I am a 32 year old female who has suffered from a crippling panic disorder and GAD for years now. I was in a sort of "remission" for a couple of years and I felt great. I had never gone on a medication for my anxiety before. I somehow managed to get over the worst of it (after multiple ER visits) on my own. Well, now here I am, 5 years later with a toddler to look after and my anxiety has returned full force.
My anxiety revolves almost exclusively around my health. I worry all the time about there being something wrong with me, and with anxiety symptoms and panic attacks feeling like they do, I always have this sense of impending doom. It is ruining my life and I am not the mom I could and should be for my son.
So I finally made an appointment with a psychiatrist at the end of November. He was very reassuring and told me that this not my fault and I am not making it up. He said it is an illness that CAN be treated. So he prescribed Sertraline for me along with Xanax as needed.
I decided not to take the pills at first as I felt pretty good after the appointment, but I regret that decision now. I had major anxiety leading up to my period and decided enough was enough. I took my first dose of Sertraline (25 mg) 8 days ago, so today was my 9th dose. I am supposed to go up to 50mg within the next couple of days, but my anxiety is so bad right now that I am afraid to.
I have been having really bad panic attacks at night that I take Xanax for. .25mg of Xanax doesn't help at all, so I will have to take .5 tonight if I get one. I don't take any during the day as I don't want to become dependent and I can generally deal with the anxiety better when I am awake and moving around.
So far I have had all sorts of side effects, the worst being a complete loss of appetite. I have also had loose stools (sorry, TMI), and increased anxiety. Sometimes I feel okay, other times I feel like crap.
Does anyone have any positive experiences they can share with me? My psychiatrist told me to avoid horror stories that are all over the internet. I need to know that hanging in there despite the side effects will pay off.
Thank you all!