Medication Phobic

I know I’ve told all of you this before. I hate being this way and may have to bite the bullet and try something I’m thinking Thanksgiving weekend so that I’m at home. Of course I have to do some Black Friday shopping so that’s a problem.

Anyway went to the therapist at work today and he just mostly did an intake, asked lots of questions and I filled out questionnaires mostly about anxiety.

I gave him my 30 year history and how I’ve never gotten a diagnosis and always equated all of this to allergies and he asked if I took allergy meds and I said yes but they don’t really seem to work - shots didn’t really work a lot maybe a little so it makes me think what the heck do I have - maybe I do in fact have MAV.

Anyway he wouldn’t give me any Celexa. That was the one I am the least afraid of. He wanted me to try the 20 mg (lowest) Cymbalta first but that means paying a bunch to try and then if it makes me real sick then he’d call in the Celexa - I would prefer the other way but oh well.

So here I am again trying to get the nerve to try it. I called the pharmacist and he said he hands out a lot of it. He said it would prob be okay to empty some of the powder out. I was surprised. I wish they came in 10 mg or something.

I have always been intolerant to drugs - even herbs. I don’t know why. I’ve always taken children’s dosages of everything - allergy meds, cold meds, etc. sooooooo that’s why I’m so afraid of taking something that sounds so scary.

Even he agreed that Celexa is pretty innocuous compared to others but since the neuro gave me Cymbalta he must know or guess from experience that it might help the MaV.

Both the pharmacist and therapist had never really heard of MaV - amazing how people haven’t heard of it.

I had a pretty good day and very grateful for it. About 220 I started geting dizzy again though don’t know why - don’t know where the heck this stuff comes from out of the blue seems like. Feels like my allergy symptoms but who knows could very well be MaV hujh?

Anyway just scared. Have a bit of time to decide. Would rather take something that ame in generic too :slight_smile:

I know some folks hae suggested the 5HTP but can’t take both of course - i was also thinking of trying eve. primrose oil for menopapusae that should be safe.


Sorry just rambling mostly :)hhh

Hi Chris
I dumped half my 20 mg when I started. I also take 5htp. I’m surprised your doctor didn’t let you pick an anxiety drug you were comfortable with. Especially because cymbalta very $$. Can you see a diff dr? This one doesn’t sound very flexible. It’s your body… Your choice… But it’s good to start something and get back to good quality if life.

i could dump some out also like you said but i think i can work it out with my favorite dr cuz he is working with the therapist at work anyway. i may just have to try the cymbalta. My sister has a neighbor that is a pharmacist that says withdrawl is not all that bad getting off of those things - that’s not what i read!

i think he wants me to take what the neuro said - the cymbalta because he has had success with maV with it but not with celexa so i think that’s why i just wanted to start on something a little weaker that’s all.

so Kelley you didn’t get horrible side effects with the cymbalta and it’s helping you right??? i guess it’s weight neutral too so that’s good.

i just hae to do it when i have a few days off of work. thanks all for your messages you sent i really appreciate it.

i managed to get to the hairdresser today and all that - driving is really the scaries thing for me. then i drove to grocery store so i’m happy camper today.

Something really funny happened at the hairdresser i was talking to this lady that goes to a hairdresser in the next booth and she asked where i worked and i told her and she asked if i knew her son and she told me who it was and it’s my favorite doctor of all over all the specialists and everything!!! she was so nice. it is such a small world. she is married to an OB/GYN too so two doctors in the family at least.

well i will get brave real soon when i have time to deal with side effects if any - hopefully nothing bad anyway.


scott - hope your head is better today!!!

Chris, it sounds like you are getting braver and may try the medication soon! We are all supporting you! I think this is the bravest you have ever sounded and I am so glad! I can’t wait for you to feel well again.

I just remembered two other reasons why I’m scared of ADs. my mother’s old hairdresser was on them and something happened dont know if she quit cold turkey which is a no no or what but she never really recovered and couldn’t work any more she just got really sick.

also years ago i worked with a woman who’s husband was on them and quit taking and she came home to find him in the garage hanging so i think i’ve heard a lot of bad stuff - well some bad stuff anyway.

I just worry about getting on them and then down the road trying to get off - they seem so permanent that’s the problem with me i guess.

i will try one or the other soon - i have to TRY. i have to go talk to therapist b4 he prescribes the other one. I wonder if he’s going to help me by talking to me a vew times to help me with my anxiety and not just with meds.

not sure what the plan is yet

thank you allllll for being so supportive and putting up with me and my silly fears!1


Your fears are certainly not silly! Medication is something to consider carefully. I think along the lines of cost/benefit analysis: the worse your symptoms, the more risk you’re willing to take re meds. Side effects can be awful, and some of us are more prone to them than others. I was nervous about Topamax, but I was more nervous about driving with the severe episodes of dizziness that were coming out of the blue (fortunately, none ever did come on when I was driving).

But I will say this about ADs: I think there has been a lot of bad info circulated about them. You cannot get addicted to them, for one thing. (If you could, drug dealers would sell them.) And when people dig deeper into the stories about suicides & ADs, this is what you almost always find out: that the person was quite suicidal to begin with, but was so severely depressed that their lack of energy prevented them from carrying it out, and when started on medication, they should have been monitored more closely (possibly even hospitalized) because the trajectory of recovery takes one through a phase of increasing energy while the suicidal thoughts are still present - the energy just makes it possible for them to follow through.

If someone isn’t severely depressed and suicidal when starting on an AD, they are highly unlikely to become suicidal once they start taking one. It’s possible that “paradoxical” reactions can occur with them (where a medication increases the problem it’s supposed to be treating) but it’s extremely rare. Getting off them isn’t usually a big deal when tapering is done according to doctor’s recommended schedule.

Just wanted you to know that ADs have gotten a bad rap!

Hang in there - this is a scary road we travel, and we understand your fears.

Great post Maryalice. I totally agree. S

Hey Chris,

I am also very med phobic and med sensitive. Sometime you just have to open your mouth and TAKE THE PILL. It’s not going to happen otherwise and you will never know how it will make you feel unless you take it. Meanwhile, your weeks and and months of waffling back and forth willl make your doctors throw up their hands in exasperation and say “This girl really doesn’t want to get better.”

I’ve suffered my entire life from a mild form of depression. Over the years I’ve been prescribed AD’s that I didn’t take because I was scared or did take but stopped shortly after because they gave me side effects (some imagined, some so bad I only took one pill, some I stuck with for a month or so) but it wasn’t until I fell into a severe depression that I went on Lexapro. I had side effectss at the start (they were tolerable) but because this particular depression was severe and disabling and totally unlike the mild one I had been suffering from all my life I knew I had to stick with it. And I did, and the side effects went away as did the depresssion. Going on Lexapro gave me back my life. (Early on in the med journey I remember one doctor telling me I would feel better than I had in months and quite frankly that scared me. That would be a new an unusual way for me to feel. And, I wondered, what would people think if I were to suddenly be a happy, optimistic person?)

My point being, how miserable do you have to feel before you will finally say “Yes, I will take something and maybe it will work.” Why not just do it? (I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic and uncaring because I really do understand where you are coming from but you aren’t doing yourself any favors by standing there with a prescription in your hand and going no further.) The side effects you have, if any, will not kill you, they might make you a bit uncomfortable and most likely they will go away and it’s possible you won’t have any side effects. The majority of side effects you read about are experienced by about 5% of the people who take the med. 95% do not have the side effects. The majority of side effects (headache, insomnia, constipation, etc) are also experienced by people who are not taking the med. Just suppose one of these does do the trick and make you feel better? It’s not like an irreversible surgery. If you don’t like it after a week or two than you can stop. But without taking it you will never know how it will make you feel.

Again, I’m not trying to sound uncaring because I really do care and really want to you to at least try something and see if it helps.


i know you aren’t beign unsympathetic Book i totally agree with you this is my problem and i need to get over it already and try something.

Do you have MaV? did the lexapro get rid of your dizziness? i just hope i choose the right one that might have a fighting chance of getting rid of that otherwise i might be stuck with that still but not as anxious about it i guess :slight_smile: that’s my fear that i’ll still be sick with diziness cuz it’s allergies or something else that’s all and if celexa doesn’t help than i guess i can try cymbalta huh?

i’m glad something worked for you!! i jsut need to start off with small dosages is all.

i appreciate your posting :slight_smile:



I was taking the Lexapo strictly for depression, this was before I ever even heard of MAV or had problems with the severe vertigo. I took it for about 2-3 years before I very slowly weaned off. I don’t know how it would affect me now, and quite honestly, I don’t want to experiment at this time. I’m taking two different drugs for this stuff and that’s enough for me right now. Still, even with both of those I’m not 100%.

Yes, I agree, start with small dosages. I think I started with 5 mgs of Lexapro and even cut that back as it gave me insomnia. Then I went up by about 2.5 mgs every week until I hit 15. The side effects didn’t last long.

You may have said this elsewhere but is there a reason you haven’t taken nortriptyline or amitryiptylene (probably both of those are spelled wrong)? Those are supposed to be good for MAV.


Book, you say the lexapro gave you insomnia, this is one I was thinking of trying but with only 3 - 4 hrs sleep a night now, that will leave me with nothing. Did the insomnia go away as you stayed on it. I am guessing it did or you wouldnt have stuck with it!



The insomnia went after a week or two. And then I would up my dose and it would come back, then when my body got used to that I would up it agan and the insomnia came back. But once I got up to my 15 mgs and stayed there I had no more problems with the insomina. I liked Lexapro because of the few side effects I had and because it started working on my depression within a week or two. For me it was a much better drug than nortriptyline. But we are all different.


thanks book - your signature line sounds like mine i still don’t have a real diagnosis. i’m glad the lexapro works that’s encouraging i guess i’m in between celexa and cymbalta. have you gotten rid of your dizziness that’s my big question chris

Chris - I can totally identify with the phobia. And I assume that you really have want to get better. I saw 10 doctors and tried most of the OTC sources (meclizine, cyclizine, cocculus - homeopathic remedy, on and on and on) before I found this forum. I also knew the difference that Prozac made in my life 20 years ago, so 2 weeks ago when I saw my neuro, I was willing to take the gamble on a heavy med like Topamax just to get even 60-70% more of my life back from this horrible dizziness. So far I’m pretty happy with the temporary results, but I have no idea what lies ahead, and there are no guarantees. No drug is ideal. Bottom line: some side effects will be more tolerable to some people than others. And you need a really good doctor that will work with you patiently and collaboratively. Two years ago I very briefly did trials with: Cymbalta, Lyrica, Lexapro, Elavil, Restoril, and Trazadone and others. The only meds I’ve ever ended up tolerating were Lunesta, Ambien, Flexeril, Lorazepam, Zanax, Prozac, and topamax.
I think that you are absolutely right in choosing a few days off to experiment with a low dose of something. That’s definitely what I would do. Listen to your body… and, the other members are so right: we are all very very different. Ofcourse, now you just gotta let us know how it goes!
Gail : )

thanks Gail for responding. Gosh you didn’t handle any of those ADs that’s sad. i hope you continue having luck with topamax yeah there are always other types of drugs although a lot of them i can’t take cuz of my low BP. that’s why they give me ADs but who knows it might help my menopause :slight_smile:

at least you took prozac years ago that’s a good sign that you tolerated that. i heard celexa wasn’t too bad so that’s why i am leaning towards prob start with half pills or a liquid or something im a wuss !!!

hope you continue getting better. ALL OF YOU!’


Reading your original post and I could definitely relate to your fear of taking medicine for these problems. I had a LOT of fear in taking anything for any of my depression and anxiety symptoms for a great many years. I’m not saying that you should or shouldn’t take them yourself, but for me personally, I’m a little annoyed with myself on occasion that I didn’t get up the courage to at least try them sooner. Of course, when I did finally try them I had good insurance, and a doctor that was VERY compassionate about what I was going through and had a good understanding of my concerns. I got lucky in that regards with that doctor - I see a different one now because although very good with my original need for anti-depressant medication and a referral to a good psychologist/therapist she made a mistake in diagnosing something in my daughter (not totally her fault) and as a result it kind of screwed up my trust in her which is unfortunate in some ways.

Anyway, I have no experience with either of the medications you have mentioned so I don’t have any specific advice. I just wanted to say you’re definitely not alone in these worries, and it’s perfectly understandable to be wary of ANY medication because it IS something that can be helpful or harmful dependent upon the person, the symptoms, and the medication. I think there are too many that seek out pharmaceutical solutions too easily for every little thing (NOT folks HERE or suffering from stuff like we do - just people in general)… That doesn’t mean that you might not benefit from them though. If you have support around you, and attentive medical personnel to help you that’s a rock solid base to be able to step out and at least give the meds a try. If you have any troubling concerns the doctor or a pharmacist is usually only a phone call away and the vast majority of people who actually do have any sort of side effects don’t have life-threatening ones (again, it does happen, and I’ve reacted to some diff. meds myself, but it’s usually not serious at all - more bothersome than anything).

I hope you feel better soon - no matter what you decide to do on the medications. :slight_smile: I for one can’t even explain the tremendous difference I’ve felt in the last 2 months alone since I started taking clonidine (an old blood pressure med) for my anxiety. I’ve never been without that nagging nervous feeling in my stomach and through my mid-back before taking it and I was absolutely euphoric when I took the first one and it went away for the first time in my LIFE I remember it doing so. I haven’t had any panic attacks and haven’t had any huge triggers or problems to bring stuff back up in a while (knock on wood) so we’ll see. I was honestly so happy (especially because this was a non pharmacogenic agent - don’t know if that’s even the right word or not). I was worried to actually see a psychiatrist, but I reminded myself that if anyone has experience in prescribing and working with these medications with all different sorts of people it is psychiatrists so they’d be the ones to trust especially when it comes to prescribing anything in this category of medicine, ya know?

Best of luck to you!
~ Shelly