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Depression/Mental Health Forum
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Avatar universal

Anxiety/Panic and medication

I have been seeing a good theropist off and on for a few years for depression and anxiety.  My preference has always been to not take medication.  Recently I've started having panic attacks here and there (elevators, escalators, driving over bridges).  In addition, my irritability has gotten much worse.  My therapist suggested that it may be time to try some medication, and sent me to a prescribing Dr.  He prescribed Paxil.  I did some reading on it, and was alarmed by the amount of people who participate in various 'withdraw support forums' upon trying to come off Paxil. I'm bothered by the fact that my doctor (as alot of doctors do), just kind of shrugged and said, 'There are no withdraw symptoms, if you come off slowly those things shouldn't happen.'  Its the 'shouldn't happen' vs. the number of people who seem to have problems comming of it that bothers me.  I told him I wasn't comfortable with the Paxil, so he said his alternative would be Celexa.  Again, after reading, I'm just 'creeped out' by the thought of doing a science experiment with the chemicals in my brain.

I am also quite over weight, eat poorly and get no exercise.  I'm thinking that maybe committing to better nutrition, more water and a regular exercise routine could help me.  Surely, those things must have some effect on brain chemicals to.  I guess after all this my question is:

Is there evidence that a healthier diet and exercise can alleive symptoms of depression and anxiety?  I'm so torn about taking medication at this point, and looking for an alternative.  Thanks!
6 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
It just so happens that there is very good evidence that exercise, diet and a regular routine of going to the gym has as good an effect as taking medication.  Thats what you should try...but you have to go regularly,and for at least 6 months.
Avatar universal
I personally don't know if there's any tangible evidence, but I can sure tell you that excersize and a heathly diet signifigantly help me with my minor depression and occasional anxiety. Plus it's a great way to start the day when you look in the mirror and like what you see.
Avatar universal
Yes, diet changes do help.  I don't really get alot of exercise, just alot of walking at work, but I recently cut out sugar of my diet.  I could tell a difference in one week.  I have also never taken medication for anxiety.
Avatar universal
i tried posting a comment but it didn't take. the jist was. i would try the drug. everything you do with your body is an experiment. not exercising is a more harmful experiment than taking a drug. sometimes you need a boost out of the  "i am worthless" type feelings to start living healthy. i have had no problem coming off the drugs. at least nothing that compared to living with anxiety and depression. drugs can really help.
good luck. R
Avatar universal
I'm in gradate school for community counseling.  I'm stressed and I have anxiety.  I want to relax but I don't know how.  I feel myself tensing up more and more, day by day.  For example, I noticed that my hands are cliched in bed at night and I have been grinding my teeth while I sleep.  My breathing is shallow at times.  I am also afraid to fly, but my fear has not stopped me from flying.  I just want to relax.  I'm in good health, at my target weight, but I don't like vigorous excersie.  I work part time and attend classes, I don't have time to go to a gym until I graduate.  I don't want to take medication.  What do you suggest?
Avatar universal
wow, my tech school offers Community Counseling classes and is cheaper than Graduate School.  
  Slow down - what good are you to anyone for counseling if you can't maintain because your healthy self? Try a yoga class to relax! It worked for me and I'm stressed with Occupational Therapy class full-time.
  Plus I heard that anti-histamines work for anxiety which is less to play with than the SSRI's that the doctors hand out like candy.  
  I'm stuck on this Paxil 40mg for 2 years and want to have kids soon - Aaahhh! The YOGA and Cardio seem safer than these SSRI's !
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