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Avatar universal

Guitar Hero helped...

I've had the worse anxiety ever this past week and have posted on this forum a few times. (wanted to jump out a window yesterday)  Played Guitar Hero for about an hour in the morning and I must say it helped the symptoms some...couldn't focus on the chest pain as much while trying to beat my husband at this stupid game!
I AM going to make an appt with my dr. for sometime this week hopefully to discuss this severe increase in anxiety.  The dr on call yesterday told me to take 75mg of xanax 3 times a day instead of my 50 mg temporarily till I can get in.  The LAST thing I wanted to do was increase that xanax, but, I was desparate.  It's morning...I already feel that familiar "choking" sensation in my throat.  
Like alot of you....this is getting really old.
18 Responses
212161 tn?1599427282
hang in there , yes see your dr and if you need a med for everyday ativan is not the drug. ask for klonoipn its a long acting med and you can be on it long term.i took it for a while than came off of it with no problems, only side affect i had was it made  me   a little tired but wore off after two weeks . anxiety ia a bad thing it takes your life away if you let it .Dont fight for it and you will get back to your old self. Barbara
366811 tn?1217422672
That getting old thing can work for you, in fact. Many people have reported -and I'm one of them- that getting sick and tired of being sick and tired is kind of a "boundary event" pyschologically. My guess is that we finally realize that all this stuff is NOT going to kill us, and so we get a bit more aggressive in our own recovery efforts. I remember being in a fight with a bully when I was a kid, and after he had beat on me for awhile I realized I was starting to get really mad, instead of scared sh*tless, so I started to fight back.

You also noted that focusing on that stupid game kept symptoms at bay. You bet. But tbis can get tricky, because if you just make stuff up to do, it doesn't always work that way. On the other hand, find something you really, really enjoy (or that really, really, makes you mad) and lo and behold -symptoms take back seat.

When you talk about the increase in anxiety also -please -talk about therapy to dig down for whatever is churning the panic. Tough work, but the best you'll ever do.

As you know, we're riding with you!
Avatar universal
So, if I'm understanding you correctly...in your opinion, is anxiety all mental?  Do you believe that any of it could be chemical/genetic?  I know that the more I focus on the anxiety, the worse it gets, but, couldn't there be something else starting it?  I mean, is it possible that there is nothing "churning the panic" other than a chemical imbalance?  

Yes, the game yesterday kept things a bay a little bit, but it all came right back.

Just curious.  Trying to learn as much as I can about this.
Avatar universal
Just wanted to let you know I have an appt with my dr. on Thurs to discuss all this....I still wnat to know, tho, your opinion about anxiety being mental or chemical....
370181 tn?1595629445
.  I had written quite a long reply to your post, but it became more of a rant relating to the "is it mental or is it chemical" debate, and even though that was one of your questions, I was going off in a direction that offered you no help or support. What I do want to ask you though is this........are you serious when you wrote that your doctor told you to up your Xanax to 75mg TID instead of your usual 50mg!!!!!!!!!! Are you REALLY taking that much Xanax? I have never heard of anyone being on such a massive dose! If that is true and not a typo........how the hell do you function at all? I am on 6mg PRN (as needed) and have very, very seldom gone higher than 2mg in any one day. In my humble opinion, I think the first thing I would discuss with my doctor is the dosage of Xanax he has you on!
To very quickly try and address your question regarding the debate about anxiety/panic being simply mental vs a chemical inbalance, this is only my opinion which I have based on quite a bit of research and my own personal feelings. Something happened to me when I was a very little girl. (I am 56 now) Did that event cause me to develope panic disorder? I have no idea. Did hauling that knowledge around with me for years and years cause me to develope a chemical inbalance? Again, I have no idea. Did a combination of the event and keeping that event hidden for many, many years, cause me to develope panic disorder? Don't know. And neither did any of the therapists I saw over the years. Many people on this forum will recommend therapy, as do I. It has helped many of us and even cured some. So go for it.............what do you have to lose? Keep us posted, we care!
Avatar universal
I am on .50mg 3 times a day and was increased to .75 3 times a day...sorry for the typo.  You are right....I suppose it doesn't really matter whether the anxiety is chemical or mental, in the long run.  In 8 years I have never exceeded 1.5 mg/day, till now.
How did your therapy help you?  So you use a combo therapist/meds to control your anxiety?  I'm been so stable for so long.  I had really forgotten how it can almost debiliate a person.  
366811 tn?1217422672
I'm glad you asked that question, sleepless, because it is the stunning evidence, once again, that I have failed to be clear. So, give me another chance, won't you, and I'll have a run at the mental/chemical/genetic thing.

Let's start with this: IT IS ALL CHEMICAL. Period, new paragraph.

But this is a statement that, while true, is also meangingless. Why? Because EVERYTHING that exists as "matter" is chemical. In fact, the entire material universe has been boiled down to a table of some 100 elements of which everything is made. And if you look at those funny little diagrams that come with the tiny instructions with your medications, you will note, time after time, the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. And if you were to boil ME down into my elements, you'd see the same thing: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, in a fetid little brownish pool in front of the refrigerator. Now, when you think about it, its kind of neat that those 3 elements, with some old tennis shoes tossed in for good measure, are arranged in various combinations to make us, as living beings, and to make our foods, and our meds! The devil, of course, is in the details. Those arrangements -which are often changing- are hideously complex! And SO, the idea of a medication as a chemical to give our brains what they should be making on their own is highly oversimplifed. Oh, if it were only that easy. The closest we've come (as far as I know) is insulin -and it has taken decades to make something that's just a reasonable knock-off of what our pancreas is supposed to cook up. You will note, if you read the fine print with your meds, under "Mechanism of Action," (or something like that) a lot of fancy words that mean, "I dunno, it just works. Well, most of the time, anyway." My point is this this: the fact that anxiety can be understood as a chemical event (which it most certainly is) does NOT mean we simply pour in a quart of Quaker State and solve the problem. Are you with me here? The mere fact that so many people are taking so many meds and STILL having problems tells you, yes, chemical, but which ones and in what combinations at this moment in time? Human suffering, compassion and good old capitalism being what they are, a lot of research is going on to try and get better and better answers to that. This simple the way creating life itself is simple: Mommy and Daddy get together, and months later, here comes little Throckmorton, speaking perfect English, potty trained and with a degree in rocket science! True enough -mommy and daddy spent some time together and something happened. But, as well all know, it really is more complicated than that.

end of part 1

366811 tn?1217422672
Now, agreed that its all about the chemisty (or bio-chemistry, if you will) the next logical question is, "OK, how'd it GET this way (to make me panic)?" This, too, is hideously complex, but what we can and do say with some assurance is that something made our brains start squeezing out juice in such a way that we ended up feeling really nervous. Just like our brain squeezing out juices that make us feel good, or confident, or funny, or, after a drink or two -invisible! And what we also know is that the brain tends to be heavily influenced by what goes on around us, and what it thinks about ITSELF. And so, people like Freud started wondering if certain things could happen in our development that would leave a pretty big impression over our lifetimes. And later research has indicated, persuasively, that even the stuff we think we've forgotten is "in there." And so, the idea of going back to past events and emotional history kind of makes sense when it comes to isolating, as much as we can, the things that made our brain squeeze out the panic or anxiety juice. This, too, is hideously complicated and can't be quantified, studied and analyzed in test tubes. It's slippery. But on the other hand, doing "brain work" has a special advantage, because, guess what -its OUR BRAIN! And we know for a FACT that whatever chemistry we need will be made in no better place than our own brains. This isn't propaganda, folks. How could it possibly be otherwise? There's more: we don't really need to know exactly what process need take place to balance our chemistry, and really don't need to know exactly what events or circumstances soured the milk way back when. In fact, we can dredge up memories that are completely inaccurate as a factual account. All that's necessary is that our memories and ideas be "psychologically correct," that they capture, in the images and sensations we experience presently, whatever underlying material is important. All we need to do, therefore, is set the conditions that will enable the corrective actions to take place -seemingly magically- within our own brains. And thus, skilled therapy that helps us do this does, without doubt, manifest in chemical changes. But the "miracle of modern chemistry" is not in a botlle or pill. Its IN US! Friends, this is HUGE. We really, really do have within us what we need to change the formula. Mind you now, I'm not talking about pathological conditions or physical disease processes which for some folks can ONLY be treated with medication. And I'm NOT talking about disorders which mimic oanic but are really something else. That's why we get all those tests to rule that stuff out.

Now, if the medications are "some" help, and talk therapy is also "some" help, we might expect that is you put the two together, you'll have something really dyn-o-mite! And that is exactly what the studies show. The mere fact, however, that talk therapy is happening is no guarantee, becuase sometimes the "target" of therapy is not the underlying conditions, but rather something purely behavioral, like smoking maybe. Thus, if what you want is to go back to the prime movers, then that's what you have to do.

You may wonder, "How is it possible for talk therapy to make corrections to problems that have been YEARS in the making?" Here's how. What's 9 times 7? If I pay $1.00 for a 25 cent pack of gum, what's my change? Who was Abraham Lincoln? What's your phone number? What's MY phone number? What does it mean to be an Amwerican (British subject, etc.) With one exception, the answers came right into your head, didn't they? But there was a time that they didn't. You had to learn, you had to look it up, remember it, use it and THINK about it. The difference between those days and NOW is that you operate with an adult brain which has become more powerful and sophisticated as time goes by, even WITH all those I Love Lucy re-runs. And that is the brain you take back through your emotional history to kick butt and take names. You have the privilege of rescuing yourself. Not one word -NOT ONE WORD- of what I have just told you is speculative or made up. You know it to be so by virtue of your own experience and that brain you carry around. A miracle? Yep.

OK, genetics. Genetics are simply (heh, heh) a way of storing information that is passed to you (and from you to Throckmorton) and acts as a set of instructions telling your cells how to develop. Chemical? Yep -it is ALL chemical. No one questions that hair color and other physical traits are dropped down the pipe from GrandPa Hornswaggle, so we should not be surprised that our mental traits are also inherited. Problem is, those are not as visible as your green hair, so people have for years claimed that all the good stuff came through the family and all the bad stuff came from the snot-nose little tikes on the playgound. I won't spend a lot of time with this, but let me just say that the genetic piece is looking to be much bigger than originally thought. Get a copy of Stranger in the Nest and read all about it. And let me also say that, except for identical twins, this is complicated, too: its rarely a 1 to 1 ratio of mommy had it, so now I have it. Its more like mommy had it, so now I have some of it (or more). Remember, what YOU have is the result of what 2 people before you had, and 4 people before them, and 8 ...you get the idea.

Chemical imbalance? You bet! Questions are, why and how -and what do we do now? One thing we know for sure: the person most qualified to do the intervention on your behalf -is YOU.

Avatar universal
You know sleepless, I once had a doctor ask me when once again I was calling him begging for a refill on my empty prescription of benzopines,"Your out hu, well what if you didnt refill the script,,, I mean WHAT would happen if you had an anxiety attack?"  

I was ASTOUNDED he would even ask me something like that,,, and frankly I dismissed him immediately because that certainly wasnt a sitation I even wanted to consider. But the question stayed in the back of my mind (and yeah I got the script refilled by anouther doctor in the same practice)

What IF I DIDNT have a pill next time that terror hit? Id have to face the fear alone,,, that was exceedly scary,, but I wasnt sure why because no, I really didnt know WHAT would happen or how Id handle it. Just thinking about it scared me. But the idea empowered me somehow and gave me a reason to wonder.

Mabey your coming to that point in your dis-ease like I did where you start to question if the cure isnt in someway keeping you sick. Benzopines lower the brains ability to manage its on stress levels... so as one who has kicked the pills,, I hope you find what really helps whatever that answer is. *bows respectfully*
Avatar universal
The very reason I got off of Xanax for a year was that reason....mostly.  It was society stigma of being on that drug, and, I was worried as often as I travel...what IF I lost my pills out of the country....So...I was really afraid to be that dependent.    So...I WAS off of them for a year.  One of the worse years of my life, I might add.  The vertigo was so bad that I almost become agraphobic.  I tried very hard to get past it, but couldn't.  I did "kick" the pills tho. The vertigo all stopped when I got back on the xanax.  
And....it doesn't sound like you were taking them on a daily basis...I could be wrong about that.  Sounds like you were more taking them IF you started to have a panic attack.
I know that you cannot stop these cold turkey or you can go into seizures.  So if a dr. asked me what if I didn't refill the script I would think he was being very irresponsible, in my case.  I would have to very very slowly taper.
Avatar universal
Im sorry,, I didnt mean to insinuate that you 'should' because I thought so or someonelse does, because YOUR opinion is the only one of value in this situation, its you thats suffering.If it HELPS you particulary with a physical sensation your trying to deal with, then absolutely you SHOULD be on it I agree. Im not sure how benzopines can help with vertigo because you shouldnt feel off balance and dizzy 'naturally' I mean there should be a health reason for being dizzy and I understand you've had tests for that all not finding anything right? So if xanax relieves that condition fantastic,,, Im glad you have found the cure.

I hope your doctor is sharing with his peers or peer groups your case, because he may be onto something if the reason for it is ever determined.  Iv never heard of the spins being part of anxiety unless its in refference to hyperventilating, but that doesnt sound anything like what your talking about.

Anyhow..please accept my apology if my comments were taken as judgemental of your particular situation, because that really wasnt my intention,,I just misunderstood that you were specifically talking about dizzyness being your reason for the medicine.

Avatar universal
you know, I just re-read over your post since it seemed so clear I misunderstood it the first time... and I wonder,, what makes you think this is anxiety? I mean if you could point me to your original postings I would like to read them if thats alright with you?

What you posted above really sounds much more physical than hormone or brain chemical induced. I am very glad to see you've been seeing a doctor,, and Im assuming this doctor found nothing wrong with you IE the benzopine for anxiety. And if it seems to be helping somehow good,, but if its brain chemical induced,, I hope he has checked all possible systems to make sure he isnt missing something that could prove important to your health in some way.

Avatar universal
NO apology needed!  I just didn't think you were understanding MY post!
There are several people on this forum talking about vertigo and anxiety....not uncommon at all!  There was absolutly NO other health reason, as many will tell you on these boards.(and I also went thru ALL the tests!)   It's really frustrating, but true.  
Avatar universal
One more time Im going to stick my neck out there. I just (out of curiosity) re-read your responses and requests for more information and opinions and realized you have been a tad confrontational with each responder regarding the very thing your asking for, opinions that is. I feel a little silly now.. ya got me. I wont be returning to this thread after all. Please disregard my past posts.. and please do find anouther hobby friend, this ones silly and childish.
Avatar universal
okay, mabey I need more sleep because frankly Im not sure what to think at this point. sounds like you've got a problem,,, but I really dont know what it is, I am not a doctor or a psychologist though,, Im just like everyonelse here,, trying to help if I can.

Your problem doesnt sound like any kind of anxiety Iv dealt with, it sounds physical or brain chemical caused,, an imbalance most likely. I do hope its not some other system though because if your not catching the symptoms and connecting it with its cause , the outcome could be in question.

I hope you find happyness and health sleepless, please pm me if I can help in some way.
242912 tn?1402543492
With all due respect I think you have misunderstood.  Sleeplesss said she felt vertigo for a year AFTER she tapered off of Xanax and went back on it for that reason.  You are both very nice ladies with a lot to offer here....please don't fight.....
242912 tn?1402543492
With all due respect I think you have misunderstood.  Sleeplesss said she felt vertigo for a year AFTER she tapered off of Xanax and went back on it for that reason.  You are both very nice ladies with a lot to offer here....please don't fight.....
Avatar universal
I see that now, and have apologized because my experince has been so different that I just cant understand her situation... but that in no way invalidates her experince and Im sorry for suggesting it did. Iv been around messageboards for many years both open and closed forums... and open forums Iv found often leave me wondering about many things. Im not sure how involved I'll become on this one therefore... but so far Iv very much enjoyed being able to share my experince with others... and Im certain Sleepless feels the same, so Im glad we have both found this place today.

Thankyou FMX
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370181 tn?1595629445
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