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Hey, everyone. I haven't been on these boards for a few weeks! I can honestly say I feel like I am doing great. I am finally feeling confident enough to talk to people in my classes and I've even made a friend. Yay me :) However, I know exactly why I am feeling great and suddenly less anxious -- It's because I bumped up my xanax (without notifying my doctor). I was originally prescribed .5 mg, maybe 9-10 months ago, to help me fall asleep at night. .5 mg worked great getting me to sleep, for a month or so.. then I started taking 1.0mg. a few months later, I had to bump it to1.5 because 1.0mg wasn't helping me sleep anymore.

I finally notified my doctor about my situation and he told me to lower my xanax dosage at night to 1.0 mg, and he prescribed me seroquel. Also, I had done some research on xanax by then and I told my doctor it would probably help me to take my xanax for my social anxiety, not for sleeping. I was given the ok to try .5 mg in the morning to see if it helped my anxiety (I would still be taking 1.5 every day, but I would just be breaking it up essentially, the seroquel was supposed to take care of the lack of .5 mg at night). Long story short, the seroquel didnt work for me, and I ended up continuing taking 1.5 mg of xanax at night and .5 mg in the morning. However, since I started this routine (appx. 3 weeks ago) I can say I am doing the best overcoming my SA than I have in my entire life. I am amazed at how well I have been doing. I have been able to make eye contact with people -- something I've struggled with for the past 10 years and I am relaxed enough to socialize with my classmates. For once in my life, I feel normal.

I am sure people have similar stories, so i was wondering -- Will this last? or will the relief I am getting from the xanax only be temporary? I am already taking 2 mg, so I know it will be dangerous to continue bumping my dosage up. Sorry for the long post. I am just afraid I am digging myself into a whole with this stuff -- I know I am already becoming addicted (I havent called my doctor because I am terrified he will take me off it) but at the same time, I now know what it's like to lead a normal life -- and I am afraid to go back to how I was before.
 

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It really depends on the individual and their tolerance to it. I suggest you take the Xanax XR version because it is less dangerous, much less because you only take it once a day and it lasts 24 hours (or less). It comes in 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 mg. I am on 2mg. I just take it everyday or every other day and I dont ever feel like I have to bump the dose on it. It's consistent big time for me. Ask your Doc about it

But if you arent doing any kind of therapy with it, I don't think taking Xanax is overcoming SA. It feels like that at the time, but without therapy, when you decide to come off it (not abruptly of course), the old feelings will probably flood back, so you have to systematically reinforce the positive things.

For me, it is just a tool. Overcoming anxiety comes with therapy, cbt in particular. On 2mg, I am an extrovert and probably the leader type wherever I go, but I know that that old anxiety neural pathway is still lying there dormant at the time, so I apply my therapy nonetheless.

Hope this helps
 

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Xanax

Hey Ellektra,

I hate to say this, but Xanax (Alprazolam) is a temporary cure that will eventually turn into a trap. Taking a Benzodiepine is like playing with fire. Take it from somebody who knows. I learned the hard way that Benzos will just get you in trouble. Everything is all fine and dandy when you first start to take them, but then you quickly become addicted to them and build up a tolerance for them. I highly recommend weaning yourself off off the Xanax as soon as possible.

Good Luck,

Brian
 

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You could try switching your xanax for klonopin, which is equipotent (equal in potency to xanax) however has a much longer half life, meaning bascially that you can take it less times per day, and therefore take less overall. Another option since seroquel didnt work for you, is to try mirtazapine or trazadone for your insomnia at night, this may help you cut down on your PM dosage of xanax. Hope this helps.
 

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You guys kinda scared me... If you just use xanax for exposure for therapy is it still a trap? I mean I am not even addicted to it and take the xr one everyday or every other day... I take it so I can apply the things I am learning in therapy more easily and I am more aware of my irrational thoughts on Xanax. It does help me and everyone notices my progress, but will all of that be lost when I stop taking it? It really sounds hard to believe.

Sounds like the people against it have been benzo addicts in the past and I don't think you guys used any therapy along with it, which is pointless. Then I guess you can considerate it as a trap?
 

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Well benzos can be valuable to some extent for exposure therapy, although personally I find they help me best with actual psychotherapy or even communicating with my psychiatrist, as it's otherwise very difficult for me just to THINK through all the anxiety, not to mention that it makes me less fearful of opening up to and being honest with them, something that's been a huge problem.

BUT... it's no secret that Xanax is the worst in terms of dependence issues, and because of its short half-life the withdrawals are more severe and more dangerous. I'm not saying that Xanax has no clinical use, but benzos should be considered a last resort, and among the benzos, Xanax should only be used as a last resort, so it's unusual that somebody with even quite severe anxiety REQUIRES Xanax.

I don't know how long you've been on it for, but at 2mg/day if you've been using it for more than a few weeks, chances are you've already developed some degree of physical dependence.
 

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social anxiety sufferers are usually sensible and its rare for one to have an addictive type personality
for these people , xanax as needed is safe and useful

much of the propaganda against xanax is said to come from the drug makers who want their more expensive patented meds prescribed instead
 

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much of the propaganda against xanax is said to come from the drug makers who want their more expensive patented meds prescribed instead
That's a bit of bull. That wouldn't warrant demonizing Xanax above all the other benzos, because just about every single benzo on the market is generic. I don't have a drug plan, but valium, klonopin, and ativan all cost me about 10 cents a pill...

And it's well-documented that people with anxiety disorders in general are more likely to abuse drugs, prescription, illicit, or otherwise
 

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My vote is for "trap."

I used it for a very short time, and not everyday--just "when needed." I took a 1 mg at first and it knocked me out. Then lowered it to .5 mg, and I cannot drive because it's so strong. Then I cut it to .25 mg and it worked fine. But that didn't last long at all.

Next thing you know I'm taking it for insomnia & whenever else I wanted to just go to sleep cuz I felt depressed. To escape. I kind of knew i was building a tolerance to it, so I quit. If I didn't sleep, oh well! It took about a month for me to get back to normal.

I think addictions to drugs or alcohol develop when you use them as a way to cope with problems.....But that's exactly what Xanax is for :roll, so I don't see any otner end than addiction.

When I read about Xanax in a drug book, it says you are supposed to use it for no more than 2 - 5 months, or dependence can occur. i think it's really meant to be used with behavior therapy exposures until you get used to the situations.

Also have you noticed how many heroin addicts also take Xanax? :idea

The fact that you are asking shows your instincts are worried about continued use. Could you try to taper off of it, and at the same time still go out of your way to be as social as you have been lately? I know it'll be a bit hard to do without the Xanax, but that would be my advice.
 

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Next thing you know I'm taking it for insomnia & whenever else I wanted to just go to sleep cuz I felt depressed.
That's a biggie. Even though I don't find anything fun or recreational about benzos, it becomes an extremely tempting way to deal with feelings of not just anxiety, but depression, frustration, anger, etc.

I've been lucky enough to become really strict with myself very quickly, but not everybody does.
 

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Will this last? or will the relief I am getting from the xanax only be temporary?. . . I am afraid to go back to how I was before.
As you suspect, the research says that it is temporary. Benzos are notorious for habituation. Which means you will get used to it and you will go back to how you were before.

No pill can change you permanently. At best, meds can open you up to new possibilities, but the rest is up to your determination and perseverance.
 

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Wow, so much misinformation here I can't even begin to begin to reply. So I'll keep it brief:

1) Xanax is not a good sleeping aid. Tolerance to the hypnotic effects happens quickly. The "Z" drugs (Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata) would be more appropriate if you need a sleeping pill.
2) If it works for you than use it. Addiction and tolerance to the anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) properties is not common. If you find yourself having to increase your dose continuously (which is rare) than you should taper off of the medication.

You do need to understand that with regular use you will become physically dependent and may have a lot of difficulty if you decide to taper off of a benzo (Xanax having the worst reputation.) You should never stop cold turkey or allow yourself to run out of the medication.
 

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That's a bit of bull. That wouldn't warrant demonizing Xanax above all the other benzos, because just about every single benzo on the market is generic. I don't have a drug plan, but valium, klonopin, and ativan all cost me about 10 cents a pill...

And it's well-documented that people with anxiety disorders in general are more likely to abuse drugs, prescription, illicit, or otherwise
That's not a bit of bull, that's A LOT of bull. Every Benzodiazepine on the market is not a generic. A perfect example of that is Xanax XR and the Klonopin Wafers.
 

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That's not a bit of bull, that's A LOT of bull. Every Benzodiazepine on the market is not a generic. A perfect example of that is Xanax XR and the Klonopin Wafers.
lol talk about nitpicking. Those drugs are generic too, just not in those forms. And are you trying to tell me that Xanax XR has some secret plot to boost their sales by demonizing Xanax? :lol they aren't even competing drugs, they have different applications as both of them are long duration, whereas instant release Xanax is far from that.

Seriously... the med has been out for a very long time and psychiatrists have more than enough clinical experience with it to know whether it's true or not.

And why aren't they demonizing all the other generics as well? Why only go after Xanax? Why not go after the other 3 biggies too... valium, ativan and klonopin? Or triazolam, temazepam, loprazolam, lormetazepam, nitrazepam, flurazepam, bromazepam, etc? Makes absolutely 0 sense.

The fact is, Xanax withdrawals are more severe and more dangerous, even compared to all the other clinically prescribed benzos. Believing in some Big Pharma conspiracy isn't going to change that.
 

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I've been on Xanax for a few months now. I am on 0.5 mg a day, 1 mg if really needed. I am aware that it's a temporary drug... that eventually i'll have to go up in the dosage to get the same effect i have previously gotten. And that eventually, i'd have to get off it and experience withdrawls. Withdrawls? Thats no different then all the anti-depressants my doc put me on that she said would be more long term, and all those drugs ended up not working or making me sick. Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Paxil, and Prestique, did nothing for me. Xanax at least helps. 0.5mg takes the edge off, 1mg is awesome. But the thing is... i have settled with the edge being taken off. I don't wanna get myself drunk on Xanax and taking the 1 mg all of the time, i'll have to be taken off of it that much sooner. If i was on 1 mg everyday, my accomplishments with SA would rely entirely on a drug and nothing else, were at least now i'm only getting a little boost. I still feel SA, but not like i used to, and that's just friggin fine with me.

I think you just need to take it easy with the meds, But it sounds like you are past the point of no return. It'll probably be best to get off Xanax and go onto something else, and use that but as little as you possibly can.

Good Luck :)
 

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I've been on Xanax for a few months now. I am on 0.5 mg a day, 1 mg if really needed. I am aware that it's a temporary drug... that eventually i'll have to go up in the dosage to get the same effect i have previously gotten. And that eventually, i'd have to get off it and experience withdrawls. Withdrawls? Thats no different then all the anti-depressants my doc put me on that she said would be more long term, and all those drugs ended up not working or making me sick. Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Paxil, and Prestique, did nothing for me. Xanax at least helps. 0.5mg takes the edge off, 1mg is awesome. But the thing is... i have settled with the edge being taken off. I don't wanna get myself drunk on Xanax and taking the 1 mg all of the time, i'll have to be taken off of it that much sooner. If i was on 1 mg everyday, my accomplishments with SA would rely entirely on a drug and nothing else, were at least now i'm only getting a little boost. I still feel SA, but not like i used to, and that's just friggin fine with me.

I think you just need to take it easy with the meds, But it sounds like you are past the point of no return. It'll probably be best to get off Xanax and go onto something else, and use that but as little as you possibly can.

Good Luck :)
Thats good to hear, do you take the 0.5 mg in the morning or nightime?
 

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Finally!

My doc FINALLY put me on Xanax b/cuz NOTHING else worked. I was at the point that I could not even leave my house without that surge of terror gripping me. I could not even go into a store and successfully hand money to a cashier without fear that everyone would see my hands shake, etc. Panic attacks are like being trapped in a hell war zone that you can not break free from. Long story short, after taking only 1st Xanax .5 I was able to return to work and I am so grateful for this medication. I completely understand the fear of dependency upon it and don't want to become dependent on it. I HATE this illness but the only way I can function for now at least, is to use Xanax. It is the only thing thus far that has helped me. My doc is an old school sort of guy, and the fact that he gave me this med. tells me I must be pretty severe. Anyway, glad to find this place. Will keep you posted. :clap
 
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