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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4274
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I have had anxiety and ocd disorders since the age of 12. I

Customer Question

I have had anxiety and ocd disorders since the age of 12. I was brought up in an alcoholic family. At the age of 38 I finally realized I couldn't control everything. I began counseling for several years. Eleven years ago I lost my 17 year old son in a car accident. I am now a 2 year tnbc survivor. I was in a high stress job and left my position. I worked to hard to come through all my treatments to jeopardize my health. The type of chemo did leave me with some issues. I can no longer multitask. I have to check and recheck my figures for errors. Not helpful with ocd. My husband and I planned to sell our antique collections when we retired. He has retired from 30 years of teaching high school. I am not working. Something I wished for many years. I have rented an area in an antique co-'ll. I really enjoy it. However I have been living on adrenalin which kept my mind busy. Not being that busy is hard because the ocd starts Will my cancer return. Will I go crazy because I'm home. I get so angry because this is what I've wanted to do for so many years. My husband and I have been married for 34 years and are very happy with our time together. I don't want my days to be filled with obsessive thoughts. Life is precious. I can't spend the rest of my life on a treadmill as to not allow myself to control my ocd. I don't want to be so in tune with my thoughts. I take 200mg of Zoloft daily. I see a counselor but I'm not sure how that is working. I do all the talking. I have a script for klonopin .05mg to 1 mg as needed for anxiety. I have always feared medications. So I don't take it to often. When I do I will take 1/2 of the .05mg. But I will fight myself all day about should I or shouldn't take it. For someone with ocd living through the loss of a child and cancer I know I have strength but this battle is tiring. I don't expect life to be stress free. But I am disgusted in myself that I am wasting time questioning my ability to be home and finally do what I looked forward to. When I take 1/2 0.05 mg I feel much better. Never took more than that in a course of a day. CN this become addictive if you don't take it every day. I need to stop second guessing myself. Thank you nancy
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 8 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you have these symptoms of OCD and for what you have been through during your life, I can understand how this can be distressing for you

Dr. Z :

So you wanted to ask if the Klonopin can be addictive if you do not take it every day. Yes it can be still addictive for some people, as this is a very physically addicting medication, but because you are taking such a low dose and not all the time, most likely it will be addictive for you as the current dosage and for how often you take the medication

Dr. Z :

I also wanted to ask you, you mention that you are seeking therapy for your symptoms of OCD, is this with a therapist that specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Customer:

No. You also answered that this will be addictive. Is this correct

Dr. Z :

I said it can be addictive even for some people that take the medication infrequently, but is does not happen often. I believe you are at a low risk for you being addicted to it because you are at a low dosage in combination of not taking it everyday.

Dr. Z :

Now if you take this dosage every day also, most likely you would not have severe withdrawal symptoms anyway. Most people have the severe withdrawal symptoms when they are taking much higher dosages (around 2-3mg) of this medication everyday for years.

Dr. Z :

So you should not worry about the potential addictiveness of this medication at the current dosage

Customer:

Thank you for that. Do you have any recommended reading or techniques for stopping the looping that is so tiring

Dr. Z :

You mean for your symptoms of OCD? Well the best treatment and most evidence based treatment for OCD is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen. So I believe that these treatment books can be helpful for you.

Dr. Z :

Also I wanted to add, if the Zoloft is not as effective for your symptoms of OCD as you would like, you can consider switching to another SSRI antidepressant called Lexapro that is more effective and usually has less side effects too.

Dr. Z :

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Dr. Z :

I see that you are offline right now, but if you would like to discuss this question further please feel free to respond in the chat box and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible. If I answered your question satisfactorily I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Customer:

Is this a good transition from Zoloft. I have been taking this for 15 years. I am afraid it wouldn't work as well. I was one of these stubborn people that thought I could beat this with chamomile tea!

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4274
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 8 months ago.
Yes they are both SSRI antidepressants so the transition is very seamless between them. I understand why you think it may not work well for you, I just want to give you different options and Lexapro is more recent than the Zoloft and has been shown in studies to be a better medication too. If you want to stick with the Zoloft, then you can also add a low dose of Buspar to it as that is an anti-anxiety medication and can lower your anxiety effectively and possibly your OCD symptoms as well. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

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