1132574 tn?1271672466

Will I ever sleep again?


I'm kinda new here... Been having bad anxiety for about a month now. The best way to describe how I feel is all kinds of jittery, like I have an IV of coffee or something. Have had history of health anxiety whenever a health issue or even just a regular doc appt sets me off. My anxiety kicked off about a month ago before my check up with my primary, but it went really nuts this time for some reason. I take Ativan .25-.50 Ativan when anxiety is bad. Try hard not to take it every day. Even with that, I am having trouble staying asleep. I fall asleep ok, then wake up at random times all anxious. Once my anxiety starts I get all jittery & its downhill from there. . .Do any of you have any recommendations for what to do when this happens?  Have any of you all found something to help you sleep. Tylenol PM maybe? It's usually about 2-4am in the morning when I awake.

I am in early stages of seeing a psychologist, still getting through family history etc so we haven't gotten too far just yet. I got an anxiety book and try to do breathing & muscle relaxation but they do not always do the trick . I feel too keyed up for that on occasion. I also find it helps only temporarily, just like exercise. Primary doc gave me Rx for Lexapro but I am afraid to take it b/c of potential side effects.  

Comments & suggestions are most welcome!

4 Responses
1696489 tn?1370821974
Hello :) and welcome to our 'family'!  I have taken ativan for years  (before switching to klonopin) to control anxiety.  The problem with ativan is that it only works for a short duration (about 8 hours) and has a tendency to cause 'ups and downs', even when taken regularly.  This is the reason I switched to klonopin (this must be taken regularly, usually twice a day).  I have found this to be my 'miracle drug', as it is 'smooth' and makes me feel normal every day.  But, like you, I still have trouble sleeping.  I remedy this with an over the counter sleep aid Doxylamine Succinate, 25 mg at bedtime.  My pharmacist recommended this to me a long time ago.  It is safe to take with the types of meds we are on, it is mild enough to let you fall asleep gently without knocking you out (in fact I can easily stay awake on it if I really want to), and I have never had a negative side-effect from it.  It's cheap, and you can find it in the sleep-aid section.  NOTE: you must look for the drug I mentioned, because most sleep aids are Dyphenhydromine, and while not really dangerous, it is not recommended for those on anxiety meds.  Same goes for acetaminophen (pain releiver).  I highly recommend asking your pharmacist what is safe for you to take whenever you buy OTC drugs.  This will keep you away from a possible bad idea. :) - Blu
1238554 tn?1339420116
I totally understand the jittery feeling, that was always my worst symptom. I'm also on ativan, and I take usually .5-1mg when I'm having a panic attack that I can't control on my own. My sleep at first was awful, I usually slept maybe an hour or two a night, sometimes not even that. Eventually my doctor but me on amitriptyline 25mg for sleep. It's an antidepressant, but he said it was safe to take along with the ativan and the 20mg zoloft I'm on, and it was the only thing that helped me sleep. I tried seroquel, trazadone, and a bunch of other things and nothing helped. I was only on the amitriptyline for about 6 months and now I don't take anything for sleep and I sleep just fine. The ami isn't addictive, which was one of my main concerns with a sleep aid.

1132574 tn?1271672466
Thanks to you both! Blu, I was just complaining about my ups & downs to my hubby and wondered if part of what I'm experiencing could be from the Ativan itself.
1696489 tn?1370821974
Yes, you could easily be right about that.  Talk to your doctor... :) - Blu
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