I will be starting on I believe week 7 of medication this week. It has been a massive help to me. I’m going to share my basic experience in case anyone finds it helpful.
Week 1: 25 mg Zoloft, .5 mg Ativan
-Zoloft: Heightened anxiety for about 4 days. After that nothing, felt like I wasn’t taking medication
-Ativan: Immediate positive effects, prevents flashbacks at night, prevents paranoia, solves insomnia problem, reduces nightmares and solves waking up multiple times a night problem. Unfortunately I gained tolerance to the .5 mg dose very quickly, and by the end of the week it was no longer working for me, so my therapist upped my dose.
Week 2: 25 mg Zoloft, 1 mg Ativan
Still not really feeling anything with Zoloft. Maybe a mild calmness during day. Ativan has beneficial effects again at the new dose.
Week 3: 50 mg Zoloft, 1 mg Ativan
Knocked me on my butt for a week. Zoloft made me very very drowsy during the day to where I was napping several hours a day. Also made me calm. Still not noticing changes in depression but notice calmness is helping with anxiety. Ativan becomes slightly less effective halfway through week, I know this as I began waking up during the night again even though it was less times than before.
Week 4: 50 mg Zoloft, 1 mg Ativan
Drowsiness effects reduce and then go away completely for the other half of this week. I still did not feel it was helping my depression much as I could still not feel happiness but I was noticing differences in my anxiety. Ativan the same.
Week 5: 75 mg Zoloft, 1 mg Ativan, 2 mg Abilify
This is where I began really noticing positive effects from the Zoloft. It was helping with anxiety and PTSD symptoms hugely. I even realized there had been improvements in my depression such as a big reduction in suicidal thoughts, better energy, etc. By the end of the week I finally began to feel real happiness again for the first time in over a month. I was ecstatic. Abilify didn’t seem to do much to me. It had a sedating effect and made me feel a bit loopy/calm, which I didn’t mind. The first couple of days it made me mildly jittery as well. I was fine with it. I’d take it with Ativan at night and feel great. I was waking up feeling well-rested for the first time in ages.
Week 6: 75 mg Zoloft, 1 mg Ativan, 2 mg Abilify
Begin getting actually bad side effects from likely the Abilify. Intense restlessness and jitteriness that was unbearable to the point where I now took Ativan during the day rather than at night. Unfortunately it also caused me a lot of insomnia due to the restlessness. I haven’t slept well in a week now. It also causes my hands to shake, and used to give me really bad hunger pangs until I began taking vitamins to fix them.
Now, week 7, I’ll be on 100 mg Zoloft, 1 mg Ativan and 5 mg Abilify. Hope all goes well!! Also feel free to share your own med journeys, it fascinates me to see how they change the mind and symptoms.