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Author Topic: Xanax and depression  (Read 62719 times)

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Offline Veronica

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Xanax and depression
« on: July 31, 2008, 12:56:50 AM »
I have been suffering with anxiety for almost 2 months now. I have a prescription for Xanax that I have yet to take. I keep hoping this feeling will go away on it's own (it has occasionally but always returns in full force). I believe I am suffering from general anxiety, some health anxiety, a bit of OCD, AND depression. I don't know how much longer I can stand to feel this way. If I have depression AND anxiety will Xanax help? Or does it make depression worse? I have a hopeless feeling after being this way for so long. I feel like things will never get better and that I am going absolutely crazy. Does anxiety make you feel crazy? It's like a switch flipped in my brain and took me somewhere horrible, a place that once you've been is hard to forget or get out of. I would give anything to just feel normal again. Will Xanax make me feel normal again? Or will it just make me tired and out of it? Is there a medication that helps anxiety symptoms and makes you happier/feel normal? I am going to make an appointment with a psychiatrist tommorrow, can anyone recommend something that has helped them medication wise?
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Offline britgirl04

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Re: Xanax and depression
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 03:33:28 PM »
Xanax is a fast acting drug which many people find helpful to calm down from a panic attack or feelings of severe anxiety. Some people take it as needed, some people take it everyday. I have not heard it being effective to treat depression.
Here is what I would do....go and see your Dr. and get a proper diagnosis. You still do not sound sure as to what you are suffering with. I have suffered with panic disorder and depression. I was perscribed an anti depressant (Lexapro). It is proven to work on GAD and depression. I was lucky to try it and see a big improvment after a few weeks. This is not always the case. Some people go on several medications before they find the right one. Some have different side effects and you never know how you will react to each one until you try them. It is trial and error. Your Dr. will most likely start you on an SSRI (such as Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil). These are the newest class of anti depressants and normally have the least side effects. You normally have a period taking a very low dose and then increase this dose as your body adjusts. They still have some side effects. I tolorate medicine pretty well but I felt very tired for the first few weeks, had headaches and an overall groggy feeling. This went away though after my body adjusted and now my panic disorder is under control.
I also think it has been helpful to go to therapy. No drug can cure all and talking out your fears can also aid towards your recovery.
As far as the Xanax is concerned, I used it a few times and it did make me feel calmer. I would panic again though the next day and the next and wanted to take something everyday which could attack the anxiety and depression. Xanax also carries with it a risk of dependancy, so this is something to consider. If you do go on an SSRI, keep the xanax in your back pocket. You may want to use it a few times during the first few weeks. I have heard that anxiety can get worse before it gets better on an SSRI.
Good luck to you. You will feel normal again. Go into this with an open heart and open mind. It sounds like you have the will to get better. Hopefully your Dr. can give you the help that you need.  :action-smiley-065:
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Offline ocdengineer

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Re: Xanax and depression
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 04:48:37 PM »
It depends on whether you have depression or you are depressed as a result of anxiety.  If it is the latter and antidepressant will probably not be of much help whereas the Xanax will.  Xanax will take the edge of the anxiety which should make you feel happier about life.  If you have true depression then Xanax is not a good idea because Xanax is a depressant or antianxiety med.  Sounds to me like you probably have anxiety induced depression which would be helped by the Xanax.  Xanax is NOT addictive, but does carry the risk of dependency.  Nobody robs banks for Xanax and Xanax doesn't create tolerance.  You won't need more and more Xanax to eliminate the anxiety.  It takes awhile to get to your optimal dose and you shouldn't need any more, in fact most people who take it end up taking less than the doctor prescribes.  We worry a lot!  LOL.  Anyway, don't hesitate to take the Xanax and see how it works.  Remember though, Xanax will only work for a short period of time.  After that time is up it is back to anxious again.  If you want long term help you need to take Xanax multiple times a day (I take a small dose 4x per day) or a longer acting benzo like Klonopin or Valium.  This will keep the anxiety at bay for longer periods of time.  I never had much luck with antidepressants and I have OCD with panic.  I used to get depressed due to lots of anxiety as a result of the OCD and anxiety.  Xanax did help a LOT.

Take care,
OE
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Offline birdy

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Re: Xanax and depression
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2008, 04:22:48 PM »
I know it's been a while since this was posted but figured I might put my two cents in.... I didn't want to start taking Xanax. I'm a bit of a natural healing person and scripts just scare me. I've had anxiety/depression for a long time ( the depression was mainly from my anxiety). It had gotten to the point where I couldn't go out with my husband and eat because everything made me sick in some way. The more research I did online it became clear to me that all of my symptoms (depression, migraines, trouble sleeping, IBS) were being caused from anxiety. My doc suggested I take Xanax as needed and gave me a script for the bars. And again I only take it when needed (half a bar), usually only a few times a week. And I feel like it has changed my life. I can do all the normal things I used to without feeling like I was going to come out of skin.

I first started taking 1/4th of a bar because it made me a little groggy but nothing at all that I couldn't or didn't want to handle. It has helped me ALOT. If I take it and I don't really need it though it ends up putting me right to sleep. So I only take it when I start feeling really anxious or before I go out to eat. Now when I take it I don't feel groggy at all. Just really calm...and normal!  :yes:
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Offline studdmuffin

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Re: Xanax and depression
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2008, 05:18:52 PM »
if the dosage is strong enough the xanax may make you feel completely normal after the effects wear off. if you take one and you still continue to feel depressed then you have depression as well. xanax doesn't have any dangerous side effects so it's okay to try it. but if you wish to continue being treated with it i'd suggest using it only as needed and try to avoid using it daily or you'll build up to much of a tolerance.
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Offline ocdengineer

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Re: Xanax and depression
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2008, 06:46:09 PM »
I have been on 2 mg/day for two years now.  No need for any more and sometimes I forget doses and it doesn't bother me much, so the tolerance thing is not a reality.  In the beginning your body needs a certain amount to stabilize, so you may need to increase over the first couple of months or you will find that it stops working, however most people reach a stabilization point.  Some do not, so if you start getting upwards of 3 mg it is time to consider other options.  It is generally considered safe up to 4 mg per day and the FDA approves it up to 10 mg/day, but it is rarely if ever prescribed in that high of a dose.  It will cause withdrawl if stopped abruptly, so when taking this medication long term, make sure to slowly wean off of it if you decide to quit taking it.

Later,
OE
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Offline Soccer_Dude

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Re: Xanax and depression
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 10:28:39 PM »
Hi Veronica,

This is an old post, so I'm not sure you will see my reply or if you are even still visiting the forum.

Did you end up taking Xanax? Did it help?

I was on Xanax for about 2.5 months after having a panic attack that gave me 100% insomnia for four days straight.

I've been off of it for 4+ weeks now. 

I had some sort of unknown health issue that triggered weeks and weeks of anxiety.  The only doc that could help me was my ND.  He found that my neurotransmitters were low like Serotonin. So, we started a regiment to help bring those levels up.

After going off Xanax, I was still having anxiety, then after 3 weeks the anxiety began to increase to the point of panic attack at times.  This is a withdrawal symptom, but at the same time I think some of it may have been was rebound anxiety from my previous health condition.

In any case, I think I experienced a similar feeling that seemed to be just switched on all of a sudden in my head. It actually went along with a strange pressure/headache that was in the top back right side of my head.  It made me feel very nervous, scared, hopeless maybe, a feeling I've never felt before in my life.  It went away, but then came back weeks later, and lasted a couple of weeks.  It seemed to be triggered when I ate, then lasted most of the day, then tapered some in the evenings.  Then it went away again.  Weeks later it's back, since last Monday.  But, this time it's a bit stronger and the fear it gives me is even more tense at times especially if I think about it too much. 

When I look back, this feeling seemed to be triggered during a time of high anxiety/stress. So, my thought is that it might be a pre-panic like feeling without the panic attack.  Or, it could be depression due to the anxiety.  I'm not sure.

The good news is that the feeling tends to go away.  I think I've noticed when I got a good night sleep, I'd feel better the next day. I've also been struggling with insomnia for a couple of months.  Anyway, when the anxiety is low, and I feel physically good, and that strange feeling is gone, I feel normal, happy and ready to enjoy life. And I don't easily think about that scary feeling I had before, almost like it never happened.




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