Go Back  SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information > Alcoholism Information > Alcoholism
Reload this Page >

8 Months Sober and Now Crippling Panic/Anxiety...Help!



Notices

8 Months Sober and Now Crippling Panic/Anxiety...Help!

Old 09-19-2013, 02:48 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 47
8 Months Sober and Now Crippling Panic/Anxiety...Help!

Please help

I spent 30 days in treatment in January for alcoholism. I got out, got a wonderful sponsor and am working the steps. I attend meetings 5-7 days a week and by the Grace of God I am no longer a slave to alcohol. I will always be an alcoholic and all I have is a daily reprieve based on the maintenace of my spiritual condition.

Enter Panic!

I have panic disorder and it has been quiet for several months. I started a new job and literally I am feel like I'm dying. I am on edge and my adrenal glands are in constant overdrive. I'm freaking myself out that something is wrong with me and it makes the anxiety amd panic worse and worse. Today I am on a business trip and almost called 911. I took a .25 xanax my mom gave me and it helped. I NEVER want to take xanax everyday only in severe cases. I am applying the principles of the 12 steps to beat this panic but its reached a severe level where I will need professional help.

Can anyone relate?
UTGrad is offline  
Old 09-19-2013, 03:26 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Bubovski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Melbourne Australia.
Posts: 3,775
Originally Posted by UTGrad View Post
Please help

I spent 30 days in treatment in January for alcoholism. I got out, got a wonderful sponsor and am working the steps. I attend meetings 5-7 days a week and by the Grace of God I am no longer a slave to alcohol. I will always be an alcoholic and all I have is a daily reprieve based on the maintenace of my spiritual condition.

Enter Panic!

I have panic disorder and it has been quiet for several months. I started a new job and literally I am feel like I'm dying. I am on edge and my adrenal glands are in constant overdrive. I'm freaking myself out that something is wrong with me and it makes the anxiety amd panic worse and worse. Today I am on a business trip and almost called 911. I took a .25 xanax my mom gave me and it helped. I NEVER want to take xanax everyday only in severe cases. I am applying the principles of the 12 steps to beat this panic but its reached a severe level where I will need professional help.

Can anyone relate?
I am an advocate of the 12step program but sometimes we may need more.
Xanax can certainly become a problem in the long term; .25 is quite low though. Is alcohol involved too? Anxiety and panic attacks can be combined with depression, so maybe an anti depressant could help.
Also, cognitive behavioural therapy (cbt) may get to the roots of this condition. An old method that helps some panic attacks is to breath deeply in to a paper bag. Medical advice is always appropriate if really concerned/
Hope you can be rid of this soon.
Bubovski is offline  
Old 09-19-2013, 03:40 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Richmond,va
Posts: 10
I have the same problem with panick and anxiety, added to that I have OCD, specifically intrusive thoughts. I have been dealing with anxiety for 11 months now. I don't feel comfortable around anyoneand I used alcohol to just talk to my friends. Alcohol only made my anxiety worse. Luckily I am only a student. It does get better, try to push yourself to be more social. You give your anxiety power if you let it control your life. Unfortunately you are gonna have to deal with more humiliation and panick in a short time than many people will see in their entire life. Hang in there, it wont be easy...
heropon is offline  
Old 09-19-2013, 05:06 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
zjw
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,232
simlier problem here. my anxiety and panic is no where near as bad as it was when i drank. and its less frequent. I find myself panicing about stuff and it catches me off guard I end up not being able to distinguish just another panic attack vs something genuine to be worried or panic over. In my case I found latly the issue is i'm meticulous about my diet and i end up panicing if i'm concerned or worried even just a little that perhaps I didnt eat properly. This makes me wonder if i got OCD or some other issue. I mentioned some of it breifly to my doctor and he told me if i had those kinds of issues to go see a different doctor he wants nothing to do with any of that. Basicly he doesnt wanna prescribe those kinds of meds. So in my case I'm screwd. I dunno if i want those kinds of meds anyhow.

In my case this past week i've been very adament about being mindful of remaining calm not allowing my dietary decisions worry me and get the best of me. Its working I havent had any issues all week ::knock on wood:: maybe if you an figure out the trigger you can pay extra attention to it to try and keep yourself calm.
zjw is offline  
Old 09-19-2013, 05:08 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 47
Alcohol is no longer a problem. Although I'm always an alcoholic and I treat my alcoholism daily I have no desire to drink.
UTGrad is offline  
Old 09-21-2013, 12:02 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Sellersville, Pa
Posts: 1
Let go! Let go of your Fear my friend. You don't have to live like that anymore. Me, and 2 million other have recovered and have recovered from this fatal disease.
I was just like you. Then, I accepted that I was an alcoholic, and that I could no longer live life on my own. I had to take suggestions from the winners in the rooms. My way no longer worked. You are sharing how you feel, that is progress. Trust. Trust. Trust. It's hard to, at first. Do you want to die? Neither did I. So I had to listen to the winners in the meetings. I had to take action, no matter how scary it was. Your anxiety is normal, and to be expected. This is what helped me, and want to state that I had to keep things real simple at the stage if recovery that I was in at the time. This point in time that you are experiencing right now:
1.) Upon wakening...I immediately drop to my knees and ask that I be given the strength to do my higher powers will, and not my own. I don't perform this routine after I take a **** or have coffee, or smoke or eat. It is the absolute first thing I do. Otherwise, my brain takes over. This is not a good thing.
2.) I make coffee, then pick up the big book and read from the middle of page
84 to page 88. Not through the steps? Doesn't f'n matter! Try it. I started this routine when I was doing my dreaded 4th step. It works.
3.) throughout the day, recite the serenity prayer and remind yourself that you ask to do your higher powers will.
4.) go to meetings every night. Don't like some? Try others. Remember, this is life or death!!! We used to go to any length to get our fix, now we have to go to any length to find safe and healthy fellowship.
5.) don't take yourself so dam seriously! Ha ha. Know that you are loved. Know that you don't have to pick up today. Know that this Program works, if only you take it one day at a time.

I want to thank you for helping me stay sober today.

With sincere, loving compassion.

Broken Brain Mike
BrokenBrain is offline  
Old 09-21-2013, 02:02 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 106
UTgrad, because you are in recovery doesn't mean necessarily you are actively treating an underlying panic/psychiatric disorder. For some of us, a good therapist, a good doctor and medications lead to quality of life we would have never thought possible. Don't let stigma of mental illness get in the way of happiness, you're already on your way to rising above the stigma of alcoholism!
chrissp is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 03:47 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Joe Nerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bklyn. NY
Posts: 1,859
I was agoraphobic when I got sober. Had severe anxiety and panic. And it took quite a while to be rid of. I wasn't offered any medication as a solution, and therefore had to learn to deal and cope with it during my first year sober. Didn't completely go away until probably over a year and half, but here's a quick list of things that were essential to my recovery (on top of meetings and the steps, of course).

I prayed every time one came. Was told that simply put one other thought in my mind while having an attack would be enough to take the edge off it and make it bearable.

Learned that faith, my HP, and prayer weren't going to magically make the panic disappear (although a handful of times it did). What it did do every single time however was give me the power to get to the other side of it. Regardless of how bad it was. Prayer gave me the strength to walk through the fear.

Learned and finally believed that the panic and anxiety wouldn't kill me. And that I wasn't going to go insane and lose my mind.

Started to look at the attacks as practice in overcoming them. Knowing I would survive them, and becoming less afraid of them, helped alleviate them.

And then there were a bunch of more concrete, or physical things I learned and did.

Processed sugar, was a major cause of my anxiety, panic, and depression for me. It is for many alcoholics yet goes unrecognized. I cut processed sugar out completely for a while, and now rarely eat any at all. Once it's out of our systems the desire for it leaves.

I started exercising reguarly.

I started doing relaxation exercises reguarly. Was told by a therapist that just like physical exercise, it had to be done reguarly if I wanted to reap it's rewards. Doing it here and there was all well and good, but doing it on regular basis is how we get lasing beneifits.

Read a lot of positive self help material. Some of my early favorite authors from Norman Vincent Peale, Hugh Prather, Maryanne Williamson, Wayne Dyer.

Learned that I had to force myself to drink water. I think I was a camel in my past life. I can go without drinking water all day... and I found it's a lot more essential than I thought. To my serenity and peace of mind, which came as a suprprise. I now force myself to drink at least 12 ounces of water upon waking up, and have to consciouly make myself drink throughout the day. It makes a HUGE difference in how I feel.

Finally, I found that service in AA really gets me out of my own head. And has lasting benefits. Helps me feel good about the life I'm living, and almost seems like a mental vitamin I'm popping every time I do it.

It's a lot of stuff and seems like a tough plan, but again... when I got sober medication wasn't an option. Anyone who knows the suffering involved in a panic disorder will know how motivated I was to stop it. My pain drove me make changes, and thank god (literally) I'm now free.

I wish you the best.
Joe Nerv is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 03:57 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Alysheba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 34,297
I have terrible anxiety and have had for decades. Be so careful with the benzos. You can get in a world of hurt with those too. The anxiety and panic attacks, esp with PAWS and life, can be so bad. I'm trying to figure a way around all of this too, drug and alcohol free. Good luck and God bless.
Alysheba is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 05:25 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Probably my living room. Maybe my bedroom if I'm feeling lazy
Posts: 1,085
I know this thread is a few days old, but if the OP is around, did you have anxiety issues before the alcohol?

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attack Disorder WAY before I started drinking. I think I started drinking to self-medicate the anxiety.

Anyway, I was on Klonopin for 6 years to control my anxiety (started drinking heavily 3 years ago). They wouldn't let me take it in rehab of course.

So for the past 6 months, I've tried so many different medicines: SSRIs, tricyclics, vistaril. Right now I'm taking a low dose of seroquel. Definitely helps. It would be nice to go back on the klonopin but I am very aware of the dangers of benzos. My doctor said I would need much more sobriety time before he would consider.

Besides meds, I would recommend some therapy, especially CBT. Breathing techniques, mindfulness, anything to "reset" your brain when you start going into panic mode. It also helps to be able to recognize the panic attack before it gets bad. I tell myself, it's just a panic attack. I'm not going to die. I'm not going to pass out if I control my breathing. Sometimes in meetings, I have to get up and walk around the block or sit in the bathroom for a bit. Small price to pay for sobriety.

I love the 12-steps and I am sober because of AA, but it's not going to fix real anxiety disorders. Only a doctor can tell you whether you have a legit anxiety issue or it's just PAWS. Definitely seek some professional help but be upfront and honest about your alcoholism.

Hope this helps. Obviously the above is just my personal experience. Everyone is different.
digdug is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 05:32 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 212,746
Hi UTGrad

if you've had panic disorder before do you have a doctor or therapist to call on? I'm thinking that might be a better approach than self medicating with your mom's meds?

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 06:20 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 154
I am 10 months clean. First few months were hell, then I felt great. After 8 months I too started to feel bad again, mentally. This is slowly clearing now and I am sure is all part of long term recovery. I was drinking hard for 10 years so there is a lot to unravel for me emotionally. Not saying you are the same, but there might be something in common here.
TDInstall is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 06:29 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
Alysheba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 34,297
There's not much 'just' about PAWS, esp if one is experiencing it with benzos and alcohol. It is brutal. Anxiety has got to be one of the worst things ever!
Alysheba is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 06:59 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
~sb
 
sugarbear1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: MD
Posts: 16,000
Have you worked through to step 12?
sugarbear1 is online now  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:15 AM.