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Old 03-27-2009, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just so you know about benzos


This is not my story, it is lifted off a benzo withdrawal forum.

This person withdrew from benzos after only 12 months of as-prescribed use.
These are the symptoms, and they mirrored mine exactly. This is what awaits many many people when they withdraw.

here we go...


"...Here is a summary of what the "professional psychiatric treatment"
(Drugs) I received did for my moderate anxiety problem-

Physiological symptoms-in order of severity

Excruciating depression
Debilitating anxiety
Severe Agoraphobia
Panic attacks
Depersonalization/ Derealization
Confusion-Inability to comprehend the simplest things
Complete dysfunction- not showering or brushing teeth etc.
Psychotic symptoms- acting insane, thought I was going mad
Agitation- constant need to throw things, damaged ceilings/floors
Nightmares- waking in a horrific surreal state of mind.
Screaming/obsceniti es- just ask the police who came to my house
Repeating words and responses to questions, ok, ok, ok, ok., oků
Emotional blunting-completely dead of any emotions, no feelings
Outbursts of rage and aggression- holes in the walls to prove it.
Fear-Feelings of death and impending doom
Suicidal feelings- constantly begged God and wife to kill me.
Intrusive thoughts-including many episodes of blasphemy
Obsessive thoughts-Thinking you have some awful disease
Loss of faith/joy- I loved to study theology.
Loss of memory
Etc.

Physical symptoms- in order of severity

Severe insomnia- more than 8 months with virtually no sleep
Extreme fatigue/exhaustion
Joint aches and pains-constant for the last 6 months
Muscles- wasting, aches and pains
Extreme weakness-small objects felt extremely heavy
Urinary problems- had Cystoscopy, CT scan - nothing found
Bowel problems- had Colonoscopy - nothing found
Epididymis lumps/pain- 2 Ultrasounds and MRI- nothing found
Abdominal pain-lower left
Shoulder aches and pains
Rapid weight loss, about 75 lbs.
Face numbness, tingling-from anxiety
Hypersensitivity to being touched, sight, smell, and sound.
Heavy feeling on body, like someone was pushing me down
Edema- swelling in feet, ankles and legs
Lack of sebum from oil glands- dry fingers/hands and eyes
Skin problems - numbness, tingling, dry, burning
Dry mouth-excessive thirst
Tension headaches
Blurred vision, seeing spots, flashes, glassy eyes
Loss of taste, especially salt
Dental pain-teeth feel strange
Bradycardia (slow heartbeat/pulse)
Tinnitus-mild
Etc.

Other interesting highlights-

I spent 13 days going to a mental hospital as an outpatient, because
my "expert" doctor with his 40 years of experience just couldn't
understand why I was having so much trouble rapidly tapering off the
benzo's. The doctor at the Psych hospital suggested I should get
Electro Shock Therapy. I almost did it because I thought I needed it.
God, where would I be now if I did that.

I lost my job in February after 6 months of disability. After that, I
couldn't take the stress anymore so I went on an alcohol binge, then
a sleeping pill binge, then a benzo binge and finally I went on a
gambling binge which empted my savings account.

If that's not bad enough, during my alcohol binge, I fell down and
smashed my face, which broke my nose. I think I had a concussion
because I was extremely dizzy for several weeks after the fall, which
is why I ran my truck into a ditch on the way to the casino. My truck
was totaled and I bruised some ribs. Its amazing I survived all of
that, but here I am.

Ok, so how am I today?

I have made remarkable progress from the darkest days of this hellish
nightmare for sure, even through I thought I never would. No one
thinks I am crazy anymore. No more severe physiological symptoms or
insomnia. I will never take sleep for granted again, or anything else
for that matter.

I still have a lot of the issues that I listed above, but generally
speaking, most of them have gotten much better. A few of the things
that bother me the most now are-

Mild to moderate agoraphobia
Constant joint aches and pains-starting to improve
Increased Anxiety/stress- that's easy to understand
Mild depression- mostly discouragement/ feelings of hopelessness
Urinary problems
Edema- that comes and goes.
Lack of sebum /oil-fingers and hands waterlog almost instantly
Mild to moderate fatigue-little energy
Mild weakness
Overeating- gained back 85 lbs
Reestablishing my faith/joy- I miss that so much
Rebuilding my life-what a horrible mess! Deeply in debt.
Bitterness and anger
Etc.

I still haven't been able to return to work, still a bit
dysfunctional, but I hope that will change soon. It's sad because I
am not sure if I will be able to return to my old company of 21
years, because my job was very stressful and I don't know if I can
handle that anymore. I don't know what I am going to do.

I just try to focus on one day at a time, it's just so easy to get
overwhelmed with everything that's happened. It's hard not to look
back at all I have lost, its so discouraging. This whole ordeal has
left me very bitter, especially at the doctor who did this to me. I
am trying to forgive, but that hasn`t been an easy thing to do.

Thank you for listening, and thanks to the owners and moderators of
this group. It has been a wonderful help in my recovery. I've learned
a lot about benzodiazepines the hard way."

Take benzos at your own peril.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't have any of those physical symptoms but I have several of the mental symptoms
1. anxiety 2.Panic attacks 3.Depersonalization/ Derealization 4.Nightmares(more like conflict dreams)5.Fear 6.Intrusive thoughts

So I have 6 out of 20 of the mental withdrawl symptoms. I haven't taken a xanax in 6 days. I only took .5 - 1 mg every 3-4 days. I foolishly thought since I was taking below my prescribed dose I would be o.k. In fact I kinda quit taking them again to see if they had grabbed ahold of me,and sure enough they did!

****DISCLAIMER****
I am not saying for you not to take Benzos... just think about the downfalls long and hard before you start.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Even "natural" and herbal remedies have side effects. The only difference between them and medications that doctors tend to prescribe is that the medications are required by law to state the side effects and possible dangers. Natural and herbal remedies do not have that requirement.

That said. I think it is wonderful that there are people who can deal with their mental illness without the use of medication. I for one choose not to live in hell because I am afraid to take medications that can help me live a productive life. This is a personal choice and I neither recommend it or discourage anyone from talking to their doctor regarding their options as far as medications go.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Puddy, that person's experience includes binging on benzos, rapid tapering and long-term use. Those are all no-nos. I have used benzos in the past to manage uncontrollable anxiety, and had no problems - in fact, they helped tremendously, as the enabled me to do CBT therapy, which in turn took care of my anxiety disorder for good.

Benzos are useful only when used responsibly, as directed, and under the supervision of a competent psychiatrist.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You know it just might be me,but I'm beginning to think all my posts on this board are being takin the wrong way.Just from the responses I get I think people think I'm bragging.... WELL I'M NOT! I'm struggling my ass off. I thought this place was supposed to be about sharing ESH, I don't see it that way. And all me and puddy are saying is be carefull, I'm sorry the "mental health clique" can't see that. Oh and Puddy put in at the top of his post "This person withdrew from benzos after only 12 months of as-prescribed use."(not binging) I personally didn't abuse them either so why are my withdrawls so nasty? Poeple here definatly only read what they wanna read.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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No one put anyone down. Please take a deep breath and relax. You shared YOUR experience. Others are sharing THEIR OWN experience.
Just because our experience is different, does not make either of us wrong; It's just different.
We hear the "be careful."

There is no "clique" here. Not at all.
And name calling is not very helpful to anyone is it?
We're all here for the same reasons. To help and be helped.
That is the goal and purpose of SR.

I do not see any good in the original post, personally. there is no source given. Without a source, it could be from any peice of trash source on the web. We don't know! I want to know the validity of the infomation I'm reading. Without knowing, the post means nothing.

Furthermore, Matt's post is more than true. Let add that the op stated they went on a drinking binge; a benzo binge; a gambling binge.....and blames all the problems s/he has on the "Prescribed use of the med." OK. And I've got some swamp land in Fl to sell you too. Wanna buy it?

We know that you don't approve of the legally prescribed use of benzo's Puddy.
And many of us have said that it's been beneficial for our recovery.
Different shared experience.
It's *not* a contest.

This board is not here to shove any difinitive "fact" down anyone's throat.
It's about sharing our experience.
We've done that.
Thank you.

Shalom!
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Last edited by historyteach; 03-28-2009 at 08:54 AM. Reason: per reader request
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My husband has about 85% of these symptoms. I thought he was loosing his mind myself and wondered how the heck I was going to be able to deal with him like this for the next 6 mo. Thank you for posting this. It will help me when he is going through something to reassure him that it's probably just another manifestation of the benzo withdrawal and it shall soon pass.

Thank you!
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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All I was doing was trying to help.. I'm sorry my posts seem to be mistakin for anything else. Oh and MrsMagoo If your husband if suffering from the physical symtoms too I would go to a DR/ER. I don't know what dose he was on but it sounds like more then my .5-1mg every 2-3 days. Doing it without medical supervision isn't wise. I'm just a dummy :P
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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J Rock try to be open minded here. It's possible maybe this benzo persons Dr made a misdiagnosis.

My first time on ssri's "paxil" the experience was horrible and with ativan on top of it I was too out of it to know that the er doc had double dosed my body weight and as time went on I got worse and worse. I cut off cold turkey and the symptoms well might as well copy your list.
Second time on Paxil's and lorazepams(ativan's) Had four beer took a nap experienced amnesia(combo of beer and ativan) and got in the car blacked out behind the wheel and lost my lisence 3 yrs. Got very suicidal after and just kept getting worse.

I got off the paxils, with major nasty withdrawls, talked with the pro's several' and had changed my meds to effexors and seroquels. The change in meds made all the difference in the world.
I have no doubt what that person experienced actually happened. I know how bad it can be. I also know if you put your health first and don't give up you will find solutions that work. I'm too solitary to be cliquey and I have learned a multitude from here over the past 7 years from all kinds of people with all kinds of disorders. We care here so please don't be too hard on us.

P.S adjusting to meds can take up to four months before you neurotransmiters and brain chemicals rebalance to healthy levels, it's hard but not as hard as the mental illness.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I hear what you are saying Gail. Thankyou
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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MrsMagoo,
Please keep your doctor informed of any severe problems.
we often assume that problems are due to withdrawal,
when they could be a manifestation of something else entirely.
Only the doc can tell for sure.
And none of us here are docs.

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Old 03-28-2009, 09:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Definately.....as I said we are all uniquely different and keeping appointments and even writing down symptoms and doubts so you can remember when you do get to that appointment helps. Often the anxiety of being at that appointment triggers anxiety and memory. Writing it down really helps my doc.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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JRock, I apologize if my message came across the wrong way. I was commenting on Puddy's post. Pdocs should carefully asses the need to prescribe benzos for extended periods of time - 12 months is considered long term.

As for your own symptoms, has a doctor checked them? I experienced most of those - the derealization was particularly hellish - and they were symptoms of panic disorder + generalized anxiety disorder.

By the way, my personal experience with Xanax was bad. Lots of rebound anxiety in between doses, light-headedness, etc. When I told my doctor about them, she switched me to another agent. We all react differently to medication, and benzos are no exception. Hope this helps
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattcake79 View Post
12 months is considered long term.
Is this considered long term for daily dosing or PRN? I did a quick search but didn't find any info. I would hope I don't get shut down after a year or barely using them cause I'm scared to like them too much. Xanax 0.5 mg really helps me when i am so anxious I cannot leave the house.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott View Post
Is this considered long term for daily dosing or PRN? I did a quick search but didn't find any info. I would hope I don't get shut down after a year or barely using them cause I'm scared to like them too much. Xanax 0.5 mg really helps me when i am so anxious I cannot leave the house.
You should definitely discuss this with you pdoc. Generally speaking, benzos should be prescribed for the shortest time possible. However, some people take them for longer. Ideally, you should seek out other ways to manage your anxiety - CBT works for a lot of people. Make sure to work together with your pdoc
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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There's no need to apologize Mattcake. I'm the one who takes things the wrong way. I need to work on chilling out,not too easy while trying to come off the xanax. :P
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I here ya Jrock. Are you sure your ready to come off the Xanax, how long have you been on.
I ask because three times I took myself off meds too soon sure I could tough it out and handle it. Sadly in my case it doesn't work and I and my doctors know I will probably have to stay on them for years. I shouldn't say sadly because I finally accepted that it's ok to be on professional meds and that it's ok for me to admitt I need the help.
That and I am very fortunate to live in canada and have a good benefit plan through my company. Only costs me $4.00 per prescription. I love my union.
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have been on .5 Xanax for some time now. Not all at once, sometimes I'll take .25 in the middle of the night if I wake up with anxiety issues, and then I'll take another .25 before I go to work, but Ive been really good at not exceeding my prescribed dosage which is no more than .5mg per day.

Some days I'll only take .25, or on my days off work I may not take any at all.

All this talk about Benzo withdraw really is frightening, I don't think I have what it takes to quit right now.
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If it's working and making your health better.............

As addicts or alcoholic's I think we feel guilt any time real medications are given to us. It's an area that's not discussed much here.

Med's are not booze or drugs, they aren't illegal and usually many end up being involved when you are on them to help.

It's part of the solution, not the sickness.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I thought this thread was closed? It is the damndest thing, isn’t it? Some people can quit these meds with no significant side affects and others are in agony for many months or years. Is it withdrawal or the emergence of the underlying condition suggesting that maybe they should not have quit taking their meds?

I should also mention that I know people that have been on benzos for decades with no problem at all – well not from the benzos according to them. In fact, if you want to pull stories off the internet, just Google “Xanax vs. Klonopin for Panic Disorder” and you can read many of their stories. I guess that’s why we have doctors. Then again may of them don’t agree, but they have education, training, and licenses.

I also read that some people are allergic to strawberries or peanuts. What does this mean?

Here, never mind Google:

Klonopin for Panic disorder / agoraphobia - User ratings & reviews - Revolution Health

Look to the right of this webpage. People with Panic Disorder rate Xanax and Klonopin. It is very close, but both drugs score very high. There are 260 Xanax ratings and 190 Klonopin ratings.

I have to tell you guys (and gals) that are making recommendations for others; it always works better if you stick to your own experience. That way, you are never wrong.
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