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hopeful123
@hopeful123

Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 10, 2018

Valium Taper

Posted by @hopeful123, Sat, Nov 10 5:49pm

Hello, I’m new here and I joined this particular website because it seems a bit more uplifting than some of the others. Anyway I took benzodiazepines as prescribed for 8 years. In July I switched to 30mg of Valium I’m now down to 10mg. I’ve got terrible agoraphobia and depression. I’m interested in seeing if anyone got any relief from starting an SSRI—I’ve asked my doctor for Celexa—during a taper? Many of the other websites are 100% anti medication. I’m not to that point I just need relief from some of the anxiety and depression I’m experiencing. Can anyone help? Thank you.

REPLY

This year I have completed tapered off Adderall, Seroquel, Lamictal, and Lyrica as well. My brain is fried! It’s been a couple of years since I’ve taken any SSRI meds so just trying to get some help on if they’d help me or not at this point. I’m also taking ketamine nasal spray every other day which does give some relief (although I suspect my doctor is a rare breed that a lot of his research has been on ketamine). I took Ativan then Xanax prior to the Valium switch.

Hi @hopeful123 tapering off several drugs must have been a grueling process.

I am tagging @rascal1 @littlecroissant @aarniek @iwillbok and @hopeful33250 as well as @ainsleigh and @gailb, as they may have some thoughts on tapering off medications.

You mentioned that you are looking to take an SSRI as you taper and have asked your doctor for this. Has your doctor given you a response? If so, what was it?

Hi, @hopeful123. I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. We have had a variety of members post about taking a bridge medication, or treatment for withdrawal symptoms, during the process of tapering off of an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication — just as you have proposed a potential bridge medication in the citalopram (Celexa) while tapering off of Diazepam (Valium).

I'd like to mention a couple additional resources that may be useful:

– Mayo Clinic information on diazepam (Valium) https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/diazepam-oral-route/description/drg-20072333

– A broader discussion, which I believe you have found, on Connect about withdrawal from benzodiazepines https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/protracted-benzo-withdrawal.

I'm not merging this discussion with the larger one on benzodiazepines, @hopeful123, so that members can zero in more on tapering off of diazepam (Valium) specifically with you. I believe that @brit @texasduchess @cdcc @mrhappy and @parus may also have some input for you with the terrible agoraphobia and depression you are experiencing during your taper, and also looking at whether a bridge medication may help.

I'd echo what my colleague @ethanmcconkey inquired about, @hopeful123: What was your doctor's thought on your taking citalopram (Celexa) while tapering off of Diazepam (Valium) to help with the symptoms?

Hello everyone and thank you for the response so far! I did begin 10mg of Celexa today which my doctor recommended. I simply couldn’t handle the depression and panic I was experiencing from tapering. It’s ridiculous almost to say an anti depressant works in a day but I do think something positive is happening. I hope it keeps up! I have no side effects so far. I face a ton of harsh judgment from my family unfortunately for making this decision but in the end I had to decide to try for better health as the agoraphobia isn’t a way to live! I’d still love to hear from others and happy to share my experience coming off the other stuff as well!

@hopeful123 Can understand how scary making changes can be. I am sad your family is not being more supportive. It hurts when those you need the most abandon and judge. There comes a time when we need support from loved ones and it hurts way down deep when it strays. In time we can hope they will come to see you need to spread your wings and be able to accept your choices.

@parus

@hopeful123 Can understand how scary making changes can be. I am sad your family is not being more supportive. It hurts when those you need the most abandon and judge. There comes a time when we need support from loved ones and it hurts way down deep when it strays. In time we can hope they will come to see you need to spread your wings and be able to accept your choices.

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Thank you SO much! I have had very little support through all this from anyone close to me. Thrilled I found this website.

@hopeful123

Hello everyone and thank you for the response so far! I did begin 10mg of Celexa today which my doctor recommended. I simply couldn’t handle the depression and panic I was experiencing from tapering. It’s ridiculous almost to say an anti depressant works in a day but I do think something positive is happening. I hope it keeps up! I have no side effects so far. I face a ton of harsh judgment from my family unfortunately for making this decision but in the end I had to decide to try for better health as the agoraphobia isn’t a way to live! I’d still love to hear from others and happy to share my experience coming off the other stuff as well!

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We have often had members who have tapered off benzo medications by using antidepressants. If that works for you, that is great. As @parus said, it is good if you can get the support of family members but if not, spreading your own wings and taking care of yourself is important. Antidepressants are not addictive as are benzo type medications, so they are safer to take. You can have withdrawal effects if you go off of them, but if they help, I'm glad for you.

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I’m just overwhelmed to see the support here! Thank you all again. I’m starting to wonder if my suffering and story had to be the way it is so I too can help someone else one day. :).

@hopeful123 Hi hopeful
When I first became ill with depression and anxiety my family doctor put me on Valium. It knocked me out so much that all I wanted to do was sleep which I did every possible moment I could. I believe it made me much worse. When I finally got to a Psychiatrist she took me off the Valium and put me on an antidepressant and Ativan. That was the beginning of getting my mental health back on track. I don't know if that is of any help to you but don't give up.
There are lots of good meds out there (after all I have read here- NOT EFFEXOR) and lots of us here to offer support and encouragement!
Best wishes
Aiinsleigh

@ainsleigh

@hopeful123 Hi hopeful
When I first became ill with depression and anxiety my family doctor put me on Valium. It knocked me out so much that all I wanted to do was sleep which I did every possible moment I could. I believe it made me much worse. When I finally got to a Psychiatrist she took me off the Valium and put me on an antidepressant and Ativan. That was the beginning of getting my mental health back on track. I don't know if that is of any help to you but don't give up.
There are lots of good meds out there (after all I have read here- NOT EFFEXOR) and lots of us here to offer support and encouragement!
Best wishes
Aiinsleigh

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Thank you! I’ve taken Ativan and Xanax and the inner dose withdrawal is too strong for me to taper those medications. Sleep is a huge problem for me so I actually am now taking most of my Valium dose at bedtime because you’re right it makes you very tired. I’m glad to hear you had success with an antidepressant as I think it’s worth a shot. I felt like I was completely falling apart not like myself at all! Effexor (and Paxil) was a really bad one for me due to the withdrawal. I researched it a lot and decided Celexa would be the best to ask for.

I’ve also gone through a very painful divorce after 15 years last year. Getting off all these meds while still trying to heal from that situation has been tough as I’m sure many other people understand.

@hopeful123

I’ve also gone through a very painful divorce after 15 years last year. Getting off all these meds while still trying to heal from that situation has been tough as I’m sure many other people understand.

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@hopeful123 – that does sound like a very tough time, while going through a divorce, to take on the already challenging task of taking off of diazepam (Valium) and more meds.

You might also check out this discussion on Connect about ketamine: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/ketamine. It's not recently active, but I think others would be interested in discussing it currently if you had the opportunity to post about your experience there or start a new discussion on it.

What has helped you make it through all of this while also tapering off the medications, @hopeful123?

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@lisalucier

@hopeful123 – that does sound like a very tough time, while going through a divorce, to take on the already challenging task of taking off of diazepam (Valium) and more meds.

You might also check out this discussion on Connect about ketamine: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/ketamine. It's not recently active, but I think others would be interested in discussing it currently if you had the opportunity to post about your experience there or start a new discussion on it.

What has helped you make it through all of this while also tapering off the medications, @hopeful123?

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Thank you for the reply! And the ketamine info. I don’t know exactly what has kept me going just a sense that one day my life will be better after all this. Also possibly experiencing it all will allow me to truly help another one day. Not only will I be able to be compassionate but truly I’ve walked in their shoes.

In reply to @hopeful123. You may like to see my post on Ketamine, posted a few minutes ago. I am eagerly waiting for this medication to be available because it has the potential to improve the lives of those affected by severe, treatment-resistant depression and anxiety. Thanks.

For @hopeful123. You mentioned in one of your posts above that you are taking Ketamine nasal spray every other day. May I ask where you get this spray from? I am keen to acquire it for myself. Also, I think that the Celexa you are taking will definitely help you and improve your condition. I took 40 mg of Celexa for about 15 years, before it stopped working. I then switched to 20 mg of Escitalopram, which was very helpful, and which I am currently taking. Any info on the availability of Ketamine nasal spray would be most helpful. Thanks.

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