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Medication for anxiety

(3 Posts)
Grapetree Fri 18-Jan-19 12:25:14

I’ve pretty much had social anxiety throughout my life (including selective mutism as a child). It’s one of those things I think I’ll have to live with forever and I’m used to coping by avoidance or doing the bare minimum.

I have never been formally diagnosed with anxiety although I have seen my GP once when it was getting unbearable simply leaving the house. I was given the details of my local IAPT service then had CBT sessions for roughly 3 months.
Things slightly improved I could now take the train comfortably, go to the supermarket, etc without the horrible physical symptoms (heart racing, sick stomach, shaking, dry mouth etc). Still worry and have negative thoughts but it’s bearable!!

It has been a gradual improvement the more I expose myself to new social situations. However, there are certain “huge” tasks that I still find impossible to tackle right now - job interviews, and group presentations

I’m a university student applying for work placements (required for my course) and also I am required to do a 5 minute group presentation later on. I understand these are very common to make people feel anxious and uncomfortable but as someone with a history of bad anxiety I honestly find it impossible
I feel like I’m at such a disadvantage and unlike the past where I could simply avoid things, this is something that will affect my future if I don’t do well.
I was wondering if there is any short term anxiety medication that people have taken to help with the physical symptoms of anxiety / panic attacks (heart racing, shaking and so on)
Also, it may sound stupid but how did you ask your GP for medication? As I haven’t been formally diagnosed anything, only experienced CBT on the NHS I’m worried they won’t believe me

HarryTheSteppenwolf Fri 18-Jan-19 14:07:24

The physical symptoms (tremor & palpitations) can be treated with non-selective beta-blockers like propranolol (as long as you're not asthmatic or diabetic and don't have peripheral artery disease or Reynaud's). In the long term, though, you need some kind of psychological therapy to help you manage it. There's a chance you'd be prescribed anti-depressants but this shouldn't be a long-term measure.

You shouldn't go in and ask a GP for medication. You should describe your symptoms, explain how long you've been experiencing them and what makes them worse/better. The GP should be asking you questions to work out whether you need medication while you're waiting for psychological therapy (could be a long wait). If you explain that you've tried to deal with it yourself without medical intervention for a fair length of time but don't feel you can manage it any more, they should be sympathetic.

Bombardier25966 Fri 18-Jan-19 14:13:47

Speak to support services at uni. They obviously can't advise on medication but they'll be able to help with the circumstance specific anxiety, and you definitely won't be alone in what you're experiencing!

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