Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

  1. #1

    Question Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    Hey guys,

    Pretty new member here, but longterm sufferer of HA. Recently I had my worst 'flare up' if you will of all time. I had what felt like weeks straight of panic and crying, unable to do anything including sleep. I, like the rest of us, hyper focus on stuff and catastrophize. And I realised, this is ridiculous! So I've began seeing a therapist for CBT. I'm only a few sessions in and its so nice to feel acknowledged and see my thought patterns on worksheets etc, knowing that this is *real* and not just me!

    However, I've tried SSRI anti-depressants in the past, and had horrific side effects with them and had to come off. My therapist asked me about going on one, but I explained. She said it wasn't a big deal, and the real work is in the therapy and that medication in a personal choice. However, my GP disagrees, and says it's very rare to hear of someone recover from anxiety WITHOUT medication..

    Just looking for some real life experiences. Have any of you had success without medication? Maybe a dumb question but hey ho!

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    850

    Re: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    I couldn't tolerate the side-effects of the meds, so it was therapy for me. That, and the determination to kick HA up the arse!

    In answer to your question, yes, therapy alone can, and does, work.

    Your therapist is correct in that the real work is in therapy, but I don't agree that medication is always a personal choice. Sometimes medication is required to settle the symptoms of severe anxiety before therapy can be effective.

    My anxiety was severe, but I couldn't tolerate the side effects (fibromyalgia) so I had no choice in the matter..
    __________________
    There is a light. There is. Look for it. Look for it shining over your shoulder, on the past. It was light where you went once. It is light where you are now. It will be light, where you will go again. ~ Jennifer Worth

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    4,853

    Re: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    After one bad experience, I spent years in and out of therapy trying to wrangle my GAD, panic attacks and Health anxiety. It worked, but I could never get it to stick. Finally, I was sufficiently desperate that I told my GP I was open to medication. I started on citalopram, and it was a game changer. I'd had a really dreadful time with paroxetine, but cit genuinely hasn't been a problem - when I went on and when I upped the dosage, I had about 48 hours of feeling lightly stoned (actually pretty pleasant, just not conducive to office work!) followed by a couple of weeks of nausea. The increased sleepiness lasted a little longer, but that might have just been sleep debt from when the anxiety was running riot.

    I think it's a good idea to try therapy first, but don't beat yourself up if you find yourself needing something extra.
    __________________
    ************************************************** ********
    Sometimes, it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. - Terry Pratchett

  4. #4

    Re: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoraB View Post
    I couldn't tolerate the side-effects of the meds, so it was therapy for me. That, and the determination to kick HA up the arse!

    In answer to your question, yes, therapy alone can, and does, work.

    Your therapist is correct in that the real work is in therapy, but I don't agree that medication is always a personal choice. Sometimes medication is required to settle the symptoms of severe anxiety before therapy can be effective.

    My anxiety was severe, but I couldn't tolerate the side effects (fibromyalgia) so I had no choice in the matter..
    Thanks Nora. I really appreciate this comment. Yep similar to you, I just cannot tolerate SSRIs. I have asked about others like mirtazipine which I don't think is an SSRI, but I'm determined to beat this monster with therapy and have been working hard with her. I'm struggling to shake the anxiety around 2 weeks of frequent urination and burning that I had (which had no medical basis) even though it's stopped and stopped as soon as I was in hospital for stomach pain when I was distracted. I know logically that if there was something organic wrong, it wouldn't stop when my anxiety eased, but anxiety is a real bugger so I'm working on this really hard!

    So good to talk to someone who has beat their HA!! So happy for you.
    t

  5. #5

    Re: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueIris View Post
    After one bad experience, I spent years in and out of therapy trying to wrangle my GAD, panic attacks and Health anxiety. It worked, but I could never get it to stick. Finally, I was sufficiently desperate that I told my GP I was open to medication. I started on citalopram, and it was a game changer. I'd had a really dreadful time with paroxetine, but cit genuinely hasn't been a problem - when I went on and when I upped the dosage, I had about 48 hours of feeling lightly stoned (actually pretty pleasant, just not conducive to office work!) followed by a couple of weeks of nausea. The increased sleepiness lasted a little longer, but that might have just been sleep debt from when the anxiety was running riot.

    I think it's a good idea to try therapy first, but don't beat yourself up if you find yourself needing something extra.
    I'm so glad it worked for you!! I've had a few friends who sing the prises of citalopram and wish I could take SSRIs to join in the bandwagon lol.
    Thank you, I hope that therapy does work for me. I may even look into herbal calming tablets, whether they're placebo or not!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    10,674

    Re: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    It doesn't matter whether they give the placebo effect or not. If anything works, make use of it!

    I can't take SSRIs but am able to manage HA now. I only let the GP refer me for tests if they are based on clinical need and if I have red flag symptoms. I don't want the stress of unnecessary tests for reassurance purposes. I don't consult Dr Google. I'd rather feel in charge of my own health rather than opening up a can of online worms..

    I wish you well with your therapy, lily. Meds may or may not lessen your anxiety but ultimately your thoughts and reactions are where you need to focus.

  7. #7

    Re: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    Thanks Pulisa!!

    Yep I've dumped Dr. Google too.. It's definitely hard to accept something is anxiety for me, like how can this pain and stinging and misery be anxiety?! But the less I google, the more my logical brain can say well - hey people can go blind with anxiety, why couldn't it cause this?!

    I hope that in time, I'll have a good handle on things. I think stress from unwell family members has triggered this flare up unfortunately - but hoping to get through it soon.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    21,177

    Re: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoraB View Post
    Your therapist is correct in that the real work is in therapy, but I don't agree that medication is always a personal choice. Sometimes medication is required to settle the symptoms of severe anxiety before therapy can be effective.
    Nora, I totally agree the real work is in therapy. I also agree that sometimes medication is needed to help the sufferer to get a better place for therapy to work. But ultimately, even with input from the professionals, it is a personal choice. They can be recommended and prescribed but its up to the individual to follow the advice and medication guidelines. Unless you're sectioned, no one can make you take them.

    Most here have had to make such a choice. Some, like yourself, couldn't tolerate the side effects and it made things worse. Some just plain refuse and some, while suffering some minor symptoms, benefit. Personally, when I was suffering from depression after my illnesses, the meds proved helpful in addition to therapy. Meds also proved helpful after my cancer and dealing with "scanxiety" and when my wife was in the hospital for three months?... Thank goodness for Xanax!

    There are some here that have taken the dragon by the horns and had the inner fortitude and discipline to dig themselves out of the rabbit hole without meds. I look at mental illness like other illnesses and physical issues in that it can be treated with medication, hard work and discipline. My doctor said to me when I was complaining about how many pills I take a day.. "Be thankful we live in an age where a pill can prolong and improve your quality of life". I look at the meds as an addition to the work it takes to recover (physically and/or mentally).

    Sorry... long winded... Bottom line is do what you have to do to get better. At 61 with real health issues, my mortality is imminent and the reality of how fast time is passing (2020 has been a blur!) is becoming more evident every day. We all deserve peace and happiness and we should pursue the things that get us there... My signature says it perfectly...

    Positive thoughts
    Last edited by Fishmanpa; 18-09-20 at 00:37.
    __________________
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

  9. #9

    Re: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishmanpa View Post
    Nora, I totally agree the real work is in therapy. I also agree that sometimes medication is needed to help the sufferer to get a better place for therapy to work. But ultimately, even with input from the professionals, it is a personal choice. They can be recommended and prescribed but its up to the individual to follow the advice and medication guidelines. Unless you're sectioned, no one can make you take them.

    Most here have had to make such a choice. Some, like yourself, couldn't tolerate the side effects and it made things worse. Some just plain refuse and some, while suffering some minor symptoms, benefit. Personally, when I was suffering from depression after my illnesses, the meds proved helpful in addition to therapy. Meds also proved helpful after my cancer and dealing with "scanxiety". When my wife was in the hospital for three months, I thank goodness for the Xanax!

    There are some here that have taken the dragon by the horns and had the inner fortitude and discipline to dig themselves out of the rabbit hole without meds. I look at mental illness like other illnesses and physical issues in that it can be treated with medication, hard work and discipline. My doctor said to me when I was complaining about how many pills I take a day.. "Be thankful we live in an age where a pill can prolong and improve your quality of life". I look at the meds as an addition to the work it takes to recover (physically or mentally).

    Sorry... long winded... Bottom line is do what you have to do to get better. At 61 with real health issues, my mortality is imminent and the reality of how fast time is passing (2020 has been a blur!) is becoming more evident every day. We all deserve peace and happiness and we should pursue the things that get us there... My signature says it perfectly...

    Positive thoughts
    Thank you so much for the comment Fishman! Glad to see you've come out the other side of things I'd love to be able to take medication to give me that extra helping hand, but unfortunately none of them have agreed with me! So it looks like I'm going to just have to dig in with therapy and kick HA out of my life.

    True, I love your signature. We are very lucky that we can take pills and medicines to give us a good quality of life, and the worst part of HA is we're worried our anxiety induced symptoms mean a long life of chronic illness/imminent death, when really the only thing reducing our quality of life is HA! The real monster.

    Your comment, along with Nora's and BlueIris and Pulisa's have really helped me out. Thank you all.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    3,896

    Re: Is medication a necessity? Or can therapy do the trick alone for this anxiety?

    Health anxiety is a habitual, almost OCD form of anxiety so it's the behaviour that needs sorting out first. And that starts with the not googling etc.

    It's 100% possible to recover from any kind of anxiety without medication, as long as you accept that no cure is immediate, and requires months of effort.

    As FMP and others have said, medications can help, but of course they can also hinder. It's a choice.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 30-09-14, 15:13
  2. Does OCD/Anxiety trick the mind
    By Chillihead in forum OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 31-01-12, 22:01
  3. Medication or just therapy?
    By selton in forum OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-04-11, 20:01
  4. Medication V therapy
    By hunny in forum Therapy
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-09-05, 18:49

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •