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Thread: Anti-anxiety/depression meds and fire service

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    Default Anti-anxiety/depression meds and fire service

    I have a very stressful job. Much more stressful than firefighting for me personally. I love fire fighting. Love going on calls. I Keep calm under pressure at fire scenes and accidents. Love it. No problems with being volunteer firemen. Now my paid job is causing me great stress and anxiety. I am a legal aid attorney and work for legal aid organization. I represent people in family court. I represent people in abuse/neglect proceedings in addition to custody, child support paternity, and family offense/DV cases. I HATE my job. I have to deal with and represent angry people all day long how frequnelty verbally abuse me despite the fact I am trying to help them. Some of which have abused their children in horrible ways (physical and sexual abuse) I have a family to support and very little opportunities for a career change or even a different job at this time. I am fine while on vacation, once I get home for the day and on weekends but I am having a hard time coping with my job during the week. My Dr. wants to put me on very low dose of Xanax and Paxil. Said it wont affect my driving or fine motor skills in this low of a dose and if it does to discontinue. I am reluctant to take this stuff but he advised me to try it and my wife wants me to try it. Anyone take this stuff? Will it have any effect on my ability on my firefighting duties?

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    You should be the judge of that


    Try it on a weekend or such , don't respond to calls, and see how you feel and react.

    My sinus med makes me feel funny!


    Plenty of other attorney work areas , change clentatale

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    Yea, I wish I could switch right now. I live in a very rural area. There are not a lot of jobs out there for lawyers in my area, will I have to start my own practice to get out of here but cannot right now due to financial obligations. I never had any of these problems until I became a lawyer in Family Court. If anyone wants to respond but is reluctant in public forum, feel free to PM me.

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    Like fire49 said try it off duty and see how it makes you feel. You are the only true judge of that.

    Seriously though, I would start a job search or maybe even a career change if you hate this job that much. The meds are only masking the problem of stress being created by a situation that needs changing.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    Deleted for the good of the community.
    Last edited by CaptOldTimer; 08-21-2014 at 05:30 PM.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Well, thanks for calling me a thief, I really appreciate that. Until you have to stand up in front of judge and defend some scumbag who stuck his dick in his 4 year old kid, don't judge me. Id love to do anything but this god damn job but I have a family to support.

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    Capt Old Timer that was way out of line.

    Touro, which Dr wants to prescribe this to you- your general practitioner or a psychologist/therapist? If its just the GP, then I suggest you discuss it with both your GP and a Pshrink first and then come to a conclusion. You may benefit from seeing a Pshrink if you have not done so already.

    Does your bar association have any means of assistance for you? Job listings? Therapists?

    I appreciate the fact that there is not much for work in your line where you live, however as you are obviously so effing miserable, you really need to get the hell out before you implode on yourself. No one wants to see that happen to anyone. Keep trucking on for the sake of the paycheck you need to support your family but for the love of god you need to start looking for other avenues of work......Again check with the Bar Association....Maybe they have something where you could work at home?? Maybe they have assistance to start your own practice?? Maybe you could find an investor or two to start your own gig- work out of your house until you have some bankroll and then get a small office....work your way up!!!!

    Market yourself as a Fire Department Attorney if you have experience in municipal law and other related fields......Just food for thought.

    Good luck to you buddy. I hope for the best for you.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Thank you FWDbuff. I have plans to start my own practice as soon as my daughter is out of daycare in 2 years. I know that no job is stress free but I chose a particularly stressful line of work considering my personality. I think that having more discretion to take the cases I want and to tell the scumbags to take a hike will help. I am leaning towards avoiding the Xanax. Whatever I do I will try it with the pager turned off and see how it effects me before I set foot on the truck. if it makes me drowsy I will stop taking it, suck up the work related anxiety because I love the fire department much more than my crappy job.
    Last edited by touro1979; 08-21-2014 at 03:59 PM.

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    Touro, PM me. I have some words of advice from personal experience.
    "A fire department that writes off civilians faster than an express line of 6 reasons or less is not progressive, it's dangerous, because it's run by fear. Fear does not save lives, it endangers them." -- Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    "Because if you don't think you're good, nobody else will." -- DC Tom Laun (ret) Syracuse

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    Touro1979 and others, I was out of line and I apologize to you and all on here. I fact I will delete that post. I've been through this with my late wife. She claimed this and that and got these meds, only to get high. I tried everything to get her off and back to her normal self, even going from shift work to day work on the job. But that didn't help either.


    Here is a link, which you may have seen, if not rad this as it is good reading for stress and anxiety.

    Xanax and Paxil - http://www.webmd.com/search/search_r...%20and%20Paxil

    Good luck in your future and endeavors to keep a clear mind and maybe get on a fire department.
    Last edited by CaptOldTimer; 08-21-2014 at 11:37 PM.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    Apology accepted.

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    Well done Capt Old Timer. My sister was addicted to prescription pain meds before we lost her 5 years ago- so I sort of feel your pain. Credit to you for apologizing.
    CaptOldTimer likes this.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    I'd quit that effing job. Even if the Paxil helps and you aren't anxious and stressed, you still hate it.

    We get one ride on this planet man. Don't spend your entire working life miserable. Sell cars, sell your house, sell whatever you need to cut your expenses down to where you can head another direction.

    Lastly, remember: Tough times dont last, tough men do. Stay strong and do what you need to do.

    Hoping the best for you from here.
    slackjawedyokel likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF-Andy View Post
    I'd quit that effing job. Even if the Paxil helps and you aren't anxious and stressed, you still hate it.

    We get one ride on this planet man. Don't spend your entire working life miserable. Sell cars, sell your house, sell whatever you need to cut your expenses down to where you can head another direction.

    Lastly, remember: Tough times dont last, tough men do. Stay strong and do what you need to do.

    Hoping the best for you from here.
    Good advice but sometimes life gets in the way. He has young children in the equation. That changes everything when it comes to prioritizing your life. He may have to stay miserable for a couple more years. Probably be worth it in the long run, assuming it doesn't destroy his health.

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    taking them for a weekend as a test will not give you the knowledge you need
    These drugs and many others need time to build up to a therapeutic level in the bloodstream.

    Discuss this carefully with your prescribing physician and ask about all of the side effects and adverse reactions that can happen.
    fire49 likes this.

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    Default From personal experience..........

    I too have a very stressful full-time job, and developed Generalized Anxiety Disorder around four or five years ago. I take Xanax as needed, as well as an anti-depressant to help combat the anxiety, which can strike at any time, but I have learned how to deal with it when it does. If you try to fight it off and keep it inside, it will eat you alive. Embrace it, welcome it, and learn how to deal with it when it does happen.

    There are well over 100 different symptoms that can and will manifest themselves psychologically and sometimes physically. I have personally experienced every one of them at one time or another. All I can tell you is talk to your PCP if you feel you need the drugs, as they will help counteract the symptoms.

    The typical starting dose for Xanax (generic is Alprazolam) is .25mg as needed, taken when you start to feel the anxiety coming on. You will typically experience dry mouth and mild drowsiness as the main side effects. These should subside after about two weeks of taking the med. An SSRI such as Lexapro (generic is Escitalopram) 10mg, can also help with the symptoms of anxiety, but I don't recommend starting both meds at the same time, as you may find the side effects overwhelming. If you aren't experiencing major anxiety symptoms, leave the Xanax alone, and get started on an SSRI. Benefits of these drugs usually manifest themselves after taking them for 3-4 weeks. I typically take my anti-depressant before bed. Get a good night's sleep. If you have to, use an OTC sleep aid, something with Diphenhydramine as the main ingredient so it's not habit forming. Just don't take it on your call nights.

    Last, and most importantly, find yourself a therapist that deals specifically with treating anxiety disorders. This will help you more than the meds. It's okay if you feel you need the meds to help you, regardless of what anybody tells you, but get a therapist and talk it out. Talk to your Chief and make him aware of the situation, he should be able to help you find a good therapist.

    Don't worry about any perceived "stigma" you think may be attached to you by others. Anxiety is a very common mental health issue, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of your brothers suffer from it as well in some form. Good luck, and I wish you well.

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