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Well ... where do I begin? I guess I'll just start by letting you all know that I've had anxiety issues for as long as I can remember. I had terrible separation anxiety when I was younger and still deal with it to an extent these days. I'll go through random time periods of having anxiety issues, generally just feeling like a panic attack is about to come on or that something bad is going to happen. It's very sporadic and sometimes doesn't even have a recognizable trigger. I think that this is signs of Panic Disorder, as opposed to Generalized Anxiety - yes, I've been doing my reading.

So I'm going to be moving in less than a month and have already decided that I'm going to start seeing a psych, because I haven't seen one in a long while. I need someone to continue refilling my Bipolar meds and checking on it, but I also need to see about getting on something for anxiety. Previous drs have known about my anxiety but never focused on getting it taken care of. I need someone to diagnose me so it's on the record and I know that I'm not just going crazy, that it is really anxiety.

Okay I'm getting a bit off topic. So I have taken both Ativan and Xanax before for anxiety. I like the Xanax because it quickly takes away the anxiety. However, I've had issues with abusing the Xanax. When I took Ativan, it didn't have the same affects that I liked with the Xanax .. it just calmed me down. I've heard that Ativan is addictive too though, so I'm scared. I have addictive issues as it is (eating disorder, previous problems with alcohol & Rx drugs) so I don't wanna trigger something that's already there. I've heard that Klonopin is good but from what I understand, it's more for relatively constant anxiety and insomnia. I generally sleep well and my anxiety attacks are so random that I don't think I would need something like that.

So my question is ... are there other Rxs out there to help with anxiety attacks that aren't as addictive? When talking to my psych, should I suggest Ativan even though I know it can be addictive? Are there some more natural ways to attempt to relieve anxiety? I haven't tried anything really except meditation ... and that only works sometimes.

I really appreciate any input that you can give me!

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When I was much younger I was on and off enough meds to sink a ship so I don’t have any today. I try to find other ways of dealing. You already mentioned meditation. Deep breathing exercises are good. And an immediate distraction might be to count fast to yourself - do your times tables. Also some positive self-talk might help - keep telling yourself that everything is okay and that you are calming down. I don’t know how severe things are so sorry if that seems a bit feeble but it’s all about distracting yourself and perhaps changing what you are thinking.

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I've taken Buspar in the past but normally its only prescribed for short term. I had no side effects and really couldn't feel it in my body.

Now I take Celexa for depression & anxiety. I also take Topamax for anxiety. I have no side effects. I've only been on them for 5 wks. My adjustment was I was sleepy in the beginning. Everytime they increased my dosages I got alittle tired until my body got adjusted but I'm good with these meds.

And I've been on a lot of meds. They've have me try alot.

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I also have anxiety , panic attacks , and sometimes even can't catch my breath when it is a very bad one.

My Psych . Dr . has me on Clonipin , and he also increased my Lexapro. I can have these panic attacks , when around people, or their are too many of them, and the noise becomes unbearable. I feel that I have to escape out of there, and when I do , I go go through all these physical symtoms. It has gotten to a point as to I am unable to go places myself .

However, anther thing is that I am semi agraphobic as well. I am uncomfortable, leaving the saftey of my home. I feel as though it is too dangerous , and overwhelming.

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Hi Amberlyn, Mscat, Really, Paula, and Bluerose,

Off and on I've needed to take meds to sleep and for some time even had to take Ativan and Zoloft for about 2 years since I couldn't eat or sleep or think due to my severe anxiety. This was 12-13 years ago, but i remember well the feelings of being out of control in every way possible.

Any Benzodiazepine has an addictive potential-- Klonopin, Diazepam (Valium), Ativan, Librium, Xanax, Halcion (and about 30 others), especially at higher doses. They're safe for most folks, but a great risk for many, especially if taken for a lengthy period.

Topamax is a fascinating med, its used for obesity, as an anticonvulsant (for seizure disorder), to treat alcoholism, Bulimia Nervosa, OCD, smoking cessation and even to control binge eating.

Buspar is very good for Depression, generalized anxiety and OCD.

In our office, for longer term treatment for anxiety, we typically may use something like Paxil or Zoloft-- both are extremely effective for anxiety. Zoloft is very effective for panic disorder also. 2 herbs, Kava and Brahmi, have shown to have fairly good anxiolytic effectiveness based on actual research. Finally, if all else fails, I would look into Ayurveda (ancient Indian) treatments, which have a remarkable history and growing research.

All of this to say that there are many, many options and a good MD should be able to tell which one might work best for you given your history and the issues. On a longer term basis, an excellent clinician that uses cognitive behavioral therapy will be the most effective.

Good luck and I hope this helps,


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Thanks all for your input.

Really: You take Topamax for anxiety?? I've never heard of that use of it. I used to take it to manage my migraines. I did well on it - and now that I think about it, I didn't have much anxiety whenever I was on it. Definitely something I could talk to a dr about.

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