First of all, hi
. I have a somewhat odd situation (or so I think), so I'll go over it before getting to my questions (besides the one in the subject). You can skip the next three paragraphs and just read the recap if you like.
I've had issues with depression for a while, and spent a couple years on meds (Prozac didn't work, Remeron didn't work, Zoloft was the charm and I stayed on it for over a year). Was fine for a couple years, and have been going downhill for a few years. I plan to call my doctor in the morning, hopefully to get a same-day appointment to go back on Zoloft (presumably, since it worked before).
In the week or so that I've been contemplating going back on meds for depression, I realized how nervous and anxious I get about pretty simple things. I'm a graduate student, and classes are hell.. if I get called on, I get so terrified that I can't speak, my heart races, I feel sick, and I start blushing. And then the professor calls on someone else and assumes I haven't been paying attention, when really I'm just too anxious to respond. And I look like an idiot in front of everyone. When they go around the class getting answers/opinions, I spend the time until my turn doing all of the same. I find myself wishing I had skipped class because anything is preferable to the anxiety and downright fear I experience.
Gee, I wonder if I have a *gasp* anxiety problem. Figured I'd mention it to my doc when I talk to him, then I looked at Zoloft's website to see if it treats anxiety, and I looked at the Social Anxiety Disorder checklist.. every single one of them applies to me. Oh. Obviously an internet checklist does not constitute a clinical diagnosis, but 15/15 is pretty high.
A recap if you skipped all that: History of depression, going to doctor about going back on Zoloft for depression, realized apparently have anxiety problems.
So my questions:
1. How effective is Zoloft for anxiety? I saw a thing about it somewhere on this site, and it wasn't rated very favorably.. Does it seem to make a difference if you've been on other anti-anxiety meds? As in, you don't know how bad something is until you've had something better.
2. How long does it take Zoloft to work for anxiety? I seem to remember it kicking in fairly quickly for depression (2-3 weeks). Anyone know if it works differently for anxiety? Ideally, I'd like the anxiety to go away immediately, as it's distressing and really interfering with my life.
3. If it does take a while to kick in, would it be possible to get something else for the interim? Like Valium or Xanax (reading here indicates the latter may be hard to get), for a few weeks until the Zoloft starts working, assuming it does.
4. If I were to get Valium or something, would it generally be taken every day or only as needed? I only have class three days a week, so that's when I'd really really really need it. Although having more general anxiety knocked out 24/7 would be pretty sweet.. and make it much more easy to get stuff accomplished.
I apologize for the novel, this whole thing is very new to me. I'd like to have an idea of how this stuff works before I go to the doc so I know what to ask for.
Thanks to anyone who read this and may be able to offer some advice