Reducing My Dosage of Anti-anxiety Medication

November 9, 2023 Elizabeth Caudy

My psychiatric nurse practitioner is reducing my anti-anxiety medication for my upcoming knee surgery when I will be on painkillers. She says long-term use of an anti-anxiety medication can cause cognitive impairment. My therapist says it’s addictive, which I already knew from decades of using it on an as-needed basis. Here's what reducing my anti-anxiety medication has been like.

Lowering My Anti-anxiety Medication and Cutting Off Caffeine

My nurse practitioner also wants me to cut out caffeine. I’ve been on a lower dosage of anti-anxiety medication and eschewing caffeine for almost a week. The thing is, since I took the medication as needed, some days, I took less than the fully prescribed dosage. Still, the main thing making me anxious now is knowing that I have a lesser amount I’m allowed to take during the day.

Cutting out caffeine is helping slightly.

The reason my nurse practitioner is lowering the anti-anxiety medication is that I have to go off of it fully for my upcoming knee replacement surgery. For my first knee surgery, I had to go off of it cold turkey because I couldn’t take it with the opioid painkiller, and no one had told me to scale down. That was challenging. I had a schizoaffective episode from going off of the anti-anxiety medication cold turkey—I heard voices, and my grip on reality was shaky. My nurse practitioner and I don’t want that to happen again.

Just Because I Had a Schizoaffective Episode Doesn’t Mean I’m Violent

Because of a recent incident in a Facebook group, I feel the need to clarify things about having a schizoaffective episode. What happened on Facebook was that I was trolled for being open about my illness. The troll said I was likely to go on a “psychotic killing spree.” I know you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you think like that, but I just wanted to clarify for new readers—I am not violent. Most people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder are not violent. The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent. I’ve been in my little bubble of mental health awareness for so long that I forgot there are people out there who still think about mental illness in stereotypes.

Anyway, I’m actually excited to be reducing my anti-anxiety medication. I know it will stink for a while, but I’ll get used to it. I am obviously very pro-psychiatry, but I would like to be on less medication. And, as much as I miss green tea, being totally off of caffeine is probably a good idea for me. Besides, I equally love chamomile tea.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2023, November 9). Reducing My Dosage of Anti-anxiety Medication, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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