Anxiety - Any Suggestions?

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Anxiety - Any Suggestions?

Postby Wendigo » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:45 am

I can't be the only one with MS trying to keep anxiety from controlling my life. I've taken at most 50 mg of Provigil daily for over a year and knew that contributed. Stopping Provigil and having one cup of coffee in the morning hasn't helped. I have a heavy stress load with inability to actually solve any of the problems.

The MS itself is an entity always on my tail, something I have to try to keep one step ahead of. The anxiety has become my most disabling symptom, like the MS found a weak spot and knows it's the quickest way to disable my ability to keep ahead of it. Living with fatigue has become preferable to any boost in energy from Provigil, just so I don't have more anxiety. Sleep is the only escape

I have Xanax and Restoril but wonder at what point to worry about addiction, and they do nothing to actually break the cycle, just take the edge off for a while. Who knows, they may even be making it worse. I was given propranolol for my hands shaking, which I haven't taken yet but have read it can help with panic too.

My mother had panic disorder and I think I know now what she must have gone through - amazing what she accomplished in spite of it, unlike me. She took Elavil for years. I am fortunate enough to still be able to walk, drive and do many things others cannot but the overwhelming feeling of believing I'm going to die any minute is something I can't get a grip on.

If I tell my doctors this stuff, I'll probably walk out with more drug prescription to try. I've wondered if marijuana might help - it's been decades since I tried it though.

Has anyone else found answers I'm not thinking of?
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Postby me_x_5 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:37 am

I also suffer from anxiety, I was put on busiprone,which takes it away,I also do not want to be on any of the other pills I get to droggy and I have little ones at home that need my full attention.L@@k maybe its time to believe your not going anywhere that your gonna be fine in spite of everything,I do not allow my brain to get of track I just keep reminding myself there is a plan for me and I get on with my day!!You have to believe that your cup is half full!
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Postby Wendigo » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:41 am

Through the fog of MS and anxiety I realize that the stressors now would be enough to break someone without MS - my dad is dying and there are end of life issues to deal with, one adult son is battling alcoholism is in jail, adult daughter is flirting with jail, another adult son is unable to find a job son and informed me he's going to be a father, and I'm facing losing my home about a year down the road when my savings have been used up and SS disability won't cover expenses.

The anxiety isn't caused by the MS - it is exacerbated by it though.
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Postby JenniferF » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:42 am

Is counseling an option for you? I realize that between cost or any personal reservations you have, it may not be. Support group like Al-anon, maybe? That would be a very affordable, no-commitment one to try -- if it isn't helpful, you haven't lost anything.

Do you have a particular religious faith that you can dig into for a prayer, meditation, etc -- some kind of short, simple practice you can use to re-center yourself when you get keyed up? [If you have a particular faith, maybe someone here shares it and can recommend specific resources.] Or just some sentences you can memorize and repeat, ie, "I'm going to do my part and not worry about the rest" or whatever it is that is helpful to you.

re: grief: my experience is that you really do just have to let yourself be a grieving person. There's no way around it. And it is very freeing to just give yourself permission to be a bit of a weepy basket case. For as long as you need.

Good luck. Anxiety (and it's friend depression, with which I am more familiar) are no fun. Take care of yourself as well as you can, and don't get beat up about the rest.

Jen.
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Postby jimmylegs » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:43 pm

hey there wendigo, i would use nutrition on anxiety. it REALLY has helped me. i used to be in a constant, chronic state of anxiety, and now i know what relaxing actually means. whew!

remind me, if you currently take any D3, B-complex, calcium, magnesium, zinc, or Omega 3 fatty acids, and if so, what daily amounts you're on?

this info could provide some pointers on ways to help you out.

i'll keep an eye out for response :)

JL
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Postby Wendigo » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:30 pm

Jimmy & Jennifer - I have to bite the bullet and start work up of why I can't eat and also why my neck hurts so much, then the social/life problems. It's like my ability to digest even small amounts of food has just about stopped. I guess any part can be weakened or paralyzed by MS. I'm not taking vitamins for fear of stomach upset and inability to get enough food for buffering effect. Maybe digestive enzymes might help but first the doctor needs to eliminate other causes. I guess it's logical to be afraid of dying when one can't eat. When food won't digest it comes up, which takes my neck a long time to recover from. I have an appointment tomorrow with my regular doctor tomorrow and I'll see what he can do.
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Postby Absentee » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:01 pm

Wendigo -
I'm thinking good thoughts for you.

Once thing I like is meditation. It is free and quite effective.

The connecting breath meditation has done wonders for me at times. Remember, just do what is comfortable to do without strain:

* sit with back straight or lie down with arms at your side
* exhale through your mouth, inhale through your mouth
* exhale through your nose, inhale through your nose
* repeat this pattern while adding the element of counting: inhale for 7, hold for 1, exhale for 7, hold for 1
* as you breath imagine you are creating a clear broad pathway between the head and the body, promoting the uni0n of the body and mind
* continue for 2-3 minutes. focus on the thought: My mind and body are one.
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Postby Bubba » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:22 pm

I was on prozac for one month then celexa for about three months, they worked. Next, I keep some xanax close by for those anxiety flare ups!
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Postby jimmylegs » Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:29 pm

wendigo that sounds *really* unpleasant.

if you can ask your doc to do some bloodwork, i'd say ask for zinc, d3, magnesium, potassium, b1, b6, and b12. all have links to one or more of ms, anxiety, nausea, digestion..

if you do get tests and find you are out of whack on anything, you could look into options for injections, or liquid supplements... i know if i take 100mg zinc, or just too many different vitamins at one time, it's a recipe for nausea...

if you can't eat, it does sound to me like nutrition is a big red flag that i hope your docs will help you address pronto!!!

good luck and keep us posted,
JL
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Postby Wendigo » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:09 pm

Bubba wrote:I was on prozac for one month then celexa for about three months, they worked. Next, I keep some xanax close by for those anxiety flare ups!


Bubba, glad to see you back. I hope surgery wasn't necessary after all for you.

I forgot I do have Prozac. If I can get enough food down me to buffer my stomach I might give it a try again. It was tried for a short time in March of this year along with Xanas and the Provigil I'd been taking. Having other drugs on board made it impossible to tell what effect any single was having. Two weeks was probably not long enough of a trial of Prozac.
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Postby Wendigo » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:21 pm

jimmylegs wrote:wendigo that sounds *really* unpleasant.

if you can ask your doc to do some bloodwork, i'd say ask for zinc, d3, magnesium, potassium, b1, b6, and b12. all have links to one or more of ms, anxiety, nausea, digestion..

if you do get tests and find you are out of whack on anything, you could look into options for injections, or liquid supplements... i know if i take 100mg zinc, or just too many different vitamins at one time, it's a recipe for nausea...

if you can't eat, it does sound to me like nutrition is a big red flag that i hope your docs will help you address pronto!!!

good luck and keep us posted,
JL


Next month will be my two year anniversary for Betaseron and it's probably time for at least some liver tests. The stomach issue is so painful I've been driven three times to the ER, after hours of throwing up, only to have the "spasm" relax from the motion of the car ride. The pain is reminiscent of the one MS hugs attack earlier this year but there was no loss of food with that. It should be renamed the grip. I almost posted once whether anyone else had had severe stomach pain with "hugs" to the point of losing food but it sounded too weird. I guess it would make sense that extreme pain can make some people faint, or get sick from the pain.
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Postby patientx » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:20 am

Maybe discuss with the doc Ativan? It's not as potent as Xanax, so probably has less risk of addiction. It's only a temporary solution, but with the hell you are going through maybe something temporary would help.
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Postby Bubba » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:58 am

patientx wrote: It's not as potent as Xanax, so probably has less risk of addiction.


Straight up good advice. Personally, I like the xanax because it's a 'Right Now" drug. I don't take it everyday. But if I am laying in bed and can't stop my mind from worrying, or I just have to much going on to sleep, (not that you perv's :lol: ) I can roll over, take a xanax off of the night stand, take a sip of water, and 20 minutes later I am in La-La land. The effects are only supposed to last three hours. My problem wasn't staying asleep, it was getting asleep. The xanax helps me do that. It calms my mind down immediately. HOWEVER, patientx is correct, it is potent and if you let yourself, you can become addicted, or "chemically dependent" on it. I just use it as a break through type drug to put me to sleep, at least till I retire; then I will have a fatty before bed! 8) In short, I have never in my life experienced panic attacks. Those were for sissy's, so I thought, till I had my first one! If I feel one comming on, 1mg of xanax, and it's case closed. I have had probably 5 attacks in the last two years for no apparent reason, Thank God I had the the xanax for the last four! I am not promoting it by no means, but it works for me...
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Postby Wendigo » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:16 pm

I have 0.25 mg of Xanax, which the doc said was a low dose. I've tried two at bed time to stop the mental grind and go to sleep - and wake up at about 2:30 or 3 am. I'm 122 pounds and Bubba I'm sure you're bigger than me so I wonder if a small dose of 0.5 mg at bedtime should have the effect of whatever dose you take to go to sleep. I have temazepam (Restoril) for sleep 15 mg 1-2 at bed time for sleep but I've never taken two. No matter what I take I wake up at 2:30 or 3 am, probably due to naps during the day. I'd love to know what it felt like to get a straight 8 hours sleep but during the day when the energy battery dies there is no choice but to go to sleep.

I'm having a gallbladder ultrasound tomorrow to rule out that as a source of the pain - biliary colic - but I can't associate the bad pain with particular food. He couldn't even feel my gallbladder though. The internist can only rule out non-MS causes and then kick it over to the neurologist. Labs will be done at my annual physical the beginning of next month. Weight is down four pounds in the last month.

I remember giving Ativan to my daughter as a child for her hives along with prednisone. I don't know which drug caused it but her personality changed from one or the other, or maybe combination of both.

I'm feeling more stable mentally today though. I hate to bellyache and bleed here but these are things that would scare the hell out of my kids and there's nothing they can do and maybe posting helps discharge some of the stress.
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Postby JenniferF » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm

Oh man. That's a lot to deal with.

Keep us updated.

Jen.
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