Protracted Benzo withdrawal

Posted by aarniek @aarniek, Oct 30, 2016

Taken of 8mg of Ativan daily in 3 weeks and suffering terribly nearly 4 years now! Unable to walk ,have insane muscle tightness,no memory,tinnius is unbearable,unable to picture things in my mind ! After 45 months it’s worse than ever and 2 neurologists have tried only medications which all made me even worse!

@iwillbok

I was prescribed benzos for 30 years, began a slow 2 year withdrawal on my own, and have now been completely off of them for 4 years. I still experience extreme groin and other joint pain and at times my brain gets foggy and shuts off if something happens that makes me anxious. That being said I know I am healing, but at a very slow pace, which has effected my life tremendously. I am a professional and am only able to work several days a week, but am so angry toward the medical community for letting this continue to happen. C

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HI @iwillbok, welcome to Connect. Tapering off such strong drugs is a long process. You mention that you began the taper on your own over 2 years and that you’ve been off them for 4 years now. Is your current doctor supportive of your choice? If you don’t mind my asking, what were you taking the medication for and how are you managing that condition now?

Liked by Leonard

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I have been on benzos for nearly 30 years for panic, anxiety, and a horrible cardiophobia that I have. I have now become totally tolerant to the benzo valium. I was on xanax for 10 years, klonopin for 10 years, and now valium for the last 10 years and now nothing works for me anymore. I have been through 3 very nasty benzowithdrawals in my life. I am using the Ashton protocol to slowly wean from valium, but I feel like hell each day. I have constant pressure and muscle tightness in my chest and stomach and heart palps that feel like angina to me. It feels like my heart is pulsating, altho I get the skipped beats and fluttering too. When I started having panic attacks at age 25, I read books on heart disease and was convinced this was what I had and then started having all the SXs I read about. Please do not laugh. I see my doctors regularly and they all still say panic and anxiety. Now, I am 30 years older and not 25 anymore so I think I might have heart disease now with all these weird bizarre SX’s. I don’t know what to do or think anymore. The benzo withdrawal is beyond horrible, even with a slow controlled taper. The chest pressure and muscle tightness is awful and I have it 24/7. The only time I do not feel it or think about it is when I am asleep and to add insult to injury, my sleep is horrible also. I started eating a really healthy whole foods plant based diet in 2013 just in case but I still do not feel any relief. I have been eating healthy like this since 2013, so 4.5 years now. If anyone can relate to what I just posted, please respond back. I would love to talk to anyone.

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Hello, @lg1963, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You will note I’ve merged your post to this existing discussion of withdrawal from benzodiazepines (benzos) so that you can meet some other members who’ve shared experiences related to this very challenging process. I’m hoping they’ll be able to offer some insight and answer any questions you may have.

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@lisalucier

Hello, @lg1963, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You will note I’ve merged your post to this existing discussion of withdrawal from benzodiazepines (benzos) so that you can meet some other members who’ve shared experiences related to this very challenging process. I’m hoping they’ll be able to offer some insight and answer any questions you may have.

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I don’t know what you’re referring to.

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@lisalucier

Hello, @lg1963, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You will note I’ve merged your post to this existing discussion of withdrawal from benzodiazepines (benzos) so that you can meet some other members who’ve shared experiences related to this very challenging process. I’m hoping they’ll be able to offer some insight and answer any questions you may have.

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Welcome to Connect, @marianc

Can you tell me what you question is about? Did you join the discussion because you take a benzodiazepine?

Jim

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@lg1963 @aarniek

How are you doing? Any changes? I’ve been taking Klonopin for 12 years. I started taking it for anxiety, but discovered that a benefit for me and my wife is that I don’t act out my dreams. As in running, riding a bike or kicking. That’s why I still take it.

A few years ago I decided to taper off as many of my meds as I could. I got off a few things, but when I tried to taper off Klonopin, I couldn’t sleep. I only backed down from my 1mg prescription to .75mg. I didn’t try for very long because I need my sleep. I guess I didn’t really taper off enough to experience other withdrawal. After reading this discussion from start to finish, I’m not sure I want to stop taking it anytime soon. I think that if I couldn’t taper off without long term withdrawal, I would rethink my decision to stop taking it.

@aarniek Have you talked with a new doctor? If mobility is what’s keeping you from getting to the doctor, I’m absolutely certain that there are organizations which would be honored to transport you and help you in any way they could. How about giving them a chance?

Jim

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@kanaazpereira

Welcome to Connect, @aarniek. Sorry to hear of all that you are going through, but please don’t despair because you have found a great place to get support and information.
@sallycanuck, @lesbatts, @lauriedr, @66693777, @wolfer1975, @seeker619, could you provide your insight into benzodiazepines, and weaning off the drug?

aarniek, I would also recommend that you check out the following discussion threads where tapering off benzodiazepines has been discussed by many other members
http://mayocl.in/2dT2tMG
Feel free to ask other members questions, and also explain a little more about yourself. The exchange of information may help others as well.

@aarniek, could you tell us why your doctor prescribed Ativan?

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I was on 2mg of estazalom for 10 years. I went into tolerance withdrawal and decided to titrate off the benzo. My first attempt was to cold turkey. It was pure hell with constant panic attacks and almost total insomnia. I had never before had a panic attack, but I was on benzo’s to sleep. I reinstated, stabilized and then went on as low titration that took 18 months. My last tiny little bit of V was March of 2017. I have had a pretty rough time since then, particularly with insomnia. I also get panicky sometimes when I’m in unfamiliar places. According to Dr Ashton it can take 18 month to two years to normalize. After that it is considered protracted. I’m a tiny bit better than the last few months. My main symptom is insomnia.

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@kanaazpereira

Welcome to Connect, @aarniek. Sorry to hear of all that you are going through, but please don’t despair because you have found a great place to get support and information.
@sallycanuck, @lesbatts, @lauriedr, @66693777, @wolfer1975, @seeker619, could you provide your insight into benzodiazepines, and weaning off the drug?

aarniek, I would also recommend that you check out the following discussion threads where tapering off benzodiazepines has been discussed by many other members
http://mayocl.in/2dT2tMG
Feel free to ask other members questions, and also explain a little more about yourself. The exchange of information may help others as well.

@aarniek, could you tell us why your doctor prescribed Ativan?

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Welcome to Connect Rosie. I realize it’s been a tough road, but congratulations on getting this far. I’m glad to hear that things are slowly getting better. You might be interested in joining some of the discussions about insomnia in the Sleep Health group. For example:
Insomnia. Nothing seems to help. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/josephene-i-am-having-terrible-insomnia-as-well-nothing-seems-to-help/
– Sleep Hygiene https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sleep-hygine/
– Meditation prior to sleep https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/meditation-prior-to-sleep/

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@kanaazpereira

Welcome to Connect, @aarniek. Sorry to hear of all that you are going through, but please don’t despair because you have found a great place to get support and information.
@sallycanuck, @lesbatts, @lauriedr, @66693777, @wolfer1975, @seeker619, could you provide your insight into benzodiazepines, and weaning off the drug?

aarniek, I would also recommend that you check out the following discussion threads where tapering off benzodiazepines has been discussed by many other members
http://mayocl.in/2dT2tMG
Feel free to ask other members questions, and also explain a little more about yourself. The exchange of information may help others as well.

@aarniek, could you tell us why your doctor prescribed Ativan?

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Thank you!

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@jimhd

@lg1963 @aarniek

How are you doing? Any changes? I’ve been taking Klonopin for 12 years. I started taking it for anxiety, but discovered that a benefit for me and my wife is that I don’t act out my dreams. As in running, riding a bike or kicking. That’s why I still take it.

A few years ago I decided to taper off as many of my meds as I could. I got off a few things, but when I tried to taper off Klonopin, I couldn’t sleep. I only backed down from my 1mg prescription to .75mg. I didn’t try for very long because I need my sleep. I guess I didn’t really taper off enough to experience other withdrawal. After reading this discussion from start to finish, I’m not sure I want to stop taking it anytime soon. I think that if I couldn’t taper off without long term withdrawal, I would rethink my decision to stop taking it.

@aarniek Have you talked with a new doctor? If mobility is what’s keeping you from getting to the doctor, I’m absolutely certain that there are organizations which would be honored to transport you and help you in any way they could. How about giving them a chance?

Jim

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Klonopin is a tough one to get off. Many ppl do not know this but klonopin is actually more potent than xanax. I never could direct taper klonopin. It was pure agony. I am now slowly trying to get off valium (because of tolerance) using the Ashton protocol but it has been pure hell!

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@jimhd

@lg1963 @aarniek

How are you doing? Any changes? I’ve been taking Klonopin for 12 years. I started taking it for anxiety, but discovered that a benefit for me and my wife is that I don’t act out my dreams. As in running, riding a bike or kicking. That’s why I still take it.

A few years ago I decided to taper off as many of my meds as I could. I got off a few things, but when I tried to taper off Klonopin, I couldn’t sleep. I only backed down from my 1mg prescription to .75mg. I didn’t try for very long because I need my sleep. I guess I didn’t really taper off enough to experience other withdrawal. After reading this discussion from start to finish, I’m not sure I want to stop taking it anytime soon. I think that if I couldn’t taper off without long term withdrawal, I would rethink my decision to stop taking it.

@aarniek Have you talked with a new doctor? If mobility is what’s keeping you from getting to the doctor, I’m absolutely certain that there are organizations which would be honored to transport you and help you in any way they could. How about giving them a chance?

Jim

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I crossed over from Estazolam to Valium June of 2015. My Estazolam wasn’t working anymore and I was in tolerance withdrawal. It was either stop the benzo or up the dose. It took me 18 months to get off the V and now, 10 months later I am still experiencing insomnia and some cognitive dysfunction.

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@jimhd

@lg1963 @aarniek

How are you doing? Any changes? I’ve been taking Klonopin for 12 years. I started taking it for anxiety, but discovered that a benefit for me and my wife is that I don’t act out my dreams. As in running, riding a bike or kicking. That’s why I still take it.

A few years ago I decided to taper off as many of my meds as I could. I got off a few things, but when I tried to taper off Klonopin, I couldn’t sleep. I only backed down from my 1mg prescription to .75mg. I didn’t try for very long because I need my sleep. I guess I didn’t really taper off enough to experience other withdrawal. After reading this discussion from start to finish, I’m not sure I want to stop taking it anytime soon. I think that if I couldn’t taper off without long term withdrawal, I would rethink my decision to stop taking it.

@aarniek Have you talked with a new doctor? If mobility is what’s keeping you from getting to the doctor, I’m absolutely certain that there are organizations which would be honored to transport you and help you in any way they could. How about giving them a chance?

Jim

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I went to two neurologists and one was the one who gave me the lorazapam ,doubled from 4mg to 8 MG from one script to the next and after over 5 years told me not to come back as he could not help me ! The other one tried what he could including Botox and also gave up on me ! ( I would like to have tried flumanizil ,but they would not give it to me ,so I am suffering so badly ,it's beyond belief!)

Liked by Leonard

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Hi all,
A post made today has been removed. As per the Community Guidelines: "Profanity, vulgarity and abusive language are out-of-bounds. Personal attacks against members or health care providers are not acceptable. Such posts will be removed."

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@jimhd

@lg1963 @aarniek

How are you doing? Any changes? I’ve been taking Klonopin for 12 years. I started taking it for anxiety, but discovered that a benefit for me and my wife is that I don’t act out my dreams. As in running, riding a bike or kicking. That’s why I still take it.

A few years ago I decided to taper off as many of my meds as I could. I got off a few things, but when I tried to taper off Klonopin, I couldn’t sleep. I only backed down from my 1mg prescription to .75mg. I didn’t try for very long because I need my sleep. I guess I didn’t really taper off enough to experience other withdrawal. After reading this discussion from start to finish, I’m not sure I want to stop taking it anytime soon. I think that if I couldn’t taper off without long term withdrawal, I would rethink my decision to stop taking it.

@aarniek Have you talked with a new doctor? If mobility is what’s keeping you from getting to the doctor, I’m absolutely certain that there are organizations which would be honored to transport you and help you in any way they could. How about giving them a chance?

Jim

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@lg1963

I was on Klonapin years ago for seizures and I like to never got off it. I detest Benzodiazepines and refuse to take them. Give me a Barbiturate any day.
If you do go off Klonopin go off SLOWLY. I cut my Klonopin so many times I was taking fragments.
Best of luck to you.
Jake

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@colleenyoung

Hi all,
A post made today has been removed. As per the Community Guidelines: "Profanity, vulgarity and abusive language are out-of-bounds. Personal attacks against members or health care providers are not acceptable. Such posts will be removed."

Jump to this post

@colleenyoung

Hi Colleen,
Jeez, and it wasn’t even me, I am amazed. I am trying to obey the rules although I still may slip occasionally.
I’ve been in the hospital for the last 3 weeks and I don’t have the kindest things to say about my captors which is why I haven’t posted about my ordeal.
Take care,
Jake

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