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Hi dizzygal - I did try therapy many years ago but didn't find it helpful. But some people do so I wouldn't count it out. I think it just depends on what causes your anxiety or depression. I wouldn't be afraid to start medication. Side effects are rough but if you start on a low dose and work your way up, you should be able to tolerate them.
Hello there! Although I'm currently not on any meds, I've tried MANY!!! I've suffered from depression and anxiety since I was 17. I'm 33 now. Part of my issue with meds was I decided when I wanted to come off of them and kind of played around with them which isn't good and definitely altered my mood. The one that worked the best for me was Cymbalta! You can read about any antidepressant or antianxiety pill and read about so many different experiences. Others may hate Cymbalta the way I hated Effexor. You couldn't pay me to take Effexor but I'm sure it was a miracle for others. I did feel some side effects coming off of Cymbalta such as headaches and some anxiety. I was also on birth control pills, which may have effected my moods. I've been off of all meds for a year b/c I wanted to see my body without them. I was on/off meds since I was 17. I had no clue who I was without them. Because of another health issue, I may have to go back on birth control. Overall I've been ok! I take Xanax on an as needed basis. I've also been in therapy on/off for years. I've had some therapists that were useless and others who helped. Right now I'm with one who has been a life saver for me. I think that's part of my progress without meds. Could be accepting certain parts of myself too and working on how I can change. It's sort of a guess and check to see what works. Is there an activity that can be your "therapy" while you are on meds?
I have been on Paxil for 11 years for anxiety disorder. I briefly wiened myself off after 8 years and was Paxil free for about 9 months. Then I had a job change and my anxiety came back. I have been on Paxil now again for 3 years.
The reason I came off was not due to side effects, it was only because I was feeling great!!!
Unfortunately I had a relapse and went back on the Paxil and now I feel great.

As for feeling 'normal' again. I think the biggest change in my anxiety was realizing I wasn't going to be the same again. This is the new me - no point in looking back, just look forward. When I came to this realization, my recovery went much faster. Now, 99.9% of the time I feel as good as I did before my first panic attack. The 0.1% are those anxious moments that get my heart to race for no reason. I live with them, they go away and I go on feeling great.

I have posted before that I see anxiety as something similar to diabetes. Some diabetes sufferers can live a healthy life with just diet changes, others need insulin. Similarly for anxiety sufferers, relief can come with CBT and relaxation techniques. While others require medication. No shame in taking meds to feel as great as you can!!!
Wellbutrin XL (dont take the generic) was on it for 2 years went off of it as I was at max dose, tried a few others but now have returned to it again for 1 year and still on it. Increases energy and mood. I do have anxiety and since this drug is stimulating I have to take a Xanax (0.25) once in awhile. Also taking it in the am will help with sleep problems. You lose weight not gain weight! and no sexual side effects!

This is my drug of choice!

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