i am a new member who has visited these forums often to get info and insight on all the goings on of being on and or off antidepressants. as i have gotten so much great help from this site from afar i thought i would join and share my positive experience of both going on and going off zoloft as sometimes it is nice to hear of the successes and not all the scary things that can and do happen for many people.
i am currently almost done tapering off zoloft after being on it for post natal depression. i loved being on zoloft as it worked so quickly and i felt a new person. for me the zoloft worked really well for my sleep issues and depression but never quite kicked the anxiety. this did not worry me too much though as the anxiety was by far improved and i was sleeping well every single night and this was such a relief after having pnd related insomnia for almost 12 months. however, everytime i let my dr know that i had had a few days of anxiety, she would up my dose till i got to 150 mg. this was terrible for me as it caused me serotonin syndrome so i decided i needed to do things a bit differently. firstly i changed my dr ( great move) and we both agreed that i would taper down as i seemed to do better on a low dose ( 50 -75). i tapered down 25 mg at a time which is not as slow as some experts are now recommending - but i had no problems with this at all. in fact i felt better and better with each decrease so I decided to come off altogether. i went slow - i think i stayed on 50 mg for 8 weeks . it wasn't till i hit 25 mg ( which is not a therapeutic dose) a few weeks ago that i started to experience any withdrawal symptoms and these were very mild - mainly nausea, occasional dizziness, mild anxiety and more light sleep. i was expecting it so i wasn't too surprised!! these symptoms came on day 3 of being on 25 and left on day 6. i am now on 12.5 mg and still doing well, no scary stuff so far (touch wood - i know i aint out of the woods yet)!!!
i attribute my success so far to 2 main things - the info in the 'long road back', specifically their advice on tapering slowly, and the addition of high potency fish oil, barley greens and protein powder and to making sure i dont let my blood sugar levels drop or fluctuate. but the other thing i am finding to be a HUGE help is an electrical device called ALPHASTIM. i dont fully understand how it works but it is a safe and effective treatment specifically for depression, anxiety and insomnia. you attach these little clips to your ears and use it for 20 mins a day. it is supposed to naturally stimulate the pleasure endorphins in the brain like serotonin etc. i know it sounds like a strange thing but all i can say is i have had better results with this than anything else i have ever tried. since using it i have not had any anxiety, and despite tapering off the zoloft i have had minimal withdrawal symptoms and still feel great. when i did get a bit of nausea and anxiety the other day i used the alpha stim and it went away. it is safe to use with an AD and alphastim actually say people get best results when doing both until they feel they no longer need the AD. As a long term anxiety sufferer i wanted to share this with people in case it helps others. it may not work for everyone but it has made my road to recovery so much brighter.
i wish anyone out there who is trying to come off zoloft or any other AD the best of luck