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|05-06-2012, 08:37 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2012
Location: st pete, fl
booze, benzos and ANXIETY
Hi to all. Nice to meet you all. I am new here...I have been drinking for well about 30 years. Five years ago I was prescribed xanax for panic disorder. Well...that was the beginning of the end for me. I continued drinking while taking more and more xanax...my panic got much worse, I became agoraphobic. I finally gave up the xanax in January of this year but am still drinking every day. I thought I would get better when I stopped the xanax but it does not seem to be happening. My xanax withdrawal symptoms seem to come back after a few drinks...my teeth hurt, my muscles get stiff. Now I am thinking I have to give up drinking too and I really don't want to. Can anybody relate to this story or give me any advice. I would really appreciate it. Will the anxiety go away if I give up drinking? Is there any hope at all? I am so afraid of going through another withdrawal experience as the xanax withdrawal was an absolute nightmare. Is there anybody here who gave up both drinking and benzo drugs and got rid of their anxiety? Thanks.
|05-06-2012, 01:38 PM||#2 (permalink)|
I got nothin'
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: My house.
Blog Entries: 14
Hello, scoutalet. Welcome.
I have anxiety that didn't disappear when I quit drinking. I did take benzos now and then about a year ago...but it really didn't help so I quit. I'm not taking anything right now. I cope with anxiety the best that I can and know that the feeling comes in waves--it passes. I need to go back to my doctor for meds for my depression...and that should help a little with the anxiety. I just quit smoking again, too, so my anxiety has been up there. Next on my list to cut out is the caffiene.
There are people here who have had success in handling anxiety post-alcohol/benzo. Hopefully they'll chime in.
Please detox under medical supervision.
A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
|05-11-2012, 12:50 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Miami Beach
Medical studies show that even moderate drinking aggravates anxiety. From your description, you may be suffering from withdrawal from the xanax.
Rather than quit cold turkey, try reducing the drinking and then start some abstinence days. A good resource for this is the website for hams network.
Also consider going to AA for support.
Best of luck.
|06-11-2012, 04:31 PM||#5 (permalink)|
are you going to eat your fat?
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: luckiest fishing village in the world
I tried to quit Xanax cold turkey and lost my mind. I got back on and weaned over a 6 month period. glad to be done with that drug. even after I was completely off, I still dealt with withdrawal symptoms for 2-3 months. you'll be so relieved to be on the other side of it. just be patient. it's a vicious drug.
|06-13-2012, 12:57 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest USA
Wow. I can relate. I ended up in a 28 in-patient rehab for severe alcoholism & was taking Klonopin daily for years. Stopped everything cold turkey. I was having panic attacks daily & felt like I was losing my mind. I couldn't finish the program & they recommended a psych ward. The alcohol you are consuming is probably helping the anxiety while you are drunk but is making it worse in the long run. Try to find a Doctor knowledgeable with these drugs. Benzos and booze is a complicated & tricky detox process. I currently take a small amount of ativan for emergencies which helps. I've been sober since Sept. 2011 except for 2 days & my anxiety is a little better now.
|06-17-2012, 07:47 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Perth, Australia
I'm with you 100% mate. Alcohol caused my anxiety and made it impossible for me to go into crowded places, shopping malls, airplanes etc. I finally gave in and went to see the doctor a few years back and he put me on Effexor and I have never looked back.
But, and it's a BIG BUT, if I drink, I'll be dammed if I can leave the house the next day, not so much because of the handover, but more because of the anxiety. Really, it's not worth it and will get worse over time.
I was also perscribed valuim and sleeping tablets but these actually made my anxiety worse and I don't touch them these days.
Give up the booze and you'll fine your anxiety will start to get better.
|06-17-2012, 08:12 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2009
If only I knew what I now know.... the majority of my anxiety & panic attacks were caused by my drinking not reduced by it. My anxiety is under control now that I dont drink anymore... I hope that your anxiety gets better too.
Take care & all of the best.
"Today is the first day of the rest of your life"
|06-20-2012, 09:41 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Wow I can relate too! Anxiety has been an issue for me my entire life with severe nocturnal panic attacks starting in my early 20's. I avoided medication until I was 35 when my doctor convinced me to try Klonopin. After not being able to sleep for six months, I was hesitant but desperate. I took a small dose at bedtime for 9 years and although I was better I seemed to always suffer from rebound anxiety. Also I went from being a social drinker to a full blown alcoholic in a period of 4 years. I also ended up in a 28-day in patient program because I could not stay sober and felt the klonopin ( alcohol and benzos evidently work on the same receptors in the brain) was sabotaging my efforts. I quit alcohol and klonopin at the same time. It was tough - the klonopin withdrawal was much worse than the alcohol withdrawal. Severe muscle aches, insomnia, jaw clenched, sweating, feeling completely detached from my emotions. If you can do it ,I highly recommend an inpatient program. I don't think I could have functioned in the real world during the withdrawal and doctors on site try to make the withdrawal as comfortable for you as possible. Good news though, I have been off klonopin for almost 7 months and am so glad to be done with it. I relapsed on alcohol twice mostly due to still being in withdrawal from the klonopin and self medicating the residual anxiety with alcohol . I am 45 days sober from alcohol now and done with them both. My anxiety is almost non-existent and I feel better than I have in years. I take a non-addictive anti-depressant which is also helping! There is a light at the end of the tunnel you can be free of benzos, booze and anxiety - I am!
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|06-21-2012, 02:38 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Trudger of Happy Destiny
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Naperville, IL
I can definitely relate to you.
I had quit drinking but had replaced drinking with benzos and opiates. I would not wish the nightmare of a benzodiazepine withdrawal on anyone. It is a living hell of insomnia, sickness, and rebound anxiety that makes alcohol withdrawal (for me, at least) appear like a cakewalk. I was self-medicating with such dangerous amounts that I look back and think it's no wonder they lasted nearly 2 months (not sleeping for the 3 weeks, AT ALL).
The only thing that will make anything better is the thing which we cannot stop: time. Time heals all, given you are allowing your body and mind TO heal, meaning not throwing more intoxicants at it to cover up the damage done.
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|06-21-2012, 02:47 PM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: new jersey
Im guessing you are a heavy drinker and alcohol causes lower blood sugar for the next 12 hours when you start drinking and the symptoms of hypoglycemia are probably causing a lot of your problems.
Many alcoholic's complain about the anxiety, shakes and other symptoms but they are all caused by low blood sugar from alcoholism... What could help is to eat hard boiled eggs every morning as they will normalize your blood sugar as when you wake up they def will be very low and anxiety very high.
As for the Xanax it is the worst anti anxiety drug to be prescribed as you need them every few hours resulting in addiction also the fact you were an alcoholic who was prone must of happened because your doctor didn't know your history... Your lucky you aren't dead for one as drinking and Xanax slows your heart and breathing causing most Overdoses.
If you are having chronic anxiety I suggest talking to your doctor about Clonazepam. Years ago when I suffered from anxiety I used these as they are a benzo also but they aren't as addicted and can keep anxiety away for 12 hours so only have to be used twice a day. You have to stop drinking though sooner or later and only you can get help and go to AA which is really the only way to help yourself.
You could have a chance quitting if you try and take the Clonazepam as it will help with withdrawals.
|06-21-2012, 04:05 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2012
I'm an alcoholic and believe my anxiety is caused by my alcoholism. I've been around benzos a lot but never on them and everyone that I know with long term benzo use has anxiety. I'm at a month and a half sober and still have anxiety. It's not nearly as bad now as when I was drinking though. Check out the link below for an article with case studies where folks got better. Those stories are what are keeping me going.
Alcohol and benzodiazepines generate anxiety, panic and phobias.
|07-01-2012, 11:48 AM||#13 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NM, USA
Boy do I relate to a lot of this!
It's hard to know which came first...chicken or the egg.
I am ADD and believe anxiety disorder is part of the package with me. I have self medicated all my life trying to find the balance others seem to have.
I have always been a drinker but could take it or leave it.
I was having sleeping problems when my mother developed dementia, I became a caretaker and I was menopausal. I was given Klonopin (Clonazepam) to help me sleep. I eventually developed a severe "anxiety disorder". Not realizing it was inter-dose withdrawal from the K, my Dr gave me Ativan. Long story short I suffered through absolute hell withdrawing from the benzos. It was so awful at night that I upped my alcohol use. After two years I recovered from my benzo problem and am left with alcoholism. This is NOT to say the alcohol wouldn't have become a problem without the pill addiction as I understand it is a progressive disease and think I am predisposed....
This is MY experience and I am not saying that benzos do not help ANYONE with alcohol withdrawal as i am not a Dr.
|07-05-2012, 01:50 PM||#14 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Back in the USA
Benzos were horrible for me too......the withdrawals from the ativan I was prescribed was a nightmare. I kicked the ativan cold turkey......Took me about a week, but it was worth not having to feel worse than a hangover.
As for the drinking....my anxiety went away about 3 days after I stopped....Im on no meds, but I do try to keep working out, lots of lemon water, and just keep busy so I dont fall tempted to start drinking again.
|07-28-2012, 08:58 PM||#15 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
This has been a very helpful thread. I too, suffer from anxiety but it's nice to know that giving up drinking makes it better. I got some Klonopin from my Dr. recently just to help me through a rough breakup. I am trying not to take it every day though, I really don't want to get addicted to something else.
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