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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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Hello. I have been having panic attacks and GAD on and off

Customer Question

Hello. I have been having panic attacks and GAD on and off for 15 years. Started off with my drink being spiked. They are really bad at the moment. Tried so many different treatments (holistic) and counselling, nlp, cbt etc etc. Still to no avail. I have been holding off the anti depressants the doctor prescribed as very concerned they side effects could make the anxiety worse. Sertraline (Lustral) is the name - please could you advise? Many thank. Louise
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
Hello loise 4017 - thanks for visiting JA.

Very often, 'talking therapies' on their own are not the entire answers to problems such as yours, and medication is frequently needed.

Sertraline is commonly presxcribed for anxiety, and many people find it highly effective - so I think your Doctor is off to a good start here.

However, no-one can predict how any givem individual will react to a prticular anxiolytic or anti- depressant drug. The only way to find out is to take it as directed, and if it has undesired side effects - change it. Sertraline is usually well tolerated, and any side effects usually disappear quite quickly. However it is a fact that a small minority of users have noticed increased anxiety, the vast majority finds that th drug acts precisely as desired. Statistically, you will be in that majority. If that is the case, a simple chnge of medication will help. Remember, too, that these medications take a while -up to 4 weeks - to have effect, so expect an immediate change.

If you don't start taking it, you'll never know, and your problem will remain.

So go along with your Doc, and if you are unhappy about anything, tell him exactly what's wrong as soon as you can.

Good luck,

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the quick response. I have already done quite a bit of research on the web already so I guess there is nothing new in your response. From your experience is Sertraline the most prescribed drug - why do doctor's go for that one? Or is it just a case of pot luck? Thanks Louise
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
No Louise - it's not pot luck! When drugs are certified for use, doctors (and the makers, of course) begin to gather data about their effectiveness, how they are tolerated and so on.

As the evidence mounts up, clear favourites begin to emerge, and these tend to be the ones most often prescribed. It could be that your own Doctor's personal experience within the practice leads him to suggest setraline.

As you say, all the info is out there, but sometimes forsomeone outside the field, as it were, it can be confusing and difficult to decide what's the truth. At least to that extent, I hope I have been able to help by giving you an informed opinion.

Best wishes,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi. I did send a reply to the second answer and was hoping for that last bit of feedback before I "accepted". Thanks Louise
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
Happy to accept now?