Iím new here and to anxiety in general but here is my story. It appears that Iíve always been a little anxious. I think Iíve always considered these anxious feelings as impatience. The few really anxious moments I've had before usually resulted in only sweaty palms and rapid heart beat. Anyway, 2 months ago I was on vacation in PR and had my full blown first panic attack ever. It was pretty intense and scary. Violent internal vibrating feeling, feeling like I couldnít breathe, thinking I was dying, and cold shaky hands. I went to the ER and after they calmed me down they could only give me Benadryl to cope the last few days before returning home. The doctors thought It was most likely a panic attack but werenít positive. The Benadryl worked at first by making me tired but was less effective as the days went on. I made it through the 3 hour flight home but the Benadryl just wasnít doing anything anymore. And then on my way back to my house from the airport I had another attack and this time I went to an ER close to home. They ran blood work, CT scan, etc. Everything came back good and they said I was healthy as a horse. Like most, I just couldnít believe anxiety could cause such an ordeal. The next few weeks after my trip I noticed that my vision appeared blurry at times, fast motion scenes on TV looked different to me, it was hard to concentrate, I felt like my nervous system wasnít receiving signals like before, I had stupid thoughts in my head that I just couldnít shake, and was just basically not myself. Well I went to my family doctor still thinking it has to be something besides anxiety (possibly a thyroid issue) and the Physician Assistant (PA) said that my symptoms and recent episode was all anxiety. She prescribed me 20mg of Celexa (generic of course) and told me to take 10mg the first week and after the first night I would feel like my old self again. Well that was false, I couldnít even sleep the first night and felt like crap the entire day. So I stopped taking it for a week. The next week I decided to take 5mg as needed. BIG MISTAKE! I went about 2 days of not taking it and I found myself very depressed, scared to leave the house, and just wanting to have someone be around me taking care of me. At that moment is when I realized I need to do something. Thanks to my girlfriend we came up with a plan to take the Celexa for at least 6 weeks and see what happens. Iím not a big fan of taking any medicine; let a long brain chemistry meds so this was very hard for me. Plus the side effects were horrible the first week but in two weeks I made it up to 20mg. Right now Iím at 6 weeks of 20mg daily and feeling much better than before. My anxiety symptoms are gone and I can function at work. The PA said that she would like to keep me on Celexa for another 3 months and then maybe talk about getting off of it.
The one thing that is stuck in my mind is that after talking to my PA about anxiety and her confirming what I had, I felt good and in fact that day I had little anxiety symptoms. This makes me want to take a shot at CBT or just some other anxiety related therapy. The thing is I donít know where to start?
Do I go to a psychologist or psychiatrist?
What should I look for in a psychologist or psychiatrist?
Is there a place on the web that ranks these doctors?
Can anyone recommend one from Berks County PA?
Should other tests be done like for thyroid levels? (I donít know if Thyroid issues would have shown up in other blood tests during my ER visit)
Any info is greatly appreciated.