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Hello all; I've been lurking on these boards for the past couple weeks. Most everyone here seems super supportive and kind, so I hope to integrate myself into this community. It's nice to be among you all :)

With that said, I'll just jump right into my problem in hopes that 1) a few of you can relate to my symptoms mentioned below and if so, 2) a few of you have been successfully treated by zoloft or some SSRI.

Brief medical history: for about the past year I had problems with breathing where I felt like I could not take deep breaths or yawn at random points throughout random days. I could however take deep breaths if I forced them. Last month I went to the emergency room due to an event where I almost passed out in a class and then arrived home alone, freaking out that I might pass out and asphyxiate. ER Doc said heart was fine, x-ray fine, bloodwork fine. He thinks I might have GERD but really feels that I have an anxiety disorder. He prescribed me Ativan/Lorazepam and they seemed to help off and on, but more often than not.

I just saw my regular doc about this and he prescribed me more ativan, suggested omeprazole for my GERD symptoms and 50mg (then 100mg after a week) of Zoloft. He seems to believe that I have GERD but that its causing panic attacks or that maybe my panic attacks are causing stomach issues -- which came first is the mystery at this point.

My general symptoms are as follows:

Mostly every day now:
- random pains throughout body, specifically in chest, lateral to the sternum and also in the back, medial to the scapulae.
- breathing tightness sometimes accompanied with a cough. This tightness feels like there's a pressure that wants to prohibit deep breathing.
- right dull, minor eye pain at various intervals.
- post nasal drip? There's a constant feeling of mucus being stuck just superior to the soft palate in the nasopharyngeal region.

Before my visit to the doctor:
- fear of death due to not understanding what was going on with my body.
- tingling lips, face, fingers, arms after aforementioned breathing issues seemingly would worsen.
- loss of motivation in school (very unusual), I felt confined by these conditions. Felt worried to be alone.
- feeling of a lump being stuck in throat on rare occasions.
- 2 days before the doctors appointment, most all of these issues disappeared and then reappeared after.
- periodic feelings of tiredness. I'd sometimes nap after school despite having 8 hours of solid sleep the night before.
- I'm generally always moody (usually bad moods especially around people I don't trust or know)
- I'm generally easy to frustrate. I get really irritated when I play games and lose at them or get below an A in my classwork lol but maybe thats normal?
- I'm very anti-social in college. Talking to people requires much effort -- not because I don't like them, I just worry about anything that I think about saying.
- I overeat or want to overeat, have been obese most my life (losing weight though, lost 30lbs so far with exercise and a healthy, nutritional diet.)
- I have a high sex drive. I can't control when I ejaculate, I usually last 2 - 3 mins max if friction is constant.

Now here's my main problem right now: I started the zoloft and it made me feel like my spine was on fire one morning and I felt really wired. The day before I was totally "out of body" to best describe my feeling. I helped my dad move some stuff and he said I had a deer in headlights look. I called the doc and he said these were normal and they should subside over the weeks. Then I started reading about zoloft withdrawal problems and some people saying they had permanent side effects after using the drug or said they couldnt quit the drug. So I freaked and tapered myself off over the next week and stopped.

I want to get better, I'm just scared of the long term effects of Zoloft and I want to make absolutely sure that I need it before I start really taking it. Do you guys share the anxiety symptoms I've listed above and has a drug like Zoloft truly helped you? Have any of you successfully stopped with no side effects? If so, was life normal or better?

I really appreciate anyone's input on this. Thanks guys and gals!





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