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  1. #31
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    Thanks for this post! I have been taking a quarter MG twice a day for 8 months. I have decided to start weaning myself and I want to try Rhodiola Rosea to help with withdraw symptoms. Does anyone know if you can take these 2 simultaneously?

  2. #32
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    I also have mild astham so I guess that rules out Beta blockers?

    I thought the same - initially was told no by my PCP, but then asked my psychiatrist about it because an NP had prescribed them in college and I'd had no issues. It took me twice bringing it up with the psychiatrist but the second time he agreed to try them b/c I have very med resistant anxiety/cannot take SSRI/SNRIs basically at all. We started as needed at 10mg of inderal with a solemnly swear promise to tell him if it kicked up my asthma at all. Same weekend started had an anxiety attack 2 hours before a scheduled hike in cold weather. Took meds, then hiked and if anything was going to flare up my lungs the hiking would have. Nothing. In the two months since we're up to 30mg divided over 3 doses/day regularly not as needed. Its really helping. Finding a doctor who is willing to listen, trust you to not exacerbate another condition and try it seems to be the key.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeToo View Post
    Which medications are best at controlling the physical manifestations of anxiety? ie the knotted up stomach, intestinal upsets, chest tightness, shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat? I know most of my anxious/paranoid thoughts are irrational, unreasonable and ridiculous but I can still get worked into a tizz and feel like the body is acting independently of the brain, my body won't listen to my commands to relax sometimes. I can also get quite exciteable, "hyped up" or just generally worked up and flustered and get a feeling of being rushed.(think Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers).

    I don't drink anything with caffeine in it, and I've tried slashing my sugar intake but after 2 months I've seen no noticeable change.
    I've tried CBT some years ago, buit it doesn't help at all with the physical side of things, so any ideas of what is the best medication for this? I also have mild astham so I guess that rules out Beta blockers?

  3. #33
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    thank you this helped me some im right now experiencing side effects to vraylar in my first week going on second week..

  4. #34
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    Thank you for the helpful information. I have suffered from anxiety for the past four years and have tried a plethora of different medications, but the only medication that seems to work is cannabis. Unfortunately, cannabis sometimes gives me anxiety while other times it helps. Is there anything out there that I can try? Thank you.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura Ertel View Post
    Thank you for the helpful information. I have suffered from anxiety for the past four years and have tried a plethora of different medications, but the only medication that seems to work is cannabis. Unfortunately, cannabis sometimes gives me anxiety while other times it helps. Is there anything out there that I can try? Thank you.
    Well you have to let us know which class of medications you have tried first...

    Have you tried SSRIs (Prozac, Lexapro), SNRIs (Wellbutrin), TCAs (Remeron), Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin), other GABAergics (phenibut, pregabalin, gabapentin, alcohol), atypical antihistamines (Hydroxyzine), others (Buspar), etc...

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Laura Ertel View Post
    Thank you for the helpful information. I have suffered from anxiety for the past four years and have tried a plethora of different medications, but the only medication that seems to work is cannabis. Unfortunately, cannabis sometimes gives me anxiety while other times it helps. Is there anything out there that I can try? Thank you.
    I have smoked cannabis since junior year of high school and over the past year I noticed my anxiety getting worse. So I did some research and actually had a friend refer me to this cannabis company called Quanta. They only sell cannabis vape products but after trying I noticed that I was getting the same results but without any anxiety. Not sure if it's just me but worth a try!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan Roland View Post
    I have smoked cannabis since junior year of high school and over the past year I noticed my anxiety getting worse. So I did some research and actually had a friend refer me to this cannabis company called Quanta. They only sell cannabis vape products but after trying I noticed that I was getting the same results but without any anxiety. Not sure if it's just me but worth a try!
    Hmm so I did some looking in this company - they aren't selling anything. This is probably a shill post...

    I just love it when a company is so dumb they claim "Originally used in creating cures for cancer and HIV" NEWS FLASH - there's no cure for either Cancer or HIV yet...

    Laura Ertel - cannabis is potently anxiogenic for most people, I'd recommend quitting. Although if cannabis does work, good for you and keep with it, but I doubt any of us here will be able to give you any real helpful pointers. It's also still illegal for the majority of us here, so keep that in mind.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhamlaxy View Post
    Just wanted to post a few simple tips I think would be helpful for people thinking of using medication or who have questions. If it would be helpful to sticky this, please do. And if you believe any corrections need to be made let me know. I'm not a doctor, and these are just tips I believe would be beneficial. Medication has brought me back from the brink, allowing me to live a productive and normal life while working on my issues with my therapist.

    Medication isn't for everyone, but it can help many people. If you are struggling to live a normal life, experience serious anxiety or panic attacks, and aren't finding relief through things like meditation, therapy, relaxation techniques, exercise, proper diet, etc., then medication can be the key to balancing your life, stabilizing things, and allowing you to reduce your anxiety to focus on true healing.

    Before I start I just wanted to define the two major types of drugs used to treat anxiety.

    Benzodiazepine- Benzo for short. These are fast acting drugs that are used to treat anxiety or panic attacks quickly and effectively. They can go into effect within 15 minutes to an hour of taking it, depending on the drug. The effects are quick and pronounced, producing a sense of calm. The correct dose is usually enough to firmly knock the edge off of steady anxiety, or pull you out of a panic attack. The most common side effect is drowsiness. Ideally, they should be used as needed, but many find they need them daily. Taking increasingly large amounts for a long period of time (months) can lead to addiction and tolerance, requiring more to get the same effect. If taken for an extended period of time, the use of them must be slowly reduced to avoid withdrawal symptoms. The most common benzos are Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Klonopin and Valium.

    SSRI- Stands for Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor. While technically an "antidepressant", they are very commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. These take weeks, even up to a month or two depending on the drug, to begin seeing any positive effects. The drug takes time to build up in your system, but ideally will lower your overall anxiety. These are often prescribed with a benzo that you continue to take as needed, and can reduce as the SSRI begins to take effect. There are many possible side effects, and they vary widely based on the drug. Many can slightly interrupt your sleep or raise your anxiety at the beginning. Sexual side effects are also reported, ranging from lowered sex drive to increased difficulty in achieving orgasm. When used for a long period of time, they must be slowly tapered down to reduce withdrawal effects. The most common SSRI's are Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa and Prozac.

    1. Don't be afraid of taking medication
    It can be easy for the thought of medication to add to anxiety. The idea of taking a drug that will alter how you function and put you into some form altered state can be very disturbing. Don't be afraid. These medications were made specifically to work on anxiety, and are taken by millions of people around the world. It can and will help, and side effects can be minimized by following these tips.

    2. If you can, meet with a psychiatrist instead of a general practitioner.
    Often times normal doctors don't know very much about drugs for anxiety, and will not approach it correctly. I spoke with an individual here whose general practitioner simply prescribed her 1mg of Klonopin, 3 times daily. This was several times higher than it should have been, and in a few months she was horribly addicted. Psychiatrists are experienced with these drugs, and know how to start and stop them safely, as well as which drugs work the best. If money is tight, call around for a psychiatrist that offers a sliding scale. Normal doctors (and urgent care clinics) should only be used for small amounts of a benzo in an emergency or for a specific instance (ie a flight).

    3. ALWAYS combine medication with therapy
    Medication is a bandaid and will simply cover up the symptoms. While incredibly useful for being able to return to living a functional life, they will not address the symptoms, and the end goal is to be able to live normally without medication. Aggressively pursue therapy until you no longer need medication.

    4. Benzos for short term relief, SSRI for long term
    Some people need benzos for long term, but ideally you do not want to stay on a daily dose for an extended period of time as addiction and tolerance can set in within a few months and withdrawal can be painful. The standard medication plan involves starting an SSRI with a benzo on hand. You may need the benzo daily for the first few weeks, but as the SSRI kicks in you will need it less and less, only for when panic is very serious.

    5. Start low and slow
    With benzos, try and find the lowest effective dose and stick to it. For me, I found .5mg of ativan, a relatively small dose, was enough to provide relief for hours. There were only one or two occasions where I found 1mg to be necessary. Do your best to not increase the dose, but do it if necessary.

    For SSRI's, the very beginning is when side effects are most pronounced. An inexperienced doctor may start you at the target dose. This is what produces heavy side effects and should be avoided. Slowly work your way up to a heavier dose. When I started lexapro, I did a week at 5mg, 3 weeks at 10mg, then topped out at 15mg and started to feel relief. I experienced very minimal side effects. Slowly introducing it to your body will reduce side effects.

    6. When ready, slowly reduce the dose
    If you have been on benzos for an extended period of time, work closely with your doctor to slowly taper off the dose. Do not immediately cease if you have been using them for months. The withdrawal effects can be severe. Slowly reduce your daily dose over a period of weeks (and in extreme cases, months) to slowly wean your body off the drug.

    The same goes for SSRI's. It varies depending on the drug, but you will want to slowly teach your body to function without it. Immediately stopping can be a shock to your system, and cause "rebound anxiety". Slowly reduce the dose over a long period of time.

    7. Discuss methods to reduce side effects with your doctor
    In addition to starting low and slow, there are many ways to reduce side effects. Depending on the drug, taking it with or without food can be helpful with nausea or other stomach issues. Taking it before bed can largely eliminate side effects.

    8. If you experience side effects, work to manage them and understand they will go away
    Side effects often only last for a few days, or weeks at the most. It is simply your body getting adjusted to the drug. What you experience will dissipate quickly. Do your best to power through the rough days at the beginning (if it happens to you) and get to a point where the side effects go away.

    9. Depending on your type of anxiety, do NOT research the drug or read side effect lists
    Those with health related anxiety or certain types of anxiety should avoid researching reviews of the drug or reading side effect lists AT ALL COSTS. All it will do is add to your anxiety as you imagine yourself having extreme side effects. Every drug has a handful of bad reactions and extreme side effects, but these happen in EXTREMELY rare cases, almost all when not using these tips (like starting low and slow), or coming off of them immediately. Ask your doctor questions, but do NOT go online and end up scaring yourself by irrationally focusing on the most extreme, unlikely scenarios.

    That being said, for some people online reviews may help. I remember reading some reviews for Lexapro right after being prescribed it, and feeling an immediate sense of relief after reading several rave reviews in a row. I was able to ignore the one or two bad reviews citing extremely unlikely effects. Only do this if you are sure you will be able to do the same- if you have the slightest thought that it may increase your anxiety, DON'T!

    10. Work closely with your doctor
    Ask any questions that come up. Get as comfortable as possible with them. Call if you have questions.

    11. Don't be embarrassed
    Tens of millions of people around the world need medication at some point to level out. We live in an incredibly stressful world and it can be tough.

    Let me know if you have any questions, changes, or tips you think should be added. I wanted to share this because of the enormously positive impact the responsible use of medication has had on my life.
    Perhaps some information relating to lifestyle changes considering the admission that our modern life feeds the need. As in addressing appropriate lifestyle changes in conjunction with the psychotherapy that you mentioned. Something like that. More focus on being proactive, but I see you made an effort to include that.

    Nice positive breakdown.

    As a someone who is bias to medicine I find your post encouraging.
    Last edited by Ponder; 05-17-2017 at 10:24 PM.

  9. #39
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    Just as a followup to the above post:

    There are also other alternatives if you don't want to go with Benzodiazepines or SSRIs.

    There's a medication called Buspar (Buspirone) which is commonly used for GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) that is not an SSRI. It works fairly well, worked great for me.

    There's also the TCAs (Tricyclic Anti-Depressants) such as Remeron (mirtazapine) that has a much better side-effect profile compared to most SSRIs. It's fairly drowsy compared to stanbdard SSRIs but doesn't come with nearly the risks, despite being a TCA.

    I'd highly recommend you ask about both Buspar and Remeron. They are much better in the long term, and have far fewer side effects than SSRIs or Benzos. I'm honestly surprised doctors don't start with these, they're safer, more effective, and less addictive.

 

 

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