Citation: Dement. "6 Months with Sertraline: An Experience with Sertraline (Zoloft) (exp12525)". Erowid.org. Feb 1, 2005. erowid.org/exp/12525
This is a short description of my experience with Zoloft to get out of a depression, not for recreational use. I would like to point out that I'm not a professional doctor, and have no formal education on this substance. I'm a patient.
About 2 years ago my life fell apart, lots of bad things happened one after another and when something nice happened it was always followed by something twice as bad. I knew it would happen so I couldn't even look forward to the nice things. This went on for about 5 monthes and I could feel no happiness or appreciation for anything, I became apathetic and was crying dayly, could burst into tears anytime. I began thinking about suicide and how I would do it, this thought went on and on in my head. But I know that something in me wanted to live, so I decided to wait and see if ´it´ would change its mind and let me die. Obviously it didn't, or else I wouldnt be writing this. I decided to get help.
The solution... Zoloft:
The doctor subscribed me Zoloft, 50mg to be taken once a day (or 100mg if needed)
I took my first 50mg the next morning, no change, I was still down. This went on for about 3 days. On day 4 I felt worse then before. The doctor said that it was normal to feel worse in the beginning of the 'treatment' with many SSRI´s. I have heard that many suicides happen during this period, but I dont know if its true. He said this would go away and get better. After about one and a half week the effect kicked in. Everything was ok, not great but ok (one intresting thing I noticed after about a month was that it was impossible to listen to Black Metal even if I liked it and had listen to it for years. Now it felt sic and ill. About a month after I quit zoloft I could enjoy it again).
Sometimes I would forget to take the pill and during the day (usually while driving in my car) I would notice that something was wrong and I'd get really sad until I remembered that I hadn't taken my pill, and after about 1-2 hours everything was ok again..
Once a friend called and wanted me to come over to a party, so I took 100 mg to be sure not to feel sad and to be more social. This wasnt a normal party, one of their friends had just died in a overdose and everyone was a bit down, except me. I felt nothing special at that time and I was afraid I would start to laugh. The thought about how inappropriate it would be to do that and that I couldn't feel any sadness at all made me a bit worried. I remember thinking 'This is not me, I want to at least feel something' and 'I want to be me again', this was happy thoughts and that made it even more scary, like Zoloft acted like some sort of 'filter' in my brain, removing every negative emotion or transforming them to good ones. This happened about 4 monthes after the first pill. I wanted to quit but had to continue. I knew I wasn't ready to be ´me´ again.
One month passed and now I could forget to take the pill without noticing it, and when I ran out of pills I didn't bother to get any more, at first I felt a bit insecure without them but I didn't need them anymore and that made me happy, happy to be ´me´ again.
Zoloft worked great for me, but only after one and a half weeks. I wouldn't hesitate to use it again if I needed too, but only if nothing else helps. I can't see why anyone would use it as a recreation drug, as it takes days before you feel anything and taking higher doses only make you feel sick. To get a trip of happiness this is not the quick solution. Be prepared to take it daily with no effect at all (or the reverse of the desired happy effect, sadness), then it will get better with a peak after about 2-3 weeks (for me at least). One pill is effective for about 26 hours, so you will never be 'normal' for the weeks/monthes you use them.
The 'filter'-effect feeling is disturbing after a while, I knew that 'this was not the way to react', 'I should not be smiling now' or 'why the fu*k am I happy?' but I could not help but feel ok or sometimes really happy. I don't know if this applies to a normal (not depressed, apatheic or sad) person. I was depressed and it was like the depressive thoughts was still there inside me, hanging on, not wanting to let go, but Zoloft put a barrier around it, preventing it from 'growing' and eventually it withered away. Kind of like a dual personality in some way, one inside (A) with the depression acting only in thought and one around (B) connected to the outside with thought and control over the body. Don't get me wrong here, it was not like schizophrenia, these two were both me, knew the same things, overlapping each other on different layers (hard to describe, maybe like (A) being the kernel/operating system and (B) an application/firewall). They worked together, but (B) refused to do or think anything negative that (A) suggested. (B) had a LOT more priority over thought too. But the real ´me´ was (A). Without zoloft (B) was gone and (A) could take full control again.
It's kind of funny now that I think back at it, (A) didn't make its presence known if I didn't sit down and think (or was alone), I remember being happy every time I found him, knowing that it was the real me, like a old friend. Even though (B) might have been a better person (more social, happy, without sadness etc) I wanted to get back to (A), a person that I had known for 21 years and with the full spectrum of emotions.
Zoloft didnt help against all the problems I had, some of them still haunt me but I feel I can handle them. Not everything depends on serotonin levels.
Getting it legally is too expensive (atleast here in Sweden) and too much work (seeing a therapist 2-3 times and then a doctor) for the extremely small effect (possibly no effect at all) it would have for a normal person.
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