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In a lot of fear...need support please.

Old 08-19-2008, 09:08 PM
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In a lot of fear...need support please.

Hi everyone. Wow, what an incredible website this is. I've spent the last 2 hours of my life, reading and going through the forums here. What a nice online community.

So here's my deal. I've been taking xanax from about a year and a half and got as high as 3mg daily in my dosage. However, for the past 3 months, i got down comfortably to .75mg daily. I go to my doctor yesterday, and he said its time for me to quit completely and he doesn't give me a new prescription.

Although i don't know if i was completely ready, i do think it was a good idea. I have withdrawn cold turkey from xanax before from 2mg, and it was complete hell!!!

So i'm really in alot of fear. So far, the withdrawls haven't been that bad, but its only day two. From what i remember last time i had to quit cold turkey, day 3 and 4 were the absolute worst!!!

Not sure if there are any natural suppliments that help, at least with the isomnia part. I just hope there aren't panic attacks, audio and visual hallucinations and extreme insomnia.

Even though i had gotten down to .75mg daily (and it felt fairly comfortable at that) shouldn't be too hard, i've heard that it (the withdrawls) has more to do with how long i've been taking xanax vs. what dosage i'm at...which doesn't make me feel any better.

Any help and support would be nice and i'll do my best to become a regular on here as well. THANK YOU
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:37 PM
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Welcome to our forum.

I personally do not have any experience with withdrawls for an anti anxiety agent. Although I do take Klonopin as needed for anxiety. It may be that you have gone down to a low enough dose already that you may only experience mild detox symptoms.

I would suggest starting to take a fish oil and B vitamin supplement. These both help with chemical transfers in the brain.
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:38 PM
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Hey marine, sure would be glad for you to become a regular. I'm on 3mg of Xanax as well, only I've been on this dose for like a year and 4ish months or so, and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. Neither does my doctor lol, umm I'm amazed at your ability to be able to go off Xanax so well, for it's what kind of keeps me sane... you're afraid of the withdrawal... couldn't you just have kept some extra pills of Xanax like taken less mg every week or so instead of going PURE COLD TURKEY? No offense to doctors even though I hate some of them but they really are annoying that they don't give out Xanax much... the addicts who addict the drug shouldn't reflect on those like us who don't addict it. Grumble.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:48 PM
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Thank Nandm and Paulos for the support. I'm on day 3 and the withdrawls really haven't been that bad. So far the fear of the withdrawls have turned out to be much worse than the actually withdrawls. I still don't feel 100 percent, but i'm sleeping "ok" and i know that eventually this will all pass and my brain can go back to be normal and i'll start to feel better.

I can't wait till that happens! Thanks again!
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:36 PM
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Are you in regular therapy? If not I'd find a councellor or therapist ASAP. The meds can help with the symptoms of anxiety but it's really helpful to have someone knowledgeable you can talk about this stuff with. I took Lexapro, and that kept me functional, but I my quality of life didn't dramatically improve until I got into therapy and began to understand how my thought processes were contributing to my anxiety problem. Then, the more I learned about my anxiety the better I was able to control it.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:18 PM
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That is a good question. Yes, you could say i'm in a group therapy. (mini 5th step here)...i've been active with a 12 step program for about a year and a half. Not being honest with those around me, i started on xanax because i had ligitimate anxiety problems (major panic attacks), but knowing that xanax is frowned upon in the fellowship, i keep this to myself. Probably because i didn't want anyone to tell me not to take xanax.

I never got out of control with it and i'm now on day 4 of being off of it...and its been rather easy this time.

So what does this all mean? I don't know...i've been trying to figure it out. Am i a "real" alcoholic? I am what most would consider a "high bottom". If i believe with every fiber in my body that was the literature says is true...how is it i was able to control the xanax...even come off of it. And it didn't (hasn't) caused a relapse, it didn't spiral out of control, or go back to my DOC (drug of choice...which was booze), which is what everone says will happen if someone posseses the disease of addiction and introduces any mood altering substances in their body of any kind.

So...i know that's alot of info. I'm glad this place in anonymous!

But back to your suggestion, it would probably be a good idea to see a therapist about all of this.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:52 PM
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I too work the program of AA. I also take the anti anxiety agent, Klonopin. I do not feel that my taking the medication as prescribed affects my sobriety. My drug of choice was alcohol. I do not have any desire to drink because of the klonopin. I am well aware that there are those in the fellowship who have their beliefs that any medication including anti depressants should not be taken by an alcoholic in recovery. My personal experience is that people die because of those types of attitudes in recovery. I have seen people commit suicide because they were told they needed to stop taking their "mood altering drugs" (anti depressants) and they did then turned around and killed themselves. Lot of good it did them to be sober. I know that when I take the klonopin it is not to escape from reality but rather to be able to be in reality. Due to my PTSD groups of people with more than 4 or 5 can set off extreme and overwhelming anxiety. The anxiety kept me from leaving my house, nearly got me kicked out of school, and contributed to a job loss, and the inability to find and stick with employement. If it were not for the klonopin and the other prescribed meds I would not be able to function. People that make the judgement that others should not take any medication and just work the program of AA do not understand what a chemical depression is. AA is great for the situational (life sucks because I pissed my family off because I stayed out drunk for 3 days, or I can't drive because I wrecked my car) depression. In fact it did help me with my situational depression.

Please do not judge your alcoholism by someone elses standards. Only you know if you are truly an alcoholic. I personally have no doubt that I am an alcoholic. Because of that I am careful with the medications that I take for my mental health issues. I take it only as prescribed. I don't compare my alcoholism to drug addiction as I am not utilizing the medication for the same purpose I did with alcohol and I also do not have the obsession like I did with alcohol. My sponsor is well aware that I take medications and is of the same belief I am that when the BB spoke of seeking outside help that meant seek outside help i.e. mental health doctors etc....
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:37 PM
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On day 7 ya'll! I still feel not 100 percent, but it is getting better everyday. Still have some anxiety, shaky hands, fast heart beat and light headed every now and then, but it really does seem to be going away each day.

Still can't fall asleep without 1 unisom. I tried saturday night...at 4am i gave in and took a unisom. Other than that, i really think i'm pulling out of the withdrawls. I'm really excited to be off the benzos. However, still have some separation anxiety. Something i never mentioned. I keep two xanax tabs (the last 2 i had) in my pocket at all times...i call them my confidence tabs. I haven't had to take them! I'm actually pretty darn proud of myself about that!

Thanks again ya'll!
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:14 PM
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That is great you got off the xanax. You may find, like many others, that once you are past the w/d you will be calmer without the xanax in your system.

Seems the constant interdose w/d and body adjusting to this chemical just make the body have a lot more chemcially induced anxiety.

You should get some sort of program where you do relaxation methods and learn how to apply these to the actual feeling of panic (this can be done).

Any therapist or most books for anxiety help with this technique.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:43 PM
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Welcome to the forums Marine!

May many years ago I detoxed off xanax/alcohol....not pretty experience at all but it can be dome successfully.

I use meditation a LOT to calm myself, deal with PTSD and just every day stress.......it's amazing how it can help, but it took me years literally to do it, I was too scared and tensed up tp relax, I was on guard 24/7 and the meditation made me feel very vulnerable.
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:41 PM
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2Stop.....do you have any good references to help get me started with the whole meditation thing? Books, videos ect...



On...on day 11 now. Things seem to be getting better everyday. Still a little shaky at times...still a little on edge too, but i can tell a difference for the better (even if its just a little) everyday. Thank you so much for all the support! Wow...what a great place this is. I really hope i can return the favor and be of help to others on here.
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:13 AM
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I'll have to get back with you on the books/vidoes.
It ws sooooo hard for me concentrate, read, watch a video I loiterally every day had to practice sitting quietly.......
Sitting Quitely was the hardest thing ever for me. Clearing my mind was even harder! Oh man, I always used to say if I lost my mijnd I wouldn't bother looking for it cause it was no dang good anyways! LOL......


I started by sitting quietly and a sweet lady from here who I haven't seen in a awhile told me a good, short meditation that is short...and was amazingly quite effective for me.
Light a candle, while looking into flame focus on breathing while saying I breathe in...I breathe out, only needs done 1 minute or so at a time............it sounded too simple to me, (I guess in my stinking thinkin complicated is 'better'.......go figure.)

Be patient with yourself, it takes time, but it DOES get better.

Warmest Hugs coming your way........
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Old 08-30-2008, 06:33 AM
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I have a great meditation CD that I have used successfully when dealing with anxiety, panic, or just troublesome situations.
It's by Deepak Chopra and he does breathing exercises, talks about resentments, forgiveness, and banishing disease from the body. It's excellent, and I often burn copies for friends who also love it.
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:09 PM
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There are a lot of good books about meditation, relaxation and anxiety, but I still say your best bet is to find a good counsellor. There's just no substitute for being able to talk to someone face to face about your anxiety. I'd also sign up for a tai chi or yoga class.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:59 AM
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Gloria Steinem has a book out called Revolution From Within.
Towards the back of the book, she has a wonderful meditation. I use it with my students. It's very helpful, and I highly recommend it. You can probably get it at the library, or at amazon.com.

Shalom!
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:58 PM
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Wow! You guys (and gals if there are any) are awesome! What a response! Sorry i haven't been on here in a few days. I've had a scary but successful weekend. I'm on day 14 now with no xanax. It keeps getting easier, but it does seem to be slowing down.

However, this weekend i had to deal with a bunch of children (that aren't mine) in a huge public place. Yes, it was a family reunion. Like i said before...i've hung on to a couple tabs (call them my confidence tabs) and man did i have this this weekend...in my pocket and ready to go.

And although it wasn't easy, and i had tough bouts of pretty bad...borderline anxiety attacks, i made it through and the best part...without taking any xanax. I know it may seem simple, but it was a big victory for me and i feel so much better as a result!

Thanks again for the advice everyone!
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:07 AM
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****************{Marine}}}}}}}}}

It is not simple at all what you are doing. It is very tough. You are doing great. I know it may not feel it, but when we ar eafraid and do it anyway(i.e. NOT taking the xanax) you are building STRONG recovery muscles.

Hang in there, it will get better.

((((Warmest Hugs ever))))):ghug:ghug:ghug
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:53 AM
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Can't say much more than the others have and the great support they have given you. But I agree you have a lot of courage in coming off the anti anx meds. I have done it four times, with the paxils withdrawls were horrible and long, with the effexors once before it was a breeze. Just reduced my meds by half last week and feel much better for it.

Don't worry about your group or the rumors you have heard. Everbody is uniquly different. Some feel numbness while on meds and coming off causes a flood of strong emotions. Emotions are healthy and don't mean you'll relapse at all. I am sure you have all kinds of healthy coping tools you can deal with. You dealt with the reunion, wow, I don't think I'll be ready for that one for years and you came through it with flying colours, It takes a lot of inner strength to accomplish that for an anxiety sufferer.

Be very proud of yourself and as the others have said welcome to the forum.
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