Panic = Depression?

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 11/26/2008 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
So, here's my question . . . . Can/should a panic disorder be treated with antidepressants when the person is NOT depressed?
When I had my first (well, my first in a few years) therapy session yesterday the therapist told me that when I have my appointment with the psychiatrist that I will most likely be prescribed a combo of an antidepressant and something in the benzo category (ex: xanax, valium).
When I was younger I was diagnosed with General Anxiety and Social Anxiety. I am now diagnosed with Severe Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. I have never been diagnosed with depression nor do I feel as though I fit into the "depressed" category. Of course having a panic disorder brings me down and frustrates me but I still generally like myself. When I'm not in a state of panic I am pretty content with life. I've never had any thoughts of suicide or self harm. I wouldn't say that I'm happy go lucky running around singing songs and painting rainbows but I'm never really sad.
I've tried a few different antidepressants before when I was a teenager and saw very little results.
So I guess what I'm wondering is whether or not doctors usually prescribe antidepressants for patients with panic disorders because depression usually goes hand in hand so they just "assume" that the person is depressed OR do certain antidepressants actually help with a panic disorder?
Look down at me and you see a fool
 Look up at me and you see a god
Look straight at me and you see yourself

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 11/26/2008 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   

I take Paxil for depression, but it is indicated as an anti-anxiety drug also. Some doctors won't prescribe the strictly anti-anxiety meds for long-term use (mine won't), perhaps from concerns about possible addiction. So I **think** they prefer antidepressants (which really do help with anxiety - in my personal experience) because the medical community is less concerned about long-term use. Mind you, many of us who have stopped anti-depressants at some point have had to do so very slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms (=addiction? who knows?).


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/26/2008 7:54 PM (GMT -6)   


This is Kitt and the cat lady is right on.  The new SSRIs and the SSNIs have an anxiety compound bulit into the medication so it is not for depression but for anxiety they Rx the AD's.

However from what I have read anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. I have both.

So glad to have you with us and I hope your holiday is a blessed one.



Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/26/2008 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   

I have always felt on top of the world.  I am very happy with life and am considered a very outgoing and social butterfly.  However, when I began having panic attacks anxiety over two years ago my Dr. put me on an anti-depressant along with a prescription for Xanax.  I asked the dr about it because I till felt that it was strange because I was not depressed.  My Dr. explained that the Xanax should be taken only when I feel a panic attack begining, but the anti-depressant was also used to treat anxiety only didn't have the addictive side effect of Xanax.  I felt my doctor knew what he was talking about and have now taken the anti-depressants daily, I haven't taken a Xanax in over 4 months.  I still get uneasy feelings that we all talk about in her weekly if not daily but I beleive that my relaxations techniques along with my positive attitude combining with the anti-depressants is one of the reasons why I have not had to take a Xanax in a long time.

Hope this helps calm your fears about taking anti-depressants.



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