Sertraline Dreams

Anyone who has taken psychiatric medication will be familiar with the meds-go-round – that process of trial and error whereby you start a medication, realise the side effects are not worth it, switch medication again and hope the side effects on the new one aren’t as bad.

I have been on sertraline (Zoloft) for around two years now and thankfully it has been a good match for me. It slightly elevates my mood, but not in any detrimental way. In truth, I think I’ve only had one major side effect on this medication – and it’s been kind of fun!

Sertraline gives me incredible dreams. reports that abnormal dreams as a side effect has an incidence rate of 0.1% – 1%, making it rather uncommon. Having Googled for others’ experiences of dreaming on sertraline I realise I’m not the only one having these night-time adventures.

Sometimes the dreams stay with me after I’ve woken up, and I can recount them in the same way I can tell my husband about my day at work. Other times they leave my head upon waking and it isn’t until something reminds me of them during the course of waking life that they come flooding back, as though they are memories of real things that have happened.

The ones I remember fully are totally vivid and real; right down to being able to feel things and smell things within the dream. I have been on the battlefield in World War 1 (totally terrifying) and I’ve climbed Mount Everest. There are still bizarre elements to them; especially the ones involving sexual encounters.

Other dreams don’t leave such a conscious impression. I remember one occasion in which I was surprised that my hair was still long when I looked in the mirror; I had a distinct memory of having it cut to chin-length. I’ve also been mad at my husband because of rows we’ve ‘had’. It isn’t until I talk to him about it that I realise the memory of the argument is actually a remnant of a dream.

One of the more upsetting incidents was when I spent a morning distraught over the loss of my Nanny Noo. For about four hours I mourned her, until something made me doubt myself and I asked my husband if it was real. The relief I felt when he told me that I had dreamed it was unbelievable.

I’ve had the whole Inception experience too. I’ve woken up into another dream a few times, and it isn’t until something truly bizarre happens that I either realise it’s a dream or wake up for real.

The dreams don’t really bother me too much anymore. It is weird and unsettling, sure, but as side effects go I’ll happily take this one over anything physical. I’ve come to enjoy most of the dreams, and have recurring characters within them now that I actually look forward to seeing, as though they’re old friends.

I’d be interested to know if any of you have experienced anything like this on sertraline or other SSRIs. Connect with me on Twitter (@dontsayimcrazy) or in the comments below.

Sertraline Dreams

5 thoughts on “Sertraline Dreams

  1. I’ve been on Zoloft for a few months and the side effects hit me like crazy, tiredness, mood swings, and vivid dreams. I thought I was the only one! I’m glad to hear it sounds like a good match for you sadly it’s not the case for me. But the dreams were out of this world that was a side effect I often times did not mind. It was an interesting topic of conversation at therapy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Crystal Sky says:

    That’s odd because I have ALWAYS been a vivid dreamer. Maybe this doesn’t happen to me, since I do it anyway. I do have trouble with nightmares sometimes, but mostly I have adventure dreams, beautiful and crazy and totally fun! Whether it’s my Zoloft or not, I’m not complaining! 🙂


    1. Hi Blu! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Do you dream in images? For me the whole dream-scape is identifiable by sounds, smells and textures… I rarely dream in pictures, which is hard to explain cause the whole dream-world is still so vivid and real to me. I just happen to be blind when I sleep…

      Much loves,



  3. Mitchell Miller says:

    My dreams are in color and great special effects. Sex dreams are very realistic down to detail. My nightmares ceased on beginning Zoloft. I now see the VA doctor only every six months. I am glad to trade the vivid dreams for the nightmares of my endless death/


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