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How to find support with GAD and Depression?

In a horrible process of switching to Lexapro from Paxil. I truly did not know what hell was until this past two weeks. Every day, something is happening to my body either physically and of course mentally. I am MOODY AF. I've had stomach pains here and there but manage to keep them at bay. all the physical withdrawals are absolutely nothing compared to the increased anxiety and constant feeling of something wrong is about to happen at every given moment.  i do not have support from my family. my boyfriend attempts to help me, but is very impatient and i am super sensitive to everything.

i guess what i'm asking is how can i get through the day without crying and thinking like this? i'm really attempting to read on self help and what not but it's hard to be not skeptical. i've missed days off work because of panic attacks and constant crying. i feel like im in a hole.
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Avatar universal
Also, i am on Gabapentin - it's supposed to aid in my anxiety but i honestly do not feel a difference. all of this info, i tell my NP but my appointments are so spaced out i won't be able to see her until the middle of october.
Avatar universal
A nurse practitioner isn't good enough for this problem.  You need a psychpharmacologist.  I think you've posted before and been answered already.  You are suffering from Paxil withdrawal, and you're having a bad case of it.  When stopping a drug results in emotional problems of a level and intensity different from what you had when you started the drug, it's withdrawal.  Nobody can tell how long it will last, and Lexapro will do nothing to stop it as it doesn't work the same.  It's in the same class of drug, but they all work a bit differently or they wouldn't have been able to get new patents for the new drugs.  As I mentioned before, the best thing and safest thing to do is to stop the Lexapro if you've only been on it for a short time so there won't be any additional withdrawal.  Go back on the Paxil at the last dose at which you felt fine, and start tapering again as slowly as you need to at a schedule that suits you, not one that suits your caregiver.  If you don't intend to do that, the best you can do is wait it out and hope it all stops.  There is not way to predict if Lexapro will work for you or not -- some drugs we absorb well and some we don't.  Some work or us and some don't.  Some work really well and some just work a little.  It is what it is and wishing can't change that.  Nurse practitioners are very lightly trained.  Most psychiatrists aren't even that highly trained as most of what they learn is what pharmaceutical company reps tell them.  Psychopharmacologist aren't guaranteed to be great at it, but they do get some additional training in the drugs they use and tend to be really into drugs which is why they get the additional training.  It's what they're into.  As I see it, you have two choices -- go back and do the Paxil taper in a way that suits you better and see if that fixes it, or tough it out and hope it all goes away.  Because if it's withdrawal, as I suspect it is as it's what you're describing, the problem is the brain trying to adapt to not having the Paxil there anymore, and new drugs don't help the brain do that -- in fact, not taking drugs at all for a time is what does that.  What your NP is hoping is that the Lex works and replaces the Paxil well enough to just switch the brain over.  It's possible that will happen in time.  It's possible it won't.  That's why the best way is to do it right the first time around, which is when you're coming off one of these meds and especially Paxil.  If you decide you just want to go with what you're doing, then you must be patient and optimistic and ready to face an extended period of this because again nobody can predict what's going to happen.  We know what you were like on Paxil.  We now know what you're like going off of it probably too quickly for you.  We have no idea what you're like on neurontin or Lexapro.  Peace.  
3 Comments
Very helpful.... but some cant afford or  insurance won't pay for a psychopharmacologist. But if one can be found and paid for yes that would be great.
Insurance pays for psychopharmacologists providing the doctor takes insurance -- they're just psychiatrists with a little extra training.  Now, it's true, most psychiatrists don't participate in any insurance, and none of the best ones do if you live in a highly populated area with a lot of people who earn a lot of money.  It's easy enough to tell that -- just look at your insurance and see how many psychiatrists are on your plan.  Certainly nowhere near the number who are practicing in your area.  This happens because they don't have to take insurance if they can get clients without relying on people searching their insurance providers.  But this applies to all psychiatrists, there isn't anything special in this regard to psychopharmacologists.  It's not an advanced degree or a different profession, you just do extra study and basically buy the designation from a local certifying organization.  But the truth is, psychiatrists aren't expensive really if you only see them for medication.  They're certainly very expensive if you see them for therapy, but you only have to see your psychiatrist once a year if you're on a controlled substance and otherwise only when you need to change something.  So in a way it's more expensive to see one that takes insurance if you have sizeable co-pays and deductibles on your insurance, because insurance companies do require you to see your psychiatrist a certain number of times a year usually to keep coverage.  So once you're established on a drug regimen that is working, those who don't take insurance don't usually require you to see them.  They set their own rules, and since they're busy, they usually really aren't thinking about you much when you're not actively communicating with them.  So it all depends.  If you can't afford two or three visits to a psychiatrist in a year, yes, that's a big problem.  But most of us can afford that even if we're quite poor.  
I hate to use this overused analogy, but I can't afford a cellphone but I can afford my psychiatrist, as she's just more important.  Almost everyone has a cellphone and all the costs associated with one.  Again, it's way overused and not entirely apt, but if you can afford the tech you probably all have, isn't a good psychiatrist at least as important as that?
973741 tn?1342346373
Oh, that stinks to feel like you can't get in to your doctor when you need to!  Did you come down in paxil dose slowly or dramatically stop?  Paxiled makes a good suggestion.  This is to help you cope, to go back to the last dose where you felt okay.  It's hard for some to come off paxil but not everyone.  And the hope is the lexopro will move into action and help again where paxil was.  By the way, why did you need to stop the paxil?

Hang in there. Take one day at a time.  And if you have to, even if it seems impossible, call your doctor and get seen.  They will make time for you if you are really struggling.
5 Comments
or at least they should.
I like what Paxil and special mom said. I am on Effexor myself kind of similar to Paxil in terms of hard to come off of. I was put on it in a mental hospital so I didn't have too much choice. Anyway when I do start to come off of it I'm going to try to come off of it very slowly 10% at a time. That will cost me money I will have to go to a compound pharmacy because I cannot taper it down in 10% as it's made. Anyway what Paxil wrote about the withdrawal and then the actual anxiety you already had and then something called startup anxiety so you may also be feeling something called startup anxiety from the Lexapro. I was on Celexa for a very long time and then it pooped out and then they put me on Effexor. Effexor makes my hands shake and I'm scared to death to run out or not to take it at the same time everyday or get withdrawal I already have anxiety I don't need this kind of excited as well. Anyway the Effexor works on 80% of my anxiety but nothing else really. I'm hoping that the Lexapro also works on 80% of my anxiety. However I have heard other people say that it only works on 40% of their anxiety. Yikes. However I am not other people and I should not compare but it's hard not to when you read. I'm taking a saliva swab test to see what medications go best with my system maybe that will help. Even though I did that already 2 years ago and it came out that Celexa and Luvox or two that worked good. However like I said Celexa pooped out and now I'm going to try Lexapro Celexa and Lexapro or like sisters so hopefully Lexapro works even though Celexa I guess Scott tolerance with my system. Anyway hang in there hang in there hang in there I am praying for you even though I'm not religious I'm rooting for you I empathize with you this is a horrible horrible horrible state to be in I've been through it I think that you should ask your nurse practitioner to give you something to help you out while you're in the state until the Lexapro kicks in something like a light benzo maybe just 15 pills. Remember that it takes about 7 to 10 days for your body to hit a new dos so I don't know how slow or fast you're going down please continue to share with us so that we know I'm going to really need your experience when I go through this thank you
Thank you everyone for replying. I understand the concept of withdrawal (it's quite obvious). I will have to give my clinic a call - i suppose i just thought that by a professional prescribing me/tapering me medication, would know exactly what would happen to me. i wasn't aware that she kind of put me in a black hole! Everyday is a new challenge for me. exercising in the morning and night really helps. smoking weed helps incredibly with my anxiety, especially at night.

the reason why i'm trying to "tough it out" is because my clinic is about a 45 min drive from where i am. i don't have a car and it's incredibly challenging trying to schedule an appointment with them. their clinic closes at 5 and i'm not off work until 4;30. i've taken a hefty amount of days off already due to a death in my friends' circle and because of that, my mind state has gone up and down. I know...queue in smallest violin...but those are the challenges i face. that's why i'm trying to avoid seeing my clinic as best as i can until my next appointment. also why i joined this online community. so i can try to understand a little better of what i'm taking.
but again, thank you for all of your input. i appreciate all of it. i'll definitely look into maybe seeing a pyschopharmacologist. tbh, i never knew that profession existed!
Again, just so everyone knows, a psychopharmacologist is just a psychiatrist with a little extra training in medication.  It's not a different profession.  The only reason I mention to those who seem to be having problems with their current docs is that I've been down this road for a whole lot of years, and what docs don't tell you will hurt you.  You really do have to your own homework.  Being prepared doesn't mean you take a different road necessarily, it just makes you know what's going on when things happen.  I didn't do that and suffered for it badly, and I don't want others to have that happen to them.  Most people do pretty well on their drugs and don't need a lot of help, but for the large number who run into problems, it's just the better thing to pay up to see the best people.  Peace.
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