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Thread: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

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    I <3 Fall Out boy Yablonowitz's Avatar
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    Default Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    OK, I've read about 1,000 nothingman posts now where he goes into detail about his medication regimen for panic attacks and other anxiety related issues, and I really think there's a chance that a larger % than average on this board may have similar issues. I do. I figure, hey, this stuff is becoming increasingly common and no one talks about it too much. Apart from Zach, that is.

    So, let this be an OPEN forum for discussions of this stuff. I personally am at peace enough with myself and stuff that I don't care if you make jokes, provide way TMI about your issues or ridicule those who do. This should be a crazy open and let it out thing.

    Anyway, I'm going to start by saying I get panic attacks on a very, very irregular basis. They often lead me to become mentally weakened where I spend a great deal of time worrying about further, longer lasting attacks. Sometimes the fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and I'm down deep and hard. I get incredibly drowsy, nothing I typically enjoy is worthwhile and I worry I'm going to the nuthouse for good and screw up my kids. This lasts usually no more than two days and I'm suddenly 100% OK with no symptoms at all. Lately, I've been reacting to the panic attacks more naturally and just let the shit ride and don't obsess over them. It's taken a change in perspective to do that.

    On to the meds - I currently take 1 mg of xanax to help prevent panic attacks. .25 in the morning, .25 at 4-5 p.m. and .5 mg before I go to bed. Zach, what do you make of that dosage. I've noticed bad effects when attempting to jump off too quickly. I'd rather not take it at all but it does seem to work and I don't have the need to go up ever.

    Anyway...let's discuss and let our inner child out.
    Quote Originally Posted by ByTheWay, View Post
    If anyone raped or molested my wife or child i'd off them myself so I guess it doesn't matter. If you don't feel those type of emotions in that situation then that is you and in my opinion makes you a twisted person from a twisted state (UTAH) if that is where your from!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    What do inner children have to do with medication, and mental problems? Wasn't childhood supposed to be about being healthy, and content?

    I so don't feel comfortable discussing my mental instability with people I don't know.

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    old school Stefinitely Maybe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    I'm going to start by saying I get panic attacks on a very, very irregular basis. They often lead me to become mentally weakened where I spend a great deal of time worrying about further, longer lasting attacks. Sometimes the fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and I'm down deep and hard. I get incredibly drowsy, nothing I typically enjoy is worthwhile and I worry I'm going to the nuthouse for good and screw up my kids. This lasts usually no more than two days and I'm suddenly 100% OK with no symptoms at all. Lately, I've been reacting to the panic attacks more naturally and just let the shit ride and don't obsess over them. It's taken a change in perspective to do that.
    This is all exactly the same as me (except I don't have kids).

    I take 20mg of Citalopram every day. It helps me cope with the anxiety / panic attacks and is supposedly an anti-depressant too. I haven't really felt depressed in a long time, so it seems to be working. To be honest I think the depression was CAUSED by the anxiety a lot of the time, so it was a vicious cycle.

    Anyway I started taking Citalopram in winter 2001 and have been on it since. I was very sick at that time, mentally, and was going through a very bad stage in my life. I won't bore anyone with the stories, but it wasn't fun.

    Things have been a lot better for the past 18 months or so and I hope to be able to come off the medication completely soon, although the thought of that terrifies me, too.


    Also I just wanted to say that anyone who has similar issues or who is even posting in this thread should please please read this. It's a livejournal post by a guy I know. He's a journalist and used to write for Melody Maker (a weekly music magazine like the NME) and I think that's a great article.
    "The first time I heard the new single off the Bravery album, I actually cried, and I do not even remember the name of that damn song. It reminded me of this girl I am in love with." - kroqken

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    Beef Supreme Mr.Nipples's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    used to take metadate,effexor,ritalin,paxil,god a whole bunch of shit,but then i found...
    looking to purchase:big brother skateboarding magazine back issues. travis bean tb1000s electric guitars.

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    old school Stefinitely Maybe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    I took a tour round the Scientology Center in LA last year, after Coachella. I went with three friends, for the hell of it. We walked in (three guys and one girl) and they made us stand in the lobby and then this hot blonde girl around our age came to show us around. I am sure if we had been three girls and one guy then a hot guy would have been our guide, to lure us in.

    Anyway, the tour was predictably ludicrous, and at the end they asked if we wanted to buy any books or ask any questions. We declined the books but I decided to ask a question. I said to her "How long have you been in scientology and why did you join?". She replied "Four years, and I joined because people used to take advantage of me, and I was really gullible before I joined the church, but they helped me change all that."

    I swear to god that is what she said.

    We had no further questions.
    "The first time I heard the new single off the Bravery album, I actually cried, and I do not even remember the name of that damn song. It reminded me of this girl I am in love with." - kroqken

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    Coachella Junkie boarderwoozel3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    I smoke a few bowls a day. Self medication is fun.

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    I <3 Fall Out boy Yablonowitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefinitely Maybe View Post
    I take 20mg of Citalopram every day. It helps me cope with the anxiety / panic attacks and is supposedly an anti-depressant too. I haven't really felt depressed in a long time, so it seems to be working. To be honest I think the depression was CAUSED by the anxiety a lot of the time, so it was a vicious cycle.

    Anyway I started taking Citalopram in winter 2001 and have been on it since. I was very sick at that time, mentally, and was going through a very bad stage in my life. I won't bore anyone with the stories, but it wasn't fun.

    Things have been a lot better for the past 18 months or so and I hope to be able to come off the medication completely soon, although the thought of that terrifies me, too.


    Also I just wanted to say that anyone who has similar issues or who is even posting in this thread should please please read this. It's a livejournal post by a guy I know. He's a journalist and used to write for Melody Maker (a weekly music magazine like the NME) and I think that's a great article.
    Cool, I'll read.

    I haven't heard of that medication. I'm completely ill at ease with pharmaceuticals but I've also learned that they can help. It's a strangely complicated relationship for me.

    I'm not a depressed person or someone with deep psychological problems that stem from childhood traumas or growing up in a fucked up environment. Everything I experience is driven by anxiety and, in my opinion, an extremely sensitive nervous system. Throw in a compulsion to obsess over worst-case scenarios and that's when shit happens. The amazing thing is how many other people are dealing with this and the cultural stigma associated with talking about it.

    And regarding the comment that was made about discussing mental health issues with strangers - that's the kind of opinion that keeps people from getting help. It's considered "private" and something to be ashamed of. Not to sound like a self-help nutjob, but if people got diabetes at the rate that people get anxiety/depression, we'd have threads all over the place about it.

    It's funny you mention pot. I had two panic attacks from smoking pot - through a bong both times. I think if I stuck with joints, I'd be fine. But now I can't touch marijuana...just the association is too difficult for me. I miss it. Love the smell of good pot. Mmmmmmmgoodpot.
    Quote Originally Posted by ByTheWay, View Post
    If anyone raped or molested my wife or child i'd off them myself so I guess it doesn't matter. If you don't feel those type of emotions in that situation then that is you and in my opinion makes you a twisted person from a twisted state (UTAH) if that is where your from!

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    Member samiksha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    i get really anxious after my first hit because i know there's no turning back, and i'll be stuck in that state of mind for some time. this happens to me too when i go see movies at the theater, just knowing that i have appx 2 hours that i have to be sitting in one place makes me very, very unbearably anxious. even worse if the movie is bad, of course.

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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    I had two panic attacks from smoking pot
    My aunt had the same thing happen to her when she smoked. She doesn't anymore, naturally.


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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Quote Originally Posted by Yablonowitz View Post
    OK, I've read about 1,000 nothingman posts now where he goes into detail about his medication regimen for panic attacks and other anxiety related issues, and I really think there's a chance that a larger % than average on this board may have similar issues. I do. I figure, hey, this stuff is becoming increasingly common and no one talks about it too much. Apart from Zach, that is.

    So, let this be an OPEN forum for discussions of this stuff. I personally am at peace enough with myself and stuff that I don't care if you make jokes, provide way TMI about your issues or ridicule those who do. This should be a crazy open and let it out thing.

    Anyway, I'm going to start by saying I get panic attacks on a very, very irregular basis. They often lead me to become mentally weakened where I spend a great deal of time worrying about further, longer lasting attacks. Sometimes the fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and I'm down deep and hard. I get incredibly drowsy, nothing I typically enjoy is worthwhile and I worry I'm going to the nuthouse for good and screw up my kids. This lasts usually no more than two days and I'm suddenly 100% OK with no symptoms at all. Lately, I've been reacting to the panic attacks more naturally and just let the shit ride and don't obsess over them. It's taken a change in perspective to do that.

    On to the meds - I currently take 1 mg of xanax to help prevent panic attacks. .25 in the morning, .25 at 4-5 p.m. and .5 mg before I go to bed. Zach, what do you make of that dosage. I've noticed bad effects when attempting to jump off too quickly. I'd rather not take it at all but it does seem to work and I don't have the need to go up ever.

    Anyway...let's discuss and let our inner child out.

    Hey Yabs. Yeah, I know I overkill my anxiety med talk on this board. I figure there are a lot of peeps out there with similar issues. OK, first of all, my symptoms: I have generalized anxiety disorder (not social anxiety disorder) so many of my truly anxious times result from being in unfamiliar surroundings that don't serve alcohol (malls, grocery stores, school). I get all stuttery and sweaty and just kinda freak out. Now, when I have panic attacks, I get truly fucked in the head. I start thinking worse possibility scenarios, like imagining my lungs are filling with fluid or feel like my heart is about to stop. My vision gets blurry and I become even more stuttery and wacked out, My hands and face get cold, yet I sweat a cold, cold sweat. The worst full blown panic attacks are the ones that helped me try to take control over every thing anxiety related. It doesn't help that I like to drink and occasionally smoke weed, since a hangover gives me anxiety and being really, really high sometimes does the same (especially if I'm smoking with people I don't really know---doesn't happen much anymore). Oh, and fucking airplanes... I've had two flights that would fall in most people's "worst 2 flight experiences of all times" including one flying out of Palm Springs on a little 20 person commuter plane (this was the 2002 Spring Break and I took some friends out to my parents' place). I used to love flying. I mean, I loved it. I flew everytime I could... Until that flight. Now, I brace myself for huge thermals coming from everywhere and i can't relax on a flight unless I have maybe 2-3 double scotches before I get on the plane, then another 2 singles per hour on my flight, bare minimum. Oh, and at least 1-2 doubles per stopover, if time permits. Then I hit the first airport bar I see when i get off the plane.

    When I flew to Portland for my sister-in-law's wedding, my wife and in-laws picked me up at the airport. I apologized for how drunk I was and just kinda shrugged. My wife's mother came over, put her arm around me and said, "Don't worry. We know that once you hit the airport you've got to drink. It's just a trait of yours and you shouldn't apologize." (They refuse to fly, they drive everywhere). I think I had approximately 15-18 scotches that time but I was coherent enough to hang out at the afterparty we went to, down a few beers, without making too big of an idiot of myself.

    OK, now to meds:
    First off, if your Dr ever, ever tries to put you on Paxil, just say "FUCK OFF". That shit is absolutely evil. I pretty much feel that way about Xanax too. Yabs, you're not taking too much (1mg a day is pretty conservative), but you're developing a habit that it far harder to break than you'll realize. Xanax has the shortest halflife of all the benzo's, are the most addictive, have the worst withdrawal effects (which are often more severe than the original anxiety/panic attacks) and are being forcefed to everyone. I was up to taking an obscene amount of Xanax (between 8-16MG a day, with some days being more chill and some being even higher dosers). When my bottle of 120 4-bars (2mg) would come in from my online pharmacy, I'd just tilt the bottle back, let 6-7 pills slip in my mouth, then drink a beer to wash them down. Looking back, it was utterly inexcusable behavior that caused me a lot of personal, work-related and friendship problems. I went to a shrink and started weaning off with XANAX-Extended release and got completely off of Xanax in about 5-6 months. Much more difficult to kick than the whole exstacy or crystal meth phases, and waaaay more difficult than kicking any coke binge. An article I read compared the withdrawal effects (how debilitating they were) to heroin, though not as severe.

    Yabs, I'd recommend telling your physician that you'd like to switch to Klonopin. It's in the same family as Valium, Xanax, Ativan (Lorazepam) et al, but also has a much longer shelf life (you only have to take it once a day, maybe twice) and it actually works far better than Xanax. Personally, I even like Valium and Lorazepam way better than Xanax. I try to change up meds fairly often, so that I can't get too dependent on any one. I tried the Chinese Herbal pills for a month or so and had the worst anxiety of my life. Anyway, I'd at least ask for Klonopin (aka clonazepam) from your doctor. Tell him/her that you read some articles talking about how bad Xanax is... I can send you some, if you'd like or just google until you find an article called "High Anxiety (I believe that's the name of it). there are a couple other pills that fall in the benzo grouping: nitrazepam, bromezepam and flormidal are a couple that work really well. Especially the nitrazepam. So right now, I have various small personal quantities of Valium, Klonopin, Nitrazepam, and flormidal around at most times and I try to keep everything mixed up (not together, but try not to go with on for more than three days without switching). Unfortunately, I know of no place to get Nitrazepam and flormidal in the states, so I recommend Klonopin to any anxiety sufferers. They even make a "melt in the mouth" tab for panic attacks... Quite effective. I'd be happy to answer any questions, but given the current state of this message board as a whole, I assume this thread will lure many a jackass that completely ruin the thread. Seriously though, any questions about medications, anxiety in general... feel free to PM me if you desire anonymity. It's a shitty condition, misdiagnosed by many doctors, mishandled by many patients, and largely misunderstood by non-anxiety sufferers...
    -----------------------

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    Coachella Junkie bballarl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    This thread is interesting.

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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Oh, and Yabs, the worst panic attacks are the ones that start off small (like you mention) then become self0fulilling prophecies (again, like you mentioned) where everything just becomes bleaker and bleaker until you feel reality kinda slipping away. A couple non-medication things I can recommend are dipping your head in cold water or taking a cold shower. Also, slapping yourself in the face while looking in a mirror often works. By that point, you aren't really recognizing yourself and cold water and physical slaps work OK.
    -----------------------

  13. #13

    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    this is interesting. good thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yablonowitz View Post
    The amazing thing is how many other people are dealing with this and the cultural stigma associated with talking about it.
    why do you think it's so prevalent?

    it's a strange dichotomy for me - on one hand, i feel (sort of from experience) that we are human and we are intelligent and resourceful enough to overcome any sort of obstacles (mental or otherwise) that we encounter without the help of a shrink or a bottle of pills.

    on the other hand i think that BECAUSE we're intelligent and resourceful, we've ended up causing problems in our lives than we aren't normally capable of dealing with.

    very confusing, not sure if i explained that well enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yablonowitz
    It's funny you mention pot. I had two panic attacks from smoking pot - through a bong both times.
    i don't smoke pot for kind of a similar reason. while i have no history of a "panic attack", i get extremely anxious and paranoid when high, regardless of the amount smoked. this is made stranger by the fact that i smoked pot daily for about a year in high school and then quit abruptly for several years. when i tried it again, i got physically ill.
    And seriously, potato salad? What are you? 10?

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    Member nothingman00's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Kristen, I think the pot-anxiety corollary is very real and usually plays out like you describe it. I was an everyday smoker for several years, then had to quit for a job. When I resumed smoking, I started getting different reactions. i think it;s because, in High School and even parts of college, you;re not really dealing with the real world. Things are just new and great and life is this big open window luring you out into the great big unknown... Once your life settles down a bit, you start thinking about real-world things when you get stoned.
    -----------------------

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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    i used to have pretty serious anxiety and depression problems. was finally diagnosed as bipolar, got on lexapro and seroquel, went to a few years of counseling and drug rehab, and now i'm an entirely different person.

    i don't wish to remember much about the bad times. i just hope to serve as proof that you really can get better. so for all you hopeless kiddos, cheer up.
    carpe diem.

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    Coachella Junkie fatbastard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Yab.

    Sorry that this is a part of your life. I respect your honesty. The fact that you can speak about so freely on this subject says a lot you.

    From what I understand there are thousands of medications for you to choose from. You just need to see what works for you. The diabetes comments rings in quite well with this conversation. This is something that has to constantly be monitored (good days and bad).
    Whiskey Sour

    2 oz blended whiskey
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/2 tsp powdered sugar
    1 cherry
    1/2 slice lemon

    Shake blended whiskey, juice of lemon, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a whiskey sour glass. Decorate with the half-slice of lemon, top with the cherry, and serve.

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    Member nothingman00's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Yablo, Seriously. Try Klonopin for a week and tell me it isn't remarkably more effective and less affecting than Xanax. You can probably take 1 .5MG pill when you wake up and it lasts the whole day. Or, take a 1 MG and a .5 before bed if you have insomnia. It is so much better and so less dangerous than Xanax. I just tried to google that article and couldn't find it. Let me see if I can find the article and I'll link it for you. It's pretty harrowing with the way it mentions Xanax.
    Last edited by nothingman00; 03-03-2007 at 11:49 PM.
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    No Clownery full on idle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    I so don't feel comfortable discussing my mental instability with people I don't know.
    What a useful post. You must have attended the zzzz school of relevant self expression.

    On topic: you're all nuts, up your meds.

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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Chris Rock was right.

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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Quote Originally Posted by Yablonowitz View Post
    The amazing thing is how many other people are dealing with this and the cultural stigma associated with talking about it.
    I think the cultural stigma is really unfortunate, and I think it leads to a lot of self-medication. I know a handful of people who smoke pot daily to deal with what seems like generalized anxiety disorder to me. I don't know that that's necessarily a bad thing, because I don't know that xanax is really any better for a person than marijuana is, but I think it's unfortunate that the cultural stigma inhibits people from seeking professional help and truly understanding their illness. I don't think any of these people who I've mentioned have any idea that they might possibly have a diagnosable mental illness.

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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    "If they miss an episode of St. Elsewhere you'd better lock the doors and bolt the medicine cabinet"

    -Chris Rock-

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    Member nothingman00's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Quote Originally Posted by SojuGorae View Post
    "If they miss an episode of St. Elsewhere you'd better lock the doors and bolt the medicine cabinet"

    -Chris Rock-
    I must be missing something... What exactly is the joke?
    -----------------------

  23. #23

    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Quote Originally Posted by nothingman00 View Post
    I must be missing something... What exactly is the joke?
    It was on either "Bring Da Pain" or "Bigger and Blacker"

    He was poking fun at the quick dependence white kids have on medication for mental difficulties. If I can remember correctly that is. I might be getting it wrong.

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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Hey guys, hope you don't mind me posting!!! Im a mental health nurse and practice Cognitice Behavioural Therapy, wicked treatment for anxiety if it clicks with you...anyone tried it?? Yablonowitz you seem to be using CBT techniques which have worked for you.xx
    I carried a watermelon??

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    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    I'd rather not take it at all
    why? I don't mean to read too much in to that statement, but you seem to be implying that you have some sort of guilt, or something, for taking the drug. As if you think you really shouldn't need it. is this cuz it's a psych med? if we were talking about your taking a drug for, say, i dunno, gastric reflux or something, would you have the same attitude?
    Quote Originally Posted by efrain44 View Post
    Anyone know who the guy in the Cardinals jersey is? I've seen him in pictures on the board and I thought I saw him this year.

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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    I wonder how people used to get by before they invented 400 different anxiety/depression "treatments."

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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Having been on Ritalin when I was younger, I can respect both sides of that feeling. I hated to take the medication in part because I just don't like taking pills in general. I don't take cold medicine unless I really feel I can't cope, and I don't take Tylenol unless I have a skull-splitting migraine. The other side of the coin is that it's like admitting that you can't handle your own brain or body... the only thing that's really yours to control has to be subdued first. It's like being in a race, knowing you've been given a head start because otherwise you wouldn't have a chance. It's not a very uplifting or enabling feeling.

    Anyway. Reading this thread has given me the idea that perhaps it's time I did something about my hypersensitivity to failure.


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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Yablo, this is an awesome thread. Stigmatizing mental health issues is lame.

    I used to take bupropion (Wellbutrin) for depression when I was younger, and then I took Zoloft for a while. Now I just go jogging and do a lot of yoga, and that works for the most part.

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    Old Gay Guy gaypalmsprings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Quote Originally Posted by PotVsKtl View Post
    I wonder how people used to get by before they invented 400 different anxiety/depression "treatments."
    1. Self medication - alcohol, illegal drugs, etc.
    2. Suicide
    3. Lived on the street
    Quote Originally Posted by SepaGroove View Post
    You shouldn't feel uncool for not going to EDC, you should feel uncool because you are uncool.

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    I <3 Fall Out boy Yablonowitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anxiety, Depression, Medication, Mental Health

    Quote Originally Posted by nothingman00 View Post
    Hey Yabs. Yeah, I know I overkill my anxiety med talk on this board. I figure there are a lot of peeps out there with similar issues.
    I wasn't criticizing you for it. I was impressed with how willing you were to talk about it and since this is stuff I go through and I imagine others do as well...I'm all for throwing the issue out there to get different viewpoints. That said, I wasn't exactly seeking advice. Although, admittedly, I asked Zach his opinion on the xanax I'm taking. I'm incredibly well versed in this stuff...I've read tons on it and know more than I ever thought I would about the effects of many of the drugs and therapeutic methods being used.

    Also, I don't think people should feel they have to talk about their specific issues if they don't want to. Maybe just discuss meds or CBT or whatever...bareing your soul is not a requirement.


    Quote Originally Posted by nothingman00 View Post
    OK, now to meds:
    First off, if your Dr ever, ever tries to put you on Paxil, just say "FUCK OFF". That shit is absolutely evil. I pretty much feel that way about Xanax too. Yabs, you're not taking too much (1mg a day is pretty conservative), but you're developing a habit that it far harder to break than you'll realize. Xanax has the shortest halflife of all the benzo's, are the most addictive, have the worst withdrawal effects (which are often more severe than the original anxiety/panic attacks) and are being forcefed to everyone. I was up to taking an obscene amount of Xanax (between 8-16MG a day, with some days being more chill and some being even higher dosers). When my bottle of 120 4-bars (2mg) would come in from my online pharmacy, I'd just tilt the bottle back, let 6-7 pills slip in my mouth, then drink a beer to wash them down. Looking back, it was utterly inexcusable behavior that caused me a lot of personal, work-related and friendship problems. I went to a shrink and started weaning off with XANAX-Extended release and got completely off of Xanax in about 5-6 months. Much more difficult to kick than the whole exstacy or crystal meth phases, and waaaay more difficult than kicking any coke binge. An article I read compared the withdrawal effects (how debilitating they were) to heroin, though not as severe.
    Yeah, I'm on 1mg xanax a day. I go to a psychiatrist who is one of the best in the state and has seen literally 1,000s of patients. Sadly, people often associate psychiatrists as dispassionate zombies who just plug people full of medicines to shut them up ("One Flew Over the Coo-Coo's Nest did a lot to instill this image in people). But it's not the case. Going to a psychiatrist for mental health issues is like going to a cardiologist for heart problems - smart. The guy I go to is as interested in keeping me on the smallest dose of drugs possible with the goal of eventually not needing them at all. The real problem with overprescription and misuse of meds, in my opinion, are general practicioners who are not as informed about the full effects of the drugs, particularly when it comes to dosing. So, while I agree with your concern with xanax to a degree, I also feel fairly comfortable with where I'm at. 1 mg a day is a completely different ballpark than 8-16 mgs a day. Dosing is crucial. At my very worst, I will allow myself to go up to 2 mg a day, but that's only happened twice in my life.

    I think we need to be careful in what we recommend about medications and what information we show people about the effects of the drugs. For one thing, we're talking about people with anxiety and some people's individual horror stories when it comes to medication can be very damaging to someone who is already worrying about what's going to happen to them. There could be a lot of reasons a drug didn't work for someone. My advice, go to a professional - go to a psychiatrist. There are a lot of scare tactics and misleading information on the Internet about effects of all of these drugs. Much of it stems either from a paranoia of "control" by doctors and results from people who did not follow proper dosing procedures or go to a professional and were given more mgs of whatever drug they were on to start with than they should have. Lastly, remember that everyone has a different chemistry and what one person's experience is with a drug is not necessarily what another's will be.

    Zach - with xanax, I'm pretty well informed about its habit-forming issues, the quick half-life and difficulties with withdrawls. My dosage, compared to yours at its peak is really apples and oranges. However, I have had bad experiences by trying to jump off too quickly. I know that my body has an attachment with it and if I decide to go down or get off, I have to move slowly and deliberately. That said, I'm not convinced that I should get off it at this point. I experience no side effects and my body responds well to it. Also, I'm pretty sure the effects of xanax are different when in combination with alcohol.

    On to Paxil - yep, I'm on that too. You probably think I'm a walking disaster! I'm more sympathetic to your concerns about paxil than xanax. I wish I was on another anti-depressant because I get some undesirable side effects from it - the worst being what they call "paresthesia" - or a weird electrical sensation in my brain at certain times. Some days it's worse than others. Withdrawal from Paxil is guaranteed to be a struggle. I'm at 50mgs a day for that and would like to go down and/or switch, but I don't want to do anything rash.

    Again, I'm not really looking for advice - though I welcome other people's opinions on this, even if it's something I think is wrong-headed or misleading. I'm just saying, I'm not bringing this up as a way to get sympathy or to get help. I'm just curious about other people's experiences and opinions because this stuff is very common.

    I, in fact, have some un-requested opinions about what you wrote (please feel free to tell me to fuck off). Honestly, we don't know the truth of anyone's situation so quick judgements are probably counter productive.

    Quote Originally Posted by nothingman00 View Post
    many of my truly anxious times result from being in unfamiliar surroundings that don't serve alcohol (malls, grocery stores, school). I get all stuttery and sweaty and just kinda freak out. Now, when I have panic attacks, I get truly fucked in the head. I start thinking worse possibility scenarios, like imagining my lungs are filling with fluid or feel like my heart is about to stop. My vision gets blurry and I become even more stuttery and wacked out, My hands and face get cold, yet I sweat a cold, cold sweat. The worst full blown panic attacks are the ones that helped me try to take control over every thing anxiety related. It doesn't help that I like to drink and occasionally smoke weed, since a hangover gives me anxiety and being really, really high sometimes does the same (especially if I'm smoking with people I don't really know---doesn't happen much anymore). Oh, and fucking airplanes... I've had two flights that would fall in most people's "worst 2 flight experiences of all times" including one flying out of Palm Springs on a little 20 person commuter plane (this was the 2002 Spring Break and I took some friends out to my parents' place). I used to love flying. I mean, I loved it. I flew everytime I could... Until that flight. Now, I brace myself for huge thermals coming from everywhere and i can't relax on a flight unless I have maybe 2-3 double scotches before I get on the plane, then another 2 singles per hour on my flight, bare minimum. Oh, and at least 1-2 doubles per stopover, if time permits. Then I hit the first airport bar I see when i get off the plane.

    When I flew to Portland for my sister-in-law's wedding, my wife and in-laws picked me up at the airport. I apologized for how drunk I was and just kinda shrugged. My wife's mother came over, put her arm around me and said, "Don't worry. We know that once you hit the airport you've got to drink. It's just a trait of yours and you shouldn't apologize." (They refuse to fly, they drive everywhere). I think I had approximately 15-18 scotches that time but I was coherent enough to hang out at the afterparty we went to, down a few beers, without making too big of an idiot of myself.
    This sort of alarmed me. It seems from what you're saying that you may need to focus on your dependence on alcohol. Getting anxiety in places where places don't serve alcohol, drinking large quantities of alcohol on a plane for medication sounds kinda scarey to me. I don't drink much at all. If I had that kind of stress getting on an airplane, I'd find equal relief in taking a .25mg of xanax without the expense of the drinks and the stupor and potential embarrassment of being drunk off my butt on a plane. Don't mean to criticize, seriously. I don't know your specifics. But the amount of alcohol you consume and your dependence on it seems like more of an issue to me than the xanax was. I mean, how much more difficult would it have been for you to stop drinking than go down on xanax? The high dosage level of xanax you were on seems largely a result of your drinking habits (again, correct me if you think I'm wrong or tell me to go fuck myself, I'll take it). I'm glad you were able to get off xanax successfully and I don't know much about klonopin. That suggestion may be worthwhile for me, but I don't really have a severe problem with xanax. (ooooh, listen to me, I sound like an addict).

    Also, I did try switching to valium but it was too quick. We tried replacing valium with xanax without going down on the xanax first. These situations can become catch 22s pretty fast. At the moment, I'm not too concerned about it. There are plenty of times I forget to take my afternoon hit (I freebase this stuff, you should try it...wild stuff) and I don't even notice an effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by nothingman00 View Post
    Yablo, Seriously. Try Klonopin for a week and tell me it isn't remarkably more effective and less affecting than Xanax. You can probably take 1 .5MG pill when you wake up and it lasts the whole day. Or, take a 1 MG and a .5 before bed if you have insomnia. It is so much better and so less dangerous than Xanax. I just tried to google that article and couldn't find it. Let me see if I can find the article and I'll link it for you. It's pretty harrowing with the way it mentions Xanax.
    I'll talk about it with my doc. I meet with him probably once every 6 weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by SojuGorae View Post
    He was poking fun at the quick dependence white kids have on medication for mental difficulties. If I can remember correctly that is. I might be getting it wrong.
    It's true that these meds are over and misprescribed, probably most detrimentally to young children. I really think you should not be going to a general practictioner for these issues whether on behalf of your child or yourself. People are on these that don't need to be, it has turned into a cosmetic lifestyle "enhancement" which is highly irresponsible.

    However, I know there are people who get real, measurable benefits from medication. There is almost always a tradeoff with side effects. But there are people who simply are better off with the meds than without, regardless of all other behavioral changes they make. It's just the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by PotVsKtl View Post
    I wonder how people used to get by before they invented 400 different anxiety/depression "treatments."
    Alcoholism and suicide. Seriously, though, this is a question I've asked myself probably 10,000 times. I have no idea what would have happened to me had I not got meds but at the time that I did, I could barely get out of bed in the morning and I frequently worried I would wind up in a mental institution or dead in some way. When this stuff hits you full on, your perception is so skewed and so distorted that you base your whole outlook on life from an inexplicable (at this point) change in your body chemistry. It wasn't talked about earlier and no one has reliable statistics to know if it's just becoming a crutch and a boon for pharmaceutial companies (probably at least partially true) for problems that could be dealt with better on your own than through drugs. There's also the fact that life itself has changed dramatically at the same time that these new approaches to mental health have come up. You're back at a chicken and egg situation and I think it's wrong to assume that it's a bad trend to take meds for this stuff. What did people with diabetes do before insulin treatment? I mean...you deal with the environment you're living in. I've been helped by the meds, I may have been harmed by them too. Overall though, I'm a happy guy and feel this situation I have is at worst an inconvienence.

    This is, I believe, partly because I don't lean on medication as THE answer. Someone mentioned CBT, and I think I've started using CBT techniques effectively, or at least more effectively than I used to. Also, I exercise regularly - 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. That's nothing stellar, but there are noticeable benefits to it and it may simply be as effective as any (or all) of the medications I take. Lastly, I know myself well enough to know I need to get regular sleep. Sleep is a big part of my stability. When I consistently get shitty sleep, I'm far more prone to panic attacks.

    Really - I don't claim to know what is right for people with this problem or that I'm doing what's right exactly. I don't know. It's working pretty well. I know very well that there is a strong physical component to this that's a combination of genes and the pecularities of my own nervous system. The level of physicality that hits me when I have a panic attack are almost impossible to overstate - extreme fatigue, dehydration, loss of appetitie - instantaneous.

    Alright, there's my novella for the morning.
    Last edited by Yablonowitz; 03-04-2007 at 10:51 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by ByTheWay, View Post
    If anyone raped or molested my wife or child i'd off them myself so I guess it doesn't matter. If you don't feel those type of emotions in that situation then that is you and in my opinion makes you a twisted person from a twisted state (UTAH) if that is where your from!

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