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Hi, I read your posts.... Just thought I'd give you a little info from my experience.... This is going to be a little long.

About anxiety... I had it a long time ago due to my dad passing away. I'm not a person who likes taking meds so I tried every other possible option with little success. I tried zoloft. It turned me into a zombie. 99% emotionless. I stopped taking it. Time went on (a few years) and I delt with anxiety using a method I found in a book called "Neural Path Therapy" which is really amazing info and it worked for me after some time of using it. I still needed lorazapam 0.25mg once in a while because I let it linger in my life so long before really doing something about it, it would come to mind once in a while. I also later went to C.B.T. and that seemed to seal the deal and get the rest of the anxiety out of my life.

Recently, anxiety has come back into my life after years of not having it. This time, after researching all I did in the past & knowing what I did about anxiety, I know that the longer you let it linger, the more embedded it becomes as the neural paths in your brain that cause this reaction get more well defined/established, the more automatic the reaction to the situation (anxiety in this case) becomes. We're capable of creating new neural paths with no more than a thought. Neural pathways are the chains of brain cells, or neurons that generate our every thought, word, action, and emotion. They strengthen with use and weaken with disuse. That's what the book say's and it's a scientific fact. So I opted to use meds right away this time and I stopped having anxiety in less than a week. This is good because those nerual paths are not being used and will weaken and fade away much easier and faster with little effort on my part.

I read up on the best meds for anxiety treatment and to my surprise, Lexapro was one of the best, as well as all benzodiazepines (xanax, lorazapam, etc.). The down side to benzos... They are very addictive so take only when really needed. One of the withdrawl symptoms of a benzo is anxiety.
Anyway, if someone would have told me a year ago I'd be on an SSRI again, I would have told them they're nuts! But here I am and I'm pretty darn happy I did. I think you mentioned paxil for anxiety. One thing about antidepressants you should know is that they all have start-up side effects that usually go away after some time of taking them. Some can be really bad and take up to 2 months before they go away and your body adjusts to the med. That's why I picked Lexapro this time around.

It has, from what I've read, the shortest time for side effects to pass, and the fastest acting on helping you with your issues. For me, I started feeling better within the first week. It's been about 12 days now and I have not had any anxiety anymore so it has done great for anxiety. It's also stopped all my obsessive thoughts and worry about it as well as some other positive things. The dr first said to take 20mg but I like to start low and work my way up on antidepressants because when I was on zoloft, my dr rushed me into 50mg and it made me VERY hyper to the point I was studdering and goofy so I had to go down to a much lower dose and was ok except for the zombie effect it had on me. With lexapro, I've started on 5mg, which like I said, is perfect for my anxiety, but I'm thinking of going up to 7.5mg just to see what it's like.

Another thing you should know is that all people react differently to all antidepressants so what works for me may not work for you, and what works for you may be bad for me, etc. There's no way to know till you try which is another good reason to try lexapro first if you have not yet.. You wont spend up to 2 months dealing with side effects and then find out it don't work for you. You'll know anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks, with most people having good effects between 1 to 2 weeks.
It is a good thing to have some benzos on hand just in case, so that you can kill out any anxiety in the mean time while you wait for the antidepressant to kick in.

Lexapro is prescribed for Anxiety &/or depression.

By the way, you're a bit young for a stroke and your bp is not high enough for that so try not to worry about it. You exercise and don't live a sedentary life so the possibility of you developing as blood clot to have a stroke is very very very low. Based on what you've said, about it (bp) being high most of the times you take it, etc.... It's possible you could benefit from a bp medication. Just so you know.... Beta blockers lower your blood pressure AND help with anxiety by blocking the sympathetic system, which is the system that causes the release of adrenalin and hence the body sensations of anxiety. You'll be cool as a cucumber under pressure.
If you have asthma though, you should not take beta blockers.

Good luck and I'm sure you'll find the right solution for you.:)
Beta blockers will lower your pulse rate... For example, my mom is on the beta blocker "toprol" for high bp. Before the beta blocker her heart rate (beats per minute) average was in the 80's, after the beta blocker her average is in the high 60's low 70's. She had to find the right dose. Too high of a dose can lower it even into the 50's or so.... I always feel it's best to start on low doses, try it for a few weeks, if it works, good. If not, add a little more and so on till you find the right dose for you. For mom, it's done great for her blood pressure issues. Her average bp is now around 128/77. I'm the one who usually takes it for her a few times a week. If beta blockers are taken for high blood pressure, it must be taken every day to get used to it and regulate the bp.

Beta blockers don't have to be taken all the time when taken for anxiety.... For example, my husband has anxiety when speaking to large groups which he must do for work. He only has issues with this situation and nothing else. The last few he's done, he's taken 20mg of inderal about an hour before going, which is a beta blocker and he said it calms him down, makes him able to be a tiger under pressure (those are his words) and deliver the message without any anxiety, has a normal level heart rate, able to focus and be fearless. He only takes it when he knows he is going to be in these situations which cause his anxiety and it's been the perfect solution for him.

I know getting past the idea of being on a medication for any reason is not always an easy thing to submit to...... But once you do and once you find the right one for you, you'll be glad you welcomed the help into your life. The right meds can and do help. Not everyone finds the right one right away but many people do. The only way you'll ever know is to just give into it and try it. I've been there asking myself, should I take this, should I not take this, what if this happens, what if I don't like it, what if I do like it, what about side effects, and so on, and so on.... There's been a few meds I didn't have the best experience with.... But the ones I have had a good outcome on has been so great..... Ya know... Getting a break from daily misery, mental, physical, or what ever it is... It's a HUGE relief.

It sounds to me that you have done your homework, considered the odds and such, put a lot of thought into this and you're right there where you're about to give it shot. If you're ready.... Try it out. Get cozy at home on a day off from things so you can feel it out and see how things go. You never have to do another one if you don't want to but at least you'll know and not be in limbo and unsure.

First off though,,,, do you have asthma? If you do... Don't take beta blockers.

About the adrenaline thing you mentioned..... Beta blockers and the sympathetic nervous system is like this..
From the definition of the "sympathetic nervous system" -Its general action is to mobilize the body's resources under stress; to induce the fight-or-flight response.
It's best known for mediating the neuronal and hormonal stress response commonly known as the fight-or-flight response. This response is also known as sympatho-adrenal response of the body, as the preganglionic sympathetic fibers that end in the adrenal medulla (but also all other sympathetic fibers) secrete acetylcholine, which activates the great secretion of adrenaline (epinephrine) and to a lesser extent noradrenaline (norepinephrine) from it.
Beta blockers suppresses anxiety in short term stressful situations by literally blocking the sympathetic system from over secreting adrenaline and hence no anxiety. From what I've read, Propranolol is a beta blocker that is often prescribed for anxiety.

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