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Old 06-10-2011, 07:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How long does anxiety stay around for?

I know its different with everyone but im at around the 2-3 week part of getting off pain pills and the with drawls are gone but my head feels like i have a ton of pressure in it and i have quite a bit of anxiety

is this really common?
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Totallly Common!

For me, the anxiety and lack of sleep is just as bad as the physical w/d's. I'm fighting it though b/c I have no desire to give into going through this yet again.
From what I've read on SR, the anxiety hits everyone and eventually it passes.
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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yeah the sleeping is getting a little better, im still waiting up around 5am and im pretty shakey when i wake up, its really weird but the first week or so i coudn't stay up past 9pm and i was getting up all night long and was fully awake by 4am but i had zero energy, now i can lay down around 10:30pm-11pm and sleep until 6am so im getting a lot better sleep but the shakey feeling i have when i wake up and the anxiety and pressure in my head is all thats left
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi FM,

I, too, had horrid anxiety for several weeks. My worst was in the morning when I woke up after really not sleeping anyway all night. Mine was "pit of the stomach" anxiousness, hit the BR, and sweating, usually cold sweats. I had already been doing that same thing, only more intense, during my oxy use, because by the time morning hit, I was already in withdrawal until I could hit my next dose. I came to realize I was experiencing the toxic effects of the OX, and I decided it was quit or die.

In any event, after the first week, the anxiety was less, but still there. Crazy, racing thoughts accompanied it. And, yes, head pressure, not quite a headache, but an uncomfortable feeling I wanted to go away.

It took a few more weeks for that to pass. At 3 months I felt pretty good, but still lacked energy. Even now, at almost 6 months, my energy is still not 100%.

So, yes to the anxiety. Some docs will prescribe something for it, so I would talk to yours about this. It will dispel any worry you might have about something being wrong at the same time.

Keep up the good work, and congrats on your clean time. This really does get better.

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Old 06-10-2011, 10:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey Mustang,

I can relate completely to what you've described. I detoxed at home from a 24/7 addiction to smoking heroin, and it took much longer than I had anticipated to start feeling better. The withdrawals were terrible, and anxiety, lethargy and malaise were par for the course. From my experience, it seemed that part of the anxiety was physically related to coming off of the drugs; the rest I have come to believe is directly related to untreated addiction. That means that, beyond getting off the drugs, I have needed to treat the addiction to recover from the rest of the mess -- the fear, depression, resentment, always trying to change the way I felt through external means, not knowing how to live with or without drugs, etc.

Personally, I think it's all too tempting for an addict like me to want to treat classic drug addiction symptoms with more drugs, prescription or otherwise from the start. In active addiction, I thought there were a million things wrong with me from generalized anxiety to OCD, depression, chronic insomnia and more -- and I tried all different kinds of avenues to deal with the symptoms, but I had never treated the underlying cause behind it: the disease of addiction. To my great surprise (and perhaps great fortune), it turned out I was just an untreated addict/alcoholic. I hadn't gone without using/drinking in a dozen years, and I wanted to feel chemically free for the first time in my adult life. I decided to accept help through a program of recovery instead of stepping into more drugs. It has taken time, and (despite me disbelief through the beginning) work in recovery, but at this point I can't remember feeling this good since I was a kid. I'm not depressed, I'm not anxious, and I finally sleep like a baby. I've been clean/sober for over 2 years, and I'm going strong. It is amazing, and it feels like a miracle.

Getting clean is not the same as staying clean. You can make it the very last time you ever have to go through this. NA and AA have truly become my lifeline. Have you considered checking out some meetings in your area?

I'm proud of the progress you've been making. Keep moving in the right direction. It's not easy, but recovery is definitely worth it. I'm rooting for you.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Anxiety

The anxiety will stick around for awhile. I was addicted to many pills, and had horrible anxiety, way after my withdrawals. My doctor put me on Lexapro (antidepressant, non-narcotic) 20mg, once a day and that seems to help, but you need to make sure that someone else holds onto the px and gives it to you. If you are like me and the px was in my hands, I would take the whole thing. My wife locks them up and gives me one a day. Also there are non-narcotic anxiety meds out there (Vistorol), just ask your doc. Also Colonidine (non-narcotic not Kolonipin) worked very well for me as well (.1 mg 3 times a day). Again have someone give it to you.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just wanted to say thank you for posting about this. I had no idea that anxiety was par for the course in coming off of pain pills and thought there was something wrong with me! So glad to read your post and this thread ~ thanks!
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteppingItUp View Post
Hey Mustang,

I can relate completely to what you've described. I detoxed at home from a 24/7 addiction to smoking heroin, and it took much longer than I had anticipated to start feeling better. The withdrawals were terrible, and anxiety, lethargy and malaise were par for the course. From my experience, it seemed that part of the anxiety was physically related to coming off of the drugs; the rest I have come to believe is directly related to untreated addiction. That means that, beyond getting off the drugs, I have needed to treat the addiction to recover from the rest of the mess -- the fear, depression, resentment, always trying to change the way I felt through external means, not knowing how to live with or without drugs, etc.

Personally, I think it's all too tempting for an addict like me to want to treat classic drug addiction symptoms with more drugs, prescription or otherwise from the start. In active addiction, I thought there were a million things wrong with me from generalized anxiety to OCD, depression, chronic insomnia and more -- and I tried all different kinds of avenues to deal with the symptoms, but I had never treated the underlying cause behind it: the disease of addiction. To my great surprise (and perhaps great fortune), it turned out I was just an untreated addict/alcoholic. I hadn't gone without using/drinking in a dozen years, and I wanted to feel chemically free for the first time in my adult life. I decided to accept help through a program of recovery instead of stepping into more drugs. It has taken time, and (despite me disbelief through the beginning) work in recovery, but at this point I can't remember feeling this good since I was a kid. I'm not depressed, I'm not anxious, and I finally sleep like a baby. I've been clean/sober for over 2 years, and I'm going strong. It is amazing, and it feels like a miracle.

Getting clean is not the same as staying clean. You can make it the very last time you ever have to go through this. NA and AA have truly become my lifeline. Have you considered checking out some meetings in your area?

I'm proud of the progress you've been making. Keep moving in the right direction. It's not easy, but recovery is definitely worth it. I'm rooting for you.
wow, i like how you put that Step
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I will wade in here with a little opinion of my own because I know what you mean when it comes to post-opiate anxiety. I think one of the reasons I liked opiates so much is because my natural state is an anxious one. I have a therapist who says people are basically either depressive or anxious (sometimes both) but those are the two hemispheres of the human condition.

Without the opiates, the natural anxiety remerged for me (although the opiates had started to make the anxiety a problem as well). But, I have found that Buspar and a low dosage of clonazepam (a benzo, I know, and not a long-term viable option) have helped me channel my native anxiety into the motivation to get things done. What I mean is, I try to think of my anxiety as my natural state and the thing that gets me out of bed and helps me tackle the problems of the day. However, when it gets debilitating then it can overwhelm you and walking the line between anxiety as a motivator and anxiety as chain around your neck is not an easy one. But, I think it is a line that a lot of people who don't have issues with opiate manage.

You know? I think it is your subconscious' way of say "Get up Jack, you got some stuff to do" and that is good. But, when it turns to fruitless worry then it can easily pitch you right back down the whole of opiates or booze or whatever.

No question about it, opiate withdrawal will bring on high and unhelpful levels of anxiety but one day in your future you may find that that anxiety becomes manageable and actually is a motivating force in your life.

My advice would be to go do something that you know if causing you anxiety, I don't know what it is... balance the checkbook, clean the bathroom, call a person you have been avoiding, make a household budget, teach the parrot to quote Chaucer, slip your toe nails, whatever. All the opiate withdrawal issues aside, anxiety is often there for a reason and if you can start to address those reasons in a sober and methodical manner you may find the level of anxiety becomes a lot more tolerable. Time heals all things but so does getting s**t done.

Best of luck!
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