I'm really sorry things are so hard at the moment
One of the problems with mental health problems is that they usually get worse when life is difficult and you most need to be well to deal with it.
I've taken citalopram but not escitalopram, but they are very similar as citalopram is made up of a mixture of both "mirror images" of the drug molecule whereas escitalopram is only one of them - the effective one. It basically just means escitalopram is twice as strong per gram.
A very important thing to consider about antidepressants or any psychiatric drug is that different people can and do have very different reactions to and experiences of them, more so than "physical" drugs. Unfortunately this means that other people's experiences aren't hugely helpful when making your decisions about what to take. Bearing that in mind, I didn't get on well with it because it made me too drained and sleepy to do anything but also made me feel sort of agitated. It is also very good at killing sex drive in a large proportion of people who take it. I know quite a few people who have taken it and probably around 20% liked it/found it helpful.
I've had to try a lot of medicines since I was in my early teens (so about 13 years), and discovered that the best things to do when deciding what to take are:
1) Make sure you get a good doctor who is really willing to listen. This is the most important thing. You do not want someone who will just hand you a prescription without discussing it.
2) Ask your doctor why they have decided that medicine would be the best for you to try. Sometimes they just have a "go-to" drug that they try all their patients on first but may not be the best suited to you. Unfortunately sometimes they also get encouraged by the drug company to push a particular brand too. For you it seems the best medication to try would be an antidepressant which is also used to treat anxiety disorders. Escitalopram is used to treat generalised anxiety disorder, but there are also other options some of which are better for panic disorders.
3) Find out how it works. Often the doctors aren't very good at explaining this or even knowing more than vaguely themselves, so looking it up is a good idea. Even Wikipedia can be helpful there. Here is a good site explaining escitalopram: http://www.saferx.co.nz/full/citalop...citalopram.pdf
4) Find out what the side effects can be in what percentage of people they occur. Here (the UK) they have to have an information sheet in the pack which tells you "Fewer than 1 in 10 people experience on of these side effects" or "1 in 1000..." but I'm not sure if that is the case elsewhere. The information is easily available online anyway. It's better to look at the plain facts rather than read possibly negatively or positively biased things though.
5) Check how long it will take before you can expect to see results. The doctors usually say 4-6 weeks, but in reality if it's going to work it will in 4. Don't let them make you wait ages after that for a dose increase if it seems to be working a bit but not enough. If your body is tolerating it with few side effects by the end of that time you should be able to increase the dose every couple of/few weeks until it is working well for you. If after about 4 weeks you see no difference or side effects are overwhelming just try something else to avoid wasting time, energy and money.
5) Always ask as many questions as possible to your doctor and voice any concerns. The best way to get good treatment is to be your own advocate (though I know this is hard when you suffer anxiety). I've found the best thing to do it write everything down in bullet points and then it will remind you what you wanted to say or alternatively if you find that too hard you can just hand it to the doctor.
Remember, it often takes trying several medications before you find the right one for you. It's hard, but worth it in the end. If you have any other questions I can try and answer. I have a lot of personal experience and have studied biochemistry and biological psychology as part of my degree course (and for fun
I hope things get much better soon.