The very first doctor I saw for mood swings prescribed me xanax. It only made things worse. However, now that I am being successfully treated for bipolar disorder (on lithium orotate), I can take klonopin intermittently without having any of the problems you discuss here.
So, as a patient, I basically agree with you – it depends on the person and the situation. I wasn’t complaining of anxiety, I was complaining about labile moods. I needed a mood stabilizer. However, now I sometimes have breakthrough anxiety, and I can recognize the feeling of anxiety as distinctly different, and take the benzo as needed.. which may be a few times a month or a few times a week, depending on how things are going.
I was given Versed/Midazolam for some kind of “anxiety” which I can assure you I was unaware of. Since then I HAVE had anxiety, panic attacks, fuzzy thinking, paranoia and all the other horrid amydala stuff that my brain can dish out. It has gotten slowly better, but if anybody values their brain, especially it seems, those of us with a high IQ RUN, NOT WALK away from any kind of benzo drug. The sheer arrogance of a mid level anesthesia provider is also shocking to me. I forbade the administration of any kind of drug like Versed and got it anyway because “he knows what’s best for me.” So a lifetime of battling a mental disorder (PTSD) is his idea of what’s best for me. Unbelievable.
I found this article very informative. Being a person who has gone through the addiction cycle to clonazapam, I concur that it is spot on. I did not realize that I had memory issues until I was taken off, and boy were they bad! I was taken off cold turkey, which makes me believe that I was fortunate to not have the issues listed above. What happened in my situation is that I was prescribed 3 pills PRN daily. I did well on that for about 6 months, and then I started squeaking into the next month by getting my script filled early. By the end of this abuse, which I do not recall fully, it is kind of blurry (again, memory issues) I was taking all of my dose right before bed, and when I had a day off, I was taking more than that through out the day so that I could sleep. My life literally fell apart. It took me a good three months to get to the point (after removal of the medication) that I could work one day and return the next and remember where I left off. I became a great note taker and very organized in order to keep my job, which to no surprise (hind site) I ended up losing in the end.
This medication turned out to be a disaster for me. What I find very surprising is that anytime I mention sleepless nights, doctors turn to Zanex immediately and tell me how great it is. I never go to the doctor for sleepless nights, as I have figured out a sleep hygiene that suits my needs, that does not include medication, but inevitably, the questions about sleep surface during initial appointments with Doctors, and medication is almost always recommended. (I know that there is mention of my addiction in my records, so this sort of pisses me off, but that is a topic that deserves its own blog.) I have struggled with anxiety my whole life, and with good reason, but medication does nothing but dull the senses, and it does nothing about the thoughts that cause the anxiety, except for stop them, until the next dose is needed. Nobody wants to be anxious, nobody. Therapy has done the trick with me, and I have a toolbox of occupational therapy tricks that provide me with relief from my thoughts. It was not an easy transition, and I did have some sleepless nights initially, but that is in my past. There is hope. There is great hope, but it takes work and a trusted ally to guide us through the thought cycles so that we can understand them and change them. This is just my story for anyone that can glean something from it.