>>> It's been bad for about 5 hrs now, on and off. Gonna take an Ativan after I write this.
Normally when someone starts on a antidepressant for an anxiety disorder (or starts back on an antidepressant since you've been on Zoloft before), the user will be prescribed a benzodiazepine in conjunction with the antidepressant. From my understanding the user is meant to take the benzodiazepine more frequently in the beginning, and taper off it more, as the antidepressant builds up more and more in their system.
As a suggestion, since you have worries about medicine in terms of dependency and side effects, you may want to chart the amount of times you take Ativan, since Wednesday when you started back on the Zoloft, until the next two months.
After two months, when the antidepressant settles in, since it takes about three to twelve weeks for an antidepressant to build up in your system, you can count how frequently you were on the Ativan during the initial stages of your anxiety medication build up.
Two months from now, if you notice you took the Ativan five to six times a week at .5 mg for the first two weeks, and three times a week at .5 mg for the third and fourth week, and possibly just once or twice a week for the fifth and sixth week, then you'll have a greater idea of how you can take the benzodiazepine less and less, with the Zoloft finally kicking in.
The goal is to only need to take the Ativan, when needed while you have the anxiety under control, and this could be once a week, or twice a month, however you will have weaned yourself at a level that you think your body can adjust too.
But for now, you really should take the Ativan more frequently, if you're having such strong anxiety attacks. You should plan ahead that you can taper off the Ativan once the Zoloft is fully active in your system. Of course, run this idea by your doctor, and once Insights read this email, he may be OK with the idea as well.
This charting is an action I'm doing as I take with my Klonopin, since I'm not at the stage where I can take a benzodiazepine casually at just once or twice a month, in addition to my intake of Zoloft. For me I take .5 mg of Klonopin, when needed, in order to manage any excessive anxiey, and I can take it four to five times a week.
I like to take it more than four to five times a week (possibly more), and my doctor is OK with it too, since he knows I'm very focused on being on the antidepressant. However when I decide to take the Klonopin less, I will be more assured that I can handle it a pace that I'm adjusted too. However I'm in no rush to wean myself off the benzo, because I know I need anxiety medication for a long time, like the rest of my life, so I'll be on the antidepressant and occasional benzo at a later stage of my life.
>>> Argh! I hate that I do this to myself. I know Abraham is gonna tell me to get off the Internet, right! Lol
I think it's a normal desire to get on the internet, especially if you're homebound, and find ways to alleviate your anxiety. It's just your inate desire to be well again. However it helps to read helpful information about dealing with your anxiety disorder, instead of horror stories about the bad side effects of anti anxiety medication.
When I come to any anxiety forums, like Anxiety Zone, I try to limit my visits to certain parts of the forum. In some forums, I can get snared into someone's anxiety problems - but not to discredit what they're going through, since I've been there - however I know other people can better assist them, and I can direct my mind on other posts that are more in tune for me to manage my own anxiety disorder. Someone drowning can make me drown too, and right now my objective is to focus on helping myself first. I hope that doesn't come across as mean-spirited, instead I just want to expose myself to uplifiting posts on how to manage an anxiety disorder, instead of climbing out of it.
Likewise, some other forums can have people very defensive about being on medication, and attack you for even mentioning the subject, which is very ironic if it's an anxiety forum, since medication is always a part of its standard treatment. If I'm trying to have a pro-medication mindset, I avoid having those anti-anxiety medication opinions given my attention. Everyone has a right to their opinion, however I don't want those opinions affecting me, since I know the devastating consequences of not being on medication. It's hell for me when my anxiety disorder takes over, and I'm not on medication.
Keep up your persistence to take the medication. I really recommend you visit back threads on the Medication and Therapy forum, especially on keywords like Zoloft and benzo withdrawal. There have been some really informative threads that I've picked up on these topics. Really educated people on this health disorder, who take their anxiety disorder seriously, frequently visit this thread, and there are some great past threads. Likewise Insights has always provided very educational responses on medication and other anxiety issues dealing with our brain and internal nervous system, which have been very helpful. If you check any of his back posts, you'll link to some very good threads with great discussions on dealing with medication and anxiety disorders, which I think are helpful, and very educational, to read.
So where I'm getting at is filter what you read in terms of dealing with your anxiety disorder, as you feel inclined to stay on the internet, instead of randomly reading anything, especially on anything negative about the horrors of taking anti anxiety medication.
Of course the internet has plenty of other resources too, like fun things to watch on YouTube, or interesting topics to read other than the subject of anxiety disorders. Sometimes I get stuck up on the latest headlines, celebrity gossip, or other alternative subjects that peak my interest, and can spend an extra hour or two reading, but for that hour or two, my mind is not
focused on my anxiety problem, instead it's focused on something else.
And focusing on something else other than your problem is really the objective of living life.