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Can intense anxiety cause paranoia
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Can intense anxiety cause paranoia

I have been off medication for about 1 /2 year - I wasn on Zoloft first, then effexor for extreme anxiety and OCD type behaviors.  I got the behaviors under control on meds, but gained a lot of weight, and went off.  I have now lost weight, but I have increasingly become anxious over the last few months, with it leading to a lot of paranoid thoughts.  I cry in the a.m., have to return to my home seveal times to check that things are off when I leave for work, have fear that a car will hit me on the way to work, worry excessively about loosing my job, and recently, my boyfreind has become the focus of my obsessing.  I am plauged with the fear that he is deceiving me in some way, and it is about to ruin my relationship with him.  THis is a new thing for me - I am not a jealous, or possessive person. When I look at the DSM IV-  I fit almost all categories for Paranoid Personality Disorder - this scare me, and I do not believe this is my problem, as it is a new thing, and I am 34 years old.  Wouldn't this have been a problem earlier?  I am a mental health profesional, so of course the thought of fitting in the category of a personality disorder is disturbing.  I have stared Buspar and plan on finding a therapist soon, but please tell me about the paranoia ?
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It doesn't sound like paranoia to me...it is much more fear of being hurt or losing something or something bad happening to you, and that is much more an expression of anxiety than the paranoid form of anxiety.  Remember, paranoia is only a special form of anxiety.

Seeing a therapist and starting Buspar sounds like a good plan to me.
16 Comments
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I hate to intrude on this specific question here, but I didn't want to pay the $5 to post a question.
I'm a 24 yr old male and for the past 6 years I have suffered with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression of some sort.
I've done just about every test known to man to see what's going on with digestive tract, and why I'm constantly fatiqued.
I have been on many antidepressents but have only made me MUCH MUCH worse. It seems now that my body is rejecting EVERYTHING, including things like caffiene.
I've been out of work for the past year on disability, and now forced onto unemployement. I go to the gym about 5 x's a week and try to play tennis 2-4 x's a week.
I've seeked treatement from therapists, acupucturist, cranialsacrial docs, massage therepists, and even hypnotherapy.
Since my body had such a horrible reaction from the previous antidepressants (Wellbutrin, Celexa, Remeron, and Prozac...and I think even a few more like Butral) I AM EXTREMELY FRIGHTENED to go back on one once again.
I feel like I'm back at square one all over again. No one has been able to help me at all.

Bottom line is, I don't feel depressed, I just feel really fatiqued all the time and mostly sick to my stomach.
I have been tested for just about everything including Chronic Fatique syndrome, Epstein bar, liver, kidney, etc. I've had about 10 CT scans within the past 2 years, and now I'm at the point in my life when the only one that can help me is ME.

I meditate everyday, pratice Qi Gong and Bac Hu.


Please HELP!!!

Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

D-man
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey Dman - so far I have not had many negative side effects to Buspar -but my anxiety is only a little better, but it is early into treatment with this.  I understand your grief - I too, work out 5 days a weeek and have tried a lot of holistic type treatments from aramotherapy to meditation, and I do think that they help, but not totally alleviate symptoms.   would suggest you give buspar a try, as the side effects a minimal and it is easily tolerated. The only side effects I have had thus far are a small short term memory problem and vertigo about 45 minutes after taking the pill. Have you tried therapy, I know, I hate it too, but maybe you could learn some coping techniques you have don't already know.  I am using a book - Anxiety , Phobias, and Panic by Reneau Z. Peurifoy.  A lot of the information I already know, but some new things are coming to light for me.  What about chronic fatigue syndrone?  ANy Doc's ever considered this.  I know this is a disorder that usually affects women, but maybe that could be it.  At any rate, good luck and I hope you find the answer, just as I hope to find the answer
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It sounds like your anxiety has led to what seems to be OCD symptoms. I was on Zoloft for a time and found it vey poor at controlling  obsessive thoughts. For me Luvox was much more affective at this and I didn't gain much weight with it. It is also more sedative than many other medications so it helps with the anxiety. Xanex is vey good for anxiety but is habit forming so short term use is the best. Intense anxiety is terrible I Know but I found that Xanex provided it is not overused provides some good short term relief. Like a pain killer.
All the best

Kelp
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deffinatly anxiety. keep trying the meds if one doesnt work. yes definatly see a therepist and stick with it. keeknap. if you want to compare my symptoms go to ( ok i need some advice here) tke care keeknap.
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Keeknap - what meds have worked for you? I have tried Prozac, effexor and Zoloft - which all cause weight gain and sexual dysfunction.  The buspar is working, and I am trying to be patient with that, but I want a back-up plan, just in case.  I have a PRN for Xanax, and I only take them when I feel like I am coming out of my skin, due to the addictive properties with them, maybe I take a xanax 1 time per week. I read you commentary, and I feel better knowing that someone else has experienced the intense paranoia that goes with my anxiety.
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I have been diagnosed with chronic anxiety disorder and panic disorder for several years . I started out on Busbar , this did not help my symptoms and had some unpleasant side effects . Then I was switched to Paxil , which was great for the anxiety and panic but I felt very disconnected from society and rather the being anxous , I didn't really care about anything ,  I am usually very passionate person and did not feel like myself at all .Also weight gain ,as well as a large drop in my libido were side effects of these meds. So while trying to dicontinue use of Paxil , I had terrible withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, auditory hallucinations, ( which is not a normal thing for me ) and electric "zaps" for a better phrase in my hands and down my arms , because of these problems I was switched to Zoloft 2 yrs ago , which has helped a great deal, with little to no side effects .  ~~~ crazydays - I am also a mental health worker and first my view was that "how a am I going to help people if I am sick too " but I have come to the conclusion that this type of experiance can only help you understand and be more empathetic toward them , as a result of your own hardships . I hope this is informative in some way ~
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hi crazydays, what happened was is that ive had anxiety my whole life and didnt realize that it was a chemical imbalance.(im 33 by the way) i was also mildly depressed which i thought was do to just not being happy with life. the anxiety got worse where i felt like i was going nuts. then a head treamor problem came about turned out being extreme stress. this past summer i was getting worse and didnt know i was sinking into a severe depression. things got really weird. i was afraid of people on the tv so i couldnt watch it for too long. when i stopped at a red light i didnt know if i should go even though the light was green. i was in disbelief of myself. i was etremely overwhelmed with thoughts and constantly worrying and had fights in my head with people that never existed. i went to the movies by myself and imagined that eventhough people were in there, they still might be closed and i would be sitting in the theater by myself.i saw a beautiful mind and couldnt sit through the whole thing because it was about a guy going nuts. i walked out in the middle of the move and cried. i was so scared and my boyfried just coulnt comprehend my fearfulness.well thats just a few things that went on. but ill spare you a really really long letter. what im saying is things got much worse when the severe depression came in. things always felt undone,i became an impusive cleaner, my body felt like lead and didnt know what to do next. i went on wellbutrin because people with anxiety  usually feels some side affects from meds so the doc. gave me wellbutrin as a last resort. there are now side affects only the fear of having a side affect. if you feel anything just shake it off. IT WORKED GREAT.the only catch is if you have a seisure disorder in your family you shouldnt take it.later it caused  hives but they went away. i tried buspar. there were no side affects but it did nothing for my anxiety head tremors. as far as xanex goes, i will never touch it again. i had a bad experince coming off of it because i quit cold turkey like a dummy. I WAS TRIPPEN FOR A MONTH, plus i dont like being addicted to anything. i also slepped my life away. before i took wellbutrin i took inderall. that worked great for my body shakes and lifted my depression alittle. i went off because i wanted to see how the wellb. did alone. wellb. keeps me myself again and there no more spookyness. but i am seeing a therepist for my anxiety. you usually have too and keep trying other meds to find the right one. i am on nourontin ( a mood stabilizer) right now i only take it at night so i can get the medicine in my system without feeling tired or spacey. my psy. told me to do do that. i start with a low dose then go up and up. so perhaps you are experiencing a severe depression and dont know it. i didnt. you may also want to try lexipro, celexa      ( doent make you gain weight) ive never heard of luvox but its in my pill book. and make sure you know what you can and cannot mix. paxil celexa, zoloft, prozac,buspar did not work. i had bad side affects to all eccept to buspar. but that dont meen you will. wellb.took 4 weeks to make me feel better but in 8 weeks and i felt pretty normal again aside the anxiety. sorry so long,hope this helps. take care. im glad you asked. you will feel better. keeknap
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i am also going to try lexapro beacause i heard it was good for anxiety. keeknap
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erin f had posted back to me that she had a side affect to wellb. note that wellb. is usually well tolorated. so you have a better chance having less side affects to it than other meds. i would try it first anyway. if you do try it let me know how it worded out. thanx-keeknap
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I write this to crazydays cause he sounds just like my room mate. We always (for 20 years) have been calling him a hermit. All he does is sleep, stare in the mirror for 2 hours a day, and go to work. He doesnt do any thing in between, lives a very depressing life mostly hiding in his bedroom. He doesnt clean the apartment EVER and doesnt care. You basically have to pull his teeth out just to get him to go outside. The peaps on this forum at least drive around and walk outside. Its incredible that my roomate even walks down the street to go to work. He is not poor however but lives a very simple life and doesnt care. Im sure you and him face the same infliction, you mentioned self-esteem and this man is like a jelly fish (no backbone at all). Ive been told by many that he is not ugly. Hes ben on  zoloft for 3 months now (finally) after seing the doctor who wrote "The Broken Mirror". We know hes got social phobias and ocd, Please give me some ideas on how to help him work on this aggrevating situation. very sad watching somebody be so consumed by thier appearance for hours each day even on days when he doesnt go outside.
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It sounds like he has a lot of social anxiety, OCD, and low self esteem, try your best to get him to a therapist, and lots of compliments.  I bet he doesn't take them well.  Also, every day, make  him go out more, and be more active, even if only 15 -20 minutes to start, then increase the time and level of social interaction as he feels comfortable.  I overcame the "hermit way of life" by the above stated, but he will have to want to make the changes.  Medication may make a big difference, especially if he has not been on meds before.  Give that a few weeks, it takes time, and if no improvement is seen, encourage him to try different meds.  FInding the med that you can tolerate takes time and patience, which people with these types of disorders ( patience) typically have very little of.  Good luck with this!
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I left out of my question that I have tried Welbutrin.  It made me crazier than I was before I started, I couldn't sleep and developed a mean streak, that is not typical of me, even on my worst days.  I also tried Prozac for a few weeks, but has the sexual dysfunction side effects.  Thanks for the reply - so far Buspar is working okay.  I still have symptoms, but I am better able to control them and not respond to my thoughts so innappropriately.  It has only been 2 weeks since I started, so I am hoping for even more improvement.
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i am so glad to here that you are feeling a bit better. its nice to here a positive outcome. im going to try lexapro. ill let you know how it works for my anxiety on your column incase some one is interested. god bless.
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I don't know if this is going to be any help, but it couldn't it be possible that this "paranoia" is actually an adverse side effect to the meds you were on before? I know you are off of them now, but some of these pills can affect people for up to a year or so after taking them. I got off paxil a few months ago, and I went through a period of paranoia and that sort of thing. Either way, maybe for you, anxiety can cause paranoia. Things like anxiety and depression all have the same underlying properties, but I have always believed that they can manifest themselves differently in different people. Psychiatrists and other mental "health" professionals would have you believe that there is always a cut-and-dry set of symptoms for every single person on earth...but this can't be true because everyone is different. But I guess that is the difference between seeing people as unique creatures, as opposed to seeing people as patients without minds of their own.
If you are really disturbed, talk to a doctor about it. But all of this could just be because of meds and things like that...in my opinion. But keep in mind, I am not a professional.
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Thanks, I have your beliefs also.  Everything is different for everybody.  I am convinced that my anxiety manifests itself as paranoia, because since I have started buspar, it has subsided.  I still have some wild thoughts at times, but am able to talk myself out of believing what I think, and that is probably the best that I can hope for.
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I'm glad my comments were at least of some help to you. Just remember that you probably have a reason for being on this earth, and that you are worth feeling better than you have been. I really hope everything works out for you.
God bless.
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Thanks Starla girl - I am feeling better, and considering stopping the buspar because I have not been able to lose any weight since starting it, although my symptoms have greatly subsided.  zmy body just will not allow  weight loss when i am taking any type of medication.  I have lost 58 pounds in the last year and a half and hope to lose 22 more - and then my ultimate fitness goal - stop smoking.  Does anyone have any suggestions for natural alternatives to medication to deal with anxiety?????
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Thanks Starla girl - I am feeling better, and considering stopping the buspar because I have not been able to lose any weight since starting it, although my symptoms have greatly subsided.  zmy body just will not allow  weight loss when i am taking any type of medication.  I have lost 58 pounds in the last year and a half and hope to lose 22 more - and then my ultimate fitness goal - stop smoking.  Does anyone have any suggestions for natural alternatives to medication to deal with anxiety?????
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Avatar_n_tn
There are MANY methods of curbing anxiety, without the use of dangerous mind altering drugs. The usual stuff, like excersize, picking up hobbies, socializing, and that kind of thing. But there are also natural, and not-so-harmful remedies also, like St Johns Wort, and chamomile. Don't forget, meditation, prayer, or chanting (whatever you are into) can also be helpful. Oh, and you might want to get your thyroid gland checked (it's a simple bloodtest) because anxiety can be caused by thyroid dysfunction.
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I have been dealing with anxieties on and off now for about 8-10yrs. When it first started I had really bad panic attacks, I was in total fear that I was going to die, I felt like I couldn't breath so I would stay awake day and night to make sure I wouldn't stop breathing. I eventually tired myself to the point where I would sleep an hour here or there. I lost so much weight that I had to drink Ensure's in order to maintain my weight. I went down to 104lbs.  They put me on anti-depressant's which didn't help my appetite. They even gave me Zoloft which did help the panic attacks, but after I found out I was pregnant I stopped all meds and only had 1 panic attack during the early stage of my pregnancy. To date I haven't had any panic attacks in about 7yrs, which is good. I have learned to deal with the panic attacks by accepting that I have no control over dying. The problem I continue to suffer though is the thought process my mind goes into. Now even though I know I have no control over dying I still obsess over my breathing. I am in constant thinking mode of my breathing. It literally takes over any emotions and feelings in my day to day life. I don't know what it feels like to enjoy and nice cool day. I don't know  how to feel happy without mentally thinking about it. It's like it just eats me up. I can't stop my mind from thinking about it constantly. It's like my brain has another brain that I have no control over. I just want to be normal again. Throuhout my life I have not had insurance and that is the main reason I've never seeked treatment. What I would like to know now is can I be treated and if so are there meds that won't impact my life with all the side effects. I just want to be normal again. Please somebody help me with some input!!
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Interesting. I was actually googling "mild paranoia" wondering if I had other issues. I think I'm a hybrid between GAD as I worry unecessarily and also I become anxious when holding a conversation with others, thus I tend to end conversations quickly and hurry off. I think I am Social Anxiety, however. I've scheduled an appt for 10/2 and have the fear the shrink - first time visit - won't issue me any meds. I really don't like meds and have tried paxil, prozac, wellbutrin, effexor, lexepro and a doctor even put me on an antipsychotic called risperdol. I don't really care for the SSRI's and the effexor gave me tinnitus which I have to this day. Last time I took meds was 2005 until I had to get myself off. I am curious about the benzos, but am concerned as well after watching some YouTube videos on the addictive nature of them. I think, or hope, because I don't really like taking meds, I may be okay and will take only prn. I also here inderol (propranolol) usually for heart disorders, can also be helpful. What's everyone taking other than SSRI's and what's view?
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