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Benzos as antidepressants btnd

Posted by viridis on February 22, 2003, at 0:40:26

In reply to Klonopin 2mg - anti-depressant and ..., posted by btnd on February 21, 2003, at 9:35:35

For me, Klonopin is unquestionably an AD, but I think a lot of it depends on the source of your depression. For unipolar depression without substantial anxiety, maybe it wouldn't be so great, and some people even report that it makes their depression worse.

Most of my depression is anxiety-based and doesn't respond well to "standard" ADs such as SSRIs (which actually make things worse). By alleviating the anxiety, Klonopin seems to take care of the worst of my depression, and I consider it my primary AD.

I think that there are various "flavors" of depression, and the wide range of responses (even just to different ADs) is consistent with this idea. Unfortunately, many doctors don't understand this. My GP, for example, says that there's no such thing as an anxiety disorder; all anxiety is just a manifestation of depression, so the newer ADs will almost invariably solve anxiety problems. The fact that they don't for me supposedly indicates that I have a "psychological" problem (and the occurrence of side effects must be my imagination, since ADs can't cause side effects). Of course, this is ridiculous, but it just shows how some doctors think (or don't).

My psychiatrist says that in his experience, for people with anxiety problems, benzos like Klonopin can be very effective antidepressants. And, as Hiba pointed out, there's some evidence that benzos may also boost levels of some of the same neurotransmitters that ADs target (particularly serotonin).

With Klonopin alone, I still had some "residual" depression, much milder and more transient than before, but still unpleasant when it hit. It was definitely a different kind of depression from that which I associate with anxiety. When I added Adderall (for ADD) most of this cleared up. So even for one individual, there may be different types of depression occurring, for different biochemical reasons.

Anyway, Klonopin and other benzos certainly can act as antidepressants for some people and are worth a try, especially if there's a substantial anxiety component. One nice thing is that you'll know pretty fast (within a few days at most) whether benzos are right for you, instead of the 4-8 weeks it takes with most "real" ADs.


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poster:viridis thread:202420
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20030219/msgs/202684.html