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Avatar universal

Anxiety and Ativan

Hello, I have posted on these forums before and I find them to a great help. To sum things up quickly I started having anxiety about 2 weeks ago. I believe this started because I was worrying because I was misdiagnosed by doctor and told I had HSV-1 and 2 when in reality they read my results wrong and after further testing it proved that I don't have HSV. Anyway, I started having anxiety problems a couple weeks and had all the basic symptoms, what if question, irrational fears, inability to sit and relax, pacing and so.  I went to go see my doctor to get tested again for HSV to see if that what was causing my anxiety.  All tests came back negative.  My doctor also prescribed me Ativan .5mg tablets to take 3 times a day as needed.  I have read that many things about this drug, some good some bad.  I'm assuming it varies person to person. I do have concerns about becomng addicted to this drug and mom who is a nurse told me that the dosage is low enough to that it would be difficult for me to become addicted. I try to keep it at 1.5mg a day taken twice during the day and one at night.  When I feel a little excitability and it's not time to take another Ativan I will usually take 25mg of Benadryl to help keep me calm. I consulted with my mother and she said that it would be ok but that I could just take another Ativan if necessary, but I really want to keep my daily intake at 1.5mg.  I also take a Valium at night with my dose of Ativan to help me sleep because I have been having problems staying durig the night.  Is it ok to be mixing Ativan with Valium at night? The Valium dosage is 5mg and my mom wants me to take it at night becase she does not want me losing too much sleep. Also, is the Benadryl ok to take in between Ativan doses? I only take 25mg tablets as needed between doses to help keep that edgy feeling down. I am trying my best to leave the Ativan at 1.5mg per day becase want to be on Ativan for an extended period of time and I don't to go through a tough Ativan withdrawl.  I am also going to start seeing a psychologist to help so hopefully I want have to rely on meds to get me through this. Thank you for your time.
7 Responses
370181 tn?1428180348
Stick to EXACTLY what has been prescribed for you until you see the therapist. We are NOT doctors and cannot tell you what meds to take, how much to take or when to take them.

Your anxiety is VERY specific to a misdiagnosed test that scared you and created the anxiety. I am very confident that if your therapist is any good, he/she will be able to get you off any and all meds very quickly.

If you were having problems sleeping before this, there are other things you could try first before relying on the diazepam.

It is far easier to climb UP the drug ladder than come DOWN! Ask your mom.
Peace
Greenlydia
Avatar universal
Thanks for your response. I am sticking to my doctors prescribed amount, which is three Ativan a day as needed.  I did consult with my mom and she said that a 5mg dose of Valium at night would be ok because it is a relatively small dose and that it would cross react badly with the Ativan because they are both benzos.  I think she is worried that I am not getting enough sleep at night and that it is putting me more on edge. The same reasoning with the low dose benadryl, which I take only as needed and generally do not take more than one a day.  I do trust my mom because she has been a nurse for 30 years and has experience with these types of medicines and I know she would never put me in harms way.  I do have questions about things to help me sleep at night.  What are some techniques I could use to help me sleep through the night? I already try to take a hot shower before bed to calm down and not drink any caffeinated beverages. Any other suggestions? I was thinking about trying some herbal tea that helps to relax people and make them sleepy. The one I was looking at  had chamomile in it and St. John's Wort.  I read that St. John's Wort could affect the usefullness of benzos and I wouldn't that to happen.  Can you buy these herbal teas without St. Johns Wort in them? I ask because since I am taking .5mg of Ativan and 5mg of Valium at night I don't just want to simply UP and dosages and am looking for more natural ways to help me sleep.  Thanks once again.
370181 tn?1428180348
To find a good, effective, safe, natural sleep aid, go to your local health food store and talk to the owner or manager. Make sure you tell them every single pharaceutical med you're taking. They are highly knowledgable people and will be able to help you find something that should work.
Please check out the Complimentary Medicine Forum and post to either Laura or Paxiled about this quesiton. Paxiled managed a health food store for 18 years and he knows his stuff. I will send him this link so he can find you and discuss this with you.
And I hope you (or your mom) did not think I was implying she didn't know what she was doing! Of course she would never tell you to take anything that would harm you and I know she has incredible knowledge about drugs.
We also have an Insomnia Forum where you can get excellent advice about this issue.
We'll figure this out, OK?
Peace
Greenlydia
Avatar universal
Greenlydia, thank you so much for your help and effort. And in no way did I take offence, in fact I'm sorry if my post came across that away.  I've always been a worrier about medicines and what you can and can't mix.  As I'm sure you know this is a very scary thing happening to me and I am trying desperately to get back to normal. I am only 26 and I have so much aspirations in life and while I'm like this I feel I can't achieve any of them.  That is why I am going to see a psychologist as soon as possible.  Once again I really do appreciate your help. I know this is a website I can trust because I have used it to help me with my HSV diagnosis. I am trying my best to stay positive and keep telling myself that I can become the person I was before! Thanks    
Avatar universal
I would second greenlydia's advice to stick with what your psychiatrist says.  Psychiatrists are the ones who specialize in this, not regular docs, or, sadly, nurses unless they're psych nurses.  Ativan is addictive at those levels, but that is no reason not to take it or to take it.  All benzos are addictive.  Mixing the valium also seems questionable, and you're not actually taking a low dose of ativan.  So please listen to greenlydia, she's just trying to be helpful.  We read a lot of posts on here and we've taken a lot of meds because (excuse me, greenie) we're old.  At least by your standards.
As to the tea, St. John's Wort is used for depression, not anxiety.  Most herbal relaxants target the GABA receptors, which is also what the benzos are targeting, so I would be very careful to use herbal relaxants if you're on benzos.  Camomile is very mild, so it's probably okay, but I'd still be pretty careful especially since you're new to the benzos and don't have a lot of experience as to how you react on them.  What you can safely try are homeopathic sleep remedies, such as Calm's Forte, as they have no active ingredients and work instead on energetics; the worst that can happen is they won't work.  You can also try melatonin, which is a hormone your body naturally produces to regulate your body clock.  It doesn't target GABA, and so you shouldn't have any problems with it.  It's also works best a very low doses, .5 or 1mg, so you don't need much of it.  In the meantime, please discuss your benzo use with a good psychiatrist and come up with a program to deal with this, and I'd get myself to therapy as well to nip this in the bud.  There are also some good natural remedies for herpes if you turn out to have it that have helped many people, so that's an area of further research for you.  Good luck.
1 Comments
Try guided meditation for sleep. I have anxiety and I started listening to these guided meditations and I fell asleep immediately and sleep like a baby.
Avatar universal
Oh, and just to add, I've been on a benzo for years.  That's what I meant by saying that the mere fact it's addictive or not isn't that relevant to whether you need it or not.  If you need it you need it, if you don't you don't.  It is better, of course, to not need it, but that's life.  
Avatar universal
Thanks for the input paxiled, I am going to call a psychologist tomorrow and setup an appointment.  I also picked up an herbal tea with just chamomile, English lavender and lemon balm in it.  I am also going to keep following my primary doctors prescription for Ativan and keep it at 1.5mg a day and hopefully with therapy I can begin to get off it.  I'm also going to try the tea tonight but drink it before I take my Ativan and Valium.  If I feel it has good results I will try to stop the Valium at night and just stick with Ativan. Thanks again for your.
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