Asked by West174

Xanax For Anxiety: How Can I Get A Prescription For Xanax?

I’ve exhausted every possible avenue I can to find a doctor who will prescribe Xanax to me with no success. They all simply think I am looking for a high or they are too afraid to write it for me. I’ve wasted so much money on doctors just to be told “No” in so many words. I took xanax for nearly four weeks after buying some from a friend. It completely changed my life. I didn’t feel anxiety, my mind felt clear, I could breathe, and I wanted to be around people and better myself. The medication is amazing, yet, it seems impossible for me to get a prescription? Do you have any advice for me?

Answer

I am not a medical professional, however, through the years I have spoken to many in regards to situations similar to yours. One of the red flags of abuse is when a patient asks for a specific medication rather than asking for help with a condition or specific symptoms. In addition, if you have explained to doctors that you took this medication without having a prescription, they would certainly be cautious about giving you a prescription.

Are you talking with doctors and asking for Xanax and not seeking treatment for anxiety? If a doctor suggests a different medication, do you immediately dismiss it and indicate you only want Xanax?

My suggestion would be to focus less on a specific medication and seek help for managing your symptoms of anxiety. Doctors may be more helpful if they are confident you are seeking medical help.

You should know: The answer above provides general health information that is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment recommendations from a qualified healthcare professional.

BREANNA HADN’T LEFT her home in months; she felt safe within the walls of her house but was frustrated with her inability to go out into the world. There were a few times she got dressed and even made it as far as opening the front door, but that was it; she couldn’t go outside.

Her husband was supportive but she knew he was also frustrated, he wanted to enjoy going out to dinner, joining co-workers at an office party – and to do those things with his wife. Instead, he ran the household errands, going food shopping, picking up prescriptions, and anything else that needed to be taken care of outside the house. He attended office parties by himself and settled for bringing take-out food home instead of eating out.

Therapy sessions were done online, eliminating Breanna’s need to leave and visit her therapist’s office. Today, however, Breanna’s therapist was coming to her and going to work on leaving the house. Breanna was nervous, no, nervous was not the word, Breanna was on the verge of having a panic attack just thinking about walking out the front door. She knew she needed to do this, for her and for her family – last month she missed parent teacher conferences at her children’s school – but the thought petrified her.

Not everyone with agoraphobia is a prisoner in his or her home. Some continue to work or go out, but being in certain places requires careful planning and developing self-help strategies. For example, you might go to food shopping late at night when the store is least crowded, wear sunglasses in the mall to avoid eye contact with others or only go to restaurants if you can get a table close by the front door.

What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia impacts over 1 percent of all adults in the United States according to the National Institute of Mental Health with more than 40 percent of those adults showing severe symptoms. Agoraphobia is defined as the fear of open spaces, but sufferers may explain it more as the fear of public places.

The Anxiety Disorders Association of America states, “Some people stop going into situations or places which they’ve previously had a panic attack in anticipation of it happening again.”

They avoid places where escape or exit is difficult, such as malls, public transportation or large arenas. As they limit where they feel comfortable going, their word continues to get smaller. Some, like Breanna, stop leaving their house.

Symptoms of Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia seems to stem from the fear of having a panic attack in public. Although these attacks frequently happen outside the home, they can occur anytime, anywhere, including in your sleep or upon first waking up.

The symptoms of a panic attack are:

Most symptoms of panic attacks, besides from the actual feeling of fear, are physical. Many times those suffering from panic attacks first get diagnosed after visiting the emergency room or their doctor for unexplained physical symptoms, such as chest pains.

Treatment for Agoraphobia

While each person with agoraphobia is unique and may respond differently to treatments and medications, studies have shown that a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and medication is the most effective in treating symptoms. Because agoraphobia can often occur after a traumatic event, talk therapy to understand and come to terms with the event or situation also helps.

Self-help Strategies for Agoraphobia

Sometimes, knowledge about panic disorder can help. Understanding what may happen helps you be prepared for symptoms and you can take steps to help reduce some of the symptoms.

Track your symptoms and triggers. Keeping a journal can help you see patterns or triggers to your panic attacks and develop specific strategies for dealing with those situations and events.

Avoid smoking and caffeine. These substances may increase panic attacks or make you more susceptible to a panic attack.

Use relaxation strategies. Deep breathingmeditationyoga and other relaxation techniques, when used on a daily basis, may reduce your overall feelings of anxiety. In addition, when you practice deep breathing on a daily basis, it is easier to use it when in an anxiety-provoking situation to help you calm down.

Add exercise to your daily routine. A daily exercise program has been shown to reduce symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Depression is often a problem for those with agoraphobia because of the feelings of isolation.

Look for a support group. It is great therapy to find a group of people that understand exactly what you are going through and can continuously offer their support and encouragement in a setting where you have no fear of being judged. If you can’t find an in-person support group in your area, there are a number of support groups online.

Take up a hobby. Having something productive and creative to do each day helps you feel better about yourself. Sufferers of agoraphobia can have low self-esteem and feel “useless.” Doing something creative is not only therapeutic but can give you a feeling of accomplishment.

Seek help. There are treatments available for agoraphobia which have been found to help many people. Talk with your doctor or therapist to create a treatment plan and work toward getting your life back.

References:

“Agoraphobia Among Adults,” Reviewed 2010, July 29, Staff Writer, National Institute of Mental Health

“Panic Disorder & Agoraphobia,” Date Unknown, Staff Writer, Anxiety Disorders Association of America

“Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder,” Updated 2011, June, Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Pd.D., HelpGuide.org

MANY YEARS AGO I sat in a case conference alongside a well-intentioned and earnest young psychiatrist from another country. He was doing just fine in his assessment of a new patient until he reached a point where he speculated she may be displaying early signs of psychosis. This, it transpired, hinged on the fact that at some point in the interview she had confessed to having, ‘butterflies in her stomach.’

It was a source of humor for a few moments, partly because this exact example is often used in teaching sessions to illustrate accepted cultural norms. But, it also showed just how easy it could be to misinterpret and possibly even misdiagnose and treat someone due to a simple lack of insight into culture.

Like so many other conditions and disorders, panic is known to be universal. The way it reveals itself however may differ from place to place. Even as a casual tourist it quickly becomes clear that people express themselves in very different ways in different parts of the world. But, even within the same country, there can be differences in the way a group or culture expresses themselves. For example, Rachman and De Silva (2003) point to the fact that many African Americans report higher levels of physical sensations during panic, especially numbing and tingling sensations in the extremities. They also report more intense fears of going crazy or of dying.

The same authors mention that amongst the Chinese, dizziness is a frequently cited symptom of distress. Chinese people view dizziness as a feature of disharmony and those diagnosed with panic disorder say dizziness is a prominent feature. An interesting contrast is then given about Khmer refugee patients in the United States. The so-called ‘sore-neck syndrome’, a type of panic disorder, refers to a commonly reported fear of dying due to some rupture of vessels in the neck causes by high blood pressure and wind pressure.

During my training, if memory serves, my exposure to the cultural aspects of mental health lasted all of two hours or so. It was a while ago and perhaps things have improved some since. Then, it perhaps wasn’t so surprising when we consider that most research was conducted in Western societies. I certainly hope things have improved. In a shrinking world I can’t help but think it would be useful for us to understand cultural differences in greater depth.SEE OUR SOURCES

Jerry Kennard, Ph.D.

Meet Our Writer

Jerry Kennard, Ph.D.

Jerry Kennard, Ph.D., is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Jerry’s work background is in mental health and, most recently, higher education. He is the author ofmore

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