Citation: Sike. "The Good and the Bad: An Experience with Clonazepam (exp53872)". Erowid.org. Nov 7, 2008. erowid.org/exp/53872
After searching desperately for some sort of drug or chemical to legally treat my social anxiety, I came across a drug called clonazepam, or klonopin. When I discussed the possibility of trying klonopin with my doctor, he was hesitant to write the prescription. He informed me that clonazepam is potentially addictive, and my history of drug-abuse made the situation that much more questionable. But seeing that I was already taking paxil to treat depression and anxiety, and was still experiencing some severe anxiety in social situations, the doc wrote a prescription for 0.5 mg pills, under the condition that my mom hold onto the medicine and administer a pill only when severe social anxiety is anticipated (class presentations, parties, etc.).
The shit worked. When I was on the drug, I sort of had a ďfuck itĒ attitude towards my anxiety. I no longer cared what my words and actions may have meant to others. I felt no need to hold my tongue anymore. The feeling was what I believed to be the feeling that other kids, not suffering from much social phobia, felt. If I wanted to talk, I talked. And if I didnít want to, well then I was complacent with not talking, and didnít worry excessively about my peers seeing me as a loser for not talking. To make a long story short, it was a dream-come-true for a sufferer or severe social anxiety.
But donít get me wrong, klonopin had its share of questionable side effects. The first few times I got a pretty sweet buzz. I can best relate it to the feeling I get from valium, another benzodiazepine,a drunken, care-free state. I am a little giggly, and am not inhibited whatsoever. I could see now why clonazepam is habit-forming, but the relief it provided outweighed the possibility of addiction.
About a year after the initial prescription was written, I was prescribed 0.5 mg of clonazepam to take every morning. During the five or six months I spent taking klonopin on a daily basis, I maintained that ďfuck itĒ attitude towards my phobia, only without the buzz (tolerance kicked in quickly).
But towards the end, I began to experience problems with my memory. I wasnít blacking out and completely forgetting certain occasions, like one would after a night of heavy drinking. Instead I would forget small things here and there, and the occurrence became more and more common as time went on. Eventually, I was forgetting almost everything that had just recently come to mind. For example, I often thought of something I needed to get out of my room, and upon entering my room, I had completely forgotten what it was that I set out for to begin with. The same applied for the classroom, in that I would pay complete attention to the teacherís instructions for an experiment that was to be done, and when I was to conduct the experiment a few minutes later, I had no idea what to do, I only knew that I was doing an experiment. The memory issues became a serious problem. They annoyed the shit out of me and my grades began to suffer. I promptly took myself off the medicine as soon as school ended for the summer. I have not taken klonopin since then, nor have I felt the need to.
Clonazepam was a great drug. It did its job, and it did it well. But for me, it became too much of a problem to continue. I donít know that everyone would experience the same thing I did, but I do know that benzodiazepines are known for their negative effects on the memory.
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