Questions about medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy...would love replies!

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 1/9/2009 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey all,

I know I don't post here nearly as often as I should, and when I do I usually go through some long, drawn-out back story. :) I'm looking for information and personal stories this time, so here goes...

I've been dealing with panic disorder with severe anticipatory anxiety for about two years. It started shortly before I graduated from college. Since then, I've probably had about five bad 'cycles' of panic attacks/anxiety that last for approximately a month and then disappear. I've been dealing with my sixth for the past week.

Although this only seems to occur for me a couple of times a year, I really want to nip this in the bud and beat it. My family and girlfriend support me as best they can when I get like this, but I can't help feeling like a burden to them at times. I also want to be able to do things with them that at present make me horribly nervous! I took a trip to Rhode Island with my girlfriend last July(there's probably a post on here about it, lol), and in the days leading up to it I was a mess.

Because of the attack this week, I went to my therapist for the first time in about a year on Tuesday. I'll also be seeing my PCP on Monday to discuss my physical symptoms.

So, several questions:

I've been on citalopram(Celexa), for about a year and a half. Has anybody else had success with panic disorder using this medication, and has your current dose ever seemed to 'wear off?'


My therapist has suggested trying cognitive-behavioral therapy(CBT), which we're going to start talking about at my appointment next week. I've researched what this is, but I'm a skeptic by nature and not sure this will work. So, has anybody else been through this, what did your sessions involve and when did you start to notice changes?

Any positive replies would be appreciated. Thanks!

Fraser - Panic disorder/general anxiety disorder since November 2006
Celexa 20mg

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/9/2009 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Many on this board use CBT with great success. The use an online version by Moodgym. Hopefully one of the other mods will be on soon and will be able to post the link for you.

As for your anticipatory anxiety, have you ever tried Xanax when these attacks hit. I find it helps me immensley. I am now able to recognize it right away and stop it in its tracks with the help of my Xanax. I only use a low dose .25 mg and only use it when needed.

I have a chronic health issue that makes travelling a very anxious experience for me. My therapist had me take 1 in the a.m. and 1 in the p.m. for about 10 days starting a few days before I left and I stopped it when I felt comfortable again. Maybe this is something to speak to your doc about.

Good luck,
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"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 1/9/2009 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Soonblue, cognitive behavior therapy will help tremendously! That and relaxation techniques. Also, as Nanners suggested, see if you can get an anti-anxiety drug to use only as needed. She uses the Xanax. I use Ativan. A lot of us use something for those times when it's unbearable.

Please do not beat yourself up over this disorder. It's not your fault. Your body is tired and stressed. Take yourself by the hand and give yourself what you need. That means sleep, good food and exercise. Begin taking walks on your lunch hour or after work.

I also suggest educating yourself and maybe ask your girlfriend to read a book or two on the subject of anxiety/panic disorders. There are many great books out there. They are light reading and will help the two of you immensely. You can find the titles of books on this forum under resources.

I wish you the best of luck! Let us know how you're doing and hang in there! Things will definitely get better.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 708
   Posted 1/9/2009 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
CBT is something I began with my therapist and worked with her for a few months and then had to stop seeing her due to financial reasons but I continue to work it every day.  It takes some positive thinking and a lot of practice to change your thought patterns and such but it does really work.  I have now integrated into my everyday life.  It will take time but it is well worth the effort and it is something that you need to stick with.  I wish you the best of luck and please feel free to ask questions - it is what this forum is all about - helping each other.


Anxiety 2007; IBS 2004; Chronic Hives 2002.  Medications:  Allegra, Zantac, Xanax, Darvocet.

Green Grove
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/9/2009 5:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Soonblue :)

When it comes to your meds I'm not sure. You should really talk to your physician about this :) As far as the CBT (therapy) I would suggest it because it has worked wonders for me. We have a link to a free online CBT course called MoodGYM and you can find the link at the top of the page under the Anxiety-Panic Resource thread under "Wen" :)
It would not hurt to do both of them to get a few perspectives, but you should speak with your therapist about it.

I wish you much luck :)
Take care and have a wonderful day! . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
  "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
~Franklin D. Roosevelt~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 1/9/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Many thanks for the replies so far. It's quite uplifting even in the midst of this to know that other people have tried what seems to be awaiting me and that they've had some success. I have an appointment with my PCP on Monday morning at 9:30 for a physical but I'm also planning on talking to her about this latest attack I've had.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/10/2009 12:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I tried CTB without sucess but i was not at a stage in my life where i was ready for it...I was still using drugs and couldnt pay much atttention to him....Since then i have started to remember things that he taught me...they come back to me in times of great stress....I guess in a way it did work although i remained messy for quite sometime after the sessions untill i cleaned up  my life a bit more.  It is something i will definately do again in the state of mind i am reaching now!!! Please do try...It cant hurt!  Gill xx
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