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Let's Talk Klonopin .. Please

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Posted

O.K. Back Story .. 

 

I started taking Klonipin at 19-20 years old. Since I was 12 I knew "something was wrong" yet my Mom always assured me I was fine. Probably because she didn't want to admit something was wrong with me. One of the overwhelming features of my illness is the chronic and debilitating anxiety. I was very successful early in life and ran a business from home. So I didn't "need" to leave or interact with others. 

 

I stayed completely home bound for nearly two years. I would run out at 3:00 AM to walmart to spend money on DVD movies and stuff. Girlfriend would get groceries. No need to leave. It sucked though, and I wanted to get better. 

 

Finally went to pdoc and was prescribed xanax. Begrudgingly I took it. I did some research and found it was addictive so went to pdoc and explained why I wanted a different med even though it helped greatly. I was put on ... Klonopin. Took it daily for years. Prescribed ROUGHLY the same dose the entire time. 

 

I am in recover from drugs and alcohol because I used heavily while on klonopin. Very Heavily. It was not pretty. However I was leaving the house and living. I still didn't understand my radical mood changes were due to BP. I decided to quit Cold Turkey. Somehow after multiple complete and total nervous breakdowns over a 4-5 month period I am still off of them, it was 9 months yesterday in fact. 

 

Problem is since getting off them .. as well as all drugs and alcohol .. I am pretty much back to square one. I do have some MILD anxiety relief from the lithium but my anxiety and agorophobia and becoming increasingly worse. I rarely leave home. When I do I feel like I am in an alternate reality the anxiety is so strong. Then come the full blown panic attacks along with that. 

 

I am very seriously considering going back on the Klonopin when I go to pdoc on the 13th .. But I struggly with it. It was incredibly difficult to get off of. The fact remains this may well be a medication I need for the rest of my life though. While I know it helps immensely with my condition I also know it is FAR from a fix it all - and does lead to chronic urges to use other substances recreationally. Mainly I believe because it does lower my inhibition. 

 

Anyone else in, or was in, a similar condition ? I'm just so torn with my addictive past whether this is something I am "rationalizing taking" because I want relief from anxiety I should work through other ways. Everyone in my life keeps telling me "I have that problem too" or "You just need to work harder on non medical recovery" and to be honest I would love to tell them to Fuck Off - But I am losing even that fight in me. I have become more accepting of it. But I am slightly resentful when I hear amything along those lines spoken. I think I give up .. on being understood .. ever .. To be quite honest. 

 

 

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Posted

Are you only on the Lithium?

 

AAP's can be very helpful for anxiety and general craziness

when you see your doctor ask him about Seroquel, risperdal, Abilify, and that general class of meds

could be an alternative to the Klon. for you

 

and they truly are non addictive

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Posted

Thanks BP - I did try Seroquel. It had the exact opposite effect. At 50 mg it stated to cause severe panaroia .. We are talking about the kind of paranoia that puts you in the hospital. I was considering trying Abilify but I absolutely can't afford it until I at least get SSI approval and have insurance. I might try their financial assistance plan though. I hate the idea of waiting any longer is my biggest downside. Like everyone else I want to be better .. yesterday. I do think the Seroquel had some huge pluses though - such as lowered agitation and less severe anxiety. About half as effective as Klonopin in that area.

 

I am still on the lithium alone, which I thought lithium and klonopin together would most likely work better than the klonopin and zoloft combo I had before. 

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Posted

so seroquel failed and klonopin/zoloft worked... what else have you tried?

 

as someone with a drug history myself, who tells all new doctors first thing "do not give me benzos/ambien/etc", and as someone who has some family members who have a drug problem who continue to get klonopin and bullshit their way through justifying it, i may have a less patient attitude when it comes to benzos/abusable psych meds so take my statement with that in mind, but i think you should exhaust every other possible medication and non-medication option before going back to benzos, mostly because you have a drug history yourself, plain and simple.  i actually think that should be pretty obvious, but that's me

 

sorry if that sounds mean, but you're asking here and given the way you asked, it sounds like even you know there's something sketchy about it

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Posted

You may want to inquire about a beta-blocker, which has mixed results.

 

It does not work as fast as a benzodiazepine, but it can be taken daily as long as it doesn't interfere with a healthy blood pressure.

It tends to work on a lot of the physical symptoms of anxiety, but I have found that to be enough often times.

 

They dont' work for everyone, but it's a realistic option if you want to ask your doctor.

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Posted

Thanks Luna .. I will definitely Google that as well as speak to pdoc about it.

 

Conchar - I can appreciate your attitude and have it myself. I do not want to go back to Klonopin. Quite frankly after 9 months of this hell I would be willing to again though. I understand your beliefs but if I make the decision I liken it to being in Chronic pain and not being able to take pain killers because you are an addict. That is not true in my eyes - doesn't matter if it is in others. I do not take this decision lightly at all. I am probably harder on myself about it (when it happens) than any group of people could be combined. I deeply value the fact that I am sober, beyond explanation. I can not put into words how hard it has been. 

 

P.S. Klonopin / Zoloft did not work. This combo got me partially through but I was far from being balanced nor did I have complete anxiety relief. I was actually quite the mess. That being said life was semi tolerable. I left the house at least ... Where I do not now. Klonopin / Zoloft / Mood Stabilizer might have, however Zoloft is bad for BP patients to take. Very bad from what I have read. 

 

P.S.S. I am starting to think regardless of the amount of time it will take I should properly utilize anti psychotic treatment of some sort. To simplify reasoning I believe a huge part of what I call anxiety may be psychosis. The feeling detached from people and unable to relate to "the world" has to feeds my anxiety. Who could deal with that without feeling anxious ?

 

P.S.S.S. The low happiness I had about "understanding myself" when diagnoses a few months ago is gone. This is not fun. Knowing X is the problem doesn't make the solution any closer. And this is unbelievably hard and I have been through a shit ton in my life. Dealing with this and learning to "get better" is not only painfully slow. It is utterly frustrating !

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Posted

i understand how hard things can be, and yeah- it's frustrating to feel like things aren't getting any better.

 

you could also ask your doctor about typical antipsychotics that may be of some help both for anxiety and also for possible psychosis, like perphenazine

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