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[QUOTE=MMS1]How long do you feel you have to be on Xanax and at what dose before you seriously run into this problem? I've been taking a .5mg dose for about seven weeks due to high anxiety and depression (due to a hearing loss in Feb.) and not being able to sleep since then. I don't take any during the day or night even though my Anxiety and Depression has been UNBEARABLE! I'm afraid of getting any more dependant on this or any other drugs.
I tried one evening a couple weeks ago, when I was'nt really having that bad of anxiety or depression to sleep without the Xanax and just laid there for over an hour before I eventually fell asleep. However, I woke up 45 minutes later and started the anxiety attack right away. I had to take the pill to get back to sleep. However, I only sleep for a couple hours at a time while on the pill!
My doctor insists I need a heavier dose, but I even told him that no matter how big a dose, It only works for a couple hours then your up again! He thinks I'm resisting getting better, but I'm just afraid of never getting my regular sleeping habits back again. Is .5mg for seven weeks enough time to screw up my natural sleep pattern? How can I get it back if I still have all this anxiety, depression and stress? I've tried Valerian for quite a while (couple times during the day and in conjunction with the Xanax before bed) and it really does'nt help that much. As far as relaxation techniques,, I'm so wired and near paraylized with the anxiety and depression I can't fathom any techniques that would work or that I could relax enough to focus on.
I'm looking to find a therapist who specializes in Anxiety and Depression, however, not to be a total downer, I don't think talking out how I feel is going to cure me in anytime short of MONTHS and I won't last that long at this rate! I've already driven my wife NUTS with all of my "talking out my feelings" since this began. Just having someone telling you to focus on other things or keep busy, when you have nothing else to focus on and can't keep busy for that long, is easier said then done!
Help is always appreciated!


Hey MMS1
First, you need to realize that everyone's body adjusts to meds. in a different way. A .5 dose of Xanax can usually help me for about 5 hours, depending on what I'm doing. I take Xanax 4 times a day. .5 in morning, .5 around noon, .5 around 5 PM, and 1 mg. before bed. So, I'm at 2 1/2 mg. right now, which is a pretty high dose. However, I feel good and normal, and that is what is most important. This is the second time I've been on Xanax. The first time I was on 6 mg. daily. With the help of my doctor, I was able to wean off it, but it took almost a year. No problems!! Then, after another 3 1/2 years, I had another major panic attack that left me frozen and almost agoraphobic. I had no choice but to start the Xanax again. Knowing the addiction tendencies and what I'm going to have to do again when I'm ready as far as weaning the med., thats not a problem. As long as it's done slowly, and with the help of a doctor, I can do it again. I've done it before and I can do it again. As far as your sleeping problem, there are alot of other drugs that can help you, if thats your main concern. But, if you are miserable with a constant anxiety feeling and panic attacks, there is no reason to live like that. Yes, all bens. have a chemical dependency, but, you can wean off of them. I'm speaking from personal experience. Like another post says, there is the Xanax XR which is supposed to last 12-24 hours. This didn't help me, but in your case, this could help you alot. There are also other meds., Klonopin or Ativan that are longer lasting that Xanax.
As far as relaxation techniques, this is something you have to learn. It is hard, but can be done. Soft music, a beautiful picture of something (like a seasonal landscape), quietness, and good thoughts all help with relaxation. I'm still learning how to do this because you need to close you mind to everything and focus solely on relaxing.
Cognitive behavioral therapy does help, but this too, needs to be learned. If you look up on the internet about panic attacks...especially on a medical site, you will realize that what you are feeling when you have an attack is completely normal, but at the wrong time. A panic attack is a natural fight or flight symptom that our body feels if we are in danger. The problem with PA's is that these happen even when we are not in danger and thats why they are so scary. On any medical website, it will explain that we cannot die from an attack, it doesn't last very long (although the apprehension of having another one can continue if you don't get your thoughts under control), and once our body realizes that there is no danger, it will automatically release endorphins which are our natural relaxation chemicals in the brain, so that the attack will stop.
I'm not telling you to take meds. or not, because there are other routes that you can take, but if you are miserable, bens. (Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan) is the best meds. to calm your nerves and curb the edginess and anxiety. Your dosage, .5, is not high at all and shouldn't bother your natural sleeping patterns. Especially if you don't take Xanax on a regular basis. But, if you take it consistantly at night before bed, do not just stop it.

So, from my experiences with panic/anxiety, Xanax gave me my normal life back. And when I feel that I'm ready, I'll wean to a lower dosage or to no meds. at all. Just remember that all meds. work differently on everyone. What may work on one person, may not work with you. It's almost a hit and miss problem that needs to be adjusted to whatever makes you feel your best. Good luck! :wave:

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