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    Old 01-23-2005, 04:13 PM   #1
    turl
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    who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Hello:

    About 5 years ago, my husband suffered from some panic attacks for which a doctor Rx'd ativan. He took it a few days to knock off the edge, then it was "as needed". He seemed to get things under control and didn't need it very often--never even refilling the Rx, which has long since expired.

    Fast forward to the present and he's having almost daily, "chronic" anxiety along with panic attacks from time-to-time. Question for those of you that have been using meds for awhile--or been through all the meds, etc.--can you try and treat his new anxiety the same way he did before, or is it always best to use an SSRI?

    His old doctor is no longer around and the new one said "no" to ativan.....and Rx'd Paxil instead (see my previous thread regarding start up side-effects with Paxil for more info). He says he can't tolerate the side-effects.....they've been real scary for him. Should he try another SSRI and hope for a better result, or should he try and find a new doctor that might be willing for him to try the ativan route again (he was very careful before to not take it everytime he felt anxious, as he didn't want to become addicted).

    I realize you don't know him and you aren't doctors, etc. But, you have had the experience of anxiety and using meds, so any ideas/thoughts you have are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Tab

     
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    Old 01-23-2005, 04:38 PM   #2
    rcnh
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    i suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome. and used xanax and cymbalta.
    first i would get a doctor who understands your husbands problem and is willing to help him cope. life is short, and if you need medication to help alleviate the "stress of daily life" combined with family and work issues, then you take what you need to live a happy productive life. i know people who take ativan and are fine. first get a new doctor, not a primary doctor but a psychiatrist......and go one step at a time.
    good luck

     
    Old 01-23-2005, 09:30 PM   #3
    turl
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Thanks for your reply. It isn't a PCP he saw but a "specialist", I think in occupational medicine (work place stresses). We're gonna look for a "therapist" for him, so maybe he'll get more help there.......

    Tab

     
    Old 01-23-2005, 10:04 PM   #4
    islandkate
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Tried ativan and did not work for me. I too just need meds just for panic attacks.....I am not depressed and do not like the antidepressants!! Bad side affects which made me feel more anxious!!
    Why is your husband having a reacurance of anxiety/panic atacks? New job? Any other problems that would cause the anxiety?
    Anyway, if your hubby just neds anti anxiety meds every once in awhile, then why does the Doctor want to put him on a dose of anti depressants daily? From what I have heard, they are very hard to ween off of.
    I would suggest xanax as needed.......


    Hope that helps.....

    Kathy

     
    Old 01-23-2005, 10:22 PM   #5
    turl
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Thanks, Kathy:

    Don't know why the reccurence of anxiety/panic except to say he's "prone" to anxiety (seems to run in the family). I guess the SSRI was Rx'd due to an underlying, chronic level of anxiety he was feeling, not to mention additional panic attacks.

    In the past 2 years, we cleaned up his diet--no sugar and mostly whole, unrefined foods. He lost around 55 lbs and started working out, etc. You'd think health problems would be the last thing he'd have to deal with after that, but it's like it's changed his metabolism too much. He's since given up his evening or weekend beer and switched to decaf coffee, to no avail.

    Tab

     
    Old 01-24-2005, 09:36 AM   #6
    hry33
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    to tabs
    sadly many docs have now been brainwashed to prescribe antidepressants only for anxiety and no valium or other benzos at all
    he should try another doc, older ones are often more likely to prescribe benzos, he should stress his cronic anxiety and panic attacks and offer to take the benzo only as needed
    he should also stress that he isnt addicted to benzos

     
    Old 01-24-2005, 09:45 AM   #7
    turl
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Thanks, hry33. If it were the doctor he saw 5 years ago, I'm sure he'd have a new Rx of ativan right now.....especially since he handled it so well--never even finishing the first bottle, much less getting any refills. He knows that some level of anxiety is to be expected in his work and personality, he just wants help with his worry over handling actual panic attacks.

    We'll keep looking......

    Thanks,
    Tab

     
    Old 01-24-2005, 01:53 PM   #8
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Panic/aniety attacks can come out of no where for no reason at all.This problem is in my family and we have dealt with it for over 30 yrs.Your husband needs to go to a doctor who specializes in this ie psyhchiatrist.We have 3 of them treating members in our family and all three said that they needed to stay on ativan/xanax on a regular basis(3 times a day) with or without anti-depressants (if perscribed).
    The ativan/xanax if taken properly can help get the attacks under control.but please make sure you only do this under a doctors supervision.Once you get the understanding of panic attacks and realize that they are very frightening but not dangerous you will notice they come less often and less severely.There is so much to be taught about this and I have learned from 1st hand experience.Good luck and well wishes to your husband.

     
    Old 01-24-2005, 01:58 PM   #9
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Quick note to my other post.I didn't mean to imply your husband would need to stay on ativan/xanax for life just long enough to get the attacks under control and learn methods to counter act the attacks and understand more about them.There are numerous methods that can help on the onset and during,and once you see they work it's like a ton has been lifted off your shoulders.

     
    Old 01-24-2005, 07:03 PM   #10
    turl
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Thanks, laughy42. He did have success with ativan 5 years ago.....just upset that the doctor didn't try him on it again--first. He was very careful about taking it and didn't even finish the bottle. I'm looking for a psychiatrist for him this week.

    Tab

     
    Old 01-24-2005, 10:06 PM   #11
    islandkate
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    Smile Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    HI,
    I think your husband is on the right track.......but know what you mean by anxiety AND ESPECIALLY panic attacks runs in the family. It does in mine.....it is hereditary for many....my grandfather, mother,2 aunts and my sister all suffer.All on the maternal side, wich also strengthens the hereditary thing.
    I plead once again.......unless your hubby IS depressed, NOT to do the anti-depressant thing......Go back to the Doctor and really lay it on the line that he just needs meds AS NEEDED!
    Also a suggestion is some therapy.....might help......
    It is much harder for a man to go through this than a woman.....mabee because men are supposed to be so strong.....yet women will reach out for help! Is that why you are on this board instead of him?
    All the best to you both, and hope you can figure this out together.....with a little help from some therapy mabee????

    Good luck and take care of eachother,
    You sound like a wonderful wife and person!!

     
    Old 01-25-2005, 08:15 AM   #12
    turl
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by islandkate
    HI,
    I think your husband is on the right track..............unless your hubby IS depressed, NOT to do the anti-depressant thing......Go back to the Doctor and really lay it on the line that he just needs meds AS NEEDED!
    Also a suggestion is some therapy.....might help......
    .............. Is that why you are on this board instead of him?
    Thanks, Islandkate. Well, for now, he decided (I'm sure with some prompting from me--the health nut) not to try and change his brain chemistry with the SSRIs. I think it would just be a "bandaid" in his case, and the underlying "stuff" would still be there. We're going to find him a psychiatrist/therapist to help him deal with mental ways of decreasing his chronic anxiety and get something, like you said, for the acute times--as needed.

    I've had anxiety all my life (anxious mother, too), so I know what it's like. I choose not to do meds (though I use valium to go to the dentist), BUT, I don't have work responsibilities anymore either (and anxiety is part of the reason I don't want to anymore). However, in the last year I've made great progress, and hubby sees the change in me and is willing to try it "my way", especially after seeing what drugs can make you feel like (I guess he thought it was gonna be a "magic pill").

    I'm the one on here because he doesn't "do the internet", if you can believe that in this day and age! But, he doesn't hesitate to have me get online to do "research"--which I happily do because I think it can be a valuable tool and I love it.

    Anyway, getting long-winded here So, I close for now......

    and I thank all of you for your helpful, timely replies!

    Best to you all,
    Tab

     
    Old 01-25-2005, 10:42 AM   #13
    akahoneypotqt
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    Generalized anxiety disorder for me means.. A constant level of anxiety that never goes away. From the time wake up to the time I go to bed. I am "never" w/out it. Some days it's worse than others. My obsessions have increased alot of the last few years, to the point that I could almost be considered pathalogically, obsessive, regarding my health and things that are "wrong" with me. I freak, and I mean freak, at the least little sign of something that could "get me".. Right now, I am dealing with my doctor who had me get a chest xray and then said she wanted it repeated in one month because of something she saw on that. Well.. With someone like myself, you don't ever say "don't worry about it, it too soon to tell anything". I want to know NOW, RIGHT NOW !. lol.. So, I push and push and make my own appointments with specialist,, I don't care of I"m over obsessive, it's my body, my health and if nobody else cares I DO!. Now, that being said.. XAnax.. XAnax has been on my daily meds list for over 5 years now. At first I was taking 0.5 4x a day for a good year and maybe more. So, I decided I wanted to "wean" myself down, wtih my dr's help of course. We worked it down to 2x a day and whenever I needed it. AT one point I quit taking it totally and for good. I was not a happy woman. Now, I take it 2-3 times a day and whenever I damn well need it.. It has proven to me, that when all else has failed me. This is my one and only alternative to a nervous break down. I don't care if I have to take it until forever and a day. It's here to stay. Alot of physicians dont' like it, they say it's "too addictive" and not good for you. It's in and out of our system unlike prozac,and paxil, and lexapro and wellbutrin, so how can it be worse than those that linger forever in your blood stream? Just my opinion on Xanax. Unfortunately I've never had the chance to try Adivan. I may need it in the future, but for now. Xanax will do.

     
    Old 01-25-2005, 11:01 AM   #14
    turl
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    Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    LOL.....you sound like me at my worst. I was ALWAYS obsessing about my health, except that I was SO scared of doctors that I couldn't go....I just KNEW they'd find something. I could never even make an appt.....just thinking about it sent me running to a bathroom (diarrhea). That's why I finally needed valium to get to a dentist (went to one for a "consult" to tell her I had severe phobia of dentists, and she gave me the Rx....and I was able to go for first time in 20 years). If I could've made myself go to a doctor back at my worst, I'd be on xanax right now.....little did I know I could go "just" for anxiety--I just saw all doctor visits as something horrible, that's how irrational I was about it.

    But, I agree with you.....I think (even with no experience on meds) that I'd prefer to do like you. Mind-altering drugs scare me....and even more so since seeing a normal husband almost lose his mind over the weekend due to Paxil (doctor has since assured him he had a very bad, abnormal reaction).

    I'm still an anxious person, but not obsessively so like before. It was hard getting to this point. "Bad" habits are hard to break (and yes, the way you allow yourself to think is a habit), especially if you've been doing it all your life and you're now 42! I still battle with it and slip back because it's easier being that way. That said, however, I don't have a stress-filled life, except for that that I "create" myself.....so for people who have real outside stresses, I don't know how you handle it. I had the "luxury" of dealing with it at my leisure......

    I have a friend on long-term xanax, and I've often thought of begging him for one :-) Anyway, I hope hubby can find a doctor that will give him an Rx for something like it. Glad you have a good doc!


    Tab

     
    Old 01-25-2005, 11:51 AM   #15
    akahoneypotqt
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    Lightbulb Re: who deals with anxiety with ativan or xanax, etc.?

    I have yet to find a Dr. that would not prescribe xanax when I explained why I was taking it. I had the medical history to back up the need as well. Oh, sure, they all tried to get me on Zoloft, Welbutrin, and paxil and all that other crap, but I asked them one question. Why would you prescribe a medication for me that alters the chemicals in my brain when you have no blood test available to check this level in the first place! Just how do you know that it isn't "right" and there's nothing "wrong" chemically? Yet, your willing to screw w/my brain anyway, based on my "symptoms"?. Nah........ I don't think so.. LOL.. Find me a blood test that checks my seratonin levels and can show me in writing that it's off it's kilter and then we'll talk about Seratonin altering medication. Thanks, but NO THANKS!. I'll keep my mild sedative that is in and out. Sounds, a little obsessive, but really.. would it surprise anybody to find a obsessive, compulsive, irrational thinking person here? Of all places? LOL.. Take care! Let us know what's up

     
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