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hello all,

I've had panic disorder since I was 16. I'm 23 now. I've been around the block - meds, hospitalization, therapy, self help, holistic stuff, etc. I have a GREAT PDOC and I was doing GREAT this past year (coming off my meds! going on long trips! happy!) but I seemed to have relapsed this spring. Here's my current cocktail that I want some opinions on:

  • Effexor ER 225mg / daily - the only SSRI / SSNRI that's ever helped me (i've been through every. single. ssri. they don't work for me.) At my best, I managed to get down to 175mg / day with no withdrawal symptoms, i was so proud! but with the relapse my PDOC bumped it up again.
  • Klonopin 1mg before bed - Basically just on this dose so I don't go into withdrawal. Klonopin doesn't really do much to stop my panic attacks after being on it for almost 7 years. I really want to be off it soon.
  • Xanax as needed for panic attacks - 2mg stops my panic. I don't take it every day. The past few days I've had to take an extra 1mg after the first 2mg wears off. Basically the only drug in my cocktail I trust to work right now.
  • Abilify 4mg daily - I was just prescribed this last months and started at 2mg. It seemed to work! but now I'm in hell and my PDOC just bumped it up to 4mg daily last night. 

New symptoms as of this new 'relapse' or whatever-the-funk: back at it again with the debilitating panic attacks and agoraphobia, this time with new and improved Depression™! which i've never had before except when i get sad that panic attacks are ruining my life. That's why my PDOC bumped up my effexor and added Abilify. I had to leave work early today which is something I havent had to do in like, 6 years. 

TL;DR: I'm wary about the abilify. Should I even be on it? anyone have any insight? why do I have depression now after never having it in my life? can anyone fix all my problems please?

 

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Have you ever talked about seroquel? Can also help depression but has anti anxiety qualities. Low dose abilify drives some crazy...not all but some. Have you ever tried remeron?  Different than an SSRI but the same point. 

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Just now, Iceberg said:

Have you ever talked about seroquel? Can also help depression but has anti anxiety qualities. Low dose abilify drives some crazy...not all but some. Have you ever tried remeron?  Different than an SSRI but the same point. 

Yep! tried both while in the hospital, no dice :( just sort of turned me into an emotional zombie that still had panic disorder, haha.

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I agree with notloki. Abilify didn't do anything for me (except give me anxiety) until I reached 10 mg. Then it REALLY helped me. Abilify is approved for major depressive disorder up to 15 mg. Too many people give up on it when it doesn't work at low doses which is really too bad because when it does kick in and work, the result is amazing.

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Thanks everyone for replying! it so helps to not be alone. Loki and JT, thanks for the insight - I'll bring it up with my PDOC. Also, I'd rather not raise my Effexor. My PDOC mentioned trying a *different* SNRI - I think she believes Pristiq to be more potent than effexor. We haven't discussed it in depth yet. Also, side question - how long does it take y'all for xanax to kick in? I'm noticing 2mg takes about an hour. I've never tried any TCAs but would like to try adjusting what I'm already on first.

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