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Author Topic: Is anyone else afraid of taking medication?  (Read 265 times)

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Offline jols

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Is anyone else afraid of taking medication?
« on: June 08, 2014, 04:27:09 PM »

Hi,

I first experienced panic attacks nine years ago, but I didn't realize that's what they were.  At the time, I was on antidepressants and migraine medicine, and originally we thought I was experiencing serotonin syndrome.  As a result, I stopped taking all medications…stopped caffeine--pretty much anything that could raise my heartbeat.   It got to the point where whenever I had a migraine, I would refuse even half an advil because I could actually feel the medicine going through me, and it would send me into panic mode.    The past two years have been horribly stressful, and the panic attacks are back in full force…worse than ever (it's agoraphobia now, and I'm constantly fighting them off).    I need to make an appointment with a psychologist/psychiatrist, but I'm afraid they are going to think that I'm not trying to help myself if I refuse to take medication.   I know myself right now, and any side effects from anything I take will immediately send me into panic.  I guess my question is, can this be beaten without medication?   

Thank you!
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: Is anyone else afraid of taking medication?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2014, 06:20:53 PM »
Hello Jols...  Welcome to Anxiety Zone!  My name is Chuck, and I am one of the Global Moderators here on the site.

You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

Jols, one of the alternatives to medication, or even enhancement to medication, is therapy.  For panic disorder with or without panic attacks, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is the treatment of choice in most cases.  With some individuals CBT has been as effective as medication.  The mindfulness teachings (meditation), have also been successful to many.

I am on anti-depressant therapy, Jols, but in the last six months I have learned CBT from my therapist (psychologist), and it has really helped me.

I would like to share something else with you, that my therapist shared with me early on in our sessions.  The brain is an organ in the body, and in that respect, it is no different than any other organ, meaning that it can undergo changes from both external and internal stimuli.  When a woman becomes pregnant, her brain will actually change, so will a monk that practices decades of meditation.  Panic disorder/panic attacks, regardless if they have an apparent trigger or not, are just anxiety.  Ask yourself this, was there a time in your life prior to your anxiety disorder, that you could take pills?  I imagine that you would say "yes".  If this is the case, than you have reprogrammed your mind, expecting that each time you take a pill, even an half an Advil, it will cause panic.  This is a learned response, and it can be unlearned.

To give you an example, I use to love a good cup of coffee, but with my most resent episode of panic disorder with panic attacks, drinking a caffeinated beverage would cause me more anxiety.  Was there a time before the episode that I could enjoy coffee?  Yes!  So why could I not return to that stage.  It wasn't the coffee that caused anxiety, and not the caffeine either.  Because of my combination of therapy, I am now back to enjoying a good cup of coffee in the morning with my breakfast, and I have no increase in anxiety at all.

The human mind is more powerful than we can ever imagine, and we can learn to control much of that power, for good, and good feelings.

Again, welcome to Anxiety Zone, Jols.  The very best to you!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Is anyone else afraid of taking medication?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 09:02:55 AM »
I must admit to phobias about meds, yet understand those who favor them and benefit from them.

The brain remains one big mystery and I'd just as soon try and figure mine out myself. So I've placed my trust in CBT, ACT, yoga, tai chi and daily meditation hoping to keep the old brain as I want it, maybe like the monks. :happy0151: It takes work, patience and daily effort. Often it is even enjoyable.
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Offline Jane Sander

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Re: Is anyone else afraid of taking medication?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2014, 05:22:10 PM »
Hello Jols...  Welcome to Anxiety Zone!  My name is Chuck, and I am one of the Global Moderators here on the site.

You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

Jols, one of the alternatives to medication, or even enhancement to medication, is therapy.  For panic disorder with or without panic attacks, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is the treatment of choice in most cases.  With some individuals CBT has been as effective as medication.  The mindfulness teachings (meditation), have also been successful to many.

I am on anti-depressant therapy, Jols, but in the last six months I have learned CBT from my therapist (psychologist), and it has really helped me.

I would like to share something else with you, that my therapist shared with me early on in our sessions.  The brain is an organ in the body, and in that respect, it is no different than any other organ, meaning that it can undergo changes from both external and internal stimuli.  When a woman becomes pregnant, her brain will actually change, so will a monk that practices decades of meditation.  Panic disorder/panic attacks, regardless if they have an apparent trigger or not, are just anxiety.  Ask yourself this, was there a time in your life prior to your anxiety disorder, that you could take pills?  I imagine that you would say "yes".  If this is the case, than you have reprogrammed your mind, expecting that each time you take a pill, even an half an Advil, it will cause panic.  This is a learned response, and it can be unlearned.

To give you an example, I use to love a good cup of coffee, but with my most resent episode of panic disorder with panic attacks, drinking a caffeinated beverage would cause me more anxiety.  Was there a time before the episode that I could enjoy coffee?  Yes!  So why could I not return to that stage.  It wasn't the coffee that caused anxiety, and not the caffeine either.  Because of my combination of therapy, I am now back to enjoying a good cup of coffee in the morning with my breakfast, and I have no increase in anxiety at all.

The human mind is more powerful than we can ever imagine, and we can learn to control much of that power, for good, and good feelings.

Again, welcome to Anxiety Zone, Jols.  The very best to you!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:

Ya this is great advice all around.
When I was suffering from crippling anxiety and panic attacks, I used a course and taught myself meditation and EVENTUALLY I got better. It was a gradual process that took self-committment and discipline, but it allowed me to fight my fight without medication.

This is just me personally though, and lots of others will have different ways :)
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I sometimes write for www.calmandserenity.com which is a resource site by a few members of Health Anxiety Forum to help sufferers of panic and anxiety.

http://www.calmandserenity.com

Proud Headspacer :P

Offline jols

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Re: Is anyone else afraid of taking medication?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 12:27:26 AM »

Thank you, all, for your responses!   I am looking into therapy, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.  From what the psychiatrist told me today, it's not easy for people with anxiety to clear their minds well enough to meditate.  I tried years ago, with no success, but I'm definitely willing to try again.  I'm also looking forward to having a cup of coffee someday--with extra caffeine ;)  Not sure that day will come, but it would be nice to not have palpitations/arrhythmias from only a tiny bit of caffeine.   

Thank you all again.  It's nice to hear that people can beat this without medication! 
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Offline Thebluemainecoon

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Re: Is anyone else afraid of taking medication?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 05:31:38 PM »
Interesting topic you bring up. I have a similar type of concern with SSRI's, MAOI's, Barbiturates and any other type of anti-psychotic. I haven't scheduled an appointment with my psychiatrist yet even though I really should because I'm afraid shes going to put me back on an SSRI or something similar. Two years ago I weened myself off of Zoloft by reducing my dosage by 25mg per week after only being on it for six months. Even though I wasn't on it very long, and I went off very slowly, my withdrawal symptoms were terrible. So I can understand your fear, but for people who really need and benefit from them they work wonders. Also, I am very sensitive to caffeine as well and try to refrain from drinking it as much as possible so as to not have a panic attack. Good to know there are others out there who suffer from this, I thought I was the only one lol.
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Offline omendog

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Re: Is anyone else afraid of taking medication?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2014, 04:19:14 AM »
i understand your concern with the meds, i have lived with anxiety for a number of years, and when i went to see the doctor, he mentioned the meds, and i never went back
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