Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Anxiety


Good Morning...

I have been suffering from anxiety on and off since my teens (I'm 39 now)  I finally got to the point recently that, although I wouldn't call it debilitating, my anxiety was getting worse, so I asked my doctor to prescribe something for it.  I took the first pill (Celexa 20mg) yesterday, and within an hour or two, my anxiety was much, much worse.  It lasted most of the day, in varying degrees, but about 9 hours after taking the pill, I seemed to 'level out' and felt okay.

My question this normal?  I'm almost afraid to take the second pill, which is due in a couple of hours.  Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated.


H Bridget

You're under treatment and I don't know you so please understand that all I can offer are some generalities, not specific recommendations for you in particular.

Clinical anxiety can be related to a neurotransmitter imbalance, which Celexa is designed to normalize.  But with this class of medication (there are many other brands) response tends to be individual. Some users find it helpful to start gently (part of a tablet if it can be broken, or the liquid form), gradually up to the low dose of 10 mg and increasing to the medium dose of 20. Even at 20, it may take some time before balance is restored.

The best results for chronic (as opposed to situational) anxiety is from a combination of medication and psychotherapy. For the latter, a good choice is a clinical psychologist who will work with the client not on diagnosis and cause but on reframing or re-interpreting the experience and forging adaptive coping responses.

When a condition did not develop suddenly and for a clear reason, it is unlikely to be relieved overnight, so a bit of patience is called for with both treatments.

Thanks for asking us and I hope this helps a bit.


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Alan Auerbach


Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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