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Beta Blockers for Anxiety, any good?

(21 Posts)
DeadMansBones Thu 20-Mar-14 17:11:16

I tried antidepressant (sertraline and fluoxetine) last year and both turned be into a jittery sobbing mess.

I have left 2 jobs due to the anxiety, I have been out of work for about 4 months and feel fine, but I need to get back to work. I have been offered an interview and can feel the anxiety coming back already.

has anyone had any luck with beta blockers?

Tigglette Thu 20-Mar-14 23:14:21

I find them invaluable for keeping me physically calm. I usually get anxious to where I shake and my throat closes up and my heart races, which sends me into a panic. I've been taking propranolol for about 6 months now and feel much better. It doesn't help with the emotional side of things but I find I can cope with my emotions much more easily when I don't have a physical anxiety reaction to deal with too. Good luck.

DeadMansBones Fri 21-Mar-14 06:49:51

thanks for your reply.

I get a really bad nervous stomach to the point of not being able to eat for days and days, I'm not sure if it will help with that.

it's worth a try, do u have any side effects from it?

MissYamabuki Fri 21-Mar-14 06:55:23

Hi op I had similar symptoms to yours and BB were no help - just had no effect on me apart from messing up my breathing. Sorry.
Diazepam for crises and CBT long term did it for me.
Good luck!

DeadMansBones Fri 21-Mar-14 10:07:58

I've just completed the self referral for cbt, I need to get sorted, can't keep letting the anxiety rule me.

TravelinColour Fri 21-Mar-14 10:11:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gamerchick Fri 21-Mar-14 10:13:54

I'm on propranolol as well and they are the dogs bollocks. its amazing how much better you can cope with your head when the physical symptoms are under control.

When I first started taking them I had a really tight chest which was a tad Worrying At the time but it passed quite quickly.

HoleySocksBatman Fri 21-Mar-14 10:23:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DeadMansBones Fri 21-Mar-14 12:59:19

hmm the potential side effects are worrying, the side effects I had on the anti d's have made me nervous of medication.

The main problem I get is a dodgy tummy and total loss of appetite

Mentalpsychiatrist Fri 21-Mar-14 13:02:57

I haven't taken beta blockers but have never had patients report in manageable side effects either. Do you think the gastric effects might be your anxiety rather than what I assume is propranolol? It's worth noting that propranolol is exceptionally safe and can be taken for years without any problems so don't let worries about potential side effects stop you from getting some relief from your anxiety. If you feel you're getting nowhere then please be sure to go back to your GP.

Mentalpsychiatrist Fri 21-Mar-14 13:03:38

Sorry, that should be 'unmanageable'.

DeadMansBones Fri 21-Mar-14 13:12:19

the stomach problems are definitely caused by the anxiety, I haven't tried propanolol yet just anti d's which made me sick as a dog and a nervous wreck.

is propanolol just to help ease a racing heart or is it helpful for all anxiety symptoms? the loss of appetite is a massive problem because if I dont eat enough I feel faint which then sets off a whole new bout of anxiety, its like a vicious circle.

Mentalpsychiatrist Fri 21-Mar-14 13:22:42

Sorry, I misread and thought you were already on propranolol. It will help with the physical symptoms of the anxiety - racing heart, heaving stomach, sweaty palms, etc. What it won't do, as someone else has already pointed out, is help with the cause of your anxiety. For this you really should try a talking therapy. Have you given mindfulness a go?

NomDeClavier Fri 21-Mar-14 13:38:42

I found it helpful when I was at the point of panicking about going out because I thought I would have a panic attack. If I didn't need to worry about hyperventilating and my heart exploding out of my chest I found it easier to deal with what was actually worrying me. It's a weird artificial feeling of calm but it helped me get places just thinking I was going to die rather than actually feeling like I would because the panic was so bad.

It did make life difficult with my pre-existing Raynauds though.

DeadMansBones Fri 21-Mar-14 13:39:11

I have read a book on mindfulness and yesterday I completed the self referral for therapy, not sure how long the waiting list is or what they will offer.

I have felt so good the past 4 months and then got the call about this interview and it just all came back. I think its social anxiety, I am happy in my little bubble with my nearest and dearest.

Mentalpsychiatrist Fri 21-Mar-14 18:50:09

The mindfulness book I recommend (and use myself) is A Practical Guide to Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams. The paperback comes with a CD, I think an MP3 version is available on Audible, which guides you through a number of meditations and exercises.

Tigglette Sat 22-Mar-14 11:20:56

Sorry, I didn't get back on-line yesterday. I initially had a dry mouth from propranolol but that passed fairly quickly. I was finding as well as heart rate, shakes etc that my throat would become really tight, to the point of not being able to swallow food, with anxiety. The propranolol has helped all of the physical symptoms and I'm seeing a counsellor to support my emotional well being and work through the issues causing me anxiety in the first place. I'm a long way from being better but it's much more manageable.

Backinthering Sun 23-Mar-14 11:45:12

I've found them a godsend for situational panic attacks.Been having these in eg work meetings. I would also be fine if only I didn't have to work! They give me reassurance that the panic won't spiral out of control and I'll aopear calm. They do make me a bit tired and dry mouthed so I don't take them often but definitely turning off the physical anxiety calms me mentally too.

HeffalumpsnWoozles Sun 23-Mar-14 19:00:35

Been on Propranalol for 7yrs now and they help me live a normal life. I take them every day as driving sets my attacks off. On 10mg strength tabs & survive quite happily on half a tab per time now. Only side effect is tiredness but I work long hours so would be tired anyway. They stopped me becoming a total recluse as I was close to agoraphobic when I started on them.

DeadMansBones Sun 23-Mar-14 19:27:57

okay, lots of positive experiences, thanks for all the responses.

I will call the doctor tomorrow to see if I can get a prescription. I wish I could go back 9 months and try these and therapy instead of the anti d's which just made things a million times worse

Backinthering Mon 24-Mar-14 12:27:50

They might make you feel a bit funny the first few timesyou take them. That seems to resolve when you get used to them and the side effects lessen, at least in my experience. Good luck!

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