I'm not sure what board to put my post on because I have panic disorder with depression and maybe OCD? This all started when I was in my twenties and had a severe panic attack out of the blue. I knew what it was but it sent me into the worst panic/anxiety cycle. I truly thought that my life was doomed. I panicked ALL the time and there was no safe place for me. My doctor gave me Ativan which helped but it never took away the mental part of it. I could not stop obsessing about having to live in this horrible state. I literally was in a continual panic attack. The only thing that helped me get better was hearing about antidepressants and the fact that they were a non addictive way to get rid of panic. Once I learned that, I felt better and went on with life carrying Ativan "just in case". I did eventually get on an antidepressant to help with my daily stress but I truly believed that my panic issues were O.K.
About four years ago, I decided to wean myself off of the antidepressant (Zoloft) and about a month later, depression set in. I thought that was odd since I never really thought I had depression but asked my doctor to put me back on an antidepressant. We decided to go with Prozac which sent me right back into my horrible panic cycle. I knew it was the medication but I couldn't stop having the fear. I switched to Celexa and seemed O.K. on it but it never took away the depression I would get every afternoon/evening. I was getting a little nervous so about a month ago, I asked my doctor to put me back on Zoloft. Well, it has been 5 weeks and I am doing so bad. The Zoloft is causing me increased panic and depression and I am so scared that nothing is going to work this time and I'm not going to get better. I obsess constantly about it and every night when I go to bed, I start wondering if any antidepressant will quell the panic and then I panic more at the thought. Why can't I stop being so afraid? I have a job and a family to take care of and I have to function. I am taking Klonopin daily but now I am afraid that I will build tolerance and it won't work. I can't tell you how scared I am right now. Does anyone relate? I'm getting off of Zoloft to try something else but what if none of these drugs do? Does anyone have a similar story to mine? If you got better, what helped? Thanks.
I'm really sorry to hear your troubles. Everyone is different, and how we react individually to medications is different. Unfortunately there are hundreds of medications that are prescribed for just a few diseases (anxiety, depression, etc, fall into one category of treatments). I think everyone at some point has thought "what if I never get better?" But we can't get better unless we keep trying. Please don't give up hope. There is a treatment out there that's right for you, keep searching!
I'm taking 20mg fluoxetine as well as alprazolam when needed. The fluoxetine is working great so far as an antidepressant and I'm waiting it out to see how it's going to effect my social phobia (fingers crossed).
I can totally relate to the whole panic and anxiety state and that whole vicious circle that you find yourself in. I never got on meds, but I would constantly get anxiety and fear at the thought of never getting better and thinking that my current mental state (of constant panic) will be my way of life forever.
I think you should try to get off the meds all together and then use faith and reality to bring yourself back into a healthy state of mind.
I know I make it sound so easy and of course its a lot more than just the simplistic answer I gave above.
For me faith in the Lord was crucial into getting back into a healthy state of mind. Don't know where you are as far as faith is concerned, but I highly recommend you open a bible up and start reading through the book of Psalms. You will be amazed at what you find and see that this is a book that actually deals with anxiety/panic.
I'm not trying to make you believe what I do, I'm just telling you what saved me from the current situation you find yourself in. If I where you I would open up the bible and give it shot, what do you have to lose other than saying your not interested when you are done reading.
Second when I say "use reality", I mean that you have lived with panic for many years and no matter how many times you thought you were doomed, here you are today and still alive and breathing. Tell yourself this is all in your mind, relax yourself, tell yourself to calm down everytime the panic sets in. Ask God to take away the fear and allow you to live in peace. Focus on the beauty of the world, the tree's, flowers, the fresh smell in the air when it rains and remind yourself how amazing and great life is and how you wish to live your life and enjoy it. Look at your kids and family and be thankful for them. Everytime you get into the obsessive compulsive thought cycle of fear and panic, try to stop it dead in its tracks and tell yourself all the things I just mentioned. Try not to feed and remember the more you think about it, the more you feed the panic and when you feed something you only make it stronger. So start feeding the other things I mentioned, the "real" things, the fact that you are not going to suddenly die and tell yourself stop thinking and worrying about these thoughts, just live your life. Again remind yourself of how amazing and special life is, etc....etc...
Also another big recommendation is healthy eating and serious fitness plan, start running daily, lifting weights a few time a week, and take this new fitness plan seriously. You have no idea how a healthy body can turn a sick mind into a healthy one.
Most importantly call on God and humbly ask that he give you strength and ask that he take the fear away and you will see that if you believe it, than it will happen.
I think I had read your post somewhere before mentioning the book of Psalms. I have kept that in my mind and am going to find my Bible and read through them. I have always believed in God but this make me cry because I ask why do I have to suffer? Some things in life really test your faith and it makes me so sad because I think "does God want me to suffer?. "Maybe I deserve this?"
I have been off Zoloft for about a week and my doctor gave me a new med to try but I would really love to conquer this on my own. There are never any guarantee with these meds and there are always side effects. The problem I have is that I "obsess" about it and find it so hard to get out of my head. I know the key is to be able to think about it but not react to it. Very difficult. I'm a "what if'r"!
I will try some of the things you mentioned and see how it goes. It's nice to see fellow sufferers conquer this awful condition and move on to enjoy life! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.
Wow. This would have been my message board today. I was diagnosed with panic disorder two years ago, my best meds were prozac at 80mg and xanax on bad days. I felt like I had mastered my anxiety and so I quit in March of this year. A couple of weeks ago I started having trouble swallowing at dinner or while driving. It was like my anxiety flared back up and the depression that I felt two years ago hit me again.
I don't have any words of comfort besides to say you are not alone. Every time I start feeling the panic rise I get so mad at myself. And I know thats not helpful but I always thought I was a strong person and here is my weakness. This panic that erupts out of the blue and makes me do a battle within myself. It makes me feel crazy. I hate it so much and just think why can't I just kill this part of me, you know. Its MY mind and MY body and yet I seem to have no control anymore.
But all I can do is meditation and just keep reminding myself that its just a panic attack. It too shall pass.
Last edited by ms_mod; 11-17-2010 at 12:47 PM.
Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod
Hey Kramaster - yes, it's so scary and frustrating that we know this is in our heads but we just don't know how to control it! Thank goodness for the meds we have today even though they are not a cure all. It scares me to think what would have happened to me back before they had any treatment for it! I'm not saying that the meds totally took away my panic and depression but I guess they were doing something because now that I'm off, I am barely functioning. I just can't stop being afraid of panic! And then I obsess that I'm going to spend the rest of my days in one continual panic. And that keeps the cycle going. You might not be as bad as me though. I have the OCD that feeds it. Lots of people have been able to come off meds and get past it. If you learn not to fear it, you can recover. I just don't think I'll ever be able to without help.
How exactly did the Prozac help you? Did it stop the attacks or did it just help you to recover from them? I'm trying to find something that will not only stop them, but help me to stop thinking about it. Is there such a medication? My doctor wants me to try Luvox but nothing I've tried so far has worked magic so I'm not very optomistic.
If your panic is related to certain things, you may be able to conquer them without medication. Have you tried reading self help books? A lot of people find success with them. Don't get discouraged yet. But I know how mentally torturing all of this is.
Well My experience with Prozac is good. Mostly because before it I was on effexor and Pristiq (SP). The side effects alone would throw me into panic. So after trying the "new' ones I put my foot down to my doctor and said I wanted to try Prozac. I mean I felt it worked really well for me. I was in my last year of college and working more than one job. I was functioning very well but I would have bad days where I needed my Xanax. But the Dr would give me a script of .25 gram Xanax and I would break it down. It was almost like a placebo. Like I was tricking myself.
My panic is strongly linked to alot of loss in my life. I learned early about my mortality. My dad was 42 when he died, I had friend who died at 17 of brain aneurysm, and my aunt in a car crash. That was all within two years. I'd get a headache and wonder about it, I would get a pain in my chest and think the worst. And the worst part is that as humans we are going to get aches and pains. My brain tends to be irrational about them and I struggle hard with that. I think thats why I liked Prozac, the side effects were minimal for me and after a month I didn't obsess with each pain I felt. But like with anything it takes time and it wasn't a cure all.
But even with the meds, I think honestly my therapist helped me the most. She worked hard with me and pushed me to keep up with meditations. She taught me try and focus my thoughts while going through it. To try to tell myself itsjust a panic attack. Also meditation was a big part of my life and I am trying to get back into that. I encourage you to do the same.
I mean obviously you see a psychiatrist but do you see a therapist? Anyone who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy? Or just has experience with panic disorder patients? That is an important thing because they are going to know right away meditation techniques and other behavioral techniques. Like to walk when I have a panic attack because it focuses the adrenaline rush you get from panic attacks. Just stuff like that to help you manage.