Weighing anxiety reduction against drug dependency
So for the past two years, I have been taking one and a half pills (0.25mg) of Xanax a day. This helps me immensely, but I am concerned about growing dependent.
Is there anything else you would suggest? At one point, my doctor prescribed 50 mg of Zoloft but I only took 25mg as I am very sensitive to drugs. (Anxious)
DEAR ANXIOUS: The medication, Xanax, does have addictive tendencies. However, as the panic attacks you experience may be results of a serious anxiety disorder; I don’t think that your current regime of 0.25mg per day is excessive.
I suggest that you weigh the emotional burden of the attacks against the possible dependency on Xanax. If your panic attacks cause major difficulties in your daily life and Xanax helps you overcome them, then it is better for you to continue taking it understanding the risk.
If you would like to taper off or discontinue taking Xanax, then you may consider psychotherapy or cognitive behavior therapy. I recommend that you decrease or discontinue your medication gradually in this manner so that you can regain your self-confidence step by step.
DEAR DR. P: I am a young woman from Thailand. I am in a long distance relationship with a man in Korea. I am unsure about the future of our relationship. I wonder what Korean men are like in general. Another question I have is whether Korean guys are generally physical and touchy with girls, even very early in a relationship. Is this considered the norm? (Ying)
DEAR YING: First, it is impossible to generalize Korean men. I believe that it is more important to ask yourself what your boyfriend is like, rather than to wonder about what Korean men are like in general.
Koreans share a cultural sentiment called “jeong.” This affection for others may facilitate friendships. On that note, there are occasions when Korean men will touch women in their everyday interactions, such as a pat on the shoulder or a brief holding of the hand, but these gestures are as expressions of friendship
However, it would be very rude and inappropriate to impose any overtly sexual moves at the onset of a relationship without adequate communication. Such behavior would offend a partner regardless of cultural background.
It sounds to me that there is a mistrust issue in your relationship. If you are not comfortable with the level of physical intimacy with your boyfriend, you don’t need to justify the interaction with difference in cultures.
Park Jin-seng is a psychiatrist who runs a clinic for foreigners in Seoul and operates the personal therapist forums on www.lifeinkorea.com. Please submit questions for Park to email@example.com or call the hotline at 1588-4276.