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  1. #1

    Need medication for anxiety?

    Well, my anxiety is getting really bad. I have struggled with it for a long time but this is possibly one of the worst times because I am getting panicky feelings a lot. My therapist wanted me to see a psychiatrist for medication but I have already consulted with one and didn't have many options that were suitable for me, as I am really sensitive to side effects.

    My question is, will I be able to ride out this severe anxiety and return to a lower anxiety level without medication? I really don't want to start messing around with those SSRIs again...but I'm getting kind of scared because the anxiety is getting worse. It feels like it is starting to lead up to a panic attack, and it's pretty much getting more pervasive (like non-situation specific).

    I don't know what to do about this. I feel really stuck and really there any chance of being able to cope with this on my own w/o medication, or will it just keep getting worse? My preference would be to stay off of medication if at all possible.

    I don't know what to do. I can't eat or anything, it's really hard.

  2. #2

    Re: Need medication for anxiety?

    There are alternatives other than SSRIs for anxiety, depending on the type of anxiety and your medical history, including newer low-dose tranquilizers such as lorazepam (Ativan) and clonazepam, buspirone (BuSpar), and even beta-blockers (primarily for panic attacks).

    Maybe it's time to go back to your doctor and push a little for some alternate suggestions.

  3. #3

    Re: Need medication for anxiety?

    oh ok Thanks

    I think I'll be ok on my own. I don't really have anyone to talk to about options. Is it possible that this will get better on it's own? I was completely off all medication for 6 years and I was alright. Can't I go back to that? I do have Ativan but I didn't think that I was supposed to be taking it on a daily basis, so I stopped taking it a couple of days ago and unfortunately got so anxious again today that I had to take it. It's very discouraging. I was trying to take steps in the right directions and I feel like I went backward again.

    I guess what I want to know is if there is any way that psychotherapy alone can help this?

  4. #4

    Re: Need medication for anxiety?

    Possibly. There are different types of anxiety with different intensity/severity and patterns so it's difficult to say. However, if you have Ativan and your anxiety is high now, take it.

    Psychotherapy could definitely help - whether it would be enough on it's own, at least in the beginning, I don't know.

  5. #5

    Re: Need medication for anxiety?

    Ok I did take it. So is my approach of stopping the ativan and just riding out the severe anxiety not a good one?

    I can tell that this level of anxiety is not good for me physically, it feels like the insides of my stomach are getting ground up into hamburger.

    Alternatively, I feel fine when I take the Ativan...I am just trying not to become dependent on it and bring on even more anxiety if I stop taking it (and I'm trying to figure out if that is what is happening right now). And I've heard (from my therapist) that it can stop working if you take it regularly and that is the other thing that I am scared about.

    Thanks Dr. B....I really needed and appreciate the advice. Now I'm not as upset with myself for taking some today.

  6. #6

    Re: Need medication for anxiety?

    I don't think you should be in a hurry to stop taking the Ativan, first of all. And with anxiety disorders, I personally don't have a lot of faith in the "ride it out" approach - most of the time all that does is create more anxiety and then anxiety about the anxiety.

    Developing tolerance can happen with some people but it doesn't always - it depends on how much you take, for one thing, and how regularly and for how long, but it certainly isn't an inevitable result at all.

  7. #7

    Re: Need medication for anxiety?

    OK, good, thank you, that is what I wanted to know. I feel less anxious already, knowing that I don't have to stop taking that medication right away. Maybe my goal should be to improve other areas in my life first before trying to stop taking it. Stopping for those two days really seemed to backfire on me and set me back a lot.

    Thank you so much.

  8. #8

    Re: Need medication for anxiety?

    When you stop Ativan suddenly without tapering off, you're likely to get a rebound in anxiety, shooting you above your normal level for a while - that may well have been why today was so bad.

  9. #9

    Re: Need medication for anxiety?

    Thank you so much Dr. B...I feel much much calmer now

  10. #10

    Re: Need medication for anxiety?

    good luck toeless,,,,let us know how you do. I take Klonopin waffers-there are wonderful. They melt in your mouth for near instant relief and they taste good too.. . heeheehee
    Be well

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