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Ativan/Lorazepam for public speaking anxiety?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
I have a script for Lorazepam .5 mg. I have a big presentation due next week and when I speak in front of large groups I get severe anxiety. I spoke with a pharma friend and she mentioned lots of people (including business people & students) take some sort of anti-anxiety med prior to presentations and speaking arangements.

Has anyone ever tried this? how did it work? I am thinking about poping a few about an hour prior to my presentation next week. (with doing a dry run this week, i.e. just taking a few to see how they effect me)

From what I understand Ativan/Lorazepam are the least powerful of the Benzo class of meds, but also very effective for anxiety associated with public speaking.
post #2 of 64
I don't get why American's get on the Benzo train If you have anxiety do CBT
post #3 of 64
Try rehearsing your talk and knowing your stuff backwards and forwards, instead of popping a pill and hoping it works.

If you were more than a week out, I'd suggest Toastmasters.

Maybe you do know your stuff backwards and forwards, don't mean to be unnecessarily snarky, but IMHO (well, fuck it - I've spoken in public for five years now and have come to enjoy it - no point in feigning humility) the main cause of nerves is not knowing your material well enough. After that (persuming you do know your stuff), it's fear of the unknown (hostile audience???), and the anxiety that's common to all speakers in the first 30 seconds.

In any case, good luck whatever route you take.
post #4 of 64
post #5 of 64
Originally Posted by hiit View Post

See, Toastmasters could help you with that.
post #6 of 64
Thread Starter 
know the material, that is not really the problem just a general anxiety that has always been there... I have done a few presentations in the past but, even with very thorough prep still get the anxiety, I think a light dose of ativan may take the edge off and allow me to really focus on the presentation rather than the anxiety I am feeling.
post #7 of 64
I wouldn't recommend Lorazepam. It'll just make you tired. At least that's what it did for me when I tried it. Some musicians take beta blockers (Propranolol) for stressful performances or auditions. It works well in low doses. I'm talking 10-20 mg. But I've heard that it's not good for people who have to speak or act as you may forget what you have to say. I've used it before and it just seems to keep me calmer. Either way, if you do get some medication, try it out well before the event.
post #8 of 64
I like to be slightly unprepared for performances because it adds a bit of tension that you can play off of. You also get more spontaneity, which can be nice.
post #9 of 64
I'd probably be more inclined to have a drink than turn to pharmaceuticals.
post #10 of 64
I have used beta blockers (Inderal) and small doses of Valium. (Valium works better than Xanax for speaking IMO. Xanax is also more tiring.) The combination is very effective. Be sure to take the beta blocker a full hour or two before the presentation. Try both of them before the day of the event so that you are comfortable with the effect and feeling. You might even use a small amount the night before if you are especially nervous.

I find that having an intense workout the morning of an event helps tremendously. It really sheds a lot of excess tension.
post #11 of 64
Spank the monkey. Its always worked for me.
post #12 of 64
I used to get terribly nervous doing public speaking or anything involving a large crowd. I took a public speaking course my 2nd year in university and I think it did more for me than any other course I've ever taken. You don't need to pop a pill to solve problems when there's better ways. Do a bit of research, and you'll find that when you see yourself as a confident speaker, over time you'll start to feel like and become one.
post #13 of 64
Thread Starter 
^ dont get me wrong, if I had time for the public speaking course route or anything of that nature I would do it, but I dont have the time right now. Ihave tried the benzo at a dose of .5 mg (the smallest avail) and it didnt even feel like it affected me at all... I am going to pop two for a dose of 1 mg and see how that does me tonight.

The script dosage I have is very light, so much so that it says take 2 tablets daily as needed. As mentioned the single .5mg dose didnt even phase (at least as far as I could notice) so I def. dont think 1 mg is going to make me soooo tired I cant give a speech, rather it'll just take the anxiety edge off (hopefully).

I have also heard this stuff is pretty fast acting (30-40 mins. if swallowed; 15-20 mins. if let dissolve under tounge)
post #14 of 64
post #15 of 64
America relies on pills to fix all their problems.....pill for this, pill for that.

You need to confront the problem and overcome it. Simple as that. Don't rely on pills to complete a task....because then you will believe you HAVE to take the pill everytime you want to do the task again.
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