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I don't want to take the meds.can I do this without them?

(343 Posts)
Privateandconfidentialplease Thu 09-Mar-17 21:56:06

I have read some of the posts on here and the leaflet contained within the sertraline tablets. I wasn't keen on taking them anyway but I have been trying to deal with my increasing anxiety and depression for a year or so and I am not doing very well.
But the side affects really worry me. I know lots of people just get common side affects but even those worry me, let alone the rare ones. I hate taking anything, especially things that will make me feel ill or interfere with my periods. Yeah, I guess that is what is worrying me. That and putting on weight. I am feeling miserable about my weight anyway so I don't want to make it worse.
I am just scared of how this would affect me. Maybe I will have another go at dealing with this myself. The doctor has put me on the list for cognitive behavioural therapy so maybe that will help. I only saw the doctor today as I just couldn't go before now. I reached my limit last Friday so had to ask for help finally.
Does anyone know whether cognitive behavioural therapy is good? I don't know anything about it.
Did anyone put on weight with sertraline? And did it give you irregular, painful periods? or any other side affects aside from sickness or tiredness?
Thank you, I don't have anyone in RL that I feel i can confide in. I keep swinging from wanting to manage myself, to taking the meds if it means it helps.

WrongTrouser Thu 09-Mar-17 22:12:13

I have been on and off (mostly on) sertraline for years. I have had no side effects. I find it takes a couple of weeks to start working and then, for me, the effect is life-changing.

I think it does seem a really daunting think to start on ads, but do remember, you can always stop them again - it's not an irreversible decision.

Even if you do find you have some side effects, you have to weigh these up against the benefits of living without depression and anxiety.

I have found cbt quite helpful too, but to be honest, wouldn't have been in a fit state to make use of it without the ads.

Privateandconfidentialplease Thu 09-Mar-17 22:34:27

Thanks wrong trouser.what happens in cbt please?

WrongTrouser Thu 09-Mar-17 23:03:15

I don't know how well I can explain it but my cbt therapist helped me understand how there is a cycle between your thoughts, your feelings, your actions and how your body reacts. If you understand how these interact, then you can do things to stop the cycle.

So she talked through with me particular issues that cause me anxiety and helped me understand how I was keeping in a cycle of anxiety.

If you can understand the cycle, you can learn to intervene in various ways. For example, to challenge an unrealistic thought. This then stops the next stage - the panicky feeling from the unrealistic thought and so breaks the cycle.

So through cbt I gained some techniques for dealing with anxiety. To be honest, the sessions also helped me in identifying exactly what things were adding to my anxiety so that I could take steps to change them (external things - work related).

I also found a book "Panicking about Panic" very helpful. It gives a very clear explanation of the thoughts-feelings-sensations-actions cycle. I will find the details.

hiccupgirl Thu 09-Mar-17 23:05:41

I've tried 3 different meds and not managed to get on with any of them. I recently had a bad reaction to sertraline and now can't take SSRI ADs so I'm going on without. I have been given another different one to try but don't want to try again at the moment after the last awful reaction.

I've being seeing a counsellor privately for over a year now and it does help, though sometimes I really struggle.

You have nothing to lose by trying the sertraline and if it's not good, then you can stop it and ask for something different.

WrongTrouser Thu 09-Mar-17 23:06:02

This is the book:

shitgibbon Fri 10-Mar-17 04:13:08

Try the meds. If they don't work, go back to your doctor and ask to try a different med. Getting the right one is a trial and error process and sometimes it takes more than one try to find the one that works for you. Give it some time, but please give the meds a try. I was a med refuser once and I can't tell you how much better my life has become since I gave them a chance and found one that works for me.

Privateandconfidentialplease Fri 10-Mar-17 10:08:22

Thanks for the replies. I really don't know if I can take them.I know things are not good and I need to do something. I will continue to consider it. I have my first phone counselling appointment next week which I am worried about but I will take it from there I think. After that they refer you to face to face if you want so I will just take it day to day.

highinthesky Fri 10-Mar-17 10:16:38

From what you describe, counselling is unlikely to work well unless you are receptive to it. Sertraline will help you get into that frame of mind.

I strongly urge you to bite the bullet and start taking it now.

Privateandconfidentialplease Fri 10-Mar-17 22:31:56

Thanks highinthesky. I am thinking about it but still undecided. I guess I am a little afraid too if I am honest.

WrongTrouser Fri 10-Mar-17 22:49:02

You have taken a big step in going to see the doctor about your depression and anxiety and getting on the list for cbt. So you are heading in the right direction.

Can you say what you are afraid of with the medication? Is it just the possible side effects or do you worry that the medicine will change your personality (I don't think that it does - I'm just wondering).

Perhaps it's worth bearing in mind that it might partly be your anxiety itself which is making you very anxious about taking the sertraline, which is something of a vicious circle.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Sat 11-Mar-17 07:29:50

Do remember the imformation leaflet lists everything that has ever been observed.. These are effects that have happened to some users. They are not the guaranteed effect that will affect you.

Privateandconfidentialplease Sat 11-Mar-17 15:01:46

I guess on some level I think I can still 'fix it' by myself, that if I don't take the tablets I won't really have depression or anxiety. I know that's silly but taking the tablets would be acknowledging that I am not well. I think part of me feels weak.
Yes I am worried about the side effects even though I know not everyone gets them. I have no control over the side effects though I don't seem to have much control over my feelings so perhaps I should take them.
To be honest, whilst writing this it makes my heart race and I am teary at the thought of taking them.
It took a long time to pluck up the courage to see the doctor and I have let things get really bad. I think you are right when you write that it may party be my anxiety that is causing me to be worried about taking the tablets.
I still haven't managed to tell anyone else, not even my oh. My friend did say she was worried about me at school drop off so maybe I am not as good at hiding my feelings as I once was.

Privateandconfidentialplease Sat 11-Mar-17 20:21:24

When you take sertraline does it ever make you look stoned or anything? I know that sounds ignorant but I work in a school part time so I wouldn't want to look spaced out. Not than anyone does I guess, I am just trying to prepare myself.
Every time I open my mouth to tell oh nothing comes out. I am not sure where to start.

crazycatgal Sat 11-Mar-17 20:43:36

I've been on 200mg of Sertraline a day for years, no feeling spaced out or anything but it makes me tired and I've put on weight that's hard to shift, I'm now gradually coming off it.

Privateandconfidentialplease Sat 11-Mar-17 20:50:38

Thank you crazycatgal, glad to know I won't look spaced out but i have to be honest. Putting on weight is a worry for me. I am already in need of losing a few dress sizes and I can't put more on. My self esteem is at an all time low and I have never been this heavy.

Wolfiefan Sat 11-Mar-17 20:55:19

I was really anxious about taking the pills and struggled to face up to the fact I needed them. TBH I put on more weight due to depression than due to any pills and I wouldn't have been able to cope without them.
I think it's part of the condition that you feel you have no reason to feel as you do and should just try harder and you wouldn't need pills. No other illness would you feel you couldn't take the medication that would make you well.

Privateandconfidentialplease Sat 11-Mar-17 21:06:03

You are right Wolfiefan. I will aim to take a dose tomorrow morning. I have felt really strange today. Just really odd, I can't describe it. I have not had a good day but then again I woke at 3.30am which doesn't help.going to bed early tonight I think.

Privateandconfidentialplease Sun 12-Mar-17 18:53:48

I didn't take them. I have had a goodish day and saw my best friend. Though I still haven't told anyone. I am back to thinking that I can try again to do this without them. I will just take each day as it comes.

Livness12 Mon 13-Mar-17 17:40:31

Could you speak to the doctor about it again?

I would really, really recommend giving them a go if you can face it. The side effects listed include every possible one, and very few people will experience problems.

From my own experience, Sertraline was one of the 'best' medications I was on for side effects. I don't think it's one well known for causing weight gain - and I say this as someone who was started on it whilst anorexic. I am terrified of weight gain side effects and have come off or refused meds for the same reason, but Sertraline had no effect on weight whatsoever for me or any of the other people I know on it.

Remember if you do give them a try and really hate it, you don't have to stay on them. If they aren't for you, you can stop again. But it really really is worth a try, you do sound so unhappy even from your writing here.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Mon 13-Mar-17 18:01:03

if I don't take the tablets I won't really have depression or anxiety. I know that's silly but taking the tablets would be acknowledging that I am not well. I think part of me feels weak.

A bit of tough love here but if you are unwell you need the medication. You are not weak you are unwell, if not fully ill. So yes you are being silly, (but is not an issue, we can all be silly if not down right stupid at times).

Put it another way, would you refuse to take medication for a thyroid problem because you think it makes you weak? Of course not. It's just more difficult to deal with when it comes to mental health. I know it is difficult to get your head round but you are unwell in exactly the same way as having a thyroid problem.

As to not taking your meds, if you are going to try without them, do you have someone close who can look after you and confide in? If so could you tell them what you are trying and ask them to keep an eye on you and give you a gentle nudge if you start to go off the rails?

DumbleDee Mon 13-Mar-17 21:33:36

Hi, don't want to hijack, but I have been prescribed Setraline today, and I haven't taken one yet. I totally get the fear, I'm scared of starting, and scared of not starting. I just know that I can't live with this level of anxiety and panic, and my one good day soone gets swamped with bad. I can't face waking up every morning and feeling that immediate sense of panic, and my heart rate rising. And each day I'm finding more OCD type behaviour. I'm scared of the side effects. I've decided I'm going to take one though and give it a go. Good luck xx

Privateandconfidentialplease Mon 13-Mar-17 21:34:26

I was having a good day today. I felt quite happy and nearly myself until about 1pm then it kind of slid down a bit and now I feel exhausted. I don't know why because nothing happened. I was thinking I could do it alone but I can't.

Thanks livness for the advice and for sharing your experience, I couldn't get an appointment for the doctor until next week, unless I try for the emergency appointments released on the day.

Thank you Itsnoteasy-I don't know why I can't tell oh or my best friend. It's been about to come out of my mouth and I just don't say it. I know my friend will be lovely and caring. Thing is, she works ft, has a family and active social life......I don't want to be a burden. My oh, well I have been with him years and he can be lovely of course but he can be thoughtless.
I am disappointed because I was bumbling along quite light and happy this morning and I really thought I could do it. I can't.
I have the phone counselling tomorrow so I shall see what that is like.

Privateandconfidentialplease Mon 13-Mar-17 21:42:09

Thanks dumbledee, you said how I feel too.(and actually I have noticed I do really weird ocd things but I can't not do them.I haven't told anyone that at all, ever.)
What you said about the one good day swamped by the bad, and being scared to take them and being scared to not take them is exactly right.
Will you take yours in the morning?

DumbleDee Mon 13-Mar-17 21:56:03

Not sure - reading on here people splitting their dose half n half morning and night. Will do a bit more research and let you know x

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