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How do you start a tapering program amidst crippling anxiety?


[Qu...]

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I've been on benzos since 1996. I'm currently taking 2mg of Klonopin daily, but my anxiety is really bad...and getting worse. My doctor wants me to increase my dosage to 3mg daily, but I noticed that the extra dosage doesn't make much difference. So here's my question: How do I get off of benzos when my anxiety is already unbearable? After reading several posts, I'm very scared that my situation is hopeless. I've been dependent on benzos for so long and they are losing their effect. I don't know how I can handle anxiety that will only be exasperated by the withdrawals of tapering off of the medication. This is truly a conundrum. One more question: how do I find a doctor who is experienced in detoxing patients off of benzos? I haven't had any luck. I appreciate any advice.
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[86...]

Good luck finding a doctor (sorry).  The huge majority of us have to do this ourselves.  A good, non-DEA therapist might be useful.

 

I think you don't start a taper until you get a handle on the 'baseline' anxiety.  Problem is that most p-docs prescribe pills instead of counseling patients about strategies to combat their anxiety.  Even if they do some therapy, it's generally not practiced as long as the pills are doing the job. 

 

I prefer using non-DEA therapists since there's no option for them to resort to drugging you.  Obviously, you have to find one that works for you.  They have to rely on information and counseling to help their patients thru difficult situations.  I found one about the same time that I c/t'd and found her to be invaluable in putting my perspective in a proper place.

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You could check out the Daily Micro-Tapering Support Group and The Klonopin Klub#2 in the Support Group section of BB. You can ask people questions there. Waiting until your anxiety goes down - well, Klonopin may be the cause of the majority of the anxiety, and it may not happen since you have to keep taking it. Please don't c/t off it! Your best bet, I think, would be to do a micro-taper and hold when symptoms are too much. Most people on BB, unfortunately, have to taper their own way as doctors generally don't understand benzos and will just want to keep upping your dosage. GOOD LUCK!!!
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Hi Questman,

 

Anxiety is a miserable state to be in.  I can understand your fear of exacerbating your anxiety if/when you taper off benzos. Unfortunately it seems very likely Klonopin isn't working for you anymore because you've reached tolerance.  In fact your anxiety is probably worse because you've reached tolerance.  In other words, taking your current dose of Klonopin is likely making your anxiety worse.  Your options are to increase the dose as your doctor is suggesting, or to taper off. Do you really want to keep increasing doses indefinitely?

 

Another question worth exploring with your psychopharmacologist is whether there are new non benzo related meds that could help you with anxiety. Many members here are committed to getting off psych meds entirely; other members continue with other meds but want to be off benzos because benzos seem to be particularly problematic in the long term. 

 

If you commit to tapering off Klonopin, you can do so very gradually as we suggest.  You will find tapering advice and support to help plan a taper that keeps your symptoms to a minimum.  As badsocref and Terry both said you would be a rare exception if you found a doctor who was savvy about benzos enough to guide you through a smart and careful taper.  You're much more likely to find the information you need here on BB frankly.

 

One last thing, other members who want to reply to your posts find it helpful to know where you are in the process, so here’s how to add your benzo info automatically to your posts: go to Profile, then Forum Profile, write your info (which benzo, dose, taper history) in the text box and save. Let us know if you need help with this.

 

Take care,

Brighterday  :)

 

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