Welcome to the Anxiety Forum - A Home for Those with Anxiety, Fear, or Panic Attacks.
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    usa
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    10

    relief through medication...................

    I am very close to giving in to medication for anxiety/phobias/panic attacks.
    I understand that everyone is effected differently by medication, but I am curious to know how much anxiety is relieved through them. Is it possible that I will be able to fly/ travel feeling completely calm after taking medication? Really curious (and desperate)!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    158
    Hi richick

    This is probably the one question that polarises anxiety sufferers more than any other, with a lot of people refusing to take medication because they liken it to taking pain-killers for a broken leg (ie, not addressing the real problem). I prefer to think of it as taking pain-killers to allow you to exercise your recovering leg.

    I have been taking an anti-depressant called escitalopram for over a year now and I have gone from being a bedroom-bound agoraphobic to someone who can now go out to the shops and to the pub but it has taken a lot of leg-work on the cognitive-behavioural side too so it's hard to quantify how much of the improvement is down to the medication.

    I found that they took the edge off my anxiety enough for me to muster a bit of hope and motivation to enable me to help myself but they have by no means been a quick fix. There are a catalogue of unpleasant side-effects (in my case, nausea, dry mouth, blocked nose, sexual dysfunction - most of which disappeared after about 10 days, although I do still have quite a few days where I feel spaced-out) and anti-depressants generally take about six weeks to start working, very often increasing your anxiety before they start to reduce it.

    Of course there are other medication options available and you should discuss these with your doctor before you make any decisions. Beta-blockers and tranquilisers offer a more calming short-term relief but it should be noted that doctors will probably not prescribe beta-blockers if you have any history of heart/breathing problems and they are hesitant to prescribe tranquilisers because they can be habit-forming.

    I realise that I probably haven't answered your question but I hope I've given you some information that will make your decision easier.

    Best of luck

    Chris
    The mind is like a maze; the deeper you get into it, the harder it is to get out.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    East Bay
    Posts
    1,027
    Quote Originally Posted by RabidBadger
    This is probably the one question that polarises anxiety sufferers more than any other, with a lot of people refusing to take medication because they liken it to taking pain-killers for a broken leg (ie, not addressing the real problem). I prefer to think of it as taking pain-killers to allow you to exercise your recovering leg.
    Actually, I don't find this to be a REALLY good analogy. Most people who refuse to take meds (like myself) do so because they are such a crapshot in so many ways. Specifically, they are not guaranteed to be effective. Also, the side effects can be truly hideous. Indeed, because of these first two factors, medication acually makes matters WORSE for a significant percentage of people who try them. And to top it off, discontinuing these so-called 'non-habit forming meds' can be a real nightmare for about 30% of people who try them. This factor can make things REALLY bad, esecially considering that, in order to see if meds are effective, you generally have to take them long enough to develop a dependency. Finally, if you are already anxious, fearful expectations of meds can make the effects more negative and worsen an anxiety condition. And the thought of being on meds for life generally plays into an anxiety sufferers worst fears. For all these reasons, I give meds a big NO THANKS.

    This is also why I always say that you should NEVER, EVER, EVER consider meds to be a first-line treatment. Only try them if you have exhausted all other non-pharmaological approaches.

 

 

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