I am a 37 year old male and have been struggling with panic attacks and anxiety for 3 years now and am on the verge of losing my job as I am avoiding more and more activities and some days can no longer leave home and drive. I wake up in the middle of the night with severe panic attacks and feel as though I am going crazy. I am TERRIFIED of taking pills as I react very easily to bodily sensations. My anxiety stems from irrational thoughts I am going to have a heart attack and die. I take my pulse 50 times a day and am always checking. I had a really bad response to Lexapro 3 years ago that 3 hours after taking it, I had the most severe attack of my life and ended up in the emergency room with sky high blood pressure, pulse and feeling of dread. The medical staff did all of the usual routine heart tests and ultimately diagnosed it as an anxiety reaction. I am terrified of the same thing happening with the Zoloft. My psychiatrist suggested taking it with a small dose of Ativan to counteract the initial negative effects. Is the adjustment period really that bad? I am terrified of it making me feel more anxious. Any positive experiences with this drug or stories about it changing your life would be very much appreciated. I need all of the motivation and support I can get ! Thank you !!
Its sounds like your anxiety is severely interfering with your life ive been struggling with the same issues ive been on xanax and remeron for a couple months and it has helped tremendously I can socialize feel comfort in public my anxiety got so bad at one point somtimes I couldnt even answer my phone I dont feel this extreme anxiety anymore. but of course there are negatives that come with taking benzos you have to weigh out the good and bad but it sounds like your going through a really tough time I personaly would try the ativan i personaly have never been on ativan but its in the benzo family and should give you some comfort. Its worth a try. God bless im sure you will get through this it may take a little time to find out what works for you as everyone is different but you will get there. Oh I personal find exersising whether its walking , running , or lifting weights any kind of exercises help hope this helps you.
29 May 2014
It sounds like the therapist has the right idea, I'd take the ativan about half an hr before taking the zoloft. If you can get thru this you have a good chance of ridding yourself from the crippling anxiety. Maybe having someone with you when you take it will help.
29 May 2014
I think that we have all been where you are now... sounds like you are having a really hard time... I would try the meds, its worth a try you may lose your job if you don't get the help that you need... you will never know it it will help you if you don't give it a try. I've taken all three of the meds that you mentioned, and lexapro was one that did not work for me. zoloft, and ativan together may help you... if not sometimes we have to keep trying others until we find the one/ones that work best for our needs. I wish you all the best.
31 May 2014
Hi there i suffer the same thing I tried sertraline 50mg been been taking for a year now and works wonders I feel great and no more anxiety
31 May 2014
All the symptoms you have sound so familiar. I've been through them all, and it is terrifying, but the fear/worry about another panic attack happening again is causing more panic. High blood pressure can occur with panic attacks but then usually goes back to normal after the attack. It sounds like you're still worried about your heart. Sounds like you need an exam and reassurance by a cardiologist. Please don't let the fear of what happened with Lexapro prevent you from trying Zoloft, especially now that your dr is giving you Ativan along with it. For people with panic, doctors often start with the lowest dose available of an SSRI along with a small dose of Ativan or similar benzodiazepine, which is good. You might have been given too high a dose of Lexapro to start with, given your panic. Almost all the SSRIs will in panic patients might make them feel a bit anxious at first (which is the reason your dr wisely gave you the Ativan).
The fact that the Zoloft might really help give you relief in a few weeks is probably worth trying it. Please read The Anxiety Disease by Dr. David Sheehan. It is outdated as far as meds, but is very reassuring and should address most all your concerns. Don't give up.
As far is being on the verge of losing your job, have you told this to the psychiatrist? They usually prescribe meds often based on how your symptoms affect your ability to function and might give you something different if they realize the severity of the panic and the development of agoraphobia. By the way, I've heard that Zoloft works very well for anxiety in many people.
2 Jun 2014
I can totally relate to you as I am the same way about starting any new meds. What we both actually have is OCD Anxiety that develops into PD. Our intrusive thoughts are directly attached to our body sensations and every little change that is felt throws us into panic mode. I'm 61 and have battled this and depression most of my life. Zoloft is excellent and was the first antidepressant I took back in the 80's along with small doses of Xanax. It did help a lot and I didn't have any bad side effects. I was on it for 10 years with good results then it started not helping as much and I was switched to another one which helped for about 15 yrs and now just recently started another one and am on small doses of Ativan also - which helps alot. My advice - just "Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway" (Which is also the name of a good book to read about Anxiety Disorders) Take the Ativan about 1 hour before the Zoloft until you get use to it and see that you are ok.
YOU CAN DO IT! Nothing bad is going to happen to you and you will get better!! You are always welcome to contact me or anyone else on here for support. That's why we're all here!!
7 Jun 2014
I've been taking Sertraline 100mg for over 5 years. I have at times taken 150mg advised by my doctor. I will never stop taking this medicine. It has stabilized my anxiety and helps me with depression. I hope it works for you too!
8 Jun 2014
Hi I also on Zoloft my dosage is 200mgs. I am now back at work and my anxiety is mostly under control. It has been the best antipressant I have been on. I also take busporion and mirtazipine.
29 Jun 2014
I had taken Zoloft off n on for almost 25 years n it helped me tremendously. As well as taking xanax n doxepin. I describe my prescription(meds) as my life saver n called one prescription my miracle drug. And I too was also afraid at the beginning to take these prescriptions. I had never taken (meds)before, so it was all knew to me. And when I have to try something new that feeling can still be there.I just have to work through it. Knowing I will manage n be alright no matter how scary. We all hate taking these (meds),but we hate being sick too. So we have to tolerate the "trial & error" time to find what works best for Us. Just hang in there,you will get through it. And you will be thankful you stuck it out. I have tried quite a few antipressents over the years n benzos. Try not to worry so much,it doesn't help. Less worry equals less stress, less anxiety n less panic. I know... It's easier said than done.
When you begin feeling these attacks/emotions just set back n attempt to relax n try taking in a deep breathe n breath in n out slowly,several times over. Do this for a number of minutes n repeat if needed/nasicery. This should help some! Please keep Us updated on your progress! Wish you the best of love n jappiness. ~ God Bless ~
28 Aug 2014
I am SOOOO sorry you are going through this!!! Although I have never been on Zoloft, I've heard really good things about it. - I have taken Celexa for over 10 yrs. and it really helps with my anxiety (Although I still need Ativan every once in awhile.) My panic attacks are like yours: I feel as if I am going crazy... and also I couldn't seem to get enough air anywhere... my very big backyard, seemed like a tiny room, etc. I would end up pacing up and down my street-several times even in my robe :( my poor husband would be my bodyguard, but he had to stay somewhat far from me... OMG... as I'm writing this, I def. did look crazy! And I agree, the more you panic about having a panic attack, the worse it gets... been there! I also get that it is really, really scary not knowing when the next one will come...
I am happy to say, that ever since I've been on Celexa (as I mentioned before,for more than 10 yrs.- I have only had about 3 panic attacks!) So, please know you are not alone, and don't be afraid to try new meds... I really hope Zoloft works; but if it doesn't, remember there are more choices. Remember that whatever side effects you may experience until you find the right med, can't be worse than the quality of life you have had for the last 3 yrs.!
29 Aug 2014
Hi there sorry to hear you are going through such a difficult time. I Too have been suffering from anxiety for the past 4 years sometimes 2 the extent that is has hugely effected my life to the point that I could not function a normal basis. When I was first put on a antidepressant I point blank refused to take it as I have a huge fear of medications, side effects etc along with health anxiety. Eventually unfortunately due to a hospitalisation I had no choice and took the antidepressant along with in my case xanax. I have to say once the initial couple of weeks of my body adjusting was over I was able to take back control of my life which had been a living hell before that. I won't go into specific details here about how bad my life had got, but it has improved 100% to the extent that I am now withdrawing from the xanax, on a tiny dose of the antidepressant.
These meds sometimes get bad press but sometimes your body needs a break from the stress and strain to rest and these meds can help with that, believe me I know where your coming from I could tell you all the side effects of a paracetamol tablet lol but these meds have literally been a life safer to me. Just one thing I would encourage you once you've had a rest from the symptoms you also work on the underlying issues and causes of your anxiety, good luck with everything.
14 Nov 2014
you sound like the old me ask for paxil I have my life back I didnt come out of the house for years was even scared to take trash to curb would carry the phone with me at all times ocd so bad would wake up with attacks omg I was in bad shape and terrified of taking pills but i had to and i sat at the er and took one omg you cant keep me home I dont even need my valium anymore please try it . good luck