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Old 08-11-2006, 06:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Valium For Panic Attacks??

Hey everyone, I'm hoping to get some good advice regarding Valium. I've been having a lot of anxiety and panic attacks lately (first time ever) because of a bunch of personal issues that hit me all at once. I've never had this happen to me ever, but it's freakin' me out a bit. I went to the doc originally and he prescribed paxil for me to take everday, however after sitting on the script for like a week I actually gave it back to him. I just didn't want to have to take something everyday. He then recently wrote me a script for Valium to take during the attacks only. I don't have them daily so I obviously won't be taking them routinely but I'm worried about taking another prescription drug while at the tail end of my taper off opiates. I've tapered down to 2 per day so I'm almost clean. I don't think the withdraws have anything to do with my panic attacks because I quit opiates nearly a year ago and never had anything like this. So I guess what I'm asking is what does everyone know about Valium and can it be taken in moderation without any longterm harm. I think if I can just get a few of these personal things behind me I'll be good to go and the attacks will go away but I don't want to create another problem for myself. Thoughts?
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have been sufferring from panic attacks since age 16.. I am 32 now.

The Benzodiazepines work wonders for panic attacks;

BUT

you have substance abuse issues so please be careful; Valium could be HIGHLY addictive. I wouldn't want you to get hooked.

I have Valium and Klonopin in the house. I used to abuse these drugs but I have stopped..

Some docs won't precribe the benzos to recovering addicts some will.

Anyway, just take one when you need it and be careful..They will only cause longterm harm if you abuse them..

Liz
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi T-1......my husband is an addict and he got addicted to xanax (a benzo) that he was taking for anxiety attacks. He has social anxiety/panic disorder. He currently is on paxil and likes it. its non-addictive and non-narcotic according to my husbands doctor. xanax and other benzo's like valium are very EASY to get addicted to and are VERY hard to come off of if you do get hooked. Be very careful if that is the road you want to take.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's certainly possible that the panic attacks are exacerbated by the W/D process.

In a prior post on a different thread I noted that there were some non-pharmacological things you could do to reduce or eliminate panic attacks, i.e. breathing exercises and meditation. It is really better if you can manage them without drugs . . . because when you withdraw from the drugs you often will get rebound anxiety attacks . . . . It is better to learn and use coping strategies.

The post was as follows:

Here's a printable how-to of breathing exercises by Jack Schwarz. It does not embrace Buddhism or any other religion:

http://www.positivehealth.com/PERMIT...on/reverie.htm

I think the best way to learn meditation is to attend a regular group meditation class. It is very hard to muster the discipline to meditate on your own, and a class gives you the support of a teacher and other students. (The goal is to make it a regular practice or habit). It also gets you out of the house, which is helpful to avoid temptation. Several classes were given at an evening college course I took on Tibetan Buddhism years ago. Currently I attend evening sessions at a "Healing Center" led by a psychologist who said she discovered that people healed faster with meditation vs. other approaches. She is really gifted and knows your state of mind at any time. I wish I knew how she did it. It is really beneficial because a person like her can help to "fine tune" your meditation.

There are lots of "how to" books on Amazon. By Buddhist style, I mean the practice where you empty your mind of though, or focus on specific parts of your body (e.g. the spiritual "3rd eye"). There are hundreds of more books that suggest visualization and other techniques, but the simple process of trying to "turn off the watcher" works well for me.

I don't like to sit on cushions and require back support. There is a relatively inexpensive "Back jack" meditation chair that I can endure for hours if desired: http://www.fourgates.com/backjack.asp

I lifted an interesting thought about the etiology of panic attacks from the following site: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p990249.html

David H. Barlow, Ph.D., developed a comprehensive model of panic disorder in which he explained that panics were sustained in patients because they developed a fear of bodily sensations associated with panic attacks (1988). Anxious apprehension causes chronic increased autonomic arousal, which increases vigilance with heightened sensitivity to evermore minute body sensations. A vicious cycle of apprehension and physiological activation results in panic disorder.

The site lists various approaches & techniques to treating panic disorder. The key is to break the cycle. Meditation offers one way.

Good luck,

Buzz
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I was considering going to the Dr. to ask to see if I can get something to help me relax(JUST THAT). If i did ask my doctor for something like valium, and take it for a week or 2, atleast until my anxiety comes down... i just dont want to become addicted to benzos, since word 'round here says they are highly addictive.

My body shakes, my hands shake, social contact is nerve wracking, and impulses tell me to avoid social situations. I'm early in my recovery, i'm sittin on a very-perty 8 days. (( 8/3/06 ))


Im fightin the cravings like a boxer. And i'm gonna win the title.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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=\ so confused now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizrox
They will only cause longterm harm if you abuse them..

Liz
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what is long term exactly? Also, Buzz you have some great info there. I really need to look into that stuff. I also need to start excercising again. I think that will help. Thanks to everyone who repsonded, I've got more thinking/researching to do. And Buzz our avatars are like long lost twin brothers... hehe.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T1
And Buzz our avatars are like long lost twin brothers... hehe.

LOL. It's actually me disguised as a redneck . . . .

And you ???

;-)
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Smile

T1...........

I wouldn't mess with the Valium if I were you. Especially coming off opiates.
Imo, benzo's are the hardest to come off of and since you already have addiction issues, benzo's should be one of the last things 'a good doctor' should put you on. There are many more options.

Good Luck,

Mackie
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz Kilowatt
LOL. It's actually me disguised as a redneck . . . .

And you ???

;-)

me disguised as James Brown... hehe
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'll honest... I took one last night. We had a particular difficult situation at home so i cheated it with taking my first valium. Small does at .5 It gave me a nice calm feel which did definitely take the edge off. For that moment I was calm and could think straight. Strangely it kept my mind off the two remaining tapers I had to do before getting completely off opiates. To soon to say that it truly helps. but memtally it's got me over the "i must my next fix" phase.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Though not common, one can become dependent to benzos in as little as two weeks time when taken daily. Increase the time taken and the possibility increases dramatically and when I say dependent I mean needed to cope. Then once one tries to stop, unlike the opiates, they can experience horrendous withdrawals that can last weeks, months even years....no foolin'.

Considering you have a history of dependency I advise you use with extreme caution and very infrequently, if even at all. What 5 mgs does to you now can easily require 10 mgs in just a few days time to get the same effect. It is just way too easy to pop a pill rather than to make the effort to learn coping skills. Sad but true.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Please be very careful with benzos. I had a bad addition to a very large amount. I built up a tolerance to a small amount then a tolerance to a larger amount and so on till I was addicted to a really big amount of klonopin.
Then the only thing benzos did was ward off acute withdrawal from them.
They worked well at first but then they very quickly stop working, then your in trouble. I found that they didn't work so well even after two weeks.
It took me 1 1/2 years to ween off them.
The withdrawal is horrid and I mean horrid!

Again please be careful.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I recently took a month medical leave to detox off xanax, I still need a maintenance dosage of valium.
Having been precribed them for anxiety disorder for many years, for me it takes about and sometimes less than a week to develop a tolerance, and they no longer work for me as Emmer said, I am just warding off the withdrawals. Which I still go thro'.
I hate this. But it is going to be a long process, altho' I so wanted to rush it and just be done with it.
There is a thread in Substance Abuse that is very informative regarding all benzos.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I understand. I was impaired by anxiety when it was prescribed for me, couldn't function. But I was put on a daily dose significantly higher than yours. It worked for a long time. And enabled me to live normally...did I say normal?! I mean I was able to work and carry on the semblance of a normal life. I have just been on it for way too long. And it doesn't work anymore. And became quite a monkey on my back.
When I needed it and it worked, it was a miracle for me...a much needed one.
And I was medicallly supervised.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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benzos only turned me into an animal.

bad stuff for me.
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've been taking one here and there to help cope with familily situations. Kinda worked the first two times but I don't really feel anything anymore. So I doubt I'll keep on them because it seems my body got way to use to them. on the other hand it did really help with wd's from opiates. i didn't even take my last two during my taper the night before. I woke up with a bad back ache and then took one norco to help me function but thats it. I'm going to go cold turkey soon I believe.
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Taken responsibly, Valium can be a good thing for panic attacks and anxiety. My addictionist gives it to me in small, limited quantities for the extreme anxiety I experience. He is fully aware of my addiction issues, obviously, but it is the most effective option. For me Paxil caused severe anxiety, and I found Effexor to work better...of course we're all different...it's just that some antidepressants can cause anxiety or produce panic attacks (a few years ago, my sister-in-law took Serzone, which caused pretty bad panic attacks; they stopped when she switched to something else. Bizarre!)

I don't worry about my Valium use because it isn't something I enjoy the effects of, unlike hydro, which is my DOC. I do know that there is a very real risk of dependence with it--indeed with pretty much any drug--but my use is so infrequent and is so "supervised" by my doctor (drug tests included), I feel like quite safe with it.

Just be aware of your use and don't fool yourself into thinking there is no threat there. Be honest with yourself and your doctor.

Just because we are addicts doesn't mean we have to be martyrs to pain, anxiety, insomnia, etc. There are ways to handle these very real issues.

This is just my opinion, of course, and comes from my personal history. You know yourself better than anybody. Listen to your heart, soul and body and go from there.

Peace.
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Benzos are HIGHLY addictive to an addict - especially if you like how it FEELS..we build up resistance to benzos very quickly....Very quickly it will take 2 or 3 to do what 1 did, and then well why not take 4 or 5 - It triggers our addict as well...Hopefully your doctor is well educated about addiction - I know a lot of ours aren't..

I Have heard that BENZOS are the WORST and HARDEST WITHDRAWLS around...I have met & seen people in withdrawl, but not experienced it myself...just what I know about it...I am VERY CAREFUL..I won't take a chance - I take psych meds..anx & dep...but really research them myself first and have a GOOD Discussion with my Doc - who is also an Addiction Doctor...

You are ALMOST CLEAN !!!!!!!! Hang in there - You can do it.....
We are not used to feeling our normal human feelings..because we have always drugged them away...It is difficult when we first clean up...Keep trying YOU ARE DOING GREAT !!!!!!!!





Way to Go T1 !!!!!!
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:45 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm not good at taking pills responsibly.
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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i would say no way to the valium...being a meth head...it really has snuck in the back door on me (via valium) sounds strange but true...

i take 50 mg of Paxil CR and 25mg Serequol a night and I haven't felt better...
i had terrible axiety attacks for 20 or so years... good luck
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