First time Anxiety/Depression sufferer.

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Avolleyball
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/2/2009 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
 
Back in April I suffered my first panic attack at a restaurant out with my boyfriend and some friends.  After that it was all downhill from there. I started getting them weekly, and then every other day. Eventually I became what I thought was depressed and had extreme feelings of guilt and worthlessness. I sought help in May and was prescribed 12.5 mg to start with  Zoloft, plus 1mg ativan 1-2 times daily. It has been almost five weeks now, and although i have noticed the obsessive guilty feelings about past failures have subsided clearing my mind a little bit, i am still extremely anxious.
 
This is my first week at 50 mg of Zoloft and I take 1 mg of ativan in the morning. I have tried to avoid the ativan as much as possible because I do not want to become addicted. However, if I don't take it my thoughts get out of control and i start obsessing about when this will go away, will it ever go away, will i lose my boyfriend because of it and eventually will i have to be admitted to the hospital? these thoughts spiral and then my day is ruined...i cant eat, and i have a feeling of despair in my chest that i can't describe.
 
Has anyone been here before? Should I be giving the zoloft more time? I feel so hopeless right now. I have had to put so many future plans on hold.
 
I would love to hear success stories / advice from people who are currently or are recovered.
 
Thank you!

Debbie Downer
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 6/2/2009 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you seen a personal care physician. Sometimes we are depressed because we are sick. It is good to rule out an underlying medical condition that might be causing your depression. What has happened recently that might contribute to this onset? Have you been speaking to a therapist? What was happening when you experienced your first panic attack. I have panic attacks as well. I am currently taking a low dosage of lexapro and thinking about increasing it. I am also exploring the possiblity of another medical condition. I have joint paint, fatigue, and many other symptoms that could be depression, but might not be. Do you have additional symptoms?

You are doing the right thing by seeking out people who have been there. Depression is a real disease not recognized by many skepticals. It's important to be around people who understand what you are going through. Panic attacks are very real and very scary. I have many. I also suffer paranoia, fear of death, fear of most everything really. It's hard. I'm sorry you are going through this.

Avolleyball
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/2/2009 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Jenna,

I was diagnosed with Lupus in April - however not a severe case, very, very mild and I was given the OPTION to start medication as a preventative basis for joint pain. I declined.

I am not getting panic attacks anymore, just at a constant state of severe anxiety which is making me lose my appetite and i'm having a hard time focusing at work. I just want this to go away. Are you on any medications?

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/2/2009 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
The Zoloft type of medications can take 4-6 weeks to reach a theraputic level. I would give it a little more time to work, especially since you just upped your dose. I am hoping the higher dose should kick in for you soon.

I too was wondering if you knew what triggered the panic attack? I am not so sure it is a medical condition that caused it, but more than likely some big stressor.

Keep coming and talking to us, we are here for you. We have alot of wonderful and supportive folks trying to live with a/p too, so we do understand what you are going thru.

Hugs
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Debbie Downer
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 6/2/2009 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Lupus is a very serious disease. I am shocked that a doctor gave you an option to be treated or not. I've never heard of a mild case of Lupus. I was under the impression that you had it or you did not. People with lupus suffer from what they call flares, some flares worse than others. It might be a good idea to read up more on it. If you have Lupus, it needs to be treated. Brain involvement in Lupus is very common ie depression, anxiety, headaches. How did your dr diagnosis you? Did you have positive blood work? Did you see a Rheumotologist. I am also undergoing tests for Lupus as I meet many of the eleven criteria used to diagnosis. You can find more information on the Lupus forum in this site.

I am only on 10 mg of lexapro right now. I am going to up it though. I do feel happier when I take it, but it doesn't help with fatigue, joint pain, other physical symptoms. I am convinced that I have Lupus or another condition that mimics Lupus. I have tested positive for ANA so far.

Avolleyball
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/2/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for all your support. I asked my pyschiatrist yesterday when I would be able to come off the ativan and she told me some people take it for the rest of their life. I almost had a meltdown in her office. The future I wanted for myself (children, marriage, home) flashed before me and then disappeared. I took an ativan today and it hasn't even helped, and it usualy does. I think it's because i am too upset about yesterday's appointment.

Does anyone have any advice on other ways to quell anxiety?

My mother is convinced they're going to have to hospitalize me..

Avolleyball
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/2/2009 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Jenna,

I had a positive ANA, swollen glands in neck and armpits, extreme fatigue, spaciness, achy joints especially in my hands and feet, raynuad's (sp). I saw a rheumatologist. I don't think he felt that it was a serious case - i don't have the butterfly rash, no skin issues, etc. I was given the option to take plaquenil....however when i saw the side effects were increased anxiety, i decided not to take the meds.

Debbie Downer
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 6/2/2009 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I recommend getting a gym membership and exercising. It is the most natural healthy way to improve mental health and as a bonus, you improve your physical health and looks as well. I always feel better when I hit the gym regularly. Yoga is fantastic and lifting weights will make you feel empowered. I also recommend eating organic food. Some people swear that a gluten free diet can help as well. I recommend eating as natual as possible. Dark chocolate is good too.

Avolleyball
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/2/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
The funny thing is I was so active before all of this happened. I went to the gym 5 days a week and did the stair master for 45 minutes. Now I am just taking walks outside with my mother after work as much as I can.

Does anyone have any information on ativan? I am terrified of this drug, but I need it right now.

Avolleyball
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/2/2009 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Nanners - can the higher dose cause an increase in anxiety? My stomach is doing somersaults and my chest is burning. When will this go away?

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/2/2009 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
 
Welcome to HealingWell and I am a little crazy right now as this is the last week of school..................I am a school nurse. 
 
Looks like you are being well taken care of by our great Nanners and the members...................
 
You have joined a great group so stick with us.
 
Gentle Hugs
Kitt
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic, 
Depression,  & 
 
 GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Grizzly pooh
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 6/2/2009 6:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Avolleyball, I'm just getting used to my anti-depressants too and I got alot worse before starting to get better. That's very common when we start taking these meds, or when we increase the dose, so hang in there. I can't comment about any physical issues as my anxiety/depression just comes from no-where and hits me big-time. It's intensely frightening and I have moments where I'm convinced I'll never get better or get out of this alive. Luckily for me right now is not one of those moments. I got so anxious that I was prescribed Valium which I guess is like Ativan. It worked once I got the dose right. The doc told me I won't get hooked if I just take it for 2-4 weeks as needed while I get used to my other meds (PRozac).
I'm not sure if we're allowed put websites up here, but I find this one useful for looking up info on medications. otherwise I ring a pharmacist who can answer my questions if my gp is not available. Good luck and stick with us
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds

Avolleyball
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/3/2009 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   

GRIZZLY POOH,

why are you taking your anti depressants if you don't mind me asking? what anxiety condition do you have?


dviflx
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 6/4/2009 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
anxiety and depression seem to always come from somewhere... and usually sufferers are the more intelligent people.

it was my sub conscious that did it to me in the end... tipped me over the edge, giving me the most frightful experience of my life... that first extreme anxiety and panic atttack... and now I find it nearly impossible to go to bed/sleep without taking valium.... without valium, I get the WEIRDEST sensations while trying to rest/sleep... I really want to get off valium asap, as I have been taking it for nearly 2 months now... only small doses though, usually only 5mg per day in total. I know it is addictive too.... main reason why I want out...

as for anti depressants... I've never had good experiences from them... Maybe I haven't given them enough time to kick-in... but I just get too freaked out with some of the side effects they give me..... I worry way too much! besides, I would just much prefer getting better without the medications.... I have been thinking of late that maybe I just need to go on med's........ maybe I can't do this without them.... maybe I need to give them a chance...

sorry if I'm not making much sense.... I'm in a bad way.

Debbie Downer
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 6/4/2009 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
What are you taking dviflx? I can relate to your post. It doesn't seem that anti-depressants are helping my anxiety much either. I feel a little happier after I take them for a short while. I don't know if that is real or in my head. I still am very anxious and my sub conscious scares the hell out of me. If I let myself, it will take me to the dark side as I call it very very fast. I have terrible thoughts that just pop into my head. No idea where they come from. I had myself convinced that a demon was trying to possess me at one time. It's mostly the paranoia that gets me. I'm always scared of something, mostly death. I can't even be around old people because it freaks me out knowing that it's looming ahead of me and I will be old too soon. It takes me forever to fall asleep too.

dviflx
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 6/4/2009 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry to hear that Debbie Downer.... I feel for you..... I hate this condition...... I wish I had just broken a leg or something instead, at least then I would have been 100% sure that it would have healed and I could walk again... if you catch my drift..
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