How to stop taking Zoloft, Taper off or Cold Turkey?

How I stopped taking Zoloft

If you are on Zoloft or other generic brand and wish to stop, are trying to taper off Zoloft and wondering if the side effects from lack of Zoloft is causing depression or anxiety attacks, or just want to know some more about how Zoloft affects you, then please read on.

I am not a health professional. I am just someone with personal experience with Zoloft. The information I have to share is invaluable because most Doctors don’t understand unless they have taken the drug themselves.

Zoloft withdrawals are severe, and the physically addictive qualities of the drug are the last thing anyone on it probably had any idea about. Chances are you were diagnosed with a form of depression and amid tears the Doctor hands you a packet of tablets, or a script and instructs you that they will start to make you feel better in a few weeks.

Zoloft - All great until it's time to quit!

Zoloft is a long term solution, but this is still funny
Zoloft is a long term solution, but this is still funny

 

Zoloft has been considered one of the safest SSRI's (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) by Doctors and readily prescribed as it has been found to be extrememly effective in assisting the increase or serotonin, or happy hormones in the brain. It is considered so safe that I was advised to continue taking the medication while pregnant and breastfeeding.

This is what happened to me, and I was in no position to do anything except trust the Doctor’s judgement. I am not ungrateful, as although in hindsight a more suitable drug could have been prescribed, I am no longer suffering from depression.

I must advise that you shouldn’t do anything without consulting your health care professional. There are so many different types of depression and some people really need to stay on their medication.

I came to a point where I was happy, and just wanted to be normal. I longed to get off the tablets as I knew I wasn’t depressed anymore. My circumstances had changed so the factors which had caused my depression no longer existed. I did the right thing and asked my Doctor how I could stop taking Zoloft.

I was given the standard advice. I needed to start taking the dose down 50mg at a time. After dropping the dosage I had to wait until the side effects wore off before I took the dose down again.

I was obedient, after all the Doctor can’t be wrong. I even agree that this method is the safest possible way to rid yourself of the drug.

If only the smile was the only side effect!

WHAT THE DOCTOR WON’T TELL YOU

When I dropped the dose down I felt so sick. I couldn’t sleep and my mood dropped. I tried to stick it out for weeks but began to be anxious that I was getting depressed again. I was devastated. Maybe I would never get off these drugs.

So I bumped the dose up again (I got as high as 200mg) and just kept taking them.

I started feeling better after a while and thought I would give it another go. This time I turned to my trusted friend the internet search engine instead of the Doctor.

The first thing I discovered is that Zoloft contains a highly addictive drug. When you stop taking it there are severe side effects, more so for some than for others. One of these side effects is a depressive mood and sleeplessness! What a relief that I hadn’t been getting sick again when I had tried to stop taking it, it was just a side-effect. If only my Doctor had known.

It is very important to understand this as when you are suffering Zoloft withdrawal symptoms your brain can get very confused and you feel like you are going insane.  Headaches, insomnia and nausea are only the beginning of what can be experienced.  The fear of getting depressed again is so real for anyone who has suffered from any form of this mood disorder. To wean yourself from the drug you need to have mental strength to keep telling yourself that it is just a side effect and you are still sane!

The other important thing I discovered is how long Zoloft stays in your system. I won’t go into the technicalities, because what the scientists say and what I read about differed. Some people experienced side effects for months.

The side effects of stopping the medication can make you afraid of getting depressed again
The side effects of stopping the medication can make you afraid of getting depressed again

HOW I GOT OFF ZOLOFT

The thought of the pain of tapering off the drug, waiting months until the side-effects of a dose decrease wore off only to have to go through it all again just made me mad. So I was really really really naughty, and went cold turkey.

That’s right. Don’t do it. It is really dangerous.

I was very sick. I had to take tablets to help me sleep at night. I kept seeing my little dog running through my house when he was outside. The hallucinations made me jump, but it was the voices that were freakier. I couldn’t think straight. Overall I was very ill.

I was a tough cookie, and it paid off. It started getting better after a couple of weeks, and then eventually after about 6 weeks I was well on the mend.

I did it, and I have been drug free at the time of writing this for two years.

Not everyone is as bloody minded as me though, so here are some tips;

· Get some good medical advice. Don’t just let them get away with the standard blurb, but ask lots of questions.

· Make sure you have a support network of people who understand what you will be facing.

· Don’t give up. If it gets tough keep remembering the goal and use the support you have in place.

· Inform the people you live with. Most people don’t understand mental illness, but if you are jumping because you had a hallucination it’s best this doesn’t take them by surprise.

In the end it may take a lot of determination, and it appears to be better for some people than others. When I realised the effect Zoloft was having on my body I got angry and just wanted the drug out of my system.

INFORM OTHERS

May I humbly encourage you to talk to others about your experience with Zoloft? It is a highly effective drug, but some Doctors who don’t have an expertise in depression may prescribe it too readily, when other options which are not addictive are available.

Whether you are on other medication for a different mental illness such as Lithium for bipolar or Ambien for insomnia the professionals need real experience rather than just the manufacturers research and technical information on brain chemistry.  Unless we spread information then this may not change, as it is not the editors of the medical journals having the real life experiences.

It is hard to admit to others when you have had a mental illness, but I always liken it to a broken leg. The only difference is your brain is broken and they can’t see it.

Information is power, so I encourage you to learn as much as you can about Zoloft and its side effects and this will empower you to overcome as I have.

If you are reading this you may need a laugh?

Comments 52 comments

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

I admire your courage in going cold turkey. My opinion of most prescription drugs, is that they often do more harm than good. Good luck in your journey. Good hub with good, first-person advice


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Sounds almost like my experience getting of Xanax (poison). I went cold turkey and nearly had a grand mal seizure with my husband and kids watching. Not fun. They should tell us these things when they prescribe them. Hope you are doing better now.


insearchof truth profile image

insearchof truth 6 years ago from Australia Author

That must have been awful for you. I suppose with everything there are pro's and cons, but most people don't get consumer choice with these things due to the circumstances of the prescription. At least they don't give everyone shock therapy anymore!


mandy 6 years ago

Thank You for this article ! I thought I was going crazy. I tried coming off slowly like the Dr said but I am just so ready for these to be out of my system. This is my fourth day with no meds and the dr and pharmacy says to start taking them again , it will help. I have been up since 2:00 this morning , and that was after a night of hysterical crying that I have never experienced. I was able to subdue the crying last night with wine but I can't keep doing that I have a job and a family.I did see images last night while lying awake in bed , and again thought I was crazy so it is very comforting to read that someone else has gone thru exactly the same thing. I will not take another pill , I want these out of my system and will continue to tough it out. If you happen to look at this page anytime soon any more advice you can offer me would be greatly apperciated, this is such a lonley hopeless feeling. I have never felt like this and this stupid medicine did it. Thank you again.


insearchof truth profile image

insearchof truth 6 years ago from Australia Author

Hey Mandy, you are a tough cookie. It's a hard road to take and if you have to give in and take some don't feel like a failure, you can give it a go another time another way. Keep in touch with the Dr, and watch the wine it's a depressant and won't help in the long run (I have been there done that too). Better to get over the counter sleeping tablets that aren't addictive.


Lisa Mckay 6 years ago

OMG Zoloft and Xanax are horrible! I was suffering postpartum

depression and the doctor prescribed both of them! I also quit cold turkey and was horribly ill and hallucinating! Oh and incredibly irritable! I started working out at the same time to sweat it all out of my system! I made it but my Lord it was the hardest thing ever! Willpower people its no good for you! If I can make it and be a success story so can you! Be strong be patient and you will make it!!


carol 6 years ago

I went on zoloft after I had my son, however I have turned into a pathetic drunk and put on 15kg, I also became incrediably forgetful and i feel numb all the time. I am just starting to taper of the drug, however I cant seem to do it as the brain temors driver me insane, I'm determined to come of this drug, but I soooo scared of the brain temors


Adam 6 years ago

Thank you very much for this. I appreciate your first-hand knowledge and your strength. I've been on Zoloft for six months and decided to not renew my prescription as I have never liked pills in the first place and was always fogetful about taking them. I went cold turkey about 1.5-2 weeks ago and feel good, no depressive moods, sleeping well. The only side effect for me would be "feeling a a bit weird in the head" LOL. I feel slightly detached and a bit light-headed. Helpful to read ur story and the comments here re: hallucianting, as sometimes I think I'm seeing things out of the corner of my eye at night, but it lasts a millisecond. I never told friends/family I went on meds and haven't been to the doctor since I got prescribed so these forums are so beneficial to a stubborn male like myself! Thanks again and I wish you good luck and health


pinetopgal 6 years ago

Have taken zoloft for 11 years,have tried to just stop taking it as well. I am now trying again ,it has been only 5 days,not able to sleep well,cry @ all that youal' have gone through as well.It was good to read all your input,to know im not going backwards that i can tough it out @ come out to the other side.Thanks to all of you out there.


Mia 6 years ago

1 year on 100 mg Zoloft. Dropped dose to 50 mg...no problems. Went to 25 mg..no problems. Discontinued use...withdraw symptoms started in a few days and have been building ever since although I think I peaked now going on 1 1/2 weeks. I get a weird dizziness when on getting off the computer and after driving. Also, it is kind of like quitting caffeine cold turkey. Starting to feel slightly like anxiety is returning - the reason I was on the stuff to begin with. It really helps knowing this is temporary due to withdraw. I'm confident all will be well, but I think it will take at least a full month.


maggie may_1959 profile image

maggie may_1959 6 years ago

A little over 2 years ago i was going thew a divorice and i took a FML to take cake care of my sick mom she passed away in six weeks one day when hospice was here they notice me and sugested i see my family doctor for depression and of corse she put me on zoloft started out at 25 soon 50 then 100 then 150 then 200 i gained 75 pounds over the past 2 years

i was told that is not a side effect well its been all most 3 weeks that i have stoped taking zoloft cold turkey and have lost 22 ponds i feel ok have my moments the crying for no reason and i snap easy but catch my self and say i can do this i am bound i can do this . i was so happy to find this site to know i am not alone


Gracie J 6 years ago

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. I've been off Zoloft for about 3 weeks and although the physical withdrawls and "crying about everything" are starting to pass, the anxiety and irritability are still there. I'm so worried I will lose my mind. I'm a single, 44 year old woman with only my dog (cute as she is) to keep me company. I have friends and family but I can't stand this anxiety/depression. Does it go away? How do I know if I still need the Zoloft?

Thanks :)


Mystery 6 years ago

I am with all you guys. I was taking zoloft for about a year and went up Tomas far as taking 200mg. I didn't have money to pay the copayment to refill my perscription so I had to wait. Well a few days passed and I was ok. However, the 3rd day I started feeling sick. Shaky, anxiety, brain zaps and tiredness just feeling horrible. This continued the fourth and fifth day. I am

lying in bed today afraid to get up because when i

start to walk around, I feel dizzy and sick and I get brain zaps. I don't even know what's going on... Someone tell me please. How long does this last? And why the brain zaps? How

long do they last? I've decided to go through with this and stay off the zoloft to see how I do. But I am so dam sick.... Ugh!!! Help!!! Please.... What can indo to stop these withdrawal symptoms....


scared!!! 6 years ago

I have been on Zoloft for 3 years, suffering post natal depression after my first child, fell pregnant again and now have my 2 beautiful bubbas! Well Zoloft served me well! In fact i believe it saved my life! I was very suicidal, had implemented everything i needed and it was all in front of me ready to go! It was one last thought to reach out to my husband just to tell him i loved him that ended it - i confessed over the phone and he came straight home from work! Since that day I have been taking zoloft! That was until last week, most ppl who have taken it will know how it kinda makes you dull, forgetful etc, well i had gone to a friends house to visit for a couple hours and had forgotten that my husband had put my 11 month old baby in the car for me to take!!! I nearly killed my baby!!! I was in horror, luck and only shear luck saved him, had it been a few degrees warmer that day i would have been planning my babies funeral! Let this be a warning to all mums who take these meds!!!!!

I have not taken a single dose since that day! 8 Days in, going cold turkey! Yes it is taking its toll - but not taking my babies life!!! I have had very little sleep all week,major headaches etc, but i have asked for help with the kids and hopefully it will soon get a lot better. Never again will i take mind numbing drugs again! There has to be a better way!!!!!!!!


Nibi 6 years ago

I told my family what I was about to go through and they all just said you making it up and being happy gets rid of the side effects. And they all have mental illness. I take it for anxiety i got off of it cause it was causing my body to stop being able to accept food and i never had panic attacks before until the 10 yr mark. So I sit alone at home...with a husband who wants to break it off cause he assumes I'm complaining to much. Its not like I'm doing the mood and comprehension issues and nausea on purpose, yes I like them makes me happy...geesh. So I sit and talk to my ancestral guides they've kept me bubbly sane all my life even through mental and physical abuse from my dad. Month 2 and still nauseous and right brain pain from sinus too back of my skull. Thanks for the write up I'm gonna show it to willing readers of my family.


MellyMoo profile image

MellyMoo 5 years ago from Australia

Thank you for your story. I can relate. I had to go back on zoloft (which I had been on for a few months before falling pregnant) when 13wks pregnant with my fourth baby. I felt so guilty about having to be on an antidepressant while growing this beautiful baby, but the uncontrollable crying was worse and the doctor and midwives convinced me that a healthy, happy mum makes a happy bub. I am so greatful that I did. I took zoloft all the way through my pregnancy and while breastfeeding and it worked wonderfully. I weaned myself off it when my baby was 10months old, however 8months later, after a string of stressful events, I realised that I did infact need to be on zoloft and that I had severe clinical depression and that it was not my fault. Thirty minutes after taking my first tablet, I began to feel the chemical change in my brain and I began to get better from that moment on. There have been times in my life where I have been able to manage my depression with diet, exercise, meditation etc however there have also been times where I have been doing all of these things and more and have woken one day with the heaviness of depression throughout my whole body. I would advise anyone to listen to their own body as we are all different. Do what works for you. I agree that doctors do not always know and from my experience I have discovered that most of them have not experienced depression themselves and unless someone has, they have no possible idea of what it feels like. My father suffers schizophrenia and my sister has bipolar so unfortunately, for me, there is something genetic. Depression is not something to be ashamed of. It is an illness. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain, just like a broken part, yes. We all need to talk about it more. I really believe this. Thank you


insearchof truth profile image

insearchof truth 5 years ago from Australia Author

Thank you for sharing, I too have a family member who may always need medication, and my grandmother was bipolar. I am very thankful that I no longer need medication, but it is good to remember as you have pointed out that there is a time and a place for it, and we all react differently. The more me talk about these things and get depression and mental illness out in the open the better.


Joni Lynelle profile image

Joni Lynelle 5 years ago from Kansas, USA

Thanks for sharing your experiences. The thing I have found when I forget to take my meds for a few days is a strange almost crackling sound in my brain that is accompanied by a buzz feeling and maybe even something visual. It all happens simultaneously and lasts only 1 or 2 seconds, leaving it hard to really describe. I just know it feels horrid. Unfortunately I am in the "have to take them forever" group of people, but I absolutely loath it... It makes me so angry sometimes.


MellyMoo profile image

MellyMoo 5 years ago from Australia

Hi Joni. I know .... I feel weird after even taking them a couple of hours later than usual. I could definitely not take them a day or two late. I have read that they work much better if you take them at exactly the same time every day. I am just so thankful that I only need 50mgs to balance out the chemicals in my brain and if I have to take them forever, I really don't mind because they help me to be 'me'. I have tried without and it's just not worth it for me. I used to feel angry too that I had to have them but I accept it now. It is a physical illness, like any other and is not your fault. All the best.


Joni Lynelle profile image

Joni Lynelle 5 years ago from Kansas, USA

Thank you, MellyMoo (great name by the way) Yes, I have also excepted it now. I started them about 11 years ago now, and after going through a few years of denial and rebellion I have come to realize that life is better with them. I do have DID though so sometimes an alter may forget them for a day. Usually not two days though thankfully, but I always know immediately when this happens because of the zap my brain goes through when I have skipped.

Thanks for your kind reply and encouragement!


Moe 5 years ago

Been on Zoloft for 3 weeks take ambien to sleep hate taking all the meds not sure I still want to take it will the side effects be bad if i stop it now.


mandypoole profile image

mandypoole 5 years ago from UK

I agree. Any type of antidepressant that is stopped suddenly can make you so ill. Your mood can come crashing down, you may experience irritability, cry loads, feel nauseous and become light headed.

Always come off prescribed medication slowly, its still tough but once its all out of your system you will start to feel better. Always with the advice and support of your Doctor though!


polkadot 5 years ago

I recently quit my job and moved out of state. I had been taking zoloft for about six months after dealing with severe ocd and anxiety. My doctor told me that he would still prescribe me the zoloft after i moved to help me get through the tough time. I haven't heard back from my doctor after numerous calls and messages. I have been out of zoloft for four days now. I am moody and emotional, not to mention I feel so extremely dizzy and lathargic it is hard to function. After gaining about 18 lbs while on the zoloft, i want to stay off of it now that I'm going through this withdrawl already, but I'm just not sure if I can do this much longer. I am unemployed, chubby and lonely in my new city. Does anyone have any idea how long this withdrawl could last. I realize it would have been better to come off the zoloft slowly but it is too late now. My poor boyfriend can't understand, and my mom just wants me to take the pills for the rest of my life i think. Any thoughts?


insearchof truth profile image

insearchof truth 5 years ago from Australia Author

Hey there polkadot, how bout you get yourself to a doctor. You need meds buddy. Just a fact of life for some. Worry about whether or not you can go without them when you are settled and not so lonely.


Caelan 5 years ago

I was on 200mg and I've gone cold turkey because I felt too weird with them in my system, boy was I wrong. I get a ringing in my ears when I turn my head, I have thoughts that don't feel like my own, things that look like people in the corner of my eye, low moods, etc. I'd never touch them again but this is hell. It's apparent to me that these drugs have not been tested enough.


gracex2 4 years ago

Hi all, I am a 31yo mother of two. I got on Zoloft for situational depression in college. The main side affects for me are sexual side affects (didn't know what I was missing until I briefly got off of it for a few months during my first pregnancy) and the memory loss (mainly short term). My memory used to be brag worthy. But now, it is the source of constant frustration and arguments with my husband. I saw "The Marketing of Madness" on youtube and decided at that point to get off Zoloft. I was on 100mg and slowly after a couple of months I just went down to 50mg. I am super irritable and I feel like my anxiety and depression are back. I have been experiencing sleep disturbances, disturbing dreams, irritability... My husband wanted me to get off, unfortunatley he doesn't understand depression, let alone withdrawls and tonight after I called him lazy for not turning off his cell phone that was beeping because the battery was low, his response was "you know, you are crazy." So, yea, he's not the most supportive person. That said, if anyone has any advice or success, I would be very grateful. I currently am eating a more plant based diet, but I definitely need to work on getting enough sleep (hard with a 8m old) and exercise (I never could force myself even before zoloft).


Heather 4 years ago

I've been wanting to get off Zoloft for a long time. I'm 40 y/o and I've been taking it for 12 years! It helped alot in the beginning but now, i dont know. I feel stronger and like i may not need it but Im scared to stop, I'm afraid I'll go into some horrible funk! After reading all of the above, I realize I'm going to have to face this one day and there will be side effects. I'll just have to be strong and do it!


George T 4 years ago

I searched the internet this morning specifically to check if there were side effects when stopping the use of Zoloft. Glad to find I am normal! Funny, the Doctors say you can stop at any time and not have problems... Ubt I worry about cold turkey and always reduce dosgage slowly over the course of weeks...BUT I wondered why was I now having harder time sleeping, and why was I having these really strange dreams, which I ususally never had..now they were several times every night! I have thought now imporoved as I started walking, and yes tring to laugh, as these fill in and return to normal, and naturally, what the drug was trying to do... This posting was very helpful to me. Thank you!


Cassie 4 years ago

I have only been on 100mg zoloft for 10 days.. Will I have symptoms quitting cold turkey?


Steve 4 years ago

I started at 25mg, then 50mg, then 100, finally, i questioned my clinic practioner; saying why are you doing this, raising them up on me, when i said repeatedly that i was feeling better! It was free of cost to me through a program that helped people who didn't work, and/or had no income, so, yes i was and am thankful for them! But, don't forget their called practioner because they're practicing on you!!


Julia 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this. I've been on zoloft for about 5 months and I'm on 150mg now. I kept quickly upping my dose before, because after 2 weeks I would feel more depressed again and wanted that feeling to go away. I really felt the zoloft was helping me for a while, but the last month and a half or so I've been physically feeling worse. I'm not sure if I'm developing new side effects or not. I've had horrible insomnia and headaches after taking my pills. I was lucky if I was able to get two hours a night of sleep. So, after already becoming paranoid about any medication because of bad experiences with every other one i've tried (prozac, lexapro, and wellbutrin), I decided to try and skip a night here and there to see if it would make a difference. And it did. I seem to have much more energy and motivation and can finally sleep normally again. I've been skipping every other night or so, but have decided that I really want to be drug free. I'm tired of medications screwing me up. Reading this really helped me feel much better about everything now. Thank you!


Dyna 4 years ago

Stay AWAY from the drug. I have only taken 2 pills then stopped because every time I swallowed I kept having a clicking noise in my throat and excessive saliva.

I stopped and after 8 days I'm experiencing vivid dreams/severe ear pain that last a few minutes at night that wakes me then goes away. I had been experiencing sweats hot/cold and muscle twitches/spasms and constipation along with anxiety. I'd advise anyone to who has just started that things only get worse the longer you leave it. It's really annoying. I feel so weak :-/


missbeckydem 4 years ago

Hey everyone. So glad I found this page. Been on 100mg for over a year now and if I forget to take them for a few days or run out I actually go nuts. Have hysterical crying fits and I don't even know what I'm crying about. I get very aggressive and it causes so much shit with my bf as he doesn't understand depression and thinks its a week ness which winds me up. Just searched this from a crying spiel on the floor coz I have not had any for 3 days. :( I hate depression so much! Hope your all well xx


harper 4 years ago

I stopped taking Zoloft cold turkey and am on about day 4 or 5. I've been feeling very light headed but so far haven't had any negative mood changes. I've felt more like myself but I'm worried this will change very soon. I've noticed that signs of an eating disorder I had a couple of years ago are surfacing again. (I was given antidepressants at that time as well). I've also noticed that I'm more tired and will get what I like to call "head shakes." It feels like a small seizure that lasts for about two or three seconds causing my head to shake.

I would suggest never beginning this drug. It made me gain about ten pounds and left me feeling like a zombie. Any type of chemical you have to put in your body to make yourself feel better is never a good choice!


Fifi brin dacier 4 years ago

I have been on Zoloft for 30 years for anxiety. It has been a life saver. Past menopause and having difficulty getting health insurance coverage, I thought I should try to get off it. In the last 6 months I have been tapering myself off it starting to skip one dose every other day for a few weeks, then one dose every 3 days. At any rate, I am not doing well since I stopped completely 2 weeks ago. The dizziness is totally unexpected and I have a very short fuse. Boy do I snap easily! seeing those comments has helped me realize that I am not going crazy. My concentration and attention spam are not good. I still want to keep trying and I do not want to switch to another product (prescription or herbal). Has anyone been successful in staying off the medication and am I bound to going back on it? I love to hear experiences of those who have been on it long term. Thanks


boo 4 years ago

I've been on zoloft for about six years. I had major anxiety issues in nursing school and was prescribed it. I ran out of it about five days ago and couldn't in to see me MD or get a prescription. This has been THE MOST miserable five days of my life. I finally got my MD call a prescription in and squeeze me in next week. I thought I was going crazy because I came home and opened the garage door and thought I saw my little dog in the corner. I closed the door and couldn't find him....thought he must have ran out the garage door when it was up. Looked for him for about 30 minutes outside. Was on the verge of tears, opened the door, and there he was. That's when I got scared and searched for zoloft withdrawl and hallucinations. You can bet your but I'll be asking for a safe way to come off these meds next week!


tranquilitygirl 4 years ago

I have been taking 25 mg of Zoloft for the past year mainly for my mood. I had previously taken 50mg for several years for postpartum depression. (No time frame from my doc on that one-- I feel I stayed on it way too long .) This time around my ob/gyn wanted me to take it for only 1 year. As before, I followed my original doctor's advice on weaning. For 2 weeks, I halved my dose -- a little difficult with 25mg -- but I broke the pill in half. So for 2 weeks take 12.5mg (or 25mg if you were originally taking 50mg) , then take 12.5mg every other day for 2 weeks, then 12.5mg every 3rd day for 2 weeks, and finally, take 12.5mg every 4th day for 2 weeks. I am in the 1st week of every 4th day. I started this process on the 4th of July. Some days are better than others but I have found that the worst day is the 2nd day/1st day of no meds. I get a little dizzy, my 1 ear feels blocked/buzzing, and definitely am short tempered/irritable. I have had some crying jags and unrealistic thoughts, ie making mountains out of molehills! I tell myself to get a grip and it will get better. I take an Advil or two for the headaches and try to limit my stress. Some of the early weaning days I couldn't do much. I started this process now instead of waiting until I see my ob/gyn at my annual checkup in the fall since I usually have seasonal affective disorder. I definitely have more energy and think clearer without Zoloft. Also, I am looking forward to losing a few pounds as I found that I tend to gain 5 pounds or so on Zoloft. I also feel it slows down my metabolism. So, the best advice is take it slowly not cold turkey. It will get better and you can do it. I was off of it for 3 1/2 years and did really well. Hoping I won't need it again but it is a really useful drug and does what it is supposed to -- make you feel normal.


Angel Grodzki profile image

Angel Grodzki 4 years ago

I am having pretty bad (but normal) side effects. Going on one week of totally being off the medicine. For the past couple of months, I have been cutting down my doses. Started at 150mg per day, then worked my way down to 50mg every 3rd day, then every 4th day. For the past 20 years, I have continuously been on some sort of anti-depressant/anxiety medication. Been on zoloft the longest, for about 10 years now. The dizziness, lack of concentration, sleeplessness, body aches, irritability, very funny feeling when I turn my head too fast, feeling drained, and crying at Anything and Everything, seems a bit overwhelming right now. But I am trying to keep the 'big picture' in mind. And that is getting this drug out of my body. I'm a little aprehensive to see how my body and mind will adjust to not having any medication in my system at all for the first time in 20 years. It's a little scary to be honest. I give you all a lot of credit for having the will power and determination to succeed in this. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. It makes this journey a little easier to know there are others out there fighting the same battle :)


Looking4mymind 4 years ago

Wow - so glad I found this info. I too was using zoloft for at least 6 yrs. Even after weaning down to months of 50mg I am having so many problems. I have been totally off the pills for about 3 weeks and still having crazy side effects. I kept saying I was hearing a swishing noise in my head. This site as helped me realize I can fight this battle!


princess di 7 3 years ago

Hi all. I am particularly interested in hearing an update from 'Fifi brin dacier!' She is the one that has the most similar story/history as me. I started Zoloft approximately 20 years ago and, despite what a lot of people are saying on these sites, I truly do NOT regret it and found it to be quite a life saver for me! I have said many times over the past 20 years that "I never felt 'normal' (whatever that is for each person) from the time I hit puberty until I went on Zoloft"!! I do think perhaps 'puberty' or any change of hormones is the key thing here. I even witnessed the mental wellbeing of my son change with puberty! He was such a happy well adjusted child and seemed to change overnight with the onslaught of puberty and hormonal changes. As a matter of fact, when I was dealing with his attempts to quit an addiction to Crack, I doubled the Zoloft from 100 mg/day to 200 mg/day to try to deal with the terrible stress of thinking you are going to lose your child! All that to say; I am not trying to quit Zoloft for any other reason except I'm thinking that it might be time since I am not only post menopausal (IF that 'change' ever truly ENDS) as well as taking HRT (hormonal replacement therapy) It still may not have occurred to me to quit the Zoloft but I went away for a week & accidently left them at home. I did not intentionally quite NOR would I have ever quit any meds cold turkey! Upon my return home, I thought WTH, I have mild insomnia & I felt a little nauseous ~nothing I can't live with. It has been 3 weeks today & I'm continually feeling worse! Five days ago, I went to my doctor to get a shot of Gravol because I vomitted so many times that I never got past 10 minutes of injesting the Gravol by mouth! Also, I thought it was time to let him know what's been going on as I hadn't even told him that I quit Zoloft. He was 'pretty sure' that the symptoms I've been having are NOT related to the Zoloft withdrawal "after all this time" but I disagree! Between what I've read here & the mere fact that I have totally removed a medication like that (or ANY kind) after 20 years, I cannot believe it's not withdrawal symptoms that I'm suffering! So I would love to hear from anyone that was on Zoloft for that many years as well as that high of a dose (200 mg/day) and that subsequently quit cold turkey. 'Fifi brin dacier!' posted 6 months ago so she would probably be my best advisor if she managed to stay off them. As I said, it's been 3 weeks & as recently as yesterday, I had to take 4 Gravol in 8 hours for the nausea (haven't vomitted for a few days now) So if Fifi or anyone has perservered through similar circumstances & is further along in the withdrawal, PLEASE sign up and respond to me. I would like to add that I am soooo confused and frustrated by the people that have commented that they were also feeling weepy and depressed as a result of the WITHDRAWAL. Does that mean that we all NEEDED to stay on the meds or is it truly TEMPORARY symptoms???? Anybody?


alex 3 years ago

hello,i am 26 years old and i was on anafranil and xanaz for 4 years cause of anxiaty and panic attacks. ok realy helps panic attack, but i gain waight like 35 pounds. i feel like a thing not human just eat sleep and doing nothing more. no mood to go out and have fun.so i stop it litle by litle without talk to my doctor. after a few months i have anxiety issues again, but i have lost all my extra pounds. and i also have some "prepanic attack" thots. then i visit another doctor with huge success at hes job. he dont spend more than 5 mins on hes office with me and he just say ok take zoloft and still take xanax to sleep.he also tell me that zoloft dont makes you fat. i go up to 100 zoloft ( i start 25,50 etc) after 1 mounth i gain 10 pounds and i was on diet and gym. is like no way cant avoid the weight. and that depresses me. i felt like both roads is bad for me. what i can do now?? so here i am now, i stop zoloft . i go 50 for 4 days. then 25 for 4 days ( for less withdraw symptoms i suggest you do the same) . now i fight with my self every day to stop my bad thots and stop my panic attacks with no meds. if someone have some probles with me please share it :) even my parents help me but the worst think is that only the people experience it know how is it. thats why i love those post here I AM NOT ALONE this is huge help! thanks to all! keep up good mood


paul 3 years ago

hello


paulsss 3 years ago

Hello all, i am on sertraline and also feel that this drug like the rest are more of an addiction than a cure. The fact that the pharmo companies are not telling the truth about the withdrawal symptoms (discontinual syndrome as they like to say) to our local health advisers is enough for me now to stop taking this drug. They are for sure putting the money first before our health, this aint good at all as from this tuesday i will be seeing my pdoc and will be letting her know that i am coming off this.

princess di 7 I do hope you recover sooner rather than later , its not a nice road but you will reach the end of it, all the best


Jay 3 years ago

THEER IS NOTHING ADDICTIVE IN ZOLOFT. PEOPLE WHO WRITE ON THESE BLOGS WITHOUT M3E3DICAL TRAINING CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS!


princess di 7 3 years ago

I agree that there is nothing addictive about them and I believe that people may be confusing the withdrawal effects as what one would experience from being addicted to something. While I believe that the withdrawal from them can be rough, I have since realized that I shouldn't have even come off them because I was right back to being the short tempered, tightly wound, ready to snap bitch that I was 20 years ago when I first went on them. As the side effects started to wane, so did the length of my 'fuse'.


PA 2 years ago

I stopped taking my meds for a week straight and I have a huge headache and can't sleep and I cried all night a few nights ago...I just lay in bed and slept all day hoping I have enough energy for work...I took another pill just now....I'm not sure I can handle feeling like this


PA 2 years ago

I've been taking 100mg of Zoloft for 2 years for PTSD...Last time I cried I was 12yrs old


Stewart 2 years ago

Reinforces my belief that this is all a bunch of crap. Life is tough, and what doesn't break you makes you stronger. A bunch of sissys we are in America who believe life is all about indulging ourselves, feeling good and being "happy" all of the time. Its about growning up and growing through trials and becoming the spirits God meant for us to become. Do you think the victims of Auschwitz or the children starving in Africa or (you name it) get to sit around and worry about whether they are depressed or happy? America is spoiled, and has become the most overrated, drugged up self absorbed society not even since the late great Roman Empire. Get over it, tough it up, find a relationship with the Lord and expect life to be bumpy, it'll be over before you realize it. 60-80 years is but a mist in the morning.


Vickie 2 years ago

I've been on 200 mg of Zoloft for years. I am going through a very hard time right now and the Zoloft aren't helping. My Dr. Wants me start Viibryd. She stopped my Zoloft cold turkey. She told me nothing about the severe side effects of starting Viibryd let alone the side effects of stopping Zoloft. These Dr.s need to be better informed and keep their patients informed. At the state I'm in now I'm contemplating going to the hospital. With her having no idea what I'm going through seeings how I can't get into see her for another 2 weeks. Dr.s should not be able to treat people with these medications if they haven't taken them themselves or seen what a person goes through trying to stop them. I mean personally seen what a person goes through. Not just read about it. I think this is the only way Dr.s are going to start understanding what we as patients go through when they give us these medications or change our medications. We have to wait 4-6 weeks for the new one to start And I mean only start to help while we go through withdrawls from a drug we stopped taking because it wasn't working well enough. Often with side effects mirroring other illnesses. Some of which we don't actually have yet we get put on meds for. It's a lot more messed up than a vroken leg in my opinion but I am so glad that you made it. Hope the rest of us trying to stop do to. Thank you for the information. I feel a lot better and not quite so alone.


Beth 2 years ago

I am taking 200 mg of Zoloft. I still have moments where I want to cry; but, I think that is related to the fact that I'm not sleeping which is some of the reason why I was put on the Zoloft. My main issue is my eyes and head (behind my eyes) are killing me and I think it started when I started taking the Zoloft. Has anyone else had this problem? I am debating on stopping the Zoloft and was also wondering if I should go cold turkey to see if my eyes feel better; but, it sounds like I should wean off? I also don't like the idea of being on meds; but, if it helps with my sleep and depression...?


Pamela Seymour profile image

Pamela Seymour 2 years ago

Ok I stopped taking it. Only side effect I'm getting is excessive drooling. I hate it. I'm ok otherwise....and not depressed. I was on 100 milligram . None of those side effects your talking about.


Zizanie 21 months ago

Stewart,

I am unsure what you are referring to when you say 'it's all a bunch of

(expletive deleted)'. Having a mental illness is not about feeling unhappy. If people having a major depressive disorder or episode could

get over it, toughen up, they would. Pejorative remarks towards such people, are most unhelpful and show a lack of compassion.

I assume your 'Lord' is Jesus? The One Who empathised and did not condemn people? I have many in my life who went through the Holocaust or lost family members in it and I can assure you, the amount of Mental Illness and anguish they experienced, in the Camps and afterwards, was significant. Please, do not comment on things of which you appear to be ignorant. If you weren't interned, how would you know

how people behaved?

What would Jesus do? Forgive me for saying so, but first, I don't believe He would use foul language, second, He would not condemn or judge.

As Gandhi said: "I would have become a Christian....and then I met one".

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