Anxiety...Klonopin, Celexa...etc...Help if you can! :)

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LilLostGrl
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/28/2007 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I'm new to this forum but hoping I can use it as a helpful tool! Here's my situation:
 
I am 22, have suffered from anxiety/panic attacks since I was 9 years old. When I had basically a nervous breakdown in high school, doctors finally put my on some anti anxiety med, but it didnt work so they switched me to Celexa (citalopram). I had been taking 20mg daily of Celexa (a pretty low dose i believe!) since I was 17, so for the last 5 years. It changes my life in SO many ways. I went to college, I spent a semester of college in Hawaii where I knew NO ONE and actually had an amazing time, I got an amazing intern opportunity in LA across country where I moved for 5 months...I felt like I was actually LIVING my life.
 
Here is where the problem steps in: I moved back out to LA in September and had to deal with a lot of stressful situations such as adjusting to a new place, new job, finding transportation, grocery stores, place to live...intensely stressful things for ANY person, anxiety disorder or not. After about 7 weeks, my mother flew out to visit me. I went to bed that night and woke up in a full blown panic attack unlike i had had in years. And it didn't go away. I spent basically the next 6 days in a full blown panic attack...in the end my mother just couldn't leave me there dealing with this, so I left my job and flew home with her. That day was just about the worst day of my life. Imagine having to get in a car, ride an hour to an airport, stand in every line imaginable, all the while i was afraid of flying to begin with. And then my flight gets delayed for THREE HOURS which was torture for me. The plane ride of was 5 hours of hell with the worst turbulence I have ever experienced. I then had to ride in ANOTHER car for 2 hours to get back to my home. I know I am getting into a lot of detail but I just want to explain my experience before I ask questions/opinions...
 
This all happened 6 weeks ago. My psychiatrist upped my dosage of Celexa to 40mg daily and added Klonopin .5mg once every evening. I took the Klonopin once and was so sluggish I couldn't deal with it. So I lowered the dosage to .25 daily and that seemed to help. When I went back to my doctor he said that was fine, but that if i felt i needed to try the .5mg again that was okay too. I HATE TAKING MEDS. I know I have to right now, and I would never stop without talking with my doctor, but I am afraid of becoming addicted. Oh, i forgot to mention, my previous employer offered me my internship back for another 4 months so I am leaving to get on a plane and go BACK to california in 7 days. Last night was tough for me, and I thought maybe i should try taking the .5mg again, but that makes me afraid that I will have to increase the dosage regularly and eventually it wont work any more! I'm going to be spending 4 months away from my comfort zone with few friends and NO family members. The job is AMAZING and I don't want to give it up but I am afraid of having another "breakdown" while I am out there and all alone. Is this normal fear for an anxious person? Does anyone have any good experiences with Klonopin or Celexa? Is there any "as-needed" anxiety meds out there for really stressful situations? Anyone have any insight about anything I have said? LOL I have an appointment with my psychiatrist in three days and am trying to come up with a list of things to ask him, but I thought it couldn't HURT to pop my head in here and get an opinion from people who suffer from anxiety themselves...if you've read this far I really appreciate it! Thanks in advance!
 
Little Lost Girl

sophieWVU
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 12/28/2007 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Do you know much about bipolar disorder, especially how you can have periods of hypomania and periods of depression/anxiety?  It's worth looking into.  Many people get misdiagnosed.  I did!  I'm too tired to type all about it now :(

LilLostGrl
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/28/2007 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Yes I know a lot about bipolar disorder...my cousin has a pretty severe form of it. I considered bipolar disorder, but I really dont ever feel MANIC...just anxious and depressed on occasion. I don't have a lot of the other symptoms of bipolar disorder, not that I am ruling it out but...just looking for anyone with experience with Klonopin and/or Celexa...

Thanks!

 


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 12/28/2007 2:13 PM (GMT -7)   
A half milligram of Klonopin a day will not lead to any tolerance. Believe me, or look it up/discuss it with your doctor. It's the short-acting benzodiazepines that are problematic in terms of tolerance, not the long ones like Klonopin, and that's a TINY dose.

Eventually it won't make you so sluggish anymore. You just have to get it into your system, which might take a little longer since your taking it only once a day. You might ask your doctor about taking .25 mgs in the morning and another at night. That's a very small dose...still half the "target" dose for treating A/P and a third of the "average" dose. FDA and Roche says .5 mg bid (twice a day) is the target Klonopin dose for maintenance of A/P disorders. Many people take much more.

You will become dependent, but not addicted to it. When you decide to stop taking Klonopin it should be tapered to minimize withdrawal phenomena.

Good Luck.
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stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/28/2007 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
 
Hello and Welcome to Healing Well.  I am Kitt.
 
I am sorry you are having an increase in your anxiety. I do wonder if you have thought through your choice to return to LA when you seem to be anxious about it already?
 
Is this going to be the right choice for you?  It is ok to give yourself permission to not go and to look for an internship closer to your home.
 
I agree with Debaser re the Klonopin, you could take the .5mg and you will get used to the dose.  He is right about the tapering it off when you no longer need this drug.
 
How is the increase in Celexa working and have you been on it for 4-6 weeks at that dose?  :)
 
Keep posting as we are here to support you.
Again a warm welcome.
Kitt

 
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Gretchen1
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3459
   Posted 12/28/2007 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey LilLostGrl,

I don't have a lot of personal experience with anxiety and depression (although my husband has suffered with both for years).  Your subject of Klonopin is what caught my eye.  I have taken Klonopin for pain and spasticity.  I have taken up to 1.5 mg for a couple weeks at a time. When I first take it, it makes me pretty dopey but after a few days I habituate to that side effect and it just does its thing.  I taper off when I am done needing it.  I have never had a problem with it.  For me it is an extremely helpful drug and I consider my use of it on an 'as needed' basis. 

Good luck with your new job. 

Love and prayers,


Gretchen
Diagnosed with MS July 2006
Co-moderator MS forum
 
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LilLostGrl
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/28/2007 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Debaser: thank you for telling me your view on Klonopin! I feel like I have only ever read about horror stories about it and its nice to know that some people have good experiences or know of them
 
Kitt: Thanks for yur response! I have been thinking about my choice to return to LA VERY much. There is a big part of me that doesn't want to go to far away right now, but another part that will really regret not doing it. It's the BEST internship I have ever had and I won't have this opportunity EVER again if I don't take them up on working there at least Jan-May. I feel like I know its ok to change my mind, but I also feel like maybe its ok to feel anxiety about a situation like this and that being anxious does not ALWAYS mean i can't do something. I'm going to try the .5mg dose tonight and see if the "sluggishness" is just temporary. As far as the Celexa goes, I've made so many changes (eating better foods, taking klonopin, changing celexa dose, changing my environment, etc) that I honestly don't know what part the Celexa is having in my having felt better for the last few weeks. I went from getting home 6 weeks ago and barely being able to leave me room to now being able to drive alone, go to the grocery store, go to family functions, etc with SIGNIFICANTLY less anxiety. It has only been in the last couple of days that I have been feeling more anxiety/depression feelings. And yes I have been at 40mg of celexa for 5 weeks, and 30mg before that for 2 weeks.
 
Gretchen: thank you for your perspective on Klonopin! its good to hear good stories from someone who has taken it
 
Anyone else with any suggestions, opinions or help...it is much appreciated!
 
LilLostGrl

Aussieangel
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 12/29/2007 1:49 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi I was on a much larger dose of clonazepam then was weaned off it and all went well. Now I have severe endless anxiety which nothing worked to help. I ended up taking 1mg of clonazepam today and for the first time in weeks I'm not as anxious and am not experiencing dis-realment which was beginning to rule my life. If I'm an addict so be it, better that then living in fear all the time.

Good luck with returning to work.


wen4003
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 12/29/2007 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi LilLostGrl,
 
First of all, Welcome to Healing Well.  As you can already see by the above responses, this is a great community with a so many caring people who will offer their advice and assistance to you.  I'm sure you will find their help invaluable.
 
I can't say anything about Klonopin or Celexa as I have never been on either one, so I will defer to those that have experience with them.
 
I am very happy to know that you have given your move back to LA for the 4 months so much thought.  This is a big decision for you and you need to make sure it's the right one.  If  you do decide to go back to LA, just make sure to continue taking your meds and try to relax as much as you can as well as have some fun like you did in Hawaii.  If you do get into a bad way again or feel like you are starting to head that way, then call your doc where you live now to see what the doc suggests you do and go from there.  It also sounds like you have a good relationship with your mom, make a call to her whenever you need to and I bet she will do her best to help calm you.  Try not to let it get out of control - try some relaxation techniques that are posted on the board (I will try to find that thread for you); make that call before things are so out of control that you have to leave LA again before your internship is done.  But if you need to leave earlier than May, then do it - at least you know you will have given it your best shot and that's what counts.  Don't beat yourself up about it. nono  
 
Welcome to Healing Well and keep us posted so that we can continue to try to help you.
 
Wen

I was able to find that thread on Relaxation Techiniques and bumped it to the top of the board for you.  Hopes this helps!!


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Post Edited (wen4003) : 12/29/2007 5:58:27 AM (GMT-7)


LilLostGrl
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/29/2007 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you to everyone who has responded to my post. Its the first time I have tried a message board and it definitely is nice to hear POSITIVE responses from people. I do have a follow up question to anyone with experience (good or bad) with Klonopin. I decided to take .5mg of Klonopin last night instead of the .25mg that I have been taking for the last 5 weeks. My doctor had said this was ok to do. I just woke up about a half hour ago, and though I slept well, I don't really feel less anxious, maybe even a little more so? Not a "panic attack" but just nervousness/anxiety running through me. Does this mean the Klonopin just has no effect on me? Or does it take a few days to adjust to a new dosage? What have you experienced when taking Klonopin? I got the feeling from my therapist (NOT physicatrist) that it was supposed to keep me from having ANY physical anxiety symptoms, but if that is the case the Klonopin isn't doing all that! Anyway, let me know anything you can...

machelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 12/29/2007 7:58 AM (GMT -7)   
when they upped my dose of celexa i felt sleepy all the time, the klonopin didn't make me tired but i guess everyone diffferent

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/29/2007 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to Healing Well

Almost all has been said ..I agree it no doubt has to be stressful having to leave your " comfort zone" ...........HOWEVER.......YOU have out an out stated you will reget IF you dont go back right .......
Go with your guts hun you will not want this to pass you and regret doing what you know you really WANT to do .......and it does sound like such a great opportunity for you ..........it really does .........

Like said take your meds ....the klonnies Debaser is right spot on about......it may have made you tired at first and I understand about NOT wanting to have to be on meds but you can take them as needed you do not have to take all the time .........

THe Klonies also can be taken thru the day when in panic or anxiety mode not just to sleep IMHO you should talk to your doc about that though........I am sure if you took them at a panic time during the day you would be okay and a lot more stress /anxiety free ya know .........

There are some that are on the dosage you have and take them up to 2 or 3 times daily depending on their anxiety levels .........

Please do keep posting and getting to know us here
As Kitt and Debaser as well as Gretchen did say YOU will get use to that dose ...........

I am happy that Wen bumped the Relaxation Thread up for you ..it is very useful as well as other self help techniques ........along with or without meds .........

THERE is no shame in having to take meds IMHO........

Stay well and
ENJOY this great opportunity..........LYN
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           Wishing all a Better and Healthier New Year in 2008  
 
        We have Anxiety ..Anxiety Does NOT have US........FIGHT
 
                        Luvs and God Bless..LYN
 
 
                            


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/29/2007 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   

Good Morning LilLostGrl

I am thrilled at the response you have recieved here.  RE the impression that Klonopin will take all the anxiety away.  I am not sure that is what the person meant to say.  Klonopin is an antianxiety drug used for the management of anxiety disorders.  It will help control the anxiety but you will have to work with the med. 
 
I know you can do this as look how far you have come.  I agree, if you have decided to go for it in LA then just Do It...............like Nike says :)  It is a great opportunity and we will all be right here to support you.
There are some things that you can do to control or lessen symptoms, including:
  • Stop or reduce your consumption of products that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies. Many contain chemicals that can increase anxiety symptoms.

  • Exercise daily and eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Check out the thread on how to reduce your anxiety, it has lots of helpful  ideas from others.

One more thing, this works for me..............when flying choose the aisle seat.  You feel you have more control over  your activity.  You can get up at will instead of crawling over everyone.  If you have not been able to choose a aisle seat prior to arriving at the airport, ask for one as they always keep some that they sell at a price, $15.00 - $25.00.  My son taught me this.  devil

First time I bought one, I ended up on a plane that was half full and I had the whole row to myself........joke was on me but worth the comfort of knowing I had a quick get away seat if I needed to stroll.

To a Healthy, Happy & Peaceful New Year,

Kitt




 
Co-Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
Co-Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression, GERD, Osteoarthritis
*Wife of a Crohnie*
******www.healingwell.com/donate***
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/29/2007 11:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there......Yep..........Nike ........and Kitt are right ...........GO FOR IT

and thanks for the tips about Flying lil sis ....lol

Me no like PLANES......Ground person I am ...........well kinda ya know at least my feet ....I Kill me ....lol

Big sis out
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
                          http://www.healingwell.com/donate/
 
 Moderator for Anxiety/Panic
 Moderator for Alzheimer's
 Co Mod for Crohns
 
 DX with Crohns ...Pyoderma Gangrenosum ..Anxiety /Panic.....
 TOO many meds to Post 
 
           Wishing all a Better and Healthier New Year in 2008  
 
        We have Anxiety ..Anxiety Does NOT have US........FIGHT
 
                        Luvs and God Bless..LYN
 
 
                            

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