Been off Sertraline for 6 weeks now

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I started on sertraline 4 years ago. It basically saved my life, but over the course of a year I ended up on 150mg. I reached 100mg very quickly on zoloft then for about 6 months zoloft disappeared and I was given a generic and became quite depressed (suicide thoughts) again. My doctor put me up to 150mg. A year later zoloft was readily available. So I decided whilst on a 2 week sunny holiday I would go back down to 100mg and I felt great.

My life changed dramatically. I found love, remarried became a grandmother got a great job, better pay and cleared my debts. I was a complete transformed human being and I give all the credit to zoloft and Grey support from my partner.

After 4 years of being on this drug I craved to see who the real me was. What would I be like without it. So after the holiday on the reduced amount of 100mg I stayed on that dose of 100mg.

WAIT FOR IT I THEN WENT COLD TURKEY.

I never really intentionally meant to go cold turkey but my life was so busy I would often skip 2-3 days. The only thing that alerted me to this was the awful bad dreams which often happened if I skipped or forgot to take my tablets. I found dead myself with only a few tablets left I decided to just stop taking completely. I had severe bad dreams for about 2 weeks. I swear these dreams were blockbuster material if only could remember all the details. The brain zaps lasted for 4 weeks. They were annoying but never hurt they just ruin your concentration. I also became very weepy the slightest thing had me in tears.Then after 4 weeks of cold turkey I became me. It was heaven to no longer have those dreaded night sweats. And I lost 5lbs in weight after 2 whole weeks without changing a thing. My husband says I am more feisty (i would call it snappy and argumentative). Zoloft made me very chilled back.

I see myself off these tablets now but I would not hesitate to take them again if I felt I needed them. They changed and saved my life. I'm no longer low in mood wouldn't dream of taking my own life at present. I feel I have more energy and want to do more with my life.

I'm not saying come off sertraline or do it cold turkey. You will know when the time is right. I just felt 4 years was a long time not to at least check how or who I really was without the drug.

If I can be of any help by answering any questions I will do my best to. My reason for coming on here is because the majority of people who successfully come off sertraline don't tend to visit these kind of forums. Forums are usually people who are struggling and need answers or who are scared are worried . When use to look up coming off sertraline I felt scared because there were no positive stories. Xx

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    I'm only on my 5th day of sertraline and really struggling.

    I was on citalopram on and off for about 10 years but consistently for the last 4 years on the minimum dosage. I like you decided back in August to come off them as I felt fine. I weaned off them very gradually and was fine for about 6 weeks.

    Then 5 weeks ago I woke in the early hours and it hit me like a ton of bricks! Severe depression, anxiety and insomnia. I've never felt anything like this in my life. I went straight back on the citalopram 10mg and over the course of 4 weeks I went up to 40mg with no improvement at all! I've got no idea why a medicine which worked so well for me for so long just wouldn't work this time!

    I saw a physiatrist last Thursday who changed me to 50mg sertraline and I'm petrified it isn't going to work for me! I'm still having massive issues with my sleep as well which is so hard for someone like me who loved my bed and needs at least 8 hours a night! I've been taking zopliclone for 4 weeks so I am getting some sleep but I hate relying on them and also they don't make me feel like I have slept! I'm only meant to be taking them for the next 2 nights and I don't know what's going to happen after that! Can you please let me know if you suffered with sleep problems and if so how did you overcome them?

    Clare xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Clare. Hang in with the sertraline. 50mg isn't that big a dose. Took me a good 4 weeks to feel the effects and then by 6 weeks felt great. The first 10 days of sertraline the suicide thoughts were awful but a carried a piece of paper telling me "it's the new medication stick with it you are going to feel great" which was a great little tip. Then after the 6 weeks even though I felt great my doctor put me up to 100mg to ensure I was receiving a therapeutic dose. I did have sleeping problems to start with and was given zopiclone for a month also. With zopiclone you have to be in a wound down state ie. Nice bath, peace and quiet for them to work. If taken whilst stressed and uptight they give u a quick sleep then a zoned out feeling making you feel worse (my doctor told me this and it is in the side effects). I took mine every night for 2 weeks the on the third week every other night then the last week's I kept for desperate measures. Having them available for desperate times was like a comfort blanket.

      I didn't just stop sertraline because I felt ok. I had felt ok for a long time. Which of course was the drug doing its job. I just decided 4 years is a long time, my life had changed dramatically and wanted to see how I was without the medication. In real honesty I thought I would have to restart but fingers crossed I don't feel like I do. The only negativity so far is that the really ugly syndrome is returning when I look in the mirror and one video of me made me cry. I have tried to turn that in to a positivity and am going to start running and have bought some quality makeup and am going to look on line how to apply.

      I wish you the best with your depression and please stick with sertraline it definitely changed and saved my life. Give it a good 6 weeks. Xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you!

      I had a better day yesterday and even had a bit of an appetite but despite keeping busy all day I still couldn't sleep when I got into bed.

      I took the zopliclone at 11.30 and was awake again at 3 and that's how I've been since despite being shattered!

      The no quality sleep thing is probably the worst thing for me and so this morning I feel back to square one.

      I've had the zopliclone for 4 weeks now so really don't want to continue with them. I'm seeing the physiatrist today for a review so will see what happens then.

      Clare xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Boo .. your story is so positive to read and great that you've put it on here to help others believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thank you. Sue xx

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