Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 240734

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Klonopin and Agorophobia

Posted by AndyD on July 10, 2003, at 20:05:49

Hello all,

New to this but I really need some type of support, so any kind of advice will be greatly appreciated. I have been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks since I returned from the gulf war (the 1st one). I was in the Marines and pretty much had to keep it a secret (because of that macho stuff) till I got out. Im going to make a long story short. I have suffered from this crud since 1993. Unfortunately, It has no gotten to the point that I have become milidly agoraphobic. I guess that means in my own sick way that I function from day to day very normal..actually anxiety free. However even the thought of having to travel outside of my safe zone causes me to have a panic attack. Not really but..lets just say i wont leave my safe zone to very fact havent in over a year. My safe zone incidently is about 20x20 miles. And this my freinds sucks. Anyway, now for the biggie...I have never, I say again, never used any meds because I am severly pill a phobic. I have used beer to mellow out (and no I dont self medicate daily or anything like that..I drink maybe a 12 pack a month) What does this Klonapin feel like and what can I expect? I have to take this stuff, I need to regain my life doc says this will work and has said to take it as needed. He started me off at .25mg. Any and all advice on talking me into at least trying this would be greatly welcomed.


Re: Klonopin and Agorophobia

Posted by Nissy on July 10, 2003, at 21:47:16

In reply to Klonopin and Agorophobia, posted by AndyD on July 10, 2003, at 20:05:49

Hi Andy,
I use to have panic disorder and it developed into agoraphobia. I also had a very small safe zone. I took desipramine 150 and klonopin. Klonopin is a very good drug. You really should not feel anything on this except less anxiety. For me I had tried several different tranquilizers and found some of them to be very sedating. Not klonopin, it makes ya calm down in a good way. I actually traveled from Colorado to Florida 2 years ago, who'd have thought? Not me! I am free from that crud. The best of luck to you.


Re: Klonopin and Agorophobia

Posted by KellyD on July 10, 2003, at 21:47:50

In reply to Klonopin and Agorophobia, posted by AndyD on July 10, 2003, at 20:05:49

It has worked well for me. It took the edge away and made it possible for me to do things, normal life things, without the irrational fears and the weird phyical symptoms that accompanied my anxiety and panic. I have been on it over a year. It's the only med I take. It does not make me "high", "zombie-like", or anything.... but calm. I still have approiate reactions to fearful situations - I just don't have the extreme and out of proportion reactions of before. I don't "crave" it. I feel I've not had the problems that some people can run into. If you use it wisely, with supervision and follow up, I think you will like the results, but everybody's different. If it doesn't work for you, there are other things to try. I didn't want to use meds either and fought it for a while. I realized, I was getting in the way of my own wellness. My disorder was not going to disappear as I wished it would and I could not "will" my brain to react differently.

Initially, it made me drowsy and a little foggy thinking. This wore off in about a week or so, but was a little strange to experience. I was left with the antianxiety action.

Good Luck, anxiety disorders are quite underrated for life impact and functioning. They can make life hellish.

There is good treatment and I hope you find yours.



Re: Klonopin and Agorophobia AndyD

Posted by Viridis on July 11, 2003, at 2:04:56

In reply to Klonopin and Agorophobia, posted by AndyD on July 10, 2003, at 20:05:49

If it's working as it should, Klonopin doesn't really "feel" like anything. You just don't worry so much about unnecessary things, and get on with your life. I had a few side effects at first -- sleepiness, clumsiness, slight memory problems -- but these disappeared quickly and now I don't even notice it. I just don't have the constant anxiety, which itself is very hard on your mental and physical health.


Re: Klonopin and Agorophobia

Posted by mattdds on July 11, 2003, at 7:49:32

In reply to Klonopin and Agorophobia, posted by AndyD on July 10, 2003, at 20:05:49

Hi Andy,

I was very pill phobic too. Afraid of feeling strange, or having altered perceptions, but Klonopin is not like that. Other than the relief, you won't even notice it. To me, it is a near miraculous drug; amazing in its specificity and extremely powerful for anxiety. Kinda like a bunker buster for panic.

You might be interested to know that I'm in the US military as well. I have an agreement that they will pay for my dental school education(very expensive school) in return for 3 years of active duty as a dentist. So it's a good deal. I know how it can be to try to look "macho", when inside you're scared to death, but I can assure you even people in the military have panic disorder. I remember having a panic attack when I was getting commissioned!

I also suffer from panic disorder, and only recently got diagnosed; before, docs always diagnosed depression and gave SSRI's. I believe all my other problems (mainly depression) are secondary to the panic attacks. I never had agoraphobia, but did reach a point where I was literally in a constant state of panic for about 3 months. I've heard this called status panicus, or a constant state of panic. What followed this was almost 2 years of severe derealization and depersonalization, along with depression. I consider myself fully recovered now, in part, due to Klonopin (the other part was CBT, which is a psychological treatment).

Klonopin has been life changing. Like Viridis says, it doesn't "feel" like anything in terms of a "high" or altered perception. The only thing you will notice is *relief*. Its specificity for anxiety is really amazing! You may notice some drowsiness or sedation at first, but this almost invariably goes away after a week or two. Get on a constant steady dose for best effects. My dose is 1.5 mg daily. I don't feel the need to raise the dose.

There is some very good research about Klonopin in particular for symptoms of agoraphobia. It is extremely safe and well studied for this purpose.

One last thing, it is much better to be on a constant dose than the roller-coaster ride of as-needed dosing. Trust me, I've tried both (as needed when I was pill phobic, but I decided I wanted to feel good *all* the time :)). 0.25mg seems a little low, but you can start at that and work your way up. Most people need between 1.0 mg and 4.0 mg.

Best of luck,



Re: Klonopin and Agorophobia AndyD

Posted by Janelle on July 12, 2003, at 18:31:40

In reply to Klonopin and Agorophobia, posted by AndyD on July 10, 2003, at 20:05:49

Hi there,

Well, I'm a Klonopin *veteran* (thought I'd use that word because it does fit and because of your military experience!) ... have been on it for many YEARS. At first I was on 1 mg/day, but the past year or so have been on 2 mg/day (divided am and pm).

I would echo most of the things already posted ... because Klonopin is slow-acting and has a somewhat slow half-life (compared to the other benzos) its effects are subtle, at least for me they have been. And I have been put on some of the fast acting benzo's so I can tell you there IS a difference!

Also, for what it's worth, Klonopin has been around a long time, it started as being intended for epilepsy, but does have FDA approval for anxiety and has had it for awhile I believe.

Titrate up slowly; you probably won't need a very high dose.

And FYI - as I mentioned above, it is a benzo, and therefore has addictive properties, BUT it is the least addictive because it is slow-acting and has a decent half-life.

Good luck 2 U!


Re: Klonopin and Agorophobia

Posted by AndyD on July 14, 2003, at 11:19:34

In reply to Re: Klonopin and Agorophobia, posted by mattdds on July 11, 2003, at 7:49:32


I am glad to hear that your doing well especially being in the military. Sadly this crap forced me out, or should I say I forced myself out. I am only 34 and would love to have continued my 13 year long career, hopefully this stuff will allow mw to get a grip on life so that I may even return. Good to hear that there is hope.



Re: Klonopin and Agorophobia

Posted by ian24 on July 17, 2003, at 18:22:25

In reply to Re: Klonopin and Agorophobia AndyD, posted by Janelle on July 12, 2003, at 18:31:40

Hi Andy,
I'm a Somlia vet, 1993 mogadishu support troop. Anyway, that's not where my anxiety came from just wanted to relate! I have taken klonopin for a year . Started at .5 mg now at 1mg. It is great. It has played a large role in easing my fear. I used to be so anxious at work I could not socialize at work and couldnt talk to people. That can be a problem in business lol. Anyway, between therapy and prayer (that's just me not preaching) I am 80% better with fear of people. As for dependency I think it's worth it. I've come off zanax and it was tough but this drug is supposedly easier and to be honest it's worth it. If I take 3 months to wean off then so be it. IF there is an option that's not a benzo take that but if not take the benzo.

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