≡ Menu

Zoloft (Sertraline) Withdrawal Symptoms: List + Duration

Have you taken the SSRI antidepressant Zoloft (Sertraline) to help with your depression? Millions of people have taken this antidepressant and many have had success with managing depressive symptoms. However, since the drug doesn’t work for everyone and/or individuals may not want to be on an antidepressant for life, they eventually decide to come off of the drug. Withdrawal from an SSRI (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor) can be much more difficult than most psychiatrists think.

If you do not know what symptoms to expect, they may catch you off guard and your entire reality may get shook up. For many people, SSRI withdrawal is among the most difficult emotional experiences they will ever have to go through in their lives. For me personally, my withdrawal from Paxil was arguably the toughest thing I’ve ever experienced. It can be very difficult to deal with increased suicidal thoughts, dizziness, fatigue, and all of the withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal may push you to your mental limits – most people would describe it as experiencing “hell on Earth.”

Factors that may influence Zoloft withdrawal:

Many people do not understand why different people have an easier time withdrawing from Zoloft, yet other people struggle. There are various factors that play an important role in determining your recovery time. Although doctors don’t explain this to you, the time span (how long you took your medication), the dosage, your individual physiology, and whether you quit cold turkey vs. conducting a taper – will all play a role in influencing withdrawal. Keep these things in mind as you come off of Zoloft.

1. Time Span

How long did you take Zoloft? Was it for a few months just to get over a depressive bout? Or have you been taking it for years to help treat major depression? In general, it is assumed that the longer you take a certain medication, the more difficult it is going to be to withdraw from it. The shorter duration that you took Zoloft, the easier it should be (in theory) to withdraw from.

2. Dosage (50 mg to 200 mg)

How much Zoloft were you taking? Most people take anywhere from 50 mg to 200 mg per day of this drug. 50 mg is regarded as being the therapeutic level of dose. If you were on a lower dose, it theoretically should be easier to come off of the drug than someone who was taking the maximum prescribed daily dose of 200 mg.

If you were on a larger dose for a longer period of time, it is going to take much more time to taper off of the medication and deal with the withdrawal symptoms than someone who was on it for a shorter period of time at the minimal dose.

3. Physiology

Individual physiology plays a role in determining how fast you recover from withdrawal. If you are pretty resistant to withdrawals from medications, you may not experience many symptoms at all. For some people, the withdrawal process is pretty easy and simple. For other people, the entire process can be a total nightmare. Other individual factors that play a role include: environment, social support, diet, and exercise.

4. Cold turkey vs. tapering

All antidepressant medications should be withdrawn from in a “tapering” manner to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Quitting cold turkey is not advised and may end up doing more harm than good. With a medication like Zoloft, it is better to gradually decrease your dosage over a period of weeks and/or months so that it gives your brain time to readjust itself.

If you quit “cold turkey” with no taper, you are essentially leaving your brain in a state of chaos. It is expecting to be fed a drug, and since it isn’t getting the drug, it is going crazy trying to make up for the lack of serotonin. In order to minimize withdrawal symptoms, it is highly important to do a slow taper from Zoloft.

Note: Most people retain the active ingredient “Sertraline” for up to 6 days and its metabolite desmethylsertraline for over 2 weeks after stopping.  As a result, symptoms may emerge with increased severity within 1-3 weeks after stopping.

Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms: Extensive List

There are an array of symptoms that you may experience upon discontinuation of Zoloft. Although you may not experience all of the symptoms that are listed below, it is likely that you will experience some. It is important to understand that these withdrawal symptoms are normal and that you are not going totally crazy. When discontinuing any SSRI antidepressant, you may experience very severe symptoms.

  • Anger: Some people experience extreme anger and/or rage at very minor things. Little things may really “set you off” and during the withdrawal, you may have a short fuse. Some people may get angry at the fact that they feel as if they cannot function.
  • Anxiety: Since Zoloft is known to help with both anxiety and depression, coming off of it may increase anxiety to an extreme. While you are on the medication, it is inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin. When you come off of it, there is no reuptake inhibition so you are left with decreased serotonin which may make you extremely anxious.
  • Brain zaps: Some people experience a phenomenon known as “brain zaps.” This makes people feel as though they are getting electrically shocked or “zapped” in the brain by an electrical current. These may last awhile, but they will eventually subside as your brain readjusts itself to functioning without the drug.
  • Confusion: Cognition may be impaired to the point that a person may get confused. Confusion is a common withdrawal symptom along with memory issues. It is especially common if you stopped taking Zoloft “cold turkey.”
  • Cramps: It is very common to get cramps – especially in the abdominal area. You may notice stomach cramps and/or other cramps throughout your body as well. These should go away within a couple of weeks.
  • Crying spells: Many people experience such sadness upon medication withdrawal that they cry a lot. This is a result of significant emotional pain and the person trying to cope with how they are feeling. It is very normal to cry a lot during the withdrawal process.
  • Decreased appetite: For most people, SSRI medications tend to result in an increased appetite. Zoloft may have worked great at helping you eat and/or may have even caused weight gain. When coming off the medication, you may feel like not eating for awhile. Part of this appetite decrease may be a result of increased depression.
  • Depression: Your depression may be worse while withdrawing from Zoloft than before you even started taking the medication. This has to do with your serotonin levels being thrown out of balance as a result of the drug.
  • Depersonalization: It is common to feel unlike yourself and/or depersonalized. You may wonder if you are ever going to feel like your “normal” self again. Depersonalization may make you feel numb, like a zombie, or like an alien has taken over your body. This is just your brain chemistry trying to adapt itself to the withdrawal.
  • Dizziness: Some people report feelings of dizziness for weeks, and in some cases, months after quitting Zoloft. The first couple weeks tend to be the worst in regards to dizziness. You may feel drunk and/or like you have no control over how you are feeling. This is part of drug withdrawal that you should know about.
  • Fatigue: Coming off of an antidepressant may make you feel as though you have chronic fatigue syndrome – that’s how extreme the fatigue is. You may be unable to work out, and may have difficulty just getting through the day. Each step you take may seem as though it’s in slow motion – you just don’t have the energy to work quickly.
  • Flu-like symptoms: For some people the withdrawal feels like they have gotten the flu. They may feel nauseous, achy, bedridden, and be unable to eat. In some cases they may even vomit if the nausea is severe. These extreme symptoms tend to go away after the first couple of weeks.
  • Headaches: A person may feel as though they have a never-ending headache when coming off of Zoloft. This is because their brain is trying to figure out how to react without the drug to stimulate activity. The headaches in combination with the dizziness can make life difficult for awhile.
  • Insomnia: Certain individuals sleep for extended periods of time during withdrawal, while others are so anxious and/or stressed that they are unable to sleep at all. They may stay up well into the night and be so depressed and/or anxious that they cannot sleep.
  • Irritability: Little things may really irritate a person that is withdrawing from Zoloft. They may seem irritable during socialization and may have no desire to be around others. The irritability may build up to an extreme and they may act out with aggression.
  • Memory loss: It has been reported that some people experience memory loss while withdrawing from Zoloft. I experienced this symptom when coming off of a different medication. Just know that although your memory may be lacking right now, it will eventually return to normal – it may take longer than you think though.
  • Mood swings: It is very common to experience mood swings. One minute you might feel as if you are doing okay with the withdrawal, the next minute you may feel extremely depressed. Another minute you may feel extremely angry. Know that the mood swings are associated with your brain trying to readjust itself.
  • Panic attacks: Due to the fact that your serotonin system is dealing with an even greater imbalance upon withdrawal, you may experience sheer panic. This is because the anxiety and stress may feel overwhelming. You are not accustomed to dealing with the way you feel coming off of a medication.
  • Poor concentration: If you feel like your concentration is lacking for school and/or work-related tasks, you are right. Many people report being unable to function after withdrawing from an SSRI. Some people have had to quit their jobs because they were unable to concentrate following their withdrawal. This will eventually return to normal.
  • Sleepiness: Certain people may just feel like sleeping for hours on end. This is because their brain is attempting to stabilize itself without the medication and work out the chemical imbalance that has been created. You may feel extremely sleepy and/or drowsy with no energy while withdrawing – especially in the early stages.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Some people experience worsened depression while coming off of SSRI’s than they did before they first started. Most of these medications have a warning that while on them you may experience suicidal thoughts. These thoughts can increase tenfold when trying to withdraw.
  • Weakness: Your mind and body have been accustomed to a certain drug for an extended period of time. When coming off of it, it is common to experience weakness in your muscles and joints. Since you may feel weak and have no energy, it can make life very difficult.

Zoloft Withdrawal Duration: How Long Does It Last?

There is no clear cut answer here for how long Zoloft withdrawal is going to last. The drug itself will be out of your body in relatively short order, but making a full recovery back to normal body and brain functioning may take an extended period of time. As a general rule of thumb, I suggest that you assume that the readjustment period will last at least 3 months and/or 90 days. Although I have taken Zoloft in my past, I hadn’t been on it long enough to experience a major withdrawal.

Other people have had withdrawals so bad that they have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer of the drug. Perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself during withdrawal is engage in healthy activities. Make sure you are eating healthy, exercising, getting outside, socializing with friends and/or family, and doing the best you can at work or school. Eventually the symptoms will subside and you will fully recover from Zoloft withdrawal.

Understand that upon complete cessation of the drug, Zoloft stays in your system for between 11 and 12 days, with its metabolite “Desmethylsertraline” remaining for an average of 30.25 days.  Variations in individual metabolism could dictate when the withdrawal symptoms become noticeable and/or most severe.  Just realize that the process takes time and you should not expect to be 100% improved overnight – it will likely take weeks and/or months. If you recover sooner than three months – more power to you.

Related Posts:

{ 439 comments… add one }
  • Larry May 31, 2014, 11:50 pm

    The best way that I can describe Zoloft withdrawal is, Hell On Earth!

    • Joan Roberson August 12, 2014, 3:46 pm

      Dear Gloom,

      First, thank you for your posts. I read your disclaimer that you are not a professional. However, I am very interested in what you are reporting about withdrawal symptoms. Would you be willing to post the sources of your information, or are they just based on peoples’ reports? I had some surgery last September, and without having any discussion with me before or after surgery, the surgeon took me off all of my antidepressants.

      Part of this may have been necessary, because it was surgery to repair a hiatal hernia, and resulted in my not being able to swallow hardly anything solid, or to keep anything down. However, now that I have read your posts, it’s not a stretch to see that the extreme nausea that surprised the surgeon was caused by withdrawal symptoms. I actually had to have medication for months after my surgery that I had to fight with my insurance to get. Only a drug that is used to treat nausea related to chemotherapy gave me any relief.

      To say I was a mental wreck would be an understatement. I felt like an absolute zombie. I thought it was from my surgery. Of course, I was so out of my head I couldn’t realize until afterwards that it was much more than that. But it wasn’t until today when I started reading your posts that I realized just how many of my symptoms were from withdrawal.

      Just reading the one about Trazadone was an eye-opener. Itching?! My gosh, I felt like I was losing my mind. I thought it was imaginary…I had no idea it was a side effect of withdrawal. Zombie-like feelings?! That is an apt description. I felt so totally out of it. I don’t remember hardly anything that happened in the week after the surgery while I was still in the hospital. I remember very small snippets of the days – some images that my husband was in the room, or that the doctor was in the room. I had to ask my husband if he had even visited me.

      I only remember one instance of him being in the room. I felt like someone erased my memory. But the symptoms dragged on for months. So again, thanks for your posts on the blog, and I think you are doing the public a great service. I just hope you are able to provide some hard data for me. I want to talk to my surgeon about this. It’s too late for me, but I think he needs to be made aware of this so that others can be spared the horrible side effects I had to go through.

      • GLOOM August 12, 2014, 5:34 pm

        Hi Joan, the symptoms that I publish are a combination of self-reports as well as studies in NCBI. It is well known that SSRI’s have nasty discontinuation effects especially if a person is forced to quit “cold turkey” (sounds like this was the case for you).

        I don’t cite sources because it would simply take too much time, but search “Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome” and you should find some good information. There have been lawsuits regarding these symptoms… initially drug companies never reported them and doctors told patients that they should feel fine within a few days after quitting the drug.

        Little did they know… Now it is well-known that a person needs to taper off of these drugs and withdrawal can last a long time. Most professionals prescribing these drugs now (finally) know that they should not be discontinued abruptly. Unfortunately there are some that are still clueless.

        Sounds like you are in a very rough situation and I sincerely wish you a speedy recovery if you are not 100% yet.

        • melantha September 28, 2015, 9:10 pm

          Here’s an article:
          Fava GA1, Gatti A, Belaise C, Guidi J, Offidani E. (2015) Withdrawal Symptoms after Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Discontinuation: A Systematic Review. Psychother Psychosom. 2015 Feb 21;84(2):72-81. Free full text at PubMed:

        • lauren October 2, 2015, 8:55 pm

          Thank you for your posts, going through an unintended withdrawal from Zoloft due to the negligence of my psychiatrist, I’m driving myself and my boyfriend crazy, I thought about heading to the ER but reading your research has soothed me enough for now to take some benedryl and continue to try riding it out. Again thank you. Not my first time at the rodeo with these either. I do hope I can remain off and sane.

          • Kim April 12, 2016, 12:12 am

            I was so bad just last week I thought my husband was going to divorce me and it only heightened the anxiety and panic. I am going back up with my Zoloft. The feeling during withdrawal as well as the mood swings not on it are not worth it.

        • adrienne November 7, 2015, 11:51 pm

          Thank you for your post, I am on 200mg of zoloft, 1mg of xanax 3 times a day and 27mg of concerta (sp) I was being treated for ADHD, depression and anxiety disorder…by the way I am also a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for almost 2 years. I am very honest with my doctor. I have been on zoloft for 2 months and within a few weeks I became a monster, I have wanted to not live before but never would have done anything about it.

          After 60 days I could actually visualize myself hurting myself. after speaking with my therapist, who is in recovery too, told me I needed to consider getting a new doctor who specializes in addiction. A week later I was with a new doctor that has read more than a chapter on addiction and recovery. Come to find out those meds where slowly killing me, he told me because I am sober and going to meetings I could have held on for a few more months but it would have ended up with my thoughts becoming a reality.

          I am not any of those things the previous doctor had said, I am actually bipolar 2, now coming off the old meds and introducing new meds is a scary deal. I have started introducing lamictal and moved down to 150 of the zoloft and .5 xanax 3 times a day. I knew it would be a rough road but really had no idea on what I was dealing with until I read this article…thank you for taking the time to put it out there.

          This is a hell of a lot more helpful than the medical care I have been getting! I have been told everything I was on and the dosages 10 years ago they would have done a medical detox, which I didn’t even experience when I got sober, but of course insurance companies won’t pay for that anymore and patients are left hanging in the unknown. Again thank you and best of luck. Adrienne

          • Susan deluca October 27, 2016, 8:19 pm

            Please go nice and slow. Why not detox from the zoloft first and when you are feeling 100 percent, start the benzodiazapine detox. Slowly. If you do it too quickly, it might affect your sobriety. GOOD luck to you.

        • Reece January 8, 2016, 12:37 am

          Hi Gloom, Thanks for your great advice on this site. I’ve been taking 100mg for 12 years and slowly dropped it down over the years and now over the last few months from 50mg to 25mg and feeling the effects BIG TIME!! I was wondering about coming off cold turkey for a week and then taking 5HTP?

          You say the serotonin stays in your system for a certain period of time, so how long would you say until it’s safe to start taking 5HTP in general? roughly? Because the current medication has to leave your system, otherwise you’ll get Serotonin poisoning? What are your thoughts on this? Thanks. -Reece

      • Jeff brown September 17, 2015, 6:44 am

        Thank you for your input! I have been on Zoloft for 9 years. I started with 50 mg then to 100 mg then back down to 50 mg for the last 5 years. I stopped taking it for 3 weeks and literally felt like I was coming out of my skin!!! Reading this post helps he not feel so alone!

        • jess October 30, 2015, 4:02 am

          Try turmeric tea, it really has helped me. 1 cup of boiling water, add 1/4 powder turmeric, (preferably organic) steep and drink, It takes getting use to, but it helps a lot.

          • Jay December 20, 2015, 3:44 am

            Not sure why turmeric (an anti-inflammatory herb) would help but certainly a low dose of St. John’s Wort in tea or capsule might serve as a mild nerve tonic to help calm and settle frazzled nerves created by a reduction of Zoloft.

          • Sheryl Paul April 28, 2016, 7:20 pm

            I used Curcumin while coming down from Zoloft. I had been using it for around 20 years. I am on my 5th week completely without Zoloft and am starting to have anger issues and poor little me feelings. I have now added Omega 3 twice a day and at this point and on this day it seems to be working.

            Also, the Omega 3 has Vitamin D3 which is a component in Terry Naturally for the brain. This is my second time to try to come off Zoloft and this time it is working. I think it is the Curcumin which is found in turmeric. My best to you.

          • Jake November 4, 2016, 10:53 pm

            Hiya, It’s ill-advised to use St John’s wort as it is itself a natural SSRI and can complicate withdrawals and/or contribute to a contraindication such as seratonin syndrome. Good luck. ☺️

      • John November 18, 2015, 2:05 am

        Hello, My name is John and I am on day 5 of Zoloft 25Mg. I can’t handle it. The anxiety is so bad that I just tossed the script. I am reeeeeally hoping that only taking it for 5 days will not lead to any detox. I have never been on this type of medication before but do suffer from minor depression and moderate anxiety so the Dr. started me on it.

        I know that people say the side effects go away after a few weeks but I started my 2 week vacation and was planning on adjusting to it during that time but I’m so out of sorts that I can’t risk the side effects still ebing here when I go back to work in 10 days. So, I’m not taking it ever again. 5 days, not a biggie, right? Not going to have a meltdown or psychotic episode in the next couple days, right?

        • Susan deluca October 27, 2016, 8:00 pm

          After 5 days, you will not detox. This medicine is obviously not for you. Some medications, especially those that work on the brain, can do the exact opposite of what you started taking it for. YOU might feel odd for a few days, but luckily you are taking a small dosage. Good Luck.

          • Julie Fiore November 22, 2016, 11:48 pm

            Thank you as well, I am on day 5 of taking Zoloft and I am not going to take anymore. I feel horrible. Worse than ever. I was worried about going through withdrawals, reading this eased my mind and if I can submit this now, I will follow up in a few days to let anyone else know that it is going to be okay only 5 days.

          • Julie Fiore November 23, 2016, 8:18 pm

            So just following up from yesterday, I was really worried, from how bad I felt if I was going to have any withdrawal symptoms after using Zoloft for 5 days @ 50mg. I do not have any symptoms and I feel pretty much normal now, no dizziness or stomach issues like yesterday how I felt after I took it for the 5th day. I could not even eat, or focus.

            I will never ever take anything like that again, before reading up on it first, even if a Dr. suggests it for my anxiety/insomnia and mood swings during PMS. I really thought I was going to have to go to the hospital last night. I took a benadryl and was able to lay down and go to sleep eventually…

      • Withdrawing June 22, 2016, 10:46 am

        Hi. I was on sertraline 50mg for 3 years. I quickly developed a cough which I did not associate with the drug. Eventually I was tested for lung problems and then stomach problems. In the last year, I have discovered that I too have a hiatus hernia and produce a lot of acid. On discussing an operation with the surgeon, he felt that I should stop medication first as coughing is a known side effect of sertraline.

        I have been cold turkey for several weeks now and it has been tough but I think the cough has stopped. I now think the hiatus hernia was caused by the constant choking rather than vice versa. I tried to discuss this with my GP but he was so unhelpful I have changed to a new practice. At times I was taking 160mg of omeprazole per day. It actually made me much worse.

        Even 40mg per day seemed to irritate my stomach and oesophagus more than taking nothing. Does this sound familiar to you?

    • Alexandra June 6, 2015, 7:29 pm

      This is not true. Your post is irresponsible. Everyone deals with it in their own way. Do not frighten people just because you had a bad experience. -Alex

      • kathryn June 21, 2015, 6:50 am

        I believe the point of this post is that everyone deals with it in their own way. Did you not read and comprehend the content before replying?

        • Angus July 12, 2015, 3:42 am

          Minus the crying spells I’ve felt all those symptoms, even the brain zaps. I’m on day five right now of quitting cold turkey and to be honest it’s kinda freaky and very stressful. I’m just trying to not focus on it too much but it’s tough sometimes. I don’t feel those symptoms usually when I’m not on any medication either.

          • Gillian July 17, 2015, 9:41 am

            How are you finding the symptoms now angus? I’m almost a week cold turkey after a year and a half of 50mg. The dizziness and light-headedness are really getting me down just now but I’m going to persevere, good to know I’m not alone.

          • Marianne September 8, 2015, 2:39 pm

            I tried cold turkey too. The first 2 weeks I was so nauseous and puked up every meal. I did not initially suspect it was the Zoloft, but then it dawned on me, oh yeah, I quit taking that sh*t. Got back on it, all that stopped. This time around, I did half dose every other day for 3 weeks. Starting yesterday, I’m taking half dose every other day. I do get the occasional brain zaps and hate them because I get a lightheaded sensation at the same time. Who knew! UGH. Can’t wait to be done with this. I’ve been on the 50mg and only been on it maybe 2 years.

          • Nate January 14, 2016, 10:40 pm

            I’m doing the exact same thing. I was on 200mg and dropped to 100mg (on my own) and now off. I’ve had brain zaps for over a week and they seem to get worse in the evening. It almost keeps me from being able to function on a daily basis. I’m hoping it starts to subside because it’s very difficult to deal with. I’ve been taking antidepressants off and on for 25 years and only effexor was worse to quit.

          • Liz March 6, 2016, 10:34 am

            I’m in my four week of cold turkey from 200mg/day. I started taking Zoloft at 50mg/day, but had to slowly up it over 8 months to keep the affect. I’m exhausted, having strange and intense dreams, can’t get organized enough to do the simplest things, feeling physically stronger, very sweaty (too much information? :-) ), dizzy, zaps.

            The first two weeks the symptoms were fairy mild. I agree with Nate – while this is really awful, Effexor withdrawals were far, far worse. I was getting 2 or 3 zaps a second for a few minutes, then a short break and more zaps – debilitating. With Effexor I found no benefit in tampering off, which is why I’ve gone cold turkey on Zoloft.

            The only advice I can offer is to just accept what you are feeling and know that it will taper off sooner or later. I try not to focus on how crap it is, and just ride it out. Good luck and good health to you all.

        • Susan deluca October 27, 2016, 8:26 pm

          Everyone is different and everyone has a different threshold to sensations, discomforts and anxiety. I believe that for most of us that have had anxiety and panic for decades, our tolerance is a bit higher to changes in the body, than for others. There is no shame in not feeling well. There is no shame in doing okay either.

      • Mavis July 12, 2015, 5:33 am

        Did you post this while withdrawing from zoloft? That might explain the angry outburst. You may want to try tapering off.

      • Gillian July 17, 2015, 9:38 am

        I think the post is very informative and unbiased. The author states that everyone is different and some experience no side effects. I am almost at one week off sertraline (Zoloft) and am experiencing a few of the withdrawal symptoms myself. They are not terrifying but good to know that they will subside if I persevere.

      • Steven July 26, 2015, 1:14 am

        Alexandra….Actually I have, or currently am experiencing 90% of these withdrawal symptoms and the author is pretty exact in describing them. I have also seen and known many others go through this with the exact descriptions above…not to mention this, and many many other blogs about it. I think you may want to re-think your post.

        • Susan January 26, 2016, 6:41 am

          Thank you for your post as I’ve been having a very rough time and didn’t know why. I’ve been on Zoloft for 25 years and went cold turkey four months ago. I have experienced horrible withdrawals which I thought would have subsided by now. I went through the angry stage and was diagnosed with an ulcer in month three. The stomach pain was unbearable but I didn’t link the two until a friend of mine told me about a Zoloft forum where many people reported the same thing.

          I have been severely constipated since stopping Zoloft and wonder if it is the reason it stayed in my system. When I realized I was having Zoloft withdrawal symptoms I started taking it again. My thoughts calmed down quickly but I am shaky and feel like I’m experiencing some of the symptoms I got when I first started the drug. My plan is to even myself out and try doing a slow taper when I’m ready. All I can say is God help us all because this stuff is brutal.

          • Hope February 29, 2016, 12:04 am

            I’ve been on Zoloft since Feb/March 2015, switched to it because I got pregnant and the other antidepressant wasn’t good to be on, can’t remember the name of it but started in 2013. Started on 50mg, then after 4 months upped the dosage to 100mg because I felt no changes to my anger/stress. Even at this higher dosage I felt no different then before I started taking antidepressants.

            Counseling works much better for me so I’ve decided to quit cold turkey, especially after the shitty tapering advice my doctor gave me. Totally get that it should be done, but my doctor gave me a week tapering schedule! And cold turkey generally works better for me. After reading this article and realizing that you still put up with these sh*tty withdrawals even if you taper I’m glad I’m going cold turkey.

            I’ve gotta put up with the extremes that wouldn’t come with tapering but I’ll be seeing the light in just the same time frame. I just feel sorry for my family. I’ve always been a stress head with a short fuse but now I’m like a volcano, constantly smoking with unpredictable bouts of lava and flaming rocks!! I’m glad I’ve found this article, not only did it help me realize this is going to be a long process, but getting info from someone who’s experienced it first-hand rather than second/third hand really helps.

            Thanks mate, now I’ve just gotta find the motivation to exercise so I can sweat this shit outta me as I didn’t feel the symptoms until 3 days after my last tablet, so I have a sh*tty metabolism! Good luck everyone with your journey.

      • Peter July 31, 2015, 5:48 am

        Alexandra. Did you really read the article?

        • Cote October 12, 2015, 11:34 pm

          I think Alexandra either created or works for Zoloft ;). Great article, and thank you: I do feel like crap but good to know I’m not alone.

      • Mary August 12, 2015, 5:21 pm

        Alexandra, do you have any experience with withdrawal from Zoloft? If so, please share. If not, you’re the one being irresponsible.

      • Melissa September 3, 2015, 4:57 am

        Alexandria just to let you know this is quite accurate in its description. At this very moment I have quit taking Zoloft cold turkey and just your post alone makes me want to drive my first into the wall. I feel dizzy, anxious, shakey, and I am having tremendous amounts of mood swings. If you want me to tell you a lie I will, but the honest truth for me is this has been a total hell. My whole mental state has been turned upside down. I’m weak in every aspect of the word. You cannot base your experience on this and just assume that you have all the answers. If you’ve never experienced a withdrawal from Zoloft then shame on you.

        • Stephanie September 30, 2016, 10:52 pm

          I have been on Zoloft for 2+ years, 200 mg/daily – I am 31 years old, and have been diagnosed with GAD/PAD/OCD/Insomnia from 15 years old. My husband and myself are trying to conceive our second child. After a long discussion with my therapist, I decided to wean off ALL medication. (Although, she did tell me Zoloft is safe to use during pregnancy… there is no way I could put my child through withdrawal after birth, or perhaps cause birth defects or other issues pertaining to medicinal use during pregnancies).

          I tapered off all anxiety, sleeping medicine and now – the Zoloft. IT IS HELL ON EARTH. I have never had nausea, sickness, body chills or headaches so badly. I have to stop myself daily from running to the pharmacy for the refill I know is there. NOT FOR THE NARCOTICS!! I also have refills on my Klonopin and Seroquel that I don’t even feel I need right now – but, it is eating me alive knowing I could stop these terrible feelings by filling/taking my Zoloft.

          I have withdrawn from opiates, benzodiazepines, and sleep medication with little problem. I NEVER expected to have these severe withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants. It is through swimming everyday, my husband and daughter that I have even kept my sanity. I’m 16 days with ZERO Zoloft and its still this severe, following my therapist’s weaning schedule.

          According to online reports of withdrawal from Paxil and Zoloft can last up to 90 DAYS (WHAT!?!). The author of this thread has listed several symptoms I’m experiencing right now, and I feel like although stated, this was not posted by a medical professional – it is posted by someone who has had the EXPERIENCE, and didn’t learn it from a text book. That is leaps and bounds more appreciated by someone like me.

          Alexandria, have YOU gone through this experience? YOUR response is irresponsible. I had a GREAT experience USING Zoloft – but, that isn’t the discussion, is it? It’s the NON USE that is effecting people horribly. (For the Most part). My NON MEDICAL ADVICE – if someone writes you a script for Zoloft – toss it in the trash and resource/research other options for yourself!!

          • Susan deluca October 27, 2016, 8:09 pm

            All I can say is WOW. Worse than a benzodiazepine withdrawal. I can’t imagine anything worse. Hang in there no matter how bad it gets. Remember why you stopped. You are doing this for the baby. GOOD LUCK TO you.

        • Steff January 11, 2017, 8:41 pm

          Thank you so much for your honest description. Reading these comments is all that is keeping me sane. I am 8 days into withdrawal from zoloft after 3 years of 100mg. It is so refreshing to find a thread which is not judgmental, only honest. I have had many negative comments about quitting so quickly but I do not want to be owned by these drugs anymore.

          My withdrawals are shocking at times, mood swings like nothing I’ve ever known. It’s so hard having to work and care for my family but I’m determined to keep going. The dizziness and anger is terrible however. I wish everyone going through this the very best.

      • D October 7, 2015, 9:10 am

        OK Alexandra, it may be that the post is not true in your case however as you state everyone deals with it in their own way, I believe the writer is giving people and indication of how it MAY be for people and is not putting it forward as gospel.

      • Savannah October 9, 2015, 4:52 pm

        This article is 100% true as I’m dealing with almost all of these scary symptoms myself!

      • Bryan Johnson October 9, 2015, 11:06 pm

        (In reply to the comment about the article being “irresponsible”) How is it irresponsible to give people true information? The article even states that you may not experience any withdrawal symptoms, it just depends on the person and how long they’ve been on it. I have been reading about SSRIs for over a decade, and it is pretty well known now that there is a high prevalence of at least one or more distressing withdrawal symptoms. And not that I am bashing SSRIs: I am currently on a high dose of Lexapro to help fight my OCD.

      • BJ October 26, 2015, 7:58 pm

        How much did Zoloft pay you to say that? Obviously you have not tried coming off this crap. All I can say is unless you are suicidal, don’t even consider taking these SSRI’s. IN MY OPINION, they are worse than the original problem. I wish I would have read all these threads before taking Zoloft. I’m only reading them now because the withdrawal is so BAD!!!!! I’m searching for comfort.

        • Tanner November 9, 2015, 5:55 am

          BJ. It’ll all get better friend. Just stay around good people a keep yourself busy.

          • Suzanne Discartin December 28, 2015, 4:20 pm

            I have been on Zoloft 100 mg for over 20 yrs. I have been off of it cold turkey for about 9 days now. I have been having a little anxiety (not too bad) and mood swings (angry and sad mostly), and sleeping more than usual. The last couple of days I have had severe pain in my lower back (maybe I slept to much?). This morning when I got out of bed, I was very dizzy and had the spins. I can do this… as long as I know it is going to stop eventually. It is going to stop, right?

          • Reba February 16, 2017, 3:56 am

            Yet another response to the irresponsible comment. I find it kind of amusing that we are all so angry with Alex’s comment. She is probably long gone and has no interest in the therapeutic nature of our shared experience weaning off Zoloft. Trolls my daughter call them… rabble rousers to us old timey folks.

            Anyway, I am interested in finding out more about transitioning to a new medication, in my case bupropion. I was on a high dosage for anxiety and also fibromyalgia relief (studies show link between chronic pain and low serotonin levels). 2x100mg tablets in the am. I tapered down with a very generous schedule over two months and am down to 50 mg and 50 mg of bupropion.

            I am curious to hear if anyone has tried transitioning and if doing so helps with the withdrawal symptoms: whirlers, blurry vision, short temper, body zaps, basically everything we all experience? Zoloft made me gain weight, retain water, thirsty all the time and lethargy – all things that make chronic pain and anxiety worse. The idea is to take another medication that doesn’t take such life-enjoying activities away.

            I want to have the energy to feel good about myself again and how it feels to live in a clean house and the satisfaction of a day well spent. For Alex if you are still out there: you will never understand the guilt we have when we can’t play with our kids because we are exhausted. That makes all the blues and anxiety just so much worse.

            Sharing these symptoms makes us realize that we have been on a bad medication, not that we don’t want what is best for our family and ourselves. Hope and a silver lining is never irresponsible; it’s necessary for us to know this to shall pass.

        • Keith November 26, 2015, 9:31 pm

          I am coming off of it for about the third time. I’ve taken it this last session for about four years. It never gets better coming off but it is better for me to taper. I have gone down from 150 mg to 100 for two weeks, then 75 for a week, to fifty for a week to 25 for a week. I have found for me that if I go to slow with the taper I prolong the bad side effects. But, tapering like this I get side effects for a less amount of time.

          I’m experiencing bad stomach problems, bloating, can’t stay out of the bathroom, dizziness, brain zaps, these are all normal and should be better explained before being treated! I’ve never heard one doctor yet explain coming off of this medication! Gets much better after about three days for me as far as how harsh the symptoms are. Good news is they do eventually go completely away ;). Hang in there your worth it ;).

          • DMT February 22, 2016, 6:41 am

            Thanks. My son was on a low dose for 2 months. I took him off because he never should have been on it… after 10 days he began having headaches and shaking his head randomly. I thought about side effects and I’m glad to see they do go away.

          • Lo February 27, 2016, 9:53 pm

            Thanks for this. The dizziness has me feeling a bit crazy. I gained about 15lbs in the three months I was on Zoloft. Part of my original depression was weight so don’t know why my doctor would give me this. Been tapering for about three weeks. Glad to know I’m not alone.

          • Brittany July 21, 2016, 12:24 am

            I was on Zoloft 50 mg for a month but for me I wasn’t 100% sure I needed to be on it and if it even helped so I did quit taking it cold turkey. It has been about 4 days now and I haven’t really had many of the symptoms listed except being overly tired all the time.

            I’m nervous about the other withdrawals that may occur I just don’t want to be put back on the medicine because while I was on it I think I was encountering serotonin syndrome, where I was receiving too much serotonin. I’m so confused. lol

          • Janee December 12, 2016, 5:54 pm

            Your post was very helpful Keith. I am starting the tapering process and I already have horrible headaches and nausea.

      • Tomie November 18, 2015, 6:15 pm

        He isn’t scaring anyone. Just letting us know what we can expect from withdrawal. My head has hurt for weeks. Like it’s bouncing around in my head. Vomiting from the “spins”. Dramamine helps BTW. Tired is putting it lightly. My husband is fed up with me sleeping all the time. Sleeping makes it easier to go through it all. It is helpful to know. If I wasn’t informed previously I probably would have gone off the deep end. Knowing I’ll feel “normal ” again one day keeps me going. It’s rough.

      • Ingrid December 3, 2015, 10:01 pm

        What isn’t true Alex?

      • Amelia December 26, 2015, 8:00 am

        I’m sure my lower abdominal cramps are me “dealing with it in my own way” Alexandra :P

      • AJ February 7, 2016, 8:40 am

        I think everyone mistook what Alex said or was gettjng at. I didn’t take her comment as a denial in withdrawal symptoms exist, I took it to mean that John stopping only after 5 days – citing the side effects as a reason – to being irresponsible as there are many of us out there who need such medication to help and get them through each and every day.

        I took Alex’s reply in a positive light in that what John said could scare or prevent someone commencing antidepressants for fear of the side effects being discussed, and that in itself could be very harmful to anyone who really needs the help of medication. For someone to not to commence medication out of this fear could have devastating consequences on their health.

        It’s all about perspective and we shouldn’t be so quick to judge what people say just in case we misunderstood where they were coming from. I believe Alex was merely implying that scaring someone off this form of treatment was irresposible as not all of us respond to, or have the same side effects, from Zoloft. Food for thought…

      • Lisa March 7, 2016, 3:08 pm

        Alexandra. The post was VERY helpful! I was getting really scared about stopping Zoloft Cold Turkey about 10 days ago and especially yesterday when the side effects kicked in full throttle! I came to the internet to see if I could find out what was happening to me and if it was the result of stopping cold turkey. I was on 100mg for about 2 months, before that 50mg for a year and before that 25mg for about 6 months!

        I have almost every single one of the side effects, except suicide (never was before)and insomnia. Thankfully I can sleep and not to have to feel the effects. I can’t imagine insomnia on top of all my other side effects. Ugggg. I actually had to call in to work today, because there was no way I could go in. The sweating, nausea and not being able to concentrate is unbearable!

        The only positive thing out of it is the the crazy dreams. They are so vivid. So miss Alex, the only thing I can think of is either you work for drug company or have no business being on this site because you are just a troll. If you do work for the drug company, you should be ashamed of handing this stuff out to the public.

        I have seen people addicted to heroin were the withdrawals are only about 4 days! This Zoloft is 1000 times worse and takes forever to get out of system. This is a serious issue people are having and want facts so they are not scared they are dying or really sick and that with time we will all be ok.

      • Kay Little April 18, 2016, 6:25 pm

        Actually, this article helped me tremendously. All of these points were dead on and now I at least don’t feel like I’m going crazy!!

      • Sissy July 7, 2016, 10:40 pm

        Alex, why attack this person who is just looking for information? I have to think they may be right as I’ve been dealing with post nasal drip all the time along with a irritating throat cough for a long time now on Sertraline, also noticed a severe itching problem on some of the antidepressants. Now I am off then because they just stopped helping. I realize my post nasal drip and throat cough are gone?

        I love that but unfortunately my depression and anxiety worsens…and I’ve tried many other types of antidepressants, adderall which helped my depression at first and continues to help my ADHD doesn’t work for depression and escalates the anxiety after more than a year or so… Even though it helps me with my severe fatigue… I am thinking about replacing it with something less anxiety causing.

        I’ve always had severe anxiety, PTSD, and usually antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft helped…I don’t know why they stopped. The Zoloft helped with anxiety but made me very antisocial. To a point I was content living in my home and not picking up a phone to call my siblings for over a year – when we all were very close. The only thing worse than being on Zoloft when it stops working is going off it.

        I was in a car accident years ago which caused chronic severe insomnia… and now my brain hormones have changed drastically. This may be why it doesn’t help? At this point I’d rather be sleeping with less anxiety than strung out running around accomplishing things. I even thought of going back on Zoloft because now that I know a lot of these symptoms are Zoloft off related… even if it doesn’t help my depression… it’s long lasting withdrawal symptoms would ease up.

        I never associated withdrawal symptoms until I read this article, but I have them all brain zaps, itchy skin and all. Gone are the days when Prozac and Zoloft blissfully protected me from depression and anxiety… sadly like many I don’t know where to turn next.

        • A7 November 7, 2016, 10:18 am

          I have the same problem Sissy – “The Zoloft helped with anxiety but made me very antisocial. To a point I was content living in my home and not picking up a phone”. I have become an introvert since starting Sertraline and now I feel like I can not go to the store, social events, or work. (Started with 25mg, up to 50mg within 6months and took that for a year, and now on 100mg for the past 4 months).

          Slow progression and increase because it seems to not be working and I’m still dealing with PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety. I also take alprazolam for anxiety. I want to go off that also. Homeopathic here I come! (I hope). I want to go off it. I want information about what to expect.

          I’m also quitting smoking and sugar intake. Talk about a domino of explosions about to happen. Grateful for this information. Grateful for all the comments and insight. Thanks!

        • Lisette February 14, 2017, 12:15 am

          You just made me realize where my post nasal drip was coming from. Wow, I never realized that the zoloft might have something to do with it. I went cold turkey a week ago and have been dealing with extreme tiredness, headaches, brain zaps, dizziness, and symptoms I probably haven’t even contributed to me stopping the zoloft.

          Honestly, I’m glad I went cold turkey though because I think I could handle the withdrawal as long as I know that it’s exactly just that… withdrawal symptoms. If I didn’t know where it was coming from, I probably would be a lot more anxious.

      • Helen February 28, 2017, 7:33 am

        I disagree. I relate 100% to the post and I’m thankful I found it because it shows that what I’m going through isn’t abnormal and thus not something to worry about. Most of what is described seems to be very common (judging by others commenting and by other google searches).

    • SammyAnna July 2, 2015, 11:12 am

      Hi there, I am new to this forum. I am withdrawing from Sertraline. I was on Paroxetine for 4 years and then switched to Sertraline for another 4. 100mg daily. I did a strange thing and at a time of great crisis decided to go cold turkey as I wanted to “feel” what was happening to me. Hell on earth is a good description of how I feel at the moment 5 weeks into my withdrawal. Brain zaps, anger like I feel I could kill someone, tiredness.

      Also, I am in the middle of extensive house renovations and my daughter has had to move out and stay with my sister. The sense of loss I feel is incredible, even though I see her everyday. The loss I feel over a termination (for medical reasons) I had 18 months ago is indescribable. The utter panic that my cancer will return (I had breast cancer at 28 years old) is terrifying. Anyway, I just wanted to touch base with some people who know how I feel and what I am going through. S

      • Mavis July 12, 2015, 5:37 am

        I wish you all the strength and support you need to get through this. I’m happy that you have a support in your sister. Please be careful.

      • Steven July 26, 2015, 1:32 am

        Sammy I cannot believe what I just read in your post! I am going through the exact same thing!! With the small kids, remolding the living room, dining room, and a complete new kitchen with removed walls. I was on 100mg of zoloft for the last 3 years and 50mg for two years prior to that. I started to taper off about 6 months ago from 100 to 50. That took about 2-3 months until I was functioning OK… then I dropped it down to 50mg every other day, then every 3rd day, then about 8 weeks ago I went to zero.

        The first two-four weeks were hell. Brain zaps, confusion, the “drunk” feeling, nightmares, memory loss, everything was peaking and driving me mad. That’s when we really got into our remodel and started tearing out the cabinets, replacing electrical, etc. Just insane…not to mention having three young boys and a four month old baby girl. The anger, I’ve never felt anger like I have these last few months.

        My wife and I even filled out a non contested divorce packet at one time. It’s very scary. It’s like I have zero buffer. I go from pleasant to rage in .05 of a second. I can’t watch my baby girl for more than an hour at a time where as I was a very loving and patient father with all three of my boys before that when they were babies. I know some might judge as to why in the hell I did this at this time but whatever.

        I gained 40 Lbs, my libido was toast and was an embarrassment to my wife when I couldn’t preform and those two things did it for me. I’m done. I was Rx’ed this when I graduated from radiology school and couldn’t find a job so I was pretty anxiety riddled and depressed. It helped for the first year or two but has done nothing since then. I’m 8-10 weeks off it and a lot of these symptoms have weakened except the quick to anger.

        I still have zaps daily but only 2-3 a day. My confusion and memory are slowly getting better..S L O W L Y though. I’m afraid I’m turning into this angry man who I’ve never been before and I cannot do that , especially having 4 kids and a wife whom I love dearly. I hope this improves. It’s like a nighthmare…and those, the dreams are very scary too. Wow.

        • Tammy July 28, 2015, 7:12 pm

          So sorry this is going on with you hopefully you can heal and be back to your old self again. When I tried stopping this medicine I thought I was going crazy and hated it.good luck with everything. I had to start the mesd again because the side effects were so horrible I honestly thought I was going crazy and the crying spells plus anxiety drove me almost nuts. Yep I know how you feel.

        • DeeDee August 13, 2015, 1:19 am

          You should read this article to your wife and kids, so they can understand a little…. and ask for their patience, and they should walk away from you and not take it personally. Allow your anger to turn to tears. It does help. Don’t be proud. It takes a greater man to cry then to get angry. Hope your days get better and better.

          • Suzanne Discartin December 28, 2015, 4:29 pm

            DeeDee- I like what you said about letting your anger turn to tears. Maybe I can do that. Last night, my husband asked me why I was being so mean. Oh no… I just realized I am supposed to have my puppy to the vet in 20 minutes. I’m hoping I can start playing with him… therapy. :)

        • Anna October 8, 2015, 3:39 pm

          Steven – Your story is a mirror of mine. My question is this – you posted this in July and it is now October. How are you doing? Since your story is so incredibly similar, I am wondering how the anger is at this point? I’m trying to figure out how long it will take to subside.

        • A7 November 7, 2016, 10:26 am

          Steven – How are you now? This is also my concern as I’ve gone off (tapered and cold turkey) before and the quick to anger kicks in and I have gone back on them for the sake of being able to function around others. (DISLIKE). I wonder if anyone has experience with the anger and how long it lasts…??

      • Jose November 21, 2015, 3:20 am

        You are not alone. I am currently on short term and may not make it back to work. But I am coming off zoloft after a month on it and I am so tired during the day. Social/Anxiety and depression is still there. I was on paxil for about 10 years and worked great until mid august when all hell broke loose and couldn’t function at my job late Sept. I’m starting to take Pristiq. I hope this one will work! Pristiq was one of the meds that was recommended by a gene testing but my insurance wouldn’t pay for it except the zoloft. Another round…

    • Josaphina December 24, 2015, 5:26 pm

      I have been on Zoloft 200mg for about 12 years, and am currently in the process of tapering off. I have to say, with being on the highest dosage for that amount of time, I, if anyone, should be having a TERRIBLE time with it. I have wanted to come off the drug for quite some time but have been putting it off out of fear of the withdrawal process.

      If I said that I’ve been completely symptom free, I would be lying. However, to my surprise, the experience has been far from unbearable. I can only assume that I owe it to my purchase of a nutribullet. I have no involvement with the company nor am I trying to sell something, I’m simply trying to offer my best advice to people trying to come off this drug with as little discomfort as possible. I am several months into the tapering off process.

      The first symptoms I notice are the brain zaps (which would be frightening to anyone who didn’t realize that this is a normal, harmless result of withdrawing) nausea, and headache. These have all been very mild in my case. A few weeks in, I started experiencing fatigue, depression, and irritability. This has been the most bothersome for me, but again, it hasn’t been severe enough to keep me from functioning in my day-to-day life.

      I have also woken up during the night to panic attacks a couple of times, as well achiness and itchy skin, but I take a deep breath and remember that it’s a normal symptom and that it will pass, and I’ve been able to calm myself down rather quickly. As I’ve explained, it hasn’t been the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but considering the dosage I’ve been taking and the amount of time I’ve been taking it, one would assume that I’d be a LOT worse off! I truly believe that having 2 drinks from the nutribullet every day has made a tremendous difference in how well I’ve done during this process.

      I highly recommend getting one, or any other nutrition extractor, to anyone withdrawing from an SSRI or just to people who want to improve their overall health and well being. Do some research on what ingredients to add that will help you with anxiety/depression/or whatever symptoms are bothering you the most. I truly wish that I had taken that route in the first place before getting on this medication. Also, being surrounded by positive and encouraging people has made a huge difference, as well as getting outside and exercising (as much as you may not feel like it, you’ll be glad you did!)

      I hope that sharing my experience and suggestions will help to encourage anyone going through this process. I have been able to work and function as usual, and unless I’ve told people what I’m going through, they haven’t even noticed anything different about me at all. Again, as someone who was on 200mg for 12 years, if I can do it, anyone can! Stick with it, don’t give up, and know that any discomfort or troubling symptoms WILL pass.

      Never underestimate the power of good nutrition, good company, and exercise! Believe me when I say, it can make all the difference :)

      • Lauren January 8, 2016, 3:57 pm

        Thank you, Josaphina. I have been on Zoloft 100mg for 15 years. I am trying to taper it off. I do it very slowly. 100mg/75mg every other day for 1 month. then, 75mg for 1 month, then 75mg/50mg every other day for 1 month, then 50mg for 1 month. I am now at the 75mg for 1 month (I am at the second week).

        I do feel tired, but other than that I feel fine. Tell me, what do you put in your nutribullet? I have a nutribullet too, but do not use it often. I hope my journey will continue well and wish all of you the same. Listen to your body and do as it tells you. Everybody is different. Taper, Pray, and Eat healthy.

        • Barbara February 8, 2016, 11:19 pm

          I see you are recently coming off Zoloft. I am going through hell, tapered for about 2 weeks, then went off cold turkey for 9 days now. I feel like bursting into tears, I am so bad tempered and I ache all over. I started taking Sertraline 8 months ago because my husband had convinced me I was neurotic and yes they did calm me down.

          However I have put on over a stone and my sex life is completely dead with no libido, so I must way up the positives and negatives and I so want to be normal again. How long will my joints ache so much? I can put up with everything else. I just hope I can do it, I need encouragement. HELP. Barbara

          • A7 November 7, 2016, 10:30 am

            How are you now?

      • Patsy December 29, 2016, 3:52 am

        Brain zaps!! What a perfect description. I thought I might have a stroke or heart attack. I tapered off of Zoloft for the past two months. Just last weekend I got so angry I felt like I would past out. I was shaking all over and my blood pressure went up. Since Sunday I have felt like I would fall asleep standing up, dizzy and headachy and generally upset. Reading this website helps me realize that I will get better.

    • Ruth May 1, 2016, 6:17 am

      Agreed 100%.

    • Bella August 5, 2016, 7:49 pm

      I have been on 100mg Zoloft for about 17 years. Except for when I was pregnant. Did not have much issues coming off of it when pregnant. My kids are getting older now one is school age the other is a special needs please pre-schooler. I am have been off of it for about 2 weeks and on Cymbalta.

      I am having issues. Brain Zaps, extreme fatigue, depression, I am just SOOOO tired! Dealing with this and my special needs child is VERY challenging to say the least. I have been relying on my husband more to help. I feel like a failure of a parent and wife. Logically I know that is silly but it doesn’t change how I feel. :( Just have to ride the waves!

    • Sheri Liebhart January 13, 2017, 7:23 am

      I am also very grateful for this list that you compiled. It answered a lot of questions for me, too. The same week that I was going through withdrawal from taking sertraline, I also had food poisoning (which wasn’t too bad, but recovering from it took several days) and a uterine prolapse. Because of the close proximity that these things happened in, I couldn’t tell for sure what caused what symptom. This is the most comprehensive list I have seen of sertraline withdrawal side effects. Thank you for putting this together.

  • Rose quartz June 6, 2014, 7:22 am

    Agreed. Hell on earth. Hell on the drug and now hell off it too. 3 months off so far and in the depths.

    • TM June 16, 2015, 1:03 am

      Yup! Hell on Earth! Brain Zaps! I didn’t know their was a word for it. My RX ran out, I’ve been taking Zoloft for over 3 years. The Psychiatrist would not refill them, even a couple week’s worth until he could see me. So, cold turkey, 100mg, gone for two weeks now. I have been so dizzy, and the brain zaps are constant! If anything it has gotten worse every day. Today, I was uncomfortable driving and even walking made me disoriented. Tomorrow, finally, I can see the Doc. What an a double s for not giving me a refill.

      • Kim April 12, 2016, 12:23 am

        I have been on Zoloft for over 15 years. I was very sleepy in the beginning but never experienced what everyone else is talking about. I have tried to go off of it and get so depressed and anxious. Therefore, staying on it outweighs being off it.

    • Liz August 11, 2015, 11:55 am

      Hell on earth….tapering at this stage. Brain zaps and literally feel movement in my brain. As if someone is shifting the puzzles around. Makes you feel insane.

  • Patrick Millar July 2, 2014, 6:40 pm

    It took me 18months to get back to some normality. I was on citalopram (UK) 60mg for 10yrs, then was cold swapped to another for 3 weeks, then to sertraline 50mg for 2 wks, then to 100mg for 4 wks, then back to 40mg citalopram. Then started my hell on earth. 18 months later I was nearly back to my old self. This was 3 yrs ago. I am now down to 20mg citalopram. An that is where I’m staying as tried to go lower and the hell started again. For anyone out there suffering, I’d like to say it does get better I promise. -Pat

  • Julez July 11, 2014, 1:38 am

    I have only been off two weeks, after a tapering off… Some days I’m great, then all of the sudden- dizziness, panic, head zips and aches- scared to drive,then within an hour it subsides enough for me to function- I refuse to go back on the sh-t, how long will this last? I HATE being afraid to go somewhere in case I melt down again… :(

    • Lisa January 20, 2015, 6:44 pm

      This is exactly how I feel too!!! I want to get off it once & for all it’s so tough feel like I’ve lost the plot :(

    • Karla March 25, 2015, 6:09 am

      I know how it feels I’m one week off, it’s awful… I have psychophysical insomnia and used Zoloft for one year.. I gained 20 lbs and my sleeping is the same. My heart is racing all the time and I constantly worry about meltdown. Help!

      • Sharon June 14, 2015, 1:20 pm

        How is it going now for you? I switched to 50mg of Zoloft about 1 1/2 years ago and it doesn’t make me any less depressed or help with my anti-social behaviors, which were my issues, so I am going off it. My prescription ran out so I took half a pill which was left and now off for 1 day. Slept good – but, this morning I do feel anxious and twitchy. Decided on a lark to just google it and came up with all kinds of horror stories.

      • Roseann M. December 31, 2015, 6:37 pm

        I was taking 100 mg of Zoloft for more than 10 years due to anxiety since my husband passed. I went to my doctor for a check-up (he was an associate) not my regular doctor who wasn’t there that day. I had no pills due to my prescription plan running out. He didn’t give me a prescription due to my iron count being low. Well, talk about hell on earth. I must have finally gotten some withdrawal systems, most of all insomnia.

        What a terrible feeling. Why didn’t this other doctor tell me about weeing off the pill instead of just stop taking it? My doctor finally gave me a new prescription which I am going to fill and hope this puts me back on track. I should have read about the withdrawal symptoms earlier and I would not have loss the feeling of getting a good nights sleep. I am glad I read this on this website and continue taking the Zoloft as soon as I fill the prescription.

  • Valerie July 25, 2014, 3:40 am

    I’ve been taking zoloft for like.. 9 months. Whenever I stop buying it -not because I want to, tho- therefore, taking it, it’s literally hell on earth. It takes three days to start feeling the symptoms. I feel you brothers.

  • Dan July 27, 2014, 8:48 pm

    I was on 50 mg of Sertraline for 6 weeks. I reduced my dose to 25 mg for a week and came off. After day 4 I started getting brain zaps, ringing in ears, swoosh when I moved my head and insomnia. I went back to 50 mg for a couple of days to relieve the symptoms. Then I went back down to 25 mg for 2 weeks. Not wanting to repeat those withdrawals I cut the pills in half again to 12.5 for about a week and a half. Thought I had it licked but then after about 4 days those same withdrawals came back but a little less intense. Now I’m just trying to tough it out. It has been about 11 days since I last took any and the withdrawal symptoms still persist. I heard there is a liquid form to help reduce the dosage further. Might be worth looking into before trying to come off.

    • Dorry May 25, 2015, 11:19 am

      I thought those brain zaps, dizziness ALL those symptoms were because of my hypertension!! Runs in my family so I’m thinking “heart attack/stroke right around the corner for me”. I really believed I was about to check out, I was convinced I was on verge of a stroke.

    • BL May 25, 2015, 11:53 pm

      I’m so glad to read this post and this comment. I’m on 100mgs of Sertraline, I’ve been on it for a good 9/10 months or so. I usually take it for SAD as my depression usually peaks in the autumn/winter months. My prescription ran out last week and I couldn’t pick up the repeat prescription for the weekend. I was fine for the first day or so but over the last few days I’ve been going through hell.

      All of the symptoms mentioned in the post and some on top, mainly the “swoosh” you referred to, I’m so glad you mentioned it because it worried me that it hasn’t came up on other articles. I haven’t experienced the “brain zap” but it feels like every time I move it’s taking my brain a good few seconds to catch up with my head movements, it keeps giving me what I can only describe as motion sickness. Coupled with the confusion and dizziness I’ve been going about my day probably looking to everyone else that I’m drunk!

      Picking up my prescription in the morning but going to see my doctor about coming off all together. Has anyone had any luck trying natural alternatives? The only things I can find as a suggestion are St. John’s Wort and Vitamin B12 supplements as well as physical exercise (which is impossible considering I can barely stand up without almost falling over). Any advice would be appreciated!

      • Mitchell June 1, 2015, 8:40 am

        I took 50mg Zoloft for about 10-12 weeks then went off cold turkey. The zombie side effects were outweighing the benefits so I just stopped. Not the best idea but I’ve gone this far without it so I’m just going to push through. I’ve replaced it with an organic non-alcoholic liquid form of St. John’s Wort and also a supplement that’s relatively new called Child Ease (yes from InfoWars — political opinions aside, their supplements are simply amazing). It was designed for child ADHD in mind but works for adults as well.

        I also drink lemon water in the morning, continue fluids through the day and avoid all sugars and sweeteners (i.e. I put milk in coffee and nothing else, or drink tea plain). I still have brain “swooshing” throughout the day but continue to push through. Since I brought St. John’s Wort (Wild Harvest brand liquid form) and Child Ease into the picture it’s helped a lot not only with my anxiety that I was taking the Zoloft for originally but also the withdrawal from the Zoloft.

        I also take an organic non-GMO multi-vitamin supplement, Nascent Iodine supplement, Vitamin D3 and B12 supplements. (Multi-Vitamins are New Chapter, the other 3 are from InfoWars). I’m looking forward to being rid of these withdrawals. In the meantime, I’m considering a juice fast for a week to detox with things like Cilantro, Parsley, Cayenne, Garlic, Beets, Ginger root, Turmeric root, Peppermint leaf, and lots of various berries (as many different kinds as I can get my hands on) along with the standard base of greens (Kale, Celery, Bok Choy, Spinach, Cucumbers).

        I’m not aware of any documented natural ways to naturally recover from this crap so I’m thinking go mass detox + nutrition saturation and see what happens.

      • colleen June 2, 2015, 12:24 pm

        I’ve been taking zoloft for 8 years. Started weaning in January. 3 weeks I was taking 25mg twice a week so I stopped at that point. For the past 3 weeks I’ve been angry, crying, dizzy and nauseous (like vertigo), and irritable. I can’t stand it. I’m thinking of trying Sam-e. My nutritionist says its good and it’s ok with my doctor. Sometimes I want to go back on zoloft to make it all stop but I told myself I will never go through this again.

    • lisamarie3 October 22, 2015, 9:44 am

      After taking 50 mg for 6 weeks (100mg for 3 days in the middle), daughter (19 yo) is having almost every withdrawal symptom of zoloft listed. Most horrible part besides the nausea is the brain zaps, every time she moves her eyes. I can not believe after only 6 WEEKS she is going through this. It’s been 3 weeks off and nothing has subsided. Its scary for her, and for me, when will this stop and shes back to normal?

  • Anne August 1, 2014, 1:04 pm

    In 1998, after 2 years of many traumatic experiences, my GP placed me on Zoloft. I thought it was a wonder drug and felt like my old self. Fabulous, right? Except for the 30 pounds that piled on almost overnight. Well, so I bought larger clothes. Still, I wasn’t clinically depressed or have mental health diagnoses, I had simply had MAJOR EMOTIONAL TRAUMA for 2 years. So in retrospect, I think Zoloft was probably not the right solution. For the past 5 years I’ve tried several times to quit, but it was always the rebound depression that brought me back. Depression was not my normal state prior to the trauma era…so the rebound depression was a result of the drug, I am certain. I had only ever been up to 50 mg maximum and still the rebound depression was hell. I was able to live through the brain zaps, but not the rebound. Anyway, about 2 years ago I was on a steady 25 mg a day and decided I wanted to try again to quit. I was off it for 3 months and life was miserable. The rebound depression again. So I went back on but at 12.5 mg. And that was enough. I felt much better. So I stayed there for a year. This past year I wanted to reduce again and chopped those in half, taking 6.25 mg (+/-) a day and guess what….that was enough too! With a 24 hour half life, I was carrying about 13 to 14 mg in my system at all times. As my ultimate goal is to get off it entirely, I now take those slivers of zoloft and break them in half again and take it every other day. This gives my brain the crutch it needs to not go into rebound depression while (hopefully) it is healing itself. I will take this as slowly as I need to, but still…even if I have to take 4 mg every other day for the rest of my life…that’s progress. For anybody reading this – please remember, I did not have a diagnosis of depression and so given enough time initially I would have overcome the traumatic events without drugs. If you have depression this process may not work for you.

    • GLOOM August 1, 2014, 6:45 pm

      Wow Anne, I really appreciate you sharing your experience and insight. Although this drug can be helpful for many, I share your sentiments – the drug is overprescribed for issues that may be better handled with psychotherapy.

      People do not realize the difficulty and withdrawal hell that many deal with upon quitting. Simply taking these meds for a period of time can have an impact on brain activity, neurotransmitter levels, etc. so when you stop taking them, you feel WAY worse than prior to taking them.

      It takes time to heal, and I’m glad to hear that you’re in the home stretch of a slow withdrawal. Keep pushing through the pain, I am living proof that you will eventually experience a full recovery. Wish you nothing but the best.

      • Anne August 1, 2014, 9:43 pm

        Thanks Gloom for the kind comments and reaching out. I didn’t see a history by you though; did I miss it? I would really like to know how you are living proof of a full recovery. What dose were you taking and for how long? Does the brain return to normal function and how long did it take? Thanks.

        • GLOOM August 2, 2014, 3:31 pm

          Anne, the recovery time is subject to variation. It took me about 1.5 years before I overcame most of my withdrawal symptoms from quitting Paxil cold turkey. Symptoms were so extreme I thought I had a brain tumor, I could barely function. It took several years for me to feel “myself” again. I have also taken Zoloft and withdrawn. Best wishes.

          • IndiS July 5, 2015, 12:00 pm

            1.5 years?!? This is good to know. I went off Zoloft June 10 – cold turkey – after being on it for 3 years. Having a hard time with the anger and insomnia. Was conversing about these last night with my poor dear husband, who said “it’s been a couple of weeks, shouldn’t you be feeling better?” He will not be happy to hear the news, but I’m glad to have a better idea of how long it may actually take. These sites are life-savers. Thank you Gloom and thank you everyone who has shared their experience.

    • Erika October 12, 2015, 8:27 pm

      The EXTREMELY slow taper is crucial. It takes time, of course, but it allows your brain to slowly get used to the chemical changes and is essential to manage or avoid withdrawal symptoms. I weaned down from 200 mg to 25 mg though it took a couple of years. I would pattern it like this: (these are daily dosages) 200, 200, 175, 200, 200, 175. I had mild symptoms – dizziness, some nausea, overly emotional, and short temper, but they were manageable and lasted about two weeks.

      I would then give my body another two weeks to fully acclimate (and give myself those two weeks of no withdrawal symptoms) and then go to every other day: 200, 175, 200, 175. Again I would have mild withdrawal symptoms for two weeks and then would stabilize. After two weeks without symptoms I would go down to 200, 175, 175, 200, 175, 175. Again, symptoms resolved in about two weeks and I would have a two week reprieve. As i went lower and lower, the amount I would “step down” each time would decrease.

      I got impatient and made a jump from 50 mg to cold turkey at the end and had a miserable 3 months. I went back on at 25 mg and completely stabilized. As I taper down to go off completely I will go MUCH slower toward the end this time, like Anne has demonstrated. I also have learned that it a major change or stressor or trauma comes up, I wait till life stabilizes before I begin to wean off again.

      It’s a process and it requires me to be gentle with my brain and body as I do so. The medication helped me immensely for about 15 years and will just take a while to get myself accustomed to not taking it. I had massive trauma to work through in therapy and Zoloft helped me be able to function through that process. I am grateful it was available and will now deal with teaching my body to regulate its chemicals itself.

      • Teril March 2, 2016, 1:19 am

        Erika, thank you so, so much for taking the time to detail your process. I too have been on several different meds, most recently Zoloft – for about 13 years (mostly for anger issues with teenagers..then menopause…then dying parent…etc etc). I’ve gotten up to 200 mg and now that life is pretty stable I’d like to go off. I tried cutting back pretty drastically for two weeks and felt like I was back in the ’70s.

        I guess that’s what y’all were calling “brain zaps”. When I realized how sick I was making myself and Googled – I found this site and I feel like I can now follow your lead, going very slow… and eventually free myself of this drug. It has been immensely helpful to me (and my family) but it is time for me to (hopefully!) handle things without it! Blessings, Teril from Cedar Hill, Texas

  • haley August 9, 2014, 12:39 am

    I’ve been on zoloft for 10 months, started at 100 mg then was put on 200. Now I have to come off of it all together. I’m scared sh#tless bc I know that even missing one day of it screws me up and I freak out. Any tips on things that might help??

  • Amanda August 11, 2014, 2:09 am

    I’d like to say that the symptoms of withdrawal are all you have to worry about when you quit taking zoloft, but it’s not usually the case. I took it for 10 years, 50 mg a day, and while it worked perfectly for me for that time period, when I decided I wanted to stop taking it and see the world on my own, I had the most horrific withdrawal symptoms that came and went for about 3-4 months. Now, I am 9 1/2 months off of it and having a growing feeling of anxiousness, tension headaches, pain in the shoulders and neck area, a constant feeling of worry and I feel like I should go back on either zoloft or another. If you make the decision to take this SSRI, make sure you understand the withdrawal effects, and do not stop taking it as quickly as I did. I only weened off of it over a month. Definitely not long enough to avoid some of the withdrawal effects. The worst was the brain zaps that make you feel like your’e being electrocuted when you least expect it, and the dizziness.

    • Anne August 19, 2014, 2:11 pm

      In my past attempts to come off Zoloft I did have brain zaps. But this last time, with the extremely slow taper I used, I did not. Slow is the key.

  • Jackie September 6, 2014, 6:57 am

    I’m been taking seraline for 6 days came off them has they gave me bad anxiety attacks every day so I came off them how long till the anxiety side effects go and back to my old self again xx

    • KT January 15, 2015, 1:20 am

      Hi! I took Zoloft for 7 days (4 days with 12.5mg and 3 days with 25mg). It has been 13 days since I stopped and am still very dizzy. Did you get dizzy at all and when did it subside? A lot of times if I turn my head I felt like I was falling and got the stomach feeling as well.

      • frank cross February 1, 2015, 5:07 am

        My 2 cents: On zoloft for approx. 20 years… Started withdrawal 18 months ago and it was a living hell. This drug should be banned. I’m lucky to still have a wife and a life; I almost lost both.

        • Lisa Stogner May 15, 2015, 6:53 pm

          Frank, I’ve taken Zoloft 15 years, I have stopped cold turkey 21 days ago, and I understand exactly what your talking about! I just want to ask are you back to yourself!?

          • Sharon June 14, 2015, 1:34 pm

            So, one month later – how are you doing? I was on 50 mg of Zoloft and just didn’t like me anymore on it. So, I took one night of 25 mg and then stopped – well, only one night. But, felt “out of sorts” this morning so decided to Google it and found this site. I quickly went to pop a half pill in my mouth and think I will do this a bit slower instead of cold turkey.

          • Suzanne Discartin January 5, 2016, 5:36 pm

            Lisa, I also took Zoloft for 20+ years. I went off cold turkey 21 days ago. I am having mild brains buzzing (wouldn’t really call it zaps because they are mild and happen mostly upon awaking). I do feel dizzy a lot of the time (mild, just foggy), and my body is super achy. I am exercising a little more an eating a nutritious diet.

            My question is: How long did it take you (assuming you are still off)? I can do this if I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have been on vacation from work, but have to return next week. My job takes a lot of mental clarity so I am concerned. I managed to work the last couple of months with a traumatic brain injury… so maybe I can do this too. I’m hopeful. -Suzy

        • Elle August 26, 2015, 5:37 am

          I also took Zoloft for 15 years (doses ranging from 100mg-200mg) and began tapering over a month ago. I have an excellent doctor who warned me this would be difficult. An on-call doctor treated me for Serotonin syndrome on a Friday and told me to quit my Zoloft (mid tapering) altogether. By Sunday night I had lost my job and any sanity I had left. On Tuesday I started back on 50mg of Zoloft to begin the tapering process again. I am in hell.

          No one warned me (or my parents) about this when I started taking it at 12 years old. I’m mad (also censoring my language). Frank, are you back to being yourself? If so, congratulations. I don’t know if I can take this as long as you did.

        • Greg October 15, 2015, 11:00 pm

          How are you feeling now?

        • Christian April 6, 2016, 12:38 am

          Hi Frank, Can you elaborate?

      • Maureen April 15, 2015, 9:56 pm

        I have been on 200mg of zoloft for 10 years and today is the 2nd day of being weaned off. I was so dizzy this morning it took 4 hours to lift my head off the pillow this morning. I had no idea that the withdrawal symptoms of trying to come off this medication were this bad! This is only the 2nd day! I will not give up.

      • Sue November 5, 2015, 12:16 am

        I’m so happy I’m not the only one who felt horrible after taking them for a short amount of time! I took 25mgs for about 5 days, had the worst panic attack of my life and it triggered depersonalization, and this is the third week I’ve been off Zoloft. I quit cold turkey, and I feel like my brain still isn’t back to normal. I’m just horribly dizzy now and my heart randomly starts racing. I just didn’t think the withdrawal would last this long, since I wasn’t on it for even a week? I just don’t feel like myself.

        • Darlene September 22, 2016, 7:01 pm

          Hi Sue, How are you feeling since coming off Zoloft?

    • Mer January 10, 2016, 4:19 pm

      I took half a pill 25mg of Zoloft for about 2 weeks. It gave me horrible panic attacks. Made me feel fear like a superstitious person on speed. My mind feels like its going crazy when I have these panic attacks. I have been off of it for 6 days. Panic attacks are not gone. I have no other withdrawals but this. I am back on my prozac which I never should have stopped taking to begin with.

      But due to zombie feelings my doc decided to let me try Zoloft. Wish I would have never done so. I feel afraid to even go out. I worry I will have a panic attack and don’t want to risk it. I really hope they go away. Please let me know if yours have gotten better so I have some hope.

  • Hannah September 6, 2014, 6:22 pm

    This is very comforting information! Thank you for providing it.

    I have taken Zoloft for 3-4 years now at only 12.5 mg (half of 1 full pill). As I matured, I felt less and less like it was having any effect on my mental state. I recently decided to quit my prescription with my doctors approval and we both decided I could quit cold-turkey because of missing many doses anyways. It’s been exactly a month now and I’m beginning to feel the withdrawal symptoms, unfortunately. I’m experiencing tingling sensations in my limbs, “sea legs”, unexplained physical pain, and a very slight loss of appetite. No depression, thankfully, and not much anxiety except for when I start to feel the sensations I described above.

    Is it common to feel only physical side effects and not mental? As well as, is it normal to feel withdrawal symptoms after being off the drug for a month? I’m an extremely positive individual and continue to be, but the physical effects I experience can be quite draining and bothersome.

    • Anne September 11, 2014, 4:14 pm

      Hi Hannah. I found the information in this link to be very helpful and easy to understand. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Womens_Health_Watch/2010/November/going-off-antidepressants

      Hope this helps.

      • Han April 24, 2016, 12:47 pm

        Thanks for this Harvard link. Found it helpful. I’m tapering down 25mg from 3x a week to once a week then hopefully zero in 4 weeks time – but feeling very anxious in the process. Sleep disrupted but putting my cbt exercises into practice helps… Filter out the ‘what if’ questions and think positive! Alerting my family to my erratic moods in these few months.

  • Matt B September 15, 2014, 5:25 am

    I was on Sertraline for 2 and a half weeks and quite cold turkey. I’ve been off it for 6 days now and I’m always fatigued in the legs and arms. I also feel like I’m on a freaking cruse ship all the time. (Dizziness) Screw these drugs! What kind of crap are they putting in us?

    • Tom December 9, 2014, 9:34 am

      Hi Matt, My idiot doctor prescribed Zoloft to me after I went to him with anxiety that I had developed after not sleeping properly for an extended period of time due to tinnitus. I was desperate at the time so accepted. (Silly me) I only took this poison for 3 days and was starting to completely flip out so stopped. (This was a week ago). My anxiety was triple what it was prior to taking this crap, with feelings of depression thrown in top!

      (Was not depressed prior, only anxious). The next day after stopping I felt bizarrely distant as if I was a stranger in my own body, mixed with panicky feelings and and anxiety like I have never felt in my life. I can not fathom how this stuff is given to anyone. When I went to my doctor and asked him what the hell he had given me, he stated that there were side effects that varied amongst people and that I needed to push through them and “all would be well” in a few weeks!?!??

      This stuff is poison. Pure poison. With each day that goes by I feel a little less warped. And I only took it for 3 days… I feel for anyone dealing with anxiety or depression, however the sacrifice that you need to make to be on this stuff and to then get off it is ridiculous. The doctors prescribing it and the companies making it should all be in jail.

      • Caroll Stanton May 4, 2015, 5:25 am

        For 4 years I took 200 mg of Zoloft daily. I gained 35 pounds, and lost interest in most of my life. I receive no emotional support from my housemate, as he eschews all medications. ALL. Zoloft should be banned. Seriously. Life is not for sissies – and who needs the additional crazies this medication induces?! (Not I.) Menopause was a walk in the park compared to Zoloft withdrawal. I take Xanax for anxiety attacks – good that I have that medication! I would be a raving loony if not for Xanax. I’m so happy (yeah, right) I found support and access to similar hell-hole survivors. Thanks so much!

        • Tua Downham August 28, 2015, 7:29 pm

          Well, I’ve taken Sertraline 100 mg for three years for menopausal problems and they really helped me cope. Now I don’t feel I need them anymore so I gradually off starting two and a half month ago and now I’ve been off them for four weeks. Lots of zapping and a feeling I have to take deep breaths or I’ll suffocate. Menopausal sweating back again but three years of pain in joints has really got a lot better.

          I have less nightmares and sleep better now but I feel more tired. I put on a stone during the three years, thinking it was due to menopause but have lost a fair bit of it since coming off these pills. I’m glad I stumbled upon this site as I never knew about the effects of taking them and certainly never associated the zapping etc with withdrawal. I just thought I’m suffering from something serious. I’m not so bad and do feel better knowing the reason. Thanks to you all ?

      • Brooke Spicer November 3, 2015, 5:59 am

        Hi Tom – I’m wondering how long it took you to get back to normal? My situation is similar, in that I took Zoloft for a very short time and felt very similar to you. I only took this poisoned pill of hell for one day, thank God, but am wondering when, and if, I’ll ever feel normal again.

        I have anxiety and just took Xanax occasionally as needed. I’ve had some health concerns lately that exacerbated my anxiety. My family thought I should try a more regular stabilizing medication, so my doctor recommended Zoloft. I took one 50 mg pill and within a couple hours I knew it was going to be bad.

        I got incredibly anxious, felt warm waves rushing through my body, but at the same time, my hands and feet were cold and I was cold and shivering, thought of food made me ill, diarrhea. My anxiety was ten fold. I felt incredibly weird, just not myself, like in another body. Jaw starting to lock up, dizziness, etc…I looked up the drug and read so many horrible comments and told myself (even though many suggested riding out the symptoms to reap the benefit), hell no, I will not take this drug for one more day.

        Well, now 3 days later, I am feeling that most of the same side effects have not gone away. The first day off was awful. Second day was slightly better, I thought, but now am getting these waves of pure panic, the warm sensation, trembling, and just feeling drugged and like I’m in another body. Gloom and doom…Don’t even know how to describe it. My family doesn’t understand, and I know that neither will my doctor, nor is there anything she can do for me.

        I’m just looking for some hope. I’m much worse off than I ever was before this drug. I thought for sure after only taking one pill that I could sleep it off and feel mostly better in 24 hours. I tried a few antidepressants as a teenager dealing with depression and never had anywhere near these issues. This is insane. I have two children, one an infant, a job, husband, and I can’t care for any of them right now. Will this hell be over soon? I don’t feel like I can do this much longer.

  • Dot mcAveeney September 16, 2014, 11:49 am

    I was on Zoloft for 3 weeks and had horrible anxiety and nausea. I stopped the 25 mg dose and took half for 8 days then half for 3 days then 1/4 for 2 days I am still having anxiety on and off and some nausea and trouble sleeping. I have starting taking Holy Basil and hope it helps.

  • M September 23, 2014, 5:12 am

    I was on 50mg sertraline for about a year 5 years ago. I tapered it out but the brain zaps were the worst part, about every 10 seconds so 100’s of times a day. I did some reading and discovered a tip of taking fish oil in huge doses, about 4 giant caps 4 times a day, I don’t remember the dosage but it was a lot, and within 1 day the brain zaps were down from 100’s to about 5. It was incredible! After post natal anxiety disorder I’ve been on 25mg for 2 years, last week tapered to 12.5 for 5 days then stopped.

    What prompted me to stop was a quit refined carbs and sugar a few weeks ago and feel better than I’ve felt in years and ready for another baby. I’m not getting zaps this time but I DO NOT feel good that’s for sure, constant dizziness and anger, loss of appetite and emotional wreck. Will get straight back on the fish oil now and see if it helps alleviate those symptoms! Good luck to all, it’s a tough road that only those who walk will ever understand.

  • Jon Starling October 5, 2014, 7:33 am

    Hi all. Thanks for the comments, First of all I’ve been on Zoloft for 3 years at 100 mg. Went on because I could not relate to my children. Commenced a cold turkey approach in getting off them, yes the usual side affects mostly head zaps and irritability, quick to anger ETC.

    Not sure how long this will last but I’ve taken a physical approach to combating these issues: Yoga, Boxing increased physical exertion (for me swimming 3+ km 4 times a week) as well as writing my thoughts out. Not sure if this helps. I’m posting this to make others aware of what faces them when you go cold turkey, tried reduction method but found the same symptoms so why bother prolonging the discomfort.

    I’m not sure if cold turkey is correct either. My next phase is to embrace meditation to help focus negative energy away from everyday life, this sounds rather hippy in approach. Good luck to all who choose to leave this medicated world. Long Life Jon

  • Thomas October 17, 2014, 5:49 pm

    I took zoloft/sertraline for just about 7 years 150mg daily dose. This past August I had difficulty getting my prescription renewed. I had the expected weight gain and was tired of it so I took the situation as an opportunity and cold turkey quit zoloft. AAAAAAAAAAAA!! Ouch! The weight is off but my mental health is a wreck.

    I’ve joined a gym and run three times a week. Aside from meditation it’s the ONLY thing which relieves the anxiety. It is rough. Rough. I read a post above where the person mentioned 90 days of post zoloft hell. I HOPE HOPE HOPE that I see some relief when I hit that time mark. Please post any suggestions as to how I can increase the quality of my mental health while I go through the post zoloft/sertraline withdrawal. (I’m appx 45 days out).

    • Anne October 24, 2014, 10:13 pm

      I find passion flower works really well.

  • Miles October 20, 2014, 12:05 pm

    I took Sertraline for about 2 years and started tapering off a while ago, while I was at 150 mg a day. Went down to 100, then after a while of that 50, and last week I started not taking them at all. After 3 days of no meds, symptoms were pretty prominent, but a few days after that I feel like they’re starting to get a bit better, at least more bearable. At this current rate I feel like they should be gone in around 2 weeks. So my advice would be to taper off of the drug /very/ slowly. From my experience when I was taking 150 mg a day, quitting cold turkey will drive you insane.

  • Quinn October 21, 2014, 12:16 pm

    I was on zoloft for 4 weeks. First week I was on 25mg, then 2 weeks on 50mg and decided I wanted to get off of it so the last week I went back down to 25mg then quit. It’s been over 3 weeks I’ve been off of it and I am experiencing visual disturbances, headaches, stiff neck, brain fog, depersonalization and I’m super fatigued. When the hell will this end?

    • Steve August 28, 2015, 2:51 am

      I was only on zoloft for 4 weeks as well. Started at 50 MG and then after the third week went down to 25 MG. It is the 3rd day since I stopped and I feel horrific. I am so tried and have major “brain fog.” Since we had similar time frames of taking Zoloft, I was wondering if you could tell me how long it took before you felt normal again? Thanks Quinn.

  • scot October 21, 2014, 7:25 pm

    Well here goes, 58 yo male, on Zoloft for over 10 years at 200mg a day! Just went for checkup, wasn’t feeling 100%, just found out I have Diabetes 2, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. When my GP found out I was on Zoloft that high for that long he had me begin tapering off, in addition I was taking Metmorfin for Diabetes, a stating for high BP and Lipitor. I was also on Zanax .5mg a day which he had me taper off. Now I was hit with a lot of crap at once, but man oh man do I feel like crap.

    I do not know if it is my body screaming for sugar, my high BP or coming off Zoloft, but I feel like my head is not connected to my body, and god forbid get a lightheadedness spell (happens a lot), I then get a sick feeling in my stomach and some times a headache follows. Then when I immediately lay down, I begin to sweat profusely. I have this slight feeling of a knot in my stomach, slight tingling in my hands and lips (especially during the dizzy spells) and if I am walking, I feel as I have no control of my body, almost like I am drunk. I am on my third week of reducing the Zoloft and taking my new meds, my DR says it is to be expected. I am a mess! Cannot wait for this crap to stop!

  • Aussie Girl October 29, 2014, 9:41 am

    I have been on 100mg of Zoloft for 4.5 years after getting PND/PPD and then suffering stress-induced depression/anxiety issues thereafter. I got put on 15mg of mirtazapine at night time when I reported stress-induced insomnia. A demanding 50-hour per week job plus a young child didn’t allow me to withdraw from the meds… until now (I took a redundancy).

    Until I read this post I was getting genuinely concerned that I was developing early-onset Alzheimer’s. I have cut both meds in half over the last two months, mirtazapine was reduced first for a month and aside from poorer quality sleep (it has a sedative effect), recently adding Zoloft in half one day, full the next etc. I just say, I have gone from being mentally sharp to a bit of a space cadet. I forget things I have just been told, I keep asking people to repeat themselves because I find myself only half-concentrating on casual conversations.

    I got a panicked feeling driving (e.g. am I on the right side of the road!!? *panic feeling* – which only lasted a second but made me doubt whether I should even be driving). Physically I feel ok but this brain fog and vagueness is doing my head in. I hope it improves. At least it seems to be a fairly common experience to experience similar impairments. May they pass quickly!!

    • Tiff August 26, 2015, 6:16 am

      Please tell me it’s all gone since you posted this a year ago. Your post 100% describes the way I feel. I’ve been off Zoloft (same dose, same duration) for about 2 months and it does not seem to be getting better. The brain fog is so bad I feel like a complete dumbass when I talk to anyone. I went from being a sharp quick thinker with a good vocabulary to this. I don’t get brain zaps but visual disturbances. Like my brain is always a split second behind.

      • Ned October 5, 2015, 11:22 pm

        Tiff I’m having the same experience. Joint aches too. And a super stiff neck. I’m 26 and feel like I’m 50. I assume it is withdraws, but it has actually gotten worse in the past couple weeks despite being off it for about a month and a half.

  • Geordieboy November 1, 2014, 11:34 pm

    Very interesting and hugely informative for me – was prescribed setraline 50, then 100 then 150 for about 5 months. Felt very uncertain about value of drug so decided to reduce – took 5 weeks to taper down. Haven’t used for about 10 days and am experiencing the dizziness, ‘brain zaps’ and tinnitus ringing. Thought this was due to ear problems but after reading results here I recognize what’s going on. This gives me at least an understanding about the withdrawal symptoms. Should have known better because many many years ago (I’m now 68) I managed to get off minor tranquilizers which took me three years to recover! These chemicals are a nightmare! Thanks everyone for sharing.

  • Matthew November 5, 2014, 3:39 am

    F#CK!!!! I have gone cold turkey after taking 150 mg a day for 2 years…my GP DID NOT OUTLINE the true meaning of the drug. I will never take it again, it’s been 3 days now and I intend to see it thorough. I understand that it has helped many people, I was placed on the drug due to severe depression, but I want to feel like a man again, the drug has taking this away. I will live with what ever happens as I need to feel alive.

    • Anne November 14, 2014, 1:45 am

      That seems pretty drastic. If it is torture please feel okay about taking a reduced dose, then reduce some more, etc. No need to go fast (unless you have bad side effects and the doctor tells you to quit at once). By reducing SLOWLY you will have a better chance of success.

  • Sufferer November 10, 2014, 7:53 pm

    Hello fellow sufferers. I was prescribed sertraline for PTSD last year and was on 150mg. I tapered off with the guidance from my GP for 6-8wks which was fine. Then after about two weeks off the meds all Hell let lose. I had very bad anxiety low mood etc. Thought I was going mad and thought I was never going get better. Its taken me 3 months to start to feel better I still get my moments but all I can say is try and stick with it because it does get better. This site is very helpful and I took comfort from it when I was feeling like crap! It’s a long road but trust me it will get better be strong and the demons will disappear eventually.

  • Ryan November 17, 2014, 2:28 pm

    I’ve been on Zoloft for 26 months, with 22 of those months at 200mg daily and have never gone off…until about 8 days ago. Back in 2012 I had a heart attack at the age of 33, caused by high cholesterol and a LOT of anxiety (self induced). I was a wreck after the MI, thinking that every time I had a twinge in my chest that I was having another one! The Zoloft helped tremendously in reducing the anxiety that most post-MI people experience. Four months later I lost 2 very close immediate family members and began to experience not only major depression, but suicidal thoughts as well.

    I was upped to 200 mg daily, which helped “level” me out. Life continued on and I did not experienced much anxiety, but continued to struggle with depression…packing on over 70 lbs in the last 2 years! About 6 months ago I decided to begin seeing a Jungian psychologist. Through cognitive behavioral therapy we began peeling back the layers of my psyche to discover why I habitually placed myself in situations that caused anxiety. Furthermore, depression and shutting down were my psyche’s natural way of coping with the anxiety.

    My own actions were causing my brain chemistry to become screwy. Eight days ago I quit taking the Zoloft cold-turkey…and immediately began experiencing the brain zaps, whooshing in the ears, vertigo and that “drunk” feeling that was described. Interestingly, I have not experienced any of the rebound depression or anxiety that initially led to the prescription of the Zoloft. Prior to discontinuing the medicine I informed several people within my closest social and family circles.

    I’ve asked them to be candid with me regarding my behavior over the next 6 months, all in the event that my perception of reality, and reality itself, may not match. I have never been the tapering type. I’ve quit smoking cold-turkey, drinking and drug abuse (through a 12 step program that I continue to attend, recently celebrating 10 years of continuous sobriety). In the last week I have begun to feel more and more in line with what I’ve always considered to be my healthy norm. I am not naive, and understand that this could change at any given moment.

    One thing that I do plan on continuing is a simple positive affirmation I’ve recently learned…that I will not continue to expect negative things to continue in my life. I tell myself daily that I am not in charge, and ask for the strength, support and grace to make it through this withdrawal process. If I expect to experience all the withdrawal symptoms, I will…it’s a simple law of the universe. I’m going to see what I expect to see; whatever I feed will grow.

    For those of you out there going through the process of withdrawal, my thoughts are with you. It’s not an easy battle, but I truly believe that each of you possess the strength and conviction to triumph. In closing, I’d like to thank the makers of Zoloft. It was a wonder drug for me at a time when I truly needed it. I’m not sure I would have survived through 6+ months of emotional hell without it.

    Everything I’ve shared with you today are my own personal thoughts and experiences with relation to my experience on and off the drug. My testimony is in no way meant to affirm or negate anyone else’s personal experience with depression or medication. Each of us has a truth regarding their experience and there is no right or wrong with regards to personal experience and individual truth. Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope and happy journeys :)

    • Cass June 22, 2015, 9:52 pm

      Thank you so much for your honesty and genuine response in regards to this very delicate topic matter.

      • Michele June 27, 2015, 3:10 pm

        I was taking 150mg daily for the last 10 years. I ran out of refills and my doctor took forever to call in a refill. So I was off of it for 5 days. Then I decided to just stop taking it altogether (not really knowing of side effects, etc.). I’m off work because I had carpal surgery 3 weeks ago. Thank god for that because I feel terrible. Insomnia, nausea, headaches, crying, depressed, aches/pain, zombie feeling, I have it all except for the brain zap people are talking about. I am now on day 8 without it and I’m determined to continue my journey without Zoloft! Thank you all for your posts! It’s nice to know how many people are doing this and I’m not alone with my withdrawals!

        • Sam December 2, 2015, 9:42 am

          Glad I ran into this discussion. I have anxiety and clinical depression, I’ve been on Zoloft for 26 years with the last 5 years at 200 mg. I hadn’t planned on stopping as the clinical depression is permanent but after reading this I am definitely not going to go off it. I am not sure what the one guy was talking about being half a man on it. It has done nothing other than help me for all these years. Really wouldn’t want to see how it would have been without it. Sam

    • Jeff June 28, 2015, 4:25 am

      One day at a time, Ryan.

  • Sarah November 17, 2014, 7:26 pm

    I was prescribed 50mg Sertraline for severe depression in January of this year and I had the usual 3 weeks of side effects, nausea / insomnia / exhaustion / worsened depression etc, but I got through it with the support of my family and friends. It really concerns me to think that some people with depression get put on this medication when they are at rock bottom, only to feel even worse and sometimes without support. Who knows what this leads to in some very unhappy people.

    I stabilized and started to feel better and then the manufacture of the drug changed and intermittently (4 times in 6 months) I started experiencing the worst indigestion/oesophageal spasm immediately after taking the tablet. It was agony and had me writhing around in pain wanting to rip my throat out to get away from it. I spoke to my doctor and was put on lansoprazole. I believe the indigestion was some sensitivity to the tablet components and not necessarily the active ingredient, because the symptoms came on before the tablet would’ve had time to be absorbed and so the antacid wasn’t effective.

    I started skipping days of taking Sertraline due to the fear of having these episodes without warning. I didn’t know how I’d cope if it happened again. I had a 4th and final bout of oesophageal spasm/indigestion a few weeks ago and decided I couldn’t cope any more and so stopped the sertraline completely, I thought I had weaned myself off enough by skipping days. A week later I started getting withdrawal. I ended up nearly passed out in my car unable to drive, slurred speech, I felt I was drunk and disorientated, aggressive, angry, tearful and exhausted.

    I took 25mg and managed another week off them. I then had withdrawal almost like food poisoning and took another 25mg last night. I’m so determined not to go back on it. I just want to feel normal again. I am just tired all the time and emotionally eat and put on weight and it just ends up being a vicious cycle. It is a relief to know I’m not going (too) mad and that I can blame withdrawal and not my failure as a person. Places like this help people feel like they’re not alone. Thank you.

  • Erica November 20, 2014, 11:46 am

    I was put on sertraline for anxiety after two ER visits with rapid heart rate, heart palpitations, chest pain and shortness of breath. They told me I was having panic attacks, which I strongly disagreed with. It was not panic that was causing my symptoms but my symptoms that were causing my panic. the meds didn’t help and my GP was hasty to bump up the dose to 200 mg.

    I wasn’t having panic attacks. I literally went three months with these symptoms plus other issues with no no relief. It was like hell on earth! I couldn’t breath or sleep and felt severely nauseated and couldn’t even eat. To top it all of the meds were making me feel even worse. I ended up going to the ER numerous times during these months and the doctors shrugged me off all because the first time the ER doctor said I was just having panic attacks!

    Turns out I was have severe GERD (acid reflux) which was causing my airway and chest muscles to constrict which was causing my 160 bpm heart rate and my shortness of breath. My boyfriend wouldn’t even take me seriously because some dimwit doctor decided that just because I wasn’t having a heart attack meant it was all in my mind. I would cry and beg for the pain to stop and my boyfriend would just shake his head. I was literally gasping for air for weeks! Unable to sleep. It was horrifying! I thought I was going to die!

    Not only did the sertraline make me feel worse but now I am have withdraw! I have headaches day and night that are like migraines radiating in my temples, ears and eyes. It feels like someone is squeezing my head and eyes so hard my brain is going to leak out of my ears. The pain is awful not to mention the insomnia. Its a constant throbbing and I have a full body ache like the flu. It hurts all over. Especially my back and neck. The tension from my headache is so bad I can even feel it in my jaw!

    This is why I hate doctors! Every single time I’ve gone to a doctor they mess up! I’ve been misdiagnosed on more then one occasion and I’ve had them look over a health issue multiple times. Luckily I’ve a very bright young girl and normally figure out what’s actually wrong with me before my doctor does. I do rigorous research and pay close attention to my symptoms and go back in and ask for a certain test and BAM what do you know, I was right! I’m so sick of doctors.

    Guessing what’s wrong with me and then stating it as if it were an unwavering fact. When it turns out they were wrong and put me through hell for nothing. I urge all people to be persistent if they truly feel sick because doctors aren’t always right but they don’t want to admit it. It took me at least a dozen ER visits and visits to urgent care and my GP before I finally got to the route. The whole time my GP was telling me it was anxiety and blowing me off. I’m now looking for a new doctor!

    • Shara Harden December 28, 2014, 11:35 pm

      OMG!!! Erica, that is verbatim what is happening with me! I’m so glad you posted. What did you find works for your GERD? I need to resolve this myself too. My doctor and the ER said the exact same thing and I’ve been so frustrated. I’ve spent a fortune on doctor visits and was prescribed Zoloft for weeks. I experienced severe side effects on top of the real issues the doctors won’t listen. I just cold turkey’d getting off Zoloft. Please tell me you found something that works for acid reflux. Please comment back, or I’m sure if it’ll post my email already, but my email is [email protected][dot]com. Thanks.

  • Alex November 25, 2014, 4:38 pm

    Hello. I was on Zoloft 100mg for 5 years for severe anxiety and panic attacks. I have been off it for 8 weeks and it has been hard! I came off the drug as I was experiencing memory issues whilst on it. Everything felt like a dream and the past 5 years is a bit of a blur. I have experienced lots of side affects coming off it and they are ongoing but slowly getting a bit better.

    My main one is anxiety worse than ever – I cant go further than 10 mins from my house at the moment and am having very bad panic attacks at home too. I am glad to be off it but I do have weak moments when I want to go back on it! I have an appointment with the doctor on Friday as I said I would give it 8 weeks for the side effects! I also have a crazy lack of energy. I am a 21 year old guy and feel like I am 90 years old! Any suggestions to help?

    • Anne November 28, 2014, 7:21 pm

      I am successfully off Zoloft, but a poor sleeper. At least the Zoloft did improve my sleep. I was also experiencing terrible carb craving. I understood both of these symptoms to be an urge/need for serotonin. So in my internet searches for something to improve my sleep, I came across info about inositol. All the info I have is from internet searches (no visit to a doctor who probably wouldn’t be aware of it anyway) but, that being said, it seemed a reasonable approach. Our body makes it, it is naturally in some foods and is sometimes an ingredient in processed foods.

      Doesn’t mean you can eat unlimited amounts, but shouldn’t hurt in small doses. Just because our body makes it doesn’t mean it is harmless. Our body makes insulin, but too much would be devastating. Anyway, the reports indicate that doses of up to 18 GRAMS are useful for PCOS and anxiety/depression. So I purchased 500 milligram pills. I took one in the evening and one the next morning. It did not help with sleep but I have to say….it was BETTER than a Xanax for anxiety. I have driving anxiety, can’t do bridges or highways.

      I actually felt that I could have driven the local highway bridge. I didn’t in case I was wrong and ended up being in a bad situation, but I was very very happy and relaxed. Unfortunately, this affected my digestion and I had loose movements. So I am experimenting with doses and bought grapefruit juice, supposedly the highest natural food source of inositol. From what I understand, Zoloft leaves serotonin sloshing around in your brain and desensitizes your receptors, while inositol is supposed to resensitize them. Hope this is helpful for all who are anxious.

    • Ned October 5, 2015, 11:26 pm

      Alex I’m having a similar issue–especially regarding feeling old, tired. How long did your symptoms last?

  • Laurie November 25, 2014, 8:49 pm

    I have been taking 50 mg zoloft daily for 14 years. I was put on it to help with symptoms of severe depression and OCD. I did well on it for many years but it stopped working for me about 2 years ago and I became very dysfunctional. I tried quitting a couple of months ago and noticed a lot of things going back to “normal”, I had more energy, was more focused at work, sleeping better, I spent less time alone, and felt much more optimistic in general, but it was very difficult to deal with the anger.

    It seemed like I was angry, almost in rage, all of the time over the smallest things. Is there anything that one can take or do to control this? I had a really bad anxiety and depression attack that almost drove me to suicide a couple of weeks ago so I went back on it, but again I have no energy, no drive, etc. and I want to leave it again, I’m just concerned about the anger issue. Could someone shed some light for me on this issue, please?

  • Alexa December 18, 2014, 5:51 am

    I’m back for my second round of zoloft withdrawal. After the first time I swore never again, but after the birth of my son they put me back on that poison for post natal depression. It’s interesting that the withdrawl symptoms differ. The first time round I was terribly irritable, nauseous all the time and had some frequent brain zaps. This time around it vertigo/dizziness, cramps and a constant feeling of having the flu.

    I don’t know if this will help some people, because research shows that this medication doesn’t work for every one. I was on it for a year and a half and it was a wonderful thing to be on. I had minimal side effects and it didn’t make me feel as disconnected as some of the other depression meds had done in the past. I quit taking it when I found out I was pregnant. No one could tell me if it would do any harm to my baby.

    There’s no easy way to get of a drug that basically alters your brain chemistry. Even with tapering off (which I had done for three months prior to stopping). I’m just taking it one day at a time and if I feel like I can’t go on any more, I talk to my husband or a close friend. Some times it helps if some one else just realizes what your going through. As we say in sunny South Africa: Strongs to every one.

  • mars21 December 23, 2014, 3:13 pm

    Sertraline (Zoloft) withdrawal – I was on between 100 mg to 125 mg for 15 years and I have found a system that has worked for me to get off – Tapering, physical activity, meditation, praying, journaling and healthy eating work best for getting off this drug. Avoid sugar, gluten and alcohol when going through withdrawal. Also taking sleeping pills for the short term (low dose, non- addictive, prescribed) to sleep properly at night during withdrawal will help. I also take vitamins such as Omega 3, 6, 9, Vitamin D, and magnesium (magnesium at night before I go to bed).

    I have been tapering gradually and making better lifestyle choices at the same time and it has lowered my withdrawal symptoms. I went from 125 mg and am down to 25 mg over a 4 month period. I have reduced by 25 mg each month. However now at 25 mg for 3 weeks I am noticing the withdrawal symptoms more so I am slowing down on reducing the drug. I plan to stay at 25 mg for 3 months and then go to 12.5 mg for 3 months and then half of that for 3 months. I believe it takes about 3 months to get over the symptoms when getting down to the lower doses.

    It is the brain getting used to not having the drug and it takes a while for it to adapt. Exercising is by far the best way to cope as it seems to replace the seratonin with endorphins. Also dealing with core beliefs that led to the stress, anxiety and depression in the first place is essential. I have gone to therapy and have become very spiritual over the last few months. By dealing with my self thoughts and changing my thinking has really helped me cope. I pray every day for health and healing and have been mindful of my negative thoughts and my bodies reaction to those negative thoughts.

    Praying every morning for peace and health has been very helpful. I read Wayne Dyer and Marianne Williamson to learn more about spiritual solutions to my problems. A more advanced self help book is called “A course in Miracles” which I have been reading and studying every night before I go to bed. Although zoloft helped me physically with my symptoms at one point – there comes a time that you have to move beyond that and deal with the real issues. Getting off zoloft is a start and my life has gotten so much better with all the steps I mentioned. God bless and be strong!

    • johnnyboy June 6, 2015, 10:09 pm

      I have been taking Zoloft for the past 2 years, 300 mg daily, primarily for the treatment of OCD & Depression. Prior to the Zoloft I was on Prozac for 25 years also for the treatment of OCD. My therapist and I started the process of decreasing The Zoloft 2 months ago. I am now at 200 mg, I tried to reduce to 150 mg 2 days ago and I found the side effects too severe so I have gone back to 200 mg.

      I believe after 27 years of taking antidepressants (SSRI) the process may be longer, gradual and require patience. I identify with your journey and there is a Spiritual Solution to Our Problems, I am familiar with The Course of Miracles and Wayne Dyer, My problem starts with my thinking and it takes time to re-program the tapes, (my perception of life) and yes I also agree with The Law of Attraction (The Secret),

      I am very much committed to my spiritual growth and a daily commitment to meditation, Mindfulness, Narrated by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I also have changed my diet and committed to working out, the exercise is not always easy getting motivated due to fatigue but the effort is there and I do not beat my self up, As with Mindfulness I try to be compassionate with myself. I am very fortunate to be an active member of a 12 step program and that I can share my experience.

      Thank you for sharing your spiritual insight and to anyone that is struggling with Mental Illness, I speak from experience, medication has been only a small part of my emotional and mental recovery, Exercise, diet, Meditation, Socializing, being Mindful and vigilant and aware of my stinking thinking are 90% of my healthy recovery. Cheers.

  • joanna taylormaynard January 8, 2015, 11:48 pm

    Hi guys, came across your comments. I had my boy five years ago and after a traumatic birth and being stuck in hospital I ended up postnatally depressed and severe anxiety and negative thoughts, a mess. They put me on sertraline and after several months ended up on 200mg. Slowly I have been reducing it with small side effects and now on 25g. Was feeling great to start with but three weeks ago have gone completely downhill… anxiety is terrible and feel uncomfortable and miserable. So went back to 25g a day just over a week ago but still feeling absolutely terrible. Not sure what to do. Feel mucked up. Help advice please.

    • joanna taylor-maynard July 6, 2015, 8:22 am

      Three months off tablets. I get good days great days then get hoped up and then dreadful today. Woke up tears anxiety. How long does this last. Feel sad now as was feeling good last week and week before. Will it go away at all? Feel like going back on them. Help

  • Jennifer February 12, 2015, 1:22 am

    I’m a little late to the party, but I wanted to add that I have been taking 200 mg of Sertraline for 7 years and my doctor gave me instructions to wean myself off over the last month and I pretty much can’t take it! This is the worst thing I have ever gone through with the mood swings, the headache, the tiredness, etc. I really want it to be over!

    • Greg October 16, 2015, 2:24 pm

      How are you feeling from tapering the Zoloft?

  • Erin morgan February 12, 2015, 9:31 am

    Was on Zoloft many years. Withdrawal included almost unbearable numbness of my lips, vertigo, and panic. It took about a month to feel completely symptom free. Titrating down is a must.

  • Elizabeth White March 2, 2015, 4:24 pm

    I lost my mom in 2013 to brain cancer and was really struggling to cope with the sadness and shock, I also had 2 small children – 5yrs old and a devastated 20 year old sister to take care of. When I went to the doctor she prescribed me sertraline 50mg. I’ve been taking this for 8 months and now feel much more in control and generally happy so decided to stop. I started by cutting done to 25mg for a week and then one every other day for a week. Its been 3 days since my last tablet.

    I almost immediately started feeling nauseous with a headache, dizziness, sweats and tiredness. I thought I was just getting a bug but pretty sure it’s the withdrawal symptoms, I was hoping that by tapering I’d get away without effects. I had little/no effects going on to sertraline so thought I’d be OK coming off of the drug. I have been unable to work today and afraid to drive, I expect this will continue for at least this week maybe more?

    I am actually regretting ever taking this. I wish I had been able to manage in my own way but I suppose it has got me through what was a difficult time in my life. I’m just hoping now these side effects subside quickly in weeks rather than months.

    • Elizabeth white March 6, 2015, 1:35 pm

      Just a positive update for you all. Although I still have symptoms as described on the previous post the good news is that they are improving very gradually on a daily basis. I checked in with the doctor today just to keep a professional in the loop. He agrees that it’s just a time thing. Hopefully it will to continue to improve. I recommend just minimizing activity and having time out recover.

      Doing things and rushing about definitely increases the nausea and brain zaps, even more so as the day goes on! Anyway I am feeling increasingly positive though so hang on in there all those who have a similar history to me, you will get there! Nb One thing the doctor said was that I should have tapered even more slowly, so ensure you don’t rush the process, the slower the better!

  • Andy Pandy March 9, 2015, 9:14 am

    Going to focus on the positives… yeah got the zaps and other common issues. Was on 100 mg, 1 year; 50 mg 5 years before that. I made the decision to come off to get my sex drive back – and yep it’s back.

  • kay March 17, 2015, 11:51 pm

    Oh my lord, before the drugs I wanted to kill myself. Now coming off the drugs I want to kill everybody else!! Err obviously I won’t, but the anxiety, anger and irritability is brand new to me. I’ve always been so placid. I’m told it will pass but I’m still scared and totally lost and very lonely as it can be quite isolating wanting to scream at all your lovely friends! NOW is when I could have done with counselling, not before!

  • Alicia March 22, 2015, 5:19 pm

    Hi all, coming off feels emotionally horrible. I am a 25 year old female I have been on Zoloft 50-100mg on and off for 5 years. I am now coming off as my partner feels uncomfortable about me being on these meds and in a couple of years I would like to start to try for a baby. I am on Zoloft more for anxiety and a milder depression. Coming down to 50 from 100 this past 2 weeks has been a big leap for me emotionally.

    I feel like crying all the time but I feel so empty and flat that can not cry. I’m up all night analyzing my behaviors during the day. How I interact with others, like OMG did that person get offended when I said this or that? What would they think of me now? I’m so weird imagine how others see me. I think everything I do is wrong or offensive. When I look at things rationally I’m sure to an outsider I seem confident, happy and bright but I can’t shake this feeling.

    I also feel ominous like I just know something really bad is going to happen to someone I love or to me, this feeling also has no basis in reality but I can’t shake it. It’s like an inkling but I have to work hard within myself to convince myself it’s not true. Mum finding myself shying away from social interactions or needing to drink due to a fear of judgement over who I am, like I feel judging thoughts from others and it eats away at me. Gosh it’s horrible. I have nil physical withdrawal symptoms just emotional. I feel like I’m living an emotional hell that no body can see.

    What if I have to be on this medication forever? Do the drug companies make withdrawal this difficult for profit reasons? Should I taper off from 100 to 75 instead off 100 to 50? Is there an alternative antidepressant I can take while pregnant? Although I appreciate all the medication has done for me (so much) feel worse coming off it than before I began. How long does it take for these feelings of judgement and anxiety to go away?

  • BittersweetCupcake March 28, 2015, 1:50 pm

    I live in the Middle f*cking East (Beirut, Lebanon) – born and raised. Yes, I’m an Arab. No wonder why I’m on Zoloft? lol. So my messed up country suddenly ran out of Zoloft which I’ve been on for 8 years now. Today is my 5th day I suppose (I lost count and it feels like forever). I AM DYING!!! My psychiatrist told me over the phone to take cipralex 15mg because when Pfizer stop getting meds to Beirut, they simply stop providing them.

    So I need to start taking this new med now, and I read that it’s going to make my sex life non existent and make me gain weight (which is why I quit Depakine chrono and substituted it with topamax BTW) anyway that’s not the point god I can’t focus! My Zoloft withdrawal symptoms! Brain zaps, my face is numb, I can’t feel my brains and yet they are heavy, my hands are numb and tingling, I feel like poo, I’m nauseous yet hungry, I’m using the bathroom a lot, my tummy hurts a lot, I cannot stop crying which is such a turn off…

    I cannot sleep yet I’m very sleepy and when I actually do sleep, it’s freakin hell. I wake up the crankiest person on Earth so I’m dreading falling asleep. Moreover, I’m exhausted all the time and feel clammy and icky. I have an addiction problem so this does not help. I did not start with cipralex yet because it’s at my mother’s place and I read that cipralex has side effects too so I don’t need those right now, and besides it needs a couple of weeks to kick in. NOW I’M CRYING AGAIN AND I HATE IT!

  • Kasey March 28, 2015, 11:41 pm

    Yes! Hell!! I had been on sertraline for 5 months. I went off it in 3 days at 25mgs per day from 50mgs per day. Utter hell. Brain zaps, pyscho anger, anxiety, racing thoughts. F this! It’s horrible. I just want to feel normal.

  • Chrus March 31, 2015, 11:50 am

    I had been taking Zoloft for 18 months (9 months 50mg followed by 9 months 100mg) up until a week ago when I decided to stop cold turkey. My reasoning for this was I felt my diagnosis of moderate depression and general anxiety disorder weren’t correct. After only having three appointments (yes, three, to warrant a repeat string dosage prescription) in which my symptoms correlated closely with those of cyclothymia, I was told that my symptoms would need to have been present for a year (at the time it was only a few months) in order to be diagnosed with cyclothymia. For now I was to be prescribed sertraline for my depressive tendencies and anxiety. This was prescribed using the extensive empirical evidence of… two questionnaires.

    After a week without medication I have definitely noticed my withdrawal symptoms:

    Loss of appetite – I can go two days without eating before I feel desperate for food. This is particularly frustrating as I’m heavily involved in fitness and nutrition.
    Anger – I’m much more quick tempered and feelings of frustration last longer.
    Vomiting – Usually just after eating with a constant feeling of nausea.
    Intense crying – I can’t remember the last time I really cried, but now it’s every other night.
    Other symptoms are evident also.

    I hope it passes soon as I have essays to write and it’s extremely difficult to concentrate.. especially with the brain zaps (I could compare these to an intense pulse in the brain which lasts for only a second with disorientation lasting several). Although all these symptoms persist, I feel much better in myself knowing that soon I’ll no longer be reliant and pharmaceutical drugs. My plan is to adopt a healthy lifestyle to fight depression naturally. I hope this gives people my age (20) an insight into the effects of withdrawing cold turkey. Thank you for reading.

  • Sara Kruszka March 31, 2015, 6:48 pm

    I have been off Sertraline/Zoloft for about 1.5 months. I have this thing every morning right around the time I wake up, I stop breathing and have to “pant” to catch my breath. This will just keep happening until I get up, and happens throughout the first part of the day. It’s like my instinct to breath normally is disrupted. Anyone have anything similar?

    • Rachel August 24, 2015, 5:24 pm

      Yes! I can never get anyone else to understand what I’m talking about. It always happens to me right before I wake up in the morning, and I end up gasping and worrying that my brain has forgotten to tell my lungs to keep working…almost like breathing is no longer an involuntary action. It’ll eventually go away. I think for me it takes closer to 2.5 months for that to stop happening, although I go on and off Zoloft throughout the year (on in fall/winter and off at beginning of summer)- your experiences may be different if you’ve been on it for a longer period of time.

    • Linda Hubert August 28, 2015, 4:46 am

      I tried weaning myself off sertraline by tapering down from 100 mg to 50, to 25 and finally to zero over a two month span. When I stopped taking it completely (after being on it 20 years), I thought I had sleep apnea. I would wake up feeling like I couldn’t breathe, and then when I started to fall asleep again it was like I quit breathing.

      I was so tired but couldn’t sleep without feeling like my breathing stopped. This went on for four nights. I was exhausted and was going to go see my doctor about it, fearing that I was on the verge of a heart attack since my dad experienced this the night before he died of a massive heart attack. I told my sisters about my symptoms and fears, and she told me it sounded to her more like a panic attack.

      She worked with someone who suffered from panic attacks. I thought about this and wondered if my going off the sertraline could be causing a panic attack. I was so exhausted having only slept three hours in four days I was desperate to see if that was causing me to feel like my breathing was stopping every time I started to fall asleep. It was a horrible feeling and I would sit up gulping for air.

      I decided to take a sertraline to see if I could sleep again without panicking and it worked, so I was experiencing panic attacks from sertraline withdrawal. I decided to go back on the drug rather than endure that panic, especially since I suffer from depression. It doesn’t cause me any problems, other than weight gain, and as I am now 60, I guess it doesn’t matter if I’m on it the rest of my life, and if I have to endure 18 months of panic attacks and no sleep, my life wouldn’t be worth anything anyway!

  • Lee April 1, 2015, 6:33 pm

    I have been on 200 MG of Zoloft for about 15 years. I wanted to get off of it and have been cutting back by 50 MG every 4 weeks. Everything was going well until I went from 50 MG to zero. I am so dizzy I can hardly walk and am really sleepy. My brain is in a constant state of confusion and if someone gives me bad news then I cry uncontrollably. I’m weak and really sleepy all of the time. I really appreciate all of the comments people have made as well as a comprehensive list of symptoms.

    I’ve missed 3 days of work due to all of the stuff going on and didn’t realize until today that it was related to going cold-turkey on Zoloft. I called my psychiatrist and she suggested going back to 50 MG daily for about 3 weeks and then working on tapering off more after that. Going from 50 mg to 25 mg for a while then going from 25 to 10 and so forth. I’m hoping I can get off of this stuff without my symptoms continuing or getting worse.

    Since I’m just starting the path of withdrawal I don’t have any words of encouragement to give others. I do appreciate the honest comments others have left. I’m curious if anyone has read any articles as to why it’s so easy to get on the drug and so terribly hard to get off of it.

  • Anne April 6, 2015, 8:21 pm

    Update for all the sufferers. If you have read my history above, you will see I was on zoloft for many, many years. I quit last August. I have had some lows, especially during this miserable winter we had. I was tempted to restart so often, but didn’t because I knew the winter was making things worse and I didn’t want to start all over again. But the sun is shining and I feel better. But I did find some help. I purchased Natrol’s Mood+ at my local drug store. I don’t use it every day, and use only 1/4 of a tablet when I do use it, but it has been a real godsend.

    It has a bit of 5HTP and a bit of L-theanine and is just what I need when I get down. Two statements though are very necessary. (1) Do not take 5htp if you have any zoloft in your system. I did that once, small amounts of each thinking I was safe, but ended up with a mild case of serotonin syndrome. Make sure you’re free and clear of zoloft before you start. (2) I was not/am not clinically depressed. If you are, your course may vary.

  • Leona April 8, 2015, 1:35 pm

    I have been off zoloft for 1 month now. I took the drug for nearly 2 years And weaned myself off. I get irritable and pissed off very easily. Is this normal? I though I should be through the withdrawal and back to normal by now. I don’t feel depressed or anxious. Just angry. Scared.

  • Harry April 10, 2015, 4:11 am

    I was on zoloft for 11 month at 25mg. I just quit and feel like I get angry and upset at little incidents. Also get irritable at times when I don’t expect it. I understand I was on smallest dosage and wasn’t expecting this reaction. Any one have any suggestions?

  • nina April 13, 2015, 5:30 pm

    I stopped taking 8 days ago and the withdrawal started yesterday. I have been in bed for 2 days. Feeling like I have the flu, blurred vision, muscle twitching, stomach cramps. I am also sleeping lots, and feel sick. I was taking 150mg sertraline for over a year and other antidepressants for 6 years.

  • Felicity April 19, 2015, 5:41 pm

    I was on 25 mg. of Zoloft for about 3 years. I gained 15 pounds and decided to get off the stuff. I tried doing it cold turkey (my doc said I could stop if my depression was better but didn’t say anything about tapering off). When withdrawal symptoms kicked in 3 days later, I thought I had the flu or a bad case of allergies. Didn’t figure it out until reading some blogs. Then I started realizing that lots of other problems I’d experienced (nightmares, blurred vision, increased blood pressure, shaking, bruising and bleeding easily) were also due to the drug.

    I went back on a lower dose 12.5 mg. and am struggling with dizziness, nausea, confusion, but so far am okay emotionally. It’s only been two weeks, though. Wearing Sea Bands can help with the dizziness and nausea (they’re sold for motion sickness online and in some pharmacies, about $8). I also found drinking peppermint and ginger tea helps reduce the nausea. I intend to continue decreasing the dose gradually. My doctor never said anything about Zoloft being addictive, nor did the warning sheet that came with the drug. I find that really negligent. Good luck all of you!

    • Sue July 28, 2015, 5:18 am

      No one told me how awful it would be either! Nor did they warn me about quitting cold Turkey! I was on the lowest dose and really plummeted when I quit taking it Actually had to get back on it and increase the dose. This time I am tapering off 28th no side effects!!

  • katie April 20, 2015, 6:36 pm

    I was on Zoloft for 10 yrs, with some fluctuation in dosage once in a while. Never had an issue. I got pregnant and immediately stopped taking it. Never experienced any withdrawal. Once my son was born I went back on it for post pardum depression. 2 years later, I’m trying to taper off and am having horrible withdrawal. The insomnia is crazy and I feel like I am coming down with a cold/flu. Hoping I can make it through but was warned I may have to be on it my whole life because of depression and anxiety issues. I’m going to give it another 2 weeks or so before considering going back on it.

  • Mo April 23, 2015, 11:18 am

    This seems to be the only website where people understand what I am going through. I am itchy, crying all the time, feeling dizzy and the brain shivers are unbelievable! I was on Zoloft for 10 years after being diagnosed with severe PND. I then went through a marriage break up five years later so was not appropriate to wean off them. That was the worst period of my life :( I am now another 5 years down the track and feeling so much better emotionally so doc and I decided to wean off – well two weeks later, I am a mess! Please help :)

  • Theresa April 28, 2015, 4:24 am

    So glad to find this thread… 15 years of 50-100 mg of Zoloft. 5 years ago went to 25mg. Been tapering for a month… Down to 1/4 tablet. Hope to be done in a week. That’s a month of tapering. I can’t stay awake. At work I’m functional, but prone to anger. I’m so proud of myself for sticking with it. Lots of sleeplessness, mental confusion, brain zaps from hell, stomach and muscle cramps – no desire to run or go to yoga.

    And I don’t know that it’s related, but I had 2 nosebleeds last week. I’m 55. These were the first nosebleeds I ever had in my life. Pushing through the lack of motivation – it’s tough. I meditate daily, try to eat healthy, and get enough sleep. I’m not giving up. I owe this to myself. What a horrible drug. I am a mess, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Stefan April 28, 2015, 9:44 pm

    I’m so terribly sorry to find out many people are struggling with Sertraline withdrawal… I have been on Sertraline 50 mg for about a year or so and it worked miracles. 5 weeks ago I reduced to 25 mg, and successfully quit smoking without nicotine replacements. 10 days in a row I have been exercising and eating healthy challenging myself to get my 5 a day. 3 days ago I stopped Sertraline completely and that is the reason I’m here.

    Yes, I have some brain zaps (I love them… so fun!!) and tinnitus, I was just wondering for how long it’ll last. The most annoying part is tinnitus, but I survived it when I began my treatment, also when I quit smoking. I’m pretty sure it will last for no more than a week. My brain zaps get worse during my workout making me break in laugh attacks and forcing me to workout even harder.

    I’m beginning to enjoy them. My fuse is quite short and I’m volatile but I don’t regard it as a withdrawal symptom rather than the good old me before I turned more lenient with those around me while under the influence of this marvelous drug. My advice for all you is to hang on :) I’m extremely grateful to Sertraline and the wonderful trip it gave me through difficult times, but now it’s time to take different roads. Just go with the flow…

    • Alex N March 31, 2016, 12:10 am

      I feel you have the healthiest attitude! I’m in the same boat. I’m very active, and get a little confused in withdrawal by the slowness of my movements occasionally, especially when followed by the intensity my feelings allow me to funnel into workouts. I laugh at the feelings, and I believe it might be easier for me because I have a medical marijuana card (California), and I’m more accustomed to the numbing and mind-altering effects of pot.

      I truly wish everyone had access to pot under these circumstances. There is no denying how terribly awful withdrawal can be. I tapered off from 100 to 25mg over six months, and then stopped a week ago. I thought about taking a dose every other day, but the reality is that like all drugs, when quitting there are consequences. You kind of have to just grin and bear it as your can.

      Go easy on yourselves! Don’t focus too much on the negative. One of the hardest things is going through these forums and reading all the negativity. That’s not a criticism. It’s a reality. We want to be reassured, and instead we read pages of complaints about it being the worst thing ever etc. Perhaps it is, but it’s real and happening, meaning that we have to accept it.

      I personally seem to be managing to stay focused on the things I want to gain from not being dependent on an SSRI. I look forward to a healthy libido, a return to form in terms of personality engagement, as well as an independent metabolism. For many, it sounds like you need to remember what you were like before you took the pills. I was always fiery and wired prior to starting sertraline 4.5 years ago.

      As I am now 40, I’ve accepted a lot of my calmness as being age-related, but in truth, I am very youthful and prefer to feel the energy, good or bad, than be numb and despondent. Perhaps for others they like themselves better under the influence, or they simply forgot who they used to be. Life only happens once to the best of our knowledge. Look at this as an experience among many.

      And try to laugh whenever you can. It is quite comical. You can still function with brain zaps. You can adapt to everything. And as doctors seem to have no clue about these drugs and their effects, I’d suggest you keep track for yourself, and simply know that if you feel in need of urgent care you can receive it. Cheers to everyone! Be as positive as you can. Only you have the power to do so.

  • Debra April 30, 2015, 9:27 am

    It’s been heartening and disheartening to read people’s stories here. The good bit is realizing I’m far from alone, but sad to hear how awful people have been feeling whilst trying to come off Sertraline. I’ve been on it for almost 5 years after a major depressive episode. Over the years I’ve come down from 150mg down to 100mg and then down to 50mg. Life has moved on, I have coping strategies in place and I’d like to feel like “me” again so twelve days ago I started trying to reduce from 50mg to 25mg (half a tablet) and I now feel totally crap.

    Vomiting, headaches from hell that won’t respond to painkillers, stomach pains and cramps and feeling really, really tired. If I knew it would be all over within “X” amount of days or weeks I’d stick it out, but right now I feel on the edge of a precipice and don’t know whether to throw in the towel and go back to 50mg or just take a deep breath and soldier on. It’s very hard.

    I didn’t have any major problems with dropping the dosage before so this has come like a sledgehammer. Thinking of everyone trying to get off this medication. OK, it’s helped me through a very bad time, but nobody said it would be such hell to get off when the time came. I hope these symptoms are over with soon.

  • Sam Wood May 5, 2015, 9:13 am

    I came across this article whilst Googling about withdrawal symptoms and I have to say that I am incredibly comforted to read about withdrawal symptoms that have been driving me crazy!! There is so much out there about the physical withdrawal symptoms but this is the first time I have read an article about the emotional and mental withdrawal symptoms.

    I’m currently withdrawing from Sertraline – original dose was 200mg – have dropped by 50mg for one month and have dropped the dose again so I am now taking 100mg and, oh my god, I feel like I have been going crazy. The depression is seriously beating me with a massive stick. I’m so relieved to know it’s the withdrawal, not me. Sending best wishes to anyone on the same journey…it’s like Hell on Earth but we can get there!!

    Thank you so much for this article…I’ve shared it on Facebook as my poor husband has been at the receiving end of my erratic and frightening thoughts/emotions. I’m glad to know it’s the withdrawal and that it’s normal. Thank you!

  • Sarah May 6, 2015, 3:47 pm

    Makes friggin sense now! Crying, weird body/brain zaps, and sore/weak. Recently stopped sertraline… Good to know!

  • makayla May 11, 2015, 7:49 pm

    I was taking 150 mg for a very very long period of time and I just stopped cold turkey. I didn’t feel like it was doing anything – it was just another pill to take, but now I’m so angry for no reason and just want to cry and sleep all the time. I can’t eat with out getting sick…and my family just keeps getting angry with me because they don’t understand.

  • Sami June 3, 2015, 3:31 am

    Oh man. I’m experiencing this right now. I didn’t want to come off of it yet, but I didn’t have the money to buy it. At the 4th day is when it’s the worst. I don’t want to be by myself because I’m scared. I want to cry over the dumbest things (literally. And I feel so stupid) awful awful flu like symptoms. I feel like every symptom you listed, I have. My brain feels foggy and I just feel stupid. I’ve been on it for 3-4 years. Not quite ready to stop it with these feelings. Someday! (:

  • Adrienne June 3, 2015, 7:16 am

    I’ve been on sertraline for 14 years. I started at 50 mg a day. After a few years, it increased to 75, then 100, then to 150 mg about 6 mos. ago. It never solved my depression problems. I still had severe PMS every third month, it caused me to grind my teeth at night, I felt stiff and unable to sleep or relax at night without pain killers. I had no libido, which was a huge issue with my marriage, it caused more anxiety than lessening it.

    It just wasn’t working. I decided that it no longer was doing what I needed it to, so I started tapering off a month ago. Going from 150 to 100 wasn’t too bad. I had only been on that dose for a month or two. I had flu-like symptoms for about 4 days, then it subsided. I gave myself a few days before reducing again. 100 down to 50 resulted in the same symptoms, plus nightmares, brain zaps, sleepiness, and the inability to speak in coherent sentences (i.e. mixing up my kids’ names, not able to express what I wanted to say.)

    However, there was a week where I felt amazing. For the first time in years, I started “feeling” again. I got excited about upcoming events. I “wanted” to be intimate with my husband rather than loathe it. I was actually able to relax to go to sleep without muscle relaxers. I felt amazing. It didn’t last… Then from 50 to nothing has been awful! Go figure.

    I’m 4 days off and my old feelings of no one likes me, they’re talking about me are back, along with insomnia, flu-like symptoms, extreme sleepiness, extreme grouchiness, sensitivity to noise and smells, nightmares, restless legs, inability to connect my words to create a coherent sentence, etc. It’s a long list. If I don’t feel better in a month, I may go back to 50 where I felt the best. I’m torn because sertraline helped, but it caused a lot of problems. Now without our, I feel better in some ways and have new problems. It’s going to take time and patience.

  • Alexandra June 6, 2015, 7:34 pm

    Hello! It is NOT hell on earth. I’d really like to put a positive spin on this thread! My story – I’d been prescribed sertraline after having a health scare and being petrified that my children would lose their mother. I suffered from acute anxiety and depression, and, after a long discussion with the GP and many failed attempts at engaging with CBT and exercise that an SSRI would be the appropriate next step. After 4 months of taking Sertraline, I decided to stop as it was preventing me from sleeping.

    I felt like I was permanently wired. I’d wake up at 2am feeling like electric was being volted through my arms and fingers. For me this was horrendous. The most precious thing / and beneficial thing is sleeping well. I decided that not taking SSRI drugs and sleeping better would be the best course of action. I was right. I HAVE NOT consulted my doctor. I have managed this by myself sensibly, positively and happily. I cut the drugs in half over 4 weeks and then in half again over another 2 weeks.

    Going from 50mg to 25mg of sertraline was easy as they snap in half but then you have to cut up the remainder with a knife. Still, if you manage it and organize it properly, it works. For those nights, as the bumpf tells you, you wake up at 2am and feel anxious, take some zopiclone and sleep – I did that twice in 2 months. But wow! Being off it is so much preferable to being on it! I want to say that it’s not hell on earth!

    In terms of withdrawal symptoms – yes I felt a bit sick a couple of times but I ate loads of porridge – that sorted out the nausea and I drank loads of water! Yes – I had loads of brain zaps (as your brain gets back to normal) but it’s quite good fun! It is not ‘hell on earth’ it’s OK. If you feel positive and want to feel normal again, you will – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

  • Bridget June 8, 2015, 4:02 am

    I really hope that drug manufacturers pay attention to commentary like this. I literally feel 10x worse than I did before taking Sertraline. My neck constantly hurts, my appetite is so off the walls, and I’m starting to wonder if I am bipolar or just having manic withdrawal symptoms. No one should take this. I have heard way more complaints about this drug than anything positive.

  • Kate June 8, 2015, 5:21 am

    Thank you to all of you who are sharing your experiences. This has been a tremendously productive read for me. An hour ago, I was lying in my bed battling with the usual looping questions and arguments in my head and had literally just written ‘what is this sadness about?’ Now I feel like an enormous weight has lifted from my shoulders.

    I started taking Sertraline about 20 months ago to manage major depression after exhausting all the usual tools in my kit, exercise, healthy eating, being with good people, etc. It took a good six weeks for it to kick in but for a while there I was on 200mg a day and the benefits far outweighed the drawbacks. Over the last few months I have taken myself down to 75mg a day with a view to being off them completely in another month and by the time I’m on an overseas trip.

    Reading all your experiences has made me rethink this. Now, as throughout the whole experience, I have underestimated the emotional side effects. I am going through a pressured time at work and live away from my closest friends and family. It has been really helpful to realize that I’m experiencing a sadness and lethargy connected to my medicine that is separate to the tough, tiring times at work. Sure, hey don’t help each other but neither are they causing each other.

    Being able to segment and break this down has stopped everything feeling so overwhelming and makes me feel better equipped to cope. Some things are within my control, others are not. I feel very strongly that there is a positive transition in sight but mostly, after reading everyone’s experiences and reviewing my own in a renewed light, I am reminded to take it one step at a time and the best thing we can do for ourselves is to be kind to ourselves. Be kind, be kind, be kind. Good luck.

  • Charlotte Lottie June 11, 2015, 1:59 am

    Ugh, I reacted horribly and had to stop the drug after only two weeks. The side effects seem to be coming in waves in the evening or night, sometimes strong and full on panic attacks/ suicidal thoughts or just some cramping. Seeing this page explains so much and was so reassuring that I’m not going crazy! Thank you, only two months and two weeks until the clear if this is right.

  • John June 19, 2015, 1:07 am

    My doc retired earlier this year. On March 15, 2015, new doc took me off Zoloft after taking 100 mg daily for 20+years. Results: No depression, no anxiety, etc. Minor issues: Now wake 3-4 hours earlier each morning (was sleeping til late morning) / Can’t listen to a sermon in church without weeping. Major issues: Severe joint pain in hands and feet / tired aching muscles in legs / swelling in hands and feet. Good news: As of 6/18/15, joint pain just now subsiding, swelling tapering off. Had sex this morning for first time since March. Hopefully will achieve normality in another few weeks.

  • Candice June 22, 2015, 1:38 am

    Thank you to everyone sharing your experiences on here. Your comments have helped me deal with going off of Zoloft. I was on 50 mg for 15 months. My doctor and I decided the reasons for being on Zoloft no longer existed. I followed my doctor’s advice for how to tapper off of it. Even following his plan exactly I still had serious side effects once I completely stopped.

    I had dizziness, brain zaps, severe nausea, and upset stomach. I will never take a medication like this ever again, I can’t believe how my body relied on it and what it did to me. I am now going the natural route and get myself healthy once again. I now understand why people sue drug manufacturers.

  • Dee July 5, 2015, 12:32 am

    I was on Zoloft (minimal dose) for 8 months, and I felt great. Now I’m 2 months off… and well I cant stand anyone, I stopped talking to my friends and am constantly depressed and anxious, and it’s not getting better whatsoever, if anything I have been feeling worse lately.

  • Mouse July 5, 2015, 5:31 am

    Hell on earth is right. I took Sertraline for four years, and I’ve only been off it for four days. Started at 150mg, then slowly over the years going down to 50mg daily. My doctor told me nothing about discontinuation symptoms. He told me to taper over a single week. I tapered slowly over three, and even that felt terrible, mentally. I knew my mental state would change coming off this medicine, however I was still surprised when self-harming thoughts appeared out of nowhere (something I’m lucky to never have dealt with before, even at my worst). But the physical symptoms of discontinuation hit me like a Mac truck; I was completely unprepared.

    I’ll be fine for a few hours at a time, just tired, a few zaps, dizzy if I move too quickly. But then suddenly it feels like my brain is trapped in jello– the confusion and zaps and dizziness can be so bad I can’t follow a simple conversation. Every evening I get super nauseated, feverish, and it feels like my body is pulsating or throbbing constantly; like I get zaps and dizziness every time I blink. And this is day four. I have some choice words for my doctor, I was 100% unprepared for this kind of difficulty; I plan to hand him several medical research articles about Antidepressant Discontinuation “Syndrome” at my next appointment.

  • CC July 6, 2015, 1:24 am

    I went cold turkey on Sertraline without realizing it (part of my routine at work, went on vacation) and decided to just stay off it. Its been about a month and the withdraw symptoms have really kicked in. I am very irritable and angry. Get mad over the smallest stuff. My job is very stressful and I am in the process of getting a divorce on top of it. I am thinking of going back on until the rest of my life calms down. I really don’t want to but I can’t live like this.

    • Anne July 11, 2015, 11:02 pm

      Since you didn’t intend to get off, AND you’re going through so much, perhaps now is not a good time to stop. Maybe you want to wait until your life is more settled and then SLOWLY taper off.

  • Frogger July 7, 2015, 9:55 pm

    Holy cow this sucks. Middle of the day here and sunny I’m hearing frogs like at night. There are no damn frogs but the 50mg I quit taking cold turkey Zoloft. I now wish that I would have used LSD in school like some of my peers. I feel like what I’ve heard tripping must be like. I’m going to self medicate with alcohol until this sh*t stops. I’m not taking anything that messes me up like this again. I wish I could slap that money hungry doctor bastard now.

  • Nichole July 8, 2015, 3:44 pm

    Thank you much for this easy-to-read article recounting your experiences. I literally typed in “what happens to your body when quitting Sertraline cold turkey” because I’ve been on Sertraline (Zoloft) for about three years and due to appointment conflicts and holidays slowing the mail, I’ve been without my daily 100mg for going on seven days. (Only seven?! It feels like at least three weeks!).

    So! Just adding my own experiences; am experiencing the Brain Zaps and dizziness and fatigue like crazy. Some anxiety but not too bad, also some nausea, but also not too bad. Irritability has always been my “friend” but I’m trying to kick that relationship, like, three years ago. I have a feeling my Rx will arrive in the mail soon and I’m trying to decide if I will take a small dose every other day to help with the withdrawal or if I will just take this thing down (“I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!”) because I want to prove to myself that I am stronger than my body, and that I can go through this nasty, messy process and come out better for it.

    BUT. I am willing to see. To decide what will be best for me- and if that means staying on Sertraline, well gosh darn it, call me a pill-popper! Anything for a sweet, delicious, happy life! All of these are just my own thoughts and are in NO way directed in judgement toward ANYone. I applaud EVERYone going through the hard parts of life in honesty and strength. Thank you all for sharing; I don’t feel as alone or critical of myself when I read your comments.

  • Anne July 11, 2015, 11:06 pm

    Update – I left the 8/1/2014 post far above. Just an update…it’s been almost a year and lo and behold – I no longer want, need or crave sertraline. It was a hellish ride, some days AWFUL, but I didn’t want to get back on and go through this again so I kept at it. Yep, it took a long time but I don’t need it at all. But before you do anything rash based on this post, please read my other ones. The circumstances of my depression had been resolved, it wasn’t a “clinical depression” diagnosis (just stressful times), and I tapered slowly over months. I am not saying I don’t have down days, because I do. But who doesn’t? I think I’m back to normal. Good luck to all.

  • Tom July 12, 2015, 5:48 pm

    I just googled “One month off of Zoloft and increasing anxiety.” This blog came up and reading it, in many ways, was connecting directly to my reality and I almost feel understood in ways the medical staff at my doctor’s office doesn’t completely understand (they’re great people, don’t get me wrong). I’ve had different symptoms at different times.

    While tapering off I had fatigue, chest pains, dizziness and found myself to be much more emotional. A couple of weeks off I was dealing with emotional highs and lows, excessively chatty at times and also brutal headaches. Now three weeks to a month off, I am really feeling emotionally raw and easily angered, I am on edge and wound tighter than a drum. I’m ready to fight anyone and anything that crosses me in a much more exaggerated way than necessary or normal.

    The good thing is, I’m not depressed in the way I was when I first sought out help. I will always appreciate what the medication did for me (100 mg for over a year). It really got me out of a dark place but this withdrawal is hard; harder than I expected and harder than I think many doctors are aware. At least this article validated what I’m going through and for that I am grateful. Hearing this could stretch out three months…not what I wanted to hear but at least I’m hoping this too will pass and things will stabilize a bit.

    I really don’t want to go back on this, even at a low dose. The good news, my appetite has returned to normal (it went through the roof when I was on the Zoloft) and I’m losing some of the Zoloft weight (10 of 30 pounds or so, so far) I had gained over the last 15 months. This withdrawal is rough though.

  • Stacey July 13, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Just my story!! I have been on and off Zoloft since I was 15 (am now 32), for me, it is a miracle. I suffer from horrible anxiety and panic attacks, this is the only “preventative” medicine I’ve ever found. I’m prescribed Xanax also, just in case I have a panic attack, but I refuse to take them unless absolutely necessary, due to its addictive tendencies and the fact that a benzo withdraw will kill you!! Anyway, I’ve stopped and started Zoloft over and over and only speaking for myself, I’ve never noticed any signs or symptoms of a withdraw, except the last few days.

    I had forgotten to take it for a few days and I’ve been constantly in the bathroom. I’m guessing this is why?? Anyway, I appreciate your article, doctors don’t tell you this stuff when they’re dolling out meds! After reading this, I consider myself lucky!! I will be more careful though, in the future! Thank you for an interesting read!! Good for you for getting this info out there for others to read and learn what we are all doing to our bodies with pharmaceuticals!

  • Sandra Oliveira July 14, 2015, 3:22 pm

    I tapered off of Zoloft from 150mg -100mg, then 100mg to 50mg, then 50mg to 25mg, then 25mg to 0. Doing each one week at a time. It was bad. If I had to do it again I would have tapered by 25mg amounts for longer intervals. For example, 150 mg to 125 mg for 2-4 weeks, then 125 mg to 100 mg for 2-4 weeks, and so on. I am not a doctor but I think a slower taper would reduce the withdrawal symptoms. I felt fine until I was on 25mg then the horror began.

  • Ruth July 19, 2015, 8:13 am

    I was taking sertraline for 4 yrs at 200mg although was medicated on other SSRI’s for 20yrs. I am now on day 10 of cold turkey after family were on suicide watch. My thinking was that I couldn’t feel any worse if I stopped medication. I am experiencing a lot of the physical withdrawal symptoms such as brain zaps, swooshing feeling, numb lips, disorientation etc. Mentally though, I feel euphoric, full of energy and generally glad to be alive.

    I have told my GP that I am going cold turkey and although what I am doing is not recommended, she is very supportive and is keeping an eye on me. People have commented on me looking more vibrant and lost that ‘dead pan’ look from my eyes. After 20 years I feel like me again and it’s great. Good luck to you all however you decide to withdraw…or not. Everyone is different and we have to do what we feel is right for ourselves :)

    • Greg October 16, 2015, 2:40 pm

      How have you been feeling from quitting Zoloft?

  • Lauren July 22, 2015, 3:33 am

    This article is very true. I’ve tried cold turkey and now I’ve tapered myself off for the past month. Both are hell to do. Cold turkey you feel dizzy, nauseated, it feels like your eyes dart, the brain zaps, and the anger. This time tapering myself off, the first few days I felt a little loopy and out of it, and I still feel nauseated everyday and have a headache every day, but I’m sure it will go away. My mood is great, my sex drive is better, and I’m much happier in life. My anxiety has increased, but I have medicine for that! Good article and very true to most of my symptoms.

    • Carm August 3, 2015, 4:00 pm

      Glad to hear you are having success with the weaning process and that you sex drive is back. That has been a huge issue for me. I am weaning off the drug due to the fact that I would like to start trying for a baby, but to make a baby you need a sex drive :). Anger has been a huge side-effect for me. It seems like just about anything sets me off or when I say some things to my husband I sound really mean. It is not my intention it seriously just shoots out of my mouth!

  • Shan July 23, 2015, 2:59 am

    Reading this blog just saved a piece of me. I stopped Paxil cold-turkey and it was the worst experience ever. So I switched to Zoloft. But my MD and the inept & unprofessional staff at his clinic has not returned correspondence in a month to refill my prescriptions. And today, I waited 3 hours after being 10 minutes late to an appointment because there was a terrible crash in front of me) and he still ignored me and I am feeling all these symptoms. I honestly thought I was going crazy.

  • nath July 26, 2015, 11:48 am

    After cutting my tablet in half for a month then skipped 5 days before needing half a tablet to ease the stomach cramps. I now made it to 6 days. My head is still throbbing. My bald spots on my head still haven’t reshooted hair yet. Indian food and bananas seems to have a positive effect where as anything with caffeine in it seems to give me an out of body feeling followed by increase anger. If I could get away on a boat and escape on a boat right now is the only thing that could save me. I just don’t want to be here any more. I need freedom now!!!!

  • Adrianne August 3, 2015, 8:19 pm

    I read the list of withdrawal symptoms and I am having all but two or three. I’m in the second month of withdrawal after taking Zoloft for twenty years. OF COURSE the doctor said nothing about withdrawal and said since he put me on Wellbutrin as a replacement, I probably wouldn’t feel it much! First two weeks, couldn’t open my eyes and focus, electric sparks when I cut my eyes left or right, crying, tired, crazy… About six weeks later I’m still crying, depressed, dizzy, angry, anti-social, tired, trembling, and so on. The fact that the doctors NEVER tell me what to expect before jerking me off a psychotropic enrages me, especially now. @!&$:@!?

  • Steph August 6, 2015, 2:11 am

    Continuing on my last post… They moved me to 150mg the day after I had him for post partum. I remained on that dose for over 4 years now. I am also on 200mg or Wellbutrin. My husband and I may want to have another baby and I know being on that high of dose it’s not good. SO.. I decided to start very slow and taper off one drug at a time. So far I went from 150mg to 100mg for 4-5 weeks. Very subtle symptoms. I am now on week 2 of 50mg and my symptoms are still tolerable but I know they are there.

    I have the dizziness randomly, mild headaches, major fatigue, more vivid dreams (not scary at all), and less patience. But like I said these are tolerable as I am tapering over a month span each dose coming down. I got my doctor to give me 25mg tabs do I can go down to that in a month. I am a hyperchondriac so this is huge for me to not have severe symptoms. I am big on breathing remedies and I have done so much research on meditation and yoga.

    Also ways to deal with anxiety and panic disorders. I think I have taught myself to not let myself get out of hand by knowing I am ok and I am the one that controls how I react to feeling one come on. I haven’t had a panic attack in over 3 years. I wanted to share my story because I know how hard it is to feel like you’re going through this alone. I recommend having even 5 minutes to yourself daily to regroup and focus on taking deep breaths in and out just a few times.

    It will be ok and if not and you have to go back on it to get back then that’s ok too. You won’t know unless you try if you can go off of it. I give those of you that went off cold turkey credit because I have heard that is something never to do because of the side effects. Good luck to everyone on here as I know everyone’s experience is different degrees of severity. Stay positive!

  • Michelle August 9, 2015, 10:29 pm

    Oh my gosh! This is spot on with how my mother is doing. She was on 100 mg for 3 years and needed to lower her dose. It is a nightmare! She has over half of these symptoms. I pray I never have to go on this stuff because getting off is terrible!

  • Ali August 11, 2015, 2:03 am

    I just cannot believe I am not the only person who feels this way! I was on 50-75mg of Zoloft for 2 years and recently decided to come off it. Hell on earth just scrapes the surface of how I feel. I am now more anxious and overthinking as ever! All my obsessive thoughts about my relationship with my boyfriend to if I’m truly happy have resurfaced, and it is a pain to deal with. But after finding this blog it gives me piece of mind to know that my annoyances about small things my boyfriend does is only because I quit my Zoloft cold turkey. I also want to thank everyone for their positivity that it does get better! :)

  • Jacqueline Carlos August 11, 2015, 10:29 pm

    I just tapered off Zoloft 50mg per day. Its been almost 2 weeks. The dizzy spells and loss of concentration is frustrating. I hope this doesn’t last for three months! I’m fairly tolerant with symptoms. I know my body is adjusting to the absence of the drug. What else can I do to speed up the adjustment besides meditation, exercise, and eating healthy? I should stop alcohol right? Any suggestions help.

  • Larry Mullen August 12, 2015, 12:49 am

    I have just come off of withdrawals. I have been taking 200 mg of zoloft daily for the past 25 years. One day, I don’t know how long ago but I beleive at least three week ago, simply forgot to get it re-filled. I started feeling all of the symptons described above, plus seeing double and my whole body trembling. I was having horrible nightmares, started planning my funeral and sought help from anyone who would listen. 2 days ago, at 4:00 a.m. I awoke and it hit me. I had forgotten to take it. As soon as the pharmacy opened, I got it re-filled and 4 hours later I was almost back to normal. One day later, I am a lot better.

  • Kelly August 12, 2015, 4:01 am

    I have been taking 100-200 mg zoloft for 20 years, slowing cutting back. Is this normal… I’ve been vomiting, back aches and aches, hip bones ache, think I have bone disease! No brain zaps but angry and dizzy. Feel queasy most of the day. I have no tolerance and have to stay away from people – I’m so angry I could scream.

    • Jane February 12, 2016, 5:03 pm

      I feel you on the having to stay away from people! I’ve been so angry and impatient and it’s only been like a week for me! I have no appetite whatsoever and some dizzy spells, but that’s about it physically. I don’t really have any severe symptoms (yet?) but the psychological issues are already starting to build up. So far my anxiety hasn’t returned to pre-Zoloft levels but my distaste of other people… I haven’t felt this much hatred for people for years and it’s over incredibly insignificant stuff…

  • Mary August 12, 2015, 5:31 pm

    I tapered from Zoloft for months and got down to 12.5 mg, then my psychiatrist switched me to 10mg of Prozac, which is much easier to withdraw from than Zoloft. I took 1 capsule every night for a week and then a capsule every other night for a week. I’ve been off completely for week. I’m noticing the dizziness and fatigue, but not the brain zaps and anxiety that I experienced the first time I withdrew from Zoloft. I’m hoping the symptoms get better rather than worse as time goes on. Anyway, if you’re trying to get off Zoloft or are experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms, you might want to talk to your doc about a short term small dose of Prozac to help you get through.

  • Martin August 13, 2015, 9:37 pm

    I slowly tapered down to 12.5mg of sertraline every 2 or three days, over about 3 months, after over a year on the drug, my dose peaked at 150mg a day around December last year. It was prescribed for anxiety. I have one 50mg tablet left, and I am determined not to visit my GP for more, but I am constantly dizzy, regular ‘zaps’ which feel like a rush to the head, and also high sensitivity to changes in sound, so any turn of the head seems to bring on very odd sensations.

    I am aching alot, and my emotions are returning, which for me is a good thing, because this drug had quite a zombifying effect. I am not knocking the drug, because I was in a bad place, and now I am a new person, so it helped, or at least I think it did, but although I understood about the discontinuation symptoms, I would have liked my GP to discuss them with me before prescribing.

    In the UK, it is the cheap option if CBT doesn’t work, so I don’t think they like to put SSRIs down too much as it would create more need for deeper, longer term therapy. Luckily for me I took the tablets, and had private therapy alongside, and as I said my lifetime of social anxiety and worrying about everything has all but gone, but damn these discontinuation symptons, they are not pleasant at all!

  • A August 16, 2015, 2:57 am

    I am having the worst dizzy spells after being on Zoloft for almost 2 years… 100 mg. I am 23, Female, and about 5’4″ and 125 lbs. I ran out of my script last week but my appointment isn’t until next week. So I’ve been off of it “cold turkey”. I can’t even move my head or my eyes even a little bit without feeling like the room is spinning.

    In addition to the dizziness I’ve been experiencing horrible mood swings. Last night I went from screaming in anger at my boyfriend to bawling my eyes out… then straight to laughing hysterically over nothing. I seriously feel crazy. I wasn’t on Zoloft for depression, only anxiety. It did help me a lot, but I really hate the withdrawals.

  • Nicole August 17, 2015, 2:25 pm

    Thank you for this article! I went off this medication after years of being on it and thought I was going crazy! Knowing other people experienced this, that it was a common problem, really helped. I reread this article every week just to remind myself that it’s the drug withdrawal, not something wrong with me. Like when I cry at a commercial or get mad at my dog for wanting to be fed. Thank you!

  • April August 23, 2015, 12:08 pm

    Has anyone experienced breast tenderness when having withdrawal symptoms? I went cold turkey from 100 mg about 2 weeks ago due to no refills and no time to make it to the doctor (I’m a teacher and with school just starting it’s so hard to find the time.) The main symptoms I’ve had were severe headaches, occasional crying spells and now, tenderness in my breasts. I just haven’t heard anyone mention the latter.

    • Debbie January 31, 2016, 4:54 am

      Yes I have noticed breast pain. I’m tapering off Zoloft. These posts have helped. At least I know I’m not going crazy. I want to try 5 HTP when I get through this. The bottle is waiting.

  • Alex #2 August 24, 2015, 8:20 pm

    So, I mistakenly ran out of my dose this past Wednesday. I took it and told myself I’d refill it soon. I kept forgetting and here I am today. I am starting to experience symptoms of withdrawal and hate it. I am filling my med tonight to get back on roll! For me, this pill is a GODSEND!! It does the trick for me… takes the edge off, AND helps my Fibromyalgia… A LOT. I am SO frustrated with myself for allowing my irresponsibility to get me to this point, but I plan on rectifying this situation TONIGHT, and get back on roll!!

  • Daisy September 8, 2015, 4:11 am

    I was on Zoloft for 6 years. Early this year I was up to 200 mg daily. I just stopped cold turkey 6 days ago. I feel horrible. Every symptom that has been experienced here I am having. The worst are the brain zaps. I really hope this goes away soon. I just want to be me again.

  • Krystle September 11, 2015, 12:09 am

    I have been on 100 mg of zoloft for almost 5 years. I quit cold turkey just over a week ago. I have every withdrawal symptom there is. It’s awful. Just absolutely awful.

  • Troy September 12, 2015, 8:03 am

    My wife took Zoloft for one month. About one week into the Rx, some side effects began to show up: coordination issues, muscle weakness and spasms, loss of muscle control. These side effects increased in severity until, after four weeks on Zoloft, I feared for her safety. With increasing frequency during those weeks, her leg muscles would “give out” (contract or convulse). She faltered several times, but not to the point of injuring herself.

    She did fall a few times, but she was always close enough to something to help minimize impact. After a little more research on the side effects of Zoloft, it was clear that personal safety was more important than the limited benefits my wife was starting to notice with her occasional sense of depression during the day. The other side effects included muscle weakness and tremors (legs, arms, hands).

    My wife was taking 100mg per day (in the morning). She tapered off to 50mg immediately. After a few days, she cut back to 25mg. The muscle tremors, convulsions, weakness and “falling down” incidents decreased within a day or two. Our goal is to discontinue this medication within two weeks. One week to go. She’s doing much better. Obviously this medication isn’t for everyone. If you’re taking it, benefiting from it, and not experiencing ANY of the side effects (there’s a long list, read carefully), then count your blessings/good fortune.

    Hope things keep working out for you. The old recreational drug humor quip “Better Living Through Chemistry”…yeah, not so much. The big Pharms are NOT non-profit organizations. Develop, test, lobby, downplay/suppress the bad stuff, garner FDA aproval ($$$), then market and SELL. Oh well. We get what we ask for.

  • Debbie September 14, 2015, 7:45 pm

    I am so glad I read these comments, I have been on the drug for many years and finally had to quit cold turkey, because I lost my insurance and could not afford it. I have been feeling awful since I quit, most of the symtoms you describe I have. I have been off about a month now and everyday I feel worse, hope this ends sometime in the near future.

  • Pam September 16, 2015, 3:49 pm

    I have experienced the nausea, headaches, anxiety, flu like symptoms and general moodiness anytime I have tried to stop taking Zoloft. I have been on 50 mg for nearly 10 years and would like to stop taking it. I was initially place on it by my doctor for anxiety and moodiness due to my high stress job and very high stress marriage. I now have a virtually stress free job and in a healthy marriage. I am going to try and ween myself off very slowly, by taking 25 mg for at least a month or two and then break those in half and so on. I hope it works.

  • Jane H. September 25, 2015, 3:20 am

    I know this comment thread was started over a year ago and I’m not sure if anyone will read this…. But thank you. Thank you to whom ever posted this article/blog… Whatever you wanna call it. I’m currently 11-14 days off of Zoloft. (Can’t keep track because of brain fog and having a 2 year old son) regardless it has been a roller coaster. One that scares me and sometimes I feel perfectly ok and motivated.

    I experience pretty much all of the symptoms mentioned at some point or another. But what led me to quit is that I was getting nauseous and DIZZINESS while on it. I thought I had some serious illness from all of the weird glitchy brain stuff and then one day it dawned on me “it’s probably the flippin Zoloft” once I found out that these were symptoms I would experience on withdrawal I knew it was time to get off of it. Thank you dearly to everyone who shared their story. It is comforting and reassuring to know I am not alone and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    I will never again take a man made anxiety or depression medication. All natural for this lady from here on out. I just pray that the moodiness subsides before my son starts to notice (if he hasn’t yet) that mommy isn’t quite herself. Or the self she wants to be. Wish me luck! And I wish everyone a speedy recovery. All the love and peace to you all. -jane

  • Michal September 27, 2015, 6:04 pm

    I want to thank you all for posting your experiences. Reading about how common and consistent the experiences of people who go off SRIs are has been an eye-opener, and a comfort too as I go through it. My story: on sertraline for about 4 years at 100mg to help me cope with chronic high levels of stress and psychological abuse at my workplace (to all employees, not just to me).

    The drug worked well, but I didn’t want to stay on it so long term; but after leaving that workplace, I had a huge family tragedy to deal with, and only felt ready to go off the drug recently. Tapered to 50mg for 6 weeks; I experienced some difficulty concentrating at first, but little else. I stopped the drug 4 weeks ago, and I understand now it would probably have gone easier with a further taper first, but I thought at the time that the long decrease time would be adequate.

    Not so. Since stopping, I’ve had significant difficulties with concentration and momentary confusion, though that’s getting better. I’m still struggling with tremendous irritability, sadness, and getting stuck in negative thought patterns. Even worse are the physical symptoms — queasiness, difficulty digesting, fatigue, weakness and body aches. I am grateful to have been spared the brain zaps others go through.

    What astonishes me, learning how common all this is, is how it’s NOT talked about in the mental health field. I’ve been a psychotherapist for over 25 years, and have watched the rise of antidepressant prescription and the decline of the availability of psychotherapy (and its reconfiguring as a short-term, one size fits all, teaching-of-coping-skills shadow of what therapy used to offer).

    I understand that the meds can be very helpful for many people; I’m one, after all. But it’s unconscionable that the effects of the withdrawal are so far off prescribers’ radar, and that the ways the drugs work affect so many other body systems well outside of brain neuro-chemistry are only now coming to light. Thank you all for sharing this info. Otherwise, it may never have been acknowledged.

  • Antonia September 30, 2015, 2:16 am

    I am again attempting to get completely off Zoloft, which I have taken at a low dose (25-50 mg) for about 10 years. I have been doing a really slow taper and side effects have been manageable so far. I am now at 6.25 mg daily and my next step from here is to be completely off of it. I am worried about rebound depression, which I had SEVERELY last time I attempted this in April of 2014.

    It set in about three weeks after the Zoloft was out of my system and it totally disabled me and frightened me and my family. I did not have severe depression before taking this — mostly mild depression and I would say moderate anxiety (now my anxiety is much worse). I am wondering: does the brain stop making its own serotonin or something after taking this medication for so long? Has anyone else experienced this?

    Is there a supplement or something that can help until the natural process kicks in again? I am very scared of this happening, but I want to get off the Zoloft because I don’t like the side effects — emotionally dull, zero libido, weight gain. How can this be better? In the black of hole of depression in 2014, I went back on the Zoloft and felt normal for about a month, then the positive effects wore off and the bad effects set in.

    My MD suggested increasing dose. I have just tolerated this dysthymia and Zoloft hangover for the last year and now I just want to be done again but I’m scared. Would love to hear from someone with similar experience and a success story! Thanks so much.

    • Anne October 2, 2015, 2:20 pm

      Antonia, good luck. Let me just suggest a further taper. Taper for a very long time, longer than you think. Snap those 6.25 bits in half (I’ll call it a nib) and take them daily. Then after a while take a nib every other day. Do not throw them away when you finally want to be free of it, then it becomes obsessional…you WANT more!

      When you finally stop (and remember…there’s no race) if after a week or so you feel the need for more, take one of those nibs. If you keep them on hand and take a nib every now and then you can beat this. An article I linked above states that it is an addiction for the drug, not the serotonin effect, that causes this craving and that little bit can get you over this.

      As for a supplement to help, I found Natrol’s Mood Plus to work. I cut it into a 1/4. It has some 5HTP in it which converts to serotonin in your brain. Because of this, DO NOT use it while you have any zoloft left in your system. You don’t know how sensitive your system is and you DO NOT WANT TO CAUSE SEROTONIN SYNDROME, which is unpleasant at a minimum and deadly at worst.

  • Clara September 30, 2015, 5:30 am

    Hey, I’m new to this but I wanted to put my experience in here because it seems like the more of us that come together in a time of distress, the easier it is to get through. I reluctantly started taking Zoloft four years ago, when I was fifteen. I was terrified that I’d be hooked on it for life, or become a zombie, etc. However, my mom had been diagnosed with a football sized ovarian cyst that turned out to be cancerous, and that was a bit too much for me to handle.

    My psychiatrist recommended only taking Zoloft for about six months, because apparently, your brain is supposed to train itself to not get so worked up easily. Unfortunately, time flew by and I was too comfortable with my 50mg. (I’m very small, 100 lbs). I had tried weaning myself off of Zoloft with the consent of my pediatrician (the psychiatrist was a dumbass) and parents, only to realize the hell that was waiting on the other side of my precious Zoloft-locked doors.

    The last time I tried to go off was January of 2015 and I had terrible suicidal thoughts, which was enough for me to pick up the pills again. I went through my first heartbreak (a three month long, nasty breakup) this summer and my pediatrician told me to up my dose to 75mg (the most I’ve ever taken, great way to deal with a breakup, huh?). This just made everything worse. I did not want to leave my bed. I literally wore a hole in my sheets from being in bed all summer long. I went back down to 50mg on my own and ended up feeling emotionally stronger than ever.

    I decided to go down to 25mg in an effort to get off of the stuff on my birthday, August 25th. I’d figured I’d take 25mg for one month then nothing on September 25th. It hasn’t even been one week and the symptoms seem to be getting worse by the day. It started with dizziness and sleepiness. I went out of town this weekend by myself to see extended family and I was quite worried about driving alone, since I had noticed that I was easily distracted when driving. I’d just get fixated on a tree and not think about where my car was going.

    I made it safely but found out that my best friend got in a car crash while I was out of town and I got the familiar burning stomachache that I used to get that would spark a panic attack when I was off Zoloft. I sat in a corner by myself and mentally calmed myself down, successfully! I headed home that night because I had terrible, emotionally upsetting dreams the night before and I wanted to just be in my own bed and check in on my friend. I seem to have terrible dreams about people being very mean to me every night.

    I forget these dreams when I wake up but they come back in spurts throughout my day, sort of haunting me. I am definitely getting those “brain zaps” where it feels like a zap of electricity goes from your brain stem and numbs your body in a quick wave. The symptoms get worse at night. I feel like I am moving in slow motion, with shadows following me like in music videos, those special effects. I am also VERY achy all over. My bones and muscles are sore to the touch and radiate in pain even when I’m laying down.

    These must be the flu-like symptoms? My lymph nodes are also very swollen in my neck and even behind one of my ears. I don’t feel like I’m getting sick, but I sure am achy and tired of it. I feel like I’m running on no sleep, I have huge bags under my eyes even though I get probably nine to ten hours of sleep per night, and I sleep through the night beside the nightmares. My sex drive has returned in full force… But I do have moments where I’m irritable or I just want to cry about nothing.

    It’s healthy to cry now and then, you know? I have also found that I laugh at things much easier than before, which feels great. I’m determined to ride this out, even if it is hell at first. Nothing worth doing is easy, after all. I take tylenol for the bodily aches and hot showers work wonders. I have completely lost my appetite, even the smell of my favorite foods make me want to gag but I force myself to eat anyway.

    I’m hoping this will only last for a few weeks because I feel like I’m definitely not myself but I also feel like I’m finally myself if that makes sense. I’m trying to see this as a good thing, going off of Zoloft. I send strength and loads of tylenol to all of you out there who are going through this. It’ll be worth it.

    • Greg October 16, 2015, 2:47 pm

      Are you feeling better from stopping the Zoloft?

    • navr November 30, 2015, 1:42 am

      Did you have sex drive while on Zoloft?

  • Alyssa Faith September 30, 2015, 11:59 am

    Hello. I am 18 and have been taking 100 mg of zoloft for two and a half years. I haven’t taken zoloft for a week and the WD is terrible. I wake up multiple times during the night, I have terrible brain zaps that are forcing me to move very slowly because if I turn to fast I get ‘shocked’ and it’s an awful feeling. Right now my hands and feet are itching severely and I’m scared that I may end up worse than before i ever took zoloft. When I’m on my medication I am fine and less anxious and irritable. But I’m starting to wonder if it was ever worth starting. I would really appreciate some tips on how to handle the WD symptoms…

    • Sue October 2, 2015, 2:21 am

      Glad I found this, I’ve taken Zoloft/sertaline for the last 15 years, tried to go off a couple of times with a bad result so I went back on. Insurance changed and I stopped cold turkey although I knew not to but my prescription ran out and didn’t feel like finding a new doc and going though the process again. It’s been about 3 weeks and I’m really trying to stay strong. I can’t talk to my husband because he will call me cuckoo and that will throw me over the edge.

      It’s been pretty bad which inspired me to google it and find this site it’s been very helpful for me! The brain zaps (I thought were prelude to an aneurysm) good to know its not!! Very irritable and weepy. I have three kids and a husband and I chose not to share it with them as it has not been helpful in the past. I don’t have anyone who understands what I’m going through!! Help?

  • laura October 5, 2015, 3:48 pm

    I am SO glad I read this post. I had no idea why it would be so difficult to go off of zoloft since I tapered off in the past month or so but the lightheadedness and “brain zaps” have been killing me. I never knew how to explain it to the people in my life why I felt so terrible but now I realize it may take loner to taper off than I originally thought. I had been on 100 mg for years and 50 mg before that for a total of almost 6 years. Emotionally my mood is very stable but the physical side effects are what is making me frustrated!

  • Patrick October 11, 2015, 12:45 am

    I was on 100mg of Zoloft for 9 years before I started to taper off. I felt that it had served its purpose and I was no longer in need of it. I dropped to 75mg at the beginning of last year. I had severe physical withdrawal symptoms which lasted for about 2-3 weeks: Headaches, nausea, cramps, sweats, brain zaps, dizziness, the list goes on. Then came the anger.

    Even small things would set me off and people were confused as to why I was getting so angry over nothing. That lasted a few months and was unpredictable. Eventually it went away and I stabilized. Then I dropped my dose to 50mg at the beginning of this year. Once again I had weeks of physical withdrawal symptoms, which lasted longer than when I did my initial dose reduction. They went away as expected but, unfortunately, the anger, anxiety, and fatigue hasn’t.

    It seemed to disappear for a few months but then it came back. It’s now 9 months after my drop to 50mg and I still feel like shit, despite the nice weather and the general improvements in my life: diet, sleep, exercise. I’m at the point where I don’t know if I should go back up to 75mg or persevere with getting off this drug. I just want to be normal again.

    • navr November 30, 2015, 1:34 am

      What were the two most debilitating side effects of Zoloft, based on your experience?

  • January Garnet October 11, 2015, 11:55 pm

    All the withdrawal symptoms described here are what I experience on a daily basis being on 200mg of Zoloft. If these are the symptoms experienced while the medication is INSIDE my body, what will I experience when I go off of it? I’ve been on several antidepressants through out my life and not one has actually been a relief to my depression and anxiety. Maybe the conspiracy people are right “big pharma” just wants our business and could care less about our health.

    • Cattail October 30, 2015, 6:56 pm

      My 15 year old son also has had terrible symtoms while on Zoloft. His doctor didn’t agree but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. I said to his doctor what if things have changed in his brain and it no longer requires the medication? She didn’t have any answer. For the first several months it was fine and then everything changed. He couldn’t go to school. So now we have decided to go off completely and it’s not been easy. I have a post on October 26/15 about this. Have you gone off Zoloft yet?

  • Karen October 12, 2015, 2:29 am

    Hi all, so good to find this site. I’ve been on Zoloft (average 100mg) for about three years but I’m in Australia where Zoloft has been unavailable since May. (Not sure if this is a global issue?) So I was changing meds on a month to month basis – having to take whatever the chemist decided was a comparable generic (I don’t believe generics are the same at all but that’s another post).

    Anyway, I’d been happy enough on Zoloft, despite gaining 30 lbs and all the other side effects I hadn’t realized I had, but the side effects from the generics were driving me mad. In my last phone call to Pfizer they said they think Zoloft may be back in January, although others have been told May or June 2016. So I figured it might be a good time to get off altogether. Weaned off over a few weeks, and now feeling great.

    Brain zaps are pretty constant but not too upsetting, I’m no longer craving alcohol and have got a good sense of purpose about diet and exercise that I didn’t have on the drugs. I’m waking up in the night with heart palpitations (anyone else?) but despite all this I’m generally feeling great. It’s so good to be back! I know that depression is just a part of my life and I am working hard using basic CBT techniques to make sure I don’t fall into the wallowing trap.

    Also trying to take a deep breath when I want to yell at someone – which hasn’t happened too much yet, and embracing the tearies when they hit and just letting them go through till they pass. Hoping to lose some weight, have given up the alcohol with ease, and just so happy to be finally free of the tyranny of the pills. I don’t for a second think it will all be easy but having found this site and knowing I’m not alone is a big help.

    Good luck everyone – see you on the other side – living life in all its richness and free of medical sedation. P.S. Is hyper-joy a withdrawal effect?

  • Catherine October 12, 2015, 5:22 am

    I’m coming off Zoloft after tapering the drug from 100mg to 50mg then to 25mg. It has taken about 2months. This is my 4th attempt. I’m now off Zoloft. Unfortunately, the side affects are killer. Hell on earth. Dizziness, nausea, headaches, brain zaps (if you will), memory problems, confusion, intense anger. I’m even experiencing hallucinations!

    I wake my husband up frequently because I’m looking for a spider I saw crawling across my covers. I wake up and realize its a nightmare. The anger and shirt temper is scaring me. I do have suicidal thoughts occasionally. I’m trying to keep myself focused knowing this too shall pass. I pray it does quickly.

  • April October 16, 2015, 5:14 pm

    I am currently on day 5 of cold turkeying Zoloft and I must say, what a bloody nightmare. I’ve been getting a tremendous amount of brain zaps, along with lack of appetite and sleepiness… It is really frustrating, although I feel I’ll be better off without the damn drug.

  • J October 18, 2015, 8:33 am

    Hi all, I am also in the process of getting off Zoloft. I myself am 22 and have been on 50mg for a year, much less a dose/time than a lot of the comments here. However I too have been experiencing the brain zaps and extreme dizziness. I did not quit cold turkey, simply reduced my dose to half daily and was going fine for a few weeks (3 weeks symptom free) until suddenly one day I had the worst sensations in my head (the zaps) and am now dizzy frequently throughout the day. I’m assuming my body has got rid of the heightened existing levels and began to freak out wanting more… It’s scary to think what the symptoms must be like for those of you coming off a much higher dose! Hopefully we all get over these symptoms soon and can move on with our lives! ZOLOFT FREE!!

  • Reza Maleeh October 18, 2015, 8:37 am

    I am happy to see that most of the people here don’t identify themselves with their brains. We are beyond our brains and this is why by reading this informative article and the comments, people who are on the phase of withdrawal realize that instead of letting their brain use them, they have to use their brain for the sake of well-being and a healthy life.

    Simply step back and observe the symptoms with the deep realization that all you are experiencing on this phase are games of your minds and brains. You are beyond your minds. So don’t get caught by them. Watch the symptoms, be patient and compassionate to them, don’t identify yourself with them and accept them. As soon as you give power to your mind, as soon as you are scared by them, the symptoms will intensify.

    Embracing the symptoms, however, will absorb their power as well as the power of the mind chattering that you are never going to get rid of this situation. I am a mindfulness-based cognitive behavior therapist and am pretty sure that the above strategy perfectly works. Good luck buddies!

    • Thomas December 9, 2015, 4:18 pm

      Excellent post, thank you!

  • SueLynne October 19, 2015, 1:27 pm

    I am down from 200mg of zoloft to 150mg. I have been on so many antidepressants in the last several years that I cannot remember all of them. Right now I feel very detached from myself. No will to do anything, even hygiene. Eventually, perhaps I will get better.

  • Shaun October 20, 2015, 1:56 pm

    I have been taking 150mg of Zoloft for about 3 years. Two years prior I was taking 100 and 50mg. I decided to come off them 13 days ago. Cold turkey. Initially it was fine. But I am beginning to regret my decision. Dizziness and nausea are creeping in and joint spasms are happening. Along with definite raised anxiety and cognitive issues. So do I go back to 150mg immediately? I don’t know what to do.

    • SueLynne October 21, 2015, 1:16 pm

      Shaun I personally would go back to the 150mg and stay on that until you stable off. After that, when you feel ready maybe you can try going from 150mg to 125 or 100mg. Taper off slowly and stay positive. Last year I was on 5 different depression medications. I don’t respond to the medication so I am going med free. I have plenty of friends who have or are still using depression medication and it works for them great. For whatever reason you are going off your medication do it carefully and slowly. I hope this helps. I just live one step at a time. Sometimes looking too far down the road can make a person trip.

  • meghan October 22, 2015, 2:24 pm

    Oh my gosh this is terrible reading all these comments. I have always gotten brain zaps BADLY even when I miss only one day of my medicine from just being irresponsible and forgetting. I have misplaced my medicine (I’m so irresponsible….) 4 days ago and have not went to get more due to money restraints. I thought maybe I should just go ahead and quit – I have been good enough for about a year with little depression- right?

    Well now I’m not so sure! I have had TERRIBLE brain zaps and feeling “drunk” for days now and this could last MONTHS? Even a year?? On top of it starting about my second day off of it I felt really down and depressed- I even stayed in bed for 18 hours one day cause I just felt sad and pointless. This medicine is apparently really scary- I guess I don’t want to see what it does to me beyond just a few days of being off of it!

    Two questions for y’all:

    1. Did anyone else gain weight when they started this medicine? I started 100mg almost two years ago with some weeks taking 200mg when I start not thinking straight. I have never had a problem with my weight but I have gained about 50lbs over that time and I always suspected a lot of it had to do with the medicine? I’m 21 and started in a healthy weight and am now just over the overweight mark on my BMI. Also- if I did quit- do you think I would gain or lose weight?

    2. Anyone know of it being actually dangerous to quit? Like- should I worry about seizures or something, or is that something I shouldn’t worry about? Thanks!!

    • Anne October 30, 2015, 11:50 pm

      Yep, I gained 30 pounds seemingly overnight, and it is quite a common experience.

    • Tim May 20, 2016, 2:26 pm

      Hi Meghan, yes I gained a lot of weight on Zoloft. When I first started taking it I was 66kg, I soon shot up to 104kg! I also had never had a problem with my weight so to put on 38kg in no time was pretty unsettling.

      It’s a doubled edged sword, I started taking Zoloft to treat anxiety and depression and it was ok for that I suppose, but to put on 38kg and feel obese for the first time in my life. That alone leaves me feeling anxious and depressed.

  • Reyna October 24, 2015, 12:21 am

    I was on 300mg for 3 years. It’s been a month since an unintentional cold turkey quit (due to my health insurance running out during a job change). “The benefits outweigh the risk” is why I was on 100mg over the FDA approved limit. I’ve always had a high tolerance to medications, and it did right by my depression.

    I’ve been nothing short of a monster since about a week after I quit. This post has helped soothe me, and help me realize/remind me that I’m NOT going insane.

    • Reyna October 24, 2015, 12:26 am

      Anyway, thank you for the honest article.

  • Cattail October 26, 2015, 2:27 am

    My 15 year old son has been on Zoloft for 1 year and couple months. At first he seemed better but in the last 4 months he gets dizzy 24/7, restless, appetite is nil, argumentative, somewhat hyper, when he finally falls asleep I cannot wake him up, he sleeps half the day but I think it’s the brains way of heeling too. Needless to say he’s not in school right now. I have spoke to his doctor about this as I believe my son is having reaction of some kind, from the Zoloft.

    His doctor doesn’t agree. I am fed up, I feel so bad for my son. We have decided to stop cold turkey. If he is going to have the same withdrawal symtoms as he has taking them, I believe he is better to go off them. Maybe the dynamics have changed in his brain and he doesn’t need these meds anymore. I would like to see who he really is, after getting this crap out of his system. He just wants to be able to wake up and feel like a normal person. I feel like I have failed him.

    Finding support for this issue is so hard. I am so happy I found this site. All doctors seem to care about is money money money. Take these pills and see me in a month. I will think twice before ever putting my son on these kinds of meds again.

    • navr November 30, 2015, 1:24 am

      What were your son’s initial symptoms, before Zoloft?

  • Leigh October 27, 2015, 3:46 pm

    I have been on 50mg for 16 years and quit cold turkey about two weeks ago. I didn’t know I needed to taper off… should have read the instructions. Between the cyclobenzaprine, statins and the sertraline I was taking, I was beginning to feel like I had alzheimers. I couldn’t think or remember anything and was bouncing between euphoria, rage and grief on a daily basis.

    When my doctor prescribed another cholesterol medication I said ENOUGH. I have stopped all of my medication except for a low dose Ace Inhibitor for my high blood pressure. (Which as I continue to get healthier, I will also stop taking). I have not experienced the brain zaps, but I do have that weird drunk feeling on and off, I itch like I have ants under my skin and my emotions are sitting very close to the surface.

    I am doing a few things that are really helping. I am meditating twice a day for 20 minutes, getting some serious exercise – mostly going to the gym, gardening outside, mulching the yard, pulling weeds and walking on the beach. I have also changed my diet – I am eating healthy fats, lots of vegetables and extremely little processed food. I am also hydrating with green juices, water and herbal tea.

    When my emotions begin to surface, I just let them come. If I need to cry, I do. If I am angry, I write what I am feeling in a journal. If I start to feel out of control, I remind myself that this is withdrawal and it is temporary. I am very grateful that I took the Zoloft all those years ago when I was so depressed. However over the years I have become a slave to the pharmaceutical industry.

    I realized it is time for me to take responsibility for my own health. By eating whole natural foods, getting time outside, keeping myself hydrated, exercising, spending time with friends and family and being mindful I am sure that in a year from now, I will be a much healthier happier woman. I wish everyone the best on their journey to true health and happiness.

  • Jessica October 28, 2015, 5:34 am

    When will the irritability end! Almost 4 months out and having a hard time with anger management still. Never used to be a “bitchy” person before all this… Definitely am one now… I hear my words and think, you sound awful, but still can’t seem to control my short remarks and criticisms. Totally miserable. How much longer? I can barely take it myself/ my husband has the patience of Job… My kids don’t deserve a mom like this. I feel like I am acting nice even when inside I am raging about whatever. So can’t control this well. Could use some thoughts on how to control the rage inside?

  • Airlie October 29, 2015, 1:45 am

    My prescription ran out two weeks ago and I’m out in the country so I hadn’t had a chance to go into the Doctor to get another one. I have been taking 200mg for the last year and 150mg before that, all up over three and a half years I went from 50mg prescribed for Postnatal depression and post traumatic stress disorder to 200mg currently. I haven’t taken any for two weeks.

    I know full well that this is a terrible way to stop taking this medication, from not only the doctors warnings but also seeing my family members go through withdrawals over the years. Depression, anxiety, OCD and Bipolar disorder seem to run in my family. However, I felt amazing and energized for the first couple of days. Somehow clear that this was (no pun intended) all in my mind. So I just decided to not get another prescription. Then; without really noticing everything started falling to pieces.

    I was short with people, easily irritated and then just plain mean. I couldn’t be bothered eating or cleaning. Everything seemed like such an enormous effort. I have been incredibly empathetic to my favorite fictional characters on TV, completely feeling their pain and yet have no patience or sensitivity toward my Husband or children at all. I find them literally unbearable at times. Then I got a cold. Well, I thought it was a cold. Everything hurt, I was tired, headaches, sore throat, my muscles ached and I couldn’t contain my emotions.

    I went from curling up in a ball crying to dancing in the kitchen with my kids all within an hour. I started making fabulous meals and then looking at my plate in utter disgust. I told my husband he was stupid, to leave me alone and basically threatened the entire household if they didn’t shut up and get out of my face. Then today, I decided I must have Gastro. I threw up for two hours while sobbing next to the toilet. I am so dizzy I cannot drive, I feel like I move my head and the world follows after a few seconds.

    I woke up drenched with sweat and freezing cold feeling like I was struggling to breathe. I had nightmares. I have also scratched my face and arms to bleeding point. My lips are cracked and broken and I’m scared to go outside. I knew this was a terrible way to stop taking these drugs but now that I have I’m not sure what to do. I’m scared that I’ll completely loose it if this goes on for months and months but I’m upset that I might need to take them again so I can taper off. It’s like if I’ve gone through this for two weeks now, it seems like a waste of time if I just start taking them again…

    • Jess October 30, 2015, 3:53 am

      I know EXACTLY the terrible feelings associated with these withdrawals. I’m on day 10 off of this drug and didn’t think I could go on. But I read somewhere turmeric tea will help the brain. And I’ve been drinking it for 3 days. And I can honestly say it is working. I’m feeling better. Boil a cup of water, add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, (try to use organic) steep it, and drink it. Add honey if you can’t take the taste. It was awful at first, but now I like it.

  • Jen October 31, 2015, 11:03 pm

    I’m so very glad to see these posts! I have taken Zoloft for 4 months. 50mg for first week then 100mg. It was for severe depression. I have wanted to stop taking it for the last two months due to the weight gain. I tried to stop cold turkey and got extremely ill, I thought it was due to a bladder infection medication at the time. I started taking it again within a couple of days of stopping due to my husbands constant worrying about stopping a drug without tapering off.

    The beginning of this month (October) I decided to try to taper off..I went from the 100mg to 50mg for two weeks then I completely stopped. I figured it was safe. I had no idea about any of this withdrawal info. It has been a week since I stopped and now I have severe dizziness, stomach cramps, night sweats and headaches. I thought maybe I have the flu, but something kept telling me to research this.

    I haven’t felt like “myself” ever since I started tapering off. I thought this whole month I just was fighting off some sort of illness. After reading these posts, everything makes more sense! I’m going to have to start Zoloft again and taper off even slower. I’m going to start at the 50mg though and not the 100mg. I own a business and can not afford to lay down all day (major dizzy spells, like the spins from being drunk) so not taking it at all doesn’t seem like an option for me right now.

    One thing I do know, I have to get off this drug.

    • navr November 30, 2015, 1:16 am

      Why do you have to get off this drug? What were the two most debilitating side effects that you experienced?

  • Andy November 1, 2015, 9:49 pm

    I decided to go off Sertraline cold turkey about a month and a half ago. I was on 25MG for about a year and 50MG for three years. I was having pain in my joints and thought Sertraline was the cause, so I cut it cold turkey. It ends up Carpel Tunnel – pretty sure. A couple weeks went by, maybe three and I felt ok. Maybe I was under stress at work or I was feeling some of the withdrawal, so I decided to go back on my meds 50MG sertraline.

    After 3-4 days after starting again – I began the “what the f*ck is going on with me”. I thought I had MS (shakes, weak, etc.) and had MRI of my spine and brain. Everything turned out fine. Can you experience withdrawal while getting back on sertriline or I’m have a bad reaction to starting so high to 50 MG? All I can tell you is the past three and a half weeks have been hell.

    I dropped my dosage to 25MG every day to 25MG one day and 12.5 the next. I’m not as tired, but I want to get off this stuff. I’ll deal with what I was feeling before I was on it.

    • navr November 30, 2015, 1:13 am

      What were the two most debilitating side effects of sertraline you experienced?

  • JD November 3, 2015, 6:15 am

    I recently stopped taking 50mg of Zoloft after only a few months. I began taking it to counter pretty severe withdrawals from high-potency cannabis that I’d been using for years to self-medicate an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. My doctor recently upped my dosage and I opted to stop taking it in favor of a daily exercise regimen, heavy on cardio and sweat. I must admit, it battles my depression on several fronts. It may not be for everyone, because some people don’t like to exercise.

    But I feel that I get back everything that I put into my runs – You get out of it what you put into it. I often use my internal pain as a motivational tool, drawing on the hurt while charging slowly across difficult terrain. It’s helping a lot. Every day, I become physically stronger and leaner and my thoughts have begun to mirror my physical self. I have also begun to teach myself to play the guitar, which also gives me a deep sense of personal satisfaction and well-being by learning and improving at something on my own.

    Again, this may not be for everyone. But challenging myself in ways I had never before explored has proven extremely effective against the sadness I’ve been lugging around since childhood like a pack full of sharp rocks. Hang in there, everyone.

  • Jeremy November 3, 2015, 3:40 pm

    Thank you so much for such a well written and researched article. I am in the process of coming off of a 5 year dose of 100 mg a day. Although I wanted to stop taking it, I didn’t have the luxury of tapering down due to lack of insurance and apparently I make too much money for any free or discounted help. I feel like I have experienced EVERY symptom listed but the fatigue, brain zaps and irritability have been severe. I just got to tough through it, but I can honestly say it REALLY SUCKS!

  • Ruby November 4, 2015, 2:15 pm

    I’m starting to taper off of Zoloft and I’m still feeling the effects. Is this what hell is?

  • Jessica Abrahamsen November 6, 2015, 6:24 pm

    I had been on Zoloft since 8th grade. I am now 23 years old and decided I did not want to be on it anymore about a year ago. I talked to my doctor and she lowered my dose from 100mg to 50mg. I had brain shivers for about a week and then was fine. I was on 50mg for about 6 months before we lowered the dose down to 25mg. I didn’t notice anything that time. About 2 months ago I decided to split the 25mg in half.

    I did this until I ran out. I took my last half about a week ago. It took about 3 days for me to notice anything. First the brain shivers came. I noticed too I was very tired. After about 5 days the nausea set in. I ended up having to leave work because I got sick and was extremely dizzy. Needless to say, this first week has been horrible. I hope these flu like symptoms go away quickly. Does anyone have any advice?

    • navr November 30, 2015, 1:02 am

      Why were you on Zoloft for so long? What were two most debilitating side effects of Zoloft that you noticed?

  • ScaredOwl November 8, 2015, 2:02 am

    I thought I had developed a brain tumor. In Jan 2015 I started on (Sertraline) 25mg/day and have now been taking the 200/day for about six months. I ran out of meds for a few weeks but thought I would be all right. I started having 30+ dizzy spells an hour and thought I was going to pass out and fall down the stairs to the front door. These were coupled with a light electric sensation that started at the base of my skull and went up to the backs of my eyes.

    I also heard a soft hiss like someone popping the tab on a can of soda. I was terrified and thought it was a brain tumor at the base of my skull that was affecting my central nervous system. I want to say a heart felt thank you for publishing this article. Now that I am back on the medication all symptoms are gone. Please note: This was just my experience and I have only shared it because it may in turn help someone else.

    Everyone is different in this world and we all experience things in our own individual way, this just happened to be the way it happened with me. Keep smiling and have a lovely day today.

  • adrienne November 8, 2015, 2:30 pm

    Thank you for your post, I am on 200mg of zoloft, 1mg of xanax 3 times a day and 27mg of concerta (sp) I was being treated for ADHD, depression and anxiety disorder…by the way I am also a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for almost 2 years. I am very honest with my doctor. I have been on zoloft for 2 months and within a few weeks I became a monster, I have wanted to not live before but never would have done anything about it.

    After 60 days I could actually visualize myself hurting myself. after speaking with my therapist, who is in recovery too, told me I needed to consider getting a new doctor who specializes in addiction. A week later I was with a new doctor that has read more than a chapter on addiction and recovery. Come to find out those meds where slowly killing me, he told me because I am sober and going to meetings I could have held on for a few more months but it would have ended up with my thoughts becoming a reality.

    I am not any of those things the previous doctor had said, I am actually bipolar 2, now coming off the old meds and introducing new meds is a scary deal. I have started introducing lamictal and moved down to 150 of the zoloft and .5 xanax 3 times a day. I knew it would be a rough road but really had no idea on what I was dealing with until I read this article…thank you for taking the time to put it out there.

    This is a hell of a lot more helpful than the medical care I have been getting! I have been told everything I was on and the dosages 10 years ago they would have done a medical detox, which I didn’t even experience when I got sober, but of course insurance companies won’t pay for that anymore and patients are left hanging in the unknown. Again thank you and best of luck. Adrienne

  • Megan November 13, 2015, 7:43 am

    I agree with this post as I am currently going cold turkey. I have had almost all of the symptoms. The part that is kicking my butt the most are the brain zaps and I have also been having extreme nightmares which involve me screaming. They oddly seem to change with each zap. I’m ready to have this crap out of my system and hopefully never have to deal with it again!

    • Amanda November 14, 2015, 12:46 pm

      Wishing you well, Megan.

  • amanda November 14, 2015, 12:44 pm

    My husband was on 100mg Zoloft for 5 years and went off cold turkey about three weeks ago. I think that he is experiencing most of the symptoms as described above. He has gone into a manic phase including spending big money, which we can’t afford. I know that when I stop the credit card he will be furious, which scares me as he has had quite a bad temper lately. But I have no choice. I just can’t wait for this nightmare to be over.

  • Anne grey November 19, 2015, 9:29 pm

    I unfortunately stopped taking sertraline while in London. I had my trolley taken from me at Putney Overground Train Station and my tablets were in it. I needed to get back home as everything was becoming surreal. I ended up in casualty having had a passer-by call an ambulance for me. I was in hospital for a while and given Depakote, which I didn’t take for very long. The sertraline was given to me while in hospital following and during a 3 month long period in critical care due to a failed hernia operation that went wrong.

    I cannot remember 3 days of my life from this or most of the period while in intensive care. I have had dreadful nightmares about this period and was prescribed Promethazine hydrochloride which have been a god-send. I don’t take them all the time and my sleep patterns are now normal (well I think so) and therefore I am feeling a hundred percent better mentally. Unfortunately my body is lagging a bit behind and my abdominal wound still hasn’t healed after nearly a year. But thanks to the understanding of the mental health team I am me again – thank you Ipswich Suffolk.

  • Chenae November 29, 2015, 12:52 pm

    I’ve been taking 150mg of Zoloft for 6 years… Decided a month ago that I don’t want to be dependent anymore. After slowly weening me down to 50mgs, I’m now off it completely, but boy are the withdrawal symptoms kicking in. I get the brain zaps whenever I move, and nerve spasms… And then I just want everyone to leave me the hell alone, I just want to curl up in a ball and read. Also I’m pretty irritable and I get the cramps too. These symptoms suck, but I don’t regret my decision.

    • navr November 30, 2015, 12:54 am

      Isn’t irritability the most pronounced sign of depression? What were your two most debilitating sertraline side-effects?

  • Robert November 29, 2015, 10:54 pm

    Was on Zoloft past 4 months – got up to 100mg. Diarrhea got a bit intense, and was shaking quite a bit. Tried to ween myself off, after a few weeks got down to 25mg. Then stopped – 4 days later – headaches, shakes, brain “zaps”, cramps…panic. Almost went to ER. Took a Xanax, ativan, and 25mg Zoloft – 4 hours later it was over. Not going to try and get off these things anytime soon…

    • navr November 30, 2015, 12:56 am

      What were the side effects forcing you to stop taking Zoloft?

  • Abigail December 5, 2015, 4:36 am

    Thank you, reading this has made me feel a little less crazy. I was on sertraline for 7 years. I started at 75mg and went up to 100mg. I stopped cold turkey due to my doctor not having had filled my prescription and he thought I was using the medicine as a crutch. I am angry, irritable, I cry for no reason all of the time, I just don’t feel like myself. I have never experienced something like this. It does make me feel slightly better that I’m not alone.

  • Marian December 8, 2015, 1:25 pm

    Bipolar 2 here, with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Coming up on 2 1/2 weeks cold turkey (not my idea!) from 100mg of Sertraline. My GP has moved and I am waiting for my record to be transferred. Meanwhile, I’m battling the headaches, mood swings, panic attacks, and the brain zaps. I couldn’t figure out what was going on the first time I got zapped – freaked out completely. At this point I’m wondering whether to just see this through and stay off Zoloft, since it will be at least another week before I can see my doctor. That would leave me on 1500mg Epilim and 250mg Seroquel.

  • Thomas December 9, 2015, 12:08 am

    Been on 200 mg of Zoloft for about a year and a half, and stopped taking it by “tapering off” – first 100 per day for two weeks, then 50 mg for another two. Stopped completely over a week ago. No fun, that’s for sure. Some days I get extremely angry and volatile, other days very sad and depressed. The zaps are almost constant, although I must say they are not as powerful as when I went off Prozac, but rather more subdued.

    While the Prozac zaps were like earthquakes, the Zoloft zaps are like tremors. The dizziness and nausea is extremely annoying, however, and at times incapacitating. Overall, I try to take an “what the hell” attitude towards these symptoms, and treat them as a part of my life experience. When it gets really bad, I might go out, get drunk and pass out, at other times I might just try to get as much work done as possible, despite the withdrawal problems, just to see what the results are.

    One thing that is pretty awesome is that after I stopped taking zoloft I began having really incredible, vivid and even lucid dreams. Has anyone else experienced this? Anyway, I feel that the “what the f…” attitude towards the withdrawal symptoms works best for me, as I’ve always experimented with drugs, altered mind states etc., but understand that not everyone has the same kind of a mindset. Always good to hear others with similar kinds of problems, I’m happy to have found this place! Thomas

  • Sheryl December 10, 2015, 8:50 am

    THANK YOU! Oh my gosh. I was not sure what was going on with me. I am coming off of a low dosage of Zoloft and Beyaz (birth control). I weaned off the Zoloft over a two week period and stopped taking the birth control pills right after completing the Zoloft weaning. They were helping me cope with PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). All of my symptoms seem to be covered in the list you provided. I have been sobbing at insanely benign topics, TV shows, songs, etc. Not my norm.

    I have also been experiencing abdominal cramps which I thought was from discontinuation of the birth control, but now I see it could also be from the Zoloft withdrawal. Headaches have been bothering me on and off for about a week. I have had some insomnia, too. For example, tonight I have been up since about 1 am. I baked French macaroons, cleaned my kitchen, mopped my floors, and then went online to find out what is going on with me.

    Lastly, the mood swings and unnecessary anger. I am finding little things are making me annoyed or angered that really shouldn’t. I feel awful because it is typically focused towards my two boys (8 & 14) and my husband. They don’t deserve that. I am feeling super guilty about discontinuing these drugs, but I honestly just don’t want to take these chemicals any longer. I want to feel like me again. I hope the process continues but rapidly.

    I want to be a good mom and wife. Right now I am not. :(. Thank you SO much for sharing what you’ve learned. It is not a good feeling when coming off of these medications. I am very grateful that you have been able to shed some light on this for me and many others. Much gratitude!

  • Deena December 10, 2015, 9:07 pm

    I will NEVER in my life take another antidepressant of any kind. It took almost a year after I got off Zoloft before I even started thinking about being normal again… some people honestly do need to be on medication, as for me, never, ever, ever again.

    • Anne December 21, 2015, 10:09 pm

      I agree. I’ve been off just a year and a few months and no longer want or miss the zoloft. I do miss how it took the highs and lows off life, but I would rather just FEEL alive than ever go through the withdrawal again. I have newfound sympathy for drug addicts.

  • Joe Oldendick December 14, 2015, 8:41 am

    ANYONE who has been on zoloft and stopped taking it and then started to experience sleep apnea and panic attacks at night…please email me… joe.oldendick[AT]gmail.com. I really need to know how long I would have to start taking it again to get rid of these attacks… The last time I stopped taking zoloft I just had brain zaps, but this time it’s been MONTHS since I took zoloft…and I have been having breathing problems and waking up at night out of breath and confused for about 3 months.

    THIS MONTH it has been WORSE…I even went to a sleep study last night for sleep apnea and they couldn’t even do the testing because it was so severe and I gave up at about 2 AM. It seems like we should get together and take them to court…people should not have BRAIN ZAPS, and be afraid to sleep, and be worried that their heart is failing, just because they stop taking this sh*t.

    • Caro March 4, 2016, 12:41 am

      I’ve been waking up with panic attacks, confusion and tremors. My whole body shakes! Not the nicest thing to wake up to in the middle of the night! It’s only lasted two weeks so far (I’m almost three months into withdrawal) but hoping this is just a temporary wave. I know how awful it feels and I really hope things improve for you soon Joe. Best wishes, Caro

      • Caro March 4, 2016, 12:44 am

        I agree – we should definitely take them to court. These meds can help some people, but they can also temporarily destroy others. It’s so dangerous

  • Lisa December 14, 2015, 1:46 pm

    I can also relate. I was feeling great and thought I didn’t need the medication anymore. It’s only been 3 days and I’m going crazy, very forgetful and dizzy. I guess I’ll go back on them. Ugh… Will I ever be able to stop taking these meds?

  • Lori December 15, 2015, 9:10 am

    This is the best piece of research I have ever came across. I’m going to print it off just to keep in my treasure chest for my grandkids to go through perhaps, of everything that made the biggest impact in my life. Forgive me in advance, I quit cold turkey two weeks ago and may seem a little to passionate about the subject, but I too, have experienced every single symptom listed above. I took 100mg for 7 years, the same amount of time that has passed since my divorce.

    My four children were 17, 16, 14 and 12. I don’t regret it and would do it again because it really did save my sanity, reasoning skills and allow me to be emotionally tough. Not to say things did not go smooth. It was hell with 2 divorces now behind me and both men skipping out of the picture. With that said, I felt justified to take the medication. I had quit having periods for no apparent medical reasons at 38 and understood zoloft’s connection in helping balance my missing cycle with added hormonal benefit…

    Not accurate. I’m sure but I believed it would also help as I moved into menopause which I am in now at 52. However, I did it to make a point to society and to myself, that we are living with an epidemic our world has never seen and we have to stop the drug use. My children are now in their 20’s and I have lost count the friends they have lost along the way to drugs and how it has impacted our own family with my son. He used to tell me or years “your drug use with Zoloft messing around with your serotonin levels is no different than me messing around with mine with the various drugs I try.”

    Of course he was high saying this and I just couldn’t see the connection. It took another suicide from drugs close to the family and an overdose for me to see it from his perspective but by then it is nearly too late for my son. He was arrested Thanksgiving weekend with a felony possession of meth. It completely changed my world. I really had no idea how right he was about my use with Zoloft. As a former rodeo, girl’s bull rider back in my day, I never lost the strength mentally or physically to do anything I set my mind to.

    And although the symptoms are right on target I have to say, it could always be worse because every day it gets easier and I feel like I’m going to have a second chance of really knowing “me” again and all the passions I lay aside these last 7 years. I told my daughter “on Zoloft it feels like you are super levelheaded. It’s almost like you can distant yourself emotionally to what is going on in the world and look at it like a bubble looking down. When you are off Zoloft you start floating back down and you live inside the bubble again.”

    Fortunately I have a memory of being straight and how wonderful it was to be drug free most of my life with only occasional experimentation in college. My fear is that the kids today who were raised in this “medicated society” could never quit as easily because they have nothing to go on in trusting that they will know their selves, or like themselves when it’s over. Which is the case for my son.

  • Susan Kirkpatrick December 19, 2015, 9:20 pm

    I am experiencing all side effects listed but in addition can not regulate my body temperature. I’m sweating like crazy one minute followed by goosebumps and freezing cold the next. Is anyone else going through this?

    • Caro March 4, 2016, 12:38 am

      Yes, I’ve experienced this too. I’m getting really bad hot flushes in the middle of the night and when I wake up too. I’m keeping an ice pack close by! Hope it gets better for you soon.

  • tony December 22, 2015, 10:44 pm

    Found this site and thought “I am not alone”… Have been on sertraline for 4 years 100mg and tried last year to give up but the severity of the anger attacks were scary for me and my wife. I am trying again and am on day 9 without (cold turkey) and the anger is still there but but but is more manageable because of last time. I never managed 9 days last time nor did I have the brain zaps, but part of the reason I want to give up is this…

    Insulin dependent diabetic of 41 years with 6 injections per day. Celiac disease sufferer so am intolerant to gluten based products like bread. And guess what? This started 4 years ago when I sort of slipped into a depressive state having to watch even more of what I eat. I take 6 colesevelam pills per day to treat Bile acid malabsorption which is basically bad guts. I also take statins and ramipril as background pills.

    It sounds like I’m a wreck but I’m not. I’m in good shape considering and the only pill I can give up is the sertraline. I’m tired a lot and my bedroom prowess is not what it was so I feel I have to rule out what I can. My head is as good as I feel it can be…lol. Thanks everyone.

  • Lauren December 24, 2015, 4:49 am

    I am in the cannabis program for chronic pain, which has been very helpful with controlling terrible back pain (especially at night). Recently, I went on Zoloft for depression, and found the drug so horribly disruptive to all my systems I discontinued after taking it for 10 days. Since I was on the drug for so short a time and the side effects while on the drug so horrible, my doctor didn’t see a terrible issue with stopping ‘cold turkey’.

    Like many others I experienced the nausea, headache, dizziness, weakness, etc. of Zoloft withdrawal. Long story short I found the most profound relief from Zoloft withdrawal by taking small doses of medical cannabis throughout the day. The nausea, and other stomach problems straightened right out. I feel less dizzy.

    The caveat is that only small amounts of medical cannabis spaced out through the day seem to work. You don’t want to get high, you want to feel better so you can function. Anyway, wanted to share this as I hadn’t seen similar comments about zoloft withdrawal.

  • Keith December 26, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Thank you for your article. I’ve been on zoloft for about 20 years. I had suffered severe depression prior. I have tried to get off zoloft for at least the last 5 years. Tapering has never worked and I’ve always had too many responsibilities where I need my mental faculties to stick with cold turkey.

    This time I took a vacation for 3 weeks to do it and I’ve gone cold Turkey. My first 2 or 3 days I suffered through severe depression, a symptom I was familiar with but was never able to get through in the past. Being familiar with that symptom and knowing it was due to withdrawal got me through it this time. Now I’m on day 7 and I’m experiencing a form of dizziness that’s akin to being drunk.

    I’m exercising daily and will be traveling (no driving) so reading this article is incredibly helpful to know what to expect. My biggest concern is what lies for me at the end of the tunnel is the depression I started with 20 years ago. If it’s anything like the first 2 or 3 days of going off zoloft, it sucks. I wish everyone who is kicking this drug success.

  • Mike B December 28, 2015, 1:47 pm

    My 16 year old daughter was put on Zoloft over 18 months ago. She/we decided to get her off the medication altogether. She maxed out at 37.5 mg daily. We started to ween her off, each time we started to reduce the dose, I thought I was living with Dr Jekyll and Ms Hyde, she was having all these symptoms. We finally had to stop the tapering and leveled off at 25 mg.

    Finally, had to put her on 10 mg Prozac to help supplement the reduction of Zoloft. We finally stopped all medication, now we just have a few symptoms left that should run its course. So lesson learned: Zoloft is not for everyone and have a better understanding to what “Half-life” of meds mean.

  • Lisa December 29, 2015, 8:14 am

    I can relate to 90% of the above symptoms. I’ve ended up going back on tablets as I can’t cope with the withdrawals. Just remember professionals aren’t always right as well. They study their speciality, but in practice, don’t always get it right.

  • vulpesv January 1, 2016, 10:20 am

    Happy 2016 to all. I have been on .25 mg of Zoloft for about 5 years I believe. Possibly 6. It was a higher dosage before, but as I got fatter and fatter I complained louder and louder. My psychiatrist convinced me that not being a wreck was worth not having a libido, gaining weight, and not thinking as quickly as I did once. I trusted him because he was right about so much else.

    The ordeal of going through Lamictal is unfathomable to those who are not bipolar. You cannot think. Your entire brain is shut down for rewiring. Faith is all you have. And then in the end you come out calmer but a lot less sharper. It is compromise, compromise. Over time you regain much clarity but never all of it. At least I never did. I had other medications added to Zoloft to stop the weight gain part of it. Then I had other medications add to those to help the sleeping part of it.

    I just want it all stop now. All I really require is the Bipolar medication. All the rest was suppose to only be because I was getting accustomed to the idea of being bipolar in the first place – acceptance – and the other stuff that was also happening in my life. I don’t want that crutch. I’ve looked for something positive to read and what I find is pretty horrible. Although this thread started years ago, I read it and I read it and I read it.

    When I reached the end of it and saw that people were still writing on it recently it made me very happy. The person who started this thread is a Saint. She really helped me. I read every word and it was inspirational. I feel so much love for her. Stopping is scary but I’m going to do it because my stomach is shot. I can’t eat anything with tomato in it. I can’t eat spicy food. I can’t eat hardly anything. I drink Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar just to feel normal. I know in my heart it is because I’m taking too many pills.

    I’m taking pills because I was told to take pills and I don’t want to take them anymore but I’m afraid to quit. I’m terrified and I really don’t have anyone to help that is close. I have pulled in my mother although she is a thousand miles away! (I recently moved 120 miles and need to find an new Psychiatrist so I have no idea of his/her ideas about his but I will assert myself! I will quit now.)

    I signed up for an account mainly to say thank you to everyone who has come on and been so positive! You are amazing. I am very grateful this thread was started and so lovingly watered & grown with so many stories – over years. May it continue and help others.

  • Shannon January 2, 2016, 11:38 pm

    I was told by my doctor and my pharmacist that I could stop taking Zoloft without any problem because I was on such a low dose…they were wrong! I am so dizzy… it’s going on one month now. However, I can’t go back on Zoloft because I need another medication to help with a digestion problem – and those 2 drugs taken concurrently could cause me to have seizures! If I wasn’t paranoid or having anxiety before – I sure am now…lol

  • Cassi January 6, 2016, 10:35 am

    I am a 16 year old female currently living with major depression & anxiety. I was diagnosed and put on Zoloft about a year ago, taking 200mg every morning. I suddenly decided I would stop taking it the day after Christmas & am currently on my 11th day of the withdrawl symptoms. I felt as though the medication wasn’t helping in the way I wanted it to, so I decided to try without.

    I have honestly never been in such a position where I have felt so uncomfortable in my own skin, the symptoms I have read above could not be more accurate. I have and still am experiencing every single one of the above listed symptoms. Though, I have definitely found comfort in knowing that I am not alone. But I am curious as to how long it’s going to last? I don’t know how much more I can take. I literally feel as though my body is slowly shutting down & it’s absolutely awful.

  • Jeff January 7, 2016, 10:17 pm

    I was diagnosed with “underlying depression” that caused panic attacks in 1990 (age 30) I have been taking Zoloft (100mg) ever since. I have tried several times to discontinue use of Zoloft. I have found that for me, it will never become a reality. The “brain zaps” are so severe that I can never be free of this poison again. Just simply moving my eyes from left to right or turning my head will sends a series of electrical shocks throughout my body.

    It’s also accompanied by usually 3 tweets in my ears. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Zoloft keeps me free of depression and anxiety attacks, but at the same time it has made me forever dependent. Everybody is different. This is just a warning to anyone that may be prescribed Zoloft. My experience is real and it could happen to you. Happy trails, my friends.

  • Roger January 9, 2016, 3:18 am

    Hi, I’m 27 years old. I started taking zoloft around one year and 8 months ago. I was suffering from panic & anxiety disorders + some depression, turned out to be pure OCD. The panic attacks were really bad, I couldn’t work, drive, nothing for a good period of time. Eventually, on medication I was feeling better and was able to get back to my “normal life” one step at a time. I was taking 150mg zoloft +2 to 3 mg of xanax per day.

    Happens that after 8 months or so on medication I wasn’t feeling good at all, It seems that the medication helped me with the symptoms for a while but then it started to take everything away from me, I was a walking zombie, no libido, sexual dysfunction, no emotions, pain all over my body, paranoid, I thought I was going to die! or hurt myself or somebody. The dose was adjusted by the doctor but I definitely didn’t want to take it anymore.

    I tapered xanax down and withdraw from it (it wasn’t that bad), then I tried to do the same thing with zoloft. OMG!!! The symptoms were terrible! besides the fact that I was already felling bad, I started to feel worse than ever!!! and I was tapering it down slowly (as recommended by the doc). I had to go back to my original dose again. Long story short, I did the same thing 3 times and failed.

    I was even feeling bad about the fact that I couldn’t get off of it and that I was condemned to this for the rest of my life. I was going out of my mind!!! I tried to leave the meds again but this time I did it with nanotechnology colloidal silver (it really helps!!!), it helps by cleaning your body and equilibrates everything that is “not working” in your nervous system + one million other good things for your health!

    I was amazed on how good it was WOW. It’s bad, sad and funny how most doctors don’t like anything natural for you! Right now I’ve been off the medication for almost 2 months and recently just started to feel a bit of panic again, way less than before but it’s also part of the healing process (at least I can realize about it and I’m not going totally out of my mind as before). I’m also taking St. John’s Wort, it helps with the depression.

    Hopefully, I’ll be able to get off the meds for good, keep the natural ones and achieve what everyone on this situation wants, to be happy and all the other good things that come along with it!!! This was my experience (total nightmare). But it doesn’t mean that it has to be that way for everyone on this medication, I’ve known people on zoloft that are doing “good”. I hope this really helps for everyone! Best wishes and good luck.

  • JANE ALDER January 9, 2016, 10:16 am

    Withdrawing from Zoloft 200 mg. I am reducing 25mg per fortnight, tedious but so far not bad. A bit irritable, can’t sleep really well and a bit nauseous but that is all so far. I am down to 125mg. Oh, and some mild brain zaps. My recommendation is take it steady. My doctor is supporting me.

  • Deborah January 10, 2016, 3:36 pm

    I decided to go cold turkey after 2 years on Zoloft 100mg a day. Wish I had seen this post first. It is now Day 21 and things are getting better but still want to at times pull my head like a Barbie doll and blow the fuzzies out. The dizziness is much improved but I am still forgetful and ditzy some of the time. Very impatient, my poor kids and hubby cop my grumpiness.

    Fatigue was a biggggg problem early on but much improved. Just had enough of the tablets and wanted to see how I would go. So far so good. Better to taper withdrawal I think but I am rather impatient anyway. Hang in there guys, it gets easier. Thanks for the great info Gloom.

  • KatV January 12, 2016, 4:20 pm

    I decided to go off Zoloft myself and I know that’s irresponsible. It’s just that doctors have never been very supportive. I did not taper anywhere near as slowly as I should have done. I went from 100 to 50mg and then to nothing at all. Thing is, I thought I was doing ok with it. It’s been 2 months since my last dose (I was on it 2 years and 20 years on Prozac before that).

    My major problem is the mood swings, but I’ve experienced most all of the symptoms listed here. I was relieved to know that brain zaps were normal and the appetite/nausea/etc. Those were the most bothersome because I didn’t associate the eating problems with it and well… brain zaps are just disturbing. What’s weird is, I will feel relatively normal for a week or so and then *bam* the withdrawals come back.

    I thought I kept getting some sort of flu, but don’t think that’s it at all now. Part of me wonders if I shouldn’t go back to 25mg for a time and then slowly cut that down. Then again, it’s been 2 months and if I’m close to the finish line – perhaps I should stick it out. It’s just been particularly hard this week. I simply don’t feel right. I don’t know of a better way to put it.

    I’m having horrible problems with concentration, anger, and I can not sleep. Even an Ambien will only put me down for 4 hours. I was never diagnosed as being bipolar in the past, but the sleeplessness bothers me as I know that’s a symptom. I want to come off of Ambien and Klonopin as well, but right now I seem to be relying more heavily on them instead of less. I usually take less Klonopin than prescribed, but lately have been taking my full PRN dose each day.

    I know I’m just creating a new problem that I’ll have to deal with. I just don’t know what to do. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist this week. I know I should tell him about what I’ve done, but I’m ashamed and I’m also afraid of him poo poo’ing my concerns. I just can’t stand the sexual side effects anymore and I don’t want to be tied to a drug for the rest of my life if it isn’t absolutely necessary.

    There are more and more disturbing reports about long term effects coming out as well as effects on fetus development. I was hoping to get pregnant, which was my major impetus for quitting. Thanks for listening and I wish everyone luck.

  • Fritz January 19, 2016, 1:17 am

    I really appreciate this blog, and the comments from readers. I have been on Sertraline since October, and am now about half-way through the tapering off. Am now doing 25 mg per day, and in two days down to 25 mg every other day. It really helps to know (1) unpleasant effects are normal, and (2) in a month or two the symptoms will go away.

  • Kyle January 26, 2016, 1:18 am

    My girlfriend has stopped taking Zoloft. She been off it for over a month. Will her sex drive ever return?? It’s so bad even any kind of affection isn’t there. I can’t even get a hug without being pushed away.

    • Stacey February 25, 2016, 10:51 pm

      Hi Kyle, I’m a female trying to come off sertraline after around 18 months. I know my sex drive had fallen due to depression and anxiety, but this drug made it totally disappear. I’m pretty sure my other half feels pushed away like you do. At the moment I’m almost two weeks into cold turkey and the last thing on my mind is sex. I do feel sure it will come back and it is a side effect from the drug, but these things take time.

      It may be another month or so for her body to get used to things and be able to focus on things other than how rubbish she feels. Be there for her and try your best to understand what she is going through. It will bring you closer if she feels you understand and hopefully lead onto other things. It’s a long road, ups and downs, just try and be patient.

  • ThatsRightItsMe January 27, 2016, 12:58 am

    Hi, first of all thanks for all the information. I have been on and off Zoloft for several years now and never really thought too much of it until recently. It’s funny because I am actually a total health and fitness person… have been my whole life but never really researched Zoloft much. A few different occasions I just quite cold turkey and then thought everything that came to my mind was actually me my brain!

    Little did I know it was simply the withdrawals of this awful drug! While on this drug, I experienced hair loss, low energy, weird twitches and I have no clue if the mood swings and outbursts had to do with this drug but I still had them on different occasions. When I first went on the drug, I do believe it helped my anxiety and depressed but I gained a lot of weight which eventually I took it all off.

    Now I have been slowly tapering the drug and so far have experienced the follow symptoms, anger (at the smallest things), irritability, racing heart rate, insomnia, increased energy. The difference this time is I am aware these are withdrawals and not actually me! I have been documenting all my symptoms, it’s challenging but I believe it can be done! Thanks again for providing information and awareness it truly helps.

  • Eliseb January 27, 2016, 1:37 pm

    I am on day 5 of withdrawal from 16mg sertraline. I just checked back into this post as I am having dizziness and withdrawal symptoms are increasing. 16mg may seem like a low dose but I don’t metabolize setraline very well and therefore side effects are increased (there is a DNA dose test you can get done which shows what antidepressants you may have trouble metabolizing). I was 0n 50mg for 2 years.

    6 months ago I tried withdrawing after getting down to 25mg no problems. It was awful. So I ended up getting the chemist to suspend the sertraline at 5mg per 1ml. This kind of worked with very small decreases but I could not get the decrease in dose small enough without experiencing withdrawal effects. So the wonderful chemist said she could mix it to 2mg per 1 ml which enabled me to measure the dose more accurately and drop smaller increments at a time (0.25mg).

    I was down to 15.5mg over the 6 months. I forgot to take my dose 5 days ago and didn’t get any withdrawal effects so thought it was all good because normally I get withdrawal effects within 12 hours. But I am getting dizziness and anxiety increasing over the past 2 days. I may be able to ride it out but need to be high functioning in my work place, so I think I will take 15 mgs tomorrow and continue on a very slow and tapered withdrawal.

    There is some great ideas for this (albeit at higher doses) in this comments section. So thank you for sharing those tips- really appreciated and prompted me to post how I have tried to minimize withdrawals.

  • May January 27, 2016, 6:17 pm

    I started zoloft 100 mg once a day 25 years ago after a horrible depression. I reduced it to 50mg a year ago. Now I am taking the half of the 50mg almost for 2 weeks also once/day. I don’t feel well sometimes during the day, as if waves are moving inside my head. I want to get rid of this antidepressant. Could anyone help me by telling me for how long I need to take it? And for how long I will feel the dizziness symptoms? I am 61 years old and I am on Deprizine and Crestor. Thank you.

  • Ari February 3, 2016, 4:48 am

    I have been taking 0.25mg daily for two years. Last Thursday, I decided to try to stop. This is the third time I’m attempting to stop. My reasons for stopping are – I feel content and happy in myself and in my life and I don’t need the drug to feel better anymore. I do not want to take this drug for the rest of my life. And I do not like to put chemicals into my body.

    I “dry” swallowed my Zoloft pill last Thursday morning because I was in a rush. The tablet dissolved in my throat just above my voicebox and burned the sensitive tissues of my throat very severely. It was extremely painful for two days. This event made me wonder what the drug was doing to my body, if this is what it could do to my throat? I decided then to stop taking the drug.

    So far this past week, my side-effects or withdrawal symptoms have been bearable. However, I’ve been taking extra care of myself, sleeping early, eating well and staying home to relax. I do feel a lot of fatigue. I do feel a lot of strange dizziness when I move my head or look around. The worst side effect is at night when I’m falling asleep, I get panic-attack-type flutters in my heart for no reason.

    These flutters remind me of the way I felt before I started taking Zoloft. I am hoping this is just a withdrawal symptom that will disappear in time. I have no more reason to have panic attacks now. I have noticed that I sleep much better and have a better sense of taste since stopping Zoloft. I feel more in touch with myself and my body.

    I feel quite angry that my doctor and psychiatrist did not tell me how powerful this drug would be and that stopping it would be so difficult. It is a difficult drug to stop taking, even in its lowest dose. Good luck to everyone who is trying too!!

  • Kari February 11, 2016, 5:52 pm

    I agree with everyone on this page. Just to add my experience – I have been on 50 mg / day sertraline for about 5 years. I tapered down to 25 mg day for about 5 weeks and then 25 mg every other day for 5 weeks and now have been completely off for about 2 weeks. It has been HORRIBLE. Brain zaps, dizziness, anxiety, nausea, very tired, losing my temper at small things and now recently crying spells – I cry over everything at work, at home. It’s unbelievable. I’m actually kind of upset with my Doc because she never wants to treat anxiety short-term, even with a few downers like lorazepam.

  • Michael February 17, 2016, 4:49 pm

    I was on 225mg. zoloft once a day for almost 20 years. I have tried to taper down in the past but this time I quit cold turkey. I experienced no problems at all for six weeks or so weeks but then the fun begins. Increasing fatigue and mental fog mostly but also insomnia and anxiety. Currently at ten weeks and barely able to function.

    This has been the pattern for me whether I taper or quit cold and always before (3-4 times) I have just given in around ten weeks and restarted the drug. This time I am determined to stick it out. My experience seems to be atypical in that I have no problems at first and then they start and worsen. Regarding the danger of suicidal ideation, I do not feel that way at all but I no longer see life as completely open-ended as I once did.

    This may be more a factor of getting older but it is notable. I am looking for someone to relate withdrawal experiences out beyond the 3-month time period since I haven’t ever made it that far.

    • MikeH September 21, 2016, 6:50 pm

      I left a comment elsewhere on here a few days ago and couldn’t find it so in searching for it I ran across your comments. Boy the situation is so similar to mine starting with the name Mike, I had to dig deep into my memory to make sure I’m not you or visa versa.

      Anyway I was on 200mg per day for about 16 years and about 2 weeks ago went off cold turkey and have had some of the physical side effects but mostly very tolerable then I read your saying it took about 6 weeks or so to hit you. So where yesterday I was wondering about how long the symptoms would hang around today I’m hearing all the water has left the bay and wondering if I have enough time to go grab some fish and crab before the BIG wave comes in.

      Hey one’s got to laugh, it’s all we have at times. Any encouraging words other than forget the seafood and head for the mountains?

  • Stacey February 25, 2016, 7:59 am

    This is the most accurate article I have read which describes what this feels like. I’m about 10 days into going cold turkey and the brain zaps and dizziness are starting to fade a little. What is at the forefront right now is the mood swings. I keep getting overwhelming and sudden outbursts of anger which are scaring me. Does any body have any tips on how to cope with this part? Thank you.

    • Kelly February 28, 2016, 2:18 am

      Hi Stacey, I have been crying over the silliest things – I have been taking 5-10 really deep breaths, know that the feeling will pass, but I really recommend meditation. Even if for only 5 minutes, I promise it will help. I find the guided with music meditation the best, there are lots on YouTube, also, even going outside for a few deep breaths of fresh air, hope that helps.

  • Kelly February 28, 2016, 2:14 am

    I have been tapering off for almost two weeks. I have been on Sertraline for well over 10 years. I started my taper from 150mg each day to every second day, after 1 week I went down to 50mg and am on my second day of the reduced dosage. I am so dizzy and nauseous (comes and goes throughout the day), I just want this to stop, are these symptoms going to stay for a while?

    • Caro March 4, 2016, 12:25 am

      Hi Kelly, I’ve also been experiencing severe nausea. I’ve found that eating little but often has helped and I’ve completely changed my diet so that I’m only eating natural and healthy foods which are easy to digest. I’ve found that fish which is high in omega-3 has been particularly helpful. Sending you my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Caro

  • Hana March 1, 2016, 8:42 pm

    I have a crazy list of symptoms after tapering off Zoloft: Missed period, dizziness/slight nausea, HUGE appetite, anger/mood swings. Of course I took a couple of pregnancy tests over several weeks and all came back negative! Who would have thought a drug withdrawal would mimic pregnancy symptoms like this? I wonder if I’m the only one?

    • Caro March 4, 2016, 12:20 am

      Hi Hana, I’m exactly the same. My withdrawal symptoms have mimicked pregnancy/menopause too! My PMS is off the radar and my morning sickness is unbearable. I’m three months into the withdrawal and things are finally starting to get better though. Sending you my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Caro

  • Megan March 2, 2016, 3:08 am

    I’ve been on 100 mg of Zoloft for about a year. I took it during my pregnancy with my daughter, but really don’t want to take it during this pregnancy as my daughter was born with a minor skin birth defect that my doctor attributed to Zoloft. I tried tapering down for the past several months and ultimately weaning off, however, the brain zaps get so extreme I feel like I have to keep taking it. I don’t feel any other real side effects beside nausea and night sweats, but I really just want to get through to it. This is only like day 3 and I’m nervous about what’s to come.

  • Caro March 4, 2016, 12:16 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and making me feel as if I’m not going crazy. I personally experienced every single one of these symptoms, both during the time I was on the medication (only six months) and also since withdrawing from the medication (three months so far). This has been the worst six months of my life and this medication should be banned.

    Sertraline has completely destroyed my digestive system and I’m wondering if it will ever fully recover. I’m having to fork out thousands of pounds for hospital treatments which I’m hoping might correct the damage. Sending my love and hugs to everyone else on this site who is struggling. You’re not alone – things will get better!

    In terms of things I’ve found that have helped, I think diet is the most important thing. Natural, unprocessed foods and no gluten. Lots of fruit, vegetables and fish. Foods high in omega seem to be really good. I was also taking various supplements to start with, but actually I think these slowed down the healing process and it’s better to do it through diet. The most important thing is to stay patient. Things do get better, but sometimes it takes a while.

  • Jill March 4, 2016, 12:25 am

    I took 50 mg Zoloft and 100 mg trazadone for 9 years. I had bad anxiety and insomnia. I was ready to see if I could manage without it. I started splitting the pills to 25 mg and did it for 3 weeks. Then I took 25 mg every other night for 2 weeks, then every third day. I have been off Zoloft for 2 weeks and my withdrawals have been minimal (stayed on trazodone). The post was great because it told me what to expect on not be fearful when the side effects hit. Thank you! Through self talk and exercise you can get off SSRI’s. And remember if you do need them there are so many options and you will be OK!!!

  • Adrienne March 7, 2016, 7:20 pm

    I was on 50 mg Sertraline and 50 mg Trazodone for about 8 years. I tapered both the Sertraline and Trazodone to 25mg about a year ago, and then stopped the Sertraline altogether about three weeks ago. After about three days of being off the Sertraline, the anger I felt was incredible, and those nasty little brain zaps were difficult to recover from at times.

    I would cry at little things just out of the blue. Then it would feel like my brain was just shutting down, like extreme mental fatigue. So I would take a break from work, close my eyes, and nap for 15-20 minutes. It helped a lot. I think my brain just needed short breaks from processing the world without the assistance of the Sertraline. It’s hard work producing enough dopamine and serotonin to get this gal through her day!

    I’m on week four now, and everything is getting better (finally!). The brain zaps have almost completely ceased, although I do still feel that my patience is short. I am selective who I spend time with because I have no patience and my “filter” definitely isn’t working at 100%. :-)

    My advice to anyone going through this: be good to yourself. Indulge yourself a little. Move slowly. The symptoms will pass with time, and then regular activity can resume. But while you’re withdrawing, don’t force yourself to do things. It’s like having a broken leg. Give your body time to heal. Also, ice cream is very good for recovery. :-)

  • Shane March 10, 2016, 8:44 am

    I was on sertraline eight years and came off four months ago. Problem is that I’m having bad anger issues all the time. Considering going back on 25mg today.

  • Guest March 19, 2016, 9:01 pm

    I’ve kicked Zoloft several times, this time hopefully the last. Currently I’m quitting Zoloft and quetiapine at the same time, cold turkey. I knew what I was in for, but I’m quite determined to see it through. The side effects of Zoloft withdrawal are similar to that of heroin withdrawal (from what I’ve read), except that Zoloft’s persist for months.

    I’ve experienced it all – the relentless headache, intermittent fever, diaphoresis, heightened senses, GI upset, insomnia, vertigo, the paresthetic “zaps,” and – the most fun of all – the intractable, chemotherapy-grade nausea. EXTREME nausea, all the time. I never knew nausea ’til I tried to quit Zoloft. In any case, every hour, every day I survive, I’m that much closer to it being behind me. Good luck to everyone!

  • Clare March 25, 2016, 3:58 pm

    I have been coming off sertraline for the last three months following a tapering off method suggested by my doctor. Been on the drug for 7 years. Been experiencing chronic fatigue several days a week plus several other symptoms listed in the article. Main problem has been that an area on the left side of my head becomes intensely cold and then there is a tingling radiating out from this area.

    This can last for an hour and a half at a time. Quite worried first time as I thought it was a stroke but becoming used to it now. After the initial attack I am left with a pain at the centre of the coldest area which doesn’t respond to painkillers.

  • Benno March 26, 2016, 12:15 pm

    Hi all, I have been on sertraline (Zoloft) for about 15-20 years on 50mg for most of it. I wish I had never been prescribed this. I was in a bad state when I went on it but I still wish I never had. I have tried a few times to get off it but always ended up going back to it. I have been taking 25mg for about the last 3 years. I have become inspired to try and get off it for good.

    I have dropped down to 12.5mg for the last week and feel like irritable and easily angered which sucks because normally I am placid and gentle. I will stay on this dose for a few weeks (and hopefully I will feel a bit better) before stopping completely. I am worried I will never feel good without it. I would honestly not wish my symptoms on anyone (or any other symptoms you people are suffering too).

    Anyone have any success stories that could motivate me and give me some light at the end of this long, painful tunnel?

  • Josh April 1, 2016, 11:59 am

    I have been on 200 mg of Zoloft for 10 years and I have never in my life been so miserable, as I was and am, from quitting Zoloft. I have experienced everyone of those symptoms, but the floating eyeball, dizzy headed brain zaps are the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. I have been trying to quit for 2 years, I am down to 50 mg and I only take it when the dizziness gets more than I can handle, which is around every 7 to 10 days.

    I have withdrawn from caffeine, nicotine, benzos, and several other drugs, but the withdrawal symptoms from Zoloft is like the worst demons in hell wrecking havoc inside your body and mind. It is absolutely the worst thing I’ve ever tried to quit, will be so thankful when I can finally stop having the dizzy spells and brain zaps.

  • Alex N April 7, 2016, 4:44 pm

    After two weeks, I can honestly say I no longer feel any withdrawal from sertraline. I think it’s time for there to be more studies allowing us to understand that what is often considered prolonged SSRI withdrawal syndrome is in fact the depression and illness showing itself in its untreated capacity. As controversial as my comments might seem, unless you are also receiving cognitive behavioral therapy, I don’t believe you can process, work through or resolve your depression, and so as the quick fix, immediate gratification that permeates our culture reaches into the world of medication, we are also faced with the dire lack of psychiatric and psychotherapy-based regulation that puts people at risk of extreme reactions to withdrawal.

    I’m not denying it is real. A week and a half ago, I was terrified of the zaps and the migraines and the dizziness. Worst of all for me as I worked out intensely to counter the negative tailspin was the muscular aches that literally left me feeling like my nerves were severed at my shoulder joints when I would lay down to go to sleep. Again, if you live somewhere where you can gain access to legal marijuana, I believe a mellow, relaxing strain can be the best tool to combat those moments of extreme stress and confusion as the brain tells the body to figure the hell out of whatever is happening to it.

    I have a lot of thinking to do about how I feel about SSRIs now that I am rid of my dependency. I know there was a time when I truly benefited from the therapeutic chemical shift the prescription provided, but these are not drugs to be administered lightly, and any doctor allowing a person to stay on them for years at a time without addressing the peripherals, such as long term dependency leading to increased difficulties in cessation, gradual onset of loss of libido, generalized personality numbness etc. is, in my opinion, criminal. These are serious drugs with powerful and somewhat mysterious side effects.

    I also encourage everyone going through withdrawal to take the time to learn about how SSRIs work biologically, as this will also give you the power to understand what is happening to your body in withdrawal. And please keep the faith that you will eventually recover. After a gradual six month tapering off, I can honestly say that it was only the first week that truly felt like hell. Each day of the second week I could recognize a slight improvement in myself.

    Mindfulness, meditation, physical exercise, and a good mellowing helper, whether homeopathic, synthetic or medicinal such as marijuana will get you through it successfully. After two weeks, I feel I am back to my true self, and I like the way I am and feel. You can get there too!

    • Sue July 1, 2016, 7:34 pm

      Went on 75 mg of Zoloft 11 yrs ago after trying to “tough out” post partum depression symptoms for 3 years. The initial 2 weeks were a tough adjustment, but the drug has allowed me to live an amazing life (free of fatigue, self pity and irritability) for 11 years. I am now in my mid 5o’s, and decided the extra 4o lbs I gained on the drug were no longer acceptable despite exercising religiously.

      Before seeing this blog, I had tried to dose off and was frightened by the joint pain and memory issues I was experiencing, so stayed on the drug. I decided I would try again after reading the wisdom of others here (thank you!) and am dosing off intentioning at the start of summer when seasonal affect disorder won’t make this harder.

      I dosed down slowly, over a period of weeks, from 75 mg to 50 mg to 25 mg. a little dizziness, but not bad at all. I am now at 25 mg every 4 days and have had some stomach cramps, achy joints, and occasional feeling of “butterflies” in my tummy, but I know this is part of the drill, and it’s not debilitating.

      Question for others: I was given a prescription for Nortriptyline to handle a migraine (unrelated to Zoloft withdrawal) about 6 mos ago, and my MD said it could help with Zoloft withdrawal. I do not take Nortriptyline daily. Has anyone heard if this as a way to help w/withdrawal symptoms? Appreciate any advice others may have.

  • Jesse Reed April 8, 2016, 11:51 pm

    It’s the worst. I’m withdrawing now. Never had withdraws in my whole life, now this is the devil’s roller coaster. I’m angry, aggressive, dizzy as all get out, it’s hell.

  • Teddi-Kay Gregg April 10, 2016, 4:19 am

    I have been on any number of anti-depressants since 1995. They work for about 5 years, with dosage increases, and then I have to find something else. Since October, I have gone from Celexa, to Lexapro, which did nothing, to Pristiq which sent my blood pressure through the roof, to Cymbalta, which again did nothing, and then back to Zoloft which had quit working about 11 years ago.

    In March, we discovered that some of my liver function blood tests had doubled since the Fall. My psychiatrist told me to drop from 100 mg to 50 for 3-4 days (I did 5) and then stop it all together. My Gastro doc wants me off for at least 3 months until we know for sure what is happening with my liver. I have a genetic family history of Fatty Liver Disease, do not drink, smoke or do illegal drugs, but then, neither did my mother who ended up having a liver transplant. I am awaiting the results of a liver biopsy done last week.

    Anyway, I have been med free, except for 25 mg Trazodone I take at night, for two weeks and am miserable. I’m so glad to see that most of what I’m feeling is normal, and that I’m not in this alone. I am not room-spinning dizzy, but my head is just off. Hoping this will end soon.

  • Debra April 14, 2016, 3:10 pm

    Thank you the insight regarding cold turkey withdrawals from Zoloft! I cold-turkeyed about 5 weeks ago. I still have dizziness, muscle pain in my stomach, abdomen, and through out my back. Other body places aren’t as bad anymore. I’m really fighting my emotions right now!!! I was on Zoloft 50mg for about a year and then changed to Effexor until a couple months ago and was then put back on Zoloft.

    I’ve been taking anti-depressants for Manic Depression for 3 1/2 yrs. I felt so toxic and sick this past year and started having extreme IBS issues. I’m so tired of being sick that I quit all meds (anti-depressants, stomach pills, laxatives) cold turkey. I knew it would be hard! I’m thinking about taking them again to hopefully make me better without the IBS issues happening again, hopefully.

    Yet I’ve come so far in my withdrawal that I never want to have to go thru this again and I tell myself to keep moving forward and not give up! I’m finding myself writing here because I need to talk to someone somewhere. I need to be better for myself, my husband, my family, my job, etc!!! I’m having such a hard time! I think I need to go to the mountains! Thanx again for the insight and a place to spill my guts! Namaste <3

  • Melissa Bennett April 14, 2016, 5:53 pm

    I have just read all of this and thank you for putting brain zaps into normal talk, I have been trying to explain this feeling for a long time and now I can put it into sensible words that people understand. I have been cold turkey for just over a week after being on 150mg for around 2 years and yes it’s hell on earth, but I am feeling positive about my decision.

    • Debra April 17, 2016, 6:40 pm

      Hi Melissa, It is hard going thru these withdrawals! I didn’t know it could take so long but, I’ve come to far to give up or ever have to do it again! Stay strong with me and we’ll get thru it! Namaste

  • claudann April 20, 2016, 6:30 am

    Day 4 of unwanted cold turkey due to my doc not refilling my Rx timely. I’ve been on Zoloft for many years. Everything hit like a ton of bricks today. Extreme, and I mean extreme, fatigue. Achy like the flu. Dizziness so extreme that I caused an uproar at work. They almost called 911, but I begged them to just call my husband to come pick me up.

    I’m staying home tomorrow. I have my Zoloft now and have taken a dose. Hopefully it will get in my system quickly. I can’t imagine going through this long-term! Thank goodness I didn’t get the brain zaps or I would have wanted to go to the ER! It is so good to know about all these withdrawal symptoms.

  • Struggling April 25, 2016, 11:51 pm

    Pretty much everything I have read above is spot on for me. I have been taking 300mg Zoloft for severe OCD & anxiety for 12 months now, having started on it 3 years ago and have slowly been increased by my Psychiatrist to this point. We have now come to the conclusion that it is just not effective for me, so we are tapering down to try an alternative.

    I was so scared at having constant headaches, dizziness, irritability, intense mood swings, crying, panic attacks & severe anxiety – reading this post, and the subsequent responses echoing the symptoms that others are experiencing has made me feel a little more comfortable while waiting to see my Psychiatrist on Friday (despite trying to see him sooner). I really wasn’t sure I was going to be able to survive another 4 days of feeling like this, and that I was going insane!

    My family don’t seem to know how to deal with me, and frankly – I cant blame them. Reading this article has made me realize that I am not the only one who experiences drug withdrawal in such a bad way, and that despite the way I am feeling – it is normal.

  • TD April 26, 2016, 7:58 pm

    Holy crap…I’ve been tapering off of this for about 2 months…and in the last two- three weeks my irritability and anger has skyrocketed. It’s awful and I don’t even want to be around me, I can only imagine what I am putting other people through right now.

    The dizziness is light at this point and taking a naturopathic supplement is helping, but this is terrible. I’m trying to tough it out until I feel some homeostasis happen, but I may very well have no friends left before that time arrives.

    • jen July 5, 2016, 2:35 pm

      Hi TD, I haven’t seen my friends in months, I’m afraid some of them have given up on me… but when I’m around people I find I get exhausted having any kind of conversation where I actually have to concentrate and need to go lie down! I’m such a downer to be around right now and I used to have such fun! I miss that.

  • Lucas April 28, 2016, 7:52 pm

    My wife was on zoloft for about 3 months because of stress/depression leading up to our wedding in January. She had a hypomania episode in February and our doctor recommended she quit cold turkey. She continues to show signs of withdrawal 2 months later and her mood is very irritable all the time. Has anyone had experience dealing with zoloft withdrawal after a short time using it? If so how long did it last?

    • Maureen May 13, 2016, 3:42 pm


  • Sarah April 29, 2016, 6:08 pm

    This is reassuring to read. It was so hard to describe the electrical jolts I would get in my head from forgetting to take Zoloft for a few days. I have recently stopped cold turkey from the medication because I felt numbed by it. I had been on it for nearly 3 years at at 200mg dosage. It helped me with my social anxiety and generally lifted my mood in that time, but the last 6-8 months have been awful.

    I have felt extremely numb. Unable to really experience any genuine, long lasting feelings either happy or sad. Just nonchalant about my own life. I don’t think this should be a normal way to feel everyday. Honestly, I would rather feel sad or angry than feel absolutely nothing about my own life.
    I have been cold turkey for nearly a week now.

    I can’t even begin to explain the intensity of the mood swings I am experiencing daily. Or the anger. I never expected to feel so angry after so long of feeling nothing. And tired. I could sleep all day. I am confident that I can weather the next couple of weeks of withdrawals. Hopefully I won’t lose my head in the process.

  • Carolina May 1, 2016, 5:32 am

    I had been on Zoloft for 11 years, the highest dose I was on towards the end was 300 mg, as prescribed by my doctor. I got fed up with this medicine because it was not helping me anymore (at least I felt that way at the time). So I started tapering off until I ran out of pills (I think I took 50 towards the end).

    As part of the withdrawal I felt angry, sad, weepy and had suicidal thoughts (I had suicidal thoughts even when taking recommended dose). Like other people said in other posts, hell on earth is a very accurate description. After almost hitting the 90 day withdrawal mark, I ended up in the hospital because I felt out of control and very close to acting on my suicidal thoughts.

    My conclusion is that the longer you take any antidepressant, the more you become dependent on it. Now I am taking other stuff, but also doing DBT therapy, which I find very very helpful (unlike “talk therapy”, that tends to exacerbate my rumination and “poor me” complex).

  • Maureen May 4, 2016, 4:58 pm

    What a joy to have found this site! I was put on Sertraline a few years ago by an overzealous doctor who wanted to get me off my fairly low dose of Diazepam. I had no idea what this tablets were having recently returning to this country from abroad, and unusually for me I didn’t ask. I didn’t suffer too many bad symptoms except by the third month continuous ‘runs’ (bowel problems!).

    I put up with this for almost 4 weeks before going back to the doctor. She didn’t make any connection with the tablets. Then unfortunately for me she upped and left the practice. I came off them gradually (having worked things out for myself) and was fine. However in late March this year and having moved house plus many dramas, I was feeling anxious so went to the docs. I was put on Sertraline.

    After 16 days of getting headaches etc and finally the stomach problems I decided to come off them cold turkey. I was on 50mg. It was hell after that, but there was no way I was going to stay on these tablets. These I was assured, were those with the least side effects that they ‘even gave them to pregnant women’! I was shocked by this.

    It’s been about 4 weeks now and I’m still getting headaches though not so often, but the woolly headedness is ghastly. I thought it was old age (I am not young however!). I drop things I can’t concentrate etc. I’d go so far as to say these tablets are evil or is it simply that doctors are NOT checking up on the side effect? Apologies if this sounds garbled. Some of it may be age, but most of it is the wretched tablets!!!

    • Ann January 4, 2017, 5:22 am

      Wow! Thanks for your post on bowel problems… convinced I had a dozen horrendous GI diseases. Am starting decrease tomorrow. Dr’s advice. Thanks again.

  • Mary May 5, 2016, 3:58 pm

    Has anyone had bouts of diarrhea – lots of it and explosive and leakage type? Seems to be my most bothersome symptom. After each taper, I would experience it and after about 2 weeks it became more normal. But when I had to take Diazepam in Bali for frozen muscles – I came home with the plan to get off the remainder 50MG of Zoloft and it was the worse of the three stages (I expected it to be the easiest as the 2nd was better than the 1st).

    Wondering if being on the stronger opiate made the difference (five days). But anyway the diarrhea is lasting longer along with cramps. It has been over a month now. Any ideas? Or should I be looking at some other cause as I don’t see it mentioned here as a symptom. But with the first two withdrawals (50mg each) it started about 3 days later and normalized in 3 weeks.

    This seems really bad some days and slightly better others with maybe one normal movement occasionally.

    • Maureen May 13, 2016, 3:40 pm

      Yes to the diarrhea. I noticed like you that people don’t mention it much as a side effect of coming off the tablets. Took a few weeks for it to go away with the help of Slippery Elm (yes it really works) I’m almost back to ‘normal’ gut wise. Still get fits of irritation though and the odd headache.

  • Pat May 10, 2016, 2:45 pm

    I was on Zoloft and klonopin for 15 years. I’ve been off both for about 2 & 1/2 months now. I’m experiencing insomnia, but I’m dealing with it. I took L-theanine to help with the horrible anxiety attacks from weaning off.

  • Nicole May 11, 2016, 3:36 am

    I cannot wait till I’m off of this crap! I am so mad and irritated at everyone, and I know I’m not usually this way. I do slowly feel my motivation coming back. I currently have a headache and I get dizzy here and there. I think the brain zaps were only a big thing for the first week that I started to withdraw. I will keep praying and moving forward. I hope it doesn’t last 3 months for me, but who knows… Good luck to the rest of you!!

  • Michele May 13, 2016, 11:25 pm

    I see a class action lawsuit in the works. Getting off of Zoloft (multiple mgs) after being on it for over 20 years is literally impossible. Worse than heroin withdrawal.

    • Anne May 22, 2016, 10:18 pm

      No, it’s not literally impossible, however it IS HORRIBLE. I was on it for 16 years, quit 21 months ago. It was misery but I can attest that I am back to my “old self.” I always add the caveat, my depression was situational and would have improved over time even without Zoloft, so I can’t say it was a “chemical imbalance” or anything like that. I attempted to quit several times but finally managed it (2 years come August 2016). This site is wonderful for the camaraderie, and for people to tell you IT CAN BE DONE.

  • Kristen May 23, 2016, 12:43 pm

    Thanks for this info and support. I didn’t think the Zoloft was helping me that much but titrating myself off has caused me to feel like such a jerk! I’m now off completely for 2 weeks and have many of the symptoms you listed… I thought they would be better by now. Is anyone else really clumsy?!?!?

    If my sense of humor wasn’t also impacted with this withdrawal, it might actually be funny. In the shower yesterday, I dropped the shampoo bottle twice and every other item at least once. Getting a spoon out of the silverware drawer nearly caused a catastrophe and I just can’t get the ice from the tray to my glass w/o getting most of it on the floor!

  • Carl May 23, 2016, 7:30 pm

    I’ve quit cold turkey a week today after a year of 150mg daily. I’m suffering for it, just wondered if there’s anyway to minimize withdrawal symptoms?

    • Anne June 3, 2016, 7:45 pm

      Copied from my text above: Update for all the sufferers. If you have read my history above, you will see I was on zoloft for many, many years. I quit last August. I have had some lows, especially during this miserable winter we had. I was tempted to restart so often, but didn’t because I knew the winter was making things worse and I didn’t want to start all over again.

      But the sun is shining and I feel better. But I did find some help. I purchased Natrol’s Mood+ at my local drug store. I don’t use it every day, and use only 1/4 of a tablet when I do use it, but it has been a real godsend. It has a bit of 5HTP and a bit of L-theanine and is just what I need when I get down. Two statements though are very necessary. (1) Do not take 5htp if you have any zoloft in your system.

      I did that once, small amounts of each thinking I was safe, but ended up with a mild case of serotonin syndrome. Make sure you’re free and clear of zoloft before you start. (2) I was not/am not clinically depressed. If you are, your course may vary.

  • Randy May 25, 2016, 6:30 am

    I was taking zoloft for 1.5 years. The daily dosage was upped over a 3 month time spam to 200mg per day. I quit cold turkey about 2 months ago and am wondering if I will ever be normal again. It never really helped the initial problem-depression. Now I have digestive problems-I can cycle a meal in about 2 hours.

    No energy, but no patience to watch TV because of all the commercials. My body is sore all of the time – like some pro MMA athlete used me for a practice dummy. Some nights I have to take 800mg of ibuprofen to take the edge off of the pain.

    I have had digestive problems for years and quit taking prilosec about 4 months ago after about 25 years of it. Poor digestion = no energy to function well. When will our medical system(USA) quit functioning to make the share holders on Wall St happy and get to the root cause of our health problems.

  • Cassidy June 3, 2016, 7:35 pm

    I just wanted to say that I am so happy to have found this forum. Ive been taking zoloft for 5 years now for clinical depression and bipolar 2. I’ve been tapering off of zoloft for a month now and have gotten from 150MG to 75mg. It really has been hell on earth. The dizziness and nausea are the least of my worries. I have been lashing out at my mother and family (and I have never had anger issues), been on the verge of tears at all times, and have a hard time finding motivation to get out of bed in the mornings. But at least I am not alone. Thanks for letting me vent here.

  • RW June 9, 2016, 2:39 pm

    I am so happy I found this page and all you wonderful people. I am 30 years old and have been on and off SSRIs since I was 16. Last 8 years has been Zoloft. Was at 150 mg but down to 25mg for several months with no real change. I went cold turkey about 10 days ago. Thought I had reduced enough but with no insurance for doctor (I was just laid off) it was with no guidance.

    Headaches and sensitivity have been OK for the last day. No sleep it seems without ambien or OTC sleep aid. Haven’t gotten brain zaps as of yet during THIS withdrawal. I did start taking 5HTP almost immediately after cessation and just now found out that could bring on serotonin syndrome. So no more of that for… a month? Chest pains are worst symptom at the moment.

    Tempted to take 12.mg but don’t want to stump progress or further risk serotonin syndrome. Unfortunately I also ran out of Lorazepam too. Marijuana seems to help distract but getting high tends to lead to emotional fits. Any other options for relaxing/distracting? I am finding myself self medicating with alcohol and am afraid to dig an alcoholic hole. Anyhow sorry for the long rant. Good luck to all of you out there!

  • Shawnta R. June 14, 2016, 6:45 pm

    Been on zoloft 50mg for a little over a year and decided I no longer needed it. 1. Because I started to build a tolerance and experienced withdrawals even while actively taking the medication. 2. My “crazy” spell was over. I was really stressed about school, had a health scare, and work and finally it dawned on me, life is stressful and the only way to get over it is to deal with it one day at a time. Embrace the crazy!

    I decided to quit the medicine cold turkey and I had withdrawals. Brain zaps, flu-like symptoms, extreme fatigue, etc. Long story short I was miserable and I had to go back on it. Then I tried tapering which also proved to be ineffective as I still experienced withdrawals. Then I hear that the Ocean Blue omega 3 supplements helped with energy and brain zaps and found this brand at publix.

    Well that helped tremendously! I have quit the medication cold turkey again I have been off for about 3 weeks with few withdrawal symptoms. I have, however, taken two doses in between these 3 weeks just because I went on vacation and needed the extra pick me up. Unlike what google says, as soon as this medication gets in my system no matter how long its been it immediately begins to work.

    Maybe it mental or a placebo effect on my part but anyway, I’ll take it. I would say that since the 50mg is such a “low dose” it’s okay to stop cold turkey once you get the omega 3 supplement in your system and when you get to the point where life seems unbearable (usually after 5 days-7 days) take a dose just to keep your serotonin levels somewhat elevated/normal or give your brain it’s “fix”.

    Keep doing that until you no longer need the medication> This has proven to be somewhat effective for me. Hopefully it continues to work. I do not like relying on medication.

  • Roy June 17, 2016, 7:08 pm

    I have been off a 25mg dose (down from 150mg) since June 1st. It is now June 17th. I am now able to get out of house and perform day to day routines. Still very difficult. I may have screwed up by taking 5HTP just days after stopping the SSRI. I have not taken it in over a week. When is it safe to start taking 5HTP OR Saint John Wort? Thank you all very much for your words of encouragement and good luck to all on getting off these terrible meds!

    • Anne July 1, 2016, 11:06 pm

      This is my non-medical professional opinion only you need to decide for yourself. Research how long it would take for zoloft to be completely and utterly out of your system. Probably then you could start with a low amount of 5htp. But are you sure you want St. J Wort? Wouldn’t that be the same as being on zoloft? Check out the withdrawal symptoms first (I haven’t so I can’t comment on if there are any).

  • elizabeth June 18, 2016, 8:33 pm

    I have been on 50 mg of zoloft for one yer and trying to cut to 25mg. My chest feels like it is fluttering and jumping, could these be symptoms of withdrawal?

    • ROY June 22, 2016, 9:14 am

      Elizabeth, yes. I went through this for a few days after dropping from 25 mg to 0 mg. They should go away. I am no longer having what felt like heart palpitations. I smoke cannabis to distract my mind now. My worst symptom is just insomnia.

      • jen July 15, 2016, 6:27 pm

        Thanks for posting this. I’ve never had a problem sleeping before, in fact quite the opposite, now I can’t get to sleep. And then I’m exhausted all day. I’m on day 3 of 0 mg. Did have heart flutters but that’s gone now. How do you know if you still have depression or if it’s withdrawal symptoms? Time??

  • Amber June 27, 2016, 3:06 am

    I was taking Zoloft max dosage for 2 years. I had to unexpectedly quit cold turkey thanks to an unprofessional therapist. Let me start of by saying I have never really been suicidal, but 4 weeks into coming off the medicine the thought crosses my mind everyday. This is the worst I have ever felt in my life, I literally can’t control my ANGER.

    While I was taking the medicine I had the ability to evaluate and assess situations, now I resort to anger. No matter what is happening, all I feel is anger. Then the guilt that follows after screaming at my children causes me to contemplate suicide, thinking of how much better they would be without me screaming 24/7. I am not going to off myself, I just want to know when I will feel normal again, I just need to know when I will feel better???

  • Wendy June 29, 2016, 12:54 pm

    I had been on Zoloft (sertraline) for over 15 years and due to recent and financially devastating divorce tried to cut my expenses by cutting out my medication. I been off for 3 months now. BIG MISTAKE!! Even though I tried to when my self down, with in a few weeks of completely stopping I had the depression, and self pity, my life sucks attitude, the crying has consumed me again.

    Then the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life started. My skin started crawling like I had bugs underneath it and the itching was insane. I had sores from the scratching and had to go to dermatologist to make sure it wasn’t contagious, even though I was pretty sure myself it was withdrawal symptoms, no one would believe me.

    The itching, skin tingling, skin zaps have gotten so bad it is effecting my ability to function during the day as a normal person. I just want to give up or stay in bed. No over the counter meds or lotions can stop the torment. Now I have hives everywhere except my face and welts. It’s absolutely unbearable. I’m at work now just going through the motions.

    I’m going to make an appointment to go back on it soon or I’ll never make it. I never wanted to have to go back on it again, but apparently I can’t function without it. I’m scared if I don’t I will lose my job and have two teens to take care of. They need me. They are suffering as well. Sorry for all the pain this medication has caused.

    • Susan July 10, 2016, 2:10 am

      Wendy, I am currently going off it as well. I just wanted to acknowledge your post and for what it is worth know that I feel for you and what you are going through. I am having a very hard time with the medication myself and I don’t have nearly as many stresses in my life that you do. Hang in there, I really believe it will get better for you.

  • Lidya June 29, 2016, 2:08 pm

    Hello, I have been on Sertraline 50 mg and Anafranil 10 mg for 2 years. First I quit Anafranil cold turkey – and then tapered of Sertraline to 25 mg a week and now I have stopped taking it all since the last 4 days. I have been angry, anxious and extremely irritated since the last 15 days. I seem like I can not deal with car honks, loud sounds, noise and even dog barking at all.

    I do occasionally have brain zaps, I am light headed and have a bit of nausea.( I would freak out if I hadn’t read about the “brain zap” notion on the web before quitting). I do cry, but not suddenly. I easily cry when I read a sad story on the news… Which actually to me is the only single best part of quitting, at least I got my feelings back. I think meditating twice a day is helping me deal with all of this a bit easier.

    But I also have a tiny good feeling which appears from time to time which helps me. Also despite mild mood swings and depressive, self-pity thoughts I have this determination to get through this. I really have no idea where this determination comes from. :) I wish you all strength and serenity during your quitting phase.

  • jen July 5, 2016, 2:18 pm

    Thanks for the info. I’ve been on zoloft for 6 years, 50mg to 75mg. With my doctors help I’ve been weaning myself down for the last 3 weeks from 75mg to 50mg, just went to 25mg last night. I’ve had many of these withdrawal symptoms esp. Extreme tiredness and forgetfulness, dizziness. It’s awful but after reading your article I will keep plugging away, I was almost ready to give up!

    • jen July 15, 2016, 6:13 pm

      Day 3 off the zoloft. Extremely tired esp. Mornings. Still a bit foggy headed. Trying so hard to take it easy on myself right now…a little weepy and agitated at times but it’s actually better than when I was on the zoloft.

  • Susan July 10, 2016, 3:20 pm

    Thank you for writing this article. It is invaluable to me. It’s the only one that I found that contains the amount of information your article does and is as accurate. I found your article one night while searching the web while experiencing insomnia. So you see sometimes insomnia has it’s benefits. (trying to stay lighthearted here).

    In addition, all the comments that have been posted are very important to me as well. I too have been sharing many of the symptoms the readers describe. Before I found your article I was frightened of what was going on with me, even through my doctor did warn me this could happen. However hearing about it from people going through it is much better than a one sentence warning 9 months ago when I was put on it and then somewhat forgot.

    I am too raw right now to post my own experiences however I will once I get a little more removed from the agony of it. I also hope that you keep this site open for a long time, it’s important to us going through it that it is open and that we can continue to support each other. Some of the other discussion boards I found were closed. Thank you again.

  • Hailey July 11, 2016, 5:24 am

    I’ve been on antidepressants my whole life I was on celexa for 6 years and switched to Zoloft about 5 years ago and I started to get worse anxiety on it so I’m slowly tapering myself of them and it’s been HELL! I’m 17 years old and I shouldn’t be going through this. I have brain zaps, worse anxiety, confusion, loss of appetite, and I feel like I’m going crazy.

    I love my boyfriend but recently he’s been trying to love me and comfort me and I just push him away and fight with him. I’m way of balance and I’m starting to get this heart burn in my chest and every time I eat and goes down really slow and it hurts. I don’t feel like myself at all and it’s scaring the hell out of me. I feel like I’m out of my own body.

    I’m on a 50mg and just have been cutting them in half and started to go off them about a month ago. Can I just go back to my regular dose? I’m sick of feeling like this and I’m so angers and emotional. Please help

  • Rebecca July 16, 2016, 5:35 am

    This is a great discussion, I am so glad I found this. I Just started reading about Zoloft withdrawal as I stopped cold turkey on my doctors request. I was on 100 mg for about 6 months, and 50 mg for 3 months before that. I started it due to my therapist’s recommendation after getting out of a ten-year abusive relationship. I was diagnosed with complex PTSD from the abuse and was hitting an emotional bottom I could not pull myself out of. Thank god for my therapist, my friends and family. I will never enter an abusive relationship of any kind again.

    When I started Zoloft, I had no need for sleep. I could literally go off of three hours of sleep like it was 9 hours. One day I was hitting a deadline for work and stayed awake 22 hours like it was nothing. I started joking that I was on Zo-meth but really started working on my sleep hygiene. My doctor said it would pass and it got better. I would sometimes have light headedness or dizzy spells, particularly if I worked out hard.

    I had terrible heartburn, it was waking me in the middle of the night and I felt like I could breathe fire. I didn’t realize that was a Zoloft side effect I thought it was related to stress and trauma. I took Prilosec and it helped. The reason I stuck with Zoloft was because I had a terrible reaction to cymbalta and these side effects were nothing compared to that experience.

    The Zoloft did help me significantly. Overall Zoloft stabilized my emotional loss and the PTSD. I also had diarrhea every morning for the first three months and lost ten pounds, then in the last three months I gained 15 and continued to pack it on like my body was preparing to survive the next ice age. Since I work as a personal trainer, own a fitness gym and teach fitness, weight gain is a major career obstacle.

    Normally I don’t track my weight I think it’s mentally unhealthy. I simply try to eat healthy and stay active to feel healthy. I noticed the weight gain when my clothes were not fitting well. I was eating very healthy and had to start daily double workouts to try to lose the weight. I wasn’t doing a little yoga, I was doing hard HIIT workouts, MMA kickboxing private lessons, weight lifting, mountain biking, trail running and expert level Aerial fitness and eating lettuce.

    It finally dawned on me it was the Zoloft. My doctor cut me off of Zoloft cold turkey, My doctor said I was on a low dose but I have definitely had withdrawals and I knew I would. Within the first week, I had crazy PTSD-related dreams, a spike in anger, sweating and hot flashes, a terrible headache, sleeplessness or light sleep, stomach cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, emotional rawness and crying spells.

    I knew this would happen so I mitigated with acupuncture twice in the first week off and a massage. I have continued to workout and I am not having any alcohol. The Acupuncture worked wonders. I am sleeping well for the first time in a long time, it stopped the dreams, and sped up my metabolism, stopped the acid reflux, stabilized my mood and helped flush the Zoloft out. As with most medicine, natural or not, it has to be done consistently so I am hitting up the Acupuncture twice a week.

    I did go on turmeric, dong quai, B-12, and 5-htp. Doing ok, but going to keep up the body work, therapy and Acupuncture. I don’t really want to go on another anti-depressant and from several studies it appears that cold turkey stopping an SSRI can mean that getting back on one leads to limited effectiveness. There are newer drugs in different families that supposedly are better to switch too, like celexa and lexapro.

    I don’t know if naturopathic is the way to go, but I am going to try. Really appreciated hearing all the experiences on the subject. It was helpful.

  • Carina Hooper July 18, 2016, 12:37 pm

    I can’t understand why I get withdrawals after missing just one dose. Is my mind playing tricks on me? My main symptom is like having the flu. For years, I’ve been told that it doesn’t happen like that, but it happens anyway and it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been taking it. I just don’t understand.

    • John J July 20, 2016, 12:25 pm

      Carina, I haven’t experienced that but ANY medication is different from one person to the next. I would be very careful not to miss a dose if I felt that way regardless if it was a coincidence.

    • Joe July 24, 2016, 6:13 pm

      I’d been on Zoloft about a year when I forgot my dose one morning. The next day I had really bad brain zaps. I then figured out that for me, this was typical. The worse part was realizing in the evening that I’d forgotten my morning dose, knowing that the next day I’d get brain zaps.

      After two years, I started getting the flu-like symptoms even when not missing any doses. After months of that, I finally had enough. I tapered off and have now been “dry” for two weeks. Oddly, for the first four days or so I was fine and thought that I was lucky; then several of the symptoms above slammed me and have kept up for the past ten days.

      The worst are the brain zaps. I wish I’d never started this drug (or at least my doctor had warned me of ALL the symptoms. He did go on and on about the sexual side-effects, but they never happened to me, just most of the rest.)

  • Margaret July 20, 2016, 8:31 am

    I was put on Zoloft by a psychiatrist when another antidepressant made me very jittery. I only lasted on it for 2 weeks at 50mg as it didn’t help either. Had bad headaches & was more emotional. I took 25mg for a few days and then stopped.

    Have been off it for 1 week and am feeling awful. Stomach cramps, headaches, weepy at times and have tingling in hands and feet. Any advice on whether these are withdrawal symptoms after such a short time on the meds? I’m confused. Thought I’d be starting to feel better by now. Am I too impatient?

    • Saskia August 4, 2016, 9:16 pm

      From my experience I find this to be a pretty strong med with withdrawal symptoms that could well last longer than expected. Your symptoms sound similar to mine, but I was on the 50mg for 6 months. I’ve been off for 6 weeks and still getting some headaches and tingling. I’m sorry I can’t really advise, it’s now been another week or so after you posted, are you feeling better now?

  • John J July 20, 2016, 12:20 pm

    I have taken Zoloft several different times in the past 10 years and had to stop at 3-4 months because of the extreme fatigue (bedridden). I do a fairly quick taper and from reading other post I feel very fortunate. I never noticed any side effects other than the pure joy of not being so sluggish I cant get out of bed. I have tried many SSRI’s and Zoloft is the only one that has helped. When I experience severe depression I take Zoloft until the fatigue starts and taper off again.

  • Susan July 26, 2016, 6:20 pm

    Doctors will always tell you what the normal reaction is, however everybody is different. I would suggest to everyone that is suffering, keep that in mind. Please trust your instincts and your body. If you don’t feel well and doctors say, “Withdrawal should only last one week,” but you are three weeks in, trust yourself. You may just have a different reaction time and healing rate than most people. May everybody heal as quickly as possible.

  • Saskia August 4, 2016, 9:09 pm

    I was taking this medication for around 6 months and decided to stop around 1.5 months ago – I didn’t go completely cold turkey but I didn’t taper very consistently or responsibly either… just took half of my 50mg tablet for a few days and one quarter for about a week. I thought as I was on the lower dose and only for half a year that it wasn’t so important to come off slowly.

    Now a month and a half after stopping, with not really any noticeable side effects at first (I have been pre-occupied and am going through lots of positive environmental changes though). The last couple of weeks I’ve been almost constantly hot and sweating, very lightheaded and dizzy as well as suffering with headaches. I also had some numbness in my wrists and pins and needles more often. My memory has been a problem and i’m still feeling quite dopey (although a little more back in reality).

    I do hope to stabilize and be free of these feelings soon! I’m really glad I found this article and comments to reassure me that the withdrawal symptoms are real and wish everyone going through whatever troubles they may be with mental health and the side effects of medications such as Zoloft (Sertraline) all the very best.

  • Amanda August 5, 2016, 8:42 pm

    I have recently tapered off of Zoloft 25. I had gained weight since I started in Jan. I worked to hard to lose my weight after Effexor (stopped it in 09) to mess with it again. I have tapered to half the tablet every night for the past 3 weeks now. My next step will be to split the half (in half) for another few weeks.

    I will honestly say this has been an ok transition in my case. Slight fatigue and not much of an appetite are the main issues. I tried to quit cold turkey on Effexor and was sick as a dog for over a month. After this Zoloft is through…never again. I will deal with my anxiety in other ways.

  • William crouthamel August 10, 2016, 6:50 pm

    Thank you so much for your work on this report and blog – so helpful and focused on what is like for a person to live through and experience this withdrawal. Truly a contribution to the person and their family going experiencing it. Thanks!

  • PeteM August 17, 2016, 7:59 pm

    What a timely post to discover. After a chat with my doctor I’ve been slowly weaning myself off Zoloft over the past month, having been on 100mg/day for the past five years or so. I came down to 50mg for 1 week, then 25mg for 1 week and then nothing for the last 2 weeks. While I haven’t experienced all of the listed symptoms, I have certainly felt more than half – constant headaches, increased anxiousness, shivers, stomach cramps and loss of appetite are the main ones for me. It’s been tough, still is, and I’ve seriously contemplated dosing back up again. But I’ve stuck with it. Looking forward to coming out the ‘other side’, hopefully sooner rather than later.

  • Roy August 19, 2016, 9:08 pm

    2.5 months of no Zoloft after being on and off it half my life. I have since picked up and drove across country to start a new life. I have been extremely stressed the last 30 days of travel and trying to find places to live, etc.. My go to response to any situation is anger. I feel like the withdrawal should be gone by now. Aside from anger nothing excites me and I just feel like sleeping all day. Been taking 5-HTP for a week but no results yet. Any suggestions?

  • Bella August 30, 2016, 7:39 am

    Stopping antidepressants cold turkey can be very dangerous. Correct me if I’m mistaken. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for directions. You don’t want to put your life on the line. I was on Zoloft for about 4 months for depression and panic attacks. But, it was knocking me out, so I told the doctor I wanted to taper off. She agreed, so I went from about 50mg (my max dose) to 25, then to 12mg, over about 2-3 weeks.

    At 12mg, my brain started going on ‘vacation’ or taking ‘detours’. It showed up in my writing and typing. Words were missing, or misspelled, or there were words present I hadn’t even thought of. (about 5-8 errors per page) That’s not typical for me. I’ve been off Zoloft for about 1.5 weeks(?). I’m still pretty tired. And I’m fit to be tied. Seriously. Someone lock me up till this stuff is out of my system.

  • Dianne September 9, 2016, 1:07 pm

    I’ve been on sertraline for 20 years and am currently in my third attempt at stopping it. I believe I’ll succeed this time because I’m in a very good place psychologically, but mostly because of what I learned during my two previous withdrawal attempts. The main thing is PATIENCE. Getting off this nasty drug will take a long time and you can’t rush it.

    Here’s what I’m doing:

    I’m reducing my dosage it by 30-50% each time. I’ve learned to stay at each new dosage until I feel absolutely no withdrawal symptoms for about 10 days before cutting back again. (This gives the brain time to fully adjust to the change in serotonin levels). My withdrawal symptoms take about 5 days to begin, then 10-14 days to dissipate. Add the 10 days of “brain rest,” and I have a total time on each step of about 29 days.

    I started 150 mg per day, so the entire process will take about 174 days or 5-6 months. That sounds like an awfully long time but that’s where PATIENCE comes in. If I rush it like I did before, I won’t be successful. And I am determined to win this battle! Hope this helps someone.

    • Stephanie October 22, 2016, 6:20 pm

      Thanks! You are giving me some hope!

  • Taylor September 11, 2016, 2:12 am

    Hello, I am 29 yrs old white male 235 lbs. 5’8 and I have been on 300mg of this wonderful stuff for the last 12 years. In the last two years I put on 40lbs. I tried about a year ago stepping down to 250mg but gave up. I tried a few times to quit cold turkey, not a good idea. I have trouble sleeping and when I can’t sleep I go to work.

    I work for myself and it’s not uncommon for me to work 30-36 hrs strait with lets say two 15 min naps and still having a hard time falling asleep. So after the last day and a half with not being able to go to sleep I went to my new doctor. He did some checks all was ok until he did my reflexes. When he hit my knew with the hammer I jumped so bad that I knocked the instruments off of the wall behind me.

    He said “WOW”. He then said I have never seen any one this bad. So then he went and got an older doc who said the same thing. That made me feel special. At that point we made a plan to step me down off of the Zoloft. That was about 3 weeks ago. Went down to 250mg for two weeks and I have my good days and my bad days.

    Yesterday I started on the 200mg. And I’m wondering how bad is it going to get. I did not find anyone who was trying to come off of the extremely high dosage 300mg and the length of time 12 years that I’ve been taking it for. Any advice? Thanks.

    • Anne September 18, 2016, 12:44 am

      My story is far, far above and it is now 2 years since I stopped. At about 1 1/2 years I really felt back to normal, so it is definitely a long haul….for most people. I was talking to a woman a few weeks ago who can stop cold turkey whenever she wants and has no ill effects. Let’s hope you are one of those! But, if I can restate my own experience (read it above from 2014) my success after several attempts was to taper SUPER SUPER slowly….just ridiculously slow.

      Much more slowly than any doctor would even think of. Also, I kept a supply on hand for a long time after stopping so that I knew it was there if I needed it. Otherwise, I would obsess about how quickly I could get some. Then there were times when I would really crave some (because I believe it is addictive) and would take a nib of it (it probably amounted to 3 mg – NOT 30….3) and my body must have recognized and said “good, you fed me my habit” and that would be fine.

      If I had to do that once a week I did it…eventually I didn’t need it at all in terms of drug withdrawal. Now, the reordering of your brain, yeah – that took the 1 1/2 years but at least the brain zaps etc don’t go on that long. So good luck. There’s plenty of good advise in this thread.

    • Cautiousmomma December 28, 2016, 7:41 pm

      Wean by 10 percent of previous dose every 14-21 days. You may need elixir to do it precisely. Good luck. Very difficult drug to wean from for some.

  • Leia Blake September 12, 2016, 1:45 pm

    I was prescribed Zoloft in the month of November 2015 by my psychiatrist who I would now send to hell myself if I could. None of these prescribing doctors have ever taking any of these medications nor would they ever… so there is no way that they could possibly understand how intensely horrific the experience is that these medications can provide. The only reason I agreed to take this medication particularly was because I became pregnant in October 2015 and I was told that this was the best medication to take during pregnancy because it affects the fetus the least.

    I was severely depressed. Never again will I ever take a pharmaceutical after this experience. EVER. The withdrawal symptoms have been WORSE than Hell on Earth. The bouts of anger I have experienced since beginning this medication have been the worst I have ever experienced in my life, nearly destroying my family on a weekly basis.

    The only reason my family is still whole is because of my husband’s deep understanding and true love. My bouts of anger were so damn intense and so invincibly strong that I could not let it go. Previous to this medication RARELY would I even get angry. I was taking 75mg within a month. This dose created a zombie in EVERY way imaginable.

    I was unable to stay awake for more than 5 hours a day. Getting showered, let alone getting dressed was such a task… that I only did it about once or twice a week. In addition to this, I was completely robbed of my sex drive. My sexy husband whom I am so in love with and head over heels for was not longer able to turn me on.

    I could NOT get sexually excited nor could I even be stimulated. To top it all off, I had become an emotional zombie. I had no more emotions such as love, compassion or care. Nothing could phase me. I probably could have murdered someone or something and have felt nothing, not even a slight of regret. THAT is how terrifyingly horrible this medication is.

    I am so angry at how much I’ve been used by these pharmaceutical companies to line their pockets. It puts me in an absolute rage. Never again will I touch a drug for my “chemical imbalance”. I was better off BEFORE I ever took ANY of these bipolar medications. As the patient, you MUST realize that ultimately YOU have the last say as to whether or not you want to accept their wolf-in-a-sheep’s-clothing-pill.

    Realize that they will try and try and try to convince you that you NEED it and that YOU ARE NOT OKAY without it. They will give you every excuse and reason in the book as to why you need to take their pills. But what you must realize is that ultimately you are the only one that can agree to accept their “medication” and that ultimately you have the last word and final say as to whether or not to accept.

    All I can do is urge you to research before you agree to any of this pharmaceutical bullsh-t… for your own sake, sanity and health.

  • Kwazi September 13, 2016, 11:22 am

    Hi guys. So I was in the process of tapering, a day in actually. I had been taking 75mg for about a year and a bit. I can’t really remember. So I lost my zoloft and am pretty much in cold turkey mode. It’s been 5+ days and I’m dizzy AF. I guess I gave a lot to look forward to since my psychiatrist hasn’t returned any of my calls. Thanks for the post. At least I know what to expect now. K

  • Stacy September 18, 2016, 7:04 pm

    I was on 25 mg Zoloft for a year. I stopped cold turkey about a week ago. The side effects haven’t been too bad. The first couple of days I had a headache on the left side of my head. I’ve had some dizziness and strange pains in my stomach and maybe a little anxiety coming on in the evening. I have been very tired maybe a little irritable.

    After reading this post I am wondering if things are going to get worse before they get better. I am really, really hoping not to have the anger and sadness issues people speak of. I think I fear those and the anxiety the most. I guess we shall see what happens. Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate being able to read these articles and others experiences to know what to look for.

  • MikeH September 19, 2016, 5:42 pm

    I’m 66 and was on 200mg of Sertraline for a little more than 16 years. The history of specifics and why is academic it’s the road I’m on that’s important. I quite cold turkey about 10 days ago and expected to have depression and mood swing issues but not the physical reactions, i.e. ear ringing, week long headaches, increased blood pressure and the brain blasts someone talked about in here. It’s comforting to learn what I’m experiencing is normal but not to hear about the length of time I can expect. Any feedback as to the time I can look to see a turn would be helpful.

  • Kathy September 23, 2016, 11:53 pm

    This information was so helpful. I’m gradually reducing Zoloft under the guidance of my doctor, and was wondering why I was so tired. My doctor has put me on a natural pyrrole compound to address my high copper/low zinc levels and my anxiety has all but disappeared. Proceeding however, with caution.

    • scatty September 24, 2016, 1:20 pm

      Hi been on 200mg for 8 years, reduced by 50mg per week as advised by Psychiatrist. Personally thought it was too fast a reduction schedule, but I stuck to it as decided I preferred not to draw it out. “Discontinuation symptoms” were not bad until I got to 100mg daily. It got more difficult after that… with symptoms of intense anxiety (fight more than flight!), sleeplessness, poor appetite, irritability, and feelings of overwhelming sadness.

      I am just starting to recover, four weeks after quitting. Glad I stopped now, convinced Sertraline/Zoloft were caused me fatigue. Don’t get me wrong I rate this antidepressant, it worked for me. I tried to reduce, a couple of years ago, but my depression returned, but not this time, so far… so good.

  • Michaela September 29, 2016, 8:39 pm

    Thank you for your story, it helps hearing people’s different experiences. I was on 100mg for about a year, one day, when my son was only 8 weeks old I felt like I didn’t need it so much anymore… so I cut down to 50mg. I had no side-effects that I can think of, but I was a new mom so was probably fairly messed up already. I continued on 50mg for a further year until last week, when I just wanted to stop all medication.

    Simply because I am the happiest I have ever been and feel I do not need these drugs anymore. Stupid move. I had no idea about discontinuation symptoms. I have been feeling like I’m carsick for the last 4 days. It gets worse in the afternoons along with dizzy spells. I also have the sensation of a hair in my throat, which makes me gag all the time. That said, I feel like I am on a real creative burst. (I am a designer).

    It’s like creatively a fog has lifted. I am really of 2 minds as to if I should go back on a lower dose to ease the symptoms or try to ride it out. I am of course, worried there will be further symptoms in the up-coming weeks. I really should have consulted my doctor before hand. But she annoys me.

    Especially because the last time I saw her I was almost full term with my baby, and she said had she known I was pregnant she would have worked with me to lower the dose. (I told her when I was pregnant per her instruction when she initially prescribed them to me during IVF) Anyway… thanks for sharing people, it helps. Michaela

  • Roy October 17, 2016, 11:25 pm

    Well it’s been nearly 5 months without zoloft and I am thinking I will go back on it so that I can function. Maybe when things are a little better I will try again but it has gotten to the point of not wanting to do anything but sleep since nothing brings me joy. Suicidal thoughts are coming back. I just moved across the country away from all my friends and family (little that I do have). I only have one friend out here and no job. Too anxious and depressed to make friends. I have tried 5HTP, Tryptophan, Fish oil, vitamins, MCT Oil, and CBD/THC with no success. This is the most turbulent time in my last 8 years on Zoloft but hoped that I would’ve started to stabilize by now.

    • Stephanie October 22, 2016, 6:10 pm

      I sympathize with your experience. This sucks. I wish you well in your efforts.

  • Stephanie October 22, 2016, 6:08 pm

    My motivation in researching SSRI withdrawal stems from my own recent decision to taper off. And I was puzzled by a consuming rage that has come over me. Anger is too mild a discription of this emotion. I scare myself. I may scare others. I want off of Zoloft, but this rage is causing me some serious trepidation regarding my decision. I am experiencing no other symptoms that I feel I can’t successfully cope with, just the rage challenge. Yes, I am dizzy and have some trouble sleeping. But I was blaming Zoloft for causing me to sleep too much while taking it.

    • Stephanie October 22, 2016, 6:15 pm

      It is worth noting that I wondered if the rage was a symptom of withdrawal because it is a foreign emotion, which is how I ended up in this discussion board.

  • Jennie November 4, 2016, 2:46 pm

    Oh, this withdrawal is worse than coming off hard drugs. I feel so insanely awful it’s ridiculous. Off that list I have all of them. Thankfully I was able to get my refill. I won’t be going off it again, I don’t know if I’d survive. This has been hell on earth.

  • A7 November 7, 2016, 11:05 am

    There is so much helpful information in this article. There are so many helpful comments also. I am planning on going off 100mg within the next month. Taper down to 50mg for 2 weeks and 25 mg for 2 weeks. (Sertraline 100mg).

    I’m planning on going off the alprazolam (0.5mg) gradually also (I can and have taken it up to 3x a day for 2 years). Plan on only taking it at bedtime to help sleep for 2 weeks. Then cut in half for 2 weeks. Then off them. I’m also going without cigarettes (smoke 2 a day) and cutting sugar out of my diet.

    I take “Mega Food” multi vitamins/turmeric/dandelion root/balanced minerals. I also take ACV with a touch of lemon every morning. We do not drink milk (almond milk only occasion). I’m looking for homeopathic suggestions to help make this transition go bit smoother.

    I am going to put 90 days on the wall and count down as I get closer to the “end” of the detox from medications. I am also going to keep a log/journal of feelings, cravings, thoughts, side effects etc.

  • Han T November 9, 2016, 10:57 am

    Was on Zoloft for 5 yrs. My first 3 weeks was miserable with suicidal thoughts, terrible anxiety. I thought the doctor gave me wrong meds but the meds took 1 month to kick in. Was great for 100mg then 75, 50 and 5th year could reduce to 25mg twice a week. Went for counseling with counselor for my personal issues and it helped lots. Dr said taper off 25mg to once a week then stop but I couldn’t.

    Was tired, weak, and had insomnia. Took 12.5 mg weekly for 1 month then 6.25 then zero. Fatigue, memory loss, insomnia but much better. Now just taking St. John’s wort capsule once weekly and reduce coffee/ caffeine. Honestly I think the doctor doesn’t know how strong these drugs are… I couldn’t do 25mg to zero…

  • Deni November 26, 2016, 5:42 pm

    I was taking Zoloft 25mg for Fibromyalgia for three years. It hasn’t helped with the pain. I tapered off for one week, every other day per my doctors instructions. These brain zaps lead me to believe my tapering should have lasted longer than one week. They are awful! My doctor wants me to try Cymbalta for pain now. She said to start while tapering off Zoloft but I did not. I’m very hesitant. Wish I could beat this myself.

    • Cautiousmomma December 28, 2016, 7:35 pm

      Taper by 10 percent of previous dose at a minimal rate of every 14 days – this may even be hard. Have your doctor prescribe elixir so you can wean slow and gradually. We weaned every 14 -21 days. Good luck. We as a community need to help others who want to wean off of this med. It is a difficult journey. Keep researching weaning recommendations. The 10 percent wean is the most cautious but there still are some side effects with weaning.

  • Sarah November 27, 2016, 2:13 am

    Omg it’s so beyond good to hear I’m so not alone in this. I took Zoloft 100mg for a year, hated the way it made me feel family and coworkers even pointed out the difference in me. Decided to stop cold turkey… damn bad idea! Hell on earth is right!

    Been a week now and the withdrawal can be unbearable specially the dizziness and bad night sweats and nightmares. It’s great to know I’m not alone in this and there are people who understand exactly how I am feeling!

  • Diana November 27, 2016, 2:58 am

    I have been on 150mg of zoloft for 17 years. Had I been told that I would have to take it all my life, I never would have started taking it. I have tried to tapper off of it several times over the years but could not make it after about three months I’d have to go back on it because of the dizziness and crying.

    It’s been a few years since I’ve tried. I went on a trip recently and got very off track on taking my meds and had gone about 5 days without any SO I have decided to go ahead and try cold turkey… it has been two weeks and two days so far. As long as I lay here and don’t move… At all… I’m OK.

    But when I move I’m dizzy. I pray I can make it this time. This stuff should NEVER EVER be prescribed without it being fully explained that you will be on it forever and told what it is like to go off of it. I pray I make it this time…

  • Lori November 29, 2016, 1:29 am

    I was taking 75 MG of Zoloft in the summer months and 100 MG in winter. I was on it for 2.5 years. Starting in July of this year, I began tapering off. Went from 100 to 75 for a month, 75 to 50 for a month, 50 to 25 for a month and then decided even to just do 25 every second day for a whole but seemed to be struggling a bit. I started to wonder if the every second day was a bad idea because I am giving my brain chemicals one day and then not the next.

    So I decided to not take it at all. That was 4 days ago. I don’t seem to have a lot if the symptoms others are describing but I am in terrible physical discomfort. I already have a lot of issues with degenerative disk disease but now I can barely lift my body weight off the couch, bed etc without both weak muscles and severe mechanical pain. Not to mention it is like every muscle in my body has been strained and my skin is super sensitive to the touch.

    It was for these reasons that I decided to look it up online and see if it was withdrawals which seemed unlikely because I tapered off so gradually. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

  • Rosalind Curry December 4, 2016, 8:26 pm

    By far it is very difficult. There’s no “3” ways about it. I have had brain surgery, 2 c-sections that required that my stomach stay open for proper healing /blood clots in the process. I have had reconstructive surgeries and the list could go on… but never in my life has my body taken a toll as this. The Zoloft withdrawals are no joke!!!!

    I have been on zoloft for more than 25+years at the highest dose possible. I literally feel like I am going to pass away at any moment. Everyone have their own opinions, and I am only giving what I have experienced. I have another medicine that helps with nerve pain and yet there has been no relief. I wish I could sue. I wish all of us could get together and sue whoever that allow the sale of this product.

    Not only is it addictive, it’s pure poison. I am having to live with my sister, to be there for me because I am suffering so much. I had recently been diagnosed with chronic arthritis in which I have no cartilage in either knee. Plus I have a bulging disc my back. I thought most of the body pain was coming from that.

    But I recently remembered that I am coming off Zoloft too. It’s a triple whammy for me. But, before I lose my mind, I will go back on. I have come so far, but it’s only been a month.

    • Cautiousmomma December 28, 2016, 7:28 pm

      I am so sorry you are experiencing this. I agree, the doctors hand this out like candy.

  • Ethel December 7, 2016, 5:01 am

    I so appreciate this article and all of you sharing your experiences. OMG, I actually don’t remember how many years I’ve been on this drug and my doctor retired so not sure I can retrace my time. I think it’s been at least five years. I do remember anxiety being severe and preventing me from driving on freeways.

    However I’ve gained at least 20 pounds, had severe post nasal drip, and become an introvert (always tested in the past as an extrovert) but now prefer my own company and prefer to stay home. I’ve been on 50mg. I recently saw an endocrinologist because I swore something had to be wrong with my thyroid since I kept gaining weight and she wanted me to taper off Sertraline and switch to another anti depressant – Wellbutrin.

    Three weeks ago I started breaking the Sertraline in half. Immediately I had vivid dreams. Then started feeling light headed and having headaches. Three days ago I started taking 1/3 of a pill so I’m around 17 mg but of course it’s not cut evenly so the amount varies a bit. I got so dizzy and then nautilus while pulling weeds I came in the house and went straight to bed.

    I missed my granddaughters dance concert! Been feeling “sick” since then but now I realize why! Do you think two weeks on 25 mg was too short a time period and should I go back up or just ride this awful wave? You know we should be told about this when doctors give us advice to get on or off the medication. The endocrinologist wanted me to start Wellbutrin by now, but I’m hoping to get off all of it! Any suggestions?

    • Anne January 4, 2017, 7:09 pm

      Yes, I personally think 2 weeks is too short. Please read my original post from August 2014. It took MONTHS and MONTHS. Then, after the actual withdrawal, it took 18 months to feel normal again. Also, your post caught my attention because you mention driving anxiety.

      Well, I experience that and had my first panic attack (while ON Zoloft by the way) driving on the highway at night in a snowstorm. Yeah, nothing could go wrong there, huh? I didn’t have driving anxiety before this. Well, that was 10 years ago and only in the last months have realized it is a motion sickness disorder and the panic attack was because I thought I was going to throw up while driving 65 MPH, and the anxiety since has been due to worry about having another panic attack!

      I had been trying to cope with long-acting 25 mg Dramamine and half a Xanax, but a month ago tried a regular old 50 mg Dramamine (not long-acting) with 1/2 of a 0.025 mg Xanax and could drive again!!! I understand driving anxiety is caused by different things, but perhaps yours too is motion sickness.

  • shelly newman December 14, 2016, 8:12 pm

    I’ve taken antidepressants for almost 30 years. I’ve been on Zoloft for about 10. I was on 100 mlg then I cut it down to 50. Then I took it every other day then every couple of days then none. This was done over the last 2 months. I’ve been completely off for 2 to 3 weeks. I haven’t experienced any side effects other than crying at sad internet stories.

    Not sobbing, just normal sadness. I don’t feel any increase in anxiety, anger, no brain zaps or depression. I am divorced and out of an extremely stressful relationship going on 6 years. I live a quiet, peaceful life. Right now, I’m taking a break from reading a book while listening to uplifting New Age type instrumental music. It calms me and centers me.

    Reading over others withdrawal symptoms scares the heck out of me! I am hoping that I might be one who comes out the other side unscathed. I long to be off all these medications that have been forced on me (and I’ve quit about 4 in the past 3 years) when I think all it was is that I am a highly sensitive person who endured horrific hardships at the hands of others with little support, so fell apart.

    Doctors are so quick to label you. I absolutely distrust them. None of them EVER thought to examine my past or my present situation and to realize that my situations were what was making me crazy. Instead they pushed pills at me. (Better Living Through Chemistry!). If I make it to March 2017 and am still here, I will have my answer. I am hopeful.

  • Elena December 27, 2016, 1:30 am

    Thank you so much for posting this article, and a huge thanks to everyone who answered! I’m having an extremely hard time myself, dealing with Zoloft withdrawals. After taking it for 7 years, I decided to stop because of my liver and spleen enlargement. I started to feel discomfort in my abdominal area, so I did some research online and I found out that meds like Zoloft can cause liver damage.

    I then went to the doctor and made a couple of ultrasounds. I discovered that I have an enlarged spleen and liver steatosis. My doctor said that it is common and that it probably has nothing to do with Zoloft, but I swear that after I stopped taking Zoloft I do not have any pain or bloating in my liver area whatsoever. Also, I was on Zoloft because of major depression and suicidal thoughts.

    When I started off on Zoloft it was a life saver, and it really helped me but in the last year I’ve experienced complete numbness to life. From taking 200 mg, I went down to 100 mg without any withdrawal symptoms except dizziness. In the next three months, I went down from 100 mg to 50 mg and that’s when I found out that I have an enlarged spleen and liver steatosis. I then quit Zoloft cold turkey.

    The first two weeks, I started having extreme dizziness and I felt light headed. In the next two weeks, I had extreme nervousness, fatigue and cry spills. In the second month, I developed anger issues to the point where I fought with my store manager and lost my job. While I was fighting, I was so angry and upset at myself because I couldn’t stop shaking, yelling, cursing and screaming.

    After this accident, my colleagues told me that I wasn’t acting like myself, and that I was usually the peacemaker. I’ve realized that Zoloft withdrawals were really taking a toll on me. I ended up losing my job, and my life turned to hell. What I suffered the most from was extreme anxiety. I linked all of my problems to my Zoloft withdrawals, but the first month passed by and I wasn’t feeling any better.

    The second month passed by, and that’s when I started filling out divorce papers because I was miserable. Not a day passed by where I wasn’t crying or being aggressive towards my family, and feeling sorry for them at the same time. It is the third month now, and my suicidal thoughts have become a lot stronger then when I first started Zoloft 7 years ago.

    This article gave me hope that these withdrawals won’t last forever, and hopefully this will be my last month of going through them. After reading this article, my anxiety dropped and I realized that what I was going through is common and that I’m not going crazy forever as I thought I was. I’m hoping for the better, and I’m trying to stay strong.

    I have advice for people who are thinking about starting Zoloft or not, my advice is to take it if it is extremely necessary, meaning that people who have mild depression or similar issues, should not take it. Other than that, good luck to everyone! God help us all.

  • Cautiousmomma December 28, 2016, 7:21 pm

    Zoloft was prescribed to our son for ADHD. We were assured there were no serious side effects. My son was in the percentage of people who have a bad reaction. We saw his grades plummet. We saw him withdraw socially. Our lives turned upside down. Instead of stopping this drug the doctors increased it.

    It wasn’t until he was flunking and having feelings of total hopelessness that they listened. The physician wanted us to rapidly decrease from 100 mg but luckily I have pharmacist friends who said that was unsafe. Luckily I found information on the web and pharmacists who I work with that for safety sake to wean this med slow. 10 percent of the previous dose each wean every 10 to 14 days.

    This was even hard on our son. We have weaned from May to end of December from 100 mg to 2 mg and each time we turn this down it has the same vicious symptoms – sadness, fatigue and irritability. It has been a hard year. We will stop the 2 mg next month. It is difficult to see your child go through this.

    I want to acknowledge the drug helps many it is prescribed to but for those who have the side effects this is hell for the patient and their family members. Weaning with elixir is necessary to get the exact 10% of the previous dose amount. I wish anyone weaning to have good support in place and know this is a very difficult med to wean off of and do not administer this for ADHD.

    Why would you give someone who has problems focusing a med that is used for OCD. It helps a person not focus on problems. Somehow this was poorly prescribed and sold to us to help our child. All this drug did was nearly destroyed our child and our family.

  • JenG January 6, 2017, 4:40 am

    I started Sertraline 150mg (Zoloft) 9 years ago and have been off it for 2 & 1/2 months now. It has been a roller coaster of emotions and pure hell. I’ve had every withdrawal symptom listed except suicidal tendencies. The major symptoms are the anger, sadness, anxiety, crying spells, and I just want to be alone and isolated from the world.

    Many times I almost started taking the med again to just stop these awful feelings of dread. Listening to other peoples’ experiences has been the only thing that has prevented me from restarting the drug. I’m also angry at my MD for not explaining the severe withdrawal sxs that can occur when stopping Sertraline (even when you taper the dose down slowly).

    I’m giving it 1 more week and if things do not change, I will most likely restart the med. I cannot deal with these awful feelings anymore. Is this worth it? I felt better on the drug.

  • Linda January 24, 2017, 10:57 pm

    4 weeks ago I stopped 100mg after 20years cold turkey. All the symptoms above I was experiencing ON the drug. I feel like a new person! Energy is through the roof and my mind is clear. This drug is evil…

  • Jason February 1, 2017, 11:26 am

    So, I would like to share my story. Today it is 76 days without Sertraline (Zoloft) in my body. Yet I feel like I am dying each day. I started with tachycardias every single night every single time I woke up, sometimes so bad that I would have to go with an ambulance to the hospital.

    The panic attacks which started with ANTIDEPRESSANTS (authentic POISONS) which I never had before, the continued anxiety, hiatal hernia which I never had before taking these poisons, acid reflux (also new), feeling short of breath (new as well), massive loss of weight of over 30 kg in one single year!! (Also damn new) and through this all NO SUPPORT at all from the medical establishment who can only think in terms of poisons (drugs) or surgeries.

    Not once did any single doctor (neurologists, gastroenterologists, psychiatrists, cardiologists, pulmonologists) ever ask what I eat or how I sleep or symptoms, they just care about their idiotic big pharma indoctrinated “knowledge” and never ever step out of that boundary and never ever do they even acknowledge that simple food or supplements can help! I started taking Taurine yesterday and hoping it will work, turns out it is essential for heart health and can help with anxiety as well, also taking suntheanine (L-Theanine aminoacid, precursor to GABA in the brain) which actually works BETTER than damn anti-depressants, yet they will never ask you to take this, because it has no side effects, they would rather you BUY the sh-t they give you with all its side effects and damaging properties.

    I am sick of Western Medicine. I hate them with all my heart and mind. In my worst moments, a simple NEEDLE from a Chinese acupuncturist has helped calm me down and help me sleep better than ALL OF WESTERN MEDICINE COMBINED! There is so much more I can say about my own experiences, I also experience the anger (more like rage sometimes), the random/phantom itches, nerve ending pain (toes especially), the brain zaps, mind fog, memory loss, anxiety, panic, palpitations, gastric symptoms (I am literally unable to eat anything not cooked properly, and most of my food is now blended otherwise it takes me HOURS to digest anything!! Something that I have never in my entire 45 years of life I experienced before!!).

    All of this caused by BIG PHARMA, they are the devil. I can say with absolute certainty that there is NOT a single case where anti-depressants are needed for anyone. Anything they can do with those poisons, can be done and even better with normal herbal remedies that humans have been using for thousands of years.

    The problem is that they cannot be patented and thus, the only thing they do PEER REVIEWS and studies on are on their POISONOUS DRUGS so that they can rake in the billions and trillions of $$$$$$. For all of you, read about PROTACTED ANTIDEPRESSANT WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME, also known as PAWS. We are all in this for the long haul unfortunately. The symptoms will NOT go away quickly for most of us as these poisons rewire the brain and also cause massive changes in our gut (90% of all our body’s serotonin are made and used in the gut).

    Unfortunately for me, I also suffer from heart arrhythmia issues which means I cannot dismiss my panic attacks and palpitations all the time out of hand as a few times I have had actually a real documented arrhythmia requiring hospital visits and treatment. For those of us who have an underlying physical condition and on top of that have health anxiety which our idiotic doctors prescribed anti-depressants for, I truly sympathize with you and hope we can all one day come back here and relate how we have coped and maybe even solved these health issues.

    I take currently:

    -100mg Suntheanine (this is a life saver!!): it converts into GABA in the brain and helps “calm down” our neurons firing off like crazy. I take it in the morning helps me better than at night.

    -Gastrazyme: take one tablet before each meal. THIS simple tablet has almost made my acid reflux and stomach problems DISAPPEAR! I hardly need to take any antiacid now and I believe it is normalising and healing my stomach. 8 days now on it.

    -Digestive Enzymes: take one before or after a meal, trying to taper it down as if taken daily for a long period it can make the body stop producing its own enzymes so if you take it, take week long breaks.

    -Taurine: very important amino-acid that the body can produce itself but as we age it becomes harder to do so, so supplementation can help. It is ESSENTIAL for heart health and acts as a calming agent for the heart, preventing arrhythmias, tachycardias and also lowers the heart rate! (and bloody naturally too! no side effects!!). It keeps electrolytes stable in the hart tissue. It is also know for helping with anxiety as well and a host of other roles (it is added to sport drinks to counteract the “jittery” feelings caffeine gives you, it is NOT a stimulant).

    -Omega 3 Rx 2 liquid fish oil (with highest concentration of EPA and DHA): this has been the most important supplement I have used to help come off of ZOLOFT. This heals the brain tissues, as most of our brain is made of DHA and EPA is used to lower inflammation in the brain.

    -Milk Thistle: has helped me over the past 10 years when I was diagnosed with fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic) and it reverted my fatty liver (had super high AST, ALT and GGT liver panel results) to a normal liver with normal blood liver panel results and all naturally!!! (my hepatologist at the time laughed in my face when I told him about Milk Thistle, guess the joke is on him!!!). Milk Thistle is very good to detox the liver, to help it do its job and found out recently it helps with digestion too.

    -5-HTP: this is a mixed one, though I believe I was only successful in getting off of Zoloft thanks to this supplement. It converts into SEROTONIN in the brain. Warning! Do NOT take vitamin B6 with 5-HTP as otherwise B6 will make 5HTP into Serotonin in the blood and Serotonin does NOT pass the blood brain barrier! Too much serotonin in the blood can damage your organs especially the heart.

    Too many idiotic supplement companies pack B6 with 5-HTP. Only buy pure 5-HTP and take on an empty stomach hours before and after any B6 intake. (B6 is very important to help heal the brain by the way, so you do need to take it, ideally twice a day but away from the times you take 5 -HTP). I take 5-HTP sometime in the early evening or right before bed time (some hours before or after dinner) and it does help a lot.

    I currently take 50mg of it only, though you can safely take up to 300mg per day. 5-HTP is not to be taken long term though. Tryptophan helps better for the longer term (Tryptophan gets converted into 5-HTP by B6, and 5-HTP gets converted into Serotonin by B6 as well).

    For those of you who say that Tryptophan doesn’t work, check that you are not taking a multivitamin with it, as this may be why. Sorry for the wall of text, I think my experiences and trials/errors in this regard may be of some help to you. All the best!

  • Shannon February 4, 2017, 3:14 am

    Thank you so much for this post! I was on 50mg of Zoloft for a year. After consultation with my doctor, we decided it was okay for me to try coming off. I’ve been off completely for a week now, and let’s just say, I’ve felt EVERY symptom you listed above today alone. It’s been horrible. I hate to see other people also going through these terrible withdrawal symptoms, but I’m glad that I’m not alone. No one seems to understand exactly why I’m acting the way I am, and neither did I until just now! Anyone else feel alone in this journey?

    • Francine March 1, 2017, 8:07 pm

      Shannon, I completely get what you are saying! These side effects are killing me but I want so bad to get off of Zoloft I will get through them, especially now with all of these posts! I am excited to get back to normal, I hope sooner than later.

  • Jason February 5, 2017, 7:19 pm

    You are very welcome Shannon. Yes, you will feel very alone, no one, and I mean NO ONE, that has never tried Anti-Depressants can possibly know what you are going through and they will give you the usual drivel of “pull your socks up” or “calm down”, “snap out of it” and other lovely things that are very unhelpful to one suffering the hell of AD withdrawal.

    The worst day for me was day seven of AD discontinuation, I was losing it completely, was horrible. It started getting a bit better slowly, was the best around day 30 but then it started going downhill again until I reached my lowest point around day 75. Others have posted above in this forum and in others online that at 2.5 months they have had to get back on the deadly poisonous Sertraline and other SSRIs.

    Do whatever you have to do to NEVER again get this poison inside your body. This is a long ride unfortunately. I am still experiencing shortness of breath (mostly due to my horrendous acid reflux and gastric symptoms which I believe are side effects of Sertraline (Zoloft) devastating affects on my gastrointestinal tract), acid reflux, palpitations (I can even feel for the first time ever in my entire life over the past few weeks my heart beat in my abdomen from my abdominal aorta!!), tachycardias at night, anxiety, sometimes still panic attacks etc.

    Also, never ever let any ignorant doctor (I find most psychiatrists ignorant and arrogant) tell you that the withdrawal effects are proof you need the antidepressants. I never ever had any panic attack in my entire life until 2 weeks after starting on Paxil (Paroxetine) back in 2006 and it as horrible and completely new to me. I started having panic attacks 1.5 years after starting on Sertraline (it did do its job the first 18 months not a single panic or anxiety attack) but then it started losing its efficacy and I started having withdrawal symptoms even though I had not touched my dose because the brain becomes used to it and that is when doctors want to increase the dose.

    A stupid and FUTILE action as when you reach the highest amount you can safely take, what then? There are so many things that SSRIs screw up in our bodies and brains and it takes so long to correct them when getting off of them. Shannon, persevere and do mild exercise (if you have no underlying other health issues like I have), yoga, tai-chi, acupuncture (this was a life saver for me, it truly works, even if only temporarily sometimes), tui na massage (very good too).

    Take B vitamin complex, MAGNESIUM CHELATE (best ones seem to be Magnesium Glycinate or Lysinate tablets), Taurine (amino acid that is very good for the heart and also known to calm anxiety in the body and brain), L-Theanine (I have had to stop this for now as not sure if it is causing me to have extra heart beats during the day, people with no underlying heart issues should be fine taking it as it increases GABA neurotransmitters in the brain naturally, and is very effective at calming you down with no drowsiness or weird spaced out feelings. You feel “in control” gently, in my opinion works a MILLION TIMES BETTER than any anti-depressant crap out there).

    5HTP (do not take vitamin B6 with it, separate their intake by a few hours), Tryptophan (same as above also do not take Tryptophan with 5HTP, both together depending on dose can potentially cause Serotonin Syndrome, play it safe and take smaller doses and see how you feel), etc. I am continuing to lose a lot of weight, about 400 to 500 grams every single damn day so awaiting my next gastro appointment to see what the heck is going on. I recommend you guys try a complete stool test which in some countries is almost impossible to get through normal social security (NHS here in the UK), as SSRIs seriously interfere with the serotonin receptors in the over 100 million neurons in our gut so all sorts of weird things happen there that doctors completely ignore.

    I will continue to post updates on how I feel and what I am taking, hopefully my weight stabilizes now, it was 76.6 Kg this morning, to think that just 14 months ago I was between 105 and 110 Kg, and if you think “Hey, that is great, healthy”, you have not seen me naked, I look like just skin and bones, losing all my body fat as well as more and more of my muscle… I weigh less now at my 45 years of age than when I was 15 years old… I am worried. Take care.

  • Raya Carlton February 23, 2017, 12:40 am

    Hi everyone, I am SO happy I have found this page. I was taking 50mg sertraline/day for just over 7 months, then I went down to 25mg/day until finally finishing the pack and coming off them completely. It’s day 3 and for 3 days I have had these awful “brain zaps” which come on throughout the day and make me feel so faint and dizzy!

    It’s starting to get in the way of my placement (as I’m a student nurse) I’ve started taking omega 3 today and vitamin B… so hopefully this may help. It’s so reassuring to know I’m not the only one. I just don’t know how long I can handle these brain zaps for they’re driving me insane! Does anyone have anymore tips to get rid of these?!

  • Johnny February 26, 2017, 3:13 am

    I hope my wife will come and read these stories. She’s on 100mg and has quite cold-turkey twice in the last 3 months – without telling me. 2 weeks in both times she has had rage episodes where she destroys every relationship in her life (or at least gives it a go).

    It’s like a depression episode on super, super steroids. The first time I made her start taking again and agree to see a psych (which hasn’t happened). This time I’m tempted to try and get her to realize this is a lot of what’s going on and stick through it to not have to take anything again – or anything like this at least.

    I still want her to see a therapist and psych though, she’s not in a good place anyway. My hurdle is getting her to realize that this is real, and everyone in her life isn’t actually a horrible, horrible person. :-/

    • Francine March 1, 2017, 7:54 pm

      OMG! I am so happy also to have found this website. I have been on 100 mg of Zoloft for 15 years!!! I have tried to wean myself off years ago and how I felt was not worth it so I stayed on it since I was raising three children, married and working a full time job,big mistake! I finally found a doctor that is LISTENING to what I have to say and she wanted me off ASAP.

      Started weaning down to 50 mg, 25 mg and now on 12.5 mg and I am still experiencing all of the horrible side effects, including those horrendous brain zaps. I am hanging in there because I know that at some point I will get back to normal. It is SO NICE to see all of the posts, I do not feel alone now. I do know that family support is very important at this time.

      I see that Omega 3 and vitamin B could help me through these side effects? Any other things that can help?

  • KG March 1, 2017, 7:52 pm

    I was on Zoloft 50MG for a year then upped it to 100MG for about 4 years. I have been off Zoloft for about 1-2 Months now and feel that I have gotten over the biggest hurdle the “Brain Zap & Dizziness issues”. Wanted to address those issues and what worked for me. (I’m not a doctor and these are my personal experiences that worked for me. Everyone reacts/responds differently.).

    -Brain Zaps: This was a weird one and almost broke me to the point of going back on Zoloft. (I have never been an addict dealing with withdrawals but what I felt getting off Zoloft is how I would imagine it). I would carry around a pill and literally that a nibble out of it as needed. In 30 mins the Zaps would subside to a level that was bearable for me to deal with. After doing that for about a week or two the zaps became mild allowing me to cut out Zoloft completely.

    -Dizziness: I had to call in sick a couple of days because I felt so nauseous. What I did to counteract this was get Acupressure Wrist Bands and wore them daily. I would remove them when I went to sleep since I didn’t have any alignments when I was lying down. I continued this until the dizziness went away.

    Only issues that I am experiencing currently are being on edge all of sudden for no particular reason and insomnia. I’m hoping the insomnia passes as that is my biggest hurdle currently. I go to sleep initially fine around 11 PM, but then I wake up alert and feel the need to exercise around 2-3 AM.

  • Cheryl March 12, 2017, 12:44 am

    So I have been on Zoloft for about 5 weeks at 12.5 mg and I wanted to wean off. Last week I just skipped a day and was a little anxious but not much. This past Monday I skipped taking it and did not take it all week (5 days in a row). While I was off it I did take 5-HTP a couple of days. Wednesday, and Thursday were bad, Friday was even worse.

    So I decided to go back on 12.5 mg of zoloft today and today was the worst day ever. My muscles in my stomach wont stop contracting and I am so emotional and unable to function. I am having panic attacks frequently and my stomach really hurts as well as a dull headache. I feel like I am losing my mind! I tried benadryl and that did not help as well as GABA and am taking magnesium.

    I also took 0.5 mg of klonopin which I usually take at night to help with sleep and that did not touch it. I finally resorted to taking 150 mg of neurontin which I took some time ago and had to wean off that. I read on a website that if you’ve been off zoloft for less than a week, you should restart at your normal dose for 2 weeks and then cut that in half for 2 weeks, etc. Any advice? Desperate!

  • Tee March 21, 2017, 4:11 pm

    Thank you so much for this article, I knew something wasn’t right! I had been on 50mg of sertraline for about three years and my doctor said it was okay to stop cold turkey, not a good ideal! So went back on for a week tapering off not that it changed anything as far as the symptoms, it’s the zapping feeling that I’m having the most problems with. I do feel a little better knowing that I’m not alone in this! Thanks again for the information!

  • Adrian April 13, 2017, 11:45 am

    Thank you for this article. I am on my third day of zero Sertraline after 12 months of 50mg. I have pins and needles in my hands and head – these would set in 36 hours after taking a tablet during my taper off period which was one tablet every other day. It feels like vertigo in my head but it’s not vertigo: I don’t feel nauseous and I don’t have balance problems, but it is just weird and constant.

    I’m leaving work soon (half way through the work day) because I don’t feel well enough to carry on at a desk. I just want my bed! The only thing that worried me about your article was the prospect that this could go on for months. Otherwise I was pleased and grateful to read the article and comments from people who have faced the same process.

  • Jacob January 5, 2018, 10:34 pm

    I quit taking sertaline cold turkey about a week ago. I’ve been experiencing withdrawal symptoms pretty severely over the past few days. It’s very uncomfortable, if I resume taking it will I feel better?

Leave a Comment