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Monday, February 6, 2012

I've Been Off Zoloft for a few Weeks

Dear Mrs. Curtiss,

I am thrilled to have stumbled upon your book, Depression is a Choice, after having taken Zoloft for postpartum blues and later dsythmia/PMDD.  My doctor agreed to wean me off Zoloft but the withdrawal is horrendous -headaches, nightmares, lethargy to name a few.  Do you think Directed Thinking will work in countering drug discontinuation primal brain feelings in the same way it does with mania and depression?

Thank you for your time.


Dear M,

It will help somewhat. The nightmares can definitely be alleviated by thought-jamming them (and the downer thoughts that they initiate) by nonsense rhymes or some mantra. The one I use lately is an old high school cheer (one,two,three, four who are we for? Back in the day then you would supply the name of your high school)). This works great for me when I wake in the middle of the night with nightmares or depression. I go right back to sleep.

Headaches too can be lessened by distracting yourself with some mantra. Lethargy may be a sympton that your body is missing some nutrients. With Directed Thinking, your behavior will be under your control and allow you to lead a normal life. With headaches you can also visualize constricting the blood vessels in the brain and relaxing your body, letting it go limp. However, if the drugs have depleted some of the amino acids that you need for the brain to make serotonin or if the drugs have your hormones off kilter you may be experiencing some pain of anxiety and this can't be cured by an act of will.

If your nerves are strung out because the drugs have depleted some of your body's nutrients, you may need some nutritional supplements. I suggest a doctor of Chinese Medicine or a good nutritionist to assess your body's needs. If you're in the San Diego area I can suggest Bret Mosher Health Clinic tel 858-679 2995.

I had a terrible time when I took oxycodene for 3 weeks for a back injury this year. It fried my brain. And it took me 6 months to get over the non-stop anxiety. The mind tricks helped for sleep and hypnosis helped a lot during that awful time. And if I hadn't had all the tools of Directed Thinking and Brainswitching I think I might have just caved in. However I'm back to normal and now take about 11 different supplements. Since I am 77 years old, some of my organs no longer produce with the same degree of efficiency so I will be on supplements from now on. Just remember this, a negative thought is never a good option. The minute you notice you are negative, either go positive or do some mind trick. And as quickly as possible get into some more productive thinking, work, reading, entertainment, social activity, exercise. You can't just go with the flow on this, you have to be really pro-active. And reach out to others, you need the love. A. B. Curtiss


I have scores of questions as I continue to struggle with headaches, lethargy, irritability, and the wilting will to forge ahead without drugs. I do have a support group of women who cheer me on as we walk an hour a day. I also try to laugh as much as possible to combat random bouts of tears. It's only been a few weeks without Zoloft (after years on the drug), so I know I should be patient, but its very hard. M

Dear M

You also might want to read Brainswitch out of Depression, my sequel to Depression is a Choice. It's full of mind exercises and gives a better idea of how the brain works. I also suggest reading Claire Weekes book Hope and Health for Your Nerves. You need the belief that you will get better. A. B.

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