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Re: Best thing for panic attacks/extreme anxiety

Posted by Gracie2 on October 29, 2001, at 23:58:16

In reply to Re: Best thing for panic attacks/extreme anxiety, posted by Rakken on October 29, 2001, at 18:31:36

Not much I can add to Elizabeth's advice except for my own personal experience. A year ago, when I was going through a very traumatic experience, I started to experience severe anxiety, which I differentiate from panic attacks.
My anxiety became debilitating. I had terrible insomnia and I became so paranoid, I refused to answer the phone. I over-reacted to every event;
if my son was late coming home, I was sure he was dead on the highway - if my husband was late coming home, I was sure he was having an affair.
I cried constantly; it became harder and harder for me to pull myself together. Going to the store for a gallon of milk was a major undertaking for me, sometimes more than I could manage. Often, I could not get out of bed.

My first psychiatrist prescribed a regimen of Prozac, Seroquel and Depakote. Although they didn't work immediately, I began to feel better
after a couple of weeks. I don't believe the Prozac had any effect, but the Seroquel was a blessing; it calmed me down and let me sleep. The Depakote, while I believe it was necessary and beneficial at first, began to over-sedate me after six months; my anxiety was gone, but I had no inclination to remove my butt from the couch.
I was so lethargic and disinterested in everything
I used to love, I stopped taking the Depakote AMA
when my pyschiatrist disagreed with me.

I had trouble quitting the Seroquel; my insomnia returned immediately. I lived with it for a few months, and then started having panic attacks. These were different than the anxiety I had before, because the anxiety had always been triggered by some reason, imagined or real. The panic attacks came on for no reason at all; one minute I was fine, and the next minute I was gasping for air and sure I was going to die - sometimes they were so bad that I would vomit. I had the name of a psychiatrist I had never seen, and I drove to his office and asked the receptionist if I could possibly see him without an appointment. She said that was impossible, and I burst into tears right there in the waiting room in front of all the other patients. Normally I'm a rather shy person, and wouldn't do such a thing if you paid me, but I was in agony.

I wish I had sent her a thank-you card for not sending me away. After waiting a couple of hours,
she fit me in. I was honest with the doctor about my former drug use and, although he said I needed a benzo, he was reluctant to give it to me. I promised to give the pills to my husband, which I did, so he prescribed some Klonopin for me. It did help me.

I am now taking Seroquel and Xanax as prescribed
(well usually - needed a few more pills when Mom was in town) given to me by my GP, who doesn't know about my drug history. The only reason I've been dishonest with him is because I worked in a medical office for many years and drug-abusers -
while their charts were not actually "flagged" as
I've heard of - were well-known to both the doctors and nurses, and there was always a lot of eye-rolling going on when these patients came in with a new injury. In short, the staff was skeptical when one of these patients showed up with a new injury,
meaning that their injuries were not taken as seriously as other patients', and they were sometimes even prescribed pain medication that was not as strong as the injury warranted. I have no intention of joining this unfortunate group of patients, and leaving my doctor's office with a shattered ankle and some samples of Advil. Screw that.

Still, I think I like my present psychiatrist, because he trusted me to be responsible with the Klonopin. My GP doesn't want to refill my Xanax until I see my pdoc again, and I thought that was a fair deal.

So you must work these things out for yourself. I think a good doctor will allow you a fair chance
to be responsible with your medication before he labels you as an abuser. (Fool me once, etc.)




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