dunny: most of the OTC sleep aids just have the same active ingredient as Benadryl, which either does NOTHING for me, or puts me on my butt for a day; none of that is going to help with sleep patterns, per se. I'll look up Unisom -- I can't remember if that's dyphenhydramine or one of the succinate ones. It's a question of getting to sleep and staying asleep, restfully.
Redjeep: I was on Celexa (generic) for about 2.5/3 years, and it was getting to the point where it simply wasn't doing the job anymore. I lucked out -- that's a fairly long run on a single med without having it become totally ineffective. So, we tried the Effexor. I tried to be a good girl and be patient. But at 150 mgs, the sides were just scary (heart palps, blood pressure issues, etc), so we lowered it to 112 and change (one big pill, one small one, from the samples). That was okay for a while, but still a little much. If I did too much, the palpitations and blood pressure things came back. I certainly can't avoid cleaning my apartment, so we went down to 75 for a little bit. It just got to the point where doc looked at me and said "you aren't doing back flips over this one, are you?" I said no, and we agreed that it was way to expensive to not be getting a much more happy, positive response from it, and to discontinue. He helped me figure out how to taper down, and everything was good until the first night I didn't take any pill at all -- wow, what a ride! It's been easier since then, and I'm still alternating between no pill/37.5 mgs the next couple days.
I have clonopin for panic attacks, but nothing for regular daily prevention. LOL -- anxiety over taking an anxiety drug -- been there! I kinda miss my xanax sometimes. The clonopin works different, and I like it, too. The way teh doc described it, it doesn't work as quickly as xanax, but it works longer, which is cool. But sometimes, I need to see the cartoon thermometer drop on my panic, which is something I got from the xanax (alprazolam). So, we're having discussions, somewhat. I don't have insurance at the moment, so it's a little tricky to dodge the desk dragon who's patented response to everything is to make an appointment.
I also have amitriptyline (Elavil) that was initially for sleep, but this time of year, I take it nightly to prevent migraines (works wonderful for that!). it works really well for sleep too, but when I take it every day like this, it starts to lose it's effectiveness with the sleep thing.
I've taken Remeron (Rozerem) and ho-lee crap! I do need to be functional sometimes! I don't know how folks use that regularly!
So...that's pretty much the full situation, more or less. I'm trying to take a more wholistic (that's not a typo -- I made up a word) to the whole anxiety thing, kinda like I did with Crohn's. There's something to be said for better living through chemistry, but focusing on just the symptoms isn't a way to get to the root of the problem. So I'm keeping a journal (partly to help me keep track of when and when not to take the darn effexor as I taper!), I'm trying tai chi, I'm looking at getting into ballet classes again, things like that. I want to address anxiety/panic as a whole body issue rather than just squash the symptoms with meds. I know I have issues, and I have problems with counselors/psychologists, so I'm trying to find a way to do this myself (with Kerry at my side, of course).
"Let me light my lamp,"
Says the star,
"And never debate
If it will help to remove the darkness."
-- Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore