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Diazepam for anxiety?

(27 Posts)
kazzawazzawoo Sun 16-Mar-14 00:22:52

I suffer with anxiety. I can't relax or stop worrying. Life is very hard right now and I'm struggling. I also have emetaphobia and suffer extreme anxiety if someone in the office feels sick or is off ill.

My gp has prescribed sertraline but I'm scared to take it, as a common side effect is nausea and vomiting. Would it be unreasonable to go back to my gp and ask for diazepam for my anxiety? How likely is it that she will give me a prescription? Will it help?

itsbetterthanabox Sun 16-Mar-14 00:35:42

I have found sertraline very helpful and it did not make me sick.
I was prescribed diazepam for anxiety too. Just a short dose when I was at crisis point. It is not a long term solution. They are highly addictive and you become tolerant to them very quickly so need stronger doses for them to help. They are also not useful in tackling anxiety. If you use CBT techniques while taking diazepam you don't learn to deal with anxiety only to mask it so it persists.
If it is short term, acute anxiety it can be helpful but you can't rely on it. The doctor is also very unlikely to give it to you for these reasons.

koolforcats Sun 16-Mar-14 00:38:00

Sorry that you're suffering from anxiety. I'm not sure that diazepam would be prescribed as an alternative to sertraline as it can be addictive and not intended for long term use. I didn't feel queasy when I started sertraline and it definitely helps my anxiety - how about starting a really low dose sertraline and building up gradually if you feel ok?

kazzawazzawoo Sun 16-Mar-14 00:49:01

I have the sertraline ready to take, I think they are 20mg? Is that a low dose? I also don't think I could cope with feeling dizzy and zombie like, which I know is a side effect of ADs at the beginning (I have taken fluoroxetine and mirtazapine in the past) as I have to be able to work and also drive to and from work. I'm so scared of how I'll feel, I've read so much about the side effects and health anxiety and general anxiety are a big problem for me hmm

itsbetterthanabox Sun 16-Mar-14 02:04:17

20mg is very low. I was started on 50mg. I had no symptoms.
Mirtazapine makes you very sleepy, it's a completely different kind of anti depressant. Sertraline will not be the same.
You may have some side effects to start with but they do go after a while and should be minimal if you go up the doses slowly and carefully.

kazzawazzawoo Sun 16-Mar-14 12:04:48

Thanks. What side effects did you experience? I don't think I can cope with anything that makes me feel ill.

SilverStars Sun 16-Mar-14 13:17:46

Just because a side effect is listed does not mean you will suffer it, drug companies have to list them. I have for instance had it with no side effects.
I doubt a gp would prescribe diazepam, as it is addictive and only for short term situations or if prescribed by a psychiatrist for more serious mental health disorders alongside other medications such as AD's and antipsychotics. Prescribing guidelines are to stop them using diazepam or other such medications. Also you may find they list the same side effects as sertraline.

You say you are struggling because life is hard for you. Can you look at things that could help you practically in life, as medication can help you cope with the symptoms like anxiety and depression but if there are underlying causes then they cannot change that and the situation is likely to continue. Not always possible to change things, sadly, as life is hard - learning to cope or accept is sometimes the only thing that is possible, and medication can be a tool towards this.

Can you talk to people at work about your anxiety, to see if things can be changed to help you, or to get support there?

kazzawazzawoo Sun 16-Mar-14 16:14:39

Thanks. I'm just worried that I can't just stop taking it again if side effects kick in, in case stopping it abruptly will make me feel ill too.

What dose did you start on?

I have read do many awful things about it, I'm really worried I will have the side effects too.

Some of the things causing my anxiety are out of my control and can't be changed - dh is unemployed, we have no money and a lot of debt etc. But I also suffer with emetaphobia and health anxiety and generally worry about everything.

I've only been in my job a year, it's a small company and nothing can be changed about the working arrangements.

I just don't know how to stop worrying about everything now hmmhmm I'm on edge all the time, don't sleep well and am very tired.

koolforcats Mon 17-Mar-14 23:17:22

How are you doing? As well as having an awful few years with things beyond my control, I guess I'm also a general worrier and sertraline has definitely taken the edge off for me, with no side effects.

Have you ever had cbt? I think you can get a GP to refer you for it and is often used to help anxiety I believe.

kazzawazzawoo Tue 18-Mar-14 10:45:07

I've not had CBT, but my gp did refer me to speak to a counsellor a few years ago. Unfortunately I'm not sure he understood my problems hmm

kazzawazzawoo Tue 18-Mar-14 18:24:01

I do want the solution that ADs would bring, but without the side effects.

How does CBT differ from counselling? The counsellor kept saying I was fine, just a bit of a worrier in a difficult situation (I was having problems with eldest dd at the time). I'm not sure that is the reality. He didn't understand health anxiety and almost poopoo'd it as unnecessary. If only it was that simple ...

However, when I went back to my gp recently she was very quick to prescribe ADs. I guess it's an easy solution for them. I don't know what other help I can ask for. I keep trying to convince myself that I can manage, but am fed up of feeling like this hmm

koolforcats Tue 18-Mar-14 18:42:38

I've not had cbt but my understanding is that rather than a counsellor who mainly listens, I think cbt works a bit more like looking at facts and weighing up the likelihood of things happening or not. So one of my fears was that people I love would hurt themselves, specifically by falling down the stairs for example. So a cbt approach would be to think about how many (if any) times this has actually happened and thus the likelihood of it happening again. Usually the chances of whatever it is you fear happening are quite low, thus the actual need to worry can be reduced. BUT! As I said, I've not had it so could be wrong. I do do mindfulness (like modern day meditation), I use the headspace app. I really rate it. It's basic idea is focusing on now rather than using/wasting energy on what might happen. Might be worth a try?

FanFuckingTastic Tue 18-Mar-14 18:47:22

Diazepam is not really the best treatment long term as it is generally prescribed in short courses due to the addictiveness. I take sertraline and find it helps a great deal. I would only seek diazepam during a crisis.

I do take daily a drug called clonazepam, which works in a similar way as diazepam, but in a small dose and only because I've been diagnosed with anxious personality disorder.

kazzawazzawoo Tue 18-Mar-14 19:21:44

Kool, I would like to try a bit of meditation or yoga, but I am NEVER alone hmm.

I understand what you mean, but the problem with emetaphobia is I could be faced with the problem at any time and can't avoid it. As the therapy my counsellor said I could have involved exposure, I just can't face it. hmm

kazzawazzawoo Tue 18-Mar-14 19:43:29

Fan, I know in the long term diazepam wouldn't be a good idea and I would be terrified of becoming addicted, but I just want to feel ok hmm

LongTimeLurking Tue 18-Mar-14 19:50:00

I would describe CBT is more problem and solution based than 'normal' counselling which is more about talking and exploring feelings. That is a very broad generalisation though.

CBT works well for some people, especially for anxiety and phobias.

I've tried Sertraline and I think it is the best and most tolerable SSRI. Strangely it can make you a bit more jittery and anxious in the first week or so but longer term it can help the anxiety.

You would not be unreasonable to ask your GP for diazepam or similar (clonazepam, lorazepam, etc) but they are usually very reluctant to prescribe them due to the fear of "addiction". But if you are totally crippled by anxiety then the risk of taking something "addictive" might be worth it. You can only ask and see what the GP says.

koolforcats Wed 19-Mar-14 09:16:50

Kazza, it sounds as though everyone on here who has tried sertraline has found it has helped, with few/no side effects. I feel so much better now I'm on it. It sounds as though you're feeling pretty awful as it is, so it could be really helpful to you. Might be worth a try. And the mindfulness app is 10 mins a day, that's all. You can feel better than this, I promise.

kazzawazzawoo Wed 19-Mar-14 15:10:31

Thanks kool. I'm still not sure about sertraline. I haven't had time to think about anything, as I'm covering for my colleague who is ill and I feel like I don't know whether I'm coming or going. shock

If I take ten mins to myself at home the whole family traipse around with me, including cats and dog! I can't wait for dh to be working again. Aside from the financial gain, I will have some time to myself alone in the house!

apermanentheadache Thu 20-Mar-14 19:27:54

If the sertraline makes you feel sick you can stop taking it. If you were going to feel sick I think this would be apparent in the first few days. There won't be any withdrawal after only having taken it for sucg a short duration.

I've never felt sick with sertraline for what it's worth.


kazzawazzawoo Thu 20-Mar-14 19:31:27

Thanks Apermanentheadache.

Do you think my tablets are a reasonable dose to start on (they are 50mg tablets)? Or should break them in half to start with?

SilverStars Thu 20-Mar-14 22:18:05

Although it sounds a high number different medications use different strengths - it would be Easters sometimes if they called the lowest dose they do 1, the next 2, then 3 I think as the 50 can seem high but in sort raking it is classed as a low dose. Why not try them and see?

kazzawazzawoo Thu 20-Mar-14 22:29:16


BuggersMuddle Thu 20-Mar-14 22:29:26

If you don't want to feel woozy, not sure why you'd want diazepam. I had a much lower dose than the AD dose for muscle spasms / acute back pain and was as high as a kite. Couldn't drink, couldn't drive...not something I'd choose to take again if avoidable (although it was very effective so if absolutely necessary then I would take it).

kazzawazzawoo Thu 20-Mar-14 22:32:55

I thought it might have less side effects than ADs and take immediate effect.

Those taking sertraline, when do you take it?

mymiraclebubba Thu 20-Mar-14 22:43:15

as a chronic sufferer of anxiety i have found that only diazepam has any effect whatsoever. the problem is they will only allow you to take it for 6 - 8 weeks as it is highly addictive and hard to wean off so they may give it to you initially but they will try to move you onto something else.

I went onto lofepramine which i took at night before i went to bed and it was much better than things like amatriptaline and the such like and it had far less side effects for me

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