Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
32k Members
Avatar universal

Anxiety, Valium and Zoloft

Hi All :)

Been looking over several difference sections of these forums for the past few weeks, but never thought I would find myself in here :S

I shall tell my story so that people know whats going on !

I've been 'suffering' with Anxiety ( on and off since I was 21 ) I am now 24. I believe I 'had' it before then, but it effected me only in the way that i felt ALOT of stress, and it rubbed off on my body in other ways - food sensitivities, emotionally up and down. I was also told I have PTSD.

Anyhow, most recent ongoings. On the 11th of October I was taken into Emergency Dep ( the critical assesment team spoke to me over the phone, as I had a gag reflex going on due to Anxiety, and I'm an emotophobic, so it was really freaking me out). Headed into the hospital, and after a bit of a wait :P I was seen by a psych. During the wait, one of the nurses gave me a Valium tablet. I felt fine, and just became sleepy :)

The next day, I headed into the doctor ( my doctor was away) another doctor prescribed me Valium for until I could chat to my psych about meds. I had spoken to my psych about Meds, and had always been anti - meds, but apparantly, as seen from the gag reflex, it was all getting a bit much, had been battling for a while.

So, I was told to take 2.5mg to 5.mg a day as needed. I've never gone in excess of this. As of two days ago, I was put on Zoloft.

On my first day of taking the Zoloft, I took 2.5mg before going into the Doc ( as I was nervous) got the med, took it, and then late in the afternoon, before attempting horse riding ( big step for me as ive been mostly house bound since i came out of hospital 3 weeks ago) I went riding, and suddnely my throat went dry, and I began to panic.

I hopped off the horse, and headed home. I was FREAKING out. I made it till about 10 30 and called the hospital, I said I had taken what I had, and they said take more Valium, you will be fine.

Now, what worries me is dependence. I am VERY new to medication, i have only taken ONE anti biotic tablet in my life, and never use pain relief ( not even after a car accident that landed me in emergency).

My current symptoms are REALLY sweaty hands ( granted its warm here - but I feel relatively cool to be honest) Nauseas, but ONLY when I put food in my mouth, my glands feel all swollen under my tongue, and i feel burpy/need to swallow ( but actually am unable to burp - which of course in turn makes me feel worse, due to the emotophobia. I am shaking, ALOT, and my short term memory has gone really strange. To top it off, my period turned up. HOORAY. lol. Have to love timing eh.

I am worried about withdrawal/side effects. The hospital ( phone call) was to a nurse. She says I have these symptoms because I'm anxious and should just take more Valium. But, I don't want to end up how so many others have - AND this is a new symptom. Ive NEVER had sweaty hands ever - my feet are the same. Also, my arms feel .... weird. Heavy, like when I had Glandular Fever ( think it's called Mono in the U.S).

I need a doctors advice on what is appropriate right now :S.

Im on Zoloft 1 x day, 25mg in the AM
Yesterday I took Zoloft at 9 30 am, Valium 2.5mg at about 3pm, and then Valium 2.5mg at about midnight.
This morning I took Zoloft at 9 30am and about about 12pm took 2.5mg Valium again.

Havn't slept before about 3 - 4 am in weeks, but it doesn't really bother me at the moment, just pop a tv series on and try and relax.

Any help is appreciated. I am TERRIFIED that whilst for NOW Valium might make things easier, coming off would be horrid, and also, my body is not used to medication, and I'm worried I may be getting side effects.

Sorry this post was so long!

Thank you in advance and wishing you ALL the very best. Each and every poster. Never give up :)

~ Catherine

This discussion is related to Forum Guidelines - Please read before Posting.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Ooops. I forgot in the final list

Day before yesterday ( first day on Zoloft) I took 2.5mg Valium then the Zoloft, then 2.5mg Valium before the horse ride, then another 2.5mg at about 11pm as the nurse at the hospital ( over the phone said it would be fine)

"Yesterday I took Zoloft at 9 30 am, Valium 2.5mg at about 3pm, and then Valium 2.5mg at about midnight.
This morning I took Zoloft at 9 30am and about about 12pm took 2.5mg Valium again."

Am currently shaking heaps, sipping water, as it's quite hot here today.
Experiencing difficulty in swallowing, 'lump' in throat, like most anxiety sufferers.

Ty again, sorry for leaving that out !
Avatar universal
im not sure if i can help if you tell me more about ur problem.  Im an addiction counseler maybe i can help u if u give me more details what u are addicted to
599071 tn?1300072302
I'm only a med student & also have a degree in addiction studies  but I have taken zoloft for a few months & the symptoms you describe are very common with initial doses of zoloft.  Sweating, indigestion & changes in appetite can also be side effects which is not great for you as these symptoms can feel similar to anxiety.

I also had insomnia for a few nights but after this I found the drug helpful & tolerable.  It can take trial & error to find an AD that suits you & many can take some time for your body to adjust.

You may want to talk to your p-doc about adjusting your dose or trying another AD if the symptoms don't let up.

Best wishes
Avatar universal
hello, I just read your post. I hope im not to late? I suffer from the same things you do, the doc. had me on clonipan and zoloft and also vicodin for 6 years! please be very careful with doctors some of them there only addvice is take a pill oh, thats not working take another one or try this. before you know it your an addict!! before you get there, and you probly will. look at this site its filled with people like me.try natural cures. like yoga ( it works wonders) walking, keeping a journal of your thoughts and vitamin B12. please pills are not a cure there a bandaid and once you remove that bandaid you have a whole set of new problems that are so much worse than what you were dealing with in the first place.addiction is not pretty and honey the withdrawls are way worse than what your dealing with now you litarly feel your loosing your mind!! please let me know how your doing ok? sherry5035
Avatar universal
Relax. You are in an anxiety state which you will get out of. Once the panic begins  it sometimes will take you a while to find the correct medication and connect to the right help that will break this cycle and calm you down. Nothing bad is going to happen to you. It feels horrible but is a problem with a cure.

Zoloft is a wonderful medication for what you are experiencing , However it does not function like valium there is no immediate relief. You are on a tiny dose and working with your doctor you need to take time to find the dosage that will help you stabilize, calm down and be able to work in therapy on your emotional issues. Zoloft will take time to work, sometimes 2 weeks or more as you find a dosage for yourself.

Right now, working with your doctor, set up a drug schedule that makes sense so you are not just popping a Valium when you get upset. Valium is not a good long term medication. One problem with Valium is that it wears off quickly and often leaves you in a more anxious state than when you took the pill.

This is something that is going to take a while so settle into this. Nothing bad is going to happen to you but it will take some time and work to feel better. Work closely with a psychiatrist and a therapist. Come up with a medication plan and stick to it. Hold on tight and you will make it through this I promise. Do not worry right now about addiction. Just follow your doctor's advice. You will come out the other side OK. I know this from experience!!
Avatar universal
"Im not sure if i can help if you tell me more about ur problem.  Im an addiction counseler maybe i can help u if u give me more details what u are addicted to "

I'm not sure if I am forming an addiction that is what worries me. It runs in my family, two half sister who are drug addicts, and three aunties =/

As stated in my original posts are the amounts I am taking of each med.

To Sherry5305 I have been struggling with anxiety for ... around 6 - 7 years on and off in different ways, and never went for medication. I have always gone with alternative therapy, and would always opt for that first - BUT I was using all of those and finding no relief.

I would be the first person to tell people seek other answers before medication, but I ended up in emergency from being so panic stricken that i had a twelve hour straight gag reflex, and felt like I wanted to kill myself. Not because I didn't want to be here, but because I physically couldn't handle the physical symptoms ( being emotophobic, gagging scares the HECK out of me).

I am aware that many practitioners will just throw medication at anyone, but my doctor is a GP who acts as a natural therapist, and has not in her over 15 year of being a GP, EVER prescribed an anti depressant, and she felt for me, it was time.

We had tried Withania ( to calm ) using Reiki, Meditation, Yoga, etc etc. All of those things HELPED, but were not strong enough to overcome all of what had gone on.

All in a very short space of time, my friend died, I had a termination of pregnancy, a VERY bad car accident, that I somehoe came out nearly unharmed from, lost three jobs, my boyfriend left, my mothers continued psychological abuse, glandular fever, and two friends commit suicide. Not that those things are uncommon, but it was just too much on top of everything else.

I am either weak I guess, and have to have meds, or... maybe am not meant to make it through ? I don't know.  All I know is, I am trying everything, and going onto meds, doesn't mean I give up on alternative stuff, it just means adding to me attempts !

I don't take Withania now that I have Valium, as both are sedatives.

I have been told that it's safe for me to continue taking Valium until I'm on Zoloft, at which point I will no longer need Valium.

Am just so nervous as struggling to stomach food ( no vomiting, just feel queezy) very sort of 'blurred' in the head, and in vision - symptoms seem to change daily, and I just don't want to get to the one to two month line on Zoloft and have them go 'Well that doesnt work for you" and suddenly I'm going through withdrawals, and there's no hope. I know at that point for me, that would be suicide.

So lost.

So hard :(
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply.

My GP ( my local one) was away when I came out of hospital, and the GP who gave me the valium prescription said 2.5 - 5mg twice daily as needed.

I have learnt from trial and error, that taking it just before I feel something coming on, does nothing. I learnt this by my horse riding experience, felt the freaking out, took it, hopped on, still got it bad.

Went home, FREAKED OUT for like four hours, rang the hospital they said don't take it until you NEED it. So I took it, and was fine.

I DONT want to take meds AT ALL. I hate Medication. It's not natural. Our bodies are controlled by everything within us, not outside of us ( although of course emotions stimulated with effect things, the response still comes from within).

I am a firm believer that say, a cure for cancer will not be found by adding more unnatural stuff to our bodies - but when you're at the point of borderline suicide, you can't expect some miracle to fix it.... You just have to try what's available to you and hope for the best.

It was my last port of call, and it's now where I'm stuck. Unfortunately. I cannot find a half decent psychologist locally. Was seeing a new one, and my doctor agreed with me RE: feedback on him, and said he wouldn't be reffering anyone else. I have started getting so distressed that I often can't go OUT to GET to appointments, and my GP doesn't do home visits, no Psychs around here do either, let alone finding a half decent one who knows more than a book saying "Do they cry? Here, give them a Zoloft script"  and Psychiatrists ? $ 300 dollars ? I literally do not have that sort of money. I saw a bulk billing one, and he was UTTERLY USELESS. Spoke to me for twenty minutes and said "I think you have complex PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder". I know from my years having been in treatment, that MANY of the things coming up under those two headers contradict each other - like Paranoia vs Hypervigilance. Someone with PTSD is going to react WITH REASON to a trauma, when in some situations someone with BPD with over react with no 'known' ( to them) reason.

I would LOVE to find a good Psychologist to work with, but I find they all make me want to climb the walls when they suggest all the same stuff I have already tried, and it has not worked, then they get frustrated that I'm a 'know all'. "Yes, I have tried breathing techniques for the last five years of my life, thus far it hasn't worked". "Well clearly you don't want to help yourself" ..... WHY ELSE WOULD I BE THERE.

I am sorry... I am just at my witts end. I can't handle these under trained yet somehow 'qualified' people who often by their own admittance know next to nothing about the Biological make up of humans and Pharmacalogical details of medication, throwing pills at you saying 'this will fix it'. It's easy for them to say 'we'll keep trying' It's not THEIR lives their ruining, and if I end up killing myself ? Nothing happens.
The doctors keep going the same, it ruins my families life, my friends life, and the Pharma companies keep getting the rewards.

Gawd. I'm going to go nuts :S

So basically. I hate Psychiatrists. They sit in their leather chair, look down their nose at you, and decide base on 200 other patients what you must be and have. We're all different, different backgrounds, different brains, different chemical make ups, and all they do is throw pills at you, and are NOT there when you ACTUALLY need them.

So that's a no to going to a Psychiatrist. Impersonal, rude, and condescending. I've given up on them.
Have an Answer?
Top Addiction Answerers
495284 tn?1333897642
City of Dominatrix, MN
Avatar universal
phoenix, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is treating glaucoma with marijuana all hype, or can hemp actually help?
If you think marijuana has no ill effects on your health, this article from Missouri Medicine may make you think again.
Julia Aharonov, DO, reveals the quickest way to beat drug withdrawal.
Tricks to help you quit for good.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.