I’m on quite a bit of medication to treat my bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and ADHD. The diagnosis that seems to be the hardest to alleviate is my anxiety.
I’ve tried therapy and various medications and my doctor finally from 1 mg of multiple times a day of Xanax to 10 mg twice a day of Diazepam also referred to as Valium; Diastat; or Zetran. I’ve noticed a big difference since the switch, but I still have anxiety attacks and extremely stressful moments where it feels as if I am not in control of any of my bodies functions.
From what I read diazepam is a powerful benzodiazepine and has been used for anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and seizures for decades. However, since it is a benzodiazepine, there are some safety concerns, especially when you get into the higher than standard dosage.
It’s used for all of the same reasons as other benzodiazepines, and unfortunately, there is a demand for it even recreationally. Which is why most doctors hate to prescribe any type of benzodiazepine. Which hurts a lot of patients who obviously need it.
The positive effects I have experience with diazepam have been some anxiety really, muscle relaxation; it’s helped me with my insomnia and past even help with my lack of restraint for the specific semi-dangerous situation I sometimes attempt.
Don’t get me wrong there have been negative consequences as well. Mainly I get dizzy a lot, can no longer drive since it affects my motor skills occasionally, I have trouble following instructions, and my memory has become extremely unreliable.
When I do take this medication for my anxiety, I can feel it starting to work in about an hour. The portion of stress it helps relieve usually lasts between 8 to 12 hours depending on my environment and situational issues.
From what I’ve heard 10 to 20 mg is the most common oral dosage. However, the next time I can see my psychiatrist, I will be asking for an increase from 20 mg or even possibly 25 mg because I am a pretty big guy so I think I might more than just started dosage.
I need to work on developing skills to help alleviate my generalized anxiety disorder because from what I heard you can build up a tolerance to diazepam to where it will stop working. Also, when you are in withdrawal from diazepam, it can be dangerous and possibly even deadly. The dangers were something I didn’t know about until I started taking this drug.
I hope this short post can shed some light on what this anxiety medication can and can’t do for you if you’re on the fence about beginning to use it as part of your mental health treatment.