I have anxiety and it's gotten to the point where the thought of leaving my house causes me anxiety. My friend of 7 years has asked me to stop at her house this weekend for a night and I was up until 2 am with my heart pounding and freaking out about going, I nearly text her to cancel on her. I've seen a psycologist, hypnotherapist and I'm now seeing a councillor and nothing has helped my anxiety. I'm worried that I'll be come too dependant on medication or the medication will give me negative side affects or my anxiety will be worse off in the end. I just feel like I'm going crazy and I need help. I can't stay in my house all the time, college starts in a week. Any advice on whether you think I need medication, what medication you think would be best and what your personal experience you've had with anxiety medication?
Obviously only a doctor (ideally consultant psychiatrist) can advise on which medication would be appropriate, if any. It certainly sounds as though your anxiety gets in the way of living a 'normal', functional life, which is generally when medication would be considered. As you have had therapy and are currently still in counselling, it seems reasonable to consider medication as a supplement to that. However I do wonder what kind of specific help you have been offered? Social phobia/agoraphobia tends to improve with graded exposure therapy, in addition to the more standard therapy like CBT. In my area I know there are also anxiety support groups, some of which are walking groups specifically for those with agoraphobia. It may be worth checking out what there is in your area, and to really push yourself to keep going out.
In terms of medication, there are non-addictive options for anxiety. Benzodiazepines are addictive, but SSRI antidepressants can help and there are others such as buspirone or propranolol which are not addictive. You may indeed experience some side-effects but there are unlikely to relate to the anxiety, or make it worse. Side-effects are often seemingly random physical things, such as headaches, weight changes or tiredness. Hope that helps and that things improve for you soon.
In the beginning (4 years ago) it was a Psycologist who diagnosed me with anxiety/panic disorders. Since then I have also seen other professionals and still continue to see a councillor. I have tried CBT, breathing exercises, hypnotherapy, ect. Nothing has worked. I've looked online for anxiety support groups, I found one and messaged them, I heard nothing back. I've looked online and tried everything I can think of. I do try and go out but my anxiety is now that bad where I do struggle to leave my house. It's not a quick or easy decision about talking to a doctor about medication, it's been 4 years and I've tried everything else. I can't live like this, this isn't a proper life, I feel trapped.
I am on medication to help with anxiety. I take propranolol ( which is common ) and buspirone which is less common. Like others have said though medications vary dependant on your Dr and your own medical history etc Part of my treatment for anxiety is also seein an occupational therapist and setting myself weekly challenges in my ain to overcome it. I also use an app on my phone called headspace , its worth a listen if youve never tried it plus its a free trial.
Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain."
Thank-you I've just downloaded the app headspace. I think because it's gotten to the point where I have major anxiety at just the thought of leaving my house is making me think I may need help especially when I have an important year at college starting in a week but I do know I wouldn't want to be on medication for a long period of time so I'm kinda worried that if I do go on medication then when I do come off them it'll make my anxiety worse, if you know what I mean?
If you go on medication and come off, you might find that things have actually improved. If medication enables to lead a life where you can go out, see friends and go to college, that in itself will improve your wellbeing. You might be able to make enough changes that when you choose to come off medication, you have a strong enough routine and life that anxiety will no longer interfere with it.
I would urge you to look at graded exposure therapy, but not to rush into anything that feels too overwhelming. I can see that it would be hard for you to approach a doctor and ask for more intervention because that in itself is anxiety-provoking. However you have been living with this a long time and doing your best to manage it, so I can't imagine any doctor would want to make things more difficult for you.
When is your doctor's appointment? I noticed your other thread about it - you might find it more helpful to keep things to one thread (per board) because otherwise things get confusing and people tend to give repetitive or conflicting advice.
I think the doctor will be used to these kind of issues; you have nothing to lose by talking about it. Is the appointment before college starts?
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We're definitely going to hell,
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