Sertraline - my 8 week story

Edited , 69 users are following.

Today is my 8th week on 50mg of Sertraline and unlike a lot of people once they start to feel better, I thought I'd try and give a little encouragement to help you hang in there as it REALLY is worth it. I also struggles to find many people on this 'start up' dose for any length of time so this might help you...

So after the fourth week I felt CRAP. No improvements and just this feeling of helplessness and worthlessness. I would break down at the smallest thing and felt incredibley insecure and unsure of myself.

I kept reading these online forums of people who started feeling better between weeks 4 to 6 and wondered if it was ever going to happen for me...

It literally wasn't until the beginning of the 8th week that I started turning a corner and the anxiousness started to fade and I found myself able to concentrate on something other anylising than how I was feeling. Tasks that I used to enjoy have become worthwhile again and I can honestly say I'm 85% back to my old self.

Right, now side effects: I have been feeling very tired, had lose stools until recently and my sex drive has tailed off somewhat and am having some difficulty orgasming although sex is good but just less often. I also seem hungry ALL the time but I'm fairly active so no weight gain...YET!

So to sum up, this drug takes AGES to work and you'll dispair and find yourself reading all sorts of forums and chats as to the timescales involved, but in my opinion it really is worth continuing for up to 8/9 weeks before increasing the dose or looking for alternative mediction.

I hope you start to feel the benefits soon and I'm happy to chat with anyone with any questions...

Take care,

Rich.

13 likes, 190 replies

Report / Delete

190 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hello Rich

    Thank you for your message and how your getting on. Im now on week 3 on 100mg. It has started to work slowly as im not emotionally tearful now. I feel nausea when i take them and the first couple of weeks ive managed to catch up on sleep but this week still finding it hard to fall asleep eventhou im yawning and feel reallt tired, when i do eventually fall aslleep around midnite i then only sleep for 4hrs then wide awake and feel exhausted for the rest of the day. Have tried napping during day but im wide awake lol. Food i can take it or leave it as i smoke and that takes the hunger away. I only drink during weekend and not to get drunk to put me in a happt place as that hasnr helped with my anziety and depression.. im still not able to.live life and find it hard to motivate myself to do things i just want to curl up on the sofa watching telly nothing else interests me. Ive yet to book up to see a counsellor and i dont know wot to say either as i dont honestlt know why im low as im not analysing anything. Ive stopped putting myself down at the moment as tbese tabs seem to just relax me. Im gonna carry on with them got docs on thurs. I have camping with my hubby and daughtee for 2wks next week and im not really excited about it. Im going to do my best to not let them down and put a smile on my face and enjoy it.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Cheryl,

      I know that feeling of wanting to just sit and watch TV all day! I used to come home from work during the day and just sit staring blankly at the telly not really watching but having my mind taken off the anxiety for a few seconds at a time.

      Everyone used to say to me to keep busy and throw yourself into something, however this never worked for me and even having my kids for an afternoon made me anxious whereas before I'd have loved it.

      All I can say is grin and bear it. Every day you get through is another day closer to the relief you crave.

      Rich.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Thanks for the great post!

    I was on sertaline for a long time, but quit 5 years ago. I thought I didn't need it anymore, and was tired of feeling emotionless. I was never happy, nor sad, just there. I made the bad decision to quit cold turkey, which was not only stupid, but absolutely horrendous.

    I'm considering going back on the medication, but I'm scared due to all the side effects people talk about. I have horrible anxiety, and the thought of taking a med that will increase it raises my red flag. Granted, I've been on the medication in the past and it did work, I was such a mess that I don't remember having side effects. Most likely they were there, but I blamed everything on the anxiety. Now knowing what to expect, it makes my decision so much harder.

    When reflecting back to when I was on it, I can see now that I never worked with the med. I simply took it, and expected it to fix everything, but now I know better. The decision is hard, but posts like this show the good side of sertaline, and push me closer to trying it again. smile

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Psyched Out,

      To be honest I never got most of the side effects (feeling sick, headaches, dizziness) but I did get noticeably increased anxiety to the point where I forgot how bad or good I was beforehand.

      I'm certainly not numb now by any means. I had the kids today and we had great fun and I'm much less pre occupied and more in the moment which for me stops me worrying about the future so much.

      You will succeed but it just may take 4 to 6 weeks. My advice to anyone is do not increase your dose until at least 8 weeks.

      Rich.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Rich. Just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to write this, I'm currently at the 5 week stage and have been worrying a little that this might be the full effect as I am also on 50mg and am hoping to not have to increase anymore. It has somewhat helped my anxiety but it is still there so this has really helped me to stay positive. Thank you and I hope you feel 100% soon.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      You're very welcome Kate.

      At the 4/5 week stage I still felt hoirrible. In fact if anything I actually felt worse.

      I understand that everyone's different, however for me at the 8 week stage it was like flicking a switch - no gradual increase in mood for me!

      You will succeed and just think how you'll feel next week, and the week after, and the week after...

      Rich.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Rich.

      That has been the same for me. I felt slightly better at week 3 for a few days but week 4 and 5 I have been very anxious every day and a little tearful again. I'm coming up to 6 weeks in a few days and hoping that things start to improve for me.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      They definitely will. The fact that you're having these ups and downs shows that the Sertraline is doing something. It needs time to level out in your brain before your body accepts it.

      Keep me up to date with how you're getting on,

      Rich.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Great thanks Rich I will definitely keep you updated. Can I just ask, how bad was your anxiety? I'm going away in a couple of weeks for 2 weeks and am very anxious about it so hoping I feel even a little better by then!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      It was BAD. Not quite not able to leave the house bad but it was affecting work, kids, girlfriend etc. I was able to function but was a shell of myself going through the motions. I have very little physical issues but craved the end of the day when I would get some relief by sleeping (until 5am).

      Rich.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Mine isn't unable to leave the house but I do struggle on my own and tend to spend the day at home. I'm glad you're feeling so much better then and hope to feel the same as you soon smile

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Thank you so much Rich!  This post has given my hope and allowed me to remain optimistic about my future.  I am on week 8 of 50mg/day and am starting to feel much better then what I was in week 4,5, & 6.  My side effects are similar with the excessive tiredness & a lowered sex drive, and I am hungry all the time too!  Quick personal question for you if you don't mind me asking.  Have you had any trouble getting & keeping an erection at all during sex or mainly some difficulty orgasming? Thanks again Rich!  

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Badgers,

      Glad that there's plenty of people on here sticking to the theraputic 50mg does. In my opinion people and GPs are too quick to up the doseage without understanding the long term nature of this drug.

      With regards the erection - no issues in that department whatsoever and the orgasm does happen - just takes twice as long. No issues if you're a sexual athlete!

      Rich.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Edited

    Well said Richard. It has only just started to work fully for me in the last couple of days and I am in week 9.  Have has some terrible dark thoughts and so lethargic, also was sleeping around 12 hours a day. Now, over the last two days, nearly back to my old self, so very, very relieved. It is a real struggle to get through the bad period, but remember thoughts are just thoughts, they are not you. They will pass. Also any anxiety will eventually pass, just try to 'accept' it rather than fight it, eventually it disipates. All emotions, good or bad, eventially pass. It is difficult, but hold on in there, you WILL feel better, it just takes time.

    If sertraline is not helping you by week 12, go back to your Doctor.

    Depression/anxiety feels like hell on earth, but it WILL get better. Many people have been where you are now, and have fully recovered. I hope this helps someone. All the best to you all x 

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Sarah,

      I envy your 12 hours a day I must say! I think my sleep is starting to level out a bit now and when I do wake at 0500 as I do most days, I find it easier to get back to sleep.

      You're right - they ARE just thoughts, however when they're as powerful and dark as those associated with depression and anxiety it's hard to rationalise. Indeed if we were able to rationalise then I guess we wouldn't be depressed in the first place.

      Again, pleased there's someone else who's stuck to the 50mg/day.

      SO pleased you're feeling better Sarah and hope you continue to improve.

      Rich.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Sarah,

      I was curious, did the sleepiness and lethargy also lift/go away for you at the 9 week mark? I just passed week 4 moving into week 5 of 50mg. All other side effects have passed, except the sleepiness/lethargy and I am hoping this fade as well. Thank you!

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up