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Klonopin

I had anxiety for a number of years and at first was getting by with taking an occasional Xanax. For a number of years I was not taking anything at all. Roughly a year ago I was dealing with a number of issues which sparked severe anxiety and other health problems. I went back to the doc as my Xanax prescriptions have long been gone and asked for something to get through. I was given the "new and much more mellow" klonopin and told to take it twice a day and no more than 3 times. Each doze was .5mg which as I see from reading the boards is pretty small. Luckily I could not take more than a single dose. Taking it twice a day made me depressed which I know is completely abnormal for me. So I ended up taking a pill every morning to maintain calm state while at work.
Long story short after a while I realized that I cannot stop taking it. At all. If after taking Xanax for a few days or a week the "withdrawal" was slightly increased anxiety for a few days the Klonopin withdrawal actually caused significant muscle pain, panic attacks and basically inability to normally function. I am at a loss. I do not want to continue taking something THAT addictive. My next step is to ask for a lower dosage and gradually ween myself off. But I am also concerned that I will no longer be able to take ANY benzo's whatsover and these pills are the only medications that help my anxiety. I have tried celexa's, paxil and other "long term" deals in the past and they only caused side effects.
Anyhow the question -if anyone was actually able to get off Klonopin - how did you continue to medicate occasional anxiety?
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Thank you for your response. Do you think it would be possible for me to obtain those .25 wafers from the doctor? Or am I stuck breaking pills in half? I am also concerned about two more things:

1. taking Klonopin twice a day (.50mg pills) made me depressed - which is completely abnormal for me. Will taking .25 twice a day cause the same side effect?
2. Once off Klonopin will I be able to switch to some kind of "as-needed" med like Xanax for occasional anxiety? Or will I be permanently "addicted" to benzos?


sorry for all the ridiculous questions, but this is a major health concern for me.
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