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Has anybody ever felt anxiety severe Non-Stop

I've experienced anxiety that would not go away for weeks then I went on an antidepressant and I had to go through startup anxiety. It didn't matter what coping skills I used it continue to stay. I'm now on Effexor I'm not doing well on it and I'm so afraid of the withdrawal anxiety as well as my regular anxiety returning as well as start-up anxiety from the news antidepressant my doctor may put me on. Please share strengths if you have any
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Avatar universal
Not sure what you tried.  If anxiety is your main problem, not depression, Effexor is a more stimulating antidepressant which might explain what you're feeling from it.  If your anxiety is caused by depression, this can work better than if you're pretty much just a primary anxiety sufferer because of how it works.  So, wondering what you've tried and if you're seeing a psychiatrist for your meds or a general doc -- the latter might be okay but the former only does this stuff and so theoretically knows more about how to start you on a med and how to stop you off a med safely.  No guarantees, but I've found this to be true and this website over the years seems to back this up.  If Effexor isn't working and you've been on it at a therapeutic dose for a couple of months, it probably isn't the right med for you.  Stopping sooner rather than later will make withdrawal less likely to be difficult.  A good psychiatrist knows how to properly taper you slowly onto a drug so you handle start-up side effects better and how to slowly taper you off of it at a speed that suits you so withdrawal can be mitigated.  Regular docs, again, don't do this as often and are quite rushed since they handle everyone's problems so they're not necessarily going to be the best at doing this.  As far as start-up anxiety is concerned, while it might delay a drug from working, whether a drug works or not is more defined by how well your body absorbs it and whether it's an appropriate drug for what ails you or not, so over time, the drug if it's being taken up and not blocked by your liver or other defenses your body has to things that are not food then it's going to do what it does and you will eventually feel it.  If your brain is able to overcome it, it was a placebo and not working all that well, or it has pooped out after being on it a long time.  Remember that the brain is powerful enough to have brought this problem of anxiety to you in the first place, so it can block meds that really don't work very well, but liken it to taking a laxative, say -- you might be scared of taking it but assuming your body accepts the drug it will clean you out.  Tell us, though, what meds you've tried so far and how you got to Effexor, and know that while Effexor is one of the two most difficult meds in this area to stop taking, it is also a very powerful drug and so it does work for a lot of people for depression.  
8 Comments
And given your fears of drugs, which aren't irrational, have you tried therapy?  Relaxation techniques like exercise, meditation, lifestyle changes?  Drugs can tamp down symptoms, but if you can fix it in therapy, not a guarantee either, it usually stays fixed.
Hi Paxiled.... thank you for asking. I am 43 right now and started taking the antidepressants at 19. I have only taken ssris and have hardly had any side effects other than sexual of course. The last one I had was on was Celexa and that was for about 6 years. 2 months ago I had this huge trigger and my mind could not stop ruminating and ruminating and ruminating about it. I couldn't stop pacing so I went into the mental hospital and they took my antidepressant away saying that I was manic possibly. I have PTSD so I just had a trigger and I guess the Celexa pooped out on me. The doctor eventually put me on Effexor because I begged for an antidepressant. I had no idea what a devil this antidepressant was I have never been on an snri before. Anyway the damage is done so far I went down from 150 mg to 112.5 milligrams. I had 10 days of severe anxiety stepping down. I don't mean exhibit anxiety that comes and goes or if you work A coping skill it goes and comes no what I mean is it would not go away torture. The only time it went away is when the doors kicked in. I'm hoping that let Lexapro still works on me even though it's possible Celexa pooped out. I've heard that Lexapro is a better Celexa. I really hope so. I called my local compounding pharmacy and ask them if they could make compound Effexor XR capsules for instance make them into 100, 90, 80, Exedra. I'm waiting for the pharmacist to get back to me. This doctor that I have now seems willing to wean me off but not so much to prescribe me another antidepressant at least right away. And that scares the hell out of me. I don't know how she feels that I'll be able to get along. She did say that you would prescribe me Klonopin .5 during the detox. But I've heard from others that that's not even enough for the severe anxiety. Right now I'm on lithium 1000 milligrams a day and Seroquel 100 at night to sleep. Oh yeah I'm on propanol for hand tremors that I got from the Effexor. I have never had hand tremors before and should not at my age. I hope that the body shaking and the hand tremors stop after I go to another antidepressant and I hope that antidepressant does work. In my swab saliva a few years ago it said so it said Celexa and Luvox were good for me. So maybe that means Lexapro will be good for me too.
I posted on your other comment above and here you've filled in more info, so now I get why they might have tried the Seroquel and the lithium with you -- apparently you have been diagnosed, whether correctly or not I can't say, with a manic condition.  What you haven't said is how long ago you stopped the Celexa and how long of a taper off of it you did.  You took it a long time and it worked well, which means it's more likely to have withdrawal problems, and if this new intensity of anxiety happened soon after stopping the Celexa it could be a withdrawal symptom.  If it is, the only real way to deal with that is either time or going back on it at the last dose at which you felt fine and tapering off more slowly.  Don't know if this has any relevance to you or not.  Lexapro is Celexa with some of it cut out, similar to what was later done with Effexor by coming up with Pristiq.  Mainly, this allowed the manufacturer to get a new patent, though be now both Celexa and Lexapro are available in generic.  But originally it was done to replace a drug with an expired patent with one that was enough different to get a new one.  Having taken both of them, they were different for me in their side effects, and my psychiatrist thought they were different enough for her patients to give it a try.  So who knows?  Because the drugs are virtually the same drug, you can switch between them without the usual tapering and waiting for the withdrawal to end the way you do with drugs that act more unlike one another, at least usually.  It's not a better Celexa, necessarily -- originally it was thought to have fewer side effects because some of the stuff in Celexa they eliminated to make Lexapro was thought to make an easier drug to handle.  But I'm not sure experience has proved that out -- just don't know.  It's such an individual thing and most psychiatrists do not report this kind of stuff to anyone who can make an independent assessment, usually only hospitals are forced to do that.  But it's certainly worth a try.  As for the Effexor, assuming your intense anxiety now wasn't caused by withdrawal, Effexor is an intentionally stimulating antidepressant, affecting norepinephrine as well as serotonin.  Another name for norepinephrine is noradrenaline, so you can see by the name that this can be not so kind to many anxiety sufferers unless your anxiety is caused by depression.  As for PTSD, if you really do have that and haven't just been told you have something like that, the trigger is usually the thing that caused the trauma.  Treatment for it is different when you're in therapy than it is for other forms of anxiety.  It has also shown some good results with low THC forms of marijuana.  But that's only if you really have it.  The tremors are caused to some people when they take too much Effexor -- it can throw the equilibrium between dopamine and serotonin so out of balance that it can cause Parkinson's like symptoms that go away when you drop down on the dose or stop taking it.  But keep in mind, Seroquel and lithium, as with all antipsychotics, can also cause this problem.  I'm not sure how the propanol is supposed to treat the tremors, as it doesn't do anything about the dopamine imbalance.  It lowers heart rate.  I hope you find the solution, and taper off the Effexor as slowly as you need to, don't be rushed.  Best of luck to you.
Hi paxiled, thank you so much for responding you are a wealth of information. I was in the hospital the whole month of July.. the the mental health doctor obviously dumb took me off the Celexa right away cold turkey and started trying new drugs on me. So now I imagine I came into the hospital with anxiety because possibly is Celexa wasn't working anymore. And when she took me off the Celexa I assume I started having withdrawal anxiety as well. She let me suffer for about 2 weeks refusing to put me on another antidepressant. It was torture. After visceral norepinephrine and boost bar failed. With Cokes and she became open-minded to Effexor. I imagine that I had startup anxiety and I didn't know it was startup anxiety. On August 1st I came out of the hospital on 150 mg of Effexor and 600 mg of lithium and Seroquel at night just to sleep. And bad tremors..
Not even slight Tremors bad tremors. Anyway I went to a program right after and that doctor took me down to 112.5 milligrams of Effexor. That brought the Tremors down a little bit and then I decided to try to go down on the Effexor. This doctor at the program that I'm at right now against antidepressants but somehow she allowed me to try Lexapro. To make a long story short it was a Sunday I went down on the Effexor from 112.5 to 75 mg and I took a 5mg Lexapro. I could not withstand it the severe anxiety was so bad. And at that time the doctor was not willing to prescribe me any kind of benzodiazepine. At that time I thought by going right back to 112 .5 milligrams of Effexor and forgetting about the Lexapro for a while my body would just go back to normal. Well I was wrong the Effexor punished me for one whole week extreme anxiety even though I just decided not to take it for one day. Like I said one whole week of severe anxiety just for dropping the dose for one day. That's when I realized this antidepressant is evil as well as what I've heard about the bad withdrawal although I could take that kind of withdrawal nausea vertigo headaches I don't care if the antidepressant kicks me in the stomach as long as I don't have to go through severe severe anxiety. I don't know how I'm going to get through this but the plan is I called the compounded Pharmacy I see if they can make drop down doses of Effexor. So if I'm on a hundred and  112.5 right now. I would go on 100 the 90 than 80 exedra. Wish me luck that this is possible this pharmacist said she would call me on Monday. And even with that I'm so scared hoping that the Lexapro wil work because obviously the Celexa stopped working cuz it couldn't take the amount of anxiety that it experienced before I went to the hospital.
The only caution I would give is, if it were me, and it isn't, I wouldn't start the Lexapro until I successfully withdrew from the Effexor.  It's very hard to stop taking, it just is.  It might take awhile.  You don't want start-up side effects from Lexapro, a different class of drug entirely, plus withdrawal side effects going on at the same time.  But it's entirely your choice, and many psychiatrists do not agree with this approach at all.  I got it from some books and research i did, but there isn't a consensus on it.  It just makes sense to me, having had my life destroyed by a psychiatrist who didn't know how to properly deal with or even diagnose Paxil withdrawal.  So here's my take, and that means it isn't fact, just food for thought for you in trying to work yourself not only through this but also for the future.  No drug will cure you.  Therapy might.  Also might not.  If you haven't tried that route thoroughly, do so.  I agree that the original uptick in anxiety was probably the Celexa pooping out.  You either needed to go up in dose or try something else.  Because you tried to do this in a hospital, they treated you the way they do addicts and that means usually going off a drug cold turkey.  It's not a good idea, not for addicts, not for us.  It shocks the brain.  Drugs make the brain work in an unnatural fashion, and this is more true of pharmaceutical products that drugs that come from plants.  When we stop taking them, the brain needs time to go back to working the way nature intended it to, and this can be easy, hard, very hard, or impossible.  Depends on the person.  The worst kind of withdrawal is if you get insomnia and emotional problems of a kind or intensity you did not have when you first went on the drug.  This can last a long time, and because we're on them because our emotional system is off, we suffer even more and the new problem can become chronic as the original one did.  That's what I'm trying to get you to avoid going through.  Taking a benzo if you only take it when absolutely necessary and not every day is not a terrible idea, but you can always use meditation, relaxation, exercise, and just knowing what's happening to you -- I think I would have been much better off if I had only been told about withdrawal possibilities at some point before I got it -- none of my docs ever mentioned it and so I was clueless.  So you knowing what's probably happening, which is, the Effexor is probably too stimulating for you and you probably never got a chance to completely withdraw from the Celexa in a safe way lets you know not to repeat this with the Effexor.  If it takes a while, big deal.  You have time.  Hope when you do go on the Lexapro it works for you.  
And also, if the "mania" is withdrawal, as I suspect it is, but can't know, also eventually you'll want to not take the lithium and the Seroquel.  If you don't need antipsychotics, don't take them and don't take them for their unwanted side effects, such as sedation (sleep).  You want to sleep again naturally, or at least as naturally as you can while on meds.  All the best.
Thank you paxiled. And now I understand the meaning of your username. No I was not told about withdrawal symptoms as well:-( it is so good to know that you have come out of it. And are here to share hope with others about it. I hope I can be that too. But I can't be sure. You said it was your opinion for me not to go on Lexapro while getting off the Effexor. But I was wondering how I would deal with my regular anxiety. Meaning that as the Effexor gets out I think a person with severe anxiety would want to look forward to something kicking in. If there's not the possibility of something kicking in it almost seems hopeless. My anxiety seems to not go away for a couple of hours when I have no anxiety medication. I used to do body scan as a form of meditation but I cannot do it now that I'm on the Effexor 112.5 it seems to take away concentration. Also I am not on withdrawal right now. The last time I withdrew from Effexor was from 150 to 112.5 and I suffered for 7 to 10 days until that day was kicked in. I now pretty much do not have anxiety. However I feel asleep to this med. This med makes me take it exactly the same time everyday or I start feeling butterflies that could turn severe as time goes on. I'm going to hear from the Compounding Pharmacy on Monday tomorrow regarding if they can compound Effexor XR. Which means then the next dose I would go down on would be 100. My insurance probably won't pay for that so I will have to look into borrowing money if it's a lot. I can't believe the pickle I'm in everything was fine in June then I got triggered the Celexa pooped out went to the mental hospital was given tons of drugs and take it off sons of drugs. I agree I want to get off the lithium and not need the Seroquel and I've been cutting the Seroquel I haven't been needing it as much. I always pride myself on being able to sleep well. And I want to get back there. I'll give it to the Effexor it does help with anxiety at this dose any dos lower can't be sure. I know 75 wasn't enough for the regular anxiety that I experience. So again if I don't take Lexapro at 75 I can't imagine what would help with my natural anxiety that's coming from trigger unresolved. During time of withdrawal I will be having to take benzos I hope to only have to take .5 mg of Klonopin. God please help me only have to take that much. I'm looking into a therapist again the last time I had good therapy was when I lived in California and I got two times a week therapy for 4 months and did EMDR. But four months is not enough I know. I got to get on looking for a good therapist that takes Medicare. And that 75mg my concentration skills may come back to be able to meditate at least like a novice. I have a fear that the Lexapro won't work for me as good as the Effexor does with anxiety. But I will have to cross that bridge when I get to it I guess what other choice do I have. I have the choice of settling being on a drug that I despise that has a disgusting withdrawal as well as tremors. However when I've been severely anxious for 7 hours in a row and haven't been able to relax I would sometimes out of desperation and relief welcome tremors. This is what a sick situation this antidepressant has put me in or rather the psychiatrist that gave it to me
What happened to me is quite rare.  I never recovered from it.  I came on here many years ago to try to see if anyone else had this problem, and some have over the years, but it's not common and it won't happen to you.  That's not the concern.  The concern is to not get new problems that stick around because of a bad withdrawal.  I ended up on Paxil for similar reasons you've gotten to where you are -- the psychiatrist I had wasn't very good and didn't listen to me.  He could of prevented all this by putting me back on it after explaining what was happening, but he didn't do either.  I really don't know what the best thing for you to do is, you have to figure that out in consultation with the best psychiatrists you can find.  And I have to say, in my experience, any psychologist or psychiatrist who takes insurance, especially medicare, is probably not very good.  It's a sad fact of life that is a vestige of life before Obamacare.  I know, everyone hates it, but before it came around health insurance seldom provided any coverage for therapy and the number of psychiatrists that participate in insurance is quite a bit fewer than the number that work in where any of us live.  Meaning, most of them aren't taking insurance because they don't have to in order to get customers.  Now, a surgeon, very few people even if you're quite wealthy are going to be able to afford that if you lack insurance, so most docs take insurance.  But it's not so with alternative practitioners and mental health providers.  My current psychiatrist doesn't take any insurance, but if she had been my doc when I decided to stop the Paxil, I wouldn't be in this lost life of a pickle.  She knows this stuff.  Because nobody has to see a psychiatrist all that often, most of us can afford to see them without insurance.  We only need them when we make changes.  Like you, I was on an antidepressant that pooped out and that's how I got to Paxil.  It happens.  But my experience has been quite different than most people on this website.  My docs started with the least problematic meds first and only got to the more problematic ones if those didn't work.  My docs always recommended therapy before sending you to a psychiatrist for meds.  Maybe it was just different back then.  General docs didn't try to treat things they weren't well prepared to treat.  Therapists didn't charge as much because insurance companies for most people didn't include mental health coverage.  Now they have to, or at least will until the Republicans are finished tearing apart the changes that were an experiment to see if we couldn't get adequate coverage for everyone, not just the wealthy and management at very large corporations who have super good insurance coverage.  We'll see how it goes.  My point is, just make sure you know your docs are doing the best for you.  The problem you're having when you don't take your Effexor right on time can happen with any of these short-half-life meds.  If it's in fact working and your anxiety is gone, maybe that's your drug.  I just don't know, I'm not there with you.  I never had constant anxiety until stopping Paxil gave it to me.  So it goes.  I just want everyone to have the best life they can and not end up like me.  Peace.
Avatar universal
Yes i have it. I was taking xanax for it until my doctor lied to me an said the law wouldn't let him prescribe it anymore.
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