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how do you counter the benzo depression?

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Posted · Report post

Hey all-

  Currently on clonazepam and it is awesome- has completely wiped out most of my anxiety. But now I have noticed that an even worse depression is always lingering around. I get pissed off and agitated much more easily, and anytime I feel just the least bit bored I feel super depressed (when normally I'd just be like- eh I'm bored, whatever- not a big deal.)

I suppose that benzos can enhance depression since they are somewhat depressing your body.. so I'm just wondering what kind of med can be added to this so I dont feel so crappy all the time.  I am already on an SSRI also.. so any other suggestions?

Thanks

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Posted · Report post

Delicate~

You may just need to try a different antidepressant--either another SSRI or an MRI or something.  Can you be more specific about what SSRI you're taking, what the dosage is, and how long you've been taking it?  SSRIs are notorious for "pooping out" after a few years.

Glad your anxiety is gone.  People with panic disorder/anxiety disorder and depression often say they'd much rather have depression than anxiety.  Ideally, though, you don't want either one.

~CS

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Posted · Report post

I encountered the same problem with Clonazepam.  It worked great for my anxiety (not so great for sleep but hey...) but soon after taking it on a regular basis--depression city! I basically had to switch benzos.  I ended up going back to my old standby of Oxazepam.  You might want to consider a trying a new benzo.

Karen

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Posted · Report post

i concur with the statements above.  klonopin made me very depressed.  i'm currently on xanax extended release and the depression issue has gone away.

you may want to talk to your doctor about trying a different benzo. 

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Posted · Report post

Despite the fact that comparing long acting and short acting benzos is like oranges and apples, nexct to xanax klonopin is the strngest benzo.  Great for some, but too sedating for others.

Maybe talk to your dr about drying valium (diazepam).  It has similar efficacy and long term effect but is a little less sedating.

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Posted · Report post

i find valium (diazepam) better than klonopin (clonzazepam.)

klonopin made me feel dragged out -- cottonheaded, drymouth, kinda bleh.

valium doesn't.

as a bonus, the good effects of valium wear off me more slowly so i can take one before bed, not get nightmares, and wake up reasonably calm. not so with klonopin which i felt drop off at six hours.

AND valium is reportedly easiest to taper. i went from many months of 30mg/day down to 20mg/day in less than a month with no problem.

YMMV but i hear more and more people just finding valium to be "cleaner" in feeling.

good luck and aloha.

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Posted · Report post

Clonazepam can definitely make depression much worse. Switching is a good idea.  Alprazolam actually has some antidperessant properties. It is very unlikely to worsen your depression any more than clonazepam, and just might even help it.

I'm currently taking Valium, and am slowly, slowly tapering off. I have a massive tolerance to it, so I see no point in continuing.  The problem with Valium is it can make some people feel hungover for days after taking it. But it works great when it works, and it works for a lot of people. It has also killed my memory.

At one time I took nothing but Xanax and Ativan, plus Dalmane for sleep. I was surprisingly stable, and was actually in a good mood most of the time. I did have rage attacks, but that's a different story. Xanax does tend to lower your inhibitions, and you often regret things you did while taking it. But that's the same with most benzos.

If depression is a big problem for you, I would definitely talk to your pdoc about switching to another benzo, but keep in mind, Xanax can be a major bitch to get off of.

--

Spencer

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Posted · Report post

Hey all-

  Currently on clonazepam and it is awesome- has completely wiped out most of my anxiety. But now I have noticed that an even worse depression is always lingering around. I get pissed off and agitated much more easily, and anytime I feel just the least bit bored I feel super depressed (when normally I'd just be like- eh I'm bored, whatever- not a big deal.)

I suppose that benzos can enhance depression since they are somewhat depressing your body.. so I'm just wondering what kind of med can be added to this so I dont feel so crappy all the time.  I am already on an SSRI also.. so any other suggestions?

Thanks

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

hi there.. if you didn't feel depressed at all before the benzos, then maybe u could get relief by exercising more, since it might get your energy level higher, which would counter the "depressant" effect of the benzos. 

also, very low doses of wellbutrin (usually 150mg) is something you could ask your doctor about, which is often added to SSRIs and benzos to balance sedation, which may be the cause of your depression.

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Posted · Report post

whew- that's tricky territory. My pdoc took me off Klonopin because of suspected worsening of my BP deperssion.

There seem to be few choices. Anxiety is much, much more annoying and crappy to me than even delusions. The anxiety has an "enhancing" effect on delusions for me.

I'd look at medicinal and non-medicinal answers. I try to stick with the non-medicinal answers that have worked for me, but I'm no saint. It is hard to stick to meds, let alone make yourself exercise or meditate, two of the strongest anti-depressents I know of that do not involve pills.

So, I'm going to give both kinds of possible answers-

You may need to look at increasing the SSRI, or switch SSRIs. The SSRI class is the bomb for me, hence why I still take the Paxil. You may be able to keep the Klonopin with an increase or switch there.

Depending on your other symptoms, perhaps an AAP could help. I have high hopes for my Risperdal. Some people report great outcomes with the AAPs used for stress and anxiety.

Now for the non-medicinal choices-

Some of these may sound new-agey or weird, but what works works. I'm just going to talk about what I believe has helped me avoid even more meds and higher doses. I also feel at least a degree of control over my disorders, and that boosts my self-esteem. That is never a bad thing.

First, exercise and meditation. Hypnosis, which is a deep form of guided meditation, is also great. Get a CD or tape. There are a lot of them that aren't called hypnosis, they're called something non-threatening like "dealing with anxiety". Some are used successfully by air traffic controllers and others in stressful jobs to maintain their sanity.

Another good help is lavender aromatherapy. Get an oil burner and let the lavender oil burn in your room, or wear it on your like a fragrance. They also make pendants that hold the oil so it can evaporate for you during the day. Lavender aromatherapy has several good studies to back it up, and is used very extensively in Alzheimer's units. My grandmother was given this oil as a therapy in the Alzheimer's home.

Vanilla is also relaxing. It is also sensual if you want to be in the mood, or promote the mood in your partner!

Animal therapy is shown time and time again to relieve stress. Just loving the animal and taking care of it is shown to promote relaxation and self-esteem. I have 2 cats and attest to this. Cats were also brought in to the Alzheimer's home, and Grandma really got into that.

Diet is another big one. Attempt to eat according to the lovely food pyramid as much as possible. I'm vegan and so eat according to different guidelines, but most people feel more lively when they eat well.

What else? If I think of anything else I'll let you know. Sometimes taking teh day off work or if you're homebound, staying away from others for the day can do a lot for helping the anxiety you suffer from.

--- loon---

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Posted (edited) · Report post

zsandoz,

I have to seriously disagree with the suggestion of wellbutrin, even at a low dose.

Wellbutrin is notoriously horrible for people with anxiety and panic. It often worsens it.  In my case it did horrible things to me.  My panic became so bad I would collapse on the sidewalk downtown and bawl, get confused, not know exactly where I was...  On Wellbutrin I had the worst, most terrifying panic I have ever had in my life.

Just a warning that it isn't the greatest for panic.

Edited by WendigoEater

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Posted · Report post

everyone's different. my doc has had success by prescribing wellbutrin to offset the downer-ness of benzos for many of his anxiety patients, but it wasn't good for me. actually it was okay by day but gave me nightmares. turns out i didn't need it, especially when i switched to valium. but i just wanted to throw in that, as always, YMMV.

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