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Three years ago I came down with a major case of tinnitus (ringing sensation in ears).  It was high-pitched and so loud it was like trying to sleep with a ringing alarm clock taped to my ears.  After six days of no sleep I was hospitalized.  The only thing that could give me a few hours of sleep was Xanax.  The doctors kept me on this for about five weeks.  It stopped working so they increased the frequency and added Klonopin.  Shortly thereafter, I began to melt down, calling the doctor every few hours with feelings of high anxiety and panic.  He'd say, "Go ahead and take another dose."  The benzos weren't making me sleep anymore and I was so depressed I felt like I was in some alternate reality. I stopped wanting to eat.  Hospitalized again for two weeks.  The diagnosis was benzo tolerance and side effects.  Then followed the worst two weeks of my life, cold turkey benzo withdrawal under observation.  I didn't sleep at all for two weeks, must have paced a hundred miles because I couldn't sit still; it was horrendous.  This was three years ago and I'm still not sleeping very well and still have tinnitus.  This site's been educational for me all through this trauma and as a member I hope to learn more about improving  sleep and reducing anxiety.  I'd also like to use my experience to help others if possible.  Sometimes I still have to use a Xanax if I haven't slept in a couple of days, but my goal is no more than once a month. 
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Hello HighDesertSage, and welcome to the forum! I'm sorry you went through all this, I also was hospital detoxed from xanax in the past, and the resulting symptoms were awful.  Using benzos "as needed" can be very tricky, as it often leads to daily use and dependence.


You'll find plenty of information and support here.  Our members have gone through all aspects of withdrawal, and you're likely to see  people who understand what you're going through and can tell you what has worked for them.  For those who are currently tapering, we suggest reducing no faster than 5-10% every 10-14 days.  One exception: very short-term users of a few weeks or less may be able to taper faster than that.


Here are a few links you may find useful:


Withdrawal Support Board


The Ashton Manual is an authoritative source on what to expect in withdrawal and recovery.  Dr. Ashton is an expert in the field.  She describes and explains withdrawal symptoms in Chapter III, and there is also a section with withdrawal/taper schedules.


Please take the time to Create a Signature.  This will allow others to see where you are in the process so they can better support you.


Again, welcome!





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