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seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow, scared.


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I'm so incredibly nervous about tomorrow. The detox program I am in is tapering me way too quickly. I want to tell him I don't think it will be successful at this rate, but he's kind of mean, and he doesn't really listen to me. I'm not very optimistic that he will help me, and then I don't know what I'll do. I am scared I might lose it. I don't think it's fair of them to force me to stop taking it so quickly, especially when I'm NOT ready. But to them, I'm just a drug addict. I wish he would be just a little bit more understanding.  :( And now I can't sleep because I'm too worried.
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Hey freechick,

ive been on xanax for the past 5 years too every day at around the same doses your talking about between 2 and 4...upto 6 mlgs a day...im stilll in the taper atm....down to 3.25 and they are cutting me back way too quick too and make me feel like a drug addict too! You feel desperate talkin to you docs beucase (well you are..they are scary and have the power to do damage so thats understandable....they never been taken off xanax quick and it is hell!)...anyway i also hate my gp...so im emailing him becuase i just go dumm when it comes to being in rooms with doctors. Im goin to ask to be reduced at .25 every 2 weeks rather than weekly....its too much of a cut...so just letting you know i empathise with you as im going through similar.....hope your pregnancy is going well...dont get down on yourself chick....and maybe write notes and take them to your appointment get your point accross ppl here say we got to take control and these docs shouldnt be making all the decisions....deep breath around him (also being enclosed in a room with a psychiatrist i find claustrophobic!)...take care

gem!

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yeah it is definitely hard to keep my composure around my doctors. I get really nervous and feel dumb. I printed out some of the ashton manual, but I don't even know if he'll want to see it. I'm still really nervous, but I think if he doesn't agree to the plan, I will try to talk to the detox doctors about slowing down the taper. I don't really want to be in a detox program because I'd rather go at my own pace, but I might not have a choice.
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Hey,

i went into detox a few years ago and did the rapid detox from 4 mlgs of xanax ...it was aweful...i re instated straight after hospital. Now (im in australia), so we might have a different system. but my gp didnt want to see the ashton manual...beucase no one heres ever heard of it. Then a few months ago i went to a drug and alcohol service for support and as soon as i walked out of the office they rang my doctor and cut me off xanax! My doctor rang me for an emergency appointment, and said that in order for me to continue getting the xanax i would have to be piss tested for all drugs and have to be on weekly pickups... i was angry since it re enforces the old ADDICT label. So im only aloud to get xanax now if im do what THEY say, and there rules are to decrease at .25 a week! Anyway just incase i tapered faster initially to save xanax and im also prescribed 14 valium a week which i save...so that i can swap and crossover at some stage....talk about the gps making my anxiety sky rocket. I give the extra pills so my mum whos a nurse. I dont like having to lie with doctors, but my fear is that ill get so sick and unable to talk communicate ect that ill run out completey and have to c/t....anyway as my confidence grows through this and i become more aware i know what next steps to take...this morning i just email the gp and said "look i cant do this i need you to slow it down etc"...i can express myself better in emails....i tend to be dersperate at the appointments...so ill see how that goes. i hope we both recover from this...also i would take that ashton manual in and get the ppl here to perhaps call your psyciatrsit ....(apparently they do that to help...so you dont have to...cool hey?

cya

gemxo

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[84...]

I suggest what Matrix suggested.. taking a copy of the Ashton Manual to him. I know it's hard to make a doctor realize that she's correct, and they are not with their fast and swift taper plans.

 

I hope everything goes well.

 

Good Luck, S#

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Here is a phrase from chapter #2 in the Ashton Manuel that ByByMatrix posted.

 

These paragraphs are about 10 paragraphs down under subtitle "Before starting benzodiazipine withdrawal." Then point #1, "consult your doctor and pharmacist.">

 

He needs to see this in writing:

 

But you can reassure your doctor that you intend to be in charge of your own program and will proceed at whatever pace you find comfortable, although you may value his advice from time to time. It is important for you to be in control of your own schedule. Do not let your doctor impose a deadline. Leave yourself free to "proceed as the way openeth", as the Quakers say.

 

It is a good idea to make out a dosage reduction schedule for the initial stages (see below) and to give your doctor a copy. You may need to mention the importance of flexibility, so that the rate of dosage tapering can be amended at any time. There may even be circumstances when you need to stop for a while at a certain stage.

----------

 

You're not dumb. Remember it's your body and your brain. Not theirs.

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Hi Free,

 

I wrote out a taper plan using a graft with dates, times and doses till the end of my taper.  My psychiatrist agreed with the plan.  Most docs in the US get upset when showing them the Ashton Manual and I am not sure that is a good idea at this point.  It certainly backfired on me several times.  Be very calm and matter of fact and state that you need his support through this trying time.  Do NOT sound desperate.

 

Patty  xo

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Free,

 

I understand how you feel, like so many others I've been there too.  Patty was dead on when she said to try and be calm and matter-of-fact because you'll come off more credible that way.  I know this is really hard when you feel so awful.  I actually said to my psychiatrist, very calmly and without attacking him, "You got me on these drugs, I think you should at least help me get off them in a way that's comfortable for me."  What can any kind of doctor say to that?

 

For myself, I had pretty good luck when I presented the Ashton Manual to my psychiatrist.  I printed out the highlights of the Manual, like the tapering schedule I wanted to use and Dr. Ashton's basic philosophy and her experience working in a benzo clinic for 12 years.  The fact that she's an actual psychiatrist, and from Great Britain seems to make some American doctors sit up and take notice and then feel threatened.  Just remember that this is simply a psychiatrist's huge ego reacting.  You just have to be prepared for his possibly challenging you and stand your ground. 

 

Even though my psychiatrist seems to like disagreeing with Dr. Ashton whenever he gets the chance, he did agree to give me Valium and continues to give me scripts for it.  I don't expect much support when I go in to see him and I don't get it, but I walk out with that script in hand!  So even though your doctor might be a jerk about it, if you get what you need in the end to hell with him.  Who cares as long as you've taken care of yourself.  And don't forget that there are other doctors out there--he's not the only fish in the sea.

 

Much luck tomorrow--you can do this!

 

Mal

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So I saw my psychiatrist and I showed him the tapering schedule someone here made for me. He said he thought it was a good plan, and he seemed supportive, but he wants me to keep going to the detox place. He even said if they had a problem with the plan, they could call him and talk to him about it. Today I went to the detox place and I asked the doctor there about slowing down the taper and he seemed...offended or something. I told him I was having a lot of problems going this fast and I told him what my psychiatrist said, and he just said my psychiatrist hadn't made any notes about it in my file, so he didn't really believe me. I guess? I don't know...anyway the detox doctor reduced my dose to 1.5 a day and said to talk to a different doctor next week about slowing the taper. I don't know what I'm going to do because I was barely tolerating the 2 mg a day dose...I feel really emotionally exhausted. I don't know what to do now.

 

I don't think I can see another psychiatrist because my health insurance sucks. I'm pretty sure the detox doctors have written in my file that no one else should ever give me xanax because I know they've diagnosed me as a drug abuser and all these other horrible things. 

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Hi, I was taken off all meds in three days from a detox ip facility. I think addiction specialists are cruel, they saw me in a bad way and didnt do anything to help. They sent me home in terrible condition. My heart goes out to you. I wish your psych would take over the taper for you. Good luck and hang in there. I was wondering if someone could go to the appointments with you and advocate for you in a calm but firm way? Colleen
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Free stand strong. Tell your other psychiatrist what is going on and TELL him you need all of the right notes adjusted in your file you can't go as fast as the detox place wants you too. Really be firm. They're just people.

 

So what if the other doctor is offended. Try not to buy into his attitude. That's all it is. Definitely talk to a different doctor if that is an option and do what stoneyco and malconstentia44 said and be calm and matter of fact.

 

And don't ask, "do you think we could go a little slower?" You're telling them, "I need to go slower." Maybe just photo copy that one section where Ashton says "you're in control of your taper" as proof it is indeed recommended by another doctor who studied this and let them see that. Pass it to them from your hand to theirs. And stand there while they read it. One page.

 

If you think it will help you bring someone with you like Colleen said.

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I sent my psychiatrist an e-mail about what the addiction specialist said about not wanting to change the taper. From what he had said before, he was supportive of my plan. But he responded by saying he fully supported what the addiction specialist wanted to do (completely different than what he said before!). And he told me I could go in to inpatient and be off of it faster. I definitely do not want to do that.

 

It seems like he kind of threw me under a bus with that one >:(. I'm at 1.5 mg now, and feeling withdrawal symptoms. I'm at a complete loss about what to do now. What should I expect in terms of how bad the withdrawal symptoms will get? I am 23 and I have a fairly fast metabolism. Is there a chance everything could be manageable with going at this rate? It seems like my doctors have complete confidence that this is a reasonable speed.  :-\

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Free, they are being in charge here and you have to be. You have to say, "no, that is too fast for my body to handle." You have to be really firm. And print off a short page or two.

 

Don't resign yourself to their method. Say "NO", and show them why.

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It's your money, health, and life so you just have to find a doctor who will go with your plan.  There may be some who won't, but there are more than plenty who will.  Best way to go is to explain in advance over the phone so you don't waste an office visit on someone who isn't willing to play ball.
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