I suffer badly with health anxiety, partly relating to myself but mainly focused on my DC. I suffered in silence for over 9 years. For the last 3 months I’ve had CBT, which has not helped in the slightest and if anything has made me slightly worse. My therapist agreed that I need to take a break from it and ‘see how I go’. I know how it will go... just as badly as it has been for the last 9 years! I cannot go on like this, it’s completely taken over my life. I have a GP appointment next week and am thinking of asking for Propanol. Does anyone have any experience of this for health anxiety please, good and bad? I don’t want to go on SSI’s, mainly because I’ve read lots about unwanted side effects, nausea, weight gain etc. Please help.
I tried propranolol earlier this year and it did nothing, I had the same reservations about SSRI but I eventually realised I had to try, I'm not established on 40mg of fluoxetine and I'm better than I've been in over 10 years. Different things work for different people.
My dp tried it and it’s worked wonders for him. When his anxiety flares he finds it impossible to work or to do anything. The medication takes the edge off enough for him to be able to function well while the anxiety passes. What would’ve previously been a good couple of weeks off work has turned into 3 days of medication. He finds it easier to split the dose into am and pm
Propranolol is a beta blocker and it’s great for situational anxiety e.g. public speaking or performing. It can also help in specific phobia-triggering situations like an airplane for someone with claustrophobia. If you take propranolol you will not feel any physical symptoms of anxiety. It blocks adrenaline so the fight or flight mechanism is not activated. So no shaking or sweating when giving a presentation for example. I don’t think it would help in your situation. I would really rethink your stance on SSRI’s. Sertraline really helped me with agoraphobia and I had zero weight gain on it.
I should point out he also takes setraline, 100mg with no major side effects apart from when he was first taking it. Don’t rule ssri’s out without giving them a good chance, they work very well for a large number of people.
From my personal experience, I did not like Propranolol at all. I had anxiety and was prescribed this and I reacted badly to it physically, but many people go on it and have no issues. I reacted so badly that it caused my anxiety to BECOME health anxiety (was originally because of noisy neighbours!) and I've suffered with it since (for 3 years). I'm on Sertraline and it's worked wonders for me. But everyone is different Good look with it- health anxiety is absolutely awful and I feel for you.
I take Citalopram for anxiety and depression - I had slight headaches and mild nausea for a short while, but now it's fine. I feel it 'takes the edge off' and the people who know I take it agree (compared to not taking it).
I had Propranolol, but not as a regular medication - it was for intermittent use, for intense anxiety attacks.
I would recommend giving the SSRIs a try too - any side effects shouldn't last too long and they may prove effective. If not, you can always try a different one - my medication now wasn't my original one!
Propranolol is great stuff. I strongly recommend you only take in the morning or early afternoon as it messes with sleep (buggers up melatonin production so you cannot sleep). Otherwise it is really good. I take the odd 40mg and it is helpful.
I take 40mg of Propranalol morning and night for a rapid heartbeat related to an overactive thyroid and health anxiety. I have had no bad side affects at all and it hasn't stopped me sleeping. In fact I sleep much better now. It's really helped the anxiety.
I’ve been on propranolol for years now. It suits me as I only suffer the physical effects of anxiety. I wouldn’t be able to function without it. However it doesn’t sound as though it would suit you tbh. It blocks Adrenalin, it doesn’t block your brain and thinking. It has its own side effects also, it Can give you the runs and I had a tight chest for a couple of weeks starting it. I’ve been fine with the sleeping thing though, I can take it during the night when adrenaline wakes me up.
Thanks for all your advice. I’m really torn to know what would be best for me. I’ll have a chat and see what my doctor thinks (if I can manage to have a meaningful conversation in the allocated 8 minute appointment) I should’ve mentioned in my op but my heath anxiety is triggered by a specific thing. I have low level general anxiety but there is a specific trigger that always sets me off with the HA. The therapist I was seeing suggested trying meds and then referring myself back for CBT after a few months. I need medication, I know that, because I cannot solve this through CBT alone, but I’m aware that meds will not tackle the underlying issue.
Propranolol helped me with the physical symptoms enough to be able to get on with stuff. I stopped taking them once the worst had passed but it doesn't help with the mental part of it. I'm now on sertraline after a few months medication free and tbh I wish I'd taken it when first offered instead of trying the propranolol, my life was unbearable and now I'm functioning. I think I need an increase in dose to be "normal" but honestly it's saved my life.