Klonopin taper

Posted by dawgbone @dawgbone, Jul 31, 2017

I have been on some kind of benzo for almost 40 yrs. I am trying to taper from 1.5-2 mgs of klonopin daily . Began in mid may 2017 and my last cut was very small on 7-2-17 to get to 1mg. Honestly feels like i am dying. I also take trazodone 75 mgs and 4 drugs for high blood pressure. I have been researching gabapentin and seroquel to help with the withdrawal symptons. Please offer any suggestions or help. I am 69 yrs old and cant even leave my house to visit my kids and grands. Thank you for any help!

Liked by Parus, clutch

@amberpep

OMG …. this is horrifying. I have cyclothymia and have been on Klonopin for several years, along with antidepressants and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). Most of the time they work well together, but now as I read this about Klonopin, it worries me. My anxiety goes through the roof at times if I’m not on it and the panic attacks start rolling. I’m afraid to stop taking it, and yet I don’t want to become an addict either. Sometimes I think it would just be better if I were dead.
abby

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Hi, Abby. Yes, I’d been diagnosed as bipolar once, and I have no idea why. I have clinical depression, and I definitely don’t have the manic highs. Sometimes doctors know nothing. One psychiatrist put me on lithium. He kept me on it for six months, even though I kept telling him it was doing NOTHING. He got really angry and started screaming at me during an appointment, so I got up, threw my bottle of lithium at him, and walked out. The end of him.

I’ve been on clonazepam for ages. It’s helped the panic/anxiety disorder immensely. But then I started wondering if it was really helping anymore. My psychiatrist is wonderful, and I hope he never retires (he’s about 70), and I talked to him about tapering off. He was skeptical and thought it WAS helping me, but he helped me figure out a tapering-off schedule. Unfortunately, as I tapered off, the panic/anxiety symptoms I’d known but hadn’t experienced in ages started coming back. So, I’m back on it. I’m on a very low dosage–0.5 mg two to three times per day–but it does help.

I’ve been so severely depressed in the past that, seven years ago, my psychiatrist strongly suggested that I check into a psychiatric ward. I did, and I was there for 3 1/2 weeks. Amazingly enough, it was a GREAT experience. Everyone else on the ward had severe clinical depression as well, so we all totally understood what the other was feeling. If a medication wasn’t working or was having adverse effects, the docs were right there and could take us off the meds or change them immediately. I’m still on the combination of meds that they found for me at the psych ward, and I’m doing well.

Please don’t even consider suicide! Yes, I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. But trust me: It WILL get better. It will. If you feel that you need the help of a psych ward, don’t hesitate to go to one. My time in one helped me immensely, changed my life, and got me the right meds. Take good care of yourself.

Hazel

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@amberpep

OMG …. this is horrifying. I have cyclothymia and have been on Klonopin for several years, along with antidepressants and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). Most of the time they work well together, but now as I read this about Klonopin, it worries me. My anxiety goes through the roof at times if I’m not on it and the panic attacks start rolling. I’m afraid to stop taking it, and yet I don’t want to become an addict either. Sometimes I think it would just be better if I were dead.
abby

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Abby, I’m pretty sure that my body is physically addicted to clonazepam after all the years I’ve been on it. And y’know what? I don’t care! It helps me.

I have had panic/anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember, even as a kid. I had no idea that I had “something.” I just figured everybody felt that way and that they were better at dealing with it than I was. When we lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, the University of Minnesota was conducting a study on panic/anxiety disorder. My husband saw the ad for it in the paper, decided it sounded a lot like me, and suggested I go. I got into the study. I have no idea if I was on a placebo or a drug. No matter what, I learned a lot about the illness, and I could get medical help after the study ended.

If clonazepam helps you, there is NO NEED to get off it. As to being an addict–I mean, who cares? We’re not talking any kind of dangerous addiction here. We’re talking about something that’s life saving.

And you would NOT be better off dead! You would have last-minute regrets, and you’d pull yourself out if you could. So, don’t do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m sure that all of us with clinical depression have been there. It sucks. But things do get better. And docs do eventually find the right combination of meds. See my post below: I had to spend 3 1/2 weeks in a psych ward to find the combination of meds that help me, and I am actually grateful for my time in the psych ward.

Keep writing to us, OK?

Hazel

Liked by blindeyepug

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Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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@blindeyepug

Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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Thanks for the message. Well said!

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@blindeyepug

Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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Thank you all for your kind replies. I know,in my head, you’re all right … I think it’s just being alone so much, too much time to think, and there has been a lot of upheaval in my life the passed 12 years …… first 12 years ago I left my husband of 40 years – he has a personality disorder and I could no longer live with the emotional and verbal abuse, I moved in for 2 years with a girlfriend from my church, after 2 years I bought a condo. and was blissfully happy there ……. all the while my kids were hounding me to move closer to them – about 4 hours away …… I finally relented and moved; I’ve hated it here for these 2 years, so I now am moving again to a smaller town. It seems like all I do is pack, unpack, pack, unpack. And now this whole thing with my therapist has me very ill at ease. When I had the breakdown, about 5 years ago, a girlfriend took me to the hospital, and they evaluated me for a day. If I was suicidal, I would have been admitted. I actually was on the edge of suicide, but told them no. Then they enrolled me in a 4 week day program from 9 – 3 at the hospital which was a group with folks with all sorts of issues, but we were all there for the same reason …. we needed additional help and we were hanging on the edge. It was a wonderful 4 weeks. That probably sounds crazy, but from the first day we all connected and no two of us were alike ….. there were people on drugs, a man who was gay and had a “wife”, a girl who periodically hallucinated, people like me with either cyclothymia or bi-polar. It was a wonderful group of friends.
If I had my choice of anything …. I’d move back to Frederick, rent a condo in the same complex I was in (I sold my other one), keep going to my therapist and psychiatrist, and possibly go back to that group for another 4 weeks. Once you’ve been in it, you can come back. On top of that, I feel very old, useless, and that there’s nothing left for me anymore. So what’s the point? I had a knee replacement and revision about 5 years ago, but otherwise, I’m very healthy …… except for my brain. I just feel like I’m taking up space.
abby

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@amberpep

OMG …. this is horrifying. I have cyclothymia and have been on Klonopin for several years, along with antidepressants and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). Most of the time they work well together, but now as I read this about Klonopin, it worries me. My anxiety goes through the roof at times if I’m not on it and the panic attacks start rolling. I’m afraid to stop taking it, and yet I don’t want to become an addict either. Sometimes I think it would just be better if I were dead.
abby

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@lisalucier @amberpep Sorry, but I really have no input here. I have never had to be on medications for mental health, any episodes I have had of depression have been short lived and with a specific cause. My daughter on the other hand has had more problems. She has been diagnosed as bi-polar but I have never seen a manic episode and the times she has suffered from depression there was a reason also. I really do not know if she is on any medication these days. Once they are adults we often do not know everything going on in their lives.
JK

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@amberpep

OMG …. this is horrifying. I have cyclothymia and have been on Klonopin for several years, along with antidepressants and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). Most of the time they work well together, but now as I read this about Klonopin, it worries me. My anxiety goes through the roof at times if I’m not on it and the panic attacks start rolling. I’m afraid to stop taking it, and yet I don’t want to become an addict either. Sometimes I think it would just be better if I were dead.
abby

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Yes, admittedly, a nice long therapeutic rest at a nice Psychiatric Hospital sounds pretty good long about now.
abby

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Abby, do you know the Serenity Prayer? “God, grant me the serenity prayer to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It helps me and I have spent most of my life trying to control everything. I am sending you prayers and energy.

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@amberpep

OMG …. this is horrifying. I have cyclothymia and have been on Klonopin for several years, along with antidepressants and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). Most of the time they work well together, but now as I read this about Klonopin, it worries me. My anxiety goes through the roof at times if I’m not on it and the panic attacks start rolling. I’m afraid to stop taking it, and yet I don’t want to become an addict either. Sometimes I think it would just be better if I were dead.
abby

Jump to this post

@amberpep

Hi, Abby. I’ve been taking klonopin for 11 years for anxiety, and a secondary benefit of keeping me from acting out my dreams, which is why this is one med that my wife doesn’t want me to stop. I did try to get off it once by going from 1mg to .75, but I couldn’t sleep for several nights, so I continue to take 1mg. I feel that if I need a medication long-term, and it’s performing its function, I don’t consider needing it to be an addiction. I’m okay with knowing that I may be taking a medication the rest of my life. I realize that addiction is a very real problem for many people in this country, and that it’s a real societal problem. It’s most unfortunate that because it’s a societal problem, it’s become a political issue, and as a result, it’s become a potentially disastrous problem for those of us who depend on the medications for legitimate reasons. For those of us who have chronic pain and mental health issues life is a real challenge.

Jim

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@blindeyepug

Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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@amberpep

Abby, I had a brain implosion in ’05, and after several suicide attempts, I went to a nice facility for survivors of attempts for 2 months. That first visit was the beginning of a difficult journey, guided by a string of therapists. After 18 months without therapy last year, I was able to get back to work with a new therapist, and none too soon, as I was having suicidal thoughts again.

I learned a lot of the basics during my 2 month stay. I really was ignorant about mental health issues, and I guess I’m a slow learner. It’s taken me a long time to assimilate what I’ve been taught, and I have to say that I’m in a much better place than I was 12+ years ago. Healing takes time. After having been clinically depressed for more than 13 years, I’m beginning to think that it’s pretty likely a lifelong condition. That would have freaked me out 20 years ago, but I think I’m able to be at peace with it, and I’ve found that to be freeing.

Be encouraged by the support you receive here. Believe that finishing the race is possible.

Jim

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@amberpep

OMG …. this is horrifying. I have cyclothymia and have been on Klonopin for several years, along with antidepressants and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). Most of the time they work well together, but now as I read this about Klonopin, it worries me. My anxiety goes through the roof at times if I’m not on it and the panic attacks start rolling. I’m afraid to stop taking it, and yet I don’t want to become an addict either. Sometimes I think it would just be better if I were dead.
abby

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Thanks, Jim, @jimhd

Yours is a post I wish I could “double-like.”

Teresa

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@blindeyepug

Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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Abby @amberpep

I applaud you for seeking out help it sounds like you took advantage of all of the “helping resources” available.

Teresa

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@blindeyepug

Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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Jim, @jimhd

Great insights, Jim.

Teresa

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I found out quite by accident that lyrica help me to get off years of klonopin. I took it as a pain med but quickly found that it was very good for anxiety I don't know what it's like trying to get off of it but I do know I am totally off the benzos!! I suggest you go on line and explore the drug on google. Good luck

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Hi. I have taken Klonopin for 25 years, mostly 3 milligram a day. A year ago, because of studies done on the tie of Klonopin to dementia in older folks, I am 66, I have tapered down to 1 mg with the goal to get completely off it. I saw a psychiatrist foe medication in DC who gave me some useful suggestions that have helped for me. Once I got to 2 mgs, I would taper off as follows: reduce .25 megs by reducing this amount every other day for at least 2 weeks. Stay at the reduced level for 2 weeks. Don't reduce if anxiety is up or life events are difficult. The plan now is to reduce 1/8 mg. using the same routine. It has helped me to follow the routine with very little impact. Some added anxiety for a few days, but nothing significant. It helps to know the anxiety is part of the drug withdrawal, not psychological issues. So, this has worked for me so far. Down from 3 milligrams to 1 and continuing .

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