I was prescribed Ativan to be taken "as needed" a couple of months ago. I am also taking Pristiq in the morning and Trileptal in the evening.
The first couple of times I took Ativan, the results were dramatic. I experienced a very relaxed state, both mentally and physically. The immediacy of the effects quickly made it my "go to" for any occasion I anticipated would cause me anxiety. This eventually became an everyday thing. I also increased from .5 to 1mg because the .5 stopped having much effect. So now I am taking 1 mg every day out of sheer necessity, which is unfortunate, because if I skip it I become extremely jittery and somewhat irritable. I'm planning a few days to wean myself down to .5 and then to none. After that, I'll take it as initially intended: as needed.
A large part of my anxiety problem lies in irritability and aggression. In that respect, Ativan is the best treatment I've experienced to date. It puts me at ease about the world, and I am able to turn off the mind-bending hyper-vigilance that turns my Jekyll to Hyde at the drop of a hat.
Unfortunately, the other large part of my condition involves procrastination, a serious lack of focus, and a deeply-rooted pattern of avoidance when it comes to completing tasks. This is especially crucial now, as I'm trying desperately to complete a couple of incomplete college courses before they turn into Fs. This is where a daily dose of Ativan is probably more a hindrance than a help. It really does make you want to put your feet up and just chill...and nothing else.
As I cycle back into the occasional usage, I'm hoping to level things out a bit. The stuff is so damned good and effective, I found it almost impossible to not become addicted to it. And I've never had an addiction to anything in my life.
I will continue to use Ativan as a tool. I've talked to my therapist about the purpose of my medication. I'm working towards conditioning my brain to respond differently. (Aren't we all?) So if I take Ativan before I drive on the highway, or walk through busy foot traffic in the Loop, (I'm in Chicago) my lack of reactions to otherwise stressful situations, because of the Ativan effect, will eventually become the norm.
CBT and drugs...do your dance!