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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2536
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I have been on alprazolam since 2003 due to panic disorder!

Customer Question

I have been on alprazolam since 2003 due to panic disorder! Ism tying to wean off. My Dr is cutting my dosage! I am going through terrible irritability! Is this normal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.

NormanM :

Hello, I'm Norman. Are you ready to chat?


 

NormanM :

Just type when you are ready.


 

NormanM :

I see you are still offline, so I'm going to switch this to Question and Answer mode, and ask you a couple of questions which will helpme provide you with an answer.

Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.
Do you still suffer from panic disorder?
Have you had any treatment other than medication?
What dose of Alazopram have you been on, and what is your dose now?
Has your Doctor provided you with a 'weaning off' plan, or suggested using another medication to help you get off the Alaazopram?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No other meds! 1 mg of alprazolam 5 per day! Yes I do suffer from this no other meds tryed I fryer to quit and had seizures! I am desperate to see if any other treatment can help? It is a ongoing problem! I tryed quiting cold turkey. It was a nightmare! I want to be the person I was before xanax. And anxiety! My Dr. Just keeps me on them. What can I do?
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.
Tell me please how you are tapering off.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Every 3 weeks he has cutting 1/2 a milligram. His goal is 3 per day? Is there any other drug you may recommend that is better for helping the weaning process? Any supplement. Or vitamins or herbal?
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.
I suggest you ask your Doctor about using Valium while tapering off. Please read the article here

I'm sure that this would be a better option for you. As for supplements and herbals, I don't think you would benefit
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have suggested Valium Or Klonopin. .He said No this is the best way! Should I find a New Physician? I need to be off Xanax! Your Thoughts! Thank You...
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.

Frankly, I would. Make sure you read and understand the document I referred to. You should never have been kept on Xanaz for all those years anyway!

Secondly, medication is not on it's own the complete answer. Most often the best approach is a combination of medication and psycho therapy, and for that reason, I’m going to suggest that you would benefit from some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also causes the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/treatments/cbt.aspx

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/cbtstep1.htm

Also, there is a book called ”Feeling good - the new mood therapy” by Dr. David Burns. It has a hand book which gives you practical exercises to work through and further instructions on how to better use CBT. I really do recommend it.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook for Dummies By Rhena Branch, Rob Willson is also pretty good.

Best wishes, NormanM

Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2536
Experience: ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
Norman M. and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My question is, Should I go see a Mental Health Physician when I change Doctors! I read it and it makes so much sense! Valium looks like a great way to help wean off!
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.
Given the reluctance of your Doc to co-operate, that is an excellent idea

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