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I've revenly been prescribed Zoloft 25mg for anxiety/panic attacks and probably some touch of ocd. I have an extensive fear of taking anxiety medications and have a really hard time committing to taking them as I usually freak myself out after a week or less...

To back track a bit I've always had anxiety. Mostly social anxiety when I was a kid which would get better over the years. About 6 years ago I had a bout with ibs which I still suffer from. I had a lot of stomach pain, acid reflux, digestive issues, anxiety. I was 19 when my gastrointestinal doctor put me on nortriptyline for a few months for the stomach pain. I did well with that and the pain and subsequent anxiety lessened. I would occasionally suffer from acid reflux but learned to avoid certain foods. I suspect my anxiety comes from dealing with home issues. My home life wasn't terrible but my parents never really got along and my dad was and is a massive worrier. Most of my anxiety would be panic attacks and I have a thing with germs. I panic if people near me are sick for fear that I'll get sick, I mostly fear the stomach flu because I really hate throwing up (who doesn't?)

Fast forward a bit and at 21 I had begun dating a guy who I later discovered had an addiction to heroin that he hid from me. Unfortunately I found out AFTER we were expecting a child. During my pregnancy he got the help he needed and remained clean and sober for approx. 6 months. When our daughter was 6 weeks old I was having health issues and had to have my gallbladder removed in an emergency surgery. He ended up showing up to my hospital room high and admitted he relapsed the next day. He spent the first 8-9 months of our daughters life in and out of rehab. I had to file for custody and took on all of the responsibility by myself all while finishing my degree. By this time my anxiety was through the roof, and I always had tightness in my chest, jaw pain etc. He then remained sober for a bit over a year but I had a lot of anxiety for fear that he would relapse and always questioning his whereabouts. About 6 months I was prescribed buspar by my old family doc. After a few weeks it made me life I was going crazy, and heightened my anxiety to the point I went to the ER ready to tell them to lock me up. I was given Ativan and started seeing a counseling. I talked to the psychiatrist there who wasn't friendly and wanted to put me on Prozac, I took that for a week which tore up my stomach and was then told to switch to Wellbutrin which I never started taking. My anxiety got better for a few months over the holidays which I suspect was because I was distracted/busy. It then came back full swing a few weeks ago.

I have a lot going on with trying to go back to school. I live with my parents which isn't the greates. My dad almost died last year and spent 3 months I'm ICU after contracting influenza. My dad hasn't been able to find a job and my parents are living on a dwindling 401k. My mom is looking to divorce my dad which is fine but her venting to me is irritating as well as living crammed in this house. I'm also dealing with trying to pay of credit card debts that were used for 5 years of college expenses. I went to my new gp who ran vitamin tests and we talked a lot about my anxiety and she wants me to commit to taking Zoloft for 6 months. She also gave me Xanax as a rescue for the first few weeks.

I'm terrified to start this medication for fear of the side effects...especially the black box warning. I know a lot of my anxiety is situational...living at home, debt, boyfriend dealing with recovery etc. I tend to google a lot of side effects which freak me out. I've comvinced myself numerous times that I'm going crazy and I must have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, neither of which run in my family. I've googled SSRI side effects and they're terrifying.





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