High Anxiety Q (seeking help)

I'm going to preface this post by saying I've already sought the opinion of two doctors and I'm mainly looking for reassurance that this isn't something other than the aids, which I've clearly contracted.

Since mid-December I've had several ongoing abnormally stressful events in my life. While I've suffered from some level of anxiety most of my life, I've usually been able to push-through and it usually dissipates. That said, I'm a 5 year sober alcoholic and some of that, retrospectively, could have been self medicating on my part.

Anyway, back to the topic, about 2.5 weeks ago I began experiencing what feels like withdrawals. I became slightly unsteady, I began experiencing what I think is light sensitivity and felt jittery and clammy. Normally, I would ignore it and just assume I was coming down with something, but I went to a doc in the box ER after a few days and he diagnosed it as anxiety and threw some clonazepam (.5). I took it for a day or two and thought my symptoms were gone, but that Sunday I experienced a full-blown panic attack in which I was certain I was dying (my first ever).

So my question is, is this normal for someone who's experiencing panic or exceptionally high anxiety? I had bloodwork done in late December and everything was normal. Obviously, I have no interest in being on benzos IF this isn't something that's going to go away.

FRAT: experience withdrawl symptoms as a result of what was diagnosed as anxiety. Is it normal for someone who is high stress or high anxiety?

Thanks OG.

Did you quit taking the meds? IF I skip my Celexa for more that 2 days I start getting jittery, anxious, fly off the handle.

I can't help but I wish I well and would suggest seeing a doc on the regular until u get that sorted out. Good luck man. Phone Post 3.0

BathSaltFaceFeeder - Did you quit taking the meds? IF I skip my Celexa for more that 2 days I start getting jittery, anxious, fly off the handle.

Yeah.

I have a 30 day scrip, but I'm attempting to use them "situationally" (which may or may not be possible). My symptoms re-emerged today which, of course, is almost perfect timing considering the supposed half-life of the meds. However, today might be my most stressful day of all so I don't know which is the cause. The last doctor I saw told me I should only need to use about 2 per month.

jkkazmier - I can't help but I wish I well and would suggest seeing a doc on the regular until u get that sorted out. Good luck man. Phone Post 3.0

Thanks for the well wishes.

I'm trying a few different things (including seeing a psychologist). I'm assuming I'm on the right track.

CivFi -
BathSaltFaceFeeder - Did you quit taking the meds? IF I skip my Celexa for more that 2 days I start getting jittery, anxious, fly off the handle.

Yeah.

I have a 30 day scrip, but I'm attempting to use them "situationally" (which may or may not be possible). My symptoms re-emerged today which, of course, is almost perfect timing considering the supposed half-life of the meds. However, today might be my most stressful day of all so I don't know which is the cause. The last doctor I saw told me I should only need to use about 2 per month.
I think Celexa is one of those meds that has to be taken every day, ss opposed to as needed. Phone Post 3.0

as Phone Post 3.0

Go the herbal route Phone Post 3.0

CivFi - I'm going to preface this post by saying I've already sought the opinion of two doctors and I'm mainly looking for reassurance that this isn't something other than the aids, which I've clearly contracted.

Since mid-December I've had several ongoing abnormally stressful events in my life. While I've suffered from some level of anxiety most of my life, I've usually been able to push-through and it usually dissipates. That said, I'm a 5 year sober alcoholic and some of that, retrospectively, could have been self medicating on my part.

Anyway, back to the topic, about 2.5 weeks ago I began experiencing what feels like withdrawals. I became slightly unsteady, I began experiencing what I think is light sensitivity and felt jittery and clammy. Normally, I would ignore it and just assume I was coming down with something, but I went to a doc in the box ER after a few days and he diagnosed it as anxiety and threw some clonazepam (.5). I took it for a day or two and thought my symptoms were gone, but that Sunday I experienced a full-blown panic attack in which I was certain I was dying (my first ever).

So my question is, is this normal for someone who's experiencing panic or exceptionally high anxiety? I had bloodwork done in late December and everything was normal. Obviously, I have no interest in being on benzos IF this isn't something that's going to go away.

FRAT: experience withdrawl symptoms as a result of what was diagnosed as anxiety. Is it normal for someone who is high stress or high anxiety?

Thanks OG.

As long as you went to a doctor and they check you out I'll say tat yes, this is an anxiety thing.

I'm not a recovering alcoholic (kudos on your 5 years sober) but I've always been a high stress person who was trained to bury everything and "deal with it later". well, that worked for about the first 35 years of my life, but then shit started to get real.

I was under a LOT of stress at that point and started to experience episodes where I'd get symptoms similar to a heart attack. Dizzy, pain, shortness of breath, etc, etc. Doctors told me I was fine and they wanted to medicate me, but I refused.

Since I was physically OK, I figured that I had to learn to deal with this kind of thing. I now pretty much recognize when anxiety is building to a point where I'm going to have an "episode". This means that I have to get to the gym or do some kind of physical activity to get myself off the ledge and then put the "stress event" into perspective somehow by talking to someone about it or taking action to do something about it.

I also changed my diet so I'm in good physical shape and eat healthy foods. Happy body = happy mind kind of thing.

This has worked pretty well over the last several years. I've only had a couple of full-blown anxiety attacks, and they have been at night when my brain won't turn off and I'm really tired. These suck because it usually takes several hours for an attack to go away, so I get zero sleep, but I understand what it is so I just "ride the wave" until it's over.

I'm in a reasonably stable place right now so I haven't seen a shrink, but that's my next step if I can't control things. I have a bit of an addictive personality, so I can't/won't do meds, but I'll break down and go to the shrink if necessary.

FRAT - yes it's kind of normal, but you may need to see a shrink to help you learn to deal with it.

billyball2 - 
CivFi - I'm going to preface this post by saying I've already sought the opinion of two doctors and I'm mainly looking for reassurance that this isn't something other than the aids, which I've clearly contracted.

Since mid-December I've had several ongoing abnormally stressful events in my life. While I've suffered from some level of anxiety most of my life, I've usually been able to push-through and it usually dissipates. That said, I'm a 5 year sober alcoholic and some of that, retrospectively, could have been self medicating on my part.

Anyway, back to the topic, about 2.5 weeks ago I began experiencing what feels like withdrawals. I became slightly unsteady, I began experiencing what I think is light sensitivity and felt jittery and clammy. Normally, I would ignore it and just assume I was coming down with something, but I went to a doc in the box ER after a few days and he diagnosed it as anxiety and threw some clonazepam (.5). I took it for a day or two and thought my symptoms were gone, but that Sunday I experienced a full-blown panic attack in which I was certain I was dying (my first ever).

So my question is, is this normal for someone who's experiencing panic or exceptionally high anxiety? I had bloodwork done in late December and everything was normal. Obviously, I have no interest in being on benzos IF this isn't something that's going to go away.

FRAT: experience withdrawl symptoms as a result of what was diagnosed as anxiety. Is it normal for someone who is high stress or high anxiety?

Thanks OG.

As long as you went to a doctor and they check you out I'll say tat yes, this is an anxiety thing.

I'm not a recovering alcoholic (kudos on your 5 years sober) but I've always been a high stress person who was trained to bury everything and "deal with it later". well, that worked for about the first 35 years of my life, but then shit started to get real.

I was under a LOT of stress at that point and started to experience episodes where I'd get symptoms similar to a heart attack. Dizzy, pain, shortness of breath, etc, etc. Doctors told me I was fine and they wanted to medicate me, but I refused.

Since I was physically OK, I figured that I had to learn to deal with this kind of thing. I now pretty much recognize when anxiety is building to a point where I'm going to have an "episode". This means that I have to get to the gym or do some kind of physical activity to get myself off the ledge and then put the "stress event" into perspective somehow by talking to someone about it or taking action to do something about it.

I also changed my diet so I'm in good physical shape and eat healthy foods. Happy body = happy mind kind of thing.

This has worked pretty well over the last several years. I've only had a couple of full-blown anxiety attacks, and they have been at night when my brain won't turn off and I'm really tired. These suck because it usually takes several hours for an attack to go away, so I get zero sleep, but I understand what it is so I just "ride the wave" until it's over.

I'm in a reasonably stable place right now so I haven't seen a shrink, but that's my next step if I can't control things. I have a bit of an addictive personality, so I can't/won't do meds, but I'll break down and go to the shrink if necessary.

FRAT - yes it's kind of normal, but you may need to see a shrink to help you learn to deal with it.

Awesome.

Thanks for the advice and experiences. Ironically enough, my initial visit with a psychologist is today (again, I prefer the non-medicated route if possible). I'm looking forward to the continuous insight and help a professional may be able to provide.

Thanks again!

Sounds like a generalized anxiety disorder, and sounds like Sunday was your first ever full-fledged panic attack.

Congratulation, it probably won't be your last.

Benzos can help for generalized low-level anxiety, but they are also highly prone to abuse and you state that you have a history of substance abuse. "Officially" the jury is still out on whether the mental illness causes the substance abuse or if the substance abuse causes the mental illness. Certainly substance abuse can exacerbate existing mental illness.

In my experience, people use substances to self medicate the symptoms they're experiencing, and alcohol for generalized anxiety goes well together. Based on your history, I'd say that it's unlikely that you could trade benzos for alcohol and not slip over the edge into substance abuse again.

Oh, and congratulations again. You managed to find the only two drugs - alcohol and benzos - where the withdraws symptoms can KILL YOU. Gratz.

All snarkyness aside, props on you for being clean & sober 5 years. I have several close family members who can't make it five weeks, and I've seen first hand the havoc that shit generates (I've got a wonderful niece with a fish-face out of HP Lovecraft, every time I see her I want to slap the shit out of my sister for drinking while she was pregnant).

Also, long term substance abuse can cause long term issues with your brain. It's called Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. The net of it is you don't experience any joy out of life because your brain has "forgotten" what normal serotonin levels are like. The good news is that 5 years are about as long as this can last.

I recommend finding a counselor and working on coping skills WITHOUT meds. Even full fledged panic attacks can be managed without meds, provided you develop good coping skills & life management skills.

Take care, bro.

I'd continue seeing the pshycholgist if you can afford it and perhaps they can supply you with some meds. It is definitely beneficial to be able to spew out your trouble to a professional.

All the best OP. I am on your path as well.

CivFi - 
jkkazmier - I can't help but I wish I well and would suggest seeing a doc on the regular until u get that sorted out. Good luck man. Phone Post 3.0

Thanks for the well wishes.

I'm trying a few different things (including seeing a psychologist). I'm assuming I'm on the right track.


Sounds like you are. Most docs will tell people in your situation to only used the benzos to help you fall asleep. If your brain is racing and you don't sleep because of that, then the next day everything is 10x worse.

Two otc things that may help are magnesium and L-Theanine.

Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer (not to mention an essential mineral) and it can lower your blood pressure, making a calmer you.

Theanine is an amino acid extracted from green tea. It promotes relaxation and can curb the edge on anxiety (especially if you're a caffeine/coffee drinker). A number of users also use theanine for withdrawl symptoms/come downs from things ranging from alcohol to meth and opiates.

Happened to me when I was taking PPIs. Stomach issue became heart palpitations became anxiety became panic attacks. Phone Post 3.0

"I figured that I had to learn to deal with this kind of thing. I now pretty much recognize when anxiety is building to a point where I'm going to have an "episode". This means that I have to get to the gym or do some kind of physical activity to get myself off the ledge"


Even The Simpsons joked about this. Marge & Homer put Bart on meds, and the docs said "The only thing more effective than our pill is regular exercise."

A few minutes of vigorous exercise a day goes a long way to helping manage mental/emotional problems.

phydeau - "I figured that I had to learn to deal with this kind of thing. I now pretty much recognize when anxiety is building to a point where I'm going to have an "episode". This means that I have to get to the gym or do some kind of physical activity to get myself off the ledge"


Even The Simpsons joked about this. Marge & Homer put Bart on meds, and the docs said "The only thing more effective than our pill is regular exercise."

A few minutes of vigorous exercise a day goes a long way to helping manage mental/emotional problems.

Truth.

For the last several years I average 5 days in the gym. Not necessarily all heavy days pumping iron, but 45 minutes - an hour of cardio, weights, swimming, racquetball...whatever.

If I miss more than 2 consecutive days I get jittery...

Do not take the benzos more then once a week they will take the anxiety you have now and multiply it by ten.

first of all, no alcoholic in recovery should be given benzos as treatment...sure, they will help anxiety but tolerance quickly builds and then your anxiety will be much worse when u come off the benzos..

anxiety is a nasty thing but try out SSRIs first and of course eliminate all caffeine and nicotine from your diet...exercise every single day and then go from there..

CivFi - I'm going to preface this post by saying I've already sought the opinion of two doctors and I'm mainly looking for reassurance that this isn't something other than the aids, which I've clearly contracted.

Since mid-December I've had several ongoing abnormally stressful events in my life. While I've suffered from some level of anxiety most of my life, I've usually been able to push-through and it usually dissipates. That said, I'm a 5 year sober alcoholic and some of that, retrospectively, could have been self medicating on my part.

Anyway, back to the topic, about 2.5 weeks ago I began experiencing what feels like withdrawals. I became slightly unsteady, I began experiencing what I think is light sensitivity and felt jittery and clammy. Normally, I would ignore it and just assume I was coming down with something, but I went to a doc in the box ER after a few days and he diagnosed it as anxiety and threw some clonazepam (.5). I took it for a day or two and thought my symptoms were gone, but that Sunday I experienced a full-blown panic attack in which I was certain I was dying (my first ever).

So my question is, is this normal for someone who's experiencing panic or exceptionally high anxiety? I had bloodwork done in late December and everything was normal. Obviously, I have no interest in being on benzos IF this isn't something that's going to go away.

FRAT: experience withdrawl symptoms as a result of what was diagnosed as anxiety. Is it normal for someone who is high stress or high anxiety?

Thanks OG.

#1 you don't want to see a general doctor for this you need to set up an appt with a psychiatrist to get properly diagnosed and medicated if needed. With all due respect to general physicians, they really don't know shit about it except on a surface level.

#2 If it turns out to be "general anxiety disorder" (what is usually the diagnosis even if it's agoraphobia; doesn't sound like what you have - you'd KNOW if you did), you need to take klonopin (clonazepam) daily. I wouldn't go Xanax right away and I'll explain why. Clonazepam is like Xanax's little sister - theyre in the same family, but clonazepam isn't quite as strong. Your body will eventually get used to the drug and you will need to take more for it to work. Once you get to the maximum daily amount and it stops working, thats when you switch to Xanax (or others I may not know about).

I have this, and I know what I'm talking about if it turns out you have it. I also drank for a long time, and looking back I can see I was self-medicating without realizing it.