Author Topic: Fear and Old Issues coming up...  (Read 3104 times)

[Buddie]

Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« on: October 17, 2008, 08:49:58 pm »
HI All,

Just wondering if old issues have been coming up for anyone else here, during Xanax withdrawals.  It seems as if all of the trauma, bad feelings/experiences that I've felt or been through have come up while I was going through the withdrawals. Stuff from years ago.  Hardly any good memories come up.  Also, I feel like I'm afraid of everything.  I'm jumping at any little noise. I just feel a general fear. I can't watch a movie or hardly watch tv much anymore. Anyone out there experience any of these things?

(I'm also tired of complaining, but figure that you guys would understand.)

Tammy
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2008, 09:06:48 pm »
HI All,

Just wondering if old issues have been coming up for anyone else here, during Xanax withdrawals.  It seems as if all of the trauma, bad feelings/experiences that I've felt or been through have come up while I was going through the withdrawals. Stuff from years ago.  Hardly any good memories come up.  Also, I feel like I'm afraid of everything.  I'm jumping at any little noise. I just feel a general fear. I can't watch a movie or hardly watch tv much anymore. Anyone out there experience any of these things?

(I'm also tired of complaining, but figure that you guys would understand.)

Tammy

Hi Tammy,

I have not had the kind of memories you are talking about, but Dr. Ashton talks about intrusive memories in her manual. Here is an excerpt that is somewhat like you are talking about. Hope this helps....

Intrusive memories. A fascinating symptom in patients undergoing benzodiazepine withdrawal is that they often mention the occurrence of what seem to be intrusive memories. Their minds will suddenly conjure up a vivid memory of someone they have not thought about or seen for years. Sometimes the other person's face will appear when looking in the mirror. The memory seems uncalled for and may recur, intruding on other thoughts. The interesting thing about these memories is that they often start to occur at the same time that vivid dreams appear; these may be delayed until one or more weeks after the dosage tapering has started. Since recent sleep research indicates that certain stages of sleep (REMS and SWS) are important for memory functions, it is likely that the dreams and the memories are connected. In both cases the phenomena may herald the beginning of a return in normal memory functions and, although sometimes disturbing, can be welcomed as a sign of a step towards recovery.

Poor memory and concentration are also features of benzodiazepine withdrawal, and are probably due to continued effects of the drug. Mentors should be prepared to repeat encouragements again and again, week after week, as their words are soon forgotten.

T2 :smitten:

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2008, 07:31:19 pm »
HI Theresa,

Thanks for the reply.  I think I should read the Ashton Manual.  I have so many issues that have come up since this Xanax thing.   Today is full of anxiety, and probably a little PMS thrown in, LOL.   

The fear thing is what seems to be hanging around for me the longest after the withdrawals. I seem to have so many phobia type fears now, where as before I had none.  Also, the power of suggestion has been a real factor in so many of my fears, things I would not have normally paid attention to, not usually good things.  I feel like a child most of the time.  Like I'm just open and vulnerable to so many things.  This is such a strange process.   Anyway, thanks for listening.

Tammy   
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2008, 08:21:17 pm »
Hi Tammy,

Here is another excerpt from The Ashton Manual which explains sensory hypersensitivity....

Sensory hypersensitivity. A characteristic feature of benzodiazepine withdrawal is a heightened sensitivity to all sensations - hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell. When extreme, these sensations can be disturbing. One lady had to stop all the clocks in the house because their ticking sounded unbearably loud; many have had to don dark glasses because ordinary light seemed dazzlingly bright. Some find that the skin and scalp becomes so sensitive that it feels as if insects are crawling over them. Heartbeats become audible and there may be a hissing or ringing sound in the ears (tinnitus - see below). Many people complain of a metallic taste in the mouth and several notice strange, unpleasant, smells which seem to emanate from the body. These sensations, including an unpleasant smell (which usually no-one else can detect) have been described in anxiety states in the absence of benzodiazepines. Like insomnia and panics, they are probably reflections of heightened activity in the central nervous system. Such hypervigilance is part of the normal fear and flight response which is damped down by benzodiazepines but undergoes a rebound during withdrawal.

These sensations return towards normal as withdrawal progresses, and some people are pleased with the new, seemingly extraordinary, clarity of their perceptions. Only in withdrawal do they realise how much their senses have been obscured by benzodiazepines. One lady described how thrilled she was when she could suddenly see individual blades of grass in her newly bright green lawn; it was like the lifting of a veil. Thus, these sensations need not give rise to fear; they can be viewed as signs of recovery.


T2 :smitten:

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2008, 03:28:24 am »
Hang in there Tammy.  Every deep dark memory I had came to the surface during withdrawal.  A fight my neighbor had with her daugher threw me back into being that helpless 8 year old kid when my dad beat down our front door. 

It's like we are an open nerve.  All senses, all memories are experienced at a level that certainly is not normal. 

The good news is...it goes away.  I could not live at that level forever!!!

Love,

Jen
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2008, 03:32:00 am »
Hi Tammy,

Here is another excerpt from The Ashton Manual which explains sensory hypersensitivity....

Sensory hypersensitivity. A characteristic feature of benzodiazepine withdrawal is a heightened sensitivity to all sensations - hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell. When extreme, these sensations can be disturbing. One lady had to stop all the clocks in the house because their ticking sounded unbearably loud; many have had to don dark glasses because ordinary light seemed dazzlingly bright. Some find that the skin and scalp becomes so sensitive that it feels as if insects are crawling over them. Heartbeats become audible and there may be a hissing or ringing sound in the ears (tinnitus - see below). Many people complain of a metallic taste in the mouth and several notice strange, unpleasant, smells which seem to emanate from the body. These sensations, including an unpleasant smell (which usually no-one else can detect) have been described in anxiety states in the absence of benzodiazepines. Like insomnia and panics, they are probably reflections of heightened activity in the central nervous system. Such hypervigilance is part of the normal fear and flight response which is damped down by benzodiazepines but undergoes a rebound during withdrawal.

These sensations return towards normal as withdrawal progresses, and some people are pleased with the new, seemingly extraordinary, clarity of their perceptions. Only in withdrawal do they realise how much their senses have been obscured by benzodiazepines. One lady described how thrilled she was when she could suddenly see individual blades of grass in her newly bright green lawn; it was like the lifting of a veil. Thus, these sensations need not give rise to fear; they can be viewed as signs of recovery.


T2 :smitten:



This certainly has been true for me.  Last week I had some of the strangest, most disturbing, dreams I've ever had.  A couple of days later I started having the best days I've had in a year and a half.  It's strange how that happens but it does!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 04:09:24 pm »
HI Theresa,

Thanks for posting this to me.  I don't like the sensory hypersensitivity thing.  I was hypersensitive to began with before any drugs and this just makes it more intense.  I'm still having some nightmares, but mostly, the racing, intrusive thoughts and bad feelings. Some insomnia, I have not been sleeping past 4am. Once I wake up, I usually just cry for two or three hours before I start my day.  I just want to feel good/normal again.  After finding out more about the other two drugs that I was taking around the same time as Xanax (the other two were prednisone for just three days, and levaquin for just four days), I'm wondering if I didn't get some super duper cocktail. Of course, there are no tests for these things, not the right tests anyway. It seems that all of these drugs can cause some bad side effects.  I think my system is just hypersensitive to drugs period.   I have to keep reminding myself that these symptoms are the drugs and not me, as I was never like this before.

Thanks
Tammy
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 04:31:17 pm »
HI Theresa,

Thanks for posting this to me.  I don't like the sensory hypersensitivity thing.  I was hypersensitive to began with before any drugs and this just makes it more intense.  I'm still having some nightmares, but mostly, the racing, intrusive thoughts and bad feelings. Some insomnia, I have not been sleeping past 4am. Once I wake up, I usually just cry for two or three hours before I start my day.  I just want to feel good/normal again.  After finding out more about the other two drugs that I was taking around the same time as Xanax (the other two were prednisone for just three days, and levaquin for just four days), I'm wondering if I didn't get some super duper cocktail. Of course, there are no tests for these things, not the right tests anyway. It seems that all of these drugs can cause some bad side effects.  I think my system is just hypersensitive to drugs period.   I have to keep reminding myself that these symptoms are the drugs and not me, as I was never like this before.

Thanks
Tammy


Hi Tammy,

One of the hardest things to do is accept what is happening to us. You have to accept this as a short term problem and things will get better with time. You need to try to redirect your thinking to distract yourself from dwelling on the negative aspects of how you are feeling. Have you tried Cognitive Behavior Therapy? Some find this very helpful. At night, try listening to a sleep cd, meditation body scans or slow deep breathing to relax. If you are waking up in an anxious state, you feed the anxiety more by reacting to it. Have you read the anxiety/panic and insomnia thread? There are many ideas there to help you with your symptoms.

Hugs to you!

T2 :smitten:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 04:51:30 pm »
Hi Theresa,

I haven't tried CBT, but does it work when these problems are drug induced?  I don't usually wake up in an anxious state, it comes on after I've been awake for awhile and thinking, and last until early afternoon or so.  I'm trying really hard to accept it, and most days I do.  Some days though I just forget, you know what I mean?
Thanks again for the support.

Tammy
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Fear and Old Issues coming up...
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2008, 07:51:08 pm »
Hey Tammy,

CBT is a great option, but for it to be successful, you have to be off the benzos - this is something I learned the hard way. However, once you're off, CBT will work WONDERS as it did for me. :) I had been on Klonopin for almost eight years and all sorts of other anti-depressants for close to twenty years and am only now beginning to realize how great the power of CBT is versus the symptom masking that the drugs offer.

CBT = Relearning how to cope. The lessons you take from these sessions are practical and eventually become second nature.
Drugs = Mask symptoms so you never have to cope until they stop working.

As for the anxiety, I get it when I am starting to fall asleep and shortly after waking. You need to distract your mind, somehow, and get rid of the feelings. :) I started playing my daughters Nintendo DS and bought my own - but it works. :)

Take care and hang in there -  we will all get through this!

-Pete
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.