Post-acute-withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), post-withdrawal syndrome, protracted withdrawal syndrome or prolonged withdrawal syndromes describe a set of persistent impairment occur after withdrawal from alcohol, and often these opiates benzodiazepines, or antidepressants, other substances. The infants born to mothers using substance of dependence during pregnancy may also experience a post-acute withdrawal syndrome. While post-acute withdrawal syndrome has reported by those in the recovery community, that there have been few scientific studies to support existence. Because of this disorder not recognized by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or major medical associations. So be realistic to stop burying your head in the sand to make tough decisions for the changes however hopeless life seems to you.
Drug abuse, including effects of alcohol prescription drugs, can induce all these symptomatology which can resemble mental illness. Can occur in intoxicated state and during withdrawal state. In some cases these substance-induced psychiatric disorders can persist long after detoxification, such as prolonged psychosis or after the depression after taking amphetamine or cocaine abuse. A protracted withdrawal syndrome can also occur with symptoms persisting for months after the cessation of their use. Benzodiazepines are the most notable drug for inducing prolonged withdrawal effects with symptoms persisting for years after cessation of use. Severe anxiety and depression are commonly induced by sustained alcohol abuse which in most cases abates with the prolonged abstinence. Even moderate alcohol sustained use may increase anxiety and depression levels in some individuals. In most cases drug-induced psychiatric disorders fade away with prolonged abstinence.
Symptoms can affect recovery process and restoration of life. Symptom can sometimes come and go with wave-like reoccurrences or fluctuations in severity of symptoms. Common symptoms are impaired cognition, irritability, mood swings, depressed mood, anxiety; all of which may reach severe levels which can lead to relapse. Protracted withdrawal syndrome from benzodiazepines can produce symptoms identical to these generalized anxiety disorder as well as panic disorder. Sometimes prolonged nature and severity of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms means an abrupt withdrawal not advised. Instead tapering by reducing in slower stages because of the common symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome predicaments are frustrating fluctuating emotions:
- Psychosocial dysfunction
- Impaired Interpersonal skills
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviour
- Feelings of guilt
- Autonomic disturbances
- Pessimistic thoughts
- Impaired concentration
- Lack of initiative
- Inability to think clearly
- Memory problems
- Emotional overreactions or numbness
- Sleep disturbances
- Physical coordination problems
- Stress sensitivity
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Panic disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Sleep disturbance (dreams of using, behaviors associated with life style.
Symptoms occur intermittently, but are not always present. They are made worse by stress or other triggers and may arise at unexpected times and for no apparent reason. They may last for a short while or longer. Any of the following may trigger a temporary return or worsening of symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome:
- Stressful and/or frustrating situations
- Feelings of anxiety fearfulness, or anger. Claustophobic
- Social conflicts
- Unrealistic expectations of oneself
The unpredictable nature of symptoms makes progress complex. Abstinence is the best option regardless of excruciating debilitating mental and physical state, if detoxing rest assured it will pass.
Overwhelming symptoms often need a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and plus a good pain management team to support and help you. Do not suffer in silence get physical massage to help enhance your blood circulation. Take multi – vitamins food supplements to ensure vitamins A, B, C,D, E and drink water to help detox. These interventions can help plus eat healthy, sleep well and find stimulating hobbies to help boost seratonin. Ensure Physical activities and physical Exercise can help distract the mind but do not overdo it pushing yourself beyond your limit. Do not feel guilty or sad for the past missing out numbed by medication so may be seen as insensitive or lazy. Apologise if you have to, move on to rebuild your life, encourage and reward yourself for your success of self control discipline that helps you to continue to heal. Pray to God, believe Christ and seek empathic confidential support for your wellbeing. No matter how stressful and painful it feels during recovery there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will smell flowers again.
Ultimately endure to the end to emerge at other side turns your success to help others. The water you crossed on the river yesterday is not the same water on river you cross today. It means you a learning emotional being you change day by day. Do not have a perceived fixed expectation to beat yourself up for not meeting standards. Life is dynamic so be grateful so thankful for each day alive try to cope as much as you can see cup half – full. Therefore do not be disheartened if your own rate of recovery seems slower than the other people you interact with on the social media forums. Do not ever give up on yourself or give in to quit there is hope for your future in Christ in God because Jesus Lives you can face tomorrow to the Glory of God in Jesus Name. Do not toxic anger or bitterness rob you of JOY of Lord. Overwhelming distress caused by these unpredictable emotions can drive you to abandon treatment. It may seem easier to keep on numbing pain by just more pill popping yet long – term damage to body takes its toll eventually. And can poison your blood circulation so affect your immune system repeating cycle of dependency on medication and the side-effects. Herbal treatments are available so not do force changes by date setting to get better. Process sometimes daunting so do not try to calibrate your success rate by comparing it to others in treatment.