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Quitting Zoloft Cold Turkey and Blood Sugar


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I'm wondering if there is any data on what stopping Zoloft cold turkey would do to Diabetic. A good friend of mine just go "tired of the pills" and stopped taking Zoloft cold turkey.  This is a guy that has been really depressed relatively recently and has pointed a loaded and cocked 45 magnum at his temple several time, so I'm definitely worried.  His blood sugar has risen dramatically, it was like 470 at one point yesterday. While you don' t have to tell me that all of this is an extraordinarily bad idea, I'd like to know more about what's going on and what his wife should be on the lookout for.  I know that Anti-psychotics and some Anti-convulsents have tissues with diabetes, but I didn't know about SSRIs. 

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I can't say how it would specifically effect a diabetic but I have read its not a good idea to go off these meds cold turkey.  I suppose it would be most risky the longer the person has taken it.  I was on Zoloft for 6 weeks and quit cold turkey, and had no ill effects.  But in terms of diabetes specifically, I'm not sure.

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I agree besides messing up his blood sugars, it is his BRAIN I am worried about.

How long was he on Zoloft and at what dose?

This is SO not a good idea and I think If I were his wife I would contact his Doc asap to let them know. Maybe the Doc would agree to see him and tell him even if he chooses to quit he needs to be followed closely. Both for the daibetes and the brain cooties.

A person so depressed as to have the gun loaded and aimed is NOT something to take lightly. Try to convinve your friend there are lots of other med options and not to give up on life and his wife because he didn't like one of them.

Again, he needs to see the Doc NOW.

CC~

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Is/was he going back and forth between just depressed and depressed as fuck?

Or are his mood shifts more dramatic from seemingly fine to crawling the walls?

If he happens to be undiganosed bipolar the zoloft would not be a good med for him to have been on. If he is in fact just a depressive in a major depression another med could snap him out of it.

It is no wonder he is worried about stigma if he is employed with the FBI.  I mean those are supposed to be the "in control "men. A very tough position for him.

I am sure he is not the first man to feel the stress and have some mental health issues. I would assume he has the best insurance around and probably has counselors available if he would reach out.  I also understand he doesn't want to do that and get branded as the guy with "problems". To him that may feel as  a fate worse than death.  Of course it ISN"T.

Personally I think it is way too much responsibility for his wife or even you to hope you catch his "signs" that he needs intervention. If neither of you see it coming you will feel guilty forever.

I encourage you to tell her to call his Doc. Yes he might be upset but it is possible the Doc would keep it confidential and make a different excuse for him to come in?  Maybe he would even feel relieved if she insisted to her hubby that she will leave it alone IF he just goes and talks to the Doctor. Of course I would drive him there to make sure he kept the appt!

I know it is hard when you want to lend support and keep your friend's trust. For you and his wife. There are times though when it is bigger than us and you can take your chances by letting it ride or you can risk pissing them off by bugging the crap out of them. WE have to trust you to know which is the right thing, right now.

On a personal note when my hubby was suicidal he was very quiet. His quietness had an underlying irritability that he also would try to quell on a drinking binge which of course made him more out of his mind and wanting to actually do the deed. Not a good combination and not fun to try and deal with. So far effexor has been the best thing for him. Not perfect but much better than anything else. (tho there is a danger that sometimes effexor makes people want to drink more)

Maybe you can get him to promise to call you if he feels he is sinking?

Good Luck to all of you, keep posting if we can support you in any way, you are a good friend for trying.

CC~

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I'm reasonably confident that this is unipolar depression, coupled with some mild paranoia that causes him to keep very tight reins on his family, e.g. driving his wife to Curves and sitting in the parking lot while she works out rather than just letting her go there herself, or hardly ever leaving the kids with a baby-sitter.  He's not abusive and from I can tell the whole family gets along very well.  He's just someone that needs to feel that he is in control.  For whatever reason, the latest manifestation of that need is to go his own way with respect to meds.  I'll be doing what I can to bring reason to the situation.  Right now I'm just making the basic friend moves, like having his family over for dinner etc.  Hopefully they'll be a window to address my concern in the next couple of days.

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This guy is lucky to have you as a friend. At least he won't have to look far for some emotional support when the shit hits the fan. And maybe he'll stop acting nuts a bit sooner because of you. Extra karma points for you.

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Oh man, I think he stopped taking diabetes meds too.  He is now a walking medical calamity waiting to happen.  I can't begin to express my frustration and concern over all of this.  I have to wonder whether or not he is engaging in some form of passive suicide.  What a mess.

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Yikes Elwood. Diabetic coma's aren't something to wish for!

Are you in contact with his wife? Isn't it time to call his Doc? Being off all meds is going to send him into a totally confused crash. You cannot rationalize with someone who is irrational.

This must be much stress for you too. You need professional advice.

CC~

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My wife is his wife's best friend.  They talk for hours a day.  I'm under the impression that he's upset that I know as much as I do.  My last "intervention" with him didn't go that well either.  He had just decided one day that he would be a pastor and lo and behold he found a church willing to hire him.  He still had to keep his full-time job because sometimes the church paid him but often they couldn't afford to.  The thing was consuming all of his time and negatively impacting his depression, his life and his family.  Finally, I'd had enough and since I knew the head of his denomination, I pulled the head dude aside and talked it over with him for about 15 minutes. The next day my friend got an e-mail recommending that he step down immediately, but the denomination didn't force the issue.  It took my friend a few more months because realizing what wsa happening and he finally gave it up but I think the whole thing really hurt his feelings. 

In this instance, I really think the onus is going to have to be on his wife if anything is going to happen. By now she's more than familiar with his depression and diabetes, such it's her choice whether or not to be stubborn along with him or to do something about it. I am giving both of them all the support I can. I've come to the conclusion that I'm just going to have to accept it and gain a clear conscience for making the efforts that I have.  I can't be his parents or his pastor and he refuses to even tell the pastor what's going on.  I just hope that when the crash comes it's severe enough to get his attention and mild enough to keep him alive and reasonably sane.  Sigh.

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhh I am very proud of you for seeing the light!

You are right it is up to his wife and as long as you offer the support should she /he ask for it, that is about all  you can do. It does seem like his wife is stuck in an enable roll to hide his issue, probably to save him embarrassment and not to add stress to his life. I know many of us have been there. I certainly hope one of them gets a clue before he melts down.

Are you SURE he might not be BP? I only know the depressed people I am around don't up and go be a pastor on a whim!  That sounds much more like mania to me.

Mania also leads us to go off of meds.

Maybe he has always been a bit hypomanic so it seems like that is his "normal" personality so you only notice when the depressions hit and don't recognize the mania as a possibility?

Just an outside observer offering up a very unprofessional but "been there seen that before" observation.

CC~

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I don't think he is BP, but my perception could be skewed by my own BP-ness. I think he is mostly just impatient and fiercely independant. I share is desire to someday become a pastor but I have chosen to wait until the kids are older, get myself mentally and emotionally stable and then attend Seminary and go through all the channels to ensure that I can do it and do it well for the sake of myself, my family and my future congregation.  He decided to skip all that and just hold himself out as a pastor without sufficient training or time.  While that is somewhat like mania I've never seen him as particularly energetic, driven or euphoric the way I am--and my p-doc says my BP is compartively mild to most! He really seemed to dispise the realities of being a pastor but like the acknowledgement that he was one. I do know that there's no way this guy would embrace a dx like BP.  I'm pretty sure the Zoloft is from a family doctor and I don't see so much as a hint of consideration to see in p-doc in the near future.  It is once again something that I can do little about.  Were our families not so tight, I'd probably having trouble maintaining the friendship but in the end, if I don't, I'm not sure that anyone else will and that isn't good for anybody, much lessed those with MDD.

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i don't know if the original question you asked is still most pertinent anymore, but as a diabetic i thought i'd add my two cents.  the only medicine that i know of messing with blood sugar when you first start taking it, and when you stop is prozac.  i asked jerod about this after i started taking prozac this summer, and he didn't seem to really have any specific information, just a link to a study that says your blood sugars seem to run higher when you come off of prozac.  i still have no idea why that is.  neither my endocrinologist nor my psychiatrist seemed to be two informed about it either.  it seemed like my blood sugars were elevated the first couple of weeks that i took prozac, but then they leveled off.  i quit it in september and i didn't notice any strong correlation with higher blood sugars, but my glucose levels have been shit for awhile, so prozac may have played a part in that.

with zoloft it may affect blood sugars a little bit, but i haven't heard anything like that.  i just assumed that it was prozac's 9 day half life - and its corresponding pummeling of the liver, that messes with blood sugars, but i never got a clear answer of how it was all related.  it seems paradoxical that when you're on prozac your blood sugars are lower.  here's a link to the article jerod sent me:

actually it wasn't a link, it was just copied and pasted from the PI sheet, but here it is:

Use in patients with concomitant illness

In patients with diabetes, Prozac may alter glycemic control. Hypoglycemia has occurred

during therapy with Prozac, and hyperglycemia has developed following discontinuation of the

drug. As is true with many other types of medication when taken concurrently by patients with

diabetes, insulin and/or oral hypoglycemic dosage may need to be adjusted when therapy with

Prozac is instituted or discontinued.

of course a lot of other factors could be affecting your friends blood sugars and diabetes.  stress for one.  i'm hyperthyroid too, and having more thyroid hormone can raise your blood sugars too.  i know your friend probably has a lot more to worry about with what he's going through, but as far as i know going off zoloft shouldn't have any dramatic impact on blood sugars, although all the accompanying stress and depression might.

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