need ideas for anxiety medications

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I finally jumped through the 12.5 required hoops needed to see a psychiatrist in this town, and I meet with him next week. However, I would like any ideas you may also have as well on how to manage my severe anxiety. I feel like I know a ton, just from difficult child and being on this board, but maybe there is something I am missing.

    Two months ago, after I lost my job, I was about to leave for Dallas to see my ill Dad, and stop in Vegas for a number of stressful of interviews for a new company. Two nights before all of this I started having full body muscle twitches at night. They got so bad that I thought I was having seizures. I should have gone to the hospital, but, you know, I always take the route of toughing it out. Sigh. The twitches kept me awake all night for 2 nights in a row, so by the time I was driving to Vegas for the job interviews I was hearing auditory hallucinations. (Oddly I nailed the interviews and was later offered the job - freaking amazing). I got to Dallas, and for the third night in a row the same thing happened. By then, I was freaking out, and I went to the Dr asap. I talked the whole thing through with him, because I thought it was physical by this point. As if I had Parkinsons, or seizures - or? He asked me my whole story and I told him about the job loss, my dad ill and dying, etc and he was sure this was all anxiety related and he started me on Wellbutrin and Xanax.

    I HATE Xanax, as you know I was on it a couple of years ago, and I felt like I was going to die trying to go off of it (but I did, vowing I would never go back on it). Yet, now I had to sleep. The first night I took the Xanax and I slept like a baby. And now as long as I take the Xanax, I still sleep well, but if I try to lower the dose I get the twitches again. I have noticed I have the body twitches in the day if I am upset too, but it doesn't bother me because I am moving around. And I notice I don't get the twitches if I am calm.

    So all of that to say, after talking to 2 different doctors about this, who both think it is anxiety, I guess it is. (Although my paranoia takes me other places with this issue). So I want to be able to talk to this Dr next week intelligently about other options for anxiety. I have tried Buspar and it made me feel physically ill. I have tried Klonipin and Ativan and they work fine, and apparently are less addictive. I cannot take SNRIs because they make me feel crazy, I can only take SSRIs.

    I ended up declining the job offer over this anxiety issue - with the promise that when my Dad passes they will have a position for me - which is amazing on their part. Truly it is not as easy as accepting a new job, and starting tomorrow. I will have to move both Matt and myself to a new state and start over, and try to give 110% to a new job while my dad is dying. That is pretty huge. So it makes sense for me to wait here until things can calm down enough for me to be able to make that big jump.

    In the meantime I have to be able to find peace. I am writing, reading, trying to draw, and meditate, and I am exercising a ton - I think I know the homeopathic things to do. There are literally no counselors here that are certified, they are all in training. I went to one, finally, and her best advice was, "gosh how do you get up in the morning". Ummmm - helpful? Not. My psychologist in Dallas and I still talk via phone once in awhile, but that is not as helpful as I wish - it really does need to be in person. So unfortunately the twitches, and anxiety attacks continue - and I am going to need a medication that can help. I see some of your profiles, and it seems as if some of you or your spouse are on medications that I have never heard of. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Have you seen a medical doctor to rule out physical causes for your muscle twitches? I'd want to do that before assuming it's anxiety (although given everything that's going on in your life, there's no doubt that anxiety could be playing a role).

    The older tricyclics (Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline) are very good for anxiety, sleep and somatic issues. I swear by them.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I did well on Ativan, took a full pill at night, and a half pill for acute attacks. Have you been checked for epilepsy? Stress can trigger attacks in some.
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i'm sorry your having a rough time. i took xanax at night for sleep and had no problems going off of it once i got back from portland. i couldnt' sleep out there with-o it. it was impossible.

    what are you doing prior to bed? i know that sounds silly yet are you relaxing before bed? it sounds like you just are having the after affects of all you have gone thru and survived. i hate that. i had a bout of anxiety yesterday thought i'd lose my mind it was soo bad. was soo grateful when it subsided.

    did you ever try yoga and more importantly meditation? you sound soo into all the other stuff. meditation is hard yet once you get the hang of it it's huge for anxiety. it relaxs the brain and just transcends you to another place altogether. i'm going to get difficult child a meditation cd next week actually. journaling helps me to before bed if i'm really anxiety ridden.

    ((hugs))) it'll all get better. it really will and you are soo the woman and soo proactive in your own care. i'm impressed.
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Smallworld the 2 docs I saw are medical docs. I have yet to see a psychiatrist about this issue. I have not thought about the older tricyclics since I was 16 and that was all that was out there. It may be worth a try.

    Jena, I wish I could get more into mediation. I have it down to some extent, and then I get annoyed, or fall asleep. Do you have something specific that you recommend?
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    lol so funny i went thru the same exact thing for a while. i'd pass out and fall asleep or get aggrivated because my mind would click away on me.

    all i've done is i add color into my breathing, it keeps me focused so i do red for when i breath out and white for when i breath in. sounds silly yet red signifies my anger anxiety and overall my life bites lol, and white signfies happiness contentment calm. just adding the color kept my focus and kept me awake and kept my thoughts of difficult child easy child my husband my itchy foot you name it :)
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Because you cannot get to a good therapist, consider using The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Bourne ( to help you work through things. I used this a long time ago and it was amazingly helpful. I could not afford to take the kids to the therapist and psychiatrist and go myself, so I used this book for me and took them. I used an earlier version but this one still looks pretty close on the look inside feature on amazon.

    I hope that you can find a medication you are more comfortable with. If you are the type who only needs a very small amt of medicine you might think about doxepin - it can be gotten as a liquid that you add to an ounce or two of water and drink. I took it that way for fibro for a long time and it would get me to sleep in about half an hour, plus it helped me relax before bed. At such small doses it didn't knock me out but rather let me relax enough to sleep.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    that is a great workbook i read through it in the library one day.
  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    FYI, Doxepin is also a tricyclic.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Steely, I took klonopin for literally years. I never had to increase my dose. I cant remember exactly why we changed me over to xanaxER...oh yeah I do. We were looking at for something that was going to be a longer acting, extended release type medication so going to xanax ER made sense.

    I also took low dose seroquel for anxiety and sleep but it caused my cholesterol to go up. I am now on Saphris instead. That is one of the really new AP's which is supposed to do the same thing and so far, it seems to.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I like klonopin - but I did not like the being high feeling - and I mean - wandering across the car lot like a stoner....(according to husband it was really something to behold) but then again when the doctor said "I don't recommend taking a full pill right away." and you think (pshaw what does SHE know about MY stress???) and you go ahead and eat a whole one in the car on the way home from the WalMart pharmacy and then say to your husband "OHHHHHHHH lets stop and look at cars in this lot!!!" and then he pulls over and you are literally falling against cars and laughing and pasting your face against windows and smearing you cheeks down the side of the car? Yeah - NOT so pretty - THEN? Then you take the recommended 'just a tiny bite' dosage.

    I did not take the Atavan because someone here told me it had addictive properties...and I already had enough medications on my plate.

    However I DID find that a couple Benadryl OTC (yup plain old allergy medicine) was recommended by a doctor in the Box physician for night twitches, and RLS, and hyperventalation, and anxiety attacks and worked really well for me. Until I found out I had an allergy to it. Oh the rash....The hives, the vomiting....the shock - not fun. LOL.

    I got the klonopin and STILL have almost all of it left. I really rationed it, so I wouldn't get addicted - and did breathing exercises and liked that much better - I like being in control of me as much as possible. And when outside sources stress me out - either they are going or I am - and if I can't? Then they better get their boots on. I'm not taking more dope for anyone anymore. However when it's things you can't control? You need to realize - I CAN NOT CONTROL this - and understand that as much as you can. Then get as much of a grip on that situation as you can and deal with the situations you can, change the things you can - and accept the ones you can't change without it stressing you out so badly that you are unable to cope without medicating. Sounds easier than it is believe me I know. This is why my doctor would only prescribe any anti-anxiety medications in VERY short doeses - like maybe 7-14 pills at the most.

    Hang in there Steely.

    ----Sees Janet is getting Saphires.......MUST BE NICE ..........I want EMERALDS.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Clonazapen (Klonopin) stopped cold my horrendous panic attacks. I have none anymore. I take one at lasts all day. Other than feeling calmer, I have no side effects and I don't feel spacey taking it at night. Xanax made me feel drugged and the antidepressants did help my depression but not my anxiety (I used to have both very badly).
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have never had a high feeling in my life from any of the benzo's and I have taken ativan, klonopin, xanaxER and temazapam. Star...I would hate to see you on my medication combo' You would be a walking zombie! Me? I cant even sleep.

    Im still having these huge welts right now so I took 4 benedryl tonight along with all my other nightly medications and I am still up at almost 3 am. Of course, it doesnt help that Mandy and Cory didnt get inside the house till almost 2 so the dog was barking incessantly which means I cant even fall asleep. Some nights I can manage to fall asleep around 11 but then something wakes me up around 12:30 or so...think its one of them making the dog bark...and then Im up till at least 3 or 4 before going back to sleep.
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yea, I am like Janet, I have never ever felt high on the benzos - ever. I just felt like I could cope. I took them for awhile after Heidi died even when I was working, that is until matt stole them and swallowed the whole bottle, but that is another story. (That is how HE ended up in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC).)

    I went off of them, cold turkey, and my body did the full withdrawal. I actually did not know that you can die from going off benzos cold turkey - but my Dr scolded me, harshly, and I did feel like I was dying. I could not function for 3 days. I never, ever wanted to go back on them.

    So, like you said Star, I have been trying to deep breath, and all the other things I mentioned that are natural, but something is happening at night that I cannot control with these body twitches. It is so bad, that it leads to hyperventilation, etc. So I don't know. At this point I have been on Xanax for 2 months, so to go off of it will create the body withdrawal - but I have to be able to sleep. Actually it is not a matter of not being able to sleep, but more the body somatic issues that do not allow me to sleep.

    I have tried Benadryl - OMG - talk about an anxiety attack. It is supposed to produce agitation in certain people, I guess I am one of them. Matt on the other hand has taken it for sleep forever. medications are such a cr@p shoot for us all.
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I am one of those people that don't get sleepy on Benadryl. Lunesta makes me wake up every 2-3 hours and then I feel like garbage for days. Last year they gave me 0.5mg Xanax and... it had NO EFFECT ON ME.

    If Benadryl does that - it does to Onyxx, but not the rest of the family - there are other antihistamines, and they do similar stuff. And you don't need a lot. husband was on something - not Benadryl - for anxiety. I'll ask him.

    One thing I do to relax if I really can't? Is lie down in bed, get physically comfortable with the lights off, and let my mind run amok. I sometimes take forever to get to sleep, but it is good sleep when I get there.