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Old 04-29-2018, 03:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Battling anxiety headaches and depression from quitting drinking


Hey my name is Matt and Iím 26. Today makes it a month sober from alcohol. I have been drinking regularly for about five years about five nights a week. I decided to quit alcohol when my anxiety came back. I havenít hadAnxiety since I was 22. When my anxiety came back I quit cold turkey and at the same time I quit smoking marijuana and cut out caffeine because everything I did made me anxious.It is been a month now from today and Iím still having anxiety itís been getting a little better .Iíve been prescribe Xanax. When I first got my anxiety I was taking a half a milligram 3 to 4 times a day, after my second week I made it down to two a day, my third week I made it 1 to 2 a day so for my fourth week I tried to go without it for a little bit. I made it to days without a Xanax and I was able to leave my house while doing it, it was a big accomplishment. But I still donít feel back to normal. After those two days without Xanax I had a panic attack and I think it was withdraw from Xanax . I have read a lot of forms and looked up a lot of sites and I believe Iím going through postacute withdrawal syndrome. The first week from quitting drinking I was very emotional very anxious and very depressed. The second week I was still anxious but I got really bad brain fog, I went to the hospital to get a
Cat scan because I felt out of it. Everything turned out good and my blood work was good. So week three the brain fog is a little bit better and my anxiety is a little better and Iím barely feeling depressed at all. Week four when I go two days without my Xanax I feel depressed again and my head feels like itís spinning and I thought it was a step back and Iíve been feeling bad all day today but still have not taken a Xanax yet. I guess what I want to know is, has anyone else had brain fog anxiety depression and headaches even a month after quitting, is this normal ? Maybe when I went to days without Xanax it brought back anxiety and depression but maybe not. I have only been taking Xanax for a month and I have been lowering my dosage each week.Can anyone relate to how long and the effects that Iím having with drinking or with the Xanax?
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like PAWS. Congrats on the month though.
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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First, congratulations on a month sober. That is amazing!!! At 26, you are doing something so amazing for your future. Re your xanax. Can you go back to your doctor to talk to him about the effects? I have had some experience taking xanax but it was never prescribed to me, I bought it in a foreign country and used it with alcohol. I only used if for a period of 10 days but I uses quite a lot. The withdrawls were horrendous. I am sorry I cannot offer you any more advice except I would go back to whom prescribed it to you and speak to them about it. Good luck x x
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Zanax is the devil. It effects the brain much in the same way as alcohol. It's also highly addictive and the wd are awful. Be very careful!
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. It means a lot to me to get a reply this fast. Can it be possible to have withdrawals from Xanax if I have only been taking it for a month though? Iím looking at natural alternatives that I can substitute for xanax
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi,

In my experience yes this amount of Xanax would cause me to have withdrawal symptoms but being sober before for 18 months it took me more than a month for the brain fog to lift and that was with exercising 2-3 hours a day and eating healthy.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would start seeing a therapist if you aren't already. A month sober is a great thing, but still in the early days of sobriety. Also preexisting mental health conditions like anxiety often do come back in full swing once the booze is out of the picture. They should be able to help with you with the proper therapy and perhaps other non-addictive medication for the anxiety and depression issues.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi,

In my experience yes this amount of Xanax would cause me to have withdrawal symptoms but being sober before for 18 months it took me more than a month for the brain fog to lift and that was with exercising 2-3 hours a day and eating healthy.
Thanks this helps me a lot. I feel like brain fog is the worst part of this. Iím feeling it bad today. Iíve been 24 hrs since my last xanax and I made it through work today but since Iíve gotten off I have been laying around feeling out of it. Like I can feel my brain spinning
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would start seeing a therapist if you aren't already. A month sober is a great thing, but still in the early days of sobriety. Also preexisting mental health conditions like anxiety often do come back in full swing once the booze is out of the picture. They should be able to help with you with the proper therapy and perhaps other non-addictive medication for the anxiety and depression issues.
Thanks I have been waiting to here back from a therapist that I called a week ago. I have been doing a lot of research about natural Xanax alternatives and Iím planning on trying them out as soon possible.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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First, congratulations on a month sober. That is amazing!!! At 26, you are doing something so amazing for your future. Re your xanax. Can you go back to your doctor to talk to him about the effects? I have had some experience taking xanax but it was never prescribed to me, I bought it in a foreign country and used it with alcohol. I only used if for a period of 10 days but I uses quite a lot. The withdrawls were horrendous. I am sorry I cannot offer you any more advice except I would go back to whom prescribed it to you and speak to them about it. Good luck x x
Thanks for the fast reply and the good advice. It means a lot to me
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i drank very heavily for 10 years. I had an anxiety / panic attack out of the blue about a year ago. Was prescribed xanax, very low dose, and it helped me immensely. I quit drinking a week ago for good. Only use the xanax when I need to. Booze causes bad changes to our minds and bodies. If you are careful with Ned's from your doctor you will be okay
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Matt and welcome to SR

I don't have any experience with xanax or xanax alternatives, but I do suffer from severe anxiety and depression, and I know how you feel. I'm almost 3 weeks sober and I still experience brain fog or fuzzy thinking from time to time... this and my anxiety are not as bad as when I was drinking, but it feels pretty scary sometimes. I'm seeing a psychiatrist for my mental health and I'm on antidepressants. I'm confident things will start improving... as long as we stay sober

Wish you best of luck! Stay here, keep posting
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Matt,

imo...

PAWS is the brain and body damage from drinking. Dr.'s don't acknowledge it. Basically, as far as the brain goes, PAWS is along the road to insanity. Addicts that can't get it together end up insane. Ever heard of 5150?

That is when they lock an addict up for 72 hours, in the loney bin. It is the beginning of the end for some.

I don't know about Xanex, but I heard getting off of it is a different level of hell on earth.

The way I see it, based on my time on SR and Google. Parts of my brain are dead forever. Those parts deal with happiness and anxiety. The brain has to rewire.

I am pretty clean and thing are getting better by the moment. Dealing with the world sober gets hard, but I know drinking will only fry me more than I am.

I am making due with what is left of my brain and body. Moving forward.

Working out has helped me immensely. I use the gym as one of my new drugs. Family fun and other hobbies are much more enjoyable now that I am proudly sober as well.

I don't do AA. I visited a few times and I wasn't really fitting in. AA is there if I need it.

For now, I don't drink. I try to be a kind person.

Obsession and anxiety are still part of my life, but it gets better as each clean day passes.

Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I had dreadful headaches and brain fog the first couple of months after I stopped drinking. I was on a real emotional roller-coaster as well: up, down and every variant of mood in between the two and often within the space of a day! Iím only at 90 days now, but I can tell you that in the last month or so, Iíve felt vastly better, both physically and in terms of overall stability of mood. Having read a good bit here as well as other places, it strikes me that it can take a fair while to level out physically and mentally after stopping drinking: neurologically, alcohol use has a pretty significant impact as much as anything else and you have to be patient and allow your neurotransmitters to reset. You will surely feel better given time and, on that basis, perhaps think carefully about whether you really need the Xanax. Best to you.
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I had dreadful headaches and brain fog the first couple of months after I stopped drinking. I was on a real emotional roller-coaster as well: up, down and every variant of mood in between the two and often within the space of a day! Iím only at 90 days now, but I can tell you that in the last month or so, Iíve felt vastly better, both physically and in terms of overall stability of mood. Having read a good bit here as well as other places, it strikes me that it can take a fair while to level out physically and mentally after stopping drinking: neurologically, alcohol use has a pretty significant impact as much as anything else and you have to be patient and allow your neurotransmitters to reset. You will surely feel better given time and, on that basis, perhaps think carefully about whether you really need the Xanax. Best to you.
Thank you. This gives me hope. Itís just hard with out the Xanax to get through with everyday life like school and work. When Iím home I can get through a panic attack but it will take a couple hours but when Iím out somewhere itís just so much harder. So I have to take the easy way out and just take a Xanax and Iíll be fine in 30 mins from then. I was doing a lot better and setting goals but as soon as I try to quit the Xanax Iím back to feeling bad and I think Iím having withdrawals from Xanax now on top of the alcohol
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Welcome Matt!!!
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi Matt. Congratulations on a month sober! It was the crippling anxiety that was the final straw for me, too. I was having similar, foggy/dissociative feelings, and I just knew I couldn't live like that any more, and the only answer was to free myself from alcohol. I spilled my guts to my doctor, who hooked me up with a therapist and got me started on Lexapro to treat my anxiety, which has helped immensely. Everyone is different of course, so I would recommend talking to your doctor about what might be best for you in the long-term.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi Matt. Congratulations on a month sober! It was the crippling anxiety that was the final straw for me, too. I was having similar, foggy/dissociative feelings, and I just knew I couldn't live like that any more, and the only answer was to free myself from alcohol. I spilled my guts to my doctor, who hooked me up with a therapist and got me started on Lexapro to treat my anxiety, which has helped immensely. Everyone is different of course, so I would recommend talking to your doctor about what might be best for you in the long-term.
Thank you. How long have you been sober and how long did your brain fog and anxiety last after you quit? If you donít mind me asking
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Old 04-29-2018, 10:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Anxiety and depression. I don't recall if anxiety was a much discussed issue when I got sober, but depression certainly was. For a while in early sobriety I thought I suffered from depression, most of us did, but then I met someone with real depression and that was a game changer for me. What I was really suffering from was self pity and fear.

On an earleir attempt at getting sober, these bcame so crippling that I couldn't get out of bed or take care of myself. I had just turned 21 BTW. I returned to my old solution, alcohol, which gave immediate relief, before resuming the progressive down hill slide.

I think the main difference between self pity and fear, against anxiety and depression, was that there were no pills available for the former. When I realised my symptoms were the result of classic chronic alcoholism, and I took action by way of a program of recovery, the fear and anxiety left me. I learned a new way to live. I think my old way of relating to the world, the attitudes and ideas I had, were just about guaranteed to bring me a miserable existence, which is what they did.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:05 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thank you. How long have you been sober and how long did your brain fog and anxiety last after you quit? If you don’t mind me asking
I'm at around 123 days now, so still quite early in sobriety, but the brain fog and anxiety did steadily improve in the weeks after I quit. I still had some anxiety though - as I had for most of my life, one reason I drank - so that's why I made an appointment with my doctor, and I'm so glad I did.
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