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WatchingTV426--withdrawing from Zoloft, miserably


WatchingTV426

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Hi everyone. So glad to be here, to have found this wonderful, intelligent forum and people who give me hope at this difficult time. I'm up again in the middle of another night, the very reason I *finally* had to get off these awful SSRIs after all these years--because I couldn't bear the insomnia anymore. Thanks in advance for reading my (long) story. 

 

In July 2006, at age 24, I was put on 150mg of Zoloft for OCD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and minor depression (secondary, as a result of the anxiety problems). I suffered with OCD as a child ("Pure O," a particularly debilitating form, and one that can be difficult for other people, like parents and teachers, to recognize), since about 4th grade, but I was never diagnosed or even taken to the doctor for it (being "crazy" and needing to see a psychiatrist was one of my greatest fears growing up, sadly. This is something terrible I learned from the fabulous television of the 1990s, no doubt). It was the hugest step for me to get to the psychiatrist to talk about my OCD--there was no way I could do therapy at that point, even with the encouragement of my very supportive husband, though I wish so much now that I had and could have gotten off the drugs in a short time frame, knowing what I know now :(. Drugs started working quickly, though I required an increase to 200mg in Sept. 2006 when my father went into the ICU about a month after my husband and I moved 3 hours away from home and I'd just begun a new graduate program--too much stress, too difficult to be away from my family. 

 

Sleep problems began almost immediately on the Zoloft and persisted. I would sleep for 4 hours, be awake for 3 or 4 hours, then go back to sleep for 4 hours, rising at 10 or 11 a.m. I was a graduate student with classes and teaching responsibilities late in the day, so though my energy and work quality suffered, I could "do" it, esp. because I was young. This wasn't a case of anxiety upon waking; I would simply be awake in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep. Because I knew I would be exhausted and unable to work later in the day, I couldn't afford to lay in bed aimlessly (which *would* produce anxiety after long enough), so I would get out of bed and go work. 

 

In early 2008, after 1.5 years on the Zoloft, I randomly started gaining weight. I have always been very slim and this was not due to over-eating or changing my diet. Despite severely restricting my caloric intake (1200 calories a day) and exercising 4 times a week, I gained 12 pounds in 3 weeks and the weight kept coming. Even my psychiatrist agreed this was "alarming." Since I felt better, I decided to go off the drug. I did a 2-month taper ending around July 1, 2008, and I don't remember any immediate withdrawal symptoms. My sleep returned to normal, and the summer proceeded normally...until I met with the director of my graduate program about 6 weeks later, had a stressful conversation about my future "plans," and then anxiety came flooding into my system. The next 4 months were filled with anxiety and OCD equal in intensity to the 2006 bout that spurred me to finally seek professional help. I couldn't eat, sleep, or basically function at all. I became depressed because of this. I was barely doing my schoolwork, I felt sick all the time. Now I wonder if this was really a relapse, or a case of withdrawal coming on because of a stressor 6 or so weeks out; I was never in therapy for my OCD or had never personally come to terms with it through reading/learning about it at this point though, so a relapse was not surprising to me. 

 

On Dec. 22, 2008, my psychiatrist started me on Lexapro, I think 10 mg. It wasn't doing enough by late January and I wasn't sleeping at all (worse than Zoloft), so he upped it to 20mg, added Topomax at 100mg, and encouraged me to take 50mg Trazadone--which he had prescribed originally for the Zoloft insomnia, but I was too stubborn to take because I've always been pill shy. Things started to improve with these changes. I can't remember exactly what happened, but somewhere in 2009 I started taking Buspar, not sure of the amount. I've also been taking Deplin 15mg, the folic acid supplement that's supposed to help with depression for many, many years--not sure when this started. 

 

In 2010, my husband and I decided to try to get pregnant, and I wanted to try it off the meds; regardless, I couldn't be on the Lexapro/Topamax/Buspar cocktail I was on at the time if I were to get pregnant, so I tapered various things at various points over about 3 months at my doctor's suggestion. I think I also went off the Deplin. Within three weeks time, I was a hot hot mess. Depressed mood, crying all the time, so anxious I could barely function, OCD started barreling back in. Because I didn't report physical symptoms, my psychiatrist did not think this could have been withdrawal (this is the reason he gives now--the lack of physical symptoms). He assumed it was that I needed the drugs. I went onto Zoloft, I believe 200mg, Trazadone 50mg, for sleep, and back on the Deplin 15mg. I felt better (unfortunately I can't remember how long I waited to go back on--couldn't have been more than a month, I don't think--or how long it took for the meds to make a difference) and vowed I would NEVER go back off my meds.  

 

And then. Well, and then after almost a year of trying, I got pregnant. I reduced to 150mg of Zoloft and had to stop taking the trazadone, which meant I didn't sleep. I have a bad hip, which made pregnant sleeping very difficult. In the last months I was getting 2.5 hours of sleep while being a PhD student. Then my son was born in May 2012, I had an emergency C-section, post-partum depression starting 5 days later (back up to 200mg), my mother-in-law went into cardiac arrest when my son was 10 weeks old, I had difficulty breastfeeding and spent 21 hours a week hooked up to a breast pump which further interfered with the terrible sleep of the infant months, was doing my PhD comprehensive exams during my son's first year of life, etc. etc. Basically, I became more and more exhausted and worn down while barely sleeping. 

 

Started using the trazadone again intermittently during his first year, and it worked for 4 or 5 months. Then it pooped out in March 2013--I wouldn't sleep on it hardly at all, and it would make me feel like a zombie during the day. Stopped taking it. In early June 2013 started the Topomax 100mg again (no longer breastfeeding for a while now); it had previously helped me to sleep, and it worked okay again, until the end of Dec. 2013. Then the nightmare began on Jan. 1, 2014. Topomax suddenly stopped working. For 6 months, I was back in the "Zoloft sleep cycle"--sleeping 3-4 hours and despite being exhausted, waking up and being unable to fall back to sleep. My work started suffering even more than usual, I had no energy for my family or anything else. I'm always in chronic back/neck/shoulder/hip pain b/c of not enough sleep, but it got worse. 

 

Ambien didn't help during pregnancy, and when I tried it again this summer it didn't help. I tried Lunesta--no help. My psychiatrist suggested Mirtazapine but said it might "knock me out for 36 hours." I didn't want another antidepressant so at first I didn't try it, but when I did (mid-taper and desperate for sleep, this fall), he was right--it made me sleep and/or dysfunctional for an entire weekend. Finally, despite saying 4 years ago I would never, ever go off the drugs, I knew that I could not continue writing a dissertation and giving my family short shrift and feeling this amount of stress and living like this. I decided to start tapering at the end of June and finished at the beginning of Dec. I started out at 200 mg of Zoloft and 15 mg of Deplin, the latter of which I am still on (though recent tests by an integrative medicine doc have shown I should not need it because I do not have the genetic mutation that creates problems processing folate, I have gotten quite depressed within 5 days to a week or two when stopping it before--not sure what to do b/c it's $720 a year and conains something I'm intolerant of, soy protein). I didn't find this site until this week unfortunately, or I'd have gone much slower :-/. Here was my schedule: 

 

Started at 200mg Zoloft 

6-26-14 (150 mg) 

7-14-14 (100 mg) 

8-20-14 (50 mg) 

10-25-14 (25 mg) 

11-18-14 (12.5 mg) 

12-2-14 stopped drug 

 

Throughout the tapering process, I would notice irritability, increased agitation and likelihood to fight with my husband for 3-6 days after decreasing the dose. The drop down to 50 mg was fairly bad; my husband and I had a major blow out fight, one of the kinds of fights we used to have before I was medicated. I didn't notice any physical symptoms during the tapers, and the emotional symptoms usually cleared within a week or so. Yes, I was less at ease on 50mg than on 200 or 150 in general, but I expected that, but in general, I was doing pretty well. I've also been in therapy (CBT with some mindfulness, since September). The drop to 25 mg was also pretty miserable and it's what made me decide to speed the taper up (stupidly). I figured, "If I'm going to go through a miserable withdrawal at the end anyway, why also suffer with all this not-sleeping in the interim and drag it out." Oh if only I knew then what I know now.... 

 

Once I stopped the drug completely, Irritability and anger started within 3 days, more true anxiety a day or two after. Depressive symptoms--uncontrollable crying and feeling SO sad--came about 12 days after. I took a "test dose" of the 12.5mg as per Joseph Glenmullen's book because it was so like my 2010 situation and not like what he said (that it should come within 3-5 days of going off the drugs) I was freaking out that it was relapse. The test dose cleared the depression (though I still felt anxious) and allowed me to continue with the withdrawing, though whether this was the right decision I cannot say. My psychiatrist suggested going back up on the 12.5mg and adding Prozac, then cutting the Zoloft after two weeks, and stopping the Prozac after three weeks, because he claimed almost no one withdraws from Prozac. I thought this seemed ill-informed and continued with my own thing. I had some mild light-headedness and experienced one day of bone-wearying fatigue, but basically the symptoms throughout December were varying forms of anxiety and depression--sadness, guilt, worry, fear, not being able to enjoy things, the whole gamut. 

 

Then what brings me here, to this wonderful board, is the past 10 days. I thought, at the end of Christmas break, that things might be starting to improve. My first day "back"--I had stopped trying to work on my dissertation over break, though I was doing a crummy part time job I ultimately had to quit--I was feeling pretty decent (Jan. 5), until I got a stress-inducing e-mail from my dissertation director mid-afternoon that sent all-hell breaking loose in my life. And from there it's been a steady stream of anxiety and sometimes depression with a few "windows" that give me hope, now that I've seen on this board that that's how this thing goes. The anxiety is sometimes the general sick feeling in my stomach/adrenal area that is so nauseating I want to tear my insides out, and sometimes it's racing thoughts, what if's, worries, fear, just insane-making stuff. Sometimes it's both together. I'll be so exhausted by it but I can't sleep. I can't eat. I can't concentrate on anything but it, if that's called "concentrating." The depression is less frequent, but when it's there it's awful, and it's the same things that have always plagued me when I'm depressed--constantly wanting to cry (and often doing so), feeling sad about everything, feeling like nothing has value except my family and therefore not wanting to do anything but be around them. 

 

The wave that started Monday, 1-5, got worse until on Saturday, 1-10, I was so anxious and depressed I was at a 9 on a 1-10 misery scale; Sunday was an 8, then Monday was a 7.5. Tuesday was a window, an amazing window. Yesterday was another wave, a horrible, horrible generalized anxiety filled wave. I almost gave in and listened to my psychiatrist who, over the phone on Monday, told me that I am probably relapsing or even if I'm having "protracted withdrawal," people can't live like this and my brain has been changed so that I need to be on something. I almost took the Zoloft and the Doxepin he prescribed to go with it to help me sleep (which of course means I could not get pregnant, which is why I never took something like that before); instead I took St. John's Wort, though after reading on this board, I don't think I will take it again. Then, miraculously, around 6 p.m., another window. I got hope. I read more on this board.  

 

I slept like crud, despite trying Lunesta again. 2 hours, then awake for 1, then slept another hour. I got out of bed just before 4 a.m. and came here for support. I woke up tired, obviously, but feeling okay, but now I can feel the anxiety creeping back in. I'm 6 weeks into this, and every time it gets bad, I wonder, "Should I just go back on? Should I go back on and taper more slowly? Should I try to find a doctor who will add something else in? Or should I stick with this?" If I go back on the drugs at this point, after all these weeks of suffering, I don't know that I will have the strength to go off them again. I want my life back so bad. I look at the insomnia as a sentence of a chronic illness, one that says I will never be able to live normally again. I don't think I can continue with my career plans if I am going to sleep in such a dysfunctional way. What I could do at 24-26 years old I cannot do at 32. I can't imagine doing it at 40 and 50 and so on. I have not felt "good" in so, so many years. 

 

Thank you for reading this long, long post. Thank you so much for your help and inspiration. The anxiety has pounded back in over these past two hours. I see my doctor today, and I'm not going to let him tell me "how it is." I'm going to try to keep fighting this fight. 

 

 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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Hi glad you have found us. You will find plenty of helpful support :)

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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Thank you, Joannad. I appreciate it. 

 

And I actually wanted to ask opinions on whether people think, 6 weeks out, I ought to reinstate back at 12.5mg and taper more slowly? Will it help me? How can I tell if I'm relapsing or truly w/d-ing? 

 

What I've read from things I've found on here (Shipko, Healy?) makes me wonder if 1. I'm too far too to do that and 2. if I'm so sensitive and have been on it for so long anyway (most of 8.5 years), that I'm going to have a nightmare protracted w/d no matter how slowly I do it? I sped up the tapering b/c my sleep had gotten so bad I couldn't bear it anymore. Through the first 4 week of w/d, I was sleeping 5 hours a night then, with improved diet under the care of my integrative doctor, it increased to 6, but with all the anxiety/cortisol flooding my system constantly, these past ten days I'm *lucky* if I'm getting 3 hours. 

 

Thoughts about my reinstating at this point? I'm too nervous to do it (fearing it won't work or I'll never have the courage to go off it again), but every time things get SUPER bad, like after the terribleness of yesterday, I feel like I "just have to go back on the meds." It's so exhausting. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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Hi there.  Welcome.  The mods will arrive shortly to give you specific advice on what you should do.  It is possible that reinstatement would help you.  A small amount may lessen withdrawals, but as I said the mods will give you specifics on what doses may suit you best.  They are wise on the subject and will help you so hang on.  I reinstated a small amount after five months off my med and it did help a small amount,although after that long off it was iffy.  I hope you find this site helpful and I am glad you found us.

2002-put on amitryptiline for fibromyalgia. 10mg.2004-stopped abruptly. Didn't think it helped.2006 approx.-put on Paxil for mild anxiety 20 mg.2007 upped to 40 mg. not sure why.2011- tapered from 40 to 10. went nuts and went back to 20mg2014- tapered from 20mg to 0 from April to The end of June.current meds- Metformin(type 2 diabetic) and low dose aspirin.Take multi vitamin and vit b12, vit. D and magnesium. 5 months off Paxil. Still suffering.recently added 1.2mg of Paxil to alleviate withdrawals.(Nov 30)Dropped to .9mg because having symptoms from reinstatement.(dec 23)<p>taper to .76mg-.8mg (Feb 3) approx. weight .010 to about .008-.009 on scale.
.6mg (march 19th.) .5mg(April 19th)
.4mg(April 27th)
.2 (June 27th)

0mg.  done taper at beginning of August.

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Thanks, Frustrated. I'm hanging in. 

 

I can't believe I forgot to add this: three months ago, my doctor gave me Klonopin to sleep in the days before my period. He said take it the seven days before (b/c my hormones make my sleep even WORSE); I've taken it 3-4 times each month for three months, never two days in a row for fear it wouldn't work. In November, it worked. This month, it was barely effective. And I actually took one on 1-12 *during* my period, when I woke up in the middle of the night and was so anxious, exhausted, and miserable and just HAD to get back to sleep--I don't know if it helped or had a placebo effect, but I got 3 more hours of sleep, and the next day was a "window," the only decent day I'd had in 9 UNBEARABLE days. I was worried it was only b/c of the Klonopin, but shouldn't it have worn off?  

 

At any rate, my guess is that I should swear off use of these for good, even if they would help with anxiety in the moment, esp. b/c I've only ever used them 10 or 11 times over 3 months and probably don't have any addiction to them at this point (right?)? 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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Hi watchingTV. Welcome to SA. Most of us know all too well what your going through. I Only recently resumed working on a project I was unable to even touch due to crashing and burning into horrible late onset withdrawal symptoms. I ended up deciding to reinstate and deciding that once I stabilized to where I could function and begin working on my project again I would stay there and not attempt to tapper again until my project was completed and approved. I've stabilized on a lower dose of fluoxetine than where I started and didn't have to reinstate Wellbutrin. Luckily I know what went wrong and what contributed to my "crash," so when I do start tappering again I can go about it with that in mind.

 

Are you able to work on your dissertation? No doubt that's contributing to your stress! In wthdrawal, as you experienced, our ability to tolerate stress is diminished, significantly sometimes.

 

As far as reinstating, if your symptoms are severe enough that you feel like you're unable to function it might be worth considering. A moderator should be along who might be able to suggest an amount. Sorry I can't be more helpful with that.

 

Again, welcome!

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin. Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong. Taper restarted April 2021 to 18mg, July 2021 to 16mg, currently 15mg. 

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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Oh! About the Klonipine. I found it helpful for sleep during withdrawal but once it was out of my system my anxiety came back worse than after the nights I hadn't taken it. Magnisium was helpful as was one of those sleep masks. I'd never used either until my recent withdrawal experience, and they were helpful. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

 

Also, check the interaction of your drugs at www.drugs.com. That's where I began learning about the interaction with Wellbutrin and SSRIs.

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin. Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong. Taper restarted April 2021 to 18mg, July 2021 to 16mg, currently 15mg. 

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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Hi Addax. Thanks for the sleep mask idea--my husband is currently picking me one up at the store now while he gets my prescriptions. I'm very interested to read your history with Prozac b/c, as you'll see below, my doctor today suggested that if I'm going to reinstate, instead of doing so with Zoloft--which he said is "obviously poison for me," since I cannot sleep more than 4 hours on it even with prescription sleep meds--we should try Prozac in an equivalent dose. 

 

So the update from my appointment today: my doc was more receptive to the idea that I was in withdrawal than I anticipated after our conversation on Monday, mainly I think b/c 1. I mentioned that the depressive symptoms seemed to have randomly disappeared and the anxiety comes and goes 2. I shared that I had read so many stories of people with similar terrible experiences on this site. He suggested that IF I want to reinstate, I could go with Prozac *instead* of Zoloft. He said 5mg of Prozac would be equivalent to the 12.5mg of Zoloft I was most recently on. He said that if the Zoloft were to clear the w/d it would take a few days, but if the Prozac is to work, it will likely take a week--does this sound accurate given people's experiences? 

 

We talked about sleep options, should I decide to reinstate and spend a looonnnnng time tapering, obviously much slower than I did this time. (I couldn't believe he was even open to the idea of me trying another taper after this experience.) My quality of life was so compromised by lack of sleep these past few years--hence why I decided to go off a drug that was working so well and didn't have any other side effects that I could notice (but who the heck knows)--that it doesn't seem like it can continue this way. He said perhaps trying a variety of things, in a sort of take one, then skip a night, take another, skip a night, sort of thing: Doxepin and Neurontin are two of them that he wrote Rx for, and he also mentioned Seroquel but I sort of freaked about that b/c I feel like I've heard horror stories. 

 

I would love to hear anybody's experience using either of these (or Seroquel, or a similar drug) to combat SSRI insomnia. Mine is intractable. My doc said he's never seen anything like it, that responds to poorly to every drug. 

 

He's leaving the decision to reinstate up to me, and I see him again next week. At this point, I am sick with anxiety and I'm not sleeping AT ALL despite great exhaustion. I want to reinstate now, before it's too late.  

 

How much? Try the Prozac instead of the Zoloft? What about starting something (but not every night) to help with the sleep? Please help! 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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And no, Addax, not currently. Last week I was doing a little on it, less than I normally would have tried to do despite my usual exhaustion, but things got consistently worse, to the point where I am now not even looking at it and trying to figure a way out of having to write a conference paper for early March, b/c the stress of having to start something new (which was supposed to be the next piece of my dissertation and serve as the conference paper as well) is too much right now. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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Hi WTV i am so sorry you are going through this.

Don't worry my doc said the same to me too...he hasn't seen anyone else like this because everyone else has been double dosed, switched, or poly-drugged and i am the only one who probably said "NO you are not right"..."the people feeding you information are lying" yep i really did say that to him.

 

I think the best thing is if you cant handle the wdl ...and yes it will go on for many many months is to go back on the drug you were on. The problem is you have taken so many brain altering chemicals your brain is in chaos . Were you stable when you started the zoloft taper?

Switching to another drug in order to cover the wdl off this one..or adding more drugs to the mix... often causes more problems .It will begin another drug addiction and may not cover the wdl from zoloft.

 

This site recommends as one option going back on at a small dose ....i am still trying to understand this call as i have seen many struggle at going back on at a small dose and unable to hold patiently for long enough until stability is established ...but i am still learning so that may be the best starting point.

At what dose were you last stable ? If at all.

You are currently manifesting classic ssri wdl .

 

You're mistaken thinking one can speed up the taper  and when its out of your system all is ok. Big mistake. This is not that kind of drug.  The brain needs time to slowly adjust and heal and thats why there are no shortcuts in tapering ...only long-cuts. And even more so after long term use.

This is not a relapse it is wdl from chaos created in the brain from a too fast taper ..someone referred to it as 'blunt force trauma to the brain'.

 

When did you start the topamax ...this is an antiepileptic drug ...no doubt given to you off-label (unapproved) as a mood stabilizer....this is totally unacceptable....you doc is an idiot! He is just playing guessing games. Not sure but this may now have to be tapered....and not sure what deplin is. Yet a google tells me this:

Levomefolic acid (and folic acid in turn) has been proposed for treatment of cardiovascular disease and advanced cancers such as breast and colorectal cancers. It bypasses several metabolic steps in the body and better binds thymidylate synthase with fDump, a metabolite of the drug fluorouracil.

what does this drug have to do with ssri withdrawal.

Neurontin is approved for epilepsy...the doc is pushing off label use again..avoid this. Did you know in 2009 the US DOJ settled iro this negligent act in regards to neurontin and other drugs being the largest healthcare fraud settlement of its time. 

Doxepin...a tricyclic ad, another drug with severe wdl reactions.

 

Do you know about the 10% of the previous dose taper rec to get off these drugs?

 

This is what i reckon go back on the zoloft, don't throw any other drugs in the mix and so find a way to get off the new ones stabilize and then slow taper off zoloft. Hopefully a mod will come in to advise but that's my 2 cents worth. I wouldn't rec the prozac switch but be interesting to see what others say.

 

So sorry you are in this most difficult situation.

Here is the thread for zoloft tapering

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

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Hi Nz11, yes, I was stable for 2 years at 200mg, though I had the topomax added in for sleep, what felt like potentially increasing OCD (and with the added benefit of it stops weight gain). Before that had been at 150mg during pregnancy and had postpartum after a somewhat anxiety-provoking pregnancy. 

 

The taper to 150 produced no noticeable symptoms; to 100 maybe nothing, maybe mild irritability and anxiety beginning a few days after that lasted a few days (maybe? I actually have no idea); the drop to 50 was more noticeable--more irritable/anxious a few days after, big fight with hubby. But I stabilized before I went down to 25mg, however, I know I moved to quickly to 12.5mg (after only 3 weeks) and then stopped 12.5 after 2 weeks b/c I couldn't bear the not-sleeping any longer. Seeing this site, I now know *just* how dumb these last quick cuts were (my doctor thought even doing 12.5 was being overly cautious...boy, was he wrong). 

 

I'm worried about the Prozac, too, b/c what if it doesn't work like Zoloft does. Lexapro never seemed as effective on its own as Z was. 

 

Topamax is an anti-seizure and migraine med used off-label for OCD in addition to SSRIs, apparently. He doesn't know that now that I'm off the Zoloft if it's even doing anything, but eventually when I want to get off I will, indeed, need to taper. Deplin is Rx L-methyl-folate, generally used to treat depression in combination with an SSRI for people with a genetic mutation that I recently found out I don't have...go figure...$60 a month, but when I've tried to stop it the depression sets in 5-7 days and only stops when I reinstate it. 

 

This is just SO overwhleming. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

Link to comment

Also, Nz11, I've seen mention of the 10% taper but not a full explanation--can you point me in the direction? 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

Link to comment

I just took 25mg of Zoloft. I've been suffering so intensely, and I couldn't wait one second longer. I hope this was the right thing to do. I tapered way too fast from 25 to 12.5 and then from 12.5 to 0 (5.5 weeks total from 25 to 0), so it seems like 25mg is the *least* I should possibly go back on. Maybe higher? I hope some moderator will give me input soon--my gratitute in advance. 

 

I feel out of my mind with anxiety right now, and I needed to get this started in my system tonight. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

Link to comment

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Here is the thread with lots of good advice on the 10% taper

It really will be to your advantage to spend some time reading this.

 

I think at this stage going back to 25mg zoloft is a good idea.

Are you able to find out how to get off topamax and deplin hopefully a mod may know how to do that.  Maybe deplin has to be tapered too ..dont know.

 

'Less is more' in my opinion. (They were they words given to me by a singing teacher long ago...funny how things can be applied to different fields)

 

The 10% method has proven the most successful method to use as patients write the tapering book on how to get off these drugs that pharma have produced to take addiction to a whole new level. Tapering 10% of previous dose with a month wait inbetween gives the brain a chance to recover . Wdl symptoms can be delayed so it allows for this as well . You make your next drop if and only if stable. Lets put this in perspective a 10% taper from 20 mg with monthly drops takes 30months.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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I am surely not a mod. But your brain has already started the journey of repair while you've been off. I might go with half your last dose. But I agree that hopefully a mod will have something definite to say.

 

I have an acquaintance whose son started Zoloft in high school for MDD. Couldn't sleep, so they changed his diagnosis to bipolar and added two sedating drugs. Brilliant. Three years later he is still just sitting on the couch, messing on the computer. They finally change doctors. Did liver enzyme testing...he's an ultra-slow metabolizer and was getting way too much med for his system. What they did next was so wrong, but irrelevant to your case.

 

Anyway, I hope you can sleep well tonight!

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi WTV,

 

Sorry you are suffering so bad.  My sense of what is happening for you is withdrawal exacerbated by external stressors.   I would probably try reinstatment at 12.5, just in case your system has become sensitive through the withdrawal process, waiting a week or so to see how your system responds and then either stabalising at that dose if you are feeling better.  You then hold at that dose for a while till your system calms right down and plan a very very gradual taper off.  

 

If you are not feeling much better after the initial reinstatement but are no worse after a week then you might try another updose.

 

I also recommend you try reducing your situational stressors as much as possible and exploring non drug ways to deal with your symptoms.

 

Please let us know how your system responded to taking 25 mg of Zoloft

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

Link to comment

Thank you so much Dalsaan. I am barely functional. Another night of 2.5 hours of sleep, this has been going on for nights and nights and you know what the stress of all this w/d does to your body, how exhausted it makes you. I have a meeting with my dissertation director today at noon today to talk about my "timeline" and "the job market" and "my plan for my upcoming chapters" and even though my psychiatrist gave me a beta blocker (I don't even exactly know what this is exactly) to take the edge off, I feel like there is no way I am going to be able to do this meeting when I have been up since 12:30 a.m. and am going on less than three hours of sleep for like the third night in a row. 

 

Do you think it will be okay for me to do 12.5 for the next week even though I did 25mg yesterday? Like, do you think that it's okay I started with that dose but then will just go with 12.5 from here on out? I'm sorry for the 1000 questions, I'm just so overwhelmed and confused and sick feeling like constantly. 

 

And I will let you know how I feel. I took it at 8 p.m. and I don't feel any different. How long should it take--days? A week? I feel like I am going to lose my mind at this point. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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Im not a mod but i do know that yo yo-ing doses back and forth can cause difficulties.

 

If you cant cope drug free then you have no option but to ri ...basically its pick a dose and stick with it.

 

I'm sure going to 12.5 is still an option too if you want to as you have only taken 25 once.

 

Sounds like you do have an important job to hold down so if you want to keep your job you will have to be functional.

SSRI wdl is very good at ripping jobs off people. From my limited observations some people can take up to a couple of months to stabilize after a ri.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • Mentor

Hello watching tv.

 

I gave up the Zoloft too quiclky and WD set in after 5 months.  I have reinstated at 12.5 mg (ie quarter tablet).  I am only on about day three.  Too soon to tell,  I actually feel worse, but I have started this medication twice previously, and others......   I think they all make you feel worse before better, so is always a scary gamble.    Take 12 months off work, study, if you need to.   At least work out a way to have a few months off, if you possibly can....   Fighting it just adds to the stress.   

 

I wish you well.

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Watching,

 

I've read through your posts and feel for you and everything you are going through.

 

 

As Dalsaan said, given the time you were off the drug 12.5 mg is a much better option than 25 so I would take it as my next dose although you took 25 once.Since December your brain has already done a lot to adjust to functioning without the drug so understanding that makes the logic of the "last stable dose" not so useful.

 

An even more important thing that I have to tell you is that after not only the last extreme stress you put your brain through but also past changes and so many other drugs there is no magic bullet now. The least you need now is to get even more scared but I'm afraid that you will have to accept the reality that nothing you do now will make the symptoms go away not only within days but not even weeks.

 

As hard as this maybe maybe for the first time ever you are now in the position to start undertaking some long term changes in dealing with your situation.

 

I would say that at the moment your priority is to minimise external stressors as Dalsaan said. Again I don't want to scare you but this is a serious medical condition and you have every right to treat it as such.

 

Would you go and discuss your next marathon if you just found out your leg was broken?

 

To me talking about deadlines and job market is the same as discussing marathon with a broken leg.

 

Also if you had a high fever you would probably contact your mentor to reschedule the meeting for a time when you feel better. Why treating yourself so cruely? Mental agony is not less real than any other pain. It's just that our environment shows much more understanding for physical suffering and stigmatises us for mental.

 

Having said that if I were you I would seriously consider looking into disability arrangements at your university and accommodations that can be made on medical grounds. It is probably possible to get extension of deadlines, etc.

 

From my point of view the most important thing now is to put yourself and your wellbeing first. Focus on recovery, learn how to manage drugs and cope with your symptoms. I believe this is worth postponing your plans for a while.

 

I wish we lived in times when it would be perfectly normal to tell your mentor about what you are going through. We can't expect other people to treat us appropriately if they don't know about our situation. But since this is far from being easy maybe you'll have to find some creative ways.

 

Whatever you decide I just think it's high time you put yourself and your health first.

 

I'm typing from my phone now so can't copy links to threads with more information but will do so later.

 

You have come to a great place and I'm sure it will help you to reclaim control over your life that these drug temporarily took away.

 

Bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I think it's ok to go 12.5. You only did 25 for one night but as nz said, the important thing us to puck a dies, stick to it, take it at the same time, give it a chance to work and record how your body resoonds

 

I would avoid all other drugs in the mean time and work out how to reduce your stress

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks for your replies, everyone. 12.5 seems to be the consensus at this point, so I guess that's what I should go with. 

 

Dalsaan, you seem to suggest (like my doctor), that I might see a good response to reinstatement within a week or so? Have other people had this experience after reinstating at a previous dose? What was the experience--did they feel a lot better, a little, what symptoms went away? My symptoms are pretty much all psychological at this point (well, and the anxiety manifests physically as stomach aches and diarrhea--sorry for TMI), though in the early w/d weeks I did have a little light-headedness. This makes me worry it's relapse and not w/d b/c it seems like most people have physical symptoms, too (?). 

 

Bubble, I was up at 12:30 a.m. after only 2.5 hours of sleep for yet another night, and by 2:30 a.m. I knew I could not have that meeting--even if I took the Propananol (or something) my psychiatrist gave me yesterday so I could get through it. I was so sick it was unreal, and I didn't want to take another new drug I know nothing about and create yet more problems for myself. I told her I had to reschedule. The problem is she leaves the country in 10 days to teach for the semester, so we *have* to have a discussion before then--whether in person or over the phone (and she's incredible awkward in person, over the phone is 10x worse--gah). So at some point, this conversation has to be had, even if it's just me telling her that I am really unwell and have been for some time. Though honestly, it may come down to me having to send it in e-mail form if I don't think I can manage the stress. Not the best or most professional choice, I realize, but it is what it is. 

 

I want so desperately NOT to take anything else, but this morning I was so sick and so exhausted, my husband suggest I take a Klonpin and I did--10mg, my second this week; it calmed me down and made me sleepy enough that I got to sleep around 3, but when I woke at 6 I was just as sick and miserable as I had been beforehand. So, obviously, only having used it a dozen times in 3 months (and only twice for anxiety), my body has already acclimated to it. I need to stay away from it, I know. I should flush it, but I don't know if I have the willpower in this intensely miserable time. 

 

Is there a particular thread where people share their experiences with reinstating? 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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You share your experience right here in your thread and members comment or answer your questions.

 

About reinstating:

 

Don't suddenly go off medication assuming that reinstatement is a safety net. This is one of the reasons we advocate gradual tapering to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Once the nervous system is destabilized by withdrawal, all bets are off.

Medicine wants to believe the acute phase of withdrawal lasts only a few weeks. From what people have posted on the Web, it can last many months.

The inserts in all the newer antidepressants and many other psychiatric drugs advise reinstatement of the medication if withdrawal symptoms appear. This is all medicine knows about how to treat withdrawal.

Here is what is known about reinstatement, from my reading and from patient experience as posted on online support sites:

  • According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
  • Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work.
  • The length of this window of opportunity varies according to the individual. Sometimes people can reinstate successfully months after quitting. Others cannot.
  • Some find a partial dose will relieve withdrawal symptoms. If, for example, you were taking 20mg Paxil and quit rapidly only a few days ago, 5mg or 10mg may be enough. Others find they need a higher dose.
  • Start low to see what you need. You can always increase if necessary. If you've been off the drug for a month or more, many people can find relief from antidepressant withdrawal symptoms by reinstating as little as 1mg-5mg.
  • Additional reasons to reinstate only a partial dose:
    • Experiencing withdrawal may have sensitized you to drugs and a larger dose will cause an adverse reaction.
    • These drugs are vastly more powerful than they need to be and you want to be taking only the lowest EFFECTIVE dose.
    • Your receptors may have adjusted somewhat (upregulated) during the time you had withdrawal symptoms.
    • You can always adjust the dosage upward if you find you need to.
    • If you can stabilize on a lower dose, you have less to taper when you finally do go off.
  • It takes at least 4 days for your body to fully register the addition of a neuroactive drug. Unless you have an immediate bad reaction, observe your symptom pattern for about a week to see if the reinstatement is helping. If you have an immediate bad reaction, reduce or stop taking the drug.
     
  • After reinstatement, the amount of time needed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms (stabilizing) varies according to the individual. Relief can be felt immediately, after some weeks, or after some months.
  • Once you feel withdrawal symptoms are reduced after reinstatement, give your nervous system time to stabilize before attempting dosage reduction. Think in terms of months, not days.
  • Be patient after you reinstate. Reinstatement may not immediately eliminate all withdrawal symptoms. You may still experience waves of symptoms, which usually lessen as time goes on.
  • The dose needed for effective reinstatement varies according to the individual.
  • Sometimes reinstatement does not work. The nervous system has taken such a hard hit from withdrawal, it's destabilized beyond whatever effect the drug might have had.
  • Sometimes reinstatement not only does not work, it causes an adverse reaction from a nervous system sensitized by withdrawal. If you have an immediate bad reaction, reduce or stop taking the drug.

    If, upon reinstatement, you very soon feel worse, most likely you are sensitized to the drug and need to take a smaller dosage or, possibly, none at all.

About benzo reinstatement http://www.benzosupp...instatement.htm


Edited by Altostrata, 31 December 2014 - 11:01 AM.
updated and expanded"

Edited by cymbaltawithdrawal5600
added correct link to topic

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Thank you for this info., cymbalta. I had been looking for this and couldn't find it. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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  • Member

About reinstating

Edited by cymbaltawithdrawal5600
fixed link

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

For me it was very important to understand the basics of science behind what is happening to us on these drugs. It helped me endure and understand why changing doses and drugs is bad, why stability is go and why it takes so long to stabilise.

 

We are very lucky that our member Rhi can explain it so clearly to us. I'm coping who she wrote for another member. I just deleted things which don't relate to your situation but you will see that many do especially the occasional use of benzos.

 

 

(...)  Every time we start these drugs, stop them, go up and down in dosages, whatever, our bodies struggle to reestablish homeostasis, turning genes on and off, attempting to activate and deactivate complex nanosecond feedback loops, synthesizing proteins, breaking down proteins, and that's just the little bit that I've learned about it; there's much, much more.

 

Neurophysiology is incredibly complex (a couple of orders of magnitude more complex than even the most exquisite device ever created by humans)(amazing what nature can do with four billion years of tweaking time). And as organisms, we have never before encountered anything anywhere close to what these drugs do to disrupt neurochemistry and the endocrine system. Evolution hasn't had the chance to develop ways to adjust, heal, tweak and adapt to these drugs. Our brains are accustomed to much more subtle and gradual variations in neurotransmitters (caused by things like hormonal changes of puberty, seasonal changes in day length, aging, etc.) and even those can mess us up. 

 

And the drugs affect more than just neurotransmitters. 

 

So you've been through the wringer. Your brain has been in the blender in the Chop Ice mode. Be gentle with it.

 

(...)  benzos.. (...) are just as disruptive as ADs. They cause brain changes/adaptation, maybe even faster than ADs. They do have an immediate effect, it's true, but they cause the same kinds of problems if you take them daily, even just for a week or two for some people. None of these psych drugs are like aspirin or alcohol, only having an effect while they're in your body and then going away. (Actually aspirin causes permanent changes to coagulation factors which take months to replace, come to think of it. I'm not sure that ANY drug$ are as benign and temporary as we have been told.)

 

(...) The brain and body are not, not, NOT machines. We have this unconscious bias in Western science, due to human arrogance or what-have-you, that makes us think we humans are smarter than nature, and we talk about bodies as if they were like cars, just an assemblage of parts, easily understood. Not, sadly, true. Biochemistry is amazingly, incredibly, unbelievably complex, and nowhere more complex than in the nervous system. Far, far beyond anything humans can even imagine creating. Not mechanical in function. And much more poorly understood than anyone wants to admit.

 

 

This is what I wrote about my reinstatement and stabilising. I hope you find it helpful:

 

Unfortunately, I've seen people getting even worse if they continue to mess up with the drugs. Staying put and patiently enduring is the best bet.

Things will get better for sure. But after all the things we did to our brain we just have to allow it all the time it needs to regrow. It's amazing that it has this ability.

While waiting we have to try and do everything to help it by giving it as much stability as possible. I've seen it so many times how stability heals and not a particular dose,and especially not looking for one. This produces a totally opposite effect.

It was very, very hard for me to accept that initially. We all want to DO something, anything to make this awful pain go away or at least reduce it. But then I experienced what I call the miracle of a hold when things got better just because I managed not to do anything (with the drug). 

I was doing a lot to deal with the fear that things will stay like this forever or that they will get worse. Thinking like that is also a symptom. Our thoughts are not really reliable at this time. That's why reading the thread about neuroemotions was saving me. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/137-neuro-emotion/

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

 

For me it was very important to notice that windows at first didn't come as days of back to normality. Or not even back to normality. But there were, initially just moments, when symptoms would subside and I felt relief like when a cramp of physical pain goes away. Only to come back again but also goes away again. That was windows and waves for me. Tiny, small moments of relief. Accepting that for some time I just can't function like before and stop comparing my functioning at that moment with before or with others. Also stop projecting it into the future-another neuro emotion.

Maybe it was a bit easier for me to accept it because I felt very guilty about what I did to my bran:CT 2 drugs after being on drugs for 14 years. Then rejecting calls for help from my brain for 40 days as I resisted giving it the drug back. I was aware that I treated my brain most cruelly so was able to be very patient with it and actually grateful that it didn't act even worse on me but that it forgave me and once I started treating it fairly, it responded with small acts of great kindness-relief.

After all the atrocities I did to my brain it took 4 months and then another 6 before going to (almost) how I felt before. It's a lot of time but it happens. And it's not that all 4 months in my case were 24/7 hell. I actually might have seen them that way. It would've been very easy to overlook those tiny moments of relief. The general and prevailing picture was bad but I lived from one brief moment to the next and focused on them instead of my overall bad functioning and overall agony.

/

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Welcome, WatchingTV.

 

Do I understand correctly that you had sleep problems from the beginning of taking Zoloft?

 

If so, this indicates that Zoloft is too activating for you. In my non-professional opinion, a reinstatement attempt should be with a lower dose instead of a higher dose.

 

In addition, going on and off drugs has sensitized your nervous system. This is why the benzo you tried quickly went paradoxical and the sleep drug was a failure.

 

What is your symptom pattern relative to when you take your daily Zoloft dose? Keeping notes on paper would be very helpful.

 

If reinstatement reduces withdrawal symptoms, you should feel at least a slight benefit within a week. It takes 4 days for the drug to reach steady-state in your blood stream.

 

Given the many years on these drugs, it may take quite a while for your sleep to heal.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you for your comments, Alto. Yes, my sleep problems were immediate with Zoloft (and worse when I was put on Lexapro after 6 months off the Zoloft in 2008). 

 

Is a "symptom pattern" the pattern of symptoms of w/d or relating to my sleep when I've taken the Zoloft? I will sleep worse if I take the Zoloft before bed (which I did for many years), but taking it in the morning/early afternoon, which I've done in recent years, still only allows for 3-4 hours of sleep a night (this is when I'm not in w/d anxiety torture and therefore getting even less). 

 

I'm sure you are right that it will take many years for my sleep to heal--but it doesn't seem that it will ever heal on the Zoloft. 

 

And thank you for the explanation of why the benzo and the sleep med did what they did (though I feel a bit out of it for not knowing what "went paradoxical" means, esp. after reading this board endlessly for days). I guess my system is just so sensitized and needs to heal and I need to get it to a place where it--and I--can do that. Right now, I feel so anxious it's like I could throw up every second, it's hard to imagine how that's going to happen. Crossing my fingers for a window here at some point and for the reinstatement at 12.5mg to work for me. 

 

Thanks again. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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Bubble, thank you for this. I do just what you're talking about needing to avoid--basically the catastrophic thinking. I start with, What if this never goes away? What if I always feel like this? That leads to thoughts of, I won't make it through this, I will fail out of school, we will lose the house, my life will fall apart, I will not be able to live like this. The catastrophic thinking is so hard when I can get no relief from the feelings and no sleep to at least get away from my brain. 

 

I have read some of the neuro-emotion page (I want to read more, but exhaustion and overwhelmedness set in) and am trying to frequently remind myself that this is not my "real" brain feeling this. But then I think of the original OCD period, coupled with severe generalized anxiety, that finally sent me to the psychiatrist in the first place, and I cannot imagine how that episode would have ended without the drugs--other than therapy, which I was in no place to do at that point (I knew next to nothing about Pure O and thought I was the only person in the world with a very shame-creating sort of OCD, so even telling the *psychiatrist* nearly broke me, basically my husband was the only person I could talk to about it). And then I think of this and wonder that same thing--if that would not have ended without the drugs, and if this isn't something that can be fixed by therapy (talking to my therapist and doing my CBT and mindfulness has NOT been helping), what if this will never end? 

 

The thinking continues and continues. I try to fight it. Sometimes I win a little victory. Your post is something I will come back to to read b/c it resonates. I am going to look at the links you posted and hold out hope for improvement on this reinstated 12.5mg. Thank you again. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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  • Administrator

Your symptom pattern can be related to sleep or any other symptoms.

 

If you're taking Zoloft in the morning, do you have any regular symptom pattern for, say, the next 4-6 hours?

 

It sounds like serotonergics were always too activating for you. They were not right 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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Sounds like you're *completely* right about serotonergics being not the right stuff for me. Argh. 

 

In recent times, I would usually take my Zoloft around 11 or 11:30 a.m., which was the time I could manage to eat something (it upsets my stomach without food) after getting my son up and ready, etc. I would also take 15mg Deplin at the same time. Normally, the only symptoms I notice throughout the day is how tired/fatigued I am. My best energy usually comes b/t 11 a.m. and 1:30 a.m., then I start dragging--maybe I perk up for an hour around 3 or 4, maybe I'm exhausted and want to fall asleep (usually don't let myself). The tiredness continues. 

 

My work this past year (on fellowship to write my dissertation, so at home alone and not teaching) is very solitary and mentally intense (staring at a computer screen/books and writing), so it's not the best for getting me going/revving me up, and since I've often been awake since 3:30 or 4 a.m., and going on only 4 hours of sleep, it's been difficult for me to think that my tiredness/fatigued during the workday is related to anything but lack of sleep/good sleep, ya know?  

 

The integrative med doc. I've been seeing the last few months ran a hormone check on me (I get results Wednesday), b/c she thinks it will show that there's more to my fatigue than just the Zoloft--adrenal fatigue. She has me on the Paleo diet to heal some gut issues and also to correct the hormonal imbalance she is presuming exists, and I did think it *was* helping to improve my sleep some--pretty soon after quitting Z, I was up to sleeping 5 hours straight, but three weeks into the diet (and w/d) I started sleeping 6 hours straight. Now the insane-cortisol kicked in and now I'm sleeping so wretchedly it makes Zoloft sleep look reasonable. 

 

How do they give these drugs to people without knowing ANYTHING about how it's going to be when you come off of them? Feeling like this and reading about the suffering of others is just so heart-breaking. 

 

Thanks, Alto, for having this site. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

Link to comment

Alto, I've seen you mention your waves/windows in that thread--is your w/d story posted in the intro. section somewhere? I'd love to read it. 

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

Link to comment
  • Member

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to comment

Thanks for posting that, cymbalta. 

 

Another unbearable day. Anxiety so high it was sickening, though I did force myself to drink most of a protein shake and eat a small bowl of soup. And I could tell I was dehydrated this morning so I forced the water today as much as possible. There's just this constant feeling of dread, this awfulness in my gut, and then there's the terror that it will never go away, that things will get so bad that my whole life will tank. All compounded by the physical and mental strain of exhaustion. I think I've slept about 19 or 20 hours of broken sleep in the past 5 nights, and that's having twice taken Klonopin which I am DONE with before a problem starts there. 

 

I went to my parents for the afternoon so I didn't have to be alone, and when my husband came with my son after work (my son had been at the sitter's house), I could barely stand the loudness of him shouting and playing with my parents. Seeing him did virtually nothing to lift my spirits :(. I've always been very sensitive to loud noises (in a very LOUD family), and tonight I just couldn't handle it. The quiet is better now that's he's asleep, and I'm exhausted, but holding out a while longer b/c I know I'll be up 2.5 hours after I fall asleep, and those dark dark nights and early mornings alone before the whole house rises are just so anxious-making and fear-filled. It's better to put it off a while while I can sit here with other people still being up. Please let a window come, please.  

Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Hi WatchingTV.

So much of what you wrote in your last post sounded so much like my symptoms this past fall when I crashed. I've been writing up a descriptive list of all my symptoms, everything I experienced last fall but haven't posted it yet. It's long and It scares me to write it out.

 

That feeling of dread you talk about, the terror, the sound sensitivity, all of it... I was there. I was also convinced I would be stuck there, I would never finish this project I've been working on, and I would never be able to work again. CONVINCED! I also empathize with not wanting to go to sleep because of knowing I'd be waking up in a panic in a few hours and the awful cycle would start again.

 

I was told that reinstating was a crapshoot, and I initially wasn't sure it was making things worse. I think the first thing that I noticed subside where the ruminations (aka obsessively thinking about all the ways my life was going to tank ). It took two weeks for me to notice I was feeling better and three weeks before I was sure of it. I probably reinstated at a greater amount than I needed but I was so desperate and after the first week of feeling not change I updosed. In retrospect I can now see there was improvement and I probably would have stabilized at a lower dose than I ultimately jumped to in desperation.

Your window will come. I know it doesn't seem like it but it will.

 

Have you tried the mask yet?

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin. Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong. Taper restarted April 2021 to 18mg, July 2021 to 16mg, currently 15mg. 

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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Hiya WatchingTV.   Just caught up with your thread after your PM.   You have had excellent advice here.   All you can do now is stick with your 12.5mg and hang in there.......    Hope you begin to feel some positive signs soon....  :)

Put on Prothiaden for severe depression in 1989.  Recovered.   Prescribed Paxil for another bout of depression around 2000.   Have been trying to taper ever since but always crash about 2 months after getting to zero.   Because of the crashes, for years I thought that there was something wrong with me.   Then found that the crashes were simply withdrawal.   Now following a maximum of a 10% reduction every month or so and ready to slow down any time I feel any symptoms whatsoever.  Feeling good:).

7th Jan 15 - 3.6mg

28th Jan 15 - 3.2mg

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