Hello everyone, I just joined. I am new here but so not new to a life of antidepressants, depression, anxiety and hospitalization. Have also experienced positive "down" time where I have functioned well without antidepressants for a year or more at a time. My last good experience was when I was pregnant (at 40) with my first and last child as well as through the breast feeding time. I will say I had many tribulations, but my son's well being was paramount. Well, he has just turned 6 (and is healthy in every way...Thank G-d). I am 47 and have been back on sertraline and other sister meds for a few years. Because of many health complications I have decided to wean off of Sertraline (200 mg down to 100 for 1 week, 50 for another week 25 for 3rd wee, 12.5 last week, and 0 mg the past 5 days or so. I was also on cholesterol meds (statins) for many years (not while pregnant or breastfeeding) and I have stopped those completely. I have adopted a healthful diet...semi Paleo and semi low fat + carbs such as beans, steel cut oats, etc. The reason for all this medication stoppage is in part due to my 51 year old brother's recent heart attack and subsequent stents, my severe muscle and joint pain (which he and many people say are from the statins and antidepressant, confusion, weight gain, exercise intolerance, and more). I also am unsure how much is related to perimenopause or is it a combination of everything. My experiences of late have been severe lethargy, muscle/joint pain, severe headaches, tingling in feet and hands, severe back pain, brain fog, confusion, brain jet lag...it catches up with my head movement after the fact, shooting pains throughout body, swollen and itchy right foot, irritability, double vision, trouble concentrating, pain on right side of neck, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, intolerance to exercise...get exhausted and flu like symptoms after a 20 minute dog walk in the Florida sun, nausea, acid like stomach, sensitive/emotional, impatience, etc.
I have recently had blood work up with no findings other than high Cholesterol, about 284, the bad stuff is high and the good stuff is low...don't feel like researching their names at this moment. I've had diuretics and oral cortisone pills for the swollen foot, a cortisone injection in the foot itself, x-rays of entire body, MRI, Echocardiogram (due to family history) and tomorrow is my appointment for the vascular doppler ultrasound on my right foot. The Rheumatologist ruled out everything "serious" and diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and recommended a pain clinic, something I am not interested in. The Podiatrist said he was "baffled" about the swelling edema in foot and says it may be vascular/circulation relate. X-rays and MRI showed nothing. Last couple of days the lagging brain/shooting brain pulses seem to have lessened a bit. Today I have been nauseous, unable to eat and work (from home) and feel like I have some sort of flu. I realize I was on a high dose of Sertraline but I have weaned off slowly and systematically. If I could make a wish it would be to have these symptoms be gone as they are getting the best of me and my fear is that I will resume my depression because this phase feels like hell.
I guess I'm looking to vent and hear about any similar situations you guys and girls have had. (I realize you are not doctors and cannot give advice). Most importantly, how long do these horrible withdrawal symptoms last?
Thanks for listening to my very long post.