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Author Topic: New to Forum - looking for kindred spirits to share stories and support  (Read 89 times)

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Offline chezrebecca

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Hi all,

My name is Becca, I'm a 26 yr old graduate student in Minnesota.  I have always been a "worrywart" as a child and even had a couple very temporary bouts with anxiety in middle and high school.  However, it wasn't until I had a full hip replacement when I was nineteen that the anxiety became acute and debilitating.  I started therapy and lexapro soon after returning home from the hospital and the meds worked for me.  At the time I didn't think that maybe I should stick with it for a little while, and weaned off the meds after several months.  The acute anxiety came back, I went back to therapy and lexapro, and the combination worked for me again.  However, I once again weaned myself off the lexapro, but found that it didn't work for me when I started up again.  This was very scary for me, and my GP prescribed Zoloft which did end up working, for five years. 

Just this April, after being on 75mg of Zoloft for five years, I felt I was ready to come back down to 50.  Within a couple weeks, the same old familiar "twinges" were back and soon I was experiencing a full blown acute anxiety episode.  The way I describe my GAD is like having a mild panic attack....but one that lasts all day.  I am unable to relax, get out of my head, I have trouble staying asleep, pulling myself out of bed, and the biggest things is the eating.  I lose my appetite, and have to force myself to eat.  I'm not anxious about money or job etc, but just the state of feeling anxious.  I worry that I will continue to feel this way, and worry about how I will feel at future events. 

This time around, I have seen a psychiatrist as well as a therapist who is skilled in Tai Chi Chih.  Doc has bumped me up to 150 mg of Zoloft as well as 50mg of Trazodone for sleep.  She has also prescribed taking two .5mg tablets of Klonopin a day and I was started to feel more and more periods of relift - but I was only taking one .5mg in the morning until recently.  In the last several days, however, my "Monkey mind" has been taking hold and although I know this process takes time and trial and error, I have a big fear that the Zoloft isn't going to work for me this time.  I know there are other medications I can try - but the days just seem so hard and long.  My parents, friends, family are all very supportive, but they don't understand what this is like.  This is my situation at the present - just looking for affirmation, reassurance, and cyber hugs.

Thanks all.
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Online MobileChucko

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Hi Becca...  Welcome to Anxiety Zone, and a cyber hug for you!  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.

Becca, I want to share a number of facts with you, about anti-depressants (By the way, I am on two of them.).  First, I am glad to hear that you are seeing a psychiatrist to manage your mental health needs; I see one, too.  When starting an anti-depressant, and once you are on a therapeutic dose that is working for you, it is recommended that you remain on the AD for a minimum of a year before even considering coming off of it.  Also, some people will have one episode of anxiety and/or depressive disorder, use an anti-depressant, later come off of it, and never have further problems.  But for many people, anxiety/depression is a chronic condition.  With the history that you have related in your post, which is similar to my own history, yours speaks of a more chronic condition.  For those with repeated episodes, it is best to consider staying on an anti-depressant permanently.  I have been on AD therapy for some five years now, and plan on being on it for the rest of my life.  It has also been proven that it is not a good idea to frequently start and stop an anti-depressant, as they can end up becoming ineffective.  This my have been exactly what happened with you Lexapro.

Becca, I am glad that you have found Anxiety Zone.  I can't begin to tell you how much this site has helped me with my anxiety disorder, and the wonderful friends that I have made here.

The very best to you, Becca!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline Never-Quit

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This time around, I have seen a psychiatrist as well as a therapist who is skilled in Tai Chi Chih.  Doc has bumped me up to 150 mg of Zoloft as well as 50mg of Trazodone for sleep.  She has also prescribed taking two .5mg tablets of Klonopin a day and I was started to feel more and more periods of relift - but I was only taking one .5mg in the morning until recently.  In the last several days, however, my "Monkey mind" has been taking hold and although I know this process takes time and trial and error, I have a big fear that the Zoloft isn't going to work for me this time.  I know there are other medications I can try - but the days just seem so hard and long.

 
Thanks all.

Hi Becca, Welcome to the forum,

oh... wait....  :banana:

Here is your big virtual hug -    :sad0126:


Wow, you seem to be very good hands with your doctor-

1) Zoloft has been increased to more reasonable therapeutic dosage of 150 mg - which in 4 to 6 weeks should make a big difference for you.

2)  50 mg of Trazodone for sleep - good...

3)  Two .5mg tablets of Klonopin a day - great med for anxiety and will help 'shield' you from excessive anxiety until your body adapts to the higher 150mg Zoloft dosage. (it sure did for me, it was a life saver!)

4) She is also a therapist who is skilled in Tai Chi Chih - Wow! - I just saw a video on YouTube, exercise and positive movement is great!

Now , I am jealous, I want to have your doctor  :happy0151:

I have been on 12+ meds over the last 20-30 year, and I love Celexa and Lexapro, because they are less harsh in terms of side effects than many others.  But, yes... like you, the Celexa and later Lexapro started to lose their therapeutic effect after about 11 months for me.  Some lucky people, are on it for many years with great success.

(I have been Prozac for the last 10-15 years)  I will occasionally stop Prozac to try some of the newer meds, (that have less side effects) but I always return back to Prozac.

Your doctor is pretty sharp!  She has placed on Zoloft - which the last time I looked, the #1 - most widely prescribed antidepressant in the U.S. - (Prozac,Paxil, and Zoloft) are considered by many to be a much more effective and stronger antidepressant than Celexa or Lexapro for some people, so I am sure you will do just fine with the higher dosage of 150 mg. 

But if not, no need to worry - there are about '101' other great medications that will work for you. :grinning-smiley-003:


Hang in there, and be patient (4-6 weeks), you seem to be in excellent hands with your doctor - and you have all of us here - to provide with you support and answer any questions you may have. :nature-smiley-016:


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Never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

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Offline chezrebecca

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Thank you so much guys,

Just to clear it up, while my psychiatrist is pretty great, it is my therapist that is a tai chi chih instructor.  I'm really looking forward to learning more about it.  I've been trying to bike more and taking advantage of the sunshine.

While I know this process takes time and trial and error, the down days just feel so tough.  I started feeling the twinges over Mother's Day weekend, and it was a full blown episode by Monday the 12th.  I went in to campus counseling and health service right away and the nurse bumped me up to 100 mg of Zoloft.  I battled through until I started to feel solid relief the thursday - tuesday of Memorial day weekend.  Wednesday the 28th, however, I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me.  After a rough weekend at the end May, I got in with my psychiatrist and bumped up to 150 mg on June 3rd.  With the addition of the .5mg klonopin I started to feel more periods of relief throughout my day.  I had a really high weekend, so the fact that the last few days have been down is really frustrating.

I'm doing all I can do - cut out caffeine and alcohol, cut back on processed foods and sugar, going to therapy, and increasing exercise.  The waiting is truly the hardest part.

But I appreciate the support so much.  Hugs to all!
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