Hello, I am finding I am having a lot of anxiety that is centered around Em, flares and fibromyalgia. Especially when having flares. I find using other methods other than medication are not working. I am wondering how others deal with anxiety and if taking medication, how well is it working for you and what do you take? How well does it work with your other medication? Thanks a lot. Cindy G
I am sorry. I know how you feel. I took anxiety meds for a month or two but it was a few years ago when fighting for disability and every time they would call and give me a hard time it would make my EM unbearable! Any strong emotion good or bad makes it worse. Unfortunately I don’t remember what I took. I do know it didn’t cause any problems meds wise. It is worth seeing your doc for because less anxieties = less pain.
My allergist has said to me that taking anti anxiety type meds from the benzodizepines family 'usually do help' however, from my experience they lost their effectiveness for me pretty quickly. So I found it wasn't really an answer. I was on a med called seroquell that they give off label for anxiety. It's a second (I think) generation antipsychotic that can be pretty effective for those who are bipolar, it helps one sleep and reduces anxiety without causing addiction (at least I did not find it addictive). However, I only needed the smallest possible dose. Downside is that it causes big weight gain - a common experience with this drug. And gave me more migraines. The other one I tried was zyprexa. Same family as seroquel, zyprexa also calmed me down, and i could sleep through all but the worst type of EM pain (all on the smallest dosage), actually helped my migraine pain levels a bit but caused me massive weight gain, pushing me into a pre diabetic state (I was ALWAYS hungry), all of which I was willing to accept for the amount of pain free sleep I was getting. Then I experienced strong body jerks, possibly a precursor to something called tardive dikensia (or some other name that is similar, which is uncontrollable twitching and altered gait which can become permanent). When the jerking started my doctor pulled me off the drug that day) I miss its benefits but for me the side effects were too much. I'm just glad I'm not bipolar and was not in need of continuing the medication regardless.
There is another medication that helped me for a while, on and off, that also can cause weight gain but not nearly as bad. Generic name is cyproheptadine. It doesn't help me with EM pain but it also decreases occurances of my migraines and I can sleep better on it. Not magic but okay. The down side for me is if I'm in a bad cycle of constipation (a symptom of POTS) it really makes that problem worse. But it does help me stay a little calmer and I will resume taking it when I can.
Cyproheptadine is a H1 antihistamine. I think both zyprexa and possibly seroquel are H1 antihistamines. If not exactly that, I do know that they have antihistamine properties. Probably one of the reasons I slept better on all three.
I'm certainly no pharmacist. This has just been my experience as a long term patient looking for answers to the many problems that can come with this stuff. But I just wanted to share my experiences of how these meds worked for me -and the pros and cons
I had serious anxiety. I developed a phobia (which I still have) and had debilitating panic attacks. I took anxiety meds for the attacks for a couple of years - first Xanax, then Ativan (which worked better and is, I was told, less habit-forming). During that time, the anxiety and panic did not improve. I just kept having panic attacks, then drugging them away.
Eventually I got sick of using the drugs and realized that they'd become a roadblock - Using them kept me from having to learn to deal with anxiety. So I stopped using them and concentrated on living through the panic attacks, seeing that they would pass, using deep abdominal breathing consistently when I felt the fear come on. I don't know if that counts as meditation, but perhaps it was in that ballpark. I then began to have fewer and fewer attacks.
Now I have anxiety here and there, but I haven't had a panic attack in a couple of years.
If you need meds, I suggest Ativan (if it is suitable for you - ask your doc, obviously), but when you are ready, I also suggest foregoing the meds when feasible, so that you may eventually defeat the disorder rather than just treating the symptoms.
I'm trying an SSRI called Citalopram for my EM at the moment, and I noticed that it's sometimes prescribed for anxiety. You could talk with your doc and see if there anything you could try for EM that might also help with your anxiety.
It's an unfortunate thing that most drugs for EM are meant for something else, so the main effect of the drug is usually a big side effect for us. But maybe this time you could use it to your advantage.
I suffered for many years from depression/anxiety.. It always stopped me in my tracks when I would see a doctor about this and be offered 10 little pills of some med.. Now I know that it takes a while for the med to start helping, but nobody seemed to understand that back then..
When I finally just couldn't cope any longer somehow I stumbled across a psychiatrist that started me in the right direction by referring me to another doctor.. Then I was put on Paxil and continued to use it for about 9 years.. It helped so much with my physical pain/stiffness and also gave me hope.. the side effect was that my internal thermometer went haywire.. I didn't use a sweater or jacket at all because I was always too hot.. all over.. Eventually we switched my med to another and that helped but nothing ever worked as well for my pain/discomfort as well as the Paxil..
Currently, I take Cymbalta, Benadryl, Flexeril, Naproxen in addition to my Lisonipril for blood pressure.. Have been on these for several years and have occasional foot flares for the Erythro.. Any time that I've tried cutting back on my dosages of any of these I begin to slide downhill both physically and mentally..
I am not diabetic, but have neuropathy in both feet and beginning in my right hand.. I have been living a quiet life with my dear husband, out in the country, for the past 24 years and believe our lifestyle has made dealing with my hot feet, etc. much easier than it must be for younger folks who still need to work, maintain a home, and perhaps care for young children.. My pain was much more severe when I had a job and family to take care of... I was always so tired and pained back then, so that when I went to bed each night I was so worn out that the pain was really bad.. so much so that I couldn't fall asleep.. and this went on for many years.. So I do understand that I've probably already lived thru the hardest part of my EM suffering..
Now I'm in a different phase of my life, at 72 years old.. and now I'm facing the terrible, sad health issues that my close family members will and are dealing with.. and I am becoming the "strong" one once more.. The remaining years of my life will be filled with more worry and physical/mental demands.. I will just do the best that I can..