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Avatar universal

Different Treatments for Anxiety other than Antidepressants

I have been put on Wellbutrin 5 days ago after taking 1-1/2 years to slowly wean myself off Zoloft. I developed over the past 6 months inflammation of the stomach and GI issues due to personal and work related stress. The doctor thought that putting me back on an antidepressant would help the stomach and GI heal, allievating the anxiety issues. My therapist is going nuts over this and feels there are other drugs out there that break down in the kidneys, not the liver, as well as don't irritate the stomach. I was really feeling defeated after tapering myself slowly off the Zoloft to be place back on another antidepressant. My therapist suggested looking info on different types of meds that help with anxiety, are non-habit forming, and are not in the classification of antidepressants. What do you know about this and do you know of any websites that can help me with this?

Thanks Jen
13 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I prefer klonopin as a tried and true, and safe, anxiety drug. ASk your doctor about prescribing you a small dose to take at night before bed, and adding to it during the day only if necessary. Use that to cover yourself for a few weeks, and then stop if you are okay by lowering dose over next two weeks.
110220 tn?1309310461
Jen:

I don't know how often you experience anxiety but depending on that, you can take xanax if you have anxiety every now and then.  Xanax does stop anxiety and panic right in its tracks.  But if you take it everyday (three times a day) for 4 - 6 weeks, your body builds up a dependence and it becomes difficult to get off of.

I have anxiety and taking xanax during this period really did help, I of course took it regularly (not knowing the addictiveness of this drug) and I had to wean myself off of them.  Now that I have been off of them since Feb 2006, I have them, but I only take them when absolutely necessary.

I took one zoloft pill (my doctor recommended it for anxiety) and I prayed that if this pill got out of my system, I would never take it again.  I didn't sleep a wink that night and lost 2 pound from the constant bathroom visits.  I was cold and nervous.  You have taken Zoloft for awhile, it just goes to show you medicine has different effects on different people.

I can't suggest any meds, I only know about xanax and they are great for relieving anxiety, but just take them as needed.

Best Wishes
Avatar universal
im 25 and have recently been precribed xanax, and i have to agree with you that xanax definately stops panic and anxiety dead in its tracks. i had to visit the cartiologist yesterday which gave me overwelming anxiety and about 30 mins after i took xanax (1 mg) my body definately felt loose and i just didnt worry as much about it..i , like the previous poster only take it when needed so i wont become dependant on it...ive also been told that if you need to definately take an anti-anxiety medication everyday, "buspar" is also an option..ive been told that it is not as habbit forming...maybe this'll help...best wishes too you and everyone!!  =)
Avatar universal
I stop taking zyprexa (5mg)24 days ago after taking it for 11 years, I'm experiencing a lot of muscular and mental tension as well as insomnia. I feel phisically restless and very obsessive thoughts goes through my mind. I'm also sweating a lot. My life at this time is quite difficult. I think that I'm also dealing with a lot of anxiety. The good news is that my appetite has decrease 50% (taking zyprexa make me gain 100 pounds). I would have never agreed on taking zyprexa 11 years ago if I knew that I was going to pay a very big price when getting off this medication. At this point I don't feel like trusting another pchiatrist or doctor to help me deal or reduce these horrible symptoms. Is there anyone out there who has gone through what I'm going through right now, and how you have dealt with this situation, and how long it took you before you started to feel better??? I would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks,

Serge 5055
Avatar universal
I'm very surprised your Doctor hasn't started you on some other typ of medicin at the same time of weanning you off the one you've been on. That's a long time to be on any typ of antidepresant.
Avatar universal
Hi,

going off antidepressants is very difficult. I'm going through this right now too.

I've been on prozac for one year for panic attacks and it helped a lot. I've had a very happy and fulfilled life during this year. Before - it was a nightmare with panic attacks every night, chest pains, difficulties breathing, headackes and blurry vision, numbness in all my body. I couldn't get enough sleep, was worried all the time. My work and personal relationships suffered a lot, and i was sure i'm going to die from a heart attack very soon (being 27 years old!). I also started to be afraid to visit places, to drive alone in the car and to fly by airplanes.
My life started to become miserable. And i DECIDED to change it.

I was very determined, so i started doing some reading. There is a lot of free information on the web, including this site. I read that first of all, minimizing the effect of panic attacks on your life is POSSIBLE, and that both cognitive and medical help is needed. I went on prozac and went through therapy which helped me understand the psycological reasons behind my panic attacks. I also changed my lifestyle a lot. I learned yoga, breathing and relaxation exercises, meditation, changed my eating habits, started doing more excersice. What can i say - this year was the best year of my life, i fixed my relationships, performed well at work and felt generally very happy and fulfilled.

From my experience, THE MOST HELPFUL THING in coping with my panic attacks was to start realizing that the outcome in a big way depends on me and only me. Nobody and nothing else can help me with this. (A little blunt and scary, but this is true). The way i react to a panic attack determines how i will feel next. My thoughts determine my physical symptoms the next moment. If i allow the thought of being scared or of being unhappy or worried to come tomy mind - the panic and the physical symptoms will follow.

This is why yoga and relaxation exersices help in coping with panic attacks so much. Relaxation excersice is just an exersice in controlling your thoughts. Try to relax after a stressful day at work and in a very noise place. difficult, ha? But experienced yogis can do it. They can also decrease their heart beat and the blood pressure as they wish. By controlling their thoughts they control the physical outcome. I started practicing relaxation exersices with determination to learn which thoughts should i trigger in order to relax, and not allowing any other worrying thoughts entering my brain. And it works!

Try it!

I'm going off prozac now and both my therapist and psyciatrist believe that i will be fine. They both very much approve the way i view this things, and hopefully, i will be able to control my anxiety and my panic attacks in a more natural and healthy way, without getting dependencies on drugs and without side effects that this drugs eventually have on my body.

Good luck to you too in this difficult struggle!

Avatar universal
I have been on antidepressants since I was 21 years old (now I'm 44).  I was on Prozac for about 10 years (most of that time taking 1 every other day 20mg), then switched to Effexor (75 mg I think) and was on it for about 3 years.  It seemed like it was making me too wound up so I gradually reduced the dosage to just 1 (amazing) per week.  I then gave that up and began to experience once againe the horrible  feelings of the dread, the depression, the hopelessness, that sick feeling in the stomach upon waking in the morning.  I am wondering if it might be possible to go back to taking the Effexor such that I would take one every 2 days, etc.  I seem to be one that needs some help, just not the full dosage (or something like that).  Any feedback?  Please help!
144586 tn?1284669764
A little valium is often helpfulin treating anxiety. Valium has a very bad wrap since it became a scheduled trackable controlled drug. I don't think it should be. The down side is it has a long half life and you really shouldn't drive while you are on it. Valium probably has the least short term side effects of any psychiatric drug.
144586 tn?1284669764
Yopu should be aware that there is an argument that anti-inflammatories, particuliarly prednisone, can cause psychiatric symptoms. Any drug that suppresses the immune system does so. There is a reason for this. An organism with a depressed immune system is more vulnerable to injury or attack, so there is a genetic reason for "something in the body"to make one "afraid to leave the cave" when the immune system is compromised. It's sometimes called the "Lizard brain" that lies withoin all of us. Any drug that suppresses inflamation (Ibuprufin/Motrin, for example) and compromises the immune response has the potential to cause anxiety attacks and psychiatric symptoms.
Avatar universal
I have been treated for anxiety and panic attacks with Xanax and would offer extreme caution to anyone considering the possibility of taking Xanax ever to treat this... as I am now in the process of weaning off this very, very addictive drug.  I have lost 40 pounds...not healthy.  I cannot eat, think, sleep or drive safely and this has been going on for almost three months as I taper off slowly from the high amount that the "docs" put and kept me on for a number of years.  The first doc who put me on it said that it was Xanax ER so that it was NOT addictive.  NOT SO!  My body is going insane, and my mind is barely hanging on... barely.  Please, please never take this med. unless you seriously consider that you will become addicted if you take it regularly at all or for a long time.  Your body cannot help it.  It will be like hell to get off.  I just wanted you to know since it was offered as a suggestion to help...yes, it DOES temporarily relieve some symptoms... as would a giant amount of alcohol or something else destructive.  DON'T always take the easiest quick fix as you will one day pay greatly for it.  Let my experience of misery save you from one...
110220 tn?1309310461
I'm sorry to hear about your withdrawl nightmare.  I went through hell getting off of them and I was just on them for 3 month with an average of 1mg per day.  From you note, you were on a much higher dose and for a longer period of time.  You are doing the right thing in getting off of them.  The symptoms do subside and you do feel normal again.    Hang in there.

Doctors prescribe these meds with little knowledge of the difficulty in getting off of them.  My doctor told me that I might be a little irratible when I stopped xanax....so mild in comparison to how I felt the first 2 weeks off. ...rapid heart beat, severe burning feeling in my stomach, ringing in my ears, minumum to no sleep at night, I lost 10 pounds the first week off.( that I didn't mind too much).  

I'd say that xanax is definitely a drug to use on a as needed basis....not regularly or daily.  I took it at a time where I couldn't function.  I had experienced sinus tach and had a heart beat of 225, I thought that I was dying.. rushed to the hospital, beta blocker given and every heart test within reason.  All came back normal, but the fear of a heart attack litterally paralized me.  I couldn't function, panic attacks at least 2 times a day. Went to the doc, he prescribed Xanax and it did stop them .  I was prescribed to take them 3 times a day, I did.  I really could have stopped after a couple of weeks, but I didn't know any better. Addiction hit me dead on.  Been off since FEb 06 and after a month, started to feel much better.

YOu live and learn.  Hang in there Reallysad, you are strong to wean yourself off of them and you reward is coming.  One day you will not have any withdrawl and you will feel "normal" again.

Best wishes to you.
Avatar universal
I really, really, appreciate your comments... encouragement.  I am going insane right now with extreme withdrawals... I feel so very, very sick it is pure hell.  I can barely type and have to constantly backspace.  I have to know... do you really think that someone like ME... who has taken 4 mg. a day for over three and a half YEARS can really feel normal ever again?????? I am so very terrified that I have damaged my brain or something.  These withdrawal symtoms are so severe and I am so very sick.  I can't believe this is happening.  I am VERY determined to get off... but will I ever get well?  I'm just so scared.  Have you ever heard of anyone who was addicted as much as me?  OH, I can't believe the doc who put me on this told me that it was not addictive and I just believed him.  Feel so stupid.  ThoughT I was pretty smart before this.  Oh, how I need hope.
110220 tn?1309310461
You will feel normal again.  I have a co-worker who at one time took 6mg per day and was on them for over 7 years.  She is now off of them and is doing wonderful.  She has been off for over a year now and functions normally.  She had panic attacks so severe that she lost her job, she couldn't take a shower unless her mother was in the bathroom with her and she is in her mid 40's. Her xanax tablets had to be with her at all times and she was house bound for a few years.

I know it is hard for you. It was hard for me and I was only on them for 3 months, but I visited a web-site that helped me understand the symptoms of withdrawl.  That website is www.benzo.org.uk.  The forum there deals with benzo withdrawls in such detail.   While it helped me tremendously, I at times felt they were anti any medication, ie aspirins, ibprofen. And they strongly beleive that the most effective way to wean off of xanax and other benzos, is to start taking valium and gradually stop xanax and then begin to wean off of valium.  I understand that valium has a longer life/effect than xanax.  They feel weaning off of valium is easier than xanax.  I struggled with the thought of getting off one benzo and starting another.  I just wanted off of this hellish ride once and for all.

Don't feel bad about trusting your doctor and not knowing about the addictiveness of this med.  So many of us do that and we unfortunately have to learn the hard way.  You won't do this again, neither will I.  I will check and double check what my doctor prescribes from here on out and will seek second and third opinions.  No one is suffering but us.  

You body is rebelling against you now for not giving it what it has grown accustom to, so be patient. Give yourself time and know that everyday that passes, you are just closer to being rid of xanax and the withdrawls that you are encountering.   You are doing the right thing and know that your senses are very keen right now and you are aware of every mistake you make, every thought that isn't perfectly clear, etc.  This is your body readjusting to a lower dose of xanax.

Don't fret,you will feel great again, but it just doesn't happen overnight.  This is a big challenge, and your will is being tested....be strong and focus. You can do this and you are not alone.  Continue to write and share your feelings, it helps alot.  I will be looking for your progress.  

Take care and best wishes go out to you.
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