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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5508
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello I have just graduated from University and started a

Resolved Question:

Hello
I have just graduated from University and started a new job. While I was at University I severly struggled with my mental health - having taken SSRI's since I was 18 I found that they were beginning to make me feel "high" and agitated - they seemed to work on the depression for a while but then stop working. I stopped citalopram because I was feeling like I was wired, like my body was full of electricity and my thoughts were racing. In time I suffered a deep depression, I felt too anxious to leave where I lived, I felt that I was walking through mud and that I was slowed down. I cried all the time and felt that every movement cost me an effort. I wanted to cry blood and I was in such terrible pain, pain that's indescribable but made me feel that I was on fire that I hurt so much. Mirtazapine sent me sky high, I felt like I was walking with angels and ruled the world. Eventually I was prescribed olanzapine which has taken all this away. I was on 5mg for a few months then cut down to 2.5mg because the sedation I felt was too much, I felt slowed down not in a depressive way but I struggled to make conversation socially because I felt I could not think clearly. I was also incredibly anxious and felt that the medication was bringing my mood down too much. When I moved to my new job I felt extremely low for a few days, and since then I've felt extreme anxiety that the depression will return, to the point where my brain is manufacturing symptoms and I've cut myself. I did a few cartwheels in a cathedral the other day because I felt like I ruled the world, then panicked because my thoughts were racing but that my body was so tired it couldn't move... but am wondering if I manufactured that too.....and I am so anxious that my brain is completely scattered. On the outside I mange my job well but on the inside I feel that my brain has fallen apart...I do meditation every day, I run once a week and I use CBT (live life to the full website). What other options are there for me to manage my anxiety? I've felt this anxious for a year now and I believe it has completely hijacked my brain - it's as if I'm in a constant state of fright and I freeze up when put under any limited amount of pressure. I can't concentrate on the things I used to love and just want to feel myself again.
Thanks,
Alex.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

May I ask- have you been seen for an evaluation and if so, what were you diagnosed with?

Thanks,
Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi


I saw a psychatrist during my last year at college.....she said my diagnosis was unclear. For a few weeks I stopped olanzapine all together and experienced the same lows and feeling wired and agitated but she said it wasn't severe enough to be bipolar.....so I guess my diagnosis sticks at depression and anxiety.


Thanks,


A.

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

A,

Thank you for the additional information. That was my concern, that you might have Bipolar. The ups and downs you experience, particularly the deep depression, may indicate Bipolar. It may be something to consider again if you do not feel better.

On the other hand, anxiety is easy to treat with therapy. In therapy, you learn to pay attention to what you are thinking to make yourself anxious. The therapist then can help you change your thoughts and therefore how your body reacts to your thoughts. You also can learn about how to let yourself float through your anxiety thereby gaining more control over how you feel. To find a therapist, try looking on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/ or http://www.bacp.co.uk/.

Medications are also very helpful. Whenever medications are used for treatment, it is very common for people to need to try at least one or two different medications or more before finding one that helps (as you know). 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. So don't be discouraged. You will find the right medication for you.

Here are some of the more common medications for anxiety (they may have different names where you live):

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.

Anti depressants can also be used for anxiety disorders. Prozac is an example of an anti depressant. Others include Zoloft, 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.

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.


You can also help yourself at home. There are numerous resources to help you learn more about anxiety and how to control your panic. 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

http://helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_treatment.htm

You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.

You can also try relaxation techniques, which can go a long way to help you relax. One such technique is progressive relaxation. Here is a link for more information:

http://www.guidetopsychology.com/pmr.htm

By learning to relax, you can help yourself feel calmer.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi


Thanks for your reply. Do you know if any of the mood stabilisers would be good for this sort of anxiety? I am just concerned because I have reacted really badly to antidepressants in the past - the SSRI's made me feel suicidal - that I have no desire to repeat that again!


Thanks,


A.

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

You may be able to try something like Depekote, which is a mood stabilizer.

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5508
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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