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Avatar universal

zoloft help...positive please

I recently was prescribed 25mg of zoloft for my bad anxiety. I have a huge phobia and anxiety about dizziness. I am constantly worried I will get dizzy and sometimes I do. Not true vertigo but weird dizziness when i move my head...but not BPPV. I experienced a bad doctors visit who told me I had acute labyrinthitis...which ended up not being true when I went to an ENT who told me I could have never had that but that set me off to a horrible cycle of worrying I was gonna be dizzy and from then on I sometimes feel dizzy ( I am thinking anxiety related or neck related...very bad neck pain from time to time) So now I live my life worrying every moment and constantly checking to see if I am dizzy and I can not live my life anymore. So with this medicine I am EXTREMELY worried that it will cause me to be DIZZY as a side effect or when I come off the drug I will be dizzy. I have read so many horrible posts of peoples experiences and I want to know if EVERYONE feels dizzy on the drug or when they are coming off the drug?? Please some information would be greatly appreciated. What are the most common side effects and does everyone GET DIZZY?? Please help...feeling hopeless and scared.
10 Responses
Avatar universal
We all experience medications in different ways, however, I have used Zoloft off and on for years with much success.  Initially, I was terrified to even try taking it because of stories I had read, but remember that you can find ANYTHING no matter how far fetched or unrealistic it may be. In my opinion, for every horror story you read, there are literally thousands of people that have successfully and safely taken this type of medication.  As with anything we put in our bodies, there can be potential side effects.  For example, with me, I have many more problems with taking OTC antihistamines like Allegra than I ever have had with taking Zoloft.  

I believe that while medication is a very useful tool in confronting your anxiety, you also will have to learn about it.  Are you in counseling for it?  Gaining the long term knowledge about the sources of your anxiety and how to confront it are essential steps in dealing with it in my opinion.  

I would suggest just keeping an open mind with taking it and also keeping an open line of communciation with your doctor about it.  Don't get down on yourself about being nervous about initially taking it....I believe that the vast majority of us have been there as well...keep us posted!
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for responding. I am seeing a therapist and I do want to try to medication. I am just so worried about the withdrawl that I have read about. But what you said is so true...there are prob. many people who have good reactions tot he medication but they just don't write about on a forum. I see my therapist this week so I will continue to discuss it. I just want to feel better. I'm tired of living like this.
Avatar universal
The withdrawal concerns are real, and dizziness is one of the most common.  But your problem isn't dizziness, it's worrying obsessively.  Zoloft can help with this, but it won't cure it.  As for side effects, the withdrawal and the side effects of being on a drug are very different for different people, so we can't generalize.  I always caution that people should exhaust every other option before turning to medication, but everyone gets to make their own choices.  As for the withdrawal dizziness, that's the least worrisome withdrawal symptom, and it goes away, and fish oil has been known to help with it.  
480448 tn?1426952138
I agree with the above replies.  You are putting the cart WAY before the horse.  You are worrying about "withdrawals" of a med you JUST started.

While there's no question a lot of people experience different levels of symptoms related to a discontinuation syndrome,  that does NOT mean you will experience ANY worrisome symptoms.  Also, once you start recognizing the benefits of the Zoloft, you may decide you don't WANT to come off the med.  This is all speculative, and you're worrying yourself sick about something that isn't close to happening yet, and most likely won't even be a major issue.  Zoloft is one of the easier tolerated antidepressants, and like Paxiled stated, while there can be some symptoms coming off, dizziness isn't one of the more commonly reported ones, especially not with any major severity.  Certainly nowhere NEAR "everyone" experiences dizziness when coming off Zoloft like you asked.

Therapy is a MUST to learn how to stop this anxious cycle of "what iffing".  Just give yourself some time, you are JUST starting out here.  One day at a time.  It can take months of anxiety treatment before you will be able to see REAL significant progress.  Also, this kind of anxious cycle of worrying and catastrophizing is usually something that has been around a while, so it understandably takes time to undo.

If you go to online forums to read GOOD reviews on meds, you will find FAR less of them than the horror stories.  That's because people who have had good experiences don't usually seek out forums to talk about it, whereas the people with the bad experiences want to tell the world.  I personally have had great success with Zoloft, and would recommend it to anyone.  It's the most commonly Rx'ed antidepressant for the treatment of anxiety disorders...both because of its success rate, and also because it's easy to tolerate for most people.

Take a deep breath and TRY not to focus on all these details, do NOT continue to search the web about Zoloft, it will only fuel your anxiety.  Get yourself started in therapy, look for some self help books, and you'll be on your way.  Patience is a virtue too...as making a dent in anxiety takes some time, and some work.

Hang in there, let us know how you're doing!
Avatar universal
One thing about all those websites with the horror stories.  First, there really are a lot of them, so there a lot of horror stories, and many practitioners participate in those sites as well, so it's not just patients.  The reason so many go there is because, like me, most psychiatrists completely dissemble when drugs go bad and the internet is the only place we have to see if we're alone in what we're feeling or if what the psychiatrist is saying is bogus.  Which through experience I've learned it usually is.  But I also want to say that those websites also have success stories on them, though sometimes you have to look a little harder, and there are more of those actually.  The world has the medical and pharmaceutical industry to tout these drugs -- what those of us who turn to the net need is a bit of balancing truth so we know what's bothering us.  so there are actually a whole lot of forums where people express the good, including this one, it's just that when you have a good experience you don't really need to search them out, it's when things aren't working you need someone to explain what's happening because, again, psychiatrists and doctors just don't usually do that.  I have a psychiatrist now who explains things, and it's so different from all the other ones I've seen, though I got to her too late for help.  Anyhoo, just keeping it balanced here, not contradictng you, as you know you're one of my favs.  Peace.  
480448 tn?1426952138
I agree, and understand what you're trying to say, Pax.

I just know when people start getting very discouraged or scared, based on reading the horror stories, it helps to explain that there are also a lot of success stories, and as with any new med, it's just kind of a crap shoot as to how that person will do on the med.  I don't like to see ANYONE putting too much stock in either kind of story, and that's why I always encourage people to allow themselves to have their own experience.

I think it's important for people to do their homework, but I think for an anxious person, it probably isn't the best idea to spend hours on end reading these horror stories.

I WISH more people in BOTH camps would share their stories.  I DO think that people who have done well on meds typically don't seek out a forum to share their story, not unless they happen to be there for some other reason.  I think they're just off living their lives, whereas the person who went through hell and back are looking for answers, looking for people to relate to, and looking to "warn" the world about what happened to THEM so that others don't have to suffer the same fate.  TOTALLY understandable.

I couldn't agree with you more about the medical professionals,. and the doctors.  They need more awareness, they need to be able to stray from what they know as the "norm" and treat each person individually, uniquely...be able to think outside the box  They ALSO really need to have more frank discussions with patients ABOUT any possible risks, and make it clear that the decision to try meds isn't one that should be made lightly, or entered into willy-nilly, but sadly, it's the doctors who often give the impression that there isn't any pondering needed...just take the script and try this.  We all know that MOST people never read the educational monograph that comes with their med, so it isn't until they run into a problem where they start reading.  That part should be done BEFORE, not after one starts a med.

I DO sympathize so much with you and others who have had horrendous experiences..I would be shouting it from rooftops if it were me, so I DO totally get that.  If it wasn't for people sharing their experiences, there would be nothing to look at for people trying to make these decisions.

Avatar universal
Thank you for responding. I totally understand that most of these sites are from people who just want to warn people and make sure they dont suffer like they did. and that most people dont have symptoms or anything and they feel better so they find no need to share it. I am just worried cause my fear of dizziness is so strong that I feel taking the meds might make me even more anxious. Or if i feel better then go off it and then have even worse symptoms it will throw me through it all again. I know I can't bring the future into this but thats how my mind works and I think going to therapy hopefully will help that. I go this week again and I think I'll discuss more with her. I just worry therapy won't work. Or even what to say in therapy. I feel like I need therapy to discuss what to say at therapy. I am a mess. But looking for something to just help me. Tired of living like this. Thanks again for the kind words and honest feedback. Did you say you tried zoloft? and had no problems or have you tried any other meds with any issues?
Avatar universal
Thank you for responding and giving an honest reply. I understand that my compulsive worrying is more of the issue than the dizziness but I FEAR that taking the meds will worsen my symptoms and set me further back. Or when I come off the meds...everything will be worse again. I just need like reassurance that not everyone gets dizzy or not everyone has a hell-ish time getting off meds. I know you can't predict the future or know how anything will effect me, but I just wish I could know before jumping into this and than possibly making it a lot worse. I am a tough one to convince and believe but I just feel like I am hopeless and I need to change or do something. I am just so tired of living in a constant fear that it has almost become second nature to me, like this is how my life just is. But i refuse to live like this anymore.
480448 tn?1426952138
I just need like reassurance that not everyone gets dizzy or not everyone has a hell-ish time getting off meds.

Of course this statement is true, and we've all pretty much said so.  I told you I had no problems on Zoloft, or coming off Zoloft.  I also said it worked very well for me.  I know many people in my personal life who have shared my positive experience, and I've seen plenty of people on this site post their positive stories about Zoloft.

A LOT of times, people's bad experiences are also largely attributed to not going about things the right way either, which can NOT be blamed on the medication.  People will stop taking the med abruptly, without a taper, and will suffer side effects as a result.  They will change doses themselves, skip doses, all kinds of things.  If a person is noncompliant with their medication regimen, then yes, it's possible that they will have a negative experience.  Unfortunately, a lot of those same people will tell others that the MED gave them a bad experience, conveniently leaving out that they were noncompliant.

Of COURSE not everyone who has taken Zoloft has experienced dizziness.  I think if you DO end up experiencing any, it will be more psychosomatic than anything, IMO, because once a person worries so much about something, they basically almost will it to happen.  The power of suggestion is very strong.

That's why the very BEST thing you could do is think about and worry about the Zoloft the LEAST you can.  The more you worry, the more you search the web, the more you will reinforce your fears.

Let us know how you're doing!
Avatar universal
hi----the short answer about will it make me dizzy taking it?  
"worried it will cause me to be dizzy as a side effect or when i come off" etc.
About taking it--  only about one in ten reported any--any---dizziness   --so you have some pretty good odds there.....
About coming off? Individual differences make it too hard to say.
And of course as has been said--you can think your way into it.
If i were you right now----i would read the above paragraphs over again and again and let them penetrate a little deeper into your consciousness to help break that "thinking loop" you are in now.   OK? Please post back regularly as i would betcha some more folks will chime in with more Help D2.
Hang in there---by your fingernails if ya hafta.
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