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#573776 - 05/20/06 01:27 PM Xanax and Piano
Evan70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 100
Loc: California
I was just put on a regimen of Xanax and Lexapro to treat anxiety, and its reeking havoc with my piano playing...along with everything else. After a few attempt at the keyboard, I walked away in frustration. Well not frustration...the drugs took care of that. I just didn't care. I'm not feeling much of anything anymore. After a few a few days of this, I think I prefer the anxiety.

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#573777 - 05/20/06 06:01 PM Re: Xanax and Piano
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13826
Loc: Iowa City, IA
What exactly did the medications do to your playing that you didn't like? Lack of focus? Lack of energy?

I asked one of my medical student friends, and she said that there are lots of different anxiety/depression medications and that you should feel free to approach your doctor to discuss alternatives.

Also, everyone reacts to drugs differently. Check with your doctor, but when you're dealing with mental health prescriptions, it often takes a bit of experimentation to tweak the regimen to your system. Time of day and dosages vary from person to person. If the Xanax makes you drowsy, for example, try taking it at night instead of in the morning.

Also, get a second opinion on your playing as well. It could just be that your perceptions of your own playing have changed, but that the playing itself has not.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#573778 - 05/20/06 06:17 PM Re: Xanax and Piano
Evan70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 100
Loc: California
This is all new to me, the pharmcutical thing. It may take a while for my body and brain to adjust. The piano playing sounds the same, but the emotion and pleasure isn't there. Walking around like a zombie wasn't my goal when I went into this. I'll have to give it time, adjust to it, alter the mixture, or just quit the meds altogether.

#573779 - 05/20/06 06:33 PM Re: Xanax and Piano
phonehome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 921
A lot of times people prefer to not be on certain medications. Some people prefer the highs and lows and the stresses of anxiety over a constant middle ground. I agree with Kreisler. Talk to you doctor about alternatives.

#573780 - 05/21/06 12:38 PM Re: Xanax and Piano
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Originally posted by Evan70:
This is all new to me, the pharmcutical thing. It may take a while for my body and brain to adjust. The piano playing sounds the same, but the emotion and pleasure isn't there. Walking around like a zombie wasn't my goal when I went into this. I'll have to give it time, adjust to it, alter the mixture, or just quit the meds altogether. [/b]

This is what I heard Xanax and other anti-anxiety drugs do to you. They remove the emotions from the activities outside so you feel detached from the outside world. In my opinion, I would not like that at all especially with music because you have to feel the emotions to make the music work right.

You might want to talk to your doctor about them if you feel that you don't like what's happening. Also it could be too that you're not used to them as well.


#573781 - 05/21/06 01:09 PM Re: Xanax and Piano
w_scott_iv@yahoo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 1120
Loc: West Virginia
Try a lower dose. Your body will adjust in time. I also take lexipro and am functioning musically pretty well. I hope eventually to be totally med free, but in the meantime Lexipro has been a 'good drug' (effective w/few side effects). I was prescribed a med recently that rendered me totally illiterate musically, but I persevered and was finally able to adjust to that (although my Dr. took me off of it due to the side effect). See if your doc can get you set up, not so that you don't feel anxiety or depression, but so that you can cope w/it. Remember, this too shall pass. Good luck, Walt

#573782 - 05/21/06 01:56 PM Re: Xanax and Piano
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Hi Evan:

I'm bipoloar (in the old day it was called manic-depressive). Was diagnosed as such about 15 years ago.

Basically, you have to find the right "cocktail." Bipolars will know what that means.

There are so many drugs out there that help with anxiety and depression. BUT, and this is a BIG but, you are never completely free of these miserable moods. They do pop up once in a while but don't usually last very long.

I (after experimenting with many drugs in different dosages) have found what works for me, but it took about 15 years! I'm taking Wellbutrin (for depression and for smoking cessation...an extra benefit that does work,) (klonopin for anxiety...it works very well,) and Neurotin...a mood stablizer. Luckily, I am taking the minimal dosage recommended.

I am feeling the best I have ever felt in a very long time, and that's what has brought me back to the piano after all those years.

And whatever you do...DO NOT FEEL embarrassed or ashamed of your condition. Drugs for anxiety/depression are the 3rd most prescribed in this country.

And... you just might be surprised at the number of geniuses past and present (writers, poets, composers, artists, etc) who have sufferred from this disorder. There is a wonderful book written by Dr. Kay Redfield (she's bipolar) that details the link between depression and creativity. It's a strong one.

I know what you are going through. But keep trying to find what will help you. Tell your shrink (or doctor) that you are not feeling any better. I, too, was a zombie who just went through the motions for a long, long time. Finally, I got lucky. It can happen for you too.

God Bless.

After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891


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