Author Topic: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?  (Read 3836 times)

[Buddie]

Re: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2010, 05:45:12 am »
bumping this thread because this is the foremost question I have and will continue to have as I approach deciding to taper off valium and benzos in general.
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[Buddie]

Re: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2010, 11:55:34 pm »
So is anxiety symptoms relate to dizziness , as I just have shakes sometimes my heart races just for a few minutes , no dizziness though so is this symptoms of anxiety of my anxiety or benzo anxiety , it comes and goes throughout the day and sometimes I don't get it at all except 1st thing in the morning . Benzo or Mine? I always had the norm anxiety as everyone else do but never had shaking or racing heart unless it was something serious . Benzo or Mine?
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[Buddie]

Re: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2010, 07:44:17 pm »
I am a little late joining this discussion, but now that I am off benzo Klonopin for 13 days, I am getting worried about my anxiety and my
depressing thoughts.  My anxiety is still going strong, as it was through my taper and I don't know if I am feeling w/d or if it is just me being anxious?  I don't know if anyone knows an answer to this, other than just waiting to see what happens.......I was put on K and Prozac 17 years ago due to having a defibrillator implanted in my chest for an irregular and lethal heart arrythmia.  I was still fairly young, had kids to raise and
got so totally anxious over never knowing when this little machine was going to go off and shock me that I was hospitalized for a few days.
That is where I was introduced to Klonopin and Prozac - sorry I ever met them - and at the time, they helped me alot. I got my life back, got a new job and was basically happy).
I never thought of myself as an "anxious" person, my anxieties or fears never kept me from doing anything and so now I am pondering whether what I am feeling is that original anxiety due to a health problem that they put me on the K,  and now think that I am just an "anxious" person.  The psychologist I am seeing said "there's nothing wrong with taking Klonopin for the rest of your life - some people just need it...."  I am so [...] that this anxiety and thoughts about dying that I have are from the w/d and that I will one day be fine again.  I can't believe that I am reading books and looking up anxiety disorders to try to figure out what is wrong with me and becoming so depressed that I will forever be an anxious person.  I can barely stand the thought of this.....and one more "anxiety" event happened to me - in March of this year, I tried to get off Neurontin (which I was on for one year due to back pain) and got pretty bad "anxiety" over that, but perhaps it was withdrawal from the Neurontin - although the doctors say "oh no, there is no w/d from Neurontin) and from there the story goes crazy - more Klonopin, more Prozac, Remeron, Seroquel, Thorazine, Tegretol - my God, how can they do this to a person's brain?  It is appalling.  So here I sit, 13 days benzo free - still on 20 mg of Prozac and
80 mg of Inderal (which I take for my heart arrythmia) with terrible thoughts, crying, and shaking and not feeling like I want to go on like this.
I know - the mantra - "it takes time."  That is so hard..........thanks for listening.....
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[Buddie]

Re: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2010, 08:01:52 pm »
[...],

Klonopin is a powerful drug which rearranges how your brain functions, think about it, what you're been taking and what you've just eliminated from your life has altered your brain.  This isn't something that can be stopped one day and complete healing comes the next.  This drug has been doing the job your brain should have been doing for a long time now, and it cannot be expected to learn to do things overnight.

Your brain is in a learning curve right now, and it's going to make a lot of mistakes.  Some of these mistakes are crazy signals sent to your central nervous system which come out in the form of tremors, pins and needles and countless other symptoms.  Some of the other mistakes that will happen will be inappropriate emotional responses which will feel like depression, blunted emotions, hopelessness and anxiety.  All of these things are your brain trying to recover from the bombardment it's received since this drug was introduced into your body.

There is no way you can make an accurate assessment of who you are until you are completely healed from this experience.  Don't concern yourself with questions of original anxiety, you won't know these answers for many months.  But if you're anything like the hundreds of people I've seen heal, you will be free from this and your previous anxiety when you heal.
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[Buddie]

Re: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2010, 09:17:53 pm »
Thanks [...] - that's a heavy pill to swallow (no pun intended) that I - me - altered my brain on purpose.  What a terrible thing to do to my body and mind.  Thanks for your explanation and I know you have told me about the drugs making me think horrible things before.  But it's so hard to
remember that when you're in the middle of distorted thoughts - I guess a person just has to write it down "This is the Drugs Making Me Feel like this) and just read it over and over every day.  Maybe then, the brain will accept it........thanks again [...]
[...]
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[Buddie]

Re: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2010, 06:38:49 am »
My answer has always been--did you feel this anxiety before you were on the medication, even in a lesser form? If so, then it's at least partly true anxiety. Otherwise, it's the benzos.

But, really, it's not that important either way. If it feels like anxiety, then treat it like anxiety. With real anxiety, you gradually try to get over it. Too quickly, and it can cause problems. What happens in benzo withdrawal? If you do too much, you feel bad, so you do a little at a time. The methods do not have to contradict.

Constantly trying to figure it out won't help, and may give you something else to worry about. One thing I had to learn in withdrawal is that my constant quest for knowledge is not always useful. I really don't think knowing exactly what is causing your symptom will help.
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[Buddie]

Re: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2010, 03:24:32 pm »
I'd like to throw my $0.02 in as a man who recently has been struggling with and overcoming bouts with panic and anxiety. I was given klonopin 3 1/2 months ago to mitigate panic attacks during which time I started seeing a therapist. The therapist taught me how to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to identify and combat the underpinnings of what was causing me to be anxious. That said one of the biggest things I learned from him was that often times, despite it's cause, anxiety tends to be a self fulfilling prophecy. This is to say that if you "wonder" or "think" that you're having an anxiety attack, you can easily talk yourself in to having one.

So, all that said, I will say that when I started my tapering process I was overcome with anxiety, but after my sessions with my councilor I was able to discern that in this case my anxiety was artificial as it was caused by my sudden drop in a brain altering. I was able to fend it off using my mental toolkit that I learned to use with help from a shrink.

That said, my suggestion would be this, and again I base this off my own experience. First, you need to quiet the detective in you. The more you worry about worry, the more you worry. Spending hours on end just asking yourself the question "is this withdrawal or is this anxiety" will result in the same conclusion regardless of the answer. You will be anxious. Now I know for a fact that it is nearly impossible to just stop thinking like that. I know that anyone who tells you "try not to worry" or "just don't think about it" is not very helpful, even if they're trying to be. The fact of the matter is that benzos have a tendency to cause you to feel anxious if you a) get use to your dose, or b) taper off them. There is also a likelihood that you may be prone to anxiety, which isn't a bad thing, it's just how some of us function.

I would suggest that you pick up the book "The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook: 4th Edition" http://is.gd/fA97Tand start by reading the first chapter, followed by the chapters on "Negative Self Talk" and "Mistaken Beliefs". I have found for me that learning about those, and doing the exercises in the book have allowed me to start conquering my anxiety all together. I'm not sure you're ever cured from something like this, but you can certainly be in control of it and after a long enough time you can be in effortless control.

I'm taking the long way around directly answering the question, but I wanted everyone to have this information. It's certainly helped me. So in a nutshell I submit this to you. "How do you know when it's anxiety or w/d?". You don't. It's likely both, however you can treat them both by examining yourself. Ask yourself, what were you thinking when you first started to feel anxious? What was the thought specifically? If you were just walking outside on a beautiful day thinking that you should mow the lawn and suddenly you get a shot of adrenaline, your heart rate picks up, your breathing gets rapid, AND you're tapering off a benzo, that's likely w/d. If you're thinking "I don't want to panic today. I don't want to have anxiety today" AND you're tapering off a benzo, that's probably real anxiety exacerbated by the w/d. With enough practice you'll know when you need to examine a real issue that causes you anxiety, or an artificial on set at which point you just have to take a minute, a few deep breaths and say "I'm getting better, this will pass." Trust me, it took me months to get to that area, but I got there and I believe you and everyone who suffers from panic and anxiety can too.

Please don't take this as me saying "it's all your fault" because with anxiety that too is a fallacy. With true anxiety you were either brought up in such a way that you believe X to be true, where X causes you anxiety, or an even in your life (even a cumulation of events) cause you to believe X. X is rarely true. It's a long road, and it's not always smooth, but the fact that you are all here tells me that you can handle it. The book really was a life saver, and if you can talk to a therapist WITH that book I believe that you can not only come out of w/d happily, but also have a better quality of life afterwards.

I wish you all the best of luck. I know all too well how easy it is to get stuck in an anxious loop, but I've also seen how you can break out of it as well.

Edit: Deactivated commercial link.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 04:49:40 pm by [Buddie] »
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[Buddie]

Re: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2010, 03:47:03 pm »
At nine months off, my anxiety was off the charts and all consuming, and the cog fog was indescribable.
I felt as though it was affecting my physical good health and that I would never be well again.
Last week, I told my doctor, a psychiatrist who believes in medication only as a VERY last resort (a rare find, I know),
that I was feeling desperate and needed some answers, that I could not fight this battle any longer by myself.
I was at the end of my rope.

He prescribed Zoloft, beginning at 25 then increasing to 50 in a few days.

The difference the Zoloft has made in one week is absolutely incredible.  My anxiety had calmed immensely and I feel as
though I am FINALLY going to make it out of this nightmare called withdrawal.  I finally have hope that the end is in sight
and I am going to get my life back.

I think my anxiety was taking on a life of it's own in by body and I needed something to help me combat it.

I really wanted to pull through this without medication and I had done everything possible to do that.
But, if Zoloft is what it takes for me to get well, I am going to give it a good try.

This has been the most difficult and horrible experience of my life, and I am glad finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I wish all the best to everyone here.  We are fighting battles that no one else can truly understand.

[...]
aka Tish
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[Buddie]

Re: How to know when is really anxiety or withdraw ?
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2010, 04:04:11 pm »
Tish - you went into Rehab the day after you got off the K and the Ambien?  What did they do for you in Rehab?  Did they put you on more drugs?  If not, then how did they help you?  I have never heard of a rehab that doesn't put you on more drugs, well, maybe I'm thinking of hospital rehabs - they dose you up with a drug cocktail and good luck getting off that.  Just wondering.
Thanks for your input.
[...]
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