Posted by: scared | 2008/07/12

irrational fears

I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder about 3 years back. I had horrible anxiety attacks and was put on cipralex and xanor. I've stopped the meds due to pregnancy (I am now 5 months). However once or twice recently I've had bouts of irrational/intense fear. I'd be in bed and would just suddenly be frightened to death of something arbitrary like the top I'm wearing or the feel of my skin on my hand etc. (just examples to indicate how insignificant the things that scare me are).
It passes quickly, but when it happens I feel like I am losing my mind.
I see a psychologist once a week, she says it could be the fear of pending motherhood, stress at work, history with eating disorder and now dealing with pregnancy body changes...anyway she says it could be all of this culminating. These bouts don't feel like the usual anxiety attacks, and because I cannot understand them, they feel worse. Please give me a second opinion? I feel so darn scared.

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Our expert says:
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Well, as your psychologist says, any number of extra stresses might be spurring this on, though its no so clear why they would affect you in this particular way rather than othwers. Personally, I wouln;t use Cipralex to treat anxiety, and would prefer another member of the saem SSRI family, but its an accepted potential treatment. Similarly, I wouldn't want someone to be on xanor too oong, as it can cause dependency. But neither druh ought to be stopped abruptly. ANyhow, I'd think especially with the prospect of pregnancy ahead, I would have recommended Cog nitive-Behaviour Therapy, CBT, which is very effective in treating anxiety and even panic disorder, and has no side-effects or problems when combined with pregnancy. If you do mean it's a psychologist you are seeing, rather than a psychiatrist, I would ask her whether you are using CBT methods ( the best tested and proven method in these circumstances.

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