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I did it You can too


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I have been benzo free for 1 year. I got encouragement from the posts in this forum and so would like to encourage others that it can be done. I was given alprazolam (xanax) for "anxiety" by a doctor when I visited because of a feeling in my head that I had difficulty describing. This was after having a virus infection. I was given 1mg twice per day. I felt better while on it but every time I attempted to come off the feeling in my head intensified and other symptoms came on board. I was sent to a psychiatrist who told me it was because of the virus infection and I should accept that I am sick. I was given wellbutrin to ease me off the xanax but this was useless so I stopped taking it. I was down to 1mg each morning but every time I tried to take it alternate days as suggested by the doctor I got worse. One day I said to myself: "girl you must be getting dependent on this thing". I looked up dependency on alprazolam on the internet and realized I was dependent on it. I also learnt that I could taper off it. I tapered to .25mg each morning and decided to stop taking it after two weeks, as I just could not stand the symptoms at the start of each taper. I was ok for 3 weeks and then the symptoms returned with a vengeance. I went back on it and changed doctors. I was placed on paxil which had no effect. I was then placed on the xanax with the paxil. That had no effect. I was then placed on prozac with the xanax with no change. I was sent to another doctor who tapered me slowly off the xanax. He sent me to a pharmacy which gave me the xanax in liquid format. This was easier to measure when tapering. Two months after taking my last dose I returned to my new doctor with the same funny feeling in my head only to be told that the middle passage of my ears were blocked. She could not have diagnosed it before getting me off the xanax. I have been symptom free for about 8 months.


If you are currently on a benzo try to get it in liquid format and taper slowly. You can do it. I did.

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Hello, and welcome to the forum! Congratulations on getting off xanax, and I'm glad your middle ear issue was resolved.


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, and some taper even slower than that.  One exception: very short-term users of a few weeks or less may be able to taper faster than that.  Having some withdrawal symptoms is normal, especially near the end of a taper and for a month or so after discontinuing the medication.  The most common symptoms are anxiety and insomnia, but these are temporary and will go away in time.


Here are a few links you may find useful:


Post 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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