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So I am on Ativan PRN for anxiety, but I rarely take it - I will go through a rough patch and take 1-2 a day for a week, and then not take any for 8 months.

 

But anxiety is with me ALL the time.  I'm just resistant to taking it. 

 

Ativan works, but it kind of...spaces me out.  It doesn't stop it from starting.  And a lot of times I don't know why it starts, so it's hard to work on triggers.

 

I didn't stick this in the benzo section, b/c - are there meds for anxiety that aren't benzos? 

 

I also tend to be confused about whether I'm depressed or anxious.  I think on the whole it's anxiety - does anyone else have this, where the two feel confused?

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Depression and anxiety go hand in hand. They're BFFs. It's hard to experience one without the other creeping up behind you. My psychiatrist recently put me on Buspar for anxiety. I don't know much about it, but from her words it's highly effective and non-addicting. I'm sure there are other options available besides benzos for anxiety. Best to talk to a doctor about it though. Good luck.

 

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Here is a list of non-benzo meds often used for anxiety:

 

Buspar

Neurontin (Gabapentin)

Lyrica

SSRI antidepressants

Remeron

Certain tricyclic antidepressants (Tofranil, Elavil, etc.)

and beta blockers (for the physical symptoms of anxiety)

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Gabapentin is good for anxiety, it is also used as a mood stabilizer for BP, and sometimes with depression. It is also used for chronic pain. You can go up to really high amounts, or low amounts, like 300mg. I've seen doses up to 3200mg a day. Lyrica is similar (it's made from Gabapentin, but newer and supposed less side effects, never tried it), but is also more expensive.

 

Luvox is an SSRI approved for anxiety and OCD. I found it slammed my anxiety and had few side effects. It's also very inexpensive and covered by most insurance. I now take Lexapro (I was on a really high dose and it was making me kinda manic and irritable) but I'd rather be on Luvox, because I could take a lower dose now. It can be as low as 25mg, up to, I believe 250mg.

 

There is also Prozac, similar to Luvox, sort of a "cousin", but Luvox is better, just shorter acting (so 2-3 times a day, rather than once, with Prozac) Cymbalta is approved for GAD. There is also what's mentioned above.. I seem like I ALWAYS mention Luvox, but really, it helped a lot for me, and I know others that swear by it.

 

Buspar can be hit or miss. Some people love it, some say it doesn't help. Beta blockers can help, too, but you have to watch your blood pressure because they can lower it. YMMV. Hope this helps.

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Man, if you are taking it like that than you are doing yourself a favor.....AD's are known to help anxiety but you have to take them all the time and then on top of that there is the withdraws. Taking Ativan 1-2 days and then not taking them for almost a year is great.

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So I am on Ativan PRN for anxiety, but I rarely take it - I will go through a rough patch and take 1-2 a day for a week, and then not take any for 8 months.

 

But anxiety is with me ALL the time.  I'm just resistant to taking it. 

 

Ativan works, but it kind of...spaces me out.  It doesn't stop it from starting.  And a lot of times I don't know why it starts, so it's hard to work on triggers.

 

I didn't stick this in the benzo section, b/c - are there meds for anxiety that aren't benzos? 

 

I also tend to be confused about whether I'm depressed or anxious.  I think on the whole it's anxiety - does anyone else have this, where the two feel confused?

Yes, I have also been perpetually confused about differentiating my experiences with the two.  And I also have the issue with feeling some variable level of anxiety almost all the time plus the unidentifiable triggers.  Working by myself at identifying specific triggers only gets me limited progress before frustration with the large unidentifiable mass makes that exercise into its own failure/perfection "I am an idiot" trigger of its own.

 

Your timing/pattern of Ativan use is almost identical to mine.  I don't like taking it unless absolutely necessary for the same reasons.  0.5mg just makes me spacey without doing enough for the anxiety.  But 1mg or more can abruptly end my day with excessive sleepiness except in the occasional cases when I am supremely physically agitated.  

 

Several years back I spent about 2.5 years being tried on practically every dose and dosing schedule of Lexapro but that didn't seem to do enough for either problem to make the side effects worth it.  I've also been on practically every dose and formulation of Wellbutrin (with and without the Lexapro).  It doesn't seem to make the anxiety dramatically worse and has only moderate effect on preventing recurring depression.  So I'm also not sure what I'm supposed to try next, other than definitely whatever therapy I can afford while I've got good insurance.

 

This exact issue is one of the things I will be bringing up at intake with a new pdoc tomorrow.  I haven't had insurance to afford to see a proper pdoc in almost a year so I really hope she can help me with some of this before I lose insurance again in June.

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I think I will discuss with my pdoc on the 27th.

 

I also have trouble identifying triggers.  I know stuff that makes it WORSE, but it's really just something that gives me a focus for the anxiety, not something that I feel anxious about.  I can problem solve of things to do, plans forward, and feel confident and comfortable in those things, but I still have this thing that just gnaws at me.

 

Crtclms, yeah.  I know I should take the Ativan more than I do but anxiety I always feel like I should tough it out or something.  I just started therapy again. 

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