So, I am on Klonopin .5 mg 3x a day, and taking Ativan when needed. I typically need (not want) 1-3 mg of Ativan a day. I haven't been on this high of a dose of benzos until several weeks ago. Right now, I absolutely need them, and all my doctors agree that it's my best option for now. My brain doesn't seem to work right, and just won't produce enough GABA. I really just want to stop the Ativan altogether, but at this point, it's unrealistic, unless the Klonopin is increased.
So, I've been really trying to let my brain produce its own GABA, by supplementing with L-Theanine (suntheanine brand). I've been taking 2-3 times the recommended dose with no noticeable benefits. It's supposed to help people, but I am guessing it only helps people who can actually produce sufficient amounts of the neurotransmitter (not me).
So, I went to the health food store and bought the most potent Valerian and Passion Flower they had, hoping to not need an extra Ativan tonight. The reason why I went to the store, is because I felt that something was coming on, looked at the Ativan, and thought, let's try something different.
Well, I had high hopes, but I got home, and it didn't work. I took double the amount of all the herbs, and took some L-Theanine. I started to feel tired and drowsy. The herbs were having an effect. However, the panic feelings were still present, but I was trying to ignore them. As I felt the need to drift off to sleep, my perceptions seemed to change, I felt a little spooked with an adrenaline rush, and then the underlying panic came out of its cage.
When I panic, I am surprisingly calm; in fact, I only will say a few words. I find myself touching my face repeatedly, as if it was the natural thing to do. If it's not as severe, I'll pace in circles touching my face over and over. If it's more severe, I'll lay face first on the ground. I need someone's presence when it happens, but the room needs to be quiet, and they can't talk to me as conversation is an extremely irritating stimuli. Tonight, I had the feeling of doom, and my blood pressure and heart escalated as it usually does (145/95 102 bpm). This was actually a good reading for me, as I've seen my blood pressure go much, much higher than that, and heart rate nearly double that speed. I feel the need for emergency attention every time. Unfortunately, this is an uncontrollable feeling for me. It really feels like I am dying. I put on my shoes, grabbed my keys, and thought about driving myself to an emergency room (I was in no condition to be driving), since only my little brother is home. I had thoughts of calling 911, but I've done that before (recently), so I resisted.
So, doing what a responsible person would do, I took the Ativan out of necessity (the attacks don't stop without it), and I was feeling better in about 40 minutes. Unfortunately, I don't always get complete relief from these drugs, but they make me well enough to stay home, and usually rid or lessen the feeling of doom.
I am on so many pharmaceuticals right now, and really wish I didn't need all these addictive anxiety pills on top of it. I have anxiety without depression, and it is terrible. What I went through today was nothing compared to some previous attacks, but a friendly reminder to listen to my body right now. I am told that after my underlying cause is treated, the anxiety, should go away, but sometimes I wonder if it will ever go away or if my brain is just stuck in its GABA deficient state. Unfortunately, I haven't found an anti-depressant that works at all for me. All they do is make anxiety worse. The more weeks I stay on them, the more they amplify the anxiety. I wish there was a better solution, that wasn't as addictive, but I haven't found one yet. Atleast the benzos give me a feeling of normalcy.
People claim that it impairs your ability to drive, it makes you less sharp, harder to concentrate, fatigue, etc. Well, in my case, all of those claims are a bunch of bogus. It does the exact opposite of every one of those side effects for me.
If I have a several day stretch where I am doing good, I sometimes try to cut back on my medication. My doctors know that I have a need for these drugs right now, and for that reason they encourage that I should take what I need. Unfortunately, those days of courage and optimism always seem to bite me in the butt.
I feel sorry for those on here that have panic attacks, and are told that it is all because of negative thinking, etc. I know there are a lot of other people out there with severe panic like me who have almost no control over what their body and brain is doing. I have so little control that I wouldn't accept that what I was experiencing was a form of panic attacks for a long time. I see a psychiatrist and a therapist now, and sure it does help me cope with the stress caused by my situation, but the attacks will stop when they decide to.