Yearning to be Addiction-Free ASAP but ask for helpful Ideas Thx!

Hi, I’m on disability for major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, take 60 mg Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and 4 mg daily of Clonazepam. I know that if you attempt to cold turkey off any benodiazepam like Clonazepam, you can have seizures and even die! I declare March 2018 as “My Personal Freedom Month” of all my addictions – Clonazepam, Sugar (severely addicted!), Weed, internet porn, and caffeine. I don’t have the money right now to buy weed much and I have to taper off it but weed is/was the only thing that relaxes me as I am habituated to the 4 mg clonazepam so it provides no anxiety relief. I know that I have to “step up” (pun intended) the physical exercise and social activity, among other things. Anybody have any suggestions for tapering off (as quickly as is safely possible to avoid withdrawal symptoms) all these addictive substances? I want to be free of all addictions and save money simultaneously. I’ve researched you can taper off (and will work with my Psychiatrist) 4 mg clonazepam about 1/2 mg every two weeks until you get down to 1 mg daily, then you need to taper off more slowly, .25 mg every 2 weeks until you’re off, about over 5 months if you’re starting to wean off at 4 mg. Any suggestions for getting off weed and the other addictions would be very highly appreciated. I have a law degree and I’m a capable guy but crippled / impaired by all these addictive substances. And weed is too expensive for me right now. Thank you / anyone for help with this. At wit’s end! Thank you!

@stressedmesseddepressed

I have major depressive disorder and an anxiety disorder, never hospitalized or anything, just loss and trauma and I feel awful and I'm addicted psychologically / physically to 4 mg clonazepam and 60 mg duloxetine and weed (it's the only thing that relaxes me as I'm habituated to the clonazepam. Life feels so hard, addicted, and struggling financially, on Disability. Any suggestions for getting free of weed, how to taper off? Any ideas welcome. TY

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Jim. You are so right. We are all willing to do it legally. But buy alternative ways if we can't, other sources will be necessary. Did the govt actually think crimminals would stop the drugs? This world is so upside down.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @stressedmesseddepressed, I merged the 2 discussions you started about tapering off duloxetine, clonazepam and marijuana into one discussion, bringing everyone together around the topic instead of separated in 2 different places. Thank you for starting this discussion. It is important and I appreciate the support and tips you've been getting from other members. In my opinion ASAP (as soon as possible) and tapering may be in conflict with one another. Tapering is important and requires patience. I like Gary's suggestion of tapering one drug at a time, and most definitely with the guidance of your health care provider.

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@stressedmesseddepressed I made this suggestion as I just recently made the mistake of trying to lower my opiates as I was tapering off klonopin; BIG mistake. When I need to do something like this, I would rather feel horrible for a couple of weeks than just "not too good" over and over with every step down, but that is my foolish impatience and is not the healthy way to go because the w/d symptoms for benzos and opiates can be very dangerous to the point of death. My prayer is that you will succeed with as little pain as possible. Gary

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A heartfelt thank you, Gary. I have several addictions to go off and I'm doing it the best way I know how — a 4 month taper off 4mg clonazepam, a 1 week weed taper (I'm expecting that's gonna be a tough one for a little while! and getting off sugar (super duper addictive!) and caffeine) but I want to be free of dependence and addiction. I'm declaring March 2018 the start of "My Personal Freedom" month. I start with a new Psychiatrist in April, and I will discuss with her all this. To all of our good health and peace! : ) Taper slowly!!! Please!!! Under a Doctor's care!!!

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Hi, @stressedmesseddepressed — Since you were talking about tapering off multiple drugs, we sought the input of a Mayo Clinic pharmacist. Thought you might be interested in what she had to say:

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.

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Thank you! Yes, my goal is not to get off anti-depressants,and I never said anti-depressants are addictive, just a major horrible hassle to get off, but given the Eli Lilly lawsuit on alleged hiding/minimizing of withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride), I'm desirous of changing medications. I shall speak to my new Psychiatrist next month (her first opening) about changing to perhaps Lexapro or whatever she suggests.

With the clonazepam, yes, anti-anxiety meds may be needed, but after many years on this big pharma benzo clonazepam, I seek to get off the very habituating and addictive (yes!) benzodiazepam klonopin/clonazepam and I'm using the NIH tapering schedule over 5 months for getting off this vicious! (lol) (really!) benzo.(clonazepam / klonopin). I wouldn't wish a benzo (clonazepam, Xanax, valium), personally speaking, on my worst enemy! Plus, I'm not certain that it's best to cover up with a pill, signals of anxiety your body is trying to send you. There are natural alternatives – journaling, therapy, meditation, natural supplements, exercise, taking action to solve the problems, etc. or, meds that are not habituating and easy to get off, if appropriate (4 mg clonazepam now does nothing to relax me because I'm habituated and addicted!). (Thanks doc who prescribed that nasty stuff!)

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@lisalucier

Hi, @stressedmesseddepressed — Since you were talking about tapering off multiple drugs, we sought the input of a Mayo Clinic pharmacist. Thought you might be interested in what she had to say:

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.

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Hi, @stressedmesseddepressed and @lisalucier

This was such a great post! I really understand the meaning behind the information. Some of us, because of trauma going back many years, simply need the chemical support of antidepressants and just because there are withdrawal symptoms does not mean these substances are addictive.

I also agree with the chronic disease concept associated with depression and anxiety.

Thank you @lisalucier for having a Mayo pharmacist share this.

Teresa

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@stressedmesseddepressed

Thank you! Yes, my goal is not to get off anti-depressants,and I never said anti-depressants are addictive, just a major horrible hassle to get off, but given the Eli Lilly lawsuit on alleged hiding/minimizing of withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride), I'm desirous of changing medications. I shall speak to my new Psychiatrist next month (her first opening) about changing to perhaps Lexapro or whatever she suggests.

With the clonazepam, yes, anti-anxiety meds may be needed, but after many years on this big pharma benzo clonazepam, I seek to get off the very habituating and addictive (yes!) benzodiazepam klonopin/clonazepam and I'm using the NIH tapering schedule over 5 months for getting off this vicious! (lol) (really!) benzo.(clonazepam / klonopin). I wouldn't wish a benzo (clonazepam, Xanax, valium), personally speaking, on my worst enemy! Plus, I'm not certain that it's best to cover up with a pill, signals of anxiety your body is trying to send you. There are natural alternatives – journaling, therapy, meditation, natural supplements, exercise, taking action to solve the problems, etc. or, meds that are not habituating and easy to get off, if appropriate (4 mg clonazepam now does nothing to relax me because I'm habituated and addicted!). (Thanks doc who prescribed that nasty stuff!)

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@stressedmesseddepressed

Are you still at 4mg of Clonazepam? I know from experience that it's a really tough one to taper off. I wanted to get rid of some of the meds I was taking, and I did stop a few, but it was clear that my body needs it, so I quit tapering. I only take 1mg, which I guess is pretty low. My prescription is for two a day if needed, but I've only taken the second one a few times in 12 years.

My wife takes a medication for blood pressure, and it has kept her blood pressure where it needs to be. She knows that she'll likely be taking it the rest of her life. Taking a medication for a physical condition like blood pressure is the same as taking one for major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. It's a challenge to understand that, because we're living in a culture of self reliance, so we tend to believe that we just have to be strong, have more faith or have more determination. But that can make us feel guilty that we don't have enough faith or determination or whatever, and we can buy into the false narrative that we don't need the help of doctors or medications or therapy.

I've had to come to terms with knowing that I need those things to keep going. Sometimes I feel like I should be better and able to move forward without seeing a therapist every week. I feel like I might be addicted to therapy. It's not much different from feeling addicted to a drug or alcohol. But I know that it's not an addiction. It's a genuine need.

I think it was Lisa who said that it's not uncommon for a person to start feeling better and decide that they don't need to continue taking a medication. I know that doctors always stress the importance of taking the whole course of antibiotics for infection. The same can be true for all kinds of meds. It's not an addiction. It's a treatment resource.

Life is full of ups and downs, isn't it.

Your new psychiatrist will help you through this.

Jim

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I definitely have heard and understand your viewpoint about "diseases/bodies need pills/medication" and that's fine, I'm not saying you or I should never take medicine. I'm a pretty good researcher though (learned in law school – not bragging) and benzodiazepams like clonazepam, Ativan, Xanax, and valium are NOT intended to be used for years and years; they are short term drugs. No, I'm not a Doctor but very reliable sources say this – no long term on benzos, that's not their purpose – only short-term – and long term wreaks havoc on your GABA receptors, all 50 million or so of them. They are, imo and that of pre-eminent medical organizations NOT intended for long -term usage and one can become and does become habituated to them so you have to keep upping the dosage to get the same effect. Or they stop working, viz, I feel nothing! from taking 4 mg clonazepam as I am habituated to it and physically dependent on it. The drug companies won't tell you they're short term, or it's in the fine print, so to speak. And big pharma persuades Doctors to rely on benzos for patients.

As for anti-depressants, there are many generations of anti-depressants, some (SSRIs) also not so benign with severe !!! withdrawal symptoms. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac and Cymbalta has been sued many times over alleged underreporting of withdrawal symptoms and suicides and anger by some on Prozac. These anti-depressants are not so innocent.

My solution is to taper off the benzo -.clonazepam completely! and use a non habituating one as suggested by my new great Psychiatrist. OR use natural supplements like omegabrite.com, exercise, therapy, B Complex, L-methylfolate and methyl B12.

Yes, I'm still at 4 mg clonazepam for one more week, then 3.5 for 2 weeks, and so on, then when you get to one, it's extremely difficult to get off that 1 mg and you have to go more slowly, .75, .5, .25 – 2 weeks each or whatever one's particular body requires to not go into severe withdrawal pains. If you go cold turkey – NEVER EVER EVER DO THAT – you can have seizures and even die. I don't want a drug like that in my body. And I want to feel my feelings. I will not be a slave to a benzo! I declare my freedom on August 1. : ) A personal decision. We each need to decide what to do under a Doctor's supervision. We need to speak up more, though, I believe.

As for the depression, I am asking my Psychiatrist if I can switch to Lexapro 10 mg and get off Cymbalta as it is, I've heard, intensely difficult as well, to taper off. I think, as a nation, we need to be active participants with our medical providers and have input into what we take and to ASK QUESTIONS! "Are there non-habituating / non physically-dependent alternatives, Doctor?" Etc. There are so many safer meds than benzos etc.

Thank you for your viewpoint, though! I know I will get off the benzo by about August 1.

May we all be well.

I used this NIH withdrawal study to determine my taper schedule BUT I will confirm with my new Psychiatrist next month (her first opening) and see how my body reacts to this taper schedule. NIH = National Institute of Health. ( NIH is about as reliable as you can get!)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20473065

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I as many women lived the whole reproductive life with a disorder that is somehow new for the medical community and it's mechanism still unknown disphoric premenstrual disorder. Have been 20 years on antidepressant but still couldn't have a normal life (2 weeks without symptoms and 2 weeks with mental and physical symptoms) so strong that the condition is recognized as dissability. I did a complete hysterectomy and after it my symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks finished forever. I stopped completely all the benzodiazepines xanax/neuryl medication, just felt bad during 2 weeks because of withdrawal. Couldn't eliminate the zoloft because my brain is used to it. But I can say that I didn't get addicted to benzo. I am 1 and a half year post op and no benzo at all. I guess there are people with a personality with more vulnerability to addiction

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@stressedmesseddepressed

I definitely have heard and understand your viewpoint about "diseases/bodies need pills/medication" and that's fine, I'm not saying you or I should never take medicine. I'm a pretty good researcher though (learned in law school – not bragging) and benzodiazepams like clonazepam, Ativan, Xanax, and valium are NOT intended to be used for years and years; they are short term drugs. No, I'm not a Doctor but very reliable sources say this – no long term on benzos, that's not their purpose – only short-term – and long term wreaks havoc on your GABA receptors, all 50 million or so of them. They are, imo and that of pre-eminent medical organizations NOT intended for long -term usage and one can become and does become habituated to them so you have to keep upping the dosage to get the same effect. Or they stop working, viz, I feel nothing! from taking 4 mg clonazepam as I am habituated to it and physically dependent on it. The drug companies won't tell you they're short term, or it's in the fine print, so to speak. And big pharma persuades Doctors to rely on benzos for patients.

As for anti-depressants, there are many generations of anti-depressants, some (SSRIs) also not so benign with severe !!! withdrawal symptoms. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac and Cymbalta has been sued many times over alleged underreporting of withdrawal symptoms and suicides and anger by some on Prozac. These anti-depressants are not so innocent.

My solution is to taper off the benzo -.clonazepam completely! and use a non habituating one as suggested by my new great Psychiatrist. OR use natural supplements like omegabrite.com, exercise, therapy, B Complex, L-methylfolate and methyl B12.

Yes, I'm still at 4 mg clonazepam for one more week, then 3.5 for 2 weeks, and so on, then when you get to one, it's extremely difficult to get off that 1 mg and you have to go more slowly, .75, .5, .25 – 2 weeks each or whatever one's particular body requires to not go into severe withdrawal pains. If you go cold turkey – NEVER EVER EVER DO THAT – you can have seizures and even die. I don't want a drug like that in my body. And I want to feel my feelings. I will not be a slave to a benzo! I declare my freedom on August 1. : ) A personal decision. We each need to decide what to do under a Doctor's supervision. We need to speak up more, though, I believe.

As for the depression, I am asking my Psychiatrist if I can switch to Lexapro 10 mg and get off Cymbalta as it is, I've heard, intensely difficult as well, to taper off. I think, as a nation, we need to be active participants with our medical providers and have input into what we take and to ASK QUESTIONS! "Are there non-habituating / non physically-dependent alternatives, Doctor?" Etc. There are so many safer meds than benzos etc.

Thank you for your viewpoint, though! I know I will get off the benzo by about August 1.

May we all be well.

I used this NIH withdrawal study to determine my taper schedule BUT I will confirm with my new Psychiatrist next month (her first opening) and see how my body reacts to this taper schedule. NIH = National Institute of Health. ( NIH is about as reliable as you can get!)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20473065

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I just would like to add that 1) I am NOT a Doctor, we need to work with our Doctors, of course, and 2) I know medicines can save your life! viz, insulin to one with diabetes.

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@stressedmesseddepressed

Thank you! Yes, my goal is not to get off anti-depressants,and I never said anti-depressants are addictive, just a major horrible hassle to get off, but given the Eli Lilly lawsuit on alleged hiding/minimizing of withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride), I'm desirous of changing medications. I shall speak to my new Psychiatrist next month (her first opening) about changing to perhaps Lexapro or whatever she suggests.

With the clonazepam, yes, anti-anxiety meds may be needed, but after many years on this big pharma benzo clonazepam, I seek to get off the very habituating and addictive (yes!) benzodiazepam klonopin/clonazepam and I'm using the NIH tapering schedule over 5 months for getting off this vicious! (lol) (really!) benzo.(clonazepam / klonopin). I wouldn't wish a benzo (clonazepam, Xanax, valium), personally speaking, on my worst enemy! Plus, I'm not certain that it's best to cover up with a pill, signals of anxiety your body is trying to send you. There are natural alternatives – journaling, therapy, meditation, natural supplements, exercise, taking action to solve the problems, etc. or, meds that are not habituating and easy to get off, if appropriate (4 mg clonazepam now does nothing to relax me because I'm habituated and addicted!). (Thanks doc who prescribed that nasty stuff!)

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@jimhd This is such a great post that we need to put it on "auto re-post" about every two weeks. I don't know when the public will ever catch up to what we already know about mental health, but I will discuss it anytime and anywhere I have the opportunity. My Major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder are not different than my diabetes in terms of requiring medicinal treatment. Side effects, interactions, long term safety issues be damned if I need the medication to attempt to have a quality of life worth living. If they keep me from living as long, why would I want to live longer if I am suffering. Thank you Jim for your wisdom and words!

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@stressedmesseddepressed

I definitely have heard and understand your viewpoint about "diseases/bodies need pills/medication" and that's fine, I'm not saying you or I should never take medicine. I'm a pretty good researcher though (learned in law school – not bragging) and benzodiazepams like clonazepam, Ativan, Xanax, and valium are NOT intended to be used for years and years; they are short term drugs. No, I'm not a Doctor but very reliable sources say this – no long term on benzos, that's not their purpose – only short-term – and long term wreaks havoc on your GABA receptors, all 50 million or so of them. They are, imo and that of pre-eminent medical organizations NOT intended for long -term usage and one can become and does become habituated to them so you have to keep upping the dosage to get the same effect. Or they stop working, viz, I feel nothing! from taking 4 mg clonazepam as I am habituated to it and physically dependent on it. The drug companies won't tell you they're short term, or it's in the fine print, so to speak. And big pharma persuades Doctors to rely on benzos for patients.

As for anti-depressants, there are many generations of anti-depressants, some (SSRIs) also not so benign with severe !!! withdrawal symptoms. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac and Cymbalta has been sued many times over alleged underreporting of withdrawal symptoms and suicides and anger by some on Prozac. These anti-depressants are not so innocent.

My solution is to taper off the benzo -.clonazepam completely! and use a non habituating one as suggested by my new great Psychiatrist. OR use natural supplements like omegabrite.com, exercise, therapy, B Complex, L-methylfolate and methyl B12.

Yes, I'm still at 4 mg clonazepam for one more week, then 3.5 for 2 weeks, and so on, then when you get to one, it's extremely difficult to get off that 1 mg and you have to go more slowly, .75, .5, .25 – 2 weeks each or whatever one's particular body requires to not go into severe withdrawal pains. If you go cold turkey – NEVER EVER EVER DO THAT – you can have seizures and even die. I don't want a drug like that in my body. And I want to feel my feelings. I will not be a slave to a benzo! I declare my freedom on August 1. : ) A personal decision. We each need to decide what to do under a Doctor's supervision. We need to speak up more, though, I believe.

As for the depression, I am asking my Psychiatrist if I can switch to Lexapro 10 mg and get off Cymbalta as it is, I've heard, intensely difficult as well, to taper off. I think, as a nation, we need to be active participants with our medical providers and have input into what we take and to ASK QUESTIONS! "Are there non-habituating / non physically-dependent alternatives, Doctor?" Etc. There are so many safer meds than benzos etc.

Thank you for your viewpoint, though! I know I will get off the benzo by about August 1.

May we all be well.

I used this NIH withdrawal study to determine my taper schedule BUT I will confirm with my new Psychiatrist next month (her first opening) and see how my body reacts to this taper schedule. NIH = National Institute of Health. ( NIH is about as reliable as you can get!)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20473065

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I basically agree with all your comments. Benzos short term may help a lot of people but once you get habituated, or worse yet addicted they are very difficult to wean away from. I was on low dose ATVAN (2mg daily) and it took me five months to get off it by reducing by 10% every two weeks. (And I am a control freak that does things by the book). This meant cutting the 0.5mg pills with a very sharp blade which is not accurate but…it worked. Ironically in some European countries to get off fast acting ATIVAN they switch you to slower acting Vallium and wean you off that. Klonopin and Xanax are also quicker acting and present problems.

As for antidepressants, as I understand it there are several classes depending upon the mode of action and yet many specialists use trial and error rather than testing to see which class is appropriate. I suffered from Maturity onset depression for two years after I retired and eventually gave up trying to find an anti depressant that worked and took up exercise (recumbent trike ) and mindful meditation. Luckily they gave me about 90% relief. The key is to get out of bed when you wake up and draw the curtains. Let in the light. Then get out of the house! Just driving to a nearby coffee shop and reading a book is a good distraction. The more you are at home alone brooding the worse depression gets.

Be careful of so called natural products though. Some interact with pharmaceuticals, some contain dangerous impurities, some don't contain the stated level of active ingredients. And the bioavailbiility of the active ingredient may vary from batch to batch. And worse yet most are not supported by peer reviewed statistically based clinical trials.

And in case you think I am anti pharma I should note that I worked for big pharma for years at a very senior level. Yes some of their pricing and marketing is disgusting and drugs do have side effects BUT overall big pharma improves the lives of millions. Just don't believe all the marketing hype!

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@stressedmesseddepressed

I definitely have heard and understand your viewpoint about "diseases/bodies need pills/medication" and that's fine, I'm not saying you or I should never take medicine. I'm a pretty good researcher though (learned in law school – not bragging) and benzodiazepams like clonazepam, Ativan, Xanax, and valium are NOT intended to be used for years and years; they are short term drugs. No, I'm not a Doctor but very reliable sources say this – no long term on benzos, that's not their purpose – only short-term – and long term wreaks havoc on your GABA receptors, all 50 million or so of them. They are, imo and that of pre-eminent medical organizations NOT intended for long -term usage and one can become and does become habituated to them so you have to keep upping the dosage to get the same effect. Or they stop working, viz, I feel nothing! from taking 4 mg clonazepam as I am habituated to it and physically dependent on it. The drug companies won't tell you they're short term, or it's in the fine print, so to speak. And big pharma persuades Doctors to rely on benzos for patients.

As for anti-depressants, there are many generations of anti-depressants, some (SSRIs) also not so benign with severe !!! withdrawal symptoms. Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac and Cymbalta has been sued many times over alleged underreporting of withdrawal symptoms and suicides and anger by some on Prozac. These anti-depressants are not so innocent.

My solution is to taper off the benzo -.clonazepam completely! and use a non habituating one as suggested by my new great Psychiatrist. OR use natural supplements like omegabrite.com, exercise, therapy, B Complex, L-methylfolate and methyl B12.

Yes, I'm still at 4 mg clonazepam for one more week, then 3.5 for 2 weeks, and so on, then when you get to one, it's extremely difficult to get off that 1 mg and you have to go more slowly, .75, .5, .25 – 2 weeks each or whatever one's particular body requires to not go into severe withdrawal pains. If you go cold turkey – NEVER EVER EVER DO THAT – you can have seizures and even die. I don't want a drug like that in my body. And I want to feel my feelings. I will not be a slave to a benzo! I declare my freedom on August 1. : ) A personal decision. We each need to decide what to do under a Doctor's supervision. We need to speak up more, though, I believe.

As for the depression, I am asking my Psychiatrist if I can switch to Lexapro 10 mg and get off Cymbalta as it is, I've heard, intensely difficult as well, to taper off. I think, as a nation, we need to be active participants with our medical providers and have input into what we take and to ASK QUESTIONS! "Are there non-habituating / non physically-dependent alternatives, Doctor?" Etc. There are so many safer meds than benzos etc.

Thank you for your viewpoint, though! I know I will get off the benzo by about August 1.

May we all be well.

I used this NIH withdrawal study to determine my taper schedule BUT I will confirm with my new Psychiatrist next month (her first opening) and see how my body reacts to this taper schedule. NIH = National Institute of Health. ( NIH is about as reliable as you can get!)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20473065

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Agreed. Thanks very much!

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