Zoloft, Klonopin, Craziness and a Desire to Change!
January 29, 2007 8:15 PM   Subscribe

I have fought depression, anger, fatigue, lack of motivation (and more) for thirty years. I have taken so many psycho-pharmacological drugs that I couldn't list them all. One constant has been antidepressants. I've been taking Zoloft for ten years. It has left me with memory problems, brain fog, etc. I also take Klonopin (2mgs a day) and that leaves me feeling jittery if I miss it and has the "tolerance' effect of needing more and more. I have tried tapering the Zoloft - very slowly - but I am like a raging lunatic off of it. The Doctor says, "symptoms have returned." I say, "withdrawal," or as they like to call it with antidepressants: "discontinuance syndrome." Hey, if you freak out without it - I don't care what you call it, but withdrawal is what most people would think. The niceties of the semantics I'm not interested in. ***More inside about my desire to try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy***

I am wanting to try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and give it a major go. As in a treatment center that can help me taper meds while learning the CBT techniques in a serious and therapeutic setting. The Internet is overwhelming me with this topic. So, I turn to my fellow MeFites and hope that some of you have personal experience, experiences of friends, etc. concerning the too-little-discussed problem of antidepressant withdrawal and finding a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment Center that can work with me on long-term goals. Living like this is no longer an option. Thanks in advance - more than you know.

posted by Gerard Sorme to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I forgot to mention, since many of you may not want to reply under your username, if you would like to reply in private, my email is gerardsorme AT gmail DOT com.

posted by Gerard Sorme at 8:21 PM on January 29, 2007

I am not quite finding your actual question. Do you wish to hear stories of other people who've succeeded with CBT, or are you looking to find a center near you where you can find a practitioner?

Or both?
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:25 PM on January 29, 2007

Response by poster: Hi ikkyu2,

Actually both. I'm really looking for a CBT Treatment Center that some here might be familiar or have personal experience with. Location is not a problem, I can travel for a program. Experiences with CBT are also welcome.

posted by Gerard Sorme at 8:31 PM on January 29, 2007

This was a good program five or six years ago. They switched to a residents-only system some time in 2001 or 2002, but they may have changed back since then. You could try looking into it.
posted by brina at 8:49 PM on January 29, 2007

Response by poster: I'll take a look. Thanks! Just to be clear, I am definitely open to inpatient programs. Something has to change.

posted by Gerard Sorme at 8:53 PM on January 29, 2007

(I didn't mean inpatient, btw, I meant that the staff was made up of medical residents who were doing 9-month rotations.)
posted by brina at 9:35 PM on January 29, 2007

Response by poster: Gotcha, brina, thanks...

posted by Gerard Sorme at 9:36 PM on January 29, 2007

Ok, this is way less than what you're looking for, but it might help you while you try to find a better solution. If you haven't already, try the book Feeling Good (including doing the exercises it recommends). I avoid self-help books like the plague, but the very nature of CBT lends itself pretty well to "bibliotherapy," and I've found this book to spot-on and very well-written. The same author has also apparently written a book addressing panic attacks from a CBT perspective, something I going to check out very soon.

Very, very best of luck & wishes to you.
posted by treepour at 10:38 PM on January 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

I can't tell you much about withdrawal, Gerard, but I wanted to let you know that you seem to have the right attitude about CBT. And that's important, because it greatly improves your chances of success.

One thing I'd suggest to improve your chances further: Read Demystifying Depression on K5.

Even though CBT works for me, I didn't fully "get" it until I read the linked article. None of the experts I talked to, nor the books I read (including Feeling Good, which is really the best one,) connected the dots between emotions and biochemistry. And, for me at least, that understanding was key.

Once I discovered that my emotions are controlled by predictable biological systems, dealing with the negative emotions became a matter of mastering the science. That's a quantifiable problem, and much easier to tackle than the nebulous and ever-changing mystery that my emotions used to be.

Good luck, Gerard. I sincerely hope you find your peace.
posted by ParsonWreck at 7:19 AM on January 30, 2007

Have you ever tried meditation in any regular fashion? Zazen has worked really well for me.
posted by koudelka at 7:50 AM on January 30, 2007

I second/third the feeling good book. It helped me to look at what my problems in a practical manner and gave me realistic ways of beating them. The self-introspection the book (or CBT) requires is not easy, but well worth the effort in my opinion.

If you have any questions or want to talk about it in depth feel free to contact me (email in profile).
posted by escher at 8:33 AM on January 30, 2007

I found a good therapist through the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. If you're not in the US maybe there is a similar organization in your area.
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:31 AM on January 30, 2007

CBT worked/works rather well for me. At the same time, it has been better with the meds than without.
posted by hipaa_chik at 10:14 AM on January 30, 2007

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