|Apr 14 2012|
I finally tried Ativan yesterday. I took it at 2:45 pm when my boyfriend was on his way home. I was going to wait until later in the evening, but my impatience won out. I successfully ventured furtherthan I have been when I go out for exposure therapy. I found that the loop thoughts didn't occur, but I still was heistant to go over certain boundaries for fear of having a panic episode. The hesitance rarely won out though and I had more motivation to go through my boundaries. I went into a store and walked around. I've been able to do this, but usually with loads of anxiety and I don't like going to the back of stores. I went to the back of the store with no issues. When I would start having anxiety that felt like it would lead to an attack, my thought process was slowed down enough to really listen to my self-talk and change it to positive. The ability to slow down and think about what I was doing, what I wanted to do, and make decisions was really helpful in avoiding panic. One of the biggest things I did was go to a drive-thru. My boyfriend was driving the whole time, so that helped as well. We went for a walk after dinner and I walked around the block. The first time since we've lived here. When I turned one of the corners I expected to panic, but it didn't come and it was exhilirating.
This morning when I woke up, my boyfriend and I went out again. I didn't take any Ativan and I drove this time. I wanted to see what my anxiety level would be to measure the effects of the Ativan. We went the same path we went yesterday, going through boundaries. I had a higher anxiety level and my thoughts raced. I had a few panic episodes, but stayed out working. When a panic episode would occur instead of running through it or driving through it, I'd stop, take a look at my surroundings, and really take in that no threat existed. This helped the episode to pass and helped me to know that running home is not the answer to beating a panic episode. We went to a couple stores and walked around. We went to another drive thru as well. I panicked and wanted to scream out, "leave, we have to go," but instead fought those thoughts with positive self-talk. When we turned the corner and I realized no one was in front of us the panic subsided. Instead of going home for lunch, we went to the park and ate our lunch, again as a way to tell myself that going home is not the answer. Panic passes and it's a shame that we miss out on so much for fear of panic.
I had no side effects from taking the Ativan. A huge plus to me. The Ativan I took was 1 mg and I'm debating talking to my doctor about trying 2 mg. I'm wondering if taking another mg would help further reduce the anxiety I feel when going out, as long as it doesn't put me completely out. I didn't feel groggy or sleepy. When on vacation, I might need just a bit more to help take off the edge off. Though with the traveling bathroom, which is my panic trigger (not having a bathroom near) I might not need a higher dose. The dose I had though was perfect for social occassions and events. I'm really glad I finally tried it. It's nice to know that I have a little back up in case I feel completely overwhelmed and need a little help to calm down.
This experience has taught me that I need to work more on relaxation techniques and self-talk. Work a little harder on thinking about things other than "what-if" this or "what-if" that. I look forward to seeing my doctor and therapist this week to discuss my experience and get their feedback. In the meantime, I'll start putting more energy into meditation and relaxing.
Gearing Up To Try Ativan...
A Long Walk...
Successful Exposure Therapy Trip
The Influence of the Opinions of Those We Love
No Longer Ignoring
Can I really be "normal?"
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April 14, 2012