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Oh yea, anxiety can cause any feeling you can dream up in your mind. I was an extreme hypochondriac. Constantly worried about ulcers, hypoglycemia, Schizophrenia. You name it, I had it. Xanax is the only drug that I have found that has helped with this and the panic I was experiencing daily. Honestly, I started taking .25 mg 3x daily and am now up to 2 mg per day, so here is what to expect as I understand it.

When you first start taking it regularly, you will find that for the first few days you will be tired and kind of lethargic, but anxiety free. As you take it regularly the drowsiness wears off and you will find that you don't even realize you are taking it. Now, if you take it as needed, you will probably feel drowsy every time you take it. I was a huge mediphobe. In fact, I used to have panic attacks from over the counter drugs like Asprin or Tylenol. It was ridiculous. Anyway, the first pill was hard for me to take, but about 15 minutes later I was glad that I took it.

The Xanax blocks GABA receptors in your brain which has a calming effect on the nervous system. When you first take it, your brain is not used to the change in GABA in your brain. Also, you will find that your liver doesn't have the enzymes to break it down efficiently. The amount of this effect is different for everyone. So, you may find that initially, you will have to take more Xanax to ge tthe same effect. Your brain will produce less GABA and your liver will produce more enzymes in your liver to break down the Xanax decreasing the amount getting into your blood where it needs to be. As this occurs you will need to take more. The good news is that this cycle will end and you will reach a point where you have found the optimal amount of Xanax and no more will be needed. This is how it was explained to me and how I have watched it work for me.

I think the Xanax will stop the majority of your symptoms. It has not helped me with thought intrusions, but has quelched the anxiety big time. I meditate and practice relaxation techniqes to work on the rest and I live a fairly normal and full life. Now, I have only been on Xanax for 3 months. Others on this board have taken it for years and I think if you plan on taking this drug, then you should seriously decided whether you are willing to take this medication long term and find a doctor who will support you. If you decide to quit, the opposite of what happens in the beginning will happen. it takes time for your brain to start creating more GABA and it also takes awhile for your liver to alter the amount of enzymes, so the withdrawl can be horrible if you stop abruptly. If you taper off over a long period of time the withdrawl can be minimal, but you may start experiencing the same anxiety that you have now.

I am an advocate for Xanax simply because it works so well for me. I am not impressed with Xanax XR, because it doesn't last much longer than the regular Xanax. You will probably find that a lot of doctors are hesitant to prescribe this because it has a street value unlike many other anxiety dissorder drugs. You will need to find a doctor who knows how well this stuff works and will work with you to find the optimal dose.

Also, understand that no matter what you take for anxiety dissorder, you will have to deal with withdrawl if you quit, so you need to decide if you are willing to stay on the drug long term or not. I personally had enough anxiety and panic, that it was a no brainer for me. I would much rather take a drug until the end of my days if can help me live a more full and happier life and thus far it is working for me. I will, of course, keep you and everyone updated with my future results, but as of now, Xanax has worked wonders for me!!!

I hope this helps.

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