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Anxiety while going to bed
turtle_racer posted:
This is related to the discussions on the fuzzy head feeling some here have described. For about five days now, I experience great anxiety when trying to fall asleep. This has happened to me in the past when my head can get that fuzzy feeling at the point of nodding off. I then awake very quickly with fear of this feeling. I can't seem to let go of my thoughts at bedtime. My doctor has prescribed 10mg of Ambien to help me sleep. All that does is make me fall asleep while trying to ward off panic. If I go to bed at 11pm, I usually awake at 5am with some anxiety because I cannot sleep.

I have also been on 20mg of Prozac for about at week, yet I don't think it has really kicked in. I've gone many months, years even with little anxiety. In the early 2000s I took Lexapro, then Symbiax, but I weened myself off those medications. I need to get a good night's sleep.
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
You are absolutely right; sleep is very important and when you're feeling a sense of panic it's quite difficult to sleep. I also have a Sleep page on my website and you might want to look at some of the links there since they may provide some information that is helpful.

It doesn't seem that the combination of medications you are currently taking is providing the help that you need in getting some sleep. I would suggest that you might want to try both some self-help techniques as well as some cognitive therapy for your anxiety. We do have a relaxation breathing video tutorial in our Tips column which might be helpful.

I'm sure that your physician has indicated to you that the particular sleep medication you have been prescribed is not to be taken regularly. If you have any questions about this, please ask your physician or you can look this information up on the Internet. There are some symptoms that could arise as a result of regular use of this medication.
turtle_racer replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
I don't take ambien anymore. I really hated it. It even brought on more anxiety because I didn't like the way it made me feel. The numb, unconscious feeling panicked me which kept me awake. That all snowballs out of control where I don't want to sleep in the first place. My doctor is confident my symptoms/side effects are typical of a newly prescribed patient. He says to watch it and come in if necessary.

My fuzzy head sensation is mostly gone. I believe it was connected to the Amoxicilin I was on for congestion. I do get a stressed neck muscle in back which sometimes give an annoying stressful vibration.

I am seeing a counselor weekly which helps. My Dad is very supportive (he was a volunteer counselor at a substance abuse clinic for many years). He can talk me down out of panic rather quickly. I bought a very good book "Calming Your Anxious Mind" by Jeffrey Brantley, MD. I am halfway through it.

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