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    Old 09-24-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
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    Unhappy Starting Zoloft Tomorrow. Any Advice?

    Hey All,

    I'm new to the board and would like to make some new friends.

    Some info about me:

    I'm a 25 y/o female and have been suffering from Panic Attacks and anxiety for the last 3 months or so. I thought I could overcome it with exercise, deep breathing, yoga, therapy, etc. etc. But it doesn't seem to be helping. My doc decided to try anti-depressants. I am supposed to start 25mg of Zoloft once a day for the next 3 months. And also have a prescription for Xanax .5mg which I can take up to three times a day as needed.

    I, like most anxiety sufferers, am deathly afraid of starting a new medication, even just reading about the horror stories of starting up an SSRI give me anxiety. I am really concerned especially since I go to school and work. I really don't want to freak out and have an attack since I heard that symptoms of panic attacks may worsen the first few weeks. I know me, if I start to feel a little uncomfortable, I'm bound to want to rush down to the ER in fear that I'm having a bad reaction to the medication then end up looking like an idiot when everything comes back normal.

    I also do not want to become dependent on Xanax. So should I take a xanax and zoloft in order to prevent an attack? Or should I just grit my teeth, bear it and only take xanax as needed?

    What it your advice,
    Any words of encouragment are welcome. I would feel so much better if I had someone to talk to and connect with regarding this feelings. I'm really praying that the Zoloft works so I can start feeling normal and not afraid anymore.

    Last edited by AnxiousNellie; 09-24-2012 at 04:30 PM.

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    Old 09-24-2012, 11:24 PM   #2
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    Re: Starting Zoloft Tomorrow. Any Advice?

    Well in my opinion Zoloft is the best anxiety medication out there I was on it and it saved my life hardly had any symptoms etc I felt wonderful as for the Xanax try only taking it when the anxiety is at a 10 when you're really freaking out

    Last edited by msmod; 09-25-2012 at 04:21 AM. Reason: Replaced text message, chat room letters with the proper words as per the posting rules. Ms_Mod

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    Old 09-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
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    Re: Starting Zoloft Tomorrow. Any Advice?

    Yesterday was my first day. I took Zoloft around 1pm and felt pretty darn good for the day. Almost a little too good lol. The only reason why I didn't fully enjoy the day was because I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, I kept anticipating an attack especially since I read that panic attacks can get worse on the first week or two when starting an SSRI.

    I was awake till about 1am feeling kind of anxious and scared but nothing over the top. I ended up taking .5mg of xanax to help calm me down and get some sleep.

    This morning I woke up and felt a little scared too. Again, I'm just thinking that it is anticipatory anxiety. Thinking that anytime now I will have a full blown panic attack because of the new medication. I'm hoping and praying that I don't. I felt pretty good yesterday and hope that that feeling continues.

    Will take Zoloft again around 1pm.

    Hugs to all of you!

    Old 09-27-2012, 08:23 AM   #4
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    Re: Starting Zoloft Tomorrow. Any Advice?


    It's great to hear the Zoloft has started out well for you.

    I've learnt the hard way not to read up on horror stories of anxiety medications. I used to research all my medication thoroughly before I took it. It took me a year to even get desperate enough to go on meds. That's not to say my anxiety wasn't awfully severe. I just let my life go down the drain until I had a 3 day panic attack that felt like a constant heart attack before admitting "ok I need extra help". Then of course I freaked myself the hell out by googling the meds. XP

    I stopped though. Because my doctor has prescribed me what seems like some of the most notorious medications I could find on the internet... and guess what? THEY'RE FREAKING MIRACLE DRUGS! For ME anyway!

    I did have ONE "horror" incident... but my doctor can't have been pulling my leg when he told me that the worse the side effects the better the meds will work once the side effects wear off. Because the meds I had the bad reaction to really has been the best medication I've been on for anxiety (after I got over the first 2 weeks of side effects).

    So yeah don't googling meds :P
    and if you do have any side effects on zoloft, see your doctor and if he tells you to stick with it for a while longer, do your best to tough it out, it may be the best decision you make for yourself in terms of anxiety.

    Really happy for you that what you have seems to be going good though! That's great!

    Oh, about the xanax, if that's like valium (which is what I take), I normally only take it after I start having a panic attack. I think my doctor would be more liberal than me about it though. When I first started taking medication for my anxiety I was really anti-medication. I hated taking the stuff unless I absolutely HAD to and so I really avoided taking the valium. So waiting for a panic attack to set in may or may not be the right thing for you (or the logical thing regardless...). My doctor would have told me to only take the valium if I was feeling really wound up and I couldn't calm down but he would've told me to take it even before I was having a panic attack and he is like me, he doesn't hate medication but he's still all for natural remedies before moving on to meds.

    Really, without doing anything silly, I think you're just going to have to learn what works best for you. You know what works best for you and as long as you have a healthy fear of becoming dependent on the xanax you should be fine. You don't want to be taking the stuff every day unless you need to. Infact you don't want to be taking xanax at all unless you really need to. So I would advise to only take it when you really feel like you can't handle how you're feeling or calm yourself down without it.

    Also, you may find that it might be a good thing for you to try to manage your panic attacks without the xanax once your zoloft has started working better. Because you'll have the safety net of the xanax while you learn how to cope with your panic without taking it.

    But yeah, take things slowly, if you need the xanax don't hesitate to take it. I'm not going to lie... learning to overcome/live with anxiety is a long journey, it's a marathon not a sprint so one step at a time.

    It's good that you're doing therapy and yoga and stuff like that, don't give up on any of that stuff yet. For me it took quite a long time for anything, including the therapy to start working, but it did all eventually start adding up and making small differences to how I cope with things. I still think natural is the best even if I love my meds now.

    Apologies for the giant wall of text. I forgot to take my meds and so I'm way chattier and in a woo I can't stop thinking/talking kinda mood thanks to that. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it wow it's 1:22am... XP Do I have anxiety or ADD? :P *hits the send button and tries to close the health boards down before she posts the great wall of china in text form*

    Old 09-28-2012, 11:22 AM   #5
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    Re: Starting Zoloft Tomorrow. Any Advice?

    Hey Skip,
    Thanks for the words of encouragement! Today is day 4 on zoloft but yesterday and today I am taking it at 10am instead of 1pm since the last couple of days I took it in the afternoon, I wasn't able to fall asleep. Last night I fell asleep relatively easy but woke up and stayed up for about an hour. I was tempted to take a xanax to help me fall back asleep. But I refused to rely on it anymore than I already do. I keep telling myself I will only take a xanax when I absolutely need to. I am still experiencing some general anxiety nothing severe and unmanageble but again, I think it is just more anticipatory anxiety, waiting for that full blown attack to come (I swear I think I just want it to come so I can get it over with lol). The only other side effects I think I am experiencing but not sure if it's just plain ol' anxiety or the medicine are: some slight headaches, muscle twitches, some chest pain and I have been dreaming more since I've been on it.

    You're right about googling medications though. Before I started I read all these scary stories from extreme panic attacks to people hearing voices (how creepy is that?!)to having intense nightmares. Then I automatically get worried and think, "oh geez, that's gonna happen to me!" But for some reason, my brain doesn't recognize and focus on the good successful stories about Zoloft and anxiety, only the bad. I need to change that somehow.

    *sigh* I hate being patient. I wish there was someway I could see into the future if and when this medicine Zoloft will work.

    Last edited by msmod; 09-28-2012 at 01:31 PM.

    Old 09-28-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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    Re: Starting Zoloft Tomorrow. Any Advice?

    AnxiousNellie, I took my first Zoloft (25mg) today. I too am very afraid of what the next two weeks will bring. Today so far I have a heavy bout of diarrhea and feel like vomiting, but the feeling is like the kind when you have fear and not from eating something. I also have Xanax which I’ve promised myself that I will only use in case of emergency. I am on blood pressure medication and this has given me anxiety. Because of the side effects of the BP medicine I have ended up in the ER twice in the last three months and the underlying cause was anxiety so here I am on Zoloft. I have changed bp medication so hopefully I can get off of Zoloft quickly. Please let me know how you are doing as I take consolation from others who are going through the same experience. By the way, I concur with the previous posts that you should only take Xanax as a last resort since it is so easy to get addicted and very, very hard to get off of it, so please use it with caution.

    Old 09-28-2012, 10:54 PM   #7
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    Re: Starting Zoloft Tomorrow. Any Advice?

    Hi Seekingpeace,
    So sorry that you have been going through a rough time. I hate anxiety. If it were a person, I would beat the ever loving snot out of it. Today is day 4 on Zoloft. I took it around 10am. So far, I haven't had many severe side effects except today I had racing thoughts/phrases from a song that keeps repeating in my head over and over-but instead of scaring me like my other symptoms sometimes do, it's just driving me crazy mostly. Ugh! Also for a few minutes now I have been feeling weird, no other signs detectable signs of an attack, but just "off" I think I am having a derealization attack, which I've only had one of those before in the past, and they're pretty uncomfortable but feeling a little better now since I started talking about it. I hope that things get better for you. I heard that nausea and stomach problems are the most common side effects of zoloft. Maybe try to take something to offset the nausea? I sometimes suffer from nausea from motion sickness. Peppermint works wonders for me. Either in gum, candy form or drinking tea. I also hear ginger works too but haven't tried that yet. Give it a shot and let me know if it helps.

    Keep me posted on your updates too with the medicine.

    Take Care of yourself!

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