Author Topic: Chemical Fear  (Read 1300 times)

[Buddie]

Chemical Fear
« on: February 02, 2022, 12:41:26 am »
Hi I am in an anxiety nightmare at the moment so I am going to type all my mind here in hopes that someone might be able to help me understand and remedy my situation. Might be lengthy

 I began my experience with benzos because of an anxiety issue. Anxiety was something that was situational and social for me. It was at times a little disruptive to my life so I talked to my family doctor and began taking Ativan. The medication worked like a miracle for me, but through a series of events I decided that I would taper off of the meds.

As I went through the gradual process of reducing the Ativan; I observed that the medication was no longer at a level that was therapeutic for my anxiety. Nevertheless through commitment to better myself and overcome my anxiety I was able to manage it. I did begin begin taking the beta-blocker Propranolol to help cover the physical symptoms because I sweat heavily when I experience anxiety. Because I had this period where I was doing OK, it seems to indicate that I probably could do well after this WD. 

Everything changed for me after deciding to C/T tho. My new baseline has become a nonstop anxiety that does not go away with any amount of time or effort. I have tried vigorously exercising, walking 2-3 miles a day, brain training games, distractions, relaxation techniques, breathing techniques and all sorts of mental gymnastics. I have read to exhaustion about the CNS along with the abundance of literature available about benzodiazepine WDís, but no amount of rationale seems to have a positive effect because my mind is just so hyper vigilant.

I have had to stop everything for now and I feel like I am loosing ground as a result. I put so much effort into exposing myself to social situations and getting out of the house, but my symptoms have become overwhelming to the extent that I feel shame for my demeanor. I just canít do anything. I find it difficult to keep composure and talk because inwardly my system is drag racing. And now that I have resigned my job, quit attending church and martial arts this experience has become a monster in my mind. The prospect of being in this condition long term is just scary.

I am here for advice, for information, to hear others experiences and most of all for hope. 
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: Chemical Fear
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2022, 02:38:06 am »
hey man,

 iad extreme hypervigillance and hyperfocus on symptoms,  ocd like toughts,  constant anxiety (chemical anxiety) wasnt able to relax ,constant terror like anxiety , baseline after baseline it gets better ,

 its unpredictable  how long it will take for you to fully recover, shame and ruminating toughts its all part of this process, a form of symptom , your perceptions while in acute doesnt help and fhis will get better too

 this will change and get easier, your not going to feel like that the whole process, idk how long your acute phase will last but give  3 months or 4 for this full survival mode to subside, it gets better.
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: Chemical Fear
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2022, 02:51:58 am »
Thank you. Thatís very clear and uplifting. Itís a wild ride. Sometimes all the effort to understand the situation is lost between the noise. One moment I feel like I have it together and the next moment I canít own that truth.
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: Chemical Fear
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2022, 04:24:05 am »
While you are in this fragile (acute benzo w/d) state, vigorous exercise might actually be counterproductive. I am now taking a more gentle approach with exercise. I do four 10-min cardio sessions of low to moderate intensity on a stationary bike, spaced about 4 hours apart during the day.  I would keep doing all the other cognitive training things you mentioned, however. The mediation really helps me by activating the parasympathetic nervous system to bring things back in balance with the more dominant sympathetic nervous system we get stuck in during benzo w/d.  I also cleaned up my diet by eating a whole food plant based diet (minimal - animal products, sugar, refined / processed carbs) to fortify my body as much as possible.

The waiting part on the brain to heal and start to reverse things is the hardest part bc you are in so much pain. It is a very hard thing to endure, not knowing when things will get better and finally come to an end.
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: Chemical Fear
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2022, 12:58:38 am »
Thx. I do find that sometimes the ramp up that comes with a vigorous workout can stay with me throughout the day. I have been into exercising and JiuJitsu for a while so being active is one of the ways I am maintaining my sanity. Iíve stopped the martial arts since I cant be comfortable around others, but the fact that rigorous activity was my normal, and that it plays a role in healing the brain keeps me going back. I will try abstaining on days when I think I might go outside. 

As far as diet goes I follow most of the suggestions you gave. Iíve been on a keto/low carb diet alternation for about 3 years now. Itís a relief to me that I have been blessed enough to have these things in place prior to this journey.
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: Chemical Fear
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2022, 08:05:04 pm »
Describe the rigorous exercising that you are doing.

I was once into high intensity cardio from my early 20s to mid 30s, mostly long distance endurance type activities like running and cycling. I actually think that coupled with some workplace stress I was having during this time is what precipitated anxiety disorder.

Exercise is good but it is also a stressor on the body. I was overdoing things and not allowing my body enough time to rest and recover.
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: Chemical Fear
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2022, 02:55:57 am »
I would like to suggest joining on on-line self help group called RecoveryInternational.org.         This group has helped over a million people to learn how to cope with, and get rid of things like anxiety, fear, panic, et al.   I used them for terrible panic disorder and I was lucky enough to attend live meetings weekly about 20 minutes from my home.  However, they now have on-line meetings weekly and if you donít have a live group near you, that is what I suggest you do.  No one will see you.  You can use a fake name.  You donít have to speak if you donít want to.  You just need your computer and you log in to the meeting and you see the leader and the information being presented.  It is based on CBT - cognitive & behavioral training.   If you have had that before somewhere else and it did not work, please donít hesitate to try this group.  They use it and present it in such a way that is unlike anything therapists do and it works.  I was put on benzos for severe panic disorder and for many people when they get off the benzos the original disorder is still there and needs to be dealt with.  Or like you, these things pop up during withdrawal and learning coping techniques and using and practicing them diligently actually changes the brain.  In time, the brain relearns what it is to behave normally again.  It times time and practice but it truly saved my life and many others I know.  Please consider giving it a try.  Go to their site and look it over. 
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: Chemical Fear
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2022, 05:30:16 am »
I am mostly doing sprints since the w/dís. Probably 1/4 mile sprints at speed periodically on my 2 mile walks; probably 2 days a week, some punching and grappling practice on my martial arts dummy periodically, and dumbbell/weight machine lifts for upper and lower body; periodic as well. The weight training has been light-mid range weights:10-12 reps for 4 sets with an occasional burn out set to finish. My sleep has been a solid 9 hours a night for the past two weeks thankfully.

Thank you for the web site link [...]. I have been thinking about giving the therapy routes a try, but I have been iffy about the effectiveness of it. Glad to hear it helped you. I will visit the link and give it some attention.

Iíve been observing my condition and I feel like much of what I am experiencing is my normal anxiety being greatly exacerbated by my physical condition. I noticed that when I tried playing my guitar to relax, my body is revved up like I drank 2 large energy drinks afterwards. By the time I am done it feels like an electrical storm inside my body. When I feel jittery and shaky like that I become very self conscious about shaking and appearing nervous in public. That fuels the social anxiety and it snowballs.

One little bit of good news is that a huge portion of my visual disturbances have lifted in the past 3-4 days. 
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: Chemical Fear
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2022, 12:30:23 pm »
Iím so frustrated. This is going to be a largely negative rant so I apologize in advance. If you donít have the strength to read someoneís meltdown you will want to skip this post.

I am so exhausted from this anxiety and hyper excitable CNS. I am at a place where I feel like any path I can take will not prosper me. Iím even sick of the whole ďmisery loves companyĒ thing, but here I am again.

Itís day 41 from my C/T. I understand that is a short time, but thatís 41 days of no job. 41 days as a husband and father that is NOT providing for his family. I am locked in my house. Iíve massed debts. I am waiting to heal while pending bills and necessities are piling up like a mountain about to fall on me and my family. I can ďacceptĒ certain aspects of this experience, but who can accept being OK with that? I donít even feel like a human being anymore, but something closer to a tortured animal.

Iíve tried the tactics and read all the articles until I am blue in the face. Suicidal ideation haunts me, but thank God my faith keeps me from that path. Why am I filled with this tormenting fear? I keep forcing myself outside over and over in a desperate bid to overcome this terror. Nothing penetrates my mind. The mounting experiences of ďIím OKĒ brings no ďAh hah!Ē moment to my psyche.
The mental gymnastics are not even near effective for the power of my adrenaline dumps. Trying to overcome the physical experience I am having with mental exercises seems like trying to thread a needle in the midst of a fist fight.   

I cannot ďfake it until I make itĒ. If I could I would, but I canít. Im uncomfortable and I can tell that everyone around me gets uncomfortable as a result. I just donít want to be this way anymore. My quality of life is just all gone and I feel like a burden on everyone I love. I am too ďinsideĒ of my mind since this started to be who I need to be. I keep a conscious awareness of my fear and wondering when the time will come for this to return to normal.

*sigh* I will stop complaining, but I am at my wits end with torment. Fear really does cause torment. I am in anguish. I am sick of my own thoughts. I just want peace.
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: Chemical Fear
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2022, 09:34:49 pm »
I don't have any platitudes for you [...] but I wanted you to know I hear your words and know your pain and I'm sorry this is happening to you.  I was where you are and made it out the other side, I hope you can get a glimpse of it soon. 
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.