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Ishmael
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25 Jul 2008, 7:28 am

Alright; normally, I regard needing meds for anxiety as a weakness - but, damn it all, I think it's high time I acted at least a little weak.
My anxiety attacks have been getting increasingly worse... add to that, I lose all concentration in crowds, I can't understand text unless I stare at it for a few minutes... Any recommendations?



tourettebassist
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25 Jul 2008, 10:57 am

My psychologist recommended Klonapin (clonazapam) for anxiety. I only take it when I expect to be in a situation that would breed anxiety, as she suggested. It is a benzodiazipam, in the same family as Xanax, but comes on easier, and lets you down easier, and is not as near addicting as Xanax can be. It clears my mind right out of anxious thoughts and obsessions and works well. As i said, I only use it when necessary as I like to keep my brain fully functioning. It doesn't really dumb you out and stone you, but it does stop the obsessions that anxiety or life in general can produce



Onibunny
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25 Jul 2008, 10:58 am

I've been on cellexa for about 3 months. I can concentrate and focus on projects. It's neat because things are actually getting finished. It's very exciting. I used to take ativan, but it made me a bit zombie like. It did immediately take away anxiety, but it did make me feel inebriated. I still have some less intense anxiety but instead of it controlling my day it comes and goes away very quickly. good luck


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corroonb
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25 Jul 2008, 11:07 am

I would say that trying any SSRIs rather than a benzodiazapine (SP?) would be a sensible first choice as these do not tend to have the potential for abuse that Xanax, Valium etc seem to have. Xanax never helped me with my anxiety as the effect will wear off as your body and brain adapt to the drug. A trip to the psychiatrist for a consultation is also a necessity in these cases.



Last edited by corroonb on 25 Jul 2008, 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

ChristinaCSB
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25 Jul 2008, 11:20 am

I agree with taking anti-depressants first. I'm on Celexa and it's worked best for anxiety, except for my OCD. Zoloft is good for anxiety too but has some side effects on me that Celexa doesn't like: hyperness/mania, appetite changes, and sexual differances. If anti-depressant alone isnt enough, Vistoral helped me, unlike Ativan where I got addicted quickly, Vistoral is addictive but not as bad as it is an anti-hystimine.



Mage
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25 Jul 2008, 11:42 am

Some chamomile tea, kava kava, a glass of wine or playing video games works for me.

If you simply must use drugs, go for something like valium. You just take it when you're feeling anxiety instead of every day like SSRIs, and it has a lot fewer side effects.

Or placebo, no side effects but just as effective as SSRIs!



tourettebassist
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25 Jul 2008, 11:43 am

Yes, benzodiazapams are addicting. I'll forward some of your suggestions to my psych and see what she says. I do have OCD and I just hate staying up till 5;00AM some nights trying to stop my mind



tourettebassist
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25 Jul 2008, 11:45 am

Chamomile is great too, as is valerian root, tho it smells like ****. Yes I only go for the Benzos when I need them



aspiemom1
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25 Jul 2008, 11:57 am

i have run through several meds. Celexa (never worked for me) buspar (same) effexor xr (worked great, but for depression in combination with anxiety-also VERY EXPENSIVE) but clonipin worked the best for me when it wasnt a 100% of the time anxiety attack. In other words, much like another responder, if I knew i was going somewhere that would provoke an attack, then I took it first. I also carry them with me always, as I have extreme spontaneous panic attacks with no known cause (and yes they are so bad that it actually drops my blood sugar to dangerous levels very quickly). So when i feel one starting, i take a clonipin.



corroonb
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25 Jul 2008, 12:03 pm

Mage wrote:
Some chamomile tea, kava kava, a glass of wine or playing video games works for me.

If you simply must use drugs, go for something like valium. You just take it when you're feeling anxiety instead of every day like SSRIs, and it has a lot fewer side effects.

Or placebo, no side effects but just as effective as SSRIs!


I am afraid this is misleading information and is verifiably incorrect. Benzos are proven to cause addiction in a whole range of different patients. SSRIs are not addictive because they take at least two weeks to work. And while some may cause withdrawal effects and side-effects, they do not make you feel high in my experience. SSRIs are more expensive than Valium or Xanax simply because SSRI's are newer than benzos and the pharmaceutical companies have to charge more to recoup the costs of research. I take Anafranil (clomipramine) as it helps with my OCD, depression and is extremely cheap in my country. $15 dollars every month for 50mg daily. This is an older SNRI and is especially good for OCD which does not usually respond to benzos.

I took Xanax for 3 months at a low dose and it did me nothing but harm and I went through terrible withdrawal effects after I stopped it. Sweats, concentration problems, depression, suicidal thoughts all lasted for about 3 hellish days.

I have never had trouble withdrawing from any of the many SSRIs I have taken. I have not taken any MAOIs and this is the only prescription drug group used to treat mental problems which I have not used.



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25 Jul 2008, 12:13 pm

Valium; it has a long half-life (24 hours), it works within 30 minutes, and it's a relatively "mild" and common sedative. Stuff like Xanax, which is from the same family, has a really short half-life, so it only really works for acute panic attacks, rather than a high level of anxiety that one experiences for most of the day.

Just take it when your anxiety is playing up (you'll note that anxiety goes up and down over the days/weeks), especially during a bad day. Refrain from taking it when your anxiety isn't that bad, and you'll be fine if you're worried about physical dependence.

It's much better at alleviating anxiety than SSRIs.



marshall
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25 Jul 2008, 12:53 pm

My only advise on taking benzos is to understand how your body reacts and don't take them everyday. If you start noticing that they become ineffective or your anxiety starts getting worse for no reason while you're still on the same dose it's a bad sign.

I took Klonapin for about 4 months and it quickly started not working and giving me side effects such as increased anxiety among other things. I may have just reacted badly to that particular drug but I didn't like how my psychiatrist downplayed the difficulty it caused me. I had to practically beg the guy to get smaller doses for me from the compounding pharmacy so I could taper off it slowly without feeling all weird. I could not cut the dose down slow enough for my body to adjust properly with the pills they sold and it sucked.

Then again I've had bad experiences with certain antidepressants as well. It seems these drugs have a knack for failing on me.



corroonb
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25 Jul 2008, 12:58 pm

marshall wrote:
My only advise on taking benzos is to understand how your body reacts and don't take them everyday. If you start noticing that they become ineffective or your anxiety starts getting worse for no reason while you're still on the same dose it's a bad sign.

I took Klonapin for about 4 months and it quickly started not working and giving me side effects such as increased anxiety among other things. I may have just reacted badly to that particular drug but I didn't like how my psychiatrist downplayed the difficulty it caused me. I had to practically beg the guy to get smaller doses for me from the compounding pharmacy so I could taper off it slowly without feeling all weird. I could not cut the dose down slow enough for my body to adjust properly with the pills they sold and it sucked.


I would agree with this more than Danielismyname but I do not claim any special knowledge. I have found that SSRIs can help with anxiety but it takes time and most people want something that works quickly. Combing SSRIs with a benzo can be a good combination as often a side effect of a benzo can be depression so the SSRI should help with this if not the anxiety.



marshall
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25 Jul 2008, 1:21 pm

corroonb wrote:
I would agree with this more than Danielismyname but I do not claim any special knowledge. I have found that SSRIs can help with anxiety but it takes time and most people want something that works quickly. Combing SSRIs with a benzo can be a good combination as often a side effect of a benzo can be depression so the SSRI should help with this if not the anxiety.


A lot of people are fine on a regular dose of benzos but for me it just didn’t work. You really have to read your own body because I found out that psychiatrists can be unhelpful when something unusual happens. They get defensive and think you’re accusing them of creating an addiction. It wasn’t an addiction. I was the one who noticed that the effect of the drug changed over time and it was making me feel odd (poor sleep, headaches, tremors, increased sweating, etc.). I wanted to get off it but the doctor didn’t believe it was the Klonopin causing me the problems. Turns out I was right and he was wrong.



Last edited by marshall on 25 Jul 2008, 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

corroonb
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25 Jul 2008, 1:25 pm

marshall wrote:
corroonb wrote:
I would agree with this more than Danielismyname but I do not claim any special knowledge. I have found that SSRIs can help with anxiety but it takes time and most people want something that works quickly. Combing SSRIs with a benzo can be a good combination as often a side effect of a benzo can be depression so the SSRI should help with this if not the anxiety.


A lot of people are fine on a regular dose of benzos but for me it just didn’t work. You really have to read your own body because I found out that psychiatrists can be unhelpful when something unusual happens. They get defensive and think you’re accusing them of creating an addiction. It wasn’t an addiction. I was the one who noticed that the effect of the drug changed over time and it was making me feel odd (headaches, tremors, increased sweating, etc.). I wanted to get off it but the doctor didn’t believe it was the Klonopin causing me the problems. Turns out I was right and he was wrong.


I think you are right. Some people could find them useful. I did not and assume that it will be the same for everyone else. It was a poor assumption to make.



marshall
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25 Jul 2008, 1:47 pm

I guess I'm wary of drugs from all my bad experiences. I feel more comfortable experimenting with drugs in the SSRI class mainly because at least the side effects tend to get better rather than worse with time. Benzos and antipsychotics have this particularly insidious property of having very few negative side effects at first but then slowly causing problems later on. I also tried a 6 month stint on Seroquel much to the same effect. It was very relaxing and worked like a charm at first but after a few months I was sweating profusely and feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. Then it can take months for the crap to go away even once you’re off the drugs.