It always makes me wanna scream when I hear about "friends" who deem themselves sufficiently competent in medicine to advise what I "need" and "don't need"! Especially the Luddite types, who fear anything modern or scientific. Loons! Psychotropic medications have kept me alive these last 20 years - after finding an expert shrink to figure out the right drugs and best dosages for me. Not all anti-anxiety/psychotic/depression meds are good for every person. It's all very fluid, that's why you need to get to a specialist in psycho-active meds. Sounds like you're dealing with a GP at present time? Go higher up the food chain. My experience has taught me that GPs just aren't competent in matters psychiatric. Get a referral to a well-known, popular shrink. Here in Canada we have a handy website for rating doctors: http://www.ratemds.com/. Patients have built up a vast database of ratings and personal lilkes/dislkes of doctors. Very useful when shopping for a good doc. Barring that kind of assistance in finding a good shrink, ask around - call up local mental health organizations, groups etc to ask form some highly recommended names of shrinks in your area. Not ALL psychiatrists are good or useful. I'd even say that 90% of them are charlatans working the system by spinning through as many patients as possible every day to maximize their billings. Find a GOOD psychiatrist. Then tell your GP you'd like a referral to this exact doctor - nobody else. So you might hurt your GP's feelings, tough. It's YOUR health! About meds: I sometimes hear horror stories about powerful anti-psychotic drugs that are just too powerful and addictive. Seroquel comes to mind as the drug I hear most about. Also there was a drug called Zyprexa - supposed anti-psychotic that actually made people FAT, FAST! Many patients were made diabetic from this drug, and the manufacturer, Eli Lily Co. ended up settling a class action lawsuit for more than $1 billion!! I had a close call with Zyprexa. I gained unwanted weight, but I did not turn diabetic. I'm just saying, everything is a series of decisions you have to make: the right doctor, the right medication(s). <Sometimes it takes more than one med to do the job. In summary: don't listen to your know-it-all friends. Locate a trusted psychiatrist. Get on good meds. It could be the difference between a reasonably good life and an intolerable life. It's your play! Good Luck!View Thread
I have been taking clonazepam for anxiety for seven years under the care of a top psychiatrist. When I came to him seven years ago I came with a 12 mg per day dosage that my GP had me on. The shrink right away said "That's way too much, you need to take less." He explained that at that dosage I am profoundly addicted, so I would always want more and more of it. So he weaned me down to 3 X 1 mg daily, and that has been very effective for me. I still will experience the occasional minor "jab" of anxiety, and when I do my shrink says it's ok to take one extra mg. That fixes me up just fine. I'm very comfortable and satisfied on this dosage, and my shrink says that this dosage is perfectly fine to take for my lifetime. Are you possibly taking too much clonazepam?View Thread
I've been round the shrink and psychologist cognitive/tapping/REMD therapies block about 18 dozen times over the last 21 years after surviving a ruptured brain aneurysm in 1991.
My worst bogeyman was, and still is (slightly - now well-controlled with benzodiazepines under supervision of a terrific shrink).
Not one psychologist was worth the time or effort (here in Canada we don't pay, so I didn't feel the $$ pressure as you do).
Whether "Yak yak yak,"(Talk therapy) or "tap, tap, tap,"(Tapping therapy) or "shut-your-eyes and picture this: Rapid Eye Movement Desensitization:(REMD): it was all feckless!
Sorry, professional psychologists out there - I'm just relating my real experience.
My salvation was getting to a top psychiatrist who has expertise in psychoactive medications. Relief! I've been on a daily dose of 3 X 1mg clonzepam for these last 7 years under my shrink, and I bless his name every minute of every day.
I lump Cognitive therapy in with the loopier Naturopaths and homeopathy "doctors," - it's all smoke and mirrors.
I wonder if the moderator will allow my reply to appear here? I hope so, for your sake.
Earlier I posted a longer answer to your question about fears of having a brain aneurysm, and after posting I recalled a link to a site that has got to be the world's most exhaustive repository of brain aneurysm stories : http://stu.westga.edu/~wmaples/parsley_john.html
You'll find all kinds of personal stories about the topic here. Hope this is useful to you. It has been good for me in the past.View Thread
Dear horse_mom1: Oh boy! That question took some bravery on your part to post! Embarrassing, isn't it? Brave you. I have experienced a few incidents of similar urgency to go, after a brain injury 21 years ago. The messing yourself, and the car : been there, done that. Not a lot of fun. What I've done for many years is to pack myself full of generic Imodium before a potentially upsetting situation (the brand name product is way too expensive). I know the instructions on the box say, I think, "No more than 8 pills/day," but when you're desperate, you're desperate! I've often used more like 10 or 12 pills taken all at once in the morning. It produces very satisfactory results for me. I don't need to go for about 24 hours, then I'm back to normal. I've discussed this high-dosing with my doc, he has no problem with it. I suspect it depends on your own metabolic rate to know if it's likely to be safe or not for you to do what I do. My metabolism runs at high gear all the time. "Constipation" is a word that doesn't even appear in my personal dictionary! I think you might consider this approach - but first run it by your doctor. I hope your trip goes smoothly.View Thread
I'm an actual survivor of a ruptured subarachnoid cerebral hemorrhage (brain aneursym) 21 years ago. My experience was a sudden, horrendous, unbelievably bad thunder clap of pain in the head, fainting and temporary blindness. I blog about it here: http://nothingyoucansee.wordpress.com/. In light of my harsh, traumatic and sudden onset, I find it hard to credit that an aneurysm onset could be so gentle or gradual as a headache or series of headaches or other mild discomfort. I mean, I thought I was going to die on the spot when it hit me!
That's just my experience, though, and I have heard a few aneurysm survivors describe a less scary onset. Not sure if I believe them, though. Memory of the "event" can be sketchy for survivors.
I wouldn't want you to ignore your disturbing moments of pain or fear, but I do feel fairly safe in saying that if it really were an aneurysm, you'd KNOW it quickly. Because you'll either be in indescribable agonies of pain (way, way, way beyond 'migraine country'), or suddenly dead!
Hang on in there and pay attention, definitely, but on the other hand, try to stay calm and rational about your fears. Only about 1% of people are definite candidates for a brain aneurysm. The odds are on your side!View Thread
Welcome to the party! I've suffered chronic depression/anxiety/panic since surviving a brain aneurysm clipping procedure 21 years ago. I've had benefit of one of the country's top shrinks who specializes in brain injury, and who knows his meds inside-out. Here's the way it is for me now (and will likely worsen with aging, says my doc):
1)depression: incurable. I'm unresponsive to every single anti-depressant on the market.
2)anxiety/panic: _fairly well controlled_ with 3 X1 Mg. daily dose of clonazepam. I get about 95% relief from this benzodiazepine. But that miserable 5% represents days/incidents that for unclear reasons just seem to stab me with panic and anxiety. I used to be able to predict almost exactly when I'd get an attack: around 6:00 p.m. when the better half is due home from work and I'm supposed to have a delightful dinner going (I can't cook worth a damn!); when expecting any important phone call; when watching violent TV shows or movies. But in the last 5 years or so it's become totally unpredictable. Lately I've been waking up around 3:a.m in panic! I don't understand why. My doc says this kind of unpredictable occurrence of panic/anxiety is just part of aging. The brain starts to go nutty, you know? What fun! Good luck to you.View Thread