Does sertraline make you feel good? (3+ reasons why)

Does sertraline make you feel good?

Yes, sertraline can make you feel good with time. It does not improve mood or induce euphoria as it’s not a controlled substance, and it can’t make you feel better in like 10 minutes. 

However, sertraline is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used to manage depression, anxiety, and several other mental health conditions (1). These conditions are enough reasons to affect your mood, energy levels, motivation to do anything, productivity, and overall quality of life. 

Sertraline can help manage these conditions, making you feel good over time. However, it is important to note that sertraline is a prescription medication which should never be taken without having a proper diagnosis and prescription. This is not a recreational drug and doesn’t work like one.

How does sertraline make you feel good?

Sertraline can make you feel good in the following ways:

It improves your mood, energy, and motivation

Sertraline can help improve your mood, energy levels, and motivation to put effort into things that you enjoy. Sertraline primarily inhibits the reuptake of serotonin, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter, often known as one of the four feel-good chemicals in your body (2). 

This increased serotonergic activity helps with your depression symptoms, gradually reversing the feeling of worthlessness, sadness, and hopelessness, and improving your desires. Depression is a nerve-racking illness that detaches you from everything and everyone you love over time. 

Antidepressants reverse such thought processes. When you don’t have such overwhelming feelings in your head, you feel better. You feel good.

Controls suicidal thoughts 

Sertraline can effectively manage suicidal thoughts by managing conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

Suicidal ideation is not uncommon with depression patients, and they begin to feel that their lives are ending anyway and there’s nothing left to look forward to. This overwhelming feeling can be managed by sertraline with time, as the medication kicks in and your body adjusts to it. 

However, it is important to note that sertraline might trigger suicidal behaviour in individuals younger than 24 years of age and comes with a black box warning from the FDA. (1)

So, if you’re someone from this age group or you know someone who’s under 24 and taking sertraline, it’s important to monitor behavioural changes and report anything unusual to the doctor.

Manages your social anxiety

Sertraline can help manage social anxiety, which may isolate you by making you avoid any social interaction possible. This affects your mental health as you feel lonely, seeing people enjoying each other’s company while you sit at home and self-loathe. 

People with social anxiety fear embarrassing themselves in public, think that people won’t like them or make fun of them, or that society won’t accept them. These feelings can be strong enough to completely isolate you, which doesn’t feel so good. 

Sertraline is approved by the FDA for managing social anxiety, and research shows great responses to this medication (3). When your social anxiety gets better with time and you start socialising again, you do begin to feel good. 

The typical dosage recommendations of sertraline for social anxiety are: (1,2)

Age groupStarting doseTypical target dose rangeMaximum daily dose
Adults25 mg once daily50 mg to 200 mg once daily200 mg
Adolescents25 mg once daily50 mg to 200 mg once daily200 mg
Children The dose must be determined by a healthcare professional. 

Helps with premenstrual mood disturbances 

Sertraline can also help with premenstrual depression or mood disorder and is often prescribed for the management of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) – which is a severe kind of PMSing (4). 

The use of sertraline can manage a variety of symptoms, making your premenstrual phase easier for you to go through. The typical dosage recommendations of sertraline for PMDD are: (1,2)

Age GroupInitial DoseMaximum Daily Dose
Adults50 mg once daily throughout the menstrual cycle.150 mg throughout the menstrual cycle
100 mg if taken only during the premenstrual phase
Children The dose must be determined by a healthcare professional. 

Does sertraline make you feel good right away?

No, sertraline does not make you feel good right away. It takes 4-6 weeks to kick in and help your symptoms. This is because sertraline balances the amount of serotonin in your brain, and this doesn’t magically treat depression. 

These symptoms require continuous use of sertraline for at least a month or even longer for noticeable improvement. So, it’s important to be patient and use sertraline as properly as you can. 

It is also important to note that lifestyle factors are also important, and you should opt for a diet and activities that can enhance your overall physical and mental health. People may underestimate the importance of a healthy lifestyle and fail to understand how it can complement your treatment.

The impact of sertraline on feel-good chemicals in your brain 

In my experience as a pharmacist, I have heard many good (and bad) things about sertraline. Some people claim that the antidepressant changed their lives. I still remember one of my patients saying:

“Sertraline just changed my life. I remember how I came to a point where I no longer wanted to continue living. I was just tired of everything, even my children, but I feel so much better now. I love cooking for them, helping them out with their homework, and, you know, just being their mother. 

It doesn’t feel like a burden now, and I’m also paying more attention to my social life – you know, a little ‘me’ time. It’s fun; I mean, life’s not the best or anything, but I feel good.”

It feels good when you see people doing better who once wanted to quit. Sertraline, being an antidepressant, can turn your life around by helping your symptoms.

However, it may not work for everyone, so it is important to keep an eye on how your body responds to sertraline and report anything unusual to your provider.


  1. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. ZOLOFT (sertraline hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. Available from: 
  1. Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. 2023 Feb 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31613469. Available from: 
  1. Katzelnick DJ, Kobak KA, Greist JH, Jefferson JW, Mantle JM, Serlin RC. Sertraline for social phobia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Am J Psychiatry. 1995 Sep;152(9):1368-71. doi: 10.1176/ajp.152.9.1368. PMID: 7653696.
  1. Halbreich U, Kahn LS. Treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder with luteal phase dosing of sertraline. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003 Nov;4(11):2065-78. doi: 10.1517/14656566.4.11.2065. PMID: 14596660. 

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