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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been on 50mg of Sertraline for a few weeks, was increased to 100mg but I've been anxious about increasing to 100mg because I've heard negative things about it, so I've still been taking 50mg. I'm also on 40-120mg of Propranolol every day.

My doctor said the propranolol is a temporary measure until the anti depressants kick in. I don't want to be on anti depressants, I feel like they're placebo and don't help with anxiety, I need help with anxiety not depression. They've not been helpful whatsoever and I feel like they're just throwing random drugs at me. The beta blockers help very slightly when I take the full dose, but there are situations where I'm significantly more anxious in, in those situations they do not help.

I tried to be assertive with the doctors and specifically said, for giving presentations at uni I need some help and asked if there's something which will help in those situations instantly, I was told anti depressants will help. They ****ing don't!!! I don't know what to do now because I don't know enough about meds, I just need some help and they're not listening to me. I'm due to go back to the doctors to review the medication and my anxiety, I'm putting it off because I don't know what to say, I feel frustrated and like I'm being stupid.

Can someone please advise me on how to handle the situation to get some actual help??
 

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Being assertive with doc's can be tricky. Propranolol was somewhat helpful for me and it's non-addictive, so docs seem to like it. You can probably get a benzo fairly easily if your main issue is anxiety. Try to get something like xanax or klonopin without seeming like a drug seeker. Some doctors don't like if you ask for specific drugs, but try to show them you've done some homework about what helps anxiety. I don't see much wrong with taking a benzo as needed. I used to take it daily (as my doc told me to do), and it was hard on me especially when I wanted to get off of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks so much for replying! :)

Tell him if he doesn't listen you will leave and get a new doc.

And don't take anything you don't want to take. Get a new doc if you have to.
I actually see a different doctor every time. I'm just seeing my GP so I see whoever's available, it's a bit stressful because you don't know how some doctors feel about "emotional" problems, I'd much rather see a specialist, I'm on the waiting list which can take a year...so helpful. I probably shouldn't have taken the increased dose but genuinely don't know how to say to the doctor that I don't agree with what they're saying.

Being assertive with doc's can be tricky. Propranolol was somewhat helpful for me and it's non-addictive, so docs seem to like it. You can probably get a benzo fairly easily if your main issue is anxiety. Try to get something like xanax or klonopin without seeming like a drug seeker. Some doctors don't like if you ask for specific drugs, but try to show them you've done some homework about what helps anxiety. I don't see much wrong with taking a benzo as needed. I used to take it daily (as my doc told me to do), and it was hard on me especially when I wanted to get off of it.
Yeah that's the thing, I know people who've been prescribed Valium based medication for things such as public speaking or general anxiety, I don't like that they're addictive but they seem more helpful than beta blockers. It's frustrating to me that beta blockers DO actually seem very helpful but they haven't been to me. Sorry to be annoying but how exactly would you word the conversation? because like you said, I feel uncomfortable telling them what I want and don't want to act like I'm just after a certain drug. I genuinely want help... I feel like they prescribe stuff that's more helpful for anxiety to people who are much less anxious than me.

And I don't understand the fixation with anti depressants!!! I know I might sound like I'm just being stupid, but it's hard to be assertive when you have anxiety in that situation and when you don't know much about medication, it's frustrating when doctors who should know more are not helping you. I find doctor's appointments regarding anxiety so stressful and the last few times I've been I've just burst into tears when I got home because I wasn't clear and confident enough.
 

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Yeah that's the thing, I know people who've been prescribed Valium based medication for things such as public speaking or general anxiety, I don't like that they're addictive but they seem more helpful than beta blockers. It's frustrating to me that beta blockers DO actually seem very helpful but they haven't been to me. Sorry to be annoying but how exactly would you word the conversation? because like you said, I feel uncomfortable telling them what I want and don't want to act like I'm just after a certain drug. I genuinely want help... I feel like they prescribe stuff that's more helpful for anxiety to people who are much less anxious than me.

And I don't understand the fixation with anti depressants!!! I know I might sound like I'm just being stupid, but it's hard to be assertive when you have anxiety in that situation and when you don't know much about medication, it's frustrating when doctors who should know more are not helping you. I find doctor's appointments regarding anxiety so stressful and the last few times I've been I've just burst into tears when I got home because I wasn't clear and confident enough.
I know what you're going through. I've been very frustrated after doctor appointments because, like you said, it is hard to be assertive while anxious. I started educating myself about available medicines several years ago. It's been my experience that education about medicines can help because then you can have an informed discussion with the doctor. Also, you may have more luck with a psych instead of a GP if worst comes to worst. I would just say something along the lines of "I've heard that something like xanax or klonopin could help me during presentations. I know that everyone reacts to medicines differently, but would you be willing to see if one of those would be helpful for me?" Of course, word it in your own words. This is just how I've said things in the past, and it worked well for me. As far as those medicines go, I didn't like Xanax as much as some people around here. Klonopin seemed smoother to me, but people do react differently to medicines. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I'm now on the wait list for therapy but it can take up to a year, I don't know if there's another way to talk to a specialist? Thanks for your advice it makes perfect sense.

On that note does anyone have any advice for medication that would help with things such as presentations that I could ask them about?
 

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First of all, antidepressants are used to treat depression AND anxiety and are effective against both. You have to take them for several weeks to get the full benefit. A benzo may help with anxiety temporarily but they wear off fast and can be habit forming. The antidepressant is meant to be a long term solution. Nobody gets addicted to antidepressants although some people claim to go through sort of a withdrawl when going off of them suddenly.

Good luck. :)
 

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Beta blockers and benzos are the main ones. Antidepressants CAN help anxiety, but I've been on almost every SSRI/SNRI for an extended period of time, and none of them really helped me much in the anxiety department. I've started back on an MAOI because it was the only antidepressant that did anything for my anxiety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry I didn't realise anyone was still replying to this.

Hmm, yeah I know they're supposed to help, I just don't understand why they're the go to medication when other things can help specifically with anxiety and instantly. No medication for anxiety is supposed to be long term, I just need something that will actually help now. I've also been on them for several weeks. They don't do a thing. About the beta blockers, I actually took one before going to work last week and felt a bit more at ease, not sure if it was from them or from circumstances, although work's a very stressful place at the moment. They do help with heart palpitations and some physical symptoms which I've found helpful. It's just as I said for VERY high stress situations that I need to be able to handle right now they don't help. I have a doctors appointment for next Monday morning, I was thinking about telling them that the anti depressants aren't helping and I don't want to be on them anymore. Telling them the beta blockers help with mild stress but asking if they could give something to help in high stress situations to just use occasionally..?
 

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ssri has given me significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety but the change was gradual and took several months. that said you should really see a psychiatrist not a therapist or a GP...not sure if that is possible in the UK...anyway try to get a referral they are going to be your best bet for proper medication management.

i was prescribed kpins because i had trouble staying asleep all night after being given the zoloft (what you are on) try that one maybe it will work. be warned they can be highly addictive and you can become physically addicted as well.
 

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Sorry I didn't realise anyone was still replying to this.

Hmm, yeah I know they're supposed to help, I just don't understand why they're the go to medication when other things can help specifically with anxiety and instantly. No medication for anxiety is supposed to be long term, I just need something that will actually help now. I've also been on them for several weeks. They don't do a thing. About the beta blockers, I actually took one before going to work last week and felt a lot more at ease, not sure if it was from them or from circumstances, although work's a very stressful place at the moment. They do help with heart palpitations and some physical symptoms which I've found helpful. It's just as I said for VERY high stress situations that I need to be able to handle right now they don't help. I have a doctors appointment for next Monday morning, I was thinking about telling them that the anti depressants aren't helping and I don't want to be on them anymore. Telling them the beta blockers help with mild stress but asking if they could give something to help in high stress situations to just use occasionally..?
Tell them you need help and you need help NOW! Tell the doctor while he can afford to wait around for these anti-depressants to work or not, you can't. You need them in order to function at work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ssri has given me significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety but the change was gradual and took several months. that said you should really see a psychiatrist not a therapist or a GP...not sure if that is possible in the UK...anyway try to get a referral they are going to be your best bet for proper medication management.

i was prescribed kpins because i had trouble staying asleep all night after being given the zoloft (what you are on) try that one maybe it will work. be warned they can be highly addictive and you can become physically addicted as well.
I'm really happy that it did help for you, I don't mean to dismiss them in general. Well, as far as I know, I have to go through a GP to see a specialist then get a referral which takes months. I'm not really sure what the difference is between a therapist and a psychiatrist but my doctor just said i'm on the waiting list for counselling for anxiety, which can take over a year.

Tell them you need help and you need help NOW! Tell the doctor while he can afford to wait around for these anti-depressants to work or not, you can't. You need them in order to function at work.
Yeah I probably need to be more direct! *stress*
 

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I am now 20, almost 21. I saw a psychologist the summer after my sophomore year of high school. He said I had GAD, SA, and agoraphobia. He retired towards the end of that summer so I stopped going.
Then during my second semester of college I really started to stress out a lot. So I went to my primary doc and told him about my past. He prescribed me propranolol, celexa, and lorazepam. My doctor knows the psychologist and knows my dad who is a pharmacist.
I guess I have it easy.
 

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Can someone please advise me on how to handle the situation to get some actual help??
My psych had been prescribing me propranolol and xanax for about a year now, but every time I would come in to see him he would recommend I would start an SSRI. For a while I did not want an SSRI and would explain by saying that propranolol helps me face certain situations which I would otherwise never be able to face, such as presentations and going to class. I told him that by calming my body in anxiety producing situations, I am able to face my anxiety and deal with it head on. Just with a little help from my propranolol.

Now I don't see how I would get similar effects with an SSRI, and I would explain to him that maybe we have different perspectives on what it means to have SA and anxiety all together. Is it really something an SSRI will ever cure? Probably not. Every medication is a "crutch" which we stand on, to help us get through life with this "disability" (certainly feels like one to me). Through this notion, how could he tell me that an SSRI will help me more?

He would respect this opinion and continue to prescribe me the beta blocker and benzo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for your perspective, I also don't really understand how it helps more or why they push it so hard. What frustrates me is that I'm on the highest dose of beta blockers and they're not helping enough in those situations (presentations etc). I said this and asked her if there's anything else that would help... I've had this conversation so many times and all they say is "the beta blockers should help" or "the anti depressants should help" after I've already said they don't!!

After a lengthy discussion that felt like an argument with this doctor, which was her pushing to increase my dose to 150mg, I've messed things up because they think I've been on 100mg for a few weeks. So I've started taking the 100mg a couple of days ago, I got sick yesterday, I don't know if it was related. I kept saying I feel uncomfortable increasing the dose and she kept asking why, I couldn't give a reasonable answer.

She also asked me how the anxiety affects me in stressful situations, but I didn't answer clearly and honestly enough, because I couldn't think!! I have an uncle who is a psychiatrist or psychologist I can't remember exactly but I do know he knows a lot about medication, so I'm thinking about emailing him to ask for his advice.
 

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Maybe write down the answer to questions you know you'll be asked, so you won't feel put on the spot so much.

Also, it takes a year for you to see someone?? Over here I had to get a referral from my GP then I could see a psychologist straight away, and you get 12 sessions per year free if you have a low income. I find that mind-boggling that other countries do not take better care of mental health facilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well someone I know recently got her referral after waiting for a year. The doctors keep telling me "many months" and "a long time" so looks like it's normal. My sister was waiting for way too long as well and her problem was more urgent, she had to go to the emergency psychiatrist a few times, it's a joke. We do have free healthcare though, I just have to pay for prescriptions. If I went private I could be seen earlier but I can't afford that, it's really expensive. I panic so much before my appointments and put it off until I'm "ready" but as I'm never ready that doesn't help, I prepare as much as I can do but then it's different when I'm sat in front of them, I freeze up.

I find it frustrating that they don't seem to understand about medications, the last two appointments I had with different doctors they were literally looking things up in a book while I was there to see what dose they could give me. I heard something on the news channel this morning about the over prescribing of anti depressants and anti psychotics and how there's always a "hot drug" to prescribe, which is basically what I've been saying. A few years ago it seemed to be citalopram and right now it seems to be sertraline, I know 3 people on it... sorry I'm going off on a bit of a tangent... I think it's interesting though.
 

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Well someone I know recently got her referral after waiting for a year. The doctors keep telling me "many months" and "a long time" so looks like it's normal. My sister was waiting for way too long as well and her problem was more urgent, she had to go to the emergency psychiatrist a few times, it's a joke. We do have free healthcare though, I just have to pay for prescriptions. If I went private I could be seen earlier but I can't afford that, it's really expensive. I panic so much before my appointments and put it off until I'm "ready" but as I'm never ready that doesn't help, I prepare as much as I can do but then it's different when I'm sat in front of them, I freeze up.

I find it frustrating that they don't seem to understand about medications, the last two appointments I had with different doctors they were literally looking things up in a book while I was there to see what dose they could give me. I heard something on the news channel this morning about the over prescribing of anti depressants and anti psychotics and how there's always a "hot drug" to prescribe, which is basically what I've been saying. A few years ago it seemed to be citalopram and right now it seems to be sertraline, I know 3 people on it... sorry I'm going off on a bit of a tangent... I think it's interesting though.
I'm on Sertraline again right now and when I had my dose upped I felt really terrible, lots of fatigue, more depression, etc (which I was having for the first week too, but it got worse after). I ended up going back down to the initial dose and think I've been experiencing the benefits while eliminating those side effects. I'm on 50 mg now and was on 100 mg.

So if it seems to be working for you at a lower dose, stay there for a while. I think doctors can be too quick in upping your dose before they see how you respond to it.
 

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I'm only taking a benzo right now and if I had to choose between that and an ssri that worked the way they work for some people I would, without hesitation, choose the ssri. Unfortunately, at this point antidepressants only serve to aggravate my anxiety and even the smallest dose results in symptoms of mild serotonin syndrome like muscle tension, increased heart rate, confusion, fever etc. Some people don't even have such a blatantly negative reaction, some people simply receive no benefit. But the idea of being able to take one pill a day to maintain a constant, level effect with no potential or temptation for abuse and a decreased risk of rapidly developing tolerance and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, is undeniably attractive. In theory and in general, the unbalanced support for ssri's make sense. In practice and in an individual case by case basis, it's a little more complicated.
 
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