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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:35 pm 
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i have been on suboxone for over a year...started real low..4 mg and wanted to taper off after feeling stable.. i recently have been battling a feeling of withdrawl i think .. but i am now back up to near 4 mg when i was a t 2 mg for months.. so i dont think its withdrawls... i have horrible anxiety and am having panic attack for the first time in my life too.. all of which go away if i take more... but i dont want to.. how do you taper if it sets off these issues.. i was on clonazipam prior to starting sub but my sub doc says that is inviting death to take both.. but i dont see how i can get off with the anxiety


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:35 pm 
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Hey fiercefun- That sucks that you're having panic attacks & anxiety. I know how unfun that can be because I've lived through it myself. I also took clonazepam for my anxiety, but I stopped taking it voluntarily while I was on Sub as I learned other ways of dealing with the anxiety attacks.

My advice would be to stop trying to taper until you get the anxiety issue under control. Taking more suboxone to fend off feelings of anxiety or panic probably isn't a great idea either, at the very least it will just reinforce addictive behaviors.

There are lots of ways to deal with anxiety. One important thing is to look for triggers that set off those feelings. For me, caffine was a huge trigger and I didn't even realize it. I think about half of my anxiety disappeared when I quit drinking coffee. There can be all kinds of triggers, so it's a good idea to keep track of anxiety/panic attacks to see what sets them off or if there is a pattern.

Some non-medication techniques for dealing with anxiety are really easy to learn. Deep breathing, while incredibly simple is also really effective. Progressive relaxation techniques are also helpful. You can google to find some relaxation exercises and guided meditations. Practicing relaxation when you're NOT having anxiety is helpful because then when the anxiety hits, you know what to do to overcome it. Exercise, espeically yoga for me anyway, is really helpful in working out anxious energy. Daily meditation helps you to practice being detached from emotional responses.

One of the worst things about anxiety and panic attacks is that they are scary and you feel very out of control of your emotions and your physical responses. But the adrenaline response always wears off after a while, and if you just hang in and breathe deeply, or go for a walk, or do something to distract yourself (I know this is easier said than done) then you will come back down to normal. Once you get the hang of mastering these feelings, it gets easier and easier. Now I know when I start to get that tight feeling in my chest that I need to head off that anxiety before it sets in.

If you can't get a handle on your anxiety with any of these methods, there are also non-benzo medications that might help. Therapy can also help, especially CBT or DBT.

Once you've got some tools for dealing with anxiety, then you can work on tapering again. The tools will come in handy because anxiety is a withdrawal symptom. During my taper and withdrawal I definitely felt waves of anxiety and felt like I was more prone to anxiety attacks, but I just dealt with them by the methods I talked about above. And life always has anxiety-provoking situations anyway, so they're good skills to know. The last time I used them was to calm myself down before I had to give a presentation on Suboxone to my pharmacology class.

Good luck & I hope you're feeling better soon.

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You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

-Jack Kornfield


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:18 am 
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Hi I was wondering if im going crazy and really dont need suboxone. I will start by telling you that I was prescribed fentanyl 8 months ago starting at 25 mg every 72 hrs. It was increased to every 48 hrs because I wasnt getting any releif for pain I was having. About 4 - 5 months into it I was always feeling weird and could never put my finger on why. I was just jumpy all the time. My pain was still bad so my pain doctor increased me to 50 mg every 48 hrs. For about 2 months I still felt very weird all the time and still hurt. I started to figure out that I was feeling weird on day 2 after putting on a new patch. I couldnt be still, couldnt sleep, my legs were restless, I felt starnge sensations in my legs and body and it was driving me crazy. I was having really bad mood swings and started to think about suicide. I couldnt quite figure out what I was going through. I finally went to my pain doctor with my wife so maybe she could understand and help me explain to my doctor what was going on. Basically my pain doctor told me that she thought I had a high metabolism rate and went through the fentanyl too quick and was having wd's the second day. My body was just getting to use to fentanyl and she wanted to increase me to 75 every 48 hrs. I freaked out and totally went nuts thinking I had to just keep going up. I told her that I just want off the patches completely. She told me that I had to see another pain doctor and use suboxone to get off the patches. She said I was probally addicted and I had to see a special licenced doctor to get off these patches. I am 44 yrs old and have 4 boys and never in my life used any drugs nor do I drink or smoke. I tried marijuana once in highschool and didnt even like that. So basically I just followed my doctors orders and did what she recommended. She dropped my dose to 37.5 every 48 hrs and gave me a referral to see another doctor to start suboxone. My question is that ive been on 37.5 for 2 weeks now waiting to see the new doctor and on the day I put my 37.5 on im good about 1 hour after its on and then im normal for about 24 hours, then around that time I start feeling bad and watch the clock and can't wait until my 48 hrs coms up. I start pacing, jump in and out of a hot bath 20 times my legs are moving contantly and my body just feel weird. Im not getting bad cramps, worse pain, nausea, but just strange feelings that are driving me insane. Does anyone think maybe I was always going into wd's because my bodies craving a new patch. Im so scared and dont know whats wrong. I have a new appointment on Jan 4 too start on suboxone and im confused. Am I a junkie, did my pain doctor make me a junkie. Im scared and dont take any other medications other than 37.5 fentanyl now and supposed to start on suboxone and then I think there going to ween me off suboxone in 3 months to a year. Do I need to be on that that long. Im so confused and scared. Maybe the wds are just anxiety, but im not sure. Any help from anyone will be appreciated. Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:41 pm 
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thanks diary i have always had a tendency toward anxiety but i have never felt a panic attack like these i have had lately... i have been to cardiologists and had all sorts of test as i have had numbness tingling pressure and pain through out my body but most scary is the heart palps..... but i realize they are related to anxiety and i unfortunately am becoming a hypochondriac of sorts.... i originally thought the sub was having a bad reaction with me and thought i would have to come off of it but then realized i felt less anxious and better including heart issues when i took the normal amount and didnt try lowering... i am just worried about going back up to or near the original 4 mg... i would like to get off this some day but realize i have alot of therapy and classes to attend.. my real issue is that no one knows in my life .. at all... it is scary when you think you cant talk to anyone and or discuss your fears with anyone.. i know i should but i am so embarrassed and down on myself i cant right now... another reason why i cant get myself to go to NA or any other help groups.. just too embarassed....i dont judge others but i judge myself.... i will be starting therapy in the new year as my sub doc says that 1/3 of recovery is stopping the drugs and the rest is resetting my brain through a program... just very scared .... have been given an antidepressant too .. but afraid of drugs totally now that i have been bitten by them.... I feel trapped on all sides... anyway i hope it all changes soon... gonna try again in new year and hope the therapy and groups help... thanks alll and hope all is well in newyear...


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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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