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Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing cortisol spikes

522 posts in this topic

Hi Hibari,

 

Thanks very much for your advice. I have decided to give the l-theanine a shot. I managed to get some in a health food store today. It's quite expensive actually. Anyway, if I continue to use it I may try to get some online. The capsules are 150 mg so I will take one at bedtime and another during the day. I will let you know how it goes.

 

I might get an eye mask also. It gets bright here now long before I actually wake up so that may be a factor. However, the anxiety in the mornings was pretty bad in earlier in the year also.

 

Thanks again and Happy Easter!

 

All the best,

Blazes.

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Yes, please let me know how it goes for you.  There is a thread on L-Theanine that I have commented on as well as others.  The mask was very helpful to me and even though it wasn't an immediate fix, I just noticed over time that it worked.  

 

Happy Easter to you too! 

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Morning anxiety is my biggest problem right now. And it last pretty much all day! I do breathing exercises, self-talk, decaf black tea (for the theanine), magnesium, sunshine, prayer - but over the past few days, nothing seems to help.

 

I am fearful of adding any supplements right now - I seem to be hypersensitive. I had been taking fish oil, but then the anxiety wave started and I feared that the fish oil might be causing it.

 

I am suffering.

 

SJ

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I am one of those people who found that fish oil was making me a bit hyper.   Trust your instinct and see what happens if you eliminate it. 

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I eliminated it over a week ago. But my anxiety has actually gotten much worse. I am thinking of adding a smaller dose back in, maybe trying to find a middle ground.

 

SJ

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I found just supplementing with Chamomile capsules helps. Just a few scattered throughout the day.

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@Hibari - I have been taking the l-theanine (300 mgs a day) for almost two weeks now. I am finding that it isn't helping unfortunately. Well, maybe a little bit. Although the anxiety been pretty bad for the past week or so.

 

I bought a night mask also. I am finding that it isn't making much difference. However, I do find that I have a much easier time waking up rather that sleeping through the alarm like I used to.

 

So, I decided to increase my olanzapine back up to the dose I am prescribed - 2.5 mg in the morning and 5 mg at night. My signature has been updated accordingly. I suppose that I am throwing in the towel on that front in some ways. However, maybe I should just focus on eliminating the Effexor completely because that may be causing some or a lot of the agitation.

 

I had a blood test recently and everything is fine apart from some heightened cholesterol. There's always the fear of developing tardive dyskinesia as I am well in my 40s now. Olanzapine is supposed to help with anxiety though.

 

I am studying at the moment as well as working full-time. I have exams coming up so I am busy studying etc.

 

I hope that everyone is doing well.

 

All the best,

Blazes.

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Hi, Shep just linked me to this thread.

So so so glad I found it! Yes, i have the morning anxiety/dread/hyped up bad feelings. I've been wondering what it's all about. It helps just to know, for starters. It tends to feel like some kind of personality flaw, like, What's the matter with me that I can't be happy to get out of bed? So now I can just say Hello corisol spike. Since I'm retired, I'm able to do relatively soothing morning things, although little really helps. It seems to need a few hours to settle down. Sigh.

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Flatrock, definitely it helps to know what it is. And it's not a personality flaw. (Although I can relate to that kind of thinking -- hopefully withdrawal can help us all become more kind to ourselves.)

 

I didn't have a spike this morning and don't really know why. It was nice! 

 

I see in your signature that you use magnesium -- I've found that taking part of my dose immediately upon waking has been helpful.

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Flatrock, definitely it helps to know what it is. And it's not a personality flaw. (Although I can relate to that kind of thinking -- hopefully withdrawal can help us all become more kind to ourselves.)

 

I didn't have a spike this morning and don't really know why. It was nice! 

 

I see in your signature that you use magnesium -- I've found that taking part of my dose immediately upon waking has been helpful.

Hey Sky, yeah, I'm an "expert" at being hard on myself!

 

How nice that you didn't have a spike this morning, yay you. Maybe re the magnesium... it's a really gigantic pill, and I'd hate to have to swallow that first thing. Maybe I'll get a smaller pill of magn.

 

Today was a rough day for me, all fricking day, woke up with the spike and it stayed all day. My policy is to fake it til I make it, meaning I act like I'm fine all day and when I'm around people. Don't know if that approach is helping me or not! Maybe "fake it til you make it" backfires? But at least I'm not complaining to anybody and everybody.

 

If I wake up with the anxiety and dread tomorrow morning, I'm considering going right into an epsom salt bath, with black tea to drink. Or somebody on this thread uses ice packs and hot packs, something to distract the body. If I didn't hate running, I'd consider running first thing to shake it off maybe. Get some running clothes laid out, sneakers and socks ready. Sigh. 

 

It's always this thing when I first wake up... How am I? How am I feeling? What kind of morning will this be? 

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Flatrock, definitely it helps to know what it is. And it's not a personality flaw. (Although I can relate to that kind of thinking -- hopefully withdrawal can help us all become more kind to ourselves.)

 

I didn't have a spike this morning and don't really know why. It was nice! 

 

I see in your signature that you use magnesium -- I've found that taking part of my dose immediately upon waking has been helpful.

Hey Sky, yeah, I'm an "expert" at being hard on myself!

 

How nice that you didn't have a spike this morning, yay you. Maybe re the magnesium... it's a really gigantic pill, and I'd hate to have to swallow that first thing. Maybe I'll get a smaller pill of magn.

 

Today was a rough day for me, all fricking day, woke up with the spike and it stayed all day. My policy is to fake it til I make it, meaning I act like I'm fine all day and when I'm around people. Don't know if that approach is helping me or not! Maybe "fake it til you make it" backfires? But at least I'm not complaining to anybody and everybody.

 

It's always this thing when I first wake up... How am I? How am I feeling? What kind of morning will this be? 

 

 

 

Hi Flatrock, thanks. There is powdered magnesium (Natural Calm or another brand) which is what I use so I can split the doses throughout the day. It's important overall, and it might not always prevent the cortisol spikes but it might help deal with them. People on this thread also mention vitamin C taken the night before which I might try.

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Flatrock, definitely it helps to know what it is. And it's not a personality flaw. (Although I can relate to that kind of thinking -- hopefully withdrawal can help us all become more kind to ourselves.)

 

I didn't have a spike this morning and don't really know why. It was nice! 

 

I see in your signature that you use magnesium -- I've found that taking part of my dose immediately upon waking has been helpful.

Hey Sky, yeah, I'm an "expert" at being hard on myself!

 

How nice that you didn't have a spike this morning, yay you. Maybe re the magnesium... it's a really gigantic pill, and I'd hate to have to swallow that first thing. Maybe I'll get a smaller pill of magn.

 

Today was a rough day for me, all fricking day, woke up with the spike and it stayed all day. My policy is to fake it til I make it, meaning I act like I'm fine all day and when I'm around people. Don't know if that approach is helping me or not! Maybe "fake it til you make it" backfires? But at least I'm not complaining to anybody and everybody.

 

It's always this thing when I first wake up... How am I? How am I feeling? What kind of morning will this be? 

 

 

 

Hi Flatrock, thanks. There is powdered magnesium (Natural Calm or another brand) which is what I use so I can split the doses throughout the day. It's important overall, and it might not always prevent the cortisol spikes but it might help deal with them. People on this thread also mention vitamin C taken the night before which I might try.

 

Great tips, thanks SkyBlue. This morning I had black tea and that seemed to help. Yesterday morning I went outside and sat in the sun, it was chilly out, so I had a coat on... but I just closed my eyes and sunbathed, and it seemed to help. Maybe for me shaking things up is helpful... hmm... I'd better make a plan for tomorrow morning!

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I've been reading the thread and considering taking phosphatidylserine.   I bought some but before I do, has anyone taken in during their taper?  I have 17.50mg of Lamictal remaining and have been off of Remeron/Mirtazapine for a little over 3 month.   I know some people take it post taper. 

 

My morning anxiety, foggy brain and hot flashes have returned. 

 

I was curious if adding in 50mgs of phosphatidylserine at bedtime would help.

 

Hibari

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Hello,

I am on the 7th week of a cut which I plan to hold for at least 2 more months.  Sleep is my very worst w/d symptom and has always been a problem for me.  While trying to taper valium, and then hitting a wall,  so to speak, I experienced this same symptom.... a "shocky" feeling that starts around dawn (maybe sometime after 4 a.m) and lasts until I get myself out of bed, completely aroused and distracted.  Shocky is the only way I can describe it.  It is a physical sensation, accompanied by anxiety and even panic,  that usually wakes me up right in the middle of a nightmare.  If the shocks are really bad, and don't let up, I start getting chest pain.  The chest pain has, at times, been really bad, but I recognize it now as w/d and don't panic.  This "shockiness" seems to be a symptom that doesn't go away, thought I do get breaks from it.  During my last hold it went away in the middle and then came back before I cut again no matter how long my hold has been.  It really interferes with me getting any restorative sleep as I don't go to sleep now until 1-2 a.m.  So fatigue, and worsening depression are ramping up.

Does this sound like cortisol spikes?  I try to pray, meditate, deep breathe, etc. but the only thing that stops the shocks is getting up and alert which I don't want to do because I have usually only had a couple hours of normal sleep.  BTW, I never get this shockiness during the day.  The only time I have experienced anything like it during the day was if I took a few sips of strong coffee, and then the shockiness would be fleeting.

Thank you for any feedback anyone has.

 

Grace

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5 hours ago, savinggrace said:

a "shocky" feeling

 

 

Hi SG - by "shocky" do you mean a brain zap? Or is it more of an in-your-body feeling, like pins and needles in your nerves.

 

If it is the later, then I would say it is due to the cortisol spikes. There's a lot of great advice on this thread for helping with those.

 

I'll be praying for you.

 

SJ

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I took a form of phosphserine called Enerphos last night to see if it would help with Cortisol spikes in the morning.  I split the capsule in half.

 

I felt weird shortly after I took -kind of spacey t but then went to sleep.  I haven't had that much trouble sleeping in general probably because I am still on Lamictal and some progesterone creme I take at night.

 

Anyway I did wake up with less anxiety but with a small headache.  At this point who knows what causes the headache.  I am tired, still had hot flashes but I may try it one more time this evening.  I think I will take it earlier so it's not in the mix with everything else I take.  

 

Will post again. 

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Hi Hibari and ShakiJerr,

 

My "shocky" feeling is a body sensation...mostly centered through my chest area.  As I said, sometimes, if the shocks last long and come close together, I get a heart attack feeling.  It subsides if I get up and move around, but I don't always want to get up at 4 a.m!  Last night, I awakened with a quick, fleeting shock at 4 a.m. and then at 7 a.m.  So I am guessing cortisol spikes.  I just have never felt anything that I would describe as brain zaps, though I read that here a lot.

 

Hibari, thanks for the mention of the supplements.  I am scared to death to take a single thing anymore.  The other day my therapist told me that my brain is working so hard to find homeostatis that it detects anything "foreign" (food, supplement, chemical, environment, soothing treatments) as an alerting signal.  I think this is really what has happened to me, and is certainly why I have exaggerated physical responses to anything new.  This is tragic as I am mal-nutritioned, and physically in very bad shape.  I know what my body is craving, but it is rejecting any change at all. 

 

Congrats on your remeron taper!!!  Oh, how I wish I could tackle that.  I plan to sometime, but I am too unstable to do so now.  I am only on 4 mg. but with my metabolism and drug interactions, I suspect that my blood level is higher than a normal 4 mg. dose should bring.

 

Thank you both for taking the time to respond.  I wish you well.

Grace

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I truly understand that sensitivity.   I am the same way and realize that more and more.   The headache from the new supplement lasted most of the day and I'm not going to take it tonight.  I will see how I feel tomorrow.  

 

The only supplement that works for me right now is L-Theanine.  I take betaine HCL for digestive help and some Vitamin D and C but that's it. 

 

You are doing the best that you can right now and I admire your courage and determination.  I too was on a benzo and before I understood wd, I weaned myself down from .5mg to .12mgs too fast.  I had been on it for  a year.  When I was put on Lamictal, I didn't feel the rest of the wd. 

 

Remeron is a heavy duty drug and I support you in trusting your body to tell you when to do what.

 

Take good care. 

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