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Pdoc and Benzo questions

Posted by AnxiousAndy on October 17, 2004, at 22:22:32

For several years now, i have battled with anxiety, sometimes better, sometimes worse, but always there. I have taken anti-depressants and certainly they helped when i needed them most. both times i have experienced depression, it was diagnosed as situation depression...and i can certainly see the events related to that diagnosis.

However, my cognitive therapy has helped me immensely in dealing with the depression, and to some extent the anxiety. I'm at a point in my life now where my anxiety, I believe, it becoming a source for depression in my life. I know that they commonly accompany each other, but when i find the depression rather easy to bounce back from, the anxiety never goes away.

my pdoc is relatively new in the area, and he has me on 200mg wellbutrin sr along with 600mg trileptal. the trileptal is supposed to help "regulate" my mood, and supposedly curb the anxiety. It does neither. I know many patients take higher doses to achieve this effect, but when i tried to up the dosage to even 450mg, i felt like a zombie and knew i could not function at work like that.

my last visit to my pdoc was disappointing to me. i consider myself fairly well informed about the various meds out there...and was hoping that he would listen to me, since i feel like i should certainly have a say in what i'm ingesting.

i've been reading alot about the positive, as well as the negative effects of benzo's. i've taken ativan, both in the past and recently, and have never been addicted to it, nor ever wanted to be addicted to it.

because i am an honest person, i didn't hesitate to tell my pdoc that at one point in my life i abused drugs...mostly pot...and drinking. i also told him that that was nearly 20 years ago, a phase in my teens where i was more than likely trying to self-medicate for my anxiety.

i've read so many great things about klonopin, and i just read a book about a comedian who uses it every day - and i'm reading more and more posts from others who have taken benzo's for years, and the posts seem to not have many negative connotations.

when i asked my pdoc if i could try klonopin, he said no, and he said it was because of my history of drug abuse. i was taken back a bit, and then said to him - how is addiction to a benzo any different than getting off an ssri - i mean - before i learned about this site years ago, i quit taking paxil cold turkey - and that was as close to hell as i think a person can come on this earth. then i learned that you taper, and take one prozac (another trick learned from this site).

point being - in real life - the advice i've learned from the people posting on this site has done more to save my life and curb my misery on pills than ANY doctor ever has. i'm not suggesting to anyone out there that what you'll read here should take precedence over what your doctor tells you, by no means, i'm simply saying that in my experience, having been left to doctors who warned me of NOTHING, i was miserable...

so, my question is (sorry if that was rambling - i wanted to qualify this question)...should i find a new pdoc? should i get klonopin from my med doc and not tell my pdoc? i hate to do that - it makes me feel like i'm a drug addict or something - but i just want what works - and i want to know if it works only short term or if it's a viable option long term.

this past weekend, after months and months of refusing to go anywhere with my new wife, i took one ativan, which i got from my prior med doc (i just recently changed to a new one who said he would refill it if needed) (0.5mg), and then 4 hours later another. We went to a birthday party, a craft show she wanted to go to, and to her parents...all things i would NEVER have done...

i just don't understand, so someone please enlighten me. if something can help me SO much better than anything else out there, why am i suffering on a/ds and anti-convulsion meds that just have side effects INCREASING my anxiety? so my pdoc can prove to someone that his "hunch" about trileptal helping anxiety patients is true? it's not true for me, and he's not listening to me.

now, i've read some things about withdrawal from benzo's, and it certainly does NOT sound pretty. then i read from others that it's not that big of a deal when done properly...

i'd like to hear your stories, horrors and successes...i'd like to hear from people who've been taking theraputic doses for years - do you get depressed? do you get uncontrollable anger and irritability? do you feel like you are disassociated from reality? or, are you just more able to deal normally with life?

God knows i'd like to feel normal again, and since my first real panic attack, and then my first course of agoraphobia, i've felt trapped inside my fears, with only fleeting moments of freedom - and this past weekend, with my little "experiment" - was one of those moments.
i'm tired of always fighting this anxiety, and THAT is the major source of depression for me.

thanks in advance for your posts. this site is always so helpful, and it cannot be overstated how valuable a resource this site is. imagine valium users in the seventies...where could they get this kind of info and collaboration? Thank you all...




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