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Sertraline working for depression but not anxiety?

Hi Everyone
I'm really glad to have found this site! I've been suffering with anxiety and OCD type thinking/ruminations for about 3 years now with a few boughts of anxiety and panic earlier in my life (mid-twenties and mid-teens, I'm 32 now). I have been having therapy for 2 years and it's helped me in lots of ways and even stopped the anxiety for periods of time. I went down the natural root first and saw a homeopath but the remedies I took gave me extremely bad reactions, I felt like i'd been given a 'depression remedy'. I've never felt so low in all my life, i was like a shell, crying everyday which is not like me, completely desolate. At this point my family got so worried about me I went to see my doctor who put me on 50mgs of Sertraline. That was 11 weeks ago. it was a huge relief to finally go to the docs after avoiding it for a long time, to be vaildated and taken care of. the first two weeks were pretty rough; headaches, agitation, restlessness, jittery but there was also relief that i was finally going to get better. it lifted the depression quickly, after 1 month id gone from moderate to mild anxiety but 2 months on and its not helping much with the anxiety. The doc increased my dose to 100mg after a few weeks and then to 150mg because he said by now he hoped that the anxiety would have improved, That was two weeks ago and at first i thought it had taken the edge off and now im not so sure. i thought i would have noticed a big improvement by now but im still feeling anxious and on edge every day, sometimes all day, and then i get worried that its not working, that i'll never get better and obviously that makes it worse. Maybe it takes a while to feel the benefits of the increased dose? Maybe as its a new dose i'm experiencing some side effects? Has anyone else found this to be true? I'm not spiraling into complete dispair for which I think I have the sertraline to thank and my mind that was once so full of intrusive thoughts and ruminations is clear again, normal reactions & emotions are returning, my sex drive is back (!) so it's definitely working on a lot if levels. Has anyone got any thoughts on the anxiety thing?

Thank you.
4 Responses
1696489 tn?1370825574
Hi, Laura.  Welcome to MedHelp.  We are glad you came.  I have almost the exact same diagnoses as you do.  I also take zoloft for depression.  I take a different med for anxiety, a mood-booster, an anti-psychotic, and a sleep aid.  Yeah, I'm a walking pharmacy.  But having been evaluated by a psychiatrist, it has been made clear to me that I must take these meds for life due to my issues being hereditary.  So, no, I'm not one of those people who just beg the doctor for a happy pill for no real reason.  My thoughts on what you are experiencing is that you may benefit from an anti-anxiety medication, versus continuing to raise the zoloft dosage.  Many people who have true anxiety issues are treated using benzodiazepines (Lorazepam, Clonazipam, and others).  Benzos are always addictive.  And if you take them, and want off them, even when you take them as you are supposed to, you must be weaned off them under a doctor's care.  In my case, the benefits outweigh the risks.  They may for you as well.  Ask your doctor.  Blessings - Blu
Avatar universal
You can't expect any medication to get rid of all your problems -- some are lucky and get that effect, but most still have problems, just not as bad.  It sounds like the Zoloft is working, but it isn't a cure, just a treatment for your symptoms.  And it should work better over time, but only if you work on your anxiety as you have been doing in therapy or some other way so you don't think the way you're currently conditioned to do.  Too many people take medication thinking it's a cure and stop all the other work -- a mistake I made.  And just to mention, your reaction to the homeopathy was actually possibly a productive one.  When it works it takes you  back through the stages you went through to get where you are, and it sounded like it was doing that.  Which doesn't mean it would have worked, just that it was doing what it was supposed to do.  Treatment just isn't easy for these illnesses, unfortunately, no matter what kind of treatment you opt for.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your comment Paxiled. I completely agree with you. After I posted this I actually thought to myself that I don't want it to take the anxiety away because the only way to recover from anxiety, so you're not always looking over your shoulder, is to lose the fear of it. The meds are helping me to tackle that because now I'm not depressed I'm more positive and feel more like myself again, so if the anxiety stays then so much the better. When I come off these meds next year I want to have recovered and have learnt enough not to relapse. That's what I'm working towards and always have been. I try to remember that anxiety is a completely normal emotion common to all humans, it's not about getting rid of it permanently or never experiencing it again, its about healing your relationship to it. I wish you the best with your recovery and nice to hear from someone who thinks the same x
996946 tn?1503252712
I recently started on Zoloft for depression and anxiety.  I took it and all the other traditional AD's back in the '90s.  I do have a history of afib and tachycardia but hopefully that's all in the past.  I've been started on 25mg but will go up to 50mg after a week.  I do have clonazepam to rely on for extreme anxiety.

My main issue is whether or not Zoloft will wreck havoc with my sleep as I already have issues with sleeplessness.
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370181 tn?1428180348
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