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Avuze

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Avuze

Hello all,

 

After having been on zoloft for 3 years, I quit cold turkey. A few months later, I had pretty bad WD symptoms - mainly insomnia, anxiety, headaches, and depression. My mom and psychiatrist were convinced that these were simply signs of re-emerging depression.

 

So I got back on. By March, I was actually feeling pretty good.

 

But there was still lingering depression, and I wanted to see who I really was off the drug. Without any knowledge of what withdrawal would be like, except that I could suffer from some symptoms for "6 weeks at most" (-my psychiatrist), I quit cold turkey, again.

 

I had brain zaps for several weeks, and then I felt alright. The brain zaps stopped, and the sexual dysfunction I had throughout the course of taking the drug diminished.

 

Throughout the summer, I got worse and worse, not knowing what was going on, since I had been assured that the symptoms I was going through could not be caused by withdrawal from zoloft.

 

Some of the symptoms I've gone through have been insomnia, anhedonia, depression, suicidal thoughts, tinnitus, DP/DR, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive thinking, self-hatred, self-blame, self-guilt, brain fog, PTSD (i.e. hyper vigilance), migraines, psychosis, agitation/anger, lack of concentration, confusion, racing thoughts so severe that socialization is difficult because there is almost constant buzzing of thoughts flying around. I feel like I've lost my sense of self.

 

I realized after using this site that quitting cold turkey was definitely not a good idea, but now it seems that reinstatement of the drug would not be very helpful.

 

I have definitely had a number of windows, albeit a lot more waves. 

 

Also I just moved across the country (from the midwest to the west coast) and started college. I'm really confused about whether or not I even want to be in college, at least not now. Now I just want to move back home and focus on recovery.

 

I feel so guilty for not wanting to attend any events or go to class or do anything besides lie in bed. Then I feel anger at myself for not being able to "snap out of it." And I feel anger towards the world. I feel angry at my mom for advocating an AD to a kid who hadn't even started high school yet.

 

Looking back on how relatively small my depression was beforehand, I'm almost positive I could've completely handled it with exercise, diet, therapy, and meditation. Now all of those things are just plain difficult. I'm angry at the world for not standing up to the pharmaceutical companies who market these lies. 

 

Then I just feel powerless, and confused, and lost, and that I shouldn't be angry, I should just focus on recovery. I feel guilty for being an angry person. I feel disgusted that I could get so angry.

 

I'm also trying to reconnect with God. I decided I was an atheist in middle school, and then I decided I was agnostic at some point, and then I decided I was spiritual but not religious. Now I want to reconnect with Christ and find peace and rest in Him. Yet I am so used to ridiculing religion, and I am finding myself to be unworthy and without much faith. 

 

I have been taking magnesium citrate, vitamin D-3, MSM (methylsulphonylmethane), and vitamin C, all of which seem to help (especially the magnesium). Yet I haven't taken them individually, so perhaps I should stop them all and add them all back in one by one. Although the magnesium helps so much I don't think I could remove it.

 

I have also been trying to meditate time to time, but I am finding it very difficult. I realize that I should set a schedule and stick to it if I want the best results. One thing that I did yesterday and today which really helped was chanting "OM" for 15 minutes. Also, I have been exercising, and it seems to help a lot.

 

I have some money saved up, but the out of state tuition I'm paying, even with financial aid, is 10x more expensive than what I would be paying at a college back home. And I'm not sure I even want to be in college right now.

 

I want to take advantage of treatments like neuro-feedback, acupuncture, reiki, and maybe using a flotation tank, but I don't want to spend all of my money and not be able to make it back home. I want to go home, be stabilized, and then seek those treatments.

 

I plan on going back at the end of the trimester (in December) since I've already paid tuition and housing, but I honestly can't see myself succeeding in college right now, so I'm just feeling lost. I've already missed 4 classes, and two assignments. I just really want to leave tomorrow and go home. And I am the first of my brothers (two older, one younger) to go to college, so my entire family is expecting me to do well.

 

The only one truly supporting me is my little brother, a sophomore in high school. My mom just wants me to take more poison and so does my psychiatrist.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


6/2010 Zoloft 50 mg

3/2011 Zoloft 100 mg

11/2011 Zoloft 150 mg 

4/2012 Zoloft 200 mg

7/2013 Quit cold turkey

11/2013 Reinstated (200 mg)

3/2014 Quit cold turkey

9/2014 Found this website

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mammaP

Hi Avuze, welcome to surviving antidepressants. I am so sorry to read your story, that you were given

drugs at such a young age is such a shame, but try not to be too angry with your mom, she did what she believed 

was right for you at the time, It is the doctors who should know better! 

 

At 6 months off it is not guaranteed that reinstatement will work but you could try a minute dose of 1mg. I would

not recommend any higher as you could have an adverse reaction after so long off. I do know someone who

reinstated a very tiny dose after 6 months and it helped. You could then taper off that minute dose when you have

stabilised. Zoloft is available in a liquid for easy tapering. 

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

 

You need to be careful with alternative treatments and supplements, your nervous system is fragile and some things

can make people feel worse in withdrawal. There are many discussions on different treatments in the symptoms and

self care topics. To search the site it is best to use Dr google, Put in what you want to search, then follow it with

survivingantidepressants.org. It will then bring up topics here on the site. Sadly out own search facility is not very good.

Magnesium and fish oil are 2 that seem to help a lot of people so it is good that you are taking the magnesium.

I have never heard of MSM before, do you find it helps you?  

 

I would not quit college yet, in withdrawal it is important to keep things as normal as possible. Getting up, dressed and

out to college will actually help your recovery by keeping things as normal as possible. Once you quit it will become 

harder and harder to get up and go out, the brain isn't being stimulated and motivation soon goes. I know it is very hard

for you and you are suffering terribly but it really is best to try and keep going if you can. This will get better, no-one can 

say how long it will take but you will get better.  Recovery will come in windows and waves, windows when you feel 

some improvement and waves where life sucks. The waves will become shorter and windows longer as time goes by and

your body and brain heal. 

 

Here are some links for you to look at.  About reinstating and stabilising http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

The windows and waves pattern of recovery. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/ 


**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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Rhiannon

I agree that a trial reinstatement of a few mg, 1-5 or so, would be worth doing. It may take the edge off the worst of your symptoms and make it possible for you to get out of bed and out of your room and at least go through the motions of school. Now's not the time to be worried about doing your best work.

 

I can't say since I don't know exactly how severe your condition is, but I might disagree with MammaP about the importance of you staying in college right now, since I know how high tuition costs are here in the States (very high! like buying a house), and I know how hard the dark Portland winters can be, too (and winter hasn't yet kicked in here).

 

It's possible your college might be willing to give you a leave for a few months and hold your place for you when you get back.

 

I do understand her point--if you can keep going it's good to keep a routine. If you can get out of your room and just show up to class, don't worry about doing your best work, just try not to flunk out, that might be best for now. But then again if you have a safe place to go where you're not going to be pressured to take more drugs, it might be good to take some time to heal your brain, because again, college is VERY expensive here and it's not money you want to be wasting.

 

You might see if your mom will read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. (And you should read it yourself too.) That may make her more able to support you in your desire to break free of these drugs.

 

I do agree that you don't want to experiment too much with alternative therapies right now; most of us have found those to be at best a waste of our money and at worst to aggravate our symptoms. I personally do well with massage and with acupuncture (when I specify to my therapist/acupuncturist that I am looking for soothing, gentle, calming effects, not for deep healing). But both of those things have caused problems for some people.

 

My heart goes out to you. You're in a tricky spot. I certainly understand why you would be feeling angry, and I also agree that dwelling on the anger right now is probably not helpful in your healing process. The best thing now is to keep a calming, steady daily routine, eat well, get some gentle walking in if you can, and keep stress to a minimum.

 

If it's impossible to do that in the college environment, and if your college will hold your place, and if there's another place you can be for a while where you'll get support in having that calming environment without being pressured to take more drugs, then maybe taking a break from school would be good for you. Those are a lot of "ifs."

 

I'd start with getting the liquid sertraline and trying a small reinstatement. Particularly given your youth, you might do well with that. See if your campus doc will prescribe that for you. I think in Portland there must be some open-minded docs who would support you.  Will Hall is in Portland, he might be able to give you a referral to a doc who's supportive of people who want to get off meds. If not I do know of one in Medford, but that's quite a drive.


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 

 

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

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mammaP

I'm sorry if I seemed a little harsh and  Rhi is right. I forget that things are different in the States! It is much

easier here in the UK, I hope I didn't upset you and appear unfeeling. 


**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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crazykatie

Hi Avuze,

I'm sorry you're experiencing such bad withdrawal. All the symptoms you described are many of the same ones we all do. I totally understand you being upset about being put on ad at such a young age. I was put on my cocktail all at once after suffering a breakdown. I wish it was just suggested to me to try counseling while taking the meds for a short term period.

I understand your conflict about staying in school. I'm on disability luckily, but I would like to work part time. After a week of discussions, my family n I have decided to focus on my withdrawal. I have several more meds to get off.

Hang in there, it does get better.


Was on antidepressants on and off from 2000-2007 dx with MDD n anxiety.

2009- had like a physical breakdown. Was exhausted n not functioning properly. Still have depression n had become suicidal. Shrink dx bipolar while I never had a single manic episode. I got at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night. I required that to function since a child. I was admitted to the psych ward immediately. Was then put on a cocktail.

Lithium, lamotrigine, wellbutrin, prozac, depakote, Xanax, trazadone and ritalin.

Went through over 50 shock treatments n put on Invega in addition

Spring 2014, made the decision to try to get off some meds.

11 weeks ago I qt quit invega

10/6 reinstated 150 mg of Wellbutrin

I currently take 40 mg of prozac, 300 mg of lamotrigine, 1 mg of Xanax, 150 mg of trazadone

I am down from three medications. The forementioned others that I was initially put on I stopped prior to 2014.

I am hoping to be med free one day. I do not have any intention of stopping the current ones right now. I'm going to give my body a little more time to adjust.

Progress not perfection!!

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