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02/06/2012 05:06 PM

I want to hear about people's experience

TennisPPosts: 2439
Senior Member

related to taking medicine and if that helped you get out of the house more so you can function better. I doubt there's anyone totally recovered here but maybe I'm wrong so if you think medicine helped you get out to places you have avoided for a long time, I'd love to hear about your experience. I'm still trying to decide if I want to try medicines again. I have Xanax here but I barely took any back in the Fall when I was seeing a psychiatrist along with some other medicines and I didn't see a change with the main daily ones he had me take for positive change. So I'm interested in doing exposure therapy with a new person I talked to on the phone today who said she goes out with people places etc and works through the process and I'm thinking do I start without medicine or try medicine and then work with her (if I decide to hire her). I would see a new psychiatrist also since the last and only one I had been seeing made me feel like a $ sitting on the couch rather than a person!

My reasons for considering medicine: I have been avoiding places for a long time...this week I just started getting out and going in the car or walking a little farther in our parking lot by myself or with our dog but I want to go anywhere kind of feeling feel free again....

and I think if I can feel less physical sensations, I'd get over this faster because I only "dread" the physical sensations when I'm somewhere , I really do like people and places so wan tot get back to that!

My reason not to take medicine: I have read several sources say that it's very impt for a person to know skills about how to calm themselves instead of thinking it's just the medicine that helped them because when the medicine stops like it's time to go off it, you don't want to go back to the old ways of feeling thinking it was only the medicine that made the change (instead it's knowing it was your efforts that make the long lasting change!)

I don't want to be addicted to something. I also don't want to have medicines change me negatively...I can stand some side effects but I dont want to feel groggy etc.... I want to be calm and centered.

My relaxation skills I do daily are helping so I need to keep that up too!!!

So tell me, did taking medicine help you go to places again that you had avoided and if so, when you were there did you feel better even though you had to practice being there until you were totally okay again??


02/06/2012 06:31 PM

For me, medication did not help with the social phobia, or motivate me to go out more. It did however make me less depressed about it. Side effects very and are easier to deal with the slower you go up in dose.

Benzos and sleeping pills. In many ways I miss them, but they did not really help. I just go thirsty and had jittery legs on any sleeping pill that was week enough to agree to take. I have a horrible anxiety of not being able to wake up and function if "something" happened. Xanax was wonderful, but I felt dopey. I actually said to the doctor I enjoyed it too much. Klonopin took so long to kick in that the panic attack would normally be over by the time it helped me relax. Doc wanted me to take it as a scheduled thing instead of a prn, which I only did for around a year. He wanted to wait until I was "stable enough" to ween off. As a schedule it did help, but the risk of addiction is so high and the tolerances build so quickly I was uncomfortable staying on it. I now just go out way less, than take a benzo to make me calm enough to handle it. I will take some Valerian root or chamomile if I get too nuts. Traditional medicinal had a tea that helped, but I had to pee so much it was counterproductive for me. That and I couldn't really tell if it was helping me be calmer or just making me sleepy.

You are doing the right think in asking questions. Being as educated on your meds is one of the best ways to stay safe and help your doctor treat you. I always ask for the long printout from the pharmacy when getting something I have never taken before. This includes antibiotics or vitamins.

Unfortunately, benzos are what generally treat the physical sensations of panic and anxiety. There is a high risk of dependency, so many pdocs will have you ween off instead of just stopping to take it. Many GMs will just make things worse by proscribing way to little and only for a couple months instead of managing it throughout treatment like a pdoc does. Some people decide being dependent is worth it, but you would still have to manage going up in dose because of the tolerance. I felt I was becoming a pill factory, and don't like it when I have to take an aspirin.

Hope this helps.

02/06/2012 06:42 PM
TennisPPosts: 2439
Senior Member

Thanks for your experience...

02/06/2012 11:57 PM
Posts: 1101
Senior Member

In my experience, keeping in mind I'm a drug addict.(apologies in advance for the horrible syntax)

Think I'm losing my mind, gonna be commited, don't bother telling anyone for fear of commitment.

Had first severe panic attack,you know, the one you remember for life.

As I was a more than ideal employee at the time, my boss was glad to let me take some time off.

Got 'to' comfy at home. Became room bound.

Doc gave me xanax without question(long familiy history of agor/panic), the room seemed a little safer, upped the dosage, most of the house was okay, doubled quantity, the house in it's entirety is a safe place, outside is daunting. Doubled dosage, small trips were 'okay'.

But from there, it was all exposure to get where I am now. For a while I made a 150 mile round trip every morning to go to a methadone clinic out of state. Typically with a 'safe' person, but on ocassion I made the trip myself.

Unfortunately, now I'm chemically dependent on xanax, and I'm on a dose that even I think is way to high. After a while, the 'charm' of benzos wear off, and it's just another pill to swallow every four hours or so to keep 'calm'.

Withdrawal can be a nightmare,

Heavy alcohol withdrawl/opiate withdrawl > Benzo withdrawal, any day.

Was only dependent on benzos one time, spent two days in jail, multiple seizures and a living hell.

But from the start I was never on the 'short term benzo treatment' plan.

I like to look at benzos as a tool. Once you're done building the house(stability/overcoming it), you can put them away, maybe you'll need them another day,maybe not.

I have five living relatives that've overcome agoraphobia. 3 are on benzos and will probably remain so for life, the other two save them for the 'once in a blue moon' they get too jittery.

Different strokes for different folks.

Not a fan of SSRIs, agoraphobic family friend tried the benzos, to no avail, got started on SSRIs, got in his car and just went roadtripping around the lower 48,just because he could. Dizzy

That's just my experience/opinion.

If you can get through it without meds, go for it,if you need a little help, take caution in considering benzos.

Take care,


02/07/2012 06:34 AM
Posts: 247

My experience so far has been a bumpy road but I am on some meds. At first I started different ones with trial and error and there is one called buspar that had extreme side effects on me which made me have a hard time with other meds. I am still scared of meds, but I am currently on celexa 20 mg (suppose to have already increased to 40) and xanaz as needed. I am suppose to take neurotin but I am scared to death to take it but it is my goal to try to in the next week. I am getting back out but I do have to have my safe person with me, I dont do long trips and can go to some near by places on my own. As before meds I couldnt step out my front door. I still have days where I have trouble leaving at all but its still a work in progress.

02/07/2012 06:58 AM
damselndistressPosts: 16965
VIP Member

Oh my goodness I had a horrible time with buspar too.

I read about it and it sounded like a great drug so I requested it and took a half.

I was gonna beat this thing that felt like the walls were closing in on me.

I still felt partially myself at that point.

After dinner I got up to change the tv station and everything went black and we called the squad. The buspar for me caused big orthostatic swings meaning I had a huge variation of pulse and blood pressure from lying sitting standing and it was too much for my body to adjust too. I didn't ever take another pill.

I guess experiences like that made me also scared to death of meds.

Really unfortunate because now I fear all pills even motrin and tylenol.

I'm scheduled for a minor surgical procedure and I know I'll need pain meds-that's just a given but I'm really afraid to take anything.

02/07/2012 07:28 AM
Posts: 21492
VIP Member

As long as your outlook with the meds (benzos) is that it will be used to assist you and not cure you, then you are in the right mindset. I would be sure to take the Xanax about 15 minutes before getting out and now I can wait until I am out of the house to take it. It's a tool not a crutch.

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