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Author Topic: At what point should meds. be used for anxiety?  (Read 419 times)

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Offline CarrieAnn

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At what point should meds. be used for anxiety?
« on: January 31, 2014, 10:13:15 PM »
My question is, if a person has been diagnosed with GAD, and has daily symptoms such as muscle tension, nausea, spurts of panic, feelings of dread, a small degree of avoidance, to name a few, at what point should medication be brought in and used to aid in 'recovery'. And if meds. are used, how long should a person be on them. Will it only be a matter of time before relapsing occurs without the meds.?

In case you didn't know, I'm asking for myself since not a day goes by that I don't ask myself, 'should I go back on Celexa?'. I realize that each time an anti-depressant use is discontinued it's effectiveness decreases.  So I suppose staying on it indefinitely is the only solution unless other ways of coping with anxiety are practiced with success.

Quoting my very first post here, ...living life to the fullest, I just feel that my quality of life is a little under par.  I would most likely conquer the world if I weren't so stifled.

My husband thinks I will be doing a lot better when this dreadful winter passes. We've been married for 23 years, together for 25 (I got married at 20) so he knows my patterns with the change of the seasons, maybe there is a little SAD involved too.  So his suggestion is to hold off on considering meds. until Spring gets here, and see how I feel then.  Like I said, he thinks I'll be feeling better come Spring.

But anyway, when are meds. introduced, and why? Are they given as a way to stop the symptoms of anxiety while a person learns coping strategies, or are they given indefinitely?  My thought is that a person's history with anxiety should be a factor: if the anxiety keeps returning after meds. are stopped, that should be an indication of needing long term use, but if coping skills are successful and symptoms do not escalate into interference with living life, then meds. are not needed.

What do you all think?
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Offline onegooddayx

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Re: At what point should meds. be used for anxiety?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 12:04:28 AM »
Its all up to you and your doctor :) I personally was never on meds. Some though need to be on em forever. Every case is different :) Good luck!!
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: At what point should meds. be used for anxiety?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 09:40:29 AM »
Thank you for your reply:)  I guess another question I always ponder is, are some people's brains wired differently due to genetic etc. factors, and the 'only' option would be meds.?
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Offline Teran

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Re: At what point should meds. be used for anxiety?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2014, 10:17:01 AM »
If you mean by "wired differently that some people have more of a genetic disposition to anxiety? Yes.  What this means is that the person would be more likely to suffer with anxiety disorders throughout their life.  As for meds being the only options for some people. I would say that that is also a very real possibility. All the forums of therapy might not ever help if the person has sever issues from damage to different areas of the body.
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: At what point should meds. be used for anxiety?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2014, 11:45:08 AM »
Hi Teran, this is my fear...because my Mom (had), and many others on her side of the fam. have issues of one sort or another.  I recently spoke to a cousin who I thought was always so calm and cool, well, she has been on Xanax daily for years, which I had no idea.  An Uncle who served in a War had PTSD pretty bad. Depression is prevalent in the fam. also.  We're just a bad of mixed nuts!  :spineyes:
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: At what point should meds. be used for anxiety?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 12:25:24 PM »

Hi Carrie Ann,  :action-smiley-065:

I take anti-anxiety medication (Zoloft/Setraline), and I deem myself as a Setraline lifer (although that sounds like a prison sentence, but it's not  :spineyes:).

You wrote:
Quote
But anyway, when are meds. introduced, and why? Are they given as a way to stop the symptoms of anxiety while a person learns coping strategies, or are they given indefinitely?  My thought is that a person's history with anxiety should be a factor: if the anxiety keeps returning after meds. are stopped, that should be an indication of needing long term use, but if coping skills are successful and symptoms do not escalate into interference with living life, then meds. are not needed.

Usually a psychiatrist will recommend a person, who suffers a severe anxiety episode that lasts for several weeks/months, to stay on an antidepressant for a year, however a psychiatrist could change that to six months, depending on the patient.   After the year elapses, and the patient weans off  the medication, there may be a sabbatical, where an anxiety episode doesn't return.  If it does return, and the patient returns to a doctor again for the same problem, that patient is advised to stay on the antidepressant for three years.   After those three year elapses, and the patient weans off the medication, there maybe another sabbatical of no anxiety episodes, but then another prolonged anxiety episode comes back.  At that point, after three reoccurring episodes from that five to ten year time span, both the psychiatrist and the patient will have fairly much come to the conclusion, the patient will need to be on the antidepressant for life, since these anxiety episodes keep on coming.

This is the *canned* answer any psychiatrist will give you, although it is a truthful reply.  I call it *canned* because most people who start on antidepressants don't wait for one year to get off their meds.  Once they get better, they're off them, even if it's just four months.   Unfortunately many people (and this includes me) will have another anxiety episode, and due to their stubbornness won't see a doctor, until all options have been lost.  The reason why is that many people are advised to turn to medication as a last resort, and try other options like regular exercise, improved diet, alternative therapies, more cognitive behavior therapy, or even better, just tough it all out, since the anxiety "is all in our head, anywayz."  I can assure you anyone who tells you that ignorant reply does not have an anxiety/brain disorder, and doesn't understand the pain you are going through, but of course everyone is entitled to their opinion.

You also wrote:
Quote
Quoting my very first post here, ...living life to the fullest, I just feel that my quality of life is a little under par.  I would most likely conquer the world if I weren't so stifled.

So this leads me to your statement here.  I stay on my antidepressant, Setraline/Zoloft, because I've had re-occuring episodes of anxiety, and they were brutal.  When I read posts from people on this forum who feel hopeless, suicidal, or feel there is no escape, I know what they're feeling, since I've been there.  However we can't conquer the world, when we're feeling so low.   I tried the "other options first, before you go to meds" route, for several years, and from my opinion, I wasted time and money on alternative coping methods to deal with my anxiety, because the anxiety episodes keep on coming back.

I also curse every moron that told me that advice, since they obviously don't have a brain disorder like me, where their anxiety goes haywire.  When I think of the months and years I've wasted because of being stifled on anxiety, I wish I had just put an end to all the anxiety madness, and just stayed on medication.  But my philosophy is we just gotta move on and learn from our mistakes.  :laugh3:

So that is my answer to "what point should meds be used for anxiety."  I say, stay on them, once you have (at least two) prolonged periods of anxiety that last for several weeks/months.   If those long periods felt like hell, then for me, it makes common sense to not to return to them.  I know this forum has a lot of anti-med users, since I've been attacked by posters for being so pro-medication, but it is a forum, and we're allowed to disagree if we don't agree.   So this is a response from the Pro-Medication party ;*).

Good luck in whatever you decision you make.  There is no wrong answer, just the right answer for you.  I just felt compelled to share the right answer for me.  ;D

Steve
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Quacks prey on us Anxiety Disorder sufferers as part of the Mental Health community, since we can be desperate for healing.  Don't be victimized, instead be EDUCATED about  QUACKERY!!!!! http://www.quackwatch.com/ 

Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: At what point should meds. be used for anxiety?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2014, 01:28:58 PM »
Hi Abraham :) Oh my goodness! You answered my question to the fullest!  That is the answer I was waiting for!!  I just really wanted to know what criteria a person has to meet before they are a candidate for long term or life long meds.  Thank You so, so much! :) 

Yes, I do recall my primary doc. (the one who prescribed it) saying I would only have to take it for six months, the last time.  I'm guessing she didn't think I was that bad, symptom wise. 

That being said though, I am one of those 'fake it till ya make it' kind of sufferers.  You know the ones who suck it up, and hope enough sucking up will produce a miraculous cure eventually.

I'm going to mull it over, and over before deciding what I should do...and of course Spring is around the corner  :yes:

I have no issues with meds. at all; they are a godsend to those who need them.  I know a lot of people who refuse to ever stop taking them, so apparently they (meds.) are a wonderful remedy.
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Offline lexie2006

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Re: At what point should meds. be used for anxiety?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2014, 03:35:20 PM »
Whenever it affects daily activities
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