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20 months benzo free


[ke...]

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I haven’t been on the benzo board in awhile and thought I would return to convey my success story.

 

In September of 2014 I had health issues which resulted in an ativan prescription.  Within a few weeks, I was addicted. All it took was 1 mg a day.

 

I didn’t actually realize I was addicted until I stopped taking ativan cold turkey.  By the third day I was a wreck.  I went back on the ativan at 1 mg and planned to titrate down gradually.  This worked for a while, until I found I couldn’t cut the pills any smaller. I asked my pharmacist to provide my script in an oral suspension, which enabled me to tritrate down in tiny amounts every few weeks.  I started the oral suspension of ativan in December of 2014, and by February of 2015 I had successfully weaned myself off.

 

I would highly recommend using an oral suspension of a benzo to titrate down.  I also took omega 2 caps, which work WONDERS for side effects. 

 

It’s important to know the difference between the rebound anxiety which results from benzo withdrawal, and a return of your anxiety disorder.  If you have an anxiety disorder, be sure to start another medication BEFORE you attempt benzo withdrawal.  I’ve seen many people with anxiety disorders carefully plan their benzo withdrawal but fail, simply because they didn’t seek alternate treatment for their condition. 

 

The rebound anxiety which results from benzo withdrawal is common, and you have to steel yourself for that. You may feel that in varying degrees, but it gets better every day.  I had rebound anxiety for a couple of months after my successful withdrawal.  I just sucked it up and powered through it.  ;D

 

Good luck to everyone.  You can do it. 

 

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That's awesome! Congrats on your success! I'm so happy for you  ;)

 

Do you mind me asking when your benzo anxiety went away? Approximately how many months? Thanks!!

 

 

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It took a few months. I finished the benzo plan in February, and I think by the end of April it had largely dissipated. It didn’t help that I was selling my house and moving at the same time. :)

 

It occurred in the morning, funnily enough, then went away.  My doc said that was typical.  I also had vision problems, I recall, for awhile too. 

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[e2...]
Hello keepingfaith thanks for sharing your success story. I wanted to ask about your comment about starting a med for anxiety before starting to taper off the benzo. I started taking Xanax for panic attacks. I tried a couple of AD which only made my panic attacks and anxiety worse so I refuse to try others.  I've always been unable to tell the difference between tolerance withdrawal anxiety and the anxiety that I prompted me to start the Xanax. I do know that I was not having a constant feeling of anxiety before taking Xanax so I believe what I'm experiencing is from the benzo. Did you start another med before tapering?  Thanks again for sharing your experience and congrats on your success!!
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Hi Healingsoul;

 

thanks for you kind words. :)

 

No, I wasn’t on any other medication other than ativan and didn’t take any other med to taper.  My need for ativan was based on anxiety due to a cancer scare, which fortunately had a happy outcome.  (I had been on effexor previously, but was no longer taking it or needing it when I started the ativan.)

 

AD’s affect everyone differently, for sure. Did you try Paxil?  That’s often prescribed for PTSD and associated panic attacks, and many have found it helpful.

 

It is hard for people with pre-existing anxiety disorders to tell the difference between rebound anxiety and the emergence of anxiety issues, compared to those who were prescribed benzos purely for health issues (i.e., seizure disorders).  In the latter case, the discontinuation anxiety is clearly rebound; in the former, it’s likely rebound and some degree of symptom re-emergence.

 

Unless you have reason to conclude that you no longer suffer from panic attacks, it’s possible that at least some of the anxiety you’re feeling now may be the re-emergence of your original problem. 

 

Just something to keep in mind as you continue your tapering plan.  Knowledge is power.  :thumbsup:

 

 

 

 

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