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Aibu to ask to go back on anxiety medication after 4 months off?

15 replies

havingamadmoment · 12/11/2019 01:09

I have been on anti anxiety medication for 3 years. For about 10 years before that I was a panic stricken mess, for some reason ok in the day but as soon as evening hit I would be having panic attacks, shivering under my duvet like a scared puppy. Even though I know it’s stupid it doesn’t stop it being a thing.

So 3 years ago I finally mentioned it to my gp who put me on fluoxitene. It didn’t get rid of the panic at all but I was able to carry on my evening without totally collapsing.

I moved house not long ago and my new go said to come off it - fine I thought (since I was doing ok!)

Now 4 months later I am a state. To paint a picture for you it is 1am and I am a 36 year old woman who has given birth 6 times - and I am in a total state because my period it heavy. I am obsessing, shivering , feeling sick , convinced I will die. I know it’s panic - and it’s back to being a daily thing.

My new gp doesn’t seem very sympathetic towards anxiety issues and so I’m feeling very nervous of going back and saying that this is not really working out for me!

Aibu to ask to go back on medication after only a few months off?
Do I need to give things longer to settle down?

OP posts:
Monty27 · 12/11/2019 01:13

Sounds like you need it. Get it. Don't be ashamed. Best wishes OP. Flowers

DramaAlpaca · 12/11/2019 01:16

Of course you can. If you need it, you need it. Go back to your GP & insist.

havingamadmoment · 12/11/2019 01:19

Thanks - I know I should be able to just go back and say I maybe need to go back on them - I think it was just the way he said
To come off - apparently I was on a small
Dose anyway and it wouldn’t have made any difference Confused.

So now I’m wondering if it helping at all was just my imagination !

OP posts:
Ifeelinclined · 12/11/2019 01:21

Oh, how miserable for you! I have been in the same position. Go ask to be put back on your meds. It's a great thing that you recognize that you need to be back on them. I had a hard time admitting that to myself.

maggiecate · 12/11/2019 01:31

See a different GP. Some can be a bit rubbish for mental health issues. Phone the surgery in the morning ask for an appointment with someone else. You absolutely do not need to be struggling like this. Your mood is determined by the chemicals in your brain and like any other organ in the body it can get out of whack - and if it was your heart or your kidneys you wouldn’t be feeling bad about needing medication!

Right now It sounds as if you’re having a panic attack so try and focus on slowing your breathing down - breath from your diaphragm and try to pause between breaths. If you’ve got a paper bag try breathing into that. The shivery shaky feeling is because you’re breathing out too much carbon dioxide - it’ll pass, but you can help by trying to take slow steady breaths.

RightYesButNo · 12/11/2019 03:31

OP, that’s NOT stupid. You can’t control what triggers your panic or anxiety. It sounds like you definitely need to be back on your medication. And there are lots of us, me included, who think it’s very brave to admit when you need help to manage it, and that includes going back on meds. Also, please bear in mind, he may have told you it was a small dose to make coming off easier or maybe you only need a small dose, but I think any amount of an SSRI like fluoxitene is going to make a difference in your system. Do you happen to know what dose you were on? I would also echo @maggiecate about seeing a different GP in your surgery if you can, as some really are a bit rubbish about mental health issues. But truthfully, any of them should be able to put you back on a medication you’ve only been off for a few months - it’s more like you were off it for a trial basis, it hasn’t worked for you, and you need to go back on.

havingamadmoment · 12/11/2019 06:14

Thanks right. I was on “20” uh ...whatever the measurement is a day. Smile

I had felt like I was doing ok until the last week or so and held it together ok but the last week I seem to have just lost control of myself a bit!

OP posts:
Deeplydevious · 12/11/2019 06:20

Fluoxetine is a real bugger to come off and it could well be you body adjusting. If you do need an antidepressant to control your anxiety i'd recommend asking your GP to prescribe a better one for you and not go back on Fluoxetine.

Rubyupbeat · 12/11/2019 06:23

You are not stupid... I have anxiety and panic attacks, it is debilitating.
Your gp should never have told to come off your tablets, for one thing ssris should be reduced VERY gradually.
I have been on Citalopram for 3 years and they changed my life, along with counselling and mindfulness. I still am not ready to come off them as still get very anxious days (nothing like before)
Please go back to the gp and insist to go back on them and refer yourself to talking therapies, which gives you access to counselling.
If he refuses, then please change gps. Mental health awareness is huge nowadays, so your gp must have his head in the sand.
Please let us know how you get on.

Curtainly · 12/11/2019 06:25

Of course OP, plenty of people are either advised (usually wrongly tbh) or choose to try coming off medication that helps; so this isn't unusual. You should definitely see your GP to get back on them Flowers

maggiecate · 12/11/2019 13:46

20mg is the standard starting therapeutic dose for fluoxetine so not sure what the GP is thinking about telling you that’s nothing. If that was taking the edge off but you were still feeling panic symptoms I’d look at either switching to something else or upping your dose. It can take a bit of trial and error to get the right prescription - everyone responds differently because everyone has a different brain and our neurotransmitters get out of whack in their own way!
Try a different GP - ask the receptionist if any of them have a specific interest in mental health - and have regular 4-6 weekly reviews until you are feeling a significant improvement. You deserve a decent quality of life, spending every evening in a panic isn’t something you should just put up with.

havingamadmoment · 12/11/2019 14:15

Thanks Maggie- I didn’t know that you could get a higher dose. I just got given the prescription 3 years ago and then it was on repeat all that time - never had a review . Until I moved gp and he said to stop taking it. I probably should have been more proactive with things but since I was able to get through things like that I just left it .

OP posts:
TheMustressMhor · 12/11/2019 14:19

I wouldn't feel any qualms about asking to go back on to anti-anxiety medication. I have been on and off it for years myself.

I've noticed that during the times I'm off it, I get gradually worse and worse. This can take a few months but eventually makes me so miserable that I go back to my GP.

Can you see a different GP if your new one is unsympathetic?

And can you ask to try a different anti-depressant? I've been on a few and find that mirtazapine works best for me.

I have come to the conclusion that I am better off just taking them and not trying to come off.

I know how awful you must be feeling. I hope you start to feel better soon.

messolini9 · 12/11/2019 14:20

YANBU, & do't beat yourself up for having a perfectly normal problem. Confounding, exasperating, & horrible for you when the panic sets in - but NOT your fault.

My new gp doesn’t seem very sympathetic towards anxiety issues and so I’m feeling very nervous of going back and saying that this is not really working out for me!
Change GP immediately.
Anxiety is a horrible enough thing to have to manage, without a GP being less than helpful.

And of course you should go back on your meds.
It is likely just the changes involved in house move that have kicked you off.
Put yourself back on a course, & get a HELPFUL GP to talk to about how to slowly reduce/self-prescribe/manage.

Can you also do something like a CBT course?
It is tremendously useful for issues like anxiety.

Keep your chin up. You're not alone, you're not daft, & it's not your fault.

maggiecate · 12/11/2019 18:22

Maximum recommended dose is 60mg per day so you’ve got a fair bit of leeway to go up a bit. Don’t just aim for bearable - if you’re still feeling abnormal anxiety Don’t just think ‘oh well, that’s just me’ because it’s not. It’s wacky brain chemistry.

If you were diabetic you would have a period of trial and error whilst you got your insulin levels right, try and think of this the same way. And try and get a referral for talking therapy/CBT - working on the issue on more than one front helps and gives you strategies for spotting and heading off an attack.

It sounds like you’ve got your hands full family wise but if you’ve can find the time to fit in some exercise that gets your endorphins up - even if it’s a brisk walk - that can make a difference too.

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