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Nancy, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  ABD for a PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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I have constant anxiety, all day. It all started after a

Customer Question

I have constant anxiety, all day. It all started after a traumatic event, where I had the risk of contracting a decease and had to wait for my a while to make sure I was OK. I still worry about the incident even though I know there is nothing to worry about anymore. I have been doing counseling but I dont feel it is really helping me much. I am not taking any medication, nor I want to do it.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Nancy replied 8 years ago.


For anxiety, you can remain in counseling or you can get on medication. Research has shown the people who do best, ***** ***** ones who do both.

Anxiety is a neurochemical dysregulation and is easily treated with 6 months to a year on antianxiety medication. Antianxiety medication is short acting (which is why it is taken everyday).

If counseling is not working, do keep in mind that the anxiety can progress and turn into full blown panic, and the longer you let the anxiety go on, the harder it is to treat.

I'd make sure your cournselor is trained in treating anxiety disorders- CBT is fine for transient anxiety, but if yours is daily, you should be doing serious trigger/relapse prevention work at least twice a week. Daily anxiety that is now lasting all day is bad for your brain - bad for your life.

Personally, I would refuse to treat someone who would not be med compliant - as it is poor self care to not take a medication for an illness. Antianxiety medication is just as indicated for anxiety as insulin is for diabetes. You are setting yourself up for not being able to reverse the neurochemical activity in the brain - and having to live with this untreatable anxiety for the rest of your life.


Nancy and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
What about side effects from the medication. I took klonopin for a month and I got addicted to it. I did a taper to get off it. I also know at SSRI have some unwanted sie effects. Can you elaborae a little more on the trigger/relapse prevention work?
Expert:  Nancy replied 8 years ago.

Medications are prescribed based upon individual symptoms. You would need to see a Psychiatrist (not your regular MD) for an evaluation - they will ask you questions about your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Each answer tells us something about your specific brain activity. People who are shaky have norepinephrine issues, people who can't sleep have serotonin issues... and so on - so what you would take would be based on your exact set of symptoms.

You would probably be given an antianxiety medication (not a benzo like Klonopin, or an SSRI (although those would work)), and everyone has different experiences with side-effects. Some people have none - some people have one or two - it just depends on what you're on.

Triggers are anything that you associate with the initial event which now cause anxious thoughts, feelings or behaviors. After teaching you some relaxation techniques (like diaphramatic breathing), I'd have you list all the triggers you can think of. Opposite the triggers- we'd write down things that counteract your reaction. So, for example, say whenever you see a can of diet coke your heart starts pounding, your thoughts race, you become anxious and upset. I'd have you then practice the breathing technique to counteract the fear reaction - eventually your reaction will change toward cans of diet coke (it's neurochemical - you are changing the brains reaction). This is the trigger part.

For the relapse prevention work, I'd have you bring me a can of diet coke. We'd work with it until you can look at it, hold it, etc without having any reaction whatsoever. We'd write down what works on that sheet of paper and you'd keep that with you to use when you needed it.

Does that help?