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GLBT Depression and Anxiety Group's Journal
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Below are the 5 most recent journal entries recorded in GLBT Depression and Anxiety Group's LiveJournal:

Friday, September 24th, 2010
3:01 am
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music files in mp3 format
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uploading video and inserting video from youtube
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Thursday, December 24th, 2009
12:24 am
 hey all.  
i'm new here.
i'm queer and currently in a lesbian relationship.
i also have major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
i take lexapro and did talk therapy for about 4-ish years. 

i'm having trouble with vivid dreaming after upping my lexapro doseCollapse )
Monday, May 12th, 2008
10:57 pm
new psychiatrist
So I saw a new psychiatrist today regarding taper off of my benzo.

The first thing I noticed upon being in the doctor's office is just how full his tiny lobby area was. Granted, there are two doctors there, but it just seemed cramped. Oh, well. Busy appointment-time?? I hope so.

The doctor was alright, that is, he'll serve the purpose for which I need him: tapering from my benzo... but other than that, he did disappoint me in a couple of ways:

1) He seemed to ask me why I need to taper, what the reason is I need to be off of my medicine and what am I going to do when I am done with my medicine and awful lot during the visit. Now, I realize (and he told me this at the end of the appointment) that he just really wants to know what I am thinking and fully understand it, but it really did give me the impression that he doesn't consider anxiolytic benzodiazepines addictive, at least not in my situation. 

2) He was rather impersonal, but that's OK. I've only really seen one other psychiatrist in my entire life, and she was just a sweetheart anyway. I forget that doctors are people too!

3) I hate to say this, and I don't mean to be racial, but he and I obviously had some language barrier issues. He's Indian, and surprisingly enough his English was awful - just awful! I know mine isn't the greatest, but I do have a Bachelor's in language (OK... let all the criticism commence, people!)... so, it just irked me when he couldn't conjugate verbs... English verbs here! English verbs are easy to use. However, what can I expect from Americans who misuse past participles ... I'm getting off-subject. My point is is that our conversation would have been clearer had his English been a little easier to understand. And I know I suck at speaking other languages in foreign lands, so, I'm no better, I suppose.

4) OK, this is the killer... for those of you who know what tapering off of a medicine that has potential for dependency is like, you know what I mean when I say he had the audacity to compare blood pressure medication with anxiolytic medication (specifically benzodiazepines)! It made me mad as hell.

Actually, a couple of times he made me mad as hell and I had to tell him that 
a) I am on a medicine which I should have not been on for more than a couple weeks and have become dependent on them. I tried a taper with a general practitioner who isn't well-versed in psychiatric drugs which made me feel very ill, therefore, I seek a doctor well-versed in them, and if he (this new psychiatrist) isn't that well-versed in it, perhaps I should seek others. 
- He didn't seem too offended to this, in fact, he kind of took it as food for thought. 

b) When I felt I was being talked "down-to" (perhaps this was part of the language barrier thing again), I just got upset and started spewing as much knowledgeable things I knew about benzodiazepines to him, to show him I'm not just a psycho patient there, but am one who's done my homework, to which he later apologized. Again, he was really just probing me for information, and in fact I know that I can be a brute to those I feel challenge my intellect in what appears to me a negative way. I told him about the Dr. Aston in the UK, how the UK (at least from what I've read) appears to have a little bit more in the way of benzo treatment centers, etc. I told him I know about benzo equivalency dosages, etc., and inquired if he should switch me to a new med that would be easier to pill-split.

From all of this, there were some very good things about this doctor:

1) He praised my recent seeking a therapist/counselor. He told me just how important it is to practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, something I admit to having dropped the ball in the past. I told my new doctor that it was in fact my comfort with the benzodiazepine that made me disregard this important aspect of recovery. I vowed to him that I will pick this up with my new therapist, which made things easier in the session.

2) He does fully support me and my efforts - his words exactly. He doesn't want to see me fail. He's just concerned about how I'm going to be when I do no longer have the clonazepam in my system. He just wanted me to be aware of this, and I really appreciate that.

3) If nothing else, he is a doctor who has the ability to prescribe the medicine and devote all our appointment time on my recovery, which is something I shouldn't be expecting from my GP, who is actually a wonderful internal medicine doctor, but whose attention is more focused on HIV medicines and treatment/prevention.

So, there you have it. My psychiatrist and I have an action plan. I need to continue to see him, not on a regular basis, but at least in a month. I am to practice cognitive behavioral therapy with my therapist. I am also to work on my perfectionism and my self-esteem issues (as he quickly picked up on both - another reason I respect him). I am to continue Effexor at 300 mg/day and clonazepam at 0.25 mg/day. He wants the clonazepam to be continued for 3 months, but I'm not sure if I will go that slow. I asked him if I could taper to 0.125 eventually, like after one month, to which he responded "no," but we'll see. In all honesty, I still feel like I'm "adjusting" to 0.25mg, so, that's OK.

Another important point!!! I did this as a test: I asked him if it's OK to just quit either of my meds "cold turkey." He answered "no." He also said, and this is the deal-clincher, that with any psychiatric medicine, when coming off, "it is always better to go slow, the slower, the better." Thank God he said that!

So, I have someone in my corner, even if he may or may not fully understand me, the feeling of dependence on benzodiazepines, or the English language (?? dunno, it just seemed odd to me). Here's to me and the next step in repair!


(x-posted to julleri , antiwithdrawal , and panic_anxiety</div>

Current Mood: content
Sunday, May 11th, 2008
6:10 pm
new member
Hello, I am a new member to this community, and will post an introduction.
My name is Jason. I'm a 26 year old gay man living in Phoenix, AZ. My mental health issues include depression and anxiety. I have been diagnosed with both depression and panic disorder. I've basically had depression my whole life now that I think about how I felt growing up, but I'd have many good years and a few bad spots, which is opposite of how life has been for me within the last four years or so. I have had panic attacks in the past. They're mainly gone now, but not from any kind of good therapy - just through use of medication. This is mainly why I'm joining this community (and revisiting LiveJournal, something I haven't been using very much in recent months). I want to get off of my benzodiazepine, clonazepam. It was a good medicine for me when I started it - back in 2004! That's right, I've been on a low "theraputic" dose of clonazepam (aka Klonopin in the States) for four years, and I'm afraid of what it's going to be like coming off of it, especially since I tried with my general doctor's assistance to taper, only to find it was much too fast. I see a new psychiatrist tomorrow, which I'm scared of, because I don't want this to turn into something that will make me too terribly sick. I also take Effexor as an alternate drug. I've been off and on SSRI's for a while, but Effexor has been something I've been taking for a couple years. Other than this, I have a phobia, called emetophobia. Look it up if you don't know what it is. Other things about me not related to medicine/mental health: I enjoy classical music, singing, movies, going out, dining out, love, romance, and animals. :)


Current Mood: scared
Friday, March 14th, 2008
7:17 pm
So, due to recent health problems and the fact that I haven't had much chance to do much about them (I work constantly, still don't have enough money or any insurance, etc.), I have fallen into a really awful funk. I imagine that I am probably not much more than a burden to my gf lately, too - I imagine she must be sick and tired of all my problems. We go out somewhere and I am tense, agitated, have a sour look on my face the whole time - all due to the anxiety I feel in a place like this pub we went to. We were there, around her friends/family, and I had this horrible panic attack. They all must think I am such an awful person, how she could do better, etc. They're probably right. And I make her miserable, I know.

Then no more than a week after the aforementioned anxiety attack, I am experiencing difficulty breathing again - related to gastrological issues, maybe. Or maybe something worse. I can't carry on a conversation because it's hard to breathe and I am in constant pain. I know it's a pain in the ass to deal with me and all these issues. I don't feel like she cares anymore and I don't know if I blame her.
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