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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5460
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate, Im feeling better today than even yesterday. Remember

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Kate, I'm feeling better today than even yesterday. Remember me wishing I could feel at least two days in a row good? Here's it's been four!!

Don't worry, Kate, Dr. Hernz is going to help me until the end, including weaning off Xanax. I trust him and he has knowledge that I don't. I'm sure I'm not the only one who he's ever helped through this. I'd even go into rehab if I had to. I've gotten myself off Xanax before but it takes forever and ever. A neurologist gave me a plan years ago but I'd rather Hernz have to listen to all my complaints....;-)

But, this is a question I don't understand. If this is a med that me or someone else has to take for the rest of their life, what is so bad about it? Can't wait to hear your answer. I was just told by a friend that her endroconologist told her never to take anything but brand name Synthnroid. The generic should never have been put on the market, it's caused so many problems.

You'll enjoy Roy Lessen. There's something about the way he writes that catches my heart.

Until I hear from you,
God bless,
Rita

But why
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita,

 

I am very glad to hear that you are feeling so much better! You felt so discouraged for a while and it's nice that you can feel good, and for longer than just a few days. It also means that you have hope that you will continue to feel good. God is there for you and hears both of us in prayer.

 

That is a very good question about taking the Xanax the rest of your life. Xanax is considering a fast acting, short term drug. It binds to the gamma amino butyric acids or GABAs, the natural tranquilizers in your brain, and it increases their ability to act as a tranquilizer so you feel calm and your inhibitions are lowered.

 

There are two main issues with taking Xanax long term. One, it is considered an addicting drug so you become dependent on it very quickly and withdrawal is very difficult. Withdrawal is long term as you mentioned, and it must be done with a doctor's help. The side effects of quick withdrawal are anxiety, depression, rapid breathing, depression and possibly seizures.

 

The other issue with taking Xanax long term is your body's ability to adapt to the drug and therefore you need more and more as time goes on to maintain the same effect you got when you first took it. Because of this, you can quickly escalate into full blown dependence and rehabilitation could be needed to wean you off.

 

That is not to say that would happen to you. But when I saw the amount you were taking, I felt the need to mention it to you. I know you are under a doctor's care but I would be remiss in my responsibility to you to not say anything. I wanted to be sure you were fully informed so you can make the best decisions for yourself.

 

I hope that helped. Let me know what you think,

 

Take care!

Kate

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5460
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, I'm really scared about titering down from the Xanax I'm on now when my thyroid starts working and I'll have no choice. I trust my psy but we've never discussed it...afraid to I think.

 

Can you give me some positive things to think about regarding Xanax? I'm already on it and you know I have been for years. I can't go back and undo what's already been done. Is there any hope for me? I can't wait to see my psy doc on Tuesday. But in the meantime any reasurrance you can give me?

 

My family carries around Dr. Hernz's telephone number plus the amount of Xanax I'm on in case I should be in an accident or have a stroke, heart attack...where I can't talk. They know the importance of letting the hospital personal know what I'm taking. I certainly don't want to go into withdrawal and no one know what's wrong.

 

Lord, Kate, I'm really scared. With the doctor's help will I be able to wean down without too much agitation and pain?

 

God bless,

Rita P.S. Maybe the Rapture will take place before I have to deal with this problem <just joking> but seriously, I am going to have to put my trust and faith in God with this one, aren't I?

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I hear you and completely understand. You are facing recovery and it's an uphill climb. Anyone would feel the same in your situation.

 

But you are not like everyone else. That much I can tell you for sure. And be encouraged because of it. You are strong. You are not running from this but instead facing it with determination. You are asking for help which is a sign that you are being smart and you know that if you have support, you will not be beat.

 

You are looking at this monster in the face and saying your going to beat it. And you will. Coming off Xanax, like any other drug, is a matter of patience and determination. But you are not short on those things. And you have me and your doctors. You have your family. You are not alone. We will all help.

 

Yes, I believe that with your doctor's help this will be a lot easier. He will guide you and adjust your medication as needed. It is always recommended that any Xanax withdrawal is done with a doctor's help because they know what to do to make it safe and easier.

 

And you have the best weapon of all, God. He will never let you down. "Although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil....." God is with you and will help you. Pray and pray some more. I will also pray for you. God says when two or more pray, he listens. Surround yourself with your favorite verses, books and other materials. Keep in touch with your pastor. Have places to turn to listed and nearby. Bookmark sites on the internet you feel help. All of those things will get you through.

 

In all remember, you are strong and you will get through this. God never gives us more than we can handle with His help.

 

Keep in touch with me and let me help you through this.

 

I will pray for you.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5460
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, when you replied that with my doctor's help it will be much easier, I was able to take a deep breath again. Of course you're right! I swear I'm a glutton for punishment...now I'm worrying about something that's still weeks ago.

 

The mistake I made was going on Google. That's it - I have to control myself. Of course not one reply or answer was from a doctor but someone I don't even know who did it on his own or repeated some story he heard, true or not.

 

Thanks for your words of encouragement. They mean a lot to me. A lot of what you've said has gotten me to stop over-dramazing something I have no control over and start acting like a person who does have control over a lot, even in this event,...I have control over how I respond, if nothing else. Up until last week all I was doing was reacting and nothing changed. I'm a little ansty today, nothing unexpected considering my thyroid is still not where it should be.

 

Another wonderful thing that shows us God is in this with us. You quoted part of the 23rd Psalm. That is the psalm I started last week quoting outloud quietly to myself as I fall asleep. That and The Lord's Prayer. It keeps my mind centered and away from thoughts about my situation. I read a good Christian novel on my Kindle until I'm sleepy and then turn out the light and first say my prayers and then start quoting scripture. I think each line through, what it means and I picture myself as a little sheep in His arms. This has helped me quiet down a lot.

 

I still have a way to go - tonight tells me that - but one day at a time will get me where I want to be.

 

God bless,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

It's good to hear that you feel better today! It's very normal to over think things and get anxious. All of us do it. But you did a very smart thing, you got yourself centered. You asked for help and reached out until you felt better. You have much more strength than you give yourself credit for.There are many who would continue to sit and worry without knowing what to do.

 

Most of how we feel when we have anxiety has to do with the messages we give ourselves. Your messages to yourself before now have been making you feel anxious. But now they are ones of calm and focus. Biblical verses, books and prayers, seeking help, and focusing on now are all things that make you feel calm.

 

The internet can be a great place for resources or it can be a dangerous place. Hit or miss. You just never know. I'm sure whatever you read has more to do with hearsay or an experience of someone completing different than you. Plus, people sometimes exaggerate or make a situation sound worse because they crave attention.

 

Your doctor does know what he is doing and he will help you. Xanax is not a new drug and many people have gone through the same experience that you are right now, so there is no shortage of information and knowledge for your doctor to pull from to help you.

 

Kate

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5460
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Nice of you to say I sound so much better today but the truth is late this morning after I posted to you I had an experience that fightened the heck out of me, but then again, how unusual is that!?!

 

My heart started beating so hard that I could see it in my throat while drying my hair,...also felt it big time. Thought and prayed about it and decided it was time to see my family doctor. He was the one who put me on the generic Synthroid and I had a feeling he wouldn't be too pleased that my psych and endo docs took me off. I called every doctor I know and couldn't get one appointment! Obviously the Lord closed each and every door and that's not where he wanted me to go.

 

Even though I swore I would have one week where I didn't call Hernz and almost made it, I thought maybe I better. Again, he was standing right by the phone and was able to speak to me immediately, which always throws me for a loop. He asked when I last had a cardiogram, which was within the year and if I knew how to take my heart rate. Yes, so he suggested once again (and at least three other times and I didn't) for me to take 1/2 Pindolol 5mg. Take my pulse rate first, wait half hour and take it again. This would show whether this was just anxiety as he suspected or something else.

 

Well, of cours it worked. Not bad stuff after all. I do remember him telling me that while the thyroid was adjusting itself (?) I would have times of feeling more anxious than others but that was normal. So here it is 4 weeks and I'm still get bouts of anxiety. I guess my hope of it righting itself in a shorter time is out the window. Now I'm hoping for six weeks instead of eight.

 

How can you put up with people like me? My problem is that I want my way and I want it now and my Lord and Savior has a different plan for me. Truthfully, I am so happy that my problem isn't a much worse one but time is going by and I want it over!!!!

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Oh Rita, you made me laugh. Put up with people like you? I enjoy our talks to the point that I feel guilty about your accepts! You are a joy to work with so please don't feel you are imposing on me at all. This is what God wants me to do with my life and I get great joy out of helping.

 

I have to agree with your doctor. It does sound like anxiety. But with your thyroid issues and the fact that the two can resemble each other so closely, it was good that you called Dr. Hernz and made sure. That is what he is there for and he obviously wants the best for you.

 

One of the best ways of telling if it is anxiety is to allow it to run it's course. Anxiety, because it is caused by adrenaline, will stop after a few moments. You may feel a mild state of anxiety, but any real fear or panic attacks will end. They cannot go on forever because the adrenaline becomes depleted until your body can replace it. So if you feel safe waiting it out and you have all your medical bases covered, you can certainly let it go and see what happens.

 

Also, you may want to try this book: The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne. It is an excellent book that helps break down all the symptoms of anxiety and educates you on what anxiety is, how to recognize it and deal with it. If you find it helpful, keep it on hand with the most comforting pages marked so you can read it when you feel anxious.

 

Yes, anxiety sucks! It is better than cancer but I have also heard anxiety patients say that they suffer so much they almost wish they had cancer. That way, they could know what to do and be proactive in getting rid of it. With anxiety, you have to find your answers and keep trying till you can push through to find relief. It's open ended and not focused. But the answers are there and with how determined you are, I have no doubt you will get overcome your anxiety and one day be free.

 

Kate

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5460
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Lord, Kate, now you have me really scared! The pendolol did work but left me more sedated than I was before I took it. I can't take it any more. Yep, I'm having another bad day.

 

I'm so tired of feeling tired and sedated. It's hot and humid that when you open the door it feels like an oven. What makes me so darn mad is that I'm not feeling like this because I have some disease but because of the medicine I'm taking. Oh, Lord, Kate, I've taken a big step backward today and I have to see him tomorrow.

 

I know this is just False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR) but it sure feels as real as it can get.

 

Tell me, is this the way the thyroid makes one feel until it adjusts itself? What do you do, wake up one morning and your emotions are all in place? No, I know it's not going to be like that. What's going to happen after the thyroid reaches bottom, then they'll start giving me meds and I'll have to wait another 6-8 weeks to feel better. We're talking into November. And don't forget the weaning off Xanax. I can see a long road ahead of me with no end in sight for months ahead.

 

I'm going to have to get off the pity pot and start all over again. I may seem strong to you, Kate, but I'm as weak as a kitten.

 

Please tell me again....have you changed your mind or do you still think I'm going to get better and this is just one of those bad times? I need to know...............

 

God bless,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita, you are ok. You may not feel ok, but you are.

 

What I said about the cancer and anxiety is only an example of understanding how bad you can feel. But that does not mean anxiety is worse than cancer. It is not. Cancer can end your life, anxiety cannot. No one has ever died from feeling anxious or even panic. It would not be one of the easiest to treat diagnosis's if it was so hard to get rid of. It only feels awful and that is what I was alluding to. I am sorry if I scared you. I should have been more clear.

 

You are hitting a spiral and talking yourself into being afraid. Don't go there. You may feel odd, anxious or different, but you are fine. I can tell from what you write and how you write that you are ok. There is nothing that is going to happen to you.

 

You are thinking ahead, loading yourself with anxious thoughts about the future, a future that is not here yet. You cannot predict the future. All you know is right now. Deal with now, let God deal with the rest.

 

The pendolol you are taking can cause excessive tiredness but it does not sedate you. It is a medication that lowers your blood pressure and a natural side effect is drowsiness. If you get some sleep, most of that will wear off.

 

Check in with your doctor about your thyroid symptoms and what is normal for you to experience. Thyroid problems can cause a variety of symptoms depending on your situation. Your doctor would know best what they are for you. But you can control how you react to them. You may feel fearful, but you are ok. What you have cannot hurt you. It is a feeling and that is all.

 

You are not starting at the beginning again. You have made progress and you will not go back. You may have a set back today but you can recover. And you will. Try challenging your worst thoughts. You have been through this before. And survived. You will get through this again.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5460
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much, Kate. You wrote exactly what I needed to hear. But I have a question for you that just came to mind. How come no therapists,doctors, etc. recommend to a person who has depression to try to work their way out of it by changing their thinking but automatically give them meds, yet a person who has uncontrolled panic/anxiety attacks is led to believe it somehow is their fault and if they would only learn to think differently, they could control the attacks? Another words, why are meds sort of frowned upon to control panic/anxiety but isn't for depression?

 

Always wanted to ask that question!

 

Thanks,

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

It depends on the type of depression. Depression sometimes has more to do with chemical reactions in the brain than just your thought patterns. Depression from such things as situational depression or grief are better addressed by therapy, however. Each case is different. Depression, if not treated quickly, can sometimes cause suicidal thoughts or even attempts. Anxiety rarely, if ever, causes someone to commit suicide. Depression is also related to Bipolar, which is chemical in nature and hereditary.

 

Medications are ok with anxiety. They can take the edge off the symptoms if you are having trouble functioning. But anxiety can be addressed better by therapy because it is, in most cases, related to how you think. Another example of the use of medications with anxiety when someone has PTSD or other severe trauma. But for the most part, anxiety is easily curable with therapy.

 

There is nothing wrong with using something like Xanax with anxiety. But it should be coupled with therapy and self help. Once therapy starts to take effect, the medication can be weaned and treatment then becomes fully effective.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5460
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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