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The Damage of Xanax


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Hi,

 

I go by the name of BenzoHope1989. I have been on Xanax for a couple of years now. My maximum dose was 3mg, combined with strong antidepressants. I have a lot of questions which I would like to ask. At the moment, I am at a psychiatric ward trying to get of the Benzos.

 

I am editing my original post so that I can give a little bit of background over my situation. It might be a little bit extensive but I try to keep it to an executive summary.

 

When I was 14 I was diagnosed with OCD and was medicated with Paroxetine (Paxil). I was on it for 17 years. (A lot of things have happened since then, and I recognize that I do have a mental condition but nothing that was able to be handled with therapy back then).

 

Fast forward I started having anxiety (a lot of it coming through an unhealthy lifestyle; drinking, gambling etc). It was around five years that I was introduced to Benzodiazepines (Rivotril, Xanax etc.).

 

I was on and off them for some time. However, things started to get quite off control one or two years ago (I don't know exactly to be honest). My Psychiatrist got me on a steady "diet" of Xanax starting with 0.25mg. Not to bore you, fast forward he increasing my dose until the past month up to 3mg. (I was able to get down to 0.25mg previous ot the Coronavirus).

 

I have some questions maybe one of you guys can relate or clarify to me. (I have had my blood checked, hormones.... all fine).

 

1. I started to obviously get dependent on Xanax. I never abused them. However, I started to get restlessness and anxiety between doses. I just looked at my watch for my next dose. Is this normal? (By the way, in the end, I really did not felt the effect.

 

2. This is my most scary question. This is why it will be in bold. I am also in Venlafaxine (Effexor) 300mg a day. I took a sick leave from work and wanted to get better. Exercised, ate well. Back then my psychiatrist slowly increased my dose from 1.5mg to 3mg in a month span. I started improving, and then every second or third day I had a terrible comedown. WHY? If it would be withdrawal from Xanax or tolerance it should happen every day. Is this normal, can someone relate to this? This is what let me to the ER. I could not understand the cause of it. Why every three days? Maybe there might be something else wrong with me?. In those comedowns, I had suicidal ideations (I never had an actual plan or intention to do it, but the thoughts scared me a lot).

 

3. I am terrified of not being able to be back to "normal" (although I am not sure I was before either), but at least I was functional. Everything on a daily basis has become a daunting task. Everything triggers my anxiety, and now I am scared of the comedowns, it becomes a vicious cycle.

 

I do have many more questions. But for the moment I want to start with this and slowly move on.

 

For those who asked me what are they doing with me in the ward, they switch from Xanax to Valium and started tapering down slowly. I have expressed already my concern that I do not want them to taper it down very fast, but again, I am not even sure that's my problem.

 

 

Thanks

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Welcome to Benzo Buddies.

 

We highly recommend tapering your benzo, it gives your nervous system an easier time adapting to the change. Take a look at the various methods and support forums for tapering.

 

Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper Plans)

 

Withdrawal Support (during your taper)

 

If you decide to stay cold turkey after getting out of the hospital, we will support you with that option as well.

 

cold turkey/rapid:

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?board=133.0

 

We are here to serve you in any way you need. Our various forums have a lot of information. If you can, read through them. You will have a better understanding of what Benzo's do, and the process of getting off of them.

 

-The BB team

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Hi,

 

I go by the name of BenzoHope1989. I have been on Xanax for a couple of years now. My maximum dose was 3mg, combined with strong antidepressants. I have a lot of questions which I would like to ask. At the moment, I am at a psychiatric ward trying to get of the Benzos.

 

Thanks

 

Hi BenzoHope1989,

 

Can you tell us more about what the psychiatric ward is doing for you, are they tapering you at a slow rate?  We suggest reducing by about 5-10% of your dose every week to 10 days depending on your symptoms, if they get too intense, its a good idea to slow things down.  Do you have any say in the taper rate the hospital chose for you?

 

Many of our members have found detox facilities will taper them too quickly resulting in unnecessary pain.  If you find the withdrawal method the hospital has chosen for you too severe, please know we can help you taper off of the Xanax safely if you decide to leave the psychiatric ward. 

 

Pamster

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Thanks for filling in more details, I'm glad the hospital crossed you over to Valium, it makes for a smoother taper than Xanax which has such a short half life it leaves you without coverage quickly, which would explain your restlessness and anxiety between doses.

 

I'm not sure why you were experiencing a comedown every third day, what you describe are classic benzodiazepine tolerance and withdrawal symptoms but the fact that your Dr was increasing your dose at that time doesn't fit.  I wonder if you were experiencing paradoxical reactions to the increase in dose? 

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Hi, I just wanted to give you some words of encouragement. I was put on a steady diet of 4 mgs a day of Xanax 15 years ago. I had never been to a psychiatrist before and he said that because of my ocd, generalized anxiety and panic disorder that I should take it for life.

 

I didn't feel good about that and weaned myself down to 2 and a half mgs and could never go any farther.

 

Last December I decided to push forward with a slow but steady taper. I have managed to get my dose down to .75 per day.

 

I just want to say that it is absolutely normal to be completely dependant on the drug after even a short time but especially after a few months. I was always checking my watch to see when I could take my next dose.

 

My doctor just wanted me to increase it but I hit a wall with the drug and it no longer works for me. I still have interdose withdrawals but it's not as bad as my dose gets lower.

 

I can't help you with effexor. All I know is that my doc gave it to me and I read that it was horrible at creating a dependence so I refused to take it.

 

It's certainly possible that you are having withdrawal from that as well. Good luck! I'm sure you can do this! If I can, anyone can!  :)

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Hello,

 

Thank you very much everyone for the replies.

 

It is indeed weird that the comedowns come after 3 days. However, during those weeks my Psychiatrist was increasing the dose. He literally told me "Take whatever you want no more than 3mg", I was already like in 2mg. So I actually took 3mg like for a week.

 

It could be an increase in the benzos, and it could also be a psychological component. Either way, I know that the Xanax had A BIG part of my problem at the moment.

 

I can't say much about the Venlafaxine. I have taken for about a month, and truth be told, I think tapering both medications at the same time might be quite difficult.

 

Being that said, I do like the approach the ward is taking.  They changed my Xanax to Valium (with almost no withdrawal symptoms) and now they are tapering it down. They also told me they are not telling me how they are managing the doses so that I don't get predisposed to withdrawal symptoms.

 

I think only time will tell whether it was the Xanax or not, but I think the pattern was pretty consistent.

 

I hope, someday, I could be back to "normal" or better than "normal". Because at this point, at 31 years old, I feel emotionally and physically disabled for the moment.

 

Thanks everyone

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In my op IT IS THE COMBO !!! of the SSRI’S & the Xanax! This same shitee happened to me almost exactly to what you are going through !  In my case all the crap the doctors gave me where wearing my CNS way the F down! The Xanax in itself will obliterate your CNS ! Okay listen bud, since you’ve been reading through this forum haven’t you noticed that everyone sort of have the same storyline? They get put on benzos then the benzo’s work for a bit then it stopped working because you’re going to introdse  withdraws then you increase your amount to fix it but it only makes things worse and it doesn’t help no matter how much you up dose ! then you start getting scared and or worried you tell your doctor what’s going on and he says... you sound like you’re depressed!?  I’m gonna put you on whatever SSRI or SNRI

And then you notice it might help a sliver amount but then it’s short-lived and then that goes away then you start noticing all the scary benzo related withdrawal symptoms the emotional imbalance , Fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, emotional instability and or crying for no apparent reason! and then your regular panic attacks that you had before all this seem to get gaslit from the SSR eyes and the benzodiazepines you get tremendous fear out of nowhere!? sometimes you’re scared to even be in your own house go down the hallway going in a certain room etc.... so now not only did your medications stop working but now they’ve turned against you and all your old system that used to have our magnified X a million! Then you start thinking somethings really wrong with you like it could possibly be the medication the doctors must’ve missed something or I missed something??? then you start having these bad thoughts that you’ve never had before, it scares you because you’ve never thought this way and you don’t know what’s going on ??? so now you’re really confused then you might be doing an intensive outpatient program And you’ll have a psychiatrist to talk to you.....you will express all your feelings and then they put you on a 5150 hold ! Then you’re really depressed because all this is happening and then you start thinking maybe there is something wrong with me !? maybe I do need to be here!?  at least that’s what I was 🤔 thinking when I went through this... The whole thing kind of breaks you down mentally physically emotionally every sense is ground down to its most minute variant of itself.. so you agree to stay in the mental Ward because thinking maybe they can help me detox office stuff and you sort of Succumb to what has happened.. Believe it or not this happens a lot so much so that it’s become common place at least that’s what I’ve noticed! in my opinion you seem very intelligent very aware of your surroundings and your cognitive function seems very intact... I’m not a doctor so I can’t diagnose you nor would I try in a forum such as this.. but if you want my opinion you sound just like me when I was going through this I really do think it’s the medication because once I stopped and got off all the medication and went through the withdrawal process, it’s gonna take a while , nothing overnight here sorry to say , because in particular your CNS takes a bit longer to repair it self versus other aspects in your body but like I was saying I think you’re gonna be fine I think you’re going to go back to your baseline normal before all this medication came into your life !! I think that once you learn to deal with your anxiety without medication you will be top shelf! and this will be a learning experience for you but it will be all in your past.. and You will go on to live a fun, fulfilling, rich loving life as you deserve! just need to give it time. You need to give your brain time to heal and get back to your baseline normal I never believed that I would be back 100% I never believed it deep down in my core I didn’t believe it !! but I’m here to tell you it does happen!!!  Rest assured it does happen! and you will see everything like it’s the first time you ever saw it !! and you will appreciate everything so much more after this battle is over you’ll be much wiser for the wear! I will be around in and out ,I’m going to Business College at the moment... as it takes a lot of my attention ..But I will check in from time to time.. Good luck 🍀!!! YOU WILL BE BACK TO YOURSELF!!! you GOT THIS!!! Trust me!!!

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In my op IT IS THE COMBO !!! of the SSRI’S & the Xanax! This same shitee happened to me almost exactly to what you are going through !  In my case all the crap the doctors gave me where wearing my CNS way the F down! The Xanax in itself will obliterate your CNS ! Okay listen bud, since you’ve been reading through this forum haven’t you noticed that everyone sort of have the same storyline? They get put on benzos then the benzo’s work for a bit then it stopped working because you’re going to introdse  withdraws then you increase your amount to fix it but it only makes things worse and it doesn’t help no matter how much you up dose ! then you start getting scared and or worried you tell your doctor what’s going on and he says... you sound like you’re depressed!?  I’m gonna put you on whatever SSRI or SNRI

And then you notice it might help a sliver amount but then it’s short-lived and then that goes away then you start noticing all the scary benzo related withdrawal symptoms the emotional imbalance , Fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, emotional instability and or crying for no apparent reason! and then your regular panic attacks that you had before all this seem to get gaslit from the SSR eyes and the benzodiazepines you get tremendous fear out of nowhere!? sometimes you’re scared to even be in your own house go down the hallway going in a certain room etc.... so now not only did your medications stop working but now they’ve turned against you and all your old system that used to have our magnified X a million! Then you start thinking somethings really wrong with you like it could possibly be the medication the doctors must’ve missed something or I missed something??? then you start having these bad thoughts that you’ve never had before, it scares you because you’ve never thought this way and you don’t know what’s going on ??? so now you’re really confused then you might be doing an intensive outpatient program And you’ll have a psychiatrist to talk to you.....you will express all your feelings and then they put you on a 5150 hold ! Then you’re really depressed because all this is happening and then you start thinking maybe there is something wrong with me !? maybe I do need to be here!?  at least that’s what I was 🤔 thinking when I went through this... The whole thing kind of breaks you down mentally physically emotionally every sense is ground down to its most minute variant of itself.. so you agree to stay in the mental Ward because thinking maybe they can help me detox office stuff and you sort of Succumb to what has happened.. Believe it or not this happens a lot so much so that it’s become common place at least that’s what I’ve noticed! in my opinion you seem very intelligent very aware of your surroundings and your cognitive function seems very intact... I’m not a doctor so I can’t diagnose you nor would I try in a forum such as this.. but if you want my opinion you sound just like me when I was going through this I really do think it’s the medication because once I stopped and got off all the medication and went through the withdrawal process, it’s gonna take a while , nothing overnight here sorry to say , because in particular your CNS takes a bit longer to repair it self versus other aspects in your body but like I was saying I think you’re gonna be fine I think you’re going to go back to your baseline normal before all this medication came into your life !! I think that once you learn to deal with your anxiety without medication you will be top shelf! and this will be a learning experience for you but it will be all in your past.. and You will go on to live a fun, fulfilling, rich loving life as you deserve! just need to give it time. You need to give your brain time to heal and get back to your baseline normal I never believed that I would be back 100% I never believed it deep down in my core I didn’t believe it !! but I’m here to tell you it does happen!!!  Rest assured it does happen! and you will see everything like it’s the first time you ever saw it !! and you will appreciate everything so much more after this battle is over you’ll be much wiser for the wear! I will be around in and out ,I’m going to Business College at the moment... as it takes a lot of my attention ..But I will check in from time to time.. Good luck 🍀!!! YOU WILL BE BACK TO YOURSELF!!! you GOT THIS!!! Trust me!!!

I agree heartily with this. That's my story in a nutshell. I think it just takes time and perseverance.

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