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Thank you for your question. It is difficult to say if your symptoms are due to current stressors or tolerance to klonopin as the mechanism of action for medications also depends on body type and diet (such as the use of caffiene or smoking cirgarettes).
If you are interested in reducing your medications, have you considered seeing a therapist for your anxiety? Research shows that the combination of medications and therapy works best in treating anxiety. When taking medications, the anxiety may be reduced but therapy will allow you to work through the triggers for anxiety and learn coping skills for one day you don't have to rely on medications.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Yes I've been seeing the psychiatrist every week to discuss my issues/symptomes
And unfortunately I am a smoker (around 4-5 cigs per day)
Hello, yes, smoking unfortunately affects the way the medications work and this may be one of many reasons why your medications may not be working.
When you say that you see a psychiatrist to discuss your issues, does the psychiatrist teach you different coping skills for anxiety?
I also drink in moderation, which I have stopped recently due to cross tolerance
I'm really suffering with anxiety though
medication seems to not be as effective as 2-3 months ago
When did these symptoms first started?
I was doing fine until Dec 2011 when I took a recreational stimulant and started having panic attacks
I was ill with anxiety for 2 months, when I couldn't stand it any longer I visited my old psychiatrist who put me on klonopin which I reluctantly started again
first time was in 2008 i took it for about 8 months then had the courage to wean off
why made you start using the recreational stimulant
What happened in 2008?
Feb i started klonopin and worked very well and felt great
It was a dumb move (peer pressure, out drinking at a party)
in 2008 I had severe insomnia following a bladder infection that caused me discomfort whenever i lay down, so it bothered me so much that i couldn't sleep
I see...what types of thoughts do you have when feeling anxious at this point.
It starts out during the day, a little when I wake up. A real surge of inner agitation and very uncomfortable, like my CNS is on overdrive
Im very sensitive to any bit of stress, but sometimes no stress at all but still very uncomfortable
What type of thoughts enter your mind?
I feel like my body's fighting the effects of the med by going into overdrive on adrenaline
that I will never be able to come off this med, and that I will have to keep taking higher and higher doses
bc of tolerance
I have a few suggestions for you... First, use relaxation techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing whenever you feel anxious.
To do this, place your hand on your stomach and take a deep breath in as your stomach is expanding. And a breath out as you squeeze in your stomach.
do this 10 times, and your mind will be cleared...stopping your thoughts
Second, I suggest having other distractions handy in the morning when you wake up. Have a morning ritual you follow such as making breakfast, taking a shower, etc... Any distraction you have from these thoughts will help you ease your anxiety.
ok i will try
Do you find these suggestions helpful? have you use these techniques before?
My doc has taught me these techniques but the overall anxiety still remains
later on after i try these
When the overall anxiety continues, continue using these techniques...don't stop using them
ok i will
Rest assure, you will be able to overcome your anxiety and not use medications after you master your anxiety
I was doing so well until a few weeks ago
Now anxiety is very bad and its hard to go through the day
I understand....it is disappointing, but when you get through this rough patch, you will look back and see how you were able to survive this
What other activities do you enjoy doing?
I love playing saxophone, working out, nature, watching movies
working out is hard because i get so agitated and overhyped when i do it
Great! please increase these activities when feeling anxious
What do you mean by agitated after working out
it relieves anxiety, but my pulse rate and heart rate stay elevated for hours
I see...when that happens, use the deep breathing technique I just mentioned. Also, have you considered yoga?
I'm beginning to think that the klonopin which made me feel better is now making me sicke
it may, I urge you consult with your psychiatrist on that.
I have thought about yoga, but haven't gotten around to it. been SOOOO busy the past month b/c of my business setback
yes i will
Great! Do you have any other questions?
one more-how soon do you think i will be semi-normal w/o this terrible anxiety? After I wean off the meds?
I was fine before all this happened
was a little more anxious than the average person, but never debilitating
physiologically, the half-life of klonipin is quick so one to two weeks. Psychologically, that all depends on you and how well you deal with stress and anxiety. With your current interests and friends, you will be back to the way you were once you have a good handle on your stress.
Any other questions?
Yes, thanks Brad, have a nice day