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Does Klonopin ever stop the anxiety?

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Posted

The thing is the Klonopin has stopped the panic attack from being full blown, but my heart is still racing and the thoughts are too. I definately feel high strung and I loved that with Xanax everything felt better. I think my pdoc's office doesn't like to rx xanax and so that is why he has given me Klon.... My old Psych dr. treated me like an adult and gave me xanax prn and it worked. By the way some of you know i have not been taking my meds regularly so that is the real problem here i am sure. Damn I want to cut myself too.

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Posted

I don't know if you have anxiety attacks or panic attacks, but I used to take klonopin twice a day and it really helped with the anxiety. I also had it prn if I needed it but it wasn't that often.

And, hmm... yeah taking your meds regularly would be good and is really the only way to know what's going to work right and what won't.

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Posted

Yeah, klonopin is weaker than xanax but once you have it in your system for a while it should get better.

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Posted

Xanax is weaker than klonopin for me.

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I've been meaning to update my old topic on getting off Klonopin. Much of what goes through my head belongs on that thread and I'll not get into it here, but to say, having panic attacks in 2001, I went on Klonopin and took it daily for about 5 years. Initially it so improved me across the board that I was just amazed and reevaluated my problems. The panic attacks stopped, but so did all my ADD symptoms. I became much more organized, more productive, and more social. I developed a real circle of friends and got a real relationship. Also, when I'd miss doses my mood would get spazzy, I'd get obsessive and motormouthed, and be prone to arguing a lot.

Over time, these withdrawal features became more and more prevalent, and doctors refused to increase the dose because, despite the glaring fact that they'd had me on this drug for several years when general guidelines say never to have patients on it for more than 4 weeks except in otherwise treatment-resistance epiliepsy, they were concerned that the drug was "addictive". Which as I discovered when I finally did my homework better in the aftermath, forced to go against medical advice to get myself off the drug, was their poor understanding of benzos' universal habituation response, that has little to do with "drug-seeking behaviors" and everything to do with the fact that GABA receptors downregulate in all users such that the same dose over time simply will not acheive the same effect, and eventually, as I saw, withdrawal effects will rise and fall just between doses, even with a long half-life like Klonopin has.

Further, I learned that the withdrawal features of benzos typically can be far worse than the baseline state symptoms for which one sought treatment (again, due to prolonged GABA downregulation), that these withdrawal features can last sometimes up to 2 years following complete termination of using the drug and can pop up at seemingly random times within more stable periods, that benzo use must be very very gradually tapered down relative to the length of habituation and the peak dosage and that sudden stopping can induce seizures and even psychosis, and that statistically the most common response of doctors to observing said withdrawal effects is to determine that the underlying condition was even worse than previously thought and to *increase* the original dosage and/or add other prescriptions to the mix.

I say all this because I still desperately wish I could find something that worked as well as benzos have to lower my anxiety and make me less of a shut in with severe ADD. I finally finished a 9 month taper off Klonopin in January 2006, and have largely been drug-free since, but have gone back to Klonopin in acute bad states a couple times since then, with wildly mixed results. Turns out over time one can develop paradoxical effects with benzos, as with other psych meds, and that being in an acute crisis where you can't sleep and are getting agitated is not the time to add benzos to the mix. Meanwhile, I've gone through the occasional bouts of withdrawal features that are par for the course with getting off benzos -- panic attacks with physical symptoms as well as acute crippling fear, persistent tinnitus that can go from sine wave ringing to loud ocean noise at different times, sudden periods of insomnia that throw me way out of whack for as long as a few weeks. I call these features rather than symptoms because of how I understand what causes them, which is essentially a combination of a GABA system that is trying to readjust to non-drugged receptor functioning, which takes a very long time since I was on the drug for 5 years, and the same stresses that can jack up my fear and anxiety responses for which I originally went on the drug, which surprise surprise have not gone away by muting them out for 5 years.

In some ways I learned some new coping skills and confidence, so Klonopin at least allowed me to have some experience with being less rattled and seeing what it was like to be less anxious, but in other ways I feel like I have since had to really face things and basically live through the daily panic attacks and try to find ways to deal with the sources to reduce the anxiety. Sometimes this has produced breakthroughs that have increased my confidence and reduced panic around certain issues. Other things though feel like I'll never get rid of them. I was tormented by peers and neglected by family for so many years growing up that I just have this automatic fear response to social situations which now extends to just going to the store to buy clothes. While I can overcome certain obstacles like learning how to deal with some work politics situation and feel more confident there, I have no idea how to overcome a more general fear that others are going to reject and publicly ridicule me. And it SUCKS knowing that there's this pill that makes all that just disappear and allows me to go out and live my life, but that in the long run the repercussions are no better than constant drinking or smoking pot.

Ok yeah so went on too long. I promise I'll post further stuff to my topic, but to answer your question: no. But there are other strategies that take a lot longer but can really change things. I am admittedly still very much affected by anxiety and agoraphobia, but in general do not have panic attacks, which were daily back in 2001. Even under high stress situations, I will have anxiety symptoms for days but am able to go to work, be somewhat constructive, talk things out rationally, etc, whereas it used to be all I could do was take the pill.

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