Is this rebound anxiety? For the love of god please read, I'm in agony - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Is this rebound anxiety? For the love of god please read, I'm in agony


I didn't think I was capable of experiencing such severe anxiety. I recently had a four-day long struggle with really bad insomnia, and barely slept at all in that time. My anxiety reached new and terrifying heights, I think because the sleep deprivation was really getting to me. So I went to the doctor and she gave me a prescription for Ativan. I used to take Ativan or Xanax every day for anxiety, but I had stopped taking them for about a year until now.

Over the course of about five days, I had taken one or two mg of Ativan each day. I finally caught up on my sleep and abruptly stopped taking the medication. On day two and three without the Ativan, anxiety hit me full force, worse than ever, and I'm not able to sleep again. My muscles ache, my heart won't slow down, I have chills and hot flashes, no appetite whatsoever, diarrhea, and a sense of impending doom constantly. I only had two hours of bad sleep last night, and it was only because I got drunk to sleep. I don't understand. I didn't think taking the Ativan for such a short time would cause rebound anxiety? Was I wrong?

Does this sound like rebound anxiety? Should I take more and taper off? Please help I honestly feel like I'm in hell.

Some (possibly) relevant info: I have a slight caffeine addiction and ingest about 300 mg of it a day. I also drink sometimes to help with sleep and anxiety, but I think this might be worsening things in the long-run.

Please, any advice is appreciated. I don't know how much longer I can stand this. I feel like I'm literally going insane. I went from being perfectly fine to not being able to eat or sleep or socialize or even work..
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 08:39 PM
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Sorta sounds like withdrawal. You probably should taper off instead of quitting cold turkey.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 08:50 PM
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I get episodes maybe once or twice a year where I'm feeling a high state of anxiety for several days for no apparent reason. It might not have anything to do with the Ativan. When I have these episodes, I take enough Klonopin and Atenolol to keep me reasonably comfortable until the episode passes.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Sorta sounds like withdrawal. You probably should taper off instead of quitting cold turkey.
It does seem a lot like withdrawals or rebound anxiety yeah..I had assumed I didn't take it long enough to even have to worry about quitting cold turkey, but I just can't be sure..

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Originally Posted by Jason Keener View Post
I get episodes maybe once or twice a year where I'm feeling a high state of anxiety for several days for no apparent reason. It might not have anything to do with the Ativan. When I have these episodes, I take enough Klonopin and Atenolol to keep me reasonably comfortable until the episode passes.
Honestly that might be what I'm going through. Out of curiosity, how long do your episodes usually last?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 09:17 PM
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It sounds like withdrawal as well but I don't see that to be very likely if you were only on Ativan for 5 days but I guess anything is possible.

I would take a fraction of the ativan that you took before, wean yourself off of it slower than whatever you did before and use something else for sleep in the meantime like melatonin and/or valerian(decently strong).

An easy way to tell if it is withdrawal or not is to simply take Ativan again. If the diarrhea and hot flashes suddenly stop, then you got your answer.

Your caffeine addiction probably is not doing you any favours and a caffeine overdose can cause all the symptoms you mentioned including diarrhea and hot flashes. Are you by any chance trying to consume caffeine in the form of powder rather than from coffee? The FDA recently issued a warning regarding caffeine powder because it is so easy to overdose on it.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbr.../ucm405787.htm

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The FDA is warning about pure powdered caffeine being marketed directly to consumers, and recommends avoiding these products. In particular, FDA is concerned about pure powdered caffeine sold in bulk bags over the internet.
The FDA is aware of at least two deaths of young men who used these products.

These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine. A single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee.

If you said you drink alcohol to help you with sleep, alcohol does not help sleep, but impairs it.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23347102

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At all dosages, alcohol causes a reduction in sleep onset latency, a more consolidated first half sleep and an increase in sleep disruption in the second half of sleep. The effects on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in the first half of sleep appear to be dose related with low and moderate doses showing no clear trend on REM sleep in the first half of the night whereas at high doses, REM sleep reduction in the first part of sleep is significant. Total night REM sleep percentage is decreased in the majority of studies at moderate and high doses with no clear trend apparent at low doses



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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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It sounds like withdrawal as well but I don't see that to be very likely if you were only on Ativan for 5 days but I guess anything is possible.

I would take a fraction of the ativan that you took before, wean yourself off of it slower than whatever you did before and use something else for sleep in the meantime like melatonin and/or valerian(decently strong).

An easy way to tell if it is withdrawal or not is to simply take Ativan again. If the diarrhea and hot flashes suddenly stop, then you got your answer.

If you said you drink alcohol to help you with sleep, alcohol does not help sleep, but impairs it. Your caffeine addiction probably is not doing you any favours either and a caffeine overdose can cause all the symptoms you mentioned including diarrhea and hot flashes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23347102
Does valerian actually work? Can I combine the Ativan, valerian, and melatonin safely?

I tried taking kava root this afternoon, and I didn't really notice any improvements. But do you think I should still be okay to take these medications and supplements tonight?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 09:32 PM
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I would say these episodes for me usually last between about 3 to 7 days. I usually can't sleep much, and I feel like I'm constantly on the verge of a panic attack for no apparent reason. Thankfully, I haven't had one of these episodes in awhile. The worst thing for me is to just keep sitting around the house. I try to do normal things and take Klonopin and Atenolol to take the edge off. Your episode will pass too, probably sooner rather than later. I've also found it helpful to tell my body to give me a panic attack and more anxiety, which kind of helps to diffuse the whole situation. Things become easier to deal with when you are in an offensive position actively inviting panic and anxiety instead of a defensive state just waiting for the impending doom to finally turn into a full-blown panic attack. You can even laugh at your anxious feelings and tell them "You are just unpleasant feelings that won't kill me." It may sound silly, but this paradoxical re-frame of my thinking helps me out a lot.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 09:55 PM
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It sounds exactly like textbook rebound benzo anxiety, after 5 days it's definitely not withdrawals, although the two can be relatively similar in experience, although rebound anxiety is typically less severe in intensity and you will come good from the rebound anxiety after a few days, tops. So, just hold in there, your symptoms will pass

If you keep your coffee intake so high, it is only going to exacerbate your anxiety. An alcoholic drink or two at night should help calm you, as alcohol works on the same GABA system as benzodiazepines, but if you over do it, your anxiety will likely be worse in the AM.

IME valerian is very mild, but does have small therapeutic value re. anxiety. Melatonin is helpful for me to achieve sleep states and also gives me a softness in mornings, which can be pleasant. I have been prescribed benzos and melatonin in conjunction by the same GP's, so I think sure you're OK there, although no idea about the valerian having any interactions.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

Ps - Oh and if it anxiety etc gets really bad, try can try just taking 0.25mg - 0.5 of ativan, and then taper slowly off that over the period of a few days. You're probably at the worst of it now though, considering the half-life of Ativan, so if you can stick the rebound anxiety, you should be feeling a lot cooler pretty soon.

Just breathe.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Noca View Post
It sounds like withdrawal as well but I don't see that to be very likely if you were only on Ativan for 5 days but I guess anything is possible.
I'd say it sounds unlikely too given that she consumed only 5-10mg of Ativan in grand total. That's quite a modest amount.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses guys! I'm in another state of really high anxiety today...I took the advice in some of the posts. I barely had any Ativan left so I took some leftover Xanax (mostly because it has a shorter half-life and I thought I would have to deal with side effects less) with a melatonin last night. I tried taking just a little, but it took the whole mg of Xanax to put me to sleep. And then I only slept for about six hours...

I just woke up and I'm feeling really tired, anxious, and more depressed than ever. My appetite is all but completely vanished. Starting to constantly shake and cry. I'm feeling extremely disheartened; I was completely fine just a few weeks ago, I'm so terrified right now. Why is the anxiety and dread still here? What do I need to get back to my normal self? I had been making so much progress, and I feel like I'm at the beginning again. Any reassurances or advice is much appreciated..
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 11:34 AM
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I made the mistake of taking a trazadone once because I would take benzos in general like Diazapen or whatever to help me sleep and I would get so emotional the next day because I wasn't on a steady regime with them. I understand what you're going through and how emotional one can get to the point of not being able to sleep. What I would suggest is cut out the caffeine, trying to mix that with alcohol is a very big nono, that's like mixing red bulls with mikes hard lemonade, you're setting yourself up for a racing heart and maybe even insomnia since the caffeine is much stronger than the alcohol.

I drink alcohol to help with my social anxiety alone and don't drink anything else and that seems to work for me.

Anyway, the other thing you don't want to do is quit cold turkey like other posters have said here. It will cause that severe rebound and luckily I haven't experienced that again, but who knows what would have happened besides me breaking down.

I used to give one of my really good friends crap for trying to drink her problems away, now I feel like a hypocrite because usually the only time I feel happy now is at the bottom of a bottle.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tieffers View Post
Thanks for the responses guys! I'm in another state of really high anxiety today...I took the advice in some of the posts. I barely had any Ativan left so I took some leftover Xanax (mostly because it has a shorter half-life and I thought I would have to deal with side effects less) with a melatonin last night. I tried taking just a little, but it took the whole mg of Xanax to put me to sleep. And then I only slept for about six hours...

I just woke up and I'm feeling really tired, anxious, and more depressed than ever. My appetite is all but completely vanished. Starting to constantly shake and cry. I'm feeling extremely disheartened; I was completely fine just a few weeks ago, I'm so terrified right now. Why is the anxiety and dread still here? What do I need to get back to my normal self? I had been making so much progress, and I feel like I'm at the beginning again. Any reassurances or advice is much appreciated..
Have you thought about other medications like SSRI's for more of a long term treatment for your social anxiety?

I used to give one of my really good friends crap for trying to drink her problems away, now I feel like a hypocrite because usually the only time I feel happy now is at the bottom of a bottle.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tieffers View Post
Thanks for the responses guys! I'm in another state of really high anxiety today...I took the advice in some of the posts. I barely had any Ativan left so I took some leftover Xanax (mostly because it has a shorter half-life and I thought I would have to deal with side effects less) with a melatonin last night. I tried taking just a little, but it took the whole mg of Xanax to put me to sleep. And then I only slept for about six hours...

I just woke up and I'm feeling really tired, anxious, and more depressed than ever. My appetite is all but completely vanished. Starting to constantly shake and cry. I'm feeling extremely disheartened; I was completely fine just a few weeks ago, I'm so terrified right now. Why is the anxiety and dread still here? What do I need to get back to my normal self? I had been making so much progress, and I feel like I'm at the beginning again. Any reassurances or advice is much appreciated..
Stop taking benzos for sleep, I wrote in another thread about how they disrupt various stages of sleep. Go to any drugstore or health food store and buy some valerian and use it with melatonin. I suggest buying it in capsule or gel cap form as the herb smells like **** but its quite sedating(even for me and I am on 4 other sleep meds).

What does your diet look like or what other health issues are you going through atm? Are you close to your period at all? Could any of the emotional instability be related to that? Did you have any thoughts about what I wrote regarding your caffeine consumption in my previous post?

If you are going to drink something for your anxiety, do yourself a favor, drop the alcohol, drink some chamomile tea.

You also need to force yourself to eat. If your blood sugar drops too low, then your anxiety and stress and emotions will go haywire. Don't eat anything sugary or full of simple carbs as this will make your situation worse.

Hopefully following these steps will help you get back in control of your current situation and give you a break from what you are going through.




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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 01:29 AM
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Stop taking benzos for sleep, I wrote in another thread about how they disrupt various stages of sleep. Go to any drugstore or health food store and buy some valerian and use it with melatonin. I suggest buying it in capsule or gel cap form as the herb smells like **** but its quite sedating(even for me and I am on 4 other sleep meds).

What does your diet look like or what other health issues are you going through atm? Are you close to your period at all? Could any of the emotional instability be related to that? Did you have any thoughts about what I wrote regarding your caffeine consumption in my previous post?

If you are going to drink something for your anxiety, do yourself a favor, drop the alcohol, drink some chamomile tea.

You also need to force yourself to eat. If your blood sugar drops too low, then your anxiety and stress and emotions will go haywire. Don't eat anything sugary or full of simple carbs as this will make your situation worse.

Hopefully following these steps will help you get back in control of your current situation and give you a break from what you are going through.
Really good advice right there!

Just breathe.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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I made the mistake of taking a trazadone once because I would take benzos in general like Diazapen or whatever to help me sleep and I would get so emotional the next day because I wasn't on a steady regime with them. I understand what you're going through and how emotional one can get to the point of not being able to sleep. What I would suggest is cut out the caffeine, trying to mix that with alcohol is a very big nono, that's like mixing red bulls with mikes hard lemonade, you're setting yourself up for a racing heart and maybe even insomnia since the caffeine is much stronger than the alcohol.

I drink alcohol to help with my social anxiety alone and don't drink anything else and that seems to work for me.

Anyway, the other thing you don't want to do is quit cold turkey like other posters have said here. It will cause that severe rebound and luckily I haven't experienced that again, but who knows what would have happened besides me breaking down.
What did trazodone do to you? My GP actually prescribed it with the Ativan originally for sleep, so I took two tablets of the prescription total but it seemed to make my anxiety a lot worse..

Since I have a tolerance at this point, I just decided to cut back on the caffeine a little to avoid withdrawals. Anyway, thanks for the advice!

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Have you thought about other medications like SSRI's for more of a long term treatment for your social anxiety?
I actually had been taking Zoloft for 13 years, but as I started getting my anxiety and OCD more under control, I was able to stop taking them. I only ever really get significant social anxiety when my panic or generalized anxiety is already severe. :0 If this persists for longer, I'll consider it, but I absolutely hate taking them if I don't have to.

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Stop taking benzos for sleep, I wrote in another thread about how they disrupt various stages of sleep. Go to any drugstore or health food store and buy some valerian and use it with melatonin. I suggest buying it in capsule or gel cap form as the herb smells like **** but its quite sedating(even for me and I am on 4 other sleep meds).

What does your diet look like or what other health issues are you going through atm? Are you close to your period at all? Could any of the emotional instability be related to that? Did you have any thoughts about what I wrote regarding your caffeine consumption in my previous post?

If you are going to drink something for your anxiety, do yourself a favor, drop the alcohol, drink some chamomile tea.

You also need to force yourself to eat. If your blood sugar drops too low, then your anxiety and stress and emotions will go haywire. Don't eat anything sugary or full of simple carbs as this will make your situation worse.

Hopefully following these steps will help you get back in control of your current situation and give you a break from what you are going through.
I decided to cut down on the caffeine, and I haven't had any alcohol for days now. And I've been trying the chamomile tea; it's just a subtle effect, but strong enough to notice the calm. I actually just had my period, so my sleep should be better than it will be all month. The confusion adds to my worries..

To be honest, I feel really stupid right now because I think I might have the flu or something. Forced myself through work today and I couldn't stop sweating, shaking, and running to the bathroom. Every meal gets harder and harder. I tried having dinner after work, but I threw up after the first bite. Chills/hot flashes coming and going in waves.

I've just steadily been feeling worse and worse all week so I don't know. Honestly I'd rather it be the flu than my anxiety, because at least the flu goes away on its own. Hoping that it's just the flu and lack of sleep and proper nourishment triggering this anxiety :s But part of me is still worried it's an adverse drug reaction, even though at this point I know it must be really unlikely.

Anyway thank you! The suggestions and reassurances have made this a little more bearable.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 03:18 AM
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What did trazodone do to you? My GP actually prescribed it with the Ativan originally for sleep, so I took two tablets of the prescription total but it seemed to make my anxiety a lot worse..

Since I have a tolerance at this point, I just decided to cut back on the caffeine a little to avoid withdrawals. Anyway, thanks for the advice!



I actually had been taking Zoloft for 13 years, but as I started getting my anxiety and OCD more under control, I was able to stop taking them. I only ever really get significant social anxiety when my panic or generalized anxiety is already severe. :0 If this persists for longer, I'll consider it, but I absolutely hate taking them if I don't have to.



I decided to cut down on the caffeine, and I haven't had any alcohol for days now. And I've been trying the chamomile tea; it's just a subtle effect, but strong enough to notice the calm. I actually just had my period, so my sleep should be better than it will be all month. The confusion adds to my worries..

To be honest, I feel really stupid right now because I think I might have the flu or something. Forced myself through work today and I couldn't stop sweating, shaking, and running to the bathroom. Every meal gets harder and harder. I tried having dinner after work, but I threw up after the first bite. Chills/hot flashes coming and going in waves.

I've just steadily been feeling worse and worse all week so I don't know. Honestly I'd rather it be the flu than my anxiety, because at least the flu goes away on its own. Hoping that it's just the flu and lack of sleep and proper nourishment triggering this anxiety :s But part of me is still worried it's an adverse drug reaction, even though at this point I know it must be really unlikely.

Anyway thank you! The suggestions and reassurances have made this a little more bearable.
To answer your first question, trazadone when I took it and then didn't take any the next day, made me really emotional, I had a panic attack in which I broke down in tears. My mom learned her lesson in letting me borrow her medication.

But yea, as far as your other post goes about Zoloft, I was there once and taking that specific med and it really didn't do anything to help me. The only thing I noticed was that I had the reduced libido and the apathetic feelings, basically as if I were a zombie.

I used to give one of my really good friends crap for trying to drink her problems away, now I feel like a hypocrite because usually the only time I feel happy now is at the bottom of a bottle.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 10:56 AM
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Check to see if you are having either hot flashes or a fever with a thermometer. If its the flu, you will most likely have a fever, NOT hot flashes.




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