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Benzo's as appetite stimulant's
#1
Hey all,
After 30 years of counseling emotionally-troubled client's, I have seen my share of anorexia. There are 4 or 5 conventional appetite stimulant's available by script. Most are used by patient's undergoing chemo. Not once have I seen one of our prescribing doc's write for one of those drugs. We used benzo's to break through the anorexia. When the anorexia is caused by a fear of gaining weight (anorexia nervosa), treatment with benzo's was only moderately effective. When it was treated by lack of hunger for no apparent cause (anorexia), the results were stunning. Very few cases that weren't resolved. After a couple of weeks, we could remove the med and the lust for eating continued! Of course, we live in a world of benzophobic doc's who rather prescribe harsh, potentially life-threatening medications in place of a simple benzo. My personal opinion is that benzo's are a Godsend. I can't think of a medication that I have seen help more people. Yes, there are abusers...and they harm themselves and they harm legit users), but the majority of scripts are written for the truly needy. Benzo's can save lives, just as much as an antibiotic, or a heart medication, or a blood pressure drug can. Yet so many have trouble getting access. Anorexia is only one example. It's an under-reported problem in the US. It could all but be wiped out if doc's wouldn't be so hesitant to give a patient what they need.
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#2
I remember looking after a friend of mine who was suicidally depressed and had stopped eating. She stayed at my house one night and I gave her one diazepam to settle her. Half an hour later we were sharing a pizza and having a relatively normal conversation. She even said something about how benzos made her hungry. Of course the hospital wouldn't give her any because of the suicide risk so she got SSRIs, which killed her appetite, and she attempted suicide again.

I honestly believe that two weeks of benzos with some good psychotherapy would have been much more effective.
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#3
So Rafterman, you are a counselor/therapist?  That is so interesting.  I will check and see if you wrote more about it in your introduction thread.

I know I shouldn't be surprised, but anorexia is known to be most hard to overcome and kills many sadly.  Shocking that benzo's are not considered as a useful med in this most dangerous medical situation.

barq- ,  I am sorry that your friend did not get the meds/benzo's she needed to help her adjust her attitude and eat as well. You don't have to answer but I wonder if introducing her to the world of IOPs would be a good thing.

Hard to know and also kind of dangerous as one does not want to second guess the doctors.  

I am sorry she tried suicide again and am glad for her that she was not successful.   Has she considered asking the docs to try her on some benzos?  Is she close enough to you physically that maybe you would go with her to be her medical advocate?

No need to answer -barq. I know I often ask too many questions.

Wishing your friend only the best.
Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things. Tom Petty
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#4
(11-05-2017, 11:25 AM)barq- Wrote: I remember looking after a friend of mine who was suicidally depressed and had stopped eating. She stayed at my house one night and I gave her one diazepam to settle her. Half an hour later we were sharing a pizza and having a relatively normal conversation. She even said something about how benzos made her hungry. Of course the hospital wouldn't give her any because of the suicide risk so she got SSRIs, which killed her appetite, and she attempted suicide again.

I honestly believe that two weeks of benzos with some good psychotherapy would have been much more effective.

I am very sorry to hear that about your friend, Barq-. I wish that I could say that it was surprising to me, but it is all too common. Benzophobic doc's who know perfect well know that the suicide profile of SSRI's is much greater than that of benzo's, but prescribe them anyway. It's beyond reckless to script those to anyone who is suicidal. Might even say that it is "criminal". I think that some doctor's are uninformed or under informed, but that most simply will not prescribe a Scheduled med if there is an alternative. The problem is that AD's are not a viable alternative to benzo's in a client who is that advanced. May I ask if the doc who wrote for the SSRI's was a psychotherapist?

(11-05-2017, 02:17 PM)FirePlaces Wrote: So Rafterman, you are a counselor/therapist?  That is so interesting.  I will check and see if you wrote more about it in your introduction thread.

I know I shouldn't be surprised, but anorexia is known to be most hard to overcome and kills many sadly.  Shocking that benzo's are not considered as a useful med in this most dangerous medical situation.

barq- ,  I am sorry that your friend did not get the meds/benzo's she needed to help her adjust her attitude and eat as well. You don't have to answer but I wonder if introducing her to the world of IOPs would be a good thing.

Hard to know and also kind of dangerous as one does not want to second guess the doctors.  

I am sorry she tried suicide again and am glad for her that she was not successful.   Has she considered asking the docs to try her on some benzos?  Is she close enough to you physically that maybe you would go with her to be her medical advocate?  

No need to answer -barq.  I know I often ask too many questions.  

Wishing your friend only the best.
Hello Fireplaces,
I am retired from counseling, but had almost exactly 30 years in the business before leaving due to illness. Like most psychotherapist's, I have a slew of my own issues. I have suffered from anxiety and depression since childhood. Some of my problems are strictly biological in nature ("neurological's", such as night terrors, sleep paralysis, auditory hallucination's, seizure's and panic disorder) and some problems that are likely behavioral in origin (PTDS, mood regulation disorder). I was warned not to go into my profession by those who thought that listening to others with similar issues would make me worse. They were probably right, but it was a wild ride and I think that I probably helped many, and that I also helped myself in what I learned. I also got a real "behind the scene's" look at the medical industry (which is further complimented by the fact that my wife has over 30 years as an RN). So much going on between the powerplay's on the part of the FDA, DEA, the pharmacist lobby, greedy insurance companies' and their malpractice insurance rates, and doctor's themselves. Anyhow, I tend to be a little longwinded. Sorry about that, and thanks for asking!
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#5
(11-05-2017, 08:17 AM)Rafterman Wrote: Hey all,
After 30 years of counseling emotionally-troubled client's, I have seen my share of anorexia. There are 4 or 5 conventional appetite stimulant's available by script. Most are used by patient's undergoing chemo. Not once have I seen one of our prescribing doc's write for one of those drugs. We used benzo's to break through the anorexia. When the anorexia is caused by a fear of gaining weight (anorexia nervosa), treatment with benzo's was only moderately effective. When it was treated by lack of hunger for no apparent cause (anorexia), the results were stunning. Very few cases that weren't resolved. After a couple of weeks, we could remove the med and the lust for eating continued! Of course, we live in a world of benzophobic doc's who rather prescribe harsh, potentially life-threatening medications in place of a simple benzo. My personal opinion is that benzo's are a Godsend. I can't think of a medication that I have seen help more people. Yes, there are abusers...and they harm themselves and they harm legit users), but the majority of scripts are written for the truly needy. Benzo's can save lives, just as much as an antibiotic, or a heart medication, or a blood pressure drug can. Yet so many have trouble getting access. Anorexia is only one example. It's an under-reported problem in the US. It could all but be wiped out if doc's wouldn't be so hesitant to give a patient what they need.

I totally agree, benzos have been a godsend as an addition to the three other medications I am on (prescription) If I had to choose one to stay on out of all of them it would be benzo. I have reduced the amount using and use it sparingly so that It keeps having its effects. I find regular saunas help with days and help me keep my usage under control.
When it comes to food and eating. I take my benzo on an empty stomach, it is not long till I am hungry. 
Still a great medication for me, I have been on and off it since 2008.

All the best
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#6
As someone who suffers from anxiety, fast-acting benzos work wonders as an appetite stimulant. Xanax, in particular, restores my hunger by eliminating the knot of worry in my stomach. I end up eating far more than I normally would, particularly during periods of high stress.
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#7
Thank you, Slipmat and Chantilly for putting your stories out there. All of us who suffer from anxiety are familiar with appetite problems, but not many of the general public are. They don't take it seriously enough. They are all busy dieting! My wife has said to me, one million times, "I wish I had your problem". I tell her, "NO you do not. My problem could kill a person". To be fair, so can being overweight, but anyone who thinks it's a pleasure to have an absence of appetite needs to research the issue a bit. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  A benzo will break down that wall when nothing else will. I would love to see the day when doc's will script for it as an appetite stimulant.
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#8
I believe benzos increased my appetite as well, especially for sweets . I do find they make me have hiccups quite frequently which can be ver irritating. I’m sure this is common side effect but it does make me a bit weary of taking them because having the hiccups drives me insane!
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#9
(11-07-2017, 08:40 AM)Rafterman Wrote: Thank you, Slipmat and Chantilly for putting your stories out there. All of us who suffer from anxiety are familiar with appetite problems, but not many of the general public are. They don't take it seriously enough. They are all busy dieting! My wife has said to me, one million times, "I wish I had your problem". I tell her, "NO you do not. My problem could kill a person". To be fair, so can being overweight, but anyone who thinks it's a pleasure to have an absence of appetite needs to research the issue a bit. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  A benzo will break down that wall when nothing else will. I would love to see the day when doc's will script for it as an appetite stimulant.
Thanks for the encouragement Rafterman, I appreciate it. Truth be told, i had no idea that this is a generalized issue, i thought it was specific to me.

So if i understood you correctly, it is through your 30 years of empirical experience that you found a link between benzos and apptite stimulation? And curreny, there is little/no research on this potentially life saving matter?
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#10
(11-08-2017, 12:38 AM)Chantilly Wrote:
(11-07-2017, 08:40 AM)Rafterman Wrote: Thank you, Slipmat and Chantilly for putting your stories out there. All of us who suffer from anxiety are familiar with appetite problems, but not many of the general public are. They don't take it seriously enough. They are all busy dieting! My wife has said to me, one million times, "I wish I had your problem". I tell her, "NO you do not. My problem could kill a person". To be fair, so can being overweight, but anyone who thinks it's a pleasure to have an absence of appetite needs to research the issue a bit. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  A benzo will break down that wall when nothing else will. I would love to see the day when doc's will script for it as an appetite stimulant.
Thanks for the encouragement Rafterman, I appreciate it. Truth be told, i had no idea that this is a generalized issue, i thought it was specific to me.

So if i understood you correctly, it is through your 30 years of empirical experience that you found a link between benzos and apptite stimulation? And curreny, there is little/no research on this potentially life saving matter?
Hey Chantilly,
I always try to get the word out about how well benzo's work on simple anorexia and also about how common anorexia is. I think that doc's always worry about the legal implications of using anything off-label. And they just hate dispensing anything that is scheduled. They love to stick to non-scheduled and, if possible, even OTC. It's hard to blame them in a way. The prescribing doc's that I worked with (in a psychiatric group) paid $230,000 in malpractice insurance premium's every YEAR. They had clean records, and that was still how much it cost them. Those rates really are one of the things that contribute to the high cost of health care. Along with greedy doc's (some), an overbearing, over-reaching and overly cautious FDA, and, of course, Big Pharma. I can't blame doc's for wanting to protect themselves, but it's a shame that patient's pay the price for it. I think that it will be a long time until any start offering benzo's as an appetite stimulant, although I believe that just about every doctor knows perfectly well how effective they are for that.
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