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Re: Antidepressants and benzodiazipines

Posted by Lisa on October 14, 1998, at 12:31:24

In reply to Re: Antidepressants and benzodiazipines, posted by Jim on October 14, 1998, at 11:26:35


I too understand your attachment to benzos. I've been taking them to control my GAD and panic disorder for 15 years now, and for the past seven years, Klonopin has been a lifesaver. I don't know how I would have survived or accomplished anything without the help of benzos. I also have had my share of doctors who wanted to get me off of it, but I refused. I have tried the antidepressants as a supplement, only to become exasperated by the intolerable side effects. Which of course were no help concerning the anxiety problem.

My view is this: Any and all of the drugs that we take have the potential to cause harm, either with short term or long term usage. Bipolars (such as me) know that long term use of lithium can cause kidney and other problems, where the patient will then have to discontinue usage. Blood levels are also monitored to assure that the level of Lithium is not toxic. My mother ended up in the hopsital because her doctor failed to monitor her blood levels, and so I chose to be treated with Neurontin, a semi-new anticonvulsant and mood stabalizer. Since it is relatively new, it is uncertain what the long term side effects will be.

As for benzos, they've been around for quite a long time and the main thing my doctors seemed to be concerned about was possible abuse of the drug and addiction. I am on Klonopin 1mg 3 times a day and yes, I AM addicted. How could I not be?? My system relies on my daily dosage, and if I were to stop the Klonopin, there would be withdrawal effects. Some doctors also fear that benzos will stop working after a certain period of time and the dosage will then have to be increased. In some cases, patients increase on their own and find themselves abusing the drug.

I have never taken more than my prescribed dosage without my doctor's permission, and that is only in times of severe stress and elvated anxiety where I cannot cope without an additional pill. But those times are rare. Tell your doctor what YOU feel you need to control your symptoms. Don't forget that you are the one helping to supply his income, and there are a slew of doctors out there willing to treat you, unfortunately finding the right doctor can be time consuming and frustrating. As you might have noticed, I have a tainted view of mental health professionals because of the lack of empathetic and competant help I've encountered. Please remember that these are my personal views.

I don't condone a doctor refusing to prescribe a medication that makes your life tolerable and relieves your suffering, whatever his reasons may be. If you are not abusing the drug, are not in any danger continuing your current drug therapy, and your doctor still refuses to treat you accordingly -- send him walking!!





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