Psychotic Episode From Zoloft

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Clare Says:

Hi, was just wondering if anyone has ever had a psychotic episode from going off of zolfoft, I have and it was pure hell. My kids didn't think they would ever see me again. Please if anyone has had anything close to to this, please let me know of your experience

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Verwon Says:

Did you doctor say it was caused by going off the Zoloft?

A sudden cessation, if you've been taking it for a long period of time, can cause depression and rebound effects, but a complete psychotic break would be very unusual.


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Clare Says:

No my doctor didn't tell me that's what it was from, but my shrink did. Also, another friend of mie had the same thing happen. So yes, it's very common with Zoloft

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Leigh Says:

I as well had a psychotic episode after being prescribed Zoloft. In 1996, I was 22 and I only took it for 2 weeks, it started with two debilitating panic attacks, the second I actually had while I was sleeping and woke up in complete terror. Being home alone and not knowing what was wrong with me, I remember making phone calls and finally reaching my PCP's office and screaming to the secretary "im not in reality anymore" I was taken by ambulance and eventually admitted to a psych hospital. This was by far one of the worst experiences of my whole life.

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Anne Says:

A year ago I had a psychotic break after taking Zoloft. It happened after not taking it for a few days and then taking a double dose. I had hallucinations and delusions. It was the scariest experience I have ever had. I remember a lot of what happened. My parents brought me to the hospital and that night they rode me in an ambulance to a psychiatric hospital. I stayed there for about 5 days.

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Lindsay Says:

Hello. Yes I had a "reaction" to weaning off zoloft 100. I was on this drug since 96, for Pain. Not depression or mental illness. in 09 I weaned off slowly with my doctor's knowledge, we were doing it slowly. Before I knew what was happening, I struck my husband of 27 years with a bat. Needless to say I ended up in the ED instead of him calling the police. Our lives were shattered from that moment on. I have no memory of the incident, however, now 3 years later, I do know that I was not only hospitalized for over a month but should of been 8 days, with the restart of the drug. Instead I was not progressing fast enough for the inpatient unit, so I found out that I was given a cocktail of medications, and when they did not work, (and with good reason you will see) they said I had to do ECT or I was not getting out, I would be transferred. Well long story short. 12 ECT shock was ordered, 3 administered without my informed consent, for I was so drugged up by their cocktail of drugs..I could not function, I could not understand, I did not even recognize family members. a conversion paper was then made to extend my stay, as I got worse day after day, Today I understand why this happened to me. Instead of just restarting the original med I weaned off of over a few months.. the hospital then misdiagnosed me, made medical errors, administered shock treatment to a person "me" who was there for a one time incident. Instead I was treated for a person who had a mental illness of 14 years who went off her meds, and turned violent and hit her husband. 3 years later and counting going to a out patient diff hospital. for the medication mgnt. (which I should of Never been put on then or had to continue to take for 3 years..etc.) they told me they disagreed with the diagnosis the inpatient gave me. (I didn't even know they were treating me for something other than the incident of hitting my husband) until a few months ago! After slowly weaning off all the drugs I was discharged on, things started to become clearer, and in 2012 it really started to add up. Today I am on the same drug same dose, and was told I can not go off it again. Not only did the inpatient diagnosis me wrong, proven by out patient, but also the out patient has also diagnosed me wrong as well. Different than bipolar (inpatients) but they have me down now as (Major Depressive Disorder, recurrent, severe episode, with psychotic features!

I asked now that we know the inpatient diagnosis and treatments were incorrect, (and they understand this) I said to them last week. What do you have me down for now? And she told me you are in Remission. omg! Still incorrect! I lost everything, my husband, my home etc. I want to pursue legal action, however have been told that I am too late! Statuet of Limitations has passed. Unless I can toll the timing, extend the time to file, due to mentally disablement (that I was because of them) THIS CAN BE PROVEN IN MY MEDICAL REPORTS I just need a lawyer willing to fight for me! We would prevail once all medicals have been viewed. A lawyer did look at the inpat. medicals. Yes without a doubt gross negligence was done to me. But.... I didn't put it together fast enough. :( wow.

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isabel cartagena Says:

I had 2 psychotic episodes. At 4th day of quitting sertraline i was at a clinic with a doctor.He left. I waited for 15 minutes. A female doctor came with the other doctor and asked, with a certain attitude, why was i there. I forgot what i was there for. I was in front of the mirror telling them about my bones.She kindly put t me back on my chair.I felt like in a daze. I knew something happened.

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ShameOnDoctors Says:
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I took 1 Zoloft in 1996 given to me by my Ob/gyn. I took a small nap and woke up a completely different person. I was shaking from head to toe, nothing seemed real, I didn't even see myself in the mirror, I thought I was going to hurt or kill my children (2 and 4 yrs old), thought I was going to cut my arms off, thought I had glass stuck in my thumbs, huge waves of panic attacks that lasted weeks (I still get them. Never had them before the 1 Zoloft). I saw blood everywhere, in my kids rooms, on the pastors hands.... My thoughts were racing so fast in my brain I was exhausted but I couldn't sleep or sit still. I couldn't touch a knife or have one on the counter, it would send me into debilitating panic attacks. I called poison control and the doctor on call and they dismissed me like I was crazy. Well I was, from that pill. I never took another one. I lived like this for two weeks and I finally called a hotline and they told me to go to emergency. They decided to have me admitted. I was so happy. I knew my family and I would be safe if I was locked up. The next couple of years are a blur. I was in and out of psych hospitals and tried lots of medications (trial and error). I still cannot talk about this time of my life without crying. I still am not the same as I was before that pill. My brain is just different. I have learned to manage my life as best as I can but sometimes it still gets the better of me.

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AlexZ Says:
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I just had a similar experience -36 hour practically not stop panic attacks with burning chest pain, dizziness, weakness, shaking. I felt like I had a chemical poisoning. The effect lasted a week gradually waning with occasional panic attacks. After a week I was fine again, grateful just to be depressed, and not crazy psychotic. I ended up in ER after the first night, they sent me home and told me to take Xanax, which I did (it did not help) and continue taking Zoloft, which I didn't. I am on DSF (mostly vit B complex and glandulars) supplement now and Tyrosine and Theanine for anxiety and fatigue. Also Phenibut, very occasionally, for sleep aid. A friend had a similar reaction to Wellburtrin. My GP grudgingly admitted Zoloft very rarely can cause a psychotic episode like this which should wane after a week or two (you've got to be kidding me! I did not think I was dying, I knew I was!) I told her I did not want to be addicted to something that can make this sick.

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Violet Says:

I remember everything from my Zoloft induced psychotic break, which lasted for 48-72 hours. I was completely delusional hearing voices and if I closed my eyes entire scenarios would play out that I perceived to be real. There were warning signs leading up to break, in that certain days my pupils would dilate and colors would become more vivid. The cycle seemed to run on 4 day rotation. Day 1 - manic, Day-2 - anxiety, extreme agitation/restlessness (inability to sit still), Day 3 - feeling of normalcy (oh the drug might work), Day-4 - mild 'tripping'. I also developed sores in my mouth, but I was so desperate to not be depressed that I ignored all these signs. Just prior to my psychotic episode, I had a number of days that I compared to a mild version of the experience I had on Magic Mushrooms back in college. During those episodes, I would get filled with panic if I strayed too far from my apartment. I also felt entitled to drink fiendishly.

During the month on Zoloft, I also experienced a total personality change, and became extremely arrogant and belligerent and manic. I would talk excessively about everything on my mind, and think this was normal and 'social' behavior. I had a feeling of superiority and being right--like drug induced narcissism.

I thought these warning signs were a normal part of the on-boarding process.

The psychotic episode started when I skipped one day and then took a 100 the next morning, which set off the delusional state, which came on slowly in the morning and manifested fully around lunchtime with auditory hallucinations and delusions that lasted at full-intensity for two days and then slowly faded over the course of a 2-day period following.

What was scary is that I had no idea what was happening because my delusions were so real that I found real world explanations for the voices I was hearing. The delusion peaked out with me imaging that I was dying of jaundice and liver failure (since the vivid color hallucinations made me believe that my eyes were totally yellow)...

The reason I share that I recall all of my delusion... I am curious why I remember, and others seem to have no memory. I am not sure which is better...not remembering might be nice...but then also scary.

Does anyone else remember their delusional state clearly?

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Jules Says:
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I went on a search for god and thought that my mom, my fiancé and Pauls mom teamed up against our dads and won the battle over a legal suit that created us to be rich and own everything. In town Portland was a different way of living out in the sticks. Portland area was for the sinners and people on drugs or needed heath facility's; and windham where the shakerville is was for us God like people that chose marijuana/non medicated over meds. And if I were to take meds it'd be letting the devil in my life. I thought that I had won the war that this life has been battling since Christ. The devil had his area and us goddesses had ours. Eventually Paul crossed over to being good. But I thought people were out to kill me and my family or out distracting my family when I was in panic. I thought that our society, the whole ****ing world went to war and that I had won the battle. Because I would stand through the hardest days and nights someone could only imagine. I was lost at sea and never knew if I'd come back. I went to spring harbor like this and thought that inside were my helpers my family members from down the line. I called every ****ing one that would talk to me and told them my thinkings. But it sounded too good that people didn't know what the f*** was up. Spring harbor let me leave while I was still 100% delusional. If the cops came they would just talk me out of my panic attack/suicidal thinking or I'd go to the ER and they would take me in and release me after I slept and came back to. But without having a doctor or psychiatrist this delusional land mine I was in was one of the most mind altering horrific things that has EVER ****ing happened to me. Now, how am I supposed to just accept this. Oh it's my fault I almost died and lost every aspect in my life BEC I signed up for some anxiety/depression relief. This is not ****ing okay for me to just dust off. I need answers and I need them now. I almost lost every aspect of my life. I've almost killed myself multiple times. I talked to my entire life span of friends, I searched for people, I went and visited the houses I grew up in. I thought I was the key to the entire human race and if I killed myself the world would be over for everyone. I'm not okay :( how can I just accept this and move forward. Me and my fiancé have extreme PTSD from it.

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Trish Says:
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My daughter was prescribed zoloft for depression about 4 weeks ago. Was only on it 4 days when I noticed a complete change in her behavior and thinking. She started to show signs of psychosis, needless to say I stopped giving her meds, she went back to normal next day, then 2 weeks later all the same symptons reappeared and has become worse. She is currently staying in a pavilion. I have gone through hell and back, we are supposed to trust our doctors. Trying to find a way out of this, she has now been prescribed abilify...I need help, she's not getting better.

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Hellofromme Says:
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Trish, just wanted to ask, how is your daughter these days?, did you manage to get the advice and support that you required x I came across an interesting article. Has your daughter taken sertraline?. Have a look online at sertraline induced psychosis. This lady 33 yrs took sertraline and olanzapine reduced sertraline and then reduced olanzapine the psychosis disappeared. I'm sure a others ssri can induce psychosis. I was offered sertraline but I have researched it for depression and I not take it. Thanks for leaving your note on here.

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saragun Says:

The mind is our control system, it will make you think anything and believe it takes 14 days for most pills to work to full effect, one a day pill is not going to have you doing that for days, weeks or years. Zoloft is to treat depression like Effexor, Wellbutrin and others that are too many to list here. It looks like it started with anxiety attack followed by manic depression and schizophrenia. These are some facts for schizophrenia- People may experience:

Behavioral: social isolation, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, compulsive behavior, excitability, hostility, repetitive movements, self-harm, or lack of restraint

Cognitive: thought disorder, delusion, amnesia, belief that an ordinary event has special and personal meaning, belief that thoughts aren't one's own, disorientation, memory loss, mental confusion, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority

Mood: anger, anxiety, apathy, feeling detached from self, general discontent, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, elevated mood, or inappropriate emotional response

Psychological: hallucination, paranoia, hearing voices, depression, fear, persecutory delusion, or religious delusion

Speech: circumstantial speech, incoherent speech, rapid and frenzied speaking, or speech disorder

Also common: fatigue, impaired motor coordination, or lack of emotional response

Antipsychotic: Reduces or improves the symptoms of certain psychiatric conditions.

Haloperidol (Haldol)
Risperidone (Risperdal)
Quetiapine (Seroquel)
Ziprasidone (Geodon)
Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
Aripiprazole (Abilify)

U can see that the problem did not go away, it escalated. The hospitals and doctor's evaluate patients and observe to see how the treatment is working. Symptoms are so similar that it takes a psyc and a therapist supervising meds and patient to find the right diagnostic and meds combination, it is not like they have a magic wand. Zoloft is known for triggering suicide and violent behaviors in teenagers and there has been murder cases attributed to stopping zoloft for both adult and teens. God bless you, had a rocky road and lost a lot to mental illness but sounds like if you find the right doctor and medicine combination and finally a diagnostic for your condition, treated right you should be able to live better and start a new life with everything you wish for and deserve.

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24andMedicated Says:
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I'm on 200mg Zoloft (highest dose available), if I miss even one day or take it later in the day I can feel the withdrawals starting. It's never gotten to the point of having a psychotic break. However when my doctor wouldn't refill my Cymbalta until I saw him (and I was completely out) I did have a psychotic break from the withdrawals. Including: constant dizziness, blurred vision, migraine, nausea with vomiting, uncontrollable crying, ripping out my own hair, suicidal thoughts and ideas, and all around psychotic behavior to the point of having to be taken to the ER by ambulance so that I could be strapped down and as soon as I got there, they sedated me. It was horrible. Luckily my mom was there, but I know it broke her heart.

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June Says:
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Interesting thread. My son started Sertraline in early January of 2017 for severe anxiety, depression, and PTSD. He had a relationship breakup which triggered him. He was on 150 mg (which I believe was too much, too fast). He had a psychotic break with suicide threat which resulted in weapons discharge and other serious offenses. He knows the law. He is a kind and generous person. He is in deep legal trouble. I believe as does the doctor who is treating him now, that Sertraline was the instigator of this psychotic break. So sad.

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Jill Says:

My brother has had 7 emergency/arrests from episodes of Sertraline (Zoloft) induced psychosis.

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Babs Says:
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Yes it is something that happens with Zoloft. I was a kid still when I was out on Zoloft, I had a break and I was crazy. I was harming myself and doing things completely out of my character (most of which I couldn't remember I only know from what my mother saw and told me and what the hospital saw) and had to be checked into a mental hospital. While I was locked in the hospital my doctor told my mother he was "afraid something like this would happen and it is fairly common with Zoloft." Would have been nice if the doctor would have cared enough to mention that this could happen but their job is to sell the pill right? This was around 10 years ago now.

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pudman56 Says:

You and a friend does not "very common" make. While I'm not denying your psychotic moment, I have experienced them and I haven't been on Zoloft for decades, the sudden cessation could have been a cause of it. You should never cold turkey any medication unless instructed to by your doctor.

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Casey Says:

My son had a stroke last July 2016 with brain bleeding, and lots of orher complications. He seemed to be starting to get depressed so his Dr prescribed generic Zoloft. After 2 of the lowest dosage pills he absolutely went bonkers ..... believed he was dying and paranoid. Had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital and now is in the physciatric ward and never had displayed any mental symptoms. I believe the Zoloft is to blame for his condition and I would advise anybody not to take this VERY DANGEROUS DRUG. My heart is broken to see what HELL he went thru.

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Lassie Says:
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So sorry to hear about your son. A stroke and now this. Do the doctors think in any way that the stroke and where it was in the brain along with the Zoloft are to blame? I went through hell this past winter with my son. He spent 4 months in a hospital after becoming psychotic from Zoloft plus huge anxiety. He has PTSD and the VA put him on a high dose right away. He almost killed himself. I wish your son a speedy recovery in all aspects. My son is doing well.

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