Setraline making anxiety worse? - Teenager needing reassurance

Posted , 6 users are following.


I'm 19 and feeling quite alone right now, would really appreciate some help

I had health anxiety for about 3 months with lots of jaw pain, chest pain etc etc that I didn't realise was anxiety. I had a past eating disorder so I have an obsessive mind tendacy which I thought I got over).

I finally recognised it was anxiety and went to the doctor about 5 weeks ago and he gave me 50mg of Setraline to take in the morning...i had worsening anxiety at first and some odd side effects then week 3 I felt really, really positive and my pains seemed to take up my headspace less and less.

However, week 4-5 I felt myself slipping back into my continual state of panic where I couldn't leave my room and even in the comfort of my bed I felt awful.

At the start of week 5 I phoned the doctor (not my usual one) and he suggested I increased the dose or stopped taking them... (I needed help and he left me to decide??) I ended up taking 100mg in the morning which I have been on for 4 days.

My anxiety is all consuming now and feels worse than ever i am continually tense and short of breath as a result. Will it ever get better ? I feel really, really hopeless as the medication isn't working. ...I used to be able to do so much without worry or even thinking.

Please give me some hope to carry on.

0 likes, 7 replies

7 Replies

  • Posted

    Dear Felixe.

    Lots of hugs to you. I know the pain and it's awful.

    I think you should suggest the doctor to switch from Sertraline to Cymbalta. I was on Sertraline for 3 weeks total and was feeling horrible. Vomiting, nausea, no sleep, lots of anxiety. My psychiatrist gave me a mix of mirtazapine (25 mg) and  Olanzapine (5mg) to sleep on + 30 mg of Cymbalta for 1 day and then 60 mg of Cymbalta from day 2. I am six days in the treatment and feel 60% like myself! It's crazy after having felt horrible for weeks and weeks. And no side effects at all except feeling a little more nervous the first three days. 

    Lots of encouraging hugs to you <3

  • Posted

    Hi Felixe, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder at the age of 18, all antidepressants take between 4 to 6 weeks to fully work, unfortunately in my case Sertraline didn't work for me, my doctor prescribed Lorazepam 2mg a day and it's been working perfect, I'm myself again.

  • Posted

    Hi Hun, it takes while for it to start working and yiu do get a hell of a lot worse before better, and yiu cn have a few blip weeks, but eventually you will get well, don’t switch it plzzzzz stick with it, they say if yiu do get bad side affects, then it will work.

    I’m on sertraline and it got me better , and I was a lot worse than you, was awful I wanted to go to a mental hospital, 6 weeks and I started to feel more normal.

    Plz stick with it

  • Posted

    Sorry you’re feeling so bad. Unfortunately with Sertraline, things do get worse before they get better. I found week 4 and 5 the hardest and recently when I went up to 150mg, the same happened on week 4 with extremely heightened anxiety and agitation. It’s annoying most doctors don’t seem to realise this and often either increase or stop the medication when it just needs a bit more time to work. Try and stick with it if you can and know that you will feel better soon. It can take up to 8 weeks for the medication to start working and up to 12 weeks to get the full effect. If the 100mg is making you feel worse then drop back down to 50mg for a bit or 75.

    You are not alone in this. We are all going through this together and you’ll find lots of support and experience on here as well as positive stories.

    All the best xx 

    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply,

      It's been 5days on 100mg

      6 weeks total, i just wish I could see some improvement...xmas is hard as I just feel like i am faking to my whole family when I just want to lie in bed all day.

      Its all the standard....

      Breathlessness, chest pain, stomach butterflies 24/7 not sure if it is worse on 100mg so I guess I'll just carry on for a while then see my doctor in the new year.

      Surely 6 weeks in there should be some improvement????

    • Posted

      You’re doing really well to be able to fake it. Unfortunately if you’ve gone up to 100mg you’ll have to go through the side effects again, so from that perspective 6 weeks is not enough. I went up to 150mg about 5 weeks ago and the side effects have just begun to subside over the last week. Before that I was on 100mg for around 8 weeks. I know it’s frustrating but it will help eventually. Take care and try and get some space to just be today. Xx
  • Posted

    Hello Felixe

    Sympathies for your for your increased anxiety and your feeling of aloneness.

    I've been taking 50mg of sertraline for almost six weeks now. I echo what others have said about the side effects and increased anxiety. I'm noticing a slight improvement in my depression but also increased anxiety. Most of the physical side effects have gone.

    My main comments are about your age, your eating disorder and the advice you have received from your doctor.

    My personal view is that taking these into consideration, it would be a good idea to see or speak to your own doctor who knows you and has seen you before. I don't think telling you to either increase the dose or stop taking them, over the phone, is good medical advice. 

    Just my two cents and I hope you are feeling a bit better today.


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