Made an appointment w/psychiatrist-have a question

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kinsie1, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. kinsie1

    kinsie1 New Member

    I have always been under the care of an internal medicine doctor at our local clinic for my FM. But, about and year and 1/2 ago, I had what I call a nervous breakdown ( I really don't know if that's a good term or not). I had several very bad things happen quite close together, and it threw me into such anxiety that I thought I was going to die. I've always been kind of an anxious type of person. Phobias, excessive worry, etc. But it all came crashing in on me, and I was in bad shape. So, I went to my doctor after I had suffered for about a month without any help at all. He prescribed xanax, and an antidepressant. I tried to take the antidepressant, but it didn't seem to do anything, so I quit it. But, thank the Lord, the xanax did help.

    At the first of this month I decided that I should now try to quit taking the xanax. So, I began to taper off of it. The anxiety came crashing back just like before. I told myself it was just withdrawl symptoms, and I MADE myself deal with it day in and day out. I felt horrible. I finally came to the conclusion that even though I'm sure I'm having withdrawl symptons, this appeared to just be the same anxiety that I had faced before. I couldn't stand it any longer ( my husband couldn't either!), and I started back on .25 mg of xanax 2 times a day. I immediately felt better, the chest pains went away, and I could function more like normal. But, I still want to get to the bottom of this. I don't want to be dependant on this drug all my life, if I can help it. Plus, it starts to wear off before my next dosage, and I don't want to get caught in the trap of upping the dosage.

    So, I made an appoitment with an actual psychiatrist. I have self diagnosed myself with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It may be that I will always have to take medication for it. I hope this new doctor ( can't get an appointment until the end of August) can come up with something that will be able to treat this problem with medication that will improve my quility of life. I feel so bad all the time anyway from the FM pain, that this terrible anxiety is only making bad matters worse.

    Just wanted to see if anyone out there has had this same type of problem, and what kind of doctor do you see ( and did you get good results).


  2. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I was prescribed Xanax for panic disorder about 20 years ago. It worked beautifully and since, in the 1980s, it was a profitable drug, still patent protected, there was no hysteria around it and I was prescribed quite a hefty dose. I could never take as much as I was prescribed without needing a nap so never took that much.

    I have taken it, on and off, ever since. Now, I never take more than 1/3 of my original dose to sleep and never need to take it during the day.

    I no longer even consider myself an anxious person. As soon as I began taking Xanax I felt "normal", not super relaxed, just normal. The phobias I had developed during 15 years of untreated panic disorder - I did do behavioural therapy which was always successful for a very short time as I was a model pupil - anyway, the phobias fell away as I did everything I had been afraid to do... with the knowledge that Xanax blocks panic. I was totally fine.

    In the early years, the anxiety did return if I stopped the Xanax but then I did have chronic panic disorder for 15 years before taking it - it blocks panic but does not fix whatever the underlying cause is. I believe that cause to be biological given my panic disorder completely resolved on Xanax, without the benefit of any talk therapy, and given the evidence that, unbeknownst to me, several maternal relatives also had panic disorder.

    In addition, my ME symptoms improved and I began a long period of improved health.

    Years later, the ME worsened once again and, finding little help from most branches of medicine, I was willing to consider that I might be suffering from some sort of depression which effected me physically but left my mood intact - I was not sad or disinterested or unhappy; I was not depressed.

    On SSRIs I became horribly depressed for the first time in my life. It was confusing because at that time, the early 90s, little was known about the potential for SSRIs to cause depression. I tried several different SSRIs and became increasingly depressed and agitated. It was hell.

    Once I stopped the SSRIs, I returned to my normal, generally upbeat mood state.

    SSRIs make me depressed. Xanax has many beneficial effects and, over the years, I have taken increasingly smaller doses.

    In addition, once I was treated with Xanax and discovered my nature was to be cheerful and calm, I began to practice meditation which is a great help. As I became more skilled at meditation, I required less help from Xanax to get to sleep.

    I always feel the need to trot out this story when people write about the benefits of SSRIs over Xanax. I do not doubt that SSRIs are helpful for those who write but feel a responsibility to point out that it is not always the case.

    Peace to all,

    ETA I wonder what would have happened had I increased my Xanax when my health began to worsen instead of trying SSRIs. I know I would have avoided one of the most painful episodes in my life and, perhaps, I could have avoided a complete relapse. In my case I have so little addiction to Xanax that it never occured to me to increase it.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/23/2009]
  3. frickly

    frickly New Member

    SSRI's make me depressed as well. Of course, with this disease, I have had it practically shoved down my throught on more than one occassion. To be a good patient I tried several with the same negative result. Now if I go to see a new doctor I tell them first thing that I am not depressed and don't need antideppresants. My son cannot take SSRI's either. He gets very angry and hostile. Everyone's different, unfortunatly, we have to try it to know if it works.
  4. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Someone posted a very interesting article last week (I think it was) about people with ME having an abundance of serotonin which would make SSRIs a big problem.

    I wish I could remember more details. I think you would find it very interesting.

    Peace to all
  5. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    You might want to ask your doctor about taking Buspar for anxiety. It's not addictive and no side effects that I know of. GB66
  6. jole

    jole Member

    Like Rafki, I was on antidepressants, and never seemed to improve...just got worse...until I went off them by myself. It was strange how my mood improved! Unfortunately, the panic attacks did not, and the Xanax helps tremendously for this and also for the "racing brain" that keeps me from sleeping. It quiets my thoughts and allows me to sleep better.

    I can skip taking the Xanax for several days and never notice any withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. Honestly, for me I do not feel it is addicting. As with any other meds, if you need them, take them...if it doesn't work, stop. For me, Xanax works. It's prescribed 0.5 mg three times a day, but most days I only take it at bedtime....or whenever a panic attack hits hard, but I don't take it as prescribed.
  7. kinsie1

    kinsie1 New Member

    I appreciate your input. I am looking forward to seeing my new doctor in August. All I want is to have my regular normal life back again ( well, it will never be too regular with this darn FM).

    I appreciate everyone that replied to my post.

  8. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    i never heard that we have an abundance of seratonin! that's weird...i am ALWAYS depressed.

    but then i was depressed before i got CFS...

  9. scrappnmom

    scrappnmom Member

    Kinsie, don't worry about taking .25 mg of xanax. That is a very, very low dose of xanax. My doctor has reassured me of that many times. I used to take xanax all the time and the highest dose I ever took was .50 mg, but usually .25 mg, and I never got addicted to it. I have also taken Lorazepam and it's a good one too. Don't be afraid of taking it until your doctor's appointment. It's very possible you may need an anti-depressant and that's ok too. I take Effexor XR and have for about 8 years and I feel a lot better now and don't feel anxious anymore at all. I have a generalized panic disorder. Now I never need any Xanax but I do keep Lorazepam on hand just in case I get upset and anxious about something. I have just come to the conclusion that I would much rather take the anti-depressant and feel better than to live with anxiety and depression. Good luck with everything. Let us know what you find out.
  10. italiano

    italiano New Member

    I too started about 1 1/2 ago with same story and even worse intensity that you described.
    I also thought SSRI was not working and tapered off only to crash like never before. Out of despair i went to a psychiatrist who started me on SSRI again and it did not work until i found the right dose. I have to take 30mg. even 20mg did not help me function. I had to be on 30 mg for 5 weeks before feeling like a normal human being. I also still have to take klonopin some days.( like xanax but not as harsh for me) As embarrassing as it is....the psychiatrist really diagnosed me well and made me not feel ashamed. they have experience with patients and can be objective. He also knew the connection of Anxiety disorder and FM.
    I just think it saved me where my Rheumatologist and family doctor just would not have wanted to take the time to find the right dose. Don't give up.
  11. Mar19

    Mar19 New Member

    I went to a psychologist about 10 years ago, maybe more. There were so many things in my life that were crashing down around me. I just didn't know where to turn anymore. It was probably one of the best things I ever did for myself ever.

    Since he was a psychologist he couldn't Rx anything, but he could give me suggestions to pass along to my medical doctor -- who at the time was a great person to work with. He's since retired.

    The main thing that he did was to help me sort out my life and all my feelings. It was hard work -- and I did hit a place during the therapy when I absolutely didn *not* want to continue. Thankfully, the Lord gave me the grace to realize that this meant I needed to go on all the more. I did and I'm thankful for it.

    I went to him weekly for almost a year. I still draw on a lot of the advice that he gave me and the techniques that he taught me for critical and objective thinking. It wasn't easy by any means, but it was truly worth it to sort out my life.

    The first person, psychiatrist, may not be a "fit" for you. Everyone is an individual -- therapists included. Change if you need to. You'll know if he or she is the right person pretty early on. In fact the guy I saw never charged for the first session -- his theory was exactly that -- that not all patients would "click" with him, so he offered the first session for free so they could make up their minds. Wish everyone did that, eh?
  12. whywyoming

    whywyoming New Member

    I've been in an out of counseling since my early twenties. I've been diagnosed with chronic depression though in the beginning was also told I had anxiety. I've read enough about Depression and Fibro to know that there isn't a definitive answer as to which comes first, although I think the current thinking is that Fibro is the causative factor. At any rate I do know that if I can keep my depression and anxiety symptoms in check then the pain from the fibro is better as well. I take two anti-depressants Cymbalta for the depression, and Welbutrin to counteract or help with sexual side-effects. Cymbalta is also fairly recently approved for use in Fibromyalgia patients because it is supposed to help with pain as well. Personally I haven't noticed any difference from the other med I was on (Effexor). One of the things my psychiatirst did when I went to see him was prescribe a sleep aid. It's called trazadone and it originally it was used as an anti-depressant but didn't work. But it does help with sleep issues which helps with fatigue, which helps with pain management. I no longer go the psychiatrist but it was worth going to see him to get the medication thing straightened out...Now, unless I have significant changes in my symptoms, I feel like my regular doctor can handle my routine care. A good psychiatirst can help figure out the meds that will work best for you, but it can also take some time (which is hard when you are in the middle of it all I know). Keep the faith and good luck.


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