Valium (diazepam) Taper

Posted by hopeful123 @hopeful123, Nov 10, 2018

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.

Liked by falon

@merpreb

@chinchuck– You will survive! I know that this seems discouraging but I think that your anxiety needs to quiet down so you will start to feel better. First off have you talked with your doctor about some help as you wean off of Valium? Have you tried CBD oil? It has really helped calm me down!

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I have spoken to My Doctor who suggested propranolol but it didn't really touch the severe terror, as racing heart or palpitations are no my main symptom, more it radiates through all my body down to the jelly legs. It is beyond description. For some reason I have reacted so badly to it and to trying to get off what is a quite small dose. Still to big to stop though as I feel every tiny cut. I really am very scared that at my age I wont get through this . I had a really good life but for I developed an early morning waking dread and this is the result of visiting my Doctor about it. I so wish I had tackled it in more natural ways, but now the fear is so powerful I am unable to use those and herbal stuff is not recommended as it hits the gaba receptors too and prevents healing, though I do think I need something to calm enough to at least get out of the door or eat food . My psychiatrist can offer nothing either. At a loss

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@chinchuck

I have spoken to My Doctor who suggested propranolol but it didn't really touch the severe terror, as racing heart or palpitations are no my main symptom, more it radiates through all my body down to the jelly legs. It is beyond description. For some reason I have reacted so badly to it and to trying to get off what is a quite small dose. Still to big to stop though as I feel every tiny cut. I really am very scared that at my age I wont get through this . I had a really good life but for I developed an early morning waking dread and this is the result of visiting my Doctor about it. I so wish I had tackled it in more natural ways, but now the fear is so powerful I am unable to use those and herbal stuff is not recommended as it hits the gaba receptors too and prevents healing, though I do think I need something to calm enough to at least get out of the door or eat food . My psychiatrist can offer nothing either. At a loss

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@chinchuck– I'm at loss for words right now. Have you been checked for arrhythmia? It can cause palpitations and is simple to treat. Palpitations are usually caused by anxiety, if you don't have arrhythmia. It is harmless. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-palpitations-in-adults. I understand your fear. I think that you might need a behavioral therapist. I'm inviting @parus to talk about this. It sounds as if you really have yourself in a constant cyclic state of panic. Has you regular doctor dome any blood work recently to make sure that it is only drug withdrawal?

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@merpreb

@chinchuck– I'm at loss for words right now. Have you been checked for arrhythmia? It can cause palpitations and is simple to treat. Palpitations are usually caused by anxiety, if you don't have arrhythmia. It is harmless. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-palpitations-in-adults. I understand your fear. I think that you might need a behavioral therapist. I'm inviting @parus to talk about this. It sounds as if you really have yourself in a constant cyclic state of panic. Has you regular doctor dome any blood work recently to make sure that it is only drug withdrawal?

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@chinchuck A thought. Have you had your thyroid function checked lately. I have to take medication indefinitely. Again, a thought. Not negating what you are experiencing. I can recall thinking I would not survive.

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@chinchuck

Thank you Merry. I am trying to get off Valium now at 2.25mmgs from 4mgs as it has never worked for me and once I realised it is dangerous and addictive taken longer than a couple of weeks or so. I knew I had to get off it, but the battle to do so has been awful. It is the worst thing I have ever gone through in my life, even though I am tapering so slowly. I fear what the result will be as already I have anxiety far far in excess of my original condition, It gave me agoraphobia, massively increased tinnitus, internal shivers , huge weight loss, lack of appetite, sleep gone. I am so very scared and wish I had not taken even one. I never had a problem with food till the Valium, now I am so sensitive to any sugars and carbs. I am at a loss, what to do to get my life back. I had thought maybe something like mirtazapine at a very low dose may help me, but am scared to take anything. I just want me back. Desperate to survive

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Hello @chinchuck
Often the use of antidepressants can be very helpful in weaning off of drugs like Valium. Here is a copy of a post from a pharmacist about coming off of addictive meds, like Valium and others. This was written some time ago and might be helpful to you.

"The goal to be “addiction-free” is admirable! I commend your motivation to improve.
Taking antidepressants for MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) shouldn’t be considered “addictions.” Antidepressants aren’t addictive, but missing doses or stopping abruptly can cause withdrawal-like symptoms including sudden worsening of depression. MDD and GAD are often chronic diseases that can require lifelong treatment. Sometimes people feel so much better with treatment they think they don’t need treatment any more. Your clinician can help you try to taper off safely. Communication with your healthcare provider is important in providing a personalized taper and options for resuming therapy, if needed.
Extra care should be taken regarding tapering from clonazepam. It will be important for you to get tapering instructions from your psychiatrist. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines like clonazepam can be serious and may include tremors, anxiety, sweating, psychosis and seizures. The onset and severity of withdrawal depends on the which drug was used, for how long and other patient specific factors. If needed, you could ask about less addictive anti-anxiety medications.
Your psychiatrist can help you through discontinuing marijuana. Drug-free social support may help.
I wish you the best of luck in battling the true addictions you mentioned. Physical activity, sunshine and adequate rest will help to boost mood and endorphin levels. You are taking on a lot at one time. Don’t throw it all away because of 1 missed step. Celebrate every day of progress."

Will you keep in touch with Connect during this process?

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I am going to begin Week 7 of a ten week taper off of 10 mg. of Diazepam, which I was prescribed 25 years ago for muscle spasticity, after developing tolerance that began last year with the onset of anxiety. Unfortunately, the connection between my long use of Diazepam and the anxiety was not made until I had a discussion with my therapist about the anxiety that was becoming so crippling and my pharmaceuticals came up. Armed with this new information, I contacted my physician and a taper was begun. To say the last year has been hell would be to put it lightly! Now, as I go through this taper with the finish line in sight, I contend with increased anxiety, shakiness, tachycardia, depression, lack of interest in life and, at times, vivid, disturbing dreams. My question is, does this nightmare end? If so, how long after I stop taking the Diazepam will it take for me to feel better and what is better going to feel like after having been on this drug for nearly half my life? I'm not sure what to expect. Right now, it's all I can do to get through the day and I hate being alone.I feel very alone as nobody in my family has gone through this before. My sisters are wonderful support, but, I really need some reassurance that this is going to get better. I just would like to hear from those who have been down this rocky road before. Thank you.

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@wonderwoman66

I am going to begin Week 7 of a ten week taper off of 10 mg. of Diazepam, which I was prescribed 25 years ago for muscle spasticity, after developing tolerance that began last year with the onset of anxiety. Unfortunately, the connection between my long use of Diazepam and the anxiety was not made until I had a discussion with my therapist about the anxiety that was becoming so crippling and my pharmaceuticals came up. Armed with this new information, I contacted my physician and a taper was begun. To say the last year has been hell would be to put it lightly! Now, as I go through this taper with the finish line in sight, I contend with increased anxiety, shakiness, tachycardia, depression, lack of interest in life and, at times, vivid, disturbing dreams. My question is, does this nightmare end? If so, how long after I stop taking the Diazepam will it take for me to feel better and what is better going to feel like after having been on this drug for nearly half my life? I'm not sure what to expect. Right now, it's all I can do to get through the day and I hate being alone.I feel very alone as nobody in my family has gone through this before. My sisters are wonderful support, but, I really need some reassurance that this is going to get better. I just would like to hear from those who have been down this rocky road before. Thank you.

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Hi @wonderwoman66, welcome to Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about tapering off of diazepam. Click VIEW & REPLY in the email notification to go to the discussion and scroll through past messages.

Tapering off a benzodiazepine is not easy. You are definitely not alone. There are many members here who have been where you are now and will support you through this tough journey and help answer your questions. Have you told your physician about the side effects you're experiencing? Perhaps slowing down the taper might be beneficial for you. It is worth a discussion.

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@colleenyoung I see my physician for rechecks every 1-2 weeks. He has started me on 20 mg. of Propanolol twice a day. I began taking it yesterday. He has never suggested slowing down the taper, though he did suggest ending it altogether to which I said no as I had already come so far I could not see any point in stopping. Also, I did not want to stop as I have had such (and still am) morning anxiety that my therapist described as "classic withdrawal." Sometimes, it lasts all day, and even when it is only present in the mornings, it is crippling enough that I find myself confined to the sofa until I feel calm enough to pursue an activity. I am glad to know I am not alone in this battle and I look forward to having my questions answered as I continue this most unexpected journey. Thank you.

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@wonderwoman66

@colleenyoung I see my physician for rechecks every 1-2 weeks. He has started me on 20 mg. of Propanolol twice a day. I began taking it yesterday. He has never suggested slowing down the taper, though he did suggest ending it altogether to which I said no as I had already come so far I could not see any point in stopping. Also, I did not want to stop as I have had such (and still am) morning anxiety that my therapist described as "classic withdrawal." Sometimes, it lasts all day, and even when it is only present in the mornings, it is crippling enough that I find myself confined to the sofa until I feel calm enough to pursue an activity. I am glad to know I am not alone in this battle and I look forward to having my questions answered as I continue this most unexpected journey. Thank you.

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You are not alone! Glad to hear that you did not give in to his suggestion to stop the taper. You can do this. I too have terrible anxiety that lasts all day long. Some days all I can do is lie in bed or on the couch. But I am determined I will see this through and give my brain a chance to heal.

Liked by Parus, wonderwoman66

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@falon Thank you for your response and allow me to apologize for not responding sooner. I appreciated your input very much. It is good to know I am not alone. I know I can do this, but, it is so difficult! Sorry to read that you have such bad anxiety, but, glad that you are determined to see it through. Are you tapering from diazepam as well? How long are you into your taper? I am going to begin my next to last week tomorrow and I cannot imagine how it will be when I am finally off of those horrible things altogether. I cannot imagine how I will feel, who I will be. I understand it will be much better, but, I can't begin to guess. I'm having a pretty good day today for a change. Wish it would last. Hope you are, too. Good luck!

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@wonderwoman66

@falon Thank you for your response and allow me to apologize for not responding sooner. I appreciated your input very much. It is good to know I am not alone. I know I can do this, but, it is so difficult! Sorry to read that you have such bad anxiety, but, glad that you are determined to see it through. Are you tapering from diazepam as well? How long are you into your taper? I am going to begin my next to last week tomorrow and I cannot imagine how it will be when I am finally off of those horrible things altogether. I cannot imagine how I will feel, who I will be. I understand it will be much better, but, I can't begin to guess. I'm having a pretty good day today for a change. Wish it would last. Hope you are, too. Good luck!

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@wonderwoman66 I am tapering off clonazepam. Am only 6 weeks into my taper. Will be tapering for another 4 months. Glad you are having a pretty good day. I also cannot imagine what it will be like when I am finally off these things. It's all a bit scary. Good luck to you.

Liked by Parus

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@falon Yes, it is a bit scary, but, it is also a bit exciting as well. So much is awaiting discovery. Who am I going to be without the diazepam in my bloodstream wreaking havoc with my body? How am I going to feel? Will the world seem different, bigger, brighter? What new things might I accomplish that I could not have done before? Last year was taken from me as the darkness became all consuming, but, I am looking forward to seeing what this year holds in store and I'm determined to make it better. How long have you been on Clonazepam? I hope you are not having any major difficulties with symptoms of withdrawal. I have had my share as I have previous stated, and they haven't been easy, but, I am proud of myself for keeping on with the taper in spite of the discomfort. The next 6 weeks will probably fly by and you will be finished with your taper before you know. it. It is scary, but, as I wrote at the beginning of this post, it is also a bit exciting to think of beginning this new chapter. Good luck to you. I wish you all the very best in your benzo journey. Btw,next week is my last week. I don't know what to expect when I am finally no longer taking diazepam, but, I guess I will be finding out and I will have to take my own advice if things get ugly for awhile, huh? Keep positive and think of it as a new beginning.

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To those tapering off benzodiazepines… I have found the world to be a brighter place with my senses free to feel again. Wishing all strength on this journey.

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You are lucky. My husband's " know it all" doctor REFUSED to switch my husband to Valium from xanax, even when I gave him information on the web site to check out. He refused to even check it out! Well, my husband weaned himself off of Xanax, months slower than his doctor told him to, but he ended up being one of the " lucky" ones to develop pronged Benson withdrawal syndrome. It has been living HELL the past 25 months of the withdrawal symptoms, not only for him but for me and his children, grandchildren and friends. I am SO SICK of going to doctors and being told that it is either in his head or that they have no idea what is causing it. A muscle test showed decreased impulse from nerves to muscles and a full body EMG showed numerous areas of muscle fasciculations, but no known cause according to them! Why the hell doesn't the medical establishment RECOGNIZE a problem that they caused? Mainly, putting my husband on Xanax for 23 years!

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@ejezbeta Ooh! That sounds horrible! I am so sorry for your husband and for you and the rest of your family! I can't understand why your doctor would not listen or even look at the literature you gave him, but, I can easily understand your frustration. I experienced much frustration of my own when nobody seemed to want to listen to me as I spoke over and over again about the anxiety I was experiencing every morning upon arising and that was slowly crippling me. I knew something was wrong, but, I had no idea what, and instead of listening and investigating, I was referred to a doctor whose method of treatment consisted of throwing more pills down my throat. So, yes, I can well empathize with you and how you must feel. This is definitely not in your husband's head any more than it was in mine, and this must be very discouraging for him and you both to have to endure. Twenty three years is way too long for anyone to be on Xanax as was 25 years for me to be on Diazepam. I commend your husband for weaning himself off of the Xanax as I know how difficult my taper has been. That took a lot of strength on his part, a lot of willpower, but, it's a shame he had to do it on his own. At least he had you there by his side, as difficult as this has been. I personally don't know how anybody can go through this without support of some sort. I just wish you had some sort of support, too. Feel free to message me again if you'd like. I'm always willing to lend an ear, or, in this case, an eye, as well as eight fingers and two thumbs. if there is any way that some good can come out of the hell I have lived through, then my suffering won't be in vain.

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I have finished my taper. I am now four days diazepam free. I still have a difficult time in the mornings and I'm wondering if that will ever end, but, the afternoons do tend to get easier, though, I did have symptoms into the evening on Tuesday night. Buzzing, shaking, typical benzo withdrawal. It's a nasty feeling to have that, but, I guess it's my body's way of saying that I am healing from this toxin that was eating away at my brain as I tried to go about my life until the anxiety began. I can't wait until the day comes when I can awaken and feel good again, look forward to a new day again instead of wishing it weren't upon me.

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