Zoloft intrusive thoughts (5 Tips to fight against intrusive thoughts)

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Page last updated: 19/09/2022

Zoloft intrusive thoughts (5 Tips to fight against intrusive thoughts)

In this blog post, we are going to learn about zoloft intrusive thoughts. Zoloft is an antidepressant which is normally used to treat conditions associated with intrusive and disturbing thoughts. 

This blog will help us understand if zoloft can cause such thoughts on its own or if these thoughts are just another symptom of a mental health condition.

Does zoloft cause intrusive thoughts?

A minority of the population taking zoloft have reported that they begin to start having intrusive thoughts after a week or two of taking zoloft. This effect is controversial, as zoloft is used to treat mental health conditions associated with intrusive thoughts. 

Zoloft is prescribed in cases of mild to major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. All of these conditions are associated with intrusive or disturbing thoughts.

Data from research studies 

Various research studies suggest that zoloft is used to treat intrusive thoughts. Many people experience this effect on zoloft if the med doesn’t produce enough therapeutic response to overcome such thoughts or when the underlying mental illness gets worse.

A 2002 study tested the effects of zoloft in 88 patients, suffering from OCD induced restlessness and intrusive thoughts. After 24 weeks of treatment, the study concluded that sertraline significantly reduced the occurrence of such symptoms in test subjects.

Another case study showed that longer term treatment with sertraline caused restlessness, suicidal behaviour and intrusive thoughts in a 25 year old individual. Another study concluded that zoloft can significantly reduce intrusive thoughts associated with major depression.

All this variable research data concludes that it completely depends on the condition of the person taking zoloft. Intrusive thoughts should be a symptom of the mental health condition and not a side effect of the drug. OCD is well known for its intrusive thoughts, so is major depression. 

PTSD can also relate to this symptom. It is extremely important to talk to your healthcare provider and ask why you are subjected to such effects after zoloft. Is it the drug or your condition that is worsening by the day. The probability of your drug causing it is pretty rare. 

Types of intrusive thoughts 

Intrusive thoughts are different related to different mental health conditions. These include:

Intrusive thoughts related to depression 

Depression is an illness associated with disturbing thoughts. People who suffer from this mental illness isolate themselves completely from their social lives and start making disturbing scenarios in their heads. Intrusive thighs related to depression include:

  • Disturbing suicidal thoughts. A person might think of terrible ways to end his or her life. It might involve setting of proper timing to execute suicidal plan. 
  • Thoughts related to worthlessness. People might think they are not loved by even a single soul on this planet. Not their parents, friends, partner or children (if any).
  • Thoughts of quitting the job, leaving home, running away from family or spouse are also included.
Zoloft intrusive thoughts (5 Tips to fight against intrusive thoughts)

Intrusive thoughts related to obsessive-compulsive disorder 

OCD is also associated with troublesome intrusive thoughts. This is a chronic mental health condition which is related to recurrent obsessive thoughts. These thoughts can range from normal to quite bizarre. These include:

  • Thoughts related to self harm. People suffering from OCD might think of ending their lives in gruesome ways.
  • Thoughts of harming your loved ones are also common. Some people suffer from disturbing thoughts of killing their own children, parents, friends or spouses. 
  • Intrusive thoughts related to sexual desire are also common. People might feel like engaging in sexual activites with inappropriate relations like siblings, children, relatives etc. 

Intrusive thoughts related to addiction 

People who are addicted to the use of illicit substances also suffer from intrusive thoughts, especially when they are under the influence of such drugs. 

This condition is pretty dangerous as their judgement is already impaired and they can’t differentiate good from bad and this could lead to them actually harming themselves or other people. 

5 Tips to fight against intrusive thoughts

Following are a few tips that might help you fight against your intrusive thoughts. These include:

Know the difference between good thoughts and bad thoughts

Intrusive thoughts are common with mental health illnesses but make sure you know how to differentiate between good and bad thoughts. When you feel the urge to do something bad, your subconscious continuously tries to alarm you that this is not a healthy thought. 

If you feel tempted to harm your loved ones, that differentiation tells you that you love them and you can’t harm them. Once you stop knowing the difference between good and bad thoughts, you don’t find it difficult to actually act on the bad ones.   

Don’t be in denial

Brushing off the bad thought or reminding yourself constantly to not think about it will not do you any good. You have to accept you have an illness and these are the symptoms associated with it. 

Try to find activities which distract you from such thoughts. Keep yourself busy and occupied. This way you can avoid thinking about disturbing things.

Counselling and therapy 

Counselling and therapy plays an important role in recovering from disturbing thoughts. It is important to discuss your thoughts with your mental healthcare professional or a clinical psychologist. 

Tell your doctor all about it, sparing no detail. The intensity of your symptoms determine the severity of your condition and help your healthcare provider start the appropriate treatment so that you can actually start gaining some benefit from it. 

Psychological therapy alo plays an important role in removing negative energy from your mind and helping you take in positive energy. 

Keep yourself busy in healthy activities 

It is best to distract yourself with healthy activities. Pick up a relaxing hobby and stick to it, so that you don’t have spare time to sit and let intrusive thoughts take over your mind. 

There are plenty of productive activities you can engage in, including exercise, walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, gardening, baking or spending time doing some charity work. Add some healthy activity in your routine which acts as a food for your soul.

Open up to your loved ones

Try opening up to your loved ones. Opening up to your healthcare professional can sure help but you don’t have that connection with your doctor like you have with the people you love. 

It is advised to not let your worries and thoughts eat you up and talk to someone close to you about your symptoms. The bond of love that you share can really help you with your intrusive thoughts.

It can remind you how much these people mean to you and how much you need each other. This helps you realise that you can never hurt yourself or them.

When to call your doctor

Talk to your healthcare provider if:

  • Your intrusive thoughts get worse by the day as you keep taking zoloft
  • You try to harm yourself or someone close to you
  • Your mind gets cloudy and you can’t think rationally
  • You feel that your children or people who live with you are not safe
  • Your head hurts way too much and keep hearing those disturbing voices in your head
  • You experience hallucination
  • You feel irritated, anxious and angry

Make sure you take action as soon as you can before your mental health deteriorates even more. Such symptoms are not healthy for you nor for the people around you. 

This can become a safety threat real quick. Make sure you keep in touch with your doctor and take the best possible medications for your condition.

Conclusion

In this blog, we discussed zoloft intrusive thoughts. We looked at various research studies and learned that there is not enough evidence indicating that zoloft could cause this side effect. A few people have reported this but their side effects could be influenced by a number of other factors. 

Studies revealed that zoloft can tone down your intrusive thoughts associated with major depression, OCD and PTSD. these mental health conditions can impair judgement and cause intrusive thoughts like self harm, harming loved ones and other inappropriate sexual desires. 

Make sure you have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider relating to your symptoms. It is also pretty important to monitor your drugs and the effects they produce in you. If your zoloft is making your intrusive thoughts worse, it might indicate that it’s not working that well for you.

FAQs: zoloft intrusive thoughts

Do intrusive thoughts go away on Zoloft?

Yes, zoloft can treat intrusive thoughts associated with major depression, OCD and PTSD. it can help relieve some of your mental cloudiness and feelings of hopelessness, worthlessnesss and suicidal behavious. 

Just make sure it’s the right choice of antidepressant for you and in the right dose. It is not recommended to drop your treatment halfway thinking your med doesn’t work. Zoloft can take upto 4 to 6 weeks to start producing its beneficial effects.

Can intrusive thoughts be caused by medication?

Certain medications, use of alcohol and illicit substances can exacerbate the intrusive thoughts associated with major depression and OCD. make sure you discuss with your doctor if your meds are safe and effective for you to take.

How long does it take zoloft to work on intrusive thoughts?

Zoloft typically takes 3 to 4 weeks to start working. This time period can vary from person to person. 

How do I get rid of intrusive thoughts forever?

  • Pick up a productive hobby and stick to it. There are plenty of healthy activities you can engage in, including exercise, walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, gardening, baking or spending time doing some charity work.
  • Know the difference between good thoughts and bad thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are common with mental health illnesses but make sure you know how to differentiate between good and bad thoughts.
  • Brushing off the bad thought or reminding yourself constantly to not think about it will not do you any good. 
  • You have to accept you have an illness and these are the symptoms associated with it. Try to find activities which distract you from such thoughts.
  • Counselling and therapy plays an important role in recovering from disturbing thoughts.
  •  It is advised to not let your worries and thoughts eat you up and talk to someone close to you about your symptoms.

What mental illness has intrusive thoughts?

Major depression disorder (MDD), anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse. 

What are the most common intrusive thoughts?

  • Disturbing suicidal thoughts. A person might think of terrible ways to end his or her life.
  • Thoughts of harming your loved ones. Some people suffer from disturbing thoughts of killing their own children, parents, friends or spouses.
  • Thoughts of quitting the job, leaving home, running away from family or spouse
  • Intrusive thoughts related to sexual desire are also common. People might feel like engaging in sexual activites with inappropriate relations like siblings, children, relatives etc. 

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