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Just some advice. SSRI's and antidepressants are not what you need. What has probably been helping you is the Ativan. The Benzo's quench panic almost entirely. Benzos are psychiatry's red headed step child. The problem is, it can and has been taken for recreational purposes and therefore has a nasty stigma associated with it. That it is addictive, and causes seizures and death. First of all it isn't addictive, it causes dependancy. There isn't a need to get more when you reach your optimal dosage, so there is no addiction, however, it does alter chemicals in your brain and blocks GABA receptors. This in turn causes your brain to make less GABA so you need more Ativan. This goes on for a couple of months and then you stabalize. Also, you liver is not used to the Ativan at first so it doesn't know what to do with it and allows it direct access to the blood stream, however, as you take it for a longer time your liver developes enzymes to break down the Ativan and thus you need to take more. This also stabalizes as well. It usually takes approximately 4 mg of Ativan to stabalize and can go a little higher or lower, but I wouldn't go too much higher than that. If you don't stabalize at that dose then you need to start weaning off that drug and try another. I would be willing to bet that all the side effects that you experience are a direct result of the Lexapro. It is a nasty drug with lots of side effects. Do a search on Lexapro on this board and you will here a long list of horror stories.

Do some research, but understand that the dosages that you require to help with your anxiety are nothing close to the doses used by recreational drug users. They could take potentially 50 mg pass out and wake up to do it again, and it is not to help their anxiety, just to catch a buzz. The first thing you will notice when taking a Benzo long term is that the drowsiness goes away and you won't even notice you are taking it other than your anxiety will be gone.

Also, many SSRI's are highly dependancy forming as well and effexor is one of them. This drug is hard to quit than the Benzo's actually as a lot of people will testify to. Paxil is another that causes dependency. So all the negative press on Ativan and other Benzos is a bunch of beurocratic garbage created by lawyers and doctors who fear them.

When quitting a Benzo you do have to slowly wean yourself off of it though because your brain needs time to start producing GABA and your liver is still hard at work breaking down the enzymes. These things don't magically revert to before the drug was taken, so it is important to wean off the drug just like you would do with an antidepressant.

Good luck,
OE





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