Been taking Zoloft for several years now-off and on for about 11 years total. Started off with small dose of 75mg 1x day, then it's steadily gone up over the years. I tried coming off it once because I was trying to save a (loveless) marriage and didn't want the sexual side effects, but it still ended in disaster. So back on I went-and my current dosage is 200 mg 1x day. The Zoloft was originally for my MDD, but I started having panic attacks about 8 years ago-which is part of the reason why my dose has steadily been upped. For a loooong time the panic attacks went away, but just recently (within last 2 weeks) they have comeback with a vengeance-landing me in the ER because I nearly fainted. My doc now (my newest one-I used to move a lot) prescribed me Klonopin to try and take the edge off, and it helped for about 2 days. It makes me sleepy, but I try to fight that to get the panic attacks to stop. She only gave me about 20 days worth, but I still having panic attacks. I don't know what to do, because I don't want her thinking I'm just trying to get pills because I also have to take adderall for some pretty bad ADHD. I know-I'm a double-edged sword... but at the same time I can't stand the way the panic attacks make me feel and Zoloft is supposed to be for anxiety too but I'm pretty much at the max dosage for that. I don't want to be a zombie or be going through all kinds of weird side effects ... any suggestions?
You might try a non-medication therapy such as mindfulness practice (you can google for lots of info), tai chi, yoga, swimming, really any exercise though some people find particular ones to more helpful - it will combat the 'fight of flight' reaction the panic attacks arise from - therapy can be helpful such as CBT or checkout EMDR (EMDRIA.org) if your panic is at all trauma related, a wellness/relaxation retreat aimed at creating inner calm (frequently these can be found for more affordable prices in gorgeous destinations such as Costa Rica even). Maybe start music lessons or re-start.
Really try to find something you are excited by, always wanted to try or wish you still did and just go for it!
Panic arises from a place of helplessness, so by taking control of your action plan to wellness you are on the right path. Also positive self-talk is a great (though it feels cheesy) idea - try and combat fears initially by asking yourself if it's even a possibility and if so then think of ways you can combat the problems. Don't be afraid to ask for help (you already have doctors and you asked here!). Know you are doing your best and give yourself credit. If you feel panic coming on then regulate your breathing to full inhales and exhales - this physiologically prevents panic once mastered. Also remember former panic attacks - they passed - they suck - it sucks to be having panicked feeling now - the feelings will go away. And repeat these - or you're own version of the phrases to help train your body.
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