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PLEASE HELP Insomnia anxiety - is this normal?


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Guys, I think I’m going to lose my mind. I can’t sleep because every time I get close and feel myself falling, a surge of anxiety washes over me and wakes me back up. Is this normal in WD? I’m having a horrible setback and getting scared this is permanent.
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I do think it is a common problem with benzo use and w/d. I know, for sure, that I've had to deal with insomnia and with the anxiety related to that. It does help to just accept the insomnia and use the time in some relaxing way. I just started reading when I'd be awake and stressing.

 

On a more positive note, I sleep better now (a year after stopping Xanax) than I did during active taper. I still have insomnia, but it's not as bad. I sleep some every night. Last week I had a night of sleep with only one time waking up which has not been the case for may be five years now. I sure hope I get some more of those.

 

Hang in there, and seriously try to find something to do when you are awake that you enjoy. Just tell yourself that it's nice to have the extra time to do whatever . . . that you like to do. Some nights it seems to work anyway.

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Please add a signature to your account so we can see what you were on and for how long and if you are off or not, still in a taper, did a CT, etc.

 

Lack of sleep is a pretty common Benzo WD side effect.  I had severe insomnia for 10 months, then it slowly got better. 

 

Today, I sleep pretty well pretty much every night.  You'll get there too.

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Thank you both. I just spent the night shaking and terrified of the intensity of this anxiety. I’ve gotten to where I dread nights and I’m afraid to go to sleep. The only time I’m able to fall asleep for a little while is when I can manage not to think so the anxiety is in the background and less intense. The split second I think of it, I get a surge of sickening anxiety that takes a while to calm down from.

 

It’s been 3 weeks since I took that herb cocktail that sent me into this. The electrocution feeling is much better, but the anxiety is still horrible. Most days, I feel it hasn’t gotten better at all. I’m so scared I won’t heal from this. The nights are torture. I would love your continued words of encouragement. I‘m struggling and crying every day.

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Is anxiety usually one of the last things to go? A few of my other symptoms have mercifully lessened, but this anxiety is still so crippling. It makes me feel like I’m doomed to be stuck with this the rest of my life. :'(
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Is anxiety usually one of the last things to go? A few of my other symptoms have mercifully lessened, but this anxiety is still so crippling. It makes me feel like I’m doomed to be stuck with this the rest of my life. :'(

 

Melanie,

Benzos artificially stimulate brain receptors that calm you down. Over time they lessen the receptors' ability to do the work on their own so when you remove the benzo from the equation you can be left feeling anything but calm for a fairly long time until balance is restored. This will happen in time, provided that no more drugs are taken. In the meantime find and do whatever helps calm you down as this will probably help get you back on track. Just remember, anxiety is both a symptom of withdrawal and a stimulator of more anxiety so it can get out of control if you obsess over it too much.

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Is benzo insomnia created by the anxiety? I just spent another night of 0 sleep, shaking, sweating, and panicking all night. What does benzo insomnia normally look like? This?? Back when I went through withdrawal, I had brain jolts for the longest time, but still slept an hour or three if I held on long enough. This has been just crippling to me... Fear in the center of my chest that surges all night despite every attempt to ignore it. I’m so depressed over this. Losing my will to go on.
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Is benzo insomnia created by the anxiety? I just spent another night of 0 sleep, shaking, sweating, and panicking all night. What does benzo insomnia normally look like? This?? Back when I went through withdrawal, I had brain jolts for the longest time, but still slept an hour or three if I held on long enough. This has been just crippling to me... Fear in the center of my chest that surges all night despite every attempt to ignore it. I’m so depressed over this. Losing my will to go on.

 

Melanie,

When benzo withdrawal messes up your ability to calm down it also takes away your ability to sleep, since sleep is the ultimate expression of "calming down". Lack of sleep can then cause your anxiety to ramp up even higher. During the day we can find ways to distract ourselves to help overcome the anxiety, but it is a different story at night when we are awake and all alone with our thoughts for hours on end. This can easily lead to a fear of bedtime that makes it even harder still to fall asleep. I remember feeling a growing sense of dread begin to creep up every night at sunset and I would latch onto my family because I knew that they would soon be fast asleep, leaving me all alone with my anxiety for a very long night.

 

I think for most of us the extreme anxiety starts to go away long before sleep fully returns. Even if sleep is just not happening it becomes possible to better tolerate being awake. For me the nighttime anxiety was replaced by frustration on overly bad nights, but in time, even that got better.

 

It is probably best not to hope too much for a rapid recovery since the tail on the withdrawal beast can sometimes be very long. Just know that the healing process does not occur in a straight line. You will begin to experience more and more better nights while still having bouts of bad nights. At least the better nights will make you feel a lot better once they start happening.

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[71...]

Is benzo insomnia created by the anxiety? I just spent another night of 0 sleep, shaking, sweating, and panicking all night. What does benzo insomnia normally look like? This?? Back when I went through withdrawal, I had brain jolts for the longest time, but still slept an hour or three if I held on long enough. This has been just crippling to me... Fear in the center of my chest that surges all night despite every attempt to ignore it. I’m so depressed over this. Losing my will to go on.

 

Melanie,

When benzo withdrawal messes up your ability to calm down it also takes away your ability to sleep, since sleep is the ultimate expression of "calming down". Lack of sleep can then cause your anxiety to ramp up even higher. During the day we can find ways to distract ourselves to help overcome the anxiety, but it is a different story at night when we are awake and all alone with our thoughts for hours on end. This can easily lead to a fear of bedtime that makes it even harder still to fall asleep. I remember feeling a growing sense of dread begin to creep up every night at sunset and I would latch onto my family because I knew that they would soon be fast asleep, leaving me all alone with my anxiety for a very long night.

 

I think for most of us the extreme anxiety starts to go away long before sleep fully returns. Even if sleep is just not happening it becomes possible to better tolerate being awake. For me the nighttime anxiety was replaced by frustration on overly bad nights, but in time, even that got better.

 

It is probably best not to hope too much for a rapid recovery since the tail on the withdrawal beast can sometimes be very long. Just know that the healing process does not occur in a straight line. You will begin to experience more and more better nights while still having bouts of bad nights. At least the better nights will make you feel a lot better once they start happening.

 

This is an excellent reply and explanation of the insomnia/anxiety issue.  Thank you posting this aloha.  Dealing with insomnia has been the biggest problem for me in the taper/withdrawl process, just as I anticipated.  But you are right aloha, even the frustration at not being able to sleep well gets better with time.  Melanie, I hope things simmer down for you soon.

 

Best,

 

Kate  :smitten:

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Thank you for the responses, everyone. I’ve been reading them daily to talk myself out of panic. Having a particularly difficult time today due to a bad night, so I truly appreciate your encouragement.
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Aloha,  what a great explanation of the insomnia/anxiety issue.....I am still battling with the insomna......even after 2 years out..........it seems to go in waves....forward then backward, etc. etc.

 

Thank you again.

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Hey Runnergirl,

 

Sorry your insomnia is still an issue.  But looking back, that's how mine was too at 2 years out.  I would get good nights and poor nights, but anything was better than the zero or nights of no perceived sleep. 

 

I am 4 years off now and still get an off night every few months but mostly get 6-8 hours every night.

 

It seems like sleep is the last thing to even out for some?

 

You'll get there.  I'll bet if you look back, you'll realize that your sleep is better now than it was 2 years ago even with the crappy nights mixed in?

 

As Aloha likes to say, sleep returns in fits and starts, sort of like the stock market!

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