I saw my psychiatrist a couple of weeks ago. It had been a few months. During my summer check-up, we decided to wait until January to wean me off Zoloft. We decided to stick to that plan.
I asked my psychiatrist about withdrawal, and she explained that withdrawal is something that happens with substance abuse. When a person discontinues a necessary mediation, and has a negative symptom, that’s called a “discontinuation symptom.”
I like that. Withdrawal makes me think of that scene in Trainspotting when Ewan MacGregor quits heroin and hallucinates and seems like he’s on the verge of death.
But I’m not quitting heroin. I’m just gradually discontinuing the use of Zoloft.
Right now, I’m taking 150 mg of Zoloft every morning and 15 mg of Remeron at bedtime. In early January, I am going to cut the Zoloft back to 125 mg. If I have “discontinuation symptoms,” such as dizziness, I can take 150 mg one day and 125 mg the next, or even 150 mg for two days and 125 mg on the third. My psychiatrist does not want me to suffer needlessly.
After about two weeks at 125 mg, I will ease myself into 100 mg a day. Slow and steady wins the race.
This is going to be a gradual, gentle process.
I will keep taking Remeron during all of this. My psychiatrist only wants to discontinue one medication at a time.
In the meantime, I will continue the same regimen. My psychiatrist does not want to see me again until early February, but I can of course call at any time for any reason. If something feels wrong about Zoloft discontinuation, I will call and talk to her and come in if necessary. Or if something weird happens tonight, I will call.
When I had postpartum depression, I felt obligated to fix things on my own. That did not go very well. (Unless you think five weeks of insomnia and hospitalization is a good thing.) (It’s not.)
Now I am the strongest and happiest and healthiest I have ever been in my entire life; and I’ll be damned if I’m going to jeopardize that. I will call my psychiatrist the instant I have a question or the faintest tingling of an issue.
I am a bad ass but that does not mean I have to suffer alone.