Can a doctor force you off meds. - Anxiety Support

Anxiety Support

49,084 members47,956 posts

Can a doctor force you off meds.

Gillybabe profile image

I have been on lorazepam and it has helped me so much and I have no side affects. But doctors seem to have a thing about this medication and I really do not want agitated depression to return. But we have a new pharmacist practitioner joined in the last week and without a review or consultation feels he wants to drop my medication from 4 a day to 3 a day to two a day to one a day in 3 months. That is his plan but not mine. Not sure what his plan will be after 3 months when all my symptoms return. I have tried three times to give this up mostly initiated by various doctors at various practices all with devastating affects. He has really scared me and I cannot think of anything else all the time.

36 Replies

Have you spoken with this new practitioner and told him how you feel about his plan? and explained your concerns about the effects of stopping the medication his way? Xxx

Gillybabe profile image
Gillybabe in reply to suzie482

Yes a phonecall and he did not want to listen to my concerns and started to argue. So have booked appointment with a doctor but very nervous

suzie482 profile image
suzie482 in reply to Gillybabe

Good idea booking appointment with doctor, it will give you the opportunity to explain how this new plan is bothering you and how bad your feeling :-) xx

Maybe get on SSRI and then use lorazapam just in certain situations. I think it's not supposed to be used that often per day cause it's addictive

Hi Frances. Yes that is the route the doctor wants me to go down. Whilst tapering she is putting me on escitrolopram. Think that is how it is spelt. And very gradually wean me off. Seeing her in two weeks to see how I am going. She is not going to leave me without help.

Gillybabe, at one time, benzos were the drug of choice for anxiety. As newer drugs came on the market and more was learned about the effects of long term benzos, SSRIs became the med that could take care of both anxiety and depression. It takes a little longer to reach therapeutic levels but works more well balance in the body instead of the constant up and down of the benzos.

As for coming off benzo medication, if it is done slowly and safely, it shouldn't be a problem. There still will be a time lapse where your body needs to readjust to functioning naturally once more. After all the drug has been providing the chemicals that the brain needs to make you feel better. Do not worry about feeling some devastating affects from withdrawal. All in time, the side effects will start to dwindle making you feel back in control and more like yourself again.

Coming off meds has a lot to do with trusting your doctor. If you feel uncomfortable with the doctor suggesting it, it will make it more difficult for you to succeed. This should not be about arguing but about you being ready to take that step outside your comfort zone in finding something else that may help you. I did it myself so I know how important it is to be in the right frame of mind as well as having support around you.

I wish you well with your doctor's appointment. Let us know what he says. Good Luck :) xx

jrcnpg profile image
jrcnpg in reply to Agora1

Excellent advice. I couldn't have put it better myself.


Gillybabe profile image
Gillybabe in reply to jrcnpg

Yes. The appoinment went well and gradually weaning me off and putting me on ssri. With 14 days appointment. Felt I could trust her.

Gillybabe profile image
Gillybabe in reply to Agora1

Did they put you on another medication

Gillybabe profile image
Gillybabe in reply to Gillybabe

Yes. Escitrolapam

I am 70 and my husband 80 and after a very difficult life havng yet another go at coming off these seems just too much. Just want to live out rest of my life in peace.

kyoom profile image
kyoom in reply to Gillybabe

Hi Gillybabe

I could not agree with you more.

If the meds help you feel better and improves your quality of life ,then please continue to take them.

wishing you the best of health and longevity.

I agree, and you should live your life out in Peace.

What has sent my anxiety through the roof is just leaving a repeat prescription dropping 28 tablets without consultation. Even the pharmacist that does the prescription was shocked. It was then I rang the surgery and six hours later at the end of the day he rang me. Having only been at the surgery a week he neither knew me or gave me time to really explain. That was his decision and that was that. It made me feel very demoralised as if I was a "junky" getting these tablets to get a high. It seems unfair to me that it was the pharmaceutical companies that pushed these and some of us are paying a very high price because they found out some people are abusing them and as usual the genuine case is suffering.

in reply to Gillybabe

Addiction isn't even nearly as bad as they think, fake illnesses, fake benefit claimers and people who sell them on the black market, make it seem like addiction is higher. Meanwhile people who are genuinely in need to get their life back on track, are struggling to get a prescription. It's so maddening

Oh yes sorry to go on but thats what he said when I said the previous prescriber practitioner was taking me down 1 mg a month and it was working for me. He said it won't work that way but only my way. Which cancels out my wishes altogether. Maybe it was because she was a lady and he is a man.

Indigojoe profile image
Indigojoe in reply to Gillybabe

I respect your position.

What they did was rude and disrespectful, and took away your control of your mind and body. Respect must be maintained for a medical relationship to work.

At 70 you know yourself and your response to meds.

These are strange times for many of us. My doctor has refused to refill my xanax, that I have as a safety net, because of the kids who abuse this drug in our town. She gave me Atarax, an antihistamine.

HUH? She KNEW what was better for me???????

I believe I felt much like you do, they told me to up my SSRI and it helped.

I suggest that you relax about this, for now. You have authority over yourself and some punk newbie will not defeat you.

Gillybabe profile image
Gillybabe in reply to Indigojoe

Thank you so much for those words. You hit the nail on the head. Our area where the Practice has a high incidence of drug addicts too and this doctor made me feel like a heroine addict. I was put on these due to an acute anxiety after my second child and then my son had a terrible accident and a brain injury in a coma Thankfully he lived but after his head injury has problems. His father died of pancreatic cancer. I had virtually no help for 5 years and then I remarried came off tablets which was hell and had another child. My husband and I used to be hospital visitors and befriended a man who we thought had a nervous breakdown. It turned out he had a record for violent rape which I only found out when his daughter rang me telling me if he turned up get the Police he had stopped taking his medications and had convictions for violent rape. I went to pieces again and went back on lorazepam. I know it sounds unbelievable but I feel a victim of the system which should have kept him in a secure unit not allowed him out. Since then I have tried unsucessfully to drop meds but only one doctor who has now retired has understood my position. I felt I was just coming to a tranquil time in my life and now this. I did try and explain to pharmacist pravtitioner. I do not think he even consulted the doctor himself aftrr taking this action. As they are supposed to be under the jursdiction of a doctor.

Hello there.

It is truly a wonder med; at first. Then you become dependent on it and the anxiety comes back like a beast.

This is the worst drug there is and the withdrawal is hell.

I was on it for 6 years because I couldn't get off it.

There is a reason why the provider doesn't want you taking it.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you are better of without it.

I don't blame you for being upset. I too have been on lorazepam since the 80s. I am slowly withdrawing from mine but I'm taking other meds that I need more. I think you need to stay on your meds and be comfortable with them.people keep taking them away from u and that causes anxiety big time. Try to find a doctor or a psychiatrist that feels the same way you do. Hope you have better luck with this. It's distressing to go through this on and off thing. Good Luck!!

Thank you for your help. That is what I will do. Find a psychiatrist who undetstands.

Oh my goodness. This is why benzo's are now usually limited to 2 - 4 weeks only. Dependence happens VERY fast with continual daily dosing, and then tolerance - where you are only taking the drug to stave off withdrawal.

Please DO see your GP - you need a supervised tapering plan with regular check ins to monitor your progress. The pharmacist can't do this. I feel so sad for the elderly couple who are dependent on these. Agora's advice was excellent - she knows her stuff.😊

It's going to be tough Gilly, but please know that we're here for you every step of the way! Have you also checked out benzo buddies, and are you aware of the Ashton manual for benzo tapering? How many years have you been using lorazepam daily for? I'm really surprised and shocked that any doctor in this day and age allowed you to become dependent in the first place - they should certainly know better as the UK guidelines for benzo prescribing have now been in place for years. xxxx

Sorry Gilly - just read that wrong! I didn't realise it was you who is 70. Bless you! xxxx

This medication is extremely addictive you should be lowering the dose 3 months is too long

I've had this happen to me. And like you it scared me senseless.

What I did, was start going to psychiatrist who had a better understanding of the need for these types of meds.

My GP. Just didn't get it. I'm much better under the care of my psych doc for all my psych meds.

I think it's time for you to change docs if that is what you feel you should do.

I know how you felt. My doctors Practice Manager said today they will refer me to drugs misuse centre. How callous is that considering they put me on it!!!! Not sure whether changing doctors will help.

I would be so pissed if I were you! Your doctors need to go back to school and relearn their oath of "FIRST DO NO HARM.

I'm sorry this is happening to you. I actually have anxiety about taking anxiety meds. I think I was born with anxiety and depression. Really. I've been on and off meds for as long as I can remember. I hate taking them so I go off and I'm a mess. At one time I lasted almost 2 years without debilitating anxiety - then it came back 10 fold. In my mid 20's (about 18 years ago) I was seeing my GP for meds. I was so screwed up either because of dosage or the combination she had me on I ended up in the psych ward. Since then I have been so scared of taking my meds. I have been seeing a psychiatrist for a couple of years and I finally (at 43) feel "normal". I take welbutrin, lexapro and klonopin. He wants me to take the klonopin more than I'm comfortable doing so I do adjust that myself as needed. I am currently in IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) so I have learned a lot as far as coping and controlling both my depression and anxiety. The welbutrin and lexapro combo has been the best combo I've ever been on. I don't feel like I'm on meds, I'm functioning and doing life every day and I still feel emotions. I don't like NOT being able to feel emotions. I also have MS which is intensified if I have too much anxiety. This combo has been amazing for me. I rarely take my klonopin anymore. We're all different and what works for one person may not work for someone else. I hate giving advice but my life changed after seeing my psychiatrist. I wish you nothing but the best ❤

Ok my experience may mean nothing but may mean a lot who knows?

Yes benzodiazepines are addictive but so are SSRI’s even more so IMO. If you are happy with what you are doing I don’t think a doctor has the right to change things! They don’t feel our feelings they simply read from a textbook. I take clonazepam which is a benzo & I take a maintenance dose which keeps my anxiety at bay & being perfectly honest changed my life! I have no intention of coming off it until/if I want to. My doctor completely supports my decision & we have agreed that addiction comes in all walks of life, caffeine, chocolate, gym, gambling, alcohol etc. It is what it is. I really hope you can do as you please & live a comfortable life. Sending positive vibes

Gillybabe profile image
Gillybabe in reply to Ffaiers

Yes I know SSRIS are addictive too. As my son is on them and came off them for four weeks and he was very unwell. He had an accident and head injury at 12 and with resultant OCD. It was a very worrying time as when he came home after being in a coma he was a different person. But thankfully he is finding things better now. So if they offer me SSRIs I will not take them. Also I am on thyroid medication and antedepressants can affect meds.

Unfortunately doctor is insisting only after me contacting NHS England and them ringing the surgery that I visit a drug misuse centre which is humiliating. Think they were annoyed. My trust in doctors is zero. I do not know any doctors in Medway who understand and have been insulted by a few since the big push to get people off these.

I'm sorry you are going through this, I believe seeing a psychiatrist (may take awhile to find one you jive with) and a counselor (again may take a couple to jive with) would really help. My feeling is meds without counseling is a bandaid...My daughter and I both have a genetic disease FAP, I got anxiety after she was diagnosed...she got anxiety after her colon removal...she was under the care of a psychiatrist (on 4 meds) but no counseling ...she started counseling about 7months ago...her life has completely changed for the better !!! She still takes 2 meds remeron and klonopin but half the dose of those two then previously. Her psychologist who is her counselor believes she has a rare neurological disorder and some of the meds were not even helping her. My daughter is so happy now and it's heart warming to see her in such a great place, due to counseling...She started going once a week, now every 2 to 3 weeks. I actually have appointments for counseling set up for myself. I wish you the very best!!!

Think I will go that route and insist I see a psychiatrist not a misuse of drugs unit.

Have got appointment with doctor tomorrow and am very stressed to the point of not being able to focus on anything. Or do anything or sleep. Need reassurance.

That is a good thing, then. Stay well.


This is the bit I don't understand, if something is working and it is giving you a quality of life, why do they stop it or refuse it ? They talk about benzos and sleepers being addictive, but what's the difference between an addiction and a dependency ? I always thought that patients are !want to be given the holistic aporoach, where they treat you in a way that will promote your quality of live and recovery.

For me I don't want any medication that I will become dependent on, I simply want sleeping tablets when my mood becomes unstable due to my anxiety, as long as I get good sleep I can function and recover faster.

But they say they won't give sleeping tablets because their addictive, one look in my notes will show that I won't get addicted to them, I go for them maybe once every 2 years, since changing GPS who assumed with no evidence I'm a benzo seeker my mental health has caused me so much trouble. There comes a point where I would say it's evil to not give someone something that's worked for all these years. 2 weeks of sleeping tablets can make a 5 momth depressive episode into a 6 week episode, they surely have to look at the evidence in a patient's notes and understand that if they were to get an addiction to something it would show increase in doses, continuous requests for more, long term use etc..

I'm starting to think meds are a business rather than a therapy

You may also like...