I am going to try and sum this up. In 1996, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression after my dad died of cancer. My medical doctor put me on Zoloft and Valium (as needed). I was on Zoloft for about 3 years. I quit taking it. Next up, I was on Effexor until around 2004-05. I divorced in 2007 when my daughter was just 2. I lost my job and house. Ex got remarried. Doctor put me on Cymbalta with Tranxene as needed. I was on 60Mg of Effexor. About 2 years ago I went to a psychiatrist and he weened me off of Cymbalta because I didn't think it was working. Although, hind sight being 20/20, everything I had going on (losing job, ex getting remarried, lost house, moms failing health, etc), nothing may have helped. Anyhow, the psychiatrist put me on Nortriptyliine. It didn't help, so the psychiatrist put me on 40Mg of Prozac. I became a recluse with heavy agoraphobia. I could barely make it to work. I was cancelling my appointments with the psychiatrist because it was over an hour drive and I couldn't go that far without bad anxiety attacks. Today was my first appointment with a new psychiatrist closer to home. I saw the nurse practitioner today and she is taking me off of prozac and putting me back on cymbalta with xanax as needed.
What should I expect. Will the cymbalta work again for me? What about the xanax?
Aaawww... you sound SO much like me with the life and med probs, I wanna give you a hug! It can take years to find the right med mix, which is very frustrating. I still haven't found the right one and I am working with my doctor. Seems like one thing will work for awhile, then something in my brain chem will change and we have to start all over again. Just try whatever it is your doc says. If it doesnt work, try again. Thing is this: do not give up trying, ever! You have a right to a happy life, so do whatever it takes to get so you can enjoy your life.
I see you're still fighting the good fight, eh buddy?! Good for you!
It's hard to say what the outcome will be with the meds, of course you know it's largely trial and error, and unfortunately if a med worked for us once, it doesn't always mean it will work again, although it may. It's just one of those things you have to assess in each seperate situation.
There are a lot of things you could do on your own to start working on the anxiety and the agoraphobia. What are you doing? Have you been setting any goals and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone at all? TRULY, that is the most effective way in undoing the agoraphobia. You have to send messages to your brain that there is nothing to fear. It doesn't happen overnight, but the more you get out and the more you do, the more your mind will realize there IS nothing to fear. Continuing to avoid places and things sends the opposite message, that there IS someting to fear.
Are you in therapy? That's a HUGE necessity. I recall you were having trouble getting to your therapy appts. Can you find a therapist closer to home? Have you read any self help books about anxiety/panic? Tried any relaxation techniques? Journalling? There are SO many things a person can do...the therapy appts and meds are only tools, the REAL work happens when a person takes the control back and starts changing that mindset.
Try not to overthink the meds...just roll with it and of course, try to be patient as it will take a little while before you will know if they are going to help with the symptoms.
You've been through so many life changing, very traumatic events, no doubt those were big triggers for you, but at THIS point, the anxiety remains because it's what you know. THAT'S what has to change.
Best to you, keep us updated on how you're feeling okay?
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