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Xanax Dependence - Please Help
  1. #1
    Haypress is offline Junior Member
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    Default Xanax Dependence - Please Help

    Hi all,

    I understand everyone has different brain chemistry. But those who have experienced and used Benzos on and off for years. Could you please answer a few questions?

    How long would it take to develope a physical dependence if you were taking 2mg of Xanax a day?

    If you take off days inbetween (1-3) would this help lower the chances in developing a physical dependence?

    I appreciate any insight. You'r help is always appreciated.

  2. #2
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    You do not want to add xanax into your life if you can help it. Xanax has a really short halflife and wears off quickly. Skipping days does no good as it is out of your system in 6-12 hours.There are dr.s out there who will prescribe it over long periods of time, xanax should only be prescribed for short periods. I mean a matter of a few weeks, not months. In fact it's banned in britain, I believe it is the worst of all the benzo drugs. period. If you only need this for a matter of days: ie. the thomas recipe, well o.k. Long Term, it is nothing short of the DEVIL. I posted to you on Need to Talk, Ask the folks there. Are you doing this for a way to get off the lortabs? Or are you thinking long term? if you are forget it. You need to learn to deal with your anxiety, there is always an underlying reason for anxiety and ways to deal with it that doesn't involve drugs. (don't mean to be harsh, I have anxiety myself)

    IloeRose

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    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Didn't answer you question about the physical dependance: That is a relatively high dose of xanax. It doesn't take long for that insidious drug to build a dependency on it. Benzo use of any kind is a very, very, bad idea over the long term. You think opiate w/d is bad and scary? Benzo w/d is a complete nightmare.

  4. #4
    Haypress is offline Junior Member
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    Rose,

    Yes, it was going to be used with the Thomas Recipe, thank you for the insight. Do you / anyone on these boards have any idea how long it would take to develop a physical dependence, say if I were to use 2mg a day for a month, would I be okay?

    So taking days off inbetween wouldnt be any help in avoiding physical dependence?

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    You might be o.k. But 2mg. is quite a bit. try to keep your usage way down. Benzo's are a strange beast, especially xanax. I have heard of people becoming dependent at only a few months. I would take them as sparingly as possible. Do what you need to at first, like the Thomas recipe says and then back off. If you use them for a month, you should probably taper off them to avoid any problems. Also ask on the need to talk board about this.

    Peace,

    IloeRose
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    thalia45 is offline Member
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    Oddly, Diazapam has almost no effect on me except to make me sleepy. I have had a prescription for 20 years which I never finish; I wonder if it affects different people in other ways because I have gathered through the network that Xanax is the REAL villain. Don't know, never tried it and certainly don't want to.

    BTW, when I can't sleep at night I always have a good book ready. Sleep is highly overrated; 5 hours is fine for me....

  7. #7
    surfdog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haypress View Post
    Rose,

    Yes, it was going to be used with the Thomas Recipe, thank you for the insight. Do you / anyone on these boards have any idea how long it would take to develop a physical dependence, say if I were to use 2mg a day for a month, would I be okay?

    So taking days off inbetween wouldnt be any help in avoiding physical dependence?

    Thanks.
    Haypress, It is "possible"" to develope a dependence on as little as 1/4 of 1mg,(.25mg) taken daily for 30 days. This does vary by individual and a number of variables,2 mg is a lot of Xanax,a lot of it. There are only two types of withdrawal that can actually be fatal,alcohol and benzos. Benzos are actually the most dangerous due to the fact it can actually be 72 days after last dose before withdrawal appears, then it does not enter the persons thinking this could possibly be what is happening, and medical staff does not have a clue, so they treat the wrong ailment.
    If I were you I would stay as far away from these as you can. Going to benzos while attempting to get off drugs is like changing saddles on a dead horse. Just my two cents worth Luck to you Surfdog
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    Pegaboomer is offline New Member
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    My Dr. tapered me down off 2 .5 mgs of Zanax (a day) by having me go down by a quarter of a pill every WEEK. Then down another quarter of a pill. I took nine weeks for me to get down to half a pill. Then I quit. It has been two weeks and I am still buzzing and feeling "out of body." I'm determined to stay off. I'm not sleeping well, but am trying to be okay with that since I get a few hours every night. I have Fibromyalgia, so important that I don't skip too much sleep, but again, I'm determined to get off Zanax.

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    rxqueen83 is offline Member
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    My Opinion: Based on not getting my screen name for any other reason then I was a walking pharmacy from 19-27 years old and on benzo's the whole time...

    In 30 days you will become addicted to Xanax. If you are not benzo tolerant you do not need 2MG. That's a heavy dose. Even when I was taking Xanax 1 MG would be good to get me drooling and slurring my words. And when I tell you, I can and have put back some COPIOUS amounts of pills. Most "Medically Approved" literature will tell you it takes 8 weeks to become dependant on Xanax. I disagree from EXPERIENCE.

    If you have 2MG's, and your using them for W/D, cut them in quarters (4) pieces. Don't take them for longer than a 14 consecutive day period. Skipping days will do nothing. You'd need to skip 5 or 6 days for that to be effective. Think of it this way: you need to skip the amount of days that it would take for the drug to NOT show up on a drug test. You feeling me here?

    Xanax is the "villian" because its so widely (OVER) prescribed and it has such a short half life. Also because it does not take long to get addicted to and it's a nasty, nasty little bugger to say goodbye to. Although don't be fooled, Valium is a byatch to kick too. Valium has a long half life. It's not as widely prescribed anymore either, so you don't hear the horror stories. Thalia, how you ever quit it without any nasty symptoms...I believe you because I tapered and quit Xanax without any nasty symptoms very recently. If I hadn't have, I probably wouldn't believe you myself. It's rare to hear of people getting off benzo's easily.

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    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    PEG, YOU DID NOT MENTION THIS IN YOUR POST ABOUT YOUR VICODIN USE You must give the whole story and perhaps it's my fault for not asking how long you had been off of the xanax. Xanax is the devil itself to get off of. No wonder you are not sleeping more than a few hours. That symptom is classic: I've been there. In fact that solves the riddle of why you were feeling the way you were at the same dosage of vicoden. Please read my second post on vicodin w/d. I'm a bit miffed I didn't know about the recent xanax taper, won't lie about that.

    Iloerose
    Last edited by Anonymous; 06-16-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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    Pegaboomer is offline New Member
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    So sorry. I just didn't know. I thought that since I was "off" the Xanax for a few weeks, I was over the withdrawals. I did post on the Vicodin post. Thanks, Iloerose. Still feeling the buzzing some, but not as badly. Just the smallest amount of stress causes the tingling in my limbs to come back and the "out of body" experiences. However, it is a little bit better. It's been more than a month since I had my last 1/4 mg. dose.

  12. #12
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    That's o.k. Just got sorta panicked because I didn't want you to over-stress yourself. Xanax can be a tricky business. I hope you are doing well! will post on your other thread.

    Peace,

    Iloerose
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    Pegaboomer is offline New Member
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    This week has been pretty bad. Since I am titrating off Vicodin for the last two weeks, I experienced this week a return of pain and anxiety. My diagnosis for years has been depression with anxiety. I have taken tranquilizers for anxiety for more than 20 years. I have also taken almost all the SSRI's on the market. One works for a while and then fails. Another prescribed.

    I need some assurance that what I am feeling with anxiety has to do with stopping Xanax (6 weeks ago). I can live with it if you think that is true. I will wait it out.

    If it means I need to learn a "new" way (I mean without drugs) to live with pain - well, then, I will learn a new way. But, my gosh, it is hard. I am irritable. I am snappy. My legs and trunk are "singing" (tingling), I don't feel "out of body" TTL. I usually come at life with compassion for myself and for others. My poor hubby has been a perfect target these last three days.

    I did teach a class Monday and Tuesday. This is a step out of my daily routine, and, though I am gifted at this, it does cause stress. I haven't slept well Monday or Tuesday. Got up at 3:00 this morning and haven't been able to sleep today. Too stressed.

    What do you think?

  14. #14
    rxqueen83 is offline Member
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    Hey Peg,
    I felt a lot of anxiety and a strong craving for Xanax almost a month after I stopped. It's normal. Your body is trying to trick you into using it again. Don't do it! Keep up the good work!
    Nadia

  15. #15
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    That's why I wanted you to go slowly with the vicodin, even though you weren't taking all that much in terms of mg. Benzo w/d can last for a long time, and suddenly shocking your body can cause symptoms to return. I'd wait it out unless you start having palpitations or are getting very dizzy. Opiate w/d causes anxiety for some people and also some experience an increase in pain for awhile, but usually it decreases over time. Your legs and trunk are "singing" perhaps because of restless leg syndrome, which is an extremely common side effect of opiate w/d. Try eating foods high in potassium or even Hyland's restful leg, (Walmart, some healthfood stores). The bad thing is that coming off of both these drugs effects sleep. A good walk and a hot bath before bed, melatonin works for sleep for most people. Oh your moods are going to jump around. Teaching a class is good: you are keeping your mind busy. The anxiety I would think is normal: breathing, meditation, whatever, can help. Have you thought about holistic ways of treating your anxiety?

    Peace,

    Iloerose

  16. #16
    Pegaboomer is offline New Member
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    I'm lucky enough to have a very good therapist who knows drugs and is working with me to breathe through anxiety. I talked to her yesterday about these symptoms and she helped me see another way of dealing with my irritation and "snappishness." I feel more compassionate today and less "singing" in my legs.

    Funny. I never knew that RLS effected the nerves so that they tingled. I don't have any movement (that I know of), in my legs. But, maybe that is it. I don't have a bathtub (only shower), but breathing and meditation do help. Not sure what holistic ways you are referring to Ilerose. I'm open to just about anything, except more drugs.

    I'm holding steady on 5/5 Vicodin every six hours (except at night). My Dr. put me on a diuretic on Tuesday when I was there. My bp was sky high. This is a recurring problem with me. Two years long.

    Thanks for your reply!
    Peg

  17. #17
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    That's great, that you're seeing a therapist to help you. I guess that's what I mean by "holistic", breathing, meditation, whatever it takes to work on the anxiety w/o drugs. Your tingling legs could be RLS, if you are going through w/d from the vicodin, but you could still be feeling effects from xanax. Takes awhile for the gabba receptors in the brain to heal and come back to life. Careful with the BP if you're tapering from vicodin. Getting off of opiates can cause anxiety and BP to rise. Some people take Chlonidine(sp?) when going off opiates, it's a milder BP medication. I don't know where you are in your tapering process, but you shouldn't have too many problems coming off of 25 mg. of vicodin, but then with BP and xanax w/d lingering a bit, you should take it slow.

    Iloerose

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    Pegaboomer is offline New Member
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    Thanks, Iloerose. I am taking it slow. I'm also trying not to focus on "when it is time" to take Vicodin, and just to take it when I begin to really feel my pain. I am aware of not tapering too fast. Thanks to you so much. I am feeling better than I did on Wednesday. Every day is an adventure now.

    I ordered a blood pressure machine today. I should get that in a few days. I can take my own BP and know when I need to just cool it, or take a walk, or breeeeathe. I did some research on Clonidine. It interacts with some of the other meds I am taking, as well as with one of my "conditions." So far, no feelings one way or the other with the BP med my Dr. prescribed. Though I did lose 4 llbs on Wednesday!

    I'll be back.
    Peg
    Last edited by Anonymous; 06-30-2012 at 05:23 PM. Reason: more to add

  19. #19
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Sorry it took so long to get back. Yeah, some blood pressure meds react in funny ways to diff. drugs. My mom is very sensitive to drugs and had a hard time after bypass surgeries getting her meds right. How is your norco taper doing? Getting ready or already reducing your intake? Hope you are having a glorious 4th

    Peace,

    Iloerose

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    Pegaboomer is offline New Member
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    Thanks, Iloerose. I live in a small town which has a whole day of activities for the community. My DH racewalked in a 5k this morning, then set up a booth in the park with a number of other community folks who support various political causes. He is against the death penalty. Then he came home and just left now to walk in the downtown parade where he will hold a sign with other folks who support the eradication of the death penalty in our state. I'm just about to head over with my chair to watch the parade. We will go to a community picnic after the parade to round out our day.

    I need to speak to you privately. Is there a way to do that on this Forum or on this site? Thanks.
    Peg

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    pgcc is offline Member
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    I am reluctant to even post this because it goes against what most of you are saying. I have gotten off xanax several times using kolonopin. And if you think 2mgs is a lot try8-10mgs a day. It works for me for some reason. I would start with the amount of kolonopin that it took to keep me comfortable. Then reduce it a small amount every 5 days or so. I can take kolonopin 1 time a day and stay ok because of its long half-life. Xanax is out of you so quick it is almost impossible to taper w/ it. I have done this at least 3 times, I would reduce my dose of kolonopin down to .25 for 5-7 days then step off w/ no problems. My problem is I have continued to return to the xanax, then I taper all over again. My doctor prescribes me 120 2mg xanax a month which I know is crazy. I have such a stock pile of xanax it not funny.
    This does not work for most people as I have told friends what I did and they would try it and get sick as soon as they started dropping the kolonipin dose. One friend took a year to go from 4mgs of kolnopin a day to 2mgs. I don't want to jinx myself but for some reason this method works like a charm for me.

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    pgcc is offline Member
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    Oh, and it doesn't take long at all to become dependant on xanax. Sometimes as little as a week and people will feel it coming off. Xanax is not a good drug. Its out of the body too fast, you build a resistance to it quickly so you need more and more to get the same effect, if you are dependant and run out you can have a seizure a girl I know lost her arm while having a seizure. She was waiting for the train and the seizure caused her to collide with the train it took her arm off. No joke and xanax is no joke. I'm down to .5mgs of kolonopin a day right now so in a few days I will drop to .25 then in a week I'll be off. Hopefully this time I will not go back to xanax. They make me mean, angry, just plain aggressive. I do and say things I regret and basically act like a fool when high on xanax. Why I even go back to them I can't answer.

  23. #23
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgcc View Post
    I am reluctant to even post this because it goes against what most of you are saying. I have gotten off xanax several times using kolonopin. And if you think 2mgs is a lot try8-10mgs a day. It works for me for some reason. I would start with the amount of kolonopin that it took to keep me comfortable. Then reduce it a small amount every 5 days or so. I can take kolonopin 1 time a day and stay ok because of its long half-life. Xanax is out of you so quick it is almost impossible to taper w/ it. I have done this at least 3 times, I would reduce my dose of kolonopin down to .25 for 5-7 days then step off w/ no problems. My problem is I have continued to return to the xanax, then I taper all over again. My doctor prescribes me 120 2mg xanax a month which I know is crazy. I have such a stock pile of xanax it not funny.
    This does not work for most people as I have told friends what I did and they would try it and get sick as soon as they started dropping the kolonipin dose. One friend took a year to go from 4mgs of kolnopin a day to 2mgs. I don't want to jinx myself but for some reason this method works like a charm for me.
    pgcc:

    Xanax is a very difficult drug to get off of, period. Read the Ashton Manual before you begin to post advice about getting off of this drug. You are young. Some people coming off of this drug are not as young and resilient as you are. You are correct about it being much easier to taper from klonipin because of the longer half life, however the mistake your friends are making is that you just can't switch from a high dose of xanax to Klonipin. You need to taper and then it's very difficult for some to make the switch. Dr. Ashton has a protocol that may help your friends with dosage equivalancies. But some still have a rough time with switching to either valium or klonipin. Slow and easy wins the day with benzos. Also Benzo's are dangerous drugs to be playing around with and going on and off of like they were candy or something.

    Peace,

    Iloerose

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    pgcc is offline Member
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    Xanax is a very difficult drug to get off of, period. Read the Ashton Manual before you begin to post advice about getting off of this drug. You are young. Some people coming off of this drug are not as young and resilient as you are. You are correct about it being much easier to taper from klonipin because of the longer half life, however the mistake your friends are making is that you just can't switch from a high dose of xanax to Klonipin. You need to taper and then it's very difficult for some to make the switch. Dr. Ashton has a protocol that may help your friends with dosage equivalencies. But some still have a rough time with switching to either valium or klonipin. Slow and easy wins the day with benzos. Also Benzo's are dangerous drugs to be playing around with and going on and off of like they were candy or something.

    Peace,
    I said that it doesn't work for everyone. I was just posting my experience not saying I'm some sort of expert and that this will work for everyone. I even said it probably won't work for most. But I read Dr. Aston's paper and it is informative but everyone is different and what works for me won't work for you and the other way around. The problem with Aston's method is try finding a doctor will to prescribe the equivalent amount of valium to equal 10mgs of xanax a day. There is no doctor who would. So maybe if you were to start out tapering with kolonopin and once you are down on your dose switch to valium that could work. I went to detox once for xanax and they gave me 4 5mg valium a day to start and dropped me from there I was sick as a dog. I told the doctor and he didn't care they used the same dose for every one which is ridiculous. I left, went home and tapered myself off with kolonopin. My post was simply my experience thats all but don't assume that I haven't done research myself, like I said I read Ashtons paper several times, went over his conversion chart and it did persuade me that valium would probably be better than kolonopin to taper off xanax but like I said if someone is taking 8-10mgs of xanax a day try finding a doctor willing to write a script for the equivalent amount of valium.

  25. #25
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Never assumed that you didn't do your research, so don't patronize me. However, people have had serious side effects jumping from high doses of xanax to k-pin, including seizures (which is also an acceptable benzo for tapering xanax because of it's half life). No reputable dr. would prescribe 10 mg. of xanax per day, so it is assumed that no reputable dr. would prescribe the equivalency in either k-pins or valium either. You are, as I said, lucky to get off as easy as you have with the benzos. Dr. Heather Ashton's manual also recommends tapering your xanax to the lowest dose possible before crossing over to the longer acting benzo. Perhaps if some of your friends used the crossover method to k-pin, it would be easier for them to get off the xanax. I will grant you that any time I hear of someone hitting a rehab for xanax detox, it give me the willies. You know what benzo w/d is like: It makes >>>>>> w/d look like child's play.

    Iloerose

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    pgcc is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloerose View Post
    Never assumed that you didn't do your research, so don't patronize me. However, people have had serious side effects jumping from high doses of xanax to k-pin, including seizures (which is also an acceptable benzo for tapering xanax because of it's half life). No reputable dr. would prescribe 10 mg. of xanax per day, so it is assumed that no reputable dr. would prescribe the equivalency in either k-pins or valium either. You are, as I said, lucky to get off as easy as you have with the benzos. Dr. Heather Ashton's manual also recommends tapering your xanax to the lowest dose possible before crossing over to the longer acting benzo. Perhaps if some of your friends used the crossover method to k-pin, it would be easier for them to get off the xanax. I will grant you that any time I hear of someone hitting a rehab for xanax detox, it give me the willies. You know what benzo w/d is like: It makes >>>>>> w/d look like child's play.

    Iloerose
    Your right no dr. prescribes 10mgs of xanax a day but plenty prescribe 8mgs a day and they would prescribe the equivilent in kolonipin but not valium. I have never, and I have a lot of experience with benzos and have known too many people hooked on benzos, seen anyone switch to a comprable dose of kolonopin and have a seizure. I don't see how it could happen unless you are taking far, far less kolonopin than you were xanax. Even a kolonopin dose on which you don't feel comfortable would stave off a seizure. I'm not looking to argue with you but a healthy debate is always good.

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    ARTIST658 is offline Platinum Member
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    I find it frightful that anyone would invest so much effort into getting to know all about various benzodiazepenes, and then experimenting with their own body to test it out. Clearly, you have no idea that you're playing with fire.

    If you're juggling benzos, you're juggling with your brain chemistry. On them, off them, tapering here, switching there - all of it sounds like an absolutely horrible idea. For one thing, you are walking through life in a fog, and you have no idea how much of a fog it is - until you allow yourself to experience many months away from all of these drugs. You are also numbing your emotions, period. You are not experiencing life in all its many multitude of shapes and colors. Emotionally, you have checked out. You are not emotionally present - for yourself or for anyone else. It's a sad way to live your life.

    You are potentially causing permanent damage to your brain, as well. The effect of long-term benzo use has been shown to result in cognitive impairment and permanent short-term memory loss. These drugs were designed ONLY for short-term (crisis) use, not for prolonged periods.

    Also, there is clear evidence that long-term benzo use (even if it's interrupted off and on, as you have) can actually 'rebound' with anxiety. In other words, the very same drugs that you are taking for anxiety may very well be increasing your anxiety. In addition, longer term use of benzos creates tremendous mood changes, most notably, severe depression.

    I've worked with many newly recovering people... and the toughest challenges tend to come from those who have been taking benzos over an extended period of time. It does not matter if the dose taken is exactly as prescribed; the same outcome results. These are not drugs to play around with; the cost is too high.

    The reason you return to them, in spite of any consequence, is because you are not only physically dependent upon them, you are quite clearly addicted to them. Physical dependency occurs when we have withdrawal symptoms from a drug when we stop. Addiction occurs when we experience the mental obsession to use; it produces that kind of craving - for the same drug that we've fought so hard to overcome.

    And yes, I have had experience with them, personally. I wouldn't wish that kind of detox on an ex-husband. When I see a bottle of any of these benzos, I literally see a skull and crossbones. I would never, ever, under any circumstances take them again. I suggest you need to taper off to stop - and get help to stay stopped.

    God bless,
    Ruth

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    You will know the truth - and only the truth can set you free.

  28. #28
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Peg,

    I tried to post my e-mail, but the post was erased so I asked under the support group forum and sent you a friend request. I guess you send me one back and you'll have my e-mail, which I'll post here again anyway: iloerose@gmail.com. I've posted it before and never had the post removed. Hope you're having a great week-end.

    Peace,

    Iloerose

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    PeopleRCrzy is offline New Member
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    Default I respectfully disagree

    "You need to learn to deal with your anxiety, there is always an underlying reason for anxiety and ways to deal with it that doesn't involve drugs. (don't mean to be harsh, I have anxiety myself)v

    IloeRose[/QUOTE]"

    There are some conditions and some anxieties that can not be " dealt with other ways". I believe that is somewhat of a harsh and nieve thing to say. the other things I pretty much agree with you. Xanax is a drug you shouldn't messes with long term and if you're anxiety can not be controlled there are other options to choose from other than xanax. If anyone reads this and feels like a failure because you haven't learned to deal with your anxiety, and there is no way to remove the root cause, you aren't alone. I see people every day in your position. just be very careful with the xanax if you must take it.

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    fallingfast is offline New Member
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    For me I had no problem with Xanax. I was taking it for 5 years. But I only took it during an anxiety attack, luckily they weren't very often. I did not feel like I had to take it. It worked great for the shakes and sleepless nights wrought with worries. I took 1mg occasionally without any trouble. But I made the mistake of allowing my PCP to switch me to clonazepam. Now I am in hell with every side effect plus my anxiety has turned into dementia. For me, my brain has now undergone some kind of morph. I want off this terrible ride. I am tapering. Everybody is different. Watch your symptoms closely. It is okay to expect some withdrawals. They do pass away. You can try prayers. It works well for me. Grateful for this website. It has helped me tremendously.

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