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Anxiety and Depression Support
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60 and scared.

I had a break over Christmas. Ive had these before. Only this time was not able to go back to teaching this term. I have GAD and panic disorder as well as depression. I have been like this since my early 20’s. A doctor gave me Valium for the anxiety. It really helps. But of course there is the possibility of addiction. The one thing that helps me,Valium, will enslave me. I’m caught in a loop and scared.

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Valium is the most effective anti-anxiety med there is. It only takes 2 minutes to work and gives relief for about 3 hours but even after that the symptoms don't always immediately return. If you take it on a daily basis for more than 6 weeks or so you can become dependent on it. But it has been unfairly demonised, a victim of its own success. If used daily for no more than a week during 'emergencies' or better still just now and then as a 'one-off' (no more than 2 consecutive days) it is invaluable and should not cause dependency. Never take more than 5mg in one dose and preferably break them in half (2.5mg) or use the 2mg tablets. Anything less than that is non-effective. If you keep to these guidelines they will not 'enslave' you.

I took them 3 times a day for over a year in the 1970s, became dependent and tapered myself off them over 3 months. I now take only very occasionally as described above.

It sounds as if you have suffered from anxiety and panic, and the depression that comes out of anxiety, for too long. It has now interfered with your work as a teacher. So now is as good a time as any to free yourself of your enslavement to anxiety because that is the enslavement to worry about not the valium.

First, it's important to understand in simple terms what causes anxiety and panic, to learn how it works (and tricks us) and its limitations (for example no death certificate has ever been written with anxiety as the cause of death). Anxiety cannot kill you, cannot disable you and cannot make you lose your mind.

The most successful method for respite and recovery from GAD, no matter how long you have suffered, in my experience is the Acceptance Method first described over 50 years ago by the psychiatrist Claire Weekes who herself suffered from anxiety as a young woman. Her key book is titled 'Self help for your nerves' in the U.K. and 'Hope and help for your nerves' in the U.S., both available new or used from Amazon. When she died aged 85 in 1990 her method had brought respite and recovery to untold thousands both through her patient care and her self-help books.

In recent years alone there have been 1,600 reader reviews covering all her books on both amazon.co.uk and amazon.com. 90% of these reviews rate her method either Very Good or Excellent.

I believe her book would give you a new way of dealing with anxiety and panic and the depletion of nervous energy called depression. I believe it will offer you the opportunity to return to your profession in teaching without the fear of failure due to general anxiety disorder. Txnut60, I commend this book to you.

I will end as I often do with an amusing quote about addiction and dependency by the 1930s actress Tallulah Bankhead who, shall we say, lived life to the excess: "All this talk about cocaine being addictive is absolute nonsense. And I should know - I've been taking it for 15 years!"

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Well done, Jeff. Another outstanding post. Personally though, I prefer Ativan over Valium.

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Thank you Jeff so much! I read the Dr Weeks book in the 70s when I first started having panic attacks. I carry it with me always. I guess as Don Henley wrote... “The more I know.. the less I understand. All the lessons I thought I knew, I will have to learn again” thanks for your thoughtful response!

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Like Jeff has said valium are ok short term,i was addicted to them years ago you and really hard to come off but great for a couple of days of relaxation and rest which sometimes is what we need to recharge again best wishes

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Thank you!

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May be a good time to revisit her first book. I wish you well in the future.

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Have you spoken with the prescribing doctor of your concerns with the Valium?

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Yes. He says he doesn’t want me to take it if I don’t need it. But I really need it so hopefully I will be able to get off of it at a future time. Thanks for your concern.

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It seems that you have a healthy respect for the Valium usage so that should help you to be mindful to not over medicate yourself. Maybe having someone else to help you monitor your use would be another good precaution.

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You don’t seem to be the person who would abuse medication. So, use Valium if you need it, only as much as you need, and in a couple months hopefully you can begin to taper off.

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