Anxiety / Sleep Probs

So, I’ve just had a long telechat with my PCP. I have been placed on Valium before being able to be discharged from ICU due to extreme anxiety. I asked my PCP to pull me off Valium due to it feeling way to addictive for my liking & was switched over to xAnax.

I have been on for over a year of daily use. At this point, I feel just fine - he wants me to try tapering my xAnax use & add in another med.

I am well aware that antipsychotics are not supposed to be a long term solution.

Last time I was at Barrow, they don’t have much to say at all - it is what is, etc. Just do your best & come in if/when you need help.

At this point I’m a tad lost - my MD told me that I am the only patient he has ever had with an AVM - I tried going without any meds, the outcome isn’t pretty. I don’t maintain & my mind just starts racing - along with my BP starting to climb.

Any input is appreciated as always - along with what the rest of you folk do/feel?


I know next to nothing about this area but happy to talk through. I’ve got relatives who have been on fluoxetine long term and honestly it seems best not to worry about that. They seem way, way better with “help” than trying to manage without. What’s the other drug the doc wants to introduce? Is it something like fluoxetine?

Hey man,

I can’t recall - but, it possibly is

He stated that it will somewhat help cut down the dose of my Xanax - to me, it sounds like he’s stabbing in the dark a bit.

Personally, I will try to cut doses of what I’m on now - but, unfortunately - it sounds a lot easier to do than actually doing it.

The impression I get is that Fluoxetine is safer for longer term use, so if you can taper off onto that, it might still give you the support you need but be less worrisome than Xanax or Valium.

What I would say is that I’ve seen a couple of my relatives needing stuff like this and trying to just cut down isn’t the way to go. Honestly. You’re much better, much more likely to last the long course if you allow yourself something like Fluoxetine. It isn’t something to be embarrassed about. It’s about dealing with this stuff way better than the choices our parents or grandparents ever had.


Oh, and I found an article yesterday that indicates this is (one of; might be more than one) the normal routes for getting off Xanax, so I don’t think the doc is stabbing in the dark exactly.


I actually know a lot about this subject both about all the meds in those classes and coming off them (personal experience & huge interest in medicines)

If you need some info, please shoot me a message and I’ll have a chat to you

The medicines you mention are one of the few that can be extremely dangerous to come off. If not done correctly, you can go into seizure and die

There are ways to minimise drastically reduce that and also to help with the withdrawal symptoms that can apparently be worse than coming off heroin

Everyone is different with these meds but it always needs to be done right for your own sanity and safety

Happy to give you some advice then you can check it with your doctor

1 Like

How about the 2nd part to my question - what is everyone else on?

Nothing for me. I’ve got two relatives on Prozac/Fluoxetine, one of whom resisted being a drug-taker and crashed out of it spectacularly. I’m pretty sure they’re back on again, though I haven’t asked in a long time.

The other manages so much better with the drugs and is in a good place. Last time I saw them they had fingernails and only very rarely do they manage to grow fingernails and keep them.

I do like @AlwaysCurious’s recommendation to chat with him and his warning not to go cold turkey sounds much stronger than mine.

I started amitryptiline in March, then in September I got a blood test to check my levels (not common for this med, but my doc wanted to check a theory) and I had no detectable levels in my blood. No wonder I wasn’t getting the full benefits. I got a genetic test to see what I’m a normal and rapid metabolizer of, then was started on sertraline (Zoloft). Like you, I didn’t want to rely on Ativan (another benzo/anxiolytic), but I had to be on something to help with the anxiety I have from my experience. I’ve been on it for five weeks, still wading through some side effects. I’m praying it will level out soon and I can go back to only taking a benzo when needed. It’s unfortunate that benzos can be addictive and have side effects if you take them long term, because they really work. I hope you can find something that helps. Take care.


Xanax has been the best for me by far - so far

I’m not getting on Prozac(or, the like) - period(it’s my choice)

My mom is on Xanax also, and has been on for quite a long time - although she takes a lower dose. . . She preferred Ativan, but I have never tried it.

Valium is just too addicting for my taste - it’s what they give me when I get slid into the MRI machine every time - and, I like the feeling of it way too much.

Xanax just puts me where I need to be mentally & let’s me sleep “normal”

It’s really unfortunate that our issues are so tough to find quality advise about

But, at this point in my life - I feel good, I’m not into anything I’m not supposed to do or be on(for the most part) - so, it is what it is

I seen meds like Prozac & Zoloft help ruin people’s lives right in front of me - and, they just listened to the prescribing physician

I stay very informed for a reason - and, thank you for your input:)

1 Like

I totally understand how you feel. I didn’t want to go on it either, but most docs usually terminate the benzos at a certain point. My anxiety was just too much, so I surrendered and got on an antidepressant. They can do bad things, and that’s why I was scared to take them. I have also seen them do wonders for people. At the beginning of this year I was barely sleeping, which made my anxiety worse. I most definitely will use the Ativan if I have insomnia, sleeping pills can be scary too. I wish you the best in this journey!!!


I am a little confused. Who determined you had an AVM? Have you had an angiogram? Have they given you any options as to possibly shrinking the AVM. Have you seen a neurologist or neurosurgeon?

It’s already been embolized with a 100% occlusion