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Windows and Their Duration.


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I've noticed that my windows are of varying durations.  Some are a few hours, others last a few days.  Lately, they haven't been staying open as long as they used to.  Is it common to have long windows, then shorter ones?  I know recovery is non linear, but it just seems a bit backwards. Has anyone had any experience with this?

 

As always, thanks for your help!

 

Nicole

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I just want to pop in here with a similar question....I've been having windows for quite some time, but nothing ever progresses and gets alot better.  In April May and June I had two day windows once each months, then in July we went to Maine and I had one full day window and then a few hours windows every night for six days in a row.    I don't understand either how windows work......and what exactly are the?  Also, when the window closes, and the wave hits (it is gruesome), I get very very depressed and anxious.  But during the window, sometimes there is a bit of anxiety but no depression.....does this mean that is how I will be when I am healed?

Someone told me that since I was getting windows, I was getting close to being healed.  Is that true?  Any light anyone can shed on this subject would be much appreciated....it is all so confusing and discouraging when the windows stay only for a short time and then go......But trust me, I am very greatful to have that break.......we really all will get well, won't we?  So many doubts come during the waves.......Thanks!

Love Hoping2bFree

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There really is no answer, unfortunately, to the questions posed.  The mileage on things like windows varies from person to person, and there is no rhyme or reason for why things happen the way they do.  I had no windows at all during the last 3 months of my taper, but at 12 months benzo free I would say I'm 70 to 80% healed, depending on the day.  Even I still have to deal with unexpected ramps in withdrawal at one year out.  I would say that windows are an indication of healing occurring, but I would also add that a lack of windows does in no way indicate that healing has halted.
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Thanks Bevoir :)

 

I take the fact that I'm even having windows at 4 months off as a good sign.  I can definitely see how I've improved, but just wondered if there was a correlation between window duration and healing. 

 

Thanks!

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Here is what the Ashton manual says about windows and waves:

 

"During benzodiazepine withdrawal, symptoms characteristically wax and wane, varying in severity and type from day to day, week to week, and even during the course of a day. Some symptoms come and go; others may take their place. There is no need to be discouraged by these wave-like recurrences; the waves become less severe and less frequent as time passes. Typically "Windows" of normality, when you feel positively well for a few hours or days, appear after some weeks; gradually the "Windows" become more frequent and last longer, while any intervening discomfort ebbs away.

 

It is impossible to give an exact time for the duration of withdrawal symptoms. It depends on where you start from, how much support you need and receive, how you manage your taper and many other factors. With slow tapering, some long-term users have virtually lost all their symptoms by the time they take their last tablet, and in the majority symptoms disappear within a few months. Vulnerability to extra stress may last somewhat longer and a severe stress may - temporarily - bring back some symptoms. Whatever your symptoms, it is best not to dwell on them. Symptoms are just symptoms after all and most of them in withdrawal are not signs of illness but signals of recovery. Furthermore, as your mind clears, you can work out more and more effective ways to deal with them so that they become less significant.

 

One reassuring finding from many clinical studies is that eventual success in withdrawal is not affected by duration of use, dosage or type of benzodiazepine, rate of withdrawal, severity of symptoms, psychiatric diagnosis, or previous attempts at withdrawal. Thus from almost any starting point, the motivated long-term user can proceed in good heart."

 

 

http://benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha03.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Im in month 4. At 14 days out I had a 30 day window and then nothing short of hell the last 90 days. Now for the past few days feels like a decent window but think its going to be short lived as the symptoms seem to be creeping back in. So there's no rhyme or reason or schedule to follow I know that's lousy news and we all wish we had an idea of when a window was coming or how long a wave would last but like everything else with this drug who the hell knows.
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What I have observed with me...

 

I seemingly have two different levels of windows going on.

 

On the macro level, I have weeks where I may feel better than other weeks.

And then, on the micro level, I have days and times during the day that are better or worse than others.

 

If I am in a bad macro wave for a week or longer, then when I feel better during those parts of days, it's still not all that good. If I am in a good macro window for a week or longer, then when I feel bad during those parts of the days, it's not that bad at all-- bad on a good week is better than good on a bad week..... if that makes sense.

 

As to the rhyme or reason to them, I have observed no pattern. My theory is that withdrawal is a syndrome, so in a sense it is a neurological pattern that your brain gets stuck in.  Some people's brains heal from benzos, and they jump right into a window that never closes. Other people's brains heal from benzos but the neurological pattern of symptoms is so engrained in their nervous system that it takes awhile for their brain to get back on a healthy track on a consistent basis. So we have periods where we have windows -- normal functioning-- then, there is some kind of trigger or reminder to the brain of the withdrawal neurological pattern and it jumps back on the merry-go-round.  It just takes time for the brain to adjust.

Just a theory...

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Great description of windows ask. I think I am the same way. I am in a bad week right now and even the relief at night is not all that great.
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16 weeks and still waiting for that window Dr. A!!!  ;D

 

Yeah M, Aston's description describes a linear window line, with windows getting longer and more frequent.  Not sure why that is.  From what I've seen here it is anything but linear and I don't think anyone really knows why someone gets a window period followed by what can be a very lengthy wave period.

 

I have not found anything scientific explaining this phenomenon.  At least the Ashton manual reckognizes the existence of windows and waves.  But A lot more research needs to be done, which we both know will be difficult when the prevailing thought in medical academia is that there is no w/d after the drug leaves your system.

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P...I mentioned that because Dr. A says windows should start appearing in a few weeks, but 16 weeks in I haven't seen one!  Makes me think I'm the odd one out since Ashton knows so much.  I know to attribute any rhyme or reason to this is madness and an exercise in futility to be sure!

 

Love you all and praying for windows for you (and can't wait for the day that "windows" only mean the things on my house)

Mary

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That is another inconsistency I've seen M- the timeline for when windows are supposed to start opening.  Great point.
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Jenny can correct me if she sees this, but I think she said she didn't get a window until 7 months out and then it didn't close...how about that one?
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Thank you all for your responses - it is so confusing and everyone has a different story.....and so now we all know that we will never really know exactly how windows work,,,,but I am glad that I get them, but the waves afterward are so awful - anyone else have that experience.....

Hoping

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Most definitely.  The few windows I have had were followed by hard waves, but looking back to how intense the sx's were in the beginning makes me realize they are less intense now...like the shades of gray chart Amano posted a while back.  If I did not look back at my progress log during the intense waves, I probably wouldn't think I was even healing at all.
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Yes P...

 

Your advice to start a progress log was the best advice I have gotten here.  When I say "this is getting worse and worse", I look back at what I said a month and two months ago and it definitely puts things in perspective.  Tiny progress here and there, but progress nonetheless.

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In the book Benzo Wise, the author, Baylissa Johns, talks about that from interviews she has noticed 2 types of recoveries:

 

(1) windows and waves until the waves stop finally. There is no pattern to them she says. Also, strangely, lots of folks report that there very worst wave happened right before they stopped altogether. This takes months to year(s).

 

(2) no windows-- only one long wave until window that really doesn't ever close. This takes months to year(s).

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