View Full Version : My Benzo Dilemna


tambourine-man
07-20-12, 11:37 PM
I have been experiencing some truly heartbreaking, chaotic and nerve shattering situations in the past few months. Additionally I have GAD associated with Autism and PTSD associated with years of trauma. I finally relented several months ago and went back on benzodiazepines (diazepam this time around). I took a month long vacation from amphetamines to see if my anxiety was reduced. It was NOT reduced. In fact, it became worse.

So my current p-doc prescribed 120 5mg diazepam per month to allow flexible dosing up to 20mg per day. Initially, the diazepam was very helpful, but now I find it does little for my anxiety and reduces the motivation and mental clarity provided by my daily dextroamphetamine.

I've been taking it less and less even though I still struggle with panic attacks, night terrors, meltdowns, and frequent feelings of dread. 5-10mg of diazepam relieves these symptoms... for about 30 minutes. Then I just feel depressed and agitated by the noticeable cognitive impairment.

At one point I was taking 3mg of clonazepam a day and do not remember experiencing these problems. Diazepam was more effective initially but now I'm very disappointed with it. Yet I can't seem to discontinue it without finding my already uncomfortable anxiety becoming absolutely crippling.

Also, I have tardive akathisia (similiar to restless leg syndrome but more pervasive and severe) from taking neuroleptics during the years when I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder. Benzodiazepines relieve all symptoms of akathisia entirely.

So... what should I do? I'm afraid to take a benzo like alprazolam, due to its extremely brief half life. Should I ask about clonazepam? At what dose? Should I give up on benzos entirely? I'm not sure that's really an option for me as I was finding myself in the emergency room on a weekly basis before I gave in and started the diazepam.

Is there an effective alternative? Meprobamate perhaps?

I HATE these drugs and the fact that I need them. I can discontinue dextroamphetamine with little discomfort - though my life comes to a standstill and I can't successfully manage a toaster oven or remember my own birthday. Benzodiazepines leave me feeling lobotomized if I discontinue them.

Advice? Someone? I see the doc in five days and will likely ask for clonazepam if no one has a better suggestion.

CheekyMonkey
07-20-12, 11:45 PM
I'm not sure that there is a long term drug for anxiety, other than prozac. After several weeks, its just not going to do it's job.

Therapy might help with working through those triggers, but I know there is a lot to work through and it is not instantaneous.

Maybe an atypical to help pull you through slumps?


I hope you can find some plan that helps. ((hug))

Targaryen
07-21-12, 12:08 AM
I take topamax for for migraines but I have a friend whose was put on it for anxiety. The downside is the mental fog but for me it did seem to go away (at least I think it did).

Not sure if you have ever considered anti-seizure drugs but it is something to look into, they can be used long term.

purpleToes
07-21-12, 02:28 AM
Tambourine-man, I've been reading the Memantine thread on ADDF and some people there are saying that they're finding memantine good for anxiety and OCD, as well as the inattention of ADD. They also mentioned reports of others in a social anxiety support forum also finding it helped them. Sounds like it could be a two-fer, if your doctor is open to letting you try it. What do you think?

salleh
07-21-12, 03:12 AM
Battling demons eh ??? ...I have been a bit worried about you and wondering if you've been ok .....darling lad, I can't help at all here, know absolutely nothing about that kind of med....but I know you'll figure it out ....you always do eventually .....

have faith ....you have a very good doctor who is willing to try anything for you that either one of you thinks might work.....and that is a huge help....of course, until you find the right med....it's all academic ...but can you imagine just how rough it could be with a closed minded pdoc ?.....{{{{{{{shudder}}}}}}}


.....Try not to panic ....yah right she says ....jeeze.....the WILL be a solution for you ....now, your job ??? find it ! ...oh wait isn't that the doc role too ? ....ah well, you've had such a big part in your medication ....he's relying on you to make the calls.....


.....keep us apprised eh ? please ? .....even if you just drop in for a few words .....I worry ....

tambourine-man
07-21-12, 01:39 PM
Thanks guys! I think I will go with Klonpin. Maybe 1mg twice daily? Xanax scares me to death and Klonopin seems to be the one most people respond best to and most doctors prescribe. It's been awhile since I've taken it but I don't remember it slowing me down and making me spacey and sedated like Valium.

salleh
07-21-12, 02:41 PM
Let us know how it works for you, ok ???

avjgirsijdhtjhs
07-21-12, 02:44 PM
I'm not too terribly hopeful on this helping much, but considering the seriousness of panic attacks and benzos...

niacinamide post 1 (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1332239&highlight=niacinamide#post1332239)

niacinamide post 2 (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1332248&highlight=niacinamide#post1332248)

tambourine-man
07-21-12, 04:05 PM
Let us know how it works for you, ok ???

Will do! If only all medication worked as perfectly and consistently as Dextroamphetamine.

I HATE benzos but panic attacks are awful and my meltdowns ate truly dangerous. I cry and scream, forget how to speak, flap my hands, bash my head into the wall, break things, etc... Benzos prevent these almost completely but they also make me feel less creative and lively, a dulled version of myself. I need a benzo that doesn't dull my personality.

avjgirsijdhtjhs
07-21-12, 05:16 PM
I'm not too terribly hopeful on this helping much, but considering the seriousness of panic attacks and benzos...

niacinamide post 1 (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1332239&highlight=niacinamide#post1332239)

niacinamide post 2 (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1332248&highlight=niacinamide#post1332248)

The first link in the above quote has this Google search (https://www.google.com/#hl=en&safe=off&sclient=psy-ab&q=niacinamide+%22panic+attacks%22+alprazolam+OR+be nzodiazepines&oq=niacinamide+%22panic+attacks%22+alprazolam+OR+b enzodiazepines&gs_l=hp.3...486.486.8.1018.1.1.0.0.0.0.62.62.1.1.0 ...0.0.zTMs4Ma5-rk&pbx=1&fp=1&biw=997&bih=1111&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&cad=b) linked in the second use of the word "niacinamide" that isn't obvious due to the red highlighting that the forum search utility added.

Without knowledge of the comparisons etc of niacinamide and benzos (like can be found with the Google search that was linked), one might blow off the possibility of niacinamide helping with panic attacks or benzo withdrawal with the thought "It's a stupid vitamin! There's no way it could hold a candle to panic attacks or benzo withdrawal, and to think that it could help significantly is silly!".

Having said that, I don't find it calming like alcohol (I'm not experienced with benzos) unfortunately, and that's why I'm not too hopeful on it's potential to help the OP (even though the comparisons I've seen to it and benzos sound promising).

Slo-mo a-go-go
07-21-12, 06:57 PM
Sorry to hear you suffered the same fate of misdiagnosed Bipolar.

I really try to handle my anxiety myself when it increases due to the stims side-effects, but I regret my recent unwillingness to go back on klonopin for a really stressful 3 yrs despite it helping so much previouly w/ my PTSD, flashbacks, panic attacks and "fight flight" state. I never had any side effects w/ the klon but I wasn't taking stims at the time of my PTSD

The only thing I find indispensable in my anxiety tool kit, are my whooper sized B-vits and food-derived mutli-vits/mins. I notice a moderate boost in my ability to get a grip on and handle my anxiety. not that there aren't bad days but the average day is good, like the occasional fly buzzing my ear that I can swat away. But i do have so other health concerns that make the supplements more necessary in my case....

But a panic attack would send me back to the doc........

love the advice/ responses posters have already written

tambourine-man
07-21-12, 09:31 PM
I think I opted for diazepam because of its exceptionally long halfife. Alprazolam (Xanax) did NOT agree with me because the extremely brief half life resulted in major rebound anxiety and irritability. Initially, diazepam was wonderful because it relieved my anxiety for such a long time with no rebound.

The drawback came later. As it stays active in the system so long, it seems to build up more and more over time until I'm in a forgetfull, sluggish fog.

So... is clonazepam the perfect middle-ground? I've only had lorazepam in the hospital (IV several times and high oral doses) and mostly just remember it making me feel very drunk and goofy. How does it hold up for more regular therapeutic use?

tambourine-man
07-25-12, 03:34 AM
I'm seeing the doc tomorrow. I'm hoping for 2-3mg of Klonopin and have little doubt he'll script it. Most docs are more comfortable with Klonopin than Valium. I know I'm just buying time though. Benzos are a sly and cunning collection of little devils. If you're like me you can't live with em and you can't live without em. I can stop taking amphetamines any time with no withdrawal issues. Benzos become a need like food or water. Sometimes I think I'm just maintaining a habit but I have to remind myself that they greatly reduce some truly dangerous symptoms of my condition.

Wish me luck!

tambourine-man
07-25-12, 01:12 PM
Well, my p-doc (a brand new one with whom I just had my first visit after relocating) was equally concerned with the Valium and did not hesitate to write me a script for 90 1mg Klonopin per month. I will try to limit my intake to
2mg per day. I have yet to pick up the script but am quite familiar with Klonopin. However, I've never taken it in conjunction with a stimulant so I will keep
you posted.

tambourine-man
07-26-12, 02:22 AM
I took a single 1mg tablet this afternoon and experienced a complete elimination of the anxiety that has been ruling my life these past months. This sense of peace and relief was not accompanied by sedation, cognitive impairment, or a desire to redose due to inadequate symptom relief. Wow! Half a tablet would likely have provided ample symptom relief... And I'm prescribed three full 1mg tablets per day! It is highly unlikely that I will find it necessary to take the full 3mgs. Additionally, though I still assert that it does not induce the mental fog I experienced with Valium, I still want to take the minimum effective dose as seldom as possible as it did seem to reduce the effectiveness of my Adderall XR.

Nevertheless, my initial response is completely positive.

FocusPocus10
07-28-12, 09:21 PM
What dosing schedule is working for you? In my experience .5mg twice daily works well but I feel the dexedrine anxiety sort of breaking through at times, I'm wondering if 1mg doses would be more sufficient.

tambourine-man
07-29-12, 12:52 AM
What dosing schedule is working for you? In my experience .5mg twice daily works well but I feel the dexedrine anxiety sort of breaking through at times, I'm wondering if 1mg doses would be more sufficient.

I don't actually have an exact dosing schedule. I just keep two 1mg tablets on hand. Sometimes I take .5mg, sometimes a whole tablet, and once took 2mg when I felt I was heading for a severe meltdown. I don't find a noticeable reduction in my Adderall's effectiveness so long I take no more than 1mg at a time. 2mg makes my body feel like jello and has an undeniable effect on my cognition.

tambourine-man
07-29-12, 11:52 PM
I don't seem to have built a tolerance yet, which is strange because I usually find benzos to lose effectiveness very quickly (as in a matter of days). Anxiety is a very physical
sensation for me. I feel a tightening in my chest, a tension in my jaw, and prickly electric sensations crawling over my skin. Without benzos these sensations plague me all hours of the day, and may escalate to a panic attack. Then of course there's the akathisia which is worse at different times of day than others.

If my anxiety symptoms are mildly uncomfortable .5mg taken sublingually will have me feeling perfectly calm (but not sedated) within 5-10 minutes. More distressing symptoms respond just as quickly to 1mg leaving me calm (but not sedated). Now if I take a full 1mg tablet when my symptoms are mild I will feel very relaxed both mentally and physically.

Meltdowns are a symptom of autism and are characterized by severe panic, rage, confusion, etc... I can really hurt myself when I have one and it is vital that they be avoided at all costs. 2mg of Klonopin at the outset of a major meltdown will bring me down to a mildly uncomfortable state of anxiety. 2mg any other time makes my body feel rubbery and I experience fleeting moments of tranquil euphoria.

I haven't exceeded 2mg at a time but I doubt the feeling would neccessarily be pleasent. The majority of the drug's rewarding feeling is found in the relief it brings. Taking them when you are not suffering from anxiety merely causes you to feel a bit blank, sort of erased.

I no longer drink but I do know that benzos should NEVER be mixed with alcohol.

So... Yeah, so far Klonopin is truly a blessing. I've only once taken 3mg in a single day and I earned it that day (stressors galore). I had been on it in the past and don't remember it being so potent. Back then my script was always filled with Teva brand generic. Does everything this company make suck?!

The brand I'm currently taking is called Purepac (I think) and has a small cursive "R" imprinted on it. It is far more potent, long lasting and clean feeling than I remember the Teva brand being.

DennisSmith
08-15-12, 04:34 AM
I also suffer from mild to sever restless leg syndrome
It was worse with Addrall, and less sever with Vyvanse.
However, I recently tried Dexedrine which was offered to me from a sympathetic friend.
I noticed immediately what I can only describe as a complete physiological calmness.
People often say that Dexedrine is not preferred because of some sort of crash that occurs when it wears off. I think that this is in reference to the way the dopamine causes the central nervous system to be less stimulated as is common with the XR brands like Vyvanse and Adderall.

tambourine-man
08-16-12, 12:42 AM
I also suffer from mild to sever restless leg syndrome
It was worse with Addrall, and less sever with Vyvanse.
However, I recently tried Dexedrine which was offered to me from a sympathetic friend.
I noticed immediately what I can only describe as a complete physiological calmness.
People often say that Dexedrine is not preferred because of some sort of crash that occurs when it wears off. I think that this is in reference to the way the dopamine causes the central nervous system to be less stimulated as is common with the XR brands like Vyvanse and Adderall.

Dexedrine is my favorite. I'm on Adderall because it is everyone else's favorite for me.

karbouris
08-17-12, 01:28 AM
I don't seem to have built a tolerance yet, which is strange because I usually find benzos to lose effectiveness very quickly (as in a matter of days). Anxiety is a very physical
sensation for me. I feel a tightening in my chest, a tension in my jaw, and prickly electric sensations crawling over my skin. Without benzos these sensations plague me all hours of the day, and may escalate to a panic attack. Then of course there's the akathisia which is worse at different times of day than others.

If my anxiety symptoms are mildly uncomfortable .5mg taken sublingually will have me feeling perfectly calm (but not sedated) within 5-10 minutes. More distressing symptoms respond just as quickly to 1mg leaving me calm (but not sedated). Now if I take a full 1mg tablet when my symptoms are mild I will feel very relaxed both mentally and physically.

Meltdowns are a symptom of autism and are characterized by severe panic, rage, confusion, etc... I can really hurt myself when I have one and it is vital that they be avoided at all costs. 2mg of Klonopin at the outset of a major meltdown will bring me down to a mildly uncomfortable state of anxiety. 2mg any other time makes my body feel rubbery and I experience fleeting moments of tranquil euphoria.

I haven't exceeded 2mg at a time but I doubt the feeling would neccessarily be pleasent. The majority of the drug's rewarding feeling is found in the relief it brings. Taking them when you are not suffering from anxiety merely causes you to feel a bit blank, sort of erased.

I no longer drink but I do know that benzos should NEVER be mixed with alcohol.

So... Yeah, so far Klonopin is truly a blessing. I've only once taken 3mg in a single day and I earned it that day (stressors galore). I had been on it in the past and don't remember it being so potent. Back then my script was always filled with Teva brand generic. Does everything this company make suck?!

The brand I'm currently taking is called Purepac (I think) and has a small cursive "R" imprinted on it. It is far more potent, long lasting and clean feeling than I remember the Teva brand being.
do you bite yourself and scream?

SnareDrumzZz
08-19-12, 08:15 PM
I have been experiencing some truly heartbreaking, chaotic and nerve shattering situations in the past few months. Additionally I have GAD associated with Autism and PTSD associated with years of trauma. I finally relented several months ago and went back on benzodiazepines (diazepam this time around). I took a month long vacation from amphetamines to see if my anxiety was reduced. It was NOT reduced. In fact, it became worse.

So my current p-doc prescribed 120 5mg diazepam per month to allow flexible dosing up to 20mg per day. Initially, the diazepam was very helpful, but now I find it does little for my anxiety and reduces the motivation and mental clarity provided by my daily dextroamphetamine.

I've been taking it less and less even though I still struggle with panic attacks, night terrors, meltdowns, and frequent feelings of dread. 5-10mg of diazepam relieves these symptoms... for about 30 minutes. Then I just feel depressed and agitated by the noticeable cognitive impairment.

At one point I was taking 3mg of clonazepam a day and do not remember experiencing these problems. Diazepam was more effective initially but now I'm very disappointed with it. Yet I can't seem to discontinue it without finding my already uncomfortable anxiety becoming absolutely crippling.

Also, I have tardive akathisia (similiar to restless leg syndrome but more pervasive and severe) from taking neuroleptics during the years when I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder. Benzodiazepines relieve all symptoms of akathisia entirely.

So... what should I do? I'm afraid to take a benzo like alprazolam, due to its extremely brief half life. Should I ask about clonazepam? At what dose? Should I give up on benzos entirely? I'm not sure that's really an option for me as I was finding myself in the emergency room on a weekly basis before I gave in and started the diazepam.

Is there an effective alternative? Meprobamate perhaps?

I HATE these drugs and the fact that I need them. I can discontinue dextroamphetamine with little discomfort - though my life comes to a standstill and I can't successfully manage a toaster oven or remember my own birthday. Benzodiazepines leave me feeling lobotomized if I discontinue them.

Advice? Someone? I see the doc in five days and will likely ask for clonazepam if no one has a better suggestion.Dude Xanax is NOT that bad. I hate Clonazepam. It makes me agitated as **** and didnt for awhile then....Worse and worse. Xanax helps me its short but it doesnt leave me Groggy. I feel it more than a few hours as well. so...IDK...serax and librium? Its your body you pick one hah.

SnareDrumzZz
08-19-12, 08:19 PM
I don't seem to have built a tolerance yet, which is strange because I usually find benzos to lose effectiveness very quickly (as in a matter of days). Anxiety is a very physical
sensation for me. I feel a tightening in my chest, a tension in my jaw, and prickly electric sensations crawling over my skin. Without benzos these sensations plague me all hours of the day, and may escalate to a panic attack. Then of course there's the akathisia which is worse at different times of day than others.

If my anxiety symptoms are mildly uncomfortable .5mg taken sublingually will have me feeling perfectly calm (but not sedated) within 5-10 minutes. More distressing symptoms respond just as quickly to 1mg leaving me calm (but not sedated). Now if I take a full 1mg tablet when my symptoms are mild I will feel very relaxed both mentally and physically.

Meltdowns are a symptom of autism and are characterized by severe panic, rage, confusion, etc... I can really hurt myself when I have one and it is vital that they be avoided at all costs. 2mg of Klonopin at the outset of a major meltdown will bring me down to a mildly uncomfortable state of anxiety. 2mg any other time makes my body feel rubbery and I experience fleeting moments of tranquil euphoria.

I haven't exceeded 2mg at a time but I doubt the feeling would neccessarily be pleasent. The majority of the drug's rewarding feeling is found in the relief it brings. Taking them when you are not suffering from anxiety merely causes you to feel a bit blank, sort of erased.

I no longer drink but I do know that benzos should NEVER be mixed with alcohol.

So... Yeah, so far Klonopin is truly a blessing. I've only once taken 3mg in a single day and I earned it that day (stressors galore). I had been on it in the past and don't remember it being so potent. Back then my script was always filled with Teva brand generic. Does everything this company make suck?!

The brand I'm currently taking is called Purepac (I think) and has a small cursive "R" imprinted on it. It is far more potent, long lasting and clean feeling than I remember the Teva brand being.Meltdowns? Describe. I think in the end Longer acting benzos cause more side effects with paradox.Yes.

T-Rex65
08-20-12, 02:52 PM
Clonazepam has done right by me so far. I try to take the minimum effective dosage so I'll be less likely to build up a tolerance.

Maybe switching to a different (although less effective) drug for a couple of weeks every so often will keep your tolerance low enough for you to stay on clonezepam for the long term.

tambourine-man
09-06-12, 02:42 PM
Meltdowns? Describe. I think in the end Longer acting benzos cause more side effects with paradox.Yes.

Yes. During a meltdown I may cry, scream, bite myself, beat myself, slam my head into a wall repeatedly, lose all ability to communicate verbally, flap my hands, struggle to breathe... It's awful! I DO prefer Xanax but it has such a short duration for me that I'll have a rebound meltdown. Xanax with Klonopin works best.