How to Taper when everything is going wrong in your life

Posted by victoriarosa @victoriarosa, Feb 14 10:07pm

I am 73 & have been using Alprazalam ER for about 30 years very successfully. I have had severe anxiety, depression & PTSD, from a violent childhood & marriage. I seem to be having problems with cognitive issues & balance which sometimes occurs with the elderly on this drug. I feel the need to get off. I am on drugs for depression & PTSD as well, the same combo that has worked well all these years. Many drugs mentioned on this thread to use for anxiety, I have used with absolutely no response. At this current time in my life our family is going through major life changes & I need to be strong, not depressed & get through this time without anxiety as well. However the symptoms I am seeing concern me. I recently added CBD Oil to my regime & tried to cut back on to 1/3 of my dosage, but this has been unsuccessful. Due to Covid the Drs are still doing virtual visits & I don’t get much out of those visits. Also, we just moved to this area & the Dr I had for these years cannot prescribe in this state. Being the age I am, I don’t want to fall & take a risk of injury & quite frankly I handle ALL the affairs for the household & my husband has no clue how to even get into the computer to pay a bill, nor does he really want to do so. We will be moving closer to my son by the end of this year & he will be of great help. But I have no idea how serious these cognitive & balance issues can be & I don’t know if I should wait that long to start tapering off. The stress of getting the house prepared for sale & sold is also at issue & I am in charge of it all. Help

@victoriarosa Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

It sounds like you have a lot going on and you are in between a rock and a hard place. Do you think some of the cognitive and balance issues could also be due to stress? Dealing with cognitive and balance issues, going off a medication you have been on for 30 years, selling your house, and moving sounds like a lot to handle at once.

Below I have linked previous discussion where members like @yellowmoon @mwsa1945 @mwsa1945 @helenfrances @hyundaipro @sarasally2 have discussed a similar topic. You may wish to scroll through the past comments.
– Any positive stories about Benzo tapering? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/benzo-tapering/
– Benzodiazepines and tapering side effects https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/benzodiazepines-and-taperingside-effects/

Below I have also linked groups where you may find connections with members that may be going through something similar. You may wish to scroll through these discussions as well.
– Depression & Anxiety https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/depression-anxiety/
– Chronic Pain ://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/pain/

What do you mean when you say that you aren't getting much out of your virtual appointments? Have you discussed your symptoms with the provider? Have you advocated for yourself? Do you feel heard?

I'm also wondering if you have considered asking your children and loved ones for help? It sounds like you need some help. I know it's hard to ask for help. Would you consider asking your loved ones for help regarding your medical care?

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Wait. Tapering is not a race. You should be in the best frame of mind as possible when beginning a taper. Remember you can hold for awhile during your taper if something really bad should happen. Just DO NOT increase your dosage during your taper. Listen to your body and take as long as you need.

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Haha So correct! Thank you for the reminder. No I will never increase. I come from a family of addictive personalities. I didn’t even drink a drink of alcohol until I was 38 years old bc I was terrified of becoming like them. Even then I would make 1 last all night. Now never a drink. One thing for sure is that my children were completely protected from the experiences & the people of my past. Thank you.

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@erikas

@victoriarosa Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

It sounds like you have a lot going on and you are in between a rock and a hard place. Do you think some of the cognitive and balance issues could also be due to stress? Dealing with cognitive and balance issues, going off a medication you have been on for 30 years, selling your house, and moving sounds like a lot to handle at once.

Below I have linked previous discussion where members like @yellowmoon @mwsa1945 @mwsa1945 @helenfrances @hyundaipro @sarasally2 have discussed a similar topic. You may wish to scroll through the past comments.
– Any positive stories about Benzo tapering? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/benzo-tapering/
– Benzodiazepines and tapering side effects https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/benzodiazepines-and-taperingside-effects/

Below I have also linked groups where you may find connections with members that may be going through something similar. You may wish to scroll through these discussions as well.
– Depression & Anxiety https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/depression-anxiety/
– Chronic Pain ://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/pain/

What do you mean when you say that you aren't getting much out of your virtual appointments? Have you discussed your symptoms with the provider? Have you advocated for yourself? Do you feel heard?

I'm also wondering if you have considered asking your children and loved ones for help? It sounds like you need some help. I know it's hard to ask for help. Would you consider asking your loved ones for help regarding your medical care?

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Thank you so much for the links. I will check those out.
Unfortunately we live quite a distance from our children. Both of them “adulted” me, including a college age grandson on the same exact day, telling me that it’s time we move close to my son because it’s impossible for him to help me where we are living. We have no family anywhere near.
The counselor I have was very hard to find. I am on Medicare & TriCare, very few practitioners will take those cards & many in this area are cash only. It took me almost a year to find one. I kept traveling back to my home state to see my psychiatrist & pick up meds. But he said he just could not continue doing that for me due to legal reasons. We were kind of moving back & forth & had not given up our other state address yet so it worked. Once we made the move permanent I had to find someone here. All I could find was a PA. She’s rather a bubbly personality & I actually have not met her face to face. I asked for our next meeting to be in office, but was told the office is still in Covid mode. Are there online counseling services?

REPLY
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