massive anxiety/Zoloft question

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/26/2008 2:24 AM (GMT -6)   
hello all...
I have had anxiety pretty much all my life. When I was about 11/12 i was diagnosed with anxiety and OCD and was prescribed zoloft. I was on zoloft for about a year and it worked well.
When i was 18/19 (freshman in college) something happened one night where i smoked weed (i think it could have been
 Anyways to make a long story short i had smoked weed before that on occasion, although i was never a fan and hardly ever did that. Something happened that night to me and i was not normal for abour 2/3 months after it. I was always panicking, thinking something was wrong with me, felt like i had depersonalization, or was detached in some way. I started skipping school, and after the semester eventually left the college. During the time I saw my psychiatrist (the same one i had when I was 12, who is my current one). She prescribed me xanax to take on occasion, which i did for a few days to help me. She also prescribed me zoloft again. At the time I thought I was doomed, like the way I was feeling would never go away. I decided to deal with the situation and not take the zoloft. One thing is i rather no be on medication because I do not trust them. When I took zoloft when I was 12, I was young and didnt really think about anything, I pretty much just took what the doctor told me.
Eventually, after about 2/3 months I got out of that funk of anxious/detached times and became better. I took the next two semesters off of school however and just worked for my fathers business. I went back two semesters later, stood one semester there and then transferred to a school in Boston (very close to home). I was fine at that school, it was just that the school was not right for me (middle of nowhere, im a city person, etc)
I am now 23, and just got out of college...I was behind because of the previous semesters i had taken off. I have a ton of friends, a ton of girls, i love going out, traveling, working, meeting new people, etc.
The day after Memorial day of last month I experienced a panic attack, in which I first thought was a seizure. I was driving from a cell phone store, and all of a sudden i lost control. it is hard to describe what happened, but I felt lke i became detached from the world for a  few seconds and liek i couldnt control myself. This only happened for about 5 seconds, but me being me, it turned into a huge panic attack.  Since that day (almost a month now) I have not been the same. At first I would get anxious at times when I was in large crowds, or driving. I knew it was my anxiety, though so it would eventually go away, although uncomfortable. Then fathers day came around and I had a huge panic attack. I got very light headed, started shaking, and felt like i was going to lose control or was having a stroke or seizure. I took xanax, and it eventually calmed me down. For the next week I would start to get very anxious, and i would take a xanax. I have taken xanax about one or two times a day for a few days in a row now to calm me down, and avoid having any massive panic attacks. Everytime i get in a car, truck, etc and am on a highway I get very anxious. Its hard to describe , but it feels like i get detached, and i keep dwelling that something bad is going to happen. Its even worse when I am at a traffic light. I cannot control it. I am close to the point where I do not even want to go out anymore. The only time I feel good is when I am either on xanax or out at a club drinking. And i know this is not good, because xanax or alchohol is no way to cure anything.
As previously stated, I have been on xanax for about 5-6 days straight now. I do not want to keep taking it, because I do not want to grow a habit of doing it. Tuesday morning I had an appointment with my psyciatrist, and she prescribed me zoloft again, along with about 20 more pills of 0.25 mg of xanax, to take in case of panic occurs before the zoloft kicks in. I am not too enthusised to be going on zoloft again, and am not sure if I should even be taking it. But it seems at this point of time I have no options. So for the last two days I have been taking 50 mg doses, and in about a week i will bump in up to 100 mg. I do not knwo what to do. Do people think I should get off the drug and try to toughen it out, or take it. I do not trust the side effects. I know everything that is going on right now is anxiety, I jsut do not know how to stop it. I also do not know if it is alright to be takng xanax until the zoloft kicks in in about 1-3 weeks. I really do not want to become addicted to xanax, or have to rely on it. But throughout the day I find myself have no other options to calm me down.
As said before, when I eventually got over the weed episode when i was 18/19 without the zoloft when I thought I would never be the same. I am sorry for the long story, and if I am not making sense to people. It is 3:22 AM and am just typing this very fast. Jsut wondering if anyone has been in similar situations and any reccomendations on whether i should stick with the Zoloft or not? Thank you all
**Due to age ( 13 yrs old for members I edited out just a couple of words plz feel free to email me if you want k......LYN)

Post Edited By Moderator (Howlyncat) : 6/26/2008 12:42:13 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 6/26/2008 2:43 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Jason and a warm welcome to HW.

Please do not feel that you should "get off the drug and try to toughen it out"...panic/anxiety is not something you can just shake off. It's something that needs to be treated and you should feel NO shame about that. Ever. I know people draw this analogy all the time, but if you had diabetes you wouldn't stop taking insulin beacuse it was "weak". You would do it to survive. Anxiety is no different so please stop feeling that you are less because you take medication.

You have raised many issues, and I probably can't answer them all. But I'll try! I am not a professional, just someone who gets anxiety (really well!) and still struggle sometimes. I was diagnosed early as well, but I didn't take meds until I was in my late teens. I have OCD, panic/anxiety disorder. I take xanax occasionally, and five days is no big deal in the scheme of things. If it is getting you through this hard time. IMHO go with it for now.

If the zoloft works for you I would suggest (again, me no doc!) taking the dosage prescribed. It is a stabiliser and may help you to get to a better place coping wise. I would though, try and cut the booze, it just makes things worse the next day. eyes

What else? The weed? Well we all make mistakes!!! I don't have enough fingers left to count mine, we are not judgemental here. I can imagine that it affected you quite strongly. It can bring out and enhance any disorder like OCD, but again, we all make mistakes and it will pass. I took something laced with speed (I am in no way advocating this folks) when I was 17 and it caused my first major hopitilisation attack. Blech! I will never do that again. In my experience, it passes.

You are making COMPLETE sense to me Jason, and I really hope you find some support here at HW. I hate to give advice, but I would reccomend if your doc thinks the zoloft is a good idea then so do I. Try not to worry about the xanax, five days is really short term. Just look out for now, look out for you, and know we are here to listen. Keep keep us posted about your decision, and again, welcome.

Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 6/26/2008 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   


Regarding the medications, I'm with Meg in that if they are helping your condition, you can feel confident in taking them. Our society seems to draw an imaginary line between medical issues of the body and of the psyche/brain and believe that if we have a mental condition, we should treat it by "thinking" our way back to health. That's comparable to saying that if I have a broken leg, I should "walk" my way back to wholeness.

I think there's a difference between using a medication as directed and for the purpose prescribed, and abusing a medication.


New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/26/2008 11:16 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you both for responding. I am now on day 3 of the zoloft. I have been out of it lately and been sleeping all day today. When i woke up around 9pm I had another panic attack and thought I was losing it again (although I think the sleeping all day thing had a lot to do with it) and took xanax. I am now relaxed and just went out for a ride. I decided i will continue taking the zoloft, as I know I need it, and will be taking xanax for about another week until the zoloft kicks in. I would really like not to take the xanax, but I deffinately need something right now to keep me calm. I thank you both again for responding, it has helped.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/27/2008 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   


Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P Forum.  You have come to a wonderful forum and you will find the members are kind and caring.

You have a bit of history there with the anxiety but remember you have anxiety, it does not have you.

You have received some great advice and I am glad to hear you are going to take the medication prescribed by your physician.  It feels to me like the best choice for you.  It make take up to 4-6 weeks before you feel the full effect of the med so please don't get discouraged.  If you need the Xanax, use it as prescribed.

I would caution you to be careful when driving as the medication can affect your reaction timing or make your head feel fuzzy. 

Generalized anxiety is a mental disorder that many of us  have here in this forum.  There are other types of anxiety but I would suspect you are having a hard time accepting this as something that will most likely come and go through out your life. There is no reason to feel ashamed, just be sure to take care of you and stick with us.

We care about you.



Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

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