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studyin 03-16-2005 04:01 AM

The anxiety returns
Hi All,

Just wondering if others who have beaten this anxiety thing still see its ugly face occasionally? I've been going really well for quite some time now but over the last 3 days and since a recent dose drop in the Cipramil, it has slowly crept back in again. Nothing too nasty but always this feeling like I've had a really strong coffee and it's disrupting my sleep a bit. On top of that I have to give a 30 min presentation soon, must have a chapter of the thesis finished in 2 weeks and teach a bunch of practical classes to nutrition students this month. I have to admit the thought of a presentation set some mild alarm bells off for a while but I got over it mentally after an hour or so...the problem is, this body of mine doesn't forget so easily, at least not since labyrinthitis. I feel so close to kicking this thing but still it latches on. I can't help thinking of the scene in Aliens where Ripley is trying to eject the beast into outer space but it still has her by the ankles just before saying bye-bye forever. Well, I think I'm at the ankle stage and the beast's jaws are snapping at me trying to get another bite in.

Scott :cool:

Wowwwweeee 03-16-2005 05:39 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
Hey Scott,

I'm really sorry you're dealing with "anxiety whiplash".

I have found anxiety to be a lingering issue for me - with or without head symptoms. Since anxiety is something you remember, and can provoke easily with the briefest of worry thoughts or doubts, I can see why you are still dealing on and off with the physical symptoms of that.

Although there are many things that can provoke anxiety without the "mind" adding to it, like illness, death, job strain, etc., it doesn't take much for a person who once was dealing with major anxiety issues to get in that state again on some level, or just simply keep those anxious thoughts or symptoms at bay until you feel slightly worked up or nervous about something to bring it all back again.

Anxiety seems to be something that a person needs to work on, on some level, all the time, to keep it in check. Like a person who used to drink (not a complete parallel, but you get the idea) they may not drink any more, but there are times when they think about it or crave to do it. Some days it's a little more work than others.

Since anxiety is something that returns (depending on your situation and how well you're coping with the ability to cope with ANXIETY and your stressors), and is unpredictable, meaning you think and feel you're past it, but then all of a sudden you get a "reminder" of how you used to feel with anxiety, and it makes you wonder if you're taking a step backwards or getting down that low again.

It was pointed out to me when I was in counseling for my anxiety issues that having anxiety crop up is beneficial because a) it reminds you that you are past the total low point of dealing with in like you used to, b) you are getting past the current anxious moments, which tells you that you are dealing with the 'zings' well and able to push past them, and c) it's good practice to be able to cope with anxious moments that come your way now, as once a person deals with anxiety issues, they will have to remind themselves that they have the tools internally to deal with them again as they come up, as people who have experienced anxiety will always have reminders or experiences with it.

You may also deal with some anxiety issues now that you are weaning off your med - as medication only masks the anxiety symptoms, it does not cure you or the anxiety issues. If you are dealing with situations or thoughts that are making you anxious, medication will alleviate the physical symptoms during this time and in many cases, alleviate the worry-thoughts that come with that, but to learn how to cope with the anxiety you're having, you will need to find internal ways to persevere.

Also, you may be experiencing some withdrawal symptoms from the meds, which are making you feel ancy or jittery.

Wishing you a good day, and sending lots of encouraging HUGS.


ASLme 03-16-2005 06:37 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
Hi Scott:
I don't have much to add to Wowwwweee's post but just wanted to pop in and say hi. I know it is SO frustrating when you are going along fine and then BAM! you're back in the hole...
Sounds like you have a lot going on right now and this is the last thing you need but please be encouraged it will go away. Try to hang in there!
:cool: Elisabeth

shirley07 03-16-2005 06:40 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
Hi Scott - I have been dealing with the labs "monster" for about 9 months now and like you most days I do pretty well - "but" the hardest thing to deal with is the anxiety.
I take a little Xanax 1/2 of 1/4 sometimes to get over the worst - Will this ever end???

Subs30 03-16-2005 07:03 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
Hey Scott

Don't think the weather been to good down there??

Sorry to hear that---but---sounds like a "Blip"---prob associated---with downsizing the med----you are pretty far along---to take any kind of a major step backward----it happens---but----think---we become so sensitized---to the memory/thoughts---of this junk---that we---lean to assuming the worst---my memory says----you are pushing on---not holding back(bike,etc..)---so a lot of compensating activity has been taking place and locking in----suspect---the med----but---think----you go up---when you start---then levels off---and---go down---as you taper off---could be wrong----but I would think with your experience/research---you would definitely know---if this junk was starting to reoccur---looking back---through your previous posts----you have been through much worse---by far---then this "blip".

Remind me---did you take A/D prior to this junk happening?

Hang in there---think it is a "blip"

unadventurous 03-16-2005 12:32 PM

Re: The anxiety returns
Hi Scott,
Sorry that you're going through a rough spot. I've only been dealing with this stuff for a fraction of the time you have and I know how discouraging a change (not one for the better) can be. Because I was feeling better last week, I decided to have a big birthday party for myself ... and with all the planning and cooking and everyone in my apartment I ended up getting all sorts of dizzy and not enjoying myself as much as I had hoped. My sleep was off for a few days and I had to battle with nausea for the first time. Even though I thought I had my stress under control, I guess I bit off more than I could chew.

I also think you should know that your posts have always been educational and inspirational for me, and if anyone can stop that alien from taking one last bite, you're the guy!
- cori

Sharalee 03-16-2005 12:35 PM

Re: The anxiety returns
Hi Scott,

You've got a bit of a load on ya now. Plus you're being "weaned" down on the pills, so it's no wonder you're having an increase of anxiety. You are such a sweetheart. Don't worry over the anxiety if you can help it. You're smart enough to know that will only increase it. That circle you know, where ya feed that beast with your worry.

I have anxiety everyday. I know it well after 15 yrs. This is what I've been doing about it lately............. I do alot of inner dialogue. Sometimes [U]outloud[/U] if need be. I don't care if I look like a crazy person. Basically I try to accept it when it gets ugly because the more I try to fight it, the more it wins. So, it's a matter of saying "ah crap!! This ugly ba$tard is back. Deep breaths. I'm not going to die. It will pass soon"

Things like that. Over the years, it's a fact, that the more I freak out, the worse it gets. I have freaked out badly too. Which is why I had panic attacks that scared the crap outta my husband, my mom, and my daughter. It looked as though some monster was inside my body thrashin' around. And the gasping for air, just like a heart attack, scary to see.

Although you might not see it as a good thing, you do have something valuable. [B]Experience[/B] . I'm sure you have your own techniques for dealing with it. Maybe they're the same as mine. I use every tool in my box. Definately not saying I always win. HA! I wish.

I remember the first anxiety attack I ever had. I was scared to death, I had no idea what anxiety even was. let alone what was happening to me. Now, I know. "Oh it's you again, you dirty rat ba$tard, what do you want now?"

Maybe I sound crazy. Anxiety is a crazy thing. Gotta fight fire with fire sometimes you know.

You'll do just fine. I really admire all that you accomplish. Take care and be calm.



crazylabyrinth 03-16-2005 01:02 PM

Re: The anxiety returns

I sympathise....

I have an interview fri and have a nasty bug and have been teaching for most of the week on top....awful dizziness, a real temp...I am anxious about surviving the interview. Its the dizziness that really scares me and how I'll cope.

It will get better scott. You have beaten the dizziness - thats more than half the battle...the rest will go.


Stitcher317 03-16-2005 08:11 PM

Re: The anxiety returns
Hi Scott,

Wow, I am so sorry to hear you are having a set back with the anxiety. As you know, I am tapering off my Ativan. I understand that whenever you withdraw from either a benzodiazpene or an anti epressant, when you get down to the last taper you really have to string it out. I am just begining to feel some slight blips from my first 10% cut. I absolutely hate the renewed dizzy anxious feelings but also welcome them as a sign that I am getting through this. Not a good time though when you have to give a presentation. Have you considered a very slow water taper for the last part of your withdrawl from Ciprimil. I understand you are less likely to feel the reduction.. Maybe you would want to consider holding off a cut now until your work is less demanding?
Hang in there, my friend. I am sure you will handle this just are a true winner.....and a fighter. This won't get the best of Scott.....


studyin 03-17-2005 01:17 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
Hey everyone,

Wow, thanks for all the great posts - really made my morning! I actually cracked last night and grabbed a single small dose of Ativan to kill the angst. First time I've tried the stuff (it was the rare valium before). The stuff not only killed the anxiety but I could barely hold my head up at the PC...straight to bed and slept like a baby after that. Certainly not something I'll be making a habit of but figure I deserved a crutch after 3 days of it. A good point Subs about it being a possible "blip". I always think of lab blips as only being dizzy related but I think it can also be anxiety in this case as well considering the anxiety and dizziness are so inseparable and circular when dealing with this rubbish. Never have or dreamt of taking any such meds (Cip or benzos) prior to this junk arriving on the scene.

Thanks for all the tips and messages from all of you...I'm sure it's just another passing phase...and there will likely be a few more as I drop the dose of the AD. The 30 min talk will really be a challenge in keeping the anxiety under control.

Linda - just wondering how much Ativan you were/have been on? Really hope you get free of it soon. Not sure I want to touch the stuff again after reading your experience with it.

Wowee - as always, thankyou for the words of wisdom!

CL - good luck with the interview. Hoping you get a break from the dizzies on the day.

Best...Scott :D

crazylabyrinth 03-17-2005 07:01 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
Thanks scott but dont think itll happen :( Got flu blown flu with sickness...will be lucky to make to bed! Dizziness dire.

Will be in touch scott on weekend.

Kp smiling.


Katkin 03-17-2005 07:17 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
Aww Scott.

I'm sure it IS just a blip! that would be only normal I'm sure. Especially with the coming off the medication! So don't worry yourself! I'm sure you'll be feeling a lot better again in no time!
I have to agree with your posts being inspirational and educational as well!

Re. the presentation! I had to give a 20 minute presentation a couple of weeks ago and a similar 20 minute thing on Tuesday this week where I had to lead a workshop and I was so scared about even going in to college let alone doing a presentation on my own in front of the whole class! But I managed! And if I can... then YOU SURE as heck can dude!! GO SCOTT! You can do it matey!!

The workshop was filmed as well eek! I was ok though!!

Tonight I have to go to an end of term (Rock) concert and sing 3 songs. And this is after a terrible disorientation attack at college yesterday. I'm scaaared!

Awww CL I'm so sorry to hear you're poorly! I hope you feel much much better soon - I guess if you don't manage to get to the interview then it wasn't meant to be - don't beat yourself up about it! It's admirable that you were willing to go!!!

*hugs to all*!

Katkin xxx

Stitcher317 03-17-2005 11:01 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
Hi Scott,
To answer your questions regarding the Ativan I have been taking. First let me tell you that it has been a lifesaver for me in dealing with the dizziness/anxiety and resultant panic attacks. I am by nature a worrisome anxious person and Ativan gave me back my life after I was DX'd with VN. I take .5mg twice daily. Both my neurologist and family dr. said it was OK for me to take up to 3mg daily if I needed to. Thankfully, I have never felt the need for more than I am on. I feel so good now, relative to the past 24 months, that I want to see if the "feel good" is due to compensation or if the Ativan is covering up my residual dizziness. I was told that Ativan is a vestibular suppressant by one Dr. Maybe you could confirm that? If so, I will never completely compensate unless I get off of it.
When I started taking it I did get extremely tired or sleepy but that only lasted a very short time, like days. Also, when it was first prescribed I only took it as needed when I knew I would be in a situation that produced dizzy sensations for me. (Movies, restaurants, riding in the car.) It so completely eliminated my anxiety and panic feelings that my dr said it was A-OK to take it everyday as needed. She was very supportive and was encouraged by my response to it. Part of the reason for deciding to go off it is because I am experiencing increasing depression and apathy. I've read that this can be a side effect of any of the benzos. While I have never felt the need to increase my dose I also don't want to wake up with what is called "dose tolerance". The drug can be addicting if taken for more than 7-14 days. On a few occasions I have forgotten a dose or two and have felt WD symptoms of increased dizziness, nausea, nightmares, insomnia, etc. The symptoms disapear within 40 minutes of taking the drug! There is a ton of information on benzodiazapines on the internet. You have to sift through it and weigh the facts.
How much Ativan did you take? First time taking it would probably knock you out......1mg is equal to 10mg Valium...... Hope you are feeling beter now....breathe have been doing so very well and you will be back to 99% again real soon.

Cheers and best wishes,

Mica09 03-17-2005 11:58 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
CL, sorry to hear that you are not feeling too good at the moment.

Scottsman, sorry to hear that you are feeling anxiety. I can't tell you if it's due to the antidepressant but hang in there. About 7 years ago I was suffering from anxiety. Because I read a lot on the subject very early on, I was able to control it. It gradually went away but once in awhile I would get a wave of anxiety that would take me by surprise. I would talk myself in not being scared of being scared. Sometimes it would last a few minutes, sometimes I would feel this general anxiety for a few days. Eventually I rarely felt strong anxiety but know I will always be susceptible to it if I'm not careful.

By the way, about the antidepresssants, when you said that in was night and day when you went from 1/2 the dosage to 3/4, did you mean it became worse or better?

studyin 03-18-2005 03:01 AM

Re: The anxiety returns
CL - sorry to hear how bad you are feeling again. Never seems to end. Don't know what else to say other than thinking of you and hope this flu passes quickly. I remember when I lived in the UK in the early 90s I had one cold after another for about 2 years. Not sure why but I never felt warm there either.

Linda - thanks for filling me in on Ativan. I have to say that after taking just 1 mg 2 nights ago, the anxiety went with it and hasn't returned - YAY!. Today I felt really great and energised again. Probably because I slept so well last night. A good sleep is so important when dealing with this question there. Didn't realise Ativan was so potent either. No wonder I couldn't hold my head up. Next time (if there is a next time) I'll use just half a tab. Yes, any benzo acts as a vestibular suppressant so they say but given you feel so good now (brilliant!) you will probably be just fine once you get this stuff out of your system regardless. Looks like Ativan gave you the break you needed to get the dizziness under control. Actually, keep us filled in as you come off the Ativan. It will be very interesting to see if the dizziness has been banished for good after your particular treatment. Amazing how certain drugs seem to hit the nail on the head for people (benzos or ADs).

Hi Mica - sorry I wasn't clear on the AD info. I meant that on a 1/2 tab, I was messy (dizzy or anxious) some days and OK on others. When I upped the dose to 3/4, it was all good, in fact, it gave me the first taste of normality at the time after 6 months of terrible lab dizziness/anxiety....and the dizzies slowly dissolved from that point forward. I'm on less than 1/2 now and feel pretty normal apart from the rare anxiety flare up like earlier this week. The dizziness and disequilibrium are gone now (unless provoked by an ipod!!).

Katkin - wow, very cool to hear about your concert and singing! I'll be thinking of all that you've done when I have to give the talk. So how long have you been singing in bands? I've got 3 guitars sitting here collecting good to have a jam.


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