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This post is an extension of the
Experience with Zoloft withdrawal thread.

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Hi everyone. I am so sorry many of you have experienced these terrible withdrawals. My story is a good one and will bring you hope. I was on Zoloft 25mg back in 2003 for around 8 months. I decided to taper off the med on my own. I decreased dosage by 25% every two weeks. Once I got down to 6.25mg, I did that for two weeks and then every other day for another week or two. I had the zaps, sweats, spine and neck zap sensations, vertigo, etc. It was pretty bad for a while but I knew I needed to get off of this stuff because it was causing me to feel depressed. I got on it for anxiety. It helped the anxiety but caused depression. Imagine that. Anyway, it took around 3 months before these withdrawal symptoms finally subsided. I no longer have them but I do believe this medication caused some other issues. I don't have any empirical evidence to support my claim other than my personal experience but now my brain over-interprets a lot of nuances that are normal in a typical human being. I have trouble taking any med now in that it causes me anxiety once the med takes effect in my body. I won't even notice it but something will be wrong and then I realize I am having anxiety. Once the med wears off, I am fine. I'm talking about things like antibiotics, antihistamines, etc. I also can't take vitamins cause it has the same effect. I never had this problem before Zoloft, but it began occurring promptly afterward. Guess I'll have to live with it for now. At least there's no more withdrawals, phewwww.
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Hi all,
I am a 56 yr old menopausal gal who has been taking Zoloft 100 mg for 10 years. I quit (cold turkey twice) and went back on them. My main reason for going back is a severe sadness and unhappiness.

This being my 3rd time I want to be off for good. I have tapered myself off them over a 4 week period and have not has any of the medication for 1 1/2wks.

Symptoms i feel are headache, more than usual night sweats, more insomnia, and dizziness at times whne changing position and yes I feel both sad, mad and lonely. I'm short tempered at work and am not speaking to my husband.

Thanks heavnes I have not had any brain zaps...sounds horrid. Do you feel you are loosing touch with reality?

I appreciated the suggestion in a previous post to let people know you are withdrawing and yes there are symptoms.

I appreciated reading all the posts as I did not realize the hold this drug has on you. AS a matter of fact I told myself today I'll just go back on them.

But after reading the post from you nice folks I will persevere.

I need to be happy with myself and be thankful for all of my blessings instead of feeling I am a second class citizen.

I am sense even when on the zoloft I has self esteem issues so I think I'll deal with them without a drug to cloud my ability to face them.
Thanks all

Warm Regards,

Debbie
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Ok, my turn to share. I went to therapy about 10 years ago, with some mild depression. I had some family issues and was newly married, and had just miscarried my first pregnancy. I really liked my therapist, and trusted her. She suggested antidepressants, and I thought, why not. So I have been on them for about 9 1/2 years. Mostly zoloft, but switched to wellbutrin for the last trimester of both my son's pregnancies. I have tried to quit several times in the past, but the symptoms were pretty bad, lots of dizziness, brain zaps, and just all over exhaustion. My dr wanted to know what my motivation was for wanting to quit the meds. And she attributed the symptoms as either returning depression or my body just not producing sufficient serotonin. I know now it has been withdrawal. Kinda pi**es me off. My babies displayed what I now think were some withdrawal symptoms too, considering she told me I could begin taking the zoloft again at full strength immediately after giving birth, even thought I breast fed them for 2 years each. If I knew then what I know now...... Does she really believe I need to be on this drug for the rest of my life??? I strongly disagree. I am a daycare provider, and my sons are 5 and 7, there's no such thing as a good time to go through hell for a few months, ya know? But I am determined to get this junk out of my system for good, and maybe fire my therapist for good. I think she has had a pretty willing patient, and customer for a good long time. I even had some symptoms after the birth of my first child she attributed to postpartum depression. But I'm not so sure. I would be asleep next to my son, and would kinda be awake in my head, I could hear things outside like passing cars, and birds, etc. I could hear my son breathing, but I could not open my eyes, or move my body at all. The only things that would wake me fully would be my son waking up and crying, or a telephone. During these semi-awake moments, I would also imagine someone breaking into the house, coming up to my room. It was quite frightening. Maybe these were hallucinations. I don't know. And I would sometimes have what my dr described 'intrusive thoughts', like tossing my baby down the stairs, or throwing him against a wall. Just a flash in my head of doing something horrible, and I would have to shake it off, and it scared the c**p out of me. But I had been on the zoloft for quite some time when all of these things occurred. Just makes ya think. I have recently e-mailed the director of the department of pharmicology at KU med to see if there is anyone who can help me, maybe suggest some methods of handling the withdrawal symptoms. I don't just want to start trying things I've read, I think I've learned not to take my health for granted. Has anyone else talked to a professional they feel they can trust, and I don't mean the person who prescribed this poison in the first place?? Just want to hear some success stories I guess. I've seen some posts suggesting brain chemistry can be permanently changes because of these drugs, and I want desperately to hear otherwise.
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I had been on 100mg of Zoloft for 8 years.Over the last 3 months i have slowly weened off, firts doen to 50mg every second day - then 50mg every day. then 25mg a day and for the last week i have been off it completely for the first time in 8 years and it is terrible. I am lucky i have a patient husband!

The first two days what excruciating. Nausea - full body zaps, a feeling like an electric shock is running through your whole body - an extreme feeling of anger and anxiety.

I read on one forum that Benedryl or Cold and Flu tablets may help with the zaps, and since they are over the counter i figured i should give it ago. it has helped it to abate. Less frequency of zaps. a bit more calmer.

The zaps are now only in my arms and not in my head anymore which is GREAT. I do get massive feelings of sadness overcome me for absolutely no reason though - like watching an ad on TV about Disney on Ice for Christsake! I find if i have a cry then it goes away after about 15 mins.

When i have to deal with stress - at work etc. if i don't actively try and calm myself down, i can get very worked up and the zaps happen more frequently.

Also i smoke every now and then but on the weekend when i tried to have one the Zaps happened very few seconds - over and over - so i stopped but it took about 15 mins for it to go away again, not sure why that happens but atleast it helps with quitting smoking.

It has been a week today. Last night i have a particularly sad episode and was very impatient and irritable, soi have decided to try accupunture and chinese herbal medicine

go here to find out more about Chinese herbs - itmonline.org/arts/ssri.htm

i thought trying it couldn't hurt so i am off tomorrow for acupuncture and will post about the effectiveness.

When i feel really bad i remind myself - i want to have a baby and don't want to conceive and breastfeed with a drug in my system - i have a good reason for doing it and that helps!!

I also remind myself - it is okay to feel sad sometimes - that is how we know we are human and care what happens in the world around us!

Will write about how the acupuncure and herbal meds go!
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This has been very comforting...I guess it is true 'misery loves company.' I am dealing with what I now know to be brain zaps and all over body tingling. I feel hot and cold at the same time. I took Zoloft for 12 years -along with Busbar and Wellbuterin...suffice it to say I let an id**t do this to me! He calls himself a DR. but now I know better.

I started on this junk for GAD - and depression related to real world problems in my life - I had gone thru a separation - a child diagnosed with a devastating illness and let's also throw in a catastrophic business failure (all in a span of a few months). So - during this time I lost 90 pounds - quite a feat in 4 months! My physician thought I needed help dealing - so we went down the Z path and here I am today 100lbs overweight, Adult ADD, and to quote my 23 year old son - "a crack pot." No - I am perfectly sane - I know this because I made the decision to get off Z -

I have been reducing the original 200 mg dose for about four months - I am on day 6 of no Z-and while I am just as proud as I was when I quit smoking two years ago...this is by far the worst feeling I have ever had in my life! It is far worse than any sadness, any pain, any other uncomfortable moment in my life! I pray that each day will get easier!

The comments I have read throughout this site have given mean a feeling of comfort - (seriously - I thought I was losing my mind), and so now I am heading toward my 7th day.
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I just stopped taking my 100mg a day of Zoloft this past Friday after taking it for over a year. It wasn't by choice, I happened to run out with a long weekend approaching, and was surprised that I had virtually no withdrawal symptoms besides a mild headache, which may or may not actually be from the Zoloft. I felt so good that I haven't attempted to fill my prescription since. It's probably important to note that I am a male weighing 240 lbs, so it might bother me less to go off the drug than those who weight much less. Either way I just wanting to post my positive result of going off Zoloft in case people are afraid of the symptoms of withdrawal.
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well ive been on zoloft fot about 9 months or so, because of PPD. well when i started it i completely lost my sex drive, and i occasionally have these aggressive angry outbursts. which i never had before. after reading up on zoloft i have found several things about it causing anger and violence in people. so i realllllly wanted to go off it, but was scared because i didnt want to get back into depression! well we held a babyshower for some friends this weekend, and i guess i was soooo busy i forgot to take it, and so i though well i forgot one day i might as well try going off. they wanted me on for a year but i was so tired of getting violent outbursts and having short patience. so today is day 3. i have been SOOOO tired, i can BARELY stay up. i am constantly wanting to nap. and my body, feels like it was hit by a truck! i mean my wholeeeee body is sore and feels soooooo painful! i have had CRAZY dreams, and when i sleep i am PASSED OUT cold. i havent had any brain zaps or some of the other wierstuff that everyone has talked about so im glad but im soooo tired and sore! i dont know what to do! and also im scared that i will get those brain zaps and other stuff because its only been 3 days and i have read about some people being fine and then a few days later started having withdrawals! so now im scared. lol i thought i was doing decent. will it possibly get worse!!!??? or is this as bad as it may get for me. how long will it take to stop being soooo tired!?
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I went on 50 mg of Zolof just 1 week ago for sadness & irritability and although I'm not irritable now I feel awful and more sad. Any risk of just stopping after only 1 week of this medicine?
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I have a question, perhaps it has been talked about already but how long are the "withdraw" symptoms lasting for people? I have been on a very slow taper and now that I am almost off am having worse symptoms. I am able to feel better through diet and the symptoms seem to come in waves now but I am wondering for how long people experienced the withdraw after they were fully off or very close to being fully off of Zoloft.
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zoloft prescribed for depression by psychiatrist for last two years - max dosage was 250mg a month ago. primary dr told me trying to lose weight on this dosage was like hitting head against wall plus weight gain makes me depressed! a no-brainer.
weanned off a dr's suggested rate.
no vertigo, zaps until coming off entirely 6 days ago.
now just toughing it out
sometimes the vertigo makes it hard to drive
see movements out of the corner of my eye that are not there
zaps in the back of my head intermittently
seems to be worse as the day progresses
anyway this is the second time on 10 years i have been on/off zoloft so i did not freak out as much this time as i expected these side effects
as an experienced zoloft weaner i can say - be patient - took about two weeks to subside mostly and then another two wweks to disappear completely
can't seem to find anything that helps - take motrin as a help
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such a relief to read such stories....even though they are definitely not happy ones. i have been on 50 mg of zoloft for 7-8 months now and about 3 days ago i had to stop taking them because i had no receipt and no medicines. so i thought it would be a good idea to stop taking them at all, smth that was crossing my mind for a while. i had no idea it would be like this......i feel very irritable, on the verge of agressiveness, i feel nausea most of the day. yesterday i went on a walk and i couldn´t stop crying, even though i had absolutely no idea why i did that. i started thinking about the uselessness of living, about the pain i feel looking at people and knowing they would all eventually end up suffering and dying. i couldn´t concentrate on any conversation, i felt like a cloud had suddenly fallen upon me and reality seemed like a russian movie, sad, frightening, yet lucid. maybe it all sounds like c**p to you, but i really feel disoriented right now. i have never written on a forum before, but right now i feel nobody could understand me better than you guys, who have been through this before. the nausea is worst, then comes dizziness and this irritability/sadness thing, then dizziness again, then all this crying, the weird feeling behind my eyes and in my head which i cannot even accurately describe...
what seems weird to me is that i quit on zoloft just like this 2 years ago, and the only symptom i can remember from back then is the restlessness i had for one day, when i felt like i was being followed on the streets, even though in the back of my head i knew it could not be true and it was just some sort of anxiety or paranoia caused by the lack of medicine.
but this time it seems much harder....i had 3 hard days and i expect nothing better for the next. what is worse is that i did take this medicine because i had medium to severe depression last fall, and even though i did all sorts of exercises to relieve the symptoms ( i have a therapist friend), i couldn´t handle the physical symptoms. i mean i could manage my sadness and suicidal thoughts, my lack of energy and pleasure, but i could not handle the physical symptoms: lots of nausea, dizziness, i started to sleep 2-3 hours per night and then oversleep on other days whan i simply wasn´t functional at all. zoloft helped me with that, even though my mood improved, but not as much as i had expected.
but now the nausea i have feels like my old depression, i cannot stand it, it makes me feel like on the verge of a panic attack (which i also suffered from years ago).
i probably talk nonsense....i am scared of all these physical symptoms of which i know i have such poor control. it´s sad to have to go through all this again, knowing from my own experience that in a year or so my depression will be so out of control again that i will have to take meds again. a neverending cycle probably....sorry...but it did good to write about it. thanks
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First off, thank you to everyone who has posted on this site! I was getting a little concerned that I had a heart condition suddenly crop up on me.

This past weekend, I went on an extended and very arduous bike trip that I was a little undertrained for. Post ride, I had sore legs and a headache -- pretty expected. But the headache lasted another day or two and with it, I noticed my heat rate seems elevated (I can feel my pulse in my neck). Then I began to feel slightly weird / dizzy. It's not that bad but I definitely notice it. I've been researching symptoms of over-exertion and even the flu when I realized I had stopped taking Zoloft on day 2 of the trip. I had been tapering off anyway and hadn't packed enough for the weekend. I was at 25-50mg for the past few weeks (from a high of 150mg) and was planning to go cold turkey soon so when I realized I ran out of pills, I didn't sweat it. I googled Zoloft withdrawl and found this site. What I feel and what you all describe is a close match.

My doctor told me Zoloft had no withdrawl symptoms so it would have never have occurred to me that going off the pills caused this. While I don't wish these affects on anyone (and I seem to be lucky so far in the severity of what I am experiencing) I am glad to know what is going on and that it's not my something worse.

Good luck to everyone here. I will let you know when things change (for better or worse).

-BikeGuy
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Wow this is exactly what i needed to read. I am currently on day 4 off zoloft 150mg. I weened from 150 to 100 for a week to 50 for a week to 25 for a week. I honestly feel like im losing my mind. I decided i wanted off when everyone around started seeing changes in my personality. I felt depression free but also lacked every other essential emotion for living a normal happy life. Almost like i was locked inside this zombie like shell of myself. I feel like i have bugs crawling underneath my skin,sweats yet my hands and feet are cold and clamy.Terrible migraines,eyeball discomfort,brain zaps,shakes,stomach pain,tiredness and an extreme disire to just take more to make this tourtue stop.Im currently working but all i can do is sit here 1/2 alive and read what this c**p has done to everyone. Withdrawl from zoloft is the worst feeling ive ever experianced. I was a crstal meth addicted a few years back and withdrawl from that was a walk in the park compared this. I just wanna feel normal again. I can feel my "normal" personality returning and my emotions turning back on but its hard to enjoy them with all these withdrawl symptoms. I feel like slapping my dr in the face honestly. >;)
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Hi I just stopped taking my zololt and I'm having trouble sleeping(I'm having the most horrible dreams), a few days ago I was so depressed I almost killed myself(if someone hadn't knocked on the door I don't know what I would have done)I'm really dizzy and I wake up with headaches. What did you guys do to get over all this. Should I just go back on?
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