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The Only Thing That Helps
Sertraline
by illa
Citation:   illa. "The Only Thing That Helps: An Experience with Sertraline (exp82125)". Erowid.org. Jan 13, 2020. erowid.org/exp/82125

 
DOSE:
50 - 175 mg oral Pharms - Sertraline (daily)
    smoked Cannabis  

BODY WEIGHT: 125 lb


The run down: I began suffering from depression and anxiety at the age of 10, so much that I self harmed (it is what it is, but I can count on my hand how many times I did it and it was always very shallow. I did not keep it up for very long, maybe a month or two). The depression came in cycles. I would be fine for months and then it would ďsneak upĒ on me and stay from a few months to 2 yrs.

Eventually it got worse and I finally went to my doctor at age 16. I was put on effexor (venlafaxine), probably 25mgs then 50mgs, and into therapy. WHAT A NIGHTMARE. My depression got so severe and unbearable, I began self harming and would contemplate the pros and cons of suicide. My mind was deranged, I was not me. I got taken off of effexor and put onto Zoloft (sertraline). I stayed on 50mg for a year (a small amount to ďtake the edge offĒ) and was in therapy a lot. But if I didnít take it with food a lot of the time and I would get THE WORST chest pains. I guess itís heart burn but I didnít know that. I would spend classes in the washroom crying, trying to make myself vomit to feel better. It is the most uncomfortable, awful, dreaded feeling.

Once I got off of it I was feeling very euphoric and rather empowered for a few months. There was a lot of constructive things going on inside of me and my new perspective continued to develop. It was an adjustment.

But, the depression came back every once in a while but the spells only lasted a few months and were nothing close to the severity of those in my younger days. When I was 18 though I felt so unhappy so I worked with a psychiatrist and we tried: wellbutrin (bupropion), cipralex (escitalopram)+ wellbutrin, and lithium+cipralex+wellbutrin. None of those helped and I got frustrated and gave up. A year later I was away from university and had to go to my family doctor. She insisted I give cipralex a second shot, so I did (the maximum dosage my doctor would allow...I canít remember what that is, sorry) but it was useless and I stopped taking it. I waited it out instead.

Now this past April I wanted to try Zoloft again, JUST in case, because it had worked for me when I was younger
I wanted to try Zoloft again, JUST in case, because it had worked for me when I was younger
but I was hesitant to take it again because of the frequent chest pains (which my family doctor said could be an allergic reaction). From April-July I was taking 75mg and feeling great. I am more disciplined than I used to be and I always take it with food in the morning (no problems what so ever with heart burn).

But then all August I was hardly taking it, and I spent the summer drinking and smoking weed instead. I guess the Zoloft stopped working because I struggled a bit for 2 months, for September and October. I took my medication regularly again and stopped drinking. I had to slowly increase my dose to 100mg, but I was still an emotional mental mess. So then to 150mg. Perfect.

Except that Iím smoking more weed lately, and itís excessive, for my own personal standards. I often blaze a little bit once I get out of class and then I will blaze at night. I find it makes me more creative, goal orientated, and motivated in school. I get more excited about what Iím learning and I want to do the best I can. I can visualize my long term goals in a better perspective. School becomes more of a priority and I enjoy it a lot more. So itís as if my dopamine is insufficient. I asked my psychiatrist about this, he said I can:

1. Increase my dosage of Zoloft (I am, Iím taking 175mg right now and am soon increasing and probably stopping at 200mg) since it works with dopamine, and that may have some effects. But sometimes Zoloft can make people process things slowly and I guess can make them dull/zombie-ish, so that may happen.
2. I could combine 150mg of Zoloft with 500mg of welbutrin, a higher dosage then I tried before.
3. The last resort is to try a mood stabilizer instead since this has been going on for 12 years of my life.

I guess weíll see. But Zoloft is amazing for me. My mind doesnít race and my thoughts arenít scattered.
My mind doesnít race and my thoughts arenít scattered.
I donít feel physically unwell and over sleep, or eat poorly/excessively any more. I can apply myself to school more efficiently (though thatís a work in progress). I no longer feel jaded, bored, down, emotionally monotone or even depressed. I am more enthusiastic , active and engaging with life and people. My sex drive is as functional as can be. Iíve lost a lot of weight recently for no apparently reason, about 25 lbs. Hmmm...I can feel a wide range of emotions too. What I feel and when I feel it, it is always appropriate/rational according to the circumstance. Like when I have issues with a particular family member it WILL stress me out, make me cry, be mad, etc. I donít feel like the unemotional zombie that so many people describe. Not at all.

Exp Year: 2009ExpID: 82125
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: 21 
Published: Jan 13, 2020Views: 879
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Pharms - Sertraline (88) : Combinations (3), Retrospective / Summary (11), Depression (15), Medical Use (47), Not Applicable (38)

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