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Long Term Zoloft Usage


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I've been on zoloft for 8 years now, 200mg a day for majority of that time. While I have had my ups and downs over these past 8 years, some highs and lows, I wonder... Does this need to continue?? I've never considered coming off of it because for the most part.. Life has been good. Should I expect to be on it forever?? Do people wean after so many years of using the drug or a similar drug?? The only times I have been without is if I run out or forget to take it and I can tell after about 3 days... I start getting the anxiety and crazy withdrawal and feeling flu like. Obviously coming off of it would be a gradual process. Should I just accept that I am on this stuff for life? When does a person consider discontinuing?? I feel like it has made a new 'normal' for me... When I come onto hard times in life I still get extremely anxious but now have to get xanax because I'm already on zoloft lol! Why not go back to my old normal?! Is it possible?!!

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Most of the questions you asked really need to be asked of your psychiatrist. Especially if you continue to need Xanax. One question, though: isn't this still better than your old normal?

Another thought would be, have you had any sort of talk therapy during this period? If you want to discontinue your medication, you'd probably want to convince yourself that something else has changed so that you don't need it any more. Has anything else changed? Have you had the chance to learn any better ways to cope with anxiety? If not, it would seem that you'd be at risk of returning to where you began.

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The new normal is definitely better than my old normal. I just think of people that become depressed then use a low dosage of antianxiety/depression med for a short while and then come off of it when things calm down. Its like... I couldn't get leveled out, then finally at 200mg I felt 'normal' again. After so long of being on it, when I hit a rough patch in life, those old anxious feelings come back and I have to treat them with something different like the xanax. For instance I had a baby and after bringing her home I would wake up with panic attacks, since I was already on zoloft, that was treated temporarily with xanax until I got into the groove and past teh 'post partum' type stuff. Just sounds like a reason that a typical person would use zoloft until they get past post partum stuff, if that makes sense? Lol. I guess I just wish I was 'typical'. It was just never discussed, coming off of it, so I don't know what things would be like now. I don't think I ever will realistically.. I don't want to risk going back to that place, but I just wonder what it would be like if I had the courage to try.

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Meh. Define 'typical'. ;-)

Lots of people are on meds, these days. It doesn't say anything about your personal quality whether you go on and off them quickly, or stay on them.

I would hope that many people who go on and off meds are getting other help, as well. I think the idea is that medication is to tide a person over while they learn how to cope better with life's stresses, not just so they can wait until their mood improves on its own. But hey, that's just a layperson's opinion, though of one who has been on meds and isn't any more.

My suggestion is that you say exactly that last sentence to a psychiatrist, and ask them about what your options are. In particular, you might be able to find a counselor to work out better ways of handling your anxiety. But, if they suggest that you stay on meds, don't let that mean anything bad about you, okay?

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