Xanax withdrawals?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Californiablonde, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Okay so as you all know my new psychiatrist prescribed night time Xanax for my anxiety. I've been taking the lowest possible dose every night before sleep and it has worked wonders on my night time panic attacks. Only problem is, I am now getting anxiety during the day when I never did before. All Christmas break I would wake up with paralyzing anxiety. There was no reason at all whatsoever for the attacks. I would just wake up with a fast pounding heart beat, very sick stomach, and a very anxious feeling. The anxiety persisted all day long. A couple of days it got so bad that I broke down and took a couple of Xanax during the day. Of course this meant I couldn't drive, so the difficult children were very unhappy that I couldn't take them anywhere. I tried hard to stay off the pills during the day. Only took them a couple of days and the rest I just suffered through it. At first I thought the anxiety might be caused by being home with the difficult children all day. They were pretty well behaved, but I just couldn't find a valid reason for these panic attacks. So now I've been back to work for two days. I am getting random anxiety during the day at work. I NEVER get anxiety at work. This is always the place where I feel the most safe. But now I'm getting anxiety here when I usually don't, plus driving is causing some anxiety. I usually feel good while driving. I listen to my hard rock radio and I like to drive. But not anymore. So a few people in my bipolar support group have mentioned that I may be suffering from Xanax withdrawals. I take my night time dose, and it wears off in the morning, then I get subsequent attacks. Or is my anxiety just getting worse? I can't really tell. The Xanax still helps with my night time panic attacks and helps me sleep. But it may be doing damage during the day. This is why for years I refused to take benzos of any kind. I knew how highly addictive they were. I see psychiatrist again on Thursday. I don't know what to do. Should I keep taking Xanax or slowly go off of it? Oh and at this point psychiatrist says he doesn't have anything else to treat me except another benzo. So what do I do? Just continue to suffer?
  2. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Anybody have any ideas? I am sitting here right now having a panic attack at work.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I have no experience with anti-anxiety medications... so, no direct advice on that front.

    But I do know that the classical anti-anxiety actions do work.
    Deep breathing, for one. Because you can do it literally anywhere.
  4. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Xanax can cause rebound anxiety meaning that it does help initially but when it starts to wear off you can get bad panic attacks or anxiety often worse than before. Ive been on xanax 'as needed' for years and this used to happen to me when I was relying too heavily on it. I still take it when I really really need it which these days is maybe one half of a .25 mg pill a couple of times a week. I used to take a LOT more than that on a daily basis but it stops working after a while and the rebound anxiety sucks! I can usually control my anxiety with deep breathing now but it took a long time for me to get to this point. And now when I DO need to take the Xanax it works wonders.

    I would talk to your doctor and ask if he can recommend any other anti anxiety medications or even a mild sleeping pill to help you at night. And then just take it only when you really need to.
  5. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    My last therapist tought me deep breathing but it's never helped. I have no idea what to do. I see a new therapist tomorrow after work. Perhaps he could teach me something different. Until then I'll just suffer. Last time it got this bad I ended up in the hospital. I can't let that happen again. I have too much to lose.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Could you have access to some non-drugs help? Even basic mindfulness techniques are often very beneficial but of course working with physiotherapist specialised to psychophysical physiotherapy would be a best bet. Benzos have both rebound effect and after longer time use they can cause and keep up anxiety. So while effective short term help, they have often unfortunate long term effects (that of course at times are still better than alternative, but if you just could avoid having to use them regularly...)
  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well the new therapist I'm seeing hopefully will have some new ideas on how to help me. I've pretty much tried everything. I've been on every single antidepressant on this planet. No help. I've tried benzos. Ativan made my anxiety worse. Klonopin got me a DUI. And now I'm getting withdrawals from Xanax. I've tried sleeping pills. No help. I've tried herbal supplements. Again no help. My new psychiatrist is out of ideas. I was so afraid that might happen. I switch psychiatrists hoping for answers he doesn't have any either. I have no idea what else to do for myself.
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Have you tried the all-natural Rescue Remedy? It's helpful when you are feeling anxious during the day.
  9. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    No I haven't tried that. What are the main ingredients? If it's anything like valerian's root or St. John's wort then I've already tried it.
  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Nevermind I just googled it. Contains alcohol so I can't take it.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Xanax is really strong. Make sure you have a medical doctor wean you off of it. You're not just supposed to stop taking it.

  12. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Okay thanks will discuss it with psychiatrist on Thursday. Wish I could go to the hospital but can't. So I will have to wait.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ya know CB, you have talked about your anxiety quite a bit on here. I seem to remember you have said before that you have had bouts of anxiety at school so I dont think that this is a first for you. I also dont think that you could have withdrawals this quickly after starting the medications.

    You said you are on the lowest dose of xanax and only take it at night. That would mean you are taking .25 mgs at a time. Did your dr prescribe you just enough to take at night or did he give you enough to take extra's during the day? If you told him you were only going to take them at night then you should be running out early. Honestly though, at that low a dose, you should not be going through withdrawals because that is the dose they will put you on to get off of xanax. I have been on benzo's of one form or other,even in combination of two at one time and had no issues with coming off of them. I have also never had anyone even question my ability to drive. I have three different doctor's who know the cocktail of medications that I take, and I guarantee that they are stronger than you are on, and I am permitted to drive. Unless a police officer took my blood they would never know what I was on and I have scripts for my medications. That is legal.

    You have said before that nothing works for your anxiety except medications but there are other types of things such as biofeedback and cognitive therapy. You can find out how to do self hypnosis. There are books out there about panic attacks.

    If medication cant be used because you freak out so much then you have to find another way.
  14. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Starting cognitive behavior therapy today so will let you know how it goes. And usually if I get anxiety at work it's at the very end of the day when I know I have to go home and sleep. It's never all day like this. Never. So something is up. Just don't know if it's medication related or not.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    CB... this is JMO, but. You've been dieting, right? I know, so many "experts" are so big on the whole "calories" thing, but... seriously? when you start getting calories down to 1200 a day... you really have to work at getting top food-value in every bite, or you end up with your system totally out of whack. To eat well on 1200 calories means... loads of veggies (without tons of butter and other add-ons), small quantities of lean protein, limited fruits, limited grains.

    Take your current medications situation, your nutrition situation, and the real causes of the anxiety... and yes, you have a serious problem.

    medications is just one small part of the picture.
  16. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am not dieting right now. I totally screwed up over the holidays and haven't been back on my diet since. At the end of the month I'm joining weight watchers but for now I'm eating whatever I want.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Eating... what you crave? or basically healthy but not counting calories?
    Under stress, you need top nutritional value.
  18. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Eating pretty healthy. Cooking more at home than fast food. Today I did a grilled chicken salad from Mcdonald's.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    not bad... the reason I ask is, back when I was single, I had major anxiety problems... and they were 10x worse if I wasn't eating well.
  20. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Okay I think I eat pretty good. Could probably use a little more veggies though. But I do eat a lot of salad. Once I start weight watchers I will start eating even better.