I'm not entirely sure what answers I'm looking for out of this post but I figured I'd see what others experiences were. I am a 25 year old male who's always been 'high strung' or had anxiety. Funny thing is I don't recall always having this and when I look back to how I was even 4 years ago I was in much better shape in terms of not always worrying and having anxiety. It may be the fact that I moved away from family and friends when I was 19 and just sort of got thrust into a career. I never really had time to just 'relax' and maybe it's all caught up.
Over the past year or so I started to notice that occasionally I'd get really uncomfortable when going out - sometimes to the point where I'd sweat profusely if I was alone in public settings or just didn't feel 'comfortable' (even though I'd just be with friends). It really sucked. I often worry about
things unneccessarily - what people think of me and so forth. I guess the thing is - I just felt this was normal. I don't know what anxiety sufferers equate to its 'symptoms'.
Regardless, I always told myself that this was related to low self esteem or confidence issues. I have been talking to a therapist for well over a year now about
general issues. Over the past year, I was diagnosed with some digestive issues - IBS and proctitis that really took a toll on me emotionally. I'm sure the anxiety doesn't help it either. Anyways, the reason i mention all this is that I had recently gone to a doctor that was recommended by a friend who also suffered from severe anxiety (panic attack variety, which I can't say I've really had).
The doctor is one that traditionally practices a more homeopathic approach to treating patients, however, my friend told me that recently she has started prescribing Effexor due to how many of her patients responded so well to it. I had a long appointment covering my basic thoughts, feelings, etc. and she gave me 2 tests to complete that will determine my hormonal levels. In the interim she wanted me to start on Effexor to treat what she believes is anxiety (also mentioning that it had positive affects from what she saw, for focus, IBS, and depression in her other patients). Essentially, it sounded like a wonder drug that seems to fit the bill.
Since then, I read up on the net and pretty much got terrified to the point where I am almost in refusal to even want to try it. I'm not opposed to drugs for anxiety but it sounds awfully difficult to come off of. Speaking with my therapist on the phone also reaffirmed that I should check to see if there is something a little less difficult to come off of and see if eating better and exercising would help. She thinks I have mild anxiety but should see if that helps before taking a medicinal route. However, she said if I can't get motivated to even want to do those things that medication may be helpful. I'm hopeful to try that but I've always been cyclic in getting into changing my life substantially in those ways. I'll get gung ho and do it and something will trigger where I just stop - likely something that raises my anxiety and gets me bummed out for whatever reason (or just getting overwhelmed with tasks at work) .
I guess I'm surprised that I was prescribed this as the first step, even though it sounds so difficult to come off of. In researching I've read that lexapro is another good alternative, but sounds less difficult to come off of. Has anyone had luck with it? As for effexor - it's really too bad because it sounds great when it works. Am i just seeing a small subset of users experiences - the vocal minority so to speak, when it comes to withdrawal symptoms? That's the main thing i am most concerned about
. I'm researching further to see if there are alternatives to that. Any tips, help or info is much appreciated. It's kind of hard to ignore the 5 weeks of effexor samples i have just sitting in my cabinet when the doctor tells me that she wants me to see how much better i'd feel on it...
Post Edited (tiesto81) : 4/8/2007 9:17:18 PM (GMT-6)