The $1000 Question: What to Do with Anxiety After Having Titrated Off Benzos?

Discussion in 'Support' started by ruben ruiz, Jul 27, 2016.

    1. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      Hypotehtically, say you've accomplished titrating off a benzo, one of the hardest things to ever do.
      But your Tinnitus is still there anxiety and all. What do you do now. No anxiety med but the anxiety still shows up.
      I think of this every time I get the urge to quit the benzo. Please those who have quit the benzo what are you doing now?
    2. erik

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      You need to work on the anxiety. Try exercising - workout, mountain bike, play sports like soccer 3x a week. If you are not exercising regularly try it! It helps your body in a number of ways.
      1. Exercise
      2. Volunteer
      3. CBT counseling
      4. Be kind to your self -
      • Exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety in mind and brain
      • Exercise helps your body to stay healthy, which in turn makes you feel better
      • Team sports helps you with exercising and socializing. Sign up for a league to play in. I found 3 guys on my soccer team have tinnitus
      • Volunteering improves your state of mind and makes you feel good about helping others
      • CBT helps you combat negative thinking (this really helped me over 20 weeks)
      • Eat some ice cream because it is tasty!
      • Like Like x 2
    3. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Regular, vigorous exercise will help tremendously.

      I'm talking about really pushing your body regularly. Too many of us are content being sedentary. Lift weights, take up running, cycling, martial arts, swim, play a sport, etc - there's so much you can do. Don't limit yourself to a daily walk or going to the gym once a week, establish a schedule and find something that you enjoy and push your body so you sweat and hurt a little.

      Exercising will benefit you in so many ways. You will feel less anxious and depressed, you will have more energy, you'll feel better about yourself and you'll distract yourself from thinking about your tinnitus, which in turn aids in your habituation.

      Go out and have fun - make sure you socialize, stay in contact with friends and make efforts to meet new people.

      Find some new hobbies and be creative: paint, draw, do pottery, write poetry, create videos or digital art, start a blog, etc - whatever floats your boat and keeps your attention. Spend time learning a new skill, this will also aid in your habituation and will help with anxiety.

      Build a support network: friends, family, professional therapists - find people you can confide in and turn to when you are feeling down or anxious. I've been open with my friends and family with my struggles and even though it was hard for them to grasp the severity of my condition at the time, especially when I had hyperacusis, with time they came around and were very understand and helpful. My friends were especially good to me when my hyperacusis was bad because they would actually look out for me if we ended up somewhere super loud, it took a lot of the anxiety away.

      I think gaming can be quite useful also. I don't game too much anymore, but I did find it useful as a distraction. In my specific case I would play CS:GO and that would immediately distract me from my tinnitus and any anxiety I had because when you're in game you need to perform and work together with a team in order to win. This applies to so many games now. Obviously it's not healthy to just sit around and game all day, but I don't doubt it's ability to engage you cognitively. Moderation is key.

      In my case exercise has been the best thing for my anxiety. I lift 3 or 4 times a week at the gym, run 10-30km a week, do circuit training, mix in some kettlebells, go running in the mountains and occasionally compete in some form of half marathon or obstacle type run. I feel tremendous when I keep a regular schedule going, and I can immediately feel the difference when I stop and get lazy. I get anxious, I feel more down and I lose energy.

      Anyway, best of luck. Try to get off the benzodiazepines. GABAergic drugs can be useful but they are never the long term solution and dependency is rough.
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Zorro!

      Zorro! Member

      I agree with exercising also. Another thing that has worked for me when it comes to anxiety (no, I was not on benzos regularly) is to eat eat eat. I had a bad reaction to Zoloft shortly after starting it so my doc took me off it and gave me a temporary prescription for an antihistamine to lower the seretonin in my body (I had been itching badly). It was called Periactin. One of the side effects was that it dramatically increased my appetite. Anxiety always kills my appetite, in fact, it makes me feel like puking just to think about food. But when I tried this stuff I found that as my appetite increased my anxiety dropped like a stone.

      I'm no longer on the Periactin and the anxiety is still way down, thank God. I put on a couple pounds but it's alright because the anxiety and loss of appetite had caused me to lose weight. I know this sounds odd but it honestly helped me. I'm sleeping better now and feeling better now and my worry has dropped dramatically. Of course I also do relaxation/breathing exercises everyday.

      At any rate, there are things you can do to lower anxiety naturally. It might not be an overnight fix but in the long run things should improve. Hang in there.
    5. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      I agree with others above on what have been posted. On top of that, you can try some of the special techniques for anxiety if you are anxious about anxiety itself and its symptoms. I find Mindfulness quite effective in helping to accept anxiety symptoms, by meditating and bringing awareness into the anxiety sensations. This is not something that is just related to anxiety for tinnitus itself, but can be for anxiety feelings towards other thing. By bringing awareness and be present with the anxiety feelings, sensations or symptoms, we are telling the brain to stay with the 'thing' which scares it so much, and be present with it by not running away from it. This will then help the brain figure out that the 'anxious' things are not really that dreadful or unbearable. It opens up the opportunity to accept such unpleasant sensations. Another approach is the paradoxical strategy in which you proactively 'invite' the anxiety or panic attack. You can search the Internet on this strategy. It has worked for many people. You can also herbal supplements to calm the nerve and these are not addictive, such as Lemon Balm, Valerian, Hops, Catnips, Passion Flower, Chamomile, Lavender, Kava, Melatonin etc. You can google search or check for each of them to know how people review these products, and see if you can take them as a supplement. Check out this site on using natural herbs for helping to sleep or to calm the nerves. /

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