Anxiety is a mental disorder that causes people to experience excessive fear or worry. It is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the world. It affects at least 44 million adults in the US alone. Sadly, only about a third of them get the proper treatment. (1)
This problem exists because many still do not believe that anxiety is treatable with therapy and medicines just like other physical diseases. However, before you start taking drugs like Zoloft for anxiety, it is crucial that you know more about the drug.
What Is Zoloft?
Zoloft, with the generic name of Sertraline, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class antidepressant. Scientists, Kenneth Koe and Willard Welch, from the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, discovered the drug in 1977. Moreover, they discovered the drug by altering the compound tametraline. (2)
The Food and Drug Administration only approved the sale of the drug in 1991.It was during this same year that Pfizer started marketing the drug under the brand name Zoloft. By 2013, the drug has become the most prescribed antidepressant in the US.
Can I Use Zoloft For Anxiety?
There are several types of anxiety that a person may experience. Hence, each kind of anxiety often needs to be treated differently. Moreover, medications that can help one kind of anxiety disorder may not be effective on other types.
Various researchers have the usefulness of Zoloft for anxiety. The Food and Drug Administration has likewise approved its use for the treatment of these diseases. These disorders include panic disorder and social anxiety disorder.
A panic disorder manifests through recurring and unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is a short period of extreme fear or discomfort. Some of its symptoms are palpitations, sweating, shaking, chest pains, nausea and more.
Meanwhile, social anxiety disorder is a fear of participating in activities that may require the person to interact with other people. Furthermore, being exposed to these kinds of situation often lead to impairment and distress. Lastly, the person usually recognizes that their fear is irrational and excessive.
Other Uses Of Zoloft
Besides anxiety, the Food and Drug Administration has also approved Zoloft for the treatment of other mental disorders. These mental disorders include: (3)
- Major Depressive Disorder: It is a persistent depressed or dysphoric mood that can interfere with a person’s regular daily functions. Some of its symptoms may also include a change in sleep, change in appetite, loss of interest in usual activities, psychomotor agitation or retardation and more.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Characterized by recurrent and persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses, or images (obsessions) that are ego-dystonic and/or repetitive, purposeful, and intentional behaviors (compulsions) that are recognized by the person as excessive or unreasonable.
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Most people who have PTSD had experienced an extremely traumatic experience in the past. The disorder usually manifests itself through recurring flashbacks of the traumatic event.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Lastly, some of the symptoms of PMDD include depression, affective lability, anxiety or tension, and persistent anger or irritability. The symptoms also often manifest themselves a few days after the onset of menses.