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Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety

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LoveandLight

Emotional freedom technique, I wonder if this would help. I will report back with progress.

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rapunzel2

any ideas about this drug - is it better option for sleep than benzos or seroquel? (I'm not asking for myself, a friend is in trouble with sleep). 

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Lily777

I, personally take Hydrox at night for help with sleep and anxiety.   It has been a great help to me,  and I have not had 1 panic attack since I have been taking it.   It can be prescribed as needed for anxiety.

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LoveandLight

Today I've been overcome with terror. I've suffered from this for 6 years on/off. I don't know if it is iatrogenic or if it was as a result of the intense meditation practice I had been using at this time as a desperate means of escape. I cannot find any way to deal with this. Normal techniques do not work - it is not anxiety nor fear 'of' anything. All consuming terror. When this happens, I feel that nothing in life matters, like this terror is beyond life itself.

 

I found this: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~parkx032/CY-AX.html

 

I will maybe see if I can get in touch with someone who deals with this.

 

Anyone else relate? What, if anything, has helped.

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alex

I am sorry you are suffering J; yes, I can relate.

The first year, I was overwhelmed with severe, extreme terror most of the time.

I really don't know how I survived.But I did, and I'm glad.The terror days are gone for good.

The ONLY thing that makes us better is TIME.

Don't do anything intense right now.

Be patient,take good care of you, and wait....

 

Sending good vibes all the way from tropical paradise to Inverness....

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Petunia

I don't know if it is iatrogenic or if it was as a result of the intense meditation practice I had been using at this time as a desperate means of escape.

 

Perhaps it doesn't matter what the cause is.  It could be a complex combination of several factors.  Before I found this site, the only potential perspectives I had for my terror was a spiritual one and a mental illness one....and no support.  But then, coming here, I learned that it may also be, or might only be iatrogenic.  I've now abandoned the illness perspective, but I'm still not certain of anything. 

 

When it comes to terror, I've learned that the only way out is through.  Breathing through it, allowing it to be in my body, knowing that I am not my body, but the awareness in which my body exists.

 

I read the link you posted, I thought it was a good description of the difference between psychological based fear and physical/energetic based fear, unfortunately it didn't offer any suggestions about what to do about it.

 

This reply probably belongs in the finding meaning section, but you posted here, so I'm replying here.  I googled 'terror after spiritual awakening' and a few helpful looking links came up.  Adyashanti talks about fear accompanying at least one kind of awakening and after the shift, it needs to be integrated...

 

...Or awakening can happen on the gut level—the fear-based “clench” of self can let go to the sense of “no-self.”

 

It can happen on more than one level at a time; it can happen in any order—and it can so disorder and frighten the individual that he or she wants to “go back to sleep.” And something like that can happen, temporarily, perhaps even permanently. Adya refers to “spiritual shipwrecks”-- the result of awakenings not carried through the process of adapting to the shift in identity. That shift entails an altered relationship to life.

http://awakenetwork.org/forum/105-reading-listening-and-viewing-recommendations/9365-qualities-of-awakening-adyashanti#13693

 

The way I've been managing the terror I've been experiencing for the last several years is by knowing that its a process which will eventually burn itself out one way or another, leaving me in a freer and more peaceful state.  So when it comes (up), I do the best I can to allow it, to be aware of it and to let it be here, and eventually it goes away, for a while.  I focus on not allowing thoughts to attach to it.  If my mind starts to make frightening stories about what this sensation means, then I brush the thoughts away and refocus on my breath.

 

My withdrawal perspective:  My nervous system is in a state of chaos from the effects of drugs, its over sensitized and sometimes these neuro-emotions arise and they feel overwhelming.  But they can't harm me and are a sign that my brain and nervous system are healing.  I will do my best to remain calm and accepting, knowing that I am healing every day.

 

My spiritual perspective:  This human body is the host for a spiritually evolving being.  Awakening takes place on different levels, one being the physical.  In order for this body/mind to adapt to the higher frequency of an expanding spirit, conditioning (deeply unconscious belief structures) need to dissolve and be let go of.  This process can arouse a lot of fear as the mind/ego tries to remain in control. But I am not this mind/body/ego and its fear cannot harm me.

 

I've been dealing with fear/terror since the end of 2010.  It started slowly and then built in intensity and I would say it peaked for a while at the end of 2011 and again through much of 2013.  But last year (2014) its intensity started to decrease and continues to do so.

 

I agree with Alex that time is needed, and finding a way to understand and accept what's happening is just as important. 

 

 

 

 

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westcoast

Petunia, it seems from your sig that the onset of your terror was when you started the ADHD meds. I began having terror after being on those for a few months, then stopping. Wondering if they did something to my brain. I am a lot better now but pretty sure my days are colored by vague dread. I don't remember what I used to feel like, actually.

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Petunia

Petunia, it seems from your sig that the onset of your terror was when you started the ADHD meds.

 

Its really hard to know because I had so many different things going on, along with drug changes and a lot of stress in my life.  I'm sure they added to the chaos going on in my brain, but its hard to know what was withdrawal from Lexapro or adverse effects from stimulants. 

 

I'm so glad your terror has gone for now Joannad, I hope it stays away.

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ikam

Today I've been overcome with terror. I've suffered from this for 6 years on/off. I don't know if it is iatrogenic or if it was as a result of the intense meditation practice I had been using at this time as a desperate means of escape. I cannot find any way to deal with this. Normal techniques do not work - it is not anxiety nor fear 'of' anything. All consuming terror. When this happens, I feel that nothing in life matters, like this terror is beyond life itself.

I found this: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~parkx032/CY-AX.html

I will maybe see if I can get in touch with someone who deals with this.

Anyone else relate? What, if anything, has helped.

I remember once when I went for a meditation it increased my anxiety...i think it was because my concentration was more inward. I find it more useful in times like this to get involved with something external...i prefer mindful observing of something external as opposed to concentrating on myself...sometimes even lyig down in the morning increases my anxieties...when I get up and start being involved with the outside world I tend to get better...

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Horns85

I believe I have read that fear can be a WD symptom. I am almost 6 months off Lexapro. I have had anxiety throughout this process but recently an overwhelming sense of fear has plagued me. Sometimes it's rational but most of the time it's not. It then proceeds to increase my anxiety and it becomes a terrible combo. It then seems to manifest into sadness and makes me emotional about situations and past events that really seem silly. Has anyone here experienced this? 

 

I am going to try magnesium again and see if that will help. I tried it about 4 months off and it made me a little more stimulated. Thanks in advance.

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Jlynn

I have discovered fear is a huge problem for me with my withdrawal. I have fear about things that are way beyond my control like illness and death involving me and those I love as well as living daily with fear of my own withdrawal symptoms and issues I am having or may have in the future. Never had this till I started coming off this poison. 

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LoveandLight

Yes to all of the above! It's horrible..

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LoveandLight

I'm scared of everything..just living is scary..so I try to be in the moment but derealisation makes even that scary!

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antidepressantsNoMore

HELL YEAH! Fear was a huge w/d symptom for me.

 

Check out my personality change thread as a result of w/d http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8607-personality-changes-during-wd-whos-had-them/

 

 

I had so many weird symptoms. You know what herb kinda helps with fear? It sounds weird but I'm going to just throw it out there. It's called Stinging nettles. Give it a shot. It's known to reduce "fear".

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mattinsmom

Thank yo for bringing this up. I've been in a bit of a funk, ok, a lot of funk, for a little while now and couldn't quite put my finger on it. I think that Fear fits better than the other notions I've had. Of course they all play together to create a monster but I believe fear to be at the root of many of my more difficult times. Also, thank you for the reminder of stinging nettles. Nettle tea is fantastic and has many health benefits of which I cannot remember at the moment. 

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antidepressantsNoMore

Thank yo for bringing this up. I've been in a bit of a funk, ok, a lot of funk, for a little while now and couldn't quite put my finger on it. I think that Fear fits better than the other notions I've had. Of course they all play together to create a monster but I believe fear to be at the root of many of my more difficult times. Also, thank you for the reminder of stinging nettles. Nettle tea is fantastic and has many health benefits of which I cannot remember at the moment. 

 

No problem. I noticed that singing nettles (a good reputable brand) will actually reduce fear, tension and anxiety. It does detox the body and mind. It can help allergies and those who have post nasal drip (it clears mucus). It also gives you energy.

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JuliaMarie

I feel very fearful also.I have so much fear that I will never feel like myself again,be able to accomplish my goals, and give my kids the best I can. I just joined this site and reading all this stuff is making me more scared! Can someone direct me to some stories or threads about anyone who is on the othetside of Ad use and Wd? I feel good that everyone is so open and supportive, and that its not just me alone in this, but I think my fears would be lessened if I read about someone who got through this and turned their life around,and ended up a better person. I hope you feel better????

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Fresh

Hi all ,     I lived with deep fears too during my big withdrawal last year , and many periods before that.

There was also a specific sense of dread.   

Has anyone else felt that?

 

Fresh

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LoveandLight

Yep fresh..horrible horrible dread..like everything has a frightening feel to it..like normal things..is just terrifying..also a different thing of terror..like being terrified just to be living.

 

Glad your past that xx

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Kar

I'm slowly tapering paxil and fear is a big one for me. Fear is one manifestation of anxiety for me.  Crazy irrational fear of anything and everything, but of course, it seems completely rational in the moment to me.

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antidepressantsNoMore

Hi all ,     I lived with deep fears too during my big withdrawal last year , and many periods before that.

There was also a specific sense of dread.   

Has anyone else felt that?

 

Fresh

 

YES, fear is often due to anxiety or uncertainty. I've experienced more fear these past years that probably in my entire life especially 3 months after stopping the SNRI CT. I was having daily panic attacks, extreme dizziness. I couldn't function. I'm better than I was but believe I have a month to three months until the w/d is over.

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Horns85

I have talked about this in my personal intro but do others experience this? It does seem to come and go, but, I worry about EVERYTHING! Some stuff is legitimate, and those worries make me feel like my world is crashing down. The other worries, ones that I know are irrational, still seem to make me so anxious.

 

I then seem to obsess about these worries and think about them non stop. It's awful.

 

Anyone else experience this?

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Cookson

I can relate to this. The most superficial things I will have to logically go through in my head and try to convince myself that I am worrying, getting anxious about this unessrially. It will sometimes get to the stage where I will write down to try and justify and convince myself that I do need to be worried about the particular thing.

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Cookson

A lot of the time it will resolve around my insomnia, I can sleep fine if I'm not worried. But I have to be entirely comfadble with all my family members in the household. The littlest upset or dispute will have me rapidly spiralling downwards Into a great unnatural suffocating depression, like a great empty feeling of lost. Or an extreme body anxity where I'll start shaking. Which will ultimately keep me up at night. I'll openly admit I've become a doormat now to some extent and will go out of my way to avoid confrontations. It's lethal to me otherwise.

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Petunia

Anxiety has always been my main problem, even before withdrawal, so it makes sense that it would come back once I stopped medication, but withdrawal has taken it to a completely unbelievable level. In early withdrawal I found myself overcome, constantly with fears about everything that could possibly go wrong. If the weather got a bit windy, I became terrified that a branch would break and then break a window and the house would get flooded and it would spiral on and on. If my daughter went out, I was sure something bad was going to happen to her and she had just reached the age where she was going out a lot and getting around by herself, so I was in an almost permanent state of panic about her. Then she got her license and started driving, and it got even worse.

 

Whenever it rained, I was sure the roof would start leaking. Going out in the car meant it would break down or I would get into a bad accident. When the phone rang, it was going to be bad news. Even when nothing was triggering me, I was sure something terrible was about to happen. But over time, I've had to learn how to stop these thoughts because they cause a feedback loop of increasing physical anxiety, which then fuels more worry.

 

In my earlier life, before drugs, I used to worry about certain things, but now its everything and anything, if I let it, it can become extreme, my mind, at times seems intent on driving me insane with fear, so I've had to learn how to turn off the thoughts, for my own sanity really. Distraction has been the only thing that's worked.

 

I've got better at it, but when something stressful happens, or I'm triggered by a conflict, I start imagining the worst possible scenario, and at the time, I feel certain this is what's going to happen.

 

Earlier in withdrawal, I mostly used to worry about other people and disasters which I was sure would happen. But these days I worry more about not recovering, getting sicker and how to keep functioning while still in withdrawal. I worry about not being able to handle things I need to take care of and there being no one else to help. I think that when we recover, after going through all this extreme fear, normal, everyday worries will be like nothing.

 

In some ways, this intense worrying has taught me how to manage life better. I used to procrastinate a lot, especially if something I needed to do was causing anxiety. But now, if its possible to do something to solve a problem right away, I do it in order to stop the worrying. If I need to make a phone call, I do it rather than put it off.

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Horns85

Anxiety has always been my main problem, even before withdrawal, so it makes sense that it would come back once I stopped medication, but withdrawal has taken it to a completely unbelievable level. In early withdrawal I found myself overcome, constantly with fears about everything that could possibly go wrong. If the weather got a bit windy, I became terrified that a branch would break and then break a window and the house would get flooded and it would spiral on and on. If my daughter went out, I was sure something bad was going to happen to her and she had just reached the age where she was going out a lot and getting around by herself, so I was in an almost permanent state of panic about her. Then she got her license and started driving, and it got even worse.

 

Whenever it rained, I was sure the roof would start leaking. Going out in the car meant it would break down or I would get into a bad accident. When the phone rang, it was going to be bad news. Even when nothing was triggering me, I was sure something terrible was about to happen. But over time, I've had to learn how to stop these thoughts because they cause a feedback loop of increasing physical anxiety, which then fuels more worry.

 

In my earlier life, before drugs, I used to worry about certain things, but now its everything and anything, if I let it, it can become extreme, my mind, at times seems intent on driving me insane with fear, so I've had to learn how to turn off the thoughts, for my own sanity really. Distraction has been the only thing that's worked.

 

I've got better at it, but when something stressful happens, or I'm triggered by a conflict, I start imagining the worst possible scenario, and at the time, I feel certain this is what's going to happen.

 

Earlier in withdrawal, I mostly used to worry about other people and disasters which I was sure would happen. But these days I worry more about not recovering, getting sicker and how to keep functioning while still in withdrawal. I worry about not being able to handle things I need to take care of and there being no one else to help. I think that when we recover, after going through all this extreme fear, normal, everyday worries will be like nothing.

 

In some ways, this intense worrying has taught me how to manage life better. I used to procrastinate a lot, especially if something I needed to do was causing anxiety. But now, if its possible to do something to solve a problem right away, I do it in order to stop the worrying. If I need to make a phone call, I do it rather than put it off.

Petunia,

 

The fear and anxiety cycle you describe is me exactly. I, like you, anxiety was my main problem prior to WD. Since WD it is 100x worse. I worry about everything and always expect worse case scenario. I was never like this before and it's the hardest thing I've had to deal with. I'll worry about something ALL day. The the next day I'll say to myself 'why was I even worried about that'. It's the craziest feeling.

 

I agree in that once we recover, normal everyday anxiety and fear should be a cakewalk. 

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antidepressantsNoMore

Hell yeah! I used to have really bad Generalized Anxiety Disorder and "Pure OCD".

 

I still deal with this crap but it is not as bad as it was during WD.

 

Still dealing with it though.

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Addax

The fear and anxiety cycle you describe is me exactly. I, like you, anxiety was my main problem prior to WD. Since WD it is 100x worse. I worry about everything and always expect worse case scenario. I was never like this before and it's the hardest thing I've had to deal with. I'll worry about something ALL day. The the next day I'll say to myself 'why was I even worried about that'. It's the craziest feeling.

Crazy is a good word for it. When I've experienced it there was nothing that could convince me that the worst case scenario wasn't going to be the outcome. Nothing! I ruminated on the same three things for months, with the addition of one or two other things here and there. Here I am 4 months after the worst "spell" of it, and none of the worst case scenarios came to fruition. In fact, they've all been disproved. What a relief to find out withdrawal makes you terrible at predicting the future!

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Petunia

Atarax (Hydroxyzine) is an antihistamine. For someone recovering from antidepressant withdrawal, antihistamines can make symptoms worse and possibly slow recovery because they affect some of the same family of receptors that antidepressants target.

 

Please see this topic for more information:

 

Antihistamines

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MissTrish

I am glad to find this topic.  Last night I had a huge wave of what I can only describe as intense deep fear roll over me.  I have been through the w/d wars enough to know it had nothing to do with any real situation, having had lesser waves of it from time to time, so I tried my best to just watch it with detachment.  It felt like being in a hole waiting for planes to fly over and drop bombs on me.  I had hot flashes with it, and I had to consciously breathe.  It actually lasted until morning.  I managed to sleep, which is amazing, and woke up very early with the fear still there.  I went back to sleep and when I woke up again (later than usual) the fear had abated somewhat.  

 

It was awful; I kept thinking, am I going to have to live with this from now on and I'm still not even off this drug!

 

Possible factors could be I took two Advil yesterday morning for sciatica and I have read that NSAIDs trigger symptoms.  Also I watched the finale of Survivor last night, haha, and it was a nail biter because the eventual winner is a friend of both my sons, so even though it was a fun thing, there were two hours of suspense and texting back and forth with my sons instead of winding down in the evening like I usually do.  Also it's just four days since my last cut so CNS is probably unstable.

 

I don't know the reason but if it was debilitating.

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Petunia

MissTrish,

It sounds like your nervous system became overstimulated, I can imagine how exciting the finale of Survivor must have been, seeing as you know one of the contestants. I'm glad you are feeling better again now.

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bluebalu86

I would appreciate any suggestions about how to deal with this. I feel overwhelmed and apart from hiding in my bed I don't know what else to do. Distraction doesn't help. I feel so not normal and weird and when these surges hit I feel like I'm being tortured in hell. When the horror hits I feel like my whole brain is on fire and burns. I'm very scared :( 

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LoveandLight

Nothing helped when I was like this, I'm afraid to say. I got a stack of colouring books for adults, beautiful patterns and pens and just holed up with these and wait until it passed. It didn't take it away but I was doing something even when feeling awful. Hope you feel better soon. So sorry your feeling so bad. Xx

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a99

I feel your pain . This symptom is cruel  like nothig else . I thought I lost my mind  .

It gets better .

hang in there .

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