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  • Benzo's. vs. SSRI's



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    Old 08-08-2005, 10:37 PM   #1
    NathanF41
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    Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    My question is regarding Benzos vs. SSRIs. I have constant anxiety. Thankfully it's not really there overnight. For the most part I sleep fine. But during the day it's there. I have annoying symptoms (and am on Topamax for migraines, which just adds more anxiety as a side effect). But my anxiety has been constant for the past 7 months since getting off depakote for migraines. I always had anxiety to a smaller extent, but got much worse after that. Still not sure if it's from any sort of depedence in the brain to the depakote, or if the depakote was covering up anxiety (since I found out later that Depakote is actually prescribed occasionally for anxiety nowadays). Anyway, I have worse anxiety in certain situations. I perform for my job as a singer, I have worse anxiety eating in restaurants, or in any formal situation...eating dinner at another persons house (any eating situation with others it seems), social situations, lots of phobias. Anyway, those are the worse situations, but my anxiety is constant. I feel the effects even when at home in my room or outside taking a walk.

    My Dr. says I need an SSRI, but I'm worried about these first few weeks where it's supposed to make you worse. But how are they AFTER that? How much does it really work? Is there potential for damage from SSRIs? Why are they so bad from what I"m hearing? Is it just that they aren't as good? Or is there more to it? And how often do you need to take up the dosage to keep it working? And are they that addictive so that tapering off is actually a difficult process in itself?

    Are Benzos actually bad? They sound like they're great for anxiety. But as I said, my anxiety is constant. I don't want to take it daily. I would only want to take it in situations where I NEED to be calmer, even though I want to be calm every day (like my job, or certain situations where my anxiety is really elevated). I don't want to get addicted to it in any form, no matter what kind of a dependency it could be. Plus I would not want to take it enough where I would need to raise the dose to have it work. This makes me think that I would have more of a problem coming off of it once the doses start climbing for results. Plus I read the post from the guy who suffered heart damage from being on Klonopin for 13 years. Doesn't sound like the benzos are really supposed to be taken steadily for long periods of time. Being addicted doesn't seem like "Oh well, I"ll just stay on it"...it seems like it could be a really big problem. It sounds like it causes more anxiety once you stop taking it, if you can get over the withdrawals from it. it sounds like there's potential for it to cause permanent problems if you take it for too long. That's rather discouraging too. Does not really sound like an every day type of drug to me...but it sounds like the best results for anxiety.

    So my real question: What does someone like me do for constant anxiety?? Benzos give the best results....but SSRIs sound safer as an every day, long term drug AFTER the first couple weeks, right? Both give possible withdrawal effects that are not fun, but as I understand it, NOT dangerous and will go away with time. Both seem to have the possibility of increasing your anxiety upon discontinuation of the drug, which seemed temporary from what was said. But it sounds like SSRIs are the safer daily long term med if finding constant anxiety since they are meant to be long term daily drugs and benzos were designed to be as needed.

    Last edited by NathanF41; 08-08-2005 at 10:41 PM.

     
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    Old 08-09-2005, 05:53 AM   #2
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    Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

    Meds can affect us differently but for me I never got addicted to any benzo or anti depressant.I may have became a bit dependant on it,but I succeeded in weaning off both of them and they were there when I needed them most.
    I had a hard time weaning off one anti depressant,which was Paxil.Another I took was Zoloft I didnt notice any withdrawl weaning off that.I also took clonopin (benzo) twice a day .5 mg (very low dose) for two years and had no noticible withdrawl weaning off.Basicaly if I had any withdrawl weaning off the zoloft or the clonopin it was very small and I was too busy to notice.
    It can be different for others,so I guess you are taking a chance in a way getting on them.You have to decide is my anxiety so bad I need this to help or not?

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 07:48 AM   #3
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    This thread was split from the "Is Xanax Dangerous" thread...let the original poster get his answer...if you have a question please start your own thread. Thanks, Ms_Mod

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 09:17 AM   #4
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    Nathan -

    Have you seen a counselor or tried any kind of therapy for your anxiety? If it is constant like you say even when you are just sitting at home, you may have some other issues that a psychologist could help you work out, or at least you could be taught ways to cope with it and try to get over it. Meds are wonderful for getting you over a hump, but mostly they are not a cure. If your anxiety is constant it may be more beneficial to learn how to stop it.

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 10:06 AM   #5
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    hi i have GAD and post traumatic stress. diagnosed 30 years ago with the GAD and 2 years ago with ptsd. i have taken a lot of AD and benzo's. everyone is different but here's what worked for me. elavil is the only AD i have taken that didn't make me more hyper. i have taken klonopin as needed for 3 years and love it. have tried different benzo's and they all made me feel weirder than i already felt. have never had a problem stopping the klonopin. am starting 5 mg (the lowest dose) of lexapro on monday and might have to take a klonopin at night until i get used to it. sometimes you have to play with dosages and the times you take these drugs to get the right fit. i am also in therapy for almost 3 months for the ptsd and that has been the biggest help. at times they recommend some form of drug to get you over the edge until therapy kicks in. i had one dr. prescribe depakote(which i understand is usually prescribed for bi-polar disease which i don't have. i thought i would go nuts. i didn't need a mood stabilizer. my problem being anxiety and not depression has always made me believ that's why i have suck a bad reaction to AD. most of them bring you up. i am already up. i am hoping the combination of a low dose of lexapro and .5 mg of klonopin do the trick. i wish you luck in making a decision. it is not easy.

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 11:21 AM   #6
    NathanF41
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    I have been in therapy for about 8 months actually. I actually didn't start it for anxiety, but it quickly turned to anxiety after stopping the depakote for the migraines. I always had a bit of anxiety, but not when sitting around at home or stuff like that. More social anxieties is what I used to have, or fears of heights, flying...general anxiety. But now I have real physical anxiety, that impairs me all the time. My two theories are that when I moved to New York from CA, I was just scared out of my mind of NY. I live in the city and I think I'm scared of everything here (have to live here for school, and this is the only school I can be in for my program). NY city IS the city of anxiety. So depakote may have been covering up a massive anxiety boost that came at me when I discontinued the drug. Then there's also my theory my brain became dependent on something that depakote was giving to it over the course of 5 years that time is going to have to heal. If this is the case, I don't know how long it would take. But since Depakote is a mood stabilizer, I have a feeling that my brain got used to get a certain chemical from depakote that my brain now needs to relearn to deal with on its own, like it did before I ever used that drug. That's my other theory. I hope that wouldn't be a permanent thing.

    But yes, I am in therapy and trying to figure this all out. I'm probably going to need temporary meds, I hope to not cause more problems by using meds though...such as finishing meds and having another after effect such as what I described above...

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 12:41 PM   #7
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    i have taken a lot of stuff and have never suffered permanent side effects. it sounds like you are really stressed out and maybe need something to keep you calm until you pull it all together. i find it impossible to get anywhere in therapy if i am too out of it because i am not really paying attention. sounds like you are on the right path. good luck.

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 12:56 PM   #8
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    Hi Nathan - I have never been to new York but I do not think i could handle it! I am from Idaho and it is so laid back here, I think my anxiety would go bonkers if I were in NY!! Sounds like you are doing all the rihgt things, and I bet your anxiety is a combo of all the things you listed. The fact that you didn't really suffer from it before is probably a good sign that you will be able to overcome it. I have less optimism for people like me who have had the same anxiety since childhood.

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 01:47 PM   #9
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    good point !!! never thought of it. some of us have been anxious as children and since it is ongoing for so many years makes it more difficult to not only overcome but to even realize what's going on. i agree about ny. am afraid to even visit. too many people,tragedies and goings and comings for me. i like a real laid back calm atmosphere and wish i could have it all the time.

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 01:53 PM   #10
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by angel54
    good point !!! never thought of it. some of us have been anxious as children and since it is ongoing for so many years makes it more difficult to not only overcome but to even realize what's going on. i agree about ny. am afraid to even visit. too many people,tragedies and goings and comings for me. i like a real laid back calm atmosphere and wish i could have it all the time.
    Yeah, I wish I would have gotten some help/told my parents when i was little. After so many years these thought patterns are a part of me and it makes it that much harder to overcome.

    I'm not only afraid to visit NY, I am afraid of getting on the plane to go there!!

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 02:32 PM   #11
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    LOL....now you sound more like me there. Getting on the plane is hard enough. But I could do it before. Now I haven't even been able to visit home because I can't get back on a plane. In fact, the anxiety has gotten so bad that getting in an elevator feels somewhat similar to getting in a plane. Not claustrophobia...heights...being suspended over a shaft and afraid of getting stuck, which I have before.

    Anyway, I was never anxiety free, as I said, but general anxiety like some social phobias and fear of heights that was not physically debilitating is a huge difference from this anxiety explosion over the last 6 months. I believe I'm on the right track too. But it's going to take a bit of time. Temporary meds are most likely necessary....but my main dilemma is which type? That's kind of why I started the thread. Do I calm the physical symptoms and deal with the mental stuff? Or do I try to get it all with the SSRIs? I just definitely don't want to cause more aftereffects.

     
    Old 08-11-2005, 12:49 AM   #12
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    ...................

    Last edited by soarer2; 03-21-2009 at 08:18 PM.

     
    Old 08-11-2005, 02:52 AM   #13
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    to soarer 2, what have you dug up about klonopin? i as because i have taken valium,xanax,and ativan with horrible side effects. the only one that worked and didn't give me bad feelings is klonopin which i have taken off and on for 3 years. i agree about the antidepressants. short term only if you can. a lot of side effects.

     
    Old 08-11-2005, 07:46 AM   #14
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    I agree with soarer, something like Xanax would be good to help you through a rough patch while oyu are getting therapy.

     
    Old 08-11-2005, 08:11 AM   #15
    NathanF41
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    Re: Benzo's. vs. SSRI's

    I appreciate all the info....as I posted in another thread I was given lorazepam yesterday (generic Ativan...supposedly is no different from what the psychiatrist says). We'll see how it does with me. Half the smallest dose worked a bit. Took some edge off, not enough to take all away, but did a little bit of work.

    Thanks for the help.

     
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