How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
74815544
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Z is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have PTSD, it has become overwhelming, despite the fact

This answer was rated:

hello,
I have PTSD, it has become overwhelming, despite the fact that I go to counseling at the local rape crisis center. I feel sick all the time, I'm sad all the time, I have no energy, I have flash backs. I take Xanax which is prescribed for me, and I am trying to get off of Effexor. It's the old fashioned fast burst dose and it makes me feel strange, I have odd thoughts on it. My anxiety never goes away, when I don't take the Xanax on time, it feels like my heart will explode. This has taken away my quality of life. I know, that I am full of emotion deep down over being raped, but I can not access the feelings. I cry all the time, I think the Xanax holds it down just enough so that I can operate. What am I going to to do. I think I need to go in to the hospital but I am scared. I have PTSD I'm not suicidal or homicidal.
Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are experiencing these symptoms of PTSD, I can imagine how distressing this must be for you

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask you a couple questions to get some more information, so that I can better assist you

Dr. Z :

I understand that you are trying to get off the Effexor, will you be planning on switching to another antidepressant medication?

Dr. Z :

Also what type of therapy are you currently going through? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), or another type of therapy?

Customer:

I think they want me on an ssri

Customer:

I am going to my local rape crisis center for talk therapy

Dr. Z :

Okay, well for the best SSRI medications for anxiety and depression that are linked to PTSD would be Zoloft, Paxil, Lexparo, or Prozac. Also there is another SSRI based medication called Buspar, but has some mild tranquilizer effect that can be very beneficial for anxiety as well. Here is a good link explaining the best medications to treat PTSD.

Dr. Z :

For therapy the best type of therapy to effectively treat PTSD symptoms is called CBT. This therapy is the most evidence based therapy to date and very effective. 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.

Dr. Z :

I can show you some good CBT techniques and recommend some quality books as well. Also I can recommend another therapy called EMDR that is specifically formulated to treat PTSD.

Customer:

I have read a lot about all the meds

Dr. Z :

Well the medications can only lessen the symptoms, not cure it. Therapy is the only sure fire way to cure you of your PTSD.

Customer:

I am more worried that I can not take it anymore

Customer:

will they treat ptsd in the mental health part of the hospital if I go

Dr. Z :

They most likely will not put you as inpatient unless you met the criteria for harming yourself, harming other, or if you are gravely disabled (e.g cannot take care of your daily needs like hygiene, clothing, shelter, food, etc...)

Dr. Z :

Instead most likely they will just give you new medications and recommend you to an outpatient facility. Now if this was a primary mental health hospital, then it is possible that you could be admitted as an inpatient.

Customer:

we have a lot of mental health help avalible in Syracuse ny, however I don't want to be labeled either

Dr. Z :

Most mental health professionals will not label you, instead they will treat you like a patient and someone who needs help. You are not your mental illness, it does not define you and most mental health professionals know this

Dr. Z :

The xanax is a good medication to take for the anxiety, but it will not cure you, only therapy can

Dr. Z :

I would like to recommend some good therapy books and possibly a good therapist in your area if you like

Customer:

it's hard to be on Xanax, I have been on 3 years now

Customer:

and I am never anxiety free

Dr. Z :

I know, this is a complicated form of PTSD. I think that trying CBT or EMDR will be more of a success for you, but it does take some time as therapy is a gradual process. Switching to the SSRI can be helpful as well. Lexapro is the most effective of the SSRI antidepressants and also has the least amount of side effects too

Customer:

I need to get to the repressed memories of my rape, and the rage and I know I won't switch meds if left on my own it scares me too much'

Dr. Z :

Well EMDR does a great job, according to most studies, to get at those repressed memories. Here are a couple links explaining it in more detail for you.

Customer:

thank you for your help tonight.

Dr. Z :

It is a novel type of therapy that was specifically meant to treat PTSD and especially Veterans.

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you