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Old 12-12-2008, 01:25 PM   #1
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I need help with taking Klonopin for panic disorder / agoraphobia / fear of meds

I am at a point where I am having potentially life threatening health issues at the age of 29, and I am potentially going to doom myself if I cannot get the help I need soon. I started having panic attacks in June of 2000 after I quit smoking 2 packs a day cold turkey, and they have never gone away since. The only thing that ever improved them at one point in my life was heavy exercise routines, but they were still present with most situations.

I am extremely medicine phobic, I was able to take a xanax once in 2001 but I was scared of taking it again and never did. I've had several doctors try to put me on zoloft and welbutrin, but I would always fill the prescriptions then chicken out. I started seeing a secondary therapist this past spring / summer with the goal of doing behavior modification therapy, but after I began avoiding critically important health issues I was told that I needed to see their psychiatrist and plan on medication therapy instead. The therapist was very concerned I would hurt myself through avoidant behavior.

Their psychiatrist prescribed me Zoloft and Klonopin, and I picked up both with the intention to take them but I chickened out once again. After a month and a half of continuing to see the therapist and promising that I was going to take it soon, we had a falling out over a billing issue and she refused to see me again even after paying the bill.

Seven months have passed since the major health issues popped up, and I have had two specialists insist that I may be harboring cancer in my large intestine / bladder. I am now in pain daily, and I cannot figure out what to do. I am living a life right now of complete avoidance, and I am almost equally terrified of getting checked out as I am of death. The main reasons for this is the procedures which need to be done are invasive, and typically require me to be put out. I am terrified of being put out, although I have now found a specialist who will work on me while I'm awake *IF* I start taking Klonopin and double up on a dose before going in.

It has been two months since I saw that specialist, and I have yet to get myself to take the Klonopin. I am deathly afraid of side effects, specifically allergic reactions or the warning of "intense fear" that my lable discusses. I have seen some people say they had very bad reactions, other say that it ruined their memory, etc. I already take a low dose beta blocker for my heart which affects my memory (Inderal), so the last thing I need is another drug to mess it up even more. I cannot even desribe how terrifying taking this drug is for me. As the therapist told me in one of my final appointments, I'm my own worst enemy. Help is available, but I won't let myself get help.

I have a very very poor family structure, they are extremely uncaring and have watched me wither away for the past ten years. I am told I have PTSD from past abuse, being put out in the streets and having to be homeless when I was 16-18, etc. I am living on my own, but have been struggling since panic disorder makes it so damn hard to function in life.

Can someone please convince me that taking Klonopin is safe and that it will drastically improve my life? I have seen doctors conflict, some telling me that I cannot do Klonopin or Xanax for long term, with others saying the opposite. I have a doctor that will give me a 2x a day prescription of Klonopin if I start taking it. He is anti-anti-depressants because he feels that I suffer 10x more from panic attacks than I do from depression. The conflict in opinion really scares me, sometimes I feel like the anti-benzo doctors feel that it is better to not be medicated than to be reliant on benzos.

I need support and inspiration. I am getting so scared, last night I sat awake in pain wondering if I'm actually in the process of dying now from the potential cancer inside of me. I don't know what to do, I just need help believing that the Klonopin is safe to take.

If I take 1/2 of 1/2 of a .50mg pill (.125mg instead of .25), could it still give me some calming effects or would it not be as safe as taking .25? I am grasping at straws here trying to convince myself. It took me over 1 year to finally take the Inderal, and only because I had an ER staff and firefighters telling me I was going to give myself a heart attack / stroke if I didn't start taking a beta blocker for right bundle branch block in my heart + tachycardia.

Last edited by ryguy79; 12-12-2008 at 01:26 PM.

 
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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Re: I need help w/taking Klonopin for panic disorder / agoraphobia / fear of meds

Hey there.
I usually take 2 mg of klonopin a day and have been for a few years. Trust me, taking one of these pills cannot be nearly as bad for you as what you are putting yourself through now. To me, they are not as sedative as ativan or xanax. The worst side affect I've had with them is indigestion - seriously. You are better off not reading the warnings that come with every prescription because if it doesn't scare you half to death, you'll think you're having all they possible side affects when you do take it.

Do yourself a favor. Take the klonopin as your doctor instructed. When you take it for the first time, take it in the evening so if you become drowsy, you just go to bed and get a good nights sleep.

Best wishes,

JB

 
Old 12-12-2008, 05:45 PM   #3
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Re: I need help w/taking Klonopin for panic disorder / agoraphobia / fear of meds

ryguy,

Hon, I am so sorry for all you are going through, I cannot imagine the fear you must suffer. I have been taking klononpin on and off for the past 6 months for anxiety related to my BiPolar and Chronic Pain. As Granny said there were no side effects, I didn't even get indigestion. I'm sure it makes soe people drowsy, but I take so many narcotics that i'm pretty tolerant to sedative drugs. Please, please take your klonopin so that you can get the tests done for the cancer, this is your life at stake and you want to live I'm sure.

Kat

 
Old 12-12-2008, 09:32 PM   #4
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Re: I need help w/taking Klonopin for panic disorder / agoraphobia / fear of meds

ryguy, hello there and I am going to tell you about me and the scary Klonopin. I had such severe panic attacks up until last July that I didn't know what to do with myself. I thought they would kill me. I finally got to the end of my rope and put myself into the hospital to get started on medication because I was soooooo scared to death of taking meds, too. But I made up my mind that if I was going to have any kind of life ahead of me, it had to be more pleasant that what I was going through with the panic attacks. They gave me Celexa first which was okay, I was so scared to take that first pill that I can't tell you but I'll bet you can imagine! I got it down, though, and wonder of wonders, NOTHING awful happened to me. I didn't get dizzy (MY worst fear), I didn't get nauseous, NOTHING except a little sleepiness. Then they decided that Lexapro would work faster and you know what, I didn't even hesitate about swallowing another new pill. Wow! I didn't know I had it in me. Anyway, to make a long story short, the Lexapro helped almost immediately but they still said I needed something for the panic that would act quickly so they gave me Xanax. .5mg. That was actually the worst part of my getting onto medication. I felt drunk from it so I told them I didn't want that again. Then they gave me Klonopin, I was skeptical but took .25mg and again, WOW! Nothing bad happened to me at all. No side effects, maybe a small amount of sleepiness again, but a definite calming effect. I now take 20mg. of Lexapro once a day and .25mg. of Klonopin 3-4 times a day and I'm doing so much better that people can't believe it.

I know where you are because I've been there and it's not a fun place. I also have a great fear of invasive procedures and just of doctors in general. I have diabetes so I am constantly worried about that. Always imagining grim scenarios for myself but you know what? With the help of these medications I can push a lot of those fears away now and live a more quality life.

Gosh, I wish there was something more I could say to you about the Klonopin except I think you should try it. If you do have any small reactions to it, the drug leaves your system in a relatively short period of time but I would truly be surprised if you had anything strange happen to you.

Good Luck to you, let us know what you do. You need to get over the hump just like I did. It's not easy by any means but when you do that, make it past that horrid fear, you will be happy that you did. I sure am, and if I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT.

Edited to add that I doubt that a dose of .125mg of Klonopin will do much for you. My doctor would like to see me on .5mg instead of .25mg but for me the .25 is working so I'm not changing it for now. If it stops working, though, I'll go up to the .5mg that he would like.

Take care....Rox

Last edited by Roxx; 12-12-2008 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Add comment

 
Old 12-15-2008, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: I need help w/taking Klonopin for panic disorder / agoraphobia / fear of meds

Thanks for the posts I really really appreciate them. I talked to my doctor, he agreed that .125 would be almost entirely pointless and that .25 is the best dose to start at. He actually almost drove to my place on Sunday to make sure I took it, and that I wouldn't freak out about it, but he changed his mind after we talked for a bit.

He has two goals for me.

1. Finish up school work (I decided to go back to school at 28, almost done with my Associates now) since I am extremely stressed about finals which are due tomorrow and Thursday.
2. Plan on taking my first dose on Friday or sometime this weekend, no more prolonging it. Try to do it on a day when I'm not having a ton of abdominal pain. He said the last thing he wants to see is me get afraid of another med by associating pains or other problems with the drug.

I think most of all though these sorts of posts are making me more confident that this can be a good thing. I guess I'm also partially scared of what it would be like to be myself again. I haven't gone on vacation out of state or even outside of 30 miles of my home since the year the anxiety started (2000). I avoid highways and traffic jams, going out even, and I am terrified of big cities and rural areas due to not feeling safe. If this pill helps me, and I can get my health stabalized, it will be almost like a rebirth into area that has become so unknown to me.

 
Old 12-19-2008, 07:40 AM   #6
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Re: I need help with taking Klonopin for panic disorder / agoraphobia / fear of meds

I don't like to take meds either and usually avoid even Tylenol for a headache. After having several miscarriages and then losing a baby in my 2nd trimester I started having panic attacks. I thought I was having a heart attack. It took me several months th be brave enough to take Lexapro and Klonopin. I was sure the doctors were missing something and diagnosing me with anxiety because they were clueless. Well, after becoming so sick of living with panic and anxiety while trying to be a mom of a 2 year old I decided to give both meds a try. I felt better immediately. I took .25 mg of kolonopin in the am with my 10 mg Lexapro and .5 mg of klonopin in the evenings. It was the best thing I ever did for my mental health. I was able to feel normal, calm, not afraid, and able to take care of my family. I stayed on those meds for about 4 months before I decided to come off to have another baby. Had a healthy, successful pregnancy that time with a beautiful baby girl. I don't think my mind or body would have ever been ready for that if I had not taken the drugs. I have had anxiety since and now take 10 mg of Prozac daily. I have xanax to take if I need it, but I don't use it right now. I will though without hesitation if I feel me losing myself again. Try it, you only have your life to gain!

 
Old 12-19-2008, 04:03 PM   #7
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Re: I need help with taking Klonopin for panic disorder / agoraphobia / fear of meds

I've been taking Klonopin, on a daily basis for about 10 yrs.
I suffer from severe panic attacks and Klonopin has helped me a lot.
Don't be a afraid of Klonopin, it's a great med for panic/anxiety disorders.

 
Old 12-27-2008, 09:26 AM   #8
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Re: I need help with taking Klonopin for panic disorder / agoraphobia / fear of meds

ryguy79 wow I feel so bad that you are suffering so much. I too am afraid of taking meds. Deathly afraid. I fill presciptions and throw them away. I have a reason to be afraid. I am allergic to many things. I have had reactions like to Immodium AD and broke out in hives and swelling. I have to have allergy shots for things I am allergic to. We have reasons for being scared don't we?? But I am tired of being afraid of living. I am tired of being afraid of dying too and have a great fear of that. I have developed acid reflux from my worries and stress and now they want to put a camera down my throat and have a look. I have never been sedated or hospitalized or anything. I am scared to have it done. I hope I don't chicken out too. I was suppose to have a vein my leg worked on 5 years ago and cancelled that surgery because I was afraid.

So you are not alone. What do we do? I guess I need counseling so I won't fear medicines and procedures. I don't know how I got this way. But I want so badly to be healthy mentally and physically. Hang in there my friend. I am here to talk to.

Last edited by TEdds83; 12-27-2008 at 09:32 AM.

 
Old 12-29-2008, 06:32 PM   #9
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Wink Re: I need help with taking Klonopin for panic disorder / agoraphobia / fear of meds

I am currently taking klonopin and it has helped alot take one and see how you feel then you will see that you are better off with it than without i guess different stroke for diffent folks you can not go by someone else's experience i do not take alot of medicine i am scared too just like you try it see what it does
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Last edited by ms_mod; 12-30-2008 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
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