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huntergreen85

Concern For Long Term Zoloft Side Effect

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I was wondering that when you stop taking Zoloft, can you return to your normal way of thinking? Or does Zoloft permenatly change the way you think or feel even after you stop taking it? Can you get back to the way you were before you started taken it, before you depression? Can you get back to your good ol self?

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Posted

I was wondering that when you stop taking Zoloft, can you return to your normal way of thinking? Or does Zoloft permenatly change the way you think or feel even after you stop taking it? Can you get back to the way you were before you started taken it, before you depression? Can you get back to your good ol self?

Why were you put on zoloft? It depends on the person you could go off and be fine but I would ask your doctor before going right off it. he might want to wean you off it. You couold go back to feeling really bad or you coudl feel good still or again. It depends on the person. Iwould talk to your doctor and then go from there. Hope you have a good night.

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Posted

The first time I was on Zoloft it was for almost 12 years (I've now been on it again about 2 months).

The way I felt and thought before I took Zoloft, I certainly wouldn't think of my feelings and thoughts as my 'good ole' self' but rather, my sick old self.

If you are taking Zoloft for a chemical imbalance, chances are it will be extremely tough for you to go off anti-depressants. If you have been on Zoloft for situational (life circumstance) reasons, you shouldn't have any problems as long as you ween yourself off of it slowly under your doctors advice.

For me -- having a chemical imbalance -- I will most likely have to take Zoloft/Wellbutrin for the rest of my life. I tried for 1.5 years to go off of them and the depression manifested itself in physical ways like stomach ulcers, and other health problems. Since I have started taking it again, I never realized that I was also mentally depressed, but it came back so gradually I didn't think I was depressed mentally until I started feeling good again. The one thing that taking Zoloft helped, even after stopping it, was that I remained to have a positive outlook no matter how bad I was feeling. I attribute that to having felt good and/or normal for the 12 years I was first on it.

One of the worst mistakes I made was going off Zoloft -- it ruined my social life/relationships, and now that it's been 4 months since I've been on it again, I'm finally starting to feel GOOD again and now have to rebuild my social life.

I think one of the biggest dilemmas for people who suffer from depression, is that they (myself included) think that after feeling good for a period of time, they are 'healed' and no longer need the medication. I went thru this cycle about 4 times in my life and won't put myself thru that hell again.

If you can, would like to hear more details how long you've been on Zoloft, why you were originally prescribed it, and why it is you want to stop taking it?

Best to you.

J

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Posted

First off, what Im trying to say is, will taking meds. somehow physicaly change your brain chemicals so that when you go off them you wont be able to be your real self because of the effect the meds have on you.

The way I felt and thought before I took Zoloft, I certainly wouldn't think of my feelings and thoughts as my 'good ole' self' but rather, my sick old self.

What I mean is how you felt before your depression set in.

If you are taking Zoloft for a chemical imbalance, chances are it will be extremely tough for you to go off anti-depressants. If you have been on Zoloft for situational (life circumstance) reasons, you shouldn't have any problems as long as you ween yourself off of it slowly under your doctors advice.

My understanding of being in a depression is that it is caused by a chemical imbalance, however it was my situation that caused me to have stress, which made me feel depressed, which led me into my depression. I did not get in depression just out of the blue or for no reason, if my life was in order I wouldnt be in this. So do you think I would still have problems getting off?

For me -- having a chemical imbalance -- I will most likely have to take Zoloft/Wellbutrin for the rest of my life. I tried for 1.5 years to go off of them and the depression manifested itself in physical ways like stomach ulcers, and other health problems. Since I have started taking it again, I never realized that I was also mentally depressed, but it came back so gradually I didn't think I was depressed mentally until I started feeling good again. The one thing that taking Zoloft helped, even after stopping it, was that I remained to have a positive outlook no matter how bad I was feeling. I attribute that to having felt good and/or normal for the 12 years I was first on it.

I dont understand, so you think there is a difference between having a chemical imbalance and being mentally depressed? What is the distinction?

If you can, would like to hear more details how long you've been on Zoloft, why you were originally prescribed it, and why it is you want to stop taking it?

Ive been taking it for 3 weeks this upcoming monday, I was perscribed it because I was going into depression and having anxiety/panic attacks, and having anxiety symptoms such as derealization, feelings of loosing my mind.... the works. I want to stop taking it because I dont want to be dependent on meds. And once again, it was my situation that led me here, if my situation was how I wanted it, I wouldnt be in this.

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Posted

Some people have periods of depression related to situational stressors, and some people have a chemical imbalance as J said. If your situation has improved, discuss how to come off the drugs with your doc.

I can tell you that for me, like J, I'll probably be on meds my entire life due to chemical imbalance. In my experience, also like J, when I quit taking the meds I went back to being the person I was before them - depressed and miserable. In other words, from my experience, the meds haven't made any permanent changes for me.

You definitely don't want to quit cold turkey, because that would be a shock to your system. Talk to your doc and see if he/she thinks it's a good idea to start weaning yourself off meds, and let us know how it goes!

Take care,

Dewayne

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Posted

Taking the meds don't literally physically change your brain -- what SSRI's do is suppress the absorption of serotonin in the brain so that there is more serotonin to help the neurons fire in the area of the brain that regulates moods, feelings. People with a chemical imbalance don't have enough serotonin in the brain so the 'mood center' doesn't fire and the person feels depressed.

The meds don't permanently change 'who you are' or your 'real self' if you stop taking them -- the transition going off them could be rough and you could feel very irritable and not feel 'your self' but those feelings should pass with time. How much time depends on the individual person.

I have known many people throughout my life that have gone on anti-depressants for 3-6 months in dealing with loss of a spouse, parent, breakups, and once they work through the pain with the help of medication, they went off the meds with no problems and felt fine.

Situational depression is probably in part chemical -- but is temporary. Eventually the brain/body/mind heal and the person gets back to their normal self I imagine.

A person with a chemical imbalance can have everything in their life going perfectly fine, but because their brain doesn't have the right chemicals for the neurons to fire and control moods, they feel depressed, or anxious/stress/panic -- often for no reason at all.

Before I was on medication, I could have an absolutely wonderful day, and then the next morning wake up and feel as if my best friend died - for no reason at all.

A person with chemical depression doesn't need stress or a certain bad situation to make them feel bad -- they can feel bad for no environmental reason at all.

So as far as you having no problems going off the medication -- it's just a wait and see situation. No one can really predict what will happen when they go off medications.

Best thing is to do it under advice of your doctor -- and that will minimize going through withdrawal effects. If you don't have a chemical imbalance, (from my experience and others I've spoken with), then chances are you shouldn't have a problem.

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Posted (edited)

To DeeBear and rattman, How do/did you get a chemical imbalance? And what would you say is the difference between being depressed and having depression, and what is the difference between a chemical imbalance and being mentaly depressed? And Thank You for your replies.

Edited by huntergreen85

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Posted (edited)

I personally don't know how you get a chemical imbalance. I'm pretty sure though that people who experiment with mind altering recreational drugs are more likely to end up with a chemical imbalance than other people. I've never tried any of those drugs personally, but I know a couple people who were fine before they ever did recreational drugs, and then ended up with big time depression or panic disorder.

To answer the question how you get a chemical imbalance is like asking why I have high cholesterol. I went on a fat free diet for a year, no cholesterol, and my cholesterol went up 80 points -- I gave up and ate greasy, fatty fast foods for 3 months and my cholesterol went down 60 points.

I believe a chemical imbalance is genetic -- my parents, siblings, and grandmother (aunts and uncles) mostly all suffer from depression. Yet other families don't have any -- same is true with cholesterol.

Depression and being depressed are pretty much the same thing I think. Unless you'd think being depressed is an occasional thing (depressed because you lost your job, you get a new job and you're not depressed anymore) -- and then depression is a condition that can't be cured by life circumstances getting better.

Again, being mentally depressed or/ chemical imbalance -- a person with a chemical imbalance can be depressed, and a mentally depressed person can have a chemical imbalance -- I think it is more the length of time the depression lasts that helps determine whether it is a chemical imbalance or not. Also there are expensive blood tests you can have to check for signs of chemical imbalance. If you search on the website some people talk about those tests, although I haven't had them.

I have also heard on this website that if your depression returns 3 times, chances are you have a chemical imbalance that needs to be treated with medication.

As much progress as they've made with treating depression, there are still many unknowns.

Edited by rattman

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Posted

Sometimes a chemical imbalance isn't caused by anything. It just happens. Something goes berserk in the brain. A person can be born with it, or develop the condition later in life.

I believe I was born chemically imbalanced, as I can trace my depression and anxiety to early childhood.

Sorry I can't offer a more scientific answer.

-Bean

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Posted

I think I was always depressed, too, and didn't know any better. Some people have one episode of depression, get through it, and it never returns. Some people, like me, live in a constant state of low grade depression if I don't take meds.

It has been only relatively recently that depression has come to be viewed as a biological illness, so there are still many unknowns. It is known that low levels of the neurotransmitter seratonin, and to a lesser degree dopamine and norepinephrine, play a role in clinical depression. Situational depression, which is what you describe, is a temporary situation brought on by environmental stressors, whereas what many of us here suffer from is biological in nature, just as diabetes is. We have to take our meds to keep our neural chemistry regulated, just as a diabetic takes insulin to keep his/her blood sugar regulated.

To carry the analogy further, if you eat a lot of sweets in a short period of time, you will have high blood sugar, even though you are not diabetic. That's kind of like situational depression - exposure to those tempting things in your environment is affecting your blood sugar.

Diabetics, though, may have high blood sugar even if they do eat healthy, which is why they need meds to keep their blood chemistry regulated.

This is how I look at it, I hope this makes sense?

Take care,

Dewayne

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