Watch Me Quit Zoloft Cold Turkey

Follow the journey of a woman quitting zoloft cold turkey.


I am a writer and quitting zoloft my own way while sharing the journey with you, dear readers. In no way am I suggesting that anyone reading this blog decide to quit zoloft without a doctor's advice & supervision. Please see your doctor first. Ask them for advice. I am not a doctor, nor am I in any position to offer you anonymous readers advice. But I can share my story and that's what I choose to do. So please read on & share your thoughts in the comments section.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

End of Week 2 of Quitting Zoloft

I'm really grateful that my sister helped me in my first week without zoloft & then convinced me to go back on the antidepressant. If this is you're first time to this blog you might be a bit confused, so please read the previous post to get a better understanding.

Basically, I was prescribed zoloft by my doctor 4 years ago for PMDD and would really like to get off antidepressants completely. But you know what? It's hard. Really hard! I knew it would be, but I guess I thought I could just do it my way. Anyway, long story short & I've realized that this will likely be a long journey that I can't just do cold turkey.

So, I've reduced my dosage to 100 mg (from 200 mg) and I'm trying to keep focused on my goals & targets. PMDD is severe for me and it's hard to explain here. Here are a few of the symptoms I experience for 2 weeks of every month:
  • bloating
  • constant nagging thoughts about weight gain
  • trouble sleeping (I wake up at 3 or 4am every night worrying about something I don't need to worry about)
  • irritability
  • sensitive & a bit neurotic
  • breast tenderness
For the other 2 weeks I feel great! I'm focused, driven, confident, creative & an all round go-getter. So it's quite extreme for me to feel so low just because of PMS!

Anyway, I've mentioned before that I'm really into the whole Law of Attraction idea, so I posted the above video that I found on You Tube for you to see. I don't know how to make videos like the one above, but it would be very cool to have my own little video to watch every morning as I wake up. I think my video would focus on health, wealth & happiness but I guess that's what everyone would do isn't it?

Do you take Zoloft or another antidepressant for PMDD like I do? Don't be shy! Please leave your thoughts below.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Days 7-10 of Quitting Zoloft

I finally caved in and realized that quitting zoloft is not like quitting smoking. I am back on 100mg/day. I admit it - quitting cold turkey was an emotional roller coaster for me. The first few days were fabulous! But I also really put the effort in to treating myself right. I power walked, ate right, focused on the positive in my life and took Omega's and multivitamins.

But then life got in the way. My work is insanely busy and I stopped the new routine and got side tracked by my professional life. That's when the emotions started to really come spilling over.

I feel a bit defeated but hey, there are reasons people say you shouldn't quit anti-depressants cold turkey. I will get off zoloft some day soon, but cutting my dose back to 100mg after being on 200mg is still a great first step. I'm making an appointment to see my doctor next week.

What I'd like to do is see if I can get an appointment to see a hormone specialist, since I was initially prescribed zoloft for PMDD. Shouldn't there be someone out there that understands why my body/brain is like this and what I can do to deal with it?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Days 3-6 of Quitting Zoloft

If this if your first time on this blog, please read this post first.

The first couple of days of quitting zoloft felt amazing. But then days 3-6 came along and oh boy, they were right when they say you shouldn't quit antidepressants cold-turkey! The head aches are constant (thank God for ibuprofen) but bearable. It's the anxiety and emotional outbursts that are doing my head in.

I started out strong by listening to Tony Robbins and walking an hour a day. Work became a bit more intense and required me to hit the road and leave my new walking routine behind for a couple of days. I have to admit that I am a creature of routine. So, on days 5 and 6 of not taking my 200 mg dose of zoloft my emotions took over. Suddenly I found myself freaking out about finances (I have a great job, but my paycheques can be random so a bit stressful to say the least). Tears and tears and questions like "Should I just start taking zoloft again?" I'm not suicidal and never have been, but I have to admit that some pretty negative thoughts can seep in there when I'm not doing so well. Depression is an ugly beast.

No. I won't go back to taking zoloft.

I know that my metabolism will return to normal. The money flows and the law of attraction can only bring me what I focus my energies and thoughts on. So without beating myself up too much for being so negative today I'm back on track.

I'm eating loads of fish packed with Omega 3's and will get back on the exercise train tomorrow. I need at least one hour of focused exercize and mental work a day. Actually, I think everyone needs the same.

Tomorrow will be day 7 of quitting zoloft. This has been a long week!

What about you? Have you gone through any of this? Please share your thoughts below. Does it get better?!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 2 of Quitting Zoloft

I had the most incredible & vivid dream last night that must have lasted hours. I kept waking up, thinking about the dream and then falling asleep again only to carry on with the same dream. It was very similar to being on anti-malaria pills when you travel to South America. Intense is not a strong enough word to describe the dream.

I am also experiencing severe head aches - those haven't changed in the past couple of days since I quit taking zoloft. I had anticipated this but didn't quite know how bad they would be. Thank God for ibuprofin, water, Omega 3's and exercise. Tony Robbins is still talking up a storm on my iPod and helping me to stay focused & positive in this journey to beat depression & PMDD.

One thing that is amazing is my change in mood. I'm finding humour in every day activities again, and joy in playing with my niece & nephew. I gather I've been a bit of a grump lately so it's refreshing to know that the clouds of antidepressants are lifting. I am happy, healthy & doing pretty damn well I think. My family is worried I'll crash, but so far so good.

I am starting to feel like myself again. I didn't even know I had changed so much on zoloft, but now that I can see a bit clearer it feels amazing. Has anyone else out there gone through this? I'd really like to hear from people who have quit zoloft & what changes they noticed as well. Please share your thoughts below. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 1 of Quitting Zoloft

I knew that quitting zoloft cold turkey would be tough. I've read all the warnings against it and was prepared for some withdrawal symptoms like head aches, blurry vision, aches & pains. Before I go on, I should say that I'm not recommending that anyone else do this. I am just determined to get off the antidepressants and need to do this my way. I also happen to be a writer so figured I should write about my journey. So with that disclaimer out of the way, let's continue with the first 24 hours.

I started yesterday with the blog, went for a bike ride to clear my head & listened to Tony Robbins. I have to admit that I love his voice & just listening to him speak about taking action for your self & your goals really helps me. But while I was listening to the CD, I fell asleep - at 8:00pm! I mentioned in my previous post that one of the reasons I want off zoloft is that it makes me so damn tired. So in my first day of not taking zoloft, what happens? I'm exhausted!

So off I went to bed, figuring it's better just to give in than to fight it. I had planned to wake up at 6:30 and get up and go for a walk before doing anything else. I wanted to listen to more of Tony Robbins & really get focused on my day & why I'm putting myself through the pains of quitting antidepressants. So what happened next you ask?

Well - let me tell ya. When they say you'll get head aches when you quit zoloft they weren't kidding. I swear to God, I thought my head was in a vice - like the clamp they show you to use in wood shop. I have migraine head aches somewhat regularly (another symptom of PMDD, the reason I went on Zoloft in the first place) but this head ache was completely different.

I turned over & went right back to bed. What's the point in waking up with that kind of pain?! So an hour later, I crawled out of bed & the head ache was gone. It returned around 6:00pm tonight, as I was walking along the ocean listening to my ipod.

I also experienced some blurry vision which for a writer is kind of tough. It made it difficult to write emails but not impossible. Just weird really. My thoughts are fairly clear - I am not depressed or sad or irrational or crying all the time. I'm also not suicidal & I never have been so that's a relief.

I was able to work no problem, and haven't napped once today. Don't get me wrong, I like a good nap. But I shouldn't need to sleep every afternoon after getting a full night's sleep and working from home. I make my own hours & have a job I absolutely love, so really - napping shouldn't be a part of my daily routine. I was very happy to feel energetic & like I could actually get everything done in the day that I wanted to and then some more.

I've been taking Omega 3 before each meal & I am making dinner with salmon (wild), broccoli & sweet potatos. Yum. So, I'm doing the right things.

So far so good right?

Oh and I should tell you this funny thing - after being in a complete fog for months, not excercizing, gaining weight & generally feeling pretty crap, suddenly today I told my sister I could do ANYTHING. And I meant it. Kite surfing! Sky diving! Rock climbing! Ballroom dancing! I can do all of those things & more! I was so excited to share my excitement with her.

Being off Zoloft is pretty good so far. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Situation: Why I am Getting Off Zoloft

I've been on Zoloft for a little over 4 years now. I started taking this anti-depressant for severe PMS (sometimes known as PMDD) when I had moved to a different country & town. I was alone, working a job that would make anyone miserable and knew I needed support. So, after looking at my family history of depression, speaking with my relatives about their anxiety disorders & how zoloft had helped them I figured I'd give it a go.

At first, I loved zoloft. I felt as though the fog around my head had cleared. I worked out all the time, lost some weight & kept the struggles of my job in perspective. I swore by Zoloft. I thought it was a miracle drug & couldn't understand why I hadn't started taking it earlier.

Fast forward 4 years.

The fog is back stronger than ever. I've moved countries again, run a successful company and am self-employed. I have an amazing family, supportive friends and a great lifestyle of health, fitness & nutrition. But...something isn't quite right. I went from 50 mg of Zoloft to 100mg thinking it was just that I needed to change my dose. Then up to 200 mg.

Now I fall asleep every afternoon. I sleep 10 hours a night and still...I'm exhausted. The backs of my knees hurt. I weigh 196 pounds (I was 160 when I started taking zoloft). Last year, I worked out 3-5 times/week and once a week with a personal trainer. I lost 10% of my body fat which was fabulous. But still, no weight loss.

Don't get me wrong here - I am not fixated on dieting, weighing myself on the scale or counting calories. I do read about nutrition & eat a healthy, well balanced diet. I refuse to "diet" as hey, we all know the pitfalls of dieting.

I eat healthy and I am active. So, today I did some research online. Turns out there are a whole lotta people out there complaining about zoloft and weight gain, sore joints & exhaustion. Well how about that?

I believe in the law of attraction & have found that it has worked wonders in my business & professional life. So, I've decided to quit Zoloft cold turkey & use the powers of attraction, Omega 3 & a multi-vitamin and exercise to make this work for me.

I am aware of the side effects of quitting in this way - I will likely feel dizzy, get headaches, sleep differently than I usually do & generally feel quite rough. I know it is not advised to quit any medication cold turkey. But I also know that I can do this. I quit smoking this way, and while zoloft and cigarettes are not one & the same, I need to try this for me.

Follow along on my journey to quit antidepressants & get healthy, fit, active & most importantly - happy! Clear head, here I come!

So to start this journey, I'm off to go for my first bike ride of 2009. It's a beautiful sunny day and since I am self-employed I can take off whenever I like.

But how about you? You must have stumbled across this blog for a reason - what is it? Are you trying to quit zoloft as well? Please share your story in the comments below.