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My thoughts are causing my anxiety and panic and I don't know how to make them stop


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My my main withdrawal symptom is anxiety/panic which makes it so I can't sleep.
If at any point during the day I am feeling ok, all I have to do is THINK about not being able to sleep, like imagining myself, lying in bed unable to sleep, and I will IMMEDIATELY feel a rush of adrenaline, start panicking.
So basically is it literally my THOUGHTS that make me start to panic.
Is this withdrawal or is this a mental problem that I have and need to fix. But I don't know how. I am so desperate for this panic to stop. If it is part of withdrawal I guess I can deal with it as it will pass.

BUT my fear is that it is something I am doing to myself, like some sort of obsessive destructive thoughts.

Paxil 1998-2005

Prozac 2005-2014

Klonopin 2010-2021

Lexapro 2014-2023



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Hi, maybe it could be helpful to challenge that negative thought with a positive one like the image of you being comfy in bed or waking up peacefully etc. 

Aug 2020 - Feb 2022 on and off Lexapro 5 and 10mg,  Rapid taper

Nov 2021 - May 2022 on off Wellbutrin 100mg, 150mg, 75mg CT clindamycin cycle and also Plan B bc 1x 

Fall 2020- June 2022 - Xanax .5 PRN usually 4x a week, CT 

June 2022 - Z pack, Buspar 7.5 3 days

September 20-24th - low tryptophan diet and 20-30g beef gelatin powder

Oct 3- 16 - Xanax .5 for sleep each pm, 1 mg Ativan in ER, .25 Xanax —> .125–>0 

Oct 14-17Trazadone 50/75, Lunesta 3mg 

Oct 24-  start Belsomra, 4 days to20mg 

Nov 3-5 10mg Belsomra and 300mg Gabapentin 

Oct 13-Dec 1 Buspar 7.5 2x/day rapid taper over 2 weeks due to ADR 

Recent: Belsomra 20mg since 10/23/2022 to 15mg mid December for 2 nights —> 20mg —> 15 mg since 12/22/2022 —>14 mg compounded 02/11/2023 —> 15 mg 2/13 —> 10mg 2/22 —> 5mg 3/1 —> 0mg 3/8/2023 

Current:  Propanolol 20mg AM, 10mg 4pm, 20mg PM since 11/30/2022

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator

@peaceandquiet Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on the premise that our thoughts cause our feelings and mood changes. 

You can read up on it here: 



The best book that I have seen is the original -  "The Feeling Good" book by David Burns. There are more mindfulness based ones now but I don't know which one is best. There are multiple techniques that can help you deal with these thoughts and they are examined in the book. You can also find free resources online such as worksheets. 



"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 


I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 


In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 


Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg


Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sounds like the withdrawl makes the anxiety bigger. So yes there might be some anxiety, but the withdrawl can probably worsen it and make it like it’s taking over everything.


Maybe it is helpfull to focus on a part of your body that - in that moment - feels safe. Like your right lower arm, or  ringfinger.

For example: when you’re at the dentist in the chair, tension might built up and you actually don’t feel the back of the chair anymore. Like the body is saying: this is scary!

Relax your body, feel the chair and ask yourself: can I feel my feet? Can I feel my right toe? And the next? Etc etc. Takes your mind of tension or thoughts. And take a deep breath.


So when you’re in bed, try to focus on a safe part in your body. Could even be your right earlobe. How does it feel? Warm, cold, soft, round, spiky, etc etc.


Or name 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you feel (not in your body, but things like a fold in the bedsheet), 2 things you smell and 1 thing you taste.


Or practice box-breathing: 4 counts in, 4 counts hold, 4 counts out, 4 counts hold etc etc. 

If you can, expand breathing out. 

4 counts in, 6 counts out.

Breathing out activates the parasympathetic nerve that’s is like the ‘brake’ in the system.

Paroxetine: 1995: seroxat at 11 yo for three months (?!). 2008: Jan: started 10mg, was hell (incl acathisia, dyskinesia). 2009: Feb: started taper, May: 0mg, July: went downhill fast (WD?), Dec: started 10mg again. 2015 + 2017: up to 20mg and down to 10mg, no WD. 2021: June: started taper, aug: 2,8mg, short WD, hold on 3mg, more emotional ever since and more frequent panic attacks. 2023: Jan 26: started taper, March 9: 2,2mg, got WD, hold, WD got worse, March 25: 2,5mg, April 4: missed a dose, 2x suicidal crisis April 11 and 23, severe WD ever since. Reinstatement after six months: Sept 5: 2,6mg, Sept 26: 2,7mg, Oct 23: 2,8mg, Dec 4: 2,9mg, Dec 25: 3,0mg and hold. About 80% recovered from severe WD. Not tapering further next years.

Benzo’s: 2002-2022: using appr. 5-10x 10mg oxa a year. 2008 + 2009: 3x 10mg oxa daily for two weeks when starting Prxt, no WD. 2008: used 10-20mg Dia for a few days for severe orofacial dyskinesia and akathisia (when starting Prxt + high dose Metoclopramide and severe underweight), no WD. 2022used 15x 10mg oxa that year. 2023: March 1-24: around 60mg Oxa total. After March 25: oxa daily around 5-30mg, April 12: switched to 1mg Lora daily (crisis), April 23: 3mg Lora daily (2nd crisis), April 27: 2,25mg Lora daily, May 12: tapered further. June 20: reached 1mg Lora daily, got WD, July 01: 1,25mg Lora daily, no relief. Aug 25: 1,5mg Lora daily, got better after 5 days. Dec 5: 1,7mg Lora daily. 2024, started taper: Feb 01: 1,63mg. March 03: 1,599mg. March 24: 1,566mg.


Intermediate metaboliser (‘bit more slow’) on CYP2D6 (*1/*4) and CYP2C19 (*1/*2). Extensive (‘normal’) on CYP3A4.


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