Getting Help for an Anxiety Disorder

Symptom or Side Effect?!?

Zoloft – Side Effects of Anxiety Symptoms

The first medication I tried after THE panic attack was Zoloft. I took it for two days and panicked. I remember it was a Saturday and my mom and sister were visiting. As I sat on the couch talking about Lord knows what, I started to feel a panic attack coming. Their voices were further and further away. A ringing in my ear grew louder. My heart sped up more than it already was and I started to sweat. I didn’t want them to worry so I said I would be right back and went to my room. I closed the door and called the psychiatrist, crying. Thank God for that hotline! I told him that the medication was making me worse and that I felt like I was going to have a panic attack right now! He said “ok, stop taking Zoloft and come see me on Monday.” I asked if I could take Clonazepam to feel better and he said yes. I took Clonazepam and waited in my room several minutes. When I calmed down a little, I went back to the couch and tried to pretend like nothing had happened, but of course my mom and sister knew.

SSRI Makes Me Feel Worse?

On Monday, I went to see the psychiatrist again. I actually drove myself. It was difficult to drive, thinking that I was going to have a panic attack at any moment and crash, but I figured I just had to get over it. I drove to his office with a lump in my throat and birds, not butterflies, in my stomach. I felt like throwing up, but I made it! I told the psychiatrist that these SSRI’s – Prozac and Zoloft, were making me worse. I felt like maybe I was allergic to them. I had also researched the medications online and learned that I was having ALL of the side effects! Again I thought that what I was feeling was not anxiety or panic attacks, but adverse reactions to these medications.

SSRI Side Effects and Anxiety Symptoms are the Same

The side effects of the medications are something like nervousness, anxiety, nausea, increase in panic attacks, nightmares, shortness of breath…and I think you can see where this is going. The side effects of the medications were exactly the same as the symptoms I was trying to get rid of! Seriously?! So my psychiatrist, seeing that this was going to be difficult, switched from Clonazepam to Alprazolam, which is the generic form of Xanax. I think he knew that I was on the “highway to hell” and had to do something drastic to try to turn this around.

Xanax or SSRI?

It is now 11/16/2010, only 16 days since I had THE panic attack at work, but it feels like a lifetime ago. The holidays are approaching and in order to get through this joyful, but super stressful time, I would have to take Xanax 4 to 5 times a day (under supervision), but avoid addiction!

“…Santa Claus is coming to town…!”

Continue reading here: Xanax!

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