Sertraline, Pure OCD, Weight Gain &Binge eating

Hi everyone,

I take Sertraline for pure OCD /nasty intrusive thoughts & anxiety, depression etc. I have been on 150mg daily for the last 8 or so years. It has worked really well in reducing the frequency and intensity of the intrusive thoughts and suicidal feelings.

However I have put on about 8 stone since being on them and just keep binging. I have always had binge eating disorder anyway, but it's definitely got significantly worse since being on sertraline,- I've never known cravings for sugar, chocolate and carbs like it - sometimes it's almost like some kind of primal survival instinct! I've had loads of counselling and CBT over the years and try as hard as I can to challenge the cravings and negative thoughts etc but something just takes over, if there is any trigger food in the vicinity (which I don't understand, because I feel like binge eating can be linked to an ocd anyway)

Over the last few years, my communication and short term memory have declined which has been humiliating at work as I've screwed up meetings by fluffing my words, losing my train of thought and taking ages to 'get to the point' - plus forgetting things that people have literally just said!! I have the attention span of a gnat and freak out about what order to do tasks in. The doctor has fobbed me off with something about old age (come on, I'm 36!).

I feel like crap because of all this... my mood has dropped, I'm around 20stone now and my confidence is rock bottom.

I worry about what I am doing to my body by scoffing 200g+ of chocolate in one go on a daily basis yet cannot motivate myself to exercise and just sit in a pit of self pity.

I got referred to our local mental health service which really let me down, telling me after a one hour stressful appt to get off the antidepressants and blaming everything on my current relationship (which isn't perfect, but not that unhealthy!)....without even asking about my family history (both parents have depression) upbringing, thoughts - or even what time of the month it was!!!

My doctor disagrees with Sertraline causing the cravings but is suggesting venlafaxine, which is known for weight gain.

I guess what I really want to find out (apart from getting this off my chest - if you're still with me, then thank you) is if anyone else with the same symptoms ie intrusive thoughts, binging, ocd, anxiety etc found the same thing with sertraline, or has found a better anti d that worked for them??

Am trying to decide whether to just increase my dose to 200mg in case that's what's needed or try something else...but I just cannot risk having to manage the grissly intrusive thoughts and panic attacks coming back up again.

I know that meds work differently for everyone - if you're thinking of trying /been prescribed sertraline, PLEASE do give it a go - at least for a good couple of months, it might work better for you - but would be grateful for advice/comments from those with similar symptoms/experience.

Thank you

3 Replies

Hi, I've always had ocd, anxiety and I am also prone to binge eating with emotion- good or bad!

I've been on 200mg of Sertraline for 2 years and find it very neutral. The only thing I do find is weight loss is tricky, I'm on SW but I really have to be 100% to get a loss.

I was on Olanzapine for a year- and completely understand the whole primeval need to eat...sugar, carbs, quite obsessively. I gained 3 stone in a year! Since coming off, but still on Sertraline I have managed to lose 2 stone.

From my experience I would say, SW, a bit of exercise and positive will!

Good luck. X


Hiya Cath,

Thanks for your reply and well done on the weight loss!

I think 200mg is worth a try, got to try these things!!

Have tried Slimming World (SW?) before and lost a bit of weight...and then lost motivation...but have been considering going back for a while, so I'll just do it, I feel like I need to do something to break the cycle and at least get on the right path.

Am forcing myself to cycle to work too, esp as the traffic is bad, hopefully that'll provide motivation and help me concentrate!!

Thank you and Good luck with your progress too x


yrs ago when I was first ill I tried lots of meds, biut then I was sent to a outpatient hospitsal and the doctor put me on Clomipramine, that's when I started to get better, I have been on it for yrs and have just had to up it as going through an obsessional phase I am on 200 mg the highest is 250 I think .


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