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Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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i been taking zoloft for anxiety for 7 days i want to stop

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i been taking zoloft for anxiety for 7 days i want to stop how would be best to stop the mwdication without side effets abd im also pregnant 33 weeks thats the main reazon i want to quit im taking onli 12.5 mg

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I just want to make sure that the information you stated was correct, that you have only taken the Zoloft for 7 days and are only taking a maximum dosage of 12.5mg a day, is that correct?

Dr. Z :

Well if this information is accurate, then I believe there is no true risk of side effects because you are taking a very low dose of the medication and for a very short period of time, so you can stop the Zoloft use right now if you wish. But if you are truly concerned, then you can split the Zoloft pill more and take half the dosage for 3-5 days and then stop the medication completely.

Dr. Z :

But I believe that you are at an extremely low or no risk at all for side effects for taking such a low dose of this medication and for such a short period of time.

Dr. Z :

I see that you are offline right now, but when you get back online I would be very interested in continuing this discussion with you and talking about anything further you would like to share regarding your concern, so if you respond in the chat box I will be able to get back to you as soon as possible.

Customer:

zoloft hasnt stop my anxiety completly but should i xpect a rebound more anxiety or worse

Dr. Z :

Well in 7 days and at such a low dose, I do not believe that the Zoloft was that effective for you. The standard therapeutic dose for anxiety with Zoloft is usually at 150-200mg and it usually takes around 8 weeks to get the maximum benefits of Zoloft. So you may expect a rise in anxiety, but I can teach you some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to help manage your anxiety better. CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.

Customer:

what is CBT and how i can change my thought process

Dr. Z :

Well CBT is a gradual therapeutic approach, just like all therapy it takes time for it to be effective, but because you are worried about side effects there are no side effects with therapy. CBT is the most effective and evidence based therapy to date to treat symptoms of anxiety. Here are a few examples of good CBT techniques that can be effective for you

Dr. Z :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Dr. Z :

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping lessen anxiety symptoms. It can help you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with severe anxiety have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help you develop a better coping strategy to manage your symptoms better.

Dr. Z :

These two books are also really effective in helping manage anxiety as well.

Dr. Z :

This is a link for something called Progressive Muscle Relaxation that can help you create a long term calm by using muscle tension and release techniques; it can help manage your anxiety and is very similar to a style of meditation.

Dr. Z :

So these are low risk and very effective treatments for anxiety and I believe they can help you greatly

Dr. Z :

Also because you are pregnant, there are no risk of side effects either and then when you can start using medications again you can use the CBT techniques and the medication together, which are proven as the most effective method for treating anxiety.

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you