Anxiety Medication

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LOLyer
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:49 pm

Anxiety Medication

Postby LOLyer » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:44 pm

Wondering if I can get some insight on this. Do any of you find that your anxiety medication affects your motivation or ability to think clearly and perform well in school? How about performing at work? Do you have any recommendations for someone thinking about them?

Thanks.

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Presidentjlh
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Re: Anxiety Medication

Postby Presidentjlh » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:15 pm

Well, I suffer from anxiety, and I do take medications. They have helped me tremendously. Without them, I often find studying, indeed, everything, quite difficult to do.

That being said, I think that's something you best discuss with your doctor. Each person is differently physiologically. What works well for me may actually be quite harmful for you.

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horriblegb
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Re: Anxiety Medication

Postby horriblegb » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:42 pm

They never affected my ability in school because I needed them to function, they made me normal, if that makes sense. I knew some folks who abused them and it was like a downer, so I could see how that would raise some concerns. But I performed much better with them than without them.

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TFALAWL
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Re: Anxiety Medication

Postby TFALAWL » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:43 am

Well: as far as Rx's go there's basically three varieties:

1. anti-depressants: either SSRI (like lexapro) or SNRI (wellbutrin)
2. benzos: e.g. xanax, klonopin, atavan
3. sleep meds: e.g. ambien
4. beta blockers for test anxiety
5. alternative/homeopathic

Tried lexapro for a year in college, I still got good grades cuz it was college and i had an easy major, but my head was cloudy and my motivation was impaired.... not to mention the loading phase is a month of hell - i would wait until an opportune time like summer before considering this route - certainly not 1L

benzos - i dig 'em, but use them sparingly! if you take them in the middle of the day then your productivity is over... i take 'em a couple evenings a week, definitely helps me set the "reset" button for the next day

sleep meds: i use ambien when I'm so anxious that I get insomnia - it works great

beta blockers - in college i would use these during exams: the idea is that it lowers your physical stimuli (sweaty palms, heartbeat) without affecting your mental processes, the effects are light, and overall positive. I don't use them on law school exams for personal reasons, but I don't think there would be any ethical reason not to if you had a prescription

vitamins/homeopathic:
Lots of stuff out there - i like st. john's wart and 5htp but it isn't for everyone. The effects are mils, but i think it helps - it still takes a couple months of consistent usage to notice a difference.

Alternatively:

running makes a huge difference - any aerobic exercise actually.
mindful meditation - also a huge difference, the time commitment is like 15 minutes a day and if you're consistent it'll change your life
cognitive behavioral therapy - it's short term therapy (6-8 weeks) you can wikipedia it, but studies show the average person notices about a 30% reduction in anxiety - for me i think that amount is maybe a bit generous, but I would give it about a 15% improvement... and the effects are permanent after the program because you're literally changing the way you think.

I have pretty bad generalized anxiety disorder and am notwithstanding fairly functional - so PM me if you would like any other info!

kykiske
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Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:12 pm

Re: Anxiety Medication

Postby kykiske » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:58 pm

I had terrible general anxiety during 1L year.

I constantly felt dizzy, had some sort of vertigo, I had this weird foggy-head feeling, and I constantly felt like I was about to tip over (likely due to the dizziness and vertigo).

I had the full works performed on me. Every blood-test in the book, and even an MRI scan. All results came back negative; so there was nothing physically wrong with me.

I started to attend therapy sessions, and received anti-anxiety medication. I've been taking the medication ever since, and I feel almost completely normal. The sessions have helped too.

I also found that leaving the law school helped ease my anxiety. I used to force myself to immediately go the library after class and start on homework. That did not work for me. These days I go home, and go for run if it's nice out, or play video games for an hour. Then I start on homework. I find that I'm more efficient after taking a 1-hour break.

Even though medication is useful, you should also find other ways to manage your anxiety. To be frank, it honestly surprised me at how much simply leaving the school after classes helped in easing my anxiety. At home, I can play music with my speakers, bullshit around with my roommate (he's not in law school), and I get to avoid overhearing other stressed out students talking about how stressed out they are.

Swimp
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 9:32 am

Re: Anxiety Medication

Postby Swimp » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:02 pm

SSRIs have never affected my motivation or ability to think clearly, but they definitely make me tired. It took me a while to figure out the right time of day to take them to make sure the wave of fatigue the next day hits at a convenient time.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Anxiety Medication

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:25 am

TFALAWL wrote:benzos - i dig 'em, but use them sparingly! if you take them in the middle of the day then your productivity is over...
It's important to remember that reactions to different types of medications are very different person to person. I took pretty much every exam in law school plus the LSAT on Xanax. You really have to try things out.

doctoroflaw91
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Re: Anxiety Medication

Postby doctoroflaw91 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:41 am

I'm not going to give you any advice on specific medications, because the effectiveness of a given drug will certainly vary from patient to patient; consulting a doctor is the only way to go.

However, as someone that suffers from anxiety/panic attacks, I will say that medications have helped me in getting those things under control. In addition, regular exercise and yoga helps as well, and I do one or the other each morning before I leave for class, or when I arrive home at night.

OP, I'm definitely willing to chat more via PM if you would like.

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sd5289
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Re: Anxiety Medication

Postby sd5289 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:39 pm

Disclaimer: I don't have personal experience with this, but someone very close to me did. I witnessed several of the anxiety meltdowns (the shaking, uncontrollably sobbing, etc.), so this was definitely serious. After she went onto the SSRI's, she felt a little sluggish at first, but her body seemed to get used to it and she functions fine now.

Did you just go onto them? That might be part of why you're feeling the way you are. I know that she was completely unable to focus on anything law school related before she sought treatment.

04102014
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:42 am

Re: Anxiety Medication

Postby 04102014 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:51 pm

Presidentjlh wrote:Well, I suffer from anxiety, and I do take medications. They have helped me tremendously. Without them, I often find studying, indeed, everything, quite difficult to do.

That being said, I think that's something you best discuss with your doctor. Each person is differently physiologically. What works well for me may actually be quite harmful for you.


Pretty much this.




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