Meds or no? Return of anxiety and depression

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Hi everyone,

After years of staying off of Zoloft, but taking xanax as needed, I feel like I'm back to when I was first diagnosed over 20 years ago. My anxiety is quite bad, to the point where I hate being alone, mainly stay in my room, and so much more. The depression is probably worse than I thought, and it's over bereavement and how life changed so suddenly, etc. I also have some medical problems that getting sorted out super slowly. Possible LPR, but no tests done, a deviated septum, and a cyst in my left maxillary sinus cavity.

Anyhow, I'm just wondering if it's best to keep pushing on, or go back on Zoloft? I have a psychiatrist, but have no interest in a therapist. After 23 years of this, they all tend to sound the same, say the same speech, all very robotic in my opinion.

Thanks for the input.


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30 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there Kim,

    Bereavement is a difficult issue. Everyone deals with the loss diferently but this is something we all have to deal with at some point in our life or other

    We take our life and those in it for granted and it's a terrible shock and painful when that alters irrevocably

    The fact that you are having medical problems on top of all that  appears to be overwhelming you and no wonder.

    Only you can decide whether or not to go back on meds. Personally I would because at this moment in time you are struggling to cope with everything and it's depressing you. There is no shame in taking meds nor sense in strugging to cope either

    Had you, say, a broken leg you'd have a pot on it not limp around. Had you a severe headache you'd take a pain killer

    So yes, my opinion only, meds might help you cope with the worst of the symptoms. Give you a breathing space to get back on track

    There will come a time when you will cope with your bereavement. Initially, shock and fear and pain are all consuming. But given time that shifts and good memories replace those. You will remember lost one with smiles, with fondness.

    When I first lost my Father, then my Mother, I was devastated. And it reminds one of our own mortality too which adds fear. We want things to stay the same, that is only natural. So coming to terms with life changes is a long and hard road

    But you will get there, Kim. We all do given time

    Be kind to yourself in the meantime. Take charge of your self. Know that your medical problems will be sorted out given time. Let that comfort you. Know that the grief you are feeling now will be replaced by acceptance, with memories. Because that's the natural order of things

    It's good you have a psychiatrist in whom you can confide and who will help you at this difficult time in your life. And doubtless the Forum friends will all be "there" for you when you feel you need a kindly word of comfort and support.

    It's not easy to look at what you do have in life, Kim, as opposed to what you don't have. But that is a starting point.

    Try to find  small things in your day that make you happy. That replaces negatives with positives

    I send you hugs, I really do. Be brave, dear, dig deep in you for strength and courage. It's there in everyone if we look for it


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    • Posted

      Awwwww, Helen you have managed to bring tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for responding. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know.

      I thought my bereavement would have eased by now, at least a little bit, but I guess it hasn't. The bereavement is over the loss off my mom who passed in May of 2015. She lived downstairs from me for 18+ years, so I was there for absolutely everything. It's strange because when my mom was sick, I hadn't been sick in ages. A month after she passed I got sick, and it's gone on from there. Sometimes I think it's her pointing out dire problems, like when my gallbladder needed to come out asap. Once it was out, I was told it should have been taken out years ago. Basically, I was knocking on death's door. However, everything that's come after that makes me wonder if it's psychosomatic.

      My psychiatrist is great, but I haven't been 100% honest with her. She doesn't know that I stopped Zoloft. I didn't want to tell her in case she would decide to stop the xanax, and in case I decided that I had to go back on. Well, considering going back on took longer than I thought, but I was proud of that. My next step was to wean off of xanax, but then my mom got her diagnosis. Anyway, I don't know what to tell the psychiatrist so that I don't look like a horrible person.

      I live in the US, and we celebrate Thanksgiving here. Well, this is the second year that I haven't because I've been sick. It almost looks like Christmas might be the same way. My daughter is 24, and is missing those holidays, but now I see them as just another day. Pretty selfish of me.

      Thanks for listening



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    • Posted

      Kim, dearest, there is nothing selfish about you!

      It's hard to embrace festivities when we are grieving a parent. I know more than most cos my own Father died on a Boxing Day. That morning he collapsed, that day was spent in Intensive Care willing him to fight. He lost that fight early evening

      Once we lose a parent, Kim, we cease to become a child, albeit an adult child. When we have a parent there is someone to whom we turn, the one who nutured us from birth and who is there to care and protect us throughout our life

      So, when we lose that, we stand alone. We have to be the ADULT. We have to be the strong one for everyone.And that's not easy, Kim. An inner voice cries, But who is there for me?

      And the answer is of course, you are there for you

      You will be strong because you are a Mom, You will take on your own Mom's mantle and be for your daughter , be for her what your Mom was for you

      We Mom's are tigresses when it comes to our "cubs" smile

      You will find in you that courage honey. Please believe that. I found it and I swear I am not brave nor strong


      I realized, having lost my parents,, that all that they were for me, I now had to be for my children. So that come the day, they can be all I was to them for their children

      It's the pattern of life, Kim. And we are the threads that weave that pattern

      It's barely over a year since you lost your Mom, No time at all. Give yourself time.  make an effort to seperate your grief from normal everyday life. You have to embrace your life not just for your sake, but for that of your family

      As far as your psychiatrist is concerned, please be honest with her. She cannot help you to the best of her ability if she only knows half the story. It does more harm than good to withhold and you wil be the one to pay the price healthwise emotionally. You will not appear as a horrible person!

      Get that notion out of your head, silly noodle

      Most people lie to GP,s,, How many cigarettes do you smoke?

      Ten doctor

      LIE! and the GP knows it

      How much alcohol do you consume weekly?

      A glass of wine now and then

      LIE! and the GP knows it

      Psychiatrist are accustomed to patients withholding info, telling porkies. After all it's not easy laying bare our souls. Naturally, instinctive preservation makes us use avoidance, lies...

      Start with a clean slate in your next session. You will feel better for it and your psychiatrist will be able to guide you along the recovery path

      I would suggest you say to her you stopped the Zoloft because you needed to feel a measure of control because you felt you had no control in your life whatsoever. That you wanted to prove to yourself that you were strong

      No shame in that

      Try to make an effort where Christmas is concerned. Nothing over strenuous. Explain to your daughter your physical problems are wearing you down and that you miss your Mom.

      But try, Kim. For your own sake. For the sake of your loved ones

      And in honour of your Mom.

      That would make her proud smile

      Much love

      Helen xx


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    • Posted

      I'm so sorry to hear about your. Having him pass on Boxing Day is such a constant reminder. sad

      I only had one parent, because my mom divorced my dad when I was 2. Evidently he thought that meant he didn't have a kid as well. I was raised by two very strong women, my grandmother and mother. You're quite right about us becoming tigresses when it comes to our cubs. It's like nothing else matters when it comes to our kids, especially if it's something we believe to be wrong or bad. I tend to go "beast mode" lol

      My daughter still lives at home, and knows what I'm going through to a point. She understands, but I think sometimes my situation bugs her. I definitely feel like I hinder the family. My hubby and I are supposed to be moving into the lower house, where my mom was, and my daughter will remain in the upper, which will be her first time living on her own. So, we'll be close, but with just enough distance so that she feels comfortable. She works, and is in college for biotechnology, so there's no way she could afford to fully move out. In that way, I see how the circle continues when I take over for my mom, and my daughter for me.

      I can definitely tell my shrink that I wanted to try to take control of my life without meds, because she knows how much I hate them. They tend to make emotions flat, but without them it's like there's too many emotions. Perhaps a small dosage would be okay, but I would probably stay on it for life. Going on and off is too much of a hassle, and at age 45, I don't want to continue that rollercoaster ride.

      I've never heard of "telling porkies" but it sure made me laugh, so I'll have to remember that. 😁

      Thanks for all of your help. You're absolutely amazing! 💜



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    • Posted

      Hi Kim,

      Well I am on 50mg sertraline so, just enough to enable me to cope but not enough to turn me into a zombie, lol

      Yes, Kim, the wheel turns full circle smile

      And no, I don't think your situation bugs your daughter. It's more likely she feels helpless in the face of your problems. And yes, kids, even grown up one's , get scared if their parents show so much of an inch of what they fear is "weakness"

      You'll be okay honey.

      You'll move into the lower house and the walls will "embrace " you cos this is where your Momma lived. We leave behind an impression and don't let anyone tell you otherwise

      When I go back home to my late grandparents home in Austria, it's as though their love and the memories wash over me like a warm huge all embracing hug

      Now then Kim, if all this gets a bit much you can get in touch with me, okay? I've been in your shoes, so to speak. I know what it's like. Sometimes we need to "let it all hang out" but don't want to heap that upon loved ones

      That's what friends are for, right?

      And if ever you need a friend I can be one if the need arises..and no, I'm not telling porkies here, lol

      Big ole hugs

      Helen xx

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    • Posted

      There was a couple of times that I wanted to write you, but didn't want to bug you. That's pretty much the same reason I don't post much on here.

      I was on 50mg of sertaline as well, and that's when I felt the best. The doctor did bump me up to 100mg, but that didn't feel right, so back to 50 I went. Eventually I got cocky, and stopped them cold turkey. That was horrible! However, now I'm afraid to start them again because of the start up effects that people talk about. I don't remember having them, but that was years ago and there was no Google. lol

      My daughter has recently brought up going to see a psychiatrist, and it wasn't a shock. When she was 17 she told me that she thought she had anxiety. She turned 24 in October, and that's near the age I was when I was diagnosed. My psychiatrist told me to keep an eye out for signs with her, but I didn't have to, because she took an online quiz and her results came back as GAD, and depression. The kid keeps changing her mind about going to the doctor, but I think that's simply because each day is different. I can't help but think that if I got myself together, she wouldn't feel like she does, but that's probably not how it works. Whatever she decides, I'll support her. If she does have anxiety and depression, she'll be the 4th generation of sufferers.

      Thanks so much for everything!

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    • Posted

      If you had no problems with side-effects from the meds the first time there is no reason to assume you will have them should you decide to start on them again.


      Googling at times does more harm than good

      I do fear that if you expect side-effects then side-effects you will have. The mind is very open to suggestion

      There is no sense if believing that if you "got yourself together" as you termed it, that your daughter wouldn't feel as she does

      She is an individual human being, with her own individual thoughts and feelings and coping mechanisms. If she has GAD then thankfully, times are more enlightened and there is far more knowledge and understanding of the illness than there once was

      Having said that, the Medical World has dragged its ass where Anxiety/Panic Disorder is concerned. There is a long way to go before tailored medical help will "cure" patients

      For now we must help ourselves....We must help each other.

      And we can

      And we will smile

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    • Posted

      I didn't have to Google side effects, I just come on here and see all of the complaints. lol However, I do know that everyone reacts differently to medications. It seems like I've gotten more sensitive to them as I've gotten older. For now I have to deal with a deviated septum, and all of problems it's bringing, plus possible LPR. No clue as to which is contributing to the other, but the medical field is dragging their feet as I get worse.

      It's so true how we have to help ourselves and each other, no matter what the situation is. Doctor's are so overbooked now, and people are more of a number. I liked when my doctor had a private practice, and left the computer stuff to the office manager. He had more time and was very thorough. When he joined a big facility, everything changed. Appointments feel rushed because he has to dictate absolutely everything. I'm just glad that he hates it as much as I do. lol

      So far my daughter hasn't made an appointment to see anyone, but I'm glad she's self-aware. I kinda think she's trying to work through it on her own, at least for now.

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    • Posted

      I presume you know how to self-help when it comes to LPR? I have a haitus hernia which causes similiar symptoms of LPR and have had to deal with that with meds and lots of self-help

      The deviated septum is unpleasant to say the least. I hope this will be resolved for you sooner rather than later. In the meantime try not to let this get you down emotionally...not easy when one feels unwell. It's day at a time, Kim, coping here and now, much the same as it is with AD/PD

      The public at large are not blameless where GP's are concerned. We live in a society that expects a "Pill for every ill"  They are on the practice doorstep for any slight sniffle or ache

      Many minor complaints can be dealt with by the local pharmacist and plain common sense but people choose not to take that route, preferring instead to swell the patient numbers in their surgery

      Then there is the ludicrous and unnecessary demand for tests, despite reassurances from the GP that none are required. Sometimes these tests are performed not once but several times.

      I know I'll get hell for saying tha.t

      , But for every time waster this puts back appointment times for those whose need is genuine and necessary. GP's are pressured into arranging tests.

      And I appreciate that there are those who need constant reassurance, who do not believe test results. But this problem, which is growing alarmingly, needs to be addressed. And re-testing is not the answer. If people are afraid the test results are faulty, it is the fear that needs addressing

      Apart from that, testing over and over entrenches in the patient the belief  that they need these tests, that something is "wrong" So the problem escalates and the real problem, the root cause, which is fear, is not being treated. The patient remains stuck in the fear/anxiety/panic cycle

      I will be hated for stating that, sadly. But it's the truth, harsh though that may seem. Acceptance of tests results, dealing with the real problem, to me anyway, is the way forward

      Naturally I would hate to hurt or offend anyone. However, I feel sad that there are patients literally stuck in their problem as opposed to finding a way out of it

      Hugs Helen


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    • Posted

      I agree with you 100% about the repeat testers, and the disbelief. It's seen so much on here, but nothing can be done until they're convinced by their own mind.

      I've never been tested for LPR, but have had every symptom since my gallbladder was removed. It's a learning process for me still. As far as tests go, I've had the ENT send me for at CAT scan in September, and that showed the deviated septum and cyst in my left maxillary sinus cavity, along with infections. The in the emergency room on October 30th, an EKG was done, and blood was drawn. They didn't test for much of anything, but I didn't know that until my doctor showed me. Oh, I did get an x-ray of the lungs while at the hospital, but only because I beg them, and it came out clear. However, not long after I was treated for a kidney infection. They probably would have found it if they had done a urinalysis, but my sample was just left there. I'd like to get a nice round of tests to find out what's clear and what needs to be fixed. Things like getting my thyroid level checked again because I do take meds for it, and a mini cardiovascular workup would be nice because I do take a blood pressure med. Plus my family has a history of heart disease and such. According to my husband and daughter, I'm too nice and that's what's causing me to not get tested or helped sooner, plus I'm stubborn. lol

      Basically, I would just like my regular checkups, and only scans and such when needed. They're too expensive to constantly do, even with good insurance, and they're time consuming, so my philosophy is "one and done" unless ordered otherwise. When I was new to anxiety, I was at the hospital alot getting so many tests done, but it stopped after my diagnosis. During that time there was no computers in many homes, so no Google. lol Now at age 45, I'm too old to want to deal with that nonsense anymore. 😁

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    • Posted

      Yes, regular health checks are needed.

      I am fortunate that in the village where I live the practice has a WellWoman  and WellMan Clinic and woe betide anyone who fails to attend the yearly appointments, lol

      The phone rings or you would have to skulk around the village in disguise to evade the beady eyes of the practice GP, Nurses and reception staff

      We as a family avail ourselves of all the offered screenings and tests. Prevention being a comforting avenue to walk

      Some tests/screenings are of an intimate nature and I have to bully the menfolk of my family ( one husband and 2 grown sons) into going

      What is it with men anyway?

      They go because it's either bare their bits and pieces for close scrutiny to the GP or have me screeching like a fishwife at prizes for guessing  their preference

      My haitus hernia has been a pain in the ass...well, not ass but belly, sigh.

      I can advise you eat little and often, sitting down to eat is important as is chewing your food thoroughly. Plenty of fluids, raise the bed at the pillow end so you are not laid flat in bed and thus the acid does not rise to your chest and throat

      Stay off acidic fruits/fizzy drinks.

      Being too nice. Well, I have found many a time that my, my dentist, GP or a Nurse or a Specialist oftencomment upon how polite I am...which tells me many patients are not

      I have the honour of being the favourite patient at the Eye Clinic where I go for my monthly eye injections of which I am shamefully proud of, lol.

      Being rude, agressive and demanding serves no purpose other than to place ones self in a poor light.

      Personally, i am always grateful for any medical help given

      And yes, Kim, I am stubborn to a fault, heehee



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    • Posted

      The LPR is a bit crazy, if I actually have it. At first things were bad, then it got to the point where I could eat and drink anything I wanted. So, now I'm wondering if I have slow digestion since the gallbladder removal, and some LPR going on. Either way, each day is different for me, and I'm trying to find out trigger foods. Unfortunately, I like my fizzy drinks, tea, and sometimes too much water. If LPR can cause chest, and shoulder pain, then I definitely have it. The excess mucus had gotten better, but still deal with the globus sensation every so often.

      My husband had finally been getting better at going to the doctor, but it has taken years of me getting on him about it. The biggest catapult was finding a "spot" on his back that was on the verge of becoming cancerous, so he listens now. lol

      Come January I will have been with my doctor for 21 years, so that's another reason for my niceness, but I can kinda see how it can get in the way of things. Somewhat like being too comfortable so there can be a lot of gabbing sometimes. smile

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    • Posted

      Well, be it LPR or as a result of your gall bladder removal, you need to take care of your digestive system

      I know, I know it sucks sad

      When I "fall off the wagon " so to speak, I always pay the price. I never learn.

      I get complacent and get into bad eating habits and sometimes I get away with it and other times I'm wide awake in the middle of the night, clutching my painful belly and wishing the pain would go away.and telling myself never again...sob

      I have what is politelty termed a healthy appetite. The problem is I can eat and never, ever put on a pound in weight. That sounds wonderful to some but the trouble with being a pig at a trough like me, one forgets the boundries

      And tummy problems require boundries

      So, Kim, start looking after your tummysmile


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    • Posted

      Next time you're at your GP's ask him about Neti Pots.

      They are safe to use with a deviated septum....I bought my son one, after much research and after consulting the GP, as he has chronic sinus problems

      They are wonderful for nasal irrigation smile

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    • Posted

      I've tried the Neti, but haven't had any luck. I'm not sure if it's because of the septum or the cyst putting pressure on the surrounding area. I'm supposed to use a steroid spray for now, but to get that to go in I have to use a saline mist a bunch of times. After that I'm lucky to get at least one spray of the steroid in. The way I explained it to my daughter was, put a tampon up one nostril, push the other one closed, and try to breathe out of just the tampon nostril. Weird analogy, but fits perfectly. lol

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