Can Ativan (lorazepam) cause depersonalization, strange thoughts?

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KMM13
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 8/21/2007 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been here for awhile on the Crohn's forum, but this is my first anxiety post. I've suffered with anxiety for most of my life, but it became bad enough over the past year that I finally decided to consult a psychiatrist about 5 weeks ago, for the first time ever. He prescribed me Ativan (lorazepam), just 1mg at bedtime, to help with my insomnia and anxiety. It worked great for the first few weeks, no problems at all, and I noticed a big improvement in my mood and my ability to concentrate. Then, suddenly yesterday, I experienced what I think was an episode of depersonalization, for the first time in my life. It's really hard to describe how it felt, but it was basically like I was detached from myself and my own mind...like a part of me was sane and another part of me was drifting off into numbness and strange, kind of scary thoughts. I felt like I was going crazy...the sane half of me was trying to get me to snap out of it, but I couldn't reign myself in. I went through a couple bouts of this, each lasting a few hours, and then finally I felt back to normal suddenly. My first reaction was that it must be the medicine, because although I know that anxiety can cause depersonalization, I've personally never experienced anything like that, and I haven't even been feeling anxious anymore lately. And frankly, I'd rather feel anxious than have that feeling again, like I wasn't even in control of myself or my own thoughts. I eventually started feeling better before bed, and I didn't take the lorazepam last night, because my first instint was that it was doing this to me, and I want to stop taking it. Then I called my psychiatrist today, but he is out of town, so I got the on-call doctor. Even though I felt fine all day today, having not taken my meds as scheduled last night after the episode, she seemed convinced that it was my anxiety, and not the lorazepam that gave me the awful weird feelings, and suggested that I should take MORE lorazepam if I start feeling that way again. I'm not convinced though....I really want to get off the drug now, but I've heard that you have to gradually taper off if you've taken it for a long duration. Is 1mg/day for 5 weeks considered a long duration, or can I safely go off it cold turkey? I won't be able to contact my own Dr. until next week probably, and I'm not too confident in this other doctor's opinion...so basically I'm scared to take my meds, and scared not to...not sure which will be worse for me. I'm afraid something bad will happen to me or I won't snap back out of it if I start feeling that way again.
28 year old female diagnosed with Crohn's and anxiety. Currently taking Pentasa 1gm/day and lorazepam 1mg/day.


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/22/2007 5:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Good Morning

Depersonalization : A frightening and/or disturbing experience of not being within one's own body or of being in immediate danger of vanishing/separating from reality – often described as the sensation of living inside a dream. Although cognitive functioning remains intact, the sufferers feel disconnected from their sense of self and often interpret it “as if I am losing my mind.” Reference:Medical/Surgical Nursing, Brunner & Suddarth 9th Edition.

I would tend to agree with the physician on call that you spoke with. Anxiety and panic are the most likely cause of the feelings you experienced.

Ativan 1 mg per day for 5 weeks is not considered long term, however, I would encourage you to think about continuing it as it may help you and going to 2 mg is not a bad idea.  Of course this is your decision :) I would discuss how to discontinue the drug with your Physician if that is the route you choose.

Stay with us and keep posting. :)


 


Respectfully
Kitt
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
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_____________________________________________________
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

 


KMM13
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 8/22/2007 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I took my regular dose last night as the on-call doc recommended, but I'm not enjoying how I feel today again.  Something isn't sitting well with me with this medicine.  I slept fine, but I just feel so numb right now, uncomfortably so.  This is my first attempt at a med, and I understand that it's helping my anxiety some, but I feel like it's swinging me too far in the opposite direction, just erasing me of any emotion at all.  Is there anything else I can take which won't have this drastic effect?

28 year old female diagnosed with Crohn's and anxiety. Currently taking Pentasa 1gm/day and lorazepam 1mg/day.


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/22/2007 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
HI there
Another Crohnie here
DO you take any meds along with the atvan at night like pain meds or other meds??

I ask you this as I have been on ativan for more yrs than I care to count lol and of course with the CD lots of them for that too
Many opiates as I have the Pyoderma Gangreanosum and it is very painful ulcer like sores to the bone .....I can not take the opiates and ativan at same time of night or I ahve the most LIVID nightmares ever...........so I take my pain meds about 4 hrs prior to ativan if I need it

Anyhoo back to you
I dont know what would be causing this BUT I do believe it is NOT the ativan IMHO........
Like Kitt posted I believe the 2 mgs would not hurt you at all it is not a long lasting benzo and would no doubt help you along with some self help techniques such as relaxation and breathing ..............reading books about it is a good tool as well

Again as Kitt posted please talk to your doc IF you fully intend to come off the ativan and have a plan of weaning but it has not been that long ..........

Other benxo's are Valium Xanax or I am sure your doc wouold have some ideas

I still believe that it is not the ativan but I have been know to be wrong''zYes plx do stay with us and become part of our " lil family " here
Get the caring and support you need right now

LYN


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Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 8/22/2007 7:08:08 PM (GMT-6)


KMM13
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 8/22/2007 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
You know you're a mess when concerns about your anxiety med are causing you more anxiety, right? :-)  
 
Thanks for the warm welcome.  I'll definitely keep posting.  I'm pretty new to the whole Crohn's thing, so I've posted a couple things over there too.  To answer your question, the only med I take for the Crohn's is Pentasa...no painkillers or any other CNS depressant stuff.  I'm lucky that my Crohn's is relatively mild, but I have had some other weird medical issues which they haven't fully explained yet...I definitely have some type of kidney issues, but they're not certain what yet.  They think it's probably IgA nephropathy (which apparently is also auto-immune and can arise as secondary to the Crohn's), but it hasn't gotten bad enough yet that they want to go so far as to biopsy my kidneys to find out for sure.  But the uncertainty definitely doesn't do anything for my anxiety.  I'm always hyper-sensitive about changes in how I'm feeling, both physically and mentally, because of the medical problems and the supervening anxiety, so I think I'm still just a little uncomfortable with the sensation of my emotions being medicated.  I definitely don't like feeling like I'm not in control of myself or how I'm feeling...
 
Do any of you have any experience with Lexapro?  I've heard from a couple friends it's also good for anxiety, but might not wash me out quite as much as the Ativan is seeming to do...
28 year old female diagnosed with Crohn's and anxiety. Currently taking Pentasa 1gm/day and lorazepam 1mg/day.


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/22/2007 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Most on here that take this med are having great results with it
Look back thru pages 1 2 3 4 and you will find info I am sure

Glad you will be staying with us .........

LYN
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
 
Moderator for Anxiety /Panic
Moderator for Alzheimer's
Co Moderator for Crohns Disease 
 
 DX with Crohns, Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety /Panic
 
  
          Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
                 EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
                 " Friends Are Cheaper Than Therapists "
 
  
                                  


VisitorMas
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/23/2013 8:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I know the feeling. I had a horrible time with Ativan.
I took it for about 20 days and experienced some bad withdrawal symptoms by the way no help from the doctors they kept telling me that I was depressed and should take more pills. Anyway, what you could be experiencing is interdose withdrawals I had these and that's why I quit taking Ativan. If I were you I would taper just to be safe, I wish I did.
Best of luck

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/23/2013 10:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Visitor,
 
Welcome to HealingWell  -  I noticed you have posted on a very old thread here at the forum. We do ask that all new members make their own intro post so that everyone will see it and be able to give you a proper hello & welcome aboard. By adding your first post onto the end of this old post it is not likely to draw much attention. 
 
Please consider starting a thread of your own on this very topic if you would like too.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



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