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long-term use of Valium


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Hi Everyone,

I would like to hear from others out there who have been using/taking Valium for a long-time. I have been prescribed Solanax (a.k.a. Valium) by my doctor to deal with anxiety in the classroom (I am a teacher). The last time I used it was in the spring of 2009 when I began a new teaching job and it helped me adjust to the new classes, job etc. I used it for about the first 5 weeks and then no longer needed to take it before teaching. The only side-effect I had was drowsiness. I have been on anti-depressants since 1997 and just recently have been taken off them and given instead a mood stabilizer (lamictal) to deal with anger issues. I have been slowly increasing the dosage over the past 4 weeks and not sure if it is helping?

My moods are still low and I have been under a lot of stress lately (job, married, father of two kids ....) so I asked my doctor for an anti-anxiety medication. I have during the past two weeks taken 1 pill (0.4 mg) for my classes and felt great, though drowsy by the afternoon. My concern is that I have taken the medication a few days when I was not teaching (weekends) to help me "chill-out" and get through the day with kids etc. I have read a lot about the harmful effects of long-term use of Valium or other tranquilizers, but to tell you the truth, I feel so good when I take it; I am considering asking my doctor to give me a prescription for daily use.

I do a lot of what is suggested to deal with depression/anxiety; exercise daily, meditate 30 min./day, do yoga, try to eat well and limit my caffeine intake...but I have had 3 bad episodes of depression during the past 14 years, and had some bad experiences with panic attacks, namely in the classroom while being observed or in an interview for a job. Both of these experiences were "disasters," almost lost my job in the first and did not get the job in the second. In hindsight, I wish I was taking some kind of medication like Valium back then. I had used alcohol to deal with the stress and it just exacerbated the depression and anxiety.

If I am a teacher, is it a good idea in your opinion to be taking Valium on a daily basis? I am a 51-year old male in decent medical health...

Thank You.


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