Afraid to go back on meds - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-17-2011, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

 

I have been on zoloft in the past for severe anxiety/depression/ocd.  The need for medication arose after my children were born... my symptoms got much worse.  I took medication for slightly over 2 years, and stopped.  Over the last 18 months, my symptoms have gotten much worse.. panic attacks, disturbing thoughts, interfering with my daily functioning... I would rather lay in bed all day than face the world.  I don't like to leave home.  I am afraid to eat certain things or go to the grocery store because I am afraid of allergic reactions to food.  

 

The thing I am most afraid of about medication is an allergic reaction to it.  But I've taken zoloft before, with no troubles.  I just keep picturing myself suddenly unable to breathe, covered in hives, and not getting help in time.  I am afraid of all medications in this way, I don't even take Tylenol for headaches or anything.  I am afraid my asthma meds will kill me every day I have to take them.  

 

Just looking for help and support.  I also know that looking back at my own posts helps me.  Maybe in 2 weeks after I try meds, I will see this post and realize how silly I was to be so afraid.  But for now, I am paralyzed.  Can't move forward.  Just wanting some support, and maybe rational thought about taking the meds.  Thanks.


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Old 02-18-2011, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No replies?  really?


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Old 02-18-2011, 10:00 AM
 
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It takes people time to see things sometimes.

 

Here is what I think:  I think that your fear of allergic reactions (although you have no known allergies) is a symptom of the anxiety that you're experiencing.  Because you are so anxious about something with such a strong fundamental affect on your health, you need medical help.  Badly.  As soon as possible. 

 

You aren't silly to be afraid.  Your fear is a symptom of an illness, from which you are suffering terribly.

 

If I were you, I'd be in bed with my head under the covers, but if I were someone who loved you, I would want you to call up a psychiatrist - maybe the one who prescribed Zoloft for you before - and get help.

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Old 02-18-2011, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I have a wonderful therapist and a great pdoc, who recently prescribed the medication for me again.  It's sitting in the cupboard and I have been afraid to take it.  

 

Thank you for your perspective.  I really appreciate it.  


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Old 02-18-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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I think this is a fairly slow forum, I doubt you are being ignored. smile.gif Talk to your doctor about your feelings about being on medication. The SSRI's don't often cause allergic reactions. If you have taken Zoloft before with good results, you can probably be assured that you will do fine with it again.

I don't think it is "silly" to be afraid. Have you had poor reactions to medications before? The feeling of not being able to breathe is a symptom common to both asthma and anxiety. Ironically, Zoloft also targets anxiety and may help you feel more able to cope with fear. You still need to let your doctor know that this is one of the issues you face.

For about a year now, I have been on two medications to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety. I have been on and off meds in the past, mainly because I hate the idea of feeling dependant on pharmaceuticals. But I just find that I deal with life so much better when I'm on medication, and as long as I don't have side effects, I need this in order to feel "normal". We all have our own ways of taking care of ourselves, and sometimes that can be through taking medication.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you SO much.  You sound very like me.  I have come to the point where my OCD and anxiety/depression have left me unable to function, despite the fact that I was doing really well for a time.  I do much better on medication which is really hard for me to accept.

 

I have had reactions to abx in the past, so now I am kind of afraid of all medications.  Irrational, I know.  But not any less "real" or scary for me.  I also have fears of certain foods.  :(  

 

So... 

 

Yes, I think taking the medication is necessary at this point.  Hopefully, I can come here for support as I go.  


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Old 02-18-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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I am sooo sorry Mama!!! I too have OCD-anxiety and depression and completely understand how you feel.

I think MeepyCat is right. Your fears and feelings are real to you but they are a symptom of your real illness which is Anxiety/OCD.

You need to talk to your psychiatrist about your feelings and get your family enlisted to help and support you.  It is EXTREMELY unlikely that you would have areaction to the med. Remember you took it before without a problem. However-If your fear is that you will have a reaction and be alone, start the med on a weekend  where you'll be with a person you trust and not alone. 

Once you see that there is no reaction you will feel better and once the med starts working you will very likely not have the fears anymore.

You do need help though, so do whatever it is you need to do to be able to start treatment-take the Zoloft.

Once you are stable I would recommend doing Cognitive Behavioral therapy.

Hang in there Mama- Anxiety is very scary and all the thoughts feel real :-(

You will feel better once you get help and support and you will get better!!!!

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Old 02-18-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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Sorry if I sounded like I was repeating Meepycat (Hi there!). I guess I spend a long time typing since I didn't see the first response before pressing submit.

Once, I was talking about my feelings of guilt over needing psych meds with a friend. She is an insulin dependant diabetic. She said she could go her whole life feeling cursed with diabetes because she will never be able to be too far from either her insulin and a food source. Or, she could feel blessed that she lives in a time and place with ready access to everything she needs. Insulin isn't a problem, its the solution that allows her to live a long and healthy life. I think that is a great attitude and I try to see my antidepressants in the same way. I do have to keep reminding myself though, because depression and anxiety are continual struggles.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:11 AM
 
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Hey there Mom0180,

 

just chiming in to offer you some support. You have helped so many women on these forums who have had similar concerns. You know what you need to do to take care of yourself, and it sounds like you are on that path. I really think in a couple of weeks when the meds kick in you'll feel so much relief and be back to your old, confidant self. You are a really strong woman, and there is no shame in doing what you need to do to feel good. The anxiety about taking meds in the first place will pass (as I'm sure it always does.) I am so with you as far as hating to rely on pharmaceuticals. But I have had enough unsuccessful attempts at weaning off to know that right now, and for the foreseeable future, i need them.

 

We have no idea what life will look like and feel like when our kids are older... I hold on to that knowledge when I feel myself beating myself up for taking the meds. I may not need them, or if I do need them, I will definitely be more at peace with it at that point!

 

Hang in there, Mama! You deserve to feel better!

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Old 03-04-2011, 07:03 AM
 
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Hi mom0810. Just wanted to tell you I remember you were the first person who offered support when I first went on medication.

 

Since then, I have been on and off, too. I went off meds this time last year, when DH and I were TTC. We were successful; but sadly, I miscarried. Then I was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst and my anxiety and OCD skyrocketed. I am now 43 and we have decided, mostly for my mental health, that there will be no more babies. Sometimes the choices we have to make for our mental health are HARD.

 

Anyway, I have finally relented and have started clomipramine again. This is day 4.

 

I understand the fear of reaction issue and I do think it is a symptom of the anxiety. How to get past that, though; not sure. Can you tell us when you are going to take your first dose so we can support you through the first several hours, then a few days, until you know you're okay? Or have you started it?

 

For me, I was terrified of ovarian cancer with my cyst. One of the symptoms of OvCa can be constipation. So I started taking clomipramine to help deal with my panic over this. And guess what? It caused constipation! That was a really bad cycle. I have since been imaged and blood-tested to death and my doc is convinced this cyst is benign. So I am taking the medication again. Side effects aren't lots of fun and even though I know the constipation is a side effect of the medication, it is STILL hard to get past it. My bowels have always been very regular and even though doc says it's okay if they change, it's still hard. But at the same time, after only 4 days on a very low dose, I can focus. I can now do my paid work in 8 hours, instead of 11. Before this, I could only concentrate for a few minutes at a time.

 

I don't like the meds, either. But you know, I was flooding my body with cortisol and adrenaline before and those are chemicals, too! I can't imagine they were good for me. Now maybe I can actually accomplish some things that I want to. I have always called OCD and anxiety my "third job" that leaves no room for personal growth, like maybe taking a class or starting a running program. I could always work and take care of my dd, but that's about it. I want more.

 

I hope you are doing well and I will check back here to see if there's an update.

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Old 03-04-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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Hi there,

 

I just wanted to chime in here.  I'm on day 3 of cipralex for anxiety, panic attacks, and mild depression.  You can see my post titled "having spent so much on supplements...".   I was exactly the same way as you.  I was so afraid of taking medication because I was so scared I'd have a life threatening reaction and that my throat would close and die and my kids would be here alone.  I finally went to the hospital and got a perscription.  I intended to take it that night but my hubby was working nights and when I went to take it I had a panic attack.  I said I'd take it the next morning, and once again, I had a panic attack.  The next morning I did take one, and of course I panicked a little bit, but my sister talked me through it.  Yesterday I managed to take it without any panic, and today it was just like a normal part of my morning routine.  Anxiety is a horrid horrid thing, and I know so many times we are told to do this and this this and this and it will go away, but for some of it, doing the easy or natural things just doesn't cut it.  Going on medication doesn't make you a bad person.  I'm looking forward to the day where I have no anxiety, and I know my kids are going to have their old mom back. The one who could hop in the car and go anywhere she wanted to.  The one who never cried all day for no reason.  

 

I hope your doing okay and you've started on your road to recovery.  *hugs*

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