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Kristin
Kristin, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Licensed Mental Health Counselor. 11+ years specialist in mental health. Expertise and insight!
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I had a problem about 9 months ago. I abruptly stopped taking

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I had a problem about 9 months ago. I abruptly stopped taking xanax after taking up to 2-3 mg a day for several months. I was stupid (no it was not prescribed to me) and realized I was taking to much and thinking and acting not like myself. I basically went crazy for several days... talking non-stop day and night about my past and problems and jus a lot of non-sense although it made sense to me at the time. It took about 3 months to start feeling a little bit normal again. not long after I started suffering with headaches (strange headaches, hard to describe ) in combination with strong muscle cramps and pain in my neck, shoulders, Jaw and facial muscles. I have been seeing a neurologist who diagnosed me with cluster headaches and put me on topomax at night and I was on Soma for the muscle cramps & pain. I'm starting to think this could be related to the drug abuse and abrupt stop. could I still be affect by this 9 months later? I also find myself different.... like something is missing.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kristin replied 2 years ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

 

Yes it could definitely be related to the xanax abuse. You were taking quite a bit for a long time daily, and then to stop without tapering like that, is dangerous. Sounds like you went through a pretty severe withdrawal that manifested in the racing thoughts and speech.

The cramping etc. could be related to anxiety or stress, in general. And it could be related to the stress you went under going off the xanax so abruptly.

What you may be experiencing nine months later is how it feels to be off of the xanax completely, and through the withdrawal. If you were taking xanax for anxiety, you could be now feeling disconnected from yourself as a way to manage your own anxiety, which could be the something that is missing. What I would recommend you do is consult with a psychiatrist about this to determine what has happened here and how to feel better. They may suggest an anti anxiety medication that is non-addictive and longer lasting than xanax. The psych. should be able to help you figure out specifically what is going on, but it really does sound like it's not related to general anxiety, more than coming off of the xanax (As it's been nine months now).

Please click ACCEPT or ask any more questions if needed. Thank you! Kristin

Expert:  Kristin replied 2 years ago.
actually I have a question for you. When you say that something is missing, can you describe in detail what you mean exactly?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As far as what is missing - I feel way more down... Hard to describe... like I have just completely lost a certain spark inside of me. Even lost interest and energy in some of the simple daily things and hobbies that kept me going.

I originally started on the xanax as a way to deal with anxiety that was occurring at work. It is a problem I have delt with for years..... since I was in high school. Speaking in front of people makes me go into a panic... Sweaty palms (I always have sweaty palms) but I suddenly get soooo nervous without explanation. My heart feels like its about to burst out of my chest and my face turns hot & red. I work in a marketing setting and was put into a temporary position where the demand for me speaking in meetings and presenting was put on me. The xanax helped me through that. Its extremely embarrassing.

I was also trying to seek something to make me more outgoing again. I have become a different person over the past 10 years or so. I have not made any new friends and I tend to keep to myself. I'm married and have a son but for some reason I have found myself to be a non-social person now. I used to be very outgoing. This is affecting my marriage now as my wife would rather be with friends 24-7.
I'm OK going and being around people. I just can't seem to bring myself to make friends on a personal level any more (if that makes sense)

Does this sound like a recognized problem?
Expert:  Kristin replied 2 years ago.

Yes it does sounds like a recognized problem. This is social anxiety and is quite common.

Typically what is prescribed for social anxiety is an SSRI such as zoloft. This is non-addictive and helps to prevent the anxiety from beginning in the first place. You typically will not feel the anxiety coming on, and then pop a xanax. The zoloft or SSRI will prevent the anxiety from coming up in the first place. You are depressed as well and the SSRI will also help to life the depression as well as ease the social anxiety.

Once you feel better, you should then be able to engage socially and even on a more personal basis as well. I would definitely see a psychiatrist about this or even just your general doctor as well. It's social anxiety though that you are describing.

Please click ACCEPT and feedback is appreciated. Thank you!

Expert:  Kristin replied 2 years ago.

Please click ACCEPT button and leave a rating, otherwise I'm not credited for my time.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have read things on social anxiety and it doesn't seem a fit. the only time I have those extreme reactions is in a situation of speaking in front of people (all eyes on me) . It feels like a panic attack.

Maybe I just don't want it to be. I don't want to be on medication everyday. I know people that take antidepressants and they all say they don't like side effects. weight gain etc.

are any natural ways known to be helpful? I'm a person who has never been into sports or exercising and I have just begun strict routine of exercising in hopes of seeing improvement.

how about natural herbs vitamins etc?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
is the reply still working?
Expert:  Kristin replied 2 years ago.
yes I am still here. I haven't been credited yet though for helping you... did you have more questions for me? If so, just ask...otherwise please click on ACCEPT button. Thanks!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry something is not working correctly.... I copy pasted what I wrote you below....


I have read things on social anxiety and it doesn't seem a fit. the only time I have those extreme reactions is in a situation of speaking in front of people (all eyes on me) . It feels like a panic attack.

Maybe I just don't want it to be. I don't want to be on medication everyday. I know people that take antidepressants and they all say they don't like side effects. weight gain etc.

are any natural ways known to be helpful? I'm a person who has never been into sports or exercising and I have just begun strict routine of exercising in hopes of seeing improvement.

how about natural herbs vitamins etc?
Expert:  Kristin replied 2 years ago.

Hi, okay there must have been a tech glitch as I'm just now seeing what you wrote...

 

It probably was a panic attack then brought on by this unique situation. So many people have this fear of speaking in front of a crowd and b/c it instill panic in you, it has now become a triggered response whenever you think of or get up to do this. So while it may not be social anxiety then (if that doesn't fit) it is anxiety nonetheless (in regard to this situation and probably others that are similar).

You could try as an herbal remedy, St. John's Wort or also Valerian (for anxiety). They are both non addictive of course and natural.

I would also try mediation for relaxation as well... and see if those help. If not, many SSRI's don't have side effects and you could always try one of those if the natural herbal remedies did not help.

Kristin, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 453
Experience: Licensed Mental Health Counselor. 11+ years specialist in mental health. Expertise and insight!
Kristin and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kristin replied 2 years ago.
Exercising by the way is one of the best things you can do to help with anxiety and depression. Even if it's a daily walk...

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