How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5087
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I had a severe head truama and was on 2 mg on xanax 2x a day.

Resolved Question:

I had a severe head truama and was on 2 mg on xanax 2x a day. this last month my Doctor took e off of it after 3 years as as an exeriement. O was wondering where do i go to try to get my medication back because I am highlygh irritable, have had 3 seizures and horrible headaches. what do I do?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 months ago.

Dr. Mark :

Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.

Dr. Mark :

Is the problem that your doctor does not want to prescribe the Xanax again?

Customer:

my neurologist says I need it to stay calm b/c it impacts the healing on my brain. due to court order therapy b/c of disability b/c they took my car, job, ability to drive and all my freedom, I have to go see him. The therapist says it is too addictive but I have tried everything and it is the only thing that gets rid of my headaches and my irritability

Dr. Mark :

I see. First of all, is therapy helping? I see you're typing, so I'll wait.

Customer:

I don't know if it is a battle of what doctor knows best but I have been with the doctor that says yes for 3 years and the doctor that says no since Nov.

Customer:

yes therapy is helping to an extent. I worked for 12 years and was very independent. it is a very hard adjustment

Dr. Mark :

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you.


The most effective treatment for anxiety in recent years were the benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin). Problem: they have also become the most widely abused prescription drug on the street, called benzos. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) has taken notice. They're now keeping track of prescriptions: which pharmacies and doctors are prescribing them a lot. Some pharmacies have been closed and some doctors investigated. So all doctors are now very, very cautious. For good reason. So this makes everyone very suspect when coming in wanting meds for anxiety.

Dr. Mark :

It sounds as though you are truly being helped by the Xanax, though.

Dr. Mark :

Your previous neurologist says no. Is there a way to return to your previous doctor?

Customer:

I am and I dont abuse them.. I have a daughter. It doesnt make me out of it. just calm and ready to handle to task at hand without breaking down

Customer:

My neuro who gave them to me for 3 years so I have to get them from the therapist now and he says no

Dr. Mark :

Yes, and it sounds as though you may be experiencing some withdrawal symptoms as well.

Dr. Mark :

Am I correct that you don't have access to any other doctor?

Customer:

I dont feel any different....maybe just a little iritable

Customer:

bc of my disability I see these 2 doctors and I am trying to start up some hobbies to get ot of the house

Dr. Mark :

You're actually doing a fantastic job. I'm not just saying that. I've worked in therapy with people who had to discontinue a benzodiazepine and

Dr. Mark :

it was very difficult for them. You're really doing great. Is therapy an option for you?

Dr. Mark :

Because your neurologist is really being very prudent here. I can explain that if you like.

Customer:

no I am in thereapy

Customer:

therapy....i can spell I promise!

Dr. Mark :

That's funny. I believe you...

Customer:

but yes what do you mean he is being prudent

Dr. Mark :

Benzodiazepines as we've said are addictive. But the problem is that the longer you stay with them

Dr. Mark :

the chances of needing higher dosages begin to increase.

Dr. Mark :

In other words, after a certain number of years, the same dosage no longer gives the same effect. That's one problem.

Dr. Mark :

The second is that we have no way to predict with each person when this will occur for a particular individual.

Customer:

so what should I do? I dont wat to end up on the 6 o clok news bc I get overly frustrated

Customer:

bad joke......I just dont want to feel frustrated or have the headaches

Dr. Mark :

You have a wonderful sense of humor. I think that alone will keep you out of the news...Then there is the problem that with prolonged use, the chance of withdrawal symptoms also

Dr. Mark :

increase. Are you having headaches now and feeling frustrated as you've stopped the Xanax?

Dr. Mark :

Also, is your therapy focused on giving you techniques for helping you with anxiety so that you can get used to not having the Xanax if you need to continue not using it?

Customer:

I always have headaches but it hasnt increased

Dr. Mark :

This is excellent. You are actually tolerating benzodiazepine withdrawal extremely well.

Customer:

I feel like I am being stopped colld turkey....shouldnt there be a ween down time

Dr. Mark :

Yes. I was going to ask you about this. Your doctor seems very harsh here. It is standard procedure to wean off benzodiazepines. Have you and he/she talked about this?

Customer:

yes ut he is set in his ways it seems....he said I should be fine

Dr. Mark :

You're right, he's very old school. You should discuss with him that you are feeling irritable and unsettled and you believe these to be symptoms of the Xanax withdrawal and that you would like to wean off more slowly from the drug. Here's a common procedure.

Dr. Mark :

You reduce your normal dosage by 25% for 3-5 days; you then go down to approximately 50% of original dosage for another 5 days. Then 75%. If at any time

Dr. Mark :

you feel a little shaky, then back up to the previous lowered dose for another 3-5 days.

Customer:

ok. he already told me no. thanks for all your help. I will just try to ride it out I guess

Dr. Mark :

I see, he's really very hard headed. So,

Dr. Mark :

Is it time to try a new doctor?

Customer:

I am going to have to to. I just dont know what to do in the eantime

Customer:

meantime

Dr. Mark :

I assume the current doctor would not allow you to use a different medication to help in the withdrawal. Some people use low dosage of Prozac to help with the symptoms. You're not actually feeling symptoms, though. So, my real question is if your therapist has been working with you on behavioral techniques to help with anxiety, because Xanax is really for anxiety and panic?

Customer:

I do understand that but after my head injury xanax seemed to be the only thing to lighten my headaches and I tried everything. I guess back to square one

Customer:

thank you for chatting with me

Dr. Mark :

I feel like you're giving up a bit on this and that you are feeling very bad about your headaches. I can only imagine. have you tried alternative therapies for headaches? Acupuncture, for example?

Customer:

I have tried everything

Customer:

nobody seems to either want to or cant help

Dr. Mark :

Okay. So are we agreed then that Xanax is the long term solution? You need to find a new doctor and get back on Xanax? And that the need now then is for what to do to make the interim bearable?

Customer:

yes

Dr. Mark :

Thanks for sticking with this. You're a good person and I'm glad we're getting further. So, then,

Dr. Mark :

we can't get rid of the headaches in the meantime, right? What, then, are the main problem behaviors that the headaches make you have?

Customer:

yes

Dr. Mark :

We can't stop the headaches until you get a new doctor. But what are we trying to make better for you until you find a new doctor?

Customer:

that would be wonderful

Dr. Mark :

I agree. What area are we trying to improve? Are you snapping at your daughter? Or are there other things we are trying to improve? By the way, have you learned meditation to help with your headaches?

Customer:

I do I go into my room for quite tie to read a book or go for a walk. I dont snap at her because I bottle it all up inside in trn giving me a bigger headache

Dr. Mark :

You are truly (I mean this sincerely) a first class person. You're going through chronic headaches and yet you have the presence of mind to leave and not be in the situation with your daughter. First, when you're in your room, mindfulness meditation is the help I'd like you to give yourself while we're in this "Xanax pause moment".


The psychologist who brought mindfulness meditation into psychology more than any other person is Jon Kabat-Zinn. His first book is the one I want you to look at: Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Pain, Stress, and Illness. Here's the Amazon page for it and you can look at some of his others there as well:


http://www.amazon.com/Full-Catastrophe-Living-Wisdom-Illness/dp/0385303122/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292376629&sr=8-1




I want you to look at this video of him. If you stay with the video and listen carefully, I think you will hear much that will feel relevant for you:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc


His most popular book is Wherever You Go, There You Are. It's a true classic; I think they just did an anniversary edition of it. So, enjoy getting to know Kabat-Zinn and learning to not fight against your racing thoughts but, instead, feeling more in harmony with your mind and being able to slow down your thoughts naturally.

Dr. Mark :

I would then like you to use the mindfulness meditation as a way to focus on your feelings that are all bottled up and use the moment of focusing on them to release them, to let them go. Might that work for you?

Customer:

it is worth a try. my head aches are so bad it is hard to see. and i am frustrated. thanks for your help

Dr. Mark :

I wish you the very best!


 


My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer:

I just dont see why i cant get a smell perscription since I have been on it until I can get to my new reg doc and it is impossible

Dr. Mark :

You can get a prescription if you can get to a doctor who will write a prescription for you. Do you have a family doctor or a primary care physician you can can talk with?

Dr. Mark :

Hi, the system says that the chat is about to close. But I see you are still in the chat. Would you like to continue? If yes, please do so. I'm still here.

Dr. Mark :

If not, I would be very appreciative if you would first give a positive rating before leaving. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer:

its ok I cant get any help here

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5087
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 months 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.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 months ago.
I very much want you to stay hopeful. Remember, it's only a temporary situation until you get a different neurologist. That is a short term issue. So be hopeful and please try the mindful meditation techniques.

Dr. Mark

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions