Weaning off Zoloft – Introduction
Are you thinking of weaning off Zoloft? If yes, you are about to make the best decision in your life.
You started taking Zoloft to help with anxiety or symptoms of depression. Or you were told that you need something to reduce the edge?
And you thought that Zoloft would change your life for the better. Yes, Zoloft could help some people, and if you are one of them, how great is that!
However, not everyone reacts to Zoloft in the same way.
If you genuinely want to help yourself, there is no harm in setting a goal of weaning off Zoloft.
Of course, make sure you check with your doctor for medical advice for dose reductions.
You want to avoid Zoloft withdrawal symptoms as much as possible.
How About Never Starting Zoloft in the First Place
If your doctor diagnoses you with major depressive disorder and suggests Zoloft, consider the following:
- If you change your lifestyle, you might not need antidepressants.
- There are known common side effects of Zoloft, which could jeopardize your relationships, career, and even your life.
- You could have treatment-resistant depression, and no medication is going to help you.
Since there are already three strikes against taking Zoloft, why not try lifestyle improvements first?
Even if you have a friend, colleague, or voice on the internet telling you how fantastic Zoloft is for them, this does not mean that Zoloft is excellent for everyone.
You run the risk of experiencing severe and adverse side effects if you embark on the antidepressant cocktail journey.
Start to think about your total health first.
Zoloft might tranquilize you out of your depression, but you run the risk of losing your job.
Or you might experience severe Zoloft insomnia.
How well will you perform at your job if you cannot sleep for a few days?
Not too good.
You might experience Zoloft nightmares, beyond any dreams you had ever seen.
You might wake up from Zoloft night sweats drenched in a pool of your sweat.
If Zoloft works for you, great, but MHA – Mental Health America estimates that over 20 million Americans suffer from treatment-resistant depression.
Have compassion on your body and others who do not respond well to Zoloft or any other antidepressant.
What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe – Ben Goldcare
Is it Worth Taking the Risk of Antidepressants?
Why start on Zoloft if you may want to know how to wean off Zoloft three months later because you cannot handle the side effects?
Once you start weaning off Zoloft, you need to avoid the symptoms of Zoloft withdrawal-like brain zap, where you feel like your head just got shocked with an electrical charge.
Benefits of Exercise for Depression
Look at this chart based on a Duke University study, which shows the long term benefits of exercise for depression.
We are not even talking about how nutrition and certain foods affect depression, just exercise alone, which can be as simple as taking a 30 minute to one hour walk every day.
Exercise therapy results are better than the effects with Zoloft alone or Zoloft plus exercise therapy.
Zoloft is not the only way to increase levels of Serotonin.
Exercise can help as well, even better than Zoloft as Duke researchers show in this chart below:
Lifestyle Modification Option
Of course, taking a Zoloft pill is an effortless way to raise your Serotonin than is walking for 30 minutes, doing squats, bench press, deadlifts, or calisthenics exercises like pull-ups and push-ups.
But, if you take the lifestyle modification route, you will get fitter and healthier while lifting your mood.
On the other hand, if you choose Zoloft’s path, one of the most frequently prescribed psychotropic medications in the USA,¹ you run the risk of side effects.
Not just the side effects listed below, but even the mania phase of bipolar disorder can switch on when on Zoloft.
The FDA approves Zoloft, one of the most common SSRIs ( selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ) for depression, PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even social anxiety disorder.
There are many cases where Zoloft can be a relief for people who do not experience adverse side effects.
Here are the known side effects of Zoloft, aka Sertraline.
The brain-changing benefits of exercise – Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki
Side Effects of Zoloft Depression Medication
Do you think that Zoloft and other antidepressants are benign, have little effect?
Take a look at this alarming list of possible side effects of Zoloft depression medication.
After you read the list, you know it is worth weaning off Zoloft or never starting in the first place.
Ask yourself if it is not worth your time to explore other options?
List Zoloft side effects by likelihood and severity. ²
Common side effects of Zoloft: ²
- Low interest and sex drive – Severe
- Inability to have an erection – Severe
- Sexual problems – Severe
- Insomnia chronic trouble sleeping – Less Severe
- Diarrhea – Less Severe
- Dizzy – Less Severe
- Drowsiness – Less Severe
- Dry Mouth – Less Severe
- Excessive Sweating – Less Severe
- Feel Like Throwing Up – Less Severe
- Feeling Weak – Less Severe
- Gas – Less Severe
- Head Pain – Less Severe
- Involuntary Quivering – Less Severe
- Loss of Appetite – Less Severe
- Low Energy – Less Severe
- Stomach Cramps – Less Severe
- Weight Loss – Less Severe
And these listed above are only the common side effects.
Of course, one of the worst potential side effects is suicidal thoughts.
Is Zoloft worth the risk?
But if you already experience any of these Zoloft side effects, it is no wonder that you are choosing to get off of Zoloft as fast as possible.
Alternative Depression Treatments
There are other options for taking Zoloft and other antidepressants.
If you stick with these good habits, not only might you able to better manage your depression.
But, you also might find yourself healthier in many other ways.
- Get to sleep at an earlier hour.
- Focus on great nutrition.
- Stay away from processed foods like the plague.
- Embrace real foods, especially vegetables, fruits, sprouted grain bread, and lean proteins like eggs, low-fat dairy, fish, and turkey, foods known to increase Serotonin.
- Start strength training.
- Deadlifts, squats, push-ups, bench presses, and other forms of weightlifting can do more to lift your mood than you would ever believe.
Quitting Zoloft – Severe Withdrawal Symptoms + Warning
Weaning off Zoloft – Final Thoughts
You must be aware of discontinuation symptoms.
If you are tapering off Zoloft, please consult with a competent medical professional to properly manage to reduce your doses of Sertraline (Zoloft).
Otherwise, you could experience severe discontinuation syndrome, especially if you abruptly stop taking Zoloft.
According to verywellmind.com, some of these symptoms are:
- Upset stomach
- Muscle pain
- Blurred vision
- Tingling sensations
- Vivid dreams
- Sweating or electric shock sensations
As tip number 5 says, prioritize your health and fitness.
Invest in your health.
Take the steps today to get stronger in your body and mind.
And once you are successful in weaning off Zoloft, continue to focus on getting fitter and healthier.
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