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Recently got a script from my doctor. He said daily use was okay, but he also knows I use it sparingly. In the past I've had this med for GAD and panic attacks, and used it with no problems but I only used sparingly. One script lasting 3 years.


Now things are different and I struggle to make it through each day and have terrible insomnia. I wake up at 2AM and the intrusive thoughts and worry take over. I HATE that I need meds to cope with this, but feeling like I'm losing it on a daily basis can't be good for me either.


I guess I fear physical dependency, which is bound to happen with daily use. I know my doctor would help me taper when the time comes, but it just sucks that I have been reduced to needing this. But I won't lie. It definitely helps to take the edge off. Not in a recreational high type of way, but in a "I can finally breathe" kind of way.


Any experience out there with this type of thing?

I also have GAD, which is really PTSD but, hey, anxiety is anxiety. (My root cause was childhood molestation by an older brother, and zero help or support when this came out. I was NOT alone, and so many of us have lifetime scars)

When I finally "accepted" that I was NOT Ok, about 20+ years ago, the first thing they gave me in the hospital was Xanax. OMG! Within 1/2 hour I went from panic and suicidal ideation to simply being me.

I had carried this anxiety for so many years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am on an antidepressant, which I will taper off of this Spring and I take Klonipin (Another benzo, but in my experience, much "gentler" and longer acting. It has literally saved my life.)

I am addicted, sadly, and while I am not proud of it, I also know that my "addiction" is a low dose one and I will probably be on this until I die. My psych doc really wants me to be on half the dose I am, but the inabilty to sleep some nights, along with the general personality "disorder" that I have--I get so anxious worrying about cutting pills into halves, quarters---it honestly is so anxiety producing....

My DH is really the reason I take them. He is hard to live with, a good man, but completely wrapped in his own life. Critical of me to the nth degree--and clueless that he hurts my feelings--I find I medicate much more when he is in town as opposed to traveling.

I cannot be judgmental about anyone's need to medicate to function. W/O my benzos, I KNOW I would have long since taken my own life. I know I am not alone in this.

It almost doesn't MATTER what the reason is for the need for help. I long since swallowed my pride and try to do better as time passes, and I do hope someday to be anxiety free.

And if I am not, that's OK.

You do what you need to do to be well.
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Reply to Midkid58
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shelola Feb 21, 2019
I don't think it's swallowing your pride, I think it's self care. We all have to make choices that are dependent on our circumstances at the moment. Some of the choices are just to choose the least awful, but I still see it as self care. I'm trying to make the choices that get me through the day with both feet on the ground and that feels ok right now.
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If the care of Mom is causing you to medicate more than usual, maybe its time to fins alternatives for Mom. I realize that money could be a problem. Does she have enough to place her in an AL for two years? In my state, you can apply for Medicaid if you have paid 2 yrs or more. Then there is LTC under Medicaid. Her house won't count as an asset. Any assets she has will need to be spent down. If her SS and pension are under the Medicaid cap, she should have no problem being placed. If SS and pension are higher, there are ways around that like a Miller trust or something similar.

Is caring for Mom worth your health? I have never dealt with a narcissist but many on this forum are. Seems you will never win with Mom. As other people have posted, they have learned to set boundries or just walked away. Believe me, you are not the only person dealing with this.
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Marylin Feb 23, 2019
JoAnn, please tell me more about your research on placing a parent on Medicaid. I live in TN and wondering where I can research all the info needed. My mom has been in AL for 2 years and has enough money to stay another 2 years. I'm panic-stricken when I think of what we do next! You seem to have the knowledge I need. Please share
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Crutches are temporary. Caregiving to someone who is never going to get better - i.e. your mother with dementia - is not temporary. It's a chronic state of being until she or you dies. In my opinion, when caregiving brings the caregiver to the point of needing to chemically alter his or her brain chemistry in order to get through the day that's a red flag waving that something is wrong, demands are too great, expectations are unrealistic, and something needs to change.

Long term benzo use - not abuse but regular use - has been associated with cognitive decline and that cognitive decline may not reverse itself when the benzo is discontinued.

What changes can you make to your daily routine? What changes are within your control to make so that she is safe and you can "finally breathe"?
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Harpcat Feb 24, 2019
Yes...exactly what I pointed out about long term benzodiazepine use. I liked what you said about needing meds is a red flag. I still feel at times meds are appropriate but I steer clear of long term benzodiazepine use. They are an anticholinergic. Which means they act against choline needed in the brain for synapses and memory.
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I am very concerned about YOU. Why on earth are you taking on the responsibility for taking care of a narcisstic mother with dementia? That is a prescription for poison, leading to a painful destruction of YOU. First of all, I would never, ever under any circumstances accept the abuse and problems you get from her. If medical resources cannot keep her in check, you sure can't do it. And why on earth should YOU be made to suffer by taking medication for something you are not responsible for. That is insane. No one should have to endure this. It is time to place her somewhere so you can live in peace, without guilt and without medications for you, and lead your life in the best way you can. Please listen and look for a place to put her. She will destroy you emotionally and physically. Do you feel you deserve that? If so, keep her with you.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Yes. My doctor prescribed Xanax for me and like you, I take it sparingly. And it does help take the edge off. I don't like pills but taking this one is the only way I can keep from losing my mind. I also have been prescribed an anti-depressant but I am kinda scared to start taking it because you can't just stop. You have to be weened off. But the depression is pretty severe and I also have horrible insomnia as well so something's got to give. As long as you are using the xanax sparingly and not taking a high dose you should be fine. A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do to survive the stress and anxiety. You came to the right place. This site has been a lifesaver for me! I found out that others are going through the same issues and feelings that I am, and that helps me to not feel so isolated and alone. Take care of yourself too. That's something I had to learn the hard way.
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Reply to manilowgirl
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I used Xanax for three years, taking 0.5 mg at bedtime to help me relax enough to sleep. I was waking in terror several times every night, fearing my parent would live so long I’d die first, the stress was almost overwhelming. No it’s over and I don’t need it.
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ThatsLife267 Feb 23, 2019
Agh! I know the feeling.
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I agree with Kittybee entirely. Antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety agents all saved my life. We all have different symptoms and each is so individualized that we can't say what is good for one would be good for another. I'll echo others who have said, Don't be ashamed of taking meds. Everyone has something big they have to deal with in life. Mine is dealing with MDD and GAD from an early age, annexed with an abusive childhood, narcissistic mother and absent father. We all have our own unique stories. Do what you need to for yourself and don't make yourself suffer because you're hesitant about taking meds. Some of us are on them for life. Be safe, be well.
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Reply to Patricia56
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CBD oil by Charlottes Web is a wonderful natural side effect free way to deal with anxiety. It’s also addresses many other ills and helps the whole body get into sync.
Looks like I’m the black sheep here as I don’t believe in any type of pharmaceuticals.
There are also some great CBD Oils that can be vaped, Koi and Hemplucid come to mind.
Also essential oils work wonders wether they are applied to the skin with a carrier oil or atomized with a diffuser.
Pharmaceuticals will definitely make you feel better immediately, but it’s the lasting damage they do that with get you in the end.
For me it’s just not worth poisoning my body when Mother Nature has all the answers, which are cheaper, good for you and side effect free. *when used correctly.
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CHUCHY Feb 23, 2019
You are correct and wise. Imediate solution is not the solution Snowcat 60. Everything I suggested is the natural part of what a seditive has without the chemicals that are used to extract the oils of the natural
substances which is what affects our organs and creates a new illness. I also take natural and pure Royal Jelly.
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Xanax is my friend. It has helped me a lot in caring for my parents. I was getting heart palpitations and severe anxiety, because of the stress in getting my parents into a facility, and dealing with the courts while getting legal guardianship.
Take the meds as prescribed, and you should be o.k.
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Reply to Kindnessandlove
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I'm leaving. I love her, she is my mom but I don't deserve the abuse. I don't get anxiety or depression but rather mental anguish. And i don't think there is any pill for that. It's taken me 2 yrs in a half to realize this but I have to save myself.
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