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Anticipation anxiety and what to do about it


Sparrow
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I am supposed to meet my son tomorrow afternoon to see a movie and get something to eat. A fairly simple and presumably pleasant thing, right?

 

So why have I spent every bloody minute since I agreed to go in a state of dread?

 

All my thoughts are focused on the infinitude of things that could go wrong. That loop alternates with "Wow, you are a loser/nutcase/bad mom/loathsome human being for reacting like this, why can't you just be normal, you can't hide in your room forever, blahblah."

 

I'm beat up and exhausted already, and there are still 24 hours left yet. I want to go and I don't want to go. Constant mental tug-of-war.

 

The theater is at least a 45-minute drive from my house. I would be gone at least five hours with no access to my Safe Place (home) and without my Safe Person (husband).

 

This is just so ridiculous. I want to see the film, I (mostly) enjoy my son's company, I am not physically unwell, and it would be very good for me to emerge from my cave for a little while. But the dread and mental paralysis seem to be impervious to reason.

 

Thoughts? Advice?

Sparrow

 

Edited for spelling

2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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Hi, Sparrow, I know exactly how you feel! My big thing with anticapatory anxiety is that I'm PETRIFIED I won't be able to make it to whatever thing I've agreed to! I've been this way since I stopped taking Remeron, almost TEN months ago. In my case, though, I'm nervous just about all day, every day. I'm not sure the AA isn't just an offshoot of that. I sure do get a ramping up of the anxiety when someone expects me to do something, though.

 

I have better luck when I tell whoever needs me that I will call them when I'm ready and or available. That cuts down the AA quite a bit. That way, I don't have to spend the next however many hours just paralyzed with fear. The day I agree to do something, I'm still anxious, but the time frame is greatl narrowed. Just that shortening of the time frame does relieve some of the nervousness.

 

I, too wish someone would give us some answers as to how they've handled this part of withdrawal. Most of us would just like to be functional. This anxiety prevents us from just simply participating in life. I'm so sick of this!

I started withdrawing off remeron in August of 2009, with the help of a holistic physician.The reason for the withdrawal was a year or two of off and on nausea, deterioration in my thinking, and more depression. It took me a full year to work from 135 mg down to 45mg. At that point, more drops were causing more depression. Unfortuately, the nervousness that I was also feeling for the last year continued with the 45 mg. Thirty one days ago, I stopped the remeron. I am still feeling the nervousness every day and the last week, I am feeling what I think is depression but not sure. In bed in the morning, I'm already dreading another day feeling this way. I am intensely unsure of myself and find it very hard to do anything. I was a practicing veterinarian for 29 years until I found I could not practice anymore. First of all I couldn't think, or remember, and I had absolutely no confidence in anything I did. These were things I did with relative ease for twenty+ years. So, this feeling of no confidence has been during the time I was on the AD(the last 2 years) and today. I take no other medication other than my blood pressure meds. I tried supplements with my holistic dr. but they seemed to make the intense nervousness even more intense. Anyway, I truly feel stuck.

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Anticipatory anxiety..... ah yes.

 

Remember the anxiety is always worse than the actual event. Just keep reminding yourself.

Get annoyed at the ancticipatory anxiety and tell it off. That works too.

 

Hugs

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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A very wise doctor once told me anticipatory anxiety is the worst! I agree.

 

But he didn't tell me what to do about it. I think it's one of those things you need to meditate out of your mind -- keep chasing the imaginings away.

 

Instead, keep telling yourself whatever happens, you'll be fine. You'll have to deal with the reality soon enough.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I cancelled.

 

Now I will lay in bed the rest of the day hating myself.

 

This was so utterly predictable, I don't know why I keep expecting things to be different. There is truly something defective about me.

2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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This will change, Sparrow. We can learn how to function despite "symptoms".

 

 

"Have the will to persevere". (Keep trying. Restraining thoughts and impulses needs constant effort.)

 

"Thoughts can be dropped or changed". (Know that your thoughts are subject to your control, after much practice).

 

"Try, fail; try, fail; try, succeed". (Don't give up if you fail. You may have to try many times to succeed. And endorse for each effort!)

 

Recovery International

 

:) Hugs, Annej In Recovery and beginning to recover.

My Intro
2000-Effexor and Klonopin
April 2011- C/T Adderall, lithium, Seroquel, Lunesta; Pristiq and Klonopin cut by 1/2 due to med-induced "rapid cycling"
May 2011- Pristiq/Lexapro bridge/taper
June, 2011- K cut to 0.5 mg (doctor)
July 18, 2011 - Lexapro done
October 2011- K taper started
Jan, 2012- Off K, Remeron started -bad idea
March 2012- Horrific Tardive Akathisa/TD (Dx: TA versus withdrawal akathisia secondary to K w/d)
May 2012- Reinstatement of K
Current Psych Meds: Klonopin 2 mg + Propanolol 15 mg and titrating up
As of June 2013: TA gone or suppressed - struggling with tolerance to benzos - beta blocker helping

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Sparrow,

 

We're both defective, then ;) I usually will push thru the feelings beforehand and then be fine when I arrive at event. This last weekend, I pushed myself to go to husband's family event and it was a mistake. Way too many triggers for me right now. I realized that I like being around strangers "lost in a crowd", but having to interact with so many people and try to be happy for everyone was just too much right now. Then I felt guilty for not being able to be happy for them...

 

Try not to beat yourself up, Sparrow.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Sparrow...you cancelled, it's not the end of the world and it isn't reason enough to beat yourself up ;)

 

Maybe this time you were closer to going than you have been in the past. Consider that progress. Soooo the next time you will probably go. Maybe you needed for this to happen.

 

I remember telling myself, (which I learned) "what can possibly happen?" "I am with my husband and daughter, so I am safe." "I can always leave if I need to." "I am never trapped, I always have options." "I'd like to have a nice time."

 

It works....

 

Hugs

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • 1 month later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Tips when you are anxious and you have an obligation or obligations:disclaimer....these have not all been tested. :o

 

1) Set out your clothes before the morning of the event. Depending on how you operate or the nature of the obligation , you may want to set out a week's worth of outfits.

 

2) Don't forget the accessories. Do you wear earrings? Keep them all organized so you can grab a PAIR. SHOES? same...in one place and in PAIRS. SCARVES? in one place...all of them.

 

2) When doing laundry, keep in mind the next week's daily clothing outfits. This will not only keep your mind off of the obligation that you are anxious about, but lower the level of concern when in the midst of it.

 

3) Make sure that all of your toiletries ( make up, deoderant etc.) are where they are supposed to be on the night before.

4) Find your car keys. Put them where you normally do.

 

 

Do you have any to add? Any ideas would be welcome and appreciated!!

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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I've definitely found preparation to be reassuring.

 

Other suggestions:

 

- If you're going somewhere new, case the joint first. Drive by or visit so you're not confused when you get there. Also, you won't worry about getting lost.

 

The theory is exposure decreases anxiety. It's like phobia desensitization, where you end up petting the dog.

 

- Practice what you have to say first. Make some notes. If you're going to an interview, have a friend act as an interviewer.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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"Case the joint" LOL!

 

Along those lines... find best parking... have money for meter.

 

If I have to be someplace early in the morning (ie. before 10am) and might hit traffic, I will consider driving there the nite before and getting hotel if financially feasible.

Fill gas night before.

Pull up directions/map on computer or phone.

Lint brush in car.

Assume traffic - leave early - leave even earlier.

Confirm plans / meeting.

Load car the night before.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Getting up a little earlier so you will not be in a rush. This will give you extra time to relax before you leave.

I made my lunch the night before.

Take deep breathes and listen to soft music in the car.

Unable at this time to correspond by private message.

 

Link to my Introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2477-aria-my-psych-journey/

Reading my psychiatric records: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5466-drugged-crazy-reading-my-psychiatric-records/

My Success Story is listed under "Aria's Recovery".

 

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  • 5 years later...

This is my main "demon".

 

Currently have it as about to go to the doctor - big sense of dread.

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)  Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018  Diagnosed with: 5th August 2021 PTSD/C-PTSD

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I can totally relate.  I've had that type of anxiety since I was a teenager.  47 now.  Although not as bad as an adult, I still get those feelings before attending any kind of social event.  Leaving social events brings me the same dreaded feeling only because I'm usually with my wife and she loves long drawn out goodbyes.  I prefer the short goodbye and out the door, lol.  

April 26th - 36.5>32.8mg Z.

Feb 4th - 40.5>36.5mg Zoloft.

Jan 5th - 45>40.5mg Zoloft.

Dec 6th - 50>45mg Zoloft.

Nov 1st - 53>50.0mg Zoloft. Sep 22/17 - 50.0>53.0mg Zoloft. Sep 18/17 - 59.0>50.0mg Zoloft.

Aug 7/17 - 65.6>59.0mg  July 18/17 - 72.9>65.6mg. June 18/17 - 81>72.9mg 

May 28/17 - 90>81mg.  May 8/17:  Started my taper. 100>90mg

1995 to May 8/17:  100mg Zoloft/day.  Working well but suspecting some signs of Tolerance this past year.

4/5/17:  Started Testosterone Replacement Therapy via T pellet insertion.  Diagnosed with Secondary Hypogonadism.

Supplements:  1000mg fish oil, 10,000iu Vit D3 with K2, 400mg Magnesium.

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