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  1. I wish I had some insight in how you can get relief from this but all I can offer is the knowledge that you are not alone. In fact, your medication history sounds oddly similar to mine. I have tried nearly every med there is with either limited results (Ambien, Lunesta, etc. just stopped working) or a feeling of being over-medicated (Trazadone, Seroquel). I currently take xanax PRN which is most of the time now and that is not something I would recommend. It works but only for the 4 hrs. that the med is effective. As if it were as benign as benadryl, it wears off and I wake up. I rarely sleep more than 5 hrs and I sleep very, very lightly. Btw, this is in addition to Klonopin but I have to say that I have never really become sleepy from Klonopin. I can take it and function just fine. In my case I think the avoidance of sleep is a huge impediment to my ability to get a good nights rest. I avoid it for as long as I can b/c of nightmares and PTSD flashbacks I get first thing when I wake up. If only I could fix those problems... Sounds like you have tried just about everything and like I said, I wish I had some more to offer. Sleep is such an incredibly important thing and I am sorry that you are struggling to get some as well. Again... you are not alone!
  2. Wow, I can completely relate to what you are going through and I agree with the suggestions of exposure therapy. But it is all easier said than done, for sure. There is something I do to help when my social phobia takes hold. Nothing incredibly profound but sometimes it does help me just enough to get through it. First of all, I take every single step toward my goal of going out one at a time. I take a shower and tell myself that I am just taking a shower and that if I change my mind, I can always stay home. Then I dry my hair, do my makeup, get dressed all with the same caveat repeating in my head. For me, the feeling of committing makes me feel trapped and being trapped completely freaks me out. Recognizing and reminding myself that I am adult and I am in no way actually trapped takes some of the anxiety heat off, so to speak. Once I am in the car, I still tell myself that I am just going to drive there and see how it goes. If I can't do it, that is ok - at least I got as far as getting there... and so on. Usually once I get there, I feel better and it is never as bad as I imagined. Sometimes it is and I leave. Just remember to forgive yourself if you fail. The guilt is not productive! I know how you feel about the xanax too but there is absolutely nothing wrong IMHO with using all the resources you have to help you do the things you want to do. That is what the medications are for. Only you can decide if you are taking it more often than you are comfortable with and if you are then maybe you add another resource, like the exposure therapy. Take those two in combo and you may very well find that you don't need the xanax as much. Just keep trying - keep adding to.
  3. I have found there is a profound difference in my anxiety attacks and my panic attacks. Anxiety attacks build up for me over a definite period of time - maybe an hour, maybe days - and I can directly relate those to a specific subject I am upset about. Those are far more easy for me to deal with. Talking to someone almost always helps. As another member mentioned, it helps to talk about other stuff. Particularly things that are going on in THEIR lives so that I come out of my own head a bit and as a bonus I am reminded that I am not alone in having problems. My panic attacks are an entirely different animal. They sneak up and most often happen when I am calm and doing something fairly stress-free. In fact, when I first started having them, they only happened as I was falling asleep. So I would drift off only to be shocked awake with chest pain and that horrid certainty that I was dying. I have to take xanax for those. I practice self-talk and remind myself that I am not dying, that I will be ok but honestly, it is the meds that make them stop. I wish I had more advice for you! I know how terrible it can be. Being on here and talking about it is an awesome step in the right direction and I know we are all happy you did not take any extra pills.
  4. Getting "caught" looking at myself in the mirror. Even though I have been in a relationship for nearly 12 years, if my he sees me doing my hair or makeup, I am doomed. I have ventured out looking pretty scary just because I could not manage to get enough privacy to primp appropriately.
  5. Thanks so much for welcoming me. It does cause me some discomfort to reach out but not doing so has failed me on every level and I am kind of excited to give something else a try. I am looking forward to getting to know some other members. It seems like a great place.
  6. I hate having to do this kind of thing. Don't get me wrong - I appreciate the introductions that everyone else makes and I completely understand the need for these but as someone who suffers from Social Phobia, this is not my favorite thing to do. I hate the period of time after I have posted something like this because I can't escape the second-guessing. Did I say too much or not enough? Did I come across as too negative or too smartass? Did I spell (insert word) correctly? Ugh. It is exhausting being neurotic. Anyway, here goes... I am a 40 year old female that has a big basket of diagnoses. As I mentioned, Social Phobia is one. I also have PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder and Panic Disorder. I am a survivor of severe physical and emotional abuse from my childhood at the hands of my mother. Saying that I tend to isolate is... well... is a ridiculous understatement. That is why I joined - to try to connect with some people that may understand what I go through. I am looking forward to checking out more of the forums and I aim to keep my promise to myself to try. I have to try, right? Right. I am right about that, right?
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