And Depression

Table of Contents

What Is Klonopin?

Klonopin is a member of the benzodiazepine family, and doctors prescribe it to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Its generic name is clonazepam. Because it has anticonvulsant properties, it’s also used to control seizures.

Like every other benzodiazepine on the market, it tightly fastens to aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors.​​​1 Your brain naturally manufactures a burst of GABA when you’re undergoing stress. This neutralizes excess adrenaline, making you feel calmer and more relaxed.

GABA also curbs the effects of all those neurotransmitters that can cause off-the-charts feelings of anxiety.  By affixing itself to the receptors, this medication increases the amount of GABA floating around in your system. This slows down the brain’s electrical activity and depresses the central nervous system.

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Are There Any Links Between Klonopin And Depression?

Can Klonopin Cause Depression?

Everyone has days when things don’t go quite as planned. Our car breaks down when we’re trying to get to our daughter’s track meet. Or, on our long-awaited trip to the seashore, a torrential downpour starts on day one, and the constant rain doesn’t let up until the very last day. These are the heartbreaks most of us can shake off.

For others who experience the unbearable anguish that comes with long-term clinical depression, the melancholy and misery don’t dissipate as easily. Unfortunately, too many people all over the world are intimately familiar with this feeling. It’s estimated that 10% of all Americans suffer from this mental health disorder.

The bad news is that depression happens to be one of the side effects of the medication. The good news is that it doesn’t cause this side effect in most people. However, if you take Klonopin when you’re diagnosed with depression, it can intensify your depressive symptoms. Also, depression can be a side effect of withdrawal. So, yes there is a link between Klonopin and depression.

Can Klonopin Help Depression?

Klonopin doesn’t help with depression, you’ll need other treatments for that, but this medication has been shown to improve the mood of individuals suffering from phobias. That’s because the lowering of chronic anxiety boosts mood. So, Klonopin and depression treatment are used together in special circumstances relating to phobias, but not for any other type of depression.​​​2

Is it Safe to Take Klonopin for Depression?

It’s safe to take under a doctor’s supervision. If you have any of the following conditions, you shouldn’t take it:

Klonopin vs. Xanax

There are a couple of similarities between Klonopin and Xanax:
  • Both are benzodiazepines used to treat panic and anxiety disorders
  • Both medications can cause physical and psychological dependence, especially when misused
There are also significant differences:
  • The effects of Klonopin last longer than Xanax, which means you don’t have to take it as frequently
  • Xanax requires regular dosing to keep blood levels constant—Klonopin doesn’t
  • Xanax is more quickly absorbed than Klonopin, with maximum concentrations occurring within one to two hours after taking it. With Klonopin, this process takes one to four hours
  • The effects of Xanax last four to six hours. The effects of Klonopin last up to 12 hours
  • Klonopin can be taken long-term. Xanax should only be taken short term
  • Klonopin has greater anti-seizure properties than Xanax

Klonopin for Sleep

Klonopin is one of the best drugs for sleep management. That’s because it not only can help you get to sleep quickly—it helps you to sleep longer.

Klonopin Addiction and Risks

Can You Become Addicted to Klonopin?

Klonopin can be incredibly beneficial for those with anxiety disorders but can pose a grave danger to those who start craving the drug.

Klonopin is one of the most addictive drugs on the market. In fact, some people think it’s more dangerous than cocaine.

Real World Example

Stevie Nicks, a member of Fleetwood Mac, got hooked on Klonopin when she tried to kick a cocaine habit. When she was in her 40s, she estimated she spent a whopping $1,000,000 on the drug.3

A doctor at the Betty Ford clinic prescribed her this medication to help her recover from the horrors of cocaine addiction. Ironically, she ended up going to detox to get off Klonopin after it stole eight years of her life.

In 2011, there were 76,577 trips to hospital emergency departments because of Klonopin abuse.

Where is It on the Drug Schedule

It’s addictive enough to be classified as a Schedule IV drug—which makes it a controlled substance. Like any other drug with addictive potential, when a person is addicted to this drug, intense cravings lead people to seek it out any way they can.

Addiction can even start out innocently with a prescription from a doctor to treat a seizure or panic disorder. Like so many other prescription medications, people might underestimate how incredibly habit-forming this drug can be because it comes from a doctor. Taking any benzodiazepine for longer than two weeks increases the risk of physical and psychological dependence.

Getting Help For Klonopin Addiction And Depression

If you think you’re addicted to Klonopin, making the decision to seek treatment is the first step on the road to recovery. That road usually starts with some form of inpatient treatment. This takes place in a residential center where you’ll live for 29 to 90 days.

There’s a combination of individual and group therapy, medically supervised detox, twelve-step programs, and support groups offered at these centers. Detox consists of a slow, tapered withdrawal under the close supervision of a medical team.

During therapy, you’ll learn more adaptive ways to deal with stress than abusing the drug. This means internalizing strategies to cope with difficult life situations, so you’re not tempted to use the drug as an escape. Also, they’ll teach relapse prevention.

Learn to Recognize and Avoid Relapse Triggers

Part of the training is recognizing triggers so you can respond to them intentionally. One of the most popular addiction treatment modalities is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. CBT helps you change dysfunctional ways of thinking, so you’re less likely to relapse.
It’ll give you an extremely powerful tool to handle life’s pressures in a myriad of positive ways.

There’s also outpatient rehab for those whose addiction isn’t as acute and who don’t want to interrupt their personal and professional life.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Statistics show that 1 in 3 adults who have a substance use disorder also suffer from depression.
This mental health condition all too often leads to addiction, including abuse of Klonopin. Those individuals who experience the despair that comes with long-term depression may incorrectly try to obliterate their misery by numbing themselves with drugs.

If you suffer from depression and Klonopin addiction, discontinuing the drug will most likely intensify your depressive symptoms.

Co-Occurring Disorders Makes Addiction Treatment Challenging

What makes a dual diagnosis so incredibly challenging to treat is that one magnifies the other. Abusing benzodiazepines like Klonopin depresses the central nervous system and makes a person feel even more miserable. These prolonged emotional lows, in turn, make it increasingly harder for a person to take the necessary steps to combat the addiction.

That’s why it’s crucial to treat both co-occurring conditions at the same time.

There’s hope for those diagnosed with both conditions in the form of dual diagnosis treatment. Because it’s so tremendously complicated to treat a dual diagnosis, it should be done at a facility specializing in it.

Deciding to enroll in a dual diagnosis treatment program if you have both a Klonopin addiction and are diagnosed with depression can help you rebuild your life.