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Unread 08-02-2013, 11:30 PM   #1
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Frown Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

For the past 5.5 months, my husband has been taking 75mg of Zoloft. It started with a mild depression due to being 4 hours away from home 5 days out of the week. We have a 2 year old daughter, and from the first week she was born he was traveling. He missed both of us terribly and began having trouble concentrating at work/being very anxious in a hotel room almost every night. So, I regretably told him he should try to see if there was something that could help with the depression, anxiety, and OCD he developed.
The first month he was on Zoloft was pretty wonderful, he was relaxed, didn't cry on the phone, and he said he felt like he could concentrate. Before I get too ahead of my dilemma, let me tell you what his personality was like BEFORE the Zoloft....passionate, caring, funny, outgoing, loves to make people laugh, wrote little love notes to me every Monday morning before he left,loved to make breakfast for us on Sunday mornings, dance around the house, sang in the shower, would tickle me, wrestle with me, joked with me, initiated sex, and physical contact. I feel stupid listing all of that, but it sums up how great his personality was.
Anyway, the first month was great and I was so happy that he was feeling better. He told me he would go off of the Zoloft when he found a career closer to home, and it's been 3 months since that happened. What I am noticing now, is not normal. He is irritable all of the time, never smiles or laughs, plays less with our daughter, never touches me unless we're in bed and he puts his arm around me, cannot joke or play around, says his mind is racing 100 miles a minute, can't concentrate, is focusing on things from his past that he never talked about before, says that everything I say to him is just picking on him and makes him feel low, and can't remember things I tell him 5 minutes ago. He doesn't care if we are intimate, never talks about it, and if I ask why he doesn't care, he doesn't have an answer. I know all of this probably sounds petty, and I haven't put every detail in here, but this personality change is ruining our marriage. I feel like I don't even know him anymore. He says he's fine, and doesn't see a change. He wouldn't though right? People can't see how these drugs change them and sometimes have reverse effects....I don't know what to do to convince him that it's robbing him of himself, and not helping anymore....
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Unread 08-03-2013, 12:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

well he might be bipolar, and an AD (anti-depressant) such as Zoloft, taken by a bipolar person who does not simultaneously take mood stabilizing and/or antipsychotic drugs, can lead to mania.

mind racing 100 miles a minute
cannot concentrate
too irritable (says you are picking on him)
cannot remember things is similar to cannot concentrate

suggests a MANIA coming, and no, it is not petty - you need him to report all of those things to his p-doc (psychiatrist - whoever prescribed ZOLOFT to your husband) on MONDAY - just after the weekend is over with. It can cause very serious trouble if left unattended. Do not delay.

If bipolar is ruled out, then the symptoms of a changed personality could be attributed to Zoloft, and then he either needs a different AD or just off AD's.
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Unread 08-03-2013, 12:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

PS Do you know the name of his p-doc, in case he declines to report those to the p-doc? If he does not report, you will need to take the matter in your hands.

Do you know if your husband's relatives have mental illness?
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Unread 08-03-2013, 12:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

Also- read this please:

zoloft mania - Google Search
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Unread 08-03-2013, 12:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

with hamster-bamster. Do not delay reporting this info to your husband's doc. It can be very serious. Good luck.
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Unread 08-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

Thank you for your input, this is what I was afraid of. I have done a little research, and Mania showed up when I listed some of his symptoms...I literally broke down in tears. I have actually contacted our family doctor (who prescribed this to him originally bc he refused to see a psychiatrist). They told me because he didnt put my name on the HIPAA form that they can't speak to me at all about anything. The only progress I made was convincing him that 75 mg was too strong and he should step down to 50mg. That was last month, and there is absolutely no change. If anything, it's worse. I spoke to my father about it all, and he is convinced also that this is serious and he is going to attempt to tell him that he doesn't seem himself and he should ask his doc to step him off of it completely. I feel like I've ran out of emotional steam to fix this. We got in a small argument last night, and he slept on the couch.....this is something he has never done! Even when we have been mad/screaming fits, we still resolved it enough to lay in bed together. This is becoming overwhelming.
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Unread 08-03-2013, 01:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

OMG!

If it has already spiraled into mania, then going down from 75mg to 50 mg would not fix it - he would actually need drugs to counteract mania. If it IS mania, then even dropping Zoloft at once might not help, because his mania is out of control.

Without HIPAA they would not SPEAK to you about anything, sure, but ... they cannot even taken input from you?

the bad thing is that he has a family doctor and refuses to see a psychiatrist. Once it is not a garden-variety depression/anxiety but something else, family doctors are out of their depth. Even with garden-variety depression/anxiety, psychiatrists are better positioned to make judgment calls.

The biggest trouble is that, as a rule, people who are manic - especially for the first time - do not recognize it. One of the main reason bipolar people are often mis-diagnosed as depressive, in the beginning (and that beginning might take years) - people see doctors only when they are depressed. Otherwise they see no need to go talk to a doctor. I am afraid that this is the case with your husband - begrudgingly, but he went to see a family doctor for depression, but now he has other symptoms and he won't listen to you.
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Unread 08-03-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scared86 View Post
I have actually contacted our family doctor (who prescribed this to him originally bc he refused to see a psychiatrist). They told me because he didnt put my name on the HIPAA form that they can't speak to me at all about anything. The only progress I made was convincing him that 75 mg was too strong and he should step down to 50mg. That was last month, and there is absolutely no change. If anything, it's worse. I spoke to my father about it all, and he is convinced also that this is serious and he is going to attempt to tell him that he doesn't seem himself and he should ask his doc to step him off of it completely. I feel like I've ran out of emotional steam to fix this. We got in a small argument last night, and he slept on the couch.....this is something he has never done! Even when we have been mad/screaming fits, we still resolved it enough to lay in bed together. This is becoming overwhelming.
Granted, you husband sounds like he's certainly on the wrong medication. Is he also, in talk-therapy? Meds alone won't resolve any depression symptoms, usually, that's a general rule of thumb.

I appreciate, that doctors cannot discuss patients information with others. It's acceptable to call and voice concerns, however.

I like, your father's approach, of mentioning, that he doesn't seem himself, since Zoloft and this long distance job opportunity.

Hope all goes well
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Unread 08-03-2013, 07:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

It's not fair at all right now to fall in a Mania Panic. Mania is a possibility to keep an open mind about but all those symptoms also very very easily, perhaps more easily, fit under depression and anxiety. Irritability, problems concentrating ... easily could have been the depression symptoms breaking through. (you already said he couldn't concentrate before the meds)

It's also not fair to jump on blaming the meds either. Like I said, they could be a relapse -- the drugs could have never been effective in the first place. They may have dulled or numbed him a way that makes him a different type of depressed than he was before, but the negative symptoms he is experiencing could be the remnants of depression.

Of course, the meds still could be making the depression worse by adding irritability or modifying other symptoms. There are other treatment options worth exploring.

Just don't get ahead of yourself when it comes to the possible bipolar. Often MI and stress take a long long time to resolve and your support and desire to learn mean a ton. Please keep looking for more information and have faith that your husband will heal.
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Unread 08-03-2013, 08:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Desperate to get my husband off of Zoloft.

Odee, good catch, but:

racing thoughts... a hallmark of bipolar mania... concentration problems could be both mania and depression, sure, but racing thoughts could not...depression slows thinking down... depression can easily cause rumination, when the same (negative, as a rule) thought comes (and hurts) again and again, but not RACING thoughts...
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