Schizophrenia.com

Anyone take benzos longterm?


#42

I used to like him when I was in school


#43

Well if I need a medical reason rather than a psychological one, I have tremors, pretty severe sweating on my hands and feet, and restlessness, which all interfere with my ability to function at school. Benzos eliminate these symptoms completely.

They’d definitely be helpful to me at least in short term or moderation. The question is if it’s worth it to ask my doctor to prescribe it long term


#44

No. What I’m saying is that your psychological symptoms aren’t medically a reason to prescribe benzos. Your physical symptoms aren’t either. You described your anxiety as really bad almost every day. That means benzos are not a solution. You will build up tolerance from the first day, and you will get withdrawals. Worst case scenario is you develop an addiction and your problems are worse than they were in the beginning. Best case scenario is that you save up anxiety for later but experience no net positive effect on your anxiety.

If you, for example, were afraid of airplanes, that would be a medical reason for prescribing benzos. Your situation is not. Don’t try to convince your doctor to add to your problems with an ineffective and potentially harmful treatment. Drop this idea and ask for a pill that actually helps or therapy.

The anxiolytic effects of benzos work almost exactly like those of alcohol, and benzos aren’t a more effective solution for pervasive anxiety than drinking is.


#45

Well yea, I can agree with most of what you say. They’re not shown to often be effective long term, problems can get worse after stopping treatment, and there’s problems with addiction and memory. From experience I know they are very helpful for alleviating my symptoms, which at times are seemingly impossible to ignore. Doctors have prescribed them temporarily before without me asking. I’m not sure what you mean when you say there’s no reason for it. I guess my question would be what do I do instead? Or is there a safe, more conservative way to take benzos, if there is a risk of addiction?

I’ve been in therapy for almost 5 years and I’ve tried almost every non-benzo anxiety med, my previous prescriber was strongly against any use of them


#46

With very good reason.

I mean exactly that. From your description, there is absolutely no reason for it. A lot of doctors are ill-informed about how benzos work, and that might be why you have been prescribed it before. I have also been prescribed benzos before. There are only a few responsible ways of prescribing benzos for anxiety, for example when you have good reason to assume that the anxiety is both severe and highly temporary, or when a small window of improved daily functioning is so important that it is really worth the cost of certain dependency, potential addiction, and worsening of anxiety outside of this time window.

There is no safe way of taking benzos regularly. Beyond the risk of physical and psychological dependency and addiction, the tolerance that develops from the first dose and the resulting worsening of anxiety from withdrawals, there are also physical side-effects and risks associated with these pills. They decrease your heart rate, which in rare situations can be life-threatening.

It’s great that you’re looking for treatments for your anxiety, and I’m sorry that the ones you’ve tried haven’t worked. Keep looking. But do not go down this road. It’s not the road to recovery - it is the opposite.


#47

Have you tried therapy?


#48

After many years in therapy and long discussions with both my therapist and pdoc, it was decided that ativan would be helpful to me. I am allowed to take it 1mg single dose four days of the week.

I’m scared of being addicted to them, so I have to be VERY bad to take one. Which every once in a while I do get very bad. For the most part I can manage my anxiety just fine, but it’s nice to have that safety net.

I think everyone should have a bit of fear when dealing with benzos, and I agree with @Treebeard that it isnt good for chronic anxiety but more for extreme, albeit circumstantial, anxiety. (Sorry if I misunderstood your point treebeard)


#49

No, you didn’t. That sounds like a sensible way of using benzos.


#50

I’m someone who suffers anxiety and avoid benzos like the plague.

In practice, I know that many doctors prescribe benzodiazepines on a long term basis for their patients. Although it is an effective and quick treatment for anxiety over the short term, the long term effects are very concerning. Most doctors don’t plan on treating their patients for longer than a few weeks on benzdiazepines for anxiety. However, in practice, it is often difficult to wean a patient off of a benzodiazepine, as it helps so much that it becomes a crutch onto which the patient holds onto in order to function without debilitating anxiety symptoms. So although the doctor’s intent for treatment with a benzodiazepine is short-term, it turns into a long-term treatment given the above factors, and the doctor’s wish to make their patients happy and symptom-free.

However, the real problem with long term use of benzodiazepines becomes one of tolerance, where ever-increasing amounts of the benzo is needed to have the same effect when it is taken chronically. This then can turn into dependence, where the person now needs the drug to feel ‘normal’ and when a dose of the drug is missed, then the person’s body goes into withdrawal, and the only remedy is to keep taking the drug. Ultimately, this can cycle into an addiction, and now your anxiety problems are outweighed by potentially life-threatening addiction.


#51

Idk, I’ve been indefinitely prescribed a relatively high dose of Ativan before for akithisia and came off of it no problem. It was helpful. I definitely see reason for hesitation but I’m not completely convinced to the point of condemning the use of benzos at least as prescribed


#52

Just started taking Clonazepam 0.5mg but I take slightly more to get the desired effect. I have severe insomnia for almost a year and have tried a lot of different medications which either work temporarily or don’t work at all. With this one I sleep throughout the night without waking up once so it’s been working very well so far and I’m hoping it keeps working.

I’ve read that benzodiazepines can be addictive but don’t feel any ill effects so far.