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Anxiety/Panic Disorder

Hi guys. Ive had anxiety for about 3 months now. Its to the point now were i cant leave my house. The only place I can go to is school. I refuse to take medicine because i believe its just hiding the symptoms. I have been going to therapy and I guess its getting a little better but im still having a hard time trying to fight it. I used to smoke marijuana, and after about a month i stopped i got the anxiety, and also i started to depersonalize myself. I am at the point were i am willing to try anything. Does anyone have any advice at all.
11 Responses
2035404 tn?1455173583
How old are you ?
Avatar universal
I just recently turned 18 in september
6456238 tn?1384753680
Therapy is a good start. You should maybe re-think the meds. With OCD there's a chemical imbalance with the serotonin in the brain & the meds balance that. It really helps & makes you feels much better. I first started w/therapy & it worked for a while but eventually I needed the meds because the anxiety was out of control & I was getting panic attacks. Those can be debilitating & I hated when they happened. On the meds I'm in control, no anxiety, no panic
Avatar universal
I will try to take the meds but it feels that when i take it my anxiety would get worse. I have .5 mg Xanax and its as needed. Would it be a bad idea to just take one when I am at home to see how i react to it?
6456238 tn?1384753680
I'm not a medical professional so I can't tell you how to take them. What I can suggest however is trying a different brand if you don't like how you react to those. I take Effexor XR & they are the best! I have no side effects at all. There are other brands that I saw people write about on this forum, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft. You may have to try different ones until you find the right one. You should definitely talk to your doctor. Don't stay on a medication your not happy with, but don't stop taking it until you talk to your doctor,
Avatar universal
No, there is no imbalance of serotonin, and that's not what meds do.  There's no scientific evidence people with mental disorders have any more or less serotonin than anyone else.  What antidepressants that target serotonin do, and that's just two classes of meds, is alter the way the body naturally processes serotonin to prevent its natural breakdown so that it washes longer in a couple selected receptor sites while ignoring the others and the body's natural way of operating which is to breakdown used serotonin and make fresh to replace it.  While this can mitigate our feelings of depression and anxiety, it doesn't target anything that's actually causing the problem anymore than a painkiller cures the cause of pain, but it is sometimes the best we can do.  Finding a cure is better, but we don't know at the present time what causes these problems physiologically so we have no medication that cures the problem, it can only make us feel less bad.  Therapy sometimes does find a cure by rewiring the brain's conditioned thinking, but it is difficult to do successfully.
Avatar universal
As to the post, it would be better at such a young age if you solve this without medication, but that will take a lot of work and courage on your part and there is no guarantee of success.  Part of that is realizing that thinking you "can't" do things is wrong, you just choose not to do them because they're so difficult.  But if this becomes disabling to you, medication can help make it easier, but you ideally want to get over the problem instead of perpetually medicating it, so therapy is still going to be necessary.  Good luck.
6456238 tn?1384753680
Hi - I was told by my doctor that there is a link between OCD and insufficient levels of serotonin. Serotonin plays a role in the regulation of mood, aggression, impulse control, sleep, appetite, body temperature and pain. Studies have shown that drugs like Effexor XR and therapy can change "thinking" & can alter the physical functioning of the brain.
480448 tn?1426952138
The serotonin theory is just that, a theory.  It COULD be somewhat accurate, but unfortunately, as with all mental illness research, it's a guessing game, and there's no way to find out for sure.  The serotonin theory was born mainly as a way to explain away how the newer antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs) would help people, to help market them.  

I don't have any problem with these kinds of theories, but what's unfortunate is that it's become widely accepted as a hard fact, which isn't true.  That's a result of the pharmaceutical marketing campaign that ensued after these meds were introduced to the market.

That being said, there's no question that these kinds of meds help a LOT of people (myself included).  I know for me, I don't focus on WHY it works, I just know that it does, and I also know that the meds don't "fix" anything, they just help to manage symptoms.  The REAL progress comes from changing the way we think and react.  That happens in therapy, with conditioning basically.  Medications can't change the way we think, but they can help minimize symptoms of anxiety, which enables us to make more progress in therapy.
Avatar universal
Nursegirl's post pretty much says what I was saying, but your doctor is wrong.  Is he a psychopharmacologist, or just a general doc, because he seems to have bought into propaganda that hasn't really been in vogue since Prozac first came out.  And yes, Effexor does change thinking and does alter the physical functioning of the brain; all drugs that affect the brain do this.  That doesn't mean it's a causal connection, it just means it makes some people feel better.  It's also why these drugs are so difficult to take and to quit taking-- and Effexor is one of the worst of the bunch for this.  As Nursegirl says, we take these drugs to make us feel better and have some life when we're disabled by our dysfunction, but they aren't a cure and don't attack the causal connection of why we have these problems.  But again, neither does aspirin, but it's better on occasion than having a headache even though a headache isn't caused by a lack of aspirin.  Personally, if I had a doctor who gave out info like that I'd find another, but that's just me.  But that doesn't mean I wouldn't take the medication, I did, because for me nothing else was working.  The reason I think this is an important consideration is because, again, and I did this, we have a tendency to stop therapy and stop looking for a cure when we're feeling better due to the medication and none of these meds were ever intended for long-term use and can be very difficult to function on and quit taking; we have much more respect for this as do our doctors if we know what they do and what they don't do and know what to look for, such as personality changes or bad withdrawals our doctors often are hiding from.
Avatar universal
Thanks for all the help guys. Today im going to a relatives house for thanksgiving and i am staying there for 2 days. I will try to take the medicine if i could build up the courage and also if i really need it.
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