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Getting Off Zoloft Is Challenging

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Q. I was told that Zoloft (sertraline) was not addicting but my experience suggests otherwise. I was on this antidepressant for nine years. I wanted to get off because it killed my sex drive.

One day after stopping this drug I experienced unbearable dizziness. I could not walk across a room without holding on to a piece of furniture for stability. I called my daughter but was incoherent.

She discovered that my blood pressure was 190/105 and my heart rate was 165. She rushed me to the ER where they thought I was having a heart attack. The tests came back negative.

I suffered headache, dizziness and nausea for days. My daughter suggested I go back on the Zoloft. Shortly after taking it my symptoms disappeared. I am angry that I was never told this drug is addictive. Getting off this drug can be a nightmare.

A. You are not the first person to report disastrous side effects when stopping drugs such as citalopram (Celexa), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) and venlafaxine (Effexor). Sudden discontinuation may trigger symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, headache, brain zaps, irritability, insomnia, sweating and pain, numbness or tingling in hands or feet.

To help you better understand withdrawal from antidepressants as well as non-drug approaches to managing mood, we are sending you our Guide to Dealing with Depression.


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Well about 6 years ago I needed to stop Prozac due to surgery. Stopped day before and that day. On the 3ed day I had horrible symptoms too. I couldn't walk. Felt like my legs were paralyzed. When to hospital but could barely get in and out of car. The pain was horrible.

Come to find out it was withdrawals from Prozac. So when I went back on it that day AND after the next day all was ok. Later when I went off again I tapered off a little at a time that seemed to work. Yes you should be told when you start new med what to expect. We don't always get bottle inserts and that is where all information to drugs are. THE INSERTS are what we need not just the printed out stuff pharmacy gives you. That is just general stuff. So anytime starting new medicine get product insert.
Wanda

I took Pristiq, a SSRI for about 2 years. I tried to taper off as my MD advised. It was over 3 weeks but experienced terrible brain zaps, anxiety, insomnia, irritability and did not go to work for about 10 days. It was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. I am on a healthier approach to handling life's stresses; exercise, relaxation, aromatherapy, massage and vitamin support.

My doctor convinced me to go on Zoloft because of PTSD. I was assured, as well, that it was not addictive. I was only on it for about a year because I realized that what I really needed was counseling and behaviour modification. Shortly after taking myself off, I began to have strange symptoms. I thought something was really wrong- it felt like jolts of electricity through my body! When I called the nurse, she immediately asked if I had taken myself off of Zoloft!! They know it's addictive!!

This comment relates to the gentleman who decided to stop taking Zoloft after 9
years. How was he advised when he consulted with the doctor who prescribed
the Zoloft? Perhaps he sought the advice of his family doctor about his plans to stop cold turkey. He made no mention in his complaint about the advice he was given or if he even thought to ask. Did he mention stopping cold turkey to his pharmacist? If he had thumbed through one of the pill books for sale near the pharmacy window, he would have quickly discovered that Zoloft should be slowly tapered off--not stopped cold turkey.

You can not just stop taking an antidepressant!!! You have to taper off it gradually, especially if you are on a high dose. Anyone is going to have bad reactions, increased anxiety, and depression if you just stop taking it! And, when tapering off, you have to remember this medication has been leveling out your emotions, and making you "feel good" - so even tapering off you will have increased anxiety, aggression, sleep issues, etc.

Think - this is all self explanatory!!!!! Its not that the medication is "addictive" its that your body is used to a certain level of this chemical in your body to regulate your moods and when you mess around with it, hence the side effects!

When taking many drugs, in this case Sertraline, when you want to discontinue them it is very important to reduce the dosage gradually. The usual dose of Sertraline is 100 mg. before bedtime. There are also 50mg tablets. So you have some options for gradually reducing the dosage.

I had the same brain zaps and dizziness when I stopped taking Paxil. I also had some dreams that were vivid and very long, like feature-length movies. My understanding is that withdrawal symptoms can be especially bad for anti-depressants that have a short half-life in the body as Paxil does. I wish I had known this beforehand.

It is real commendable for you to want to stop taking your anti-depressant medication! Anti-depressants are over prescribed and there are options for most people. These include psychotherapy, mindfulness tech for stress reduction and amino acid supplements.

The Road Back by James Harper is an excellent book that describes many of the biological and nutritional approaches to help you return you to better health. SSRis are not addictive in the same way of opiates. Many processes may be involved and include the ability of these drugs cause changes in the synaptic plasticity of the brain. More importantly in regards to tapering is the compromised system called the adrenal-hypothalamis axis-something many physicians do not mention when prescribing.

The metabolic consequences are profound-possible high bp,increased anxiety, insomnia etc. when a taper is not used. The key component in a taper is the rate and mechanism that the drug is metabolized. This involves a drug enzyme system called the Cytochrome 450. Also, if other drugs or herbal supplements are taken, these are critical in the taper process due to the varying rates of their metabolism. I successfully used most of the information available in The Road Back, supplemental reading and professional consultations to taper off of a benzodiazapine.

Information is critical in making an informed choice and hopefully you will cont to pursue a taper and subsequent end to taking your antidepressant. It is difficult but there you are not alone and support groups are available. Time and patience are golden steps on the road and results may take several months to occur but, in perspective, are well worth it. Take care

I have taken 120mg of Cymbalta for 2-to-3 years; it has done a great job of alleviating depression and I have not experienced any side effects. But I decided that I know longer needed it, and asked my doctor for help in getting off it. The step-down from 120mg to 60mg was easy; but when I tried 60mg to 30mg I had many side effects. So my doctor sent me to a compounding pharmacist so that I could step down in increments of 10mg every 30 days.

But I was still having too many SEs, so he added 50mg of Sertaline; this helped a lot. It may take a year to completely withdraw from both drugs. I have always dreamed every night, but since starting the withdrawal, my dreams are more like reality; that has taken time to get used to.

Almost all long term medications are addictive. I took paxil last year(30mg) and tapered off, yet still found myself with withdrawal problems. For about five days I could barely move around from the brain zaps and had barfed multiple times. I'm now on sertraline and am trying to prepare myself to reduce the dosage and am very nervous.

When I went off prozac I didn't start having withdraw symptoms until a couple months later - very dizzy with headaches. I did some research and found a post saying to take benadryl and/or Claritin. I took both. They immediately worked and I was able to get off prozac. I took Benadryl at night and Claritin during the day. It took a few weeks, but eventually all was good with the world and my side effects of headaches and dizziness were gone.

I would like to hear more about tapering off slowly.

I have been taking Sertraline (generic for Zoloft) for several years. It helped to the point where I discontinued it TWICE. However, each time I was off it for awhile, the "rough edges" returned, so I'm now back on it. It was very simple to come off the drug: I was taking 100mg each evening, and started weaning myself off by taking only 50mg for a little over a week. Then I stopped completely WITHOUT SIDE EFFECTS. The answer is simply to come off the drug (and some other drugs as well) GRADUALLY.
I hope this helps.

My husband has cut down on taking sertraline (zoloft) and in an effort to avoid side effects got the doctor to prescribe it in liquid form so that he could cut the dose gradually. A week or so after switching to this medication, he got horribly sick with terrible stomach pain, which he attributed to possible samonella from eating out. He kept thinking he was getting better, and then he'd have another attack.

After a year, the pharmacy accidentally gave him pills as they didn't have any liquid when his prescription needed to be filled. Suddenly the stomach issues have decreased dramatically. He thinks it is because the dose in the liquid form just isn't a steady dose, it's highly variable, so his system was having a hard time adjusting and adjusting to the varying dose.

Though he still struggles with depression, I'm encouraging him to get off this medication. Talk about quality of life issues! It isn't worth it.

While on Zoloft I started getting elevated blood sugar. Then, two years ago, I decided it was time I weaned off this drug. Bad idea. Perhaps I went off it too soon, but now I have hypoglycemia symptoms. I did lose about ten pounds coming off the med but I also felt very weak, to the point where I had trouble holding a carton of milk! Anyway, I'm doing better now but it is a long recovery from being off this med. I heard it's nearly the same with stopping any antidepressant. Anyway, I'm taking B6, B12, magnesium glycinate, for about a year and a half. Seems to be working. At least for me. I originally went on antidepressants as a result of PTSD symptoms.

Re the tapering: I'm going through the gradual decrease to stop Zoloft... I was on 50 mg per day for two years. For the first three weeks of the tapering, I was on 3/4 tablet. I got a pill cutter at the pharmacy - To get the 3/4 I cut each in half then cut some of the halves in half, I took a half and a quarter. Now I'm on the second three week tapering time and I'm taking just a half of each tablet. After three weeks doing that, I'll be on just 1/4 of each tablet for the last three weeks - or until they are gone.

For the 3/4 amount - I found I had more energy - this next decrease which is 1/2 tablet is making me super edgy. The anxiety is returning and I've got a super short fuse.

I am trying to stop the Zoloft because I was having trouble concentrating. I want to get completely off of it and see where my concentration is and try to keep from getting fired and keep from snapping.

Thank you to those who've posted here because I am able to see that like with the depression - the zaps, etc. - I'm not alone. Wish you all luck.

I found B6, L-theanine (derived from green tea) and mag. and b12 helped with managing the withdrawals. In my case, I developed low blood sugar symptoms. While on zoloft my blood sugars were always high. Developed borderline diabetes as well. Now, I have the opposite effect while being off the med. Thinking back, what I really needed was justice, not AD's. A lot of what I was dealing with stemmed from PTSD.

Someone told me that Niacin and/or St. John's Wart could replace Zoloft and other anti-depressants and is healthier for a person. Anyone have any input on that theory. I currently take 200 MG of Zoloft a day and am worried how that will affect my liver and other organs after long term usage. I've been on Zoloft about 12 years now.

Thanks for your input!

People's Pharmacy Response: We are not aware of niacin having antidepressant effects, except when the depression is the result of a frank deficiency. St. John's wort can be used for mild to moderate depression.

I'm another Zoloft "discontinuation syndrome" sufferer, who wanted to quit by tapering but did it far too fast. Week 1 was full of brain zaps, like pushing both gas pedal & clutch to the floor but never more than a few seconds. Week 2 I've morphed into Mr. Short fuse at work and while driving on the crowded tollway. My fault, because I haven't worked with my Dr. as closely as I should have. (don't like her much) Anyway, I will learn to watch myself especially around triggers. peace out

Folate is very helpful in alleviating depression. I just started on it about a week ago. Seems to really be helping. it seems to take the edge off. Since my last post (above) I've been feeling a lot better. My temper is on a more even keel, able to sleep better. No more insomnia. Thank God. Feeling less panic attacks and less emotional problems was the best Christmas present I had ever had!

I have been taking Zoloft for about 2 years and am now coming off of it I tapered off about two weeks ago and being to be really dizzy and very sad and easy to cry at nothing. I am now trying to come off once again and I am at week two and the dizziness is back can anyone help me with this?

Sandra,

My only suggestion is that you discontinue the Zoloft at a much slower pace. It will take time! If you have been taking 100mg per day, for example, take 50 mg one day, 100 mg the next day, and so on for at least two weeks. If necessary, split the tablets in half. You have to use your own judgment, but it pays to go slow since you have no way of knowing ahead of time how long it will take. Err in the direction of taking longer than would otherwise be necessary. I hope this helps. Good luck!

I just turned 24 years old and have been on 50 MG of Zoloft for 5 years. I have tried to go off it two times by slowly going down to 3/4th of the tablet but ended up feeling so psychotic I could not leave the house. After of few days of this hell I ended up staying on the drug at my normal dose in fear. I was scared that I would have to enter some type of drug rehab if I ever wanted to get off it.

Finally, after watching a commercial on TV saying that if you were taking Zoloft and your child had birth defects the drug company would pay you money I decided I had to stop taking this drug that has not been tested enough. I went to my doctor and he prescribed the liquid form knowing that I was "sensitive" to changes. I started going down 5MG per week. I would have a headache and feel dizzy for the first three days when going down on the 5MG and then it would subside and I would do again 7 days later. It took me over two months to get off Zoloft. But, by going down this slowly I did not have to miss too much work.

My doctor told me that the effectiveness of Zoloft has recently been proven to only be effective for the first two months, and then the effectiveness goes down to an extremely low percentage. I strongly feel that his drug should only be administered in hospitalized institution and for no longer that for two months. Today is my fifth day off Zoloft. I have been so dizzy that I still need to hold on to furniture when walking across the room. I have a horrible headache and my brain is not functioning. It feels like a combination of the worst hang over of my life and insanely bad vertigo/dizziness.

Zoloft is addictive. It is so targeted in your brain that when one starts to get off it (even in a slow manner) the brain and body have serious effects. In my generation I cannot tell you how many people are put on SSRI’s at a very young age. This is going to be one of the biggest problems of my generation and no one is talking about it. If you are trying to get off a SSRI including Zoloft go down as slowly as you can!

To Leah an others who are going through withdrawal from an SSRI...

Have your doctors suggest a low-dose anti-anxiety medication, like Ativan, etc.? it takes the edge off. Thats what i did at first. I've posted couple of times (see above) about withdrawal.

I can go on about this as I've researched extensively about ssri's and withdrawal before and after I stopped Zoloft. But, do continue with talk therapy with a therapist that you feel really cares.


My son who is 17 years old just came off Sertraline in the 3rd week after taking 5 weeks from 25 mg to 200 mg prescribed by his doctor,the side effects of coming off this medicine are horrible - poor boy has been sufferring intolerable headache, dizziness, very low energy, poor sleeping and sometimes fast heart rate etc., can anyone tell me if there is any way can help him? Thanks.

Hello,
I am so sorry to hear about your son.
I just went off Zoloft myself and I am finally feeling 100% myself again. It took me 10 days after having no Zoloft in my system to have the spinning and headaches subside. This was after I went down slowly for a month and a half too. If he can just hold in there for 10 days there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
Going off Zoloft was probably the hardest most draining thing I have done in my life. It really messes with you in the worst of ways. Best of luck to you and your son!

Dear Rachael,
Thank you for your response. I actually did end up taking a half of a Valium for 3 of the worst days. I would have such bad vertigo and spins and feel so nauseous from the spinning that I would just emotionally loose it. My mom suggested taking half of a Valium one night when it got really bad. It really helped take the edge off my anger and fear about having everything spin so badly and helped the headache.

I think that is a really great recommendation. Thank you! It took me 10 days after having no Zoloft in my system to feel normal again. Those ten days were extremely hard - possibly the hardest in my life. Now, I am so happy that I am off Zoloft. I feel great and energized again. I feel more empowered as a human being now that I am not addicted to an SSRI.

Hello, I just wanted to thank AA's response to my request. Many thanks for your kind words, encouragement and sharing your experience with us. It indeed is not an easy case to handle the side effects of coming off this medicine, I hope my son will get back on his feet soon.

All, if you are planning to go off of a SSRI drug, please take a look at the book "The Anti-Depressant Solution" by Joseph Glenmullen, a Harvard psychiatrist who has studied withdrawal effects in great detail. Though written in 2007, it still holds strong and gives very clear instructions for how to wean slowly and at the proper pace.

I personally wish I would have found the book before I chose to wean. Though I gradually tapered Zoloft over the course of 4 months, I definitely got impatient near the end and rushed off from about 8 mg. Even that was enough to plunge me into the most horrific withdrawal symptoms that I could ever imagine. Panic, akathisia, anxiety, extreme dizziness, vile insomnia, twitching, brain zaps...you name it.

If you begin experiencing horrid withdrawal while tapering, then go back up to the last stable dose and go much slower from there. Some people need to wean 2 mg at a time over the course of many months, it just depends on how you respond to the drug and the typically short half-lifes.

If you had read the instructions (well, your doctor should have told you as well), you would have known you are not supposed to just suddenly come off of the antidepressant. During the whole time, you should be under your psychiatrist's supervision. If your psychiatrist decides that you should come off, then s/he will put you on a plan to do it gradually so none of that would happen. And if s/he decides that you need to stay on it longer, well then that may be the best thing for you to do. For some people, depression is about chronic, persistent chemical imbalance. This could be compared to having diabetes, or high blood pressure, except it is happening at another part of your body, the brain. Would it be silly for a diabetic person to stay on insulin for good? No, just the opposite is true.

This is not to say that whoever experiences depression will need to take antidepressants for good, but some people do. Others will need to take it for a given period of time, as suggested by their doctor. And in terms of the addiction, what you describe does not jibe with the definition of addiction. Opioids (such as oxycodone) or stimulants (such as adderall) are considered addictive antidepressants. But SSRIs, such as Zoloft are not. To go back to the comparison, if a person that has had high blood pressure but through medication, diet, and exercise manages to bring it back to normal, stopping the medication suddenly could cause what is called a rebound effect, meaning that the person's blood pressure would skyrocket and they could feel like they are having a heart-attack too. Does this mean that blood pressure meds are addictive? No. They are not. And for some, they are literally life-saving.

Find the right doctor (be it a psychiatrist for a mood problems or an ENT doctor for a sinus problem) that you feel knows his/her stuff and then follow their advice. And please, never again start or end a psychotropic medication by yourself.

All the best,

B.

Ive been taking Zoloft for only nine months when I started getting off the drug. Checking in w my doctor and getting the scoop on how to decrese from 100 mg. Two months later I've finally got to the end. Now it's day five with no more zoloft and I've experiencing the dizziness, headache, zaps, & such a short fuse.

I'm a mommy with a little person & husband....I kick myself when I fuse out. But reading some of these post is encouraging. I'm not crazy & hopefully my side effects will go away in the next week or so. Thx's

I have been taking zoloft on and off since by daughter was born 7 years ago. I felt lethargic and low. It helped with mood swings but not with the low energy feeling. I hated to take it because it was a libido killer but it was the only anti depressant that didn't make me jittery or more tired.

I hit rock bottom when I could hardly get out of bed, body hurt, joints hurt, and was sleeping 14 plus hours with a hard time waking up. despite all the blood test, doc after doc could not find anything!! I changed docs again and did research with my symptoms which seemed to me like fibromyalgia. I told new doc "I am scared to go to sleep and not being able to wake up to my daughter." Only then she ran more tests and realized that my thyroid was low.

It was low in the normal range, so previous docs disregarded it!! She said I could try synthroid and "IF" it worked then we have the solution. been on it for 2 years now and I feel like a whole different person!

I tried to go off zoloft again (I'm only on 50mg) but I would get dizzy and I had insomnia. So after a few days it seemed easier to stay on. Despite how long I sleep I still felt tired or like my sleep wasn't quality enough..

sooooo... I am doing a sleep study in a week and the doc there told me to go off zoloft because it INTERFERES WITH REM SLEEP!! So I will deal with the dizziness and hope these withdrawal symptoms will be well worth it! (ended up cutting my finger trying to cook).

For all those who are thinking about stopping zoloft, Do! but, have a plan set up. Docs are soooooo quick to give out anti-D's. Depression can be symptom of a deeper underlying problems. (don't get me wrong, I am glad I had it when my mood swings were at there worst, but it also may have covered up all symptoms.) I have been taking 3,000 IU's of vitamin D, that a lot with the edginess that I would have trying to come off other times.

Hope this post helps, good luck to you and remember to be your own advocate! Have your doc run tests for vitamin, thyroid, and lipid levels, and ask to get a copy of them! good luck!

Janice - I feel like you are the only person in the world right now that feels the same way I do. The sleeping, low energy, low thyroid [but Dr said don't worry about it], NO libido! It is so bad and I am so down that I would try just about anything at this point. I've lost my boyfriend of 10 years and he has professionals telling him that perhaps I am just not capable of love. I have tonnes of love to give ~ I'm just depressed!

I tried going off Zoloft about 7 years ago and I was very sick so I went back on it at a low dose of 50MG. I thought it was easier to put up with the sleeping for 12 hours, feeling tired all the time, night sweats, very active dreams that throw me off throughout the day, mood swings, low self esteem, dizziness, lack of sexual drive/desire... now all of a sudden I'm 37 and realizing my life has been on hold for almost 10 years. After reading your post, I booked an appt for Monday to see if I can start getting off Zoloft immediately.

I have thyroid meds and started taking them today! I also have vitamin B12 deficiency so I require shots. The dizziness is always worse when I am low in B12. I will start taking vitamin D also in large doses. Depression really does hurt everywhere and I am so tired of being depressed and having my mind race out of control every hour of every day. Janice - thank you for your post. I was feeling so lost and it truly does help to know I'm not alone. I will post with any progression...

I appreciate everyone's input here. I had been taking Zoloft 200mg for about 2 years. I started it for postpartum depression. About 6 months ago, I decreased myself to 100mg. I think that went fine, can't remember. But I just now stopped it all together, cold turkey, because I ran out and couldn't get an appt with my doctor for another month (cheap government mental health facility).. The nurse said I was welcome to go to ER or regular doctor to fill Rx, but I said no thanks. I wanted to get off it anyway because I want to try for another baby in about 8 months (and i too have seen those birth defect commercials).

So this cold turkey experience has not been fun. I am very dizzy and weak and have cried several times. I thought it was because I also have a concurrent cold right now, but after reading everyone's comments, I realize these must be withdrawal symptoms. I must remember to check my BP to make sure it's not getting too high..

I am about 5 days into this. Oh, and I also take Buspar. I've been taking that for about a year. So maybe that's why my symptoms haven't been as severe as other peoples.

My god I have been on zoloft for what seems like forever. But its been 7 years. I want off this drug. I thought I was depressed but I was really just an addict so now I'm tapering off very slow and I already feel horrible and its only day 3. We all seem like we want off for obvious reasons. Good luck to all cuz I need some good luck for this.

I am currently coming off of Sertraline (zoloft) I did it gradually and I was taking the lowest dosage which is 100 mg. I feel like I'm at the brink of crying every minute, I am not depressed, I feel ok that's why after 3 years of these meds we decided it was time. I do have some dizziness but that's to be expected. I am just concerned about trying to control these crying fits.
can anyone help?
jojo

I've been on 100mg. Zoloft for about 6 yrs. I read about a possible connection with breast cancer risk. I would like to transition to using 5-htp, or some other natural one. Yesterday I dropped to 50 mg. Zoloft and took 50mg.of 5-HTP with it. (normal time of dose is a.m. after breakfast...) I felt good all day.

Then I read re: 5-htp use, to take divided doses (a.m. & p.m.) So I took 50 mg. again before bed. I noticed my heart going fast in the night, so got up and took a GABA to calm it. It worked. ANY comments?

Can low-dose Zoloft be used with 5-htp?

I'm going on my 5th week of weaning off of zoloft at 25 mg. The first few were okay. But the past week and a half has been really bad. Can anyone relate? Why is this happening now? When can I expect some relief and stabilization at 25 mg?

First of all thank you! Reading these comments makes me feel normal even though I do feel like a freak. And that is the reason why I have been trying to wean myself off Zoloft forever it seems. I started taking Zoloft a few years back after I stopped breast feeding. I wasn't depressed but was told it was a hormonal imbalance I was experiencing suddenly. I don't remember what my dose at the time was, it must have been 200 mg a day and it really helped. But I felt like a freak. ME? Taking antidepressants? I felt like I was not normal, not strong in character, a weak woman, all of that. Needless to add that I have a healthy and wonderful child, a good life, stable job, live in a great place, am healthy myself, middle aged, intelligent blablabla. So how could I, ME, THIS WOMAN, need it?

That was what was going through my mind. I hated myself for being "weak" but then I also wasn't in control without the Zoloft. First time I felt the panic attacks, the dizziness, the jumping out of my skin, I was going nuts and my doctor, whom I had known for years said: take it. It will help I promise you. And it did.

Well since then I have tried to wean myself off twice, very slowly. I have been taking 100 mg for a few years now, but I can't go lower than 75 mg. I tried to go 50 mg for a few weeks, first by going 100 mg one day 75 mg the next, then a few weeks later, 75 mg one day etc...

Now finally I had arrived at 75 mg 2 days a week and 50 mg 5 days a week and about 2 weeks ago had my first panic attack again. I lived through it, breathed in an out, relaxed, and a few days later, the next one. Like clockwork. The dizziness is the worst, the feeling of feeling "spaced out", that feeling of my limbs not working, it is horrifying.

Fortunately I never had a lower sex drive cause of Zoloft. It has actually increased but then again as a middle aged woman they say I am at my peak now.
So I went back to my doc. I trust him. He is a good man and I know he didn't prescribe Zoloft lightly. He said I should stay on 75 mg a day and not worry about what happens 20 years down the road. He said to look at myself like someone who has diabetes or high blood pressure. Those people take meds too without the stigma he says.

Still I wish I could do otherwise but even though I am a strong woman, I can't so now I will stay on it and enjoy my life I will not stop taking that pill and then again feel this way. I don't want to sit in my car or at home watching a movie and then feel like the world is ending because my heart starts racing at 150 bpm out of the blue and with no reason.

Just had a blood test done yesterday and all came back fine: liver, kidneys, sugar, cholesterol. In a way I am happy cause at least there are drugs to help me in 2012. Had I been born 100 years ago, I would have ended up in an asylum, not see my daughter again, not have a life. Now with 75 mg a day of Zoloft, I can be dizzy free again I know.

For now I am still dizzy, I have been getting up every morning with anticipatory anxiety and I don't want this in my life. So there is my story. Please comment if you want. And thank you everyone for saying how you feel.

It helps to read I am not alone with the dizziness, the racing heartbeat, the active dreams, the weak legs, the "spaced out" feeling, the dazed state, the "why me?" and the electricity jolts in my brain.

We are not alone, and at least in 2012, we can lead active lives. 100 years ago people with low serotonin had no choice!

Hi thank you for this opportunity..
I was on zoloft for 14yrs. I decided to stop taking zoloft
Nov. 16, 2009. My first 6 weeks I was in Hell. Felt like my Brain was gonna explode. I took sleeping pills and tried to sleep it off. Then after a few months I felt like I was Brain Dead.

I could not think. I felt nothing. I wanted to be myself again.
but did not know who myself was.... I was determined to get my life back.. it has been a slow road but I'm clean for 2years and 4 months. I'm really glad I quite zoloft... although I do use Lorazopam for if I have Anxiety, which I have eased off that as well. I did this by myself.. no help from doctor.

On Zoloft I felt like I was up all the time. I don't take sleeping
pills anymore either.. It was hard and I'm still working on recovery but it was worth it to clean my body and brain from that drug.... Since 1995 I have lost my 3 sisters and 2 brothers to cancer and heart disease and I just want to live a long and healthy life.

I am the youngest of 7 and they were all on so many meds. sometimes I think its the meds that kill people and they just add to their illness.
I hate pills. Thank God I'm Still Alive... Peace

I've been of zoloft for two years now.. It was a long, long road.
but I made it.. I'm happy and people see the difference in me.
If you can make it you will win in the long run... Believe in
yourself..

I was taking 50 mg zoloft for 6 years. I was disgusted with the 30 lb weight gain and had found herbal relief to help with my anxiety... I tapered off slowly over a 6 week period and took herbal supplements like NAC, tyrosine, and fish oils to help with nerve support. I am now off 1 week and feel good about myself and have experienced a minimum of problems while tapering off. Google herbal support for anxiety pill tapering. Good luck to all.

I have been on Zoloft for 6 years. I have tried to come off it twice prior to this time, but my depression worsened and i had major brain zaps. This time, I am determined to stay off of the drug, due to the recently found cause of birth defects. I was taking 100 mg a day and began to take 50 mg for about 2 weeks. It has been about 6 weeks since my last dose of Zoloft. The first few weeks I felt fine. Then, about the third week, I began to get really irritated and angry and cry randomly. When I hit week four and five, the confusion, spaced-outness, questioning of reality, worsening depression, extreme anxiety and several panic attacks a day, blurred vision, pressure in my head, pain at the base of my head, feeling as if I am in a permanent dream or acid trip all began and have been occurring ever since.

I am extremely fearful for my sanity and my life. I would like to know if other people have felt these symptoms and if so, how long until you feel normal again? I need reassurance. I am scared.

Hi I've been taking sertraline for more than a year now and have gained a lot of weight.
this is mainly down to comfort eating and lack of exercise, so I wonder if the sertraline is actually working??

Also I seem to have many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia and fear for my health so..
I have decided to wean off and went from 100mg down to 50mg for a week followed by 50mg every other day for the second week. this didn't seem too bad and I thought I might have managed it. I've been off the sertraline completely for about 4 days and have started to suffer a bit! anger and irritability, along with extreme brain fog are hampering my days, but I feel like I've come too far to give up....

What is the best to get off zoloft?

I have been on Zoloft since I lost my son in 1997. Fifteen years on Zoloft. I have spent a long time tapering slowly to 100mg. I had been up to as high as 200mg. It doesn't work, it's never worked and I have taken it simply because stopping was so hard.

To those who feel they are "returning to their anxieties" or depression as they taper: Please know that it might not be that at all. Many doctors will tell you that's what you are experiencing. In fact, you are probably going through withdrawal or what they will call "discontinuation syndrome." It's horrible, there's no question about it. This is my third taper in the last several years and this time I am committed to going through what I have to in order to be SSRI-free.

When the doctor tells you that you must take the Zoloft to "correct the chemical imbalance," just like a "person with diabetes must take insulin" - ask he or she how they can quantify that statement. They'll, of course, throw around terms that most of them don't really even understand like "seratonin" and maybe "dopamine." Ask them for a blood test, just like with diabetes, that shows in a measurable way that you must take Zoloft and how they'll know when the "imbalance" is balanced. The answer is: They can't. The analogy doesn't hold up. In fact, they don't even know HOW the SSRI family of antidepressants really work (if they do at all). Even the most scientific of literature says over and over - "It is believed to work by...". They really don't even know(!) Don't ever buy that "diabetes" comparison as it doesn't hold up.

Because I have read it in several posts - please, do not even think about stopping cold turkey. It's truly dangerous. The taper must be done properly. A couple of good books have already been mentioned. But really, cold turkey? As tempting as it might be - please don't try.

Finally, never give up. If it takes you more than once or twice to make a safe and effective taper, that's fine. We're all different. Just don't give up.

Good luck and best wishes. This too shall pass.

Within the last 2 months I have gone from a 7 yr. usage of 100 mg. zoloft usage to 25 mg. Without side effects!!

My method was going from 100 mg. (AM dose) to 50 mg. for ONE MONTH, writing down a daily note of what I took when and how i felt. I would take the AM zoloft dose and take 50 mg. 5-HTP at dinner. (There are books out about 5-htp) Occasionally at night I felt like I was running too fast, so would take a capsule of GABA. It works great for me to calm a racing heart. Last few days I deleted 5-HTP in the evening, and slept well without it or the GABA. DO look into NATURAL helpers of 5-HTP, L-Theanine, and L-Tyrosine and GABA! Health food stores sell it and there is info. online and in books. I feel more clear headed now and have more interest in doing things. Ironic, eh?

I'm 21 years old. I was put on 100 MG of zoloft when I was 12, and took it until this year. I never had actual depression - I was being bullied at school, which made me fake sick a lot. My family thought I was depressed, and at 12 years old I took whatever pills I was given. The reason I took it for 9 years was because every time I tried to decrease my dose by even 25 MGs for a day, I would become so ill that I couldn't stand.

I am very sensitive to SSRI withdrawal. Finally, I have flushed the remainder of my meds. I have been tapering off for months now, but I am still so sick. I finally was down to 25 MGs every other day, and then nothing. I STILL have brain zaps, vertigo, nausea, and irritability - but no symptoms of depression or anxiety, because I don't have depression or anxiety.

Stay strong if you're trying to get off this stuff. It's hard, but worth it. Doctors don't warn you about how sick this will make you, and not everyone has such horrible symptoms, but for those of us who do, we know that it isn't right. These medicines can be dangerous. Benedryl helps, and drinking lots of water and sleeping a lot. good luck to all.

Hello,
I have been searching the net for ages for answers, so I am wondering if anyone on here can answer my questions. I used to be citalopram 60mg for 7 years and all ok. Then last December my shrink stopped me cold, and put me on escitalopram 10mg which made me sick, then I was given a sertraline 50mg. Which I did not take for 3 weeks. Withdrawal was not too bad, apart from mood swings, weird feelings in my legs and agitation.

Then took my sertraline it gave me horrible feelings in my stomach, lack of appetite, insomnia, tingling feelings in legs, wretching, anxiety etc. 2 weeks later they upped it to 100mg, then the twitching started. Then 6 weeks after starting it, my GP put me back on citalopram 40mg. 1st 2 weeks ok, then bang.

I became very agitated, withdrawn, stomach probs, weird anxiety, weird feeling in my legs, low appetite, insomnia, cold nite sweats. Now 10 weeks on, I'm getting better, but still got weird feelings in my legs, weird anxiety, twitches, and sometimes stomach probs. Can anyone let me know if they have had this, and how long it might last. All my GP says is it's anxiety. Any help would very much appreciated.

I'm trying to get off Zoloft because I'm now pregnant. I'm trying to wean off it slowly due to horrible side affects the first time. I ran out of my supply and forgot to refill it on time on the third day I had a panic attack and left work. I've never had a panic attack in my entire life. I was extremely dizzy to the point I had to be careful or I'd fall down. I felt like I could black out. I wanted to throw up. I was on a low dosage too. I was prescribed this due to migraines I had at work. I want off this drug. It makes me a different person and I don't want to rely on it. Hopefully I can do it this time and live without it.

Hello SL. I am 51, female and have been taking 50 mg sertraline for two years for severe anxiety and depression. Good news is I feel great, better than ever in my life. My doctor said it was time to come off so she told me to take it every other day for 10 days. Then no more. During this period, no noticeable symptoms. Today is day 6 of no pills at all. I have mild dizziness and found that alka seltzer makes me feel perfect. wishing your son well and a life without depression or pills! (By the way everyone, anxiety is depression).

I have been searching the net for ages for answers, so I am wondering if anyone on here can answer my questions. I used to be citalopram 60mg for 7 years and all ok. Then last December my shrink stopped me cold, and put me on escitalopram 10mg which made me sick, then I was given a sertraline 50mg. Which I did not take for 3 weeks. withdrawal was not too bad, apart from mood swings, weird feelings in my legs and agitation.

Then then took my sertraline it gave me horrible feelings in my stomach, lack of appetite, insomnia, tingling feelings in legs, wretching, anxiety etc. 2 weeks later they upped it to 100mg, then the twitching started. Then 6 weeks after starting it, my GP put me back on citalopram 40mg. 1st 2 weeks ok, then bang. I became very agitated, withdrawn, stomach probs, weird anxiety, weird feeling in my legs, low appetite, insomnia, cold nite sweats. Now 10 weeks on, I'm getting better, but still got weird feelings in my legs, weird anxiety, twitches, and sometimes stomach probs.

Can anyone let me know if they have had this, and how long it might last. All my GP says is its anxiety. Any help would very much appreciated.

Well almost 2 years ago, when I was 24 I visited my doctor to see about getting on some sort of anxiety pills because I'm a germaphobe. I hate germs and they freak me out to the point that they were affecting my relationship. So she put me on a low dosage of Zoloft and assigned an appointment for me to come back in a couple of weeks to see how I was doing.

So when I came back in she up'd the dosage and over the next several months kept up'ing until I was taking 200 mg. I felt the drugs were helping, but at the same time I was gaining some weight and felt like a zombie, like I wasn't really experiencing life, not to mention it killed my sex drive which yet again affected my relationship.

I was tired all the time and never wanted to do anything besides sleep and stay home. Back in November of last year I had a blood clot scare in my leg and the doctors couldn't figure out what caused it, but at the time I was taking Zoloft and birth control, Ocella everyday. So without the doctors knowing because of course they tried tell me that wasn't the cause, I stopped the Ocella all together and started to not take the Zoloft.

The Ocella was probably the cause, but at the same time you never know and so it scared me to the point that I wanted off it all. I didn't want to have to rely on medicine to live right. I guess you could say it was December when I stopped it all together, semi cold turkey.

When I stopped I had been taking 200 mg Zoloft for about a year and a half. I didn't have any immediate symptoms. I actually felt amazing, like I had all the energy in the world and I could do anything. Even my germaphobe symptoms didn't seem as bad as they had been before, everything was good. Now its June 1st , 2012 and I've been having depression, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and from looking back on my life since stopping Zoloft, along with reading this column, I've had multiple symptoms I haven't been able to explain such as the zaps, headaches, a short fuse, etc.

I would get the zaps at work and I had no clue what was happening to me, hence freaking me completely out and I hadn't put two and two together. Its also taken me this long from stopping Zoloft in December 2011 till now, to get somewhat of my sex drive back. I know that they say that drug effects people in different ways, but its scary that I have been off this stuff for 6 months and it still hasn't gotten out of my system.

The obsessive thoughts and depression have been the worst the past couple of weeks and I cry all the time. I'm pretty much a complete wreck and I'm starting to think I'm crazy. So my boyfriend of 4 years decided to look up the side effects of Zoloft and came across this column and lets say I'm so glad he did because its all starting to make sense now.

I've been so distant from him the last 4 months, had no sex drive, have had the shortest of fuses with him and I haven't been able to explain any of it. I literally was like doctor jeckel and mrs hide for a stretch there. Has anyone experienced anything like this before? Its also scary to think that I wasn't on it as long as most of you have been and am having these issues.

I even told my mom a couple months ago that I was doing awesome since getting off of it, but now I have to go back on what I said because I'm not. This is driving me nuts and its so hard to talk to people, especially my boyfriend, when they haven't gone through this experience. They don't know what to say or how to console you. Anyone else feeling this way?

Kb. I've gone and am going thru almost exactly the same thing! We should talk! Lol

Hello KB,
I've been off sertraline (zoloft) for 4 months and am feeling better in myself, but I still suffer from huge anxiety which I never suffered from before. Do you find that your anxiety is there or in the background a lot of the time. If I had been told about the withdrawal effects of this med I would never have taken it. Hang in there you are not alone. I have read some horrible stories of withdrawal even from people who taper. I think the anxiety is the worst especially if you have never suffered from it before. Feel free to reply and talk if you want to.
Take care.
Pat

Hi again -

i have now been completely zoloft free for over a month, and my withdrawal symptoms are finally gone.

i had them all - nausea, brain shocks/zaps, vertigo, headaches, digestive problems, numbness/tingling in my hands, feet, and face - everything, after nine years of taking these pills.

i'm writing to let you all know that it does get better, even on days when you think you cannot possibly survive one more hour of feeling so sick. SSRI withdrawal is painful and scary and, as many others on here have said, if i had known what it would be like to wean off of this drug i would never have taken it.

keep at it - your symptoms WILL improve. mine stayed pretty horrible for a full 2 weeks. the third week was better each day, and after that i improved quickly. i still have the occasional brain zap or wave of vertigo, but for the most part i'm back to normal. my sex drive, energy levels, and mood have all improved tremendously. i think that weaning off SSRIs is the best thing i've ever done for myself, even though there were three solid weeks of pain and sickness.

stay strong, don't give up, and know that you are not alone - and that this WILL get better and all be worth it. xo

Thank you for your kind words. I was only on it for 6 weeks,. just shows you what these drugs can do to you. I cold swapped back to citalopram, but I should have tapered according to all the info I have found on the internet. Doctors what do they know. It's the anxiety that gets me the most as that's all I am really left with, hopefully CBT will help that.
Regards
Pat

Took Faverine (Luvox) for 6 weeks due to Pure O OCD & Anxiety. It helped but after 6 weeks thought that I could handle it and decided to stop cold turkey on 1st week of May 12. 1st week wasn't that bad.. brain zaps, anxiety, few nights of insomnia and long vivid dreams. end of 2nd week's terrible.. Pure O came back full force (spike every 15 to 30 seconds), head pressure and extreme mood swing (crying spell).. this went on for another 3 weeks..

Came the fifth week, everything started to improve and I could see light at the end of tunnel.. Obsessive thoughts gone down by 50%, could sleep better, no more tears.. So those who are fighting, hang on there.. I've read stuff that says the withdrawal could last up to 8 weeks.. WE can definitely do it!

Hi
I am a nurse practitioner and find that most Psychiatrists and primary care providers prescribe way too fast a taper for all antidepressants.

I have my patients get a pill cutter and reduce their dose by 1/4 only, every 4 weeks.

Also have them plan to not do this during a time of extra stress, new job, loss of relationship etc. or as they enter dreary winter months unless they have some kind of active job that has them outside daily I ask that the plan to allow time for exercise every single day, eating well with increased fruits and vegetables, not watching news, or reading or watching depressing media in the evening....all have done very well with this plan.

Plan for watching funny movies or videos, laughter is great medicine!
Hope this is helpful. I wish everyone the best.
EB

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

One caveat. Some long-acting pills should NOT be cut in half or quarters. Please always check with your pharmacist to find out whether your pills can be cut.

Hello EB,
Am I right in thinking that you should not cold swap SSRI, I was cold turkey from 60 mg citalopram, then was put on 50mg sertraline, for 2 weeks, and then up to 100mg for 4 weeks, then swapped back to 40mg citalopram. as after 2 weeks of swapping I went through hell. I am a lot better, but still suffer from anxiety in my legs and stomach is gassy.
Regards
Pat

KC! I am so glad I am not alone in this! I have been so depressed about it lately and I just feel awful. Sorry it took me so long to get back on this post! We should talk more if we have similar symptoms because we could definitely help each other.

Pat...I have always had a little bit of anxiety due to my germaphobic tendencies that started when I was in high school. Now that I have stopped taking the medication I feel like I have a jeckyl and hide affect all the time and when I get really anxious I begin to freak out worse than ever before. It has definitely been a process getting off the medication. I too, had I known I'd have these symptoms, would have never began taking them in the first place. It is really quite annoying and affects all of my relationships whether at home, with my family or work. I am just glad I am not alone in this and there are people to talk to about it because people around me just don't understand.

KB,
All doctors and shrinks, and pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable for this. You are definitely not alone. Anytime you want to talk on here please do. I am on 4.5 months withdrawal. Had a bad time for the last week. The anxiety I get is not like normal anxiety, sometimes it can last all day, even when there is nothing to feel anxious about. My concentration is now 100% better, and I can sit down and watch films. I think the anxiety is the worst as I have never been this anxious in my life before.
Pat

Hey guys, I was on zoloft for 3-4 months and decided I didn't need it anymore, probably didn't ween off of it correctly being that I started at 25mg for a week then went to 50mg, on the ween I basically did the reverse. Anyway for about 2 weeks I felt dizzy a lot, but luckily that has went away, but my Blood Pressure and Heart rate still seem to be high. Before and while on Zoloft BP was always below 120/80 and HR around 60... now my BP seems to be in the 130's and higher and my HR in the 70's. Will this go away with time or is this permanent?

I'm very scared. I'm a 42-year-old female and have taken Zoloft on and off for the past 8 years for postpartum depression and slight ups and downs since. The last time I was prescribed Zoloft was a year ago to help with anxiety. I took 50 mg for a year, until I developed uncomfortable side effects that included restlessness, muscle spasms, itching. It didn't feel right, so I immediately began to taper the medicine to 25 mg. A week later or about two months ago I saw my doctor and told him about the side effects I'd developed.

He called Akithisia (itching feeling all over my body and restlessness). He told me to get off the medication that same day out of concern that my symptoms would worsen. However, I wasn't ready for the downward spiral. It's been two months and I continue to have tremors/ shakiness, involuntary muscle movements, twitching (which is distressing at times) and depression. I am scared. Has anyone experienced this? Is there a light at the end of this tunnel? I have two small children and am frightened.

My psychiatrist gave me a list of natural supplements without really giving me a plan to taking them. He sent me to a neurologist to check for other potential brain damage (like MS, which depressed me even more), but the neurologist says my brain is normal. My GP gives me vitamin shots every week and wants to put me back on Zoloft and properly wean me off, but I'm so afraid of the Akithisia that I'm hesitant. In the meantime, I feel overwhelmed by everything. Has anyone had symptoms beyond two months, and were they similar to mine? Did they go away?

Hi EA,

Unfortunately I have been off of Zoloft for about 7 months and am still feeling side effects and have also developed side effects from getting of the medication as well. I never experienced twitching or itchiness, but I have had shakiness, involuntary muscle movements and depression. The shakiness and movements have gone, but the depression has not and I have become even more anxious then I had been before being prescribed the medication. I am not a doctor, but I would be very apprehensive about taking the medication again even if it was just to ween you off the right way. If it were me I personally wouldn't. Its really scary that these medications doctors prescribe us can do very harmful damage. Trust me when I say though, you are not alone. Hang in there and I hope your side effects start to go away but you have to give it some time. Stay strong.

Hey everyone, thanks for helping me feel less alone! Thank goodness for internet blogs:-). I have always suffered from mild depression and S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder). But was always afraid/embarrassed to try ADs. My husband became critically ill when we were newly married with a baby and this sent me over the edge.

My doctor prescribed xanax and celexa to help me cope with his illness. I became pregnant again and was forced to get off of them. 2 years later, I found that I was so irritable around my children and I didn't want to be one of those moms who yells at their kids for everything-I wanted to be patient and nurturing. That is why I decided to try ADs again. I tried taking the celexa but hated the head fog and grogginess I felt. My doc decided to try me on zoloft and it worked much better. I had a migraine and insomnia constantly in the beginning but after that I felt fine. I definitely didn't have a short fuse or irritability any more.

Still I was super sensitive to alcohol and wanted to sleep all the time. I am a petite girl naturally but gained about 10 pounds. Also I have insanely realistic/vivid dreams. But now I feel like I should stop taking it. I have been on 100mg for over a year. I started taking 75mg for a week, then 50mg and then 50mg every other day. I had the dizziness big time, irritability and "brain zaps". I feel less stable now, less happy and cheerful and I am feeling kinda helpless.

What is better: being irritable and anti-social and obsessive about little things (what did she REALLY mean by that comment) or feeling happy and cheerful but tired and groggy all the time. Argh!

Hello EA.
Yes I am 5 months down the line, and went through hell at the beginning. It does gradually get better. I am a lot better than I was a few moths ago. I still get the twitches and the horrible anxiety. It takes time from what I have been told and found out. I know its not much help. There is a group on facebook called paroxetine Paxil Seroxat Withdrawal. Join this group if you are on facebook, the people on there are going through or have been through what you are going through.

With your anxiety do you get weird feelings just above your knees, and tingling in your calves. As thats what I am left with and muscle twitches in the morning.

100mg sterline was on 50mg for 2 yrs April I got put up to 75mg no improvement don't want to go out avoid my daughter and grand kids. I lost my mum as she passed away 5 months ago so 3 weeks ago I'm on 100 mg mood still low when do these tablets work? Anyone help me please.

Hi everyone,

I want to encourage you to keep going with the tapering if that's what you're doing!! I was put on Zoloft after having a bit of a break-down when my first son was 6 months old. It wasn't PPD, which some thought, but rather more of a post-traumatic-stress response from neglect/trauma from my childhood coming out now that I had a child. I couldn't sleep at all, was having crazy anxiety, it was awful! I am VERY sensitive to anything - the 50mg was too much, so I was taking 25mg for about 4 months when I became pregnant again so wanted to come off. Even though the doctors say Zoloft is safe for pregnancy, I would rather not combine the two.

Therapy combined with the anti-depressants will set you up for the best success in long-term healing. Because I have done so much work and have made huge progress in therapy, I felt I was ready to come off even though it's only been a few months. I am now on day 10 of no Zoloft and the side effects are starting to lessen. The worst is that I have a difficult time falling asleep - I feel hyper/wired and my brain just goes like crazy. I lie awake for hours before falling asleep. Which, being pregnant with a 12-month old is not ok! However, I am holding out for a few weeks hoping it's just the withdrawal side effects. I had also experienced the sweats, dizziness, and anxiety, which have almost fully subsided. I probably weaned too fast (25mg to 12.5mg for one week and then nothing).

But, keep going and take it slow!! Get help if you need it - have someone you can call when you feel you can't go on or are freaking out. Find a counselor to help you through and get tools for long-term management. Get outside everyday and move your body, eat healthy, get lots of hugs, keep a journal of things you are thankful for to keep positive thoughts/perspective in front of you.

Good luck!!!

I had only been taking zoloft 50mg for about 6months and decided to get off it as I'm feeling a lot happier already, and since stopping about a week ago have been feeling funny in the head and a bit strange. But I feel more like myself now, like normal. I'm just wondering if I will experience less side effects because of a shorter usage period.

You cannot stop taking anit-depressants, especially zoloft cold turkey. You have to slowly decrease your dosage down to nothing. I have been on and off Zoloft for years and my doctor has always advised me when I am going to stop taking it I have to slowly decrease. You cannot just stop cold turkey! I feel like any decent doctor will tell you that.

In the same boat here. Makes me feel good in the midst of the withdrawal symptoms to know that I'm not returning to a depressed state, just dealing with the withdrawal. I tried coming off it a couple years ago, got scared, and went back to the original dose just like a pig to a trough. I used to work for a couple pharma companies and it was a common joke among the marketers that chronic meds are the "gift that keeps on giving" i.e. a lifelong revenue stream for a pharma company. Puts it in perspective why pharma companies are so interested in coming up with the next SSRI or Viagra type drug - can you say ka-ching month after month over the years that patients are put on these kind of chronic meds?

That's what we get in tolerating for-profit healthcare - rich pharma execs and poorer patients paying for these meds. And its a shame the medical community goes along for the ride. Used to be that a doc would spend time with patients, heck even go to their home. Now its 5 minutes in the exam room, prescribe a pill that coincidentally comes from the pharma sales rep who's company made the drug and wines and dines those docs, sign the prescription, move quickly on to the next patient in the assembly line of collecting fees.

Our healthcare system is a joke that makes people broke and the pharma companies that keep spending more money and time developing erectile pills and SSRIs that make us feel like prisoners are the ones making the big money off us doing it. Find the right doctor who gives a crap about people more than money and start empowering yourself with trustful information. It's finally what I started doing and forums like this are a great resource. Good luck folks, taper slowly!

I'm so grateful that I found this site. I am a 60 year old woman and I am 6 weeks off of Zoloft after taking 100 mg. daily for 10 years. I just thought my age was to blame for many of the symptoms that you are all describing. I weaned myself off very gradually and didn't really get withdrawal symptoms until I was off the medication for a week or so. I became VERY emotional and very, VERY weak. I thought I was going crazy because every day something new would appear. I am very fortunate because I have the ability to be able to do what my body tells me, so I slept when I was tired and rested when I couldn't go on. When I found this site, it actually made me feel better because I knew I wasn't imagining all of this, that it was real and I wasn't alone with the symptoms. After 6 weeks, I'm beginning to feel a little better.

I would like to thank each and every one of you who posted your experiences. Knowing I'm not alone is a HUGE help and I am able to grab onto the fact that things will get better.

I would like to share one thing that I have been doing that is a great help to me. It sounds silly, but I look at everything in this world that I DO have and concentrate on that. There were days when I could only be grateful for the fact that I could see a green tree or feel a warm breeze on my face because the rest of my body ached so terribly. But the next day, some more things were added to my list.

Today, I am very grateful for all of you and the fact that you shared your personal experiences. It has helped me more than you can imagine. Feeling like you are not alone is a huge deal. I didn't realize how "medicated" I felt when I was on Zoloft for 10 years (although I do feel it did it's job when I needed it). Now that I am off of Zoloft, things seem so much more "alive". I don't know how else to explain.

I'm giving myself the time to get better and allowing myself to feel "down" or "blue" and then I turn to the things that are so good in my life and concentrate on those. Also, I've been doing a little bit of exercising. Evidently, the serotonin levels in my brain were "off" and that's what the Zoloft did..... it helped to regulate the way serotonin was distributed. I did some research and found that exercising creates serotonin so I figured it can only help.

I wish each and every one of you the very best in getting back to "normal". Don't give up and remember to take care of yourself. You ARE important!

Hello!
I have been on Sertraline 25 mg for 4 weeks and 50mg for 1 week. I am 35 yrs. I was suffering from anxiety which caused me to worry non stop and not want to do anything. I think the anxiety started when I was in a tornado. I told my DR and he put me on the AD. I have had ear ringing after the first week none stop and still have it. I have been able to go back to normal (I guess you could say) but I have weird thoughts of wanting to hurt myself even tho I have no desire to do so! It is annoying and scary! I am ready to get off this stuff but worried I will be worse. UGH I am going to a DO this week and hopes for some advice.

Thank you Linda:) I is good knowing that I am not alone. I am having an awful day ( week 3 of tapering), from 100mg, been on Zoloft for 17 years! This week it's 25 mg ( every other day), my goal is to be completely free of this drug next week! Been a long road so far. So far so good...until this week...the 25 mg is harsh but I am determined to do this! My withdrawal symptoms are really over the top ( major brain zaps, dizziness, weakness and short fuse, trouble thinking clearly), not to mention that I have a pinched nerve in my neck- not cool. I want Zoloft out of my life and never want to look back. Not even sure why I was put on it in the first place! A doctors rush decision when I was diagnosed with severe Mono years ago! I can honestly say Zoloft never did anything for me ( maybe at the time of my illness) but here I am 17 years later embarrassingly trying to get off of it!!!how could I have let go this long? Anyway....I'll post updates as I wean completely off. I want to feel more "alive" like you said!

I am on my third week of getting off zoloft. (50mg to 37.5 for 3 weeks and now I'm on 25mg). I have recently started getting extreme anxiety that is so bad it almost feels like depression, which is why I got on zoloft in the first place. I have been on zoloft for 6 months and was feeling much better so I wanted to see if I could handle being off it. I would like to know if anyone thinks this anxiety/depression is a withdrawal symptom or just my depression returning from lowering my dosage of zoloft? Any opinions/experiences would be very helpful.

Hang in there, Mompak. I'm going into week 7 and the heart pounding and shortness of breath isn't nearly as bad as it was last week. I still feel very weak and I'm not motivated to do much, but I keep pushing myself as much as I can. I'm going to see the Doctor tomorrow just to make sure there's nothing else physically going on. From there, I'm just going to keep on plugging along.

I hope you can all look to the future and realize that we are more than our illness and we have SO much to offer this world. After almost 7 weeks off of zoloft, I didn't think things would get any better, but the actually are!!

I look back over the last 7 weeks and realize that I have been making great strides (although it doesn't seem like it when the symptoms consume my days).
Just keep looking at the good and you'll find it. I try to avoid thinking about the negative. It tends to consume my thoughts and then down that spiral I go again.

Take care, everyone, and know that you are not alone.

I was on zoloft for a almost two years. It was a low dose and I did taper off when I decided to get off of it due to the lack of sex drive it causes. I am experiencing terrible anger. Little things put me in a rage. If I can't find something I am looking for, I become angry and take it out on my family. I hate this.... How long does it last, or does it ever go away??? It is not like me to be like this....

Such a great lot of support here. I have been on Zoloft for 12 years and initially found it so helpful that I felt I should have had it a long time before 2000. But now as I am older and other health probs are sneaking up on me (I am 54), I am thinking that I need to be free of this drug. The times I have ran or forgotten to take it have made my lips start to tingle and I get an overall buzzing get me back on it feeling.. I have tried to go off gradually but am scared of going through these withdrawal symptoms while trying to balance work and everything else on my plate and all those reasons that I took it in the first place. But I know I have been on it too long, and I feel like I am in a constant confused laid back haze.

I have a reputation of being so laid back and easy going, but I remember without it feeling an uncontrolled irritability at the littlest thing. My question is Does anyone else have that muddled feeling while being on this drug for a long time? Or is it just my age? Maybe it should be a short term individual program with a defined managed tapering off from the original doc that prescribed it. Any comments would be appreciated.Thanks

I have been on Sertraline 100mg for 4 years, since my son was born. I started to cut down to 50mg 4 days ago. Now here I am, unable to sleep and now it is 12:33am and my work shift will start at 5:30am.

I hate my doctor for telling me that I could just take the med for a year when he told me to start it. I should have go online and check for myself.

I have been doing Yoga for 30 min a day, bike 1 hr, play poker with my kids 30 min, and still work for 10 hours a day for the past week. And I feel great. The insomnia caught me by surprise, since this is the only symptom.

I am lucky to find this thread. I think I will take 75mg today and for a month and see how it goes.

My 10 year old daughter had a major panic attack at the beginning of of July. She is an elite athlete (plays high level hockey and soccer with boys), has had a growth related knee injury that has kept her from running since April. We were supposed to go away for a hockey camp and the night before she had a complete melt down (fear of fast drivers, fear of cleaners using their keys to enter our hotel room when we are sleeping). We cancelled the trip, but she continues to not want to go anywhere. Only a few places we can get her to (corner store, mall, library).

She doesn't want anyone coming to our house and she doesn't want to play with any of her friends. She also isn't sure if she wants to play hockey or soccer anymore, but when you ask her why to Amy of these things she doesn't know the reason. She is very frustrated why she feels these things, but doesn't know how to change it. We are in counseling with her, but that is also hit and miss getting her there (she was fearful of getting in the car for the first week and a half). Our doctor has also given us a prescription for zoloft, initially a locum gave us a prescription. For Prozac but had other friends who are doctors say no.

I am so torn about what to do. Her days "seem" to be fine, will ride her bike, she eats, laughs etc. night time is more difficult, stomach aches every night. Is there anyone out there who has a child on anti depressants... feel helpless for my daughter but at the same time my patience us wearing down... our family is like hostages in our own home, and school is in four weeks.
Thanks JB

I'm pretty sure we quit taking about the same time mb I feel the exact same way. Very short fuse. How are you doing so far?

I worked with my doctor to get weaned off of 50 mg's of Zoloft. I have been off of it for 65 days and on day 50 I started getting severe panic/anxiety and all the symptoms I had before but times 100. So I am going back onto the medication. Starting back tonight, how long do you think it will take to "kick in" since I've only been off it for a couple months? Any help is welcome. I wish it worked instantly!

Ivy, I am wondering the same thing, is the depression I am now experiencing a withdrawal symptom or is it the old 'stuff' coming back? I have been on zoloft 50-100mg for years. I am in the process of tapering off and I've been taking 25 mg for the past 3 weeks or so. I've had all of the symptoms others have mentioned, esp. dizziness, hot flashes, heart racing and the worst was a panic attack at work one night and thought I was losing my mind.

Before I started weaning myself off I started taking extra fish oil, b-complex and herbal remedies I found online and eating more whole foods. These things do seem to help, I know because I have tried to get off of zoloft in the past without supplements and without success.

But I have to say today has been a really bad day. I've been crying and extremely depressed since I woke up this morning. I try to explain to my husband (after snapping at him more than usual:) that I cannot just bounce back and that I haven't been this depressed in years. It feels as if my old maybe unresolved issues and symptoms are coming back. I have suffered depression and anxiety most of my life, all of my adult life. I am now 37. And in my case it's definitely hereditary. The negative thoughts just will not stop and I am really afraid. I'm praying this will pass or at least become more manageable...

Some of my reasons for stopping zoloft are I want to feel more like myself, if that makes any sense, the potential birth defects in babies and who knows what the long term effects will be on us? Also, I don't have health insurance.

Best wishes to all who are struggling and to all who have posted about their experiences. Finding good information out there and realizing you're not alone is always very comforting. Oh and JB I am praying for your daughter, I remember being like that at her age... I didn't start antidepressants and therapy until my early 20s. Looking back I think I would've had a better quality of life had I started taking ADs along with therapy in my pre-teen yrs.

I have been off Sertraline for about a week now - due to not being able to afford my prescription. I take 150 mg per day - pretty good dose. I contacted my doctor office and told them I could not get the med for 2 weeks. I was concerned about side effects. They returned my e-mail saying I would be fine. One of my greatest side effects with Sertraline - even if I miss just a day or two in the past - is an immediate feeling like I am going to throw up. I have even moved myself toward the garbage can thinking it is really going to happen. It has not happened and this feeling only lasts a minute or so - but still yucky. Also I seemed to be pretty "jacked up" talking a lot - I take this med for anxiety. Also, after being slobby for 6 years while on the med, my home has been really clean over the past week - coincidence or not? I liked the med a lot over the past 6 years, but often wondered if it made me not care enough about things. I am not sure if after the 2 weeks I will go back on or just stay off.

Hello, again! I have been off of zoloft for 3 months now and all is going well.
I've posted twice before this, once when I was just starting to get off of zoloft after taking it for 9 years, and then again after being free of it for a month.
I tapered VERY slowly but I had every symptom in the book and suffered horribly for a full month before my symptoms let up. I am a 21 year old female, and I am an athlete, just for context.

I just wanted to respond to those of you who are worried that your anxiety is coming back, or who are wondering if increased anxiety/crying/irritability/etc is a symptom of withdrawal or if it is your old illness coming back.

While I'm sure that everyone is different, for me, I had INTENSE mood swings for the first month of withdrawal, along with the constant brain shocks and nausea and.... er... diarrhea. I would fly into rages, cry for hours at the drop of a hat, go into manic episodes where I cleaned obsessively... it all lasted about a month.
a full month.

After that, my symptoms let up and now I am back to normal. My mood is very stable, I feel healthier than ever, and the last month especially has been wonderful.
everything I have read says that a month of symptoms is more or less what you can expect. The first 2 weeks are the hardest but your brain and body chemistry is all totally resetting. It takes time. The hardest part is being patient, throughout the pain. My advice is to tell your friends and family what is going on, so that they are not surprised by your mood swings. Gather a support system and keep people close to you. I know that I tried to push everyone away from me but my family and friends were patient and stuck with me listening to my rages and crying jags, which really helped, and they are all so relieved to see how happy, healthy, and balanced I am now of course, you have to be smart. If your symptoms are too terrible to live with, then maybe you should go back on a low dose of the drug. But I promise you that if you soldier through a month of this, it will get better. Keep at it for a month and then decide (unless your symptoms are putting you in danger of hurting yourself in which case please seek help immediately).

Be strong, it gets better, I promise, and you will feel so much better (not to mention how proud you will feel for getting through it).
good luck, you are not alone!

Hey guys. I'm an 18 guy, and I was on zoloft for a little while. for probably about 6 months. And yeah, I'm having HUGE withdrawal symptoms. I got off of it a few times cause I thought I was fine. And I got irritable, and I got off eventually a few more times cause I hated the symptoms. then, I'd get back on cause I thought I needed it. Off and on and off and on I kept doing it. After a little bit longer I had panic attacks, for 6 months. it blew. I know the little suckers I was taking (half of 25 milligrams) screwed with me. It been 6 months!!! I feel kinda restless and stuff, sometimes out of place from reality. Idk what to do about this. Can somebody who's gone through most of or extremely close to this help me out? I need options and I don't trust doctors right now.

Very well said @ jess. I was going to say a lot of the same. I have notice one key advice she says. Be smart don't let it trick you... Your own brain that is. I got on here the first week I was totally off zoloft. I took it for two years. I had ptsd and probably still do. The anxiety and panic messed me up real bad. I didn't want to be very far from the hospital it sucked.

The best thing I have learned is face any of ur fears and it gets better and better. I started tapering off zoloft 3 months ago I took 75mg for a month and then 50 and then 25 all for a month each and then quit. Dizzy sick aches and pains zaps ect. Your own brain is your worst enemy tho hang in there everyone w can do this.

Ps don't try to post with a smart phone if your raging like I was last week these things are expensive lol the curser jumps every where. Be strong and smart that's the key I believe :)

oh God Bless you Jess, I needed to hear that so much! Thank you for posting this. Nobody understands unless they've gone through it!
Thank you again.
Keeping the faith...

So I have been on Sertraline for almost ten years now too. I was pregnant when my Dr put me on this. I was always convinced that I had a chemical imbalance until I realized that I could be happy by really working on myself. Not I am completely convinced that my reaction and bouts of depression were all natural because of terrible things that I had been going through (death of a loved one, post par tum depression, alcoholism, severe marital abuse).

I was also diagnosed with PTSD about 3 years ago. I have been tapering off the sertraline for over 3 months now and the insomnia is bad, and I have NEVER in my whole life been this irritable!!! I have been treating everyone around me horribly especially my own kids :( I am an amazing mother and I never have raised a hand to either but the way I have been treating them is leaving me horribly guilty. I'm a single mom so it's almost impossible for me to get some kind of break.

HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO LAST FOR???? Can someone please give me some kind of time frame the withdrawal? I had no clue it was such a hardcore drug until now... I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel for when I can expect to be that caring and patient person I know I am. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you all so much xoxoxo

I've decided to go back on zoloft. There was a reason I went on it in the first place, and it wasn't for minor depression, it was major. For me and with my chemical makeup, I'm just not able to be productive without it. Sucks but I think I'm gonna have to face the music and accept this fact.

Good luck :)

I have been working on weaning my self off Zoloft. I have no idea the side effects I would experience. Anytime I do any activity I have profuse sweating. I can be sitting after a shower and my face starts sweating. The zapping and dizziness is the worst. I have moments of confusion which passes quickly. This is not a harmless drug. But at the time of my divorce it was a life saver. Other side effects are sleeplessness, blurry vision, high pitch ringing in my ears and irritability.

I find two Advil and caffeine to be my friends in this process. When prescribed patients should be warned of the possible withdrawal symptoms. They may choose not to start taking it.

I begin week four of the withdrawal tomorrow and still no let up on the irritability. Sleeplessness as well. To let you know how bad it is, I get enraged when doing my hair and there is a bump I can't fix. I took a drive out to see family this weekend and the drive there and back with my two kids was a nightmare. WITHOUT withdrawal it is a nightmare, but I NEVER yell at my kids. I yelled so loudly at my poor daughter that she cried. :'( I feel terrible. I'm almost through it I'm sure but is there anything I can to to make my mood a little lighter?

I am taking vitamin B complex and a vitamin B+C tablet every day. I am sticking with this for absolute certain. On the upside, my energy levels have significantly increased, and I am losing weight :) The weight gain was a serious issue for me and I have had long term issues with my weight even before I started the meds. A previous comment mentions caffeine as a friend, well my tolerance for caffeine has decreased greatly which I anticipate will save me quite a bit on redbull and tim hortons, lol.

I am just really concerned about the irritability. I will deal with the insomnia but I am going to have a ton of people to apologize to once this is finally over. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP me find a way to make this easier :(

How are you feeling now MB???

Hi Jess, did you do anything in particular to help with the mood swings and especially the irritability? I am also feeling the good parts of being off the drug! The good and bad are battling it out now and I took my last real dose three weeks ago. Any advice you can give on how long this lasts and how to make it easier mood-wise would be a blessing to me!

Selena R. - Were you put on anything else? I've been off of sertraline for 3 months now and still having withdrawal effects but it seems to me I get a new one every week. I do have severe mood swings now that just started and I'm hoping this to be the end of it. I have extreme highs and lows. What was your mg and how long were you on it? I was on it for 5 years, never should have been put on it - Was diagnosed with post partum depression but in reality it was just a hormonal imbalance from having my baby girl. I get feeling really hopeless at times as I just want to be my normal self again but then again I am trying to push through this and be strong. How long did your symptoms last and did you feel this way at all?

Hey Stacy. I was on 150mg and tapered off for around 17 or 18 weeks before I stopped completely about three weeks ago. I wasn't put on anything else either however, I did my own digging and have been taking a vitamin B100 complex along with a vitamin C+B tablet that dissolves in water and is carbonated called Redoxon-B. I think it may be helping me though I'm not absolutely sure.

I don't think my poor children can handle another two months of this nonsense. Like I said, I'm actually working on the beginning of week four completely Sertraline free. I didn't and don't have the highs and lows. That sounds awful and I'm sorry to hear it.

I started tapering months ago with the absolute determination and objective of getting off this stuff completely and I was dumped by my boyfriend of 2 years a month ago so I would have expected to have some serious lows right now but I am seemingly doing much better than anticipated. I have so many things going on right now, a business, 2 kids\single mom, starting university in two weeks, volunteer work and obviously the upkeep of the house and much more. Maybe I'm too busy to be depressed or have crazy ups and downs, I'm not sure. Maybe my up\down is the severe aggression I feel most of the time. All I can suggest to you is to make sure you are getting enough vitamin B. Aside from that, I am also asking whomever reads this if they can help as well. I really hope the nightmare ends for us both soon Stacy :(

Ativan, xanax or any other antianxiety medications are not good options for anxiety. They have withdrawals that are worse than SSRIs or any other antidepressant. I have been through hell and back withdrawing from both so please learn from my mistake

Very helpful information. I am curious if you are on any AD's or if you are using more natural treatments. I have found that since I've been on long term AD's (zoloft) my memory is not as sharp as it used to be (I'm only 52) and generally very intelligent, also I would really like to try to get off AD's as it scares me to think I may be in for a depression that is med resistant. Quite concerned. Hope there really is hope out there. I have NO reason to be depressed and I know I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder but hoping I can treat this with other therapies.

Are you saying you are now off SSRI's and AD in general? I hate this weaning off period. I feel like my psychiatrist is really pushing for me to stay on meds. Don't know who or what to believe.

Hi Liz. I just turned 52 today. I am very interested in hearing how you do. I went on a very low dose of zoloft about 8 years ago to treat generalized anxiety disorder. It really did help very much for a long time. I recently have been pretty depressed (however I can cover it up really well) and my psychiatrist switched me to effexor which was terrible for me, now I'm trying cymbalta which has not done anything either except make me feel more anxious and headachy and weird. I am a registered nurse and I do not understand what the long term effects of these meds are and concerned. I really want to get off and see what I can do naturally for myself. Please keep me posted on how you are doing. Thanks

Hi JR interested in hearing more about your experience coming off zoloft. I am afraid to try some of the herbal remedies. But would much prefer that over meds. Thanks

Jess,
Your story is encouraging to me. Can you tell me more about how long you were on the meds and how old you are. I am 52 and have been on zoloft for about 9 years. I really want off cause I have not felt like myself for a while now. I actually feel more depressed. I don't want to take more AD I would rather try to do therapy like mindfulness and yoga. I really hope that would work for me. I don't like how I feel right now. UGH

HI Linda
I'm interested in how you are doing now that it's been a few months. I am trying to get off zoloft and scared but want to do it. Hope you are well

Hello.. I was taking Zoloft 75 mg. up until three months ago. I couldnt afford my prescription so I cut them cold turkey. I had been taking them for like 10 months. It maintained my weight and my sex drive was ok. But now I am getting the mood swings back. So I am just wondering if I should go back to them? I was diagnosed with post partum depression, but no it seems it just depression. :( with five kids its kinda hard not be feel over whelmed. I just don't want to become addicted to them. Any advice?

I am trying to wean myself off my medications. I explained to my Dr. that my stress has been reduced significantly and I am concerned with some side effects that have developed since taking this medication, i.e. loss of balance, memory, concentration and focus. He kind of poo pooed me and suggested I have a blood work-up to to test my B12 and folic acid levels. He also had me stand with my feet together and close my eyes to see if I could stand still or if I lost my balance.

He said that low levels of B12 and folic acid could be the cause, however if they are normal I should see a neurologist. I have to believe some Psychiatrists' don't want you to get better or to stop taking medication regardless of the method because they may lose a patient. So I am trying to figure out the best and safest way to stop taking Sertaline, Lamogtrigine and Clonazepam without the Dr's help. Hope I am able to figure this out without too many issues.

I have been on Zoloft for years anywhere from 25 mg to 100 mg. I currently take 50. I suffer from chronic pain from Chiari malformation. I have tried many different meds over the year but always go back to Zoloft. I am very sensitive to meds and always experience nasty side affects. Zoloft just doesn't work for me any more . My doctor wants me to switch to savella but I am scared to wean off Zoloft and try a new med. I hate the withdrawal and the crappy titrating feeling of a new med and dealing with the nasty side affects.
Anyone go from Zoloft to savella and have a good outcome?

Hello all-I am SO thankful to have found this forum, as I am weaning off Zoloft. I am 36yr old female & have only been on 50mg about 4mo, and just decided I don't wanna feel I HAVE to be on a medication, and esp after reading everyone's comments, I KNOW I wanna get off as soon as possible!

On Oct 7, I cut my pills in half & have been taking 25mg for a little over a week now. I have a stressful job (I work in a restaurant where I wear many hats), and lately I feel I've snapped more at particular people who get on my nerves. Little things upset me. We have a small dog that licks the floor a lot (?) I guess has some deficiency & licks dirt, but I hear her licking sound & I get so mad!! My current husband said he had been on Zoloft before after he had a tragedy in his life but went off it, so I think he understands my behavior at times.

My 1st husband was on Zoloft when we met & he decided to go off it & I was like ok, fine. I was young and didn't really know about withdrawals and all. To make a long story short, a few years later he threatened to kill himself & I had to have him hospitalized & they formally diagnosed him as being bipolar. They put him on more meds, he came home later, went back again, and home again, and 2mo after being told he was bipolar, he shot & killed himself.

I do not want to end up like that. I am newly married & live in a small town now, with not much to do here. I drive 30mi to work & don't get to exercise like I used to and have gained like 20lbs. Ugh I know I'm probably rambling, its just I hope to have a family now I've got a 2nd chance with my wonderful husband. I don't wanna be addicted to pills & have them screw up my brain more.

If I have kids, I don't wanna think I'm gonna abuse them or anything. I've been through some bad things in life (Mom died 6mo after my 1st marriage, 1st husband committed suicide, a best friend died, numerous other family members died.) I try to look at good things in life, but get caught up in past sometimes & use it like a crutch maybe. My husband now is offering to pay for me to go to college (I never went) & have a better job. It's scary but never have had an opportunity like that.

I hope my mind will be clear & be able to study & concentrate. I sometimes feel its ME, that I'M the problem, is why I snap at people. But I normally don't do that. Some people like co-workers that get on my nerves, I'll act like a jerk to, and I don't wanna be this way. I'm sorry for rambling on, but wanted to give a bit of a picture of myself & kinda didn't shut up.\

Please pray that I will not have crazy withdrawal symptoms from this. I have had some quite vivid nightmarish dreams about work in last week. A couple times in past I'd wake up with legs feeling dry & itchy, and sometimes have balance problems (this is before I went off Zoloft). I wish I could blame Zoloft on my weight gain, but I hafta say is probably from being not motivated & lack of energy so not exercising. Oh and I slept for about 5 hrs y'day afternoon & then slept all night as well. Lately I've been staying up very late into the night & maybe due to Zoloft. Ok I hope all this isn't too long. I'm sorry I said a lot more than I meant too but just glad to have found some people who maybe understands what I'm talking about. God bless you all!!!

I've been on Zoloft 50mg for about 4mo. Not sure if it's helped a lot, but am choosing to go off it, esp after reading everyone's experiences. It's not right that drs prescribe meds to people w/o telling them all the issues esp w/withdrawal. I have been taking 25mg since Oct 7 (is now Oct 15). I've been taking Claritin in daytime & Benadryl at night like some have suggested. I have had several nightmares that are work-related-very vivid. I feel stressed @ wk, and is hard to know if it's more so b/c of tapering of Zoloft, or more stress.

I have had some physical issues that may be Zoloft related since I've read other people w/them: some balance issues, some restless leg issues, some insomnia, no motivation/energy, no sex drive, weight gain. I've always had weight issues, but exercised the last coupla yrs & lost weight, but now lack motivation.

Anyway, I am glad to have found this forum & I hope to have success & wish everyone else much success as well. I will check in for comments & advice. Thank you so much!!!

Hi, i am 31 and I have been on sertraline for 7 years from 50mg to 150mg. I have been down to 75mg for the past year and have weaned off come felt over the past 3 months. Saturday was my last dose at 12.5mg but I have been feeling the effects since last week as I dropped from 25mg about 12 days ago.

I basically feel exactly like I do when I have a bit of a depressive "wobble" as I call it! I feel nauseous and have a headache / fuzzy head. I don't really feel depressed but the physical symptoms always show more for me. I am determined to see this through as my marriage is breaking up due to my depersonalisation since being on the meds and I need to see who I really am! Hopefully the side effects will lessen over the coming week or two.

Thanks for everyone's advice and reach out I I can offer any help to anyone.

Wow. My heart goes out to all of you. My situation was not depression that drove me to the doctor, but a period of 2 years with a series of events that by themselves would have been non-issues. But because they all occurred one after another, on top of each other, and were ongoing I just simply was like the frog in the pot. The chronic ongoing stress and responsibilities depleted me, but I still had the many responsibilities.

I did not know then about the affects of stress to my body. What I really needed was time to heal, rest, restore my body with nutrition, etc. But I went to the doctor who prescribed Zoloft "to lift me up". This was about 12 years ago. It did the job, now I was able to "do everything", but my body wasn't well and I was totally ignorant of how these drugs worked.

I continued on until life had stabilized, so I thought okay, quit the drug. I had always been healthy and did not expect that I was supposed to take this forever. I was fine, so why take a pill? Okay, the first 2 times I tried to quit the symptoms were crying, unexpected rage, insomnia, so I would just cry and say I guess I have to take this. But then a few years later an event occurred that turned our world upside down in a day. I became so sick over a period of 9 months the doctor doubled my dose (which by this time had become Sertraline). 3 years ago, tried to quit it and within 3 months, I had the withdrawal symptoms and gave in, and took it again. 2 years ago I decided it would not own me, so I again attempted to quit it and I did it very slowly.

What happened to me was absolutely a nightmare. Symptoms came on one at a time, over a period of 6 months but I would have many normal weeks in between, so I thought I would get through it. I had toughed out the irritation, had lost interest in life, felt like an empty zombie, but was still not going to go back on it. But then it got even worse after 6 months. I started to have no interest in food, but had chronic diarrhea at the same time. Thought it was the flu, but became scared when it continued for weeks. I had lost over 20 lbs. and could not afford to lose any more weight. And this was not a healthy loss. The insomnia also kicked in and I was not sleeping at all. Because the symptoms came on slowly, one at a time over a period of months I did not attribute them all to the drug. But now I was afraid I was going to die. And the random panick attacks, I thought I was going crazy. I called the doctor, who put me back on the drug and all the symptoms were gone. The very things the drugs are used for are the very symptoms that may occur upon withdrawal.

The doctor put me back on 100mg and as soon as I stabilized, I began to take only half a day. And by 9 months after starting them again I am taking only 25mg. a day. Yes, I have had some of the minor symptoms, but I have stabilized. When 9 months has gone by I will then begin to reduce the 25 by carefully shaving only a bit off and do this for 6 months. If this works then after 6 months I will begin to shave off more. I am going to VERY SLOWLY reduce over a VERY LONG period of time. I am reducing over a period of months this time, instead of over a period of weeks. ALSO, I know now what to watch for and pay attention to my body.

AND I FOUND A BOOK (Prozac, Panacea or Pandora? by Ann Blake Tracy, PHD) that explains what the drug has done to my brain and body, all of the horrible withdrawal affects we have all experienced and how to restore my body BEFORE I remove this toxic drug from my body completely. This book also provides many resource of the nutritional support and other things that have assisted people in successfully weaning of the drug and supporting the body. This book is a wealth of information and the stories of many people's experiences. Very tragic. It covers all the medications on the market for depression and psychosis.

INFORM yourself before you quit any SSRI. I have changed my diet and am fueling my body with what it needs to heal and restore itself. I am beginning to remind myself of who I used to be before this drug changed me, and I am not going to rush the process...but I have my eyes on the goal! Unfortunately, doctors only offer drugs that address symptoms, and cause other problems in the body. Then those other problems are taken care of with another drug. I am not against those who must have them. My husband is now disabled, suffers with chronic pain and takes 4 horrible pain meds 4 times a day....until this year. I found some therapuetic oils and supplements for him to try in January this year. Within a week he was able to sleep through the night, then he was able to reduce a pain med. Now to date he has reduced 3 of his pain meds! One he reduced by 75%, one by 50% and one by 25%. This is so thrilling to not have him dumping as much of that toxic stuff into his body. We both have hope restored. I hope you all find your answers...keep looking...there are natural remedies that DO WORK! God bless.

Hi I last wrote in on Oct 22; on that day I bought some SAM-e supplements which some say helps with depression. These aren't cheap-they cost about $20 for 50 200mg pills, but I caught them on sale & bought 2 boxes. It says to take 2/day, but I've just been taking 1 in addition to the 25mg Zoloft & 1 Claritin & numerous vitamins.

I feel like it could be helping but too soon to tell. But I had something bad happen last week (or maybe blessing in disguise): I got fired from my job. He said I was great worker but had personality conflicts w/my coworkers & was causing problems. I would've never thought I'd be fired-I practically ran the place. But my husband had been pushing me to go to college (I am 36 & never went) & I was planning on quitting anyway before new year, so it just happened a bit sooner.

Definitely on the upside I don't feel as stressed as when was working, and I'm hoping this was God's way of pulling me out of there to clear my mind & get healthy to be ready for school. We are getting the ball rolling for me to get admitted to school, so wish me luck!!! I'll need it:) it's been 18 yrs since I've been in school so a bit daunting, but everyone seems to have faith in my ability when I don't... so I hope I can not let anyone down.

Good luck BB. please let us know how you are doing weaning off of zoloft and using the SAM-e. I went back up to 100mg, I just can't function at my job w/o it. but I may be getting laid off soon, we were affected by Sandy so they're not letting us part-timers back to work yet if they even let us back. I feel like it's a blessing in disguise too. anyway, best of luck going back to college. I've been thinking about going back too and I'm 37.

Thank you mrc for your comments & I will keep updates on whether SAM-e/cutting down on Zoloft is helping.

I'm so sorry to hear of Sandy affecting you-I hope it doesn't worsen your depression. I hope you haven't had too much damage to sort through. I live in SC so we got some extreme wind but no rain.

I just got my last paycheck in mail & they cheated me 15 min on my check & I feel it's one last dig & was mad, and thought: ya know, it ain't worth it. They've taken up enough of my energy & have been upset so much in past, I'm just moving on. I really am trying to train myself to not keep dwelling on things (which I tend to do) 'cause I'm letting those who bug me WIN! & and I'm not gonna allow that anymore! Its not healthy & it only drags me down. I deserve better!! Everybody here does!!

So I hope & pray for everyone here to be successful & persevere through the tough times (and there will be plenty). But should also look @ the good around you-appreciate the little things & not take things for granted.
MRC--good luck with your going to school & dig in & don't give up!! Thanks for listening everybody:)

I am curious so I decided to type up my experience of going off Zoloft cold turkey 3 days ago. I was on 200 mg. for a good 4 years, Clonopin 5 mg. a day. Things that have me concerned being on them: I realized how slowed down they keep me, my husband can be standing over my shoulder and have me look up something for him on the web - he's done reading and pointing me where to go on the page, and I haven't even gotten past the header or intro paragraph. I suffer even while on the meds, so something isn't working.

When I would type, or hand write the word I wanted to put down to paper or screen it would come out something totally different than what I wanted it to be.... this was so weird for me, as I never ever have a problem with what I want to say in journals, letters, etc., and so far it hasn't happened. I too was diagnosed with Pre-diabetes and have gained 100 lbs. over the course of time as well as I have two auto-immune diseases.

1st day - slept, ridiculous nose bleed.

2nd day - agitated but not insurmountable, went to movies at 5:00 - but (by) the time it was 1/2 way over - I could barely sit still, I was twitching, my legs were jumping, the h/a started to kick in, my appetite started to kick back up again - never ever have done this, but I ate a large pizza over the weekend, usually I can't get two pieces down.... will have to monitor this!

3rd day - woke up with a H/A. Started to research brain tumors.... Really? yep, Really. By mid-afternoon, the pain in my body was so bad, my neck was burning, with muscle tension, my head was like I felt my brain was floating around inside my skull... so I decided ok, what will naturally get me feeling better, I had started Potassium-Magnesium pills, as I also take a water pill.... and I believe I was to be taking this since I started the water pill, but wasn't informed to do so. I read it helps with everything including anxiety. I started them a week prior to knowing I wanted to get off the meds... I stopped the water pill as well. I choose to take the Pot. Mag. pill for myself, please don't do so at my doing it. I started drinking green tea w/out sugar, and although slightly agitated, seemed to be able to do more work on the computer.

9:00 a.m., I gave myself a foot rub and hand rub for reflexology purposes, I have done this forever. I did start to feel some relief with that, laid down and did my breathing exercises.

I called my chiropractor and got an appt. right away 1:00 p.m. He could barely touch my back, as the muscle tension was so intense. With gratefulness to him, for being so gentle, he worked on me, massage, cracking, etc. He gave me e-stim on my neck and shoulders and heat pad on my lower back. (please note, I have nerve damaged in my back). After therapy, I couldn't get off the table, I was so locked up, I could barely move.

Salad for dinner.

Day 4 - slept fairly well, for on the couch, and my muscular aches are better, no pain in my neck at the moment.... lower back pain slightly better. Have had an organic iced coffee (they say using ice is a metabolic pick me up). I am going to do some light stretching and floor exercises.... but for the most part, using self massage and chiropractic care have helped reduce the tension.

Hopefully throughout the day will not be so terrible.

Well, an update y'all-I had been taking 50mg Zoloft for about 4mo, went down to 25mg on Oct 7, added 400mg SAM-e supplement on Oct 22 to the 25mg Zoloft. On Nov 15,16,17 I had a lot going on w/church, yard sale, etc & forgot to take my meds. And it didn't really affect me! I guess the way I cut down was slow, so didn't really affect me too bad. I've started taken the SAM-e again Nov 20 as a precaution if I get stressed, etc. Btw, the SAM-e info says to take 2pills/3x daily (1200mg total), but is too expensive to take that much so I just take 2 pills(400mg)in the morning w/my vitamins.

I thought I wouldn't have enough space w/ my previous comment, but wanted to add that I am going this morning to appeal my unemployment (they are denying me benefits) & also going to get signed up for classes at college. I took admissions test a few weeks ago, & did great on reading/writing, not so great on math. But they accepted me so that's all that matters!

So I pray that all goes well, esp with unemployment people, b/c they are making this hard on me. I pray I'll be able to keep a level head & state my case. I think coming off the Zoloft was making me be crazy @ wk, I think contributed to my being fired. I want to bring that up, but my husband says I shouldn't volunteer any info b/c they could use it against me later. So I'm a bit torn on that.

So wish me luck I'll be able to draw some benefits (I've always put 110% into my job so I feel I deserve it).

Hey guys. I had been using zoloft about 7 year. I am off about 6months, first month was so difficult. But I had horrible stomach problems. Now my stomach feels better. I had to use lorazepam too. When I was on medicine it really helped me. I became a social person, happier person, but the side effects were terrible. I had so much panic attacks when I was using the medicine. Before I didn't have any panic attacks. Recently I found a wonderful homeopatic medicine gelesmium. It helped my panic attack. 7 years ego I was computer programmer, When I start medicine it made me a little bit manic. I started a more social job. But now I am off the medicine but I wanna go back my old job.

This medicine totally change my life.
I became more social. I was focusing better when I was in medicine. It gave me self confidence.

But it gave me a panic attack disorder. Sick stomach. Now I am off the medicine. 1st month was terrible. Then I felt better really good. If you are gonna stop taking this medicine it is not gonna be easy. Get ready your self. Taper the dose for a month it makes it easier.

Ask your friend and families help. Because you can get crazy and screw your life. By the way I use calmforte. it was really helpful.
sorry for my english.
Good luck!

Hi - I thought you couldn't take SAMMe with zoloft? I have been weaning off zoloft and have been on 25 mg for a while - scared to do the last leg of this process! Though I feel clearer, I am definitely depressed. Did your doctor say it was ok to take it together? I would love to try that but def heard somewhere that they conflict.

Hey Haluk, I'm curious about this Gelesmium you're talking about. You said a medicine gave you panic attacks & made your stomach sick-I'm assuming you're talking about prescription & not the Gelesmium. Is the Gelesmium made for the purpose of treating depression, or does it have multiple uses? I've come off Zoloft & been taking SAM-e & am looking for more natural ways of healing. I wonder if I'm able to take the SAM-e & Gelesmium together? I'm going to look it up, but if you could let me know the frequency you take it & how it makes you feel, etc, I'd appreciate it! Happy December everybody! :)

I recently found out I am pregnant. I have been on 150mg of Zoloft for about ten years and my Dr. put me on a tapering off schedule that at first seemed ok- 25mg every two weeks. I was ok until last week when I hit 75mg. I have been suffering from 24/7 severe panic attacks and insomnia ever since. I also started getting the brain zaps. It has been a living nightmare especially since I can't take any sleeping aids or anti-anxiety meds because of the baby. I was feeling really lost and like I was going insane until I came upon this site today. Now I'm thinking that I have come off my meds wayyyy too fast.

I went up again to 100mg two days ago but the Dr. thinks it will be another week or so until I see a difference. It makes me feel better to know that other people have survived this. One day at a time!

thanks for the update BB. keep up the good work. I'm gonna look into Sam-e. I never tried it before.

Wow, I want so off this drug, as it has not helped me at all! I have always been a go getter, now, I stay at home! Increased my alcohol use and am more measurable than ever! I can't function, it takes me all day to do two dishes! Help!!! my doc put me on 100 mgs but I have been braking them into two...I feel worse now then I did before...I need a safe way to get off of this without my doc's help since I don't have health insurance....please

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We don't advise quitting Zoloft without your doctor's help. It can be very difficult and really needs to be taken very gradually.

yes I agree not to do it without a doctor, and also I have found that maintaining a balanced diet, exercise, sleep, etc. most definitely helps. I would also suggest staying away from alcohol, it is a depressant and will only make you feel worse. take care of yourself Tammy B.

Hi, I came upon this page and really glad that I did. I'm trying to get off of Zoloft after having been on it since I was 12 years old and now am 29. I was on 150 mg went down to 100 for a while then 50 now 25 mg and I have been feeling so agitated beyond words, I mean someone can be eating making a small noise and it will make me want to blow up... I'm so miserable with this I don't know how I can handle this.. my eyes have been blurry, I feel so unstable... my temper is just nuts, it's just crazy! Then on top of it I have always ever since getting on Zoloft have had these bizzare thoughts that I cannot stand! It hurts me really bad because I will get so angry for like absolutely NO reason hardly at all and then I will have a terrible thought about someone or hurting someone and my question for coming here is I just want some answers PLEASE... is it just me and I am crazy, or has anyone else had terrible thoughts with Zoloft?

I pray it isn't just me because sometimes I just feel like I want to die because of the thoughts and raging anger. I use to not have these thoughts before Zoloft so I am VERY confused... but the odd thing is the terrible thoughts of hurting the ones I love didn't start until after like 10 years of being on Zoloft, although I did have other thoughts like I was weird and strange acting and I shied away from almost everyone which was also not like me. I just want to know if I am just nuts or has Zoloft done this to me? PLEASE can someone help me have some peace of mind/hope? :-(

NH, I SO know how u feel. I was only on Zoloft about 4 month,and 50mg, but it got so bad I'd have such a temper & I'd snip @ my coworkers (or FORMER coworkers I should say, cuz I'd lost my job in Oct). I think Zoloft led me to act the way I did, b/c I wasn't like that before either. Two of our dogs will make licking sounds or something, & I get mad too like u. I'll pop them & tell them to stop & I get so annoyed. I don't like feeling this way.

I've actually been off Zoloft now @ least 2 mo, but was taking SAM-e, but now I haven't taken that now either for a few weeks cuz its expensive & I don't wanna ask my husband for $ for it. (I really don't know if it helps, if I knew for sure, I'd ask him to help me get it).

My husband paid for me to start college (I never went & he thinks I can do better. I'm age 36). I'm starting next week & am nervous, esp since its been so long since I've been in school & worried about concentration & being around other people(that someone may inadvertently do something to bug me). My husband thinks it'll help me be around other people who have goals of bettering themselves as well, but I'm still scared...

I'm supposed to have a physical sometime coming up (I got note from dr saying I'm due for one) & he doesn't know I'm off Zoloft. I'm afraid he's gonna try to put me on something else & screw my head up worse. My 1st husband was on Zoloft when we'd 1st met & went off it & to make a long story short,a few yrs later he had threatened suicide numerous times & finally I had to have him put in hospital & they said he was bi-polar & had him on kinds of meds, & a few mo later he ended up shooting himself. I don't want to think this could happen to me, so it scares me to be on meds. Although others say mental issues need to be treated like any other disease. So how do u know what to do?? Sometimes the meds make u act crazier!! People wouldn't think I'm crazy but I feel like something's just not right in my head, & I can't put my finger on it.

I wish the New Year would bring happiness & stability to everyone out there!!

Hi all,

I am so thankful to have found this forum! I started taking 100mg of sertraline 4 years ago when I was 26 and have been recently weaning off. I just got married, moved to another state and started a new job. Everything is going great here! One doctor put me to 50 mg for 2 weeks and I got violently ill. Thank god I reached out to another doctor and they put me up to 75mg to go slower. That was yesterday.

I have not been able to hold down a full meal in about 3 weeks and have lost close to 10 lbs. I am not a big person so 10 lbs is really bad for me. My new doc has me taking Prilosec and a dissolvable nausea medicine. I am not sure if its working yet but I hope it is. My main withdrawals have been nausea and exhaustion, and extreme loss of appetite. Any tips I should try? Any idea how long this is going to last???

I am going to be doing 75 for 3 weeks then 50 for 3 weeks then 25 for 3 weeks etc. thank you all for posting it's so nice to not feel like you are dealing with this solo. I wish my former doctor would have answered truthfully when I went on this in the first place. I straight up asked if this was addicting and he laughed and said no, absolutely not. Sheesh did I learn from that conversation. Good luck everyone I wish you all well! Thanks again for having this convo

-Sarah

I told the doctor that I want to stop taking Zoloft and manage my anxiety/depression myself through diet and cognitive therapy. She just said "no, you'll be on them for the rest of your life". And that was that. This is the beginning of my journey; I refuse to let pill pushers control my body. I'm glad I found this site..

Please be under the scrutiny of a Psychiatrist or another professional when coming off Zoloft. I was on 100mg for about 2 years when I decided to come off. I felt it had done its job and I was ready to not be dependent on the pills. So I stopped without consulting my doctor and without weaning myself off.

Oh deary me, it was on the fifth day I got terrible stomach pain, shoulder pain, whenever I moved my eyes it felt like my entire body pulsed in a strange way. I immediately took a pill to alleviate these effects. My Psychiatrist told me if I wanted to come off them to definitely take professional advice which being stubborn I disregarded.

To conclude, come off gradually under the care of a professional, you are not alone. Be strong because you can and will recover it just takes time, remember that every time you feel bad and push through. Be strong for your friends for your family for yourself.
-Gabriel

My daughter, who is 12, was on Paxil for 7 months and we tapered off and still had side effects. When we spoke with the doctor, she recommended that we put her on Zoloft. We met with a nutritionist and she recommended that we have her vitamin D level checked (it was 21, considered deficient).

We will never have her take another BS drug again. We have adjusted her diet no caffeine, and now a gluten free diet. She is slowly recovering from both the withdrawal and the anxiety that we first sought to correct. These doctors know that this could be treated with adjustments to your diet and with vitamins. The doctors have what I call a drug dead end plan, meaning it don't end til your dead! Always question the doctor, they receive kick backs from drug companies for giving out the drugs! They are disgusting people!!!!!!!!

I recently had my daughter taper off paxil and it was hell for 10 days. We treated the withdrawal effects, with help from our pharmacist, I had my daughter take meclizine for the vomiting, and melatonin for the insomnia. Both worked enough to help us get through the withdrawal. I consulted with a nutritionist and we have her taking vitamin D, vitamin B and magnesium. When I have this totally under control I will yell from the mountain top about these corrupt pill pushers!

I hate these pill pushers too! We have consulted with a nutritionist and pharmacist. We are on the hardest journey of our life. We have been using meclizine for the nausea, melatonin for the insomnia, no caffeine anymore, and a gradual switch to a gluten free diet. Please keep us posted on how you are progressing!

Hi everyone :)
I've posted a few times before, thought I'd give you guys an update!
I first posted almost a year ago, when I was 21 and had just finished tapering off the 100 MG of zoloft (a dose I had been taking for 9 years). I tapered off "properly" and very slowly, albeit with very little support from my doctors. I had extremely serious withdrawal for a full month, and intermittent symptoms for a month after that. I'm all better now. You will be, too. It's VERY hard. If you're having symptoms that make you feel like hurting yourself or someone else, please seek help. You can expect a full month of pain, no matter how slowly you tapered, and you might get two months. But it WILL get better. When you're in the throws of mood swings, sweats, brain shocks and nausea, remember that this will get better. Hold on to that.

I sat on a jury during my withdrawal, asking for recesses every so often so that I could vomit. This is a long, hard road, but it will get better. My symptoms are completely gone now. No brain shocks, no mood swings, no anxiety, no depression. I have better energy than I've ever had, I feel more connected to the people around me, everything is better since I got off of a medicine that I didn't need.
Anyway, HERE'S WHAT I REALLY WANT TO ADD:
I see now that people are reporting switching to a gluten free diet, and this is something that I have had to as well. Although my withdrawal symptoms went away, I had continuing digestive problems. They were extremely painful and lasted for six months. I saw a GI specialist, a nutritionist, an allergist, no one was able to help. Finally, I got all of the doctors to admit that they had seen these persisting symptoms (abdominal pain and bloating to the point that I looked pregnant - I am a very thin, tall girl, 5'8" and 115 lbs) before: in other people who had recently weaned off of antidepressants. I learned then that something like 80% of the serotonin in your body is located in your stomach.

While no official studies have been done about this (because nobody wants to stop prescribing these drugs because they make so much money) it makes sense that discontinuing something that blocks serotonin re-uptake would cause a change to the stomach. A well known Boston GI specialist and a well known Boston allergist both told me that although they couldn't prove it, they thought that the pills were the cause of my symptoms, which they have only been able to diagnose as "irritable bowel syndrome."

If you have these problems, I have good news: acupuncture helps a LOT. And insurance will probably cover it. Acupuncture helps manage the symptoms for me, but only when combined with a gluten free, dairy free diet. I was already a vegetarian, so I am now essentially on a vegan diet. Eating cooked food, and not raw food, will also help as warm food is easier to digest.
My digestive symptoms are currently managed, and the initial withdrawal symptoms are long gone.
Yours will get better, too.

I have faith in you guys. we're all in the same boat - we were prescribed something we thought would help us, and instead we've found the opposite. it's not fair, but we can get through it. remember that you aren't alone. and please remember to seek help if you feel like you're going to hurt yourself or someone else. doctors will tell you that brain shocks and the like are just your old mental illness returning, and in my case that was a lie. My symptoms were not returning (I'm not sure they were ever there to begin with). Every case is different, though, and some of you may have old symptoms return. If that's the case, get help, even if it's not in the form of getting back on the drug. There are a lot of ways to manage depression and anxiety. be safe, be smart, be patient.

I have been on Zoloft (sertraline) for probably 15 to 20 years! I started at 25mg, then 50mg. Then after my sister died I was prescribed 100mg 14 years ago, 3 1/2 years ago I lost my mother they put me at 150mg. Then just recently my only child died at 23 years (not even 8 months ago) The doctor put me on 200mg because of course I thought I was going off the deep end, I just wanted to die and still have days like that but who wouldn't!!!?? Now she has me at 250mg.

I have gained weight, absolutely no sex drive, I don't care about cleaning the house at all, I just don't care about much of anything. I also have a Vitamin D deficiency. I wish I would have never went on them. At first I thought this is great now I am struggling to keep sane. I have tried to go off and have tried doing it very gradually. I just can't do it. Even before my daughter died I tried and all I thought about was suicide. I think they have changed the makeup of my brain and I will never be able to get off them. Seek help from doctors if you are trying to get off. DON'T do it alone.

Hi, I read about your Zoloft withdrawal and wanted to say I was on only 6.25mg of it for 2 years, almost 2 and a half years and I still felt the horrible blow of withdrawal. I was afraid to take more. When I took 12.5mg, I got extreme derealization as I already suffer from severe A.D.D. and manic depression. I stopped cold turkey 3 months ago and now I'm just plain manic and in rage at times and other times I'm very meditative and calm. "Hostile", "Irritable", "Talking fast then slowing down all of a sudden", I get all of that... but I'm using my own mind... and at times, a nice .5mg peach pill of Xanax to hold me over :) Xanax and red wine are my fixer in life and so is meditation....

I feel that zoloft is great to be on for maybe a year or so, but you have to stop it eventually. It injures your brain's own ability to fight a disease. Let's say you're on xanax 1mg for 5 years and just stop... what would happen? Your alpha waves would not be tuned to that frequency and you'd have a beta relapse/convulsion, whatever you like to call it. Then more lucid dreams, waking up tongue hanging out, dizzy, dry mouth, tingling hands... same thing night after night for weeks and even months on and off.

To me, meditation and having that exact mindset, every night, for months, and eventually, for a few years... there's not turning you back. You could walk through hell with a smile on your face. Hope the best to all who withdraw as I know what it is and it's not pretty. God bless.

I was on 200mg of zoloft for about 4 years. I was originally prescribed it for anorexia due to severe stomach pain. Since then I have been diagnosed with high anxiety, depression, and PTSD. About 2 months ago I quit cold Turkey because I was having intense feelings in my stomach. They were episodes where I felt as though someone had just died when nothing had happened. After quitting it was hard to function at first but not as bad as how I felt on the zoloft. Since I quit the only real problem I've had is weight gain.

In two months off zoloft I've gained about 20 lbs! I feel very uncomfortable all the time and embarrassed. I plan to get on something else for the stomach pain and anxiety so my next steps are seeing a pharmacologist or psychologist. I just don't understand the weight gain or the intense feelings of dread.

I'm lowering my dosage now. Started 4 years ago beginning I felt absolutely great!
but now since I went from 150 to 125. (now on 125) I feel sever dizziness and noush, I feel like vomiting. My head is spinning away is that normal to how I feel?

I was misdiagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder 9 months ago, I was taking 250mg of Zoloft EVERYDAY, and I hated it. I went to a different psychiatrist and around a month ago my diagnosis was changed to unspecified Bipolar disorder. I started Lithium, and dropped the zoloft to 200mg. I had no issue, in fact, I started feeling so much better. A couple of days ago I was lowered to 150mg.

Yesterday, I couldn't eat, sleep, or even think clearly. While lying in bed, about four or five times, I thought I saw something one in my room, there was nothing there (i know now I experienced Hallucinations) . Today I feel like absolute garbage! I almost vomited, I am weak, I don't want to socialize with even my family. Just to name some of the effects.

I have been on Zoloft for 15 years now. I came to the point where I was so numb and just couldn't think clear as I used to. My new psychiatrist suggested it's time to get off Zoloft completely. I was also on 600 mg seroquil, now I'm down to 200.. I went down from 200 mg Zoloft to 150 mg Zoloft and since six days ago I'm down to 100 mg. Now I want to wait an extra week to go down anymore. I usually go down on one or the other every week. I like the idea of 100 mg one day then 50 mg the next and following that pattern. I get the chills or willy's a lot and it makes my head shake like I'd be cold, but I'm not.

I will be laying on the couch and the phone rings and my chest automatically gets extremely tight. When I walk I sometimes feel like I'm inside a video camera. Sorta bouncy. I become anxious and frustrated so easily especially when there's a lot of noise and stimulation around. My head feels 5 times heavier. My throat gets tight a lot. I get nauseous. Sometimes I feel like I can't handle anything. I will feel extreme guilt and I haven't really done anything. I want to get some vitamin B's. I hear everyone is low on vitamin B's.

Also found out my progesterone level is critically low. I'm using cream every day now for 2 weeks. Yes I also take .5 or 1 mg ativan (lorazepam) to take the edge off my Zoloft decrease side affects. It really helps. Sometimes I feel like I'll lose it, but I know this is just the roller coaster ride that will lead me to a better mind. I am seeing a counselor who is also a psychiatrist. I personally couldn't do this without his support. I plan to stay with my doctor for a while even after I'm off my meds. I don't just want to wear a band aid forever.

So I have been on Zoloft for 3 years for a panic disorder and back in June they increased my dosage from 50mg to 100mg. Since then I have gained 20 pounds while panic attacks are gone I feel horrible about my body. I spoke with my doctor and I am trying to wean off of them. So I'm back at 50mg for 1 month and then go to 25mg for 1 month and then stop. I'm on day four and I'm not having any issues other then irritability, I just feel like I want to scream and go to bed out of it. I know this will only be temporary but I would like someones thoughts. And I am hoping I will lose the weight too. I have changed my eating habits and I am now joining a gym since I blame the cold weather for missing walks. :P

Depressed in SD ! I've been on same dose and same length of time ! (200mg 12 yrs) I have slowly slowly slowly weaned myself down to 100 mg - for 3 weeks after weaning from 200 to 150 I had some withdrawal effects worst of all being snappy. But muddled thru and that did pass. Now I've been on 100 for quite some time now and all I want to do us sleep - my body just feels soo tired - so I'm wondering how ur progress is going and if anyone else has had this insatiable sleepiness.

Hello! Thank you for sharing. I am experiencing extreme weight gain I THINK from going off of Zoloft. Did you experience this as well? Could it be my thyroid?

I'm 66 years old and have been on 50 mg of Zoloft for 10 years, getting off it once before. This time I weaned myself off it very very slowly. This is my second day completely off it and I am having some very minor dizziness and brain zaps. I went down to 3/4 dose for 2 weeks, 1/2 dose for 2 weeks, and 1/4 dose for 2 weeks.

I also put on weight in spite of working out and eating relatively healthy. My hopes are that I can stay off it and manage my anxiety in a more natural way. I know when you make the decision to get off Zoloft, it's hard to take it slowly--I was the same way the first time I went off it and it was not pleasant! This time has been relatively side effect-free and the extra 10 pounds is finally coming off.

I have ran out of Zoloft called in prescription but my Dr. has not refilled. I am having the only way I know to describe is daytime nightmares. We I go into these nightmare it will last for about 5 minutes when it's over I try to remember them but I can't. Has anyone else experienced this? Dr.s should never not refill a prescription. I have a Drs.. Appointment next week for a physical and no refill until Thursday. Not great news I feel terrible.

Ive been on zoloft for two years and I've been trying to taper off due to pregnancy n I think that's why I'm so sick. I had strange head feelings, extreme sadness, bad nausea, severe sleep disturbances, like I feel like I'll never wake up, horrible anxiety... I'm just always literally scared to darn death.

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