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My anxiety is really bad this morning

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NorasDad

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
122
#21
Hey Rich, I can only tell you what worked for me, ok? I want you and everyone to understand that I might say things that are controversial, but I had untreated OCD for 40+ years. I tried everything and I've had dozens of painful conversations with doctors.

In the 80's I was even part of two University studies. I commuted an hour to take a placebo (I very quickly realized I was in the "control" group), just so I could get access to very expert psychiatry for free.

My road to recovery started with two medications: citalopram/escitalopram and clonazepam. The SSRIs have worked wonderfully, but only in quite high doses. The key was the Klonopin (clonazepam). I was lucky to have a psychiatrist who came from years at psychiatric hospitals, so he had lots of experience with clonazepam. He told me the truth (sorry, I've had so many docs I misremembered him as a her). He said "look, I believe you are suffering terribly. I will give you this benzodiazepine but understand that the longer you're on it, the tougher it is to get off it. You WILL become addicted to some extent, because everybody does, but we can deal with that. I've had patients on really HUGE doses of this. Some of my institutional patients will never get off it, but they're psychotic and you have anxiety disorder. If you check in with me every week, you'll be fine."

So he started me, for the first time in my life, on enough clonazepam to ACTUALLY make the symptoms go away. I think I slept for 3 days. I had no idea how exhausted I was just from worry, but finally my body felt normal. After a year or so of the SSRI working well, I tapered off clonazepam. I did not enjoy that, but it was fairly brief. Sadly, I had to go back on for a year or so and, again, it was a bad experience but I got over it. Now I won't ever use that class of drug again because I don't need to. They did their job and the SSRIs have taken over the work.

While I was suffering, lying down and not sleeping was one of my main compulsions. It was actually a way of giving me total space to ruminate - not healthy. Take a look at this video:


See if it means anything to you. It's helped me tremendously. It's about OCD, but I think it applies to anxiety also if you tend to go to your bed or chair and ruminate.

Finally, two things.

1) My doctor who came from institutions where they HAVE to use benzodiazepines (drugs like Klonopin and Xanax) never use the short-acting benzos like Xanax. They believe the entire concept of a short-acting benzo being safer or less addictive than a long-acting is nonsense. And they are SO much less effective. My belief is that if you take a benzo "bring enough gun" that you get the result you want so you can get your mind right and then get off them.

2) As you know, Rich, nicotine from cigarettes is FAR more concerning than Xanax for your health. Now, understand, I "don't smoke" but if there is a pack of cigarettes in the house, I will smoke every one. That short blast of relief just seems worth it to my anxiety brain and there is no way I can convince that lizard brain that cigs are no good. I just stay completely away from them - unless something bad happens then I buy a pack and smoke the whole thing.
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

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Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
102
Location
California
#22
1) My doctor who came from institutions where they HAVE to use benzodiazepines (drugs like Klonopin and Xanax) never use the short-acting benzos like Xanax. They believe the entire concept of a short-acting benzo being safer or less addictive than a long-acting is nonsense. And they are SO much less effective. My belief is that if you take a benzo "bring enough gun" that you get the result you want so you can get your mind right and then get off them.
I’m glad to read this about Klonopin. Xanax helps, but not for long. Then it’s back to high anxiety, for me. Next week my psychiatrist is starting me on Klonopin. I was feeling bad about this, but reading what you wrote gives me hope. Do you think the Klonopin helped because it gets you to a place where you feel more yourself, and then eventually you get used to feeling that way and can do it on your own? I’m worried that it will help, but soon I’ll be off it, and back to where I started. Thanks for any reply, (and I hope I haven’t highjacked this thread).
 
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NorasDad

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
122
#23
I’m glad to read this about Klonopin. Xanax helps, but not for long. Then it’s back to high anxiety, for me. Next week my psychiatrist is starting me on Klonopin. I was feeling bad about this, but reading what you wrote gives me hope. Do you think the Klonopin helped because it gets you to a place where you feel more yourself, and then eventually you get used to feeling that way and can do it on your own? I’m worried that it will help, but soon I’ll be off it, and back to where I started. Thanks for any reply, (and I hope I haven’t highjacked this thread).
To you and Rich - that is exactly it. Klonopin helped me remember what it was like to be a normal human. With anxiety, I think our brain just changes gear. Clearly Homo sapiens have always had to deal with long periods of danger and fear. Think of slavery. My THEORY is that over the millennia we have developed the ability to get and stay nervous out of self-preservation and this ability gets spoofed by the modern world.

Ok, theories aside, the point is that you need to feel again what control is. Klonopin is chemical control. Now, that's obviously problematic. Yes, it stops you from going completely bonkers. But obviously "relaxation in a box" is probably going to have some downsides. What regular GPs don't tell you is that the downside is very predictable as long as you get proper monitoring.

Benzodiazepines are by no means the most addictive drugs in the world. They're not like heroin or something. Millions of people have taken them completely safely and that's why they are prescribed in such numbers. However, they ARE one of the most irritating addictions to cure. It's not hard, per se, to get off benzos. It is tricky, though and, as I say, very, very irritating. As long as you and your supporters (doctors, family, etc.) are aware of the situation, there's no reason not to use these drugs.

I would, however, stay away from the short-acting ones. I think that was a very well-intentioned mistake on doctors' parts.
 
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rich

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Location
nj
#24
Nora how are you.

Again thanks for explaining that using medication is not dangerous. Thank you

but what I wanted to ask, yesterday I did a few breathing techniques that really calmed me down. I mean it almost brought me to tears how good it felt. So I lay down to see if something good could happen, something good like sleep lol. And it wasn't truly sleep, but I laid there at comfort for the first time. I was in some kind of dream like state. I guess I was drifting. When I got up I felt a bit refreshed. The anxiety is still there, but not so much pain on the body. Could this be a small break threw to sleeping again??? My focus is to get my anxiety down so ive been trying to relax breath as much as possible. Seems to be helping so far.

Another thing I noticed now, is that when I have a computer on and looking at the screen it seem to bring on some kind of stress/tightness under my neck. Is this also anxiety???

thanks so much again for speaking to us.
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
102
Location
California
#25
Rich - I’m so glad you’ve had some success with breathing techniques. Have you tried guided imagery/meditation, many of which incorporate breathing & body scanning, and can be REALLY relaxing? I have terrible insomnia, too, and can sometimes get to sleep using them.
There are a lot of free ones on YouTube, and there are free apps, too. A good one I use is called Insight Timer. You might try this, it might help with sleep and at least with relaxation.
 
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NorasDad

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
122
#26
Nora how are you.

Again thanks for explaining that using medication is not dangerous. Thank you

but what I wanted to ask, yesterday I did a few breathing techniques that really calmed me down. I mean it almost brought me to tears how good it felt. So I lay down to see if something good could happen, something good like sleep lol. And it wasn't truly sleep, but I laid there at comfort for the first time. I was in some kind of dream like state. I guess I was drifting. When I got up I felt a bit refreshed. The anxiety is still there, but not so much pain on the body. Could this be a small break threw to sleeping again??? My focus is to get my anxiety down so ive been trying to relax breath as much as possible. Seems to be helping so far.

Another thing I noticed now, is that when I have a computer on and looking at the screen it seem to bring on some kind of stress/tightness under my neck. Is this also anxiety???

thanks so much again for speaking to us.
I'd say yes, you are stressed either when you look at your computer or because of what you're seeing. You must be reading the news or something.:rofl2:

In terms of lying down, I would say that "sleep hygiene" is important. Meditating before you sleep, every night, is a great practice. You'll sleep better and get more out of your sleep.
 
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rich

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Location
nj
#27
Victorianna & nora Thanks so much

So today was a break threw, I slept today I believe. Its was a very weird sleep, but I still think I slept. Today I finally felt this old familiar thing called "tiredness" lol. It came out of no where. I said to myself, I think I remember that feeling lol. So I crawled in the bed. Before all of this I would have jumped in the bed lol. This sleep almost felt like when you go In for surgery and they sedate you and in your mind your still awake. And someone comes in the room and wakes you up...weird, weird...

The human body is something else. I know the fear is still there a bit. Tuff nights are still coming (hopefully not). But I think what makes things better is that you have a game plan. And hopefully the gameplan actually works. And at the end you return to being yourself again

Yeah I was in that dream like format again, but this time it felt like I was walking threw random doors. Until the finally door where I woke up and it was 11 pm. I went to sleep at 6pm. I hope my lazy boy sleep returns back. But for now this will do. My head feels like I been threw something dramatic, but no pain. Muscle pains are gone down.

Nora thanks for being truthful and real about things

thanks
 
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rich

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Location
nj
#29
Ok just real fast I want to say thanks for all here who commented.

I know im writing to soon

The second try last night was a failure. Only got three hours. I started out the same way like before, real tired and laid down. Felt completely comfortable. I couldn't even finish my tea. Then the crazy dreams and feelings running around in my head. But the reason I got up was because of a weird headache. It felt like a pressure was going on in my head....it was weird. So I got up. Guys what about brain tumors??? I know I could be over thinking things. But I heard that sleep jolts can be from tumor in the brain sometimes? I guess im upset because of how I feel. As soon I got up I felt the anxiety rush me. My computer has now turned into a demon because the light from the screen seems to create negative feelings.

only three hours of sleep. I guess we will have set backs as well right???
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
102
Location
California
#30
Anxiety and lack of sleep can create many different physical sensations. The sleep jolts you are having are not caused by a brain tumor, the chest tightness isn’t a heart attack. It’s anxiety causing adrenaline and cortisol to flow through your body, and making you feel physically bad. So try not to worry about those things right now. Just say to yourself - these (fill in the blank) symptoms are not going to harm me, it’s just anxiety.
You seem to be in a vicious cycle of worrying about sleeping, which causes you to have trouble sleeping. Would your doctor prescribe sleeping pills for you? I use Ambien. Xanax helps for anxiety, but not sleep.
 
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NorasDad

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
122
#31
Rich, it's anxiety.

What you're experiencing are intrusive thoughts that cause you to ruminate for hours. Pull back and monitor what the intrusive thoughts are. Then when they come say to yourself "ok, that could be true, but it's not a good idea for me to do anything about that until my mind is clearer."

Note that the things you're worried about are becoming harder and harder to ignore. That's the anxiety begging for attention.
 
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rich

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Location
nj
#32
Your words "it's anxiety causing this" gave me comfort for three hours. Thank you both again

Ok guys. Today was pretty hard. I was feeking like maybe these feeling are dying down a bit because when I did my breathing it felt like "it was working" lol....Today I had to get ready for work and I had 5 hours to rest. So im confident thinking ok I think I can at least get rest and lay down. when I laid once again going threw the dream like weird twilight zone in my head, I then realize this headache. It seems like I got the headache every time my body felt like it wanted go away and sleep (hope that makes sense)..I got up and I think I panic. A panic attack I think. I couldn't get comfortable anymore no matter how much I tried. I felt so scared because I had to get ready for work with not a wink. yes I made it to work....I seemed to have gotten better while at work thank god.

I got home felt tired, and I saw both of your comments and I took that with me when I laid down. It was a nice trigger to use to fight this new anxiety thing in my life now. I don't know if I got sleep, but I got up and it was 3 hours later ( I think). I don't know if im sleeping or not. But for the first time I felt comfortable with your words of wisdom.

So I got up with this nasty headache. Kind of not knowing what happened. Felt like I passed out, but not sure. All I know is I woke up shaking cold, relax gone, and this screaming headache and I'm up. A few days ago I felt I was in control. Jesus what a set back lol. So I guess im gonna try to just get back my relaxation

god bless you nora & vic
 
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NorasDad

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
122
#33
Jesus, pal.

It is such a tough thing, particularly right when it starts.

You need to do the exercises on this page, right away. It really will give you some relief:

Getselfhelp.co.uk CBT self help and therapy resources

If you have any questions, ask away, but this is exactly what a psychiatrist would tell you to do. Of course a psychiatrist would also prescribe you medication. What are your feelings about that?
 
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rabbit5561

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2019
Messages
3
Location
London
#34
Hi thank you I shall look at that this is my third bout in four years the first and second came out other side felling normal whatever normal feels like back into a routing thinking straight getting on with life but this time feels different. As is I have lost immediate congnative thinking if makes any senses of you. Nice talking to you thanks for the info.
 
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NorasDad

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Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
122
#35
Hi thank you I shall look at that this is my third bout in four years the first and second came out other side felling normal whatever normal feels like back into a routing thinking straight getting on with life but this time feels different. As is I have lost immediate congnative thinking if makes any senses of you. Nice talking to you thanks for the info.
That feeling is Dissociation.

Just relax and go with it. It basically means your emotions have thrown a circuit breaker.
 
Mayflower7

Mayflower7

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Jan 4, 2013
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#37
Please please please call an ambulance, any chest pain or tightness should be investigated throughly.
It could be you've strained your chest muscles, it is best to get your heart checked out.
Don't ignore this, please let us know how you are.
 
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rich

Member
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Feb 6, 2019
Messages
17
Location
nj
#38
ok thanks again everyone. I'm so new to all these symptoms


Today something happened that was a bit weird. And this could also be associated with anxiety, but I'm not sure. I hope its just anxiety. So today I made it to work and felt pretty decent. Also can I ask, how in the hell was I able to work???? I didn't feel tired at all today at the job? I only had like 3 hours of sleep and some other nap areas where I just laid down comfortable, but I was not able to truly get back to sleep. Did I get sleep and not know about it? Strange to me. But today when I got home my eyes could barely keep them open. I was so tired. And I was ready to just lie down and test my sleep....so I took a aspirin and started on my way up the stairs.

On the way up the stairs to my bedroom I felt my sleep body rise and try to WAKE UP!!! It was the strangest thing. As if the devil came down and said "NO" you will not sleep. I don't think this happened to me years ago when I first fought insomnia. It was insane how I could barely just open my eyes to a instant wake up feeling. Does that sound strange to you??

So I get in the bed a bit confused on what just happened. I get in the bed and again I only get roughly 3 hours of sleep.
3 hours again, which I'm grateful. But this time I wake up with this nasty headache. This headache, could this mean something. I'm I suffering from a form of anxiety, depression, or panic attacks? Or underlining illness?

Thank god I have a physical job where I could get myself tired and try to sleep. but I also work around a lot of dust and boxes that come from all around the US. Could this be some form of infection??
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

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Feb 8, 2019
Messages
102
Location
California
#39
Rich- have you seen a doctor about any of this? They could tell you what is causing your symptoms - anxiety, depression, and panic is what it sounds like, but only a doctor can tell you for sure. And then they can get you some help for all of these troubles you are suffering from. The most crucial of which is dealing with your insomnia, which is crippling your ability to cope. Do you have a doctor, and do you think you can make an appointment? Let us know - we care about you and want you to feel better.
 
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rich

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Feb 6, 2019
Messages
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Location
nj
#40
I went to the ER yesterday because I thought a heart attack was coming. And of course I wind up being fine. While there I spoke with a psychologist doctor and he referred me to another person who might be able to help me. I tried the CBT self help yesterday and it did help me thanks god. I still haven't slept, and that's what I feel is killing me. So hopefully I get contact with this person for help...


thanks for reachin out