I've had a stressful 7 weeks. Started with palpitations that sent me to the ER. Benign pvcs, no reason, live with them. But will be following up with an echo in a couple of weeks to be sure.
What the fix was for my sleeping problems with the pvcs was xanex. But the xanex helped me fall asleep not stay asleep. I was getting horribly sleep deprived with 3hrs of sleep per night. Then my stomach, from the stress and lack of eating from the stress started to act up causing more pvcs. It's taken 7 weeks to kind of get a bit of a handle on my situation. I still get the palps but not as strong and severe as in the beginning when I wasn't taking very good care of myself. I sure am hoping they'll go totally away someday but in the meantime I'm trying to manage along with them.
However, my question is about the anxiety that a lot of you have said is the worst during periomenopause. I've always been a bit of an anxious person but either hormones or my past stressful 7 weeks has gotten worse. I can feel fine, walking around in a store or sitting and watching tv and WHAM I get this shot of anxiety. It starts in my diaphragm belly area and shoots up to my head. My heart rate increases slightly and my breathing and then it just stops after a few good breathes. But it can happen several times during the day, even when I'm trying to fall asleep.
What kind of feelings of anxiety did you have? Just anxious constantly, burst of anxiety. What did you do? Did you really go on anti anxiety meds? I really don't want to but I know this anxiety isn't making things better. I really don't want to start that because I'm trying to get off the xanex for sleep (which isn't going well at all) and I hate to get stuck on another drug that I'd have to wean off of.
I hate this part of my life. I really do. If this is perimenopause, I really don't know what we as women, nurturers and care takers of our children and families have done to deserve such a wicked curse.
My anxiety starts also with a feeling in my stomach and then feels like it controls my whole body. The panic sets in immediately and it makes it so much worse. I deep breathe and tell myself it's going to be okay. Somedays it starts upon wakening and doesn't let up at all during the day. Then tension in my neck hurts and I can't relax even in while lying down. I have xanax too, but never use it too sleep, only in extreme daily situations that put me on edge. I know it helps to get you to sleep, but I am afraid I will become addicted to it, so I don't use it at all unless I am having a total stressful situation.
This will pass and I know it's really hard right now, but it is all part of the package and once we accept the fact that's it's just peri, we will be okay. You're not alone!!!
Unfortunately my stress is only elevated by my reliance on xanex to sleep. I hate taking it. It helps me fall asleep but it makes me wake up and then I can't fall back to sleep. I'm trying different natural sleep aids to try and substitute for the xanex. I found one that seems to work much better but it has a bunch of soy in it and I'm sensitive to soy so it made me have to get up and use the bathroom twice last night. I never have to poop in the middle of the night.
Valerian seems to be the best exchange for xanex but getting a good quality one that will work is hard. I just think if I could sleep well for even a week, I could cut back on the natural stuff. My lack of sleep isn't helping my anxiety or the heart palpitations. It's become a vicious circle.
I made an appt with a naturopath because I feel like if I go to my doctor I'll just be prescribed more medicine or shipped off to another specialist that can't get me in for at least two weeks and all of this keeps dragging on and on.
I've had some problems over the years, but never anything like this. I have to try really hard for it not to scare me. Sometimes I feel like this insomnia and anxiety will lead to an early death for me. Really, how much can a body take before it just breaks down? That's what scares me. And no one has an answer for me. No one knows what to tell me. If it's not screaming evident on blood work or an MRI or xray then there is nothing wrong and I'm stressed. YES, I'M STRESSED!! Because I feel like cr*p and no one is willing to help me figure out how to not feel like cr*p.
i hate palpitations! they're scary.. i gave up calling ambulances and going to the emerg every time i have them, because i know they eventually stop, but they scare the crap out of me everytime i have one.
Deep breathing does help and of course taking lorazepam helps, but i don't like taking my medication EVERY time i get panic attacks. I always try to do the deep breathing until it goes away. Anxiety sucks.
I have always had anxiety - I remember it vaguely from childhood although it has gotten more pronounced since peri started. I have actually had it starting in my belly most recently as well and sometimes goes in to a panic attack. Health anxiety is the worst for me though now.
Deprivation of sleep I have noticed can also elevate feelings of anxiety. It sucks, but I will take whatever I need to to get a good night's sleep which is also hard now! hmph!
I, too, have always had anxiety, but not like this. Now I have severe anxiety, mostly health related and also about social issues. It is really draining. I, too wonder how much a body can take before it breaks. I am not on any medication because of fear of side effects. I've tried medication in the past but couldn't deal with the side effects. But, this anxiety makes my life miserable and I am sick of trying to wait it out.
And, yes, sleep deprivation makes it much worse.
I feel like if I can get *some* sleep the day is better w/o that surging anxiety. But the evenings are worse because my body is getting tired and then I begin to feel those jolts of anxiety more. They even happen when I'm laying in bed trying to sleep - and that is where the xanex has come into play. It's the only thing so far that will stop it enough for me to sleep. And now I'm hooked. I don't take it during the day, I've been trying to use natural antianxiety supplements that seem to have helped smooth out the anxiety. Ashwagandha and GABA throughout the day have helped. I've been taking valerian and melatonin the last few nights for sleep but nothing seems to stop this surging anxiety or adrenaline and I cannot fall asleep. It has helped me cut back on the amount of xanex I use, but I still have to have a little to knock out the anxiety enough so my brain will allow me to sleep. But one thing I have found with xanex (I'm not good with drug induced sleep) I will wake up after 2hrs no matter what. Then if I can't fall back to sleep it starts again
I'm going to call my dr to talk about how to get off of using the xanax but I fear the solution will be replacing it with another pharmaceutical like ambien or lunesta. Or she'll want to combat the axiety with lexapro or some other anti anxiety drug. Then I'll just be swapping one addiction for another.
I just want to feel normal and live normally. I don't even want to be taking supplements all day, even if they are natural. I don't want to pop valerian and melatonin an hour before I decide when I want to go to sleep.
I never thought I'd be in this situation. I'm not pill popper, I have never been one to think a pill will solve my problems. But sleep depravation with the heart palps drove me to anything for sleep. I'm kind of a control freak (which doesn't help anxiety) and this is now out of my control. But trying to find a good doctor to help me navigate my way out of this is going to be next to impossible, I fear.
I think what has happened is I have programmed my brain to anticipate something happening. Because when the palps were at their worst, I would lay down and my heart would just be beating. Then I'd think about it and would hurry and try to NOT to think about it. But by that time it was too late and I'd get a heart palp. Then it would stop but I was in constant waiting mode for another to come.
I have been getting a little more sleep with the help of the valerian, melatonin and a bunch of other supplements. But still not good solid chunks of sleep. But it's the falling asleep that I cannot do anymore. I used to fall asleep just fine. If I had any sleep issues in the past it was during the night waking up. But I never really lost a lot of sleep. Fortunately, I stay home with my boys and I don't have to be up at 5 or 6 am to get to a job. But even now not having to get up to go to work, I'm not getting more than 4 maybe 5 hrs of sleep a night. Maybe more. It's weird, but in this weird mental state I'm in, I don't even know when I'm sleeping and when I'm dozing.
Or it's because when I was really sleep deprived my body just kept pumping more adrenaline or cortisol to keep me awake and functioning during the day. Now my brain and body can't reverse that. So when I'm laying in bed and about to fall asleep, my brain thinks it needs to nudge me to keep me awake and functioning.
It's frustrating. I know a lot of it my head. When I lay down I hope so hard to just fall asleep. I'm tired, and I just want to fall asleep unaided and that incredible want is most likely causing a lot of my problems. I just don't know who to see or talk to to get some help w/o getting more drugs. I'm hoping the naturopath will have a good cocktail of supplements that can mimic the xanex to override my brain.
You are having anxiety attacks and that is what is causing you to lose sleep. Believe me, I have been through it. You lay down at night and try to relax but you expect the exact same thing to happen that happened previously and that's what is settiing you off. Quit taking the xanax for sleep, the more you take it the more you will need month after month. Try the Nature Made new sleep herb, it has Melatonin with a combination of L-Theanine. It works too slow your mind down. I understand you don't want to take anymore of anything, but try it over xanax, it might just help. I have been taking Suntheanine (L-Theanine) on a daily basis for several months now and I swear it has helped so much with my anxiety.
I wish you some sleep and anxiety relief my friend.
p.s. I sleep for about 4-6 hours straight and then I wake up and think I go back to sleep, but I don't think I do, I doze or something because I remember what I am thinking of or the dream that I seem to be dreaming (very vivid also).
I'm planning on quitting the xanex. But I need to wait till we get back from visiting relatives the rest of this week. I can't possibly function with all that they have planned with no sleep. I have managed to get it down from .5mg to .25mg or a bit more. I am taking supplements that are to help with sleep. But they don't stop that head rush type of thing when I'm about to drift off to sleep.
I was laying in bed this morning. I had no expectations to sleep. I figure I had my 4 1/2hrs of sleep and that was the best I was going to get for the night. But I was still tired and it was 5:30am so decided I would just lay there and rest or doze if possible. As soon as I would start to doze I just get this head rush right in the front of my head, behind my eyes and sinuses. A rush a pressure, I can't exactly explain it. Which doesn't help anyone to help me.
I'm taking valerian, theanine, melatonin, passion flower and hops. It is very relaxing and I am calm and my mind is calm and I have no palps. But I'm doing all of this on my own and maybe I'm not taking enough. That's why I have an appt with a naturopath. They may give me the proper amount for my issue to put me to sleep through it. Hopefully. It's just maddening because as soon as I'm about to drift off to sleep my brain pushes it away and won't let it happen. I don't understand it and that is the frustrating part. The only thing that works is taking the xanex to just knock it down enough that I can finally sleep through it.
I'm going to the doctor this morning. For what I don't know. Maybe a referral to someone who might be able to help. Maybe some reassurance? Maybe some suggestions. I'm afraid all I'll get is a recommendation for amdien. Which I won't take. Why swap one problem for another?