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 Post subject: Re: My Mental health treatment so far.....
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:13 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 7
I've been diagnosed with PTSD since the mid 90's. I was on benzodiazepines for many years. I was on different dosages of Xanax, Elavil, and Klonopin. When I finally made the decision to taper off the Klonopin I was taking 2mg 3 times a day. What really helped me change my mind about taking benzodiazepines and consider a different medication and alternative non-medication routes to control my anxiety was my Suboxone doctor and the new primary care physician I started seeing about a year ago. Both of these doctors are very current, they read much of the new literature coming out and I have a hard time surprising them with anything I've learned. It's been an amazing experience since most doctors don't read medical literature once they leave medical school. What these doctors shared with me, and I found out by a little research they suggested, was benzodiazepines are no longer considered the gold standard for treating PTSD or general anxiety disorder. They aren't even the silver or bronze. Their use is only beneficial short term or PRN for panic disorder. There's a few reasons for this. One is tolerance, that's how I ended up on three different benzodiazepines, always culminating in the highest dosage prescribed. The other is dependence as I believe you said you've experienced before. Another is what they call rebound anxiety, they've found in recent studies that very often benzodiazepines exasperate the symptoms they're supposed to control in long term use. Another, and the most important for me, is that we forget how we're supposed to feel. We get being relaxed confused with being anxiety free. This was huge for me when I stopped taking benzodiazepines. I realized we have stress and anxiety for a reason and that it's not a bad thing. It's only a bad thing when you let it run your life. I'm still on medication for anxiety, I take Buspar now. It takes a few weeks to start working but once it did, it's worked very well for me. It doesn't treat panic attacks so I've learned non-pharmaceutical techniques to deal with break through panic. I use deep breathing and mindfulness personally. After months of practice I can now feel a panic attack coming from far away and begin exercises which defuse it and never let it come to fruition. This is an incredibly empowering experience for me. The first few times I was able to do it I could practically feel the chains of anxiety which held me done for so long slip and loosen some. I'm not saying benzodiazepines are all bad and no one should take them but I am saying they're no longer considered a very valuable tool for long term anxiety. I can also say from my own experience they put me back years in being able to learn to live with an acceptable level of anxiety and held me back from learning exercises to control my anxiety. I still have a prescription for Xanax for panic attacks. I just haven't had to use it for 9 months because I've learned to use mindfulness to stop my attacks on my own.

 Post subject: Re: My Mental health treatment so far.....
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:23 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:09 am
Posts: 186
I've already been prescribed benzo's (diazepam, nitrazepam and temazepam) together for decades, and tapered off them years ago. My treatment that centred around talking therapies was going really well, and I didn't feel that I needed any medication.

This new prescribing of benzo's has only come about since this new diagnosis and something else that happened to me (that I'm not going to go into, but suffice to say, it's major). I've been prescribed aripiprazole, and a side effect of that is massive agitation, so the prescription of klonopin is not really for the PTDS etc, it's more so that I can tolerate the aripiprazole, which does seem to be helping what it was prescribed for.

I'm not at all an advocate of benzo's for mental health issues, as I feel most cases they cause more harm than good, which is why I was so reticent to take them. But, if having to take them for a short period will get me over this hump, I'm going to stick with it!

Sapphire Matthews - MAR Patient Advocate

Please email me if you have any issues with the board, be that logging in, spammers, or anything else at all!!

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