Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 347048

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 49. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME

Posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 5:01:07

I have social phobia and have always had a heck of a time getting to sleep. It takes a long time to fall asleep, but once I am asleep I sleep like a baby.

A few months back I discovered that 3-4 beers in the evening makes me fall asleep fast and gives me a feeling of peace like nothing else can.

I was stupid enough to discuss this with my doctor, so now I have alcohol dependence in my medical records.

While drinking I gained 30 pounds, hated the hangovers, and decided last week that this needs to stop.

I am now two days into the horror that is alcohol withdrawal.

I have been awake for 37 hours.

Alcohol withdrawal will make your worst case of the flu feel like an orgasm.

I know I deserve it -- it's my punishment for beating up my liver -- and I know it passes, but the thing is, I drank alcohol because it worked.

I am convinced that I have the "overactive brain" component of alcohol dependence (I don't have a link, but I know I read about it on this board... I drank alcohol in an attempt to calm down the brain to a more normal state.)

Benzos are alcohol pills, and alcohol is a liquid benzo.

I have mentioned this to my doctor many, many times, and told him that the drinking was a desperate attempt to self-medicate, but he simply WILL NOT write a prescription for benzos "because they are addictive".

Yes, they are addictive. Big deal. Would you deny morphine to a terminally ill cancer patient just because he might get addicted to it? And isn't it better to be addicted to benzos than addicted to alcohol?

I take Paxil 20mg. It was effective for the social phobia until the drinking rendered it useless, but it never did anything for me in terms of helping me fall asleep.

Can anyone knowledgeable give me some information I can discuss with my psychiatrist
to convince him that a benzo is right for me? Anyone have any suggestions for a psychiatrist who is willing to prescribe benzos? (I'm in the Bellingham, Washington area)

Any comments, suggestions, or information would be greatly appreciated. I'm at my wit's end here.

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME

Posted by finelinebob on May 15, 2004, at 10:39:19

In reply to social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 5:01:07

I don't have much to say about the medication, but...

> I know I deserve it -- it's my punishment for beating up my liver -- and I know it passes, but the thing is, I drank alcohol because it worked.

No, you do NOT deserve it.

You may be experiencing a lot of pain right now, trying to rid yourself of something you thought would give you the relief you needed. But you don't **deserve** to be subjected to it.

hang in there,
flb

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME

Posted by becksA on May 15, 2004, at 10:43:02

In reply to Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by finelinebob on May 15, 2004, at 10:39:19

Dude, I have been in the same boat as you for such a long time. Finally I convinced my doctor to start me up on Xanax XR, and it has been a miracle for me. My Pdoc was exactly like yours, all I can say is if you can't find a way to get him to prescribe a benzo, just try another pdoc, and keep trying until you get one that will. They really are not that rare. Trust me, it's WELL worth the search. Good luck.

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME erik98225

Posted by Sad Panda on May 15, 2004, at 13:41:04

In reply to social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 5:01:07

> I have social phobia and have always had a heck of a time getting to sleep. It takes a long time to fall asleep, but once I am asleep I sleep like a baby.
>
> A few months back I discovered that 3-4 beers in the evening makes me fall asleep fast and gives me a feeling of peace like nothing else can.
>
> I was stupid enough to discuss this with my doctor, so now I have alcohol dependence in my medical records.
>
> While drinking I gained 30 pounds, hated the hangovers, and decided last week that this needs to stop.
>
> I am now two days into the horror that is alcohol withdrawal.
>
> I have been awake for 37 hours.
>
> Alcohol withdrawal will make your worst case of the flu feel like an orgasm.
>
> I know I deserve it -- it's my punishment for beating up my liver -- and I know it passes, but the thing is, I drank alcohol because it worked.
>
> I am convinced that I have the "overactive brain" component of alcohol dependence (I don't have a link, but I know I read about it on this board... I drank alcohol in an attempt to calm down the brain to a more normal state.)
>
> Benzos are alcohol pills, and alcohol is a liquid benzo.
>
> I have mentioned this to my doctor many, many times, and told him that the drinking was a desperate attempt to self-medicate, but he simply WILL NOT write a prescription for benzos "because they are addictive".
>
> Yes, they are addictive. Big deal. Would you deny morphine to a terminally ill cancer patient just because he might get addicted to it? And isn't it better to be addicted to benzos than addicted to alcohol?
>
> I take Paxil 20mg. It was effective for the social phobia until the drinking rendered it useless, but it never did anything for me in terms of helping me fall asleep.
>
> Can anyone knowledgeable give me some information I can discuss with my psychiatrist
> to convince him that a benzo is right for me? Anyone have any suggestions for a psychiatrist who is willing to prescribe benzos? (I'm in the Bellingham, Washington area)
>
> Any comments, suggestions, or information would be greatly appreciated. I'm at my wit's end here.
>
>

I think your doc is actually right not to give you benzos for sleep, as they are for short term insomnia only. Used longterm to force sleep & they actually cause sleep to deteriorate. You best bet is a sedating AD like Remeron or Doxepin taken in a low dose & added to your current SSRI.

Cheers,
Panda.


 

Why not benzos for sleep?

Posted by Guy on May 15, 2004, at 14:37:45

In reply to Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME erik98225, posted by Sad Panda on May 15, 2004, at 13:41:04

I don't understand why so many say benzos can't be used for sleep. What good are these meds if they don't let you sleep? Clonazepam reduces my anxiety and lets me sleep through the night. Without this med I have severe agitation and insomnia. Does everybody who takes clonazepam or valium end up taking something extra for sleep?

 

Re: Why not benzos for sleep?

Posted by zeugma on May 15, 2004, at 15:11:52

In reply to Why not benzos for sleep?, posted by Guy on May 15, 2004, at 14:37:45

Benzos are not ideal for sleep, as they tend to lose their effectiveness for this indication over time. But benzos are BETTER drugs (in terms of disruption of sleep architecture) than the SSRI's and other serotonergetic drugs that have acquired no 'phobes' among doctors yet :). Benzodiazepines cause less shift to stage 1 sleep, which results in frequent awakening and chronic fatigue, than Prozac, and can actually be used as an 'antidote' to the REM behavior disorder that is beginning to be pinned on SSRI's as a cause. (Of course, if someone develops any signs of REM behavior disorder while on an SSRI, *I* would think termination of the SSRI ASAP would be the indication.)

If you have social phobia AND chronic insomnia, I would recommend clonazepam and a sedating AD (the TCA's are great in this respect). As the SSRI era comes to a close studies are beginning to be done that reveal some neglected virtues of these old drugs. If you don't mind wading or skimming through technical material in order to get to the 'good part,' I recommend perusing the following article:

http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/86/8/3787

tricyclic antidepressants have been shown to down-regualte the HPA axis.

 

No TCAs for me Sad Panda

Posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 15:34:45

In reply to Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME erik98225, posted by Sad Panda on May 15, 2004, at 13:41:04

I've been on doxepin before. It left a bacterial, coated tongue taste in my mouth and did nothing for the social phobia. It DID work to put me to sleep -- and then kept on working for 3 more days! Talk about a hangover.

I hate being sedated all day. I want something that will be in and out of my system quickly.

Trazodone and Diphenhydramine have the exact same effect on me as doxepin. I'd rather have sleep problems than take any of those drugs.

 

Re: No TCAs for me erik98225

Posted by Sad Panda on May 16, 2004, at 1:12:00

In reply to No TCAs for me Sad Panda, posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 15:34:45

> I've been on doxepin before. It left a bacterial, coated tongue taste in my mouth and did nothing for the social phobia. It DID work to put me to sleep -- and then kept on working for 3 more days! Talk about a hangover.
>
> I hate being sedated all day. I want something that will be in and out of my system quickly.
>
> Trazodone and Diphenhydramine have the exact same effect on me as doxepin. I'd rather have sleep problems than take any of those drugs.
>
>

What doseage & for how long were you taking Doxepin & Trazodone? It takes a month to get use to Remeron. The antihistamine knockout effects fades away, but sleep still comes very easily when you want it. You can use Benzos for sleep only if the benzos are treating anxiety. The sedative effect goes away very rapidly, but for most people the anxiolytic effects stays. If your sleeplessness is purely from anxiety then benzos will relieve that anxiety & allow you to sleep naturally. If your sleeplessness is due to an over active mind, then beenzos can only be used for a few days.

Cheers,
Panda.


 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME

Posted by rvanson on May 16, 2004, at 1:14:14

In reply to social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 5:01:07

> I have social phobia and have always had a heck of a time getting to sleep. It takes a long time to fall asleep, but once I am asleep I sleep like a baby.
>
> A few months back I discovered that 3-4 beers in the evening makes me fall asleep fast and gives me a feeling of peace like nothing else can.
>
> I was stupid enough to discuss this with my doctor, so now I have alcohol dependence in my medical records.
>
> While drinking I gained 30 pounds, hated the hangovers, and decided last week that this needs to stop.
>
> I am now two days into the horror that is alcohol withdrawal.
>
> I have been awake for 37 hours.
>
> Alcohol withdrawal will make your worst case of the flu feel like an orgasm.
>
> I know I deserve it -- it's my punishment for beating up my liver -- and I know it passes, but the thing is, I drank alcohol because it worked.
>
> I am convinced that I have the "overactive brain" component of alcohol dependence (I don't have a link, but I know I read about it on this board... I drank alcohol in an attempt to calm down the brain to a more normal state.)
>
> Benzos are alcohol pills, and alcohol is a liquid benzo.
>
> I have mentioned this to my doctor many, many times, and told him that the drinking was a desperate attempt to self-medicate, but he simply WILL NOT write a prescription for benzos "because they are addictive".
>
> Yes, they are addictive. Big deal. Would you deny morphine to a terminally ill cancer patient just because he might get addicted to it? And isn't it better to be addicted to benzos than addicted to alcohol?
>
> I take Paxil 20mg. It was effective for the social phobia until the drinking rendered it useless, but it never did anything for me in terms of helping me fall asleep.
>
> Can anyone knowledgeable give me some information I can discuss with my psychiatrist
> to convince him that a benzo is right for me? Anyone have any suggestions for a psychiatrist who is willing to prescribe benzos? (I'm in the Bellingham, Washington area)
>
> Any comments, suggestions, or information would be greatly appreciated. I'm at my wit's end here.


First off, dump your doctor. Forget about him/her changing thiers minds...it wont happen.

Most docs these days are HMO docs and care more about making $$$ and staying out of a courtroom, then about your QOL (quality of life).

Now the hard part begins.

You need to find a doc that wont use the records of the old doc to keep you off of benzos.

I hope you like lying and falsifying your medical history, but that is what it will take here, if you want to get on some real medication that will help, aka a benzodiazapine.

And stay off the booze ASAP.

I know it feels helpful, but its not in the long-term.

Sad to say that it comes to this, but thats what the American HMO system has done to medical care.

 

Re: Why not benzos for sleep? Guy

Posted by Caper on May 16, 2004, at 1:19:53

In reply to Why not benzos for sleep?, posted by Guy on May 15, 2004, at 14:37:45

Just wanted to say that I agree with you on the benzos for sleep issue, IF they are prescribed and taken responsibly. My mother has been taking a low dose of Klonopin every night for years now and has never had to increase the dosage. Without it, she simply cannot get a decent night's sleep but with it, she's just fine. And to answer your question: No, not everyone ends up needing something in addition to benzos. My Mom has never expressed the slightest interest in adding something else to the Klonopin. She's been fine with just a half milligram of it for years. She takes nothing else for sleep and never has.

I guess people's concern, which is valid I think, is that some people cannot control their usage and may wind up addicted, conning doctors out of more pills, seeing more than one doctor, using the meds in the daytime too...that sort of thing.

But in general I think the benzos have an unfairly bad reputation. They are very safe, very affordable, and very tolerable as far as side effects. I believe that if people get in trouble with benzos, the doctor is to blame, not the medication. As long as a person is not seeing multiple doctors or lying to the doctor who prescribes his benzos, he should not be able to obtain enough of the pills to get in trouble with them.

Best wishes.

Caper

> I don't understand why so many say benzos can't be used for sleep. What good are these meds if they don't let you sleep? Clonazepam reduces my anxiety and lets me sleep through the night. Without this med I have severe agitation and insomnia. Does everybody who takes clonazepam or valium end up taking something extra for sleep?

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME

Posted by Keith Talent on May 16, 2004, at 1:24:36

In reply to Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by rvanson on May 16, 2004, at 1:14:14

I consider it outrageous that you were labelled an alcoholic when you were drinking four beers a day. In any case, if the physician thinks you are dependent, she should have given you a benzo to blunt the withdrawal effects. Also, acamprosate is being marketed to reduce alcohol cravings. I don't have any experience of it/don't know if it really works.

To leave your social phobia untreated and your insomnia uninvestigated is inhumane and negligent. Go to another physician/psychiatrist right away.

 

Re: No TCAs for me Sad Panda

Posted by erik98225 on May 16, 2004, at 2:04:04

In reply to Re: No TCAs for me erik98225, posted by Sad Panda on May 16, 2004, at 1:12:00

> What doseage & for how long were you taking Doxepin & Trazodone? It takes a month to get use to Remeron. The antihistamine knockout effects fades away, but sleep still comes very easily when you want it.

I was on 50mg Doxepin for 3 months. I was on 25mg Trazdone for one day.

The trazodone disaster happened about 3 months ago when I came crawling to my pdoc, desperate for "a way to fall asleep without beer". He suggested Imipramine, at which point I launched myself into a heated discussion of tricyclic side effects and specifically asked for "something that's not an antihistamine". He said that trazodone is unrelated to the trycyclics and wouldn't cause those effects.

I took the 25mg of trazodone, and I was OUT within two minutes. You literally have to be already lying in your bed when you take that stuff.

The next morning, I discovered to my horror that trazodone causes all of the antihistamine side effects and more. I was dizzy and faint when I woke up to turn my alarm off. The entire day I literally had to struggle to keep my eyes open. The entire day I felt extremely depressed. I had dry mouth and heart palpitations. I flushed the rest of the trazodone down the toilet that afternoon and I was cursed by these side effects for three more days without taking any more trazodone.

Too high a dose, you say? Well, 25mg is a HALF of the smallest tablet available. Cut it any smaller and all you'd get is dust.

Apparently, any drug that remotely resembles an antihistamine affects me in an extremely bad way -- which is annoying, because I have really bad allergies in the summertime.

I then went back to my pdoc and told him about my not-so-good experience with trazodone, and asked "is there anything like alcohol without hangovers and liver damage". He said "yes, there are benzodiapenzines, but they are addictive."

Then, I asked him, "what would you give me if I was coming to you with JUST A SLEEP PROBLEM?" He said "we don't prescribe Ambien and Sonata unless your mom just died and you have final exams tomorrow." Because they are addictive.

Then, he asked if I'd ever tried Melatonin. I told him that I tried it about a year ago because it was touted as "all-natural" and "no hangover". Well, guess what -- I was cutting the tablets into quarters and eighths and still getting a trazodone-style hangover.

Then, he said "from the melatonin, or the beer you washed it down with?" (I don't think he's ever tasted a beer)

At that, I went apesh_t. "I DIDN'T WASH IT DOWN WITH BEER! EVERY SLEEP MEDICATION I'VE TRIED WAS IN AN ATTEMPT TO FALL ASLEEP WITHOUT BEER!"

All this was prior to starting Paxil, the only medication that's ever done anything helpful for me.

BTW I am 23, male, and 175 lbs.


> You can use Benzos for sleep only if the benzos are treating anxiety. The sedative effect goes away very rapidly, but for most people the anxiolytic effects stays. If your sleeplessness is purely from anxiety then benzos will relieve that anxiety & allow you to sleep naturally. If your sleeplessness is due to an over active mind, then beenzos can only be used for a few days.

That is the point. It's not a question of being tired or not, it's a question of am I worrying too much to fall asleep.

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME

Posted by erik98225 on May 16, 2004, at 2:15:32

In reply to Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by rvanson on May 16, 2004, at 1:14:14

> Sad to say that it comes to this, but thats what the American HMO system has done to medical care.

I live one mile away from the Canadian border. I have seriously considered falsifying a Canadian birth certificate to have access to the free healthcare.

LOL.

 

Benzo addiction Caper

Posted by erik98225 on May 16, 2004, at 2:22:14

In reply to Re: Why not benzos for sleep? Guy, posted by Caper on May 16, 2004, at 1:19:53

> I guess people's concern, which is valid I think, is that some people cannot control their usage and may wind up addicted, conning doctors out of more pills, seeing more than one doctor, using the meds in the daytime too...that sort of thing.

My pdoc doesn't want to prescribe me benzos because I have "alcohol dependence", and with benzos you're basically getting alcohol in a pill.

I disagree with his diagnosis of me as an alcoholic. I can't imagine having a drink with dinner. I don't want to get high -- I want to EAT! I don't like to get drunk, and I don't even THINK about alcohol until late at night, when I say "some beer would feel really good right now. Time to calm down, so I can sleep."

During my numerous arguments with my pdoc over the relative risks and benefits of benzos, I have asked "can't you write me a non-refillable rx for like a 14 day supply, to just SEE if it works?" I mentioned that "I can have a roommate dispense the pills so I won't get drunk of them" -- and he STILL won't budge.

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME

Posted by erik98225 on May 16, 2004, at 2:23:24

In reply to Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by Keith Talent on May 16, 2004, at 1:24:36

> I consider it outrageous that you were labelled an alcoholic when you were drinking four beers a day. In any case, if the physician thinks you are dependent, she should have given you a benzo to blunt the withdrawal effects. Also, acamprosate is being marketed to reduce alcohol cravings. I don't have any experience of it/don't know if it really works.

Turns out it wasn't alcohol withdrawal.

Just a return of the anxiety that always kept me awake before I started drinking.

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME erik98225

Posted by Caper on May 16, 2004, at 2:30:01

In reply to social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 5:01:07

Hi Erik,

I couldn't help being drawn to your message. You sound so much like I was about a year and a half ago. Depression and PTSD gave me such anxiety and insomnia that when I discovered alcohol I thought "This is GREAT! It's affordable, legal, and I can get as much as I want!" But it's a cruel, evil trap. Whatever happens you need to stop the alcohol, even if it means an in-patient detox program. I started out like you, drinking a moderate amount for sleep and ended up drinking 6 bottles of wine or a litre of vodka a day- and this progression took only about 9 months. I gained about 60lbs myself, til I switched from wine to hard liquor. Don't let this happen to you!

As far as sleep goes, have you ever tried trazadone? It's technically an antidepressant, but it's so sedating that it usually cannot be used for that because few people can tolerate the therapeutic dosage. It's not considered addictive and is also very inexpensive. There are really quite a few meds out there that are not technically "sleeping pills" but will definitely put you out for the night!

As far as your psychiatrist, if he's diagnosed you as "alcohol dependent" then he is supposed to treat it- and NOT by making you suffer with no meds. Alcohol withdrawal can be quite dangerous really- heart rate, blood pressure go up, chance of seizures exist. (Not meaning to scare you, just to give you things to remind your doctor!) Some docs seem to have "detox" and "withdrawal" confused. Detox is a controlled stopping of the alcohol use. Withdrawal is just letting the patient suffer.

If your doc has diagnosed you as alcohol dependent then he needs to TREAT it, not just let you suffer. His concern might be that you will mix alcohol and benzos with potentially fatal consequences. But if he's willing and you're willing, I've heard of people getting only a few days worth of Ativan, Valium, Librium or whatever at a time. Yes you'd have to keep picking up scripts every few days, but it should help the doc be sure you are taking the pills as prescribed, not using them all up in one day for a "high". He can also slowly taper the dosage of the benzos to make sure you don't become addicted/dependent on a benzo in place of alcohol.

This can work for some people, but others need an in-patient detox program to start off with. This is valuable in two ways: First: they give you benzos and slowly taper them based on how bad your physical and mental withdrawal symptoms are. Second: a general psychiatric admission would give you a chance to come up with better meds than you are on now, since they are obviously not working as well as they should- otherwise you'd be able to control the social phobia AND be able to get regular sleep without alcohol.

As a last resort, I have to admit that I once went to a new doctor and did not admit my alcoholism- only my PTSD and sleep problems. I got a fairly generous prescription for benzos, but decided to check into a short term detox program anyway. (When I realized I doubted my ability to stay off the alcohol even with Valium at my side.)

Anyway, I'm not advocating lying to doctors, but I think an un-medicated detox is just plain cruel and pointless. It happened to me too and it's one of the worst memories of my life.

Bottom line (sorry, I know I ramble, but I just have very strong feelings about this subject) is maybe you need a psychiatrist who is more educated on substance abuse. He should at least have given you information on detox programs!

One last thing: you say you know "you deserve it". That is not true. No one picks up the drink thinking "let's get addicted, that would be so cool!" You were right when you said you were self-medicating- you were trying to feel better, not do something bad. Try not to beat yourself up too much about that okay?

I'm all the way across the country from you so I can't help out with doctor referrals, but I wish you the best of luck. If you want to know anything about inpatient detox, feel free to ask. I'll be glad to answer any questions I can.

Best of luck,

Caper
Caper@playful.com


> I have social phobia and have always had a heck of a time getting to sleep. It takes a long time to fall asleep, but once I am asleep I sleep like a baby.
>
> A few months back I discovered that 3-4 beers in the evening makes me fall asleep fast and gives me a feeling of peace like nothing else can.
>
> I was stupid enough to discuss this with my doctor, so now I have alcohol dependence in my medical records.
>
> While drinking I gained 30 pounds, hated the hangovers, and decided last week that this needs to stop.
>
> I am now two days into the horror that is alcohol withdrawal.
>
> I have been awake for 37 hours.
>
> Alcohol withdrawal will make your worst case of the flu feel like an orgasm.
>
> I know I deserve it -- it's my punishment for beating up my liver -- and I know it passes, but the thing is, I drank alcohol because it worked.
>
> I am convinced that I have the "overactive brain" component of alcohol dependence (I don't have a link, but I know I read about it on this board... I drank alcohol in an attempt to calm down the brain to a more normal state.)
>
> Benzos are alcohol pills, and alcohol is a liquid benzo.
>
> I have mentioned this to my doctor many, many times, and told him that the drinking was a desperate attempt to self-medicate, but he simply WILL NOT write a prescription for benzos "because they are addictive".
>
> Yes, they are addictive. Big deal. Would you deny morphine to a terminally ill cancer patient just because he might get addicted to it? And isn't it better to be addicted to benzos than addicted to alcohol?
>
> I take Paxil 20mg. It was effective for the social phobia until the drinking rendered it useless, but it never did anything for me in terms of helping me fall asleep.
>
> Can anyone knowledgeable give me some information I can discuss with my psychiatrist
> to convince him that a benzo is right for me? Anyone have any suggestions for a psychiatrist who is willing to prescribe benzos? (I'm in the Bellingham, Washington area)
>
> Any comments, suggestions, or information would be greatly appreciated. I'm at my wit's end here.

> I have social phobia and have always had a heck of a time getting to sleep. It takes a long time to fall asleep, but once I am asleep I sleep like a baby.
>
> A few months back I discovered that 3-4 beers in the evening makes me fall asleep fast and gives me a feeling of peace like nothing else can.
>
> I was stupid enough to discuss this with my doctor, so now I have alcohol dependence in my medical records.
>
> While drinking I gained 30 pounds, hated the hangovers, and decided last week that this needs to stop.
>
> I am now two days into the horror that is alcohol withdrawal.
>
> I have been awake for 37 hours.
>
> Alcohol withdrawal will make your worst case of the flu feel like an orgasm.
>
> I know I deserve it -- it's my punishment for beating up my liver -- and I know it passes, but the thing is, I drank alcohol because it worked.
>
> I am convinced that I have the "overactive brain" component of alcohol dependence (I don't have a link, but I know I read about it on this board... I drank alcohol in an attempt to calm down the brain to a more normal state.)
>
> Benzos are alcohol pills, and alcohol is a liquid benzo.
>
> I have mentioned this to my doctor many, many times, and told him that the drinking was a desperate attempt to self-medicate, but he simply WILL NOT write a prescription for benzos "because they are addictive".
>
> Yes, they are addictive. Big deal. Would you deny morphine to a terminally ill cancer patient just because he might get addicted to it? And isn't it better to be addicted to benzos than addicted to alcohol?
>
> I take Paxil 20mg. It was effective for the social phobia until the drinking rendered it useless, but it never did anything for me in terms of helping me fall asleep.
>
> Can anyone knowledgeable give me some information I can discuss with my psychiatrist
> to convince him that a benzo is right for me? Anyone have any suggestions for a psychiatrist who is willing to prescribe benzos? (I'm in the Bellingham, Washington area)
>
> Any comments, suggestions, or information would be greatly appreciated. I'm at my wit's end here.

 

Re: Benzo addiction

Posted by Caper on May 16, 2004, at 2:54:35

In reply to Benzo addiction Caper, posted by erik98225 on May 16, 2004, at 2:22:14

I understand your frustration, believe me. When I first admitted my problem to my shrink, the first thing she did was stop all my meds that might possibly have addicted me. Honestly I think the docs are worried about legal liability if you DID overdose or get addicted to the pills.

I never drank to get drunk either, I was just so incredibly tense and drinking seemed a harmless, easy solution. But Erik, if you're having physical withdrawal symptoms, I think you probably ARE an alcoholic, or fast on your way to becoming one. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I'm pretty sure it's true.

Is there any chance of switching docs to an addiction specialist? And what about a short term in-patient detox to start you off?

Again (I feel bad saying this) but as a last resort you could always go to one of those walk in medical clinics and say you're having a terrible time sleeping/relaxing at bedtime, that it is affecting your work and/or classes and that you'd tried Valium (or whatever) once before a long time ago and it worked. Say it's a temporary situation (like exam stress, a recent death in the family, dumped your girlfriend...something like that) so they won't be scared you're "drug seeking" and will be back again and again for more and more each time.

You probably will get a pretty stingy prescription, but then it really doesn't take much. I found the 3rd day of detox the hardest as far as irritability and anxiety, though the sleep was better by then.

Anyway, ordinarily I'd never ever suggest keeping info from docs but I think in this case it's the lesser of the two evils. If you keep drinking your use will almost certainly just get worse.

But consider the other suggestions too if you can. Either get a better psychiatrist or think about a short term detox program.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

> > I guess people's concern, which is valid I think, is that some people cannot control their usage and may wind up addicted, conning doctors out of more pills, seeing more than one doctor, using the meds in the daytime too...that sort of thing.
>
> My pdoc doesn't want to prescribe me benzos because I have "alcohol dependence", and with benzos you're basically getting alcohol in a pill.
>
> I disagree with his diagnosis of me as an alcoholic. I can't imagine having a drink with dinner. I don't want to get high -- I want to EAT! I don't like to get drunk, and I don't even THINK about alcohol until late at night, when I say "some beer would feel really good right now. Time to calm down, so I can sleep."
>
> During my numerous arguments with my pdoc over the relative risks and benefits of benzos, I have asked "can't you write me a non-refillable rx for like a 14 day supply, to just SEE if it works?" I mentioned that "I can have a roommate dispense the pills so I won't get drunk of them" -- and he STILL won't budge.

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP erik98225

Posted by harryp on May 16, 2004, at 5:45:18

In reply to social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 5:01:07

Hey!

Sorry about your problems.

Personally, I think benzos might be a problem because your insomnia and social phobia seems so chronic. I don't think dependence is so much an issue as tolerance. If you take a benzo regularly, it tends to lose its effect and you have to raise the dose. [this doesn't always happen, of course]

I've taken ativan for years (2-4mg day depending on situations) and may be dependent (who cares) but I think because my dosing is for "episodes" and is not regular, I haven't ever had to raise my average dose.

I've always noticed that the excessive effect of Trazadone seems to wear off with time. I would seriously consider asking a pharmacist to compound 10 mg capsules, or else just use quarter chunks of the pills (catch the dust over a glass of water before you drink it). Make sure you don't mix it with alcohol, since in my experience that increases the "drug hangover effect."

 

Re: No TCAs for me erik98225

Posted by Sad Panda on May 16, 2004, at 9:12:22

In reply to Re: No TCAs for me Sad Panda, posted by erik98225 on May 16, 2004, at 2:04:04

> > What doseage & for how long were you taking Doxepin & Trazodone? It takes a month to get use to Remeron. The antihistamine knockout effects fades away, but sleep still comes very easily when you want it.
>
> I was on 50mg Doxepin for 3 months. I was on 25mg Trazdone for one day.
>
> The trazodone disaster happened about 3 months ago when I came crawling to my pdoc, desperate for "a way to fall asleep without beer". He suggested Imipramine, at which point I launched myself into a heated discussion of tricyclic side effects and specifically asked for "something that's not an antihistamine". He said that trazodone is unrelated to the trycyclics and wouldn't cause those effects.
>
> I took the 25mg of trazodone, and I was OUT within two minutes. You literally have to be already lying in your bed when you take that stuff.
>
> The next morning, I discovered to my horror that trazodone causes all of the antihistamine side effects and more. I was dizzy and faint when I woke up to turn my alarm off. The entire day I literally had to struggle to keep my eyes open. The entire day I felt extremely depressed. I had dry mouth and heart palpitations. I flushed the rest of the trazodone down the toilet that afternoon and I was cursed by these side effects for three more days without taking any more trazodone.
>
> Too high a dose, you say? Well, 25mg is a HALF of the smallest tablet available. Cut it any smaller and all you'd get is dust.
>
> Apparently, any drug that remotely resembles an antihistamine affects me in an extremely bad way -- which is annoying, because I have really bad allergies in the summertime.
>
> I then went back to my pdoc and told him about my not-so-good experience with trazodone, and asked "is there anything like alcohol without hangovers and liver damage". He said "yes, there are benzodiapenzines, but they are addictive."
>
> Then, I asked him, "what would you give me if I was coming to you with JUST A SLEEP PROBLEM?" He said "we don't prescribe Ambien and Sonata unless your mom just died and you have final exams tomorrow." Because they are addictive.
>
> Then, he asked if I'd ever tried Melatonin. I told him that I tried it about a year ago because it was touted as "all-natural" and "no hangover". Well, guess what -- I was cutting the tablets into quarters and eighths and still getting a trazodone-style hangover.
>
> Then, he said "from the melatonin, or the beer you washed it down with?" (I don't think he's ever tasted a beer)
>
> At that, I went apesh_t. "I DIDN'T WASH IT DOWN WITH BEER! EVERY SLEEP MEDICATION I'VE TRIED WAS IN AN ATTEMPT TO FALL ASLEEP WITHOUT BEER!"
>
> All this was prior to starting Paxil, the only medication that's ever done anything helpful for me.
>
> BTW I am 23, male, and 175 lbs.
>
>
> > You can use Benzos for sleep only if the benzos are treating anxiety. The sedative effect goes away very rapidly, but for most people the anxiolytic effects stays. If your sleeplessness is purely from anxiety then benzos will relieve that anxiety & allow you to sleep naturally. If your sleeplessness is due to an over active mind, then beenzos can only be used for a few days.
>
> That is the point. It's not a question of being tired or not, it's a question of am I worrying too much to fall asleep.
>
>

Trazodone isn't a antihistamine, Doxepin, OTOH, is. Something they have in common is they are both strong Alpha-1 NE blockers which causes the orthostatic hypotension side effect that most of the TCA's & AP drugs have. I would still recommend a trial of Remeron, it has no A1-NE blockade, so you won't get dissy & fall over. I would start you at 7.5mg. Your Doxepin dose was way too high, 25 mg is generally enough for sleep.

Benzos for sleep probably is a bad idea for you, if you got yourself in to trouble drinking too much beer, you will have the same problem benzos.

Cheers,
Panda.

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME

Posted by rvanson on May 16, 2004, at 21:42:48

In reply to Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by erik98225 on May 16, 2004, at 2:15:32

> > Sad to say that it comes to this, but thats what the American HMO system has done to medical care.
>
> I live one mile away from the Canadian border. I have seriously considered falsifying a Canadian birth certificate to have access to the free healthcare.
>
> LOL.

Yeah, and it would be better healthcare then what is served up here in the US, by all accounts.

One of my favorite doctors committed suicide when the US HMO healthcare system shut his practice down, after they determined that he was giving too much time and tests to his sick patients.

I cant wait to get back at these money-mongers and help get National healthcare online here in the US by voting the Democrat ticket.

 

Re: social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME erik98225

Posted by RobertPalsing on May 17, 2004, at 5:50:41

In reply to social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 5:01:07

If you have extreme social phobia and fear of being in social situations, that's definitely high anxiety. This might include racing or uncontrollable thoughts that make life very draining and at the end of the day you might just feel like you want your brain to shut up. Anyway, that was a small tangent.

I told my doctor something to this effect: I am in pain. I have massive anxiety and the medicine I'm on IS NOT WORKING. I need something immediately for anxiety because it is inhibiting my daily life. Until I'm on a different medicine that gets rid of this anxiety, I need a benzo to calm me down and help me make it through.

Only some doctors are hesitant to prescribe them, and you will probably find that as you cycle through doctors, each one becomes successively lenient. As you discover yourself and your problems and learn about the medicine you take, your next doctor will realize that you know what you are talking about and will probably prescribe you what you want if you talk to him/her about it. Good luck.

-"Bob"

 

XYREM-the only true anti-dep/anxiety med

Posted by Peoples on May 17, 2004, at 13:37:10

In reply to social phobia insomnia, benzophobic dr., HELP ME, posted by erik98225 on May 15, 2004, at 5:01:07

Well best to stay away from the benzos regardless, as they can be depressing in and of themselves and they tend to unavoidably decrease cognitive functioning in the long run. Keep trying different doctors even neurologists until you find one compassionate enough to presribe you xyrem.
xyrem is GHB, recently FDA approved for cataplexy and very difficult to obtain (especially for psych conditions). As for me personally, ive tryed about 25 different ad's of every class, several benzos, AP's (nightmare), and even stims, to NO avail whatsoever. Found the right doc and established a good rapport, and know i take xyrem tid. It was been a MIRACLE, i am not only not fearful of anything social (work, family, friemds, parties, any situation)i am a "social butterfly" now. I feel like im the person i always wanted to be, I have those witty comebacks, jokes, etc that I was too paralyzed with fear to let out(the ones that u always seem to think of after the fact lol), in fact, dare I say it, but i am popular now :) my grades have soared, i have a positive outlook on life its wonderful!!!
As a word of caution, of course, this substance must be respected, and monitored closely by your doc, and the importance of correct dosage cannot be understated. Most of all, only responsible, mature patients who are serious about getting well (not getting worse by abusing their meds) need apply.

Best Wishes - Peeps

 

Re: XYREM-the only true anti-dep/anxiety med Peoples

Posted by erik98225 on May 17, 2004, at 23:17:53

In reply to XYREM-the only true anti-dep/anxiety med, posted by Peoples on May 17, 2004, at 13:37:10

GHB the date rape drug? You can't be serious, can you?

 

Re: XYREM-the only true anti-dep/anxiety med Peoples

Posted by jodeye on May 17, 2004, at 23:39:28

In reply to XYREM-the only true anti-dep/anxiety med, posted by Peoples on May 17, 2004, at 13:37:10

Peeps -- Just wondering how many ml's of xyrem per dose and at what times of day? Was your initial dosing based on body weight? Thanks. --Jay

 

Re: XYREM-the only true anti-dep/anxiety med

Posted by snapper on May 18, 2004, at 1:11:23

In reply to Re: XYREM-the only true anti-dep/anxiety med Peoples, posted by jodeye on May 17, 2004, at 23:39:28

Peoples, I don't know you and therefore can NOT judge you or your previous psychiatric conditions but what kind of money and 'Super rapport' with a splendid doc afford you to your new found life of bliss. I am sorry to be ultra-negative (my serious depression speaking....truly sorry for any conotations of sarcasim) GHB my GOD!!! We here on PB are all trying to get well with the current state sanctioned heterogenous class of 'anti-depressants & semi-questionable anxiolytics' that are offically labeled as "safe" and effective by the {FDA} in treating serious conditions of mind numbing depression and blood curdling states of anxiety. What do you seriously think the chances are that even 1 or 2 percent of us here on PB would be able to get a doc to prescribe GHB for our ill states of mental health?
Any thing 'that good' is either ill-legal, contraband or otherwise and besides do you really think that all the pdocs want to risk losing thier precious, chronic, miserable, patients. (yes I am aware that it is FDA approved for a few select dis-orders and conditions) If it was the "only true anti-dep and anxiety med" , do you think that You , myself or anyone else here that frequents this board..would even have need for places like this. I am not attacking you-however I hope you use extreme caution in using this rather unstable molocule. (chemist correct me if I am wrong about its' un-predictable properties)
In any case I am glad you have found your 'nirvana'.....but please be careful and good luck!
Snapper


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