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Depression and benzos

This is my first post here so here's a little background...  I've been dealing with major depression for quite a few years now.  In fact, it's been bad enough that I'm considered disabled and I'm on Social Security Disabilty - and I'm only 34 yrs old.  I've been on too many anti-depressants to count or remember, have done the whole ECT thing, etc; however, a few months ago I started taking Parnate and that seems to be really helping.  My goal is to eventually get off of SSDI and go back to work and I'm hoping that Parnate, among other things, will help me do that.  

Anyhow, onto my question...  In addition to depression, I struggle with anxiety and take 1 mg Ativan as needed, up to 3x/day.  The Ativan helps with the anxiety but I've noticed if I have to take it for a few days in a row it really seems to affect my mood, in that I often feel even more depressed than I did before taking it.  I've been on Klonopin before and all that did was make me fall asleep (even on a very low dose), and at least with Ativan I feel as though I can function without feeling so tired.  I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this as well, and if you have, what did you do about it?  Did anything help?  Is there another benzo that was helpful for you that didn't bring on more depression?  I've tried Xanax a couple of times and it made me somewhat tired, although it didn't make me feel more depressed like the Ativan can do, but I've heard that it's not good to take Xanax long-term so I've stayed with the Ativan.  I'd like to find a med that can help with anxiety w/out making my depression worse.  Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated!!  Thanks ~
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1042487 tn?1275279899
Hello there and welcome to the community.

I think the Parnate works for you because it a very different drug which combine phenethylamine and amphetamine. Those are stimulatants with mood enhancing proprieties due to huge release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. You could switch back to Klonopin which is the first choice for long-term benzo since you are now a potent stumulant.

You have many options here tho. You can go with diazepam (Valium) which have a sedative effect that don't last as long as some other benzos and have a long half-life which makes it better suitable for long term use and maybe you will only need 1 10mg diazepam a day. One thing you could consider is a gradual cross-switch to Valerian and/or Kava. Those are the natural benzos. They can be bough from a heath food store and will affect the same neurotransmitter in the brain (GABA). You want to do a cross-switch slowly bringing in the natural benzo to avoid any withdrawal symptoms. 3 Ativan a day for a relatively long period of time could lead to severe withdrawal symptoms even seizures.

Best regards,
M4
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Avatar universal
For me a very low dose of anti psychotic combined with the anti depressant really stopped the anxiety.  Zyprexa 2.5mg, or Seroquel 25mg.

I know not everyone agrees with that , i am just saying what worked for me.  I stabilize then after some time and i can give the anti psychotic up.
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