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Supporting a family member withdrawing from Ativan


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Hi I am joining Benzobuddies to support a family member who doesn't have good access to the internet.  I am hoping to post info for her, so she can get some questions answered and some much needed support from people who understand what she's going through.

 

Thanks for this opportunity,

elphaba

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Hello elphaba, welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

You are indeed a compassionate, caring person to be doing this on someone else's behalf.  What benzo/s is this family member on?  For how long and at what doses?

 

A good source of knowledge about benzodiazepine use and withdrawal is the Ashton Manual.

 

We will gladly answer any questions you have.

 

Crono

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Hello Elphaba and welcoming you to BB! That is wonderful that you want to help your family member. How can we help? Are they looking to taper off or are they already off benzos?
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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for your kind words and offer of support.  I've been trying to get more information about how long she's been on Ativan, when she started her taper, etc...

but can't seem to get a response.  About 2 weeks ago she was in a car accident and unfortunately things have taken a turn for the worse.  She was hit by a driver that ran a stop sign at 40mph, and crashed into her (the driver's side door). I give her a lot of credit, as she's committed to not taking pain meds for fear of what might happen.

 

She and her 8yr old daughter have been living with her parents, who are in there 80's, for almost a year now and I think it's just to much for everyone and not a very good environment for her to heal, despite everyone's best efforts.  I was wondering if anyone has a detox facility they would recommend in the Southern California Area.  I've read many post with negative stories about places and just wondered if there's anywhere that might be a good fit.  I really think she needs a place that's going to aggressively work with her to deal with the fear and anxiety that will be there big time, once she's off the Ativan.

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

elphaba

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That's just aweful, what happened to your family member. I hope her a speedy recovery.

 

Generally, detox is not preferable, as it only offers going off c/t from benzos, which isn't recommend. If it were me, I'd try to find a doctor who could work with me on a slow taper plan, giving time for my body to heal. There's also the option to crossover to Valium, which has a much longer half life than Ativan. If that's not possible, then Ativan can still be tapered off successfully. Many forum members have gone that route and are living healthy lives. Let us know how we can help. Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

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Hi Shaneb,

 

Thanks so much for you input.  I just read your blog and "WOW" you're commitment and determination to get off Xanax, along with the support from your BBs really played a key role it keeping you going!   Congrats on getting this far, it sounds like it's been a rough road, but based on your posts, I'm convinced that you've got the strength to do it.   Keep up the great work.

 

As far as my sister-in-law goes (I'll call her Angie), she's done an amazing job of going from 3mg of Ativan a day to 1.5mg a day, but I think she's hit some really hard times and is constantly overcome with fear and anxiety, and understandable so.  Since realizing that she was addicted and going through inter-dose withdrawal she's:

 

 - gotten separated from her husband and has full custody of her 8 yr old daughter

 - got evicted from her apartment and moved in with her parents (small apartment)

 - had a hysterectomy due to major, unexplained pain  (maybe interdose w/d symptoms?)

 - had to leave her job because she couldn't perform her duties

 - has gone through her savings and has no income

 

So far she's had a lot of support from my in-laws. But, they're in their 80's and my father-in-law's health has taken a turn for the worse and my mother-in-law is having a hard time finding the energy and mental clarity to be there for everyone day after day...

 

Right now Angie's tapering is on hold due to the added complications of the car accident, which was just a couple of weeks ago.  I understand what you are saying about detox facilities and c/t, which doesn't sound good. But I'm concerned about all the fear and anxiety that she's feeling. I realize that some of it maybe due to w/d, but once she off the Ativan I would love for her to feel like she's got the tools to handle the fear and anxiety that may continue to come up.

 

What kind of tools have you learned that are helpful in dealing with the fear and anxiety?

 

Thanks,

elphaba

 

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HI elphaba,

 

We have a board on 'anxiety' which has alot of good explanations on coping skills.  I think it is wonderful that you are looking for help for your sister-in-law.  The more you can read the better understanding you will have what she is going through right now.  It is very difficult to taper and the fear and anxiety are just the tip of the iceberg.  This is the time that she will need help so she can one day function on her own.  Right now she is struggling to survive.  Thanks for being there for her.

 

Patty  xo

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Patty's advice can do your sister-in-law a lot of good, I think. Learning to effectively deal with stress and anxiety when it comes on can do a world of wonder in withdrawal. Everyone's tools are different, but what helps me is to sit with my feelings. I don't deny that they're happening, but rather I tell myself that it's just my body experiencing anxiety, that there's nothing wrong with me and that the feelings will pass. We all learn how to cope through this process, so I believe your sister-in-law will find great tools to help herself out. How's she doing since surgery?
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Patty, thanks for pointing me to the anxiety board.  I saw it when I first discovered the site and then I got too laser focused and forgot. :-[

I'm going to print some of the information (especially the post on morning anxiety) and send it to her.

 

Shane, thanks for sharing how you handle stress, I'll definitely pass that along as well.

 

My mother-in-law says, she's like Jekyll and Hyde.  That she can't have a conversation with her til late afternoon/early evening.  I know she goes to bed late and can't sleep, has nightmares, wakes up with extreme anxiety and stays in bed til after noon. Can anyone relate to this and is it fairly common?

 

Thanks for the support,

elphaba

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Oh, elphaba, agitation/rage was one of my worst symptoms.  My poor husband had to endure my rages.  I couldn't even stand to hear the sound of his voice.  I finally told him that if I waved my hand to just stop talking and leave me alone.  Such a shame.  He has been absolutely wonderful during this whole process but I can see it has taken alot out of him.  Mornings are usually the worse because of the adrenalin rushes causing extreme anxiety amongst dozens of other symptoms.  Big time fatigue is also very, very common.  It is hard to even walk to the bathroom or brush your teeth.  I didn't shower for days because it was too difficult.  Just keep supporting her......she really needs understanding.

 

Patty  xo

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