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Zombie like (depersonalization) while taking Zoloft?
Hi folks,
I would like to know your opinion about my problem.

I am on Zoloft for panic attack (I head hydrops of my inner ear, so I stressed myself that I could lose my hear and after successful treatment of hydrops I had panic attack) almost 6 weeks. At beginning I made mistake and used Zoloft 2 times per day (totally dosage 100mg). I couldn't sleep (I slept usually 3-4 hrs per day max), I had no appetite, no sex drive, I have had acne on my face and back a lot (normally I haven't any). But the worst is that I lost almost all my emotions (I dont feel anything to my wife, my father and rest of my family), also I dont feel any emotions in my work (I am MD OB/gyn and I was really addicted to my job, to help the babies to become this world) and finally i feel really disconnected with surrounding world (no feelings while looking in mirror, speaking to someone sounds me strange or like an automatic speech, my memories seem like that they are not my own or without any emotional load ...). First, after 2 weeks using Zoloft morning and evening (50mg + 50mg) I started to use 100mg only morning. But nothing change with my sleep and feelings of unreality and emotional numbness. Well after another two weeks I decided to reduce my dose. I turn to 50mg. After one day of nausea, fever and flu-like symptoms I feel physically well, my appetite came back, I started to sleep about 6 hrs per day, but still woke up at 4-4:30 AM. And still feel miserable about the unreality and emotional numbness. So I decided after consultation of my PDoc to quit the Zoloft. After 5 days 50 mgs I used for another 3 days 25 mgs and yesterday only 12.5mgs. Unfortunately I still feel disconnected with reality and no emotions. Also during this night I had horrible dream, that I screamed and woke up my wife. No sleep since 4:00 AM. I will try to stop Zoloft today. I forget to mention while using Zoloft I have tic of my lips, which I never had.

To my question. Is it normal, has or had anybody the same feelings and symptoms like me, when using Zoloft (above all the feeling of depersonalization and derealization and emotional nembness)? Are they unwanted side-effects or withrawal effects? Is it getting better when you stop to use Zoloft? If yes, when does it improve? Or is it part of my anxiety (which I dont feel so much at the moment, resp. maxim. during the early morning and then shortly few times per day and it is related to feeling of depers/dereal., which I feel 24/7 now)? Any advice?

Thank you for your time and any kind and hopeful answer.

Albert

PS. I had feeling of depers/dereal. only 3 times in my life - first at 18, when I tried acid (1/4 of normal dose, and the effect last for about 3 or 4 monthes), then 2 yrs ago when I thought that I was infected by HIV in my work - of course I wasn't as the test show, but 3 monthes of waiting for results and using Zoloft was terrible, and now, but this time I suffer the most horrible experience with depers/dereal.
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Avatar universal
When I first started Zoloft, I had a few side effects for about a month.  I tend to notice them whenever I start, stop, or adjust the dosage of it.  Do you think your feelings can be related to your condition and not the medications?  I tend to get those feelings when I am suffering from anxiety which, in my opinion, can lead to depersonalization.  Having said that, for me, I believe that the medication can numb your emotions a little bit, but for me, the benefits far outweigh the side effects of taking it.   Also, remember, SSRIs like Zoloft won't cure you of anything.  In my opinion, they are a great tool and resource to use while you learn about the root causes of your anxiety through counseling with a mental healthcare professional.  Gaining the long term knowledge about this, will give you the ability to confront and deal with it in my opinion....keep us posted!
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Thank you for your answer cj29,
I wish if the medication numbs my emotions only a little bit. But I am totally free of any emotions. I tried to think that it is related to my condition, but it became worse (I mean sleeping disturbances, depersonalization, emotional numbness) since I have started to use Zoloft. When I had lower the dose, sleeping is better, but emotions a and DP seems unchanged. That is why I decided to stop Zoloft, I want to be happy/unhappy again, I want to feel something to my wife, family, friends and even to myself. As I wrote I am MD, but other specialty than psych, so I did my own web resaerch about unwanted side-effects of Zoloft (mainly zombie-like state), so at least I know, that other people feel the same. But I am still bit afraid, if they fully recovered.
Of course, I do with my psych individual psychotherapy and we are looking what is the problem. But I dont want to wait with Zoloft or other SSRI with these unpleasant symptoms until we found the reason of my anxiety (probably chronic stress and burn-out syndrome).

As the day progress I feel more worse (more fear and anxiety, a little bit of suicidal thoughts but not strong enough to commit anything), thinking at least to take clonazepam to relieve the fear. I hope in better tomorrow.

Thanks for any comments, A.
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How are you doing now??

I experienced this similar when I started Zoloft. The sadness was gone, but so was most of my emotions! I talked to my Dr. and we tried to up the dose and see if that helped, and it did tremendously. I experience a little bit sometimes, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Just a thought, it worked for me, but we are all different. Good luck :)
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Wow, i had almost the exact same symptoms.  I felt like i couldn't feel sad let alone happy.  I felt the lack of emotions everyday even worse than it was before.  I stopped treatment after 2 weeks as it made me feel awful.  I felt like a complete zombie and it was one of the worst feelings I've ever had.  To this day I still feel fairly numb (several months later) but not nearly as bad as I was on the Zoloft.  I currently take Xanax in low dosages for acute anxiety.  I'm still looking for a soultion for this terrible condition as it can be terribly debilitating.  As hard as it is it feels nice in a way to know others are experiencing this and it is not just me.  I wish you the best of luck and hope that one day you will be able to find something that works for you.
Best wishes
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How are you now?
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How are you know Albert? Did you manage to get your emotions back? I also got this because i took zoloft its absolite hell
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As a doctor, you should educate yourself on how severe SSRI drugs really are. Doctors were told they were safe and don't cause anything severe, but this is simply not the case. More and more literature keeps coming out, it just hasn't completely caught up yet. They cause a severe dependence that is equal to benzos (minus the seizures and even that is only with high dosages. Like Xanax 4mg+ a day.) But SSRI withdrawal makes up for that because instead they can cause tachycardia and rapid blood pressure changes, hallucinations, and psychosis. The taper process should have been much much slower. I know some doctors say that "discontinuation syndrome" (a degrading and dishonest way to put it) lasts only two weeks, and you can ask anyone who has been through it, that is simply not true.

In fact, the metabolite methylsertaline doesn't even leave your body for 25 days after the last pill, so that is when the most severe of the withdrawal will appear. 100 mg of zoloft was a ridiculously high dose. People are given those doses, but they are way way too high. You should also start at tinier doses and see how that does, if it doesn't help only then should you consider increasing it. Also, the half life of zoloft is around 26 hours. This makes taking zoloft or any other ssri twice a day very dangerous and it is a good way to get serotonin syndrome. That can even happen at lower doses when taken this way. There's a reason the dose is supposed to be once a day period.

If I were you I would either take of work for a at least a month or so to get through the withdrawal or restart at a low dose and taper off much more slowly. When I say slow I mean decrease by increments of 10% every two weeks. I don't know how long you were taking the drug exactly, but if you were taking it more than a few months I would do the very slow taper. Once you get off of them, run away and never ingest those drugs again. You don't want your career ruined because they drugs have damaged your brain. Which they will. Ever taking zoloft when I was told that, "it's safe," was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

It's funny you mention the thing about LSD. That's actually how my severe panic attacks and stuff started. I was drugged and had the worst experience of my life. It messed me up bad.
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