Before beginning treatment for bipolar, I had very little trouble with anxiety. I was bold and free of worries. I went to sleep when I wanted to sleep. I was as active as I wanted to be. Nothing daunted me. But a few months into my treatment, my psychiatrist upped my dosage of Geodon from 40mg to 60mg. This turned out to be a disaster. I started having panic attacks in bed after taking the medicine. I felt like I was going to die, and what’s worse I felt like I wanted to die just to have relief from the terrible feelings of panic. It happened four times. Eventually, I persuaded my doctor to take me down to 40mg, which wasn’t as effective a dose for me, but it made the panic attacks go away.
But panic attacks can have debilitating effects even after they are long gone. I’ve been suffering from nighttime anxiety ever since. It starts at sundown. I get an ache in the pit of my stomach. Little things freak me out. I especially feel it when I think about going to bed. Eventually, it got bad enough that I began having sleep troubles. Sleep has become a nightly trial. A few times a month, I go without sleep entirely. And sex? Out of the question.
This anxiety has put a strain on my marriage. I’m no longer a relaxed, fun-loving guy in the evenings. I’m often somber and withdrawn. I get nervous about going out in the evening because I worry that it will throw off my chances of getting to sleep. The anxiety feeds into the insomnia and the insomnia feeds into the anxiety.
I’ve mentioned this to my therapist and my psychiatrist. My therapist has been useless in helping me. My psychiatrist told me to take a supplement called Theanine. He always tries the non-pharmaceutical approach first. One time I talked him into giving me a short supply of Klonipin. It worked great.
At my next visit, I’m going to discuss the possibility of taking a regular medicine for anxiety. I hear that Zanex is good. My concern (and his) is that Zanex is a habit-forming drug. This is so frustrating. I feel like I’m already taking enough medicine. (My Regimen)
Some days, it feels like I have more problems now that I’m in treatment. My wife would disagree because my mania is under control, but this anxiety thing is a BITCH.
So doc? If you’re not gonna let me drink scotch anymore, at least give me some Zanex!