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The facts about Zoloft and anxiety disorders

In the past, anxiety was perceived to be in a person’s head. Studies prove that anxiety is a medical condition, influenced by your genes, your mind, and how you live. Anxiety affects over 18 million people in North America.

There are several types of anxiety, and each type affects people differently. People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) often get nervous or scared in front of people. People suffering from SAD often feel like they are being judged and are afraid to make mistakes for fear of embarrassment. If untreated, people suffering from SAD can be afraid of people, places and social events. It can affect a person’s work by making it difficult to communicate with anyone in charge, speaking in front of groups or any event that could draw attention.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after a person experiences a tragic event. The stress of a traumatic event causes chemical reactions in the brain and even physical symptoms. People suffering from PTSD suffer from nightmares and often feel that the event is happening all over again. In extreme cases, people will avoid the people or places associated with the event.

Panic Disorder (PD)
A panic attack is a sudden feeling of terror. You can’t control when these attacks happen. These attacks can make a person feel like they are going crazy, or even dying. The fear of having an attack in a place you don’t feel safe in, makes it hard for people suffering from PD to even leave the house.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
People that suffer from OCD are often overcome by uncontrollable thoughts or obsessions. To try to stop these obsessions, a person often repeats actions over and over again (for example: hand washing). This behavior is called a compulsion. Compulsions help people suffering from obsessions overcome the feeling that something bad will happen.

Doctors diagnose OCD when obsessions or compulsions start take about more than an hour, or cause a person to get upset.

How Zoloft can help
Medication can be very useful in the treatment of anxiety disorders and is often used in combination with therapy. Zoloft (or the generic equivalent – sertraline) is a prescription medication used to help control severe symptom so other forms of therapy can progress, in both short term and long term situations

Zoloft (Sertraline) medicine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or post-traumatic stress disorder. The antidepressant effect of sertraline is linked to its ability to inhibit the neuronal reuptake of serotonin and has very weak effects on norepinephrine and dopamine neuronal reuptake. Sertraline blocks the uptake of serotonin into human platelets.

Side effects of Zoloft
The most frequently observed side effects in people using Zoloft are:

  • gastrointestinal complaints – including nausea, diarrhea/loose stools and dyspepsia
  • male sexual dysfunction (primarily ejaculatory delay)
  • insomnia and somnolence
  • increased sweating and dry mouth
  • dizziness

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