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Old 07-22-2007, 03:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Holland
Posts: 90
Anxiety in Alcoholics, Cortisol and Panic, SSRI's and more

This morning I had the worst anxiety/panic attack since the one that caused me to stop drinking 22 days ago. I woke up very early in total panic, it was like awaking into a nightmare instead waking from one. I tried the breathing exercises but that helped only a little so sleeping was not an option anymore. I had to get up as my panic attacks are worst when lying down. Because of the chest pain I spent the next hour with thoughts about dying, having a horrible disease, losing my mind etc. trying to calm down in front of my PC.

After the panic changed into elevated anxiety I started rereading some old and finding new articles about the relation between panic, anxiety, brain chemistry and treatments. This helps me to settle down a bit, think about my problems and search for a solution. Then I thought that it might be interesting to share these articles with you.

Remember even though some are scientific articles you have to remain objective and sceptical. Treat them as a resources and guideline instead of as the ultimate truth. Scientific research is evolving rapidly and something that is true today might not be true tomorrow. Also many articles contain difficult medical terms, I found it useful to google these terms so I could understand more.

Brain damage and recovery after chronic alcohol abuse:
http://www.alcohol-drug.com/neuropsych.htm

Interesting article how chronic drinking increases the stress hormone cortisol:
http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/healt...acer030915.htm

More info about the link between cortisol, hormones and anxiety/panic attacks:
http://www.anthropogeny.com/A%20Hypo...20Disorder.htm

Very difficult scientific article with proof that anxiety increases the chance of drinking.
http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi.../full/38/4/360

Scientific proof for buspirone treatment to reduce cortisol levels:
http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi.../full/39/4/287

General info about chemical imbalances in mental health problems:
http://www.mental-health-matters.com....php?artID=160

Dangers of antidepressants:
http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/...oglycaemia.htm
http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/pinealstory.htm


After the rereading these articles I reached the conclusion that something had to be done. I am tired of this anxiety, whether it has been caused by alcohol or the cause of my alcholism. Unfortunately the Dutch Mental Health is very bad (I got my first appointment after 6 months!!!!!) and focused on prescribing anti-depressants and organizing talk groups. But I am not depressed at all, I suffer from anxiety and panic, so why should I take anti-depressants? I am on 5 mg Lexapro now and refuse to take more as the last experience with Paxil was horrible. My panic attacks were not that bad but I was in a constant state of agitation, totally losing my mind, very agressive, abusing various substances, in other words a different person.

So I have taken the decision to visit my parents in Poland in 2 weeks. They can arrange all possible medical tests and visits to a very good psychiatrist. I am gonna be honest about my previous alcohol consumption and other substance abuse. I hope I will get some clarity about my medical condition and the causes of the panic attacks as well as a good medical treatment. Right now there so many uncertainties about my mental and physical condition and because of that I have no idea how to continue and I don't want to hide from these problems by hitting the bottle again. Not this time. Never.

Thank you if you managed to read my ramblings . I have posted this also in the alcoholism section
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Back in the USA
Posts: 517
U know,

The more I tell myself that drinking is a major contributor to my panic/anxiety, especially during the withdrawal, the less i seem to listen.

When will I learn??

Seems when I pick up and take that drink, the penalty goes in one ear and out the other. I tell myself Im going to pay for this in the morning.

The terrible reality of addiction.

I know its hard during the panic, but when ever u use ur coping skills like breathing, etc, try to focus on the end of it. Keep ur mind on that moment when its over.

I know,.....easier said than done, but you will beat this. Just keep working at it.

You will win. Before u know it, the attacks will be less frequent and less intense.

It will feel so good to feel good again.

Intro
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: fort colllins, co
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combat hangover/cortisol anxiety with exercise

ive had the same problem a lot, with the crippling anxiety and insomnia and high blood pressure, etc, and am convinced its cortisol, after a few days of drinking.

recently i decided to see if a nice hourlong bikeride would combat the cortisol with endorphins. i drank plenty of water a few hours before going out, and rode pretty hard. i felt horrible the first half hour of riding, and had anxious thoughts of dropping dead with a heart attack/etc, but of course that was just anxiety. anyway, at the end of the bikeride i found that the endorphins released by strenous biking had eliminated 80% of my anxiety. i was fine for the rest of the day, too. ive since tested this again and it works. i wish all of you struggling with this problem the best of luck.
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