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EliKwiz

I'm new here. What's working for you????

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Hello, 
 As the title suggests, I'm new to this forum.  I decided to give google a search for such a thing because I've reached sort of a dead end.

 I have quite the history with anxiety disorder/panic disorder, but had been doing quite well. Then February 28th hit me like a ton of bricks and I've not been right since.

 Currently on clonazepam, depakote, seroquel (just added to start tonight). Other DX include schizoaffective disorder and OCD. Maybe other things, but I haven't read my eFile in forever because... why?

 This go-round has been rough. I've tried beta blockers and something called hydroxyzine HCL (did almost nothing but make me sleep, but when you have anxiety 24/7, I accepted it with glee!).

I'm housebound. I literally cannot leave my yard or I have a panic attack. Initially, my bubble was broad and I could drive and go where I wanted but had to be cautious. This has changed now. I can't drive or ride in a vehicle at all (had a bad motorcycle accident a few years back and my doctor thinks that's why). So, I stay in the house all day and I do housework like a freaking boss and take care of the kids so that my wife doesn't feel burdened. 

I used to be able to cope well. I could feel that anxiety/panic switch flipping and I could smash that switch and carry on about my day. I can't do that anymore. I just feel stuck.

What's working for any of you? What medicine could I talk about with my doctor if this seroquel deal doesn't work. I'm at a loss and at times have felt suicidal. Those thoughts still come, but I push them away with full force since my 9 year old (birthday today, actually) made me a get well card and started crying about me being "sick."

Any suggestions or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

Be well!

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I'm sorry that sounds pretty rough. I used to have terrible anxiety getting in a car, it was massive effort to go anywhere. Some ideas- I'm sorry if I repeat something you've already taken. What's your dose of klonipin and how long have you been taking it. What's the dose of the seroquel? Sorry for the questions but I don't wanna say something wrong and sound like an idiot. Have you ever tried gabapentin (or possibly lyrica)? Gabapentin can be dosed PRN or as a standing dose. It's kind of hit or miss but I have a good friend who swears by it. There are other options with antipsychotics if seroquel is unhelpful...there is one called stelazine that many find very helpful but that is a last line option cuz it can have some pretty nasty side effects. Some people try really low dose zyprexa- like 1.25 to 2.5 mgs PRN but again id avoid that as long as possible. Have you ever tried an SSRI ? they're the first line for long term anxiety, although they take a pretty long time to work. The other thing I can think of is using 2 benzos ...ex- and this is just an example of what I've done I'm not saying this is totally right for you- taking a long acting benzo for maintaince and a short acting one when anxiety breaks thru. For me it was Valium (x3 or x4 I forget) plus Ativan when I got too restless. If your on a ton of klonipin tho that may not work and it's only a band aid until you get a long term solution such as an SSRI or other anti anxiety med that will work for an extended period of time ...also that strategy requires a competent and very brave pdoc 

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I take lexapro but it is not as good at controlling anxiety like benzos. I have schizoaffective, too. 

have you tried any therapy? CBT and reframing my thoughts helps some. I find if i do things that help a little, it adds up. Can you challenge yourself, to go out to the mailbox?  Or visualize it? You sound like your anxiety is more intense than mine, so ignore me if i dont make sense. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Iceberg said:

I'm sorry that sounds pretty rough. I used to have terrible anxiety getting in a car, it was massive effort to go anywhere. Some ideas- I'm sorry if I repeat something you've already taken. What's your dose of klonipin and how long have you been taking it. What's the dose of the seroquel? Sorry for the questions but I don't wanna say something wrong and sound like an idiot. Have you ever tried gabapentin (or possibly lyrica)? Gabapentin can be dosed PRN or as a standing dose. It's kind of hit or miss but I have a good friend who swears by it. There are other options with antipsychotics if seroquel is unhelpful...there is one called stelazine that many find very helpful but that is a last line option cuz it can have some pretty nasty side effects. Some people try really low dose zyprexa- like 1.25 to 2.5 mgs PRN but again id avoid that as long as possible. Have you ever tried an SSRI ? they're the first line for long term anxiety, although they take a pretty long time to work. The other thing I can think of is using 2 benzos ...ex- and this is just an example of what I've done I'm not saying this is totally right for you- taking a long acting benzo for maintaince and a short acting one when anxiety breaks thru. For me it was Valium (x3 or x4 I forget) plus Ativan when I got too restless. If your on a ton of klonipin tho that may not work and it's only a band aid until you get a long term solution such as an SSRI or other anti anxiety med that will work for an extended period of time ...also that strategy requires a competent and very brave pdoc 

Thanks for the response, Iceberg!
My dose of Klonopin is .5mg 2x/day. I used Klonopin years ago, but have just started taking it again the past several weeks.
Depakote is 500mg at night.
The seroquel is going to be started tonight and is 50mg/day at night. I'm a little confused why I'd be taking depakote and seroquel at night, though. 

I wasn't aware gabapentin was something to be used during anxiety episodes. I did take it after my motorcycle accident, but I don't recall if things went well or poorly.

As for SSRI's, they won't prescribe them to me because they (prozac) caused me serious panic attacks (took me 4 months to crawl out of that hole). My psychiatrist said it triggered me, but idk what how that's possible. I was put on them for OCD and depression. I didn't have an issue with anxiety at the time.

If the seroquel doesn't work, I'll ask about stelazine and zyprexa. A long time ago, 2002 I believe, I was actually given two benzos: klonopin and lorazepam. I'd take the klonopin on a regular schedule, and the lorazepam would be used when I couldn't manage panic/anxiety symptoms. Doctors in my state (vermont) don't seem to want to prescribe benzos at all. It's sort of a shame bc I'd like to go back to what worked in the past, but I know the answer. 

My psychiatrist has agreed to have a phone appointment this week. I'll poke back in here and let people know how it goes. 

Ultimately, I just want this to end. Just like everyone else dealing with it, it's a 24 hour burden and it's taking a toll.

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45 minutes ago, confused said:

I take lexapro but it is not as good at controlling anxiety like benzos. I have schizoaffective, too. 

have you tried any therapy? CBT and reframing my thoughts helps some. I find if i do things that help a little, it adds up. Can you challenge yourself, to go out to the mailbox?  Or visualize it? You sound like your anxiety is more intense than mine, so ignore me if i dont make sense. 

 

 

 

Thanks for the reply, Confused!
I've found not much works for schizoaffective disorder. My psychiatrist and I manage the most severe symptom and monitor the rest (lately, before the anxiety, it was debilitating depression.

I've tried therapy. I can't say it doesn't work. Sometimes it does. I'm resistant to it because a teaching hospital cycles in therapists every several weeks. So as i get comfortable with on, out they go and in comes another. It's a brutal cycle and more like a treadmill bc each one goes over your medical history again. Sort of like wasting time. 

I def know what you mean about visualizing and challenging yourself. I bring the dog out, and my son has two newspapers down a little side street near our house. I do those every day even though I don't want to. I must be weird to see a full grown man sprinting newspapers to two houses, at times, like he's being chased by a bear lol 

I set myself daily challenges lately: today was answering the phone and talking to my case manager. The phone is a huge issue for me. It has been my whole life. I don't like to talk on the phone at all. 

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The list is honestly too long for me to remember. I went a few years without any treatment. I buried myself in my work and never took a day off. That caught up to me eventually :P

Risperadal, Ability, Latuda, Lithium, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, and Depakote. Those are the ones I remember the most, but I've been like a trash chute for pills in my early 20's because if something didn't work immediately, they followed it up with something immediately. I was hospitalized several times, and that's when all themassive med changes and "tries" occured.

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Have you ever thought about clozaril? Might be good if the schizoaffective is causing you big issues. If not ignore that suggestion 

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My schizoaffective disorder has calmed recently.

ill still look up that med, though.

thanks for the help!

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It's more towards the "last resort" side of the spectrum...I think the guideline is failing at least 3 other antipsychotics before trying it. The side effects are hefty too and you need regular blood work but it can really work when nothing else does. But like I said if the schizo is under control than it might not be worth all the trouble...guess that's a call for the pdoc 

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My pdoc won't prescribe me benzos because he considers them band-aids that may even increase anxiety.  I take gabapentin 3 times a day.  1200 mgs at a time.  It helps a ton, but I still suffer occasional panic.

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