Sittin here in tears and dont know where to turn

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 6/28/2007 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
im know some of you know from previous post, that I have a been having a hard time with getting my ativan that I have been on for the past year and a half. My doctor cut me off abruptly and i freaked out. At the time, i just couldnt understand why he was taking a med away from me that helped. We even went so far as to get my husband's doctor to prescribe him ativan so I could have it. Now once again I am without ativan. His doctor wouldnt refill his script even tho, I am right on schedule with when he should need refills. So i have been having horrible withdrawals since yesterday morning. ( tuesday night was my last pill). I went online to look up withdrawal symptoms and what I found has opened my eyes and now i cant even think straight. I am an addict. Everything i have read about people with addiction problems to ativan it was like reading my own writing. How did this happen? Ive never been addicted to anything, well cigs.. but i was never into drugs. Getting the pills consumes my thoughts all day long. Even when I have them I am worrying about whether or not Im goin to be able to get more. Its all day every day. I dont know why it didnt dawn on me before. This has gone above and beyond "needing" something for my panic. This has now consumed my whole life and I have no idea what to do or where to turn. My husband doesnt know what to do except go to his doc to get more pills. I dont want them anymore, but I feel horrible.  I feel like im dying. Has anyone gone thru this? what did you do? how did you get over the addiction, or did you even get over it? I feel so alone and like junky. Thanks for anyone who may have advice.
Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.--

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 6/28/2007 12:23 PM (GMT -6)   

what was your actual ativan dose, people often think they are or should be addicted on very small doses

remember that the best way to recover is thru meds and CBT, much of CBT is being prepared to learn new ways of relaxing and calming yourself

your problem may just be a psychological addiction

recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
emails are welcome but do mention healingwell to avoid risk of deletion as spam

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 6/28/2007 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking 2-3 mgs a day for a year and a half. Thanks for your response but im not sure getting on more meds is the answer for being addicted to a med. I know for sure a LOT of it is pyschological but I am definitley going through physical withdrawals.
Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.--

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/28/2007 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   


Hello sweetie, you say your an addict, were you using the medications as prescribed for the purpose prescribed?  Were you worried about losing your supply because it helped your condition or becuase of the feeling you got when using the drug?

Most of all were you taking 2mg or 3mg every day.  Not 2-3 but normally what did you take?

Please don't feel I am judging you, I am trying to help.

I took ativan 4 mg every night at bedtime for over a year.  Before that I took Tranxene every day in the morning and at bedtime for years and years.

I also was on Vicodin up to 4 of the 5mg tabs for over a year.  That was my down fall.  That was the drug I came to like to much.  I have a herniated disc on a workman's comp and I could easily get them. I liked the feeling and I would take more as much as 5-6 a day.

My Pdoc was afraid they were the cause of my AD's not working and she wanted me off of them so I went on a weaning schedule and was down to 1 per day when I got pneumonia in January.  I was so sick I had my husband flush the rest of Vicodin down the toilet and said I am so sick now, I don't care if I get withdrawl, but I did not.  I have vowed to never touch one again as I now know my weakness for the high of Vicodin.

At that same time We started to wean the Ativan. No one should go cold turkey on a benzo.

I used this withdrwal info and my pdoc reviewed it before we started and agreed it was a good site.

I did not consider myself addicted and there was no high for me from ativan, I used it for nightly panic attacks and the Tranxene I used for anxiety.

I am now down to less than 1 mg equivilant of Ativan...............slow process but no withdrawal issues.

Bless you and keep positing.

((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))), Kitt


Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders

Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
"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

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 6/28/2007 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
You desperately need to see a psychiatrist - preferably referred by someone that you trust. A typical psychiatrist would never withhold medication - they will help you find the right med at the right dosage.

Why did your doc stop your medication?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 6/29/2007 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
There are a couple things you can do:

1. Wait. You'll suffer a lot, but eventually it will pass.
2. Go to a decent doctor -- preferably a psychiatrist -- who will most likely put you on a long-acting benzo and let you ween with that.

Option #2 is obviously the best way to go, in my opinion. Also in my opinion, the doctor who cut you off should probably have some disciplinary action taken against him. To cut somebody off from a dose like you were on? Someone convince me that's not malpractice.
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 6/29/2007 5:29 AM (GMT -6)   
thank you all so much. All of your posts are so heartfelt and helpful but especially yours stkitt. i faithfully take 2 mg of ativan a day. When I am a bit more anxious then usual ill take an extra mg. I dont get a "high" from this. It just helps me maintaine "normal" as I call it. Its not like Im taking them and in my head havin a party cause i like the way it makes me feel. Honestly I dont FEEL them at all.They just make me feel like I am not so panicy and paranoid. My husband was able to get me a script today 2 tabs q6h prn/anxiety #60 so about a months supply. I am going to try to ween myself off with this script. I KNOW that its NOT right but the withdrawals were horrible. I mean HORRIBLE. and since my dr is such a jerk I had to find my own way of dealing with it. I agree that this is at the very least negligence on his part. But suing a dr is kind of out of the question for me. As Ill never get a job when i graduate if i do that. Thank you for not looking down upon me. And thank you stkitt for sharing your dependance story. I dont feel so alone. Hugs to you all...
ps: nothing in your post sounded judgemental at all! no worries
Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.--

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 6/29/2007 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe I missed something, but I feel like I don't have the whole story. Why did your doc cut you off abrubtly from the meds? Why didn't you go to another doc?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 6/30/2007 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
he cut me off because he said i've become to dependant on taking them. Well yea i am i agree. But still ween me. Goin to another doc is nearly impossible with my insurance. When you have pcp they dont like to change it. But we're working on it.
Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.--

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 6/30/2007 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi hunniebee. I haven't posted in a while, and I usually don't post in this forum. When I was reading through posts, though, I saw yours, and it struck a deep chord in me because I went through a very similar experience.

Undoubtedly, many doctors are very fearful of prescribing the benzos because of the dependency and tolerance issue. In my experience, it seems like doctors are particularly paranoid about Xanax and Ativan. I'm so sorry that you're having to go through your current struggle to get the medication that you need. Your doctor should know that he needs to taper you, but I am at least glad that you are taking steps to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Your doctor should have tapered you. Did you bring this up when he discontinued your Ativan? Did you express your withdrawal concerns with him? The reason I'm asking is because he needs to be aware that patients cannot be abruptly discontinued from the benzos. He made a huge error with your situation, and I don't want him to do that to someone else down the road. You may be doing him a very big favor by explaining how dangerous it is to stop benzos cold turkey.

I stopped taking Ativan about eight years ago, and without a doubt, I am very grateful that I did. My doctors initially tried to stop me cold turkey, but I had severe withdrawal symptoms - including seizures. Then, I was placed on slow Ativan taper, but my attempts to get off the drug always failed. Finally, the Ativan was replaced with Valium, and I was tapered using the Valium. That proved to be the trick with me. In a month, I was finally off the benzos.

I tried multiple times to taper myself off the Ativan, but it was next to impossible. You may be very successful with your attempts to come off the Ativan on your own, but if you feel that you need help, please don't feel bad asking for it.

I stayed off the benzos for seven years, but when my anxiety level began rising again, my doctor gave me 2.5 mg Valium to take PRN. I use it very sparingly. Valium makes me feel very washed out, which I can't stand, but it does help if I have a major panic attack. Interestingly, Valium and Ativan cause me to feel very differently, even though they're both in the same class of drugs.

I no longer have any desire to take Ativan. I do understand what you mean about the Ativan making you feel normal. That's exactly what it did to me. The problem was that I couldn't cope with the "abnormal" feeling that showed up when I tried to taper it. Ativan was always an interesting drug for me because, much like you, I never got "high" from it. Instead, the Ativan made me feel like I could cope with the world. It wasn't until after I stopped the Ativan that I noticed how much the drug was altering me though.

Ativan is tough to discontinue, but I know that you can do it. You're in my thoughts, and take good care of yourself while you bring down the Ativan dose. Again, think about talking to your doctor about the need to taper the benzos. You may doing all of his patients a huge favor.

Be well

"The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision."  Helen Keller

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