To Take or Not to Take Zoloft – My Response

28 Jul

I’ve been enjoying the #BlogHer13 conference and community of course from a distance, and I came across a post by @livelovelatina questioning Zoloft (depression medication) and possible long term dependency.  I wrote so much in my response, I felt I should add it to my own blog …

This is a tricky one because I too hate how we are sometimes over prescribed in this country. Since you desperately seek relief without the long term dependency or other possible side effects, I would suggest you talk with your doctor about your concerns.

However, only do it from the medical interaction side. If you talk TOO much about your fears, they may want to bill you an additional hour, ask questions on how does this make you feel, ponder if this is you trying to self sabotage, wonder if you just don’t have the ability to go through the regiment … INSTEAD of focusing on the medication as desired.

Hence, I am providing you with a script. When you set up your next appointment, tell the receptionist, “I want to use that time to discuss the medicine and possible interactions, so please advise the doctor to be ready to answer such questions.” If the receptionist wants to know the questions aforehand, you may want to consider doing so because it may help the doc to prepare. However only give the first question (and not the precursory statement) listed below.

During the appointment, state that you are interested in taking the medicine in relieving your symptoms. Ask, “Do you have an idea if and when I may go off the medication? (Yes, I know this depends on the patient, but I want to know if the doctor has a regiment in mind especially for you or just wrote you a prescription like every other patient.) If the doctor informs you that it depends, ask, “What is the typical duration on that medication from what you have observed in general”? “If I stop taking the medication, are there any side effects”? “Will you monitor my progress and dosage to see if there is a point I can safely get off the pills and still maintain mental health”?

After you get your prescription, visit the pharmacist and ask similar questions. You don’t even need an appointment for this. “I want to take this medication to get relief, but I want to make sure that I take it properly, could you please take a moment to discuss possible interactions and side effects?” “Typically how long do patients have to take this medication”? “Are there any side effects”? “When will I know to stop medication”? “If medication is stopped, are there any side effects”? “Is there a proper way to stop; cold turkey vs. a slow weaning”?

Allow the pharmacist and doctor to answer the question before going on to the next one. I highly suggest you have questions written down with space for answers when you meet with these two individuals. Hopefully they will not read this blog before you meet with them.

I personally feel you should take the medication based on how you wrote your blog, but I also wanted you to at least ask right questions of the right people first. This way your physical health will be considered in aiding your mental health.


Posted by on July 28, 2013 in Health


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3 responses to “To Take or Not to Take Zoloft – My Response

  1. Nora

    July 31, 2013 at 2:46 am

    I wanted to tell you personally how much I appreciate you taking time to rite this for me. I had been in an entire existential crisis for this whole medication thing. I am better informed now thanks yours and other friends suggestions. Also I am seeing the whole process as a trial instead of a definite change in my life. I rejected the pills at first and went back to the doc with a million and one cncerns which then made her change the original suggestion of zoloft to a more selective less invasive pill.

    Thanks again.

    • vicariousli

      July 31, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      I am so glad that this process is working out for you including a doctor that actually listens and takes you into consideration.

  2. wsickert

    August 11, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    The DSM fails to account for co-diagnosis or “multi-disorders”
    If a loved one has obsessive-compulsive disorder, they’re likely to struggle with other anxiety disorders as well. Depression co-occurs with anxiety 60 percent of the time. All this is unexplained by the DSM. The only way to account for high rates of comorbidity or “co-diagnosis” is that many disorders are driven by the same underlying or Bill BIG word ….(trans-diagnostic) mechanisms. Rumination, or “stewing” for example, is a major driver for both depression and anxiety — that’s why they are so often seen together. Though rumination may focus on different things (e.g., personal failures in depression vs. future catastrophes in anxiety) it is a required target of treatment across both diagnoses.

    In light of its failures, one might reasonably ask: why a new DSM? In truth, this fifth edition is just moving a few deck chairs on a sinking ship…..seriously! Dumping the multi-diagnosis system and Asperger’s disorder while adding binge eating, hoarding, and excoriation disorder (skin picking) has brought us no closer to a classification system that explains what’s wrong and guides evidence-based treatment decisions. Soon we’ll need to finish what the NIMH started — lower the lid, hammer it down, and bury the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
    Natural approaches such and Qsciences and Q96 have more positive clinical science for brain/mood disorders than Pfizer and Lilly combined. 14 years of success buried under Prozac dollars is a pathetic reality of our drug culture. for a wake-up call and to remedy the situation. Email for the free report and clinical synopsis. The aforementioned paragraphs must stop; A hard pill to swallow?


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