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  • Does All The World Hate Benzos?



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    Old 04-09-2006, 08:49 AM   #1
    glamdais
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    Unhappy Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    Hi Everyone,

    I've had issues with panic and anxiety since I was a teenager. I'm now 44 and since the "hormonal changes" have begun it started getting worse. I went to my GP who gave me xanax as needed and suggested I see a Pdoc. The Pdoc threw a fit over the benzos saying they were nothing but an addictive tool and that I should be on an SSRI. I had taken serzone a few years ago but it kept me up for about 3 nights. I told the Pdoc about this, but he totally blew me off about it and prescribed Effexor. I took one dose of Effexor and had a hyper serotonin reaction that REALLY set the anxiety loose---worse than it had ever been in my life. I went back to my GP who put me on valium at 10 mg/daily. This all happened a couple of years ago and I'm now down to valium 5/mg daily. I still have problems with the anxiety, but it's better. This is where my confusion comes in though. My GP says valium is a safe drug that I could stay on and I wouldn't necessarily have to increase the dosage. However any other doctor I've been to (OBGYN, Endo) have acted like valium is the most evil thing ever put on the earth (along with any other benzo). They've even suggested anti-psychotics over benzos. In the experience of people here is this true, or have benzos just fallen out of favor due to newer drugs coming along? It's my understanding from several friends on SSRI's that they've had to increase their dosage or change SSRI's as time went on and had some withdrawl if they stopped. I don't understand what the difference is in this and what can happen on benzos. I'd appreciate any ones thoughts on this as I am VERY confused at this point. Thanks so much.

     
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    Old 04-09-2006, 09:30 AM   #2
    anxiouslady
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    Hi Glamdias,

    I have gone thru the lectures too and the comments about benzos being bandaids and things like that. The only meds i'm on are clonazepam (generic for klonopin) and thats if needed. They work out fine for me and i've never had a problem stopping them when I haven't needed them anymore.

    I think most docs are worried because the benzos can become highly
    addictive and cause major problems in certain people. So because of the risk of dependency they try to get you off of them and put you on something more "long term" just in case you happen to be one of those people who become addicted to the benzos.

    anxiouslady

     
    Old 04-09-2006, 09:32 AM   #3
    Graciecat
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    I've posted my story several times, but just wanted to share it yet again, stick with me, it's long

    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.
    I learned a long time ago to stay away from any Doctor who tired to PUSH one certain medication above all others on to me...made me wonder what kind of "perks" they were getting from the company that made the drug.

    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.

    I'd never upped the dose...even when I felt really hyper and probably another quarter MG. would have made me feel better....I would NEVER allow myself to take more...I should probably say at this point that I have OCD...and I had it in my head that all I was ever going to take was that quarter mg. twice a day and that was it...not one single crumb more was going to go into my body no matter what, and it never did...perhaps that's why I never had a problem, who knows!

    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...and I always posted the first thing my Doctor told me when I started taking them...he told me to take only what I needed to take, that just because the bottle said I could take "X" amount "X" amount of times a day that in no way meant that I had to take the amount...if taking less helped then I should take less, if I could talk myself down instead of running for the pill bottle then that's what I should do he said taking less was great, but to never, ever for any reason take more than was prescribed and if I ever felt that I needed to take more, to stop, not take more and call him.

    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.
    But like I said my OCD would kick in and I wouldn't allow myself to take the prescribed dose.
    He used to tell me that I was the most stubborn person he'd ever met,
    but with the next breath he'd tell me how proud he was of me, for taking less than was prescribed and sticking to that no matter what....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 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.

     
    Old 04-09-2006, 09:33 AM   #4
    StitchCarver
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    I know what you're going through, and it sucks! You're talking specifically about a prejudice against benzo's. Personally, I take them in some form everyday....as prescribed by my doctor. In my opinion, we are not responsible for why we have the problems we have, but we are responsible for treating them properly. We are adults, we can ask questions, have opinions, manage the good with the bad, take medications or not take medications. I could go on andon about how society critisizes mind medication without knowing a thing. People have no clue how toi defiine good or evil, "Are terrorists really evil?" Yet they have no problem saying "Giving your children stimulants is evil!" Again, I could seriously ramble here. In my opinion, ask your doctor questions, play devil's advocate, but remember, you're in control. FOrget all this "that drug is evil" garbage. If you've asked enough questions, and have enough info, you arte in control. All meds have side effects and withdrawel. THat doesn't make them evil. Sorry, this topic really stirs me up. I'll stop rambling.

     
    Old 04-09-2006, 09:59 AM   #5
    glamdais
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    Thanks for the responses. I've never upped my dosage either even when I felt like it would have made me feel better. I'm determined not to do that. I also had the "my way or the highway" experience with the Pdoc. I think there is some confusion between dependency and addiction with the benzos. I don't think there is one psych med out there that won't cause a dependency issue---addiction is quite another thing. I just don't understand why it's preferrable to try a drug that may cause you problems when the one you're on is working O.K. Aren't most of them going to be long term in use anyway?

     
    Old 04-09-2006, 10:36 AM   #6
    tnmomofive
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    I took clonozepam at 0.5mg twice a day with no problems for 2 years got off with no problems either maybe due to the low dose.I agree they are not for everyone but for me those were my as its called "miracle drug" of course I had some tiredness when taking them but to me that was a tiny price to pay for the anxiety hell I had been experiancing and with the benzo I had NONE if I started to feel anxious and I took one a few minutes later that was wiped out and I felt normal again.I went to the same doctor for the two years I was taking clonozepam so I never had a problem getting them but you are right some doctors out there have a hard time prescribing them or absolutely just will not prescribe them.My doctor retired last year and recently I went to a new doctor she wouldnt prescibe me clonozepam but she would Ativan and for me Ativan didnt work no where near as well as the clonozepam when I told her this she didnt care she wasnt gonna budge.

     
    Old 04-09-2006, 12:43 PM   #7
    clill_IU
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    Every doctor has a different theory. Some like benzos, some like ssri's, and some like both. The fact is that benzos have made a comeback in recent years because some research shows that benzos are not addictive to panic/anxiety sufferers. They create dependance, but not addiction, and there is a key difference. Addiction requires more and more of the substance to be effective, while dependence means that the body simply needs it to maintain equilibrium. Problems with benzos generally affect those that take it for recreational use OR those that don't taper down correctly.

    I had a doctor that swore by benzos, and he felt that SSRI's were damaging to the body long term. I had another doc that wouldn't even think about prescribing a benzo... I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, and as aforementioned, its a case by case decision. Some people do better on one or the other.

    I've been on both and neither caused me problems...a little drowsy with clonazepam, and sexual dysfunction with the Paxil....ok, so the SSRI DID cause me a problem :-) However, both effectively treated the anxiety and panic. Good luck

     
    Old 04-09-2006, 01:06 PM   #8
    pleasantville
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    there are people who swear by their benzos and people who swear they are poison. if you are one of the ones they are helping, with no problems, that's great. on the other hand, if you are one of the ones who has become an "accidental addict", by no fault of your own, become tolerant, sick and endured a long and horrendous withdrawal trying to come off them, that's another story. you never really know which group you will eventually become a member of. i was the latter.

    p

     
    Old 04-09-2006, 01:59 PM   #9
    Mr. Jeff
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    I too have been on benzo's for years, went through the same thing you did with Pdoc and GP wanting me off them. I would not give up, I just went to Pdocs until I found one who understood where I was coming from. I told him straight out, I have never misused the benzos , they do their job and that is it. As far as being addictive, my choice is a benzo as prescribed or going back to when there was a period of time when I did not have access to them and I picked up alcohol. Instant alcoholic. Even in AA there are sooooo many people with soooo many opinions ie; "benzo's are like alcohol in a solid" ...BS I never act the way I did on alcohol (crazy) when I have my benzo's to do the job they are supposed to do. And my Dr. understands that. I know where I am at, I know I am not abusing them. And I know I need them. So, I encourage you to find a PDoc who is able to better understand where you are coming from. They are out there, dont give up. Keep us updated. Good Luck, Mr. Jeff

     
    Old 04-09-2006, 02:00 PM   #10
    young momma
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    I was put on effexor for a little while. I took myself off of it because I was having a daily migraine. Well, I say daily, it was one big constant migraine from day one that lasted for 3 1/2 months. I was also taking .5 mg of xanax. Sometimes half sometimes a whole. Doctors don't like prescribing them mainly because of addiction. People have no problem pointing the finger at a doctor instead of accepting that it is them. I have also taken valium. It just made me fall asleep! lol! There are also several people who like to take benzos with other drugs to get a buzz. I never noticed any change in myself. Just that my heart stopped jumping out of my chest and I was CALM!!! You never know what the side effects are gonna be for each individual though. They were my miracle drug. I was coping with a death. I'm not sure how I would have made it through without my little helper.

    As for the lectures, I don't know if they ever stop. Some docs see you as a person and speak to you that way. Others think they have a degree and know more about you than what you do. If you understand that last sentence! lol!

     
    Old 04-09-2006, 04:45 PM   #11
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    I have a question about this subject. Does anyone have any thoughts on what the difference between a dependance on a benzo to help you through an anxiety or panic attack and the dependance one would have taking an SSRI on a daily basis to keep control of this same type of issue? I am taking Klonopin as needed and have been for awhile. I myself feel better being able to take a med after I have tried it on my own to cope (self talk, relaxation,bio feedback ect. ) Instead of taking something everyday when I feel I do not need something everyday. In m yopinion for myself that is.
    I fortunately have had a good experieince with my Dr. who has prescibed this for me.
    Thank-you

    Last edited by lauralu2000; 04-09-2006 at 05:17 PM. Reason: added some info

     
    Old 04-11-2006, 05:52 PM   #12
    pleasantville
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    you probably are using the wrong word here. "dependence" occurs when your body and brain has gets used to having a certain drug and if you stop taking the drug, you will probably feel withdrawal symptoms. by taking a benzo "as needed" and not everyday, you can probably avoid dependence. if you take an ssri everyday, dependence is more likely.


    p

     
    Old 04-11-2006, 06:35 PM   #13
    lauralu2000
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    That is exactly why I do not understand why some drs are so strongly opinionated against benzo's. Seems to me either class of meds can have some of the same types of difficulties in way or another.

    Last edited by lauralu2000; 04-11-2006 at 06:37 PM. Reason: typo

     
    Old 04-12-2006, 04:52 PM   #14
    glamdais
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    That's pretty much where my confusion has come in too! :-)

     
    Old 04-16-2006, 02:26 AM   #15
    StitchCarver
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    Re: Does All The World Hate Benzos?

    my two cents since I take both Benzos, SSRi, and Adderall. A benzo from what I understand works on the central nervous system. So once your "mind" starts giving you anxiety, your benzo is working on calming you down through through your CNS. I( view it more like taking an antacid when you have really bad heartburn. I speculate that an SSRI balances out your brain chemicals so potentially with therapy, you may react differently to a trigger more on an intellectual level. IE "hmmm, this stuff that I'm worried about is really gettingtothe point where my CNS is gonna kick in. Maybe it'smore like taking a preventative. Adderall can raise your anxiety level, but also focus your mind, which allows you think clearer, and potentially help you from getting your emotions and worries allo in a bunch. But, in my case, they after effects of adderall can make me feel anxious and unfocused, and require me to need a benzo. It sounds complicated, but once you get into a groove, if all flows together.

    One key thing I learned, and this may add insight to what is dependance, I view meds as neither good or bad, but rather 1st: are they needed, and can they help, and second, what are your limits, your thresholds. If you think about "dependance more on a physical level, like, if I stop taking this, I'll feel like crap, well, that can easily treated with the ptoper weening. But if you look at the mental understanding as , howmuch does this help me, and when istoo much, too much, and I need to cut back, or regulate, then it doesn't feel like dependance, but more, maintainance. What do I need through out my day to make me happy, productive, etc. I need adderall to keep me focused on my work. I need book reading time, television showtime, and comnputer game time to keep me relaxed. I need girlrfiend time, dog walking time, and cleaning time. I need 10 mg Lexapro each day. This may be an abstract way ofthinking about things, but it seems to make some sense to me Hope this helps.

     
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