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Author Topic: Controlling anxiety with or without medication  (Read 255 times)

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Offline famv5

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Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« on: February 22, 2014, 07:39:54 PM »
I'm so torn with this subject and not sure what to do. 

About 20 years ago, I was prescribed Xanax for anxiety issues.  I used it for about a year while I was going through a divorce and once that ended, I felt much better and have not had to use anything since.  Over the years, whenever I felt my anxiety start to rise, I just somehow calmed myself and it never turned into anything major or full blown.

However, now 20 years later, I am experiencing anxiety and no matter what I try, it's getting the best of me.  Sometimes I can calm myself and chamomile tea seems to help me a lot at times.  But, I'm concerned that I feel this uptight feeling almost every day and find that I'm having to try to calm myself more and more days each week. 

I'm not one that likes to take medication except for headaches, etc., but I'm worried that trying to keep this anxiety in check on my own is actually harming me.  My blood pressure seems to be rising.  I went to the doctors last week and it was 134/84.  Then at the dentist yesterday it was 143/81.  Now, granted, I was extremely nervous but still.  That's really high for me.  I've been in doctor appts before and it never registered that high.  So, I'm worried that this constant level of anxiety is just wearing my body out and doing more harm than I realize.

Another problem is that my husband doesn't really believe in medications like that.  He went through a year or two of being really depressed and was able to pull himself out of it on his own and feels that this is something that is mental and I should be able to pull myself through it without medication.  My doctor has offered to prescribe me a low dose of Prosac and that actually scared me.  I've heard such bad things about that like people committing *****, etc, and I certainly don't want to create more issues for myself or throw my body chemistry off with some sort of medicine.  She doesn't really like Xanax and said she would prescribe me something low dose and non addicting.  Something that would just take the edge off and I could just use it temporarily. 

I'm just wondering how everyone is handling their anxiety.  Do you take any medications or do you handle it without?  I just really don't know what to do.   ::)
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"Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths" - Charles H. Spurgeon

Offline Hypo84

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Re: Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 08:16:26 PM »
I am always for medication if they are helping you. I've been on Prozac for the last month and it has reduced my anxious thinking a lot.

The thing is, you have one life, and you should live it the best way possible. Anxiety is limiting the quality of our lives significantly, and although natural ways to reduce it are the best they are also incredibily hard to apply without meds.

Just my 2 cents...You will figure out what is best for you.
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Offline MLB2805

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Re: Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 10:07:58 PM »
I take klonopin which is a benzo like Xanax ... And it calms my
Body but not my thoughts. I'm currently in therapy and doing lots
OF self help with books. Giving myself 3
Months to decide whether to go back on antidepressant
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You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.

Offline soaringfalcon

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Re: Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 10:29:24 PM »
I'm very resistant to medication and am a believer in a more natural life but I do take Celexa and Xanax.  I've tried twice to discontinue Celexa but I won't go off again.  It enables me to be me.  To actually have hope, joy and not recurrent, obsessive thoughts.  I have Xanax as needed but I feel like it's more of an insurance policy and just the idea that I have it to use is calming.

There is so much we don't know about the brain's chemistry and SSRIs aren't right for everyone.  My daughter suffers from anxiety as well but we're very reluctant to give her an SSRI since she's a teenager.  She's able to control hers well using essential oils. 
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Offline msgb98

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Re: Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 10:38:42 PM »
I do not like taking medication. It is the last resort that you want to go to.
I do acupuncture and that has helped. I went and talked to someone for a time (I do not now) and I also take vitamins and minerals per the doctor. I have watched the food that I eat and another thing I do is make sure I am hydrated. I take epsom salts baths.
I tried something for two weeks and well it went the opposite way of how it was to have gone--I hated it. I decided with the blessings of my doctor to go the natural route and it has helped me.
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Offline xxAmyxx

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Re: Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 10:55:21 PM »
I have for the most part dealt with my anxiety without medication. I did try to go back on Effexor XR in January (I had taken it successfully for about a year 5 years ago but quit taking it due to the weight gain it caused). BUT, after being on the Effexor for less than a month my BP went up really high (155/98!). I freaked out and weaned off as quickly as I could. What has mostly worked for me in the past is regular exercise. I have briefly tried other SSRI's but couldn't deal with the sexual side effects and quit them within a month's time. Of course it's different for everyone.
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Offline NightBlizzard

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Re: Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 01:13:17 AM »
I am trying to do it without medication. Mostly at my mother encouragement as she saw what multiple meds for anxiety did to my Aunt (turned her into an incredibly introverted person who didn't really respond to anything. So she fears if I'm on the meds I will turn out like that.

So for the moment I've been trying small baby steps. I am limiting my googling, talking to people when I feel the anxiety becoming too much for me to handle, as well as trying to keep myself distracted when the fear arises. My next step will most likely be to take that a step further by doing things that relax me, such as watching ASMR videos before bed, resting well, and reading.
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"Grant that my hands be steady, my aim be true, and my feet swift. And should the worst come to pass - grant me forgiveness"

Offline CrazyQuacker75

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Re: Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 05:23:11 PM »
I don't like taking any unless I get really bad, I've been off Xanax for about a month and my head just seems so much clearer and I'm able to function better, then again Xanax is pretty strong and it was the first time I had taken it.
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In the race against myself

Offline worryingfornothing?

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Re: Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 06:40:06 PM »
I too feel that taking medication for my anxiety is not the answer for me however I am open to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other tools to overcome irrational fears etc. Hopefully some of you can follow the same route and work towards feeling better.
G
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Offline Lara71

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Re: Controlling anxiety with or without medication
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 09:45:56 PM »
No one should make the decision on whether to take medication. It should be yours alone. My best friend who is very holistic didn't wanted me to use medication because she hadn't when she had severe anxiety. This would have been fine and dandy if my husband and I could take a month off work and live in a cabin.

I'm not against being holistic. I take warm baths, meditate, have spa days, do deep breathing, drink chamomile tea, and I plan to do yoga and a stress reduction course. It all helps.

But when the anxiety was really bad, and i felt non-functioning, it was the medication that made the difference.

I would start with a therapist. That might help with your decision.
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