Zoloft and Aggression

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by geekparent, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    My difficult child is on zoloft for anxiety, and in the past three months, her behavior has been deteroriating. She snaps and gets frustrated easily, fights back more readily and has become even more defiant and aggressive. In fact, she's reverted back to behavior we haven't seen in nearly two years. Has anyone had any experience with Zoloft causing aggression?
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    More to the point, why is she on Zoloft for anxiety? It's more for depression. Plus, she's a bit young for that medication.
    There are lots of parents here who have experience with-that medication. My only experience with-myself, yrs ago, and my son, 2 yrs ago, is major headaches and heart palpitations.
    Why did you take her off Concerta?
  3. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    TerryJ2: She's off the Concerta because it intensified the anxiety. She was upset and crying nearly every other hour and losing control and acting out.

    Why is she on zoloft for anxiety? Because her psychiatrist is an idiot. We're currently in the process of transferring to a new one who actually seems to know what he's talking about. Just he's not on our insurance, so we have to pay out of pocket and it's a timing game. Hopefully soon we'll be rid of her current psychiatrist.
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Zoloft made my difficult child extremely manic, which was when the possibility of bipolar was first brought up (anti-depressants frequently cause mania/aggression in bipolar kids). Since bipolar is sometimes misdiagnosed as ADHD, I'd say it's definitely time to get another opinion/new psychiatrist.
  5. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Zoloft is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

    Zoloft is prescribed for both depression and anxiety disorders, and is approved for kids 6-17 for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). My difficult child has been on it, 1st time for 2 years, now for the 2nd time for a year. It helped calm his anxiety & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) traits and let him deal with school, and now evens his mood due to his SAD. For us it's been great.

    That being said, not everyone reacts the same to the same medication. It could be causing your difficult child's increased frustration and aggression. It's not a drug you can just stop however. Hopefuly when you discuss this with your new psychiatrist he will wean your difficult child off and find something that will work for you.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, here's my .02.

    Has she seen a neuropsychologist for diagnosis? So many times our kids are misdiagnosed then put on medications that don't help them. Concerta most definitely would cause high anxiety. I was on Ritalin a few times and I have a terrible anxiety disorder plus depression and it exacerbated both so I think it was a good plan to remove it. Zoloft can make some people worse...it did for me. On the other hand Paroxotene, it's cousin, has a very calming affect on me. Of course, I'm an adult. However, these days it seems medications are given to kids of all ages (and in my opinion too often and too much). My son was misdiagnosed with bipolar and put on heavy duty BiPolar (BP) medications so please be careful you even have the right diagnosis. Not all kids are the same, but my particular child is much better on NO medications. On the other hand, *I* have to take them to maintain my moods. It is very hard to know what is really going on with a young child and everything a professional says is really just their best guess. How was your daughter's early development and how are her social skills? Does she have any quirky behavior or obsessive interests? Is she getting help other than just medication?
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Zoloft, the first few days I took it was the best thing that EVER happened to my life! I absolutely could have told you why people took drugs, it made me high as a kite, I had never been happier. Three months later? I was trying to plan my own suicide.

    My son was 10 the first time the psychiatrist put him on it. He was great the first month. Then he tried to hang himself in a closet. At 16 against my advice and after being arrested they put him on it in Department of Juvenile Justice. After being on it for three weeks? He tried to hang himself with a sheet. He called and told me he was going to do it, and I was on the phone with his so-called therapist when she got an emergency call about 'a client'. They took him off of it immediately. Oddly enough? My idealizations of suicide were about hanging myself. Not planning it out physically, just thinking about it. I discussed it with my t-doctor and went on Prozac next which ended up being worse for me. I'm not on Welbutrin and can say it works very well for me.

    As for my son? Nothing out of 65 medications over the last 16 years have helped him in the least. I would factor in age, immaturity, willingness to allow them long enough to trial. There is a period of time for ALL anxiety medications to work relatively speaking, but everyone is different so I would check with your pharmacist.

    Here in SC a young man killed his Grandparents, and set their bodies and home on fire after being on Zoloft. He won't be eligible for parole until he's 45 year old. He was 12 when he killed them. His defense counsel tried to blame Zoloft. The Supreme court didn't believe it. I'm not sure I did either.

    So to answer your question fairly? It could be the medication, but in order to really have a fair assessment? You'd have to take her to base (no medications) after a step down because you can not just stop Zoloft cold turkey....and then observe her behaviors for a period of time and see if in fact she was more or less aggressive. Then you have to consider outside factors - stress, school, home. Then trial her on a new medication. I do know this for a fact. If you or your husband are on an anti-anxiety medication, or anti-depressant and it works well for one of you? The chances of that medication working well for one of your children is better than average, and I would mention that medication to your daughters psychiatrist as a possibility. Some medications just aren't safe for children or have not been tested on young children or teens so there's always a risk. Anger management and therapy for her and the family are REALLY EXCELLENT tools for all of you to have. There is no one pill that is going to fix her....and as far as parenting? What works for your other kids or other kids period? Is NOT going to work for her. So get some help - knowledge is going to be the best tool you can have in helping her. She's brilliant you know....trying to stay one step ahead of her is going to wear you out. Getting assistance with that? Good idea. ;)

    Not trying to scare you - we're here to help, educate and support. (and laugh if we can - oh and teach you shadow puppets) lol. never mind me my mind is just gone.

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, you've certainly run the gamut of replies here!
    Sorry you don't like your psychiatric. I know the feeling of being trapped, expecially with-ins limitations.
    I would definitely try something else.
    And continue counseling with-a talk therapist, no matter what.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    ABSOLUTELY agree with Terry J - GET A TALK THERAPIST no matter what.

    Oh and FYI - (re: insurance limitations) when Clinton was President? He passed into law that ALL County Mental Offices must take people for appointments based on their income/sliding scale fee or free if they can't afford it. If you are below income guidelines your son and yourself may qualify for Medicaid which will give you medications for free or low income. There are also (in most cities) free-clinics that will see you for free and some will give you samples of medications free. But you have to be pro-active and call these places. If your insurance only offers 1-3 visits - then see your GP and explain that your son has issues and get him to prescribe the medication so it will be covered under the insurance.

    If you live somewhere and think there are no programs call your United Way and ask for assistance. OR you can always post here your general location and we'll try to help you with programs.

    Finally - IF you have no insurance or are UNDERINSURED? You can always see if the company your medications are from offer a low-income program directly. Your doctor has to do the paperwork, but a lot of pharmaceutical companies are offering programs to help so no one goes without.