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  1. Dear Nicole,
    Thank you for this article, and your work. Sorry for the suffering that informs it. I will send your article to my General Practitioner and another medical professional involved in my ‘care’, though in reality that ‘care’ actually amounts to the all too familiar harm of denial. They side-eye and gaslight me while I suffer like so many thousands of others in a life inhibited by benzodiazepines harm (completed my slow taper January 2020). Thank you again. Sarah, New Zealand

  2. Experienced tolerance withdrawal symptoms after 8 years use of clonazepam as prescribed 2mg/day. Never took any other drugs. Violent, sudden migraines, vertigo, sound and light sensitivity, rapid weightloss, nausea, joint and muscle pain, depersonalization, anxiety, fear, insomnia, visual disturbances, suicidal thoughts. Visited several doctors with my symptoms and I was diagnosed with several illnesses within three months none of the doctors ever considered that clonazepam could be the culprit, not even my psychiatrist who just insisted to prescribed me more and more antidepressants, tranqulizers, muscle relaxers, anticonvulsants. Never new i could experience withdrawal symptoms even if I am taking my prescribed dosage. After three months of terror and hell and relentless reasearch I figured it out that my clonazepam dosage no longer work and I would require substantial increase in dosage to releive the symptoms. I refuse to remain the prisoner of this drug. Online support groups, the Ashton Manual a tremendous resource of help. I am tapering down slowly but still experiencing most of the withdrawal effects and cannot leave my house, lost my job. My doctors do not believe me, have no experience in benzowithdrawal, actually making my condition worse. I hope I will fully recover after tapering, it brakes my heart reading about the hell patients and their families go through because of incompetent medical care, irrisponsible doctors, and drug manufacturers.

  3. Im curious to know your thoughts about the rapid detox with Flumazenil. Not cold turkey. My mom was on Clonopin for 15 years, then it stopped working for her last year. She’s on a slow taper (down from 3 mg to 1.75) and also on 4 other medicines to help, but she’s miserable. She will rebound when feeling anxious and stay that way all day at times. A glass of wine at dinner will sometimes help. While I understand the ramifications for any detox Center and going into detox, it doesn’t seem you’ve addressed centres that specifically conduct very slow Flumazenil assisted detox. One of the places I have in mind have successfully treated patients in this fashion (or so they say) I’m still conducting research. The biggest thing for me is that once she complex the detox, if she chooses, she continues with a no addictive medicine and CBT whilst her brain continues to heal. The withdrawal symptoms she has now are brutal and she always talks about wanting to just end it and quite frankly, I don’t think two more years of slow taper will work. She’s also 69 years old.

    1. Hello again. I’ve been reading all sort of medical research. I do not believe the detox will provide long term benefits. Short term, yes. But long term she will have even worse withdrawals. We are going to taper her down even more slowly until she’s a bit more stable and stay the course. She has her whole family supporting her during this agonising and cruel benzo withdrawal process.

  4. I reduced benzo over 6 months. And I toppled Benzo. After 1 year and a half thereafter, withdrawal symptoms are the worst now. Even if I take Benzo again, will it get better?

    From Japan

  5. How can I learn why beta blockers may be dangerous while undergoing withdrawal? What would the best source of information be?

  6. Nicole, thank you for speaking out pubicly about this incredibly important yet misunderstood issue. Eight years, wow… Solidarity and healing to you and everyone.

  7. Ms. Lamberson, you have done something monumental in writing this piece. The internet is rife with stories of benzo withdrawal, and while most are accurate, lucid, and believable, they are not typically regarded as scholarly. Your combination of medical education and skillful writing should elevate and propel your story of lived experience to reach those who need to hear it the most.

  8. Dr. Peter Madill has announce that his practice will end on July 31 2018. I believe that he has done this. He has referred both his established patients and would-be patients to the usual online list of “benzowise” physicians. Dr. Madill’s wide acceptance seems to come from his willingness to support the method desired by the patient. He really does understand that there is no standard benzo experience, and he respected the fact that experiences may be very different from one patient to another.

    While Madill was helpful, he had no unique method to offer. Not to be discounted were his flexibility and reassurance that a patient would not be “cut off” before completing the taper. This eased a common source of worry that exacerbated the withdrawal experience.

    However, the online lists do not include the very few individual doctors who successfully do this differently while not advertising to the general online community.

    Adhering to the ubiquitous rule of percentages is far from wise. Its origin is murky, and its value is no more than assumed. The fact that an idea has been promoted for a long time is not evidence of it’s validity.

    Commonly honored benzo-illness manual statements, assumed to have been vetted by validly constructed studies, remain in use as patients are told that the studies exist when they do not.

    A useful practice: Always ask: “Why should I believe this? Where is the evidence?”.

  9. Thank you much for speaking out. We need more medical professionals who have been harmed to speak out on this topic. I am sure there is pressure most Patients don’t understand that a medical professional is put under going against the grain of the professional practices that are the norm right now. Thanks for your bravery and sharing your story. It helps to educate the main stream medical community and to support patients suffering.

  10. Nicole,
    Thank you for your article. It touched on so many valid points and insights from someone who has actually experienced the nightmare. I wish my brother, a veteran, were alive today so that he could read this article before he took his first Klonopin pill as prescribed by a general practitioner.
    Hopefully your shared experience can save even just one person BEFORE they are damaged by Benzo use and subsequent withdrawal. Most people don’t start to look for information and find the forums online until it’s too late, out of desperation, looking for help after the damage is done. It’s one thing, like you said for someone to give instructions about tapering and quite another to fully comprehend what it means for an individual’s life and his caretaker’s i.e. family/loved ones. It’s not even something I could give appropriate due to here on the internet. I simply wish I could implant the memories/sadness/shock/pain into another’s brain before they go on a Benzo for any duration so they would not have to go through what my family endured from my brother’s prescribed use, abrupt cessation by medical professionals, and his subsequent suicide.