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Hi there! I'm in med hell, yay!


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Hi all! Meds suck, but I can't function without them. I've got general anxiety disorder or some other non-descriptive bullshit that means I freak out all the time. I learned to deal for 25 years before going on Paxil. It worked for 2.5 years. Doc switched me to Celexa. It worked for 2.5 years and gave my son a cleft lip. Thanks a ton for that. I had plenty of pretend reasons to feel guilty all the time, I didn't need a real one. Anyway, Celexa stopped working and I got anxiety and OCD symptoms this time. Compulsively picking my skin and not being able to stop, even when I wanted to. That was fun, let me tell you. Anyway, Doc put me back on Paxil (20mgs for God's sake! That wouldn't cheer up a Cabbage Patch Kid!) and I'm in hell. 30mg didn't work either. 40 kind of works, but I keep having major doubts about my life's direction. Could be that I'm an intelligent and talented person who feels wasted as a housewife. (Even though I know it's only for a couple of years, I work from home a bit, and I can't stand the though of being away from the twins.) Or it could be that I'm still swinging from the meds.

The self doubt is starting to take a toll.

-Six

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Hi there, six. I have really shitty anxiety too. Used to be my main symptom, but now we've gotten it under control. It took an atypical anti-psychotic to do the trick, though which sucks because it came with 15lbs! That being said, it also helps the depression quite a bit, but really took care of my obsessive thought loops and panic attacks. I've only had a handful of panic attacks since I started it a year ago. Blah blah blah. Not that I'm recommending an AAP for you or anything, I was just saying that for me, that's what it came down to after I'd tried all the SSRI's and SNRI's, and Remeron.

I'm a stay at home mom too, so I know how that can be. Twins! I can't imagine! I just have one.

Well anyway, sorry for rambling about me so much.

Welcome to CB! It's really a great place, I promise.

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I'm a stay at home mom too, so I know how that can be.

Glad I'm not the only one! I don't want to sound ungrateful - I have an awesome life. 2 beautiful kids, the one with the cleft is otherwise perfectly healthy, an awesome husband who puts up with all my mental crap, and his job is (just barely!) good enough that I can stay at home and take care of the kids and keep a roof over our heads. I hate to be struggling when we've got so much to be happy for, but it's not the situation, it's my Goddamn brain :glare:

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I wouldn't buy into the guilt about Celexa causing cleft lip-- there's absolutely no way for you to know that. The most recent and best-respected research out there doesn't link cleft lip to SSRI use at all. See Dr. Hale's site here for an article that summarizes the most recent research. Even if there is an increased risk, cleft lip and palate are among the most common and most fixable birth defects, so don't beat yourself up oer it.

SSRIs aren't the answer for everyone, and pregnancy and postpartum can change your body and brain chemistry a lot. So can being at home with kids and the stress of being a parent. It may be time to seek out another doctor.

I also agree that therapy is very, very important for your situation. Anxiety and OCD respond really well to therapy, and the skills you learn there you can use for your entire life.

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I went to a therapist one time, for the first time, a few weeks ago. It really helped with the compulsive behavior. I've got a pretty good handle on that now, and it's not really much of a struggle anymore. I probably should keep going. But he's just a general counselor, and can't prescribe. Problem is, I can go to the counseling and psychiatry center for either counseling or psychiatry. Um aren't there supposed to be people who can do both? I can't pay a co pay to see a counselor, my general doctor, and a psychiatrist! We don't have that kind of cash! Not to mention it's nearly impossible for me to get away from the twins during office hours. I want to get my life back on track, but... but nothing. I have no idea what to do or what's right, or what I should be doing for myself and what I need someone else's help with. Obviously I can't prescribe my own meds. But I feel like the rest of it I should be able to research and teach myself. Bleargh.

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I'm another to suggest therapy, Just so you know, therapy isn't just about talking, it's about learning and applying specific anxiety skills in the real world. I did group CBT for anxiety and it helped me.

ETA: cross post

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Here's how people generally do it:

GP for sick visits and once-yearly well visits

Counselor weekly or every 2 weeks or so for therapy. If you got benefit out of 1 session, a short course of targeted weekly therapy may work for you (8-12 sessions)

Psychiatrist 1-2 times per month until your meds are stable, then once every 3-6 months or so.

Your GP should absolutely not be dealing with your psych meds. They just don't have the expertise to deal with someone who has failed multiple meds.

Yes, you're going to have a lot of copays at first, but as you get better, things level out and you'll just have maintenance visits.

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What muriel said.

There also may be the possibility of sliding-scale services... I'll be the first one to grant that you're not likely to get top-notch care there, unless they've scored a really brill grad student to get his/her internship hours there, but it might be enough to hold you together for now. Or, since you say "Problem is, I can go to the counseling and psychiatry center for either counseling or psychiatry" (bold emphasis mine) I'm wondering if you could have one session a month there with a prescribing psychiatrist/psychiatric nurse practitioner/etc. and go for counseling the rest of the time. A lot of psychiatrists just have their hands so full on med management (I also read somewhere not too long ago that pdocs are leaving the field in droves because of the managed-care nightmare - goodness knows I had to call my HMO or PPO every so often to beg - BEG!!! - for services after the annual limit ran out, and then they'd go back to pdoc to see if the extra treatment was "justified", and the extra junk like that ate up patient time, so they don't get to do what they actually went into the friggin' field to do in the first place) that they simply don't have time to do counseling, especially those in multidisciplinary centers as opposed to private practice.

And some people may stomp me, but what with you being of the female persuasion (or so I gather!) you may be able to get discounted basic GP-type stuff through a group like Planned Parenthood. They do more than just hand out the Pill. That might help keep your costs down too.

Or, maybe monkeys will fly out of my butt. :cool:

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Thanks guys. I just got back from the Dr this afternoon. My suspicions were confirmed, he means well, but doesn't know what the hell he's doing. He explained in detail why he wanted to switch me to an SNRI, and then prescribed me an SSRI. Thank God for my pharmacist. He basically said he'd fill the scrip if I really wanted him to, but it wouldn't work. Then he gave me a referral to a good general dr who specializes in head cases like me. (I've gotten more practical advice from pharmacists in my life than I ever have from doctors.) I manages to weasel another prescription out of my current dr for the time being, but I"m nervous to take it. Anyway, thanks for the support! I'll be continuing this nightmare over on the antidepressants board. See y'all there!

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FWIW, the trick to treating OCD is absurdly high doses of SSRIs, higher than used for any other indication and high enough to qualify as off label use. A megadose of celexa (80 mgs) and a moderate dose of risperdal (2 mgs) has more or less kept mine in check.

IMHO, if you're dealing with anything more complicated than plain old depression or generalized anxiety, you need to be seeing a psychiatrist and not a GP. You're describing symptoms of anxiety, OCD and trich. here so you really need to be seeing a specialist.

I take it you play guitar?

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No guitar, but my favorite movie is an odd little post-apocalyptic flick called Six String Samurai. I highly recommend it ;) And what do you mean by "trich" ? The only thing I can think of is trichinosis...

edit- nevermind, I got it. Thank you Google! Yeah, I'm seeing a counselor for that one, and it's really helped. It's gone from compulsive behavior to conscious bad habit. But I think you're right. I needs myself a pdoc.

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