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Is it common to feel MORE depressed at beginning of Zoloft treatment?


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#1 EyesOfTheWorld

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 03:06 PM

Hello,

I just started Zoloft (25mg/day) 3 days ago. I've been diagnosed with depression and anxiety before, and in the past really only took Wellbutrin.

I resumed Wellbutrin almost a year ago after some bad stuff happened and I became more depressed than usual.

So really bad things have been happening recently, so my doc added Zoloft to help me out with my depression and anxiety to help get me through this rough time while things get sorted out.

First 2 days didn't bother me much, but today, I'm struggling real bad.

I came to work early (around 6:30) and got some stuff done, but many times during morning, I would sit in front of computer and almost break down crying. Granted, some of it was trigged by emotions and thoughts (my wife and I are on brink of possible divorce). but this is seems more acute since starting Zoloft 3 days ago. This happened several times throughout day, and was marked by swings, from feeling totally depressed to anxious, and back again.

Needless to say, I haven't been very productive, since I can't concentrate much.

Does this happen to many folks? And if so, does it usually pass?

#2 ados

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 04:31 PM

Dear Eyes,

I'm so sorry to hear about the problems you are having right now!!

I can't say that I've had WORSENING of symptoms when starting an AD, but I do believe that at times I've felt my depression and/or anxiety even more until the med kicks in fully. I remember when I first started an AD during one of my severely depressed times, and for about 4 days I felt no positive effects from the AD. My depression was so bad I could hardly function. But, even though I knew it could take up to a couple of months for the AD to be fully effective, it seemed like about the 4th or 5th day I felt some tiny spark of hope. I felt like the med had begun to work just a bit.

I hope you find the same thing, and very soon you get at least a bit of relief. Keep in mind that, as hard as it is to wait, it could take a while before the med works well for you. TRY to hang on! And consider calling your doctor if you continue feeling worse for much longer. Perhaps there is something else he could give to help you through this time.

Keep sharing, okay?

Karen
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#3 Panacea

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 11:54 PM

EyesOfTheWorld,

My experience was similar to Karen's (previous post). I didn't feel worse when I began taking Zoloft, but I did have to wait a while to see the benefits. It's a frustratingly slow process, but hang in there. I had some very difficult days when I first started, but after 5 weeks on Zoloft i'm feeling fantastic.

I hope it works for you too!

#4 EyesOfTheWorld

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 08:58 AM

Well, today is day 7 on 25mg zoloft, and we'll see how it goes.

last few days have been the same -- non-stop swings from "stable" to "low", but never "happy". When I try to play guitar on weekend, I would play 12 bars, and instead of wrapping around, I would just stop, put my head down on the body and pause. Then I would sit up and do it again. This went on all weekend.

The only real relief I got was last night after I met my friend at a Jazz is Dead show, and for a few hours I was able to forget everything, feel "normal" and enjoy the moment, mostly. My mind still wandered quite a bit towards the 2nd half of the show, thinking of how things might end, how I might force them to end, what will happen, concerning my marriage. My friend and I talked about stuff outside after show, and I was actually able to relax somewhat and talk about stuff without being uptight -- not cavalier, but not fretting either. Sometimes even joking.

This morning was horrible, like the last few days...wake up and just feel very nervous -- to the point where my legs feel like they are going to jump out of my skin, not wanting to start the day -- the only thing I look forward to when I wake up is the coming evening, when I can take another Ambien pill and drift back into peaceful relaxing slumber.

But I force myself up, and get moving, feeling very uncomfortable about everything. Take my zoloft when I get into work. About an hour and half now, I'm still obsessing about how I feel, but not obsessing as much about my marriage and loneliness (oh, i'm sure I will at some point today)...not feeling quite as nervous, almost relaxed. But totally unmotivated to do anything related to my job. Not good.

#5 ados

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 11:54 AM

Not good, no, but remember that you are still very early in treatment. It stinks that it takes so long for ADs to work well, but it is because of the way they need to build up chemicals in our brains. It sounds to me like perhaps you've begun to experience some of that very early tiny boost, like there are some bearable moments. If you respond to zoloft as many of us have, just hang on....although you can't imagine it right now, you will feel much better if you give it some more time.

Karen
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#6 Annie

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 06:25 PM

Hello, I'm Annie:

I too have just started Zoloft 4 days ago. Feeling agitated, jumpy when I first take the AD, but then as the day goes on I feel sedated/foggy. I think if it weren't for this forum, I would have given up by now, but having read what everyone else has gone through, I feel like I need to give the AD some time and just HANG IN THERE !.

It also helps that I have a great psychotherapist to talk to, she keeps me motivated. To all those who have posted positive notes about Zoloft, Thank You. You are great support. To those who are just starting out like me with Zoloft, hang in there with me. :hearts: :bump:

Annie

#7 ados

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 07:35 PM

Hi, Annie!

Keep us posted on how you are doing, and keep that good attitude! I think both you and EyesOfTheWorld will be noticing great changes pretty soon.

:)

Karen
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#8 EyesOfTheWorld

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:09 AM

Well, it's been 10 days now, and I have to admit, I don't feel as depressed or anxious as I was a week or two ago.

I think one thing that we all need to remind ourselves, even though it's obvious, and I'm sure we all know it going into it, is that meds do not make our problems go away. I suppose it's one thing for people who have serious biological depression and that is the most important thing to treat and correct if possible, but it's quite another for people like myself, while even though I might be pre-disposed to depression and anxiety, and it might even be biological to some degree, most of my depression and anxieity is caused by unfortunate circumstances in my life. The meds will NOT make these things go away; I will still have to deal with them and make decisions.

But here's the thing: the past few days, and I want to believe that I can attribute part of it to the zoloft treatment, I feel like I can mentally approach my situation with a more clear and rational mind. It's not going to be any EASIER to make a decision about my future, whether to sell the house and completely seperate from my wife, whether to give it more time, whether I can ever trust her again, whether we can mend our marriage, etc. But at least lately I'm thinking about these things without being overwhelmed by emotions and sadness and anxiety. Sure, the loneliness is still there, and I'm still obsessing about our situation, but it's not consuming me if that makes any sense. I'm finding it easier to focus on what needs to be done at the moment (work, etc.), but still not 100%.

I'm still torn over whether I should give things more time, both from the aspect of the relationship dynamics, but also to give the zoloft more time -- maybe in a few weeks, I will yet approach this mentally even more differently? I don't know. I wake up the last few days, thinking, that's it, this situation is intolerable, I need to take control of my future, and demand we put the house on the market and go our seperate ways, but then later in the day I think maybe it's too early to be too rash.

The last few days the Ambien hasn't been working all that great. I've been waking up at 3:30am, 4:30am and staying awake.

I'm also started feeling under the weather yesterday, like a head cold or something. I normally take Theraflu Cold or Alka-Seltzer Cold or something like that when I feel crappy, but I thought I shouldn't because of interactions. Then I remembered the back of the box warns against MOI's not SSRI's, so maybe it'll be ok.

Anyway, that's where I am now.

#9 Annie

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 12:29 PM

Hi, it's me again (Annie). Really having a tough time on the Zoloft, with side effects (I'm on my 6th day). Feel so jumpy and anxious I want to run from the room and hide somewhere, except I can't hide from my brain, so I'm just trying to stay busy and do deep breathing and stay calm.

Went to Dr. because I thought my blood pressue was up, was feeling flushed and hot and anxious. Dr said that if I could, to try to just hold on and keep taking the AD. That a lot of people quit because o f side effects, but if I could just hang in there it would level out. This is REALLY HARD. I want so much to feel better, I keep trying to get through each day and the next. It's encouraging to read that "Eyes of the World" is beginning to feel some positive effects. It gives me hope.

Thanks fror lettting me vent my fears and feelings here. I hope to read more good news stories about zoloft. It helps.

Annie

#10 Rayne

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 04:35 PM

but this is seems more acute since starting Zoloft 3 days ago. This happened several times throughout day, and was marked by swings, from feeling totally depressed to anxious, and back again.



idk this is happening to me too..
just gotta keep pluggin away.

#11 ados

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 04:05 PM

Yeah, Annie and Rayne, try to hang on! Read EyesOfTheWorld's most recent post - it is getting better! It is well worth the struggle to wait out those side effects. Usually, about the time the med starts working well for the depression and/or anxiety (anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months), most of the side effects will have left. It just takes time for our bodies to get adjusted.
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#12 triton

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 08:00 AM

Eyes of the World,
And others, a big "HI" to you. I think I have no posts before or very few if any. I have been logging on here for some years now during which I was on and off different medications.
I'll get to the point : EyesoftheWorld, don't worry. People are different and some meds dont do anything to some people but do create problems with some others. I myself am rather sensitive to AD's and like all of them Zoloft also shook me heavily when I first started. I had to use xanax to manage the side effects despite the fact that I started with very small dose and increased gradually.
Zoloft has some affinity to dopamine receptors too so it will cause anxiety with some people. Even in the prospectus you can read that it can initially worsen the symptoms of depression, anxiety etc...
Just give it a chance. You are almost past the worst part. It might take up to 6 weeks to really see it working. Be patient and wait. I believe you will get much better in a short while .
Good luck!

#13 LooseLeaves

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 04:30 AM

i really dont think it has been long enough for the meds to have ANY (even bad) effects on you. It was almost a month and a half before zoloft did anything at all for me and i believe that is a pretty standard amount of time.

#14 lestat

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 05:47 PM

My anxiety definitley got worse after about two days, and stayed that way for about two weeks. It does go away. I'd say in the first month I had many ups and downs, and still having a few but more stable after 7 weeks. In fact I had some REALLY low lows, which I didn't have before, but the doctor assured me it was my body adjusting to the zoloft.

Edited by lestat, 28 January 2008 - 05:48 PM.


#15 Joanna

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 07:16 PM

My anxiety definitley got worse after about two days, and stayed that way for about two weeks. It does go away. I'd say in the first month I had many ups and downs, and still having a few but more stable after 7 weeks. In fact I had some REALLY low lows, which I didn't have before, but the doctor assured me it was my body adjusting to the zoloft.



((((lestat)))))

It's really good to hear you are feeling more stable after 7 weeks on Zoloft. That is great news. I really want to wish you all the very best with this medication.

Take care.

Joanna
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#16 allypoo

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:07 PM

I felt better after one week -- I felt as if I was getting things under control.

It's been almost three weeks now, and that feeling is long gone. I know it takes some time for the medication to work, but right now I'm just struggling to get from day to day. What keeps me going, though, is the thought that eventually, the medication will work and things will change. I'm not the most patient person in the world, but I'm trying my hardest right now.

#17 DeeBear

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 08:45 PM

HI allypoo,

I remember all too well how frustrating startup on a new med is, but unfortunately the only way to find out if it's going to work is to give it time. I did better at about the fifth and six weeks if I remember correctly.

Also, 50mg is a small dose, so your doc may want to ramp up your dosage in the coming weeks as well.

Hang in there, and let us know how you're doing!

Take care,
Dewayne
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#18 Missy29

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 07:51 PM

I started taking Zoloft a week ago..I am scared too death of this medication as I have never taken any medication,I am afraid too fall asleep after I take it as I am afraid a severe allergic reaction is going too happen.I suffer from depression and panic anxiety.My doc decided it was time too go on something after fighting this illness on my own for a year and half...anyway I feel alot more anxious since I started taking it.Can someone please help me> I am freaking out.Thank you in advance

#19 darkages40

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 07:59 PM

I started taking Zoloft a week ago..I am scared too death of this medication as I have never taken any medication,I am afraid too fall asleep after I take it as I am afraid a severe allergic reaction is going too happen.I suffer from depression and panic anxiety.My doc decided it was time too go on something after fighting this illness on my own for a year and half...anyway I feel alot more anxious since I started taking it.Can someone please help me> I am freaking out.Thank you in advance



Missy,

with all medications for depression it takes time to kick in. No one here is really qualifed to tell you how long it takes and you need to discuss it with your doctor. My personal experience is that it helps me with anxiety, panic attacks and so forth. Allergic reactions are few and far between. You might want to consult web md for what those might be. Give it some time. And don't stop taking it until you consult your md. Hope this helps.
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#20 Ajumbledmess

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 10:08 AM

I started taking Zoloft a week ago..I am scared too death of this medication as I have never taken any medication,I am afraid too fall asleep after I take it as I am afraid a severe allergic reaction is going too happen.I suffer from depression and panic anxiety.My doc decided it was time too go on something after fighting this illness on my own for a year and half...anyway I feel alot more anxious since I started taking it.Can someone please help me> I am freaking out.Thank you in advance


You hang in there. It's a tough start but well worth it when the med starts to work. Maybe you could take it in the am and the panic you feel would be gone?

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#21 Missy29

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:15 AM

I started taking Zoloft a week ago..I am scared too death of this medication as I have never taken any medication,I am afraid too fall asleep after I take it as I am afraid a severe allergic reaction is going too happen.I suffer from depression and panic anxiety.My doc decided it was time too go on something after fighting this illness on my own for a year and half...anyway I feel alot more anxious since I started taking it.Can someone please help me> I am freaking out.Thank you in advance


You hang in there. It's a tough start but well worth it when the med starts to work. Maybe you could take it in the am and the panic you feel would be gone?


Thank you so much,I just spoke too my doctor and he said too continue it.He said give it a couple more weeks and it should be taking affect.I also told him I was afraid too fall asleep at night and he told me not too be cause even if I did have a reaction too this medication it would not be life threatening.So I guess I will just take it and wait for it too take hold..I just wanna feel "normal again"

Edited by ChrystalR, 03 September 2009 - 07:09 PM.


#22 coldwater

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 03:41 PM

Thank you so much,I just spoke too my doctor and he said too continue it.He said give it a couple more weeks and it should be taking affect.I also told him I was afraid too fall asleep at night and he told me not too be cause even if I did have a reaction too this medication it would not be life threatening.So I guess I will just take it and wait for it too take hold..I just wanna feel "normal again"

Hello everyone!
I read all posts and have question for you. Did anyone experienced headaches in the first few days? I am in my 4th day and feel lousy, blah. Can't describe it better than that. Woke up with a bad headache this morning and can't "snap" out of the blah feeling. How long will that last?
Thank you so much for your input - makes it so much easier to go on.

TT

#23 alinam

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 06:48 PM

Thank you so much,I just spoke too my doctor and he said too continue it.He said give it a couple more weeks and it should be taking affect.I also told him I was afraid too fall asleep at night and he told me not too be cause even if I did have a reaction too this medication it would not be life threatening.So I guess I will just take it and wait for it too take hold..I just wanna feel "normal again"

Hello everyone!
I read all posts and have question for you. Did anyone experienced headaches in the first few days? I am in my 4th day and feel lousy, blah. Can't describe it better than that. Woke up with a bad headache this morning and can't "snap" out of the blah feeling. How long will that last?
Thank you so much for your input - makes it so much easier to go on.

TT


Yes, I think headaches and a blah feeling are very common when starting zoloft. I've had headaches off and on and an almost constant feeling of "blah". I've been on this dose of zoloft for six weeks now and am finally starting to feel better, but I had bad depression and anxiety that was out of control for months.

Feel free to join us on the Z-train where we discuss our ups and downs together. Most of us have just started our zoloft journey.

#24 Guest_delta12_*

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 11:01 PM

Hello yes how reconize mood swings like sad to nervous the firt almost 5 weeks just 1 week at 150 you guys had also feeling like sad then nerveus ets its hard

#25 Michedepain

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 02:42 AM

I have been taking 50 mg for a week and just went up to 100 per doc's instructions. First few days I was drowsy all the time but slept better than I had in years. For the past 2 days, I have been waking up around 2 am and staying awake for a couple of hours. Also have short panic attacks earlier in the day - I am taking Zoloft for dysthemia and nightly panic attacks. Did anyone experience the same insomnia and panic at first?
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#26 Joyce

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 08:32 AM

I've been on zoloft 25 mg for 3 weeks and I am on 50mg for 3 weeks. I still have ups and downs My psych told me to wait up to at least 8 weeks to see the full results (we pretty all know that). So, i'm hanging in there.

Its not that bad but I wished I would feel more alive.
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#27 mgw

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 06:40 PM

I started taking 25MG Zoloft at bedtime 5 nights ago. Yesterday I woke up feeling very depressed, even a little suicidal. By early afternoon I was feeling better. Today I woke up feeling even worse, and it has lasted all day. I can't call the doctor til Monday. Should I stop taking the Zoloft, or is this normal in the beginning?

#28 CherryCola

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 11:46 AM

I've recently been prescribed 50MG of Zoloft for clinical depression. This is day 5 on the meds and the last 3 days have been hell. Severe increased depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, everything. When I used to get depressed before, I could play a video game or watch a movie to relax, but now all I want to do is lay in bed. I feel so uncomfortable in public, especially around people I already know because I feel like I have to "play the part" so they don't know something is wrong. I used to be able to keep the depression on the inside, but now I find myself almost crying in public for no reason.

I've also been prescribed Ambien 10MG and it hasn't worked very well for me. I'd take it around 12am-1am and wake up at 3am or 4am and continue to toss and turn the rest of the night. I called my doctor and he said he is going to up the dose of Zoloft to 100MG to see if that helps. I hope this stops soon.

#29 electricboyo

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 04:56 PM

I've recently been prescribed 50MG of Zoloft for clinical depression. This is day 5 on the meds and the last 3 days have been hell. Severe increased depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, everything. When I used to get depressed before, I could play a video game or watch a movie to relax, but now all I want to do is lay in bed. I feel so uncomfortable in public, especially around people I already know because I feel like I have to "play the part" so they don't know something is wrong. I used to be able to keep the depression on the inside, but now I find myself almost crying in public for no reason.

I've also been prescribed Ambien 10MG and it hasn't worked very well for me. I'd take it around 12am-1am and wake up at 3am or 4am and continue to toss and turn the rest of the night. I called my doctor and he said he is going to up the dose of Zoloft to 100MG to see if that helps. I hope this stops soon.


Cherry Cola:

I started Zoloft 6 weeks ago and had very similar side effects: Terrible insomnia, no appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and lots of anxiety. I felt really uncomfortable. My starting dose was 50 mg.

One thing that is definitely true is that the Zoloft IS WORKING! If it wasn't doing anything, then we wouldn't have any side-effects, right?

Have you called your doctor back and told them how bad you felt after starting the Zoloft?

Remember, your doctor can only help if you call them and tell them about your side-effects!

Some doctors prescribe a "Benzo" (Ativan, Klonipin, Xanax, Valium, etc.) to help with the anxiety symptoms that accompany starting up an SSRI. Unfortunately some doctors won't prescribe benzos at all. I was lucky: My doctor gave me Ativan, to be taken up to 3 times per day if I needed it. I only needed to take it at bedtime at first. Now I don't often need it at all. I got only one prescription for Ativan, and in 6 weeks I've only used about 1/4 of it. But I'm very comforted by knowing that I have the Ativan "available" if I suddenly have an anxiety attack! If you only take a Benzo for a few weeks, it won't be habit-forming.

For me, the bad side effects from the Zoloft began to decrease by the 2nd week and were completely gone by the 5th week.

My worst symptom was the insomnia. I was already suffering from insomnia BEFORE I started Zoloft. But the Zoloft made it a lot worse. I called my doctor and they prescribed Ativan (1/2 mg) to help with sleep and anxiety. Ativan works all night long. I don't wake up until 6 or 7 AM. I have heard that Ambien doesn't last long enough to keep you asleep all night. Have you told your doctor about waking up at 3AM-4AM? Please consider asking your doctor for something different to help you sleep better. Sleep is important!

From reading other posts, it appears that ANY change in Zoloft dosage (either up or down) brings on side effects. It is likely that switching from 50 mg to 100 mg will trigger more side effects. If you get more side effects or feel worse when you change to 100 mg, I recommend that you should call your doctor immediately and tell them about this. Maybe they will decide that you should stay at 50 mg.

I found that it is really important to take my Zoloft at the same time every day. For me, this is about 7AM. If I delay (or worse, forget to take it), then the side-effects come back.


I am 6 weeks now and am beginning to feel much better than I did at the beginning. I even laugh and smile occasionally now! But the "good" effects do take some time to appear. In my experience, the first thing Zoloft helped me with was anxiety. By the 2nd and 3rd week, I wasn't feeling anxious. By the 4th week, I didn't feel "sad" or "hopeless." And, recently, I started to actually feel some "happiness." So, please be patient, and stay in touch with your doctor. I hope it turns out well for you!

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#30 itsjustmoi

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 11:02 PM

I've wondered this myself.

I don't like the start-up effects Zoloft, and THAT makes me feel depressed (nausea). And then when a week goes by and I still don't feel different, I start to get upset, anxious, and hopeless. The unfortunate part of ADs is that it takes awhile to kick in. I've never been the type to feel "better" after a few days or weeks. It takes at least a few months for me to make the judgment call. In the meantime, the waiting and wondering can cause me to sink a little.




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