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Last year I was prescribed Zoloft (100mg) by my psychiatrist. It helped me to cheer up and become happy again. I was on it for about 3 months. In October 2010, I did something stupid and stopped taking the Zoloft cold turkey. I wanted to get off of it because I was experiencing depersonalization and derealization 24/7. It is now August 2011 and I am still caught in a limbo of bad memory, bad concentration, derealization, depersonalization, bad eyesight, bad social skills, fatigue, and extremely bad insomnia. I have read up on how Zoloft has a history of lawsuits on them for several reasons, and I am lost now. Everything I experience feels like a dream, and 5 minutes later, I lose my memory of it ever happening. I am only 14 years old. Zoloft is an anti-depressant, but for me, it has managed to become the exact opposite, making me for more sad than I would have ever been not on the drug. What should I do? Is there some kind of detox that can help my brain go back to normal? I feel like I am 80 years old. My mind has become so slow. I have been taking Omega-3 pills for the past few days, but I don't see a difference. What should I do?

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I know exactly how you feel. I went on Zoloft on October 2009. That seems like yesterday to me. I Didnt feel real. I didn't feel like my name meant anything anymore. I started to get heaps of floaters in my eyes and colour vision and light perception became poorer. I did silly things like burn things under a magnifying glass which had a really bright light. I didn't wear sunglasses and I think that did something to my eyesight. When I go up or down, I feel like I want to do something stupid and my conscience gets thrown out the window. I am 14 too and I thought I was the only one going through this. I now have really bad memory and all shaky and I'm scared of going back to school. I just want to tell you that you are not alone
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my life also as been turned upside down do to zoloft,lost,slow and angry what do I do now

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I don't know if you are still on this JCAstro but I believe in God and will pray for you. Also, I want you to know if you have difficulty with your concentration and memory and being slow, there is a vitamin you can take and it really works. It is called Phosphotidyl Serine (buy Neurofactors by Country Life at a shop, GNC won't have it). It should also help with brain zaps and other head issues, as well as some herbs can assist with sedation, anti-depression, and withdrawal help. Please write if you want the names or any other advice. I have been on Zoloft for 12 years from 250mg to 100mg a day now. I was fortunate and did not get withdrawal when lowering my dose myself and I feel good, sometimes have dizziness or forgetful but minor. I had zaps before taking meds, from panic it is a surge of neurotransmitter activity. I got into med school and developed Panic with Agoraphobia. I am here for anyone who wants to talk, getting my BSN and Master's in Mental Health Counseling, but all my advice and prayers are free.

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Hello. I am a mental health professional who reluctantly went on zoloft about 12 years ago. Now, I am weaning myself off. The symptoms are difficult to discern during flu season and when other  life challenges affect one emotionally. Certainly, it is a wicked drug to get off. Headaches, flue-like symptons, listlessness, and more can become crippling. Dangerous "popular" physicians' choice.

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What are your suggestions for specific alternatives/remedies to assist with w/d symptomsof this? I have 2 small kids and can't be feeling these darn brain zaps every few minutes, not cool at all!!! I have been on 50-100mg for 6 years, and then these past few months, tapered down 25mg at a time with no problem, and then finally went from 25mg to 0mg a week and a day ago. I haven't felt this crappy in a really, really long time. These brain zaps are what are really getting me, I can handle the mood swings, etc. But I also feel like crying every 2-3 hours, I can also handle that, I just canNOT handle these brain zaps, they're really throwing me for a loop here! I am relieved to read some of these threads that people are experiencing the same thing, but at the same time, how does everyone overcome this?!?!? A week of this is MORE than enough, and I want to be medicine-free, soooooo I don't feel like going back on them is an option, but, unless I hear of a better approach to get rid of these brainzaps I don't know what else to do!!!!!!
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I've been on Zoloft for almost 4 years and want to stop but the side affects are to severe .(150.mg). I was wondering if I should just ride out the side affects, its been two days now .
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I was prescribed Zoloft in 2010 after a particularly difficult period (stressful) in my marriage. I was prescribed 100 MG and told to cut the pill in half initially. I was on the pills less than 2 weeks and they did help with dealing with the stress that I was going through. It helped because it made me feel like I was floating and having an out of body experience. I had no appetite and started having insomnia. I felt like I was an outside observer. I decided to stop taking the pill because I didn't feel in control. I read online about how to taper from the meds. I tapered myself off the pills but I still experience the withdrawal symptoms. I had the worse headache ever. My entire head hurt from front to back. I thought that I was going to die. One side of my body felt weak. I really thought that I had had a stroke. I started having what felt like electric zaps. I started feeling really anxious. I have always been an outgoing person but after taking Zoloft, when I got into large groups, or groups period, I started feeling really nervous. I started feeling confused, my memory sucks, it seemed like my hearing got horrible like people were mumbling. I got really dizzy to the point that I had to miss my aunt's funeral because my vertigo was so bad, I couldn't hardly stand straight. I thought that I had the flu I didn't have a fever or vomiting, only vertigo. I was still dealing with the symptoms nearly 6 months later. SMH. I talked to my doctor about my symptoms and he dismissed them. When I continued to press him about my symptoms and he finally admitted that Zoloft could have caused some damage to my nervous system since it affects the nervous system. I asked him why he would prescribe something that does more harm than good. I was going through a rough patch in my then 14 year marriage and needed help dealing. If I had known that Zoloft would have caused so many problems, I would have just dealt with my stress and leaned on God. I recommended to my doctor that he not prescribe the drug again. What I find ironic is that I was diagnosed with mildly high blood pressure. My doctor didn't want to prescribe meds to regulate my blood pressure. Instead, he recommended that I control my blood pressure with diet and exercise; however, he prescribed Zoloft for my stress without batting an eye. It is harmful that doctors prescribe stuff like this without knowledge about the harmful side-effects. It is now over 3 years later and I still get dizzy, memory loss, confusion, and palpitations. I have now been diagnosed with anxiety, which is something I didn't suffer from before. After reading about Zoloft and other drugs like that, I have learned that those drugs can cause other problems or make the symptoms worse. My doctor didn't think that I should have been harmed badly by Zoloft because I was only on it a short period of time but I know that the Zoloft damaged my brain. It is a shame that people like myself don't have a recourse other than websites like this. But, I have learned to deal with my symptoms. Sometimes of the month are worse than other and seem to coincide with my menstrual cycle. I am not as dizzy but I do have dizzy spells. I found a psychologist that helped me learn to deal with the symptoms of anxiety without medicine. I have learned how to breath and focus on what I see and hear when I am feeling anxious. Although not full proof, it does help me. I am coping with God's help. Prayers to those dealing with similar issues.

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I have been on zoloft for 3 years. I just quit taking it abt 2 months ago. I'm so easily angered and easily upset. What can I do to have a happy life without this drug.
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I could use your help . Been on Z for 17 years
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I have been on zoloft since I was 16 and I am 29 now. I have depression and anxiety that escallated to the point of trying to kill myself when I was a kid. So, recently I wanted to switch to something that would help with my sluggish sex drive, so my doctor wanted me to come off of the 200 mg of zoloft and go on 300 mg of wellbutrin.  All I can say is WOW. This week has been a trip. I have extreme vertigo, where I've fallen into people and things (which isnt so good when you deal with customers in retail). I have had a really irritable mood about me, I have felt like I dont give a f**k one moment, to having the littlest things make me cry and I NEVER cry. I have been vomiting, nauseous, have had a bitching headache, dizzy as all hell. I also got so dizzy while driving to work i vered and almost collided with a  semi truck head on! I had a panic attack followed by what i can explain only by a mental breakdown. I couldnt stop crying and fraking out. My husband took me to the er because he didnt know what else to do! I cannot be like this, I dont have time for all of this BS, I know that I will need some type of meds all of my life but this sh*t is crazy! I don't know what to do.  My gp told me just to go back to the zoloft, but this is insane! I shouldnt feel this terrible coming off of a medicine! I feel like a drug addict! HELP! 

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After an 18 year run I have been off zoloft for over a year I still have withdrawal symptoms, anger, depression, mood swings. I am not a nice person anymore and have lost most of my friends and my wife just tolerates me. I believe I am the dr. "cash cow". Will I ever be myself again ?
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I'd love to communicate with you on this topic. My poison pill was paxil but all symptoms are same from what I see.
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I been on Zoloft 11 years now off and on taking 50 mg daily and this is the first I hear of it causing brain damage makes me question if that's why I'm so forgetful lost and just in a daze all the time?? Hmm
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I think I was very fortunate to have an immediate bad reaction to Zoloft, before it did major, persisting damage to my brain.

After developing bad side effects with several other anti-depressants - from Prozac (which made me feel weirdly spacy, like I was not quite present in my body and running myself by remote control - derealization?) through Wellbutrin (which gave me cold sweats, raised my blood pressure to alarming levels, gave me palpitations, wrecked my sleep - like I'd been drinking espressos all day) - the doctor decided Zoloft might be just the thing. I saw all those cute ads on TV about the unhappy little ball thing becoming a happy little ball thing, and I was looking forward to great results.

On the contrary, within an hour of taking my first Zoloft, I had the first full-blown panic attack I'd ever had, with no external reason!!! MUCH worse than Wellbutrin, I became extremely restless and fearful - like something horrible was about to happen, started gasping for breath, could feel my heart pounding, could not sit or lie still for a second. Dizzy, short of breath, and terrified, I called the doctor on call (of course, it was on the weekend after my doctor had left town), and he called in a small prescription of Ativan for me and told me to stop the Zoloft immediately. The Ativan stopped the panic attack, and I basically passed out from exhaustion for the next 10-12 hours.  

Later, I searched the internet for more info on Zoloft and found that in one survey, up to 20% of Zoloft takers suffered "akathisia" - an extreme restlessness, an inability to sit still, which in many cases can become bad enough to be a kind of panic. However, I didn't have to wait long at all for that to happen!

But your Zoloft experience sounds more like my Prozac experience. It's so unpredictable how drugs will act on our different genetics and metabolisms, but I've heard very few "happy endings" regarding this or any anti-depressant, right up to the latest ones, which seem to have some pretty disappointing long-term effects and severe withdrawals that rival any benzodiazepine withdrawal. I don't know how you are after all these years, but I sure hope you've recovered from the withdrawal. I know that a major, prolonged withdrawal, often called PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome), is frequently said to last up to a couple of years, with some symptoms persisting longer - because these drugs (including alcohol) DO alter the nervous system, and it takes the body a long time to get the system back to normal. Having withdrawn from a number of pharmaceuticals and from long-term alcohol, I know that it can often take a long time, sometimes as long as two years, with good periods alternating with sudden onsets of the worst withdrawal symptoms for days at a time, especially during times of stress. But fortunately, they get fewer and fewer, and the good periods get longer and longer.

In long-term recovery, since it's mostly the nervous system that's been screwed up, and not a lingering chemical (which is probably long gone), the recovery is not really in detoxing (as in the case of acute withdrawal), but rather in healing and restoring a normal CNS. Nutrition, exercise, sunshine are all important in this long process. In recovery, I've found the whole B complex of vitamins (esp. B1 and B6) and magnesium are of primary help to me, along with sufficient amounts of ALL other vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and omega-3's - with good, healthy food and rest.

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