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Avatar universal

Anxiety and Panic Treatment

Hello. Ever since graduating college and having to move, have interviews, having to work 45 hours a week, having to make all new friends/socialize etc, I've been experiencing anxiety related symptoms.

Specifically, I've had 2 full fledged panic attacks which felt like I was having a heart attack. I also experience frequent anxious feelings even on weekends. I seem to be hypersensitive to any change, so eating a heavy meal, or having an upper (i.e; coffee) or downer (i.e; alcohol) actually makes me feel worse and can act as a trigger.

I went to the doctor and discovered my pulse at rest is 120. We think anxiety is playing a large role in why this is the case. I went through a variety of tests, such as an echocardiogram, blood tests, and it was found there's nothing physically wrong with me and I'm healthy.

I've tried straterra and zoloft and reacted to them horribly, due to this hypersensitivity anxiety trigger I have.

Basically, I think the solution may have to be something that is non psychoactive but treats anxiety. I have done research on CBD (Cannibidiol) and have found that not only is it non-psychoactive, but it can help enormously with anxiety, depression, and a ton of other issues.

My question is, in my situation, what type of solution do you think would be best? Do you think medical marijuana would be a good route? What is the likeliness that a doctor would prescribe this/ be okay with this as a method of treatment?

I should add that I also plan on going through cognitive behavioral therapy, but I want a short term solution in the mean time to help me cope with these random anxiety/panic attacks and get my body under control.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I mean, the primary drugs used to treat anxiety problems are benzodiazepines (xanax, valium, ativan, etc.), but other options exist such as propanolol, BuSpar and some antidepressants.

Strattera is actually primarily an ADHD medication and my sister (who has generalized anxiety disorder) found that it made her much more anxious and nearly incapable of sleeping.

Although Zoloft is sometimes used to treat anxiety, it's actually not approved for it and is typically only used if nothing else works or if it is in addition to another medication.

One thing that I found makes me worried about the Cannibidol:
"Marijuana also raises heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours."
This is probably bad if you already have an elevated pulse

-----My suggestions-----

1. Propanalol (psychoactive beta-blocker): primarily treatment of heart problems (i.e. high blood pressure), anxiety, and migraines. This medication is a good choice to decrease physical effects of anxiety and can be taken on an as-needed basis before stressful events.

2. BuSpar (buspirone, psychoactive anti-anxiety drug): primarily used for short-term anxiety treatment. Not very sedating and not addictive at all.

3. A benzodiazepine (xanax, valium, librium; psychoactive anti-anxiety drug): primarily for short-term anxiety relief. Benzodiazepines are very fast-acting, but can be highly addictive. I would not even recommend benzodiazepines except that you intend to use medication for short-term relief. They can be very addictive. Of these, I would try either xanax or librium.
Avatar universal
There are some problems with the above post, so be aware you aren't asking professionals here.  Not all benzos are fast-acting -- one of the most prescribed ones for chronic anxiety, klonopin, isn't, or example.  They vary in the speed in which they act.  They are addictive if used regularly but not if used only as needed, but they do have other negative effects, as do all drugs.  Marijuana is often a creator of anxiety, as it brings out what is inside of us.  Many have gotten their first anxiety attacks on it, so I wouldn't recommend that route for this problem unless it's a last resort.  Zoloft is indeed used for anxiety, probably the most effective ssri for anxiety relief among the antidepressants.  Propanolol is usually only used for social anxiety, and Buspar hasn't been proven to work for anything in clinical studies and is currently only believed useful from the research as an adjunct to an antidepressant, though of course some people do respond to it.  Medications are very individual, so nobody can predict how you will react.  However, given you know your problem seems to have come with big changes in your life, I'd suggest not using medication at all at this point -- since all medication has downsides, including the problem of stopping, I'd recommend you first try some therapy to see if you can determine why you have this trouble adapting and learn some relaxation techniques, such as meditation, to see if you can't learn to control it.  
Avatar universal
Boy, a lot of misinformation on this post.  Look, if people don't know how drugs are classified and work, well, best not to give advice.  Benzos are classified as a controlled substance and are always addictive if used regularly.  It has nothing to do with an addictive personality.  Over time they wear off for most people and the dosage has to be increased.  As I said, there are no professionals on this site, and the answers you're getting here prove that.  You can do homework by consulting expert materials, but I have to say, usually you will get better and more trustworthy answers than are appearing on this post.  I'm sorry for that.  I think most would say antidepressants are much safer than benzos, to the extent that you can hardly even get benzos in, for example, England right now because of the research done on them over there.  Again, sorry you're not getting great answers here.
Avatar universal
I want to add, the fact a drug is addictive doesn't mean everyone gets addicted to it, but obviously the chances are high if you take it daily.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the advice. I saw my doctor and he recommended I go on a beta blocker. Might try atenolol, haven't chosen a drug yet though, we're waiting on the analysis of my holter monitor to make a final decision/course of action. I know a beta blocker will prevent the physical symptoms of anxiety, but the mental component is huge. I have random moments during the day (usually once or twice a day) in which I will start having very worrisome and anxious thoughts, and it will prevent me from being able to concentrate/ do work/ enjoy things. Will a beta blocker help with this? Or should I try tackling it with cognitive behavioral therapy? Either way, I do need to go on a beta blocker so I can present and not make people around make uncomfortable with my obvious physical anxiety.
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