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    Old 07-17-2016, 03:10 PM   #1
    joan17
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    Klonopin Stopped Working

    Hello -

    I am have not been on this forum for quite some time, as I have been successfully managing my severe panic attack disorder and anxiety with the use of Klonopin. I realize that in the population that takes Klonopin, I am very unusual in that I have been on 6 mg. of Klonopin for 20 years. I am 63 years old.

    Two years ago, I started having breakthrough anxiety,but my psychiatrist said that since it was mild,perhaps I should "get used to it" rather than try new medications. I did "sort of" get used to it, but now, at the 20-year-mark, I am experiencing much more severe anxiety, sensitivity to noise, trouble sleeping, and so many of the all-too-familiar symptoms which I had pre-Klonopin. I asked my psychiatrist about it, and he said that I should stay on the Klonopin, since it seems to be still effective in that I am not having panic attacks, and he wants me to start on "Effexor" - but what I have read of this medication, both the patient reviews and the literature that comes with the drug, is terrifying, in terms of side effects and difficulty coming off of it, or even missing a dose.

    I was wondering if anyone had this experience with Klonopin and stayed on it, and either raised the dose or "boosted it" with another medication. SSRIs don't tend to work for me, as my panic disorder is severe, but I have heard of people boosting the Klonopin with another benzo, such as Valium or Ativan, with success. If someone has done this successfully, can you please let me know of your experience?

    Many people are shocked when they hear of the high dose of Klonopin I have been on for so many years, but at the time, I was ignorant of its addictive qualities, and was not informed by my psychiatrist at that time of any problems I might have with it. Looking back, I would start on it again, as I had 20 years of relief from panic attacks using it. At age 63, I think you can understand that I do not want to wean off of it, as I do not have the stamina or strength that I had as a young woman.

    Any help offered would be greatly appreciated - Blessings, Joan17

    Last edited by joan17; 07-17-2016 at 03:11 PM.

     
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    Old 07-17-2016, 11:27 PM   #2
    hybrid1961
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    Re: Klonopin Stopped Working

    I have been on Klonopin for several years. My psych doctor added Buspar (buspirone) to my list of meds to help with my anxiety. I am prescribed 2 mg of K-pin twice daily, but the doctor gives me a pad of up to 8 mg per day if my anxiety gets out of control. However, I'm sure that like other benzos, prolonged use of K-pin can cause some ineffectiveness. I'm no doctor, so take it at face value.

     
    Old 07-18-2016, 11:16 AM   #3
    joan17
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    Re: Klonopin Stopped Working

    Thank you for your response, hybrid. Do you find that the Buspar helps with your anxiety, along with the Klonopin? Also, I didn't realize a person could go up to 8 mg. for anxiety and panic problems -so that gives me some hope, as I wasn't sure that an MD could raise my dose of Klonopin. I will hopefully be speaking to a new shrink very soon, to discuss all this. Thanks again - joan17

     
    Old 07-18-2016, 03:47 PM   #4
    hybrid1961
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    Re: Klonopin Stopped Working

    I think the buspar has added an arrow to my quiver against anxiety. I take 10 Mg 3 X a day. I think it helps level me out a little. Please, please, please remember how addictive any benzo can be. We both may be on them the rest of our lives, so we have to deal with that. K-pin is one of the stronger benzos, so there isn't much room to move up from that. And yes, I am allowed to take up to 8 mg a day when I am going through an extremely anxious period--like the death of my mother last year. However I usually just take 4 mg a day.

    Also, if you're experience sever anxiety/panic have you tried dissolving the tablet under your tongue instead of swallowing it. The effect is quicker, but doesn't last as long.

    Last edited by hybrid1961; 07-18-2016 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something

     
    Old 07-19-2016, 04:32 AM   #5
    joan17
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    Re: Klonopin Stopped Working

    Thank you for responding, hybrid.

    I am all too aware of the addictive nature of Klonopin, but my panic and anxiety can get so bad that I am almost dysfunctional, and so it is a quality of life thing. I am going to try to avoid raising the dose of Klonopin, unless nothing else is effective.

    Right now, I am trying to find a new psychiatrist who knows what he or she is doing, but it is difficult, as my insurance doesn't have many shrinks to choose from, and also, many psychiatrists are not accepting insurance any longer. This is really adding to my anxiety, as I want to see someone very soon.

    Thank you for the information about the buspar. I will keep it in mind - joan 17

     
    Old 07-19-2016, 03:57 PM   #6
    Snoopy61
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    Re: Klonopin Stopped Working

    Hi Joan17,

    I am very sorry to hear you have been on Klonopin for 20 years.

    I have used Klonopin (Clonazepam) at the dosage you are taking, but only 3 different times and it was more than my prescribed dosage of 1mg 3x a day. My anxiety/panic could and would become extreme and I would become impulsive and self-destructive. My anxiety/panic attacks are secondary to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    I am assuming you use 6mgs daily? Again, I am very sorry. Have you ever gone through Psychotherapy? Learning new ways of thinking, negative vs positive, as well as coping skills can be quite helpful. Sometimes taking a new path in dealing with anxiety/panic can be a game changer --- at any age :-) I went through Psychotherapy but there was still something missing for me. That started my journey into spirituality which became my game changer. I'm not necessarily speaking of an organized religion although for some it's helpful.

    You are not that old and it's possible you will live for many, many more years. Would it not be helpful if you could learn to have some control over the anxiety/panic with out medication or at least without adding in a higher dose or adding in another medication?

    As far as your question; At one point I used SSRIs as well as the Clonazepam but only for the first 2 years then it was only the Clonazepam. I never had an add on benzodiazepine.

    I hope you find peace.

     
    Old 07-20-2016, 04:00 AM   #7
    joan17
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    Re: Klonopin Stopped Working

    Thank you for your response -

    I have been in psychotherapy on-and-off since I was in my twenties - I worked with five different therapists over those years, and although they were supportive, it was only until I started with the 6th therapist that I felt the therapy was helpful with my anxiety and panic.

    I am very familiar with the therapeutic process. I certainly can say I gave therapy a chance, but I have always had such intense and aggressive panic attacks that I felt I needed medication as well. I know it is not the ideal, to say the least, to be on Klonopin for 20 years, but I have to say, I did not have panic attacks for the entire time I was on Klonopin, and that was a blessing. Of course, I would not advise going on this high a dose for so long without a lot of consultation with a psychiatrist, and taking into account how much you are suffering, and compare this to the risk of taking Klonopin.

    As far as "new paths" into dealing with anxiety and panic, before I started on meds, I tried virtually every holistic, nutritional, and alternative method available to ease the symptoms - they only helped to an extent. However, I still find prayer and meditation and a healthy diet to be invaluable to my emotional state, especially prayer and my faith in God.

    You mentioned starting a journey into spirituality, and I am glad for you that you had this awakening. Faith in God has been central to my life since I was a small child, and I can "testify" that walking with Jesus and calling upon Him for help has been the main factor in dealing with my anxiety and panic.

    I appreciate your concern, and again,I thank you for responding.

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-20-2016 at 03:02 PM.

     
    Old 07-20-2016, 09:51 AM   #8
    yayagirl
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    Re: Klonopin Stopped Working

    Dear Joan,

    I saw your post and have read with interest as I have a past history of very severe anxiety and depression, and at one point years before I came to know Jesus I took desperate measures I won't go into here. Only by the grace of God was I saved from that.

    I have had countless counselors and few were even helpful. The one person that helped the most is a psychologist that treated me like a normal person for what I had been through, who taught me how to relax and understand & accept myself.

    Finally now in my old age I truly can say I have learned how to overcome. Overcoming is a daily task. Sometimes it's relatively easy, other times it's a struggle, depending on how much I choose to hold onto my own ideas and feelings. I now believe that this is a normal process. If anything I share with you rings a bell for you, great. If not, I am sure you will keep on marching on with whatever you have been doing. But ask yourself how this has been working for you. I want just throw some thoughts out there because you came here asking for feedback. With your background I think you can handle my straight talk.

    What came to mind first is 'physician heal thyself'. I have had many doctors and counselors and psychologists and one psychiatrist (who was more ignorant of the body, mind and soul than any doctor I have ever met) through the years, and never once heard of a 'deficiency in psychiatric medication'. In my experience, the the more the body is stressed with unnatural substances (even when the drug causes a stupor) the more actual physical anxiety is experienced.

    I suggest that you find a Naturopath physician (they have the exact same education as a medical doctor except in regard to surgery, as they choose to 'do no harm') and and ask about testing for toxins and ask about chelation therapies to get the toxins out of your body (yes, drugs are poisons too, can be helpful in emergencies, but at what cost). The cost must be weighed with an open mind. You may have a toxic overload of substances you are allergic to (allergies don't always cause itching) and/or heavy metals causing you some or all of the symptoms you have. You may have serious B vitamin deficiency or other deficiencies causing the anxiety. This needs to be researched by the proper professionals. VERY few medical doctors understand even the test results. That is not their training.

    I found out with blood test that I had a dangerous overload of iron from the use of cast iron frying pans my entire life. This also made my body deficient in other things. Iron overload stays in the body and is not naturally excreted. Almost every person is deficient in the B complex vitamins. Why? ...who often eats raw grain to get B vitamins, that wash out from the body daily? And things like this cause not only stress, but most medications use up our B vitamins that are needed to calm the nerves.

    FEW medical or psychiatric doctors (compared to the number of those doctors) understand or even check thyroid levels. Too low OR too high levels both can cause severe anxiety and/depression. Too high or too low sounds like opposites but being too low OR high in thyroid can cause both anxiety and depression at the same time. They are two sides of the same coin. I know, because until I finally found doctor that understand thyroid I was a MESS.

    Which brings me to 'self-analysis'. As for counseling, it is imperative that you stop counseling yourself because it is impossible to be objective with our own selves. The heart is still desperately wicked even after we come to know forgiveness. Forgiven doesn't mean we are then objective about ourselves. Daily we have to ask to be shown our imperfect ways, and even then we have pockets of fear that hides truth from us. The human mind is very complicated and imperfect, full of shadows and niches where only one above can bring light. Find a strong holistic therapist that shares your faith and will challenge your preconceived perceptions. And interview them carefully before accepting one. Having a degree means nothing if one does not have an over all understanding of how the body, mind and spirit is fragmented and disconnected, even yes, for believers.

    Then, bottom line we have to do our own work ourselves. We have to say no to our own thoughts to open up to higher thoughts. Others can help with knowledge and understanding that we don't have. I think you know I don't write of religion or the opinions of mankind. We have to walk our own daily walk.

    Another thing that helped me was to go to a Naturopath doctor and explain my symptoms and ask about compounded, naturally balanced female hormone therapy. All along, and esp. now at your age, your hormones may have been seriously out of whack, and also get your thyroid levels checked. Few medical doctors understand thyroid even today. Somebody decided to test levels of a relatively small number of people and chose a middle result to be 'normal'. But it is now well known that thyroid needs are highly individual.

    If a doctor is stuck on test levels rather than whether you have a feeling of well-being, run from that doctor. I tend to think from your communications that your anxiety may be physical in nature more than mental or emotional.
    The physical does directly affect both mind and emotions.

    Remember, you came here with questions for a reason. There has been something you have been missing. If we try hard enough we can find someone that will give us whatever we want. But I don't believe the answer you need is 'more of the same'.

    I hope this opened your mind a little. No matter what you tried or did before, an avenue you think you have already been down still may be the answer for you.

    Blessings, love and peace,
    __________________
    ~ YaYa ~

     
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