Sertraline Sensitivity

Regular and precise dosage time,
Never changing from the optimum breakfast,
Those are my strict requirements,
For making use of antidepressants,
And to avoid missed-dose syndrome,
Which, for me,
Sets in so rapidly (just 2 hours over 24 hours);

The battle with OCD cannot be won,
When the medication is so on-and-off,
Medication withdrawals trump everything,
But…when it’s working,
When I’ve eaten for breakfast the mandatory nuts and raisins,
It’s all so much easier to laugh off the obsessions.

That’s two psychotropic medications now that I’ve taken and which have had a crucial dependency on what I eat, and when I take the medication relative to eating, for their effectiveness. In both cases it was really time-consuming to discover and confirm these dependencies and their implications, largely because general life circumstances were so challenging and variable at the same time so it’s been really difficult to isolate things.

I really feel that I’ve been experiencing on-and-off withdrawal symptoms due to the medication varying so much in effectiveness, based on what I ate for breakfast and whether I took the medication precisely in 24 hour intervals. For both Elvanse (Vyvanse) which I took previously and Sertraline (Zoloft) which I’m taking now, almonds and dates seem to be a big factor in getting the medication to workβ€” although with Elvanse, any other kinds of nuts seemed to stop it working, but with Sertraline, the ideal breakfast (so far) seems to be mixed nuts with raisins, shortly before taking.


The moral with psychotropic medications seems to be that anecdotal information and advice can be really important and even crucial, because it’s really unlikely (or impossible) that all of the various factors can be investigated and reported on scientifically, to the point where doctors etc. would take it seriously. The effects of such fluctuating effectiveness can be really damaging. For me the difference between it working and not working each day is like night and day.

One last crucial factor for me in being able to take medication at the same time each day, was just finding an alarm clock that would wake me up through the ear plugs (which are necessary due to the disturbing environment)! πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ


4 thoughts on “Sertraline Sensitivity

  1. I don’t know much about medications of such kinds, but I certainly have ideas about the importance of lived experience being an excellent tool when living with a chronic illness. Doctors know what they’re taught by other meducal people. Sufferers know from our oyr personal lived experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with that too :). That’s definitely necessary. For me these medication/food interactions are the more significant factor than whatever I’ve already learned about myself and how to deal with things and life in general, that’s why it’s so worrying and interesting for me.

      Another part of it for me is that the medication wears off as I get hungrier, then once I eat it’s back up to full strength again. So it’s like multiplying the differences.

      But, once I have stable circumstances, and I’m seeing a doctor/therapist regularly, all of this will be a lot easier to quantify.

      Thanks for your input! πŸ™‚


    2. You see the medication broke the connection between what I do and how good I feel each day, which was otherwise very predictable. If I did certain things I’d feel better, if not then feel worse. With medication I have to have these other micro-conditions lined up for it to work in a consistent way and restore my control over my mood.


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