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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been dragging my feet for months now about address an increasingly out of control anxiety problem. Or maybe it is OCD or depression, I am trying to NOT self-diagnose. (Staying away from Dr. Goggle)<br><br>
My mother is exhibiting some related behaviors and she refuses to address them. My grandmother was basically paralyzed by her anxiety issues and my aunt does take meds for the same thing. Throw in an uncle (sib to mom and aunt) with some extreme issues and I think it runs in the family.<br><br>
So I finally picked up the phone. I am going to see my family doctor on Monday as I will need a referral for insurance reasons.<br><br>
I love my family doctor. He is super-open minded and I trust him.<br><br>
Does anyone have any experience with getting treated by a family doctor?<br><br>
I guess maybe part of me is hoping that I tell him what is going on and he'll say it isn't that bad and let’s try XYZ first before we refer you to someone else.<br><br>
I don't know if this would be a good or bad thing. Maybe I should push to see a specialist right off the bat? Primary doctor would do the referring but I have no reason to think he won't.<br><br>
I have gone to a therapist in the past and saw a psychologist while pregnant for anxiety issues. I am completely open to going that route again but what has been going on recently is different than before; I can't talk myself out of the tree, so to speak, like I could in the past.<br><br>
I am open to anyone offering their BTDT, what worked for them, what didn't and so on.<br><br>
I am happy I have the appointment set, something had to give. It is starting to impact my normal life in not so good ways.<br><br>
****Edit to add - while I am not opposed to meds, I am concerned that if I do take meds, it will make me feel like "not me", numb, or stupid or something.
 

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Hi Caneel,<br><br>
I am glad you are taking that first step going to your family dr, and it's great that you have such trust in him. That is really important.<br><br>
I also have a history of anxiety & depression. It's come and gone at various points in my life, and I have been on meds (and currently am) a few times. Many doctors describe anxiety and depression as being two side of the same coin, and having experience in both I truly believe that, though they definitely present in unique ways from each other.<br><br>
I'll tell you about my most recent experience: In recent years, I've had one very stressful experience after another- family deaths, my stbx's infidelity (at various points), having my daughter get diagnosed with ADHD & giftedness, financial issues, you name it. I grew to live in a state of constant anxiety. Prior to treatment, I would have described myself as a "give me an inch, and I'll take a mile" kind of person. For example I had a bad case of gastritis one summer, and despite what my dr told me I had convinced myself I had stomach cancer.<br><br>
Last year the years of stress caught up with me and I finally went to my family dr in May 08 and asked for help with the anxiety. I truly believed that my anxiety was episodic- at the time the most recent one was my dd's diagnosis and dealing with her teacher who was really difficult. So he gave me ativan to take on an as-needed basis. I thought it helped. But the episodes became more frequent and I knew that long term this was not going to fly. By August I couldn't function without the ativan. I was not at all functional, wanted to stay in bed all day in quiet isolation. Everything was hard. So in early Sep I went back to him, and he put me on Lexapro, one of the common antidepressants (which is also used to treat OCD, btw).<br><br>
It took about 5 weeks before I felt normal again. When I felt normal, I realized how long it had been since I'd felt that way. Life was again fun and interesting and my energy and motivation were back.<br><br>
Then it stopped working. Family dr increased the dose. It worked again, for awhile. At that point he referred me to the mood disorders clinic at our local hospital. That was the best thing I've ever done as far as my health goes.<br><br>
I saw an amazing psychiatrist there. It took us about 3 months of tweaking doses and ultimately adding Wellbutrin, but we did it, we got there. I am now coming up on a year of feeling like a normal, happy and functioning human being. All along I have also been doing therapy, which imho is critical. But I couldn't do the therapy without the meds getting me to functional first. I also practice mindfulness and try to keep my life in balance by asking for help more often (I tend to be wonder woman, lol) and making sure I give myself fun respites.<br><br>
Please don't be afraid of meds. If they are making you feel numb or spaced out then you're not taking the right thing. It's very, very common to have to go through lots of tweaks before you feel like your true self again. This part I think is best done by a psychiatrist. They simply have deeper and wider knowledge of how these meds work, and are up on current stuff. And there are SO many meds and combinations of meds and there will be something that works for you. Anyhow, just awhile ago I went back to my family md for something routine, and when I told him what I was currently taking (40mg lexapro, 300mg wellbutrin) he said he had no idea that people could take that high a dose of lex and he'd never seen this combination (which according to my psychiatrist is actually very common and becoming the gold standard).<br><br>
Right now I am in the process of separating from my stbx. I am actually coping fine, even though this is probably the most stressful event of my life to date. Yes, I have my moments of panic and fear and anger, but it's not sucking me into the abyss again. Not even close. So I am definitely feeling, not numb, but I can see my world and life in perspective. I can definitely say I would not be handling it this well if this had happened last year.<br><br>
I wish you all the best...whatever you end up doing it is important that you are seeking help and exploring options. Please don't discount any of them, and use supports where you have them.<br><br>
It WILL get better, I promise. Feel free to PM me if you want to chat.<br><br>
EO
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the kind thoughts and good wishes.<br><br>
I can relate to so much of your post Ex, especially the stomach cancer part. I have fairly convinced I have liver cancer right now, lol, because of odd aches and pains in my right side.<br><br>
I had lunch today with family members that I don't care to spend time with and I had a period of heart pounding, blood racing feelings. (there isn't any trama or bad feelings with these people, nothing for me to attach back feelings to)<br><br>
Mine comes and goes, it is almost like I can see it coming and it is like it has to cycle all the way up to uncontrollable until I can come back down.<br><br>
I am looking forward to my dr visit tomorrow. I will post afterwards and I may take you up on the pm offer. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I went to the dr. today and we talked for a long time. As I said before, I love my doctor, he has such a broad range of experience (active duty military, trama, 3rd world mission work) and he is very open-minded and is a great listener.<br><br>
We talked for a long-time and decided to try ativan. Based on what I told him, he thinks as needed use will work for me. I am meeting with him again in a month to see where I am at.<br><br>
So that is where I am at right now. It is strange, it is almost like knowing it will be ok to take something if I need it is already making me feel better.<br><br>
One of the things we talked about was my feeling that I should be "above" taking meds (my words) and he said "I hear at least one person a day say the same thing" and went on to tell me how common anxiety, the life changing level, really is.<br><br>
He did advise me to be aware of the frequency of any episodes as if they increase, the plan of action will change.
 
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