Someone please help me!! Lorazepam

Posted , 4 users are following.

I've been on lorazepam for the last 5 weeks because of panic attacks. I've been on fluoxetine 40mg for nearly three years and it's stopped working. Lorazepam is the only thing that helps at the moment but I'm scared of addiction! I'm also on HRT and I don't know if that's affected things - last time I changed my dose of HRT I had panic attacks for months before I adjusted.

What do I do? I feel like I'm going to die, I'm just so scared and there's no reason to be...

Please - has anyone else had difficulties with panic attacks, benzos and HRT?

Thank you X

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23 Replies

  • Posted

    I have bad anxiety and panic attacks so I understand. I was prescribed Xanax 10 years ago. It was amazing how it let me live a normal life. That being said,please consider not using it accept every now and than at most. My doctor retired,New doctors I've seen want to now taper a person off the med. So now I have to do a slow taper with hopes I can do so and be ok. It's scarey. My advice,stay away from Benzos,I think in the not so distant future almost everyone prescribed them will have to quit using them as doctors will stop prescribing them.

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    • Posted

      Thats some sound advice re: benzos . Doctors are being told to reduce the prescribing rate of benzos.

      i just wanted to wish you luck with your taper!

      If you find the taper to fast to cope with then speak to the prescriber and increase the dose back up a step for a small amount of time and then attempt the taper again once stable.

      It can be a very long process with the dosage going up and down, but you will get there!

      my advice, dont let the doctors push you too fast, you dont want to go into full detox because it isnt nice

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lee. I know - they're very hesitant to prescribe them, which I completely understand, but it's not simple when you're in such a state you can no longer eat, think, sleep. It's been particularly bad since yesterday whereas before I had some control.

      X

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    • Posted

      Oh I more than understand I know what you are going through,that's why I finally to started taking them. .They were Dr. prescribed,10 yrs ago it was not uncommon at all to take longer term.I am in a catch 22,they work for me,now I'm faced with not getting the relief I got from anxiety from them. I took trips,did well socially etc,now I'm left with anxiety over facing withdrawals plus the doctor wants to start an antidepressant, they seem to be pushing those even though they have side affects etc. All this stress is even causing my BP to go up...so another pill? What's worse the anxiety med or all this.

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    • Posted

      I'm so sorry you are having a hard time too. To be honest I think you should be able to take whatever you need to function as constant panic is exhausting and not good for anyone, but doctors don't generally see it like that.

      Personally I think antidepressants are great if you find the right one. Escitalopram worked for me, it's not perfect and the start-up symptoms can be awful, but I found the worst was over after about 2 weeks - I was switched to fluoxetine as this was supposed to help with my hormones, but I didn't feel the benefit in that way and now I'm struggling with balancing the HRT.

      X

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  • Posted

    Hi, sorry that you are having bad panic attacks.

    Generally speaking benzos should be restricted as much as possible and 5 weeks is a long time to be taking it, so when you come off of it, you will need to carefully taper off.

    I know at the moment it feels like benzos are the answer, I can say with certainty they are not! benzo addiction is a whole new level.

    I would suggest that you speak to your doctor about the problems you are having, I think a CMHT referral would be a good idea. Benzos only ever mask whats there and cause new problems, they dont take the problem away. and before you know it you will need more and more to get the effect you want.

    Your HRT is likely a major contributor in your anxiety. May I ask why you are using HRT? Is it for menopause?

    If its for menopause, you should talk to the prescribing doctor of the HRT, have some bloods and check your hormone levels.

    Im not a fan of HRT for menopause, it carries a lot of risks. There is also research to suggest that it prolongs menopause.

    I would suggest a good vitamin and suppliment regime to counteract the symptoms. A good vitamin and supplement regime will also help with your mental

    health. by having regular intake your body adjusts quickly and you will be suprised how much better you will feel generally.

    obviously if the HRT is needed, then its needed! but the vitamin regime will help tremendously.

    with regards to the anti-depressant stopping working, there is some room for dosage adjustment to see if it helps, if not you could come off of it and try another antidepressant, either the same class (SSRI) or a different class, which targets anxiety more.

    I am also a huge advocate of talking therapies. With anxiety, we tend to internalize our fears, which makes them worse. Its important with anxiety and depression to have a multi tool arsenal at your disposal. ie medication in combination with talking therapy and learned theraputic techniques and coping strategies.

    Im more than happy to talk to you more about this. I have 5 years expierience with benzos, 11 years of depression, and 5 years of anxiety. Im highly skilled at navigating the system and know what its like to be stuck in the system.

    I wish you all the best, and encourage you to talk with your doctor about your fears and look to make a plan going forward. If your anxiety is too bad to do this face to face, you can always write to your doctor and they will respond fairly quickly

    good luck

    Charlie

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    • Posted

      can I ask you a question? My doctor is now trying to add an antidepressant during the taper,I don't know what to do. I think some can aid in anxiety,however they take an adjustment period,usually with side affects,than,if it doesn't work,they have their own set of withdrawal symptom,my son takes them and has been off and on new meds so often. I also worry I won't be able to tell a withdrawal symptom from an antidepressants symptom. Any thoughts Also do you know what would be a good med in that class? Thanks so much,my stress level is high at the moment.

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    • Posted

      Start the antidepressant well before tapering. Theres no hurry. I dont believe 5 weeks is a very long time to be on a benzo. Youre taper will go well.

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    • Posted

      I hate to disagree with charlie95' but increasing dosage during a taper is never a good idea. Holding your dose for awhile is fine but it would not be wise to go up and down in doses. Will wreak havoc on your brain.

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    • Posted

      Hello Charlie.

      Thanks so, so much for your message. I'm on HRT for PCOS and severe PMS, but am in my early thirties and doctors ruled out early menopause.

      I was fine, in fact very well, on HRT when I started it last June. When I lowered the dose of progesterone last year (pretty much halved it) my anxiety shot through the roof; I felt certifiable.

      After about 4 months of being on the original dose I stabilised, and was applying for jobs, socialising, able to chill out, etc.

      Then back in August I doubled the progesterone and in mid-November I got really ill with similar overwhelming anxiety and panic again. I don't know what's causing what! Usually I have a positive, proactive approach to things and love people and am interested in everything - now I feel like I've been possessed 😦

      And I have tried lots of therapy but it just doesn't respond to reason.

      I started taking a multi-vit last night. The other thing I wondered about was B12 as the highest mine has ever been was 345 and the lowest reading was 238, but I don't have pernicious anaemia and doctors aren't interested.

      X

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    • Posted

      Hello again Charlie!

      I also realised that when I originally went in antidepressants and when restarting or adjusting the dose, I've never needed to take as many benzos as I have recently and last year, despite the state I've been. So can estrogen and progesterone cause this agony? It seems to me that hormones are much stronger than antidepressants.

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    • Posted

      actually, the NICE guidelines suggest when the patient cant deal with a step down, increasing the dose to the last known stable dose until the patient has stabalised then half the last reduction. the havoc would happen with an inexpierienced doctor expects a taper to go smoothly based on what text books say.

      believe me Ive done it! and never went into detox and tapered successfully ij t less than a year, with minimal side effects

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    • Posted

      there is a website out there that will send you enough b12 injections for a year, they are free but they ask for donations. obviously b12 iniections are expensive but so good.

      the problem GPs have with b12 levels is that they dont know enough about vitamins and the levels are defined by national average (which is low for everyone) i wish I could remeber the link to the b12 site. if I do ill post it. they totally get it and all you have to do is fill in a form and their doctor prescribes it for you.

      and as a chemical pathologist once told me 'the only way b12 can kill you is if you drown in it'

      I have fibromyalgia and b12 injections are like magic! I have higher levels that you but have one b12 injection every 1-2 months

      as you seem to have a goof timeline, you have a good case to push your doctors a little on the HRT and monitoring it kore regularly. progestorne in particular is very anxiety causing.

      stick with with vits and ill look for the b12 site for you. give then a good 4-6 weeks to really get in there and see how you feel. but judging by what you have said HRT is playing a big part of this, so I would get an appointment to see the GP asap before dealing with the benzo and discuss the role HRT is playing. adjustment may be needed.

      if the GP wont act, push for referral elsewhere.

      with regards to the hormones being stronger than the antidepressants - they are. Think back to puberty and all those unexplained feelings due to surges in hormones, thats sort of whats happening now.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Charlie, you are lovely. I feel I'm insane.

      My stomach is rumbling but I am struggling to eat. I've had some relief in the evenings, but the attacks are practically lasting all day at the moment.

      I really hope it is hormonal because that will be an explanation. Anything that usually works isn't working anymore.

      Can progesterone build up in your system? I'm wondering if I'm having a delayed reaction to the increase, and I lowered the dose on 2 December, but still feel so ill.

      X

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    • Posted

      hi I really feel for you. yes progesterone can build up overtime, and your body can all of a sudden start producing it itself, I suspect what has happened is the progestorone levels have gone high and unbalanced other things. The problem with the body is one thing over produces, another has to decrease as a result, so its like playing a balencing game.

      Im so pleased you have started multi-vits, evening primrose oil is also good. look at you general diet as well, limit carbs, are you having fish at least once a week etc

      I personally hate sea food so I have to supplement the goodness fish have into my diet another way.

      if you are going prolonged periods of time, try going in easy, with maybe some toast, or some simple biscuits just to keep you going.

      And sleep will help too, try and make sure you are getting good restful sleep - if you arent take a look at some sleepy hygiene stuff online. I go through periods of insomnia followed by hypersomnia - neither are fun and both effect my mood a great deal

      when I feel like that the best thing to do is find something - ANYTHING you can tolerate food wise and have it to give you something. I get major taste disturbance with my anxiety in particular. sometimes all and can eat is yogurt, other times i cant even swallow yogurt.

      try and stay away from heavy carbs lile potato, pasta and rice, while you are feeling this way because they can make you feel rough without other food groups involved. but the important thing is to eat something! anxiety and depression uses a lot of bodily energy to sustain. also if you arent eating well at the moment, maybe look at some electrolite replacement to keep your systems running normally when you arent really eating. there is a brand called high 5 ZERO for electrolytes - a little pricey but really do the job!

      worth knowing - if you are in the UK - halfords of all places sell them! and will price match instore if you can find them cheaper elsewhere!

      what Im going to say to you hear is 'controversial' but at this point you need to be selfish - make decisions in yours and only your best interest. If you have a rough

      night, take a rest the next day.

      your body needs all the strength it can get right now to deal with whats going on.

      Im am happy to be there for you every step of the way!

      Ive helped many friends by being a sanding board or a critical friend that doesnt judge in any way. cuz lets face it we all have bad days, all the medication and coping stratagies in the world sometimes just isnt enough for a really bad day.

      one piece of advice I wish I was given when I was in your situation - dont be overly hard on yourself - you didnt choose the situation, it chose you! you arent to blame for any of this. and when there doesnt feel like a solution we can put our head together and find one, I guarantee there is ALWAYS a solution.

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    • Posted

      You have been an absolute star Charlie, thank you so much for this message. I don't know what I did to deserve such kindness! It's been relentlessly awful since yesterday, I didn't sleep and I feel like I should be in hospital but I don't want to be!

      I'm going try the electrolytes. Again, thank you.

      X

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