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How it Feels to be on Zoloft

August 16, 2012

I’ve never been on meds. Excepting Zofran for the constant need to barf while pregnant, I’ve never taken anything besides the occasional Tylenol.

So one night when I broke down and told Sam I thought something was wrong, I couldn’t handle the constant fear that life was going to continue to spiral, that the boys dying continually haunted me, and the nightmares of him and Bella being killed, I also told him I was going to talk to my Dr the next week about it all.

We discussed medication. Because while this is my body, being on anything that alters me also affects him. He wasn’t a huge fan of it, having been on medication when he was younger and learning that it carries a stigma and often is prescribed just as the easy way out of things. We ended up agreeing that we trusted my Dr, she’s seen us through the entire thing so far, and if she thought something was wrong, we’d take her recommendation seriously.

When I was in her office that day, trying to hold it all together, I had so many thoughts racing through my mind. I was being over dramatic, I was short circuiting the grief cycle, this was all normal, if –

Wait. I want you to really read this. Really hear what I am about to say.

If I tried harder, if I could just pull it together, if I could put this all in perspective, if I could stop being so selfish with my feelings – I could get better.ย 

And while all these thoughts raced in my mind, there was a small voice that said, “Part of this isn’t normal – it’s beyond grief and loss.”

So when my Dr asked if I wanted something to help me with the anxiety and nightmares, I swallowed my perfectionism and pride and said, “Yes.”

3 days later I went to get the prescription. And it sat on my counter – I’d pass it during the day and wonder what on earth would happen if I actually started it. What would I be like? I didn’t want to be different, I didn’t want to not feel the pain and loss of my sons dying, I didn’t want to zone out of my life.

So I took a half a pill the first day. And knowing it might take a week or so, I wasn’t surprised when nothing happened. And then, the next day I took the whole pill.

In two weeks I asked Sam if I was different. He said he didn’t like how zoned out I was so often, but he had to admit I seemed more at peace and able to cope with the grief. And way less on edge.

3 weeks in I asked again. This time, as things began to level out, he saw a huge difference. Here’s a scenario I’ll never forget – and it has nothing to do with grief.

We were on base one Sunday trying to get everything done before heading back to get Bella in nap. There is a very short window of time between nap and “I MISSED THE ALLOTED TIME FOR NAP AND EVERYONE WILL PAY FOR THIS” during the day. We still had grocery shopping and lunch to do, and it was getting close. Sam finally said, “What do you want to do, I don’t think we’ll get it all done today…” His voice trickled off.

I shrugged. “Well, if we don’t get to grocery shop today I’ll order a pizza for tonight and go tomorrow.” In my mind, this seemed rational. It was irritating as I’d had everything planned and have to make an extra trip, but whatever.

Dead silence.

I looked over at him as he stared at me. “Did you know,” he said slowly, “that is the first time in our entire marriage I’ve heard you say something like that?”

“Um. Ok?” I said confused.

His shocked voice continued, “You usually get all upset, spend the rest of the day in a terrible mood, and make it a much bigger deal than it is. And I have to hear about it all day long.”


It’s true. It is. I’ve gotten much better over the years, but I have to admit that these type of situations would cause me to spend the rest of the day butt hurt over not getting my planned out morning to go my way.

Take BlogHer. All the conferences I’ve been to have me stressing out the night before about missing my flight – there and back. I lay in bed and think about ALL.THE.THINGS while figuring out a bazillion different ways to avoid them happening.

You know. Because I control everything. Including planes.

The night before I headed home, the thought popped in my head of, “What if I don’t make the plane tomorrow because I’m not sure how to get there?” And it was realistic – I was about to navigate NY to NJ on taxis and subways with almost no clue of where I was going.

My thoughts (totally unconsciously) went like this, “Ok. Well, I’ll just keep asking people along the way. Someone will know. And if I miss my plane I’ll go up the counter once I get there and see when the next one leaves.”

Then I fell asleep.

The next day was a giant mess with the weather, but I made it home anyway.

SHOCKING how that happened even without me trying to control it all.

I reflected on this a few days later and realized how big of a difference the Zoloft makes with me. ME. Not just grieving me. But the core of who I am.

Zoloft makes me more the person I’ve always struggled so hard to try to be.

It makes me a more patient mother, wife, and friend. It allows me to rationally think out problems instead of blowing them up into situations that could never happen. It helps me to focus on what I need to do in my life to achieve my dreams. It causes me to catch my grief spiral and feel that pain – but then to focus on the little girl who needs me here.

I realize there are other ways to do this. Sure, my Dr could have suggested something more holistic or whatever. I really don’t care. I don’t. This is what I needed. This is what helps me. It has some side effects; I had hot flashes like I was 50 for about 3 weeks, and I do catch myself spacing out a bit now and then.

But no one can fathom the change it’s made in me. It took my life from living like everything was the end of the world to everything having a solution somewhere.

I’ll say something super unpopular but maybe it helps someone else: if I have to take that little yellow pill the rest of my life – I will. And I’ll take it with no guilt attached. I’m still me. I’m still over dramatic and emotional and I nag and things have to be a lot cleaner than they need to, but it’s not life ending anymore.

It’s not the right thing for everyone, and I’m not going to advocate anyone else go get on it just because you tend to flip out over things or you lost a child and your grief is swallowing you up.

But for me, this was the best thing I could have done. I’m not going to be ashamed of Zoloft – I’m thankful it’s there. And if it helps me to be the person I’ve struggled to be for so long, then it’s worth the stigma and side glances.

I refuse to feel bad for needing help and being able to find it in a pill. And no one else should be made to feel that way either.


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  • Rocio Gutirrez

    November 30, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I'm happy to hear is been working for u as for me has worked also but some days I feel dazed I've been on it for 2 montjs I wonder if is normal

  • Chelsea Rector

    November 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Diana, 'How it Feels to be on Zoloft' is a brutally beautiful statement. My experience is similar, taking Sertraline (Zoloft generic). Feeling like my whole self is something I have expressed, of late; at first it was freaky. There was guilt and some anxiety about feeling that I could finally reach and grow into aspects of myself that had been so evasive, fleeting, far away.

    Reading your words, I am grateful for the light you shine on worthiness- that you are worth it, that we are worth it. Your story helps me feel connectedโ€ฆto a sense of worthiness and some solidarity in terms of how difficult yet rewarding Knowing Thyself can be.

  • Linda Garrison

    November 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    You said it exactly right, Diana. Perfectly. And I've been taking the little yellow pill since 1994 …

  • Cheryl Ellis David

    November 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I've been on it for about 8 years now. I've been at the max dose (200 mgs) for about four years now. Initially I didn't like taking it because of the stigma (I hate to seem weak) but I know what it's like to NOT be on it.

    Eventually I got over myself. I take it. I try not to get mad when people talk about anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs as being crutches, but sometimes its difficult. People like to judge, and that's OK. I just hope they never find themselves in a situation where they need to take such a medication.

    They wouldn't be able to handle it.

  • Megan Waddell

    October 22, 2013 at 3:54 am

    I love your story. I lost my dad and my sister in 10 mths of eachother 7 years ago. I have been on Zoloft for a month now and i am gonna say it was really hard at first and i didnt think it was working. But the last couple days i have felt this inner peace that i havent felt in a very long time. It is a warmth that i remember so well. I tryed so long to be "strong" and not take a medication but it was not working for me obviously. Seeking help is the answer. I love that i did. Counselling has also helped in addition to the zoloft. I am getting my life back and i think my dad and sister would be proud of me. Thank you for sharing your story. Peace and Love.

  • Bud ER

    October 14, 2012 at 3:00 am

    WoW, Well said. Please accept my greetings fro Saudi Arabia :).

  • Andrea

    August 22, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Thanks for saying what I couldn’t say about my taking an anti-depressant. I take Effexor and have for about 6 years. I am such a better person than I was before and wish for my family’s sake that I had found the answer sooner. I always thought that being depressed meant that you couldn’t get out of bed and cried all the time. I had no idea the other symptoms that go along with it. I will no doubt be on Effexor the rest of my life and that’s ok. I love myself much more with my “happy pill” than without!

  • Laura@Catharsis

    August 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I was also on Zoloft after my son was born having suffered a stroke in utero. It totally helped the panic attacks, the impatience, and the crying. And I loved that. The only problem was that it made me tired — exhausted — to the point that when I got home from work, I had no way to keep my eyeballs open enough to enjoy time with my family. I weaned myself off the meds (twice) and am now trying St. John’s Wort, which apparently works for depression and nervousness almost as well as meds when the person’s condition is mild or moderate. I just started taking it, and like the meds, it can take 2 weeks to work, but I’m hoping it’ll work out for me. You shouldn’t be ashamed or sad or anything about taking meds. Sometimes, they do much more good than harm.

  • Rita Arens

    August 20, 2012 at 8:49 am

    That’s been exactly my experience with Zoloft (although after five years, I went through a bad spell and my doctor gave me a Wellbutrin kicker, which put me right back to where I’d been earlier with just Zoloft). I tell people the antidepressants are like a rope ladder for my anxiety. I’m still climbing the mountain, but the medication helps me feel more secure about my steps. I have anxiety, severe anxiety that can cripple me with worst-case scenarios. The sad thing is that without the medication, the anxiety about what could happen leaves me unable to deal with what did happen. I’m glad you found relief.

  • Susan M

    August 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    THANK YOU! The only way to remove the stigma is to talk about it! I applaud you for seeking help, and talking about depression and the medicine you choose to help you be you! If you had any other health problem, you would take medicine for it. Depression is a medical condition that can’t always be controlled by ‘just getting over it’. At least it wasn’t for me and I also found help with Paxil and was able to be me again! So thank you and God bless!

  • Erica @ Expatria, Baby

    August 19, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Absolutely, 100 percent, yes. This is what it feels like: discovering rationality and resilience; being able to exist in the world without freaking out and feeling like it was all going to end; having so much less trouble with living.
    I also went on SSRIs after a very latent (ahmen, 18 months!!!) PPD / PPAD experience, and then I discovered that in addition to my post partum symptoms, SSRIs took away my general a-holery, my inability to cope with small setbacks, my constant fear of nothing in particular. So I, too, dont imagine ever going off meds. I don’t want to feel like that ever again. I Don’t want to put my family through that ever again. I like being stable, balanced, and normal. And I’m not a big “meds” kinda person, but in this case, oh yes. I’ll take them forever.
    Thanks for writing about this. It has to be be said.

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife

    August 18, 2012 at 11:55 am

    People talk a lot about how medication is the “easy” way out but it really isn’t. I had to work up every last ounce of strength and will power not to chicken out when I sat in my doctor’s office a few months ago and asked for help with my anxiety.

    I’m just like you. I replay hypothetical situations (flying, oh the flying!) over and over in my head to make sure I’m “prepared” for every possible scenario that could go wrong. If my plans didn’t go exactly like I had them set I too get all butt hurt.

    I’m glad you were able to work up the courage to admit there was something wrong and then ask for professional help. I’m still trying to work up the nerve to get in with a therapist to work on changing my behaviors for good but I’m taking it one step at a time and you should take it a step at a time as well.

  • Lori

    August 18, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I’ve been on Zoloft for longer than I should say, but I agree with you 100% and I take that pill everyday GRATEFUL for the life I’m able to live because it centers my biology. I’m still emotional, I still laugh and cry but I’m not paralyzed by any of my emotions and that is the blessing it’s been for me.

  • Robin | Farewell, Stranger

    August 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Fantastic post. I avoided meds for way too long because of the stigma and the worry over what it would do to me. It made things so much worse and so much harder to recover. I’m on Zoloft now too (have been for a year and a half) and while initially it almost killed me, I think it ultimately saved me.

    I wish people wouldn’t be so afraid to try meds. Life is worth it.

  • Jenny

    August 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    “Zoloft makes me more the person Iโ€™ve always struggled so hard to try to be.” That sums up how I feel about Zoloft, my little blue pill. It takes the edge of my anxiety and allows me to be a more patient wife and mother. I refer to them as my patience pills with my preschooler. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Michele Albert

    August 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    WOW – congratulations on doing what is best for you and your family! Thank you for being brave and talking about your issues here.

  • Mare

    August 17, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I take Lexapro (similar) and I feel exactly the same way. It restores balance to my brain, so I am the most me. The best me. I’ll prob. take it forever too, and I don’t care. Life is short. Why be miserable?!?? thanks for tackling this!

  • Meredith

    August 17, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I am writing about this exact thing now. I have spent years fighting through crippling depression. I finally sought help 3 months ago, and I am now on medication and talking to a professional. It is saving me. You are an amazing writer, and I love coming here and reading your blog.
    Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

  • Katie McAleece

    August 17, 2012 at 6:06 am

    It is actually kind of refreshing to see someone speaking well of a medication. I think there are so many people on edge about meds, most of them are on prescriptions, we all sort of avoid talking about such things because we don’t want to be snubbed or feel like we’ve accepted defeat by going to a doctor.

    I love that you’ve approached this touchy subject with such honesty. I also really love that zoloft is helping you. God created the people that create medicine, I honestly believe that advances in the medical field can be used for our benefit to GLORIFY HIM. And isn’t that something. (:

  • Jen

    August 17, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve been thinking for a while that it may benefit me to be on some sort of medication like Zoloft. And hearing about it and how it makes you feel from this perspective is so helpful. I am constantly feeling like ‘something isn’t right’ but I have always told myself that there are other things that I could be doing to make myself feel better. I feel like you almost took the words right out of my head. Thanks again.

  • anna {girl with blog}

    August 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    You. go. girl.

    Thanks for this. I see pieces of myself in you and wonder if it’s time to have a conversation with my doctor. This post makes me more at ease about it.

    You’re a gift.

  • NC Narrator

    August 16, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I was an adult before I realized that most “normal” kids don’t lay awake at night in their beds because they’re afraid their house is going to sink into the ground. And they don’t stay wide awake for entire car trips–even the ones that are 12-14 hours long–because they’re afraid that their dad might fall asleep and kill everyone…except them because somehow that’s more horrible that dying with everyone else.

    I’ve handled things…mostly. But lately, I haven’t been handling them very well. My husband and I have been talking about having that discussion with my doctor. I trust my doctor, but I’ve been worried about how the medication will affect me. More than worrying about being a zombie…I think the thing that scares me more than anything is that IT WON’T WORK. What if I take the meds, and I’m still screwed up? Does that mean it never gets better? Or that it’s going to get worse?

    And that sort of worrying is exactly why I need to talk to my doctor.

  • christine

    August 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I think you are amazing and wonderful and I wish that talking about mental health medications didn’t still feel taboo. Or that there wasn’t a risk of a stigma. I will most likely be on an antidepressant (assuming I can find one without horrendous side effects) for the rest of my life as well. And most of the time I’m okay with that. I just think, if I had a heart condition no one would think twice about me being on heart medication. Why is it any different for this? It’s a chemical imbalance. I have been seeing a therapist and on medication for six years now and they both have done wonders for me.

  • Melissa

    August 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I started Zoloft 5 1/2 years ago when I got ppd after having my son. When I went in about 6 months later the dr asked me how I was doing on the medication. My exact words to him were I should have been on this years ago and I don’t think I ever want to come off this medicine. I did go off of it when I became pregnant with my daughter but then went right back on it because I became “that” person again. I literally was so anxious that I would cringe every time I rode in a car with somebody. I thought we were going to crash and die. I would not even drive on interstates, only back roads. Eight months after I first started Zoloft my 14 yr old nephew committed suicide. I raised him so he was pretty much my son. Without Zoloft I honestly don’t think I would have survived. Zoloft makes me who I am and doesn’t let my disease beat me. I can’t even tell you how many times in the past 5 years that I have been thankful for the Zoloft. I still “feel” on it and I still cry and have bad days but now I am just like a “normal” person instead of somebody who freaks out about every single thing and wants to stay in bed every single day.

    1. Kylie

      November 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      Melissa I just started Zoloft today because at the moment I am exactly the same as you were it feels like I’m never going to get over this. You have given me hope ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lanie

    August 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Thank you for this post. I tried no medication for 6 months after our 1st son died. I thought if I took something I would not go through the grief process (whatever that is exactly). I was so wrong and found myself in a very bad place. Whatever works for you is the right answer because there are no rules or guidebooks on how to live Ina world without your children. Take care.

  • Kami

    August 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I have been on Zoloft since I was 19 years old, for sever panic disorder. I’m 31 now. It seriously has saved my life in so many ways. I’m so thankful for that little yellow pill. I completely understand where you’re coming from!!

  • Imperfectmomma

    August 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. People need to hear more and more stories like yours ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been on Zoloft for over a year. I am grateful that it has helped me through my postpartum depression & now my OCD & bipolar issues. Taking s pill does not define me though

  • Candace

    August 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Diana, I have been following your story for a few months now, since just a few weeks before you announced your pregnancy. I think you are probably one of the strongest women I know. Never having lost a child, I cannot fathom the feelings you go through, and my heart aches for you and your family. I am so humbled by your ability to chronicle your life while trying to understand and,for lack of a better word, cope. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for several years, and have considered medication vs natural remedies. I have always opted for not saying anything to my doctor because I don’t want to hear that it’s just because i’m a woman, and should expect some mood disturbances. (Yes, i actually had a doctor tell me that when I was brave enough to mention it.) You have really inspired me to try to have an open and honest discussion with my husband and doctor about my depression and anxiety. Thank you.

  • LA

    August 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Your amazing diana thank you for writing this. I needed to read this.

  • Andrea

    August 16, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    If I found this post (or a post like it) years ago when ppa/ppocd first hit me, it may have helped me realize that it is ok to get the help I really needed. Instead I tortured myself for years & then when I just couldn’t take it anymore, I ended up going on Zoloft anyways-three years later. I am so thankful that this is out there & it has changed me in so many ways. I am also overdramatic & the world was always coming to an end, my entire day would be ruined & I’d be in a bad mood all day if something didn’t go as planned. The smallest of things bothered & annoyed me. Not anymore. I am so much more patient & relaxed. Like you, this is the person I always tried to be. And so be it if I needed a little help to get to her ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for this post!

  • Katie

    August 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I so needed to read this today.

    You know the additions to my diagnosis that I was handed yesterday along with more med prescriptions. I’m still processing it all.

    Thank you for being so honest and so positive.

  • Meghan

    August 16, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you for writing this. You should not feel ashamed about taking Zoloft at all. This is what you need right now and I hope this helps you.

  • Jayme

    August 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I love my Zoloft. It keeps me level. I find I have more patience for my kids. I sleep better at night, so I can be a better person the next day.
    If I were diabetic, I’d take insulin to regulate my blood sugar- and I look at my Zoloft the same way.

  • Cate

    August 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Oh, I could have written this! I went on Zoloft about a year ago and it has changed my life. I wrote about it here: http://catelinden.com/family/the-mom-ive-always-wanted-to-be/

  • SarahinSC

    August 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    You go girl! About 17 years ago I was very suicidal. It was a very scary time for me. Then, I started Zoloft and was able to deal with my life. I was still me, but me who could deal with all the little things. I’ve been on either Zoloft or Prozac for this whole time. I will have take it for the rest of my life and I’m ok with that! Good for you for doing what you needed to do for yourself and your family!

  • Michelle

    August 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I loved this article. About a month ago, I drove myself to the ER because I was so stressed out. I explained what was going on and he said, “Being stressed out and upset and depressed and anxious are all normal reactions to what you are going through. I’m going to give you something to make all that a little less painful.”

    Love it. I took Celexa for a long time, but it makes you never want to have sex. At least it did me. So I’m on Wellbutrin now and I’m a better mom, a better wife, and better able to kick cancer’s ass.

  • Alexia @ Babies & Bacon

    August 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Good for you for getting the help you need and by trying meds. None of us want to be on medication for the rest of our lives but, hopefully, we all want to be healthy. I’ve gone through the meds roller coaster with my husband and sadly Zoloft didn’t help him very much, but thankfully Abilify did. It’s all about finding what works to balance you out and sticking too it! Everyone benefits from it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Misty Pratt

    August 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I also feel like I’m a better person on meds. I’m balanced and calm, and I can handle things without flying off the handle. But after about 1-1.5 years on medication, I tend to think “I don’t need this anymore,” and I go off them. I’ve done this 3 times now, and always have little niggles in the back of my mind that say “maybe this needs to be for life…” But being on medication for life scares me so much. I’m so happy you have found some peace. I look forward to getting to a place where I make peace with my decision to take medications ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. JoyT

      August 17, 2012 at 5:29 am

      Amen, sister! I also occasionally feel like I’m doing so well and don’t need the medication…not so much. Depression runs in my family (grandma, mom, my sister and I are all on meds) and a part of me hates that I have to take a pill to be normal. On the other hand, when I don’t take it I make myself and every one around me miserable.

      “Iโ€™ll say something super unpopular but maybe it helps someone else: if I have to take that little yellow pill the rest of my life โ€“ I will. And Iโ€™ll take it with no guilt attached. Iโ€™m still me. Iโ€™m still over dramatic and emotional and I nag and things have to be a lot cleaner than they need to, but itโ€™s not life ending anymore.”

  • Bad Egg

    August 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Amen, sister! Zoloft saved my life as well, and like you, I have no problem with taking that little pill every single day of the rest of my life.

  • Carolyn

    August 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    VERY well written! My mom always likes to say that Zoloft (or any similar medication, when prescribed and used appropriately) doesn’t take anything away from you, it simply helps you cope with it better. You’ll probably still have moments of being anxious or depressed, but you’ll be able to acknowledge and handle those moments better than you otherwise would have. There is no magic pill to make your worries or grief disappear, but for some people, it sure can FEEL like magic to suddenly be able to cope instead of spiral into the deep end. I’m SO glad to hear you’re happy with the results, and much luck with everything else that comes your way!

  • Maggie S.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Can you still laugh? Are things really and truly funny? Pee your pants funny? I need to know. Before next Thursday at 9:15 a.m.

    1. Diana

      August 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Last night Sam told me one of his soldiers who decided to go AWOL for a while was coming up with a different reason every day for his behavior. The one he told everyone yesterday was that a spider had crawled into his ear, bitten him repeatedly, and he blacked out. For days. He must have been able to text and call according to his phone records, but the spider affected his ability to show up for work.

      I laughed till I cried.

      1. Maggie S.

        August 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm

        Okay. That’s good to know.

      2. Molly D

        August 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm

        Ok, that seriously made me lol. I’m glad you’ve found something to help you in a way that it needs to. I still cringe when people ask me why I know so much about bipolar meds… although, apparently not the case for me. It’s good to know that there are some alternatives out there that still allow you to have a range of emotions outside of snapping at everyone all the time in case I ever feel the need to head back in that direction. Thanks for the post!

    2. Melissa

      August 16, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      I promise you can laugh, truly laugh on Zoloft. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can also truly cry. It just makes me feel like a “normal” person now. I have been on it for 5 1/2 years.

  • Breann

    August 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I have been on Zoloft on and off since 6 weeks postpartum with my now 20 month old son. In fact I recently went back on it in the last 30 days. I was overreacting to EVERYTHING, not sleeping because my brain just.wouldn’t.stop, and having full on anxiety attacks over stuff as small as a work email. I am still only on 25mg but I can tell that I handle things better, sleep better, and I am a more patient mother and wife.
    Happy Wife, Happy Life right?

  • Kim

    August 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    YES. AMEN and you said this SO WONDERFULLY!!! I’m so thrilled it is helping you in ways you didn’t expect and with the grief process. I love how you discussed it in this post and how you feel about being on it in general. I love that Sam has noticed a change in you for the better and you have too. I love that you take that stigma and shove it where the sun don’t shine ๐Ÿ™‚ This is something I’m still learning. WAY TO GO.

  • Kendra

    August 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Good for you, Diana! It isn’t easy to admit something is bigger than what you can handle. I’ve been on Zoloft before and it was a AMAZING!! It was literally like I had been shuffling through life in the dark and literally, over night, a light switch turned on and it was sunny and bright again. I actually WANTED to get out of bed and participate in my life. Everyday was a beautiful day and I wasn’t miserable all. the. time. I saw the good in things again and I felt better. That’s all we really want… to feel better and to feel like the person that we know we are capable of being but haven’t been able to get there because of that darkness. I applaud your courage and hope you have many sunny and bright days ahead!

  • Ashley

    August 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

    No one should ever be made to feel bad for being proactive about her health. I’m glad you have something that has helped you. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty or stigmatized.

  • Sarah

    August 16, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Diana, this is excellent. Thank you. My husband is a neuropsychologist, and I have a degree in neuroscience. Mental health is obviously very important to us. Medication, when used appropriately, is absolutely a lifesaver. Is it over prescribed? Yes. Is it always the appropriate answer? No, its not, and its worth finding a provider who will actually take the time to determine your needs. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is a wonderful medical advancement for those who need it. And there is NO shame in “needing” it. We wouldn’t give a diabetic a hard time for using insulin, so why do we stigmatize and judge those who use meds for mental health? The brain is an organ, just like the liver or the heart. Things go awry sometimes, even without drastic life circumstances like loss or trauma. And that’s ok, because we live in 2012, not the dark ages and we have the means to put things right again. As time goes by, you may find you don’t need it anymore, or only need a very low dose. Or maybe not. Either way, I’m so glad you have this at this time to help. Life is hard enough, we don’t need to unnecessarily make things harder than they have to be. God bless.

  • Sandy

    August 16, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I am so glad you are getting the help you need. I hope you are also still talking to a counselor since you have been through so much. Thank you for being brave and speaking up. I am sure you will help so many others with similar issues. Way to go!

  • Tek

    August 16, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I was on Zoloft for 2 years for general depression. It made me function better until I (with my councilor) discovered my depression was due to my ADD being un-managed. Once my ADD began to be managed, my depression went down and so did my need for Zoloft. I was willing to be on it for the rest of my life it it worked, now I’m on Ritalin and have the same thought. If it works for you in your situation, go for it. I’ve let many know I am on meds (work, school etc), and what they are for and rather than a stigma being placed on me, they were accepting and even shared their experiences. The hardest part is knowing you need help and asking for it.

  • Tricia

    August 16, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I have struggled with depression and anxiety for years. Decades really. (Wow does it sound scary to say that.) I wasn’t a fan of the stigma, but over the years I’ve swallowed my pride and realized that sometimes illnesses need medication to help us get better.

    I have realized that meds like Zoloft are not simply inhibitors that make us zone out and become zombie shells of ourselves, but instead help us chemically balance. And take the boulder off our chest as the walls close in.

    Depression is a disease. It is not a personality disorder. It’s ok to ask for help. http://www.streamdoubletrouble.com/2012/04/26/depression-is-a-lying-bastard/

  • Erika

    August 16, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Own it completely. So happy that you put it out there and provide an alternate way of looking at medication. Also, how nice it must feel to be that person you’ve always strived to be.

  • Jacqueline

    August 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The mental health nurse at my hospital suggested Zoloft to me when I delivered my daughter silently (at 40 weeks) in March of this year. She convinced me that if I didn’t take it, I would end up becoming depressed – possibly suicidal – and would not be able to function and care for my two living children. She totally scared me into taking it. And then about 4-5 weeks later, I was thinking to myself “oh yeah.. my daughter is dead. Hmmm…” and I wasn’t upset. I didn’t cry. And that scared me. I would much rather feel the emotions than be numb to the fact that I lost my daughter. I SHOULD be upset. So, that day, I went off the Zoloft.

    Now, aside from a week where I really didn’t want to leave the house, my grief has not interfered with my ability to function as a person, as a wife, or as a mother. I do have days where I cry (a lot) and miss my daughter so much that I think I can’t possibly ever be a normal person again. But I’m okay with that.

    I just wish that we would stop having so many expectations for ourselves and our grief. Maybe we’ll need medicinal help and maybe we won’t. Either way is okay. But to be pressured into taking meds or not taking meds (by professionals, family, or friends) is ridiculous. I’m glad you found something that works for you! <3

  • Arnebya

    August 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Thank you for this, Diana. For people who are wary of the stigma, afraid of the zoning out, unsure of the effects, this is certainly not a sway in the “run, get you some pills” direction, but a gentle nudge toward the “it’s okay if you decide you need to” path. Everyone deserves help and that help can come in so many different ways for the different people with different circumstances that we are.

  • Molly

    August 16, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Good for you! And thank you for this post! I’ve tried to calm the stigma on my blog but when blogs with a lot more readers do it it makes me happier! Because I know this is what it takes. Talking about it, writing about it. We have to get rid of the stigma our society holds over those with a mental illness (temporary or long-term).

    I can say for certain that I would not be alive today if it weren’t for my medications. Thank God for modern medicine!

  • Julia

    August 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I’m on Zoloft too for postpartum depression. It’s been over a year since I started taking it and I’m so grateful for it. It and therapy SAVED MY LIFE. The stigma there? I’m still present and still a mother and still a wife instead of dead. I’ll take that stigma any day. Thank you for sharing your story (and all the other stories). You have been an unbelievable source of comfort and inspiration these past few months for me and I hope you understand just what a blessing you are in this world. THANK YOU.

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