Microdosing, depression and stopping with Zoloft. Part 1

Part 1: A success story unfolding

My wife has had depression symptoms since the age of 13. From the age of 21, she is on Zoloft, an SSRI, antidepressant. That was 25 years ago! Our doctor has repeatedly recommended here to wean off this medication but life without it was just unbearable for her.

When she was pregnant with our first child, 16 years ago, she had to stop taking Zoloft instantly. A real horror year followed. Her pregnancy and the months after birth were an absolute disaster. She was in bed with the curtains closed, even on hot summer days. Completely numb and in tears many days. When our son was born, she could not enjoy it a bit. She hated life, unable to care or function and should have been hospitalized, as experts have told us later. Only when she started to take the antidepressant again, life became better and after some months on drugs, she was alive and kicking.

So, you will never hear me say antidepressants suck.
They do not. They have saved her life!
But, there are many side effects.

She has tried to take less, tried 50mg, half of the usual 100mg but after three days, life was horror again.
This happened on an off and eventually, she stopped trying. She rested in the idea that she’d take them for life.

Microdosing protocol

After extensive research on the internet, and reading some books on microdosing, we decided to take one last chance. We went with the protocol developed by James Fadiman. Take a microdose on day 1, wait on day 2 and 3 and so on.

There are several substance candidates for microdosing. Because she used an SSRI at the same time as she would be microdosing, the best candidate in terms of safety seemed to be psilocybin, ‘magic mushrooms’. We live in The Netherlands so this would not pose a problem in terms of availability.


The sweet spot for most people with dried mushrooms is around 200mg (0,2g). One-tenth of a ‘regular’ trip dose.

But, there is absolutely no way to define a sweet spot for a person on an SSRI.

On an occasion we had been taking a large dose of psilocybin truffles years before, it had sent me off the charts, she looked around bored for hours. Nothing happened!

We decided to go with 200mg of dried B+ psilocybe cubensis.

Step 1, increasing psilocybin
To be extra safe we first increased the amount of B+ from 25mg day 1 in steps of 25mg every 3 days.
Just as a precaution. We had read about serotonin syndrome, so we wanted to be on the safe side. If she would have an adverse reaction, it would show up lightly was our idea. Luckily, nothing happened.

Step 2, decreasing Zoloft
It is of utmost importance to go SLOW! The body has to adjust to the lower levels of serotonin.
I bought a very precise weighing scale 1/1000 of a gram. I used a mortar to grind up the Zoloft pills and put it in 000 capsules, the biggest. For easy aiming.

We used the following protocol for the Zoloft.

Day 1-5 100mg Zoloft
Day 6-10 98mg Zoloft
Day 11-15 96 mg Zoloft…Etc…

So, every 5 days she takes 2mg of Zoloft less than before.
A grand total of 250 days before reaching zero.


She is currently on 20mg, one-fifth of the amount she has been taking for twenty years. For me, it is an absolute miracle seeing the transformation so far. Her overall mood is good and she is much more earthed. She described her previous state as having clouds in her head, but clearly, the fog has lifted. In arguments, she now is sharp, before I could see her eyes go blanc regularly, the Zoloft seems to take up processor speed somehow.  Her hair is growing healthy again, she had severe hair loss now and then. Her weight is healthier than before. She procrastinates less.

In all, her ‘Real Self’ is unfolding piece by piece, with the help of 200mg (0.2g) of psilocybin mushrooms. She seems to be entering a little rougher waters now, but we have good confidence it will be a success. If anybody has tips from their own experience or for the last step, I invite you to share it, please send an email to info@microdosing.nl

When she has reached zero, I will update this report and publish part 2.

Not only the mushrooms ‘magic’

It is important to state here that my wife has worked hard on her self for many, many years, had all kinds of therapy. This is what she uses now to think straight again. It is not only the mushrooms ‘magic’!

Advice Needed

My wife is doing all the necessary stuff like exercise, good food, supplements.
She seems to be entering rough waters now at 20mg.
From 26 mg I noticed depression symptoms.

What to do?!

1. Go back to 26mg and stay there for a while
2. Take mushrooms every other day
3. Take more mushrooms
4. A combination

It would be of great value if we could speak to a psychiatrist in The Netherlands who is open-minded to the safe use of psychedelics and can help us out, please let me know, by sending an email to info@microdosing.nl

Thank you
I want to thank Albert Hofmann, James Fadiman, Ram Dass, Terence McKenna, Michael Pollen, Ayelet Waldman, Paul Stamets and the hundreds of pioneers that tried to inform us about the use of psychedelics, sometimes even with concern for their own safety.

Also, I’d like to thank the Microdosing.nl team and other internet forum communities like Reddit. So many people donated their time by writing firsthand stories so people like us could make a well-informed decision.

Please be safe. I have no medical training. People differ. Do not take this as medical advice. Ask your doctor.

Mark 16-8-2019

Microdosing.nl cannot be held responsible for the contents of the experience accounts, nor can we guarantee their truthfulness and accuracy. These written accounts are not necessarily backed by scientific or clinical proof offered by doctors or experts in the subject matter. These experiences should never be taken as advice or recommendation. 

9 gedachtes op “Microdosing, depression and stopping with Zoloft. Part 1”

  1. I would stay with Zoloft at current dose for a while and go for a 1 day on and 2 days off regimen with the mushrooms. I would not increase as this may build tolerance. I am not an expert so at the end of the day you’ll have to find your own sweet spot. She may have to reduce the dose of mushrooms because the Zoloft has been reduced. SSRI’s make mushrooms less effective, so she may be taking too much instead of too little!

  2. Dr. Kat Lopez

    Have you considered lion’s mane and niacin as part of the mushroom therapy? Also, look into Hardy Nutritionals supplements for depression. Studied to wean off psych meds. She will need nutraceutical support to rebalance brain chemistry fully.

  3. With regards to tapering off the Zoloft i have some advice (based on my own experience). Reducing SSRI dosage should be done in 2 weeks intervals, since it takes about that time for the brain to rebalance the neurotransmitters. I think that reducing it more quickly, even though more gradual, is too fast. That might be the reason for your wife slipping back into depression. Another idea is to introduce a mood stabilizer (like Tegretol), that helped me immensly while tapering off Effexor which is a similar kind od medicine in the dosage i used. However, please note that it might not be safe to use Tegretol together with the microdosing, i don’t know that. Once fully off the medication, you could then reintroduce psylocybin. This is just an idea, coming from a fellow depression-sufferer. All the best to you and your wife.

  4. I am currently 6 weeks on no dose of paroxetine/paxil. I build it off in steps of 2 weeks after each dose. The real struggle came after 2,5 mg. I feel like the worst is over but its still present and I still find it difficult times because it paralyzes my life.
    I recently started taking lions mane (1 week in), besides this I am considering microdosing psylocibin mushrooms. Anyone here have any experience with a similar situation? Or could OP maybe give a small update for the situation of his wife?
    I am really curious about this, and a little relief could come a long way.

  5. Arman Jafarzadeh

    I am also weaning off the paxil meds. I was on 20 and now on 10 mg. But i weaned off with the tapering from Regenboog apotheek. You can choose with what amount you want to wean off. I will go for every 4 weeks 0,50 mg less. In the past i weaned off with bigger steps but that went bad.
    I have a good experience with nicotinamode riboside , it kind of clears my mind. But still i feel the depression and this has effect on my daily live. That is why i want to start with microdosing psylocibine.
    I take high doses of omega 3 fish oil. Also zink, vit b12 , folic acid, magnesium are very important.

    1. No, never stop cold turkey. Consult your doctor and ask for a personalized tapering schedule. Some people have been able to taper off succesfully in combination with Microdosing.
      We wish you the best of luck – and are here for you if you’d like extra support.

  6. Regarding antidepressants withdrawal in the hope that it could help your wife:
    I’ve been withdrawing from amitriptyline (50mg) for 19-20 months. I reduce by 10% of my current dose each month, so the cuts get smaller each month. I got stuck at 14-15mg (many physical and mental symptoms including anxiety, depression, body aches… too many to list!) …and had to stick at this dose for a few months to allow my central nervous system and brain to adjust to the reduced amount of medication (and chemicals) it was receiving. I’m now reducing by 0.01ml every 3 days, currently on 9.1ml which is roughly 4.5mg amitriptyline. This makes withdrawal a much smoother process as the drops are gradual and less likely to shock the system.
    The best way to reduce antidepressants is low and slow. I also started taking a host of amino acids (5-htp, tyrosine, theanine, choline, coq10 to name a few) and other supplements to help support my brain during withdrawal, and replace the things it would be losing from the reduction in medication. I’d read about serotonin syndrome but at the low amitriptyline dose I’m on, it has had no negative side effects and I believe the amino acids have helped ease my withdrawal symptoms dramatically.
    If you need further information regarding antidepressant withdrawal I’m sure there are groups for your wife’s specific medication on Facebook and wwe.survivingantidepressants.org has a wealth of information and support.
    Good luck!

  7. I started sertraline 3 weeks ago due to my anxiety, depression and PTSD. I really didn’t want to get into this type of meds but I was at my ultimate low and I couldn’t even smile around my kids. It was heartbreaking not being present mentally for them so I went ahead and agreed to take them. It’s only been 3 weeks , like I said before, However i dont feel like this is the right choice for me. I’ve always been a believer in natural medicine and that’s how I came across Microdosing. Now my question to you is, how long do I stop taking the meds before I start microdosing?

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