I have general anxiety and feelings of depression on a day to day basis. I'm visiting the doctors next week to get help and was just wondering what meds everyone finds effective? I'd like to go in armed with some information for my own peace of mind. Thanks xx
While it is likely that you do have only GAD and depression, you should still request a full medical, including blood tests, to rule out other possibilities. There are some conditions which can produce similar symptoms.
Assuming your are then diagnosed with GAD and/or depression you will almost certainly be prescribed one of the antidepressants (ADs), probably a SSRI. No antidepressant is intrinsically more effective than the others, though one or two may be for you. The hard part is finding them. You may need to switch antidepressants 2-3 times before you find one that works well.
Celexa (citalopram) or Lexapro (escitalopram), which have the same active drug, would be a good first choice as they are usually the best tolerated of the SSRIs. I would go with Celexa because it has a wider dose range. However, your doctor is better placed to decide which AD might be best for you and may suggest another.
You need to be aware that antidepressants can produce a number of unpleasant symptoms in the first few weeks, including heightened anxiety. Starting on a low dose and ramp it up by the same small amount every 7-10 days until you get to the target dose will limit their severity. Small doses of one of the benzodiazepines (Ativan/Klonopin/Valium/Xanax) can help ease you past the rough spots so ask for a prescription. If your doctor is one of the increasing number of benzophobes then hydroxyzine (Vistaril) is a milder alternative. It is a antihistamine with some anti anxiety properties.
You need to also know that antidepressants can take 3-12 weeks to kick in once you begin taking a therapeutic dose. They work by encouraging the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampal regions of the brain to replace those killed by chronic stress hormone exposure which is thought
to be the biological basis of these disorders.