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Anxiety medication?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Story_Idea, May 29, 2012.

  1. Story_Idea

    Story_Idea New Member

    Hi, I know that there are probably specific sites on the Internet where people talk about these things - and I obviously would not use a board of sports writers to make a final decision on something so huge in life.

    However, with that disclaimer, now entering my mid-30s and dealing with a lifetime of what must be high trait anxiety, I am considering seeking some help. I'm not depressed and I never have been. I'm not violent. I'm just constantly nervous, and I'm worried that it might be affecting my physical health as well as my mental health. It's no way to live, I'll tell you that. I fidget. I am deathly afraid of uncomfortable situations like approaching new people or speaking in public. (I have a lot of friends and don't consider myself a social phobic - this sincerely seems like generalized anxiety, but that's just a couple ways it can manifest itself.)

    Sometimes I feel like I'm wound so tight that the tiniest thing can just cause me to be short with the people I love for no good reason - like the dog barking or running out of milk. I know that sounds stupid, but I'm such a ball of nerves, and always have been, that I just can't help it. I have a difficult time relaxing, and I feel horrible for my wife because it's tough for me to just sit down with her or relax with her because I've constantly got to be doing something.

    Like I said, it's no way to live, and I wish I could explain it better than I have here. I feel like I'm not doing it justice. I'm a pretty successful person, and I'm sure my nervous energy has something to do with that, too. But the quality of life from one hour or one minute to the next makes me think that it might be time, for my sake and for my family's sake, to do something about it.

    Has anyone had any experience with meds for anxiety? Can you share the experience, even if you'd feel more comfortable doing it via PM?

    Thanks so much, and I hope this doesn't seem too weird. It's something I've been thinking about for a long time, and maybe now is the time to finally do something about it.
     
  2. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    We've had this thread before, but it bears repeating.

    I'm on Zanax right now. It helps, but I caution you to be very careful with it.

    Once my anxiety started to subside (I did have physical issues that were probably compounding the anxiety. Those issues have since been fixed), I found that my body still physiologically needed Zanax, even if in my head, I knew I didn't. It stands to reason as Zanax effects your chemical balance.

    I came to a crossroads a few months ago. I'm on a pretty light dosage, but my body was reacting in such a way as if to send the message that it needed more. That really freaked me out. I have/had no desire to stay on Zanax permanently and I have no intention to get physically addicted to a drug.

    I could have gone up in dosage to feed that need and who knows where the cycle would've ended? I've heard of people who were doing 3 MG or more daily and now they're basically addicted. I determined right then and there that it wouldn't happen to me, even if I had to endure whatever withdrawal I had to endure to get off of it.

    So I looked into ways to stop. It's not easy. To be safe, you have to taper down, it can cause you physical damage to quit cold turkey (or it might not, everyone's different).

    I've been tapering down since then. I was discouraged when I asked my doctor to take my dosage down to the minimum level, but she refilled at the level I had been at. I'm quite the expert now on cutting pills in half, etc. I've skipped some days here and there. Once I get past the busy time on my beat, I intend to cut down even more.

    My point in all of this is go into this with your eyes and ears wide open. Ask lots of questions. I don't regret going on Zanax, it did help me when I was at my worst, but there are side-effects to nearly everything, so be aware.
     
  3. westcoastvol

    westcoastvol Active Member

    Bubbler's got a nice take on it.

    I was on Xanax, but more of "in case of emergency" anxiety attack, as in keep it in my watch pocket, rather than take it every day. I was also on Wellbutrin and Celexa at the time, so if everything went to shit, boom, I'd take a Xanax, especially if I couldn't sleep. Self-employment, recession and homeownership will do that to you.

    Everyone reacts to drugs differently; what works for a buddy or colleague or even blood relative may not work for you. Ask your parents/siblings/grandparents if there's any history of anxiety/depression in the family, not so much as to pry, but to find out what they were on and if it helped.

    Xanax made me really sleepy and lethargic coming out of the fog, but I liked it.

    And finally, pharmacology is an extremely inexact science. Very inexact. A certain med may not work for you. A dosage may need to be increased or decreased. Just know that it takes time to get the balance right.
     
  4. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Have you tried booze?
     
  5. Story_Idea

    Story_Idea New Member

    Thanks, guys.

    In lieu of medicine, if someone went a different route, how have others learned to relax, stop being irritable, etc., etc.? I know people say exercise, but I do exercise quite a bit, and very hard, and that has not really helped except in the immediate aftermath. If I'm facing a dreadful situation - something like a meeting with my boss or my dog barking at a neighbor - the blood pressure and rattled nerves meter still goes from 0-60 in no time flat.
     
  6. Story_Idea

    Story_Idea New Member

    Ha, yeah. Too damned much in my younger days. I'm not 25 any more, though, so I've got to try something else.
     
  7. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Tell me about it, brother. Just don't recover like I used to.
     
  8. baskethead

    baskethead Member

    My wife has general anxiety disorder and takes medication for it. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not (sometimes she's so overwhelmed that nothing helps). It's a very, very hard thing to deal with, even with medication. Completely exhausting. You probably know all this. She's tried many things to try to relax: Yoga, reading, exercise, I'm sure I'm forgetting things. She's also tried to cut back on her dosage, especially when she was pregnant, and she just went haywire. I will say that most of the time the medication works (and having been through multiple of her crashes, I am sure to reminder all the time to take it). I know the biggest issue for her (she's had it since she was a teen, if not before) was being OK with medicating, not feeling like you're broken or a failure and just understanding that this is something your body needs to function. She still struggles with that sometimes, though.
     
  9. MCbamr

    MCbamr Member

    May have missed it but have you talked to a doctor? There are some - Celexa is one - that aren't addicting. Depends on how serious your anxiety is whether that's for you. I had a stretch where I was prescribed something because of how stress/anxiety was affecting me physically, but it's also available at a lower dosage as a maintenance drug. Just kind of smooths out the edges, though some will say the ups and downs are a part of life not to be missed.
     
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I don't have anxiety, but I am really claustrophobic in certain situations. I had a MRI several years ago and it was the most scared I've ever been in my life. I was screaming. "Get me the fuck out of here..." and they didn't listen to me and I was in there several more minutes before they pulled me out.

    A large part of my current job is doing presentations sometimes in front of hundreds of people and I can do that so easily it's not even funny, but if I have to sit in a conference room and listen to someone talk for an hour, I start to freak out a bit.

    I take a very low dose of Alprazolam when I have to have a meeting like that and it just takes the edge off. I probably take about 3-4 a month, but holy shit does it make a difference.
     
  11. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse Member

    As someone who spent the better part of his late teens and early 20s under various anti-anxiety and depression meds, I have to say my life is infinitely better now that I'm off of them.

    And I'm not one of those crazy anti-medication people. Nothing is better for a headache than aspirin.

    Not so say those meds I used to take didn't work. In most cases, they kept me from feeling anxious and/or depressed. In fact, they kept me from feeling anything. However, I've found I'm much happier dealing with my problems on my own.

    And I don't necessarily have a trick for dealing with any of it. I just decided long ago that I'm willing to trade a few nights of anxious insomnia and a few days of depression every now and then for being able to feel normal the rest of the time.
     
  12. Story_Idea

    Story_Idea New Member

    Interesting thoughts, guys. And seeing some similar things across the Internet. When it comes to depression, it seems people are very unequivocally in favor of meds. But I'm getting the idea that people are more lukewarm about anxiety.

    I might really try some more lifestyle changes first - less caffeine, maybe even less Internet. Etc., etc.
     
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