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Bigbird: Paxil / paroxetine withdrawal

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Gridley
28 minutes ago, Bigbird said:

I was just wondering does feeling like this normally settle down?

 

Yes, normally this will settle down.  Remember that a reinstatement doesn't eliminate withdrawal symptoms but rather alleviates them to make them tolerable.

 

I wouldn't increase your dose at this point.

 

Would you say generally that you're feeling better or worse over the last week?

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Bigbird

I think that I’m feeling almost the same to slightly better. So should I expect the withdrawal symptoms to calm down or will they increase.  Do I just ride out the withdrawal symptoms and as my brain adapts and heals will they settle down? 

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Gridley
44 minutes ago, Bigbird said:

I think that I’m feeling almost the same to slightly better.

 

Slightly better is a good sign.  At this point I would suggest you ride out the symptoms.  Let's see how things progress over the next couple of weeks.  If it's necessary to increase a slight bit more, that won't be difficult, but I suggest you proceed conservatively and hold where you are at 2.5 for a bit.  We need to see how you do at 2.5.

 

It still may take some weeks or months for your nervous system to settle down. You probably will continue to have waves (bad spells) and windows (good spells), but symptoms won't be as intense. 

 

It would be good if you kept hand-written daily notes so you can monitor how the reinstatement is going.   

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Bigbird
Posted (edited)

Thanks again Gridley, possibly I’m feeling off then I get to worry that things will get worse etc etc and that ignites some anxiety and more physical symptoms. I’ll keep daily notes . I think the anxiety about it all makes it all the worse.  I guess I expect to not feel any withdrawal symptoms and I just get anxious .  A vicious cycle. Thanks again , I’ll keep you posted. Hugs my dear. 😊

Edited by Bigbird
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Bigbird

Gridley,  I’m not having the best day, feeling exhausted and emotional. Not really sure how I slept, I know that I kept awakening sweating then feeling cold.  My body feels achy also.  I’m feeling a little discouraged, any encouragement you can give me would be so appreciated.  Even though I don’t feel like I’m improving a lot my husband thinks that I am. Actually last night I had a few hours at night feeling pretty good. Is this normal? Thanks 

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Gridley
8 minutes ago, Bigbird said:

 I had a few hours at night feeling pretty good. Is this normal? Thanks 

 

It's very encouraging that you had a few hours at night feeling pretty good.  And that your husband sees you as improved.

There are going to be ups and downs, but the symptoms should decrease in intensity as you continue to stabilize.

Body temperature dysregulation is common and nothing to worry about.  Don't be discouraged.  You're doing very well.

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Bigbird

Thanks Gridley, it’s very difficult at times, thank you so much for your support, I really appreciate it. It’s just a scary experience. Hugs to you and thanks for keeping me going forward, with your support I feel so much stronger. Thank you😊hugs

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Bigbird

Hi Gridley,  I’ve been feeling so jittery all day, I was wondering, I’m on an oral contraceptive and today is the first day of my pack. Could that be the reason I’m feeling so terrible. I just thought of that now. I took my Paxil a little earlier, 40 minutes instead of taking it at 6 pm. I’m sorry to pester you again, I’ve just had a mini breakdown. Any advice, feeling so desperate and emotional.

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ChessieCat

One way (possibly the best and easiest way) of working out how things are affecting you is to keep a daily diary which will allow you to see if there are any patterns.  Sometimes we have to be our on detective.

 

It's very difficult to work out from one happening of something what might be causing it.  Sometimes we can make a guess, like if after eating something we don't usually eat we get an upset stomach, but that is still "best guess".

 

When I get a "symptom" I do try to work out what it might be and ask myself some general questions.  Tired, hungry, sick, in pain, overstimulated (heat/light/noise) etc.  If it's none of those then I think to myself ah yes it's possibly a withdrawal symptom.  I don't stress over it, but just make a note (might be written or mental).

 

Stressing over it just adds extra stress and then you can't tell what is the original symptom and what is being caused by the stressing over the symptom.

 

I can see that some of these following links have already been given but this way they are all in one post for you.

 

We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through tough times.

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

 

 

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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Bigbird

Thank you Chessiecat , it’s been a hard day for me, I’m hoping tomorrow will be better. Thank you , hugs

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ChessieCat

Sometimes all we can do is get through the "now".  I've had many days in the past when that's all I could do.  And I do still have some times like that.

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Bigbird

Chessiecat, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m wishing you well. Thank you 😊

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Tamamamma

Hi Bigbird.  I read through your thread today and can really relate to a lot of what you say.  I have been on Paxil longer than you, 16 years, and decided to taper because I’m afraid of being on this for the rest of my life.  I went too fast at first and had a pretty miserable April and May.  I’m pretty stable now and am wanting to start slow tapering in a few weeks.  I am also struggling with anxiety.  Mostly about what the taper will do to me.  A lot of that is caused by what I read online (sound familiar)?  And here I am again, reading online.  I keep promising myself to be more choosy about what I read, but I have weak moments where I start browsing and freaking myself out again.  

 

Anyway, hugs and best wishes to you.  My opinion is that it MAY take a couple of months to level out.  I’ve been reading a book called  “At Last a Life”, and it is really helping me to manage my anxiety.  I’m about to start another called “The Wisdom of Anxiety” that talks about ways that anxiety is a gift. Hopefully it will be good.  I also love the “DARE”  book and Claire Weekes (especially her audio books).  I see that you are starting up some meditation.  I highly recommend the Insight Timer app.  Hundreds of free meditations for you to try.  In rough days, I take a magnesium bath and meditate while I soak.  It’s really comforting.

 

I hope you start feeling better soon.  This is definitely a crazy road we’re on!

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Bigbird

Tamamamma, thank you so much. I was doing really well until the past few weeks, today at the end of the day my legs have been trembling. I know it’s withdrawal, I just feel really tired. Thanks for the insight timer recommendation, I actually have the app and used it today. It’s scary at times and I have my weak moments. I will no longer read stories to freak myself out, it’s not helpful. Anxiety is the reason that I went on Paxil in the first place. We will get through this, we just need to be kind to ourselves and take things really slowly. These drugs are powerful and the only way off them is slow. I know that I will stabilize and I won’t restart a taper until I feel really stabile. Thank you for reaching out to me, I am sending you hugs and tons of self compassion. Please keep in touch. 

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Bigbird

Hi Gridley, just an update. Sunday and Monday I had a not bad day. Last night I didn’t sleep well and  today I’m not feeling so great. Exhausted and achey. I’m not sure if the anxiety  I feel during the day is caused by the withdrawals or me being anxious about the entire thing. If I awaken during the night the worry if I will get back to sleep , that is a problem. Is the insomnia from withdrawals or anxiety? Just not sure what to think. It feels discouraging at times. Well hope your well and just letting you know how I’m doing.

Hugs 😊 

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Gridley
36 minutes ago, Bigbird said:

just an update.

I'm glad you had a couple of pretty good days.  It's normal to feel bad after a night of poor sleep.  Probably the anxiety is a combination of WD anxiety which is fed by your own anxiety.  Do try some of those links I gave you.  The feet on chair/wall yoga  

doesn't require any concentration and has worked for me well in the past.  If you can't manage the feet on the wall, lying on the floor with your feet bent on a chair works fine.  Give it 20 minutes or so.

 

The insomnia is probably largely from withdrawal, again fed by your own anxiety.  

 

You're sounding much calmer and accepting, which is great.  Acceptance is key, that and patience.  You're doing very well.

 

 

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Bigbird

Thanks Gridley, I need to just accept that I will not feel great some days, I know that I can do it. I think something important is changing beliefs, negative beliefs have lots of power so I need to change them to positive beliefs. Patience has been my weakness, doesn’t mean that I can develop patience though! 😉 It’s interesting that as the day goes on I start to feel better. I’m assuming as my nervous system desensitizes, I will stabilize at this dose. I think that once that happens I will need a good long hold to regain my strength to continue my taper.  Acceptance and patience, your definitely correct about that. Thank you again for your support, it’s so helpful. Hugs 😊

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Guilietta

Hello BigBird.

 

Like you said - just accept that some days may be better than others. I find it helpful to think along this line. To paraphrase the Dali Lami - the bad days help me to appreciate the good days even more. I tell myself this - not just with regard to some of the symptoms we have.

 

Anxiety drives some of my insomnia - some of it may be driven by other meds so not much doing about that now. I may be starting .25 mg of melatonin in a few days. What I am starting to implement (bit by bit) is a new evening routine/mindset to help prepare myself for sleep. Starting by 7 pm I am to focus only on positive thoughts. This is what the brain will remember when we go to sleep. As I say - this is a bit by bit thing.  I record my appointments so I need to 'transcribe' them now. I will share more later (or post in the right place better yet).

 

G.

 

(I am a duloxetine taper - not paxil - which I took many years ago)

 

 

 

 

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Bigbird

Hi Guiletta, our minds are very powerful. Anxiety can trick us into so many symptoms and we think that it may be withdrawal but it may be both. One thing that I’m going to start doing is only going to sleep when I’m nodding  off tired and awakening at the same time every day. I’m not concerning myself with how long I sleep and if I awaken during the night I will get up and do something instead of stressing in bed.  I will get up the same time every morning including weekends so my brain learns when sleep is. One thing that I’m noticing is that the more I focus on how I’m feeling the anxiety loop continues, so we need to focus elsewhere and focus on what we can control. I wish you health and healing Guilietta. 😊

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Bigbird

Gridley I’m having a bad day. Anxiety is very high and I hate feeling like this.  It probably doesn’t help that I spent a good part of the day listening to podcasts about insomnia, or I spent some time reading about anxiety. I’m tired and my mind feels obsessive. Can I expect things to calm down?  Why was I feeling normal at 4 mg and I’m feeling not so good at 2.5 mg. I’m sorry if I’m rambling, I’m just feeling scared and discouraged. Thanks for your support.

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ChessieCat

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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Bigbird

Thanks Chessiecat, 

very exhausting, I need to be careful what I read, it can really trigger me if I read negative information that may not effect me, my anxiety gets ahold of things and twists it. Thank you for your support.

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ChessieCat

Understanding what is happening helps us not to get caught up with the second fear (see Claire Weekes links previously provided).

 

When we understand what is happening when we feel worse we can look at the symptom with more objectivity and say ah, that's probably a withdrawal symptom.  We are then more able to use non drug coping techniques to get through the discomfort.

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Bigbird

Thanks Chessiecat, I agree , I mean if I go looking at what could happen I get more anxious, because we are all different and may not have the same symptoms etc. I tend to think the worst . Thanks again

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Bigbird

Gridley, my up dose will be three weeks tonight with my 2 .5 mg dose. Last night before bed my legs would tremble and I’m having the same this morning. Just feeling jittery. I think I slept better, when I awakened instead of giving in to the anxiety I felt I repeated a neutral word when I exhaled. It seemed to help. I’m just finding life a struggle, I’m not trying to be a wimp, it’s just really hard. I don’t know how to keep staying positive when I feel awful. Any suggestions?

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Gridley
3 hours ago, Bigbird said:

I don’t know how to keep staying positive when I feel awful. Any suggestions?

 

I'm sorry you're feeling bad.  In general, would you say you're feeling better since you updosed?  Are the symptoms less intense?Are they more bearable.  As I've said, the goal of an updose isn't to eliminate WD symptoms but rather to make them bearable.  If you've kept notes, please refer to them.  If not, just remember as best you can.  

 

That's very good, repeating the neutral word.  I'm glad that helped.

 

 

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Bigbird

Gridley, it’s hard for me to tell. I think that I’m about the same. Not drastically worse, maybe I’m just being impatient and frustrated because mornings aren’t easy nor is getting a good nights sleep.  I keep thinking if I increase the Paxil more I’ll  feel better,  but I know that’s a crap shoot. I just feel desperate some moments. If I had some idea how many more weeks I’ll feel like this I would feel better about it. I know that’s not possible. It’s just really hard. Any other suggestions?, thanks for responding.😊

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Gridley
11 minutes ago, Bigbird said:

Any other suggestions?,

 

Unfortunately, there's no way to predict how long it will take to feel better.  As you said, updosing further is a crapshoot, and I'm reluctant to suggest it, at least at this point.  It could help, but it could also make things worse.  I'd say to hold on a bit more.

 

My only other suggestion is to give the links I sent you another try.  I know when you're feeling bad, doing anything is difficult, but the techniques have helped a lot of the members here.  When my anxiety was really bad after I tapered the Imipramine too fast, every morning I would do the chair yoga position with a cozy duvet wrapped around me and a pillow under my head and it helped--not perfect but better

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Bigbird

Thanks Gridley , I agree, probably better to let myself stabilize. I have to be patient. I’m so sorry that you had your own suffering, although I do find strength that you made it through and so can I. I’ll give that link a try. I really appreciate you being so supportive. I think last time I failed because I didn’t have outside support from this site. I felt foolish asking strangers. Asking for support from this site has been so very helpful. Thanks you again , 🤗 hugs

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Bigbird

Gridley I’m sorry to bother you again, I just feel so terrible I just want to cry. I’m so discouraged, I know there isn’t much you can do but I feel so alone and I don’t know what to do. I feel so desperate at the moment, what am I feeling so bad? Please any suggestions.

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Gridley
58 minutes ago, Bigbird said:

Please any suggestions.

 

Do you pray?  I do.  Something like, "God, I ask for strength to get through this and I ask that my withdrawal from Paxil and my reinstatement be placed in the Light for the highest good."

 

 I put my taper and withdrawal in the Light every morning and sometimes throughout the day.

 

You will get through this and be a stronger person for having done it.  

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Bigbird

Thank you Gridley, I do pray, I’m asking for strength, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ll do what you suggest. 🤗 hugs

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Bigbird

Good morning Gridley, I’ve been doing ok over the past few days. My biggest challenge is the anxiety, this is what I went on the medication for in the beginning. Is this  anxiety me or withdrawal. It’s exhausting, and I’m not sure how to cope. It’s like I have anxiety all day. Is it possible to get this anxiety under control without medication. I just feel somewhat directionless. Any suggestions? Do you treat anxiety the same whether it’s withdrawal or me? Thanks 

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Gridley
1 hour ago, Bigbird said:

Do you treat anxiety the same whether it’s withdrawal or me? Thanks 

 

My best guess it's both--your tendency to anxiety, exacerbated by the withdrawal, which is certainly a stressor.  Yes, it's definitely possible to get it under control without medication.  The medication really isn't an answer, because you reach tolerance or it poops out.

 

I'm really glad to hear you've been doing ok over the past few days.  That's a very good since the reinstatement is working.

 

I'd suggest you try the yoga pose for anxiety a bit more.  Get a pillow, a duvet and make yourself comfortable.  Slow your breathing.  And at the same time apply the Claire Weekes technique of acknowledging the anxiety, accepting the anxiety and floating with it.  Listen to those Claire Weekes links I sent you.  She had terrible anxiety and that's why she devised these techniques and she did it without drugs.

 

Another tip is to crush magnesium and dissolve it in water and sip it throughout the day.  Magnesium glycerinate is a good form.

 

You're doing great!

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Bigbird

Thanks Gridley, I’ve been taking the magnesium before bed and one in the morning, I ordered some of the other form of magnesium. I’ve been away from home with my husband at our cottage. I just had a few bad moments of anxiety, one I had myself concerned about how the taper will go and then I get myself afraid of the anxiety, it’s a vicious cycle. Thank you again for the support. 🤗 hugs 

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Bigbird

Hi Gridley, I’m sorry to keep pestering, I just feel alone and afraid. I slept badly last night and I’m feeling so terrible today. How do I get through this and live a normal life.  I’m sorry I keep asking for help, I just don’t know where to turn for support. How do I cope?

thanks

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