Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 317354

Shown: posts 1 to 11 of 11. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP

Posted by song on February 24, 2004, at 22:09:22

I've been depressed basically my whole life. I didn't even know I had it untill a friend of mine who was also depressed told me about antidepressents and how it has helped him. Now im on prozac and wellbutrin and I feel like a different person. My problem is that for most of my life I've had no interest in socializing because of depression. But now I want to make new friends and meet new people. Its so hard for me though, I've some force just paralyzing me when I'm talking or interacting with someone. It would make my mind go blank and my words stutter. I would be ok with my friends but for some weird reason I can't talk to anyone else. My doc wants me to "try" harder, apparently he doesnt know how serious it is. But if "trying" harder doesnt work for me he has agreed to put me on benzos. I know there are addiction potential and withdrawals from benzos, but I'm willing to sacrifice a few months of withdrawals for a chance to be myself. Does anyone here take benzos for social anxiety and what kind of a effect does it have? Does it get rid of that paralyzing feeling anxiety brings? Please tell me your experiences and knowledge with benzos, I searched the web for peoples experiences but I want to hear from you people.

 

Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP song

Posted by jerrympls on February 24, 2004, at 23:20:51

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

Hello Song-

I think the most prescribed benzo for social phobia (and anyone please correct me if I am wrong) is Klonopin. It has a long hlf-life - so there are no ups and downs. Some people also have luck with Ativan or Xanax.

Regarding the "addiction potential" - in my opinion, it's nothing to worry about right now - especially if you have never had a problem with substance abuse. I've been on and off benzos for years, and have never abused them or have had terrible withdrawl - however, there are many people who experience terrible withdrawl symptoms. The key is to very slowly taper off - IF you end up going off of one.

Hope this helps!
Jerry

 

Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP

Posted by gheld on February 24, 2004, at 23:42:33

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

I'd be careful about taking benzo's if I was depressed, especially Klonopin. It tends to be a depressant on it's own for some people. I think Xanacx and Ativan are less so.

There could be discontinuatin symptoms with any benzo but if you taper slowly they should be minimal.

Good luck.

 

Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP

Posted by SPhobia on February 25, 2004, at 1:13:39

In reply to Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP, posted by gheld on February 24, 2004, at 23:42:33

I'd agree with for the most part with the previous two posts.
Klonopin probably is the most widely used benzo (at least for those who take benzo's on a regular rather than need-only basis).

BUT, as gheld stated, Klonopin certainly can have a depressing effect. I've NEVER struggled with depression in my life, but when I take Klonopin, though it lessens my anxiety, it tends to make me a bit depressed, which then makes me anti-social.

I really prefer the feeling of xanax, and not because it gives me a bit of a ephoric feeling, but I has a much better anti-depressant effect. (The mild ephoria feeling maybe due to the anti-depressant effect just making me extra happy, or b/c Xanax is such a fats acting med I just notice it more)

But note, benzo's with shorter half-lifes, such as Xanax (as well as Ativan I believe) probably are more prone to abuse & addiction.

Two suggestions (if you do try benzos):

FIRST, try Klonopin:
(a)Since it has a longer half life, it doesn't have as much of ephoric feeling as Xanax,and thus is probably less likely to be abused. Klonopin tends to just lessen anxiety, leaving you otherwise feeling normal--which is what you want from a benzo!
(b) Since you are on a anti-depressant, it may counteract any depressive effects Klonopin and leave you with a great comfortable & confident feeling.

SECOND, if that doesn't work, consider trying Xanax XR. I think it's a bit expensive, so unless you have good insurance, I would try the Klonopin first. Also, it seems like people become tolerant to Xanax more quickly than they do to Klonopin. This may be true with Xanax XR as well. That said, I have heard people say some good things about Xanax XR.

THIRD, if what you are looking for is anti-anxiety med you can take before specific situations and don't think you need to be using it on a day-to-day basis, you might be better served by just sticking with regular Xanax.

But beware...it can help & impair you cognitive acumen while it's in your system. Let me explain that seemingly contradictory statement. It can help in situation where you have high anxiety, because heavy anxiety tends to make the "migh go blank" and by calming yourself your brain will start moving again. However, when you are trying to study, read, work, etc, and you are not in a situation where your anxiety is triggered, the benzo's seem to slow my mind, make me a little too sedated, and hurt my retention & short term memory. (Not permanently, just while I'm feeling their effects)

Anyway, whatever you choose...Good luck!

 

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

 

Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP

Posted by snarley on February 25, 2004, at 1:25:14

In reply to Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP, posted by SPhobia on February 25, 2004, at 1:13:39

> But beware...it can help & impair you cognitive acumen while it's in your system. Let me explain that seemingly contradictory statement. It can help in situation where you have high anxiety, because heavy anxiety tends to make the "migh go blank" and by calming yourself your brain will start moving again. However, when you are trying to study, read, work, etc, and you are not in a situation where your anxiety is triggered, the benzo's seem to slow my mind, make me a little too sedated, and hurt my retention & short term memory. (Not permanently, just while I'm feeling their effects)
>

that's exactly what i meant by "loopy" in my post before this. I was taking benzos daily for anxiety as prescribed by my doc, and found this to happen here and there (my friends thought it happened more often, thus the frequent "loopy" comment)

didn't see this post before i posted.

 

Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP

Posted by scott-d-o on February 25, 2004, at 2:04:36

In reply to Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP, posted by SPhobia on February 25, 2004, at 1:13:39

another option is diazepam (valium).. it has almost as long a half-life as klonopin.

doesn't seem like it is used much any more thou for some reason. this is probably just because it's been around the longest and has built up the worst rep since pdocs used to prescribe it all the time.

klonopin also seems to have a depressing effect over the long term for me, but you will prob be okay if you are on two AD's as well. I didn't get as depressed when I was taking valium.

the advantage of valium over xanax xr is that it would be available as a generic and thus much cheaper.

 

Re: double double quotes snarley

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 25, 2004, at 23:15:52

In reply to Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP song, posted by snarley on February 25, 2004, at 1:18:53

> 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.

I'd just like to plug the double double quotes feature at this site:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#amazon

The first time anyone refers to a book without using this option, I post this to try to make sure he or she at least knows about it. It's just an option, though, and doesn't *have* to be used. If people *choose* not to use it, I'd be interested why not, but I'd like that redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20020918/msgs/7717.html

Thanks!

Bob

 

Re: double double quotes

Posted by Vera on February 26, 2004, at 14:02:39

In reply to Re: double double quotes snarley, posted by Dr. Bob on February 25, 2004, at 23:15:52

Thought I'd chime in and say that I've been on Wellbutrin, and it actually increased my anxiety.
My Pdoc prescribed Xanax to take PRN. I've had it before...way back when they felt it was highly addictive, but they're finding that it's not as *dangerous* as they once thought. Xanax very much helps my anxiety and I suffer no side effects...except just a BIT of sleepiness...but I'll take that over crippling anxiety any day.
The *regular* Xanax is available in generic, and I have it. Costs only $10 thru my HMO for 90 tabs.
I sincerely believe it's worth trying. It comes in different strengths, so maybe start low?? Your Pdoc can, and should, advise, however. Good luck!

 

Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP

Posted by song on February 26, 2004, at 14:07:16

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

thank you everyone for responding, my decision is to try benzos first, and if they seem to addicting Ill try effexer.

 

Re: About to try BENZOS, PLEASE HELP song

Posted by Clayton on February 27, 2004, at 1:27:48

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

Xanax is by far the best anti-anxiety benzo available. It absoutely stops panic attacts and anxiey cold. It has a short half life - they say about 2 hours - bit, I find it works for 4 hours at least. I had suffered fron SAD for many years and Xanax saved by life. I can't describe how wonderful it it to be able to carry on normal conversations with people. It is FREEDOM incarnate.

Yes, it can be addictive.It you use it situationaaly and as prescribed, the risk it low. It you use is for an extended period, you will need to taper off.

An far as efficacy is cincerned, it is an absoutely wonderful medince.


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