I haven't posted in ages, but when I saw your thread I had to respond.
After you see how long my answer is you may wish you hadn't started reading it
I took Xanax...half a MG...(a quarter mg twice a day) everyday for 7 straight years and when I didn't have panic or anxiety problems anymore I..with the help of my Doctor...who was a GP... weaned off with no problems at all.
You're going to read more horror stories about any medication..be it a benzo or an AD...than you are success stories..not because they're aren't people out there with success stories it just seems that the people who've had problems getting off of or starting a medication seem to be much more vocal.
When I first came to this board a few years ago I was still taking the Xanax...believe me, I was told...and sometimes not in a nice way...how it was a "band-aid"...I thought, if I was bleeding, I'd use a band-aid...how they were a "crutch"...I thought, if I had a broken leg, I'd use crutches...how I WAS going to have to up my dose and how IF I tried to get off of them that I WAS going to have all kinds of problems...well, none of that happened...I NEVER upped my dose one single time..in fact I was taking less than was prescribed...and I didn't have any withdrawel at all when I weaned off.
I'm just glad I listened to myself instead of letting other people scare me.
Yes, it is true that some people become dependent on or tolorant to benzo's but it simply does not happen to everyone.
I did try two SSRI's...I won't even name them because it doesn't make any difference...they weren't for me and that's all I'll say about it...I would never come on and post a horror story about a medication.
Just because they weren't for me doesn't mean they won't be a life saver for someone else.
It's not my place to tell other people what medication they should or shouldn't take, it's not my choice it's theirs and should be left up to them and their Doctor.
But, I did go to a P'doc at one time and he wouldn't see me again unless I was on an SSRI even after I told him what kind of a reaction I had to them...he didn't seem to care, it was his way or the highway...so it was the highway for me.
I and my GP knew what worked for me, and nobody was going to tell me that I HAD to take any certain medication.
When I was hearing all that negative stuff I'd been on the Xanax for about 5 and 1/2 years and hadn't had any dependence or tolorance issues to that point...of course when I posted that, some were oh so happy to tell me..."It can happen at any time" Then one day I just decided that people could post and tell me all the horror stories they wanted to.
While I'm sure they had the best of intentions, that didn't mean I had to listen.
They weren't in my shoes and they had no idea what it was like to live in my head and until they did I just looked at all the negative stuff as what it was, their opinion, (Which they were entitled to) but, it in no way meant that what happend to them was going to happen to me....and it never did.
Then I weaned off without problems and didn't post for a while, but I'd still come here and read all the posts....I'd read the ones from people who were scared to take this drug or that drug and I'd see a few negative posts but slowly the postive ones started showing up also.
I guess I was chicken and didn't want to have my head handed to me again if I posted about the fact that I'd taken one of the "dreaded benzo's" and God forbid had stayed on it for a long period of time.
Then I decided that I would start posting my experiance...if anyone asked, because I wanted others to know that yes, benzos are powerful and they should always be taken with caution and that they do cause problems for some people, but it does not happen to everyone.
I will add that my Doctor also told me that if I was going through a really hard few days or weeks, that it was fine to take what I was prescribed for that period of time...just not to take more than prescribed.
He had no problem at all with me taking it at the low dose I was using, and he had no problem with me taking for as long as I did.
He knew I didn't have a choice, nothing else worked for me and to be very honest if I hadn't taken it when I needed it I don't think I'd be here right now.
The whole point of me posting my story is to let you and others know that there are people out there who have taken benzo's for long periods of time and never had any problems and to also let them know that there are postive stories out there, you just have to look harder for them sometimes.