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    Anxiety in general
    flagman posted:
    Hello All:

    A few questions and observations: Back in 2004 I felt like I was going to pass out at work so I went to the emergency room. After a series of routine tests over the years I was diagnosed with GAD/OCD.
    I've been taking clonazepam .25 mg currently x3 during day, 1 .50 mg upon waking, and 25 mg sertraline at bedtime (Psych Doc prescribes, med management only). I also have seen a few therapists for talk therapy, minor to moderate results here.

    I also was recenly found to be vitamin d deficient, so I take a supplement for that.

    My chief complaint is that it takes a lot for me to get moving in the morning, and I worry about my condition way too often.

    I feel like my carefree old self only after a few drinks which I limit to the weekends and special occassions.

    I exercise at least 3 times a week and practice mindful meditation.

    Sorry for the long post, but I reach out to this community for any suggestions/advice.

    Brian, 47yoa
    Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
    It sounds like you are trying to do the best you can, but I'm wondering what was the reason that you stopped psychotherapy. Medications alone can't teach you how to help yourself and that's really what therapy will do if it's cognitive therapy. I do stress cognitive therapy because other types of therapy may not be effective for you.

    I'm not an MD, but I do know that vitamin D has been found to be one of the vitamins that is quite involved in a number of both physical and mental processes. Good that they found out you were deficient and you are taking a supplement now because that should help, possibly, with some of your psychological difficulties.

    Unfortunately, many people who have anxiety disorders find that alcohol does help them to relax, but when you are on medication this is really a bad idea. The combination can have very unexpected effects that can result in major problems. I would advise against it.

    Exercise is an excellent thing to do and you are wise to continue and remember that a balanced life is much like a balanced diet; if there is imbalance in all areas, there is an imbalance in the total life experience. Therefore, I'm wondering how you are handling all of the other aspects of your life and would suggest that you do an evaluation to see if some areas might need a bit of correction.

    I hope that you have found some of this helpful and that you do feel much better very soon.
    flagman replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
    Dr. Farrell:

    My latest therapist went out on maternity leave and I slipped through the cracks in regards to a replacement. I did feel that our progress had stalled, so it's time to find another therapist possibly.

    My mother had suffered from anxiety before she passed and my dad has depression.

    I've had OCD since I was in my teens, but the anxiety caught me completly off guard. I believe some of it was brought on by increased work & family responsibilities, but this did not bother me in the past nearly as much. Prior to 2004, I would have been hard pressed to know what an anxiety disorder was.

    I've also been a social drinker since my mid-teens and did use it to overcome shyness, especially in college when I drank way too much! I at one time smoked pot(early twenties) but have not done that in many years.

    I often wonder if a medication existed that would provide the same mental benefits I feel after a few drinks?

    Thnaks once again,
    Patricia Farrell, PhD replied to flagman's response:
    I'm sorry to hear your therapist left, but, as you say, the sessions didn't seem to be getting anywhere and you should have been referred to someone else. That would be the ethical thing to do and you should have discussed what would happen when she went on maternity leave, anyway.

    Medication, as I've said, is not a straight-forward process and, in fact, you may not need meds. There are many adjustments we all have to make in life and all too often these may be seen as anxiety disorders rather than adjustments. Learning how to cope is the best way to proceed and therapy should help with this.
    enjohn responded:
    Flagman, I have been dealing with depression and anxiety knowingly for 10 years. I currently take sertraline daily. I spent years in threapy, about 8, and am currently able to fully function. this therapy was one on one and group. Having read your post I wonder if you have found what may have triggered your anxiety attack initially. Mine were due to past experiences that my mind buried to protect me. It was not an easy road but was well worth the effort. The therapy help me to develope coping stategies and also let me see that I was not the only one and that turns out to be pretty important as we learn we are not just some oddball. The other thing about group therapy is that you get and give help with the latter being something that was really important to me. To give you an idea of where I started with this, I was non-functional when I entered therapy. Medicine alone would not have put me back on the road. I am not cured but am able to live a happy and full life. I will say a prayer for you and I hop e this gives you help and hope. Have a blessed day.
    DiagnosedPink responded:
    I feel your worries about your anxiety. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in Aug. 2011. I just turned 37, I'm also married with a now 9 year old son. I also owned a Bridal Shop in our small town and a Custom Sewing & Alterations Business. I was working 70-80 hours a week, 7 days a week. Being the only Bridal Shop in over a 40 mile radious and a very saught after seamstress/ Fashion Designer, I had alot of deadlines and alot of people to please and weddings going on that had to be finished. In August 2011, I was at the peak of Wedding season, then I found out I was Stage III, it was in both Breasts and had already spread to my lymph nodes.
    I have always worked best under stressfull situations except this time. I ended up in the ER half a dozen times with accute Anxiety Attacks. I didn't understand what was happening to me, I've never felt like this before. I even asked the ER Dr's "why would I have Anxiety?" Duh Heather, You have Breast Cancer and it has to be taken care of immenately. I told my Breast Surgeon that my Double Mastectomy would have to wait until after 9/10/11, I had 12 Weddings that day! I was scheduled for surgery 9/19/2011. They wanted to put my on some crazy tranquilizers which caused more anxiety because I was unable to function and get all my work done before surgery. They finally put me on Xanax, which I would only take .5mg if I felt an attack coming on. I also figured this would go away once I got through the Breast Cancer. Well, that's not the case. It has gotten worse for me especially after each surgery. I still only take Xanax. But for me, I have brought God back into my life and started learning that I have no control over the situations in my life, just whith how I decide to deal with them. I have always been a bit of a control freak, a bit OCD & ADD too. Our Family had structure and I ran 2 businesses very successfully. I just closed my Bridal Shop this last August. I am now working from home as I am able. I have learned to give all my worries to God and let him deal with them since he is the one in absolute control. I found a book written by John Macarthur
    called "Anxiety for Nothing". Even if your not a religious person, it's an awesome book for those with Anxiety and Worries, it really made everything clear for me. I have also been going to acupuncture weekly for the last 4 months and went back to doing Yoga with my stretching and strength building. I have been getting so much better and feel less stress in my life even though I just found out about more health issues 2 weeks ago and will never work again. I am not completely anxiety free, but I can at least leave my house now without anxiety or at least it isn't diabilitating anymore.
    I hope and will pray for you to find peace in your mind. And remember, you are never alone with this. There are many of us out there and care about what others are going through.
    I wish you the Best!
    In Christ,
    flagman replied to enjohn's response:

    Thank you for your thoughts. I believe the trigger may have been working in a new position, and at the time, a supervisor who could be very demanding and critical. Our office was short staffed at the time as well. Changing family demands could also been a factor. Fortunately, I've been able to function, but worry is always in the back of my mind. As suggested, I will be exploring a new therapist. I will continue with the meds for now.
    flagman replied to DiagnosedPink's response:

    Thank you and best wishes. You've gone through a lot and keep moving ahead with courage. It's inspiring. Spiritually, I am not a frequent visitor at services, but do believe and pray. Best of luck with everything.

    mjruiz responded:
    Hi Brian Ive been living with anxiety for many years now and ive learned that not enough sleep usually triggers my anxiety in the morning. So maybe start keeping track of the hours you sleep? also caffeine will definitely make it worse. As a matter of fact that's is how i came to to my own diagnosis of anxiety many yrs ago. It was right after drinking caffeine that i would start feeling very anxious and faint. well good luck!!

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