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Waking with panic or anxiety - managing cortisol spikes

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Mjau

I know the feeling! Feeling good in the evening, being a wreck in the morning. 

According to your signature you have been on Sertraline 50 mg since 2014. Maybe you should try to reduce the dose just a little? Say 5%? Maybe you are experiencing tolerance or the so called poop-out effect? 

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blazesboylan

You know that feeling - you are in good form the previous evening, go to bed in pretty high spirits only to wake up deflated and anxious. It's as if the petrol you were operating on the previous evening suddenly dried up the next morning. Concentration is poor in the morning and an over all feeling of irritability predominates especially around other people/family members. You haven't changed over night in terms of your personality/thoughts etc but somehow the internal hardware has started malfunctioning and it will be evening time before you're operating properly again.

 

All down to cortisol levels or is there any other rational explanations?

 

I don't have the answer to your question although I can relate. I can feel quite anxious and sometimes depressed in the morning time, just after waking up.

 

Sometimes I wake from a dream and my dreams can be unsettling sometimes. They are not quite nightmares but the anxiety caries through to wakefulness.

 

When I leave the house and start about my day I generally feel better though.

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joannatm

I feel exactly the same. Went to be feeling good wake up feeling anxious nwgative thoughts sweating too. Don't want to get up but of course force myself. Feel in my own bubble too then I start feeling norm say 11 am onwards but some days especially pmt week I feel crap all day till night. Why and what can I do to help. X

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gn11

Yes, this has been my experience sometimes. I believe is cortisol dysfunction.  I use acupuncture to help me with the relaxation response...today I felt this way most of the day but i am adjusting to higher dose of Celexa before I go back down again. No light helps...music/ meditation .. eating oatmeal .

 

I think stress at work and too much activity makes it worse for me....this si something I want to learn more about. There is a little information here in SA.

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Susanne

This is my 8th day on 5 mg of Lexapro. Woke up at 4 am, having tingling sensations on my chest and arms and/or legs. Fell a sleep again and woke up two hours later, sweating and trembling.
Believe it's withdrawal....but it's getting harder to just not feel a little bit positve.

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Cheryl

Hi everyone...

I have not been on here in a while. I've been just "dealing with", so to speak, trying to work through everything.

I am dealing with some of these exact issues. The rise in cortisol. This panic feeling and anxiety is worse for me in the AM too. Then along comes the obsessive thinking. I definitely do my best in the evening.

 

My bigger issue, which has big concern, is the rise in cortisol on some days has been giving me headaches. I have recently been having my blood pressure checked and it has been spiking on days like this. This has been a bit scary to me because I don't feel I should go on BP medication. My normal BP at rest is on the low side.
Has anyone had this happen as well? I wanted to check into taking a BP medication on an as needed basis.

I do have migraine disease and am being treated for that, but these headaches are different.

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Cheryl

Hi everyone...

 

I posted this in response to the topic "What's Up With the Morning" topic. I have not seen a response yet so I'm starting a new topic.

 

I have not been on here in a while. I've been just "dealing with", so to speak, trying to work through everything.

 

I am dealing with some of these exact issues. The rise in cortisol. This panic feeling and anxiety is worse for me in the AM too. Then along comes the obsessive thinking. I definitely do my best in the evening.

 

 

 

My bigger issue, which has big concern, is the rise in cortisol on some days has been giving me headaches. I have recently been having my blood pressure checked and it has been spiking on days like this. This has been a bit scary to me because I don't feel I should go on BP medication. My normal BP at rest is on the low side.

Has anyone had this happen as well? I wanted to check into taking a BP medication on an as needed basis.

 

I do have migraine disease and am being treated for that, but these headaches are different.

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blazesboylan
For me, it's the fear of not knowing what's going to happen next, and having to be forced to wait for an answer, along with the dread that I am going to be rejected, yet again. I've always had the feeling I'm always too little, too late.

 

I can really relate to that. I don't like dealing uncertainty. Especially in the work environment. I can be very sensitive to criticism. The feeling that what I do is just not good enough. I have always been very sensitive to rejection. Anxious and super-vigilant to perceived threats, and I don't think that it's related to withdrawal. I suppose that I can be a people pleaser. I find it hard to say no to people. Always polite. Non-confrontational.

 

But, regarding the topic of the thread, I often feel very anxious on waking up. I might try wearing a night mask. At the moment it gets bright very early in Ireland. It is fully bright by 5am. I am dealing with a lot of anxiety at the moment. I'm not sure if it's a result of my last cut to the Effexor or the fact that work has been quite stressful for the last week.

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HeatherRose

I have been taking Valerian Root for 20 years for anxiety. It works great and also helps me sleep when i am having a rough night. I have found it to have no side effects and it relaxes me like a benzo but without withdrawal symptoms or tolerance issues.

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pete333

I wake with a degree of nervousness that I have not had in many years since tapering.

I have it at times, but had it most of the time in the last few months.

Not that "I've got energy and ready to pop up" feeling either.  More like a "ahhh....I am so uptight I don't want to think" type of thing.

 

This is not fun.  But not life threatening.

 

Anybody else been at this point?

 

Pete

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pete333

This seems to be a very common symptom of withdrawal syndrome. Many people report waking up with a surge of panic or anxiety, or a feeling of anxiety early in the morning. A lot of times, people are waking around 4:30 a.m. or closer to dawn. The first glimmers of morning light signal the nervous system to start the morning cycle with a jump in cortisol. At normal levels, cortisol gives you energy. At elevated levels, cortisol gives you a feeling of unease, anxiety, panic, or depression. When you have withdrawal syndrome, your system is on "high alert" all the time. The normal morning peak of cortisol gets exaggerated and what you would normally feel as "wake up" becomes a surge of panic, anxiety, or dread in the early morning.

I guess they merged my post.

Thanks for the info and reply.  Some mornings I'm ok. Others I'm not. 

Thanks

 

For me this was one of the worst things and it happened every morning for fist 2 or 3 years and then it stopped. However I have strted getting it again now and it will be 6 years since I stopped the drug next

Hey, do you think it's just nerves?  I mean these drugs don't cause everything .  People actually have problems to begin with.

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fj929

Vitamin C in the form of 2 tall glasses of OJ at night before bed. Vitamin C is suppose to reduce cortisol levels and I can tell you it stopped my morning anxiety almost completley. I have stopped taking the OJ for a week or so and the anxiety comes back. There is another thread where others had similiar experiences.

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Hibari

Vitamin C in the form of 2 tall glasses of OJ at night before bed. Vitamin C is suppose to reduce cortisol levels and I can tell you it stopped my morning anxiety almost completley. I have stopped taking the OJ for a week or so and the anxiety comes back. There is another thread where others had similiar experiences.

This is really interesting. Is the Vitamin C still helping with the morning anxiety? 

 

I follow what others have posted, I don't feel good in the morning and by the time the late afternoon/eve hits I feel better and better. 

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Susanne

I think I'll try the vitamin C. I've been waking up the last few days with a pounding heart beat, feeling really depressed and worried....
 

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genlady

I usually get surges of anxiety around midnight and am up sometimes all night.  I used to have the surges during the daytime as well, but they have diminished.  I take Melatonin at bedtime, but that doesn't seem to help.  I am taking a full spectrum amino acids , calcium/magnesium supplements, multi-vitamin , potassium, Omega 3's.  Nothing seems to prevent the anxiety, so I just deal with it when it comes by deep breathing and keep busy during the night when I can't sleep due to the anxiety.  It does go away, then I sleep.  For some reason, I slept all night and part of the morning one night.  Go figure?  My body has always done things differently than the usual. 

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Help777

I've tried magnesium, melatonin, with no success.. Thinking of trying either taurine or lactium to help increase length of sleep time. Any recommendations on which one to try first?

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HeatherRose

I wake up at 2-3 am with high anxiety--crying, feeling anxious, unable to sleep. I take an adivan just so i can settle down and go back to sleep.

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Susanne

Vitamin C in the form of 2 tall glasses of OJ at night before bed. Vitamin C is suppose to reduce cortisol levels and I can tell you it stopped my morning anxiety almost completley. I have stopped taking the OJ for a week or so and the anxiety comes back. There is another thread where others had similiar experiences.

Hi Fj929, I bought a tube of those tablets which can be dissolved in water. Just vitamin C 1000 mg with some additives like aspartame. Drank it before bedtime. Normally I'm not a fan of these, but it seemed like the anxious feeling was a lot less this morning. I slept peacefully till 7 am, woke up and instead of the racing heartbeat I was just a little uneasy.

I will try it again tonight :-)

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Hibari

I have been trying the Vitamin C.  Taking 4 divided doses of 500mgs during the day. 

 

I have not been waking up with morning anxiety but I don't if it's because I finally stabilized after my most recent medication cut or it's the C.  I still am sweating during the night and in the morning but my mood has not dropped.   On a gut level, I think the C is helping and I will see what happens with it around my next cut.

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pete333

This seems to be a very common symptom of withdrawal syndrome. Many people report waking up with a surge of panic or anxiety, or a feeling of anxiety early in the morning. A lot of times, people are waking around 4:30 a.m. or closer to dawn. The first glimmers of morning light signal the nervous system to start the morning cycle with a jump in cortisol. At normal levels, cortisol gives you energy. At elevated levels, cortisol gives you a feeling of unease, anxiety, panic, or depression. When you have withdrawal syndrome, your system is on "high alert" all the time. The normal morning peak of cortisol gets exaggerated and what you would normally feel as "wake up" becomes a surge of panic, anxiety, or dread in the early morning.

Idk how to tag everyone in this thread but am going to read through it, so much here and see if I have anything useful to add.  AND reset or change the fact that I am not getting any notifications through email.

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fj929

The Vitamin C is still working for me. Mad a huge difference for me with anxiety and depression as well.

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pete333

The Vitamin C is still working for me. Mad a huge difference for me with anxiety and depression as well.

My son has always reccomended larger than govt issue lol doses of vitamin C.  I take a children's multivitamin but probably need to look into vitamin C.

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AliG

If It can supposedly help cure cancer, it obviously has huge benefits health wise . :)  Definitely worth a go . Yes - RDI - a joke !    

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pete333

We had a 20 year old young man in our church who developed cancer.

He wouldn't take chemo.

He drank copious amounts of carrot juice.

He got over the cancer and it never came back.

Just sayin.....

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blazesboylan

Hello,

 

I have been suffering with morning anxiety for a while now. I have tried taking 2000 mgs of vitamin C before going to bed and I am finding that it isn't really very effective. That's just my own experience though. It seems to have worked for other people.

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pete333

Hello,

 

I have been suffering with morning anxiety for a while now. I have tried taking 2000 mgs of vitamin C before going to bed and I am finding that it isn't really very effective. That's just my own experience though. It seems to have worked for other people.

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply.

my anxiety is hit and miss and the morning variety is not as bad as it was.

I think I may need vitamin c for overall reasons mostly  related to physical health.  I'm in lousy shape.

While I have you here, can you take benadryl or other allergy pills?

They make me nutty with despair.

thanks

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blazesboylan

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply.

 

 

my anxiety is hit and miss and the morning variety is not as bad as it was.

I think I may need vitamin c for overall reasons mostly  related to physical health.  I'm in lousy shape.

While I have you here, can you take benadryl or other allergy pills?

They make me nutty with despair.

thanks

 

 

Hi,

 

No problem at all. I haven't tried benadryl or other over the counter allergy medicines. Maybe you mean antihistamines? They are supposed to be sedating I hear. Anyway, maybe I will those a shot. Thanks for the tip. I felt a little better today I think though.

 

Have a good weekend.

 

Blazes.

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pete333

 

Vitamin C in the form of 2 tall glasses of OJ at night before bed. Vitamin C is suppose to reduce cortisol levels and I can tell you it stopped my morning anxiety almost completley. I have stopped taking the OJ for a week or so and the anxiety comes back. There is another thread where others had similiar experiences.

Hi Fj929, I bought a tube of those tablets which can be dissolved in water. Just vitamin C 1000 mg with some additives like aspartame. Drank it before bedtime. Normally I'm not a fan of these, but it seemed like the anxious feeling was a lot less this morning. I slept peacefully till 7 am, woke up and instead of the racing heartbeat I was just a little uneasy.

I will try it again tonight :-)

 

I wanted to bug you since my post about allergies got merged with a big thread and I have received few replies.  Do you ever need any allergy medicince?  If so can you take it?

The last time i tried it I was filled with despair and dread like the 4th day of cold turkey stopping of an AD.

Any advice from experience?

Thanks.

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herewego

I just read an interesting article yesterday on cortisol. Apparently our circadian clock, a 24 hour hormone cycle generally regulated by sunlight, releases cortisol 3 times per day. The article said we release cortisol at roughly around 8 or 9am, then again around noon or 1pm, and then one more time around 5:30 or 6:30pm. I am guessing it is probably different for different people as some may have darker rooms to sleep in ect... plus I am thinking winter and summer may be different as well with sunlight at different times. I also found this interesting because we use melatonin to help reset our circadian clock when our sleep is out of whack.

I also wonder if this is why we often feel better by evening - no more cortisol spikes. Could this also be when people often have panic attacks in the morning or during the day during one of the cortisol releases? Something to think about.

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pete333

I just read an interesting article yesterday on cortisol. Apparently our circadian clock, a 24 hour hormone cycle generally regulated by sunlight, releases cortisol 3 times per day. The article said we release cortisol at roughly around 8 or 9am, then again around noon or 1pm, and then one more time around 5:30 or 6:30pm. I am guessing it is probably different for different people as some may have darker rooms to sleep in ect... plus I am thinking winter and summer may be different as well with sunlight at different times. I also found this interesting because we use melatonin to help reset our circadian clock when our sleep is out of whack.

I also wonder if this is why we often feel better by evening - no more cortisol spikes. Could this also be when people often have panic attacks in the morning or during the day during one of the cortisol releases? Something to think about.

Very good to know.

I wake with gritted teeth and clenched fists some times, but not full blown anxiety, just nervousness.  but sometimes anxiety.                                      

This was especially bad as I tried to get my sleep schedule fixed.

Walking makes me feel a little better but weirdly has upset my sleep even if not done late?

Thanks for your time.

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Spacely

Hello. I was wondering if there's a running list of things people have tried, with some success, to calm the racing heart you get when waking up? Thanks so much!

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ChessieCat

Hi Spacely,

 

I suggest you start an Intro/Update topic for yourself so we can get to know you better and find out some additional information about your drug history.  This will help us answer your question.

 

introductions-and-updates     Click on Start New Topic, top right

 

 

Please also complete your drug signature which will appear every time you post.  Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Please include details for the last 12-18 months of  all drugs, dates, doses and discontinuations & reinstatements.  If you can't remember dates, please write it as "early March" or "mid-August".  Please provide a summary of any drugs prior to that which can just be listed with start and stop years. Please include all prescription, non-prescription drugs and supplements you are currently taking.

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Petunia

Hello. I was wondering if there's a running list of things people have tried, with some success, to calm the racing heart you get when waking up? Thanks so much!

 

Slow, controlled breathing exercises worked for me.  Try these topics:  Irregular heartbeats, palpitations, tachycardia, bradycardia ...

 

Pranayama or Yoga (Yogic) Breathing - Surviving Antidepressants

 

As Chessie requested, it would be great if you started an introduction thread for yourself.

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lexhex

The racing heart symptom was the most frustrating for me. And took the longest to abate. I still have some issues in the morning, even though I'm now light years away from the horrors I was experiencing a couple of years ago. I relied on Taurine for a LONG time. I took a pure 500mg supplement with no other components for about two years. I traded in my 25 mg a day Metoprolol beta blocker (crosses the BBB and gave me nightmares) for a low dose 12.5 mg Atenolol a day beta blocker (does not cross the BBB) and found almost immediate relief. I no longer need the Taurine. The Atenolol is enough to keep the crazy at bay, it has no psychotropic effects, I exercise every day, I don't have panic attacks any more, and I can sleep.

 

Here's what I avoid: (starred items I NEVER touch.)

Sugar

Refined carbohydrates*

    Cake

    Cookies

Some Complex Carbohydrates

     No wheat products

 

Caffeine*

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lexhex

No pasta

No bread

No oatmeal

No cereal

No bananas

NO Processed foods* (anything that comes out of a BOX) (unless its organic)

NO soda - diet or otherwise*

NO alcohol*

 

I do NOT eat after 7pm. EVER. It is a guarantee that I will sleep poorly and wake up with anxiety if I do. The body spends all night digesting when it should be resting.

 

Being highly disciplined has kept me on the recovery track.

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Spacely

lexhex ... we are similar.

 

I have been on Klonopin for generalized anxiety for 20 years. Ramped slowly from .5mg to 3mg. Then it stopped working. Even did the opposite. So, I cut down to 1mg / day with the help of Gabapentin. Then cold turkey off the G.P. and I remain on 1mg Klonopin. Been in that state for 4 months. But promptly at 4am, I wake with a racing heart, and if I try to go back to sleep, I get fear pangs in my chest. So I end that by getting up. I do get 2 sleeps (~5hours). But never the 3rd sleep. I guess I'm stuck like that for a while. I want that to end before I continue the ramp-off of the rest of Klonopin.

 

Similarities:

 

- If I eat a heavy dinner, my heart will race literally ALL NIGHT. Until the alarm. Especially pizza or beer. Tough for a guy :)

- I rarely have that kind of dinner anymore, and when I skip dinner all together, I notice I do sleep a bit better. Just a bit.

- Love cake, cookies ... have cereal every morning. From a box.

- I have a banana every day for lunch. Why not?

- Yea, I need some coffee during the day. Maybe 2 half cups. Is it still in me at 4am?

 

Is Atenolol made for people with heart disease? I'm a skinny 50 year old, but if that's something to look into, I could mention it.

 

I'm willing to pop out of bed at 4am for the rest of my life, rather than go back to any Benzo.

 

Thanks for the tips.

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