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Tovah

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About Tovah

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  1. I hope you have a fantastic day :)

  2. I was on ritalin for 2 years because of tiredness caused by Paxil. Long story but I had to go off the Paxil and I went manic, so had to go off the ritalin. It's been 6 months without ritalin and I'm on Lexapro, Lithium, Valium (hope to go off that soon) and Zyprexa. I'm less depressed than a few months ago (I was suicidal) but I really, really miss the ritalin. The ritalin, I see now, made everything more interesting and exciting and put me into a hypomania for a couple of years. Now without it I don't feel interested in anything, can't concentrate, and I feel sad. My doc won't put me back on ritalin because I already tried Provigil and started to go manic. So no way could I go on an amphetimine. I am just wondering if I am alone in this.
  3. I have 20 mg tablets I can take 2x a day. What they say is correct - it helps with the physical symptoms of anxiety (palpitatons, sweating, shaking) and not the mental aspect. But for me it really helps because having the physical symptoms makes my mind work overtime. They're not addictive like benzos. Your dose does seem low, though, but I'm no doc.
  4. Lexapro has worked for me but it has taken several weeks to do so. I also had very good luck with Paxil but it "pooped out" after 5 years. Good luck.
  5. Yeah, why is he taking you off? Are they not working or are they making you sick? Is it a PDoc? Just curious. IMHO it is OK to stay on meds that are working as long as necessary.
  6. The talk out there now is that a megastudy showed that A/D's only work due to the placebo effect. There were a number of studies that showed the same percentage of people got well on a placebo as well as the real medication. About 10% more got well on the actual med and they felt this wasn't significant enough to say A/Ds really work. Dr. Burns who wrote FEELING GOOD also says the same thing - that the pills don't work and any improvement is all in your head. I've been thinking about that for weeks and I've come to a different concusion. I don't believe it because 1. If it were the placebo effect, it wouldn't take people 6-8 weeks to feel better on an A/D. They'd feel better the first day they took the pill. 2. These studies were 4 weeks long. Too short for most A/Ds to work. 3. Most people have to try more than one A/D before it works. If it was placebo it would work with the very first try. 4. I KNOW my depression is chemical in nature. Many days my mood is so terribly low and there are no particular negative thoughts in my mind. Sometimes "how you think is how you feel" but sometimes how you feel is how you think, I don't care what Dr. Burns says. Any thoughts??
  7. When I was on Paxil and very sedated, my doc put me on Provigil. It worked great. Then my insurance quit covering it so he put me on Ritalin. That worked great too but eventually the Paxil quit working, he weaned me off, put me on Welbutrin and I went manic. Luckily the fatigue from the Lexapro is wearing off because I tried Provigil again and started to go manic again. :(
  8. I'm on valium instead of the xanax. I also take lithium, zyprexa and stared 6 weeks ago on Lexapro. I am hoping the Lexapro will really kick in against my anxiety so I can start my Valium taper but it hasn't yet (I've only been on a full dose for 3 days). Tovah
  9. Well here's my story. For 20 years I had a prescription for Xanax that I took as needed. One bottle would last months. I took it to get over my fear of the dentist, flying, it was great. I wish I would have stopped there. But a year ago I started going through a very stressful time. My doctor told me to take 4 a day, every day. I didn't know any better and followed his advice. Within a couple of month I was having tolerance withdrawal between doses. He put me on 4 valium a day, which last longer. Now I am dependent, and the valium does absolutely nothing to curb my anxiety. In fact it makes it much worse than it was before I went on it. And now I have to taper off it, which could take a year and provoke panic attacks, insomnia, possibly a manic phase (I'm bipolar). If I felt better taking it, it would be great, but I don't. I have constant anxiety now worse than before I was put on the 4 a day. If I could go back in time and change that moment the doctor prescribed me and NOT take his advice I would do so. In fact if I had one moment in my entire life to change, I would. Because I am so so so so so fearful of going off the Valium. But I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. Not to mention that now I have nothing I can take for immediate needs, like I used to take the Xanax. I'm so angry at my ex doctor I wish I could sue him. Even my new doctor doesn't really see the need for me to come off, and she's treating it as no big deal. But I'm so terrified I want to cry. Benzos are GREAT to take for once in a while. But don't take them every day. Please. (PS. I'm now down to 3 daily. A total of 15 mg Val)
  10. If you do get the tremor it should go away in a few weeks :) I don't know about the itching - never heard of that one Of all my meds Lithium causes the fewest side effects. It's a lifesaver.
  11. But only 2nd week of 3/4 of a pill. I started out at 1/4 of a pill so I probably am not at a therapeudic dose yet. What do you think? I see my PDoc next week and I want her to up me to a full, 10-mg pill. I HAVE noticed a change in my depression. It's not gone by any means but it is definitely better. I have noticed only a small change in my anxiety, though, and that is my most bothersome symptom. I understand that with Lexapro, it often helps with the depression first before it starts helping with the anxiety??? The fact it's helping with the depression, does that mean it works for me and should help with the GAD as well????? I am so &^%$ tired of this. There are things going on in my life that are very anxiety-provoking (job, finances) but the constant ruminating and physical symptoms of anxiety do NOT help the situation. I've tried it all ... I'm on a benzo which I want to taper off of as soon as I am stable on the Lex...I've tried talk therapy, CBT, EFT, EMDR, and now the Lexapro. I pray every single night and day to feel calm if even for a short while. I have kept a diary of my emotions since starting all this therapy. I did find 12 places where I wrote that I felt "no particular anxiety." So I have had moments here and there. I want more of those moments. I want a whole day, then a couple of days, then a week. I want my life back!! Please, God and Lexapro! I need you both!! Thanks for listening.
  12. I do the same thing. I'm afraid of my business going bankrupt and so I look online at bankrupsy, foreclosure, health insurance, COBRA, retirement .... you name it. For me it's all finance-related but there are spinoffs like what if I get too sick to work (I support my family), the cost of insuring my son's driving, etc. It's EXHAUSTING. Since I started on Lexapro I have had several days (not next to each other) where I didn't feel particularly anxious. But on the whole, yes, I have anxiety from the moment I get up in the morning and it lasts all day until evening when I take a dose of Zyprexa and go to bed. Thanks be to God for the Zyprexa as it does slow my thoughts and worries down. I take lithium, Lexapro, a beta blocker, and Diazapam which I really, really want to quit. I think it makes my anxiety worse but the doc won't taper me down until I show less anxiety on the Lexapro. I wish I could be on disability for a year to get off the benzos but it wouldn't pay the mortgage. I'd trade anxiety/depression for diabetes, cancer, anything. This is not living, and no one who doesn't have it understands at all.
  13. Well it looks like I'll have to go into more debt to work on this. The books say you can do it just by following the book and not having a therapist, but apparently I need one. I do have a friend who will treat me on a sliding scale and let me pay in installments. Here my biggest stressor is not having enough money and I'll have to pay money to talk about my anxieties about not having enough money. Sigh.
  14. I have "Feeling Good" and "When Panic Attacks" by Burns, as well as several other CBT books, and have read them repeatedly. I have literally 6 notebooks full of exercises using the techniques he describes about applying "realistic" thinking to conflict with "cognitive distortions." I know studies show that CBT is extremely powerful in terms of dealing with depression and anxiety both, and that CBT plus meds are the best treatment for both. I've run out of insurance for office visits so I'm really pushing to be able to do this myself. I did see a therapist a number of times about this and didn't really get anywhere anyway. The problem I'm having is that it seems the "realistic" thinking is just positive thinking or, really, denial. I feel like my problems aren't about my self-esteem but about true dangers affecting me and my family. For instance there is a chapter in one of Burns' books, "Your work is not your worth," where a lawyer loses his job and gets a job as a truck driver or something and due to CBT realizes he still has worth and is happy. Well, if I lose MY job - and I just may, because my field is in huge trouble in this economy - we'll lose the house. Screw self-esteem; I want a place to live. Not all negative thoughts are distorted. Some are valid. It seems CBT just wants to tell me that the things I worry about - my job, my husband's health, our finances - are silly and I should just ignore them and think happy thoughts. Has anyone been successful with CBT, and what am I missing? Because I really really want this to work.
  15. I know so well how you feel. For the past 6 months I have woken up every morning in a panic, wondering what that day's obsession will be .... will I be laid off? Will we lose the house? Will I lose my health insurance? How will we be able to retire? Will my husband get sicker than he is and be unable to work at all? Just last month I wrote down in my notebook 18 things I am worried about. 80% of them are things I can do nothing about, or nothing more than I am currently doing. And yet my body is in a constant flight or fight response. It's miserable. But it must get better and I'll tell you why. Three months ago I tried to xxx myself. Now I am on Lithium and Lexapro and I no longer want to be dead. My depression is lifting, though my anxiety is still there, but that is getting better too. I am doing some work on the side for some extra money. Last night I watched something funny on TV and I laughed. I am coming home from work and making dinner instead of laying on the couch. I am keeping a daily diary of my thoughts and feelings so I can be objective and objectively, I am getting better. I still have a long, long way to go to get to where I was before last March - I am worried I may never get there. As long as we are in the recession and I could lose my job I don't think I will be able to stop worrying. But I look at my co-workers and they are carrying on about their lives. My goal is to be able to do that, and laugh sometimes. With medication, talk therapy, and preferably both, you will begin to lift yourself out of that black hole. I know this because it is slowly happening to me.
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