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Zoloft for Depression

Updated on June 2, 2010

Antidepressant medication is used to treat depression and anxiety. Doctors may prescribe Zoloft for depression treatment. The generic Zoloft is called sertraline HCl. Zoloft has been used to treat depression for over fifteen years.

People with depression and anxiety have a lower amount of serotonin in the brain than necessary. When serotonin is released by brain cells called neurons, the neurons reabsorb the serotonin. Medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) including Zoloft decrease the amount of serotonin that is reabsorbed by neurons. This increases the amount of active serotonin in the brain.

Zoloft for anxiety is most effective for certain anxiety disorders. Zoloft can be used to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorder.

Some people who are new to Zoloft may expect their depression symptoms to disappear as soon as they start taking the drug. I've heard many people complain that they don't feel any better after taking the medication for a few days. The truth is that Zoloft and other antidepressant medication often takes weeks to take effect. While some people may begin to notice a change in their symptoms of depression within a week, others may take Zoloft for eight weeks before they begin to feel better.

Taking medication is not the only thing that can help people with depression and anxiety. Though medication is a necessary part in correcting the chemical imbalance that causes these disorders, other treatment methods can be extremely beneficial. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on examining negative thought patterns and replacing unhealthy behavior with behavior that supports a healthy lifestyle. Relaxation techniques, exercise, hobbies, working towards a goal, and positive social interaction are just a few of the activities that people with depression and anxiety may find helpful.

People may experience common side effects of Zoloft. Anyone who experiences troublesome side effects should discuss them with the doctor. Often, a change in how Zoloft is taken or in the dosage is all that is necessary to alleviate the side effects. If you are interested in learning about the side effects of Zoloft, please read my article called Zoloft Side Effects.

I am a firm believer in the benefit of working towards goals. Being goal-oriented is beneficial for those with mental illnesses because it builds self-esteem and can be something positive on which the person can focus. If you are interested in learning more about setting goals, please visit my website:


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    • Healing Touch profile image

      Laura Arne 7 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

      I take Zoloft and have my life back again. After lots of stress in my life, I knew I had to do something about it or slip deeper into oblivion.

      I totally live a full life with zoloft.