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JoelFan
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21 May 2015, 5:49 am

Hey Gang,

I've been reading that there's some connection between autism/Aspergers and having anxiety (seams there's more cons then there are pros with Autism/Aspergers) anyways I'm noticing more and more that I suffer from some form of anxiety esp on the days I have classes and sometimes when I drive. I also have signs of depression as well however that has been common since I was 6 and after a traumatic event took place tho these day's I feel I have that I have that aspect under control so the only issue I am having is Anxiety so I turn to you guys for advice as to what meds are out there that are noted for helping those on the spectrum with anxiety and have low side affects.

As always thank you for any knowledge you may provide.


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EzraS
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21 May 2015, 11:34 am

There are two that I know of personally.

One is Benzodiazepine. I was prescribed Alprazolam (Xanax). Far as I know I have never had a side effect issue with this med. Xanax is great for a temporary fix. It lasts about 4 to 6 hours.

The other is Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). The one I was finally given for both generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and depression was called Citalopram (Celexa). This one had the least severe side effects for me. But it still had bad side effects. Mostly bad stomach cramps. It also caused increased stimming, especially rocking. But I did finally adjust to it and it did help me a lot. However....eventually it started causing disinhibition and I had to be weaned off it. But my GAD and depression have never returned as bad and chronic as they used to be. Also even though I still take Xanax, I don't need it nearly as much.



Girlwithaspergers
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21 May 2015, 1:10 pm

I have a ton of anxiety.



MollyTroubletail
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21 May 2015, 1:34 pm

Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) will absolutely kill anxiety within 20 - 40 minutes of taking them. The downside is your body will get used to these meds, and over time you will find yourself needing to take a higher and higher dose to get the same effect. Eventually over several years no legal dose will affect you any longer. The less often you take them, the longer it will take for your body to get used to the original dose. So it's always a good idea to take them only in crisis situations when you cannot go without, and to use the lowest dose possible that still gives you relief.

Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan and Valium are the most commonly prescribed benzo's.

Some SSRI's are prescribed for both depression and anxiety but these meds are taken every day instead of on an as-needed basis. You can't stop taking them suddenly and have to be slowly weaned off over two to four weeks. The effects are not noticed right away and it can take a few weeks to notice if they are helping. They often have weird side effects such as loss of ability to orgasm or an unpleasant metallic taste in your mouth, among others. They can be prescribed alongside benzo's if you experience anxiety daily.

Citalopram, Celexa, Effexor and Cymbalta are examples of commonly prescribed SSRI's.



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21 May 2015, 2:53 pm

Well I currently am prescribed 5-10mg of valium as needed once a day for severe anxiety. I don't end up needing it every day since it doesn't get that bad every day, and it is helpful. I took klonopin in the past and that for whatever reason was way more habit forming and yeah ended up being problematic I couldn't get enough of it, but I don't have that issue with the valium, kind of weird since they are both benzodiazepines yet with the valium I have no urge to take it aside from for the anxiety.


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Sweetleaf
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21 May 2015, 2:58 pm

Seems SSRIs make my anxiety worse, not sure if that is common for people on the spectrum or not...but yeah they put me even more on edge. I've tried prozac and celexa that have both been mentioned in this thread I think prozac just made me very anxious/overly emotional, celexa made me edgy and caused a lot of teeth grinding which was uncomfortable for my mouth. Nonetheless I hear they help some people with anxiety.


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AnonymousAnonymous
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21 May 2015, 3:13 pm

I have very bad anxiety issues, but I'm on enough meds already {for my neurological disorder} that taking meds for anxiety has to be set aside until I am taken off at least two of my neurological meds.


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sparrowblue
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21 May 2015, 3:35 pm

The above posters explained it really well...I think that there are some other options, such as MAOIs, or older antidepressants, but I don't know very much about them except that my mum takes a tricyclic antidepressant for chronic pain and finds it also helps her with stress/anxiety.

SSRIs do seem to be the most commonly prescribed for both depression and anxiety problems, at least to start with. I've personally been on two different SSRIs, fluoxetine and citalopram. Fluoxetine helped me with depression but not so much anxiety. Citalopram is supposed to be more helpful for anxiety but at this stage I haven't been taking it for long enough to really tell yet.

Having said that all of these meds tend to affect people quite differently and there's not really any way to know for sure how they will affect you until you try taking them. This means a lot of people have to try more than one medication to find something that works well for them with minimal side effects. There are a lot of possible side effects, also, but that doesn't mean you'll get them all (some people only get mild side effects and a lucky few don't get any.) Anyway, if you feel meds would help you with the anxiety, I'd suggest talking to your doctor to see what they say, although I understand wanting to be informed about things first.

Have you ever been in/considered therapy of some sort? That can help too, although (just like medications) it's more beneficial for some people than others.



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21 May 2015, 6:05 pm

JoelFan wrote:
Hey Gang,

I've been reading that there's some connection between autism/Aspergers and having anxiety (seams there's more cons then there are pros with Autism/Aspergers) anyways I'm noticing more and more that I suffer from some form of anxiety esp on the days I have classes and sometimes when I drive. I also have signs of depression as well however that has been common since I was 6 and after a traumatic event took place tho these day's I feel I have that I have that aspect under control so the only issue I am having is Anxiety so I turn to you guys for advice as to what meds are out there that are noted for helping those on the spectrum with anxiety and have low side affects.

As always thank you for any knowledge you may provide.

I've found that a particular brand of CBD oil helps tremendously. I didn't take it for this and didn't even think of it for anxiety. However, it did solve that issue and helped with other issues. It contains no THC, so you can take it without getting high. This is an option if you live where medicinal marijuana is legal...



JoelFan
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22 May 2015, 2:00 am

Hey Gang,

Thanks for the responses I'll answer some of them one by one

>I've tried prozac and celexa that have both been mentioned in this thread I think prozac just made me very anxious/overly emotional.

As a kid (because nobody really knew I had autism despite the symptoms and other emotional issues I had) they prescribed Prozac and I recall my mother mentioning to me in my teen years that it turned me into a zombie However I did try a small dosage shortly after her passing in 2005 and mostly to fulfill an obligation I had made at the time it really screwed me up in the sense that it distorted my outlook as making things positive-positive and made me lower my guard and I don't want to be in that position ever again I'm cynic by nature and prozac made me too trusting.


>Have you ever been in/considered therapy of some sort? That can help too, although (just like medications) it's >more beneficial for some people than others.

Yes, shortly after my mother died and my dog died (in many aspects my only true friend) and my grandfather died (3 years within each other) and I finally broke down it helped in the fact I was able to "get over" the losses and help put to bed another issue that I had been dealing with since i was 6....but again I'm not a very trusting person so it took a lot for me to open up even then I was very guarded so I don't think I'm ready to spill my guts again to some shrink.

>I've found that a particular brand of CBD oil helps tremendously. I didn't take it for this and didn't even think of it for anxiety. However, it did solve that issue and helped with other issues. It contains no THC, so you can take it without getting high. This is an option if you live where medicinal marijuana is legal..

Nope I'm in a conservative state which I believe is still illegal many grey areas for some odd-reason :-/

The thing is I'm very leery and worried about popping pills due to the fact that I had some really bad reactions to anti-depressants that sent me to the ER with irregular heart beats or messed up my mind as stated above or made me want to off my self more then what I was already feeling and I can't risk getting into car accidents because I'm having a reaction to the meds and yet on the other hand I can't risk getting a heart attack because my anxiety is getting out of control.

I don't really stim although if I do find my self over stimulated I retreat to a dark room in the house or failing that if I'm in class I leave to get some coffee or a drink from the machines but I know it's not "normal"

damned if you do damned if you don't I guess


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EzraS
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22 May 2015, 10:52 am

With the Celexa, my anxiety got worse before it got better.



bearded1
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22 May 2015, 11:02 am

I suffer from anxiety as well. Right now I am not taking anything but in the past have taken klonopin



FallingDownMan
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22 May 2015, 11:17 am

I take Busporine for general anxiety. I really don't know how to interpret my emotions and what I am experiencing, so I have to go off of what others tell me. Since I started taking Busporine, people tell me I'm a lot calmer. The nice thing about this med is low side effects, and non addictive.


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AliceKathleen
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22 May 2015, 11:27 am

Hello. Yes, depression is a co-morbidity with us. Gotta stay on top of things. If meds are needed, use them! Find
a doc who will listen and who knows you and your history. A good physician makes a big difference. Use other
methods, too, like exercise (I work out 6 days a week), pets, art. (both doing and just seeing).



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23 May 2015, 12:46 am

bearded1 wrote:
I suffer from anxiety as well. Right now I am not taking anything but in the past have taken klonopin



There are research studies that show that Klonopin relieves anxiety for people on the spectrum when minute doses are used - normal or larger doses don't have that effect. Klonopin (aka Clonazepam) works because it is a GABA agonist - it increases the availability of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. There are also research studies indicating that a substantial proportion of the spectrum are born with lower levels of GABA, which remain an issue throughout life. There are a number of GABA agonists: herbal (valerian, passionflower, skullcap), Vitamin C is thought to be a GABA agonist too; these increase availability. There is a persistent myth that GABA can't cross the blood brain barrier, though GABA from external sources has several pathways into the brain - via the pituitary gland, the gut, and other pathways.

However the dosage issue seems little known outside of the research, and this is a pity in my view. Doctors who prescribe it seem completely unaware of the dosage issue for people on the spectrum. This is part of a bigger problem - prescribing for people on the spectrum as if they were neurotypicals. Neurotypical solutions are often advocated on WP, though, and there is a kind of "idee fixee" that neurotypical solutions should always work the same way for us, both in the medical profession and on WP. Some do, and some don't. I particularly notice that the parent forum promotes this idea, consciously or not.

Working out the difference as to how things affect ASD biochemistry is the hard part though a rewarding area of inquiry nonetheless. It's heartening that some NT (?) scientists have made this a particular area of study with some fascinating findings.