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Anxiety Message Board

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Hello, I am a 29 year old male and I have been battling anxiety for the past year ever since I got laid off from my job. I started monitoring my blood pressure on my own at about the same time and I noticed it was fairly high and averaging around 135/95. I am not overweight and do not smoke or drink. I have attempted to control the anxiety with Lexapro and Buspar without much success. Recently, I have been put on 50 mg of Zoloft and I have been taking it for the past week. I have noticed that my anxiety levels and blood pressure have gone through the roof and I get elevated readings of 155/107 when I measure it. The number goes down after a good night's sleep but I still wake up feeling anxious without any good reason. I don't know if it's the medication but I have constant panic/anxiety attacks throughout the day. I have gotten blood tests done, chest xrays, stress echo, thyroid tests, hormone tests and all have come out normal. I am pretty confident that my high anxiety levels are what is causing my blood pressure to spike so high but I feel like I am not responding well to anxiety/depression medications but at the same time I cannot bring it down naturally as I am an anxious person to begin with. I am really hesitant to take blood pressure medication due to the side effects and fear of being on it for the rest of my life, but at this point, I am not sure what to do. When I am calm and relaxed, I do get normal readings of around 120-125/82-87 so I am also worried that blood pressure medication may cause it to go too low when I am not anxious. I have tried breathing techniques with the Resparate machine as well as cognitive behavioral therapy but nothing seems to get rid of the overwhelming anxiety and this new Zoloft medication just seems to be making it a lot worse. The anxiety I get from thinking about kidney problems, stroke, etc. due to my elevated readings makes me even more anxious and it's a vicious cycle. At my age, do I need to start taking blood pressure medication or should I work on the anxiety first? It's been a year since my blood pressure has been this elevated so I don't know how much longer I can continue to experiment with anxiety/depression medications without causing physical harm to my body from the constant high blood pressure readings.

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