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Benzo Brain--When Does It Get Better?


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I have heard from some wonderful people here about benzo brain, including someone who has been here for years who said it wouldn't get worse in withdrawal.  It has gotten worse.  I spent 18 months on and getting off ativan and then klonopin and the reason I wanted off (besides the fact that they are poison) is that I instantly felt benzo brain--but then I felt just slow and drunk.  Now that I am 10 weeks off, it has gotten progressively worse and I'm afraid it is because that was my worst symptom while on them. 

 

Sorry to be so needy, but I am looking for hope on this.  It is 10 times worse than while on and I feel like a vegetable 90% of the day and it is terrifying feeling like your mind is gone.  How do you fight the rest of it when your brain is gone and you can't hold on to anything for more than a few seconds?  It "feels" like alzheimers, drunkenness, a month's worth of insomnia, brain damage and developmental disability all at the same time.  I am not being disrespectful in the least to those who have alzheimers or disability because two people who I dearly love are living with these things.

 

Thanks for listening.

Mary

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Once I ct'd, my mind went numb too. I couldn't even remember how to spell simple 3 and 4 letter words. I was stuttering and had extreme short term memory, this absolutely scared me, I thought I'd have to go to a care home. But it all started to clear over time.

 

One thing I tried was doing things like simple crossword puzzles and online games. I used the chat room here for company and communication but also using my brain to type and spell again, kind of like brain-finger coordination, I was in pretty bad shape early on. It will sharpen up for you after awhile. Maybe try some online games or puzzle sites to work your mind, that really helped me a lot. Be reassured, it does come back.

 

 

 

 

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My theory is that the benzo brain/cog fog is a coping mechanism that partially shuts down your brain to allow you to cope with severe WD. When I was in really bad shape I noticed that I would have sever anxiety and depression for a couple of days and then the fog would set it and the anxiety and depression would partially subside. That tells me that it might be my body's way of relieving the pain for a period of time to allow me to get through the severe stress.

 

If you are only 10 weeks off you are probably right in the thick of it. That's when my symptoms were at their worst. Trust me...it gets MUCH better. When I was at my worst I could barely function but after my symptoms peaked (maybe 3rd month off) I have been steadily improving. On a scale of 1-10 I was a 2 at my lowest point. Today I'm pushing a high 6 and when I have a window I'm at a high 8.

 

The worst part of the benzo brain is that it refuses to allow us to think positive thoughts. Try to believe. You WILL get better.

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Thanks Florida Guy!!!  So after about 90 days you noticed things improving?  Sorry to ask but trying to work through a very picked brain that used to be extremely intelligent (if I do say so myself!!)

 

Love,

Mary

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Thanks so much Star!  When did you start to notice things were getting a bit better?

 

 

It all happened slowly for me where it's hard to pinpoint a certain time or date really. It's hard to compare yesterday from today, but it's easy to compare today from even just a few months ago. It reminds me of this chart that Amano made a long time ago, check out this chart - Judging Withdrawal Progress

 

I know it's frustrating and scary for you now, but you'll be able to look back in time and know your getting better.

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My own cog fog was worse when I was off Klonopin.  At eight months off now I'm so much better.  But for several months it was a very difficult symptom for me.  It is quite amazing just how long it can take various symptoms to resolve.  

 

Draftsman

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Thanks Florida Guy!!!  So after about 90 days you noticed things improving?  Sorry to ask but trying to work through a very picked brain that used to be extremely intelligent (if I do say so myself!!)

 

Love,

Mary

 

Yea, that's about right. But as others have mentioned it wasn't an overnight improvement. I can only say that I was starting to get better now that I am able to look back on it.

 

 

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