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My psychiatrist is completely useless and just chocs out the SSRIs like it's a halloween trick or treat and generally doesn't give a **** about me, my psychologist is quite good but she refuses to get tied up in the medication end of things and I don't have long left in my CBT run, so soon I'm not going to be able to see that psychologist anymore anyway. That doesn't upset me much, I'm glad to be rid of therapy, but she was always nice at least and was pretty helpful a few times. I'm on twenty mgs of fluexotine(was on forty, but it gave me worse anxiety attacks[or so the doctor claims]) and though it has entirely cured any depression I may have had, it has had little to no affect on my anxiety. I have access to pretty much a legal route of a blank prescription pad, my mother is a general practitioner. Do you think that Xanax or some other BZ would be useful for me, and what can you tell me about the side-effects? The most worrying thing that I have heard is that it reduces your productivity: I mean, even though I'm a school dropout and whatever I am always highly productive in work, and very motivated and ambitious. How likely is this as a side-effect? I've heard that often when you taper off eventually, you can feel pretty much cured of your anxiety, or that it helped in treating it a lot, is this true?
 

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Dvana
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Xanax has a very short half life and like all benzos it can make you feel worse when coming down from it. I think it only lasts around 4 hours. Maybe a longer lasting benzo would be a better idea, but all of these are highly addictive and you require more and more to get the same effect. They never cured me of my anxiety, but i have a severe case with panic attacks. i would say that they somewhat helped at times, i used to take 4mg of xanax, 1mg 4 times a day for quite some time, well over a year or two, i can not remember. I also took many other medications. After that time period, you may say that i was "somewhat cured", i had several years of sort of functioning "normally", not in really stressful events though. The anxiety and depression all came back again several years later and a lot worse, i still feel very relaxed on xanax now but after a few hours the anxiety and depression for me is worse and lasts nearly a week. Xanax never gave me that when i first used them, nor did I get addicted to them, no withdrawals at all, i quit cold turkey. That is not the norm. At the time i was taking them they were considered to be a long term treatment medication. Now they are not considered that, they are only for very short term relieve, If you have not been on very many medications, this maybe something to start with for very limited use otherwise it would probably be best to consider and ask your pdoc what else is available that will help YOU other then SSRIs.
 

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I've been told I can't take SSRIs anymore after being on 3 different ones and none of them working more than a few months. I'm now on Aurorix (moclobemide) - not sure where you are, I'm in Australia so it could be called something different there. It's an MAOI but a reversible one so no weird dietary restrictions like the old fashioned ones.

That seems to be working to a certain extent for depression, also on zopiclone for sleeping and valium during the day partly for anxiety and partly to stop me being so fidgety - despite my previous reservations about benzos (having a bad experience on them 9yrs ago) i'm finding that the valium actually gives me a slightly longer concentration span than without it.

anyway I just finally got diagnosed with bipolar so i'm now also on lamotrigine which is a mood stabiliser..too early to tell if it's going to work yet

But if SSRIs aren't working for you there are other types of antidepressants out there, or they might suggest a combination antidepressant & mood stabiliser or antidepressant and tranquiliser - if you don't like the idea of benzos because they can be addictive there are other types of tranquiliser that aren't addictive - I tried both neulactil and largactil - for me neither of them worked but they might for you.

Also with the being 'cured' thing - clearly I wasn't cured as such BUT after coming off benzo / Prozac combination I was then not too bad for 8yrs before I had to go back on meds so there is hope :)

Side effects wise I find any antidepressants make me feel like crap for the first two weeks and then it's not so bad. Going back on valium I didn't get any side effects at all.
 

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GP = Gypsy Punk
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My psychiatrist is completely useless and just chocs out the SSRIs like it's a halloween trick or treat and generally doesn't give a **** about me, my psychologist is quite good but she refuses to get tied up in the medication end of things and I don't have long left in my CBT run, so soon I'm not going to be able to see that psychologist anymore anyway. That doesn't upset me much, I'm glad to be rid of therapy, but she was always nice at least and was pretty helpful a few times. I'm on twenty mgs of fluexotine(was on forty, but it gave me worse anxiety attacks[or so the doctor claims]) and though it has entirely cured any depression I may have had, it has had little to no affect on my anxiety. I have access to pretty much a legal route of a blank prescription pad, my mother is a general practitioner. Do you think that Xanax or some other BZ would be useful for me, and what can you tell me about the side-effects? The most worrying thing that I have heard is that it reduces your productivity: I mean, even though I'm a school dropout and whatever I am always highly productive in work, and very motivated and ambitious. How likely is this as a side-effect? I've heard that often when you taper off eventually, you can feel pretty much cured of your anxiety, or that it helped in treating it a lot, is this true?
My very earnest advice is:
BETTER TRY E.TH. ELSE POSSIBLE BEFORE RESORTING TO BENZO!

BENZO IS NO JOKE! AFTER IT THERE IS NO TURNING BACK.

Try psychotherapy, try meditation, acupuncture... whatever you might think...
 

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I'd suggest trying a few other meds before benzos. Modafinil might be worth a try - it's an anti-narcoleptic which gives you a 'clean awake' feeling and is taken in the morning. A lot of people say it reduces anxiety and it has the added bonus of being a neurotrophic, that is, it "promote adult neuronal cell proliferation" (learning). Likely a lot cleaner drug than Xanax and you won't need to worry about being tired.

There's also Hydroxyzine which is an anti-histamine and has been "shown to be as effective as the benzodiazepine drug bromazepam in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder" (from Wikipedia). Being an anti-histamine though it's likely to make you a little tired. There's no interactions between Hydroxyzine and Modifinil; so theoretically you could try taking them together and see how they compare in terms of side-effects and anxiety relief to a benzo.

Another option is codeine but you're almost in the same territory as benzos there. Codeine is supposedly good for anxiety and you won't be in pain, that's for sure.
 

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Forever Young
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Hydroxyzineis no where near as effective as benzos for any kind of anxiety disorder. i say that from personal exp.
 

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I have access to pretty much a legal route of a blank prescription pad, my mother is a general practitioner.
But your mother can't legally or ethically write controlled substance scripts for you because you're a family member.

Do you think that Xanax or some other BZ would be useful for me, and what can you tell me about the side-effects? The most worrying thing that I have heard is that it reduces your productivity: I mean, even though I'm a school dropout and whatever I am always highly productive in work, and very motivated and ambitious. How likely is this as a side-effect? I've heard that often when you taper off eventually, you can feel pretty much cured of your anxiety, or that it helped in treating it a lot, is this true?
I'd say give benzos a fair trial. If they don't work, you can always quit. As far as side effects go, drowsiness would be the most common side effect by far. Keep in mind that's not universal, just common and typically goes away after a couple weeks of regular use. I personally haven't found benzos to reduce my productivity. After all, if you're less worried & nervous there's a chance you might actually get something useful done instead of worrying needlessly. If you taper off, odds are your original anxiety symptoms will come right back.

If you want to know how benzos have worked for others, why not take a look at my benzo poll: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f30/benzo-failure-917609/

With a title like "Benzo Failure" you can figure out real fast that I'm not real impressed by what benzos have done for me. I use them because I have nothing better available.

Good luck. Feel free to PM me with any questions you may have.

Karl
 

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Do you think that Xanax or some other BZ would be useful for me, and what can you tell me about the side-effects? The most worrying thing that I have heard is that it reduces your productivity
I've never had a valid prescription for benzos, but it's probably a myth that it decreases productivity.

I think I know where you're coming from. I ran out of my usual medication a few weeks ago, which calms me down a lot, so I started taking some leftover tranylcypromine to see if that would tide me over until I can get more of my usual stuff. I can't even describe how bad my physical anxiety is right now, caused by taking tranylcypromine. My mind is fairly relaxed, but my body is ready to fight to the death. Every muscle is tense, my legs are shaking with anxiety. Alcohol dramatically reduces this kind of anxiety, making it possible to do things like read a book, talk to people, or play with my cat. I was drinking about 5 beers per night until I ran out of beer. Then I ran out of tequila. Benzos have effects similar to alcohol, so I would bet that benzos would make you significantly more productive if your physical condition sounds like mine at this time.

As for me, I'm going to give phenelzine (Nardil) another try. It's an extremely powerful antidepressant, and it acts a bit like a benzo as well because it blocks GABA-T, an enzyme responsible for destroying GABA.
 

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My psychiatrist is completely useless and just chocs out the SSRIs like it's a halloween trick or treat and generally doesn't give a **** about me, my psychologist is quite good but she refuses to get tied up in the medication end of things and I don't have long left in my CBT run, so soon I'm not going to be able to see that psychologist anymore anyway. That doesn't upset me much, I'm glad to be rid of therapy, but she was always nice at least and was pretty helpful a few times. I'm on twenty mgs of fluexotine(was on forty, but it gave me worse anxiety attacks[or so the doctor claims]) and though it has entirely cured any depression I may have had, it has had little to no affect on my anxiety. I have access to pretty much a legal route of a blank prescription pad, my mother is a general practitioner. Do you think that Xanax or some other BZ would be useful for me, and what can you tell me about the side-effects? The most worrying thing that I have heard is that it reduces your productivity: I mean, even though I'm a school dropout and whatever I am always highly productive in work, and very motivated and ambitious. How likely is this as a side-effect? I've heard that often when you taper off eventually, you can feel pretty much cured of your anxiety, or that it helped in treating it a lot, is this true?
1. Would you say CBT has been helpful for you? How long have you been in therapy?

2. By having access to a 'blank prescription pad" do you mean you would have your mother write you a script or you would write it yourself? I am hoping it is the latter rather than the former but you weren't clear. I really think you need someone else to write the script. Karl said it--it is unethical for your mother to treat you and that includes writing scripts.

3. With all the negatives I can think of from long term benzo use, productivity is not one of them. I take an mg before going to work and feel fine and I work in a hospital and am very busy. In the very beginning I would feel fatigue after taking them but for me, that didn't last long at all. It doesn't affect my productivity at all.

4. After you begin tapering (I am not off yet but in the process) your previous anxiety comes back. Benzos in no way "cure" anxiety. I am working on learning more about CBT because I know that the anxiety I have been masking with drugs will return once I am post-Klonopin. I have to find other ways to deal with my anxiety and for me personally that means a drug free route.

**Don't get me wrong I AM NOT ANTI PSYCH DRUGS, lest anyone infer that. That isn't what I am saying. But I know from failed trials SSRIs /SNRIs do not work for me. I can only speak for myself and my experience. Some people benefit greatly from SSRIs and such. I am tapering off benzos after over 3 years of use because of side effects. And they are a ***** to get off. Some don't experience that but I consider them the lucky ones. I know plenty of people are not so lucky.**
 
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