Hello everyone. I have GAD. I had very good success managing my GAD for 12 years on Paxil (with increasing dosages along the way). I went from 20 mg to 60 mg over those 12 years. I've recently gone through a high stress period of my life and my anxiety was coming back. I successfully weaned down the paxil and transitioned to Lexapro, although I had huge emotional upheaval during this switch. I did okay on Lexapro for about 5 months, but it never completely seemed to work (I was at 20 mg). I was also having more frequent headaches and leg aches/restless legs on the Lexapro. So, 12 days ago my dr. switched me directly to Zoloft, 100 mg.
I guess my issue is, naturally, anxiety that the zoloft won't work either. I had 3 days of increased anxiety but mucked it out because I remember the same situation when starting paxil. I have had a few moments where I felt calm & happy but it's an up & down thing. I can manage, and have xanax as needed, but I just want to feel like myself again!
Those of you that have switched to Zoloft- how long was it before it really worked? I know when I started Paxil it was literally 8 weeks, with one dosage adjustment until I felt back to normal. When switching SSRIs does it also take that long to feel the effects? I have been seeing a therapist for a year, which has been very helpful but I know I also need meds.
Has it occurred to you that these drugs just simply don't work over the long term? These drugs affect serotonin in the brain and anxiety has absolutely nothing to do with serotonin and there is not a doctor on the planet that can prove that it does. It's all theory and conjecture. Try asking a doctor to prove you have a serotonin deficiency and they will go ummmm, wellllllll! You are on SSRI's and Benzo's? Anxiety is a learned habitual negative thought process pattern that set's off the adrenaline gland. Drugs will never cure that. It just amazes me how many people are been misled about all this. I had a doctor tell me once "well, you have to believe the drugs are going to work in order for them to work" I said "seriously ..... you have to be kidding me". That's why in studies, these drugs work no better than a placebo (if the patient doesn't know they are getting a placebo). Big Pharm has tried to hide these studies from the public because of the billions of dollars made by the pharmaceuticals, but the studies are out there. I had a deadly reaction to an SSRI and I'm lucky to be here today. I used to have anxiety, but I don't suffer from it anymore and I didn't need drugs to get there. The only anxiety I would probably experience today is reading about all the people who are on these dangerous meds and not getting better and getting frustrated that they just don't get it. We have truly become a medication nation. If you want permanent freedom from anxiety, you will have to deal with it at it's core and not cover it up with meds. It can be done, I did it, I had no choice .... I couldn't take the meds that they claim will cure you! Good luck and I wish you all the best!
As I said, I have been in therapy for a year and have certainly dug into the core of my anxieties as well as the cycle of the anxiety. While you obviously have opinions on medication that you can back up with research, there is also much research that DOES support the use of SSRI's in anxiety/ocd/depression, etc. Honestly, I'm not looking for someone to change my mind about whether or not to use medication. I was looking for support from people that have been through a similar switch.
I didn't mean to upset you but if you had gone through what I did and taken by ambulance after 3 days on Lex, you would probably be scared out of your mind as well. In the end, I'm glad that happened to me because it was the catalyst it took to finally help myself out of it. Many adults and children die from these drugs each year. Again, sorry if I sounded harsh but if you had suffered "serotonin syndrome" which doctors don't even warn you of, it tends to cause some negative feelings about these drugs. Most SSRI are basically the same, if one stops working, more than likely in the long run, the next one will stop working as well. Again, I wish you well in however you choose to find relief!
Those of you that have switched to Zoloft- how long was it before it really worked? When switching SSRIs does it also take that long to feel the effects? I have been seeing a therapist for a year, which has been very helpful but I know I also need meds.
I switched from Effexor (an SNRI) to Zoloft and I noticed an improvement rather quickly, I would say within the first two weeks. I started at 50mg and I increased it by 25mg every week or two until I increased it to 100mg. I think the Zoloft has helped with my social anxiety, but I think it has been much more effective with my depression. I've found Buspar to be more helpful with my general anxiety.
I can't say that i've had experience in dealing with an immediate switch from one med to another, but I did take Paxil for a year, and then I weaned off of it due to weight gain. Months later I went on Zoloft, and it worked extremely well for my anxiety/panic disorders, and depression. It will probably take a few weeks before it starts to work. I am currently back on it again, for the fourth time in about 10 years. I would go off and be ok for a year and then i'd be right back on it again. So this time, i'm staying on it for as long as I need to.
As far as the whole serotonin thing..... Everyone has their own opinion on that whole thing. There are so many different studies out there about it that people really don't know what to believe.
I for one, DO believe that there is a definate link to the amount of serotonin your brain produces and the whole anxiety/panic/depression thing.
I have been suffering with GAD, Panic Disorder, PTSD, OCD, and Depression for over 25 years, and have been on Ativan, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, and Xanax. All at different times of course.
But...without my meds, i'll be fine for a year or so, and then I get "slapped" right in the face with a panic attack from hell out of nowhere. This tends to begin the downward spiral into the pit of anxiety. And so the cycle begins again....
I have tried many things over the years, and I have to say that I NEED meds. Therapy, CBT, Self Help, etc.... does NOT work for me alone. I need the meds to help my control the chemical imbalance in my brain.
I think you will be pleased with Zoloft. It has been my "go-to" med for over ten years now. Good luck to you! Fox
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Thanks for the feedback. I too have gotten through anxiety in the past andd thought I was fine, only to have it literally slap me in the face out of the blue for no reason whatsoever! I feel more myself on meds & have concluded I need them long term as well.
It takes about 6 weeks for the Zoloft to work, this is what I found. The anxiety calmed down after a couple of weeks. I kept out of situations that made me worse for awhile. I was on effexor for a while, years ago. They took about the same time to work. 6 weeks was about the time it took for them to kick in. Good LUck, it can be a hard road. But you will get better. Its so good when the meds start working and the fog clears and you start to feel like your part of the world again.
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