The increase in anxiety after dropping the Mirtazapine quickly became intolerable. I have grown weary of the daily struggle to go about my life. It feels like every moment of the day when I am outside my home is a battle. It’s not quite that bad in reality, but anxiety attacks were become a daily occurrence, and after a while the fight simply wears you down. It was becoming obvious that things were getting worse, and the rate of decline was accelerating. It was time to put the brakes on. This is where I was when I called the doctor last Tuesday to ask for a Zoloft prescription.

Of course the day I made the call my doctor was not in the office. I explained to the triage nurse that I was not in crisis and would survive waiting, but the doctor and I had talked about this at length more than once, so the conversation should be in his notes. I was hoping another doc might be willing to write the prescription. Lady luck was on my side this time and a prescription for 25mg tablets of Zoloft was called in. Wednesday morning I stood in the bathroom and stared at the bottle. I was conflicted. I so badly wanted relief from the prison cell of anxiety, but taking the pills would probably come with consequences. I was feeling a profound sense of loss, but in the end I told myself that such small dose wasn’t likely to do much of anything so I took it.

A week later I am not sure where I stand. The last major anxiety attack I had was last Wednesday afternoon. The same day I took the first pill. Since that time I have had several events that have felt like the beginnings of something, but they never get bad. I am not feeling truly comfortable, but I don’t think it is as bad. I have been told that the anti-anxiety properties of the SSRI kick in much faster than the anti-depressant effects, but after a week I am not sure. It is true that I was having very uncomfortable anxiety on a daily basis before last Wednesday and there has been relief from that so I guess that means it is having some effect.

My previous experiences with SSRI medications were with Celaxa and Lexapro. Celexa was the first medication that really worked for me, and after a year of struggling and falling into some terrifyingly dark places the relief it offered was lifesaving. I was not warned about the possibility of sexual side effects and wasn’t really prepared when they arrived. They actual hit me long before I began to feel better. Orgasm not erection was the problem, but I was 23 and living with my future wife at the time so our enthusiasm was enough to cope with the challenge. She was blessedly patient with me and we got by ok. We were both just glad to have me back. A short time later Lexapro, The “cleaner” Celexa, came out with its promise to relieve these side effects. I eagerly switched drugs but as most of us discovered the promises of relief that came with Lexapro were somewhat overstated. As the years went by I went off the Lexapro a couple times, but these experiments never lasted very long. I truly enjoyed having normal sexual function again, but I just couldn’t stay off the drug. During one of these breaks we conceived our son, but shortly after his birth I was back on the medication. Mismatched libidos have been a constant battle in my marriage and the arrival of my son magnified this problem tenfold. In talking with a councilor about this my wife admitted that she simply didn’t have the energy for the marathons caused by the SSRI. The next day I began tapering off the drug. That was two years ago next month. The taper from Lexapro led to my worst experience to date with serotonin withdrawal, but after several weeks I was free of the drug and my sexual function was back to normal. I am not sure how much of an impact the change actually had on my sex life, but the quickie was part of our repertoire again so that had to help with frequency anyway.

Starting these types of medications again leave me very concerned about the impact on my marriage. The libido mismatch has been a source of tension and I don’t want to do anything that will make that worse. In the past the sexual side effects from the SSRI usually hit about day three. This time I can’t really tell what is happening. That probably sounds odd as it either works or it doesn’t after all, but recall that Mirtazapine, or rather the focus and fatigue from it, caused me some problems in the bedroom. For a guy that already has an anxiety problem these types of issues become self-perpetuating. They did not just go away when I stopped the medication. In the week since I started the Zoloft we have not had a typical sexual encounter. We have had a couple late night encounters and they took longer than they should have, but why? Because we were tired and I was worried about performance? Or because I have been numbed by the SSRI? I suppose only time will tell.

I see the doctor on Monday and he is going to want to know how things are going. I am actually inclined to increase the dose to 50mg and see if I can really feel better, but I am still worried about the price I will pay. Maybe over the coming days I will be able to determine if the pills are truly impacting my sex life or it is all in my head.


9 thoughts on “Zoloft

  1. My husband went into the his experience with Zoloft completely unaware of the side effects, but I knew so I was able to observe. What did he observe when he started Zoloft? The first week he noticed increased sweating, fatigue, and a general feeling of being “stoned” like he’d just taken a hit of weed. He felt that his mental acuity was diminished, and he didn’t like it although he wasn’t able to work himself up into a nice foamy lather either. He started at 25 mg. Now, you already know quite a bit about our sex life because you read my blog. You mentioned marathon sex. Well, we were already having marathon sex thanks to his delayed ejaculation, and I think he was already numbing himself out by using sex to self-medicate against the anxiety. I’m gonna go for honesty here: we have mismatched libidos in our house, too, and I’m usually the one who wants it (which you know from my blog…again). It’s been like this for a long time, but I remember when it wasn’t. So, if my husband wants it, and I don’t then I offer solutions because I know what it’s like to want your partner and find that there’s no mutuality. The quickie doesn’t exist in our house because he can’t do “quick” so I will offer a BJ or the like particularly if I really can’t do it. I’m not gonna just let him suffer and hold the keys to intimacy out of his reach. Have you talked to your wife about this? Just because she’s not up for the Main Event, there are other things that are intimate and might be very satisfying for you and less exhausting for her. I have a girlfriend with Fibromyalgia who is often beyond exhausted, and her husband is revving to go at night. So, there are a lot of BJs and handjobs in that house because she just can’t….and planning ahead on his part for the longer nights of fun. It works out.

    Also, I thought that my husband had developed secondary anorgasmia due to the 50 mg dose, but, as it turns out, he was just too tired from his marathon sexing to finish. That isn’t atypical for him anyway. If we have daytime sex, he’s okay. I know you have a little boy, and daytime sex is hard to come by probably. But, if there is a way, she might be less tired from working and running herd on a child and much more willing to participate. Plus, you might find it easier, too. My husband is much faster during the day now when he’s not fatigued, and there’s no anorgasmia. Also, the mental fatigue and a lot of that physical fatigue have worn off. A lot of those initial physical side effects are gone. He says he still feels a little bit anxious (and the sweaty palms are still present), but, in his opinion, he wants a little bit of anxiety because that’s normal. That’s true. A certain level of anxiety gives you your edge and is normal. But, I would say that 50 mg of Zoloft has changed his personality substantially. If you are able, try not to be so hypervigilant about your physical symptoms particularly the sexual ones. A good conversation with your wife would go a long way with that because she’s part of the sexual dynamic, too. You’ll notice that I whined something terrible on my blog about my husband’s decreased libido, but I never said a word to him about it because I knew that he was making a transition. i wanted him to settle in and adjust to the drug. I didn’t want to increase his symptoms. And, there are times when we must fill in the gap for our partners. They go down, we go up. You have a lot of fear driving your anxiety, and it seems like a lot of that fear concerning your intimacy needs in your marriage could be resolved if you and your wife communicated and came up with some good solutions so that both of your needs were met. I’m still trying to get there with my husband on that one, but I’m trying…

    • I dealt with all the other side effects too. The mental fog stuff has just come to be expected I guess. I dont like it, but it gets better with time. The physical stuff may require more conversation. Previously we had a system of sorts worked out. I was simply unable to finish during the Main Event so we would move on to alternate methods which still took time and considerable effort on her part. I think it just got tiresome for her. I get that actually. I think I am being effected by the 25mg dose, but it is minimal. I figure that with an increase it will become more pronounced.

    • I am ok. I have had a crazy stretch with work and life. I spend no less time in front of this screen, but my time is required in different places. I hope to write again soon. I still read here when I can.

    • Hey there. I am still lurking here from time to time, Summer is pure chaos for me and it wont slow down until October. I wrote an update post a couple weeks back that never got posted. I will tell you that the second child question has been answered. We are due in March.

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