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  1. It has taken me 3 years to slowly taper off. Was prescribed after assualt at work. On for 10 years. My result has been some days I’m depressed out of nowhere and my mind WILL NOT shut off. Real sleep is impossible. But I’m 3 months without use.

  2. I have been left on benzo’s for 36 years. I am in my 3rd year of tapering off of X. I developed benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome and se ere akathisia in February/March of 2019 from a totally unacceptable abusive forced and handcuffed EOD with the police to a deplorable Oklahoma disgusting State ran facility where most of my last abuse from medical and mental health professionals happened. Forced Akathisia should require prison time and loss of license for those ignorant and involved with inflicting chemical brain and central nervous system injury torture of those of us who did try to take their life. I tried twice w/I two weeks when I was handed The Ashton Manual and found the lifesaving online groups who understood me. I lost everything due to this medical and mental health care malpractice. If I live to stabilize and live through this Anti-Christ tapering off if X..I hope my brain and cns heal that the akathisia stops involving SI. Been there do e that over three decades now. These providers companies and big pharma need to hear our voices and what not about the true suffering that come from doing what a Doctor said to do.

  3. Total INSANITY!!! This drug should be ILLEGAL to prescribe & we Benzo Survivors should all be Compensated for our Horrible Suffering!

    The Covid Patients That were given Benzos during Ventilator Intubation are waking up Suffering with all these HORRIBLE BENZO WITHDRAWELS…but it’s being blamed on COVID???? This not from Covid! They are Clearly Brain & Nervous System DAMAGE FROM BENZOS & then doing Cold Turkey after the Ventilators are taken out! This is SCARY NOW that Drs In Hospitals arent Even Getting it ..But I do?? What the hell! I’m a Mom at home that’s a Benzo Survivor so I FIGURED IT OUT!!!

  4. My first attempt to get off Ativan taken for 30 years at 4mgs per day failed and I reinstated. I am in process of a second taper and have been switched to Diazapam as per Ashton Manual. I am presently at 21mgs, aiming for reducing by 2mgs per month. Had to slow it down this last month by 1mg. Lots of life stressors on top of withdrawal. My first attempt which was poorly handled by a doctor left me with chronic pelvic pain(pain in all my pelvic organs)for over two years now. I think this has been referred to as post acute withdrawal syndrome.
    I am having terrible nightmares almost every night, night sweats that are so annoying as I have to change the linen and bed clothes all the time. This may sound trivial in comparison to the mental symptoms I experience as well.
    Severe anxiety, periodic akathisia, panic attacks, terrifying fear where everything is overly stressful and overwhelming. My functioning is very poor. Depression very severe. This is really not a very good explanation of the torture I experience day and night. The good news is I’m half way to being let out of this jail. I don’t know if I will be permanently disabled from this illness though or how the complete taper will progress!

    1. Well I’m back this morning after a long difficult winter and spring, summer isn’t looking good currently either. I began to have my feet and toes twist in varying directions even while wearing shoes during my taper last summer. It’s not gone and gets to the point I can’t even let the sheets touch my toes or sometime during the day I can’t pick up my foot or one or two toes will go in opposite directions and it’s extremely painful. I told my doctors, neurologist but it didn’t happen when she looked at my foot at that moment so deduced that it wasn’t actually happening. I’ve had to have someone hold my toes to stop them from twisting-which reminds me a lot of one time when a bad doctor I’d seen who’d given me 10 mg of Ativan a day then after months and month said he couldn’t fill it and prescribed me an Compazine which after about 15 min caused my tongue to start coming out of my mouth repeatedly without being able to control it then my entire jaw began to twist and dislocated and my throat was closing, arms were twisted and hanging up in the air. By the time I got to the ER I couldn’t speak but knew what the medicine I needed was to reverse the problem from working in the ER. They administered it but not enough to get rid of that feeling of needing to move or like your body was going to move on its own. Very uncomfortable and creepy and horrific. I’m terrified of that happening to me again. I’m now having severe cramping and have had the runs since I started this taper over a year ago but now it’s getting far worse with bleeding from my bladder and bowels and vagina. I’ve had breast cancer and a partial mastectomy followed by chemo, radiation and then my mothers death so I never started the Tamoxifen. I just received a letter on Saturday from my new Doctors office saying the procedure they’d scheduled me for in August is to see how deep my cancer goes in my abdomen. I was shocked. They know how bad I’ve been stressed and just had me go to the ER where I felt marginalized and basically treated like I was crazy and diagnosed me with diarrhea-which I already knew I had. I wasn’t dehydrated. I’ve asked over and over if this could be related to the taper and was met with something along the lines of “are you crazy? Just never heard of such a thing.” I’m so depressed and beginning to loose hope. I told you all how my Dad was murdered in October and my Grandchild died right before that then my service dog in Jan. I just got a new dog but I now cannot take care of him after having a month and a half. I am having difficulty walking, my heart is like someone is boxing in my chest on and off since last fall with terrible migraines that I have for several days at a time. I’m nauseated. My bladder is bleeding and irritated. I can’t pick up stuff and only now have maybe one good day a week the past month. I have no family in this area or that want to hear about health and no friends left in my life. Most have committed suicide due to benzo problems. Others to cancer, some to my being ill too much. I don’t even want to call people to talk because I don’t want to just call when I’m sick and they don’t call me anytime at all so I imagine they have other stuff going on. Everything is bigger and more intense now. I’m more overwhelmed than ever and without support and being thought of as crazy by the medical community and because I get emotional easily. I feel very angry a lot. Because all of my time is isolated my mind goes to the darkest corners-where I’m not finding any hope to dust off to keep going from. I am afraid I won’t make it thru this. After having had cancer and treatment before-if this is cancer and not Benzo related problems then I can see where I probably wouldn’t go for treatment again. Medications terrify me and I have difficulty trusting that my doctors are understanding the situation and how stressful even normally stressful stuff is magnified. I never want to put something that will poison me in my system. Probably a bit paranoid about it even. I feel so lost and see no hands of help before me. I don’t know if I can have another day of this severe abdominal pain. I want life back. However I fear it’s changed permanently and I don’t know that I can handle that all alone with no purpose.

      1. Well here’s an update to the above stuff I wrote recently. After finally getting ahold of my doctor’s office this week I was told that they sent me the wrong paperwork…they said they’d sent me this cancer prep surgery paperwork in error and tried to explain it as they were wanting me to read the medicating part of it. I was a bit surprised as there wasn’t anything about medicating for a procedure on the sheets I was sent, which I explained to the person on the phone who then told me to read it. I had read it about 5 times thru and thru trying to find anything that made any sense to me as to what I received this for. I then had to make it an hour away to get a pelvic ultra sound which showed that I actually have PCD or pelvic congestive disease and have had it for a very long time and now it won’t let up. I have no prospective help set up as of yet. But I am in severe pain and up all night long. To say that the papers they’d sent me, were distressing, would be me minimizing how I felt to get them. I’d had this cancer and surgery over 30 yrs ago only to find out it was an error, so I received the papers on a Friday evening and opened them Saturday & had enormous stress for days over it. Not to mention that I’m angry that they could just laugh about it, with no real apology, send me to the ER where I was told I was “PERFECT”, have NO problems whatsoever and just had diarrhea which I already knew, to the tune of thousands of dollars. I had to listen to the nurse outside my curtain talking about how much he hates women ever since he dated one in high school and now just can’t stand them or deal with them which was very evident in my treatment while there. I thought after hearing that that I should just leave but talked myself into staying that the doctor would listen. HA! Being a woman I was treated like I was hysterical and the nurse told everyone he could that I exaggerated my pain and he knew this because he watched me walk to the toilet. WOW! He should be on SUV deducing crimes and solving them. I felt extremely marginalized and I don’t even know that I trust this diagnosis. They have given me so many diagnoses’s it’s nuts. I wish they could understand that I don’t want attention from them, I don’t want to have to go to tons of doctors or appointments or have tests for this or that. I’ve showed many this web site and mentioned it to others only one…my med student doctor actually looked at it very briefly. I asked my doctor last summer if the taper or Klonopin could be causing the bleeding I’m having and was told that they’d never heard of it before and didn’t see how that could be. The ER I was in had signs all over it about raising your voice or in tiny letters, “threatening behavior” would warrant a call to the police. A man was killed there recently after an altercation with the police and I was afraid to even push back against what they were telling me. As soon as I brought up the taper the Dr. wanted out of the room as fast as possible. I was nuts! Clearly! Now it’s finally been sunny here for 2 days and I’ve had to be lying in bed because I cannot stand up. It’s lonely and I’m depressed. I’m fighting and will continue to but I don’t know what is going to happen or how this will be received when I do finally see my doctor after 3wks of waiting while having more than 10 migraines that lasted over 15+ hours and being unable to stand. I was suppose to see my therapist 4 hours before my doctor for the first time in 2wks but I cannot sit there for 4 hours waiting to see the doctor after so I have to cancel one of them. Sometimes it just seems I could make this a whole lot easier for myself but the consequences might hurt others such as my son.

  5. I am 71 years old and have been on xanax (alprazolam) for 35 years. I was started on one mg. due to a heart problem (supraventricular tachycardia). I was on 2-3 mg. per day then.

    I had two unsuccessful tapers, one a direct taper off by myself, no outside help, and came off them completely with no severe symptoms, just tapering as I tolerated withdrawal. The second time I tried withdrawing by the Ashton method (switching gradually to Valium (diazepam). I got down to 11 mg. valium but was so suffering on valium that I had to quit and go back with my doctor’s suggestion to 1.5 mg. xanax.

    Today I am still on xanax 1.25mg. I am scared because my husband wants to retire to a warmer climate and I fear not being able to get my alprazolam anymore which would probably kill me now.

    I would stress that not everyone can tolerate Valium and I truly believe that was my downfall the second time around. I take meds for my heart and the dreaded xanax 1.25mg. daily. Afraid to leave the north to move south and not get my xanax. Truly I am an iatrogenic victim of benzos!

  6. Valium is not always the best drug for benzo tapering. Some people have unusual reactions to it, and others simply feel worse on it. It may be helpful to know that Valium’s assumed half life is Valium’s , but that Valium is metabolized into two different benzos before it is totally cleared. If you have an unfortunate reaction to any of these, a taper of any sort will not go well. The bad reactions in individuals will be labeled as something else.

    In any case, the choice of taper benzo has been decided on basis of supposed half life. Half life is not the issue that allows break through withdrawal. How this idea became promoted is unclear, but the effective amount of benzo still circulating depends on a different process.

    1. Can you go more into this process and how it works, what drives it etc.? I have noticed myself that though I take the Klonapin and am on a taper which I’ve been doing very slowly especially considering that this past August I had gotten down to less than a quarter of a mg and was about to stop that when suddenly after being on that amount my body freaked out and I began having muscle spasms that would lock in a spasm and began to pull my joints and spine apart then my Dad was murdered and 2 wks ago my support dog died. When my Dad was murdered I had increased the dose thinking it would help me in dealing with it & various aspects being affected by his death. However I think it actually had the opposite effect. I became more depressed on the increased dosage and planned my death with no feelings what so ever and wouldn’t talk about it with anyone. I then decided to start to taper again and began to see a new Dr at that time who seems to want me to stop it rather quickly and seems unaware of the problems but I’ve only seen her 1 time so I have been tapering but not at any rate in particular just allowing my body to slowly adjust and then after feeling comfortable again slowly cutting it back. I have cut back since November by just over 1mg. I ask if you’ll explain further because I have days I don’t feel like I need to take it but I’m afraid that if I did cut out more even though I feel comfortable physically and mentally that it will affect me later…down the line, maybe hours or days or weeks later even so I have just continued the slow steady taper so far. I am terrified of the muscle spasms happening again or the splitting head aches etc. as well as the sleepless long nights and awakening in the dark thinking it’s nearly morning when in all actuality I only slept for maybe half an hour at most. I wondered if this half life thing can be affected by other variables in our daily lives. I know other medications can effect this but are there other factors that can effect the half life of these meds other than eating in general right before taking or after taking? Thank You for your words. I’d been thinking of asking my new doctor to switch me to a longer acting Benzo but if the half life doesn’t factor in in the taper in the correct way for me, I’m worried it could make it harder. Also can’t things such as malabsorption or food or drink that speeds or reduces metabolism affect half life? I’d ask any of my own doc’s but the best doc’s I have that I’ve asked questions of such as why I lose blood thru my urine and am anemic often and have palpitations etc, muscle twitching and spasms and have been told I have restless leg over and over when I never did until I was put on this type of medication so I am resistant to take meds for restless leg. I do have severe muscle or some type of spasms in my feet that started about 2 yrs ago and pull 2 toes up and one to the side so it looks like it’s going to break…it actually curves to the side and is so painful and the one next to it curves under. I can’t pull back on my toes or it starts the others that pull up in spasm to start I have to sit and hold my feet in bed, in place sometimes until 2 am then slowly let go of them and try not to touch or move them as I lay down. It is so miserable and has happened when driving, wearing shoes, walking and just being still and having the sheet brush over them can start it up. I just hope it’s not a permanent situation.

  7. This is the first time I understand what is happening to me. I was put on Valium for pelvic spasms 12 years ago. Ended up on 30 mg for 5 months. The doctor told me to go down 5 mg every other day. I ended up with a bladder infection and on cipro. My life hasn’t been the same since. I have chronic back and pelvic pain. I am currently on 4 mg Valium daily. I have experienced Akathisia each time I have gone down 1 mg Valium under the supervision of my psychiatrist. He wanted me to just jump off at 5 mg but I told him that the last mg was so difficult and was still struggling. He said I had conversion seizures. I am scheduled for an epilepsy in hospital study but now I dont think that is my issue.
    I was doing better then had the new shingrix shingles vaccination Oct 10 and have had that internal feeling and 7 big episodes since. I am also having lidocaine trial injections in my lumbar and sacrum for possible ablation and am reacting to those shots. I seem to have problems with any supplement or especially any drug. I have been titrating from Valium for 4 years. What a hellish journey with no end in sight and no direction or understanding from doctors.

  8. As a physician I can answer Annie’s question about why we physicians don’t know about Benzos is because we never discuss the dangers of Benzos and were never taught the dangers of Benzos. It is sad that we are not equipped to handle patients with Benzodiazepine addiction. I am trying to learn to help others. This web site has been more instructive that anything in the medical literature

    1. Dr. Corrado

      Finally an MD who is willing to be open minded and tell the truth in a public forum. Unfortunately I have never met or even talked to one who acknowledged the problems with long term benzodiazepine use or other psychiatric drugs. As a PhD in Biopsychology who can no longer work, I have tried to speak with them. Please don’t call it “addiction”. Most of us never abused Benzos or other drugs but unfortunately trusted our Drs. Enough said.

      1. Thank you for your comments. I agree I should say dependence not addiction. In fact it is dependence caused by us the physician. Most patients only want some relief for their symptoms. Unfortunately we physicians take the easy way out by writing a script without considering the long term consequences of our actions. Add to that the fact that most of us have never been instructed about dependence in general and certainly nothing about Benzo dependence.

  9. I had akathisia for several months after being forced to go cold turkey off Klonapin and Ambien. It truly IS a hellish thing to experience. At the time I also had many other miserable symptoms. I am indeed lucky that akathisia went away.
    What I do not understand is WHY physicians remain so ignorant about benzos. And they are. I am an RN and even worked in an acute psych unit and in a detox facility. NONE of the doctors or staff, including me back then, knew the real truth about this class of drugs. We treated benzo patients in withdrawal the same way we treated alcohol patients. Yes, the two drugs are related but benzos can cause such an extreme withdrawal and needs to be treated differently.

  10. I am suffering greatly, due to forced taper from Benzodiazepines, after unsuccessfully trying to taper for 30 years. I now have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Lupus. This last taper is not what I asked for at this time, when I am in pain 24 hours a day. I am now on a low dose of longer acting Valium. I am severely depressed from relentless suffering. I sleep maybe two hours, and jolt awake, cramping in my midsection, I rarely leave my apartment. There are times I am embarrassed to say,,I wish I had a terminal disease. I empathize with this the woman you speak of, who does not want to prolong her suffering. My last attempt of tapering from Klonopin, ended up in a suicide attempt. Please help me. I simply can’t go on with this forced taper.

    1. I have been on benzos of f and on for 43 years. I was first prescribed Xanax when I was 17 for a tremor in my right hand that I still have today. I had no problem getting off of them when I got pregnant at 23…I had actually not taken any the month before I became pregnant it was always taken on an as needed basis. After I had my baby I asked to be put back on Xanax…the daily grind was even harder to deal with now that I had a crying baby to take care of. I went thru no withdrawals at all. I stayed on Xanax tol I was about 30 then my doctor switched me Klonopin. I did not like the side effects of that Benzo I had memory loss alot on Klonopin which put me in some dangerous situations..
      It took me 15 years to find another doctor that would prescribe me Xanax. This doctor is a psychiatrist. I was also told by her that I suffered from PTSD from 2 major very traumatic events in my life. One of those was the loss of my dad at 7 years old…I’m still dealing with that to this day. The other was a very abusive and controlling relationship that really messed my head up 10 years ago. That made me eventually stronger and alot wiser. 5 years ago I finally decided to see a psychiatrist. I was depressed, bad anxiety,insomnia,I was scared of everything actually been scared like that all my life. I think back now on my life and I have had these problems along time before I was prescribed Xanax…I just didn’t know what it was. My entire life has been mostly bad choices in everything. I could never hold a job for longer than 2 years. A panic attack always happened not long before I quit or was fired. I have been prescribed 4mg daily Xanax for the last 5 yrs…somedays are better than others and I only take 2 or 3. The only thing I have ever noticed about taking Xanax is that I feel “normal” on them. I have never liked or understood the way i felt when i wasn’t on them. I never had withdrawal symptoms like y’all are talking about so I’m rather confused by all this!!!

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