cutecat25

When I don't take a benzo my anxiety is unbearable, but I don't want to take them every day?

Recommended Posts

I study  4 days a week, and this year I have taken a benzo everyday I go to college because if I don't take one my anxiety is absolutely unbearable.
I actually took the day off college today to avoid having to take a benzo, because I feel I have been relying on them too much. 
What can I do? If I take them I am able to have a life, if I don't I am practically housebound.
I have tried Anti depressants and they didn't work for me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope someone can answer this for you cause I have that problem too. My anxiety is so bad tho that they gave me instructions to take them 3x a day. But I dont like taking pills so I cut them in half and take two a day....every once in a while three. So tops I take 1 and a half a day....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Benzos are not recommended to treat long term anxiety for this very reason. You become dependent on them and your body gets used to the dose and needs more and you end up with anxiety symptoms because your body needs more of the drug (tolerance withdrawal) You can wean off them slowly but don't do it without the help of your doctor. You might even end up feeling better without the benzos. CBT is great, I agree with JJ, it helped me a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried different therapists and no luck.

The thing is I get constant anxiety symptoms, so exposure therapy isn't useful in that sense.

Also because I don't take them every single day, on the days I don't take them am I doing myself damage?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No you are not doing yourself damage cat if you are going days without taking them, that's a good thing, the less the better. It doesn't have to be exposure therapy, my CBT was part learning how to live with the symptoms, they only exist because my body is 'stuck' Fear feeds them, doubt feeds them you have to accept them, ignore them and don't avoid because of them. It may take years for me to lose them, or I may never lose them but by not feeding them they aren't as severe now, I try not to react to them, yes I sometimes fail but I know it's going to take time, I have been like it for over 10 years. 

 

When you take a benzo your anxiety is better, can you tell yourself you will be ok, you do not need the pill as the anxiety cannot hurt you? And gradually maybe you wouldn't feel so bad when you don't take one? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gilly is 100% right. And I used to have constant symptoms too. I was on xanax all the time because my symptoms were constant. CBT can just help break the cycle. Its probably not a total cure, but it can help with getting off the benzo cycle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I just joined this site. I was looking for people who understand anxiety and don't think I'm crazy. I've suffered 15yrs with panic attacks and for 10 years I've been on valium. I was taking 3 10mgs a day. For the last year I've got down to 5mgs one time a day. More on really bad days. I can know go 1 to 2 days with none. But that 3rd day I feel sick to my stomach, dizzy and just not right..I get discouraged and feel like I'll never be able to go without the valium. I have learned to catch the panic attack before it gets going. My best trick is lay on my back with feet up on wall so blood rushes back to the brain. Breathing slow and in a paperbag works wonders..the last yr or so, I really don't have the attacks much but I have other symptoms. I feel motion sick. Like the room is moving. My body feels like its weighted down. Just feel odd. And I fight off takin a valium until I just can't stand it anymore. Well that's a overview of my situation. Lol sorry it's so long. I'm just hoping for anyone who knows what it's like. Feeling like I'm the only person that has this problem and I'm alone in this battle...peace and love to all on this site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cat and Kay:

 

Hello there, I am also new to the site and am in a similar situation. I have been taking Xanax 1.5 mg a day for nearly two years now. Trust me, I tried everything else before going this route because benzo's are highly addictive. Personally, CBT wasn't very effective for me when I was younger. I think a BIG reason it didn't help me was because at the time I was unwilling to do the work and accept myself, let alone my anxiety.

 

I don't know if either of you have done any research on what benzo's do to your brain, but in a nutshell they increase neurotransmitters which help stimulate calmness. After taking them for a while, however, your liver and brain do exact opposites of each other. Your brain says: "Hmm, it seems as though you've learned how to calm yourself down, no need to continue overproducing these neurotransmitters," while your liver says "Whoa, there's too much of this benzo in your system, so I'm going to create benzo destroying enzymes to protect myself." This is why, if you can get away with it, people shouldn't take them everyday because your body slowly grows immune to their effectiveness and that's why people periodically have their dosage increased like Gilly was saying in an earlier post. 

 

I am not at a point in my life where I can go off benzo's completely, but I definitely don't feel ashamed because I take them. I look at it like this: if I can make it through the day without taking my medication, great! However, I'm not going to let myself suffer another anxiety attack because I feel guilty about taking a drug which helps me. If the anxiety is tolerable, I try to manage, if it's not I take my medicine and don't think twice about it. CBT can only help so much and it takes a lot of effort, diligence, and most of all: time.  Like most people have said in this post, I am slowly seeing improvement. Perhaps a mixture of both medication and CBT would work for you, Cat because it seems to me you're not abusing your meds, you're just worried about what will happen if you don't take it. I can assure you any doctor would tell you this is a good thing and benzos should only be taken 'as needed.' 

 

Kay, you are not crazy. Some people have more severe anxiety than others, and you are certainly not alone. I was diagnosed with GAD two years ago after my divorce and I tried all sorts of different tricks to calm myself down. Eventually, I started taking a benzo, which has helped, but it's like a band-aid. The reason you probably feel these other symptoms is because you've been on Valium for such a long time. It's nothing to be ashamed of, or feel bad about, but your body has probably built a tolerance for it which means if you were used to taking it daily and have recently tried to weaning yourself off by yourself, the side effects are going to be hard to deal with. If I were you, I would speak to my doctor about weaning off of it rather than going days without it. You're body has grown accustomed to taking a medication which is highly addictive. Don't fight it. Take your medicine as directed and if you feel like you're ready to stop taking it, do it under a physician's care! The best way to get off any benzo is slowly, you can't stop cold turkey. Otherwise, you will continue feeling the symptoms you've described.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Peach   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm taking 2 mg of Xanax and 40 of Paxil and I'm still terrible anxious ,worse in the mornings, I don't know what to do, I don't want to get addicted to Xanax but I can't function without it even though is not a complete solution

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been on Xanax and 40 mg of Celexa for almost 14 years. I know all these facts are correct. I tried so many other meds and nothing else even begin to help me. I'm on .5 mg 4 or 5 times a day. Definitely addicted. I see know way out at this point. I thinks its absolutely wonderful that others can come off of this med but personally I'm not one of them. Maybe one day in the future I can end this addiction. I'm hopeful. I have so many issues and a terrible home life that if I don't take them I'm not sure what would happen. I wish the best for all of you and if anything else helps you with your anxiety please take that route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure my last post came across the correct way. I'm not advising anyone to start taking benzos. If you can find any other way NOT to take benzos that is definitely the way to go. Sometimes I look back and think maybe I didn't try hard enough and gave into the Xanax. Now here I am 14 years later. People do look down on me for taking them and it makes me feel ashamed. I'm the one going through all this mess so I try to accept myself and hold my head up regardless of what other people think of me.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lizzie:

 

No one in this world is in the position to judge you for taking a medication which helps you combat a disorder you simply cannot help. People who do are those who do not understand what you're going through. We are all different, and although we may share similar symptoms and experiences when it comes to anxiety, no one can possibly know what your experience feels like but you. Trust me, I've heard it all: "it's just in your head," "mind over matter," "try some breathing exercises," etc. These suggestions could come from friends, family members, a physician, or even a therapist and while, for some, CBT works miracles, there are others who simply can't function properly without medication, especially when taking a benzo for such a long period of time. 

 

After fourteen years on Xanax it would be a miracle if you weren't addicted to it, but that doesn't mean you should feel ashamed. It would be one thing if you were taking it just to get high. It sounds to me, in your case, your body has simply grown accustomed to it. This is completely normal considering how this drug works.The longer you consume it, the more you have to take in order to keep those GABA neurotransmitters firing away. It is a vicious cycle I would not advocate for anyone but for those who truly need it. I am one of those people, Lizzie, and while I have been only been taking Xanax for two years, I have seen positive changes in managing my anxiety, and I don't feel bad about it because it helps me function in a society that which would normally make me a nervous wreck. While I understand your feelings of guilt, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. Giving into your anxiety would be a much worse than trying to combat it any way you can.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Peach 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peach,

 

Thanks for the kind words and support. It is family that is ashamed of me and my condition. At this point, all I can do is live one day at a time and hope for the best. :)

 

Always nice to have people that understand. Once again, Thank You

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello my name is Monica and i suffer from a terrible case of anxiety an panic attacks. I to know how it is to avoid places so that you may feel better an not have to take a benzo to calm you. But, i think if it helps you and you take the recomended dose given by your doctor you should be just fine. I understand when you say your family is ashamed and thats very difficult in itsef. Im going threw the same thing. And all i can tell them is to do their own research about it an maybe just maybe they can have a clue as to what im going threw. But. many people who dont suffer like we do will never know how it feels to walk a day in our shoes. Also i agree with the other posters about CBT therapy as im begining myself. So far its helping. Good luck to you. And keep us posted')

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.