First post here.
I have struggled with Panic Disorder since my first husband died suddenly shortly after we were married. I was late twenties at the time. I was prescribed seroxat in the UK, but it was linked to suic1de attempts (yes I did that too twice, though only as I drank myself into a stupor most of the year after he died). A very common coping mechanism in my English upbringing was the complete suppression of emotion. So no anger, no crying, no anything really, just a lot of alcohol.
I then moved to Efexor and was well for about 3 years until after I had my second son. I had two panic attacks in quick succession and was prescribed 225mg of efexor as well as Xanaz. I became completely agoraphobic, barely leaving the house unless I had about 3mg of Xanax on board. I saw a psychologist who did some CBT with me, which I suppose worked to an extent, however by the time I had told my panic 'to get to the back of the bus' the physical symptoms were well and truly upon me. Kind of like a short circuit.
I asked my GP for a referral to a psychiatrist as I really wanted to understand this disorder and to get to grips with it from a pharmacological perspective. he immediately reduced the Efexor (said I was on a crazy amount) to 75mg, take propanalol, only keep the Xanax as a safety in my bag and told me to take huge amounts of fish oil. Soon after this I got pregnant with my third child and I was well for a log time. After he was born I also found (when I tried to have a drink after about 11 months of abstinence) that it made me really sick. So I did not drink for about 4 years. Not at all, I simply couldn't tolerate it. Turns out it interacted with my contraceptive pill. Good for me I guess!
After a long term situation at work where I was sexually harassed over and over I literally lost it and my anxiety reared its ugly head again. I went through a court case (which I won) however the physical symptoms a year on are becoming unbearable. I am seeing a psychiatrist and have been prescribed 50mg of Pristiq, 10mg of Propanalol, 50mg of valdoxan at night and the occasional Xanax. I have been seeing her for a nearly year and feel I am getting worse. She wants to start psycho sensory therapy along with the Mindfulness stuff I have already done.
She doesn't want me taking Xanax every day as she says it will make me worse, however she doesn't understand that it's the ONLY thing that gets me out of the house. I am drinking about a bottle of wine a day, which I know is making it worse, however I cannot handle the constant feeling of terror inside me. Wine is the only thing that makes me feel normal.
Truly I can see the above is not working. I have an Honours Degree and an MBA, and I know exactly why I am the way I am (!) genetics, trauma and environment have conspired against me a bit
The psych has suggested upping the Pristiq but with that comes the interference with sexual function. Now it's not the bee all and end all I know, but with three busy kids we barely get time for that anyway, so it's kind of the last thing I have to hang on to. Mind you, after reading this missive back, I am starting to think it could be a small trade off. I have stopped taking the Valdoxan as I don't think it works and it's very expensive too. however, it has few (none in my case) side effects. The Psych says I have GAD too however I feel the things I am worried about are my reality.......I was the major income earner which allowed us to pay for our three kids to attend private school. As I am not working we cannot get a mortgage either .........
I have never talked on a public forum about this so would welcome any suggestions whatsoever medication wise. There has to be something that will stop this constant pit in my stomach. Surely.
Thank you all if you got this far.