Valium (diazepam) for anxiety, panic attacks and phobias
- A personal experience
Valium, firstly what is it? It's a minor tranquillizer Benzodiazepine. Valium is actually a brand name of the drug Diazepam. It's used for the short term treatment of a range of anxiety symptoms (and also used to treat seizures, spasms and alcohol withdrawal).
There is a wealth of information on the Internet about Diazepam/Valium, I will use this space to share some personal experiences.
Perversely the first thing I felt after taking Valium was anxiety. I have never liked taking medication or drugs and the idea that valium was going to work so powerfully on my brain, and actually change feelings. My anxiety increased for some time and I felt dizzy. I am sure that this was purely psychosomatic, as I have never felt any similar symptoms while taking it consequently. After thirty minutes or so I felt calmer, and started to feel effects of the medication. The light in the room seemed more vivid, and my arms felt a bit lighter, I did not experience any change in the tightening of my throat that heralded anxiety for some more time, but eventually I did feel quite relaxed but not so relaxed that felt able to go out and challenge my phobias. I should mention that I took the Valium at about seven in the evening, by the time I wanted to go to bed at half past eleven I was wide awake, in fact I had some trouble getting to sleep, but when I slept I was out like a light for hours, and woke up late the next day.
The next day I felt an odd kind of hangover, again I think this might have been psychosomatic. I felt slightly dizzy and distant, with a faint nausea in my stomach. The problem is I read the label. They always tell you to read the label but in the case of anxiety sometimes it might be better to have someone else read it for you and pass on the useful information. Valium is not by any means alone in this; all the ant-anxiety drugs I have ever seen come with extremely frightening labels and instructions. I think this lead me to believe I would undergo much discomfort from taking the drugs. Often an anxiety sufferer's mind wants to see the worst, and then make it happen.
In the end I abandoned Valium for Xanax, and will blog my experiences with that in the very near future.
On a more positive note someone I know took Valium and had an all round more positive experience. They didn't feel any side effects, just the intended feeling of relaxation which they described as a pleasant floaty feeling. They felt so relaxed they were almost too lazy to move but could, without problems, walk to their bedroom and sleep soundly. The next day they did feel a bit dopey, but it was a relaxed dopeyness that would only have caused problems had they been impelled to drive, or pursue some skilled or dangerous task. They felt fine and spent the day snuggled with a book.
It's heard to say what any one persons experience of valium is likely to be. If you always get side effects from medication then the chances are some or all of them are psychosomatic. Speak to your doctor about this and suggest to him that you start by taking a ridiculously small dose, a few crumbs that couldn't possibly lead to a sever reaction, just to prove to yourself that it doesn't harm you. If you find Valium does not work for you (and nothing works for everyone) there are plenty more to try!
For more information on Valium why not follow this link.
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