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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/30/2006 10:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I am new to this board.

I was diagnosed with OCD when I was in fifth grade. I am currently almost 22 years old and have been on Paxil for most of these years. At first it was trial and error with Zoloft, Amitryptaline, Luvox...etc. Paxil was what really worked for me to curb the rituals. I am on 60mgs daily.

Anyways, recently I have been been terribly panicky for reasons I do not know. At first I thought I was going crazy and I couldn't convince myself otherwise. The reason I couldn't is because I have developed so many tools over the years for beating anxiety when it starts..having OCD helped me develop those tools...and even when I rationalize with myself sometimes it doesn't help. And since I am on paxil and it can be used for these panicky symptoms and I am still panicky only adds fuel to the fire of my thoughts like "Paxil isnt working, i've been burned out on it, its made me crazy, ive been on it for too long" etc etc....

I always have these "unreal" feelings, like things aren't what they seem to be...and it drives me into panic. I am so scared to switch from paxil to anything else because i have been on it for so long...I fear that I don't know what reality is like without Paxil...it has been such a crutch my whole life...i am really scared.

My doctor recently prescribed me xanax (0.5mgs). I am so afraid to take it though. Since my panic and anxiety come from the "unreal" and bizarre feelings..I don't want to take it and just make things worse.

This past month has been so miserable...I do feel a little better when I don't avoid situations though...like when I feel I can't go to work, I just force myself out the door and things seem to get a little better. I just don't know why this is happening to me....does anyone else have the "unreal" feelings? And can Xanax help me?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 933
   Posted 10/30/2006 11:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Xanax will calm you down... trust me... it's a benzo... similar to the benzo I take called Ativan.

You sound like you have "derealization/depersonalization" which is commoon with the anxiety/panic disease.

Many of us suffer from that and the Xanax helps that a bit too. The Ativan helps me with it. It's a very very common symptom with anxiety.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."

DX: Panic Disorder, Depression, TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), Chronic Migraines
RX: Ativan/Lorazapam (1 MG a day), Lexapro (15 MG a day), Tylonel for the TMJ and Migraines

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 933
   Posted 10/30/2006 11:02 PM (GMT -7)   
By the way- welcome to Healing Well. We are also in the chatrooms often and you can usually find me in them at night if you ever have any questions about anxiety or just want to chat... just come on in!

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."

DX: Panic Disorder, Depression, TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), Chronic Migraines
RX: Ativan/Lorazapam (1 MG a day), Lexapro (15 MG a day), Tylonel for the TMJ and Migraines

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 10/31/2006 12:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Tyler - do a google search on "depersonalization disorder." It is usually comorbid with anxiety and panic disorders. Are you seeing a psychologist regularly? It sounds like confrontation rather than avoidance of your fears is helping you. You should be very proud of yourself. I would talk to the prescribing doctor about your fears about the xanax.
DX: chronic migraine, cervical degeneration, depression/anxiety 
RX: Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Soma, Immitrex 
"You don't find out that God is all you've got until God is all you've got."

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 10/31/2006 5:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to HW
Yes benzos will help but plese do see a doc have self checked over and find the one that will work for you
My hubby says he feels like something is crawling all over him if he takes one now he knows better and takes something else at night
Me I take w/o any problems side effects or that hung over feeling in mornign
Glad of you finding us and hope you will stick around and get to know us and us you
This is the "TOP" suport system going and all the ppl are great
again Welcome to HW
Do talk to your doc about meds specifically for you
Post and let us know how thigs went pleas
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 189
   Posted 10/31/2006 6:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been on Paxil for 6yrs now and still have the feeling of things being unreal at times and anxiety. It always makes scared that maybe it isn't working any more. But I always make it through it, my method for when I feel unreal is to first ground my self and then exercise and distract, distract, distract. It works for me, I also will go hang out with a friend and not talk about it. For some reason talking about to my friends makes it more real I guess, ignore the feelings and they go away, it may take time but it will go away. This is what works for me, you just have to find what works for you.
Hope your feeling better soon!!!!!

"Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it, what is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside." -Ramana Maharishi 
"Mind is the source of happiness or unhappiness".-Buddha

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 728
   Posted 10/31/2006 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tyler - I have had anxiety/panic and a little OCD thrown in all during my life - sometimes years go by and I'm feeling very normal and then it hits again - I've found that Xanax helps me the most - antidepressants seem to make me feel too jittery and I believe my depression stems from alot of anxiety anyway.   So give it a try - I always take half the prescription whenever I start a new med anyway because I also have that  "med fear". Good  luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 10/31/2006 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
tylerman, I would talk to the doctor, I have read a little here about that sometimes the meds do "poop out" but there are many more available. I took lexapro a year and a half ago for anxiety and depression and it worked wonders and pretty quickly, I went off about 5 months ago and had a horrible relax recently brought on by a great amount of stress so now went back on, been on 3 weeks and still not quite back but I know they say they take time and sometimes longer second time round, anyone know anything about that, i heard bits and pieces. anyway, dr. said if it didn't work they would try zoloft but I like you don't want to switch because the lexapro worked so good before, just trying to be patient and considering switching ubt being that I feel a little better kind of thinking more need to be patient. however, it is encouraging to talk to people here because they do say there is a lot out there that will help. Also, I heard on the radio yesterday there is alot more exposure lately about this condition so they are coming up with a lot of new things and actually researching the actual chemicals and neuro transmitters in the brain and will hopefully some day come up with a cure, new hope for all of us.

take care,
try to have a good day.


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/31/2006 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks everyone for your replies..i felt a lot better after posting last night because i read a lot on here of people saying that they also get that "confused, unreal" feeling. I am at work now and am having a little anxiety, probably cause i have to work till 11pm. And the fact that it is getting darker earlier now makes me feel weird. IDK.

I'll make it..thanks all...you'll be seeing more of me!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 10/31/2006 6:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I know just how you feel about paxil - it has been my crutch for 10 years now. I'm down to just 10 mg/day the past couple years - any less and the anxiety rears its ugly head too often! The symptoms you describe are def anxiety - I get them too.

I've never heard of developing a tolerance to meds like paxil - but then again, I never asked! There are other things that could be causing an increase in anxiety symptoms - other meds or medical conditions. Fore example, I was diagnosed as slightly hypothyroid a year ago and take a small dose of meds for it. Since then my paxil dose does not seem to work quite as well. I know hyperthyroid will aggrivate A/P... Also, I started taking this green tea stuff a few weeks ago (my mom has had great health benefits from it). My anxiety has been quite bad the last couple weeks - stress level is up, but dont think its THAT bad. I found out today that your not supposed to take this green tea within 2-3 hours of other meds cause part of what it does is cleanse your system of what is considered "foreign" chemicals. And here I was taking my meds WITH the tea!!! May not be related, but I'm gonna switch things around a bit! Stimulants (like caffine) and niccotine also make anxiety worse. For me, lack of sleep is a killer too!

Do they teach you relaxation, etc. with OCD? That really helps with anxiety. The distraction method also works well for me too. Maybe paxil is not the med that works for you with anxiety, even tho its great for the OCD... If it were me, I'd give the Xanax a try during the bad bouts of anxiety (I used it many years ago following my first panic attack and dont recall any major side effects). It may be that little bit extra you need to enable you to cope more comfortably.

Anyway, best of luck. I'm sure your will be able to conquer this too. Let us know how you make out.


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 305
   Posted 10/31/2006 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I know what you mean about the xanax, I was afraid to take it at first, because I get lightheaded with my panic attacks and when I would take the xanax it seemed like at first it would make the panic worse. Later I realized that I was making myself feel that way, and in reality the xanax works wonders when I have a full blown panic attack. You should definitely talk to your doc about the paxil and see if there is something else you can try. Best of luck finding something that works for you, don't give up :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 10/31/2006 7:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tyler,

Welcome to the board it's a great supportive place. I also suffer from OCD and anxiety and was on paxil for four years until it stopped working and it started to make me feel horrible. If your doctor gave you xanax give a shot I was prescribed clonazepam and it calms me down when i'm feeling very anxious. Also I think alot of anxiety suffers have the symptom of feeling unreal and strange. You're not going crazy it just the darn anxiety. Just keep reminding yourself it's just anxiety. Keep posting it really helps.

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