Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Xanax

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TaniaF, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. TaniaF

    TaniaF Member

    I have anxiety and panic attacks and have been taking Xanax for quite some time. I also have mitral valve problems and dysautonomia where panic is part of the symptoms.

    I'm so super sensitive to meds and can't take anti-depressants. I only take 1 1/2 pills of Xanax 0.25 in divided doses a day. My doctor says I'm not taking enough to control my problem.

    I was hoping to use positive thoughts and breathing to overcome my fears - mostly fears of my chronic health problems (tachycardia, asthma, fibro/CFS).

    I think Xanax is the best med for panic and will continue it. Maybe take a dose when going out. Anyone else use it? Are you having success with anxiety? Any other thoughts about how to treat anxiety/panic?

    I tried 5 htp under a doctor's supervision, but it lowered my blood pressure too much and this made me lightheaded.

    I willing to try other approaches except for AD meds? They make me too sick.

    Thanks!
  2. spacee

    spacee Member

    Tachycardia is not uncommon in CFS patients. Cheney did a dvd "The Matter
    of the Heart". Or "The Heart of the Matter". I get them confused:)

    I think docs can think it is more panic/anxiety when it can be more
    tachycardia. My friend and I got sick at the same time. Her doc knew
    right away it was her heart. Mine diagnosed me with "deep seated anxiety".

    I never improved until i was given Isoptin 248 SR by an Infectious Disease
    doc (go figure). Have been on it about 23 years. My friend is on heart med
    too.

    A calcium based channel blocker is what is recommended.

    I hope you and your doc can work things out. Along with your sensitivity
    to meds.

    Linda
  3. TaniaF

    TaniaF Member

    I found out I have MVP and tachycardia when I was in my 20's. I was put on Calan (verapamil - calcium channel blocker) for the palpitations and such. I'm now 60 and found that I need a lower dose. I also have fluctuation blood pressure, so sometimes I need to skip a dose when my BP is too low.

    I also have a sub-clinical TSH, not low enough to put me on medication for hyperthyroid but sometimes I get the internal shakes and faster pulse. I take a small dose of a beta-blocker daily to keep my pulse rate down.

    So, it's possible that my anxiety level has gotten worse since I'm getting older and having more clinical issues.

    I'm just finding myself not wanting to go out as much or travel. I guess I've put my mindset that home is my safe place. I need to get out of this, but what I have read is that you have to face the fear and "just do it."

    Anyone else in this position?
  4. FaithHopeCure

    FaithHopeCure New Member

    I don't have MVP or tachycardia, but I have been through severe panic attacks and anxiety due to fibro pain. The pain would make me anxious because I knew I would not sleep well and I would go into a panic early evening when my pain was at its worse.

    I became dependent on the Xanax and my body could not calm down with out it. Using xanax for long periods of time causes more anxiety symptoms and the body no longer can cope on its own. Last march I had enough and started using GABA for sleep at night and l-theanine during the day for anxiety. Some people use the GABA during the day. They are both natural amino acids and is needed to help calm nerves.

    Since you have been using Xanax, I would cut back on the Xanax while adding the GABA and/or l-theanine. If you try to stop cold turkey on the Xanax you may have withdrawal problems. GABA is actually used in drug and alcohol addiction clinics to help people with withdrawal symptoms.

    Good luck and be good to yourself!
  5. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Low magnesium is linked to tachycardia (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7124464) and also mitral valve prolapse (see www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9070556)

    Low magnesium levels are also linked to anxiety.

    Low magnesium levels are extremely common in people with CFS and fibro. Magnesium and malic acid can help with energy and fibro pain.

    So magnesium may help with all your symptoms, including the panic attacks. Also, l-theanine, an amino acid which helps the brain produce GABA, is very helpful with anxiety. I have read that l-theanine works better than straight GABA as it crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily.

    Mary
  6. misskoji

    misskoji Member

    Boy, I sure can relate to your issues with ADs, depression and anxiety.

    I absolutely cannot tolerate AD's. But, the anti-anxiety meds do work for me. I take Xanax as needed. I do not take them as Rx'd, (2xdaily), as I don't want to build a tolerance.

    I have tried several natural products. I found that Sam-E helps me tremendously. I've read about, and talked with others who have also been helped with Sam-E.

    We are all different, of course, but you might consider giving it a try. I started at 200mg, and built myself up to 400mg daily, slowly. I feel depression and anxiety are both helped by this product.

    I get my Sam-E right here at ProHealth, so I know it's a quality product.

    You can find it here:
    https://www.prohealth.com/shop/product.cfm/product__code/PH150

    Best of luck, I hope you find relief soon.

    Misskoji
  7. jole

    jole Member

    The xanax works great for me with anxiety/panic attacks also. I'm on a .5 dose at bedtime to slow down the racing brain so I can sleep, and can use it as needed otherwise. I get out only to grocery shop once a month, and to see the doctor. Other events are far and few between. I simply can't do crowds. And on those days I have to take one when I get up in the morning, or I can't make it out the door. Even .5 is considered a fairly low dose (according to my doc) so if you need it, take it. I've found a lot of times the racing heart is really from the anxiety/panic, and it will get it under control. It's one of the few prescription meds I take, but couldn't be without it!
  8. greatgran2

    greatgran2 Member

    I agree with Jole... Have been on them for 6 plus years...5 three times a day if needed.. I will dito everything Jole says as I am in the same boat..I was fearful of addiction, dependance etc.. but it is the only rx med I can take as I can't tolerate antidepressants and other mends.. I take them regular some days only one or two other days all three as prescribed.. I have been dx with chronic lyme, fm, cfs, sjogren's ,anxiety, panic, and big Agorphobia....

    Just be thankful for them..

    Best of luck, gg
  9. inprog

    inprog Member

    We were on Xanex for panic attacks at the lowest dose and then 1/4 pill of that. We took it PRN. We decided to taper off even at that low dose and after six weeks of not being on any Xanex had the worst panic attack ever. Fortunately we had a stash of Meprobamate and took a 1/4 pill of that just that one time. No more Xanex. Years later we went on Klonopin which is much easier to drive on at least for us but as before we don't take much, just 1/4 pill. Now we are doing lithium citrate by prescription as a liquid and take just a drop or two. Some people to very well on lithium orotate. Check it out on youtube and google John Gray, lithium orotate. It is a mineral of the non-prescription form. I found that very helpful but still have some prescription lithium left. Also read all the reviews on amazon for lithium orotate. It helps some people a lot. Not everyone is the same in what they tolerate. Both Xanex and klonopin lower blood pressure which is what I was using it for in my case trigger by anxiety. Now I don't have blood pressure problems and being very careful that even some supplements that are above suspicion can raise blood pressure. Have to test them one by one.
    inprog
  10. sascha

    sascha Member

    i'm susceptible to stress, anxiety, worry, fear. have had anxiety attacks in the past. i've been on an AD for some time. also maybe 3 years ago somehow came across EFT, which now helps me A LOT.

    EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a self-help technique (there are also many practitioners you can go to who use this technique with clients) that involves tapping on acupressure points as you say what's bothering you. there's a prescribed way of going about your issues that protects you and gently leads you along into dealing with has to do with you.

    there are many online sources (eftuniverse.com, plus youtube videos) that can help you learn how to use the approach. our energy systems can get frozen in unhealthy patterns. using EFT unblocks energy channels and reroutes energies in healthy ways. can make changes in how we feel about things.

    and once you learn how to do it,it's a tool you always have with you. it's gentle- can be powerful aid for change. it's a fascinating approach. feels like an old buddy of mine now. can be awesome and amazingly helpful. iknow i need it and use it a lot. brings me great comfort. salome
  11. snuggs69

    snuggs69 New Member

    I feel your pain, i have so many medical issues it is crazy, actually had my first heart attack at 21, I have crohns disease, I am legally blind, MS, PTSD, severe social anxiety, depression with suicidal tendencies. I have had a stroke from stress a couple of years ago and I am just in my early 40's. I have been on xanax .5 mg a day three times a day for about 10 years now off and on. I have tried every AD out there and they make me extremely suicidal. I have had some docs blow this off others actually pay attention. I think i fear public places because I am scared I will lose control because of the MS and Crohns. The xanax does help but lately the past three of four months I have had a ton more panic attacks break through the medication. I am wondering if maybe my body has adjusted to the level of the medication because I have been on the same dose for so long? anyone know if this could be the case? if so how would you suggest I approach my md for this? I see him tomorrow and intend to let him know I am having massive break throughs now, I have had them in the past but breathing technique would help, sadly it is not anymore. I do not sleep well because the xanax is no longer slowing my brain down enough for me to sleep. any suggestions would be great. I have also tried many over the counter herbs etc. They do not seem to help. I have tried scents, anything that is posted online to help anxiety ive tried it. I have weened myself off of xanax about 10 times in the past ten years only to end up in the er and back on this medication. the doctors say that my body is stuck in the fight or flight mode due to not only my fears but my health issues, and that i will always need something like xanax. I am in no way happy about this but sadly it is the only medication out there that lets me function, trust me weve tried them all. I started having panic attacks when i was 10 and over the years they have just gotten worse. thanks in advance for any advice.
  12. neoplus1

    neoplus1 Member

    due to my health problems. I have ME/CFS and Fibro and the number of symptoms I have is quite large. The worst are the chest symptoms as well as the dizziness and being foggy. It makes me scared to death to go out a lot of times because I am afraid of losing control and something bad happening because of my illness and I just won't be able to stop it.

    I really hate these symptoms. The anxiety and panic attacks just makes it so much worse. If I were able to get my symptoms under control, the anxiety would be much easier to manage or even eliminate.