Hi Sue, it's good to hear from you.
I am sorry I did not get back to you sooner. The Just Answer system has been down all morning and though it seems to be back up now, it keeps kicking me out of my account. I hope they will have it all fixed soon.
It can take the Agomelatine several weeks to start helping reduce your symptoms. During this time, you may feel worse because the side effects of the medication start before the medication itself begins to help you. You may want to try to continue treatment as much as you can to help you cope with your symptoms and side effects. Also, you need to let your treatment team know how you are feeling so they can alter treatment as needed to help you.
In comparisions between Olanzapine to Lithium, it depends very much on your specific symptoms. Studies have shown that Olanzapine was just as effective as Lithium in reducing symptoms of mania in Bipolar. Talk to your doctor about comparing the two in your situation and if one would work better for your symptoms than the other.
Keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to medications. What may help one person can cause another person to feel worse. Trying different medications until you find the right one for you is common. I would give the Agomelatine a chance to work but if you continue to get worse tell your doctor you would like to try another medication.
There are many ways to reduce your anxiety. Here are some ways you can work on how you feel:
It helps to know that anxiety is caused by your thoughts. Changing your thoughts and therefore how your body reacts to your thoughts is one techneque to help you feel better. You also can learn about how to let yourself float through your anxiety thereby gaining more control over how you feel. When you feel anxious, you can allow it to flow over you without tensing or panicking in response. This makes the anxiety reduce or go away faster.
There are numerous resources to help you learn more about anxiety and how to control your feelings. Here are some to get you started:
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne is excellent for any fears. It is self help and contains everything from supplements to relaxation techniques.
The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by
Bill Knaus Ed.D. and Jon Carlson Psy.D. Ed.D.
From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett
You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.
You can also use stress reducing techniques to help you feel calmer. Here are some to try:
Exercise- most people has some trouble considering this option because the thought of exercise sounds so unappealing, but exercise serves two purposes: one, it helps you get out your physical energy which gets pent up when you experience strong emotions. And two, you promote good chemicals in your brain (endorphines) which automatically lifts your mood. You can do anything from take a walk to punching the heck out of a punching bag. Picking an activity that you like helps motivate you.
Yelling into a pillow helps, talking to someone about how you feel, writing out your feelings are all ways to express your feelings. Sharing how you feel takes the burden off you and has stress reducing effects.
Guided imagery is also good. Imagine yourself floating through a cloud or in water. Picture yourself on a tranquil beach. Listen to the sounds of the ocean, taste the salt air and smell the breeze. By imaging yourself in these situations. your thoughts will help you relax and you will be more centered.
Listening to music is very helpful. It may sound simple, but music has the ability to change your mood, and you can choose the mood. Classical is relaxing, rock is energy producing, and sad music can help you get in touch with your feelings.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your anxiety, try going out to be around people. Being with others makes you aware of more than just how you feel and brings you out of being too introverted. Plus being out makes time go faster and takes more energy to manage than being in, which can make you sleep better.
I hope you are feeling better soon,