Side affects may include: New found arachnophobia :/

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    Side affects may include: New found arachnophobia :/

    So, a couple of months ago I was put on Zoloft (antidepressant). One of the side affects where very vivid nightmares about spiders. Every night for almost two weeks I had these dreams.

    Now I seemed to have developed an irrational fear of spiders in real life. Not just any spiders though, tarantulas, jumping spiders, those fat little garden spiders, none of them bother me. It's the quarter sized black ones with the long thin, furry legs.

    It started to warm up here and there was one in my bathtub. It took me a couple of hours to psych myself up enough to spray it with bug spray. The dead body was worse though. Most of my dreams where about dead, dismembered and bloated spiders. I had to ask someone else to clean it up for me so I could take a shower. That was the worst shower of my life, I have never gone through that kind of panicky episode before.

    I told my therapist about it... he just said yeah, SSRIs will do that. Like it was no big deal. It never said bad dreams on the side affects list. The psychiatrist who prescribed them to me never mentioned it. But when I looked it up, there's a known link.

    I feel ruined. I've never had a problem with spiders before. I really like them actually. But now I have this constant fear in the back of my mind that I'm going to see one again, and I hate it. I've never been so jumpy and irrational before in my whole life. Even just looking at photos and drawings will set me off.

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    You mean side effects.
    That's a really weird side effect, but it doesn't seem as bad as the usual side effects (like affecting your organs or something) You should ask your therapist if there's something you can do about it if it really bothers you.

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    Dude, tell your therapist and psychiatrist and have them put you on different medication. Make it clear to them how this is affecting you. Therapists aren't mind readers and just mentioning nightmares won't make them realize what you're going through. If you still feel like your therapist isn't listening, get a new one.

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    In all honesty. I don't know too many people who aren't afraid or jump when they see a quarter+ size furry spider in the same room as them. We have brown recluse's in our state. Scary little buggers and deadly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    In all honesty. I don't know too many people who aren't afraid or jump when they see a quarter+ size furry spider in the same room as them. We have brown recluse's in our state. Scary little buggers and deadly.
    How many people do you know that fear them all the time, even when they aren't around?

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    It's definitely abnormal if it's all the time and if it's that panic inducing find another alternative. I can't say how bad it is looking at text.


    I have friends that just looking at a photo get creeped out and panic, they can't remove the dead body either even if they work up the courage to kill it. Then those that after they see a big spider in an area they get paranoid there are more, that there's a nest. It's a phobia. Spider phobia's seem pretty common, although varying in degree.

    But once again it depends on how panicky it truly is. If you think it's from the medication change it. But the people here are artists not psychologists, or medical professionals.


    The only advice I can give you is don't trust what one doctor tells you. If you feel something is wrong or weird pursue it. My family knows first hand when you talk to a doctor (or therapist) and then they say 'it's fine' that it can easily not be 'fine' or normal. So you just go about your day thinking 'they're a doctor they know what they're talking about' but it's a serious issue. People in a medical and psychological field can be absolute idiots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post

    I have friends that just looking at a photo get creeped out and panic, they can't remove the dead body either even if they work up the courage to kill it. Then those that after they see a big spider in an area they get paranoid there are more, that there's a nest. It's a phobia.
    THIS IS ME! Though I don't panic at a pic...

    To to the OP, definitely see if you can get off/change your meds/doctors or maybe add another medication? I'm not sure if that"ll help you as I don't know how deep your depression is.

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    Oh man, Zoloft...I was put on Zoloft and Xanex back when I was a teenager and I experienced a whole host of new problems upon taking them. I was originally put on Zoloft and Xanex because of panic attacks. But it seemed that taking these drugs put me in to a depression spell that lasted for a few years. I have since discontinued the use of both of these drugs and I'm doing fine now.

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    Maybe, thanks to the medication, you finally have the clarity to recognize the threat that spiders pose to humanity. Embrace your fear, it will keep you alive.

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    Sounds to me like in this case the medication took the patient from the frying pan into the fire.

    Medication should be a last resort. Most cases of depression will resolve themselves after some time, or can be managed without medication. Alas, nowadays doctors are extremely eager to diagnose absolutely everyone with this or that and get them to pay for expensive medication.

    Just as a headache can be your body's way of telling you to take a bit of a break, so depression can be your mind's way of telling you to take a mental break and rethink your life a bit. Alas, most of us are now too busy with careers and family to do that, so we try medication instead. But there may be underlying reasons for the depression that the medication cannot treat.

    We also tend to drug our kids into submission instead of educating and disciplining them - once again because of lack of time.

    But I am not a doctor and cannot make any diagnoses in this specific case. I guess I cannot even empathize properly - I have had a brown widow living peacefully on the window sill in the my bathroom for months now... :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by blogmatix View Post
    Sounds to me like in this case the medication took the patient from the frying pan into the fire.

    Medication should be a last resort. Most cases of depression will resolve themselves after some time, or can be managed without medication. Alas, nowadays doctors are extremely eager to diagnose absolutely everyone with this or that and get them to pay for expensive medication.

    Just as a headache can be your body's way of telling you to take a bit of a break, so depression can be your mind's way of telling you to take a mental break and rethink your life a bit. Alas, most of us are now too busy with careers and family to do that, so we try medication instead. But there may be underlying reasons for the depression that the medication cannot treat.

    We also tend to drug our kids into submission instead of educating and disciplining them - once again because of lack of time.

    But I am not a doctor and cannot make any diagnoses in this specific case. I guess I cannot even empathize properly - I have had a brown widow living peacefully on the window sill in the my bathroom for months now... :-)
    It's always fun when artists on the internet try to give people advice that only a highly educated medical (and in this case psychological) expert is qualified to give... (And you said it yourself: "But I am not a doctor and cannot make any diagnoses in this specific case.")

    To the OP, no one here is qualified to give you advice on this matter because as far as I know there are no psychiatrists registered on this board. Take all medical advice given on this board (or any others that do not deal exclusively with qualified professionals) EXTREMELY lightly.

    Take these matters up with your psychiatrist and hopefully they can assist you. If you feel like they're not helping you, or making your problems worse, tell them that as well. If that doesn't resolve the issue then perhaps you should find a new psychiatrist.

    I too believe that medicine should usually be used sparingly in the cases of "light" mental ailments such as depression and anxiety, and that antidepressants and many other psychological medications are over-prescribed. They can be extraordinarily effective, however, and even absolutely essential in certain cases. I know plenty of people who have made progress through the use of medication that they probably would not have otherwise. That said, I also know people that probably should be medicated but aren't and others who are and probably shouldn't be.

    Of course, I don't know what the OP's condition is, (and I'm not a psychologist, just the son of one) and I am not qualified in any way to speculate whether medication was right or not.

    Last edited by OldJake666; February 18th, 2012 at 02:52 AM.
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    I agree with Jacob. Bring it up to your psychiatrist that you want to try a different medication because your current one is disrupting your life. Bring up your new troubles to your therapist again, and if they brush you off, call them on it. If they brush you off on that, I would consider getting a new one.

    Taken from the Mayo Clinic
    "Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared"

    Take care of yourself

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    It's always fun when artists on the internet try to give people advice that only a highly educated medical (and in this case psychological) expert is qualified to give... (And you said it yourself: "But I am not a doctor and cannot make any diagnoses in this specific case.")
    Indeed I did - I am not a doctor. But I have enough training in life sciences and scientific method in general to be able to read up on these things. We live in a world that has become obsessed with medicalizing absolutely everything, and prescribing pills for everything. Hence most conditions are nowadays over-diagnosed.

    To the OP, no one here is qualified to give you advice on this matter because as far as I know there are no psychiatrists registered on this board. Take all medical advice given on this board (or any others that do not deal exclusively with qualified professionals) EXTREMELY lightly.
    The sad thing is that you nowadays have to take even your trained doctor's advice with a grain of salt - most doctors nowadays get their information on medicine for pharmaceutical representatives. Disease mongering has become rife.

    I don't know what one can really do about it, because if you cannot trust your doctor, who CAN you trust? My advice would be to get a second, third and fourth opinion, and read up as much and as widely as you can.

    Must-read books in this regard are "Bad science," by Ben Goldacre and "The rise and fall of modern medicine" by James le Fanu.

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    AAA
    Artists and antidepressants

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    use the images in your dreams as inspiration for some crazy drawings?

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    I should have clarified, I am currently weening myself off of the stuff and I'll most likely end up on something different. It really sucks because I'd rather take the holistic route, but my psychiatrist is working through the state, and they don't feel it's worth their while to help anybody unless you're on medication.

    I have friends that just looking at a photo get creeped out and panic, they can't remove the dead body either even if they work up the courage to kill it. Then those that after they see a big spider in an area they get paranoid there are more, that there's a nest. It's a phobia. Spider phobia's seem pretty common, although varying in degree.

    But once again it depends on how panicky it truly is. If you think it's from the medication change it. But the people here are artists not psychologists, or medical professionals.
    This is much worse than that. Sometimes I can feel them in my mouth, and if I don't push the mental images out of my mind, I can't eat. If I see anything black and even vaguely spider looking, like my hair clip or my cat's mouse toy, I instantly get a mental image of a large black spider and my hackles go up, so to speak. I know it's from the pill too because this didn't start until after the dreams, and I've never had a problem with spiders before in my life.

    Oh man, Zoloft...I was put on Zoloft and Xanex back when I was a teenager and I experienced a whole host of new problems upon taking them. I was originally put on Zoloft and Xanex because of panic attacks. But it seemed that taking these drugs put me in to a depression spell that lasted for a few years. I have since discontinued the use of both of these drugs and I'm doing fine now.
    I know :/ This is probably my fourth or fifth antidepressant. It's the worst, but none of them really did me any good. I started taking them when I was a teenager and ended up in a psych facility twice.

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    antidepressants have their place battling deep prolonged depressions, but its a lot easier to fight melancholy with regular excercise, getting a boy or girlfriend who loves you and doing worthwhile work.

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    Funny you mention about the dead aspect Spiral, I have a bit of a necrophobia as well; i can handle a live snake but don't get me to even walk near a dead one. just a few nights ago while reading in bed I actually had a spider crawl over my arm, around my book and into my pillowcase, and I didn't care. I would have picked him up and gently moved him to a corner if i could (he was too fast and fragile though) now if i found a dead one in my bed I'd probably have to swipe him off with a broom and change the sheets.

    Anyhow, hope you can get a hold of it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    antidepressants have their place battling deep prolonged depressions, but its a lot easier to fight melancholy with regular excercise, getting a boy or girlfriend who loves you and doing worthwhile work.
    I've had depression and generalized anxiety disorder for over 10 years.

    You're right though. Just drawing more and being active on this forum has done a lot more for me than the past couple of months I've been in therapy.

    Funny you mention about the dead aspect Spiral, I have a bit of a necrophobia as well; i can handle a live snake but don't get me to even walk near a dead one. just a few nights ago while reading in bed I actually had a spider crawl over my arm, around my book and into my pillowcase, and I didn't care. I would have picked him up and gently moved him to a corner if i could (he was too fast and fragile though) now if i found a dead one in my bed I'd probably have to swipe him off with a broom and change the sheets.

    Anyhow, hope you can get a hold of it

    Funny how that is right? With most people it's the opposite. Most things don't bother me, I've butchered enough animals over my lifetime that I'm used to it. But there's something about dead invertebrates that I find deeply disturbing. I can't handle to look at any kind of bug if it's in pieces or has been squashed. The spiders are on a whole different level though.

    Oh and fish to. I have a lot of dreams involving fish that are still alive but falling part, like how salmon do when they spawn. It's weird.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiralHorn View Post
    I've had depression and generalized anxiety disorder for over 10 years.

    You're right though. Just drawing more and being active on this forum has done a lot more for me than the past couple of months I've been in therapy.
    I'd say it has helped you create a false sense of security; a bubble of comfort. This can severely affect your real life in a negative force.

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    Well, just for the hell of it, I Googled spiders and Zoloft.

    --seems you have a fair amount of company.

    Awfully weird, that.

    All the best to you!

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    I was on Zoloft and Xanax too. It didn't increase my dislike of spiders. I always hated them. But really, they should be the least of your worries. Giant Isopods are much more terrifying. And crabs. Crabs are just sea-spiders. Can you imagine that? You aren't even safe from them under water.

    Google "coconut crab"

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    I've always had pretty bad arachnophobia, but for some reason crabs don't bother me at all. I actually find them cute. I wouldn't mind having some as pets even. It affects everyone a little differently I guess.

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    I kind of went full circle when it came to spiders. When I was little (7 or 8 years old) I loved them. I used to pick them up and play with them, and I even occasionally kept them as pets. Then, later on, I became very much afraid of them. I couldn't even be in the same room as one. To make matters worse, during this period there were occasionally, to my grave horror, unwelcome tarantulas in my room. Now I don't fear them, but I keep a respectable distance from them. If there's one in my room, I'll probably move it outside. But that's all. I won't crush it in a fit of fear and dispair, but I won't let it crawl all over me, either.

    Crabs have never bothered me a bit but I agree Isopods are damn scary looking.

    I've actually often wondered why people are so inherently afraid of spiders. It's true that some are poisonous, but it's a small percentage so I doubt that's the reason. I get why so many are afraid of snakes (though I'm not at all) because it's ingrained in our culture (from the Bible, etc.) but I don't quite understand why spiders are basically the most feared creatures on the planet.

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    I like spiders, I just don't know what to do with them because if I play with one I end up crushing it. I believe most people fear them because they look nothing like us, there is no way for us to relate to them. At least a cat or dog is mammal, warm blooded, two eyes, a face, and have four appendages (or five) which is similar to us. But spider? Looks nothing like us, eight scrawny appendage, several eyes. Many people think, "what is that?"
    People fear what is alien or different to them.

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    flooding or gradual exposure is what you would do with a normal phobia, but I don't know what to tell you when it comes to phobias as side effects of drugs.

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    I need to start coming to CA for my medical diagnoses.

    ...I've got this lump on my head, guys...

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