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Oct 5, 2019 · Tapering off clonazepam (Klonopin, Rivotril) in Depression & Anxiety

HI @rogue,

I think @jakedduck1 summarized it nicely. I also did the 10% taper method and got myself off a 20+ yr dependance of Clonazepam (2.0mg) over a 6-7 month period. I won't say it was easy. It absolutely requires some self-determination and motivation to finally free yourself from its grip. There are a lot of free resources online that helped me out, check out a channel called Benzo Brains. She's is very knowledgeable and has gone through the 10% taper herself. I'm pretty sure I watched all her videos during my taper.

Other things that helped me personally on this journey were meditation, nothing crazy, you don't need to move to Tibet, just try the HEADSPACE app or other meditation apps, just to help calm the mind. There are lots of free resources online as well but HEADSPACE is very good and provides guided meditation. Something that helped me take the edge off was CBD oil. I live in Canada so I have access to reliable supplies of CBD oil and capsules from licensed producers, these are, however, very expensive. Also, abstain from alcohol, sad but true, it will help your GABA receptors recover.

As I said, it's not easy but well worth it. Even though I've successfully tapered from clonazepam, my journey is not yet over as I now battle insomnia, which is most likely what the clonazepam was actually helping me with all these years. Long-term use of clonazepam will most likely make your anxiety worse which was absolutely the case with me.

Good luck!!

Sep 13, 2019 · Tapering off clonazepam (Klonopin, Rivotril) in Depression & Anxiety

Hi @artscaping, this was a passing comment from my sleep specialist yesterday during my consultation. When I asked him to expand on that comment he said that I basically have to retrain/rewire my brain to sleep after being dependant on Clonazepam for such a long time. Now that I'm off this drug and experiencing these symptoms, it would be difficult to argue with him. Again, this is my subjective experience with Clonazepam. He has clinical experience with this drug and he's the sleep expert so I'll be relying on him for this next chapter and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm in good capable hands.

Sep 13, 2019 · Tapering off clonazepam (Klonopin, Rivotril) in Depression & Anxiety

@jakedduck1, Yes, rebound insomnia for me. I was only sleeping 45min – 90min a night for about a 4 week period. It was awful.

I tried several medications at the beginning with the support of my GP. I tried mirtazapine which worked for about a week then the insomnia came back full force. The brain fog on this medication was also substantial for me. I then tried Trazadone, which worked for about a week then nothing, back to insomnia. Doxepin was the next thing we tried and it didn't work at all, it might as well been a placebo. The last thing we tried was gabapentin and thankfully, it worked for me!! Important to note that the above medications do work for some people, just not for me. Gabapentine works decently for me with very few side-effects and NO brain fog.

I'm lucky to have a sleep clinic where I live. I had my first consultation yesterday and I think I'm in good hands. He wants me to continue with gabapentin, he feels that is a good medication for insomnia as it helps to bring on sleep as well as induce deep sleep. For now, he has increased my gabapentin from 600mg to 900mg with the goal of restoring sleep fully. He would like me to get off antihistamines (UNISOM), I take half a tablet currently. Once I learn and get a handle on sleeping techniques like CBT-I, we could then consider reducing the medication. First and foremost is to restore the sleep, no more "white-knuckling". My follow up is at the end of October. He shared that since I was taking clonazepam for the last 20 years, it could take up to 18 months to let the brain rewire itself so I need to be patient. I think this is going to be part 2 of this journey I'm on.

To summarize, I glad I'm off clonazepam, there was an absolute blunting effect that is not entirely perceptible to the person taking the medication and once it is out of your system, it's like having a veil lifted. Pretty remarkable!

Just want to stress these are my experiences only.

Sep 12, 2019 · Tapering off clonazepam (Klonopin, Rivotril) in Depression & Anxiety

It took me about 6 months to end a 20year relationship at 2.0mg every night. I think that was a bit fast in retrospect but my doctor really wanted me off this stuff. I think you really need to gauge it for yourself and your withdrawal symptoms. CBD certainly did help with those.

Sep 11, 2019 · Tapering off clonazepam (Klonopin, Rivotril) in Depression & Anxiety

Most people do best by cutting their taper schedules by 10% or the nearest 1/4 tablet increment. I followed this schedule to get myself off of 2.0mg Rx for the last 20+ years. I also used CBD to help with side effects. I've been completely off since mid-June. My doctor also wanted me off Benzos. In retrospect, I'm glad I broke the dependence. Now I only need to deal with these sleep issues which I hope is only part of the process. I'm taking gabapentin 2 x 200mg + 1/2 tab of UNISOM + 5mg melatonin to help combat insomnia, it seems to be working to some effect.

Sep 6, 2019 · Does anyone have experience with Mirtazapine? in Depression & Anxiety

So far so good here, Chris. Yep, I take 5mg Melatonin, 110mg x 2 Magnesium Glycinate, 1x200mg Gabapentin and 1/2 a Unisom Extra Strength tab. At this point, honestly, as long as I can sleep with minimal hangover the next day is all I care about. If I can sleep 5hrs, I'm good. My insomnia journey prior to this is not something I can afford to repeat. I'm not talking, oh a had a bad nights sleep for say a few nights. This was full-blown chronic insomnia that went on for a little over a month. I was losing my grip on reality.

I will be going to a sleep clinic next week to further discuss my insomnia and/or any amelioration I can make in this regard. As an extra FYI for you, all this started when I finished a long time relationship/prescription with anti-anxiety medication. My new doctor (we moved) would NOT continue to prescribe that for me. The anti-anxiety medication might not have been entirely helpful with anxiety per se but it was certainly effective for insomnia. Now that I am off anti-anxiety meds, I have no plans to return on that awful stuff. I do feel a little better, more alive when I can get some sleep, that is. My only significant health issue is my sleep. I need to figure this out long term and I can continue as I was and/or better.

I'm a 44yr old father of two with a full-time eng job, experiencing insomnia at this level is not something I can tolerate again. So going back to the above medication + supplements, I'm OK with that for now. I also use the headspace app to help lull me to sleep. It too is helpful.

Sep 6, 2019 · Does anyone have experience with Mirtazapine? in Depression & Anxiety

I took mirtazapine for 3 – 4 a few months ago to see if it would help with my insomnia. I started with 7.5mg then upped to 15mg. Thankfully, it did not work. I say thankfully because the brain fog on this medication was quite substantial. I vaguely recall sitting through PowerPoint presentation with little to no memory of what was being communicated. If I had to guess, I would say my cognitive function was maybe 25 – 30%. Yep, pretty bad. Medications affect people differently but this my experience. No for me. I am not taking gabapentin to help with my insomnia, it's been the best one so far with the fewest side-effects. I only take one capsule which is 200mg with UNISOM and melatonin. It works most nights which is a huge win for me after going through almost a full month of maybe 45min – 1 hour of sleep per night. One of the worst experiences of my life.

Aug 23, 2019 · Insomnia. Nothing seems to help. in Sleep Health

Hi @lisalucier, I'm not taking anything else for anxiety except CBD sometimes. The gabapentin helps sometimes but now always. I sometimes take Unisom with gabapentin along with melatonin as well as Valerian Root extract. I find if I take too many things, I end up with a pharmaceutical hang-over. Not fun.