• Welcome to SanctionedSuicide, a pro-choice forum for the discussion of mental illness and suicide. Please read our rules and our Principles.
    If you are in need of immediate support, please call the Samaritans hotline at (877) 870-4673, or check our recovery resources.

  • If you haven't yet, we highly encourage you to check out our Recovery Resources thread!
ansiedad

ansiedad

No one
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
130
Hi,

The last sunday I decided that its time for me to give me a opportunity to left bdzs.
I started with it because I couldn't sleep becouse a breakup. When my ex left me I started to get a big depression because was a difficult break. My biggest problem was when I lost the dream, I was almost 3 o 4 weeks that I couldn't dream!!
In that moment I saw thats my life was in a wrong direction, I lost myself totally. I decided was time to go doctor. And prescribed to me Lorazepam, one before sleep all days.
I know this pills are use to anxiety too and really works good for me.
But sometimes I uses it bad, when I breaks down I take many pills and I know this isn't good for me.

At now I decide to break up with this because I think that I can improve without it. But its really difficult.
Monday and yesterday I dont took to sleep and the first day was great! But yesterday I dont slept well, only a few hours. And today I break down and take a half.

Who is the best form to breakup with it?
Anyone that try to break with it too?

My idea its a total breakup, no reduction... It was almost 6 months since I started with it.

Thanks for read this, and sorry my bad english!
 
shijsrzh

shijsrzh

Deluded Moron
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
85
I was addicted to benzodiazepines myself. I think you're making the right decision in wanting to cut them off. However, the problem is that even after only a couple of weeks, they create strong dependence.
You will have to very slowly reduce the daily dosage. I don't know what dosage you're taking. But let's say you're taking 1mg of lorazepam a day. Start by trying to reduce to 0.75mg a day (three quarters of a pill). Or, to begin with, you could also take 1mg one day and 0.75mg the next. If that works, permanently reduce the dosage to 0.75mg. The next step would then be alternating between 0.75 and 0.5mg until you are able to permanently reduce the dosage to 0.5mg. Then the next alternation/reduction and so on... until you are at the lowest dosage and the next step would be zero. When you reach zero you're hopefully free of these dreadful pills.
Do every reduction of lorazepam with great care and wait several weeks or months before you reduce the dosage further. You don't want the withdrawal that I had, trust me. Meds withdrawals (especially benzos) are the worst withdrawal there is.
 
Last edited:
ansiedad

ansiedad

No one
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
130
shijsrzh said:
I was addicted to benzodiazepines myself. I think you're making the right decision in wanting to cut them off. However, the problem is that even after only a couple of weeks, they create strong dependence.
You will have to very slowly reduce the daily dosage. I don't know what dosage you're taking. But let's say you're taking 1mg of lorazepam a day. Start by trying to reduce to 0.75mg a day (three quarters of a pill). Or, to begin with, you could also take 1mg one day and 0.75mg the next. If that works, permanently reduce the dosage to 0.75mg. The next step would then be alternating between 0.75 and 0.5mg until you are able to permanently reduce the dosage to 0.5mg. Then the next alternation/reduction and so on... until you are at the lowest dosage and the next step would be zero. When you reach zero you're hopefully free of these dreadful pills.
Do every reduction of lorazepam with great care and wait several weeks or months before you reduce the dosage further. You don't want the withdrawal that I had, trust me. Meds withdrawals (especially benzos) are the worst withdrawal there is.
Tranks!
I've read more info about that and today I take .75, I hope soon my mind become more clarity. I'll reduce to .5 next week if I feel better.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: noaccount and Red
shijsrzh

shijsrzh

Deluded Moron
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
85
ansiedad said:
Tranks!
I've read more info about that and today I take .75, I hope soon my mind become more clarity. I'll reduce to .5 next week if I feel better.
Good :heart:. But reducing to 0.5 next week won't work. It's way too fast. You have to wait for several weeks after every reduction and see how it plays out.
Also, you said that you have been taking them for half a year. Don't try to rush, trust me. You have been taking them over long time now and the dependence (both physical and mental) is way too strong. You will have to do it with PATIENCE.
 
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: ansiedad
ansiedad

ansiedad

No one
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
130
shijsrzh said:
Good :heart:. But reducing to 0.5 next week won't work. It's way too fast. You have to wait for several weeks after every reduction and see how it plays out.
Also, you said that you have been taking them for half a year. Don't try to rush, trust me. You have been taking them over long time now and the dependence (both physical and mental) is way too strong. You will have to do it with PATIENCE.
Thanks! I'll try to be patient.
 
  • Hugs
Reactions: shijsrzh
luten

luten

work, love, and learn
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
310
I am also trying to get off it. Cant sleep without it, i think the first step for me is to cut out all caffeine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
pattygivens

pattygivens

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
34
i always heard you have to taper down on them. Out of my sheer irresponsibility Im literally unable to obtain benzos for another two weeks i hope im not gonna have a hard time or anything. so try to lessen it slowly, hope it goes well for you and me too lmao
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
D

DutchSuicidalPerson

Arcanist
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
477
I'm currently tapering down benzo's as well and whatever you do, do not abruptly stop them, especially if you take a high dose. This can cause extreme side effects, like psychosis or convulsions.

I'm following, with doctor's approval, the so-called "Ashton Manual", which has proven to work in most cases. Basically, you replace (in steps) the amount of benzo you're currently taking to the equivalent dose in Valium (diazepam), for 2 reasons:
- Valium is available is very low dosages, so you can taper down very slowly
- The half-life of Valium is very high

You can find the full manual here:

Unfortunately, not every doctor/psychiatrist believes in this approach and is willing to replace your benzo with Valium. Usually, they want you to taper down on them much faster then supposed to. It took me a while to find a doctor who was willing to do this.
 
M

MaybeSoon

Experienced
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
265
How is best to avoid dependancy? say I had a 10mg tablet a couple of times a week would that be too much?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
D

DutchSuicidalPerson

Arcanist
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
477
MaybeSoon said:
How is best to avoid dependancy? say I had a 10mg tablet a couple of times a week would that be too much?
Don't them them more than a few weeks is the general advice.

My advice: never take them at all, unless there really is no other option. Doctors prescribe these drugs like candy, they shouldn't. It only brought misery to me.
 
Last edited:
M

MaybeSoon

Experienced
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
265
DutchSuicidalPerson said:
Don't them them more than a few weeks is the general advice.

My advice: never take them at all, unless there really is no other option. Doctors prescribe these drugs like candy, they shouldn't. It only broughy misery to me.

Well my plan is only to have one 10mg when shit hits the fan mentally so to speak. Not planning on every day use for 3 weeks so hopefully it will be fine. I'll try and have the odd week break here and there though just to break it up a bit, thanks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
D

DutchSuicidalPerson

Arcanist
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
477
MaybeSoon said:
Well my plan is only to have one 10mg when shit hits the fan mentally so to speak. Not planning on every day use for 3 weeks so hopefully it will be fine. I'll try and have the odd week break here and there though just to break it up a bit, thanks.
10mg of what exactly? Diazepam I suspect?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
M

MaybeSoon

Experienced
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
265
DutchSuicidalPerson said:
10mg of what exactly? Diazepam I suspect?
Just checked and yeah it's diazepam. I always assumed that was the same as vallium lol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
D

DutchSuicidalPerson

Arcanist
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
477
MaybeSoon said:
Just checked and yeah it's diazepam. I always assumed that was the same as vallium lol.
Diazepam = valium, just the generic. Exact same product. Be careful with it, before you realize you get dependent on it. Only take it when you really need it.
 
ansiedad

ansiedad

No one
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
130
Its a week ago that I started with cut off that. Im takin .75 all nights.
The fistest days were good but the last a nightmares. I cant sleep morr than 2 hours without wake up...
Yeaterday was a bad day and at last I catch 5 o 6 pills and take it directly.
This morning I woke up so confused and weak. I dont remember moments od yesterday, amnesia. And some problems to stand up...
But I involved around de day.
I'll try to take .75 while I see that Im not good at all.
 
Carrotcake

Carrotcake

Experienced
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
254
I think it also depends on the pam you are taking. My experiences with oxazepam and temazepam have been very mild. However, I’ve seen other patients who really went through hell trying to get off diazepam.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
ansiedad

ansiedad

No one
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
130
Twoo weeks, Im still in .75mg.
But only have a "OD" on this time.
I still fighting with my sleep problems.
 
shijsrzh

shijsrzh

Deluded Moron
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
85
ansiedad said:
Twoo weeks, Im still in .75mg.
But only have a "OD" on this time.
I still fighting with my sleep problems.
You can make it! I know cutting off benzos is a horrible process, but I believe in you!
Sadly, sleep problems are normal when cutting off benzos.
ansiedad said:
Its a week ago that I started with cut off that. Im takin .75 all nights.
The fistest days were good but the last a nightmares. I cant sleep morr than 2 hours without wake up...
Yeaterday was a bad day and at last I catch 5 o 6 pills and take it directly.
This morning I woke up so confused and weak. I dont remember moments od yesterday, amnesia. And some problems to stand up...
But I involved around de day.
I'll try to take .75 while I see that Im not good at all.
Please do me a favor: If you can't handle .75 yet, alternate. Take .75 one day, and 1 on the next day. Then .75 again and so on.
If you feel stable enough you could take .75 two days in a row and take 1 on the third day. Then two days of .75 again, one day of 1mg and so on.

The symptoms you describe are that of massive overdose. No wonder with 5 or 6 pills.
Please take care of yourself. I know you must have felt horrible, but that was actually pretty dangerous and didn't help with cutting them off.
 
Last edited:
I

itsallover

Arcanist
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
461
You're gonna go through hell just like I will when I decide to come off of them. I won't for now because I experienced toxicity from an antibiotic I was taking which causes anxiety so I need them for now. I have a peer counselor who was a heroine addict for most of his life and said that getting off benzos was much harder than heroine. You're going to feel really sick and like you're going through a nightmare where you can't think straight as that is what happened to me the first time I got from three pills to just one a day. I couldn't handle it, but I hope you can.
 
  • Hugs
Reactions: ansiedad
Cherry Crumpet

Cherry Crumpet

Hiraeth
Joined
May 7, 2018
Messages
132
I've been on script xanax for 15+ years. Wish my doc had never introduced that shit to me. It's a fucking double edged sword.

Please, whatever you do.. do NOT GO COLD TURKEY. Cannot stress this enough. Absolutely do not do that, you can have seizures among other really bad things.

You're at .75 right now? Is it instant release or extended? If it's instant (check with your doc first if possible - sometimes even instant release can be fucked up by cutting) purchase a pill cutter so that you can cut it easily into smaller doses. I tried that for my xanax. I take bars though, so it's easier to cut them up, but I was able to (at one point) get down to .25 from a 2mg bar originally. I backslid and now I'm back at 2mg... sucks.

I think Shijsrzh has the best plan.

Edit: this is as it relates to my experience with Xanax.
 
kappa

kappa

Student
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
168
ansiedad said:
ay was a bad day and at last I catch 5 o 6 pills and take it directly.
ansiedad said:
Twoo weeks, Im still in .75mg.
But only have a "OD" on this time.
I still fighting with my sleep problems.

How are you now? I actually found this thread searching for Benzo tapering.

I have been on benzos for probably over a year now, 1.5mg Ativan each night. Had to bump it to 2mg recently but trying to taper off. I went back to 1.5mg but now wondering if that was too big of a jump.

Previously I was on Xanax for a couple of years. I am taking it for extreme insomnia right now. Even at the higher dose it just wasn't working like it used to. I notice right away when I decrease my dose I start sleeping more poorly and usually will have nightmares about my family regularly.

It's really killing my memory and I know I can't depend on it. Have been taking Vitamin D and melatonin but nothing helps me stay asleep like the benzos do.

The fact that you can have side effects for months and months after stopping kinda freaks me out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
ansiedad

ansiedad

No one
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
130
kappa said:
How are you now? I actually found this thread searching for Benzo tapering.

I have been on benzos for probably over a year now, 1.5mg Ativan each night. Had to bump it to 2mg recently but trying to taper off. I went back to 1.5mg but now wondering if that was too big of a jump.

Previously I was on Xanax for a couple of years. I am taking it for extreme insomnia right now. Even at the higher dose it just wasn't working like it used to. I notice right away when I decrease my dose I start sleeping more poorly and usually will have nightmares about my family regularly.

It's really killing my memory and I know I can't depend on it. Have been taking Vitamin D and melatonin but nothing helps me stay asleep like the benzos do.

The fact that you can have side effects for months and months after stopping kinda freaks me out.
Hi friend, first sorry for late.
Now I'm left with bdzs, was so hard.
Its a hard process, the better form its reduce the dosis bit a bit.
You can reduce the dosis and when you feel that you are good try to reduce more.
Good luck and hugs.
Sorry for my bad english.
 
Weary Soul

Weary Soul

Soon I will be free
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
1,063
I went through an absolute nightmare trying to get off alprazolam (a benzo)- in fact it led to a severe injury, seizures, and was the final straw in ruining my life.

Please know that I am not trying to scare you. In my case, I was prescribed benzos daily for almost a decade at 3 mg/day - much, much longer than 6 months - and I was arbitrarily forced off of them when my doctor refused to prescribe them anymore.

If you do a search on benzodiazepine withdrawal on YouTube - it may give you an idea of what some have gone through trying to get off these meds. Although, it is important to remember that everyone is different and these effects may or may not occur.

To be safe? My suggestion would be to withdrawal slowly to see how it effects you and to avoid potential side effects.

<3
Apologies @ansiedad, I am very tired at the moment and did not read all of the posts.

I just read that you have already started to taper the benzos.

Insomnia was the number one symptom that happened with me, and I went roughly 2 weeks without sleep - it was an absolute nightmare. Your other symptoms you wrote about above? I experienced the same. I am sorry you are going through this it is rough.

I am not sure where you are located, but if you are suffering and need help, check with a doctor - a doctor who is very, very versed and knowledgeable in benzo withdrawal. I cannot emphasize this enough - the doctor must be very knowledgeable in benzo withdrawal.

From my experience, I can see a LOT of good advice here.

Hope you are doing ok.
 
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: ansiedad
kappa

kappa

Student
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
168
Weary Soul said:
I went through an absolute nightmare trying to get off alprazolam (a benzo)- in fact it led to a severe injury, seizures, and was the final straw in ruining my life.

Please know that I am not trying to scare you. In my case, I was prescribed benzos daily for almost a decade at 3 mg/day - much, much longer than 6 months - and I was arbitrarily forced off of them when my doctor refused to prescribe them anymore.

If you do a search on benzodiazepine withdrawal on YouTube - it may give you an idea of what some have gone through trying to get off these meds. Although, it is important to remember that everyone is different and these effects may or may not occur.

To be safe? My suggestion would be to withdrawal slowly to see how it effects you and to avoid potential side effects.

<3
Apologies @ansiedad, I am very tired at the moment and did not read all of the posts.

I just read that you have already started to taper the benzos.

Insomnia was the number one symptom that happened with me, and I went roughly 2 weeks without sleep - it was an absolute nightmare. Your other symptoms you wrote about above? I experienced the same. I am sorry you are going through this it is rough.

I am not sure where you are located, but if you are suffering and need help, check with a doctor - a doctor who is very, very versed and knowledgeable in benzo withdrawal. I cannot emphasize this enough - the doctor must be very knowledgeable in benzo withdrawal.

From my experience, I can see a LOT of good advice here.

Hope you are doing ok.

I'm really surprised they gave you 3MG for the day.. were you taking more than prescribed? I have heard of seizures and major withdrawals but I thought that only happens with high doses.

I started taking the benzos because of insomnia- so imaging not taken them at all is scary tbh.

Before I used them for sleep I was sleeping around 2-3 hours a night, no naps and working and scared that I was going to fall asleep while driving.

They don't help me stay asleep anymore so I don't see a huge bonus to staying on them. I know they shouldn't be used as a sleeping aid but it's the only meds that have worked in that department for me.
 
  • Love
Reactions: ansiedad
Weary Soul

Weary Soul

Soon I will be free
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
1,063
kappa said:
I'm really surprised they gave you 3MG for the day.. were you taking more than prescribed? I have heard of seizures and major withdrawals but I thought that only happens with high doses.

I started taking the benzos because of insomnia- so imaging not taken them at all is scary tbh.

Before I used them for sleep I was sleeping around 2-3 hours a night, no naps and working and scared that I was going to fall asleep while driving.

They don't help me stay asleep anymore so I don't see a huge bonus to staying on them. I know they shouldn't be used as a sleeping aid but it's the only meds that have worked in that department for me.
Too little sleep is extremely harmful on so many levels and can be dangerous (as you said, falling asleep while driving because of sleep deprivation). And right now, I have total brain fog because of lack of sleep and am not sure I am making sense or if I am actually awake. I feel like I may be sleep-tying right now. : )

I do think that benzos can be extremely helpful, albeit short-term use only as indicated in the product label unless there is absolutely no other choice. (My opinion based on my experience only. I have worked in medicine but am not a doctor, so please take what I write here with that in mind.)

I am not sure why they should not be used as a sleep aid other than the addiction potential. Other sleep aids such as Lunesta and similar meds seem to be worse? Is there new information on this? I have been off benzos for more than 2 years now and have not been keeping up with their guidelines for use and withdrawal.

I took the alprazolam as prescribed, never took more than prescribed, and sometimes took less if my anxiety was not acute, and they worked very, very well.

I never needed a dose adjustment (increase) until about 9 years after I started taking them. Which is very atypical as tolerance can build quickly requiring a dose increase (similar to narcotics). At that time, I spoke to my doc about a slight dose increase and then, out of the blue, he arbitrarily cut me off. I expressed my worries about this approach, and then mentioned what had been learned in the UK decades earlier and how they now approach tapering benzos. I also suggested substituting with another benzo that has a longer half-life, which would have made tapering off benzos easier. He refused to consider it. Well I paid for it - he ruined my life.

I suspect it was because I took them every single day for ~9 years or so that caused the seizure and other severe, severe withdraw symptoms. My brain was very, very used to them and I think my gaba(a) receptor is now completely fried. I did have a number of other potentially confounding factors and strongly suspect that these other factors also led to the seizure. But, according to the docs, the final diagnosis was the xanax withdrawal.

I am not sure which benzo you are on? If it is one with a short-half life, then maybe one with a longer half-life might be more beneficial for you? I would ask your doc (only if he is approachable in this way). I would also tell him about your concerns of the dangers of sleep deprivation. I have been on so many meds for insomnia it is sad - amitriptyline, trazadone, hydroxyzine, etc., - all of which have failed and come with potentially serious side effects. At this point, I am leaning towards natural sleep aids.

@Sensei provided a very well written and thought out documentation of herbal remedies that includes some great information about sleep aids; although, as with anything and to reiterate the cautions he mentioned, use of these natural remedies needs to be checked against your health, any other meds you may be taking, and food you may be eating (Eg., grapefruit, blood orange, Brussel sprouts, etc.) are known to significantly impact metabolism of some meds (a good drug interaction checker will also tell you of food-drug interactions.) I would definitely check with your doctor as well if they are open to this kind of discussion (I don't have much faith in doctors anymore).

Here is a link to the information provided by Sensei if you have not already seen it.

(@mods, I think Sensei's document should be pinned as a resource - it may well help a lot of people.)

I am so sorry you are having trouble sleeping. Insomnia is horrific IME.

<3
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
kappa

kappa

Student
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
168
Weary Soul said:
Too little sleep is extremely harmful on so many levels and can be dangerous (as you said, falling asleep while driving because of sleep deprivation). And right now, I have total brain fog because of lack of sleep and am not sure I am making sense or if I am actually awake. I feel like I may be sleep-tying right now. : )

I do think that benzos can be extremely helpful, albeit short-term use only as indicated in the product label unless there is absolutely no other choice. (My opinion based on my experience only. I have worked in medicine but am not a doctor, so please take what I write here with that in mind.)

I am not sure why they should not be used as a sleep aid other than the addiction potential. Other sleep aids such as Lunesta and similar meds seem to be worse? Is there new information on this? I have been off benzos for more than 2 years now and have not been keeping up with their guidelines for use and withdrawal.

I took the alprazolam as prescribed, never took more than prescribed, and sometimes took less if my anxiety was not acute, and they worked very, very well.

I never needed a dose adjustment (increase) until about 9 years after I started taking them. Which is very atypical as tolerance can build quickly requiring a dose increase (similar to narcotics). At that time, I spoke to my doc about a slight dose increase and then, out of the blue, he arbitrarily cut me off. I expressed my worries about this approach, and then mentioned what had been learned in the UK decades earlier and how they now approach tapering benzos. I also suggested substituting with another benzo that has a longer half-life, which would have made tapering off benzos easier. He refused to consider it. Well I paid for it - he ruined my life.

I suspect it was because I took them every single day for ~9 years or so that caused the seizure and other severe, severe withdraw symptoms. My brain was very, very used to them and I think my gaba(a) receptor is now completely fried. I did have a number of other potentially confounding factors and strongly suspect that these other factors also led to the seizure. But, according to the docs, the final diagnosis was the xanax withdrawal.

I am not sure which benzo you are on? If it is one with a short-half life, then maybe one with a longer half-life might be more beneficial for you? I would ask your doc (only if he is approachable in this way). I would also tell him about your concerns of the dangers of sleep deprivation. I have been on so many meds for insomnia it is sad - amitriptyline, trazadone, hydroxyzine, etc., - all of which have failed and come with potentially serious side effects. At this point, I am leaning towards natural sleep aids.

@Sensei provided a very well written and thought out documentation of herbal remedies that includes some great information about sleep aids; although, as with anything and to reiterate the cautions he mentioned, use of these natural remedies needs to be checked against your health, any other meds you may be taking, and food you may be eating (Eg., grapefruit, blood orange, Brussel sprouts, etc.) are known to significantly impact metabolism of some meds (a good drug interaction checker will also tell you of food-drug interactions.) I would definitely check with your doctor as well if they are open to this kind of discussion (I don't have much faith in doctors anymore).

Here is a link to the information provided by Sensei if you have not already seen it.

(@mods, I think Sensei's document should be pinned as a resource - it may well help a lot of people.)

I am so sorry you are having trouble sleeping. Insomnia is horrific IME.

<3

Are you in the UK? I am in the US. Some doctors do not seem to happy to prescribe them, especially since I'm not using it for anxiety. I changed doctor's so I could keep getting them refilled.

Besides addiction.. some people in the medical field think that long term use causes early onset dementia. But when I brought this up with a different doctor they did not agree always. Personally I feel like I have memory problems and I'm wondering if it's the benzos.

I don't think 3mg is super high of a dose so you having those withdrawals is scary. I had also been prescribed 3MG of Xanax a day and ended up kind taking more than I needed. Even told them to put in the file to not give them to me after a few OD's. Luckily I was able to get back on them.

I take Ativan now, my psych did suggest a benzo with a longer half life. I wonder if that would work better for staying asleep which is the main problem.

Thank you for the link I will check it out. I started taking Vitamin D after hearing low vitamin D could mess with your sleep. Been on it for months but my vitamin D is still not high enough.

Insomnia is horrible.. I have mental health issues too but are more manageable than physical problems. I could have ripped someone's head off after telling me they were tired.

Hopefully you will do okay. You probably have tried Remeron, but if not it's worth a shot for just the sedating effect. Have you ever tried muscle relaxers? Back in the day Flexeril would put me out in 20 min. Now they have zero effect.
 
  • Hugs
Reactions: ansiedad
Tegan_sky

Tegan_sky

losing hope
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
64
I fell into taking 1 mg a day (.5 during the day, .5 at night) for about 18 months. I never took more unless it was a horrid time falling asleep, in which case the doc said "as needed" I could take a full 1 mg at night (two .5 tablets). But this was not often.

I have found that now, Ativan does nothing for my anxiety. And also now, it seems that it almost stimulates me when I take the night dose. So I am also trying to taper off, from 1 mg/per day, to .75mg/ per day, which I will do for two weeks, then cut it to .5/per day for 4 weeks. Then less after that, if I have to, for 4 weeks at a time. I'm following this taper schedule, attached. For me, I have read that one can end up depressed BECAUSE of Benzos, and I have been more depressed since 18 months ago when I started Ativan regularly. I have had a loss of interest in everything I used to get pleasure from, and physically it can be hard to keep my balance sometimes the next day. I have read too, that you can also have "rebound anxiety" getting the opposite effect of what you take them for. And yes, like I said, now Ativan does not do a thing for my anxiety. For me the worst is how TIRED I am from being on them. I'm tired of being worn out and shaky the next day, not always, but way too often.

I wish you the best getting off of them.
 

Attachments

  • Ativan taper schedule.png
    Ativan taper schedule.png
    1.1 MB · Views: 3
Last edited:
  • Hugs
Reactions: ansiedad
kappa

kappa

Student
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
168
@Tegan_sky good luck with the tapering. I think I will also decrease by .25 instead of .5

I have the same experience with feeling a bit of a pill hangover the next day.

I believe your are correct with getting anxiety while trying off of them.

You might look into Buspar, it’s a non benzo anti anxiety pill.

For sleep have you tried other things? I take the lowest dose of Remeron (anti-depressant) and it can be very sedating.

It will make you very hungry after taking it- and be careful if you make food. You can get very dizzy.. I’ve definitely ending up laying on the kitchen floor while making pasta…
 
  • Like
Reactions: ansiedad
Weary Soul

Weary Soul

Soon I will be free
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
1,063
kappa said:
Are you in the UK? I am in the US. Some doctors do not seem to happy to prescribe them, especially since I'm not using it for anxiety. I changed doctor's so I could keep getting them refilled.

Besides addiction.. some people in the medical field think that long term use causes early onset dementia. But when I brought this up with a different doctor they did not agree always. Personally I feel like I have memory problems and I'm wondering if it's the benzos.

I don't think 3mg is super high of a dose so you having those withdrawals is scary. I had also been prescribed 3MG of Xanax a day and ended up kind taking more than I needed. Even told them to put in the file to not give them to me after a few OD's. Luckily I was able to get back on them.

I take Ativan now, my psych did suggest a benzo with a longer half life. I wonder if that would work better for staying asleep which is the main problem.

Thank you for the link I will check it out. I started taking Vitamin D after hearing low vitamin D could mess with your sleep. Been on it for months but my vitamin D is still not high enough.

Insomnia is horrible.. I have mental health issues too but are more manageable than physical problems. I could have ripped someone's head off after telling me they were tired.

Hopefully you will do okay. You probably have tried Remeron, but if not it's worth a shot for just the sedating effect. Have you ever tried muscle relaxers? Back in the day Flexeril would put me out in 20 min. Now they have zero effect.

Sorry to have not gotten back to you sooner.

I am in the US, and in my area doctors (IMO) unless you get a really good one who can think for themselves, are sheep. I worked with many MDs and DOs in pharma, and the things I saw were truly frightening.

My doctor has now flagged me as an 'addictive personality type.' I did go through severe withdrawals with Xanax (and while 3 mg/day is not necessarily a high dose), I think this was due to the length of time I was on them coupled with the sudden stop - they do not even do this with alcoholics - I cannot fathom what he was thinking of. While I was physiologically addicted to them (my brain was used to them and went haywire when they were withdrawn suddenly), I was not psychologically addicted to them. And I do not have a "addictive personality disorder."

I have probably had almost every pain med out there. Let's see off the top of my head, this would include morphine (craniotomy), IV dilaudid (broken ribs), Demerol (kidney stones), and then the ones that are not as strong for various indications: percocet, hydrocodone, tylenol #3, tramadol, darvocet, etc., If I had an addictive personality disorder, I would be hitting the streets for H to get that high or going to the dark net to find pain meds - I do neither. Also, I have never suffered withdrawal effects from these meds. Same with alcohol - I used to be a functional drinker - I would come home from work and self-medicate my anxiety, insomnia, social anxiety, cPTSD with alcohol. I was able to stop drinking with no problem.

My doctor knows all this, and yet he has flagged me - so it will be difficult for me to get a benzos again in my area. And the absolute worst and infuriating part is that benzos are the only thing that have helped me - I was able to function on them very well (and as you said, at a relatively low dose). Now I can no longer function or support myself - and it is why I am here.

In reference to benzos and dementia (which I had not heard about), the product label for benzos includes a safety risk for retrograde amnesia (I think - would have to look this up).

In any case, through pub med I searched benzodiazepines and dementia to look into this. Every single study that I saw, and I looked at many, could not definitively conclude that benzos are associated with an increased risk of dementia. There were too many potentially confounding factors that could not be controlled for in the statistical modeling (eg, alcohol use, stress, smoking, genetics, family history, etc.). Further, there were other inherent biases that could not be accounted for.

However, just for a moment, suppose that benzos do come with an increased risk for dementia/Alzheimer's - then the benefits of benzos need to be weighed against this risk - and this is true for every single medicine out there. Personally, I think the risks of insomnia are far worse short term (and long term), than the potential risk of dementia when I am older (at least for me).

There are no meds (and I have tried many), that I can take NOW that would help with my symptoms of cPTSD, anxiety, social anxiety, insomnia etc., except benzos not to mention that without the benefit of benzos NOW I have no quality of life and cannot function to support myself. (which led me to being here). So I may as well have dementia now.

I have had flexeril, and it does knock me out at a 10 mg dose, but again, my doctor will not prescribe it. If I had money, I would order it online (US sources) - but I am down to my last pennies so this is not an option.

The other thing that kind of baffles me, is that many people are placed on other, severely toxic and/physiologically addictive medications to treat the symptoms associated with their disorders.
For example, toxic meds such as lithium (prescribed for BPD) or risperidone (prescribed for schizophrenia) come with some pretty severe, and common side effects. Not to mention that antipsychotics and antidepressants can also have severe withdrawal effects as do anticonvulsants such as gabapentin and Lyrica (which are used for neuropathic pain), and yet benzodiazepine use is frowned upon???

Please know I am not negating that BPD, schizophrenia, and/or neuropathic pain are devastating or that people should stop taking their meds. What I am saying is how dare doctors negate the devastating effects of insomnia and severe anxiety and how it impacts quality of life??? There seems to be an insidiously inherent judgmental bias that the impact of insomnia and/or anxiety is negligible compared with other psychiatric conditions. And, IT IS NOT (ok, sorry for the caps - but this angers me!).

My doctor told me that there were no other meds that could help me with insomnia - interestingly, he never prescribed Remeron. If I had a chance to live longer, I would definitely look into finding a new doctor even if I had to drive an hour or more away - or if I had money, I might hit up the dark net to get the treatment that works for me.

As far as I am concerned, health care in the US is a farce (and no offense to anyone - this is just my opinion - what doctors have done to me has completely ruined my life).

For those of you tapering off of benzos, I am with you and wishing you the best.

Please know that what I went through does not mean you will go through the same.

My advice, for what it is worth, would be to take it slow and easy - and most importantly, if you are tapering benzos, please do this at your own pace and what feels right to you. If your doctor does not listen to you, find another.

<3
 
  • Hugs
Reactions: ansiedad

Similar threads

WornOutLife
Replies
7
Views
342
Recovery
Cherry Crumpet
Cherry Crumpet
Life_and_Death
Replies
11
Views
166
Recovery
Life_and_Death
Life_and_Death