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yellowlovesgray

Panic in a benzophobic climate...

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Does anyone else have a panic disorder in an area where benzos have been suddenly cut off because of the opioid epidemic? If so how do you treat it? I was prescribed Klonopin for it and took it without a change in dose for 8 years, then tapered down a bit and was relatively ok. I'm in a new city now and doctors here have been strong-armed into not prescribing benzos at ALL so I had to go cold turkey even after years of them telling me not to and a history of seizures.

My new doctor gave me Vistoril and wants me to follow up with a therapist but I can't make the physical sensations of panic stop. THe shaking, jerking muscle movements, etc. I feel like I'm in fight or flight all the time. Panic attacks take up 5-7 hours of my day and I can't function, I haven't worked since I got here. 1f641.png:(

I know therapy is helpful and I've done CBT and DBT before but the things I learned there are more helpful for the sensation psychologically of "worrying," and it's not that -- it's the physical shaking/jerking, etc. that's really uncomfortable and borderline painful. I feel like someone is torturing me somehow. I don't know what to do -- I realize there's a drug crisis in the US and I realize now doctors say benzos are super dangerous but I'd been on them for so long with no drama.

I don't care about not getting the benzo I just want to be able to work again, but doctors here don't seem to have a game plan for how to handle this situation. I need the physical part to go away. I haven't been able to work since January of this year. :( I hate this.

Edited by yellowlovesgray

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16 minutes ago, Iceberg said:

Propanalol? Not great for anxiety itself but can be very helpful with the physical symptoms 

I almost asked about that earlier, I was gonna ask about beta blockers in general but she said I sounded like I was doing too much research and kind of implied I was trying to lead someone into giving me more drugs so I chickened out. I feel like everything I say down here is percieved as drug seeking behavior. I'm at my wits end. THank you though, I'll probably ask about it.

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I feel for you, anxiety is terrible without any relief.

When I was in the hospital they told me that Dr's in my state are no longer allowed to prescribe benzos for more than three months anymore unless it's a severe case.  

I guess I am a severe case since I've been on Klonopin for 10 years now.  I want to get off it but I'm afraid of the withdrawal.  I have read the rebound anxiety can be paralyzing. 

I wish I would have never started taking it.  

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51 minutes ago, gb84 said:

I feel for you, anxiety is terrible without any relief.

When I was in the hospital they told me that Dr's in my state are no longer allowed to prescribe benzos for more than three months anymore unless it's a severe case.  

I guess I am a severe case since I've been on Klonopin for 10 years now.  I want to get off it but I'm afraid of the withdrawal.  I have read the rebound anxiety can be paralyzing. 

I wish I would have never started taking it.  

Try not to freak yourself out prematurely. Trained, experienced doctors know how to titrate benzos to avoid issues as much as possible. Remember that it's probably a skewed sample because people who get off it no issue likely don't report as much. Don't give yourself an "anti-placebo" effect. Just so you know I was on 3 or 4 mg a day and I was able to get off it fine 

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gb84 - The rebound anxiety is terrible BUT I don't think it would be NEARLY as bad or uncomfortable if a professional were on your side with a taper. I was mid-way with a taper and got kind of 'stuck' in a different city (long story, had a family crisis and returned to my home town and wound up staying) and doctors here just refused to help me taper. I'm hearing more and more about this and I can't believe this is ethically sound in the medical industry right now. I wish I hadn't taken them either, and I was prescribed them initially for anxiety but mostly for akathesia, but now without them I'm in full blown hard core panic, or something similar.

Doctors keep telling me I can't be in withdrawal still but I feel like I am. I'm having mind zaps, confusion, I'm shaking/jittery, etc., I feel like I'm gonna have a seizure. I never had a history of seizures before benzos and I've had several now over the years. I've had 3 in 3 different public work spaces. :( I lost my job sorta once as the result of one, and I had another place not want to work with me again after a solid contract there because I seized on site my last day.

I have no idea how keeping me in this state is better. But I just hope I don't seize again. I've seized over the years when a doctor's dropped the ball on a refill for the benzos (I had one doctor that would up and go on vacation with no notice, etc. and one that was I think going senile in the end when I was seeing him). Doctors though don't seem to be concerned about me seizing and I'm finding this baffling - for over 10 years they kept telling me to never go off cold turkey and now they're giving people essentially the orders to. When I mention the seizures they literally have no reaction sometimes, just a semi shrug and "i'm sorry." 

Edited by yellowlovesgray
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I’ve never been on many benzos because none of my Drs were into them but propranolol does help with some symptoms. I’m still anxious but some of the physical parts are controlled. Still can’t drive on freeways but at least I can sort of be a passenger, so I don’t want to oversell it. Your new dr doesn’t sound helpful so I hope you can get some good care somehow and not just cold turkey and nothing else. 

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3 hours ago, sugarsugar said:

I’ve never been on many benzos because none of my Drs were into them but propranolol does help with some symptoms. I’m still anxious but some of the physical parts are controlled. Still can’t drive on freeways but at least I can sort of be a passenger, so I don’t want to oversell it. Your new dr doesn’t sound helpful so I hope you can get some good care somehow and not just cold turkey and nothing else. 

Thanks, sugar sugar. I'm hoping we come to a solution soon too but I'm losing what little hope I had left. I saw my psychiatrist yesterday but she said she'd have to think or do some research before she prescribes something for me to help, and honestly I think she's just gonna leave me high and dry. I'm not even sure when to call to ask about the meds. They're super serious and paranoid about anything that looks like 'drug seeking' behavior. And no refills.

I'm at a loss. ER says they can't help me, go to my psychiatrist. Psychiatrist says she can't help me either. Saw my GP today and same thing, and she wouldn't even give me a referral to an endo or neurologist on my first visit. SHe said today she'll have someone work on referrals this week. 

I'm so uncomfortable and it;s going on a YEAR. I can't believe this is acceptable here. My mind is blown.

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1 hour ago, yellowlovesgray said:

Thanks, sugar sugar. I'm hoping we come to a solution soon too but I'm losing what little hope I had left. I saw my psychiatrist yesterday but she said she'd have to think or do some research before she prescribes something for me to help, and honestly I think she's just gonna leave me high and dry. I'm not even sure when to call to ask about the meds. They're super serious and paranoid about anything that looks like 'drug seeking' behavior. And no refills.

I'm at a loss. ER says they can't help me, go to my psychiatrist. Psychiatrist says she can't help me either. Saw my GP today and same thing, and she wouldn't even give me a referral to an endo or neurologist on my first visit. SHe said today she'll have someone work on referrals this week. 

I'm so uncomfortable and it;s going on a YEAR. I can't believe this is acceptable here. My mind is blown.

Could you get in with another psych or even a psych NP (if that works in your state)? Her "doing research" for a first line anxiety drug is (in my untrained and unqualified opinion) is a bit of a red flag...and so is the fact that she seems really hesitant to prescribe meds that are pretty well known and commonly used. I'm not saying fire Her or anything:..but maybe you need a fresh set of eyes...of course I do know that psych appts are really hard to come by 

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On 10/17/2018 at 6:03 PM, Iceberg said:

Could you get in with another psych or even a psych NP (if that works in your state)? Her "doing research" for a first line anxiety drug is (in my untrained and unqualified opinion) is a bit of a red flag...and so is the fact that she seems really hesitant to prescribe meds that are pretty well known and commonly used. I'm not saying fire Her or anything:..but maybe you need a fresh set of eyes...of course I do know that psych appts are really hard to come by 

This city is a nightmare, honestly I'm scared to even talk to another doctor because I seriously think my having been to the ER when I was told it was my only choice when I was at my absolute most MISERABLE here is being viewed as drug seeking behavior. I feel like going inpatient somewhere would be my only solution but even with THAT I'm afraid they're going to see as drug-seeking. 

ITA it's a huge red flag, I'm appalled. I've had consistent care and have been med compliant for over 10 years but they just see "Adderall" and "Clonazepam" because I stupidly gave that info to the hospital the first time I went to one here a few months ago. Everyone is standing FIRM in their claim that "NOBODY needs a benzo for that long," I've been told that multiple times here. :( Nobody seems to give a shit. I can_NOT believe it. I feel damned if I do damned if I don't when it comes to what I disclose anymore to a doctor -- if I tell the truth it's drug seeking, if I hide something and they find out it will look like drug seeking. I've never abused my meds EVER and I don't do street drugs. wtf. I've been dealing with this since January or so and don't see any end in sight. :(

Today I went to my GP and I'm shocked that there, in the ER, with my pdoc, etc. I can bring up my history of seizures and they still think what I'm feeling is unfounded anxiety about having a seizure and that I just wanna get drugs. Seriously right now I would KILL for even Depakote because that helps the shaking more than Buspar and Vistoril but for whatever reason she needs to do more research before feeling comfortable prescribing it.

Edited by yellowlovesgray

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22 hours ago, Iceberg said:

Hmm....they think your drug seeking for mood stabilizers too? That's....interesting...

Yeah it makes no sense to me whatsoever. What everyone's willing to prescribe is Vistoril, which even in large doses doesn't really help the situation, I just feel like I've taken an enormous amount of Benedryl and it makes me super hungry. But even mood stabilizers are something that causes panic. I'm getting a referral to a nuerologist and also to an endocronologist because I have thyroid issues.

I'm hopeless and miss having a life. All of this work to hunt for medical care would sure be a lot easier if I were more stable and functional.

Edited by yellowlovesgray

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I wish I could help. I’m super afraid of two things—being called drug seeking or manipulative and I’ve been called both. It’s a way of discounting whatever else you say.  I’m not sure why with other conditions being informed and proactive is considered a plus but not with mental illness issues. And I’ve learned that saying you have drug allergies also works against you. Discouraging. There must be a way to present things to counter the labels—I hear saying you want to partner with them to find a solution is the buzzword—I wish I knew how to reset their preconceived notions. I fear the whole opioid crisis will affect us all for a while but I hope you can still get something that works for you. 

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Thank you sugarsugar. I'm with you, I feel like the opioid crisis is gonna effect us all too. She has my old charts, she's seen my bottles, etc. 

She finally prescribed me Lithium but she wants labs, which my insurance doesn't cover, and I don't have money for them but I'm afraid to NOT do them because again, afraid of looking irresponsible and drug seeking. Oy.

Edited by yellowlovesgray

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Shop around those labs, most cities have several labs so see what each charges. I find they vary a lot between labs. Actually it is a requirement to have labs with Lithium, you can't take it safely without labs.So it is not unusual or excessive that your doc requires them.

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I finally broke down and took a tiny bit of Phenibut the day before yesterday and they stopped. I think it was really bad withdrawal and anxiety. I'm just taking the buspar right now but I haven't had the trembling that I've had since January. This was kinda traumatic for me, I'm freaking out a little bit about taking anything at all I'll grow a dependence on because it could in theory be yanked away at some point. 

I don't trust any of the doctors down here and I've been seeing pdocs for over a decade. I'm just going to tell her my thyroid is being more aggressively treated and what she gave me made me feel better and I didn't start the Lithium but I'm ok. Because I do feel normal. I only feel up and down when I take a stim for ADD but they're not prescribing those here either. I don't think I've ever lied to a doctor before.

 

Edited by yellowlovesgray

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I don’t have any good advice but this whole thread makes me so angry for you. It’s absolutely unfair that you are being treated this way. I worry that if I have to switch pdocs the new one won’t be OK with benzos. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.

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3 hours ago, Juniper29 said:

I worry that if I have to switch pdocs the new one won’t be OK with benzos. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.

I worry about this also......From reading online many sources, sort of indicates that it's the younger pdocs, not too long out of med school, who have become so benzophobic, although I can't say for certain that's true......

Of course, laws in certain areas have changed, too, due to the "opioid crisis".

Even if you get a doc that wants you off a benzo, it should at least be tapered, not yanked cold turkey....Don't docs know that yet.??.......**SIGH**

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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Yes, I have a benzo-phobic pdoc, and I think it’s the norm now unfortunately. 

Just thought I’d throw this out, have you tried an AD for anxiety? Both of my daughters take Zoloft. It’s not perfect, but I do think it helps. Of course that wouldn’t touch a panic attack. 

Why are there always a few that ruin it for the rest of us 

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I was on 3 mg klonopin when I had to go IP and the IP pdoc cold turkey stopped it. I don’t get why drs don’t get that this is risky. I find certain drs are anti benzo definitely around where I live too. They also replaced klonopin with hydroxyzine too, like you now have.

When I got out of that IP stay luckily my outpatient pdoc put me back on klonopin because I absolutely do not function without it. I become home bound and have massive panic attacks that seemingly never end on a daily basis. Klonopin has changed my life. I think I’ve been on it 10 years from 0.5 mg to 3 mg. It has varied up and down in dose. But like you I’ve never abused my meds or anything like that. 

In fact, now I have to sign a waiver stating I won’t sell or misuse the controlled substances I’m on (klonopin and perhaps the lunesta too?).  I have to do this every year at the county clinic I go to. The benzophobia is just beginning I fear. I fear if I get a new younger pdoc or if I am forced IP again that will be the end of klonopin and me. Then what? Go back to not leaving the house again? Yeah, because that’s really good for my mental health. 

I’m so angry for you. For the mess of a situation you are in.

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