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zoloftwd: zoloft / wellbutrin


zoloftwd

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hello. first point to note: in 2001-2003 I was on effexor and weaning off that; counting beads, insomnia, paranoia, the shakes and brain zaps.... I still remember it all to this day. I swore I'd never go on an antidepressant again. wish I would have stuck to that.

I'm a depressive personality to begin with, I'm hard on myself, a perfectionist. external life events get to me more than they should be allowed. I live in my head and it never sleeps. except when it's on an AD. well, even then I'm a mild version of myself (just dulled).

So in May 2012, I began zoloft 1 month after the birth of my 2nd child. (my 1st was merely 19 months). a bit of it was baby blues/depression but the majority I believe was/is ocd. I had gotten it in my head I was in love with my ob doc (who had delivered both of my children and up until the day he delivered #2 I'd had none of these thoughts) and I was doing really stupid stuff (in addition to thinking about him all the time and dreaming of what I wished and hoped could be, I was driving past his house a few times a week, trying to learn which car was his in the doc parking lot - so I could leave an anonymous note on his car -I guess to satiate my desire but not really risk too much. but then I started thinking about doing things of risk (saying something at a next appointment, etc.) And that was enough, I needed to find a way to stop my brain. (there were a couple other things, family of origin issues and feeling overwhelmed with my almost 2 year old starting to need more consistent disciplining, etc.but those didn't... ?scare? me like the doc piece did.

I couldn't stop my brain from ruminating on it all, so I did my research on Google like any normal person would- HA! and decided it was time to let some meds work on my brain. they worked. got off the doc crazy train (changed to a different ob in the office) and well, started living the somewhat dumbed down life of a person on ADs (and by that I mean, no emotion or thought or action or anything straying too far from the equilibrium line ADs create).

obviously my person still had struggles over the last 3 years and life didn't magically become perfect but it was a bit more managable, I guess, or I just didn't care, maybe? I don't know.

i tried to wean myself in the fall of 2013, unsuccessful due to withdraw symptoms being unbearable. talked with my (new) ob near the end of 2014 about weaning and agreed I should try again after winter blues were no longer a concern.

why did I want to wean? 30 pounds!!! feeling like I should/could/wanted to handle life without this mind altering drug. a very hard thing for someone with ocd (I'm merely self diagnosed-never been treated for this by any means) to not be clear on "is this me or the drug thinking/feeling/saying this? " just want to be free of that barrier. let alone it just doesn't seem like being on a very effective drug like that can be great for organs/body/health in the long run. damn the fact that it does help to a degree.

So, Feb. 2015 i went from 100mg a day down to 50mg a day. stayed there until March 25, then cut down to 25mg a day until May 7th - last pill!!!! I realize I could have cut 25mg in half or shaved.... but it got to a point where I just wanted to be done. bring on the withdraw let's face it and fight it and be done.

I'm 3 weeks, 3 days with zoloft.

1 week out was horrible. paranoia, vertigo, brain zaps, confusion, insomnia, impatient, short fuse, the list goes on.

2 weeks out a smidge better but all the symptoms still there.

3 weeks out and I do believe those symptoms I listed are alleviating - not gone by any means but the brain zaps don't stop me in my tracks now (and it occurs to me as I write this, maybe I'm just getting use to them, not that they are getting better?!?! no, I really think they are happening less and not as powerful).

I think I can feel the light at the end of the tunnel... with those symptoms.

however, the symptoms that have bothered me the most since 3 days post last pill are my rage and anger. I have practically no patience, super short fuse, and have yelled/talked from a place of anger more in the last 21 days than quite possibly the last 3 years. my babies are 3 and almost 5 and I hate the mother they have right now, she is not what they were living with - I wasn't the picture of patience and all things happy on ADs but it definitely took my edge off.

so I just keep wondering, is this just a withdrawal symptom that will level off over time (if I'm not just creating horrible habits that will also need to be broken)... or is this ME. the me my family gets if I choose to refuse ADs? is it unrealistic to think my person can live a somewhat normal life without ADs?

I've cried more in the last 3 weeks then I have in 3 years (just as I'm crying over things that don't really deserve tears now, there were definitely times tears should have been shed over those 3 years that I just didn't FEEL it.

I've joined a gym determined to get some semblance of my figure back.

and I love knowing a drug isn't rushing though my body/brain anymore.

however, yelling/raging at my children, damaging my marriage and returning to a bit more serious ocd tendancies (finding it hard to eat off of metal utensils, paranoid of allergens/spores/the smell of outside, turning away from God and obsessing about overhauling my life - making drastic changes, moving far away, divorce, cutting out family who've continually hurt me, etc.)

NONE of this is new since quiting zoloft, just while on zoloft I would think it briefly, not really feel much from my thought and let it go, until it pooped up again and repeat cycle.

so does that mean zoloft living is better or I was in a muted state and not living!?!?

lastly, I'm in touch with a counselor (employee assistance program)and I'll get 5 sessions, after that I can't afford counseling. but I have years of out patient, self-initiated counseling under my belt and am not confident 5 sessions will really help me determine what I need to know...

is it just not possible for me to live comfortably and happily without ADs? so I have to resign to using when I then have to question based on everything I've just written above, what IS real? me on ADs,or everything I think, feel or want not on ADs?!

thoughts?

Edited by ChessieCat
added drug tags
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome zoloftwd,

I'm glad you found us and decided to share your story. After reading through your ponderings :)  I will do my best to share my thoughts with you, and will post some links to information which may help with making a decision.

 

For the 9 years between 2003 and 2012, before the birth of your second child, you managed ok without medication. My guess is that the hormonal changes after the birth, combined with the stress of extra responsibility, and getting used to a new routine, upset your system temporarily and caused some unusual emotions, moods and thoughts. You probably would have adjusted over time. But instead you started taking a drug which may have helped initially, but as you have noted, all it really did was mute your natural state and prevented you from really living.

 

I'd highly recommend reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Psych meds don't cure anything and can cause harmful side effects and long term, they can worsen health, increasing the risk of other illnesses. In my opinion they  should only be used for short times and very cautiously, if at all.

 

But what you are experiencing now is withdrawal from tapering too fast off zoloft.

 

Over time, these drugs change your nervous system. These changes are temporary, but the CNS can take quite a while to right itself after the drugs are out of the body. See:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

You have tapered too fast. We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising. Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

 

Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of  symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once someone has stabilized back on the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:   About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

Based on the fact that its been less than a month since you stopped the drug, you might be able to go back onto 25mg without it causing any further destabilization of your nervous system. Then once you have stabilized again, you could continue with a proper taper from that amount.

 

And finally, here's our zoloft topic:  Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline) - Tapering - Surviving ...

 

I'm sorry for throwing so much information at you, but I want you to understand what you need to know in order to be able to make a good decision for yourself and your family. These drugs are not the harmless happy pills they are made out to be. Lives and families can be ruined by the devastating effects these kinds of drugs can cause, this happened to me after I tapered off lexapro too fast in 2010. But by the time I found this site, it was too late for me to reinstate and taper properly, so I'm still recovering from protracted withdrawal. I'm not saying this to scare you, but to make you aware that for some people, withdrawal symptoms can last a long time after the drug is stopped if it hasn't been tapered slowly enough.

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.  We will be here to support you whatever you decide, do let us know.

 

Petunia.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Petunia - thank you so much for all the info you've given me. I've been trying to read/scan through as much of it as I can here before the kids get up for the day.

 

here's my one question:is there anyone on this forum that can attest to having weaned too fast and experienced major wd symptoms, reinstating at a low dose and stablized, then using the 10% taper method finally tapered to completion with success?

 

I'm feeling the need to read personalized success stories! should I post on a different forum to get more response?

 

your help is invaluable, thank you, petunia!

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just wondering if there is a place to read successes stories or if they are just buried in the updates forum?

 

I posted my intro last night (in the intro forum) and would love to hear others thoughts when you have time. thanks.

 

3 years on zoloft, 3 weeks since last pill

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freespirit

Remeron for depression. Started at 7.5 mg. in 2005. Gradual increases over 8 years, up to 45 mg. in 2012.Began tapering in June 2013. Went from 45 to 30 mg in the first 3-4 months. Held for a couple of months.Started tapering by 3.75 mg every month or 2, with some longer holding periods. Eventually went down to 3.75 mg. about April 2014. Stopped taking Remeron August 2014. Developed issues with histamine a week after stopping--symptoms reduced through diet and a few supplements. Currently having issues with a few foods. Most of the histamine intolerance has resolved or is at least, in remission.

Current Medications:

Current Supplements: Cannabis (CBD and THC), Vitamin C, D, Quercetin, CoQ10, Tart Cherry, Probiotic, Phytoplankton oil, magnesium. What has helped me most: qi gong, exercise, healthy diet, meditation, IV vitamins, homeopathy, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, music, and cuddling my cats..

My introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8459-mirtazapine-withdrawal-freespirit/#entry144282

Please note: I am not a therapist or medical practitioner. Any suggestions offered come solely from my personal experience in recovering from childhood trauma, therapy, and AD use. Please seek appropriate care for yourself.

 

“After a cruel childhood, one must reinvent oneself. Then re-imagine the world.”
Mary Oliver
 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi zoloftwd , welcome to the site.   Re rage and anger , try reading the current topic "I almost got arrested" in Off-Topic.

Neuro-emotions , including rage and anger , are common from ad toxicity and withdrawal.  It can be very scary to be afraid of

what you might do or say when you have little control.

 

After my own experiences , I have to say i agree with Petunia that by reinstating you may protect your family and yourself

from many months of severely debilitating w/d symptoms.   Your withdrawal may get alot worse before things get better , and with

children to care for you need to be able to keep functioning.

 

There's a thread called Success Stories , people who have stabilized and weaned off successfully.  

 

Reinstating isn't a failure.  It offers you the opportunity to come off the drugs in a safe manner without disrupting your whole life.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

here's my one question:is there anyone on this forum that can attest to having weaned too fast and experienced major wd symptoms, reinstating at a low dose and stablized, then using the 10% taper method finally tapered to completion with success?

 

You see the thing is, there are, but they are not still here, hanging out on a withdrawal forum, they are getting on with their lives. People tend not to stick around here once they start feeling better. Very occasionally someone comes back and writes a success story. If my memory was better, I might be able to point you in the direction of some introduction threads which meet that criteria, but I've got quite severe memory issues from my own protracted withdrawal.

 

See the Intro topics marked with this symbol: ☼  These are people who have started to recover, you may find someone who reinstated, you may have to scroll back through several pages of intro topics to find some.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

hello there, checking in. I went back on 25mg of zoloft 6/10. the anger has become manageable but I'm back to being a blob of wasted space. no energy, no motivation, lazy and existing. :(

what do I do now? with tapering, what supplements to take? anything to give me motivation to get off the couch? :(

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  • Administrator

Hello, zoloftwd.

 

Good to hear some of the symptoms reduced. What is your daily symptom pattern now? How is your sleep?

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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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  • 1 year later...

Hi! I've been looking for somewhere to talk to others who *might* be in a similar boat. Well, from what I can tell everyone's experience with wellbutrin (WB) is different so I'm not even sure being here will help me with my issues right now.

 

Here's the deal. Beginning of November my doctor switched me off Zoloft and WB. A nurse practitioner was prescribing those together and psychologist said they don't really interact well. I was doing okay on the cocktail but was tired all the time and wasn't able to feel joy.

 

He switched me to Cymbalta and WB 150mg. He thought this cocktail would help with side effects. I felt horrible through the holidays. Depressed, irritated, anxious... all of it. So at my appointment on the 2nd of the new year he upped the WB to 300mg. Oh and he asked about my libido. I said it's never been great but it's not too much of an issue. And the intern that came in before my doc asked amid the 1,000 questions if I was married, I said "yes", she said "happily married?" and I said "yes!" Because I am. I've been with my husband 20 years (married 1/2 of it). In just the last couple years we'd fallen into a really good place. Not overly romantic nor argumentative. We'd finally found our "niche" with each other.

 

So, I started talking 300mg of WB and within 3 days my libido took over my life. I've jumped my husband's bones more times in the last 10 days then I did all of last year. We had a 2 hour session the other night... we haven't done that since we met. I'm doing things in the bedroom without any inhibition... basically 180 from the way I typically am. It's been absolutely wonderful! And I freaking hate it. I worry that I'll always be this horny... we can not sustain this long term. I worry that it will fade as my body adjusts to this 300mg. I worry that the whole thing is changing and confusing my marriage. Is THIS who I am... or was THAT who I am? What if I change back... what if I don't? It's hard for some people to understand what I mean so let's say for instance WB makes you outspoken even though that isn't typically you. Which are you... outspoken but it was stunted all this time and WB is allowing you to be yourself or the other way around? Who are you? What if you like some parts of being outspoken but sort of miss being fairly restrained... what if people like you now that your outspoken and will have a hard time if you go back to restrained or the other way around.

 

Sex with my husband has taken over my life. I think about it... I plan for it, I look forward to it. Which in and of itself is not an entirely bad thing... but some other things in my life have been slacking because I'd rather be thinking about THAT then doing work or doing something fun with my kids. It's become a bit of an obsession (which I have to say Zoloft was very good at controlling my ruminating and obsessiveness about things).

 

Finally, there are a few other side effects I'm feeling these last 10 days... one being I've cried 3 times... I haven't really cried in oh,... 3 years since i went on Zoloft. I'm not even sure I like being such an emotional mess. But then again... was it good that things didn't affect me while on Zoloft? Who am I? Also, how am I getting though the days? I feel like I'm hardly sleeping... (neither is my husband!) 1f609.png ;)

 

And now I'm at this place where I want to walk into my doctor's office and ask him to wean me off all drugs because I can't stand NOT knowing WHO I AM!!!! But... my husband and doctor believe the way my brain is wired I will drive myself mad without an antianxiety and antidepressant. (can you understand what they mean based on this LONG post!!!! 1f615.png:-/ ) So, is who I am without meds not the best version of myself?  And he'll probably think I've lost it wanting to wean when we were just trying to find the right cocktail.

 

I'm struggling ya all! Do any of you have advice on these things? THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading!!! I know it was long and so I appreciate your time!!!

Edited by ChessieCat
added spacing
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi ZWD,

 

I've merged your new topic with your original Intro/Update topic because it is about your individual situation and will keep your history in one place, both for you, the mods and other members.

 

It will be helpful if you would Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Please include details for the last 12-18 months of  all drugs, dates, doses and discontinuations & reinstatements.  If you can't remember dates, please write it as "early March" or "mid-August".  Please provide a summary of any drugs prior to that which can just be listed with start and stop years. Please include all prescription, non-prescription drugs and supplements you are currently taking. If you are using a phone there are instructions in Posts 9 & 10.

 

I'm listing a lot of links but I think they will be helpful:

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

If you're not having an adverse reaction from the other medications, taper the most activating drug first. This is usually an antidepressant or stimulant (ADHD drug).

 

Drug Interactions Checker

 

Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommended taper of no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

If you click a drug tag at the top left of this page it will bring up other topic with the same tag.

 

 

 

To search the site for an existing topic I use google and type in survivingantidepressants.org + topic.

You can ask questions here in your Intro/Update topic and journal your progress.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Your thread has been viewed over 500 times!  You started posting again yesterday; it can take more than a day for people to connect on the forum.

 

You can find other members taking or tapering the same medications as you by clicking on the medication tags at the top of the page just below your intro topic title, "zoloftwd: zoloft / wellbutrin."  The tag list doesn't always sort based on when the last post was. To increase your chance of getting a response, you may want to look for when the last post was made and stick with threads that have more recent "last post" dates.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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