I completed the process of weaning myself off of Zoloft. You can read my previous blog post about this HERE. Since I completely stopped taking Zoloft I have had some slight withdrawal symptoms; including some physical sensations like increased headaches and long lasting nausea. I have also experienced a slight increase in my anxiety, feeling a little more stressed and a lack of patience.
I completely stopped taking Zoloft over a month ago. Around 9 days after I stopped taking it I started to feel nauseous. At first I thought I had a stomach bug and I kind of brushed it off. After four days of feeling nauseous I got scared I was pregnant! I took a test and it was negative. Another few days passed and I assumed it could no longer be a bug. That is when the light bulb went off in my head that this could actually be from stopping the Zoloft! Of course, I spent a few hours googling symptoms of Zoloft withdrawal.
I discovered that physical symptoms of Zoloft withdrawal are common even if you wean yourself off slowly. I would expect physical symptoms like headaches, nausea and dizziness if you stop it abruptly but I didn’t think I would have any issues since I took 2 months to wean myself off of it. I also didn’t have any side effects for the two months I was weaning myself off of it.
After talking to my doctor I understood that my nausea must be related to getting off the Zoloft. My nausea lasted three weeks. The first week was rough but the last two weeks I only felt slightly nauseous. I never threw up or anything but it wasn’t fun.
I get headaches regularly so it isn’t fair to assume it’s all the Zoloft’s fault but I have definitely noticed an uptick in headaches since I stopped taking it. I have had a couple migraines since I stopped but that is pretty normal for me in a month’s time.
When googling Zoloft withdrawal I discovered the common physical symptoms are fatigue, flu-like symptoms, loss of coordination, dizziness, headaches and electric shock sensations (say what??? Glad I didn’t have those). The most common mental symptoms are anxiety and depression. No surprise there.
I expected the mental effects of getting off Zoloft. I assumed I would feel more anxious. And yes I have been more anxious. I have been waking up anxious more often, it has been happening most mornings. It started around the same time as the nausea. I have also felt more anxious doing things that can normally trigger my anxiety. It is still manageable. Of course I am afraid it will continue to get worse but so far it has only increased a little bit. My increase in anxiety has not stopped me from doing all my normal activities.
I have felt more stressed and I have noticed a lack of patience with my kids. I have caught myself yelling at them more and being frustrated with them more. It could be because I have been busier than normal. My Etsy shop has been doing well and I am loving the increase in sales but it has also caused me some extra stress and worry. I have less time during the day to focus on my kids and getting chores done. It has been stressful but worth it because I am loving working on my shop and having something to do for myself.
My energy level has been better since I stopped taking Zoloft. As I was weaning myself off of it I started to notice an improvement in my energy level. Since I completely stopped it has stayed the same. It is definitely better than when I was on medication. I am sleeping better too. I don’t have as restless of a sleep as I did before.
I still plan to stay off medication so I can try for another child. Even though it is harder to manage my anxiety while not taking medication, I think it is doable. My shrink said it is like your anxiety is rebounding right now. The Zoloft has been helping to suppress it. I just took the lid off the volcano and so it’s going to spew some shit out BUT I have the ability to get that lid back on there. I know that lid will never be permanently attached but I would like to make sure its covering most of the opening.
I am trying to be better about doing non-medicated things to help me manage my anxiety. I am hoping that getting some exercise will help my anxiety. I joined the YMCA and I have been good about going once or twice a week. I have been doing yoga, walking on the track and I took a cycling class. I started walking with a friend one day a week and I love it. It is so nice to walk and talk with a friend. The time goes by so fast.
I am trying to meditate every day but it has been hard. I stay home with two toddlers (one doesn’t nap) and I have NO time to myself all day. I have been focusing on meditating when I go to bed at night. It has been hard for me to do every night even though I know how helpful it is. I have been too tired to concentrate. I also love my anxiety kit, I use my lavender aromatherapy inhaler, anxiety ring and fidget toys. I highly recommend having an anxiety kit. If you are in need of one, the link to my Ety shop selling anxiety calming kits is HERE.
I plan to start trying some vitamins and supplements. I started taking vitamin D because I realized I had a vitamin D deficiency at my last checkup. I have read that vitamin D can help with anxiety. Since I struggle with anxiety, I am kind of annoyed that no doctor has thought to test me for a vitamin D deficiency before. At this last check up I asked my doctor to give me “the works” and test me for everything possible. I did this since I am always anxious about getting cancer or some other disease. The only thing that came up from the testing was my vitamin D deficiency. I have been taking vitamin D for a few weeks and I haven’t noticed any improvements in my anxiety since stopping the Zoloft. I am hopeful it just needs some more time to work. My next step is to start taking a magnesium supplement. Magnesium is supposed to be calming and relaxing and make you less anxious. Fingers crossed it works for me!
My other focus is eating better. I am not great at this but I am trying. I want to buy all organic and healthy food, but damn it’s expensive! I am good about eating fruit but I need to try harder to eat more vegetables and less processed foods. I am taking baby steps here but I plan to try even harder now.
Sadly I did not lose any weight like I was hoping. Fingers crossed my body just needs a little more time 😉 I have 10 extra pounds on me since having my last kid and starting Zoloft. I started taking it when I had post partum anxiety (blog post HERE). I have taken anti-anxiety medication off and on for 19 years and never thought that it made me gain weight. But I have never tried Zoloft before and I thought maybe the Zoloft was the reason those 10 pounds were sticking around. I may just have to face the real reason the 10 pounds won’t go away is my carb cravings.