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Anxiety medication question.

Hello all,

For as long as I can remember I have had terrible anxiety- until I got older I didn't know it had a name or that it was something actually wrong with me.  Avoiding social situations, feeling physically ill from certain situations (school/work/stores/restaurants/theaters etc) including heart palpitations, sweating, feeling like I can't breathe, tremors, freezing up and feeling like I can't move or that I need to immediately get home or to somewhere I feel safe, dizziness, pounding in my chest, flushing of my chest and neck etc.  It had gotten to the point that I did not leave my house (at 25, I am now 28).  

I was diagnosed with social anxiety, generalized anxiety and panic disorder.  I had been taking clonazepam daily to help me get out of the house and back to work and lorazepam as needed (usually once a day, sometimes not at all) and trazodone as needed to sleep.  I moved provinces and my new doctor has taken me off of all of my meds.  I went from being on clonazepam for almost 3 years, lorazepam since I was like 14, trazodone to sleep, and she then tried to give me .25 mg of alprazolam three times a day.  When that did not work after being "dry" for two months and almost being house bound again she told me (she is a GP) that my issue is not anxiety, but that she thinks it's depression.  She prescribed me celexa (40mg/day) and a beta blocker (propranolol) 40mg daily.  I had previously tried ssri's and did not adjust well to them, hence being given benzo's.  I can take benzo's situationally, and do not wish to be on something all the time- SSRI's scare me.  I've told her this.  She is unwilling to put me back on the medications I was on, or up me to the dose of alprazolam that had been effective before (1mg 2-3 times daily as needed) and just said if these don't work she'll add in another SSRI drug.

I understand that benzo's are habit forming, however I would rather take something situationally than have something that I HAVE to take, every day and still have it not work plus dealing with the side effects.  I have other health issues going on, and I really don't think it is safe for me to be taking anything long term (especially the beta blocker!!!!!) but I am at the point that I've almost lost my job again because I can't handle client meetings anymore.  I'm not sleeping, I'm using my sick days when I'm not sick- I just can't seem to force myself to face people...  I'm not really eating and I am back to not being able to go into stores/restaurants/do normal people things again.

I guess I'm looking for suggestions,  the ssri's i'd been on before did nothing, in fact the lamicital I was on made it even worse and was terrible to come off of.  should I try and find another GP?  I have also had numerous bouts of CBT, which helped- however medication was still needed for situational anxiety and panic attacks.  At the point I'm at now me going into talk to someone without being able to get out of the house to meet someone new is going to be incredibly difficult.  So I'm kind of at a loss for what to do.  I had been doing so well, then my meds were stopped and 2.5 months later it's like I'm back to square one.

Thanks in advance,
-Peach.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hey Peach,  I have t answer this because you and I have the exact same diagnosis but I must admit mine is handled much better than yours.  And I never ever give medical advice and I am not going to do it with you.  However there are some things that a person just must say.  You Doc is a quack.  Fire him asap and find another one asap.  A diagnosis of panic disorder means you will need medication for anxiety the rest of your life.   I cannot prescribe but I am also a patient with the exact same illness you have and you better run as fast as you can away from the medical practicing idiot before he puts you in a mental hospital.  
1701959 tn?1488555141
I have what you have as well but I am able to take a SSRI, I take Zoloft and have for the past 14 years. For the first 4 weeks it made my panic worse but it slowly got better and now I can't imagine not having it. My doctor moved the dosage around as I have needed (was up to 150mgs at one point) but now at 50 mgs, I feel great about it.

While I do still have the anxiety creep in sometimes, it is not often and it doesn't get to me like it used to. I do also have xanax on hand if I need it but that is a last case scenario (if I get an attack when out etc).

Most docs will not keep perscribing benzos for long term use since they are only for emergency cases. Typically they are to be taken as needed only and not on a set schedule (One in the mornning one at night ~ not too typical of a benzo). Every doc is different though but most are very cautious.

Seeing a psychiatrist is the way I would go if I were you. My GP was very nervous about the xanax. My psychiatrist is much more comfortable as she deals with this everyday. She agreed with me staying on my Zoloft, and having the xanax for emergency.

Do you have any self help tapes etc?  I have some on my IPOD and play them in the car if I feel myself getting worked up. That makes me feel much better as well, to know I am taking an active role in feeling better. CBT is also wonderful.

There are other medications that can help besides SSRIs. Though I have to admit, from what I have read the SSRIs are the top for fighting anxiety/panic/OCD. You need to know your options though and I truly feel a Psychiatrist would be able to discuss things with you better.

The very best to you!
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