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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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i have been taking xanax now for a little over 3 years. I have

Resolved Question:

i have been taking xanax now for a little over 3 years. I have taken up to 4mgs a day and went on the taper method 2 years ago and got off them for 2 months. In this time i got a new job with new forms of anxiety so i got back on them after fighting so hard to stay off. i now take 2 mg daily and i get the pills from a friend. i have been honest with my doctor about it and he just keeps refering me to psychologist and psychiatrist but its expensive to keep seeing them. I need help im 30 years old and want off the pills for good whats the best way to get off them ?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 8 months ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help you with this situation.

Customer:

hello

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

A daily dose of 2 mg of Xanax will make you dependent and you will become tolerant to the drug and it will stop working for you.

Customer:

i agree i take 1.5mg before work at .5 before i go to sleep at night

Customer:

for about a year now

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Xanax, and other benzodiazepines are miraculous if used correctly but they soon can become a major MEDICAL problem.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have restarted taking them Do you feel dependent already?

Customer:

yes and i do feel dependent already

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I just saw "for a year now"

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have successfully tapered down before, very slowly?

Customer:

yes i have

Customer:

it took about 2 months to do so

Customer:

but then after 2 months of being competely off the drug got a new job and again started to take them to ease my stress and depression

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

THAT is considered a rapid taper with benzos and should be done even more slowly for safety's sake.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

There are psychological approaches to reducing your anxiety which you can learn with a few good workbooks.

Customer:

i have seen psychologist and psychiatrist they are very expensive even with my insurance

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you get panic attacks or just high anxiety?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Psychiatrists just give drugs in most cases.

Customer:

anxiety its the worst in the morning and before i go to bed

Customer:

its like i cant turn my brain off

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Are you sure it is anxiety and not something else? Do you have racing thoughts?

Customer:

yes i do have racing thoughts

Customer:

what else could it be ?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you feel speeded up at times?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I will ask some questions and then speak about it.

Customer:

just anxious when i have something important to do the next day and keeps me up and i think a lot

Customer:

ok

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you also talk faster at times?

Customer:

no

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you sometimes feel like you are euphoric and on top of the world?

Customer:

when on the drug ?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Any time.

Customer:

when i first started using yes now no

Customer:

it just puts me just right enough to get through my day i feel

Customer:

mentally that is

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you engage in reckless behavior (spending, gambling, driving, sex, unwise investments)?

Customer:

not in the past couple of years

Customer:

ive been very anti social

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

How was it before?

Customer:

and use to never be like that

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Depressed?

Customer:

yeah

Customer:

definitely depressed

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you go from depressed state to happy state, sometimes quickly?

Customer:

yes depending on the moment

Customer:

but yes

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

When is the last time you felt on top of the world, perhaps even invincible?

Customer:

honestly not in a long time

Customer:

maybe 4 to 5 years ago

Customer:

cant even remember

Customer:

its been so long

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you ever feel aggressive?

Customer:

no

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Can you continue to function on a lower dose?

Customer:

ive tried but it depends on what i am doing that day

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Are you currently taking ANY other medications?

Customer:

working no i feel that what i take sometimes its not enough

Customer:

no other medications i sometimes take my mothers trazadone 25mg to help with sleep but nothing else

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you have an MD who will give you medications (other than controlled substances such as Xanax) ?\

Customer:

yes my personal doctor has given me meds before but for minor things flu and back spasms one time and prescribed me flexarol

Customer:

other then that no

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

There are some less dangerous medications that can help with anxiety along with the self-help (and effective and professional) workbooks I am going to recommend.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

im just scared because of all the horrid things i have heard when trying to quit xanax

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Quitting Xanax can be horrible. I will give you the best guide to download and give to your doctor. Let me get that first.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dr. Heather Ashton from UK is the best expert and her guide (free download) is the best and safest method.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha02.htm

Customer:

ok again he knows my xanax use and just recomended me to other specialist but i feel like if they can't help and again i think he is shocked i was so honest about everything

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

In the meanwhile, talk to your physician about an antidepressant also used for anxiety, called bupropion (Wellbutrin) which, is very effective, does not promote weight gain nor does it reduce libido as so many other antidepressants do.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Not all therapists prefer it but it is very widely used and an effective alternative to SSRIs.

Customer:

and do i tell him i got this infromation from another doctor ?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is usually started at 150 mg and later upped to 300 mg.

Customer:

i actually have read that on the ashton method in tapering and using longer life lasting bezos such as valium

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Tell him that you got the information from a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with extensive knowledge of psychotropic drugs and who studied under a psychiatrist..

Customer:

ok

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes, Valium replaces Xanax in the last stages because it has a longer half-life and stays in the body longer.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is easier to taper from.

Customer:

and if he refuses treatment and just recomends me to another specialist what should i do ask for another doctor to help with this situation?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes, go to a psychiatrist and spend the money. However, he should not refuse you because this is a safe alternative to what you are doing now and medically sound.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I recommend medications routinely and send notes to local doctors and they all accept my recommendations because they check them out themselves and see that they are sound.

Customer:

so go see my personal doctor about all of this again and then go see the psychiatrist until they find a medication that works ?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I recommend bupropion (Wellbutriin) and also an antianxiety drug that you can take with it called buspirone (BuSpar). It is for anxiety.

Customer:

on a scale of 1 to 10 and your expertise doctor how serious is my situation ?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

5

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are not yet in trouble but you are on a dangerous path and you must act to get off of it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You must control your anxiety.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let me recommend these books as well.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

anything

Customer:

i just feel my doctor wont give me anything because of me being honest in how i was obtaining the xanax

Customer:

and when i told the psychiatrist my story he was in shock at my stiuation

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

But you will be asking to get OFF the Xanax, which he will help you do if he has any sense.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is not very professional.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Nor does it show understanding of the real world.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and a different approach:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :



I think I have given you a great deal of good information with which to move forward and I wish you great success.

Customer:

thank you Dr Elliott i will have to give everything i have and then some but atleast i know someone is out there knowing that there is hope for getting off this damn pills

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can do it. You have a wonderful and honest attitude and I salute you for that, and shall keep you in my prayers for success.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Customer:

again thanks you for taking the time to listen to my situation

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are most welcome. I am so happy to have helped. :)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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