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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 07:20 AM
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Re: Anxiety

I used to have serious issues with anxiety. It's gotten better over the past few years as I've gotten to know myself better, understand what my triggers are, and how to avoid them while still living a normal life. I'm only 27, but it's improved significantly over the past 5 years.

When I was still in university and had trouble sleeping due to anxiety, they tried both effexor and celexa in the hopes of balancing me out. Effexor made me numb and had horrible withdrawal effects, whereas celexa gave me manic highs. This was funny, but not acceptable.

Also, I went to cognitive group therapy for anxiety while still in university. Unfortunately, most people were there for test and social anxiety, so I couldn't relate at all. It more or less became an intellectual exercise more than a therapeutic one.

Anyway, most folks are crazy. The Crazy just manifests itself in different ways. Good luck dealing with yours.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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Re: Anxiety

I should probably point out that I don't completely avoid my triggers. It depends what the trigger is. Sometimes it's good to challenge yourself, even if you know that you're going to freak out. For example, I went horseback riding last year in Korea. There was nobody to instruct me, since I didn't speak Korean, they just threw me on a horse. I had no idea how to control it or how to do anything at all. I lasted about one minute on it's back before having a panic attack. I told my friend the second I got on the horse that this was going to happen, but that it was no big deal. She thought I was just being silly I insisted that she go on alone, even though I was almost hyperventilating and had tears down my face, so she obviously wanted to stay back. 5 minutes later I was laughing about it and was happy that I gave it a go.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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Re: Anxiety

I had to google lexapro to find out that it's escitalopram.

Anyway, you have to take the anti-depressant drugs for about a month at least to see any kind of benefit I believe. I wouldn't worry too much about side effects as those drugs are usually well tolerated.

I wouldn't pin too much hopes on it solving the problem entirely though. If you are an anxious person by nature I guess it might alleviate things a bit enough to make a significant difference.

If you've got other stuff going on that's causing your anxiety to be heightened then it may be no help at all until those issues are sorted.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 02:06 PM
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Re: Anxiety

I have had anxiety for a while. I was on Paxil for about 2 years before finally coming off of it. I haven't been on anything for about 5 years. However, the last year or so I have noticed my anxiety coming back. My friend gives me Xanax that he doesn't use from his prescription and I take half of one if I need it. Xanax, or a similar drug, is the best solution for me because my anxiety is not something I deal with all day every day. However, if you go to a doctor and request a medication like this some of them will think you are just looking for pills to pop and dismiss you. That is why I just get them from my friend, I am tired of doctors not listening to me. I refuse to be on something daily when I only need HALF a xanax every 4-5 days. Not to mention those daily prescriptions usually have awful side effects, both when you begin taking them and when you try to stop. Have you tried any of these fast acting anxiety medications?
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 03:09 PM
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Re: Anxiety

Paxil is a terrible drug.

You just need more pills. Valium, tramadol, stuff like that. Doctors love to give you suggestions like "exercize," "healthy diet," etc., but it's mostly crap. Those things will help you feel better in general, but if you have a real anxiety disorder it's not going to do anything to help you. Nor, likely, will seeing a psychologist. I'd recommend you go to a psychiatrist instead.

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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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Re: Anxiety

Originally Posted by Joshualdo View Post

Just wondering if anyone on this board suffers from anxiety or nerves.

I have my entire life. I have been to the doctors a bit about it and done everything they suggested. Excercise (though I do that everyday in some form anyway), deep breaths (although that is hard to do when you are anxious for hours, even days on end) and recently they prescribed me Lexipro. Which is also an antidepressent. I have been taking it for a week or so, but so far I seem more anxious. They said for the first two weeks I could have severe headaches and neasuesness (sp?) so I am just putting the extra anxiety down to taking some time to get used to. I guess I will see after that.

Anyway, at my last doctors appointment, they suggested I should try a psychologist which I am now seriously thinking about. Though, imo, it will not help me, but is worth a try.

I'm 22, am a new Dad recently and have a loving family. I thought that recently with being a new Dad the anxiety would take a backwards step as to say but it hasn't. Every day life is a struggle. When I am around my home or family I am calm and happy but outside of that constantly anxious. It makes me so exausted as every little thing is life seems a huge battle mentally.

I am not looking for any expert opinions or whatever, just if anyone has been through, or is similar to this? Anyone had any experience with lexapro etc?
I can fully relate. Especially with the bold part.
I'm 28 now, and I've been suffering from the anxiety disorder for the last 10 years. It's taken different shapes during this time and there were even periods of respite when I was able to function normally and was certain it would never come back again. I have no experience with that exact medicine, but I do think the medicines can help as well as talking to a psychologist and other people who have experienced similar problems. Internet forums on anxiety helped me a lot in alleviating the fears I'd had for my health. I don't know how your symptoms exactly manifest themselves, but you'll certainly find someone who has experienced the same ones. Mine tend to range from pure agoraphobia, when I couldn't leave the house on my own because I would get panic-stricken as soon as I got outside. I had a crazy notion that I would stop breathing and die. It wasn't easy but I managed to completely overcome that and the only symptom that still gives me hell is heart-palpitations - I also feel alright when at home or even at a friend's home, but very often when I'm alone in the street or in the company of someone who doesn't know of my problem (because I have a fear of getting embarrassed in front of them) I get panicked and my heart immediately goes into the over-drive.
I could write about this for pages and pages, but if you need some advice just ask. Given my long career in fighting anxiety, I might be able to give you some useful tips.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 05:36 PM
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Re: Anxiety

I have huge issues with anxiety, though it is more of a social anxiety. I have tried anti depressants that did nothing for my anxiety but had side effects that included sexual performance and that really did not do anything but escalate my anxiety. Mostly, for me it was cognitive behaviour therapy that helped and building a support network of people that I could talk to.

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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 07:21 PM
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Re: Anxiety

1. The anti-anxiety/anti-depressant drugs will help; need to find the right ones so go along with this program for several months to see if they help you.

(The advice from people taking Xanax on an as-needed basis is interesting but probably does not apply to you, at least now - maybe later.)

2. Realize anxiety is about loss of control. So start to explore your thoughts about control, and loss of control. Use a counselor of some sort for this. Doesn't matter what degree/type of counselor it is, just that you get one that helps you. You will/should use a workbook style approach with exercises, like visualization. It is all about you doing the work - the counselor will not fix things for you, only help with insight and guidance.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2009, 08:58 PM
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Re: Anxiety

I hope I can help with my personal experience.

I suffer from chronic anxiety. since I was 5 months old that I had stomach and intestinal problems, which nobody could find the source of. Now I know, that it was most likely because of anxiety. Anxiety can lead to a lot of different symptoms, in my case it was mostly with intestinal problems, and in extreme cases nausea, vomits, and feeling completly numb, like if someone was draining my energy.
When I was child, nobody found the source of my problems, and when I was 8 I started to practise basketball and swimming, which helped me relieve my anxiety symptoms and with medication for my general problems (not for anxiety) I lived well those years. Then, when I was 17, I had lots of classes at school, so that year I left tennis (the sport I was practising then). Well, it was probably the worst year of my life. I've started having all the problems that I used to have when I was a child. I went from doctor to doctor and nobody could find anything wrong. After a while it became worse, because I started to feel really bad at school but I didn't want anyone to notice what I was going through, but it became impossible, because it got to the level where everything I ate I just wanted to vomit. So I started to get paranoid when I left home, because I was afraid of feeling bad outside home and it became a cycle of more and more anxiety. That year eventually ended but I obviously didn't feel any better and I was depressed and always in horrible mood, because I felt so bad when I ate and because I was even skinnier that usual (I was 45 Kg at one point). I had all the anxiety accumulated. I told my mother how I felt and about my fears and she decided to take me to a psychiatrist. It was the best thing that happened to me. After I told her how I felt, and in general my life story, she quickly diagnosed that I had chronic anxiety, and she was perplexed that all the other doctors I went couldn't notice that all the stuff I had was related to nerves. Anyway, she gave an antidepressive - Anafranil and an anxiolytic - Alprazolam (It's the same as Xanax). She told me that sports were essential and that I would have to deal with anxiety all my life. After 3 weeks I didn't have any of the symptoms I used to have and in 5 months I put on 12 Kg (I had never put on so much weight in such a short time and it was great because I was really thin).
I'm 21 now and I've started to leave some medication some months ago. Now I'm only taking the antidepressive and I feel fine. For me exercise was always very important, I make sure I always go at least once a week to play tennis and that I relieve all the tension, hitting the ball as I hard as I can. Other exercises that worked well for me were with weights and cardio in the gym. My advice for you is that when you exercise you can't really go soft, if your exhausted in the end, then that's great.
As Scotso already wrote, you shouldn't go to a psychologist. I'd also recomendate a psychiatrist.
Usually, you'll only feel the effects of antidepressives and anxiolytics after 2 weeks, so don't worry if it's not immediate. With the right medication and exercising regularly, gradually you'll gain your quality of life again, and you won't feel any extreme anxiety symptoms anymore.
In situations that cause more anxiety to you, you'll still feel it, but not as strongly as now and you'll feel you'll be able to control it, which will make you feel better in future situations.
Hope you'll feel better soon
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Re: Anxiety

I might've in my teens. I was never diagnosed and never bothered to check. I just I was stressed because of the exams/study.

But I'm a lot better now whether I had it or not, I don't know. I just know where I am now is a lot better.

I think exercise is a great way to keep it at bay. It's a great way to keep many things at bay.

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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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Re: Anxiety

I have severe anxiety to the extent sometimes I feel like i'm either having a heart attack or gonna pass out. I tried several medications that worked but with severe side effect....I hated the sexual side effects. I was on one that made me sensitive to everything. I was driving and an ambulance came up behind me with its flashing lights...The combination of the flashing lights and the sound made me so sick I threw up. I have been on Clonaxapan (sp) for a while and it works very well for me. Good luck!!!!!

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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Re: Anxiety

I started having severe panic attacks around the time I turned 19. I didn't know what was happening to me, I thought I was dying and I was alone in my house. It was 4 or 5 hours of just sitting on my couch dry heaving/sobbing/afraid I was going insane etc. This continued for a week before I could see anybody about it, the ER told me I was having an athsma attack and gave me an inhaler, which just made it worse. Probably the scariest experience I've ever had. My doctor put me on Paxil, and I've heard some bad things about it but it really helps me. I haven't had a panic attack in months now and I've lost a ton of weight When I went to a shrink I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder. Everyone's right about exercise though. Something as simple as going for a walk with your dog (if you have one) or playing tennis every day. After doing that and making some changes to my diet I've been able to go down to a lower dosage. But, I can totally relate to you because it's hard to make those changes when you're afraid to leave your house.

I would highly recommend seeing a psychologist or a psychiatrist because they are the only ones who are qualified to make decisions regarding your mental health. Remember to go in with an open mind because I was a skeptic when I went as well but it really did help. Just having somebody there to listen to whatever is going through your head that you don't feel you can say to your family/close friends and help you through it is a step in the right direction. Good luck!

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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 2009, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Anxiety

Hey guys,

Thanks to everyone who replied. I can't reply to you all because it would take me hours, but I have read everything you guys wrote and it all makes sense.

I think some of you probably have more severe anxiety then me but it is good to hear how you guys got by. I actually have 4 dogs and excercise with them every day. I also have a garden and in summer I swim too. That always keeps me busy. I see alot of you say that you have played a sport competitively. I played basketball for two years on and off, and rugby league for a season when I was younger. BUT, my point is, I would love to play basketball or tennis more often competitively but I feel the need to avoid situations like that 'uneccessary' due to knowing how I will feel beforehand etc. How does everyone deal with that?

I quit my job a couple months ago. I never felt comfortable with it. I was anxious every day before it, and had huge amounts of trouble sleeping etc. Currently I am a going to Uni two days a week (full time student just have my classes on those two days). I have been taking Lexapro for about 10 days now. I had to take 10 mg for the first week, then the full dosage of 20 mg after that. I haven't noticed any side affects currently so far. Just being alot more tired, and actually more nervous then usual for a few things. However one thing I am unsure of is, that if I don't really need the medication for five days (although I still take it) how will it know when to kick in, when I do need it? (if that makes sense)

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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old Aug 20th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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Re: Anxiety

How Lexapro works.

It doesn't do something when you "need it" to, as you are thinking. It improves the brain chemistry overall, by allowing more seratonin to be present, which helps you all times and includes when you "need it".
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