This article is an interesting point I wanted to make around the question does Zoloft work for anxiety? It could help lots of people avoid significant problems that make that anxiety worse in the long run.
Although it’s routinely prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders or panic disorders, there are a lot of questions around whether Zoloft makes people feel better or if the side-effects are to much of a gamble, especially in low-grade anxiety cases.
So let’s take a look at what Zoloft is, how it works, and the fascinating point I’ve found around whether it’s the right first choice for people suffering with anxiety.
What Is Zoloft?
Zoloft belongs to a group of antidepressants known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, usually referred to as SSRI’s.
This group of antidepressants works by balancing the body’s absorption of serotonin in the brain. It slows it down so that mood remains more consistent and positive. Well, that’s the idea anyway, but it’s not actually proven, it’s just “thought to”.
People who take this medication often report improvements in energy levels, appetite, and most importantly wanting to face daily life. Anxiety can in many cases be lowered, whether it’s general anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, or one of several panic disorders.
How Zoloft Works In The Body
Zoloft and other SSRI’s interact with serotonin in the body.
Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain. Serotonin is usually rapidly reabsorbed, however SSRI’s work by keeping serotonin available between the neurons for a longer period of time.
The result of this change in the body’s natural function is thought to be that the increased duration of interaction between neurons allows more messages to be passed and therefore more balance be found, which can lead to an improvement in mood and outlook.
What Dosage Of Zoloft For Anxiety?
Whatever dosage of Zoloft a patient is started on, symptoms are not relieved instantly, it doesn’t change things immediately.
Improvements generally start to appear after two weeks of use, but as is common with most types of antidepressants, it can be several months before the full effects and balance are achieved.
In adults a very low dose of Zoloft is usually 25 mg. The more usual starting dose is 50 mg, with the therapeutic range, being the spectrum of usual adult doses, reaching 200 mg.
Side Effects Of Using Zoloft
This is where things get interesting and it’s the point I wanted to make in this article.
Although Zoloft undoubtedly can have positive benefits for people suffering from different types of anxiety and trauma, this can often come at a very high potential emotional cost.
Apart from the fact that you have to wait several months for this medication to take full effect, there are also several concerning and common side effects:
- Increased feelings of depression and suicide
- Increased anxiety and panic attacks
- General agitation
- Trouble with sleeping and resting
- Outbursts and anger
- Impulsive behavior
- Changes in personality
Now the important point here is that although they are not hugely common and the large majority of people benefit massively, do you really need to wait three months and have your entire life and personality change for the worse by undertaking a course of this antidepressant? Is it worth that gamble?
You will be into the course quite some way before you realize that you are in trouble with it, and by the time you get the advice you need, and come off the medication you are then in for several more weeks, possibly months of an unsettled lifestyle.
Which could leave you in the end more anxious than you were before you started using Zoloft.
Better Alternatives To Zoloft For Anxiety Relief
Zoloft undoubtedly help with relief and you shouldn’t change medication without getting advice from your doctor.
But Zoloft is a black box warnings product in the USA under the Food & Drink administration guidelines.
Zoloft warns on its box of a potential increase in suicidal thoughts and the FDA has issued several official warnings about complications using this drug.
Which is why my recommendation would be to at least try a more natural alternative remedy before jumping in the deep end and using Zoloft. Especially if your anxiety is not overwhelming, why take the nuclear option straightaway?
I know it can be tough, but is it the right decision?
A couple of natural alternatives out there try first are:
Kratom is a tree from the far east, especially places like Indonesia and Borneo. For many centuries its leaves have been powdered and used by the local populations for all sorts of mental health problem alleviation.
In Western society is now being used a lot more by people who have opiate withdrawal symptoms for example. The calming and uplifting effects of some of the strains of kratom help to relieve the pain and anxiety around drug withdrawal.
On top of that, many people are now experimenting with low doses of calming strains of kratom to alleviate general anxiety disorder. It’s well worth investigating kratom further before jumping into the commitment of a major antidepressant medication.
CBD Hemp Oil
CBD oil is not just hemp oil, and it’s not cannabis oil that contains enough THC to get you high. CBD oil contains a high proportion of CBD, another active ingredient in cannabis which has been linked increasingly strongly to calming effects in both animals and humans.
Lots of people are now using CBD hemp oil for anxiety relief. A daily dose of CBD oil can over just a few days significantly lower anxiety. It does this because CBD interacts with the cannabinoid transmitters in our bodies to deliver a calming effect.
CBD oil is easier to experiment with than kratom, because its effects are more gentle in many cases. So a great strategy would be to try CBD oil, then try kratom, and only then if your anxiety is still overwhelming, to leap into what could be a life changing Zoloft journey.