Anxiety Support

What Role Can Occasional Medication Play?

I am very committed to the teachings of Claire Weekes. I really do believe that acceptance is the key to recovery from anxiety.

However, I am facing some gruelling health challenges which are really kicking me right now - I'm in surgically induced menopause, cannot take HRT and have just been diagnosed with Intra Atrial Septal Aneurysm (a very rare congenital heart defect) with probable POF (that's a hole in the heart, to the unitiated)! I had a call with my cardiologist today who confirmed that my bubble echocardiogram is 'purely to establish size and exact location of the POF'. This has come as rather a shock, as I was hoping this wouldn't be the case. We will be meeting again after my further echo. to discuss surgery options.

Also today, I have had a very long appointment with my psychiatrist. He is very concerned by the amount of stress I am under, and I have always been an extremely reluctant user of medication - although I have Diazepam at my disposal, I have very, very rarely used it. Today however, he has urged me to start using the Diazepam more frequently as my anxiety levels are rising, and sleep is almost impossible.

I would love to get through this med. free - but fear I'm beating myself into a pulp and need probably to 'take a break' occasionally so that I can be in as good as shape as possible to be able to deal with any surgery.

What are your views on occasional medication? Does it help or hinder recovery alongside the acceptance model? I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you!

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Tempestteapot, My thoughts on medication are at times we need that little extra something to get us to go forward while using other methods. Trying to do this on your own but why? There's no extra metal given to those who do this w/o meds. It's a personal decision for each of us. The one thing you will possibly lose w/o meds is the wasted time taken from you struggling everyday.

Good Luck in whatever you choose. We're behind you in this. xx

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Thank you so much for your very kind and considered reply, Agora! I think you're right - and of course my psychiatrist recommended the medication too. He is very good, and doesn't push medication on his patients.

I'm going to try giving myself some 'respite' with the Diazepam and see how I go. Thank you again! xxxxx

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Personally, I didn’t rely upon medication but there is no harm in getting a little help every now and again to take the edge of things whilst still practising acceptance. Dr Weekes even advised it in her books but warned against it becoming a crutch e.g.I can’t go to the shops unless I take a tablet. As you know, recovery lies in facing those places you fear the most, feeling everything anxiety has to offer with a passive attitude (oh well, it’s only anxiety making me think & feel this way...ill Just carry on with my day no matter how I feel). Not by being afraid of the tiger and withdrawing in fear but by facing the tiger and drawing it’s bite. Anxiety is one big bluff so don’t give it the respect it needs to survive.

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Recovery is a physiological process. Your nerves have become sensitised due to all the stress and strain you are under. They will heal in just the same way as any other part of the body and acceptance creates that breathing space for it to happen because you are no longer stressing about feeling stressed. Your mind and body will fix itself. You don’t need to do anything except watch it all from the sidelines.

Love and best wishes on your road to recovery ♥️

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Tempestteapot, first of all it's worth remembering that almost everyone has some special medical problem to contend with sometime in their life, your's has been diagnosed and the specialists are on the case and you're living in the 21st century. So given a little time you will be fixed up good as new.

My anxiety disorder is inherited and I've had it 45 years but I minimise it's effect by practicing acceptance and when needed taking a diazepam. Diazepam is a magic bullet, it stops anxiety in a few minutes and continues to pacify for several hours and even when it's effect has worn off it leaves one relaxed and at peace.

I know everyone here is obsessed about getting addicted to meds and the side effects. Well I've been taking diazepam for over 40 years and have never felt a side effect, I use on average one or maybe 2 tablets a week on average, sometimes I go weeks without taking one. I get 5mg tablets and break them in half. I believe you can take 3 a day for up to 2 months but then you need to taper off them, not just stop cold turkey. Back in the 1970s before dependence was known I took them every day for a year or more, stopped taking them cold turkey and felt dreadful. So I went back on them and slowly tapered them off over 3 months or so.

My advice would be to follow your psychiatrist's advice and take a course of diazepam every day to help with the problem of your medical worries. Your psychiatrist will tell you when it's time to stop. with diazepam you have nothing to fear I assure you.

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Thank you so very much, Jeff! I'm certainly going to follow the sage advice of you and my psychiatrist. He feels that flogging myself to death by trying to get through high anxiety whilst surgery looms is just too much at present, and said he will monitor me closely at this time.

I feel very blessed to have a great psychiatrist and also this forum - I'm especially grateful to you Jeff for sharing your wisdom and insights as I'm a long term anxiety sufferer too. I've achieved good periods of remission throughout my life, but midlife seems to be exceptionally challenging! So much of what we thought we knew about everything changes at this time and whilst it can be a period for spiritual growth, it is also very challenging moving into the later stages of life and still finding that anxiety is able to pull it's tricks.

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Hi Tempestteapot,

I think the key point from your blog is sleep. Without enough sleep and sleep that is of good quality, your body and mind has no hope of repairing and preparing for the next day.

Sleep debt or sleep deficit is the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep. A large sleep debt may lead to mental or physical fatigue. There are two kinds of sleep debt: the results of partial sleep deprivation and total sleep deprivation.

If you research this, I think you will find the reasons you need to take the meds.

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I think that taking the benzo will give your poor exhausted body a break!! Yes anxiety can be dealt with med free but with a cocktail of hormones from menopause and a dicky ticker you need a restful place and your head isn't allowing that. Take a valium and enjoy the peace and in fact it will help your body deal with the physiological issues and will reduce your stress which CAN ONLY BE A GOOD THING!! 😁😁😁 Sleep is the only time that your body's immune system can work effectively so this is a number one priority.

V😎

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I agree with you Vbee about the need for good sleep to heal and be able to handle anxiety as well as depression. Unfortunately, due to the nightmares, that's not something I enjoy very often. Without the assistance of low dose of a muscle relaxer, alprazolam, and a pain relief medication the hour or before I try to sleep, I won't. Hoping some of that will not be needed sometime in the future; my doctor has prescribed Prazosin that the US military prescribes for PTSD for the nightmares. Best wishes to you.

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Oh, thank you so much Vbee! I used just 2mg yesterday afternoon and it didn't help much tbh! I think I'll cautiously try 5mg next time I feel truly overwhelmed.

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