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1211508 tn?1343079605

1mg Ativan Not Very Effective? Xanax better???

Ok so this is a sort of follow up to an earlier post I created.  I am an agoraphobic (really started kicking in to high gear/crippling my life in October 2009).  Since then I've made great strides, particularly in 2013.  Back in 2011 I was on a low dose of Zoloft but I took myself off of it--I don't even remember what my reasoning was to be honest.  I dabbled with very low doses of Klonopin in 2012 (like 0.25 to at most 0.5 mg), but I only took them on occasion.  Anyway, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) has been my savior.  I had read that to get to the ROOT of the problem, you need to do the CBT/desensitizing drills and that meds will NOT get solve the problem...but they can aid in getting you to do the CBT, so in my opinion they are/can be very useful.  Ok, back to the point.  So a few days ago I set out to accomplish a personal goal.  Drive to LA (I live in the bay area, which is 6 hours by car) and go to Disneyland!  These were both very big challenges for me.  Now of those of you unfamiliar with Disneyland, it can be VERY difficult for agoraphobics....it's SUPER crowded, they have lines that go through tight places and you can't really "escape", there are rides you are "stuck on" for the duration of the ride...all things that never faze a normal person but can be daunting for someone like me.  Also there's only one way in and out of the park, so if you are at the opposite end, you feel very far from your comfort zone (for me it's my car).  And you are so far from you car at the Disney resort as you have to park pretty far away and go through hoards of people just to get to the park.  Anyway, if I lived in Anaheim, I am certain I could use CBT to break this down.  I'd start by going to the park for just 10 minutes, near the entrance/exit only, then gradually increase to 15, 20, 30 min, going deeper into the park, little by little.  This strategy has helped me break down many barriers where I live, such as going to the mall.  I was unable to do that a  year ago.  Today I can not only walk through a mall, but I can do it with no anxiety whatsoever.  

Ok so obviously I didn't have the luxury of being able to do this at Disneyland.  So I figured I had no choice but to medicate myself.  My plan--take 1mg of Ativan.  Keep in mind I have no tolerance to benzos as I wasn't a habitual user.  I'm clean of all things--smoke, weed, you name it.  Anyway I expect the 1mg to kick in about 15-30 min after taking it, and I expected to be able to do ANYTHING.  To my shock I felt NO DIFFERENT at all 30 min later.  Nothing!  An hour later I was everso slightly more relaxed but it was extremely less of an effect than I expected.  I got desperate and chased it with 2-3 shots of 35% vodka 2 hour later.  That helped somewhat but I still felt a tad uneasy at some points in Disneyland.  Now I know for sure that if I had just skipped the Ativan and drank 9-10 shots, I'd have been able to do ANYTHING at Disneyland.  If I drink enough (again 9-10 shots in my case), my phobias totally disappear.  I just thought ativan, being an anti-anxiety med would've been able to give me that effect.  But it didn't...not even close.  

So after that friggin novel I just wrote (sorry, I'm overly descriptive at times), here's the question.  In those handful of moments a year, should I just say screw it, and drink 10 shots since I know it works?  Or should I maybe up the dose and try 2, even 3mg of Ativan?  What about 1mg of Xanax?  I never tried that...perhaps that would work better than Ativan????   In my day-to-day life I'm fine with no meds....please note I'm just talking about 3 or 4 occasions in the entire year, such as going to Disneyland, that is, somewhere that's super hard for agoraphobic like me and somewhere where I do not have the luxury of overcoming my fears using CBT.  

I'd LOVE to hear feedback.  


Thanks so much and best wishes to everyone here.  :)

James
4 Responses
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Avatar universal
And for me, Xanax has been much more effective. But again, everyone is different. If Ativan isn't working, try something else. Many people find Klonpin effective, though it didn't work as well for me. Keep trying.
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Avatar universal
Easier said than done. What works for one doesn't work for another. I went years (10) refusing addictive meds, any alcohol, etc., but I just got worse - in fact housebound. I'd rather do whatever it takes and live a semi-normal life, be able to do things I need and like to do as opposed to following the rules of others who have never walked in my shoes.  When you have no life left and kids to support you become desperate. Don't judge
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Easier said than done. What works for one doesn't work for another. I went years (10) refusing addictive meds, any alcohol, etc., but I just got worse - in fact housebound. I'd rather do whatever it takes and live a semi-normal life, be able to do things I need and like to do as opposed to following the rules of others who have never walked in my shoes.  When you have no life left and kids to support you become desperate. Don't judge
Helpful - 0
8257579 tn?1406108493
Hi,

I do not suggest medicating yourself, nor would I ever suggest drinking to get through any phobia. Having much experience with anti-anxiety meds I'll tell you how it works for me. I myself now take ativan and have found it to work better than any others I have tried. However, I do think that you need to build it up in your system a bit for it to work. My psych Dr told me that ativan works but only for a short time. So I take 4x 1mg pills each day at different times. Although it does not completely remove my anxiety, it helps.
Helpful - 0

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