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New Here and Trying to handle my protracted withdrawals


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Hi,

 

I, like many others, have always had a very bad anxiety problem and suffer from some trauma.  I became addicted to opiates for many years and managed to get off them, but suffered PAWS, and stupidly allowed a psychiatrist to prescribe me Xanax.  I was noticing on the Xanax after a couple years that my anxiety was bleeding through and it was taking more and more of the drug to keep in under control.  Towards the end of using the drug, I was so tolerant to high doses of the drug, that I couldn’t get enough to satisfy what my brain was requiring for me just to function.  After almost 5 years of daily use of Xanax, at 4mgs a day, I was forced by a nurse practitioner, to go into a drug rehab because he didn’t want to handle my taper.  The rehab facility brought me off the Xanax in 14 days. When I asked them if this was normal to come off this fast they acted like it was no big deal and I just needed to deal with it.  I became an absolute mess as the taper began and the panic attacks and nerve pain was so bad, several times I asked if I should just be put in the hospital.  They treated me like I was baby or just an addict and that I needed to follow through with the taper.  Miraculously, somehow I got through the taper and came home.  Then all hell broke loose.  I literally paced my house from morning till night with my head feeling like it was spinning and like I was going to die.  I had rolling panic attacks where it seemed endless with one ending and another already starting again in its place.  My heart felt like it was going to explode.  My nerves all were sending crazy signals, feeling like I’d had been dipped in acid or something.  I contacted the psychiatrist that was overseeing my care at the rehab facility and he said it sounded like I needed an antipsychotic to slow down my brain.  He called me in Zyprexa and I did take it because it was either that or I was going to end up in the ER and most likely placed in the behavioral health unit and probably reinstated on Benzos which I did not want.  I somehow have gotten a little over 5 months now without Benzos but I still have days when I feel like giving up and going back on them, even though I know logically that Benzos are a big reason of why I feel the way I do,  Now, 5 months out, I still have the nerve pain and get the crazy speedy feeling in my head.  The doctor did not attribute any of these feeling or symptoms to benzo use or withdrawal, instead making me think I have some kind of mood disorder.  Why would a mood disorder give you nerve pain and make you have heart palpitations, MAKES NO SENSE. 

I’m looking to communicate with anyone that still is struggling at many months out.  I had no idea that when I got off the Benzos that I would experience a withdrawal this intense and this long lasting.  If I’m still this bad at 5 months, it’s hard for me to even speculate what kind of long term healing I’m looking at.  I know no one can tell another exactly when thing will get better, but, it concerns me that there are quite a few people that by now are starting to feel better and I’m definitely not seeing that.  Does anyone else get these weird racing feelings in their brains?  I have had nerve testing done because of the pain and it came back normal, so my nerves aren’t literally damaged, but this stupid drug has created the sensation of neuropathy all over my body.  Some days I can barely walk.  Anyways. Sorry for the long drawn out message, just trying to give you the back story to what’s happening and see if anybody relates. 

I wish peace and healing for everyone suffering from taking this horrible drug, 

 

Thanks,

BBmem2

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Hi BBmem2,

 

I'm sorry you were detoxed so rapidly, I quit cold turkey so I know what you're going through.  At 6 months I was so disappointed to still feel awful so after awhile I quit counting the months because I was so discouraged.  At 14 months I could report a full recovery which seems to be fairly typical for this process so please don't worry that you're going to have protracted symptoms, we don't consider someone to be that until around 2 years, so you're right on schedule in your recovery.

 

It takes a long time for our brain to regain the function the drug disrupted, we took a pill to get instant relief but our bodies don't work that way, healing takes time and time seems to be just about the only cure for what these drugs have done to us.

 

The best thing you can do is educate yourself about what's happening to you so you won't be so afraid, read everything you can, use the relaxation tools our members discuss, eat healthy, get some moderate exercise and avoid stress if you can and for sure, don't drink alcohol.  Be wary of other medications that promise relief and the same goes for supplements, they can turn on you and set you back. 

 

I've got some links for you to look at when you have time.

 

Four Phases of Withdrawal-Where Are You?

 

What is happening in your brain

 

Pamster

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Thanks for the reply Pamster, you’re absolutely right about not counting the days and obsessing over the time because when I do, I start to get even more depressed and desperate and that makes me think about going back on some mood altering drug to mask all this pain.  That’s exactly the kind of thinking that got me into this mess so I really need to change the way I look at this suffering.  If I don’t, I’ll just repeat it later.  This has been a hard lesson learned.  Thank you for including the links and information I will definitely read those.  I’m sorry you had to go cold turkey as well. I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone.

 

Take care

BBmem2

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Hey there,

I totally get ya. I was rapid detox /CT in 6 days.

They ripped you off xanax 4mgs, so unfortunately...it's not really uncommon to feel as bad as you do at 5 months.

I was Ativan and 2 ADs for 6 months, then off in 6 days

My WD was horrendous and my worst symptoms were nerve stuff.

At 5 months I was at my worst, could not use my limbs or even feed myself. Brutal

I am currently 15 months off and doing quite well!!!! I still have a bit of nerve stuff, but it's not stopping me from living.

They gave me a whole host of more drugs while I was in the facility...including zyprexa. It was awful. I only took it for like a week.

Are you still on the zyprexa?

 

And yes, I know, I kept telling the docs in the facility and the hospital who wanted to say I just had anxiety...I just kept saying anxiety is NOT neuropathy and it doesn't stop someone like me (a fit athlete) from walking!!!! Ugh!

I finally found a very special neurologist who listened and ended up helping me.

I know when you are in it 5 months feels like forever...but sadly it's not that long in benzo world. And there are plenty who can tell you it gets better though! :smitten:

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Hello SouthernBelle08,

 

Thank you for the response.  Something about this flavor of suffering really requires someone else’s understanding.  It makes me feel like, “okay there’s somebody else that knows what I’m dealing with”.  The cortisol surge in the morning is the absolute worst.  Every single morning I think to myself, I can’t do this another day!  I’m sorry you had to experience the rapid detox too.  On the plus side, at least we aren’t having to manage a really long drawn out taper.  That would’ve made me crazy too because I’m like an all or none type of person.  I wanted to get off the drug and I couldn’t handle knowing I have the medication to take but still suffering from tapering withdrawal.  I’d probably end up taking more than I should and wrecking the taper.  I’ve read some people’s story and they taper over years!  God Bless them.  After going through this, I look at medication and the medical system in general in a totally new light.  You cannot just trust that what a doctor gives you is going to be good for you.  You have to do your own research and question everything,  It’s really sad, but it’s reality.  Benzodiazepines should only be prescribed for extremely short use, no exceptions.  This has stole so much of my life and continues to, it’s really a shame that we’ve suffered this way when it’s totally avoidable.  From what I’ve read, it’s really pointless to try and sue the doctors because it usually doesn’t go anywhere and we did decide to take the pill everyday and became physically dependent.  I’m glad that you are seeing such great improvement.  Thanks for confirming where I’m at in my recovery, I’m looking for too much too soon.

 

I wish you a wonderful life without drugs!

 

Thanks,

BBmem2

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BBmem2: I feel you..I was a rapid taper off of ativan but had been polydrugged and ect for the whole year prior to my jump. I can honestly say I have seen positive changes here as I'm past my 6th month free. Its been a rough journey, but I have to focus on my windows when the waves roll in.

this site saved my life bc I had no idea what was wrong with me till I came across this and a couple things on youtube.

 

Your dose of benzo was quite high and being taken off it that fast was horrible..I'm so sorry. Here we can validate your experience and hopefully encourage you to keep pushing through when it seems so dark and hopeless - its not. Healing happens.

 

 

SouthernBelle08: Your story is so powerful. It spoke to me tonight:) Thank you.

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SouthetnBelle08:  I forgot to answer your question; yes, I’m still taking the Zyprexa.  I’m scared to stop it but I don’t want to be reliant on another drug.  I’m probably going to try to stop taking it as well.  My brain is so delicate right now that I’m scared to make any other changes.

 

trina75:  Thanks for letting me know that things started to get better after 6 months.  It gives me hope which I need desperately right now.

 

BBmem2

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SouthetnBelle08:  I forgot to answer your question; yes, I’m still taking the Zyprexa.  I’m scared to stop it but I don’t want to be reliant on another drug.  I’m probably going to try to stop taking it as well.  My brain is so delicate right now that I’m scared to make any other changes.

 

trina75:  Thanks for letting me know that things started to get better after 6 months.  It gives me hope which I need desperately right now.

 

BBmem2

 

I don't have any experience with Zyprexa but we'll typically advise folks to take it slow when adding or subtracting medications while the healing process is going on, except of course for life saving medications. 

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