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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1761
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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I have anxiety with panic. I have been experiencing anxiety

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I have anxiety with panic. I have been experiencing anxiety attacks back again after being fine for over a couple years. The attacks were not going away after two and a half months so I went to my doctor yesterday and he perscribed me 15 mg of buspirone and 0.5 mg of xanax. I never took neither before. I am and have been on lexapro 15mg for four years. Today I took the buspripone as directed a half a tablet. This whole day I have had anxiety so by 3:00pm I tried a half of a Xanax pill. It took and for a while but a felt calmer but by 6:15 the anxiety came back just as strong. I was under the impression this Xanax was strong medication and it has not really made much of a difference for me. I took the other half of the pill at 7:00 pm I'm hoping it will help. Can Xanax not work for some people. Could I be going through something else other than anxiety? It sure feels like it I'm fatigued and feel a heat all over which is how it usually feels. What should I do.
Hi and welcome

If you were fine for a couple if years and the anxiety started up again the xanax should lessen the attacks If you were told to take 1/2 the xanax and it helped for a short period of time then you are probably experiencing anxiety and being anxious begets more anxiety. The xanax works for most, maybe you needed one to start, not half. but that is up to your doctor to decide. Have you every tried any other techniques to help you? Physical exercise works to produce endorphins that will make you feel less anxious. Breathing techniques work if you can stay focused and do them enough, especially on a weekend when you can't get ahold of your doctor! You can trick your brain into thinking you are calm. For right now I would suggest you try some breathing .....regular, in through the nose for 1-2-3-4, hold it 1-2-3-4- and blow out slowly through the mouth 1-2-3-4. If you are in anxious mode your brain is putting out stress hormones, regulated breathing techniques tricks the brain into believing you are calm and stops producing the stress hormones. In addition to this you can distract yourself, use music, dance, watch something funny on TV or a movie something to make you laugh, because like breathing if the brain gets the message you are laughing, smiling then it thinks you are calm...... If you start thinking about your anxiety tell yourself to stop, literally and think about something else (easier said than done I know, takes practice). If you are being medicated without therapy I would suggest you find a cognitive behavioral psychologist to help you learn how to control the anxiety. There are lots of techniques even for those who are most anxious. So the above are "quick fixes", breath, distract and though stopping. Hopefully that will help you get through the weekend. You can also call your doctor even though he may not be available, someone is probably covering for the weekend. Or if it gets too bad you can go to the ER but first take the time to use the techniques and let them do the job for you. I hope this helps.
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Edited by Dr.Keane on 11/1/2009 at 12:26 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi I think your advice was excellent. I have been in therapy and have learned and practiced breathing, muscle relaxation, accepting and floating through the panic and I was doing pretty good. The anxiety would seem to go away . But today the anxiety just seemed to keep coming back after I would settled it down. Boy that can take a toll on your patience fisrt your proud to see your coping skills working but then bam its back. I guess I thought Xanax was so strong it would work longer and better. To tell you the truth I really dont like the idea of taking xanax at all but I was desperate for some relief since the panic was so persistant all day and the past few months. I will next time try the whole pill of xanax if I have the courage to. I feel its not the best choice I agree over coping skills but this is the first time my coping skills have been challenged to this level. Loved your advice certainly the most important things to learn while dealing with the panic cycle is knowlegde and coping skills. I will try my doctor or the hospital if it just gets to hard for me to handle. Thank you.
Glad you have the necessary "tools" and sorry they weren't working today! It's tough and a pain in the neck to have to deal with at any time. If the doctor said it's okay to take a whole pill then do it, right now you just want relief and if that's what it takes, so be it. It's a temporary fix. Sometimes we feel we need to be in control and that by taking a pill we are giving in and for some, that's hard to swallow (pun intended). Sometimes you just have to do what it takes. So give in and let it do it's job, you'll have a better day tomorrow. Again, talking to a therapist make help too!
Good luck.
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