hello miss rose. First off, I too suffer from anxiety and panic disorder and one of the hardest things was coming to the realization that I did need medication to help me out. I have suffered ever since I was a little girl but it got even worse during high school which kind of forced me to look for something to help. Know that you are not alone. When it comes to the medicine, yes there are always chances of side effects which I have been fearful of, but being able to find something that helps you to go back to being the person you were before January is completely worth it. I started off on zoloft which I just did not feel like myself on and then I ended up with citalopram. I have been on it for about 5 years now and I could not have hoped for a better result. Yes my anxiety comes and goes but it is no where near where it used to be. I have been able to live, I have been able to smile, I have been able to look at others when they are happy and genuinely be happy for them because I to have that feeling of joy. All you have to do is try. It is hard, but take each day as it comes. If you write down how you feel each day then you will have a good reference place to go to. But besides the medicine, try journaling. I have found that when I look back at my most anxious times and know that it was hard but I got through it, it gives me so much hope that yes, I can beat this. You can beat this. It does not have to run your life. Never lose hope you can do it! We all have to stick together !
Thank you so much for your comment.
I will try to use a journal
Please know that you are not alone. I have struggled with this for the last few months and have been trying to dig myself out of this hole as well.
I too also had issues taking my medication, in fact, just the thought of taking my medication would send me into a full blown panic attack. However, that has been one of the things that has also helped me work through this disorder. Overcoming my anxiety of taking my anxiety meds, allowed me to not only face my fears, but it also made me feel much better (because of the medication). I still think twice each time I pop a pill, but it gets easier every time. I have only been taking the proper dosage, for about a week after my therapist realized I wasn't taking it correctly. (prior to that I was only taking a half of the recommended dose, which was low to begin with so it wasn't doing anything except freaking me out).
In addition to the medication, I also found this really helpful workbook. It is actually geared for those who have health anxiety, which is pretty much what I have, although I think it helps you work through your worries and fears in general so I hope you can find this helpful. http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=53
Good Luck to you, and remember, you still are the same person before the anxiety kicked in.
When you say you have no money for therapy, that is the only cure if there is one. Drugs will not cure you, and they cause side effects that can be expensive as well. Hopefully, that won't happen, but if you haven't tried therapy you're not ready for medication. I know our society is just nuts the way drugs are so affordable and therapy often isn't, and I know that CBT therapists almost never take insurance. This is awful. If you can find any way to pay for it, though, that is the place to start. But if you do go on medication, please, don't start with Paxil (paroxetine). That is the most difficult, along with Effexor, of all the antidepressants. and should only be used if it's the last resort. The first med you take should be the easiest to use and stop taking, which probably would be Prozac, followed by Lexapro, and the best for anxiety just might be Zoloft, but leave the Paxil behind.
Oh, and never lose your fear of medication -- much of what doctors do is in fact scary. But fear leads you to investigate, which is good, whereas panic leads you to avoidance, which gets us nowhere. Fear is useful; panic isn't. Life will never be fear-free for any thinking person.