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|01-16-2012, 11:13 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Blog Entries: 1
Alcohol, Xanax, Panic, and Agoraphobia
Hello, this is my first post on this forum. Iím a 34 year old guy living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan. Iíve been living in the city since my early 20s, and it has always been an easy place to drink in. Iíve known I drank too much for many years, but I always explained it to myself as ďthatís what people do here, especially young people.Ē Feeling much less young these days, I also realize that simply being able to go to bars and think Iím being responsible simply because I donít have to drive (walking or taking subways is easy) after drinking far too much is ridiculous. More importantly, Itís self destructive.
My girlfriend of 10 years recently ended our relationship as I was preparing to move the relationship forward and get engaged. I also know that my drinking and my panic attacks/agoraphobia were largely responsible for my part in our problems.
I started drinking because it relieved social anxiety and panic disorder and because it made me feel and have more fun. Incidentally, my first full-blown panic attack came in college after smoking pot (my mind is not built for hallucinogenic drugs).
2001 was a very difficult year for a variety of reasons. My doctor prescribed me Xanax. It was also around this time that I experienced my first avoidance behaviors that would ultimately lead to agoraphobia.
At some point (I couldnít say exactly when), I began using alcohol and Xanax to overcome agoraphobia-level panic attacks. Most days, I cannot leave the house without having taken Xanax or having a drink. And sometimes both. While Iím at home, I am in my safe zone, and unless it is to recover from a hangover, my need for and usage of Xanax greatly declines.
I feel like I am trapped. I have heard it is hell (if not impossible) to withdraw from Xanax (especially after 11 years of daily use). I donít want to become housebound, but I would love to live and enjoy the world without feeling the need to take Xanax or drink alcohol in order to participate in it. I should also note that while most of my friends donít drink as much as me, they all drink quite a bit and frequently, so it is difficult to avoid being around that lifestyle.
I would like to become a stronger person and win my girlfriend back, or failing that, be able to go on a date with a girl I don't know without having to drink or take xanax.
I guess Iím wondering if anyone else out there deals with similar things.
|01-16-2012, 11:36 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Welcome Buffalo! This is a great forum for support. I get it here daily by reading what others post and posting my own struggles and experiences.
I have depression and anxiety issues, but I have not experienced the anxiety at your level. I know there are many people on this site that have though. So stick around and keep posting and reading.
I was prescribed xanax before and I wholeheartedly abused it. It is not fun to stop. I took it on and off for a year or so. You may know that it can be very, very dangerous to stop suddenly. Definately talk to your doctor about that.
The drinking I can certainly relate to. I drank way too much for almost 25 years and it takes it's toll on your mind, spirit, and body. I drank to fit in and be more socialble at first, but in the end I thought I had to drink to merely survive. It's a horrible place to be.
Don't be a stranger and talk to your doc about those xanax and your drinking. You have to be completely honest for them to help you safely.
|01-16-2012, 11:38 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Also, you have to want to be clean and sober for yourself first, relationships are one of the many wonderful byproducts of living sober.
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|01-16-2012, 11:38 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2011
I really feel for you. I recommend you set up an appointment with your doctor and ask about getting off Xanax and alcohol. Also if you could try a therapist so that you can deal with your anxiety issues?
Further, I'd recommend AA or another support group where you can meet friends who don't drink and who understand what you're going through. This was the best thing I've done in terms of my recovery because I needed real life support and didn't have any. I am 31 years old and not married/no kids so I can relate to life feeling like everyone just goes out and drinks and parties, and what else is there? I am finding there is a lot more, and people who understand what it's like.
You have the desire to be sober, which is important. You can do this. Best wishes.
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|01-16-2012, 11:39 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Dallas, TX
I had many of the same problems that you did. Over the years my anxiety, drinking, and benzo use kept going up. I was in a very bad cycle of drinking and taking meds just to try and feel normal. While drinking and meds helped at first, over a period of a few years it all started to work against me.
All I can say is that over the past 13 months sober, I'm doing 100x better than when I was in that cycle. It was very difficult at first and I had to make many lifestyle changes. Getting off alcohol and meds was very difficult, but each day it really does get better. It will not be easy but it is the best thing you can do for yourself.
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|01-16-2012, 11:56 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Vaux sur Seine, Yvelines
Before I became totally abstinent which is four days ago I used to take also Xanax but not on a regular basis. When I was taking it with alcohol it was making me very sleepy and lethargic. You are right the Xanax is addictive but can be reduced or stopped at the condition this is done gradually diminishing slowly the dosage over say two or three months I believe.
Few years ago I also took Xanax every day but only for about two or three months then I stopped it gradually. Please read carefully the medical paper which came with this drug. They say in this paper that you can feel strange stopping the drug at once and it is true. By the way I don't remember exactly and I can talk only from my experience. Drinking and taking Xanax can be done at home but I believe that when you get outside you are so slow and sleepy that it can became dangerous for example if you have to cross the road or if as you say you are used to come into bars. That is my opinion. When I began gradually stopping Xanax I was feeling strange, anxious and afraid some times and had to take the drug again. As I said it must be done gradually over several months. I advice that you go to a pharmacy and ask them advice to them because usually they do it for free but the best is to take advice with a doctor. I don't know how many milligrams you take per day. I have some Xanax here at home and when I am very anxious I take occasionally only 0.25 mg but it do not happen often and as I said I quitted drinking so I don't drink when I take Xanax. I feel better since I stopped drinking. Drinking brought me strange ideas and made me depressive. It is very positive that you want to stop alcohol also. This not so hard to do but depends on your will and on the degree of your addiction.
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|01-16-2012, 12:59 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Vaux sur Seine, Yvelines
It's me again. I agree now with the others as I have read your post too quickly. You must see a doctor for advice especially if you are used to Xanax for 11 years. The combination of alcohol a Xanax is very unhealthy and dangerous as I said. Take advice and then fix a day for quitting alcohol and get prepared for this day. In the meantime try to drink less. Welcome. It was a very good idea posting here. The doctors have the tendency to prescribe too much drugs. Try to take xanax at a lower dosage but I can't advice you because I don't know how much you are suffering from your troubles, how much you weight, and how much you take Xanax. The xanax is a medicine and if you are sick you can keep taking it perhaps at a lower dosage later.
Your first priority should be to quit alcohol and many of us here were able to achieve it. Please take quickly an appointment with your physician and ask him to assist you quitting alcohol. If you are physically addicted to alcohol he can prescribe drugs against the withdrawal of alcohol. For myself I wasn't heavily physically addicted and I was able to stop by simple will from one day to another without any drug and assistance except here in this forum.
For me the first three days were the harder as I had cravings during those days. But today I didn't have cravings no more and I am pretty sure I can quit drinking. If so many people were able to quit drinking you can do it too.
I suggest also that you visit this Web site:
Keep posting here periodically to tell us your progress. The persons here are extremely kind and it is a sort of family. Welcome !
Last edited by Dee74; 01-16-2012 at 01:52 PM. Reason: fixed link
|01-16-2012, 01:59 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Blog Entries: 1
I've suffered from some agrophobia, anxiety and panic attacks in the past - I found it one of those things I could not deal with alone.
When you become dependent on a drug, whether it be booze or xanax or both or whatever, it can seem an impossible cycle to get out of, but many of us here have done it
Like others here, I recommend you see your Dr and be open with them about all your issues. If you're dissatisified with the response get a second opinion
You'll find a lot of support here, a lot of encouragement and a few ideas too. This palce really helped me turn my life around
Glad you've joined us - welcome
thanks to member Northof49 for my SR avatar.
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|01-18-2012, 03:57 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2011
Just Spotted your Poat Buff.......
Been there done that.
25 years an Alcoholic
25 years Addicted To Benzos......Ativan
Dose was High at the End.....But Inner Pain Rose above it.
You can Read My Story in the Story Section.
My Last Pill and Drink of Alcohol was in 1986.
Im still improving......Im still Here.
Good Luck to you
If we cannot say NO, then our YES is meaningless.
Fear knocked at the door,Faith answered,There was no one there.
God, if I canít have what I want, let me want what I have.
|01-18-2012, 04:24 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
As others have said, I hope you talk to your dr about getting off the xanax. I also self-medicated with alcohol to deal with anxiety/panic attacks/depression. I still have panic attacks sometimes but I have learned to manage to get through them.
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|01-18-2012, 04:27 PM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: you name it
I too take Xanax. I have taken benzos longer than I have been drinking alcohol (3 years) because I have pretty severe anxiety. However, I can tell you even with a few days sober (I'm a binge drinker) I still need the Xanax but the intensity of the anxiety is not as bad. I find the alcohol hangovers made my anxiety 10x worse than anything else.
When I have had periods of sobriety in the past, I noticed myself needing less anxiety medication. Sobriety seems to help quite a bit.
Welcome to the forum! This is a good place to find out your are not alone
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|agoraphobia, alcohol, panic attacks, xanax|
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