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    • #26665
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      My anxiety has been taken a toll on me lately. I am sure that I am not alone in this. My therapist reminds me of each visit that, with the challenges that we are faced with daily in the world, everyone has anxiety. She goes on to tell me that this is affecting those who do not have chronic diseases, like PH.

      I am grateful for these reminders, but it does not make my anxiety go away. I see my anxiety manifests itself in my life. I heard an old song last week that seemed to be describing my anxiety.

      Check out my latest column and let’s talk about it. How does your anxiety manifest itself in your life? What are your top tips to decrease anxiety?

    • #26691
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      You did such an amazing job on this column @jenc. If any of our members hasn’t read it yet, I recommend that you do. To some degree I think we can all relate to it. Thanks for always wearing your heart on your sleeve Jen, and sharing the way you do. You help so many!

    • #26696
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Thanks, @colleensteele! This was a tough one for sure. Anxiety can manifest itself in so many ways, and although we all may not be the same, we can relate in some ways. Anxiety can quickly build-up, and I find that I struggle with it in some ways daily. Not all days are high anxiety levels, but it is there.

      Was your anxiety decreased once you were on the Zoloft for some time? My doctors want to try that again, so that may be the next option. I think that is what you said that you are on.

      Thanks for your support as always!

    • #26716
      V.R. Peterson
      Participant

      I loved your article @jenc. That song describes so aptly what I’ve seen my son experience.

    • #26721
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Thanks, @mamabear007. I appreciate your kind words and support. Does your son continue to struggle with anxiety?

      How are you doing? Did you struggle with anxiety when your son was at his worst?

    • #26725
      V.R. Peterson
      Participant

      @jenc, my son has struggled with anxiety since his diagnosis, and the PTE surgery seemed to make it worse even though he’s so much healthier. He has a hard time with the knowledge that he was clinically dead on the OR table so they could save his life. It seems to have gotten worse since C-19 reared its ugly head.

      I struggled with anxiety quite a bit before his surgery. I didn’t realize how bad until after his surgery, and I still couldn’t stop thinking that he was still dying (even though he was visibly healthy). It took several months to get past that, but I’m better now. I think my improvement came when I started volunteering with the PHA.

    • #26745
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jenc Zoloft has helped. I think it took longer to adjust to it and feel a difference than the medication I was on before the doctor started worrying about the Long QT. I was on a low dose of 50mg’s and asked for an increase. It was bumped to 100. That seems to be the perfect dose for me. It’s not that I don’t still experience anxiety but it’s how I deal with it that feels improved. I’m anxious but calm, if that makes sense? I’m able to think more clearly when I experience stress. I hope you find it helps you too. I would suggest giving it a week or two before deciding whether it is helping or not.

    • #26748
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Hi @mamabear007, I can certainly understand how your son would continue to struggle with anxiety, even after his PTE surgery. Yes, COVID is not helping anyone who already has anxiety. Is he on daily meds to just as needed for his anxiety?

      I am grateful that you are doing better now with your anxiety. Working with PHA and helping others, I am sure helps.

    • #26749
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Thanks, @colleensteele, for sharing your experience with Zoloft. I think she said she was ordering the lowest dosage and I would need to start at half of that. I am awaiting the follow-up with my neurologist before starting it and anything new. My pain mgmt team wanted to change my meds after the hospital, but I said I prefer to wait and not throw anything else in the mix right now.

      If Zoloft helps me, I am okay with taking it. I need to see if I have the old bottle so I can see which dosage that had me start previously. It should be in my patient portal. Thanks for reminding me to give it time, at least 2 weeks before I make any decisions. I will keep y’all posted once I do start it.

      Anything that will calm my anxiety while allowing me to function as my norm. Did you have any “off” feelings when you first started it?

    • #26754
      Dawn
      Participant

      Hi @jenc, I’ve been on sertraline hcl (generic zoloft) 200 mg daily for about 30 years. I take it for depression, was very lucky that it only took 2-3 medication tries until we found that the zoloft worked. Despite how horrible my depression was (or maybe because of how bad it was) when I started therapy, and finally agreed with my therapist to try medication, I think if it had taken as long as it can to find the right medication I probably would have given up. I saw this thread, and wanted to add my experience. This medication has literally been a life saver for me. Being the too stubborn person I can be, I would often think I could go off the medicine when I got to feeling better. Every…single…time I would regress back into a very dark place. I finally accepted that I need the zoloft, and really learned that depression is a medical issue like any other medical issue so no need for shame in getting treatment with therapy and medication.

      Thinking of you as you await your test results. Sending nothing but good thoughts for what you’ll find out. Take care.

    • #26767
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Thank you so much @dawnt for sharing your experience with Zoloft (sertraline) with me. I know that the doctor wanted to start me at 25 mg, but only half a tab for the first few days. She did say that there was room to go up, but because of the “off” feeling I experienced when I last tried it, she wants to take it slow.

      I am not starting it just yet as I am awaiting the OK from Neuro first. I am a tad nervous that she said once she starts the Zoloft, no more Ativan. Do you take anything as needed for anxiety with the Zoloft?

      Again, thanks for your contributions to the forums.

    • #26776
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jenc for me it just didn’t feel like it was helping much at first. A week or two later I noticed improvement. If I go a few days of not taking it, then I feel “off”…not in a familiar off way but in a, suddenly stopping this med is messing me up way. I’ll feel jittery and less like myself. I make a real effort not to skip any doses and if I ever need to go off it I’m guessing I would have to do a taper and not stop cold turkey. Let us know how it goes for you.

    • #26784
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Thanks, @colleensteele. I did start the Zoloft last night. I took the 25 mg tablet at bedtime as the Neuro thought breaking it in half was not needed. I did rest but feel a bit more “groggier” than usual. Did you start at 25 mg and increase, or did you start at a higher dosage?

      What about you @dawnt, did you start at the lower dosage like 25 or 50 mg or just started at the higher dosage?

      I certainly am not anxious thus far, but the hoping the grogginess wears off. I know my body must take time to adjust. I did not think so with such a low dosage. Thanks again for the support.

    • #26789
      Dawn
      Participant

      @jenc, I’ve never taken anything specifically for anxiety. Like a few of my medications that also positively affect blood pressure, the zoloft has the extra benefit of not only treating my depression but also helping with any anxiety. I was always so wrapped up in my depression that I never really recognized feelings of anxiety. I was started at a much lower dose initially, and worked up to what seemed to maximize the effect on the depression. I did notice sleepiness when I first started, but the longer I took the medicine the less that was an issue. The overall benefit is well worth it.

    • #26795
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Hi @dawnt, thanks for sharing your experience with Zoloft. Thirty years taking it, you must be a pro! Yes, they did say that the Zoloft should help my anxiety and offer other benefits, too. They plan to work it up as needed. But, I am sure it will take a week or so for my body to adjust. A few days would be even better. I am always trying to rush everything my hubby says, hehe.

      This afternoon, I am still a bit “groggy” as I have not been able to be too productive today. But, I will take it slow steady.

      Yes, you and @colleensteele both remind me how well you have benefited from the Zoloft. I am hoping this is the medication that ill also help me. I appreciate the feedback and your sharing this.

    • #26804
      Alfred Gronroos
      Participant

      Hi all. Here I am in hot sunny Arizona writing about depression, anxiety and pain. I was put on trazodone 28 years ago. It completely changed my attitude about my life. Made me happy, glad to be alive. About 20 years ago the doctor called and said STOP trazodone immediately becuz it gave me irregular heartbeat. So we tried prozac which just did not make it. So zoloft it is up to 150 mg now. Just cut down from 200 to see if the lesser dose will help my edema. It took nearly the whole 28 years of meds to finally dare tell people. I doubt if my anxiety will ever go away, nor will my depression. With therapy I get better thoughts of myself but then stop therapy. So hard to commit forever. And trust the therapist, or anyone. And we should have help with this struggle. Life should be fun at times, I should be able to laugh, to joke. To NOT constantly worry, to let go, forgive, and FORGET. I never know what to forget becuz I do not remember what it was. This covid 19 has not helped the anxiety at all, and the heat, ish. My rambling is stopping now. Hope this finds you all safe. Wear your masks when out and about. Please be careful and safe. Al Gronroos

    • #26817
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Hi @alfredjohn, thanks for sharing your experience with Zoloft. Oh, I am glad that you mention the edema, I will watch out for that, too. I am only on 25 mg thus far. I still feel a bit “groggy” and unable to focus as well. I am hoping that my body adjusts with time. I am sure we will also need to adjust the dosage, too.

      That is so frustrating when you are doing well for so long on one med and have to stop it. I feel the same about my Ativan, been on it as needed for years.

      Opening up and sharing our struggles with mental health is helpful. Often, as I mention in my column, it is deemed a taboo subject. I am grateful that you could share with us. I hope that the Zoloft will work out for you without so much edema.

      The feelings that you describe about worry and joke is relatable. I often have these same feelings and want my old self back. What about you? Stay safe and cool in AZ.

    • #27287
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Hey y’all, I just wanted to update y’all as I increased my Zoloft (sertraline) to 50 mg last night. I have still been needing my Ativan a few times per day. We will probably up it a bit more if this continues. Overall, I think it offers some help but not enough yet. I will wait and see how the 50 mg goes before we talk about increasing again.

      I did not have the fog today that I had when I first started taking it. So, I am grateful for that.

      How is everyone doing as far as anxiety and depression? I hope that y’all are monitoring it and taking steps before it becomes too bad. I know this can quickly spiral out of control.

      Thanks to y’all for your kindness and support.

    • #27289
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jenc it took time for me as well before I notice a difference when taking Zoloft. It’s sounds like you are on a promising path with it. I hope you will soon notice that it is really helping and with fewer side-effects every day! Know that I am here for you too any time you want to talk.

    • #27299
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Hey Jen, I am so sorry you are struggling with anxiety – is it no wonder when you are living with a chronic disease, many complications medically, waiting for result, global deadly virus, an economy that is collapsing – where’s my Zoloft? Seriously, Jen you have been and still are going through so much. You are also so strong. Your article was beautifully written and so needed by so many. Your ability to open your vulnerability and share so honestly speaks volumes of how strong you are! A number of years ago my anxiety turned into full blown panic attacks where I felt like I was having a heart attack. Zoloft, meditation and bio-feedback helped me through. Everyone is different and you are reaching out to see what works best for you. Thank you so much for your strength and showing us it is okay to be vulnerable! Lots of love and gratitude you are one very special woman! Carol

    • #27307
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Thanks, @colleensteele. I appreciate you sharing your experience with Zoloft and also your kind heart. I feel a bit more optimistic about taking it and looking forward to getting to the optimal dose for me. I will certainly keep y’all posted. You all have offered such amazing support.

    • #27308
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Oh @cdvol3gmail-com, you know that there is a rule about crying before finishing your morning latte. Well, you broke that rule. You truly did make me cry by your kind and thoughtful words. It’s funny because I look at each of you and see strength like no other.

      I appreciate you and your encouragement each week. It’s funny how well we connect across the miles. You and the forum members make my heart happy. I celebrate and cry with y’all are we all deal with the ups and downs of our crazy world and PH. You all are pretty darn special in my book! I am grateful when my writings are helpful to anyone; that is why I write.

      Thanks again, and I hope that you are enjoying your Friday morning,

      Hugs and love are coming that way from Texas.

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