My Positive Experience Quitting Zoloft

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Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27103
   Posted 5/27/2013 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
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

ZoloftFree
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/4/2013 11:37 PM (GMT -7)   
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??!!

readytobeme
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/7/2013 7:59 AM (GMT -7)   
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?

got the t shirt
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/11/2013 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
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.......

truerjulie
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/2/2013 7:11 PM (GMT -7)   
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

Royallan
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/5/2013 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
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.....

girlwithacurl
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/5/2013 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
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 :)

Royallan
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/5/2013 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
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.

flowerchildfitts
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/11/2013 9:47 AM (GMT -7)   
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

first time
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 7/11/2013 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   
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

OverIt83
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/30/2013 9:33 PM (GMT -7)   
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!!

DenaP
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/13/2013 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
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!

missclaire
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/22/2013 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
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 :)

Gothic Rose Vampire
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/3/2013 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
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

HyperActiveWoman
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/10/2013 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
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.

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27103
   Posted 9/10/2013 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
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

HyperActiveWoman
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/10/2013 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
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??

alexandra12
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/16/2013 10:17 AM (GMT -7)   
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. 

HyperActiveWoman
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/17/2013 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   
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!

alexandra12
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/17/2013 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
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.

HyperActiveWoman
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/18/2013 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
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?

alexandra12
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/18/2013 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
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!

HyperActiveWoman
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/19/2013 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
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.

alexandra12
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/19/2013 12:02 PM (GMT -7)   
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.

BritMotherof3
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/30/2013 10:35 AM (GMT -7)   
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)

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