Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Is intense fear a symptom of withdrawal?

I know it may sound silly, but I am in so much fear right now.  I'm so afraid of running out of my pills.  It hurts so bad to withdraw, and I just don't feel like I can function without them anymore.  Has anybody else ever had the intense fear and anxiety that I am having?  I'm so afraid of running out.  When I am without, my willpower is nothing.  I'm scared of it all....scared of this addiction, scared of running out, scared to leave my house each morning without any pills....anybody been there?  If so, what did you do?  I'm still hoping the psychiatrist will help...most of you know the stuff that's been going on for me lately.  I've never felt this bad before.  Maybe I should just go to a doc and "fess up."  Maybe then they can help me taper or something.  UGH!
46 Responses
Avatar universal
What are you coming off of? All I can do is tell you to stay strong, stay focused, and may the love and peace of God be with you through this. You have alot of people rooting for you!
Avatar universal
Have you considered Buprenex as Bodymechanic suggested? That sounds like the ideal drug for your situtation from I have been reading from him.

Also, have you considered the in patient or out patient concept?

I hate to see you in his much pain. Life is hell standing on the edge of the diving board - I can promise you that. Yes, I did experience intense anxiety, which is all but gone now. Just some lingering back pain which I am struggling with, but working through. Nothing was worse though, than that mental pain - nothing in my entire life compares to it!

It's decision time for you, Belle, IMO. You definitely can't stay in this place for much longer, right?

Seek help from your docs, and try the Bup. or some other detox-assisting drug.

I will continue to pray for you.

God Bless,

Avatar universal
couldn't have said it better myself, rex.....it's decision time for me.  i can't go on like this -- something's got to give.  i'll be in touch.  i've got some things to wrap up at the office, and i'll be back in touch.  love to you.  please pray.
Avatar universal
should i take my chances and go tell a doc what's going on?  should i just go and tell the truth and take my chances? if i go in to a docs office and tell him, what can i expect?  will they lock me away somewhere, or is there a chance they'll help me taper?  guess it all depends.  i'm so scared.  should i go and explain to a doc that i want off and would like to taper?  how should i handle it?  what a way to start the new year....if anybody does pray, please pray for me.  i'm shaking like a leaf.  i'm afraid of everything.
Avatar universal
WOW!  I read your post this morning and I really related to your struggle.  I know exactly how you are feeling.  I have been there, that horrible fear of being without them and yet knowing that the whole thing is so insane and you just want it to stop.

I agree it is time to take a step either fess up to the doc or go for the detox.  It is a very difficult step to take but you will feel some relief once it has happened. I am a barbituate addict and have been clean since the end of November.  I got to the same point you are talking about.  I was terrified all the time of running out and worrying about how to get more.  I felt like a hamster on a habitrail, it just went on and on. I too feared the withdrawal and was concerned about seizures because barbituate withdrawal can be dangerous.  

I finally fessed up to one doctor (I was getting pills from 5 doctors all of whom didn't know about the others) who put me on a slow taper which I followed and then I went to see an addictionologist who helped me to get off of the pills and put me on a medication to help with anxiety.  It is called neurontin and is widely used with barbituate addiction because it is an anti-seizure med. It has helped me to stay calm.

I still have many days where I have cravings but I try to keep it at one day at a time. I also do attend 2 12-step meetings per week, I know that is not for everyone but I do find it comforting and have met people there who also use pills along with drinking.

There are other programs such as Smart Recovery that do work for alot of people. I also have a counselor who I talk to every week.  

I will be praying for you

Take Care

Golden Slipper

Avatar universal
I gotta be honest, southernbelle ~ when I fessed up and was hoping the doc would help me taper, he said flat out NO.  He said he wanted me in a detox, he would not be giving me any more pills and what is more, he would be calling my primary doc (this doc was a specialist that my primary had sent me to) to let him know to not give me anymore either.  I was getting 80% of my pills from these 2 docs, so getting cut off from both of them would put me in a really bad situation.  

I know I dont know you (sorta feel like I do after reading this board for the last several weeks) but I think you need to fess up anyway.   It sounds like you are in a bad place (I know all too well ~ been there, done that ~ doing it again!) and I can tell you from experience it wont get any better.  

It is scary, no doubt.  I feel and know your fear.  But its only gonna get worse.   The sooner you do something to get yourself off for good, the better off you will be.  

If you can swing a 30 day rehab, go for it.   If not, what about a detox with a little rehab ~ about a week to 10 days?  Be creative about why you are gone with your job (like some of the others said on one of your other threads) but please realize this is your LIFE here.   I know how scary the feeling of not being able to function with out those little devils can be ~ that is where I am right now.   I know, I really do.  

Email me if you want: ***@****
Your sister in addiction ~
Avatar universal
Hi Southernbelle & everyone.  I woke up at 6:30 this a.m. with the most intense fear and anxiety, my whole body was shaking.  I am still taking narco, 10 mg., about 4-5 a day.  But I was up to 12-15 just 3 days ago, and now I have to taper off to 2 a day, because I'm running out.  I am facing a whole lot of real heavy problems right now, and can't imagine how to get through them without my pills.  Plus I really have pain that regular analgesics won't touch.  I am scared all the time.  I hate this.  I feel like I'm having a nervous breakdown.  My husband is having surgery next week, and I feel like a complete disappointment to him, I'm usually so together.  There's no one I can talk to about all this.  We're kind of new where we live, all my friends are far away and have problems of their own.  I don't know what I'm going to do.  I feel like every nerve is frayed. HELP!!  I am taking the recipe, have been since October, even though I started taking the pills again, I figured it was a good idea to take all the supplements.  But I need some people to talk with me.  Thank you.
Avatar universal
stay posted here...we'll be there for each other.  sounds like we are both in the same place.  whoever you are, i love you.  i know there's a better day coming around.  we can get through this.  we'll get through this together.  easy does it, nothing done in a hurry.  i'll post herre on this board with each decision i make.  again, i love you. you are NOT alone.  just keep checking in here for now......LOVE TO EVERYBODY.
Avatar universal
the fear and anxiety have been experienced by most of us I think...both of running out and of what happens when you try to quit.  I am a beliver in talking to the Dr...but I happen to have a very good primary care Doc I've been going to for 10 years who is both very compassionate and pragmatic.  Unfortunately not all of them are...you have to decide if you feel your Dr will help you.  An honest confession and a frank ask for help usually will stimulate almost any Dr to help a patient who wants to help themselves.

If yopu can go to inpatient detox, if your life situation will allow...do it.  Then you are sure to have the right people you need to help...

I will tell you this...I WAS very scared like you are, but what I was most scared of (in hindsight) was that I would not be able to quit...after I made it through the first 4 days of w/d the fear and anxiety level droped a lot and slowly drifted away...for me by about day 17 completeley.  Your Dr can give you med to help with the anxiety...I didn't use any, so I may have had it worse than I needed to.


Avatar universal
I know what you are feeling and it is terrible.  It is scarey and the anxiety level can be crushing at times or sometimes all the time...add to it whatever else you have in your life and it is incredible...BUT, it can be done.  Lots of us have gone through it, made it, and are free again...you can be too...and you are worth it.

The folks on the board here can probably help you more if you tell us more...why are you stopping the meds when you have chronic severe pain?  how much are you taking?  how long?

Is going to your Dr for help an option?  Wd is tough, but it can be made easier with help from your Dr, the right meds, and most of all by posting here.  By talking here you can know you aren't alone...lots of us have been where you are, lots of folks understand and will help.


Avatar universal
I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that you must be working with a specialist.  If you try to deal with this using a general practitioner the odds are much higher that you will get burned.  My experience between my general Dr. and my pain management specialist could not be more night and day.

For one, general practitioners must be seeing like 60 patients and day -- my pain management specialist probably sees 10 if I were to guess.

Secondly, a pain management specialist is just that -- a specialist and by default knows a lot about pain, and in my case the things that surround pain, which were addiction and detox!

Finally, in my humble opinion, I think specialists have a narrower but much more intensive skill set focused around pain, and at least in my experience were just flat out better doctors.  They listened a lot more, they are more sympathetic, it was just like they understood and I have been to three of them over the last three years.  Each and every one of them blew my regular doctor out of water!  I swear I could hear angels singing when I got an appointment with my latest pain management Dr. He partnered with me if you know what I mean.

(WARNING: the BIG DISADVANTAGE is that they dispense medication much more liberally -- you ask for it - you get it.  Don't let that burn you, but also do not let it dissuade you.)

If I were standing in your shoes right now, what I might try doing is the following.  Find out who in your medical group in is either an addictiononlogist or a pain management specialist, and demand that your general Dr. refer you to them. Because you do not want to wait the month it will take for the referral, then call this Dr. and pay for one appointment out-of-pocket- get in to see them - tell them it's an emergency and that the referral paperwork is soon to be completed ("should be any day now"). When you get into see this specialist, lay every single detail out on the table -- everything!

Once into see this specialist, ask him about the buprenex that body mechanic has been talking to us about.  But let this specialist help you decide which detox program is best. Whatever you decide, we will be here.

Avatar universal
One other idea - have you thought about devoting 5-8 days of time to just you if possible, and just quitting - biting the bullet.

I know the pain you have been in the last month. Would cold turkey be much worse? I mean, on a pain threshold chart scale of 1 to 100, is there really a big difference between 87 and 91 ?

God's Grace to you...

Avatar universal
The only way of effectively ending an addictive behavior is to stop it. Anything less will just aggravate the situation. But of course I will neither be able to accept nor accomplish this simple reality. All the pieces of the circle of attachment have reinforced my addictive behavior, making me repeat it. And with each repitition, my learning has become more deeply ingrained. Even when I consciously try to stop using the drugs, my brain is consciously learning it better and seeking it more. My motivations are truly mixed, and I am fully at war with myself. My addiction has become like quicksand, the more I struggle, and try to use my willpower, the more stuck I become. All the mind tricks and self-deception now comes in to play. Rationalizing, denials, and the seductiveness of "I can handle just 1".
My self-esteem crumbles with each attempt to "QUIT" and I sense how truly out of control I am. I am in the clutches of the enemy, and the enemy is clearly myself. But after 20 years of opiates,herion,cocaine,alcohol. etc. There is deliverance, but it's not found in a bottle, or a doctor. It's found deep inside your soul and from the help that only comes from above!
All you need to do is ask.

Avatar universal
Second what pon said. Hang in there, you know you are doing the right thing because it is getting harder.

From my experience though, you have to know when that window opens to go cold turkey. If you feel a little better for the most part of a day, try it, go for it.

Then at least you will still have some meds if it gets way to hard. I got myself to .5 tablets of Norco 3x daily for about a week, then cut the cord.

I am at day 35 now, back still hurts a little, but let me tell you and everyone else here - I am thinking of changing my post name to "Soaring". I mean, I have "me" back as do the others in my life.

What is sad is that I think I am finally getting the answer to this 3 year old question - "Do I have real legitmate pain" or "Is it the cravings for drugs that is causing pain?"

Take a guess. The latter - I am a drug addict...and I have been a wimp too, very unlike me. Well I feel like I have taken out a big, thick heavy club, and with strength that only comes from God and the good folks here, beat the living **** out out of thos Norcos and my habit.

So I am clean now, just for today....but a single pill could send me back, and I just aint goin this time!

God's Grace to you...let us know if we can help.

LIFE IS LIGHT YEARS BETTER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL FOLKS!!!!! You can do it with God's help, and this forum!

Jan 1st is two days away. Punch it!


Avatar universal
God truly can work miracles.

Avatar universal
Thank you, Southernbelle and Pon.  I feel better knowing you can relate and maybe we can help each other.  I had a back injury years ago, and partial knee replacement over a year ago.  Well, my knee still hurts and my doctor now says I need a total knee replacement.  And my back, which was doing great for years has started hurting in the last 2 months, as bad or worse than my knee.  I have so many duties to fulfill every day, especially after my husband has foot surgery next Wednesday.  He'll be on crutches for 2 months, and I'll have to walk our dog 2 times a day, shop, clean etc., plus run our business, at least for the first couple of weeks, when he'll be out of town recovering.  If I were able to take the amount of pills I was taking, I could get through this.  You know how that is.  It is a mental addiction as well as helping my pain.  Until 3 days ago I was taking between 10 and 12 narcos a day.  That's between 100 and 120 mgs. Now I'm trying to taper to 2-3 a day, which is next to impossible for me to function.  I'm doing one thing I hardly ever do.  I'm smoking some weed.  Not real strong, just some good Mex.  It's helping the overall feeling.  I know I'd never get addicted to that.  I've been able to smoke all I want anytinme, and never do.  Just not my thing.  As a matter of fact, I've never had a problem with alcohol or any other drug as far as not being able to stop.  Even quit cigarettes very easily.  But this is way different.  I feel like "How did I ever do everything before and how does everyone else?"  It seems to give me the energy I need to get through my life, and that I can't without them.
Avatar universal
I can't do this.  I can't taper.  I just keep taking them.  What am I going to do?  I do hurt, but I also want to stop the other pain of facing reality.  Too much reality.  I feel as though I must be having a nervous breakdown.  I'm caught in this trap and real life has to go on, especially now that my husband is having this surgery.  There's so much to prepare for, as it's out of town, a 5 hour drive.  Staying someplace very uncomfortable sleeping conditions, worrying about even more back pain.  And from Jan 8 on, it's me who has to do everything, and I'll be out of pills by the 10th, if I'm lucky they'll last that long.  Can't get more.  HELP!! I know I should just cold turkey from now till his surgery, but I don't think I can.  I'm too depressed already, that might send me over to suicidal thinking.  This is the only outlet I have.  Can't talk to anyone else.
Avatar universal
Hey u!  Do you have a relative or a friend who could hold the drugs for u and dole them out so you wont take more?  I can't taper either.  Few of us addicts can. DO not be har d on yourself.  but.. if you have pain.. you need relief too!  So..do not punnish yourself and get the pain meds you need.  but try and get help to keep control of the amount u take until you get your surgery or some kinda relief from the pain.
Best Wishs Suzie.
Keep postin your honesty!
Avatar universal
I would suggest seeing an Addictionologist.  These specialist deal with addiction only.  My experience with pain management doctors was the oppostite. They prescribed more.  I needed less.

I sought an addictionologist with full intentions of detoxing impatient.  Instead, he put me on buprenorphine.  It's not readily available everywhere, but it's worth a few phone calls.  I am taking it for pain maintenance, but I know some docs use it for detox.  It works very well for me, with a combination of L-tyrosine and B vitamins.  

My life completely changed after I sought his opinion.  They know what addiction is, and you don't have to spill your guts to someone who knows nothing about addiction.

Good luck, and keep us informed.
Avatar universal
Thank you for the words of encouragement.  The only person who could dole them out is my husband.  We've done it before.  He doesn't hide them good eough, and each time I've found them and snuck them.  Of course I'd tell him later, he'd only find out for himself.  And now he's having surgery, so I'm pretty much on my own.  I think that's the main reason my anxiety level is so ultra high right now.  The one person who can help me is going to need my strength and help for 2 months, and I'm so scared I can taste it.  I feel so completely selfish and all the other negative things one can put on oneself.  It's all heightened right now by these circumstances.
Avatar universal
Please dont anyone feel bad about not being able to taper off.  There was no way I could.  If I had them, I took enough to keep myself high, period.   The only way I taped down the Ultram was to have my husband keep control of them.  

1st24 ~ I can see your problem with your DH have surgery.  It will be all up to you to do everything ~ not exactly a time to go cold turkey.   Is there any family/friends you trust enough to let them in on this?  Would/could they help?   I dont know ~ I feel so helpless for you :-(   And like I said before, I know and feel all your pain.  I feel very close to you, not even knowing your name or having having ever seen your face.   I'm here for you as much as I can be.  Write me anytime.
LA (otherwise known as Lee Ann ~ addict)
Avatar universal
Hang tough ladies, maybe you've read some of my post. I have a long term health problem that requires pain meds. and I love to get high, great combination huh!. I've found that if I bring 2 or 4 with me to work or where ever I'll take them so now I bring 1.

I cleaned out all my stash locations and just try and live by the motto "less today than yesterday" if I wimp out and take extra I just try and get back on track without beating myself up. There is no easy out, keep posting, stay busy and we'll all make it together. This is a lifetime battle, but we can make it.
Feel free to email me @ ***@****. If you have a Doc. you can trust tell them and anyone else you can trust, this is not something to be done alone!

Avatar universal
I feel as though I'm in this surreal otherworld, and everything I have to do is like walking through molasses.  Even the smallest chore seems undoable, like running a marathon or something.  I try to do something to keep my mind off taking pills or thinking about that, but nothing is working.  I'm so stressed out by my whole predicament, I feel paralyzed.  The only thing keeping me from doing anything bad is posting my feelings here.  So please keep adding your inputs of experience and good faith, I read them all.  All of it helps me, and I'm sure the rest of you, to know we're not alone.  We all have our private hells to go through, and most of them are of our own making, one way or another, so they are ours to get through, and then? What? How long to feel human again? Not paranoid, small, ashamed, sad, alone, tired, guilty and all the rest.  I feel so far away from the person I really am.  So far away.  Maybe years away.  Maybe lost.
Avatar universal
I cant believe it, 1st24 ~ I know exactly what you are describing.  How long till I'm really me?   Will I ever be "normal" again?   Getting along, dealing with life without the help of a drug?  It seems so impossible now.  

1st24 ~ please, I'm begging you ~ dont do anything harmful to yourself.  I'm here for you to call if you need to, want to.  Just email me and I'll give you my number, ok?  PLEASE!  Dont do it!   So many here know what you are going thru and they say there is life beyond the bottles of pills.   I have to believe they are right and you do, too.   Hang on!
Lee Ann
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