Well, I Failed So Now I Have Another Question

Updated on April 23, 2014
R.M. asks from Evanston, IL
26 answers

I bit the bullet and started taking lexapro for my lifelong anxiety/ocd issues… only lasted 3 days before I panicked about being on constant medication and stopped. This was my second "medication failure." It just terrifies me so much. So Im here to ask another question… I have tried some dietary changes in the past (going without wheat and going without dairy) but have never stuck with anything longer than a couple of weeks… I know "regular" mamas on here prob know from previous posts, but my "ocd" centers solely around health anxiety… I do constant "what if" thinking… research things to find reassurance which never works and instead keeps the constant flood of fight-or-flight hormones rushing through me. There are worry thoughts running through my head 24-7, day after day. If it's not something with me it is something with my kids or husband. The cycle never ends and its always something. I have cut way back from researching things but even without that I still worry and stress on things that have not even happened yet as well as the reoccurrence of things that have (such a waste of time.) I am currently in therapy with a new psychologist and do not feel like it is super beneficial so far because everything she has given me to read are things I have already found and read myself (because of course I hyper-research not only illnesses but my anxiety itself as well.) She basically told me I needed medication and gave me the name of a psych. :( SO my long winded question is, has anyone like me tried changing their eating habits and seen a complete turn around? Like eating paleo or any of those other "clean" eating lifestyles? I eat pretty healthy but def could eat better… I already exercise 4-6 times per week. Or has anyone seen a dramatic change with yoga? That is one thing I have not tried… I have tried homeopathic medicine for 3 weeks… did nothing… have tried various supplements with no success. I just feel like there has to be SOME way that I can beat this without meds. Or maybe there isn't. :/

ETA- Just to be clear I am currently in regular therapy and although it has only been a month I do not feel like it has been very beneficial thus far.

What can I do next?

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answers from San Francisco on

Anxiety sucks.

Do you ever get a break? There was a period when I became a hypochondriac when my kids were little, and I was overwhelmed.

Try the meds. No need to be afraid of them, but you need to give them some time to work. If it were me, I would try whatever meds Newname 2013's family used, which seemed to work for them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reading on

I've been paleo for about a month and a half and love it. But I just found out tonight that a friend of mine who has diagnosed depression for over a year now has been eating paleo for the past week and feels awesome - no anxiety, sleeping perfectly, hoping to get off of depression and anxiety meds soon. Worth a try.

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answers from Sacramento on

OCD is a serious brain disorder. Diet and exercise will not fix it, although there's no doubt they'll make you healthy. Both my husband and son have OCD. My husband had it bad enough as a kid that he was hospitalized for treatment.

With both, medication was a key component. It really calms the repetitive thoughts that paralyze life.

I have also heard promising results with exposure therapy, although I'm pretty sure that's also done in conjunction with medication.

When you're dealing with such a serious medical condition, I highly advise listening to the medical experts. They deal with this condition day in and day out and really have the medical training to know what works.

ETA: I agree with the others. A month into this is nothing. It takes a while even for medication to start working and combined with therapy (which we did try on its own at first), it's a long road. There's no quick fix for OCD. If it's affecting your quality of life the way you say it is, you need to commit to sticking with all forms of treatment recommended to you by the doctors.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

While yoga, clean eating, exercise and homeopathic medicine might all improve health, none alone will address your chemical imbalance, and behavioral patterns that are anxiety.

It's going to take a lot of work, dedication and perseverence. Speak with your doctors, therapist and psych about your "failure."

If your anxiety is proving disruptive to your daily affairs, and to the health and well being of your family, maybe its time to look into a facility where you can be supported while you take meds and learn ways to work around/ through anxiety (if such a place exists).

F. B.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Your anxiety is in control of you. As long as YOU allow it to you will be right where you are and not better.

YOU are allowing your anxiety to control you and it doesn't want to go away, it wants you to worry about taking meds and to not get better.

YOU must decide you are done with it and start taking your meds or decide to accept it and be like this forever.

Decide. Either take your meds and get your own control back or give in to the anxiety and live like this forever.

It's that simple.

Once the meds take the edge off you'll be able to work through what's causing the issue all together. Then you can wean off the meds and be okay.

How do I know? Because I had generalized anxiety and panic attacks for years. Then I took meds and went to a psychologist to help me. With my background in psychology it really helped that I recognized the moment I had my breakthrough.

I haven't been on any meds for years now. I do have some residual avoidance behaviors but overall I do just fine.

I no longer avoid traffic lights due to being trapped. I don't avoid elevators because being trapped in them even for just a few minutes used to be too much for me. I do not sing in public anymore. I decided that I had enjoyed that part of my life and the anxiety that I feel now is just one of those things I'm going to have. If I want to feel anxious then I can push myself and I'd probably overcome that stressor. But my life is good now. It used to be awful because I avoided so many things so I wouldn't feel that horrid anxiety.

Meds helped me. Even when I'd sit up for hours worrying that they were poisoning me or going to cause me to do crazy things or...well, when you let your mind control you instead of controlling it things can be totally crazy. I know because I've been there.

May I suggest you go in the hospital psych ward for a few days? They can give you a med and you will feel totally safe since you're in a medical facility. You won't stress out about it and you will be able to take the med and get it in your system enough to feel okay again.

This is what worked for me. It was the miracle that helped me get on meds. I took one med and had extreme itching. I even turned a bit red.

I freaked out! The RN calmly handed me the med sheet and I was able to read that this was a COMMON side effect and not an allergic reaction. I was convinced it was anaphalaxis though. Being in a hospital where the ER was only feet away and the people around me were trained medical professionals made all the difference.

I was fine but I did claw some parts of my legs and arms until they bled so they changed me from Paxil to Klonapin. It worked very well.

I don't need meds anymore and I recognize when I'm feeling anxious. It's okay. We all feel anxiety in certain situations. I'm okay and you can be too but you need to go in the hospital and be in a safe controlled environment so you can take those meds and get them in your system.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

What is it about taking anti-anxiety medication that would be worse than what you're already experiencing? It seems like your quality of life is already pretty poor right now. I hope that you'll give the meds another try, and feel better!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I tried to help you before, and I will say it again, you need to find a good therapist!
You can't just take a pill or read a book or change your diet and expect it to take your troubles away. YES, meds and other tools can be very beneficial but you NEED professional, psychological help. Why aren't you seeking that out? Last time you asked this question you said you went to see someone, twice, and gave up. It took a full YEAR for my daughter to get her extreme anxiety under control.
If you are serious about getting help then GET HELP.

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answers from Dallas on

I'm sorry you are so anxious. It's an awful way to exist, not live.

A month is nothing in therapy. 3 days on meds is a drop in the bucket.

I've had a loved one in therapy with meds for a yr now. No longer making one bad decision after another because of the anxiety.

I've been to docs that I thought I knew more than they did. But most of the time it's not what you know that counts. I have all kinds of head knowledge about how to lose wt but I don't put it in practice! You have a head full of knowledge about anxiety but it doesn't make you less anxious. Your post sounds like a poster for anxiety.

You need your counselor to walk you through this. One choice at a time. Those choices are much easier to make with medication. You need the balance that medication can give your own body chemistry. It's not messing you up, it's giving your poor mind and body a long desirved rest. The better choices gives you tools to handle situations. If you learn to handle circumstances that occur, you will be less anxious. Then you will be living with some happiness, not just existing.

You have not failed. You just haven't succeeded, yet.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I would really follow up on your therapists recommendation to see a prescribing psychotherapist and talk to them about what you're dealing with; see what sort of medication might help.

What I am wondering is this, what is the 'what if' that comes into your head regarding taking medication? I understand that you don't want to think of a future of having to be on medication, but please consider trying it for two or three months before throwing in the towel. If you had a good chunk of time to try it, and to really compare how you felt beforehand (without meds) and how you feel with it... it might give you a vastly different picture of how life can be.

I say this as someone who has watched a loved one deal with OCD and continue to fight taking medication from time to time. When she's on it, it's like night and day. She's able to function, leave the house, relax a bit and is fairly stable as a parent for her kids. When she's not, it's very hard to see; the compulsions come out to interrupt everything that goes on and I know that this affects her children; the home becomes more anxious unless everything is just so....

I posted about my own experience on your last question about this so you are welcome to go back and re-read that. I am at the point of realizing that I MAY need to be on medication for anxiety permanently and have decided that I am REALLY okay with it. Was this my first choice or attempt at dealing with this? Absolutely not. But I like having my brain back, having more control over my responses to things (instead of upset reaction) and have noticed that I have been a much better parent and partner to my son and husband, respectively. I still have worries, but they feel proportionate to their importance now, not huge.

I say this not to tell you that "I can do it, so you can too"... obviously, you are dealing with some bigger fears than I had, but just to encourage you. I am enjoying life and my family so much more and letting the small stuff go. I hope you can go forward and get the help you need.

ETA: Ditto Mamazita--do change therapy providers if you feel like you aren't making progress. Sometimes we aren't ready to face our fears or past incidences which hurt us so and caused some of our problems we currently have-- and sometimes we are ready but not getting the correct therapeutic support. Medication really works best if you have someone to go talk to as well. I did a LOT of therapy before ever starting medication, so I knew that just seeing a great therapist wasn't enough for me. I was ready to be free from the anxiety chemicals sloshing around up there.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You haven't failed. You've had a setback. The beauty about failing is you often get to try again.

Certainly a good diet helps, so does regular exercise. Possibly supplements. But they will work much better when done as part of an overall treatment plan. From what you've stated, it seems like your OCD is quite severe and interfering with your life. Keep going to therapy (one month is not long enough), try *TRY* to take the meds again (3 days is not nearly enough for them to start working). Homeopathics take longer than 3 weeks to start working. Everything you're trying is being given up on too soon. There is not going to be a quick solution to your problem.

Please don't give up on yourself. Please. Give the meds a chance. I think you know in your heart that you need them. Be strong and push through. Right now, your anxiety about taking meds is preventing you from taking the meds that'll help you with your anxiety (about taking meds). Don't you want to end the vicious cycle?

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answers from New Orleans on

Sweetie, if you don't give the medications and the doctors a chance nothing is ever going to change for you. There is no diet, presto-chango, cure for a life long condition.

Therapy is, sometimes, only as beneficial as you want it to be. If you are resistant to the doctors' and therapists' recommendations; feel you have already done all the research that they are directing you to read; then you will not benefit from therapy. You need to go in with an open mind and a willingness to do the hard work it requires.

You are just trying this remedy and that remedy for three or four weeks then stopping because you don't see immediate results - It is time to listen too, and follow, the directions of the professionals if you ever want to effect serious, positive change in your life.

Good Luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Only you can decide that you really want to treat your anxiety, and it sounds like that will require meds. I don't know why you are so terrified about taking constant medication. Have you talked through this with your therapist? Because personally, it seems like you should be MORE terrified about living with your extreme anxiety than about taking a pill.

Would you freak out at a diabetic taking daily insulin? Because it's the same thing. I think you'll need to work this out with your therapist.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Anxiety and OCD are serious issues that don't get resolved quickly. A month of therapy is a drop in the bucket. You have a lot to deal with, and a lot to learn going forward. You need to be prepared to put in the time and work required. If you still feel this way after a few months you can try a different therapist but I can tell you from personal experience that there's no quick or easy fix. It's like weight loss, everyone wants to lose the weight but they get frustrated when it doesn't happen instantly. That's just not realistic. Buckle down, commit yourself and give yourself time to work through your lifetime of problems.

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answers from Erie on

I am 5 years into a regular therapy and med regimin for bipolar disorder type 2. I take a mood stabilizer and an anti anxiety med. My issues were similar to yours, not the same behavior, but some of the same anxiety that affected my daily life. The cyclical mood swings didn't help. I was a mess for a while after a triggering event. One thing I learned is that we all have something. Mine was learning to react to life events more appropriately, and calming the constant anxiety caused by years of chronic depression.

I am not going to address your diet concerns, but you should be concerned about your need to hyper focus on them.

Change comes incrementally, not all at once. You will not wake up one day and say, "I'm cured!" You will notice that one day, it will have been a week since you did "x" behavior. You will wake up in the morning and feel relaxed sometimes...then most of the time. Look into Cognitive Therapy and Tapping Therapy, both helped me tremendously.

But this all takes time. Three days on meds is not enough time for a therapist to observe any changes, hear out your concerns, or help you adjust. You are sabotaging yourself, you have to make a decision to do this for YOU. A month is not even long enough to decide if you "click" with your therapist.

I agree with Stephanie H that you may not need to take meds long term. Many people are helped by them short term only, though.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

I see where you are in therapy. That is a good start. You must remember that one week, month or year may not be enough to correct or alter your thinking about your OCDs.

In order for things to work for you, you must continue using the medicine and continue going to counseling and not trying to "medicate" yourself. Every time you start something you think it is a "quick fix" and when it does not seem to do anything you quit and you are back to square one. Go back on the meds, contact your therapist, and listen to what is being said to help you. If you don't you might wind up in in house confinement to get your issues under control. Who will then watch out for your family?

So please stop trying the health food way for now. Get yourself in a state where there is a constant and then work from there. I know easier said than done. You have a family to do this for if not for yourself. I wish you much success and peace in your quest.

the other S.

PS The old saying about doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is where you are at. Stop saying you are a failure you are not. You need help and that is all there is to it.

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answers from Washington DC on

It sounds like your anxiety over health issues is preventing you from being able to use this tool that may also help you. I have found that sometimes you have to keep looking if someone is not working for you. Not shop around til you get the answers you want, but shop around til you find someone you can work with effectively. Did you tell her that you don't feel it's beneficial and you've read that already? She may be starting farther back than what you need from her. And she won't know your frustration unless you talk to her. You have to be honest about what you feel and what you are doing - like not taking your medication - or she won't have a full set of data to work from.

Please think of it this way - if you were a diabetic, you'd need insulin. Or if you had your thyroid removed, you'd need replacement medication, nothing a diet could do for you. It's not a failure. It's medicine.

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answers from San Francisco on

I have a lot of experience with someone who has OCD. Being on medication saved his life. You need to give the medication more than three days. This is the hardest thing. You will feel better, but you need to give it a chance. My friend really resisted taking medication and he felt like a failure because of taking it. He thought I would judge him. Would we judge a diabetic who stopped taking insulin because they just had not tried hard enough to overcome his illness? No, because we know that diabetes is a medical condition, that if left untreated, can have serious effects. This is the same thing. Please take care of yourself.

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answers from Miami on

I'm sorry. Your therapist is right. You are fighting EVERYONE tooth and nail about medication. I don't know how you are going to be helped if you can't prevent yourself from torpedo'ing what you need. You are sabotaging yourself.

I wish you could see what you are doing to your family by refusing to go on medication. I really wish you could.

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answers from Boca Raton on

honey, i eat 'clean' diet, and have for years. very healthy meals. but the meds have changed my life, not my eating habits. lexapro may not be for you. i take pristine, no side effects, and have told my husband and my friends that when i die, i want a bottle of pristiq buried with me.

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answers from Portland on

Whether new eating habits will turn your emotional state around probably depends on 2 things: If your current food habits are extremely unhealthy; or if sensitivities to something you're eating are causing changes in your brain.

I crashed almost 30 years ago with extreme (and seemingly sudden) sensitivities to everything – every chemical in the air, including household cleaners of every sort – and virtually every food. One of the most unendurable symptoms was panic attacks, which sometimes lasted all day. As I gradually learned about the syndrome and cleared my home environment and how to rotate foods carefully, the panic attacks subsided. I'm wondering whether a similar approach might help you.

I wish you well.

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answers from Los Angeles on

You obviously want to change the difficulties you are experiencing and are trying to do this the best you can. You should be commended for that. Unfortunately though diet is most likely not the answer. I think you know this, which is why you are in therapy. I am a clinical psychologist so trust me on this, you need to change your thinking not what you're eating.
Change with therapy takes time, the most important thing right now is your relationship with your therapist. If you feel confident that she can help you help yourself then you are on the right track. If you don't have that relationship or don't feel like it will come - then find another therapist! Finding the right fit for you is so important to the success of treatment.
Health anxiety is a real difficulty, find someone who specialises in this area and someone you feel comfortable with. Medication can help but it will only facilitate changes you make in your thinking and behaviour.
Change can feel like it will never come but it is usually a slow build. I think of it like a savings account - you don't get much return for your hard work at the beginning but it slowly builds over time and then you start reaping the rewards of your consistent work.
Good luck and take care.
You can change this.

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answers from New York on

You needed to take the Lexipro and then chase it with a Xanax if you were feeling Anxious. Lexipro won't work for a minimum of 10 days. Ask your doctor about Using a little Xanax when needed. Chances are, once you use it once and see that it will work, you won't have to use it again. Just take the Lexipro and know that you have an anxiety killing back up.

Good luck - don't suffer!!

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answers from Austin on

The deal with therapy and medication is that it needs to be followed for an actual amount of time. A month is a drop in the bucket. This will take time, patience and work on your part. And yes, it can be exhausting, so you need to get in good shape.

I understand you have anxiety so telling you to calm down is not going to work, Telling you to be rational is not going to help. But admitting that your anxiety is not something that you have to live with is going to be up to you to figure out.

You have to give each thing a proper amount of time. Ask the Doctor, what amount of time should I expect before I feel the effects of the medication? You will still be yourself, but the medications will make you more even, emotionally. Does not mean you will not still be a bit sensitive or still be a cautious person, but you will be able to make more rational decisions and allow you to hear other thoughts that have been held back in your mind and heart. Do not be afraid of these feelings. .

Heck I saw a therapist for a while before I realized, hey, I am able to express what I need and not feel guilty about it. I gained the strength to admit, I was not myself. It also took weeks for the medication to feel comfortable to me. and even then I would have them adjusted and noticed my monthly cycle still caused some anxiety or anger. I felt like it was a crutch or was going to turn me into someone else, but instead it gave me some clarity and some calmness. I needed it.

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answers from Wausau on

I have a friend with anxiety who wasn't taking her medication because of the anxiety over taking it. Once she was on it for awhile, it really helped but she had to me made to take it for awhile at first. Do you have an adult in your life that you trust who can supervise you and make sure you take it, against the will of your anxiety monster?



answers from Richmond on

hmmm, 90 percent of solving a problem is figuring out that you have one. if you can figure out what is triggering your anxiety , then you can control your ocd, typically without meds. i used to be anxious about our daughter leaving toys in the middle of the floor when she was finished playing with them, and i would wear myself out running behind her picking up her toys, sat down and figured out that the problem was i am clumsy and far sighted without my glasses..i wear my glasses, i dont trip over toys , i dont stress about picking them up..problem solvedbut to answer the other question, i am eating alot better, more veggies, less junk food K. h. dont know a thing about yoga



answers from Appleton on

You have to give it a chance. You are not giving anything a chance to work. You try something for a day or two up a couple of weeks amd if you don't feel any different you quit . You need to give it a chance to work.

Seriously, though you will help yourself a lot simply by continuing to repeate to your self "we are fine, everyone is healthy , we have eno, to pay our bills and buy grocieries, etc. Let this become your mantra. it takes about 2 weeks to work but positive reinforcement does work. Continue this for years and you will feel better.

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