This is day 10 of the Anxiety Summit. Dr Catherine M. Pittman, Ph.D., Clinical psychologist, psychology professor, and co-author of Extinguishing Anxiety is interviewed by host of the Anxiety Summit, Trudy Scott, Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist, author of The Antianxiety Food Solution.
Benzodiazepines in the Treatment of Anxiety: Weighing Risks and Benefits
- benzodiazapines: how they work and some of the benefits
- side-effects, tolerance facts and withdrawal effects
- survey results from members of the Benzobuddies.org online support group:
- what sort of questions should we be asking about benzodiazepine prescriptions
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs primarily used for treating anxiety.
I heard Dr. Pittman present on this topic at The Anxiety and Depression Association of America annual conference in 2012 and really wanted to share this with you.
Dr Pittman very kindly gave me permission to share a link to her PDF of the presentation she did at the ADAA conference.
During the interview we discussed the Ashton taper protocol which can be found at www.benzo.org.uk.
During the interview I incorrectly stated that this is the site of Professor Ashton. Colin, the owner of BenzoBuddies kindly contacted me and informed me that “this site is actually owned and operated by Ray Nimmo, a benzodiazepine survivor. With Prof. Ashton’s permission, Ray has published the ‘Ashton Manual’ and some of her other writings at his website. benzo.org.uk is a personal website, containing all kinds of articles and writings which interest Ray and which he feels would be of interest to others going through benzodiazepine withdrawal and recovery.”
Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure, presented earlier in the week on “Eliminating Anxiety: Amino Acid Therapy and Adrenal Balancing” and acknowledged the work of Professor Ashton. She emphasized how imperative it is to taper extremely slowly per the Ashton protocol. Julia also shared that the missing piece in getting off benzos is the use of GABA and often high doses of vitamin C (possibly even intravenously). I support this wholeheartedly.
If you are currently taking benzodiazapines:
- please do NOT stop cold-turkey
- do not make any changes to your prescription without working with your doctor
- know that not everyone is affected to the same extent
- and apologies if this is upsetting and scary
If you need support from people who have lived the benzo hell do check out www.benzobuddies.org. I’d like to acknowledge this group for being willing to participate in Dr. Pittman’s survey and want to let you know that we are doing our best to get this information into the hands of those who so need it.
Dr. Pittman shared some of the benefits of benzos and Dr. Kelly Brogan (in the opening interview “”Misunderstood and Mistreated: Reinventing Psychiatry”) shared how she only uses them for postpartum psychosis.
Dr. Pittman said: “benzos can cause physiological dependence in 4-6 weeks.”
This is not acceptable.
I strongly believe we should BAN BENZOs completely
- this is my belief, not Dr Pittman’s
- we have better options and should be using them
- GABA is one fabulous option
- and so are all the other approaches shared in this summit
If you are not already registered for the Anxiety Summit you can get live access to the speakers of the day here www.theAnxietySummit.com
UPDATE: the summit concluded on Tues 6/24 – season 2 of The Anxiety Summit will be in November 2014. If you’d like to be on the notification list just sign up here www.theAnxietySummit.com
Missed this interview or can’t listen live? Or want this and the other great interviews for your learning library? Purchase the MP3s or MP3s + transcripts + interview highlights and listen when it suits you