My 10 years of anxiety

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Offline jubl1210

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My 10 years of anxiety
« on: 20/08/2004 10:48:14 »
True anxiety as a condition is not psychological it is purely PHYSICAL, due to the brain reabsorbing too much of its own serotonin. My first anxiety attacks started 10 years ago and came completely out of the blue. I drove myself mad trying to understand them, why they were happening and how to stop them. I never found the answer. The psychiatrists said I must be anxious about something, and I must be thinking negatively and I must have 'thought' my way into that state of mind. I was never convinced that this was the case, but gave them the benefit of the doubt and battled for years trying to work things out, change my thoughts, work out where I went wrong, to no avail. I tried to avoid medication, because as they said, that wasn't the way to tackle the problem. I had to 'fix it in my own mind'. For years I battled on and got nowhere. Through experience and learning, I learned to reduce the fear that the attacks were going to do something terrible to me, but I never got over the social embarrassment of having them. Having one in front of people was and still is my worst dread. As time went on I got so fed up of getting nowhere that I started taking propranolol. Propranolol stops the symptoms from showing, it is a life-saver. Your heart can't beat beyond a certain speed. It's like putting your adrenal gland to sleep. But even though you mask the symptoms, you still know you are going through the attack. You feel it in the blood vessels and nerve endings in your legs, and this is because propranolol does nothing to normalise serotonin. I only discovered when I started taking paroxetene and later escitalopram, which are drugs that actually normalise the serotonin levels in your brain - that you can actually take that nagging 'base' feeling of anxiety away, so you just feel normal. These drugs don't mask the symptoms of an attack like propranolol does, they STOP the actual base feelings of anxiety that escalate into a panic attack. Proving that normalising serotonin cures anxiety. I have absolutely loads to say on the subject, and loads of experience that I hope can help you all out there.



Offline chris

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Re: My 10 years of anxiety
« Reply #1 on: 23/08/2004 09:04:50 »
Hi Julie

I'm glad to hear that you are feeling a little more in control of your symptoms now. Propranolol is a good drug for symptomatic control of anxiety and, in fact, is frequently used by nervous actors to mask the effects of 'stage fright'. But, as you say, it merely blocks the end-organ response yet does nothing about the root cause of anxiety.

The 2 drugs that you mention - paroxetine (seroxat) and citalopram are SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). We don't really understand how these agents work and the mechanism is almost certainly more complicated that merely altering serotonin levels. That's because you can measure an almost immediate effect on brain serotonin levels after administering either drug, yet the improvement in symptoms takes 2 to 3 weeks to kick in. This time-course would be more consistent with some kind of brain re-wiring, or contributions from new nerve cells born from adult stem cells resident in certain parts of the brain (we now know that antidepressants (no matter what class or type) all have in common the ability to boost the survival of newly-born nerve cells in the adult brain).

Anxiety is a horrible condition which makes people feel absolutely wrteched, largely because panic attacks are a learned response. With practise, humans can become extremely good at doing things, including panicking. To crack the problem you need to unlearn the response. This usually involves learning to recognise the signs that an attack is about to start, and then developing a strategy to nip the process in the bud before it has the chance to become a full blown attack. Over time, and as confidence returns, you forget how to mount an effective full-blown anxiety attack and the problem goes away.

Best wishes


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I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx