3 doctors weighed in:

I've had gad for many years.... I've tried every ssri known to man over the years, and will never try again. Is upping my klonop i've had gad for many years. It recently got to where i couldnt function. I couldnt even drive more than a mile away from my h

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: You

You presented a history of suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (gad) for many years which has been unresponsive to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Your anxiety decreased with use of Clonazepam but only at a dose of 2mg and you would like to know a permissible dose for yourself. Clonazepam (klonipin) is a prescription medication which is used for anxiety (antianxiety) and convulsions (anticonvulsant). It is in the family of medications called benzodiazepines. One can develop both physical and psychological dependency on benzodiazepines. Although you stated you are not worried about addiction, you should keep in mind that while taking Klonopin you may become drowsy and /or cognitively impaired. Additionally, if this medication is abruptly stopped (especially if you have been on a high dose for a long time) you can develop withdrawal symptoms that in a worst case scenario could be fatal. In other words, as effective as this medication can be to cut through anxiety; it is not without significant risks. You mentioned that your heart rate goes crazy when you walk down stairs. Have you been medically worked up to ensure that you do not have underlying cardiac problems? If you have not have not had a thorough physical examination, this may help to evaluate causes for your symptoms. Was the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder made by a primary care provider or a psychologist/ psychiatrist? Your description of your body going numb, a crazy heart rate & inability to function is suggestive of panic attacks. The concern for developing tolerance to this medication should not be under-estimated. You have already used medication that was prescribed to another person and self -increased your dose of klonipin. I can understand the desperation to find relief. I deliberately avoided advising you on the amount of Klonopin you should take; as that would be rendering a specific medical recommendation. It is strongly recommended that you have a thorough medical evaluation if not already done. Because you had an inadequate response to a number of psychiatric medications, your case is more complicated and you may benefit from evaluation by a psychiatrist for thoroughness and accuracy of assessment. A psychiatrist could make individualized medication recommendations for you. Have you tried non- medication approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback or acupuncture? Many individuals are able to obtain relief of symptoms without psychotropic medications. The combination of psychiatric medication with some of the above listed approaches can also be very effective. Consider the services of a psychologist or other behavioral health provider who is experienced in dealing with anxiety. Good luck with your road to health.

In brief: You

You presented a history of suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (gad) for many years which has been unresponsive to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Your anxiety decreased with use of Clonazepam but only at a dose of 2mg and you would like to know a permissible dose for yourself. Clonazepam (klonipin) is a prescription medication which is used for anxiety (antianxiety) and convulsions (anticonvulsant). It is in the family of medications called benzodiazepines. One can develop both physical and psychological dependency on benzodiazepines. Although you stated you are not worried about addiction, you should keep in mind that while taking Klonopin you may become drowsy and /or cognitively impaired. Additionally, if this medication is abruptly stopped (especially if you have been on a high dose for a long time) you can develop withdrawal symptoms that in a worst case scenario could be fatal. In other words, as effective as this medication can be to cut through anxiety; it is not without significant risks. You mentioned that your heart rate goes crazy when you walk down stairs. Have you been medically worked up to ensure that you do not have underlying cardiac problems? If you have not have not had a thorough physical examination, this may help to evaluate causes for your symptoms. Was the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder made by a primary care provider or a psychologist/ psychiatrist? Your description of your body going numb, a crazy heart rate & inability to function is suggestive of panic attacks. The concern for developing tolerance to this medication should not be under-estimated. You have already used medication that was prescribed to another person and self -increased your dose of klonipin. I can understand the desperation to find relief. I deliberately avoided advising you on the amount of Klonopin you should take; as that would be rendering a specific medical recommendation. It is strongly recommended that you have a thorough medical evaluation if not already done. Because you had an inadequate response to a number of psychiatric medications, your case is more complicated and you may benefit from evaluation by a psychiatrist for thoroughness and accuracy of assessment. A psychiatrist could make individualized medication recommendations for you. Have you tried non- medication approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback or acupuncture? Many individuals are able to obtain relief of symptoms without psychotropic medications. The combination of psychiatric medication with some of the above listed approaches can also be very effective. Consider the services of a psychologist or other behavioral health provider who is experienced in dealing with anxiety. Good luck with your road to health.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Thank
Dr. Richard Bunt
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: There

There are two things you really need to understand: 1) when the docs talk about "addiction", they are not just saying that you won't be able to stop taking the medication easily.
They're talking about the fact that while taking even a steady dosage, you will be developing "tolerance" to the medication. Tolerance to benzodiazepines (clonazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam, and diazepam, to name a few) is by definition damage that's occuring to the part of your brain that controls anxiety (the gaba system). Seriously. So, as the benzos do less and less to control your anxiety, your anxiety gets worse and worse ! as you up the dosage, they do more damage. That is why they are not your friends. 2) i know you've tried the relaxation techniques. The key to the relaxation techniques is not just learning how to do them, or even learning how to do them really well. It's putting in the time, at the very least, 20 minutes every single day, for a minimum of 5-6 months, but ideally doing it for one twenty minute session, and several shorter sessions (even 10-20 seconds at a time) each day, before you will begin to see significant changes (at that rate, it'll probably start to kick in sooner). Neuroimaging studies have shown that if you do the meditative type relaxation excercises for 20 minutes daily, and really focus on relaxing every time (you can't just phone it in) after 4-5 months you will begin to develop visible growth in the parts of your brain that control anxiety. That is what you need to get the excitatory parts of your brain under control ! then, it may take one or several more years to completely reverse the problem you're having, but there is no quick fix out there. Think of it like building muscle. If you're skinny, it doesn't matter how much you learn about putting your hip into it, there's only just so much weight you will be able to lift. This is the same in that you need to build up the physical hardware, so that when you turn on the relaxation system, it is able to take back control of your brain. Please trust me. This is the way out that will last for the rest of your life.

In brief: There

There are two things you really need to understand: 1) when the docs talk about "addiction", they are not just saying that you won't be able to stop taking the medication easily.
They're talking about the fact that while taking even a steady dosage, you will be developing "tolerance" to the medication. Tolerance to benzodiazepines (clonazepam, lorazepam, alprazolam, and diazepam, to name a few) is by definition damage that's occuring to the part of your brain that controls anxiety (the gaba system). Seriously. So, as the benzos do less and less to control your anxiety, your anxiety gets worse and worse ! as you up the dosage, they do more damage. That is why they are not your friends. 2) i know you've tried the relaxation techniques. The key to the relaxation techniques is not just learning how to do them, or even learning how to do them really well. It's putting in the time, at the very least, 20 minutes every single day, for a minimum of 5-6 months, but ideally doing it for one twenty minute session, and several shorter sessions (even 10-20 seconds at a time) each day, before you will begin to see significant changes (at that rate, it'll probably start to kick in sooner). Neuroimaging studies have shown that if you do the meditative type relaxation excercises for 20 minutes daily, and really focus on relaxing every time (you can't just phone it in) after 4-5 months you will begin to develop visible growth in the parts of your brain that control anxiety. That is what you need to get the excitatory parts of your brain under control ! then, it may take one or several more years to completely reverse the problem you're having, but there is no quick fix out there. Think of it like building muscle. If you're skinny, it doesn't matter how much you learn about putting your hip into it, there's only just so much weight you will be able to lift. This is the same in that you need to build up the physical hardware, so that when you turn on the relaxation system, it is able to take back control of your brain. Please trust me. This is the way out that will last for the rest of your life.
Dr. Richard Bunt
Dr. Richard Bunt
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Board Certified, Neurology
48 years in practice
55M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors