Need help! Depression and anxiety

Posted by pirateking @pirateking, Jul 22, 2016

I don’t know where else to go without going to a hospital. I’ve always had issues with depression and anxiety. It is tough to deal with, but I have a grasp of what it is at least. I’ve been taking 10MG of Lexapro and 1-1.5 MG of Klonopin to treat it. My psych doctor died in January and I started with a new doctor that upped my Lexapro to 20MG and put me on Buspar for anxiety.

She then decided to take me off the Klonpin. She had me go from 1-1.5 to only .5 a day a month ago and then cut me off. My anxity was already starting to increase that month, and a few days after I stopped the klonopin I faced massive panic attacks among a ton of other issues. It took some begging for help until she eventually put me on .5MG of Atavan but I don’t think it is working.

My current symptoms are this horrible brain fog that is impairing my basic functions. I forget things easily, I can’t concentrate. It feels like I’ve literally got dumber. I am clumsier. I keep almost walking into poles and today I almost got run over by a bus. I’m beyond irritable. I almost attacked a man on an elevator because of his breathing, and I’ve never had such violent thoughts before. I’ve had brief sucidical thoughts that I had to talk myself out of because I rationally know I don’t want to do that.

When I stretch my neck it hurts. It feels like my neck or back is violently ripping in two. I’m having out of body experinces. I am sitting at work and suddenly I am not sure if I am dreaming or not

I also have headaches, I’m pacing constantly. I am having muscle spasims, twitching, my hands tremble.

This is terrifying. I’ve never felt like this in my entire life and I don’t know what is going on. Is it the Buspar? The Atavan? The lack of Klonopin and should I go to the hosptial? My doctor isn’t around on the weekends. Any help will be appericated.

@kellieb58

Yes please keep in touch with your doctor ,I finally found A great counsler and a great physic doctor and also got myself a social worker also. I still have problems in the am with my bad panic attacks this last doctor took me off my 2nd pill i have been on for 14 years. I don”t get it they worked i was not a space cadet i wasn”t numb new everything i was doing.Now i”am asking my new doctor to see the difference in me if i take 2 mgs in the morning of my meds or at least let me take 1/ 1/2 in the morning. I keep in touch all the time about my meds. sometimes i drive them crazy because i”m s freaked out about my panic attacks. it”s like wow they last 6 hpurs 4 hours sometimes all day . and i need to go back to my 4 times a day I”am not going back to having these out of control attacks when this med was helping me control them.So please keep in touch with your doctor all the time please. Good things coming your way. We will get thru this together. kellie

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I have always been a compliant patient and like you said to be willing to give it some time to see if it works helps with your doctor/patient relationship. The doctor is usually willing to be more helpful if you appear to be more cooperative. My pain doctor has explained to me that when lowering a dose of medication it often takes sometime for your nerve endings to adjust. This was the case with my last decrease. As I am preparing for my decrease (and I am scared as the new clinic is not likely to restore it to my current level if the drop doesn’t work.) I been having bad pain this week and am praying that things are going to work out ok.

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@IndianaScott

Hi all! I have been following this discussion with interest. My wife was on a cocktail of medications during her entire 14 year journey with her brain cancer, which was accompanied by chronic pain, sky-high anxiety, and a multitude of other symptoms. Drugs came and went in that regimen, Dosages went up and down. Combinations were attempted, used, and often discarded. With each person and their metabolism being unique it’s not always perfect, especially at first. Plus I learned it can take quite awhile for some drugs to achieve a therapeutic level in the blood stream. One of our sacrosanct rules was that we would never alter a dose of her medication without first talking with her doctors and nurses. Perhaps some of this was due to the complexity of her multiple drugs, perhaps some of it was due to her anxiety, but most definitely the vast majority was because we knew the doctors, as a team, were far more knowledgeable on her drugs, their interactions, etc. than we could ever hope to be. If we thought a dosage could be, or needed to be, adjusted we always asked first. Plus if we felt one of her docs was out of the loop or over their head, we queried all her other doctors and nurses for their opinions. We never, ever acted alone or as our own doctors. Plus we can study what we can about our drugs, but still, at least in my case, I know I am not an RN, NP, MD, or PharmD and I don’t have access to the same volume of information they do.

Someone mentioned pain pumps and I have to say I do not believe there is one chance in a hundred million billion anyone will ever give out pain pumps for basic home use. I saw them in action in many hospital settings over the years and they needed constant monitoring, incessant maintenance, adjustments, and at times were prone to failures of a variety or types.

As to the new regulations regarding opioids, the abuse numbers of just prescription opioids is astounding, affecting every corner of America, and not always the areas where you might think. It is truly an epidemic in our country and has led far too many onto a life of desperation and loss. No matter who we view as at fault, it is out of control so there are many avenues being pursued to attempt to get a handle on this. And it is not just deaths, but the gigantic increases in ER visits for Rx overdoses, family traumas, costs to our society in general, etc.

Whether we might view it as right or wrong, actions are being taken at points in the stream where chokeholds and reviews can be applied. Yes, they are a PITA at times. I know it was a real hassle when it changed so I could only get my wife’s opioid Rx’s when she was down to one day’s dose, but I understood why. That was actually one of the nicest benefits of home hospice that her Rx’s were delivered to us. Also Fentanyl is do dang powerful it is highly sought after for a lot of wrong reasons. Even when my wife was in home hospice I had to carefully account for each patch, pill, and dose and how I disposed of the used patches, oral syringes, etc. was dictated and very specific. There have been cases in our county of people sorting through hospital trash to find used Fentanyl patches to be licked! I was also instructed to be sure to remove every single piece of identifying information before I discarded any pill bottle, pharmacy bag, or bag tag into the garbage stream.

It is a different world out there now and Dr. Welby left the building a long time ago. Yes, much of this affects those of us dealing with chronic pain, but it unfortunately is our new reality.

Just my two cents plain.

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@overwhelmed, I can certainly understand your pain. i have previously mention that I have Thoracic Outlet syndrome. I had surgery to repair this hideous illness. I my case it is hereditary and surgery was the only soloution. Unfortunately as I have previously mentioned this surgery did not work and was left with the CRPS you referred to. I am one of those who do not fit with these guidlines. Not to complain but my pain was excruciating last night, I slept with 4 ice bags and could not wait for my 1 am alarm to go off for my oxymorphone dose. i am going to beg my doctor not to drop my medication level this month due to the new “guidelines”. I cant type anymore because I hurt. Hope to communicate soon.

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@colleenyoung

@thinktherapy – I changed the web link you posted above to point to the original source of this infographic since it provides more information and context about the potential of brain boosting foods with respect to memory and cognitive function.
So glad to hear that eating well has greatly improved your mental health. Our physical and mental well-being are so intrinsically intertwined. Similar benefits can be seen for exercise, as many members have stated on this discussion thread:

– Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms http://mayocl.in/2dcJB7p

But one can’t forget that mental health is anything but simple. While diet and exercise can help reduce symptoms, some people benefit from additional therapy and treatments, as the discussions here on Connect demonstrate. Thank goodness we have a community of people willing to share and support one another because, honestly, reducing the stigma that often comes with mental health is really important.

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After combing through all of that information …. well, I’m doomed I guess. Several of those foods I either am highly allergic to or really dislike. I do the best I can, but admittedly, as a 71 year old woman, living alone, I find cooking to be a real chore. It’s not fun cooking for 1 person after cooking for a family of 5 for almost 40 years. I know I need to do better, but especially with winter coming, I just have little oomph to do any of that. I do have a light box which I try to sit in front of me – about 18″ away from my face – while I eat my breakfast, which I’m told helps with the SAD …. seasonal affective disorder. I honestly don’t know if it helps or not as I also take several psychotropics. So, I just get through it and look forward to warm weather again; also drink a bottle of Boost daily.
Abby

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About 7 years ago, I “decided” to try to get off Zoloft. So, I did what I thought was a very slow lowering of the med. I guess it was still too fast because first I got a headache, waited a little longer, then I noticed I was feeling a bit “off kilter” in my walking. I waited again for a little over a week and again reduced it, and then I was really light headed. Well, I finally got off of them, but wow, not fun at all. A few years later my doctor added them once again because they did really work for me (don’t ask why I tried to get off before …. sheer stupidity on my part), and they did not work as well. He then told me that when you go off of one of these, often they don’t work as well when you try to go back on them.
I really won’t change doctors …. I lived in MD for over 30 years, moved here to VA a year ago and I still go up there every other week for therapy and every month to see my Psychiatrist for a med. checkup. I’ve got a really good one and I’m not about to try to start over with someone new.
Abby

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@susanlorrie

Hang in there. I don’t know what your pain level has been but I take a similar amount of a morphine equivalent. I think your comment about weaning off 90mg but then going back on because of the pain is an enlightenment for me. I do have to wean down per doctors instructions to adhere to guidelines, but I don’t have to wean all of it. I really want to, but I don’t want to get myself it trouble. My husband continues to tell me to take it slow. Let us know how it works out.

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Someone please tell me what CRPS is, and what it does to the body, how it’s treated, etc? Thanks much,
Abby

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@susanlorrie

Hang in there. I don’t know what your pain level has been but I take a similar amount of a morphine equivalent. I think your comment about weaning off 90mg but then going back on because of the pain is an enlightenment for me. I do have to wean down per doctors instructions to adhere to guidelines, but I don’t have to wean all of it. I really want to, but I don’t want to get myself it trouble. My husband continues to tell me to take it slow. Let us know how it works out.

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Amber – CRPS stands for complex regional pain syndrome. “Complex regional pain syndrome is an uncommon form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. Complex regional pain syndrome typically develops after an injury, surgery, stroke or heart attack, but the pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.” You can read more about CRPS here: http://mayocl.in/1zQNp2b

Liked by safetyshield

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@susanlorrie

Hang in there. I don’t know what your pain level has been but I take a similar amount of a morphine equivalent. I think your comment about weaning off 90mg but then going back on because of the pain is an enlightenment for me. I do have to wean down per doctors instructions to adhere to guidelines, but I don’t have to wean all of it. I really want to, but I don’t want to get myself it trouble. My husband continues to tell me to take it slow. Let us know how it works out.

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Thank you so much Colleen ….. I’ll have to research this ….

Abby

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@amberpep

About 7 years ago, I “decided” to try to get off Zoloft. So, I did what I thought was a very slow lowering of the med. I guess it was still too fast because first I got a headache, waited a little longer, then I noticed I was feeling a bit “off kilter” in my walking. I waited again for a little over a week and again reduced it, and then I was really light headed. Well, I finally got off of them, but wow, not fun at all. A few years later my doctor added them once again because they did really work for me (don’t ask why I tried to get off before …. sheer stupidity on my part), and they did not work as well. He then told me that when you go off of one of these, often they don’t work as well when you try to go back on them.
I really won’t change doctors …. I lived in MD for over 30 years, moved here to VA a year ago and I still go up there every other week for therapy and every month to see my Psychiatrist for a med. checkup. I’ve got a really good one and I’m not about to try to start over with someone new.
Abby

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amberpep you are not “stupid” to try and get off your meds. It happens a lot with people on all sorts of meds. The meds work and people feel that they no longer needs the meds. They take themselves off and wham their symtoms come right back. I am no exception. I went on antibiotics and before I finished the medication I felt better so I stopped the medication and the infection came back. So from then on I stay on my meds until they are done and after I spoke to my doctor. This way I feel that I am in control of myself physically and emotionally.

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I know the original post in this discussion thread is old, but I’ll share anyway in case my experience can help someone. I know first hand how awful it is to get off of Klonopin. I just went through that early this year. I was taking Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Cymbalta (Duloxetine). The doctor that prescribed it to me reduced my amount too quickly, and I suffered such sudden and terrible anxiety that I was literally afraid to open the mail and suffered daily panic attacks. While every health care policy is different, I’m almost certain that you have a right to get a second opinion. So if your needs aren’t being met, I’d ask for a second opinion.

A few other things I’ve tried that have had a positive impact on my mental health:
1) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – I’m a Kaiser member and took advantage of their group class that addresses how our thoughts, behaviors and relationships affect our mood and how we can change things in our lives to improve our mood.
2) Diet – Food can act like a medicine, fuel, or a toxin. It’s just like the prescription drugs that we put in our bodies, and until recently, I haven’t appreciated this fact enough. If you haven’t heard of it before, there’s a great book called The Mood Cure that talks all about how various foods affect the chemicals in our brain.
3) Exercise – “runner’s high” isn’t just for runners. Regular exercise definitely affects the levels of good/happy chemicals in our brains. This is something I’ve struggled with since graduating from high school. Until the last few years, I hadn’t really appreciated how my daily team workouts affected my ability to handle stress and anxiety.
4) Sleep Hygiene – our bodies repair themselves at night while we sleep. Inadequate sleep has been known to affect every other part of our health.
5) Meditation – this is linked to CBT, but I leave it separate because you don’t need a class or any formal instruction. Meditation only takes a few minutes every day and has been shown to have a significant influence on our brains, whether it’s breathing meditation, guided imagery, or a mantra meditation.

I had a situation where I was prescribed Zoloft by one doctor and because of some different health issues, he kept me on the drugs WAY PAST the length of time that any psychiatrist would. Old doc retired, and new doc was absolutely floored that I had been on that drug for SO LONG. We discussed whether it was still helping me and decided to wean me off. I’m currently doing well using CBT, diet change, exercise, and meditation. Even if your doctor keeps you on meds, these other things may also help.

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Thank you for all your suggestions quazar. I’m sure when I get my new doctor in November she will be taking me off from Klonopin I just hope she does it real slow.

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@quazar

I know the original post in this discussion thread is old, but I’ll share anyway in case my experience can help someone. I know first hand how awful it is to get off of Klonopin. I just went through that early this year. I was taking Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Cymbalta (Duloxetine). The doctor that prescribed it to me reduced my amount too quickly, and I suffered such sudden and terrible anxiety that I was literally afraid to open the mail and suffered daily panic attacks. While every health care policy is different, I’m almost certain that you have a right to get a second opinion. So if your needs aren’t being met, I’d ask for a second opinion.

A few other things I’ve tried that have had a positive impact on my mental health:
1) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – I’m a Kaiser member and took advantage of their group class that addresses how our thoughts, behaviors and relationships affect our mood and how we can change things in our lives to improve our mood.
2) Diet – Food can act like a medicine, fuel, or a toxin. It’s just like the prescription drugs that we put in our bodies, and until recently, I haven’t appreciated this fact enough. If you haven’t heard of it before, there’s a great book called The Mood Cure that talks all about how various foods affect the chemicals in our brain.
3) Exercise – “runner’s high” isn’t just for runners. Regular exercise definitely affects the levels of good/happy chemicals in our brains. This is something I’ve struggled with since graduating from high school. Until the last few years, I hadn’t really appreciated how my daily team workouts affected my ability to handle stress and anxiety.
4) Sleep Hygiene – our bodies repair themselves at night while we sleep. Inadequate sleep has been known to affect every other part of our health.
5) Meditation – this is linked to CBT, but I leave it separate because you don’t need a class or any formal instruction. Meditation only takes a few minutes every day and has been shown to have a significant influence on our brains, whether it’s breathing meditation, guided imagery, or a mantra meditation.

I had a situation where I was prescribed Zoloft by one doctor and because of some different health issues, he kept me on the drugs WAY PAST the length of time that any psychiatrist would. Old doc retired, and new doc was absolutely floored that I had been on that drug for SO LONG. We discussed whether it was still helping me and decided to wean me off. I’m currently doing well using CBT, diet change, exercise, and meditation. Even if your doctor keeps you on meds, these other things may also help.

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Thanks for your post! This is such a great site . I think I know all about depression since I’ve had. It so long. But I learn new things from all you guys! I never knew Diet affects your mood! I plan on getting the Book you suggested. Who is the Author? I am all about Therapy group. I went to Alanon for many years in the 80’s when my depression started! I always thought it was my fault that my husband was an alcoholic but I found out it wasn’t! All the people there were in same boat I was! I’ll forever thank that group for saving my life!

Liked by safetyshield

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The Mood Cure by Julia Ross – here’s the review on Good Reads. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/159072.The_Mood_Cure

The CBT classes I attended were more educational than one-on-one therapy, but it was somewhat interactive. I can imagine that one-on-one CBT would be even more helpful in terms of putting it into practice. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/home/ovc-20186868

Also, the MayoClinic.org website has a search bar at the very top of the page where you can search for more information about the things I mentioned in my post, such as meditation (http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858). Having information is the first step to using it wisely. So I encourage you all to get as much info as you can about these things and ask your doctors about what you learn. Sometimes what you find on the internet isn’t correct. So it’s important to find a reputable site, like the MayoClinic, and follow up with your doctor about what you learn. In my experience, websites that end in .org or .edu are going to have the most comprehensive and educational information. The .com sites are commercial sites that are often geared towards getting you to buy things.

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@ronnie3716

I’m so sorry to hear of your med reaction.
I am a victim of sexual abuse, along with my two sisters. It took 2 decades for The combination of therapy and meds to get me out of my anxiety disorder. I’m still prone to anxiety attacks but not often at all. I am on a 10 mg once a day dose of Lexapro. I remember years ago they doubled it for me and I felt like a zombie. I am also on and as needed 1 mg of Xanax. I barely ever use this drug. I have worked to get it out of my life as much as I can.
I consider these drugs no more or less then a diabetic taking insulin. I have a full functioning life. Very happy family, job as an executive director of a nonprofit that I really enjoy.
From my experiences I would say that the combination of doubling your Lexapro which is a f
strong dose at 20 mg and taking you off very quickly, in my opinion, of the drug your system was used to, is the reason you’re having your system reactions now.
I found a wonderful psychiatrist who worked diligently with me to find what combination was best to address the anxiety. We did and now I see him once every six months just to make sure everything is still working well. I hope, so very much, that you find a doctor like him who will listen and help you find the best combination to make you feel your best. Hope you keep us up-to-date.

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Ronnie,
I am curious how you found your doctor. I like mine, but may be looking for a second opinion in the near future. I live in Chicago.
Thanks!
Jane

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@lesbatts

Thank you for all your suggestions quazar. I’m sure when I get my new doctor in November she will be taking me off from Klonopin I just hope she does it real slow.

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@lesbatts know it is easier said than done but make sure when you see your new doctor that you tell her to take you off klonopin slowly. Do not just rely on her let her know slowly.

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@quazar

The Mood Cure by Julia Ross – here’s the review on Good Reads. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/159072.The_Mood_Cure

The CBT classes I attended were more educational than one-on-one therapy, but it was somewhat interactive. I can imagine that one-on-one CBT would be even more helpful in terms of putting it into practice. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/home/ovc-20186868

Also, the MayoClinic.org website has a search bar at the very top of the page where you can search for more information about the things I mentioned in my post, such as meditation (http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858). Having information is the first step to using it wisely. So I encourage you all to get as much info as you can about these things and ask your doctors about what you learn. Sometimes what you find on the internet isn’t correct. So it’s important to find a reputable site, like the MayoClinic, and follow up with your doctor about what you learn. In my experience, websites that end in .org or .edu are going to have the most comprehensive and educational information. The .com sites are commercial sites that are often geared towards getting you to buy things.

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Thank you very much for the information, quasar. It is very helpful
Jane

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