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r0cky 03-14-2006 11:01 PM

bye bye Zoloft
 
Well, after eight straight years on Zoloft, I am at a point where I no longer remember what it was like not to take these little blue and green pills. I sleep all the time, I'm numb, I feel detached and depersonalized, and the tremors in my hands are just frustrating as heck. I've discovered there is a point at which these feelings of depression are no longer due to actual depression, but to too much of this medication. I would like to know how I do when I am off of them. I want to know how much of these feelings are due to the medicine itself and not some eternal depression for which there is no reason. Anyway, with my doctor's go-ahead a few months ago, I am ready to do this.

I've read up on it and how bad the discontinuation syndrome can be, and how long it can last, so I will be following another site's directions and tapering off by taking 10% less every week. This is my second day. My doctor didn't tell me to taper off, she just told me to quit ... but I've read enough to know that is not a good idea, and especially after 8 years, I just don't feel it would be a good idea to simply stop the medication all at once.

So, yeah, I just needed to share this with someone. I told my mom about it as well so she knows if I start to feel bad, and can help me to remember it could be the withdrawal. Other than that, I haven't even told my best friend, as she already has too much on her plate and I don't want to burden her at this point in her life.

Here's to being able to kick this stuff ... at least long enough to see how it feels to be free of it. There are always herbal/natural remedies to pursue if necessary, I suppose. :)

index.html 03-15-2006 12:18 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
Best of luck to you!

oceandreams 03-15-2006 08:42 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
"There are always herbal/natural remedies to pursue if necessary, I suppose"


If your depression is mild to moderate, you might try St. John's Wort (after you have completely weaned off Zoloft). I've been taking it for a few months, and it really does appear to help. Whenever I stop taking it, I start feeling worse, then better after starting back again. For me, it doesn't cause a drastic change, just makes me feel good enough to function at least.

MagicSunshine 03-15-2006 10:12 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
I wish you all the luck in the world. I hope someday to try the same thing you are going to do. You seem strong in your desire to get off the meds. If, bye some chance, you still need them, you can always try again at a later date.

Good Luck and Take Care!!.......Connie :angel:

digmusic 03-16-2006 07:10 AM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
I just came off prozac, and I will tell you, I am not feeling too great. I am really up and down instead of just always "fine." I have episodes of serious, profound depression where I just feel like total crap. On the other hand, I can at last have orgasms again, although the depression makes it so I don't even care about sex anymore...I don't know where I'm going with this, just make sure to have a support system while coming off meds because, at least for me, it was pretty hard.

Spin444 03-16-2006 11:21 AM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
Rocky, I'm glad that you're tapering down off Zoloft. How irresponsible of your doctor, to tell you to just quit taking it! Even the manufacturers tell us that we cannot quit cold turkey as it's very dangerous. That's why, when some people and commercials tell us that our doctors will know what's best for us, I just roll my eyes. They don't know enough about psych meds. Psychiatrists often give the worst advice and they're suppose to be the experts.

Zoloft's withdrawal isn't nearly as bad for most people as that of Paxil or Effexor. Still, it's not always easy and often, the last drop will be the hardest, BUT you WILL start feeling better with each passing week, so you have to hang in there and keep remembering that your brain is healing and to try to stay focused on getting well. There's a Paxil withdrawal guide on the internet if you do a search. All of the advice also pertains to Zoloft. Drink a LOT of good liquids, water, Pedialite, vegetable juice, fruit juice (not too much because of the sugars), etc. Take a vitamin B complex each day and, if you feel well enough, get outdoors for a fast walk, jog or bike ride. Exercise is so important.

Your brain as been greatly changed by the drug, so don't expect to feel great for awhile. And if you do feel some depression, don't necessarily think that you need to be back on the drug. It sounds like you know that the drugs can often cause or exacerbate problems. My sister in law's life has gone to hell since she started on Zoloft and now Trazodone. She won't blame the drugs though, even though she sleeps all day and can't even do the simple task of paying her bills or taking a shower. Very sad. Her drugs have "worked" for her alright. Some people might find some relief from them, but many others just get worse.

Sincere good luck to you. There are people talking about withdrawal on Paxil withdrawal message boards. I can't leave them here, but you can find them.

r0cky 05-09-2006 09:55 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
Well, I came back here to read more about antidepressant withdrawal. My first post here was in mid-March and I am now Zoloft-free. I tapered off and have been completely off of it for three or four weeks now. The first couple of days were great - I felt like I was really all "here" again - no more zombie feeling, no more feeling disconnected from everything ... and it was nice to be free of those things. For the first week, things were okay. I did experience an increase in anxiety - not over anything in particular, but just a general feeling of increased anxiety ... the kind where the pit of your stomach feels nervous. But other than that, things were okay and I felt almost happy every once in awhile.

Then came a lot of irritability where I would snap at my mom and just had a bad attitude in general. I felt on edge and angry ... not enough to hurt anyone of course, but just irritable and sarcastic. I have NEVER had an anger problem or EVER felt that kind of irritability, so it scared me and I still experience it and have to struggle against it because even my closest friend feels like I'm suddenly angry with her or annoyed with her when that is the farthest thing from the truth. My mom's feelings are hurt too because I was agitated and it came out toward her. I hate that.

On top of it, I also have this horrible recurrence of depression and emotionability. I don't remember being this depressed ever -- not even before I went on the Zoloft in the first place! I cry at pretty much anything, I am scared about the future and about losing the people I care about in life ... and I cry a lot.

I'm doing the best I can, but this is so frustrating to me and so scary because I worry that it means I should still be on antidepressants. I've read up on it and I know these are all symptoms of withdrawal from antidepressants, but it is still frustrating to me.

Will I ever feel okay again? It would be so easy to just start taking the Zoloft again ... but I don't want to give up hope that this is maybe just the withdrawal ... after all, I was on them for 10 years, so I know it will take awhile to readjust.

Can anyone here relate? To the irritability and anger and the fear and depression? Does it go away? My doctor doesn't know anything about withdrawal - she tries to tell me it doesn't exist, and that maybe I should start taking the pills again because I "shouldn't be having trouble coming off of them".

Help, anyone?

Dan_Sims 05-09-2006 10:07 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
r0cky, holy moly you just described me.
You say.
Then came a lot of irritability where I would snap at my mom and just had a bad attitude in general. I felt on edge and angry ... not enough to hurt anyone of course.

I get these feelings all the time at my mother.
Its to long to explain, but my mother moved when I was 13 and the move just messed me up.
It turns out, she moved cause of a false reason.
We could have stayed where we were.
I lost all my friends when we moved I failed school after the move.
Those feelings you said at the top.
Thats exactly how i'm feeling now.
I'm trying Yoga and seeing how that works.
I have this massage chair which is really good.
Someone said the best way to get rid of these bad feelings is to emerce yourself.
You just do things to get your mind off the subject thats bothering you.
Like, I'll feed bread to these Canadian Geese.
But sometimes those feelings which you said above, are hard to stop thinking about.
Its like, it takes over your life.
You know its destroying you emotionally, but you cant stop.

r0cky 05-09-2006 10:10 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
I'm sorry to hear about your suffering ... for mine though, my mom and my best friend have done nothing wrong in my life -- and don't even do anything to cause me to snap, I just feel irritable toward everything no matter what and without reason -- and the worst part is realizing that I'm acting irritable and feeling irritable and yet not having ANY reason to toward these people whom I love and who love me.

There's really no "subject" bothering me - it's just a sense of irritability and depression since I finished tapering off the Zoloft and I'm just scared it won't ever go away and that instead I'll just have to go back to taking the pills and don't want to ... :(

SOE 05-10-2006 08:25 AM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
[QUOTE=r0cky]Then came a lot of irritability where I would snap at my mom and just had a bad attitude in general. I felt on edge and angry ... not enough to hurt anyone of course, but just irritable and sarcastic. I have NEVER had an anger problem or EVER felt that kind of irritability, so it scared me and I still experience it and have to struggle against it because even my closest friend feels like I'm suddenly angry with her or annoyed with her when that is the farthest thing from the truth. My mom's feelings are hurt too because I was agitated and it came out toward her. I hate that.

On top of it, I also have this horrible recurrence of depression and emotionability. I don't remember being this depressed ever -- not even before I went on the Zoloft in the first place! I cry at pretty much anything, I am scared about the future and about losing the people I care about in life ... and I cry a lot.

I'm doing the best I can, but this is so frustrating to me and so scary because I worry that it means I should still be on antidepressants. I've read up on it and I know these are all symptoms of withdrawal from antidepressants, but it is still frustrating to me.

Will I ever feel okay again? It would be so easy to just start taking the Zoloft again ... but I don't want to give up hope that this is maybe just the withdrawal ... after all, I was on them for 10 years, so I know it will take awhile to readjust.

Can anyone here relate? To the irritability and anger and the fear and depression? Does it go away? My doctor doesn't know anything about withdrawal - she tries to tell me it doesn't exist, and that maybe I should start taking the pills again because I "shouldn't be having trouble coming off of them".

Help, anyone?[/QUOTE]


It does get easier. I've been off ADs for 19 months now and it's a slow process. I too have had to deal with anger/irritation, depression, anxiety -- and I do believe it's part of the withdrawal.

It all keeps getting better for me, it just takes a lot of time.

Hang in there.

oceandreams 05-10-2006 01:37 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
rocky,

I know I already mentioned this, but you might try St. John's Wort. It helped me in the past, but I eventually stopped taking it because I thought it was causing insomnia (that may not have been caused by the SJW, I'm really not sure).

It might help get your serotonin levels back up to a level closer to what your brain has become accustomed to, and it seems to start working quickly, within a week or so (at least for me). Be sure the brand you get is standardized to the minimum of 300 mcg of Hypericin per tablet, and take 3 tablets/day. And if you decide to stop taking it, there don't seem to be major withdrawal problems.

You might want to do some research on the web first before you try it. There is a very good website devoted to this subject--just do a search.

dave_81 05-10-2006 01:49 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
I came off of zoloft cold turkey a couple of months ago and had a pretty awful time. I felt like ****** for about 3 weeks and had awful brain zaps. I was stupid inasmuch as I should have came off of the stuff gradually, like you're doing. I can't believe that your doctor told you that it would be okay to go cold turkey. What an idiot! You MUST taper gradually -- or be prepared for the most awful brain zaps!

Good luck in getting AD free. I'll be thinking of you.

Best,

Dave_81

r0cky 05-10-2006 02:19 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
[QUOTE=dave_81]I came off of zoloft cold turkey a couple of months ago and had a pretty awful time. I felt like ****** for about 3 weeks and had awful brain zaps. I was stupid inasmuch as I should have came off of the stuff gradually, like you're doing. I can't believe that your doctor told you that it would be okay to go cold turkey. What an idiot! You MUST taper gradually -- or be prepared for the most awful brain zaps!

Good luck in getting AD free. I'll be thinking of you.

Best,

Dave_81[/QUOTE]


Thanks everyone! Yeah, my doctor said I could go cold turkey, but that doesn't mean I took that advice. No, I did my research and tapered slowly over the course of many weeks. Still having problems though ... :(

NR15 05-10-2006 07:22 PM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
1. I suggest finding a new doctor. I've heard psychopharmacologists are much more knowledgeable about the things they're prescribing than psychiatrists.

2. I got off ADs nearly 2 years ago, and I feel generally quite terrible. I've tried most everything to help myself but nothing seems to have a significant effect. I'm not even working or going to school, and I can barely get up at a reasonable hour.

3. Be careful, and make sure you're monitored.

sgt207 05-11-2006 04:49 AM

Re: bye bye Zoloft
 
I was off for about 8 or 9 weeks and still had horrible withdrawals. The dr put me back on a low dose. Fast forward to today....I went to a psychopharmacologist who said I was almost finished with the withdrawal process and should have stuck it out a while longer. Now, he has prescribed the zoloft liquid so that I can taper even slower using micro doses.

Good luck


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