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What's your take on anxiety medications?

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  • What's your take on anxiety medications?

    Over the past year, I've gotten nauseous a LOT, and thrown up way more than usual, even though I was eating primal. In fact, deviating from primal seemed to make no difference. I've discovered that I'm pretty sure this is stress/anxiety related. As I head into my last year as a graduate student, I can feel my symptoms coming back that were absent during the summer. The stomach aches, feeling overwhelmed and agitated, makes my thoughts of the fall semester so dismal I've decided to seek professional help with the possibility of taking medication.

    However, I'm a little intimidated because I've never had to go on any serious meds before and I'm not sure how they will react with my body or what side effects I need to watch out for. Anyone here have advice/information/resources about these kinds of medication? I don't want to walk into the Dr.'s office clueless.

  • #2
    They can be a lifesaver, but it's not a decision to make lightly. Getting off of them can be brutal, and the side effects are no joke. That being said, anxiety can make life seem not worth living.

    A close friend of mine went off of hers as soon as she built up her emotional supports, because it killed her feelings and sex life.
    Lifting Journal

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    • #3
      I would agree that there is a place for anxiety and depression meds, but that there are a lot of nonmedical things you can do to deal with your anxiety. People meditate, rely on social supports, get therapy and some use acupuncture or other non traditional approaches. I would think it would make sense to see if some of these other methods might help you before going to drugs.

      Also, I have had periods of anxiety in my life that were triggered by PTSD. If that is the case, I definitely think it is better to deal with the cause than to just take the meds.

      Edit - you don't have to be in a war zone to get PTSD. Any highly stressful event can do it.
      Karin

      A joyful heart is good medicine

      He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

      Mmmmm. Real food is good.

      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29685.html

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      • #4
        every single study that has been done on depression and anxiety finds that the best approach is to COMBINE therapy with meds. Meds work faster, therapy can actually fix the problems. Talk to the doc about your hesitations and consider starting with a medication you take on an as-needed basis. If you need it more than the doctor thinks is healthy, then look at the more systemic, daily use meds.

        For me, antidepressants are a fact of life, I need them to function no matter how much therapy I get. This may be the case for you, or, more likely, you need the help to get through a rough patch and then won't need it any more. Feel free to PM me if you have questions or just want some more personal advice from someone who has been there.

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        • #5
          Hi jqbancroft,

          "It's no fun to be the man" as Ben Folds sings. In my reading I've found stress and anxiety are mostly unrelated to diet(although there is some similarity of structure within the endocrine system). I wouln't go on meds for this any more than I would go on statins or weight loss pills. This is the other area of health that I've been reading about over the past year. The best I found was a documentary about Robert Sopalsky called Stress: Portrait of a Killer. The film looks at 2 studies, one done on an African group of monkeys(done by Sopalsky) and another done on the British Civil Service about how levels of rank correlate with levels of cortisol and glucacortoids(the 2 critical stress hormones). It's available instantly on netflix if you have it. Otherwise Google the work of Sopalsky and you'll a lot of good information.

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          • #6
            i'm on a low dose of zoloft, it's helped with panic attacks but i still have a healthy sex drive

            take a moment to breathe when you get anxious, have some therapy, try meds if you want. you'll feel better
            beautiful
            yeah you are

            Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
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            • #7
              Thank you all for your kind responses. Just having some people encourage me that I will feel better or that you've been there and are willing to offer specific council really helps. Thank you so much.

              Overall, you guys have me great ideas for what I'd like to discuss with my doctor. I have a much better idea of what I want to talk about what I expect to get. I've tried some non-medical treatments already (meditating, yoga) but I'll discuss them and other methods more thoroughly with my doctor and also explore therapy before attempting a low-dose medication. Additionally, thank you for sharing about the potential for changes in sex drive as that's something I definitely don't want to lose

              I welcome any further tips/perspectives, but I just wanted to pop in and say this has been helpful already!

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              • #8
                I'm currently weaning off my current SSRI for anxiety (OCD related and panic disorder). Last year I went through a VERY stressful time that made me all out of whack. I started yoga and meditating as well as counseling. My counselor suggested going on meds short-term just to get me past the winter (she wanted me to be on it for a year). This was all before I decided to start going paleo and become more generally 'holistic'. I'm now learning about other supplements that can be used for anxiety/depression and working with my endocrinologist (since I have thyroid disease) to try these out. I wish I had known about these other alternatives BEFORE going on the SSRI because they really are a bitch to withdraw from (this is my second time withdrawing from this med...it sucks).

                My advice would be to seek more natural therapies before medication. Working with a counselor is great. Some supplements that help with anxiety/depression are tryptophan and 5HTP. Also, your adrenals can have an impact on your anxiety, especially since it seems like you've been overwhelmed. I suggest reading 'The Mood Cure' by Julia Ross. It's very insightful on different natural avenues to treating anxiety/depression. If all else fails, there is always medication.

                I know how much anxiety can suck, but personally, I've found that medication is a short term solution and/or a band-aid.

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                • #9
                  Just a side note... have you seen a primary care doc to rule out other reasons for the nausea? It could be anxiety, but you also want to make sure it's not something else like an ulcer...

                  If it is anxiety I'd look into learning skills to manage it (with or without meds). There's nothing more powerful than managing ones own anxiety responses. Meds can be very useful, and also knowing how to calm yourself will be hugely beneficial

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                  • #10
                    I encourage you to check out the Anxiety and Phobia workbook if you have it at your local library (or order it)...good information inside.
                    carl's cave

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                    • #11
                      I get anxious and have trouble sleeping when I'm under a lot of stress. I find that some kind protracted and rhythmic exercise like walking or biking for an hour helps more than anything else I've tried.
                      cj

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                      • #12
                        The thought of anxiety meds makes me really nervous. The whole thing is treating the symptom not the cause.
                        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                        • #13
                          I went the path of alternatives.

                          Anxiety, unlike depression, in my experience, is much less meds necessary. Your adrenals are typically out of whack, as well as your thoughts. If you have issues with panic attacks, especially a racing heart, try a good high quality Phosphatydil Serine (spelling?); like the kind from Chiropractors or other Doctors that sell naturopathic supplements. It works wonders for me. Im not on it right now, but Ive had to stay on it for months at a time. It can mess with your stomach if you take too much at one time, but its not nausea and it doesnt last.

                          -Jones

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by carlh View Post
                            I encourage you to check out the Anxiety and Phobia workbook if you have it at your local library (or order it)...good information inside.
                            My wife has this and would highly recommend it.

                            If you think the symptoms are manageable, I would avoid taking anxiety meds as they are difficult to change/drop when you are on them. A couple of things to think about:

                            - exercise, boosting your exercise program might help
                            - yoga/meditation type practices
                            - some natural supplements (tryptophan and 5HTP were already mentioned). Niacin/Niacinamide is one that works for some people
                            - seeing a counseler even without the meds could provide excellent support.

                            good luck.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jqbancroft View Post
                              The stomach aches, feeling overwhelmed and agitated, makes my thoughts of the fall semester so dismal I've decided to seek professional help with the possibility of taking medication.

                              However, I'm a little intimidated because I've never had to go on any serious meds before and I'm not sure how they will react with my body or what side effects I need to watch out for. Anyone here have advice/information/resources about these kinds of medication? I don't want to walk into the Dr.'s office clueless.
                              Bigger, Stronger, Faster* - Available on DVD Now
                              That documentary talks about performance enhancing drugs, including beta-blockers.

                              Evolutionary Psychiatry: Groovy Probiotics
                              Try eating more fermented foods and more saturated fat.

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