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    Includes Expert Content
    Dr G: antidepressants and anxiety
    monkeybee posted:
    Hi Dr G,

    Once before you have explained to me that antidepressants work no better than a placebo in treating bipolar depression. Is the same true for using antidepressants to ease anxiety? Do antidepressants work either the same or differently than benzos and either better or worse then benzos?

    Thank you,
    Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
    Dear Sarah, This is both a harder and an easier question to answer than the one about antidepressant effects for bipolar depression. Nobody has ever done a study of antidepressants to treat anxiety in bipolar disorder, so the easy answer is, nobody really knows. The harder answer, of course, is that in the absence of any studies on this, it becomes an experiment to use an antidepressant for anxiety in bipolar disorder. It MAY work, but just like for depression, it's very much an experiment. At present, the best studies medicines for anxiety in bipolar disorder is Seroquel or Zyprexa, both of which have research supporting their use for anxiety (at least in the context of treating bipolar depression with anxiety). Dr G
    doxielover10 replied to Joseph F Goldberg, MD's response:
    Hi Dr G, Hi Sarah,

    I am diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder as well as PTSD. You can always tell when I'm anxious, I break out in really awful bloody sores. I had surgery at MD Anderson Hospital (not cancer), blocked glands in my neck. I was so anxious, I was covered from head to toe in quarter sized bloody sores. They even quarantined me until they could biopsy the sores. The Biopsy showed that it was the worst kind of anxiety you can have Chronicus ? ?, Latin name I do not remember.

    I have been on anti-depressants since I was in my teens and it NEVER helped my anxiety. I use breathing techniques and Benzos if I must.

    Joseph F Goldberg, MD replied to doxielover10's response:
    Lichen simplex chronicus. Fancy name for brown leathery skin that comes from too much itching. Dr G.

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