Posted by: | 2020/04/11


Anxiousness during lockdown

I have started to experience severe anxiety from the corona lockdown and i am very concerned that it will lead to a full blown depression. Dr has prescribed Ativan or Tranquipam. However these are short term fixes and i am concerned about addiction. I have just started trying cipralex (Made me feel worse) and then Cilift (Gave me terrible nausea/lost 5kgs). Any advice on what to take sir for some long term relief?

Expert's Reply


Depression expert
- 2020/04/15

Hi,  I'm not convinced that medicines are always the best solution to emotional discomfort in unpleasant situations like this,  Generally, they respond best to counselling, as this can deal so much more specifically with the issues troubling you, and, through well-established methods such as CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) help you to learn how to cope with anxiety and to avoid being needlessly vulnerable to whatever triggers your concerns.
You are absolutely right to be cautious about the use of sedative tranquilizers of the benzo family, like Ativan and Tranquipam : remember if one takes any of these for any significant length of time, it's important not to stop suddenly, but to reduce the dose gradually, when stopping.
In fact if medication is actually needed, in the opinion of an expert psychiatrist, it is usually advised that one rather take a  medicine more usually used to treat depression, such as those you mention, 
As with all medicines, it is important to understand how they work.  For instance, with antidepressants such as those you mention, and many others, it takes about 2 weeks for them to show their full benefits, so we should not reject them if we don't very promptly feel better. Also, like most drugs, they cause side-effects, especially in those first couple of weeks, and it's best to discuss this with your doctor, as it may be really useful to tolerate  these till one's body adjusts to their presence. If we expect a drug to be free from all side-effects and to have very prompt benefits, well, frankly there are very few or none like that.
But let's return to your original issue : Discussing your concerns over the virus and lockdown with a counsellor, or just with sensible friends can be most useful.  The world is full of various risks at all times, and we live with these without allowing them to trouble us severely.  With an epidemic we all need to take some steps together ( together but apart !) to make it much more difficult for the virus to spread.  Remember that we differ very widely in how the virus affects us : though some people get very ill indeed, they are a real minority ; most experience something similar to or less severe than, the usual flu that turns up each year ; and testing is  discovering that many people who have been infected and "recovered" were affected so mildly that they didn't even notice it was happening.  Don't give this thing the power to make you feel so bad : it can't do that without your agreement and your assistence.  SO refuse it that.

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