New here, looking for advise

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I just created this account because I read that finding a support group can help and I really hope this one does. This is gonna be long winded but I'm thinking there must be people here who can relate and offer some tips or insight. 

Basically I've had panic and anxiety attacks on and off for years, I never told anyone out of fear/shame, and was never interested in getting medication because even the idea of taking something for a headache gives me anxiety. About a month and a half ago my anxiety came back in a big way, I had attacks at least once a day, with no known trigger other than the fear of an attack coming on. It came to a head on Saturday, I couldn't eat and was in a constant state of either mild anxiety to total panic from the time I woke up until I fell asleep, it had never been so bad and this lasted three days before I couldn't take it anymore, on Monday, thinking I needed to go to the ER twice that day, I told my parents I absolutely needed to see a doctor. Tuesday my mother left work early to drive me to a phycologist, I was in such a state she said she couldn't help me and I needed to go to a walk in clinic where they would give me a benzo to calm me down. Straight from there we went to my GP, of course the idea of the meds made my mental state even worse. They ended up giving me the maximum dose of Valium intervieniously. That helped for a few minutes and out of nowhere my panic came back, after thirty minutes of my heartrate not slowing my GP called in an ambulance, thinking they would need to sedate me at the ER. They didn't, but they did give me Metoprolol, two doses of Xanax, something for my thyroid just to hedge their bets while they waited for my blood work to come in, and fluids. After three and a half hours I was discharged, my blood work and urine analysis both came back normal, but the ER Doctor gave me a prescription for Metoprolol, along with the Alprazolam prescription my GP gave earlier. 

When I got home I had pretty serious diarrhea, normally this would get my heart racing but all the meds kept me calm I guess. When I woke up I had diarrhea again, and upon reading the information packet from the ER I saw it could be a side effect of the Metoprolol. Now the Metoprolol prescription is .25mg once a day with food, the Alprazolam is a 1mg pill, saying to take one to two three times a day as needed. My anxious self called both doctors right away, GP said take two of the Alprazolam right away, and not to worry and go ahead and take the Metoprolol too, and that he would call in a prescription for diarrhea medication to my local pharmacy. The ER said I needed to be very careful and monitor my blood pressure after taking the Metoprolol especially if it was giving me diarrhea. 

With no blood pressure machine and way too afraid to take all those medications when I was alone, I decided to skip the Metoprolol and just take the two Alprazolam while waiting for my father to bring home a machine and the diarrhea meds. The Alprazolam made me crazy drowsy, I fell asleep for an hour or so waiting for my dad to come home. When he did I took the diarrhea medication and checked my blood pressure. It was normal, as usual, and my heart, while on the higher end, was still in a normal range. My dad saw my anxiousness and said not to take the Metoprolol, if my heart rate was normal what was the point? I listened to him and started keeping a record of my readings which I'm bringing to my follow up appointment with my GP tomorrow morning. 

I was so drowsy for the rest of that day when I finally fell asleep at 9pm (VERY early for me) I slept for twelve hours straight. I haven't taken any of the Metoprolol, and for the past two days I've had only one of the 1mg Alprazolam pills in the morning instead of the two. I noticed the drowsiness wore off towards the end of the night yesterday, and today I took the pill around 11am, now it's 5pm, way earlier, and the drowsiness also seems to be gone. 

I'm concerned about a number of things, I've read so many horror stories about Xanax issues, addiction, withdrawal, ect. While it does work to mellow me out, I don't like how fuzzy my head feels, and now that it's not feeling that way I almost want to take another just to keep the anxiety/panic symptoms at bay incase they come back, but am holding off unless absolutely necessary. Also, doesn't 1mg seem like a very high dose? From what I've read most people are starting on .25mg. I'm going to bring up these things with my GP tomorrow. I'm also in the process of trying to find a good psychologist. Feeling this way sucks so much and I just want it to stop and to feel normal again. 

 

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    You may really need the higher dose just to calm the anxiety down a bit for a while . You probably need an ssri something for the issue itself . They may lower the dosage one your symptoms are more managed .
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    • Posted

      Do you think the drowsiness will start to go away if I continue on the high dosage? I find it nearly impossible to concentrate on school work and am just lucky this happened while its summer and my courses are online so I can really take my time. As far as an ssri, would I then need to look into a pychatirst instead of a psychologist? I'm just weary about the side effects of all these drugs. 

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    • Posted

      I'm very sensitive to drugs as well and I do think you will adapt and you probably won't need that high of a dosage once you are calm and your symptoms are under control. I prefer a psychiatrist because they are so much more familiar with these medications and are able to perscribe them where a psychologist cannot. Hang in there . I know how hard it is . I was not even able to leave my house a few months ago . You can do this I promise !

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    • Posted

      I hope so, maybe my doctor will be able to refer a psychiatrist, I'm having trouble finding anything other than phycologists near me. If you don't mind my asking, what was it that helped you? 

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  • Posted

    you sound like a very wise young lady with very supportive parents...some young people with anxiety issues are not so lucky. How old are you?

    I don't want to say much more until you see your doctor, except, I do have experience with metoprolol which is usually used for high BP. Not very nice to come off of. I do see why they gave it to you when you first told your symptoms, Not being sure yet what's going on, the drug covers a lot of possible problems. Personally, I am glad  you are not taking that. I am not a doctor, but am a counselor.

    Anxiety is hell on wheels. The best first step is the right anti anxiety medication which will calm you enough that you can think straight. There are lots of things you can do for yourself, and lots of people in this forum experiencing the same things you are, so you are not alone. Stay away from sugar, caffeine, fast food, fried food and soda. All these are among the foods that make anxiety WORSE!!! Eat lots of good real food. You might google foods that make anxiety worse and foods that make anxiety better. Show the list to your dad who sounds like he will understand and help.

    Let's leave this for now. You have homework, girl.smile Let us know what the doctor says.

    Ask your dad to google anxiety symptoms, so he can better understand that what you are going through is real, and is what every one of us with anxiety are going through. If he is going to help you, the more he understands anxiety the better he can help and encourage you. You may want to show him this post. Catch you later, Nellie.

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    • Posted

      I'm 25 years old so not quite that young, but I agree that I am incredibly lucky to have the parents I do. I'll definitely report back with what my doctor says tomorrow, thank you so much for the encouragement. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Nellie,

      I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult and frightening time at the moment. The dose of alprazolam isn't the highest it can get, but clearly it's a wee bit higher than the usual starting dose - but not much, so don't worry about that.

      Metoprolol is often given as a one-off for people who are scared of flying, but it has many uses. I personally think your doctor will tear out his or her hair if you presenr him/her with a list of your vital signs taken over several hours or days. I'm a nurse, my love, and if you needed to be monitored that often your doctor would have admitted you to hospital. Also, doctors don't prescribe highly dangerous medications to people without warning them that they need to be careful - and your doctor didn't, so be assured that the meds are safe and you can take them as directed and you don't need a long side-effect list to show your doctor next time you have an appointment.

      More to the point, darling, what is causing this? I hope you're either in therapy or are arranging to have some. Extreme anxiety does usually get better over time but you have to have medication and therapy for the best outcome.

      Did this start recently or has it been an ongoing thing for a while?

      I'm glad your family are supportive - so many people with anxiety like yours have no support. Keep posting and tell us how you're doing.

      Love Tess

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reassurance about the medication. I've been having anxiety issues on and off for years but never this consistently/badly. I saw my doctor today, he agreed I didn't not need the Metoprolol, however was not happy that I've been taking the Alprazolam only once in the mornings. I explained that even the 1mg made me drowsy so he said to then take half a pill, and that I had to three times a day, every four to six hours or so.

      I expressed my concern that everywhere I've read said benzos are not the safest of medications and by no means a good long term solution. He said the opposite, that right now I absolutely need it until I am feeling stable. I asked how long it was safe to be on it and he said that you could be on it forever, but that one day I will simply forget about it and not need it anymore. He said I need to make an effort to get out and go places but I find it really really hard to do so when feeling this was. He also did not recommend a physiatrist, saying most don't talk much and will just prescribe medications, and to instead go to a psychologist who will work to figure things out with me and gave me the number for one. I left a message for her and one other today, hoping to get an appointment as soon as possible. 

      I still feel unwell, even though the Xanax slows my heart and makes it easier to breathe I still feel restless and have a stomach and headache. I wish these feelings would just go away. 

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  • Posted

    Hi nellie, I feel your pain,did for many years, now I am great,and have been for years. I was just like you with servere panic, and anxiety. Could not hardly leave the house. Terrible way to live. When I first had an attack,my old doc gave me I mg Valium.35 yrs ago they didn't have all the meds they do today,so needless to say it sure didn't help.I was 23. suffered for years. about 10 years later finally got on antidepressants. Thank you god. I would've taken what ever they gave me if it made me feel normal. I hear  people say that  they're afraid to take meds.OMG, aren't you more afraid of feeling like you do. I do not think  you are on the right meds. Unless you have HBP you don't need  Metoprolol, your dad is right. You need a daily antipressant. Keep Xanax for I'm feeling really stressed and they work immediately. If you would have a side effect from any med. just call you doc,and they will put you on something else. Please do not fear. My advice,unless you have a problem you need to talk to someone about, I would stick to my family doc. Nothing you are eatting or drinking has anything to do with anything. Finding the right meds is trail and error. Yours is out there, I promise. I take Cymbalta and Ambitriptyline. Perfect combo for me. Sunny days are coming your way, I just know it. xxo

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    • Posted

      Thank you Kimberly, your answer almost made me cry. I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow and really hope he has good insight on antidepressants for me. You are very right, I am terrified of medication but can't go on the way I am. I just hope I'll feel normal soon. 

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  • Posted

    obviously, I agree with Kimberly on all points, except one very important one. I speak from persoal experience, and the experieces of some of my clients. Food has a tremendous effect on the mind and body. Do your own research on everything anyone tells you (including me). wink

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