Yes, they say that therapy alone can help anxiety and teach you ways of changing your thinking....it is a longer process than meds in conjunction with therapy...but it does work in the long run without withdrawal side effects.
I however, opted for the meds...I tried it first without, but it got to the point where I couldn't do it any more. Everyone is different and you have to do what is right for you!
Therapy can be tried alone - yes. I opted for both at the same time. Needed all the help I could get. If you get therapy first, perhaps (if they think you need it) they could start you on meds with their help and counseling. I would imagine they may start you on a small, small dose (maybe have you cut up the smallest dosage) and then work your way up to where you could see that there are no major reactions. I can tell you - I have had some weird stuff happen to me with surgeries, meds, etc., but I haven't had any reaction to a myriad of anxiety drugs or antidepressants. You may have conditioned yourself to be afraid of meds. It's good to have a fear of putting drugs into your body, but a healthy fear is a far cry from what you are describing. Take care and get to the therapist/psych:)
I forgot to tell you, google systematic desensitization. I think this may be the type of therapy they could use to help you take meds if need be.
I too have had major issues with nightly anxiety attacks. Allow me to make a few recommendations:
1) Schedule an appointment with both a Psychiatrist (medical doctor) AND a Psychologist (therapist). They will usually be in the same location. The doctor will diagnos you and treat you with medication, while the psychologist will begin your therapy. Keep in mind that THOUSANDS of people go to therapy, so you are not alone! I am an EMT and my wife is an RN and we both actively see therapists for our anxiety.
2) Ask for an anti-depressant medication. This will help you with 3 things: Anxiety, depression, and your seizures. Anxiety is a depression-related disorder, which can be treated with standard anti-depressant medications. Plus, you mentioned earlier that you have had seizures, and anti-depressant medicaiton will actually help out with that. I DO NOT recommend Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil. These medications may work for you, but they certainly didn't work for me. They just made me feel even more anxious. If I were you, I would look into something like Well-Butrin (Buproprion).
3) Ask for an anxiety-relief medication. The most common anxiety medications are Ativan (lorazepam), Kolonopin (clonazepam) and Xanax. All 3 are habit forming, but work very well when taken DURING an anxiety attack. Ativan works in about 5 minutes and lasts for about 30-60 minutes. Kolonopin works in about 15 minutes, but lasts for anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours, and Xanax (the most powerful medication) work very quickly in probably under 5 minutes, but only lasts about 10-15 minutes.
I hope this helps!
thank you guys for all of your support and information. I don't think I can afford therapy though, my guess is it's really expensive. I guess I might try some meds...it seems like that's my only option
I can't take meds either! Wellbutrin made me so anxious I was literally vomiting, and I have heard it is very activating (can make anxiety worse). All the other drugs I've tried except Xanax, same thing. So now I rely on Xanax alone to help control my anxiety, which doesn't work too well! But hey, what are you going to do? I did go thru therapy and it worked fairly well - you may want to try that.
Don't give up so easily. I get therapy from a psychiatrist, which is probably the most expensive @ about 100 bucks per visit. BUT, you can check your local health dept. or counseling centers to see if you can get on a sliding scale. If you had to pay $100 a month - it would be worth it. What's worth more than your sanity? Also, if it is up your alley, you can get counseling thru a church. Try these things and remember what peace is worth - priceless:)