Qutting Zoloft

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Charles has successfully removed Zoloft from his life. I didn't think he would have the resolve and tenacity to kick such an enslaving (but - per the FDA - "non-addictive") drug.

I'd suggested he do any extremely gradual taper, maybe 12.5 mg. every week or two. A psychiatrist had suggested dropping from 200 mg. to 100 mg. I think he took that much some days. Others he took 50 mg., some days he skipped taking any Zoloft.

Charles warned me that he might become intolerable. He did. His moods shifted among and mixed together bitterness, anger, misery, peevishness, depression. When Zoloft withdrawal had him in his grip he was hellish to be with.

After several weeks the agony receded, Zoloft had lost its grip. His triumph is all his own. No one helped him, no one could. His steadfastness was born mostly of fury. He was infuriated with his psychiatrist and therapist and wanted to end any control they might have over him. Even hate can be your friend.

(NB to anyone that Google directs this way that wants to be off Zoloft. Quitting hurts. But after a time the only benefit of Zoloft is satisfying your body's craving for Zoloft. Take off your combined sick leave and vacation time. It'd be handy to have friends who'll leave you trapped and isolated in a mountain cabin or tie you to the bed and ignore your begging.)

When we first met in addition to the Zoloft Charles was taking neurontin and klonopin.

He stopped taking the neurontin early on. He still uses it now but only to help with his migraine headaches. (Since he quit Zoloft his headaches have dropped in intensity.)

Several months ago he reduced his klonopin dosage from six pills to two. Charles doesn't know if he'll be able to eliminate it completely or not.
 
His heavy marijuana smoking has been a thing of the past for some time. Until I met Charles I never thought reefer could be such a problem. Back when I used to take psychedelics and other fun drugs my friends smoking pot from arising to bedtime and had no problems earning graduate degrees or running shoe stores (pot was probably a must for the latter).

But pot exacerbates whatever makes Charles bipolar nastily. Charles hasn't gone into a frightening manic high in a long time, maybe a year.

He never had a problem with liquor (at least since I've known him, he did go to some AA meetings many years ago). A single glass of wine evokes with his acid reflux or nausea so we can't sit on the porch, sip wine and laugh like we used to.

Phenergan is the strongest medication he still takes. Several years ago Charles had an intestinal resection that put his crohn's in remission. He never knows when he'll become nauseated. When the nausea is severe a very heavy dose of phenergan is needed. Sometimes it'll knock him out as soon as it hits. Other times he'll be alert for a few hours then become very sleepy. Or it may not make him drowsy at all. There isn't an alternative yet (actually the phenergan was a replacement for thorazine).

Me, I only take synthroid. I'll have to admit synthetic thyroid hormone changed my life. Little did I suspect that a feeble thyroid shaped my days. Humiliating isn't it, to reminded you're just an ambulatory vat of chemicals sloshing about.

Medication is one of the scary parts of getting older. Having to take not just one pill to fix something but to add in a couple of other pills to control the side effects of the first one. I used to be the kind of guy who took aspirin only when it seemed absolutely necessary (stupid twit, there was no glory in living through those hangovers). Aside from the fear of having my body chemistry mucked with there's the cost. Charles was just prescribed a special kind of toothpaste. His Medicaid doesn't cover it and it costs $16 a tube.

Anyway, I'm very proud of Charles. Here's hoping for the day he can bring similar toughness to other parts of his life.

When Charles decided to quit I wrote Zoloft Withdrawal

Comments

All power to self-empowerment, what a travail, I hope one day psychiatrs will view the prescription of medications to do their jobs as an ill-conceived notion. Courage.

Three months later and Charles is still free of any and all SSRIs. Zoloft and its ilk is just a legal way for drug companies create helpless customers for their products.

Thank you for the post. I have been on Zoloft for three years. I began with 25 mg and experienced a depression several months later, so my doctor increased it to 50 mg.

I had a depression from January 1 to about mid-June of this year, but I didn’t call my doctor. From what you say, I can surmise that the Zoloft had quit working.

The thing that brought me out of the depression was to become move involved and active. I am a 73-year old woman, living alone. I sometimes confuse lonliness and bordom with depression.

So, I have decided to go off Zoloft and not ask for another antidepressant. The doctor tells me that depression is an imbalance in the brain. Of course you know about uptake inhibitors, but I’ve come to think that perhaps just activity, having someone to care for me, and being productive and useful to my family creates the serotonin that is lacking in depression.

Anyway, that’s what I’m going to try. It is possible at this point that the Zoloft is not even working.

I’m going to experiment on myself.

Again, your message has been most helpful.

Best regards to you and Charlie.

Sorry, I called him Charlie instead of Charles.

I quit Zoloft 50 mg seven days ago. What can I expect?

Please email me at bjvanslyke@yahoo.com

I have been on Zoloft for 3 years because I experienced a horrible panic attack for the first time in a super market. The ambulance had to be called because I felt that I would not live another minute. My physician put me on Zoloft. At first it worked fine but I still had some panic attacks even though I was taking the medication. Three years later I began having horrible heart palpitations every day as soon as I got out of bed in the morning. Had no trouble sleeping but as soon as I got up the palpitations would start. It got so bad that I spent 2 days in the hospital having every heart test imaginable taken. Nothing wrong with my heart so I assumed it had to be the Zoloft. I have been weening myself off of it for a week now and I feel as though there is something sloshing around in my head. Went to my hair dresser yesterday and started crying for no reason. I just wonder if I will ever feel the same again. My life feels as though its over. I am 63 years old and still work and have always been very young minded and active. Now I feel old and also feel as though my life is over. I need help.

Charles was on 200 mg of Zoloft every day for years. After a time SSRI’s stopping helping. When he quit it was raw Hell. The two of us have had some bad times but those days were among the worst.

Now he doesn’t take Zoloft and doesn’t miss it. As I said in the entry his headaches greatly abated after he’d quit Zoloft.

Charles has been subject to panic attacks but his klonaphin (clonzepam) helps with those.

Very best of luck to anyone who needs to quit their SSRI.

At 24 and the mother of two kids I am on zoloft, synthoid, and now kolonapin. I am terrified of all the side effects that these drugs can cause and wondering what effect this combination will have on me in the long run. As it is I already have a heart rate around 40-50. It was helpful and scary to read about how hard it can be to wean ones self off these so called helpful drugs. Thank You for sharing your experience.

I went off Zoloft 100mg/24/7, about 7 weeks ago to this day. The first few weeks were not to bad. These past 4 weeks have been almost insanely hellish! Any sane person wouldn’t prescribe these drugs to a dog! I absolutely detest these doctors that only treat the symptoms and never the causes.And what is worse, they do not want to even here about the causes. They look at the symptums and prescribe. I will stay away from them like poison, that is what they are dealing in..legal drug trafficing. I had a severe neck injury in 1975, that went untreated, a stupid medical doctor again, you trust them and look at it now! I have been doped up by physicians ever since when I see one to look at the cause. For the past years I have been going off and withdrawing from something prescribed for my situation, for the past 2 years. Zoloft, is the last one of them left. And it is hell…will this ever go away? It is enough just dealing with pinched nerves in the neck moment by moment! Right now, I don’t know what is causing what! My wife trys to understand and helps so much, but this is new for her too! I can’t get any doctor here in the Portland, Oregon area to do anything but get really agitated and threatened when I talk to them about it. All they want to do is prescribe, prescribe these nasty narcotics. noone should have these unless they are on deaths doorstep! Are thes docs all in bed with the drug manufacturers? I am sure they are…free enterprise is great until it has to much power..I will do everything in my power to down the drug companies. Just look at their TV ads on Zoloft, Celebrex Paxil and on and on, making them look glamorous! Where do I go with this next…

I have been on zoloft for almost 5 years. My OBGYN prescribed it after I went into severe post partum depression after having my son. Just recently I have decided to stop it all together instead of weening myself off of it. It has been almost two weeks, I did give in about a week ago and took just one tablet. I know that you aren’t suppose to just quit without weening yourself off of zoloft, but I just couldn’t do it without quitting it all at once. It is too tempting to have it around to keep taking. I really have felt pretty good for the most part but have had some hard times. I get quiet and slightly depressed some days while other days I am just happy go lucky. Can anyone tell me how long I will experience side effects and what kind of side effects I can get. I don’t ever want any medication to control my life again, I want to end the madness of thinking I have to take a pill to be happy and to be scared of getting off of it that I won’t be able to live a normal life.

dear Chris, I read your letter here and wanted to comment. I’ve been on Zoloft for about 10 years (150MG)After the past 2 years I found that even though i was no longer depressed , i felt bored and just kind of like existing instead of really appreciating life. i was so bored that i lost a very good position at my company that paid in the six figure catagory. So i decided to quit COLD TURKEY… I’m somewhat stubborn and egotistical so i thought i can do this on my own. I’ve been off Zoloft for 5 weeks now, and its been rough… i get the ZAPS in my head just like everyone else I’ve read about. I do have fear and anxiety but its not debilitating on any level, just uncomfortable. I do feel myself being more active in wanting to take on projects, and although I have had stints of POOR ME, and a few teary eyed moments…. nothing major. I have different views now about medication, i believe they do help out people very much, but I do not want to be on them for the rest of my life. Good Luck!

I found your bit about Zoloft withdrawl via Google. I am now down to 6.25mg every 4 days or so. I take it when I get those lovely neuro “zaps” that occur when cutting down on the so-called non-addictive drug. Anyway, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who becomes unbearable.

Even though I’ve been tapering slowly (ie cutting down by half every 2 weeks) I have had bouts where I got so irritable, that I feared I might kill someone (well, not literaly, but it was a side-effect paranoia I formed for the durration of one lovely week). I’m still really grumpy, but the reassuring thing is that my symptoms are not the one’s that caused me to go on Zoloft in the first place, which I did fear would be the case. However, the withdrawl isn’t exactly peaches and cream…

What also sparked my interest in your writing, was that Charles is on Klopin. I actually quit that one a year ago, cold-turkey and only use .025mg (a quarter of a pill) if I’m really freaking out.

I still take Synthroid, because, well, I have to, but here’s the thing:

When I was 16 and diagnosed with depression and anxiety (also symptoms of hypothyroidism) I was told, despite my family history of the disease, I was, quote, “too young to test my thyroid.” Well it wasn’t until two years, 25 pounds, and breasts-started-lactating for no reason later, that the doctors said, “Gee, let’s test your thyroid…”

The reason I bring this up, is that I believe that if I had been tested when “too young,” I could have saved the hell of over 6 years of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and mindless psychiatrists, AND my present hell of withdrawl.

Thanks for your writings, and maybe this can make others feel better about themselves, too.

I forgot to mention the book that helped me quit Klonopin, and helps me in a way with the Zoloft withdrawl. It’s called “Don’t Panic” by R. Reid Wilson. If you were looking for a doctor to give answers to fix yourself without meds, this is it! Here’s a link to it on Amazon (gosh, I feel like a publicist, lol):

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060951605/qid=1074501773/sr=2-1/ref=sr21/104-7785017-6479114

I keep meaning to post something about discovering that I needed synthroid changed my life considerable.

Charles still needs klonopin to control muscle spasms.

I have taken 100 mg zoloft for at least 5 years. At the time I was dealing with teen age kids, financial stress, and 3 major surgeries within 1 year. Zoloft DID help me. I actually do not know if I could have handled everything without it. I have always struggled with my weight. For several years I have been trying to get a few pounds off, but they just won’t budge. After reading all the posts about zoloft and weight gain, I made the decision go go off zoloft and see what happens. I have done this witout talking to my doctor. I still have my prescription, so I figure I can resume it if I really have to. I quit taking it cold turkey. 2 Days went by and nothing happened. On the third day, I developed a headache (eyes hurt) and dizziness. I have been toughihg it out, because I have read that zoloft is gone from your body by 2 weeks. Yesterday I had a slight anger outburst at my husband, but was able to talk to myself and get through it. It has been 9 days now. I still have the dizziness and headache, but I am counting down the 5 more days to see if all symptoms will be gone. I have not told anyone that I am doing this until I find out if I can do it. I don’t feel like I have lost any weight, but it has only been 10 days. I was wondering if anyone else has gone off zoloft like this, and what experiences they had.

I have been on Zoloft for 5 months now ,I started to take it after about 2 months after my early retirement.I am 49 and I started having panic attacks in the daytime.I used to get them at night from a deep sleep when in my busy season at work.I would wake up suddenly out of breath thinking I was having a heart attack these went on for about 10 years.About a year before I sold the business I had a severe panic attack one night just after going to bed.Spinning room,numbness in my chest,distended stomach,diahriah,and fright.I only got it this bad once,after retirement I got something simular but not as severe.Now with Zoloft my panic attacks are not as frequent,short in duration but Ihave ear ringing all the time.And I still get depressed,for a few days at a time.Replys welcome

this all sounds like a bunch of crap ive taken zoloft for years and it has changed my life i use to have bad anxiety but with the zoloft it is completely gone i think that charles has lots of other problems and zoloft is not one of them

Dave,

Glad you are the miracle man by whom all psychiatric medications can be tested for their universal applicability to all human beings regardless of the nature of their mental or physical conditions.

Well, it’s been almost a month since I took my last Zoloft (I had been tapering for awhile). Now I just feel nauseus and have body tremors, akin to anxiety attacks but without most of the brain weirdness. I’m haveing a hard time “re-learning” myself and navigating my no longer flat-line emotions. I finally have a bit of a sexdrive, but for the time it is shadowed by the anxiety, which I am finding ways to handle without zoloft.

Scott mentioned his ears ringing…I get that too, and I hope it will go away eventually…

And Dave, I understand that you think this is a bunch of crap, but please respect that the people posting here are perhaps going through some tough times BECAUSE of Zoloft. It may work for you, and that’s great, but respect those for whom it does not.

I was on Zoloft for 2 years 50mg a day, and about a month and a half ago I decided to go off it on my own cause I thought I was feeling better, but after about 5 weeks of not being on them I started to feel the symptoms of my panic attacks come back on, after a few weeks of feeling like this and after a bad attcak, I decided to go back on Zoloft since I still had a few months worth till left, I did all this without seeing my doctor, today is my fourth day back on them and I feel terrible at some points my whole body feels like pins and needles, I feel that I am just going to totally freak out, its pretty much unbearable, but I know its just the drug going back into my system so I am trying to tolorate it but it sucks.

Anyone else feel this way???

My doctor put me on Zoloft about 3 Months ago. I was against the idea, but was told it was non-addictive and would help me become less depressed and more motivated…anyway, long story short, I have to go to a free clinic and was able to be put on a program that would allow me to pay only $5.00. When I ran out of my “3 Month” supply prescription and called the pharmacy for another “3 month” prescription I was told they had none available for those of us on the program and they did not know when they would be available. So , not really accepting the fact that I needed this Medication, I was left with no choice but to go cold turkey…it has only been 2 days and i was very worried about side effects. I am so glad i was able to find your web site. It has put my mind at ease. I now have a plan of action and have let my friends and family know so that I can recieve support if needed. I can withstand anything and win the battle if I know what to expect…so thank you and take care…Linda

I have been yaking zoloft for about two years now primarily for my anxiety. Started at 50mg then to 100. Im afraid to get off it as I remember how scary an anxiety /panic attack can be. Medication of this sort scares me to take being all stuff Im hearing. What hqappens if i get off on this.>>>

I have been on antidepressants since about 1987. I also take Synthroid and Klonopin. Last year my doctor added Provigil to the concoction. The Provigil is wonderful. Zoloft can depress other neurotransmitters that can account for feeling “flat”. I tried to cut back on my Zoloft once. I had reduced it to about 50 mg. gradually. I felt “better”, less flat, etc. and thought I had done the right thing. Then I crashed. I had a difficult time for several months. My psychiatrist says successive depressive episodes deepen in intensity and duration. It is terribly important to keep these episodes at bay. Thank goodness for my meds.

I’ve been on zoloft for about 5 years, without any med supervision. Initially it was a tremendous help for depression and anger management. But the dosage required seem to increase a little each year to achieve the same results. I have tried several times to quit, but the upsurge in anger and depression, combined with the withdrawl symtoms pushed me back on to it. The one withdrawl symtom that is freaky is the dizziness that comes on within the first week of quitting. I am trying once again to quit, and switching to 5-htp, which seems to be working much better than zoloft (2 weeks of overlapping the two). Good luck to those in similar battles!

I have been on Zoloft for 4 years, I increased to 100mg/day about a year ago as I was feeling unmotivated, wanting to sleep all the time. In the past year I have noticed significant side effects that I hadn’t on 50mg such as; PROFUSE sweating during even minimal exertion, MAJOR vertigo especially in elevators etc, and finally a fair bit of weight gain. I have decided to go cold turkey (day 3 now) and have not suffered any of the withdrawl effects thus far… wish me luck!! Thank You Richard, for this message board, I feel that it has, and will be very helpful in kicking the Z habit!

Does anyone have any step by step instructions on successful weaning off of Zoloft. I have been on it for a little over 3 years. I was prescribed it for depression associated with my thyroid. Now that is under control. But I can’t stand taking this drug knowing that I don’t know what else it is doing to me. I have tried quitting cold turkey, but I become nuts. I feel like I am living in a black hole, literally. Everything feels dark, and I get very very depressed. I want out of this drug! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Stacey

Your feelings?

Please share your feelings about Qutting Zoloft.
Thanks,
Richard

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