September 2009 Weddings

Anxious people, come in please...

Other than seeing a doctor, what advice could you lend me about anxiety? Are there natural ways to help?  

Dan went to see his doctor about feeling anxious all the time.  Granted, we have been under lots of stress in the past couple months, it's really taking a toll on him.  The doctor prescribed him xanax and zoloft.  I feel like that's a quick fix and is not really addressing the problem.  So I asked Dan to see a therapist first to get properly diagnosed and before proceeding with medication, not just start taking something his doctor says "works for him". 

I'm totally NOT disregarding how Dan feels and I want him to get better but I'm just hesitant for him to start meds if it's really not necessary, kwim? Although, I do think he may need something extra for the time being, until things get settled in our lives again. I just don't want him starting something like zoloft when seriously in the next month or so things will be drastically changing for the better. 

I think I'm just disconnected from this problem because I have never really experienced true anxiety... just things that make me feel anxious, in which case I avoid it.   

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Re: Anxious people, come in please...

  • What dosage is his Xanex? If you don't mind my asking.  I might be able reassure you more about some of the meds if I know how much they put him on.  And did he see a psychiatrist, or just his general practitioner?  If he just saw a GP, I HIGHLY recommend he see a Psychiatrist.  Psychiatrists specifically go to med school to specialize in mental health.  GPs do not.  They hake a handful of classes.  They are not specialists.  Kind of a soap box issue for me. 

    Second, there are TONS of things you can do to cope with anxiety - there's deep breathing training, mindfulness, guided imagery, meditation, any and all of which he would learn with a good therapist.

    Even chemically, something like GABA (a minreal supplement) can really help with anxiety. 

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  • My advice (and I should listen to it myself) is that he shouldn't jump on the drugs, but that he talked to a therapist first.  If, in talking to the therapist over a couple of sessions, he feels as if it's not helping, then maybe I would suggest the drugs.  Also, the therapist may be able to give him some advice on the matter of medication, and/or suggest someone else to speak to in regards to the same, rather than just going along with the PCP's prescriptions.
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  • I talked to a therapist first and knew right away it wasn't for me. It may be the unpopular opinion but my meds have improved my quality of life by a million and I will be more than happy to be on them for the rest of my life.

    My anxiety wasn't something that just came out of nowhere due to stress or anything. My grandma says I've been like this since I was a kid. She said that she always worried about me for being like that as a little girl.

    I think mine is a true chemical imbalance that medicine helps stabilize. I don't feel bad for needing meds, embarrassed or feel like its a big deal. 

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  • image lneuner09:

    What dosage is his Xanex? If you don't mind my asking.  I might be able reassure you more about some of the meds if I know how much they put him on.  And did he see a psychiatrist, or just his general practitioner?  If he just saw a GP, I HIGHLY recommend he see a Psychiatrist.  Psychiatrists specifically go to med school to specialize in mental health.  GPs do not.  They hake a handful of classes.  They are not specialists.  Kind of a soap box issue for me. 

    Seriously, that's what I told Dan...  That I would take the advice from his GP with a grain of salt because it's not something he is specialized in. Prescribing a med because it works for him doesn't mean it will for Dan.  

    Back to the issue, I don't know what his dosage is, but I will let you know when I find out.  I know the zoloft was 50 mg and he was told to take half a pill for the first week. I am pretty sure the doctor didn't request a follow up... and that makes me feel even more uneasy.  

    I have just begun looking up anxiety remedies and I'm forwarding them to him.  I don't want to stress him out more by doing this but I don't know how else to pass on the info.

    He said today he was going to look for a therapist or psychiatrist.  I would really like for him to learn how manage his anxiety without medication but it's really not up to me.  I know he's always been an anxious person and it's something I always wanted him to learn how to take care it of better. 

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  • image kmo630:

    I talked to a therapist first and knew right away it wasn't for me. It may be the unpopular opinion but my meds have improved my quality of life by a million and I will be more than happy to be on them for the rest of my life.

    My anxiety wasn't something that just came out of nowhere due to stress or anything. My grandma says I've been like this since I was a kid. She said that she always worried about me for being like that as a little girl.

    I think mine is a true chemical imbalance that medicine helps stabilize. I don't feel bad for needing meds, embarrassed or feel like its a big deal. 

    There is ABSOLUTELY nothing to be embarassed about!  And shame on anyone who even attempts to make you (or anyone) feel that way.  I hate the stigma of medication, my clients deal with it constantly.

    That being said, I don't think meds are the only answer.  I hate doctors who try to imply that.  Sometimes meds only works.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes therapy only works.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes you have to do both and still struggle.  That's why every option should always been explored.  Each of our bodies' chemical makeups are different, and each of our stress comes from different places.  There's no one answer that works for everyone.  Which is often the stance that various professionals take, and I hate that.  I'll argue with anyone who tries to convince me otherwise.

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  • image MBMcC421:
    My advice (and I should listen to it myself) is that he shouldn't jump on the drugs, but that he talked to a therapist first.  If, in talking to the therapist over a couple of sessions, he feels as if it's not helping, then maybe I would suggest the drugs.  Also, the therapist may be able to give him some advice on the matter of medication, and/or suggest someone else to speak to in regards to the same, rather than just going along with the PCP's prescriptions.

    MB, I completely agree.  I think I'm really surprised Dan is so OK with starting the meds without really making an educated decision.  

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  • image MBMcC421:
    My advice (and I should listen to it myself) is that he shouldn't jump on the drugs, but that he talked to a therapist first.  If, in talking to the therapist over a couple of sessions, he feels as if it's not helping, then maybe I would suggest the drugs.  Also, the therapist may be able to give him some advice on the matter of medication, and/or suggest someone else to speak to in regards to the same, rather than just going along with the PCP's prescriptions.

    MB, I completely agree.  I think I'm really surprised Dan is so OK with starting the meds without really making an educated decision.  

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  • image mrs pH:
    image lneuner09:

    What dosage is his Xanex? If you don't mind my asking.  I might be able reassure you more about some of the meds if I know how much they put him on.  And did he see a psychiatrist, or just his general practitioner?  If he just saw a GP, I HIGHLY recommend he see a Psychiatrist.  Psychiatrists specifically go to med school to specialize in mental health.  GPs do not.  They hake a handful of classes.  They are not specialists.  Kind of a soap box issue for me. 

    Seriously, that's what I told Dan...  That I would take the advice from his GP with a grain of salt because it's not something he is specialized in. Prescribing a med because it works for him doesn't mean it will for Dan.  

    Back to the issue, I don't know what his dosage is, but I will let you know when I find out.  I know the zoloft was 50 mg and he was told to take half a pill for the first week. I am pretty sure the doctor didn't request a follow up... and that makes me feel even more uneasy.  

    I have just begun looking up anxiety remedies and I'm forwarding them to him.  I don't want to stress him out more by doing this but I don't know how else to pass on the info.

    He said today he was going to look for a therapist or psychiatrist.  I would really like for him to learn how manage his anxiety without medication but it's really not up to me.  I know he's always been an anxious person and it's something I always wanted him to learn how to take care it of better. 

    As someone who has been on the other end of this, I'm glad you realize that it's not up to you. It's really frustrating when your spouse thinks you're not handling things properly or that you're not trying hard enough, or that you're blowing things out of proportion.

    I hope Dan figures out what works for him so that he can start to feel better.

  • image kmo630:

    I talked to a therapist first and knew right away it wasn't for me. It may be the unpopular opinion but my meds have improved my quality of life by a million and I will be more than happy to be on them for the rest of my life.

    My anxiety wasn't something that just came out of nowhere due to stress or anything. My grandma says I've been like this since I was a kid. She said that she always worried about me for being like that as a little girl.

    I think mine is a true chemical imbalance that medicine helps stabilize. I don't feel bad for needing meds, embarrassed or feel like its a big deal. 

     

    And you shouldn't feel bad or embarrassed!!

    I think what you said even confirms more that Dan should see a mental health specialist.  He's always been a little anxious which makes me think he may possibly need something to help him.  But only a specialist can determine that.  And if there is something naturally or therapies he can do to help, I think that would be best.   

    Above all else, it wouldn't hurt for him to see a therapist.  He hasn't had the easiest of lives and has really done well to rise above adversity, however, I think it's really taking a toll on him and I think it's high time he should start really taking care of himself.  

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  • image mrs pH:
    image lneuner09:

    What dosage is his Xanex? If you don't mind my asking.  I might be able reassure you more about some of the meds if I know how much they put him on.  And did he see a psychiatrist, or just his general practitioner?  If he just saw a GP, I HIGHLY recommend he see a Psychiatrist.  Psychiatrists specifically go to med school to specialize in mental health.  GPs do not.  They hake a handful of classes.  They are not specialists.  Kind of a soap box issue for me. 

    Seriously, that's what I told Dan...  That I would take the advice from his GP with a grain of salt because it's not something he is specialized in. Prescribing a med because it works for him doesn't mean it will for Dan.  

    Back to the issue, I don't know what his dosage is, but I will let you know when I find out.  I know the zoloft was 50 mg and he was told to take half a pill for the first week. I am pretty sure the doctor didn't request a follow up... and that makes me feel even more uneasy.  

    I have just begun looking up anxiety remedies and I'm forwarding them to him.  I don't want to stress him out more by doing this but I don't know how else to pass on the info.

    He said today he was going to look for a therapist or psychiatrist.  I would really like for him to learn how manage his anxiety without medication but it's really not up to me.  I know he's always been an anxious person and it's something I always wanted him to learn how to take care it of better. 

    Bolded #1: Wait, the GP told him "this worked for me?" Totally unethical and jsut makes me shake me head.  He needs to follow up with a psychiatrist.

    Bolded #2: it should make you uneasy.  Follow ups are standard, even when a GP is prescribing.  Especially when starting new medications, a follow up schould be scheduled within 3-4 weeks, at minimum.

    Bolded #3: Don't do this.  Sounds beneficial, yes, but guiding yourself through some of those kids of exercises is very difficult.  If he's getting involved with a therapist, they will help him with those kinds of things.  It may stress him out more to try to do it on his own.

    The worst thing in the world is feeling helpless when someone you love is going through something like this.  Be patient with him, keep asking what you can do to help. The answer might surprise you.  And definitely stay on him about following up with a psychiatrist.  Most psychiatrists will help you get hooked up with a therapist too.

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  • image lneuner09:
    image kmo630:

    I talked to a therapist first and knew right away it wasn't for me. It may be the unpopular opinion but my meds have improved my quality of life by a million and I will be more than happy to be on them for the rest of my life.

    My anxiety wasn't something that just came out of nowhere due to stress or anything. My grandma says I've been like this since I was a kid. She said that she always worried about me for being like that as a little girl.

    I think mine is a true chemical imbalance that medicine helps stabilize. I don't feel bad for needing meds, embarrassed or feel like its a big deal. 

    There is ABSOLUTELY nothing to be embarassed about!  And shame on anyone who even attempts to make you (or anyone) feel that way.  I hate the stigma of medication, my clients deal with it constantly.

    That being said, I don't think meds are the only answer.  I hate doctors who try to imply that.  Sometimes meds only works.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes therapy only works.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes you have to do both and still struggle.  That's why every option should always been explored.  Each of our bodies' chemical makeups are different, and each of our stress comes from different places.  There's no one answer that works for everyone.  Which is often the stance that various professionals take, and I hate that.  I'll argue with anyone who tries to convince me otherwise.

    I'm not by any means qualified in this field but I agree.

    Everything in life, if you really think about it, is like this.  Not one thing will work for everyone.  

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  • image amelianguy:

    As someone who has been on the other end of this, I'm glad you realize that it's not up to you. It's really frustrating when your spouse thinks you're not handling things properly or that you're not trying hard enough, or that you're blowing things out of proportion.

    This is one of the biggest causes of argument between Chris and I... I clearly have anxiety issues, and I think I'm handling them well enough for the time being, but every time I say something or do something he doesn't agree with, he automatically assumes it's my anxiety taking over, and therefore discredits anything I say or do and considers me irrational because I'm not thinknig straight.  Seriously -- It's not that I don't want to get help, cuz trust me, I don't like what the anxiety does to me, but a lot of that right now has to do with time, and time is just one thing this girl does not have.

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  • image lneuner09:
    image mrs pH:
    image lneuner09:

    What dosage is his Xanex? If you don't mind my asking.  I might be able reassure you more about some of the meds if I know how much they put him on.  And did he see a psychiatrist, or just his general practitioner?  If he just saw a GP, I HIGHLY recommend he see a Psychiatrist.  Psychiatrists specifically go to med school to specialize in mental health.  GPs do not.  They hake a handful of classes.  They are not specialists.  Kind of a soap box issue for me. 

    Seriously, that's what I told Dan...  That I would take the advice from his GP with a grain of salt because it's not something he is specialized in. Prescribing a med because it works for him doesn't mean it will for Dan.  

    Back to the issue, I don't know what his dosage is, but I will let you know when I find out.  I know the zoloft was 50 mg and he was told to take half a pill for the first week. I am pretty sure the doctor didn't request a follow up... and that makes me feel even more uneasy.  

    I have just begun looking up anxiety remedies and I'm forwarding them to him.  I don't want to stress him out more by doing this but I don't know how else to pass on the info.

    He said today he was going to look for a therapist or psychiatrist.  I would really like for him to learn how manage his anxiety without medication but it's really not up to me.  I know he's always been an anxious person and it's something I always wanted him to learn how to take care it of better. 

    Bolded #1: Wait, the GP told him "this worked for me?" Totally unethical and jsut makes me shake me head.  He needs to follow up with a psychiatrist.

    Bolded #2: it should make you uneasy.  Follow ups are standard, even when a GP is prescribing.  Especially when starting new medications, a follow up schould be scheduled within 3-4 weeks, at minimum.

    Bolded #3: Don't do this.  Sounds beneficial, yes, but guiding yourself through some of those kids of exercises is very difficult.  If he's getting involved with a therapist, they will help him with those kinds of things.  It may stress him out more to try to do it on his own.

    The worst thing in the world is feeling helpless when someone you love is going through something like this.  Be patient with him, keep asking what you can do to help. The answer might surprise you.  And definitely stay on him about following up with a psychiatrist.  Most psychiatrists will help you get hooked up with a therapist too.

    Nooner, I'm going to FB msg you.  

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  • Here are my thoughts: if Dan is anxious right now regarding current stressors (job/family/money issues), medication may not be a bad idea short term to help him cope with those things while continuing to function. If he's always anxious, it's definitely good to figure out what's going on there and perhaps think about a long-term strategy.

    My OB put me on 50mg zoloft after my second miscarriage because I couldn't function. He basically diagnosed me with postpartum depression. I asked to be referred to a psychiatrist/therapist anyway, and the psychiatrist ended up agreeing with my OB about the medication and dosage, but she did order some basic lab studies (thyroid panel, liver enzymes I think, vitamin D and vitamin B12 levels) as well. She diagnosed me with an "adjustment disorder", basically meaning I wasn't coping well. Then she referred me to a therapist. I told her I was hesitant about meds, and DH was especially hesitant because he felt like they were just putting a bandaid on the issue.

    The psychiatrist told me she was recommending the meds for me in order to act as a "floor" for me. I still had to deal with the stress and grief and anxiety, but at least I had something to keep me afloat in the meantime. It's been tremendously helpful for me in terms of keeping me from getting REALLY upset about certain things, especially when I'm at work and have to be on my A game at all times. I've also been in therapy since that time, which has also been very helpful.

    Anyway, the moral of that story is that I don't think the meds are necessarily a bad idea to help Dan stabilize himself while dealing with whatever is making him anxious. But I do agree that seeing a psychiatrist to confirm that the medication and dosage are appropriate and see if therapy is appropriate in combination with, or instead of, medication.

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  • Once again Nooner is the voice of wisdom. I agree 100% with everything she said.

    My two cents: Even though it may or may not help, definitely see if Dan can see a therapist. Especially one that specializes in anxiety. Don't know if you saw my post from a month ago or not, but tell him not to be discouraged if his first appointment doesn't go well, it may just be an ill patient/therapist fit and to keep looking for someone who "gets" him. 

    I'm the type of person who would like to avoid medicine as much as possible, but if I got to the point where my anxiety was running my life and therapy alone wasn't helping, I wouldn't be opposed. However, I wouldn't jump right into medicine without a consultation with a specialist.

    And something that I found works for me is systematic muscle relaxation. The short version: you concentrate on one muscle in your body (say toes) and contract them for 30 seconds, release and feel the relaxation for 10, flex 20/relax 20, flex 10/relax 30 until you've done this with every muscle in your body. It takes awhile to do, but is totally worth it. 

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  • image sarges05girl:

    And something that I found works for me is systematic muscle relaxation. The short version: you concentrate on one muscle in your body (say toes) and contract them for 30 seconds, release and feel the relaxation for 10, flex 20/relax 20, flex 10/relax 30 until you've done this with every muscle in your body. It takes awhile to do, but is totally worth it. 

    One of my favorites!!!  Uses a lot of the same principles as yoga. 

    I taught my husband to do this before bed and it helped him quit his crazy whole body twitches when he was asleep. 

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  • image MBMcC421:

    image amelianguy:

    As someone who has been on the other end of this, I'm glad you realize that it's not up to you. It's really frustrating when your spouse thinks you're not handling things properly or that you're not trying hard enough, or that you're blowing things out of proportion.

    This is one of the biggest causes of argument between Chris and I... I clearly have anxiety issues, and I think I'm handling them well enough for the time being, but every time I say something or do something he doesn't agree with, he automatically assumes it's my anxiety taking over, and therefore discredits anything I say or do and considers me irrational because I'm not thinknig straight.  Seriously -- It's not that I don't want to get help, cuz trust me, I don't like what the anxiety does to me, but a lot of that right now has to do with time, and time is just one thing this girl does not have.

    I think "time" makes Dan even more stressed out.  He feels like he doesn't have time to go to a therapist and talk about his problems.  

    I have noticed lately, Dan doesn't like when I make a definite decision without him.  If you recall, I said in the past that I don't make decisions on my own without Dan's opinion/approval.  Given our circumstances, I have had to make decisions because as scary as it it, I'm the one with the clear head and making sure things are getting done and taken care of.  I don't hold it against him that it's like this but I'm trying to cope with making the big/final decision on stuff.  I'm sooo not used to it! I'm am very much being used to being taken care of and not having to worry about big things. 

    I feel more *protective* of him when it comes to this medication stuff because it's not like him at all to jump so quickly to taking ANY kind of medication.  When it was me having problems, he was always questioning and making sure the right thing was being done.  I feel like I owe it to him to help him the best I can. 

    I suggested to him I could help him find some psychiatrists or therapists if he wanted. I also asked if there was anything I could do to relieve some of the pressure he's been feeling.  He told me no because it's stuff that only he could take care of, like his job.

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  • image tdmd09:

    Anyway, the moral of that story is that I don't think the meds are necessarily a bad idea to help Dan stabilize himself while dealing with whatever is making him anxious. But I do agree that seeing a psychiatrist to confirm that the medication and dosage are appropriate and see if therapy is appropriate in combination with, or instead of, medication.

    I think you hit the nail on the head.  I think you were smart to get a qualified opinion.  

    I completely agree about the meds NOT being a bad thing.  I guess in my OP I came off as anti-meds... which I'm not completely anti-meds, I do feel they can help if in fact it's what's needed, as you and Kelly discussed before. 

    I guess my motto, and maybe it's not appropriate here, less is more.  If Dan can just get by with taking a xanax here and there and go to therapy and learn how to deal with his stress effectively, then I think it's the way to go.  But by all means, if he needs something else to help stabilize things, as you said, then I can get behind that. I don't want him over-medicating...

    Honestly, if Dan had went to see a psychiatrist instead of his GP about this and came home and said "I need to take Zoloft", I wouldn't be so inquisitive. 

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  • image sarges05girl:
    .

    And something that I found works for me is systematic muscle relaxation. The short version: you concentrate on one muscle in your body (say toes) and contract them for 30 seconds, release and feel the relaxation for 10, flex 20/relax 20, flex 10/relax 30 until you've done this with every muscle in your body. It takes awhile to do, but is totally worth it. 

    I'll suggest to Dan to try to research some more info on that and try it out in the mean time until he can get into see someone.  

    I also told him about finding the right therapist to talk to.  I remember when I went through my "dark days" I went through a couple therapists for one reason or the other.  When you can find someone you mesh with, it's so much more beneficial. 

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  • image mrs pH:
    image sarges05girl:
    .

    And something that I found works for me is systematic muscle relaxation. The short version: you concentrate on one muscle in your body (say toes) and contract them for 30 seconds, release and feel the relaxation for 10, flex 20/relax 20, flex 10/relax 30 until you've done this with every muscle in your body. It takes awhile to do, but is totally worth it. 

    I'll suggest to Dan to try to research some more info on that and try it out in the mean time until he can get into see someone.  

    I also told him about finding the right therapist to talk to.  I remember when I went through my "dark days" I went through a couple therapists for one reason or the other.  When you can find someone you mesh with, it's so much more beneficial. 

    I'm late to the game as usual, so I don't have anything else to offer.  I hope Dan gets the help he needs to get through this.

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