth it.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Altostrata

You're right, Ajay, you probably would feel a lot better if you could get some more sleep. Withdrawal insomnia makes many of us feel desperate and helpless.

 

For reference, this is probably what has happened in your withdrawal from Zoloft.

 

The HPA axis is involved tangentially.

 

Generally, nervous systems become sensitized to serotonergic substances after antidepressant withdrawal. This causes paradoxical reactions.

 

Serotonergic substances include 5-HTP and tryptophan. Some of us find B vitamins energizing as well -- not in a good way.

 

A lot of people get through withdrawal taking Benedryl. After a while, it tends to go paradoxical, too, but you might be able to get a long run out of it.

 

Have you tried melatonin at nightfall? That helps sent the stage for sleep. See this topic.

 

It's up to you if you want to try 25mg Zoloft again. No one can predict what will happen.


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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ajay

Alto, thanks for your patience.

 

I've been taking about 0.5mg of melatonin around 8:30 pm, except the last few nights I got home late so I ended up taking it later.

 

I know the decision of what action to take is up to me here, and I'm scared.

I don't want to make things worse, but I feel like I need some serious help.

 

If I do try the zoloft again, I'd start with half of the 25mg tablet.

 

To make things even more interesting, both my therapist and my psychopharmacologist will be on vacation for July.

 

It may be frustrating for you to read, but like many others, I'm trying to process so much conflicting information... It makes me doubt my own actions and my own head.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Altostrata

No need to apologize, Ajay. We've all been there -- having to make decisions patients shouldn't have to make.

 

Whatever you decide, we're here for you.


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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ajay

a quick update.

 

I'm hanging in there. Still haven't decided on the zoloft reinstatement idea.

 

I took benedryl for a few nights to sleep, and it worked reasonably well. I can't tell if increases my anxiety during the day. It might. I was just so desperate for sleep. Last night I skipped the benedryl (just took my usual melatonin) and still managed to get almost 6 hours. I was frustrated to wake up early. I may need to upgrade my curtains from garbage bags to aluminum foil. :)

 

I'm worried about this week at work. I work in a very small office, and due to co-worker's vacation or travel, there's a possibility I'll be alone this week. I'm not especially social with my coworkers, but isolation is really not a good thing for me these days.

 

I need to find a therapist who is a better fit for me. I'm not sure why it's taking me so long to accept this and act on it. Well, OK, my energy levels are low so it takes me awhile to act on much of anything. Like this morning, I'm planning on going to the gym, but I can't seem to get moving...


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Altostrata

....So the visit to the psychopharmacologist was interesting. She really, really doesn't like Benzos (I see this as a good sign). She said she'd taken people off medications often, and said it was doubtful that I'd have discontinuation syndrome after stopping sertaline if I was stable on 25mg because it's such a low dose. She did say it was more common with other drugs, just not likely with sertaline. I'll check the boards here, but I don't remember seeing too many people with sertaline issues....

In every study of withdrawal syndrome, the top drugs for withdrawal symptoms were Paxil, Effexor, Zoloft, and Luvox (this was prior to Cymbalta).

 

My mom has been taking St. John's Wort with some success. When the doctor heard this, she mentioned that SJW might work for me, too....

 

Her take: the insomnia is secondary, caused by anxiety/depression. The difficulty concentrating, anhedonia, etc, is depression based....

They always say withdrawal symptoms are symptoms of depression.

 

Your insomnia and pattern of waking is classic for withdrawal syndrome.

 

St. John's Wort is a noradrenergic that may exacerbate your sleep issues.

 

You cannot treat withdrawal syndrome as though it was depression. It's a different beast altogether.

 

....I really admire everyone here who has the courage to tough it out. I'm not sure if I'm weaker, if I actually am depressed, or if I was just on meds for so long that I'm dependent upon them. Or maybe I've just drunk the kool-aid. I just feel like I can't do this anymore - I need my job and I can't figure out how to dig myself out....

You're not a weakling. We've all been there.

 

....I took benedryl for a few nights to sleep, and it worked reasonably well. I can't tell if increases my anxiety during the day. It might. I was just so desperate for sleep. Last night I skipped the benedryl (just took my usual melatonin) and still managed to get almost 6 hours. I was frustrated to wake up early. I may need to upgrade my curtains from garbage bags to aluminum foil. :)....

You'll probably get a longer run out of the Benedryl if you take it every other night or every two nights.

 

And don't forget a kinky sleep mask!

 

....I'm worried about this week at work....

 

I need to find a therapist who is a better fit for me. I'm not sure why it's taking me so long to accept this and act on it. Well, OK, my energy levels are low so it takes me awhile to act on much of anything. Like this morning, I'm planning on going to the gym, but I can't seem to get moving...

 

Looks like your worry about work is affecting your sleep. Is there a way you can reduce the stress level? As Baxter said, meditation may help.

 

Definitely get a new therapist! A supportive one could help reduce the anxiety.


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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ajay

Alas, my sleep mask fails to be kinky. It's a cloth-covered tempurpedic foam mask I got for long airplane rides. I like it because it's cushioned in such a way that I can, if I wish, open my eyes (still can't see anything, but helps in a hard-to-describe way for claustrophobia concerns).

 

I still wake up in the night and I can't seem to fall back to sleep after 4 am. I'm still plenty tired, and I tried just lying in bed and trying not to get caught up in my thoughts...

 

My acupuncturist is on vacation this week, as is my therapist. I have an appointment with a "stand-in" therapist for tomorrow, so I'll see how that goes. I'm still trying to find a therapist/psychiatrist who believes in withdrawal syndrome. You'd think being close to Boston would help.

 

Today is my birthday. I would like a rain check. I was slightly psyched for a moment last night- "hey, tomorrow is my birthday!" and today, well... I didn't make any plans. I have some homemade brownies in the freezer (gluten-free) and some ice cream, so I'm thinking I'll be having dessert tonight. I'll probably go out to a nice dinner with my husband later on in the month. He did ask what I wanted for my birthday, and... I have no idea. I miss my hobbies. I miss my friends.

 

Today, even though I'm getting a later start than I should, I _am_ going to the gym. It won't be anything major, just plodding along on a stair climber. But it's a start.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Altostrata

Oh, it's one of those bubble-eyed sleep masks?

 

This may help you when you wake up at 4 am: Take a baby aspirin, a fish oil capsule or two, and two milk peptide capsules This is very mild, but might enable you to relax enough to sleep some more.

 

Happy birthday, Ajay. Today is my birthday, too.


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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ajay

Happy Birthday Alto!


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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summer

Oh, it's one of those bubble-eyed sleep masks?

 

 

Bubble-eyed sleep masks you say? Sounds just about as kinky as a CPAP! The tech told me that when she wants to look "cute", she forgets to put it on. I swear... I'm picturing a gas mask!


 

 

Charter Member 2011

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ajay

Hi Summer!

 

My sleep mask looks like this.

 

I hope the CPAP works out for you!

 

As for cute, well, I can see where the phrase "beauty sleep" comes from - my skin is a mess, my hair is flat, and I find recent pictures of myself a little shocking.

 

My husband has sleep issues (wakes up a lot, snores - I suspect it's a form of apnea but he's not diagnosed). I didn't have any idea how bad it was until I wasn't sleeping, either. He's anti CPAP (I think he's worried that if he starts using it, he'll never be able to sleep without it). I've been trying to convince him to look into mouthguards.

 

I went to a yoga class this morning. It wasn't quite what I was hoping for... My anxiety and internal judgement levels are pretty high today.

 

I talked to a friend who is using DHEA and it's working wonders for her. Of course, she's not in w/d. I'm not seeing anything here except poodlebell's posthere. I'm tempted to try a small dose (5-10 mg), but I should probably put a call in to my doctor first. I'm a little worried about the milk peptides since I react to something in milk besides lactose, but if there are sleep benefits to be had it may outweigh the other factors.

 

Work definitely affects my stress levels. I spend far too much time alone and I get no real feedback on my work. On one hand, it's easy to skip out for doctor's appointments and it's a reasonable commute. On the other, I feel like a certain amount of collaboration and social interaction would go a long way toward restoring some peace of mind. Of course, finding a new job would take a level of motivation I can't muster up just yet.

 

Today I have an appointment with a different therapist. We'll see how that goes. That's one thing I'd like to see here - guides on how to find and screen therapists. It's so unfair that we need to be strong voices at a time when we're pretty vulnerable.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Altostrata

I tried DHEA but at a much lower dose. As I recall, you don't want to push it too far. It's an estrogen and testosterone precursor, so you don't know what you'll get with it.

 

A note from 2006: "Started taking 2.5mg DHEA (GABA-A modulator) at night; improved sleep quality, now sleep well most of the night."


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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ajay

I'm having a hard time finding DHEA in small doses. Actually, I have a hard time finding anything (melatonin, tryptophan, etc) in small doses. What's up with that? It's really annoying. I used to be able to find 0.5mg melatonin tablets. Now I have trouble finding 1mg tablets to cut in half.

 

Alto, do you remember why you stopped taking DHEA?

I'm guessing as with everything else, it's not a good long term solution because of some of the other potential effects.

I'm sure by this time my doctor is sick of me, but I wonder if it's worth getting my DHEA levels tested...


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Altostrata

I think I stopped taking DHEA because progesterone cream worked better? (See this post.)

 

It is hard to find small dosages of supplements in drugstores, or even alternative pharmacies. I don't know why that is -- maybe so they can charge more?

 

I order the supplements I need online. My favorite brands are Source Naturals and (for some things), NOW brand; sites Swanson, Vitaglo, House of Nutrition, iherb, Lucky Vitamin -- whichever has the best prices and lowest shipping at the time. Amazon or eBay is sometimes okay.

 

One specific item, My-B Tabs by Legere, I get from the Village Green Apothecary site when they have free shipping specials.

 

Trader Joe's has good fish oil and some other things. I believe I saw 1mg melatonin there recently.


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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ajay

GNC also has 1 mg Melatonin.

 

I'm all frustration. Yesterday was overall a good day. I went to the gym before work. My husband took my out for a birthday dinner. I had a lovely time. I did have a glass of wine and some decaf espresso and a yummy dessert. I was even able to listen to some music on the way home. Though I was a little disturbed to hear 80's music on the "oldies station." sigh.

 

It's now 2:30 AM. I haven't been able to sleep. I should've taken something (benedryl) earlier, though I didn't want to because of the wine with dinner. I haven't had wine in quite some time. Since the w/d, it tends to knock me out and then I wake up later with anxiety issues. It didn't knock me out tonight, and my brain doesn't seem terribly anxious, just really busy. It is Saturday so I could sleep in if I'm able to do so. I'm feeling really tired, I just can't get my brain to quiet down.

So- took a benedryl, ate some almonds as a snack, will read for a bit and then put on my sleep mask.

 

The thing is, I think I was in relatively good spirits today for the first time in a while. So it's that much more puzzling to me that I can't sleep. I'm annoyed. I've been thinking the anxiety is the source of my insomnia, though I have noticed that things which seem to ease the depression also tend to interfere with sleep.

 

bleah.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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summer

Hi Ajay... really sorry you weren't able to sleep after such a nice birthday dinner. Maybe you were just so happy about a good day that your system wouldn't shut down. Sometimes, I can be in bed and feeling relaxed and calm... yet, I still can't fall off to sleep. Never could figure that out.

 

I'm glad it's Saturday and you can just relax. I think you'll be calmer today and will sleep well tonight. Funny thing is... maybe twice a year I'll have a glass of wine with dinner. It does relax me... but by bed time the effect wears off and I feel jittery.

 

Why the sleep mask? Do you have sleep apnea? I'm asking b/c I was recently told I have severe sleep apnea and have just started using the CPAP. I've also heard that the CPAP helps with withdrawal, which I don't understand. What is your experience with it?


 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Altostrata

Thanks for the description of the birthday dinner, Ajay! I felt like it was part of my celebration, too.

 

It could be you got a bit of a rebound from the alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, when it wore off, your oversensitive alerting system overcompensated and kept you awake.

 

I started a new topic on DHEA where I put in some notes from when I tried it.


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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ajay

Summer, by "sleep mask" I meant eye shades to block out morning light (my garbage bag decor works for darkening the room at night, but it doesn't really block out the morning sun, and I haven't upgraded to aluminum foil yet). I don't think I have apnea issues (knock wood). I did end up sleeping from about 3:30-7:30 or so...I know you'd been fitted for a CPAP. Have you had a chance to try it for a few days? How is it working for you?

 

It's good that I can take it easy today, but it's also very frustrating because I have a lot of stuff to take care of around the house and I can't seem to find the energy to do anything. I feel like I have about 20 years of backlog to deal with - in therapy, in personal organization, in so many aspects of my life. So in the big scheme of things, losing a day is no big deal. But I feel like I've let so much time slip away. I can really relate to another SA member who said s/he felt like s/he lost (or was losing) hizzer prime earning years, career-wise.

 

Off-topic happy thoughts on the dinner... First, some context: I have tricky food allergies on top of celiac disease [side thoughts about whether Zoloft played a role in this omitted]. One thing I still have to deal with is how fear of food has affected my life. I used to love to travel, but after a few bad food reactions a long way from home, I'm now much more cautious. And food is such a major part of traveling to new places, socializing with friends, etc. Back to the present (more or less): the restaurant we went to yesterday is one of my all time favorite places for special occasions. They serve fantastic food (French inspired and often with local ingredients) and they have a completely flourless chocolate cake. An added bonus: I discovered that their steak frites are safe for me to eat, and my husband was happy to share his with me!

 

I'm trying to train myself to emphasize the positives. Or at least remember that they're there.

 

Alto, thanks for all of the info on DHEA! It looks like I have some homework to do...


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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ajay

Okay, struggling after a weekend that was overall good (as far as spirits go) but with very little sleep, so by last night I was falling apart.

 

Alto, I know you've said reinstatement of ADs after so long a period off them (9 months now) is probably not a good idea. You have a lot of experience and accumulated knowledge about this, but I don't. I keep wondering about it, and I haven't found too many resources. It probably doesn't help that I haven't yet found a doctor or therapist who has experience with a/d withdrawal.

 

I'm curious about other people's experiences with reinstatement and wanted to post it as an open question for people who have tried it. I'm not sure where the topic would go. I could see where it might not seem appropriate for the SA forum, but I think it would be helpful.

 

Of course, I can't use other people's experiences to predict my own, but if I had known more about tapering, maybe I wouldn't be where I am now. I keep forgetting that at this point, maybe the damage is done, and reinstatement won't necessarily help. I'm frustrated by the toll this is taking on me and also my husband. We both miss the me I used to be.


History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Altostrata

Ajay, that's understandable.

 

Unfortunately, you may search a long, long time before you find a doctor or therapist who is at all familiar with withdrawal syndrome.

 

How about starting a topic about reinstatement in the Symptoms and What Helps forum?

 

That is a very good question to ask.

 

Each person has to make hizzer own decision about whether to try medication again to deal with withdrawal syndrome.


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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