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Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP song

Posted by snarley on February 25, 2004, at 1:18:53

In reply to About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP, posted by song on February 24, 2004, at 22:09:22

I would be very careful about trying benzos as an anxiety cure. I had a pdoc a number of years ago who gave me ativan and klonopin to work on my anxiety. I was on the ativan for about a year, and in my mind, it worked great compared to anything else i'd tried. At one point the pdoc decided to stop seeing me, i found a new one, and he took me off the ativan (i also had some friends who were always telling me the ativan made me act sort of different, not in a good way--they said it made me act "loopy" at times--so keep in mind you may actually appear different even if it seems to be helping).

Any anxiety i had beforehand was NOTHING compared to what i experienced after getting off the ativan. I had panic attacks constantly whenever i left my house for the first few months. Over time they decreased to where i could drive somewhere, but usually i would freak out by the time i got inside anywhere with people i didnt know (stores, movie theaters, etc). It was about a year before i could sit through a 90 min movie in a half empty theater with only one or two breaks.

Be cautious if you try the benzos, they do a great job covering up the problem, but in my experience it just reduces your *actual* coping skills over time, i.e. when I got off them I was a worse mess than before.

ABOUT YOUR CURRENT MEDS: I have also been on prozac and wellbutrin in the past, and they both seemed to amplify my anxiety if anything. I'm on Effexor atm for depression/mild anxiety (it's mild now because i've worked behaviorally on it for years) at 150mg/day and it works beautifully for both. I would highly suggest talking to your pdoc about effexor if you are willing to try a different antidepressant.

If you can find a non-med solution to the anxiety (which is what i ended up having to do, for the most part) that is probably the safest route. It's all about slowly introducing yourself to things you are nervous about and correcting your anxious thoughts as they happen. My mind would always get carried away wondering what people were thinking or if i was sweating visibly, etc and that would escalate my anxiousness into an even more absurd train of thought, up and up until i was -actually- dripping in sweat and heart pounding and shaking in a full blown panic attack. Isolating and addressing each issue was the key to reducing my anxiety over time. It's a long process, but i've had zero anxiety problems for the past year (i had dealt with it since '98 or '99). Your doctor should be able to step you through that process, if not, you should probably consider a different one, or maybe a separate therapist in addition to your pdoc (that's what i did). Some are better than others with anxiety issues, and therapists will spend more time with you on stuff like that.

A book i've read recently (mainly for pointers on positive thinking exercises to counteract depression--but it also has a few chapters on anxiety) is Dr. Daniel Amen's "Change your brain, change your life". It also has sections on various meds and stuff. Check it out if you can.

If all else fails, drink a beer or two (harharhar), it probably couldn't hurt =D

Good luck,
Snar


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