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Anti-anxiety...short Term Medication- Suggestions?
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Hi there,

I have experienced generalized anxiety and depressions my whole life. In college after about a month of not being able to get out of bed I was put on Lexapro and took my butt to therapy. I was on Lexapro for 2 years worked very hard to get off and have now been 1 year off the medication. I am back in therapy (after about 8 months out-- insurance stuff), I was Celiac diagnosed and am going through some very stressful things in my personal life.

I am becoming very anxious, not sleeping and will have moments of depression (meaning, only parts of the days, some days). I know that I can work through this without going back on the lexapro, but am really having a hard time. I'm meeting with my Dr in a few weeks and was wondering if I should ask for a medication that would be more short term. Would Xnax (sp?) be the right type of medication? I want something that is take as needed, not a long term medication. Any recommendations?

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I am not knowledgeable about prescription medications, but can offer the following advice, which DOES have peer-reviewed studies in its favor:

1) Do your very best to be outside (preferably exercising, like walking) for a good hour every day even in lousy weather. (But half an hour is better than nothing!)

2) AVOID CAFFEINE: there are studies linking even small amounts of coffee/caffeine with neurological disorders such as depression and bipolar syndrome. (But don't quit cold-turkey--wean off very slowly!)

3) Try to eat as sensibly as possible (no binging on candy, etc, which raises and crashes your blood sugar, which disrupts healthy neurological function).

4) Look into yoga, Tai Chi, or Falun Dafa--these all have a great track record of helping both physically and mentally. Swimming is good, too.

Best of luck, and I hope things improve very quickly for you.

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I believe there is a distinct likelihood that you won't need any medication at all. If you strictly follow the gluten-free diet (and avoid other foods to which you have an intolerance), and take a few supplements, I believe you'll feel much better.

I can tell you from my own experience and research, that vitamin B12 and magnesium are vital for all sorts of bodily functions, including neurological. Many other nutrients also play a role of course, but those two seem to be quite prominent when it comes to neurological wellbeing.

I'd suggest a sublingual methylcobalamin form of B12, 3mg or more per day. Preferably spread out in three doses. Most B12 supplements are inferior to this type, but here's one which I know of, and it's gluten-free: https://www.webvitamins.com/product.aspx?id=13888

For the magnesium, you could take one with no other nutrients, or one of the many which have a combination of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. However, the citrate forms are said to be best absorbed.

Some other nutrient to consider include B-complex, iron, zinc, and EFAs.

Watch out for other intolerances, including dairy, soy, corn, nuts, etc. Most often of these, dairy is not tolerated early on in the healing process.

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Thanks for posting your responses.

I am not someone who generally goes to a medication to solve my problems. I do take the some of the mentioned vitamins (I'm going to check my mulit when i get home for the magnesium) and exersize every day plus walk to work a mile and a hlaf every day. I just know when my axiety & depression is being too much...and its getting there. I will talk to the doctor and see what he thinks. I was just wondering if anyone had any personal stories that were similar? There are just times when I KNOW i need something to calm me down (and the meditation, yoga etc. wont do it), and my sleeping problems are becoming conpletely debilitating at this point.

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I believe there is a distinct likelihood that you won't need any medication at all. If you strictly follow the gluten-free diet (and avoid other foods to which you have an intolerance), and take a few supplements, I believe you'll feel much better.

I can tell you from my own experience and research, that vitamin B12 and magnesium are vital for all sorts of bodily functions, including neurological. Many other nutrients also play a role of course, but those two seem to be quite prominent when it comes to neurological wellbeing.

I'd suggest a sublingual methylcobalamin form of B12, 3mg or more per day. Preferably spread out in three doses. Most B12 supplements are inferior to this type, but here's one which I know of, and it's gluten-free: https://www.webvitamins.com/product.aspx?id=13888

For the magnesium, you could take one with no other nutrients, or one of the many which have a combination of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. However, the citrate forms are said to be best absorbed.

Some other nutrient to consider include B-complex, iron, zinc, and EFAs.

Watch out for other intolerances, including dairy, soy, corn, nuts, etc. Most often of these, dairy is not tolerated early on in the healing process.

Naturemade also makes them gluten and yeast free. sometimes i wonder if i can trust them, i usually have to loook at the ingredients.

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Hi there,

I have experienced generalized anxiety and depressions my whole life. In college after about a month of not being able to get out of bed I was put on Lexapro and took my butt to therapy. I was on Lexapro for 2 years worked very hard to get off and have now been 1 year off the medication. I am back in therapy (after about 8 months out-- insurance stuff), I was Celiac diagnosed and am going through some very stressful things in my personal life.

I am becoming very anxious, not sleeping and will have moments of depression (meaning, only parts of the days, some days). I know that I can work through this without going back on the lexapro, but am really having a hard time. I'm meeting with my Dr in a few weeks and was wondering if I should ask for a medication that would be more short term. Would Xnax (sp?) be the right type of medication? I want something that is take as needed, not a long term medication. Any recommendations?

How are you doing with avoiding Gluten with your Celiac diagnosis and how long has it been since your diagnosis?

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I am glad to see someone wrote in about Magnesium - the severe deficiency because of Celiac (then undiagnosed) made me a mental and physical wreck. Here are 2 good articles about the magnesium issue: http://www.mbschachter.com/importance_of_m...um_to_human.htm and http://ambafrance-do.org/nutrition/38058.php

--oh and careful about the magnesium, I initially took the CVS brand ones and while they worked very quickly and were very effective to eliminate some symptoms, they gave me the runs lol. My very good Dr. got me on others that are much better. I can get you the name if you like.

Drs. also tried to give me meds but I knew deep down that was not the answer so I did not take them (personal choice per my circumstances - always do what you feel is best). Keep up with the Gluten free and whether or not you take meds you should start feeling better. Take care of yourself :)

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Work with your doctor, obviously. Medication is there as just one tool available to us.

Obviously, I'm biased (check my sig), but yoga can help - particularly if you take a pranayama class in addition to a regular class. It's not going to help now, or probably even next month, but a regular practice can help set you up to better deal with those stresses in the long term. (Why do I particularly mention a pranayama class? Breathing, particularly controlled breathing, is the easiest way to have conscious control over the level of activation/de-activation of the sympathetic (fight-or-flight response) and parasympatethic (relaxation response) nervous system; pranayama is the practice of controlled breathing (in a basic nutshell). ) So, consider starting, and maintaining, a practice *in addition* to whatever other steps you and your doctor(s) think are necessary.

You might also consider getting a light box, if you suspect that your depression/anxiety is seasonally influenced at all.

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I also suffered with mild depression for many years. Then I went through a MAJOR episode two years ago during a very stressful time in my life. The suggestions that other people have given you are definitely good, but vitamin D is what really does the trick for me! This website is a good source of information (http://vitamindcouncil.org/). I've been taking 4,000iu per day and I can't believe how good I feel... not even remotely depressed. UV light stimulates your body to produce vitamin D, but that's difficult in the winter. In many parts of the US you could stand outside naked during the winter and you still wouldn't get enough vitamin D, even if your body was working perfectly. Vitamin D is safe to take on your own... if you want to be extra safe (or try to get your level up quickly with a higher dose) you could always ask your doctor for a blood test first.

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Klonopin works well for me, but they all have tolerance, short term is best. I tried valium for a while, but either the dosage was too high, or it just lasts too long, I could not get out of bed in the morning after a few days on it, during the switch back to Klonopin I must have dropped below my tolerance level because I could not sleep, could not stop moving... etc. If you wikipedia them you can find a lot of info, especially the half-life when it comes to cutting your dose, when you want to get off. I'd just be very careful how much you start with, I started on 2mg a day of Klonopin, with its half-life of 35 hours it adds up. If I miss a dose, I can't sleep, lay in bed for hours. If you take them for more than a few weeks there will be tolerance and withdrawal, most likely. Also, sometimes they give Xanax because it's very fast and short-acting, but it's also the most addictive, in that it only last 6-12 hours so it's easy to take it too frequently without realizing it. They often give people Valium to wean them off Xanax, because Valium breaks down into several chemicals and has a much longer half-life, it's easier to even out the spikes and lows. I believe Xanax is meant to take occasionally during acute stress, but people take it constantly and then can't stop because GABA receptors are too tolerant and the body cannot get back to normal. I'd read about them a bit and talk to the doctor.

The main thing is, if it's short term, you don't want to be even more anxious during withdrawal, it would have to be very short-term to avoid tolerance and some withdrawal.

Good luck, I hope you find something that works for you. I'm with you, I can't stand SSRI's, I've tried most of them, they messed up my stomach at the time, but everything does. But never been a fan of them. Not that I think benzos are that much better, just have to be careful.

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When my insides are playing up i often wake very early in the morning, feeling fine, but VERY tense. It gradually builds up, and finally my stomach tells me why it woke me up, in a most unpleasant way. There is a strange rise of tension in the body when it has some alien substance which it really wants OUT, but has limited ways to do so. I've just started taking niacin which seems to open up another sort of detoxification, by widening the blood vessels and allowing the body to release the stored toxins. As a result, you feel a very definite sort of emotional and physical release from the toxin-tension. It's an amazing way to get back to sleep, too!

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In many parts of the US you could stand outside naked during the winter and you still wouldn't get enough vitamin D, even if your body was working perfectly.

:lol::lol:

They say laughter is the best medicine, but it probably won't work if your neighbors are the ones doing the laughing!

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I just know when my axiety & depression is being too much...and its getting there. ... There are just times when I KNOW i need something to calm me down (and the meditation, yoga etc. wont do it), and my sleeping problems are becoming conpletely debilitating at this point.

I think that Xanax works quite well for anxiety - not sure that I can recommend it for depression. I use Xanax particularly for participatory anxiety; cases where I know I am going to feel anxious so I take it beforehand. I think Klonopin can be helpful in terms of getting a good night's sleep. You might consider Welbutrin for depression. Best of luck. Have you considered therapy? I believe that pharmaceuticals can be a valuable aid in combating depression/anxiety/emotional disorders.

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For anxiety I take Alprazolam (Xanax generic) by Mylan. I have read on another thread on this forum that it is gluten-free. I don't need to take it very often, but when I do need it it works really well.

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And I'm the odd balll that takes Formula 303, a homeopathic muscle relaxer that works wonders for me. Get it at the health food store. Can't over dose, sometimes I take as many as 4. I take it at night before bed and sleep like a baby. It really helps my anxiety - not addictive like prescriptions. I'm also in therapy and it's helping me too. Susan

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I forgot to mention Doxepin - it's an antidepressant (almost certain) that's also good for itching related to DH (not that you have that). I take it before I go to sleep along with the Formula 303- works really well. Just an idea. Susan :P

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I forgot to mention Doxepin - it's an antidepressant (almost certain) that's also good for itching related to DH (not that you have that). I take it before I go to sleep along with the Formula 303- works really well. Just an idea. Susan :P

Yea, you are right. It is a very old anti-depressant, they don't use it much for just that purpose these days. It slows motility and is pretty good for itching.

If anyone starts that though, start on a weekend. The first time I took it, I think I slept for about 16 hours. =) That wears off pretty quickly though.

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I've battled depression most of my life, but am thrilled to be taking fish oil every morning (2tbs) and take 100mg of 5HTP (a dietary supplement found in most health food stores) at bedtime. You may need only 50 mg to start. This combination keeps me upbeat and not so bothered by everyday stresses. One time I went off of the 5HTP and within 5 days crashed into a deep depression....so it works. Xanax makes me tired, which leads to depression, because I just don't feel good. I highly recommend going the holistic route. Best wishes!

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be aware that it is contraindicated to be on 5htp and an antidepressant at the same time. (not saying anyone here is - I was on 5htp before starting an antidepressant (cymbalta, for fibromyalgia), and had to discontinue the 5htp. good to know about these things ahead of time.)

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be aware that it is contraindicated to be on 5htp and an antidepressant at the same time. (not saying anyone here is - I was on 5htp before starting an antidepressant (cymbalta, for fibromyalgia), and had to discontinue the 5htp. good to know about these things ahead of time.)

You are so right about the antidepressants.......and I totally forgot that one should wait 6 hours to space out 5HTP if any alcohol has been consumed. Sorry for the memory lapse! :)

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I have mild depression, especially seasonally, and I take St. Jon's Wort for that. It works well for me to take that edge off.

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I had my doubts as to my celiac diagnosis because I didn't get all the tests. (I was diagnosed Celiac as a baby but they said I 'grew out of it' (that was the theory at the time.

Coming off the Effexor was a nightmare. Anxiety 24/7. insomnia, multiple panic attacks daily. I am committed to supplements for this reason.

I definitely get alot more anxiety/panic attacks/insomnia from being glutenned. It depends alot on my overall situation and stress in my life, but my body reaction to Gluten is the biggest stress of all.

I was eating Gluten in June without even knowing it (someone elses cooking) and I was layed out with anxiety I could barely make it throught the day and was heavily meditating and practicing my breathing exercises to get through work. Scary.

Here's what is working for me now: Gluten free, no sugar, cut the coffee back (even one cup is noticeable. Exercise, breathing and meditation. I take a liquid form of Magnesium with Calcium, 5 HTP 50mg x3 a day, and, believe it or not NIACIN!, which was a wonderfull discovery. I take the Fish OIL, and multi-vitamins religiously. And its working, knock on wood. I sleep through the night, and although I wake early.

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