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Insomnia and Xanax - Could Sleep Anywhere Until Panic Attack...Now Haven't Slept For 8 Months

by Cora
(Diamondbar, CA)

I used to be the world's best sleeper. I could nap or sleep anywhere and anytime. Sleep was never a problem for me until 8 months ago.

I had my first ever panic attack and a massive one at that. I didn't know that it was called a panic attack then. After this happened, I first noticed I wasn't taking my afternoon naps of 1 hour. Even if I tried to nap I couldn't nap.

As days and weeks went on, still not realizing I wasn't sleeping, I became more exhausted by the day. I also started having a hard time to eat. No appetite. I lost 50 lbs (from 250 lbs) in about 2 months. All my clothes were too big for me.

When I say I didn't sleep, I mean no real sleep. At most I could get 1 hour of non-restorative sleep by using an OTC sleep aid such as ZZZquill or Benadryl. Being awake all night and seeing the sun come up, day after day, month after month, was a living hell with no end. Although I looked normal to others from the outside, I felt so ill as if I was dying on the inside. I went to doctors, neurologists, psychiatrists, sleep specialists and even had a sleep study. Nothing wrong with me could be found.

I believe I know what has caused this permanent sleeplessness. I've been on Xanax for anxiety for 2 years. My doctor never told me it was addictive. He told me to take as needed. Reading the literature online, Xanax is a benzodiazepine.
When I questioned my doctor about this, his response was to stop my prescription and make me stop cold turkey. I told him that was dangerous. He said it wasn't and that I should learn to relax and listen to music. Maybe he should of done that 2 years ago before putting me on an addictive medication. Google Xanax and Cold Turkey and you'll be surprised what you find.

Anyway, I believe I built up a "tolerance" to Xanax that meant my body needed more of the drug. My body then went into Withdrawal, with the symptoms of shaking, insomnia, sensitivity to noise and light, tingling in the hands and feet, among a host of other symptoms. Google for an extensive explanation.

I went to an addiction specialist to get off the Xanax and he said I could just stop. I might feel somewhat uncomfortable. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Did this specialist ever deal with a benzo addiction. These 2 doctors minimized the severity of a very dangerous situation.

I can keep going on with this story, however, if you are having insomnia and on Xanax (which shouldn't be used more than a few weeks, not years), you may be in tolerance to it. I hope you're not. Xanax and other benzos (klonopin, Ativan, etc.) are often used to help sleep thru a difficult period. However, they cannot be depended upon for more than a few weeks or you'll be an addict.

If anyone has had a similar experience or can confirm my finding, please reply with a post. Thanks.

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