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Are We Recovering During Our Tapers? Or Just Prolonging The Problem?


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Coming off 1mg of Klonopin.

 

And I feel awful. Been tapering for around 6 weeks and now at .375 mg. Perhaps a bit too quickly? But I didn't feel terrible until I got below .5mg.

 

I realize that stopping this stuff cold turkey isn't ever a good idea. And that a cross taper to Valium is often recommended. But I really want to be off this medication.

 

Is my brain already healing during this taper?

 

Or will it only really begin to heal once I'm totally off this stuff. A really slow taper may take 6+ months if I'm reading these forums correctly. Am I just prolonging the discomfort? If so, I'm thinking of just biting the bullet and jumping off at .25. No matter how uncomfortable I become. At least it will be over.

 

Thought would be greatly appreciated!

 

E

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Hi Etienne,

 

I absolutely believe we heal as we taper.  Otherwise, why taper at all.

 

Your taper seems pretty fast to me.  I could have never tapered that quickly, but kudos to you.  :thumbsup:

 

With benzos, slow and steady wins the race, as they say.

 

I wouldn't have dared jump at .25 mg.  That would have been too high for me.  Why be in a rush to jump, if you can taper slowly and ride out your taper feeling decent.  I'm not speaking for everyone, but definitely for myself.

 

Another thing I wanted to mention is that when you start getting down to the lower doses (like .5 mg and below), many folks have to slow down their taper even more.

 

I tapered directly from Klonopin, rather than crossing over to Valium.

 

Wishing you all the best.  :thumbsup:

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Thank you for the feedback!

 

Looking at your taper schedule, it looks like there are some months where you went down quicker than others.

 

Was this based on how you felt? Or did you stick to a rigid schedule? Did you notice the cuts as they happened or were you totally unaware of them?

 

Am sticking at .375 for right now but thinking of jumping back up to .5 to stabilize. I just feel like I'm coming out of my skin. It's such a nasty feeling. And while it could be anxiety, I just haven't felt this way in years. And when I do remember feeling this way, it's directly tied to reducing benzos.

 

I feel totally nuts right now.

 

Thank you!

 

E

 

 

 

 

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Hey Etienne,

 

I'm still on my K taper. There's been many BenzoBuddies (BB's) who have both crossed to Valium from K and tapered down or have successfully directly tapered from K, like DisneyGirl. Personally, for now I'm sticking with the direct K taper, because I can only imagine a cross to Valium being horrific and cutting more into my fragile mental health. Valium tapers are easier partially because the dosages come much lower than K; those of us doing K tapers must shave the pills using razors, do liquid formulas, or other acrobatics. Crossing to Valium won't magically relieve your anxiety; in fact, it may make it worse.

 

Holding for a while and hopefully "stabilizing" is probably your best bet, although, as DisneyGirl pointed out, your taper was probably too fast (as was mine!). If you're not feeling well after two weeks or so, perhaps you should updose and try again much slower, although please consult with a psychiatrist about this first! I've been holding at .75mg for almost 3 months, after making a .25mg cut down from 1mg, which was my usual dose for nearly 10 years. At first, I felt only "fairly bad," then by early August I felt super bad, and thought constantly about going to the psych ward. Now I'm a bit better, not 100% by any means but good enough to continue tapering, I think. By all evidence that I've gathered, tapering is recommended so as not to send the nervous system into shock; cold-turkeyiers do heal, but they have much more horrendous symptoms and often take longer to be better. As to whether healing is going on during the taper, I'm not sure. Tapering versus cold-turkey seems to me the difference between controlled madness and utter, destructive madness. Like taking a wrecking ball to a decayed skyscraper, or just nuking it with an atom bomb. Either way is ruin and chaos, but the collateral damage to your health is what is controlled in tapering.

 

Anyhow, do check out the direct tapering methods for K - that's why I'm in this forum right now :). I see myself enjoying shaving little bits off the pill with a razor, rather than dealing with a blender and liquid preps and all that stuff. Or maybe I'll bite the bullet and pay for a compounding pharmacy to prepare my taper. See what's best for you.

 

Best of luck!

Nemo

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Hi Etienne,

 

I get that you absolutely do not want to spin this process out.You sound exactly like I was. After a failed first attempt (I was having hallucinations among other things) I realized i was going to have to go through withdrawal and I needed to be serious about a taper. I settled on two rules for my next taper, it had to be simple and as aggressive as I could withstand and still be functional. It was tedious! The constant cut-wave-window-stronger wave-window-next cut for months was wearing. I still contemplated going cold turkey at various points just to get it over with, but I had the memory of my first failed taper and I wanted this to be my last.

 

I have been clonzapam free now for 45 days. The sxs are not entirely gone but I'm getting better. My days are always good with just a few issues to resolve.

 

I would say from my experience don't be fearful of pushing yourself, but listen to your body and dial back if needed. As mentioned above, sometimes slow and steady gets you there quicker.

 

Best wishes. It sounds like you'll do fine.

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I had been pondering and discussing this very same thing with a friend - whether dragging it out is just prolonging it and delaying healing.  So I want to thank you Rialto for writing your experience.  I am tapering from klonopin, and your taper schedule is like the one I am currently doing.  Pondering myself over this has caused its own anxiety/stress for me.

 

Very glad you posted, thank you again - now I don't have to think/stress about it anymore and just do the taper I set out and know I am healing as I taper.

 

Thank you too, Eiteen for posing this question at the perfect time.  I too, just thought about c/t to get it over with. Now I know that won't be the best path for me.

 

God works in mysterious ways, because I generally stay away from a lot of the threads on this forum.  This is the most helpful post I've read.

 

Good luck to all, we will do this, and many thanks to all who give invaluable information and relay their own experiences.

 

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Thank you for the feedback!

 

Looking at your taper schedule, it looks like there are some months where you went down quicker than others.

 

Was this based on how you felt? Or did you stick to a rigid schedule? Did you notice the cuts as they happened or were you totally unaware of them?

 

Am sticking at .375 for right now but thinking of jumping back up to .5 to stabilize. I just feel like I'm coming out of my skin. It's such a nasty feeling. And while it could be anxiety, I just haven't felt this way in years. And when I do remember feeling this way, it's directly tied to reducing benzos.

 

I feel totally nuts right now.

 

Thank you!

 

E

Most months in the latter part of my taper were pretty slow.  Earlier in the taper, sometimes I'd hold longer if I had some kind of life event.

 

Oh yes, I noticed the cuts.  Mostly insomnia and nausea, but towards the end, only symptom has been insomnia.

 

I think the way you are feeling is because of the benzo w/d.  I'd slow down for sure, to feel try and feel better.

 

:thumbsup:

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I am a complete novice but if I make a cut and feel it a few days later and then the symptoms go away or reduce over the next few days surely I must be either healing or getting use to a lower dose, is getting used to a lower dose healing? I think in my novice way it is.
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Quick update:

 

Went back up to .5mg this morning and think I'm coming out of a very bad w/d spiral. Light-headedness and utter panic are fading.

 

Starting to feel a bit more grounded and less insane.

 

Based on the feedback here (and talking with my doctor), I'm going to get stable.  Hopefully at .5mg... (Still a 50% reduction in the 1mg I was at 2 months ago) and try again....

 

Perhaps 5% per week. Slow and steady.

 

If I can't function through strong cuts, I'm not going to make it. Smaller cuts will hopefully not send me into orbit.

 

I'm going to do this... it just may take awhile!

 

All the best and thank you for the support!

 

E

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Yes, the very moment you stop taking these pills the healing begins. But this is a very long process, so it might feel things are getting worse. You're body needs to detox, re-adjust and heal.
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My belief is the faster you taper the longer it will take to get this behind you.  How could this be?  Glutamate damage.  If you go slow, you can avoid it.  If you go fast, it tacks on a lot of time.

 

Before we begin tapering we are already damaged.  We have down regulated GABA receptors - basically we lack them and the brain cannot function without the assistance of the drug.  Slow tapering creates a slight drug shortage and a rise in the excitement level in the brain.  The brain senses this and acts to calm itself down by adding back receptors.  This is a very good thing - it is healing.  But if we go too fast we become too short of benzo, and this creates too much excitement.  At some point the brain cannot handle it and goes kind of haywire, resulting in nasty, long-lasting damage involving the glutamate system.  This is really the culprit.

 

So, to me, the goal of a taper is to stay out of glutamate damage.  Go slow enough to keep symptoms at bay - near or at zero.  If you don't you'll start accumulating glutamate damage.  You'll still heal eventually, but it is an additional, avoidable brain injury that will take much longer to heal.  And it will be a lousy, disabling experience for god knows how long - months or even years.

 

This is my understanding of the problem.

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My belief is the faster you taper the longer it will take to get this behind you.  How could this be?  Glutamate damage.  If you go slow, you can avoid it.  If you go fast, it tacks on a lot of time.

 

Before we begin tapering we are already damaged.  We have down regulated GABA receptors - basically we lack them and the brain cannot function without the assistance of the drug.  Slow tapering creates a slight drug shortage and a rise in the excitement level in the brain.  The brain senses this and acts to calm itself down by adding back receptors.  This is a very good thing - it is healing.  But if we go too fast we become too short of benzo, and this creates too much excitement.  At some point the brain cannot handle it and goes kind of haywire, resulting in nasty, long-lasting damage involving the glutamate system.  This is really the culprit.

 

So, to me, the goal of a taper is to stay out of glutamate damage.  Go slow enough to keep symptoms at bay - near or at zero.  If you don't you'll start accumulating glutamate damage.  You'll still heal eventually, but it is an additional, avoidable brain injury that will take much longer to heal.  And it will be a lousy, disabling experience for god knows how long - months or even years.

 

This is my understanding of the problem.

 

Great post!

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Coming off 1mg of Klonopin.

 

And I feel awful. Been tapering for around 6 weeks and now at .375 mg. Perhaps a bit too quickly? But I didn't feel terrible until I got below .5mg.

 

I realize that stopping this stuff cold turkey isn't ever a good idea. And that a cross taper to Valium is often recommended. But I really want to be off this medication.

 

Is my brain already healing during this taper?

 

Or will it only really begin to heal once I'm totally off this stuff. A really slow taper may take 6+ months if I'm reading these forums correctly. Am I just prolonging the discomfort? If so, I'm thinking of just biting the bullet and jumping off at .25. No matter how uncomfortable I become. At least it will be over.

 

Thought would be greatly appreciated!

 

E

 

I wondered the same and actually posted subject topic titled "5 week taper with 6 week use...too long?" I want off just as bad because right around 6 weeks I noticed muscle spasms and unwanted jerking and that's when I started tapering. I wish i could of gotten off right then due to the side effects but of course tapering is always suggested. Maybe I'm going faster than recommended. But the withdrawal symptoms I feel (broken sleep, sweating, hot flashes, hypersensitive, tension in neck) when i cut is the same symptoms I would feel even in the beginning few weeks of taking it. So for me I just measure it as nothing different and keep pressing on with the taper.

 

Would anyone know if you develop bad side effects early on do you make the possibility of it lingering around longer even when off the med due to the additional weeks of tapering added?

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Etienne,

 

You started in July ? My suggestion would be not to taper very slowly. Often, no matter what the drug tends to be very harsh.

The longer you stay on the drug, the more your body will adapt to its presence.

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SG57, wonderful post and I agree 100%, and those who may disagree, and take the chances of going off fast that is their choice, but the one thing I know we can never be off of this if we do not have a starting point. There is nothing in stone that we will never heal, but we won't for sure if we never start a taper. I have been there done that, and now I am heading the right direction slow and willing to wait it out. I am not worried about the medication being in me, I am just thankful that I have come down from 10mg of Valium to 1.28mg, and if it takes 3 more years so be it, because I am Healing slowly.
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  • 1 month later...

I don't believe I have healed by tapering

I cold turkeyed then fast tapered now micro and am worse than ever

Literally burning all over at 1mg v after 8 mos taper

That's just me

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I don't believe I have healed by tapering

I cold turkeyed then fast tapered now micro and am worse than ever

Literally burning all over at 1mg v after 8 mos taper

That's just me

 

Jackson.... I wouldn't count myself down yet if I were you.... I think what you are experiencing are w/d side effects that just caught up with you .... I think you said you did pretty good during most of your taper?heres some hope:

 

There was a guy on here that was cold turkeyed and reinstated so many times and he dry micro tapered valium and was very very symptomatic the whole way down and he just did a 5 month video where he feels he's much better than he thought he'd be but of course he still has some neuro issues that he said needs to heal but he's hopeful. And that things didnt turn out as bad as he thought they would even after he jumped... Even though he's had rough patches....

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My belief is the faster you taper the longer it will take to get this behind you.  How could this be?  Glutamate damage.  If you go slow, you can avoid it.  If you go fast, it tacks on a lot of time.

 

Before we begin tapering we are already damaged.  We have down regulated GABA receptors - basically we lack them and the brain cannot function without the assistance of the drug.  Slow tapering creates a slight drug shortage and a rise in the excitement level in the brain.  The brain senses this and acts to calm itself down by adding back receptors.  This is a very good thing - it is healing.  But if we go too fast we become too short of benzo, and this creates too much excitement.  At some point the brain cannot handle it and goes kind of haywire, resulting in nasty, long-lasting damage involving the glutamate system.  This is really the culprit.

 

So, to me, the goal of a taper is to stay out of glutamate damage.  Go slow enough to keep symptoms at bay - near or at zero.  If you don't you'll start accumulating glutamate damage.  You'll still heal eventually, but it is an additional, avoidable brain injury that will take much longer to heal.  And it will be a lousy, disabling experience for god knows how long - months or even years.

 

This is my understanding of the problem.

 

:thumbsup:I agree with SG, great post. We do heal "partially" during taper. In order to fully heal, we need to be off. In my experience Taper Period is not a waste of time, it is an investment. I wish I had known better and not doing my rapid taper at the begining, 50% cut in 12 days, two months after that I was feeling very badly.

Clona

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Yes _ I agree with SG, too, and I feel the Z drugs should be slowly tapered - perhaps not as long as other benzos but slowly.  I was very, very ill on a 3 month taper off of Lunesta.  I felt I was dying.  I took 10 months the second time.  Thanks for your assistance, BTW, SG.  WBB
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Yes sorry don't mean to be negative

I honestly feel whatever underlying medical stuff I have going on is complicating things

Steroid shot destroyed me and antibiotics which led to benzo

But I was just doing .25 per month

I think I screwed up bc I didn't hold while sick

And I used levabuterol for my asthma and since this last virus not the same

I am holding at 1mg and will hold even for 3-4 mos if I need to to stabilize but am feeling very badly

Like super bad. Scary. Heart goes out to everyone struggling

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