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  1. Omg if only u found this site years ago. Or if all Drs were honest years ago lol…..I’m reading this and its my exact story. It brought tears to my eyes both happy and sad. I’m just grateful ? for all your work

      1. I don’t know where to start….benzo buddy, I’m 41 and only time been without benzo’s 3 times I my life since 16. I have only just realised that 99.99% of my problems are benzo related, and to read about bws the way I have done is scary like hell while living. The 3 times without benzo’s are first when my over prescribing gp had me on 100 2mg Xanax & 100 5mg Valium every 10-14 days and he decided to retire, then when I tried tapering off twice I got down to 3vals but relapsed and the 3rd(4th) time my new young gp of 4 yrs sent me packing over allegations I was selling my vals(I wasn’t but he was half right about illicit use). So I finally found a known prescribing gp who is older and understanding, but he has blood on his hands(multiple deaths) OD’s or other conditions resulting from cocktails of pills and heroin. I have experienced the paranoia, sensitivity to everything, I couldn’t talk at all for over a month when my son turned 4 I couldn’t even say Happy Birthday. Anyways I’m not alone now, I can’t describe some of the bws feelings but I found some one who did sadly she’s passed on but not without helping educate me. Thank you anon

  2. I wonder why this lady was given benzos at all if she was diagnosed as bipolar early on.As far as I can tell, Lithium, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants are the preferred treatment.

    1. Correction to last post:this should read antipsychotic drugs, not antidepressant, as AD’s usually not presc. for bipolar. Whoever gave benzos to her failed her!

      1. Hi JJW.

        I was her partner for five years as she was going through a lot of the med shuffle, her primary support for three years after that, and her secondary support for the last three years. She didn’t get a bipolar diagnosis until her late 30s, but felt like it explained a lot of her life. Prior to that she’d tried hormone replacement therapy after a hysterectomy to deal with endometriosis, as well as antidepressants like Zoloft. I took her into a center in a moment of crisis when she hadn’t eaten in four days. That’s when we started addressing it as bipolar.

        She didn’t want to be on anything but she wanted to be well so she followed the advice of doctors and took them as prescribed. She started on lithium and lamictal, and over time had pretty much every combination of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers that you can imagine. She went to peer support groups. Most of the time she was on anything it involved at least one benzo, and they kind of worked. Some had different side effects and they tried to find something that would work for her. They fought side effects with more meds. The cocktail kept shifting but was always there.

        In the acute moments they made a huge difference and I feel they kept her alive. But as prolonged treatment it was a mistake. The last six-to-twelve months she was off benzos, but dealing with BWS. Her senses were fried. Smells were off, everything tasted weird. She feared internal organ failure. In the end it was dealing with lasting effects on her brain, her nerves, her senses that proved to be too much for her. She was lucid until the end.

        We have a group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/badbenzos/ if anyone is interested in discussion or connecting with others walking this walk.

  3. My brother was not bipolar or mentally ill, but did have some stress and anxiety from life/ptsd from being a pilot and from his job. He was prescribed klonopin by a general practioner. He took it as prescribed for about 6 years. He did not understand, and none of his family understood, that he was having adverse symptoms related to the klonopin. He was stopped abruptly at a detox facility. He had several subsequent admissions to hospitals for a variety of potential life threatening medical emergencies. The woman’s story above nearly describes exactly my brother’s experience with severe withdrawal symptoms form klonopin. He “died by suicide” as I now understand is the new gentler way to describe it. It was barely four months out of the detox facility. My brother would never have committed suicide if he had never been prescribed klonopin in the first place or stopped abruptly at a facility. I feel so heartbroken for any other individual on the this earth who goes through the mental and physical pain that my brother went through as a result of this medication. I understand that not everyone who takes this medication has these issues. But my brother did. He was not crazy, but the drug damaged him and he appeared so after it’s use and abrupt withdrawal. May he rest in peace. I have no idea what the answer may be for people going through this. But I do hope people become aware and are careful about these medications. They are dangerous.

    1. I undeestand this, and I am presently going through a terrible withdrawal myself. I had been on this poison for 17 years. My point is that in THIS case, benzo use was not the only issue.

  4. Is it appropriate to share this woman’s story here,when she also had a comorbid diagnosis of bipolar disorder? How does one factor out this diagnosis as a cause for the suicide?

  5. Absolutely. I have given both of my pastors plenty of educational reading, and they now have a good understanding of benzodiazepines and the withdrawal syndrome. Thanks for posting the comment.

    1. I have every one of these symptoms after 6 years on benzos. It went out of control May 2018 while in brain rehab. I have been fighting for my life ever since. Stopped breathing, heart palpitations and skips, severe anemia, severe dystonia, multiple falls with mutiple broken bones and concussions, severe debilitating vertigo and balance issues. I am overnight allergic to everything. 5 months on fruit smoothies, baby food, etc. If its not fruit, I get violently I’ll. Holes in intestines, stomach ulcers, liver failure, gallstones, belly swells and is hot. Extreme cold limbs and temperature reactions. Vestibular migraines, blood pressure spikes, anxiety, panic attacks, skin rashes, tons of new moles, age spots, eczema. Severe fatigue. Days in bed. Severe nerve pain, grinding holes in teeth. I have been trying to recover for 2 years now. Severe ups and downs. Its exhausting at times and I despair. 53 doctors in and trying to find one who.will listen. Thanks for sharing this story. ?

  6. It’s so very sad to lose another beautiful person to benzos the people who are still fighting know what she went through we need to keep fighting god bless

  7. “I hope something good can come from my death’ was said in Cassandra’s letter; nine words that made me sad because I am afraid so many feel the same way. I agree with Nancy and say i too am LIVID. Cass sounds like a fearless fighter and devoted advocate who tried so hard, not just in life, but in her death to help others. What a beautiful woman, what a incredible loss. My biggest fear here in Cass’s story is that there will still be those arrogant doctors that will read this incredibly well written piece by Cass, and yet still not blame the benzos, but instead will blame her death on the underling bi-polar disorder and that infuriates me!!! If 1mg of klonopin equals 10mg of valium, then at times Cass was taking close to 40mg of valum and xanax on top of that ????? UNBELIEVABLE AND IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL

    God bless Cassandra, her family and friends.

    1. How very sad and tragic. Note that 1mg Klonopin equals 20mg Valium. Xanax and Klonopin are of equal strength, so Cass was on as much as 140mg Valium.
      Pie Jesu Domine,
      Dona eius requiem. Amen.