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gabrielle

Panic, Anxiety...

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First off my heart goes out to you Richard. You will be in my prayers.

About three years ago for some reason and I can not pinpoint why but I quit driving

more than just a few miles away from home. I do not like to drive anymore,

my family is supportive but I just do not want to do it. I do not have panic attacks

but I get anxious if I have to drive more than just a few miles. This may be

a stupid question but could it be panic attacks?

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Richard, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I can't imagine how hard that must be.

It does take time to find the right therapist, but it's worth it when you do. And don't feel badly about needing medication. I've taken anti-depressants before just to get me back on my feet while I learned to deal with my life again. It was nice to have a temporary solution to help me out while I worked with a therapist.

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I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks in 2000. I was put on Paxil which worked but deadened me emotionally. I went off slowly. Then I took a natural substance called 5-HTP which seemed to work. I have been off that for a while and have not had problems. Recently though I have been anxious - probably due to the overwhelming number of health issues I have and more seeming to be diagnosed yearly.

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Dear Gabrielle: I have been reading all of the letters to you regarding your questions on panic disorder. You are so lucky to have found this group now. I just turned 50 and have had to deal with all those things mentioned by you and some of the others in the group. I was 7 when I had my first panic attack. I remember my mind racing in bed at night like a movie in fast motion. This went on for many years. Then I got severe depression and anxiety attacks. This has never gone away. BUT with the help of a wonderful therapist and phychiatric medication psychiatrist, I am happy to say I no longer suffer from any of these ailments. I believe when we have major stressors in our lives we take on a fear/flight inner gut reaction that is genetic. It is something that we have from our ancestors to help us survive. It is what makes the human race go on and thrive. But when we have a home life that is unsafe, the fear/flight message never gets turned off. So we are always in inner turmoil looking for safety and survival. The mechanism doesn't get turned off or lowered when we get into a safe place, maybe for years. I think this constant state of agitation is what wears us down and lowers our immune systems. Every family has it weakness. Some have cancer, some depression, some auto immune diseases, like diabetes rheumatoid diseases etc. In ours, we have the gut problems. Where do you hear the truth about life??? the Gut. If it is in turmoil, how can you learn to trust your gut? How do you learn to feel safe after you are safe, if your gut is upside down inside out and turned all around? I think God invented scientists to discover the treatments to so many ailments. Use these treatments. It is the difference for me between driving my car into the guard rail that was calling my name, andliving a wonderful full life. I still have those ailments, still go to therapy, but I can now see the problems so much clearer, and the ways to cope with the problems where before I couldn't tell the difference between day and night. I don't think the pharmaceutical industry got a good hold on the meds until about 10 years ago where before that they had so limited options out there. It either made all of us dopey, sleepy, grey veil over the brain, or didn't touch the genesis of the problems. Now you can tweek the meds by milligrams and get just the right effect. Like turning a dial to get the radion station you want. If the head is clear of the fog, the gut is clear of the clenching, you can sp;end all the more energy on dealing with the sadness, angst, anger, and general bad childhood. The great news is it does get better. So much better that you'll end up smiling and laughing more in any given day than you ever dreamed possible. You deserve it. It is possible to heal the heart, forgive the absent mother, and put blame where it belongs, which not on you. So dear heart. Go out there and grab the best psychiatrist, get on the right cocktail of meds, because like me you may need more than one type of pill (I take 4) and live life like you were ment to live it. And don't stop if the first doctor doesn't get it right. Sometimes it takes more than one, or two different interviews with psychiatrists to get one you think has a handle on psychiatric meds. It is a real science nowadays. And then get a good therapist who will walk with you down that path of self realization. Scarry? of course, worth while? In a heart beat. You go girl. Love and prayers to you. Cynthia Richard: my heart breaks for you and the loss of your beloved daughter. I can't imagine what your going through. I read her poem and plan on tying it and hanging it on my bathroom mirror to remember every day to live a true, compassionate life. I want to leave behind what your darling daughter left. A wonderful impact on so many lives. She did make a difference.

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I take Lexapro for a sleep disorder. Without it, I can't get past the REM stage to deep sleep. It has helped immensely with my anxiety and mood swings, although getting the restorative sleep helps with that, too! My husband has anxiety attacks, so he takes 5-HTP. I tried it, but I'm allergic to the rice powder they use. If you have not had your enzymes checked, it would be a good idea. A therapist can help you with the unresolved issues from your childhood.

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Hey everyone! I am new to this message board and I am very thrilled I came across it. I just wanted to let y'all know that I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease three years ago and I am 28 years old. I had my first panic attack after September 11, 2001 and went to a therapist and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the events of September 11th. I never took the medications she prescribed me because I didn't want to self-medicate myself. I wanted to be able to fight this on my own, which I did. Well about nine months ago my panic attacks started to come back even stronger than before. I couldn't even function at work and was scared to go to sleep at night b/c that is usually when I had them. I am now on clonazepam, which I take at night before I go to sleep. I am too scared to get off my medication, but do not want to be on it the rest of my life. I did research on the birth control pills I am on and realized that alot of girls taking Yasmin were getting panic attacks just like me, so I immediately got off of them. I haven't gotten off the Clonazepam yet b/c I am too scared, so I am not sure if it's the BC pills or not. After reading all of y'all's stories I am beginning to think my panic attacks have more to do with my Celiac Disease. To be truthful, I am still struggling with be 100% gluten free. I just wanted to share my story and y'all will be hearing lots from me. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. This helps me stay strong.

Alicia

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I'm so sorry about Grace, Richard. I always wondered who that pretty girl was. My condolences to you. I'm so sorry for everyone else on this board for all of their problems. Sometimes life's so hard. I suffer from depression occasionally, but why I don't know. I do not take medication for it, but I realize that this is an answer for many people. I would only do so if the depression became unbearable.

For years during my marriage to my first husband, who had been abusive then abandoned me, I had horrible panic attacks. I couldn't go anywhere. I was at the point where if I didn't have to work for a living, I wouldn't have left my bedroom ever. I couldn't go to parties, church or even the movies. I got through it by taking Valium. At first it started with one little 2 mg. pill once a day. The doctor I used to work for then ordered a bottle of 1,000 valium 20 mg. each for me to consume when I needed it. I didn't know it then, but he wasn't do me any favors. At 100 lbs., I was hooked for 6 years, consuming 8 20 mg. tablets per day! - probably enough to kill an elephant. I couldn't function without it. I would get dizzy, nauseated, pounding heart, basically wanting to jump out of my skin. One day, I tried to go off it cold turkey. The result was an attempt at flying off a third story. Lots of people die from going off their anti-anxiety/depression meds cold turkey.

At the end of this six year period, I met a great guy (who knew nothing of my addiction) and we got married. I started seeing a psychiatrist because I knew my symptoms (and the resulting addiction) were not normal or healthy. I wanted to be normal and healthy but didn't want to have to check in to a detox unit. I wanted a miracle, and I got one. He put me on a cocktail of different meds that were not addictive while weaning me off the Valium. After a few weeks of that, I found out I was pregnant. Wow, the last thing I was expecting. The psychiatrist was not pleased as I couldn't continue my treatment for addiction. I had no choice but to go off all meds that day, and I never took a pill again. Except for 1 brief black out spell, I did just great. I think whatever had put me in that state of panic had resolved years earlier, but I was hooked on the Valium, and so my body continued to mimic the panic attacks so that it could get its fix of the Valium.

I don't have those symptoms anymore. I just know that the doctor explained to me that those meds are okay for emergency situations, but if you get the attacks every day, you have to learn to cope with them in order for them to go away - and they can and do go away. Also, when you take a little bit of Xanax every day for a long time, you usually end up needing more and more to give you the same effect. I know this because this has been the situation with my sister and mom.

So please do seek a therapist or a doctor of some kind. It is serious enough to warrant it. Also, you can be cured. I think it has everything to do with your abusive father and absent mom. But even it you have to take meds in the beginning, they are life savers if consumed appropriately under competent administration.

My prayers are with you.

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Gabrielle, anxiety has been my worst enemy and it is for alot of people. I can understand how you feel and how helpless you feel. I kept my anxiety a secret for most of my life. I started having them when I was a little girl and was convinced that I was not a normal person. Don't let anyone in your life make you feel like you are a bad person because of anxiety. Don't feel weak because you take medication, see a therapist, yoga, or whatever you do to take control of the problem. You must do what you think will help you. I finally decided to take Paxil for my anxiety and have had to increase my dose since my diagnosis. I take alot of crap from family and friends, but I feel in control of my life. Feeling in control of my life helps keep me balanced and allows me to be a parent, an employee, a friend, an advocate, etc. Good luck to you. Tara

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Gabe,

I feel for you personally. I never had anxiety/depression problems till the Celiac disease kicked in full force.(before I knew I had it) I dropped down to 150 pounds and I am 6'4" tall. Anyways, after many missed diagnosies they found out I was Celiac. THat is when my psychological problems started. I am diagnosed Bi-polar. It is my belief that my brain was malnourished for so long that it was thrown off chemically, and is yet to recover, years later. I have the fear just like you, and have a hard time starting and keeping a job. I just don't have the energy for friends.

STeve

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Grace collpased from cardiac arrest while running with her college track team Jan. 10, 2005. She died Jan. 12. We still don't know the cause.

http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/xp-19290

richard

Richard I just finished reading the article and the beautiful poem Grace wrote. I am so touched! You were truly blessed with a beautiful daughter.

My son's girlfriend's sister(age 17) committed suicide this past fall and nothing has been the same for any of us. I don't know how you feel on the subject, but I just finished reading Allison DuBois' two books. She is the woman the TV show Medium was inspired by. 1st one is "Don't Kiss Them Goodbye" and 2nd is "We Are Their Heaven". They really make you think. The first book tells you more about Allison DuBois, she wrote it before the TV show was aired. The second book really got me. Very interesting.

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Does anybody have ongoing psychiatric prolems even after being on a gluten-free diet for a long time? I mentioned earlier that I have been gluten-free for over 2 years, but am still dealing with my psychiatric problems (bi-polar, anziety, depression). The only thing that went away after going gluten-free was the panic attacks. Anyone have on-going problems after going gluten-free, or know of any info about that???

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Hello everyone,

I am going through a cognitive behavioral program and have traced my anxiety and depression back to the way I thought...I used to catastrophize, I was a perfectionist, and a over-analyzer..I have a program called attacking anxiety and depression.. I also take Lexapro to help...I am reading a book called "The faith factor" which is written by a Medical Doctor who believes in medicines and prayer...Don't be ashamed of taking medication because they help tremendously...The best psychiatrist is inside all of us. We have to change the way we think...It takes a while but it works...Have faith in what our lord Jesus did at the cross as well. I used to be afraid of death and other things but continously tell myself I'm not afraid of it anymore. It takes awhile for the subconsious to reprogam itself, but it will....I also believe there is a spritual aspect to this...Go to a good CBT therapist and a prayer group....God Bless all of you because depression/panic/anxiety really is not fun!!

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As to your question, I have been gluten-free for about 15 months (with some occassional unintentional slips)... my anxiety has come back recently and I have found that some of my medications were not gluten-free so maybe that has something to do with it. Either way, I have issues to deal with- childhood issues that will not go away with being gluten-free (unfortunately). Thank you for your kind words and inspirational story! So glad you are better!

I wonder if you haven't answered your own question.

As to childhood issues to deal with I suspect many Celiac families are filled with pain and suffering, this poisoning being passed from one generation to the next.

In my experience when my body is truly nourished by good food I am happier and more at ease but equally important is to find some way to grieve for the child that was so hurt and to nurture the woman you wish to become. There are many different ways to approach untangling our pain, take the time to stop and listen to your own heart and what you feel is best for you, trust yourself, you are the one who will live with the consequences of the decisions that are made.

I have had anxiety attacks in the past and only by purely exerting my will have I been able to act. I have also noticed in the past couple of years a beginning reluctance to want to leave my home, once I arrive at wherever I am going I am happy to be there but the actual leaving of my home gives me anxiety. I'm talking about travel not to the grocery store and such. Now that I know why I am ill, the anxiety makes more sense to me because actually my life is quite good, in fact the more I think about it much of the anxiety I have had for the past two years has been about my health. :(

Richard, I have wondered who the lovely young woman was, I am so sorry for your loss.

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Hello everyone,

I am going through a cognitive behavioral program and have traced my anxiety and depression back to the way I thought...I used to catastrophize, I was a perfectionist, and a over-analyzer..I have a program called attacking anxiety and depression.. I also take Lexapro to help...I am reading a book called "The faith factor" which is written by a Medical Doctor who believes in medicines and prayer...Don't be ashamed of taking medication because they help tremendously...The best psychiatrist is inside all of us. We have to change the way we think...It takes a while but it works...Have faith in what our lord Jesus did at the cross as well. I used to be afraid of death and other things but continously tell myself I'm not afraid of it anymore. It takes awhile for the subconsious to reprogam itself, but it will....I also believe there is a spritual aspect to this...Go to a good CBT therapist and a prayer group....God Bless all of you because depression/panic/anxiety really is not fun!!

Hi Thomas,

That is most interesting. I, too, have catastrophic thinking, since childhood due to circumstances and family relationships, and it has carried into adulthood. Scary snowball-effect thinking....something happens and I go from zero to crazy in about 30 seconds. Very unhealthy and am trying to re-learn my thinking and my reactions to things and it is HARD! I'm going to look into this book....thanks for the encouragement.

richard - - don't know if I ever told you how touched I was by the article about Grace and how wonderful that you shared that. Blessings to you in your recovery. She was really lovely.

Susan

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HI Gabrielle,

I really feel for you. Before finding out about being gluten and casein intolerant I would have "panic attacks "that would last for 6 hours at a time. I wen to the ER several times. I would have feelings of doom, diarrhea,vomiting shaking and palpitations and then shortness of breath. These attacaks would last from a few hours at first to 6 hours. I was diagnosed with panic disorder and given Ativan.

Well, the Ativan wouldn't work and I kept searching for what was wrong with me. This has been going on for 10 years. I discovered that I am gluten and dairy as well as yeast intolerant from the Enterolab folks. I found a wonderful MD that also diagnosed me with 4 intestinal infections that I had since my immune system was shot due to the gluten and dairy. Of course I craved those foods.

I have been off gluten and dairy, yeast and sugar for almost 2 years and was treated for the infections. My doctor says that I have leaky gut and was having allergic reactions to those foods as well as mold. I am eating fresh foods and limiting grains to freshly cooked brown rice and wild rice and potatoes. I am much better.

Good luck on your journey.

Sincerely,

June

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Hello everybody, it's been a long time since I have posted... but I had a breakdown (a much needed breakdown) about 2 weeks after my initial post. I had seen my father for the first time in 4 years, and everything horrible just hit me like a ton of bricks. Not to mention, my beloved grandmother (whom practically raised me) was in the hospital for un-diagnosed Diabetes and congestive heart failure (which she is doing much better now I am happy to say). I was also dealing with losing my job, and finding a new job that I completely detest.

Anyway, I lost my ability to control any symptoms of anxiety (which now I believe all has to do with stress). I've been suffering off and on with insomnia since June 2 and I am on Rozerem which has really helped me. I have sought help from a therapist and I have my second session July 11th. I guess I say it was a much needed breakdown because I would have never done anything for myself with out it getting to the extreme. Unfortunately, I believe that is human nature to let things get so bad before we help ourselves. I just want to thank you all for being such humane individuals and reminding me of hope. It is so easy to forget that life isn't just about the downs, it's about the ups too. And even though the downs are difficult, they eventually go right back up. I really appreciated the messages that were sent to me, they were very insightful and loving. I desperately needed support at that time, and I apologize for not responding quicker.

I have spoke to my physician several times and she has diagnosed me with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). I still believe I have panic disorder, but I will take a diagnosis of GAD it makes me feel like I have been validated. She also believes that I have depression, since anxiety and depression do go hand in hand. She has given me Effexor XR to take, and I haven't taken it because I have read some horrible things about the withdrawl symptoms and the side effects seem awful. I am wondering about Zoloft ... Has anyone taken this? How does it work for you?? My dr. seems to think that a little pick me up would help my feelings of self doubt. I agree, I just would like to find the right meds.

I just want to thank you all again for telling me your stories and how you have found help. I know that I have a bumpy ride ahead of me, but I can do it. Thank you so much again.

Many thanks and lots of love,

Gabrielle

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It's human nature to persuade yourself to "wait and see"... otherwise they wouldn't come up with all those cliches like "it's always darkest before te dawn". I don't know anything about Zoloft so I can't answer that one for you. But I wanted to remind you that everyone is different and we all have different reactions to things. Look at all of our food intolerences and symptoms! Same for side effects. My dr. started me on Paxil which I did not tolerate well, he switched me to Lexapro and I'm doing great! My friend started on Lexapro and did well for a while, but now she's on Paxil. I would talk to your dr. about the side effects and remember that they do fade after a while. My only comment would be to start slow and work up gradually.

Glad you are on the road to being happy again!

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Hello everybody, it's been a long time since I have posted... but I had a breakdown (a much needed breakdown) about 2 weeks after my initial post. I had seen my father for the first time in 4 years, and everything horrible just hit me like a ton of bricks. Not to mention, my beloved grandmother (whom practically raised me) was in the hospital for un-diagnosed Diabetes and congestive heart failure (which she is doing much better now I am happy to say). I was also dealing with losing my job, and finding a new job that I completely detest.

Anyway, I lost my ability to control any symptoms of anxiety (which now I believe all has to do with stress). I've been suffering off and on with insomnia since June 2 and I am on Rozerem which has really helped me. I have sought help from a therapist and I have my second session July 11th. I guess I say it was a much needed breakdown because I would have never done anything for myself with out it getting to the extreme. Unfortunately, I believe that is human nature to let things get so bad before we help ourselves. I just want to thank you all for being such humane individuals and reminding me of hope. It is so easy to forget that life isn't just about the downs, it's about the ups too. And even though the downs are difficult, they eventually go right back up. I really appreciated the messages that were sent to me, they were very insightful and loving. I desperately needed support at that time, and I apologize for not responding quicker.

I have spoke to my physician several times and she has diagnosed me with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). I still believe I have panic disorder, but I will take a diagnosis of GAD it makes me feel like I have been validated. She also believes that I have depression, since anxiety and depression do go hand in hand. She has given me Effexor XR to take, and I haven't taken it because I have read some horrible things about the withdrawl symptoms and the side effects seem awful. I am wondering about Zoloft ... Has anyone taken this? How does it work for you?? My dr. seems to think that a little pick me up would help my feelings of self doubt. I agree, I just would like to find the right meds.

I just want to thank you all again for telling me your stories and how you have found help. I know that I have a bumpy ride ahead of me, but I can do it. Thank you so much again.

Many thanks and lots of love,

Gabrielle

Hi Gabrielle,

I just saw this post today and it brought back memories. When I was Dx'd with Celiac Disease about 14 months I all of the sudden had thoughts that I had never experienced before. I had a lot of anxiety about whether I would respond to the diet. This anxiety did not cause any of the physical symptoms I had before the Dx and as a matter of fact my Celiac symptoms went away quickly. The problem I had is I thought I would not respond to the gluten-free diet and would die. However as you can see from this post that did not happen. Anyway I got some professional help rather quickly. About a week into the diet I saw a family friend who allowed me to express those thoughts and prescribed some medication in a low dosage. The two medications I took were Xanax and Zoloft. Actually I took three the other being Trazodone. I used the Xanax and the Trazodone to help me get some sleep. In the beginning I was so keyed up I could not let myself go to sleep. Looking back I think I was fighting the medication. I like you was afraid of being dependent on the meds. Anyway I took small doses of these meds for only about 2 months. At that time I had responded to the gluten-free diet and gained enough weight to allow me to relax and forget about dying. I thought I would have a problem giving up the meds but the dose was small so I was able to stop taking all of it in about a week. That was in July of last year. Since then all of those thoughts have gone and not come back. One other thing in addition to meds was very helpful to me. My wife came home one day with a workbook. It was called the "Anxiety & Phobia Workbook" (third edition). This allowed me to read about the various conditions people experience and what the names are given for those conditions. I found that my obsessive /compulsive behavior was causing me some of the problems I had. On the other hand I thank the OC behavior for making me avoid gluten at all costs and gaining back the much needed weight. I was obsessed with gaining weight and I did all I could to make it happen. Today I am fine and look foward to as much good health as I can have. If something else happens in the future and I feel the need to do so I will not hesitate to refer to my workbook or professional help. Good luck to you.

Tom

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While I don't recommend it for everyone, I take Lexapro for anxiety.

My story sounds exactly like yours..odd phobias, physical attacks, everything you said.

I tried therapy, yoga, relaxation techniques.

After suffering for so long I realized it truly is chemical with me. When I take my Lexapro I am (normal).

I can function, travel, do everytbing I could NOT do when I was suffering from the debilitating anxiety.

I don't recommend meds for all because some people can really be helped with therapy and relaxation. For me it didn't work.

Talk to your dr. about therapy and see what he suggests in terms of meds. My drs. suggested meds for years before I actually took them because I was so afraid of the stigma attached to it. I am glad I gave up that fear and took them. though, however, because it changed my life for the better.

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I think that if you are diagnosed with a chemical imbalance in your brain, it is perfectly natural to take a medication that will help regulate that imbalance. If you were diabetic and the physician prescribed insulin, you would probably take it, right? Even if it's only for a temporary period of time (usually psychiatrists think of "temporary" as at least 9 months), medication is certainly a very good option.

I think that therapy is also VERY helpful. I found two different therapists (insurance, you know . . . ) who were both excellent. One therapist did EMDR -- the eye movement thing -- I did have a panic attack during one of those sessions, but even though I thought of it as voo-doo therapy, it actually worked! I have had so many good suggestions made for controlling anxiety by these two women . . . I can't remember when my last panic attack WAS.

Also, I agree with Susan -- returning to your faith, whatever it is/was, gives you a real sense of calm. I had really lost my faith -- and finding it was such a blessing for me. I was also VERY (lucky?), because I found my faith prior to getting sick. If I hadn't, I don't know that I wouldn't be a very, very bitter woman. And I know that I would certainly be a slave to panic attacks.

Richard, after all this time, I still get very teary when I see Grace's picture. As I've told you before, I simply can't imagine . . . she was such a beautiful girl -- inside and out. You are my role model for knowing the strength that one human being can possess.

Good luck to you finding help with your anxiety/panic attacks. I know that they can be so frightening. Know that you will get through this . . . and that you are CERTAINLY not alone. There are a lot of people who have panic disorders, and even if they won't admit it, they're out there. And if you need information from people who are compassionate, non-judgemental and knowledgeable . . . from my experience, they're in here.

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I am wondering about Zoloft ... Has anyone taken this? How does it work for you?? My dr. seems to think that a little pick me up would help my feelings of self doubt. I agree, I just would like to find the right meds.

Zoloft is not a pick me up. At least it wasn't for me. I took it for two weeks and found it to take my personality away. It makes you kinda numb, no real emotions. I didn't like it at all. Now I have Clonazepam .5 MG tablets on hand. It works fast and you only need to take it when you feel an anxiety attack or panic attack coming on. You feel normal again. I like the fact you don't feel like you took anything yet it works wonders. The tablets you can also cut in half. (Zoloft you need to take continuously and it takes a few weeks to work. You also can't just go off it, you need to slowly go off.) Zoloft also upset my stomach. I hope this info helps you.

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Anxiety levels and toxic reactions to gluten are extremely linked in some Celiacs.

Part of my certainty on this has been looking at my own diminishing anxiety after getting off of gluten, and the extreme physical anxiety I experience as the first reaction to glutening (soaring heart rate and blood pressure, coordination issues, plus scratchy throat etc.)

Another part is reading on neurological toxicity and celiac. In particular, there was a Canadian study that I need to find again on people with Celiac who were discovered later in life, I believe after 60. The two most common "missed" diagnoses for these people were anxiety and chronic fatigue.

Celiac may condition some of our systems in the long term to be very anxious, physically, and this needs to be taken seriously as a physical and neurological, as well as a mental health issue. These disorders are mind-body disturbances: very much body and very much affecting the mind.

The anxiety connection can be treated with clonezepam or some other anti-anxiety medication to bring the reactivity down, plus cognitive behavioral work, plus dietary and sleep hygiene work. Take away the gluten, find a safe schedule, figure out what keeps your system in balance.

With people who have depressive side effects, appropriate anti-depressant therapy (don't forget that SSRIs - Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft family- are not for everyone!) is important.

But also, in addition to the work with therapists and possible pharmaceutical help, it is very important to validate your reaction and allow it to be a component of lifelong illness. It is not untreatable but it is chronic and it can be debilitating at times. Being crazy is not having "mental health" disorders, but rather refusing to take appropriate self-care measures. Nobody can really help having a genetic or personal predisposition to illness of any form. But we can change how we advocate for ourselves and how seriously we take our symptoms and the stabilizing of our health.

I felt great compassion and also kinship upon reading jennyj's comment in this thread about developing an aversion to driving very far away from home. I developed an aversion last summer, as my celiac symptoms were beginning to be less than silent, to leaving the house and socializing. This is particularly interesting to me as I have always been a very sociable person and used to love going out at the drop of a hat. Illness is a part of our personality. Not being well makes it hard to be as flexible and as adaptable as we would like to be.

I have been thinking about these issues a lot lately as I try to organized my post-celiac life. As ever, it's lovely to find people on this forum asking the same questions and willing to share their stories. Thanks!

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For those of you worried about Xanax, taking it in an unusual way, along with talk therapy stopped my panic attacks over 15 years ago. My GP at the time my panic disorder was progressing to agoraphobia (even with therapy) attended a conference and learned that even .25 or half a .25 of Xanax placed under the tongue at the start of a panic attack will abort it. There is a rich supply of capillaries under the tongue, so the dose is absorbed sublingually, goes immediately into the bloodstream - and the dose is so small that it doesn't knock you out. After doing this successfully a few times, the "fear of the fear" vicious cycle of panic disorder that perpetuates it was broken. I hardly ever need it, but don't 'til this day not have some Xanax in my purse.

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Antidepressants affect everyone differently so if you decide to take one on your dr's advice, let him/her suggest which one would be best for you.

I tried Zoloft and it upset my stomach, but my mother takes it and LOVES it. So, it's just a matter of finding the right one. My dr. said most people take 2 to 3 before finding the one which works for them.

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