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    I've struggled with anxiety and getting worried since the beginning of 2012. I've always been a person that worries, but that was around the time when the just being a bit worried about stuff started to turn into pathological anxiety. Since then my anxiety has intensified and I've begun to get the physical symptoms of it too - I will shake, sweat excessively (been prescribed a strong anti-perspirant to deal with this), feel sick, cry...sometimes I'll get horrible stomach cramps too and I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome last September that seems to be linked to stress and anxiety as the symptoms only started when the anxiety started to get bad.

    I saw a doctor for unrelated reasons in October and I mentioned excessive sweating and that I worry a lot and he began to ask me questions about it, and eventually said that I seem to have a problem with anxiety that I need to seek help for, and to try the university's counselling service first and if things didn't get any better, then I should seriously consider medication. I was also tested for hyperthyroidism as I'd lost weight and sweating can be a symptom but the test came back negative. So I went and registered for counselling; I was referred to another service (the wellbeing service) first but they thought I had some underlying issues that need to be talked about before I can get over this properly - it took a while for them to get back to me but they eventually did and I had my first appointment just before the end of term.

    I'm willing to try the counselling and am hoping that will help me to work out why I struggle so much with anxiety (particularly relationship-related) but at the moment I'm at home for Easter and so I haven't seen my counsellor in a few weeks and there's still another week before I'll see her again, and I've been feeling almost constantly on edge. I'm beginning to lose my appetite a bit, and the anxiety attacks just seem to be creeping up on me and before I know it they're happening. It's got to a point where I'm fed up of fighting this anxiety what seems to be pretty much all of the time - sometimes I seem to be able to control it well but other times I really can't, and I'm so tired of it and frustrated by it, that last night I started to look up things that can be used to treat anxiety.

    I know a lot of people swear by Rescue Remedy and I've been told I should try that but I'm not sure how much it would help chronic anxiety, which mine is (if I do have an anxiety disorder I think it's probably Generalised Anxiety Disorder because I fit the symptoms perfectly) - has anyone on here tried it? What are your experiences of being prescribed medication such as Buspirone or benzodiazepines? I've looked them up but the side effects don't look particularly great Sorry this ended up being such a long post but I thought it's be best to explain it properly. Any replies would be much appreciated!
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    I took Paroxetine/Seroxat for anxiety for a few years. It helped quite a bit, but it made me a bit drowsy. It's not everyone's cup of tea, though.
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    Personally, as someone who's had anxiety for quite a while, I would recommend staying away from a lot medication (unless it's an emergency of course...and you should usually talk to your GP before anyone else)

    Try to be really, really careful about your daily routine ie. do some exercise every single day, get enough sleep, eat regularly (even if you feel like ****) and drink water. Stay away from alcohol and other drugs, don't eat junk food. I know it sounds so horribly cliche, but if you sort the basics out, you can start with a CBT course and get to the bottom of your thoughts.

    If you work on your thoughts and find out why you feel like you do, the recovery will be more stable (ie. you will feel that you have control of your own mind to some degree).

    But you should really talk to a medical professional .
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    (Original post by BingTaoBing)
    Personally, as someone who's had anxiety for quite a while, I would recommend staying away from a lot medication (unless it's an emergency of course...and you should usually talk to your GP before anyone else)

    Try to be really, really careful about your daily routine ie. do some exercise every single day, get enough sleep, eat regularly (even if you feel like ****) and drink water. Stay away from alcohol and other drugs, don't eat junk food. I know it sounds so horribly cliche, but if you sort the basics out, you can start with a CBT course and get to the bottom of your thoughts.

    If you work on your thoughts and find out why you feel like you do, the recovery will be more stable (ie. you will feel that you have control of your own mind to some degree).

    But you should really talk to a medical professional .
    Yeah, I was going to see a doctor before making any decision about it, and I've realised that now, with my exams starting in two weeks, probably wouldn't be a great time.

    I do try to follow a routine and try to get enough sleep, as I know that being tired can make my anxiety worse (although when it's bad I tend not to sleep very well anyway), and I eat regular meals...I could do more exercise though. I don't drink or take any drugs.

    I've started counselling and should have 5 more sessions with the uni, which should hopefully help me to sort things out. But if things continue to be really bad I will go back and see a doctor about it.
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    (Original post by BlueSheep32)
    Yeah, I was going to see a doctor before making any decision about it, and I've realised that now, with my exams starting in two weeks, probably wouldn't be a great time.

    I do try to follow a routine and try to get enough sleep, as I know that being tired can make my anxiety worse (although when it's bad I tend not to sleep very well anyway), and I eat regular meals...I could do more exercise though. I don't drink or take any drugs.

    I've started counselling and should have 5 more sessions with the uni, which should hopefully help me to sort things out. But if things continue to be really bad I will go back and see a doctor about it.

    That sounds like a good plan. If you really engage with the counselling and really try to get the most out of it (ie. asking the therapist as many questions as you can, asking what to do in a difficult situation, setting up daily exercise routines, food diaries etc.) then the improvements really start to show after about 4 sessions.

    I had counselling a couple of years back and I just didn't bother with it. I thought it was rubbish and that it wasn't going to help, and so things didn't change. But now I've started again, and things are definitely improving. You've really got to invest and make an effort to change.

    Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!
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    I have been diagnosed with health anxiety and panic disorder for 3 years now. I've been on various SSRI's, beta blockers and I'm currently on seroxat. The problem now of course is that I'm dependant on them and one of the side effects of stopping the medication is panic attacks and/or anxiety... which is a vicious circle and cue me taking the medication again. Of course if your anxiety is not improving and is having a high negative effect on you then I'd recommend it. I was unable to get out of bed for fear of my panic attacks this time last year. When I'm on seroxat I feel like I might be drowsy but at least i'm not living in fear.

    I hope your counselling goes well and that you begin to feel better.
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    Just wanted to bump this thread because a lot's happened since I posted it and I'd like some more advice. I apologize for it being such a long post.

    I've had two counselling sessions since I got back to uni. In the first one, last Monday, it was still awkward to begin with, but eventually the counsellor I'm seeing said she thinks I'd benefit from talking about my grandad's death four years ago and how that affected me and why it might have been a trigger. She also suggested I get assessed by a GP because she was concerned about how high my levels of anxiety were and wondered if I might have some form of depression as well.

    I went to the GP later that day (I'd have put it off but I also felt physically unwell so I wanted to see what that was) and after I went through my anxiety-related symptoms, she asked me the standard questions that a GP will ask someone who thinks they might be depressed. After I'd answered them, she said it did sound like I might have been suffering from depression for the last 18 months or so as well as anxiety, and was about to prescribe me some antidepressants, until I mentioned that I had three exams the following week (this week), so she gave me a leaflet on SSRIs to take home and said she was leaving the anxiety to be dealt with by the counsellor I'm seeing, and told me to think about it and see her again after my exams are over in a few weeks' time.

    I've done my three exams this week now, and two of them felt like they'd gone really badly. I had massive mental blocks in both of them and couldn't remember things that I'd revised well and close to the exam. So that made me feel low and anxious about not doing as well as I'd like and what my parents would say about that.

    I had another counselling appointment yesterday, and this time it felt like we'd made some progress. We ended up talking about my relationship with my parents and I'd never have thought about it but after we spent pretty much the whole hour talking about it, I realised that it could be a factor. She also said that the antidepressants might be a good idea, as they might help to reduce my levels of anxiety and depression in the long term and help me to get some of my confidence back. A few other people (online friends) I've spoken to have said I should think about them as well because although the side effects are rubbish at first, they do make a difference if you're on the right one. My boyfriend's not keen on the idea (he didA-Level Pscyhology and it sounds like his teacher made them sound really bad because of the side effects), but says he just wants me to be happy because he hates it when I feel so bad, and he'll support me whatever I decide to do.

    My parents, however, aren't convinced that I'm depressed. My mum's not even convinced that I have an anxiety disorder and I think she thinks the way I am is my own fault. My dad understands the anxiety side of things a bit as he's a big worrier himself and has tried to help with that, but he doesn't think that I'm depressed. It upsets me that I feel like I can't tell them about how bad I've felt because I feel like they won't believe me, and I want to tell them how the way they are towards me sometimes affects me but I'm scared of how they'll react because the things that they do that bother me are things that they think they were doing to try and help and it'll make me seem like I'm ungrateful for everything they've ever done for me and I'm not; I just want them to know so that they can avoid doing things like that in future (for example telling me that I'm an adult and decisions are mine to make, then expressing disapproval if they think I've made the wrong choice - it's like they don't trust me to make the right choices in life and know what's best for me). My mum's not known for her ability to take criticism well, let's put it that way - I'm so scared about how they'd respond to me saying this.

    I'm on the contraceptive pill and they always say it might be why I'm like this, but I started feeling low and anxious before I even started taking it. They also say a lot of it's because I'm in a relationship and a lot of my anxiety comes from worrying that I'm going to lose my boyfriend and they think we have a relationship that's "too intense" for two people our age.

    But yeah, back to the antidepressants - would it be worth trying them to see if they do anything to help both the depression and anxiety? I'm a bit wary of the side effects (although I've been told that they usually go away after the first few weeks) and whether they might interact with the pill.
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    Ask for mirtazapine
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    (Original post by BlueSheep32)
    But yeah, back to the antidepressants - would it be worth trying them to see if they do anything to help both the depression and anxiety? I'm a bit wary of the side effects (although I've been told that they usually go away after the first few weeks) and whether they might interact with the pill.
    Yes, I think it's a good idea to take some antidepressant, since it may help you to cope with the anxiety. Just remember that it's not a magic pill that will solve all your problems, but it may help you to cope with them. Also, keep in mind that it may take a few weeks for you to notice the possitive effects of the medication. The GP will know which one is the most appropriate for you and whether or not it interacts with the pill (though I don't think it will).

    As for the side effects, I'm currently taking a small dose of sertraline and haven't had any serious side effects, except for a little and tolerable drowsiness. BTW, in my experience psychologists always tend to disapprove the use of medication, but in some cases it may be of help.

    Good luck and I hope you get well soon.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Yes, I think it's a good idea to take some antidepressant, since it may help you to cope with the anxiety. Just remember that it's not a magic pill that will solve all your problems, but it may help you to cope with them. Also, keep in mind that it may take a few weeks for you to notice the possitive effects of the medication. The GP will know which one is the most appropriate for you and whether or not it interacts with the pill (though I don't think it will).

    As for the side effects, I'm currently taking a small dose of sertraline and haven't had any serious side effects, except for a little and tolerable drowsiness. BTW, in my experience psychologists always tend to disapprove the use of medication, but in some cases it may be of help.

    Good luck and I hope you get well soon.
    That's how I'm thinking about it - that it won't get rid of the depression and anxiety, but it'll make it easier for me to try and tackle them in other ways. I think the only thing it might do with the pill is cause diarrhoea/nausea that might interfere with its absorption, but I've heard that the negative side effects tend to go away after the first few weeks.

    I'm still a bit undecided (silly as it sounds the side effect I am most worried is the reduction of sex drive because I generally seem to have quite a high one and so does my boyfriend), and I've got a couple of weeks before my exams end and I go back to my GP, but I'm beginning to think it might just help to get me back on track a bit.

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by BlueSheep32)
    That's how I'm thinking about it - that it won't get rid of the depression and anxiety, but it'll make it easier for me to try and tackle them in other ways. I think the only thing it might do with the pill is cause diarrhoea/nausea that might interfere with its absorption, but I've heard that the negative side effects tend to go away after the first few weeks.

    I'm still a bit undecided (silly as it sounds the side effect I am most worried is the reduction of sex drive because I generally seem to have quite a high one and so does my boyfriend), and I've got a couple of weeks before my exams end and I go back to my GP, but I'm beginning to think it might just help to get me back on track a bit.

    Thank you!
    Well, besides the Sertraline, I'm taking Aripiprazole (an antipsychotic), and even with both medications I haven't experienced a noticeable reduction of my sex drive (I too have a high sex drive).

    As for the possible side effects, I take the Sertraline with my breakfast since my psychiatrist told me to do so. I suppose they will diminish after a few weeks, anyway.

    Cheers.
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    I have been on sertraline for anxiety/panic attacks and depression for the past 6 months and it's the best thing i've ever done! I have no bad side effects like past tablets I have taken, it just makes me a little more energetic and a tad restless which isn't a bad thing because I do things all the time now, I never used to leave the house.

    If I forget to take a tablet, the first time I will realise is when l notice I'll be feeling down and anxious, it makes that much of a difference!
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    (Original post by BlueSheep32)
    That's how I'm thinking about it - that it won't get rid of the depression and anxiety, but it'll make it easier for me to try and tackle them in other ways. I think the only thing it might do with the pill is cause diarrhoea/nausea that might interfere with its absorption, but I've heard that the negative side effects tend to go away after the first few weeks.

    I'm still a bit undecided (silly as it sounds the side effect I am most worried is the reduction of sex drive because I generally seem to have quite a high one and so does my boyfriend), and I've got a couple of weeks before my exams end and I go back to my GP, but I'm beginning to think it might just help to get me back on track a bit.

    Thank you!
    I haven't noticed any of those effects from Sertraline with regards to sexual function, was just really headaches and feeling a bit sick when I started those to be fair!

    Would definitely recommend the SSRI's from personal experience..
 
 
 
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