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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5518
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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what would you recommend as a therapist for adding something

Resolved Question:

what would you recommend as a therapist for adding something to my zoloft to help with anxiety when i have it? i'm reading about beta blockers for gad? also if given something like ativan, isn't that habit forming?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hi, and thank you for the request! I am happy to help.

 

It is difficult to recommend a certain medication because any medication you take will work differently for you than it will for someone else. This is because everyone's body chemistry is different. So if one medication works for one person, it may not work for another or it might even cause adverse side effects.

 

What I can do is go through the common medications and let you know the side effects, purpose and type of medication they are. That way, you can make the best choice for you.


Here are some of the more common medications for anxiety:


Xanax (alprazolam)
Klonopin (clonazepam)
Valium (diazepam)
Ativan (lorazepam)


These medications are known as tranquilizers. They help to slow down your system and help produce a calming effect.They are also fast acting. As a result, they are very popular and often the first line of medications tried for someone with anxiety disorder. But they do have unwanted side effects such as slowing down reflexes and thinking ability, making a person feel foggy or even drunk. This can impair a person's ability to function in such situations as driving.


Anti depressants can also be used for anxiety disorders. Prozac is an example of an anti depressant. Others include Zoloft (the one you are taking now), Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa. These work by regulating serotonin levels in the brain to elevate mood. They can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to establish full effect in the blood. Side effects include nausea, sleepiness and weight gain. Withdrawal is also an issue, requiring a doctor's supervision.


Another possible mediation is Buspar. It also works to increase serotonin in the brain like anti depressants do. It takes up to 2 weeks to work. But it has less of a sedating effect than other mediations. It also has low risk of dependence.

 

Ativan is a good option because it can be taken PRN, which means as needed. Taking it on a regular basis is also an option. But it can be addicting so you may not want to try it if you are concerned about becoming dependent on it.

 

What you may want to do is try a different medication in the same medication group than the one you are taking now. It may be that your body has become used to the Zoloft or you need something different to address your symptoms. You can also try another type of anti anxiety medication, but keep in mind the side effects and effectiveness may be different. If you are reacting well to the Zoloft, then staying within that medication group might be the best option for you.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you, XXXXX XXXXX having a hard time telling if zoloft has ran its course or i need something different. i mean if you can be on a med, and still have an episode, which i did a year and a half ago. it's confusing to me how a med that is/was used to get me better didn't protect me from another episode. and i realize the meds obviously don't fix everything so i get discouraged if taking the meds even worked or i just got better on my own.

so know i started taking it again, two weeks later i'm little better and i'm probably being impatient but at what point do you add something, take away, up it. ? etc.

especially since some meds can cause it to be worse. all i need is to become suicidal from a med and have to start all over~! i know that's a negative thought but i'm just

confused i guess. i don't know why i feel like this again, every time i get over an episode i pray i learned from it and won't react the same way again in situations but then i do.

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

If you feel the Zoloft has been working, then you may only need an increase in medication. Your body may metabolize the medication faster than most people and therefore it may not be as effective. Upping your dose will let you know if it is working or not. If not, then you can consider other medications.

 

You may also wan to consider therapy to help you work on why you feel anxious and how you can overcome your symptoms. While medication takes care of helping you function, it does not eliminate your symptoms. They will still be there when you stop the medication. Therapy, however, can reduce or eliminate the symptoms all together so you do not need medication.

 

Thank you ahead of time for your accept!

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5518
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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