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Am I Drawing Out the .125mg Klonopin For Too Long?


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Hi all....I've made it down to .125 mg of klonopin and have been holding there for 13 days. My question is with such a low dose - can I actually be causing more anxiety by holding on to such a small amount for too long? Seems like and odd question but I thought of it this morning when I woke up anxious again. ALl the other w/d has quieted except the anxiety (which is worse in the morning and stabalizes during the day). Is it time to start removing/tapering down off the remainder of the klonopin? Thanks so much
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Hi, I thought I'd answer that for you even though I'm not sure if my answer is correct at all... but I thought the same thing too during my taper of which i've got 4 days left.  Is this holding a good thing?  Well, I don't think it is a bad thing.... I think myself in my opinion it's a good thing... When I cut lower and lower doses, I mean I bought a gram scale to msr. out the power until I got real real low.... Now I've like got a dot left lol, lol... But I recall thinking the same thing.  I just feel that as long as you're lessening it within that two week period, by all standards from here on the boards which is a really good place for advice, that it is the right thing... You're slowly getting it out of your system anyway... If you're doing that no matter what it is a good thing for you.  Cathy
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I think morning anxiety is "normal" at this point and not related to holding too long, Clementine.  You might be interested in this article about morning anxiety and how to deal with it:

 

Understanding Early Morning Anxiety

By Deanne Repich

           

Are mornings the worst time for your anxiety? When the alarm clock rings do you experience a feeling of dread? Do the symptoms kick in, making you tempted to roll over and snooze for hours so you don't have to face the day?

 

One reason why anxiety can be worse in the morning is that waking up is a sharp contrast to the sleep environment, which is perceived as pleasant for most people.

 

Picture this: You're sleeping peacefully in your warm, cozy bed, (for some, after many hours of insomnia). You are at peace, finally getting a break from the cares and tasks of the day. Then, BOOM! Suddenly, the shrill sound of your alarm clock jerks you awake. It triggers the "fight or flight" response, our body's inborn self-protective mechanism. And to top it off, the room is cold and dark. The dreaded worries and symptoms kick in.

 

There are several things you can do to make your "waking up" environment more pleasant. For example, get a radio alarm clock that wakes you up to your favorite music. Another alternative is an alarm clock that wakes you up gradually with pleasant chimes of increasing volume and frequency.

 

Keep a robe and slippers next to the bed so that you can warm up quickly and minimize a drop in body temperature as you get out of bed. If the bright lights of the room bother you, install a dimmer switch near your bed. You can gradually increase the light's intensity over a period of several minutes after you awaken.

 

Another reason why symptoms can be worse in the morning is because your blood sugar is low when you first wake up. You have gone all night without food. It's important to maintain a constant blood sugar level because the brain uses glucose as its fuel. If blood sugar levels are too low or drop too fast, then the brain starts running out of fuel. This causes the brain to trigger the "fight or flight" response.

 

The "fight or flight" response sends a rush of adrenaline, cortisol, and other neurotransmitters through your body to prepare you to fight or flee the perceived threat (low fuel). This process can trigger physical reactions ("symptoms") such as trembling, rapid heartbeat, sweating, panic attacks, fatigue, insomnia, mental confusion, nervousness, dizziness, and more.

 

To balance your blood sugar levels and minimize symptoms, keep a snack that contains "good" complex carbohydrates and protein by your bed. Eat it when you first wake up. You will likely notice that your symptoms improve shortly after eating the snack. You might try a combination of whole grain crackers and a handful of nuts, or a high-protein granola bar with some whole-wheat pretzels. The "good" carbohydrates will give you energy, and the protein will help to keep your blood sugar level steady over time.

 

Finally, dead-end thoughts play a huge role in creating early morning anxiety, as well as anxiety at any other time of day. Once you learn to overcome dead-end thoughts, you stop the anxiety cycle in its tracks.

 

Dead-end thoughts are negative, anxious, obsessive, or racing thoughts, that do not promote your well-being. They are based on faulty thinking patterns. These thoughts of helplessness, negativity, or anxious predictions about the future, give away your personal power and create the anxiety cycle. Here are a few examples of dead-end thoughts:

 

    * "I can't get out of bed feeling like this."

    * "Why do I feel this way? There must be something really wrong with me!"

    * "Everything is going to go wrong at the work meeting."

    * "It's a horrible day."

    * "When will this ever stop!"

 

The most important thing you can do to conquer early morning anxiety is to change how you PERCEIVE waking up. Change the dead-end thoughts that create the anxiety. Remember, physical symptoms by themselves are not anxiety. Negative perceptions are what create and perpetuate the anxiety cycle.

 

Choose to perceive waking up as a positive event - yes, you have a choice! Habitual dead-end thoughts can be unlearned and replaced with healthier self-talk. Of course, like any new skill you learn, it requires practice and patient persistence on your part to make healthier thoughts automatic.

 

Change your perception by creating a morning ritual that replaces the dead-end thoughts with healthier ones. Create a sequence of positive steps you can take when you first wake up to conquer early morning anxiety.

 

Positive rituals are helpful because they get you fully involved in the present moment (instead of the future), by focusing on one task at one time. Make the ritual automatic by taking the same steps every day in the same sequence. Here is an example of an anxiety-busting morning ritual. Use the ideas in this ritual as a starting off point to help you create your own personalized morning ritual.

 

    * Step 1: As you get ready for bed at night, place your alarm clock out of arm's reach from the bed. This action will motivate you to get out of bed to turn off the alarm when it rings the following morning.

 

      When the alarm rings, get out of bed immediately. Turn off the alarm and put on the robe next to your bed. As you do so, say aloud three times in an enthusiastic, cheery voice: "I am SO glad to be alive! What a WONDERFUL day!" Make sure to smile as you do this.

 

    * Step 2: Mentally and physically "check in" with the present moment. Accept any physical sensations without placing a negative judgment on them. Simply observe. Touch your face, hands, and legs a few times and observe the sensations. Focus intently on a few items in the room for several seconds. These simple activities help you to switch your focus from the future back to the present moment.

 

      If dead-end thoughts occur at this time (which they likely will), immediately replace them with healthier thoughts. It often helps to say the positive thoughts aloud. For example, if you're thinking: "I can't get out of bed feeling like this," replace it with: "These physical sensations might be uncomfortable, yet I know they are harmless. I am completely safe. I am physically able to get out of bed and have a great day. Watch. I can get out of bed just fine!" Then DO it!

 

    * Step 3: Turn on your favorite upbeat music CD. (Keep a CD player in your bedroom.) Sing along and dance for a minute or two.

 

    * Step 4: Eat the snack on your bedside table to help level your blood sugar.

 

    * Step 5: Take a shower and dress. Then continue with your day.

 

Once you find a pattern that works for you, use the same morning ritual -- the same steps in the same sequence -- every day. Repetition helps you to effectively unlearn old thoughts and behaviors and make the new ones automatic

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Honestly Clementine.. no one knows. Possibly. It will probably be more severe but quicker to resolve if you jump off soon/now, but it might not, it's really a roulette wheel with this stuff sometimes. I think 30 days from .125mg would be plenty. You haven't had a miserable time tapering. Just do whatever you want to do and listen to your body to make those decisions. No matter what you do from this point on, they are all perfectly acceptable options for you IMHO.
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I dont' know what you should do and can't give you advice EXCEPT to tell you what happened to me.  I was down to .125 and was having tolerance withdrawal (a long story for another time) but I titrated down to .098 in 3 weeks which was way too fast in hindsight.  I jumped then and am 8 months benzo free still having anxiety and other sx.  So please keep going down slowly.  I wish I hadn't jumped off at .125, although many others do and are fine.  Even though I was very sick during the 3 weeks of tapering, I wish I had just kept going.....so be prudent in what you do and listen to your body.

Hoping2BFree

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I dont' know what you should do and can't give you advice EXCEPT to tell you what happened to me.  I was down to .125 and was having tolerance withdrawal (a long story for another time) but I titrated down to .098 in 3 weeks which was way too fast in hindsight.  I jumped then and am 8 months benzo free still having anxiety and other sx.  So please keep going down slowly.  I wish I hadn't jumped off at .125, although many others do and are fine.  Even though I was very sick during the 3 weeks of tapering, I wish I had just kept going.....so be prudent in what you do and listen to your body.

Hoping2BFree

 

Exactly.. the results are so mixed.. no guarantees with anything here. MOST people are fine -- even ones who visit this board! -- but some other unlucky ones like poor Hoping here are not.

 

I'll tell you though, I'm almost definitely jumping near .125mg, as my taper has been hell and I'm getting paradoxical and don't care how long it takes I've been tapering over a year and just need, for me, to be benzo free already... If by some miracle the sx's go away or get infinitely better, I'll keep tapering, we'll see... But Clementine isn't in the same boat as me by a long shot.

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Hi all....Thank you so very much. And thank you Beeper for the article. I definitely experience the dead end thoughts in the morning. It sets up my day to be a challenging one. I wasn't sure if the lower dose of klonopin contributed to the hamster wheel of thinking since this awful med is so low but not entirely gone. I'm trying to get in to see a new psychiatrist this week who can help me navigate this better. Klonopin and I don't like each other and I panic that I may need another med to help quiet the hamster wheel of thoughts (and it makes me even more anxious that it may be a possibility).....or perhaps it's the dropping off of the klonopin thats making me panic.....and round and round I go  :(

 

Depression seems to come and go too....has anyone else suffered this up and down during w/d?

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Depression seems to come and go too....has anyone else suffered this up and down during w/d?

 

I'm not sure there isn't anyone who HASN'T in benzo w/d... except those just steadily depressed the entire time..

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Hi Clementine,

 

Some of our members have jumped at 0.125mgs, whereas others, like myself, tapered all the way down to 0.01mgs.  I didn't feel any worse for doing so, and I actually felt a little better after I jumped.  I'm now ten months benzo free and feeling really good, so I think going slowly helped me.  But, like I said, we have other members who jumped at 0.125mg and higher and are doing just fine too.  It's all up you and how you are feeling.

 

With regards to the depression, I suffered terribly from this particular side effect within months of being put on Klonopin, and it got progressively worse during & shortly after my taper.  it is a very common and horrible side effect unfortunately.  But the good news is it will go away once you begin recovering.  At ten months out, I have no problems with depression anymore at all.

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Bevior - Thank you so much for the encouraging words  :) Finding this group has been a port in the storm for me....thank you. How did you muddle through the depression?
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Beeper, that morning anxiety post is great. I might be interested in using it on other forums or on my blog, but would want to do so with the permission of the author or (at the very least) giving credit to the author or a particular website. Do you know where it came from?
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It's very informative to hear dead-end thoughts described so eloquently... but who uses an alarm clock in benzo w/d? :)
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