Anti-anxiety medication (klonopin, ativan, valium) for anxiety and sleep

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    Jul 12, 2012 3:27 PM GMT
    Doctors are shying away from prescribing these pills for anxiety due to their high addictive qualities and aer moving towards SSRI's

    However if used properly and not abused they still have very positive effects.

    I am on ativan 1mg per day and trying to convince my doc to continue that prescription

    Anybody have a positive experience with being on these medications for long periods of time and have been able to safely get off them

    Your experiences that you share would be greatly appreciated
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    Jul 12, 2012 3:36 PM GMT
    I was on Zoloft for 8 years for anxiety attacks but I slept too much so she switched me to Prozac. Seems ok so far
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    Jul 12, 2012 3:41 PM GMT
    I often wonder: why not try to resolve what is causing the anxiety instead of just medicating it? I hope you don't take offence to the question. A friend is dealing with something similar and seems to be relying on medication.
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    Jul 12, 2012 3:43 PM GMT
    I wouldn't take offense but I personally don't know what started mine, wish I did
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    Jul 12, 2012 3:46 PM GMT
    I have OCD and used to suffer from panic disorder. Even if you don't know the cause of the disorder, there are good treatments, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy that can teach you how to manage the symptoms so you don't need medication or don't need it as often.
  • Tony123

    Posts: 30

    Jul 12, 2012 3:47 PM GMT
    I'd steer clear from any benzos for anxiety unless it is an absolutely necessity. Doctors should be shying away from these drugs, while they can be therapeutic if used properly, the addictive qualities cannot be discounted.

    Many times anxiety can be caused by physiological imbalances in which the only relief comes in some sort of intervention. Just be open and up front with your doctor, that's the best thing one can do.
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    Jul 12, 2012 3:49 PM GMT
    Health related anxiety. Have chronic irritable pain predominant irritable bowel syndrome which is triggering anxiety which is triggering abdo pain. No IBS meds have made any difference..

    Ativan seems to take edge off both abdom pain and anxiety
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    Jul 12, 2012 3:55 PM GMT
    I stil take .25 mg of klonopin a day, down from much more than i was 20 years ago when I first starterd taking it. Doctors have substituted sertraline (200 mgs a day) and oxcarbazepin (600 mgs a day)
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    Jul 12, 2012 5:26 PM GMT
    jonottawa saidI often wonder: why not try to resolve what is causing the anxiety instead of just medicating it? I hope you don't take offence to the question. A friend is dealing with something similar and seems to be relying on medication.


    Some people, when it comes to anxiety, experience it so much greater than say the "average" human would. Its like the anxiety was shot through a 100x magnifying glass and it can be crippling to some and medication is their only relief. The cause of this can be anything from chemistry or something learned in life (example war veterans with PTSD). I am sure that most people who are on medication, if could, would love to be able to get off their medications. But with medication and therapy, you can control your anxiety and even get off the medications...
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    Jul 12, 2012 5:46 PM GMT
    I'm a big proponent of "better living through chemicals," but for me, 2 dropper-fuls Kava Kava tincture (which I make) taken as needed or twice a day keeps me calm through the day and helps me sleep at night with no side-effects.

    Bonus: I cures my chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain.

    There is medicine all around us.
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    Jul 12, 2012 7:08 PM GMT
    I got off of Ambien by taking a 1 mg dose of Ativan to sleep. Now I can skip a few nights and not have to worry about getting enough sleep.
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Jul 12, 2012 7:23 PM GMT
    morgantoronto saidDoctors are shying away from prescribing these pills for anxiety due to their high addictive qualities and aer moving towards SSRI's

    However if used properly and not abused they still have very positive effects.

    I am on ativan 1mg per day and trying to convince my doc to continue that prescription

    Anybody have a positive experience with being on these medications for long periods of time and have been able to safely get off them

    Your experiences that you share would be greatly appreciated


    Uhhhh... Sleep? That's called killing an ant with a hammer.

    Buspar + Lunesta..... Your receptor's will thank you. Just watch out for RSD on the later. Yoga, hiking and exercise are all great too. Try taking melatonin at the same time every night.

    SSRIs................. If depression is also an issue, or the cause of the anxiety.
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    Jul 12, 2012 7:32 PM GMT
    I have GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and I just go to 1-on-1 and group therapy every week (2 sessions). Insurance paid for part, but obviously these things you carry for your whole life don't get resolved in 20 sessions, so I probably pay less out of pocket for cognitive behavioral therapy than you pay for medications with/without insurance.

    I get anxiety from a variety of sources: fear of rejection on a daily basis as a gay man, being uncomfortable with being gay in public, my upbringing of religiousness and strict parents who still nag me as an adult about what and when I am going to do this and that and when I will come home, shame and guilt, new public experiences, fear of not being able to find a guy, fear of being out of control of your situation, my hiv/std risk based on how slutty I've been and whether my pee pee was touching his pee pee long enough to get x disease, etc.

    Shame, guilt, and fear are some possible, common sources of anxiety in gay men--at least from what I've seen in group therapy icon_smile.gif It is also possible to get over these things with time if you expose yourself to your fears enough that you get comfortable in managing your responses to such situations--it's like learning something new--you suck at it until you get it right. People with anxiety suck at reacting positively to certain stimuli due to past experiences and/or beliefs.
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    Jul 12, 2012 7:50 PM GMT
    jonottawa saidI often wonder: why not try to resolve what is causing the anxiety instead of just medicating it? I hope you don't take offence to the question. A friend is dealing with something similar and seems to be relying on medication.

    I used to have anxiety attacks multiple times a weeks sometimes almost everyday. My doctor wanted me to get on medication and he wanted to diagnose me with GAD. After talking with my Dad who also has anxiety problems I decided I wasn't going to use any types of drugs and that i was going to beat it myself. I started exercising, eating right, stop taking any sort of caffeine and the anxiety attacks went to only a handful a month. Then I came out of the closet and haven't had any since. It's been almost a year now. In severe cases I believe medication is ok but being dependant on drugs is no way to live.
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    Jul 12, 2012 7:59 PM GMT
    Anyone have any trouble getting off anti-anxiety meds when tried?

    Anybody use them for bowel issues to calm the stomach/bowels?
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    Jul 12, 2012 8:08 PM GMT
    These types of medications are way over-prescribed. I'm all for people who need them for short-term events (someone who has a fear of flying having to travel via plane, someone who is afraid of public speaking having to give a presentation to his college class, etc.), but I don't think EVERYONE who has anxiety needs Xanax. I was going on a trip that was causing me stress (not because of flying though), and I was prescribed Xanax once. All it did was make me tired and want to go to sleep. I don't know how people can live on this stuff.

    I work in a pharmacy and I can't tell you how many of these things we fill per day. I do think some people may have such high anxiety levels that they need them on a daily basis, but there is no way that everyone and their mother needs to be on several milligrams of Xanax or whatever everyday. Doctors prescribe it like it's nothing, and it's kind of scary. And don't even get me started when it comes to painkillers, like Percocet and Vicodin.
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    Jul 12, 2012 8:09 PM GMT
    I have had good luck with GABA, a nutritional supplement. The brand I've found to be the best is NOW 500mg. Have had bad luck with Source Naturels. And have bought it in bulk.

    GABA is a neurotransmitter. According to a book I came across, anxiety depletes GABA in the brain. Anxiety symptoms (like heart palpitations, hives, insomnia, etc.) occur when GABA runs out. If you take it at a time in your life when you have anxiety, it works. If you are not suffering from anxiety however GABA will make you tired the next day. So it is important that you stop taking it when not needed.

    Take on an empty stomach before bed. Some take it before bed AND when starting their day. I only take during anxiety phases in my life, and then only before bed. Some people get a 5 second head rush after taking the pill, but that's normal.
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    Jul 12, 2012 11:31 PM GMT
    @FuzzyWuzzy - do u keep on taking ativan for sleep or was it just to get off the ambien
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    Jul 12, 2012 11:53 PM GMT
    Ckfeezy said
    jonottawa saidI often wonder: why not try to resolve what is causing the anxiety instead of just medicating it? I hope you don't take offence to the question. A friend is dealing with something similar and seems to be relying on medication.

    I used to have anxiety attacks multiple times a weeks sometimes almost everyday. My doctor wanted me to get on medication and he wanted to diagnose me with GAD. After talking with my Dad who also has anxiety problems I decided I wasn't going to use any types of drugs and that i was going to beat it myself. I started exercising, eating right, stop taking any sort of caffeine and the anxiety attacks went to only a handful a month. Then I came out of the closet and haven't had any since. It's been almost a year now. In severe cases I believe medication is ok but being dependant on drugs is no way to live.
    The drug companies wouldn't make any money if we dealt with the causes of illness rather than chasing symptoms. Doctors are taught to prescribe these poisons in med school.

    On a nearly related subject, PST from a health crisis last year had my doctor prescribe an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds. I'm glad that I never took the anti-anxiety meds and wish that I had never taken the anti-depressant. I'm now chemically addicted to that sucker and can't ween myself from the poison. I'm frantically searching for a replacement drug that can be used for the weening process and doesn't have severe interactions with other medication taken.

    My recommendation to anyone facing depression or anxiety situations is find a way to get at the causes [psychotherapy or whatever it takes] and resolve the issues. Medication that only treats symptoms is not the answer.
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    Jul 13, 2012 3:57 PM GMT
    I also heard Kava Kava is a good alternative but that you have to be careful with it due to potential hepatoxicity...
  • tyler_helm

    Posts: 299

    Jul 13, 2012 4:28 PM GMT
    Some of these conditions are genetic. I have moderate to severe depression and Localized Anxiety. When Diagonsed I got let in on the family secret that my Mothers family Were all depressed and self medicated with Alchaol. One of her cousins lost it and killed himself wife and you child (long before I was Born) and two Uncles Committed Suicide.

    When my weight is good and I can exercise I have little or no problems. But during grad school they manifested strongly leading to my diagnosis. I take the pills because they keep me on an even keel and I take a little as possible. I think I have stuck a good balance for healthy living and medication
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    Jul 13, 2012 8:56 PM GMT
    We also seem to live in an era where we also automatically attribute a negative value judgement on medication

    There is a time and place for all these medications, if used wisely and not abused.

    I am hoping that hearing members' use of these anti-anxiety drugs responsibly may allow me to make an educated decision if i should pursue them
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Jul 13, 2012 9:03 PM GMT
    jonottawa saidI often wonder: why not try to resolve what is causing the anxiety instead of just medicating it? I hope you don't take offence to the question. A friend is dealing with something similar and seems to be relying on medication.


    Ideally, one is doing therapy even if they are also using some form of medication.
    One of the advantages of of the benzodiazepines (klonopin, etc.) is that they don't have to be taken regularly. Especially low half-life ones (e.g. ativan/lorazepam) can be taken only acutely to help with panic attacks or similar discrete onsets.

    Anxiety can, in some cases, undermine a persons ability to function. Aside from the fact that they may not have time to 'finish' working through therapy while retaining their jobs, social relationships, etc., a key part of overcoming anxiety is experiencing activities that make you anxious and 'learning' that you don't need to be afraid/anxious. Anti-anxiety drugs can help get you over the hump so that you can accumulate those experiences.

    Finally, while brain and mind are inseparable, some parts of the brain are more easily accessed consciously and thus dealt with via "psychological" means. Sometimes people may just have, for example, a hyper-active limbic system or some other low level system that biases them to high-anxiety. Therapy is still important in that case, but medication may help in ways that talking and working can't.

    (For context on the above, I'm a neuroscientist who has dealt with some anxiety issues of his own and had quite a few friends who've dealt with the same. Academics seem to be a high strung bunch. icon_smile.gif I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist though, so I'm sure others could contribute more. )




    @OP, regarding addiction: I don't want to say too much because I don't have ea lot of experience with that aspect in particular. It is my *non-professional* understanding that benzo addiction is slightly exaggerated as a problem, though it certainly can exist. I believe it is most often found to be a problem with people who have a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse/addiction - or, implicitly, are inclined towards such. As such, it's a rather personal question.
    What do you mean by "convince your doc to to continue the prescription"? He already prescribed it to you, no? Why would he stop? Have there been warning signs of misuse or dependence? Also, are you getting therapy?
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    Jul 14, 2012 6:14 PM GMT
    My doc has acknowledged that it can help but does not want me to become reliant on the 1mg - he claims that the 1mg will soon not be enough and I will need to up my dose, and when ready to come off (after several months or longer) will be very difficult.
    I do not have any addiction issues - never smoked, drank or done any drugs. But i guess i ask the question if there is a physical physiological dependence that begins on these drugs that is outside the scope of someone having an addictive personality
    I would like to convince him to extend the prescription - it has the effect of calming my anxiety which is related to bad bowel issues..., and also independently having a therapeutic effect of calming bowel pain.
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    Jul 14, 2012 6:39 PM GMT
    morgantoronto saidI am on ativan 1mg per day and trying to convince my doc to continue that prescription

    Anybody have a positive experience with being on these medications for long periods of time and have been able to safely get off them

    Your experiences that you share would be greatly appreciated

    I have had Ativan prescribed because of the panic attacks triggered by wearing this sling after my rotator cuff surgery. My dosage is 0.5mg. But I had to take 2 pills at first. Ativan worked great.

    I didnt take them long enough to get addicted to my knowledge.

    My surgeon says I will never get addicted to stuff cuz I am too fucking careful. hahahahahahahaha

    photoquartersize2.jpg

    I now have to deal with a FEAR of panic attacks that I never had to deal with before. I NEVER want to go thru that experience again.


    I use GABA for issues like stress or muscle twitching after a strenous workout. It more like taking aspirin for a headache.

    gaba-source-naturals-tablets180.jpg