Five (5) facts about benzodiazepine withdrawal (you need to know)

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be debilitating. How can you support yourself during detox? Five (5) facts and considerations here. With a section at the end for your questions and comments.

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Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be debilitating. The limbic system in the brain kicks into overdrive. Symptoms such as extreme fatigue, depression, and panic are common. How can you support yourself during the months-years long process of detox from benzos? Quitting a benzodiazepine medication can be made easier if you are prepared for what to expect and equipped with the right information about what benzo addiction is, how you can find the best addiction treatment program for you, and the rehab process entail. Learn more in this Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Programs and Help guide. With a section at the end for your questions and comments.

Benzos overexcite our minds and bodies

Before we talk about what you can do to support yourself when going through benzodiazepine withdrawal, let’s review how benzos affect the brain.

There are two opposing systems in the brain: the glutamate and GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) systems. Think of glutamate as the gas pedal: it excites things into action. GABA, on the other hand, puts on the brakes. Benzodiazepines damage GABA receptors so that glutamate is free to run rampant, overly exciting everything in our bodies.

Without enough working GABA receptors to calm down the excitement from glutamate, our central nervous system goes into overdrive. The limbic system, the region of the brain responsible for flight, fight or freeze kicks into action around the clock. We experience:

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  • fear
  • terror
  • debilitating panic

Derealization and depersonalization are common withdrawal symptoms, as well. Severe depression, crushing fatigue, weakness, dizziness, burning skin, and a host of other debilitating symptoms can occur from taking a benzodiazepine.

We’re still learning about benzo withdrawal

It’s true that not everyone taking a benzo will experience a horrific withdrawal. Genetic mutations are the suspected culprits that cause the drug to mangle some brains but not others. However, the exact pathway of damage is not yet known.

What we do know about the experience of detoxing from benzo withdrawal comes from the collective stories of people who have survived it. The Internet is helping collect information about withdrawal and to disseminate more accurate facts to help people better navigate benzo withdrawal.

Five (5) benzodiazepine withdrawal facts

Here are five (5) of the facts that everyone taking a benzodiazepine should know:

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1.  Going to a doctor who is not benzo-wise can make you worse.

Most doctors are not very well educated about the dangers of benzos or the withdrawal process and symptoms. It is important that you educate yourself by studying the Ashton Manual, the gold standard to date for getting off a benzo. You may want to join one of the new online benzo communities run by benzo survivors that are springing up in response to the global need for help and guidance in benzo withdrawal.

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Rehabs and detox centers are not the place to go to stop taking a benzo. Both taper patients off very quickly, which shocks the brain so to speak. This can result in a more symptomatic and longer withdrawal.

TIP 1: Consult with a medical doctor with experience in benzodiazepine withdrawal.

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2.  Time is the only thing that heals.

There are no pills, potions, or lotions that speed up the healing process or make it go away. Some things can take the edge off, however. Many of those things come with a steep price tag of their own to pay when you want to stop taking them. It may be better to gut out withdrawal without adding insult to injury.

Many drugs, vitamins and supplements make us worse, not better. Compiling the stories of so many that have gone though withdrawal we now know that vitamin D, vitamin B and magnesium often rev up our symptoms. Further, herbs and supplements that work on GABA receptors should be avoided. Kava Kava, Valerian, Phenibut, and Chamomille are known to cause problems.

Medical marijuana usually makes people have an increase in symptoms. Anxiety, depersonalization, derealization, fear, paranoia and panic can result from smoking or eating edibles. CBD, (cannabidiol) is a marijuana compound that does not cause a high. It is not psychoactive like THC. CBD has been shown to reduce seizures and pain. However, some people in benzo withdrawal react negatively to it. It is best to avoid the use of medical marijuana in benzo withdrawal.

Many naturopaths, acupuncturists and functional medicine doctors like to prescribe vitamins and supplements. You must do your homework before you agree to take any thing no matter how natural or organic it may be. Not sure how to find out if what you want to take is known to cause problems? Join one of the many online benzo groups and ask other members. Remember, we can’t rely on doctors (yet) because they are not educated about benzo withdrawal. They mean well, however, the often harm instead of help.

TIP 2: Avoid the following vitamins and supplements:

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  • Chamomille
  • Kava Kava
  • Magnesium
  • Medical marijuana
  • Phenibut
  • Valerian
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin D
  • Any herbs and supplements that work on GABA receptors

3.  Watch what you eat. Food can trigger an avalanche of symptoms.

It’s not just drugs, vitamins, herbs or supplements that can cause an unbearable spike in benzo symptoms. Food can trigger very uncomfortable reactions as well. Many people going through benzo withdrawal become food sensitive. I couldn’t eat garbanzo beans without an increase in symptoms. Salmon revved up my symptoms too. Cane sugar and honey can increase withdrawal symptoms.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) needs to be avoided. It is an excitotoxin. Food additives, colorings, preservatives and artificial sugars can increase withdrawal symptoms. Sugar substitutes such a xylitol have been known to cause severe gastro problems. Caffeine and alcohol also make us much worse and should be avoided.

Benzo survivors usually try many different eating styles in order to feel better. Some try the GAPS diet, while others go Paleo. Some become strict vegans, while others just shun gluten. Diet is personal choice that only you can decide for yourself. Nothing to date speeds up the healing of the damaged GABA receptors, however, some diets do allow us to feel a bit better than others.

TIP 3: Find a diet that works for you. Look into GAPS, Paleo, vegan, or gluten-free diets. Avoid certain foods like:

  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sugars or sugar substitutes
  • Caffeine
  • Cane sugar
  • Food additives, preservatives, or coloring
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Honey
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Salmon

4.  Don’t up dose or reinstate unless it is to save your life.

One of the worse pieces of advice people are given in benzo withdrawal is to take more of the drug if they are struggling while tapering, or to reinstate (go back on the drug) if they are off.

A process called “kindling” can take place once you have been exposed to a benzodiazepine. No one knows exactly what takes place in the brain to cause this phenomenon. However, we know that it exists. If you go down in dose then go up, getting back down can be even harder the second time. The brain has been “kindled.”

If you are off the drug, especially for more than four (4) weeks, going back on the drug can backfire. You may become tolerant to the dose you reinstate on, and up dosing will not bring relief. You may be far more symptomatic and tapering may be brutally hard.

TIP 4: Keep moving down in dose. Once off, stay off, unless you feel your life may be in danger.

5.  Chances are good your old anxiety will be history!

Many people who have navigated benzo withdrawal find that the original complaint that drove them to see their doctor is long gone after withdrawal ends. You may be frightened in the midst of withdrawal and feel that your old anxiety has returned. That is your damaged brain misfiring fear.

You’ll know when withdrawal ends if you still have your original anxiety. (you’ll be able to seek appropriate help if you feel you need to do so.) Once we are healed, many of us feel we are made of titanium. We’ve lived through hell on earth. Nothing much ruffles our feathers. Chances are good that you will feel this way, too.

TIP 5: No matter how much fear, anxiety and panic you have in withdrawal, know that once your brain heals, it will fade away. The amount of fear you feel in the depths of withdrawal is not the way you will feel the rest of your life.

Freedom from benzos is a new beginning

Benzo withdrawal is not a walk in the park for many. However, getting free from the drug increases your health and possibly your life span. For the millions who have gotten free, a whole new life awaits! Many are happier and far healthier than they were pre-benzo or on a benzo.

You can get free!

You can be whole, happy and healthy again.

If you are struggling, please send us a message in the comments section below. We’ll do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

About the author
Dr. Jennifer Leigh is a Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Coach and award-winning author. She works with people worldwide to prevent and to heal addictions.

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  1. I’m 58 years old and been taking the same dose since I was 27. There is no way to safety free yourself of this drug. I’ve been without and tried and it only landed me in the hospital with blood pressure and stroke symptoms. It’s not worth it unless you take a lot. I don’t. Not everyone has adverse affect from these meds, as long as people complain about withdrawal, the less likely they will prescribe.

  2. Hello. I’ve been on clonazapam for 4 months now. Started at .5 mg then my doctor increased dose to 2 mg spread throughout the day to decrease my anxiety (nervous breakdown) enough to to reinstate another SSRI due to very bad reaction to first one they gave me. Have never been on benzos before and just managed my 15 year GAD with natural methods. Long story short I told him the drug made me feel worse especially in the day. Started getting negative thoughts so he told me to cut my dose in half to 1 mg. Needless to say, I went through 3 weeks of utter hell, shaking like a crack addict. I told him I wanted to ween off the drug and made another cut almost a month ago of .125mg. I’m still going through hell most days. Derealization trembling brain, can’t concentrate etc. My question is, as I ween off are my gaba receptors up regulating or do I have to be completely off the drug for up regulation to start? What’s waiting for me on the other side? I’m really afraid

  3. It’s infuriating that 60 years after the development of these types of drugs, doctors are still so uneducated about them and their dangers. I feel really screwed over by the medical profession, pharmaceutical companies, and the FDA. These issues should have been sorted out long before I was even born.

  4. I took Ativan for 4 months, only. Starting with .25 three times a day, theming titrations to 2 times daily, then one daily then half of the .25. It took at least two minutes months. I have been off about three weeks. I still have times of hypersensitivity or feeling extremely sleepy and have to lay down. One of the most bothersome effects is flushing. I continue to have burning skin sensations. I have Rosacea and the burning seems to aggravate it.
    Is flushing or burning skin a common symptom of taking Ativan and continuing during withdrawal?

  5. I am currently on .05 Ativan 2x daily and have been using for about 30 days due to anxiety from my Tinnitus. I am very nervous about tapering off and I want to keep working but with all the survivor accounts and warning about Ativan I am growing very anxious. I’ve been told that withdrawal can be offset and am considering Kava, L-Theanine, Magnesium etc. and hydroxyzine to help if I get rebound anxiety when I start tapering off. I wish I never started with the Ativan and now all I want is to get off it. Couple of questions…Do you have a tapering schedule or recommendations on how much I should reduce and over how much time. Secondly, any recommendation on a non-addictive anxiety reduction drug that I can take as needed when my Tinnitus starts making me anxious. Before the Tinnitus, no drugs, very little alcohol and very calm demeanor. Now, I feel hopeless, fearful and just very unhappy with how my life is going. Anything you could suggest would be so gratefully appreciated.

  6. I was diagnosed with BPPV vertigo in 2014. In 2016 my former neurologist prescribed 2mg of valium to calm the spinning. I took 1mg, it did calm the head spins, not get rid of them completely but it helped me to function. In January of 2018 I had so much vertigo, anxiety and pain I couldn’t function and my mobility decreased a lot. My PCP referred me to a cardiologist because of a fast resting heart rate. The cardiologist prescribed 25 mg of Metoprolol. I took half 12.5. Metoprolol is also an anti anxiety drug. In December 2018 my vertigo, anxiety, muscle spasm, insomnia, nausea and pain went through the roof! I could not figure out what is going on. I lost my health benefits so my cardiologist or PCP were no help and also most doctors are not equipped to deal with these types of addictions. They inadvertly cause them but can’t help to resolve. After extensive research I found that I am experiencing Benzo with drawl. My body built a tolerance and wants more! I now am trying to taper off. I dosed up in January because I didn’t understand what was going on. I know that the dosage isn’t very high but 2 1/2 years is a long time. THIS IS ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS I HAVE EXPERIENCED IN MY LIFE!. I am now researching Amino’s that can help ease at least a couple of symptoms. I know this is an individual journey. Has anyone tried a GABA amino to help with symptoms?

  7. Thank you Dr Jennifer :
    i have a long story of 07 years with kindling ,and hypersesitivity , at the begining i ignored that it was all about the adverse reactions & too late reinstatement that i have done in 2012 !i kept taking prozac 20 mg wich i was on for 10 years (2001-2011),my psychiatrist said that i have to keep eating it & it will kick in in few days as in the past ,i beleived him however every day i was experiencing worse adverse raection to it i told him what was hapening to me but he didnt beleive in kindling or neurotoxicity or anything else ,for him the drugs were safe all of them !i was not knowing or discovred this best website SA ,wich i found it 5 years later ,& when i read topics & discovered files on here ,it help me a lot !so i was damaging my brain over 6 years after 2012 ,during them i have uped ,lowed,gone back & forth ,cold turkyed went through serotonin syndrome ,panic attacks , switched to lexparo for a short period too! i have also went through a horrific protracted withdrawals with hundreds of uncredible symptoms every day , later in 2017 i learned all from this wonderful site that i have to taper slowly & that the antidepressants are no longer the answer for me !so i started tapering 5 mg of lexapro for 01 year & last summer i was off of it (august 2018) i was verry sick during the adverse reactions & kindling years almost 06 years in 2018 ,after that i was stabilized a bit (symptoms were present 24/7) three months later (december 2018) withdrawals started to rise again & hit stronger ,i said that i wont reinstate ,i said no it wont help ,i did it before & i was damaged a lot (two decades 1997-2018),this time i wont take back an SSRIs or a Benzo ! i lived through a hell every day ,there was not an other way , this last week i have experienced an other symptom wich was a pain brains,& pain /burning itching behind my neck & down to my back! wich lasted 7 days ! i was eating every thing had a lot of issues ,but now that i read this posts i ll avoid a lot of things ,i need Diet ,i steel experiencing withdrawals at 7 months off but its too early to heal, i know that it will take several months or maye be years ,is there some advices about alternatives or a Diet programm ?what shall i avoid? as you know i m hypersensible to every thing ,light,noise,some foods, hearing music,dark places, i do feel bad in winter, feeling cold,sweating, these are the a part of symptoms the others onces are the known withdrawals symptoms ! physical & psychological ! thank you

    March 1997- july 1997 Anfranil 25 mg, Tranxène 5 mg, Librium 10 mg, sulpiride 50 mg (juillet 1997)
    Oct 1997-nov 1998 Anfranil 25mg, Tranxène5mg (i have just reinstated these two Drugs only !)
    Nov 1998-mar 2000 Drugs off ( tapered with my psychiatrist help)way too fast
    Apr 2000-jun 2001 Anfranil 25mg, Tranxène5mg (réinstatement these only drugs after 18 months off) with success (no adverses reactions)
    jul 2001-sep 2010 Prozac 20mg, Tranxène 5mg (switched from l’anafranil 25 à Prozac 20mg since july 2001)
    jun 2007- jan 2010 Tapered Tranxène 5mg ( quick tapered it while i was steel on Prozac 20 mg(things were okay,No Benzos withdrawals !)
    sep 2010-mai 2011 Prozac 20mg conique (things were okay as well )
    mai2011-mar 2012 Dugs Free (always no symptoms ! thought that i was healed !felt High )
    mars 2012 RELAPSE ,HIT BY WITHDRAWALS /Then i reinstated Prozac 20mg (too late reinstatement = adverse reactions )
    mar 2012 -apr 2016 prozac 20 mg on / off felt sick & miserable : cold turkeyed ( going on it back & forth ) et reinstatement (Adverses reactions et kindling t, neurotoxicity )
    avril 2016-2018 lexapro 10mg on / off since sep 2017 lexapro tapering (Adverses reactions & kindling )
    now at the 8 th month Off steel on withdrawals ,No Diet, No exercice , just working & coming back home !however sypmtoms are severe 24/7
    i can sleep but with nightmarres & morning cortisol ! anxiety ,adrenals fatigue ,fibromyalgia,anhedonia,DP,DR,

    sorry for this, i know it’s long !Thank you

  8. I am going to be 69. I took 4 months to get off liquid vslium. A smallish amount. I am still taking 3.5 mg if mirtzapine. It allows me to sleep s little. Whst will happen when I am off it completely? I’m guessing I’ll never sleep again. If I replace the remeron with trazadone Will I be kindled. I took trazadone for years for sleep. The doctor replaced the trazadone with remeron. No tapering.

  9. I have been on Ativan for four weeks now, and my doctor told me to stop. I have 28.5 mg in my system. Will I go through the horrific withdrawl symptoms? Paul-

  10. I mixed xanax with alcohol to cope with my anxiety and now I’m suffering from withdrawal symptoms it’s been 3 weeks since I last drink and had xanax, at the 3rd or 4 day I experienced the worst symptoms the doctor prescribed librium short term for 3 or 4 days and I felt better but now I have anxiety problems again with heart palpitations grinding my teeth headache etc. And I was trying kava kava to calm down until I read this article I also put honey on my tea . What can I do to get better? Please

  11. You might go to your doctor and ask. I got cut off after 9 years of a milligram and a half of Ativan. Sounds like something else may be going on.

  12. i am suffering from xanax withdrwal from 2 years i took medicine only for 5 month once i stop med in that period for ten days ……..i healed many times …but symptoms comes and goes …..i took alprazolam 0.25 only ….on two year i am experincing headech blurred vision cognetive impriment drowsiness healed many time …..what i should do will it end completely one day……because many time i was healed…please help and guide..

  13. I’m completely out of withdrawal. Stopped after 35 days of hell. Already gained back 8 pounds. Sometimes it’s not as bad as you think I suffered more during the taper than actually when l quit. Lost 30 pounds. David

  14. I am 22 months off a forced basically CT , my symptoms are so severe and cruel unbearable pain and suffering! My coccyx and rectum and vagina and buttocks are on fire like hot coals in my rectum, hot curling iron in my buttocks and hot iron on my sacrum , my skin burning from the top oh my head to the bottom of my feet, my brain is frozen in the front burning in the back squeezing in a vise , my clothes hurt water feels like glass shards on my skin, I have frozen shoulders and burning hips and spine , I’m having acid sweat every pore , maddening tinnitus, my ribs have a belt sander burn and squeezing like boa constrictor around my torso and chest, hair loss muscle atrophy, joint pain bone pain , internal Aka, dr/dp I can only stand or sit on the toilet for semi relief I mean semi , because I’m always burning, my neck back is killing me , I’m suicidal because I’m only getting worse not better, I had the sensitivity to light and hypercusses that turned to tinnitus, I paced for 2 1/2 months and had uncontrollable body movements those left but the internal Aka is horrible too , I hate all furniture as well it’s so painful, im considering reinstatement but at 22 months do I suck it up , I only sleep a hour aday because I can never ever ever get comfortable ever , please give me your opinion on going back on 😭😖😩😣🤦🏻‍♀️ 😰 I don’t want to die but can’t just exist like this anymore I’m terrified I’ll never heal , my depression anxiety and fear and looping thoughts are awful , I talk with Baylissa Frederick and Jennifer Austin Leigh and belong to most online groups , I’ve had 3 MRIs , X-rays , Ultrasound , EMG , colorectal exam two pelvic floor specialist for tailbone pain and possible Pudental Nerve entrapment because I can’t sit or lay down without excruciating crippling unbearable pain, I was fine before except I had a neck injury 30 years ago and some back pain, some slight spinal stenosis but I was on a opiate a muscle relaxer and a benzo so the FDA said no more benzo 😡 o did have insomnia, stress and social isolation and become a zombie so I just that was tolerance wd maybe ? But I drove traveled shopped showers etc and I only want to get my life back now , have you ran across my symptoms? Do we all heal ? Thank you for reading this Yvonne G.

  15. Help I been on Xanax 25 years. I have tried to stop twice the first time I had hallucinations so bad I thought I was in Iraq and ended up on psych ward. I got out and my panic attacks and lack of sleep almost drove me crazy. So I went to a doc bag got on them again. The next time I quit I went to a 21 day detox and 8month inpatient rehab. So after 9 months of complete sobriety, I was still having anxiety and panic attacks that were debilitating. So of course when I got home I went back to a doc and got a new prescription. I want to live without depending on a pill to be able too function Can someone please let me know if there’s a way to deal with my anxiety disorder without Xanax please let me know.

  16. Can you help me I’m 4 months off mirtazapine. I take 1 diszapam a week to take the edge of.
    I have really sore nerve pain. In hips. To the point I can not excersise as it raps it up. Would love your help and support. Can I go in to a less harmful drugs to ease the nerve pain ?

  17. A year ago I was on 2mg of klonopin a day for panic disorder and since then I’ve tapered down to an 1/8 of 1mg but I am having severe joint and muscle pain after going down to 1/8 mg from 1/4 mg…is this a normal withdrawal symptom?? I can hardly move in the mornings. I am also on 10mg of ambien for sleep. Will that make the withdrawals worse? Any advice will help, thanks

  18. “Non-Addictive”, realistically no there is not.

    But not as addictive? Thankfully, yes, there are dozens of options.

    Anti-depressants (APs) are being used ‘off-label’ increasingly in Europe by GPs, both SSRIs and Tricyclic classes of APs. The Tricyclic AP Amitriptyline has worked extremely well for me as it is more sedating than other types and I have used this medication twice to come off Lorazepam, Alprazolam and Clonazepam/Diazepam. It’s a medication I will probably be on for life because I have since been diagnosed with GAD, Major Depressive Disorder and Delayed-Sleep Onset Disorder. So insomnia is a massive problem for me that needs to be kept under control. Tricyclic APs are generally more sedating than SSRIs so they work well for all of these problems. You will have to withdraw properly, but the withdrawals are not as intense nor as long-lasting like with benzos, so in most cases it is absolutely worth it.

    Pregabalin (trade name, Lyrica) was originally designed as an anti-seizure drug for epileptics, however in recent years it is increasingly becoming prescribed for social and other types of anxiety. Despite it’s name it does NOT work on either GABA A or GABA B receptors, and instead works on Calcium Ion channels to bring anxiety relief and often a mood lift.
    Pregabalin is addictive and can be abused, however the withdrawal symptoms are not known to cause potentially fatal symptoms and are not as harsh or nearly as long lasting as benzos. Although tolerance to the drug can build rapidly, unlike benzos, tolerance can return to baseline in under a week, with no “kindling” effects like with Benzos.
    If used sensibly (or sparingly) under medical supervision and monitoring, it can actually be hugely helpful in both anxiety disorders and with benzo withdrawals. It’s anti-seizure effects can prevent the dangerous seizures seen in some people withdrawing from Benzos, and with the anti-anxiety and slightly sedating effects it can help with the insomnia and anxiety attacks too. It can also be combined safely with anti-depressants since it does not work on serotonin, so both drugs work differently.

    Hope this helps you!

  19. It’s been several months of withdrawal now and I’m still in hell. Waking up every night drenched in sweat surprised I didn’t die in my sleep my heart is pounding so hard, terrified and feeling like I can’t breathe. Skin feels like it’s burning and getting hot flashes on and off every day. Nervous hand tic has developed so I look like I have parkinsons affecting my left hand. Pouring with sweat just walking around the shops. And so angry at my psychiatrist who I partially blame for the whole thing….

    I abused diazepam (valium) and then clonazepam (klonopin? I live in the UK and we don’t use brand names here) on and off for two years. I started because my first psych admission I was given it any time I needed to calm down and I never learned how to deal with the feeling any other way so I started buying it myself. I took about 20mg a day often with alcohol. I am under a mental health team for other issues. I first experienced withdrawal last summer. When I told my psych about the withdrawal he said since it was a few weeks into withdrawal already there was no point him prescribing anything and I should just carry on. I was then put onto a psych ward in December for a mental health crisis (my outpatient psych was then also my inpatient consultant in charge of my care. The same guy.) He hadn’t made a note that i had a benzo addiction or had gone through withdrawal recently and put lorazepam on my chart so of course for two months I had lorazepam thrown at me, usually 3-4mg a day, often with codeine for pain. Finally at the end of my admission they realised I had been having far too much lorazepam and cut me off cold turkey. And ever since I’ve been in hell. I don’t trust my psychiatrist or any of his team. He didn’t help with the addiction the first time, never bothered to make a note of it even or let it affect his prescribing when in charge of my inpatient care and if I now go to him with this problem he will just say well it’s been two months and I haven’t died this time either so just keep going cold turkey. I don’t know how I am supposed to survive like this when I already have ptsd and am in therapy for my trauma and dissociative issues and I can’t sleep properly go out in public without a panic attack. I feel responsible for this because I made the choices I did, but I don’t know how I will ever recover when it’s likely if I am admitted to psych again they will give me benzos again to calm me down and for sleep and the cycle will start over.

  20. Having said what l said I want to make something clear. I think there is blame to go around. It falls on me too. I am just as culpable if not more because l could have said no. I’m a grown man but l took the easy way out. I could have quit if l wanted too. I f you don’t realize that why expect anybody else too I have let it go. I started to write this yesterday and should have. David The reason for this is for my sanity.

  21. My nephew is the one that said he thought l should be on them. Being a doctor l believed him and stayed on them for years. He called the doctor who took me off unethical. Well after seven years he said no more. He hung me out to dry and has practically just stopped short of calling me a liar. I guess l haven’t shared that fact. He ruined my life plus convincing my own sister l was lying. Has hurt are relationship badly. I no longer trust doctors at all. And when this starte l asked to help me get off and he said l needed them. Probably the only reason l can deal with it is because l want to prove them all wrong. Can’t let them be right because l not an animal i’m human. David

  22. Hi I weaned off Clonazapam (Klonopin) been totally off for a week and half.
    My dose was .5 2x day. I was on it for 4 years.
    Was at doctor today in extreme pain legs and arms feel like they are sunburnt severely
    The weakness in my legs and arms is horrible and the spasms.
    This is worse than any fibro flare I ever had.
    Extremely exhausted ( worse than normal) I could sleep all day and night.
    Legs jump every once in a while.
    I hope this dosent last very long. It will drive me insane.
    The worst is the burning skin and spasms.
    Clenched teeth. But if I concentrate to relax it helps.
    If I had to do it over I’d ween off a lot longer than a couple of months.
    Thank you for everyone’s posts. I thought I was going insane. But it’s withdrawal !

  23. There are alternative drugs am currently on hydroxyzine. Just ask your doctor. Benzodiazepines are dangerous and addictive. I had nine years worth and got cut off. Bad situation. Have been off Ativan for a month. Some days are harder than others. Wouldn’t take them again. David. People not believing is the worst thing.

  24. There are alternative drugs Just ask your doctor. Benzodiazepines are dangerous and addictive. I had nine years worth and got cut off. Bad situation. Have been off Ativan for a month. Some days are harder than other. Wouldn’t take them again. David

  25. Is there no alternative to benzodiapines for anxiety, which is non addictive, thus no withdrawal, please? If there is a safe medicine, could you please let me know asap please,? Thanks

  26. I have been on benzos since I was 19 and never been off them I am going through withdrawal now I’m 62.Will Soma help a little?

  27. Hello. I am. Teddy. I have been clean and. Sober 7 years. I suffered. With. Anxiety. All my life about 18 months ago I got on ativan. I think I am ready to stop please help me. I think the taper down method will work best for me. I take 2 mg. A day

    So I want to see taper schedule I will be asking my doctor to help

  28. Hey David. I can only imagine your difficulty. I myself was a chronic benzo user as prescribed from my GP. for 1.5 mg Klonopin for 4 years. Began getting very ill after 2.5 years. I was fortunate in having been able to find a medical prescriber willing to work with me on a crossover/taper to Valium. Is there any chance you can see a different doctor or nurse practitioner? Perhaps in a mental heath clinic? Try not to be too hard on your nephew. Ignorance is bliss after all. There are still things you can do to help yourself during cessation. Eat as clean as possible, limit or avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, junk food, etc. Engage yourself in hobbies best as you can. Try your best to reduce internal and external stimuli. (unnecessary confrontation, intense TV stories) I know with me, even pleasurable stimulus would often overwhelm me. Hope this helps even a little. Take care.

  29. I have ocd the real unique type / had to do with words, notions talk. I hate when people say things loke garbanza beans. How could you probe that things like that and others just makes me more confused and nervous. Everytime i read i get really triggered. I am really sick of it.

  30. I was only on benzos for a few months daily.. before that, I would take only as needed.. as of today, I’m about 3 weeks off of klonopin which I tapered over a few weeks. This is hell on earth.. the thoughts of going insane wake me up and keep me in fear. I pray this is my peak. When will I feel better??

    1. Hi Christine. A few weeks taper is rather abrupt for many people. There are many factors to consider whilst planning a cessation schedule. Not having all of the facts concerning your situation makes it a bit difficult to dole out advice. There are a few things I can pass along through personal experience. 1) Consider reinstating a benzo with a longer half-life then proceed to taper 5-10 % every few weeks. Do this under a doctor’s supervision of course. I hastily taped from 1.5 mg Klonopin/day/4years over a six week period with unintended consequences. I was fortunate to find a prescriber who was willing to cross me over to Valium 15 mg/day. (She used 10:1 ratio) This did not eliminate all of my symptoms but it certainly took the edge off. 2) Educate yourself as much as possible whilst trying your best to avoid horror stories. Try not to anticipate manifestations of symptoms based upon others. Tackle them when/if they materialize one at a time. I know this can be difficult but slow and steady wins the race. 3) As has been stated many times, avoid anything that interacts with our GABA receptors, particularly alcohol. Limit (eliminate if you can) stimulants such as caffeine, B vitamins, excessive amounts of sugar, nicotine, so fourth and so on. We are all quite different so there is no one size fits all. Let your body/mind guide you. 4) Keep busy with hobbies, work if you’re able and realize that you will recover. How long? As long as it takes. Based upon my own research, the majority of chronic benzo users will recover within a year sometimes sooner. Best of luck!

  31. I’m almost 60 days into detox, I have a long way to go and I really wish I won’t wake up in the morning, it is hell on earth, but I do want to be clean

  32. Hi been tapering adivan a year have 1.5mgs to go I doing this very slow from 3.25mg I am in tolerance I dose morning and night. The weird thing is I feel more alert and better about 12 hrs after I dose before I take my next one

  33. I.have been taking Ativan about 9 years. My doctor cut me off after failed drug test for marijuana. I had been taking 1.5 milligrams. I got it down to 1quarter of a milligram over the course of a few months. This has caused interdose withdrawal. I have no more Ativan left and am extremely scared and getting sicker by the minute. Can l survive this? Neither my doctor or my nephew who is also a doctor think l am actually suffering from withdrawal. I was given some hydroxyzine and zofran. I am very scared. Please help me.

    1. Hey David. I can only imagine your difficulty. I myself was a chronic benzo user as prescribed from my GP. for 1.5 mg Klonopin for 4 years. Began getting very ill after 2.5 years. I was fortunate in having been able to find a medical prescriber willing to work with me on a crossover/taper to Valium. Is there any chance you can see a different doctor or nurse practitioner? Perhaps in a mental heath clinic? Try not to be too hard on your nephew. Ignorance is bliss after all. There are still things you can do to help yourself during cessation. Eat as clean as possible, limit or avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, junk food, etc. Engage yourself in hobbies best as you can. Try your best to reduce internal and external stimuli. (unnecessary confrontation, intense TV stories) I know with me, even pleasurable stimulus would often overwhelm me. Hope this helps even a little. Take care.

  34. I am 11 months off a 10 year use of Bromazepam. My worst symptom is severe jaw clenching during the day which worsens as the day goes on. Is this a common withdrawal symptom because I can’t find anyone on the forums experiencing the same.

    1. Be rest absurd Veronica. Your symptom is actually quite common. I was fitted with a mouth guard from clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth. Unfortunately I am unable to wear this device as it interferes with what little sleep I get.

    2. I’m also withdrawing from Valium and Metoprolol and both are addictive. I chipped a tooth clinching my teeth. Make sure to watch your diet. processed foods, caffeine, refined Sugar and vitamins like Vitamin D Vitamin B and Magnesium make my withdrawl symptoms worse. Chamomile Tea doesn’t help either. No way I could survive this without my faith in God.

  35. I have been on xanax for 34 yrs. I have been on 1mg 4 x a day for 13 yrs. I have had all the withdrawl symptoms including numbnes in my scalp, in my arms in my legs, iff and on. Whuich i s really scary. Do you know how long that will continue? Thank you in advance!

    1. My husband is 14 months off Xanax. He was on 4mg/day for 13 years. His MD thought a 3week taper was generous! I made my husband change doctor’s. We were lucky enough to find a benzo wise MD. He said healing would take about a month for every year of use to two years for healing. He has improved dramatically. I’m thankful and becoming optimistic that his healing is progressing

  36. I was taken 4 milligrams of xanx a day for 25 years.Three months ago it was cut to 2 milligrams and I and still detoxing but very mild symptoms now glad I hung in there..I would like to say derelization depersonalization occured traumatizing horror that was while smoking and eating maraujana.Extreemly horrifck feelings..

  37. Hi, I am on a taper from Lorazepam. I started at 1 mg. I am tapering by weight using a jewelers scale. The starting weight of the pill was 1.20, I am currently at .80 so I have tapered 34%. I make a .02 cut per week. Not sleeping well barely averaging 4 hours a nite. Then I nap in the evening and that messes with the nite sleeping. Urgh. I also have hypothyroid and take a med for that. I also have sleep apnea and use cpap. My Vitamin D is so low (16) but using the supplement made me feel like I had the flu. I also suffer from acid reflux. The fatigue is horrible. Luckily I was able to retire 914-18 after 28 years of employment. If I could only sleep I think the rest would fall gently into place. Any tips would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Kathy. Sorry to hear you are facing a multitude of challenges right now. Congratulations with your taper thus far. Slow and steady wins the race. I too make the mistake of nodding off before bedtime and pay the sleepless price. Only advice hear is to stop napping. Yeah, I know, it’s easier said than done for both of us. My daytime fatigue is overwhelming most days. I do my best to remain engaged in something from dawn till dusk. The best advice I can offer regarding vitamin D supplementation is to expose your arms face and legs to direct sunshine for 15-30 minutes daily weather and season permitting. Best to avoid sunscreens and sunbathe 12 hours after showering. Your natural body oils contain cholesterol which is converted to vitamin D. During the off season, try an infant liquid vitamin D supplement. This will allow you to micro dose each day. (Slow and steady)
      Perhaps 1 drop (1000IU’s) added to 1tbls olive oil would yield 250IU’s per tsp. Acid reflux. My wife is a fellow sufferer, here’s what has helped her. Little to no coffee, digestive enzymes with every meal, dinner is the smallest meal of the day and 2 potassium bicarbonate capsules just before bed. Sodium bicarbonate works as well, she just happens to be potassium deficient. Now for sleep, I’m still trying to figure this one out myself. I “sleep” 5-6 hours, 2 of which I know I’m in bed.

  38. Hello
    I’m here because I feel like I’m losing it. I’m scared and I can’t type long. So please, if anyone knows if any of the below are things you go through in withdrawal? Thank you!!
    I was on Klonopin for 10+ years Rx. … one 0.5 mg of it 2x day

    I was taking 1-1.5 mg a day at times

    This was my tapering schedule:
    1 1/2 split in 2 doses a day then;
    1 cut in half 2 x day then;
    1/2 of 1/2 a pill a day then;
    0
    What started about 3-4 days prior to completion is :
    THIS INTENSE CHEMICAL, SOUR smell THAT IS MAKUNG ME SICK TO MY STOMACH. I CANT GET AWAY FROM IT!
    SEVERELY Constipated
    INSOMNIA where I am sleeping ONLY 6 hours every 2-3 DAYS or so.
    NOOOO appetite AT ALL
    BURNING IN MY STOMACH
    INCREASED DEPRESSION
    those are the major things I’ve noticed and I’m losing my mind. Do anyone know if this is all normal in Benzo Withdrawl?? IM ALSO TAPERING OFF METHADONE FOR PAIN
    Thank you all. I feel so bad so I’m sorry if it seems “short”. My anxiety is at a all time HIGH

    1. Hi Shelby. I am able to empathize with insomnia, no appetite and increased depression. Your other symptoms are quite common, however, not shared by me. I realize this post is old but hope you are doing well!

  39. I have been on klonopin for 7 months .5mg per day at first and I cut that back to about .33mg per day which was have been on for about 5 months within the past 2 weeks I have cut back to about .25mg per day. I am considering going into a detox to get completely approved did of it but I saw in your article that is not recommended. My problem is that the manufacture that was making my pills quit making them and I haven’t been able to find another brand that works for me so I have 10days left and I will be out. Please let me know what to do.

  40. I was put on Klonopin 28 years ago for seizures/anxiety and PTSD, then in 2012 had to have 2 back surgeries which left me crippled and had to be put in pain management. In September of 2018 my doctors said I had to be taken off Klonopin Because of a new law by the FDA saying u can’t be on a pain Med AND a benzo drug- luckily I found a NP to ween me off(not correctly) I’ve steadily gotten worse! I honestly thought I had MS/Lupus/cancer- generally thought I was DYING- even considered ending it all myself it’s been THAT BAD! I’ve had so much anxiety, my blood pressure hasn’t been below 176/122 my pulse has STAYED well in the 100’s- I can’t seem to keep my life or family together?? I forgot birthdays-I’ve had grandmaul seizures(although I’m still on other seizure meds) I’ve not been able to be seizure free- I e BEGGED my doctors to put me back on Klonopin but they won’t? The worst part is I’ve had acid reflux CONSTANTLY!! It has singed my vocal chords,burned my throat and is CONSTANT!!! I honestly thought I had mouth/throat cancer! It STAYS in my mouth/has caused my lower teeth to have 8 cavities and has rapidly dissolved my gums. I’m constantly having to spit it out and have been vomiting- NO ACID REFLUX MEDS HAVE WORKED FOR ME AT ALL! I honestly didn’t think all of these problems were from the stopping taking Klonopin but I NOW KNOW THATS WHAT IT IS! I was able to get 20 filled yesterday and after taking the 1st g pill 25 minutes later I had INSTANT RELIEF! (I ALSO HAVENT BEEN ABLE TO SLEEP AT NIGHT BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE MY SKIN IS BURNING AND I START SWEATING HORRIBLY ITS BEEN A NIGHTMARE!) immediately the acid reflux was gone! I took my blood pressure I was SHOCKED to see it was 124/85 pulse 86!! (I e been so fearful of having a stroke or hearttattack!) I SLEPT ALL NIGHT LAST NIGHT FOR THE 1ST TIME FOR MONTHS WITH NO BURNING:SWEATING! Itts like I’ve felt like I was dying from a fatal disease not knowing what it was,got a cure and I’m NORMAL AGAIN!! I’ve also discussed that the Klonopin manages my pain every bit as well as the Percocets do so I’ve almost totally weened off of them to 1 a day so I can get back on the Klonopin again- I’ve been on Benzos unfortunately more than 1/2 my life-in the early ‘80’s I was put on Xanax 4x a day for anxiety attacks-when they first came out-then changed to Klonopin in the 90’s(I think) to be added with my seizure meds, so in my case I think it was literally killing me to get off of them because my body’s so accustomed to taking them. It’s truly a shame the amount of meds drs get people addicted to! I have already weened myself off of 180 mugs of morphine a day I was prescribed in Vicksburg, Ms in 2014-my thought being I would ween myself TOTALLY off of all these drugs WITHOUT rehab EXCEPT my seizure meds- BUT AFTER BEING OFF OF KLONIPIN 4 MONTHS AND ONLY GETTING WORSE I NOW KNOW THEREVIS NO WAY I CAN LIVE A NORMAL LIFE WITHOUT IT- I’d either die from a heat attack, stroke or seizure. I’m just FURIOUS that my neurologist didn’t have the foresight of all of this happening to me when he took me off of it KNOWING how many years I’d been on THIS drug! Please send me any replies if u have had any of the same symptoms as I have- thanks
    Also can anyone please tell me if I will BEABLE to completely stop talking Percocets? I’m down to 1 a day now- I believe I can now that I’m taking Klonopin too??

    1. Julianne, wow! Although I can relate to several aspects of your ailments, it brings me no solace reading through your experiences, particularly where arrogant doctors are concerned. I sustained a major back injury several years ago. Underwent 3 surgeries, 2 of which were an effort to correct surgery number one. (#1 Lumbar fusion L5S1-L4L5 #2 Removal of broken hardware #3 foraminotomy at L4L5-L5S1) Due to my intolerance of opiates, including Tramadol, my GP suggested a benzo. I was experiencing anxiety as well so it seemed prudent. For two and a half years it seemed to be working well. The only time I took opiates was immediately after the injury and after each surgery. Two and a half years into daily benzo use I became intolerant to this drug as well. I began a rather hasty taper after 4 years as my “doctors” were unable to explain my symptoms: unrelenting panic attacks, debilitating fatigue, tinnitus, vertigo, high blood pressure, stomach pains, blurry vision, generalized bodily muscle spasms and tension, cardiac arrhythmia/tachycardia with or without anxiety, hyper insomnia, light sensitivity and others. After a year and a half long taper, I am almost complete. Most of the intense symptoms have lessened somewhat during my taper but other new symptoms have materialized, most notably, a marked increase in sciatica pain and SI joint pain. I have come to know firsthand how effective benzo’s can be for pain management. My misfortune is that I cannot tolerate benzo’s any better than opiates and they made me quite ill during and after. Your misfortunes you have clearly outlined and it just plain sucks! I hope you are able to manage without the Percocet’s at the very least. If the K-pin is what brings quality of life, then so be it.

  41. I am currently a month free from benzos I was prescribed for 3 years! It has been a very difficult period to go through but I am glad I made the choice to detox in a facility. I hope that in time I will be free from the crippling anxiety and panic I face daily especially being a mother of three children. Thank you for the information and I look forward to a healthier happier long life.

  42. I’m on day 228 without benzodiazepines I used clonazapam 2mg four times a day for 8 years! I’m beginning to feel free and back to normal if there is such a thing. The road was awful but I’m doing it. No caffeine ever. I never weened off I quit cold turkey and I beat it.

  43. I have been on .5 mg klonopin for thirty years, then up the dose to 1mg for five more years. I have been withdrawing now for 14 months and I am down to .5,(very sensitive nervous system) and have stopped there for a (break) but to my surprise withdrawal systems (dizziness) is continuing??? I have to go back to the states for a wedding and was hoping by stopping the taper the withdrawal symptoms would stop?? Any advice would be great.

  44. I’ve been on fairly low doses of Xanax or k pin for 14yrs. I’m pretty sure my Drs starting to ween me a little. I’ve read the Ashton guide and know 10% a week . Bls bla. I’ve cut down to .25 or less in the past. Now back up to 2 3 mg a day. And trying to stop drinking Wich I never did . As I taper. Some advice on supplements such as niacin gaba, and vitamin iv read. Any input?

  45. I’m down to 1mg a day, in a few days I won’t be able to get it persribed. Because they won’t transfer state to state. I’ll do my best. But I’m scared because I suffer severely from panic disorder 😖.

  46. I took Clonazepam for about three years,and I been off of them for about six monthsat least, I have sensitive teeth,and I been having insomnia,now that I don’t take them anymore.question is am I going to ha e insomnia for ever ? And are my teeth going to get back stronger again I need answers ?

  47. Please help. Lat doctors I saw abruptly took me off clonopin and put me on lorazepam but are tapering me from it and the withdrawals are hell. I have been on benzos for PTSD anxiety disorder for near 20 years. I also now have other health problems. Was told pre-existing health problems I had before benzos has been worsened by the benzos such as hormone regulation. Is it true benzos affect hormone regulation adversely? Thank you for this site to help us and for all your research.

  48. Hello, I have been taking on and off and never every day 0.25 to 0.5 for 12 years.This time I am determined to stop it as usually after two months Withdraw I go back because I have insomnia. This time I stopped almost 3 months ago I have anxietya d difficulty to focus. How long it will take for my brain to heal?

  49. In your article on Benzodiazepine withdrawal you say to avoid Magnesium and Vitamin D supplements. However I have read many articles and research that recommend both for depression (which is also an issue), and also recommend magnesium for anxiety. Also I have read a couple of research articles which associated low Vitamin D with anxiety, and more which found an association with depression. In addition, I have been prescribed Vitamin D for osteoporosis.
    It is true that I have found B vitamins over-stimulating, although they are frequently recommended for depression.
    Can you please explain and clarify your recommendations on magnesium and Vitamin D in relation to the many articles I have read indicating the benefits of these 2 supplements?
    Thank you.

  50. A doctor prescribed Temazepam to me to address the horrific insomnia I was having after withdrawing from the anti-depressant Effexor, which I took for 22 years. I took 15 mg for about six weeks starting in early August 2018. It helped my insomnia a little but not a lot, so I went up to 30 mg for a short while (only about a week). Then got really scared after reading about the dangers of benzos on line. I dropped back to 15 mg with no real problem on my own. I then consulted a psychiatrist about a tapering protocol, and he switched me to 7.5 mg of Valium in late September. Since late September, I have cut dosage from 7.5 to 6 mg, then cut 1 mg a week to bring me to 3 mg. But, the drop from 4 mg to 3 mg was very tough, and I have been feeling very unstable– extremely depressed with intense feelings of tingling in my hands, feet into my arms and legs particularly in the morning. Even have mornings when I feel like the nerve endings in my whole torso are “crackling.” Both mood and the physical sensations tend to improve in the late afternoon/evening. Because I am feeling unstable I have been afraid to cut further, but I also really want to get off the Valium in the safest yet fastest way possible. I am curious whether people think I should consider micro-tapering, or at least making dosage reductions smaller than 1 mg at a time. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
    Peter

  51. My psychiatric nurse practitioner is tapering me off clonazapam. She has cut my pill in half. I’ve been taking a half a pill for nearly a week. My head hurts, I’m easily irritated and am thirsty feeling a lot of the time. Is this normal? Will it go away soon? How long will I experience these withdraw sytoms?

  52. I’ve been struggling with benzos for 2 years now. Started when my body crashed. Have pots syndrome, lambert eaton disease. I’m down to 1.25 mg of valium. Kindled a few times.

  53. I was prescribed 1.5 mg Clonazeam a little over 2 years ago. No warning or direction. My bad for not being careful. I did a 1 1/2 month taper of Morphine 45mg and 15 mg oxycodone (17 yrs opiates) last does July this year. Ct methocarbiinal, topimax, ambien and neurotin. Started benzo taper Aug have only been able to taper .5 mg. Although Im holding in hopes to heal and build strength I have started to milk titrate my current dose 1mg divided into 4 doses. My dr also put me back on neurotin in hopes that it will aid in my taper. I know I will have to taper that as well. So worried and afraid insurance etc. Where do I begin in my cuts? Alive and blessed by God that I have endured thus far.

  54. Everytime i try to get off colizepam my blood pressure n irregular heartbeat shows up is there a safe way to keep pressure n heartbeat under controll please help doctor never told me bout this omly been on 2mg for 7 months

  55. I took one lorezepam .5 mg yellow for a panic attack 4 days ago. I felt fine until yesterday, then got a headache, chest pain, stomach cramps, n had to drive myself to patient first cause i thougjt i was having a heart attack..could withdrawal from one pill come up 3 days after it was last taken?.

  56. 9 years in withdrawal my weight up and down. Rhinitis near out. Arms still muscle loss. Muscles still on goin. Hair in bad condition. Will i go normal weight. I the weight gain won’t stay wirh me will it. And my boobs still double the size

  57. My doctor put me on diazapam to get me off lorazapam I feel awful shaky panic help need to get them out system how long before Ativan free

  58. I have tapered myself from 2mg Xanax 8mg a fay to 2mg a day, just got back from detox 5 days ago and off all medication. I am feeling the hell and back still and trying to find the vents way through this hell fire and furry WOW I had no clue this medication was that several hard to come off of?!?!?! Looking for some way of relief and relaxation of my body. WOW this is not a quality of nobodies life, wish I had of known before talking this stuff… wow it is horrible. I do t even know how long it took nor how sever the withdrawals and time of withdrawals it take to get through…

  59. Doctor gave me 1 mg ativan to take at night for insomnia 4 months ago. I am down to .5mg this week. Do I need to taper past .25? It stopped working for insomnia so Id rather be off it

  60. After my Dr disappeared(again) I was forced to come nearly cold turkey (again) off what was far too high a dose to start. This afternoon the really bad stuff started. My family doesn’t understand/refuses to educate themselves so they don’t offer support, in fact they make the panic & fear worse by yelling @ me or treating me as if they’re disgusted to be near me. I’m alone. I’m hurting bad. Thank you for allowing me an outlet to at least say those words.

  61. I have been on ativan for seven years know i have been taking lexapro for 4 years 20mg. I feel that my ativan has no effect as compared from when i started . i started with
    5mg which i was afraid to take but my panic attacks were horrible. My doc said i must take them. To get some relief i did as i was told know 7 years later i am still on them chaged doc new doc is trying to decrease my dosage i take 2mg a day plus vistaril sometimed feel like i am jumping out of my skin nauseous and other symptoms help

  62. II have been on diazepam for approx. 6 months. for anxiety, Very intermittent at first, toldto take as needed, the last 3 months I have been taking daily as per Doctors instruction and took as an average dose 2mgs x2 a day, which I have tapered down to 3mgs per day, over a month, The Doctor wants me to taper 1mg a month for the next 3 months and another month on .5mgs. Trouble is I am in withdrawal intolerance all the time and cannot eat, so nauseous . dry heaving, extreme fear and anxiety. I have become so fearful and bedbound, The Doctors have made things worse by trying different antidepressants which I have reacted badly to, and say if I don’t improve they will take me in hospital and force me to take medication .I feel so scared, yet doped all the time from the diazepam that I have to keep taking and want it gone. My husband does not understand and keeps putting food in front of me, and telling me to wash and go out to the post box. He has no idea the hell I am in and thinks that 3mgs diazepam is nothing, It isn’t nothing in withdrawal. It’s hell on earth, and don’t know how to go on. I am 73 and need some guidance as I am too old to deal with this by myself. Is the taper given ok. . Will I get better, I am so scared Is there anything that helps to ease the symptoms a little so that I can progress with my life. ^ months ago I was fit and lively, with a bit of early morning anxiety, now this. Will I survive, is there real healing for me Any advice, please , please Anything to help the nausea, anxiety at all ?

  63. My husband has BWS and doctor after doctor told him all he could do is go back on. He is, at a lower dose than before, but still suffers physical symptoms that he never had before, along with much more severe anxierty than before. Please help! Thank you

  64. Hello.. I am new to this forum.. my story is complicated.. 6 yrs ago I had terrible dental problems.. which resulted in a infection on my jaw that resulted in some nerve damage.I was put on lexipro 10 mg and that seemed to help.. I also started smoking marijuana and was well for about 2.5 years..I would still get anxiety and my diet was shit but I was pain free relatively.. so 2 yrs ago I decided to go off my lexipro.. my dr was like just cut the 10 in half for 5 days then stop which I did and continued smoking pot.. I would get twinges of pain in another tooth and freaked out fro past trauma and got a root canal.. the my left side erupted in pain again.. and I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia and put on nuerontin and back on lexipro.. my sleep improved but I went back to smoking pot and things were good for a few months.. then the bottom feel out.. long story short I was put on Ativan .5 to sleep and started to come down to 500 mg of nuerontin.. well after reading all this I want off the Ativan and am also skeptical of how these drugs have affected my facial pain.. I’m taking 5000 mg vit d and magnesium and I’ve tapered a quarter of my Ativan at night.. no marijuana. Only cbd… I’m basically just looking for advice on coming off the Ativan.. my dr is an idiot and just gives pills and I’m thinking of starting a water titration for the rest of the way.. I’m going to hold my nuerontin at that does till I’m off the Ativan and go from there…. also when I stopped my lexipro the first time I felt my life come back and think that smoking too much pot my have put me into the facial pain I am experiencing.. any thought would be valuable.. I’m going to cut my vitamin d way down but the magnesium does seem to help.. thank you for any thoughts and advice that may come my way..

  65. Hi, the most interesting post about diazepam withdrawal I have read. I’m 13 weeks diazepam free, mainly gastro problems now and the recent problem is fructose, so I’m avoiding fruit for a couple of weeks to let my gut settle down as it’s been through a lot already. I have got a bit scared of food, but try to eat brown rice, grass fed meat, cod and vegetables now without fruits. I’m hoping the 90 days to let the brain recover from it will help me move forward in a change of weeks. I’m sure never touchingly diazepam again. My sleep has improved and my anxiety , things can only get better, no support from doctors in the uk

  66. Im tapering off Ativan and I’m down to .5 mg twice a day. But today after I took my first dose I felt I still needed a little more so I cut my second dose in half and took it. I’m going to take the other of the cut pull later.im not taking more than 1mg, just used most of it earlier than usual. Will this cause kindling?

  67. I wuz perscribed Ativan 1 mg at hospital an took it once a day for a month on an off an tappered down off it an one day stopped an got to detox day 9 an slipped cuz my body started getting tight an I got scared an started taking a half of a 0.2 mg of it an took that for 1 week an stopped an now I’m on day 6 detox all over again an feel sick… Is this normal an will I be okay?

  68. I posted in February and I was desperate and I have been following everyone’s posts. I rapidly detoxed in December. I went into a locked facility to detox from Xanax after about 5 years of being on daily use. I can say that while detoxing I couldn’t even speak. I was scared, being in the facility I was in I wasn’t sure I would ever get out. Well it is now the end of July. I haven’t had any alcohol or any benzos at all. I take 100 mg of Trazadone at night, and I take 100 mg of Topamax twice a day. The Topamax helps with the anxiety and mood issues. Irritability etc. I also have Hydroxizine / Visitiril ready which I take as needed. All of this I have found have little to no side effects.

    When I was filling the prescriptions the pharmacy had to call me to ask if I was taking the Hydroxizine for allergies or anxiety. The Topamax has a benefit in that it is known to not cause weight gain for any of you out there that have had the issue of weight gain associated with any of the meds that are being used in your treatment.

    Anyway, good luck everybody.

  69. I read all & could use some help in quitting 4 good, allways back slide due to multiple health problems ,gerd, hbp coronary stents liver disease, chronic back pain ect alcohol had a sizer

  70. I have been tapered from 30 mg of valium at night, from 30, week one, 20mg week 2, 10 mg week 3, 5 mg week 4, 2.5 mg week 5, and now it’s been around 3 weeks of none, I had horrible withdrawal symptoms, and severe depression, tremors, uncontrollable cramps, shaking, lightheadedness, weak, faint, hallucinations, pychosis, nightmares, very sexual type dreams, and increased sexual hypersensitivity, I’ve not taken any vitamins, or supplements, except my whey protein, I always eat very clean, lots of protein, potassium, and low carb diet, I exercise 2 hrs a night, the Dr has me on 400 mg of seroquel, 45 mg of mirtazipine, I get tingling still in my fingers, and some burning sensations, I dont sleep well, some nights, not so alcohol restless as others, but I’m getting probably 5 hours a night. I’m hoping my withdrawal symptoms will continue to get better, I’m starting week 4 now, drug free, I dont drink alcohol, no illicit drugs, I’m beginning to clear the cobwebs, but I’m aware, withdrawal can take mnths, even years, iam disabled, and have PTSD, anxiety disorder, and depression, but I’m determined to get thru this. Any suggestions or advice on if I’m doing this the right way, the Dr did perscribe BP meds, and rquib, which I didnt take, due to side effects. Anyway, I’m trying really hard, I have a great support system, but I feel like I’ve ” gone crazy!”, at times, hoping I can get thru this, one day at a time, thank you!

  71. Been on adivan for about 10 mos 1/4 of a mil most of this time sometimes more to bring down blood pressure but now I am needing more an I want off of it my dr said to take gave for I week with a divan the next week add the amine 500 miles along with 750 miles of gabardine then stop the Ativan

  72. The VA is doing nothing for me, no advice, nothing, oh except to take flax oil, vitamin D. Also was told not to get into recovery groups on line. The VA? No help!

  73. Thanks for this I am just entering the world of Xanax withdrawal after up to 1 mg per day for almost 7 years It was shocking to find out how serious my situation is but I am in for the long haul It seems like many informed patients are beginning to insist on a longer slower tapering than many doctors prescribe Your article was helpful, the idea that vitamins and supplements is contra indicated is kind of counter intuitive but I accept it It almost seems like you want to eat a diet that may not be to vitamin rich even?

  74. I tapered off within 3 weeks my 1.5 dose of Klonopin two years ago. I still suffer from pressure and tightness in my forehead. What to do? I do take multi-vitamins that has vits B and D. Should I stop it? There are days that because of the tightness I have a hard time getting out of bed as it is combined with anxiety. Can all of us sufferers sue the company and make it illegal to sell benzodiazepin medications? I eat healthy but have poor appetite because of the combination of pressure in my forehead, fear and anxiety. What can I do to restore health to my nervous system? How can I get rid of this tightness?

  75. I’m suffering I’ve been on 2.5 of clonazapam of many years I started on this due to Menopause anxiety and depression it’s been 5 years I’m on 25mg of Paxil and 150mg of serequal at night for sleep..I’m down .5mg once in the morning and .5 at bed time..my withdrawals are so horrific that I am trying CBD oil..I’ve think of suicide often..when I was 30 years old I had a second child and had postpartum depression and anxiety sever was put on 1mg of clonazapam for sleep and on Paxil came off meds after 3 years..then for twenty years normal..then boom menopause and all this happening again..any help

  76. I have been taking 15mg of oxazepam 1 x daily for panic attacks and esophageal spasms. I would like to stop this now. I have started taking it 2 hours later than normally and figure I would do this for a week and then increase the time to 21/2-3 hours.
    I have a lot of gastrointestinal issues already but am trying to get off this due to the amount of time I’ve been on it. Please give me your thoughts?

  77. Help. Was a rehab and detoxed from xanx after 40 years. Feel horrible. Would I feel better if I went back on xanx but at a lower dose!??? I am in a living hell

  78. I have been off klonopin for 3 weeks now and off Ativan that the detox center gave me for 2 weeks and it seems like my symptoms are getting worse. Is this normal? I do have a gene mutation C677T which I know doesn’t help.

  79. l am scared l am on 1 mg klonopin 4 times a day and 600 mg gabapentin 3 x a day. l have been to 7 quick detox places to almost die of a heart attack or stroke n rushed to the hospital by ambulance n put back on. l have been on it 65 years n terrified. l hear ppl substitute with herbs n vitamins to come off slowly. l tried to come off slowly and cant n not using herbs l hear dont and mixed up as some say do.
    my psychartrist tried anti psychotic drugs n l would feel nuts…resperdol almost killed me so l cant take
    anti psycotics….neither anti depresents l threw them all up. l just started this non drug treatment called
    TMS. on my 22nd of 36 treatments and l have lowered the dose one mg of klonopin. l am scared cause l feel l do not feel l need so much. can someone call me about this ASAP please. thank you
    Gayle

  80. unless it is a life and death situation DO NOT take any benzos, everything you read here is true,, These doc have no idesa how bad this crap is,, I know from experience, STAY OFF,,

  81. My daughter Amy is 30 years old old. She abused xanax for almost a year she is having terrible withdrawal
    She hasn’t slept and when she tries, she twitches and talks in her sleep. I’m her mom and want to help. What can I do

  82. Hi there, my name isKaysie, and I am in day 10 of cold turkey off clonazepam, 1.5mg. I was prescribed 3.5mg 7years ago. I tapered down to 1.5 in 6months and jumped off the last 1.5 10days ago. Please contact me, thank you.

  83. LOVELY INFORMATIVE ARTICLE. VERY GOOD FOR MORALE. I WAS ON XANAX FOR ONLY A MONTH & STOPPED COLD TURKEY.HAVING SOME WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS WHICH I HATE. COULD YOU PLEASE LET ME KNOW, WHAT EXACTLY DEPERSONALIZATION IS. IS IT A FORM OF DETACHED FEELING FROM ONE,’S OWNSELF?.PL PL DO WRITE TO ME & EXPLAIN. THANKS A TON

  84. is it normal while in benzo withdrawal, too have a lowered heart rate? in addition, it seems that I’m short of breath and nothing looks the same or smells the same. Am I losing my mind?

  85. I had a Dr wean me off of klonapin after 30 years. I am now completely off and after 20 days my heart is racing and I have a horrible headache. What can I do

  86. All most doctors do not know about how to tapper off these meds, You might have to fire your doc even psych to get tne best advice,, 2, the withdrawels will go away, BUT yes it could take a year, none of these “doctors or Psych ” know much about this topic, there have been no studies on this topic, 3, Ashton Manuel is key, learn it 4 Have faith you will get better, I have been off Klonopine 7 months, and I still get hit with some symptoms, as they are now finding it takes a solid year for the brain to heal TIME will pass and we all will heal,,,need any help/support email me. I will be glad to help best I can I to have been through hell and back !!! WE WILL BEAT THIS

  87. I went Cold Turkey off of xanax in October 2017. The first few weeks were so bad. Now I am feeling much better but still have some symptoms. I do take vitamins b12 and d. I also drink camomile tea. I am going to stop but just wanted to know when I will be able to go back onto my vitamins.

  88. Hi, I have suffered from anxiety for years. I started with .5mg twice a day 4 years ago, then to 1mg twice a day a year ago because it didn’t seem to be help as much. Now it is back to the same level of anxiety which is too much. I am thinking of switching to Xanax instead.I asked my doctor and he said it was ok to switch. My anxiety is ruining my life, and i need help. I think I need to make the change,

  89. Thank you so much for this article, I have been taking 2 mg aprazolam before bed time for many years, I cut back to 1 1/2 mg, last night I cut to 3/4 mg, is hard but I’m going to be cutting to 1/2 mg and then in a week to 1/4 mg and then I’ll be free, my cuestión is 2 mg a lot? Thank you 🙏

  90. I was on cloneazapam for 3 years went off cold turkey and had psychosis for around 3 months thought I was in a prison camp buried alive etc Was that normal ? It’s been almost a year and staring to feel myself

  91. Hello! I have been off benzos for two months today. I am in a treatment center and have been taking valerian root for the last 6 weeks to help with the anxiety and insomnia. I now know this is bad. I didn’t take any last night and I felt I took 100 steps backwards. Not sure how much is in my head or not. So discouraging. My question is, do I quit the Valiran root cold turkey, or do I titrate off of that? Very scared, very down to think that regression has occurred as these last two months have been hell, and I’ve actually seen progress. Thank you!

  92. My husband is a short term (just over one month) user of prescribed Xanax. He self tapered off and switched to Valium. We found a psychiatrist to help with the rest of the taper, however he does not believe that my husband is experiencing withdrawal symptoms and tried to updose and add a tricyclic RX.
    I tried searching for a doctor who specializes in benzo w/d. Haven’t had any luck. American Board of Addiction Medicine site is outdated.
    Any information you can give as to how or where to find a good doctor would be GREATLY appreciated.

  93. Hi! I took a whole year to taper off Klonapin and it has been 5 months completely off now. I am wondering if fearful nightmares, night sweats, depression, weakness, fatigue, weight gain are withdrawal symptoms even though it has been 5 months? Anyone experience this many months later? Thanks!

  94. I can not see how these drugs a still on the market,,oo wait Big Pharm runs the show,, I forgot,,, Little did I know that your brain takes a good year to heal from klonopine

  95. Hi I was on benzos for 3 decades and was only 32 mg a night I was out of it for 4 years just laying on the couch with my eyes closed against my better judgement I went to a detox center in Florida they pulled me off in a week I left ama after 2 weeks and came home and had a seizure I’m 6 months clean but my body is in total pain every muscle in my legs back &shoulders I’m suffering with this pain and I don’t know what to do. My dr put me on gabapatin for the seizure I had and a high dose of 2300 mg a day is that making me worse I need help I’m scared I’ll never get better please give me some advise of what to do I read all the information on this site and it said victim and and supplements can make it worse and I was taking a lot of them. My othopaedic dr gave me norcos for the pain and they don’t help either. I’m getting off them after just a months use because I don’t want to get addicted to other drugs. I do not miss benzos and don’t even think about them. I don’t have a lot of anxiety but I do get angered easy and I don’t like that about me. My biggest problem is how painful my muscles and body is sometimes I find it so hard to walk I just lay on the couch and I am so tired feeling. The first month off benzos I felt energy again but it short lived I want so desperately to live a normal life again I just don’t know who to turn to for help or what dr to see for all this please help me find an answer on what to do or what kind of dr to see that’s educated in benzos. I live in joliet Il. Thank you so much teri

  96. Hello, I’ve been taking 1mg of klonopin at night to help with insomnia for approximately 13 years. I just had an increase in my anxiety over the last month. I don’t want to up the dosage as my Dr has suggested. Have you ever heard of someone having severe anxiety come back while still taking klonopin? Thanks for your time.

  97. Hey I have been taking Ativan for around 6 months. Originally I only had to take .5-1mg per day now for the last two months or so my doctor put me on 1mg four times per day. He told me I could taper down to 3.5mg or 3mg per day. I’ve been tapering and I have been taking 3.75mg instead of 4mg for a little over a week. I’ve been finding myself having restless sleep but mostly increased, anxiety, fear and panic attacks and increased crying. Is this normal? Any suggestions on how to lessen the withdrawal symptoms?

  98. Hello, I’d just like to say that I wished 26 years ago when out of the blue, I suddenly felt I couldn’t breathe while sitting in my car and rolling my window down to suck in air that didn’t help so I went to the hospital where they told me I was having an anxiety attack and hyperventilating. It was scary because that had never happened to me before so I had no clue what was happening. The doctors prescribed me benzodiazepines. I never took illegal drugs or
    prescription drugs whatsoever. I wish the doctors would have checked first to see if there was something off with something in my body first before giving me the benzodiazepines in the first place. I was always trusting of doctors but these doctors never warned me of their addictive nature. I actually had an undiagnosed thyroid condition that mimics anxiety attacks. After finding that out my body was already addicted to that crap which makes me mad. I tried to get off them but it was too difficult. If I run out I have seizures and convulse. Had I known it was my thyroid all along I would have dealt with that. I’m mentioning this to anyone who has never started benzodiazepines or on a low dose and not long enough to get addicted to go get a full thyroid panel done including your parathyroid and adrenal glands. Your endocrine system plays an important role in your body. If it’s off in any way, your symptoms can mimic anxiety/panic attacks. I certainly wish I was given the info of their addictive nature because there’s no way I would have taken them. My life has been permanently messed up because of them. Now my health is so bad with other things that I’m just existing. I would love to be able and go back in time to change things but I can’t. I can’t stand what I experience if I run out. Had to call ambulance several times help my body stop the seizures. I never had epilepsy but this drug which also treats epilepsy gave me seizures from withdrawing. I am severely handicapped from spinal issues. Use to be able to drive, work, walk, ride a bike, do crafts assemble furniture,etc…..my fine motor skills are going. Bad dental I can’t afford to fix so I can’t eat all the good foods I love. Lost a lot of muscle mass so my strength is nil. I use to be physically strong and it was nothing for me to lift heavy items or do basic things. Now it’s hard to lift a 2 liter of soda. It feels like it weighs 20 lbs. Also chronic pain sufferer for past 4+ years. I don’t like not being independent when I’ve been that way. I’d rather been born with a disability so I wouldn’t know what I was missing. Even now, if my teeth were good but had to get around by wheelchair that I would be happy about. I know I could do that. Anyway, I hope you all are successful on getting off benzodiazepines. God bless and help you through it.

  99. I am on 3 mg a day of Klonopin I’ve been taking it for 27 years and I would love to get off of it how do I go about it please help me struggling in San Francisco

  100. Been taking klonipin for about 10 years 0.50mg picked up refill two weeks ago at drugstore and noticed they were different in color (orange) pharmacist told me they changed manufacturers.. took one pill first day made me feel real anxious so I continued on reducing to half a pill.. still my
    Anxiousness is getting worse so obliviously it doesn’t have same Ingredients as the original one I have been taking so I am having severe withdrawals and can’t get it filled until two more weeks since it is controlled substance.. my
    Doc is going to prescribe me some visteral for time to get me by.. it’s scary will this medication help. Ty

  101. I ve been through it twice both times dangerous seizures! Never again ! You aasholes are in this for rhw money oe you enjoy watching ppl in pain abd freakung out. Almost to their death! I got back on.I’m staying on.

  102. tapered to .5 MG Klonipin. Withdrawls are pretty tough. work fulltime. cant take off. any suggestions to decrease the withdrawls. I can handle the headaches and body aches. its the coordination and heavy legs I cant stand. I can Leg press 400 pounds for on Know im not weak. Legs just feel week.

  103. I’ve been on clonazapam for 34 years 1 mg twice a day and my doctor throws me for a loop and says I have one month to be winged off. I’m not doing well and was wondering if there’s a treatment in central florida

  104. I’m newly pregnant and need to get off 1mg of Xanax per day dosing…I have been on it for 2.5 yrs bc my husband died tragically…My obstetrics team says it will harm my baby to stay on it, I am 41 yrs old…Advice???????

  105. This is April 2nd 2018 and I went past my goal of withdrawing from Clonazepam 0.5 mg. I have been off and on this anti-anxiety drug for several years but last year from October to December had been using 1/2 tablet to a whole tablet to calm my nerves. I have OCD. While it does not take my obsessions away it sure brings my anxiety down a few notches. I recently saw my doctor who has treated me for severe anxiety for the past seven years. He told me plainly that he has patients who have such terrible anxiety that they are on Benzo’s for the rest of their lives. He told me I could take my Clonazepam AS NEEDED. This is what I am trying to do now. I read this post about withdrawl and I tried withdrawl and it was just terrible. I became so fearful and shaky and short of breath. Today is the very first day i have not taken any Benzo’s. Can I actually take my doctor’s advice and just take 1/2 tablet to one whole tablet as needed? I have social anxiety as well and I take Benzo when I have work meetings. Help! Am I doing this right? Thank you! Georgie in PA

  106. My wife is going cold turkey today after tapering off 1-2mg of xanax a day to .25- .5mg a day this last week. I want to help ease her discomfort and am desperate for helpfull information. Does CBD help or other vitamins, etc? Side note she has had a seizure before but dont think it was related to benzos at the time.

  107. This is actually a very interesting article. I see this recurring though and it’s bothering me deeply, so I’m just going to get right to it.. There’s this idea that once you ‘get through,’ the withdrawal from a benzo, there’s this life free from anxiety awaiting you. I absolutely call nonsense here. If you were originally put on a benzo for long-term use (relatively uncommon), then are ripped off of the medication with an improper to nonexistent taper, the damage occurring is considerable, plus now you no longer are able to trust anyone, not to mention losing respect for those treating you in the first place. I have found out the hard way that it doesn’t at all matter whether you’re responsible and strict regarding your own administering of oral medication. So I wonder – How is my not receiving a medication I’ve been on for nearly 10 years (out of nowhere), since a very young male, in any way constructive considering my own health. Not only my own health but those around me who suffer through this ordeal with me are marred, in a sense, by the volatility I exhibit (and understandably so), the unreliability in regards to income… I have tried to isolate myself as much as possible to spare those I love and that love me, which I have not even been able to really do, at least to standards I think are acceptable – The 2 A.M. rants out of nowhere, the explosive anger. I would have EASILY been employed by this time and getting back on track had this insane situation not come to fruition, sparked by drug enforcement agencies, limiting the practices of physicians, which is completely unacceptable to all, not just myself. Listen, people that truly need these medications, sometimes in combination, for their practical usage, do not experience this ‘high,’ some people seem to inversely envy through their condemnations (I find this particularly strange). Also, I find particularly strange I have actually had other ‘pain patients,’ preach to me about ‘masking pain.’ I either, in a measured, calm tone explain to them why they sound utterly ridiculous and reprehensible, or altogether ignore their presence. There is no high. When you take a medication following its label as a guideline both yourself and your physician have discussed, no kind of substantive ‘high,’ occurs. Anyways, mainly venting, though I am very, very serious. Thanks for the article here though, I do appreciate most of its content and overall intention.

  108. Have been on ativan .5 twice a day for approx three weeks now for anxiety / depression
    also taking 20 mg celexa
    will taking half a pill ,25 four times a day work as well
    sometimes gets a little anxious over a twelve hour time span to the next dose
    also have most of the regular side effects between doses
    should this settle down once the celexa kicks in with the healing process
    Thanks

  109. I have been on xanax for 5years I’m trying to get off my dose is 2mg and I’m cutting down by 1/4 for 2 weeks, then another 1/4 and so on, but my husband is taking a 1/4 at night to sleep and he feels he is hooked, can he get off quickly or not?

  110. Started on benzos in Nov 2015. After 3 months immediately wanted to come off. Psychiatrist switched me to Librium (100mg) after showing him the Ashton Method for slow taper.

    I was prescribed levaquin while on benzo on June 16, 2016 for a “possible” UTI. Didn’t have one. I took one 500mg dose and had diarrhea for a month and felt psychologically awful. Has this permanently damaged me? Effecting the GABA receptors.

    Tapered down to 55mg Librium by Jan 2017 and went into FL facility that brought me off librium and Cymbalta in 4 weeks. I was off the benzo for 5 months until I’m reinstated.

    Currently on valium (originally 20mg), now 10mg.. Normally dropping 5-10% per 1-2 weeks.

    I’m on the couch most days,although I have to force myself to engage, help with the children. My relationship with my wife has deteriorated. I’m not working. I have cog fog, not engaged with friends, no joy, overwhelmed by the slightest things, body burning, front of my head tight and burning. There is no intimacy in my life. I feel ashamed and guilty by the state I’m in.

    My family is everything to me. A 9 yr old boy and 11 yr old girl. I want to get well for myself and my family so we can have fun again, go on vacations and find the joy again.

  111. I was taking a low dose on and of the past couple years but I finally realize that I was having withdrawals . I haven’t had it in five days how long will it take for the withdrawals to go away

  112. I started this benzo withdrawal since the beginning of January 2018 and it has been hell. I hear sound in my ears at night and I will experience cold sweat on one side of my body.
    Blurry vision, pins and needles effect in my limbs…..
    It’s just plane crazy…
    The tightness on both sides of my head and nasal congestion is killing me….please I need advise on what next to do.
    Thanks

  113. For those who are experiencing withdrawal, it’s going to be a fight for most of us. The best thing you can do is get to know what you are experiencing and how it is most likely from withdrawal. Google ASHTON MANUAL and find out what you’re going though. There are plenty of FB groups. Don’t get on the antidepressant train; it leads to nowhere. Many will want to go to a Psyc ward. Don’t. They will put you on other drug and you will find out that it was withdrawal all along (I have seen it too often). Ashton is a leading expert and she recommends 10% reduction a month.

  114. I am struggling through withdrawal from klonopin. It is hell to go through. I am down from .5 mg 3x daily to .25 mg 2x daily. Where to go from here. I was taking Vita D and B because I had read that klonopin depletes B and I am suffering depression and tooth loss. I used to suffer Vit D deficiency. What to do? You say stay off Vit B and D? What else am I doing wrong? My psychiatrist wants me on Cymbalta and klonopin .5 mg 2x daily as needed. I have a miserable time with antidepressants.

    I could use some help.

    Arthur

  115. Getting off benzo’s has been horrific. I am in the psych ward at a hospital for a few days awaiting what the next step for my recovery. I need a rehab facility who can help me get back to normal, I am weak and have trouble walking and little funds to pay for private care. I am 77 years old. Please help

  116. @William

    It’s never a good idea to suddenly stop taking any benzo. As you are discovering. As you have only been on a fairly low dose for a short time, you may get lucky and see the WDs dissipate soon. Then again, you might have prolonged symptoms over many months. Have you checked your blood pressure? Hypertension (high BP) is a silent symptom that’s very common when suddenly stopping a benzo. If you don’t feel better soon, it would be prudent to recommence the lorazepam and taper off very slowly.

  117. My Doc advised me to start taking some lorazapam [I’ve had prescrip. for years but seldom took any] after a sudden onset of panic/anxiety attacks [I think triggered by job stress- I decided to go ahead and retire which immediately made me feel some better]. I took .5 mg two or three times a day for maybe two weeks. After reading and realizing how dangerous these drugs are [had no idea! ] i decided to just stop taking it and tough out the wd symptoms. Today is my 3rd day. It’s been really hard and I almost caved a few times but I’m hanging in and very determined. I’ve taken some Kava once [hated it] and find that a magnesium powder supp. called Calm is somewhat helpful taking the edge off. Most advice seems to recommend tapering off, but after this much time I’m trying to just wait it out. I don’t think I’m doing the wrong thing but any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks…. Wm Chapman

  118. Help I have no support I suffer with anxiety and depression my doctor is cutting me down I can’t leave the house .feel in severe pain i hav no 1 at home to help me through this im no way ready to come off am dyeing not eating and sleeping i hav a dog too he needs takeing for walks.ive been on them 17 year i need serious help I can’t go on much longer he dropped me from 30 mg to 24 in one go am on a bad way.i got to end this

  119. I tapered off of lorazepam. It took me five or six months. I reinstated it while withdrawing from an mood stabilizer. Now I am finding it impossible to taper again. I was on 1.8 mg for one month. My new doctor said to go cold turkey.. I could not breathe and reinstated at .75 after 5 days. I found a new doctor Who switched me to klonopin 1 milligram and I develop symptoms of panic fear and many other symptoms. To cope I switched back to lorazepam and increased the dosage to 1.5. This new doctor says I’m not withdrawing at all but have anxiety and will not switch me back over to anything. She wants me to stay at 1 mg and heal. She will not acknowledge for with drawers. I don’t have anxiety on average. Switching doctors could take months. Have any suggestions? Gratefully yours Catherine

  120. I have been on 2 mg a day of Xanax for almost one year. I am currently down to 1.5 decreasing my dose by .25 every two weeks. So far my worst complaint is feeling heavy headed or dizzy. Is this common. Should I taper slower. Please help I am ready to be free of this drug.

  121. My sister who is having a difficult time with withdrawals from benzo’s, she cannot eat and feels sick to her stomach all the time, at the same time she is depressed and dosn’t get off the couch to move and help herself. I am at my wits end watching her withdraw and there’s nothing I can do to help her….

  122. I have been on 1 mg of Xanax 3 times a day for PTS and panic attacks. My Dr is very slowly trtrateing me off I now take 2 a day then next month 1 a day .I have severe leg cramps .increased panic attacks

  123. I am struggling hard to get off Clonazepam 0.5 mg for which I have been on and off of for years.
    Once I went cold turkey and felt fine but then anxiety came back on me like a tiger and I ended up re-taking the benzo. Now I’m stuck in limbo trying to get off it. I have OCD and GAD. This pill really helps me sleep but in the morning I am shaking all over and have a racing heart and mind and I have to go to work so I take a half tablet. My doctor wants me to take the half tablet until there is no more and hopefully I will be free of it then. Thank you for this wonderful article. It was very enlightening.

  124. On Wednsday i dropped the last 3mg of diazapam to zero.Feel a little anxious but not too much else. I dropped from 4mg of xanax per day for 6 years to 40mg of diazapam tapering over 7 months to zero. So glad to be free of these horrible things amen.

  125. The last day I took any benzos was oct 30, 2017. I have had all of the symptoms listed. I am really going through my face burning and stinging and flushing suddenly when stressed. When I am out in public it gets worse. My skin in general feels strange. Any topical relief advice? If I drink detox tea will it speed up withdrawal symptoms. Thank u for any advice.

  126. Hello- I’ve taken Valium for 3 years now. A steady dose of 7.50 msg. I would love to get off of it.
    (Took for sleep anxiety)
    PleSe help!
    Thank you!
    Kelly

  127. I was rapidly detoxed off of Xanax, I was put on 40mg of Vibryd 100mg of Doxepin and Hydroxepine 50mg as needed which I have been taking at least once a day in addition to the Doxepin sometimes twice a day. I ended up quitting the Vibryd on my own after being on it for about two months and I am struggling with seeking the right care now that I have withdrawn from Xanax and Vibryd.
    Can you recommend any alternatives similar to Doxepin that do not have weight gain as a side effect? Do you have any recommendations I could mention to the Dr as I expect that recommendations geared towards former benzodiazepine users would be helpful.

  128. I want to get off of Xanax. I have been taking 1.5 mg at night. I went into rehab and took Valium for the 5 day stay but when I got home I went right back on it for fear that the w/d weren’t over. Now I want to quit again . Any advice on how to do it at home because rehab isn’t an option again.

  129. I have been on antivan for 3months for stomach problems and anxiety found out I had gall stones had gallbladder remove I now want off never took anymore then .5 I am now down to .25 twice a day how long do I have to take it makes me feel bad

  130. This website says to avoid Vitamin D and Magnesium during benzo withdrawal…can’t say I agree. Magnesium Lactate and Vitamin D3 have made an enormous difference. You can’t button-hole everyone. Every person responds differently. This concerns me, Dr. Jennifer :/

  131. Hi, i need help i have been on xanax for 4 years now and tapered myself down to onky taking it once a day .25mg . How do i get off completely with little withdrawls im a stay at home.mom with.no.help . My dr wrote me a script of hydroxyzine and im down to less than 20 pills left and my dr is unable to write narcotics for any of his patients now.so.i need help fast

  132. Hi ive been on benzos for 9 yrs and im down from 2mlg to 1 unless im driving long distance for work while driving my anxiety kicks in badly and i have to take a bit extra i wanna get off them but scared of stopping cold turkey cause of seizures i was told i could take if stopping that way please let me know the easiest way of getting off them as i lost my medical and do not get scripts anymore from a doctor

  133. Hi I have been struggling with benzo withdrawal from Alprazolam for 3 years now my addiction was so bad I was up to 10 mg a day I’ve since tapered off and for a month now been taking .5 mg a day and now I am on day 3 with no benzos yet but Feeling Extreme withdrawal sweaty stomach hurting using the restroom constantly and a fear of panic and when I try to relax I start jerking and twitching I have a prescription for 25 mg of hydroxyzine should I take that to help the withdrawal I’ve battled this for 3 years and I’m ready to be free

  134. I’m 68 and have been on lorazepam for almost 2 years. I’m also sleep deprived for the same amount of time which has accelerated the aging process and I am now malnourished (100) lbs and nothing but skin and bones. I am dehydrated from the inside out and my hair is falling out and my teeth are shifting and it’s affected my glaucoma that I need to use a magnifying glass to read anything even the computer and I still can’t see well. My body not absorbing what I’m eating because my intestinal is all messed up. In addition, I’ve lost all my muscle and have extreme pain, burning and numbness over my entire body. I have Fibromyalia, and neuropathy and swelling in my calves and I’ve lost the muscle on the bottom of my feel and they burn like crazy. My arthritis has accelerated and my entire body is in pai8n from that. I’m also on Cymbalta and trying to reduce Lexapro as I add the Cymbalta. My nerves are shot and I’m in a constant state of anxiety and depression. I’ve only slept about 3-4 hours for the past 2 years. I can’t think clear at all and I don’t want to die, but it feels like I am. I’ve been trying the CBD oil that past 3 nights and it helps me go to sleep but I wake up from vivid dreams and only sleep about 2-3 hours. I’m really scared and don’t know what to do. I’ve also been seeing a nutritionist who’s been giving me supplements and I'[m not sure what to do. The doctor just wants to give me more drugs. My health is not good. Can you please help me?

  135. I’m 36you been on valium for 7 years an my tourettes anxiety and panic attacks and palpitations got worse I wouldn’t leave home for weeks or months even because of social anxiety related to above and more so my doc put me on kalma 2mg 3 times a day after heaps of other tryal an error even canabus to no avail but the new ones kalma I’m on make such a difference I feel comfy in public first time ever and I even have part time work. It is the best thing that’s ever happened I think I almost feel normal like I never knew what that was I know it’s addictive but 8 months on and I finally feel like I belong and I’m happy it’s been a long hard road getting here but I can’t thank my doc enough I even laugh with him not cry it’s the best.THANK YOU DOC GOD BLESS I M STARTING TO LOVE THE WSY I LOOK AND FEEL AFTER SO MANY YEARS OF FEELING LIKE AN ALIAN TWITCHING AN HIDEING . I LOVE LIFE FINALLY

  136. Thanks for this article. I’m 112 days off benzo, every day a certain hell. I just read garbanzo beans and salmon, 2 things ice been eating, also vit D and B and magnesium, an ER doc told me high dose of D helps anxiety,,,ive also done cal mag calcium, d ,, geez ,,, thank u, I was doing wrong things and I never saw this in the Ashton manual. Your article has helped me, hope getting off supps including colloidal silver drops I’ve been taking whole time will turn me around,,,xo Warrior girl

  137. I have kidney stones. My Dr. precried me ROWATINEX.There have gelatin and yellow quinoline in its ingredients. Can it make any problems?. I am tapering.
    Thanks you
    Siwat

  138. This is my second time weaning off Ativan. Vitamin D and magnesium taken together have helped me immensely. I respectfully ask you consider altering the wording of the article to reflect there are no absolutes as to what should be avoided since all of us are different.

  139. Did you say that when symptoms return, it’s just your brain misfiring fear? What does that mean? That this journey isn’t linear?

  140. @Dave…..Yes, I am doing a liquid water taper. I am half way 53% today. in 70 days. Plenty of bumps but worth it. I start off by filling a mason jar to the 100ml mark then I dissolve my poison (benzo’s). Then I take a syringe and stir it and pull out an amount as I go (this way it is uniform). Then I put it measure it in a cylinder. I am doing a rather faster method then Heather Ashton recommends (10% a month)….I do 5% a week, which is 20% a month. You can measure any amount (listen to your body) as like the article says you don’t want to back track! If you have to rest, then take as long as you need to level out. I have not had to so far. Thank God. Hope this helps. I have been meaning to make a video. And may soon.

  141. Hi went cold turkey from taking 10 pills of cloneazapam a day for 3 years took 6 hellacious months I survived Thank you god and am happier then I’ve ever been Here’s an example of hell and psychosis I went through I got out of bed, where have I been? where was I? What happened ?So many unanswered questions. I remember flashes but I have to diforenctiate what was real and what wasn’t.I cannot begin to explain this feeling that is overwhelming me.I feel like I’ve been in a torture camp for months.I felt like I was been electrucuded for days and a night been dragged out in the box I lay in and buried alive only to get woken up the next day for more torture.My pillow and blankets are covered in clumps of my hair. I am soooooo hungry and thirsty. Ok I’m in my bedroom. What the hell happened these past months. My son they were taking turns torturing us, I was dragged out of my prison,they would drag him in , I would hear the screams so helpless I could do nothing to help him. I was brought back to my prison, I could hear his screams mom watch out!!!!!!!! He was dragged to the barn for more torturing .There back to guard me I here one up above me, many coming up the stairs.I will try not to sleep they are waiting. I’m in my coffin. As I’m falling asleep , I feel them dragging me in my coffin out to bury me alive to the barn for 1 night?Or days and nights,it’s different all the time.Maybe I will be lucky and have some sunlight.I will if we go back on the ship.I will know when I hear the engine going. I pray I have enough oxygen and live through this.I pray my son lives through this.So helpless so weak focus on the universe and God, The stars and the moon, and one day sunshine if you live.I have to go to the bathroom soooo weak ,they left me a bucket in here and jugs ?Theres urine in them,Must be mine or my sons.All I have to do is make it over there and I can go.So hard to hold myself up while I go to bathroom.Ok go to sleep for awhile if you can .awake it’s sunny in my prison must be a window somewhere in here.The last thing I remember was my roommate saying something to me and me saying I could have escaped I guess I knew it was leading up to being held prisoner Because after that I was.Todays date is Jan 14 2018 I’m feeling normal and happy This all happened about a year and a half ago I was let out of my prison I think about September last year Don’t know when I was put in it.I remember for the first time of being able to leave my prison going downstairs .My roommate said feed the dog and let him out by noon.Then he was gone.I had to hang on to the walls I was so weak I managed to look at myself in mirror in bathroom.And grey hair was about 6 inches long from regrowth So I’m thinking 2 inches a month Probably held captive for at least 6 months.I was skin and bone literally.No muscle nothing.I later found outI weighed about 60 Lbs I’m 5 feet 4 inches and averaged 110 lbs

  142. Ive been taking Ativan for three weeks 1mg in am and pm. I want off…but dont know where to turn. I would have never started had I known. I dont know if my doctor can help.

  143. I have been on adivan 8yrs I am withdrawing now because of long time use I was taking 3.5mg daily morning and bedtime I have tapered to 3 mg my anxiety is crazy even before my taper I am tolerant to the drug now what do I do? Please help

  144. Really some helpful information. Thanks!!!! Very sad to see that (so-call) Doctors are Cold Turkeying people. Very sad. I am 1/2 way though a 23 year valium taper and there are things that are uncomfortable, But thank God though the Lord Christ Jesus things are going much smoother then I thought! Glad I am doing this. Wish I had done this years ago. Very informative page! Thanks again.

  145. Thank you great site question was on klonopin for 3 months been off for 2 months now is the fatigue I feel due to WD thank you

  146. Hi Jeannie

    I have a similar experience with a very protracted withdrawal from 4mg/day of Klonopin – with Valium substitution & taper over about 9 months. For me it’s been roughly 2 years of hell and only NOW is there a light at the end of this very bleak and dark painful tunnel.

    I was ‘fortunate’ to only have mainly physical WD symptoms. If I’d had psychological ones on top I know that I would have caved in very early in the ordeal. You don’t mention what your WD symptoms are. Could you expand on them?

  147. I am tapering from Valium. I am following the Ashton Manual Method. I was crossed over from Klonopin to Valium. I am about to finish my morning taper any day! Then I will take a two week break and start tapering my night dose. Will things get better or worse once I am done with my taper? I was reinstated on Klonopin after going to a center and being tapered off too quickly. The withdrawal about killed me. I went about 6 weeks and then was reinstated for 9 months doctor tried to level me out but it was not working he wanted to up my medication and I said no. Although being reinstated has helped I have been truly suffering from withdrawal for two years now. I was so sick I was in bed for weeks and my worse fear is that happening again once I complete my taper. So again will things get better or worse once I complete my taper?

  148. Cynthia

    “…I’m going through tolerance withdrawals everyday and my doctor won’t let me go on a longer acting Benzo. I’m really afraid of what lies ahead. As I’ve been tapering, I developed tinnitus which is causing me so much anxiety. I don’t feel like I can cut down further, I’m so afraid.”

    Seriously, if you have such concerns and are feeling stressed perhaps you could take your concerns to a medico who will actually LISTEN you. I cannot think of any good reason as to why a longer acting benzo such as Valium cannot be substituted for Ativan.

    Have a read of Professor Heather Ashton’s guide. https://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha02.htm#13

    (2) Switching to a long-acting benzodiazepine. With relatively short-acting benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan) (Table 1, Chapter I), it is not possible to achieve a smooth decline in blood and tissue concentrations. These drugs are eliminated fairly rapidly with the result that concentrations fluctuate with peaks and troughs between each dose. It is necessary to take the tablets several times a day and many people experience a “mini-withdrawal”, sometimes a craving, between each dose.

    For people withdrawing from these potent, short-acting drugs it is advisable to switch to a long-acting, slowly metabolised benzodiazepine such as diazepam. Diazepam (Valium) is one of the most slowly eliminated benzodiazepines. It has a half-life of up to 200 hours, which means that the blood level for each dose falls by only half in about 8.3 days. The only other benzodiazepines with similar half-lives are chlordiazepoxide (Librium), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) and flurazepam (Dalmane), all of which are converted to a diazepam metabolite in the body. The slow elimination of diazepam allows a smooth, gradual fall in blood level, allowing the body to adjust slowly to a decreasing concentration of the benzodiazepines. The switch-over process needs to be carried out gradually, usually in stepwise fashion, substituting one dose at a time. There are several factors to consider. One is the difference in potency between different benzodiazepines. Many people have suffered because they have been switched suddenly to a different, less potent drug in inadequate dosage because the doctor has not adequately considered this factor. Equivalent potencies of benzodiazepines are shown in Table 1 (Chapter I), but these are only approximate and differ between individuals.

    A second factor to bear in mind is that the various benzodiazepines, though broadly similar, have slightly different profiles of action. For example, lorazepam (Ativan) seems to have less hypnotic activity than diazepam (probably because it is shorter acting). Thus if someone on, say, 2mg Ativan three times a day is directly switched to 60mg diazepam (the equivalent dose for anxiety) he is liable to become extremely sleepy, but if he is switched suddenly onto a much smaller dose of diazepam, he will probably get withdrawal symptoms. Making the changeover one dose (or part of dose) at a time avoids this difficulty and also helps to find the equivalent dosage for that individual. It is also helpful to make the first substitution in the night-time dose, and the substitution may not always need to be complete. For example, if the evening dose was 2mg Ativan, this could in some cases be changed to 1 mg Ativan plus 8mg diazepam. A full substitution for the dropped 1 mg of Ativan would have been 10mg diazepam. However, the patient may actually sleep well on this combination and he will have already made a dosage reduction – a first step in withdrawal. (Examples of step-wise substitutions are given in the schedules at the end of this chapter.)

  149. I was on klonopin for 4 months 1mg a day they tapered me off in two weeks and I’m in acute with drawl I need help..

  150. Hello, My name is Megan and My Doctor and I are in the process of bringing me off Klonopin, 3months ago I was on 3mgs a day and now I’m on .50mgs twice a day and I’m an emotional wreck and I’m scared to death can you please get back to me and talk to me. Thank you – Megan Grimm

  151. I’m going through tolerance withdrawals everyday and my doctor won’t let me go on a longer acting Benzo. I’m really afraid of what lies ahead. As I’ve been tapering, I developed tinnitus which is causing me so much anxiety. I don’t feel like I can cut down further, I’m so afraid.

  152. I’m terrified. In Jan 2017, I finished tapering off librium. I went five months and in May 2017 went back on Ativan at a low dose. I’m currently taking 15mg Valium, down from 20mg. I’m terrified about the kindling. I’m currently slowly tapering and plan on staying
    off this time. Feeling miserable.

  153. I’m tapering Ativan and having joint problems and horrible anxiety and tinnitus. I have no support at home, my husband doesn’t want to hear about it and I don’t want to scare my kids. I just need to know if my GABA receptors will heal? I’m really worried about that. If they don’t heal then why should I stop taking Ativan? Please help!

  154. I ve been expoused to Benzodiazepines on and off for for three months on very low doses.
    Bromazepan 1.5 for 15 days. (Had Panic attack a week after stop it. Thats when Hell started)
    Lorazepan 0.5 for month and half.(Taking mostly at night while I was trying zoloft that by the way didn’t work for me)
    Clonazepan 0.5 for 12 days. (used to kind of taper)
    My situation now is that I feel tremendously anxious, depersonalized can’t sleep at all, may be 3/4 hs if. recurrent bad thoughts are coming to my mind.
    Now my doctor is saying that this is more of my underline anxiety that withdrawal of such a low doses. My problem is that although I always was a very anxious person, never took a sleeping pill in may life i feel that Im having withdrawal symptoms. They are not the same thru out the day. Feel better first hours in the morning but horrible in the afternoons. To a point now that I feel my job and my family relations are having a big impact.
    Please if any body had similar experiences with low dose for a relative short period of time and that this devil drugs have affect them would like to know your experiences.

  155. Has anyone heard of or experienced a rapid taper from Clonazepam or other med causeing electrolyte imbalance? If so, how long did this last?
    Becky

  156. I am tapering off a small dose of Klonopin .25 mg ( only used consistently for a year)
    I am only reducing 10% maybe will go to 5%) but the fear & insomnia are making me desperate. My bottom line is sleep . I observe good sleep hygiene. Any suggestions?

  157. While you think you are a genius on this subject and may have a degree, does not make you smart or informed. You are speaking to a wide audience, people who could take this and convert it to “oh no, it’s bad for me, I’m stopping”! My doctor basically had me cold turkey after I was on temazepam, 15mg and diazepam 5mg 3 times a day. Gave me antipsychotics, I am not psychotic, had no affect other than upsetting my body chemistry. I went to the ER 6 times and finally on the 5th trip, I was seen. I had been dismissed at all others. The abuse I sustained at the ER were enough to close the place down, but I’m ill and don’t believe in lawsuits. Long story short, My BP was 170/117, pulse, 124. I am a 95/60 girl and pulse ret to 70. I had irregular heartbeat, my leaky valve is worse and two EKGs, both questionable. So all you people who’ve been successfully living on your current med regiments, STAY ON IT. The doctors are quacks and they don’t have the initiative and they are afraid to prescribe. I’m still living but it costs a fortune to go to the doctor every two weeks, no to mention other conditions, blood disorders, osteoporosis, it goes on. So lady, you screwed the pooch on this info. 30 years on meds, Executive Assistant to the 6 SecDefs, Pentagon winder E Ring queen for 22 years. What you people need to do is get a real job.

  158. Today I am 75 days off Ativan and I feel incredibly bad today. I had leg tremors all morning along with depression. I still am not sleeping well and then in the late morning while reading I kept falling asleep – but not really it is as if I am about to fall asleep and then awake abruptly and with fear. I wish there was someone I could talk to about this that has been through this. Sometimes I feel like going to the ER, but I don’t know what good that would do because what could they possibly do for me. I feel so alone. When I try to describe this to friends and family they look totally perplexed and don’t understand. Sometimes I feel like I want to die and then I actually feel like I am dying.

  159. Still trying to go thru benzo w/drawal hell – so horrible had to take one last night after ambien – after two and 1/2 weeks of suffering could not lay in the hospital yet. Why does it get so much worse at night? Don’ t think Im going to make it, I am not young and think this will push me over the edge – hope not Thank You

  160. I have taken a small amount of Clonazepan for about 30 years not usually more than 1 mil. (two .5 mil) weened myself down and now taking Buspar and zolidem , don’t think I can continue w/Buspar because of severe dry eyes and shortness of breathe. Am I going to be okay doing it this way?

  161. So, I am struggling with this. On September 29th I took my last dose of sertraline, October10th my last dose of Lorazapam. I was put on gabapentim to protect against seizures on October 10th and stopped taking it on November 11th. I am in living hell. I am not able to work. I had horrific insomnia and anxiety until a few days ago. I cry everyday. My legs feel like I have electrical shocks going off in them and I am sometimes wobbly. I do not feel like myself. I am very sad and worried and filled with fear most days. I am in therapy

  162. I a
    M finding coming off remeron to be as hard when I came off klonopin been a rough 3 months first went off K and now off remeron I fig months before I feel normal

  163. How do I know if tapering is the best way to get off benzos?
    If you have only been using benzos for 4-12 weeks, tapering may well be detrimental and just draw out the process. The same applies if you haven’t been taking them daily or sporadically. Try stopping cold turkey to see how you feel.
    I did this twice before when taking xanax and lorazepam in combination for 4-6 weeks: I stopped cold turkey both times and although the acute withdrawal was very bad (crying, tremors, heart palps, extreme anxiety, rebound insomnia etc), it only lasted 2 or 3 days. I felt more or less fine within a week.
    You might also manage with a quick taper over a week to cushion the landing.
    Note that this could be the amitriptyline I am taking, but if that is true then it just goes to show how effective amitriptyline is in benzo withdrawal.

    – How do I taper?
    Geneally, if the above doesn’t apply to you, or if you are getting bad withdrawals going cold turkey despite only using benzos over a short period, you should definitely use the Ashton Manual.
    i.e Always switch to diazepam because it’s long half-life (around 80-120 hours) makes it excellent for tapering. Generally you drop 1mg a week, or even 1mg every 2 weeks if you have been using benzos for years. This will minamise the withdrawal symptoms and will also make PAWS less of an issue.

    What drugs or supplements will help me?
    Basically, do not bother with the Z-drugs or traditional benzos, as they also work the same way on GABA-A receptors. Generally, also avoid anything that targets GABA-B too, as in the long term they just switch one addiction with another.
    You are essentially left with these choices
    – Sedating anti-histamines such as diphenhydramine or promethazine which you can get over the counter, will help with insomnia and nausea if taken at night.
    – Tricyclic Anti-depressants: You can use tricyclic anti-depressants taken at night for both insomnia and the depression that can come from long periods without sleep. Amitriptyline is very good for this, and if it is just for insomnia you can take it sporadically.
    But higher doses will be required for depression and insomnia. I notice it also kills a lot of anxiety too, by slowing down or even stoping completely those negative thought patterns that are so horrible with depression.
    You will need to taper if you want to come off from higher doses, but generlly this is much quicker (4 weeks) and no where near as difficult as benzos, because it is not habit forming.
    – Low doses of anti-psychotics: Really is a last resort and if you get to this stage you probably need a mental health assessment as it is likely you have a psyhcological disorder of some type.

    How do I manage the last stages of tapering?

    Drop to 1mg, then drop to 0mg, or drop from 1mg to 0.5mg, but that is probably just keeping you addicted at this point with no real benefts. Also, dropping to 0mg then taking 1mg sporadically for a week can work before dropping to 0mg the following week, though it’s best not to up the dose if you can help it. I think the anxiety people have when they drop to 0mg is because they have read about PAWS online and they are scared about how they will handle life when they don’t have benzos.

    Other notes:
    Try to avoid posting and reading through forums. It will just make you paranoid and feed the anxiety you already probably have. Just take your dose and forget about it until the next day.

  164. I am a 43 year old woman that has been addicted to Xanax for 4 years. I want my life back. I can take up to 4 of the 2 mg bars a day and feel normal. I don’t take them to get high, just to get by. If I taper and take a 1 mg bid I sweat and feel miserable. I don’t have health ins to medically detox. How much per day should I cut down and how often until I am free from this monster?

  165. Hello, I am would like to stop.

    In fact I have in the past, once was with a little anti seizure medication from a doctor and the second and third time were cold Turkey. I just used willpower however this time around I have taken benzodiazepines for a much longer and dramatically higher dosage. Ultimately after two years I kind of zigzagged up to10 milligrams or more of Xanax a night. Now my prescription is about to run out a little over half way through the month. I guess I’m just not sure what to expect.

    I’ve heard if genetic anomalies that are believed to be less vulnerable to benzodiazepines, perhaps it’s my self awareness that has helped me in the past. I feel optimistic, I’ve never experienced withdrawal that wasn’t tolerable and it kind of makes me feel guilty. Perhaps I won’t be so lucky this time?

  166. Easy to answer everyone’s questions to be honest:

    – How do I know if tapering is the best way to get off benzos?
    If you have only been using benzos for 4-12 weeks, tapering may well be detrimental and just draw out the process. The same applies if you haven’t been taking them daily or sporadically. Try stopping cold turkey to see how you feel.
    I did this twice before when taking xanax and lorazepam in combination for 4-6 weeks: I stopped cold turkey both times and although the acute withdrawal was very bad (crying, tremors, heart palps, extreme anxiety, rebound insomnia etc), it only lasted 2 or 3 days. I felt more or less fine within a week.
    You might also manage with a quick taper over a week to cushion the landing.
    Note that this could be the amitriptyline I am taking, but if that is true then it just goes to show how effective amitriptyline is in benzo withdrawal.

    – How do I taper?
    Geneally, if the above doesn’t apply to you, or if you are getting bad withdrawals going cold turkey despite only using benzos over a short period, you should definitely use the Ashton Manual.
    i.e Always switch to diazepam because it’s long half-life (around 80-120 hours) makes it excellent for tapering. Generally you drop 1mg a week, or even 1mg every 2 weeks if you have been using benzos for years. This will minamise the withdrawal symptoms and will also make PAWS less of an issue.

    What drugs or supplements will help me?
    Basically, do not bother with the Z-drugs or traditional benzos, as they also work the same way on GABA-A receptors. Generally, also avoid anything that targets GABA-B too, as in the long term they just switch one addiction with another.
    You are essentially left with these choices
    – Sedating anti-histamines such as diphenhydramine or promethazine which you can get over the counter, will help with insomnia and nausea if taken at night.
    – Tricyclic Anti-depressants: You can use tricyclic anti-depressants taken at night for both insomnia and the depression that can come from long periods without sleep. Amitriptyline is very good for this, and if it is just for insomnia you can take it sporadically.
    But higher doses will be required for depression and insomnia. I notice it also kills a lot of anxiety too, by slowing down or even stoping completely those negative thought patterns that are so horrible with depression.
    You will need to taper if you want to come off from higher doses, but generlly this is much quicker (4 weeks) and no where near as difficult as benzos, because it is not habit forming.
    – Low doses of anti-psychotics: Really is a last resort and if you get to this stage you probably need a mental health assessment as it is likely you have a psyhcological disorder of some type.

    How do I manage the last stages of tapering?

    Drop to 1mg, then drop to 0mg, or drop from 1mg to 0.5mg, but that is probably just keeping you addicted at this point with no real benefts. Also, dropping to 0mg then taking 1mg sporadically for a week can work before dropping to 0mg the following week, though it’s best not to up the dose if you can help it. I think the anxiety people have when they drop to 0mg is because they have read about PAWS online and they are scared about how they will handle life when they don’t have benzos.

    Other notes:
    Try to avoid posting and reading through forums. It will just make you paranoid and feed the anxiety you already probably have. Just take your dose and forget about it until the next day.

  167. Do not take prescription drugs, especially not benzos. They will screw you big time because of the nutrients they take from your body.
    I don’t know about taking supplements during the withdrawal but you should definitely take as many nutrients as you can at some time with. B-12 helped me the most, it gets your cognitive functions back
    Good luck to everyone, I wouldn’t wish this stuff on my worst enemies

  168. Your article was very helpful, especially the encouragement at the end. I left a job to pursue starting a new business, when I realized I was addicted to lorazepam. I would not elevate my dose and I began losing sleep and experiencing panic and anxiety again but worse than before. I decided to get off the med and started a tapering after seeing a doctor. It was faster than the Ashton method though. I am now 10 days since cutting it out and the last three have been filled with withdrawal including insomnia, panic, increased blood pressure, etc. Hoping this will begin to weaken shortly and move toward a better state. Currently it is like being plugged into a socket all day with low voltage running through me. Extreme fatigue from max of 3 hours of sleep at night the last 3 or 4 nights. Couple that with not working there is a lot of stress and it is hard to determine what is natural and what is med induced.
    To know that when this over that I may feel better than before or at least betterm than now is beautiful hope. At 3 in the morning that is hard to find.

  169. I was ptescibed 2mg clonazepam for 5 years for sleep. I have tapered and had to reinstate. Switched to valium and down to 3mg after an updose. I have been in hell for 3 years trying to get off. Suffering so bad that feel a need to be hospitalized. Severe anxiety,depression,insomnea,fear,dread,panic and a host of others. Please help

  170. Hi, appreciate the Tips however I have a concern. Items such as Vitamin D, B – are they not critical to survival? When you suggest avoid these, do you mean in a supplemental capacity or altogether? Most medical research seems to indicate that deficiencies on some of these critical Vitamins could lead to additional issues such as Osteoporosis, digestive issues, and a range of other problems. Can you shed some light on this? Should we fully avoid these vitamins or more in a supplemental capacity?

  171. If you know of ANY drug or supplement that REALLY helps-

    I for one would LOVE to hear about it!

    robert
    3:08 pm November 28th, 2017

    Nobidy should be firce to suffer and they do not have , also many if us have jobs snd family snd take care of older people cannot affodd to suffer, this was very bad advice , correct advise would be to use other meds to get off or stay on med .

  172. Nobidy should be firce to suffer and they do not have , also many if us have jobs snd family snd take care of older people cannot affodd to suffer, this was very bad advice , correct advise would be to use other meds to get off or stay on med .

  173. Hi Janice

    Your concern regarding the use of Midazolam for a once off procedure is very understandable. From the extensive literature reviews and anecdotes that I’ve read – the consensus seems to be that you can safely tolerate this type of administration of a benzo without any fear of it triggering any sort of adverse event. I believe that Dr Jennifer Leigh – the author of this article – has also stated the same. I was a member of Dr Leigh’s blog group up until a few months ago when she had to wind it up due to other issues. So unfortunately – I’m not sure if she is still able to answer your question directly.

    Cheers Doc

  174. My son was diagnosed with anxiety disorder by the primary doc in a 10 min visit 1/31/17, put on a benzo for 4 months and life has not been the same since. Turns out, he was misdiagnosed. It was hell watching him on that drug and more hell watching him come off of it. He was finally able to get a tilt table test after pleading for one for 7 months, and he was diagnosed with POTS syndrome. The doctor said that coming off the benzo made the POTS much worse. He is unable to work. He was a chemical engineer with a degree from a prestigious west coast school. His autonomic nervous system is way out of function. He is particularly sensitive to foods– having many of the various affects mentioned on this website. I feel like suing the doctor that was SO CARELESS. Whether the benzo did cause the POTS is not able to be determined, but it certainly made it worse. Doctors don’t take the time to listen well enough these days. Putting psych meds in the hands of primary physicians without adequate evaluation procedures is something that should be changed in our medical system. Hoping and praying for recovery in Chicago. It’s been 10 months now. Please, any advice? Your information on the effects of the vitamins and supplements is accurate! We went down that road and came to the same realizations. My son is very careful with his diet. Anyone else experience POTS after benzo withdrawal?

  175. Hi, I was on .5 – 1 mg. per day of Ativan for 9 years after a tragedy. I was also on Zopiclone 3.5 – 7 mg. as needed (which turned out to be often) for these same 9 years. I was told they were not addictive and it was fine to stay on them forever : -(. I came to realize about a year ago that I was in tolerance withdrawal for the final three years .. I’d been getting worse and that the drugs were actually causing the side effects. I did not updose ever during three final years, despite worse sleep, shaking, agitation and increased anxiety. I began my own taper following the Ashton manual (with help of friends – doctors were not benzo smart) last spring – it took me from February to the end of August 2017 to slowly taper from .5 ml. lorazapam to nothing, but I did it : -). I cold turkey stopped the sleeping pills in March. It is now almost December and I am still very very fatigued and have some rough days with other symptoms, but the anxiety is almost all gone. I am very grateful and hopeful that my brain is in a healing process now. Taking one day at a time.

    Here is my question – I am scheduled to have a routine colonoscopy early February 2018. They use sedation (I don’t want to have it without sedation and they don’t recommend it!) so I called the office. They use an IV mix of fentanyl and versed (midazolam), which I read is of the benzo family, to sedate. I am concerned that introducing any benzo type drug again, even at a small dose in an IV (but who knows how much they use in the IV?) could reactivate some level of addiction that I would have to struggle against again. Is this possible? If so, I’ll totally avoid the colonoscopy. I will not risk anything that could send me backwards after all I have gone through to be free of the meds.

    If this is a possibility, I am also wondering if there is a time frame for when it might be safe to have a small bit of a benzo type medication again ONLY if needed for a surgery say, without fear of being put back into a forced withdrawal…. Months or even years after stopping taking the benzo’s perhaps? Any help you can give or articles you can lead me to would be most appreciated. I will not risk ever going through this again.

    With my appreciation and thanks,
    Janice

  176. Holly:

    Marijuana when smoked/vapourised can be very hit and miss with benzo withdrawal. However, I found edible cannibas to be helpful taken in the evening for insomnia. Cannibas Oil for your mother could well be beneficial: It helps children and adults who have issues with seziures which funnily enough benzos are often prescribed for (especially clonazepam for epilepsy), but the problem with benzos is of course tolerance, addiction and then withdrawals which can bring on serious grand mal seziures for those in withdrawal if they are unlucky or not correctly tapering.

    I occasionally use cannibas edibles or oil if my amitriptyline is not heping with stubborn insomnia. I’d say absolutely give it a go: Get your mother to switch to diazepam from lorazepam – 0.5mg is a small dose about the equivalent of 5mg of diazepam, so tapering should only take about a month and with the cannibas oil she could probably get away with an even faster withdrawal, but everyone is different.
    Also bear in in mind oral cannibas is a completely different drug than smoked cannibas: I have been in a comatosed state where I slept 18 hours after misjudging the dose once lol It’s very powerful stuff when eaten.

    Martha – Yeah benzos can really change your personality and create psychological problems that you didnt have before taking them.
    Best thing you can do is go see your doctor and say you want to taper and switch to diazepam. I think the equivalent dose to 0.5 xanax is 5mg diazepam so if you drop 1mg a week you will be done in about 5 weeks, or go slower if you want and do 1mg every 2 weeks and it’ll be over in 10 weeks.

    Honestly a lot of people make a huge fuss about PAWs but I personally feel they aren’t an issue if you just taper right, I think perhaps a lot of PAWS is just psycho-somatic because everyone makes a big fuss about it: After all, why would people post online that they didnt get PAWS? Not many I bet. The people that do get it just make a louder noise online. I bet in reality it’s something like 5%.
    If your partner doesnt understand print off the Ashton Manual and make him/her read it.

    You mention you are on anti-depressants….Are they SSRI’s? If so, most people including myself found it made benzo withdrawal much worse. Maybe you can switch to a tricyclic if you speak to your doctor, as Amitriptyline is extremely effective for all those mood disturbances in the daytime and the horrific insomnia at night.

    Hope this helps.

  177. I am tapering off xanax.. 0.5 mg.. I was taking 1 and a half of 0.5 for at leat two months at bedtime. now before you goff and say oh that’s not possible to have withdrawls on that baby dose.. lemme tell ya…was having withdrawls midday the next day from the short life that the med was in my system..now I will tell you the first two days of starting this med it was like a lightswitch turned on.. wow! this may be just what i need to add to my antidepressant cocktail to balance myself out.. calm but focused the next day.. pleasant happy.. then something changed.. oh but I stayed on it..chasing that initial feeling.. 2 mos later.. I have been seduced by this drug.. my personality has changed. my partner does not know what to do with me, constant crying spells, agitation..sadness.. I want to be 6 feet under I hurt so badly inside.. everything feels like it is magnified. for the past few days i have cut my dose in half in order to taper off this crap. still having a horrendous experience.. I feel so missunderstood and alone in this, as my partner has no clue the level of pain I am in, and chances are he would not know how to handle it anyway. he shuts down. for the past 4 days i have decreased my dose to half of what I had been on for two months straight { as I previously said } not sure when I should decrease more .. or should I spread the dose through out the day as to not begin getting such harsh withdrawls by mid day. also I read somewhere to steer clear of B vitamins , magnesium, vitD supplements while detoxing because these supplements interact with Gaba receptors.. well Sh*t! I am a huge supplement taker. am I potentially making this worse on myself?

  178. My mother is taking .5 mg Lorazapam she would like to start using cannabis oil to treat her anxiety along with sleep and arthritis issues. She is 84 yrs. How can she do this safely? Should she taper off the lorazapam to half the pill for a cpl wks and then a wk without any and then cannabis or what do you suggest?

  179. So I am beating myself to death because I want off this drug soo bad, and I can’t beat it. If you could recommend something natural to help take during? What would it be? I read where someone took Gaba, vitamin C and niacin. And you don’t recommend a rehab? I can’t work as a dental hygienist and get off this drug

  180. People need to read messages before asking….

    1. “I am getting conflicting info off the internet…”
    Yes, so get hold of the Ashton Manual online. It’s free and it is what doctors are using now to withdraw patients safely.

    2. “I can’t sleep and I am depressed”
    Again, TRY Amitriptyline. It killed my insomnia almost instantly. Tapering was so much easier in general.

    3. Taper slowly using the charts in the Ashton Manual. Tapering too quickly can merely prolong the withdrawals. You can maybe go 1mg a week faster or slower than the recommended weekly dose reduction, it’s all down to your body/mind. But Never ever rush it.

    4. “I got offered/went to rehab…”

    PLEASE NO DON’T DO THIS. Benzos are not to be treated as drugs like opiates, cocaine, meth etc. You can and should just come off with a taper schedule, a supportive GP and a counseullor.
    IGNORE any quick fix “in-patient’ ‘quick-cures’. They will make you a million times worse….Trust me i’ve been there.

  181. I loved reading this article. I wish I had found it eight months ago. I was taking three one Mg Klonopins a day for three years prescribed by a doctor with a host of other prescriptions. I was “tapered” off of Klonopin in six days. What was to follow was the worst experience of my life. I am enjoying my life again on a whole new level. There is hope although I wondered at times if I would feel like myself ever again. Sick doesn’t begin to describe the nightmare I endured. I was very lucky to have a cutting edge coach to walk with me through the process. It was great to read the part about life being better than ever after going through something so horrific. I’ve reached that point that I’ve really just begun to live the best life possible. This is really the only article I’ve seen that was exactly true to my experience. When people stop taking Benzos, they have no idea what is coming and that there is an end to the suffering. Thank you.

  182. I got of rehab for Xanax addiction on July 10th and I’m still struggling miserably. Still can’t do my daily activities. When does this shit end? My face is gets blood red and the anxiety is almost unbearable at times.

  183. I am currently tapering off of benzos. I am not able to sleep as I have what I call “adriniline spikes” that have kept me up for days. I’m currently down to .125 and do not have a lower dose offered in my state. I mistakenly (as I just read here) I smoked marijuana for two weeks, I felt great but then I started having dizziness and gastrointestinal issues. (It is medically and recreationaly legal here) it threw me into to PAWS?. I didn’t have the symptoms before I smoked and am really struggling. (I am no longer smoking) It is also having a huge impact on my digestive system. My only anxiety is that I am so ill that I will pass away while sleeping. I am 5 days into PAWS and do not have a doctor that understands what I am going through.my question is… as I am having withdrawals when at my lowest dose how and when do I stop taking the last little dose? I am eager to put this drug behind me and move on with my life. And and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

  184. Weening off of 2 mg a day fir 9 years is driving me crazy
    In 21/2 months I’ve come down to 1/2 mg a day and I can’t handle the shakes I’m on my first day of none
    Please tell me it gets better

  185. i have been on benzos for over 20 years and face the daunting challenge of withdraw. So much conflicting info don’t know where to start. Forums can be very conflicting. Anyway I’m reaching out and would be grateful for assistance. Please keep it simple if you care to reply. I’m 64 year old male -had a ‘n.b/down’ when i was 32 and since then anxiety levels have been very high. Done all the cognitive stuff….. fatigue/ obssesive behaviour /depression /tinnitus… all very familiar.
    In anticipation
    kindly yours
    Tony

  186. Hi! Would love your advice. I have been traveling the world for 3 months (was originally supposed to be a year-long thing) and within that time have gone from NO drugs/ healthy person to taking 3 different benzo-like drugs. Basically, within the first month, I have had 2 panic attacks, major insomnia, panic, and fear. After 1 month of insomnia /anxiety, I broke done and went to the hospital. Here is the timeline of medications:
    Aug 30th-Oct 10th: Valium 5mg nightly –then stopped when switched to this:
    Oct 10th-Oct 28th: Xanax .25 nightly

    ***No Longer on these above (very proud of this but suffering now!)

    Oct 22-Now: 10mg of Ambien nightly

    The period of going off the benzos has been very hard and I’m now afraid of going off the Ambien and being as sleep deprived as I have been over these past 3 months…particularly the last 3 weeks. I am so stressed that I am still barely sleeping with the Ambien.

    QUESTION: How should I proceed on getting off of the Ambien? My body feels like it is going crazy but I also wonder what is the old anxiety and what is benzo withdrawals. Do you think that I should switch over to something else to help sleep to get off of the Ambien? Like Trazodone or something? Committed to getting back to a no drug life and any advice would be so appreciated!

  187. ZANAX ADDICTION IS LIVING IN HELL REHAB US BEING IN HELL AND TRYING TO BE SOBER IS WALKING DAILY THROUGH HELL!!!! 17 YR ADDITION BEEN SO CALLED SOBER 2 YRS I AM61 YRS OLD FEMALE MY BODY AND MIND WILL NEVER BE HEALED FROM THIS HELLASHISH DRUG….MY MARRIAGE MY RELATIONSHIPS WITH MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WILL MEVER BE MENDED!! MY DAUGHTER DIED 9 YRS AGO FRO BREAST CANCE AN I DO NOT REMEMBER HER FUNERAL!!!

  188. A lot of people are asking here if they are taking medications alongside trying to come off from benzos, and if this could be affecting the withdrawal process negatively or positively…

    In just my experience with withdrawals (and from what I have researched online the past 2 years) the non-sedating anti-depressants of the SSRI class seem to aggrevate withdrawal symptoms because they are more of a nervous system ‘stimulant’. Why? Because your GABA-A receptors are starting to kickstart again when you withdrawal from benzos.
    Unfortunately, your nervous system overcompensates to try to restore homeostasis (i.e balance) and that is what causes all the nasty symptoms with benzos: But on the flipside this is indicating your body and nervous system is fighting hard to recover and it is healing.

    I will just re-iterate: For all those on SSRI type anti-depressants, you may well benefit greatly by switching to the much older class of anti-depressants called Tricyclic Anti-depressants, which work in a different way and are actually very sedating.
    Because of this, they tend to calm the nervous system while you withdraw from benzos, whilst also dealing with depression and rebound anxiety symptoms plus many of the physical symptoms of benzo withdrawal.
    Personally I am on Amitriptyline which is one of the oldest anti-depressants around, designed in the 1950’s, and is one of the Tricyclic Anti-Depressants I mentioned above.
    I would say it helped by 90% for my withdrawal with Diazepam and I was actually able to comfortably taper faster than the ahston manual suggests.

    It might be a good idea for the people on anti-depressants here to ask their doctor about tricyclics and Amitriptyline in particuar. Even professor Ashton mentions it in her guide as being a very good medicine for benzo withdrawals.

    Only catch is that Amitriptyline has a lot of side effects, but personally I couldn’t care less because it is a tiny price to pay for something that has improved my quality of life by 90%!
    You also need to withdraw if you want to come off of it, but it’s nothing like benzo withdrawal and in most cases it can be done in 4 weeks and doesn’t even manifest at all in most people. Even when it does it can be managed by tapering but in a more rapid way than with benzos. You cannot die from withdrawals either like you can with benzo withdrawals (i.e grand mal seziures).

    Finally, for those saying they have tried numerous times to taper now, I notice a lot of you are trying to withdraw with shorter-acting benzos: You need to switch to either diazepam, or clonazepam to proper and successfully taper, because these have long half-lifes making constant and steady levels of benzos in your blood and slowly reducing will not ‘shock’ your nervous system. This means far fewer withdrawal symptoms and so less likely to relapse or give up!

    Hope this helps people.

    F’loki

  189. Hello out there, I took Serax for over 40 years, from 20 mg 3 times a day for many years and I finally got down to 10mg twice a day. Last year in Oct the GP I was seeing refused to fill my prescription so I had no choice but to get off the stuff, I had no ideal what to expect and actually I did not have withdrawal that bad, but I find it almost impossible to make decisions and still do after over a year, my question is — can I expect this for the rest of my life!! Will I ever be able to decide what is wright or wrong for me.
    Thanks for any help you can offer, I am taking Paxil right now and have been for about 15 years, does it help or harm?
    Helen

  190. My sister just passed from benzo withdrawal. In all fairness she was also addicted to pain meds, but it was the benzo withdrawal that her body couldn’t take. My advice is that if you’re trying to or about to withdraw – prepare yourselves. Boost up your bodies proteins, get fat. Stock your home with a ton of food and water, no caffeine, no sugars, just slow processing foods like proteins no fruits etc….I also use progesterone to calm my body I’m not fully withdrawn – stuck at .5mg from 4mg a day. I am trying but it’s almost impossible. I’m 59 and have been on them since a head injury 9 yrs ago. Don’t go cold turkey – no matter what anyone says!!!! Lots of comfort foods. When you think you’re going to die – wash your face. Change something. The feeling will pass. Sleep as much as you can. Don’t even consider working…..it’s not happening. This drug is more serious than heroin – but the world doesn’t get that yet.
    But – you will not die. Not if you prepare yourselves by making sure you’re in shape – not sick from other drugs – slow down on any smoking – and give yourselves permission to be sick for a month – after two weeks, things will seem more doable. Remember – cold turkey is too dangerous. the hardest part is the last .5 – .25 mg. but – it can be done. start skipping days – then skip more days….you can do this. Progesterone is a natural calmer for the body . If you need dental work – do that first…..like I said, prepare to feel every nerve in your body come to life in a nuclear way. Make meals and keep them ready to go – you won’t be doing any cooking or cleaning…..I coudln’t even shower. But – it can be done and don’t forget that. Give yourself a break – it took a long time to damage our cells to this point, but its not irreversible.
    Do a lot of breathing techniques and pray…..move a muscle – change a thought. The minutes will pass.

  191. Hi Jeff,

    Opiods/Opiates are in my opinion are infinitely easier than BZDs to withdraw from. I only say that because I have withdrawn cold turkey from heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, hydrocodone, and codeine multiple times in the past. I got hooked initially because of very bad irresposible doctors prescribing me opiates for chronic debilitating pain, but then I made some incredibly bad choices when they cut my presecription off without even bothering to taper me. I started climbing the opiate ladder off the black-market and it inevitably headed to heroin as it is cheaper than oxycodone…

    But anyway, I kicked opiates finally after multiple-relapses last year and I can honestly say I was feeling fine after about 3 weeks. The worst physical and mental withdrawals are from around day 2-5, then it gets much better. But then it’s just PAWS symptoms which were for me worsening of already existing severe depression and some hightened anxiety. But really after a few weeks they dissapated more and more.

    You will absolutely 100% recover from hydrocodone. It’s a mid-strength opiate and so the withdrawals can be pretty harsh but I think after over 3 months you should start feeling gradually better.
    I’d say give it a couple more weeks. If you are still getting PAWS, definitely see a doctor. It could well be that you have some underlying mental health problems that the hydrocodone has bought out, it’s not uncommon at all for this to happen. As you probably know opiates solve all of life’s problems, except when you have to come off them! Then any problems you have internally or externally are magnified 100 times when you experience withdrawals.

    You will recover though, for sure: The thing about opiates is that they are not neurotoxic and therefore don’t permanently change your brain chemistry like benzos, alcohol or methamphetamines can do (which are all neurotoxic and kill brain cells permanently). They also do not damage any organs. They would actually be the perfect drug if it wasn’t for their addictive potnetial and potential for overdosing. But on the flipside you will make a 100% full recovery. Any effects mentally now are either from a mental health problem it has bought to the surface or are simply your brain chemistry restoring balance and are still temporarily out of synergy. Either way it’s temporary and you will be fine…Just don’t turn to BZD’s or take any more opiates!

    Hope you feel better soon.

    F’loki

  192. I made a mistake over a month ago with my Klonopin . my a.m. and p.m. dose I cut .5’s in half and then I cut the corners off. Well for some reason I never cut the corners off for about a week. When I realized it, because I journal everything and was wondering why the pills look so big, I just cut the corners off of both doses. well now it has been well over a month and I still have severe burning in my chest and throat. I know that with drawls make my skin feel like it’s on fire but they never lasted so long. I do want to do another taper but I don’t want to do one until the symptoms go away. I have been tapering since September 2016 and it is now November 2017. I do my best to follow the Ashton manual but I am cutting the pills myself so I realize that I am not getting the exact dosage every time. Sometimes it scares me because I wonder if my symptoms I am feeling are with drawls and not anything else wrong . do you think that the feeling I feel in my chest is still a symptom of withdrawal. I wake up in the middle of the night and my arms and chest just feel like they are on fire . thank you for your time, Joann

  193. Last time I posted here was March explaining what was helping and what wasn’t.

    From March to late May 2017 was pretty horrendous: I got put on mirtazapine (one of the newest SRNI medication) because the insomnia I was having was making me suicidally depresssed: The Mirtazepine only made it worse so I was pulled off it.
    By early June my chronic debilitating insomnia still hadn’t subsided and I was again getting so depressed and anxious that I was very close to actually getting pyshcosis and being sectioned into a psychiatric hospital.
    I made an appointment with a doctor me and my family have known for over 30 years and I am so blessed because she really listened to me: I explained I had had 12 weeks of CBT and counselling, I explained I was tapering with diazepam correctly and not too rapidly, I explained I had tried more exercise, a better diet, meditation, jounralling, good sleep hygeiene, so essentially absolutely everything!
    She really understood and went through some options with medications that may help with the withdrawals, which for me was almost entirely insomnia based which was feeding a vicious cycle of extreme anxiety and then extreme depression (getting only 3 hours sleep a night for months really at this stage was making it very tempting to attempt suicide….).
    Well, so she suggested we try the old tricyclic anti-depressants for my insomnia and severe depression as the SRNI’s I had tried previous just made my insomnia worse and gave really terrifying suicidal thoughts. So we tried Amitriptyline. It was designed in the 50’s and is rarely prescribed now for depression let alone anxiety as the newer SSRI’s have fewer side effects for some people.

    I was so desperate at this point that I was more than willing to give Amitriptyline a try. The final option would have been anti-psychotics and the doctors were rightfully hesittant to use them because they are seriously hardcore drugs.

    Well I am delighted to say that Amitriptyline saved my life (no exaggereation). It is in fact mentioned as being “very useful in some cases of BZD withdrawals” in the Ashton Manual and I can see why.
    It is very sedating so the effect on my insomnia was rapid and absolutely remarkable. Within 2 weeks I was sleeing like a baby! I remember the first night that I got 8 hours sleep for the first time in months and I just burst into tears I was so happy, relieved and grateful to have my life back again. The effect it had on my daytime mood was also wonderful, and so I was actually able to successfully complete my diazepam taper 2 months ahead of schedule on August 16th, 2017.
    I was worried somewhat about PAWS as I had been fighting BZD addiction for over a year at that point, but I don’t know if it is the Amitriptyline or just correctly slowly tapering but I didn’t get any PAWS symptoms whatsoever.

    I would say talking therapy is essential: It helped me work out the root cause of my problems was actually insomnia-based depression-anxiety that I had been self-medicating for since my late teens not knowing that actually that is what my issue was for 20+ years! So once understanding that the doctors had more information on medications to try. Amitriptyline in my case.

    Okay, so yes I am still on it today at the maximum dose of 150mg. Does this bother me? Not in the slightest. I used to be vehemently against using more pills to counter BZD’s, but in my case it was either meds or me commiting suicide. I think you are lucky if you can get off BZDs without any meds, and I say absolutely go for it if you can. But I would highly recommend that you explore tricyclic antidepressants if depression and insomnia are major problems in withdrawal – and your life in general – like they are for me. There is no shame in going the medication route at all, some of us just do need it. And my happiness and life satisfaction is 95% better on it, and my family and my wife especially are just so happy and relieved I am okay now that I am not going to stop taking Amitriptyline…Maybe at some point I will, but right now it is not worth it because I am in such a good place….I wake up every day and the first thing I do is have a cup of coffee and look out the window at the ocean and mountains for a few minutes and consider just how am grateful I am to have survived that nightmare I went through for so long.

    I hope this can help others in some way. I honestly thought I wouldn’t make it on so many occasions, and I admit I still get chills down my spine when I remember the hell I went through. But I don’t dwell on it. And really, I am not a particularly strong person, so if I can do it i’m pretty sure anyone can!

    Love to you all.

    F’loki

  194. I weaned off lorazepam in July & my withdrawals have been horrible. Anxiety is back big time. Stomach problems, constipation, fear in general, memory problems. My primary Dr wanted to put me on Zoloft but I am not depressed just anxiety symptoms are bad even with the buspar I have taken for years. I want to try therapy but can’t find someone to take my insurance. I sm scared to try any new medication after what I experienced with lorazepam. Any suggestions??

  195. My wife has been off diazepam 5 years and 9 month, after a rapid withdrawal in a rehab centre, she is still bedridden , will it be dangerous to reinstate this far out. Thank you.

  196. I have Chronic Tinnitus and Hyper-acusis. Dr. had me on 4 mg of Klonopin. It was killing me. It was causing more anxiety. My heart rate was 170 bpm constantly, I was going to die. Another Dr. gave me Atenotol and Nudextra. The Atennotol is the smallest dose available. Im down to 1 mg of Klonopin. Soon I will go to 3/4. Im very proud. The cut wasnt that bad. I know Im on nudextra, it is a newer drug. They call it a mood modifier. I dont know the addiction level. But it doesnt give me the anxiety the Klonopin did. God Bless. I will have a adipose stem cell therapy next month to help with all my auto immune problems. I’m excited.

  197. I hope someone can help me I am so afraid I am 62and unfornutaly for me I used someone else’s presumption for 15yrs I went cold turkey in April it is now the end of October Ivam getting hot falshes along with horriable heart palpitations and feel sick how do I know this is not damingjng my heart after all this time

  198. I am 65 years old and have been on .5mg clonazepam since 1988 when I started having panic attacks and depression.. I remain on an anti depressant and the clonazapam. I have read all the horror stories about how terrible benzos are for us. I am sure the research is true. I have tried twice to taper off the clonazapam. Both times I was miserable – so for ME AND ONLY ME, I am going to stay on .5mg until I die. Of course this might be a different story if I was very young or I took a large dosage but for me, I am choosing to stay on the medication.

  199. I have tried to get off lorazepam but failed 4 times..I was taking 18 Mg’s per day when I first tried to withdraw..I almost did it with doctors help but relapsed after 12 days..it was cold turkey way..second n third time I gave up after 1 week..now I m taking 7 to 8 Mg’s per day in divided doses..I want to get over it ..it has been now 14 years of self pity..my problem is when I get up in the morning I don’t know I feel hollow ..down ..depressed..if I somehow take care of that..I can manage myself whole day in work..pl suggest something to get over this ..this time..need your help.
    Thanks

  200. Hi I take 20mg of diazepam every day for many years now and in South Africa without medical aid there are no safe government institutions to help me. I am exhausted all the time and my pharmacist supplies me with 20mg a day as he knows I am unable to cone off them. My gp does not understand what I am going through . Even the south African drug place don’t know how to deal with benzos. I just need help. Do I cut down to 10kg a day. Will I have seizures? I’m so tired. I’m a 41yr old RN. Thank you

  201. Going through so much pain and confusion… Every thing is outta whack!! Finally, after one bout of sleepness nights, I dosed back up to 2mg of clonazepam, after fighting the initial 4mg dose for 45 days. Now I have been off for about 20 days. It is hard, but I cannot go back on the benzodiazepines!!! I never knew it would be this hard to come off of them!! I was on and off of them since my early 20’s, now turning 50, I was on solid doses for the last 6 years. Thanks for listening. Any help would be great! Another thing is, a lot of people that mean well, told me things like Kava, vitamin b and d, chamomile, valerian and magnesium would help. Until I seen this website today, I have been doing the wrong things.

  202. I too have been on benzos for 27 years. To anyone at the age of 54, I’m 57, trying to get off benzos, trust me, it’s not worth it. Most benzos control the speed of your heart as well as your blood pressure. They are more about the body than the brain. I’ve cut way back but I do not intend to be going to the ER every other day with tachycardia and high blood pressure. I was told at the last ER that I had arrhythmia, valve issues as well as high BP. At 98 pounds, I lost more weight when I came off, metabolism extremely over run. Do not get off your benzo If you’ve been on it for more than 10 years, it can and indeed nearly killed me. All the EKG’s in the world and cat scans are not going to settle that nervous system, take your meds. This blog is outdated.

  203. Extreme Muscle spasms and pain all night and most of day.
    Unbearable affecting gastro system too
    Hard to walk or do much of anything
    Extremely tired and Shaky
    Please reply
    Thank you

  204. Hi. Had been tapering at home and, due to the depression, my family brought me to a facility near Milwaukee where, instead of slowly tapering further, an antidepressant was added. I had been tapering through a doctor who recently tapered almost 1mg inpatient! Since then my life and health have plummeted. I am filled with anxiety, panic and fear, I have a burning stomach and head, fevers, have been in ER numerous times with dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, have crushing fatigue, zero tolerance for stress, pale, shaky, weak, and am literally wasting away, losing weight, muscle and fat. Please could you tell me if these are symptoms that can follow a taper such as was done, has anyone else experienced any, and how long they will last? I have no support and feel so alone as my family and friends are unable to comprehend. PLEASE could you share thoughts? Thank you so much! I am so very fearful that I will never be able to enjoy these later years of my life including new grandchildren.
    Blessings, Becky

  205. I have been off benzo’s especially Ativan for 6 months.. had taken for about 9 months.. I still think my body is detoxing ..( a ER doctor said it is way out of my system.. I disagree)..Can that happen.. the body continuing to detox..? I think its called PAWS…I have symptoms, etc…. I have heard people mention this..What can I do in the meantime? I am getting better but still dealing with anxiety and sleep issues…
    Love your input..
    Mari

  206. Hello,
    I was given Ativan 2 months ago for anxiety/depression I got after taking bio/ progesterone. I only took hormones for three days so obviously my body is very sensitive. I was on .5 but some days I took two or three, some days I halfed the .5, it was intermitten as to how I was feeling, but noticed the second month that what I thought was the hormone withdraw so to speak was actually the Ativan. I began to have anxiety all day and nervousness and didn’t sleep for 4 days then I called a detox center and went. They put me on Librium taper for 5 days and I just got home on Sat. Sat evening was bad, Sunday ok, Monday felt pretty good, then today feel awful full blown withdraws and didn’t sleep one minute last night. It will be 7 days off totally from Libruim tomorrow and 11 days off of the Ativan. My doctor because Im not sleeping and having horrible withdraw symtoms wants me to go back on Librium and do a slow taper but Im very reluctant as Ive been off now for a week. Because I was only taking them for two months no one believes my symptoms and thinks I have an underlying issue, the detox center too, because the duration and the dose was so small that they basically think I being ridiculous, as Im sure you believe and understand. What should I do as I’m not sleeping and that is the hardest thing for me, I think I could do this, it would be rough, but I could manage if I was sleeping but the no sleep is obviously turning me into mush.

  207. I have a friend dealing with this and we are not really too sure on what type of help is out there for her please help it’s been over 3 years and she is getting very frustrated and upset every day and talks daily about wanting to leave the Earth if you get what I mean.

  208. im on 3mg of ativan for 23 years , would like to come off , but wouldnt dare come off without medications , i tried and i cant, but problem is i fear taking medication fo side effects , im thinking about just staying on this rest of life .

  209. Hi, I am STILL coming off benzo’s and have been trying for 5 and a half years – after 30 years. I am a recovering addict and I have been clean and sober for 5 and a half years – except – for the benzo! I am just down to the lowest dosage .05 mg after a week of anxiety, crying and intense suicidal ideation. (I have had significant trauma, grief, and loss in the past year and a half). Now feeling somewhat stable and just stopped taking the vitamins suggested. I used to take GABA, I cannot find it now. What supplements and things can I take to help heal and perhaps reduce anxiety? I have not had anxiety for almost three years because I am on Inderol – also called Propanol which is a blood pressure medication that has completely taken away my symptoms until this withdrawal started. This is difficult but I am determined I would just like to know what supplements and things such as foods or exercise that might help?

  210. it has been about 9 months since I last used a benzo. I was taking large doses everyday for almost 2 years.hell as you know and I do feel like titanium as you have said.

    However I want to know if I use 2mg of Xanax at this time for recreation, will I have the “kindling” effect or will I be okay???? I will only do this once and if I doit again, I will wait another 6months to a year. This is only for recreation and just once, please let me know thank you and I love your blog.

  211. I have been on benzos, (clonazepam and buspirone) for a number of years plus other medications , i decideded to get off the benzos and start using medical weed to replace them, I am experiencing wicked withdrawl , I cut my scripted drugs in half doses and started on small medical weed intake but the feelings I’m having are terrible. sweats,anxiety,anger, and a mix of others..I don’t know what to do ,should I go back to my original amounts of clonazepam and buspirone and stop weed ,?? is there anything that will stop the way I’m feeling now? I have just started doing this 3 days ago but I don’t know if I can do this,

  212. I tapered down from 1mg to .15mg klonopin within a 4 month liquid titration. My father then got very ill suddenly and I relapsed repeatedly when I spent a month going back and forth to the hospital until he passed away. I am now placed back on 1mg but not stable at all! What do I do? How will I ever be able to taper to zero again?! Every time I take a dose now I feel ok for about an hour and then have severe agitation. My depression has become so severe I cannot take care of myself. I have lost all hope! Please tell me all is not lost. Please talk to me.

  213. I am tapering Clonazepam and am finding that I am reacting to other medications I take, mainly Viibryd and sometimes to the Clonazepam itself, as well as food and toothpastes, etc. Will this pass as my system calms as the tapers proceed? It is frightening to be afraid to put anything in your mouth, especially medications you cannot just discontinue. Thank you!

  214. I’ve been on benzos for 10 years. I’m taking 15 mlg valium now. Am scared of withdrawal. Please HELP!!!!! Went from 17.5 mlg to 15 with help from lithium orotate. I feel sick every day. I also have chronic treatment resistant major Deppression. My shrink says it sounds like I have Brain Damage from long term use of benzos.

  215. Hi, I have been on diazapam for a lot of years. My Dr dropped me and so have had to come off of the meds. I was on citalopram as well, coming off of that wasn’t too bad. I sort of knew what to expect since I have come of various antidepressants before.
    This diazapam withdrawl has been awful.
    I was on a pretty low dose, 1mg at night and .50mg mornings. Managed with some difficulty to get down to .25mg a day. Had heightened anxiety, muscle spasms, restless leg syndrome, but the burning skin and mouth was the worst. I then got AWFUL Gerd. I suffered with that years ago and had ulcers etc. Finally, at that time got onto Prilosec, when it first came out and all was healed. NOW……I am in so much pain. Stomach is on fire, throat feels constricted, lump in throat, cough to try to clear it, and the worst, yukky metallic taste and burn in my mouth. My GP put me on Omoprizol 20mg twice daily. It helps take the edge off but nowhere near enough for long enough either. I am typing this at 4am after being up all night with this awful problem. I came off of my .25mg just over a week ago. I have used Google and found others who have suffered with Gerd during withdrawl. I am wondering how long this particular side effect will last. I can cope for the most part with most symptoms but this has me beat. I have also lost 25lbs since coming off of the meds. I was over weight from meds so think that is why I have the weight loss BUT I am still losing a pound a day which makes me rather nervous. I can afford to lose another 25lbs so I guess it is ok unless I lose that and then continue losing? So as way of a question, has anyone else had Gerd during withdrawl? I love this site, so much helpful information and to hear other people going through what I am actually helps my anxiety about it all…..the time frame I am seeing about recovery is daunting though. Thanks everyone. Scilla

  216. I was given Klonopin during a bad marriage, doctors saying I was depressed and had “obsessive thinking.” Over nine years I progressed to taking 6 mg a day, a huge dose. I could barely get out of bed.

    When my marriage finally ended it was a horrible traumatic time and I looked for comfort in relationships. I got pregnant while still on the drugs (Klonopin and an SSRI.) My doctor said I had to withdraw cold turkey.

    It was absolute torture, with insomnia, racing heart and thoughts, and all kinds of problems. I developed food intolerance to soy and had to extremely limit my diet. I had a feeling of living in a fog, and didn’t drive for two years because I felt so detached.

    Let me say that life does go on. The baby I gave up the drugs for will be 17 in December. I lived through hell and have continuing struggles with insomnia and intolerance to soy, but neither to the degree that I had early in my withdrawal.

    I have no depression or anxiety. I had most of my thyroid removed while I was pregnant because docs thought the symptoms were due to hyperthyroidism.

    I went through everything on my own for about 8 years. I finally found a naturopath who suggested various supplements that have helped, but mostly I’ve had to learn things on my own through reading and/or experimenting.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever be 100% but I was on a high dose for a long time, and my recovery was complicated by the thyroid removal.

    I am very happy to be free of the drugs, and won’t take anything stronger than ibuprofen now. Good luck to all in recovery. A saying that helped me during the acute phase was, “May your best moment today be your worst moment tomorrow.”

  217. Thank you for your article…I am a 60 year old Combat Marine. I have been on 5mg of Librium 4 times daily since 1994.I have a naturopathy practitioner who think haha supplements in combination might be the answer. After reading your article I was wondering if you think it is possible to withdrawal from Librium safely without a Doctors supervision? I very much want to be chemical free…is my dosage considered low? And can you recommend a tapering schedule with or without using gaba? I would appreciate any help you could lend. I was diagnosed with PTSD and High Level of G.A.D. in 1994. I await your reply thanks, john

  218. Hi
    on 1 mg Lorzapm for once a day for year now . i start the win off the medication 3 days ago . doctor order to cut 1/4 pill every 2 to 4 weeks . my question is can CBD oil help to cop with withdrew symptom ? my symptoms are nausea , vomiting , desperation, and anxiety getting worst. I forgot to mention i am drinking green tea and honey every morning. Plus a cup of black tea every evening with honey .
    Please help.
    all the best,
    Ben

  219. I am tapering off of Kolonpin been on it daily for 7 months prior to that l took it as needed then stopped. My doctor said l was experiencing benzo withdrawl and put me back on it telling mecl can take it forever. Well l was taking .5mg in the morning and .25mg at night. I decided to start a taper because l felt itcwas not working anymore and l don’t want to up my dosage. I just want off of it! My first try at taper was bad as l cut to high. So l went back to original dose for a week and then started taper again. Right now l take .25mg and a half of a quarter. I am experiencing bad headaches. I already learned a lot just from reading your info. I have been drinking hit tea every morning with honey and taking vitamins d b and mag.! So l guess l will stop the honey vitamins and see if that helps. Any advice is appreciated.

  220. I’m struggling vey bad with ativan reduction, I was on 6mg of Ativan three times a day every 8 hours last year I’m at 1 and 1/2 now, three halfs a day, since April, last month I went back up to 2 mg which was a bad idea and just this Monday Sept 11I went back down to the 1 1/2, and it’s been very hard this time with the symtoms, I can’t talk to anyone at home because they don’t understand

  221. My best friend of 35 years has been on Lorazepam for 13 years. She is going through hell trying to get off this stuff. Doctors have known this med is bad news but still put people on it. In my opinion I would sue the Dr that started me on this stuff. The Pharmaceutical companies are making a killing at your expense as well as the Dr’s that get a kickback from the Pharmaceutical company.
    I feel for everyone you going through detox, and you all are in my prayers.

  222. Hello,

    I just read your article and it is very informative. I have been using xanax for the past three weeks every other day and finally noticed that i cannot sleep at night. The dose is .5 per night. Now that i know that i am becoming chemically dependent how long will it be until i withdraw from the benzo completely? Again only 11 doses in almost a four week period. Thank you. PS…i cannot afford a rehab center. I looked into it. Please help
    At least please give me a site in which i can join the community for i am now in the ranks of benzo fighters. I need to get off of them for the sake of my health.

  223. Husband just entered 4th month of valium withdrawal. Every time my husband tries to sleep, his body jolts him awake, choking, coughing, huge adrenaline surges. He’s at the point where he has to stand up or he will fall asleep, but if he lets himself fall asleep, he chokes, feels like there is strangling pressure on his neck, that his throat is closing. Instead of eventually letting him sleep like others say happens to them, the panic gets worse with each round of this. This is going to be a zero sleep night for him on the heels of about 4 nights that were probably 2 hours or less. Trying to avoid supplements. Any ideas on how to stop the symptom so he can sleep?

  224. I was pulled off klonopiin after 26 years on 1.5 mg and put on a 10 day detox. I started having severe full body myoclonic seizures. They would last for hours and days. I went through 5 psych hospitals and 5 ER visits in 6 months. I managed 3 months clean but the myoclonic episodes (see You Tube, Liandre13) were so horrific and endless, I was hallucinating from lack of sleep. I lost over 30 lbs. I also became compulsively suicidal and ended up having to be resusitated. I insisted they reinstate me as I became broken as a torture victim might. I am on .25 mg 4 times a day. I still have myoclonus but its down 80-90% from where it was. I cannot sleep. The Klonopin reinstatement did not bring the relief I was hoping for and did not stop the myoclonus. I was put on up to 1200mg Gabapentin to try and stop yhe myoclonus and 100mg seroquel to force sleep, I stopped taking that for fear thought it was contributing to the myoclonus movement disorder. They also tried a host ofother anti seizure meds that all failed in a matter of days to weeks. I fear permanent damage. I am scared. I got the Gabapentin down to just 380mgs. Below that and somebodys carting me off to the er with me thrashing about. I do seem to be getting better in tiny increments, but I have not even stabilized enough to start a slow taper yet. I do plan to get off of this if it takes the rest of my life. What life I have now. I am alone and I’m confused and I’m scared. I tried what’s a little low-dose vitamins because I was deficient in vitamin D and I seem to get worse I didn’t sleep last night and I accidentally got hurt falling I am so weak and tired all my energy goes into supporting my body’s health help me somebody somebody write me please I have had virtually no encouragement and a lot of pitying looks I don’t need pity I need strength please help me. Anything links I don’t even know I should be writing all this here I haven’t slept last night I can’t believe it’s been more than 6 months all together I can’t write anymore.

  225. Have been taking 1mg benzodiazepines for last 3 yrs.,1,5 mg for last 6 months.started taking them after my son was murdered.had to switch dr.s suddenly recently.new one says she won’t prescibe them and have to quit cold turkey.started w 1 in morn for panic attacks and 1 at night to sleep.0.5 mgs.recently have been taking 1in afternoon also.i want to wean off of them,not quite cold turkey.old dr.told me I can have seizures,such in stop taking suddenly.new one says won’t happen w dosage.cant find a different dr.to help where I live.or at least asecond opion.im really scared I’ll have bad w/d symptoms,seizures,such,if I quit cold turkey.everything I’ve read and even on the prescription paper,says not to go cold turkey,but to wean off slowly.at this point,I don’t have that option.dont know what to do and am really scared.

  226. I lost my oldest son 17 years ago, followed by the death of my 22 yr old son, one of o twin and my Mom who I cared for for over 17 yrs passed 7/15. Also I lost my Dad and only brother. Two of my sons ate handicapped and I ended up suffering terribly to the point I can’t describe. Being diagnosed with PTSD I can’t even remember over a year of my life. I was on 6 mg xanax daily, which I took since 1995. Then after I stopped cymbals with wicked side effects I was put on 90 mg again afferal daily. The combination and all western medicine has been stopped for over a month. I felt better a few weeks ago. I stopped and felt so happy, even in a good mood, rnergized. After over a month I feel like I’m in withdrawal. Sleeplessness, then sleeping too much, low energy depression etc. the only thing I’ve gained right now is clarity. I did this on my own. I need advise. Thank you.

  227. I had a spine injury in 2006. After 7 yrs of high doses of oxy and xanax I detoxed for about8 mo. Anxiety and pain and insomnia then fobromyalgia dianosed. New dr put back on norco and 8mg of ativan. Panic attacks and torn ligament in ankle new dr 5 mo ago has tapered me down from 8 to 2mgs in 4 mo. Now told 1mg with 50mg amitryptaline to sleep. Horrible back, joint and muscle pain. Reading all articles to seek answers. Ssri’ s caused panic, night terrors and depression rather than help. Began amitryptaline last night and able to fall asleep with only 1 mg. Advise if answers please. Scared and losing hope and found benzo withdrawl articles. Hoping to get off without pain and panic doing me in. Thanks

  228. I didn’t even realize that this was going on. I am in the throws of clonazapam withdrawals from 4 mg daily to zero….cold turkey. It seems our gov’t and medical society has greatly failed us. I just buried my sister from withdrawing from this and pain meds at the same time….also cold turkey. This war on drugs is tragic with no way to catch us who are so sick from it. My ins won’t cover this. I have a brain injury from an accident in 09 and now I’m losing it completely. 8 yrs of this drug with methadone and I dont think I can do it at 59 yrs old. I have no one in my life, and have just been isolating in bed for over a month now. Frozen.

  229. I’ve been taking benzos for about 20years. And to make things worse I got addicted to fentanyl..not pharmacy grade but reaserch grade anologs such as w-18and carafentayl . That is up to 6000 times stronger than herion to get a sense of just how strong my addiction is. One gram of w18 makes 100 grams of high qaulity number 4heroin.. otherwise known as China white. .I was doing a gram of this pure everyday. I V. My tolerance is now untouchable.. methadone.. Suboxone won’t touch it. Doctor s are not educated or up to date on these new horrible drugs. A d have no clue ..so I try to self medicate by taking benzos to combat the withdrawal s. That last months ..not days. Imajaine having a terrible flu..24 hrs a day 7days a week that never ends. X100. I’m actually thinking suicide is my only way for peace as the cost for rehab nowdays is in the tens of thousands. The cheapest I found was 25 grand for 39days. Well needless to say I can barely afford a rope to hang myself let alone rehab.

  230. Saturday, September 2nd. 2017. I have been on alprazolam for ten years. I recently decided to wean myself off of it with my doctor’s’ help. I have not had any alprazolam now for three weeks. The tingling of my hands and feet are driving me crazy along with the chronic insomnia. I feel an out of body characteristics at times. Am I go crazy. I’m very scary that I won’t be normal ever again.? I suffered from sever anxiety and am sixty years old.

  231. Hi, I am going through benzo withdrawal. I have extreme anxiety, dizzy , nauseous, foggy, lathargic and is getting worse. I stopped taking cloneazapam 2 weeks ago completely. I was on Ativan for 3 months and cloneazapam for 1 month to taper off

    Thanks

  232. I’ve been working on getting off Ativan for 2 yrs been on 10 yrs. down to less than 1 mg a day. A few days of almost none but paid the price. When should I try and stop completely.? I can’t stand it!! Please help

  233. I m currently suffering from alprazolam withdrawal. Last time i took it was on 17th August before sleeping, today is 23th.
    Six weeks ago I was with lots of anxiety which affected hardly my sleep: every time i was in transition to start sleeping my heart started racing, having hot flashes on my head, even sweating, making it not possible to fall asleep, or waking up after 2 hours with my heart on 140-150bpm. I went to the doctor, she prescribed me alprazolam before sleeping only… worse thing in my life, if i knew the consequences I would never took it. I took it during 2 weeks 1,5mg, than started tapering each week, 1mg, 0,5mg, 0,25mg and finally stopped it. I started feeling the withdraw symptoms when started tapering off, however since i totally stopped it, i started living in hell. I got more anxiety, i got what i think to be a rebound with what i had before alprazolam, lots of dreams always, cant keep sleeping for more than 1h straight. I m sleeping an average of 3-5 hours a day during like 10 hours in bed. I m very tired and with fatigue, and anxious about not being able to sleep. I tried valerian yesterday, but not sure if did any good, probably not.
    How much longer will i have to be living this nightmare? Please any tips of how long more do u think it might take, also tips will be welcome. I was a healthy person, with friends, a gf and family who loves me, a job that i like. I dont understand how i reached this point.

  234. I have been on clonazapam for ten years, I take 1mg tabs three times a day, I have anxiety disorder, I’ve been running out early as i am having a very personal stressful ordeal right now. I have one pill left and can’t get it refilled until the 28th of this month, I have already been taking as little as possible knowing I was going to run out early. What can I do to make 1 mg tablet last six days?

  235. I have been taking xanax for 6 years 2 mg a day and my psychiatrist doesnt know(long story) and He wants to do labs on me for hypothyroidism and other common things to check for like cholesteral and overall health. Im
    Afraid he will find xanax in my system. This is in two weeks, should I taper off this week and stop for a week in case he takes my urine and it shows up? Help

  236. Have been on 3.75-7.5 mgs of Zoplicone for 11 years as well as effexor xr. Have come off 2 times of both but couple of months I end up taking Zoplicone again to sleep! How can I sleep and stay off this poison? They put me on 7.5 of remeron now. Doesnt help sleep at all and I suffer from extreme anxiety. How to survive?

  237. I HAVE BEEN ON ATIVAN FOR YEARS ABD TRIED GOING FROM 0.25 TWICE A DAY TO ZERO. I WAS FINE FOR 2 WEEKS THEN HAD A MAJOR PANIC ATTACK THAT KEPT HAPPENING ON AND OFF FOR 3 DAYS STRAIGHT. IN THE 3 DAYS I NEVER SLEPT LIKE MY BRAIN WAS ON HIGH ALERT. THE NEXT 2 WEEKS I CONTINUED TO HAVE MAJOR INSOMNIA AND FEAR WOULD COME OVER ME FOR NO REASON SO I STARTED TAKING ATIVAN AGAIN. I STILL CANT SLEEP AND MY ANXIETY IS GETTING WORSE. I WAS PERSCRIPED TRAZODONE AT NIGHT WITH AMBIEN AND PROPRANOLOL DURING THE DAY. IM STILL NOT GETTING ANY RELIEF SHOULD I BE ON AN ANTIDEPRESSANT DURING A WITHDRAWL

  238. I’m 69 married male with GAD n MDD going through sevre emotional pains. I been to many AD but nothing helped. I did CBT and ECT too but I’m Treatment resistant. I stoped all ADvexcept Clonazipam which help me sleep and some time help control panic. My life however miserable. My Dose is between 1mg to 1.25mg at night to sleep and 0.25mg if needed during day time as needed. I tried several time to reduce or temper the night dose slowly by reducing 0.125mg weekly even forthrightly but it disturb my sleep and I can sleep for more the 2 or 3hrs max. Which make my life miserable. Besides I have on going social problem of my addicted married son who now suicidal and broke both his feets n gone the heel and toe replacement surgeries. You can in understand my position and mental condition. Do you think this is right time to stop using Clonazipan nbstary detox. I’m on it since last two years. Please help, advice and guide if possible. I am really going through miserable life. Please help me.

  239. I am 56 years old. Five years ago I was prescribed Ativan 1 mg bid for anxiety and heart pounding and racing. I had NEVER experienced anything like this previously and had never taken any type of anxiety meds. In that time I have had every heart test known (pretty much) and every doctor says it isn’t my heart. In this past five years at one point my cardiologist prescribed clonazepam 0.5 mg Bid which I did and stopped the Ativan. For a while things were great–long story short eventually took 6 months and weaned off of the clonazepam last dose was Jan 2017 but had picked up Ativan again now have weaned down to 0.125 of Ativan and I am NOT going back on it. I will be off by the end of this month. The problem: I have daily chest pain, chronic heart pounding which prevents sleep most nights, teeth hurt, tinkle in my throat, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue-I am miserable a good deal of the time. But ocassionally it all goes away and I have a few good days. Could all this be from Benzo withdrawal. I do not have panic attacks. This is different. I am a nurse so I know what I am talking about. I seem to have developed food allergies, I have lost 30 pounds because I am afraid to eat but I can’t pinpoint exactly which foods cause the most problems . Although I am miserable most times and many times I think I am going to die, if I can know the cause I can cope better. I somehow manage to keep working. No one I talk to medically understands this. I am sure they think I am crazy which if someone were telling me what I tell the doctors I once would have thought the same thing. No more. Every single doctor wants me to go back up on Ativan or take an antidepressant and I know in my heart that is not the answer. I appreciate any insight. I have spent so much money trying to get well.

  240. Hi there, l have been off diazepam for nearly 18months and was making good progress however a month ago l had a crisis in the family and ever since l have had anxiety and depression ever since and it feel’s even worse then it did at the beginning l am really frightened will l pull out of this and if so will l go right back to the beginning when l first come off.love Kath.

  241. I accidentally overdosed on Xanax alcohol last week during and 18 hour trip. I ended up naked and passed out on the pavement of my community. I was in an alcoholic coma for 15 hours.

    I am dealing with the panick, headaches,dizziness,sore muscles, rapid heart rate, blurry vision, hallucinations and fear. This is a nightmare. My trip that 4 connections is a blur. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. The emergency room where I ended up was hostile.

    I do not have anymore xanax. This is Tylenol and cold turkey.

    Please help me. I’ve tried in the past but the side effects were too debilitating.

    I can’t sleep.

  242. Hi, Any experience or thoughts on the use of R Lipoic Acid supplements to heal the pseudo-peripheral neuropathy symptoms of benzos withdrawal (burning skin, tingling, prickling skin, gastro symptoms such as motility, spasms, etc.).

  243. Taking 2.5 mg.. started Ativan 18 months ago…have GAD.bi polar..anxiety…now have to get off benzo…what to do..have to see a phych.dr…do they really know to taper slow

  244. I originally went on klonopin because and reaction to an antibiotic caused me to have severe migraines. at first they thought it might be a problem with my ears so I had tubes put in my ears and that made things even worse and gave me extreme anxiety. This all happened approximately four years ago and I am currently going to Jefferson University in Pennsylvania and seeing a neurologist. No medicines are really helping me all the side effects makes things worse. I am currently weaning off of klonopin. I am taking it very very slow because a year and a half ago I went to quickly and I had to go back on it. It seems that I am constantly going through withdrawals since I have been weaning right now since September. I know about the Ashton manual but that even seems too quick for me right now. I was on a bed so I know about the Ashton manual but that even seems too quick for me right now. I was on a benzo withdrawl support site but that is temporary unavailable right now . my last ween was June 19. I am currently taking .25 in the morning and .125 in the afternoon and night time. . my body tingles all over a lot and I get this weird feeling in my throat and in my head. I have had many tests done and everything comes out OK. I just need some support and someone that I am able to be in contact with that I can talk things over and knowing that they will understand. . thank you in advance for any advice you may have, joann

  245. I’ve been off clonazepam for nearly a month now, rapid detox was begun while in the psych ward. I am under the care of a doctor. However, I am in the thick of withdrawals right now, and it’s hell. I’m experiencing what seems to be the worst of symptoms and there’s no help for me. I have been taking ALL the vitamins this article says NOT to take, so that will stop today! Also, I haven’t changed my diet and it sounds like that is a pretty important factor in the healing process. I can’t believe how little I really know about a drug that was prescribed to me at 3mgs a day for 4 years, and then taken away in a week. I am in hell right now!

    1. Hi Julian. Call the helpline displayed on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

  246. Hello!
    Some people may wonder why I’ve been taking 30mg. benzodiazepines Dalmane for 43 years. My husband who is a physician got them.
    I never knew the consequences of taking this horrific drug.

    Right now I’m tapering down by 2 mg. for 2 weeks. I have no idea what I’m in for but I know it’s gonna be bad.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Cheri

  247. 16 years later, I’m free an angry I missed the years. I lost everything to this disorder. I stumbled on it fearing I would become tolerant. I then found the truth. 5 behavioral units, addiction, self harm, Autoimmune Disease. Facial tremors.
    I was a Police Officer, who believed they helped handle things, instead I was only fighting the withdrawal they gave me. Most of the years were spent in medical crisis. I couldn’t tie my shoes without anxiety. I was very chronic and a clear mind now. A fishing trip are listening to bugs is life. The simple things you can stop an listen. You can see people without fear. The addiction outside the Bendzos was a cake walk. America full of drug companies hasn’t addressed the issue, I’m sure many never know.

  248. Hi, very interesting article, thank you. I am 6 wks off of Klonipin, mornings suck, evenings are better..my main symptoms are rubber knees, wibbly head, anxiety, insomnia and just generally feeling “fizzy”..hardest thing i h ave ever done..i feel too shaky to drive,and i had come to the UK, so driving seems scary anyway..i am separated from all my fruends, belongings, a good job and my cat..just me and my 86 yr old dad..mum diedlast week. I Am very sc ared wh at thevrest of my lie will b, i turned 59 today, ha e one d aughter who doe snt spe ak to me in 5 yrs, and as i am missing mybsons wedding in tge US in Sept, he is not to happy either, and no w my ex is going to nstop paying alimony , due to not finding a job in 2 yrs, sigh..ha ving a hard time w antibgbto ve here..anybideas?

  249. I cant get help i had a weight loss operation if i dont take vits i suffer ther is no one to help hospitals are the worse place drs are ignorant i feel sick i have mala sorption so i have no idea what is?absorbed vits deficiencies cross over with tbis no one can help im suffering i have electric shocks tbru body help how does anyone live tbru this

  250. Michael on July 9, 2017 at 11:23 am

    I have been off since the the 23rd. It took 7 months to complete the titration. The first ten days since the 23rd were hellish. Since then I have felt consistency fantastic. My doctor reminded me that the recovery is non-linear and I’ll still have bad times. No, sorry. I’m not going to work on the assumption that things will get worse, they won’t. I will not allow people to try and convince me that I should not be doing well.

    A few things I know for certain after winning this battle:
    —Nothing, I don’t know anything with certainty

    Some ideas:
    If you possibly can, find a way to stop working for the last few months until you are off and you know you are stable. If you can’t take time off, then find a doctor that will allow you to take minuscule step downs in dosage, over an insanely long period of time.

    This is a great blog sight. The help I have gotten from it is invaluable. I felt less lonely when I read of other peoples struggles.

    THIS BLOG SIGHT IS NOT A HELP LINE. The people that provide the information contained simply can’t respond to everyones post.

    If you read the articles and posts all your questions will probably be answered. We are having common experiences. If you do not find the answer, make an appointment with Doctor Leigh or a professional you trust. *”The answer is out there”
    *thank you X-files

    FIND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS THAT HELP YOU GUIDE THE PROCESS!!! Do not be steamrolled into withdrawing from a medication if you feel your life will disintegrate without it. When you decide to come off, and you probably should, the pace should be set by the most knowledgable person in the room, you. You know you.

    You were not in the studies, and I was not in a study. Every day you feel horrible remember that the next day will be better, until proven otherwise. Every day you are closer to the finish line, even if you are not sure where the finish line is.

    I FEEL FANTASTIC!!! I would not trade the 28 years I was on benzos for anything. I’m not joking or being passive aggressive. Most people live in a fantasy state. They do not allow themselves to feel anything fully. Benzodiazepines certainly did this to me in an artificial way that I did not notice until I came off. While I was reducing my dosage I felt terror, physical pain, loneliness, and learned about a host of problems as they happened in my body. NOW I TRULY KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE IN A WAY ONLY A SMALL FRACTION OF THE PEOPLE ON THIS EARTH DO.

    I’m thankful to the doctors that put me on this medication and the ones who took me off.
    Find a way to lose your anger, and figure out why you were put on a medication that suppresses your feelings in the first place. We need to take responsibility for our issues. This does not mean taking the blame at all, no, this means understanding that blame won’t help you. Its your responsibility now so take pride in plotting your course. You may not have put yourself where you are, but you will find a way out. When you are done you will still own the result and will be proud that you did what few other people have.

    You will feel great when you are done. I think, hear, feel, see and touch with more intensity than I ever have in my life. As you can imagine this can be a little annoying but it also has huge plusses. As my eighty three year old mother said, “well it sounds strange but you must be having great sex.” True.

    Finally, remember, you are sexy as hell and you are loved. If you think this is not true you are wrong. It does not matter your age, figure, body type, disability, it doesn’t matter. If you are having trouble understanding that you are sexy as all hell and loved, than realize that you can love yourself and find your own sexiness. Look at your eyes. Beautiful. Doesn’t matter what you think about the rest of you. You have beautiful eyes. Once you realize this everyone else will feel the same about you. Until you do this, nobody will feel this way about you.

    Thank you for joining me on this journey.
    –Michael the Human

  251. I’ve been on Xanax for 30 years – 1mg tablets 3 a day. I usually take 2 – 3 at bedtime to sleep. I’m experimenting with CBD oil to get off of Xanax but it’s not helping to take away the anxiety like I would like. Maybe it will help, but very unsure.

  252. I have been off clonazapam since May 1 st 2017. I quit cold turkey. I’m 50 years old. I’m pretty proud of myself! I WILL NEVER GO BACK ON THEM! I NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH what I’ve been through again. I think I suffered from every withdrawal symptom that exists and probably more. I have been on clonazapam for about 20 years and it has been 3 months since I quit cold turkey. Although the withdrawal symptoms are getting better extreme fatigue, terrible blotting, foggy brain depression and anxiety etc. All is getting better, BUT, I am having an awful time staying asleep. My question is. Will I ever sleep more than 2 to 3 hours a night? I believe the lack of sleep is starting to make me depressed. I need help 🙁

  253. S hello I’m Robert I’ve been off of benzos for the last 33 months I was put in a detox center and they took me off within 5 days not knowing the consequences of this I went ahead and did this 33 months later I am still suffering deep Pain still in my calves and feet and feel like that there is buzzing running through my body and I still jerk real hard and twitch and feel compressed I do have some good days but rare I now know from going to sites that I suffer from paws it upsets me that these doctors have no clue and I don’t know how long I’m going to be going through this but it has been pure hell

  254. Good information I have been liquid tapering for 5 months from klonopin.5 twice day or 1 mg day for 8 months I have 5 more weeks of tapering it has been pure hell the last 4 weeks fatigue body aches joints hurt headaches. I take omega 3 is that good I was told to take b vitamins and magnesium also . Thx

  255. Hi I’ve been on Valium 2.5 mg for approx 5 months. Originally it was only occasionally now I take every day can you give me the best advice to getting off this drug and will I suffer many side affects ?
    Thanks

  256. Just wanted to drop a few tips for anyone withdrawing. Protein shakes really helped my muscles not be as tense. Yoga also helped. Getting enough sleep seems impossible a while, which is really difficult because most of us can’t function as well without enough sleep. If you can, sitting in a dark quiet room and just thinking for a few minutes will help too, through sensory deprivation. A hot bath helps. Explaining to someone how you feel, for them to understand, helps, but not so they can fix you. Try to make sure that you remind yourself that this is not the new you but only something you are going through and that you won’t feel this way forever. Give up completely on quick fixes. Give yourself a break, meaning don’t evaluate yourself or put yourself down, especially while you withdrawing from them. It is truly a powerful experience and a couple years after you have stayed quit, you’ll look back and be so happy that you did. You’ll be able to control your life again and not just numb yourself from the things you don’t want to feel. I realized pretty soon after I stopped taking them how many things I had ignored, that were still waiting for me, and how long it would take to take action for each one. I am still working on them but I have accomplished so much since I stopped.

  257. I’m in a bad spot right now. I’ve done lots of research but I’m not sure the Drs in MA grasp the magnitude of this problem. Herbalists, accupuncture I’m sure could be beneficial at some point but idk what to do this moment.

  258. hi
    I am taking diazepan for 2 months 10 days. Low doses started with 2 my 10 tablets. Then I was discontinuiniig. Taking 1 mg and now 0.5 for last 4 weeks but not every day. How should I proceed to withdraw? 0.25 for another 2 weeks or so. Then what be off? Can I skip one day or take it every day? Please give me some advice. Many thanks. Jose

  259. Approaching 6 weeks into withdrawal from Ativan. Doctor provided no instruction on how to take it or taper from it . I have struggled with anxiety my entire life and began to have panic attacks in December where I’d have blurred vision confusion and unsteady balance . Withdrawal has been a nightmare . Depersonalized, confused , dizzy , extreme social anxiety , fear to do really anything as well as depression .. just started yoga and tea . Any suggestions ? Miserable

  260. My name is Lucy and I’m doing this through speaker because I can’t text!
    I’ve been off of Xanax for approximately 5 weeks I was on for mix a day for 4 years one day my prescription wasn’t filled and my body just went into withdrawals really bad also after that I did went back to the hospital and they gave me Librium and I took it as prescribed at it also was tapered
    I am now in 5 weeks the withdrawals came back like a slap in the face I can’t go outside I can’t walk I can’t do anything and I live alone I don’t know if I should go back on Librium and have them we me off because this is not living this is not life I need help and I don’t know what to do none of my friends or family understand what withdrawals are so I’m isolating please help me

  261. I have been on Klonopine 2mg 3 times a day since 2009. I have had 2 Heart Attacks & 1 mild stroke first being in 2009. I am attempting to wean off. My Doctor has me on 1mg 1-2 times a day for one month. 1 a day next month. I am having severe withdrawal symptoms. Really scared. My Doctor mentioned detox… Need advice on if that is a good idea with my health conditions?? I am very afraid, feel like I am going to die if I don’t do something.

  262. I been of xanax since February 2017 I only take half of klonopin as needed I’m going crazy I feel like I’m going to die and my Chest always hurts

  263. So, it is best to watch the above foods and not take GABA or any other supplements? I have been on .5mg of xanax for sleep for over a year. I stopped a week ago, but got back on a half dose because I was angry and frightened. Advice?

  264. I am 3 weeks free if clonazepam, which my doc in the States has had me on for 8 to 10 yrs, the docs in UK tapered me diwn from 3 to 1, then i stopped and about lost my mind..so put on tapering prigram of diazepam by doc , also off ssri and sleeping pills..my biggest prioblem is insomnia and rubber knees, which i am wearing braces on as i feel i will fall over..i am trying to function but it is SO hard, any suggestions?

  265. Ive been fighting benzo withdrawal for months… Ive been on Klonopin 4xs a day for almost 3 years for my tremors and anxiety… I have Complex Partial Epilepsy along w several anxiety disorders and a history of strokes… Recently i have had to stop my Klonopin cold turkey due to the clinic i go to keeps changing my psychiatrist. Everytime i get used to someone they change who im seeing and its getting very old… I havent been able to leave my apt in months because of my medication… Starting and stopping again… I have been experiencing the cold feet and not being able to sleep at night and severe fatigue… Basically everything. Lol. Ive heard if you can make it through the 1st 24 hours without seizures you are good to go… Is this true? And since im already going through withdrawal cold turkey do you think i should just ride it out and be done with them? Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂 thanks

  266. I was given IV Ativan in the hospital 6 weeks ago and given 1mg Ativan oral at home for as needed .
    I never took a whole dose I split them into .5 &.25 dosages on occasion,the only consistent time I took it was 3 nights in a row for sleep,then slivers of it about a week ago and now it seems I’m having withdrawals???
    (Had I known!)…I also have vistaril for anxiety, should I be talking that to help with this?
    I need some solid advice on what to do.
    I have very low tolerance to drugs of any kind and as a rule don’t use them because of the side effects but I somehow got caught in a trap that I want free of!
    Last night I took melatonin with Valerian and vistaril just to get sleep and I think all I did was make symptoms worse!
    What do I do?

  267. I have been on 1 mg of Xanax 3 times a day for 20 years.my son took all my pills as he is an addict and now I am on day 3 of no Xanax can’t get a refill for 3 more days my skin is burning..I can’t sleep .I can’t eat.why do doctor’s even use this drug .I was put on it by my Neuro doc for seisuize disorder

  268. Recently my Dr had dropped me off xanax 2mg. I’ve been taking that prescription for twice a day and some off the streets. All I want is to be free from this nightmare. It’s really causing problems in my life and I can’t do it much longer. I don’t know what to do because everytime I go to a doctor for help they think I’m drug seeking

  269. I was hospitalized for 5 days when my heart rate dropped to a 23! I was taking a lot of benzos and my clonadine at night. The hospital still gave me my dose and my dr put me on a 8 day taper. I know it was all too quick but I think the worst is over. I still feel crappy and a lot of it is psychological but how long does it actually take to get your mental state of mind back?

  270. In January of 2016, I got kidney stones and a month later, a very bad case of diverticulitis. I was put on a very strong medication and started getting headaches and couldn’t sleep and then anxiety set in and I started having panic attacks which then led to depression. My doctor tried Lorazepam, Xanax, Benedryl, and then Remron to which I had a dystonic drug reaction. It was awful and I ended up in ER. He then told me he couldn’t help me anymore and told me to find a psychiatrist. He tried all the newer anti-depressants, but nothing helped. He then started increasing the Lorazepam and had me taking 31/2 mg at bedtime and 1 mg 3 times a day. It didn’t help me sleep and made me so drugged that I couldn’t function. I just laid on the couch and cried all day long. I ended u in partial hospitalization where that doctor put me on Lexapro too. I also was protein deficient which caused swelling in my ankles and pain over my entire body. I’ve been in a state of fight or flight and have been sleep deprived for 15 months. I’ve been weaning off the Lorazepam and have myself completely off duri9ng the day and I’m down to 1 3/4 + 1/8th at bedtime. I average about 3 hours of sleep. I also have a leaky gut and I’m not able to absorb what I’m eating, so I’ve lost muscle and I’m nothing but skin and bones. Sleep deprivation accelerates the aging process and cause all kinds of diseases. I don’t want more drugs and I don’t now what to do. I’ve been working with a homeopathic doctor since last Oct. The first remedy gave me 3 days of feeling great and then it stopped. I’ve now been on my 10th remedy for over 2 weeks and nothing. Protein is the building block of your body and I keep losing weight and I hurt all over and shake all the time and my heart pounds a lot. I’m down to 105 pounds and I’m 5’5. Does anyone have any help for me? I’m taking supplements to try and help my leaky gut. I was told until that gets healed, I’m just going to waste away. I take B-Vitamins and magnesium, among other things. I’d appreciate your suggestions.

  271. Been on xanax of 6 straight months. Switch over to kolonopin and got metallic taste in mouth and dry mouth. They want to start effexor and then taper off kolonpin. Only taking 0.5 twice per day. Only problem is a have chronic dry eyes that was caused by celexa. So afraid I’m going to loose my taste buds. Metallic taste is gone now but tounge is extremely dry and they blame my anxiety.

  272. I was taking Serax (Oxazopam) for over 40 yrs, about a year ago my dr at that time refused to refill my rx and I was just jerked off this medicine. I am still having problems making decisions and knowing what is right or wrong? Would appreciate any thoughts on what this drug has done to me, and how I can get better.

  273. I just went to the healthy alternative store and the lady told me to take GABA and i wanted to try NAC as well. I am tapering off clonazepam and gabapentin now that it has been moved to a controlled substance my dr wont prescribe it to me anymore. So im coming off all narcotics and it is hell. It will feel like i cannot breath until i take a dose. I can handle almost anything except for my bronchial tubes constricting to the point i can barely breath. Please, any recommendation for this problem will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  274. Just starting to taper off klonopin after12 years of 1 & 2 mg.
    Not seeing a true detox doctor but have read many articles and I know to do it SLOWLY. Took many months to go from 2 down to 1 mg. Doctor suggested to go to 1/2 mg while starting with 1/2 mg Trazadone. Not liking taking both at same time, but 10 days in, all is basically ok but little sleep and feeling dizzy and light headed. Not looking forward to final day of k-pin.
    I would like to taper off last 1/2mg of K-pin slower than doctor suggests. Will bring up at next appointment.

  275. I have used benzo for 2 years. I am off now, for a few weeks. I have the most horrible pain In my knees and bones Of my leg. Terrible. Will it stop?

  276. I agree with most but chelated magnesium has been great for hetting a great nights sleep. Can ypu further explain why you put magnesium and also garbanzo beans?

  277. Have been fighting benzo withdrawal for months. Alone. And it’s getting hard to track. Have been on half my typical dose .5mg twice daily from 1mg twice daily. I never would have gotten on if I had truly understood the side effects that slowly ate away at my life. It’s been 40 days solid at this lower dose. It has been hell and have been afraid I’d do permanent damage. My goal is to get off entirely. Will taper the remaining dose. Don’t know when to start. I am happier and higher functioning now that I am on a lower dose. I don’t know whether to continue at this point or give myself a breather. I want my life back. What these drugs have cost me is so much more than my original complaints. It felt unbearable then but I wish that stuck it out. I believe I cost myself strife in my recovery.

  278. I started tapering off Clonazepam in January of this year, 2017, hoping to be off in 2 months. I had terrible nights of nightmares and neuropathy in my feet and dizziness and anxiety as I tapered. That 2 month plan was slowed to to 4 months and a 5th before I was down to 0mg. But I couldn’t hang by the 3rd day off and went back on 1/4 of my dose. I have been on that 1/4 dose now for 2 months. I have always been thin but now I have this benzo belly bloat and seeming weight gain in my thighs, arms and middle. I will attempt to get off this final dose after the family vacations in July and August. I recently read that taking vitamin D and B and chsmomile makes withdrawal worse. Is that true? Because I take all of those! Also how long til this belly bloat goes away? Im not sure how to get off the final 1/4 dose. Needing encouragement.

  279. Hi. I was prescribed klonopin.5 2x a day after being rushed to the hospital for a panic attack, thought I was having a heart attack! They gave me IV fluid of klonopin at the hospital. I had the panic attack bc I was about to have surgery in a week that caused extra stress. I took the RX for about 3 weeks, on and off, then tapered to .75 mg for 3-4 days then half (.5) for 4 days, followed by .25 mg for a few days. As I tapered, and even more so now being 3 days off it, I feel tingling in my finger tips, anxious, insomnia, stomach is off, neck ache and ringing in my ears (could be bc I’m not sleeping and haven’t slept well since surgery). That said, since I wasn’t on it very long, how long will these WD symptoms last? I’m on day 3 from my last dose.

  280. Yes struggling with all of above. Long term user started with psychiatrist​ Valium jeez didn’t even go for me to learn about a condition my brother has, immediately prescribed Valium ended up taking 60mg day switched dr.s to Clonazepam ugh now taking 3mg to 2mg to abruptly 1mg. 0 mg for day 3 jeez it’s so hard and have learned Drs are clueless? Trying to stay hydrated. Is there an end to this? I’m 54 and very worried…. again:(
    Jamie

  281. Hi, I was on three one mg pills a day. My therapist tapered me down by removing half a pill for one month. Then in one week she took me off my last one mg pill. I am experiencing terrible anziety, nausea, headaches and increased pain and Spasticity in my hips and butt cheeks. I feel so bad, did my therapist taper me off too fast? I feel so sick, what can I do? Thank you!

  282. I was takin lorazepam for a while then my doctor wouldn’t give me any more I am also taking sertraline but I went to er for anxiety attack and he gave me one dose of lorazepam I want to know is there any thing else to help if I ain’t taking lorazepam when will I feel normal again

  283. Taper done. I’m off as of today.

    I am going to remember that I am not everyone else. I am going to remember that I am an individual and do not necessarily have to go through the misery that I am reading about. Wish me luck.

    -Michael

  284. I am in my 2nd week of withdrawal from lorazepam and I am experiencing many bad symptoms. Headache, nausea, tiredness, loss of appetite & constipation. Plus my anxiety symptoms have returned also. I am also continuing to take bumper which I have been on for more then 20 years. My Dr told me to go from my 3 doses a day to 2 doses the 1st week then 1 dose the 2nd week then stop altogether the 3rd week but I spoke with some people who said this is to quick of a withdrawal process so I am thinking about doing a 1/2 of one dose next week & then stop the following week. My Dr did not tell me of the horrible withdrawal symptoms that I would experience, I actually went online when things started happening to find out what the he’ll was happening. I can tell you honestly I am extremely upset with my Dr for not explaining what may happen during.withdrawal. Can you tell me how long these withdrawals will go on or when I should start feeling better?

  285. I am currently weaning myself off clonazepam .5 two times a day which I have been taking for three months. I have not had an alcoholic beverage since taking this drug. If I am successful is weaning off completely, how soon can I drink alcohol? I am not an alcohol abuser but enjoy a glass of wine several times a week/

  286. I am 70 yes old. I take Amplodaine for blood pressure. I was taking 1 mg of Clonasapam for about 3 years on and off for sleep. I tapered off over a period of 3 months and was down to fragments but I but started feeling the withdrawal symptoms . Then I stopped on December 27th 2017. My anxiety shot through the roof, the left side of my face now become intermittently numb, I experience agoraphobia
    I get the shivers. I don’t take any of the things that you recommend me not to. I can sleep at night and then wake up a 5Am and and some warm milk which makes me sleep a little more. Is it OK TO DRINK WARM MILK OR TO TAKE TRPTOPHANE .I sleep until about 10Am and then the anxiety hits me like a bomb.I took 2 half’s of a my on March 2nd and then another March 7 .now it’s been 6 months and my fine motor skills are impaired and I feel fatigued. If I lie down and rest I feel better but any little thing can trigger a lot of anxiety. My head feels foggy and I feel depersonalized . I feel like this will never end. Can you please give me some help. Some people say these symtpoms can last for year.

  287. Just got off of Ativan 15 days ago .. 1 week in patient program.. Going thru typical detox symptoms .. anxiety esp.. Going to try to get into a out patient program for anxiety , etc for post detox. Go to NA meetings, etc .. A lot of good friend support..
    I had been clean for 33 years and ended up with panick and anxiety last year.. was on Ativan for 5-6 months around 4mg.. Something I never expected to happen.. I DO NOT EVER want to be on any drugs esp BENZO the rest of my life. Praying I get past the detox symptoms one day at a time and know it will get better..

  288. I was on Clonazepam, Methadone and Hydrocodone for 15 years. In March 2017 I was taken off of all 3 and placed on Suboxone. Today – June 15, 2017 I am in hell and have been since March. I am one of the few that have a negative reaction to suboxone and I feel extremely intoxicated at doses of 1mg or higher and even low doses is messing with me. I just now realized that people should not be prescribed both Methadone and Clonazepam at the same time (very disappointed with my doc of 15 years who left in April 2017). Now I am left with ALL the Benzo symptoms and Methadone and it is pure torture and forced to take a drug that gives me almost ALL of the side effects labeled and then some. I have an appointment with the replacement doctor (pain clinic) on Monday and my brain is not functioning remotely close to normal – hopefully my fiance can help me recall what is occurring… anyway, any help or advise will be greatly appreciated. I am being tortured here! I have NO Energy and am so jittery and shaky all the time – depressed – suffering from major anxiety – cognitive dysfunction – total lack of sexual desire or Ability to achieve an erection – slow respiration – Extreme Foot Burning and now arms and hands – this is literally just a few of my symptoms — INSOMNIA may be the worst. I just want my life back – I was stable and never asked for more – never abused drugs which is why I think I got along so well. P.S. I was prescribed this for pain after surgery in 1998. Yes, Now I am in Extreme Pain and my abilities to exercise have decreased to Nil. Please Help before I go Brain Dead or Kill myself!

  289. My son is trying to quit smoking cigarettes and pot and so I have gotten the CBD to help him with his anxiety and addiction. It really helps calm him down and he is slowly weaning off the pot which makes him feel paranoid. BioCBD water soluble product really helps, without the paranoia. – Lisa

  290. @Jeremy. About the only effective thing I’m aware of is a a drug called Metoclopramide. However – its main mechanism for that action is to speed up the rate that food passes through the digestive tract. If your nausea is a result of screwed up nerve impulses slowing down the muscle-side of digestion (a very real possibility) – then it may be worth a try. A brand name here in Oz is Maxalon and can be bought OTC at a pharmacist.
    In respect to going cold turkey off of 4mg/day Clonazepam following 7 years administration – it will be brutal and possibly life threatening in the form of seizures. You may be best advised to taper off the Clonazepam. Also if you switch to Diazepam – it has a much longer half-life ~ this helps for a much safer and smoother withdrawal. It’s generally considered inadvisable to stop any benzo cold turkey following such a long period of taking it.
    Look up the Ashton Manual online – by Professor Heather Ashton for some suggested tapering schedules. She was possibly the world expert on benzo withdrawal.

  291. Hi there I am so relieved to know people are going through the same thing. I just stopped cold turkey off of klonopin. I was taking 4 mg a day for 7 years. It is brutal. Does anyone have advice on the nausea since smoking medical marijuana makes the symptoms worse? Please let me know I’m on day 5!

  292. Hi all- I’ve taken one kind of benzo most of my adult life…over 40 years. Am now 58 and have only just recently come to the realisation that the constant aches and pains and myriad of physical symptoms experienced all those years were probably all due to either being on a benzo or from withdrawing from one. On one hand I feel a bit stupid for not working out the connection years ago ~ but to be fair..I have also been on a powerful MAOi antidepressant since my teens – and usually attributed most problems to that. I also did my share of binge drinking and abusing benzos when younger. Only recently I made a decision to very slowly taper off the MAOi – and had given up booze over 15 years ago. The only constant in the equation has been the on & off benzo prescription use. In one way I’m lucky to only be suffering mainly physical symptoms. Mostly I was using the less potent diazepam and nitrazepam and temazem etc etc. Occasionally I was prescribed alprazolam at 2mg/day for a couple of years each time – but managed to wean without too much drama. ( Hence I never attributed any of my aches & pains etc to the benzos)

    The last 4 years or so – I was prescribed 4mg clonazepam/day – a very high dose by any standards and for a fairly long time. Around May 2016 – I began taking them very infrequently and eventually stopped. That’s when I DID notice some pretty intense physical problems that finally pointed a big finger at them being the culprit all those years!
    Being off them cold turkey for about 7 months – symptoms neither got worse but they didn’t really subside either. It came to a head around Novemebr 2016 during a 2 week trip to Thailand. I was extremely irritable – had constant stiff neck and severe headache – gastric pain – myoclonic jerks in my legs when trying to get to sleep – tinnitus returned with a vengeance – in short I was a physical wreck – and like a bear with a sore head. On return to Aust.. I decided to reinstate the clonazepam and then used the Ashton tapering schedule. Talked to my psychiatrist and he agreed to switch me onto diazepam. I began the taper at 25mg/day and had cut down 50% per month until I reached 5mg/day – then sometimes took up to 6 weeks before cutting 50%. I eventually reached 0.25mg/day diazepam – During the taper there were times that a cluster of physical symptoms would get too intense..mainly the neck & right-sided headed headache – so I took a bolus dose of 5 or 10mg and that would immediately cease the probs.. I had to to that maybe 4 times over 7 months.

    I’m now only 2 days off of all benzo in my system. The best I hope for is that the headach/neck pain comes along at longer intervals and that I can use less & less benzo to make it go away. I also used a Non-steroidal painkiller (Indomethacin 100mg) to deal with the pain – but the pain always returned son after that wore off. Only taking say 5 or 10mg diazepam would stop the pain returning.

    I hope my story gives some help to others who have been using benzos at high doses for long periods of time. It’s possible I may have tapered too quickly ?? I don’t really know… I seem to have tolerated the cuts aside from those times the cluster of symptoms returned. Also I didn’t need huge doses for a long time to make the WD symptoms vanish. I recognise that I have mainly physical complaints and severe headache/neckpain being the worst of them. However- the irritability – is something I’ve experienced for most of my life and always thought it was just the way I was OR was possibly due to the MAOi. Many people find the anxiety and other psychological/emotional symptoms to be crippling. I can only wish you the best on your journey to recovery.

  293. I had to be detoxed cold turkey from benzos to prevent suicide which I was on the verge of. Now I’m lost dealing with so many things. Anyone out there i can talk to?

  294. A psychiatric RN out me in Nurontin to deal with anxiety as I was weaning off Klonipin. Things were smooth for about 2 weeks, now I experience burning skin everytime I sit or lie down. I took. 5 mg klonipin everyday for 4 1/2 mo. Is this feeling a withdrawal symptom and is the Nerontin causing more problems?

  295. My doctor gave me a script for xanax to taper, only 2 weeks to taper doesn’t seem like enough, I’m having trouble sticking to the dose, I’m currently taking .5 a day and I feel foggy almost all day, it’s a little better after I take a dose of the xanax, how can I get rid of that foggy feeling? I am not doing well with it, my life is dysfunctional now and I can’t get anything done, help, what do I do?

  296. I went cold turkey and after 4 months of hell have come out of it what can I expect of my health after? I was on a very high dosage and am lucky to be alive

  297. i have been on 1mg clonazepam foor over 30 years and have been trying to stop its use since 28 march. i have not been able sleep or eat, have losr 26 lbs i very bad shortness of breath disyness and falling i am 82 yrs old mywhole body is shaking . any help would be appreciated thank you!!!!!!!!

  298. Is there any information about going on Lamictal to help with “Gaba re-set” during withdrawal? Thank you.

  299. I took ativan in 2009 for dizziness. I took a low dose (.25mg/day) about 3 to 4 times a week. After several months I no longer needed it. I did decrease the dose over several weeks. In 2016 I experienced severe vestibular symptoms and started taking Ativan again. A year later I am taking it every day, rather than “as needed” and often take up to .5mg a day. I am miserable – weak in the legs, dizzy, nauseous. I suspect Ativan is the problem. Just a month ago I would take it only 3 to 4 times a week and would be fine. I don’t know how to stop.

  300. Hi there,
    I have been on low dosage of zimovane for the last 4 years and I came off the tablets at the end of November, 2016. But I still feel terrible. My head is all over the place and feels like its floating and I have internal shaking alot. I feel tired the whole time and I’m getting very depressed. I thought after 6 months I would feel a little better but I feel that I am getting worse. I’m very worried that I never will be ok again. is this a normal reaction??? Thanks for your time. Maura

  301. I’m messaging in regards to my fiancé, Jenny. Wednesday, she came home from a dual diagnosis center in which she was in for 11 days to get off of Valium (4-5 years on drug with 10-30mg dosages). It is now Monday night (5 days) and she is horrible and has been since Thursday morning. She was fine when she left the facility, but now she’s dysfunctional. I take it her detox was done inappropriately? Is that correct?

  302. I had been on 3mg of Clonazepam for over 10 years. I tapered down by one quarter mg. about 3 months ago and was fine. Most recently, I tapered down by another quarter mg. – 1 month or so ago – so that I am now taking 2 and a half mg/day. I take a quarter mg. in the morning, and 2 1 mg. pills at bedtime. Over the past week or two my anxiety has been pretty bad. It’s not constant, but it has become progressively worse. I am overreacting to situations; becoming paranoid about situations – even feeling a sense of terror; more irritable, with disrupted sleep (waking up a few hours earlier, though I’m able to resume sleep after an hour or so. Also, I have some difficulty going to sleep. I feel really tired but then get agitated. I am not sure if some of this is due to situational stress going on at the same time. At about the same time that I reduced the second time, my 87 year-old father was experiencing some delusions and confusion on a couple of occasions and I was very worried about him. Please help me! I am desperate! I want to get off of this drug!

  303. I am currently coming off 3 mg of kholonipin a day I only have enough pills so that I had to cut down to 1 1 1/2 mg a day for days then 1 mg for 3 days and then 1/2 mg for 5 days I’m on day 5 of tappering and I’m having withdrawals hot flashes,can’t sleep,anxiety,dizzy,hard to focus should I fish the tappering at the rate I am or just stop now ?I can’t get anymore from the doctor so what I’m doing or just stop is my only options I’ve been on these pills for 5 yrs

  304. I can’t do email because of my brain injury I only have messaging messenger Facebook I can try my email but I’m not sure if it will work I’m just now tapering off quickly has been used for men’s iety panic I have temporal lobe contusions and impact of 50 miles per hour my head several times I guess drunk driver taking me off the road plus many bodily injuries I’m having night terrors can’t wake up can’t move I can hear things out of 31 mg a month he took 15 away last month why anxiety and everything is worse my heart is pounding my chest hurts yeah I’m losing my mind and I get scared easy what do I do I will go back and try to do my email I really want to do this I don’t feel that I have an addiction to them I’m not real sure of the withdrawal symptoms except for what I read I just know that everything else seems worse God bless you and thank you and I hope my email works I really need this I just woke up from something I couldn’t wake up from it was awful do people have night terrors when coming off or being tapered down I was getting 45 1 mg a month he took 15 away last month it is worse now than in the beginning

  305. I went to a mental health facility they had me on all kinds of drugs. Aderall geodon adivan klonopin and a hole line of antidepressant not at the same time though. I went there for five years. I am off of everything now and have been for 4-5 months and I believe I’m suffering from paws. I didn’t know what that was until I saw it here. Over the weekend I had some bad anxiety and was prescribed xanax only enough for five days and I have been taking it. What is going to happen to me now? I am terrified

  306. 06/31/2017

    This will be my final post until I have completed my efforts to be free from benzodiazepines. I do not think I was clear in my memorial day post regarding something very important. I will not be coming off any mediations with the exception of clonezapam and provigal. Both are controlled substances that were probably zeroing each other out and are hard to find a prescriber for. There is no good reason I can think of to remove the two antidepressants I am on from my daily medication regimen.

    I have been able to come down to about ten percent of the clonazepam that I was on when I started the taper. I have had some serious downs during this time but I’m finding that last .75mg have been especially difficult. I am experiencing many of the side affects one would expect during the last weeks of this effort. My mood is generally very good given the circumstances and I’m thankful for that.

    See on June 16th.

    Best.
    Michael

  307. Hi, I am hooked on Z pills. Zolpidem. I binge. I’ve taken 60x 10mg in the last 2 days. I feel really sick and shakey. What can I do to alleviate the symptoms. They’ll be gone in a week or so but I feel really bad this time. I am taking 2 x 10mg pax a day to help but I’d love to come off that too. I’m doomed

  308. 05/30/17

    “Strange days indeed…..”

    Every sensory and motor function in my body is giving me wrong information and I can hardly remember my own name. Have to say though, I’m not in a bad mood, actually a little manic. As I’m aware that I have too much energy to concentrate there will be no driving until I settle down. If I had to work today this kind of energy would be a real problem. I just keep telling myself that I don’t have to go anywhere, so it doesn’t really matter, and that everything will balance out in 15 minutes. Hope so.

    –Michael

  309. I’m not a medical professional or associated with this blog site or its associates in any way. I’m a middle age man that has seen with my own eyes what many are describing. I hope my life experience may be of some use. We are all deserving of happiness. The search may be longer than we want it to be, but there are ways for all of use to find it. We won’t take the same path but we will, all of us, feel well.

    05/29/17 — Memorial Day

    “Do not judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes”

    I would say:

    “Do not judge anyone because you can’t walk in any shoes but your own as you don’t have their feet.” ****or woman

    One could easily read another person’s post, an article or listen to advise and say, “there is no way they know what I am going through!” You are right. I do not know what you are going through, because I can’t. I can only, truly, know and feel what I know and feel. That said, perhaps because I have passed through some of the gauntlets you have I can at least empathize in some small way.

    As I walked into the pharmacy the tech that works there said, “hey, its our newest employee!” This did not help me feel good. I felt some rage start to build inside me, and in what I’ve tried to create in my mind as a habit, I started to walk away. (Quickly) You would not like me when i’m angry and I don’t like me when I’m angry. Unfortunately the force of my rage sucked me back in. Turning around I said, “Donna, please do not say that anymore,” “I don’t like it and its not funny.” A person could say that this was actually a reasonable response to a foolish statement. The problem is, when I get angry I look, have the body language of and appear to be about to dive at the person and plant a fist in their jaw. So, I went back to the pharmacy the next day and apologized saying, “pain makes you do strange things.” This may be true but it does not excuse my actions. In hind sight I appreciate her comment. I harnessed this anger to my benefit. I made the decision that I did not want to go to the pharmacy to pick up one of six different prescriptions anymore. I made the decision that I was tired of worrying about losing a script or throwing some medication out, that the doctor would, rightfully, be hesitant or unable to write another prescription for. I do not want to answer to someone, or have another person be in control of that which I hold dear, my mental health. No more.

    I do not know how you feel. Still, I am absolutely positive that we will all recover fully. We will find that true happiness sits on the other side of depending on putting a pill in our mouths that is made by a pharmaceutical company. If you do not feel a glimmer of this hope then please, call the help line above, 211, 911 or go to a hospital. Please.

    Your search my begin where you thought it ended.

    Love to all,
    Michael

  310. Thanks for the info. I am suffering from very bad withdrawal from Ativan having cut off completely now after many years of addiction. The itchiness and sensitive skin had become unbearable and stops me from sleeping. Any advice what can help please?
    Thanks and regards from Jessie

  311. Hello, I was on 50mg Valium a year ago and started tapering immediately under a doctors care. We were using a Compounding Pharmacy, and they made it in liquid form. I started tapering by 0.75 once a week. I was left to myself to keep doing that. All was well till I got to 1.50mg. The following week I went off 0.75 as usual, but that’s when the trouble started, so I called my doctor who told me to get back to 1.50 mg. That dose didn’t work any more, so now I am on1.80mg. It is not horrible but it is not great. A dizzying headache and I just want to sit still all the time. I have been reading these posts and decided to try GABA and it lessens the symptoms. This is my 5th day and I understand that I better stay on this dose till I feel good, is that right? So if and when that happens I plan to taper 0.3mg (0.1×3). Is thiis a good plan? I am also taking 85mg. Amitryptalin that I plan to taper later. How long do you think I should wait after the benzo withdrawal before I start tapering the Amitryptalin?. I’ would really love to hear from you. Thank you so very much. It is wonderful that we have these sights and my heart goes out to every sufferer, I know what they are going through,I have been there(before I started the 50mg Valium) Slow tapering is the key.

  312. I have beeno on 3 MG if Ativan for the past 2 and a half months. I don’t even know where to begin on how to taper. I have been extremely I’ll with digestive issues and I’m not sure if the Ativan is exacerbating things. I was taking 1 mg in the afternoon and 2 MG at night to sleep. How long will withdrawal last and how can I do this. I would never have started had I’d known how difficult to come off would be. Any help is greatly appreciated :/

  313. I will not make comment on whether you should or should not take medication, but will say, that taking four different medications makes it difficult to assuredly say what medication is working for you and which is not. I think the first step is to find a medical professional that specializes in psychotropic drugs to help you decide if reducing or removing most of these medications from your protocol would be wise. Then you might try to work with this professional to help you make the very personal decision of continuing to take medication or not. I have found that it can take time to find the right person to work with. As with any field, there are people who are more exceptional at their work than others. I have spent many months building a support system I trust and the first person you meet with may not be the best for you.

    My apologies for posting in two parts. If a reply is too long the web site blocks it as “spam”.

  314. David,
    What you are describing sounds very much like something called, “down regulation”. As you know our body seeks a homeostatic state, a balance. If we take medications that increase the supply of a given neurotransmitter our body may start producing less of it or change the amount of receptors on the neuron. It seems you are on three diazepine and or benzodiazepines. (I don’t know what rivetrill is or how it acts in the body) I think it is possible that your body is in a physiological state of down regulation and taking higher doses may be needed to get the same effect from these medications as when you started taking them.

  315. I’m not a medical professional or associated with this blog site or its associates in any way. I’m a middle age man that has seen with my own eyes what many are describing. I hope my life experience may be of some use. We are all deserving of happiness. The search may be longer than we want it to be, but there are ways for all of use to find it. We won’t take the same path but we will, all of us, feel well.

    05/26/17

    Twenty eight years ago today my father lost his battle with cancer. I was in my third year of collage studying psychology. That these two events coincided in my life has informed some of my views on psychology and psychiatric treatment. Throughout his life he suffered from anxiety and this effected not only him, but the entire family. He took psychotropic medication twice in his life. In his thirties he took a low dose of adivan when my sister was born and as he was entering the end stages of cancer he, again, took a small amount until his death. It was interesting because he really did not want to die and never came to accept that he was going to. In the days before his death he never said goodbye or expected not to wake up the next morning. Yet somehow, despite his frustration with his failing body, he developed a certain underlying ease. I have always wondered, but will never know, if taking a small amount of medication might have eased his anxiety and, in turn, may have improved the condition of our families home life. I will never know. He missed one day of work that I can remember because of the flu. He skied, biked, sailed and folk danced on Friday nights; he never stopped moving. He was absolute in resolution not to take medication unless absolutely necessary, even for purely medical conditions. He did, by my recollection, just about everything a person could do to fight mental illness, but he felt this pain from his early life to the day he left us. At the time of his death I was focusing on psychoneuroimmunology, this is the study of how a persons view of life and daily thoughts can affect their physical and mental health. I was beginning to feel that through a holistic, more eastern philosophy, the effect of most any illness could be reduced if not eliminated. His life and death left me with one firm belief: that “holistic” means the entirety of what is available and that medication may be part of this holistic approach for some people. It appears to me that the world of psychiatric treatment has broken into basically two camps: those who believe that traditional “talk therapy” and psychiatric treatment are the best approach and the professionals that believe a non-medical approach including, but not limited to, talk therapy are better. There are, of course those who take the middle ground and believe that these two views do not conflict but that both should be in our tool bag to assist those in need. I am a firm believer in the middle way, the people that feel that holistic means “the whole of” and that medication has its place.

  316. Been on benzo’s for 9 years, keep increasing the dossage in order to sleep. Taking valium , antivan, rivotrell, zanex in increaseing dossages. What can i do?
    Thank you david kantrowitz bkk thailand

  317. JAMIE — I think you are asking the right question. Frankly I need to look more into how I could eat correctly and take the right supplements to do well without these medications. Thank you for reminding me!!!! I wonder if a nutritionist or wholistic physician could help you? I hope you find relief in the next weeks and months. I think you will.

    EBONY– It might be a good idea to see a doctor or health professional the specializes in psych meds. Hyperventilation is something you could very well reduce or eliminate by learning some mindfulness techniques. Some people would call it meditation. Whatever word we put to it, this kind of practice has helped more people than any medication ever will. I’m not saying there is not a place for medications, just that there are other ways to cope as well. I meditate for 30 minutes every day and it has changed me as a person. If I stop my friends know it without me telling them. The way I act just shifts. Put “mindfulness training” in Google and see what pops up for things happening in your area. Mindfulness can help people reduce racing thoughts and help control angry flare ups. Did for me. Have a blessed day and please keep us all updated on how you are doing.

    Love to all,
    Michael

  318. LENA — I’m so sorry. You have posted a response similar to many others. You are not alone and you will get through this. You one hundred percent will. Perhaps you have spoken to your prescribing physician and he or she has put your mind at ease regarding Gababentin or another medication, diet or supplement that may help. I can tell you as a personal story. I was on a medication called Effexor for many years. it started to effect my liver function and I had to come off it. The MD suggested I take Cymbolta as a replacement. As it was tremendously hard to get off the Effexor I was resistant to taking another medication. Three months later and after having lost my car, my house and my job I relented and started taking the Cymbolta, which I take to this day. It was a mistake on my part not to show some flexibility. I am not suggesting that you take any medication or any particular medication. I just see some similarity in the way you and I think about things, and that there may be a path being offered to you that will work. You will find the answer, in the meantime please do whatever you can to keep a smile on your face!! You deserve it and you will find it.

    AMBER — Congratulations on your efforts so far. What you have accomplished is something to be proud of. It might be a good idea to seek help from a professional that specializes in psychiatric medications. (A psychiatrist or APRN that specializes in psych meds) Family doctors have always been helpful to me, but they are not always up to speed on this very specialized area. If you break a bone you see an orthopedist, if you need psychiatric help you deserve that specialized help too. Take care.

  319. I’m not a medical professional or associated with this blog sight or its associates in any way. I’m a middle age man that has seen with my own eyes what many are describing. I hope my life experience may be of some use. We are all deserving of happiness. The search may be longer than we want it to be, but there are ways for all of use to find it. We won’t take the same path but we will, all of us, feel well.

    William — I wonder if staying on the gabapentin for a period of time might be a good idea. My philosophy on medications is this: never add or remove two medications at the same time. If one does this it makes it very hard to winnow out which drug is doing what. The symptoms you are describing are all issues that gababentin is used to treat and can present when use is stopped. This may have nothing to do with it, but I do think it would be good to run it by your prescribing doctor.

    CRZ — I would disagree with you, except that I TOTALLY agree (-: I want to encourage everyone to get off these medications if they possibly can, but I believe for some they are uniquely useful. I’m going to make a bull headed effort to get off, but I will not be pushed over the edge by a medical community and consensus that could very well be totally different five years from now. I would say to some, “ever heard the song from the Rolling Stones called, ‘mothers little helper’?”, yes, well that was about benzodiazepine. I believe that song was released as a single in 1967, so this stuff has been around and used for the better part of 40 years. Suddenly they are a pox on society? I’m yet to be convinced.

    JAYME – I’m sorry your uncomfortable and hope you will post an update to let us know how you are doing. Coming off one medications while going on another can make things a bit dicy. Perhaps you should ask your prescribing physician if the symptoms are from the lithium (which is possible) or coming off the Ativan. As you were on such a low dose of Ativan for a short period of time I think there is some possibility that your issues are from the lithium. Something to think about??

  320. Blog Post #3

    Hey, did I ever tell you guys about the time I went to the mental health care in-patient facility? I think I haven’t. Though I would like to, I will not recount the entire episode. It would probably be boring to anyone but me. They did help me learn a few things that may be of use to others. I checked in to this, ummm, hospital, to access ECT to treat chronic depression and anxiety. I thought it was worth a shot as nothing else seemed to be working very well. As ECT can’t be done to someone who is on benzodiazepines or any other anti-seizure medication, they tapered me from 6mg to none in five days. To say this was uncomfortable would be putting it mildly. Add in that I was also taking lamictal, and that needed to be gone from my system and taped to nothing also, was really, really uncomfortable. Please, please, anyone who is thinking of stopping cold turkey, please, don’t. I entered this so called hospital in pain and left a shell of my former self. On one weekend a social worker, who was singular in that he did not talk or treat anyone like a kindergartener, spoke to us. He said working through mental illness and explaining it to others was sometimes described as, “trying to explain the color red to a blind person.” It is not possible. I thought this true and think it effects how people with mental illness get treated by others, get medical and emotional treatment for it and the way it’s funded to help those in need.

    I feel viciously anxious today and did not feel very well yesterday. That last hop down has not been kind to me. Onward my friends!! Thank you for listening.

  321. i have been on clonazapam for 14 years right after i lost my son. i am 73 years old and have now started to wean off of them.i was taking 0.5 milligrams day and night 1 am 1 pm i started back last november cutting 1/8th of my pill every 3 months. its now may 2017 and i take half of 0.5 in the am and 3/4th in the evening. im trying to cut 1/8th every couple of months. i do experience headaches from time to time but have other health issues as well. am i doing the right thing by cutting this way.

  322. Hi, I’m on day 9 of stopping klonopin, after tapering
    about 1/16 mg every 4 weeks. I was okay until i woke up last night in the middle of the night with extreme anxiety, and I couldn’t sleep, and I still feel it in am. Is this gonna stay like this, if so, I can’t take it, and can’t sleep. I dont want to start taking it again after 9 days, but might have to if this exteme anxiety doesn’t go away soon.Why would it get like that now, in the 9th day, if you know. Is there any med you can recommend for overwhelming anxiety that can help me right away. My dr. gave me wellbutrin, but I read it can cause initial anxiety, and I can’t take that. Thx.

  323. IT IS NOT ALL BAD. (POST 2)

    As part of my recovery process I have decided to place routine posts on this blog sight. I do not believe it would be wise for me to give advice to anyone, or sparingly at best. This will simply be an idea of what one person has done. Please do not view anything I write as a suggestion on how you should proceed in reducing your need for benzodiazepines. You are not a “study” and I am not a “study.” It is my opinion that there are no “facts” regarding the use of benzodiazepines. No study included me and I will state as FACT that no study has said, “two hundred out of the two hundred people in this trial experienced (fill in the blank).” This is my story, but we are all a gift to this world and are all individual with individual experiences and biological make ups. My journey will end in success, which may not mean coming off benzodiazepines completely. But, be assured, I will have success because I deserve, and have it in my life today.

    05/23/17

    As of this date, and starting in January, I have gone from 8mg a day to 2.5 mg a day. I feel very proud of my efforts thus far and will be going down to 2.25 mg tomorrow. I will stay at this level for a week at which time I will reduce another .25 mg. I am undertaking a taper that I designed based on intuition and my level of comfort. I have over-reported my dosage to my APRN so I can reduce to no clonazepam in the near future at a pace that I decide. Most people do not like being told what is best for them and especially not under the gun of their own mental health, and I am one of those people. I was also taking provigil @ 400 mg a day but tapered myself off this medication a month ago. Duloxetine and lamotrigine continue to be part of my medical regimen which I do not expect to change during this taper period.

    So far I have experienced the full range of emotions one would expect. I have, mostly, felt extremely anxious and depressed. I have a big issue with social anxiety which has gotten worse to the point of not wanting to go into crowded places, this would include the shopping center. So buying food and hanging out with friends has become very difficult. ON THE POSITIVE SIDE; I have also had periods of great happiness. When I feel good I feel reeeaaallllly good. Almost manic. In these windows of time I make jokes (that are not particularly funny to anyone but me), post self made comedy videos on you tube and write poetry. It has not been all bad and my life will continue to get batter than it is. Put your seat belts on, this ride is going to be bumpy! (-:

  324. Hi i told my doctor i was hyper ventaling and i was afraid to go to school and around ppl so he gave me klonopin i been on it since 9th grade i been out of school for 10 yrs and im still on the pill i wanna get off of it he told me to try taking a pill once a day or every other day a couple of months ago i ran put of pills and man i cudnt sleep eat i kept going to the bathroom and i was jittery i felt funny the only thing i ate was bread and water until i got the pills while on these pills if i get to excited my heart races and my mouth gets dry its hard to calm my self down i developed anger issues i really dnt think i shouldve been given these pills at all it does nothing but slows me down a lil but i still be depressed or mean i panic a lil and blacks out when i hyperventilate i hate this feelings i wanna get off these pills

  325. Hello you mention foods and vitamins not to take but are there any that I can take to help ease my depression anxiety ? I had a horrific withdrawl at 5 months pregnant – started taking benzos to treat alchol withdrawl (valium) than went on xanax for anixety than my doctor changed me to clonazepam and an anti depressant than boom I find out im pregnamt and the nightmere was soon to come. But I healed ! The only thing Im seriously struggling with now is depression and anxiety (mainly before bed and upon waking up) which makes me terribly exaughsted all the time and I want to feel energetic for my little man who is 7 months old now. I cant drink coffee or anything alike because it sends me into a panniced state for days, so if there is a vitamin or suppliment I can take that actually works and isnt a drug that would be amazing! Thank you :)!

  326. I have been taking unperscribed xanax for about 8 months now. Through that time span I have taken anywhere from 1mg-8mg. I am now down to 1mg a night right before I go to bed. My anxiety is terrible during the day. I plan on tapering down. I go to my family practice doctor tomorrow. What should I tell them? I am mentally done with the drug, but my body is not done without withdrawing. HELP!

  327. they have been tapering me down changing my dose every 2 weeks. this is horrible! I have gotten myself down to .025mg, it will gone in 1 week . I am scared that when it goes to nothing at the end of the week it will be really bad. They wanted me to try Gabapentin but I am scared to take anything now because after reading this using chamomile was bad as well as canabinods as well. I’m meeting my doctor Wednesday to discuss going down to everyotherday for 2 weeks and stop. what should I do, they just do not get it, I was on 1mg for 6 years, I started getting Benzo dementia is what she called it. I’m wondering if ill get that back when I’m completely off this. I wish I would have know 6 years ago…

  328. I have only been taking a small amount of Ativan for about 3-4 weeks. 0.25-0.5 per day. I was given this for esophageal spasm and dyspepsia secondary to a bad reaction to trileptal which I am off now. They have started me on low dose Lithium. I am still trying to get a level. With the small bit of Ativan I can sleep but I cut it down to .25 for 2-3 days and stopped it 2 days ago. Last night I barely slept. In fits and starts and have pressure in my forehead and feel like I want to crawl out of my skin today. I am exhausted. Not sure what to do at this point. My doctors don’t think you can get addicted to a small amount like this for short period of time. I don’t know. Is this the benzo some mania or both? Thanks. Jayme

  329. I’m sorry, but this article is ridiculous. Two years ago my life was overcame with extreme panic and anxiety. I couldn’t leave my bed, go to class, I couldn’t even eat. I lost over 20 lbs, which put me at 100 lbs (I’m 5’7”). I couldn’t leave my bed. I stayed inside and cried for almost a month until I agreed to take meds. They SAVED my life. I tried every natural substance and natural way to heal my anxiety. Meditation, therapy, vitamins, exercise, you name it I tried it. After about 10 trips to the doctor and having to look into my sons eyes every day, I realized I rather die than not try EVERY thing to fix my anxiety. I started an SSRI and klonopin. It’s been two years, I’m halfway through a very competitive and intense nursing program, I work part time, and I’m raising my beautiful son. I came across this site because I’ve been in a good spot mentally and am ready to taper off my benzo. I’ve been taking 1/4 of my 0.5 mg for about a week and a half now. Guess what? My original symptoms are back. No, I am not going to let this stop me. But for you to say once our withdrawal symptoms are gone we will no longer experience anxiety – BS. Some of us, this is how our brains are made. My one whole side of my family deals with anxiety. There is NOTHING wrong with needing to balance our brains out properly. Does a diabetic stop taking their insulin? No because their pancreas CANNOT produce insulin. It is the same for us with depression/anxiety, and it should be treated that way. My hugs and sympathy for anyone going through any kind of anxiety. You are not alone, and we do have a chance, and it WILL get better. Never feel ashamed for needing to take a medication for something that allows you to live a normal life. XO

  330. I was on clonazepam (1 mg twice daily) for 13 months. I cut out 1/4mg every 2 weeks and I finally toook my last 1/4mg on May 10, 2017.
    I am having hot flashes at night, insomnia, headaches and restless leg syndrome all over my body at night. I also have some nausea and flu like symptoms. I am not having any anxiety.
    I also am coming of Gabapentin that I am taking for nerve pain in my lower back. I had a surgery that went bad in my sciatica nerve, L5 and S1.
    Do you think the withdrawals will get worse before they get better. I am 71 years old and not in real good health but I am determined to whip this. Any help I can get would be appreciated.

  331. Hi everyone. I have been on clonazapam for not really very long……about 25 years. So, like, half my life. I figure it shouldn’t be much of a problem. (right) I always took as prescribed and, as would be expected with neurological down regulation, was up to 8mg a day. Scary. So, after 4 months I am at 3 mg, and I am proud of my efforts thus far. I am really having trouble at work because my sense of humor and general affect have become very blunted. Does anyone have any thoughts about there being a point at which I should plan on taking time off? Was anyone able to continue working?

    Also, I can’t really get a clear answer on why we are all coming off this drug. Eight milligrams was ridiculous. it was. But at 4.5 I still felt good once I got used to it. Why can’t I just stay on it? No doctor seems to want to prescribe it anymore. Its been clumped in with narcotics, which it is not. Have you ever heard of someone robbing a drug store or killing someone for benzodiazepines. I haven’t. I have heard of people killing themselves with them, and usually a few others mixed in. Might these people have, very unfortunately, taken their own lives anyway? I don’t understand why any downside societally or personally is that great that I should be forced to endure this pain. A pain that, by all accounts, will only get worse.

    Thanks everyone. Stay in the battle. Never. Never……give up!

    Oh…..and if you are going to say I am coming off them because they damage my GABA receptors, that is ridiculous. This is a theory and one that is very hard to show in studies. If it is damaging my GABA receptors then, as far as I’m concerned, that is between me and my doctor. As long as I am doing no societal harm then leave me alone. Make alcohol illegal. I can’t see my doctor anymore because he does not except medicaid and if an MD doesn’t take medicaid they lose prescriptive rights (in Connecticut anyway). Every psychiatrist I can find (and there are few) that take medicaid will not prescribe benzos. It really seems ridiculous. But I guess I’m along for the ride.

  332. I am tapering off .5 mg clonazapam and not feeling well at all. I am down to .125mg. I feel extreme fatigue, anxiety depression and muscle stiffness. I know I have a long road ahead, but would like to getback to my old energetic enthused self. I feel I lost all motivation and emotion being on this death drug. I know people feel withdrawal for up to a year, don’t know if Ihave the figjt in me but need of this drug if I am ever gonna feel better again. Any words of encouragement would be great.

  333. I have been on Klonopin for about 3 years.. I decided I needed to get off because it started to make me feel bad. My doctor told me to stay on it until she was ready for me to get off. I have felt she could not dictate my life. So I started to wean 3/4 for 3 weeks then two weeks taking 1/2 then 4 days taken a 1/4 then off I have been in a living hell since headaches like you never knew them panics shaking nervous fast heartbeat feeling of unconnected scared stomach messed up also thinking too much. Insomnia and could not eat that was two months ago. I am still having withdrawals. I decided to go on lorazepam just to get some sleep for a couple of weeks I just don’t know where to turn been with a lot of anxiety depression I need help in a big way. Depression anxiety medicine give me bad thoughts and bad side effects don’t know where to turn or if I will ever get my mind and body back cry and awful lot I did not know I was on then benzos. All because I told my daughter I could not sleep at night that is not fair I Should Have Been Told what those drugs are capable of doing can anyone give me advice home how to get through this thank you

  334. Was able to wd from clonazepam 2mgs to1.5 we were trying for1mg at my request. it’s for myoclonic seizures and sleeping but the wd was extremely bad he told me to go back1.5. Because of the risk of seizures.i was already showing signs out relapsing and i have gran mall seizures anyway when they aren’t controlled. Unless im in a hospital setting i will never go off this stuff.the wd alone can kill ya

  335. I have been on Ativan for 2 years for anxiety I use to be on 6mg a day now on 1 and half a day ( was 2mg but I reduced to 1 1/2a week ago)since on ativan it was helping then I started having muscle spasm, more anxiety, crying spells, body aches, neck tension bad, choking sensation, pins and needles throughout whole body (feels like body electrical shocks all, it’s ruining my life don’t know if it’s anxiety or withdrawal syntoms, just sick of it…