Anti-depressants & GAD

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Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
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   Posted 5/10/2009 10:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone know how long it takes a/d's to start working to treat GAD?

My mom's PCP keeps trying her on all these different ones. She takes one or two of them, complains that she doesn't like the side effects & anyways they aren't working, and then the PCP writes her for another one.

She hardly sleeps at night, has trouble following conversations or remembering simple things, cries a lot & is always running around all day long. She says she is so stressed out that she doesn't even have time to see a specialist or to wait even more than a couple days for something to kick in.

Her PCP wrote her for Xanex, but she says she can't take that except on rare occasions. I'm really getting scared b/c she drives for her job & is on her cell all the time & I've seen her swerving, following really closely & barely stopping in time. She says it's b/c she's "bleary eyed from not sleeping" but that she had to drive b/c it's her job. My dad told her she doesn't have to work, but there's just no reasoning with her. She's been drinking more & more to "help" with her anxiety, but the anxiety just keeps getting worse anyways.

My heart breaks to see my mom crying so much and I truly am scared that any day I will get a call that she's been in a serious accident. She literally can't even read the road signs. She says she doesn't need to b/c she has GPS, but honestly that just sounds crazy to me. It seems really unsafe, but anytime I bring it up she starts pacing & rambling on about all sorts of problems & how no one will ever give her a break b/c they call all the time & she can't turn her phone off or she will lose her job (not true).

I just don't know what to do. Does anyone have any ideas? Are there fast-acting antidepressants? Are there other types of drugs to treat GAD besides a/d's or anti-anxiety drugs? Is there anything else that might help or that I could be doing to support her?

thanks for any help,
frances

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/11/2009 5:47 AM (GMT -7)   
frances
 
I have to commend you on your obvious love for your Mother and I believe you have a right to feel concerned for her welfare.
I am wondering if she has a psychiatrist or is she in any kind of therapy.
 
IMHO this may be one of those times where you will have to do an intervention and tell your Mom what you are seeing and your concerns.  The AD meds will take 4-6 weeks to see the full  therapeutic effect in most people.

Many people who suffer from anxiety need assistance to recover. Intervention addresses the individual's condition. Support and necessary treatments allow many individuals to live full and productive lives. this is where you may have to be very strong but doing nothing will not help your Mother.  So kudos to you and I will be praying for you.

Gentle Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
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Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 5/11/2009 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Kitt,
Thanks so much for your advice. I'm not sure what you mean by "intervention", but I have talked to my mom.

It took a lot just to get her to the PCP. She went in for her annual cancer screening (which she often skips b/c she's worried it will come back positive & she will have to have more spots removed). Fortunately -- and I feel bad for even saying this -- she broke down in tears at the PCP's office, so he decided to put her on meds.

She has gone to counseling some, but like everything else, she expects that there will be an instant cure. Whenever anyone tries to help her, she just says that they're adding to her stress. I'm kinda questioning how helpful this PCP is b/c he keeps telling her that while a/d's can take weeks to kick in for depression, that they start working for anxiety right away.

I don't really even know what to say to her. She usually is terrible about committing to way too many things & ends up getting stressed & taking it out on her family, but this is so much worse & she just refuses to be reasoned with. My sister & I have tried to talk to her & tell her that she needs to make whatever sacrifices need to be made in order to get some sleep. My dad has agreed to stop asking her to turn the lights off b/c somehow she equates that to him saying that they're in dire financial straits. He's just trying to be environmentally responsible, but she takes it very hard & has actually said that she thinks he's trying to kill her -- so she doesn't really respond to anything he tries to say constructively.

I don't know. I get how crippling fear can be. I know how I get when I have to undergo sedation or anesthesia. I get completely panicked until I make myself sick. But that lasts for a few days to a week & then its over. This GAD just seems to feed on itself & gets worse & worse & worse. Since her fear isn't about a single event, but about major aspects of her life, I'm not sure how to help her out of it. She says she doesn't have time for counseling b/c she has too much to do. She says she doesn't have time for a psychiatrist b/c she is too busy. She wouldn't even take Mother's Day off just to enjoy. And yet, as "busy" as she is, she is always making time to take on new clients.

I've tried offering to set up doctor's appointments for her. I've left phone numbers for her to call. I've tried being really nice about everything & even offering to help her out around the house b/c she complains that no one will ever help her with anything. She turns me down. I've tried being more firm & telling her that I don't want her to get into a crash. All she does is turn around & tell me that I'm one to talk since I got into an accident some years ago, while she's never been in so much as a fender bender. But all it takes is a couple of seconds for it to happen. I've buried too many friends who've died in car crashes & I don't want to bury her.

I just don't know. Part of me wants to just cut off our relationship b/c I don't think I can stand to keep watching her self-destruct. I don't know. Maybe it's already too late. Even her supervisor told her to take some time off, but she wouldn't listen. Her supervisor & a few co-workers contacted me and asked if I could try to talk her into taking some time off, or at least slowing down. I tried, but she thought it was a trick. She said some really harsh things & I lost it that time. I told her I hoped she lost her job b/c she was not even being reasonable any more & I was worried she was either going to die of a heart attack (she has a lot of risk factors & both her parents had multiple heart attacks) or from getting into a car accident. She cried & said I just wanted her to starve to death. My dad makes over $200K, so I'm not really sure how she is going to starve to death if she loses her job, but she has convinced herself that it will happen.

I'm sorry to go on like this. I just don't know what to do any more. Is this normal for people with severe GAD, or it is b/c she is so sleep deprived?

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/11/2009 2:26 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Frances,

You are on the right track, talk to Mom.  The objectives of an intervention are to provide a plan for the safety and welfare of your Mother while including her in the plan. 

An intervention involves three components: 1) the perception of an unmanageable situation; 2) the individual in crisis; and 3) the helper, or family member in your case, who provides aid. Intervention requires that the person experiencing crisis receive timely and skillful support to help cope with her situation before future physical or emotional deterioration occurs.

I am here for you so please know I care and you are doing the right thing by helpingyour Mother.  Just remember to take care of you first.  You are a good daughter.  :)

Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
  Forums
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 5/11/2009 5:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, Frances! I'm so sorry that you, your mom and your dad have to go through this. I know what it's like to watch your mom cry and be unhappy. It doesn't make for a very good childhood or loving memories.

You're mom is going to get very sick if she continues the way she is. I'm wondering if she's trying to avoid something or someone? Keeping herself so busy may be a way of keeping her from feeling or coming to terms with something troubling.

Kitt is right, you and your dad need to do something quickly. I hope I'm not scaring you. If your mother loves you as much as you obviously love her, she will get help. Many women feel they need to be Superwoman and aren't sure how to stop. You could even read these posts on here to her and see how she feels.

I'll be thinking about you, Sweetie, and I hope all slows down soon. Don't give up!
Anxiety Disorder
 
40 mg. Prozac, Ativan as needed.


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 5/11/2009 9:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Kitt,
Thanks for explaining that a bit more to me. I will try to look it up on the internet.

Aries,
Sorry if I wasn't clear before. I don't live with my mom. I'm 31 so childhood memories are long past. Normally I figure live & let live and if she chooses to be riddled with stress & anxiety I figure that is her choice. But now it has gotten to the point where I & others who care about her are really quite concerned for her well-being. Plus driving when you can't see straight & are dozing off behind the wheel is putting others at risk. She may well be trying to work & run around the house all the time to avoid feeling. She denies feeling sad, but that's a bit hard to believe since she has these crying spells. Ironically, at her last visit to the PCP she snapped at him that she's not depressed & didn't want any more a/d's, then broke down in a crying spell. I'm not saying she doesn't have a reason to feel sad -- she's lost a 3 friends & 2 family members in the past 3 weeks -- but she won't admit it & now won't even go to see her counselor.

If she were just trying to go about her life trying to maintain some sense of "normalcy" I'd be okay with that, but her hr & bp are through the roof. Her cholesterol is high & she's gone off her diet & gone back to eating dessert in place of meals. And she has started drinking 3 drinks a night. Plus she's working 7 days a week. Doesn't take breaks, even taking her phone into the bathroom b/c she doesn't want to miss a call from a client (ugghh! i've told her how gross it is to hear the toilet flush over the phone. honestly, everyone should be able to take 10 minutes to use the washroom). And she barely sleeps at night. I see her nodding off at home, in the office & once recently while driving. And it scares me.

But it just seems like there's not much I can do. And that's incredibly frustrating. I love my mom a great deal & want her alive, but it seems she's hellbent on destroying her life, and I don't know what to do about that. Maybe this is like alcoholism & she just needs to hit rock bottom before she is willing to make any changes? If that's the case, I hope she hits rock bottom soon & does so before anything really bad happens.

thanks to both of you for your support. i'm really overwhelmed about all this & am glad to have you for support. :)
frances

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/12/2009 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   

frances,

Now there is a word I know well, overwhelmed.  You have our support so keep on talking to us and know that there is always a light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Remember too that you must put your own health first as you will not be able to help your Mother if your not well.

You posted "But it just seems like there's not much I can do." You are right, sad to say, sometimes there is not much we can do.  Your Mom seems to be on a path to self destruction and until she accepts that she has problems you can only talk with her, you cannot force her into anything.

She appears to be in denial re her medical issues and is refusing to be compliant with her physician's orders.

I know for you it is sad and very difficult to watch her behave in this manner so do try to remember you are doing the best you can and hope that she will turn around and accept responsibility for her health needs.

You have my support.

Hugs
Kitt

 

 


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
  Forums
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 5/12/2009 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Kitt.

I think I may just need to ride it out. I have my own issues to handle right now & since she just wants to keep behaving in a self-destructive manner, I may need to cut things off with her for a while until she decides to get help. It is so hard to do that, but she went into this crazy panic again today, followed by a tearful relating of how miserable everything is for her b/c no one will give her a break. But the reality is that she won't give herself a break. I tried to tell her that, but she was dismissive.
So I guess I will just pray for her somehow to realize that she needs to start making positive choices & get some help for herself. And until she does that, I don't think I can just stick around to watch her keep being like this.

I know you've had a lot going on too with your family & I pray for continued healing & peace for you, your family & your sister's family.

blessings,
frances
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