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15+ years of social anxiety, 165 days cold turkey


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Hello fellow Buddies,

 

I came across this forum when I was searching for a community of people in a similar situation to mine. My story with benzodiazepines began roughly 15-16 years ago when I was going through a traumatic experience in my early teens and started manifesting symptoms of social anxiety and agoraphobia. They were so overwhelming that I ended up consulting a neurologist who prescribed me a low dose (around 0.25-0.50 mg) of Clonazepam and recommended that I sought a therapist.

 

Many years went by and I was on 0.5 mg of Clonazepam for the most part ever since that day, but sometimes I would take another 0.5 mg dose if the situation was too overwhelming for me or due to tolerance causing withdrawal-like symptoms. For all this time, I've used it like a "courage pill" whenever I had to go out of my comfort zone, so you could say nearly daily. I've also been on and off therapy with a few different professionals during this time, the reason for switching therapists was a growing frustration, each time, that the treatment wasn't making any noticeable progress. However, I should add that I might have been significantly responsible for this as I would be very resistant to taking the medication (antidepressants) I would have been prescribed as I've always had an aversion to psychiatric drugs, partially because of the stigma surrounding them but mostly because of potential side effects on my cognition, and this was fueled by my experience being psychologically dependent on Clonazepam. Throughout all these years I've gone cold turkey many times over short periods (weeks or even months) during school breaks etc, basically whenever I could stay shut in my little bubble.

 

This pandemic was no different and since I was allowed to work remotely I quit taking it cold turkey precisely 165 days ago. At this very moment I'm uncertain of the future and although I'm "benzo free" I'm left crippled with severe social anxiety and depression. I've always been somewhat skeptical of talk therapy doing anything at all, but in all these years I've gotten to know about many cases of people with social anxiety claiming to have gotten better with cognitive behavioral therapy, so I'm willing to give it a try and make it count this time while also being slightly more open to the idea of taking the medication I'm prescribed, I guess there is no other way around this.

 

Anyhow, whatever path life takes me from now on I hope I can share it with you guys and we can make progress together.

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Hello 165days  :hug: Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

We are so glad you've joined us, you will get plenty of support here.  I'm sorry you've been going through such a difficult time.  Stopping benzos cold turkey can be a very rough ride.  I know you are going to come through this,  it seems impossible right now, but I promise, it does get better.  Have the symptoms eased at all ?.  Our members have found alternate ways to deal with anxiety.  I believe benzos caused my depression and also makes us more anxious.  We do recover with time, stay positive.  CBT, meditation and  breathing techniques, have you tried using any of these methods? 

 

Ashton Manual is a definitive resource about these medications.  It helps in understanding the effect benzo’s have on our body.  It provides withdrawal information and includes a list of common symptoms 

 

I will leave a few links to support threads:

 

Cold Turkey Detox & Rapid Withdrawal Board

Post Withdrawal Recovery

 

We have dedicated boards Anxiety and Depression issues, you can connect with others who can offer some ideas and help.

 

Anxiety     

Depression   

 

If you would care to add a signature,  listing your medication and dose.  Go to the top of the page and select PROFILE then choose forum profile then insert drug history into the text box and remember to click change profile

 

Welcome aboard

Magrita

 

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