There are many opinions on Valium. When I was a teenager, it was the common tranquilizer prescribed. There is the addictive side of Valium, but many say it helps them and they do not take it irresponsibly. Imagine living a life of anxiety and then all of the sudden, a certain medicine helps clear it all up. Some use it for sleep issues and feel that without it their minds would race without getting a wink of sleep. This particular prescription can also help those who have back problems and need their muscles relaxed. Only a doctor can prescribe Valium and other medications prescribed for anxiety include Xanax, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Ativan and Klonopin. There are various anxiety disorder such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Emotional Features, Agoraphobia, Panic Disorder and Bipolar Disorder.
There is a downside to Valium and that downside is that it can become addictive. This prescription drug is prescribed as a short term solution and not for people to take for years and years. Some patients are dependent on it and not necessarily addicted. Talk to your doctor if you think you might be addicted and not just dependent on the drug. It’s natural to become dependent on a drug that eases your mind and takes away pain. In reality, some people cannot function without some sort of pain reliever or anxiety reducer. However, may people can develop relaxed states through relaxation techniques, yoga and even the iPad program called Exhale which helps to relax the breath.
Some people have found that using homeopathic remedies, teas or supplements that include calcium and magnesium provide relief. You may need something prescribed that works well with your current medication. In terms of prescription medications, many feel that SSRI meds or tricyclic antidepressants are effective, but some patients insist that benzos are the only medications that help them.
I have had clients that were able to reduce their anti-anxiety medication as they became more relaxed by cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. The more that one is able to question assumptions and look at the thoughts that create anxiety, the better is the control over the mind. Last week I saw a client that recently became divorced and was having a very hard time having her son stay at his dad’s home every other weekend. She would wake up in the middle of the night frequently and be tormented that her son would love his dad’s new girlfriend more than her. She pictured that he would ask to move in with the dad and they would become his family and she’d be excluded.
Often she was up from 3 am for the rest of the day, circling in this anxiety. Although breathing exercises helped her during the day, they didn’t seem to help during the middle of the night. We had a session where she explored why she thought she’d be rejected by her son and this helped her to see that she has been internalizing criticisms she’s heard from her mom since she was a child. This was very liberating and she has been able to laugh more and even look at the middle of the night thoughts without believing them the way she had.
She is still taking Valium but is speaking with her doctor on a plan to lower her dose. Each person has to figure out if medications are helpful for them and speak with their doctor and therapist honestly. If there is a history of alcoholism or drug addiction then benzodiazepenes are not a good idea. Each person handles prescriptions differently and that’s why it’s important to talk to a professional. Counseling where you can learn the underlying thoughts behind the anxiety and develop tools to relax can make a big difference as well.