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Life after Zoloft (1st post on forum)

Hi all,

I've been visiting this website off and on last year since deciding to wean myself off Zoloft. I'd been on Zoloft for about 3 years with good effect on my mood, PMDD and attitude to life. However, it came to a point (1 year after starting) when it was making me insomniac and making me grind my teeth in sleep. I also felt like my mind was racing and I couldn't concentrate well. Not to mention, I'd put on at least 20 pounds during this time.

5-HTP and Phosphatidyl Serine - These got me through a difficult withdrawal period. 5-HTP helped with the rapidly plunging moods, but I was getting electric zaps, constantly felt like I had cholinergic gaps and that my brain was "not all together". That's when I added Phosphatidyl Serine and that seemed to help with "putting my brain back together". All this while too, I'd added a good multi-vit, and supplemented with Magnesium as recommended in many books I'd read.

2 months later, the withdrawal was over, but I started to feel as I'd felt pre-Zoloft. Fearful, agitated, easy to anger, sensitive and easily hurt.

I thought 5-HTP had petered out on me.

At this point, I almost went back on Zoloft, but thanks to a family member who urged me to persevere a bit more, I hung on in there. Make no mistake though, my family was very, very frustrated with me at that time because of my tantrums and crying bouts, but still encouraged me to hang on in there if staying drug-free was my long-term goal.

I turned to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture which seemed to help only somewhat with my ongoing insomnia and low moods.

BUT, what I'd forgotten about while on TCM though was the 5-HTP. Yeah, I actually thought I shouldn't mix healing modalities, but now I realise that doesn't have to be the case!

5-HTP is your body's raw material to make serotonin which is often deficient in people with the type of depression that responds well to SSRI anti-depressants. I now realise I should just have continued with the 5-HTP, while at the same time using TCM to help my body achieve balance and homeostasis. TCM also helped my liver detox, allowing my multivits and 5-HTP to better wield its intended effects.

In anycase, I'm now glad to have figured that out.

Rhodiola Rosea - Since a month ago, I also take this at the beginning of the day and I've found it to be really helpful for anxiety! It worked right from the first day. At first, I thought it might just have been a placebo effect. But after continuing with it for a week or two, I continued to feel better in the sense of being less fearful and anxious. The effects have now plateaued for me but it's already helped me quite a bit, so I'm not complaining.

This has been my experience 4-5 months after stopping Zoloft. Not everybody's body is going to respond the same, but sure hope my little spiel here may be of use to some.
Yeah well, Zoloft did help me through a period where I was rock bottom and just couldn't even think about anything other than wanting to feel less yucky. But as I mentioned, the side effects got a little too much :frown: and it just wasn't worth it anymore staying on it.

I'm just glad I found this forum and was able to read about others' experiences with various alternatives.
Life after over 10 years on Zoloft, ....

Thank goodness I found this website.

I don't think I would have ever quit Zoloft but my Psychiatrist quit her practice. I had the most amazing Psychiatrist for over ten years.

Went to new Psychiatrist and she immediately wanted to change me to other drugs and was basically adding more fear to me everytime I went.
Now I am exhausted and don't want to start telling the whole tale to another psychiatrist.

I decided it was time to get off Zoloft after being the poster child of success for this drug. Zoloft worked from the day I took it, only problem the sexual side effects get worse as you go up in dosage and you eventually have to go up in dosage over the years.

I got off Zoloft by staying in the sun on my jetski all summer and doing strenuous exercise. The endorphin high and the sun got me through the weird anxiety of getting off Zoloft.

Now I have a shoulder injury and and leg injury which keep me from reaching for that strenuous endorphin high and I have fallen back into not being able to sleep, my first sign depression is back.

Need a simpler way to get to endorphin high. Should be doing Yoga, can't get organized with that somehow.

I used to get the theraputic endorphin high doing Karaoke and horseback riding. My whole life , it has always been one search for exercise that was interesting enough to keep me getting the endorphin high at least 3 time a week. I got it through spinning, weigh training. I have had every type of exercise equipment, and many personal trainers just to get this exercise cure.

Not sleeping is my biggest struggle.

Then when SAD came in November along with tons of stress due to job and Florida real estate recession I started sliding and tried SAMe, which gave me instant relief from depression but was increasingly giving me insomnia and mood swings. You have to take much less and even stop for a day or too on Same, but it has none of the sexual side effects that really are bad with Zoloft.

Then I tried St Johns Wort and it was working very slowly/ So glad I found this website and realized the best brands are Kira and Perika. I have to cover up when in sun, but I always did that anyway for fear of skin cancer.

Currently taking:

300 mg SJW Kira tables with each meal, 900 for total daily
50 mg 5-Http by Natures Way one breakfast and one at dinner
Magesium, ready to cover my skin with it if that will help (lol) I just read this on a website.

Going to the store now to find Rhodiloa Rosea now.

I miss my old Psychiatrist. Old Psychiatrist gave me small amounts of valium which I occasionally used for sleep or big events. Old Psych saw me make so much progress and she knew I was the type not to abuse an potentially addictive drug.

New Psychiatrist only wants to prescribe Paxil, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Viagara (lol) and tells me to take Benedryl.

Sleeping is the biggest problem around 75% of depressed people, what is your solution?

Knowing I could take 2 mgs (very small dose) of valium if I really needed it kept me from being obsessed about insomnia.

I only had to use it once a week or sometimes not even that. New Psych doctor keeps recommeding benedry, claiming valium causes memory loss. Benedryl is giving me a hangover and memory problems and doesn't take away the fear of insomnia and now I need it almost every night.

This too will pass right?

Now I am trying every natural sleep aid. Sleep MD, Melatonin, valerian, kava, passion flower, chamomile. What else is there?

Thanks so much for posting everyone. Its very overwhelming to read all of the posts on this site when you are in the pit of depression. But what an eduction it is!
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