This forum is for questions and support pertaining to mental health issues such as: Anger, Dementia, Depression, Family Problems, Memory Problems, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Schizophrenia, Transitions and Work Problems.
I first posted back on March 22nd. Almost all of the symptoms I had from the withdrawl (withdrawal) seem to be gone. All except for the clicking ears. My ears have been clicking and popping for 2 months now. It started when I stopped the Zoloft, but I've been everywhere to try and figure out what's going on. I've been to 3 ears, nose and throat doctors and 2 dentists because two of the ENT docs thought it could be TMJ. So I went to a TMJ specialist... he told me I had none of the symptoms. So there goes that.
The clicking is driving me so crazy that I just can't do it anymore. I sleep as much as I possibly can just so I don't have to deal with it. I was in the emergency room last night because I was crying so bad because I just can't take it anymore. I really, honestly can't and NO ONE seems to give a damn. Well, I get a CT scan and it ends up coming back perfectly normal. Great. So they STILL don't know what the hell is going on.
The doctor comes back in the room and says he went online and did a little bit of research and said that Zoloft seems to cure those types of symptoms. He called it "Tinnitus" (sp?) Except for the fact that my ears don't ring! They click!! There wasn't anything he could do for me. He suggested I go to my family doctor and talk to her about going BACK on the Zoloft because he believes that's the only thing that will EVER help this stop. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I don't WANT to go back on that sh*t!!!! I don't ever want that back in my body. I've got enough problems now thanks to that stupid drug!!!!! And he mentioned Lexapro... that it was one of the "lesser troublesome" drugs or some **** like that. And I remember reading here that someone had lots of trouble with that. Besides, I refuse to take any more SSRI's.
These companies need to be held RESPONSIBLE for what they do to us. They COVER the symptoms, they don't CURE them. Not to mention the fact that they create brand NEW ones!!! Something really needs to be done. I can't live my life this way and I shouldn't have to! None of us should!! We give in because we feel like we've lost all hope and that there's no other choice. But they know exactly what they're doing. And if they don't, they certainly don't seem to care!
No one else's ears click?? I don't know what to do. It feels hopeless.
Just wanted to say I am doing good so far. I posted about a week ago. I have been on 50mg for 8 years. now I am down to 12.5 every 4 days and I am copying much better. Not so anxious and uptight. I agree with another post that supplements are very helpful. I take magnesium,fish oil(but i read not after 4pm because it needs time to metabolize before you go to bed) also I have begun to take St. John's wort and SAMe. I have not had any brain zaps or much dizziness to speek of. I am not completly off I realize yet but, I think I am doing good compared to some. Also, I don't let a day go by with out walking either on my treadmill at the lake or around the neighborhood. I really watch what I eat limiting junk food considerably. Lots of fruits(I make a shake EVERYmorning with blueberries and any other fruit I have, flax meal and flax oil ,aloe vera juice, milk, and powdered greens). I am trying very hard to do all I can to support my body with good foods and excercize. In the past I have really let myself go. I weighed 198 and I am 5'6. In the last few months I have lost about 8lbs.and I am happy for that.
I want you all to know I am keeping you in my prayers! There is power in prayer and the Lord does not want us in slaved to these drugs. Zoloft helped me when I needed it but its like you sell your soul to the devil. He lures you in by making you feel good then you have to pay dearly when you want out. But I keep proclaiming "I can do all things through Christ who strenghthens me!" We will over come!
One more thing I forgot to say was that maybe we don't see many success stories posted because people get better and don't bother to let us know. They move on and that is wonderful! But let us if we do get through the withdrawls and months down the line we are feeling good and doing well pls. remember to post so that we can let others know there is hope and it is possible. They need that from us.It's great to have a place to go to to vent, cry out and try to get support from others but we must give back in the end and let them know we made it out of the valley and they can too.
I was on Zoloft for about 6 weeks for situational depression. Well situations are changing and I hated the sexual side effects so I decided that I was coming off Zoloft. It is day three and I do feel flu like. It is strange because it seems that my symptoms come when it is time for my Zoloft. I was only on 50 mgs a day, and not even very long. I am really hoping that I don't have all of the symptoms you all describe!
Best of luck to all of you!!
Hi, I only took Zoloft for 2 weeks and now went off of it and I feel horrible, and I was on such a low dosage. I am pregnant so my doctor started me on 10 mg (compound made) I was on this for 5 days, and felt better with my depression and anxiety, then I went up to 20 mg (compound made) and I stayed on this for only 2 days, I felt like a bus had hit me! I couldn't get out of bed and at the sametime I couldn't sleep. I'm pregnant and I have to be able to sleep and be able to take care of myself somewhat for the sake of this unborn child. I went down to 10 mg again for about 3 days and then went off of the 10 mg, just 2 days ago. I feel worse now than I did before I started this medication. I do have problems with depression, anxitey and irratibility for many years, but the way I feel right now is worse then my regular mood problems... I feel like I am out of my body, not in control of my thoughts, I feel no emotions at all, I feel so incredibly tired and weak and have horrible dizzy spills. I can't believe I feel this way from being on a very small dosage of Zoloft for only 2 weeks! I am very sensitive to medication, I have been on other anti-depressants over the years, and I also went through a horrible withdrawal with Effexor but I was on that for 1 year and at a regular dose... I don't understand why I have such horrible withdrawal from Zoloft from only being on it for 2 weeks and such a low dose... I am worried about my baby inside of me, how she is feeling. Will this withdrawal symptoms go away? I'm hoping being on such a low dose for only 2 weeks that it will go away, but how long does it take? I am so glad I didn't continue longer with this drug. Please if anyone can help me with my questions, I am very worried not just about me but the baby inside of me... please post me back. thank you so much.
started zoloft 4 2007 been on 6 weeks, severe anxiety hyperventilating tapered dpwn from 50 to 25 for 2 weeks now off 2nd day after stopping extreme achiness headache hyperventilating again week tired how long will these symptoms last i only was on it 6 weeks
Hello, I am at work and experiencing side effects strong enough to get me to search online for what the heck it is. I found this forum and feel much better to see others experiencing these brain zaps and fogginess and vision problems and headaches, etc. I have been taking Zoloft for maybe 5 months now, and previously on Lexapro for 3 months. My memory is terrible since starting these drugs. Lexapro took away so much of my memory that I couldn't remember what day it was...all day long! It was scary and embarrassing and my doctor just didn't believe that it was worse than everyone elses normal forgetfullness. So now on Zoloft at least I did feel like I wasn't so upset or depressed (I have 2 baby girls, 3yr and 11mo) or angry at my defenseless kids. Last week I accidentally stopped my medication due to forgetting to take it. Once I realized that I hadn't taken it in 3 days and haven't killed myself or someone else I decided to purposely not take it last night. Well today the side effects are pretty harsh. My muscles really hurt, my eyes burn, headaches, and really bad fogginess/dizziness. I am hoping it doesn't get worse and I can just deal with it until it goes away. Since I am not angry or paranoid or depressed like the last time I tried to taper off of Zoloft it seems like a good idea to just keep going through the pain in case I can come out the other end drug free without flipping out entirely or losing friends in the process. It is quite painful and like many others my doctor is not so supportive of believing the intensity of the side effects so I am not even telling her about it. What's the point? If I do spend money to go in and talk to her she will just smile and nod and I'll get nothing out of it.
feeling a bit better today from the withdrawal symptoms. I went to see my naturopathic doctor and she gave me a homopathic remedy and it seems to be working, I feel more like myself again. I'm going to have to learn how to deal with the depression, anxiety and anger without drugs, and with alternative medicine and with therapy.. I don't care what the docs say I don't trust these anti-depressants anymore and especially with being pregnant I can't risk how it could potentially affect my baby. I wish everyone the best of luck and hope that they get through this.
I am currently tapering off Zoloft for the third time in 10 years. I had never researched withdrawal symptoms before, and it is horrible to read some of the personal stories posted here. I feel compelled to post myself for people who come across this board while thinking of quitting the drug but get scared away by the painful anecdotes here.
First, the effects of going off Zoloft vary, and for some people, aren't even that severe. I dismiss the people who say they wish they could bring a class-action lawsuit against Pfizer. I truly think Zoloft has had a big hand in restoring my life several times. (My first major depressive episode, 10 years ago, ended with a suicide attempt.)
That said, I have had one negative experience coming off of it. The first two times I went off, I had absolutely no issues (see now, isn't that comforting?). About two years ago, I went off again, but not for very long. I was suffering panic attacks, and even though I could recognize those for what they were, having your heart feel like it's going to beat out of your chest is freakin' scary. I also recognized that maybe I was having withdrawal this time around because I was going through a major life change: I had just moved from the West Coast to New York City to begin a graduate program.
Again, maybe I am just lucky, but I've never gained weight while on the drug. Just the opposite, in fact. I definitely see the diminishing effects on my libido, though, which is a bummer, but also a side effect I've accepted as par for the course.
And just to drive the point home that we all react differently to these drugs, I hate Wellbutrin. Hate it! People talk of it here as a wonderful alternative to the "evil" Zoloft, but I found it unbearable. For the few months I took it, I was sweaty, anxious, couldn't keep my feet still, had heart palpitations, and my depression got worse. So.
If you're reading this and thinking of going off it, you should give it a try. It might not be that bad. If you go into something with negativity, it probably will be a negative experience (self-fulfilling prophecy, anyone?). You can always go back on if it sucks. Excercise, of course, helps tremendously, but so does keeping an open mind.
I'm a 49 year old post-menopausal woman who has been on anti-depressant/anti-anxiety meds for over 14 years. I'm new to this forum, but after withdrawing from Zoloft 50 mg/week (300 mg to 0 mg) over the last 6 weeks with no side effects other than some mild dizziness, my first 2 days completely off Zoloft have been nasty, and I wanted to touch base with other Zoloft users. I feel as though I've been run over by a truck with muscle pain and weakness, and a simple walk to the store exhausted me for the rest of my day. I still take 450 mg Wellbutrin and 50 mg Trazadone at night to sleep, and my doctor knows that I'm off the Zoloft. But he wanted me to replace the Zoloft with SerroquelI (which has weight gain side effects, and I am now 60 pounds overweight) which I did not do. I went off the Zoloft because I am visiting an ex-boyfriend next month, and would like to be able to have an orgasm without resorting to high-end machinery. I also felt numb and fuzzy a great deal of the time. I expected some withdrawal symptoms, but the flu-like symptoms and the weakness were a surprise. I heard about them for the first time in this forum - for those of you who have (or had) them - do they last a long time, or god forbid, get worse? And why don't doctors tell us about them? Any help would be greatly appreciated - just knowing that other people have experienced these symptoms has made me feel less of a freak.
I am now off Zoloft completely for one week. I, too have brain zapping, and a feeling like i'm going to lose conciousness. I totally flipped out on a friend the other night over nothing (she locked the car doors while I was driving) totally out of character for me. My doc suggested Wellbutrin and I am on it now 300mg a day. I'm in a total fog. One good thing, i really don't feel like smoking, i have 5-6 a day down from a pack a day habit. I'm going to hang in there and ride these symptoms out. Good luck to everyone.
I found this site just before picking up the phone to call at least one of my doctors to see what is going on with me. I will preface this with the fact that I had been on 100mg Zoloft for about 10 years for anxiety/depression after the death of my mother (continued on it because my gynecologist said that I might need it for the rest of my life to control a possible 'chemical imbalance.')
Now, the past couple of months - since February - have been a wild and confusing ride for me. At that time, I lost my father quite suddenly to a massive heart attack at 72, I then decided that at 54 it was time to see the family doctor ... even though I've been seeing specialists for "woman" things, allergies, etc. Well, he found that I've gained over 50-60 lbs. in the last ten years (Zoloft?), and my blood pressure and cholesterol were dangerously high and immediately put me on blood pressure and cholesterol medications. My thoughts ... "man, I hate taking another medication on top of Zoloft & Allegra, Albuterol, Nasacort!" But, this BP and cholesterol thing is a little more life threatening than my anxiety or sneezing & wheezing. SO, THE BIG STORY HERE ... about four weeks ago I decided to stop the Zoloft ... cold turkey. I also started a wonderful healthy eating regemine (Sonoma Diet if your interested), started drinking lots of water and walking on my treadmill for at least a mile each day, have lost 17 pounds and even want to redecorate my house (more energy and interest in life than I've had in a long time). Felt great! If I was having withdrawal, I didn't know it! THEN, (after the doctor ordered stress test indicated a possible blockage), a cardiac cath was ordered and I'm told little or no walking until after the procedure (which I, unfortunately, put off for three weeks). During that three week period, I continued my healthy eating habits, but didn't concentrate so much on drinking lots of water and of course little or no exercise. THEN THE AWFUL head rushes, flu symptoms, aching muscles, crying fits, rages, loss of concentration (well, you all know) ... I even told my husband that I hoped I didn't live through the cath! To bring this long story to somewhat of an end, I had the cath this past Monday and no problems, I have a healthy heart; and, all of the blood-work and tests I've had since going to my family doctor indicates that, at 54, there's absolutely nothing wrong with me ... praise God!
Why do I still feel so physically bad - I can't move my eyes without these awful head rushes (a/k/a 'zaps)! I'm thinking perhaps this is a side effect of the BP or cholesterol medication (most especially the cholesterol meds because they have a well-known side effect muscle pain.) That was my question when I decided to research the internet on Zoloft withdrawal instead of continuing researching BP and cholesterol side effects. AND I FOUND YOU GUYS! Once again, praise God I am not alone and you have helped me lock down my "problem," and I will join the crusade to warn people about these awful effects.
I have started drinking a lot of water again (as it really seems to help the head things going on) and will be able to get back on the tread mill soon (when this cath incision heals enough), I do anticipate feeling better. I am so happy TODAY that I've found you guys and the reason for feeling like I want to die ... and Zoloft was the cause!
Hang in there everyone and I will too. I'll let you know how diet and exercise work on the withdrawal symptoms ... I certainly have to feel better soon!!!! This is withdrawal stuff is beyone miserable!
well im so glad i found this website. I have been on zoloft for 3 yrs an take 100 mg to 200 mg...I havent been taking it for like 2 weeks and im ganna tell u what....the side afects really suck. Im having all the symtoms (symptoms) that everyone else has listed, the dizzy feeling or zap-like feeling..very irritable like i wanna ripe someones head off...an on top off it all my boyfriend cant stand me cause this. I didnt chose to come off of it...i lost my insurence an cant afford it right now....o and i have gained 70 lbs sence i've been on this ****, went from 138 to 200 lbs...tell me if that dont suck...im glad to know im not crazy cause when i tried to tell people what i was feeling they looked at me like "what" hopefully they will go away soon....
Hello All! I posted on here about a month ago, when I found this site, which was definitely a big help to me. Seeing what everyone else is going through makes me feel not so alone in this, as no one I know has ever gone through this, and it's horrible. I have now been off the Zoloft completely for about 2 months, and they withdrawals are still with me! I don't have the brain zaps anymore, but now I have something worse. I get this weird pressure in the front of my head, that goes from my forehead to both temples, and it makes me feel completely out of sorts. Like I am on a different planet or something. it's hard to describe but the first time it happened, I went to the clinic and they had to calm me down, as it created some panic, because it felt so weird and I didn't know what was going on. And lo and behold, the dang doctor tried to give me another medicine to take, a cousin to Lexapro, Celexa. I told him no way was I going to take another drug, as it has been hellish trying to get off the Zoloft. These symptoms seems to come in waves, that last anywhere from 10 mins to an hour, and then I have a respite for a bit, then they come back again. This has been going on for about 2 weeks now. I also have nausea and dizzy spells, and those suck. Point I am trying to make it, it may take some people a really long time(3 or so months) before the withdrawal symptoms go away completely. During this time, you will feel anxiety, I know I do, I feel terror sometimes at nothing, and I even had bouts of complete anger and frustration at absolutely nothing. So, take heart everyone, these symptoms are rough, they are the worst thing you will ever go through, but don't go back on the Zoloft!!!! Don't do it! It is not worth it, unless you really need it, and it really helps you with no side effects. Instead of drugs, get outside and exercise, meditate, go fishing, go camping or do something that you enjoy that relaxes you. Also, I have found something that seems to help me alot, and I pass this on as a kind of test to everyone. I was having a bad day, and I started watching a few of my co-workers play chess, and I started planning out moves for them and such in my head, and it seemed to help. I think that when we get creative, it uses some part of the brain that helps with the serotonin or something. I am not sure if this will work for everyone, but give it a shot, do something that makes you think creatively, draw a picture, paint, make a dresser if you like woodworking, something. It may just help. That all said I am still going through withdrawals, and they really suck, and i hate it, and all it does is make me more determined to not go back on these types of drugs because after 2 months of hell, I don't want to do this ever again. So, hang in there, and stay as strong as possible. These things will eventually pass, and you will feel much happier and better. If anyone would like to chit chat about things, or just needs some support or whatever, email me at ***@****. My name is Jacob, and I would be more than happy to help in any way I can, even if its just a should to cry on or vent to etc. Hope everyone has a decent day! STAY STRONG! Bass.
I started taking Zoloft at 25 - 50 mg in my early 20's for post traumatic stress disorder, I was suicidal at the time and I felt like it saved my life. I loved it. After some intense counseling and an overall improvement in my life, I went cold turkey - with no side effects at all. I swear to god. I felt great - never was an issue again for years.
Fast forward 10 years - quit smoking after 17 years and couldn't stop crying. Asked the doctor for my beloved Zoloft and went on my merry way - few months later - I weaned off with (AGAIN) NO side effects. Maybe a little cranky?
Fast forward 5 years -
Had baby, had run in with crazy mom, got back on the Zoloft - stayed on for long, long time. (4 years?) Gained alot of wieght. At least 40 pounds.
Started weaning off (want another baby) BUT much to my suprise weaning off this time has been hellatious. I just don't understand. The dizzyness, rage and nausea are beyond me. My poor son. My husband is taking him fishing this weekend to give me a chance to unhinge in peace. I don't have the brain zaps - thank god - but those of you that do have my utter and complete sympathy.
Why would I be able to wean off this drug two times previously with no side effects and now be SOOOO miserable? This makes no sense to me.
After reading these postings, I don't know whether I want to cry because my symptoms are the same as those I have read here and MIGHT be around for a long long time or because I am so happy to find I am not alone. I was stunned to read about the diabetes and coughing related postings. After building up to 100 mg of zolft over 7 years I had to be treated for gestational diabetes for my third pregnancy and was recently prescribed lipitor for high cholestoral. I was six days into stopping cold turkey last weekend when I couldn't figure out why all of a sudden I started coughing when I didn't have a cold. I was more alarmed when I was cleaning the carpet and it started to move like wavy water. Then the nausea hit big time. Someone commented about feeling like they were pregnant. I can confirm this does feel very much like "morning sickness" in that I feel nauseated, weak, and I just want to eat saltines. But I can add to that brain zaps, feeling like your eyes don't follow when you turn your head, headaches, dizziness, coughing, irritability, word recall and memory issues, insomnia, and a general zombie state.
I did take some more zoloft (actually the sertraline) a couple of times in the last few days, because I have three kids to take care of and I couldn't function well. From everything I have read here, it seems to me that even when you slowly decrease the dosage you still go through this **** when you finally stop it for good. Is it possible that decreasing the dosage doesn't have much to do with the degree you suffer withdrawal? Maybe people just suffer different degrees of it no matter what?
Are people taking the Benadryl to reduce insomnia or are there other benefits from taking it?
Hi, I'm new to this but just stumbled across this site at 3:00 in the morning because I can't sleep so I am trying to figure out why. I am 27 years old and had my second child 11 mos ago. I'm nursing so taking zoloft (actually sertaline) was a hard decision but I finally decided to go on it when he was about 5 months old because I was having horrible fears. I thought everything was great after a couple of weeks and the meds seemed to kick in. Things were fine for a while but then, I thought I could possibly be pregnant and decided to get off the meds. I take 50 mg so I just tried to take 25mg for about 3 days then completely stopped taking them. The only side effect I noticed at the time was this sort of sinking feeling when I was trying to fall asleep. It was like my heart would stop beating for a second or something. Then I noticed my anxiety coming back full force. It had been about 3 weeks, I found out I was not pregnant, and decided to go back on the meds. I just started right back on 50 mg. After about 3 days of being back on the meds I started feeling crazy symtoms (symptoms). I felt choking sensations, like I had something around my neck. And then I started to worry that I was going to pass out or something. It made me feel slightly nauseous and I also had this pressure all over my shoulders and neck and upperback. I went to the chiropractor twice in two days thinking I needed an adjustment and nothing helped. I finally talked to a dr. who said I was having panic attacks (which were unlike my typical panic attacks) and gave me a prescription for valium to take as needed. I'm still nursing my son so I have only taken it a couple of times. I have been back on the sertaline for more than 2 weeks now and I can not sleep. I feel shaky every time I try to relax. I'm exhausted but can not rest! Now it seems like the valium isn't even helping. I don't know what to do. It almost seems like getting back on the meds screwed me up worse. But, I don't know if it's just a mix of going off of them really quickly and then back on or what. Sorry for the long post but I'm feeling kind of helpless and of course because I'm anxiety ridden I feel like maybe something else could be wrong with me.
I can't comment about your other symptoms, but I believe difficulty sleeping is fairly common when taking zoloft and sertraline. My psychiatrist has had me taking trazadone (which I have read here there are others taking it for the same reason) an hour before bedtime for a few years. While I believe it has helped it also created another strange side effect that lasted for weeks. If I didn't fall asleep immediately my nasal passages would completely close up and I would be forced to breath only through my mouth which made me panicky. I later found that if I took really slow deep breaths through my nose when I started to feel the passages were closing off I could keep them open. Weird! Sorry if all of that isn't relevant for you, but I thought the details might also help others reading here.
So amazed to find this forum. I Googled "zoloft, lightheaded, withdrawal" half-heartedly, not really imagining I'd find others experiencing the same symptoms as me. I started taking 50mg of zoloft (generic) in October 2006. While it helped with my depression symptoms and actually brought a kind of peace to my life, it also brought on a quicker than normal temper and level of irritability that I hadn't experienced before. Thinking that it was possible a dosage increase would help, I began taking 100mg in January.
Bizarre as this sounds, I started experiencing symptoms of pregnancy, similar to those I had when I was pregnant with my son. Food aversions, thickening of the waist, breast enlargement and tenderness, major mood swings, and the most bizarre of all...........production of milk. Thinking I must have been pregnant I took a few pregnancy tests as the weeks went by, but all came back negative. When I went to my OB/GYN she ran blood tests to check for increased hormone levels, but those came back normal and she didn't seem as concerned as I was, so I made an appointment with my internist. She ran another series of blood tests and even scheduled me for an MRI to see if my pituitary gland had any abnormalities which could be producing hormones. Nope. In the midst of all my testing it was determined that I am diabetic, and after reading these posts I have to wonder whether that, plus my weight gain of 10 lbs. since going on Zoloft, are due to this medication.
Anyway, a month ago my doctor switched me to Wellbutrin for my depression symptoms and had me wean myself slowly off the Zoloft, starting with 50mg (from 100), then 25, etc. Well, since I dropped to 50mg, I have not felt "right" at all. My pseudo pregnancy symptoms slowly started to disappear (thank God!), but the lightheadedness that a lot of you describe, as well as a feeling of "slow motion" and a sort of "jangly" feeling in my head have continued. I describe it as "jangly" to my husband, as it reminds me of the motion of bells jangling around in my brain, without the sound. This has gone on for about a month. I stopped taking the zoloft completely two days ago, and I just feel so weird still. I needed to see if this was normal, and I found this forum. Whew! I am relieved, and yet a little freaked out that this has happened to so many other people.
like everyone else here, i just want to say that i am also so glad i found you guys. i stumbled upon this site after googling zoloft withdrawal on a "sick day" from work where i really just couldn't bear to leave the apartment. i found i could relate to at least one thing in every single post i read. it's a relief but also painful to hear because i sympathize with all of you and am myself about to begin my withdrawal for the 2nd time in one month.
let me start off by saying that i "self-prescribed" paxil by telling my family practitioner that i needed it for severe pms. it was really for a severe bout of depression and social anxiety i had gone through for an extended period of time in which my family wouldn't allow me to seek counseling (long story- Asian culture outlook "if we can't fix it in the family then you don't have a problem"). the paxil did nothing for my depression and left me with no libido. i went back to my doctor who then prescribed zoloft and i have been on it for the past 10 years, 25-100 mg. it helped calm all the crazy depressing thoughts flying around in my head and allowed me some clarity for the first time. but it wasn't consistent and i would fly off in rages or cry sometimes although not alot. about 6 or 7 years ago i tried to quit cold turkey, not researching it first or consulting a doctor; not knowing anything about how to withdraw- just doing it. i naively thought there would be no symptoms. i was fine for the first 3 or 4 days but then started experiencing the dizzy spells, motion sickness, nausea, unfocused eye sight and blurry trails when i tried to turn my head. i had no idea what it was. i could barely walk upright and i was easily confused i think because my brain was under so much stress. it was so bad one day that i completely yelled at my boss for no reason. after thinking that it might be withdrawal symptoms and confirming it with a friend who also tried to quit cold turkey, i went back on the pills and felt almost immediate relief. i have weaned myself gradually from 100 mg to 50 mg to 25 mg. over the course of several years in no attempt to quit but just so i wouldn't have so much of the chemical in my body.
i recently went through some pretty big changes in the past couple months (like a falling out with sister-slash-roommate and moving into my own apt on very short notice) and it's caused me to fall into a depressive state that i haven't felt in a long time. through all the changes i realized i hadn't taken my zoloft for about a week or 2 and was feeling okay. i have to preface this by saying also that i don't take my zoloft with any kind of regularity- i only pop a pill when i start to feel dizzy so basically once every 4-5 days. i know this can't be good but i know i'm a slave to the drug and i hate it. so, i was feeling okay after 2 weeks but realized i was coughing A LOT. like i couldn't stop and at times felt like i had a seed stuck in my throat that i couldn't swallow. it was the worst form of irritation. this was about the time i moved into my new apt and had found out the previous owner had a cat which i am allergic to so i attributed it to that. after reading some of the "coughing" posts, i realize it could very well have been the withdrawal. i also started to withdraw within myself at work and cut off almost all contact with all of my friends- at work and outside it. to the people that i did interact with i started to stutter and couldn't seem to form linear thoughts, my thoughts were all over the place and when i talked i started to become a bumbling idiot. so i immediately went back on 25 mg. i don't like zoloft and know that it has contributed to the 5-10 lb. weight gain i've had in 10 years, to my almost non-existent memory, to flare-ups that have caused me to act out on family, friends and boyfriends, and who knows what else.
it is so disconcerting but i really want to get off these because my sister did and if she could then i know i can. it took her 2 tries and she said it was horrible. she was crying all the time and suicidal. i've been crying a lot lately, been easily agitated and felt like i wanted to harm myself. i've holed myself up in my apt for whole weekends instead of enjoying life. i am either wholly lethargic or just can't bear to face anyone. it's so miserable and i just want to say thanks to all the posts that have made me feel like i have people whom i can relate to. i will faithfully document my experience little by little because reading your posts have helped me gain some strength and i just hope i can help others. i am on 25 mg now and will gradually taper off to 12.5 over the course of several months if i have to. i am going to take it incredibly slowly and realize that it's going to be a long and painful road ahead but i just know i have to.
also, i have to add that i've been taking zoloft proper for all but the past 2 or 3 months of the 10 years i've been on it when i've had to switch to sertraline for insurance purposes. i DEFINITELY feel there's a difference- i know some people were questioning it and my pharmacist seems to think i'm nuts- but it does not seem to have the same effect as zoloft. that's my experience anyway so those who weren't sure, you're not alone.
WOW! this is my first blog-ever, but I felt compelled to write after my experience coming off Zoloft and reading that I am soooo not alone. Started zoloft about 5 yrs ago and just decided to go off as my husband and i were going to try to get pregnant. I thought, better to do it now. Well, 6 months later- after the HORRIBLE debilitating withdrawal symptoms, I have decided to try Wellbutrin. Just went to a new doc today. I have been in therapy, trying every modality (freudian, jung-ian, body talk, hypnosis) but the withdrawal symptoms of zoloft were brutal. I did the same thing- 100-75-50-25-12.5-and even broke that in half to (approx) 6mg. Let me tell you, I even felt it then. I would move and my brain would stand still. It would spin, I became very angry and agitated. I still lash out at my husband for no reason. It is horrible. It seems worse than before I went on Zoloft. My weight obsession is horrible now and it is exaserbated by the weight I gained on Zoloft. I am now depressed and fatifued b/c I can't lose the weight, and w/o the medicine, I start crying when I get dressed. I had to take action, I can't live like this. No motivation, excessive fatigue, lack of enthusiasm for life.... life is going by and I am not on the train. ENOUGH! I choose to make a change today. Please send thoughts and prayers the new medication works without too many insane side effects. How can I even think of getting pregnant and having a baby in a depressed womb/state of mind. I also suppose my sex rive should have returned from not being on the zoloft, but the reality is, I have such a poor body image, I don't even want to be intimate. I hate being naked right now so what's the point of increased feeling.
Ok- thats it for now. thanks so much for sharing your stories, it compelled me to write.
Welcome to the site. As awful as I have felt or feel now, it is wonderful to know that I am not alone and I am not imagining the side effects of withdrawal.
I must tell you that if you read any of my old posts, you will notice that it took me 176 days to get off Zoloft. Now it has been about 8 weeks and the weight is really coming off ( yeah !!!!). At the time I stopped Zoloft, I also cut out the sugar -- no chocolate, no candy, very little dairy, only 100% whole grain bread, etc. I found it much easier to do the carb cutting only AFTER I was off Zoloft. Before I had an incredible craving for the carbs.
Don't give up the ship. My kids are all grown up now and married, but I have accepted my body as it is. Don't waste your time worrying about it - love yourself just the way you are. Have a couple of kids and you will realize that your new shape is because of the kids but it was worth it for sure.
So glad to have googled to find this site as I know that I am not a hypocondriac!
I am in recovery from Osteolymphoma (1 year in) which is a type of bone cancer, so as you can imagine I've been through a lot of medications - chemo, radiation therapy and lots of paind killers (chemicals) which is supposed to help (in the short term).
One of them is Zoloft 100mg which I've been on for about 4 years now for anxiety and depression. Sure helped alleviate the symptoms but really only therapy can assist with your mindset. Some of us though do have a chemical imbalance and require some sort of medication in addition to therapy and good health choices.
The awful thing is that when I was first diagnosed with cancer my teenage daughter could not cope and was having debilitating panic attacks and vomiting (as you would do as a sensitive and intelligent person) and our friendly GP also put her on Zoloft. With therapy too we have managed to wean her off with very little side effects. I guess it is because she was only on it for about 8 months.
I've been tapering off over several months but noticed the brain zaps, fogginess, awful body pain (flu like symptons), with hot and cold flushes. Very difficult to function (I need my job and can just lose it at home). I've given up smoking previously and morphine based pain killers for my cancer and can honestly say it is similar to coming off these pain killers. With the pain killers the detoxing did not seem to go on and on for weeks.....
I've had blood tests as my doctor thought it might have been lupus but now has put me on HRT as I'm menopausal from chemo and thinks that the symptoms are from the hormones. I'm trying this but I will NOT go back to Zoloft as I believe these types of medications whilst effective in treatment are HIGHLY ADDICTIVE and I am suffering from terrible side effects.
I will be telling my Dr about this web site and urge everyone to look at alternative therapies and medications.
Good luck to you all and don't lose the faith. Be strong.
I am glad that taking Zoloft and then withdrawing gave you little side effects. Lucky you. It seems strange that you appear to be the only one on this forum who believes that the majority of the people who are experiencing serious withdrawal issues are probably "negative" and should have an open mind.
Very suspicious to me......But then you would probably say that I am "paranoid".
I am happy for you that this was a positive experience and whilst Zoloft can be a great assistance (it was helpful in controlling my anxiety and depression), but when it came time for me to become drug free as I felt that I could conquer my demons with positive self talk, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes, it appears that the detoxing may be too much to bear!
People that have "mental illness" need lots of understanding and compassion and INFORMATION to make an informed choice. What is right for some may not be right for others.
Zoloft 50 mg for about 3 months; tapered to 25 for about 3 weeks; 1 day after last 25 mg dose I started experiencing strange bouts of brief dizziness not unlike that of some viral symptoms (flu, etc.) although not as pronounced. I guess that's what people here are referring to as "brain zaps". Alarming, to say the least! Anyway, I can live with those now that I know what they are, and that they will eventually cease. In the mean time I have noticed that 200 mg of Ibuprofen every 6 hours seems to help reduce the frequency of the withdrawal symptoms.
Good luck to all!
Just wanted to post here about how long my symptoms have lasted. It's been about 2 weeks since I stopped taking zoloft at all. Yesterday I noticed that my "brain zaps", lightheadedness and nausea had diminished VERY significantly, as in down to 90% of the potency that they had been. Good luck to all of you who are still experiencing the ugly withdrawal symptoms at their strongest. Thankfully, it gets better.
Thanks for letting us know how your doing! I'm really encouraged to hear that your are doing so well. Please continue to post now and again to let us know if you feel that you are back to "normal" and if you have experienced any weight loss (if you gained while on Z) and if your libido has returned if that had been a problem while on it. I'm excited and very happy for you. Thanks for the good news it's good for all of us!
I was reading these post and noticed no one has said how much weight they lost when they went off of Zoloft. I have been on Zoloft for close to 10 years and have just realized I will take it my whole life If I dont stop. I gained about 75 lbs. while on this. DO PEOPLE LOSE WEIGHT IF THEY STOP TAKING ZOLOFT?
It's comforting to know I'm not crazy/having a stroke! The "brain zaps" I'd been experiencing were frightening to me, especially since I'm a physical therapy student in my clinical affiliation. I HAVE to be cognizant at all times!
I took Zoloft for nine months to combat anxiety attacks and got up to 75 mg/day. I weaned myself from 75 to 50 to 25 over a period of two weeks. Started feeling "off" about two weeks after the last dose.
I am going to meet with a pharmacist friend and pick his brain about withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms and what can be done to lessen the severity of them, notably:
- light headedness
- flu-like symptoms
- will I lose weight?
- will I improve my memory?
Anything else? I'll ask questions you have. Respond ASAP.
Hang in there everyone...sounds like there's light at the end of the tunnel. I sure as hell wish I had known how severe this withdrawl (withdrawal) was going to take; I wouldn't have taken these stupid meds!
After many, many years on Paxil and then Zoloft (150 mg), I finally finsihed my tapering off this awful drug. The last date I took Zoloft was March 31.
To date, I have lost about 10 pounds. I must admit, I have cut out almost all sugars and have hreatly diminished my carb intact. I stopped most dairy products also. None of this has even been much of a problem since getting of Zoloft and before, I couldn't pass up anything that was a carb. I just don't have that appetite for the sweets - chocolate included and I LOVED chocolate.
I haven't even exercised at all since I got hurt in a car accident 4 weeks ago, but the weight is still coming off. This is the # 1 reason why I got off Zoloft.
Keep your chin up and and follow my carb solution and the weight should come off. I put on about 30 lbs.
I do, however, feel my anxiety and panic beginning to return and that I don't like. I will absolutely, positively NOT go back on an SSRI.
I am reading your comments and can't believe my eyes that I have found a place where we all feel the same.
I was put on 50mg Zoloft about 9 months ago due to mainly anxiety problems. I started getting off it about 4 weeks ago with the advice of my doctor, first took 25mg a night for 2 weeks, then 25mg every two nights for two weeks.
I had my last dose about 4 days ago, and started feeling some of the well documented problems, since yesterday. Slightly dizzy, feel like I'm floating sort of thing, ribcage pain etc... I am a bit concerned as to the duration of this withdrawal condition. Reading some of the comments about months and months of suffering have got me a bit worried...
I am taking Omega 3 as part of my normal diet (have been for about 2 months now) and I hope that can help.
I will post again here and give everyone an update on my "recovery".
PS. Aren't there any good lawyers here that suffered from this evil?? A lawsuit sounds like a good option right now. There sure are more than enough of us to file a class action against these monsters!!
OMG, this forum is a Godsend right now...I can't tell you how many times I've tried to explain these "brain zaps" to friends and family and they just look at me like I'm nuts! If you don't get them, I've been describing them as electrical synapses...I don't know what the hell that is, but that's what it feels like...When I found out I was pregnant almost 3 weeks ago, I wanted to get off of it, asap....I weaned myself off as advised by my MD, and ever since I started weaning off, and currently, I'm having the brain zaps and some CRAZY rage...like I've never felt before...My poor husband!!! We weren't sure if it was the pregnancy hormones or what...that is until I found this forum.. Today is one week since I've been completely off of it...and the zapping is starting to ease up a bit..so I'm praying I"m a the tail end of it...I have an appt. on the 11th....they wanted me to stay on it....they said that they let women take it throughout their whole pregnancy now...but I just keep thinking of the newborn baby getting the brain zaps because he would have to come off of it cold turkey once he left my body!!! Any thoughts or experiences on this matter? Best of luck everyone..I hope I can make another post in a week or so that will encourage anyone just starting the process.
Thank you all for your honesty. I am cold turkey off zoloft now for a 2-3 weeks. I first broke all of my 100mg in half, took for a day or two, then said forget it. Personally, I loved Zoloft when I first took it over a year ago. My doctor gave it to me to battle extreme PMS symptoms. His instructions were to take 25mg daily and double to 50 five days prior to menses. Well, after about 6 months of use, I felt I needed an increase. I am cold turkey because in less than 6 months I noticed short term memory loss. The field I am in requires me to be a quick thinker and make knowledgeable decisions FAST without thought or hesitation. I noticed forgetfullness, idlemindedness and terrible weight gain. (at least 35-40 pounds) Here are the symptoms I have, and here are some things I have noticed helps me:
1) Crying over dumb things
2) issues with patience
3) less tolerant
4) easily irriated
5) Dizzy if I look down too much
6) Dizziness if I get up too fast
9) Sore muscles
10) Paranoia (I am scared to death of bugs, rodents, reptiles)
11) Easily nauseated or grossed out over dumb little things like garbage, odors, little holes in things
Things that Helped so far
1) Deep breaths
2) forcing myself NOT to cry (mind over matter)
5) Chewing Ice
7) Busy work - house cleaning, projects, shopping
8) Rosemary tea
9) Less Coffee or Caffene
Hope this helps. Zoloft works if used in tiny amounts. Terrible if you get over 25 mg in my opinion... Way too powerful. Efexor too. Much too powerful..... I still dont know what a brain zap is so please help me out and let me know...
We seem to be going through similar situtions...although I am not pregnant, I started weaning myself off of zoloft because my husband and I are going to start trying to have a baby in the next year . My doctor advised me to wean myself off of zoloft as it could be harmful to a baby. She suggested that I take Wellbutrin (which is considered "safe" during pregnancy) instead because of the chances of my depression returning.
So, I weaned as I was told and have been completely off of Zoloft for about 2 weeks or so. The brain zaps are finally getting better (although still there), but my rage and irritability is at an all time high. Sometimes I just want to hit whatever is in front of me. My husband even said he woke in the middle of the night to me punching the bed in a fit of rage. This scares me! I had a friend who couldn't handle going off of zoloft during her pregnancy and her doctors put her back on a low dose. Her baby is perfectly fine, but I don't want to take that chance. I have also been really nauseaus.. I feel bad for my husband too! Lately I am so moody I am sure I am horrible to be around. I wonder if this is how I really am without the drug (I have been on it for 14 years) or if it is a withdrawal. I guess I will keep at it and hope I don't bite someone's head off. Best of luck to you!
Ditto, memory back. Just came off 100mg daily dose of Zoloft (cold turkey) really dumb, but after two years of taking this med (that did serve its purpose) it has left me in a constant state of forgetting things and just being plain lacksadazical (sorry for the spelling). As a web designer and programmer this is not good. It has been one week and I am going to rough it out, but it is HELL!
#1 DIZZY with a capital "D" I have to get up slow and make my movements even slower. I do not trust my gait all the time.
#2 Cold hands/feet
#3 Not a good time for anyone to irritate me.
#4 Joint pain/muscle pain
#5 Had some strange irregualar urinary function, meaning I found it difficult to urinate for about 4 days, this seems to now be improving.
#6 Feeling of numbness in my mouth and teeth.
#7 Occasional nausea
#8 Mild headaches (at times)
#10 Teary! meaning I can get emotional good feelings and bad. Both can make me cry.
#11 Feel palpitations from time to time, but this may be due to excessive coffe intake.
I am also taking Lamictal 100mg per day but have not started any weaning process for that yet. I am going to wait until all the effects of the Zoloft withdrawal subside. After that i will try round 2 with the Lamictal. I am going to try to make a go of it without the meds for a little while and see how things go. I will post occasionally to inform how things are going so some of you who are going through the same thing or are thinking of this route can maybe identify.
Have you done any research on Zoloft and pregnancy...I've done a little bit...I read that every woman that gets pregnant has a 3% risk of having a baby with a birth defect. It said that in studies, women who take Zoloft (it didn't specify a dosage amount) had the same 3% chance..in other words it didn't raise the risk for birth defects..It did, however, say that zoloft mothers tend to have fussier, or colicky babies...Well no wonder!...they're probaby going through hellish withdrawl (withdrawal) after being on zoloft for 9 months and then coming off cold turkey! That's my motivation...Not wanting the new baby to get these crazy brain zaps!
Speaking of brain zaps it's been about 3 weeks now that I've been completely off..and I still get them, but slowly getting better...I have a fear that they'll never go away, but surely they will...just as I'm sure your rage and irritiability will let up...just in time for the good ole pregnancy hormones to come in and fill you with more rage and irritability, lol... Since my last post a week or so ago, the rage I've had is almost totally gone...although I do feel a bit "down"...Good luck to you, and to everyone...
My gosh! I know I'm echoing everyone else who has said this - but boy am I glad I found this thread. I love the description "Brain Zaps" because that's EXACTLY what got me searching, and searching, and searching. Finally I thought, hmmmmm maybe it's because I haven't gotten around to picking up my zoloft from the drug store, and it's been almost 2 weeks cold turkey. I was on it for not very long - about 6 months: 50MGs.
Now I'm exhausted all the time and have those weird brain zaps. Horrible. I researched everything, honestly thinking it was a brain tumor, Thyroid disorder, adrenaline gland issues...etc.
I can also really relate to the feelings of euphoria - I have just recently (before finding this site) began to wonder if I'm bi-polar because I would be so full of joy one day, and then filled with anger the next.
I'm tired of feeling sick, of the brain zaps and of my strange emotional state, but I now don't think I want to go back on it. I got on the zoloft because of a hellish work situation and the lack of excersise and stress that comes with always working. I believe I can control my "generalized anxiety" with food, zero alcohol intake, the right supplements, intense excersise (I need that sort of rush), and calming excersise like yoga and walking.
I don't want to go back on this ca-ca drug now. I went through a major depression before and truly believe that anti-depressants can really help people, but I think I (me personally) took the easy way out by drugging myself instead of trying to help myself more naturally. I will continue to visit to post any ideas and helpful hints I find.
I'm going to take the advice of a previous poster and begin taking supplements (amino acids and omega threes) tomorrow....
THANKS to every single person who posted (i read the entire thread) because I now don't have to worry about the "brain tumor" that was causing these zaps and fatigue. Good to everyone!!
I think you are on the right track with your plan. After taking Zoloft for 2 years (100mg per day) I can tell you that it is not great med. I think it serves its purpose (short term) The withdrawel from this med is dangerous. It has now been almost 3 weeks for me and i still have the withdrawal symptoms. Your plan of 0 alcohol, good diet and lots of exercise with relaxation techniques is great. This is what will help you.
I will tell All on this thread that are withdrawing from Zoloft to also drink LOTS OF WATER! Exercise and lots of water have really helped me. I am still dizzy a lot and have strange tingling in my extremities at times but my concentration is coming back. Case in point I went bowling for the first time in 3 weeks yesterday and bowled a 203, 211 and 257 (high score and high series for me) This takes a level of focus and concentration that i did not have on the Zoloft so I see a light at the end of this tunnel with the withdrawal symtoms (symptoms).
I hope and pray that all of you FEEL BETTER soon and take the advise of people who have gone through this withdrawal. Anything that helps is a Gos send.
I wondered are you over the withdrawal symptoms?
How do you feel since your last post 05/24/07 ?
I'm going through all of this too. I stopped my zoloft 4-5 weeks ago after 6 yr.s of (200mg.) a day.
Thanks,............. Please reply
Please post the 176 day withdrawel of zoloft. I really will appreciate this information. How does this work? What should I do? I have been on 75 mg. for 5 years and hava gained thirty pounds. I recently have been told I have Type 2 diabetes and must lose weight. My familly doctor advises staying on the zoloft and staying happy so I don't eat to feel better? Thanks.
I cannot believe I have stumbled across this. I began coughing in March of 1998. I have literally coughed my brains out ever since. I have been to:
several general practitioners
a Pulminary Specialist
2 different Allergists
a Speech Pathologist (referred by the allergist)
and a Licensed Massage Therapist
I have been treated for asthma, allergies, COPD, told it was a nerve, narrowing of the Turbinaids (sp?), chronic bronchitus (bronchitis), sinus infections, whooping cough, GERD (acid reflux) and "just a cold."
Doctors get fed up and give up on me, it seems. Or prescribe things and tell me to "give it 6 months" and then come back. In the meantime I have been coughing for over 9 years. Coughing until I have pulled muscles in the back and rib cage area and ended up in the ER, coughing till I have vomited, not being able to sing in church and having people get up and move because they assume I am sick. Coughing until I have headaches or break blood vessels in my face. Pulled my right arm out of socket and threw my back out. Coughing 365 days per year. NOTHING...none of the medications have worked....I won't list them all here, but you name it... I have tried it. Some things...especially inhalers made it worse. I have been put on an at-home breathing treatment and dones sinus rinses religiously. I was currently drinking apple cider vinegar and using chinese herbs and probiotics (hey, you'll try anything when you get where I am) when I ran across this while searching chronic cough (for the 9 millionth time). WOW! I was on Zoloft for 2-3 years after a divorce and tapered off sometime in mid-1998. I didn't have any side effects...so I thought. I made no connection to the cough and the discontinuation of Zoloft. But after reading this I started taking it again..just 50 mg 2 days ago--almost instant relief. I have that dry mouth feeling and very little drainage (I kept telling the doctors about excess phlegm and sinus drainage). I don't understand it, and I really don't want to be on zoloft just for a cough...but I wish someone would figure it out so that I could take something THAT WORKS on the cough without the other stuff. Mary
i am feeling depressed....definitely mildly...just under alot of stress and want to wake up feeling a little better in the morning...
i read that taking 5 htp--100-300 MG A DAY and sjw together can work between 3 and 5 days....anyone know if thats true or have any other recommendations..kinda looking for a quick fix..my best friends wedding is in a week and a half and im not even excited about it..im afraid im gonna not be into it the day of and im the maid of honor so that wouldnt be good
i mean..everyones looking for a quick fix but i dont know if there is a such thing..has to be otc cause i hav no insurance....ANY ADVICE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED
Hi everyone. I contemplated taking zoloft but after two years of my husband being jobless & letters we are losing our house I started to become very depressed. No one could tell on the outside but at home our arguments became extreme! Anyhow my doctor decided to our me on zoloft, after my first dose I had a bad reaction! Now three days later I stillfeel awful. I honestly thought I was having a heart attack! How does anyone deal with these side effects??? Well I threw the rest out & as my heart was telling me im going back to praying to our lord to get me through these tough times. I thank God I did react this way because after reading every ones withdrawal symptoms I feel lucky. Ill pray for you all.doctors just want to medicate every one boosting the pharmaceutical companies rather than dealing with our emotions in a organic manner so we don't become drug addicted destroying our bodies & minds.
I am sure u will get better. I had been on zoloft 100mg for 7 months when my hands started to shake seriously. My neurologist told me to stop taking it and start taking prozac. However I decided to cut back 100mg to 50mg for 15 days and then stop it. Nowwww I feel .... I have insomnia, dizziness and nausiness...it had been a week now and I believe for me there is no way back... I dont want to live dependent on this medicine. I will survive soon!!!!(I hope!) I believe u will too... Please just try to hang on...
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