Struggling and need thoughts

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Okay, backstory...have had panic attacks since college. Tried imipramine, xanax, Paxil (devil devil devil for me) and Effexor (devil's cousin for me). I got on Zoloft moons ago after Imipramine. Don't recall any side effects whatsoever. Got off to have a baby. Started having anxiety attacks about 3 months after. That's when Paxil came in. Took it for two weeks and tried to get off bc it was a nightmare...come to find out I started having withdrawal symptoms (took me 4 months to be weaned off of it after two weeks). Tried Effexor and that lasted 4 days. So, went back to Zoloft. It took me nearly 12 weeks to feel normal. (and, by that I mean...able to leave the freakin' house - the issue with Paxil / Effexor / Zoloft start up, etc hightened my anxiety so much it caused me to have agoraphobia). Fast forward 9 years later and I all of a sudden have a panic attack while I am training my client (btw...I exercise 5-7 days per week including cycle, boot camp, strength and long distance running --- all a byproduct of my previous anxiety nightmare). Anywhoo, this blindsided me. I've always been able to talk myself out of them or had the handy small dose of Klonopin on the side. This one took me out - December 18. I then had a "self induced" one the next day while I was trying to get a long run in. Yep, I had one while running. Mind you, I know what these are and I know they won't hurt me. But...my mind went rampant. I started waking up like at 5 every morning instead of my normal 7am. I found I was holding my breath a lot. And, I canceled one of my classes / clients instead of just sucking it up and going in there. (possibly defeating this issue head on). This, of course, leads to the nightmare snowball effect. I made an appt. with my dr who increased me to 75mg on December 23. And, told me to take Klonopin as needed. Well, I am stubborn and don't like to take the .5 of Klonopin reguarly. I found that during this process I was having to use .125, .25 or 3/4 of the .5 just to function without the side effects. (and, where the Klonopin usually took the edge off and made me feel normal, I was feeling tired and odd - maybe from the increase in Zoloft?) My anxiety was high to begin with, since having the panic attacks and not getting enough sleep...morning anxiety was horrific! But...from my notes...it seems that while I unfortunately had to start taking Klonopin daily at these low levels so I could go to work and function. I tried not to take it when I was home and felt that I didn't need it when I was doing something I wanted to do, not having to do, like...work. Make sense? January 6 - day 14 on 75mg my daughter had to go back to school. I felt tremendously anxious taking her to school. I had no reason to be anxious. This went on through the week and actually had to cancel another class. sad Day 18 on 75mg...BAM - bad anxiety, crying and skin crawling/burning sensation. Decided that maybe just taking a week off from work would help (knowing that not earning money would not help my anxiety). I actually felt somewhat normal this week. Still morning anxiety, but I could push through it. (I'd wake up shaking and sweaty). Back to work on January 18, but felt completely out of it and odd. Couldn't put my finger on it. Just felt like I was impatient, like hurry up. Next day, anxious and dizzy. Woke at 3am. Saw my therapist and despite taking .25 klonopin, wanted to just get the session overwith and go home. Day 28 - same thing, woke up dizzy and completely trembling. I saw a new therapist who got me in ASAP. Loved him. I felt a lot better afterwards. Per dr. was told to increase to 100mg. Well, I decided that I wasn't going to make a huge leap. So, I did 87.5. Woke up crying - a lot. (I was not depressed at all before this). Day 2 now on 87.5 and woke up with horrific anxiety, tired, dizzy, ear clogged, tooth hurts / jaw hurts. Had to take 3/4 of a klonopin (first time for this). Slept an actual 8 hours that night - wahoo! Day 3 no Klonopin needed. That night Insomnia strikes BAD. Was jittery and on edge all day on day 4. Started having some weird thougths and was all over the place with my emotions. Was pretty much shaking by that evening. Took another 3/4 of Klonopin and only 75 mg of Zoloft and tried to fall asleep. Woke this morning at 3am with the same skin crawling, burning, chills, horrendous muscle twitches, agitation, pacing type feeling and wanted to call rescue. IT WAS BAD! HORRIBLE FEELING. I took another .125 of Klonopin and fell asleep maybe from 6-650 when I had to get up and take my daughter to school. I have been horribly jittery all day long. I am scared tonight is going to be just like last night and I won't sleep which only makes the symptoms much worse. I have an appt. Friday for another dr. I have spoken to a pediatrician friend of mine who suggested I keep it at 75 and move it to the morning. She also said to make sure I use the Klonopin. Couple things here. I am scared to change to another med as the experience on Paxil was  much worse than this one. Should I have given the 75 mg more time? I was at 4 weeks. (it took me almost 3 months last time). I'm scared to become dependant on the Klonopin. I don't want to have to use it all the time once I am leveled out. And, I can't keep canceling work. Okay, I have whined enough. wink Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks bunches!

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  • Posted

    Wow, sounds miserable.  The worst thing we can do is try to be our own doctors.  I have tried what you have done and didn't work for me.  worrying about becoming addicted to clonazapam same as klonopin.  I am prescribed .25 mg to take 3 times a day.  Just like you afraid to become addicted.  I am only taking half tablet daily along with my 20 mg of Lexapro, lot less anxiety.  The thing to remember once you find your level of Zoloft you maybe able to ween off of klonopin all together.  Try to get yourself on an even keel, then worry about coming off of klonopin. But of course discuss it with your doctor.  Another thing that help with my anxiety is eliminating coffee and caffiene.  Hope this helps, and wish you peace during this time!
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    • Posted

      Thank you. I appreciate your response. Yes, that's probably what I will need to do. I definitely wanted to go ahead and decrease from the 100mg. I honestly think I am very sensitive and it was the thoughts racing around in my head that scared me. I was going to ask the Dr. on Friday about Lexapro. But, again, the whole switching medicine makes it much more scarey. Does it seem to help though with your Anxiety and /or Panic? How long have you been on it?
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    • Posted

      To be honest I have been taking it for 2 weeks last saturday, and my anxiety despite everyday stressors is minimal.  But that does not mean everyone will have this same effect. But it is working for me.  I was on paxil for 15 years, tried to switch to citalopram.  I have a feeling I think I was so anxious I may have not have gave it time to work, asked the doc to put me back on it.  I saw my doctor a little over 2 weeks ago, and discussed the possibility of paxil not doing what it is meant to do.  I had my anxious thoughts of it not working and dealing with anxieties of switching over, and it not working.  Not to mention my doc did not explain how to go about switching.  Thank God I had clonzapam to deal with the switch over, who knows what it would've been like just withdrawing from antidepressant and waiting for another to build up in my body to start working.  I hope and wish you find out what works for you!
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    • Posted

      Okay, good to know. I am concerned if the Dr. decides to switch me to another drug what it will feel like if we do a cross taper (which I am suspecting will happen since I've been on Zoloft for 9 years). And, I am glad to know that the anxiety is low for your start up. I am relying more on the Klonopin, which I am still not happy about. I want one drug like I was for sooo long. I have addiction in my family, too, and that scares the crap out of me. I guess you are right...I'll have to just wait until I'm level on one and reduce the Klonopin. sad I feel like a guinea pig. All this trial and error is taking weeks from my life. Even though I am on a low dose of the Klonopin, there is still a chance for withdrawal from taking it for longer than 3 weeks. See, all this negative thoughts come into my head and I know they are making the anxiety worse. Plus, I am trying really really hard to get a full 8 hours of sleep. So far, with the Klonopin I am managing about 6-7. I am on my second day of taking the Zoloft in the am. Thanks for chatting with me. It helps to know that I am not alone in all this crap. smile 
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  • Posted

    I used klonopin 21 years ago.. I did wean off it, well they didnt know much about its withdrawl back them so they did it too fast. I had found out i was pregnant. It was intense withdrawl to put it lightly but only took a month.  I think it was so intense it scared the panic disorder away as i was good for the following 6-7 years thereafter until some trauma situation came up and it restarted. Pregnacy went fine.I believe if you wean off very very slowly it should be fine. Just have another med lined up i guess. Have you tried buspar? Its very easy to withdraw from it just takes a few weeks until it works. I havent used anything in over a decade, the once in a while xanax but used mindfullness mostly. I have eye issues that stop me from using anything. Is

    Apparently all meds effect the eyes not sure that even matters  but matters for me at this time. Its not that your a guinea pig at all its everyone metabolizes these meds different. Keep in mind your hormone levels as well becuase i never realized i went thru peri and now post menapause and someof the symptoms cross over. no one mentioned it to me for some really odd reason. I realized it now post  menapausal. If you wean off extremly slowly off any of these i think it does work out fine, usually they have a back up med to keep it in check. Klonopin has an extremly long half life so im surprised its persciribed more then twice a day for anyone. Klonopin and prozac have very long half lifes which mean they stay in your system for many days before existing the body. I believe the most important part of this whole med thing is a caring and knowledgable doctor.

     

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