Mental Health

Have mental health questions? Ask a psychiatrist online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

I have been on up to 3 mg per day of Ativan for the last…

I have been on up...
I have been on up to 3 mg per day of Ativan for the last several months for severe anxiety. How concerned should I be about this affecting cognition and memory?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/14/2017
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,057
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified

Hi, thank you for writing. My name is***** your concern here is valid. The benzos (like Ativan) do have propensity to be very addictive and longer-term use can affect memory, mood, and cognition. Long-term use is generally defined as use for 6 months or more. Everyone differs somewhat in their response to this medication so while one may show signs of the long-term use sooner, some may never display such effects.

Because your anxiety appears to be more chronic, thus requiring daily dosing of Ativan. have you and your doctor explored safer alternatives like an SSRI and psychotherapy?

-Leah

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I am doing psychotherapy. I had been on medical leave and had to do a fitness for duty exam. I did not fully pass and still am in medical. There was some concern about memory tests so that's why I was thinking of Ativan.

Indeed the Ativan could be messing with your memory, especially if the memory decline correlates to starting it. But it also sounds like you have some confounding factors like stress which could also be affecting your memory. Depression can easily impact memory as well. I am glad to hear you are in therapy - that could be a god setting to try to tease out some of this. However, the ideal way to find out would be to start to reduce your dose of Ativan to see if your memory improves. It can take some time to taper off but base on your usage to date, is not likely there has been any permanent damage.

-Leah

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I am going to talk to my psychiatrist to start weaning from the Ativan. I am trying to start to do memory games to help my memory. Any particular ones you can recommend would be useful. I was stressed the day of the fitness for duty exam so that could be a confounding factor.

I think all those things sound like a good plan. Anything that exercises your brain will be good for your memory so pick your favorite "thinking' challenges like Sudoku, crosswords, number puzzles, word searches, jigsaws, etc. There are alsoaps that can help with your memory, but also ones like card games, etc that also can help and are fun. (I like Spider Solitaire :)) https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/06/best-apps-for-memory_n_4175170.html Also, consider talking to your therapist about a practice called "mindfulness" which helps you get out of the habit of multi-taing and keeps you focused on being in the moment and aware. This technique for life is generally really helpful for stress, too.

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you.

For sure. Stay hopeful!! It sounds like this going to get better because you are actively trying to take great care of yourself. I wish you well and hope you can get back to work feeling your best very soon.

-Leah

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thanks

Take care :)

LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,057
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified
LeahMSWuofm and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a mental health professionalLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask LeahMSWuofm Your Own Question
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,057
1,057 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience

LeahMSWuofm is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

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

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 MollPretoria, 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!

ClaudiaAlbuquerque, NM

Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion.

KevinBeaverton, 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.

ElanorTracy, 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.

JulieLockesburg, 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 StefanieTucson, 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 VPhoenix, AZ

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Keane

Dr. Keane

Therapist

1,379 satisfied customers

Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.

TherapistMaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn

Therapist

4,101 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

Dr. Olsen

Dr. Olsen

Psychologist

2,336 satisfied customers

PsyD Psychologist

Norman M.

Norman M.

Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA

2,246 satisfied customers

ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

Psychologist

2,177 satisfied customers

Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.

Steven Olsen

Steven Olsen

Therapist

1,728 satisfied customers

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

Anna

Anna

Mental Health Professional

1,656 satisfied customers

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.

< Previous | Next >

Related Mental Health Questions
Having anxiety regarding work, losing sleep. Trying to find
Having anxiety regarding work, losing sleep. Trying to find a way to rest my mind and lessen stress … read more
Rafael-E-Therapist
Rafael-E-Therapist
Director / Psychotherapist
Master\u0027s Degree
433 satisfied customers
I don't know what to do as far as not getting more stressed
I don't know what to do as far as not getting more stressed out and keeping it together for my own sanity and my family's. There has been so much going on in my life in the last 2 years that is hard t… read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
20 satisfied customers
I have been diagnosed with ocd and anxiety and was put on
Good morning. I have been diagnosed with ocd and anxiety and was put on paxil which didn't work only made symptoms worse and then was put on Prozac which really made things worse so then we settled wi… read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
20 satisfied customers
I don't know what to do as far as not getting more stressed
I don't know what to do as far as not getting more stressed out and keeping it together for my own sanity and my family's. There has been so much going on in my life in the last 2 years that is hard t… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
1,057 satisfied customers
I have suffered from depression and anxiety (situation) for
I have suffered from depression and anxiety (situation) for a long time. I want to get pregnant so stopped my anxiety med still on welbutrin. My psyc does not believe In Xanax. How can I get a small d… read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
20 satisfied customers
I am having an extreme chronic stress problem. I recently
I am having an extreme chronic stress problem. I recently moved, got married, had my second child, full time student,worker, and mother. Marriage problems. My hair is falling out. Literally. I have so… read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
20 satisfied customers
I have severe anxiety daily even waking up with it.I also
I have severe anxiety daily even waking up with it.I also have panic attacks. I don't like being around people unless I have something to keep my nerves calm. My doctor says I am too old to be taking … read more
Rafael-E-Therapist
Rafael-E-Therapist
Director / Psychotherapist
Master\u0027s Degree
433 satisfied customers
I suffer from schziphrenia and have at least some anxiety
Hi my name is***** suffer from schziphrenia and have at least some anxiety and stress. … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
1,057 satisfied customers
I suffer from schziphrenia and have at least some anxiety
Hi my name is***** suffer from schziphrenia and have at least some anxiety and stress. … read more
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,101 satisfied customers
I believe I might suffer from anxiety But I Need More
I believe I might suffer from anxiety But I Need More answers first … read more
Rafael-E-Therapist
Rafael-E-Therapist
Director / Psychotherapist
Master\u0027s Degree
433 satisfied customers
I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and insomnia Is it
I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and insomnia Is it severe enough to get me state mental hospital??… read more
Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren
Consultant Physician
Post graduation (Liverpool, U.K.)
4,150 satisfied customers
I have a question about anxiety. How does enough anxiety
I have a question about anxiety. How does enough anxiety cause emotional apathy? How can I get rid of emotional apathy and increase sensitivity instead of decrease? … read more
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,101 satisfied customers
Anxiety & worry, was on Paxil for 15 years & it quit working
anxiety & worry, was on Paxil for 15 years & it quit working now am on Venlafaxine er for about 6 mo., it is helping but still have set backs with the anxiety, im on 112.5mg, do i need to up my dose t… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
1,057 satisfied customers
I am severly stress and ak. I am severly stressed and with
I am severly stressed and with sudden bouts of anxiety and depression. What medication would help me? … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
1,057 satisfied customers
I need help in dealing with stress and anxiety. Along time,
Along time, worrying about other people's problems too much and coping with their problems. Also, I'm stressed out over debt and don't know what to do … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
1,057 satisfied customers
My partner is going through some stuff, anxiety/stress and a
My partner is going through some stuff, anxiety/stress and a little depression! This is all caused by the stress of uni, he's chosen to isolate himself... he's seen a doctor once but feels like he's g… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
I am feeling completely overwhelmed/stressed/depressed with
I am feeling completely overwhelmed/stressed/depressed with many different aspects of my life right now... just not sure how to push past these feelings and gain better control, understanding and dire… read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
20 satisfied customers
Do i have OCD? Anxiety? Stress? Back in early September, i
Do i have OCD? Anxiety? Stress?Back in early September, i was on a business trip out of country and ended up receiving oral sex from a CSW. I went outside of my marriage, in which i feel guilty about.… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
1,057 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x