Can you psych yourself into anxiety?

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/30/2007 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
So I upped my dose of Klonopin to .5mg a couple nights ago. I have parts of my day that I feel really good, no anxiety, depression...but then other parts of the day, like when I first wake up in the morning, or have to go somewhere I don't particularly want to go, or I think about my move back to California in 4 days, I get panicky. Is it possible to psych yourself into having anxiety and panic when your on something like Klonopin? I think I get myself convinced that no meds are going to really work for me and that its all in my head. So does this mean that no matter WHAT drug they put me on I will NEVER feel better than I do right now? I feel better than I did 6 weeks ago, but not to the point of feeling "normal". I was on Celexa for 5 years ish and never had a dosage adjustment and thought I would be able to stay on it indefinetly (20mg). Now its frusterating because I am taking Celexa 40mg plus Klonopin .5mg nightly. Am I in the minority? Do most people have to try more than one or two meds or dosages of meds to get the right dose for them? Is me FEARING that my meds won't work causing them to not work? Is it a common fear (for an anxious person) to fear never getting better? I know this is a lot of questions LOL but I just want opinions from people, I know there are no DEFINITIVE answers...
Danielle (no longer going by "Little Lost Girl")

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/30/2007 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there, I am glad you upped your dose, and what you explain about your feelings seems to me to be anticipatory anxiety.

“Anticipatory anxiety” is the anxiety one experiences before starting a challenging activity. In your case the fear of the unknown.  You had a bad experience and now your wondering if it will happen again, should you go to LA, should you stay at home?  Some people refer to it as stage fright. 

The best thing to help would be CBT however your down to 4 days. So can you think of all the worse things that may happen to you if you go to LA, then think "so what" will it matter in 5 years from now...................Once you can identify all your fears then take them and toss them from your mind. 

This will take constant diligence on your behalf.  It is like choosing anything, make your choice and then live with it.  If it does not work out, deal with that if and when it happens.

If you are really not in a good place right now to make this decision and trip, it is ok not to go. 

What is most important is that you believe in you and don't beat up on yourself. Things happen for a reason and we do not always know the reason until a later time.

Gentle Hugs


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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 12/30/2007 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
You've gotten some great advice from Kitt so I don't have much else to say.  I will reiterate a couple of things that she said though - DO NOT beat yourself up if you decide you can't go to LA.   nono    It IS okay if you decide to stay where you are.  You have to go with what you are able to do at this point.  Remember to try some of the relaxation techniques in the thread that's near the top - they may help you. 
Keep posting and let us know what you decide - we don't judge, but we will help you.
Hugs to you,

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 12/30/2007 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Danielle,

I was always told that medication is only a "helper" in getting through panic/anxiety.  It can help you to feel more balanced and less anxious while you learn how to deal with your p/a by using cbt, relaxation, etc.  I've been on meds for 18 + years and it does not take the disorder away for me, it just allows me to be calm enough to get a handle on things and begin to learn how to cope with it.  Are you in therapy?  Do you use cbt and relaxation?  Those are the two things that I think have been most beneficial to me.  Now, this is only my experience and everyone reacts differently to meds, so keep that in mind as well.  But honestly I didn't get a quick fix from meds.  I do believe 100% that you will get better, it takes time and doing it the right way, but you will get there.  Have you read any books on p/a?  I like Claire Weeks, myself, but there are alot out there on the subject that may help you get a better understanding of what's going on.  I don't know what to tell you about going to California, that seems like such a huge thing to handle with where you are right now with the p/a, I do hope that you will be able to make the right decision for yourself, you are in a tough spot right now and I really feel for you.  All my best...

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/30/2007 8:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I am the same Junebug........I do CBT and I still have to take the odd Benzo to help me out I have been on meds ( benzo's) for over 30 yrs I believe..........

Great input all
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 934
   Posted 12/31/2007 1:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Danielle.  You're not alone.
When I started my Lexapro I was only at 10 mgs but that wasn't working I didn't think so I upped it to 20 mgs.  Now I don't think it's working again so I might ask the doc I'm seeing friday about maybe switching to a beta blocker or a different anti depressant.
Sometimes it takes years for people to find the right medication or combination of medications.  My sister has panic disorder and has tried ativan, xanax, klonopin (benzos)  Klonopin works for her.  She has also tried Celexa, Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil and numerous other antidepressants.  She has beta blocker medication but doesn't want to take it and is weaning off of Lexapro and looking into other alternatives.  She's been suffereing with PD for about 13 years.
I go back and forth between the Ativan I take.  I go from a .5 mgs a day to maybe 1 mg a day depending on how panicky I'm feeling.
A few years ago I tried Zoloft for panic but that made me more panicky so I stopped taking it after a month.
I fear never getting better.  It's my biggest fear... ok.. next to fearing a panic attack hehe.  But I went to see this mental health person today to make an appot to talk to a psychiatrist and to get help from these people and I told him that that's a worry of mine.  Will I ever get better? Am I gonna be like this forever?  What is it gonna take to stop this.  I was absolutely convinced I'd be done with panic after a year... but here I am... looking for different options to get better.
But then again... I just took the meds and sat there... I never tried therapy with an actual therapist.  So I think I'm on the right track now.
I don't think fearing your meds should change the effectiveness of them.  Sometimes I freak out and think my ativan won't work (ativan is like klonopin) and then BAM it kicks in.. and then I'm like "oh yeah, it does work"
So you're not crazy for asking all these questions!  Even now I ask myself these questions repeatedly.
My post on this message board is uber long LOL
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