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Starting sertraline today...

(28 Posts)
London29 Tue 05-Feb-13 20:49:45

Hi everyone
I'm looking for some advice and support.
Today, after what I can only describe as an emotional/nervous breakdown I went to my GP and have been prescribed 50mg of sertraline for depression, and anxiety.

The factors - relationship problems and a stressful job. I should be happy in my life I have a good set of friends and family, a good job (although stressful) I am financially comfortable, and have a man that really cares for me - but for the last few months I have felt nothing but fear, anxiety, stress and worry.

I've taken my first tablet today and I'm just scared its going to take ages to take effect. I want it to work over night! I know that's not possible but I'm exhausted from all the worry.

I just wondered how other people are getting on taking it? Anyone with any words of support? I really need it!!!

Thank you x

SnowyMouse Tue 05-Feb-13 20:59:07

I think it can take 4-6 weeks to work completely. I think it's important to get support while you're waiting for it to kick in, I hope someone comes along who is taking it.

dsmama Tue 05-Feb-13 22:54:30

I was in the same place as you at Christmas time. I started on 25mg for three days on Christmas Eve, then moved up to 50mg. My doctor warned me that the anxiety was likely to get worse before it got better, and I have to say it did, but it helped to have been warned. I was also quite sleepless. I had a lot of extra support from my family with my son to get through the first 10 days to two weeks. From then on I could feel an improvement, and the anxiety became less frequent. I still had what felt like relapses but they lasted a day or two rather than forever. After three weeks I started taking an extra 25 mg in the evening (with 50 in the morning) which helped with my sleeping problems. Now I feel indescribably better and wish I had asked for them years ago (I've also started EMDR counsellling for panic attacks which I'm sure is helping a lot too).
Good luck!

London29 Tue 05-Feb-13 23:18:45

Thanks for your reply, it really helps to know that I'm not the only person going through this.
I'm petrified that the anxiety will get worse before it gets better but I know I need to go through a few weeks of hard work before I feel the benefits.

Even just reading these posts from other people helps me to feel better.

I have a work trip overseas coming up in 3 weeks and I am dreading it, because of my anxiety. I just hope I'm feeling more like my old self by then.

This is so hard sad but I feel like I hit rock bottom today, sat in the doctors so desperate - I suppose the only way now is up. Just need to be patient.

seaofyou Wed 06-Feb-13 00:47:37

You have done the first day London29 that is a HUGE step, well done!
I'm 2 days ahead of you so very little advice but it took me a week to get the prescription and start them...mainly to do with anxiety going out on my own so couldn't get them otherwise I'd be day 11 now.
So to go to GP and get them and start same day shows how detemined and strong you are to do all that smile

London29 Wed 06-Feb-13 07:30:17

Thanks for the support. Just taken my second tablet, partner just left for work so I'm home alone and frightened.

I keep telling myself 'what's the worst that can happen? You panic, you feel awful, but it will pass'

Easier said than done though eh.

I'm also stressing about work because I'm not there.

Oh god I just want to fast forward so I feel better sad

GeraldineAubergine Wed 06-Feb-13 09:20:08

Hi London, I am on day 9 of taking 50mg sertraline. Like you, I have found the anxiety to have worsened a bit, but now it's calming down. I feel better able to cope with stressful situations now and am not crying all the time. I have been signed off work for four weeks and its a constant worry for me, so I understand what you mean about work and not being there. My dr prescribed sleeping tablets to get me through the worst of the beginning and they have helped. Just wanted to post to offer support really. Hope you are feeling better soon.

London29 Wed 06-Feb-13 15:19:06

Thank you.
I just keep crying today, and I can't eat anything sad
Hoping tomorrow will be better. I'm due back to work on Monday, the problem is they think I'm signed off with a virus (which I did have) but I'm too embarrassed to tell them the real reason I'm so ill. It's a new job, only been there a month.
I'm hoping I can cope back there next week sad

FoxSake Wed 06-Feb-13 16:47:07

Hi London

I'm in the same boat started Sunday, sea I wrote you a big long reply on my thread and the computer ate it so I thought I'd join you here. Have been feeling fine until today and now I feel awful, I haven't stopped crying all day over something completely ridiculous that happened this morning and then my baby had a fall which was entirely my fault as I was day dreaming or in a foggy haze or something. I've just done the school run and avoided talking to anyone for too long.

I've decided not to take any time off work as I don't feel i'm in a position to do so, they are looking to withdraw a promotion they offered me before I got pregnant and don't need to give them any more ammo. Dh is working everyday this week and I feel swamped, I can't ask him for anymore help as I feel he is stressed enough as it is. I'm so scared that he Is going to get sick of me sad

London29 Wed 06-Feb-13 23:17:36

Hi foxsake

Hey listen he won't get sick of you, he's there to support you.
Have you told him about your fears? It might help.

In going to try and sleep now, probably won't be able to but ill come and check in tomorrow. Day 3 on the ADs for me tomorrow - not sure what to expect but hoping for the best.

Keep smiling x

seaofyou Wed 06-Feb-13 23:23:18

Ahhh I hate that FoxSake too when I lose a long message. Also with processing it takes double time to write as hands and brain not in sync. I think I might be experiencing that foggy haze's the meds zonking me too? Your toddler can fall next to you when alert and not get their in time...don't beat yourself up. If you were feeling not so low you would not be looking at it negatively and soon you will get those better thoughts back again.

Ah it's hard coping with work you think you may have PND as you have young DD? Have you recently gone back to work? Is it seperation anxiety? For sickness and in health was DH vows and you and lil are the most importaant things in his life so try not to worry about things not actually happening...sounds weird saying that but I do that a lot!!

I had severe panic this morning but their was a bad trigger so I can justify it....then as soon as I became really bad my eyes became heavy and I had to sleep...3 HOURS later I awoke...never had time to worry about leaving for appointment as was late. So that was a positive! Then I could feel the anxiety coming back on me as I was driving home and at home. I know the reasons why I am like this and I never thought it would get to this. took my meds and perked up and now wide awake! Typical got full day out tomorrow too with lots of high winds on motorway...terrified of driving too as my DB died after car crash.

London if your not well you should get a medical cert to sign you off work...I am sure you are covered then! You sound very low at the mo (hugs) get back to GP tomorrow as emergency appointment and you could ask GP to write 'virus' for confidentialty too. But why we should have to hide depression or anxiety we shouldn't as it is an illness like any other.

BeaWheesht Wed 06-Feb-13 23:25:05

I hope I can be of some comfort.

I was on citalipram previously and it didn't help at all.

I started on sertraline 4 months or so ago - at first I felt anxious and panicky more than I did before and had a sort of anxious feeling in my chest a lot of the time like I was holding my breath, also lost my appetite and had insomnia.

However they were all short lives consequences and by my follow up appointment at 6 weeks my anxiety was really feeling so muh better - my GP advised I go up to 100mg which I have been on since and whilst my anxiety isn't totally gone its so so so so much better than it was, really it's transformed me.

I was so scared to take medication for my anxiety was worried it was failing or that its stop me being me or make me a zombie but its just made me be MORE like me and more able to cope.

I'm really impressed you're thinking like 'ill get stressed but it will pass' it took me a loooooooong time to reach that realisation which sounds silly but it's only now that ican take a step back and realise I was worrying more about the worrying and how that'd feel than the actual thing I thought I was worrying about iykwim?

BeaWheesht Wed 06-Feb-13 23:27:04

Excuse typos - been up since 5 and shattered !

MechanicalTheatre Wed 06-Feb-13 23:31:22

Hey, I have just started on it too, last Thursday.

Got to say, the last week has been tough. I haven't been able to do much and been very wiped out, anxious and had no appetite. Thankfully I have been able to sleep really well, no problems there.

It seems to be easing off a bit now, thankfully.

good luck with it

seaofyou Wed 06-Feb-13 23:32:56

BeaWheesht thank you for sharing that...because I had citralopram too and it was you experience has given me hope! totally understand the worrying about worrying!
Did you take 100mg in morning or evening? I am taking it in evening and think I should have started in morning as becoming nocternal!
How long did the panic get worse for...1/2/3 weeks?
Damn shame about the appetite gets better though as first time I have not comfort ate for 10 years grin

seaofyou Wed 06-Feb-13 23:41:38

Hi mechanical yes I got those and the not sleeping too...the sleeper I was prescribed made feel so ill the next day that I'd rather not sleep.
Are you taking your medication in the morning? What dose is it?
I am sure I am taking it wrong wide awake!

MechanicalTheatre Wed 06-Feb-13 23:57:35

Taking it at night as it's helping me sleep...maybe a bit too much.

I am useless this week: I am full time at university, meant to be doing work this week and done nothing :/ Bit worried about it but what can I do? I'm wrecked.

seaofyou Thu 07-Feb-13 00:17:27

WOW it has different effects on different people then! I'm wide awake and zonked in the day. someone said it settles down after few weeks...just gotta keep on hoping others who are sharing their experiences that it works really well after a few weeks. Gotta be better the severe anxiety?

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 07-Feb-13 00:23:58

i started sertraline in Dec.

at first it made me feel so so ill and so fatigued it was unreal - i was on 50mg and the side effects were horrific to begin with - tremors, nausea, loss of appetite, jaw clenching, but they only lasted about 10 days.

after a month on 50mg gp upped my dose to 100mg - no worsening of side effects and i think its starting to kick in now....been on this dose about a month.

stick with it.

sewandsew Thu 07-Feb-13 20:47:27

London...well done for going to the GP. I'm a couple of weeks ahead. I started the tablets 3 weeks ago tomorrow. First week I halved the tablets as I was worried about the side effects. I felt quite spacey the first weeks, mainly in the morning after taking the tablet. I also got quite bad headaches. I upped my dose to the 50mg 10 days ago and I'd say that I definitely felt more anxious last weekend (so 7/8 days on the increased dose ) Sunday was particularly bad.....Monday, suddenly my fog seemed to have lifted a bit and I felt quite a bit better. I've started taking some painkillers with my pill to ease the headaches as this was also wiping me out but that should ease off soon too.

I have 2dc's but am not in paid work. I have definitely tried to take it easy, lots of walks, easy food for us all, relaxing tv in the evenings. Now I feel a bit more like me and have refound my energy for doing even the simplest things again - I've always been a real 'doer' so that bit aout feeling anxious and not up to it was hard for me when I was feeling at my worst.

Weirdly, although the two worst weeks have been frustrating and horrible all at once, Because I'd been warned I didn't feel quite so scared IYSWIM, I just told myself to ride it out in the hope I'd feel better soon....

Good luck and keep posting....

MechanicalTheatre Thu 07-Feb-13 20:53:30

Glad it's working for you sewandsew and "Vicar*

I finally managed to put on some clothes and go to the shop. First time I've been out since Saturday. I haven't had a shower since then either, but whatever. I'm trying to give myself a break. Going to see a friend tomorrow too. Then I only have a week of university and I'm off for a week, so got a bit of a break then.

I do feel like my mood's starting to lift a little. I was SO anxious this morning though, I was scared to get my head out of the bed. Horrible feeling, but I knew it was the Sertraline so easier to deal with.

I think I just have to accept that I will probably be on medication for the rest of my life. It's not the nicest thought ever, but I have struggled so much and it's really wrecked my life. I could have built up a really great career instead of hiding in bed for so much of my 20s, and my relationship with my partner, my friendships, my hobbies have all suffered. I feel like half a person, really.

Sharpkat Thu 07-Feb-13 20:53:41

I have been on it since September having tried everything else. I am on 50mg and also take 25mg of promethazine.

I had horrific side effects early on. Had to take it at night so most of the nausea etc was not during the day.

I tried to move up to 100mg but the side effects were horrific. I had terrible tremors and could not even hold a cup.

The tremors are better now I dropped down to 50mg again. I am feeling much better. Just wish I could stop clenching my jaw - my front teeth actually hurt. Also I still have hand tremors.

I do feel much much better though. Stick with it. It does get easier.

London29 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:13:57

Hi guys
Thanks for the posts.
Ok so today was day 3 and I must say its been a good day. I do however have some side effects now like hurting jaw and headache, but not as much anxiety.
Does anyone else look in the mirror and feel they look like a rabbit in the headlights? My pupils are huge! My eyes look like I'm on drugs. I also have this strange Cheshire Cat smile going on?! Anyone else get that? It's like I'm smiling but not sure why - deffo a side effect.

I had a shower today and put make up on for the first time in 4 days. It felt good. Also went to the in laws for tea.

I've had a good day

Hope you are all doing well x

MechanicalTheatre Thu 07-Feb-13 22:55:58

Yes London29 I got very MDMA-type side effects for the first few days. I actually felt properly loved up at one point, which was a bit :/

Eyes still look massive.

I spose it's all working on the same bits in your brain.

seaofyou Thu 07-Feb-13 23:20:50

Oh dear day 5 and the first suicide thought came into my I am taking this AD for anxiety....not depression and I end up with suicidal thoughts! But day 5 is taking the biscuit! Driving along today and had sudden urge to drive my car going 60mph on dual carriageway over the bridge. Wasn't expecting it and this is why I had to stop the ADs before because the 'urges' become so violent and overwhelming like that it scared me! Because it only takes a a feeling they are going to get worsesad
6 weeks I lasted on AD before because of same problem! That was another SSRI! Same thing in car each time. Considering I had PTSD and terrified to drive with flashbacks that led up to DB death...then ADs does the opposite? Want to drive 70mph into a brick tunnel last time with ds months old in car...again ADs! Urges stopped within days after stopping ADs.

Thanks for sharing those side effects...I was wondering why I was clenching my teeth esp when asleep...bit my tongue bad other night too. the shaking too thought it was blood sugars from appetite reduction and the pupils!
I never slept a wink last night because it felt like you know when a cat gets a 'furball' stuck in their throat...I have a sensation of a 'stressball' and I feel like I am gagging on it...I had my head right back last night to ensure airway open but so uncomfortable could not sleep...but the stressball sensation still there stuck in my throat all day!

Took half dose tonight 50mg and feel better and not so alert...going to take 50mg in morning then 100mg every morning then on to see if I am 'alert' in day like I am in eve/night taking it.

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