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Suffering from shingles, neck pain and anxiety. Prescribed ativan. Recommended dose?

Jun 2013
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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2219 Questions
Hi there - We currently use a primary care doctor who we chose because she is part of a large network with lots of specialties and options. With three small kids, I thought at the time this was a good choice. Without getting personal, my husband and I would like to change doctors. For now, we are using a friend of my father's, but he's not really a family doctor. He's seeing us as a favor to my father. Long story short, as a mother of three small kids, who runs a business, who experiences high stress daily, and who already tends to be a worrier, I asked my dad’s friend for help coping with the high anxiety I’ve been experiencing. My anxiety got so bad I got a bad case of the shingles recently, with all the ickiness and nerve pain / damage on my left side, on my face, and even on my eyelid. It was scary and painful and I never want to go through it again. We have tried lots of things – I’m doing yoga, taking some natural supplements to try and help me relax, but nothing turns off my brain at night. My dad’s friend gave me an initial prescription of Ativan, and told me I need to find a doctor who will listen to me instead of seeing me for five minutes and not really paying attention to what I’m saying. (Our current doctor does this with our kids and my husband as well.) I’d like to talk with someone who has time for me, and I don’t mind paying for the time, as I know time is valuable. I’d like to discuss the Ativan, the dosage, other options (if there are any), and really, to have someone who wants to XXXXXXX my whole family and take time with each of us. Sorry for the long text. Guess I am feeling frustrated and like the medical profession sees me and my family as a number to be processed through their system. Please tell me if your services are an option for us. And thank you for your time. I am grateful to you if you read this whole thing! :-)
Posted Wed, 17 Apr 2013 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Sushil Kumar Sompur 40 minutes later
Hi there ~

Thank you for your question. I understand that you are having a tough time with the number of doctors you have been referred to in the past and ultimately ended up with one that knows what the problem is but is not able to listen to your entire story. I can patiently listen to you and advise you here on this platform. I can educate you on how to tackle stress. I cannot prescribe you medications here. You may need such medications during the course of our conversation here. I am sure there is more to the story than what you have written above and would suggest that you see a qualified psychotherapist or a mental health counselor who can listen to your problem in its entirety and give you proper therapy which could involve either dynamic or cognitive behavioral therapy. This way you could get more insight into the kinds of problems you are having and the possible solutions to the same. It is also advisable that you get yourself a lot of education about the conditions that you are experiencing and a good place to start would be a qualified mental health counselor.

I also understand that you are taking lorazepam (Ativan) as advised by your doctor but do not give me the dose of the medication. Lorazepam is a sedative hypnotic and with adequate dosages it could help with your anxiety. However, it could be addictive and you may need more and more of it over time which is not a good thing. There are other medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin medication inhibitors) that can help with your anxiety in the long term as well. I would advice you to keep a routine, with regards to your food and work, i.e. make lifestyle changes that you would have to do to make things better, seek support of friends and relatives, use fora that cater to your needs where you can vent and seek help from people that are going through similar situations that you are. All these things will help in the long run and get your anxiety down as well.

When selecting to read and learn from the internet please use the national library of medicine (NLM) website or any other that is resourceful and credible. I am sure you will find this to be interesting and worthwhile. You might come across things that you thought of as mundane but are rather important, for example nutrition.

I advise you to continue taking the medications but to consult a qualified psychiatrist who can help with your anxiety as well. I hope this helps and let me know if I have left any question unanswered in your query.

I hope this helps. Take care and have a lovely day !
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