I have suffered from GAD/Panic attacks since I was 15 years old. At that time I was put on paxil. I weaned off about 3 years later, was med free for 4 years (learned no real coping skills during any of that time period) and then started having panic attacks/severe GAD again as I was graduating from college. I stayed on the meds again for 4 years (spent a year weaning off the paxil) and thought I had learned the coping skills I needed. I exercised frequently, went to an accupuncturist, saw a therapist for about 6 months, ate healthy etc etc. Flash forward 4 years later med free and the anxiety has come back worse then I could ever imagine. I didn't want to go back on Paxil, but I was deteriorating fast so I tried remeron to combat my inability to eat and sleep. It barely helped with sleep….i was so anti meds at the time that I convinced myself I had every side effect one could have from the medication, went through a whole set of ups and downs (4 days on lexapro which didn't go well, again most likely due to my own issues and not the meds) and finally just stayed on .25 mg on klonopin for a week and a half while trying to prepare for a new job I was supposed to start. I couldn't sleep at all. I was up to 100mg of trazadone and even at .5mg of klonopin at night I was lucky to get an hour or so of sleep. The job didn't end up working out so finally I just gave in and wanted to try to take a real approach to let these meds help in combination with real psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation and etc.
It has been 3 and a half weeks and I have been on 25mg of zoloft, .5mg in the morning and evenings of the clonazapam and am now down to 50mg of trazadone. We are now starting to wean the morning clonazapam. I was definitely doing better, although every single weird sensation I would blame on the medication. If I had a sudden rush of energy or anxiety when waking up or tremors or whatever it was.
Prior to the last few days I had my appetite back I was running again, had real energy and real moments of happiness. Then I hit a rough patch and have been nauseous the last few days and real ups and downs, have been forcing myself to eat which causes me anxiety and ended up throwing up this morning. Strangely just lying here in bed all day (for the first time in a long while) I actually feel better then I have the last few days. Paxil felt like a magic pill in a way for me, because I didn't have any preexisting notions of whether it would or wouldn't work or all the bizarre things people say on forums, and to be honest there are some pretty out there things, and when I was on the paxil withdrawal forum they blamed every single bad thing in their life on the drug.
I do believe alot of antidepressants are over prescribed, but my psych (the first I've ever seen regularly and actually trust) is pretty conservative and uses the meds more to get over a hump if they are really in a bad place and then slowly tapers them off working on CBT and other types of therapies. He has been very helpful for me.
But on top of all my triggers now I now have so many bad thoughts about medication and the effects it is having on me and I tend to resort to blame everything on it whenever I feel different. But to be honest, although paxil did have side effects and I should have been taken better care of by the doctors to learn to cope without, it did help me. I never had to updose, and it was always consistent in managing my anxiety. But I never had any pre-concieved notions before of terrible things that could happen by getting on these meds. Now that I do I can't tell whats real or my own fears. I guess I'm just looking for people who aren't anti-med and some that I can relate to.
This is the longest anxiety episode I have ever had and the recovery has been painful but I have been doing better overall. I want to get back to working – I have had a very successfull career but part of me is scared now of the stress and if I can even hold that type of job anymore. I don't remember what stability feels like….But I also believe routine and occupation (in addition to all the mindfullness work I am doing) is incredibly helpful in healing as there is no real benefit in dwelling on this day in and day out….