What do you define as “extreme anxiety”

Warrior Chicken

MyPTSD Pro
Funny how a word can throw you in many different directions.
I don’t like medications, took me quite some time to even consider their use as a method to treat ptsd. But my train of thought has adapted somewhat. The rule I had against their use is only in reference to me. I don’t judge or see others using them in any way as a negative.
So, recently I renewed my prescription for Ativan and my Pdoc who is also my therapist wrote the prescription that it should be used for “extreme anxiety”.

I have trouble identifying my emotions, so extreme anything for me?? I don’t know.
Now I’m thinking that I can’t use this medication because what I experience as anxiety is not extreme. I can still function. People don’t notice I’m anxious (cuz I work reaaaaaally hard to hide it)

Looking for some perspectives….
 
Im the same way with myself and medication. I would be wondering the same thing you are about usage. One thing is you could call the doctor and just ask for some more clarification. I do really well with examples.

Another thought or whole train of thought is exploring whether or not you can rely on this medicine to allow yourself to get a break. Sort of enjoy the ride. Because Ive been told I am strong and have good self control. But I sleep better when I take my xanax instead of brace through anxiety sometimes.

I've never used the med your talking about. But perhaps , my opinion, is that it's when you can't stop crying. Or like when you would use a sedative? Maybe when you can't function? Not a doctor. Hope you the best in healing.
 

Friday

Moderator
What do you define as “extreme anxiety”?
How I would define extreme anxiety is
low end = nonfunctional / paralyzed by anxiety (can’t think / can’t move)
high end = panic attack

Now I’m thinking that I can’t use this medication because what I experience as anxiety is not extreme
How I personally use benzos is BEFORE a bad cycle kicks off, to stop it from starting in the first place. If I’m too late, and I’d have to be taking them every day? I don’t take them at all, with one caveat. IF AND ONLY IF I’m already in a bad cycle, I can attempt to throw the breaks on it by taking benzos for 2-3 days. If that works? Awesome. If I kick right back into it? The pills go back into a drawer.
 

Sideways

Moderator
my therapist wrote the prescription that it should be used for “extreme anxiety”.
Not saying you don't have extreme anxiety (because you potentially do - what it looks like idk, because "really bloody anxious" is me on a good day), but context is relevant. It's on a prescription for anxiety medication, and it may well be your Ts way of communicating to the pharmacist "please just fill this and don't give the person grief, because they legit have anxiety, they're not doctor shopping for benzos"...

It's something practitioners tend to do when they have experience with their clients/patients being given the run-around, and they want to avoid you going through that.
 

Freemartin

Sponsor
Seconding Sideways.

Also,
People don’t notice I’m anxious (cuz I work reaaaaaally hard to hide it)
Could this one ^ be a cue? When you have to work really hard to hide it? It’s extreme.

I tend to hold the bar really high when it comes to my medication. If I’m still breathing? Don’t need meds. My T, on the other hand, wants me to take meds so I don’t suffer unnecessarily. Which throws me for a wtf-loop. Cause, you know, if I had chosen the path of least suffering? I wouldn’t be here. Not wanting to suffer is a luxury not everyone is granted. To which she says: ”Don’t you think you should grab the opportunity to suffer less with both hands when it now does present itself?” Have yet to figure out a plausible objection to that one.
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
Such a helpful thread.

I have a bunch of Xanax that the dr gave me. I have been getting more freaked out at the thought of taking them than the everyday freaked out that I usually manage though. 🙄

Took one before my surgery last week as I was panicking, but otherwise they are staying firmly in the door for now.

Conversations with T about meds are never very productive coz I’m so bloody stubborn. Needs work!
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I wouldn't be able to function or sleep without lorazepam. There was a moment it was the only thing that worked. So it might not be the best thing in the world, if I was just paralyzed by fear and not doing anything because of it it would have been worse.

It did also avoid panic attacks, urges to self harm or to snap badly at others.

I always have had crippling anxiety and did go through the motions for most of my life. In the last 2 years though, it just went through the roof...

It will not replace therapy but it clearly can help you dodge some bad spiralling. Having them as an option in your drawer is reassuring in itself. Then you'll see how it goes.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
What a great question! I keep finding out that MY definitions to terms like that aren't all that similar to the average answers to the questions. I like the idea of asking your T. It could be an interesting and useful conversation. And then report back here & share your new knowledge? (Please?)
 

Warrior Chicken

MyPTSD Pro
I like the idea of asking your T. It could be an interesting and useful conversation. And then report back here & share your new knowledge? (Please?)
I sent an email with a few questions asking for clarification of “extreme anxiety”. I also asked about how much info other Doctors/Healthcare practitioners can see about your prescriptions (I’m rather, for lack of a better word, paranoid about this stuff).
Essentially, PDocs and others who can grant prescriptions are often audited by the College of Physicians here and they need to be able to account for why a patient has received repeat doses of particular meds.
So in that sense for the audit, extreme means - this person has issues and hasn’t been able to sort themselves the F out lol


exploring whether or not you can rely on this medicine to allow yourself to get a break
I’m now thinking I will not fill the script and therefore will not take the easy way, it will push me to find other ways to cope or….I’ll fall on my face and deal with that if it happens.
, I can attempt to throw the breaks on it by taking benzos
Very valid, but I don’t want to be using them as a crutch of any sort. If I’m turning to them before I’ve tried other coping techniques, then I’m not trying hard enough.


tend to hold the bar really high when it comes to my medication. If I’m still breathing? Don’t need meds.
I’m similar to you Freemartin….but there’s one situation where I’m questioning if I’m just not letting myself suffer and grow. It’s the one I typically always reach for the meds or alcohol or both or self harm. But if that’s all I’m doing and I keep doing that then I’m not learning other strategies or testing myself. I’m in a wormhole.
It will not replace therapy but it clearly can help you dodge some bad spiralling. Having them as an option in your drawer is reassuring in itself. Then you'll see how it goes.
It might, very true. But if in the above situation I’m accessing them as a habit to get thru certain things…because my reaction to them is what I’m trying to numb down….then I’m not gonna heal. So perhaps I gotta take the risk of a spiral and see how it goes.
 

HealingMama

Sponsor
Not saying you don't have extreme anxiety (because you potentially do - what it looks like idk, because "really bloody anxious" is me on a good day), but context is relevant. It's on a prescription for anxiety medication, and it may well be your Ts way of communicating to the pharmacist "please just fill this and don't give the person grief, because they legit have anxiety, they're not doctor shopping for benzos"...

It's something practitioners tend to do when they have experience with their clients/patients being given the run-around, and they want to avoid you going through that.
I came here to say this! Your prescriber is trying to keep people from causing friction about you getting a benzo.

To answer the actual question being asked, for me extreme anxiety is the kind that makes me feel like I am going to explode from inside, or makes me start to disappear from reality. It can make me go mute/freeze or gets changed into anger.

I have a prescription for a benzo and I sometimes take it before I am at that threshold, because I also have autoimmune conditions and if I just let myself have moderate anxiety for an extended period of time it can make my body attack itself.

Having said all that, the consensus in the trauma field is to avoid benzos if you are doing trauma processing, and avoid them if you are experiencing trauma triggers (for me anxiety is not always that or if it is, it's not connected enough for me to realize it). The idea is that avoidance maintains PTSD, and benzos help us avoid those feelings. I ultimately agree with the sentiment, but nobody can go hard all the time either and even if it ultimately drags out the condition a little, there's nothing wrong with getting a break from relentless flashbacks or other triggers when you need one, assuming your actual treatment team is approving of the option.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I’m now thinking I will not fill the script and therefore will not take the easy way
Or, you could fill the script and have them on hand just in case you get to where is seems "extreme" to you? ("Better to have and not need than to need and not have"?)
.but there’s one situation where I’m questioning if I’m just not letting myself suffer and grow. It’s the one I typically always reach for the meds or alcohol or both or self harm. But if that’s all I’m doing and I keep doing that then I’m not learning other strategies or testing myself. I
That seems like a good topic for further discussion with your T. Because I'd like to think he can help you come up with more and better strategies. It gets to be a habit to assume you have to worth through stuff all by yourself (at least for me it's like that). Turns out that might not always be 100% true. The catch, of course, is that doing something different involves talking to people.....
 

Warrior Chicken

MyPTSD Pro
makes me start to disappear from reality. It can make me go mute/freeze or gets changed into anger.
This is very interesting to me. One of my most prevalent reactions to a lot of things is an automatic flip to numb. As in, I dissociate quick. I’ve done a lot of work to improve that and prevent it, but it still needs work. I never considered that to be part of an anxiety response. I figured it needed to be panic or more dramatic.
doing something different involves talking to people.....
True! Very grateful for the responses

I’m still trying to figure out if my current line of thinking is coming from the right place. I have a thing with self punishment and using it to keep my function fire lit. Suffering let’s me know I’m alive and punishment reminds me of where I stand.
So, I’m not too sure how to figure out if this is driven by that…..but I’m thinking on it.
 
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