Blogs


Notices

Xanax or Valium?

Old 03-17-2009, 09:24 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
To Life!
 
historyteach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 9,294
Let's please not argue apples and oranges.
Severe indogeneous mental illness is not the same as exogeneous mental illness. Both need treatment, but, the treatment *may* not be the same.

On top of that, each individual is different. Individuals may react differently to the same medications given at the same dosage. Our individual blood chemistry and brain chemistry is far too different to make generic statements and have them say anything meaningful in this situation.

Puddy, you had a bad situation. I'm sorry.
Others have expressed their very bad situations too.
Neither of you are wrong. Each of you are correct -- for your own circumstances.

However, my own son almost died because some well-meaning person at NA told him he wasn't clean if he took his depression meds. Thankfully, I woke up on time to call the ambulance and get him to the hospital on time.

This situation happened many years ago. I haven't thought of it in a long, long time. Much has happened in the meantime and since. He's still using; He's still not on his meds which he desparetly needs for his bipolar condition. He's almost thirty now.

I'm not being overdramatic at all.
This has been my real life. And my son's.
And it happens all the time.

Please respect others ESH just as you would like yours respected.
Just because another's experience is different than yours doesn't make it wrong.
It only makes it different.
And isn't that what makes this beautiful world go 'round?

Just one question, though, if you don't mind...
I've never met an old active junkie; Have you?
See, my son's life depends upon things that others say to him -- even well meaning people.
I'd prefer that a doctor tell him medical information.
It's *his* life at stake.

Shalom!
historyteach is offline  
Old 03-17-2009, 10:30 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
Life the gift of recovery!
 
nandm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Home is where the heart is
Posts: 7,057
An interesting statistic that ties into this subject

Bipolar disorder increases the risk for substance abuse and addiction: 60 to 80 percent of people with bipolar disorder will sufferer from alcoholism or drug abuse during their lives.

Overall, the death rate is higher in people with bipolar disorder, especially those receiving insufficient treatment.

I am an alcoholic but I do have to question how much of my alcoholism is directly related to the untreated bipolar disease. Was I unconsciously self medicating my bipolar disease during my 20 years of active alcoholism? I have not had the obsession or craving to drink since I have been treated for my bipolar disease which includes medications for anxiety. I may never know, and honestly do not care to know, which came first the alcoholism or the bipolar. What I do know is that I am going to continue to treat the chemical imbalance in my brain and body with medications rather than chance winding up in active alcoholism again.

I have to remind myself that "what people think of me is none of my business". Sometimes that is hard to remember and leaves me feeling I need to justify myself to someone I do not even know. Part of the program of AA is the realization that I do not have to worry about others opinions of me or my sobriety. I have to be true and honest with myself and my Higher Power and as long as I am doing that I will be fine.
nandm is offline  
Old 03-17-2009, 03:31 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
Member
 
Puddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 184
quote: Just one question, though, if you don't mind...
I've never met an old active junkie; Have you?
See, my son's life depends upon things that others say to him -- even well meaning people.
I'd prefer that a doctor tell him medical information.
It's *his* life at stake.

Very true. I did not tell anyone not to take benzos. I told them they almost killed me dead, and not to call yourself sober if you are on them. Let me give you the nutshell story:

I was 1 1/2 years sober in 2003. I developed severe insomnia and could not stop checking the stove, the car doors, etc at night. I was going crazy.

I went to a psychiatrist, who told me I had OCD, and to take Lexapro and Triazolam for the rest of my life, most likely.

Everything went fine for 5 years. I too said I was sober, and was very quick to anger at those who might suggest otherwise.

Then the drugs stopped working, and turned against me (as all drugs will do eventually).
I couldn't even taper off, had to jump off, was not told not to do that by the good Dr. He just said, "we have to take you off these. Here. Take Lunesta. It's a nonbenzodiazepine".

I became even more suicidal. I had to jump off that med. Nothing worked anymore. I had to be taken out of my apt on a stretcher when I couldn't even keep water down for 7 days.

They took me to a hospital, where they pumped me full of Clonidine (another benzo). Discharged me, and left me to do it all over again.

It is now 7 months later. I still get toxic rushes of suicidal ideation and severe anxiety.

I treat this severe suicidal ideation and severe anxiety with yoga, long walks, deep breathing, and vigorous stepwork and sponsorship.

I no longer need any med.

I know for a fact severe anxiety and depression is treatable with Kundalini Yoga and a strong AA program. Without these, I would be very dead.

I know for a fact that the benzos will stop working one day and you will be in a world of hell.

Google Ashton Manual and read it.

Thanks, but I am trying to save lives here. I wish you all happiness, healthiness, and above all, true sobriety.
Puddy is offline  
Old 03-17-2009, 03:50 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
member
 
Mattcake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,433
Blog Entries: 9
Puddy, it sounds as though you ran into an incompetent quack. Long term benzo use - and SSRIs for that matter - should be closely monitored. These drugs are tools that should be used carefully, ideally while the patient starts therapy and finds other methods to deal with their disorders. Same goes for Lunesta and all psych. drugs.

Sadly, a lot of pdocs are basically clueless when it comes to mental health. There is no excuse for what is basically indiscriminate, reckless prescribing.
Mattcake is offline  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:20 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
Life the gift of recovery!
 
nandm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Home is where the heart is
Posts: 7,057
Originally Posted by Puddy View Post

I know for a fact severe anxiety and depression is treatable with Kundalini Yoga and a strong AA program. Without these, I would be very dead.

I know for a fact that the benzos will stop working one day and you will be in a world of hell.

Google Ashton Manual and read it.

Thanks, but I am trying to save lives here. I wish you all happiness, healthiness, and above all, true sobriety.
Are you a psychiatrist, psychologist, MD, or just a layperson with an opinion. Facts are things that can be proven not just a persons experience and opinion. What you consider a 'fact" is obviously just your opinion and possibly that of the book you preach about. That does not make it a true fact. It is "facts" like yours that cause people to not seek treatment or stop treating their mental illness'. A chemical imbalance can not be cured by simply meditating. You obviously have no clue what a chemical imbalance is and how it relates to severe anxiety. The chemical imbalance is not my opinion, theory, or "fact". It is a medically documented fact. I respect your right to your opinion but please stop trying to pass it off as the only way and as a fact. It is your experience and opinion but that does not mean that it is going to be everyone's experience or opinion.

I too am trying to save lives as well and know from experience that your opinion can be deadly. Best of luck to you.
nandm is offline  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:34 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
Member
 
scarlati's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 174
Please respect others ESH just as you would like yours respected.
Sorry, but what's ESH?

As for the OP, I am glad to hear that you've been seeing a therapist. I think that's a good first step. But if that's not getting the job done, some meds might be in order.

I've taken Lexapro, an SSRI, and am currently on Buspar. The Lexapro worked really well for the anxiety but the side effects were pretty miserable. So my doc switched me to Buspar. He told me the side effects weren't as bad as SSRIs, but that it's success rate wasn't as good. He was saying that, basically, Buspar doesn't do anything for a lot of the people that try it. Fortunately for me, I'm one of the lucky ones. For me, Buspar works just as well as Lexapro and has no side effects at all. The key words here are "For me."

Also, there's a lot to be said for the natural relaxation stuff. Yoga, tai chi, meditation, running and healthy eating have definitely helped me a lot. So whether or not you try some meds, you should really get into some of that stuff. Finding something relaxing you can do every day will likely be beneficial. For me it's not a substitute for meds, but it's a nice suppliment.
scarlati is offline  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:40 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
Member
 
Barto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Righthere, Rightnow
Posts: 1,424
AA defines sobriety here, and talks about the use of medications while being a member.

http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-11_...ersMedDrug.pdf
Barto is offline  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:41 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
Member
 
Barto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Righthere, Rightnow
Posts: 1,424
Originally Posted by scarlati View Post
Sorry, but what's ESH?
Experience, Strength, & Hope.
Barto is offline  
Old 03-17-2009, 07:37 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
Life the gift of recovery!
 
nandm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Home is where the heart is
Posts: 7,057
Thank you, Barto, for the great article on sobriety and medications. It is a well written article that shows both sides of the issue. It also provides the Alcoholic's Anonymous World Service's stand on sobriety and medication use.
nandm is offline  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:50 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
To Life!
 
historyteach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 9,294
I told them they almost killed me dead,
Sharing your own ESH is most welcome. Any time.
BTW, ESH is Experience, strength and Hope for the poster who asked.
and not to call yourself sober if you are on them.
That's your OPINION. And it's those types of opinions that caused my son to try to commit suicide. Have you read your AA liturature on medicine?

I no longer need any med.
I'm very happy for you. I'm sure we all are.

I know for a fact severe anxiety and depression is treatable with Kundalini Yoga and a strong AA program.
You know for a fact it worked for YOU!
And I honestly hope it continues to work.
Without these, I would be very dead.
And without their prescribed medications, others would be very dead. Too many ARE already. Would you care to hear about the multiple times my son has tried to commit suicide? Sadly, it's more often than I can remember. But, his untreated bipolar condition is the root cause of his heroin addiction. Self medication. And too often people tell him he's "not really clean" if he takes medication!
THAT bs is what is killing my son!
If you're not a doctor, stop dispensing medical information. And if you *are* a doctor, it is unethical for you to dispense medical advice over the internet to strangers.

Thanks, but I am trying to save lives here.
You are a member of SR. Sharing your ESH is what we do here. Predicting the future is impossible. And fearmongering is unwelcome.

I wish you all happiness, healthiness,
And I wish you the same.

and above all, true sobriety.
Read your AA literature then. Cuz the founders and since have recognized the validity of and the necessity of medication taken as needed and as prescribed. Learn the facts first. Your words have power to HURT people -- even to kill them.

EDIT - Barto's posting on the AA literature was the information I was about to go looking for to post. Thanks Barto!
NB - #3 AA members do not play doctor!

Shalom!
historyteach is offline  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:56 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
Member
 
Puddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 184
Fair enough everyone, I apologize. And you're right, I shouldn't give medical advice.

I just see so many people in sobriety going down the same road I went down and it's upsetting.

I also am upset because AA people told me medications were fine and they almost killed me.

I will reccommend this - if you are on benzos, please google Ashton Manual and read it. Withdrawal is easily fatal for everyone. Professor Heather Ashton, psychiatrist from U of Cambridge wrote it. She has the credentials I do not.

And all I will say is - take benzos at your own peril.
Puddy is offline  
Old 03-18-2009, 08:05 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
Member
 
riverman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 14
Speaking for myself

I know for a fact severe anxiety and depression is treatable with Kundalini Yoga and a strong AA program. Without these, I would be very dead.

I know for a fact that the benzos will stop working one day and you will be in a world of hell.

Google Ashton Manual and read it.

Thanks, but I am trying to save lives here. I wish you all happiness, healthiness, and above all, true sobriety.
I've found lots to relate to in this thread so thank you all for sharing your esh.

Puddy'
The only facts I know are what works for me today.
Acceptance & surrender are the way though for me.
That life is just a journey, that my needs for meds have changed over the years for the better. Sometimes a very hard.
When I work at curing the spiritual malady in my life the rest falls into place.

"I found this new life by attraction rather than promotion".
riverman is offline  
Old 03-18-2009, 03:12 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
Member
 
Puddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 184
Cool, hey listen - I never told anyone to jump off their benzos. I don't even think I gave medical advice so much as advocated a holistic lifestyle for people in recovery, particularly people with psych problems. Any drug is a band aid to take care of current symptoms only, I think we can all agree on that. And with the television commercials every day, I think we can all agree that the pharmaceutical industry is pretty out of control.

It's also a fact that the average Dr has a whole whopping one 8 hour training session on addiction, and that the only info he or she has on the medications they prescribe is provided by the pharmaceutical companies. With all the new meds on the scene every month, they can't possibly keep up with them.

I didn't really give out any advice that you wouldn't hear from a naturopathic doctor. Or, from a regular doctor that truly understands addictive disease and alcoholism.

As far as words having the power to kill, I know what you mean - I've experienced that in full.

But I luv ya all
Puddy is offline  
Old 03-18-2009, 05:09 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
To Life!
 
historyteach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 9,294
I didn't really give out any advice that you wouldn't hear from a naturopathic doctor. Or, from a regular doctor that truly understands addictive disease and alcoholism.
Telling people they are not clean and sober if they take their prescribed medications *is* playing doctor; it *is* hurting/killing people; and it *is* wrong!

As for my own experience with benzos, here it is. I've been prescribed xanax for over 14 years. I take them as needed. It's very very seldom. I've never abused them. Why? I'm not an addict. But, after learning that my only child was a heroin addict; after finding him near dead multiple times; after putting him in prison by calling the police and testifying against him multiple times, *I* needed help for my own anxiety which was through the roof. More often than not, I have to call to have the prescription renued because it's out of date, rather than because I'm out of it!

I also have friends who are addicts who take benzos -- as prescribed. They have someone else handle the meds. They take precautions as they know their own weakness. They are responsible for their own actions.

And that's the key. Responsibility.
You, me and every person on this earth is responsible for our own actions. We are responsible for learning about the prescriptions that the doc hands us. We are responsible to take it *only* as prescribed. We are responsible for reporting any side effects -- yes, even the side effects we may "like."

My doctor and I are partners in my health care. He is not G*D. I do not expect him to be one. I question him on the why's and what for's of my diagnoses, prescriptions and effects of meds.... We are partners in my health, but, ultimately, I am responsible for my health.

In this day and age, I cannot even imagine anyone blindly accepting the words of a doctor. If you did so, that's on you. It's YOUR health at stake. Be responsible for it.

But, please stop trying to be "responsible" for others lives.
You're not.

You've shared your ESH.
You've touted your book on the subject.
But, you are NOT a doctor!
And your words do harm.

So, no.
We do NOT all agree on your excuses
listed in the last post.
Not at all.

But, we can agree to disagree.

Shalom!
historyteach is offline  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:37 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: I'll let you know when I figure it out
Posts: 92
Hell all I know is I don't trust the psych industry (that's what it is... an industry) or any of it's Dr's(so far). History, how do you know one of those psych meds wont cause you're son to go over the edge? I'm not saying that to be rude,I'm just saying it's a realistic concern.

I'm sorry.... didn't seem to be a shortage of soapboxes here.
Jrock75 is offline  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:53 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
To Life!
 
historyteach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 9,294
Jrock,
Since you address me, I'll answer you.
That is *not* the issue which I am addressing Puddy.

The issue I am discussing is dispensing medical advice which is harmful to others.
Especially since no one here is a doctor.
That same information has almost killed my son more than once.

I am sharing my own experience.
My life's experience.
And that of my son's.

Sharing our ESH is what we do here on SR.
It's our purpose.
To HELP one another.
Not to harm.

"First, cause no harm" is the Hippocratic Oath that every doctor takes.
Ironic, isn't it?

That's what the topic was about.

Shalom!
historyteach is offline  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:36 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
Member
 
warrens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: 49 degrees north
Posts: 1,014
I could be very long winded here, but others have made the point very clearly and ethically: Nandm, Mattcake, and Historyteach, as well as others.

Puddy, I suggest that you know nothing about brain chemistry or changes in actual structure. That's not an insult, I have been there, both as loved one and now, victim. I was ignorant. My ex and daughter, and now me.

With the former, I was of your opinion. Boy was I wrong.

When it hit me, I was 55. "Macho." Hell, I had 70 employees, 550 students, and countless parents I was responsible to. I was principal, and had been for a long time.

I am an alcoholic. My ex and daughter do not drink. Their lives have been saved by meds.

While I have had anxiety/depression all my life (I discovered via therapy and long self reflection that is still ongoing). I just "stuffed" it. For decades. A man (or woman) only has so much resilience. Research shows, definitively, that long term stress changes the actual structure and function of the brain.

Wanna book? Try "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression." by Andrew Solomon, an award winning novelist (so it reads beautifully). This book won The National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. I don't recommend books easily. Especially to the masses. And while I don't discount the value of holistic and naturopathic remedies, I do demand some kind of peer reviewed evidence.

As an alcoholic with long term abstinence, but currently active (but never drunk) due to 12 months of multiple personal traumas, it is my meds (Zoloft and Xanax) that keep me sane enough to keep "control." I will get better.

I recently upped my Zoloft, very reluctantly, from 50 to 150 mg/day. I was told that 50 mg was less than a therapeutic dose. I was stunned. As for Xanax, it has saved my butt countless times. I NEVER take more than .5mg at a time. On rare occasion, I will take another .5 12 hours later. And I am an alcoholic. I get 1mg pills and break them in half. I took 1 mg once and it put me on my butt. No thanks.

Brain chemistry is an incredibly complex thing. While psychopharmacology is in it's infancy, we are a long way from "The Valley of the Dolls." (you probably don't understand that reference, Puddy). In the past 20 years, I would dare to say that the rate of progress in treating depression/anxiety has exceeded that of most areas of medicine. Remember, I came to this conclusion kicking and screaming. In 20 years, I'm sure we will laugh at what we are doing today.

I experience no physical or emotional effects from the meds I take other than relief from bone crushing anxiety. It is saving me from medicating with alcohol to my spiritual and perhaps physical death. It will allow me to regain my complete abstinence soon. I am getting better every day.

But, I would NEVER recommend what I am doing to anyone else. We must know when we are ignorant. Which has nothing to do with being stupid. There is a difference between deductive and inductive reasoning.

My ex and my daughter have found their own med path. Very different. I have mine. I know tons of very functional people who have theirs. We are alive, functional, achieving. My meds have nothing to do with my addiction except to keep it within "bounds." Aside from my Mother's impending death, my personal issues have gone from crescendo to diminuendo. I will be back to rock solid sobriety very soon. I will never give up or give in. As painful as it can be, and I've been through more than a book can hold, I love life.

Would I recommend my "recipe" to anyone else? NEVER. I wouldn't try to work on the fuel injection system in my car, either. I may be ignorant, but I'm not stupid. When we talk about anxiety/depression, we are talking about life and death. Relationships, families, income, futures.

I am so happy that you have found "The Cure." It is certainly worth an attempt by others. But, generalize and you are playing with people's lives. Do you have a license? There is a reason that physicians, psychiatrists, and therapists have millions in malpractice insurance.

I thought I was going to be brief. I apologize, but this hit home.
warrens is offline  
Old 03-20-2009, 08:40 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
bona fido dog-lover
 
least's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: eastern USA
Posts: 84,877
Blog Entries: 32
... what he said...
least is online now  
Old 03-22-2009, 05:04 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 22
How can someone say their sober when taking benzos for anxiety? They are taking a chemical to change the way they feel that is the definition of using. Alprazolam is basically powdered vodka it reacts on the cns in the same way as alcohol so when someone stops drinking and takes benzos instead to me there not sober. I don't feel the same way about ssris though so go figure. With the benzos I see people in this thread defending thier use of benzos differently then they do their use of SSRIS. Like minimizing the amount they use of the benzos by saying oh I usually have to call my doctor to renew the prescription because its outdated not because I took them all reminds me of how alcoholics describe their drinking to not sound alcoholic.
QuantumMeltdown is offline  
Old 03-22-2009, 05:26 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
To Life!
 
historyteach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 9,294
Again,
Read the literature.
It's posted above.

And, quantum,
You are talking about me calling my doc.
My son's the addict in the family. I'm an alanon.
Go figure.

I think there's really no more left to be said here, but, rehashing the same, tired arguement. So, I'm closing this thread.

Audradavid,
I hope your questions have been answered fully.
If not, feel free to start another thread.
Hopefully, it can stay on track better than this one did.

We're here to help.
Please let us know how you are.

Shalom!
historyteach is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:37 PM.