A GP is a general practioner, otherwise known as a family doctor.
However, a ‘‘GP’’ is more than fully able to diagnose and treat a basic psychiatric problem such as panic attacks.
Around 5% of people will experience panic attacks during their lives which basically means that your average GP gets people in his office who ‘‘think they were going the die the other day’’ a couple of hundred times a year.
As for the Xanax, it depresses some of your neurons’ activity. In a way, the Xanax brings a ‘‘panicky’’ or stressed out person back to what would be considered normal levels of stress (some people feel so stress that it inhibits their social and professional functionning).
For someone who gets panick attacks, its akin to the pump for someone who has asthma. There’s no need to feel like shit for 20 minutes thinking you’re going to die.
However, it is true that benzodiazepine have a highly addictive potential, when taken regularly over a sustained period, therefore the situation experienced 40&Big was to be expected and is kinda weird of the center not to have taken his prescription into account and tried to slowy reduce the dose like you should.
Because, the brain being accustomed to Xanax in bringing down the stress, when you remove it, the brain is unable to reduce stress (by neurotransmitters) alone and you feel worse than you did before…that is way you never take people off BZDs cold-turkey, just like you don’t take people off Prendnisone (cortisol) right there, you need to give the adrenal time to adjust (if not, death could ensue.)
For someone whose going to take it once in a while, it is akin to taking a couple of drinks once in while, not enough to make you crave alcool, but enough to solve your problems.
Of course, if you have an addictive personality, it might not be the best way to go (even if it is clearly the fastest its very effective) like if you enjoy drinking yourself into a stupor or if you like getting high a couple times a week to take the edge off.
Right now, your doc is going with a benzo over other possible medication because your panick attacks might be related to specific (and temporary) stressors and will go away on their own and would think that there is no reason of putting you on a medication that while effective takes a lot of time to start working. So he might be testing the chronicity of the treatment. Also a great many people prefer taking medication only when they feel like they need it (like a panick attack) even if its not the best way to go.
Anyway, hope some of this help,
thanks for the input