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Posted By : ZolOFF - 6/5/2012 9:19 PM
~This is a post about a 27 year-old woman who is ALMOST done weaning herself off of Zoloft!~

Come this September, 2012, I would have been on Zoloft for 3 years to treat my (mostly) Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety, and the occasional panic attack. I really was not a mess--just unreasonably worked up in normal situations (you know. I don't even have to explain this). I had just finished with several big life transitions at once, and entered into several more right away. I was very unstable for a few years.

I asked my doctor if I could go off my Zoloft over a year ago, because I said I was feeling really good. He told me if I quit, I'd feel terrible, and advised me to stay on it. So I did. Something inside of me kept telling me it's time to stop the Zoloft. My eyes were starting to get blurry, I had gained a TON of weight quite coincidentally after starting Zoloft, developed a ravenous appetite, and ya know what? My daily, general anxiety seemed to have increased. I also had a very strange "neck twitch" going on, where when I was holding my head still, my head would shake a little on its own, and sometimes, I would even get a big shake. I was starting to get very worried, and even saw a massage therapist and chiropractor for it!

I also saw the commercials about birth defects, and being a young woman with a ticking biological clock, I decided this was it. My life transitions were over, I felt like I had used Zoloft (along with .5 mg of Xanax 1x day, if needed...and no, I don't abuse them) enough as a crutch to "retrain" me to act "normal" in social/professional situations.

I decided to quit without telling my doctor. I know, I know. Insert disclaimer here: I guess you shouldn't do this without your doctor's help. I researched the crap out of it, and I've been keeping a daily journal of my feelings, physical habits, any changes for the worse I notice in myself, etc. I also told my mother I was quitting the Zoloft, and asked her to watch out for me and tell me any negative changes she may see in me. She knew I was doing this without my doctor.

So, here it goes.
Week 1 of weaning: Took only 3/4 of my 50 mg daily dosage (37.5 mg). I cut it with a sharp knife, carefully. Nothing fancy.
I was going to do a second week of 3/4, but I was feeling super and guess what?

My neck and head shaking had already stopped. Um, really?

Week 2 of weaning: Took only 1/2 of my 50 mg daily dosage (.25 mg)
Again, I was going to do a second week of 1/2, but again...I was feeling great.

No head shaking, general mood is much better, and appetite has decreased so much that other people have noticed (this is a good thing, as I was a ravenous pig who became overweight on this drug).

Week 3 of weaning: Today is my first day of taking 1/4 of a 50 mg daily dosage (12.5 mg). Again, cut with a knife. I don't care that it makes me sound like a barbarian. It's working for me.

How do I feel so far? Freakin' awesome. I am much happier today with myself than I was 3 weeks ago.

I will respost again in 1 week at the start of my "no Zoloft" week, and then several times after that, to let you know how it's going without any Zoloft in my system.

I hope this helps anyone out there.

Posted By : ZolOFF - 6/5/2012 9:21 PM
Forgot to mention:

Week 2: Vision started to clear up a little bit. For real.

Posted By : stkitt - 6/6/2012 8:31 AM
ZolOFF
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  Thank you for posting your experience with your weaning from Zoloft and also thank you for mentioning that weaning under the supervision of a medical professional is usually the safest way to discontinue taking Zoloft.
 
I know many members will find your success story to be an inspiration to them as most stories re weaning are scary to read. 
 
Do post the rest of your experience when you are ready.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

Posted By : ZolOFF - 6/12/2012 12:15 PM
Thanks, Kitt!

Time for an update.

I felt very good on only 1/4 of Zoloft. So good, that I skipped the last two days of taking 1/4 and went down to 0 Zoloft. So, I am on my third day of zero Zoloft.

Week 4 - No Zoloft - This is the first time in this whole process that I have felt any withdrawal symptoms. If I had to use a word to sum up these side effects, I'd call them ANNOYING. They are not painful, and I am going to push through this. The fact that I am having side effects tells me that this drug is not something my body wants in it, anyway, IMHO.

The side effects I am currently having are: the occasional brain zap, a little general anxiety, and insomnia that doesn't kick in until about 1 - 2 am. It's so weird, because I am tired and go to bed around 11pm-12am, and then my energy/side effects kick in. How do I know these are side effects and not a regression to what I went on Zoloft for? Well, I never suffered insomnia. I never had brain zaps. Haha. And my anxiety has almost always been situational. The times I have had generalized anxiety has stemmed from "situational leftovers," if you will.

How have I been dealing with my side effects? I read online in several places that taking Benedryl can help with side effects. Guess what? It does. It actually helps so much that I haven't taken more than 1 1/2 doses in a 24 hr time period. So, there's one trick for you.

I've also been taking a very good Nordic Naturals Omega-3 twice daily, TwinLab Stress B Complex, as well as a regular multivitamin, daily.

One glass of wine before bed helps.

I've also just been keeping quiet and being gentle with myself. I'm also starting cardio exercising today, as I read that really helps (and I need it, anyway!)

However, I have noticed more positives: NO HEAD SHAKING, appetite significantly decreased (I'm eating like a human again), clearer thoughts, way more energy (not insane energy...the energy I used to have).

I am not going to lie; I am not comfortable this week.

But, from what I've read online, in 1-2 weeks, this should stop. I am being good to myself, not expecting too much, and just letting the Zoloft leave my system. I will update again, soon.

Posted By : stkitt - 6/12/2012 2:45 PM
Good to read you are doing well.  I have never had brain zaps but have had the brain shivers and have not found those so bad when weaning off of several of the SSRIs over the years.
 
Believe that your sharing here is helping many members and remember we have lots of non-members that read our forum so you are touching many lives by taking the time to share.
 
Kudos to you.
 
Kitt
 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship" ~ Louisa May Alcott

Posted By : Fox7 - 6/12/2012 6:55 PM
Thanks for sharing your story ZolOFF, and welcome to HealingWell!

I can honestly vouch for the Benadryl thing myself. That's what I used when I weaned off of Zoloft the last 3 times I was on it. I will more than likely use it again IF I'm good enough to come off of it for a fourth time. Highly doubtful, but still. I recommend it to a lot of people who are having trouble coming off of ANY antidepressant.

It does help tremendously with the light headed, anxious feelings, and also with the sleep issue. I have to say that Zoloft was the easiest AD to come off of for me personally.

Wishing you the best!

Fox
*******

Someday I'm gonna have a nervous breakdown - I've worked for it, I've earned it, and no one is going to deprive me of it!


DX: GAD, Panic Disorder w/Agoraphobia, Depression, OCD, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, PMDD, Perimenopause Vitamin D and B-12 Deficiencies, Allergies, GERD-----Look at me Go!

RX: Zoloft 150 mgs, Xanax .5 (twice daily), Ibuprofen 600-800 mgs, Claritin, Vitamins D3 and B-12

Posted By : Carrie48 - 6/13/2012 8:26 AM
Congrats ZoLof. I am about almost 1.5 months off Cymbalta and doing well. I still am dealing with occasional anxiety but overall, doing well. Keep it up!
DX with Lyme and Erlichosis in January 2010. January-August: Biaxin and Amoxicillian. September 2011 - ? on Rifampin and Zithromax. Symtpoms mostly neuro and have 20 small lesions on brain.

Posted By : ZolOFF - 6/16/2012 9:32 PM
Carrie48 said...
Congrats ZoLof. I am about almost 1.5 months off Cymbalta and doing well. I still am dealing with occasional anxiety but overall, doing well. Keep it up!


Congrats to you, too! It's good to hear from someone else who is pushing on through!!!

Posted By : ZolOFF - 6/16/2012 9:42 PM
Just wanted to post a quick little update while I could think of it.

My withdrawal side effects lasted *uncomfortably* for 3 days. I am still having a LITTLE withdrawal, but I feel sooo good. Other people have been pointing out to me (people that don't know I was ever even on Zoloft, EVER!...I was very secretive about it), that I seem very positive, etc.

The energy keeps on coming. I washed all my shoes in the washing machine the other day. I know that sounds crazy, but that's something I would have felt inspired to do a few years ago, before I ever went on Zoloft. It was like, "oh, hi old quirky me!!!" lol!

Now, I feel what I have to say here is positively important:

There is a side effect to the Zoloft that was bothering me SO MUCH all these years, but only realized it was a side effect, because it is NOW GONE.

I am both: a teacher and until recently, I was also moonlighting as a Call Center Customer Service representative. Both of these jobs, as you know, require constant, constant talking, projecting your voice, enunciating, etc.

Ever since I stopped the Zoloft--no, ever since I started weaning myself off the Zoloft--a side effect I was having, some stuttering, slurring my words, and having to really *look* for the right word, which forced me to speak more slowly, is gone.

Besides the horrid head shaking I experienced on Zoloft, this side effect is one I thought was really me. But, when I look at my life BEFORE Zoloft, I was always a great speaker. It only started when I was on the Zoloft, and quickly vanished as I weaned off of it.

I have been afraid to get off my Zoloft for almost 2 years now, because of all of the horror people talk about with withdrawal..even doctors.

I feel that you...YOU...really know your body and soul, and if your body and soul says stop ingesting something, you should stop ingesting it. (MY PERSONAL FEELINGS. I'M NOT A DOCTOR.)

This has been a decision I am so happy that I've made. I can't wait to see what the next few weeks bring.

Again...I believe in Benedryl! I've hardly had to take any, but they stop withdrawal side effects in a super, amazingly effective way!!!!

I hope this helps!

Posted By : ZolOFF - 6/23/2012 3:14 PM
Tomorrow will be 2 full weeks off of my Zoloft.

Yesterday, I had the faintest, littlest brain zaps. I took a Benedryl, and they were gone.

As I've been progressing over this 6 week journey, I have finally realized this is one of the best health decisions I have ever made for myself.

I am so much more positive, relaxed, and in control.

Please do not let people scare you if you feel Zoloft or SSRI's in general aren't right for you. You have to be ready for a little discomfort when you go off them, but if you do it really slowly, it's discomfort--not pain.

I've been eating healthily all week, my jeans are looser on me, and people have been commenting on how much more balanced my emotions have appeared to them.

I guess I was right when I felt Zoloft wasn't right for me. Trust yourself!

Posted By : Sunshine29 - 6/24/2012 7:09 AM
I started on Zoloft 3 years ago, and I feel like it saved my life. I was having terrible panic attacks and was down to 94lbs. I wasnt sleeping, developed terrible stomach issues and feared life. I was on 100mg and now weened down to 25mg. I tried to ween off the 25 by taking it every other day. On the days w/o the pill I would have major anxiety ( which could of been all brought on from my own thoughts). So, I went back to taking it daliy. I feel great on it..I did gain weight..up to 125lbs, which isnt that bad..Im just so afraid to go off it totally. I feel safe on this small dose. The thought of getting panic attacks again scares me terribly. So I guess I'll be on 25mg for awhile...

Posted By : ZolOFF - 6/24/2012 8:41 AM
Sunshine29 said...
I started on Zoloft 3 years ago, and I feel like it saved my life. I was having terrible panic attacks and was down to 94lbs. I wasnt sleeping, developed terrible stomach issues and feared life. I was on 100mg and now weened down to 25mg. I tried to ween off the 25 by taking it every other day. On the days w/o the pill I would have major anxiety ( which could of been all brought on from my own thoughts). So, I went back to taking it daliy. I feel great on it..I did gain weight..up to 125lbs, which isnt that bad..Im just so afraid to go off it totally. I feel safe on this small dose. The thought of getting panic attacks again scares me terribly. So I guess I'll be on 25mg for awhile...


I think it's great that you found what works for you, because I know how painful anxiety is. Zoloft did help me, quickly and effectively for the first year and a half I was on it. So I know it can help people. I don't know why, but for some reason I started to change, and I feel a lot better without it. If I stayed on Zoloft, it would have been 3 years of taking it for me, too. I made this thread for people who wanted to get off of Zoloft, but were afraid, because of all of the withdrawal stories they hear from people or read on the internet.

But if it's working for you, then good for you! The only thing that matters is that you're happy and comfortable. :-)

Posted By : ashbo0o - 8/4/2012 9:35 PM
Sertraline (generic brand of Zoloft) definitely made me gain weight. I started on 50mg in January 2012 and my relationship with my family, friends and long-term boyfriend increased SIGNIFICANTLY. Almost like a miracle.

However, the 50mg didn't seem to be quite enough for me and I upped the dose to 100mg in March. As soon as summer started I went to the beach and gained a significant amount of weight (for me).

Mind you, I am 21 years old, 5'1. All of high school I was 110, all of college was 115 and very recently 118. After the beach I was 125.

Now I have reached points where I am 135lbs. WHAT?!?!! My metabolism is crazy awesome and since being on Sertraline for 6 months its been horrid, obviously. I quit cold turkey 2.5 weeks ago and experienced the extremes of all of the side effects when stopping an anxiety medication.

I am 133lbs now but I understand it is probably still in my system. I have experienced 1 panic attack and definitely been fightings often with a lot of people. No suicidal thoughts; but it is clear I need a medication. I am currently on Bupropian (a generic brand) that is supposed to help with maintaining weight/dropping it. I started it 2 days after I dropped Sertraline.

My doctor said it was fine to quit cold turkey. It really was. I survived without benadryl, wine or anything. Brain zaps were new to me and pretty scary though.

ANYWAY, I just wanted to brief you on my experience so far, ZoLoff and would love to hear about any weight loss/gain you experience with your new life off of ZoLoft. Thanks for your posts. I literally registered for this website because I wanted to see your blog.

Thanks again!

Posted By : ZolOFF - 8/5/2012 9:23 PM
ashbo0o said...
Sertraline (generic brand of Zoloft) definitely made me gain weight. I started on 50mg in January 2012 and my relationship with my family, friends and long-term boyfriend increased SIGNIFICANTLY. Almost like a miracle.

However, the 50mg didn't seem to be quite enough for me and I upped the dose to 100mg in March. As soon as summer started I went to the beach and gained a significant amount of weight (for me).

Mind you, I am 21 years old, 5'1. All of high school I was 110, all of college was 115 and very recently 118. After the beach I was 125.

Now I have reached points where I am 135lbs. WHAT?!?!! My metabolism is crazy awesome and since being on Sertraline for 6 months its been horrid, obviously. I quit cold turkey 2.5 weeks ago and experienced the extremes of all of the side effects when stopping an anxiety medication.

I am 133lbs now but I understand it is probably still in my system. I have experienced 1 panic attack and definitely been fightings often with a lot of people. No suicidal thoughts; but it is clear I need a medication. I am currently on Bupropian (a generic brand) that is supposed to help with maintaining weight/dropping it. I started it 2 days after I dropped Sertraline.

My doctor said it was fine to quit cold turkey. It really was. I survived without benadryl, wine or anything. Brain zaps were new to me and pretty scary though.

ANYWAY, I just wanted to brief you on my experience so far, ZoLoff and would love to hear about any weight loss/gain you experience with your new life off of ZoLoft. Thanks for your posts. I literally registered for this website because I wanted to see your blog.

Thanks again!


Hi, Ashbo0o!

I'm glad that you enjoyed reading my post, and I'm happy that you feel like you made the right decision for you and are doing well! You are def brave to have quit cold turkey, but it's reassuring for you to share that on this forum.

I'd also like to add for other people reading this, that I haven't had to supplement with benedryl or wine or anything like that in a month. I'm completely *free* at this point now.

I feel as though the most noticeable thing that has happened for me since I quit Zoloft has been weight loss and decreased (AKA back to normal person's) appetite. Zoloft made me eat like a football player. I was 24 years old, 5'4" and a size 6 or 8 when I went on Zoloft. It made me go up to a size 16, within a mere 2 1/2 years. It made me lazy. I didn't care about dieting or exercising at all, and I was a fitness fanatic before I went on Zoloft.

Since I've quit, I'm almost back into a size 12. My jeans are falling off of me. That's pretty quick, considering it's only been out of my system for maybe 2 months. I'm running a 5k, and I'm doing the "Insanity" fitness program. I feel like the positive aspects of my health came right back. People are noticing and commenting on my almost-effortless weight loss.

When I was on Zoloft, I was doing Weight Watchers AND P90x AND very intense spinning and I kept gaining weight (Had to will myself through all of that very, very much, and couldn't sustain it. Don't have to do that these days; naturally want to be healthy.) My sugar cravings were absolutely through the roof on Zoloft. I couldn't stop thinking about cake, and cookies, and ice cream and...you name it!!! It was ridiculous. So, I know my positive changes are coming from being Zoloft-free right now.

I'm sorry to hear you put on weight so fast, and as a young woman, it's very discouraging. I've never been on a different antidepressant for an extended period time, so I don't know if a different antidepressant would do this to me, but right now, I'm trying to explore natural options. However, I obviously have nothing against pharmaceuticals when needed. I hope that your new medication is working out for you and that your weight continues to come off.

What really matters is that you're happy, but I know that you can't feel happy unless you feel healthy and beautiful, too! Good luck w/ everything and post any updates!

Posted By : justonmote - 8/14/2012 11:04 PM
Thank you for posting your positive posting on quitting zoloft. I, too, reduced, then weened myself off of 100 mg/4yrs of taking. I don't recommend doing so without your doctors guidance my I stay in quarterly follow-ups so I'm sure he will be fine with my decesion.

I started by reducing to 75 mg for two weeks. Then 50mg, for two weeks, then 25 mg for two weeks, then alternating 25mg every other day for two weeks. As I got to the lower dosages, I found myself dizzy and difficulty with sleeping. I simply took one Benadryl tablet at night and I was able to sleep comfortably. I have been completing off the Zoloft for two weeks now and feel SUPER! I believe my body stored up what was lost.

I do take 1000mg of fish oil, Women's multi-vitamin, liquid B12, and Vit. E. I believe these help with my mood balance.

CONCERN THOUGH; I gained twenty pounds while taking Zoloft and it came on the first six months. My doctor kept assuring me the weight gain was better than the anxiety I was experiencing. True, at the time. Today, my anxiety is basically diminished but the weight, UGH, still 20 lbs. My appetite is back to normal (no more needed to eat constantly). When will the weight drop????

smhair Please respond to concern and give me hope and experiences of weight loss after Zoloft.

Posted By : Zol-off-it78 - 10/15/2012 3:42 PM

Hey All!

 

I really appreciate that I've found this blog as it's inspired me to scratch that itch I've been having for the last several months, if not more!  The itch, of course, is to get off Zoloft!  I've been on it now for four years now (started with 50mg and have done 100mg over the last year+). 

 

The "bad" that I'm agreeing with everyone on is the weight gain!  Uhg!? I'm 34, 6'1" and was around 178 when I started on it four years ago.  Now...*big sigh,* I'm at about 210!?  My doctor even told me that I'm on the edge of being "overweight" for my height, etc.  I guess I was always thinking it was just my body "getting old" and my metabolism slowing down, but I now see that I'm not alone in this battle!  Years ago I was on Celexa and I too had gained about 20 lbs on that within a year or two and dropped the weight once I took myself off.  I have to agree with others on here where I feel my body is telling me to stop, pick myself up, and dust off the Zoloft dust that feels more like it's dragging me down than picking me up!  Oh!? And has anyone experienced night-sweats with this drug??  Holy crap!  It's not every night, but almost!  I asked my doctor about it and she did say that is a possible side effect of the drug.  That, and I seem to sweat at the drop of a hat!?  Uhg...It's annoying and embarrassing!

 

So here I am!  I want to join the forum in the hopes of being Zoloft free as well!  In the last several months I've felt as though I don't have much energy and am a garbage disposal for any and all foods!?  I've gone from a 32' waist up to a 36!! Even as a guy it's embarrassing to not have that confidence in myself to be out with friends or in public and feel good about myself!  I'm getting back in to the gym, and have been taking B12 in the hopes of aiding in the weaning process.  I'm glad that there are a couple other antidotes that I can take part in (Benadryl, fish oils and exercise). 

 

I'm not looking forward to the withdrawal as I had all of the same symptoms going off Celexa that a lot of you have encountered going off Zoloft (brain zaps, head aches, insomnia, etc, etc...), but I guess it will be chatting with you folks on here and keeping that light at the end of the tunnel in sight! 

 

Anyway, I appreciate all the feedback you all have put on here and I'll be starting the tapering off tomorrow...the suggested 75mg for two weeks, then 50mg...etc..etc... This is actually what doctors prescribe anyway.  They advised me to do that for Celexa years back.

 

So,...here goes!!!  I'll keep checking the post and will update as well!

 


Posted By : stkitt - 10/15/2012 4:13 PM
Welcome to Healing well and the A & P Forum. This is the place to come if you have questions or concerns about anxiety/panic, related medications and their side effects and recovery. Some of our members have been living with anxiety and related disorders for years, while others are new to this disorder.  I was dx 30 years ago and most of the time I manage very well.  I tried Zoloft just this past winter and it was not the drug for me as my body really did not like it. 

I am back on Effexor XR and do well with this medication.  I had the night sweats with Zoloft and I do have night sweats with Effexor but not every night. 

The medication that I gained the most weight from was Cymbalta and that was the one that also caused my BP to run low.  Everyone reacts differently to the meds and I always try to give any new med a chance as I know it takes 6-8 weeks for the medication to be at it's peak.  With Zoloft, the Dr. kept wanting me to increase the dose as she did not feel my dose was high enough but the medication made me feel nasty so I finally put the brakes on and we agreed that I would restart the Effexor.

I strongly agree that weaning off of any of the antidepressants needs to be down under the direct supervision of your Dr. and do not go to fast.  You have been on it this long so take your time weaning from Zoloft. 

I wish you luck and be well,

Kitt

 








~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from."~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Posted By : SunShine78 - Today 3:55 AM
Hello,

I stumbled across this post while doing some online research on lowering my dose of Zoloft.

First off, I wanted to thank you for posting your experience with weaning yourself off the drug. And a big congrats on your weight loss and success so far! :-)

I've been taking 100mg of sertraline for a year now for anxiety and depression. Before zoloft I enjoyed my workouts and considered myself extremely fit (worked out 5/6 days a week) and watched what I ate with a passion. I lost about 112lbs 8 yrs ago and was able to keep that weight loss off with success.

But all that slowly changed when I started taking zoloft. For the past year I have gained 35lbs and it takes a huge effort from me to workout (2/3 days a week now instead of the 5/6 days before). I just have no energy sad

For the past month or so I've had a continuous thought of weaning myself off of it, mostly because of the weight gain. But I'm just not 100% positive that I'm emotionally ready just yet? On my recent doctors visit I got the go-ahead to start reducing my dose by 25mg every 7-10 days. ( and he wasn't crazy about the idea either) Well, That was two weeks ago and I have yet had the courage to start that journey. Im scared. I'm scared that my anxiety & depression will come back.

Reading your post has given me hope that as long as I do it slowly - I may be free of this drug.

thank you again:)

Posted By : louie1234 - 10/27/2012 8:27 PM
This post has helped me alot. i was afraid to come off Zoloft from all you read on internet. I asked my doctor when i could get off zoloft, he said some people stay on it for life.
Zoloft helped me, but i have been on it for 6 years (100mg) and i felt it was enough. It was scary making the decision to come off, my doctor gave me a weaning process like 3 years ago when i wanted to get off zoloft, so i decided to try.
I told everyone close to me what i was doing. I asked my wife to let me know if i acted out of sorts. I also have been keeping a journal of my thoughts.
Thank you for this post. I am proud to say i am down to 25mg from 100mg :-) I have been doing this for 75 days, going real slow with it. I have been taking Omega 3 to prevent brain zaps. I never had a brain zap, the only thing i have had close to a brain zap is vertigo.
I have ups and downs but nothing out of the norm. I am glad this site is here it has givin me confidence to do what i have wanted to do for a LONG time.

Post Edited (louie1234) : 10/27/2012 8:43:25 PM (GMT-6)


Posted By : John247 - 10/27/2012 10:12 PM
I have been on zoloft cor many years and notice my hand shaking at times. I am 39....iam on .50 once a day. Kind of scared to get off of it my doc said it helps with anxiety.

Post Edited (John247) : 10/27/2012 10:16:06 PM (GMT-6)


Posted By : SAKOSF - 10/29/2012 3:57 PM
Glad to hear that Zoloft helped you and that after 3 years you were able to taper off it. From my own reading, the difficulty in getting off a antidepressant varies quite a bit from person to person. Some can rather quickly taper off as you did, with mild to moderate discontinuance syndrome symptoms and others it can be a ordeal that takes a few months.

Posted By : chuck a - 11/10/2012 12:53 PM
i just got on it, hoping it will help me, in fact PRAYING it will

Posted By : Tambo2053 - 11/14/2012 11:08 AM
I have been taking 25mg of Zoloft almost a year now just for hotflashes. Although it reduced my hotflashes it did not take them away completely. I am now going to wean myself off Zoloft because the side effects are greater than the relief I was getting from hotflashes. I will take the hotflashes instead.
I have gained weight...I have no energy....occasional insomnia. I am a menopausal woman who's sex drive is diminishing with age as it is, Zoloft completely took away any I had left.
I am thinking about going cold turkey because I was not taking it for depression. I plan to have some Benedryl and a good bottle of wine (or two) ready if I start experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
I will keep you posted! Today is day one of no Zoloft....

Posted By : zoloft-rob45 - 11/15/2012 5:37 AM
Thanks ZolOFF for sharing your story with us. I have been on Zoloft then Prozac then back to Zoloft for about 2 years now. I feel at times that the Zoloft is actually causing minor anxiety and feel that I need to wean off. I will talk to my doctor and see what she thinks about starting me on a withdrawal regiment...

Posted By : Tambo2053 - 11/15/2012 10:11 AM
Day two....cold turkey...no symptoms yet. Keeping fingers crossed. :-)

Posted By : stkitt - 11/15/2012 5:27 PM
I am glad to see the sharing in this thread. IMHO, the best possible way to wean off  any prescription medication is going it through  your doctor. In my case, when I was  ready to get off medication, I asked my doctor if I could decrease the prescribed dosage. He looked at me and said yes. It was a gradual process and   you have to have determination to stick with your weaning plan.

Getting off any anti-depressant pills may give you a feeling of imbalance. Shaking and trembling, palpitations, super sensitive, moody, high strung are other symptoms I have experienced. As for me, have been  so grateful my husband was understanding, supportive  and caring.

I wish each of you the best in weaning of or starting your medications.


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from."~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Posted By : seanben - 11/16/2012 12:33 AM
Hey thanks for posting your story here .It will give us an positive energy and help us to quit even harder with a strong desire..

Posted By : Tambo2053 - 11/16/2012 9:05 AM
Day three.....think I had a head jerk last night? Not sure what happened, but I was falling asleep and all of a sudden my head jerked. Or is that the brain zap I hear about? OR it could have been just one of those jerks you sometimes do right before you call asleep. I have a small dull headache also...nothing I can't deal with. Other than that....onward!

I would not advise to go cold turkey like I am....if you are on a high dosage for depression. Keep in mind.. I was on a very low dose to control hot flashes only. Yes.. I have been having hot flashes again.. BUT...I had them while on Zoloft too. Just not as many. I will deal with those...much better than being on ZOLOFT.

Posted By : ebox101 - 11/19/2012 3:21 PM
This forum has been SO helpful, expecially this thread. Reading positive stories is motivating me even more. I want this stuff OUT of my system!

I have been on 75mg of Zoloft for 4 years. I feel really good about taking control of my anxiety and getting the extra 30 pounds OFF.

I started weaning 4 days ago, planning to take 50mg for this first week and then go down to 25mg.

The tips you all have given regarding Omega 3, B12, E, etc are much appreciated. I will continue to post progress.

To date, I have had no issues with reducing my dose. Just a little nervous that the side effects of withdrawals are going to rear their ugly head!

Posted By : oldme17 - 12/6/2012 2:41 PM
I am so very glad that I came across this, I have been online reading about how to help the withdrawl symtoms and the benadryl is weird to me. Why does that work, is it that it chills you out and makes you drowsy so u can sleep? I will try it if need be, I am currently weaning myself off. I was on 100 mg of sertraline. now down to 50 mg for a couple weeks, then 25 for a week then I am going to do every other day on off on off 25 mg. I also am taking a very good multi vitamin with extra b12 to help my brain with the withdrawls. Not looking forward to it. A little background, I went on this crap after I had my 2nd child for PPD and I also have always had anxiety issues they just got worse after having my son. I was put on 25mg to start then 50 mg for about a year then the last half year I have been up to 100mg. I gained almost 30 lbs, just thought that because I had 2 kids and getting older I was gaining weight. But I excercied and ate well and didn't lose a lb. So I started to think of when I went on this crap I started slowly gaining weight. And when I went to 100mg I gained weight alittle faster. Before kids I weighed 110 and I am 5'1" And I know weigh 147. That is rediculious! So I am getting of this stuff and I can't wait to be me again. I also Like you crave sweets, ice cream, cake ( I never even liked cake) candy and I too eat like a man. So I am on my journey to getting of this crap. I don't need it anymore. My doctor actually said to me that this is the safest anti depressent out there. I will never take anything a doctor gives me until i research it. Thank you and I will keep on updating my journey. Amanda

Posted By : Jamonit - 12/10/2012 5:21 AM
Hi everyone,

I cannot emphasize how happy I am to have found this website, especially given all of the horror stories out there on the internet. I have been on 50mg of Zoloft for about 10 years. A doctor prescribed it for moderate depression and anxiety. The doctor who prescribed it is a classic pill pusher with a horrible disposition. about a year ago, I raised the issue of quitting the drug, and he described the "weaning off" formula, but I can't remember it now. However, I chickened out and never went off of it.

I recently had a telephone appointment with Dr. Quack (I missed my regular appointment), and mentioned that I might actually be ready to try and taper off. Of course, he said he couldn't discuss this over the phone (despite already having discussed it in person last year), and now wants me to come in for an additional appointment.

To tell you the truth, I do not trust this doctor, and he almost seems pleased when I am going through tough things in my life (I'm not a paranoid conspiracy theorist -- he really is a jerk). It's amazing that I'm still going to him after 10 years -- I live in Los Angeles, and there are many doctors to choose from. However, the day-to-day craziness in my life with my job seems to prevent me from taking the time to find a replacement doctor.

Anyway, this is a long way of explaining why I have chosen to do this on my own. Although I've been fine on the Zoloft, I'm considering trying to have a baby (I'm 45 and still single, so I'm going to try before it's too late -- which hopefully it isn't already). Since I cannot remember the specific formula that my doctor described a year ago, I decided to go from 50 mg to 37.5 mg for at least a few weeks. Tonight is my 8th night on 37.5 mg, and with the exception of some mild headaches (which I'm not even sure are related), so far, so good. To tell the truth, for the first several days, I actually felt happier than I did before. Then, yesterday, I was a little bit irritable. However, I was with my mother, my aunt, and my cousin, all of whom have the tendency to be a bit annoying sometimes. So it's tough to say whether my irritability was because I was overdosing on their collective dispositions, or withdrawing from the Zoloft.

I will try to remember to continue posting on this website as I travel toward the path of being Zoloft-free. Reading the stories posted by others has been incredibly encouraging, and if I can do a little bit to encourage someone else, then it is well worth it.

Post Edited (Jamonit) : 12/10/2012 4:24:28 AM (GMT-7)


Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 12/10/2012 11:04 AM
Hi Jamonit and welcome!

I wish you the best in all of your endeavors...and encourage you to take the time, if you can, to find another doctor...you and your health are worth the effort!:)

Please do continue to post with us anytime, and let us know how it is going soon.

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : oldme17 - 12/12/2012 3:08 PM
Well I have gone down to 25 mg for 4 days now and have not noticed any difference. It may have to do with the fact that I am on a very good multi vit. Nordic Nautrals Omega 3 and Vitamin Code Raw D 2000 IU. I am also eating very well to try and get some of the unnessesary weight off. So far much better than I could have ever imagined. I have lost all cravings for sweets already and I feel better than I have in a long time. Happier and have a lot more energy. I will keep all posted on the week that I stop. I have 8 more days of the 25 mg then NONE. We will see.

Posted By : Jamonit - 1/4/2013 1:29 AM
Hi everyone and Happy New Year!

So, here's the update so far... I went from the 50mg to the 37.5, and basically did well. I experienced some headaches and mild nausea, but I can't really be sure that it was due to the decreased dosage, since I ate a lot of unhealthy junk during the holidays and have also been dealing with a problem tooth... But I suspect the Zoloft may have been a factor. Nothing too extreme though, and certainly not unbearable. As for irritability, obsessive thoughts, ruminations, anxiety, etc., I haven't really noticed anything (and neither has my best friend, who is stealthily monitoring me).

Anyway, I did the 37.5 from December 3rd to December 28, at which point I "stepped down" to 25mg. Tonight was the 6th night at 25mg, and so far, so good. I literally get on my knees and pray every night before I take the pill that I will be successful and not suffer any negative side effects (and have done so each and every night since I first decreased the dosage), and am feeling really hopeful that I will be able to get off of this stuff completely.

Sending positive thoughts and prayers to all of you out there. Xoxo

Posted By : oldme17 - 1/4/2013 8:33 AM
Hi so I have been off of the Zoloft for 1 week and 6 days and my withdrawals are gone. That was the worse week 1/2 ever. I had awful head shaking and was tired and one night very nauseas. I had blow ups a few times a day. So glad to be off of the stuff that is nasty. I feel so much better now. I am not bloated anymore I DO NOT crave sweets anymore. I eat a lot less. I have lost 4 lbs and I am cleaning and organizing like I use to. I am back to the old me again and I love it. It is not fun coming off of but it was worth the week and 1/2 of hell to be where I am now. Good luck to all of you!,

Posted By : kudos4me - 1/10/2013 6:39 PM
Happy to find this blog. I agree with Doctor's supervision but I too have had Doctors who are less than capable. What upsets me the most is Zoloft was totally contraindicated with my thyroid medicine! Talked to the company today since all the doctors AND pharmacy say it's fine.
That said, it is no wonder we get so tired on this medicine and it affects us so much. After losing my thyroid to cancer, now I know how the thyroid works for EVERYTHING in your body!
If my thyroid med is drained because of the Zoloft, I am sure it can do that to a perfectly healthy thyroid too!

I have had alot of anxiety since the cancer and I actually asked for zoloft if it was safe. Since then, I too have gained weight, my TSH is off (part of my thyroid levelS) and I actually have headaches because of the zoloft!

I have been taking it at night and I actually start to get some energy just before I take it. Hmmmmm. Then when I wake up, I do not care, I do not want to get up even! Nope, this is not working for me. I will be weaning off it too. Have before with no problem.

My purpose for posting is to let people know it does affect your thyroid hence your energy among many other functions. Not worth it for me but it is there for certain cases and I would never tell you to not take it if it works for you.

Posted By : Jamonit - 1/14/2013 1:52 AM
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to log in a quick post before drifting off to sleep. I've been on 25mg for 16 days now (reminder: I was on 50 for 10 years, then went to 37.5 for a few weeks, then bumped to 25), and I feel great! No issues whatsoever, except that I've been feeling a little more tired than usual. Still praying every night, and so far, so good. Hoping for the best for all of you. Xoxo

Posted By : castrobel - 1/16/2013 7:52 PM
I have just recently stopped taking Zoloft cold turkey. I am so happy I came across this thread. I actually joined the website so I could speak with you directly. Your story is inspirational to me! I'm on day five and really feeling the zaps and a bit of increased anxiety. But so far doing okay. Any more tips on getting over the hump? Thank you.

Posted By : Jamonit - 1/23/2013 8:34 AM
Castrobel -- from everything I have heard and read, going off Zoloft cold turkey isn't the best approach. Although I am doing it on my own without my doctor's oversight, I previously consulted with him about a year ago re: how to do it, and have done a ton of research on the issue. I have stepped down gradually and have experienced very few side effects thus far (I am in my fourth week of 25mg). You should probably consult with your doctor if you're still experiencing the side effects. Good luck!

Posted By : yvetmnd69 - 1/23/2013 8:57 PM
   I quit zoloft cold turkey not planning to, but merely  because I was too lazy to go pick up my refill... Thought Id be fine if I waited one more day... Well I was wrong!!  I woke up on the third day without it feeling a bit nauseous, but ok, so I went about my day- which included an 80th b-day party for my mother in law.  As the day went on every bone in my body ached, I got more and more nauseous,  headache that wouldnt go away, sweating, chills, various body parts twiching.   A horrible blend of flu and stomach bug symptoms...  Having a daughter in recovery she knew these withdrawl symptoms and I immediately knew it was from stopping the zoloft  cold turkey!  Next day was a little better but the zaps kept coming and today 6 days later just a little tingling, but OMG I actually am feeling better than I have in a long time.. Ive been on a cocktail of zoloft & wellbutrin daily with an xanax as needed for a few years now, and did not realize what  a clouded world I was living in..  I was in a zombie world for so long.. no emotion, just existing- but hey no panic, no anxiety, so I didnt care... Today I feel alive for the first time in a long time.  I still am on the wellbutrin but cutting down.   As for the xanax, only took them on an as needed basis but gave hubby the bottle to hold for extreme emergency situations..  It actually feels weird ..like I was just let out of a box, learning my way around the world again..  Yes Im afraid to encounter the situations that sent me to those drugs in the first place, but Im excited also to see if I can respond to them differently this time using  natural methods I have done research on.    Im actually excited to live for the first time in a long time..  Stopping my medication was the best accident I could have had. Reading this forum I see that my discontinuation symptoms were kind of servere, but Im glad it happend... Watch out world here I come!!

Posted By : mademoisellemouse - 1/25/2013 11:09 PM
Hey guys!
I loved reading this thread. I, like some of you, am an SSRI veteran, and I've quit them once and for all. Sadly, I am only 26 but have been on and off (mostly ON) antidepressants of every kind since I was 16. I am a believer in them for the most part, but like the original poster said, my body began tenaciously telling me it was time say goodbye to the meds. I gained 25-30lbs during the course of taking zoloft, which this most recent time was about 2 years. I knew it made me gain weight, as I had taken it before and gained weight seemingly for the 1st time in my life. I was 20 when I tried zoloft, and I had been between 115-125lbs since freshman year in high school. I'm 5'5 with a small athletic build. I was a gymnast and cheerleader most of my life, so I always weighed more than I looked. At 20, I started Zoloft. Within 2 months I was weighing in at 140lbs! I spoke with my doctor about my concerns and believe it or not, he told me right away it wasn't from the Zoloft, and that I could stand to gain 5 more lbs even. THE NERVE! Nevertheless, I continued taking Zoloft because I felt it was helping. A year later I weaned off by myself over the course of just 1 month (did tons of research) and I lost the weight about 2 months after that. I changed none of my eating or exercise habits.
Back to this most recent time...
I was not feeling depressed anymore and hadn't for some time. I felt like I had kind of come into my own in the last year. I could've remained on Zoloft, sure, but I knew the weight gain would destroy any progress I'd made in myself. Then I started seeing little red lines on my upper thighs. STRETCH MARKS! I freaked. I started thinking seriously about stopping the meds. What finally got me to hunker down and DO IT was the realization that I'd almost completely lost my creativity. I'm a portrait photographer, I love to write and read, i love to paint. I love "philosophizing". It came to my attention I could no longer do any of those things. I got serious with myself and started weaning down. A little bit more each day. I was at a whopping 200mg of Zoloft at the start, and I went down 25 mg every few days/week. Before I knew it, Christmas was here and I'd gone from 200mg down to about 12mg. Christmas day was the last time I took Zoloft. It's been exactly 1 month today. The first week completely off was amazing. The second week was weird. Dizzy, disoriented and such. The third week was about the same. Now, I feel like my old self (a good thing, come to find out!) and I've somehow managed to lose almost 15lbs by doing absolutely nothing. I cried. I slept a lot.I wrote in a journal. Whenever I started to feel strange or tired or moody, I'd sit down and remind myself that it was because I stopped Zoloft, nothing else. I found that as long as I kept myself aware of my emotions, reminded myself often of what I was doing, and got plenty of sleep, I continued to thrive. I feel absolutely fabulous now. I feel this huge range of emotion and I love it. I'm so glad I did this. I wish you all only the best of luck. You CAN do it! If you have any questions or just want to vent or whatever.... I am here!

Posted By : yvetmnd69 - 1/26/2013 7:52 AM
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one actually excited to come off zoloft . I will admit its a little strange experiencing feelings again . I have to take the good with the bad. I am taking it day by day but so far so good. I hope more people start sharing their experiences good or bad because it definately helps knowing we are not alone. Trying to talk to someone who has no idea what you go through is not the same no matter how genuinely understanding they try to be . It's appreciated but as with anything we must not judge anyone or anything . The saying is true " until you walk a mile in anyone's shoes"
Have a great day all

Posted By : Avrielle - 1/26/2013 9:05 AM
I think this post is helpful for anyone who wants to come off of a medication, not just Zoloft.

I'm currently in a situation where I need to decrease Seroquel and it's scaring me to death even though I know it will help in the long run.

Reading this helps me, especially the advice about just talking to yourself that what you're feeling is the withdrawal effects and not freaking out about it.

Thank you for posting your experiences.

Av

Posted By : readytoquit1 - 2/1/2013 8:45 PM
This thread has made me very hopeful about quitting. I have been taking the 50mg for approx. a year now. I feel very in control, and realize I was in a tough place in my life when I started. I am very ready to quit, I am just concerned with how I will feel after all the side effects go away. I don't want to slip back into that dark place I was in, it was awful as you all may know.

Posted By : Jamonit - 2/2/2013 1:07 AM
Hi everyone!

Just wanted to check in and give the update. I cannot emphasize how critical it seems to be to do this slowly. I started at 50mg (which I had been on for about 10 years), and have gone down 1/4 for about a month each time. So after a month at 37.5, and a month at 25, I am now on 12.5, and have been on it for about a week. The amazing news: not a single brain zap, no increased irritability, no serious side effects to speak of at all. So although you may want to be OFF of it immediately, I think slow and steady is much better. And of course, I'm still praying every single night. Blessings to all of you out there.

Posted By : jlreed2 - 2/6/2013 5:53 PM
I am incredibly relieved to have found this forum!

Thank you all for sharing your stories!!! I am currently on day 7 tapering off sertraline, and am DETERMINED to be done with it for good! I was at 100mg/day for about a year; 50mg/day for about six months before that. I was given the green light to taper off about 7 months ago from my doc, and tried once before with terrible results! This time, I have a better focus/determination to be rid of this drug. 7 days in and I'm still confident, but am anxiously awaiting the withdrawal side effects to leave me alone! (As I type, I've been experiencing the vertigo/dizziness/nausea for almost two hours - the worst thus far in the tapering off journey.)

I am grateful to have found others that have made it through! :)

Posted By : disciple4life - 2/14/2013 2:01 PM
I have also found this forum very encouraging. I am 3 days away from being off of zoloft completely for a month. The weaning process, that was explained by my doctor, was to cut down on the milligrams over time. I think I may have done it too quickly. It has been a challenging experience. I have been on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I had been on Zoloft for about 10 years. The reason I decided to stop is because the latter part of 2012, I felt it did not help my OCD but started to make it worse. I spoke to my doctor in which it was increased from 50mg to 100mg. Big mistake, I was on 100mg for a week and I felt worse. I took it mainly for obsessions and not compulsions. Once I started feeling something was wrong, I started reading about Zoloft more than when I first started taking it (side effects explained allot.) This medication does not seem to be a good choice any more, and something was just telling me to get off of it. My wife has been very supportive, but my main rock has been God.

For those of you who have stopped Zoloft and are trying to see a light at the end of the tunnel, it is there. Believe me, quitting Zoloft after 10 years has not been easy and I feel the road is a little longer. Some days have really been hard and I have found myself wanting to get back on 50mg, I need to keep learning to accept the good with the bad. No one’s life can be 100% perfect without trials and tribulation, we just have to pray and work through it. I have started taking omega 3 tablets and a multi-vitamin. I feel our bodies need good food to heal, such as leafy greens, broccoli, fish, etc. along with exercise. I see medications advertised on the television that say it may help people but then have a long list of side effects. It’s almost like saying, “I can live with the side effects of blurry vision, boils, itching, rashes, and night sweats as long as I can move my shoulder without it hurting”  :-) . I just don’t know if the tradeoff is that good.

Post Edited (disciple4life) : 2/14/2013 1:07:26 PM (GMT-7)


Posted By : wannabfree - 2/14/2013 4:36 PM
Hi, I'm new here...i am interested in going off my generic brand of Zoloft. I'm on 75mg. My doc said that i can just go off of it, if i wanted to. Since it was a low dose, the side effects wouldn't be that bad.
I'm on day two of not taking it and i feel kind of weird.
I was on it for Anxiety/Panic. I worry a lot.
But, i have no sexual desire and haven't had one for over 10 years. I've been on this medicine for over 10 years. I'm married and feel horrible for my husband. He's put up with it for so long..not so much these days.
this is horrible. Everytime i go off the medication, i am fine but, then a year later, i get the bad worrying and anxiety so, i go back on it.
If you lost your sexual desire, did it come back? just wondering if you have had this happen to y'all?
Thanks and this is a great forum!

Posted By : MotherofAZoloftUser - 2/18/2013 1:36 PM
I want to thank everybody for posting about the ravenous eating and weight gain. My 29 yr old son is on Zoloft after having a brain injury. He has no short term memory so we were blaming that fact on his uncontrollable eating. He doesn't remember eating so he thinks he is really being starved. Today it got to the point where we are contemplating putting him in a nursing home because we are so stressed by constantly trying to keep him out of the kitchen. I decided to research his medicine and ended up here. He has only been on Zoloft for about 8 weeks. He has definitely gained weight. He used to have a flat stomach. Now he looks like he is 4 months pregnant. And that is after only 2 months! We joined a gym to give him something to do but he doesn't really have an interest or the energy. Wherever we go, he keeps saying he is starving and has no interest in anything except finding something to eat. He used to be the type of person who could never sit still. He was always riding a bike or anything else outdoors. Now he sleeps a lot. When he is not sleeping, he is eating. He also has occasional night sweats. He has woken up totally drenched. He also has an intense case of acne on his back. I put prescribed medication on his back but we are going through tubes quickly and it is not helping very much.
The worst part is the non-stop eating. It is tougher with him because he does not have the brain function to tell him he is overeating. But he is also a good example of how this drug causes the food craving.

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 2/18/2013 4:41 PM
Hello MoaZU and welcome.

I am so sorry to hear of your son's injury and the subsequent problems that it has caused in regards to his meds.

Have you tried another SSRI for his treatment? Perhaps a talk with his docotor (neurologist?) could help you to find another Rx that does the job that it needs to...without the unwanted side effects.

I do wish you and your son well. Thank you for your post!

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : MotherofAZoloftUser - 2/18/2013 5:00 PM
Thank you for your concern. I am trying to get help. We made an appointment with a psychiatrist in the first week of January. The first appointment available was March 25th so we still have a long wait. I called them today and no luck getting anything earlier. His family doctor's nurse said she will have his doctor call me in the morning since he is out today. But we have discussed this in the past and he really wants a psychiatrist to make a recommendation. My son was in a psychiatric hospital in October for a week since we were having problems dealing with him. The psychiatrist took away all his meds from his original hospital stay, the one after his brain injury for vocational, occupational, and physical therapy. He put him on all vitamins, thinking the psychotic meds were doing more harm than good. But in late December we put him in a different psychiatric hospital because of his suicidal threats His wife left him when he was in a coma from the brain injury; they were both drug addicts and he OD'd out of despair of being unable to quit his addiction. He ended his addiction the hard way. Anyway, that doctor put him on the zoloft and zyprexa. He has been easier to live with as far as mood but he now has a very serious eating problem. He is always "starving" and swears he has not eaten anything all day even though he has been eating non-stop.
I've been researching all day and wondering about Abilify. Some people have said they even had a loss of appetite with it.
I will post again if things change.

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 2/18/2013 5:27 PM
This is indeed a tragic story, and again I offer my condolences.

You are a great mom for taking care and looking for the best help for your son.

I hope that your upcoming appointments will bring about answers for you. Is the psychiatrist that he will be seeing in March the same one that he saw in the psychiatric hospital?

I would just recommend that his regular doctor and the P-doc be in good communication since so many of his needs are probably both physical and mental/emotional...and they can all intersect, and need to be addressed as part of the big picture.

Please feel free to keep posting here...not only about this, but if you need an outlet as well, as cargiving can be its own source of stress and anxiety.

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : Teach18 - 2/19/2013 1:42 PM
I am weaning off the generic form of Zoloft since Saturday with a doctor's supervision. I took it for one month starting at 50 mgs and then 100 mgs. Now I am on 12.5 mgs for one week.This weaning off went from 100 mgs to 50 mgs to 25 mgs and now 12.5 mgs. I lost 12 pounds and had extreme nausea during this time. Everyone keeps saying how they gained weight! I felt like I was dying! The nausea is gone and I can eat again!
The doctor also has me on Lamictal starting now on 25 mgs every other day. I hope this works for depression and anxiety!
Good luck to all of us trying to help ourselves! Life is not easy but we have to have hope!

Posted By : Teach18 - 2/19/2013 1:53 PM
To MotherofaZoloftUser
I hope that your situation with your son improves! Could it be that he was
given the wrong diagnosis? Abilify is a mood stabilizer. I was on it with Cymbalta and it seemed to work. Hope this helps and stay strong! 

Posted By : MotherofAZoloftUser - 2/19/2013 8:40 PM
Hi Teach,
The only diagnosis we know for sure is my son's brain injury from lack of oxygen for an unknown length of time. He was found dead, resuscitated, and stayed in a coma for two months. The doctors said he would never have any function above automatic responses from the brain stem. We refused to believe them because we could see other signs that they kept claiming were only auto response. It's been a long road and the biggest hurdle now is getting his meds balanced. It is hard to do since he has no short term memory. We hope to find a good middle ground some day. Thanks for responding about Abilify. I'm going to ask his doctor about it when I get the chance to talk to him, hopefully tomorrow.

Posted By : jxv171 - 2/20/2013 10:09 PM
I am one of millions of people taking this drug but only one of the few lucky enough to have stumbled upon this forum. Until today, I had no idea what was happening to me, why, and how I was going to deal with it. Today is a huge day for me- it's the day I start getting my life back and kicking Zoloft for GOOD!

I have been on Zoloft for approx. 1 year at 100 mg a day. I have tried to stop in the past but the brain zaps, dizziness, nausea, back pain and headaches made it impossible. I always crawled back. But the main reason I did was because my husband kept telling me my mood swings were intolerable if I stopped taking it. So for the sake of saving my marriage I would get back on it. As I write that, the sheer absurdity slaps me in the face. So it was divorce or medication. Medicating myself seemed easier.

Did I mention the weight gain? OMG the weight gain. I have never been thin to begin with, so adding pounds made me go ballistic. My doc NEVER warned me about the weight gain or headaches and so I had no idea this was going to happen! By accident, I slowly learned all that was in store for me with this drug through online research and forums. I kick myself that it took me this long.

I have read way more horror stories than success stories. But I refuse to let this thing beat me. I want more than anything to be happy and healthy and I want to rid myself of this awful drug. I wish doctors would warn people what the real price tag of this drug is, but until that happens, we can only rely on each other to spread the word and offer support when all else fails.

Thank you all for sharing your stories. I am truly inspired. And funny thing is that might be the first thing I have felt in a long time since starting this drug. Keeping my fingers crossed!!! Day 1 starts here....

Posted By : jxv171 - 2/20/2013 10:12 PM
Also, reading your experiences of beating Zoloft is a HUGE motivator for my own journey. Keep the success stories coming! It's so important to get the message out that people who want to beat this CAN and DO!!!

Posted By : MotherofAZoloftUser - 2/20/2013 11:47 PM
Hi jxv, I was also thrilled to find this website this week. I was telling my husband that I thought the medication was causing my son's extreme hunger and in turn his weight gain. My husband doubted me until I showed him stories from this website. I got a return call from my son's doctor's office today. I was instructed to cut his Zoloft in half. I told them I already did that on my own (after reading this website). I also cut his Olanzapine/Zyprexa in half which I found even more horror stories about. So we are going to see if the situation improves by next Tuesday and if not, try something else. So far, there has been no change in mood which is good but also no change in hunger. But there was one good outcome, if related to taking less medicine. Yesterday at the gym, my son came close to a run on the inside track. It was only a few seconds but it is the first time he has done that, or even wanted to try it, since his brain injury. Previously, he walked slowly, holding onto the railing.
Well, good luck to you and keep us posted!

Posted By : MotherofAZoloftUser - 2/25/2013 12:26 AM
Congrats!!!!!!! That is so awesome!!!!!!

Posted By : MotherofAZoloftUser - 2/25/2013 12:31 AM
I cut my son's Zoloft in half a few days ago. So far, no bad reaction. I was expecting anger or bad behavior when I cut it down. He actually seems a little happier. The only new thing is that he takes 2 or 3 showers a day. (In case you don't know, he has brain damage resulting in no short term memory) Don't get it but that's OK. But he is still has a constant hunger. I might try to wean him further. It could be scarey so I'm nervous.

Posted By : Jamonit - 2/25/2013 1:22 AM
Hi everyone!

I had to check in and let all of you know that I have been on ZERO milligrams of Zoloft for 4 days and am doing great! In case you haven't read the entire thread, I have been on 50 mg of Zoloft for over 10 years. I finally decided to try and get off of it, so I cut it down to 37.5 mg for a month, 25 mg for a month, 12.5 mg for a month, and then nothing for 4 days now. Throughout the process, I have gotten a few headaches (not sure it's because of the Zoloft, since I've certainly had headaches before), had some bad dreams for about a week (again, not the first time this has ever happened), and have been pretty tired (but I work a ton so this is not that strange). But that's it, thank God (literally, because I have prayed every single night during this process). No irritability, no brain zaps, no nausea, no mood swings, none of the horrific side effects that I have read about.

I want you guys to know that it CAN be done, but you just have to be PATIENT. I really think one of the key factors was that I did this *slowly*. Please hang in there, and don't try to rush off of this stuff. And blessings to all of you!!

Posted By : begone - 2/26/2013 3:29 PM
Hey all! Im so glad i found this. I have been wanting to get off for awhile now. I have been on 25 mg for almost two years now. This is my second day off of it cold turkey. A little nervous but i think it will be well worth it over all. Im 5'2 and use to weigh 110 but now I weigh 125 and am always hungry!! I can't take it anymore. I do have anxiety and panic attacks sometimes but i dont want to rely on this drug anymore. nono I will keep you posted on how it goes. I hope I start to lose weight.

Posted By : Jamonit - 2/28/2013 3:13 AM
MotherofaZoloftUser, hang in there. Our prayers are with you!

Posted By : lottiedee - 3/23/2013 4:38 PM
Hello everyone, I was put on sertraline about 10 weeks ago,50mg for 5 days then 100mg.
I was told that it would take 6 weeks for it to settle, 10 weeks later and i am coming off it,i have zero energy,zero sex drive and i have no time for anyone. I am still having days when i sit and cry and i thing the fatigue is making me more depressed than i was before.
My question is, with only being on this for such a short time, would i be able to go cold turkey or would i still have to taper off.
I am thrilled that i have found this thread as it seems the most honest one i have found and it feels good to know i am not alone in this situation.

Posted By : simplify - 3/28/2013 8:14 PM
To all you "guardian angels"...  I sat at my computer this evening + decided that I need to make a doctor's appointment to see if she could INCREASE my zoloft.  So I just started researching + came across this truly ENLIGHTENING forum.  I thought my lack of engery, motivation to do ANYTHING was because I needed MORE drugs.  Ok.. let's not talk about the weight gain.  I moved to Florida about 7 years ago weighing in the mid 120's.  I am not the mid 170's.  It is like I don't even know who this fat person is!!  I thought is was just age (I am sure that is a factor, I am now 56) but I am certain the lack of energy to do anything, including exercise + eating like a truck driver have been the primary factors.  But I did not connect the dots that the Zoloft has been a huge culprit in my complete change.  I literally go to work (I own a business I love, thank goodness for THAT), come home, plop my butt in front of the computer + eat, work, drink (wine or martinis) REPEAT!!!  Rarely go out, just no interest.  Being fat makes me more depressed so I don't want to go out so, again, I think I need more drugs to make me feel better.  What the????   No doctor EVER told me that weight gain or lack of energy are primary side effects of zoloft.  It is just a vicious cycle!!!  Thank you.. thank you... thank you ALL for helping me understand that there is hope for me to feel like a "REAL" person, again.  I am so excited to start my journey to being well. 

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 3/29/2013 9:26 AM
Hello and welcome to new members posting here!:)

I sincerely wish everyone the best in their journey! I do hope that you find the best possible management for your anxiety, suitable for your individual needs!

I do want to post a gentle reminder that we want to be careful not to generalize or make blanket statements about any medication...as it will affect any individual person differently.

One might have a positive experience, and get exactly what they need from their Rx...while another might have a miserable outcome.

It takes a bit of trial and error with meds to find what works for you.

...and don't forget using the other methods of treatment such as therapy and coping mechanisms such as breathing/relaxation/meditation and exercise/nutrition!

I hope that we can feel free to share our personal experiences, while at the same time be sensitive that anxiety treatment is both an individual and personal journey!

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : simplify - 3/29/2013 12:14 PM
Agreed! We each need to ascertain what is right for us as individuals. But knowing that a lifetime of drugs may not be the answer + that there MAY be a time to try life on its own, again. I am ready, even more so, knowing there is such a wonderful suport system here.

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 3/29/2013 12:22 PM
Awesome!!

I am glad that you are on your way:)

I wish you the best...and hope that this forum can be a part of your recovery. It has been a huge part of mine!

Please feel free to post with us anytime for support.:)

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : Wynnesmom - 4/19/2013 7:29 PM
Hello all...

I have just began to week myself off Zoloft. I started taking 50mg after I had my son. 8 years later I am now taking 200mg. Over the years I have had my ups and downs along with a ton of weight gain!! After having my baby I was back down to about 130lbs. I have topped out at 159!!! It really got worse for me as they upped my dosage. No matter what I do, I can not lose weight!! That in itself is making me crazy... Ha ha!! So the weight issue is a huge factor in my decision to ween off the Zoloft. I have often wondered if I still need it. I definitely get into a rut every now and then. But really, doesn't everyone?? I am so unhappy with myself because of my weight, it seems to me, that sort of defeats the whole purpose of being on an anti-depressant??!
So anyways, my plan is to drop from the 200mg to 100mg every other day and see how it goes. I am a little nervous to go "cold turkey"... This is what I am comfortable with for now. After a week or so~ I will see how I feel and decide what my next step will be!! This is my second night so I will not be taking one tonight... Wish me luck!! smilewinkgrin smilewinkgrin

Posted By : Wynnesmom - 4/22/2013 10:40 PM
Ok I am now on day 5. I am only taking 100mg every other day. My in between days I take nothing. So far so good. Now my husband would disagree... Ha ha. (PMSing) has nothing to do with the anti depressant!!! I can't help that... -_-
Just as a reminder I have been taking zoloft for 8 years. Started at 50mg and am maxed at 200mg!! 30-35lbs over weight, the constant ringing in my ears and the memory loss. Don't know if anyone else has a problem with memory?? Mine has been since they bumped me to 200 mg!! I am ready to get all this in the past !! :)

Posted By : GLC123 - 4/27/2013 6:18 AM
I just want to thank you for your post. It has really helped me. I've been off of Zoloft for 5 days now. I expected the anxiety and irritability but did not expect the insomnia and it's just how you described it. I'm out cold until 2:30 am, then up and jittery as if I have had too much coffee until I pull myself out of bed at 6. Not fun. I am glad to hear that benedryl has helped. I'll be taking some before bed tonight.

Again, thank you.

Posted By : Wynnesmom - 4/28/2013 3:09 PM
DAY 11: Well, if flu symptoms are a side effect... I got them bad!!!! I have been in bed miserably sick for days now. Today is the first day I have felt half way decent!! I don't know if it was coincidence or if it was indeed the "side effect" of abruptly stopping the 200mg dose of Zoloft?? Either way, if I am over the hump, I will be thrilled. But... Could it have been this easy?? I will post in a couple of days. **what I have been doing instead of 100mg every other day-- after taking nothing for 3 days and becoming sick as a dog-- I have been taking 50mg for the past 3 days. I think I am going to start doing the 50mg every other day and see how that goes. If I feel bad I will take the 50mg maybe 2 days then skip one day then take 2 more days and so... I am just doing what seems to work best for me. Since I am doing this by my own choice, I can do it however I want right??!! Last time I weighed I had lost 4lbs... Might of been the flu...?? Or was it the side effects...?? Oh I am so confused!! blush blush

Posted By : jazziejen - 5/1/2013 10:13 AM
I have been on 100mg of Zoloft for about one month.  My Dr wanted me to start slow; 25mg for 10 days, 50mg for 10 days & then 100mg for good.  He told me to go down to 50mg for 3 days and then stop completely.  Sounds odd to me, but I am following what he said.  Day 1 today of 50mg.  Since only being on it a short time, do you think I will experience many withdrawls?  1 side affect I have been having that has been driving me nuts is tremors; hands shaking.  I will be glad when that is done!

Posted By : Jennscott711 - 5/20/2013 8:40 PM
I am so thankful that I found this post! I have been on 25 mg of zoloft for about 2 months now for Postpartum Anxiety. The first few days were terrible but I stuck with it like everyone was telling me to do and I seemed to get better for a few weeks. I felt great, had energy and was enjoying my life with my 8 mo old baby and husband. All of a sudden, about a week ago, I have started feeling anxious and experiencing A lot of the physical anxiety symptoms that I was experiencing before like extreme muscle tension, hot flashes, and nausea. I was going to ask if I needed to up my dose, but I really don't want to be on this medicine, I never have wanted to be! I want to be healthy and happy in a natural way without having to take this medicine.

I am going to try and start my way off of this yucky medicine and am praying for only a positive outcome. Its so nice to be able to come here and read success stories and have such awesome support from people going through the same thing. Good luck to all!

Posted By : ToGoodHealth - 5/27/2013 3:23 PM
Hi, firstly, thank you all for posting on this thread!
I went off zoloft accidently on Saturday as my script ran out, however I do not believe on staying on these drugs long term; so I decided to not buy more (now Tuesday). I was on 50mg and went to nothing. Yesterday I was emotional and dizzy; however I went to yoga and felt much more settled. (Doesnt help I am 1 week before my period is due). What I am suprised about is relating my blurred vision to the zoloft? It appears some others have had the blurred vision?? I did not relate it to now; however my eyesight has become considerably worse over the lsat few months! I will be interested to see the difference in this regard.
I do want to say to try help; one of the very best things I have done is take my son to a biomedical doctor. (After many trips to psychologists, paeditricians, regular doctors with no real helps; I took him to a biomedical dr and the changes are quite remarkable! He put him on GABA (which I am also taking) which is natural; B, magnesium, zinc etc and biotin (good for skin and nails too) He diagmosed him with Pyrolle disorder! (I had never heard of it and apparently 10% of the poulation have hit) As far as muscle aches goes, taurine has helped me dramatically; I researched this myself, and in passing the biomedical dr mentioned it to me (as I also have a heart condition where I react to msg 621 / glutamic acid and too much caffeine where I have had to be admitted to Emergency and given a drug called adenosine to bring it back to normal (after 238bpm) Any way I am other meds as this a real physical condition; - for interest, my neighbour has fybrymoalgia and she does now NOT have the muscle aches when taking taurine too! Taking taurine I have NO brainfog as well! However my point is; this biomedical dr really knows what he is talking about!! (Very excited about this) I am seeing him for myself next week; and I bet he continues GABA and other things. This is a real breakthrough. These dr's are in the background as the pharmaceutical co's stand to NOT MAKE their billions of $ when Dr's go to the source of our problems about bio balance, ensuring our bodies are getting what they need ie if we are not making the amino acids etc that we need!! Anyway I thought I should share; as it is making a life difference. My son is not having his emotional outburst; it does take a month for our bodies to absorb these vitamins, minerals and amino acids; it's been 3 weeks and the changes are remarkable. Of course I believe in GOOD Dr advise when weaning of drugs; however I hcan't recommend highly enough about going to a biomedical DR! I wish my mother would; as she has been on heavy drugs for years; and I also read that drugs like Zyprexa decrease the brain cortex :-( Please get Dr supervision before going off however. My advise, a Bio Dr!! All the best; I don't feel dizzy this morning; I expect a little more side effects; however I am sure they won't be long lived; I am going on more natural drugs, that is for sure. All the best with your endevours :-)

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 5/27/2013 4:50 PM
Hi TGH.;)

Welcome and thanks for sharing. I wish you the best on your progress and recovery! Please feel free to post with us anytime.

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : ZoloftFree - 6/5/2013 12:37 AM
I had been on zoloft on and off for about 16 years. For a time, I was taking Effexor (or Ineffexor, I liked to call it) for over a year and a half and it gave me unprecedented suicidal ideations. I have gone off zoloft for periods of time.. a year or two here and there. I have been one either zoloft or Effexor for 6 years solid now.

I weaned off fairly rapidly beginning December or January of this year. I had made a goal of being off 100% by the end of the year (2013) and it just went faster than I had planned. I had recently cut back from 200mg to 100mg. I began taking 50 mg for a time, then 25, then 25 every other day etc. I have had withdrawal crashes from zoloft many times and I watched carefully for that. I also added in a very high quality salmon oil capsule (took 6 a day) plus B supplements and occasionally cal/mag. I have been a bit shocked how well the weaning off went. I am not sure what brain zaps are, but I don't think I had any.

The beginning was the easiest part. I was shocked how easily it went. It has been over five months since I began the process and around 2-3 since I have been 100% zoloft free. I have to assume that I have some buildup in my system for having been on it so long. I have heard that it takes 3 months to fully get out of your system.

I am doing OK. The worst part for me are the big feelings. Is it possible that I have gone so long medicated that i forgot what it is like to feel things intensely? I hadn't thought so. I feel crazy inside sometimes and so very irritable and impatient. My partner and family all know that i have gone off my med and am coping with big feelings. I apologize a lot. There have been many times I have second guessed my choice and thought that a peaceful less irritable mama would be preferable to everyone, but my partner insists that he likes me better now and that I am quicker to notice my feelings and moods/thoughts and take action on dealing with them. Is it possible I just didn't notice before because my feelings were numbed? Or maybe I just didn't care.

Is it possible that being on zoloft on and off for so long as an adult can change your brain chemistry?

I came onto this site because I wanted to know how freaking long it is going to take to take off all this extra weight. I have never been super thin before, but i have always been able to take weight off when I tried to. I have had an impossible time with weight since I went back on antidepressants in 2007. I am the heaviest I have ever been and I keep careful track of all my calories daily. I fight over the same 2 pounds constantly and I have around 40 to lose.. on my very petite frame. I cannot tell you how exasperating failing at weight loss has been when i have tried so hard. I am 47.

I am fairly resolute to stay off this med. I have no suicidal ideations and I am functioning mostly well. I have a demanding life, intense job, large family but a good support system. I am really relieved to be off this med and am a bit embarrassed that my main reason for finding this site was weight loss motivated.

And speaking of that... how freaking long is it going to take before the extra forty pounds I put on start coming off??!!

Posted By : readytobeme - 6/7/2013 8:59 AM
ashbo0o said...
Sertraline (generic brand of Zoloft) definitely made me gain weight. I started on 50mg in January 2012 and my relationship with my family, friends and long-term boyfriend increased SIGNIFICANTLY. Almost like a miracle.

However, the 50mg didn't seem to be quite enough for me and I upped the dose to 100mg in March. As soon as summer started I went to the beach and gained a significant amount of weight (for me).

Mind you, I am 21 years old, 5'1. All of high school I was 110, all of college was 115 and very recently 118. After the beach I was 125.

Now I have reached points where I am 135lbs. WHAT?!?!! My metabolism is crazy awesome and since being on Sertraline for 6 months its been horrid, obviously. I quit cold turkey 2.5 weeks ago and experienced the extremes of all of the side effects when stopping an anxiety medication.

I am 133lbs now but I understand it is probably still in my system. I have experienced 1 panic attack and definitely been fightings often with a lot of people. No suicidal thoughts; but it is clear I need a medication. I am currently on Bupropian (a generic brand) that is supposed to help with maintaining weight/dropping it. I started it 2 days after I dropped Sertraline.

My doctor said it was fine to quit cold turkey. It really was. I survived without benadryl, wine or anything. Brain zaps were new to me and pretty scary though.

ANYWAY, I just wanted to brief you on my experience so far, ZoLoff and would love to hear about any weight loss/gain you experience with your new life off of ZoLoft. Thanks for your posts. I literally registered for this website because I wanted to see your blog.

Thanks again!





Like ashbo0o, I registered because of ZolOFF.
I am in the process of getting off of this horrible stuff.
I am having severe headaches and nausea, but, I am NOT going back on it.

ashbo0o, how long did it take you to be rid of the side effects?

Posted By : got the t shirt - 6/11/2013 9:44 AM
Hi.....new here but not to depression and the drugs to treat it.
I started Paxil in 1992 and took it for several years. I had a very hard emotional time coming off it. I had no idea at that time what was going on. I got through that and then several years later my doc put me on Zoloft. It got me through several more tough years...........mostly just life but for me they were hard..daughter's divorce and son went to Iraq in 2003........
At the end of 2003 and near the end of his tour in Iraq, I started to tapper off as I felt that I could. I was feeling so happy because we all made it through. After I quite , I had an "adjustment" time. I didn't understand.....and my hubby sire didn't understand what was going on.........so I saw a mental health professional.... He put me back on Zoloft + Ambien and Adivan............:o(......
I finally got off Ambien and Adivan and want to come off Zoloft.........I think that I can taper off again but really dread the side effects. I hate the blah feeling though.
Thanks for reading..........Your post have helped.......

Posted By : truerjulie - 7/2/2013 8:11 PM
Like many of you, I'm relieved to find that others have experienced difficulties with Zoloft. I'm in the process of weaning off myself--I took 150 mg for the last 1.5 years (which seems like a whole lot compared to most of you--what was my doctor thinking?), during which time I gained about 15 lbs. The weight came on slowly around the same time I had started a new job, so I assumed it was the sitting or normal aging at first (I'm now 34). But usually my weight is fairly stable and I can change my eating when I need to lose a few pounds. But in the last year and a half, nothing has worked. I've just slowly been gaining about a pound a month and only connected the Zoloft dots recently.

Back in grad school I took Lexapro for 3 years, and gained 30 pounds on that. I switched to Wellbutrin for several years and that helped. In the fall of 2011 I lost a lot of weight without really trying and was feeling really happy. Then I got a new stressful job and a new equally stressful relationship, and the combination sent me into panic attacks again. When I saw a doctor finally, she switched me to Zoloft. At first it seemed like a miracle drug: I felt better instantly, no side effects. But over time I feel like the situations causing the anxiety resolved themselves (got comfortable in job, dumped the boyfriend) and I was left feeling oddly numb and unmotivated. I lost interest in everything, I was bummed about the weight gain, I had zero energy. I just didn't care about anything. I wasn't anxious, but I wasn't happy either. At a recent visit the doctor (who I didn't mention these feelings to) had suggested we try cutting my dosage in the future (I assume because it was so high). At the time I wasn't sure, but as I came to realize how terrible I felt, I decided to go ahead and taper down on my own rather than wait for the next appointment in 3 months. I started by going from 150 to 100. That first week I was a little off, the stress got to me a little but I was able to recognize why--it was a busy week at work--but I found that I was able to cope. I didn't have any pain, dizziness, or other physical problems many have reported. By the end of that first week, I was totally fine and have been since.

I noticed immediately (and so did my close friends) that I was more upbeat, animated, and happy than before. It honestly felt like I was recovering from being drugged--it was refreshing and exciting. Today (about a month or so later) I started by going down to 50 mg from 100 mg. I'm not worried about depression--my issue is generalized anxiety. So I'm mostly just watching to make sure I'm handling stress well and not experiencing any other setbacks. I've had some irregular sleep patterns (waking up a lot, vivid dreams I can recall after waking, night sweats) that I assume are due to weaning off zoloft, but nothing I can't handle. I've also experienced more jaw clenching, which is probably related to both the zoloft weaning and the adderall I take probably having a stronger effect. But I've found that yoga, massage, and stretching are sufficient to manage it.

Like many of you, I can't wait to get all the way off and see that hopefully the weight starts to go away. From what I've read, many of these drugs aren't known to cause weight gain because in the 8-12 week clinical trials, there's no gain. The weight comes on slowly over years, and often gets attributed to other things. I hope more people will find out about this and avoid waiting as long as I did to figure things out. Had I known this could possibly cause weight gain, I would have done things differently when it first started to happen (instead of blaming myself.) After going down this exact road with Lexapro once before, which apparently IS associated with weight gain, I made sure I told my doctor NO drugs that cause weight gain. Clearly doctors need to be updated on the long-term side effects of these drugs if they're still telling people they aren't associated with weight gain. I now see that odds are all drugs of this kind will have this effect on me. And I'm going to work hard to avoid taking them in the future if possible, or at very low doses if I must. I'm not anti-psychiatric drugs--at times they've been my saving grace--but it seems like there are definitely drawbacks which people should be given the information to consider for themselves.

Anyway, thanks for posting all your stories here. It's made me feel like I'm finally on the right track.

Julie

Posted By : Royallan - 7/5/2013 8:08 AM
truerjulie said...
Like many of you, I'm relieved to find that others have experienced difficulties with Zoloft. I'm in the process of weaning off myself--I took 150 mg for the last 1.5 years (which seems like a whole lot compared to most of you--what was my doctor thinking?), during which time I gained about 15 lbs. The weight came on slowly around the same time I had started a new job, so I assumed it was the sitting or normal aging at first (I'm now 34). But usually my weight is fairly stable and I can change my eating when I need to lose a few pounds. But in the last year and a half, nothing has worked. I've just slowly been gaining about a pound a month and only connected the Zoloft dots recently.

Back in grad school I took Lexapro for 3 years, and gained 30 pounds on that. I switched to Wellbutrin for several years and that helped. In the fall of 2011 I lost a lot of weight without really trying and was feeling really happy. Then I got a new stressful job and a new equally stressful relationship, and the combination sent me into panic attacks again. When I saw a doctor finally, she switched me to Zoloft. At first it seemed like a miracle drug: I felt better instantly, no side effects. But over time I feel like the situations causing the anxiety resolved themselves (got comfortable in job, dumped the boyfriend) and I was left feeling oddly numb and unmotivated. I lost interest in everything, I was bummed about the weight gain, I had zero energy. I just didn't care about anything. I wasn't anxious, but I wasn't happy either. At a recent visit the doctor (who I didn't mention these feelings to) had suggested we try cutting my dosage in the future (I assume because it was so high). At the time I wasn't sure, but as I came to realize how terrible I felt, I decided to go ahead and taper down on my own rather than wait for the next appointment in 3 months. I started by going from 150 to 100. That first week I was a little off, the stress got to me a little but I was able to recognize why--it was a busy week at work--but I found that I was able to cope. I didn't have any pain, dizziness, or other physical problems many have reported. By the end of that first week, I was totally fine and have been since.

I noticed immediately (and so did my close friends) that I was more upbeat, animated, and happy than before. It honestly felt like I was recovering from being drugged--it was refreshing and exciting. Today (about a month or so later) I started by going down to 50 mg from 100 mg. I'm not worried about depression--my issue is generalized anxiety. So I'm mostly just watching to make sure I'm handling stress well and not experiencing any other setbacks. I've had some irregular sleep patterns (waking up a lot, vivid dreams I can recall after waking, night sweats) that I assume are due to weaning off zoloft, but nothing I can't handle. I've also experienced more jaw clenching, which is probably related to both the zoloft weaning and the adderall I take probably having a stronger effect. But I've found that yoga, massage, and stretching are sufficient to manage it.

Like many of you, I can't wait to get all the way off and see that hopefully the weight starts to go away. From what I've read, many of these drugs aren't known to cause weight gain because in the 8-12 week clinical trials, there's no gain. The weight comes on slowly over years, and often gets attributed to other things. I hope more people will find out about this and avoid waiting as long as I did to figure things out. Had I known this could possibly cause weight gain, I would have done things differently when it first started to happen (instead of blaming myself.) After going down this exact road with Lexapro once before, which apparently IS associated with weight gain, I made sure I told my doctor NO drugs that cause weight gain. Clearly doctors need to be updated on the long-term side effects of these drugs if they're still telling people they aren't associated with weight gain. I now see that odds are all drugs of this kind will have this effect on me. And I'm going to work hard to avoid taking them in the future if possible, or at very low doses if I must. I'm not anti-psychiatric drugs--at times they've been my saving grace--but it seems like there are definitely drawbacks which people should be given the information to consider for themselves.

Anyway, thanks for posting all your stories here. It's made me feel like I'm finally on the right track.

Julie


I am new here as well because I am in the process of recovering from Zoloft. I have read all the posts on this thread and realize that we males seem to be in the minority but I would still like to share my experiences with you and for any men that read this thread.
I am a 68 years old male, in good health, not overweight, married for 33 years to a wonderful woman 11 years younger than I. I was on 50mg of Zoloft once daily for 28 years. The drug absolutely helped me with depression, I would even say that it changed my life for the better and resigned myself to admit that when my doctor told me I would need it for the rest of my life, that I would. The first troublesome "side effect" started after about 5 years on it at age 45 with erectile dysfunction, non severe but noticeable to both of us. No problem...the little blue pill to the rescue. Although expensive, Viagra did exactly what it was advertised to do and I continued my life without further problems. Others did mention that I was much less "intense" than I used to be. Not very much bothered me and I even tended to be somewhat blasé about most things in general.

about a year ago I realized that I had completely lost all interest in sex. It sort of crept up on me and if the wife had not mentioned it I would not have thought about it. My doctor decided that it was probably "depression", that the dose of Zoloft was very small and so doubled it to 100mg daily. So I took that dosage for a couple of months which did nothing to boost my libido. Not only that, but when we decided that the "use it or lose it" rule applied there was another unforeseen problem. It was impossible for me to reach orgasm. Everything else was fine thanks to Viagra, just no happy ending....period. It appears that doctors use Zoloft for an "off label" remedy for those of us suffering with premature ejaculation. Well that was enough for me to decide to rid myself of the drug.

I quit Zoloft cold turkey 6 weeks ago. Brain zaps, mood swings, scary thoughts, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity, depression, mania, euphoria, loss of energy, surges of energy etc., you name it and I went through it. Nothing too awful but definitely very unpleasant. All these withdrawal (I prefer the term normalizing) symptoms gradually reduced until today I only have a couple of troubling ones. Insomnia and irritability are the only problems left. If you even look at me wrong....watch out! Luckily I am retired so the only one around me is the poor wife who is taking all this in her stride and with great understanding. It also helps that my libido is back to a level not experienced since my early thirties and I no longer even need the little blue pill, but, as the wife says, it's not easy for her to be in the mood for sex when I am such a grump. Perhaps the irritability is because of lack of sleep. I can only manage about 3 hours of continuous sleep a night with the rest of the time just cat napping. It almost made me relent and go back on the stuff but I MUST be strong after all I went through in the beginning.

The bottom line to you all is do NOT give up, get off the stuff as soon as you can. Tapering off is a better way to go but that is a personal choice each of us should make but just do it any way that works for you.

I feel more alert, my emotions more intense, my mind more clear and my outlook on life more positive since getting off Zoloft. I also don't know if the drug is completely out of my system or if the serotonin re uptake inhibitors have run their course. I guess I am saying I don't know if my brain chemistry is back to normal yet or whether there are still some hurdles to be overcome. I will post any updates as they are needed.

Good luck to you all.....

Posted By : girlwithacurl - 7/5/2013 12:57 PM
Hello New Member,

I don't recommend going off cold turkey for anyone. Slow and steady wins the race. 12 years ago, I went off of Paxal in 6 weeks and had debilitating vertigo and had no choice but to go back on a low dose from which I weaned off over a year by splitting pills. I know that everyone is different and your experience will vary. Once I was off Paxal for six months, I realized that my quality of life was so much better being on an anti-depressant than off. I changed to Celexa which I was on for almost ten years.

A year and a half ago, I started to have symptoms that mimicked bi-polar symptoms as well as debilating panic attacks (my father had bi-polar disorder) and I switched to a bi-polar med that resulted in rapid weight gain - 25 lbs in one month, and significant hair loss. It also gave me severe hand tremors. I had to go off this medication and my doctor switched me to Zoloft and I started to feel much better.

What I didn't realize at the time was that my 'so called' bi-polar symptoms were actually being caused by a second medication that I was taking to sleep, clonazepam. It is in the valium and ativan family and I had been taking it very occasionally for many years. I then started taking it more often and then regularly a year and a half ago. What I discovered was that this medication gave me acute IBS with debilitating abdominal attacks. It also gave me horrible withdrawal symptoms when I didn't take it for a few days and this is what was causing what I had thought were bi-polar symptoms.

When I finally put the pieces together and suspected that clonazepam was causing my IBS, I went off of it cold turkey. It was a harmless little white pill, after all. NOT! I had horrific withdrawal that included horrible insomnia, my mind was in warp overdrive, and I had body twitches and tremors. I was lucky not to have gone into convulsions. This is a seriously addictive drug. I should never have gone off of it cold turkey!! The half life of clonazepam is 51 hours. The worst of the withdrawal was over in 8 or 9 days but it took a couple of weeks before I felt ok.

I am currently reducing my Zoloft from 200 mg in April to 100 mg presently. I would like to decrease to 50mg in a couple of months provided that I don't start experiencing symptoms of depression again. I am 49 years old and am an extremely sensitive person. I am sensitive to medications, the environment, stress, and mostly the energy of others. I know that many people who are highly sensitive require some type of medication to achieve a certain quality of life. I accept this, but still hope to wean myself off by the time that I retire. I hope that a reduced stress level when I retire will allow me to do this.

I know that this message is a bit convoluted but the messages that I want to convey are that:

1. no medication is harmless
2. look at all the medications that you are on as a package - keeping a journal of symptoms or side effects is a good idea when you are on more than one medication
3. Never go off a medication cold turkey or too quickly - it can be dangerous!
4. Listen to your body. You may very well need to be on an antidepressant. The stigma of being on a drug is not a good enough reason to go off your medication. Wean off slowly to determine the level that you need to be on or to determine if you can manage without it safely.
5. Sometimes, a harmless little pill can cause horrible side effects such as IBS. I spent the better part of a year and a half sick with debilitating attacks and almost had to go on disability from work - all because of a 'little harmless pill'.
6. Being sensitive makes us the wonderful people that we are. It doesn't make us weak. "The Highly Sensitive Person" is a book that I highly recommend for coping strategies if you are sensitive.
7. For healthy weight loss, I have eliminated gluten from my diet (the book "Wheat Belly" talks about the illnesses and weight gain caused by gluten). I have lost 30 lbs in the last year and am continuing to lose it slowly
8. Be patient with yourself and do what feels right for you and explore alternate therapies such as homeopathy and acupuncture etc..

I wish you all health, happiness and success! I hope that you have found this post helpful in some way :)

Posted By : Royallan - 7/5/2013 2:13 PM
Good for you girlwithacurl. I am not recommending stopping Zoloft cold turkey, but I am just trying to relate my experiences from doing so. I have read on many other forums that others have done what I did, maybe not after such a long dependence on the drug, but cold turkey nevertheless. The jury is still out on that subject as far as I can tell.

I do know this for certain!

On the plus side:

1- I am out of the cloud I was in.
2- I can truly "think" again.
3- I have emotions once more.
4- I am no longer "idling in neutral"
5- I have energy once more.
6- I enjoy the ups and downs of life again.

On the negative side:

1- Trouble sleeping, not falling asleep but staying asleep.
2- More intolerant than when drugged so a bit more irritable.

I want to thank all of you who have posted your experiences. It is only with forums such as this that allow us to share out thoughts and thereby allow others to make educated choices.

Posted By : flowerchildfitts - 7/11/2013 10:47 AM
i came across your story doing research. it immediately caught my eye when you said you were 27, and almost 3 years on zoloft. i am also 27, and just over 3 years on zoloft. between 25 an 100 mg most of the 3 years, and briefly up to 200. 25 during pregnancy, and at 100 right before i went cold turkey. i did have depression as a teenager, even attempted suicide at 15. after that got put on paxil, which made it SO much worse, so i quit taking it and got better. my mom has been on antidepressants for 20 years, which is what prompted me to do the research.

so anyways, i started taking zoloft just after my daughter (first baby) was born. when i went in for a checkup, the doc asked how i was doing. i said tired. (which is pretty reasonable considering i was staying up half the night trying to breastfeed a baby who wouldn't latch on, not knowing my milk was just about dried up!) so he recommended zoloft. said it would help. and it did. but if i had known then what i know now, i would have learned how to better deal with my fatigue rather than using an antidepressant as a crutch. at my next check-in, he said he thought i would do good on it long term. so i just went with it. he's a doctor, he must know what he's talking about. then the next thing you know i have 'postpartum depression' because i just had a baby and i'm on zoloft. what the heck? i wasn't depressed, just tired. so i was on it for 3 years, through a pregnancy (yes i know, i tried to get off of it because of birth defects, but the doc said birth defects with antidepressants were no more likely than birth defects with no meds, and i had major withdrawal symptoms and couldn't get off) and was starting to be pretty dependent. even going a day or less without my zoloft (sometimes i forgot to take it) brought on anxiety, irritability, and frustration at the smallest thing. and with now 2 small children, i had a very hard time with it. so i figured i just wasn't ready. i even tried tapering down, and that didn't work. the weight gain, (although it wasn't much) loss of energy, and increased appetite that i experienced, i figured was just normal after pregnancy. i've seen countless women gain weight after having kids. my mind was always sluggish, in a fog, almost like i was high on pot. my memory was really bad, too. i just figured that was leftovers from all the years of heavy drinking i did before my first pregnancy. and now that i think about it, people close to me have said i have a short fuse since having kids. what's up with that? i was so carefree before. so since i got on the zoloft within a month or so after having my first child, and quit drinking around the same time, (i drank heavily for a few years before my first pregnancy, but only a few times after having the baby) everything i now recognize as side effects, i just chalked it up to post pregnancy or after-effects of years of drinking.

i didn't mean to quit taking my zoloft cold turkey, but that's how it happened. i forgot to take my pill for 2 days. then on the 3rd day, i remembered that i hadn't taken them. so i grabbed the bottle, took one out, and as i'm looking at it, ready to put it in my mouth, i realized - i feel great! i'm in an awesome mood! so what the heck, i decided not to take it and see what happens. and like i said - usually i get really moody without it, so feeling great off zoloft is completely new to me. it's been about a week now of no zoloft. i think i'm getting these 'brain zaps' everyone is talking about. i had no idea what they were till i started doing research. but call me weird, i think it feels kinda cool! last night i couldn't sleep hardly at all. insomnia hitting full force. but my appetite has decreased. i used to want to eat everything under the sun, ESPECIALLY sugar. i was getting frustrated because i was trying SO HARD to lose weight, and i was struggling really hard just to maintain. in fact i started gaining again right before i got off the zoloft. but in the last week, not only has my mood been incredible, but my energy level is back to normal, my appetite is back down to a healthy level, and i've already lost 5 lbs!! so knowing what i know now, (didn't do the research till i was already off zoloft for 4 days) i'm gonna continue to push through with the cold turkey method, as it seems to be working this time. (go figure?) but if it doesn't, oh well. i'll start taking it again, and use some of the awesome tips i've read on here to slowly taper off. (maybe start at a lower dosage?) i'm gonna have to buy some benydril to help curve my symptoms. the glass of wine sounds like a good idea, but i'm a recovering alcoholic, and have been sober 2 1/2 years, so i'll have to substitute chamomile tea or something. thank you for the inspiration, information, and hope! and that goes for everyone who has posted on here!! i joined this forum just to jump on the bandwagon, i had no idea there were so many people going through the same thing as me!! you're all doing great, keep up the good work!! smilewinkgrin

Posted By : first time - 7/11/2013 4:17 PM
I'm glad this drug helped you guys with anxiety and depression but when you felt it was time to stop you did. Made me glad that I wanted to stop I can.
"All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial , in the improvement of her mind by EXTENSIVE READING."
pride and prejudice
depression, anxiety- ativan, zoloft

Posted By : OverIt83 - 7/30/2013 10:33 PM
I am so happy I found this site. I didn'tknow what the "brain zaps" wwere but hearing people take about them made me realize that's what I was going through. I actually started to get them before I went off sertraline. I have been off cold turkey for almost a week. I have already started to lose weight.

I started sertraline about 8 months ago, shortly after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I was having panic attacks and started off with clo****pan and later was started on sertraline. It definitely helped me but have noticed a dramatic increase in weight gain, with my thyroid under control. I recently decided to stop taking sertraline because I don' feel like it is necessary.

I am struggling a bit with motivation which was an issue while on it so really hoping I see an increase in that. So far only side effect has been the brain zaps. Looking fwd to life without this drug in my system!!

Posted By : DenaP - 8/13/2013 9:48 AM
I cannot tell you how happy I am to have found this post.  I too am "ready" to stop taking zoloft.  After reading just 1 page of blogs I realize many symptoms are related to my taking Zoloft.  I didn't know the side effects included:  weight gain, profuse sweating, night sweats, trouble sleeping, blurry vision, hand shaking and difficulty speaking/selecting the right words. 
 
I've only been taking zoloft for about 10 months, but was really getting worried about all of the above.  I started taking it, as I had about 10 major things going on in my personal life, that all hit at once and was just about to go crazy, with anxiety attacks, heart/chest pain, high BP, etc.  After having my heart checked out, my doctor recommended Zoloft.
 
I've started wearing reading glasses every day, all day....and thought my distance vision was also deteriorating.  The sweating......Oh man.....I have tried everything and thought it was associated with peri-menopause.  I've been taking Advil PM EVERY night, when I've never had trouble with this (so I will start taking Benadryl now).  I've also noticed my hand shaking as I'm holding a pen, and even having diffulty writing neatly.  Most recently, I've had trouble recalling words, I have to speak very slowly and even then, can't get the right word to come to mind.  I've also been saying or typing the wrong word.  My brain knows what it wants, but something else comes out. 
 
I won't even go into the weight gain........everyone has commented enough on that.  I gained some before starting Zoloft....have gained about 10, but I have worked very hard to just maintain!  I still need to lose a significant amount of weight.  Hope something will help the needle head in the right direction!  (Funny though....I was concerned about my weight, asked the doctor if taking this would have any adverse impact on weight and she said NO!)
 
I really am so thankful.......I thought something seriously was wrong with me.  I was about to start seeing my doctor, thinking I had Parkinson's or something neurological going on. 
 
Day 1 for me!   I'm planning to start taking every other day, for 2 weeks and then every 3rd day for 2 weeks and so on.  Has anyone tried this approach?
 
Thank you all, and best wishes!

Posted By : missclaire - 8/22/2013 10:32 PM
I started ZOLOFT in 2011 for general anxiety. I am not an anxious person all the time but when the episodes do occur they can be bad. It was working for me for awhile, but the longer I was on the medicine the worse specific symptoms were. My headaches were more frequent. My sex drive was non-existent. I was extremely mood and tended to get angry extremely quickly. Recently, my husband to be read an article that explained a few medications that were not good for your body for a variety of reasons, zoloft happened to be on the list. At first, I was like no I need this medicine for my anxiety. But then I went on this forum and read that many other people were having the same problems as well. I did a lot of other research as well. I reflected to most recently how moody I have been and have the symptoms have to begun to get worse. I decided to call my doctor and left a message. He returned my call and we had a good conversation. We talked about symptoms and how I was feeling. He said for a week I was to take half a pill, as I am normal prescribed 100 mg I think, but I can't remember exactly. He said if I felt fine after a week to totally stop. At the beginning of the week, I was fine but then of course the withdrawal symptoms came which included no patience, mood swings, emotional, irritated easily, headaches, and sleepiness. Once those passed it was not bad at all. I felt better in general and happier than I've ever been. It has been two days since I have been completely off the medication and I am so happy. I thought this might be useful to someone debating if they want to stay on the medication or not. Note it is always important to consult your doctor and withdrawal from the medication responsibly :)

Posted By : Gothic Rose Vampire - 9/3/2013 7:10 PM
Off of Zoloft for almost 2 years ....

I still remember the day i stopped it has been a long hard road but i am clean and clear headed . It has be a journey to learn to live again and get body back into balance still needs a bit of work ...

I was on the depressants for 18 years and now clean for almost 2 tongue

Posted By : HyperActiveWoman - 9/10/2013 1:23 PM
Hey all I am new to this forum, well actually forums in general, but i thought I could get a little advice/help with what everyone else on here is going through. I was on zoloft for almost 7 years starting at the beginning of college when i was going through an abusive relationship dilemma and my grandfather dieing. The zoloft really saved me in the fact that I was going through a lot of life changes and a lot of unhappy times and became an alcoholic and almost failed out of school. Long story short I stayed on it all through college and some time after college.

when I met this very special guy he asked why i was still on it because i seemed so happy and not depressed at all and said hmm you're right maybe i should try going off of it. I was only on 50 mg at the time so I asked my dr how to go off of it and he just told me to just stop cold turkey! so i did and oh man the side effects were brutal...the one i most remember is the sweating profusely even in an air conditioned restaurant! But i made it through and was finally off of it and everything was great. me and that guy got really serious and moved in together and i thought i had found the one i was so in love and so was he at first.....but apparently i got really difficult to deal with getting irritated easily and having outbursts for no reason so our relationship failed and It was super hard on me.

I tried seeing a therapist but it wasnt helping I couldn't work or socialize with my friends or family so I turned back to zoloft to help me through it.

again i have the same issue with the weight gain, i was about 115 all through high school and when i went on zoloft in college i went up to about 130! thinking that my body was just maturing and the weight gain was just natural until i went off the zoloft after college and dropped the weight almost instantly with little to no effort!

i am still on the zoloft, 50 mg, and am maintaing a weight of about 125 but no matter what i do i cant shed any of the weight since being back on zoloft. I would rather go off the zoloft and go back down to my desired weight but am afraid i will just go back to being easily frustrated and have random blowups.

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 9/10/2013 2:30 PM
Hi HAW and welcome,

I am sorry to hear of your struggles with anxiety, meds and side effects.

I think in terms of trade offs however, I would take a few extra pounds in order to manage my anxiety, if that was the only side effect that I was encountering. This is just my own opinion, and I know that it is sensitive subject, so just know that this is only me giving you feedback to consider.

Unless you are of really small stature heigth wise...125 pounds for a grown woman sounds right in the target zone...even small by most standards!

Also, it is said that no one notices a weight gain on others until it is over 10 lbs...so at your current weight, technically, no one would notice the difference between now and then, except you.:)

I would encourage you to make the right decision to help you feel your best mentally and physically.

I also encourage you to reconsider the therapy option. I went through it twice, and got much more out of it the second time around.

We also have awesome self help RESOURCES here on our main page, 1st post that are really effective! Check out the breathing and relaxation exercises especially.

Keep posting with us as well if you find it helpful...support is key!

Talk to you soon,

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : HyperActiveWoman - 9/10/2013 2:59 PM
I'm just about 5 ft tall so 125 is still a big amount for what im used to being. People don't notice the weight gain but i do and i tend to look back at pictures of me during those years i was off of it and it makes me so self conscious and really wishing i was back to that size even if it's not a significant difference...yet!

As a very health conscious person I am always looking for new ways to stay healthy and fit and just the added stress of having to double time that diet/exercise because of the zoloft to just maintain is very frustrating! Also at the same time I do get headaches wayyy more on the zoloft.

So you're right it is a tough choice since it is helping me stay less frustrated but I also have the kind of depression that is triggered by major life events (such as a hard breakup or a death). Which is the reason I went back on it was because of that hard breakup.

I don't want my frustration issues to ruin another relationship but I also don't want to be on zoloft the rest of my life so I need to learn how to cope with my inner frustrations in a more natural/organic way. And don't get me wrong I still saw my therapist in combination of taking the zoloft and if it wasn't for her I would not have gotten through that tough breakup as smoothly as it went.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is the reason I am thinking I am able to go off of it again is because I was doing really well not being on zoloft for over a year and then I started going to grad school in conjunction with working full time so I think that's what really triggered my depression again.

Any thoughts/experiences of getting off zoloft purely to just not have to be chemically dependent on a pill??

Posted By : alexandra12 - 9/16/2013 11:17 AM
I posted last week but can't seem to find my post.  Here is my story.  I succumbed to depression due to anxiety a year ago.  It was a combination of seasonal effective disorder and my hubby's heart surgery.  My Dr. put me on Zoloft, increasing by 25 mg per week. I've now been on 150 mg for 4 months.  Although the depression is gone I've never really felt well on it.  I've had terrible sweating, excessive appetite for sweets.  I've gained 20 lbs.  The most recent was insomnia after 4 months on 150 mg.  I consulted the pharmacist.  She said talk to your Dr. she may want to decrease your dosage!  I went to my Dr. she wanted to increase my dosage and put me on a sleeping pill to get my pattern back!  I said NO!  I convinced her to decrease and she gave me enough 25 mg pills for a week, so I could go down to 125 mg.  I feel so much better on that dosage, but have the usual s.e. of decreasing, such as nausea, nervousness, headaches, jaw clenching, fatigue etc.  I just want off of this drug as I'm tired of not feeling like myself.  I'm 67 and life is short.  Oh yes I also have no libido, forget what I'm saying, or can't remember the simplest things.
 
Could someone tell me approximately how long it will take to feel well again after you're off of it.  I plan to taper down at 25 mg every two weeks, as I have such a sensitivity to drugs.  I'd like to go cold turkey but know I'd crash.  I('m pretty low today would appreciate any support.  Thanks all. 

Posted By : HyperActiveWoman - 9/17/2013 7:57 AM
i would not go cold turkey alexandra12 unless you are down to taking a low dosage (50 mg or 25 mg) daily because the withdrawals will be too severe being on such a high dosage and to just stop immediately. I stopped cold turkey while being on 50 mg daily and I am on my 5th day with little withdrawal symptoms (a little nausea but no brain zaps or excessive sweating yet). Last time I went off zoloft it took about a month to a month and a half to rid of all the withdrawal symptoms then about 2-3 months of starting to get my normal self back such as libido and losing the excess weight.

But I would suggest to keep up with natural remedies after you go completely off the medicine such as exercising and eating healthy so you don't slip back into the reason you went on it in the first place....good luck!

Posted By : alexandra12 - 9/17/2013 10:44 AM
Thanks HyperActiveWoman. I appreciate your response. I tend to focus on the side effects when I'm not feeling up to par. Did you have insomnia after being on it for awhile? I was relaxed but would lie there and look at the ceiling, half the night. I've been taking mellodyn ( ordered online). This seems to be doing the trick for the moment. It's just frustrating, it's such a "trial and error" game.

What natural remedies have helped you? I go to the treadmill at the Y 3 days a week, but have still gained weight, this in itself is depressing!

You are fortunate you have few s.e. decreasing by 50 mg. I hope this continues for you. Thanks again for your reply.

Posted By : HyperActiveWoman - 9/18/2013 2:05 PM
some natural remedies that I am currently experimenting with is magnesium supplements to boost my vitamin D levels, fish oil, SAM-e is a great natural supplement you could try which helps boost your mood and it also helps with joint pain. I would do some research on natural supplements to take in place of AD/SSRI's because not one combination works for the same people but its worth experimenting to see what works for u!


Also, I am thinking about seeing a holistic doctor to help me out with trying all these natural supplements any one on here have any experience with them?

Posted By : alexandra12 - 9/18/2013 4:28 PM
Thanks Haw! I'm taking all those supplements, presently.

I saw a holistic Dr. but didn't have much success. He immediately put me on a natural thyroid med. This was successful for six weeks as I was so relaxed. I then had an intestional reaction. I went back to see him, he doubled the thyroid med, which threw me into hypo thyroid. You may have better success than I.

I'm having terrible insomnia presently. Did you have this and how did you deal with it! I'm exhausted!

Posted By : HyperActiveWoman - 9/19/2013 12:30 PM
insomnia is something that i think most people struggle with but what usually works for me is keeping my stress levels down....exercising def helps. I havent really found a solid thing to help with the insomnia yet because it comes and goes with me but could be worth researching and trying different things.

Posted By : alexandra12 - 9/19/2013 1:02 PM
Thanks HAW. I tired melatonin which worked but was very depressing. I ordered Mellodyn on line, which contains different herbal products. I took two before bed last night and that seemed to get me six hours which was good.

maybe someone else will comment on this. It would be good to know what has worked for others.

Thanks again for your reply.

Posted By : BritMotherof3 - 9/30/2013 11:35 AM
I am so thankful to have found this site. I am currently attempting to wean off of zoloft for the 3rd time. I started taking it 3&1/2 years ago. I had just had my third child and had some un diagnosed odd health symptom which ended up throwing me into terrible panic attacks. I never wantedto be on zoloft but had no other choice. I couldn't be having the anxiety attacks while raising my kids.

Last year I felt like I didnt need to be on zoloft anymore. I tried cutting my dose from 50 to 25mg. I ended up feeling awful and got scred and went back to my reg dose.

Once again this year I started feeling a bit strange. at night I would zone out and I hated the feeling. I am usually a clean freak and I had no motivation to do the normal things I use to love doing. I felt distant and disconnected from my husband and also felt about 10 lbs over weight. So I decided to go from 50 to 37 mg this time. After 6 months of successfully doing that I went to 25. after 2 weeks I started having dizzy spells and moments throughout the day when I would get disoriented and almost black out. It was very scary!
After 2 days of almost passing out several times I went back to 37mg. Immediately I felt zoned out and unmotivated. So disappointing!!!!! After having those 2 weeks of feeling amazing and motivated I was not happy.
My dr's advice? to stay on 37 and not wean. At that point I decided to wean without his care.....I did lost of research and found that it's common for people to cut the pills and alternate doses every other day to wean slowly.
So for the past week I have alternated 25 mg one day and 37 the next. I have felt GREAT up until this afternoon. I felt a mild panic attack come on out of no where.....I had coffee today and wonder if that brought it on.....I just feel like my thoughts are all jumbled at times and my thought process gets really strange....then all of a sudden I feel back to normal. Has anyone experienced this?? I have also had a couple anger outbursts where I will be so upset and then realize geesh, what am I yelling for??! Also has anyone experienced the episodes of almost passing out? I was thing of going to 25 soon here. I feel strongly that my body want this zoloft OUT of my system. I just have had such a hard time getting through this!!!any advice would be so much appreciated.

thanks!!!

Post Edited (BritMotherof3) : 9/30/2013 3:55:54 PM (GMT-6)


Posted By : alexandra12 - 10/15/2013 10:46 AM
I an now down to 75 mg., this being my second week.  I've had withdrawls as you have Brit.  For the most part I feel not too bad, but have good days and bad.  I have alot more energy, my mind is much clearer, however some days I'm tired and on edge.  Mornings seem the worst, just like increasing.  I'm hyper and on edge.
 
How is everyone doing with their decreases? 

Posted By : Newme24 - 10/15/2013 5:20 PM
Upon my own personal decision to discontinue taking my Zoloft, I was curious as to what I'd be in for. I had gone a few days without taking the medicine in years past, so I was familiar with the "brain zap" feeling, but never to a significant degree. I am in my second week of being completely off Zoloft, and the last 10 days I've experienced just about every emotion in the book.
 
It was hard for me to find the information and support I needed, aside from this thread, to get through much of the initial effects from quitting my Zoloft. I told myself when I started feeling somewhat normal again (ie able to look at a computer screen without feeling dizzy and sick), I was going to make my own thread to share my experiences (in a rational, logical manner) to help everyone out there who might be going through what I was. Essentially, I decided this specific thread would be the best place because it was the first result upon my google search "quitting Zoloft" when I initially made my decision to quit and this thread already has over 80,000 views (:O).
 
With that said, I am a 24 year old male, and I have been on Zoloft since the age of 17. I started on 50mg and slowly progressed up to 200mg, of which I've been at for the last few years. I started the medication as the recommendation of my therapist and doctor for mild anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and slight depression. While 50mg was quite sufficient for my diagnosis, at the time I think part of my depression was not liking the person I was (or not "knowing" who I was) and I thought the more medicine I took, the more it could turn me into someone I might actually like. I realize this is a somewhat juvenile assumption, but as I mentioned, I was finishing highschool so my mind hadn't fully matured.

Fast forward 7 years later, and here we are. My plan of action was to half my dose every two weeks, and after 4 weeks, completely stop. So my first two weeks I was at 100mg, and then 50mg, and then stopped all together on Oct. 5th. I tried to keep a journal but only managed one entry (yea I'm not the best at writing thoughts lol!). Regardless, I'm posting that entry from the first week I cut down to 100mg to kind of give some insight of my reasoning and choice of quitting Zoloft.
 
-------------
Sept 15, 2013  - Day 8 (100mg):
 
It's 8:17 pm in the evening. It's been a week now since I cut my zoloft dosage in half. This week has been a very crazy one, too! Last Sunday I got back from Kansas City. While I had a good time, I had my reoccuring thoughts of "what's wrong with me?" "Why can't I connect or get close to anyone?" That's been my mental state for the last few years or so.
 
I had always been really into my work that I didn't notice, but now that it's been about a year and a half since leaving my job, I realize I've never been in a relationship. And I think the zoloft has everything to do with this. Nothing is wrong with me, it's that it has turned me into a zombie. My mind has become so numb that even when I try to feel, it feels so meaningless. So that's why I decided I'm making a life changing decision and breaking free of this contraint that's been on myself since highschool, literally 6 years now. I haven't spent any of my adulthood free of this medication, I don't know who I am because I've been a zombie and not able to figure it out.
 
So here we are Day 8. I've been taking 100mg of the zoloft instead of my normal 200g. Within the first few days, I had sudden mood changes. Things that were sentimental meant more to me and I found myself somewhat weepy over them (lyrics in a song, etc). I wouldn't say it was truly feeling yet, as I think I'm still pretty dependant on the drug. But maybe just glimpses of how I might be able to feel eventually (albeit controlled and not so random). I experienced minor irritability but nothing major.
 
Today is the first day I've had the brain zaps. I remember these very eerily all the times I missed doses on Zoloft. It's one of the worst types of headaches, your mind just literally has this dizzyness zap that comes and goes with intensity. It hasn't been very dramatic yet thankfully, but definately noticeable. I also feel kind of glazy. My eyes are looking at things but I'm only noticing the very immediate section my eyes are focussed on. Maybe this is part of the distracting aspect of taking the medicine and that perhaps I'm now actually re-learning how to focus again.
 
From the little bit of reading I've done about discontinuation syndrome, I am starting to realize more and more what I am up against. The fact that I've been on such a high dosage (200mg when the normal recomended max is 150mg I think), and for so long, it's scary and overwhelming for me. I don't really feel like dealing with the physical side effects (especially the brain zaps), but I'm nervous about the mental ones as well. So far I haven't really felt anything intense. I mean, I do have this image in my head of my brain becoming slowly decompressed from the hold that zoloft has had on it for such a long time, and the numbing feeling you get after releasing pressure from something.
 
I've also realized that I'm in this alone (and I'm not meaning that in a negative way). But honestly, how many people can I talk to face-to-face that are going through exaxtly this same thing. I'll probably look at some of the discussion groups or forums online because I'm sure it's pretty common. But as far as in reality, I think it's best to keep it to myself because people aren't going to understand and will think I'm kinda weird.
I've also lost 9.0lbs so far. I started loosing a little before I started waning down, so it's more like ~4 lbs probably since last week.

--------------------------
 
So fast forward from that point to Oct. 5th; the first day without taking any medicine. The discontinuation symptoms didn't kick in until the next day, primarily in the evening. The brain zaps were slowly creeping in. I ended up going to sleep really early because by around 7pm I just didn't feel like being awake. I actually slept pretty decently (no different than normal). I awoke for work the next morning, nothing out of the blue. I started the day feeling fine, but by afternoon, the brain zaps started hitting again in full force. (For anyone not familiar, these brain zaps are a very weird dis-pleasure / sensation. It's not the same thing as a headache necessarily, but almost feels like a vibration that pulses in your head.)
 
By that evening (day 2 of no zoloft), I was starting to feel pretty miserable. Between the intense brain-zaps, irritability, and emotional turbulence, I called it an early night again and went straight to bed. (As mentioned above, through the whole process, my sleep hasn't been affected much. Albeit, I'm going to sleep earlier, I fall asleep in the same time in took before, and I'm able to sleep the full duration of the night.) If anything changed with my sleep, it would be that I'm dreaming a lot more (or maybe just remembering them better?)
 
The effects mentioned above lasted up until Day 9 (yesterday). Initially I remember having a breakdown on Thurs. evening trying to figure out how much longer I was going to be going through said effects, and reading cases of people talking about it taking them months before they started feeling normal. It wasn't that I wanted to feel "normal" again, it was that I wanted to not feel the brain-zaps, dizziness, irritability, achy, drained feeling, etc that I had been experiencing over the last 9 days.
 
Fortunately, I am in Day 10 as of today of no Zoloft, and the discontinuation effects have been minimized greatly. A few brain pulse zaps occur infrequently especially if I make fast movements, but for the large part, I'm already feeling a lot better (physically). Mentally and emotionally, I'm not a wreck as I have been, although a little irritable still.
 
As far as a conclusion, I think it will still take a while before I start finding myself and who I am (and all that good stuff as to why I decided to stop taking Zoloft in the first place). But I atleast wanted to share my immediate experience with quitting the Zoloft so that others who are in the same position or thinking of quitting will have some gauge of what to expect perhaps. As far as my anxiety / ocd / depression creeping back since being off the pill, I have not noticed any difference at this time. That's not to say I was cured, but perhaps just learned of ways to deal with it better while I was on the medication that I hadn't realized until I stopped taking it.
 
I hope I didn't ramble on too much and hope my post will at the very least help someone who is on the same journey as I am or about to make that jump. I'll try to continue to post my status as time continues and will definitely check back now and again to read how others are doing!
 
 

Post Edited (Newme24) : 10/15/2013 5:27:04 PM (GMT-6)


Posted By : alexandra12 - 10/15/2013 5:52 PM
hanks for posting your Journey, Newme24! You decreased pretty rapidly. I was @ 150 mg. coming down 25 mg. two weeks at a time. As previously mentioned I'm now at 75 mg for another week, then onto 50 mg. The past couple days I've been suffering. I'm so fatigued, stiff muscles and on edge!

Keep posting your updates, this makes me realize it's the drug and not me! Realization however doesn't make it any less frustrating as you're aware. eyes Thanks again.

Posted By : in there somewhere - 10/20/2013 10:25 AM
Hi everyone
I found this forum and wept......with relief. I had a nervous breakdown 2 years ago. I was in a pretty bad way and was given Sertraline. I believe that it helped me through a tough time. I was on 200mg for 18 months. It eventually gave relief from the horrendous anxiety attacks that I was having. On my GP's advice I have been lowering my dose......by 25mg every 6 weeks or so. The first week of every reduction I felt that I just wanted to be on my own. I didn't want to engage in conversation...I just couldn't be bothered..but after that period I felt great. 2 weeks ago it was time to reduce from 50mg to 25mg. My Doctor suggested that initially I should take 50mg one day and 25mg the next and so on for 2 weeks and then 25mg one day and none the next day for 2 weeks......job done! Well I am really struggling. I have been so agitated and actually quite nasty with my Husband and Son. I feel so angry and just want to hurt them verbally. I don't have a good word to say about anyone. This is a vast behavioral difference as I feel that although the high dosage that I was on was indeed warranted at the time - it desensitized me. I was very passive and suddenly I am this monster. I have had thoughts of going back to 50mg a day but I truly want to banish this drug from my system......and the last 2 weeks will have been for nothing. Maybe I should have done a reduction of equal amounts each day. I guess my question is am I exhibiting these horrible traits in personality because that is me or is it the side effects? Am I ready and strong enough to continue as it would be so easy to return to 50mg where I felt good although Zombie like..where nothing really mattered? I feel that I owe it to myself and my family to eliminate this substance. It must be hard for them as up to 2 weeks ago everything was good and now it feels like I have turned the clock back 2 years. As well as the fact that mentally I felt ready to come off Sertraline I also desperately wanted to shed the 20 pounds that I have gained. Reading the comments in this forum on this matter has alleviated concerns that I had on this problem. My Doctor would not accept that the medication was responsible for my weight gain and no matter what I did the pounds kept creeping on. As yet I have not lost anything but I am determined to beat this thing.

My apologies for the long story...and even if I don't receive any replies...it has been so beneficial to just "let rip" to people who are going through this and much worse. My thoughts are with you all and we will break this cycle by talking to each other and by knowing that we are not alone.....because even with loving partners and children...who try to understand and give support...it can become a very isolated time.

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 10/20/2013 11:23 AM
Hi ITSW and welcome,

I am sorry to read of your difficulties lately in regards to your Rx and weaning.

Here is a site that you may find helpful. It comes from our Resorces (main page, 1st post) that is full of other sites and self-help ideas...check it out if you like.http://theroadback.org/

Best wishes in your continued journey, and post with us anytime for anxiety support!

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : in there somewhere - 10/20/2013 11:35 AM
Thank you - SC. I will look at the site. Kind regards

Posted By : alexandra12 - Today 3:15 PM
In there Somewhere, how are you doing?  I'm sorry to hear you're having such a difficult time with side effects.  I can totally empathize.  I'm now on my first week of 50 mg after decreasing from 150 mg., two weeks at a time.  I'm on edge, fatigued, and occassinally nauseous!  The positive being, I have more energy, and motivation than I've had in a year and a half! 
 
How are you doing?  Did you go back to 50 mg or are you weathering it through?  I hope things have improved for you, it seems more difficult for somne than others.  I have a sensitivity to meds., so seem to have a more difficult time.
 
Take care ~

Posted By : Newme24 - 10/24/2013 12:48 PM
It's been 2.5 weeks now since I've been off Zoloft. I definitely understand the mood swings, irritability, and overall on edge feeling (I work in retail and I thank God I haven't snapped at a customer yet lol).
 
I would suggest you be really open to your husband and explain to him that this is just going to be your mental state while you come off the drug. And that you're not being nasty with him through any fault of his own, it's just one of the discontinuation side effects.
 
I don't know how long it will last as I'm still in that phase, as well, it seems. Despite these periods of irritation and agitation, I am finding that I'll have moments of intense positivity and forward-looking optimism. 
 
If I were you, I would keep on track with discontinuing the medicine, but just make sure you're communicating with him so he's aware of what you're going through.

Posted By : alexandra12 - 11/2/2013 4:41 PM
How's everyone doing.  Tomorrow I start 25 mg.  It hasn't been easy, but I'm determined to "be myself again"!   I'm feeling more energy, more motivation, but still on edge, nauseous, and so forgetful at times! 
 
Would like to hear of other's journeys.. wink

Posted By : lonedog - 11/2/2013 6:03 PM
I have been on and off Zoloft for 27 years.  When I was off it, it was only because I was trying other meds because I do not like Zoloft's side effects.  I see where a lot of you are weaning yourselves off, and I applaud you.  However, I would like to know if any of you has Major Depressive disorder and panic disorder with agoraphobia?  When I first started on this "journey"  I went from a totally functional person to one with panic attacks off the chart.  Many days I was homebound.  I also had the type of depression where I could not get out of bed for many days.  Zoloft is the only thing that has ever really helped me.
 
However, at this point, I refuse to take more than 75 mg's of it.  I do not like the sexual side effects.  For many years when I took Zoloft I also took lithium as a potentiater.   Now, I do not know if it was the Zoloft or the lithium, or both, but I gained about 80 pounds in about 10 years.  Prior to going on meds, I was a very skinny person who could not gain weight if I tried, which I did.  BTW, I went gluten free, junk free, fast food free, sugar free last June and have so far lost 40 pounds.  Easiest thing I ever did.  Could be because i'm on such a low dose of Zoloft? 
 
I'm still at 75 mg have zero energy, or is it lack of motivation, I'm not sure.  I felt like I needed more Zoloft so I went back to 100 mg for about a week, but I refuse to tolerate the sexual side effects anymore, so I am back down to 75. I however am bone tired and fairly depressed, however, I feel like if I wasn't bone tired, I would not be depressed.
 
I would love to go off of Zoloft and all my other meds (wellbutrin150.  Geodon 20 mg for anxiety and sleep.  Neurontin 200 mg for sleep.  Xanax 2 mg for sleep and anxiety PRN.  Buspar for anxiety.  Adderall 10 mg xr for energy.  Zoloft 75 mg for anxiety and depression.)  the reason I take so many is that I can not tolerate large doses of anything.
 
I have also just been diagnosed with chronic Epstein barr virus.  My doctor says that is causing some of the fatigue, depression, anxiety, headaches, nasea, and the feeling of just not feeling well.  My insurance has denied my request for the medication, valcyne, so I have to dispute that with them.  I don't know if they will end up covering it or not.  I called the pharmacy today and figured what the hell, if it's $300 a month for 6 months, I can do that.  Its over $8,000 per month!  WHAT!
 
SO I would like to hear if anyone with major depression and panic disorder has successfully come off their Zoloft and if so, are you taking any other meds.  Thanks.

Posted By : 44inTN - 11/13/2013 10:39 PM
I am 44 years old, I have been on 50 mg of Zoloft daily for 12 years. I started taking it for my feelings of hopelessness and dark thoughts, and it did really help me for a long time. Most of all, it prevented me from getting down into the depths. However a downside was that I think it took off some of my highs and joyous feelings (which was worth it to avoid the lows).

However in the past 9 months, I have been doing some in-depth therapy work, and am realizing that the emptiness I feel inside, is due to some deep-seated issues from my childhood. In order to do this work, I need to be able to feel my feelings, and not go numb or control them, which I have always been very good at doing. Thus, I have felt prepared to go off Zoloft, and I did so cold turkey three weeks ago.

Overall, I am having a very successful experience. I do get the brain zaps, which for me are not painful, they are just a little annoying. They were prominent after 14 days after quitting, and they have already subsided in frequency. It feels like a tingling for a few seconds, and they usually occur over and over for 5-7 mins, last only a few secs. I get it on the side of my head over each ear. They actually woke me up about a week ago.

The biggest positive side affect is i am not nearly as sleepy anymore. I think I was on Zoloft for so long, that I didn't realize how tired it was making me. I am loving this extra time that I have! I used to not be able to read or watch tv before bed, I'd be asleep within 5 mins. Also I took long naps, like 2-3 hrs in afternoon, every weekend. No more (so far),.

I am definitely more emotional, and I get choked up over little things. However, this is a good thing for me to be experiencing my feelings. I have not had any dark thoughts or feelings of hopelessness.

One person reported having the benefit of no longer struggling for the right word; I am hoping that getting off zoloft will fix this in me as well, it is something I really struggle with. I thought it was just a part of getting older, but it has been a real nuisance in my life. I never considered the fact that it could be caused by taking Zoloft.

I can't think of any other side effects either positive or negative of going off the drug.

I appreciate being able to read about others' experiences, thank you.

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 11/13/2013 11:21 PM
Hi 44inTN,

It is good to hear that you feel good about sharing here...as you can see you are far from alone!

I am really glad to hear that you are doing some good work in therapy! I hope that it continues to go well for you, and that you gain much recovery as a result.

Please check out our Resources for great self-help ideas to add to your toolbelt and help you along your journey.

Feel free to start a post of introduction for yourself if you feel comfortable doing so...and keep us updated as to your progress.

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : Reepin - 11/14/2013 10:10 AM
I am so happy for you! I, too, have been on Zoloft & buspar for about the same amount of time 3-4 years. I weaned myself off a couple of years ago, but then a setback put me right back there. I lowered the dosage though. I had an appointment the other day and told them that my goal is to be med free eventually. When I have really bad days there is usually a reason for it and I use as many "tools" as possible, so I'm not really sure that the meds are making that big of a difference. I would like to lose weight and it makes it difficult, to say the least.

You have given me hope! Thank you turn
~Reepin

Posted By : Ichoosefreedom - 11/18/2013 8:35 AM
I was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease about 4 weeks ago. Since my diagnosis I have noticed that my anxiety had been increasingly getting worse. As I read into Lyme and everything that goes along with it, I believe reading all of those things only made my anxiety worse. As my joint pain increased, so did my anxiety which then turned into panic attacks. My family dr put my on 50 mg of zoloft, which I started 5 days ago. Since starting the medication, I have been worse then I have ever been. I ended up going to the ER yesterday because I just couldn't come down from an attack. He upped my Lorazapam form .5mg to 1mg. Took an EKG and Chest xray to show me that my heart is fine and that my neurological system is fine. So, now I know that it is all in my head. I do not like the way I am feeling at all on the zoloft and am going to start weaning myself off tonight with starting with half a dose for a few days. Then a quarter of a dose a few days until I am completely off of it. I don't like the idea of being on something that has made me feel worse, instead of better. Anyone else have that experience?

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 11/18/2013 11:07 AM
Hi ICF and welcome.

I am sorry to hear of your illness and experience.;(

Yes, it is common to have an increase of anxiety symptoms upon starting an SSRI.

Ususally these feelings decrease as your body adjusts, but often people find this initial break-in period intolerable, so it is understandable that you would want to try a different approach.

Staying in close contact with your doctor at this time is going to be crucial. Talk about your concerns and where you would like to go next in terms of your treatment options.

We have excellent self-help ideas on our first page here. (1st post) Our Resources are filled with coping skills for anxiety and panic. Check out the informative articles, instructional videos for breathing exercises that fight attacks, book recommendations and more.

Post with us anytime. We are here to listen and support.

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : Ask to hide my reglion - 11/20/2013 12:47 AM
I know this is a pits about coming off Zoloft but those of you who have taken it , let me ask you something for the last year and the half I have suffered through the pain and won't take anything and it's been worst days to bad days , to ok days , it left my chest area to my head , pressure , headaches , head pains , and much much more , my question is my doc really wants me to start the Zoloft , I try but I'm sooooooooo scared , it's been a year and 3 months , should I just beat this out since I got this far or start the Zoloft , as I read you guys story of coming off , I don't want to be on a drug where I gain weight and might can't come off , ....

Posted By : Ask to hide my reglion - 11/20/2013 12:47 AM
I know this is a pits about coming off Zoloft but those of you who have taken it , let me ask you something for the last year and the half I have suffered through the pain and won't take anything and it's been worst days to bad days , to ok days , it left my chest area to my head , pressure , headaches , head pains , and much much more , my question is my doc really wants me to start the Zoloft , I try but I'm sooooooooo scared , it's been a year and 3 months , should I just beat this out since I got this far or start the Zoloft , as I read you guys story of coming off , I don't want to be on a drug where I gain weight and might can't come off , ....

Posted By : Zofree Hopeful - 11/20/2013 10:49 PM
Compared to other postings on quitting zoloft this has given me hope! I'm 56 and started zoloft over 10 years ago due to a combination of menopause, death of my parents and a very bad marriage. I have always battled depression and suicidal thoughts, but the panic attacks accompanied by hot flashes were too much. My dosage has fluctuated, but now 50mg. I have thought my extreme fatigue, headaches, sleepiness, loss of interest in everything was post menopause life, but now I'm wondering if it is the zoloft! I feel so awful that it's worth a try, but i am very afraid. I feel like it probably will end my 38 year marriage, but that may not be a bad thing.

I have made a dr appointment for advice, but am starting today by reducing to half a pill, and full dose every other day. Thanks for all the sharing, it truly is inspiring.

Posted By : Scaredy Cat - 11/24/2013 8:43 PM
Hi Strawberry...I moved your post to its own thread, as you will get more responses this way...please look for your screen name, your post and my reply in its new spot.:)



S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Posted By : Amberoo1027 - 11/26/2013 2:16 AM
Like everybody else here, I am beyond ecstatic that I have found this forum. It is so nice to know that there are other people going through what I am. I have been on Zoloft for 18 years...since I was in 3rd grade. I was diagnosed with high anxiety, agoraphobia, and the weirdest-emetophobia (the fear of vomiting). I have been on this drug my whole life. The highest dose was 200 and I am currently on 75. I just got married in July, and moved cross country (away from my mom and family-which have been my security blanket my whole life) and am living with my sailor in California. We are madly in love and live right by the ocean. But I never have energy. All I do is sleep/nap and I can out eat him. I am so attracted to my husband but intimacy just seems like so much work. Not to mention I have gained so much weight over the years.

I have 3 months off of work and felt (after talking about it with my husband) that it's finally time to wean myself off of it. My new doctor couldn't believe how long I've been on it and is eagerly on board with me getting off of it. It is currently my 3rd day being on 50 (cutting it down from 75) and I've just started getting horrible headaches and mild nausea. Reading everyone's journeys is really helping me and giving me hope!

I guess I was just wondering if anyone has been on it for a very long period of time and started at such a young age? Thank you guys for sharing and sorry my little story is so long!

Posted By : Feelweird - 11/26/2013 10:06 AM
Zoloft user for 6 years now. Pretty sure it's the cause of most the anxiety I deal with. And the unstable dizzy 3rd world country feel.... Bla!!! I'm down to half a 50 and trying every other day now. In all honesty I hope this helps and I can totally free myself from these drugs. Hell I don't even know what normal feels like anymore

Posted By : alexandra12 - 11/30/2013 9:55 PM
I am now on my second week of doing 25 mg every other day. Some days are tougher than others. I still have fatigue, headaches and nausea occasionally. On the whole I'm feeling so much better. I have more energy, and feel more like myself, than I have since starting Zoloft a year ago. I was at 150 mg when I started tapering down in Sept. I never really felt well on it. I had every side effect going. I went to my Dr. in Sept as I wasn't sleeping. She wanted to increase the dosage again. I said NO. I wanted to taper down to see if I felt better. She agreed. I did, and I must say I'm so glad I did. I've had many miserable, on edge days,but this can be expected as the drug leaves our bodies.

Good luck to everyone on this journey. How are you all doing?

Posted By : Becca1973 - 12/31/2013 9:28 AM
I'm so happy I found this! I have been on Zoloft since June 2013 and have gained 30 lbs, even while working out and attempting to eat healthfully. I have less energy and desire to interact with my children and ZERO sex drive! After reading your story I have decided to wean off of Zoloft.

Posted By : stkitt - 12/31/2013 10:00 AM
Becca,
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  Remember to discuss weaning off your medication with your Dr. as you should go very slowly.
 
Please feel comfortable starting a thread of your own as you will meet the other members and can interact with the whole group.
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."

Posted By : alexandra12 - 12/31/2013 11:37 AM
I've been off Zoloft for a week now.  I'm still having the odd withdrawl symptom, but nearly back to " my old self".  It feels so good to " be in the land of the living again" .  I'm still coping with self confidence issues. I felt terrible for such an extended period, it takes time to believe in yourself again!  I know I will accomplish this though! 
 
I wish everyone well on this journey.  I know from experience it's not an easy one.  Keep posting.  I will assist in any way I can from my own experiences.

Posted By : mrs.mommy - 1/3/2014 10:12 AM
Hi! I am new to this forum, but glad to find support. I am a 42 year old woman. I have been on Sertraline (generic for Zoloft) for almost 5 years. I never thought I'd be one to take an anti-depressant, but because of several life changes (first marriage at 35, baby at 36, stopped career to be a stay-at-home mom, moved away from my "home" of 16 years to be with family after 18 years......pretty much everything changed!), I needed help dealing. I was overwhelmed with everyday activities, and when I would lose my temper over something trivial, I couldn't reel myself back in and calm down. I felt very alone, although I wasn't really, and extremely sad even though all of those changes are things I had prayed for for years and should have felt happy about! When I started taking the drug, I didn't feel on edge anymore and felt more like "my old self". That being said, I have always been "high-strung", but I could get over stuff and adapt to changes easily. So the effects of the drug have been positive until now.......

Which is why I am on this forum - to have support while I wean from this drug! I have a list of symptoms that have crept in over the years, and at what point I am not certain, but they are:
- weight gain
- inability to concentrate
- feeling dumb
- not remembering things
- shaky hands
- rapid heartbeat
- a different kind of nervous anxiety that I didn't have before
- headaches (never had those before)
- loss of sex drive

So, I am going to notify my doctor today about beginning to wean, and I am going to record my progress here so I will have a written record, hopefully be able to help someone, and so I'll remember when I began this process! smilewinkgrin

I have been on 100mg daily, and I will begin taking 75mg daily today.

Posted By : stkitt - 1/3/2014 11:43 AM
To everyone who posts here I started a Part 2 of 2 - here is the link for Part 2:
 
 
MrsMommy - I moved your post into Part 2.
 
This thread is locked.
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



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