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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.:)

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