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Sertraline: UKs favourite

Hi,

So I’ve been on sertraline for 7 months because I felt so much better + going on holidays made me feel even better. 150mg was my highest dose

I mean it got rid of my panic attacks which I guess it’s good but why do I feel out of this world? Like all my daily encounters are nothing but a dream? Why is it that nothing no longer affects me or upsets me. I feel weird!

I don’t know if I want to go back on any medications again because I genuinely don’t know if they make you better or worse. I guess you just can’t win.

What are your experiences?
Original post by Anonymous
Hi,

So I’ve been on sertraline for 7 months because I felt so much better + going on holidays made me feel even better. 150mg was my highest dose

I mean it got rid of my panic attacks which I guess it’s good but why do I feel out of this world? Like all my daily encounters are nothing but a dream? Why is it that nothing no longer affects me or upsets me. I feel weird!

I don’t know if I want to go back on any medications again because I genuinely don’t know if they make you better or worse. I guess you just can’t win.

What are your experiences?

I have no experience of this, but I would assume everyone's experience would be unique?

Have you tried consulting your GP for advice and sharing your concerns? They may be able to offer you better alternatives if necessary.
This is something we call "emotional blunting", where your feelings are effectively dulled down. It can work both ways, you may not cry at things that you'd normally cry at, or, you may not laugh/find joy in things you used to either. Studies have previously shown that between 46% and 71% of antidepressant users have experienced this side effect during treatment, so, unfortunately, it is not uncommon.

The exact cause is hard to pinpoint, however, it is generally thought to be down to a simultenous imbalance of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

I am glad the sertraline has done its job in making you feel better and reducing panic attacks, but this emotional blunting does prove to be a problem for many people. I too have felt this as a result of sertraline, you're definitely not alone there.


It's just a case of weighing up the pros and cons, and speaking to your doctor/psychiatrist to see if there are any alternatives.
Original post by Meduse
This is something we call "emotional blunting", where your feelings are effectively dulled down. It can work both ways, you may not cry at things that you'd normally cry at, or, you may not laugh/find joy in things you used to either. Between 46% and 71% of antidepressant users have experienced this side effect during treatment, so, unfortunately, it is not uncommon.

The exact cause is hard to pinpoint, but it's generally thought to be down to an imbalance of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine all at once.

I am glad the sertraline has done its job in making you feel better and reducing panic attacks, but this emotional blunting does prove to be a problem for many people. I guess it's a case of weighing up the pros and cons, and speaking to your GP/psychiatrist.

However, you are definitely not alone in your experience. I too have experienced this as a side effect of sertraline.


During treatment? It’s been a year since I stopped it but honestly I’m so glad I’m not alone. This blunt feeling does obviously have its advantages but I really do feel lonely. I’m back from holidays so most of my symptoms are kind of worse or came back. What other effects have you experienced?
Original post by KA_P
I have no experience of this, but I would assume everyone's experience would be unique?

Have you tried consulting your GP for advice and sharing your concerns? They may be able to offer you better alternatives if necessary.


I actually haven’t because I no longer want to be on medications. Hence I thought it’ll be useless to make an appoint and discuss something of this issue. Perhaps it’s solvable without medication as long as my chemicals are not completely imbalanced but then again I wouldn’t even know
I've tried seven different antidepressants and some have given me this symptom whereas others haven't, it's also varied with the dosage that I've been on. I'd contact your GP and they can perhaps trial you on a different antidepressant or lower your dosage to see if it helps?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Anonymous
During treatment? It’s been a year since I stopped it but honestly I’m so glad I’m not alone. This blunt feeling does obviously have its advantages but I really do feel lonely. I’m back from holidays so most of my symptoms are kind of worse or came back. What other effects have you experienced?

These symptoms can persist long after treatment for some patients. There is some minor study that these psychotropic drugs producing minor changes is the norm, but it's very limited.


One question, did you follow your doctor's instructions when tapering off the medication? This can help with a quicker recovery from side effects but it's not always possible.

Honestly, my only side effects were fatigue and emotional blunting.
Original post by Anonymous
I actually haven’t because I no longer want to be on medications. Hence I thought it’ll be useless to make an appoint and discuss something of this issue. Perhaps it’s solvable without medication as long as my chemicals are not completely imbalanced but then again I wouldn’t even know

May I ask what your diagnosis was?


It is never useless to discuss an issue that is still impacting your life a year after treatment was ended.
Original post by Meduse
May I ask what your diagnosis was?


It is never useless to discuss an issue that is still impacting your life a year after treatment was ended.


As much as my anxiety was affecting me and my eating, she never once thought of diagnosing.
Original post by Meduse
These symptoms can persist long after treatment for some patients. There is some minor study that these psychotropic drugs producing minor changes is the norm, but it's very limited.


One question, did you follow your doctor's instructions when tapering off the medication? This can help with a quicker recovery from side effects but it's not always possible.

Honestly, my only side effects were fatigue and emotional blunting.


When I was on 150mg I cut down to 100 then 50 but not for long because I felt fine. Honestly for the past 10 months I was find so me tapering off incorrectly probably isn’t the reason why.
Original post by bunbunbun
I've tried seven different antidepressants and some have given me this symptom whereas others haven't, it's also varied with the dosage that I've been on. I'd contact your GP and they can perhaps trial you on a different antidepressant or lower your dosage to see if it helps?


What antidepressants have you tried? But I will do, it seems to be necessary at this point
Original post by Anonymous
As much as my anxiety was affecting me and my eating, she never once thought of diagnosing.

I see. This can be the case sometimes. Depends on whether you're meeting with a GP or an actual psychiatrist.

I would advise speaking to a professional if this is something that is genuinely bothering you and interfering with your daily life.
Original post by Anonymous
When I was on 150mg I cut down to 100 then 50 but not for long because I felt fine. Honestly for the past 10 months I was find so me tapering off incorrectly probably isn’t the reason why.

It's plausible that it could just be down to hormonal imbalance then. But the cause doesn't necessarily matter, the point is you're having a symptom that is still bothering you a year later.
Original post by Anonymous
What antidepressants have you tried? But I will do, it seems to be necessary at this point

In chronological order: Sertraline, fluoxetine, citalopram, mirtazapine, venlafaxine, trazodone, and duloxetine currently.

Also, sorry if I'm reading your other replies wrong but did you stop taking your sertraline a year ago and you're still experiencing this symptom? If so, do you think you might be depressed? Sometimes, depression can feel like we are numbed to our emotions. Regardless, I hope the discussion with your GP goes well and hopefully they can try something which works for you!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by bunbunbun
In chronological order: Sertraline, fluoxetine, citalopram, mirtazapine, venlafaxine, trazodone, and duloxetine currently.

Also, sorry if I'm reading your other replies wrong but did you stop taking your sertraline a year ago and you're still experiencing this symptom? If so, do you think you might be depressed? Sometimes, depression can feel like we are numbed to our emotions. Regardless, I hope the discussion with your GP goes well and hopefully they can try something which works for you!


I heard some really increase your appetite which tbf scares mee so much. Did experience any loss or increase of appetite in any? And which one do you think had the worse side effects? And which one helped? Guessing you’re still trying different ones, you haven’t found the one that best suits you?

I have yes, I stopped taking it last July/21. I think I agree with you. I’ve noticed it’s mostly depression and underlying anxiety this year. Usually I struggle with mostly anxiety. Though, the numbing of emotions really feels odd so I reckon its from the medications. Thank you!!
Original post by Meduse
It's plausible that it could just be down to hormonal imbalance then. But the cause doesn't necessarily matter, the point is you're having a symptom that is still bothering you a year later.


If it is down to hormonal imbalance then, what’s the best thing I could do to balance those hormones? Do I have to be back on medications?
Original post by Anonymous
I heard some really increase your appetite which tbf scares mee so much. Did experience any loss or increase of appetite in any? And which one do you think had the worse side effects? And which one helped? Guessing you’re still trying different ones, you haven’t found the one that best suits you?

I have yes, I stopped taking it last July/21. I think I agree with you. I’ve noticed it’s mostly depression and underlying anxiety this year. Usually I struggle with mostly anxiety. Though, the numbing of emotions really feels odd so I reckon its from the medications. Thank you!!

I honestly didn’t see any appetite changes from any of them. The worst side effects were probably with fluoxetine as it made my mood much, much worse and venlafaxine which I got nightmares with. The rest had very little side effects. Obviously, the way that drugs interact with your body is unique to an extent and thus, my experience with them won’t be the same as yours. What I’m saying is don’t be put off any of them because you’ve heard bad stories. Whether you experience side effects or not is due to a lot of factors and it is not guaranteed. I haven’t found the best one which suits me unfortunately, no.

It could be from the medications, depression, or a lot of underlying causes. Hopefully your GP can work through them with you to identify the most likely cause and then work out an action plan. Wishing you the best of luck because emotional blunting is definitely not a nice experience!
Original post by Anonymous
If it is down to hormonal imbalance then, what’s the best thing I could do to balance those hormones? Do I have to be back on medications?

I'm not saying it is, because I can't know for sure. You'll need to be assessed. SSRI-related indifference could be down to hormonal imbalance, or, it could in fact be another symptom of alcohol/drug use, or a psychological disorder, such as: major depressive disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia, BDD, to name a few.

Of course, you personally can rule out a few of these. I do not know you, or your lifestyle habits, so I thought I'd just make note of some other possibilities. If you do not regularly drink/take drugs, you can obviously rule these out. If you are not currently being affected due to any past event(s) that induced a lot of fear, you may rule out PTSD. It's just that these can cause emotional numbness or something called disassociation, a feeling of detachment from yourself and the world around you.

If it is down to hormonal imbalance, however, there are natural ways to boost your serotonin levels. You can google this, if it's something you're interested in.

However, given the duration of your symptoms after treatment, I'd say you need to see a doctor again. This could be hormonal imbalance or some sort of anhedonia due to depression.

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