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Old 06-09-2011, 07:03 PM   #1
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Anxiety Battle...Please help

Hi everyone. Just wanted some advice on battling my Anxiety issues.

Recently after a prolonged battle with anxiety i decided to go onto lexapro for the first time, first time on any ssri or antidepressant. I am 26 years old and recently found out i am about to be a father which has made my anxiety worst.

My doctor has prescribed me lexapro and xanax. Lexapro for the long term and xanax for the sort term.

I have been on 5 mg of lexapro for the first 7 days and 10 mg for 12 days now. Initially i found some releif and could see the light at the end of the tunnel. However the last few days i have been increasingly more anxious. Not to the point where i have anxiety attacks but physically anxious and obsessive thoughts all day. All i want to do is zonk out and watch television.

After a prolonged un employment i have recently been offered my dream job, but i am anxious i wont be able to do it, even though it is well within my capabilities.

I have my second appointment with a therapist this week and am doing everything i can to get better but it seems to not be working. I still need 1/2 of a 2.5mg xanax at 6pm to relax and a .25 mg xanax to sleep. I also seem to be getting more depressed

Should i continue on my dossage of lexapro and give it more time to work or should i talk to my doctor about another med or increasing my dosage.

Please any help would be much appreciated.

 
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

Hi there -

They do say to give a medicine about 4 weeks to work. I myself know within a week if it will work.

Anxiety medicines are very funky. They will work or they won't and may decrease in help over a long period of time. You will have to spend the time to see what will work and what won't AND what dose you will need.

It could be that you just need a higher dose or something new altogether. Talk to your Dr.

Good luck!

 
Old 06-10-2011, 02:32 PM   #3
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

This is one of the paradox's of anxiety - it even makes you anxious about the things you do to cure your anxiety - you know what, i've been there- albeit with a beta-blocker not lexapro. Ultimately... and this is important, you have to realise that your focus has to be YOU and you know what.... whatever you do, you KNOW you are going to get anxious, and so you have to make peace with that and go forth to realise your opportunities - the more you do - the more the anxiety levels will begin to reduce, and under your Dr's supervision, feel free to continue to take whatever it takes to keep you in check till then.

 
Old 06-11-2011, 03:40 AM   #4
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

Lexapro seems to work good for some people. It never impacted my anxiety though. I have been on/off it for years. The only meds that ever really helped my anxiety were the benzos like xanax, klonopin, and valium. Now, those don't even work for me. I took them for over 20 years and they can have a pretty nasty withdrawal associated with them. I would give the lexapro a little more time to see how you feel. They generally take 4-6 weeks to really start working good. If these work, they are a much better long-term option for anxiety in my opinion than benzos for anxiety. What kind of therapist are you seeing? Is he/she helping. I have been seeing a psychologist for 2 years. Good luck with the new job.

 
Old 06-11-2011, 04:00 AM   #5
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

Hi there, my best advice to you from someone who has just started to get in control of a very serious anxiety disorder, is to get off the xanax - they are a dangerous drug and make you more anxious, it's a vicious circle. < edited > I needed extreme help getting off xanax and it took me a few months to get past the withdraws however I now am leaps and bounds ahead of where i was last year. I find excess alcohol brings on attacks the next day, if i drink wine I drink alot of water which has been a huge help. All the best

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Old 06-11-2011, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

Yeah benzos are a double edge sword. They do work fantastic for anxiety in the very beginning. They would be the perfect meds to take for a lifetime if not for drug tolerance. This is true for most meds btw. Over time, they start to be less and less effective and you need more and more to achieve the same effect. Indeed, you can get caught up in a vicious circle of constant anxiety and pill popping if one is not extremely careful. I do understand why some people finally consent to taking meds. Panic disorder and severe anxiety can have a devastating impact on your enjoyment of life, your ability to work and hold down a full-time job, and your physical health. I just wish there were some better drug options available today than the benzos or SSRI's. These drugs can help but they can also make your condition worse in the long run also after years of chronic administration.

 
Old 06-11-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

Hey guys thanks for your replys. I have been very carefull with my banzos...im taking only 1/2 of a .25 mg tablet at 6pm and .25mg tablet at bedtime...However i do wake feeling anxious which usually subsides by the time i start becoming active.

In relation to the lexapro I have been on 5mg for a week and 10 mg for almost 2 weeks and it does not seem to be working for me. Im seeing a psychologist who specialises in anxiety and have started yoga and a martial arts.

I am committed to recovery but it just seem that i take one step forward and one two steps back. For example today i feel like i need half a xanax at lunch time which i havent done for over 4 weeks.

I just really want the lexapro to kick in...Initially i found some releif but that seems to have subsided. I will ask my doctor but in your opinion do you think and increase in dosage may help?

cheers for all your help

 
Old 06-12-2011, 05:01 AM   #8
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

WOtoLow>>>who recommended the lexapro to you? I mean who prescribed it? Licensed clinical psychologists can be of great help. Altho they can't prescribe, they can work in conjunction with your MD and recommend meds that you have not yet tried if you wish to further pursue the drug route. I am glad you are being careful with the benzos. They can be wonderful meds in the short-term but the irony is once you become really dependent on them, they are virtually impossible to stop taking once tolerance kicks in. They are best used while you are trying to get a handle on your anxiety using more natural approaches. Having said that, I have encountered people who have been on valium for over 40 years also. These people are lucky. They never seem to develop tolerance to any significant degree. I am personally still taking valium PRN. I did take it for 3 years continually and found that it was becoming less and less effective over time. The withdrawal from valium is not nearly as bad as the shorter acting benzos like ativan and xanax and mid range like klonopin, but these shorter acting agents seem to work better for anxiety and panic than valium. Valium is pretty weak compared to these guys.

Last edited by BlueSkies14; 06-12-2011 at 05:03 AM.

 
Old 06-12-2011, 09:37 PM   #9
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

Blue skies...The Md prescribed be the xanax and the Lexapro..he has experience in anxiety and my psychologist specialises in anxiety....I was definately seeing improvement up untill 2 days ago. the last 2 days have been back to ground zero. I have anxiety 24/7 from the moment i wake untill i take a xanax....I have been holding on as long as i possibly can untill i take the first 0.125mg of xanax. Im not sure if i should increase my lexapro dosage or what? I am totally against taking xanax everyday but the last 6 weeks i have definately needed too. The strange thing is i no longer have symptoms such as short of breath and tight throat just constant pains and uncomfortableness and obsesive thoughts. I just want to get better. I dont feel as depressed but this constant anxiety day in day out it taking a real toll on my body.

I just want the lexapro to start working so i can feel some normality...even if i feel 50% better i would be greatfull.

thanks for all your advice keep it coming because im going through this alone.

 
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:39 AM   #10
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

I completely understand WOtoLow. Anxiety, when it is severe, can make your life almost unbearable. I do think you have the best combination of doctors. I would steer clear of psychiatrists. They tend to over prescribe you all kinds of drugs and you end up a lot sicker from the ploydrugging. I have the same doctors as you. I have a good PCP and a good licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders. The psychologist can make recommendations to your PCP and he can prescribe for you. That is how I have things set up now. This is so much better than when I was seeing the shrink and he had me on 6 different meds and I was a complete mess. This guy even had me on anti-psychotic meds which were making me really ill. I will probably never go back to another shrink. I do understand your need to take the xanax. What might work a little better for you is something like valium. It has a really long half life and does not wear off like the xanax and makes you feel like you can't wait to take the next dose b/c the last dose has worn off. Xanax, ativan, and even klonopin will do this to you after awhile. Discuss the valium with your psychologist and see what he thinks. It is a lot better benzo to take prn and it is dirt cheap and could buy you some more time while you continue to work on controlling your anxiety without meds. I took meds for 20 years and now regret it. Also, consider learning meditation. Don't be concerned if your mind wanders or you feel it is not working. Just learn it and do it daily whether you feel it is working or not. With practice, you will actually find that you can use your own mind to relax you and quell the anxiety much like the benzos do. Most ppl give up because they don''t see immediate results or they think I just can't control the random thoughts from flowing thru my mind. It will help if you do this regularly without fail. I do three 20 min sessions daily.

Last edited by BlueSkies14; 06-13-2011 at 09:45 AM.

 
Old 06-13-2011, 04:40 AM   #11
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

How old are you WOtoLow if you don't mind me asking?

 
Old 06-13-2011, 05:01 AM   #12
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

Blue Sky's im 27 years old. I want to say thank you for your reply's it really means alot. I have started yoga yesterday and am learning meditation. In Australia we have a thing called P.B.S and a public health care system which means our medication and doctor and psychologists are almost 100% subsidised by the government. So price isnt and issue. However im about to be a father for the 1st time so i cant talk to my partner as she is suffering morning sickness and doesnt understand...So thanks mate for listening.

 
Old 06-13-2011, 07:48 AM   #13
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

I totally understand how you are feeling. I was diagnosed with anxiety in February and paced on medication. I am also working with a therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders to help me find the source of my stress and learn how to better deal with stress. I don't want to be dependent on medication but I sometimes feel like you - depressed. This makes more more anxious and makes matters worse. I also have two young children and I don't want them seeing me like this. I feel weak and helpless and its making me crazy! My symptoms are light headedness, sometimes heavy headed, chest pains and just always feeling like something is going to happen to me. At times I also feel like shutting my eyes for a few minutes o refocus. Like you I just want it all o go away!

 
Old 06-13-2011, 10:16 AM   #14
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

miam745 is so right in her description of what anxiety feels like. We are right there with you WOtoLow. Congrats. on the newborn that is about to be. Altho a joyous event, these positive things in your life can add to the stress fire that is already raging out of control. Like miam745 said, an anxiety disorder is a lot different that just garden variety stress and nervousness from time to time. I have the heavy headness, the chest pains, the heart palps, and the annoying feeling that something is going to happen to you. I describe it as an inability to ever fully relax. You feel tension inside yet you are not consciously clenching your muscles. That is why it is so hard for others to understand this condition unless they experience it themselves firsthand. You have youth on your side WOtoLow. That is a good thing. A lot more is known about these disorders now than when I was diagnosed over 20 years ago. Both you and miam745 are doing the right thing by using the medication sparingly while at the same time trying to work at controlling your anxiety without medication. The mistake many anxiety sufferers make in my opinion is that the medications work good in the beginning and they just come to rely solely on the medication.

When you do this, two things usually will happen over time. You will become severely dependent on the medication. I got to where I could never travel any distance away from home without my xanax or klonopin. The second thing that happens to a lot of ppl is that they start becoming tolerant to the medication. They often discover to their horror that the medication isn't working like it use to and anxiety and panic are slowly starting to creep back into your life. Actually, they never left. They were just being blanketed by the medication when it was still working good. Most ppl then start on a viscous cycle of increasing the medication dosage. You eventually will reach a point that no amount will work and that is when a lotta people panic and realize they are in trouble. This is what happened to me personally. By really working hard on controlling your anxiety using talk therapy techniques and self relaxation tools like meditation, you are using your body's innate ability to calm. Unlike long-term medication, this has no withdrawal effects or tolerance associated with it. Take the meds when you need them but try to never become solely reliant on them. I did this and it was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. Withdrawing from benzos after many years of chronic use is one of the hardest, most painful experiences you will ever endure in my humble opinion.

Last edited by BlueSkies14; 06-13-2011 at 10:19 AM.

 
Old 06-13-2011, 07:31 PM   #15
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Re: Anxiety Battle...Please help

Yeh i totally understand what you are saying about the medication...I have on
ly been on xanax for 6 weeks but my anxiety is getting worse and it feels like im already suffering the effects of interdose withdrawl...Maybe it is just my anxiety but im not sure and thats whats killing me. In your humble opinion is it possible to be suffering interdose withdrawls from xanax after 6 weeks when i never take more than .05 mg a day and i never take more than .25mg at once?

Ideally i want to get to a point where im on just lexapro and then with therapy, meditation, exercise and healthy diet get to a place where i can ween off that.

Should i be worrie about my xanax intake at that level? i never ever ever abuse it but still need it twice day.

cheers joe

 
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