Anxiety meds

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Anxiety meds

Postby mint » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:25 pm

Hello all,

I've been revisiting Pema Chodron's books and CDs here lately, slowing getting back into a meditation habit and implementing methods of fearlessness. I seem to have Generalized Anxiety Disorder - any of you who remember how stressed out I got last year this time when going through the introduction to Dzogchen may know what I mean - and I had some really bad anxiety attacks last week. Now there is fear of having another anxiety attack. My doctor prescribed some Xanax (Alprazolam) to take on an ad hoc basis. I have tried methods to calm the mind which are working but not quite there yet. Should I consider taking the Xanax as needed until I can better calm the mind?
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Zealot » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:47 pm

If it works to wind you down when you feel you're getting out of control, use it in those circumstances. If you use it whenever you feel the slightest anxiety, however, you will become dependent on it to manage your emotions. The best advice I can give you is that it should be your last resort if mindfulness, meditation, and all else fails you.

The Dharma is the ultimate cure for what ails the body and the mind and so it should be sought above all else. Xanax treats a symptom and cures nothing but leads to grasping. It should be used sparingly as with all medicine. All that being said, I'm not a doctor and you should probably listen to the licensed physician. I hope these words have helped you in some way :)

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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby floating_abu » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:22 pm

Please take advice from your therapists/doctors as well: this is just a general internet forum so we are not so well qualified in all cases to give advice of this nature.
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Lhug-Pa » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:25 pm

Agreed, Zealot.

(Although I'd say qualified physician rather than "licensed")

Hi Mint

Big pharma mostly only serves themselves by getting rich off of poisoning people with synthetic-chemicals. Try Ayurveda or Tibetan Medicine instead.

Since you still have interest in Dharma practice (Dzogchen and/or Anuyoga as well?), Chögyal Rinpoche often gives transmission for practices that specifically pacify nervousness, especially combined with Bimala, Agar Medicines, etc.

Also, Xanax won't balance & calm the turbulent movement of rLung, as is implied by what Zealot wrote above. Perhaps Xanax might work temporarily as a last resort, however it will most likely prove to be not worth it in the long run. This is why Chögyal Rinpoche for example recommends Agar 35 or Bimala instead of synthetic-chemical sleeping-pills.

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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Zealot » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:31 pm

I chose my words for a reason ;)

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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Seishin » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:28 pm

I suffer from claustrophobia and I find mantras keep my mind calm whilst in closed spaces. I also agree with what everyone else has said. :smile:

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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:53 pm

mint wrote:Hello all,

I've been revisiting Pema Chodron's books and CDs here lately, slowing getting back into a meditation habit and implementing methods of fearlessness. I seem to have Generalized Anxiety Disorder - any of you who remember how stressed out I got last year this time when going through the introduction to Dzogchen may know what I mean - and I had some really bad anxiety attacks last week. Now there is fear of having another anxiety attack. My doctor prescribed some Xanax (Alprazolam) to take on an ad hoc basis. I have tried methods to calm the mind which are working but not quite there yet. Should I consider taking the Xanax as needed until I can better calm the mind?
As long as you don't become dependent on it , why not?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby tattoogunman » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:21 pm

I was just put on two different medications for manic depression & paranoia within the last week. It's definitely helped to quite my "mental noise" and problems that I've had with sleeping. I'm also trying to start doing some meditation as well and hope that between the two of them, it will chill me out. So far the drugs are doing that very well, but I want to supplement it with something else. I visited a Mahayana temple this past weekend for the first time and they gave me some Amitabha chanting CD's to use and they definitely help. I'm a fan of medical science myself, but I'm also a fan of alternative therapies. That means I'm going to employ both for now to see how things go :thumbsup:
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby spanda » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:19 am

tattoogunman wrote:I was just put on two different medications for manic depression & paranoia within the last week. It's definitely helped to quite my "mental noise" and problems that I've had with sleeping. I'm also trying to start doing some meditation as well and hope that between the two of them, it will chill me out. So far the drugs are doing that very well, but I want to supplement it with something else.



Well, you should study in a serious way your situation. You should know that, on a short term, this drugs would probably help you, but in a LONG term, like ALL the studies proved, they will harm you, because of their iatrogenic effects, and you recovery will be obstructed exactly by this drugs.

You should find a very good psychiatrist, like for exemple dr. James Lake a psychiatrist trained at Stanford ( http://progressivepsychiatry.com/index. ... =page&id=9 ) and the author of this great text: http://www.amazon.com/Textbook-Integrat ... 502&sr=8-4 and you should definitively try an alternative approach, which will not harm your so much.

Read the books of dr, Lake, and the materials from this site: http://beyondmeds.com/ , which has tons of important informations, find a very good psychotherapist, and fight for your health, because life is a precious occasion and it should not be destroyed by psychotropic medications. Read this book also, it has great informations: http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Epidemic- ... 963&sr=1-1

And, by the way, there are the products from "True Hope", which have been proved to work just as the drugs you take for bipolarity. I've seen some presentation from some conference, and the results are impressive. In fact, almost 70% pf the people, it seams that can be stable only with this nutrient supplements from TrueHope, without any psychotropic drugs. Tale a look at the research section from their site: http://www.truehope.com/research/empowerplus_1.aspx
So, find a very good psychiatrist, who can show you some valid alternative at the medication you take now.
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby lisehull » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:27 am

I think you should proceed with caution and take the advice of folks on this thread with a grain of salt, including mine. If you need anxiety meds, use them. Meditation can help as well. But since your physician has prescribed the meds for a reason, I believe you should follow his guidance, not the suggestions of those of us amateurs here on DW. Pema Chodron is one well-known teacher who believes in taking medication for problems such as anxiety as needed, and I trust her wisdom.
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:41 am

I had some really bad experiences on Xanax, basically after 'coming off' of it my anxiety was worse.

That said, most advice you're going to get on the internet is either "all conventional treatment is bad, try these herbs", or on the other side simple telling you to ask your doctor. Unless otherwise noted no one on here has any real expertise in mental health, and shouldn't be acting like they do. So take that into consideration.

If you want personal experience stories, I have had nothing but terrible luck with pharmaceuticals for the most part, but I also know people who took them when needed and got the desired results..really the worst thing about them from my point of view is dependence, and the side effects. Xanax did not help me lessen my anxiety personally, mainly because of the "hangover" and resulting anxiety bounce.

The best thing for my anxiety was EMDR..if you can find a therapist that does this it's at least worth trying, and being that you have meditation experience it will likely be easy for you compared to many. I did about two months of it and felt it was the most effective "treatment" I have done, treatment meaning actually going to some kind of certified expert in a therapy modality.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby spanda » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:16 am

lisehull wrote:I think you should proceed with caution and take the advice of folks on this thread with a grain of salt, including mine. If you need anxiety meds, use them. Meditation can help as well. But since your physician has prescribed the meds for a reason, I believe you should follow his guidance, not the suggestions of those of us amateurs here on DW.


And also you should take in consideration the fact that some amateurs from here could be working in mental field and know what they say. For example, regarding Xanax, you should talk to your doctor , of course, but if you take benzodiazepines, you should also take a look at books like the famous manual of dr. Heather Ashton about Benzodiazepines, a psycho-pharmacologist and an expert in benzodiazepines, who also conducted a benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic for 12 years: http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/contents.htm

And let's tell you about a story in which I was personally involved. A friend of mine had a traumatic event, with a couple years ago - a car accident, which left him very damaged, physically and psychologically. After he recovered completely from a physical point of view, he discovered that he had powerful flashbacks, from the moment of the accident, and it was diagnosed with PTSD.
His psychiatrist put him very fast on Xanax for his anxiety and PTSD syndroms, and, even if it is known that benzodiazepines are extremely addictive, (and in UK, for example, it is not recommended to prescribe this kind of drugs for more than 3 months), he was left on Xanax for more than one year and a half! And, because Xanax was less and less effective, he started with 0,50 at the beginning, and after an year and a half he was at 2,50 per day ! The problem is that his flashbacks where worse and worse. And his doctor wanted to put him on another cocktail of psychotropic drugs, because of his worsened PTSD. I realized that something is not ok, and I knew that his doctor is not very knowledgeable in this area, (because of studies like this one: http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2012/04/ ... est/55389/ which shows clearly that Xanax in fact increase the PTSD problems). So I find another psychiatrist, which was more "updated" in this field, and my friend started under this new doctor a very slow schedule withdrawal from Xanax. And guess what: my friend called me with 4 days ago, to tell me that now it's completely of Xanax for more than 2 months, and his PTSD symptoms (flashbacks) diminished with more than 70-80% !
So, a very very knowledgeable psychiatrist is the key here.
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby greentara » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:18 am

Thrasymachus, "Why are so many doctors unaware of the lack of superiority of antidepressants as compared to placebos? The answer became clear in 2008 when researcher and physician Erick Turner (currently at the Department of Psychiatry and Center for Ethics in Health Care, Oregon Health and Science University) discovered that antidepressant studies with favorable outcomes were far more likely to be published than those with unfavorable outcomes. Analyzing published and unpublished antidepressant studies registered with the FDA between 1987-2004, Turner found that 37 of 38 studies having positive results were published; however, Turner reported, “Studies viewed by the FDA as having negative or questionable results were, with 3 exceptions, either not published (22 studies) or published in a way that, in our opinion, [falsely] conveyed a positive outcome (11 studies).”
That makes very interesting reading and rings alarm bells. The pharma industry is far too manipulative and powerful!
Recently I read about Charles Lindbergh, not generally thought of as someone suffering from mental illness.
He was flying alone when "First one then another presses forward to my shoulder to speak about the engines voice...(or they) came out of the air itself, clear yet far away, travelling through distances that can't be measured by the scale of human miles....conversing and advising me on my flight, discussing problems of my navigation, reassurring me, giving me messages of importance unattainable in ordinary life" It doesn't sound mad to me but rather like some help from beyond.
Today they would simply haul Charles out of the cockpit in and put him on Mogadon!
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Zenda » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:42 am

I have long-standing chronic major depressive disorder and found that meds helped put a floor under the symptoms until I regained enough resiliency to see things clearly and make balanced choices. Then I got off the meds and haven't used them in the 10 years since (although I've had a few difficult periods). I tried the homeopathic approach and it helped, but for me, it wasn't enough to beat back the suicidal ideation. It wasn't until I stabilized with meds that I could even dive into practice seriously. Your mileage may vary... And I certainly hope so! I hope no one ever has to go through what I did ever again...

Be well!

As for criticisms of the medical profession, caveat emptor! And remember the old maxim - there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Make sure you understand the veracity of your source material. Too often we grab at whatever supports our views and biases. And often we over generalize (correlation is NOT causation). Studies are designed with narrow specific questions and I'm afraid both sides are equally culpable in spinning the data.
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Nemo » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:16 am

If you can use them as needed to get you through a rough spot there may be other treatment modalities.

Army buddies with PTSD have had some good results with Testosterone supplementation. Get your free and total test(osterone) measured. If it is a bit low pump it up. You can get some mad confidence and self esteem from testosterone with the side effect of looking pumped and being a tiger in the sack. Much more enjoyable side effects than most SSRI's.
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Lhug-Pa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:33 am

Well, I'd told myself that I probably won't be posting here anymore, however I should add real quick regarding my Tibetan Medicine recommendation that you could try contacting for example Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo or maybe Dr. Amchi Tenzin Yangdon, or any other reliable Doctor of Tibetan Medicine.

Nemo's suggestion to up testosterone is also a great idea. Regarding this, you could try Nettle Root, Maca, Passionflower (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com) and a good natural HGH-booster like HGH Surge, Secratatropin, or Secretagogue (http://www.hghtruths.com) in combination with weight lifting, bodyweight workouts, martial arts or better yet Yantra Yoga.

viewtopic.php?f=101&t=7957&p=137577&hilit=#p136627

viewtopic.php?f=101&t=6689&p=79619&hilit=#p79619

Another useful thread^.

Cutting all of the following out of your diet will definitely help as well: Artificial preservatives, artificial flavors & colors, GMO's, fluoridated water, synthetic-pesticides, white breads, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hormone-treated dairy & meats, etc.

Reduce gluten intake a lot in general, and try to replace simple carbs (wheat bread etc.) with complex carbohydrates (fruits, sweet potatoes, etc.), eat lots of good fats (good fats being organic olive oil, unfiltered coconut oil, grassfed butter, ghee, avocado, almonds, etc.) and eat a lot of organic yogurt, kale, and spinach (kale & spinach mix well in hemp-protein shakes). I'm looking into sprouted barley, or at least adding organic barley flour to protein shakes.

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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:59 pm

Mint, haven't you said that you live on or near the East Coast?



Shang Shung Institute of America wrote:Upcoming Men-Tse-Khang event, change of schedule

Please note that the schedule for the upcoming Men-Tse-Khang weekend at Amherst College on will be modified as follows:

Friday 12/7/2012, 5 PM

“Traditional Tibetan Medicine, Past and Present” a lecture by Dr. Tsewang Tamdin
Location: Paino Lecture Hall, Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College
https://www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/visiting/map

Free and open to the public

Dr. Tsewang Tamdin graduated from Men-Tsee-Khang in 1987, and is currently the TMAI Vice-Chairman to the High Level Medical & Astrological Committee.

For more information about the Men-Tsee-Khang Institute, see

http://www.men-tsee-khang.org/

Saturday 12/8/2012

Workshop on "Pulse Diagnosis & Urine Analysis" taught by Dr. Tsewang Tamdin. This demonstration workshop will focus on Pulse & Urine Diagnosis and External Therapies (such as compression, Hydro-Therapy, Massage, and Channel Therapy).

Workshop Times:10 AM-12 AM, and 2 PM- 5 PM

Location: Paino Lecture Hall, Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College
For registration for the workshop, please contact secretary@shangshung.org

Sunday 12/9/2012

Consultations with the doctors of the Men-Tse-Khang, to be held at the Shang Shung Institute
To set up an appointment and for all other queries, please contact
secretary@shangshung.org
Location: Shang Shung Tibetan Healing Center, 16 Center Street, Suite 323, Northampton, MA, 01060

Please note that the Sunday 12/9/2012 Workshop on Tibetan Astrology has been canceled due to circumstances outside our control.
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Yudron » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:29 am

I found that doing the foundational practices (ngondro) of Tibetan Buddhism that my lama gave me turned me from a mostly anxious person into a mostly relaxed person, although that was not the reason I started to practice. I have some lingering performance anxiety when I do things in front of a crowd, but it is not incapacitating at all--just tense.

I had to do some therapy before I could even sit to practice for five minutes. But once I started, I could gradually extend my sitting periods from 5 to 10 minutes and so forth.
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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby CrawfordHollow » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:55 am

I am joining this thread late and haven't read much of if, so please forgive me.

Regarding anxiety meds: I have had panic attacks for years, and have PTSD, and I'm sure many other things that have gone undiagnosed. My panic attacks used to be really, really bad. I have been rushed to the hospital many times. People who think that these things only "happen in your mind" have no idea how horrible and terribly serious they can be.

I have been prescribed heavy doses of Xanax and have done every other benzo known to man. My panic attacks have subsided for the most part, although sometimes I'll wake up in the middle of the night having one, which is really scary. Through counseling and meditation I have been able to go without benzos for years. Let me please say a word of warning about these drugs, for I have much experience with pharmaceutical use (abuse). There are only two things that you can die from during withdrawals: alcohol and benzos. Even heroin withdrawal isn't considered a true medical condition because you cannot die from it, or so I was told when I was going through it (although it certaintly felt like dying).

I guess what I'm trying to say is be careful with benzos. They can seem pretty tame compared to other drugs like opiates, but they can be sneaky. If you must take them, don't take them everyday, even if your doctor tells you to. I know some people that have been taking over 30mgs of valium a day for years! And that is what the doctors prescribed them, which is totally irresponsible and wrong in my book. They can become habit forming and your body can become addicted to them in a matter of weeks if you start taking them every day. So, please take them every other day at the most. Benzo withdrawal is really serious, it usually involves seisures and can be life threatening. I think they work great for panic attacks, but they really make me tired, withdrawn, and depressed. Look into alternative therepies. Counseling is great, there is a technique called EFT that works really well for anxiety. Valerian is also a good herb that you can substitute for benzos, but again, don't overdue it. If you need them, and many people do, take them, but please be careful!

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Re: Anxiety meds

Postby Yudron » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:04 am

Great post, Troy.
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