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Dr. or no Dr.?


[Ic...]

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Hi all, I am just wondering what everyone status is on doctors? During your withdrawals, do you see a doctor? I quit seeing both my therapist and psychiatrist because my psych admitted that he did not know how to help people get off benzos. I CT high doses of Ambien a month and 23 days ago. I am in withdrawal and don't know if I am doing the right thing by just waiting it out, or if I should be seeing a professional. Although I have severe depression, loss of self, and anxiety, I don't really want to see my therapist again as she always pushes me to be put on more medication because it is not withdrawals I am experiencing, but my "illness getting worse." So, doctor or no doctor?
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Hi all, I am just wondering what everyone status is on doctors? During your withdrawals, do you see a doctor? I quit seeing both my therapist and psychiatrist because my psych admitted that he did not know how to help people get off benzos. I CT high doses of Ambien a month and 23 days ago. I am in withdrawal and don't know if I am doing the right thing by just waiting it out, or if I should be seeing a professional. Although I have severe depression, loss of self, and anxiety, I don't really want to see my therapist again as she always pushes me to be put on more medication because it is not withdrawals I am experiencing, but my "illness getting worse." So, doctor or no doctor?

 

I mean it’s up to you do what you think is best for you but my personal experience after this  I probably won’t be seeing a doctor unless I break a bone or something.

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[8d...]

I'd encourage you to find a therapist that you can work with.  Unlike a p-doc, whom you might just see a few times a year, you see your therapist regularly (often weekly).  The rapport has to work.  I found one that challenged me (but with empathy). She gave me homework, and regularly called me out on my sh*t (again, with empathy).  I found that guidance invaluable during my withdrawal.

 

I also fired a therapist who did nothing for me.  Seemed more interested at promoting his other business endeavors than in helping me.

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I asked my doctor a few years ago if he thought I should get off my benzo and he said, "No!"  Therefore, I am doing it all alone (well, that's not totally true ... I have BenzoBuddies)  and it's working.  :thumbsup:
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Sadly it can be hard to find a doctor or therapist who is Benzo-wise.  But it would be worth trying to find a therapist who can help you develop skills for managing stress, anxiety, whatever brought you to taking benzos and whatever you're coping with now.  It can be work trying to find the right therapist but when you do it can make a big difference.

 

 

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It can be work trying to find the right therapist but when you do it can make a big difference.

 

I agree completely. As for finding a "benzo-wise" therapist, it's not necessary. I "taught" mine about benzos and withdrawal. I gave her the Ashton Manual and she read it. I saw my therapist 2 x a week when my taper was bad, then once a week after that. Like badsocref's therapist, she was good for calling me out on my "sh**" and disentangling the distress brought on by my taper from other, older stuff. I couldn't have made it without her. She and I together monitored my taper, decided when I should hold etc.

 

I also had a NP who prescribed my valium for me. I saw her once a quarter. All she did for me was make sure I had an uninterrupted supply of valium and that's all I wanted from her.

 

imo no one needs a psychiatrist to help them with their benzo w/d. OMG no. My psych was the one (eleven years earlier) who got me into a world of hurt, prescribing first xanax, then ativan in the way of benzos, and later Ambien, lamictal, lithium, Prozac, zyprexa and probably drugs I have forgotten, to fix a hypomanic condition I did not have.

 

So . . .  just my 2 1/2 cents' worth.

 

Katz 

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It can be work trying to find the right therapist but when you do it can make a big difference.

 

I agree completely. As for finding a "benzo-wise" therapist, it's not necessary. I "taught" mine about benzos and withdrawal. I gave her the Ashton Manual and she read it. I saw my therapist 2 x a week when my taper was bad, then once a week after that. Like badsocref's therapist, she was good for calling me out on my "sh**" and disentangling the distress brought on by my taper from other, older stuff. I couldn't have made it without her. She and I together monitored my taper, decided when I should hold etc.

 

I also had a NP who prescribed my valium for me. I saw her once a quarter. All she did for me was make sure I had an uninterrupted supply of valium and that's all I wanted from her.

 

imo no one needs a psychiatrist to help them with their benzo w/d. OMG no. My psych was the one (eleven years earlier) who got me into a world of hurt, prescribing first xanax, then ativan in the way of benzos, and later Ambien, lamictal, lithium, Prozac, zyprexa and probably drugs I have forgotten, to fix a hypomanic condition I did not have.

 

So . . .  just my 2 1/2 cents' worth.

 

Katz

 

Sadly, I loved my therapist, but she is the one who pushed being medicated. I wanted to apply the exercises to help deal with anxiety. Instead, like you, after the psych was done with me, I was diagnosed with bipolar II; a disease I dont believe I have.

 

If you don't mind me asking and if you can remember, how did you like or do on Lamictal? If someone would have prefaced with "Hey, this drug is going to change your brain permanently and it could be bad or really good" I would have said no thanks!

 

To clarify: I first sought out a therapist who then referred me to a pysch

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Wow, this is awful, Icy:

 

Sadly, I loved my therapist, but she is the one who pushed being medicated.

 

This is so da**ed wrong. My therapist NEVER, in any of my miserable taper years (or before or after), no matter how loony I became, pushed me into being medicated. She always took the position that we could together understand what was distressing me. In fact, I felt safe with her because therapists (at least in OR) can't prescribe drugs. And I sure didn't want any more. Getting rid of the drugs that pysch put me on enabled me to get my mind straight and get through my taper. I'm sorry the opposite happened to you. My therapist was and is not a CBT therapist -- she's an old-fashioned "talk therapist", a psychodynamic therapist. That suited me very well -- we were and are a good fit. I didn't want a workbook and exercises . . . I wanted to understand what the he** was happening to me.

 

About lamictal . .  oh brother, what a horrid drug.  I hated it. Mood stabilizer, my Aunt Fanny. It made me feel like I was under water, anesthetized. Finally it gave me a rash and my psych said y'know, maybe you need to get off this drug. Oh, thank you. When I did get off it, it was as though a curtain went up in my mind and I saw the world clearly. That drug and lithium were the last ones I chucked, and my pysch wouldn't tell me how to get off lithium. She maintained I'd need it for the rest of my life. So I just cut it in half, then in half again, and dropped the damned thing. Again, a curtain went up in my mind and I realized how badly off these drugs had made me. I could think! I could feel! I remembered important things I had forgotten! I felt joy again! I rediscovered poetry and music! Oh, man, so many years wasted.

 

Anyhow, enough ranting. Fortunately lamictal did NOT make irreversible changes in my brain. I took it for almost two years  but finally my body rebelled and gave me the dreaded rash.

 

Hope you are doing okay, Icy. The Great Psychiatric Drug Train was one I was very glad to get off.

 

Best to you,

 

Katz

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Wow, this is awful, Icy:

 

Sadly, I loved my therapist, but she is the one who pushed being medicated.

 

This is so da**ed wrong. My therapist NEVER, in any of my miserable taper years (or before or after), no matter how loony I became, pushed me into being medicated. She always took the position that we could together understand what was distressing me. In fact, I felt safe with her because therapists (at least in OR) can't prescribe drugs. And I sure didn't want any more. Getting rid of the drugs that pysch put me on enabled me to get my mind straight and get through my taper. I'm sorry the opposite happened to you. My therapist was and is not a CBT therapist -- she's an old-fashioned "talk therapist", a psychodynamic therapist. That suited me very well -- we were and are a good fit. I didn't want a workbook and exercises . . . I wanted to understand what the he** was happening to me.

 

About lamictal . .  oh brother, what a horrid drug.  I hated it. Mood stabilizer, my Aunt Fanny. It made me feel like I was under water, anesthetized. Finally it gave me a rash and my psych said y'know, maybe you need to get off this drug. Oh, thank you. When I did get off it, it was as though a curtain went up in my mind and I saw the world clearly. That drug and lithium were the last ones I chucked, and my pysch wouldn't tell me how to get off lithium. She maintained I'd need it for the rest of my life. So I just cut it in half, then in half again, and dropped the damned thing. Again, a curtain went up in my mind and I realized how badly off these drugs had made me. I could think! I could feel! I remembered important things I had forgotten! I felt joy again! I rediscovered poetry and music! Oh, man, so many years wasted.

 

Anyhow, enough ranting. Fortunately lamictal did NOT make irreversible changes in my brain. I took it for almost two years  but finally my body rebelled and gave me the dreaded rash.

 

Hope you are doing okay, Icy. The Great Psychiatric Drug Train was one I was very glad to get off.

 

Best to you,

 

Katz

 

Thank you so much Katz for your reply! I was only on Lamictal for three months but I have been hearing that these drugs can change things permanently. This gives me hope that if you felt yourself even after taking it for years then I can too!

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all, I am just wondering what everyone status is on doctors? During your withdrawals, do you see a doctor? I quit seeing both my therapist and psychiatrist because my psych admitted that he did not know how to help people get off benzos. I CT high doses of Ambien a month and 23 days ago. I am in withdrawal and don't know if I am doing the right thing by just waiting it out, or if I should be seeing a professional. Although I have severe depression, loss of self, and anxiety, I don't really want to see my therapist again as she always pushes me to be put on more medication because it is not withdrawals I am experiencing, but my "illness getting worse." So, doctor or no doctor?

 

A psychiatrist that has someone only on highly addictive/physically dependent drug knows that he has a patient for life. It all comes down to money. I ditched my psychiatrist once I had a good amount of klonopin in order to taper. A good counselor...that's a different story. They can help in so many different ways whether they know about benzo tapering or not. It's often hard to find a good one, but they're awesome when we do! Good luck :)

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I can see it both ways. I'm not sure that there's a correct answer either way. There is no "should", put it that way.

 

I was at my most messed up, psychologically, before entering an outpatient rehab type thing. It wasn't at all appropriate for me but the one good thing about it is I had three 40 minute sessions with a competent psychologist. I'm sure that we were making progress... I would have had more sessions but that wasn't an option.

 

On the other hand, when coronavirus came along, my mental health improved dramatically simply due to not having to interact with the healthcare system. I don't believe that to be a coincidence.

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Yep I go and get scripts, and that’s it. Will never trust a dr again. They have no idea of the hurt they can cause. Then once it’s done, no idea how to help u get better.
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let me ask, where do you live and the kind of doctor that you all are going ?

 

a good doctor is a MUST, you will never learn all from anecdotal evidence found in forums.

 

how a psychiatry is not a benzo expert?

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I was getting my benzos from a regular internist doctor.  Once I didn't need to go for more prescriptions, I didn't go.  I did go back, for a prescription for marijuana, and then had to go back for renewals of the that until they made it legal where I live.  I sought out therapy, and maybe a few sessions were helpful, and then it stopped being helpful, as the therapist kept wanted to give me diagnoses based on my withdrawal symptoms.  I went back to therapy a few times, and it seems to work if I am going for something very specific. Like, the first time I went, I was having a lot of anger, and this therapist knew how to do anger management, and that helped me so much.  But once I was not focused on a specific task to accomplish in therapy, it felt like a waste of time and money. 

 

For other problems I have seen doctors, but I have not gone back to my regular doctor in quite a while now.  I have just used walk in clinics for things like sinus infections. 

 

As far as going back to her for benzo withdrawal, or its symptoms, unless I want a medication, there is no reason for me to go back. 

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let me ask, where do you live and the kind of doctor that you all are going ?

 

a good doctor is a MUST, you will never learn all from anecdotal evidence found in forums.

 

how a psychiatry is not a benzo expert?

 

In my case, I used to get psych drugs or benzos from a PCP. They knew the purpose of the drugs, but didn't know the side effects. I eventually went to a pretty expensive therapist who referred me to a psych. It became obvious during withdrawal that he only could regurgitate what the drug companies and textbooks have said. He didn't even recognize when I was withdrawing from Lamictal. The same is said for the therapist. My withdrawals were diagnosed as other illnesses by my therapist. Most doctors are not benzo wise and that includes psych, ER doctors, and therapists. The belief is that anyone can get through withdrawals within two weeks or a month max.

 

This post is old, but I have decided that doctors are a waste of money through this. The only way out is through. There is no med that can help me right now. I do plan on seeing a really sought after psych who doesn't believe in drugs once I get better to help deal with the PTSD of this. I live in the US where drugs are handed out like candy and then when they have caused damage, you can't get help. I have actually learned quite a bit from the forum and anecdotal evidence. The problem is that researchers and doctors should take those anecdotal experiences and study them. The "studies" that they have done are either outdated or done incorrectly. Because of this site and online research, I have a better understanding of the nervous system and why my stomach gets this 24/7 excruciating pain from benzos and psych drugs. Honestly, nothing was really wrong with me. There was no reason I should have been on drugs. I had some suppressed emotions and trauma that I believe I could have gotten over with good therapy. I had an experience in life that depressed me to the point that I conditioned my brain to be negative.

 

Don't get me wrong, I refuse to just lay down and claim my brain is damaged! I refuse to believe that. In time, I'll recover. Right now, I can work, do house chores, drink some caffeine, and am slowly adding food back into my diet. I just no longer believe that doctors know everything or are a must. Mine didn't even clearly understand the nervous system. After what I told him with my experience on mood enhancers and anti anxiety meds, even over the counter ones, he should not have chosen to put me on a strong antipsychotic with awful side effects and then deny them.

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I DO understand frustration with doctors. I have tinnitus and finding an ENT who really knows the T was difficult, but once you find a doctor that really understands your problem and provide a treatment that works, well then you start believing in doctors again.

 

If you brake you leg, would you look for an psych? an ENT? no. I see a LOT of people getting benzos from anyone but a psych....

 

A psych who does not understands benzos are like a mechanic that does not know how a clutch works. It is not a bad professional, it is a scam. I went to 4 psych before finding a good one, and yes there are a lot of psychs that are in fact salesman for the evil industry

 

but it's not hard to identify the good/honest ones.

 

1- the appointment must be for at least 1h, because he will want to identify the roots of your problems

2- the treatment with drugs will be TEMPORARY, and therapy (like behavioral cognitive therapy) will be the long-term.

3- He will tell to not be overweight, eat well, sleep well and do exercises. I could be good without having healthy habits when I was at my 20s, but after the 30s just a heavy meal at night is enough to make my sleep miserable

 

 

And do not get me wrong, but is kind of arrogant to think that you know more from googling than a (good) professional that studied years and has experience with thousands of patients.

 

 

your brain is not damaged, but the chemistry is messed up, and probably not only by drugs, but because of the crappy modern life we are living in this century. I read books abouth how carbs (specialy gluten) can be harmuful for our mental health, how exercising help our dopamine and endorphin levels, how meditation (mindfullness) and breathing helps with anxiety, etc.... ant its all TRUE

 

and the dopamine addiction from social networks? yeap, big problem too

 

 

 

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It's not being arrogant. I don't believe I am some genius by googling or using my own experience; I just said that the doctors were about prescribing me more medication than finding a solution. I also wrote that I would be looking for another psych once I'm well enough. I don't understand why everyone uses the whole "if you broke your leg, wouldn't you seek a doctor." As another responder wrote, of course I would go to the doctor. The original post which was written in the beginning of my withdrawal was merely asking if I should be seeing a professional or would just dealing with the withdrawals alone be OK. But no, I am not going to be taking another medication to cover up the symptoms, so what do I need a psych for at the moment? I quit CT and haven't taken anything for four months. As for the the responses who mistrust doctors, don't they have reason? You'll find a lot of people on here who were not told about withdrawals and weren't even prescribed the benzo for mental help. Some were prescribed after a surgery, some were prescribed to help with sleep, and some were prescribed for minor anxiety that could have been helped with diet, exercise, and some therapy.
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Oh I didn't even see that this post was from July when I responded the other day.  I'll blame benzo brain, lol.  IcyPeppermint, I agree with you that there's nothing a doctor can really do for you during withdrawal, unless you are looking for a drug.    The only time I was helped greatly by a doctor  for my withdrawal symptoms, was when I got my prescription for Cannabis.  That was very helpful. 
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