Catherine Pittman, Ph.D.
Catherine M. Pittman, Ph.D., HSPP, is a licensed clinical psychologist, and psychology professor at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. As a practicing clinical psychologist for over 25 years, she most frequently provides therapy to those coping with depression and anxiety-based disorders, including OCD and PTSD. She also is experienced in neuropsychological rehabilitation with individuals who have experienced brain injuries or strokes. Dr. Pittman has conducted research in both fear conditioning and neuropsychology, preparing her well to understand both human and animal models elucidating the neurology of fear and anxiety. Her research has also explored the detrimental effects of benzodiazepines in treatment of anxiety and other disorders. Along with Elizabeth Karle, Dr. Pittman authored Social Networking and Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: The Reality of Dependence and Necessity of Support.
What will participation involve? This project involves a series of online surveys to be completed over a six-month period. They will involve questions about your demographics, benzodiazepine use and experiences with them, as well as a few questions relating to your...read more
In observation of the fourth annual World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day (W-BAD), occurring on July 11, 2019, BIC is sponsoring a fundraising event. How to Participate? Launch a Facebook fundraiser on your page between now and July 12 (July 12 should be the end date)...read more
Sudden cessation of benzodiazepines is highly dangerous, with the possibility of seizures, severe and/or protracted withdrawal syndrome, and even death. A sensible taper plan can avoid the risk of seizures and mitigate, although not eliminate, withdrawal symptoms.read more
A taper is a gradual reduction in benzodiazepine dosage. Depending on your individual situation, a taper may last weeks, months, or even years.read more
There are numerous ways of tapering, including cut-and-hold, microtaper (via scale or liquid titration), compounding and taper strips. You may choose to taper from your original drug or “crossover” to a longer acting benzodiazepine. For more information go here.read more
“Half-life” is the amount of time for the concentration of drug in the blood to fall by 50 percent. This time-period will vary between individuals. Commonly used “short” half-life benzodiazepines include Ativan and Xanax, while “long” half-life benzodiazepines include...read more
There is not yet adequate awareness in the U.S for the FDA to require this of manufacturers.read more
Kindling refers to the neurological condition resulting from repeated withdrawal episodes from sedative–hypnotic drugs such as alcohol and benzodiazepines. Each withdrawal leads to more severe withdrawal symptoms than the previous withdrawal syndrome. Individuals who...read more
Many patients are told they are doing a slow taper, when they are actually doing a fast taper. The rule of thumb is not more than 5-10% of the current dose every 2-4 weeks. Most tapers take 10 months or much longer.read more
All benzodiazepines have an estimated dose that is equivalent to doses of other benzodiazepines. Unlike opiates, equivalence conversions between different benzodiazepines are not defined or required by the FDA. Evidence-based information on benzodiazepine equivalents...read more