Withdrawal from Sertraline

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July 27, 2015 | 122 Comments

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  1. This story is really very well written its unbelievable you were even put on medication in the first place let alone end up on several at the same time. Some of these psychiatrists are just unbelievable. It really is terrible what you went through.

    • Hi I came off Sertraline and I am suffering beyond belief. I have horrendous tendonitis which is all over my body and I am in pain every day. My GP told me to stay on Sertraline but I decided it was messing me up completely and I thought I was going mad. Best thing coming off but my body and mind will never be the same again.

      • Hi Anna thanks for this post. It is really helpful. Fiona how are you? I am nearly two weeks off setraline and feel horrendous. The brain zaps are continuous, not stopping all day. The rage that I have been feeling is scary and totally irrational to any given situation. Is there an end in sight?? Thanks Catherine.

        • Thanks to everyone as it’s helpful, at first I didn’t make the connection between this strange rage and sertraline, of course that I new something is awfully wrong with me. it’s hard enough trying to keep strong after stroke now this!?
          what to do now.

      • Hi Fiona, I am keen to find out how you are getting on as I am also going through withdrawal. Has now been two weeks and I feel so down. Thanks

        • I am in second week of withdrawal also. Terrible. We had planned a vacation after 3 years of cancer surgery and chemo and radiation. I was depressed and told my doc. She prescribed sertraline. After several weeks on it, I had gained 15 lbs and couldn’t stop over eating. Decided to stop drug with docs help. So am on 1 pill a day and have been very sick—-in the chair, barely eating or drinking. Lost 15plus lbs but I am sick—brain not working, in bed and chair groggy, sleep some but not good sleep, stomach and bowel on the rampage—tendons painful, can’t get ready for vacation. Thank god, I found this site. I am not alone. When I had cancer, I found a site called SMART PATIENTS.COM. It helped me a lot. So do all of you.

      • Hey Fiona,
        Hows it all going with your tendons? Im having the exact same problem as you. I tried coming off escitalopram twice and both times i got sever tendonitis that only settles when back on the drug but never the same again.

      • I am once again trying to get off sertraline, I have been taking the highest dose for about 7years, all of the above happen to me .the hardest part is trying to act normal in front of family, who I have hidden my mental health problems from my whole life.
        I feel so ill and don’t know how much longer I can go on.
        Family members rely on me is elderly parents and grandchildren. I have barely no energy and currently trying to set up a cleaning business because I can’t work for a company because of feeling ill most the time .
        Also as well as the other symptoms my memory is dyer. I feel so desperate.

      • Fiona, it’s been over a year and a half since your post. How have you been? I have been off for 2 months after being on Sertraline for about 17 years. Having withdrawals also.

        • I too am experiencing withdrawal from sertraline. The palpitations are driving mad, the back pain I’ve been experiencing for two years I’m almost convinced it is because of the sertaline. It’s nerve pain but mo MRI can detect a problem. How do I ease the symptoms I’m not sure il cope much more.

    • I’m now 3 month off sertraline after being on them for 5 years. The withdrawal is absolutely horrendous although there are now very short windows happening. It’s insane that GP’s don’t have a clue about the withdraw effects and damage they do to our brain’s both on and when we come off them. The amount of symptoms is crazy, I’m now at a stage where I have extreme anxiety and horrendous stomach issues, last week it was depressive thoughts and migraines! The amount of symptoms and the cycles they come in are beyond belief! I’ve done a lot of research into these and I’m expecting to be like this for at least another 6 month due to length of time I was taking them. Pure poison!

  2. Message posted with permission:

    “…I developed nystagmus, a rapid eye movement that would appear once in a while whilst reading or focusing my eyes on a close object.”

    I’ve had this! – but never linked it to the drugs. It’s exactly as she described. Didn’t happen all the time, but enough of the time to think “that’s a bit weird”.

    • WOW, I have been talking to my eye doc about this exact same eye issue. When I concentrate on something like reading, there are times that my eyes will just dart quickly to the right and then I have to refocus on what ever it was I was looking at! He said he was interested in this as he thought it might be from head trauma from a wreck I have in the 70’s. But it makes sense that isn’t where it came from as it has only been going on in the last 15 years it seems. In that time I have been on and off of Amitriptyline, Effexor, Klonopin, Trazadone, Zoloft, Xanax, and am currently still on Lexapro after a seven month messed up taper. Scared to death to try and get off again!

      • after being on antidepressants for about 7years, first fluoxetie and then sertraline since around feb 2018, ive come of sertraline cold turkey style going from 100mg to 50mg every day for 2 weeks then nothing for a week as advised by the doctor in transition to start a new ssri as the sertraline was messing with my digestion.

        But after 2-3 days of not having anything i had so many withdrawl symptoms i felt so unwell.

        It left me too unbalanced to start the new ssri so i have just kept off everything and gradually the withdrawl symptoms seem to be reducing.

        However i am still left with exhaustion, really sore eyes, dizzyness and moments where my eyes kind of lose focus and gitter around… so its to helpful to read on here that this seems to be a symptom other people have had.

        shows how strong these tiny sized pills are! scary stuff and i hope not lasting effects

        • Hi I have been on sertraline and pregabalin for nearly five years along with Zopiclone sleeping tablets.
          During the past six months I’ve weaned myself off pregabalin and during the last two months gradually come off the Sertraline but I’m not feeling to good.I keep getting pressure in my head,feeling hot and cold,
          high levels of anxiety and mood swings and angry and biting every ones head off is this normal?
          I’m thinking going back on the sertraline as really struggling please help.
          Sandra

  3. Today, like every day for the last 5 months, I was wondering why I just don’t go to the gp and tell him… tell him what?

    And then this new Rxisk story landed in my inbox.

    My drug(s) may not have been sertraline but the withdrawal has been the same.
    So where was I… ah yes, what to tell the gp.

    Explain to him, in the space of 10 minutes, that all the physical ailments that I suddenly developed between October 2012 and December 2014 seem to have been the effects of long-term polydrugging (but that’s another story) combined with withdrawal;
    explain to him that the numerous standard blood tests were never going to show anything as there is no test for withdrawal;
    explain to him that the investigations into query Cushing’s, query Meniere’s, query gynae cancer, query other sinister stuff, were never going to show anything;
    explain to him that all the above tests and investigations were a waste of NHS resources as they were never going to show withdrawal;
    explain to him that the referral back to MH services has left me worse off;
    explain to him that the shrink looked at me wide-eyed in disbelief when I showed her photos of my grossly swollen feet, the massive bruises, the blister-covered feet and peeling skin, when I recited the list of physical pains, sensations, infections, lesions (sickeningly similar to those in Anna’s story);
    explain to him that the shrink’s ‘treatment’ of my ‘dip in mood’ (her very words) with an off-label low dose sedating antipsychotic to ‘help with emotional changes’ (her very words) has ripped the soul out of me, left me incapable and alienated;
    explain to him that I couldn’t get to see him because I literally couldn’t get to see him;
    explain to him that I need to get off this off-label cosh before it kills what’s left of me, but not to bother the MH services who caused this in the first place.

    All this. In 10 minutes. So I put off. Another day.

    LAST GP APPOINTMENT December 2014

    Reminder to self (on smartphone)

    Pins and needles, feet, legs, hands,
    Aching feet, worse at rest
    ‘throbbing’, twitching, fizzing under skin – can see it
    In bed, skin ‘hurts’
    Restless legs,
    Memory, concentration, forgetfulness, headaches, palpitations

    I declined the gp’s suggestion to ‘treat the symptoms’ with amitriptyline or gabapentin.

    So why don’t I just go to the gp and get it over with? Quite simply, I daren’t.

    • Anne

      You have articulated the entire raison d’etre of RxISK. Many of us feel scared to go to our GP and tell him (she isn’t any better) that the treatment is the illness we want to be treated for. Doctors often turn nasty and we often do not know which way our doctor will jump and we suspect the worst.

      A RxISK report is partly designed to produce a slight leveling of the playing field. Some doctors will realise they have to take you more seriously if what you are complaining about is recorded somewhere and the somewhere takes you seriously.

      There are two things that can be done with a RxISK report – one is to get help for your problem. The other is to help us all by building a map of doctors who listen – who aren’t scary to go to. And if we do this we will help strengthen these doctors in any efforts they may make to stand up for us

      David

      • I wish someone could help me david
        Ive ways loved my life I had always been fighting fit. Developed a brief health anxiety which developed into panic attacks leadinge to a n e mainly to speak to the raid team as my family told me how good they were. Was told not to Google it and given diazapam
        Then prescribed more. Eventually a consultant began to get involved said against my wishes I’ll be fine taking more along with sertraline. Suddenly I began getting more and more bed ridden. Skakey unable to function as everything day went by. Every day I would say are you sure the tablets are making me feel.worse oh it’s such a low dose they would say you’re not addicted. I stopped as soon as I was certain things weren’t right but on stopping had a totally uncharacteristic psychotic episode which ended me in a psychiatric ward. I am still part of this now albeit on weekend leave. Nobody will listen. To the fact I have withdrawals or the medication put me there. The consultant says merely out of your system in 3 days. I feel like hell and have to fight my way out of this fight my way back to the job I still have the house amazing son and life I had that die to these tablets have been within a few weeks been brutally taken away from me. I have to beg and plead to the woman who now controls my life who actually I had responsible for taking it away. But I am just classed as delusional no evidence. Who am I to take on the NHS and question her when she screams into my ear you alhave a disease. Do you want to die in here. This system where I innocently went for help has poisoned me labelled me and shackled me up in the most barbaric place in the middle of summer with other mentally ill people where I cannot even get fresh air in the middle of summer except for a few minutes every 2 hours. They have takeny health my freedom and my beautiful son away from me. They all believe they are gettin me better to pump something into me then something else. It’s torture and it’s slowly killing me

    • Dear friends.
      Thank you for sharing your story.Mine is similar to yours.I quit talking Zoloft 3 wks ago.Withdrawal symptoms are there. Im taking Benadryl 25 or 50mg every 6hrs,depending on the severity of the symptoms.it helps..
      I also take Clonidine patch for high BP.It’s helpfull. Benadryl is definitely worth a try. Clonidine is a prescription medication.Wish everyone speedy recovery.
      Mira

  4. David

    Thanks for the encouragement. Means the world to me.

    Shoulders not very broad any more and skin not as thick as it was but am gearing up to get to the gp, Rxisk report in hand (and miraculous medal in pocket!).

    Anne

  5. Anna you are doing so well ! You got out of the death grip of our medical system. Now your on the right path to healing! I am 11 months free of the antidepressants . I am experiencing small windows and symptoms are slowly getting better. We will all get whole again ! It keeps getting better. I have over 20 recovery stories saved to my phone of folks like us that have 100 percent recovered. Anywhere from 6 months to 5 yrs. It happens for all of us.

    However I have completely given up on doctors. I have seen 4 doctors and all want to treat my WD symtoms with other precriptions and pain killers.Had i listened to them id b in a heap of trouble. The only thing i need them for now is a doctors note for my Job so that when i am able to work again , i can get my job back. However you wouldn’t believe how hard that is . And Im not even getting EI. No money . Im gonna be healthy soon i can feel it .

  6. “I have yet to regain confidence in my mind, my body and in the medical profession that so brutally violated every part of my being and that almost killed me.”

    Regain confidence, and disown embarrassment. I think the embarrassment has to go first. I was going to say “shame” but I can’t feel ashamed of what I did while possessed.

    Doctors are people with access to things I cannot get legally. I diagnosed my own cancer. If I had believed my doctor I’d be dead. She had two chances, a month apart. Ten days after her second failure a specialist and a scan announced Stage 4 with liver metastases.

    If I require another surgery I’ll be a fool if I don’t videotape every encounter.

    If I feel like taking drugs I’ll call a dealer.

  7. I sometimes wonder (cry) how many more of us there are like you Anna, and me – and everyone courageous enough to post their stories here. The evidence builds inexorably – like you, but a different drug, my severe reaction to stopping olanzapine started 3 months after that final, little blue pill. Like you, I got (repeatedly) the message that none of what I was experiencing could possibly be due to withdrawal ‘because the drug would have cleared from your body within 36 hours.’ And of course – the appalling trap of being told that what you are experiencing is down to psychiatric illness/somatisation/conversion disorder/ functional neurological symptoms – and so on. It’s such a tough road to travel and I wish you well.

    It takes more courage than I’ve got to ask my GP for his opinion, let alone take a Rxisk report to him. My journey through the system left me scared of medics. But it would be so great to build a network of sympathetic GPs.

    • An excellent idea, Sally ….. “build a network of sympathetic GPs”
      We must peruse on HOW this could be achieved – let’s try to make it happen.

      I recently went to my GP and told her the shocking information I’d discovered about SSRIs and Seroquel and that I was absolutely certain that the reason for my hospital admission (to an horrific, locked mental health ward last year and ‘bi-polar 2’ diagnosis) was due to my adverse reaction to the Sertraline she’d prescribed just a few weeks before my admission during which time she doubled the dose as I was getting so much worse! I told her I had stopped all medication and would NOT be taking any more.

      My GP was sympathetic – she listened to what I had to say – took down the names of the “saviours” I referred to (Dr Healy and Dr Peter Breggin) and said quite poignantly “Jane, I would never have prescribed you anything that I thought would do you harm”. And I believed her….. but felt so very angry about this example of the blatant ignorance of GPs ….. of course, I blame Big Pharm and their corrupt marketing practices ….. but, nevertheless, I remain dumb founded as to how intelligent, medically trained professionals can be so completely duped???

      It seems that I’ve been very fortunate with withdrawing from Seroquel (managed completely by myself based on internet research) – two months now drug free and feeling very well (great to feel like ME again) ….. I’m aware that I’m possibly still not clear of the danger zone…… but I have my fingers crossed. I do feel so very sorry for the many of you whose story is significantly more painful than mine.

      Anyway, back to the main point – sympathetic GPs – we must work out how to recruit and form a network – maybe I’ll have a word with my GP and get her thoughts and comments (‘cos I reckon she owes me!)

    • This is a much needed support group. I have been on the trust the Dr rollercoaster of never-ending prescriptions that will fix my problems..only to end up worse bouncing from mental institutions to unemploymemt to finally this time zoloft. 6 months in my anxiety, insomnia, and rage(which wasn’t present before) have multiplied by a million. Everytime I tell my boyfriend I am being poisoned by big pharma and I feel lost and try to quit my ssri I have fits of crying and confusion and tantrums and just not making sense in general as to why I’m freaking out. So obviously I am depressed.and need to stay on them.people don’t understand what a bitch the withdrawals are. You know you arent yourself youre out of control.and all Dr.’s want to do is prescribe seroquel or say..oh my you have borderline personality disorder or you need lithium because youre bipolar or you need a shot if this horse tranquilizer in your ass because I’m a Dr. And youre just an idiot patient with mental health issues.and how could crazy people have insight into their own well-being. The injustice of mental “I’m-health” facilities is more than an outrage, it’s inhumane, disgusting, tragic. all along.. Been ruining lives and destroying families. How do we end this blight on our society and actually help those who are suffering? I am trying to taper off zoloft without support from Dr. Or boyfriend. Help.

      • Hi
        It’s a first week of my stay off sertraline. I didn’t stay on it for too long, nearly 4 months, but I was on 100mg. I didn’t have any support from my GP. Today I wasn’t normal at all. I felt like I’m tripping and my eyes there rolling up. Nasty electric shock/pain in the both temple sides. Feel like crying. I’m 38 years man and I feel like I’m on my knees. It’s really hard. That’s for shearing this with us. I do hope everyone is going to feel better soon. I wish everybody quick recovery.

        • i promise it will get better. i am male, 46, and was on sertraline for 8 years. went through horrible anxiety for about 6 months after stopping. now, just through the other side. exercise helps as does magnesium, zinc, no alcohol and healthy eating. wishing you well.

          • Hello John

            Thank you for your encouraging comment. I am 2 weeks off sertraline after 5 years. I have spent 2 weeks almost in bed with flu UTI type symptoms.
            I was if able planning on going back to work and thought maybe exercise may help as you said in your post. I do a few classes but would you advise to increase this ? I am also plant based diet and take supplements . I am determined to ride this through this time so it is nice when someone says there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you again

    • Taking 2 antidepressants.Also on ativan.These drugs have destroyed my brain and my life.Still tapering and in hell.So sorry for your struggle.

  8. Hello Anna, may I welcome you to the club of the needlessly damaged as our doctors failed to recognise that what was wrong with us was their drugs. Your are now moving in safer and wiser circles. You will find within yourself and with the support of the rest of us who became members of this club through no choice of our own the strength to overcome the road the may well lie ahead. It can be rocky and it can be arduous and it shall at times feel as if there is no end in sight, however it WILL get easier through time. I am now 7 years post 225mg venlafaxine and at present appear to be coming out of another bad wave, the last 2 years have been tough for me, however we do learn ways of dealing with this as time progresses and I really do hope that your mind and body recover quicker than my own has done. Best wishes to you.

  9. I have been through similar and still in horrific withdrawal ( tapered off several drugs, slowly but not slow enuf) after 10 months. My question is how do I keep living with this withdrawal and horrific anxiety?! Its supposed to get better….
    It’s all I can do to keep myself alive!

  10. Nicely written. I was poly drugged for 15 years. The biggest mistake I made was to enter a psychiatrist office for insomnia and stress (from a car accident). One drug became two and three and four and doses went up and up. The drugs caused unbelievable physical symptoms (incontinence, horrible muscle spasms, shaking, nausea, sweating, rashes, clenched jaw, shooting pain up my face, dizziness, bizarre stuff) sending me to numerous specialists and having unnecessary testing and procedures. Not ONE doctor ever connected it to the drugs I was on.

    I’ve been drug free for 10 years and still feel shame I was wrongly diagnosed and drugged. I found my psychiatric label caused doctors to prejudge me before they actually saw me.

    I am so sorry the mindless drugging still continues. I wish you well and glad you realized what psychiatry was doing to you “in the name of caring”.

  11. Hello everyone: I was put on Paxil and lorazapam for ten ears after one panic attack due to menopause. I had to wit my job when I decided to go off of it as my personality had become horrid. My gp took me off of the Paxil in 3 weeks saying that it wasn’t addictive. I went through hell! I lost 40 lbs in one month. All my skin Peeled off like I had a bad sunburn not to mention the insomnia, headaches, crying and feeling like I was detached from myself. I finally got to see a pdoc at the Er a I thought I was dying. He told me I had to get on another ssri a I was taken off are too quickly. So now comes sertraline. The side affects along with the withdrawal were hard to fathom, but I managed after about 2 months to start eating again. I was on sertraline for 8 months at 125 mgs. During this tme he tapered me off of the lirazapam which wasn’t too bad because of the backup of sertraline. So, the sertraline has never made me feel right so after being on it for 8 months I decided to get off of it also. I did a 3 month taper and was careful to level out before dropping dosages. For 2 weeks I was great after the initial tapering. But then bam! Major head zaps, crying all the time, tremors in legs and arms that are nonstop and every so often a new little thing that will only hit me once and then be gone. Also insomnia and weird dreams. I have passed through the rage thing and the whooshing in my ears, but every morning I shake so bad and lots of hating myself for mistakes I have made in the past. I have no help from my family as they tell me I am lying and that I should try another med as they think I need them. I really don’t. I have never been depressed. I have been sad and angry and hurt, but never suicidal. I am now 7 weeks off of sertraline and am wondering if anyone can help me in knowing how much longer these withdrawal symptoms will persist. My daughter gets very angry at me when I try to explain to her how I am feeling and walks away from me or tells me to just shut up. It’s very very hard on me. I am hoping this will end soon as I was only on sertraline for 8 months. I am hoping I am still not having withdrawals from the Paxil that was yanked from me so fast. Please, if anyone could help it would be so nice to hear from anyone who believes me. I have had one two windows in these weeks but they didn’t last long and right now this shaking feels worse than ever.

    • Paxil is a devil to get off of. It took me 6 months, maybe longer. After I got down to 5 mg I just quit. Maybe that was too abupt? I thought my symptoms were from a car accident, but maybe I was withdrawing from Paxil. I lost 20 lbs in 6 months after the last tablet. No appetite, frequent urination, and waking up at 3 a.m. every night. I was put on 20 mg of Prozac when I was going thru a divorce, and regret that I ever allowed that to happen. It numbed my feelings, messed with my sleep and made me feel wired. I don’t think a person needs to be medicated for crying in relation to a stressful situation! It’s a natural reaction.

    • hi,
      I am currently reading your story and am experiencing everything you were going through.
      I was on sertraline 100 mg for about a year or more and i tried to stop cold turkey earlier this month.
      Its been two weeks and ive had horrible side effects and i am contemplating going back on as i am unsure what to do.
      I was wondering how things have gone with you and if you have any advice.
      Hope all is well

      • Hi Jonah I’m doing the same as had terrible pains from this currently in bed getting better please tell me how you are getting on

    • I am so sorry you’re going through this. I had been on zoloft/sertraline for about 17 years and just tapered off and took my last pill 2 months ago. Having withdrawals. Not sleeping as well, brain zaps have gotten better, crying spells (my kids don’t understand), bad thoughts, etc. I have my bad days and then days that might be better. I have listened to a docu series on brain and gut health. Taking supplements such as fish oil, vitamin D, one a day, and eating a lot healthier. Trying to get out and get fresh air when walking. I truly think this is helping withdrawals not be so severe. Not eating sugar, one cup of coffee in morning, chamomile tea at night. I’m sorry about your daughter. My kids don’t understand, but she shouldn’t be telling you to shut up. Do you have someone who understands that you can talk with regularly? God has been helping me. I will pray for you Madi.

  12. Thank you Anna for the story well articulated. It is the story of my life but from cymbalta. However, I think…at some point I was prescribed sertraline in the 6.5 years of poly drugging. Yet the dominant ones were cymbalta and zopiclone . Im 6 months off all psychiatric meds but still a challenge to go through a day. Anxiety still there but manageable. Biggest challenge is the depression which I never had before taking these drugs. But…in all these we are healing yet slowly. We are more than conquerers.

  13. I’ve been taking 200mg of Zoloft for many years, and now I’m trying to cross-taper to Lexapro for the last several months. I was doing well until I dropped from 50mg to zero. Now I feel like crying all the time or jumping in front of a bus. I don’t want to even leave the house. Getting through a day at work has become hell. At least I know I’m not crazy (well, not much). I’m not hopeful on when this is going to end.

    • I stopped Zoloft and wasn’t able to function. Fact is I just ran out of prescription and wasn’t seeing anyone for a prescription. Always had easy jobs and retired with nominal monthly income. I’m chickenshit to stop any polydrugging due to becoming uncomfortable in social settings and visibly so. I have psychiatrist sister and brother in law’s . They must be conventional drs. They support drug use. Being 67 and drug dependent isn’t the way I want to continue. Seems to me any shrink wants to continue the big pharma approach to treatment. I stay away from them now. They all suck including family ones. I’m hoping it’s possible to get off the sertraline on my own but doubt my chances are very good. We never know how long it will take.

    • I’ve been on sertiline 200mg for 3 years now been weening self of for a month . As soon as I went from 50mg to 0, which is only 3 nights now and I’m now doing so well. Def having the witdrawl sun. Doing this to start viibryd, which I’m on lithium carb 300mg at nights. Im a mess right now but I wasn’t that bad before I stopped the 50mg sertaline. No one gets it, im snapping af , sensitive to light and sound big time. Hearing these storeys t freaking me out on how long these symptoms last. I still have to work and plann my wedding thats taken place in first weekend in Sept. Jeez. I dont know. Thank u.

  14. I have been in a similar situation to you Anne, I’m glad you are healing. When is this unnecessary suffering going to stop?

  15. Thank you for this. I ended up at the doctor with urinary tract incontenance when coming off sertraline. I have been off sertraline, xanax and soidum valproate for two years. It was hell and the system engaged in payback, scapegoating, harrassment and related violence typical of treatment of whistleblowers. I have one drug to go. My life fell apart but things are a lot better now. These drugs were not necessary and caused depression, anxiety and self harm and suicidality. I am now a middle aged woman struggling with metobolic issues and hormonal imbalances and entrapment by the medical profession. I have given them credit and sympathy they did not deserve and they take no responsibility as patients are vilified and victimized and medically assaulted and otherwise abused. We are too scared to talk about it but pharmaceutical genocide is about right – but we live in fear to talk about it. I hear the pain and anger of so many victims. I find mediation and yoga helps – and giving up dairy and coffee. Thanks

  16. I spent five or six years off and trying to get off of it and was finally able to endure the withdrawal side effects by taking Wellbutrin. It was the only thing that made the brain zaps bearable. That might not help everyone but it took the edge off. It took six to seven months for the brain zaps to go away. I woke up one morning and felt like I had come out of a fog. I have never done any illegal drugs but I can’t imagine that withdrawal from them could be worse than this. Can you imagine them telling a heroine addict that the withdrawals were a sign they needed to start back taking heroine. They would never tell them that. It’s ridiculous.

  17. Thank you for publishing your story on a topic that doesn’t seem to truly get any media coverage. I’ll relay my story, in case someone else is battling this negligence.

    Had a painful stay in the hospital that made me change my entire approach on life and see a therapist to handle problems. I told myself i will follow everything the psychiatrist says to give it a fair shake. I know i’ve been depressed for 20+ years but dealt with it via alcohol, etc. Went sober and started therapy. Started on my first SSRIs. And what i also think is extremely important is that i didn’t realize these were generic versions of these drugs…never the actual brand name. never thought this was a big deal–until this escapade. see other people’s reports on this.

    Anyways, began with lexapro generic: was awful : sweated like a had dengue fever, felt worse than before. Stopped and went to zoloft generic, was more tolerable, so stuck with it. physician kept saying won’t notice a difference until 3 weeks in. Again, results were minimal, but i stuck with it, trying to give this process a fair shake. couldn’t truly function, so he/she added wellbutrin generic to mix.

    started to have horrid shaking and tremors in all hands, legs, even up to torso. After 3 weeks of that, i had to punch out. these drugs completely changed who i was–and not in a good way. the MD seemed as apathetic as could be and i could tell he/she didn’t really care about my health. so i quit cold turkey and now have this god awful balance / feeling in my head that feels like slow cement every time i turn head. it has lasted 3+ weeks now. I’ll deal with my own suffering on my terms. The psychiatric industry and the fda needs a serious reality check. And guess what if it actually happens, it will be too late for our generation.

  18. Anna – thank you for your story. I have the bladder symtoms you wrote about…
    Cystoscope, bladder wash, CAT scan – all proved negative. The pain is disrupting and symtoms are disrupting my life. Will it ever quit???
    What did you do for this part of the evilness of this drug?
    Bless you.

  19. I’m so glad I found this. I mean, terrible sad considering what you experienced, but glad to know that I’m not “insane”. I’m weaning off sertraline right now. I was only on it for about 7 months, then weaned for 2 weeks, and then stopped. I’ve been fully off for a week now, and I’ve never felt so horrible. The wd symptoms continue to intensify, too. Migraines, eye floaters, the constant feeling of being sea-sick or walking on a trampoline. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, (except for my amazing husband whose heart aches for me) even my doctor who’s “cynical these symptoms are related to sertraline, as it has a very low likelihood of causing withdrawal symptoms”. Thanks, doc. I’m sad to know this could go on for a while, but hopeful that my short duration taking the meds will work in my favor. Can anyone else offer any advice for how to wait this out? If I would have known this was a possibility, I would have never started the drug in the first place. Shame on me for not researching post-sertraline life. Now I get to deal with the 20 lbs I put on because of the drug AND withdrawals. Sigh. 🙁

    • Hi Jess I’ve been on sertaline 25mg for anxiety due to menopause ,I had small stroke 5 weeks ago so started blood thinning medication .i decideded I wanted to stop Setraline so I have 10 days in I’m terrible dizzy light headed wish I had never started taking it.hope we get better soon as I’m fed up and wonder how I will get back to work as I miss it so much .?

  20. Thank you very much for sharing your story. It is so well written and speaks to what I’ve been going through. I’ve been on other medications for short period of time and coming off of it was easy. Zoloft has been different. I had gotten on it for post-partum depression. I had forgotten to take it for a few days and thought I would just go off it. Horrible mistake. I started experiencing body aches (flu-like), headaches, weird all over numbing sensation, extreme rage, and anxiety, crying spells, etc. My Dr started testing me for lupus and suggested I actually raise my dosage, which I did. Still not knowing it was withdraws causing my body aches. Upon raising my dosage I felt terrible from the side effects and after a month decided I would wean myself and now I’m down to 25mg. No withdraws.

    In my pursuit of health I got a 23&Me DNA test and uploaded my raw DNA into Livewello which revealed that I along with other certain medications, I don’t detox Zoloft properly. Meaning I would not exerprience it’s benefits and it would just sit in my body creating toxins. This only confirmed what I felt was happening when I was on my highest dose. My results also revealed that I don’t absorb B12 and other things properly so I have to take a methylated form of the supplements. I feel so good and have not been depressed! Again thank you, and I wish you well.

  21. Hell on earth. Agreed.

    I was on 50-100mg Zoloft for 20 years!!! Few years ago, doctor also added 5/325 Hydrocodine and Pramepexole for RLS.

    I recently weaned off Zoloft over a 2 month period because a new specialist said the Zoloft may be causing the RLS.

    Now after being Zoloft free for a few weeks, most days the symptoms are unbearable.

    1. achy pain all over
    2. dizzyness
    3. zaps throughout upper body almost constantly
    4. restlessness

    NSAID’s kind of help. Exercise kind of helps. Stretching kind of helps. Meditating kind of helps.

    I’m on the ledge of wanting to start up Zoloft again to take away the WD symptoms… but thankfully I’m not there. It’s comforting to know there is a community out there who “get’s it”.

  22. I have been on / off antidepressants since I was 13. I’m in my early 30s now. Everyone I have successfully got off them . I will have something really stressful in life or something that will cause the Drs to say I need them . I’ve even been on brand new ones like viibryd . I remember being on lexapro in my early 20s and having a horrible reaction to it, it made me violently aggressive . I’ve also been talked into taking antipsychotics which my new dr found I was allergic to what ever was in them vomiting walking up a small incline . Telling my friends they need to go home because as soon as I would take the medication it was zombie time lights out. I’m currently on day 10 cold turkey withdraw from sertaline . I am taking supplements , but I refuse to ever take another antidepressant in my life again. In my opinion they didn’t help me or hurt me , it was just a way to have someone hooked financially and rx wise for the rest of my life . And sertaline and viibryd and all the rest I’ve been on don’t let me express emotions . Emotions are healthy that’s what life is for . Stop telling people they need these drugs when in actuality antidepressants are almost 98% flouride!!!!! A dumbing down agent, let that sink in for a minuite . I wish everyone the strength to listen to their own body and mind , and not what psychiatric docs tell you , you need . Because they can’t live ur life . Looking back I was always so suicidal on antidepressants then if I was on nothing . RED FLAGS!

  23. I wholeheartedly agree with you about this. My problem is that I have a very low tolerance for pain, so the longest I’ve been able to be off antidepressants is 3 days. This is why I still take Sertraline. I’ve been on several others over the yrs, being tapered off from one to be put on the other. If I so much as miss 1 dose, I become so messed up that I don’t dare miss another one. I had always been told that none of the antidepressants I had been on could cause withdrawals, much less, overnight. Very rarely have I had a Dr. that actually makes me feel like I believe them and trust them without a doubt in my mind. I have never felt that way when it came to receiving meds from a mental health care professional.

    Thank you for posting this. I wish I was as brave enough to do what the rest of you are doing.

  24. Hey there. I enjoyed reading your story, even though it’s about something horrific. I spent the better part of my adolescence in and out of psychiatrist’s offices and experienced strikingly similar occurrences to you. The field of psychiatry seems to attract people who want to make a ton of money but who are not really in it for the good of humanity. You’d think that being in a helping profession would put them in better touch with other people, but the field as a whole is lacking in kindness, empathy, and understanding. The fact that pharmaceutical companies pay psychiatrists to prescribe their drugs is not helping, either. I’m still trying to gain balance after getting off sertraline. I thought it was a life saving drug but it turned out to be the opposite.

  25. Dear Anne…. thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. I’ve been on 200mg of Sertraline for over 15 years and have slowly tapered off them myself. I’m so relieved to read that you had bladder issues and pelvic pain ( I only say this out of relief that I’m not alone) I feel like I did when I have birth. I’m determined to battle through the pain and I hope that you are fully recovered. I’ve personally suffered with anxiety to various degrees for most of my life and now at 45 I want to get my life in order. Many thanks again for easing my worries. Take care of yourself x

  26. I had been on citalopram (SSRI) for about 6 weeks when I tried to stop. About three days after stopping I felt absolutely terrible (uneasy, very anxious, headache, dizzy, restless etc etc).. I also had a horrible moment that night when I was falling asleep – I managed to grind my teeth subconsciously and at the same time there was an extremely loud and chilling screech in my ear that I’ll never forget. The next day I went back on it and instantly felt relaxed and very relieved.

    A couple of weeks ago I switched to 100mg sertraline and I find that it does help with my anxiety but I am worried about coming off it in the future. I don’t want to be on it for over 6 months… Both my parents have been on SSRIs in the past (for around 6 months) and they didn’t experience long term withdrawal effects.

  27. January 2016 I was initially prescribed sertraline 50 mg to cope with the stress of ongoing toothache . After 3 weeks of being on this drug my dentist pulled out the correct abscessed tooth and the pain vanished . So I decided to stop taking the sertraline as I wasn’t stressed and ironically since starting the sertraline I had developed terrible muscle pain down my right hand side which I thought could be siatica . Anyway I stopped the sertraline and from that day onwards I have been in and out of doctors for the ongoing leg pain and all the other terrible side effects that I am now enduring . After stopping the sertraline the pain in my leg didn’t go . I visited countless specialists osteopaths , Physios , Chiropractors etc . Dr then put me on citilipram for a month to help with the stress . Did nothing after a month so I came off it cold turkey experiencing more side effects (sickness , diarrea , shaking , leg pain ) … Then I was referred to a neurologist who prescribed Amitriptyline for leg pain ( caused my heart rate to run like a train , and my hair to fall out ) …then Lycra ( which did the same )…. At this stage it was 4 months of having terrible leg pain & endless side effects including losing 2 stone in weight . So the doctor advised me to take the sertraline again . I took it for 8 weeks ( was so ill sick every morning , leg pain , ached all over , body feels rigid down right hand side , dizzy , totally felt like my body wasn’t my own ) … FINALLY I decided to come off it immediately … Yes I still had my leg pain but these side effects are unbelievable … Previous to this experience I would have said I was one of the strongest individuals you could meet I ran several estate agencies ( prided myself on the fact that I hadn’t had a day off sick in 10 years ) …. Look at me now I’m 6 weeks off sertraline & that other huge cocktail of drugs that I had before it … I wake up every morning wretching , my whole body aches, I’m literally stiff down my right hand side , my eyesight is blurry , I have pins and needles everywhere and a tremor in my upper right arm , I don’t feel like I’m in my own body, in a total fog , crying constantly as I keep thinking I must have some terrible disease as how can this be withdrawl ? Driving my husband mad by my constant moaning , listing of symptoms & googling ( it has become all consuming I think of nothing else ) …. ITS CRAZY ..I also have an autistic son to look after which is near on impossible…. I just keep praying that these symptoms will subside … Someone give me some hope PLEASE !!!!

    • Hi there fellow sufferer. I was given the “wonder” drug sertraline 2 yrs ago suffering with extreme anxiety due to my twins being born at 24weeks. At 1st i thought hurrah iv stopped crying all the time!! But after a while i realised i was a person i didn’t recognise. Yes i wasnt crying but also i wasnt feeling anything at all for anything!! Poor husband started realising i was never going to be interested in bed activity again bless him . I became a robot. I decided to withdraw from the tablets instead of withdrawal from life. Its been 3 weeks and i think im seeing light at end of the tunnel albeit far away. Uti is awful. Anger is awful. Body sweat awful. Headache awful. Insomnia awful. Etc etc but….. I feel empowered by th future. Keep going keep going it Will be worth it xxx

  28. Thank you for taking the time to write your story. I have been on sertraline for over 6 months. I started with 50mg and now I am on 150mg. I feel horrible and more depressed than ever. I have decided to go off sertraline gradually. Only taking 50mg now. Today was difficult. I had severe headache and a brain zap. I have decided to go to therapy and work on my anxiety. Its going to be a difficult road but l have faith. You are very inspiring.

    • Hi Monica, just seen your input on steraline. I started off on them in July 2016 after endless panic attacks and being anxious all the time. I started off with 50mg then onto 100mg from July to November everything was going perfect! Well at least I taught it was! Come December and I started to have violent outbursts, feeling no emotion and not being able to sleep. I was fighting with family member, friends and my boyfriend of 7 years at the time. After the new year I felt like I needed to come off these as I wasn’t sleeping and my mind was on overdrive. I went back to my gp and she put me up to 150mg and thats when things got a lot worse. Sucidal taughts, outrageous behaviour and just having no motivation. After two weeks I decided enough was enough and went back explaining they are not agreeing with me. She gave me a prescription to be wheneed off them and so I began. As I cut Down to 100mg I still felt the same with frustration I stopped completely. It’s being 6 days now and now feel like I’ve come back to reality. I’ve lost my boyfriend of 7 years, I am so behind in my college work and feel like I wasn’t me the last 6 months. It’s like coming back to reality!!.. I’m doing fine dealing with what I’ve lost and taking it one day at a time but I am concerned about the dizzy spells I am getting. It is like I’m floating and I get tightness in my head. Is this normal? If so how long does this last? Thank you

  29. Anna, I can’t describe what I am feeling right now reading your post. I have been going through the same withdrawal effects for the past three months. I decided to cut sertraline cold turkey and the withdrawal effects are the same as yours. I can relate because I imagine throwing myself in front of buses or from high buildings, thinking about the fastest ways to commit suicide among other very negative ideas. I have taken sertraline for 3 years and cut it three months ago. I couldn’t understand where these mood swings were coming from, I have big lack of concentration, negativity, depression and anxiety. I have a great life so all of these effects didn’t make sense but your post boosted greatly my morale. I am holding on to my decision to never go back and you should hold on to yours.. We will make it through this slowly and steady so Anna you’re not alone.

  30. Anna, I want to thank you for writing this post. I have been on a personal mission to end all of my prescription medications with Sertraline being one of them. It was prescribed to me more than 10 years ago. I, like you didn’t feel any different while taking this pill but as soon as I started to wean myself off of it, the problems started. I never attributed the symptom I was having to the sertraline and even going to doctors for the dizziness, insomnia, aching, anger, etc., nothing was ever fixed. I had to do my own research to diagnose myself. I was taking over 13 pills a day and with acupuncture help have managed to drop down to just two pills a day. The sertraline being one of the last. I was taking it just 3x a week and my script ran out and I decided to not fill it. Now, three weeks later, headaches, dizziness and a foggy feeling, anger like I’ve never had before, emotional crying at the drop of a pin, backaches, fatigue really bad. Why isn’t there information available to us before being prescribed this junk? Big Pharma is criminal and playing with humans. They don’t care what our health is because it is only about the greenbacks. We need to take control of our own health and I admire your tenacity and refusal to succumb to the drugs. I wish you health and a peaceful life free of poisonous drugs. I know I am almost there…God Bless

  31. My son is only 8 years old. A paediatrician prescribed sertraline for his anxiety, assuring me that he had rarely known any child to suffer side effects from it. No one told us it could lead to suicidal thoughts. (In Australia the drug does not carry this label.) After 50 mg a day for about 6 weeks, his anxiety hadn’t improved, and he started to self-harm, and talked about wanting to kill himself. The paediatrician saw him and said we might need to increase his dose. When he finally ended up in ED, they told us to take him off the sertraline, although it was “highly unlikely” it was causing the acute anxiety he was now experiencing daily, often for no apparent reason. A child psychiatrist suggested an anti-psychotic drug. My husband and I almost split up because I refused to give him this new drug. My beautiful 8 year old boy is now living through withdrawal hell. The mental health team who have come on board keep insisting we send him to school. Two days ago I tried. He lasted 45 mins and when I arrived to collect him, he was crying and cowering in a corner. It’s been two weeks since he stopped taking the sertraline. We don’t know who can help him, when the doctors refuse to acknowledge their drug is the cause. I’m so frightened for him.

    • Hi i feel very sad to hear this. I was in my late 30s when started with initial dose of 25mg and felt worse than ever. Side effects do include increased suicidal thots. It took me 2 months to adjust to this dose. I can imagine the effects on your young child. Do seek out qualified child counselors and doctors who are more careful with these antidepressants.

  32. I can’t believe this stuff doesn’t get more media coverage. Sertraline is absolute utter poison. Whoever invented it should be shot. I had mild anxiety and depression. The stuff that a simple diet fix and exercise would have cured – which I only know NOW.
    But of course, nope, Doc says “take this”.

    Emotionally made me feel like a zombie, and physically turned my anxiety up to 11. Shakes on cue when I missed the med by mere hours. Insatiable appetite. DECIMATED my sex drive and performance. Smashed my endocrine system to the point I am now on TRT therapy as I have the Testosterone level of an 80 year old and I was 25. And let’s now forget the most terrifying of all – horrendous nightmares and sleep paralysis. The stuff is hell on earth. Throw in those brain zaps and restless legs, and this stuff doesn’t belong anywhere but the bin. It’s criminal how poison it is.
    I’m 29 now and completely off (I was at 26) and I’m STILL not right. Sex drive has never returned as it exactly was, and although I feel great, I still feel somewhat unbalanced. All I can say is don’t even contemplate this crap, or if you are on, get off as soon as you can. There are SO many other options. Even steroid hormones like DHT and Testosterone are incredibly effective antidepressants.

  33. Back in June 2016, I saw my doctor bc I was feeling life; stressed about my upcoming wedding in July, starting graduate school in August, and my daughter turning 16 and driving. My step-daughter getting married a week before out wedding. She basically suggested that I go on Zoloft 25 mg. I was very apprehensive but decided too. I figured since I didn’t have a chemical imbalance I would be able to get off this medication no problem. So on Dec 11, 2016, after 6 months, i weaned down to 12.5 mg for 2 weeks and then stopped. OMG OMG, on Christmas day, I felt as though I had come down with the Flu, slept the entire morning and afternoon with a heating pad for all the body aches. The next day Dec 26, I felt nauseated and very sea-sick and had severe diarrhea. On Dec 27, diarrhea stopped but urgency continued, everything I ate caused me to have to go to the bathroom. My stomach cramped for about 3 days. On Dec 30, no symptoms I was feeling okay, then on Dec 31, my head began to hurt. A very atypical headache that over the counter Motrin couldn’t fix. It was bad and lasted 3 days. On Jan 2, 2017 I decided to go to the ED, my CT scan was normal as were all my labs, and the headaches continued.It has been all hell. Two nights of insomnia and odd headaches so severe, I can’t do anything but sit inlace with a hot pack to my neck and forehead. I do know and have hope that things will get better, but for all those out there, please DO NOT allow your physician to put you on this because you are stressed out about life. There is nothing abnormal about feeling anxious about things such as getting married, or some life changing event. For all those out there, yes there is hope. i did take Zoloft back in 2009, again for a dumb reason. I had knee surgery as became down because I couldn’t work out like normal. I was on 100 mg and took it for 3 months. i decided to come off of it and weaned down in 2 weeks, I suffered sever night sweats, and lost about 15 lbs but came off it no problem. This time with a lower dose but longer duration, the withdrawals are much worse. JUST STAY AWAY FROM THIS TOXIC DRUG!!!!

    • Hi Josie, those headaches you are describing are similar to what I’m going through. I was only on the medication for 2 weeks, but I was not consistent with my dosage (I was prescribed 25mg to take once a day). I skipped days, which I think is what made the side effects worse. By the second day of the first dose I felt like I had the flu, but didn’t. This feeling would come and go for the entire time I was on the medication (two weeks). The headaches were the worst though. Started the second week, pain at the temples that would last a few seconds coming and going throughout the day. I had about two weeks of relief now that same headache is back. I’ve never had issues with headaches in my life until I touched Sertraline.

  34. Hi, i am on here looking for advice. I have over the last three years to try to get my anxiety down and now get bouts of depression as i feel powerless. The powers that be have tried lofepramine, duloxetine, seroquel, mirtazapine and now zoloft.

    I have never felt so ill as on this one. From day one, nausea, anxiety worse, nightmares etc. I have decided after TEN days i can take no more and would like any advice on best tapering method. Will these ten days cause massive detox or can it be done gently?

    I now know that ssri meds are not for me. The future is uncertain as i am still not better, but wont take any more of this poison. I am so full of fear havint to use diazepam every day just to get through.

    All helpful advice gratefully received.

    • Hello Ann,
      First of all l really hope you are feeling better.
      I stumbled across this site while looking for advice on my own withdrawal of antidepressant medication.
      I too was given diazepam to help cope with severe anxiety from the side effects of medication. We seem to have similar experiences l am a 54 year old woman who has suffered anxiety and depression for most of my adult life.
      l have taken antidepressants for most of my adult life they did seem to help l was able to live a full rewarding life despite low mood and anxiety.
      Four months ago l asked my G.P if l could try a different antidepressant as l was sad after losing three close relatives in just over 12 months.
      This is when my nightmare began not only did the Sertraline cause more anxiety l was almost manic completely overwhelmed by horrendous physical symptoms and panic attacks like l had never known needless to say l thought l was losing my sanity. My G.P referred me for an outpatient psychiatric assessment l was prescribed an anti psychotic drug Quitiapine and believe me l thought my end had come after two major panic attacks in the middle of the night l could hardly wake up managed to phone my daughter slurred speech dehydration and muscle weakness l went back to on G.P and asked for a second opinion.Last Monday l saw my psychiatrist and described all my symptoms l have now been taken off all medication !! Thank goodness l will cope with all these withdrawal symptoms and do everything l can to get better l am not putting poison in my mouth again l have never felt so near to death. These drugs can be lethal some people may improve on them but they are not suitable for everyone. My advice is see your G.P regularly and try and get support front a counsellor or family or friend you are not alone too many of us have felt the same but you need to be sensible always seek professional advice good luck try and do some meditation breathing properly helps and find things that interest you to keep distracted. When you feel better get out in the fresh air exercise and take up a hobbies above all be kind and believe in yourself you will get better hope knowing others understand will make you feel your not alone.
      Take care Debra

  35. I’m part of that ocean too.When a person feel
    some emotional or mental characteristics or have
    any problem that could’nt solve:First;pray to God.
    Second:go to good Profesional Psichology.If you
    need some pill,use it one week in a low dosis.,con-
    sulting

  36. I’m so relieved to have read this post as I am experiencing so many of the side effects mentioned above. I have been on 200mg sertraline for over 4 years and to be honest felt in such a good place that decided I no longer needed them. I stopped taking them three weeks ago and my god have I gone through it. Pain in my left side which the doctor has said it’s sciatica? Feeling permanently hungover, can’t sleep but then sleep too much and constant snapping at my poor family. I went on them initially because I was having panic attacks and at no point in over 4 years have the gp’s suggested I come off of them. My husband thinks I should start them again because of the side effects but after reading all your posts I think I should persuavere, any advice would be truly grateful. X

  37. Finding this site have been reassuring that I am not alone when wanting to get of this tool of a drug. Starting this drug was the suggestion of my wife (now X) to knock the edge of you know. So I asked my PCP to give me a little something for that edge, and he whips out a prescription for Sertraline. Nothing big 50mg every day.

    Within weeks I found my fear of driving gone, this is great, take trips with the family now as my constant on and off the gas pedal was over. I was no longer anxious at work and could deal with other people in a civil manor as apposed to going off the handle. Life was good.

    Appetite, ah, never lacked on but now it was on, gained 25 lbs in one month. Once the PCP saw this he would not write any more scrips and wanted me off of it. This is when the search went on for a doctor to write me my med’s. Got a doctor to try out different pills all with the most horrid side effect, arms flailing, jumpy, cramps. Told him this would not work for me and back to sertraline.

    Now my PCP wants me on a list of drugs for all my ills from my weight. I am embarrassed to get on a scale but I know somewhere barely south of 300lbs. This from a person who has completed 10 marathons/ 1/2 marathons and was 165 when I went for the drugs.

    Yeah life is grand I can stay up all night drink, smoke, and eat like no one can. I have got to get off this. I have been on 200mg daily for about a year at the behest of my psychiatrist and now he want to add another drug. I’m done, going to take 100mg for a month, 50 for a month, 25 and so forth until off completely.

    My only side effect is brain zaps, annoying but not debilitating. I will keep you up to date as I can this has been the worst 5 years of my life. Overeating, no sex drive, and an uncontrollable overeating.

    David

    • After ditching the ween method and going cold turkey I can finally say that all the side effects have disappeared and David is back in town.
      It has been a very long 3 month’s. Dreams at night have been vivid to the point of feeling real except for there extreme subject matter. Night sweets would cause me to literally soak the bed from head to toe. Brain zaps would leave me paralyzed more 1 to 2 seconds. Mood swings would be of the most extreme, from complete joy, to homicidal lunatic. However even after all this I am back to me. I realized about 6 weeks ago while looking in the mirror and touching my face, in a very strange instance that “David” was back that I was in touch with a real person again, not an over medicated android.
      It was worth getting of these drugs and I am so sad of what they cost me in my life, marriage, home and job.

  38. Hello, thank you for sharing your story. I was prescribed Sertraline last month by a regular MD to treat “anxiety”. I had been in and out of the doctors, urgent cares for about three moths due to chest pain. After different cardiology tests it was brushed off to anxiety. I started taking Sertraline about four weeks ago, once a day for about two weeks. Keep in mind I wasn’t consistent with taking it every night like I was told. I think I took about five pills out of the thirty I was given over the course of those two weeks. During the first week (a few days into taking the first 25mg pill) I started feeling like I had the flu. Body aches, feeling feverish week etc. I never actually had a temperature.I just brushed it off to catching a small bug. By the second week I started experiencing the worst migraine/headache like feeling at my temples. This was accompanied by earaches, and again that flu like feeling I had had the first week. The headache did not subside by the next day (which is not common for me). At this point I was beginning to think it had to be the Sertraline as it was the only medication I was taking. I took the final 25mg pill the second day of the start of the headache, and it made it a hundred times worse. I trashed the remainder of the pills. That headache lasted for about eight days, coming and going throughout the day. I’m not sure if I was having the “zaps” but sometimes I would get shart pains at my temples that lasted a few second then disappeared. I felt much better after the eight days, this lasted a few weeks. Now the headache has returned about five days ago. Not sure if this is related, but I’ve never had issues before with migraines and headaches until I touched this medication.

  39. Please read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross to learn about SSRI withdrawal and amino acid therapy. You might be able to get rid of the low-serotonin symptoms such as the anxiety by supplementing with 50-200mg of 5-HTP OR 500-2000mg of tryptophan every 4 hours. 1-6mg of melatonin when you want to go to sleep. These amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are what your body craves and will rebalance you. You will know when to stop them because the symptoms will come back on them meaning you don’t need them anymore.

    • Thank you Emily for this information and resource. I have been taking only 25mg of Zoloft every 4 days for a few years now and have done fine but the last two months think I have been experiencing a tolerance to the drug as I have been getting a host of withdrawal symptoms. I never stopped taking it but my body is naturally doing this I think. I have been looking for natural supplements I can take to help alleviate these symptoms such as the anxiety. I have just ordered 5-HTP as well but I will get that book and find out more. Anyone else experiencing a tolerance to the drug and spontaneously feeling withdrawal symptoms without actually stopping the drug? By the way I have been on Zoloft for almost 20 years so that probably explains the tolerance issue. I’ve wanted off of this drug for some time now but couldn’t manage it before because of the withdrawal symptoms.

  40. Hi everyone. I have recently just come off Sertraline after finding out I was pregnant as I didn’t want to take any chances to harm the baby. I just wanted to know if anyone has suffered the same withdrawl symptoms as I am…

    I was on 50mg, and I did not half my dosage, I had only been on them a few weeks and then just stopped altogether but I am feeling very dizzy, and my senses are heightened alot, for example the lights are alot brighter and sounds alot louder which is making me feel anxious, i also feel very lethargic and have number dingling in my hands. Im hoping this doesnt last long. Anyone else suffered from this?

  41. I ended up in the hospital I died had a stroke and a heart attack I had been on seroquel for 10 years for insomnia 200mg then about 4 years ago was put on citalapram can’t remember the dosage and proppanol for anxiety 60mg that happened on 3/2/17 obviously I survived but they yanked me off all of the meds but the propanolol I had a drug induced QT prolongation from the seroquel and citalapram sorry my story is all over the place my withdrawal symptoms are horrendous at this very moment I am missing my grandma’s funeral and I love her more than anything it’s killing me inside but my anxiety level is ridiculous I know there is no rational reason for this anxiety it’s purely from withdrawal but that doesn’t help me thoughts of suicide and how to do it were present a month after I was told to stop taking those meds no one told me I would lose my mind I am sad you guys are going through this withdrawal but I’m happy to know I’m not alone this is the first time I have ever posted on one of these forums and my brains broke right now lol but your story’s give me hope I am going to keep fighting and my hope for all of you is to get well

  42. I respect and admire your courage and persistance and sharing your journey but I am controversially going to take the opposite direction, the medication honestly saved my life. I have had severe social anxiety and OCD since my early teens, I could not go into a store, I could not get a job, I could not socialize with anyone, I was almost a mute my entire adolence, I had severe panic attacks that would drive me to the ER constantly. I had disturbing obsessive thoughts, I saw counselors and none really helped although it felt good to talk to someone but it did bot get rid of my panic attacks and anxiety problems completely, it was in 2014 after I lost my job that it became unbearable, I had constant nausea which set off my anxiety cause I also have severe emetophobia, I,was in my bed constanstly just wanting my pain to end. It was then I was put on Sertraline 50mg by my doctor, and it changed me for the better, I,really have not had a panic attack since taking the drug and I can socialize to a tolerable degree where before I couldn’t socialize at all, the only time I do suffer severe anxiety and symotoms is when I stop taking the medication which is indicativie that I have a chemical imbalance (one that I was probably born with) that needs to be treated with antidepressants. Without the medication, I know I would be living in an absolute hell, the Sertraline makes things manageable, but not 100% perfect. You still have to work on yourself through therapy, ect. I had tried everything before going on medication (diet changes, exercise, therapy, even meditation) nothing got rid of my anxiety. Granted I’d rather not be on medication but I honestly think back on how I was before and what a miserable person I was and I realize I have to do it for myself. The only side effects I did have are food cravings, weight gain which luckily I can manage, bizarre dreams and soemtimes I get heart palpitations which are minor and I still don’t know the long term affects of the drug but I honestly dont care. Again, I am not 100% better but the medication made it so I can at least function. If there does come a time I need to come off the medication.

  43. Oh gee. Your story is so heartbreaking. I know exactly how you feel. I too am expiercing withdrawal symptoms and its terrible. Ive also developed nystagmus and i am scared. I feel really bad.. 🙁

  44. Thank you so much for this post. I’m coming off of 200mg of Zoloft and 75mg Wellbutrin. It doesn’t seem like a good combination but I was a minor when I began this medication and listened to my psychiatrist and parents. I’ve never been able to put words to these feelings I get and it’s relieving to find someone that can. I was shy, insecure, and life happened to me too and apparently that is not normal. Now, I decided I want to come off of these meds and I now FEEL crazy with these symptoms.

  45. Has anyone tried herbal st.John’s wort?. Iv been weaning myself off 50mg sertraline slowly over a month. Halving then every other day to nothing. Withdrawal side effects horrendous so im trying herbal to take the edge off. I got them from Holland and Barrett so decent stuff. 1 a day. Fingers crossed they help. Cold turkey does not work. Please wean slowly off this evil drug.

  46. A can’t believe how many go through this 🙁 am so thankful for your input Anna as a would just have thought my anxiety is back.. a went to GP with anxiety that a just couldn’t deal with anymore and got put on sertraline.. a didn’t know anything about this drug or any anti depressants for matter or fact a just wanted to feel better! This drug gave me the worst side effects and made my anxiety worse which a never thought could be possible considering it was already unbearable! A lasted 10 weeks on this before telling doctor get me off this it’s not working! She told me to just stop it as it’s not addictive the withdrawals where to bad a had to take small doses until a could come off… I’ve been off 6 weeks and have suffered insomnia when I’ve always been great sleeper… the inner vibrations is exactly how a feel daily and didn’t know how to explain that but that’s exactly it.. it’s all day everyday.. I have anixety and a don’t know if it’s the damage from this drug.. I will not be seeing a doctor as all they want to give you is drugs… am going down the healthy eating and exercise route and supplements if any of that will even help I do not know but am suffering daily and have three girls to look after it’s awful.. everytime a leave my house a want to run back home.. as the inner vibrations get worse and a just wanna burst into tears cause a can’t handle it

    • I totally understand where you’re coming from when you say that everytime you leave your house you want to run back home. I’m feeling that too now. I have been withdrawing from sertraline for over two months now because I grew a tolerance to the medication after taking it for over 19 years. For the past 5 years or so I’ve only been taking 25mg every 4 days and even at that low dose and low frequency I am suffering now. I haven’t even stopped the medication yet which I will shortly be doing as soon as I have less symptoms than I currently do. I suffered with the dizzyness and headaches to begin with, then a great amount of malaise and now loss of appetite and flu-like symptoms. It’s horrible for anyone to have to go through this. I am lucky in the sense that I don’t have a job to go to. Don’t know how I would function then. I want to get off this evil medication. I’m tired of being controlled by it and who knows the harm it is really doing to us. Hang in there. We are not alone. I am using the PointOfReturn.org program for support in getting off this med. I am not using my doctor. She would only talk to me about changing to another medication. Don’t give up. If you really want freedom from sertraline, know that it is possible. It takes great courage but many others have done it before us. We can make it through to the other side. Keep pushing on and use the support of many on here and on other forums.

  47. Hello Anna, my name is Sandy, the story your wrote is remarkable. What’s more remarkable is that you survived your living nightmare hell. I know, I’ve been there, too. I just finished writing a book (rough draft) on my experience held hostage by the Mental Health-care field for 35 years, heavily drugged while barely surviving multiple ‘cold-turkey’ withdrawals, and at the end I’m including 4 personal stories so people can get an idea how others suffer as well. We were never really alone, although we believed we were. I think just knowing this was how I was able to heal. (I’m completely drug free today.) I’m asking permission to include your story. Thank you Anna, and God Bless you… Sandy (sanderella57@att.net)

  48. Hello Anna,
    I’m so glad that you wrote your story, I think this will be a help so many people who want to come off anti depressants. We rely too much on what the doctors tell us instead of trusting our own gut instincts.
    I came off Sertraline 2 weeks ago cold turkey and the zaps started about a week ago along with leg cramps, feeling sick, sweats and rapid heart beat.
    But I have found light at the end of the tunnel. I started taking CBD oil a week ago and it has helped immensely with the withdrawal symptoms. The oil has recently become legal here in Ireland THANK GOD. Within a a couple of days of taking it I started feeling better, I don’t feel any anxiety, I’m sleeping great and I have energy like never before and my thoughts are so clear. For the first time in my life I have direction and I am 48 years old now. It was a friend of mine who recommended the oil, she too was coming off anti depressants and she said it has helped greatly. The doctors here won’t prescribe this yet. But there is big demand from people here with all sorts of ailments looking for it. We need to go back to nature for healing instead of filling Big Pharma’s pockets.
    My Dad died last year and I found it really hard to deal with my emotions, I suffered panic attacks, anxiety, depression. This is why I was put on Sertraline in the first place. It was grief and I should probably have gone for councilling instead of looking for a quick fix in a pill. But then I was thinking about my Dad and all the meds his doctor had him on for various problems including anxiety.( My Dad became depressed after my brother died from menangitis 7 years ago). So I believe it was all the meds my dad was on that killed him in the end, and I thought to myself I don’t want to end up like that, and that’s why I came off Sertraline. And I will never take an antidepressant again.
    Thank you Anna for your story and the inspiration it will give to others.

  49. Hi Everyone,

    First, I have to acknowledge how much respect I have for everyone posting their stories. It takes a lot of courage to talk about these experience and to expose ourselves in a world that stigmatises mental health issues and then doubts our experiences with the meds.

    I suffer from PTSD due to childhood abuse. I started taking Lithium about thirty years ago, added Welbutrin and Seroquel about 15 years ago, and added Sertraline about 2 years ago. Taking the Sertraline was amazing in some respects. My moods dramatically improved, like a sky suddenly becoming clear. But around the same time as adding Sertraline my blood pressure shot up to dangerously high levels. I’m fit, vegan, and meditate regularly, and now the doctor wants to put me on blood pressure meds. Nope. The other thing that happened was that while my moods shot up, certain other body parts went in the other direction…..

    I’m trying to get off the Sertraline now. I cut down 25% about three weeks ago, and 50% last week. I’m getting headaches, flu symptoms, and some anxiety and anger. I believe the reason the withdrawal has been relatively mild is because, like the last writer, I’ve been taking medical cannabis.

    I started with a pure CBD oil for daytime (10%), because there’s no euphoria, so I can continue working. Then I added a low THC strain (12% vaporised) for nighttime so I could sleep without the Seroquel. This is the first time in 15 years I’ve been able to sleep without it, and I wake up feeling more refreshed than ever, and find it easier to fall asleep than ever. Other than the side effects my mental health is better than ever.

    I’m in Canada and doctors are allowed to prescribe medical cannabis (MC) here. I get it from a provider called Tweed. It’s tightly regulated but once you have the prescription you can access a wide variety of strains and concentrations, and the staff are extremely knowledgeable. Now my biggest problem is the ‘munchies’ at 3am!

    I explain all of this so that others will know how to access MC, or at least have another reason to advocate for it. If you’re in the US, may the universe intervene to help you!

    I have some questions about the Sertraline withdrawal. Are headaches, nausea, and tiredness all recognised symptoms? I assume if they are that they are as intense of long-lived as each person is different?

    Also, I read in one of the comments that Julie Ross’s The Mood Cure is a big help. I read the book and it’s completely contrary to the latest nutritional research on mental health, serotonin and diet. I consult a professional nutritionist who researches all the questions I ask her. The latest research shows that protein inhibits the passage of serotonin over the blood-brain barrier, and that healthy carbs are loaded with serotonin that the brain can access. Someone should check out Ross’s connection with the meat industry, because she basically says that you need to eat tons of meat to have good mental health. Beef has been classified as a high level carcinogen by the WHO, and she says you should eat it a lot.

    Again, I thank all of you for your comments, and I thank the people who have organised this site. I have never seen myself as a victim, but I am regularly struck by how those without mental health struggles are so unable to understand and relate to what it takes for us to get through a day, while being so free to judge us.

    Stay strong everyone and love yourself. You’re worth it.

  50. Thank you all for posting. I’d been on Citalopram for a couple of years for depression and had become a zombie. I was sleeping 12/13 hours a day. I had no enthusiasm and zero motivation. My hair was falling out and my joints ached. So the doctor changed my prescription and put me on Sertraline.
    Some of my symptoms went away but I suddenly started suffering from anxiety. My stomach knotted the moment I woke as if something awful was going to happen. After only six weeks and having forgotten to take the tablet one day, I decided to stop taking it completely and went cold turkey.
    I was ok for a week but then the brain zaps kicked in and more intense anxiety and ANGER at everyone I’ve ever known.
    It was during that week that the BBC screened ‘The Batman Killer’ a documentary about James Holmes who had come off Sertraline and went on to murder 12 people in a Colorado cinema in 2012. The programme was examining whether the drug had played a part in the killings. He’d been on a high dose but had decided to stop taking it.
    There are many anecdotal examples of individuals who’ve been on SSRIs committing aggressive acts when they come off them.
    And if I, a 65 year old woman, can feel such anger towards others as a result of stopping a considerably smaller dose of this drug, imagine how coming off a larger dose might affect one’s thinking.
    Was I told any of the withdrawal risks at any time? No!
    I’m just happy to have stopped this drug. I can persuade myself these withdrawal symptoms will pass at some time and I know the tremendous anger I feel is just another of those symptoms and so I keep telling myself it’s not real.

  51. I have stopped taking sertraline for five months and still suffer with the zaps in my head. It’s bad in the evenings when I go to bed, it’s very frightening feeling.

  52. Great to know I’m not going mad and there are others, but what can I do to help lessen these symptoms?

    Leg pain, shooting pains, headaches, nausea, worrying dreams and weepiness

  53. Hi I have just found this group and am really thankful for all your comments I have been in Setraline for about 6 weeks now and I have decided to start weaning myself off it I am having the most horrific dreams nightmares and can’t take it any longer I hope I am doing the right thing but I am just so desperate for all this to stop

  54. I was put on sertraline to help me with my anxiety and stress. I had been working 70-80 hour weeks for years ina high stress job and started waking up in the middle of the night with panic attacks. As much as I didn’t want to take the meds I will say they did help. Now it’s three years later and my job is gone and I’m self weaning off the meds. It’s been a little over two weeks since I stopped taking them (I reduced the dosage over time by halving the pills and then quartering them). I have crazy dizziness and mid occasional nausea but thankfully no other withdrawal symptoms (hopefully I won’t get others). I do notice that if I sleep too much (I love to sleep in and always have) that my dizziness/nausea is so much worse. I’m wondering if anyone else has kept track of their symptoms and correlated any triggers? On the flip side wondering if anyone has found non medicinal ways to treat the withdrawal symptoms. For example, I also have noticed that if I snack frequently/always have something in my stomach (similar to when I had morning sickness during pregnancy) then I can usually keep the nausea at bay. I’d love to hear from other people what they do to “treat” the symptoms and or help avoid them. Similarly I’m worried that my anxiety will come back due to stress. Anyone do anything that helps them keep it in check that doesn’t have to do with medication? Thanks!!!

    • To keep the anxiety and other symptoms at bay try exercising. I myself am going through the same thing you are. I have severe anxiety and Akathisia. Nausea, the whole works. I will be trying 5 HTP after my the symptoms diminish and my brain starts to return to normal. You could try that. You can make it through, my prayers are with you.

  55. I would first like to say to all of you that have posted on this forum that I am very grateful and thankful for your posts. About 5 weeks ago I was put on Zoloft for Depression and Anxiety. 25 then bumped up to 50. To say the least I felt like I got poisoned. I had delusions centered around every thought, severe Akathisia, and homicidal/ Suicidal thoughts. I came off the drug about a week ago and am feeling so much better. Sure I have a lot more anxiety, nightmares, and being tired but it’s well worth it for what I felt like while on the drug. I went back to my psychiatrist and she immediately tried to put me on more meds. That was that, I’m never going back on antidepressants ever again. I hope everyone who reads this comment and others alike will find hope and peace throughout this dreadful process.

  56. Hi all omg I’m so glad I found this, I was put onto setraline after have my hysterectomy about 10 yrs ago. At first I thought they worked, helped with the night sweats but never with the no sleeping. I carried on. It then took away my sexual drive, my emotions and my weight stated to steadily increase. I went back to the docs and he put me from 50 to 100gm I still didn’t feel good, my whole body didn’t feel like me anymore. I had forgotten who I was. I had CBT this didn’t work for me. I went back to the docs again and they put me on 150gm. I thought I was losing my mind. I want me back again. I want to laugh like i used to and enjoy life. These tablets supposed to help. They wasn’t. Then I down loaded a book on audible and I decided to come off cold turkey. I know it’s the right thing to do but I now have really bad withdraw symptoms. Like the achy body, insomnia, head zaps, fatigue, dizziness, forgetfulness . I want this to get better. I really hope it does. Thank you for listening Annette

    • Hi Annette, it’s been about about 2 weeks since I got off the drug, and I still feel crappy. I have nausea and severe anxiety/ Depression but it will get better with time. How long were you on the medication?
      I personally don’t have the brain zaps like you do but I have just about about every other symptom.
      I will keep you in my prayers.

  57. hi.
    im a 41 year old male and have been on citalopram or prozac for roughly 6 or 7 years. have tried to come off previously but always went back on after a month or so. i am now 4 months off completely and realize it was witdrawal that made me go back to the pills. my symptoms are extreme rage and anxiety. headache in the front of my head and between my eyes. ridicilous crying spells. chronic fatique. depression. lethargy….i used to play hockey soccer golf go to the bar or movies or play softball. now i can barely function. i need to lay down for the night by 5pm. i have zero interest in anything. i think of suicide every day. i wad never depressed before the pills. i have an undiagnosed ear issue which my doctor said wad anxiety. so he gave me prozac. it has 100 percent ruined my life. the pills made me numb and crave alcohol from the moment i wake up. which is why i cant reinstate.
    my only hope is time. if i make it that far. god bless all of you suffering. be strong for your loved ones

  58. Hi everyone . So I was put on setraline about 4 years ago. I can say that I felt so much better since I’ve taken them and I don’t struggle with anxiety anymore. But like everyone that has posted their story here I have struggled coming of them . A year ago I tried to stop them and after 3 days of not taking Setraline I was feeling dreadful. Crying for no reason, getting angry for no reason, sweating and not being able to function , so I thought it’s because my anxiety and panic attacks are still in me . 3 days ago I tried to come off Setraline again and after being ok for 3 days today I was extremely dizzy , I can’t concentrate and my vision can’t focus . I had to drive my daughter to school and realized that am a danger on the road and I’ve put myself my daughter and others at risk . I got home eventually and again I had to take the pills so I can put myself back together to be able to get to work and pick up my daughter from school. After taking 50ml of Setraline , within 1 hour I started feeling much better . Now I realize that because of this medication my brain does not work properly to the extend that I can’t remember what day it is or what time I start work after looking at the Rota a few times . Now I am so scared that I won’t be able to come of this medicine and if I try to I won’t be able to function and look after my daughter . I’m only 30 years old but I can see how this medicine is messing up with my head. Anyone can advice on how I can make this process more easy ? Thank you

    • Please join “surviving antidepressants” and learn the 10 % reduction technique. It has been proven to work and it causes the least harm in discontinuing these horrible drugs. Please join the forums for assistance in getting off. Really great people. surviving antidepressants.com

  59. Stopped the 50mg last week after only taking it for 4 weeks. I had to cease due to horrendous tremors. I found benadryl and diazepam helps.

  60. I was put on a number of meds starting at 10 years old and kicked them all by tapering myself cutting pills at 25 yrs. I once took Straterra, Zoloft, and Singulair( not including inhalers). After I had my son at 26 I needed antidepressant bc the father quickly changed once we became pregnant. I started Zoloft but tapered off bc of my blood sugar being out of control( soemthing I noticed may have only happened when I was on antidepressants as I’ve always had low blood sugar issues but not sure why and I am skinny and healthy so docs will not test for diabetes).. I took Zoloft again when my son was 2-3 yrs. One episode I switched from Zoloft to Lexapro. I got so sick like a had bad Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I couldn’t wake up bc it made me feel like I needed to sleep 24/7 and had to speed risking car accident to get to work on time. I was so dizzy I nearly fell down stairs as if I was drunk on occasions but I was sober. I had taken Lexapro with no issues in the past but that time was different and dangerous. My general practitioner stopped it immediately recommended Effexor and Trazadone since the Effexor may pep me up, Trazadone will help me sleep. I did a follow up telling her I was exercising and doing yoga and fine. I was recommended Trazadone for sleep but never filled the script. I honestly can get by with Zytrec or Benedryl sometimes just half tab at night if I need help to sleep and I know what will happen. I have bad allergies. If I take half a tab at night I need to take allegra or soemthing in morning or I may get a really bad sinus headache. I do not want to try any new unpredictable treatment when I can just exercise yoga and eat healthy and deal with life that way. Plus the book ” feeling good the good mood therapy” has helped a lot as well as surrounding myself with people who listen, care, and love me back. I would recommend that book the exercise and healthy diet full if fresh food and omega3s and surrounding yourself with loving souls. I accidently got gel Zyrtec.. you cannot cut it and it seems to be stronger for me and I make mistakes during the day due to drowsiness poor judgment and lack of concentration due to the fog. I never took gels before. I picked up zytrec gels on accident..I only take them on the weekends.

  61. I am meeting more and more people who started on this and now are on poly drug treatments with anti-psychotics.

  62. Withdrawing from *any* medicine, especially one which affects brain chemistry, takes time. I see many people complaining of Sertraline causing their journey to antipsychotics, but the truth is this is the drug where most GP’s start when symptoms are coming on – where you end up will depend upon the real underlying illness. Remember, Ebola symptoms start as a cold, then makes you feel a bit fluish and drowsy, then shuts down your organs. This is why diagnosis of any illness is so difficult – all human bodies start off displaying symptoms in the same ways. So before you start blaming any drug for your current situation, remember you were likely on a track to the same destination but drinking different cocktails in the dining car to your fellow passengers. Depression and progressive psychosis all start with feeling down and maybe some anger issues – that’s why so many patients who end up in hospital may have started out on simpler drug regimens such as Sertraline.

    Having taken Sertraline for some time, it was obvious my problems were not going to be fully covered by it. It was like trying to put a square peg in a very slightly off square hole – you could do it, but the result was not really smooth. I had, in the past, taken paroxetine, which is much more difficult to come off. All the symptoms described by those above whilst coming off the drug are exactly what happens when withdrawal is too fast. There is no such thing as a two month withdrawal period. Everyone is different. Some people can go “cold turkey” without a single problem, for others it will take much much longer.
    The method I used for withdrawing for Sertraline is the same I eventually used for Peroxetine. I reduced the dosage by 10% per week. You can do this by asking your GP to prescribe more items of a lower dose – tell your GP you want to come off the drug in stages. Once on the lowest dose possible, take it either every two days or in a 3/2 cycle. That is take it in the morning on day one and midday on the second, then the afternoon on the third, then night on the fourth, then miss a day and do the whole cycle again but with a day in between. i.e Take in the morning, miss a day, take at midday, miss a day, take in the afternoon, miss a day, take at night, miss a day. Then do this again, but miss two days.
    Always, always, always, always drink *lots* of water. I mean six pints a day the whole time you are going through withdrawal. Yes, you will pee a lot – that’s the point! Finally, at *no* time take any kind of pain killers for any withdrawal symptoms unless you need them for some other condition. If you do, you will mess up the withdrawal process.
    Now here’s the crap you don’t want to hear, but listen up and listen well. You need to keep as mobile as possible. If you are able bodied, walk, run, jog, whatever but do it until you are out of breath. If you have some condition that prevents this, ask your GP for a recommended regimen – just get off your proverbial ass. If you don’t those drugs will hang about in your system for years.
    I don’t care if I come over as being a bit of a dick. You say you want to withdraw from a prescription drug, well this is what it takes. If you’re not willing to do what it takes, stop whining about it on forums. Misery loves company, but company does not reciprocate. If you are wondering, the “addiction cycle” of Sertraline is only one month, it’s your body which is doing the “Withdrawal Whinge Waltz.” The brain is like a demanding child; give in to its crying for ice-cream once and you’ll be hearing that tantrum forever. Same for any prescription drug.
    FYI: I no longer need Sertraline or any other SSRI because my problem was not serotonin but norepinefrin and poor absorption of folic acid. You know folic acid, the stuff pregnant women take to make sure their baby has good brain and spine development. You didn’t think your need for it stopped after being born did you? There is now very little folic acid and boron in the modern food chain. They add it to bread in the UK, but if you don’t eat bread then you are certain to be deficient.
    Guess what, the symptoms of that look like depression, too.

  63. Hi again it’s been nearly 3mths since being off and was seriously thinking about going back on until I came back into this site. I still not 100% as now I’m crying all the time and feeling anger. But I do try Mindfulness which does help. I can say this has been so hard. I lost my mom in law in April too. I feel everyone is against me no matter wat I try to do. My husband hardly speaks to me if he does it’s because we argue. My daughter is my world and I’m sometimes horrible to her. I hate my job at the moment but I still try and smile but inside im hurting. In someways I feel this is a good thing as when I was on the tablets I didn’t feel anything. So not sure what’s better. I hope I just need a break. Weight is still an issue for me. Do you think this is normal? After just coming off them for 3 mths. Thanks Annette

  64. I’ve ended up in the hospital when I got taken off Sertraline (100mg). I was on it for a year and then I couldn’t sleep and it wasn’t doing anything anymore. My gp changed me to 15mg of Mirtazapine right after I stopped taking Sertraline… it was HELL! I lost consciousness twice, I was sure I was having a heart attack, my arm was paralysed and my chest tightened. I was hospitalised for 24 h and they found nothing! I was back in A&E 12 h after and they told me it’s anxiety. My symptoms were so bad but like yourself I never linked it… now Mirtazapine has helped but I’ve gained so much weight that I’m coming off of it… I was prescribed Propranolol and gosh it helped my symptoms so much. Now hoping to get off Mirtazapine completely next week, wish me luck!

  65. To all you people recovering or currently suffering I’m sending you all positive thoughts and healing for each of you. I am also suffering and hopefully will start to recover now I am fully off sertraline.
    I’ve been on it for over 4 years. The dose has varied over this time. The majority of time I’ve been on 150mg.
    I’ve suffered with anixety and panic attacks for around 18 years now. I’ve been in and out of the system. My relapses are always more severe than the last. The last one 2 years ago being the worst and I’m still amazed how I made it through. Crisis team were heavily involved at this point. When the deemed me as “well enough” I was released from their care and I was then put on a waiting list for 3-4 months to have 3 separate assessments for them to asses what treatment I would be best suited to under secondary mental health care. I was then added to another waiting list for an additional 14 months. In this time I have had horrendous stomach and digestive problems. I have gained over 3 stone in weight (still while going to the gym 5 days a week, I even paid for a personal trainer).
    Over this last year I’ve had CT scans, Ultrasounds, numerous blood tests, even a Laparoscopy and nothing came back that anything was wrong. A couple of months ago I’d just had enough and explained to a GP that I thought sertraline was causing these issues (which they soon dismissed) I asked how much longer I would need to wait for my referral to come through, so I could hopefully get the treatment that would help me so I wouldn’t need to take these “masking the issue” pills anymore.
    I think it was roughly a week or so later I received a letter from the hospital that I was no longer on the waiting list (which I’d be on for 18 months) this was due to the doctor chasing up where I was on the waiting list and asking their advice about me reducing my dose at some point. They said I obviously no longer need the place as I’ve talked to the GP about me reducing my dose, that means I’m in a good place and will no longer be eligible for the care as they don’t see I need it.
    Heartbroken was an understatement….
    I have since weened myself off the tablets about 2 weeks since. I’ve got the itchy skin, some headaches and I am short of breathe all the time. Which causes me to
    panic. I’m really hoping this passes soon.

    Thank you for taking time out to read my experience and for all your experiences it really does help to know you’re not alone.

    Remember you are:
    BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think & LOVED more than you know.
    Stay strong 💪🏼

  66. I am so glad to have found this. Over the past 18 months I have been on 100mg of Sertraline and got horrific migraines.

    I was told that under no circumstances were the migraines related to Sertraline. The solution was to prescribe me amitriptyline and another migraine releasing drug, as well as drugs to counteract the mixing of two anti depressants and a prescription for anxiety attacks (basically beta blockers). At 24 I felt like a walking talking pharmacy and I couldn’t leave the house without having them with me for fear of an anxiety attack.

    Whilst on it I have been plagued with suicidal thoughts and the solution was to up the dose.

    I tried to wean myself off the Sertraline a couple of months ago and it was horrific. I am currently three days of a reduced Sertraline and cold turkey on all other prescriptions. Already I feel like I could throw up, I can’t eat and feel like my heart could beat out of my chest.

    Finding this has definitely helped me realise it’s the drugs and not me, for so long I have been told that it’s not me, it’s a chemical imbalance in my brain which caused the anxiety and the drugs will cure it. Now I’m not so sure…

  67. Hi Anna,

    29 August 2018

    I’ve been off Serdep for two weeks now.

    A week after stopping the medication, I thought I was having a panic attack. I was driving to work and suddenly felt light headed, hot flashes and blurred vision. At this time I hadn’t pieced together that it might be the withdrawal symptoms, so I passed it off as a rate occurance.

    Then four days ago I started feeling a tingle in my lower face, particularly around my mouth. This was coupled with dizziness and slight nausea. My initial thought was that I was pregnant, by after getting my cycle, ruled it out. I’ve also been experiencing sleeplessness, which I’m sure is also a side effect of withdrawal.

    Since then I’ve had daily symptoms of tingles in the face and lips, dizziness and spats of blurred vision.

    Today I decided to Google my symptoms in relation to the withdrawal of the Serdep and came accross your post. I’m so happy that I did and can no relate all my symptoms to the withdrawls.

    I initially started the medication a year ago as I was going through a divorce. But I’m now in a happy relationship and feel the need for the medication is no longer there.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and I know it will help many of us who struggle with coming to terms of the withdrawals.

    Warm regards,
    Natasha Gibson

  68. I been on sertraline 20 plus years I was so fed up feeling ill I have stopped my sertraline I was on 200mg yes at moment I am having withdrawals but I no its withdrawals and nothing else my mood has improved greatly I feel for first time in a long time that life is good I feel positive I have quit smoking I no longer have that awful thing they call brain fog THERE IS LIFE AFTER SERTRALINE stick with it u will win the battle I did good luck guys

  69. I hate this tablet hate it
    I want off and its easier I feel to just run away and be away from every one
    This feels worse than the breakdown I was going though and the reason I was put on them
    I mistrust doctors and feel alone and battling alone
    Glad I read this
    I stopped comely and I ain’t going back on them
    These chemicals like it or not ain’t going into my body any more.
    Good luck guys thinking of you all and thank you for your stories
    Sorry your struggling x

  70. Hi my name is Laura. I have been on sertraline for 10 years 200mg every day. 4 weeks ago my doctor agreed I was ready to come off it as there was no reason for me to still be on it. First it was to decrease by 50mg every 3 months which I I am currently on 150mg I am already feeling sick and have constant headaches. If I bend over it feels like my head is going to explode. I have had severe back pain for the last week. Is there anything I can do to releive these withdraw symptoms. I would be extremely greatdull for some advice as I don’t think I can go on like this for long periods. Thanks

  71. Hi i am Rose
    I was taking zoloft sentraline 50mg for about 4 months.
    Because doctor ask if it is working or not, i said no cause i dont feel any benefit of this drug.
    Then doctor changes my zoloft to axit mirtazapine 15 mg.
    I started to get symptoms of come off zoloft althought the same day i started to take axit mirtazapine. ( stop zoloft 2 days then start axit mirtazapine).
    4 days after taking axit mirtazapine i stop cold turkey because this symptom scared me. Now i have been off 7 days and still with the withdrawal symptoms. Doctor said go back on axit mirtazapine or zoloft.
    I said to myself NO !! NEVER !!
    I dont care with this withdrawal symptoms. Come off cold turkey or slowly will make me get withdrawal symptoms anyway. And it will make me longer and harder to come off. ADDICTIVE DRUGS!!!! For me it’s bullshit my doctors said its not addictive drugs.
    Ii am confidence that i will be alright although bit suffer because on drugs will harm me WORSE than this withdrawal symptoms. So why should i go back on to get bigger problem!! And this withdrawal symptoms will be gone 100% in a periode of time. My belief!!
    And i won’t get any worse withdrawal symptoms. Again my belief!!
    And i am confidence i can pass it and i have kids who love me and support me.
    AND I HAVE GOD TO ALWAYS BE WITH ME TO HELP AND PROTECT ME AS LONG AS I ALWAYS BE WITH GOD.
    I hope i and everybody who got problem like me can get their life back and healthy and live a normal life again.
    Keel faith!
    All of this is only my opinion for myself
    I am sorry if it is wrong.
    I hope it can be usefull.
    Take care everybody
    Regards
    Rose

  72. Reading this story has been the only sign that I’m not going crazy. It’s been about 2 months since i tapered off of Sertraline. I was on it for over three years. During the initial tapering and week after I felt better than I had in all those three years. I began to think the drug was keeping me in a trance-like state. As the weeks went on so many physical symptoms started to happen. Nausea, chest, back, and neck pain, weakness, fatigue, vertigo, rapid heart rate, shallow breathing. 2 months down the road and I am still crippled by these things. Every now and then the depressed thoughts will seep in and consume me. I wake up every morning hoping for a day free of symptoms, but I don’t want to resort back to the drug. It is a struggle every single day. This article helped me feel less alone and feel heard. Family, friends, and doctors all look at you in confusion when you constantly complain and worry about the way your body feels. It is nice to know there are other sufferers out there that understand.

  73. Hi everyone I’m 7 weeks post discontinuation of sertraline and I have major tinutis but the main symptom is insomnia I’ve now gone 4 night no sleep at all and I’m beside myself …Does this get better! I’m taking melatonin and some time gets blocked but they don’t help!

  74. Kevin
    Where do I start, I’ve suffered from depression most my life but never even thought of taking medication to help myself, until my divorce about 8 years ago I was so down I couldn’t stop crying so decided to go to a psychiatrist for help not realising at the time I was just going through what everyone goes through when you have a divorce so the psychiatrist decided to put me on seroquel I felt great but the only problem was I was a zombie no dreaming no thinking nothing so the only problem with that drug was that when I was on it for a few years it started affecting my heart so I went back to see the psychiatrist and he changed me from that to olanzapine which which stopped effect in my heart but I was still a zombie, so one day I decided that I couldn’t live this way anymore so I started doing my own study and found out how dangerous these drugs were that they put me on ,could not believe that some doctor would describe these drugs for me so I decided to go cold turkey ,what a kick in the ass I got , so I went to my GP that I really trust ,so he suggested that I go back on the olanzapine and he described me Sertraline and then slowly come off olanzapine, which I did, so I slowly come off olanzapine over a long time so finally when I was off olanzapine I still had bad side effects from that. It’s been 6 months and I’m still having withdrawal symptoms but I’m still on Sertraline after reading your stories I’ve decided that I think I will come off Sertraline I didn’t realise how bad it is for you I thought it was just a standard depression drug not as bad as olanzapine the Sertraline has made no difference to the way I feel I’m on the highest dose you can be on I’ve had most of the symptoms that I’ve read about on the internet I realise that there is a site for every drug the same as Sertraline that people are suffering from taking ,the doctors I trusted ,let me down I decided to do my own studies into what can help me years ago I picked up a book called Louise Hay amazing woman if you get chance read one of her books the problem was is that I read her books but I didn’t put her theories into practice. So not only do you have to look after your mind you have to look after your body so I started looking after my body and amazing things happen I started eating organic foods organic products I was amazed how many organic products are out there I use lavender oil for my mind chamomile tea just eating the right foods I’ve lost over 14 kilos that the medication put on me ,I go for Thai massages I know I need to go and see a homeopath. So what I’m saying is that everyone is different everything works different for certain people so try things and see if it works for you but don’t give up I’m feeling a lot better now but my next battle will be coming off Sertraline so I’m glad I found this site to see some of the problems I’m going to have to face. From now on I’m going to study everything I put in my body I’m only put in my body what God has put on this Earth not what doctors put in there pills, good luck to everyone there is a light at the end of the tunnel even though depression feels like a heavy weight on your shoulders keep pushing for it💗

  75. I forgot to mention, the intense awful nightmares that I had for the two months of weaning from 200mg to 50mg. I would wake up crying and bathed in sweat. The nightmares were so horrific I would feel uncomfortable telling anyone what happened in them. Please be aware of this as a withdrawal symptom. At the time I thought I was going mad, only later I realised it was the sertraline withdrawal. I don’t get them anymore thank god. There are probably a myriad of other withdrawals that I had/ still have but can’t think of them
    All now! Terrible terrible drug

  76. Hi again it’s 2 a.m. you guessed it slowly coming of my Sertraline, I’ve had time to think about my comments and I think it’s wrong to blame the GP, if you think back to when you first went to see your doctor you were desperate for help the fact is that you’ve left it too late and if you were to be telling you what I’m about to tell you you would have called him a Quack and went to another doctor until you got the pills or the easy way out just like I did, I’ve been doing a lot of internet searching there are thousands of reasons why you have depression and there is no Magic Bullet, you could have had a trauma in your life , all the food you’re eating all the products that you use to clean your house have a close look at the chemicals that are in the deodorant use everyday or the shampoo what cleaning products that you use I had a good look and could not believe what they put in them numbers certain names you don’t understand like I said before certain people are different one chemical that affects me won’t affect you, so I’ve decided to do the so called hard way, I eat organic food when I can use organic cleaning products I don’t drink or smoke only drink water yes these products cross More but so does alcohol and smokes, there are stores now like vitago even Woolworths and Coles has organic products just by doing that I’ve lost heaps of weight which makes me feel better I go for long walks once a week I have a Thai massage there are organic teas and oils out there that will relax your mind get yourself test to see what sort of vitamins you are lacking what chemicals you have lingering in your body keep away from foods that have added sugar yes it will be hard to do but these big companies have got you hooked on sugar it’s amazing how good food taste so after saying all that it could just be that it’s in your DNA so you need to move to foods and products that will support you ,no one has the Magic Bullet after saying all that certain things may work for you but don’t work for me ,just got to try💖

  77. Sertraline yes we’re all blame on the drugs, these are my beliefs if you’re reading the comments on one of those sites it means that Sertraline is not working for you ,you don’t like the side effects so you done your own study and looked into a the drug just like I did, but I’m sure we’re only a small majority most people that are taken these antidepressants and they are working and not even looking at these sites because they’re happy with the results and they’re willing to take the chances of the side effects the reason I started looking is because I knew it wasn’t working and my body was telling me that it wasn’t working for me I’ll give you an example last night I had some salmon I know from eating salmon before that I get acid reflux so not only did I have withdrawal symptoms from Sertraline I had acid reflux mixed in with it so I had to work through it and pick which one was affected me any which way my point is that your body will tell you when it’s no good for you there are probably millions and millions of people taking depression drugs that are fine on them one of the effects of coming off depression drugs for me is I can start feeling my mind working a lot better so here is one thing that is helping me with my thoughts, most people when they get up in the morning and they look outside and they see that it’s raining they say what a miserable day, so that is a negative thought I’ve been reading Louise Hayes books maybe you should give it a try it might work for you, your body will tell you when there’s something wrong if you decide you want to change your diet after you eat some food see what it tells you it might be an hour a day or two days after so when you go to toilet your stool is supposed to be a certain way I realised after years and years mine wasn’t right because I done some Internet searches I changed my diet, when you go to the doctors and explain to the doctor what’s wrong with you ,all you’re doing is passing on what your body is telling you experiment it’s not going to take 5 minutes it’s a lifetime job anyway it’s time for work, time to look in the mirror and tell myself I’m doing a great job💕

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