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Looking for lexapro reassurance. I am just about 5 weeks into lexapro journey. Two weeks on 5mg and little over two weeks on 10mg. I have a lot of morning anxiety and just feel afraid to go anywhere for fear of full blown panic attack. I've managed to go to work but that is about it. I don't feel like myself. Constantly worried about my heart rate and low blood pressure. Saw cardiologist the other day who assured me ekg fine other than high heart rate of 133 because it was done during an anxiety attack. I've read 6-8 weeks is the magic time frame for most to feel better. Anyone have advise?

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Stick it out. You only have a couple more weeks to know if it's going to work for you or not. I applaud you for being able to go to work, that's a great accomplishment. When I had panic attacks I couldn't go to work. So you are a big step ahead of a lot of people. 

Hugs. 

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@MsLLL thank you. I just feel miserable. Not full blown panic attacks, but just always anxious, feel foggy, ears feel full. Which then makes me take my BP, which has historically been low, but I worry about that now. I'm on lexapro for health anxiety, so obviously it's not working yet because I'm still focused on heart rate and BP. since you are a nurse, you can understand I'm taking orthostatic blood pressure and i do drop when i stand to  like 90/50 a couple of readings wer 84/50 but i'm sure that was an error because i was not symptomatic, but I've always been low  and i'm focusing so much on it now. My heart rate soars the minute i hit the BP machine button, so now i'm convinced i have POTS. My cardiologist said even if I did, hydration and exercise would help that as well as anxiety, but i'm too afraid to exercise again. Up until a month ago, i walked every night 2-3 miles. Now i'm afraid. I need this to kick in. This is so not the person I am :( were or are you on lexapro? If so, do you remember feeling like this? I know everyone is different, but i have a cousin on it and by this point she already felt better. So of course, I feel like a failure. 

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Hi Lisa,

I totally get it. I have been there, believe me. And my RR and P were allover the place, super low, sky high, the whole drill. I was obsessed monitoring ------ not good! 

You have been checked out by the doctor, you know medically you are fine. Lexapro cannot give you a heart attack, please believe me. You don' thave POTS. You have anxiety and the medication is nixing the PA's in the butt....But the anxiety is still there, it needs time. 

No, I was never on Lexapro but I know people who did well on it. You will too! You have to get your mind off it and work together with the medication. You need to find something fun to do, watch a movie or hang out with a friend until you are over the hump. 

If you are not better in a few weeks then consider trying something else but it's very likely the RR and P issues will be an issue on a new medication until everything in your system settles down. 

Hugs. 

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3 hours ago, anxiouslisa said:

I'm on lexapro for health anxiety, so obviously it's not working yet because I'm still focused on heart rate and BP.

Lisa, the med's cant do that. They will help you to feel calm and ready to tackle the issues we need to tackle. But you can do that! I know you can. 

Has anyone in your family told you you seem better? I didn't feel a difference for a while back than but my family and friends noticed a difference in me before I ever did. 

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2 minutes ago, anxiouslisa said:

@MsLLL you are a blessing to me for this reassurance. I'm trying so hard 😕

Don't try so hard. You will get through this. Just let the meds work, take a bath or play with your dog ( if you have one). Just do whatever it takes to take your mind off it for a bit, ok? 

You are not failing, this is totally normal. I have done THE SAME THING>  I'm just trying to talk you through it. 

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Yes, I have 2 dogs who I feel look at me and wonder what is wrong, where are my walks?? I work days, husband works evenings so I'm alone a lot and that's my problem, alone with my negative thoughts🙁 I'm going through empty nest big time. And this is how I cope by worrying. I know I need to get out and do things to get my mind busy on things other than myself, but  that takes energy I don't have right now. I'm lucky to make it through work and back home. I'm trusting it'll get better.

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@anxiouslisa I know how you feel about wanting to meds to start working already. We are on similar time frames with meds. I just increased to a therapeutic dose of Effexor and am still anxious. It's day 5 of the increase.  The issue is I can't sleep at night. I can fall asleep with klonopin but can't seem to stay asleep! It's been two nights in a row. Did you have any issues with sleep?

We are also remodeling part of our house, so my whole routine is thrown off. I'm so tired right now...……….

 

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I'm sleeping well for the most part. Just frustrated. Had a very anxious weekend. Today is week 5, but only 3rd week on 10mg. Trying to hang in there. Do you ever worry about meds changing who you are. I worry every time I hear of someone killing their family or other murder s****de, I think OMG I wonder if they were on lexapro? I just want to give myself something to worry about. The what ifs? 

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Yes I always wonder if the meds are actually going to kill me and make me worse . I am med phobic. I also worry about my klonopin dependence, but can’t worry about that right now 😞 I’m just trying to get through one day at a time. I do notice that the anxious thoughts are not go away though. I’m a little ramped up with anxiety right now. It’s that time of the month, I’ve had very little sleep , and my house is under renovation. My little one is back in school and things have not normalized yet. I am so thankful for all of you and your support!

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3 hours ago, anxiouslisa said:

I'm sleeping well for the most part. Just frustrated. Had a very anxious weekend. Today is week 5, but only 3rd week on 10mg. Trying to hang in there. Do you ever worry about meds changing who you are. I worry every time I hear of someone killing their family or other murder s****de, I think OMG I wonder if they were on lexapro? I just want to give myself something to worry about. The what ifs? 

A lot of folks are worried about that. I understand you have that worry, I think we all do. A psychiatrist I have met at a work forum told us once that these type of meds' bring the best out in people, not the worst! He said a lot of people don't take medication they so desperately need or stop it prematurely because of the stigma and because they are worried it will change their personality. A common SSRi can't do that, also you are under the care of a doctor. 

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Thank you. Glad to hear it's a common worry. I'm beginning to question everything. The one thing I know is my only wish in life is to see my children, who I love with all my heart, grow and see their dreams fulfilled. I would never do anything to myself or them to jeopardize that. The what ifs are just things to give myself something to worry about.

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@MsLLL I hope you can offer some advise both personally and professionally. I've been taking .5 ativan every morning w my 10mg lexapro for the last 3 weeks as I was advised to do to help with the anxiety during the initial stages of lexapro. At what point do I begin to wean the ativan? How will I know if the lexapro works if I continue the ativan. My psych refuses to answer that question and many others, so I'm in the process of changing. In the meantime my PCP will manage my lexapro dose. I'm seeing her on 9/6, but am just looking for an opinion. Thanks in advance!

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Hi Lisa, 

do you take the Lexapro and the Ativan at the same time? I have never heard of that personally but I'm sure there is clients who do so. You have raised a good question here, how are you supposed to know if the Lexapro works? If you calm your brain with a benzo right away? 

Rule of thumb is, just take the SSRI regularly and if  there is not even the slightest dent in how you feel or it has increased your symptoms it's time to face the reality of being on the wrong medication. Your doctor cannot let you run into a possible addiction scenario just because he refuses to come up with the correct treatment plan for you. And yes, they run out of patience because they see this every day but that is their problem in my opinion. 

Lexapro will not calm you as fast as the benzo, it takes time to build up in your system. And a benzo has a short half time so you face the danger of needing more longterm to get the same results. It's sad and concerning to me that your doctor doesn't take your concerns seriously. I wonder what his plan is for you? If that's his treatment plan to take an SSRI combined with a benzo how long should you and what's the reasoning behind it? In my professional experience we gave the SSRIS/SNRIS regularly and only for an acute panic attack, if all other coping skills failed, we issued the benzo to the clients. (Sometimes even a placebo if we felt it would do the same but that' s another story). 

Benzo's taken longterm can get you addicted, your doctor needs to discuss this with you. Can you -with the help of your PCP taper off the ativan? And only take it in accute crisis and develop coping skills with your counselor?  That would be my approach for myself and for clients. 

There is one exception to the rule, if no SSRI/SNRI ever works for a client and they are dx with acute panic disorder, yes, then you should be put on a treatment plan to take, for example .5 of a benzo 3*/24 hrs ( or whatever works in the individual case). 

Let me know what you think? How is the anxiety on a scale of 0-10? How often do yo have classic panic attacks? In a week? In a day? 

My best wishes, I know how this sucks. 

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PS: My friend now upped her Wellbutrin intake to 300 mg/24 hrs and it's not helping yet. Fingers crossed! 

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@MsLLL thank you. So I haven't had a panic attack in about two weeks, so I know lexapro is doing something. Tuesday will be 4 weeks on 10mg. My psych didn't exactly say to take ativan at same time as lexapro, it just turned out that I take lexapro at 530a when I wake up for work and took .5mg also because I knew I'd need it to drive to work at 645a. I have not taken more than that .5mg in the AM for about two weeks, so only once per day. The most I ever took was .5mg twice per day. My ordered dose is 1mg BID PRN, so I've never even taken that much. I have not taken an ativan since Friday, since I'm off for three days, I thought I'd see how I do without it since i don't have to work. I"m not having panic attacks, but feel anxious probably 4-5/10 on scale. I've managed to go to stores and restaurants, and although I feel a little uncomfortable, I'm able to get beyond it. Not truly feeling happy again, but much better than a few weeks ago. I see a therapist weekly, and as awful as my psych has been, she is awesome. I am on a wait list for a new psych, and until then I have confidence in my PCP to give me direction. I wish there was a magic point that I'd know I've reached the therapeutic level of Lexapro. Every time i make it to another week I wait for something magical to happen, and maybe it is but I'm too focused on somatic things to appreciate it. Thank for your input and I hope the wellbutrin starts working soon for your friend, that seems like a high dose??

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Wow Lisa---- you are making progress! I'm so glad you asked me this initial question so we get to hear you are actually on a good path! I knew you could do it. Yes, we are too focussed on the psychosomatic issues of this disease that's why we don't fully realize that things are better. There is not magical time limit but rest assured you are on it for a very short time and making progress! Good deal! I'm so pleased! Rule of thumb: If you can live your daily life w/o avoidance you are on a good path which you are. For the work ride, how about downloading soothing music or meditation? And if you get panicky at work you can still take the ativan, for emergencies only. 

Yes, I'm concerned about my friend, it's been a long road, she has tried many different meds over the years but hasn't found something that really helps. So the doctor increases to a very high dosage. It's for clinical depression, not so much anxiety. Fingers crossed though. 

Don't focus on the next week, stay in there here and now. If you are fine in the here and now the next week can wait (discuss that with your counselor if you wish). 

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Staying in the here and now is definitely a challenge for us worriers, but I am trying. I have tried listening to relaxation type things on the way to work and it helps. Also, i find that I tell myself I've been through this before and felt this way before and nothing bad happened and I survived and I will again. Feeling nervous is not fun and it's uncomfortable but I have to work through this and push myself. I cannot make my world smaller because of my anxiety, as easy and comfortable as that may be. Thank you for your insight and encouragement. it is truly appreciated.  

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