So, has an SSRI helped you?

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So, has an SSRI helped you?

Postby LeeNC on September 29th, 2004, 7:49 pm

Which came first, the BFS or the anxiety? For me, the BFS.

My doc saw the anxiety and prescribed an SSRI, Zoloft. This was soon after I began twitching and worrying, so I never was able to separate the BFS/anxiety effects from the drug side effects.

I am wondering whether the Zoloft has done anything positive. If it has, I'm not aware of it. I am less anxious about my twitching and shakiness now that I've found you all, but I think that's because I'm better informed.

Just curious whether, if you are taking or have taken an SSRI since BFS, you really think it helped you?

--LeeNC
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Postby Debbs on September 29th, 2004, 8:43 pm

LeeNC,

I took ssri's (paxil) during BFS, simply because my neuro told me too, I figured he is the one with the degree and has seen many patients with GAD, I was reluctant at first because I had never taken any ssri's previous, but man I am soo glad that I did, today I am twitch free and I take no meds at all just a few vitamins. At the time I was a total mess and when my neuro suggested taking anti D's I told him that I didnt want to cover up the problem I wanted to solve it...lol....He just simply said that he wanted to help me get thru the season I was in so that I could better understand what the problems were. I threw my anti D's away a while ago and I am so grateful for his advise. You have to do what you feel is right to do everyone is different and different ssri's effect peeps differently so I wish you all the best with Zoloft.

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Postby Barb916 on September 29th, 2004, 11:09 pm

I'm not taking an SSRI but I just wanted to comment on the fact that I am 100 percent positive that my BFS came before the anxiety. BFS is the CAUSE of all my anxiety and probably most of us here unfortunately.

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Postby Debbs on September 30th, 2004, 1:46 am

Unfortunately you cant speak for everyone here Barb cause everyone is very different, thanks for your opinion though its appreciated. I dont think anyone knows the root cause of BFS, all I know is from my own experience that when I started taking ssri's after 6 years of BFS I am now 100% cured. I hoped to encourage others that it is possible to get thru this crap and be totally free from twitching and all the other stuff associated with it. For me I feel that anxiety was a deep seated problem which triggered BFS, its taken me a lifetime to work thru the issues associated with it, but Im so grateful to God for getting me there and being able to lead a normal life again if there is such a thing...if its helped me I only hope that by sharing it might offer hope to others.

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Postby eleven on September 30th, 2004, 7:18 am

i take lexapro. a relatively new SSRI with minimal side effects. it has definitely helped me deal with BFS. anxiety makes everything worse, so if you deal with the anxiety first then you can learn to deal with, and even ignore, the BFS symptoms. months of high stress levels are very detrimental to your health.
members of my family were very critical of my decision to take an SSRI. they thought if the BFS is "benign" then why are you anxious about it. one of my sisters said my personality would never be the same and i would no longer experience a full range of emotions. however, this has not been the case at all -- the SSRI enabled me to return to a healthier mindset without constant worry/fear. my personality has not changed and i still experience a complete spectrum of normal emotions.
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Postby amy_twitch on September 30th, 2004, 3:01 pm

With regards to which came first, BFS or anxiety:

I think for some of us (and put me in this boat), we didn't know we had 'anxiety' until BFS symptoms started appearing. Plus, anxiety (in the form of physical manifestation) tends to hit in our mid 20s through mid 30s most frequently).

I would have sworn up and down that I did NOT have anxiety. Many of my first visits to my doc for BFS symptoms and a couple ER visits were spent with the docs trying to 'convince' me that anxiety was to blame.

My anxiety level certainly got higher and higher as the strange physical symptoms from BFS started occuring, and I told my doctors that any anxiety I had was stemming from my scary symptoms. They contradicted me and said that it was likely the symptoms started from anxiety without me ever realizing I had it. Then everything just spirals from there as the symptoms and anxiety just keep feeding off each other---that's how anxiety works, they said.

Then I studied up on anxiety, and sure enough I believe them. However, I still don't believe that BFS is caused wholly by anxiety...I'm open to other factors being involved....many of which have been discussed on this board.

I wish the anti-depressants would have worked for me, but I couldn't handle them....so I took the journey on my own, and it's taken me almost a year (and some anti-anxiety meds during my darkest days) to beat the anxious feelings. I no longer care when I twitch...it's like second-nature to me now.

Overall, I'm a little skittish about synthetic medications to supposedly 'restore chemical imbalances' in our brains. I just think they should somehow be able to run a test to know for sure that we are 'imbalanced' in the first place. I hate playing guessing games with medicines (I'm not much a medication person, and it took a lot for me to take xanax just to feel 'calm'....but I promised my doc I'd stick with it for a month, and it certainly did help.....however, xanax is a whole different ballgame than SSRIs).

Lee, if the SSRI is helping your mindset, I'd say stick with it. Even for me, xanax helped my mindset by keeping me calm and less worried, but it never totally relieved my twitching (just lessened it). It does seem like a lot of people here have had neurologists suggest more anti-anxiety type meds to combat the symptoms versus SSRIs. One thing's for sure: no medication has eliminated anyone's twitches--so if your SSRI is keeping you in a good mindset, then you are winning the battle. Plus, SSRIs are better to take for a long-term regimen than the benzos, so it's good that you're able to tolerate them.

Hope that helps you out...
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Postby LeeNC on September 30th, 2004, 3:12 pm

Thank you for your replies! I guess I should stick with it for at least a while longer, since I have gotten past the ugly startup period. --LeeNC
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Postby garym on September 30th, 2004, 6:53 pm

Lee,

In my opinion, the ssri's will not do anything to improve you bfs. What they will do is change how you perceive the twitching, which is probably as important as stopping them. If through the use of an ssri, you are able to believe that your sxs are benign, then it is worth it (IMHO).

Good luck,

Gary
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