Is anxiety or GAD generally lifelong? Will I have to take Cit. or some other antidepressa for life?

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hello friends!

I am a 40 year old male. I know I have had panic attacks occasionally since in my late teens but they weren't affecting my life. I just thought it was normal stuff. I'm not 100% positive if I have had any anxiety or depression issues in general, earlier on. When a troubled marriage and children ensued I started to have more issues with anxiety. At the time I thought it was circumstantial. Forward about a decade, with the death of my mother, panic attacks mostly combined with anxiety, spun out of control and I had a nervous breakdown. I was on Cit. as prescribed by my Dr. for 10 months. So I weaned off over 2 months. I was doing well I thought for about 4 months. Not to mention, I have had no panic attacks since my breakdown.

Then my wife's mom died 3 months ago and that caused other problems on top of other marital problems. And my wife and I are separated for over a month now.

So I pretty much feel anxiety rearing it's ugly head, and with limited sleep that anxiety causes, I think depression comes. I thought I had I handle on this. I thought I could overcome it. With what you know about me, am I deceiving myself? Is this issue of mine, likely lifelong? Or just circumstantial? Do I have a PERMANENT lack of chemicals in my brain like GABA or serotonin or something? Of course I don't want to go back on it. But I will! I do believe it helped when I was on it.

Your wisdom and experience is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

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  • Posted

    hello, ive been on anti depressants for the last 20 years. my pysc diagnosed me as having recurring depression. it started off with anxiety and panic attacks, then when it became more persistant, it turned into depression. if youve had periods of anxiety or depression, and they come back, chances are they will continue to recur, when you come under pressure. its likely to be down to genetics and being too sensitive, thats what i think any way. if you are susceptable to either, long term, it may be worthwhile staying on medicationing term, rather than stopping and starting, with the time it takes for the meds to start working, and the side effects. also, if you come off, have a relapse, sometimes you can find it more difficult and it take much longer to recover. youd want a relatively long period, a year or two, of being symptom free, before thinking about slowly coming off a medication. i think your well being, is more important than worrying whether you will be on medication long term. if you feel well on meds, you you may not feel much or any better coming off them. if you need to stay on them you do, if you can come off them and stay off them, then great. if you find you are going through a tough patch, it wouldnt be a good idea to come off a med, if life is treating you well, and you feel good and in control consistantly, you can consider coming off them. it sounds like you recognise that you may need to go back on medication, and you dont see your situation changing any time soon, going back on the medication would make sense. hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      hi james, i would definitely go back on the meds if i were you, sounds like your not coping with your life as it is at the moment , going through what you've stated anybody would send anybody down, iv been on cit for 2 years for health anxiety, panic, breakdown, stress caused my nervous system to break down causing panic attacks, anxiety etc, there was a time i didnt want to be on them because i don't like relying on meds but now iv found my level im feeling normal again and i dont want to come off them, what im saying is once their in your system and you find your level you will have a great life again, good luck, Chris

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  • Posted


    I have had similar experiences, where i felt better after taking CIT for a whilst and therefore stopped. I am always fine until something very stressful happens and i relapse. Basically i do not think i have the same resources as other people for coping with anxiety and CIT really helps. A psychiatrist friend of mine told me that if the meds work for you and you do not suffer major side effects you are better to continue as the likelihood of relapse is so high.

    Good luck with your journey 😃


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  • Posted

    Hi James,

    I agree with previous comments keep up the meds. I'm in a similar boat, a 39 year old male, having had anxiety, OCD, GAD for years on off with small bouts of depression brought on by the latter. I've found you come off the meds after feeling well for a while, you carry on fine then bang something either happens to set it off and/or it creeps back on you. Whether it be due to a chemical imbalance or how we as individuals manage our daily lives I'm not sure. It could be a combination of both or previous life events that make us more prone (although that is not the case with me, no great dramas growing up). I've recently being having therapy with a cracking therapist, I've learn't so much. Much of it is to do with bad habits we have picked up and/or a genetic predisposition. I think its both with me, excessive worrying for example, especially on things you cant change doesn't help. Latching on to a bad thought (which most people get) and then going partly mad trying to get it out of your head (which only feeds the problem) is another.

    Statistically if you have had a couple of bouts of anxiety/depression you will have more. My father suffered terribly for years until the newer SSRI's became available, Citalopram saved him and although he has reduced his dosage he wont come off it even though it has been mentioned by his GP, hes been on it since it first came out around the early 1990's.

    What I'm trying to say whilst rambling is if your condition was a one off due to a bad episode or the side effects outweigh the benefits then come off them. If they help or you even think it may happen again one day then my advice is keep taking them, theres absolutely no evidence to suggest long term usage is damaging. Personally I'm staying on Cit for the long term, I'm sick of suffering on and off. One last thing, they are not a magic pill in my book, you still have to work at it. Drink in moderation, exercise, eat well, don't take too much on in life or at work, try therapy etc etc. All the best and good luck, its a terrible illness at times.

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