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Guest markychv

Anti-Depressant or Benzo??

Guest markychv

I have tried just about every SSRI out there, Paxil was the only one that really worked for me but pooped out on me after a year (that was about 10 years ago) Last year I had a very very bad nervous breakdown, they put me on Prozac and I felt like I was going to go crazy! They put me on LeXapro, I felt like killing myself! Finally after about 3 months of my Dr trying to convince me to go on Klonopin, I gave in, been on klonopin .5mg twice a day and it helped my anxiety far more than any SSRI ever has, I was so reluctant to try a benzo because I have heard of "addictions" but my Dr said there was a difference between addiction and dependance. I NEED to be on something to calm me so I can sleep and eat normaly (I lost 10 lbs and was already underweight and didnt sleep for 2 weeks when I had my nervous breakdown) My Dr also said that if you take a benzo AS PRESCRIBED and not abuse it then there should be no problems. I have had anxiety all my life and when I got severe cystic acne is made it all the more worse! Like 10 times worse!

Now 8 months later on klonopin am feeling much better however was wondering if anyone had a good experience with an SSRI or any ADD for anxiety? I am afraid to "experiment" with them again because they made me feel so damn awful before and waiting 4 weeks for them to even see if they will work is torture! I do worry about becoming "dependant" on a benzo but then again, like my Dr said, people with heart disease are "dependant" on beta blockers and statins, people who have diabetes are "dependant" and insulin, so since I have had anxiety all my life, I will be "dependant" on something my entire life whether it be and SSRI or a benzo, I see my Dr's point on this.

Oh and FYI, SSRI's are just as addictive (if not more) than benzos, anyone who has tried to get off of Paxil or Effexor knows what I am talking about, talk about HELL! MUCH worse than any benzo I have tried to get off of! The fact of the matter is that benzos are MUCH cheaper and have much much less side effect profile than SSRI's do, BUT they are newer and much more expensive so drug companies push these drugs on Dr's to prescribe and turn to scare tactics about SSRI's being 'less addictive" which is rubbish - its all about money I am convinced , the benzos - they have been around for decades and have been proven safe (when not abused or combined with alcohol) whereas SSRI's have such a long side effect profile its absurd.

Still I want to get a concensus on what had worked for YOU for anxiety and what has not! I might want to try one of the older Tricyclics as I hear they are more specific for my OCD and the depression part of my anxiety but I am so darm scared to try anything that is going to make me start at square one again. Any experiences with what you guys have been on and has made a difference will help me out alot!

Thanks!

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I think it's important that fundamentals come first.

Start the day right. Get out of bed.

Eat well - less processed food, more vegetables.

Meditate - simply be and develop your understanding of consciousness.

Exercise - An hour a day, preferably with a buddy or team. Mmm, endorphines.

Work - eight hours a day, school or job.

Get outside - sunlight is good for you.

Love and be loved.

Sleep - stick as best you can to a regular sleep schedule.

and finally,

Drug use - Moderation is key here. Drugs COME AFTER the basics. If you can't get the above right, you need to go back and fix something because the drugs won't do it for you.

Alcohol- Have a couple of drinks. Drinking twice as much does NOT make you feel twice as good.

Weed - Less is more here. Small hits are better than bong rips.

Your goal is to become a badass model of stability. Routine and habit can get you there, but everybody has the potential to break down. It's fine to have a couple of benzos around the house for in-case-of-emergency situations, but you shouldn't be relying on them to get through the day.

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Prozac helped me a bit with some social anxiety issues, but that doesn't sound quite like your deal, and that really doesn't sound like your drug. I use Ativan for rare, extremely anxiety-provoking situations.

I didn't take these specifically for anxiety, but I found Seroquel, Remeron, and lithium all to be quite calming. (Taken separately.) Especially that 3rd one, but that's me.

If it was me, I wouldn't want to start over at square one, either, and would try to stick with clonazepam, until it stops working or side-effects suck too much. I'm notoriously conservative about psych med changes, though.

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Guest markychv

Nastja, thank you for your reply, it makes the most sense to me, I appreciate you sharing your experiences with me about what worked for you. My Dr also suggested Remeron but I heard that was overly sedating. Klonopin makes me just smooth and normal again. Seroquel sounds interesting though, isnt that for restless leg syndrome? I have restless leg syndrome as well and the klonopin seems to help with the quite a bit. Lithium is walking a thin line I think for me personaly. Thank you again!

Bustamove, although I appreciate you taking the time to post a response, the entire "tree hugger" lifestyle is not what I need, I have triend ALL of the things you mention and none of them helped significantly HOWEVER I agree with you that moderation is key. Like I said in my post, I have LIFELONG anxiety that prevents me from sleeping and eating and functioning. I need to "rely" on klonopin to get me through the day, otherwise I might be either 1- in a mental insitution on sedatives anyway or 2- dead! You obviously dont understand what I have been through in my life, I tried to explain in detail in my post how chronic and debilitating my life has been but the anti-bezos eventualy start coming out of the woodwork with posts like yours. No offense Bustamove, like I said I do appreciate your reply, but it did not answer my posted question.

Truth is that I am still on the fence about whether giving an SSRI another chance to balance out the benzo or maybe eliminate my need for them, so far it hasnt happened.

Mark

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Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic and is the one most often used off-label for sleep. For me, Remeron and Seroquel were about equally sedating and that ended up being the reason I dropped both of them. I think they actually do use low doses of Seroquel for anxiety sometimes, though. Hey, if you're ever anxious and can't sleep . . .

I'll vouch for Remeron being a kick-ass AD, aside from the sedation, too.

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Guest markychv

Remeron is on my list of things to try if things dont get better, good to hear its a good AD! Did it ever poop out on you though?

Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic and is the one most often used off-label for sleep. For me, Remeron and Seroquel were about equally sedating and that ended up being the reason I dropped both of them. I think they actually do use low doses of Seroquel for anxiety sometimes, though. Hey, if you're ever anxious and can't sleep . . .

I'll vouch for Remeron being a kick-ass AD, aside from the sedation, too.

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In my patients, I have seen success with Remeron. It's given at bedtime as it is sedating. It also works great for the elderly as one side effect is increased appetite and many elderly just don't have an appetite.

Other meds that work nicely for depression do include Seroquel, but that's not really a first choice due to tardive dyskinesia. Zyprexa is a life saver for my patients. Frankly, I'd rather have diabetes than hallucinations, paranoia and psychoses along with depression.

Zoloft, Paxil, most SSRIs also work with generalized anxiety disorder. They're also highly effective in general for pain disorders that are neurological in basis. Another option is Neurontin. For me, Effexor in a small dose is quite sufficient to stop completely any anxiety attacks. I've had a few (particularly after my grandmother died) but none recently due to restarting Effexor at a low dose. Prozac is decent, but I found it made me gain massive weight. It also caused tremors for me. Effexor at this low dose does not.

BUt I ask again, if clonazepam is working, seriously, why change? It's frustrating to find something that works well, and if you function normally with clonazepam, that's the goal.

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Hey, I know that there's people who's brain chemistry is f'd like that. Hope you find something that works for you. In about ten years they'll probably have the technology to 3d scan your brain in such detail to know exactly what's going on with your neurons, but in the mean time, have you considered going crazy? JK, peace.

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I was only on Remeron a few months, but it didn't poop out in that time.

My doctor actually gave me the same speech as yours did, except about long-term use of Adderall (amphetamines aka speed). I don't know if I 100% believe him, but I don't seem to have a problem on Adderall thus far, and if I ever I do, I'll just switch to something else.

Do you you get refills on clonzepam? I don't on Adderall, but I don't know if that's a difference between a Schedule II and III med. If you don't get refills, you're basically assured to be checking in with a doctor every month, so if stuff ever gets out of hand, there's a safety net.

(On that note, I'd like to add Adderall to my list of calming meds, but yeah, if you're not ADHD, it's pretty much going to do the opposite.)

I don't know if this really counts as dealing with the issue or as denial, but . . . If I live to 80, I'll have been on psyc meds for 61 years. I depend on them completely to have a semi-normal life. I would not be here without them, and on some levels, I'd prefer to not be here without them. But damn, 61 years of chemicals just to make my brain pretend to be a normal brain? What kind of pathetic loser needs constant chemical manipulation just to act like a human . . . So I take my meds every day. I don't really think about how I have to take them tomorrow too. Since they make me feel functional today, I take them today, and that's that. This is also my philosophy for dealing with the possibility of long-term, unknown side-effects. (This is also a good way to have no idea you need refills until your pill bottles are empty, though.)

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Those are common concerns, Nastja. Those with other ailments such as diabetes and hypertension have those same concerns, too. It should not be humiliating to those who will require medication for the rest of our lives for a brain problem.

We have to remind ourselves that it's not our fault we have the illness in the first place. It's every bit as real and damaging as high blood pressure. I'm mad as hell that insurance companies and others don't treat mental illnesses as seriously as they do hypertension, diabetes, cancer. We did not cause the depression, schizophrenia, paranoia, anxiety, whatever. We can't pick ourselves up by the bootstraps to use a favorite expression of those who have no clue. Neither can hypertensives think themselves completely clear of hypertension.

Yes, lifestyle choices DO matter. Diet, exercise, etc are always first choice for defense against mental and physical illnesses but when those fail one must resort to medication and there should be no stigma attached to medication use.

We've come a long way; we're not burned at the stake anymore, we aren't drowned or tested for possession or what have you. But there still is a stigma to mental illness. I do hope that we see continued improvements in the treatment and perception of mentally ill people.

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Guest markychv

Thank you Wynne for your reply! It was the most informative thus far! Does Zyprexa cause diabetes? I didnt know that, hmmm Effexor scares the crap out of me because I have heard getting off of it is very hard. What do you consider a small dose of Effexor? Remeron is something I have always wanted to try but the problem with that is that I hear it can cause liver damage in some people. I have had acute Hepatitis B in the past and although I no longer have it and my liver enzymes are all normal now. I dont want to put any stress on my liver anymore. So I dont drink or do recreational drugs at all.

I have been on and off meds for anxiety and depression for most of my life, I admit that my problem lies within 1. two traumatic head injuries in the past (first one age 5) 2. family genetics and 3. my acne scars and the fact that I am skinny, I know it sounds insane but its true, I feel anxiety when people look at me because I think they are taking me apart in there heads seeing all of the imperfections. Ahh well, thats my life.

Mark

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Oh, now Wynne's post is more helpful?! My dad could beat up her dad.

Have you tried therapy at all? It wouldn't help with everything, but it might take a chunk off of 3). I've heard cognitive-behavioral therapy (more details available upon request) can be really good for anxiety. I've done it for bipolar depression, and it helped, but wasn't a miracle sent from the heavens. I think everybody else, except 1, in my program took to it better than me, though. :(

I, at least, don't see any scars or acne from the distance the camera is away from you in your avatar . . .

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i'm seriously shocked to hear that anyone would recommend long term use of a benzo. Clonazepam is good stuff, i take it every day, and i will continue to do so because i physically canno't stop it, once you reach a daily dose thats over 2mg you are officaly addicted. And the addiction is such that a recent study actually adised herion addicts who were also benzo addicts to get help for the benzo addiction first.

a benzo is supposed to be only a short term or emergency solution, addiction can cause and WILL cause short term memory loss, and if you stop it suddenly will result or can result in severe and violent seizures and paralysis (which i've had by the way and are no walk in the park its scary as hell)

you mentioned ADD and i sugggest trying wellbutrin as its an antidepressant that is more stimulating, also you could always look into adderall but the comedown is pretty hardcore however if you had seroquel in the evenings (i do) it tends to offset the reactions.

seriously tho. do. not. get. hooked. on. benzos. just because a doctor perscribes them does not make them safe. it is a very serious addiction. I want you to be FULLY aware of that.

and also, you won't stay at 0.5 for long, tolerance is a bitch

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Thank you Wynne for your reply! It was the most informative thus far! Does Zyprexa cause diabetes? I didnt know that, hmmm Effexor scares the crap out of me because I have heard getting off of it is very hard. What do you consider a small dose of Effexor? Remeron is something I have always wanted to try but the problem with that is that I hear it can cause liver damage in some people. I have had acute Hepatitis B in the past and although I no longer have it and my liver enzymes are all normal now. I dont want to put any stress on my liver anymore. So I dont drink or do recreational drugs at all.

I have been on and off meds for anxiety and depression for most of my life, I admit that my problem lies within 1. two traumatic head injuries in the past (first one age 5) 2. family genetics and 3. my acne scars and the fact that I am skinny, I know it sounds insane but its true, I feel anxiety when people look at me because I think they are taking me apart in there heads seeing all of the imperfections. Ahh well, thats my life.

Mark

PM me if you ever need to talk, i've been treated for anxiety reated conditions (which have branched off into also ADD and bipolar NOS) since i was about 6 years old. If you ever need someone to talk to, i'm there.

-Christina

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