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Thread: SSRIs?

  1. #1



    I would very much appreciate some advice about SSRIs and/or other medication/treatments that could help me.

    I've suffered anxiety/panic since my early 30s (now 40) and this is largely centered around meeting and presentation situations in the workplace. I do freelance computer work in an office environment and so most of the time I am using a computer, however, I often have regular meetings and occasionally have to do presentations. My social/performance anxiety in these situations is crazy and I have struggled to control it over the years - I sweat, blush, my heart races and I struggle to control my voice and I find this absolutely humiliating.

    In my last job I resorted to self medicating using kava, phenibut and alcohol around meetings - not at the same time, I would alternate these at different points in the week/month to try to avoid dependency. Obviously this was not a good situation - the kava was ok but made me slightly nauseous, the phenibut would feel great initially but is dangerously addictive with awful withdrawal symptoms (if you take too much) and we all know about the dangers of regularly drinking alcohol. Also, doing this was physically and mentally exhausting - the fear of getting caught, the worry of creating dependency, the stress of knowing when to take what and the risk of saying or doing something out of character at work.

    Fortunately, my work situation changed 1.5 yrs ago when I had the opportunity to work on a project at home and have a break from all this - I've been very happy and have not touched any of the above since. I have however, stored the problem up because now I am about to look for a new job. Not only do I need to interview for the first time in ages but I am likely to end up working in a pressured corporate environment with a long commute into London. I do consider myself fortunate to have the job opportunity but I am truly dreading putting myself back in that situation. I have a family and children to support and I don't want to let them down. Not even my wife knows about the extent of my anxiety problems and I doubt if any of my friends, family or former colleagues would guess at my private anguish.

    Some time ago, I spoke to a doctor who suggested that SSRIs could help. I wasn't sure about this at the time because I viewed my problem as being one of anxiety and not depression. If you are reading this and have suffered from similar symptoms or a similar problem, please can tell me whether SSRIs have helped you with your anxiety? I am trying to work out whether this medication would enable me to keep my anxiety under control at work and function with some normality?

    Btw, I understand that medication is not a cure. I have tried various forms of therapy with limited success. I am planning on trying CBT soon. Also, I recently discovered meditation which I expect will be a big help in the future - I would encourage anyone to try this who hasn't already because it's once of the few things that's really helped me so far.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, I do appreciate your help.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Re: SSRIs?

    Hi Mike

    Welcome to the forum.

    I've had anxiety all my life, mainly due to life saving brain operations as a child.

    I've tried most types of anti-depressant, beta-blockers and anxiolytics over the years (I'm now 50).

    I never got on with SSRIs, way too many side effects for me; nausea, dizziness and sexual side effects mainly.

    Pregabalin is actually licenced for anxiety and I felt that was the best in lifting my mood, but positive side effects varied day by day, hour by hour.

    Obviously you may react differently, but I found the old anti-depressants benefitted me most. Amitriptyline worked well for about 18 months; I've now been on trazodone for about 8 months, which is tailing off, so I'm increasing dosage under GP supervision.

    My personal opinion is that SSRIs can work well with depression related anxiety, but for my GAD they just made things worse. Of course others will have different experiences

    Daily Medication for GAD: Mirtazapine 15mg

  3. #3

    Re: SSRIs?

    Hi Mark

    Thanks for your reply.

    Interesting you say that they helped with your depression but made your GAD worse. This is really what I am not sure about because I think that because my anxiety is related to certain situations, depression is less of a problem for me (though obviously, suffering from anxiety is itself depressing) - I would not want to take something which could exhasberate my anxiety problem.

    Also, the side effects sound a bit of a problem. Did the side effects last for the duration of treatment or subside with time?


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