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!

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@littlecroissant

My dad has been on valium for 20 years. I’m so worrie for him because of all the negative effects I read online. He tried to taper many times but failed. Is it ever possible to wean off valium without going to rehab? He says he needs the valium to continue to work and since he can’t take time off work he can not afford to quit valium. I’m very very worried for him and I wish he had quit earlier but he says in the earlier days ssris weren’t available so he got hooked on valium as an easily available anti anxiety pill. He refuses to go for therapy either so I’m a a loss. Pls give suggestions.

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Hello again, @littlecroissant

I just read your post about your dad's problem with Valium and the inability to get off of it. I can understand your concern. I have an elderly relative who has been addicted to benzos, including Valium, for most of her adult life and I know how difficult it was for her when she had to try to withdraw because doctors were no longer comfortable prescribing these meds for older adults.

I finally had to insist on an inpatient mental health stay (and even sign a court petition) because I was afraid of the consequences and she was not willing to see a psychologist or psychiatrist on her own behalf. It was a stressful time for me (as well as her), but more so for me. Our family had always accepted her mental health issues without insisting that she seek help. As I look back I see that we did this at her detriment as well as ours.

After the inpatient hospitalization she was put on two psychiatric meds as well as just a "smidgen" of Valium at bedtime and it has worked well for her. It takes a lot of courage for a family member to address this kind of problem, especially if you do not have support from others in your family. For me, it was worth it and while she still has days that are not the best I would say that she is 75 percent better than before.

I can only share my experience with you, you will have to decide what is best in your situation. Will you post again and let me know how you are doing?

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@brit

I am not "hooked" on valium but I do know that "stress and anxiety" are a major factor for taking drugs period. Until you have experienced the feeling that your Dad is feeling you have no idea what it feels like. It is overwhelming to say the least. If Dad has found a drug that works for him….please let him be so he can live as normal life as possible.

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You are so right. When anxiety becomes so overwhelming you will do just about anything. I am happy that your Dad has found a drug that works for him. My doctor and I are still (after 2 years) trying to find the best drug for me. I am a hypocondriate and it is so hard to put anything out of your mind once set on it. I try so hard to cope but sometimes it is so overwhelming. My husband is an angel and works
with me daily. God bless you sweetheart for caring so much but sometimes you have to just be so glad that your Dad has found the right medication for him. It sure doesn't look so good for me. But I will continue to keep "trying" hoping that sometime soon my doctor and I will fine the medication that works for me. God Bless

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@hopeful33250

Hello again, @littlecroissant

I just read your post about your dad's problem with Valium and the inability to get off of it. I can understand your concern. I have an elderly relative who has been addicted to benzos, including Valium, for most of her adult life and I know how difficult it was for her when she had to try to withdraw because doctors were no longer comfortable prescribing these meds for older adults.

I finally had to insist on an inpatient mental health stay (and even sign a court petition) because I was afraid of the consequences and she was not willing to see a psychologist or psychiatrist on her own behalf. It was a stressful time for me (as well as her), but more so for me. Our family had always accepted her mental health issues without insisting that she seek help. As I look back I see that we did this at her detriment as well as ours.

After the inpatient hospitalization she was put on two psychiatric meds as well as just a "smidgen" of Valium at bedtime and it has worked well for her. It takes a lot of courage for a family member to address this kind of problem, especially if you do not have support from others in your family. For me, it was worth it and while she still has days that are not the best I would say that she is 75 percent better than before.

I can only share my experience with you, you will have to decide what is best in your situation. Will you post again and let me know how you are doing?

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Thank you so much for this insight. This is what I’m worried about precisely. All of us will face the end one day but when it happens I do not want it to be undignified or in a comatose state for him. Is it even possible to wean off at all for someone who has been on Valium for most of their adult life. My dad is also taking lexapro 15 mg. Is there anyone here who has experience taking both – valium and lexapro? He only started taking lexapro I think about 6 years ago. Previously he was on remeron but the anti depressant effect wore off. My dad claims he has a genetic predisposition to depression which I think has a part to play but I think he may be using it as a crutch to take the harder road to be drug free through therapy. He himself is a doctor so I’m perplexed as to why he doesn’t want to explore other less harmful alternatives.

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@brit

You are so right. When anxiety becomes so overwhelming you will do just about anything. I am happy that your Dad has found a drug that works for him. My doctor and I are still (after 2 years) trying to find the best drug for me. I am a hypocondriate and it is so hard to put anything out of your mind once set on it. I try so hard to cope but sometimes it is so overwhelming. My husband is an angel and works
with me daily. God bless you sweetheart for caring so much but sometimes you have to just be so glad that your Dad has found the right medication for him. It sure doesn't look so good for me. But I will continue to keep "trying" hoping that sometime soon my doctor and I will fine the medication that works for me. God Bless

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Seems like you’re on valium too. May I know how Long and how much you’re taking? Sorry if it sounded like I was bashing valium takers. I’m not. I’m genuinely concerned because I know every drug you take for an extended period of time will have side effects. I can’t even Google benzo side effects because I’ll spiral into worry when I read them. I just don’t want him to become a vegetable later in life. As far as I know there aren’t any good benzo specific withdrawal centers in Malaysia either. And it would be impossible for us to seek rehab for my dad in the US or elsewhere at the moment. I just worry every night he will have a heart attack or blood clot. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. It feels so much better knowing there are others struggling with the same issue and I can only hope to find the answer one day. I wish you the very best.

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@brit

You are so right. When anxiety becomes so overwhelming you will do just about anything. I am happy that your Dad has found a drug that works for him. My doctor and I are still (after 2 years) trying to find the best drug for me. I am a hypocondriate and it is so hard to put anything out of your mind once set on it. I try so hard to cope but sometimes it is so overwhelming. My husband is an angel and works
with me daily. God bless you sweetheart for caring so much but sometimes you have to just be so glad that your Dad has found the right medication for him. It sure doesn't look so good for me. But I will continue to keep "trying" hoping that sometime soon my doctor and I will fine the medication that works for me. God Bless

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If you are in the US which I’m assuming you are, I’m sure you would have better access to good shrinks and rehab centers so I think you would be in better hands. It’s just in Malaysia I’m stuck. I don’t have a job at the moment so I can’t even save up to send him to a good center in the US. Anyways thanks for the words of encouragement.

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Has anyone tried CBD oil while weaning from Xanax?

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Anyone can provide opinions on Ativan taper/ withdrawal from 5 mg. Been on Ativan for 10 weeks as zoloft increased for anxiety. Now using propanolol and considering CBD oil. This is tough

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@birchmere

Anyone can provide opinions on Ativan taper/ withdrawal from 5 mg. Been on Ativan for 10 weeks as zoloft increased for anxiety. Now using propanolol and considering CBD oil. This is tough

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Hi, @birchmere, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I've merged your post with this one so that you can meet many other members discussing tapering off Lorazepam (Ativan) or other benzodiazepines, including switching to other medications or using CBD oil.

Please meet @rascal1 @littlecroissant @aarniek @iwillbok @hopeful33250 and others who may have some thoughts for you as you taper off the medication and look to what's next. @ainsleigh and @gailb may also have input for you.

You may also be interested in this thread about using CBD oil to wean off Lorazepam (Ativan), https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/using-cbd-to-wean-off-ativan.

I hear you that it's tough – we have had many members mention how very challenging it is.

What has your doctor suggested as far as tapering off the Lorazepam (Ativan)?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @birchmere, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I've merged your post with this one so that you can meet many other members discussing tapering off Lorazepam (Ativan) or other benzodiazepines, including switching to other medications or using CBD oil.

Please meet @rascal1 @littlecroissant @aarniek @iwillbok @hopeful33250 and others who may have some thoughts for you as you taper off the medication and look to what's next. @ainsleigh and @gailb may also have input for you.

You may also be interested in this thread about using CBD oil to wean off Lorazepam (Ativan), https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/using-cbd-to-wean-off-ativan.

I hear you that it's tough – we have had many members mention how very challenging it is.

What has your doctor suggested as far as tapering off the Lorazepam (Ativan)?

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Thank you Lisa! Such a pity CBD oil is illegal here in Malaysia and you can be sentenced to death for possession CBD oil… sigh.

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I feel really bad for you. I don’t have the exact same symptoms but plenty of them. I hope and pray you are feeling better.

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I successfully got off a benzodiazepene in January. It took a while to get off of, but I am very happy I did. I have much clearer thinking now. Slow tapering and being positive of the results happening are key to getting off of these meds. Dosage will determine how long it will take. Plan on months.

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That gives me so much hope! I’ve gone from 30mg Valium to 10mg and I’m really struggling. Great to hear the success stories I have a couple of months to go. Thank you!

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