Jump to content
Important Survey - Please Participate ×

My story - Any insights, help, anything you can offer would be a blessing.


[co...]

Recommended Posts

I'm new to the forum and this is my first post so please bare with me.

 

I'm not sure what I'm going through or why. But here is my story and maybe someone can shed some light on this nightmare. I started taking Ativan about 3 years ago; only in very small amounts (.25mg - .50) when needed (like once a month). Mostly for work and interview related needs (I was a top sales manager for a large company and I've been doing that kind of work for about 15 years). In my second year of Benzo related use, I started to take it more often, then I was taking it in the morning to go to work, then I was taking it during work. Then I had a nervous breakdown, and took 3 months off. Mirtazapine and Abilify got me back to work for two months, then I convinced myself that I no longer wanted to work there again because of the stress and anxiety I was experiencing. I took more time off and they eventually gave me a severance. Safe to say I'm not working anymore. In fact, I haven't worked in 1.5 yrs. When I had to leave my job, everything spiralled downwards; fast. I saw several psychiatrists who tried me on all sorts of medications. I even did ECT (8 sessions) which seemed to help but only lasted about 2-3 weeks. Then I was back on the medi-go-round. I was only able to tolerate 2 (out of the 10-12 different AD's I tried) for longer than 8 weeks (Zoloft & Mirtazapine). But they didn't really do anything except bring me terrible side effects which I believe made me worse than I was. And I was never able to get up to the Therapeutic dose for Zoloft.

 

I was diagnosed with Major Depression and Chronic Anxiety in January 2015. And I became both of these very quickly and have now totally lodged those labels into my psyche after researching everything possible over the past year. I was also prescribed Clonazepam 0.5 mg to 1 mg last June (2015). I've tried to wean of twice since then with no success - with only a few weeks until I was back at my doctors asking for help (another prescription). The last start was approx. 6 months ago (0.5 mg Clonazepam). I started another taper with my Dr's approval starting early September 2016. Moved over to Diazepam 4mg once I was down to .25mg of Clonazepam. I got down to 2 mg of Diazepam from 4 mg in about 4 weeks although I was still feeling suicidal (and have been for most of this year) but wanted to get off the Benzos desperately. I've been to the hospital twice this year but they won't do anything. I went to an addiction treatment centre for two weeks (October) where they put me on Chlordiazepoxide for a week then stopped. I've now been completely off Benzos for 4 weeks. Every day has been a nightmare; I'm not sure if I'm going nuts, if I have Schizophrenia, if it's the Benzo withdrawal, or what. But the anxiety is disabling and unbearable... as it has been for many many months. I also don't have much to do except go to the gym and try to keep my sanity intact to the best of my ability. Not working is slowly killing me. I have a supportive wife (who is growing tired and frustrated), and a supportive family who don't know what to do. I have a couple of friends who still keep in touch and have tried to help.

 

I have extreme anxiety without relief and have lost all of the self-confidence I use to possess. I really believe I have some sort of severe mental disorder and that I'm going to be like this forever. I've had two MRI's, a multitude of blood work, and other tests (Stomach, Heart, Saliva, Hair Sample, etc...) with nothing really out of whack except for Testosterone which was low so I've just had a shot recently. The only hope I have right now is Thyroid where they found lower scores (still fall in the average) and they are running more tests because I have a small nodule. But I don't think that's going to produce anything meaningful at this point. Or at least I can't count on that being the sole contributor to this disaster.

 

I have a lot of supplements on the go right now; some prescribed by a Naturopathic Doctor and others I've just been trying on my own:

 

As per my ND: ReloraPlex, Licorice Plus, PURE Amino Supplement powder, Omega 3, Vitamin C, about to try some Gluthianine powder.

 

Currently On My Own: Lithium Orotate approx 10-15 mg per day (morning, noon, and night), Bacopa 220  mg, Tryptophan 1000 mg at night, Veg Protein Powder

 

Things I've tried in the past: 5-HTP, St John's Wort, Sam-e, Innositol, Vitamin B's, Niacin (Flush), Passion Flower, Lemon Balm, Tumeric, Vitamin D, Multi Vitamins, Taurine, Phenylalanine, and on and on the list goes.... I've spent about $3K on supplements and vitamins in the past 8 months.

 

Meds I'm currently taking: Trazodone 25 mg at night; I get about 5 hours of sleep then wake-up with intense fear, anxiety, depression / hoplessness / despair, etc...

 

I've completely cut out all alcohol (I was never a drinker), all drugs (I haven't really been a drug user - occasional cannabis), all sugar, and recently all Gluten.

 

I've done yoga, seen therapists, prayed, massage, exercise 4 times a week (does help a little), meditation (but can't seem to do it consistently with any results.

 

I don't sleep that well, I've lost 15lbs in a year (I was only 155 lbs when I left my job) and my whole life is going to ruins because of this never ending anxiety / fear of not know what's wrong with me which is definitely contributing to the depression.

 

Could this all be from Benzo use / withdrawal? And if so, has anyone found anything that I haven't listed here that helps at all?

 

I'm trying to determine if I should be going back on medication / try yet another antidepressant or try ECT again. It's the last thing I want to do but I can't live like this for much longer. Any advice, insight, opinions, would be a blessing. Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In short yes, sounds like benzo withdrawal. Unfortunately the only known cure for benzo withdrawal is time. Don't waste your money on doctors and hospital visits because there is nothing they can do but prescribe you more benzos which will just excerbate the problem and make it much worse to come off a second time. I'm 7.5 months since my last dose and still dealing with significant problems so don't be surprised if these symptoms last awhile. The average healing time is around 14 months. It's going to be a rough ride so just mentally prepare yourself for the long haul. You're not alone in going through this experience. You will eventually heal.

 

Anti depressants will not work and at some point you will have to get off those aswell. They also have withdrawal symptoms albiet not as severe as benzos. You don't want to go through this again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you may be in benzo with drawal to me.Hope you keep up with the yoga and being gluten free as diet is big.Its a long time some people have spent in withdrawal sometimes coming off back to back drugs.So hang in there,know your body is healing even in bad moments and it will take some time.You are not alone,and this is a good place for support.Just remember to Breath!!! :)wen
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like withdrawal from not only benzos but other drugs also.  It's going to take a while for your nervous system to stabilize.  In the meantime, I wouldn't add any more drugs, and supplements can be very stimulating this early on.  Sorry about your job I lost mine as well due to this benzo mess. Get familiar with this forum you will find tons of useful information from folks who are going through this exact thing or have already healed and made it to the other side.  Distraction is key so going to the gym does wonders for the brain and it passes time.  Your brain knows how to fix this.  Believe it.  Your nerves are in a hyper state of anxiety due to a nasty drug that interfered with the way your brain normally used to communicate signals through your nervous system to the rest of your body.  That's all this is.  
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The good news is you're not going insane, it is benzo withdrawal.  The bad news is that the only known cure is time.  My doctor keeps telling me it has to run it's course.  Your body is addicted and is screaming for those benzos, that screaming manifests itself as anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts and so many other symptoms.  One thing I'm not sure if you mentioned is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy where you retrain your brain by using coping phrases such as "while these thoughts are distressful, they are not dangerous" or "bear the discomfort to gain comfort".  Know that you are not alone with this illness, there are many of us in the exact same situation as you right here on this forum.  Continue to share your experiences with us and we will in return with ours.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like benzo withdrawal symptoms to me which these are pure HELL.  I am not a doctor but I can tell you my experience with the psych doctors that I had is this.  They did not care about my problems, me, or how I really felt.  All they really cared about was billing for loads of money to me and insurance company.  They would up my dosage on meds to levels that was not even recommended and even add other meds on top of that when anxiety, panic and depression issues were still there.  Klonopin was very devastating to me and practically destroyed my life.  I learned from this to distrust the doctors in that field sad to say as so many of them are so quick to prescribe benzo's to most everyone and in larger and larger doses and add others meds on top  of that.  In my case I feel as though the benzo's (especially the Klonopin) actually imprinted in my brain and system so that when tapering off even when I felt like I had to take another dose because I felt like I was going to come out of my own skin, when taking a rescue dose it just set me back to the very beginning of the Hell withdrawal symptoms and set me back even further.  It took me a good 2 years (after tapering off to no benzo's) to feel as though I was not having the withdrawal Hell.  I still have some issues even now after over 3 years off, but going through that was such a nightmare for me that I never want to take any thing in the Benzo family of drugs ever again for fear of putting me right back at the beginning of that withdrawal Hell again.  I am hoping that things start feeling better for you soon but it does sound like part of the whole horrible withdrawal from the benzo's that you are having. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like benzos to me. I took .5  of  Ativan  once a day at the most for 5 months after my doctor gave it to me to prove I had anxiety. She said it would make everything go away. It didn't but it help muscle tightness so I would take it before work  A cardiologist soon found out I had hyperthyroidism that was causing incredible heart palpitations and more. A random case that went away after a few months, returned a year later, but now has been gone for a year. Hopefully that part is done.

 

Ativan made me very sick. Because I had something else going on, it took me awhile to figure it out.

 

I was lucky, I had never had anxiety. Was laid back, easy going. I became a mess. Lost 45 pounds, couldn't work, Went to doctor after doctor, many tests. Found the answer on line when I looked up metallic taste that I had all the time. I had so many symptoms.

 

It has been 2 years. It is not all gone but is much better. I work more. I am a nurse and am not doing what I did do but probably could now. I think time is the only cure. Your brain just has to heal. I never took supplements or any other drugs. The only thing I take now is Tylenol and finally got brave enough to take Zyrtec. I eat what I want. Haven't had any alcohol. Tried Trazadone a couple times when stopping, it was horrible. They tried to give me antidepressants, made everything worse and I wasn't really depressed. Had a good life, just felt like hell.

 

I have family and friends who have supported me. I don't think they totally get it but I wouldn't if I hadn't lived it. You are not nuts. You got poisoned and your body needs to heal. Keep going to the gym, eat right, Believe that it will get better. It is going to be hard but you have to just be patient.. Sorry you have to do this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...