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Avatar universal

I have gad and panic disorder. Been taking xanax xr. I feel awful and helpless.

Had symptoms off and on for 20 years.  Ruins jobs relationships etc.  wake up very nauseous everyday take my pills and struggle to make through each day.  Yes doctor yes psychiatrist yes counseling.  I'm very intolerant of ssri type drugs.  So those haven't been an option.  I'm fading.  Losing hope.
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973741 tn?1342342773
I'm sure sorry to read this!  Don't lose hope!!  Xanax is not a great choice for long term anxiety treatment.  It's also addictive which is I'm sure a concern you have now that you have taken them for so many years. And they aren't helping you with the anxiety anymore.  Talk to your doctor about this even though that is a hard conversation.  You say that ssri's are not options . . . but there are snri's and other classes of medications that help with anxiety other than the benzos.  You have other choices.  But if your current treatment is not working or not working very well anymore, please talk to your psychiatrist about where to go next.  You need a different plan especially if you are becoming depressed!  good luck
Also, make sure your therapist specializes in anxiety treatment.  Most don't, and therefore aren't very useful for that problem.
Avatar universal
Have you tried to switch to regular release xanax or maybe a different benzo at this point like ativan? SSRIs are quite awful and also cause dependency just like the benzos, just slightly different withdrawals. But if your panic disorder is that severe you probably should try looking into adding another drug to see if it will help.

One drug that is rarely prescribed these days is buspar. Now it obviously doesn't help everyone, but it works completely different than SSRIs and so much more gentle on the body and easier to withdraw from if you ever wanted to. Buspar is the only drug in its class made specifically for anxiety.

That's one you could try and it wouldn't be as awful as starting an SSRI. There is also Wellbutrin which could be worth a try although it is stimulating to a lot of people and Remeron. The wellbutrin and remeron won't kill your sex drive as much, but the withdrawal from remeron will probably be equally as severe as the ssris.

How much therapy have you actually done? You may need to keep looking for a therapist that will actually help. Some simply aren't as good. You also have to really force yourself to go and really try hard. Psychotherapy can be effective as medication, but it does take tremendous effort and you can't give up. You have to keep fighting hard to get better. I am currently in therapy and I go once a week. It's very hard sometimes because I am so anxious. I can barely leave the house, much less drive anymore. But every Thursday I force myself to get to the therapist office. I shake, cry, tremble, and pour sweat in the waiting room. I am just refusing to give up.
Okay, folks, it's great to want to help people but we do need to be accurate here.  Antidepressants do not cause dependency.  Yeah, you do need to take them every day for them to work, but you don't need to take more and more to get the same feeling as you do with addictive drugs like benzos.  Now, not everyone who takes addictive drugs will have that problem, but most will.  Not true with saris or saris, though they can poop out and stop working.  But so can addictive drugs such as benzos.  Withdrawal is a separate problem -- withdrawal from antidepressants can be vicious and lifelong, but most will not have this problems.  Everyone will get withdrawal from quitting a benzo  if you take it regularly because it is addictive.  So to the poster, if you do decide to make any changes in your benzo, you have to do it very slowly -- you can't just stop one and try another.  The same is true with saris and saris, but the fact is, dependency is a term with a definite meaning and it doesn't include antidepressants.  When you quit a benzo you were addicted to, you might crave it for a lifetime because it was addictive, just you would with heroin.  This doesn't happen with an antidepressant.  So the fact both drugs are very hard to stop taking, that's because of how they affect the brain, but they do that in different ways and with different amounts of risk.  As to saris vs. saris, no, they aren't more dependency causing -- again, neither causes dependency.  Paxil is the hardest drug of all of these to stop taking, and it's an ssri.  Effexor is the next hardest, and it's an snri.  It's more the drug than the class of drugs as to how many people have a problem stopping.  The reason snris are harder to stop than most saris other than Paxil and probably Luvox is that they target not only serotonin but also norepinephrine.  Because the latter is basically adrenaline, this class is very stimulating, and isn't usually used for anxiety unless it's caused by depression unless all else has failed.  The same is true for Wellbutrin, possibly the most stimulating of all antidepressants.  Not generally good for primary anxiety sufferers.  When it is used to help with sexual dysfunction or weight gain, it's usually combined with an ssri, not substituted for it if anxiety is the primary problem.  Remeron makes virtually everyone who uses it eat compulsively and causes the most weight gain for most people so isn't usually used at all except for geriatric patients who have stopped eating.  If it works, though, and doesn't have this effect, most report it's a relatively easy drug to take and stop taking compared to ssris and snris.  There's just something about messing with serotonin that is very hard for the brain to deal with if you stop the drugs that most directly target it.  Now, Buspar. This drug has failed every clinical trial it has ever been in.  The manufacturer has been chasing a use for it forever.  When it works it's probably a placebo effect.  It also, by the way, has a mild effect on serotonin, unlike benzos, which target GABA.  It's only known use now that seems to do anything for any sizable number of people is as an adjunct to taking an ssri -- it does seem in some people to help intensify the positive effect of an ssri.  My feeling is, any drug that works is great, and the placebo effect if it lasts is the best of all because there are no side effects.  But people do need to do some homework on these drugs because your doctors certainly aren't going to do it for you.  Peace, all.
Sorry, folks, since I switch browses every time I try to put ssri or snri it comes out as sari.  I'm not referring to clothing!
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