I have been reading Ryan's posts and feel like someone finally understands. I have been on .5 to 1 MG Xanax for two years on an as-needed basis after being diagnosed with GAD. At first this was wonderful-I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders, I could function again without spiralling into overwhelming anxiety where I basically would just pace back & forth trying to figure out how to stop the whirlwind in my head. My use started out maybe 2 or 3 times a week, then infrequent use to maybe a couple times a month. Other times it would spike to 5 or 6 days in a week to which I would back off for fear they'd stop working. My use has never been a problem. I don't think 2 scripts of 60 pills each per year is abuse.
Lately, things have gotten so bad that I've not used the Xanax at all because I do not like multi-dosing on it. I think I need to be switched to Valium or Klonopin but am not sure how to approach my doctor with this.When he gave me the Xanax originally,I mentioned I had taken Valium in the past. I was given a look and got the impression I was not to ask for it again. He wanted me on Xanax. Well...Xanax is not cutting it. It's a harsh drug. The rebound anxiety is horrible, I do not like the fast ramp down when it wears off.
Is there any advice on how to approach my doctor about switching me? It annoys the hell out of me you mention benzos and right away most people start looking at you like you're asking for heroin. I am not ashamed that I need help nor am I afraid. I exercise, I'm an active guy but right now, I need some help and I'm not so fond of the Xanax anymore. i need something longer lasting without the harsh ramp down. I feel with the way things get now, I'm looking down the barrel at a heart attack if this continues. This level of anxiety is not without consequences.
I can't very well go in and say "Hey doc, I did some research, this is what I found, here are some print outs to back up my feelings. Let's talk about switching me." He would cut me off the Xanax so fast my head would spin and he is one of the only docs in this area that is not benzo-phobic ...but I don't think he's all that happy about it either. How do you approach them to let them see you're informed, educated and trying to make a sound, intelligent choice rather that have them think you're looking to party? I HATE the stigma benzos have-it's not fair.
In my opinion...doctors arent so affraid of benzos...they just get pissed off when and if you question their diagnosis. Its the whole God complex thing.
I've been to several different doctors about my anxiety problem and the FIRST thing they want to do is give me some kind of anti-depressant or xanax. Each time I would bring up Klonopin or valium their attitude would change as if to be saying "if you want something you will do as I say." Arrogant S.O.B.'s.
I had a friend of mine that gave me 5 valiums a few months back and after the second day I felt wonderful. As a matter of fact...the next two days was the best I've felt in years. No body aches or pains, no anxiety or stress...it was wonderful.
Now I know that valium is highly addictive but not any more than xanax. I wish I had a solution for you. I would recommend asking his/her opinion at first and try leading them where they believe it was their decision in the first place. Ya know...kinda like you do with your boss.
I agree with tropical and I share in the frustration with doctors. But I would go further stating that many doctors simply do not know much about anxiety. Some is their fault from reading slanted studies and buying into the popular hype about mental health. Most of the blame though goes to shoddy, bias, and much neglected research into psychoactive drugs and the intricate workings of the brain. There is a lot we simply do not know- hence the crude and mediocre at best drugs that are available to the public. The current medications we have are garbage. Prescribing anti-depressants for anxiety for instance. Why? Increasing serotonin to alleviate anxiety helps very few. Benzos work but at a price. Then you have the side effects to deal with. That is part of the reason most self-medicate with alcohol and tobacco. Those are drugs our governments deem legal yet kill more people than all the illegals combined. Talk about hypocrisy and bias! There are just very few, if any at all, good alternatives. Therapy possibly helps, but if your brain is physically unbalanced, all the talk in the world is not going to improve things that much.
Such is our lot. I wish you all the best of luck. Also, your doctor works for you. Any doctor that takes offense to you getting informed by research is a doctor to stay far away from.
Thanks for the responses and not making me feel like an outsider. I think my best course of action is to seek out a psychiatrist (Oh god, here we go yet again-been there, done that...so tired of it) that gets what I'm going through.I fear this because I am NOT depressed and am not going to play the SSRI games.
I am not going to try to go to my GP with this,I know the answer and it's just not worth the ********. He doesn't get it anyway or he'd never have told me he'd keep me on a 'maintenance dose' of Xanax. Xanax is NOT A MAINTENANCE DRUG!!! But I'm just a dumb patient-what do I know? I talk like that and I'm labelled a drug seeker.
I don't know much about Klonopin, I have taken Valium in the past and know how it works with me-and being an old drug I feel safer with that...but at this point-I don't care if it's Valium or Klonopin so long as it stops this...I can't live like this anymore, the anxiety is too strong and is preventing me from living my life the way I used to.
Funny, I always thought life would get easier as we got older. I'm 40 and find myself at the mercy of my nerves and praying a doctor gets what I'm going through and gives me the relief I need. This isn't the way it's supposed to be, is it?
RYAN- if you're reading this...thank you for your informative posts. I got a good understanding of the two classes of benzos and never realised the true difference between the two. Thank you for enlightening me.
old topic, but anyone looking for advice dealing with their doctor's ideas of what you are going through vs your reality, and they stumble across this page like i have.
I have one tip concerning the "god complex" doctors and possibly less informed doctors. Describe your problems with the drug or the symptoms your experience in a way for him to say that there is a drug that takes care of that.
My story is similar to the OP, incIuding the issues with xanax. was on xanax for a while, but i felt it would last just long enough to realize how much I needed to not be panicking and then i would be back in the same state. I just said it feels like I become more anxious knowing the short break would end soon and, as the op stated, its a bad first ramp down. He immediately told me there is a longer acting drug that is very similar, and I have found that clonazepam is exactly what i needed. I thought xanax was a godsend in the beginning, but for my circumstances I do not think i would go back to xanax even without clonazepam. the paradoxical effects became prevalent in xanax after a short time. Just my two cents
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