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Anxiety and Depression Support

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New here. Struggling.

Springsteenfan profile image

Hi group.

I'm new here and happy to find this group. I was on Lexapro for several years before totally weaning off in January of this year. My problem was as always depression with just mild anxiety. Over the past several months my anxiety has gotten unbearable. I don't like to leave the house because I am afraid I will pickup a germ of some sort. If I get sick I cant take care of my family or go to work. A couple of weeks ago my heart rate was out of control, my chest was hurting and I was dizzy. I could not talk myself down and ended up at the ER. An abnormal ekg got me admitted for a stress test. It was fine. Chest fine. I decided to finally find a primary doctor. Right away he put me on ativan. Only .5mg up to twice a day as needed. I hate the phrase as needed. I feel like I really need it now but feel guilty for taking it be because I worry I will get addicted. I'm not abusing it. I need it. He didn't want to put me on any maintenance drud, zoloft, etc. Just take this when needed.

Any recommendations? Is anyone taking ativan long term?

Sorry for the long post. I just had no where else to turn.

24 Replies
Hidden profile image

JuSt wanted to say hello 👋 and welcome to you.

I’m glad you found us here x

Welcome to the site. This is a great group of helpful folks. I didn’t have to deal with anxiety until a year and a half ago. For many years I was on an antidepressant for my relatively mild depression. Then both disorders blossomed following a traumatic life event. I went for professional help (psychiatrist for meds and therapist for counseling). One of the drugs he prescribed was Ativan as needed. I understand your hesitancy. But I needed something. Actually the Ativan didn’t work that well for me so I didn’t abuse it. It did, however, take some of the edge off. Have you thought about seeing psychiatrist/psychologist rather than relying on your PCP?

I am considering it more every day. I just feel like I dont know where to start in finding a psychiatrist.

Do you trust your PCP to refer someone?

Honestly no. I have only seen him once and did not get a good feeling. I guess I will start looking around on my own.

Sounds like a good plan. I know I can’t do this without professional help. It’s great to have support and understanding here, but for me I need medical intervention. Good luck. I’m sure someone in this group can steer you in the right direction.

Hello, I am new to this group too. I can relate to your situation. I was taking Prozac for many years but it doesn’t seem effective anymore and I am switching to Zoloft. My anxiety is out of control I don’t know what to do. Although I am not taking Ativan I would suggest you talk to your doctor about maintenance drugs since you mentioned you use to be on lexapro you might benefit from another similar drug.

Just like you I am taking (not Ativan) lorazepam which I am suppose to take as needed. I felt guilty too and I was anxious about getting addicted. It’s been 4 months and I need a higher dosage. So my guess is that you might eventually need more than .5 if you take it long term. In any case do not feel guilty for taking the medication if it helps you through this phase to get better it’s all that matters. Eventually you’ll be able to stop taking Ativan if you want to when the time is right.

Vectron profile image
Vectron in reply to Moon_B

Activan is the other word for Lorazepam same meds

Moon_B profile image
Moon_B in reply to Vectron

;) thank you for telling me. That's embarrassing....

Thanks so much for your reply. I guess another fear I have is that I will still need the ativan and the doctor will just cut me off without weaning. It has been hell coming off the Lexapro. I took zoloft in my late teens. It really helped me!

Talk to your doctor, I was worried about it too because it is addictive. Luckily, 0.5mg is the smallest dosage (I think) so it is much easier to taper off. You could ask for a refill and in the worst case if the doctor doesn't give you one try to skip a day here and there gradually so you won't have major side effect once you run out off it.But it shouldn't be a problem I don't think the doctor would risk it. I personally tried to stop it this way and nothing particular happened (it was at the beginning when I thought the doctor wouldn't give me a refill easily) but then I went back and explain my situation and she prescribe me more. I had to talk to her on many occasions because it was prescribe ''as needed'' but I do need it daily and something twice.

Hidden profile image

Did Lexapro not help? I understood that Lexapro is a good medication for Anxiety & Depression. I am taking it and expect to remain on it for the foreseeable future. If your condition has got worse since stopping taking it, wouldn’t it make sense to think about going back on it? 😊

Vectron profile image
Vectron in reply to Hidden

You are spot on! Lexepro does help my anxiety it’s an incredible drug

Springsteenfan profile image
Springsteenfan in reply to Hidden

There were reasons that I had to come off the Lexapro and I hate the side effects. Dont get me wrong, I hate the anxiety more. But I would like to try a new drug.

My system did not tolerate Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Buspar, and many others. Paroxetine worked for years but then stopped working. Prozac seems to be my answer. But like we’ve already talked about, get to a professional ❤️

hello ive had very similar experience. I was in the er about 4 times per month for about 5 month swith what I thought were heart attacks.. all ekgs were normal ended up being panic attacks and I was put on Ativan and been in therapy. I am taking 1 mg 2 times per day ive been on it for 2 years. ive been told not to feel guilty as I felt the same way as you did. I was told that I needed it and as long as taking as prescribed it was safe.

so far it has helped me a great deal somedasey I only take one but nevr more than 2 and so far I have been better with the panic and do not feel addicted

good luck to you ...I know how hard and scary it is to have anxiety so bad that meds are needed !! is def no perfect but I feel is helping me

I am brand new around here, and wanted to give some support. I can relate. I was prescribed Xanax to take as needed - for about a year every time I took it, I was afraid to get addicted. I was reminded that as long as I was taking it for my anxiety then it was okay. Eventually, I saw how helpful it was, I rarely get afraid now when I take it. Glad you’re here.

Thanks for the support. 🤗

Ativan is not a good way to manage depression/anxiety as it is addictive. It is a good anxiety drug for a short time if it’s do to a temporary life event. If you were doing well on Lexapro why did they take you off? There are so many antidepressant choices that can help with depression and anxiety. Not a good idea to go on and off antidepressants as it can change your brain chemistry permanently. That happened to me.

I would definitely go see a psychiatrist. Your md could give you a name. A place to start.

You didn't get good vibes from him but that doesn't mean the people he refers you to would be like him.

Just to get your foot in the door I would go with his referral. If you don't connect with the psychiatrist You can always switch.

Hope you feel better.

Thanks! I will give him another chance and start there.

Welcome to the site.

I, too, have an Ativan prescription. I’m not on a regular schedule with it, though. I’m supposed to take it “as needed.” I might talk to the doctor about this the next time I see him.

Off topic: Have you seen the movie “Blinded By the Light”?

Springsteenfan profile image
Springsteenfan in reply to Kat63

Right now I think I need the medicine more because I am going through a life event also. I don't think I mentioned it before. I have not seen Blinded by the Light but I am really looking forward to it.

Kat63 profile image
Kat63 in reply to Springsteenfan

Blinded By the Light is great. I saw it, and I recommend it.

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