Socially Phobic

July 21, 2007

A brief update

Filed under: Medications — iambrave @ 11:37 am

because it is way too nice outside to be sitting in here writing.

So far, I have:

1. Quit smoking cold turkey on June 13. That’s one month and eight days. Yay, me!

2. Stopped taking Lithium…probably going on two months now.

3. Stopped taking my beta blockers for migraines.

4. Stopped taking Temazepam for sleep…replaced it with Ambien. Some nights, I don’t take anything.

And in the results category:

1. Not smoking is awesome

2. My mood has been OK! I think. I’ve had to work harder on anger management stuff.

3. Had a lot more headaches. I think I’ve figured it out, though, and it has something to do with…

4.  When I’m not all drugged up on benzos to sleep, I seem to grind my teeth a lot more. This is whether or not I take Ambien. I was so happy last night that I slept without any additional meds, but less thrilled that I woke up in pain. I have to get used to my device that keeps me from grinding my teeth. I can’t remember what it’s called. It’s uncomfortable, but I think I need it. I am going to a physical therapist on Monday to see if they can help with the muscle portion of my headaches at all. I am planning on asking whether they have any recommendations for different types of pillows so that I don’t wake up so sore. I’ve never had much luck with those Tempeurpedic ones.

So, that leaves me with good old Xanax XR. Dear old friend, the last one to go. Still at 2 mg./night, so I haven’t been sleeping with no drugs whatsoever. I’ve been trying my damnedest not to pop the little 0.5 mg. ones to minimize the psychological dependence. Nonetheless, around 9 p.m., I start jonesing for that XR. I know that part is psychological, given that I read that it actually only has an 8-12 hour effect and I take it once a day.

I had decided to take it slow on going off of the Xanax, so I’m not seeing my doc again until the beginning of September. I sort of want to find a new doctor, because I’m not sure that I trust his game plan. I’m not sure that it’s slow enough, to be specific. And I don’t really feel like I can talk to him. I don’t think he’s an asshole, per se, there are just certain things. He told me that it would be fine to take Xanax during a pregnancy…it’s a class D drug. See, that doesn’t seem right to me. I don’t think a doctor should ever be as confident as he was about that about anything, let alone a drug in that category. If he would have said something to the effect of “I think that the benefits outweigh the risks here, but it is a calculated risk”, I would have felt much more comfortable. I didn’t want to call him out on his medical knowledge…I don’t think it’s my job to correct him…but now I am at the point with him where I just tell him what I want to do in terms of meds and there is no open dialog. I would like to believe that there is a psychiatrist out there with whom I could have a better relationship. I may seek a referral.

I have also been taking a break from therapy, which may seem ironic given the stress that I have been putting my body and mind through. I don’t know, I just got to the point where I was dreading it. I would also like to be at a place where I don’t need external validation for every single decision I make…more on that some other time.



  1. Wow, big developments !

    Comment by Jackal — July 24, 2007 @ 7:29 am

  2. Dear “IamBrave,”

    Sounds like you’re doing good. Good for you. I’ve always been afraid of taking medication for my anxiety. Coincidentally, I get migraines too. I usually take “Advil for Migraine relief,” it works okay. My migraines tend to be mild, though. For me, they can be brought on by weather changes.

    Best of luck with everything.

    Take care,


    Comment by Dave — July 24, 2007 @ 9:56 pm

  3. Wow thats a lot to take on at once, but about grinding your teeth use a mouth guard at night when you sleep you can get one at Walmart in the sporting goods section. Best of luck to you.

    Comment by Trailer Thoughts — September 21, 2007 @ 6:14 pm

  4. You’re wildly ambitious and I think brave. I likewise suffer terrible migraines and have most of my life. Quitting smoking was possibly the hardest thing I ever did, harder than bearing and raising two kids; harder than writing 3 rejected novels, 2 I thought for months were NOT rejected; harder than the most terrible grief; harder than being alive. I quit smoking 2 packs a day at 22. One, I was ready to have a baby within the next year and two, my old smoking buddy, with whom I had always ditched high-school free period, had just died of lung cancer at 23.

    That’s background, though, but here’s more: I grind my teeth while I sleep and wear mouth guards, which help. I take Wellbutrin and vitamins and two meds when my migraines attack.

    You are doing so much at once! Great if it works. But honestly, I can’t imagine tackling one of those self-improvement, come-clean regimens at once. AND: just so you know, my philosophy is firmly among the WHY SUFFER MORE THAN NECESSARY school.

    Most need one chemical soother or another, especially if you count drinking alcohol, which to my mind, for all its social acceptance, almost even requirement, is amog the most potent drugs in existence. I’ve never been susceptible, because of the migraines, but I’ve known people who experience a physical craving years after swearing off the stuff. And we all know people who would never think of swearing it off, bad as it can be.
    Best of luck, good wishes, and treat yourself. No one deserves as much love as you do. Of course, that goes for everyone.

    Comment by Kathleen Maher — October 15, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

  5. Hi, I’m trying to build a collection of social anxiety related blog links. Just letting you know I’ve added you to that list

    Comment by mico — December 11, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

  6. I do the tooth-grinding thing too, and the device they gave me (an NTI) has NOT helped. I’d love to hear if yours works better! Good luck with everything1

    Comment by moodblog — March 16, 2008 @ 6:02 pm

  7. You quit smoking – that is so awesome! High fives and cheers for you! I’m going to save your page and remind myself it can be done under any circumstances! My boyfriend says he thinks he does the tooth grinding thing too and it’s caused a lot of pain from the wear down of enamel over the years. Best wishes to you always!

    Comment by Svara — October 25, 2008 @ 12:40 am

  8. Hi, I just found your blog while I was surfing and I want you to know, I find it really inspiring and interesting. I suffer from social phobia/anxiety and I can relate to a lot of what you write.

    Comment by Gitte Gorzelak — February 17, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

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