Can Zoloft induce rage?

Furious Seasons has a post on WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, who possibly may have taken Zoloft shortly before he committed the murder of his wife and child. The article on that FS linked to refers to the possibility that Benoit's friend and doctor, Phillippe Astin III, may have prescribed the drug to Benoit on Friday, the day before he killed his wife.

There are definitely some funky mental issues behind Benoit's motives for killing his family, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Zoloft played a part in influencing him to do so. I recently mentioned Christopher Pittman who killed his grandparents in 2001 then proceeded to set their house on fire when he was on an adult dosage of 200 mg of Zoloft. He was 12. Stephany of soulful sepulcher commented that her daughter suffered from a similar problem while on 150 mg Zoloft:

Pittman was about the same age my daughter was then, and she was on 150mg of Zoloft a day, and that med changed her personality into a full blown all day raging person. She had to go inpatient to get off of it, and once off of it, she's never raged like that again. The Pittman story is very sad, as are all of the others associated with antidepressant use and teen violence. Columbine had Luvox, there's Accutane–it's beyond me how this can be overlooked in connection.

I wonder if there are other stories floating out there now about how Zoloft – an antidepressant – has caused similar behaviors. It'd be interesting to observe whether Zoloft causes hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis.

19 thoughts on “Can Zoloft induce rage?

  1. check out it was put together in part by the mother of a girl who committed a violent suicide very clearly complicated by her starting Zoloft.
    David Healy has horrific stories on his site too.
    His stories aren’t just about Prozac, but all SSRI’s.

  2. As a person who suffers from bipolar disorder it should be no surprise that when on Zoloft I suffered significant mania. It wasn’t the fault of the drug, it was due to a mis-diagnosis.

  3. You wondered if other people were getting the same bad reaction from Zoloft and the like. THe web is full of them. I’ve received numerous comments on Chris’ webiste. Among them:
    I have a Grandson who was diagnosed as “ADHD” when he was only six years old and one of the drugs used to treat him was Zoloft. I watched him change from a happy go lucky little boy to a child I hardly recognized. He would become angry for no apparent reason or he would be almost zombie like. We just never knew what he would do. As I watched your trial I was taken back those many years ago and remembered the agony of this family as we watched him struggle just to survive. Thankfully we finally got him off that medication and he is now 19 years old and is in college.
    In my senior year in high school I was diagnosed as being severely depressed and put on medication. The first medication that I was on I took for 5 months and it made me really aggressive. My friends and family noticed the change and I told my doctor about it and she changed my meds. After that I was fine. I am normally a very passive person and will let just about anything fly. But the medication made me really aggravated and aggressive toward my friends and family and it seemed that I wasn’t overcoming my depression. I just got done watching the 48 hours investigation on the Discovery Times Channel and felt a connection with Chris. I felt that I had to write this to let you know that Chris is not the only one out there that had these side effects. I think there should be a study done to see how many people that take antidepressants have increased aggression. The problem is that the pharmaceutical industry has deep pockets and many lobbyists. I hope this helps in some way.
    My son experienced serious side effects from taking Zoloft. He was 7 at the time. He spoke of death and dying, and was completely out of control. His anger and defiance were extreme. We could not convince the pediatric neurologist to take him off the medication, so we spoke with the family Dr. who agreed to wean him off of the medication. Symptoms very quickly went away–never to return. This drug is dangerous in small children.
    I pray for Chris, and I follow the story. My wish that these drug companies would be held accountable, and shame on them for allowing this child to be the scapegoat.
    My wonderful sweet husband just got off of Zoloft. It made him turn into a different, person with violent thoughts. Luckily we found out it was the meds before it was too late. I pray that Chris will get justice and people will realize what these meds are doing to people.
    i am 27 years old and i live in New Philadelphia Ohio i just got my morning paper and my coffee and sat down to do my every morning this i came across a story that grabed my attention i seen the smile of a sweet little boy at the age of 12 at first i had thought to myself oh what has happened to this little child so i as i was reading the story tears had fell from my eyes this child is not a criminal but a victim i once too had been a victim of zoloft i was taking 180mg a day i had noticed a big change in my life i did things that i should not have done and i had no idea that i was doing them. i had evil thoughts in my head i had stoped the use of zoloft and do feel alot better if you could send my some info i would like to help as much as i can thank you
    I remember the case when it happened.
    At the time I thought, “Zoloft right”.
    Let me tell you my physician put me on Zoloft and it took about three weeks for my to become psychotic and I’m a 50 year old woman.
    I have three children and I don’t make a lot of money but please let me know if I can do anything for the Pittman boy.
    The jury should have been placed on Zoloft before they made they decision. Unless you’ve experience it you simply cannot believe its’ effect.

  4. I decided that I had to come off 300mg of Zoloft – and quickly – after I actually almost punched a woman who was behaving badly at a function I had organised. I’d noticed that I was becoming increasingly irritable, and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  5. P.S.
    “My son experienced serious side effects from taking Zoloft. He was 7 at the time. He spoke of death and dying, and was completely out of control. His anger and defiance were extreme. We could not convince the pediatric neurologist to take him off the medication, so we spoke with the family Dr. who agreed to wean him off of the medication. Symptoms very quickly went away–never to return. This drug is dangerous in small children.”
    I understand that spam is a ******* pain in the *** but I wish swearing was allowed for special occasions like this.

  6. I took Zoloft once when i was 16 yrs old, and the change was immediate. I became raging, aggressive, and darn right violent. I truly believe if this drug was administered to Chris Benoit, and then mixed with alcohol or other drugs, or hell, i was taking the stuff SOBER, that he may not be accountable for his actions. Roid Rage people??? TRY ANTI-DEPRESSANT Side effect.
    This is sooo sad….i would love to see the manufacturer of Zoloft be held liable…it’s about time these drug manufacturers of anti-psychotics, anti-antagonists, anti-depressants, and anti-convulsants should be held accountable for the drugs THEY distribute. Many of them haven’t been tested, and cause multi-system organ failure, and suicidal and homicidal behaviors. IF we can track down and lock up those who distribute legal steroids, then why not the CEO’s of These companies??? What about the victims of their drugs??
    May peace and rest be granted unto Chris Benoit, Nancy “woman” Benoit, and their precious son Daniel. I hope God has mercy on these horrible circumstances.

  7. Zoloft at age six had contributed to me becoming a meth addict at age 21.
    I was prescribed Zoloft when I was 6yrs old. I stopped taking it when I was about 13. I stopped on my own w/out weaning myself off of it. I stopped taking it because it was making me very depressed and suicidal. I have had extremely bad rage since I was put on Zoloft at age 6. At age 15 I went to a Dr. who prescribed me Tegretol for my “Rage Disorder”. My parents researched Tegretol and didn’t fill the prescription cause they thought it was unsafe. I am glad I never took Tegretol.
    But I am very upset that some Dr. thought a 6yr old was manic-depressive. She precribed me Zoloft when it was only 6rs old. How can you give a 6yr old child meds that have unknown long-term side effects? It made me so depressed and suicidal that I decided that instead of killing myself… I did drugs. They helped me forget my pain. Now I am a f***ing meth addict.
    Thanks Zoloft (sarcastically).
    I hate my life. 😦

  8. Ive been on zoloft for around 15 years on and off. Family troubles, I was crying constantly and I guess the doctor thought I needed zoloft, my mum was on it as well. I am 30 now and I am going through a horrid breakup with my partner who I was abusive and violent towards. When I get in these rages I am totally out of control and completely irrational. I have many issues which I am now seeing a psychiatrist about, but I googled “zoloft and rage” just out of curiosity to see whether anyone else was wondering. When I get into these rages (which are often worse around the time I get my period) I am like one of the zombies in that movie that get the rage – totally animal and monstrous. I say things and do things that are bitchy, cruel, indecent, inhuman and verging on criminal. My (ex)partner has had enough and at last I am getting help but too late for my relationship. I wanted to marry him.
    I didn’t ever think I was a bad person but now I don’t know. And perhaps blaming it on zoloft is a copout. Maybe Im just a f%^King monster. Definitely should have got help years ago.
    Just interesting.

  9. Oh and another thing – I always tried to come off my meds every few years when everything seemed stable because I don’t like taking medication constantly – and it was obvious I needed help in a serious way – but I don’t think the medication was the answer.. and the last thing my babe said to me was “keep on your meds”.. maybe it’s ironic and maybe I will laugh about it one day.

  10. Just wanted to say I cut down my zoloft and I dont think im going to strangle the cats and I havent been having killing dreams. Im taking 25mg a day now. I cry a lot more but i dont really care =)

  11. Hmm, over the last two years I have had Sertraline, Citalopram and Escitalopram (closely related drugs.)
    I have had depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. If it were not for the anti-depressants I would most likely be dead by now. Apart from 30lbs of weight gain and some serious nausea, I probably got away lightly with side effects…
    I do know about the problems inherent with these drugs, and I am aware that they should not be given to children unless there is no possible alternative (and even then, probably not…) counselling, therapy etc… and I am deeply sorry you all had these terrible experiences. Seriously, I am…
    Take care everyone, and stay safe…

  12. I have been taking Sertraline(generic zoloft) for about 3 years.I began taking it during a bad relationship with an abusive boyfriend.
    The Drug changed me completely. It is like zoloft surpressed my conscience, and caused me to be very angry with everything and everyone around me. I’ve lost all of my friends, and feel so alone. I find myself forgetting things that happened, and doing things totally out of character for myself.
    I used to be such a sweet, quiet, and agreeable person to be around. I had several friends, and enjoyed my life, now all i want to do is sit at home.
    Zoloft has ruined my life.
    I am now trying to wean myself off of the drug, which is only making things worse. I am very ill all of the time, i suffer from fatigue, and fits of rage. I have suicidal thoughts, and have even attemtped suicide to make the pain go away. I am so sad, and i don’t feel like things will ever get any better. I feel terrible for putting my loved ones through this, but I don’t have any kind of control over my emotions, and cannot help the way i act.
    Does anyone have any similar stories, with a possibly hopefull resolution?
    Please help me!!

  13. Crystal,
    my only suggestion would be to see a doctor, and don’t try this by yourself. I know how you are feeling and you need help.
    Please go see a doctor. There are other things you can take to make yourself feel better.

  14. I have been on and off zoloft since I was 16 iam now 24 and I have never realy understand why I had those moments of uncontrolable rages until now,
    I’ve been a weekend drinker since I was 16 and a drug abuser since I was 19, I’ve lost everything I have worked for and a marrage since I was 22, I have been in 2 rehabs since then, I was put back on zoloft 3 months ago starting at 25mg to 100mg after the 1st month and its now all clear to me,
    zoloft causes me to become emotionless except for extreme anger, impulsiveness and rage fits expecialy when I drink. Iam currently weening of it and planning to never have to take this evil medication ever again. I hope the best for all of you who are trying to get of this stuff.

  15. I’ve been on Zoloft it seems, forever and have had no adverse reactions or incidents of rage. Could it be that these individuals had the proclivity for such behavior prior to taking Zoloft? They probably drank Coke or Pepsi before these actions, do we assume Pepsi Co. is responsible?

    It’s very EASY to blame something other than the person and it’s very EASY to “know someone who knows someone who knew of a person taking Zoloft…” and go that route.

    The Pharmaceutical industry is an easy target. Before we jump off the deep end, let’s examine the lives of the offenders and see what kind of environment and personality disposition they have/had and go from there before making sweeping generalities.

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