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To ask if anxiety medication even works?

(21 Posts)
HappinessIsGone Thu 08-Feb-18 19:58:27

I’ve namechanged for this.

I’ve been trying to treat my anxiety with meditation and although it’s helpful, I just don’t feel like it’s enough. Im still plagued with negative thoughts, I deal with them a little better at times, but they’re still there. And at other times, they still overwhelm me.

I’m looking for help from those of you who’ve been through this. Did medication work for you? Do you feel normal again?

I just want to be normal again. I want to enjoy my children while they’re young. That would be a dream come true for me.

Bleubell Thu 08-Feb-18 20:04:57

What medication do you take? I'm on citalopram and have found this to help massively with my anxiety. I still get anxious but it is a lot more controlled now and I've not had a panic attack since I started on meds.

Have you considered counselling? A friend of mine went down this route instead of medication. She's been pretty much anxiety free for a few years now, apart from the odd bad day here and there!

I feel for you, anxiety can be crippling it's an awful thing to have to deal with thanks

merc3de5 Thu 08-Feb-18 20:07:03


I've been on medication for anxiety for over 2 years, I was at a stage where I was struggerling to leave the house without a panic attack before I went to the doctors.
The medication alters chemicals in the brain I believe (I'm no expert on the scientific part) but I also did a counselling course alongside it which was a great help in understanding why I feel like I do and why it happens and ways to cope.

Between the medication and counselling I felt like I was back to my old self the majority of the time and I have no regrets doing it.
I didn't find it a magic fix and had to work hard to implement what I'd learnt from counselling and of course there are still times when I feel highly anxious and panicked but these times may last a day and not months.

HappinessIsGone Thu 08-Feb-18 20:07:08

I’m not on medication yet, but it seems the next logical step. I’ve been afraid to go on medication so I’m looking for feedback (positive & negative) about it before I make my mind up. I can’t carry on as I am just now.

TovaGoldCoin Thu 08-Feb-18 20:08:38

I was on seroxat (paroxetine) for 18 months, then citalopram for 6. The seroxat really helped, it enabled me to have 2 high level rounds of CBT, which was hard work, but really worth the work. I occasionally take diazepam now for panic episodes.

merc3de5 Thu 08-Feb-18 20:08:58

If there was a negative to the medication it is that I felt much worse for the first few days but the doctors did warn this would happen, my doctor was very thorough with how it would work

TovaGoldCoin Thu 08-Feb-18 20:09:04

And I found coming off okay.

Duchessgummybuns Thu 08-Feb-18 20:10:38

I was on citalopram and I remember feeling worse for a while when I first started taking it, but stuck with it and eventually things evened out. You might have to work with your GP to figure out what works best for you. Obviously medication is not a “fix” but in my experience it helped me get back on an even keel and able to function better.

notsohippychick Thu 08-Feb-18 20:12:40

Yes medication has worked for me but only recently. Unfortunately citalopram didn’t suit me so was put on venlafaxine.

However I get anxious but not the physical side so much. I’m still always overthinking and getting negative thoughts and medication can’t alter that. I need to do some talking therapy along with it.

Hope that helps xx

Backenette Thu 08-Feb-18 20:15:21

Yes it works. Or rather it helps. But I don’t think it’s a cure on it’s own. The role of drugs I think is to calm you enough to stabilise while you work on the source of the anxiety and find ways to cope/re train your habits and thought processes.

Drugs alone are not going to sort long term anxiety. Short term yes, maybe.
You need a really good talking therapy to really tackle it. And be aware that you can get worse before you get better - which again is where the drugs can cushion you a bit.

I suffered from debilitating anxiety and ocd after the birth of my son. Medication helped a bit but therapy helped more.

Notmybuilderdotcom Thu 08-Feb-18 20:15:47

I have tried lots of anti depressants for anxiety over the years and am afraid to say none have worked. But - I was prescribed buspirone about 18 months ago which is just to treat anxiety and it’s been great. It just takes the edge off if you know what I mean, no side effects and pretty much made me feel calmer within a few days. Really helped take the panic out of some big situations I was facing too. Though it helps with the physical side it doesn’t do anything for thoughts etc so had cbt alongside which worked a treat.

Was thinking I’d never be able to break the anxiety or panic cycles and routines but pleased to say 18 months on it is vastly reduced and life is enjoyable again.

Bleubell Thu 08-Feb-18 20:19:41

Sorry OP I misread your post, I've just realised you said meditation.

As previous posters have said I found the first few days on medication worse too however it does get much better. Make an appointment to see your GP and have a chat about what your options are.

Things will get better thanks

HappinessIsGone Thu 08-Feb-18 20:39:01

I was really hoping I could just take the medicine and the pain would go away. Sounds like it won’t be that simple sad

merc3de5 Thu 08-Feb-18 20:59:11

It's not that simple I'm afraid, I wish it was. But working with the counselling along with the medication has made my life so much better and it was worthwhile. I got 'me' back. I would definitely see your doctor and talk through options

Skittlesandbeer Thu 08-Feb-18 21:06:19

The medications are wonderful these days, but they aren’t magical.

Think of it like a painkiller for a serious injury. It blocks you feeling the pain, but the underlying injury still needs dealing with. Especially if you’re still in the situation that caused the injury (say, being in a sports team, to extend the analogy).

Medication for anxiety sometimes takes a few tries to find the right one for you. You may need different classes of drugs, different dosages, and different lead times to assess if they’re working. Everyone’s brain chemistry is not the same. Therapy helps enormously through this period.

It’s is certainly worth exploring which meds would help, even a slight relief in your symptoms can really make a difference to your day. I’m afraid there’s no getting around the fact that the meds are just part of the plan. Talk therapy, exercise, diet, change in work or family circumstances, meditation/mindfulness and relationship counselling almost always help too.

Where I live, a GP wouldn’t prescribe anti-anxiety pills without some evidence that I was working on the underlying factors.

Why doom yourself to a lifetime of medication (the cost, doctor visits, the side effects, the stigma) rather than help your mind and body recover and create resilience you can use for the rest of your days?

Good luck. Once you find the right meds, the idea of doing ‘inner work’ won’t feel so overwhelming.

PurpleRobe Thu 08-Feb-18 21:08:37

My husband is on citroplam for anxiety and although it worked very well to start with... he's had to keep upping the dosage and now on the highest dose possible and feels he's gone backwards a bit as it's now having smaller effect for him.

So he's slightly better but not fully better.

And not as better as he was hoping to be now on full dose

HappinessIsGone Thu 08-Feb-18 22:16:40

I’ll see the GP. Thanks all.

merc3de5 Thu 08-Feb-18 22:45:19

Hope all goes well for you. xx

G120810 Fri 09-Feb-18 21:09:09

Venlufaxin saved my life I swear by it when u see GP tell him straight this isn't just a we thing that weak tablet are going to work this is bad I've not been to doctor but I need counciling ask for any support groups to help u with helping u to ease symptoms I couldn't leave home I was a wreck for 2 years I lost out on helping with kids I got obsessed with watching crime show which would scared the life out me doctor had to come to house to treat me I took the venlufaxin and 2 week later I left the house and vowed if never let that happen to me again I force myself to go to school with son even though I'm having a attack it took me a while for me to do this

Evenbetter Fri 09-Feb-18 21:39:19

I’m on propranolol, it physically prevents my body from panicking, so my heart can’t race, I don’t get the searing adrenaline when startled or panicking, it doesn’t have the ‘kicking in’ or bliss that you get on diazepam, but it’s not addictive, it’s grand.

CBT has helped huuuugely, did counselling in the past, it was shite, when your mind is harassing you 24 hours a day you’ve already thought of every outcome/memory so having someone saying ‘mmm..and how did that make you feel’ as if you’re going to have some dazzling revelation is just a waste of time. CBT gave me answers, and ways to change, and how to deal with it.

southboundagain Fri 09-Feb-18 21:46:29

Mine has helped me hugely. I had to try a few different antidepressants but the one I'm now on stopped my panic attacks pretty much completely.

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