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Avatar universal

Do anti depressants help anxiety?

I also wake up with a racing heart rate, and sometimes it takes a few hours to subside.  This is inconvenient because I need to be at work early in the morning.  Does anyone have any advice as to overcome this?  I'm taking Zoloft, but I do not see a difference.  I've been taking it for several months, and it actually gives me nightmares.  I hate taking it.
anyone out there with suggestions??  It's hard living like this.  I'm healthy otherwise, and feel like a burden to people when this happens.  
12 Responses
Avatar universal
I get the same way in the morning.  I take xanax at night and it helps in a way.  Maybe do yoga or stretch in the morning/take deep breaths.  I hear ya on living like this it *****.  Doctors need to figure something out fast with us.
Avatar universal
Maybe talk to your doctor about a different medication, there is no one medicine that fits every person, if there were many companies would be out of business.  There are some that work well for others that may not work for you, you must discuss this with your doctor.

I was recently diagnossed with (GAD) "General Anxiety Disorder, a condition which dont quote me on this figure but nearly 90% of the population proabably has at least at some point in their life.  I was put on lexapro, it has helped in a way, but medication is only half the battle, your really need to make sure that your mind is in a healthy place, and that your lifestyle isn't having negative affects physically or mentally.

There are many, many factors that can contribute to this, your best bet is to explain explicitly to your doctor whats going on.  I suggest keeping a notebook by your bed for a week or two, and as soon as you wake up, right down not only what your feeling but also what your dreams consisted of.  This may help, and i hope it helps.
Avatar universal
Did you try therapy before medication?  And if Zoloft isn't working, don't keep taking it, but you need to stop carefully and slowly.  And have you had your heart checked for irregularities, your thyroid checked, your blood sugar checked, or been checked for sleep apnea?  There are also natural remedies that might help; you can see a naturopath if you want to investigate that route.  But if it's anxiety, therapy is your first stop, not medication.

cobain, I doubt that more than 5% of Americans have GAD.  Psychiatrists love to diagnose stuff because it's how they make their living, but really, most people don't live like that.  I certainly didn't until Paxil withdrawal gave it to me, and have never met anyone with it.  Anxiety is very common, but GAD is constant, and I surely hope 90% of the population don't experience it.
Avatar universal
I used to wake up with a racing heart and sheer panic, until I was put on Zolpidem, which is a sleeping tablet, I hate taking them, but believe me, it's far better than waking up in panic. why should we put ourselves through this.  I lived on pure adrenalin 24/7 looking after my critically ill handicapped son before he passed away, so adrenalin can get messed up, our fight or flight which is what it is, used by our ancestors, we get daily, they maybe got it once a year if in a life threatening situation. Read an article I found and posted on Panic Attacks.

Hope this helps
959034 tn?1253675076
I take 10mg Prozac, and it has helped me some with my anxiety. Everyone is different though.
527657 tn?1214055450
I was on zoloft and it acutally gave me tons of energy and i had a hard time sleeping. im on paxil now and it works wonders the only thing i HATE about it is the consistant weight gain!!

Avatar universal
Thanks for all of your input.  I've had blood work done (normal) and EKG's (normal)...
UGH.  I know you all know what I'm going through, as you all go through it yourselves.
I will try some homeopathic stuff...deep breathing and lots of water helps too.  I just wish I could trust myself to go somewhere, like a boat ride and not fearing that I'll go into a panic in the middle of the lake/ocean/river.. I think this forum helps because we are not alone.
685562 tn?1447158831
Get a book "Or instructor" for Tai Chi, its great for teaching you how to breath, very healthy workout "Slow relaxed movements" and adjust your Chi "Energy" to flow correctly.

I myself am in Tang Soo Do, and practive Tai Chi at home, and Id have to say, Martial arts has always uplifted me, and brung me to peace. If I had it my way I would practice 8 hours a day, 7 days a week.

O, and I wont get into much detail about this "mainly because its so controversial on this board" But MY BELIEFS are that A.Ds are worthless, and the Physc's have still yet to prove there whole "Chemical imballance" theroy.
Take a week or 2 and write a journal on everything you eat, and do.
Also write in there how you feel periodicly through the day.
Look for patterns, and see if you can find something in your diet, or in your work, etc.. that could be messing with you.

Try to do ALL the natural homeopathic techniques before you resort to taking any kind of A.D or benzo, because they are much safer and KNOWN.
Good Luck
Avatar universal
All the medical research suggests that antidepressants help about 2/3 of the people who take them. The "chemical imbalance" theory of anxiety and depression is largely rejected in the medical community. There is nothing to prove in this regard. Depression and anxiety are caused by many factors. And research shows no difference in neurotransmitter levels between people who are depressed and those who are not depressed. You'll be hard pressed to find a doctor or psychologist who believes depression and anxiety are the sole result of a "chemical imbalance." ADs affect mood and anxiety by increasing (or mimicking)  certain neurotransmitters. For a lot of people, this reduces the symptoms of depression / anxiety (but it is not a cure). Just like aspirin will help relieve a headache, but the headache is not caused by an aspirin deficiency. ADs may also help speed up the healing process of damaged neurons in certain areas of the brain that might be responsible for mood. Either way, regardless of anyone's opinion, ADs have been proven to work for many people. Herbal remedies have very limited, but promising, evidence for their efficacy. Regardless, the herbal remedies act on the same neurotransmitters as the ADs do. So instead of taking prozac to increase levels of serotonin in the brain, a person can take st. john's wort to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Tai chi, yoga, etc. have all been shown to effect GABA in the brain (which is what bezo's do). Both ADs, herbal remedies, and exercise (yoga and such) have the same site of action. So I am not sure how taking an herb or doing a physical activity that influences neurotransmitters in the brain pokes any holes in the "chemical imbalance" theory - if anything they would support it. But this is a moot point, as I stated above, most cases of depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, but ADs still show some effectiveness for a lot of people. I agree that people should first try therapy, exercise, and meditation before going the meds route. But bashing medications that have scientifically proven effectiveness based on incomplete and inaccurate opinions doesn't really do much of anybody (expect maybe yourself) any good. Your opinions are not so much controversial as they are ill-informed.
685562 tn?1447158831
First of all,
You dont need to try to make yourself sound "smart" by pointing out things that quite frankly, you should already be able to tell I know. " The whole bit"

THERE IS NO EVIDENCE that they actually "Help"  a person comapered to a Placebo.
Are you getting your information from the FDA website, or a A.D Commercial?
Because that would explain you "Facts"

Now, if you actually would look into NON CONTROLLED "Non FUNDED" studies you would see quite a different story.
Im not going to go quote crazy, or really take the time out to get SO MANY FACTS and NON CONTROLLED studies the proves the success rate to be MUCH LOWER then your stats

As for "making myself feel better"
I do feel better, have been getting better everyday. from day 1 of withdrawing from Prozac and Klonopin, it just gets better everyday buddy:)

Im not a "basher" and in no way "look down" on people who feel they need something.
I just would like to inform people not to BLINDLY ACCEPT a diagnosis of "Mental disorder" just because the doctor wasnt smart enough to find the real problem
THERE ARE SO MANY things that is overlooked by doctors that can cause EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE SYMPTOMS that the nice folks here on the board go through.

Natural cures have been used for 1000's of years, tried and true, how long has all the physc meds been used for?????????
Ever wonder why theres always "FDA recalls" and "new" black labels for them?
Ever wonder what the LONG TERM EFFECT of them will be?

Also, when I talk of "Chemical imballance" im excluding GABA because that has "In a way" been proven, and is quite obvious, I am reffering to the serotonin, Norepinephrine, and dopeamine.

The difference between natural remedies "Or non new age medicine" and the new age medicine, is this

New age medicine believes that if you have bad Kidneys"example" then it is your Kidneys that is faulty.
Older "Natural cures" treat your body as a whole, meaning that if you have something wrong with your kidneys, you could quite easily have a food allergy "Example"
which makes scence, because everything in your body EFFECTS the rest of your body.
All physc meds do is treat the symptoms.......allot of the time PHYSICAL, and if it sounds like a duck, flys like a duck, and looks like a duck....ITS A DUCK!

Anyways, you have your opinion and I have mine, When Im trying to be polite and just reccomend different things "that many people dont know about" to someone, you dont have to respond in such a "rude" manner.
Do you feel you need to act like that, because you get offended, and have to "defend" what you have to do for you?
I wasnt in no way talking bad about anyone who takes meds, just simply suggesting a possible different approach that could possibly help a person for good, instead of a "Band aid"

Have a good day, God bless
Avatar universal
I'm not convinced you already know the facts that I am saying - apparently to make myself sound smart. You keep referring to the "chemical imbalance theory" that doctors haven been able to prove. But I keep telling you that this "theory" is not even generally accepted in the scientific community.

Not only do I have access to (and read) the FDA studies (which are just the studies the pharmaceutical studies submit - they don't submit the non-favorable studies), I also have access to the pharmaceutical companies' unfavorable studies, studies from independent research groups, and meta-analyses that combines the results from all the studies I just mentioned. The college where I teach has an extensive medical / psychological collection. This is an area I am getting a Ph.D. in.

Citing 1,000s of year of something as proof that it is "proven" is not very convincing. For 1,000s of years human have believed in a lot of not-so-good things. I'm not saying "natural" remedies are by any means "bad." Many have been proven to work - by effecting the brain the same way anti-depressants do. So my question is, why is one a "cure" and the other a "band aid" when they are doing the same thing? If people stop doing their natural remedies.. they will feel crummy again, no?  

I am in no way opposed to natural remedies. Many of them (exercise, meditation, certain vitamins, etc) have strong scientific evidence behind them. I am saying that we need more research on other natural remedies (and they appear to be a lot of them) to draw any reliable / convincing conclusions. Your opinions are based on your own experiences, or some "research" you've been doing on line. My opinions are based on what the scientific community currently knows and does not know.

I do not have any stocks in the drug companies, nor do I prescribe any medications (or ever will), nor do I really care whether meds work or not (so long as there is something to help people who are in need of relief). So I do not offended by anything anyone says about antidepressants. I get offended when people post such definitive and one-sided claims about things mounds of evidence suggest otherwise. But I did not mean to come off rude. I apologize for that. I'm a researcher, and I send to get a bit passionate when it comes to having all the facts and taking a nuanced approach.
480448 tn?1426952138
Mjbrown, excellent posts...I agree with you so much!!!!

I think this is a good as time as any to mention this....b/c I have seen a few things a LOT here lately, and I've been biting my tongue at times.

We ALLLLL need to be very cognizant of the fact that posters are coming here for help...many without personal experiences, and many of them often frightened by a new onset of anxiety.

While we all may have our opinions...I think it is completely inappropriate to do a few things.  ONE, to present info that is your opinion as though it is a proven fact.  Not only is that misleading, it is totally irresponsible.  Or using broad generalizations like "All ADs are bad", or "MOST Doctors won't prescribe Xanax", "MOST p-docs hand out pills like candy".  Those kinds of comments make me cringe.  

Also, everyone has had their own experiences, and I think it is part of our responsibility to preface strong opinions about something (especially negative experiences) that it was OUR experience and may not be the same way for someone else.  Just because poster "A "had a hellish experience with Prozac for example, doesn't mean that brand new poster "B" coming here for info and insight may not THRIVE on it...and I think it is unfair to color perceptions and not allow people to have their own experience.  Not to mention cause someone to not give certain options a chance.

Anxious people are already SOOOO reluctant to try new things, especially meds...and I really hate to see so many conversations/comments that are presented in a way that if *I* were that newly anxious person seeking help...I would run like hell and not even consider EVER taking a med based on some of the negativity and alarmist-style posting about some meds.

I am all for sharing experiences, b/c it is important and can be useful info for people...but remember...just because YOU had one experience doesn't mean EVERYONE will have the same one.  Be clear that you are posting about YOUR experience, and that each person is different, and be sure that when something is your opinion, you state it as such...."IMO" works great.

The very last thing we should be doing is scaring away already scared people with our overbearing opinions and doom and gloom approach to certain subjects.  Instead of focusing so much on what DIDN'T work for you...and how awful it was...try posting about what DID work for you...and things that you've had positive experiences with.

I've been a part of this forum for quite a while (in varying degrees of participation levels)...but I can honestly say that this kind of approach...negativity and "bashing" per se of certain meds, kinds of doctors, etc...is TOTALLY ineffective and not helpful.

Please, let us all keep that in mind.  Giving advice on this forum is a very sensitive matter, and I think it is important to think about what and how we are posting.

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