Health Anxiety...can I get through it without meds?

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ZLSJ
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 4/15/2009 11:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Has anybody fought through this with any degree of success strictly using CBT or some form of behaviour therapy?
 
I've been prescribed Effexor by a psychiatrist and I've yet to take it for fear of the addiction, then the withdrawal effects. (if I get that far!)
 
So then it becomes a case of, which is better/worse scenario? Continuing with Health Anxiety or dealing wth the effects of the drug. I know my wife would rather have me deal with the drug issues, because she's getting tired of my HA issues. 
 
Really would like to hear some of your thoughts.
 
Thanks!

Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 4/15/2009 11:51 AM (GMT -7)   
ZLSJ, first of all, I can relate to your mate being tired of the anxiety issues. My husband has never been supportive. We've been married almost 19 years. He says it gets to him sometimes. Wouldn't it be nice if they could wear our shoes for a few days? He thinks he's tired of it? Hellloooo??

In my opinion, and I'm not a doctor, you can get through it without medication. But, it takes dedication, courage, knowledge, time and a lot of self acceptance. Now, going by my experience, take the medication the doctor prescribed. If Effexor is an anti-depressant, then it's not addictive. Remember that these meds can cause side effects which can make you feel uncomfortable for a few weeks. But hang in there. Once the meds take effect, life is much better. I've gone years without any anxiety with the proper medication.

If you choose not to start the meds, continue seeing your psychiatrist. Stop the junk food and caffeine. Cut way back on alcohol. Buy some books on anxiety/panic disorders. Learn biofeedback and go through cognitive behavior therapy. There are many things you can do to get through these tough times. I wish you the best of luck and let us know what you decide!
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
 
50 mg. Lopressor, 60 mg. Prozac, Ativan as needed.


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/15/2009 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   
ZLSJ,

I don't have answers, but am definitely in the same boat as you are. My HA is out of control right now, and I'm dealing with that two-pronged focus of trying to find out what's wrong (and what isn't!) and how to treat it, as well as dealing with the horrible anixety that comes alone with not knowing what's going on with my body.

I do have ativan to take regularly now, but I haven't started yet, just because so many other things are up in the air. My CBT therapist and I are going to have to focus more directly on HA in our next many meetings, but so far, that's premature too.

Good luck to you!

percycat

Percy/Percycat

Co-Moderator, Anxiety and Panic Forum

 

DX: Anxiety, Depression, LPR (acid reflux)

Meds: Paxil, Nexium, Zantac


benzsl
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 4/15/2009 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
ZLSJ-

It has been about 4 month snow since I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and have been trying to geth through it without medications. I was first put on Zolfot which made me feel worse. After seeing a Therapist, he noticed I was not depressed and immediate took me off Zoloft. Although I was given Alprazolam, I only take 1/2 tablet like every other day and sometimes dont take one for 3-5 days.

It takes time but I feel myself better every week. There was a time a couple months back where I would actually sit in my car outside the Emergency Room thinking I am going to die! I did this on like 5 occassions! Now I laugh about it! Here are some points I learned that may help:
Anxiety itself never killed anyone.
It is a small wallnut sized area of the brain that regulates between danger and safe mode. For some reason, our brain is regulating in the "danger zone" for really no reason. I think to myself, that small wallnut is not going to control my life!!
Some people, including myself, in the beginning start to believe I am going crazy. It is the opposite. Our mind is soo creative that we begin to think of all these major illnesses that we may have. I call this the "snow ball" effect. Dont get caught up in it. Beleive me, I thought I had heart condition, poor circulation in the legs, stroke, its to the point now what else can I have. Again, you start to look at it and laugh.
Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation techniques (that helped me) and stay away from coffee. Try using tea. Get out and walk around if you could. I feel best after walking for 20-30 minutes.
Everyone is different but try not to let the anxiety run your life. It may be easy to say but keep in mind your not alone and that time heals all.

Good luck

percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/15/2009 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, benzsl!

That's such great advice. Good for you in making such progress, and thanks for sharing!

It's nice getting to know you.

percycat

Percy/Percycat

Co-Moderator, Anxiety and Panic Forum

 

DX: Anxiety, Depression, LPR (acid reflux)

Meds: Paxil, Nexium, Zantac


ZLSJ
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 4/15/2009 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks to all for the words of encouragement and friendly advice.

My therapist says that I exhibit only mild to moderate symptoms of depression but that Effexor is likely one of the better ones that may help the Health Anxiety end of things.

I get through some days very well and others are just a constant blur of physical symptom after physical symptom. (or at least I think they are!)

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