Valium prescription - what to do?

ruborcoraxxx

Sponsor
Yeah I really don't feel like you're at risk for addiction. I sure I am. But perhaps what I was trying to say is that as much as it's a problem, it's nothing but a problem and there is no shame in that.

Also perhaps what you could try is another class of anti anxiety stuff such as pregabalin or gabapentin. They tend to have a good effect on sleep and also slightly anti depressant, and some find that overall they anti anxiety effect is superior to benzodiazepines, with very short withdrawal.

This is why I was suggesting a pdoc because they have a better imagination and experience than GPs when it goes with the medication.

What it seems to me is that you're overflowing over what simple anti ancient pills are designed for, and that you aren't in the right class of medication and the sleep should be addressed in itself because it's quite fundamental for the rest. Perhaps just resting would do it, taking a week off, going for a hike or just driving around.

I also am stressed with groups of people except for very old friends I know from a long time and we all snuggle together, it's quite lovely. It has done things no antidepressant has done. I have to say it's also a crew we used to do MDMA with so there is a kind of special bond around that too. They also know my history. I am lucky to have people who know the exact distance of comfort and let yourself be yourself even if you're withdrawn. So these are the kind of interactions I discovered I should be seeking when I start to feel anxious or depressed.

Covid also greatly impacted our ways to communicate with others and I think it has contributed to feelings of disconnection even in healthy people. It's not nothing.

You're really have a lot on your plate and I'm feeling like social support would help you deal with a great part of it. Sometimes a valium helps to at least get out of the frenzy and make us more available to that.

Gentle hugs and hope things will get better. You're already holding on very well and I think you can acknowledge that for yourself too.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
@TruthSeeker I forgot to ask before - what strength magnesium do you take? And do you take that just before bed?

I take one capsule (187.5mg!) of magnesium nitrate daily (during daytime) and haven’t noticed any sleepiness, so would be good to hear how much you take to get that effect. Thanks!
 

barefoot

Sponsor
But perhaps what I was trying to say is that as much as it's a problem, it's nothing but a problem and there is no shame in that.
Yes, thanks for explaining, I understand and appreciate your words.

Also perhaps what you could try is another class of anti anxiety stuff such as pregabalin or gabapentin

I did ask a previous GP about gabapentin but got a firm no from him. Something about the licensing for the drug here in the U.K. He was quite anti giving me valium (even though it was the same situation of one prescription lasting me 6 months plus) He always seemed very concerned about addiction/longer term use. This is partly why I suggested gabapentin as I’d heard good things about it. But he wouldn’t consider it.

Instead, he gave me propranolol and said I could use it the same way as valium (ie as and when needed, rather than taking it every day no matter what) and that it would do the same thing. When I went to pick up the prescription, the pharmacist came round to speak to me and tried to book me in for a review appointment in a week’s time to check that I was ok with it. She said that was because it wasn’t uncommon for people to struggle with bad sleep and nightmares etc when they take it. And she confirmed it wouldn’t feel like taking a valium - that propranolol calms physical symptoms like racing heart while valium helps feel ‘mentally calm’.

So, I didn’t end up taking them. I already have enough sleep disruption and crazy dreams and am under a sleep specialist for that (hence the melatonin, which really helps) And it just felt very unhelpful for him to prescribe something like that, which has those common side effects. And it was something that didn’t even do what I need it to do (help with mental calm)

So…I stuck with the valium and changed my GP (valium wasn’t the reason why!) and she has been more laid back about it.

But, yeah, I guess this is sort of highlighting that GP’s knowledge (and therefore treatment options) are limited…


Perhaps just resting would do it, taking a week off, going for a hike or just driving around

Yeah, I wrote another thread about whether to rest and do less or do the opposite and do more. Think I’m realising that less probably feels better at the moment… We’ll, certainly fewer stressful things…

very old friends I know from a long time and we all snuggle together, it's quite lovely.

That sounds so lovely

Sometimes a valium helps to at least get out of the frenzy and make us more available to that.
Yes, there is that. Though I am looking forward to some snuggly time with my partner this week…think may feel a bit more able to be sociable with others when the funerals are out of the way…

Gentle hugs and hope things will get better. You're already holding on very well and I think you can acknowledge that for yourself too.

Thank you, that’s very sweet of you. Thanks.
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
I get about the same amount from my gp and they’re really weird about it. I’ve had periods of increased stress like you’re describing and have gone through more than anticipated. I usually only get 14 5mg every 3/4 months.

Having them literally saved my life when I was experiencing a particularly bad depressive episode I took two and went to bed if I felt I couldn’t keep my safe. When I ran out I ran out that was it sink or swim I didn’t want to ask for more. If they put “drug seeking behaviour” on your file you’re f*cked. I need pretty strong painkillers for another condition and couldn’t risk it. I left it the appropriate amount of time begging asked for more.

The over the counter nytol one a night works quite well but only for 2 nights. It’s what Americans would call Benadryl used off label as sleeping aide.

I personally wouldn’t risk asking for more or I’d lie and say I lost them or something along those lines.
 

Friday

Moderator
But, I suppose, I’d declined the antidepressant option she suggested, so there probably wasn’t really anything else she could do except reiterate some of these basics.
And because, during hard times, people forget the basics? Or need permission to do more than “Stop being such a wimp! Chin up, stiff upper lip, shoulder to the grindstone, grow a spine, suck it up, toughen up, and get on with things!”? So doctors orders to be kind to yourself, and remember the basics… in addition to an extra Rx, no worries… is a really fantastic result?
 

ruborcoraxxx

Sponsor
I get about the same amount from my gp and they’re really weird about it. I’ve had periods of increased stress like you’re describing and have gone through more than anticipated. I usually only get 14 5mg every 3/4 months.

Having them literally saved my life when I was experiencing a particularly bad depressive episode I took two and went to bed if I felt I couldn’t keep my safe. When I ran out I ran out that was it sink or swim I didn’t want to ask for more. If they put “drug seeking behaviour” on your file you’re f*cked. I need pretty strong painkillers for another condition and couldn’t risk it. I left it the appropriate amount of time begging asked for more.

The over the counter nytol one a night works quite well but only for 2 nights. It’s what Americans would call Benadryl used off label as sleeping aide.

I personally wouldn’t risk asking for more or I’d lie and say I lost them or something along those lines.
I can relate to that too. If I get too much in a suicidal mood and nothing else is available, I can shut myself asleep at least until the day next. Or avoid serious self-harm.

In Europe and perhaps especially in the country I’m in since drugs are in massive circulation the policy is to finally aim to reduce addiction behaviour with background therapy and substitutes. Because you can’t ask someone symptomatic to just go cold turkey. What I hear about the NHS is preoccupying but the situation in the States looks disastrous. Here there is quite a lot of drug abuse too and they’re kind of wary of fake prescriptions and stuff like this, so they tie the prescriptions to your ID card and insurance, but as long as the prescriptions are genuine I don’t think there is a specific regulation to block you from getting them; it will be up to a therapeutic team to help you to hook off.

And year if antidepressants are often first-line it’s because they… mostly help. Basics cover a lot. Specifics what isn’t covered by a lot.

For sleeping well I find lavender potentializes melatonin in a rather nice way. It’s comfy and agreeable. For me it’s been part in having a better night routine and helping feeling safe to fall asleep. Some studies show that lavender does have anti anxiety effects per se (like similar to lorazepam), I don’t really know how much credit to give to them as they hadn’t a placebo and weren’t randomized, so really I just like the smell of it because I find it reassuring. Smells I find reassuring in general. Clean and soapy smelling blankets, some room perfume, stuff like that. For me at least it evokes all that I didn’t have when it was havoc in trauma times; stuff broken, stinking or unclean, smells of sweat etc. I’m not a house fairy but I like some order because that kind of peaceful tidiness and coziness represents safety for me.

Lorazepam and melatonin do help me fall asleep but pregabalin helps with staying asleep. I do struggle with both. I have night terrors and half-memories of horrible nightmares. At some point only a neuroleptic sedative was capable to counter it and my new clinician confirmed it was a very strong drug that is normally shot to prisoners freaking out. There even is a skull on the pack. I ended up throwing it away that thing was evil. However no amount of lorazepam or trazodone could make me fall asleep at that time. I could wander off zombified during days and still be there on guard. There were very stressful times and it’s evident my body did believe I was going to die or someone was going to die if I did drop my guard—reasonably so. So as shitty as this medication was, it did its job.

On the other hand I’d like to encourage you with the funerals. It’s hard but if we make them it is to feel gathered in the grief, and they’re often soft and beautiful moments with a sense of togetherness. It’s sad but it also is beautiful and that’s why they’re so important. So as weird as this can sound, this is a moment I would look forward into and see it as a present and not a horrible thing to avoid (not saying you’re doing it) or just have it done as quickly as possible. In cases I couldn’t be there for ceremonies the grief has been more complicated, because it’s important to register. It’s a whole lot.

After my grandmother died I was really shaken and bad. An aunt of me then told: you know, after people die, you make a new relationship with them. It’s different. I didn’t understand what she meant until recently because I wasn’t feeling I had a relationship of any sort left since she was gone; it’s when I had to leave my abusive partner and go no contact that this meaning sort of cristallized: it’s the relationship that you keep with memories, good or bad. The images you have of the person, the interactions or arguments you had with them; the sensation of it to be finished or not. A funeral gives a sense of closure that is important in the case of grief.

Trauma causes us so much to have specs of ourselves stuck in the past and it sometimes seems we’re driving while constantly looking the back mirrors. And we tend to do it more and more with lower thresholds because any pain becomes hard on us. But looking at things and letting them pass by, with jacking up the medication a bit (or even a lot) from time to time, there is nothing wrong in that. We don’t ought to climb complicated mountains without appropriate coats. It’s not a matter of courage (it can also) but also from results. I don’t think there is inherently more merit to "do it without" than "doing it with". It’s about what you’re capable of experiencing and doing or not doing in an amount of time that counts. There is no recipe. I don’t want to sound I’m lecturing or insinuating yourself have shame towards it, but I think that society as a whole is rather ashamed of psychiatric medication and psychiatric illness, and that it affects us all, doctors included. Of course pills aren’t all. Certainly not. But there is no shame in trying all possibilities as safely as possible.

And for a simple comparison, alcohol has very similar effects to benzos regarding the anti-anxiety properties, but no one is going to shame you for having two beers at the end of a day while taking half a Valium a day makes you look like a junkie. There is a lot of twisted perceptions around things.

And I really understand the fear of having the stamp "prescription shopper" on your face and not being able to rely on an effective medication if you don’t adopt the correct attitude. Perhaps you can talk about that to your therapist or specific local support groups that know a bit of the policies and the workarounds to do to avoid finding yourself in such a situation.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
@NoWhereKnowWhere it's tough, isn't it. I'm sorry this is a challenge for you too. I really, really do understand why they are so cautious – no one wants anyone getting hooked on benzos and ending up in a worse situation. But it's so frustrating when you're genuinely using them responsibly (and the dr knows that, because they can see how long a pack lasts) and they really help. And I always worry about coming across too 'she doth protest too much' when I find myself insisting to my GP that I really am using them properly and that I haven't got a problem, and then worry that I look like I'm not using them properly and that I have got a problem!

Have you ever had 'drug seeking behaviour' on your file? Sorry if that's too personal – obviously no pressure to answer that if you'd rather not. I guess I hadn't ever really thought about that happening and the possible repercussions.

And yeah, they get more touchy (again, I get why) when you're taking certain other stuff eg your strong pain killers. I think that's why my GP was also unsure about what to give me to help with sleep when I spoke to her yesterday – because I take melatonin, she was worried that I would end up 'over-sedated'. I don't have a problem being a bit over-sedated in the short term...I just need rest and to feel calmer...and I have time off work, so it's not that I need to be razor sharp and productive at the moment. But I could hardly say that to her as then I really would look like I couldn't be trusted with any medication!

Have tried Nytol before though not for several years – it never did anything for me, but whether it might now in combination with my melatonin, I'm not sure?

Sorry this is difficult for you too. I find it difficult to trust/feel comfortable with healthcare providers but I really do like my current GP. Yet this is one area where I do struggle to be honest with her....I want to be honest....but don't ever want to accidentally shoot myself in the foot!
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Some studies show that lavender does have anti anxiety effects per se (like similar to lorazepam)
Really?? I know some people claim lavender has relaxing/calming effects but have never heard it likened to the effect of taking a benzo before!

I’m not a house fairy but I like some order because that kind of peaceful tidiness and coziness represents safety for me.
I like to keep my bedroom a very tidy place too. Partly as that feeling like a more calming space than having a load of stuff everywhere. And partly a practical thing - I don’t want to trip over anything if I fly out of bed during a night terror!

On the other hand I’d like to encourage you with the funerals

I wasn’t meaning I wasn’t going to go. I’m absolutely going. But there may be valium use eg the night before.

I have to say though that I don’t quite have the same experience of funerals as you. Yes, there can be an element of closure and some sense of community/sharing stories etc. But soft and beautiful aren’t words that spring to my mind! Which is a shame really…I feel slightly envious that you have that experience and perception!

We don’t ought to climb complicated mountains without appropriate coats.
😀 good analogy

Of course pills aren’t all. Certainly not. But there is no shame in trying all possibilities as safely as possible.

Agree. Not ashamed of taking valium…just get tired of having to justify my use of it to GPs! And the reason I don’t want to take anti-depressants isn’t about shame…I took them about 20 years ago for a couple of years and just never liked the way they made me feel (I tried a few) plus they made my night terrors worse.

Potentially seeing a psychiatrist…I guess I do have resistance to that idea, which could involve a bit of shame/embarrassment…

Perhaps you can talk about that to your therapist

Am on a break with my therapist as we’ve been working through a rupture but I still don’t feel that we’re in a great place. Last session I got triggered and it all felt very unsafe. Then my friend died a few days later and I just decided, with everything that’s going on, I just needed to have a bit of time and space away from therapy - it/she was taking up too much headspace, and causing a lot of stress and upset. I had initially thought I’d take a month off but may end up taking longer…I don’t see a point in going back until things settle down for me…when I return, I want to just focus on getting stuck in to some historical stuff as we talked before about here and now stressors being important but also taking us away from ‘deeper work.’ So, I want to be able to go back and dive straight into that, rather than filling her in on current things or having more time paying her £100 an hour to try to sort out our therapeutic alliance!

Not sure how long it will take me to get to a point where that feels possible!
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
@TruthSeeker I forgot to ask before - what strength magnesium do you take? And do you take that just before bed?

I take one capsule (187.5mg!) of magnesium nitrate daily (during daytime) and haven’t noticed any sleepiness, so would be good to hear how much you take to get that effect. Thanks!
I take 1000 mg. Just saw my doctor today and she asked the same question. I asked if it was too much....and she said nope! It really does help...I use magnesium oxide 500mg per capsule.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Thanks so much @TruthSeeker - I’ll look into this and consider taking a higher dose before bed.

Upping my melatonin seems to be helping me fall asleep…but I’m actually having more night terrors. 🙄
 
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