January 26, 2023

In this video I talk about my decision to stop taking Sertraline/Zoloft after two years. I go through my tapering process and how I did it, how it felt and the side effects I experienced. I also discuss in detail what I am doing now to maintain and manage my mental health. It is a long video but I wanted to make sure I took the time to reflect and talk through the different aspects of tapering and why I came to the decision to stop. I hope it helps you with your sertraline journey.

So in my previous video i mentioned that i have now been off citrulline for about two months in this video i want to share with you why i decided to stop citrulline after being on it for about two years how i stopped and what life is like now that i haven’t been on it for a few months hi my name’s richie and i make videos around mental well-being mindfulness and

How to be the best version of yourself if you’re new to this channel welcome good to have you on board um i hope you’re enjoying my content so far please drop me a like and share if you feel that someone else might benefit from these videos so as i mentioned a couple of months ago i had officially come off citrulline it was a difficult decision to make because

It’s one of those things that once you’ve been on it for some time it’s like when is the right moment what is the right moment a year before um so early sort of 2020 i had considered coming off it but it was at the start of the pandemic we had just gone into a lockdown and i thought actually it could potentially be a disaster so this time around it really did

Feel right and i’ll explain why and what led me to my decision and how i did it the first comparison i can make when i look back is six months into starting sexually and i went in for a review with my doctor and at that time the review was about whether the medication was helping me um whether it was time to stop or if i should continue and when he asked me how

I was feeling um at that time so we look with this is literally six months into being on citrulline i felt really anxious i felt super nervous and because i had anxiety about coming off this medication and sort of almost feeling like it would leave me vulnerable straight away the doctor was like that proves that this isn’t the right time so i think i had that at

The back of my mind when i was going through sort of several months after when i was kind of very much used to being on the medication and constantly sort of evaluating how i was feeling so during that period in 2020 i was thinking back to that moment when i was with sort of sitting with the gp and having that conversation and i realized that i didn’t feel the

Same but because we were going into a pandemic as like as like i mentioned i decided to continue and that has kind of continued for a year um which brings me to around april time um maybe actually it was around february um of this year i had decided that it was time and the reason why i felt it was the right time was because i’ve been in a really good place um

If i compare how i compare my life what like you know now and my mindset and you know the levels of anxiety that experience it’s very very minimal if not sort of um not at all compared to when i first started citrulline my work is really good at the moment um it was a big factor in um what sort of caused my anxiety my you know sort of day-to-day life is really

Positive i’ve worked really hard over the last um sort of 18 months to two years to really um strengthen my mental health my thoughts the way i look at life how i go through certain experiences and relationships i’ve been really focused on development of my mental health and really taking the time to invest into it because i have realized how valuable it is um to

Invest at a really early stage so given that i’ve been putting in a lot of self effort i think when it came to um april this year we had just sort of the pandemic was starting to ease you know relatively ease yeah we were coming back to kind of somewhat normality um we’re not 100 out of it i really i decided that this is the right time and i think for me i’ve also

Realized that sexually is something that i could live with and be on for the rest of my life and it would be great it would be fine i would probably go through life feeling really great i mean of course you still have um you know sort of days where you you are feeling down or anxious or that your anxiety creeps in but what i’m what i’m trying to say is i could be

On septuary and it could be something i mean there people are there are people out there who have been on it for life and that’s absolutely fine it’s not one of these drugs that can only be a short-term thing so i could continue um i didn’t really have any you know my doctor didn’t you know get in touch to say you know how’s things going um so i could continue

But i for myself i i felt that it was something i wanted to kind of start to um experience life without it and see how i cope without it and if it doesn’t um go well if i start to feel um sort of mentally unfit or you know i can’t cope with certain aspects of life i can always go back on so i took this decision um sort of around end of february and i’d called

My doctor because um like i said i haven’t really had you know um conversation ongoing conversations with my doctor about the medication it almost felt like they forget and you know this is another issue i have with the system and how you know medication of this nature has been given out and it’s you know it’s been the top 10 medication in the uk and the us you

Know um for the last couple of years which is just it’s it baffles me as to how the lack of support there is for people like us who are embarking um on this journey with centuryline or who are living with centrally but this is a separate issue and i might talk about it in another video but i had to pick up the phone and call my gp and say look this is where i’m

At this is what i’m thinking can you help me taper off in the right way if i’m being really honest i had already done my research i’ve watched other youtube videos around tapering i’m i belong to a few forums on facebook dedicated centrally and zoloft i’ve done my homework i did my homework when i started i’ve done my homework as i’ve been coming off and so it

Was i knew how to taper i learned how to tape her i just needed to let the doctor know that this is what i’m doing so whenever i do walk into the doctor’s surgery again in the future and they ask me how it’s going it’s not a shock so i advise anyone who’s thinking of coming off to contact their gp their doctor their healthcare practitioner um inform them that you

You’re thinking of coming off and get advice on how to do it and i did i mean the doctor did give me advice on how to do it so the tapering process lasted around three months there isn’t any hard and fast rule of how long it should take it literally it was about three months for me where i felt okay we’re good you know we’re off it now and things are good so it

Started with um being on 50 milligrams every day and that’s what i’ve been on for the last couple of years um and i started to take 25 milligrams every day instead of 50 milligrams and that’s what i did for the first month so most of april was 25 milligrams every day and then in month two i moved over to 25 milligrams every other day and really what you’re doing

Is you’re basically weaning yourself off it right so you’re reducing the amount you’re allowing your body to adjust very very in very tiny increments to the new dose and the lack of um cetroline zoloft in your system then towards the latter part of the second month the early part of month three i started going down to 25 milligrams every two days and again it’s

Just you know you’re following this pattern of slowly slowly very very slowly cutting down and allowing your body to get used to a smaller and smaller amount of centraline and then in the latter part of the third month so the last couple of weeks i moved over to 25 milligrams every three days which was sort of twice a week instead of three times a week and then

Finally at the end of month three i i think was sort of just it was the odd tablet um 25 milligrams maybe once a week kind of very very very um seldom like you know if maybe once a week once every 10 days and that was kind of just the final kind of um push to the end and eventually i just stopped this process worked quite well for me it wasn’t something that i

Struggled um a lot with i’ve read lots and lots of sort of comments from other people on some forums who have really struggled with tapering off and their their tapering off process has been extremely slow i mean it could last you know six months a year sometimes a few years i mean if you’ve been on saturday for you know 10 years of your life you know tapering

Off over a year over two years is not actually a bad idea or you know isn’t sort of crazy so it doesn’t have to be you know a very very quick process i think for me i it was a combination of what my gpa told me but at the same time how i was kind of feeling through the process it’s not just how you’re mentally feeling you’ve got to also take into consideration

Consideration how you’re physically feeling and towards the end i think maybe sort of like this sort of second to last week in month three um i was starting to feel some side effects of coming off um that was again feeling quite tired and sleepy um i experienced zaps for the first time i hadn’t we didn’t really know what that was but if you’ve never heard of zaps

That it literally feels like tingling sensations in your ears in your your head you know sort of like exactly what it says you know zaps you know and kind of tingling um a tingling sensation on my skin like around my arms um so that i did experience that for a few days the other thing i experienced quite a lot of was nausea it wasn’t something that i experienced

Much of when i started sexually so the nausea was sort of strange it was a bit random but um yeah nonetheless i um experienced a fair bit of nausea for a few days um towards the end um but apart from that i think apart from tiredness zaps and nausea generally i was fine and that really only lasted about a week where it was like full-blown side effects symptoms

Um as a result of coming off and after that i was i was pretty okay and it like i said it’s now been about two months since i’ve been off it completely so this brings me on to i guess where i’m at at the moment and what i’ve been doing since i’ve come off and one of the things i decided to do um as i was coming off was almost put a plan in place for almost

Like a post satraline plan for how i was going to maintain my mental health what i was going to do in what i was going to do to invest in my mental health more so and also um think about how i was going to ramp that up because i’ve already been doing some of that during the last few years one thing i decided to do was really up the journaling and the kind of

The gratitude practice um and you know my the mindful routines that i incorporate in my day-to-day life and i got to the point you know sort of maybe about four or five months ago but that was i was becoming a bit lazy in that so i become really really strict in terms of how i start my day some of the practices i do in the morning my wine down routine in the

Evenings and that’s been very very helpful i guess in terms of maintaining my mindset and processing my thoughts and my feelings and emotions and just generally checking in and you know sort of being in tune with myself the other thing i decided which was quite important was to get back into therapy um i hadn’t been in therapy for the entire duration of being

On citrulline and for me it was really important i felt that i needed to go back into therapy because i needed that outlet i needed that time for myself i needed that outlet to be able to verbalize how i was feeling just so not just in a journaling format but really to someone that i didn’t know and i have been nabbing in therapy for about six weeks and so just as

I was coming off citrulline i started the therapy and that has been amazing like i can’t recommend it enough it is expensive um and initially i was only going to do it a few times a week so a few times maybe like twice a month or once a month but i decided to do it once a week and it’s just been it’s been incredible um and i will talk more about maybe in another

Video about the benefits of ongoing therapy um when you’re in a good place like you know i don’t feel like i need to be in therapy um at the moment but i took the active decision because i wanted to make sure that i stayed on track after i’d come off centrally and you know really kind of created this kind of like 360 plan you know in terms of how i was going to

Invest in my mental health so that’s been really really great apart from that all i can say is that this journey has been really um intense you know i think it’s i think what happens is you become really hyper focused on every aspect of your your life you know your thoughts your emotions you know your day-to-day um activities and interactions and i guess that’s

No bad thing but um it’s certainly been you know a major aspect of my life over the last few years i think doing these videos has really helped me um process you know how i’ve been feeling what i’ve been on section and also like kind of talking to you guys through the comments and things like that you know some of you are starting your journey it’s been really

Great to be able to kind of talk to people who have been at different stages of their this journey and it’s been a really really strong outlet for myself and i’m really grateful for that i guess like the important thing for me now is how i maintain my mental health and how how i keep investing in it obviously i don’t really want to go down the medication route

Again um unless i really had to but at the same time i’m not afraid of that either i realize the place that um ssris have in our life in our sort of health care cycle um you know i’m on other medication for life for other things and that’s you know not become normal so if i really had to i could be on saturday lean for life um i’m quite sort of adamant that

I’m gonna really you know sort of try and continue without having to be dependent on um an ssri and i can only just say that i’m in a really great place now and i know everyone else you know who might be watching this is at different stage and you know um that’s that’s also okay this is an in the individual journey you know like i said some people are in on on

Setting for 10 years before they tape her off it’s not a race you know it’s really about how you feel how it fits into your lifestyle i know some people really struggle in the beginning and i’ve spoken some people you know quite a lot um with people who are struggling and you know that’s also okay it’s not for everyone you know i hope that people don’t watch my

Videos and think that i think that this works for everyone because i know it doesn’t and it’s about trial and error and seeing what works for you um so i hope i can continue making videos whether it’s about my past experience with citrulline or my you know sort of future experience with how i manage and maintain my mental health um i hope my videos continue to

Help people and i will definitely keep you guys updated and share some of the things that i’m i’m doing i mean i’ve mentioned in my other video i’m just about to um i’ve launched a mental health app last week or the week before and um i will be talking about that in another video um and yeah like it’s just things are really good and i’m kind of just living with

This and feeling at the moment and kind of um enjoying it and i i’m learning the value of investing in your mental health so when things don’t go to plan you know you’re ready you’re strong and you’re you have the equipment and the knowledge on how to not allow yourself to fall um fall down so you can’t where you can’t get up by yourself um so that’s my goal

And mission at the moment is to do that for myself and try and help others do that so i hope you have taken something out of this video and that this has helped you and i look forward to seeing you in the next video keep well and i shall see you guys very soon thank you

Transcribed from video
Why I decided to stop sertraline, how I tapered off and side effects By Rishi Kumar