Tuesday, April 09, 2013

So...Zoloft...

Took the kid to the local clinic about her on-going anxiety issues.

Local doctor (who I don't exactly have a ton of faith in) wants to put her on Zoloft.

He also recommended counseling, but obviously our insurance doesn't cover that.

What do y'all think about Zoloft for a 14 year old?

8 comments:

nicoleandmaggie said...

I'll ask #2 her thoughts (she tried a lot of different anti-depressants as a teen), but this is on the Zoloft warning label: "However, a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication (especially for people younger than 25), even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition."

My thoughts as an observer is that a teenager (or anybody, really) should not be taking anti-depressants without monitoring from a psychiatrist. GP seem to prescribe them and then they don't follow up, they don't make sure the dosage is right, they don't warn folks about the ones that are addicting and cause suicidal tendencies when you go off them. (I had a friend in college who attempted suicide after going off an SSRI because of the side-effects. Another friend in college spent two weeks in horrible depression because her mother's GP had sent her an SSRI sight unseen and she'd reacted badly to it.) #2 was on pretty heavy monitoring when she was in high school trying to get her meds worked out.

In terms of anxiety, I had really bad anxiety in graduate school (panic attacks etc.) and cognitive behavioral therapy changed my life. I was able to get treatment at a reduced rate from a local training program ($50/visit, with a set number of visits for the program). There's no downside to CBT. Even if it doesn't work, there's no harm done. It does take a lot of practice.

I'm not saying that she shouldn't be on drugs, just that you have to be very careful and very watchful. If you don't trust the doctor...

There's two books that the CBT clinic recommended that I also found useful: Mind Over Mood, and The Thoughts and Feelings Handbook. I found one of them more helpful than the other, but don't remember which was which.

Good luck!

delagar said...

Thanks, N&M.

I'm very hesitant to put the kid on any sort of meds at this age.

nicoleandmaggie said...

#2 here. Zoloft was some helpful, Prozac was more. As an adult, Lexapro is best. But I was, as #1 points out, intensely monitored while on Zoloft and *still* ended up going for more intensive treatment.

I think you should see if you can at all swing some sort of combo of meds + counseling. Lots of counselors have a sliding scale.

I don't know, man, it's a hard situation. My opinion is worth what you paid for it. I'm sorry. Hang in there!

Ms. Saylor said...

Lexapro and Zoloft can cause significant breast tissue tenderness (in addition to the other side effects.) SSRIs can interfere with her body's prolactin levels, so I would be hesitant to put her on any SSRI, especially since her body is still developing.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a doctor, but I would question putting anyone (especially a minor) on an anti-depressant when her issue is anxiety. They aren't the same thing. What about experimenting with something old and reliable that's specifically for anxiety, an anti-anxiolytic like valium? Or maybe gentle doses of alprazolam. I'm concerned that anti-depressants would be the wrong way to go and not only mess with her head but subject her to physical side effects without actually doing anything for her. Plus, anxiety issues can lead to insomnia and the anti-anxiolytics can be taken before bed and help her sleep, which can be a wonderful help. Good luck. --L

delagar said...

Thanks, y'all. I was leaning in this direction anyway, and your input has really helped.

Andrevs said...

Having been on meds myself, I highly recommend that you have her undergo therapy while taking any meds. Medication is supposed to be used in conjunction with therapy, and that's where I messed up. Out of all the meds I took I honestly think Xanax is really the only thing that's continuing to help.
That's all I can think of to say. I have to ask--she's not in public school, so what's the problem, anyway?

William Shears said...

I know this is a little late. The clinic doctors here suck. If I had listened to them two years ago I would have been paralyzed from the waist down. I suggest you take her to a psychologist, but I know that's expensive. All I can say is don't listen to the clinic doctors.