I'm also taking an ssri it's not as bad as you think except I'm on prozac(fluoxetine), I've had a panic attacks for months & it was horrible the medicine hasn't really helped my fear, but it's made me to where I don't think about my fear as normally I would, the only problem with ssris is that it takes a week or two for you to feel different. As for the insomnia I have that 100% but I take benedryls to help me sleep, there is a natural pill that is for you to sleep it's what your body produces called Melatonin. I for one don't recommended that I've tried it & it hasn't helped I felt more sad & really weird mentally, but everyone's different, you might not even have insomnia.. Did the doctor prescribe you Xanax & lexapro ?
I was prescribed the Xanax by another doctor at another clinic. My GP won't prescribe benzos. I already take Melatonin. Xanax helps me relax. I'm not scared of meds, for some reason ssris scare me though because once you take one you can't stop and I guess I'm afraid they'll mess my brain up...Yet at the same time I'm getting noplace fast due to my anxiety and avoidance. I'm pretty sensitive to meds too. Maybe I should just take the Lexapro
You can always stop taking ssri but the benefit will not occur if you don't take them daily, so that not stopping part is misconception on your part - same with messing your brain up since it isn't like having some beers and instead is more like a shield to help deaden anx or depression from jolting you all day so you can get a break and resolve the issue bothering you - that's if it works which it isn't guaranteed.
You get no benefit from any med if you stop taking it.
You are making up a lot of what-ifs that are not possible to forecast as far as side effects go - it is different for everyone so general rules do not apply. Do not even consider someone else's description of side-effects and think that might happen to you - talk to doc or the pharmacist who has lots of experience with people on meds instead and consider that most side effects go away with time.
Lack of results from therapy is a concern - likely results from meds might be lessened if there is an unaddressed underlying issue. How many therapists did you see, over what time period and how many times for each?
First of all, Xanax is a worse med to be dependent on than an ssri if you're worried about insomnia if you take it regularly. It also is addictive if taken regularly. But my main question would be, have you tried therapy first? Have you tried learning relaxation techniques and working on this? If not, that's the first place to try, with medication being in reserve if that doesn't help. And if you do decide on medication, then a psychiatrist will be in order; GPs just aren't that knowledgeable about this stuff usually (often psychiatrists aren't, either, but you do have a better chance).
I've tried two therapists, and therapy and relaxation techniques don't work for me. I have severe anxiety when it hits it hits and it doesn't matter how much I want it to go away it doesn't. Sometimes it just hits suddenly full force, and I can't do a thing about it other times it builds and nothing I do to try and wish it away works. so far the only thing that's reliably worked is Xanax or the beta blockers I take for fast heart rate.
Maybe I just haven't found the right therapist, I don't know..but the ones I've had so far haven't done a thing. Actually I feel they were just a big waste of my time.
One therapist just sat there and stared at me like a lab specimen, and hardly talked at all, and the other one was nice but she didn't give me any tools to use at all. Plus I am highly skeptical of therapists based on these experiences I think they're just paid to feed whatever b.s. They feel you want to hear.
In the meantime my anxiety is getting worse and I don't know where to turn.
The last psychiatrist I saw I don't get along with at all, he's very knowledgeable, but he was a complete and total *******. He would not look me in the eye, barely acknowledged me, and kept his face buried in his notes. There was no communicaton at all. My GP told me psychiatrists are like that, but am I wrong for expecting a psychiatrist to treat me like a human being? I don't think so.
So anyway, I have an appointment to see a psychiatric nurse, she is the next best thing I could get in to see with my insurance, so we'll see how it goes with her. If I like her, I'll see her, if not, I'll keep looking for another one. In my opinion unless I feel comfortable with the psychiatrist's demeanor and their knowledge then it's not worth it.
Most psychiatrists I know are like that. I guess this is why there are therapists to go along with the psychiatrists.
"One therapist just sat there and stared at me like a lab specimen, and hardly talked at all, and the other one was nice but she didn't give me any tools to use at all. Plus I am highly skeptical of therapists... "
I think you are right to try the psych nurse as planned and move on to others if that doesn't work out. It is like looking for employment. You never know how it will go until you try. I don't blame you for not liking your first 2 but that is not a reason to be skeptical of all, and since the purpose is for your benefit don't give up hope just because of those 2 people.