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Topic: High dose medication for anxiety - worried about the long term effects

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sam2019
    Sam2019 avatar
    8 posts
    21 August 2020
    So as the title states ive gone through 8 month of sever health anxiety. It started last year with irregular heart beats then turned into breathing issues then now motor neuron disease. Im temoring , twitching and feel weakness in half my body. Ive seen just about every speciliast from a cardiologist ti a neurologist but all tests come up clean . At this point ive been under so mu h anxiety and stress speciallly with covid that im unable to work. I cant even talk without my face and tongue feeling strained. My neurologist thinks my brain has basically had enough and is shutting down . He said its time we start on something settle it down . He suggeted anti-anxiety medication for a month or 2 daily and then come see him again . He said once ive setelled down we will taper off and start a low dose ssri for the longer term . Now im reading horror stories about the daily use of anti-anxiety medication . I dont want to make my situatiom worse but at the same time im not functioning anymore . Im in a lose lose situation ! How hard will it be to get off medication after that period of time? Is it doable ?
  2. Whatsinaname
    Whatsinaname avatar
    93 posts
    21 August 2020 in reply to Sam2019
    Welcome to the forum.

    I've honestly never looked up the horror stories, but I'm on antidepressants and have been for a few years now.

    The only side effect I've had is its takes a bit longer to finish when having sex. (I'm a male).

    I did try a "generic grand" once and had really weird dreams so went back to the normal brand and was all good again.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    94 posts
    21 August 2020 in reply to Sam2019
    I had issues with my heart at the beginning of covid and had a procedure done 2 hours from home. I ended up with severe health anxiety, I jumped to worst case scenario with any feeling or sensation. I started anti-anxiety medication and for the first 3 weeks my side effects were terrible and my anxiety was heightened and I was in a very bad state around the month mark I was starting to feel better but it took about 8 weeks for all of my side effects to go away and for my anxiety to really settle. My anxiety is up and down but it’s not very often that it turns into health anxiety 😊 I also do guided meditation every morning which has really helped with the recovery and understanding but meditation isn’t for everyone 😊 it’s really hard to change your self talk but it does get easier. Good luck
    1 person found this helpful
  4. Soberlicious96
    Valued Contributor
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    Soberlicious96 avatar
    518 posts
    21 August 2020 in reply to Sam2019

    Dear Sam,

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and well done for reaching out.

    I'd like to start by suggesting that you perhaps stop terrorizing yourself with "reading horror stories" of what has or has not happened for and/or to others. We are all different, and we can all respond to the same medications in different ways. It takes time for your mind and body to adjust to any kind of change.

    Secondly, I'd like to suggest that perhaps you could talk to more that one doctor or health about it? Sometimes it pays to get second and third opinions. And keeping in mind too, some doctors are better at giving out all the information, as well as the medication.

    And thirdly, recovery of any kind, from any condition is not an overnight matter. But there are things you may be able to do to help the process a little, such as learning some relaxation and meditation techniques. Do you think that is something you might like to try? After all, every little bit helps, yeah?

    And of course, in the meantime, you can come back here to BB as often as you like. After all, that's what we're here for.

    Anyway, I don't know if that helps or not. Hope it does help a little?

    Take care, I'll be thinking of you. xo

  5. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10722 posts
    21 August 2020 in reply to Sam2019

    Hi Sam2019

    Good on you for having the courage to post! You are proactive with your health too!. I understand your symptoms as I used to have the same and they are horrible to go through

    Whatsinaname.....Anzee and Soberlicious have provided excellent advice above

    Just for myself, my anti anxiety meds helped my career....my personal life and being able to function reasonably well on a day to day basis. They are no different to taking medication for a physical injury/problem.

    When our anxiety has a detrimental impact on our day to day ability to function the meds used in conjunction with frequent counselling are a huge help where recovery is concerned

    I really hope you can stick around the forums Sam2019...any questions are always welcome! The forums are a safe and non judgmental place for you to be

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

  6. Sam2019
    Sam2019 avatar
    8 posts
    22 August 2020
    thank you for the reply. I guess my issues is the type of medication I was prescribed. it's a benzodiazapam rather than an SSRI type medication. I'm seen a few GP's about my anxiety and they were adamant they were not going to prescribe this type of medication as it will do more harm than good . my neurologist on the other hand think the good outweighs the harm given that I've stopped functioning almost completely . I can't even talk anymore because my brain is so full of worry that I have no bandwidth left for stuff like speech for example . the flip side is trying to get off the medication down the track is not fun from what I read . the neurologist disagrees . he reckons under medical supervision we can easily transition to an ssri down the track . I'm just wondering if people have gone down this particular path and what their experience was ... thanks
  7. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    94 posts
    22 August 2020 in reply to Sam2019
    I’ve personally only had benzodiazepines during my hospital stay. But a close friend of mine was using it with her new antidepressant as she needed it to get past the side effects that the antidepressant was causing. She used it every day for a couple of months getting into it and she still uses it when her anxiety is heightened. The first time she stopped taking it I don’t think she had any side effects and it was easy enough to come off of. The second time which has been very recently she had withdrawal side effects which is hard when you already have anxiety but the side effects from coming off a benzodiazepine for her were nothing compared to coming on and off antidepressants.
    1 person found this helpful
  8. Sam2019
    Sam2019 avatar
    8 posts
    22 August 2020
    thank you for the reply . that is the sort of feedback I needed ! it's hard enough with the anxiety , its even worse when Ur worried about the fix for the anxiety being worse that the anxiety itself . I think I'll start at the low end of the dose he recommended and see how I go. I also have heard SSRIs are not fun to get off yet they don't seem to get as much bad press as benzodiazapam.
    2 people found this helpful
  9. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    94 posts
    23 August 2020 in reply to Sam2019
    It’s a really hard time to have anxiety at the moment. But you have taken all of the first steps (which are usually the hardest) to getting help and you’re doing your research which I also like to do before I try something new so I think it will be upwards from here now you’ve got past the recognition and seeking help. All the best to you

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