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Sertraline - memory effects normal?

Marigold Dip

Marigold Dip

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I've been on Sertraline since about September 2020 and have increased my dose to 100mg since January 2021. I feel as though they have settled, and I'm happy with this medication, but I wondered if anyone had experience of memory being affected, not necessarily straight away but later (this is 6 months later)? I find that I can't recall things, sometimes at all - a bit like when you're panicking and trying to think about something but it's like your brain is a stuck record that keeps skipping - but without the panic...it's disconcerting but I am trying not to panic about it as I know that lockdown has effected us in ways and my vivid dreams and fake memories have started to get manageable. I know that it would make sense to speak with the GP about it, but if anyone else has experience or has information from their own experience that may help reassure as I know it's under a year since I have been on them. I have also started CBT which has been tough so perhaps it's a way of protecting my brain...I don't know. Any thoughts would be great, obviously not as medical professionals but as people.
 
Tawny

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I think depression, from what i read a long time ago, can reduce 'something' and medication 'grows' it back. I was reading at the time about mood stabilisers, i don't know if antidepressants do the same as mood stabilisers.

I know that depression is not good for the brain, from the images i saw, so to treat the depression is important. Depression is life threatening so perhaps any side effects don't matter that much, and they are probably temporary anyway.

Perhaps speak to your GP about how long you need to take the antidepressant for and try to reduce it as soon as possible, safely, keeping you well.

Some of us need to take medication for a year or two but some for much longer.

You can also eat very well, oily fish and a variety of veg and that will help your brain health anyway i am sure.

Alcohol, obesity and smoking i am sure is far more harmful than antidepressants.
 
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turnitoffandonagain_again

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I don't remember having memory problems with Sertraline (no ironic joke intended!). What happened for me was as soon as I went to 100mg (or is it micrograms - would be quite important to remember that distinction if I were a pharmacist or doctor!) I started getting whole-body twitching, that got quite bad. That's why I came off it again.
 
Marigold Dip

Marigold Dip

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I think depression, from what i read a long time ago, can reduce 'something' and medication 'grows' it back. I was reading at the time about mood stabilisers, i don't know if antidepressants do the same as mood stabilisers.

I know that depression is not good for the brain, from the images i saw, so to treat the depression is important. Depression is life threatening so perhaps any side effects don't matter that much, and they are probably temporary anyway.

Perhaps speak to your GP about how long you need to take the antidepressant for and try to reduce it as soon as possible, safely, keeping you well.

Some of us need to take medication for a year or two but some for much longer.

You can also eat very well, oily fish and a variety of veg and that will help your brain health anyway i am sure.

Alcohol, obesity and smoking i am sure is far more harmful than antidepressants.
Hi Tawny, thanks for this. Yes, I agree that the side-effects in this case outweigh my need for them, but I've been confused as to how this seems to be something that has been growing rather than decreasing throughout the time I've been taking them. I'll definitely keep an eye on it and speak to GP if I keep getting worried. Thank you.
 
Marigold Dip

Marigold Dip

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I don't remember having memory problems with Sertraline (no ironic joke intended!). What happened for me was as soon as I went to 100mg (or is it micrograms - would be quite important to remember that distinction if I were a pharmacist or doctor!) I started getting whole-body twitching, that got quite bad. That's why I came off it again.
Ha, yes - micrograms I think! Yeah, I get some brain and body shocks sometimes but that can be if I've taken it a little later OR if I know that I am really stressed or upset but not really feeling it (so it's maybe working hard to remove the physical reactions to it). I'm sorry you had to come off it for that reason - that must have been so frustrating! I hope you were able to find an alternative that worked fully for you. The relief that they have given in being able to manage my depression and anxiety has been overwhelming, so perhaps it's something I've noticed more, not because it's happening more, but because I have the headspace for it.
 
Tawny

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I don't think side effects worsen over time so my instinct is it is not the medication affecting your memory.

Have you continued to have episodes since starting the antidepressant?

Also memory does decrease as we age. From 40 lots of things start to work less well.
 
Marigold Dip

Marigold Dip

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I don't think side effects worsen over time so my instinct is it is not the medication affecting your memory.

Have you continued to have episodes since starting the antidepressant?

Also memory does decrease as we age. From 40 lots of things start to work less well.
I'm under 40. It's more whether with some of the effects settling, if this is something that is being noticed more but has always been there with the Sertraline. Everyone is affected differently which is why I was wondering if anyone else had had effects similar with their experience with Sertraline before I start panicking about things; especially with it being under a year since I started my medication.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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As you can probably tell, i don't think it is the medication. From reading, lots of personal experience, lots of appointment conversations and also from hearing people in support groups talk, i don't think medication harms your memory.

Antipsychotics are a different kettle of fish and i don't know enough to comment about them.

A retired man who had taken lithium since he was a young man, he had memory problems. His psychiatrist said it was not the lithium and reduced it anyway. I have a feeling that might have something to do with medication but if the psychiatrist says not, then i believe them.
 
Marigold Dip

Marigold Dip

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As you can probably tell, i don't think it is the medication. From reading, lots of personal experience, lots of appointment conversations and also from hearing people in support groups talk, i don't think medication harms your memory.

Antipsychotics are a different kettle of fish and i don't know enough to comment about them.

A retired man who had taken lithium since he was a young man, he had memory problems. His psychiatrist said it was not the lithium and reduced it anyway. I have a feeling that might have something to do with medication but if the psychiatrist says not, then i believe them.
I understand that - but I suppose I'm asking if anyone else that has been on the medication has experienced it or not, rather than general thoughts about it without having taken the medication. Obviously I appreciate your thoughts, but I know that you don't think it's to do with the medication but I'm not sure if you're saying because you've had experience on the medication or not? I'm not on anti-psychotics, but anti depressants.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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I understand that - but I suppose I'm asking if anyone else that has been on the medication has experienced it or not, rather than general thoughts about it without having taken the medication. Obviously I appreciate your thoughts, but I know that you don't think it's to do with the medication but I'm not sure if you're saying because you've had experience on the medication or not? I'm not on anti-psychotics, but anti depressants.
I have taken SSRI's for over 10 years, but not sertraline. Sertraline is slightly different i was told, and it is one i chose not to take. Usually people are given fluoxetine or citalopram, for the first time. This is based on what my friends and family have been given first time and what people in support groups have said. Sertraline is very stimulating and not one i would choose to take as i have bipolar disorder, it would make me nervous taking a stimulating one. It was the doctor who said to me it was stimulating.
 
Tawny

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The faster your thoughts go, the less you can hold on to that working memory.

Are you talking about long term memory or working memory that seems poor?

When hypomanic, i have gone in to the shop with bananas, milk, bread, in my head. Those words vanish and i walk around with no clue what i need to buy. This is speed of thought i think. An antidepressant like sertraline, i think it stimulates more than the others so perhaps this is what is happening to you? Do you think your mind is full or faster than your family/friends'?
 
Marigold Dip

Marigold Dip

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I have taken SSRI's for over 10 years, but not sertraline. Sertraline is slightly different i was told, and it is one i chose not to take. Usually people are given fluoxetine or citalopram, for the first time. This is based on what my friends and family have been given first time and what people in support groups have said. Sertraline is very stimulating and not one i would choose to take as i have bipolar disorder, it would make me nervous taking a stimulating one. It was the doctor who said to me it was stimulating.
That's so interesting! My good friend has bipolar disorder and takes Sertraline with it being a godsend but that was through years of finding out what options did/n't work - it's not a one size fits all is it? I remember reading somewhere that noone actually knows why SRRIS work because it's so complex - they just seem to. Thank you for sharing your experience. I will definitely keep an eye on what the symptoms are -- perhaps give myself the next 2 month prescription to see how they go and then arrange an appointment with GP if it seems to stay the same. I have a really good GP which also makes it much easier than I think most people's experience (but I am also mindful of not wanting to take up GP time). THanks again.
 
Marigold Dip

Marigold Dip

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The faster your thoughts go, the less you can hold on to that working memory.

Are you talking about long term memory or working memory that seems poor?

When hypomanic, i have gone in to the shop with bananas, milk, bread, in my head. Those words vanish and i walk around with no clue what i need to buy. This is speed of thought i think. An antidepressant like sertraline, i think it stimulates more than the others so perhaps this is what is happening to you? Do you think your mind is full or faster than your family/friends'?
That sounds quite familiar actually! Perhaps it's just my brain needing me to slow down a little in order to process what I'm needing for that particular moment. The rest of the time, this medication has been a godsend; my intrusive thoughts and anxiety and crying every day (which I thought was normal!!!) has been significantly cut down which I never thought I'd experience. But these things take time and nothing is perfect.
 
Marigold Dip

Marigold Dip

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I hope this is useful.
Yes, it specifically says that if there are issues with memory to get in touch with GP as this could be to do with sodium levels - which I had missed when I looked at the website last time. I've made an appointment for next week, thank you.
 
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