Changing Anxiety Medication

ponderingToday we will discuss changing anxiety medication, which can be a very tricky prospect.

Sometimes you will find an anxiety medication no longer works for you. This is often the case when you have been using a particular medication for several years.

If you find you need to make a change, some careful thought is in order, as well as a good dialogue between you and your doctor.

A recent email:

I have a wonderful Dr. that I’ve seen forever and was on Prozac forever and then it pooped out three years ago and have been trying different things since then to try and get it right again. He put me on Anafranil two yrs ago and have started having problems with it and my Anxiety has skyrocketed again.

I’m a busy mom of three and of course just don’t have time for this. I’ve been doing all the right things, cutting out caffeine, reading your recommended books (which have helped), exercising, etc. and still it’s been pretty bad.

My Dr is wanting me to try an MAOI and swears it will be wonderful but I’m terrified if you can imagine. My question is if you have any experience with this and your opinion.

I have done tons of research on it already and read about the diet which also scares me I just don’t want to eat the wrong thing and have a Hypertensive crisis, I already worry about my health I’m afraid this would make it worse. He also assures me this is rare.

I’m almost at the point to just give in and try it because I’m so tired if dealing with this anxiety and depression. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, Thanks.

My response:

Maybe you could give it a 3 month try? You can do anything for 3 months right? It sounds like your doctor has your best interest at heart and takes good care of you. Sometimes anxiety medications do “poop out” and trying to find one that works well for you can be a challenge.

What does your heart tell you to do? I think you should stop doing the researching about it and keep it as simple as possible. Follow the recommended diet to a T, avoid the foods you should and that way you know you will be safe with the MAOI.

I don’t think your doctor would prescribe something that would put you in jeopardy. You are under his care after all.

Does that make sense?


Next email:

Jill, thank you so much for responding. You’re right I need to quit researching and trust him. Again your blog has helped me tremendously keep up the good work.


Changing Anxiety Medication- Important Considerations

I think researching any medication is important, but not to the point where you become paralyzed with fear and indecision. If a doctor recommends changing anxiety medication, here are a few important points to consider:

Does the doctor know your full history well? (in this case, the answer is yes)

Do you trust your doctor’s recommendation?
(again, in this case the answer is yes)

Is nothing else working at this point to relieve the anxiety?

If you still feel undecided, you have to look into your heart. Only you know how you feel. Yes, starting a new medication can be scary, but is your anxiety interfering with your life to the point where you need to make this change? Have you exhausted every anxiety self help method and it just isn’t cutting it?

If you decide it is, perhaps it might be worth trying the suggested medication for a short amount of time, say 3 months. Remember, as long as you keep the dialogue between you and your doctor open and honest, this is something you can try for awhile to see if it works.

Trying something doesn’t mean you have to commit to it forever.

Changing medications is not fun, but know that with a positive attitude and a willingness to feel better, you can work through this phase until you find what works and feels best to you.

I wish you peace,
Jill G.

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