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Offline daviezmom

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anxiety medicine
« on: September 02, 2014, 08:36:55 AM »
I'm cursed with anxiety, ocd, and bouts of depression.  My anxiety has gotten so bad that my mind doesn't shut off at night, so I don't sleep.  I've been focuses on my health so much lately, and I'm getting depressed over everything.  I've been on medicine and it's helped some.  But I want to conquer this on my own.  I feel medicine only masks the issue, it doesn't solve it.  I stopped my med in April.  Things were good for a while.  But now I'm just getting anxious and depressed frequently.  I'm starting to think getting back on the med would be helpful, but I'll feel like a failure and not "normal" for having to take it again.  I'm scared my husband secretly judges me for it. 
My question is, does starting and stopping and starting meds have a bad effect on a person?  My anxiety has me scared to start back up because I'm scared the medicine will hurt me.  Maybe it's dangerous for your body to start and stop numerous times.  I've had to stop in the past due to pregnancies and I've come off on my own a couple times before.  I just keep coming back. 
And does anyone know what medicine really does to you long term?  This kind of stuff scares me.  I need something noe but don't ant to damage my body long term.  I'm starting counseling tomorrow, maybe that will help.
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Offline daviezmom

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2014, 08:38:24 AM »
Sorry for the spelling errors, I'm on my phone.
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Offline daviezmom

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2014, 03:57:10 PM »
So does anyone on here take meds?! 
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Offline Ihadcancer

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 04:23:39 PM »
I take Klonopin .5 mg 2 to 3 x's a day and have for about 2 years now.  I took it 10 or 11 years ago for a short time when I was going through menopause but my anxiety was no where like what it is now.

I don't know the answer about starting and stopping medication, but if you're unable to sleep and always wound up, that's certainly not good for your health! 

I can tell you, daviezmom, that I don't choose to live this way and feel this way and I doubt you could find anyone who enjoys this torture.  Don't be beating yourself up over this.  If the medication helps you then you should take your medication.  You sure don't sound like someone who'd abuse it.

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Online ceh1354

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2014, 04:30:40 PM »
I'm sure your husband would much rather have you back to your "old self" on medicine, rather than being depressed and anxious off of it.
Do not be ashamed if you feel your quality of life is suffering. Meds helped me tremendously.

As for being harmful to you to start and stop, I don't know that, but in my opinion, I wouldn't think it would be.

See how your therapy goes and judge from that, but don't be afraid to go on meds if you feel need it. So many people are, you'd be surprised.

Best wishes to you.
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Offline daviezmom

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 01:37:33 AM »
Thank you both for your replies.  I'm really putting some thought and prayer into possibly starting back up.  I just hate the thought of being dependent on something to get me through the day as a normal functioning person.
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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 02:27:21 AM »
I know taking medication is a scary thought... It took me 10 years of misery before I would take any prescription medication.

I have used medications for over 20 years - and I did a lot of personal research.

The newer medications we have today (I had my first panic attack in 1979)- are remarkably SAFE both short term and long term use.  Medications get a bad rap because people don't use them responsibly.

What are some of your concerns ?

Being dependent is not same as being addicted.

As  I look back at 30 years ago, medication was truly a miracle in improving the quality of my life and to be a better husband, father and grandfather and removing this life damaging Anxiety and allow me to be happy and peaceful and returning Joy back into my life. 

I personally thank God for providing these marvelous  medications - that were never available to our parent and grandparents.

God wants us to live a life of joy and peace...  He sends people your way and my way to help us ... As we pray for God's assistance.

And feel free to ask any specific questions, concerns and fears.  Once you have some knowledge - you can determine if medication is right for you.

Wisdom is something God wants us to have - this will allow us to live the life God desires for us.

God bless and take good care of yourself! :action-smiley-065:
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Offline daviezmom

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 08:28:22 AM »
Thank you for responding!  As a fellow believer, one of my spiritual concerns is that I'm not trusting in God to use His full power if I take medicine.  To me that says I'm not trusting in Him.  However, I've prayed several times for the anxiety and fear to go away, but it's still there.  I guess I need to start looking at it like you do, in that He gave us these medicines to help. 
As for physical concerns, I've been using different meds since I was forced to when I was 14.  I'm 33 now.  I don't think I even needed them back then.  I didn't have my first anxiety attack until I was 18.  So I've been on and off a handful of different meds. I'm very concerned that by getting my body used to a med, then stopping and getting it used to being without, then starting, stopping, on and on and on, that it's messing up my body and doing real damage to me.  I was really sure that this time I'd be able to stop and live a normal life.  That was in the beginning of April of this year.  I did good for a while, but now it's awful.  I'm obsessed with my body.  Granted, I have real issues I'm dealing with (sciatica), but I'm taking it to the extreme, like being fearful that I'm going to become paralyzed from it and calling the doctor all the time, etc.  And I get depressed and convinced that my husband hates me and I'm not good enough to be a mom and wife and I cry all the time because of how pathetic I feel that I am as a person.  Needless to say, I, nor anyone in my family, deserve to be brought down like that.  I just want to feel normal, but not by using medicine as my crutch. I beat myself up either way.  I'm fearful that if I talk to a doctor about it, they'll just tell me how good the med is because they want to side with the pharmaceutical companies because they're all in it together. 
I do start counseling tonight, even though I've been a long time ago and felt it didn't help.  It is going to be nice to talk to someone about what's on my mind without fear of judgment. 
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Offline cali4niay

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 02:56:29 PM »
I take .25 of Xanax only when realllyyyyyyyyyyyy needed.

Otherwise, I try and stick to natural supplements. For anxiety, I take lemon balm, rhodiola rosea, and ashwagandha. That seems to help.
I also do deep breathing and have been working on letting go.

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2014, 05:08:57 PM »

1)....one of my spiritual concerns is that I'm not trusting in God to use His full power if I take medicine.  To me that says I'm not trusting in Him.  However, I've prayed several times for the anxiety and fear to go away, but it's still there.

2)... As for physical concerns, I've been using different meds since I was forced to when I was 14.  I'm 33 now.  II didn't have my first anxiety attack until I was 18.

3)...I'm very concerned that by getting my body used to a med, then stopping and getting it used to being without, then starting, stopping, on and on and on, that it's messing up my body and doing real damage to me.  I was really sure that this time I'd be able to stop and live a normal life. 

4)...I get depressed and convinced that my husband hates me and I'm not good enough to be a mom and wife and I cry all the time because of how pathetic I feel that I am as a person. 

5)...I just want to feel normal, but not by using medicine as my crutch. I beat myself up either way. 

6)... I'm fearful that if I talk to a doctor about it, they'll just tell me how good the med is because they want to side with the pharmaceutical companies because they're all in it together.



Ok, let me try to answer your questions, these are all based on my experience and research of over 20+ years.

IME:

1) I learned from the Bible, that Faith = Action.  I wish I had learned this earlier... God works through his "church" ="his people".  I learned the hard way - that I just can't pray and do nothing, "Even God cannot steer a Parked Car".  I learned that we must do the possible so God can do the impossible.

It reminds me of a joke which shows how God uses his people to help others :

A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says "get in, get in!" The religious man replies, " no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle."

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause "God will grant him a miracle."

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God.

He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grant me a miracle and I have been let down." St. Peter chuckles and responds, "I don't know what you're complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter."


You, being on this forum - shows your Faith in Action... :yes:

2) Research show this to be common age for biological driven Panic Attacks - I had mine was I was about 19 almost 20 years old (1979).
About 3 million people, will have full-blown panic disorder at some time in their lives, twice as often for women than men. The peak age at which people have their first panic attack (onset) is 15-19 years of age.  http://www.medicinenet.com/panic_disorder/article.htm

3) THE FEAR OF DRUG DEPENDENCE
This is a normal fear of Dependency - but when we put it into context, it becomes less daunting, Dependency is part of life, we are dependent on water, food,... in the medical world...people are dependent on medication -  Diabetes are dependent on insulin, heart attack patients (like my dad) are dependent on nitroglycerin tablets, people or children allergic to bee stings carry epinephrine pen (or epi-pen) with them at all times... and the list goes on...

Worst case scenario? - So what would happen if you suddenly could not get your psychiatric medications - (say an earthquake...no access to pharmacy or a doctor, and you don't have an emergency 30-60-90 supply at home?)  - worst case, you would have withdrawal symptoms - that would be similar to a bad flu, or a cold.... Would you die, NO!  Unlike someone who is diabetic, heart attack patient - doesn't have his medication, or a child with bee sting allergies that cannot be rushed to a hospital - Death is very possible.

By the way, I am dependent on my blood pressure medication, without it I might have a stroke or even worse, and I have to take it every day!

Remember, that research is showing that Panic Disorders and Anxiety are Biological problems not necessarily psychological problems, as once was believed.  Research is showing specific chemicals (serotonin) in our brains are deficient or out of sync, much like wife who now uses hormones for menopause, to re-synch her hormone levels.

a) Panic attacks were once dismissed as nerves or stress, but they're now recognized as a real medical condition.
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/panic-attacks/basics/definition/con-20020825

b) Panic disorder has been shown to run in families. It may be passed on to some people by one or both parent(s) much like hair or eye color can.    http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-panic-disorder

c) Research has found strong familial links, suggesting that having a close biological family member with panic disorder puts one at greater risk for developing this condition. http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/faq1/a/What-Is-Panic-Disorder.htm



SAFETY CONCERNS REGARDING MEDICATION

Every medication has side effects - some temporary - other not, but everything involves some risk. 

No medical treatment is without risk - 100% risk free medication does not exist...Our goal is to make an educated risk, by educating ourselves and making wise decisions, with regular checkups with our doctors for any potential issues.

Also there is a big risk of NOT using medication - Anxiety, depression, stress are humanities biggest killers as they often lead to the major deadly ills.

There are two types of medications that are commonly used by doctors:  (before that, we used narcotics, recreational drugs and most of all alcohol, to deal with anxiety and today there is no debate about the harmful nature of these drugs)

Benzodiazepines and SSRI/SNRI Antidepressants - are usually used in combination.

Benzodiazepines (have been demonized and disparaged by the media and internet - usually because people will abuse them and not use them responsibly ::))

The safety of using Benzodiazepines for very long periods of time is quite remarkable from what I have researched - Valium has been around for over 50 years now  :yes:, and has a very good long term safety record for responsible users.  When I was first given one, my doctor told to be careful because it causes liver damage, which has been proven false since we many long-term users (myself included 20+ years) with no adverse long term issues.  The current theory, which has not been proven - "It may cause cognitive problems..." again, not enough preponderance of research or evidence to come to such a conclusion.  But, it is controversial issue - just look at the internet - again, we are talking about taking prescribed medication, monitored by a doctor, used properly by responsible patients"

"It has been folk wisdom within medicine that using benzodiazepines for a long time is a bad idea. They were believed to make people mentally slow. However, recent years have produced a number of studies comparing people who have taken a benzodiazepine for years nonstop with people who have never taken a benzodiazepine. Most of these studies show no ill effects of benzodiazepines on either mental functioning or physical health. On the other hand, chronic anxiety is a life-destroyer of the first order,..."
CNN - Dr. Charles Raison Psychiatrist, -Emory University Medical School



SSRI/SNRI Antidepressants

Are among the safest medication -

Since the late 1980s, America and the world have been enjoying the benefits of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These antidepressants — fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro) — are among the world’s most widely prescribed medications. They are remarkably safe and effective. The range of their uses has expanded from depression to anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and many other psychiatric conditions.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/What_are_the_real_risks_of_antidepressants.htm



So what is the risks with using these medications?  - Both Benzodiazepines and AD-SSRI/SNRI - SHOULD NEVER BE STOPPED 'COLD TURKEY'    :angry-smiley-034:  - many people discontinue these medications without consulting their Dr. about tapering off of them. - this  is why you hear the horror stories of withdrawals that people get, these are powerful medications that need to be treated with respect.  So when you do decide to stop taking them, always consult your doctor on how to slowly taper off these medications successfully without suffering withdrawals symptoms.  I have personally used this method with over 10-12 AD medications with great success.


4)  Your family is one of the biggest reason to get help, you need to be a "healthy and great you" - before you can be a great mother.  In addition, you will also be great wife.  Men are very forgiving and simple creatures (in a good way) - we are happy to see progress, we as Christian husbands have a duty to be supportive and loving to our wives :yes:.

5)  A Crutch has historically been a noble medical tool- used to function and get around, until we are healed and feel better.  Medication serves the same purpose.  You may need it only for a season or two....some people like myself, will need medication for the rest of my life.

When it used for proper reasons to help you function as a healthy and happy individual it is a wonderful tool - a real gift...

6)  Unfortunately, there is some truth to this -  ::)  Some doctors may not be totally ethical - but this is where gaining knowledge from  other members here in the forum will be your power advantage, I alone have been on over 10-12 medications, there are many great people on this forum that have also used many medications.  You will research, and ask your doctor for the medication, that you feel comfortable with, based on information you gathered from others.

For example we know that there are certain AD medications that you will want to avoid - due to reported problems, and which medications seem to work for most people.

In the end, you will need to try different medications to find out which is the best one for you!  One size does not fit all, especially when it comes to medication.  But, there are some that tend to more effective with less initial side effects than others.


Let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns, we are all here to help!  :action-smiley-065:
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Offline daviezmom

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 06:35:16 AM »
Thank you so much!  That was very informative!  I really appreciate it. 
After many times of starting and stopping, I think it's obvious to myself that I'll be one of those who need medicine for the rest of my life.  But that brings me back to my anxiety.  I'm only 33.  That's a long time.  And there's no proof that it would cause damage to your body by taking it for so many years continuously?  I prefer fluoxetine.  It helped with anxiety, depression, and OCD.  I do have a bottle of adivan on hand from earlier this year.  I haven't taken one since January.  I took one last night to help me calm down and sleep.  It worked great.  First time in over a week I didn't wake up in the middle of the night full of anxiety and unable to get back to sleep. I don't want to make a habit out of that, though.
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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 12:23:05 PM »
and there's no proof that it would cause damage to your body by taking it for so many years continuously?  I prefer fluoxetine.  It helped with anxiety, depression, and OCD.  ....

The great news is that  Antidepressants (especially SSRI) have proven to be very safe for long term use.   Research is now showing that antidepressants do NOT cause long term damage – On the contrary, they actually help repair brain damage caused by high stress levels.

Ian, one of our senior members – noted this research on one of his posting with references to research documents on the post below: http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93168.msg520011.html#msg520011

I glad to hear to you that Prozac - works for you!  It is the medication I have used for the last 10+ years with great success.

After testing and trying out many of the SSRI/SNRI AD myself - I have returned to Prozac as the best medication for me.

Just some of the most common AD Medications I have been on:
Prozac (4x times)
Paxil
Effexor
Cymbalta
Remeron  (2x)
Wellbutrin (2x)
Zoloft
Celexa (3x)
LexaPro
Fluvoxamine (Luvox) - mostly used in the U.K.
Serzone (now removed from the market)
Trazodone
And some others... that I just can't recall at the moment.
I have been on some other older tricyclic antidepressants, but only for a short time (4 months)




If you are paranoid, like I am - I do the following:

Just to make sure, as part of my doctor check-up  visits, Along with my standard blood test, I have blood panel test done that will measure the liver function value, to make sure there are no value changes in the results over time, to ensure my liver is healthy.  (SSRIs are broken down in the liver by a group of enzymes) - This gives me peace of mind.  This allows me to work with my doctor in monitoring any changes.

Liver function blood panel test - http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/liver-function-panel-topic-overview



I would highly encourage you to get back on Prozac - ASAP.  It will take about a month before you start to feel the difference, and I believe that in most cases - The benefits far outweigh any risks.   :yes:

Feel free to send me PM if you have any questions, my wish for you is to get your mental health back, and to remain healthy, with a life filled with joy and peace, that God wishes for all of us!  :pray:

God Bless... Stay Strong in your Faith!  :action-smiley-065:
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Offline daviezmom

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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2014, 09:22:39 AM »
So you've been taking Prozac for over ten years straight and have had no complications?  I'm seriously considering getting back on.  I believe it will be best for myself and my family if I do, even though the thought of taking medicine makes me feel "broken".  I like how I feel when I'm on it. 

Thank you so much for your thorough responses.  They are very helpful and it means a lot that you took time out to help me. 
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Re: anxiety medicine
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2014, 02:10:27 PM »
So you've been taking Prozac for over ten years straight and have had no complications? 

I'm seriously considering getting back on.  I believe it will be best for myself and my family if I do, even though the thought of taking medicine makes me feel "broken".  I like how I feel when I'm on it. 

Thank you so much for your thorough responses.  They are very helpful and it means a lot that you took time out to help me. 



Yes, More like 15 years altogether !!  - I took a break to try some different medications - Cymbalta and Effexor for about a year.... Not even close to being as effective as Prozac for controlling my Panic Disorder, GAD and OCD.

But, I came back to Prozac as the best for me! - compared to 12+ AD/SSRI/SNRI out on the market today. :yes:

Now, it is time to take action!  Get your life back, and get healthy, for you and your family!

Remember that in this earthly life, we are all "broken" , we are all "imperfect", we all "fall short in one way or another" - we all share in being human, with all our faults, and shortcomings - but know that we are God’s Most Prized Possessions!!!

After this temporary life the Bible tells us "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away"  - Rev 21:4

And it is my pleasure that I was able to help!  I am only doing what God has designed me to do, which to help others, there is no higher calling...  :pray:

Just keep in touch - so I can also take joy in your recovery and happiness  :action-smiley-065:


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