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Author Topic: Benzos- helpful or no?  (Read 439 times)

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Offline colorlessideas

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Benzos- helpful or no?
« on: April 18, 2014, 12:31:46 PM »
Read something recently talking about how harmful they are, it it seemed to emphasize mostly dangerous if also addicted to other drugs.

I have a hard time determining whether they are really helpful to me or not. I never abuse my dosage or anything like that. I will normally go weeks at a time and not take any, but then I'll have a couple of bad days and need them.

They calm me down when I get very panicked, but I wonder if they are bandaids. You know?

I just wondered if any of you all had struggled with this and made a decision about whether or not to use them or under what conditions.

Doctor isn't much help.
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Online Cuchculan

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Re: Benzos- helpful or no?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 01:53:26 PM »
This all boils down to the individual. We get them from a doctor. We are told what dose we are meant to take. Now you and me and both smart people. If we are told a certain dose we will stick to that dose. But you did a few people who like to take a bit more than what the doctor told them to take. Here is where problems can occur. If they are taken more they will run out of them sooner. The doctor won't refill the amount until a certain date. Number 1, they have abused the medication. Took more than they were meant to take. Now we find them without any. Once they end up here it is not a nice place for them. So what do they do? The come on the net and post bad things about the medication. The situation they found themselves in was not because of the medication. It was because of themselves. So you see all these negative posts. Do things the right way and you won't have any troubles at all. I used to take Xanax. Took it for ten years. I switched to another one without any trouble at all. Switching meds can be hard for some people. If they have been on them for a long time. For some others they find the medication may lose its kick after prolonged use. But reading how you take yours I see not problems arising at all. You can go days without any at all. I just find that people are quick to blame the medication for their own mistakes. Others might have a different opinion.
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Offline LuLu82

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Re: Benzos- helpful or no?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 03:58:29 AM »
They have helped me from being completely housebound so I have no  issues over taking them or that they are band aids.
  Until I can get proper psychological help I will continue to take them.
I don't take them daily though just out of worry I will build a tolerance to them.
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Offline Possum-Pie

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Re: Benzos- helpful or no?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 06:59:06 AM »
Read something recently talking about how harmful they are, it it seemed to emphasize mostly dangerous if also addicted to other drugs.

I have a hard time determining whether they are really helpful to me or not. I never abuse my dosage or anything like that. I will normally go weeks at a time and not take any, but then I'll have a couple of bad days and need them.

They calm me down when I get very panicked, but I wonder if they are bandaids. You know?

I just wondered if any of you all had struggled with this and made a decision about whether or not to use them or under what conditions.

Doctor isn't much help.

I mentioned in another post that Benzos can be life-saving if used occasionally and in moderation.  I take  a quarter or a half of a 0.5 mg tablet  only when I need it, and then under the tongue. Sometimes on rare occasions I need and take a whole 0.5mg tab.  The problem comes when knowledgeable doctors prescribe Benzos 3 or 4 times/day every day.  Your body builds a physical and psychological tolorance, and your anxiety level goes up if you don't have them.  They become less and less effective if you take them that much for months at a time. Over the years, the people I've treated who had an addiction to Benzos had a very addictive personality to begin with, and were taking them 3 or 4 times per day EVERY day.   As an "As Needed" med they are very effective.  I have been taking Klonopin "as needed" for 20 years now and they still work fine. 

Just b/c a doctor has a degree doesn't mean they have the knowledge about a med's best use.  My first doctor prescribed them 3 times/day, and I  told  him about the physical tolerance I was seeing in my clients who were at that dosing.  He read up on current literature, and agreed.  If I hadn't questioned him, I'd have been taking it wrong.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Benzos- helpful or no?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2014, 07:39:09 AM »
I agree with Possum.  When used appropriately as a rescue medication they can be quite helpful with little tolerance.  The problem is about 10% of the population appears to have an "allergy" to these types of medications.  When I use the word allergy I mean it in the sense that their brain chemistry is different and it can trigger an underlying genetic predisposition towards addiction.  And while I understand the response of the second poster, it's not quite as easy as calling it bad choices.  While certainly bad choices are involved, once a chemical has flipped a switch in an addicted brain they are no longer making the choices...the chemicals are making the choices.  I work with addicts for a living, and if it were merely about making bad choices, you would see people who make bad choices in other areas of their life the only ones with problems.  But, i treat nuns, priests, doctors, lawyers, airiline pilots, nurses, etc...people who have shown will power and good choice making all their life fall into problems because they are hard wired for addiction.

So, I always caution people that medications like this are not without risk.  You should discuss these risks with your physician specifically looking at family history and your own history with mood altering chemicals.  The last thing you want to add to your anxiety issues is an addiction issue.  We should tread with caution when approaching medications that play with brain chemistry.   
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Benzos- helpful or no?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2014, 09:06:25 PM »
They've been helpful for me, I take ativan 0.5 mg as needed. It doesn't fully resolve my anxiety but it settles down a bad case. I take it about three or four days per week. I'm fortunate in that I've had no issues of fatigue or drowiness with it nor have I felt "too good" while taking it.

For me, ativan IS a band-aid. But honestly right now I need a few band-aids to get through. My life stressors have been pretty chaotic, so i've been having trouble finding a balance. But I continue to work with my psychiatrist and hopefully we'll get a balance between therapy and my daily medication that I won't have as much break through anxiety
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Benzos- helpful or no?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2014, 07:35:07 AM »
They've been helpful for me, I take ativan 0.5 mg as needed. It doesn't fully resolve my anxiety but it settles down a bad case. I take it about three or four days per week. I'm fortunate in that I've had no issues of fatigue or drowiness with it nor have I felt "too good" while taking it.

For me, ativan IS a band-aid. But honestly right now I need a few band-aids to get through. My life stressors have been pretty chaotic, so i've been having trouble finding a balance. But I continue to work with my psychiatrist and hopefully we'll get a balance between therapy and my daily medication that I won't have as much break through anxiety

In the non addict population there is nothing wrong with a Band-Aid as long as the person is working on underlying issues...sometimes people need a Band-Aid to get them through a rough patch.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Benzos- helpful or no?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2014, 11:41:21 AM »
very well put Shawn and I agree :)
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