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Found 11 results

  1. Hi new here Got tired of the BenzoBuddy board, just felt like I didn't belong there...trying this-I'm a MadinAmerica fan, and have read about this forum there. Today is the beginning of month 6 off 0.5mg of Kloncide which I took for 10 years about...I did experience K withdrawal when I was given it while insitutionalized in 2001-I went to jail for 4 months for trying to get away from my estranged abusive husband...I took the kids, who were my life, and fled to Canada believing that there was sactuary there. My mistake. I might also mention I was taking Paxil during that time; looking back I wonder if this played any part in my decision making. My ex was able to take the kids, the house(s) the business, EVERYthing after I served him divorce papers after years of psychological and, ultimately, physical abuse by using the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. He had a good liar (lawyer) and I had zilch. I was working as an RN at the time, and the sheriff came and served me with the papers initiating the above while at work. He hadn't had a job in 30 years; we survived on a small nursery business and he grew a small amount of marijuana for sale...we lived as a family of 5 on about 500 dollars a month. He is an alcoholic...I don't know what I was thinking except he was charming and very intelligent. He was pals with all the liars in town and the judge-our land partner was the head of legal aid in our county. I had no money for a lawyer, and LA wouldn't help because the considered it a conflict of interest. Anyhoo...my now young adult children are loyal to him...they think I'm a whiner, and now that I'm having this withdrawal experience, they can't/aren't able to understand my position. I have pressured them for support, and they just can't do it. I am alone in this...I eventually went on SSI due to encounters with the mental death system-I'm bipolar, they said, and will have to take meds for life. I've taken so many meds that the last 15 years are a blur...my first AD was prescribed when I became suicidal after the birth of my youngest son. It's been a wild ride since then. I have a handful of friends who love me and support me as best they can. I had to quit my part-time job due to the benzo rage, the d/p and d/r the agoraphobia. I sometimes have difficulty paying for food at the end of the month. I got frustrated on the BB site due to all the suggestions for suppements and DVDs and youtubes and therapy, right...every-freeking-thing costs money. I don't have an internet connection so use the leaky wi-fi in my neighborhood when available. I have a small container garden that is my one small bright spot. I live in a beautiful place but it is overrun with 'ganstas' who ruin the environment with their greed for $$$. I live in the marijuana capitol of the country...and that is all there is here...very little going on socially or very little organizing for the future. It's all about money and big diesel trucks and trips to Thailand... I've lost much empathy (see above) I am so judgemental...I screen people carefully before letting them into my life. My symptoms right this moment are agoraphobia, major major insomnia...suicidal ideation...feelings of hopelessness...I was abused as a child, my whole life has been shi**y, and I just can't see how anything will get better. I read a review of 'Anatomy of an Epidemic' in my erstwhile New York Review of Books-that Marcia Angell is really something...I checked the book out of the library, and soon started d/cing the Depakote I had been on for years...my last AD was mertazapine, which made me into a fat pig, when before I had been nicknamed 'skelator' by my kids... I tapered the last drug, the K, for a year and a half, thinking I would be good to go but NO...7 weeks out from jumping I had some major stressors...and began the horror of the akathesia (sp) I felt as if I was metabolizing jet fuel,,,relentless sleeplessness...weakness (formerly quite active since I get around without a car) my blood pressure was way high...I did not know what was going on. I went to the clinic and they of course, wanted me to get back on the Depakote, cuz, you know, I'm bipolar...they gave me Remeron...and I took it but it gave me incredible epic dreams/nightmares...went back they gave me sleeping pill (can't for the life of me remember which one...a z drug-told me it wasn't a benzo... FInally found BenzoBuddies and figured out what was going on-they are good for that. I was so uncomfortable in my skin I just wanted to kill myself. Got an offer for some free acupunture treatments, and I was able to sleep for awhile...the racing metabolism (sorry-wish there was spell check here) went mostly away...it was nice being touched...nobody touches me. People in town think I'm f***ing nuts, they make big circles around me. I've always been too sensitive, I've always seen the big picture...I protested the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in the day for example...I want to save the world but can't seem to save myself. Gonna try and post this while I have a signal. thanks for being here- PS some of this doesn't make sense...will edit it later;)
  2. I'm new on this site. I was referred to this site from someone on benzo buddies. I am 15 months free of them. I am looking to taper off of Prozac now. I need help with how to taper off of Prozac safely and not rapidly. I then will taper off of gabapentin. I am in a very fragile state right now. Please be gentle.
  3. MY dear friends. I am giving you a true story from BenzoBuddies of a guy who is totally free and living live after 15 months of misery after stopping long term use of benzos and Remeron as well as other ADs. I have exhcanged messages with him and he is quite well now. I am posting his story as i am myself going through a difficult taper of Remeron while trying to maintain my life intact and this gave me a lot of hope... I hope to all the Remeron taperers will give the same inspiration that is needed most of the time. http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=180521.msg2386953#msg2386953 Read and believe in yourself my friends The brain has the capability to heal. I am living it myself as at 2.35mg i am a lot better than i was when on 6Mg of Bromazepam and 15Mg of Remeron. WE ARE GOING TO MAKE IT. Good Luck in your Fights
  4. I was recently referred to benzo buddies http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?board=89.0for more success stories. I found tons success stories just for the year of 2017, and most are from much shorter tapering (less than a year). Wow, so we who are on ssri are in the worst hit of all, in the order of street drugs, benzo, SSirs with increasing difficulty in withdrawal???!!! This new awareness is very heart hardening.
  5. I'm a 54 year old female that has been on Cymbalta for about 7 years. I started at 120 mgs. and that was lowered to 90 mgs. because it raised my blood pressure. I stayed on 90 mgs. for quite a while. Last fall I stupidly stopped taking this drug because I didn't think it was working. I didn't know the dangers of cold turkey. I reinstated it 2 months after being off it. I'm now on 60 mgs. I take 30 mgs. 2 x a day. I've been back on it for 4 months trying to reinstate past the 2-3 week reinstatement time frame. I feel that the Cymbalta is no longer working. I have a lot of anxiety and feeling nausea. And diarrhea. I do also take a benzo. I just don't know what to do now. I can't cold turkey it again but I'm not feeling good. I need help! Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
  6. 'm new to the forum and feel like I've found a place where I can get some well informed answers. You all seem amazing! I'm trying to taper off Buspar (25mg- 5 weeks) and clonazapam (7 weeks - made it to .25 mg and am stuck). Which should I do first? I just read on this forum about tapering off ADs before Benzos and wonder what holds true for Buspar? I know Buspar affects seratonin in some way, but don't understand the mechanism and know it's different than ADs so maybe I should go for the Benzo first? While I have not been on them very long, it is clear to me that for some odd reason I have an extremely sensitive nervous system. I tried to go off the benzo twice and failed miserably. I had horrible incapacitating symptoms (I was on Ativan for 3 weeks and cold turkey-ed off at my doctors insistence which was a huge mistake) Then she switched me to clonazapam and after getting more stable i was able to go down from .5mg). My doc and psychiatrist are pushing Zoloft or lexapro and doesn't believe these symptoms are due to withdrawal but i really feel that I am stable now (had a stressful event in Aug/Sept which is gone and felt good at the start of Oct) and just anxious about the tapering down and withdrawal symptoms since both times I tried to stop they were so incredibly traumatic. Psychiatrist told me To just stop Buspar cold turkey but there is no way. I've tried reducing the dose by 10% the past 2 nights and it's been rough- not like the benzo but I can tell it isn't going to be easy. (Super nauseous and increased anxiety, physical symptoms). I've got more background but wanted to keep it shorter! Thanks for thoughts about which one to stop first!
  7. Hi...I am new here. I am female in my 60's and I would like to withdraw from venlafaxine ER 37.5 mg. I have just finished a taper off benzos and I am 3 months out and I am still quite symptomatic. I was prescribed both the AD and ativan at the beginning of June, 2015 for a panic attack because of a misdiagnosed health issue. I never felt that either the benzo or the AD helped me at all during that time and so I began to taper the benzo. I would now like to taper the AD because I think I am having some side effects or paratoxical effects from the AD. All of the symptoms that I have had since June are still with me. I would appreciate any info., suggestions, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  8. Hello, I have been using Ativan for over two years to help with pudendal neuralgia. I am 72, in chronic pain and using two new supplements to help with withdrawal symptoms. Nerve Fix and Niacel by Thorne which is nicotinamide riboside.
  9. Hello everyone! First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Thomas. My native language is not english (I'm hungarian) so sorry if I misspell stuff....but I'll try my best. I decided to write here because it seems that this is the only place where I can get some good advice from experts. I really need it right now. I am quite new on this forum but I rad quite a lot of good info here (and other places too) in the past months. But I am tired and frustrated of just reading and researching and trying to figure out things by myself. It would be immensely helpful if you could hear my specific situation. So here is my story I hope I can remember the details as much as possible. My first treatment with these crazy meds started like 2.5 half years ago. Because I was quite depressed I've been prescribed a combination of an SSRI and benzo in relatively low dose for the sake of “prevention” (whatever that meant) First it was Sertaline (I think it was the standard 50 mg dose) with Lorazepam in low dose. I can still remember the first dose of the benzo (I almost passed out on the street). Anyway I took these two for a short time(two or three months) but the side effects were so bad (after my doc raised the Seltraline to 100mg I got the serotonin syndrome) that I got scared and just stopped taking them without asking my doc. It was a very quick taper and as I can remember I became relatively well quite soon. Of course back then I did not have any knowledge about these medications but know I think that that period was too short to really have a long term harm on me.... I think we can say that this period does not really “count” into my preset situation. Anyway time went on I was quite well for a good time. I mean of course I was still fighting depression to some degree, but now I know for sure that all this was because of problems I had in my life negative thinking, low self-esteem, etc....) and nothing that I had to take medications for. Anyway after like almost a year because I had a very bad period one of my best friends suggested me to contact that doctor again (huge mistake). He made another “cocktail” of meds for me. Now an SNRI, a benzo, and a sleeping pill. It was 75mg Effexor XR with 1mg of Rivotril (divided in two doses) and 10mg of Ambien for sleep. Of couse I had some relief...mainly that I could sleep again. So I took this crazy combo for around 6 months. Then another doc made an adjustment to this so the effexor was raised to 150mg, I had to stop the Ambien and take another 1mg of Rivotril instead of Ambien. So I took this combo for another 6 months. Things were not going well as you could imagine. Then I had to go to another doctor who finally said me that I was over-medicated and instructed me that we should change to less powerful meds, which seemed like a good idea but the way he told me to do it was so inappropriate and wrong that it is still making me more and more angry as a read more about tapering and prolonged withdrawal symptoms. First he basically said to stop cold turkey the benzo. This was hard but not that crazy. But then he told me to stop the effexor cold turkey (150mg). That was absolutely crazy as I'm sure you know. After two crazy days he told me to start taking 20mg of Lexapro. This turned to be a good move because my withdrawal symptoms eased very quickly. I took lexapro for like a good 1-1.5 moths. But during this time I was experiencing more and more the memory and cognitive problems that were not new but more severe. So really then I started researching on the internet and finding that the long time use of these meds cause this. I became very angry again and decided to stop as soon as possible, so I made a fast taper from Lexapro and I was done. It was very hard but what I did was that I started to use a little bit of Ambien during the day to combat the withdrawal symptoms. I did this for a week maybe. Now I know that this was quite risky but it surprisingly helped me. I am one of those people that when I take even a little of Ambien it makes me super fearless, motivated, happy, agile, funny(even crazy). I think you heard about this. So this was in August. Since then I am recovering slowly. There were some better days, short periods but mostly I am suffering from most of the symptoms related to the prolonged withdrawal syndrome. I tried and still try some supplements out of desperation. Some of them seem to work. I tried to figure out what to fix and how to help fix (neurotransmitter levels, receptors, etc). Anyway as you can see in my case it is very hard because it seems to me that everything was affected directly (GABA even with two pills) Okay now about my experiment with supplements. I know the ones generally considered to help, I know how they work. I tried a lot of stuff in different combinations. My main problems of concern was the anxiety, numbness, apathy, low motivation, insomnia, and the cognitive and mental problems. I tried 5 htp, passionflower, GABA. These did not seem to have any effect. My thinking is that I maybe with these I can stimulate the production of neurotransmitters. What seems to help the most is L-tryptophan (I take it with 2mg of Melatonin) I take it before sleep and it seems to really help. It takes some time to fall asleep but I this way I can sleep a good 7-8-9 hours sometimes even with almost no wake ups. Another thing that I take is the “king” omega-3 Because of my extra low motivation I was thinking that maybe that has to do something with my dopamine. So after a research I ended up that I need to try Gingko Biloba, Rhodiola. They also rave about these restoring mental functions such as memory and concentration which I desperately want. I started Gingko a week ago it does not seem to help yet, hopefully will. Then I also took Rhodiola for two days but it was weird (some reports already warned me about this) A quite new discovery for me is the effectiveness of Valerian Root. It seems to help with the anxiety. I discovered it in an interesting way. The story is that when I was not taking the tryptophan some weeks ago I almost could not sleep at all, and my appetite almost gone entirely. Then out of frustration I started taking a little Ambien again(just 0.25mg) Of course all the amazing effects kicked in which I enjoyed(and did not want to sleep because I was feeling so good) but I knew I did not want to get it for long so after a week I stopped. But I was thinking: why is that ambien affects me so positively?? If only I could find a natural solution that does the same..... So after researching I came to the conclusion that I need to find something that has that effect on the GABA-A receptors as Zolpidem(Ambien) does. The only solution seemed to be benzos but in the gaba-a antagonist list I found two herbs too: kava and valerian. I also read a very good article with illustrations about how valerian binds almost the same way to the gaba-a receptor as benzos do(with only a little difference of which sub receptor they bind to) I was so thrilled!! I went to buy Valerian immediately and even taking 100mg seemed to help me very quickly. Now I take that three times a day. Yesterday I found some very helpful articles that Alto wrote. It seemed to explain a lot of things that I could not find answers for or I was confused about. But still I became puzzled about some things and even more confused..... so it would be helpful if you could explain some things also concerning my situation. It would be tremendously helpful for me.... The article called "Introduction to psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome" http://beyondmeds.com/2012/05/17/introwithdrawalsyndrome/ This was a very helpful summary for me about what does withdrawal mean and it gave me hope and I wish I have found this sooner.... but still I will post some questions from this one later... Another article is this http://beyondmeds.co.../gabaglutamate/ Most of the article seems clear and logical to me but there are some concerns and questions about how this applies to my situation I am thinking that first I need to know If I am doing something wrong in my recovery....so that way I can adjust things....stop doing things, taking things.....so please guys this is why I need your help now!! My first question is concerning this: (I would be very glad if Alto too could give some advice here “Noradrenergics — buproprion or Wellbutrin; mirtazapine or Remeron; SNRIs such as Cymbalta, Serzone, Effexor; and St. John’s Wort, rhodiola — and stimulate “fight or flight” activation, as will most SSRIs. Drugs and substances that are stimulating should be avoided.” Actually before I rad this article yesterday I had a St. John Worth tea twice and it seemed to help....a lot actually. But basically you say that I should avoid it along with Rhodiola? But even if it seems to help me positively? What about the other supplements? “My guess is: The first phase of withdrawal, the acute phase, is the initial shock of withdrawal, with the most defined symptoms, such as brain zaps and nausea. The second phase is when the serotononergic receptors are repopulating, with waves of depression and anxiety. The third phase is when glutamatergic disinhibition and autonomic instability take over. Often the autonomic instability causes hypersensitivity to drugs and certain supplements. Out of control, the glutamatergic system sends signals to the adrenals, which produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.” I am trying to figure out what phase of withdrawal I am now. I cannot decide if it's the second or the third. It is not clear to me what the third is but maybe I am in that phase. I might not be hypersensitive to supplements but maybe the Ambien experiement shows that I am to psych drugs (when a small dose made me feel extra good maybe even paradoxical) This might be a sign that I am already in the third phase? Is that a good thing in my situation? So this is about it for now. I am immensely thankful for people like you... Thank You in advance for your help!! Thomas
  10. Hello everyone I'm glad I found this site even if I am unable to stop using my meds due to illness and seizures. I still need all the information I can get. I have COPD and a seizure disorder both of which greatly complicate trying to stop any of my meds. I am afraid that I will suffer a seizure and stop breathing and possibly die if I suffer any serious withdrawal effects. That is why I took so long reducing my Zopiclone (1 year taper) and Trazodone (8 month taper) and I cannot bring myself to even consider stopping them. Trazodone should be relatively easy to stop but I have found this not to be true in my case. When I tried to cut the dosage lower I started to feel very sick and I could also feel a seizure coming on, so I quickly went back up 50 mg from 12.5. But at least I am stable at the reduced dosage (150mg down to 50mg). I cannot even imagine cutting down on Cymbalta without it causing serious health issues. I will be getting a CT in 3 weeks to check for brian damage from using theses meds and these results will change how I go about any of this. I know I didn't cover everything here but sometimes my brain does not work well and I can't think properly. So what things do I need to know or tell you about to discuss my issues? Amygdala
  11. My story: I started taking anti depressants about 15 years ago for mild anxiety. I saw my doctor and he gave me a prescription after about 15 minutes without any exam. He said I had a guess what? Chemical imbalance. For the next 15 years I switched a few times and increased the dosed so in the end I was on 50mg of Paroxetine CR daily. Through the years I had always had a feeling that something just wasn’t right with me, I was drinking way too much sometimes and I felt like I just didn’t think right, like a normal person. After 8 years dry, I started drinking again following my divorce. I slowly drank more and more and continued to take my 50mgs of paxil every day. I didn’t realize it but I was slowly taking away my conscience. I also didn’t realize it until recently but the paxil was actually giving me the overwhelming urge to drink. It screws up your blood sugar which creates a craving for sweets. Alcohol derived from sugar, so it satisfies this need in your body. But what happens is afterward your blood sugar crashes again which starts a cycle of craving. As a result of the paxil and alcohol I was lying to everyone including myself about my drinking but it didn’t seem wrong to me. Anti depressants and the like are very powerful drugs that not only affect us physically but they do horrendous things to our brains and our personalities. I found myself praying frequently and asking God to help me. I knew I was drinking too much but I also felt something else was drastically wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it. God answered my prayer and I guess I wasn’t prepared for what it meant. He sent an angel into my life who when she learned about these drugs urged me to get off of them. We came up with a reduction strategy not wanting to go through the possible severe discontinuation syndrome, which is a nice name for a visit to hell in withdrawal. I started cutting my dose and feeling some minor discomfort every so often but nothing unmanagable. It wasn’t until about 8 months into it that I got hit by a freight train of withdrawal. It turns out that these drugs are stored in our body’s tissue and our blodd levels drop much slower than expected from redu cing the dosage. So when my body caught up my nightmare started. I know this is a benzo site, but I also know that many are in the same situation as I was so I want to talk about antidepressants as well because that is what led me into getting trapped by benzos. They sent me to hell on earth where I met benzodiazapines. So at 8 months I was thrust into full blown a/d withdrawal what seemed like overnight. I was extremely anxious, disconnected, confused and scared. Looking back I don’t know how I got through each day. Well actually it was my angel who was there for me every second that is the reason I made it through this whole ordeal. She talked to me all day long and spent untold hours doing exhaustive research to try to help me in every way possible. Through nutrition, essential oils, anxiety management techniques and on and on. My anxiety and dp/dr got worse every day and after about a month of trying certain supplements and hoping for relief, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore so I went to see my primary care doctor. He was all to willing to prescribe me something to help me with the anxiety. Xanax, .25mg, 3 times a day as needed. I was instantly addicted and very soon right into tolerance so I visited the doctor a few more times. The end result was ending up an 3mg of Ativan a day. It wasn’t long until that wasn’t enough to put a dent in my anxiety and other symptoms so I started adding more pills on the worst days. I also drank periodically to try to get any kind of relief. It got so bad that one day I actually ended up taking 8mg of Ativan along with drinking a lot of beer and wine. I don’t know how I lived through that day but my angel was there to watch over me and make sure nothing happened to me. I thank God for her every day. It takes a special kind of person to be a care taker for someone in a/d and benzo withdrawal. And she never left my side for the 2 years it took me to start the reduction of the a/d to this day as I sit hear and prespare to share my story. The benzo’s were making me crazier and crazier the higher I went. I can’t really provide too much detail for this time in my life because I was in a benzo induced haze and I don’t remember too much. I know I did some really stupid things and couldn’t take care of myself. I was starting to get really paranoid and agoraphobic. I would stay alone in my apartment in the dark, afraid to go anywhere. I was still drinking from time to time and I was also having a lot of phsyical symptoms too. I was dizzy a lot and my vision was out of focus. I felt like I was a small version of myself and that I was inside my own head looking out through my eyes like windows. I was feeling like I didn’t belong in this world and was feeling like what I was going through was surely going to result in my life being over soon. It got so bad and I got so scared I did the worst thing I could have done. I went to the hospital. I knew I needed to get off the benzo’s and I figured they could help me, WRONG!! I spent about a week in the first mental hospital while they took me off the remaining paxil and put me on cymbalta at the same time they were weaning me off of 3mgs of Ativan over the course of a week. By this time I was crazy, I was crying all the time and just thinking that my life was over. I got out of the hospital and immediately starting abusing the benzo’s again in a futile attempt to calm myself down. I was on an adrenaline rollercoaster along with all my other symptoms. After a week I realized what I was doing and went back to the hospital. A different one this time and they tried to wean me off 4mg in 4 days……4, 3, 2, 1 and done. I ended up getting out of the hospital before being completely off but I was an absolute basket case. Going to the hospital once was a mistake. Going back was catastrophic. I am very lucky that I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar or something else. The hospital was determined to get me to talk so they could diagnose me and prescribe more meds. Everytime I had to see the doctor in the hospital they would try to lead me into saying something that would confirm with them that I was mentally ill. I AM NOT mentally ill, there is actually no such thing as mentally ill. The whole of psychiatry is based on lies. These drugs do things to your brain to make you act abnormally. Take away the drugs and take care of yourself and your mental state will heal along with your body. My angel stepped in and helped me reestablish so that I could wean slowly. Right out of the hospital I had to go stay with my angel. I was psychotic and I hadn’t slept for 2 weeks. I was stupid enough to try ambien so that I could sleep. I took 9, 25mg pills over the next three days and didn’t sleep at all. Imaging taking 225mg of a sleeping pill and not being able to sleep!! There must be something seriously wrong with that, it just shows you that once these drugs screw up your brain chemistry there is only one way to heal and that is by weaning off, going through wit drawal and trying to use anything natural to help strengthen your body. At this point I was in the deepest part of my withdrawal. I was reduced to the mental and emotional capacity of a child. I was helpless to take care of myself and I was a physical and mental basket case. I was shaking from head to toe constantly. I was pacing around, smoking cigarettes and I was in a state of absolute continual panic. The benzo’s had taken away my ability to feel any happiness or normality. All I could feel was overwhelming fear and sadness. I cried continually over everything. I felt like my life was over, I could not ever have imagined feeling so bad. I know why they call benzo withdrawal hell. It put me in a state of torment, which I would have as a constant companion for the next year. My fear of everything was so intense I believe my brain shut down to some degree to protect itself but even that did not relieve the fear and sadness. I could stand the slightest noise or any kind of activity. I could watch tv or listen to music. I could barely put 2 words together. I know most of this because my angel filled me in. I don’t really remember much at all from this time period. I was on watch 24 hours a day to make sure I didn’t have a seizure or just plain go beserk. At one point I scratched my face until it was bleeding and I don’t know why. These drugs hijack your brain and body and they don’t let go. I have experience drug and alcohol dependency and withdrawal and they were like a walk in the park compared to what I was to experience with both a/d’s and benzos. With benzos being by far the worst experience I have ever had. I also had a constant fear that I was going to die. I was certain that I had some horrible illness. I was constantly thinking I was going to have a heart attack or find our I had some incurable disease. I was actually so filled with panic I was afraid to go to sleep. I could picture dying in my mind and it seamed so real to me at the time. I was like feeling death over and over. I could picture life going on after I was dead, the thought were torturous. So in this state we reestablished me on 3mg’s of Ativan a day. We started weaning a ¼ of a pill every 7-10 days. This was a pretty fast weaning schedule and I would definitely recommend to anyone going much slower, but we were determined to get me off of benzos as quickly as we could safely. And after have been forced to go cold turkey twice by the hospitals, I don’t know that it would have made a difference to me to go any slower. I was so screwed up and the damage had already been done. It took about 4 months to wean off the benzos and I had been thinking that I would not feel as bad as when I started withdrawal but I was wrong. About a week or so after taking my last dose I starting feeling so much worse. I didn’t think it was possible but it was. My body had finally gotten rid of the drug and all hell was breaking loose. I would spend the next month in the dark locked in my apartment. I would just lay there for days, only getting up to go to the bathroom. I had my shades drawn and I was wrapped in a blanket on my couch. Like a child the blanket gave me some tiny feeling of security. Every noise I heard made me jump and I would be paranoid that someone was going to come and take me away. Everytime I heard an ambulance go by I was certain they were coming for me. My angel took care of me every second. Feeding me and watching out for me, comforting my fear and gently reassuring me every day that I was not going to be like this forever, this was withdrawal and it would end. Despite her encouragement I could not comprehend the concept. I was obsessed with my symptoms and I was absolutely certain that this was the real me. A paranoid basket case. I did not see how it could be possible to ever return to feeling like a human being again while feeling the way I felt. I felt really alone because I was so disconnected from myself, my emotions and the rest of the world. I cried every day for months and I don’t mean a few tears. I was sobbing uncontrollably at the slightest provocation. I tried to distract myself with tv, but I found that the slightest emotion shown would send me into a panic or I would breakdown into the deepest despair I have ever felt. At one point I found that I could watch an animated movie and I watched it over and over again. I don’t exaggerate when I say that I watched it 1000 times. I don’t know how I still have a job today. I was constantly calling in sick and taking off days at a time. My angel is the only reason I am still employed. I couldn’t drive an she drove me back and forth to work and kept me going day after day despite my desire to just give up and loose my job. I am so thankful for what she did I would not be alive today if it wasn’t for her. During this time my angel was doing exhaustive research trying to find anything that might help me in the slightest way. Supplements, healing foods, essential oils and on and on. I didn’t realize it at the time but the foods and the oils saved me from a much worse experience and they were helping repair the damage that I did to my mind and body. I know it was extremely difficult for her because I was very uncooperative and I wasn’t doing what she told me to do with any consistency. When I finally starting following her instruction at the end I realized that I should have been listening since the beginning. Nutrition and natural remedies are the key to any real health. For the next 7 months I barely existed. I was going to work and then going home and then laying in the dark in a state of constant terror. I had a number of physical symptoms but the mental symptoms were the most unbearable. I said every day that I wished I could trade the mental for the physical. I realize I was actually fortunate after hearing of the physical suffering that so many were enduring. My mental state was totally obsessive and focused on my own suffering so I was unable to experience the empathy that I now have for others. My physical symptoms included blurred vision, dizziness, various pains, heart palpitations, night sweats and I had a rash on my face for the entire duration of withdrawal. I still have it but it is fading now. During withdrawal I saw a doctor on numerous occasions trying to explain my withdrawal and the symptoms I was having and the doctors all said they would like me to see a psychiatrist. Basically dismissing what I was telling them. Unwilling or unable to accept the idea that the drugs they prescribe were tearing me apart. They would talk to me with that all knowing condescending town offering their forced compassion all the while insisting that it couldn’t be withdrawal and implying that I had a mental disorder. One doctor told me to consider increasing the paxil. I can’t believe the willing ignorance of the medical profession in the face of such overwhelming evidence of this epidemic. I saw a psychiatrist as infrequently as possible. It was a necessity to avoid having to cold turkey off the last of 20mg’s of paroxetine. I would muster all my inner strength to tell them I was doing fine, knowing full well telling them about the withdrawal would result in a life changing diagnosis. It was until last December I was giving the name of a doctor that was practicing functional medicine. A combination of treatment by short term medicine along with long term nutritional approach to health and well being. I am so thankful because it turned out to be the turning point for me. I started out being given tests for vitamin levels and food allergies along with a complete blood panel. At first I was put on a few supplements. They didn’t have any impact and I felt worse every day. Hopelessness was growing and I was constantly wondering how much longer I could keep going. I ended making another appointment with this doctor in a desperate attempt to find the slightest bit of relief. After talking to the doctor she said she would be willing to prescribe a small dose of abillify to see if the could provide enough relief to enable me to function. What we didn’t know at the time was there was a neurologist in California that was having success treating patients with minute amounts of these types of drugs for short periods of time and seeing results. I took the abilify for 2 weeks and over the course of that time I was becoming more and more aggressive each day. It continued until I got so paranoid and aggressive that I turned on the one person who had devoted herself to caring for me and never leaving my side. I was delusional and this new drug had made me think that she was trying to control me and keep me captive in my apartment. The place that I had confined myself for the last 2 years. I have to take every opportunity I have to express my sorrow for having treated her so badly, because she saved my life and I will never forget what she has done for me. Even though my actions were induced by psychotropic drugs hijacking my thinking I still have no solace in that having turned on her like a rabid dog. That is what these drugs do to people it is disgusting. Because I felt so bad it finally made me see through the psychotic fog and I decided to stop taking the medicine. After 3 days to my absolute surprise I noticed that I actually felt a little better and over the course of the next few days I felt better and better. I actually experienced happiness which was an emotion I forgot how it felt to have. Since then I have continued to fell better and better with the passing time. I changed my diet and stuck to doing what my angel was telling me to do and as a result I am no longer in withdrawal and I am getting ready to start weaning the last of the paroxetine, extremely slowly!! We believe that the small dose of anti psychotic drug stimulated the receptors which had basically been shut down from the a/d’s and benzo’s. As a result I have lost all of my mental symptoms and I only have minimal physical symptoms. My cns is still very sensitive and I am only sleeping 3-4 hours a nite but I am eager to face each day with happiness and an undying gratitude for my life and my angel. I believe that I was divinely guided through every step of this journey and I can see now the reason for everything that happenend. I thank God each day and look forward to the future hoping that I can pay forward the gifts I received
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