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TOPIC: Zoloft; Before, During, and After

Zoloft; Before, During, and After 28 Jun 2006 07:20 #2678

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I started taking Zoloft a year ago when I went to my doctor with complaint of uncontrollable rages. I have had a very difficult menstrual history since I started at age 11. With most cycles I felt the pain that is called mettleschmertz (sp.)upon ovulation and as I aged irritation and agitation also kicked in at that time resolving when my period started. But when I turned 40 the irritations became full-blown rages that left me feeling lower than dirt and all but destroyed every relationship I had. I finally went to the doctor when I very nearly seriously hurt someone I love.

My doctor put me on Zoloft which I felt kick in the very first day I took it. For the first few months I was so relieved that I could feel peace in the midst of trials that I didn't question future effects. As the months wore on I noted that I no longer journaled, sang, or wrote--anything even remotely cerebral. I was happy to just watch tv, eat, and go along with the flow. I was glad my family was happy with the new 'me' but as the months wore on I became increasingly aware that I didn't really care about anything anymore, not even holidays or birthdays (and I was only on 50 mg/day dosing.) At one year on Zoloft I had regained 30 pounds of the 40 I had lost and kept off since 2003.

I started looking for another answer that would restore me, whoever I was because I really didn't know anymore. I just couldn't lose anymore of 'me' to this drug. There had to be another way. (Twice that year I had gone off trying to take St. John's Wort and SAM-e but they didn't work for me or else I couldn't get through withdrawal, I'm really not sure which.)

I honestly don't remember how I found Debra's site but it was a godsend. As you'll find in other posts of mine I've been on lots of diets and mostly eat good foods--I work just so I can afford to shop at Whole Foods--but I guess the timing was finally right to jump on this bandwagon. I stopped taking Zoloft and while waiting for Debra's workbook to come started implementing what I gleaned from the site. I happened to drop the Zoloft while on my period (the time I needed it the least anyway) but I did have withdrawal I didn't realize. (I had planned to wean off and just take one every other day or something like that but after I swore it off I just couldn't bear to take it anymore.)

I was very agitated, snapping at everyone and irritated with myself but I had warned my family I was going off of it and to expect withdrawal symptoms. I kept to myself as much as possible so as not to make them miserable too and I started back on my Classical Stretch (one hour stretching video--feels so grrreaaat!) After a couple of days I thought I was over it but then it hit again; a tension-filled tightness that caused headaches, lethargy, and at times 'lostness', but never really depression or sadness. How quickly I could become irritated surprised even me but I was determined to kick it and make the changes that I believed would provide a long lasting cure if I stick to it versus a stopgap measure for symptoms that are indicative of a larger problem. (I also learned to just quietly say "it may not be your fault but you're irritating me" and walk away. People have to learn to respect that instead of expecting you to be perfect all the time.) After only two weeks I felt a direct turn for the better. I suddenly felt GOOD, not just better. I called it feeling 'smooth' or 'easy'. Just nothing at all hurt or bothered me. But, I am creating again.
'
While I was kicking the Zoloft I did start taking litate lithium 10 mg. and stopped any sugar source except the occasional Splenda or Xylitol, besides my regular B's, fish oil, and flaxseed. I also treated the headaches with Claritin--nothing else worked so maybe that was sinuses, I don't know. But nothing helped the lethargy. I just had to cope with it until it passed. And it did.

I can't honestly say what contributes to this good feeling I have even today as I enter my luteal phase but by the grace of God I am going to keep working on it every day until it all passes.

Go with God,

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Last edit: by Debra.

Zoloft; Before, During, and After 13 Jul 2006 21:13 #2679

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Debra wrote: Thank you so much for posting your experiences with SSRI's. The women who read this will really appreciate sharing.

THANK YOU!

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Zoloft; Before, During, and After 15 Jul 2006 06:53 #2680

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Thanks, you all are so sweet. When I reread some of my posts I think I do sound very troubled. How sad, and embarrassing at the same time. I don't feel that way most of the time, it's just the kind of writer I am I guess.

I am not truly gluten intolerant but whole wheat does 'tear my stomach up' as a good friend of mine used to say. (The hard red winter wheat of our country as well as the so-called soft white wheat. In fact the latter seems to hurt me even more than the former). For the most part when I home-bake I use spelt and kamut flours which bake up pretty close to wheat flour, they just don't brown so well. And for bread I have been eating Ezekiel sprouted breads for years, my girls will even eat the cinnamon raisin variety of that. When I eat out I have to go with the white flour and don't worry about it. I just never, never, never have anything white at the house. We have whole corn and brown rice things, beans and peas also which are great sources of fiber as well as okay protein. So I'm pretty sure I'm not having a gluten problem.

I am beginning to think, however, from my experience of the past few days, that much to my chagrin, red meat is a problem for me. I have done much better emotionally with the period I'm currently on after abstaining from red meat this past luteal cycle (even though it is the best organically raised, no hormone added kind)--along with switching from whole fat to skim milk, from cow butter to Earth Balance oleo, from whole eggs to cartonned ones and laying off the cheese. Funny thing is I gained 10 pounds also, but I think that is from the soy products I added for that month which I have since decided I have a major intolerance to.

I have three sisters that claim they don't have the menstrual problems I have always had and two of my daughters don't have them either. At ten years old my youngest has not begun yet and I pray often she will not inherit what I think I got from my mother. I have often wondered though if the sexual abuse that was perpetrated on me by many different people as a child has cause some of the problems but my sisters were abused also so I kind of ruled that out. I'm going with the red meat theory for now.

NEVER thought I would say that! I love steak, hamburger, roast, um, you name it. If it's cow I probably love it.

I have given up just about everything I love for long enough to see if it really makes a difference, but never red meat. Never. So this I will do.
I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again,
Cheers

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Zoloft; Before, During, and After 15 Jul 2006 13:44 #2681

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WChristeneG wrote:

I am beginning to think, however, from my experience of the past few days, that much to my chagrin, red meat is a problem for me. I have done much better emotionally with the period I'm currently on after abstaining from red meat this past luteal cycle (even though it is the best organically raised, no hormone added kind)--along with switching from whole fat milk to almond milk, from cow butter to Earth Balance, from whole eggs to egg whites and laying off the cheese. Funny thing is I gained 10 pounds also, but I think that is from the soy products I added for that month which I have since decided I have a major intolerance to.

NEVER thought I would say that! I love steak, hamburger, roast, um, you name it. If it's cow I probably love it.

I have given up just about everything I love for long enough to see if it really makes a difference, but never red meat. Never. So this I will do.
I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again,
Cheers


Debra wrote: Giving red meat up may not be a permanent elimination, unless you believe it to be for the better. I believe we all need to be eating more of a plant based diet regardless of symptoms. Red meat is allowed during the follicular phase twice a week, but make it no more than 3-4 oz quantities, organic or grass-feed beef as you are currently doing. I don't know if that makes you feel a little better about the diet. If you can add a little strenuous exercise (after eating red meat) to use up the branch chain amino acids in beef that compete with tryptophan for receptors , you may even be able to tolerate a little more, but I would wait until after 3 full cycles on the diet plan to experiment with adding red meat back.

The lower animal sourced saturated fats will also give your gallbladder a break in pumping out bile, menstrual cramps and your pain response. There is also a connection between gluten intolerance/sensitivity and gallbladder dysfunction . I have had several women with gallbladder problems resolve, on a strict gluten-free diet. Adding more omega 3's fatty acids (fish, walnuts, flaxseed) will give you a better fat balance in your diet. This is a really important part of the diet as well.

You are making some wonderful changes, keep up the great job!

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Last edit: by Debra.

Zoloft; Before, During, and After 22 Dec 2007 19:01 #2683

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AK wrote: WChristenG, thank you for posting your experiences with Zoloft. Years ago I was on it and I felt a similar relief, then the same long-term effects. Today however, I am feeling so desperate and am grasping at ideas... Thinking, "Maybe I should try the Zoloft again" But after reading your post I have thought the better of it. If I lose my creativity, I'm just as bad off as I am with this condition, just in a different way.
Are you still taking Lithium? Does that help you?
Thanks.

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Last edit: by Debra.

Zoloft; Before, During, and After 22 Dec 2007 20:27 #2684

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Hi AK,

Yep, I also tried Zoloft, it didn't work for me either, talk about feeling like a zombie all the time. I started feeling more panicky, like I was on mega doses of caffeine, then I'd have a collapse of some kind and want to sleep for hours on end. This is one of the reasons I put on all the weight, which I'm now working again to take off- see my weight-loss blog. Talk about a loss of sex drive, oh-boy if you're married or have a boyfriend it's a real bummer. My husband noticed I turned into a wet washcloth, as he referred to my enthusiasm, or lack there of. :( My poor husband, I thanked God when he went out of town on business.

I'm really watching what I'm eating and I'm determined to get myself out from under my week of darkness naturally (I stole that term from Crystal).

Hang in there Ak, I have heard that lithium really works well for Bi-polar folks. Please let us know how you're getting along.

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Zoloft; Before, During, and After 22 Dec 2007 21:08 #2685

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hi Traci,
thanks for the support. Even after all my trips to gym this month, I am feeling so very lowly today and yesterday.
Yes, I remember feeling totally neutral re: sex while on that stuff. Oh, your husband must be glad you're off it ;)!
and "wet washcloth" is a funny term..
Yes, the ideal thing is to deal with this naturally. I want that to work so bad.. I'm the type who doesn't take aspirin for headaches. Taking a pill for it, which I've just done: a little muscle-relaxant type thing, is good for emergencies but I'd rather not have to.
Trying to find the source of this... I wish it would show itself.
How are you faring? Best of luck to you this week.
Ak

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Zoloft; Before, During, and After 08 Dec 2009 19:25 #2686

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Hi I saw this and thought I'd ask how you're still doing? Are you still off or on the Zoloft? I'm not sure if I want to go that route, but I might.

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Zoloft; Before, During, and After 10 Dec 2009 17:56 #2687

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Hi Darla,

I'm not Christene, but I can honestly say DON'T DO IT unless it gets so bad you can't take it anymore. I've been dairy-free and preservative free now for gosh almost 2 years now and am still doing Great! There were a couple times I tested myself and over did it on the dairy and started to feel bad again. I got right back on the diet and felt totally better again. If you follow the diet and figure out which foods or preservitives, chemicals are causing you a problem you will not need the Zoloft or any other SSRI. If you are married than I think you will figure out where the trade offs are if you go down that road.

Good luck with the cycle diet, it's work in the beginning but well worth it in the long run.

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Zoloft; Before, During, and After 04 Jan 2015 13:50 #10114

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This thread was originally started in 2006. The good news is that ChristeneG was successfully diagnosed with gluten intolerance/Celiac disease after going back on wheat for a short time (3 weeks) in 2008. She was still getting some gluten in her diet that kept her from feeling 100% well.

If you are having similar symptoms, please ask to be screened for celiac or gluten-sensitivity. Many of my clients test negative for celiac disease, yet are still reacting to wheat gluten. If you need help finding a physician who is knowledgeable in testing for gluten sensitivity in your area, please give me a call. I will help you ask for the right tests from your current primary physician or help you find a expert near you.

Debra
The Cycle Diet Registered Dietitian
(515) 221-0236

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