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How to manage Panic disorder & depression?

Q: I am a patient of Panic disorder and depression since last 8 years. I visited many doctors and various cardiologists to get a cure for my above disease. Actually I have a feeling that I will get a heart attack since the time I carried one of my friends fathers dead body. From that time I always have the feeling that which ever disease is being discussed with me will affect me. Despite lots of medications from well known psychiatrist there is no relief. Recently the doctor gave me Lindep and Nordep for almost six months which has been changed to Zestraline 100 & Nortin-25 which I am taking currently. I have a bad face with pigmentation and have always suffered from headaches which forces me to take medicines which I dont like to. Now that I have high blood pressure, another drug called Tenormin 50mg has been added. My humble request is how can I get rid of all this medication and live a happy and enjoyable life. I have 2 daughters. My wife does not like my taking all these medications. I will really appreciate your help and me and my family will be always grateful for your support.

A:I do understand how you must feel about having to take medication for so many problems and for so long. It needs to be emphasised that if health problems do require you to be on medication, in considered professional opinion, it is prudent to take them. It does seem from the information you have shared that the medication you are currently taking are appropriate, but the dose may not be adequate. You will easily understand that to continue to take medication in insufficient doses is quite pointless. I would suggest that you consult a competent psychiatrist or an academic department of psychiatry in your city, to review the drugs and more importantly the dose. I am sure you will understand that no prescription can be advised, or should be advised, without detailed assessmentm in person. Please do also try and involve your family members, particualrly your wife in the treatment process, so that they will understand the need for medication and long-term treatment better, and support you in your treatment instead of making you feel troubled because of the treatment and the medication. Their feeling uneasy about your having to take medication for psychological symptoms is understandable. Since psychological symptoms and/or psychiatric disorders cannot be easily seen as health problems or diseases by many people, the acceptance of and the reaction to these problems is unfavourable. If you involve them in treatment, they get an opportunity to understand the problem and the need for treatment. I am sure that with competent treatment and appropriate advice, these issues can be handled and your problems can be effectively managed.

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