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Do you think getting on meds is the right choice?
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TOPIC: Do you think getting on meds is the right choice?

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#24111
losthighway (User)
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Do you think getting on meds is the right choice? 5 Years, 8 Months ago  
I've been dealing with panic disorder with agoraphobia for four years now and was mostly existing by just staying home and only venturing out when I absolutely needed to with the help of a Xanax as-needed.

I don't live near any psychiatrists because my area is rural and I would have to travel, and since I have agoraphobia that didn't really seem like a viable option. I tried self-help books, but always relapsed.

Recently I began having insomnia, so finally I broke down and forced myself to go see a doctor. I liked him very much. His bedside manner was excellent--he actually sat down and discussed the history of my disorder and what I've done to combat it so far, etc. Then he said we needed to weigh the pros and cons of medication. He said that you always have to consider whether the possible side effects are worth the risk, and he said that in my case, they were. He said that my condition has been so severe for so long that it warrants medication because I have nothing else to lose (and after four years, I agreed with him that it made total sense).

So he put me on 10mg of Paxil in the morning to start out with and he said we'll increase each week depending on how I am reacting to it. He also have me 5mg of Valium to be used during the daytime to help with side effects or general anxiety, and then he gave me 25mg of Seroquel at nighttime to help me sleep. He was honest with me about the risks of all the medications and told me that eventually if I try to get off of them that it may be difficult as even with tapering you can experience some withdrawals. I like that he was upfront about this. He also said that the medications may make me gain weight. Again, I appreciated the honesty. But he said in my case, as disabling as my condition is, the risks are worth it.

But I am still apprehensive to take that first pill. When I was talking to him in the office, what he said made total sense. I'm disabled as it is, we have nothing left to lose by trying these medications. I am just always so paranoid because if you get online and read about people's experiences on these medications, they make it sound like getting off of them is a nightmare and talk about this and that...all of it scary enough to make you terrified to take the stuff.

I have decided that I am going to ignore every bad story I've heard of on the Internet and just listen to my doctor and do what he says. Do you think I am making the right choice? He really seems like he is trying to do his best to help me and I appreciated how upfront he was about the risk of withdrawal in the future and the mention of side effects like weight gain.
 
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Last Edit: 2012/03/21 00:03 By
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losthighway.
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#24112
tsuki (Admin)
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Re:Do you think getting on meds is the right choice? 5 Years, 8 Months ago  
It's good that you like your Dr. and his bedside manner; we should all be so lucky. I have a couple of questions that are pertinent to your situation. Is your Dr. a psychiatrist? Will your meds be taken as part of a therapy treatment plan? If not, I would seek out a psychiatrist and/or psychologist/therapist if you have been diagnosed with severe anxiety. This is beyond the scope of a GP.

Unfortunately, the stories of weaning and withdrawal from meds can be frightening. These stories are from those who have experienced them first-hand. Some appreciate not only knowing what the risks are but also what the withdrawal process can be like.

Never give up the right to question your Drs. to your satisfaction if you have concerns. Ultimately, the decisions are yours to make, but always when in doubt, seek a second opinion from a specialized professional. I hope all goes well for you. Let us know how you do and please update us on your progress . . . hugs
 
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#24117
jennybean (User)
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Re:Do you think getting on meds is the right choice? 5 Years, 8 Months ago  
There are so many therapies for agoraphobia and anxiety. Medications should not be scary. Look at it in a positive way. These meds may be a huge stepping stone to full recovery. It is good to know all the facts about the meds you are taking especially how they will interact and the possible side effects. Emphasis on te word "possible". You may not experience any negative effects. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
 
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#24121
ceejay (Admin)
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Re:Do you think getting on meds is the right choice? 5 Years, 8 Months ago  
I think it's a great idea to follow this doctor's advice.

He sounds like a terrific guy, very involved and interested in helping you get better.

Our needs and abilities change over time, and this doctor sounds like he can help you through that. But for now, he's made a professional determination that these meds can help you.

I know that when the doctor I trusted finally got through to me - and I took the meds - I did, indeed, get better. Not overnight, for sure. But slowly and surely I did get better.

Today I don't have to be on meds - and I'm grateful for that. But I wouldn't change a thing about taking them!! Except maybe agreeing earlier rather than waiting as long as I did!

Good luck to you!

ceejay
 
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#24138
nicole21cherie (User)
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Re:Do you think getting on meds is the right choice? 5 Years, 7 Months ago  
I UNDERSTAND YOUR CONCERN AND EACH PERSON REACTS DIFFERENTLY TO MEDS. I WAS ON/OFF MEDS FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS. LEXAPRO/ZOLOFT/XANAX/AMBIEN. I HAD SOME TROUBLE BUT IT WASNT A NIGHTMARE. I WOULD THINK I WAS BETTER THEN QUIT OR NOT HAPPY WITH SIDE EFFECTS AND QUIT THEN 6 MONTHS LATER I WOOULD START THEM BACK. RIGHT NOW IM OFF AND TRYING HERBAL SUPLEMENTS. JUST TRY IT, IF IT HELPS YOU WILL BE SOOO MUCH HAPPIER IF NOT AT LEAST YOU WILL KNOW. GOOD LUCK!
 
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#24244
Ashley511 (User)
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Re:Do you think getting on meds is the right choice? 5 Years, 5 Months ago  
I struggled to deal with anxiety and panic on my own for 3 years and I look at those years as time I have lost from my life. The meds have had their own challenges, but I have my life back and I wish I would have been brave enough to go for it earlier. I realize that this is not for everyone, and it took some time to find the fit combination for me, but it's the best decision that I have ever made.
 
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