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    Old 09-20-2007, 05:01 PM   #1
    Tim 007
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    Exclamation Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    I just wanted to inform people taking Zoloft (for anxiety) of a frightening, but HARMLESS side affect called "depersonalization". This is a disturbing experience that I feel is not properly talked about on this website. Depersonalization is a sympton most commonly felt 3 days to 2 weeks after taking Zoloft(and other drugs, it's even a side affect of just anxiety), and is experienced by many people (including myself). I recently began taking Zoloft due to having my first panic attack last week, and "anxiety" wise it has helped. Today was my first day back to school after missing 5 school days. Zoloft seems to already be helping by calming me down, however the short term side affects are unsettling. I no longer have "panic attacks" in terms of rapid breathing and fast heartbeat, but it has been a drain on my energy, dramatically affected my appetite, and has messed up my sleep routine. These side affects, as annoying as they are, is nothing compared to my feeling of "depersonalization".
    Depersonalization, for me, is characterized by feelings of unreal proportion. Remember when you were a kid and you got your first tooth taken out. You could spend hours feeling the spot with your tongue, and each time it still felt "not right", and NEW. Now imagine it wasn't just one spot, but that it was your entire body...well, that's how it feels for me. Every time I touch my nose, scratch my arm, or move my tongue around in my mouth...the feeling seems "NEW" and "not right". It's extremely unsettling, yet I seem calm. It seems as though I had a stroke, and lost all sense of touch, and have to relearn everything by retouching everything. However, I don't have problems talking...I don't have trouble seeing...I don't have trouble remembering(well, long term... since I never know where I put my keys)...so what is it? "Depersonalization". A more common then you think side affect to Zoloft(and other drugs). I'm not saying that you should be afraid to start taking Zoloft, it's worked wonders on some of my friends and family, but you should be prepared for a few weeks of "abnormal" side affects. Depersonalization not only affects my touch, but also certain sounds, and sights. I even get unsettled looking in the mirror.
    This "feeling" scared me, but I was relieved to hear from my doctor, family, and friends that this is a common side affect of Zoloft(heck, try googling it)...which is affecting the chemicals of your brain associated with the sending of messages, and feelings.
    So fellow (or future) Zoloft takers, if you feel this feeling...try not to be overly alarmed. You are not alone, these are normal, and it will improve. Our brains are going through a chemical shift, and it takes time for our bodies to adjust, but afterwards (so I've heard) we will feel better than we did before. Goodluck to all of you, and best wishes...you are NOT ALONE!!!

     
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    Old 09-20-2007, 06:49 PM   #2
    j2006
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    I have this every day. I feel like I am in a dream. I do not take Zoloft. It is a form of anxiety and or panic. It is very frightning to me as I have it all of the time.

     
    Old 09-21-2007, 12:08 AM   #3
    Tim 007
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Yeah, I got it during my first panic attack back when I had no medication. I'll let you know if the Zoloft takes it away, after a months use.

     
    Old 09-22-2007, 09:28 AM   #4
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    I am also more sensitive to heat, and cannot stand much sunlight.

     
    Old 09-24-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
    uncgal50
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Thanks for the "words of wisdom." I am having few problems with my zoloft. My most unsettling is sometimes "forgetfulness." I can't remember something I should remember. Last night I came out of church and couldn't remember where I parked my car. Was I on the right side of church? For the life of me I couldn't remember. Didn't see it because a huge SUV was beside it. It made me feel really weird. Oh well. My anxiety is much better. Everyone, hang tough.

     
    Old 09-24-2007, 10:08 PM   #6
    ShakesMcThyroid
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    I've had depersonalization for about 4 years now, triggered by a thyroid disorder (which was triggered by extreme stress).

    I haven't been treated for anxiety or panic until 4 or 5 months ago when I went hypothyroid due to RAI treatment, which caused serious problems.

    Since then, I've been going to a psychiatrist (on Zoloft and Xanax) and therapist who has been doing hypnotherapy on me. And I have to say it has been working. My depersonalization has subsided some and I am now the most functional I've been in 4 years. However, the dissociation is still there.

    So IMO, meds, therapy, time and a lifestyle change may be needed to beat this thing. Good luck to you all.

    Shakes

     
    Old 09-24-2007, 10:18 PM   #7
    Tim 007
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Can you have thyroid disorders and still be normal weight-wise? My mom has thyroid issues, so I might want to look into it, since I hear it can be genetic.

     
    Old 09-24-2007, 11:55 PM   #8
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Hey, Tim.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'normal weight-wise.' I think you mean will you gain weight with a thyroid disorder.

    I am hyperthyroid (too much thyroid hormone for those who don't know), so I've always been skinny. When I went on methimazole (a thyroid hormone suppressor), I gained weight. 20 pounds in 2 weeks. But it tapered off. And I do exercise regularly.

    When you're hypothyroid (not enough thyroid hormone), you have a tendency to gain weight. Although regular exercise routines and healthy eating habits can maintain your weight, your core weight usually goes up the worse your hypothyroidism is.

    And like you said, thyroid disorders are genetic. And can be/are triggered by extreme amounts of stress or trauma.

    But as far as doctor's are concerned, my depersonalization/Graves' disease hit at the same time and it's a chicken or egg kinda thing. Did stress trigger the Graves' disease? Did the Graves' trigger the depersonalization? Did stress trigger the depersonalization which triggered the Graves'? Fun stuff. At least therapy and meds are helping.

    Good luck and let us know how you're recovering.

    Shakes

     
    Old 09-25-2007, 09:52 PM   #9
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Thanks "shakes" for the info. I'm doing better now, it's been over a week since taking Zoloft, and finally it seems as my body is getting used to it. I suffered from many strange side affects in the last week, several of which I never experienced in my life, but I haven't had a panic attack as serious as the first one before the medication. I still feel "jittery" and my concentration isn't 100%, but I do feel less anxious. I still feel bad about having to be on medication for it, but I've always been an anxious person, reguardless about excercise or diet. When I look at my family members who have high anxiety, it does seem that the ones taking the medications are the ones who seem to be enjoying life more. Even though it might not be "natural", some people do benefit from it.

    Last edited by Tim 007; 09-25-2007 at 09:53 PM.

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 11:23 AM   #10
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Well...it's been 3 weeks since I've been placed on Zoloft, and I have seen a big decrease in the number of panic attacks. I still have trouble concentrating on school work, and I get sweaty and jittery at times in class, but it's manageable. I rarely feel dizzy, but still get "pins and needles" feelings across my arms, legs, neck, and scalp. Does anyone here understand why anxiety causes these feelings, when first experiencing them I thought that I must be having a mini stroke. Anxiety sucks...

     
    Old 10-14-2007, 09:47 AM   #11
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Have been prescribed Ativan, it works well, but makes me have uncontrollable "shakes" in the morning.

     
    Old 10-20-2007, 12:50 AM   #12
    Tim 007
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Depersonalization seems to be finally gone, after a month of Zoloft, and Activan. I sure hope Zoloft eventually becomes the only med I use, Activan's great, but I don't want to become dependant on it.

     
    Old 10-21-2007, 12:44 AM   #13
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Congrats, Tim. I hope I'm right on your heels in the healing process. Good luck.

    Shakes

     
    Old 11-27-2007, 11:27 PM   #14
    Tim 007
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    No longer on Ativan anymore, just Zoloft...just got my dosage right, and it's been working pretty good
    Still get the jitters here and there, and "some" depersonalization...but nothing major

    Shakes and UNCgal, if you two see this how have you been doing?

    Last edited by Tim 007; 11-27-2007 at 11:32 PM.

     
    Old 11-28-2007, 03:41 AM   #15
    j2006
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    Re: Depersonalization on Zoloft...FYI

    Tim, I am on Zoloft (25mg for a week and 50mg for 2 weeks) and I feel I am doing better with this "brain fog". Yesterday was my real good day.

    Still taking a bit of Klonopin when needed but hopfully not for too much longer.

    Can I ask what dose you are on?

    What your Depersonization feeld like?

    Thanks Tim!

    Jane

     
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