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Old 09-15-2011, 01:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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PAWS (anxiety)?

Am I over looking or hoping to much for PAWS/ W/D symptoms? Do they even occur ? Or am I just thinking TOO MUCH?

I have not ever been able to stay sober for longer than 7 days, and I do realize our bodies take a lot longer to heal. Would anxiety subdue by 1 month?

Or would quitting alcohol or reduce intake help?

I've asked people w/ my anxiety disorder if sobriety helped them, and I got mixed answers.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The anxiety from alcohol withdrawal can last for months. It's different for everyone. It depends on how long and how much you were drinking. I was drinking beer about 4-5 days a week for 20 years. I'm on day 43 and the anxiety is pretty bad. It's better than it was though. I expect this to take a few more months until I start to feel even better. Everyone says that it WILL get better. It's just a matter of time and staying away from alcohol for good.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My anxiety was reduced after one month of sobriety and almost disappeared after two months approximately.

Anxiety is increased dramatically by alcohol consumption. Nobody can doubt that.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Froglet

Check with a professional by all means, but by my understanding PAWs is post withdrawal - as the name suggests - so if you've only ever been sober a week I'd figure PAWs would be unlikely as a factor.

You've been dealing with anxiety for a long time now - sorry I forget - do you have a Dr or a counsellor?

D
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have generalized anxiety and I had it long, long before I began to drink. It got worse when I drank, and improved when I stopped drinking. But, I still have anxiety. I realized that drinking to self-medicate was making things worse. And, there are healthy ways to deal with anxiety that you can learn.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I too had anxiety before I was drinking, but drinking made it much worse. Then when I finally stopped for good it took a few weeks before my anti anxiety meds could do their job again. But it did get better over time. Don't give up and give in. It will get better.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I never had bad anxiety till I quit drinking. About ten days into being sober it got bad. I just hit the 3 month mark on Monday of this week. My anxiety has lightened up a little, but is still present. I had some bad panic, feeling numb, short of breath, body aches, headaches. I had lots of days were I had to stay inside and be away from everything. I feel that as the months have gone on, I am starting to feel better. But just like everyone says, it's different for everyone.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks all. =)

What type of anxiety particularly are/were you folks dealing with?

For me, my anxiety was diagnosed as GAD/Social anxiety. Not a severe case as I manage, but as of late (I'm 30) it has gotten bad, especially w/ the way things are in life. My over active sweating issue hurt me as well, but light light medication has helped me.


I did not realize how strong or harmful alcohol could be for the body, but judging from my prolonged abuse of 10+ years with this, I suspect it is 'finally' catching up on me.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Froglet

Check with a professional by all means, but by my understanding PAWs is post withdrawal - as the name suggests - so if you've only ever been sober a week I'd figure PAWs would be unlikely as a factor.

You've been dealing with anxiety for a long time now - sorry I forget - do you have a Dr or a counsellor?

D
I have sought my primary care, and a psychiatrist. Both agreed alcohol to be bad, but by reading people's experience here, even a little bit seems harmful.

I was born w/ overactive sweat nerves and in social or exciting situations, they would trigger. This created negative thinking and anxiety.

Since then I've made an effort to help myself and have only been able to cut out the weekday drinking (oddly). I use to drink, even on work days, but not anymore, I created this automatic thought that prevented me from touching any booze. On the weekend, it's another story.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Anxiety made my mind race all the time. I thought I had so many things wrong with me. I finally went to see a doctor. They did an EKG and upper body X Rays to rule out health problems and also sat and just talked to me. They told me I have some anxiety issues I need to seek help for. I now know that I have GAD from my Post Acute Withdraw Syndrome. It like comes in waves. I'll be fine for a few days and then feel bad for a few days. From my reading I've learned that it can last up to two years and gets easier as time goes on.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Anxiety is me and I am my anxiety. I have panic disorder along with generalized anxiety disorder and the curse of all, major depression. I'm rubber stamped, certified, numerous shrinks and psychologists diagnosing all of the above numerous times over 20 years.

Heck, back in the day, one doctor even worked with me through biofeedback, hooked to all the wires and monitors. Through intense meditation, I could lower my blood pressure, respiration...and my hand temperature would remain in the 80-degree Fahrenheit range. Cold and clammy is me and I am cold and clammy.

Sweating is me and I am sweat. I could sit in a business meeting and begin to feel the onslaught of a panic attack. Within minutes, my dress shirt would be soaked in sweat, dark blotches on chest, back, armpits, sweat dripping onto my glasses, off my forehead onto my Jerry Garcia tie, my hair plastered to my head as if I had just gotten out of the shower.

The answer? Every antidepressant known to man, with Xanax, and finally Klonopin to sooth the rough edges. I added marijuana and beer to the stew to round the sharp corners.

I still had panic attacks. Then, the Klonopin was increased over a decade to 20 milligrams. I can find no medical reference where anyone is prescribed 20 milligrams of Klonopin.

And I washed them down with beer and huffed joints like cigarettes.

A year ago, I got sober. The first few months, panic was me and I was panic. Sweat was me and I was sweat.

I don't have panic attacks anymore. I don't live on Klonopin anymore. I don't take the maximum does of every antidepressant out there, changing every two years as the efficacy evaporated.

I live in the tropics. I walk for exercise and to get out of my head and I sweat, but sweat ain't me and I ain't sweat...it's a biological function to cool the body. It bugs me, but when I stop walking and get inside, the sweat evaporates, my shirt dries, and I don't panic. My hands are always warm and dry.

I think sobriety and working out my crap in the rooms of AA and NA helps.

What do you think?
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I never had bad anxiety till I quit drinking. About ten days into being sober it got bad. I just hit the 3 month mark on Monday of this week. My anxiety has lightened up a little, but is still present. I had some bad panic, feeling numb, short of breath, body aches, headaches. I had lots of days were I had to stay inside and be away from everything. I feel that as the months have gone on, I am starting to feel better. But just like everyone says, it's different for everyone.
bigguyslimm, this is me exactly. I have had the exact same symptoms as you. I hope to feel better soon too.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm well over seven months sober, and I continue to get anxiety/panic attacks. I'm also another one who never suffered panic attacks until I quit drinking. Sobriety has been a strange journey for me, for after the first initial month of horrible withdrawal, I seemed to get much better. I would sometimes go for five or six weeks feeling great, then I'd have a three or four day panic bout that would come out of nowhere. This was the norm up until about three weeks ago when I started having more severe panic issues once again. I've seen various doctors and specialists to rule out major health concerns regarding the chest pain and other ailments I get from my attacks, and they all say I'm doing just fine. Anti-depressants have only made me ill while also inducing more attacks, so I refuse to take them any longer. I've read many times that various degress of PAWS can last anywhere from six months to two years, so it appears I may still have a long way to go before I truly begin to feel like myself again. All I can recommend is to hang in there and ride it out the best you can. It certainly beats the alternative.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm well over seven months sober, and I continue to get anxiety/panic attacks. I'm also another one who never suffered panic attacks until I quit drinking. Sobriety has been a strange journey for me, for after the first initial month of horrible withdrawal, I seemed to get much better. I would sometimes go for five or six weeks feeling great, then I'd have a three or four day panic bout that would come out of nowhere. This was the norm up until about three weeks ago when I started having more severe panic issues once again. I've seen various doctors and specialists to rule out major health concerns regarding the chest pain and other ailments I get from my attacks, and they all say I'm doing just fine. Anti-depressants have only made me ill while also inducing more attacks, so I refuse to take them any longer. I've read many times that various degress of PAWS can last anywhere from six months to two years, so it appears I may still have a long way to go before I truly begin to feel like myself again. All I can recommend is to hang in there and ride it out the best you can. It certainly beats the alternative.
Ditto, to what JTele said his journey is exactly like mine.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Jtele and Bikeguy, you guys don't touch caffeine in any way right?
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Jtele and Bikeguy, you guys don't touch caffeine in any way right?
Nope, I don't drink pop or coffee. I exercise regularly, eat healthy (most of the time), get plenty of sleep and try to manage any stress with deep breathing and relaxation exercises. This week has been good for me with only one attack, I can't find any reason that brings them on but when they arrive it is certainly no fun at all.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Jtele and Bikeguy, you guys don't touch caffeine in any way right?
Well, when I started feeling better I thought it would be safe to begin drinking coffee again but, of course, it just induced more panic issues, so I gave it up as well as anything else with caffeine in it. I was drinking caffeine-free diet sodas for a while, too, but then I started reading about aspartame and how it can cause a various number of issues, too, so I gave that up as well. Now it's just fruit juices, lots of water, and occasionally some green tea.

BTW, like Bikeguy, I get lots of cycling exercise as well as doing breathing and relaxation exercises, and while this seems to tame the attacks to some degree, I just never know when one will come on. They'll literally appear out of nowhere, even at moments when I'm feeling very calm with no stress to speak of whatsoever.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Froglet! You are me! Well, you have similar problems to me. I also have social anxiety disorder/GAD/panic disorder without agoraphobia, had been diagnosed incorrectly with depression a couple of times, and drank. I know now that I definitely used alcohol to self-medicate, but now that I have six months sober (!!!!), I see that it made everything far worse. Yes, even a little - it made me ruminate over my worries even more and drink more... then I would be drunk, so I wasn't always worried then (but I was still emotional, naturally)... but then the hangovers made my anxiety skyrocket. I couldn't face people, I was sure I had a fatal disease (well, I did... alcoholism...), I was afraid of my blood pressure being high and people judging me, etc.

I can't say that it's the same for everyone, but for me getting sober, going through an outpatient alcohol treatment program, attending AA, talking to a therapist weekly, then starting antidepressants, working on a healthy lifestyle and looking for spirituality... all of that took away most of my anxiety. But stopping alcohol completely was the key that made the others possible and effective.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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