Need Some Quick Help (Seeing a GP for Help With My Anxiety)

Discussion in 'Support' started by Amelia, Feb 18, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Hi T family :)

      I've been struggling for a good month now and am heading to the GP tomorrow to see if he can give me something to help with my anxiety surrounding T.

      To make it clear I don't want anything to be taken daily - only something when I'm having a panic attack over the T. I fully understand the addictive nature of these types of medications and wouldn't be seeing the doctor if I wasn't seriously worried about this - my husband is getting a little concerned too.

      But I wanted to have a vague idea of the "safe" medications out there for T. No point in him prescribing something I can't take (if he decides I need it)

      Thanks x
       
    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Some benzos will help calm the nerve when needed. I took Ativan 1mg once a day for a few months, and then slowly fade it out. Then I would keep a few .5mg in my wallet in case of need (rarely need them). Ask the doctor about how to fade it out. As long as you use it for short term to cut off the sharp edges of anxiety symptoms, and follow the recommended fading out schedule, it should be safe to take them.
       
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    3. Magpie
      Sporty

      Magpie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/1999
      Amelia if I was in a similar position I really wouldn't like to go on the suggestions or advice of anybody other than my doctor. Different people have different experiences to particular medications so we are all unique as far as that goes.
      A long time ago I also wrote that I considered anti depressants were addictive and I was basically scolded and told I didn't know what I was talking about. The body does work up a tolerance to certain drugs over time and they loose their effect so it may be a case of taking a higher dose in certain cases. Personally I think the best way of overcoming panic attacks is through counselling by a psychologist or specialist. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a good option for anxiety, panic attacks and for counteracting negative thoughts. Your doctor would most likely prescribe a low dose of whatever to start you off anyway and as long as you keep him/her up to date you should be OK.

      Good luck
       
    4. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Thanks guys.
      @Magpie - I totally understand the addictive nature of these meds, so it's not something I'm taking lightly. I'm also looking at VERY short term use. I hate even taking Panadol these days.
      I have done CBT in the past but my tools in that are failing me at the moment unfortunately.

      Most days I'm ok, but on the days I'm not I feel like I need a little help
       
    5. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      I dunno, I take a lot of medication, but you know what, i dont actually care. So what if it's addictive? If it calms you down, it calms you down. I know this opinion is the polar opposite to what all the other comments will say, but medication helps me. I still feel crap, but without it, I'd feel even crapper and I dont want that. My psyc says that some people just need medication for life. Just like if you were a diabetic, you'd need insulin for life. And if you're really worried, then your own mental strength will override the medication and you'll be able to stop anyway. If you decide you've had enough, then stop. It is kinda that simple. If your symptoms return after you stop medication well then you're not ready to be off medication. Why torture yourself with unnecessary panic attacks if you dont need to. Do what makes you feel good, just like coffee makes you feel good, or alcohol. Almost everyone drinks those and aren't addicted. Sure, some people get addicted, but only the people that use it as an escape. Having a few beers every night wont kill you, and neither will popping a few pills! Thats how I see it. And I know I'm alone on this view!
       
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    6. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      I get what you are saying @Neenie. I'm probably getting ahead of myself anyway - he might not even prescribe me anything, but I just wanted to see if some things were "safer" for us T'ers.

      I've always been anxious - it's my nature - but it's getting bigger than what I'm able to cope with. Not all the time, but frequently enough for me to seek help
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    7. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      If you're really worried and you want to make sure you get the "right" medication then I recommend when you go to your GP, ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. Then the world opens up to you a little more and there's a million medications that you can take and you can be sure that the psyc knows what they're talking about more so than a GP
       
    8. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      And also, dont let yourself be bullied into doing something you dont want to do. YOU are the boss
       
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    9. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Thanks Hun. He may decide to refer me on for some counselling rather than prescribe something anyway
       
    10. George Brady
      Crappy

      George Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1985
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      bad meds
      I take meds for anxiety and panic attacks and there not addicting at all
       
    11. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Totally agree with you!!! :)
       
    12. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      I have an old saying: "Mood is Everything!" Those who have experienced this first-hand will know exactly what I am talking about. Those who have not will not. It's kind of simple as that.

      Anxiety - the real kind, that comes from deep in the core like a hollow vacuum gnawing in the gut, etc. for no specific reason (not like where some ding-bat is threatening to blow up the plane you are on, or whatever!), is not small potatoes. Especially so if it runs in family history and is associated with depression, etc.
      I think anxiety is darn tough to deal with "non chemically" as in my experience there must be a strong bio-chemical component to it as otherwise why it would just come out of the closet for no damn reason at some non-triggered time??? Yes sure, tinnitus can indeed be a valid trigger and it can be also be genuine 'push over the cliff' agent...So it depends how far you fall and whether you can get up on your own and/or without help. If that help can be without meds = great! (Friends, support, counselling, whatever.) However, I am of the camp that says it can be just too darn hard without some bio-chemical help. Even if it's just occasionally to enable you to deal with getting other kinds of help!

      I do not find the Benzos (I use Klonopin/Clonezeapam) to be "addictive" if used sensibly and tapered slowly. I'm not sure about Xanax, but have heard that is a bit tougher to wean off if you have it too long.

      By the way, I presume you have tried the "natural" products to no effect???
      Omega fish oils really are a help (in winter especially) for creeping anxiety and keeping it away. Likewise spray on (skin/body) "Magnesium Oil" can also be effective very quickly. It's a micro-fine magnesium solution and I spray it all over my legs and arms before getting sweaty om my StairMaster - then wash it off when I shower a bit later, as it can be a bit sticky. I only use this when/if I feel those hollow flutters starting in my gut area and nothing else has changed with my hum-drum routine to warrant that. It is nowhere near as good as a benzo, but worth a preemptive shot.
      By the way, I only mention these two products because they have worked for me on enough occasions to warrant mentioning them. [A ton of natural products do NOT work and the list I have tried over 40 years for whatever thing, is extensive. Plus I have been involved in organic farming and 'eco/natural' for those 40 years so am a 'believer' so to speak. I'm also a scientist, so the proof is in the pudding...If it does not work three out of three it fails my testing criteria!]
      Good luck...and anxiety sucks!
      Best, Zimichael
       
    13. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      It is kinda that simple. If your symptoms return after you stop medication well then you're not ready to be off medication. Why torture yourself with unnecessary panic attacks if you dont need to.

      Looks like you aren't alone on this view at all, Neenie. I was terrified to take any psychotropic medications when I first developed anxiety and rolling panic attacks in connection with my tinnitus. Never had anxiety before and literally thought the attacks would kill me. At first, I wouldn't take the alprazolam prescribed to me. But I did and guess what? They saved me. Six months later, I now only take them as needed -- certainly not every day. I always was able to stick with a low dose and have had no issues with withdrawal.

      Most of these medications are safe, Amelia, if treated with respect (which I know you will) and taken under the guidance of a psychiatrist, not just a GP. You must follow his/her suggestions to the letter, especially when it comes time to stop taking the drug. You can't just stop it all at once. If you want something that will act on the attacks, they probably will give you something like alprazolam (Xanax); it works very quickly, as compared to other benzos, but then exits the body quickly as well. So it is not a great med for a long-term anxiety disorder but works well on panic, especially panic that your doctor suspects will ease over time.

      I personally think it also is a good idea to couple psychotherapy with medications when dealing with anxiety. At least it sure helped me. I went with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which has worked for many tinnitus/anxiety patients -- although not necessarily for all.

      I also found relief with this guided meditation CD by Belleruth Naparstek.
      http://www.healthjourneys.com/Product_Detail.aspx?id=360&mcid=5&catid=
      I loaded my CD onto my iPhone, carried it in my car and everywhere, so I could access it the minute I felt an attack coming on.

      Hang in there, Amelia, you can ease those attacks. You have my sympathy and support. I never felt worse in my life than when in the grip of panic -- and this comes from someone who has had a ruptured aneurysm followed by a cerebral hemorrhage and stroke. The panic, and tinnitus, has been worse.
       
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    14. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I agree with Neenie. If your body needs the meds to survive, and you plan to use the meds with prudence anyway, and your doctor(s) give the okay to use them, then go for it. Sometimes, there is actually no choice in order to survive, as in my case.

      In the initial stage, my T was all hell. I usually woke up in the morning with loud screaming ultra high pitch tinnitus shrill, something which used to drive my brain into relentless anxiety and panic attacks on auto mode before I was fully awake enough to reason myself out of these attacks. In the first few months, I had to immediately reach for meds, Ativan, Prozac & what have u whenever my loud T woke me up. No amount of will power could stop this process, so much so that I was worrying my doom would be a foregone conclusion. I mean how do you survive something which didn't give you any chance to fight it. The problem was that I had suffered decades of anxiety and panic disorders. My brain tended to react with anxiety/panic mode on life's challenges. So my brain facing these new and alien T sensation had no chance. It was so freaked out by my T (and hyperacusis soon after) that it just caved into panic on auto mode. Each day was a long dark day. I mean besides dealing with T & H, I also had to deal with repeated episodes of anxiety and panic attacks daily.

      So I had to survive. My will power wasn't enough to stop the attacks and I could not live with daily, even hourly relentless anxiety/panic attacks. I had to depend on meds to survive initially. My doctor saw no issue with it. In fact he said Prozac, an SSRI AD, is not addictive at all. It is an anti-depressant but its main function according to my doctor is to stop the panic attack. It will take longer to take effect than the Ativan which is a benzo, a tranquillizer. The latter can be addictive. So I use the Ativan for a few months but continue to take Prozac and latter Amitriptyline (because Prozac can kill sex drive for long term use, lol). I had to take sleeping pills too to help me sleep initially. So I was a 'druggie' for the first 6 months or so. LOL. Luckily, I am drug free today and my T is no longer an issue.
       
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    15. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Quick update - GP wouldn't prescribe anything even after I basically had a meltdown/ugly cry in his office. He has given me some info on relaxation techniques which he said once I get good at will do the same as medication.

      I guess I'm not really surprised - I take my kids to him because he doesn't hand out antibiotics like lollies as most Gp's do and I trust his judgement

      I have to say even though it's not the outcome I wanted, he was lovely about it and did seem to understand why I was feeling the way I am. Obviously if things get worse he said we can look at meds then, but he really didn't want to start me on them as he believes it will hamper my habituation.

      He did give me a prescription for "serc" - bsetahistie. So I'm going to try that. God help me if it increases the volume!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    16. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      With all due respect to Billie, dont know if fluxotein (Prozac) is your drug of choice for panic attacks. Depends on how severe your panic is. It can take weeks for SSRIs to make a difference. With panic, your house is on fire. So put out the fire and then switch over to something else, if necessary,
       
    17. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane

      Hey I see that you were posting as I was posting! I will only say if you are having true panic -- and you will know because you will feel like you are dying or want to -- all the relaxation techniques in the world may not work. Go to a psychiatrist. A GP is not qualified to help you.
       
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    18. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      It probably won't make it worse. Finnish doctors give it very often to patients complaining of tinnitus, even though I don't think it has been demonstrated to be effective for plain ol' tinnitus. Normally it's used for Meniere's.

      I find it utterly disappointing that he didn't prescribe you anything. Relaxation techniques are fine and dandy but oh my god, would some anxiolytics in the medicine cabinet be so bad, for just in case if you hit a rough spot?

      Well, it seems you Aussies struggle with the same thing as we Finns. Doctors here don't like to prescribe anything else than SSRIs (those they hand out like candy, though), and if you bring up the word benzo, they look at you like a drug addict even though you have no such history. People with real acute anxiety problems are turned away from the door. It's insane and insulting. Yes, benzos are addictive and can build up tolerance quickly and are best avoided if possible (just look at BenzoBuddies and how people are working really hard to get off them), but sometimes they are needed.

      But your wish was this;
      And for that a benzo could have been a good option. I've taken them infrequently, never more than 3 days in a row, and they really work. Also, just having them in your cabinet helps, because you know you have them if shit really hits the fan, and knowing that you have that option might be enough; sometimes no need to actually take them.

      Anyway, I hope the panicky days are soon over for you. All the best Amelia.

      Markku
       
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    19. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      I have some Valium stashed away which I can use if things get really bad. I guess I'm just disappointed that he wouldn't give me any help other than a print out for "progressive muscle relaxation" exercises.

      I'm not a drug addict and he knows how much I don't even like taking an aspirin so I didn't go to him lightly (he actually told me he knew that!)

      I've spoken to my husband and he is actually off work now for 3 weeks and he suggested we try the serc and relaxation and if I'm no better we will go back and either get a script for something, or ask to be referred on. I tend to feel better when he is around so I'm hoping his just being here will help me.

      My other option is to try another GP who also knows my history with T - although this is the GP who laughed and said "it will drive you mad!" But she has told me to see her if it gets worse and she can look at referring me to a T clinic.

      I just really wanted to habituated on my own (if you know what I mean) I feel like a failure at the moment.
       
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    20. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Dear Amelia, do not feel like a failure. As I have said on this board before: if you have extreme anxiety with your tinnitus, you cannot effectively deal with the T until you get your anxiety under control. Find professionals who can help You do that. They won't be ENTs and they won't be GPs.
       
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    21. George Brady
      Crappy

      George Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1985
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      bad meds
      I'll be looking for a new doctor
       
    22. George Brady
      Crappy

      George Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1985
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      bad meds
      if you're having panic attacks you need medicine all the relaxation techniques in the world are not going to work
       
    23. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      You are right on. I knew that back then and my doctor knew that too. That was why I was given Ativan to put off the fire. He told me the SSRI will take at least a week to kick in but since it is not addictive, it will be better to use for long term if needs be. He even said some of his patients have used it for many years. So I followed the plan. Ativan to put off the fire until Prozac finally kicked in to stop the panic attacks, at least the more severe symptoms of those attacks, and that helped me to cope with the attacks better without more panic. It was a funny feeling that the brain wanted to panic but it could not cause the symptoms of panic to come on, mercifully. Once I realized that the drug could do that, my fear of panic attacks started to subside. Then I just faded out the Ativan and had no bad symptoms of withdrawal from it.
       
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    24. Venture

      Venture Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2010
      I keep some benzos around for panic attacks but for me they aren't that helpful. At least not initially. It only takes a few seconds for an attack to come on and it takes a lot longer than that take a pill and have it start working. I have been somewhat successful with mental exercises. The problem is that it's hard to practice technique when you're not having an attack. I guess I talk myself down by understanding what is happening to me, understanding that it can and will go away, changing my thought process and not letting it spiral out of control. Easier said than done but what other choice do we have. Perhaps a therapist who specializes in anxiety would be more help than a GP.
       
    25. kevin b
      Fine

      kevin b Member

      Location:
      Hope well junction, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Try Klonopin, don't believe the horror stories, it is very safe and if taken properly non habit forming, like anything else you can't abuse it. it has a slow, long lasting effect to take the edge away, even helps with my volume.
       
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    26. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Same with me.. On one right now and really calm :)
       

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