My Community

Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Treatment => Medication => Topic started by: Widdiful Falling on May 12, 2015, 02:21:40 AM

Title: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Widdiful Falling on May 12, 2015, 02:21:40 AM
I haven't been asked to take any, but if I were, I would probably turn down the chance to take any psychiatric medication. It doesn't make sense, given that I've experimented with illicit drugs and alcohol, but with those, I've always made sure their lasting effects are minimal. Psychiatric meds alter brain chemistry waaay too much for me to want to mess with them. In fact, I think that if I were to start anti-anxiety medication, my anxiety might worsen for having to take them!

Anyone else feel the same way? Are my fears founded or unfounded in your experience?
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: bee on May 12, 2015, 04:00:58 AM
I made a point of telling my T when I started with her that I would not take any. I fear losing control of me. I feel there is so little of me left, that I have to gaurd it fiercely. She has asked a few times if I have changed my mind about it, but never in a forceful way.

Recently I had my genome mapped and found that if I would have taken an SSRI it most likely would have really messed me up. Something about how my neurotransmitters don't clear things through as fast as they should.

I know many people who say meds have helped them.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: totoro on May 12, 2015, 04:51:30 PM
Hi Widdiful and Bee,

This past year was pretty rough as far as meds go, so I don't blame anyone for being frightened by the possibility of a bad reaction. Right now I'm on Lamictyl (sp?) and that seems to have no side effects that I'm aware of. Did I mention that I haven't had any side effects? Anyway it seems to be an okay drug because I haven't had any noticeable side effects...  :stars:

Seriously though I'm glad I began doing my own research on the drugs, it turns out that the Zoloft they gave me for depression made me have a manic episode that lasted for months, then fast acting ADDERALL which did the same thing, so they put me on slow release ADDERALL which was better at first then just made me irritable with a hair trigger temper. Then they found out that these reactions may indicate bipolar disorder and that the Adderall is contraindicated for peeps with that disorder. Short story long, I know but the upshot is because of a recent flashback that was worse than any I ever experienced ( it involved law enforcement) it was discovered I suffer from CPTSD.

So far the best medicine is just knowing these flashbacks are not my fault, I'm not a crazy, evil, nutcase, and I'm not alone, even when I most feel that I am.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: _Redd_ on July 02, 2015, 01:12:16 AM
I am so glad to read this Widdiful! I know that probably sounds very odd to you (and maybe others). I was medicated for 17 years. i went off all of my meds and am so glad I did. The meds are not a solution to trauma. Yes, brain chemistry changes when trauma occurs, but meds are not a fix for that. I read on here somewhere that the solution is not in a prescription pad. Psychotropic meds are very dangerous, yet very socially accepted. It's very odd. I am very glad you are refusing meds. My real healing came when I got off all the dang drugs. Again, N/BPD was making me the problem, the one that needed meds. Umm, no.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: DaisyMae on July 04, 2015, 08:21:18 PM
Hi Widdiful & Bee,  I was like you and scared to death to take any medication for fear that I would lose control and also that it would make me appear weak, crazy.  My T never try to push or force it on me.  But I had a nervous breakdown 1 1/2 years ago (6 months into therapy) and I was actually at the planning stage of something that we will not talk about.  My T urged me to see my GP for my own safety and probably so he would not have to break the bond of trust that he had been working to build.  I followed his advice and gave him permission to talk with the GP.  Best thing I ever did.  The T was right, I need an SSRI to help me.  They both worked in my best interest and I am taking Zoloft, seemed to do the trick once I reached 150mg per day.  Also, the GP gave me Xanax for anxiety to help me sleep.  That one worried me the most because of the possibility of addiction.  Still does, so I am terrible about self-medicating with alcohol to sleep every night.  When the anxiety is at its worst, I do take the Xanax and it helps.  Not sure what goes on in my head to rationalize the alcohol is somehow a better solution than the Xanax.  My GP watches my usage closely and doesn't just issue refills for it either to make sure I do not become addicted to it.  My T has assured me that once I get to a place where I understand self worth and am confident in myself, I can start to work myself off of the Zoloft.  Guess what I am saying is that at a certain point, medication was necessary to correct chemical imbalances to help me think more clearly and to assist with emotional regulation.  I am fairly certain that it has saved my life.   

DM
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on August 25, 2015, 06:55:57 AM
Seems like a healthy fear to me -
Psych meds are powerful and not to be taken lightly -
In terms of making things worse in my experience side effects can be bad and they are a signpost that the drug isn't working

I have been on citalopram anti dep for some years on and off -
They have lifted me out of very dark times when I couldn't really function because of my mental health -
So for me they have been very helpful and I could start functioning again and seek further help with 'my' issues
On the flip side I do think they are handed out to readily here in the UK ..
I also suffer side effects and have to live with those
I am looking at reducing dose soon and seeing how it goes - I do want to be off them but am fearful I won't be able to function .. But I know all too well I don't let fear rule me ( fear is not always fact ) and will attempt withdrawal
Living with internal cotton wool can be good but by the same token feeling bit numb and sedated is not


Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: arpy1 on August 25, 2015, 10:33:19 AM
oh yeh, boatsetssailrose, i know what you mean, they do seem to hand 'em out like sweeties over here.
having said that, i have been on antidepressants (Citalopram, Sertraline) for decades, and when i was in my (extremely stressful n abusive) marriage, they enabled me to survive and raise the kids etc. and not resort to the unmentionable when tempted.
as a bit of a last resort, after some very traumatic stuff that went on the last few yrs, and not being able to find one that worked, am now on mirtazipine, which is not too wonderful, in that it piles weight on (bad bad bad for low self esteem, seriously) and it doesn't really do much for my mood. ho hum. the T i see now is actually the thing i find most helpful.

so like most of you guys, mixed feelings re meds, but i certainly wouldn't have survived without 'em so am grateful for them. and for a GP who took the trouble to try and find one that would work.

DaisyMae, know where u r coming from re alcohol v. valium. my dad's an alcoholic so i am very wary of getting addicted to anything. but sometimes one or other helps. which is the better? no idea. tho' alcohol makes me feel really low the next day, so maybe on balance the valium if i have to.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: serkinglight on August 26, 2015, 08:24:31 PM
I'm so glad there's finally been a backlash against medicating everyone who comes down the pike. For years it seemed I couldn't see a doctor or therapist of any type
who wouldn't try to strong-arm me into taking medication once the fact of my depression was out. The line I so often heard was "If you were diabetic, would you refuse to
take insulin!?", usually uttered in a most exasperated fashion. Very grateful the medical climate has changed.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: woodsgnome on September 01, 2015, 06:16:43 PM
Okay, I'm hesitant advising anyone or suggesting anything re medicine. I know they can be used legitimately and that they've helped many people here and in the general public.

But, I'm also aware of how "Big Pharma" gets in the mix with doctors from md's to psychs and even T's. And it seems to happen under the radar quite a bit.

Here's how it can easily come about, though. Doctors are usually very busy; some long-time practitioners (remember--it is called a PRACTICE) have long been out of their idealistic start-up when they were fresh out of learning the trade and eager to just help people.

And then more info comes along. They miss it; too busy. Meanwhile, the drug co. reps are happy to fill in the new need for info with their latest products. I've literally seen this happen in a doctor's office; the md even left an appointment to service the reps ahead of the  waiting patients.

Plus we live in a society where answers are demanded. Patients demand prescriptions, and docs, even if they're out of the loop themselves, might recall the latest samples left by the last drug company reps. The same doc I referred to above had a room full of samples and would sometimes make no bones about "here, try this" when he didn't have a clue himself. Once I ended up with some samples that set off my asthma big-time; he was surprised, and I even had to point to the product warnings themselves online, as they weren't in the actual sample he handed over.

So okay, what can a wary person do? There is a website that has tracked doctor payments. It is:

https://www.propublica.org/

On the opening page, if you scroll down there's a box you can fill in with docs name, etc...it's labeled "Has your health professional received drug company money?"

Elsewhere in the site, they have a page of several of their reports on this. That page is;

https://www.propublica.org/investigations/

There are several relevant articles there about lots of shady dealings, not all of them concerning meds, but many are; one's aptly called "Dollars for Doctors".

Again, I'm not on some high-horse about this, but I'm aware of what can happen--I had a close friend who was a victim of incorrect drug interactions that probably contributed to her sudden death; the meds in question were psych drugs she was using for depression. But her husband says she was never advised that they would affect other meds she was taking.

That brought this problem very close to me, and it scares me to think how hidden this problem has become, where some of us who legitimately need relief were taken advantage of. :'(

 
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: arpy1 on September 01, 2015, 06:45:38 PM
that's why i always check anything i am prescribed with an independent website or two, looking at interactions between drugs as well as individual side effects list that is found in the pack.
i got caught out once with a former gp who airily prescribed a drug whose interactions with another that he had already prescribed me was actually stated in the pack. when i called him to tell him, he was so unapologetic, just said, oh well, try this other one instead. 

i changed doc immediately. like you say, doctors get busy and don't always keep up with developments. i don't take chances any more.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: tired on September 11, 2015, 12:17:42 AM
I am very sensitive to medications.  I've tried antidepressants and ritalin and the tiniest doses give me amplified side effects as compared to other people. 

I find that strict rules for exercise and foods I eat including selected vitamins are my best bet but it's hard to stick to the rules when I'm depressed and don't care sometimes. 

There is a part of me that wants medication.  It's the part of me that wants someone else to fix things for me.  The part of me that wants someone to really see that I have a serious problem.  Not taking medication is not a sign that I don't have a problem; it's just that I don't think they are going to work.   

I don't feel as bad about shorter acting things like stimulants and coffee, because I can use them to get through a day and if it's a bad idea I can move on from it, and also because I can recognize that I"m not trying to fix my life with drugs.  The problem is more involved and I"m not in denial about that.  Giving up  on life is  a bad habit and I keep indulging in it because it feels good for a few minutes.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: KayFly on September 11, 2015, 02:26:08 PM
I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 2010 and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital because of my instability and I started taking really is sedating antipsychotics. I gained 30lbs in 2 months from Risperdol.

SSRIs as antidepressants were weird. Gave me like brain hiccups. Or I would become aware of my blood stream going through my veins quickly and it would go up to my head and make me have like brain pulses that would almost make me want to pass out.

I've tried several psychiatric drugs. Some helped. Many had side effects my body was too sensitive to handle. I was taking Wellbutrin recently, with a beta blocker for anxiety and i developed adult onset Asthma. So I guess you could say I'm a little afraid of them. And I refuse to take many.

With my experiences though, I have a good spectrum about which drugs are less harsh in side effects. I also have experimented with many illicit drugs, and mind altering drugs...some that left a long term in print or effect, so at times, anxiety medication was helpful.

But I don't think ill ever be on psychiatric meds again after all this. I think part of me always wanted off them, which is why I made several attempts off, then back on. But I am finding stability through therapy and hard work and never want to rely on a drug for that again. I think empowering to be in control of your self and not feel like you need a drug to do it for you.

But i do understand being so unstable that you need to be like sedated. THATS how I feel :)
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: tired on September 11, 2015, 05:20:03 PM
I do think, after reading some of these, that sometimes it's my tendency to not help myself that keeps me from taking medication.  It's hard to tell because medications aren't always helpful and are often dangerous.  But I do tend to think, I should be superhuman and not need help at all.  I don't accept other types of help either.  I guess in general I feel I can do things myself or that I should.

On the other hand,  I have a single friend that I trust in this world and he believes that I can do things myself. He also has ptsd and is very independent and competent and compassionate. So when he says you can fix yourself right here right now if you get up and do things that you need to do, I tend to believe him and it feels so much better than hearing that I can't do things without medication.

It also helps to think of short term vs long term solutions.  Short term solutions can be ritalin, coffee, drugs, and food.  But cognitive solutions can also help instantly if you really understand the concepts.  Long term solutions can be SSRIs, psychoanalysis, and just plain waiting it out. But again, cognitive solutions work here too.

One thing that makes this hard for me is lack of structure in my life. I never learned any life skills and my childhood had no supervision or structure.  No matter what I decide to do to help myself on any given day, it's hard to implement without a very involved structure. For example, I was in analysis for a long time which had a strict schedule.  I joined a gym and hired a trainer which gave me structure.  I had children which made me get out of bed and at least do something.  I think without children I would probably be homeless or living in my sister's basement. 
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on September 14, 2015, 11:12:35 PM
Hello tired
Thank u for saying what I've been feeling

Yes structure - I need it or else my head feels unmanageable
And cognitive solutions - I was just thinking about this today
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: tired on October 13, 2015, 10:05:42 AM
I am afraid of drugs. I have a stockpile of celexa i'm afraid to take. I take short acting ritalin because i know in a few hours it's gone.
I think your fears aren't unreasonable. Science hasn't figured out how these work exactly. It's the best we have, so I don't criticize doctors who are trying to help us in the only ways available to them. But what is available through research and drug development isn't great. 

I'm on the forum because I just got up and wrote a list of what i have to do this morning and how long each will take, written lying down in bed on a scratch piece of paper, because i don't want to wake up.  I needed a transition from planning to doing so I came online.  what has helped me lately is having extremely rigid structure down to the minute.  i got one of those school planning things you hang on the wall. my kitchen looks like kindergarten.  it has everything written out because i actually forget what i'm supposed to do. i forget socks. i forget to shower. so the structure of the day is written and posted whether i follow or not.  at least i can look at it.  it doesn't go into great detail so i have to wake up and write details like shower, brush teeth .  then when i'm up i look at the wall and see that breakfast is at 8 etc. 

basically i gave up on the idea that i shouldn't have to write this down and it's weird or militant or ocd. i just thought, it's necessary so i'm doing it.

also lately my mom is giving me anxiety so structure is critical.  action is critical.  maybe that's why celexa doesn't help because it sedates me but stimulants make me do things and doing things makes me feel useful and not so depressed. 

Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on October 15, 2015, 09:19:04 PM
Yes I relate - good to hear of others coming off meds
I have started to reduce - gee I just want to not feel this weirdness -
But yes agree there is a right time for them when desperate
All best wishes 🌝⭐️☀️💓
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Danaus plexippus on August 11, 2016, 06:52:25 PM
Be afraid, be very afraid! http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/info-05-2013/drugs-that-may-cause-memory-loss.html  :spooked:
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: movementforthebetter on August 31, 2016, 12:44:03 AM
To be honest I have had to fight to get psyciatric medication, and fight again to get changes made as I need. Now I am on the right type at least and it is the only reason I am on this healing journey. It literally allowed me to see clearly what I needed to do after suffering in quiet desperation for years. And then it was the only thing that gave me enough of a lift out of my depression to begin the work. It has also been the only thing that narrowed my focus down to my next steps to take and kept me from being overwhelmed by the enormity of the changes I am making. There is so much stigma against psych meds but they have absolutely changed my life for the better. I don't know if I will always need them (I might) but I am grateful fhey were available. I wish more drs took a more personal interest in helping patients find the right med and the right dose. I went on and off and through 5 different meds over 15 years before finally hitting the right one.

Good luck to all in your journeys.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: samantha19 on August 31, 2016, 11:09:34 PM
Yep. I was on Mirtazapine for a while. It made me really hungry all the time which was the one good thing for me - if a little annoying - as I struggle a lot with eating enough due to being depressed. I don't believe it worked long term. I told the doctor it wasn't working and the side effects - chronic exhaustion, sleep paralysis and frequent inability to wake up on time - were too bad. She suggested raising my dosage.
The withdrawal was *. My anxiety was higher than before, or at least it felt that way. Maybe I just couldn't cope with all the new things I had accomplished since before the meds, without them numbing me. Either way, it proved to me that they were no solution, just a temporary "fix" that didn't even seem to fix me very much if at all. I do think they made me happier at first, to be honest. Or maybe it was coincidence. They didn't work at the end though. I was still severely depressed, even with a dosage increase.
The withdrawal gave me nausea too, really bad nausea.
I vowed never to go back on them again.
I consider it now, sometimes, because so many people are for them. But it doesn't sit right with me. I don't trust them. I don't believe this is the solution. I can't believe this is just a chemical imbalance! It's thoughts - negative thoughts I've grown up thinking. It's core beliefs - that I am unworthy and crappy as a person. It's flashbacks to feeling unloved, embarrassed and so alone.
Medication might temporarily give me a mood boost, like drugs or alcohol would too. But it doesn't do anything to address the issue, it just masks it with rose tinted glasses for a bit. Plus it's highly addictive, like jeez. That withdrawal was such a horrible experience.
That's my feelings on them, anyway. I totally reject them, but I do wonder sometimes due to the wide public support for them.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Danaus plexippus on September 01, 2016, 06:29:44 PM
I think I mostly just got placebo effect relief from antidepressants. When the placebo effect wore off the doc would increase the dose Ďtill the side effects became unbearable. Then as now Iím the one stuck going through withdrawal. I hope I donít get fooled again. I'm journaling my current experience in the "SSRI Withdrawal" thread. I may go into details on previous prescriptions just to underline the lessons learned.[
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Satori60 on September 04, 2016, 05:22:39 PM
http://www.breggin.com/

I have been following Dr. Breggin for the last couple of years. He is a world renowned Forensic Psychiatrist who has tackled Big Pharma and has succeeded in showing that most psychiatric medications are not safe for consumption.  I have little experience with any of the contentious meds other then SSRI's, Cipralex, of which I was on for just under a year as I watched myself disappear. It took me 4 months to get off of the SSRI on my own, and I have since found alternative (traditional) medicines to take their place when I feel called to them.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: blues_cruise on November 14, 2016, 03:13:07 PM
I was adamant this time last year that I did not want to go back on Citalopram. Then I had a bit of a nervous breakdown, couldn't sleep or function and after a tearful admission of hopelessness to my GP I relented. Within about 3 weeks I was feeling better and wasn't waking up at 3am every morning with a racing heart. Every time I stop taking them my mood plummets and I struggle with life. I know that there are lots of negative reports out there about how these drugs affect your brain chemistry but mine is extremely messed up anyway, so brain medication doesn't scare me. Not being on them and feeling the way I did last year terrifies me though! It would be great not to be dependent on medication to retain my sanity but at least it works for me with few negative symptoms. I've known people to have terrible side-effects with SSRIs so they're not the right choice for everyone.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: BrokenDollMagnet on December 22, 2016, 04:08:00 PM
Psychiatric medication pulled me out of a severe depression that had me bedridden for a year and a half. It took 27 or so different med trials to find a fit, but it was beyond worth it. Of course, because I was at a mental state where I should have been hospitalized, I had little choice.

I like my meds. I have few side-effects, and I feel much better. I am looking to up my meds again, soon. It's not a complete fix, and I hope an adjustment can help.

I must admit to being very frustrated by my depressed friends who refused to be medicated because they were afraid the meds would 'change their personalities.'

That may happen to other people, I don't know, but it sure never happened to me. As I explained to them, the meds affect mood, not personality, so it's still you, but in a much better mood. Even the worst medication matches I tried didn't affect my personality, they were inert with regard to mood.

The thing is, it takes a lot of work to find a good treatment regimen. It takes a while * of a lot of work, and for many people, that's a very effective deterrent. They hide behind fear of the meds when they are really afraid of the often long process of trying meds, experiencing side-effects, changing to a different medication and repeating the process many times before finally getting good treatment. It is a grueling process and can be very stressful.

Also, people fear the gamble of a medical field that has yet to figure out how to test what chemicals our brains need. It's a crap shoot, and that makes the whole process seem even sketchier. Sadly, a good way for psychiatrists to make better educated guesses is to watch for a pattern of side-effects for different people.  "Hey, many of patients who experience mania from Zoloft turn out to be bipolar. So the next patient who has that issue I will recommend bipolar medication..."

The trial and error is necessary, and they may very well be paid off to try you on meds from companies that may be paying them off, but that doesn't mean the medication isn't worth a shot. I went full circle through dozens of meds, starting with popular meds, going through more obscure varieties, and finally finding out that another popular medication set fit me best. They are good places to start.

I won't sugar coat it; trying to find a good med match may take a long time and a lot of bad experiences. It's a poorly understood field of study, and they really are just making educated guesses about what might work...

But it is very worth it to feel happy, calm, and motivated. It is worth the effort to get treatment. 
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: mourningdove on December 22, 2016, 07:14:31 PM
Quote
I must admit to being very frustrated by my depressed friends who refused to be medicated because they were afraid the meds would 'change their personalities.'

That may happen to other people, I don't know, but it sure never happened to me.

It happened to me.

Quote
The thing is, it takes a lot of work to find a good treatment regimen. It takes a while * of a lot of work, and for many people, that's a very effective deterrent. They hide behind fear of the meds when they are really afraid of the often long process of trying meds, experiencing side-effects, changing to a different medication and repeating the process many times before finally getting good treatment.

Their fears are justified. Why are you so invested in criticizing other people's choices?

Quote
Sadly, a good way for psychiatrists to make better educated guesses is to watch for a pattern of side-effects for different people.  "Hey, many of patients who experience mania from Zoloft turn out to be bipolar. So the next patient who has that issue I will recommend bipolar medication..."

That's one explanation for those patients' manic episodes. Another explanation is that "anti-depressants" cause manic episodes in some people who are not in fact "bipolar."

Quote
It's a crap shoot, and that makes the whole process seem even sketchier.

Yes, it is sketchy as heck and it's a 100% crap shoot. If it works for you, then that's great, but please don't criticize other suffering people who aren't buying into it or who have  valid fears.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Kizzie on December 23, 2016, 04:14:11 PM
Hi BrokenDollMagnet  :heythere:    I went through quite the range of meds before landing on one that worked for me too.  I have paradoxical reactions to a lot of meds so for example an anti-anxiety med like Ativan would make me really anxious.  :Idunno:   In the end though I went from being severely depressed and having major EFs to being able to function once I found the right med.  It allowed me to get going in recovery and begin to face a lot of trauma slowly and in small chunks that I could tolerate. 

I agree that medication is definitely a great help for some people, it certainly is for me, but it may not be for others for a variety of reasons and that's OK.  We are all different and that's what makes the community helpful, sharing our own experiences and thoughts and letting others decide for themselves what is best for them.

Very glad for you that you did find the right med(s)  :hug:
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: MyselfOnline on December 24, 2016, 09:28:22 AM
If the diagnosis feels right, and the evidence for the drug is good, I have greater confidence. I used to feel similarly to you, I'd happily take a one-off pill (like a sleeping tablet) but long-term course of treatment felt false, too much of an imposition on my consciousness.

I've tried psychiatric drugs --- the effect was not dramatic. They turned out not to be of any use. One felt noticeably pleasant to take at first, one was hard to stick at for the first week or two.

If you feel the doctor has a robust thought-process for recommending one (not just a general, 'here, why not try this?') then you might not need to worry about some part of you being overridden -- if the pill doesn't end up making you feel more like yourself and how you feel you should feel, you could ease of it again -- at least, my doctors have always been helpful and understanding in that respect.

Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Candid on January 27, 2017, 01:17:19 PM
There is a part of me that wants medication.  It's the part of me that wants someone else to fix things for me.  The part of me that wants someone to really see that I have a serious problem.

Yes, I want that kind of acknowledgment, too... but not through meds. The hope of being heard and believed is what drives me back to therapist after therapist. Those who actually 'get' it are gold. There's some crisis relief in being believed and eliciting some sympathy, but nothing seems to change for me no matter what I do. Also, I do a runner if they insist I be medicated.

Quote
Not taking medication is not a sign that I don't have a problem; it's just that I don't think they are going to work. 

Haha, you cynic you! I absolutely concur. In fact I find the notion that a daily pill is going to make my history and current circumstances in any way acceptable boggles my mind. IMO, any substance that made this look okay would be dangerous. But psych meds are, aren't they? This time last year I was being medicated against my will so I'm now even more cautious in what I say to therapists.

Quote
I don't feel as bad about shorter acting things like stimulants and coffee, because I can use them to get through a day and if it's a bad idea I can move on from it, and also because I can recognize that I"m not trying to fix my life with drugs. 

I'm the same.

Quote
Giving up  on life is  a bad habit and I keep indulging in it because it feels good for a few minutes.

It definitely has its place. I just read something in the 'bad day' section and wanted to say "give up" but thought it would be misconstrued. I can only sit with my distress for so long and then I let go, stop acting happy (my friends are few and my social activity almost zero, so that's easy) and just wallow. I'm not here to win popularity polls or do anything anyone else thinks I should be doing. Done too much of that over the years...
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Three Roses on January 27, 2017, 02:45:47 PM
I am one for whom medication has been an outstanding aid to helping me feel good enough to actively participate in healing.

I feel more like myself, have more energy and a somewhat brighter outlook. It's by no means a cure-all and I still have a ways to go, and hope someday to not need meds, but until then I feel better on than off of them. :)
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Kizzie on January 27, 2017, 05:06:53 PM
As my earlier post outlined, I too am someone whom medication has helped tremendously.  It took me from one ongoing awful EF, hiding in my closet drinking to get through the day (not kidding unfortunately), to being back to work, to be better able to look at the trauma and pain I have endured rather than succumb to it, and begin to process and integrate it.  Please understand that I am not advocating that everyone should take medication, I am simply trying to add some balance to this discussion. I think we can all agree it is a good thing for some and not for others.

FWIW I have three suggestions when making a decision about whether to take medication and what type:
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: radical on January 27, 2017, 05:56:11 PM
I was talking with a psychiatrist/psychopharmacologist/researcher recently.  He was saying that he believed that anti-depressants can help promote psychological healing,  and improve mood and emotional resilience, but not because they remedy purported deficiencies in neurotransmitters like serotonin, as was once believed to be the case, but to the extent that they increase (in some people) BDNF (brain dervied neurotropic factor).
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_factor  He also said that anti-depressants are pretty primitive in increasing it, and in future, drugs based on existing drugs that are much better at increasing BDNF will be available to heal the brain, and promote neuroplasticity.  They wont need to be taken every day, and they wont work by sedating us or making us feel less.

This is particularly relevant for cPTSD because it is characterised by deficits in neural connectivity.  This loss of connectivity is caused by the damage associcated with long-term stress. BDNF promotes the growth of white matter (the connections between neurons) (and to a lesser extent the growth of new neurons, and is therefore the most important chemical involved in neuroplasticity.

He said that anti-depressants can be helpful for some people in healing from psychological injuries, but only to the extent that they increase BDNF, and this varies between individuals.

When they work, psychotherapy and other modes of healing can create new neural pathways and prune back dysfunctional circuits. We can learn to feel and function better.   We can learn to let go of the methods we used that allowed us to survive trauma, but which stop us from thriving in a post-traumatic world, and can close us off from enriching and healing experiences including healthy relationships.  Our abililty to do this depends, in part, on the extent to which our brains are able to "rewire".  It also depends on being away from the severe stressors that continue to inflict damage to our brains, and learning healthy methods of de-stressing from every-day stressors.

The reason I'm trying, and posssibly failing, to explain what we were talking about, is that many people don't benefit from anti-depressants at all.  I'm one of them.  They make me feel and function worse than I do without them.  Also, anti-depressants are just one thing that increases BDNF.  Exercise, a healthy diet, some dietary supplements, some drugs, relaxation, intermittent fasting (as part of a healthy diet) good sleep, sunlight, and every kind of  mental stimulation via new learning, cause it to increase.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Kizzie on January 28, 2017, 05:49:13 PM
Great info Radical.  I can feel a difference in how I function after going through the neurofeedback which essentially does what you are suggesting - increases connectivity in the brain so that it functions more fully.  FWIW I liken having unprocessed trauma to a  record that has a scratch and the needle gets stuck playing the same thing over and over. The connectivity helps with getting us out of that groove by having more of the brain to process the trauma.

I just wanted to add to my post that I had to try a few different medications before landing on one that worked so the type of med can make a big difference. And when I say worked, I don't mean my CPTSD was gone, it was just that the over-reactivity (getting stuck in that emotional groove), I was experiencing was quietened enough that I could focus on therapy and getting well.   
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: KestrelsFlight on March 20, 2017, 05:50:33 PM
Personally I believe that it is okay and maybe healthy to be cautious or fearful about taking any medication designed to mess with our brains. I am weaning myself off of one drug now because of side effects. I am determined to tackle my anxiety, sleeplessness and physical symptoms without prescription drugs. That is why I am on this forum.

Too many people, things and past events have messed with my mind. I don't need drugs to fog me up any further.
I understand.

Kate
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on March 20, 2017, 10:04:42 PM
Thank you radical that is v interesting
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: silentrhino on March 21, 2017, 03:37:29 AM
I have to say that my  psych meds have saved my life.  My anxiety and OCD were crippling me, I became agoraphobic and had so many panic attacks I ended up in the ER multiple times convinced I was dying.  After refusing meds for over 10 years I made the decision to take a SSRI, I also take Xanax at times.  My whole life changed for the better and I feel like I am actually the me I was before the severe mental symptoms of C PTSD took over my life.  That being said, I still have severe symptoms, but I am know they are nothing like the * I used to live in before.  Before the meds my suicidality was severe and I was so close to the edge.  I am forever grateful something like this helps me. I'm not scared at all, just thankful.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on March 21, 2017, 09:31:03 PM
Hi silent rhino this is my experience too ..
The difference between being on ssri and not is tremendous,
I can relate to the anxiety, OCD and suicidal content
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Donna on August 23, 2017, 12:02:44 PM
Yes, I am wary of any psychotropic drugs & would not take any of them. 
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Three Roses on August 23, 2017, 12:40:52 PM
I've been on a popular SSRI for a long time and probably would not be here without it. As I said in another thread, we cannot tell others what to do - we can only share our own personal experiences.

Here's a link to our Guidelines if you'd like to see them - http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=1616.0

Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Kizzie on August 23, 2017, 04:11:07 PM
I'm in the "the right med really helped me" camp.  When I say "right" med I was on one for decades that did little other than to help me keep my head above water.  Then when I feel apart about 4  years ago a psychiatrist switched me to another SSRI and I began to feel comfortable in my own skin for the first time ever.  I am not advocating everyone take meds though, I'm just suggesting they can be helpful, even a life saver for some of us.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Lingurine on August 23, 2017, 04:37:23 PM
Meds did help me too. At a certain point I realized I needed help to disentangle my brain a bit. We are all different, so for everyone is a different solution.

Lingurine
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: silentrhino on August 28, 2017, 12:43:08 AM
I was just reviewing this thread, I think it's interesting that so many people have the same struggles.  I always felt I was so alone but after so many decades and the advance of technology I realize I'm not.  I don't think anyone can advocate meds or not for another person, but it's just kind of sad that our lives and life experiences put us in the same place where we are experiencing similar psych problems across continents and time zones. Maybe if we had not been abused in the first place we would have no reason to reach out and contact each other. I am thankful for all the kindness I have experienced on this site, it is not something I am familiar with in a personal way.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Slackjaw99 on September 01, 2017, 02:00:52 AM
Understand that it is in BIG PHARMA's interest in profit motive to keep us dependent on the 'latest and greatest' anti-psychotic/depressant that partially masks symptoms. I say "partially" because if symptoms are eliminated completely, then there'd be no market for the "next generation" multi-billion dollar "miracle" drug.  BIG PHARMA not only has no interest in developing medications to cure the root cause, they actively and clandestinely attack areas of research that do show promise of entirely eliminating symptoms and need for BIG PHARMA meds such as neurofeedback, TMS and psychedelic assisted therapy.

Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: WandaGershowitz on September 15, 2017, 03:27:24 AM
I'm struggling tremendously with this issue right now. My therapist has suggested looking into medication several times, and I've come very close to getting an evaluation for meds from a psychiatrist, but have not been able to follow through yet.  I've discussed to my therapist many of the same fears that others expressed here - side-effects, the problematic nature of the pharmaceutical industry, and probably most of all,  the fear that the psychiatrist will dismiss my concerns. I've had more than my share of bad experiences with GPs who are sarcastic and dismissive with injuries or other physical health issues (I'm beginning to understand that this is a common experience for women), and have seen similar things happen to other women in my family. I've also been misdiagnosed a few times (non-mental health), and have had bad reactions to both conventional OTCs and prescriptions. My partner, who has been taking medication for the past three years, also thinks I should be on medication, and would likely not be supportive if I chose not to commit to medication if it were prescribed.

I've been able to manage anxiety in the past with regular exercise, a good diet, and supplements. Strategies I learned in therapy also helped to reduce the anxiety, but I'm at a transition point in my career/education, and am finding some big decisions very difficult to confront. I also had a minor head injury about six months ago, and while it wasn't as serious as it could have been, it left me feeling like I'd taken several steps back in my therapy journey.

There is something that seems kind of disempowering to me about taking psychiatric meds. When I take actions on my own, whether it's diet and exercise, yoga and meditation, or alternative treatments, I get a strong sense of satisfaction and genuinely decreased symptoms. However, I understand that not everyone can just "pull themselves out of it," and that there might be other issues I'm avoiding because my management strategies just aren't enough. I'm at the point where thinking about this, and the possibility of disappointing my therapist (which I know is irrational) is exacerbating the anxiety.
I don't fault or look down on anyone who finds benefit in medication, and I greatly appreciate all of the experiences and perspectives that others have shared here.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Candid on September 15, 2017, 07:06:05 AM
Your post makes great sense to me, Wanda.  Of all the doctors, counsellors etc. I've consulted, psychiatrists have been the most dismissive and the most likely to misdiagnose.  Obviously the one I saw involuntarily was the worst, but generally speaking they don't want to listen to the inner experience but focus entirely on judging outward appearance, speech and mannerisms. Since psyche means soul, I find their attitude hard to comprehend as well as very hard to take.

I think you're on the right track with exercise , diet, supplements and anxiety-reduction strategies, and I get what you're saying about the sense of being in control. I have a great horror of being the kind of woman who needs fistfuls of pills to get through the day.  I'm another one with a head injury, although mine was two years ago.  It can take a very long time to recover from that. I understand how the knowledge that "it could have been worse" blasts confidence, because I was just going about my normal routine when I tackled the tarmac with my head.  I could easily have died that day, and that's robbed me of a lot of my nerve,

Quote
There is something that seems kind of disempowering to me about taking psychiatric meds.

That's exactly how I feel.  And while I realise all drugs (and all foods) circulate regularly through the brain, psychiatric meds strike me as particularly scary because they are intended to change brain chemistry.  The long lead-in times and the necessity to wean off afterwards makes it a major commitment, and you want to be certain it's going to help... or at least not make things worse.

Seems to me difficult decision-making means the options are equally bad or equally good.  Often I wrestle with one so long that it makes itself, because other options have time limits.  When there's no rush to decide, I've noticed it's far better to wait and gather information than it is to go off half-cocked.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: WandaGershowitz on September 16, 2017, 04:07:22 AM
Thank you so much, Candid, for your kind words, empathy, and for sharing your experiences. I'm so sorry you suffered a head injury, too. For me, it was (and remains) a surreal and emotionally as well as physically traumatic experience, and also happened in a totally banal way.

... psychiatric meds strike me as particularly scary because they are intended to change brain chemistry.  The long lead-in times and the necessity to wean off afterwards makes it a major commitment, and you want to be certain it's going to help... or at least not make things worse.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. I was definitely wary of medication before the head injury, but since then, I'm terrified to interrupt whatever healing remains, and I can't bring myself to trust doctors. I also understand that, like you said, many things influence our brain chemistry, but when I experience anxiety and/or depression I often feel like my brain just needs rest and quiet. The thought of flooding it with chemicals, when it feels like I need a break from overstimulation, is pretty unappealing. I'm still planning to meet with a psychiatrist at an integrative facility, and hopefully they will be able to prescribe treatment (either conventional or alternative) that suits my needs. It's comforting and empowering, however, to know that I have the option to refuse treatment if it doesn't feel right, and I don't have to accept diagnoses from doctors who don't take my concerns seriously. 
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Lilfae on September 16, 2017, 08:49:59 AM
A lot of people have answered this thread already, but I wanted to throw in my own two cents and experiences.

First off, I live in Norway, which one of the worlds strictest countries when it comes to taking in pharmasueticals. And no doctors here recieve extra money for using one drug over another.

When I first got in contact with the psychiatric world I got medicated. I've tried a lot of anti depressants, anxiety, mood stabilizers, anti psychotic. I haven't tried everything,  but sometimes it feels that way. At one point they over medicated me and I had 18 pills a day of various sorts. Needless to say, I was catatonic and a zombie.  Thinking back on it now it was malpractice. 
I don't really remember if they had any affect on my depression at the time, but it reduced my suicidal tendencies. And they lowered my anxiety levels to a manageable state.  But I gained weight.  I gained 20kg. Which is a lot. I was already overweight and struggled (still do) deeply with body contempt.
When I finally got my mind "turned on " again I refused medical treatment except for Sobril. I was too ashamed of my body and I couldn't handle it getting any bigger. I've got a hormonal imbalance that affects my ability to lose weight.

But I do know people that needs medication. They do not function at all without them. And at times even barely functions with them.
And I can get behind the thought that medications should only be used for short amount of time, to give you a buffer through the darkest hours.

Besides Sobril (which is an anxiety medication with close to no side effects  - I've had none. Is also highly addictive and here you're not supposed to stay on it for more than 3 months) I've not had any medications for the past 13 years until last winter when I had a deep breakdown. I was too weak to object against medication,  but also I needed to sleep.  I had slept for 2-3 hours a night for 3 months before I said yes. It was bliss to be able to sleep again. But the weight increases..and after 6 months I said no more.

I understand you are scared and sceptical.  It does change the chemistry in your brain, but I do think in most cases the docs just want you to experience some relief and to come to a point where you can be receptive to therapy. And sometimes our chemistry has been changed to abnormal and the pills are supposed to rectify it.

I know this was a lot of back and forth.  Ultimately it is your decision.  It will be hard and rough going in therapy.  And sometimes I wonder if it would have been easier if I had said yes to it. 
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: Candid on September 17, 2017, 11:03:53 AM
I was definitely wary of medication before the head injury, but since then, I'm terrified to interrupt whatever healing remains, and I can't bring myself to trust doctors.

Indeed, sister!  For years I took various anti-depressants on a short-term basis, dropping them cold turkey because I perceived no positive result, and feeling better (as you say, more empowered) off them than on.  For the past year I've been homeless but not on the street, my meagre personal belongings in storage, and in a fraught domestic situation.  In that time I've taken four or five prescribed drugs, the first ones ADs that served only to make matters worse, more recently two Z-pills that failed to knock me out in safe doses, plus an over-the-counter antihistamine that usually flattens me and that the psychiatrist said was harmful to the brain :roll:.  That one I still take when I'm desperate, because as you will appreciate, weeks of getting at best five hours -- and often none -- makes literally everything fall apart. The AH prevents lying awake in anguish over lying awake, but it's a dreamless black hole that leaves me reeling in the mornings and well under par mentally until I face the issue of bedtime again.

I believe the fastest way out of my current acute insomnia would be a couple of weeks in a luxury health resort with good food, congenial company, gentle exercise, sumptuous massages and a comfortable bed in a well-ventilated room.  Dream on, Candid!  I had a week in such a place three years ago (a close friend paid for us both) and it was fantastic while it lasted -- but obviously you need a decent environment to go to afterwards.

Quote
when I experience anxiety and/or depression I often feel like my brain just needs rest and quiet. The thought of flooding it with chemicals, when it feels like I need a break from overstimulation, is pretty unappealing.

I agree.  I recently did a Living With Brain Injury course and it was repeatedly made clear to us that sleep was vital to healing from stroke or traumatic brain injury.  They told us -- none of whom was working -- to take a nap every afternoon.  As it happens, today is the second anniversary of coming off my pushbike while careering downhill, and landing on the right side of my head.  Two years ago I was in hospital, and had still to face the decision for surgical reconstruction that could have blinded my right eye but didn't, soon to be followed by psychosis that put me in hospital for three months. During that time, not only was I filled with inappropriate  drugs; I was woken several times through the night by Suicide Watch, which would continue during the day if I went back to bed.  Most of the other inmates slept through it, but hypervigilance ensures no one can ever catch me asleep no matter what I've taken.  For example, I was writing in bed by torchlight almost immediately after surgery under anaesthetic.

Quote
I'm still planning to meet with a psychiatrist at an integrative facility, and hopefully they will be able to prescribe treatment (either conventional or alternative) that suits my needs.

That sounds wonderful :cheer:.  And expensive  :'(.

Quote
It's comforting and empowering, however, to know that I have the option to refuse treatment if it doesn't feel right, and I don't have to accept diagnoses from doctors who don't take my concerns seriously.

I have that too, and I'm running through the options rather quickly.  The latest assessment (by a psychologist I liked straight away) said that while I had been through a long list of major traumas, I showed no symptoms of PTSD and was being discharged from the Trauma Service in which I'd been waiting for help since February.  The woman knew about CPTSD and agreed I had it, but in her written report to my GP she didn't use the C once, and made only a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to ACE.  I don't know what will happen next, but I strongly suspect... nothing. 

Both she and a female GP (I see a different one each time I go to the same NHS surgery) expressed great concern when they saw my haggard face and heard me say I was 'sleeping' with my eyes open and while walking around, including crossing busy roads.  The psychologist was nearly two weeks ago and the GP some time before that.  Since then I've done the first of eight weeks as an intern, which may or may not lead to paid work that would eventually get me somewhere to live, and I'll be on the job again tomorrow. 

Possibly I'm still too coherent for anyone to believe that the past several weeks have been like one very long day with occasional brief naps.  I've emailed the neuroscience department of the nearest university, outlining my situation and offering myself for whatever research they might be doing on cerebral activity.  That was 10 days ago, and no reply.

I think it would be a shame, to put it mildly, if I segued straight from this into early-onset dementia in a nursing home  -- but with no solution in sight I can't rule that out.

My self-talk includes: Hold on, little soldier.  Never give up.  You'll get out of this by your own efforts alone, and the triumph will be all the sweeter for that.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: WandaGershowitz on September 19, 2017, 02:45:58 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about your situation, but I admire you for having the strength to encourage yourself and keep going. 

I believe the fastest way out of my current acute insomnia would be a couple of weeks in a luxury health resort with good food, congenial company, gentle exercise, sumptuous massages and a comfortable bed in a well-ventilated room.  Dream on, Candid!  I had a week in such a place three years ago (a close friend paid for us both) and it was fantastic while it lasted -- but obviously you need a decent environment to go to afterwards.

Quote
when I experience anxiety and/or depression I often feel like my brain just needs rest and quiet. The thought of flooding it with chemicals, when it feels like I need a break from overstimulation, is pretty unappealing.

I agree.  I recently did a Living With Brain Injury course and it was repeatedly made clear to us that sleep was vital to healing from stroke or traumatic brain injury.  They told us -- none of whom was working -- to take a nap every afternoon.  As it happens, today is the second anniversary of coming off my pushbike while careering downhill, and landing on the right side of my head.  Two years ago I was in hospital, and had still to face the decision for surgical reconstruction that could have blinded my right eye but didn't, soon to be followed by psychosis that put me in hospital for three months. During that time, not only was I filled with inappropriate  drugs; I was woken several times through the night by Suicide Watch, which would continue during the day if I went back to bed.  Most of the other inmates slept through it, but hypervigilance ensures no one can ever catch me asleep no matter what I've taken.  For example, I was writing in bed by torchlight almost immediately after surgery under anaesthetic.

Quote
I'm still planning to meet with a psychiatrist at an integrative facility, and hopefully they will be able to prescribe treatment (either conventional or alternative) that suits my needs.

That sounds wonderful :cheer:.  And expensive  :'(.

Without going into detail about my personal political ideology, everything you described just reaffirms for me that quality of life is deeply class-segregated. I'm grateful to have a roof over my head and a crappy but more or less steady job, but am still living below the poverty line and without health insurance in the US, so whatever treatment I get will unfortunately mean taking on some debt. I'm hoping it will be worthwhile. It's appalling to think that even in a country (presumably the UK?) with universal health care, you still have to account for the opportunity costs of simply being mortal. I've also had doctors make useless recommendations that I simply couldn't afford, so I ultimately couldn't get meaningful treatment for the complaint that brought me to them in the first place. There are also plenty of people here who go bankrupt or die because they can't afford treatment - for example, the father of a friend of mine nearly died from an easily treated dental infection because his insurance company refused to pay for it, so my friend took out a personal loan to pay for the surgery.  I'd like to hope that my generation and younger will help to build a society that recognizes the societal and moral costs of monetizing health, and provides meaningful care for everyone who needs it.

Your self-talk is inspiring, and I sincerely hope you find rest, shelter, and well-paid work very soon. Thank you so much again for sharing your experiences.
Title: Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
Post by: WandaGershowitz on September 19, 2017, 03:21:53 AM
Thank you for sharing your experiences, Lilfae. I totally understand where you are coming from, and I appreciate you including the fact that you live in a country that regulates pharmaceutical drugs strictly. I'm sure most people outside the US are aware of how bad it is to be sick here, but I think this is a really important distinction to make, as pharmaceutical companies can advertise pretty freely on TV and in print, and often give doctors expensive incentives like vacation vouchers, tickets to sports games, etc. to prescribe their drugs. My parents are medical professionals, and to their credit, always refused these kinds of 'gifts' from pharmaceutical representatives. Pharmaceutical companies also have one of the biggest lobbies in the country, and have a fairly clear influence on our politics.

All of these things, plus my own personal history make me pretty afraid of psychiatric drugs, but I do understand that there are people (including many of my friends) who benefit from them. Most friends I've spoken to feel that the benefits outweigh the costs or side-effects for them, and I would never try to lecture them or tell them to stop.

 
I don't really remember if they had any affect on my depression at the time, but it reduced my suicidal tendencies. And they lowered my anxiety levels to a manageable state. 
 
When I finally got my mind "turned on " again I refused medical treatment except for Sobril. I was too ashamed of my body and I couldn't handle it getting any bigger. I've got a hormonal imbalance that affects my ability to lose weight.

But I do know people that needs medication. They do not function at all without them. And at times even barely functions with them.
And I can get behind the thought that medications should only be used for short amount of time, to give you a buffer through the darkest hours.


Yes, I can absolutely see how the medication helped to give you a 'boost' to get out of the depression - this is something my therapist has suggested to me several times. What I struggle with a lot is knowing if my anxiety/depression is "severe" enough to necessitate medication, or if I'm just in denial about it. My hope is that a short period on medication would be the most that I need to help with my anxiety, and that after that, I'd be able to manage it on my own with continued therapy, diet, and exercise.  It's really encouraging to hear that you were able to stop taking the meds, although, like I said, I don't fault others for taking them long-term if it gives them relief and allows them to live productive and happy lives. Thank you so much again for sharing your experiences.