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3 Weeks On Sertaline

(21 Posts)
penguintoy Fri 12-Jan-18 16:44:20

I've been taking it for 3 weeks for postnatal depression. The first week and a half was hard, no notable side effects at first but by the end of the first week my anxiety was through the roof. The day before two weeks things picked up, no more anxiety and I had a decent ish day. That continued, with each day being ever so slightly better than the day before.

Initially my mood would dip in the evening, as if the drugs had worn off but that stopped happening.

It's now exactly 3 weeks. I haven't cried in a week I think, which is huge as I spent most of each day for the 6 weeks prior in hysterics. My depressed mood has lifted massively, so much so my family are celebrating as they can see such improvement. I know they're so keen for me to be better.

But I'm still stuck in my head. I'm grateful for the improvement but terrified this is good as it gets. That I'm somehow broken forever. I feel kind of dead inside, not hideously depressed anymore and even enjoying some hobbies again but not truly my old self. I'd describe it as just going through the motions.

I plan my day meticulously so there's no time to think. If I feel my mood dipping slightly I'll busy myself. Yes, the fact I can do that to work through it is huge as prior to this I had zero control. But I'm definitely not myself. I want life to feel natural. To just have a day of fun where I don't question how I feel constantly. Or have to preoccupy myself at all times.

I've got by through speaking a lot with my loved ones, but don't feel I can this week as I have nothing to say. It's close to being better but not quite. I can't put my finger on what's wrong, I just know something is.

So I'm trying to make myself feel better by writing here. Has anyone who has taken it before experienced this? Will it keep working?

My review with the GP is next week, rationally I'm trying to tell myself it must take 4 weeks or she wouldn't have picked that point. I'm scared I'll need a dose increase and will have to go through the side effects again. But equally keen for it because I just want this horrible chapter of my life to be over.

Would really appreciate knowing how long it took people to work and if they remember experiencing anything like this?

penguintoy Fri 12-Jan-18 16:53:34

Also if anyone has experience with upping their dose, do the side effects come back?

I only have one real side effect left, which is tooth grinding. I hope that goes soon.

yawningyoni Fri 12-Jan-18 17:34:10

I'd give it a few more weeks/months, three weeks is very early days . You can always tweak the dose or try a different SSRI until you find you're getting maximum benefit

I don't think that anti depressants are a complete fix.
I was on them, for severe anxiety and depression, at a really high dose eventually. They enabled me to function but they didn't fix me, I still wasn't myself. I stoped taking them a year ago, as I was naturally recovering from PND and I couldn't bear the side affects any longer (mainly inorgasmia - which reduced the quality of my life) . I've had lots of counselling and I'm only starting to feel like myself again now.

yawningyoni Fri 12-Jan-18 17:35:26

I upped my dose many times and didn't have any side effects with any increase,

penguintoy Fri 12-Jan-18 18:14:34

@yawningyoni I know what you mean but feel in this case it kind of should be a complete fix, as I was extremely happy the day before this kicked in. There's no reason for it seemingly other than the chemical balance so if medication can't help I don't know what will.

Have had CBT / counselling in the past for anxiety and completely agree with the power of them. Just not useful for me now unfortunately.

That's really good to know, thank you!

yawningyoni Fri 12-Jan-18 19:32:00

Maybe some vit B12 or vit D might help if you think it's chemical

EmmaJane26 Fri 12-Jan-18 19:35:37

Hi, like you I’d never had depression pre giving birth. I went onto sertaline for 9 months. Within about 4-6 felt back to normal and then came off them slowly and never felt better. This was 6 years ago. Total chemical imbalance cause by pregnancy/birth xx

penguintoy Fri 12-Jan-18 19:40:47

@EmmaJane26 thanks Emma, so glad you got over it and Sertaline worked for you! I hope it does for me too xx

Intercom Fri 12-Jan-18 19:57:03

It could be that it hasn't reached its full effectiveness for you yet, so you'll know more by the time you see the GP. But it can also take time to rebuild your strength after having a low time. Keep going and I hope you make a steady recovery 💐

penguintoy Fri 12-Jan-18 20:05:04

@Intercom thank you x

That's a good point I've wondered about. I sometimes feel almost depressed I've been depressed it that makes sense? Sad about the time it's robbed me of which I thought would be so different. But I'm trying so hard every day not to think like that and to stay positive. It's so unbelievably draining having had to cheer lead myself just to exist for all these weeks but I know it's important.

EmmaJane26 Fri 12-Jan-18 20:51:20

I’m sure it will. Your post made me smile remembering....’overthinking’ takes a while to go away....but the whole experience has made me much more ‘real’. Don’t worry and don’t try to rush it. Just accept it’s a stage of your life which will become part of your history but also shape who you are in the future. I’ll never regret going through it and having the insight to support/empathise others. At the time it was so hard but have confidence it will just become a memory which you will look back on with some fondness - even though right now that’s the last thing you’d imagine x

penguintoy Sat 13-Jan-18 11:11:52

@EmmaJane26 thank you so much, that's such a great way to look at it and such a relief to hear!

EmmaJane26 Sat 13-Jan-18 13:03:39

It’s my pleasure. Here if you ever need anymore reassurance. Try to relax and enjoy being a mum - knowing you’ll be back to normal soon enough and even more content because you’re a mum. I was sorting through my sons memory box yesterday and found his first birthday card....my hubby had written in it that “mummy says this has been the best year of her life” - the start of which, like you, was the toughest time I’d ever had 😊 x

penguintoy Sat 13-Jan-18 16:57:40

@EmmaJane26 thank you! That's so sweet, I can't wait to be looking back on it like that x

HollyDolly15 Fri 19-Jan-18 20:15:46

Hi penguintoy

Just wondering how you are and if you've had your GP appointment yet?

I'm 33wks pregnant and on antidepressants too and I feel EXACTLY the same as you describe! Feeling 'broken' is the exact word I use, and the feeling dead inside and the feeling of just going through the motions. I too just don't feel normal or myself.

I'm not on sertraline, I'm on a little known tricyclic called dosulepine. I've found it brilliant. I've been on it 10 weeks now. I was on the starting dose for about a month, then they upped it to the most common therapeutic dose. However, at a hospital appointment yesterday, due to me feeling how you describe too, they're increasing it again, to pretty much the maximum dose.

Whilst our medications aren't exactly the same, I just wanted to share my experience with you.

I had a few side effects at the very beginning, but they soon went. The initial dose gave me some good days, but sadly some awful days. The increased dose didn't cause any further side effects and has made me feel almost normal, but this took a few weeks of the increased dose.
I'm hoping that the next increase (from next Monday) will work in making me feel back to my normal self completely.

I feel just like you feel, that I'm having to keep myself busy, that I'm not living a normal or natural life, that I'm always thinking about depression and checking how I'm feeling.

I'm really hoping the increased doses will help both of us feel normal again!

Please let me know how you get on. Good luck with everything flowers

rajsam Fri 19-Jan-18 21:30:05

I have severe anxiety, brain feels weird, my ears keep feeling like they have pressure in them, heart going 100 mph, and i get muscle spasms.. the doc has put me on mitazapine , ive been on it on 3 months and i dont see any change... should i wait longer or change anti depressants?

penguintoy Fri 19-Jan-18 23:39:28

@rajsam I would speak to your GP and see what they say! It sounds as though a tweak of some kind is needed but they will have a better ideathanks

HollyDolly15 Fri 19-Jan-18 23:39:51

Hi rajsam
Sorry you're still feeling so bad. Has your dose of mirtazipine been increased since you started it? It might just be that you need more than you're on. Mirtazapine is meant to be quite sedating, and within a few weeks you'd at least expect the racing heart symptom to stop. I'd speak to the GP about increasing the dose if possible. After a few months, you should be feeling a little better already really.

penguintoy Fri 19-Jan-18 23:47:37

@HollyDolly15 So sorry you're going through that too!

Sunday night I cried at the dinner table, saying to my DH I was scared this was as good as it gets. And that I would never be normal again.

By 11 on Monday I realised that I hadn't thought about the depression yet, which was huge as normally it would be the first panicked thought in my head as I woke up. By the end of Tuesday I still hadn't had a mood dip and had trouble remembering what I had done the past few days, as for once it was natural again and I hadn't had to busy myself as much. I was just getting on with it.

This continued until today, when I had my dr appointment and I noticed that worrying about it and talking about it made me feel a bit weird. But on the whole I would say I'm so close to being my old self I can barely notice what's missing, which is huge.

My dr didn't up my dose as it seems to be working now but said that it will continue to get better over the next two weeks. And that for some people there are no effects at all until 6 weeks on the drug. These kinds of medications are slow and I've found the gradual and fragmented improvement really hard. But I can say now that it's possible to feel yourself again! And that when it happens, it's kind of like a switch. Which is what I've been waiting for for months, but better late than never!

I bet that your increase will really help as it sounds like you're close. It's so hard feeling like you're going through the motions but keep going! Let me know how you feel over the coming days. I'm really hoping you're going to start feeling a lot better soon X

rajsam Sat 20-Jan-18 08:28:32

morning , i have been on the top dose for a couple of months now, i sleep really well but thats just about it.... the only thing i notice is that the anxiety bgins to piftvin the evening, butvite never any early

HollyDolly15 Mon 12-Feb-18 20:53:47

Hi penguintoy
Just wondering how you're feeling now? Have you stayed on the same dose?
Hope you're feeling a little better now x

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