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In defense of Doctors


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I am posting this basically as an editorial because I believe so much in this site and all the good that it does for so many people.

 

 

 

 

We were all given Benzodiazepines for a reason.  We sought out a Doctor, the Doctor did not seek us out.  We were dealing with insomnia, anxiety, or a whole host of other conditions.  We all have had, or are still having withdrawal symptoms.  Some folks have been suffering terribly from these powerful drugs for a very long time.

 

Could the Doctor have explained more fully the repercussions affiliated with the taking, and the eventual stopping of Benzodiazepines?, absolutely.  Do they need to be more highly educated about all matters concerning Benzodiazepines?, absolutely.  Do they need to be more understanding about the pain and confusion these drugs cause their patients?, absolutely.

 

Hundreds of Doctors do great things everyday.  Ask a young mother who's little baby was cured of  leukemia, or a family who's loved one has her  breast cancer in remission.  By downing Doctors, the medical profession in gereral, and the drug manufacturers, who, incidentally provide many life savng drugs. We are inadvertently providing the detractors of sites such as BenzoBuddies the verbal ammunition in which to attack us as mental loonies and doctor bashers..

 

The bottom line is, we all want to be done with this and move on to a place in the world where we can retrieve all that we have lost and resume a fulfilling and productive life again.

 

If you feel that it helps you to yell, and scream, and stamp your feet because you are angry at your doctor, please do so. But try to refrain from doing it where it can be viewed by a vast audience and become misconstrued that we hate Doctors.  We want to deprive our advisories  of one less arrow in their quiver in which to use in their attack upon this great site and the fine folks who are benefiting immensely from it.

 

I believe we all have become more aware of the human condition, and have gained a higher level of compassion and understanding from our unwanted experience with Benzodiazepines.

 

Thank you for allowing me to give my opinions.

 

pj

 

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PJ!!!

 

I agree 100% I like Doctors .There way cool. I will always go see 1 if needed .Im noway mad at mine.

I know if they knew what these meds did they wouldnt give it. Doctors are our healers in so many ways.

The doctors that cared for my daughter were the most amazing.Maybe they couldnt save her. But they did there best,And they made her feel so comfortable the best they could. I like Docs.. For real. I think your 100% rt ..

PJ  :smitten:

 

~Jenny

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I went to a psychiatrist when I was tapering benzos and he told me it could take 2 years or more for my brain to repair itself from the damage it caused. I thought "yea right, two years".... haha was he ever right. The public psych docs here will not prescribe benzos, unless someone has some kind of severe condition. They will not give it out for people with just a little anxiety.
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I've had bad experiences with many doctors, but no doubt there are some good ones. However, there's such a long list already of what can't be discussed on here. I don't know what the point of having a forum is if you can't express your feelings. That's why I hope someone sees my thread in the moderation forum and deletes my account.

 

 

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Your opinion is very welcome, PJ. It's good that you've expressed it. No doubt many of us will someday be saved by a medical professional and we should keep that in mind.

 

I did seek out a doctor's help. On many occasions since my saga started. All save a couple of my experiences have been extremely negative. I can't help but to say that.

 

I've been laughed at, scolded, ignored, and made far worse than when I began. Eventually, they decided I was nuts, sent me to a p-doc, and medicated me with Klonopin and Lexapro for a mysterious stomach ailment that I completely resolved through diet after doing a little research. Six years later, I still linger in drug-induced agony.

 

I should mention that on my first visit to the doctor for my vomiting and abdominal pain, she handed me a prescription for Zoloft and some stool sample containers. Medicate first, ask questions later I suppose.

 

So here is my opinion - doctors are often good at what they've been trained to do. Outside of the realm of their experience, well, tough luck UNLESS you come across a kind, caring individual who will go out of their way to learn more in order to help you. I've seen doctors in denial (there's nothing that could possibly be outside their breadth of knowledge), belligerent (angry at me for pointing out something outside their breadth of knowledge) etc.

 

But that has nothing to do with the profession itself. People in general suffer from an abundance of hubris and a lack of compassion and courtesy. This is a fact of life. So it is not fair to DOCTOR-bash, I agree.

 

The way I currently operate is that doctors can sometimes be quite useful. And sometimes they might be quite harmful and I'm better off foraging for myself. I go get an opinion from one and then a second opinion (or more, if I'm still unsure) before I decide which situation is which. As far as I see it, there's nothing wrong with being an empowered patient and I will only entrust my long-term medical care to a doctor who embraces me as such.

 

-P-

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I feel that I was betrayed by the medical community.  I put my trust in doctors and believed what they told me.  I was given a benzo for a condition I ended up not even having.  The script was given to me with zero information.  I was a good patient and took the meds.  When I was constantly ill, I sought out many doctors for a reason why.  No one could figure out the reason for my continued illnesses. I ended up figuring it out for myself.

 

These are doctors I would never ever see again for any reason.  I have, however, seen some fine doctors in the past year.  My new PCP is not totally benzo wise but also knew that the meds were making me ill.  He helped me with the crossover and taper.  My new spine doctor is very benzo aware and says he tells medical students that the hardest thing they'll ever do is to try to get people off benzos.

 

My best friend would not be alive today if is wasn't for medicine and doctors.  We don't know how long she'll have but each moment is a treasure.

 

I research every doctor I see now and have a very fine team, but I go to every appointment prepared with information, knowledge and a list of questions. I also know I can fire anyone that doesn't live up to my expectations, which right now are very high. I am in charge of a VIP, me.

 

pianogirl

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Hi Pj-

 

Before I say anything furture please note that my opion is from disappointment from my own experience and does not reflect on your personal views as a person. I'm just reflecting on myself and I respect you fully. So please keep that in mind when you read on because I don't want you to feel I am attacking you or angry with your post. You are great and I enjoyed reading your post with that being said please continue.

 

 

I must disagree to an extent due to my own experience with the benzos. In 2009 I lost a baby at four months pregos. I almost lost my life in fact. Shortly thereafter I suffered illness in my body. I had shortness of breath, a rapid heart beat, and felt horrible all of the time. I thought I was sick due to the surgery I had at the time. I'm no doctor so I reflected on the recent events with the illness I suffered from. I explained that to the doctor I was going to in fact. I went to the doctors who ran all short of test and they came back normal. Of course the doctor at hand thought I had anxiety and who knows what else.Which I can certainly understand why my test results were normal. I went to the er time and time again and finally a doctor informed me I should take a holter test because I was having pvcs a condition relating to my heart. I went back to my regular doctor who didn't want to give me the test but did it any ways and it turned out I had a heart condition. Even with the test results in my doctors hand and after getting a report from a cardiology doctor stating that I had a heart condition that doctor still put me on Adtivan and lied to me telling me it was for my heart. Knowing full well that I suffered from a heart condition and nothing else. He never informed me of anything else I trusted that doctor and never questioned him. I took that adtivan for almost two years thinking it was for my heart. My new current doctor in formed me 3 wks ago that adtivan had nothing to do with my heart condition and tapered me off of it. I went through unnecessary and horrible wds for nothing. All because of one doctor who couldn't look past his own pride and admit he was wrong.

 

I agree that there are helpful doctors out there who do wonderful things for people. But I disagree that they all do what is in the best interest of others. Look at my dad for example he is dying of pancreatic cancer. A yr ago they found his levels off and never ran any test further test. He went to a new doctor who said lets just check out those levels to be on the safe side. Turns out my dad found out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer and it was too late to do a thing to help him. True there is no cure for pancreatic cancer but that doctor who ignored the signs my dads levels could have prolonged my dads life. As we speak we are waiting for him to pass. I agree that there are doctors who do wonders and I believe there are doctors that don't care and in the long hall hurt others from either over looking something that should clearly be look into, or being neglectful and giving someone an unnecessary drug and never telling them what it was for.

 

Every case is different for many people. You hear horror stories, you hear how doctors saved lives. I guess we are just putting too much trust in doctors and should also get second opions just to be safe at times.

 

I like your post because I see your passion but if a doctor feels someone is a nut case they are wrong to feel that way. Everyone goes through hardship and I truly believe there are plenty of other drugs out there that are not benzos that will help in those areas.

 

BENZO's are the wrong drug to give to anyone regardless of what is going on with them. I say this will all respect to you and your post this is just my personal views on the subject. I guess I'm sore with doctors these days. Please don't take my post as something I'm saying directly to you it's my emotions is all. I'm truly going through a lot with my dad and my own sanity because of the benzos. I feel like I was robbed of the last two yrs of my life being on adtivan and I'm pretty disappointed. It makes me realize that I can't believe every word a doctor tells me and I just have to be smart and looking into second opions these day.

 

God bless you

 

Annie

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PJ,

 

I'm having a hard time understanding the relevance of the individuals who attack a support forum that is transparent and available to anyone who wishes to join.  There is nothing secretive or malicious in the intent of the information and support that attracts many who are suffering with the consequences of prolonged benzodiazepine use. 

 

Though you mention that it is free will that initiates a treatment of benzodiazepines, the same is true of its cessation.  Unless, of course, you belong to the large group of individuals whose prescriptions were abruptly discontinued. 

 

The reality is that there is a great deal of suffering as a result of not following the guidelines associated with this type of medication.  These guidelines are clear.  That benzodiazepines should neither be prescribed for periods longer then two to four weeks nor should they be discontinued abruptly.  Once patients have realized that these guidelines were ignored by those in the medical field and not properly represented to them when prescribed, there will inherently be a backlash.

 

It is this member's stance that it would be beneficial for members of the medical community in disagreement, especially those in a field of practice that deals with these medications, to join the forum.  Perhaps they could offer some insight as to how to avoid such needless suffering. 

 

As for those who are adversarial for the sake of being antagonistic, I can offer only pity as they present more harm to themselves then they do to those empowered by the knowledge this site and others like it offer. 

 

Christopher

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PJ,

 

I believe it is a good thing to present that perspective.

 

A few problems with 'modern medicine', especially when dealing with the mind.

Modern medicine is very good at making things that are brief and transient in nature a chronic condition.

People have been depressed for thousand of years. Usually, depression was a brief experience. Most people who were diagnosed as being depressed did have no future episodes, or only a few. Modern antidepressants can be effective, but patients often suffer a 'relapse' and they tend to suffer from a host other physical and mental issues. Before the advent of the tricyclics doctors sometimes used to prescribe opiates for severe cases. Relatively effective and safe on the short run. That practice dates back to the ancient Greeks, perhaps even further.

Antipsychotics can be effective, but they too are very good at making what could be a brief episode into lifelong schizophrenia. The idea that the advent of the antipsychotics allowed patients to leave mental institutions is a common misconception.

 

In the past, people were said to suffer a 'nervous breakdown'. Whatever that meant. This was usually a temporary condition. Now, there is a whole plethora of 'mental illnesses', ranging from GAD to depression, bipolar, schizoaffective and schizophrenia. There is a drug for every ailment. Well, usually more than one.

 

Benzodiazepines replaced the barbiturates. Supposedly they are 'safer', because of the theoretical impossibility to take a lethal overdose, to some extent even when taken with other substances.

To a large degree the replacement of the barbiturates by the benzodiazepines was the result of an effective marketing strategy by Roche.

The barbiturates were also relatively safe, as long as they were prescribed and used in a responsible way.

 

Before the barbiturates there were other drugs, some relatively safe, some like the bromides were more toxic.

 

Medication/drugs used to be taken for a brief time.

In 'modern medicine' all drugs are safe as long as they are taken as prescribed !

So, who's to blame if something goes wrong ?

Not the doctor, not the pharmacist, not the pharmaceutical company, not the FDA, not the politicians.

It's the patient ! Or it's nobody's fault.

Note: I'm not blaming the patient, just stating how it works.

 

As long as they are used correctly, the safety of the benzodiazepines is probably about equal to the safety of barbiturates. Dose escalation would be less common with barbiturates.

 

As far as 'mental health' is concerned, the industry has been doing very well in terms of replacing older drugs when their problems became known with newer and supposedly 'safer' drugs.

From barbiturates>benzodiazepines like diazepam> high potency benzodiazepines> perhaps even worse drugs like Lyrica. And sedative drugs>antidepressants/antipsychotics.

When the failings of older antidepressants and antipsychotics became widely known the industry was able to dazzle the doctors and the public with newer and supposedly safer versions.

It's a cycle that seemingly never ends.

 

I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable to prescribe hypnotics. Short term (a few days, I think two weeks is pushing it) or infrequently.

I can't really relate to prescribing benzodiazepines for anxiety since I don't have an anxiety disorder.

But in extreme cases it may make sense. I associate long term prescription of benzodiazepines with palliative care, since this tends to cause a decline in mental/physical health.

 

The younger doctors did get their information to a large extent from the pharmaceutical companies during their training/studies.

Not everyone can become a doctor. Aside from skills and brains, what do you need ? Official approval, for being allowed in med school and being allowed to practice. And who decides who will be approved ? The politician, the bureaucrat, the voter, the corporation, the AMA ? The same applies to HOW doctors are allowed to practice.

 

So, who's really to blame ? Nobody, everybody, or ?

 

<I'm stopping here since this is escalating to a dissertation about modern society/science and corruption>

 

Aside from emergency situations, I think for prescribing benzodiazepines informed consent is key.

That is what is lacking most of the time. That applies to both doctors and patients.

 

It is indeed difficult to comprehend how some doctors can seem to think that prescribing hypnotics daily for years or that prescribing an anti-epilepsy drug like Klonopin/clonazepam off-label is fine.

 

Hopefully, the most atrocious practices can be stopped.

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This is a great thread! It's human nature to look for someone to blame, and many of us feel the obvious choice is the doctors that prescribe these drugs. Unfortunately the situation is far more complicated than that and we each have complicated stories that led us down this path. The "blame" is different for everyone.

 

From my extensive experience in the medical system last year I've learned it's hard for me to blame any one person. I saw absolutely wonderful doctors, at least two of which I credit with saving my life. A couple of them almost killed, and others served no real purpose. The overall problem I see is more systemic.

 

1)Doctors rarely interact or question each other. When one doctor prescribes or gives a patient a drug, other doctors do not address this. People are rarely taken off of drugs even when the problem is resolved.

 

2)Our society, and therefore our medical system, tends to believe the "more is better" mentality. Everybody wants to address a medical problem as quickly and aggressively as possible. The doctors that saved my life were of the mentality, "I don't know what's wrong with you and I don't want to treat something I don't understand." The doctors who almost killed me were of the philosophy, "I can't see what's wrong with you, so let me give you something to make you feel better." I'm sure all doctors had my best interests in heart, but they acted differently. I'm not yet jaded enough to believe they actually meant harm.

 

3)Doctor's information and knowledge base is very limited when it comes to pharmaceuticals. We've beaten that dead horse so I'll move on.

 

4)Doctors are generally focused on a specialty, at least when your health issues get complicated. Specialists know their area well, but unfortunately health problems are often far more complicated than something one specialty can address. This is particularly true when you talk about drug reactions or chronic health problems such as fibromyalgia.

 

I'm sure there are more, but I'll stop there. I've chosen to not blame specific doctors, but instead acknowledge the limitations of the system. I'm definitely angry at specific doctors, but that is more due to personality challenges and less so their capabilities as a doctor. Doctors are only human and for the most part I do think they're trying to help.

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PJ,

 

I'm having a hard time understanding the relevance of the individuals who attack a support forum that is transparent and available to anyone who wishes to join.  There is nothing secretive or malicious in the intent of the information and support that attracts many who are suffering with the consequences of prolonged benzodiazepine use.  

 

Though you mention that it is free will that initiates a treatment of benzodiazepines, the same is true of its cessation.  Unless, of course, you belong to the large group of individuals whose prescriptions were abruptly discontinued.  

 

The reality is that there is a great deal of suffering as a result of not following the guidelines associated with this type of medication.  These guidelines are clear.  That benzodiazepines should neither be prescribed for periods longer then two to four weeks nor should they be discontinued abruptly.  Once patients have realized that these guidelines were ignored by those in the medical field and not properly represented to them when prescribed, there will inherently be a backlash.

It is this member's stance that it would be beneficial for members of the medical community in disagreement, especially those in a field of practice that deals with these medications, to join the forum.  Perhaps they could offer some insight as to how to avoid such needless suffering.  

 

As for those who are adversarial for the sake of being antagonistic, I can offer only pity as they present more harm to themselves then they do to those empowered by the knowledge this site and others like it offer.  

Christopher

 

Everthing above is what I would have said if I could have said it.  I've bolded what was in the forefront of my mind.  Thank you XII.

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PJ!!!

 

I agree 100% I like Doctors .There way cool. I will always go see 1 if needed .Im noway mad at mine.

I know if they knew what these meds did they wouldnt give it. Doctors are our healers in so many ways.

The doctors that cared for my daughter were the most amazing.Maybe they couldnt save her. But they did there best,And they made her feel so comfortable the best they could. I like Docs.. For real. I think your 100% rt ..

PJ  :smitten:

 

~Jenny

 

Thank you Jenny,

 

To lose your little girl must have torn your heart into a million pieces and shaken your faith to the very core of your existence.  I will forever think of you as an Earth Angel.

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I went to a psychiatrist when I was tapering benzos and he told me it could take 2 years or more for my brain to repair itself from the damage it caused. I thought "yea right, two years".... haha was he ever right. The public psych docs here will not prescribe benzos, unless someone has some kind of severe condition. They will not give it out for people with just a little anxiety.

 

Hi Hope,

 

Thanks for your response.  Keep on doing what you are doing, and hopefully, the day will come when all  that you have gone through will  become a distant memory.

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I've had bad experiences with many doctors, but no doubt there are some good ones. However, there's such a long list already of what can't be discussed on here. I don't know what the point of having a forum is if you can't express your feelings. That's why I hope someone sees my thread in the moderation forum and deletes my account.

 

 

 

Hi cdt85,

 

Yes, there are good and bad Doctors.  Just as there are unqualified persons in all walks of life.  My benzo experience, if nothing else, has taught me to not take everthing at face value and to do my own research.

 

Do you have a blog?  From the ones that I have read, expressing ones feelings is quite common and is encouraged. 

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I had a conversation with a psche doc by chance,  I told him I had experienced withdrawal symptoms for benzo months after cessation.

 

He told me it was impossible,  it was out of your system in 2 or 3 days. I have had hangovers  from meds after surgery that have lasted more then 2 days.

 

It's  not that I hate doctors , I don't at all, my father just got diagnosed with cancer,  his doctor is amazing and very well informed.

 

You see , that's it, well informed.  I only ask that the doctor who's care I am in,  not look at me like I have 3 heads when I report to him how I am feeling.  

 

I am not a whack job,  lol  I know how I feel,  I have educated myself about benzos and how they have affected me.  I'm not lying,  why would I,  I don't enjoy being sick, and I certainly don't enjoy being belittled by a doctor.  That's all.  Simply put, you are not God,  you are not always right,  and that's okay,  the minute you decide you are immune from learning anything about the meds you prescribe,  you should not prescribe them anymore.

 

As far as discussing this to protect ourselves from ridicule,  lol  there is always going to be someone out there who has an agenda of their own, we can't protect ourselves from that and we certainly don't have to justify our existence on the internet.  Our community has been an essential lifeline for many, and hopefully it will continue to be.  If my doctor is reading this I hope he knows it's okay to be human.

 

love to all zoe

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Your opinion is very welcome, PJ. It's good that you've expressed it. No doubt many of us will someday be saved by a medical professional and we should keep that in mind.

 

I did seek out a doctor's help. On many occasions since my saga started. All save a couple of my experiences have been extremely negative. I can't help but to say that.

 

I've been laughed at, scolded, ignored, and made far worse than when I began. Eventually, they decided I was nuts, sent me to a p-doc, and medicated me with Klonopin and Lexapro for a mysterious stomach ailment that I completely resolved through diet after doing a little research. Six years later, I still linger in drug-induced agony.

 

I should mention that on my first visit to the doctor for my vomiting and abdominal pain, she handed me a prescription for Zoloft and some stool sample containers. Medicate first, ask questions later I suppose.

 

So here is my opinion - doctors are often good at what they've been trained to do. Outside of the realm of their experience, well, tough luck UNLESS you come across a kind, caring individual who will go out of their way to learn more in order to help you. I've seen doctors in denial (there's nothing that could possibly be outside their breadth of knowledge), belligerent (angry at me for pointing out something outside their breadth of knowledge) etc.

 

But that has nothing to do with the profession itself. People in general suffer from an abundance of hubris and a lack of compassion and courtesy. This is a fact of life. So it is not fair to DOCTOR-bash, I agree.

 

The way I currently operate is that doctors can sometimes be quite useful. And sometimes they might be quite harmful and I'm better off foraging for myself. I go get an opinion from one and then a second opinion (or more, if I'm still unsure) before I decide which situation is which. As far as I see it, there's nothing wrong with being an empowered patient and I will only entrust my long-term medical care to a doctor who embraces me as such.

 

-P-

 

Hi princezz,

 

I am sorry that you have been treated by some Doctors in such an uncaring and rude fashion.  Many of them need a constant reminder to bring their over-inflated egos back down to earth and to remember that the proffession they chose in life is to be a compassionate and understanding conduit between our needs and their knowledge.

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I feel that I was betrayed by the medical community.  I put my trust in doctors and believed what they told me.  I was given a benzo for a condition I ended up not even having.  The script was given to me with zero information.  I was a good patient and took the meds.  When I was constantly ill, I sought out many doctors for a reason why.  No one could figure out the reason for my continued illnesses. I ended up figuring it out for myself.

 

These are doctors I would never ever see again for any reason.  I have, however, seen some fine doctors in the past year.  My new PCP is not totally benzo wise but also knew that the meds were making me ill.  He helped me with the crossover and taper.  My new spine doctor is very benzo aware and says he tells medical students that the hardest thing they'll ever do is to try to get people off benzos.

 

My best friend would not be alive today if is wasn't for medicine and doctors.  We don't know how long she'll have but each moment is a treasure.

 

I research every doctor I see now and have a very fine team, but I go to every appointment prepared with information, knowledge and a list of questions. I also know I can fire anyone that doesn't live up to my expectations, which right now are very high. I am in charge of a VIP, me.

 

pianogirl

 

Thank you pianogirl,

 

I can totally relate to your experience.  I was in tolerance withdrawal for two years before I found this site and was so relieved to read that all the pain and misery I was experiencing was withdrawals.  What I was going through had a name.

 

I became so angry at my Doctor for not realizing this, I went cold turkey eleven months ago, so I  have been dealing with all this crap for nearly three years.

 

To her credit, she did correspond with me and apologised for her lack of knowledge concerning Benzodiazepines.

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Hi Pj-

 

Before I say anything furture please note that my opion is from disappointment from my own experience and does not reflect on your personal views as a person. I'm just reflecting on myself and I respect you fully. So please keep that in mind when you read on because I don't want you to feel I am attacking you or angry with your post. You are great and I enjoyed reading your post with that being said please continue.

 

 

I must disagree to an extent due to my own experience with the benzos. In 2009 I lost a baby at four months pregos. I almost lost my life in fact. Shortly thereafter I suffered illness in my body. I had shortness of breath, a rapid heart beat, and felt horrible all of the time. I thought I was sick due to the surgery I had at the time. I'm no doctor so I reflected on the recent events with the illness I suffered from. I explained that to the doctor I was going to in fact. I went to the doctors who ran all short of test and they came back normal. Of course the doctor at hand thought I had anxiety and who knows what else.Which I can certainly understand why my test results were normal. I went to the er time and time again and finally a doctor informed me I should take a holter test because I was having pvcs a condition relating to my heart. I went back to my regular doctor who didn't want to give me the test but did it any ways and it turned out I had a heart condition. Even with the test results in my doctors hand and after getting a report from a cardiology doctor stating that I had a heart condition that doctor still put me on Adtivan and lied to me telling me it was for my heart. Knowing full well that I suffered from a heart condition and nothing else. He never informed me of anything else I trusted that doctor and never questioned him. I took that adtivan for almost two years thinking it was for my heart. My new current doctor in formed me 3 wks ago that adtivan had nothing to do with my heart condition and tapered me off of it. I went through unnecessary and horrible wds for nothing. All because of one doctor who couldn't look past his own pride and admit he was wrong.

 

I agree that there are helpful doctors out there who do wonderful things for people. But I disagree that they all do what is in the best interest of others. Look at my dad for example he is dying of pancreatic cancer. A yr ago they found his levels off and never ran any test further test. He went to a new doctor who said lets just check out those levels to be on the safe side. Turns out my dad found out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer and it was too late to do a thing to help him. True there is no cure for pancreatic cancer but that doctor who ignored the signs my dads levels could have prolonged my dads life. As we speak we are waiting for him to pass. I agree that there are doctors who do wonders and I believe there are doctors that don't care and in the long hall hurt others from either over looking something that should clearly be look into, or being neglectful and giving someone an unnecessary drug and never telling them what it was for.

 

Every case is different for many people. You hear horror stories, you hear how doctors saved lives. I guess we are just putting too much trust in doctors and should also get second opions just to be safe at times.

 

I like your post because I see your passion but if a doctor feels someone is a nut case they are wrong to feel that way. Everyone goes through hardship and I truly believe there are plenty of other drugs out there that are not benzos that will help in those areas.

 

BENZO's are the wrong drug to give to anyone regardless of what is going on with them. I say this will all respect to you and your post this is just my personal views on the subject. I guess I'm sore with doctors these days. Please don't take my post as something I'm saying directly to you it's my emotions is all. I'm truly going through a lot with my dad and my own sanity because of the benzos. I feel like I was robbed of the last two yrs of my life being on adtivan and I'm pretty disappointed. It makes me realize that I can't believe every word a doctor tells me and I just have to be smart and looking into second opions these day.

 

God bless you

 

Annie

 

Thank you Annie,

 

You are a very kind and understanding person. I am so sorry for your losses.  To lose a child is the ultimate test of one's strength and faith.  No words exist that can comfort or conslole a person who has dealt with such a tragedy.

 

I wish you the very best.

 

 

 

 

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PJ,

 

I'm having a hard time understanding the relevance of the individuals who attack a support forum that is transparent and available to anyone who wishes to join.  There is nothing secretive or malicious in the intent of the information and support that attracts many who are suffering with the consequences of prolonged benzodiazepine use. 

 

Though you mention that it is free will that initiates a treatment of benzodiazepines, the same is true of its cessation.  Unless, of course, you belong to the large group of individuals whose prescriptions were abruptly discontinued. 

 

The reality is that there is a great deal of suffering as a result of not following the guidelines associated with this type of medication.  These guidelines are clear.  That benzodiazepines should neither be prescribed for periods longer then two to four weeks nor should they be discontinued abruptly.  Once patients have realized that these guidelines were ignored by those in the medical field and not properly represented to them when prescribed, there will inherently be a backlash.

 

It is this member's stance that it would be beneficial for members of the medical community in disagreement, especially those in a field of practice that deals with these medications, to join the forum.  Perhaps they could offer some insight as to how to avoid such needless suffering. 

 

As for those who are adversarial for the sake of being antagonistic, I can offer only pity as they present more harm to themselves then they do to those empowered by the knowledge this site and others like it offer. 

 

Christopher

 

 

Hi Christopher,

 

You are a thoughtful and reasonable person.  I too, would like to see a Doctor appear on BenzoBuddies and give us his or her opinions.  All you Docs out there, feel free to join in.

 

Perhaps we are being unfarily vilified  because of the success of this site and the decent people who frequent it.

 

Thank you for your response. 

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Hi princezz,

 

I am sorry that you have been treated by some Doctors in such an uncaring and rude fashion.  Many of them need a constant reminder to bring their over-inflated egos back down to earth and to remember that the proffession they chose in life is to be a compassionate and understanding conduit between our needs and their knowledge.

 

My little cousin wants to be a doctor. She is going to be 8 on December 10th. I plan to buy her this for her birthday

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002OOGTV4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER and this for Christmas: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932855785/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

 

I think it's GREAT that she wants to be a doctor but I'm going to make sure she stays grounded. And I also want her to understand that a lot of modern medicine is about patching up leaking ships. But why are they leaking in the first place?

 

I have a lot of respect for Dr. Oz because I was watching his show once. He was talking about overactive bladder. Which I don't have but he went through all the common causes of it, including eating too much citrus. At the end he was like so why take a pill when you could just have fewer oranges? I immediately felt like here was an individual I could trust.

 

I have not figured it all out yet, but I'm a huge believer in nutrition. There are just so many conflicting views. I'm a Christian and the Bible gives the ideal diet as fruit, nuts and grains. But then you read something like The Schwarzbein Principle and she talks about eating mostly proteins and good fats, keeping your sugars and carbs low. This way she has healed many cases of depression, adrenal fatigue, CFS, fibromyalgia, etc. So what do I do? Jury is still out. Also I have to be willing and able to change myself and my habits completely. Still developing that king of willpower.

 

The on that I currently like the most is the 60 day juice fast idea. You can watch videos of it on youtube. Also there is a movie called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead that first popularized it. It's about an Australian man who was so overweight and ill that he developed autoimmune diseases like chronic hives. He healed himself completely and balanced all his hormones by doing nothing but a 60 day juice fast. He is off all medications including the daily steroids etc.

 

Anyway I'm off topic. My point is that we all have a responsibility to ourselves. Once we've fulfilled that responsibility and are still ill, then doctors do and should come into play. But I feel strongly that we rely too much on doctors and medications for problems of our own making, many of them completely reversible. And doctors are not trained to recognize these situations. Of course the pharmaceutical companies are making too much money off drugging us to care.

 

I have a friend at work who is the same age as me - 28. She has a 2 year old son. She is obese and she doesn't seem to care. I mean, she hates being fat, yes. But will she do anything about it? No. I mean, she does try to do something about it. She asked me to go walking with her after work on evenings. We did it a few evenings. She cannot walk a mile without using her asthma inhaler. She said she only developed asthma this year in January. She is also on medication for high blood pressure. She lost two previous pregnancies and three babies (a twin) at seven and four months due to the HBP. The medication doesn't work one bit. She sometimes wakes up in the morning with red eyes due to the blood vessels in her eyes bursting. Have you ever heard a sorrier story? Well the sorriest thing is that she eats OUT OF CONTROL despite hating being fat and despite trying to exercise. That's why I used so much back and forth language in the first couple of sentences of this paragraph. Donuts and tuna club sandwiches for breakfast. An obsession with Chinese food. On evenings on the way home, we often have to stop at this place she likes and she buys a chicken quarter AND a half pound of pork DEEP FRIED. I made her a green smoothie once, she refused to even taste it. What is the point if you're 28 and you're going to wake up and have a stroke one day. And leave your toddler motherless.

 

I plan to tell my cousin these stories over and over as she goes through medical school. Her education just needs to be supplemented a little.

 

-P-

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Sorry to have written such a disseration. I'm just now looking over it like o_O

 

This is all so frustrating to me though. Thanks for starting this thread, PJ. Guess I needed to vent. Also, thank you for responding to everyone in such a level-headed and kind manner, and for keeping this thread drama-free and a safe place for everyone to express their opinions :)

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PJ,

 

I believe it is a good thing to present that perspective.

 

A few problems with 'modern medicine', especially when dealing with the mind.

Modern medicine is very good at making things that are brief and transient in nature a chronic condition.

People have been depressed for thousand of years. Usually, depression was a brief experience. Most people who were diagnosed as being depressed did have no future episodes, or only a few. Modern antidepressants can be effective, but patients often suffer a 'relapse' and they tend to suffer from a host other physical and mental issues. Before the advent of the tricyclics doctors sometimes used to prescribe opiates for severe cases. Relatively effective and safe on the short run. That practice dates back to the ancient Greeks, perhaps even further.

Antipsychotics can be effective, but they too are very good at making what could be a brief episode into lifelong schizophrenia. The idea that the advent of the antipsychotics allowed patients to leave mental institutions is a common misconception.

 

In the past, people were said to suffer a 'nervous breakdown'. Whatever that meant. This was usually a temporary condition. Now, there is a whole plethora of 'mental illnesses', ranging from GAD to depression, bipolar, schizoaffective and schizophrenia. There is a drug for every ailment. Well, usually more than one.

 

Benzodiazepines replaced the barbiturates. Supposedly they are 'safer', because of the theoretical impossibility to take a lethal overdose, to some extent even when taken with other substances.

To a large degree the replacement of the barbiturates by the benzodiazepines was the result of an effective marketing strategy by Roche.

The barbiturates were also relatively safe, as long as they were prescribed and used in a responsible way.

 

Before the barbiturates there were other drugs, some relatively safe, some like the bromides were more toxic.

 

Medication/drugs used to be taken for a brief time.

In 'modern medicine' all drugs are safe as long as they are taken as prescribed !

So, who's to blame if something goes wrong ?

Not the doctor, not the pharmacist, not the pharmaceutical company, not the FDA, not the politicians.

It's the patient ! Or it's nobody's fault.

Note: I'm not blaming the patient, just stating how it works.

 

As long as they are used correctly, the safety of the benzodiazepines is probably about equal to the safety of barbiturates. Dose escalation would be less common with barbiturates.

 

As far as 'mental health' is concerned, the industry has been doing very well in terms of replacing older drugs when their problems became known with newer and supposedly 'safer' drugs.

From barbiturates>benzodiazepines like diazepam> high potency benzodiazepines> perhaps even worse drugs like Lyrica. And sedative drugs>antidepressants/antipsychotics.

When the failings of older antidepressants and antipsychotics became widely known the industry was able to dazzle the doctors and the public with newer and supposedly safer versions.

It's a cycle that seemingly never ends.

 

I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable to prescribe hypnotics. Short term (a few days, I think two weeks is pushing it) or infrequently.

I can't really relate to prescribing benzodiazepines for anxiety since I don't have an anxiety disorder.

But in extreme cases it may make sense. I associate long term prescription of benzodiazepines with palliative care, since this tends to cause a decline in mental/physical health.

 

The younger doctors did get their information to a large extent from the pharmaceutical companies during their training/studies.

Not everyone can become a doctor. Aside from skills and brains, what do you need ? Official approval, for being allowed in med school and being allowed to practice. And who decides who will be approved ? The politician, the bureaucrat, the voter, the corporation, the AMA ? The same applies to HOW doctors are allowed to practice.

 

So, who's really to blame ? Nobody, everybody, or ?

 

<I'm stopping here since this is escalating to a dissertation about modern society/science and corruption>

 

Aside from emergency situations, I think for prescribing benzodiazepines informed consent is key.

That is what is lacking most of the time. That applies to both doctors and patients.

 

It is indeed difficult to comprehend how some doctors can seem to think that prescribing hypnotics daily for years or that prescribing an anti-epilepsy drug like Klonopin/clonazepam off-label is fine.

 

Hopefully, the most atrocious practices can be stopped.

 

liberty,

 

What a well thought out dissertation.  I enjoyed reading it.

 

Good luck to you in your present or forthcoming career. You sound quite knowledgeble, as do so many others on this fine site.

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This is a great thread! It's human nature to look for someone to blame, and many of us feel the obvious choice is the doctors that prescribe these drugs. Unfortunately the situation is far more complicated than that and we each have complicated stories that led us down this path. The "blame" is different for everyone.

 

From my extensive experience in the medical system last year I've learned it's hard for me to blame any one person. I saw absolutely wonderful doctors, at least two of which I credit with saving my life. A couple of them almost killed, and others served no real purpose. The overall problem I see is more systemic.

 

1)Doctors rarely interact or question each other. When one doctor prescribes or gives a patient a drug, other doctors do not address this. People are rarely taken off of drugs even when the problem is resolved.

 

2)Our society, and therefore our medical system, tends to believe the "more is better" mentality. Everybody wants to address a medical problem as quickly and aggressively as possible. The doctors that saved my life were of the mentality, "I don't know what's wrong with you and I don't want to treat something I don't understand." The doctors who almost killed me were of the philosophy, "I can't see what's wrong with you, so let me give you something to make you feel better." I'm sure all doctors had my best interests in heart, but they acted differently. I'm not yet jaded enough to believe they actually meant harm.

 

3)Doctor's information and knowledge base is very limited when it comes to pharmaceuticals. We've beaten that dead horse so I'll move on.

 

4)Doctors are generally focused on a specialty, at least when your health issues get complicated. Specialists know their area well, but unfortunately health problems are often far more complicated than something one specialty can address. This is particularly true when you talk about drug reactions or chronic health problems such as fibromyalgia.

 

I'm sure there are more, but I'll stop there. I've chosen to not blame specific doctors, but instead acknowledge the limitations of the system. I'm definitely angry at specific doctors, but that is more due to personality challenges and less so their capabilities as a doctor. Doctors are only human and for the most part I do think they're trying to help.

 

Hello recovered,

 

Wow, i'm in awe of the great way in which you and everyone else expresses their thoughts and opinions in such a lucid and civil manner.  Decorum is alive and well.

 

Thank you for responding.

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