Xanax

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Pierced7.5, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Pierced7.5

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    169
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    42
    Gender:
    Male
    Verified:
    Photo
    Hi there,

    I have been told that I may have anxiety issues. Nothing major or all that often but some days, when the stress level is high, and things get piled on, BAM... I dont find in my own skin.

    Anyway, one day I was given a Xanax on one of those moments and in about 15min, life was normal again.

    Any of you take it normally? or have in the past? Any long term side effects? I am a very healthy guy and just would rather not take them regurlarly just for the sake of being clean and clear. Ya know?

    Any pointers thoughts?

    P75
     
  2. MisterMark

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,090
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Palm Springs, CA
    Yeah, I've taken it occasionally over many years. You wouldn't want to take it regularly, however. It has a short half-life, which can lead to addiction.

    There's lots of other medications that are meant for everyday, long-term use. I dealt with anxiety issues my entire life, and then I started taking Wellbutrin. It changed my life. You might want to ask your doc about this.
     
  3. quercusone

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,151
    Albums:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2,230
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dallas (TX, US)
    Verified:
    Photo
    I take it when I fly. Its fantastic!
     
  4. goodwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,804
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas
    i have not taken it regularly but when severely stressed out i will definately have one or two. But it knocks me out so i usually just take it before bed so i can get to sleep.
    i don't know if other guys have had this happen, but i don't get hard as easily after i have taken it.
     
  5. MisterMark

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,090
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Palm Springs, CA
    I can't imagine taking Xanax and then trying to get an erection. Seems like poor planning, to say the least. :tongue:
     
  6. Frankg

    Frankg Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    I dated a girl who was severely addicted. She could down 20 a day. She was prescribed them years ago and over time her tolerance got higher. She is a complete mess and can no longer function in society. Be very carefull.
     
  7. MisterMark

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,090
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Palm Springs, CA
    Yeah, exactly. Again, if you've got a real anxiety problem, there are much better ways to deal with it than popping Xanax pills.

    The only time I take Xanax now is when I've got a lot on my mind and need to get to sleep, and even then, it needs to be an exceptional case. Ambien or other more "modern" sleep medications usually work fine for insomnia, and they're much less addictive than Xanax.

    Xanax was created in the 1960s. It's appropriate for certain situations, but I think of it as a relatively primitive way of dealing with anxiety.
     
  8. Pierced7.5

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    169
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    42
    Gender:
    Male
    Verified:
    Photo
    Thank you guys for the feedback. I am so worried about what I ingest. I know many people that are now "unable to function in society" due to a med like this or another. Id like to say i am pretty normal and even mentioning Xanax to some makes the all surprised. I just have days that the tension is rough and well, i am wondering if there is a way to deal with it. For me it is just a matter of stopping what i am doing, removing myself from the situation and getting back to it to complete the task.

    Anyway... Thanks for all the input. I am just really interested in hearing about this and other options for anxiety.

    Cheers,
    P75
     
  9. nudeyorker

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    42,918
    Likes Received:
    37
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NYC/Honolulu
    I take Klonopin when I fly or get stressed out.
     
  10. pym

    pym New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe i'm just an old hippie.....But a puff or 2 of some good weed is all it ever takes to get the RILE off me....Man!

    Ben Harper
    Burn one down:
    YouTube - Ben Harper "Burn One Down"
     
  11. novice_btm

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    18,199
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    860
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Angeles (CA, US)
    Sound similar to the OP. Once in a while, when my mind starts spinning wildly, it just sort of levels things out for me. I might take as many as a full tablet per month, averaged out through the year.
     
  12. Heather LouAnna

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,723
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    21
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Xanax = mindcandy. Nothing numbs you out a little like a good little football or a half a bar.

    I do prefer a traditional puff to a pill though. :)
     
  13. lucky8

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
    Xanax works well if it's prescribed at the right dosage for you, it gives me the hiccups though
     
  14. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    10,576
    Likes Received:
    25
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Warwick, NY, USA
    I've taken Xanax for about 15 years and it has saved my life.

    During my episodes of major depression and even before as a child, I would have some horrible episodes of confusion, upset, racing thoughts, and hyperventilating. Those went away for a while but then resurfaced when I was 22 as I was driving through Ohio and suddenly felt light-headed. I became frightened I would die on the side of the road or pass out at the wheel and that I didn't know anybody in Ohio who could help me (which was very untrue). Over time these panic attacks became much worse and put me in the Emergency Room a few times convinced I was dying of a heart attack. Each time they'd hook me up to monitors and tell me there was nothing wrong with me which I just couldn't believe. I had chest pains, was sweating, hyperventilating, and could not stop fidgeting. I'd get light-headed and become disoriented. Yet there were all the monitors and doctors telling me my heart (thank God) was fine. Then they'd give me a shot of Valium and WHOA! It would all be over in a flash. I'd be mellow, embarrassed, tired, and feeling back to myself.

    I'd had some experience with Ativan before (also a member of the benzodiazepine family) because I'd get overly agitated on Prozac. When I went off Prozac, I didn't need the Ativan but remembered that it helped take the edge off on occasion. After the last episode in the ER, my GP prescribed me Xanax to combat these panic attacks. Most shrinks will tell you that if an episode lasts longer than 15 minutes, it's not a panic attack in which case Xanax or Ativan is pointless because they take at least that long to start working. I call bullshit. As one psychiatrist told me, "You know more about your diesase than we ever will. You live it, we can only examine it." Only one doctor has stridently suggested that I don't use Xanax. When I told him about my history with it, he immediately insisted I stop using it because he was certain I would become addicted. Even when I told him I had been using it for over a decade, he wouldn't budge. I thanked him for his time, told him he wasn't the doctor for me, and left.

    Xanax does three very important things for me.


    • It does what it says it does. When I have a panic attack, one or two pills are enough to temper the symptoms within 15-20 minutes. Within half an hour I'm mellowed out, relaxed, and vaguely content. The hyperventilating, chest pains, racing thoughts, sense of impending doom or death, and fidgeting, all stop. I'm at the point now when I can tell an attack is coming. Sometimes there seems to be no direct external stimulus. I could be in what I would consider a non-stressful situation and suddenly I start feeling anxious. If I take it just then, I avoid the rest of the symptoms and I can function.
    • Xanax short-circuits stressful situations. If I take it pre-emptively, I can get through very difficult situations which would traditionally trigger my panic attacks. I can have a very tough time with crowds and particularly so in small areas. I love New York city, but also fear it enormously. Going into the city used to mean I'd have to go with someone I know or drive directly to someone's home and then spend time with them. Going over bridges or through tunnels or into unfamiliar areas caused my anxiety meter to spike. Night in the city is the worst. I become very fearful of dangers and have a difficult time being alone. Popping a Xanax before I go into these situations means that I can cope with them and work through them before they turn into anxious nightmares. When these situations repeat, I forgo the Xanax because I tell myself that I made it through before without mishap and can do so again. And I do it. As a result, the number of known trigger situations are now greatly reduced and I'm better able to cope without medication.
    • The last, and no less important, effect of Xanax is that I always carry it with me. It's always in my coat pocket or manpurse or car. Just knowing it's there gives helps me get through anxious situations because I know that I have a reliable cure for the anxiety with me at all times. It's a safety net, putting my mind at ease, helping me even without taking it. This is an enormous consolation to me. When in unfamiliar distant areas, which are frequent triggers, I love having my cell phone because it means I'm never really out of reach of loved ones or people who can help me if something bad happens. It is an essential security blanket when I'm in the city. Xanax is no less so. Between the two of them, I gain confidence and peace of mind just knowing they're with me.
    Xanax is blithe but taking it should not be. It is, by all accounts, very addictive. Sometimes my anxiety attacks come in waves or I have a cluster of them over two or three days. In each case, I assess what is happening, whether or not I can control it, and then weigh taking a pill. I prefer not to, but recognize that sometimes I need to and so I do. I view it as a tool, nothing more or less. There are downsides to it. You tend to become very mellow, feeling positive emotions easily and talking too much and too wierdly sentimentally for people near you, and driving is not remotely recommended. You may become sleepy. In short, if you take it, you may find it difficult to function. One .25mg pill and I can function OK though I don't like to drive, but two pills essentially puts me on the couch or, at least, committed to doing nothing terribly serious or complex.

    I generally go through only 20 pills a year and over the years I have reduced that to about 12-15. Sometimes much less, sometimes a little more. It's important to only take it when I need it because I don't want it to lose its effectiveness which will happen with frequent dosing. I need each little pill to pack its full wallop every time I take one. That means taking it very judiciously. If I want to get high, I'd much rather smoke a joint. If I want to be relaxed in a social setting, I'd rather have a drink or two. Xanax is only for panic attacks and then only when I find a situation overwhelming or I get one of the sudden, apparently random, attacks out of left field. Fortunately those are relatively rare. If you need daily anxiety therapy, Xanax (or any other benzodiazepine) is a poor choice because of its gradual loss of effectiveness and addictive properties. As an occasional PRN drug, it's exceptional so long as you only use it as such.

    I really hope this helps because anxiety is a horrible illness and it can completely take over your head if you feel you have no control over it. That's the biggest issue with anxiety. Once you get an attack, it's easier to get others because you begin to fear getting them at times when losing control would be disasterous (like driving in traffic or doing something dangerous). The way I describe drugs like Xanax is if you imagine yourself out on a small boat in a big storm. Xanax won't control the boat for you, but it will steady the waters enough to let you get back to the helm and steer to safe harbor.

    Many doctors are loathe to prescribe these drugs because they fear what may happen if you abuse them. As I illustrated before, I don't have a problem with abusing Xanax though I know other people do. I think trying Xanax is a good idea if your symptoms are rare and you address the underlying issues that cause your anxiety. With me, some of the anxiety is clearly organic, other times it's purely psychological. I can do nothing about the organic anxiety other than to avoid foods or behaviors that might trigger it (so far my therapists and myself have not identified anything in particular though caffeine may play a role). Your situation may be different and I urge you to find a good counselor who can help you ID just what sort of anxiety you're having and then tailor therapies accordingly. You will likely get a consult with a psychiatrist who will prescribe something. Do not be afraid to try a drug and stop using it if you don't like what it does. Not everyone responds the same way to every drug. Then try another. Continue until you find one that works for you. Xanax happens to work for me.

    Feel free to PM me if you'd like any other information. I'm happy to share my experiences with you.
     
  15. Pierced7.5

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    169
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    42
    Gender:
    Male
    Verified:
    Photo
    That was super-inciteful. I really appreciated reading that and reading your thoughts. I actually read it a couple times.

    THANK YOU>

     
  16. SpeedoMike

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,940
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    make an appointment with your doctor and get HIS/HER recommendation.
     
  17. Pierced7.5

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    169
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    42
    Gender:
    Male
    Verified:
    Photo
    Totally. I did speak to my Primary Dr and he suggested meds, but I have an appointment with a shrink to get a better idea of what to take. I think that a Dr that specializes in "moodiness" is lots better than one that knows all things about body and such. So I will see what happens. But such a good idea. I need to do some good soul-searching and make sure what I do take will be good for me in the long run.

    THanks...
     
  18. amygdala

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    372
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    nyc
    Verified:
    Photo
    Like Jason Els, I, too, have suffered from anxiety/panic for years. I was 22 when I had my first panic attack and after that, like Jason mentioned, it becomes a downward spiral of worrying about the constant worrying. .. wondering whether you'll have another panic attack, etc.. . .it's really a vicious cycle.

    I was originally prescribed Zoloft and Xanax for what my doctor diagnosed me with, i.e. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Basically, it's uncontrolled anxiety/panic without any specific trigger. If you've never experienced, be thankful. If you have experienced it, you'll know that it's something that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Overwhelming anxiety, depression, panic without a specific event to cause such feelings is, simply put, a terrible way to live.

    That said, medication does work. Anti-depressants such as Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin, taken daily, can work wonders in terms of addressing the underlying disorder. Benzos such as Xanax or Klonipin are more like the band-aid approach - they don't address the underlying disorder, but they certainly help in the immediate, short-term times of crisis.

    As mentioned several times, Xanax is a highly addictive drug when taken on a regular basis or abused beyond what is prescribed. Withdrawal from it can be truly awful as the withdrawal symptoms basically induce the very symptoms that you were taking the drugs to prevent in the first place. The point is: be careful. I know there are a lot of general practitioners who prescribe these types of drugs to people without truly understanding the affect they have on brain chemistry. That's why it's so important to see a psychiatrist if you feel you need any such medication. Psychiatrists are specially trained in the physiological bases for psychological conditions. In other words, they're not just about talking you through your problems. They're experts in brain chemistry - neurotransmitters that affect mood, perceptions, weight, and a whole host of other brain functions that these types of drugs affect.

    I wish you luck with tackling the problem. Follow your doctor's advice and you WILL feel better eventually. Nobody should have to live that way. Believe me, I know.
     
  19. Pierced7.5

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    169
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    42
    Gender:
    Male
    Verified:
    Photo

    Oh, thank YOU TOO for your thoughts. I really hate the idea that I need a pill to feel better but I am very willing to do so if it means that on really rough days it will help. I did go to a phychiatrist(sp?) a few days ago and about 10 minutes into the conversation she was giving me samples pills and such. I want them...trust me I want what will work, but we didnt talk about me. We didnt address the underlying issues and I decided that until we talked more that I would not take them. But you are correct. I want a Dr. like that to prescribe them rather than just a regular family practitioner.

    Thanks again.
     
  20. amygdala

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    372
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    nyc
    Verified:
    Photo
    My pleasure. I know it's difficult, particularly as you have other things on your mind, but try to get rid of the stigma attached to having to take medication if you need it. Just as a diabetic needs insulin to live, some of us need psychotropic medications to survive. It doesn't make you crazy, weak, or otherwise less of a man. If anything, seeking out help is a sign that you're intelligent and brave enough to know that something's wrong that needs fixing. Again, best of luck!
     
Draft saved Draft deleted