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New to forum but old to anxiety

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Sep 3, 2018
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#1
Hi everyone,
I’ve had anxiety for 10+ years but have recently gone back on my medication which has sent me into overdive. I wanted to meet people who have been through what I have and get it, as well as provide support for people who are going through their own anxiety hell.
 

Jones

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Aug 8, 2018
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#4
Hey Ginger and Angelle. I’m a long time anxiety survivor. It kind of ebbs and flows for me. I’ve been on medication...didn’t do well with it and ended up coming off. Got dependent on benzodiazepines and had to wean myself off of those. Currently (last four years) clean and eating good foods, taking supplements and walking three miles a day. Depends on the day and circumstances as to how I’m feeling.
 
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#5
I keep coming off to try and be more clean living, but every time I do it, it reminds me why I’m on them because I forget how severe my GAD is. I also compulsively pull out my hair because of anxiety (trichotillomania) and it helps lower that habit. I’m on a half dosage now to try and find the middle ground. For the last few days I’ve been a complete nut job, like the world is ending for me, but today a switch has been flicked and I feel sane again.


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Hurt&Hopeful

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Jul 28, 2018
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#7
Hey - long time anxiety survivor here, too. I also go through good phases and bad phases - been in a pretty good one for the past month or so. But I know how it feels to just be stuck and wonder if it's ever going to get better. I hope you find some relief and some encouragement here!
 

Wooyall9

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Sep 4, 2018
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#8
Hello. Just joined today. I have illness anxiety (hypochondria) that has transformed to constant general anxiety. I’m always tired and wonder if I’m sick or if it’s kist all the stress my mind is causing my body. Constantly worrying about my body and if I’m sick, my toddler and if she will choke, and my oldest who is undergoing a diagnosis for the past two years for a liver condition. It’s just never ending! Does anyone have a good medication with few side effects that works? I need something that will make me feel relaxed and not so jumpy and ease my mind but refuse to take something like Xanax that I will eventually need more of. Help!!
 
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#9
Hi wooyall9
I’m on Citalopram which at 20mg is the starting point for most anti-anxiety medication here in the uk. It helps me keep a handle on things but doesn’t make me lose all emotion. The first 4-6weeks it does tend to heighten anxiety but if you can hold on and push through it really helps (or at least it has with me). I have GAD and also worry about my health with an obsessive focus on what can kill me so I get where you are coming from! Can you ask your GP about SSRIs?


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triceps

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Aug 7, 2018
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#10
If you trust your doctor, I would have them make the suggestion as to a medication regimen for you. Let them know that you're not interested in medications like xanax but there are many alternatives.
 

Wooyall9

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#11
Thanks for the response. Every dr I go to tells me I should go on something. I go to a Gastro dr because they found an incidental cyst on pancreas because of an mri I got because I thought I was dying and it was only a pulled stomach muscle. Ridiculous! So now I have to go for mri’s every year because of my cysts just to make sure they don’t get big and cause issues. This is my 4th year and it seriously took my 4 years to believe them that it wasn’t cancer. Anyway, he convinced me to try 5 mg of lexapro which is lowest dose. I took it for two weeks and I was at the dr twice for two different things so I felt it didn’t work as I still went to the dr for nonsense. My mother keeps telling me I was on too low a dose and didn’t give it time. Could that be possible? When you say it works, does it actually stop the thoughts in your head or just make you not care as much about them? I don’t know how a pill can make my thought process change.
 
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#12
The pills I have (and most anti depressants from what I’ve read) take a month or so to start working, I’m not clued up on that medication so couldn’t advise on a standard dose, your dr certainly can and can up it if needs be, but the standard advice is you need to let it settle in your system before you tinker with it.
How I describe it is it makes my emotions less intense. I still get nervous and feel all the normal range of emotions but it makes me feel like I have a grasp on myself and I don’t lose control. You are still you, but a more in control version. You’re asking the right questions, don’t be afraid to be totally honest with your dr and give yourself time to feel the effects, don’t pressure yourself to be ok straight away.
Don’t be afraid to do some digging online about how they work. Generally anxiety is low serotonin so it just replenishes your stock so to speak.

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triceps

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#13
I have been taking 20mg of Lexapro for many years without any side effects that I'm aware of. What I believe it does for me is to allow me to think more clearly by suppressing some of my anxiety and depression. It doesn't stop the negative thoughts but allows me to decipher which of those thoughts are rational and which are unrealistic. So, I think your mother is right.
 
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#14
It looks like lexapro is potentially the same drug I’m on just the brand name is different.


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Hurt&Hopeful

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#15
Thanks for the response. Every dr I go to tells me I should go on something. I go to a Gastro dr because they found an incidental cyst on pancreas because of an mri I got because I thought I was dying and it was only a pulled stomach muscle. Ridiculous! So now I have to go for mri’s every year because of my cysts just to make sure they don’t get big and cause issues. This is my 4th year and it seriously took my 4 years to believe them that it wasn’t cancer. Anyway, he convinced me to try 5 mg of lexapro which is lowest dose. I took it for two weeks and I was at the dr twice for two different things so I felt it didn’t work as I still went to the dr for nonsense. My mother keeps telling me I was on too low a dose and didn’t give it time. Could that be possible? When you say it works, does it actually stop the thoughts in your head or just make you not care as much about them? I don’t know how a pill can make my thought process change.
Great question - SSRIs (like Citalopram, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, etc. ) don't change what you think, no. But they DO help control the chemical balance in your brain. The problem that we have is not just the racing thoughts - it's what happens to our bodies because of it. When we have all the obsessive thoughts going on, consciously or unconsciously, our body goes into that "fight or flight" response, and releases a bunch of chemicals into your bloodstream like adrenaline and cortisol. This causes the tingling sensations, the hot flashes, the restlessness, the heart racing, etc. It's a normal physical reaction, and it's designed to help escape real danger. With anxiety disorders, though, our bodies are doing this when there IS no real danger present - it's something triggered by either the obsessive thoughts, or past traumas, or other factors. So what the SSRI medications do is help your brain function a little better, and not "trigger" those responses when they shouldn't be triggered. You might still have the thoughts or the trauma, but your body symptoms can be greatly reduced. That's been my experience, anyways. I'm able to better work through the issues that are causing my anxiety because I'm not feeling like I'm going to throw up, or pass out, or have severe panic attacks. I hope that helps. Here is an article that explains it a little better: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-are-ssris-used-in-the-treatment-of-panic-disorder-2583979.

Because of the way these work and how they are "retraining" your brain, it usually takes 4-6 weeks for you to really get the benefits of an SSRI. I am on Lexapro, 10 mg - it took about 3 weeks for me to feel much of any difference at all.
 

Wooyall9

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#16
The pills I have (and most anti depressants from what I’ve read) take a month or so to start working, I’m not clued up on that medication so couldn’t advise on a standard dose, your dr certainly can and can up it if needs be, but the standard advice is you need to let it settle in your system before you tinker with it.
How I describe it is it makes my emotions less intense. I still get nervous and feel all the normal range of emotions but it makes me feel like I have a grasp on myself and I don’t lose control. You are still you, but a more in control version. You’re asking the right questions, don’t be afraid to be totally honest with your dr and give yourself time to feel the effects, don’t pressure yourself to be ok straight away.
Don’t be afraid to do some digging online about how they work. Generally anxiety is low serotonin so it just replenishes your stock so to speak.

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Thank you. As a teenager I did a child study and mri for my obsessive compulsive disorder and I do remember them saying serotonin is effected but didn’t remember if it was too much or too little. I was on both Zoloft and Luvox together which helped my ocd to be manageable. I just get nervous going on medicine because then I worry about my health and the side effects. It’s a never ending cycle with me. Nothing is good enough. My husband said it best, it’s as if I’m addicted to worrying. I got so used to worrying from 15 years ago when I started with infertility to my oldest having breath holding spells where she’d pass out, then her getting diagnosed with hashimotos a year too late so they think it is the cause of her liver regenerative hyperplasia (but now going to another dr because they think she may have a blood cot disorder) to my cysts in my organs, my hashimotos, and how I have ocular migraines where I get blurry vision and worry it’s a tumor. I’m a worst case scenario person because I see at my work that worst case scenarios actually do happen to people. I’m burnt out by the stressors in my life. I also have slightly high white blood count and panicking about that but it’s literally right above normal range yet it’s all I think about 24/7 along with the other medical things. It’s hard to feel free from my mind. I jump every time I hear a noise, every time my toddler falls my adrenaline kicks in. It’s obviously doing a damper on my body. I’m consumed with my worry of “C” happening to me or my family. It’s all so overwhelming and I want to enjoy my life. I know people have cysts, I know my white blood count isn’t that high and things like stress and thyroid disease can cause it, I know if my daughter falls she probably won’t die, that my migraines are not a tumor since I’ve had them for over two years. I do know my thoughts are crazy. I just can’t stop my thoughts.
 
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#17
Worry is a normal emotion and you’ve had a lot going on, I imagine someone without anxiety would be nervous. I too have migraines with auras that cause me to throw up I’m in so much pain so I too have worried that i have a tumour, I think that’s a normal fear. I’ve read that SSRIs aren’t linked to anything awful long term but like I said do some digging yourself on the questions you worry about - google can be helpful but then again your dr will have answers as he or she will have dealt with many people dealing with what you are going through. You’re not crazy, your emotions are always valid, but if it’s impacting everything you do it’s time to take care of yourself. Medication and CBT are great ways to do this and I’m speaking from experience. I used to be so much worse with severe paranoia about everything, now I have a handle on it because I gave myself time and asked for help. it’s great that you can talk to your family about it as well and get support from them!


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Wooyall9

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#18
Ok I it’s almost like the ssri’s will help that instinctual flight feeling go away like when I see my daughter fall my heart won’t drop like it normally does or I won’t jump at every noise. It will sort of take the edge off the physical symptoms which will help me deal with the thoughts in a clearer way.
Thank you all for your help and listening to me babble.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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#19
It sounds like you also definitely have some physical issues that also amp up your anxiety - so sorry to hear that. Hashimoto's in particular...anything to do with hormones or thyroid can really set it off. Maybe the anti-depressants would help some of your symptoms? I hope you get some relief soon.
 
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