bluemoon

Crippling anxiety...

23 posts in this topic

I have been having some pretty intense anxiety lately. I think it is actually the worst anxiety I have ever had in my life. I do ok if I keep my life simple and routine, but once something even just mildly stressful gets thrown into the mix, I feel like I'm having a heart attack and I can barely breathe. 

 

I especially have been having trouble being social. I do just fine around people at work all day, but once that's done, I've usually hit my limit and I can't see anyone after work or on the weekend without feeling completely anxious and drained of all my energy. I can't remember this ever being an issue until I first started trying to quit Adderall. This would often get so hard for me that most often, I used to end up relapsing and taking a pill just so that I could leave my house. I thought I would be able to get my social life back after quitting Adderall, but I'm even having a really hard time leaving my house to see my best friends that I have known my whole life. I don't really know where to go from here... 
 

This has been the hardest 7 months of my life. I can't believe I have stuck it out this far and I am very proud of myself. But I need this anxiety/depression to go away. I can't keep going like this. I really am not interested in taking any more pills (depression/anxiety meds) but I feel like I need to do SOMETHING.... What can I do?? :(

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Just remember that things will keep getting better.  My advice is to not over-push yourself to be social when you don't feel like it.

 

Introverts need time alone to recharge.  That being said, try to maintain the status quo so things get easier.  Like, if you are socializing with friends, say, twice or maybe only once a week, try to maintain that but don't over push yourself.  It helps if your friends understand what you're going through too.  Pretend socializing is like cardio or lifting weights.  Stay on the fringe of your comfort zone until it becomes well within your comfort zone.

 

 

 

This has been the hardest 7 months of my life. I can't believe I have stuck it out this far and I am very proud of myself. But I need this anxiety/depression to go away. I can't keep going like this. I really am not interested in taking any more pills (depression/anxiety meds) but I feel like I need to do SOMETHING.... What can I do??  :(

 

You should be proud!  From what I understand you truly have gotten through the worst of it!  

 

Now take this with a grain of salt because I can only really guess at what your situation is like.  But I think you should just keep doing what you're doing.  Don't be afraid to allow yourself a vacation wherever possible.  Like maybe bingewatch a couple new shows and eat some guilty snacks.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other for now and keep stacking those days.  You are doing phenomenal!!!

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I'm not far from being 7 months clean myself, and I've been struggling with daily panic attacks lately. I don't understand what's going on with my body and mind. I had no idea this would be part of the recovery? I thought that once I quit the Adderall, the panic attacks would lessen... When will it just cool down already?

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Any chance there is something in your diet that may be making it worse and/or causing the anxiety?  Diet drinks, aspartame, energy drinks, too much caffeine or artificial sweetener of some kind?

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Doge, thanks for the encouragement. I do suppose I have made it through the hardest part. I read an article on PAWS yesterday though, and it kept mentioning that these feelings usually last about two years. I just can't imagine feeling this way for that much longer. 7 months has been long enough. On top of the years I felt like crap while still taking the pills. It's just a LONG stretch of time to not feel like yourself, and to wonder if you'll ever feel like yourself again. I know they say it gets better and not every day sucks, but I am just not seeing that light at the end of the tunnel right now.

 

 

Any chance there is something in your diet that may be making it worse and/or causing the anxiety?  Diet drinks, aspartame, energy drinks, too much caffeine or artificial sweetener of some kind?

 

I don't think it's any of those things :( ... The only thing I drink is water. I had cut out caffeine a couple months ago because I felt like it was making me feel even more tired than I already was. My diet could be a little better food wise, not sure if that's what's going on ... 

 

 

I'm not far from being 7 months clean myself, and I've been struggling with daily panic attacks lately. I don't understand what's going on with my body and mind. I had no idea this would be part of the recovery? I thought that once I quit the Adderall, the panic attacks would lessen... When will it just cool down already?

 

I feel the exact same way. While taking Adderall, I was in a constant state of panic. When I first quit, although I felt like crap, I did feel a sense of calmness. You would think the anxiety would get better, not suddenly just peak at 7 months in. 

 

 

Ugh. I will say that I am currently on vacation at my mother's house and her dog is psycho and keeps attacking my dog, which is adding stress. I had to fly with my dog to get here and that was also a bit much for me to handle stress-wise. I'm out of my normal routine right now and it's the first time I've traveled since quitting. I don't think I was actually quite ready to handle a trip across the country, but here I am.. and hating every second of it. This is supposed to be a nice break, but it definitely doesn't feel like one. I have no desire to see any old friends or even go out and do anything. 

 

Anyway..... Hopefully once I get back to my normal routine, my anxiety can take it down a couple notches.

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Ugh. I will say that I am currently on vacation at my mother's house and her dog is psycho and keeps attacking my dog, which is adding stress. I had to fly with my dog to get here and that was also a bit much for me to handle stress-wise. I'm out of my normal routine right now and it's the first time I've traveled since quitting. I don't think I was actually quite ready to handle a trip across the country, but here I am.. and hating every second of it. This is supposed to be a nice break, but it definitely doesn't feel like one. I have no desire to see any old friends or even go out and do anything. 

 

Anyway..... Hopefully once I get back to my normal routine, my anxiety can take it down a couple notches.

 

 

I think it's definitely just situational anxiety.  I went through the same thing on my girls trip a week ago. It was hard being out of my routine, without a car, nowhere to go for a run, and with my friends while they were drinking (I wanted to, but didn't), and not having my support stuff I usually turn to on my laptop with me.  I was having a ton of anxiety, but now that I am home I am better.  The good news is at least you identified exactly what it was and now you can come up with ways to alleviate the stress/anxiety you are feeling.  Maybe it would be good to just get out and go explore with your dog for a few hours a day and just take a break.  :)  

 

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Not sure if u followed my posts on this same issue we are both going through the same thing it seems. Staying busy has been a plus so don't have time to worry plus making money which helps reduce some of my stress related worries. Maybe check out my posts my anxiety may have peaked a little earlier then you but things seem to be getting better slowly like everything else on this pain in the ass recovery.

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I agree LilTex, I do think it's just situational anxiety. I didn't recognize that fact right away and was wondering what the heck was going on with me. I'm just not at a point in my recovery where I was ready to travel across the country, but I did it anyway. I knew I didn't want to go on the trip but I did anyway, to please other people of course, which is never the right reason to make a decision. I think that's how I got stuck in the Adderall cycle in the first place, trying to be a super human and make everyone else happy. Anyway, lesson learned and I won't be doing any more traveling until I feel ready and actually want to travel on my own terms.

 

Frank, I just went back and read your posts on the anxiety. Seems we are always dealing with the same struggles. It helps to know I'm not alone. I just have to remember to keep my life as simple as possible to try to keep the anxiety at bay. Now is not the time for trying new things or traveling or trying to make people happy and trying to be a social butterfly ...... I'm just not ready! Those things will hopefully come in time, but I'm just not ready to jump into all that just yet. 

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I have been thinking about buying a new house. But the thought of everything involved is to overwhelming right now. I guess big trips and major life changes like moving should be tackled when we know it's not too much to handle. Not sure on that timeline exactly but assuming after a year maybe hopefully.

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Bluemoon,

 

I'm not sure if you remember, but I posted a thread maybe four months ago with a similar title to this. It sucks to know how similar our recovery paths have been. The feeling of not wanting to talk to my parents, my brother, or my best friends is just dehumanizing. What kind of person would prefer solitude in their room over being at the beach with their best friends on a hot summer day? I know for certain the old me would have chosen the latter of the two, but the recovering me has fallen victim to solitude far too much.

 

Earlier this year I was enrolled in an accelerated EMT course to seek new work. Long story short, the program lasted a grand total of three days. I was taking restroom breaks every few hours just to handle the panic attacks. The panic attacks with the usual doom and gloom thoughts continued for months after this.

 

I literally noticed no improvements in my depression or crippling anxiety until last month. I began one on one therapy, which has really helped. I highly doubt that my improvements have come from the therapy alone. I think the therapy and the healing of my neural pathways coincidentally began around the same time. Since then, I have noticed significant improvements. I've enjoyed being around people, without actually having to force myself to socialize.

 

I can't tell you when you'll begin to see improvements, but keep on pushing forward. It's the only direction we can go now. We've come too far to let any of this progress go to waste.   

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I kinda feel like I'm waiting for something that's never gonna happen. I feel like I've created this fairy-tale image in my head of how great my life will be when I'm feeling better, and it's never going to happen. I have been thinking back to my days before Adderall and I did always struggle with depression on and off. Maybe this is just how I am... miserable, sad, tired, bitter. Maybe I do need some help from medication to function like a normal person?? :(

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I highly suggest staying away from any SSRIs they are dangerous they account for countless suicides and murders. Just take a look at the daily news fathers, mothers oamd teenagers killing family members and themselves. I'd gather to say 95% of those stories are linked to this drug. Sad thing is the news portrays these people as "having mental illness and were under treatment for depression." The truth is that fucking pill caused them to snap and would have been better off not seeking treatment. Sooner or later society will wake the fuck up and ban these drugs but the companies that make them have deep pockets control most of the media and defiantly buy the powers that be with huge campaign funding. Both Prozac and Zoloft had horrible side effects with me I even had a sensation of wanting to stab myself in part because these drugs high jack your central nervous system and can make you feel uncomfortable in your own body. No antidepressants have been proven to work placebo pills are 35% more likely to help with depression. The only pills that made me happy we're adderall and oxycodone why it was so hard to give up. Like you I felt the same way my entire life semi depressed not enthused about much and exactly why I sought out adderall. I think we both need to learn pills aren't the answer we may never be like a "normal" person but people with phyiscal or emotional handicaps can live a productive happy life it just takes more effort.

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First post. Nervous just to try and do this... I agree strongly with Frank on the use of SSRI's. They might be ok for people NOT coming off a crippling addiction, but even then I'd be VERY careful.

I was prescribed adderall for 15 years. Started at 30mg XR in my late 20's and ended at 60mg XR. About half way through that period I began taking also by perscription Clonazepam (1.5mg)

This past Wednesday 6/29/16 was 5 months clean of adderall and 8 months off the benzo.

I am so very thankful I found this site. Frank, much of how you describe your quit I can relate to directly. I think I laughed for the first time in months when I read a post you started with the statement "for fucks sake!" With respect to how long this living hell can last; PAWS...

I like so many here had no idea of just how miserable the process of getting off this drug would be. But it becomes more and more believable to me that I will regain my SOUL every day that goes by that I'm off the drug, and reading the encouraging post on this site.

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Forgot to mention that I tried Paxil about a month ago when I thought I just couldn't take another day so damn depressed. But after about 3 weeks on that i about lost my mind. Seriously. I thought I was at my lowest when I agreed to try the Paxil, wow was I wrong. Be VERY careful if you're considering an SSRI to help you during your recovery.

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Welcome to the boards William, and thanks for posting. I appreciate your input.

 

I know pills aren't the answer, as they are what got me into this mess in the first place... but I just really hope I don't feel this way forever. It's hard watching other people live their life while I struggle to get out of bed and leave my house on a daily basis. It's summer (my favorite time of year) and I thought by now I would be able to go out and enjoy life a bit, but that just hasn't been the case unfortunately. I hate to always sound like such a downer on here but I just don't have anyone else who understands. So thanks for listening. I'll do my best to shut up and stop complaining for a while. Lets hope I see some improvement soon (although I don't have my hopes set too high for that actually happening)...

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I understand your frustration completely. The idea that life seems to being moving ahead at full speed for everyone around but "us", is a daily emotion I struggle with.

Like you said, it's summer and everyone seems to be out enjoying life while "we" stay in our bedrooms struggling to feel sane...

But as you point out so well, part of what leads to dependency is trying to be all things to all people and circumstances. And while using we often burn the candle at both ends. Never missing a good time or a work deadline. Perhaps part of the struggle of recovery is learning to be more realistic about what constitutes a productive and "fun" life. So I've stopped paying attention to a lot of what appears like others having fun or accomplishing tons of stuff.

You should be so proud of yourself Bluemoon. You mention that your able to make it through the work day before coming home exhausted. But you're doing it! I can only dream of getting to that point. I'm currently working part-time a few days a week doing low skill work. A very long way from the days I wore a jacket and tie... I try hard not to dwell long in this area either. I'm hardly young anymore, and I wonder if I'll ever have a career again. But I've decided that being clean from the misery and dependence of adderall is worth whatever comes my way. I know I've got months and years to go. But I'm going that way no matter what

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BLUEMOON,

 

I feel you girl.  I am waiting for my date to show up and I feel this incredible sense of, "OMG, I get why I drank away all of this before.  But as I'm sitting here waiting I've been able to process what is going through my mind. It's non stop fear and worry about things that have not happened, could happen, but it's all me just spinning my wheels round.  This is where meditation comes in.  I need to start practicing it.  But what I've just understood is something big.  It's just a matter of spinning thoughts about stuff that is not going on right now.  FEAR = False evidence appearing real.  I'm going to start mediate ing soon.  I've never felt this worked up before a date, but tonight I am on edge.  But I swear I am not drinking tonight over it.  I don't mean to hijack your post.  I just want you to know pills aren't the answer to any of this for any of us.  I strongly believe that.  I think fear is just a monster we create in our heads that can be overcome.  You just have to push through it and do the shit that sucks and is scary and then it gets easier.  Isolating is easy because there is nothing to fear.  I would push myself in small incremental phases with socializing while getting off this drug.  Like make plans to do something social for 1 hour and then leave.  Slowly adjust yourself to the things that are scary and hard without drugs. 

 

You are doing so awesome btw!!  Don't forget that!!  You got this girl!

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BLUEMOON,

 

I feel you girl.  I am waiting for my date to show up and I feel this incredible sense of, "OMG, I get why I drank away all of this before.  But as I'm sitting here waiting I've been able to process what is going through my mind. It's non stop fear and worry about things that have not happened, could happen, but it's all me just spinning my wheels round.  This is where meditation comes in.  I need to start practicing it.  But what I've just understood is something big.  It's just a matter of spinning thoughts about stuff that is not going on right now.  FEAR = False evidence appearing real.  I'm going to start mediate ing soon.  I've never felt this worked up before a date, but tonight I am on edge.  But I swear I am not drinking tonight over it.  I don't mean to hijack your post.  I just want you to know pills aren't the answer to any of this for any of us.  I strongly believe that.  I think fear is just a monster we create in our heads that can be overcome.  You just have to push through it and do the shit that sucks and is scary and then it gets easier.  Isolating is easy because there is nothing to fear.  I would push myself in small incremental phases with socializing while getting off this drug.  Like make plans to do something social for 1 hour and then leave.  Slowly adjust yourself to the things that are scary and hard without drugs. 

 

You are doing so awesome btw!!  Don't forget that!!  You got this girl!

 

Follow Up:

Well, I did it.  It was scary because I was freaked out I wasn't going to like him and I didn't. At least not enough to want to be any more than friends.  Then I was consumed with worry about how do I get him to go home all night and pretend to like him so I don't make the situation worse than it is.  It was not easy.  My anxiety was prior to this date was actually legit.  Maybe we need anxiety.  Maybe it's really not such a bad thing.  Had I not have been sober maybe I would've inebriated myself enough into liking him more.  Maybe I wouldn't have had enough guts to make him leave at 2am and drive 2 hours home.  

 

Blue moon,

 

I went back and read your post again just now.  All I can say is that life is SO MUCH DIFFERENT when you face it straight laced with no pills or toxic poison to dull our senses.  I am with you 200% about how hard it is to go out in social situations being totally straight laced.  BUT this is such a WONDERFUL thing!!!  We are FINALLY clear headed enough to make good decisions free of clouded judgement.  We don't have to regret the choices we made under the influence anymore.  That doesn't mean it's easy, but little by little it gets easier.  

 

This fear and anxiety you're feeling trying to figure out how you fit into the world now being clean is totally NORMAL. Please don't be hard on yourself.  It has taken me 20 some years to try and get clean and stay clean.  I noticed last night how badly I wanted to drink to numb the anxiety of the situation.  It was pretty intense.  I used the play the tape forward situation before he got here though and was able to get through it without having to drink.  This morning I feel awesome.  I didn't allow the fear/anxiety to overtake me.  I reminded myself that what I was feeling was just a giant tidal wave of emotion and all I had to do was surf the urge and by today the wave would dissipate.  Today it has.  But getting a little exposure to the things that we fear is great. Like sticking your foot in the water.  Just little by little we can conquer these fears one by one in life and come out stronger in the end.

 

You said you just wanted the anxiety to go away.  I hear you.  That would be great, but I think it's a good idea if we start preparing ourselves that in life we are going to have obstacles.  There are going to be times when we face stressful events, unexpected mishaps, and situations that are scary or seem impossible to get through.  If we don't face them head on without drugs, we stunt our growth.  We build up a dependence on these nasty toxic substances to pull us through and then watch our lives destruct because of it.  Bottom line is that we have to face our fears eventually or we will never move past them.  There is no other way around it.  But imagine the strength you gain in this process!!   This is REAL GROWTH and why this journey of recovery is such an amazing process.   Much like a seed has to endure being stuck in the ground with dirt and fertilized with manure.  It stinks and it's uncomfortable at times, but this is the part of the growth process that leads to blooming into the flower it was created to be.  It's not always going to be easy.  All you can do is hang on and endure through the tough times sometimes by the skin of your teeth, but eventually you WILL come out on the other side of it and BLOOM.  For right now though, just know you're still early on in recovery and I think the best thing you can do is protect your recovery.  IF that means isolating at times away from the situations that cause you stress/anxiety then DO IT until you feel you're in a better place.  The last thing you want to do right now is throw yourself in a situation that is going to derail you and throw you back into a relapse.  That doesn't mean you stay stuck in isolation forever, but just that you are temporarily doing what is best for yourself.  Maybe devise a tiny social plan for 30 minutes here and there to build your way into longer periods of time.  Like meet a friend for a coffee.  Sign up for a new class or something fun where everyone else is a stranger too.  Notice how everyone seems shy at first.  Take someone with you that makes you feel comfortable in a big social situation.  Just little steps along the way to build your confidence back up into your new life.  It can be done and i have faith you will get through this.  :)

 

Well, on that note, Happy 4th of July weekend!!!  Hope you do something fun and enjoy it!!  :)  You are still clean today and that's amazing!  I'm proud of how far you've come.  Doing awesome!!!!  Thank you for sharing with all of us.  You've helped me reflect on a lot today.

 

Hugs!

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Thanks for that Lil Tex, it means a lot. You always know the right things to say!! 

 

You are so right though. Growth happens when we are uncomfortable. Sometimes we don't see it as growth because it's painfully slow, but it is happening. 

 

I absolutely hate dating haha. I don't drink very often, but I can't imagine being able to make it through the first date jitters without having a drink or two. So, big props to you for being able to stay strong in the most awkward situation ever!! I wish you luck in the dating world. I know you will find someone great because you deserve someone amazing. I can tell what a beautiful person and beautiful soul you are just from your posts on here. Just remember, we have to kiss a few frogs before we find our prince ;)  

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I got in a good argument on Facebook in regards to SSRI's with a RN friend. It's fascinating how people who prescribe these drugs perceive the patient as having a "mental illness" and the risk is worth the award. First of all its not fair to say "mental illness" if your 100% happy and have no anxiety in this world your the one with mental illness. We are flying in outer space around a flaming ball people we all love eventually die everywhere is cancer or some other horrible illness nobody really knows for sure when we die what happens , so to the people who have little to no worries your the one who is mentally ill. I read a few books about SSRI's after I suffered horrible side effects and it's really scary how far that rabbit hole goes it's very interesting and disturbing how such a pill stay FDA approved. UK has placed a ban for children and teenagers sure more bans will follow. The sad part for those hooked in this deadly poison it's hard to come off. To me it makes adderall look safe now that's scary. Anyways Bluemoon feel free to complain all you want nobody thinks any less of you that's what this site is for!

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Very well said Frank. Anyone who's all joy joy during these trying times for all of us on earth is either in denial or perhaps more likely benefitting at the expense of countless others suffering.

I knows there's always bad apples in any profession, but I think the extent that so many in the healthcare industry appear to dispense such powerful meds without spending any significant time with the individual has gotten completely out of hand. It's so heartbreaking that a doctors unwillingness to spend the required HOURS of time with a patient to create a meaningful and safe way to cope better with life's challenges, often results in YEARS AND YEARS of suffering.

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She believes that no way a pill can influence someone to commit horrific crimes. I think that's just denial to ease any guilt when that happens or a patient takes his or hers own life while on these pills prescribed by her. The drug companies have good lawyers to persuade the public opinion that these people were already depressed so they have no liability. It's really sick what they do in any trials against them.

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