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I suffer from anxiety and panic. I went to a wedding on

Friday night and had approx...
I suffer from anxiety and panic. I went to a wedding on Friday night and had approx 3-4 glasses of white wine. I woke up on Saturday in the throws of a horrendous panic attack. I had the attacks under control due to daily Effexor but since Saturday I have been a mess.It's terrifying because I worry I will never feel like myself again but this is how I always feel when I have an extreme attack I always feel better. I just wish I could think logically and get away from the anxiety.I got another prescription from my dr for more clonazapan to take off the edge. I am really trying to fight through the panic instead of taking the pills. Will I get better quicker if I take the clonazapan for a few days to relax myself or should I try to fight through the waves of anxiety? I am not sure what to do.I also increased my Effexor from 150 mg to 75 mg how long will it take for this to kick in?
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
7/11/2017
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,009
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
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Hi :). Now is a good time to take the clonazepam and this should help you over the hump of this anxiety right now. Using it as prescribed with a goal of this being short-term is a strategy that could significantly help so I do not want you to "over-think" this and stress yourself out more. If you feel anxious, try taking the clonazpem as prescribed for a few days to a couple weeks to get the anxiety under control. After a few days of use, start to be more thoughtful about the need for the medication (especially as your up'ed Effexor starts to take effect)- try to push through to an extent and if that proves too much, take another clonazepam. As I said before, just be thoughtful about the necessity of the pill over the next span of time. Addiction/Dependence is a real concern here but not typically until at least 4-6 weeks of ongoing use.

As far as the Effexor, dose changes can take a couple of days to a couple of weeks but shouldn't take too long before you observe some benefits if the dose increase is working, especially in regards ***** ***** of anxiety. If there is no change in 10 days, I'd let you doc know that it may be time to consider an alternative to the Effexor.

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Ok thank you. So taking the clonazapan is not going to make me feel worse? Even though it makes me feel better in the short term. It doesn't mask it or anything?
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Sorry, I know I'm being a irrational with my questions, but that's what this is all about. Irrationality :( Hearing concrete medical opinions and answers makes me feel better.

Well, it does kind of mask the anxiety because the purpose is to offer some instant relief from the peaks of the anxiety. It is a reactive-solution as opposed to proactive, like the Effexor and the CBT. And that it why our brains like it so much - it acts quickly and works well to calm us, hence the addictive potential. It definitely should not make you feel worse with short-term use, with the exception of some of the concern about leaning on it. But that is the intention of the drug and it does great at what it is made for so again, short-term use is okay.

Don't worry about this. Just take good care of yourself in this down-time. Stay confident that this will turn around for you, even if you need a little medication to help you get there.

-Leah

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P.S. Being thoughtful about a plan for feeling better is completely RATIONAL Dwelling on it or feeling like things will never, ever be normal again - that is just your anxiety carrying you away so try to put some pause to those thoughts because they may not be irrational, but they certainly aren't productive :)

Think along the lines of "i am having a really bad week so i have nowhere to go but up. I will keep challenging thoughts that are not helpful or not accurate. I have a doctor who is prescribing me meds to help and am doing CBT so I am doing all i can. I will live through this."

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Ok thank you. I am going to write that down so that I can refer to it when I am spiralling. That's the biggest fear, that I will never feel normal, and although I know it's not true (logically) I have such a hard time controlling my thoughts
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
One other question. I have 2 sons aged 7 and 8. They have been asking mommy why I am being different and they have seen me crying a few times. I just keep telling them I don't feel well.What should I be saying to them as a reasonable explanation without scaring them?

Thoughts can so easily get carried away, especially negative or irrational ones. If you feel like your thoughts are way ahead of you right now, you can try some exercises to challenge them which can take the weight of of them immediately and serve as a reminder for managing them in the future. Here are some good worksheets to try out...

http://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/automatic-thoughts.pdf

http://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/putting-thoughts-on-trial.pdf

http://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/challenging-anxious-thoughts.pdf

As far as your boys, they are the best practice for you to try to step away from the thoughts and live in the moment. Mindfulness (the art of living in the present) and playing with children is one surefire way to get distracted, but you have to let yourself. So while an important message to your boys is that sometimes, people feel sad and crying is a healthy release of emotions that even adults do, you can counter their worries about you by acknowledging that you feel off, but are still open to some engagement with them. So use their worry as a reminder/trigger that you need to step away from the worry and invite them to play with you. Now, I get that playing with your kids when you feel bad isn't always super exciting (I have littles of my own), but I also know that one funny comment or one meaningful hug can help flip a mood. So push through and engage in your everyday life - it is meaningful treatment even if it feels a bit like work, too :)

-L

LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,009
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified
LeahMSWuofm and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Thanks so much. Your words really help!

Thank you for saying that. I am so glad to help you and remain a resource on this site! Keep fighting!

-L

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I am starting to feel better. Thank you.One of the hardest parts I find is the guilt I feel surrounding my boys. It's hard to not feel guilt, or like a failure when you get overwhelmed by the energy of your boys. It's so tough. I try not to beat myself up but can't help it. Especially b/c my boys are my best little friends and we have so much fun together so when I am like this there is a marked difference. It's so hard to take the time to feel better and not feel like Shit about it.

That's great. Put in perspective that only a few days have passed and you are already bouncing back. Stay positive!

As far as your boys, I really understand the guilt (my kids are 4 and 6). It is hard to not feel up for giving them the attention they crave. I sometimes even feel guilty doing my own self-care, like sports or spending time with friends because I know they'd rather have me around. But then again, kids are so loving and forgiving and also way more flexible than we give them credit for. Those boys adore you regardless of some off moods and a few days or a week in their life where you aren't giving them your best isn't going to rock them too much. So don't make it worse on yourself by putting too much stock into your affect on the boys. They'll be okay and so you will you. :)

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