Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Whole Truth

None of my doctors know the whole truth about me.  I have only admitted to having a drinking problem to one doctor- on one occasion several years ago. She gave me a prescription to help me stop drinking. I went to the bar while the prescription was being filled (figuring that would be my last drink), and never went back to see her.
I didn’t quit drinking that time. I was too embarrassed to go back there to see her, and have no desire to go back there so she can review my medical record to see that ONE appointment... even though I have been sober for a while now.
I didn’t realize how much of a problem not ever telling a doctor would become. This problem has become a bigger issue lately as I am treated for PTSD. After two years of sobriety I was prescribed clonazepam for anxiety. I’m not an expert but the Dr who prescribed it to me told me to be careful when I took it because it mimicked alcohol- and since I didn’t drink it might impact me more than it did other people. 
I met with another Dr recently for a medication follow-up and she made some tweaks to my medication. I will continue to take clonazepam but add another medication for depression and a more proactive drug for anxiety. (instead of reacting to anxiety by taking clonazepam which I will only take if I have a full blown anxiety attack).
Here is where the problem came in- I have been taking clonazepam for 6 months- and when I stopped taking it on Sunday I didn’t realize I would go through withdrawals.  But I did. I am. I wish I had been more honest with my doctors all along. But I wasn’t. So now I am here- reading all I can about weaning myself off clonazepam.  I had dental work on Monday and was given Vicodin for pain. So I haven’t taken clonazepam because I am super paranoid about mixing medication. It finally hit me last night that my motion sickness and upset stomach wasn’t a result of the vicodin- it was the withdrawal from clonazepam.

I wish I had been honest with a doctor- ANY doctor about being an alcoholic. So I encourage you to find a doctor you can have an honest conversation with about your use of alcohol or drugs. 


  1. Please be careful with that... It took me to 2 months to fully detox off of Ativan 6 years ago when I got sober. There are 2 substances you can die from withdrawls from - alcohol, and benzodiazopenes (clonazepam). So, I urge you, call your doctor, do it appropriately before you become terribly ill and need hospitalization. Be careful!

  2. K- thank you for your advice. The funny thing is- I wasn't trying to wean myself off of clonazapam, I just didn't want to take it in conjunction with Vicodin. Thankfully my pain is gone now so it's not an issue. One thing that does scare me is the lack of information I have gotten from doctors who continue to prescribe clonzapam. I am feeling much better now and have a follow up with my doctor soon.

  3. Oh MAN, do I relate.
    I went down on my knees over a year ago and let go of alcohol,but I am totally dishonest with all doctors - just so I will have the OPTION of having a controlled substance prescribed.
    I, too am on Clonazapam and well, frankly, take a wee bit more than is prescribed for me. You are an inspiration to get honest with myself and others. I have a long way to go.
    I'm glad you feel better!

  4. Catherine- I am happily weaned off clonazapam- thankfully. My doctor switched me to Gabapentin, which is a miracle drug for me, which helps my anxiety tremendously!