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Personal experience with anxiety meds


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Old 7th January 2018, 3:30 PM   #1
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Personal experience with anxiety meds

Hi! Iím a 31 year old single female. I have a great job, make good money, have great friends, workout five times per week, and I would consider myself above average attractively.

There are two things in my life that cause my anxiety to go through the roof: dating and my family life. I was wondering if anyone could share their personal experience with having anxiety and then taking prescription medication and how it helped. I guess it would help to mention a little about what gives me anxiety. Most of the time I am fine. Four years ago I was in a relationship that was emotionally and verbally abusive. I basically just had anxiety every day for those two years we were together and just tried to deal with it on my own. After we broke up I took steps to calm my anxiety, mostly I started working out all the time. For the next few years my anxiety was mild and working out helped. But also I did not date often and just focused on improving myself. I traveled to a few countries and got a dog.

This past year I decided to try to really get back in the dating game. I felt like I was very happy with myself as a person so I would be ready to open myself up and find someone to be with long term. Since this has happened though my anxiety has gone back through the roof again. Working out is not helping. Reading self help books is not helping. Iím finally to the point where I think I may want to try medication to stop the unnecessary worrying. For example I have been on 5/6 dates with this great guy. We are not exclusive but we get along amazingly and I really like him. These past two weeks I have had the most anxiety Iíve had in a very long time. Iím starting to worry about things that I donít need to worry about at this point. Iím starting to have negative thoughts, not about him but about him eventually hurting me. And he has not done anything to make me have these thoughts. I dated someone a few months ago and the same thing happened. It consumed me and I eventually just broke it off with him (kinda like hurt him before he hurts me type of situation.) am I ever going to be able to date without having these worries especially at the beginning? The second I realize I actually like a guy, the worry sets in. I donít want to ruin things with this new guy just bc I have anxiety.

My family life (mostly my mother who can not support herself and I worry about her well being) also gives me anxiety. But that has been managed these past few years with the exercise.

Does anyone have first hand experience with having anxiety then taking meds to help? Did it help? Do you feel better? Iím looking to try to get to the dr by the end of the month. Thank you in advance for any advice!
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Old 7th January 2018, 3:36 PM   #2
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Me, I went straight to the anti-psychotics

Back when I had my home drug store, I recall a couple of marked experiences. ExW took Effexor for about six months and she loved it for awhile. She even said people 'liked' her more and she felt less anxious and more comfortable. The hard part came when she plateaued and decided to go off it. Even following the reverse titration to the letter, the side effects going off, mood swings being one, were challenging. The worst was short-term memory loss, something she dealt with for almost a year.

My other experience was with a benzo, Xanax. Tip: Don't give a benzo to a dementia patient even if their doctor rx's it. Yikes. Watch out for benzodiazepines in general.

That's my limited experience. Good luck!
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Old 7th January 2018, 3:53 PM   #3
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I have experience with anxiety meds, but my anxiety is a bit different than yours, in that I get anxious over really dumb crap that's not normal to get anxious about. In your case, I would recommend talk therapy before going straight to anxiety medication. You have REAL issues that would cause many people anxiety (past abuse, the situation with your mom). I think therapy could particularly help with your relationship issues.
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Old 7th January 2018, 4:29 PM   #4
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Mx12345, you are so wise to ask for experience before trying anti anxiety drugs. Am sure you'll receive varied feedback.

I had a horrible experience with benzos (benzodiazepams, klonopin) after taking the smallest dose pill broken in half regularly for a few weeks. I may have taken it twice a day, can't recall now as it's been eight years ago.

After taking them this way I had a seizure type episode which was both physical and emotional, and which I'd never had before, one day. I rushed in and took half a pill and within a short time was fine.

At that point I realized I needed the pills to stay normal, that my body had become dependent on them.

I went to the Dr. who prescribed them asking how to get off of them and he told me to just quit taking them, which I couldn't do because if I skipped a day I'd have a seizure. He also wouldn't give me a plan to titrate off them but wanted to put me on a different drug to get me off that one.

What I did was to stay on the same amount of drug and titrate down over a two week period. I couldn't find a Dr. to help me through it without giving me another drug and by this time I was distrustful of mood altering drugs.

I did the two week titrate and went off the drug but the year after was pure hell. My body went through withdrawal for about a year.

During that year I had about twenty different things happen to my body. Things like stabbing feelings in my eyes, large (4" X 8-10"X 1/8")painful swollen red whelps would appear on my leg or torso and would last thirty minutes or so, 24/7 feeling of raw nerves to the point rain on the roof or the birds singing were unbearable, nausea, a feeling of being smothered that never left, etc etc etc.

After about six months the symptoms began to abate but they were pretty bad for a year total. I thought I'd never be normal again. For several years i'd have flashback periods of anxiety withdrawal (different feeling than regular anxiety) that would hit anytime anywhere.

Thankfully, I found on the internet Heather Ashton, I believe both a Phd and an MD who taught neurophysiological classes in England, I believe, who was familiar with the withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing and who had established a clinic for people experiencing benzodiazepam withdrawal.

You can google her and see what she has to say about these drugs and trying to get off of them. She posts a very long list of the physical reactions a person may experience when trying to get off benzodiazepams.

Dr. Ashton also connected me with a person in my country who had experienced what I was going through as kind of a mentor.

I believe you can go to youtube and see videos of people going through benzodiazepam withdrawal. It isn't a pretty sight but I can assure you that as badly as the folks in the videos appear to be feeling, the actual experience is much worse.

That's just my experience. YMMV but I always tell people who are close to me to stay away from them. I have thought of writing an article or even a book to chronicle the experience I had with them. When I have shared with others what I've gone through I began to hear similar stories from them, which I'd never heard before. I also began to hear stories of people who are on them and can't seem to get off of them, though they want to.

Again, am sure there will be posters respond that they had an OK experience with them. It's just that, before you begin taking them you don't know which person you'll be, the one whose body becomes dependent on them and has to go through a hellish and extended withdrawal period or the one who doesn't seem to have problems with them.

Here are some things you can do to help manage your anxiety without taking drugs.

1. Exercise (which you already know about and isn't working well for you now).

2. Stay away from caffeine.

3. Use Valerian Root Powder (the non addicting herb Valium is made from) instead.

4. Passion Flower Root herb, similar to Valerian Root, can take them together for extra help.

5. For me, as a believer, daily morning meditation in the Bible and prayer.

6. Nutraceuticals - one I've heard is very good uses NeuroReplete and CysReplete. It's a program overseen by health care professionals that resets your brain for dopamine and serotonin. Not sure that will come through when I post but if you PM me I'll give you the website you can go to that tells where the treatment centers are. It's a pretty simple program.
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Old 7th January 2018, 4:29 PM   #5
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OP, how are you sleeping? Do you wake up with fits and starts and worries or sleep soundly all night? What are first thoughts upon waking after an otherwise sound sleep?

If you have access, yeah I'd hit a psych for an evaluation before going straight to the meds. Medication should be a possible part of a treatment plan like with any health issue. Diagnose, then treat.

How are things with your female friends? Are you confident in those friendships and experience little worry or anxiety there? Other?
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Old 7th January 2018, 4:37 PM   #6
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Just noticed where Carhill and CO both recommended counseling. I would encourage you to go this route rather than to meds.

Some psychiatrists, I understand, use hormone therapy rather than meds to treat anxiety and depression. That might be a good direction to go if you can find one who does. Maybe try this after going to a psychologist or other therapist for counseling.
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Old 7th January 2018, 5:01 PM   #7
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It depends on which anxiety meds you get - I honestly don't know why they keep prescribing benzodiazepines (Or similar) when those are not meant to be taken long term but only as acute treatment of panic attacks. I personally take a tricyclic antidepressant - most antidepressants double as anti anxiety drugs and are safe to take long term. It did help me tremendously when I needed it. There are a few minor side effects like making weight loss difficult, but it's more than worth the benefits

A thing to note is that medications for anxiety are meant to be taken alongside cognitive behavioral therapy with a psychologist. The main problem with this is that CBT tends to be MUCH more expensive than meds and much less likely to be covered by universal healthcare (or, if you are in the US, insurance), so lots of people just take the meds by themselves unfortunately. But that isn't how they were intended to be used.
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Old 7th January 2018, 5:01 PM   #8
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Yeah, I would not at all recommend benzos either. I've only ever been prescribed Xanax once in my life, and I stretched a 30 day supply over 6 months. I used it only in dire situations and then the "stuff" I was going through (a new job) passed.

I have heard horror stories about benzo withdrawal .

I take Zoloft.
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Old 7th January 2018, 5:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LivingWaterPlease View Post
Mx12345, you are so wise to ask for experience before trying anti anxiety drugs. Am sure you'll receive varied feedback.

I had a horrible experience with benzos (benzodiazepams, klonopin) after taking the smallest dose pill broken in half regularly for a few weeks. I may have taken it twice a day, can't recall now as it's been eight years ago.

After taking them this way I had a seizure type episode which was both physical and emotional, and which I'd never had before, one day. I rushed in and took half a pill and within a short time was fine.

At that point I realized I needed the pills to stay normal, that my body had become dependent on them.

I went to the Dr. who prescribed them asking how to get off of them and he told me to just quit taking them, which I couldn't do because if I skipped a day I'd have a seizure. He also wouldn't give me a plan to titrate off them but wanted to put me on a different drug to get me off that one.

What I did was to stay on the same amount of drug and titrate down over a two week period. I couldn't find a Dr. to help me through it without giving me another drug and by this time I was distrustful of mood altering drugs.

I did the two week titrate and went off the drug but the year after was pure hell. My body went through withdrawal for about a year.

During that year I had about twenty different things happen to my body. Things like stabbing feelings in my eyes, large (4" X 8-10"X 1/8")painful swollen red whelps would appear on my leg or torso and would last thirty minutes or so, 24/7 feeling of raw nerves to the point rain on the roof or the birds singing were unbearable, nausea, a feeling of being smothered that never left, etc etc etc.

After about six months the symptoms began to abate but they were pretty bad for a year total. I thought I'd never be normal again. For several years i'd have flashback periods of anxiety withdrawal (different feeling than regular anxiety) that would hit anytime anywhere.

Thankfully, I found on the internet Heather Ashton, I believe both a Phd and an MD who taught neurophysiological classes in England, I believe, who was familiar with the withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing and who had established a clinic for people experiencing benzodiazepam withdrawal.

You can google her and see what she has to say about these drugs and trying to get off of them. She posts a very long list of the physical reactions a person may experience when trying to get off benzodiazepams.

Dr. Ashton also connected me with a person in my country who had experienced what I was going through as kind of a mentor.

I believe you can go to youtube and see videos of people going through benzodiazepam withdrawal. It isn't a pretty sight but I can assure you that as badly as the folks in the videos appear to be feeling, the actual experience is much worse.

That's just my experience. YMMV but I always tell people who are close to me to stay away from them. I have thought of writing an article or even a book to chronicle the experience I had with them. When I have shared with others what I've gone through I began to hear similar stories from them, which I'd never heard before. I also began to hear stories of people who are on them and can't seem to get off of them, though they want to.

Again, am sure there will be posters respond that they had an OK experience with them. It's just that, before you begin taking them you don't know which person you'll be, the one whose body becomes dependent on them and has to go through a hellish and extended withdrawal period or the one who doesn't seem to have problems with them.

Here are some things you can do to help manage your anxiety without taking drugs.

1. Exercise (which you already know about and isn't working well for you now).

2. Stay away from caffeine.

3. Use Valerian Root Powder (the non addicting herb Valium is made from) instead.

4. Passion Flower Root herb, similar to Valerian Root, can take them together for extra help.

5. For me, as a believer, daily morning meditation in the Bible and prayer.

6. Nutraceuticals - one I've heard is very good uses NeuroReplete and CysReplete. It's a program overseen by health care professionals that resets your brain for dopamine and serotonin. Not sure that will come through when I post but if you PM me I'll give you the website you can go to that tells where the treatment centers are. It's a pretty simple program.
Your experience sounds terrible, Iím so sorry. THIS is the exact reason I debate even trying to get on medication. For the past four years Iíve managed it myself with exercise and self help books. And I live fine 90% of the time. But trying to date these past few months have been a mixture of happiness and anxiety. Iím great when Iím around the guy I like, but when Iím home by myself I over analyze every little thing. I want to feel better but I donít want to have further medical issues.
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Old 7th January 2018, 5:32 PM   #10
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OP, how are you sleeping? Do you wake up with fits and starts and worries or sleep soundly all night? What are first thoughts upon waking after an otherwise sound sleep?

If you have access, yeah I'd hit a psych for an evaluation before going straight to the meds. Medication should be a possible part of a treatment plan like with any health issue. Diagnose, then treat.

How are things with your female friends? Are you confident in those friendships and experience little worry or anxiety there? Other?
Iím sleeping ok for the most part right now, which is great. I donít wake up with fits or anything. I pretty much sleep soundly once I get to bed. However a few things in the past few weeks have triggered me not getting to sleep for awhile bc I was so worried about something that shouldnít have even been an issue. Me and the guy in question made plans to go hiking yesterday, early last week. A day after the plans were made he mentioned he thought he may be getting sick and he hoped he wouldnít have to cancel hiking. I was a nervous wreck not just during the days but at night I couldnít fall asleep to save my life. I kept imagining not only was he going to cancel but all these other horrible scenarios that I shouldnít have been thinking.

I also want to mention that most days Iím not waking up happy? I guess thatís the best way to describe it. Iím waking up with the world on my shoulders. Am I going to hear from him today? Is he going to cancel a date? Is my mom going to need money today? Just like all the worry sets in the moment I wake up.

I donít have tons of acquaintances but I do have 3-4 very good friends that I can talk to and I donít have any issues with them. Or work either. I love my job, work is stable, I get along great with my coworkers, my boss loves me, I get paid very well.

Just dating and my mom.
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Old 7th January 2018, 5:45 PM   #11
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Your experience sounds terrible, Iím so sorry. THIS is the exact reason I debate even trying to get on medication. For the past four years Iíve managed it myself with exercise and self help books. And I live fine 90% of the time. But trying to date these past few months have been a mixture of happiness and anxiety. Iím great when Iím around the guy I like, but when Iím home by myself I over analyze every little thing. I want to feel better but I donít want to have further medical issues.

This sounds fairly normal to me. I think a lot of people do this. You just have to get through it. For me, it helps that my faith has grown to the point where I truly believe that if a R is God's will it will happen, if not it won't, as long as I continue to pray about it and surrender it to God. I haven't always had faith or cared to surrender, though.
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Old 7th January 2018, 5:49 PM   #12
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This sounds fairly normal to me. I think a lot of people do this. You just have to get through it. For me, it helps that my faith has grown to the point where I truly believe that if a R is God's will it will happen, if not it won't, as long as I continue to pray about it and surrender it to God. I haven't always had faith or cared to surrender, though.
Yes, I agree! Just read more threads here and you'll see you are NOT alone in this regard!

I also agree about the faith. Not only faith about God's will, but faith that no matter what happens, I'll be just fine. I have been through a lot of crap that has developed strength. I trust myself enough to know I can handle just about anything.
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Old 7th January 2018, 6:06 PM   #13
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I have experience with anxiety meds, but my anxiety is a bit different than yours, in that I get anxious over really dumb crap that's not normal to get anxious about. In your case, I would recommend talk therapy before going straight to anxiety medication. You have REAL issues that would cause many people anxiety (past abuse, the situation with your mom). I think therapy could particularly help with your relationship issues.
This. I would suggest finding a counsellor who does cognitive behavioural therapy. Have you ever gone to counselling before? You've done well to deal with it after your breakup, it's only natural that dating again/a new relationship would trigger some of these feelings. A few visits with the right counsellor will likely really help.

And yes, you are definitely not alone if you feel fine with your guy and overanalyze things at home. It happens to the best of us... But, if he's a good guy, he's consistent and tells you where you stand (once you are past the uncertain initial stages of dating), your anxiety should decrease. I have always been anxious about dating but when I met the right guy... I was surprised that I was not very anxious at all.

Good luck!
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Old 7th January 2018, 10:18 PM   #14
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I feel like I worry more when Iím dating than a normal person. Unfortunately, Iím not a religious person, so I appreciate the advice to have faith and leave it up to God, but I donít feel like that can help me since I donít believe in God.

I donít think itís normal to go half a day or an entire day without hearing from a guy youíve been seeing for three weeks and spend the entire day thinking he is no longer interested in you and youíre never going to hear from him again. Or to lay in bed for two hours trying to fall a sleep but instead keep imagining all the ways he will ghost me or say he doesnít want to see me anymore. Like why am I having these thoughts? How can I stop thinking this way? Iím logical in that Iím aware itís normal when you first start dating to be unsure of things. But if it gets so bad that I start to think I should just stop seeing him so I donít get hurt, thatís not normal.

Iím wondering if meds will help me.
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Old 7th January 2018, 10:21 PM   #15
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I feel like I worry more when Iím dating than a normal person. Unfortunately, Iím not a religious person, so I appreciate the advice to have faith and leave it up to God, but I donít feel like that can help me since I donít believe in God.

I donít think itís normal to go half a day or an entire day without hearing from a guy youíve been seeing for three weeks and spend the entire day thinking he is no longer interested in you and youíre never going to hear from him again. Or to lay in bed for two hours trying to fall a sleep but instead keep imagining all the ways he will ghost me or say he doesnít want to see me anymore. Like why am I having these thoughts? How can I stop thinking this way? Iím logical in that Iím aware itís normal when you first start dating to be unsure of things. But if it gets so bad that I start to think I should just stop seeing him so I donít get hurt, thatís not normal.

Iím wondering if meds will help me.
Counseling will really help you. Having someone to bounce these fears off of and then having them give you more rational ways to look at it really does help.
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