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Hoping to Feel Like Myself Again


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Hi Everyone,


I suffer from depression and anxiety. I have been taking lorazepam (Ativan) daily since November of 2021. My prescribed dose is 0.5 mg twice daily as needed. Right now I take 1/2 tab (0.25 mg) in the morning and 3/4 tab (0.375 mg) in the evening. Sometimes I will take an extra 0.25 mg if I am having a bad day, mentally.


I have wanted to taper off Ativan since January 2022. My psychiatrist has suggested staying on it until I feel more stable, but at this point, I wonder if it's the Ativan itself that is making me feel less stable.


I am currently experiencing low mood, crying spells every 1-3 days, anxiety/nervousness (typically at its worst first thing in the morning), and some degree of depersonalization/derealization.


I am nervous about tapering off the Ativan as I expect I'll probably feel worse before I feel better. I think what I'm most afraid of is that I still won't feel like my normal self even after I stop it.

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Hello Hazel2014,


Welcome to Benzo Buddies! Benzos can work, that is, until they don't. Many people reach tolerance to the dose which can cause more problems and symptoms.  It's unpleasant to be on this merry go round. You are likely experiencing tolerance, ativan has a fairly short half life so this is quite common.


Many of us were not stable when staring a taper. I do think you are making a good decision to taper off. It will be important to taper slowly so your body can adjust to the dose reductions. We generally suggest reducing no more than 5-10% every 10-14 days.  Some people go even slower than this, following a symptom based taper plan or a daily small dose reduction. You'll find a lot of good information on the Planning Your Withdrawal Board, I'll provide a link for you.


I'll also give you a link to the Withdrawal Support Board.  It's helpful to connect with others who are going through the process. Knowing you are not alone can make a big difference.


This process can be challenging but it is doable.  You might find that your anxiety is better once off benzos. There are so many good tools to use to deal with anxiety and depression that don't involve drugs that cause a physical dependency.  Settle in and do some reading.  Arm yourself with good information and you'll find the plan that works best for you.  We're here to help, so please do ask questions.


Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper)


Withdrawal Support (during your taper)


pianogirl  :)

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