Friday, December 2, 2011

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a completely normal feeling that most of us has probably felt in our life. Have you ever had butterfly’s when you are going for a job interview?, or maybe sweaty palms when taking a driving test or some other kind of exam? well these things happen when we feel anxious. Don’t worry these type of feelings are nothing to worry about and in fact it just shows that we are human.

The feelings of anxiety can present itself in many different ways, not just mentally but physically too. It is our body’s way of dealing with fear and worry. Think about this situation for a moment, you have just had a great night out with your friends, and it’s time to go home. You step outside, it’s dark and raining and there’s no-one around. You turn left into an alleyway and suddenly you hear heavy footsteps coming faster and faster towards you. What do you feel? scared? panicky? Kind of breathless? Well this is also anxiety that is making you feel this way.

Whilst in the above situation anxiety is actually a good thing, it is making us aware of any danger that we could be facing. However for some people anxiety can become a real problem. It can overwhelm them and take over their life. They constantly feel jittery and on edge, it affects their relationships, their ability to hold down a job and even the way they behave. They can wake up with a feeling of dread that they just can’t seem to shift. When anxiety becomes this bad it can be very scary.

The feelings of anxiety no matter how big or small are usually triggered by an event. whether it be a current situation you are in like a confrontation with someone or it could be triggered by something big that has happened in your life like moving house or a death of a loved one. The most important thing to remember is that anxiety is a part of every day life and you shouldn’t be worried about it. The more you worry about feeling anxious the more anxious you are likely to feel. If these feelings become too much and happen on an every day occurrence it could be the time to seek medical advice.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Paxil worked wonders when I first started"

I have been on Paxil for 5 years now. It worked wonders when I first started. For the last two years I have been trying to get off it. Like some of you I tried to quit cold turkey. I ended up in the emergency room with a headache so severe, they thought I had ruptured a vessel in my brain. Depressed by the event, I went back to Paxil. Then I tried to taper it down, from 20mg to 10mg a day, and now I take half of that for last two months, when Itried to quit that, I fell into a depression so severe that I became suicidal, so I went back again. Now a friend (a psychiatrist friend of mine tells me that if I substituted it with Prozac, it will be easier to wean off Prozac. I havent tried because I am afraid of the side effects. I have gained 20lbs, and lost the motivation and spunk I had before. It is sad that the general practitioners dont know about the adverse effects.

I will be trying the Prozac maybe next month. If it works, I'll let you know. Good luck to you all. Whatever you do, NEVER quit suddenly, especially if you have been on it for more than a year.

-- submitted by Dr. Swadud, 39

"I had a sour stomach, and fatigue and reached a point that I could not get off the couch."

Now, to tell my story I have been on Paxil for 3 1/2 years and when I first started it felt an immediate improvement in my anxiety and depression. My attitude was a noticeable improvement to everyone around me. In the 3 years I tried to take myself off many times. I honestly don't remember all the physical side effects that alot of people have mentioned. But, I did experience extreme mood changes and extreme anxiety and depression. So, like everyone else I decided to go back on. Well, in the last 6 months I felt the PAXIL wasn't helping me. I felt I was (am) entering into a deeper depression. I have extreme fatigue, don't feel like working, much less taking care of my home and 3 children and HAVE NO SEXUAL DESIRE AT ALL. Oh, and not to mention the slow but steady weight gain.

One day I heard an ad on the radio saying "Do you want your sex life back" "Tried of feeling ...." The ad then when on to say that these are part of the long term effects of anti-depressants and gave an 800 number to call to see if you qualified to part of the study. Well, for some reason I did not qualify. But started believing that my lack of interest in sex was due to the Paxil. So in December I have slowly started to wean my self off. Again, I can't pinpoint the all the side effects like many people have mentioned. But, I can say that my depression and fatigue is so extreme all I want to do is sleep!

I have been completely off of Paxil the entire month of February and was forced to go t to my Doctor today and he told switched me to EFFEXOR. I now wonder that my feelings my all be part of the withdrawal problems.

I am remembered a period in December over the course of two weeks where I felt somewhat similar. It was December and that terrible flu was going around and I really thought it was that. But now that I am reading and remembering I don't think it was the flu and believe now it was the "withdrawals". I now remember telling my husband, God, if this is the flu why don't I have a fever like everyone else. I remembering one Monday I had such an extreme headache I took Excedrin PM and slept from 8:00am-3:00pm and the went to bed that evening at 7:00pm. And just like Friday, I had the same flu like symptoms. I had a sour stomach, and fatigue and reached a point that I could not get off the couch. I am getting worried that all these flu days were not flu days withdrawal side effects.

-- submitted Jane, 37

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Paxil was very beneficial in getting me through a rough patch"

I have been on paxil for over 2 years. At one point I self-upped my dose to 60mgs/day. Paxil was very beneficial in getting me through a rough patch but I don't need it anymore and am trying to wean off. I self weaned down to 30 successfully, but when I went down to 20 I started having mood swings, headache, flu/cold symptoms. I am an attorney and can't afford to not be sharp. I will probably go up to 25 and take it more slowly from here. It sucks that it could take another year before I am free of it.

I wonder if anyone has successfully used st. john's wort to help them wean. What about prozac? I had a friend get off paxil onto prozac with no problems. Is it possible to go to prozac and then get off prozac which doesn't have such terrible withdrawal?

-- submitted by John, 27

"I feel that Paxil saved my life"

Before anything I want to say that I feel that Paxil saved my life. It transformed my life- and got me out of a severe depression which I suffered for three years which one year of therapy alone was not able to cure.

However, now that five years later after taking 10 mg a day (initially I took 60 mg daily) I am having some withdrawal symptoms from trying to stop too quickly. My doctor says that I can successfully withdraw if I do it slowly enough. I realize there are some side effects, but I also experienced side effects for two weeks when I began, which eventually went away. SO I want to say while there are clearly side effects which are negative, I think this has been a very useful and positive medication, which helped me to return to my highest functioning, while I took it.

-- submitted by John, 31

"I've tried twice to get off of paxil"

I've tried twice to get off of paxil. The first time with the weaning process under a doctor's care. It didn't work and only after three weeks I was back on my full dose of 40mg. I then decide to stop completely, which was a bad choice. I went a total of five days and had to have my husband go to the drugstore and have it refilled. I seemed to be ok for the first two days, and then my husband and son would notice that I was talking a lot to myself, which I'm not in the happen of doing a lot of, especially if someone is around, and when they would bring it up to me, I didn't remember this. I just thought I was "thinking" to myself. Then there was the chest pains, the arm pains and the worst ever dizzy spells I have ever had! I was sick at my stomach, lost my appetite, I had chills one minute and the next I was burning up. I did take my temperature once during the period of have this hot flash and it was 96.1 I'm back on my 40mg. per day. I don't like the drug, feel even more depressed on it, and someday I will sleep 19 or more hours! And did wake up tired and sluggish. I was totally unsuccessful my two times getting off of this drug.

-- submitted by Crrickkett, 37

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"I am taking 15-30mg. of paxil per day for severe depression and OCD."

I am taking 15-30mg. of paxil per day for severe depression and OCD. Mentally, I feel great. Physically, I'm in good health, but have gained 30 pounds while taking paxil. My docotr explained that I could get off paxil after taking it from 6months to a year. Well, last month was 6 months and I felt great-so I tried to get off it. My docotr explained that some people need to be weined off and others can just quit taking it. I tried to just stop taking it. This was a bad idea. I felt those same electrical pulses you described. It was too weird. I also started crying a lot-not sure if this was from PMS, the depression returning, or from withdrawal. I have read that withdrawal from paxil can cause "alcohol withdrawal" like symptoms. For two weeks, I endured these electrical pulses, night sweats, and extreme nightmares. I didn't want to take it anymore, but my husband begged me to get back on it and try weining myself off. A few weeks ago, I started taking 15mg a day again. Now, I feel fine. I still want to get off this stuff. I'm interested to know how to get off it?

-- submitted by Amanda, 27