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Becca29: The road back from Zoloft


Becca29

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Hi! I have been on zoloft 50 mg for 2 1/2 years for PTSD, panic attacks, and OCD. I weaned off gradually for 4 weeks and it has been 2 days without any meds at all. I thought weaning would be the hardest part with all the agitation and swings but I was wrong.. It's only the beginning:(

Dreams and nightmares are more vivid and odd

The headaches and zaps I feel like are getting worse. This morning I felt pretty good when I woke but a little foggy. Tonight is much worse though. I have always had neck pain and tension headaches from a wreck I was in over 15 yrs ago but I'm staring to think it's a symptom bc it's almost like a zapping tingling sensation from my neck to my head. It comes and goes. I still have the sweats and chills from time to time as well. I'm just curious how long all of this could last?

I'm going through a child custody/ divorce with my abusive ex who has my daughter and he's a cop... My trial is 3 weeks away... Did I make a bad decision? I didn't want to be on meds any longer due to my health/ fitness journey. Any answers or suggestions? Thanks:)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Becca29,

Welcome and thank you for posting an introduction.  I'm sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling well since stopping your medication.  Some people can come off these drugs fast and have no problems, but others need to do it slowly.  It sounds like you are having some withdrawal symptoms from tapering too fast.

 

How did you taper over the 4 weeks?  What was the last dose you took? Are you taking any other medications?

 

Its impossible to say how long this will last.  If its getting worse, rather than better, there is a good chance that it could last a long time.  In these cases we usually recommend reinstating a small amount of the medication, then waiting to stabilize, until the symptoms subside, and then starting a slower taper from there.  Reinstating a small amount of zoloft may help you feel better, then it would be easier to handle your legal issues.  Then when that is settled, you could start a safer tapering process, we suggest reducing by 10% per month, this protects the nervous system and has a lower risk of causing withdrawal.

 

Here is some information about reinstating:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

and here is a thread with information about how to safely taper from Zolft:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

 

I stopped taking an antidepressant too fast several years ago, I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but didn't know that's what it was.  By the time I found this site, it was too late for me to reinstate and I haven't felt well since, I have what is called protracted withdrawal.  I recommend taking some time and reading through the information here and learning about withdrawal.

 

I have also experienced an abusive marriage, followed by difficult court processes, but I was still taking Lexapro at the time, I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to go through that while being in withdrawal.

 

This is a very friendly, supportive site and we can help you to feel better while safely tapering and becoming drug free.

 

Petu.

 

 

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Becca, welcome to SA. I agree with what Petu says, it might be better for you to reinstate a small

amount of the AD to stop the withdrawals.  Going through a custody battle is a nightmare for

anyone but to go though it in withdrawal would be even worse in my experience! 

 

Did the zoloft help any with the panic and OCD?  

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You might consider reinstating 10 mg or so, seeing if that calms your withdrawal symptoms, and holding there for a month or longer if necessary until you're through this very stressful time. Given that your taper period (which was quite fast) was symptomatic and you've only gotten worse since you came off, you are clearly not going to be one of the lucky folks who comes off these meds easily. That being the case I doubt things will be improved significantly in three weeks under stressful conditions (we find that stress makes WD symptoms worse in general--stress hormones seem to aggravate the symptoms).

 

Under the circumstances (your current symptoms, your current life situation) I'd highly recommend getting a prescription for the liquid form (I think there is one) and starting right away on about 10 mg a day. You should know within four or five days if that will settle you down. Then I would wait until your life situation has calmed down and you're feeling confident that you and your kids are safe, before completing your taper.

 

It's worth the small delay.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions:) yesterday evening my washer flooded my laundry room and kitchen and of course the shop vac didn't work right but I think I handled it pretty well. It was stressful but I walked away when my anxiety level went up and went to get dinner. For the most part I feel worse I think in the evenings but yesterday was much better. Had a little trouble falling asleep but then had a bad nightmare about my ex and I was running from him. Woke up sweating and went back to sleep. I hope my anxiety attacks and nightmares don't come back to stay. I'm going to church tonight because I always feel much better after. I was also prescribed colazepam oral desenegrating tablets for panic attacks... Maybe I should take those as needed to relax at night And sleep?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please be careful with the clonazepam,  which is a benzo and highly addictive if used regularly.

Insomnia is a common symptom of withdrawal and your current situation will be making it worse. 

You seem to be handling things really well and did an excellent job of staying calm when the 

washer flooded, well done! 

 

I agree that reinstating might help,  you are having withdrawal symptoms and they could get worse

and this is an extremely stressful time.  Many people find the first few weeks are tolerable but then

the symptoms ramp up and become unbearable. I don't want to scare you but just make you aware 

that it can happen.  Of course it is your call, and we understand why you want to be off the drugs,

but would hate to see you become worse and for people to assume it is a return of your illness,

especially with the custody case! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Makes total sense! I haven't taken colazepam in a while. I only took it when I needed it and haven't needed it in a long time. I'm going to see how the rest of the week goes and then make a decision:) thanks

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Becca.

 

Even 5mg might alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. I would avoid taking clonazepam if at all possible.

 

Zoloft comes in a liquid for titration. Please read the links Petu gave 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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Thanks! Day 6 without any meds at all:) I seem to be much better!!! Yay:) haven't had nightmares the past 3 nights

And the zaps are almost gone with maybe one a day:) keeping my fingers crossed it stays thks way!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Becca,

I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better.  You may be one of the lucky ones who can get off these drugs without too many problems, I have my fingers crossed for you.

 

Its not unusual for people to feel fine for a few days, weeks, even a couple of months, and then have symptoms start to come back.  This often gets misdiagnosed as a 'relapse' of the previous 'illness', when in reality, its a delayed withdrawal response. 

 

Recovery from antidepressants usually happens in a windows and waves kind of pattern.

 

I'm not saying this will happen to you, but if it does, it can often be treated by reinstating a fraction of the dose, stabilizing and then starting a slower taper. 

 

Do stay in touch and let us know how things are going.

 

Petu.
 

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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