About three months ago, I went on sertraline.
It’s been about 12 years since I was on an SSRI and my first experience was miserable so I was hopeful this time that it would be much better.
Of course, after the first couple of weeks of absolute awfulness, the onboarding slowly passed and the drug settled in.
I was so excited this time that the sertraline was certainly working much better than my previous SSRIs from 12 years ago. I started to worry less, my anxiety just slowly melted away and while there were times I was still worried, it passed so quickly that it was barely even noticeable.
Now that I am over three months in, I’m certainly feeling very settled and appreciate the impact they’ve had on my life. I have a plan to eventually come off them, but right now, they’re the right thing for me.
There is an interesting side effect that I’m noticing, however, now that things are settling down and that is I find myself more than ever motivated and energized to achieve personal goals.
These aren’t goals that include physical exercise, although I should still be doing more of that, but there are goals that relate mostly to passion projects and side hustles that I’ve wanted to build for a long time.
I’ve not had a side hustle for the last 20 years, and that’s probably indicative of the personality type that I have. And that personality type probably has a predisposition to generalize anxiety disorder and worry in general.
My passion projects relate mostly to what I do for a living every day and that is to do with digital marketing, content creation, and social media.
I’ve always had a dream to build a course, to run an effective blog, a publishing empire where I and many other writers can contribute to passionate projects about what we do.
I’ve had one of these going for about three years now, and it’s been my central focus, but with having a family, two kids and a wife, and a life, and a full-time job, it’s incredibly hard to create content for the platform.
I’ve also experimented with a YouTube channel, which has been quite successful, but those things take a long time to produce. So I’ve doubled down on my content website, which is based on things that I am passionate about, so it’s quite exciting to create content for it.
I’ve managed myself pretty well, I know that when I’m pushing too hard on posts or achieving my own personal deadlines, that I can give myself a break.
I have a full-time job, a side hustle is a side hustle and while it would be nice if it was full-time it isn’t at this stage.
The side effect of the sertraline seems that I am opening up parts of my brain that perhaps have been closed because of all of the worrying anxiety over the years.
I find myself having ideas for content flooding me constantly, I’ve brought on new writers and new content managers to help me in the process of growing this content empire.
I’m creating the systems and processes, which will automate and increase the speed at which we can work. I’m finding life hacks that allow me to do more and more and more even with the time that I have always had.
To be honest, I would almost describe this as manic.
Someone close to me who was also on sertraline recently said to me, “Do you find yourself feeling manic at any time?”
I’d already been pondering this question?
So the answer didn’t take long, but I wholeheartedly agreed with them that there was a certain element of manicness to my behavior, not particularly unhealthy, a little bit random.
I talk a little bit more, a little bit faster, and I certainly think and move faster than I ever have before.
I don’t see this as a necessary negative side effect.
Someone else I know who is younger, who has also started on sertraline has experienced and is experiencing the same behavior. I don’t want this to put anyone off taking sertraline because I feel that fundamentally the benefits of this medicine far outweigh any negatives.
If the downside to years of living with fear and anxiety is that I’m a little bit talkative and I think a little bit faster, and can be quite a lot to handle sometimes in terms of moving at a million miles, I will take that any day.
I actually wonder if parts of this behavior is what I would be like if I had normal serotonin levels in my body. I don’t know if you’re on sertraline or Zoloft, as it’s called in North America, but I’d be interested to hear your stories on how sertraline has affected you and if elements of manic behavior is part of it.