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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5516
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello Lisa

Dr. Z :

How are you doing tonight?

Customer:

not good

Customer:

this is a bad one

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry, what is going on?

Customer:

i'm on the verge of thinking i need to go to the hospital

Customer:

i'm sweating horribly, I feel like I can't breathe

Dr. Z :

Remember this is just the anxiety talking, you have been checked up a lot and everything comes back that you are fine

Customer:

my body is so tense I feel like i'm almost paralized

Dr. Z :

I am afraid these are most likely the horrible withdrawal symptoms of the Ativan

Dr. Z :

I want you to take a look at all the symptoms associated with withdrawal

Dr. Z :

May I ask, how much of the Ativan have you used today?

Customer:

i'm sitting here crying, just feel so scrared, and trevor has tried to calm me down and it didn't work, so he told me to try and talk to you for a bit before he even considers taking me to the hospital

Customer:

.5 in the morning and .5 about half an hour ago

Dr. Z :

Okay, and how much do you normally use of the Ativan again. Isn't it 2mg as needed?

Customer:

yes sometimes i take 1 mg in the morning and 1 at night, and sometimes it's just one in the morning and nothing at night or the other way around

Dr. Z :

Yeah I think your body is used to 2mg by now, and that is why you are having these withdrawal symptoms. So you can take another 0.5mg and see if that helps you. And I will tell you what. Lets stop trying to taper you off this medication until you get the Valium and run the tapering schedule with your prescribing physician

Dr. Z :

Because by then you will get the Buspar too as you wanted and that may help a little too

Customer:

ok here's another problem with that I only have 10 1mg left, and my appointment isn't until the 18th because thats when my doctor is back from holidays

Customer:

oh but then again i guess i do still have the 2mg ones i can cut in half

Dr. Z :

Oh no, that is a problem. And I am guessing no refills. Can you call his office and get someone who is covering his patients to prescribe you some more.

Dr. Z :

Oh yeah you can definitely use the 2mg ones and cut them in half.

Dr. Z :

And then just stick with the 1mg in the day and 1mg at night. What happened was you took the 2mg really fast yesterday and this is your body coming down from that...it is horrible

Customer:

it is definitely horrible

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are feeling this way currently, this is a very physically addicting medication also you are very light at 115 lbs and that means more medication in your body too

Customer:

i haven't felt this bad in months

Dr. Z :

You can beat this though Lisa, it will be very tough. But here is the good news though this anxiety and horrible feeling is not you, you are making progress. This is just the withdrawal from the medication causing this, not you

Customer:

i am so glad i was able get ahold of you tonight

Dr. Z :

Of course, I always try to be available for you.

Customer:

I am never ever taking 2 ativans that closely together again

Customer:

because wow this is bad

Dr. Z :

Yeah that was a lot, it is basically like a bad hangover just on steroids, with worse side effects.

Customer:

ugh i'd rather go tie on a good one and have horrible hangover than this

Dr. Z :

This is all the physiological dependence, but now you understand why this medication is so powerful and addicting for people because it forces them in this cycle.

Dr. Z :

I know you would, but lets wait until we get the Diazepam and go really really slowly with the tapering to help you not feel this way every again

Customer:

i really don't understand how some ppl can take so much of it

Customer:

i really didn't think 2mg in a day was that much

Dr. Z :

Well people build up a tolerance to it. Think of alcoholics where they need to take more and more to get the same buzz, same thing here

Customer:

true i guess

Dr. Z :

For it was because you kept taking infrequent amounts high and low and then you stopped and started again, so taking the 2mg this high caused your body to go in shock which is why you felt so lethargic yesterday and those withdrawal symptoms are coming to a head today.

Customer:

ok so i'm slightly calming down, still not good by any means but the rush me to the hospital idea is out of my head

Dr. Z :

Good, that is progress Lisa.

Dr. Z :

You would just get more anxious in the hospital anyway because the only thing they can do for you is put a lot of fluids in you and that is it.

Dr. Z :

There are no medications currently that can counteract or ease these withdrawal symptoms

Customer:

I've been trying to drink as much water as possible today too, had that flushing eveything out idea already in my head

Dr. Z :

I know, but these are neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain) that are effected so flushing it out does not work

Customer:

oh ok lol well i guess that didn't help

Dr. Z :

Well liquids are good for you regardless, I just want to be honest with you.

Dr. Z :

When you see your doctor on the 18th show his the tapering schedule and see what he/she has to say about it

Customer:

i will

Dr. Z :

Once you switch over to Diazepam though, things will be a lot easier for you I can promise you that

Customer:

good i sure hope so

Customer:

and he will know I've been using the ativan a lot more than usual since i'm going to see him again so soon

Dr. Z :

Probably, but also explain your circumstances from the week where you were involved with the police twice because of a drunk friend, lol

Dr. Z :

I think your doctor will understand your increased anxiety

Customer:

60 1mg ativans would last me over 3 months before. the last batch of 60 pills he prescribed was on sept 29

Customer:

and i only have 10 left right now

Customer:

oh yes very very stressful week

Dr. Z :

Well it just shows that you have been under stress and have taken a lot more, but your doctor will be impressed that you are taking the initiative to taper off this medication and its addictiveness

Customer:

ya i'm sure he will be, i have always told him i don't like taking the ativan so i've only taken it as needed, but as soon as i do see I problem he'll know right away

Dr. Z :

Yeah you have taken it more so and I can understand how the last two weeks have been bad for you, so that does not help. The tapering process will be slow and steady for you, so you will have to be patient, but I know you can do it

Customer:

as long as it not as bad as tonight i can make it thru anything

Dr. Z :

Good, well that is why we want to get you on the best tapering schedule, so that what you are feeling tonight does not happen again

Customer:

ugh ativan works so good but it's soooo bad the same time

Dr. Z :

I know it is. It is a double-edged sword unfortunately

Dr. Z :

But I think it is good news that this anxiety is not you and that this is just the physiological reaction

Dr. Z :

The symptoms still stink, but that is something to be positive about

Customer:

true i guess that a good way to look at it right now.....but honestly that fact doesn't help me right now

Dr. Z :

I know I am trying to be as positive as possible for you

Customer:

you get an A for effort Dr. Z :)

Dr. Z :

Haha, thanks. And you are starting to calm down and feel a little better so this is all positive for you

Customer:

i just feel like screaming

Customer:

i dunno just need some kind of release from this tension

Customer:

i feel like i'm white knuckle driving down the highway in the middle of a blizzard

Dr. Z :

Well it takes around an hour for the Ativan to reach its peak level in your body

Dr. Z :

Yeah lets call that Plan B for now

Dr. Z :

Driving in the middle of a blizzard probably not the best idea

Customer:

no that not what i feel like doing lol

Customer:

that the kind of tension i feel lol

Customer:

maybe i should stop with the metaphors lol

Dr. Z :

Oh I get it

Dr. Z :

Its okay, I understand now

Dr. Z :

Starting tomorrow though take 1mg of Ativan in the morning and 1mg at night. And do that steady until the 18th and then go over the tapering plan with your doctor to get his input and the Diazepam too

Dr. Z :

Diazepam is Valium by the way

Customer:

yep i know that

Customer:

just like ativan is lorazapam or however you spell it

Dr. Z :

Yep that is correct :) Sometimes I mix the names up and it confuses people and I should just stick to one name of the medication

Customer:

ya the the sorta name is XXXXX XXXXX way to go lol

Dr. Z :

Haha, thanks :)

Dr. Z :

So how are you feeling now, a little better at least?

Customer:

yes a little, the tension is easing up a little now, I just hate that even tho the tension iw easing up the chest pain is still bad

Customer:

the tension just flares that muscle up, and it doesn't get any better when the tension eases

Dr. Z :

I know, the tension is not fun at all

Customer:

just this one section in the top of my chest, under the collar bone and just before your pec muscles start, and it wraps around into my side and my shoulder and down my arm

Customer:

not sure what muscle that is called but i hate it whatever it is

Dr. Z :

It has been awhile since I took anatomy, but have you thought about going to a massage therapist at all?

Customer:

ya i have I went last week, but she wasn't the greatest

Dr. Z :

Well then find another one that is good :)

Customer:

i wanted deep tissue massage not relaxing rub me lightly one

Customer:

i know have knots everywhere in my shoulders and neck, i want someone to dig that crap out

Dr. Z :

And there are plenty that will provide that service for you

Dr. Z :

Shop around and try a bunch out to see which ones you like

Customer:

i know just going to do some more research on massage therapist around here before i go and just pick one again

Dr. Z :

That is a great idea

Dr. Z :

Massage therapy can help with stress a lot

Dr. Z :

So you went to dinner tonight, that was good for you to get out for a little bit with Trevor

Customer:

ya it was nice

Customer:

sorry i disappeared for a bit my dad called to make sure I was still alive lol

Customer:

he knew i've been having a pretty rough day

Dr. Z :

Thats okay I totally understand

Dr. Z :

I know it has been a rough day, but we have a plan to help you get through this and to help prevent this from occurring again

Customer:

yep we do and i've learned a very important lesson

Dr. Z :

Well that is good that you learned more about this, but I am very sorry that you had these symptoms though

Customer:

i'm just glad I was able to talk to you tonight

Customer:

Trevor thanks you too

Customer:

he really did not feeling like sitting half the night in the ER lol

Dr. Z :

Haha, I bet he did not. I am always available when you need me, even if i am away from my computer I still have access on my phone too

Customer:

ya I write you from my phone half of the time

Dr. Z :

That is good, I have to start learning to type better on my phone, so I try to avoid it and just run to a computer, but that does not always work

Customer:

oh i can type on the phone 10 times faster than on the computer lol

Dr. Z :

Wow that is very impressive, I am a much better typist on the computer

Customer:

i also have to add despite my anxiety being most withdrawl today, I think i have made it a little worse myself

Customer:

i was thinking too much, and not about health issues

Dr. Z :

Because of your health anxiety concerns?

Customer:

no i was thinking about how my anxiety started right around this time last year. And that it is Trevors busy season now and starting Tuesday he will be on his 3 weeks on 1 week off rotation. I won't be lucky and have him home every few days like he has been lately. He's going so far up north he'll basically be on the yukon border.

Customer:

And I don't have shauna to talk to all night like i use to and fill my time

Dr. Z :

So you were over thinking how you will be alone for awhile. Well I can tell you this, you are more than welcome to chat with me using those messages everyday if you like, that should help a little

Dr. Z :

But I also think you will make friends in your classes too and that should help as well

Customer:

yes won't do this chat thing every night tho lol i

Customer:

ill go broke

Customer:

your pretty quite with the emailing tho :)

Customer:

quick*

Customer:

tonight i just felt the need to actually be talking back ad forth

Dr. Z :

No you definitely do not have to do the chat every night, actually I was surprised you did it tonight. I meant we can do the messages back and forth like email

Dr. Z :

I understand, and chat is a better interface for talking back and forth rapidly

Customer:

ugh when your in that bad of anxiety and ready to go to the ER, I need to actually talk not just email

Dr. Z :

That makes sense, well I am glad that you chatted with me and that I was able to help you

Customer:

yes thank you sooooooooo much

Customer:

i took the other half of that ativan now too

Dr. Z :

Anytime Lisa :)

Dr. Z :

Good that should definitely help with the withdrawal symptoms

Customer:

i had to show trevor you wrote that i could do that tho before he would give it to me lol

Dr. Z :

Haha, he is very protective of you, but only because he cares a lot about you :)

Customer:

i know and he just wants me to be my good ol self again as do i

Customer:

i'll get there

Customer:

i know i will

Dr. Z :

I know he does and I want that for you too and you are right you will definitely get there

Customer:

ok well i think i'm going to go to bed now.....and i wouldn't be surprised if trevor talked to you again tonight lol, i think he needs to vent too, kind of had him going crazy today too

Customer:

but hope you have a great night :)

Dr. Z :

Thats okay he is more than welcome to talk to me at anytime. I hope you have a great night's sleep and that you have a great tomorrow. Feel free to message me anytime Lisa :)

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5516
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Thank you so much for the positive review and your generosity Lisa, I truly do appreciate it :) I know it was a tough day for you, but I am happy that I was able to help and now that we have a plan of action, I am very hopeful that you can successfully taper off the Ativan and control your anxiety with the techniques and other medications. Despite everything, you are still doing really well and making progress. I am glad that you know you can beat this, just as much as I know it too. Look forward to hearing from you again, I will send you a message tomorrow morning to see how you are doing. Good night :)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No problem Dr. Z, wish I could do more at this point. The Ativan has really kicked in now and feel calm again for the most part. My stomach just feels a little upset now which probably because I had myself so worked up. So hopefully I will get a good nights sleep tonight, and I hope you do as well :) Thank you again for always being there for me you have no idea how much I appreciate it :)
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
No worries, you getting better is more than enough for me :) I am glad that the Ativan is working for you and I truly hope you get a great nights sleep :) Talk to you soon
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Good morning Lisa,

I just wanted to write and see how you were doing and feeling? I hope all is well :)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Good morning Dr.Z, thank you for checking in on me 😃. I am definitely better than I was last night, but still woke up with a lot of anxiety. I just took my morning Ativan so hopefully that calms me down a little more. My main thing that bugs me this morning but at least I have finally got it thru my head that this pain nothing more than muscle and nothing threatening it just sucks. I feel very off balance this morning too. So all in all not the greatest but I have the full understanding that there is nothing wrong with me and I may feel like crap for awhile but I'm not going to let it get me down.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Hi Lisa,

I am so sorry for this morning anxiety, but it will pass soon as you get used to the day. That is good though that you feel a little better than last night, so that is a positive step in the right direction. The muscle pain is just you doing a lot with the shoveling, yoga, and spinning, so that is natural. Let it heal and use warm compresses to help you. I like your attitude and motivation to not let this get you down, so keep it up and you will beat this!! I hope you have a great rest of your day :)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi dr. Z, so I'm feeling pretty lethargic again today, is this still my body levelling out the massive amount of Ativan on Friday? Is so how long do you think this will last. Every little thing I do just makes me completely exhausted. And for my chest I slathered some difflonex and antimflamatory cream the doctor gave awhile ago for my other should on my chest and shoulder. So i guess we will see how that helps if it does anything
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
It could be the Ativan leaving your system, but also you were in a very anxious state yesterday and that take a toll on your body (think like the day after running a marathon, because that is what your body went through), so that could be the reason why you are feeling lethargic and tired. I hope the creams help, usually I like to use Tiger Balm and warm compresses, so hopefully your medicines will work too. Also try to eat something as well because you need food to get that energy too. I hope you have a great rest of your afternoon.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Good evening Dr. Z, how has your night been? My night actually wasn't too bad feeling a bit better, spent a nice quiet night with Trevor watching movies and took Bear for a long walk. We went to bed at 10 and I just woke up and find myself very tense again, not really any anxiety just really tense. I wasn't tense when i went to bed.... I don't get it, am i not suppose to be the most relaxed when I'm sleeping? I know the tension is what makes me feel like crap half of the time, and I can't control what i do in my sleep. So basically what i'm trying to get at is, why do you think I'm tensing up so much at night? Bad dreams I'm unaware of?

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
It could be a subconscious stress reaction actually, like people who grind their teeth at night, but do not appear that anxious during the day. It is not unusual to feel tense at night while we sleep, this is just our mind processing issues from the day and week. Try not to focus on it and instead try to go back to sleep and rest your body and mind and let your subconscious take over to process these feelings while you sleep :)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Good Evening Dr. Z, how are you this evening? So today has been slightly better. I pushed thru everything today as best I could, without letting my little bit of anxiety show thru. I've been feeling so off and weird today, it's like the feeling when all of your hairs are standing on end, and I've been lightheaded and nauseous. I think I've also been having a pity party day, asking myself why can't I just completely get over this and feel "normal" again. I thought today would be a great day today, taking the ativan morning and night again, I really thought I'd be close to feeling like a million bucks today. Anxiety just sucks and I'm sick of it :(

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Hi Lisa,

I know that anxiety really sucks, but you are making progress please do not forget that. You are getting better each day, but I think right now you are past the physiological effects from the Ativan issue and right now you have anticipatory anxiety about what will happen next, so basically you are concerned about the future. But remember you can only concern yourself with what you can control and that is the present. You will beat this soon, be confident in that :) Keep on taking slow and steady baby steps to you goal and you will get there.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for the little pep talk Dr.Z. The anxiety is just getting so tiresome and I'm so sick of it. I keep hoping I'll wake up one morning and it will be gone or that there is some quick fix but there isn't. Ativan isn't even a quick fix it's so temporary. But anyways, I guess I'll let ya go here and thanks again for being there

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
I am always here for you Lisa, but remember not to focus on where you want to be, but the steps you have taken. You are making tremendous progress; you have seen it and so has Trevor, so do not make lightly of your progress and you will get there :)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Good Evening Dr. Z, how are you? So today was actually not too bad of a day, a few bad moments here and there but all in all I can't complain. Yoga class was good even though I hurt now, the instructor recommended I go get some acupuncture done.Talking about how it will help "my energies" flow properly and release my tension and some other mumbo jumbo. Who knows maybe it's worth a shot. The girls asked me out for coffee tonight but I passed on that this time as I just wanted to come home and sit in a hot bath. Trevor also left for work today which I'm actually dealing with pretty good, I thought him leaving today would bring out more anxiety but nope I've been pretty good :) So yep bad days will come and go and the progress will continue :) I really have to quit getting down on myself and quit feeling guilty everytime I have a bad day. Not everyday is going to be perfect! Thanks again for always being there :)

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Hi Lisa,

I think that is great that you had a better day today. Yes you will have bad days here and there, but the goal is to have more good days and then on those bad days the goal is to lessen it and control it as much as possible. You are moving forward no matter what happened this weekend and you will continue to make great strides in your progress. Acupuncture could be beneficial for stress and anxiety as well, but I am not the hugest fan with needles, so I have never tried it…I would go with the massage therapist first for you :) That is nice that the girls asked you to coffee again, that sounds like you are making friends, but I understand why you just wanted to get into a nice warm bath. And good job not being anxious about Trevor leaving, that is a good use of controlling your anxiety. I hope you continue to have a stress free night, and I hope your soreness from yoga goes away soon (although soreness means you had a good workout) and I will talk to you later :)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Dr. z, I'm not having a very good evening. Feel like I'm going to go crazy and have scary thought a that I might do something crazy. I don't like this feeling one little bit
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
Hi Lisa, What is going on? Is this anxiety or something else this time?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I don't know I think it's anxiety but I've never felt scared that I'm going to do something crazy
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
I think this is anxiety too, but I think this is a Panic Attack, which can cause fear. I want you take deep breaths and focus on how this will pass and that you will feel like you again. Focus on the mural that you are going to paint and how you are going to do it all, focus on all the details that you will be doing. Also I want to recommend a new book for you and specifically for Panic Attacks. This will go away for you and you are not alone in this either, I will be here seeing you through this.

http://www.amazon.ca/When-Panic-Attacks-Drug-Free-Anxiety/dp/076792083X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384647526&sr=8-1&keywords=panic+attacks
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Dr.Z, how are ya? I'm better than the last time I messaged you. It's been a rough day that's for sure. Not sure what caused it tho? I had a pretty good week, went to all my exercise classes, got alot done at work, had a massage was amazing, and my mural is coming along nicely. I've also become an Xbox junkie lol, sure does fill time amazingly lol. All week it's been minimal anxiety, today was bad tho, really bad. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day, hope your having a good night, just wanted to let you know that I am alright since I did message you back earlier

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
That is great that you are doing well since the last time you messaged me. Most likely it was a panic attack and it was temporary and went away for you. Sometimes the triggers can happen for no particular reason, but usually you feel them coming on and the you can try to prevent the or lessen them. But I am happy that you had a good week and that you are keeping occupied. And there is nothing wrong with being an Xbox junkie either...if you like Sci-fi roly-playing games look at Mass Effect, that will definitely keep you occupied as the stories are long, lol! I hope you have a better tomorrow as well and please let me know if you need anything at all.

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