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Finally saw a Doctor who really knows everything about this


[Ma...]

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Hi Buddies,

 

I got to see an addiction specialist doctor today, I'm so glad I did as he is excellent. He knew everything about Benzo withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. He knew and validated everything I was going through and confirmed that Dr Ashton's material is some of the best as she was very thorough. He explained to me the exact physiological brain mechanism of the benzo withdrawal syndrome and said that if neuroplasticity of the brain wasn't real - we'd all be screwed as our brains would be permanently changed by long term benzo use - because it causes what used to be thought of as permanent brain changes but with time (some need more than others) the brain will readapt and rewire itself.

 

So time really is the greatest healer. So EVERYONE here will eventually get better as long as we stay the f**k off benzos.

 

He did offer me the option of going back on valium for the rest of my life (he strongly discouraged this, he told me more about kindling) to which I refused. At least he offered it. He also told me that if it gets hard he can try prescribing me Lyrica (better than reinstating valium forever) , but cautioned about that too but I think he just wanted to show me that there are always options. He said people who go back on, will eventually have to increase their dose and that they feel defeated and feel stuck by the power of the pill.

 

Apparently some people find it hard to get to 30 days so he congratulated me and told me to hang in there and continue with my other strategies. In light of that I just want to say thank god for Benzobuddies (and the addiction specialist!) - everybody involved. This site really is the biggest and best self-help support group for the entire English speaking western world.

 

Lets all keep fighting everyone. Stay off those benzos forever (excluding one off use if one needs a medical procedure of course!).

 

-MLC

 

 

 

 

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I wish I could talk to that doc for one hour so he could answer my questions about the brain changes and what's really going on.  I live in Pennsylvania.  I'm sure he's not around the Harrisburg area?  I'd like more detail about what happened to me. 
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I wish I could talk to that doc for one hour so he could answer my questions about the brain changes and what's really going on.  I live in Pennsylvania.  I'm sure he's not around the Harrisburg area?  I'd like more detail about what happened to me.

 

You've been off for 4 years? Are you still having issues?

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Hi Becksblue,

 

Yes he knew immense amounts about it. I am not a Doctor so some of it went over my head but I got the gist of it. I have to admit I felt a bit of panic when he said "permanent" brain changes but after he explained that time and neuroplasticity heal our dilemma I felt better. I'm really sorry but I am in Australia, he is an Aussie doctor. I could recommend though, does your state have a drugs of addiction service?

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[e4...]
Hi MLC; Thanks for sharing that. My old prescriber told me there is no permanent brain damage also, but not much detail...I was still on Xanax at the time, and very scared of hearing the truth I think...but aside from that, I am hopeful that the brain heals, I m trusting it takes time, that is one thing i had to learn here on this Forum, Patience and Time in this process. I'm off Rx Xanax for about 9 months now, and I still have what I call "Xanax Flashbacks" but I think the recovery is happening. I need to get back to work and do more challenging things, I've been quite isolated and reclusive during this withdrawal. Peace. Karuna
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So very glad you found an actual doctor that will actually say that there is a problem with the benzo's and getting off of them.  So many doctors act like you are the problem and that if you do NOT take the benzo's back then it is your problem and that there is no long term life of these drugs in one's system when getting off of these drugs.  That was the kind of doctor I had and said that the symptoms I had of withdrawal were not in connection with the benzo's for that long period.  That to me is such a problem now days as doctors are so quick to prescribe these benzo's and even upping the dosages to dangerous limits and even adding more meds on top of that when anxiety and panic issues are still there.  That to me is very disheartening and has not given me a trust in the doctors anymore in this field at all.
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I'll be honest.  Yes, I'm still symptomatic at almost 4 years off.  Some people have long-term problems and I'm one of them.  I also have underlying health issues.  Was diagnosed with Lupus, Hypothyroidism, and Thrombophilia--at risk of stroke or heart attack, so may have had a stroke from the stress of getting off these drugs.  I believe I've got dementia now, too, from these drugs.  I don't care what anyone says, there are too many research studies done showing an association between benzo's and dementia.  Plus, I have nerve damage from an overdose from a drug when I was a teen and it never healed.  Genetics also.  My father got early dementia in his fifties and now I've got it in my fifties. 
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Hi there Mlc

I'm glad you found a Doctor who knows about benzo withdrawals,very interesting,I was just probing for info about lyrica as a doctor was going to prescribe pregabalin to me to help with anxiety,I've read about it and it sounds like it could become very addictive aswell and you gain tolerance very quickly. I was very addicted to diazepam and that didn't end well so maybe I should steer clear of anything similar. Do you have anxiety from diazepam withdrawals?

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<<"I got to see an addiction specialist doctor today, I'm so glad I did as he is excellent. He knew everything about Benzo withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. He knew and validated everything I was going through and confirmed that Dr Ashton's material is some of the best as she was very thorough.">>

OMG!  CLONE this doctor please.

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This is some good information about how the brain has to rewire itself. It makes good sense! I'm seeing a new primary doctor and he seemed to understand about withdrawing. That has to be very encouraging to you to have a doctor with knowledge and is willing to give you support.
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Hi Kuruna,

 

I'm sorry to hear you are still having the Xanax flashbacks, I hope you recover soon. Work will be good, I believe challenging oneself helps recovery because it helps with the brain healing process. I know what you mean about seclusion, I've missed so many social events it's not funny. Here's to recovery!

 

Thanks Choco for the kind words!!

 

Hi Sagetyme,

 

I know what you mean. It is hard to have faith in some doctors, I mean, a GP originally got me addicted to Valium and I trusted her. I really did, she said that I wouldn't get addicted as long as I didn't take valium everyday. Wrong! It can have a 100 hour half life so if you take it every third or fourth day - your brain is constantly exposed and addiction will happen! I am proof of it. My addiction specialist confirmed this also.

 

Hi Becksblue,

 

I'm really sorry to hear that your withdrawal is protracted. I really hope you don't have dementia, could it still be Benzo brain? Even if it is, there are new treatments coming out that will help. This ultrasound discovery made in my country could one day be revolutionary - http://dementiaresearchfoundation.org.au/blog/new-ultrasound-scanning-technique-removes-amyloid-beta-plaques-mouse-brains

 

Hi Kenzi,

 

Yes lyrica and gabapentin are definitely addictive and I'm going to hold off - but it does help to know there are options other than benzodiazepine class drugs if things get bad right? Re anxiety, I definitely get it still from my withdrawals. Mainly mental anxiety which can be chronic as I'm on beta blockers that block the chronic heart race and adrenalin symptoms etc. How about yourself?

 

Hi photo bug,

 

I know right!? Maybe other addiction specialists are like him though, I'm not sure. I found him at my cities public drug and alcohol service. They mainly deal with chronic drug abuse so I imagine they'd have to know their stuff. Do you have drug and alcohol services in America that are government run?

 

Hi Camre,

 

Thankyou! Yes I never thought I'd find a doctor that understood, but I guess it's good to *never* give up searching...

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[e4...]
Hey MLC; hand in there. You sound like you have good strength and hope. The effects I have are mental; anxiety; connecting to places of stress, connecting to fears;  likely not processing everything in a calm, logical way sometimes. Like mental rewiring I suppose. Best for me to exercise and do grounding work. Karuna
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Thank you so much for giving us hope.

 

Could you share with us how he explained to you the exact physiological brain mechanism of withdrawal? I find what is happening to me is pretty terrifying.

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